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The start of another month. I donít quite understand where September went, it seems I just was getting back from Norfolk. The rain today makes it feel like fall, October in the air, even though there isnít any color on the trees yet. This is going to be a busy weekend, and a busy month, between work travel, and personal travel (Rhinebeck!) and hopefully closing on the Gatehouse. It finally feels like things are moving forward, I hope we can keep that momentum, even if we are just ruling out possibilities, like the decision that a B&B isnít for us.
What a rich, full day we had! Breakfast at the diner was complete with an appearance by a ghost from my past, before the long drive to Rye. Packing and cleaning and more of the same. Saying goodbye to both the postwoman and a neighbor. Deviled eggs from the Post Road Market were regrettably salty, but nonetheless a welcome nosh at what was essentially tea time. Driving back in the minivan was easier than the trip up, even though the back was packed with the remains of the Gatehouse. After unloading and returning the minivan, our reward was DelFiore pizza.
The bank of maples on Waverly has almost completely turned the electric yellow, the first harbinger of fall color in this area. Iím afraid many of the leaves on the maples will drop before the stand is completely ablaze because of the drought stress. And with the changing season unmistakably in the air, and a new supply of furniture from the Gatehouse, to work with, we rearranged the living room. The room will never be optimal, with three windows and three doors in a 15 x 15 room, but I think it is better now, and himself seems to agree.
Last minute developments have everyone in a tizzy. Will they or wonít they - that is the question we are obsessed with, but there will be no relief until tomorrow, and maybe not even then, depending on what happens. I just want it to be over at this point, Iím not sure I care about the details anymore. No, thatís not true, I do care about the details. I canít help but care about the details. This whole experience has really made clear the idea that selling personal real estate should be (but rarely is) approached as a business deal.
Three years. It took three years, a lot of sweat, tension and frustration, but the Gatehouse is sold. In some ways it is a cause for celebration, but I do understand that it was not an easy thing for G to do. It was a necessity for us to move forward with a life together. We donít have a clear idea of what to do now, because we spent so much time calculating the alternatives (what if the house doesnít sell?). We now have more freedom to consider all options, and to execute a plan when we figure it out.
In a meeting at work today, I referenced the not-yet-here new guy as ďanother meĒ today, trying to capture the essence of what heíd be doing. I was more than a little surprised when the CEO sitting next to me casually but emphatically stated, ďNo one can be another you,Ē and the conversation kept rolling. Gee, really? Iím so absolutely terrific? Or did I misunderstand that comment and it wasnít a compliment? I was momentarily baffled but there wasnít time to mentally pause and consider. In retrospect, considering my raise in June, yes, it was a compliment. Whatís it worth?
I have woken up with a headache every morning this week and it is really beginning to piss me off. I feel much better after standing in the shower, but dragging myself out of bed in the morning is getting harder and harder. The sun isnít shining brightly when it is time to get up, but neither is it totally dark out Ė it shouldnít be this difficult. Driving to work, the Parkway is lit by morning sun slanting across from the east, the trees are beginning to color and Iíve had my coffee; by then the day starts looking better.
A serious miscalculation on my part means that I have run out of yarn before Iíve finished with the project, a lovely, lace shawl. Of course, there is not going to be any of the yarn left at my local yarn store (I bought it last December), and I only need a 75 yards or so, not the 430 sold in a skein. After getting past the denial stage, that this just wasnít possible, and acknowledging that it was (the unfinished shawl was a terrific help in that regard), I went to Ravelry to find someone with some leftover yarn.
Around here, Saturdays are usually the productive day in the weekend, especially if it is a holiday weekend. Saturdays are the day to go to the post office, the bank, the grocery store, and sometimes more exotic trips to places further afield. It is the day I would like to go to the pool. It is the day to go to the mall, hunt down items at Lowes or Home Depot, or, if weíre feeling indulgent, to wander Main Street in Sayville and get a cup of coffee at Starbuckís to enjoy on the drive home through the back roads.
To celebrate the closing of the Gatehouse deal, today we went to Lunch. Literally - thatís what the sign at The Lobster Roll says. The steamers were a disappointment, but I loved my lobster roll. And the piece of raspberry pie weíre taking home. To combat the horrific traffic we saw on the drive east, we took a very scenic, back-road approach to coming home. Thatís a little difficult to do on the South Fork, but thanks to my spiffy new smart phone, we always knew where we were. And boy did we see some amazing cars on those roads.
Just when I really needed it, we have a three-day weekend, the office is actually closed this Columbus day! I havenít had Columbus day off since 2004, Iíve spent the years since then working for companies that have only minimal holidays, although theyíve all had the day after Thanksgiving as a work holiday. I donít quite understand why we have Columbus day off this year Ė we didnít last year Ė but Iíll happily take it: another day to wake gently, and do chores while taking it easy. It will be a short work week, as Friday starts a real vacation getaway.
William Shatner is a pretty trippy, Zen dude Ė whoíd have thunk it? To hear him talk about the mystical connection between audience and performers Ė when one of the performers is a horse Ė goes beyond the theatrical mumbo-jumbo one is used to hearing from actors, and yet, when he talk about it, it is entirely plausible, if you rid your mind of Capt. Kirk. Having heard him talk about life, reality and show business, I really do think Iíd enjoy sitting in the backyard with a beer and some good Ďcue. He is the only good thing in his new show.
I heard the voice of Carl Sagan today, calling it from the past, twenty years ago, rebroadcast on a Science Friday podcast; he was talking about the return to manned space exploration. Which made me pause and ask, what happened to PBS? Back in the day, they produced Cosmos and Connections, which were good, interesting programming, but I canít think of any thought-provoking miniseries on PBS in recent times. And now that we have DVR, I could actually record all the episodes to watch at my leisure. Is this downgrading of PBS programming the result of cable and independent channels?
Visiting the customer appears to always be fraught with tension and peril. It doesnít help that the presentation isnít done until about midnight the night before, that weíve never seen, let alone rehearsed, this presentation in its entirety. But never mind Ė this company subscribes to the theory of ďAllís well that ends well,Ē and we were able to skate by the customerís changing priorities and desires. It looks like weíll gain some breathing room on this project, which makes me shout hurrah! (quietly, on the inside): I was really beginning to worry how we could get all this work done.
Driving up the Hudson River valley, the excitement began to build. Vacation! Yipee! Never mind that it is only a few days, there will be no chores to distract us from having a good time! An absolutely delicious lunch at Le Bouchon really does set us on our way. Even in the rain, I like the village of Rhinebeck Ė with a hardware store, a pharmacy, two wine shops, a bakery/cafť, a coffee/sweet shop, paper store, kitchen supply store, several restaurants and clothing stores. Thereís no grocery store right in town, but almost everything else for daily life is readily available.
Rhinebeck! Sheep and Wool!! It was a lovely, lovely day, filled with yarny goodies for me and wooly trinkets for Geoffrey as well. We feasted on yummy artichokes, lamb sandwiches, lamb soup and the best tamales Iíve ever had (lamb and black bean!). I didnít quite spend my full yarn allowance, and Iíll probably regret that later, but for the moment, Iím quite happy with what I got (although I do know where to get more!). Next year I will adjust the schedule in order to hang out more with the Knitspot crew, I really did enjoy myself with them.
Looking out over the Hudson River from the terrace at Olana, watching the sun and clouds shift, a glittering reflection off the water, I suddenly understood the Hudson River School of painting. The light reflecting off the sky and water really is different here and the mountains to the west seem to concentrate it in a different way than you see out on the East End. The house does have incredible light and views, with warm wood finishes everywhere Ė and with 250 acres, it is certainly worth the $495K asking price. Oh, right, that was the price in 1966. Damn!
Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park was something of a disappointment. It was like a mausoleum Ė dark, depressing, filled with heavy furniture and dark paintings. The few Versaille inspired rooms were a counterpoint to the Victorian monstrosities of most of the rooms, but I donít particularly care for all that cream and gilt with rose-red upholstery. Even though it was technically advanced with its own electrical power generation station, hot-and-cold plumbing inside, and radiator heat throughout (not to mention the clever central ventilation that was a primitive air conditioning) I donít like the house at all. It is cold and unfriendly.
Whatever it was that hit me on the drive back yesterday is taking hold today. I make it through the day at work doing the office equivalent of walking by deliberately putting one foot in front of the other: I work from a list of things that needs to happen today, and work straight down the list, no multitasking. I canít afford the mental overhead of switching between multiple tasks today, and that is a little scary. It does make me wonder about driving home, which really does require multitasking, even if it is done without a lot of thought.
Fall is truly upon us. Cool, almost to the point of cold. They sky is a bit overcast and greyish, but not exactly grey. It is sweater weather. I want to knit all day. Of course, even if I had the time, my hands wonít hold up for knitting all day. But I can dream about doing just that today, all I want, as I drift in and out of sleep and various states of wakefulness. I am mentally considering the design for the cornflower mohair/silk yarn. I debate using the purple silk/wool for a large shawl, or a vest.
I am always surprised when I do an extensive pattern search on Ravelry with a specific yarn in mind and donít find anything that I like. Even if I ignore significant factors like yarn weight, or the existence of sleeves on the garment, sometimes thereís nothing that inspires me. Thereís a lot of similarity in the sweater patterns in the database, and many of the recent patterns use raglan sleeves, which do not look good on me. I shall have to think about this for a while, and see what develops. I can see cables or lace, or maybe both.
Looking back over my entries so far this month, I see I have allowed this to again devolve into a diary. I admit that most days I am writing this either at my desk at work or in a few stolen moments at home. I have no set writing time that allows me to really empty my head of all the minutae and distractions of daily life and listen to what is going on inside of me. It is better if I can sit down to write early in the morning, before Iím fully awake, over a cup of coffee.
Twelve years ago, I bought the Crimson Tower. I knew it needed work, particularly a new kitchen and roof, and in my wildest dreams, I never thought that twelve years later Iíd still be living with the small, dysfunctional kitchen. The roof has been replaced, and this year, I upgraded the core electrical service (but not the internal wiring), but there is still so much more to do. I donít even want to think about the foundation and the porch. On the other hand, we may have found a contractor and builder worth pursuing, if we decide to stay here.
It is an indication of how sick I am that it wasnít until about 7 PM tonight that I realized it was our anniversary. Seven is an odd number, not a major marker like five, ten or twenty, but still, I had hoped to mark the day in some way other than simply waving at him from across the room. He hadnít remembered either. We shall have to do something when Iím better, whenever that is. Yesterday may have been a step forward, but it is two steps back today, as watching Farscape episodes is about all I can handle.
Iím having a hard time grasping the real meaning and purpose of what weíre trying to do in this proposal. I read the words, and it seems to make sense to me but every time I try to really concentrate, get my hands around it and write something constructive, the concepts go all slippery and slide through my fingers. I donít know if this is entirely due to my state of mind and health, or if they really are slippery; not exactly double talk, but perhaps lacking in form and structure that allow them to clearly stand on their own.
I swore long ago that Iíd never let another job interfere with my health. I know that in a small business, the process of getting new business contracts is a big deal, so I went along for the ride, trying to do what I could. Even on Sunday. But Iím done now, toasted by this flu bug that has caught me and wonít let go. I will take the damn antibiotics and controlled substance cough syrup that tastes terrible (in 2010 they canít do any better than 1970?) and make the bedroom into a sick room, in hopes of recovering.
I found a distraction to keep me quiet and out of Gís way. A small project, a little nothing, something Iíve been dying to knit since the pattern was released in August. I selected a yarn that has been sitting in my stash, a perfectly nice, respectable laceweight yarn, but not one Iíve been able to find a project for Ė until now. This slight neckerchief, a frothy bit of pale lace, will be perfect for tucking into my bag. The pattern is fairly simple, I can follow it in my weakened state, but eminently satisfying. Even on such tiny needles.
Even though I tested the water and went to work for a few hours Ė and collapsed on the bed once I was home Ė I am making real progress on my honey ocean froth. I understand why all those knitspot knitters have proclaimed themselves addicted. I have completed the first 34 rows, nearly through the honey bee lace pattern. I canít quite believe Iíve made this much progress, that Iíve not had to rip back any rows, that everything is motoring along so smoothly. But Iím loving this knit and already plotting my next, a larger version, in honey colored silk.
The Parkway north has been absolutely brilliant the last two mornings. Even in my less than awakened state, Iíve easily noticed the blue sky contrasting with the fall flame racing across the trees. Headed into Northport, there are several trees that are just stunning, and the roadway is dusted with embers in leaf form that skitter and dance in the wind just like real embers. This transient display will be over in just a few days but I am trying to enjoy it in the here and now, to think of it as a party with special guests of honor.
Looking through the kitchen window this morning, getting water to make coffee, not yet quite awake, I was startled by a swath of brilliant orange from ground to sky. Across the street, my neighbors have a large tree in their front yard, one of those massive, upright trees with branches dipping nearly to the ground. In twelve years, Iíve never seen it in full fall color, as its generally late to turn and most of the leaves have been ripped off by a storm by then. The sight of it stopped me every time I went to the sink today.
A crisp, cleary windy, blowy day, perfect for Halloween. Starting the day with pork and leek sausages with Peaberry coffee and oatmeal with muscovado sugar for breakfast. Winding and knitting cashmere, mohair and merino. Blocking a lace neckerchief. Doing handwash. Calling family. Pumpkins lit with an unholy glow by chance daylight. Giving candy and toys to urchins, with and without costumes. Roasted turkey drumsticks with brussel sprouts and chestnut ravioli. Poire Belle Helene for dessert. Sharing the couch with Geoffrey for dinner. Vincent Price movies followed by a Bond movies. The first kiss in nearly 2 weeks. A perfect Halloween.
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