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The first day of October. It is indisputably fall, which is fine, I like fall, but I belatedly realize we really didnít have any summer. Even after Labor Day, thereís hope for a few weeks of summer weather, but nothing materialized this year. There were a few fleeting days of perfect summer, what I think of as perfect summer (sunny and bright but not hot), but no long, hot, hazy days of summer, the beach days. I wonder if this means an early and long winter. First, though, I plan to enjoy the crispness of fall and all its colors.
I am aggravated beyond all acceptable limits. She is a passive aggressive bitch who doesnít know the first thing about managing or leading a team. She is vindictive and readily bad-mouths other people; I have no doubt sheís doing it to me now. She wants things her way regardless of reality, and will not discuss things in a meaningful way. She says one thing and does another. She doesnít take care of the details and has a poor track record for proofreading text. I am tired of all of it, and want out; I probably wonít wait until next spring.
We had dinner at friendsí tonight Ė something weíve not done in a very long time, and never before with this couple. The dogs were out of control, very much like spoiled children. I have never understood why people are oblivious to the disruptive behavior of their wee ones (two footed or four footed) when company is present. I couldnít help but flinch sometimes at the barking, it was so loud it hurt my ears. It was flinch noticed by the hosts, but nothing was done. I enjoyed seeing everyone, but it wonderful to escape into the quiet of the night.
A day of sunshine is so welcome after a day of unremitting grey drizzle. It is a truly fall like day, the trees are beginning to blush. A day of change. Iím beginning to realize that the unhappiness percolating inside me is going to require more direct action, more decisive action than Iíd previously considered. If my time at the Local Expansion Team taught me nothing else, it is that something that makes you unhappy must be addressed. And like the situation at the LET, I donít see any way to make me happy other than by leaving the organization.
I swing madly back and forth between hoping there's no response, which will merely drag things out further, and wanting an immediate confrontation, just to express myself when I'm still hopped up on anger. I know that is not wise, even though I don't anticipate a long career path in front of me - the current job is probably my last one in this field. I have moved beyond acceptance of that, I'm now embracing it and trying to figure out the next step. That's why I have no motivation to continue to give time and effort to the organization.
A long ride there and back today due to accidents, but my day was better than theirs. Rather than fuming and being antagonized by the delays, I was happily listening to various podcasts and not minding it at much at all. I don't mind the drive as much when I'm listening to podcasts of interesting things, it is very different than listening to the news which can make you sad or angry. Listening to podcasts, or knitting Ė it is a way of having something useful and enjoyable to do with time that is being wasted for you by others.
I feel like someone with a very large and heavy foot has stepped on my chest. I hurt everywhere, all my joints and at least half of my muscles. I'm cold, shivering, despite being wrapped in two bathrobes and blanket. I would swear its the flu, but I have no noticeable congestion, no sniffling, coughing or sore throat. I just know that I cannot stay awake, I'm so tired that the entire day passes and I barely am awake for any of it. There is no chance that I will go to work tomorrow, so the decimation my PTO begins.
I lasted a week beyond my initial recognition that the status quo was no longer acceptable. She hid from me for several days, then tried to pretend that there was no issue, then hid from me again. After much discussion with G, who has been privy to just how much work I've done this last year and some (but not all) of her ridiculousness, I decided to pull the plug my involvement with the organization at this time and to quit effective immediately, not transitioning to advisor or volunteer, it is the only way to extricate myself from the morass.
I tried. I can honestly say that I tried to make it through the day. I got up, washed my hair and went to the office. By the time I sat down at my desk, I knew I was defeated, that I would not be able to last through the day. So I came home at noon, sat quietly and rested for forty-five minutes and then led a conference call on the project that was sprung upon us last Friday. Then I was able to take a nap, a glorious nap, my beautiful reward for trying to rejoin society today.
Looking at the house again, empty of much of the crap and toys, it has a different feel, and not just because of the reduced price. The kitchen has an immense amount of storage space, if not a lot of countertop space. There is quite adequate space in the house itself, with large, open rooms downstairs, and minimal cosmetic work would be needed inside Ė but the state of things on the outside suggests that there may be real problems lurking underneath, which keeps us both from being too excited, although we agree we could be quite comfortable living there.
Unaware there was a give-away going on, I was astonished to get the email advising I'd won. A scarf pattern and the designated yarn, all worth nearly $100, lucky me! I like the look of the yarn; while the pattern isn't one I'd have chosen for myself, I am interested to see what it all looks -and feels!- like. I've got start-itis again and want to cast on right away, but I have three sweaters to finish for my 12 in 12 project. The cotton-candy pink color is one that should provide an immediate lift to the spirits in winter.
This is what I read:
I'm grateful for the lifestyle I lead that lets me knit. Being a knitter is evidence I that I don't have to spend time working or trying to make ends meet, and that I have some sum of money that I don't need for food, or shelter and that's pretty fortunate.
Deeply envious for a moment I wished that my life, that I didn't have to spend time working, that I could simply knit. Common sense (and a memory of Sir Washy stories) returned and I reread Harlot's post.... ďall of my time.Ē Whoops.
The Teal Tangle is off the needles, washed, soaked, tumbled and currently drying. It's not really being blocked because of its construction, but I've done what I can to open up the armscye. I think the knitted fabric is gorgeous, I like the way it hangs. Now I'm absolutely full of ideas of things to cast on, or at least, swatch. I've been mentally designing a vest based on a scarf pattern I love. I'd love to cast on a pair of socks and another scarf and I finally have figured out what to do with the Glory Days yarn.
I really need to start documenting my family recipes and the stories behind them. Not here, but in the forum Iíve established for it. I promised to tell the story of Iowa Chocolate Cake and to give the recipe to two of the St. James KnitIn ladies, but that was five months ago. Iíve been seriously remiss, I need to just sit down and write it out (good luck finding time for that!). Iíve been inspired by Ruth Reichl and Tartlette. And yes, there are thoughts that maybe my own such stories and recipes might someday become something else.
The weather forecast tonight suggests that it will be a miserable weekend for an outdoor festival. I am not at all sure that I've got the right gear to handle it, but begin contemplating my existing outerwear options as I start making a batch of sour cream cookies. I'm excited about the trip, about the festival and the Knitspot midday gathering, never mind the weather Ė it is not going to stop me from going, nor from having a good time. I may need to drink gallons of hot chocolate to keep pace with it, but Rhinebeck, here I come!
On our trip up the west side of the Hudson, through the mountains, we drove in and around Kingston today, up and down from the Roundout at the river banks to the historic district. Parts of it were breathtaking, Federal style architecture that was intact, much like the city center of Philadelphia. And like Philadelphia, parts of the city are clearly struggling economically, and have been for some time, it isn't just the recent downturn.
Rhinebeck. A day of everything fleece and fiber. Driving through the village of Saugerties in the early morning light before it awoke was the beginning of the adventure. As we crossed the Hudson without any traffic, we had the chance to look at the broad river framed by the mountains. Unexpectedly, we were allowed in early, about 8:30 ,and we were off, cruising the stalls. Breakfast was a lamb sandwich followed by a chicken pot pie, no waiting in line at 10:00 AM! I was as happy as a child when I found the maple sugar cotton candy. What yarn?
I ďtastedĒ as many different wools, Cormo, Romny, Rambouillet, Longlocks Leicester, as I could find. It was disappointing that none of these new-to-me fibers was wearable for me. I found one other Bluefaced Leicester, but not in my colors; I'll order online later. I spent half my allowance on non-fiber things, which was something of a surprise, but I didn't find much yarn Ė either the color or fiber was wrong. I did learn a lot, however, and putting faces to names was great. Clearly it was a success - room reservations for next year have already been made!
Once again the possibility of running a B&B came up in general discussion. I think we could do a great job of it and have a lot of fun, but the question of geography, and the thorny issue of ownerís quarters remain very difficult to resolve. We would not be happy stuck in small or lesser quality living quarters, and we also require our privacy. Weíd also need to find this mythic residence somewhere that we actually want to live and where there are enough visitors thereís the potential for paying annual property taxes out of profits from paying guests.
I donít seem to be able to get into a decent mindset to just do the work of nine to five. I want to be doing other things with my life now and that really appears to be interfering with my ability to focus. How on earth did I manage back in the day of working both a full-time job and grad school? Was it just all so new and that I had the energy of youth? Or was it because I spent so much time working on grad school that 38.5 hours in the office seemed a reasonable trade-off?
Whenever thereís a problem, Iím used to jumping in, taking charge. Clearly, the issue at work isnít my problem to fix, and Iíll bet my offers of help will be refused. But it irks me, nonetheless, it really does. It seems to be something basic in my nature, to identify, understand and then fix things that arenít working well. Itís not because of pride of ownership, I just dislike seeing things not working efficiently, especially at work. Because I see these things so clearly, I cannot imagine that others donít see them as well, but evidently, thatís a faulty assumption.
I love her phrase Ė ďmy hair is on fireĒ Ė to describe when things are really frantic, time-pressured, and otherwise on the verge of total chaos. It is perfectly vivid and conveys the sense of extreme peril Ė no one wants to be on fire anywhere, but I suspect we all think that having your head or hair on fire is worst. Unfortunately, thereís little I can do to help her, the immediate deadline and deliverable is out of my hand so Iíll just sit back and watch the fireworks, and learn what I can about the people involved for future reference.
Learning tonight that the next stage of my life depends on G selling the Gatehouse was a double whammy - it is the anniversary of me buying my house. I don't understand what selling his house has to do with us making a permanent and public commitment, and I don't think any explanation will make sense to me, even should I press him to explain. He says he's willing to invest some money to make a few changes, but I anticipate real disagreements on what to do. He even said he was willing to have Design To Sell come in!
I can't believe we watched the movie. Eighty-four minutes that we'll never get back, time wasted (except I was also knitting and G was playing on his computer). I got it because G likes one of the main actors and it had a certain buzz, which I now believe due entirely to the untimely, violent death of the original director. The script is terrible, the central characters unsympathetic, the storyline trite, unrealistic and, frankly, boring. I now have zero interest in the original director or any of the remakes. And anyone who makes positive statements about either is immediately suspect.
I shouldnít have been surprised by any of it at this point. That thought kept thrumming in my head as I sat on the porch and saw, but did not watch, what was clearly a spectacular sunset. Heís only a guest and not comfortable with deciding to just go ahead and clean something, because what if he does it wrong? The idea that he would just start throwing my possessions out is absolutely ridiculous, you can clean a house without removing any objects from it, that is what a cleaning service does. He did agree to help when specifically requested.
I heard a great quote today: ďGetting old consists of spending more time disapproving of how others spend their lives than enjoying how we spend our own.Ē How appropriate. I had just found myself scowling at the thought of how so many people have become so dependent upon their iPhones (and similar), while swearing to myself that Iíd never fall into that trap. Hmmm. Fine, they can keep their precious little toys, just donít try to inflict them on me. My life doesnít include a significant number of techno-junkies so I can be (or become?) as retro as I want.
I would really have liked to have stayed home today. I was so tired, so very tired when I finally turned off the alarm. Traffic was terrible on the drive to work, but I had coffee and breakfast in the car so I wasnít completely miserable by the time I finally arrived. Sitting all day, essentially tied to my desk, was rough, although I was so tired I didnít really want to move anyway. It took about 12 hours (no joke!) to wake up today. The day is over now, finally over, and I can go back to sleep again.
Although Iím sure some would be upset by this, I am (almost) completely at peace with my decision to allow myself a few minutes of yarn pr0n at work when Iím feeling particularly spent. Not when Iím bored, as that would be counter-productive, but when I just need to clear my mind, shake out the loose bits from whatever I have been working on, Iíll go see what delights await on a favorite blog or on Rav. It gets my creative juices flowing again. Sometimes I spend more time on it than I intended, but everyone else spends time chatting.
Driving to work this morning under a canopy of fall colored leaves, I was again struck by how beautiful this part of the drive is, through a residential area filled with trees. Leaves are everywhere now, the roadside like a bright, handmade quilt of fall colors. In a momentary flash I see that it is like fall in Michigan, where the ever-present trees set the landscape on fire in autumn. Iíve really missed the abundance of leaves and color, it just doesnít happen on the South Shore, there arenít enough trees. I want to live where I can see trees.
On a beautiful, crisp and sunny fall day, I found myself on a college campus. The wooded sections around the edges of the campus render the otherwise boring brick and cinderblock architecture of the last century acceptable. I was intensely drawn to the idea of campus in fall but I couldn't understand why. I finally remembered: the only fall term I was actually on the K campus was freshman year, and fall term elsewhere lacked the glorious trees. That first fall in college was magical, from raking leaves at Dean Dewey's house to the only football game I ever attended.
Although it was nearly seventy and humid at noon, by late afternoon it is definitely feeling like All Hallow's Eve. It has gone grey and there is a blustery wind that has been around all of the day, chasing the leaves from the branches and scattering them across the ground. The dry husks sound like the clatter of tiny skeleton feet along the road, racing away from the house. Although there are several groups of uncostumed, unthreatening teenagers who are only looking for candy, there is only a small sprinkling here and there of younger children, in ones and twos.
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