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July is finally over, and of course, the universe throws me a foul ball. Two emails in my spam box with ominous subject lines and Return sender notices. And a key word in the subject line, an old password that was only ever used on one site. One that was already changed, but is now changed again. A site that had no PII details, but one that I contributed volumes to over the last fifteen years. Those contributions, however, are not secret, they have been published to the internet on a monthly basis, so threats of publication make me laugh.
The group is scattered to the wind and suddenly at 5 PM I discover there is no knit night tonight. An evening at home is just fine, even with an abbreviated pool time. As it is national ice cream sandwich day, I dash to the store so that we can participate. I realize that we havenít gone out for ice cream this summer Ėwhich is not to say we havenít had any- so this feels like a particularly decadent move. How can it be August already Ė and no Sunday afternoon ice cream trips? And then I think back on July.
Manxy sat in my lap today. Twice He has never done that before. In the last week or two, Iíve been able to pick him up without him caterwauling in protest. This morning on the couch he came and sat with his front half on my thigh Ė for about 10 minutes. It was somewhat of a surprise. Later, I had my legs up on the couch, he came and snuggled inside my legs, his head in the crook of my knee. I think heís feeling his age, whatever that is. Heís at least 8, and may be 9 or older.
In the grand old tradition of playing in the garden, today I was weeding until I almost literally couldnít stand. After the slow, wet spring, July heat just lit the fuse on weed. Thereís too much to get done in a weekend, or a week, or maybe even a month of weekends, but I at least managed to unbury the roses. Some are surviving fairly well, one appears dead and another is on life support. Both of the latter were not healthy candidates immediately after being planted this year, so I probably canít be too upset at their current state.
If I donít try it on, Iíll never know if it fits or not, and then I wonít have to frog it again. But of course, that also means Iíll never get to wear it. I am afraid to try on the summer tee that I started last summer. I am not sure what happened when I reknit it this summer to address the short armscye, but somehow, that total measurement doesnít appear to be any larger now. Iíve already knit all the finishing trim. Of course, even if it fits now, before washing, it may not fit after washing.
Coffee is my preferred start of the day Ė but not just any coffee. I need milk with my coffee, and I would love to start the day with a cappuccino. I bought one in Chicago in the 1980ís (I donít know how I had the money for it!) and adored it for many years until it died. I love Italian machines that look simultaneously retro and space age Ė somehow Jetson-ian. But for now, I drink my coffee on the drive to work out of an aging Nissan thermos, so the dream is on hold for now, maybe when I retire.
I have slowly identified some of the new, unusual plants Ėthose that have grown so tall and strong- as invader weeds. Others have still not been identified yet, even with the help of plant apps, which I find disappointing in the extreme. But today another plant identified itself: tucked right up against the house, where I never would plant anything, a plant I previously thought to be a weed blossomed into a beautiful, fuchsia colored phlox. In addition to creating a monthly garden journal, I do need to more regularly take pictures to record what is where for next year.
When the GSD group starts sharing details of their lives, I always learn interesting facts or details of how others live: preferred caffeine hot drink discussion on Monday was fascinating. The group has a few members in Europe, a lot of Brits and Scots, no Irish that I know of, and many USians and Canadians right through the west coast Ė no one west of North America from what I can tell. The thing that struck me was the quantity of caffeine that so many drink. And the variety of favored preparation methods - especially for the coffee- was rather astonishing.
Now that Iíve finished the big green shawl (I think it is finished, but I still have a lot of yarn leftover), I need a new mindless Ėor at least, easy!- knit, but donít have anything queued up. I donít need anything else that is on tiny needles, the sweater is enough. Wait Ė donít I have a scarf like that? If I rummage around the knitty room, Iím likely to find it, the scarf I hope will be my new daily for my peacock quilted jacket. It is only half done, so there are few days of easy knitting ahead.
We are overrun with visitors today, between Terryís summer holiday visit, and the contingent from Ohio stopping by Ėand one staying all day- and returning. It is a little overwhelming, particularly on a day when I donít feel well, but it is also nice to have people around. The open kitchen makes it so much easier to shuffle things, although Choppie was the star of the show. I donít remember the last time I sat and talked at length to someone new and enjoyed it, but the new family member seemed much more my speed than her still-beloved sister.
Another lost day capping off an essentially lost weekend. I had a list of things to get done Ėincluding many small things, since we had houseguest most of the day. But I got nothing done of any merit or consequence. I watched some bad tv, does that count? I wasnít even up for the good stuff. And being in pain, it isnít as though laying around was exactly restful. I did decide, however, to expand the green shawl to use up more of the yarn, so frogging back to the end of the second lace chart was something I accomplished.
I thought yesterday was pain day: a headache in the morning, one of the sinus like migraines, and dental pain in the evening. I did manage last week to get an appointment set up, but it's 10 days away. Today, the pain has exploded and Iím not sure I can live with this pain for another week and a half; Aleve doesnít touch it. It seems to cause muscle pain as well, from my throat to jaw to ear to temple, which I am trying to relieve by massaging the areas. This gives me a little relief for brief periods.
Last night I dreamed of Bonn; not the real Bonn, the one in my memory that I visit on occasion in my dreams. It is somehow an odd mix of Bonn and Vienna and maybe a little bit of Salzburg thrown in. I donít know what prompts me to visit Bonn in my dreams I have not tracked any corollary to events in life or feelings. I knew in my dream I was revisiting my dream-Bonn, but it was so real and yet appropriately updated for 2019 (eg., cell phones, the city had a slicker, upscale feel, and American tourists).
Somewhere, some-when this month, the realization hits me like a ton of bricks. I donít normally get bent out of shape by numbers, numbers by themselves are meaningless, and are not even necessarily of value. But this one made me stop and wince hard. It is double what it once was. Double. Why did this just occur to me now, after how many years? I honestly donít know, Iíve contemplated it many times. It freaks me out Ė just the very idea. So now Iím trying very hard not to think about it Ė and we all know how well that works.
Iíve had many sinus infections before. But I never before had one that didnít involve snot clogging and dripping down for days before turning into an infection. I am kind of stunned that this is the diagnosis, but glad that it should be relatively straightforward? I donít have a lot of PTO left at this point as Iíve been running through the hours this week, but Iíve been in such pain that I havenít been able to do a lot of work on any given day. The antibiotics are absolute horsepills Ė how quickly can they make me feel human again?
How is it I never learned how to properly floss? Well, I kind of know how Ė the dentist I saw as a child was a horrible dentist. And then there were braces for years, which made it impossible to floss. By the time youíre older, I guess it is assumed you know what youíre supposed to do? I was doing it wrong all these years? Today was an education Ė what can happen when you miss a yearís worth of cleanings and how to floss properly. So Iíll stock up on floss and mouthwash, and schedule regular appointments despite Life Happening.
The whole situation leaves me confused and bewildered, I can only imagine his state of mind. If you love someone, when trying to give a gift or do something for them, if your loved one expresses a particular desire, why on earth would you not honor it? Particularly if it doesnít cost anyone anything more or cause harm? It doesnít have to make sense to the giver, the giver should honor the wishes of the giftee. I donít like wearing red, but if a red pullover was requested Ėand agreed to- Iíd knit a red sweater, not a purple cardigan.
I finished a book last night for the first time in ages! I finish a romance novel in an evening, but Iíve been working on The Anansi Boys all year; between my eyes & brain being tired I just couldnít read serious fiction; my new contacts have changed that! I have quite an assortment now to choose from at this point: Ann Leckeís newer novel, books 2 and 3 of Terra Ignota series, the Harlan Ellison kickstarter books, and others tucked away. If I only had a summer of slow afternoons to sit by the pool and read them all.
Iím barely at work when I get the text from Mom that theyíre in the ER because dad couldnít breathe when he got up, and that they went by ambulance. This is not how to start the week. It doesnít matter that heís seeing the pulmonary doc on two days. Heís been not been doing well for several days. Mom says this is their life now, and sheís right. With COPD, particularly if it isnít managed well because the patient canít or wonít proactively manage symptoms. He of course wonít stay, so they head home early afternoon after heís stabilized.
Thereís less than a week now for me to decide what I want to share with the FreddersI I volunteered to fill a space in the schedule but whatís the threadstart theme? I don't really have bandwidth to approach Egyptian topics. Glass has been done recently and I did flowers already? Ah - my favorite music! Probably not King Crimson, but I might pick out some flute standards that I adore - depended on finding YouTube videos. Maybe the pieces Iíve played? Chaminade, Ibert, Carnaval de Venise, Syrinx, the two Vivaldi concerti, the Hungarian Fantasie. Is that seven pieces already?
Another round of what certainly feels like a kidneystone started just before I left the office. At home, I start flooding my system with liquids as soon as I recognize that it isnít just back pain, although the very beginning is far too similar. I feel guilty Ė I stress ate chips this afternoon. Iím sure all that salt isnít good, but did it push me into this? I need to start a calendar of these episodes and seriously question the doc next time Iím there. By the time weíre done with dinner, I feel much better, having apparently expelled something.
The idea of putting certain plants around the garden in pots has been growing on me, after seeing how many plants Monty Don grows in pots around Longmeadow. Of course, he has a number of buildings and greenhouses he can use to overwinter them, and we donít. Not even with the upstairs bedroom cleared out, which we did manage tonight. But I do like the idea of being able to move things around to showcase whatís in bloom, or even just easily trying plants out to see if they survive. Perhaps Iíll do bulbs and annuals in pots next year?
Ring the bell! I finished a scarf! Got to DMV and completed the application for my Real ID Drivers License! And, and, and: I finished reading another book Ė one that I just started this week! Never mind the various crap that happened this week, I am going to stay positive today somehow Ė by celebrating the small victories, if I have to. Frankly, I donít think any one of those things is small. And Iím starting to make peace with using this space as more of a diary Ė because it does allow me to reflect on what Iíve done over time.
I managed to do several hours of weeding, making serious inroads to the front driveway corner flower bed, while himself tackled the raspberry beds. The light at the end of the drive has now been excavated so it should be visible at the street, but I still donít see it from the house. I dragged most of the biomass to the back of the property, where weíre trying to fill in the ravine. By the time Iím done, Iím shaking. This was what, maybe 1/6 of what needs to be done to beat back the weeds? I am in trouble.
A quiet day, after yesterdayís victory of buying a mattress and weeding. Sleeping last night was delicious, it was so cool and breezy with the windows open again. Slept well also because yesterday was so damn productive, I felt bone tired when I went to bed, in a good way. Today the cool continues; Iíd love to sit on the patio with a gin & tonic, but still on antibiotics for the sinus infection, so I have to make do with sipping a soda. I am not ready for summer to be over, but this will be the last week.
The sounds of medieval choral song floats around me in the car and Iíve got the windows open as I head west this morning. In my continuing effort to shake things up a bit, I am going to listen to music in the mornings, and keep the podcasts for the afternoon. I used to listen to music all the time, but Iíve realized recently how little I listen to music. It seems I have finally returned to reading in the evenings, perhaps this will help me listen to music not just when going to sleep, but also during the days?
It seems Iíve spent the last three months at work writing (ignoring time spent at the workshop). Proposals for conferences. Writing slides and content for presentations and different kinds of curriculum. Reviewing marketing emails, writing blog posts, outlines for more presentations. Revising words written by the junior coordinator, undoing his revisions to my writing. I get home and I donít want to write. Not even in my journal Ė although Iím beginning to think about the new month, and trying to apply my recently restored focus to that effort as well. But so far just with thoughts, not ink on paper.
Although Iím disappointed by the lack of posts by one of my favorite bloggers, it makes me feel significantly less bad about my performance this month. Although to be honest, I did much better this month overall than Iíve done in recent months. I still have bit of a figurative hike to get fully back on path, but in keeping with my efforts to be positive and grateful, I will acknowledge that I did better. I think I might have done better if writing had been a bit less of a focus at work. I didnít have any words left.
It is probably not surprising that I will knit rather than write in the evening at this point. But as I do at work, I need to focus on that item with a shorter deadline. Unfortunately, there is a lot more work involved in meeting my (admittedly, self-imposed) sweater deadline. I would really like to be able to cast on something new at the retreat next month, but I know that will only further delay finishing this sweater. And I need Ėmentally and spiritually- to finish a sweater this year, and this is yarn from our Scotland sojourn.
As the month comes to a close, I took a look back and saw some real progress on goals that Iíve been struggling with for quite some time. I managed some very practical things that needed to get done, as well as implemented some personal habits that will hopefully improve my mental outlook. Sustaining these changes is part discipline, part seeing the benefits. There is still a lot of work to be done to bring better balance and harmony into my life, not to mention figuring out the escape plan, but Iíve managed to make a serious start this month.
Fifteen years ago we were at DragonCon. I still donít know if it terrified himself or if he honestly had a good time. And how the internet has changed the Con: tweeting out schedule updates, electronic notices of lost & found, and of course, the parade is now live-streamed. So I watched it for a while this morning, feeling all the ďI want to be there again!Ē feels that come around every year. But since ďyou canít go home againĒ - I am afraid to go again. To have a bad experience ruin all the beautiful memories would be devastating.
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