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Iím very glad that January is finally over. Good Riddance, I hope, but you never know, this new month could be just as disappointing. Or possibly Ėnot that I want to contemplate this- worse? Weather is always variable in February: we could get masses of snow or things might heat up for a very early spring. I just want for dad to heal and mom to recover and for me to get back on track with my life, and finances. I hope to keep up with the journaling but the first work week proved to be a real challenge.
Today is Imbolc, and for my personal observance of it, I made sour cream cookies. I almost had them right, the first sheet was a little more done than necessary. I did spend part of the day working on house & home and the coming of spring, using the new vac on the couch in the TV room. I also made progress with yarn Ė washing swatches and the finished purple lap blanket (it is definitely too short for a stole of any kind Ė waah!). So a day of thoughtful progress on household & personal life, fulfilling the spirit of this celtic holiday.
The night was filled with strange dreams. Several of which seemed to have taken place in England and Scotland. It is very easy to find obvious connections between such dreams and my desires, but Iím not sure thatís really what is going on. For the most part, work is being essentially boring, existentially boring and why bother? right now, and I do think that when I am lacking in functional creative outlets in ife, my dreams begin to short circuit and get a little funky. And persistent, re-running themselves over and over for several days. Or weeks.
Grandpa Ė Dadís father was born 100 years ago today; I do miss him and his unconditional love and warm, mischievous smile. Iíve learned more about his family Ėmy familyĖ in the last year than I did when he was alive. It is odd to think that there is a whole branch of the family from his sister that I donít know Ė do they know the family stories? It is another reminder to me that I do want to put up my rogues gallery of pictures, and the only suitable spot would seem to be the upstairs hallway.
There are very few podcasts that I'm interested in listening to at this time. Some that were my standby for several years are not available anymore; the host fell afoul of recent political currents. Others have new hosts I don't care for; Splendid Table, I'm looking at you. There are fewer real conversations about the details of food; the conversations about people are not nearly as interesting or as rich as when Lynn was hosting. I get the shift to the far left side but I preferred learning about specific new foods or ingredients or that I want to try.
The learning continues: I want to streamline my digital device inventory. A bit of research tells me that my iTunes music library will fit on my iPhone. I know that I can download or even just stream new podcasts when in the car, which is great Ė one less task I need to remember to do. Adding my recent King Crimson downloads to iTunes before initiating a synch to my phone, I am stymied: the files donít actually show up in the Library. I always have problems adding downloaded music to the iTunes library, and the interdweebz didn't help today.
The news hits me too hard: I didnít actually know her, Iíd only recently begun to recognize her posts, with a warmly wicked sense of humor. Although I will sometimes read the sockpuppet threads, I donít typically read the medical issue threads, as theyíre the kind of depressing I donít want. So her medical issues were unknown to me and I was shocked by the reference to her death in another thread. Given the size of the community, it is not surprising that over the course of almost a decade we will lose some members.
Dadís cognitive memory issues are indeed ongoing. Doc M reported that dad had very poor performance on the 30 questions test, and the scans showed indications of a small stroke of some older type. There is another, more probing cognitive test scheduled in late March that will hopefully help them narrow in on what the issues are, but I donít know if it will reveal if there's anything at all to be done to improve his memory or slow down the rate of decline. But it really does begin to beg the question: should dad still be driving?
I came downstairs early Ė before 8 AM Ė to enjoy some the quiet early morning and play catch up. And of course, did not actually catch up. I was diverted by Rav, catching up on my standard watched threads, and of course about CFL. Then himself came down early. I donít want to be getting up earlier on weekends than on weekdays, but I sometimes think thatís what I need to do to get my quiet and alone time. It wonít be enough to watch the entertainment I want, but I could get some thinking / words / journaling done.
Days later, the news of crazyfishlady is still sending shockwaves through the group. Everyone feels it somehow worse that she made it through the surgery -which was the real concern- and then have a seizure. In her honor weíre doing a knitalong, with everyone using something precious from stash to knit or crochet something different. We all have at least a skein that is so beautiful / rare / expensive / unfamiliar / whatever that we have been saving it for something special. Time to take it and do something this those skeins, because however long you have, life is still too short.
The next family wedding will be in July not August. I'm delighted to learn that Miss O. had the gumption to ask Grandma to find some way to get her ass up to Vermont this time. On the other hand, I was disappointed to learn that said Grandma was astonished and disappointed that we enjoyed Vermont so much last year that we immediately made plans to go up early and stay later this year Ė that the trip will be our vacation for the year. Unless I manage to figure out how to either retire or finally just quit my job.
I want to declared this week a blanket fort week; I'm feeling rather trapped. I want to do little else other than wake up, contemplate the day, lounge about and eat good food, maybe drink some wine, maybe drink some coffee or hot chocolate or something. Maybe go somewhere with my husband and do something, just for fun. Unfortunately, it's February and so our choices for where to go and do fun things are severely limited right now. I wouldn't mind going to the city, but I don't even dare bring that up as an option to himself right now.
Conversations with B today were honest as always. We both agree that within the next year, year and a half at the outside, the boss lady will try and abandon ship: she'll sellout or just move on to greener fields, i.e. retire. This will leave both of us relatively high and dry, particularly the sellout option. I don't mind that idea so much Ė I really am trying to get out on my own steam in that time frame. But with her two kids still in college, and husband chronically underemployed, I know her situation is quite a bit different.
There was chocolate, and a card, and wonderful alfredo pasta for dinner, but this year's real Valentineís present Ėor miracle?- came very late. At some point in the wee small hours of the night, I got up to pee, and then didnít have to go looking for BooBoo, he was waiting for me outside the door. He came into the bedroom and when I put him on the bed and then climbed in, he stayed on the bed. He came up alongside my head, accepted pets and cuddles for several long, delightful minutes, and then eventually jumped down.
Mr. T was a charming and handsome devil. I was surprised to learn he was almost 88 years old, just a week shy of his birthday, but that makes sense, that he had a son that was essentially an adult while I was in elementary school. I am very sad for Mrs. T and the girls, but as he was in hospice, it is good that heís no longer in pain. Thereís been an odd confluence of death in the last week between Ravelry and the real world (past and present). Iím ready to move past it.
Iíve almost learned to live with the fact that we never got Ė and will never have-- Jeb Bartlett as our real president. It is just as true that we never got Matt Santos. I think the thing that Iím most saddened by is that West Wing all but promised us than in ten or fifteen years weíd get Sam Seaborn as our presidential candidate Ė a beautifully intelligent geek. That there was a bright future ahead, that idealism, capitalism and politics were not incompatible. Instead, we now have Democrats shifing toward socialism Ė eeeeew! Ė and adrift on political correctness.
This holiday weekend is relatively quiet. The weather wasnít too bad Ėyesterday there was actual sunshine!- but it is quite true: we have little to do for fun this time of year. We did targeted shopping to find specific things, but we donít enjoy kicking around the mall, and are quite finicky about what movies we go to see. Running for pizza at Del Fioreís isnít so much fun as something to do? Looking at seed and nursery catalogues is dreamy, but realizing there's not space (or budget!) for everything we want is a let-down.
At long last, my Pilot House pullover is done and seamed. Iím happy with how the colors worked out in this handpainted yarn, the reknit front distributed the green in the last skein. It doesnít feel too heavy or warm, it's soft and feels like a hug embracing me. The fit is good overall, but does confirm a few things: I do want a slightly longer pullover, and the arm scye is still not right in the front. I need to measure finished lengths to see if the knit is off or if specifications need to be changed.
And it was a full moon last night. A super moon, even. I missed it again even though it was in my Journal. Because I am not looking at my journal much during week days. I have been making a show of trying to update on the weekends, but weekdays Ė well, nothing other than work typically gets done on a weekday. Particularly now with an office mate. I need to re-instate lunch as a break Ė like I did today. For fun Ė or for just getting personal shit done, like scheduling doctor appointments or mailing condolence cards. Whatever needs doing.
At first, I thought it was just that particular and dysfunctional board; having participated in many more volunteer groups since then, I have learned otherwise. I donít have a lot of time, and I wonít join a group unless I am planning to get involved. As a result, in all the groups I belong to, I am the one making suggestions. I have ideas, know what could and should be done. I just donít have time to execute it all myself. Clearly if I had minions to make things happen, the world would be a different place.
Thinking about minions yesterday, I returned to my wish for personal web search bots: I want to ask a computer assistant to troll the web, searching for specific items for me Ė not just a one time google search, but ongoing searches with notifications. And the bot needs AI so it can learn and modify its searches when I say no, not with X, but Y. But thereís no way Iím giving Google that kind of information about what I want. So it needs to be a bot that I absolutely own or control, like a digital, household Jeeves.
What a day. I woke to massive pain in my back and side Ė it was the left side, but definitely not at the sciatic nerve or my bad disk. I couldnít get comfortable standing, sitting or laying down, at the point of tears, but applying heat to the area was like magic. Two hours later, I was fine. But then the real pain of the day happened: water overflowing in the basement, flooding the laundry room, the area under the stairs and the carpeted room. The plumber rescued us but clean up and drying out will take a while.
Feeling no pain today with dry weather, no snow on the ground and 38 degrees Ė what else could I do but work in the flower beds? I managed a rough clean out Ėremoving weeds and the dead stalks of the perennial plants in the beds by the house and the divider bed to the north. Thatís easily half of the beds out front. I left leaves in the beds as I could see the tips of iris and other spring flowers beginning to form and there is still a good chance of snow in the coming week or two.
It was a productive morning, but the To Do list remains unfinished and gets longer with every passing day. Sometimes I think about doing a rough estimation of how long it would take me to do everything on the list, but Iím pretty sure that is in fact a bad idea. That the list would then shift in my head from being improbable, to being impossible. That little bit of uncertainty in this case is actually a good thing, although at work I generally like to have estimates at the ready. The journal can help identify the real priorities.
Todayís visit to the eye doc confirmed that much more drastic measures are needed to resolve things, that it is now a cyst. The process she described probably isnít in all reality that bad, but it set off a number of the warning bells in my head, particularly the use of a needle. Even with the eye doc I truly trusted, he had to talk me down in order to use a needle to numb things. I donít know that I can go along with this proposed treatment when it is a doc I donít know.
When she posted tonight, clearly in a state of mental chaos, I immediately volunteered to help in the only way I could. Thatís the thing about online communities Ė you canít actually go over help by walking the dog, running errands, whatever, but there are often other ways to lend a hand. This was someone who boosted my spirits during the FHM giftmas season, so I looked at my calendar then offered to take one small item off her list for this week while she sorts out her suddenly changed life circumstances. It will hopefully help lighten her load.
Going out the front door on my way to work, I saw that the daffodils Ėmy King Alfreds tucked into the ďhot spotĒ south facing corner- are most determined in their upward progress. In fact, there appear to be a few buds forming, swellings at the ends that look slightly more yellow than green. We have some snow forecast in the next few days, I do hope that they are able to survive. But it does make me wish that the snow would skip us from here on out so that the flowers can start their parade in early March.
Flower catalogues Ė online or in print Ė are my real wishbooks. I could spend all my disposable income, and so much more, every year on bulbs and plants. I donít really have disposable funds right now, Iím still paying off all the car work and the airfare from a month when I had half my normal income. And given uncertainties, not to mention the Maine retreat deposits that will hit very soon, I steel myself against making a future bet. But I want those tulips Ė I have plenty of room on the side borders that stay dry in summer.
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