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Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits. I said it this morning, but forgot to remind himself. And the good luck is already pouring in for me, I won a prize in one of the Knit Alongs by random number drawing. Even though the particular sweater is rather flawed, I did complete it. That is what the prize is for, in my eyes: having attempted the project and completing it. And having learned something along the way, must remember to trust myself. I have no idea what to do with stitch markers, however nice they are, but G will get the chocolate from England.
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. With blue skies and sunshine, the gusty breeze was, ah, quite refreshing today. It also knocked over quite a lot of things outside, on the porch, also off the dining room table, and who knows what else. It isnít a rain day, but still, it is a good day to stay inside and watch the world go by from a window, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate in hand, maybe a fire and a good book. If you are a human of leisure or a bear of small brain. Iím neither.
What if? I used to daydream a lot. Consider all sorts of possibilities from all angles. I donít do that much anymore. Maybe because I rarely feel I have any time alone to be quiet, just being, not doing. My only alone time is generally weekend mornings when I write these words, or in the hotel room after dinner when travelling on business. Neither is really conducive to just letting go and imagine, however, a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon in the backyard with a margarita is a good way to just start mentally drifting on the clouds of What If.
In the back yard this afternoon (Sunshine! Weekend! Wonderful!) we have a come to Jesus discussion about the state of the house and the house hunt. Well, another round of it, and in a new direction. Iím sure it wonít be the last, unless we actually buy a house in the next month or so. There does appear to be new clarity on priorities, and new motivation. We will look in new directions. Consider all options. Hope for the best. There has to be a house out there for us. I found G, youíd think we could find a house!
What on earth did we do before we had cute kitten videos on YouTube? Seriously, did you have a crappy day? Look at some incredibly cute cats or kittens Ė youíll feel better. You can spend a little or as much time as you want or need to recover that warm, happy feeling, and forget your cares. Thereís a never-ending variety out there on YouTube Ė you can search for a particular breed or color of kitty, or activity: kitties giving hugs, or playing peek-a-boo; you name it, thereís a kitty video out there. Finally, the Internet has found its true calling.
Discussions of property and neighbors seem to fill my days and nights. I donít want to worry any more about enjoying the back yard. A fence isnít enough if your neighbors are boisterous. I would rather be more isolated and have the peace and quiet I yearn for. I donít want to hear the commercial garbage truck at 5 AM. I donít want a yappy dog next door. If the house has central air, the windows wonít be open all the time in the heat of summer, but the house will still be open during cool spring days and nights.
I keep thinking it must be the last few days of school, as it is the first full week in June. I have never quite adjusted to the school year calendar out here that runs until the last few days of June. It seems to me a rotten thing Ė to have Memorial Day weekend, the ďofficial startĒ of summer and then having to sit in the classroom for another four weeks. We were typically done the second Wednesday or Thursday after Memorial day and it was hard enough to sit in school for that long after the long holiday weekend.
We are both rather deflated. We wanted to love this house, the outside was so interesting, and it sounded so right on paper: the acre of property, water views, bedrooms, a third story parapet porch. We were prepared for the old kitchen that needed updating. And by extension, the bathrooms that would need updating. We werenít prepared for the amount of wall damage, cracks, outright holes in the walls, heavy blistering of the ceiling in exterior corners, a two-layer thick roof needing to be replaced, and the bugs everywhere outside. The dead bunny in the yard was the final touch.
A nice dinner can go a long way to repairing the soul. Running together with your sweetheart through the rain is also good for the soul. Yoga at night is good for the body and soul. Put all of them together and you can reset the world after a bad day. Well, maybe for a few hours at least; I donít really expect it to be a long term solution. By the time I go to bed, Iíve almost forgotten what it was that had me so frazzled. Iím sure Iíll remember by the time Iím at the office tomorrow.
Iíve experienced periods of intense deadlines at work before. But theyíve gone in waves, a few months of craziness, then a few months of more normal and quieter activity before ramping up again to deadline frenzy. This crushing pace at work has essentially been going on non-stop since last August, I canít keep up. Iíve had to create a list of the significant deliverables because there are so many in quick succession, I cannot determine what the plan is without some serious thought and creativity. I donít remember the last time I had to chart it all out, for myself.
This is almost becoming a farce. Iíd laugh if it didnít hurt so much. We saw another house with potential on paper and in pictures. When we drove up, the house and lot matched the pictures. The downstairs, with a large living room, dining room and extremely well planned kitchen, and beautiful sun room, had us falling in love. We walked the outside before heading upstairs to the three bedrooms. And there our love went up in flames: only one bedroom would hold a queen bed; another would comfortably hold a twin; the last bedroom would only fit a crib.
I had a moment of insight, of clarity and perspective about the dayís events, but it has since disappeared under the depression. We saw another house today that had everything on our checklist: wood and other real materials, 4 bedrooms, a fireplace, pool, garage Ė and it had updated kitchen and baths, a dining room, finished basement, bonus room over the garage, mature landscaping. And yet there was no charm to the house, not a damn thing of interest inside or out. We wanted to love all that space, but in the end, space without charm still isnít enough for us.
Why isnít Monday the 13th the day everyone worries about? Why is it Friday the 13th is the day everyone dreads and fears - never mind the horror films? I would think that the combination of Monday and the 13th is much more terrible and terrifying than Friday and the 13th. I mean, who loves Mondays? Who loves 13? OK, I know some people who like the number 13. But I donít know anyone who loves Mondays. We all dread Mondays, the return to the drudgery of the work week. I wonder about the medical statistics for Monday the 13th.
I hate sitting through demos. Perhaps that is too strong, let me rephrase: I find most demos a waste of my time. WebEx demos are often the worst. The presenter is just madly rushing through the clicks, no orientation as to the menu, what you can do, the questions or problems the software addresses, or how to really understand what you are seeing. Combine that with an overhead projector that canít focus crisply and washes out colors and a presenter with a southern drawl, and Iím all but falling asleep. I canít get excited by the product or the company.
Small houses continue to appear through the MLS and realtors. For three years, weíve been looking at houses and have rarely seen one that struck us as the right size, not to big, not too small, but just right. Maybe it does have to do with the general age of the houses weíre seeing: older houses were generally smaller, and newer houses are either on smaller lots, made of plastic, or are oversize and expensive. There has got to be a house for us, one that is 80% of what we want, yet still at a price we can afford.
Each season has a particular smell in the morning. Today is the first day Iíve smelled summer with my morning coffee. That peculiarly summer smell needs warm days and warm overnights, with grass recently mowed, the mix simmering overnight then refreshed with a quick morning dew: it is warm and languid, promising blue skies warmed by strong sunshine. It is a perfect day for a mental health day, what with all the rain and cool weather weíve had this spring. We celebrate the day with a seafood lunch outside at a truly waterfront place that may become a new favorite.
Iíd all but forgotten about summer camp rituals. The dining hall habits and games. The chants and shouts between cabins. The best path to get from here to there. The joys of shared bathrooms. The eternal competitions. Closing ceremonies with bonfires at night, with storytelling and the counselors disappearing somewhere to have some adult fun. I spent several years going to camp, but only for two weeks. I never liked the first day or two, but I did have a lot of fun, even when the rules chafed. I wonder what it would have been like for a longer period.
The journey begins. The house was empty, the realtor recognized us immediately, and after walking through to check the condition (not much worse than a year ago) we decided to roll the dice. This is the house we want, the house weíve wanted for three years, and if we donít at least try to get it for what we feel is the right price, weíll always be kicking ourselves. Weíre starting off with a low figure and will move up some if the owners start coming down. Of course, weíre already mentally putting furniture and fruit trees on the property.
I want the waiting to be over. I want the Tavern to be ours. OURS. We will love and respect the house and the property. We are both interpreting the fact that we havenít gotten a phone call as bad news. That the owners wonít even counter to the offer G made yesterday. Which means we have to decide how much the house is worth to us, and can we really afford that, never mind the question of how low will the current owners go, given that they bought it at the height of the real estate boom in 2005.
A pretty blue plastic jewel box arrived today. Thatís how I think of the parcels from Colourmart. This is the last yarn I will purchase until Rhinebeck. I promise, I swear. I now have an adequate supply of summer yarns in white, green and maroon, as well as purple and cream I reclaimed from sweaters Iíve recently frogged. I have a variety of finer weight yarns, and several mid-weight wooly yarns. I can knit vests, sweaters, shawls, socks you name it. I really do have more than enough yarn now, although I do need to organize it a bit better.
Although not a late night, we managed to make the Solstice a special night, with dinner out at JTís and sitting in the backyard with a bottle of champagne, finally seeing the first fireflies of the summer. It is finally warm enough and dry enough to sit out back in the evening and being a weeknight the neighbors are not congregating in their backyard, so we have a peaceful environment. When the bugs finally attack, we move to the porch and enjoy the soft glow from the party lights strung up along the perimeter: dolphins, sailboats and Chinese lantern lights.
We have discussed the Tavern. It was a very adult conversation. We both want it. Weíre not finished pursuing it. We both are afraid of paying more than we can afford, but arenít able to determine just what that number actually is, where the cutoff is between ďaffordĒ and ďcanítĒ. We know at what number we have no financial concerns, but that number doesnít appear to be likely to get us anything. We are strategizing. G has homework to do, hopefully heíll do it soon. Iím going to try my hand at reconnaissance this weekend, see what I can find.
After working intensely on the paper for a while, I have no more interest in it, and I frankly donít want to do anything. Thereís a massive downpour outside and Iíd rather just sit and stare out the window while I drink my coffee. Recently, while working on the steady flow of hard deliverables at work, my mind just shuts down like this, I canít get it restarted on the task at hand. The problem is I donít find much of actual interest in these deliverables, so I canít even bribe myself with working on another one in the interim.
Iíve never had a sisterhood, a group of female friends. When I was younger, my female friends were solitary Ė Iíd get become very good friends with one girl, but not any of her other friends; they always rubbed me the wrong way. And my own individual girl friends never got along. I was very close with these individual friends when I was younger, but as the individual friends grew apart, moved away, disappeared into Never-Never land, I wasnít able to find any new, close friends, not in real life, but I did enjoy the women at the Knit Night group.
Celebrating a beautiful summer day, we have lunch at the new-to-us place on the restaurant. Three years ago, when we first visited it, I thought it was a dive. It may have been then, but theyíve definitely refined the menu, not everything is fried, thereís really good stuff. It is smaller, and,the tables are directly next to the water, so it truly is a waterfront restaurant. Boats coming in and out of dock really are a real show. This is what summer is supposed to be Ė I hope we get a lot more days like this: bright, breezy, not hot.
A do nothing day. I feel too crappy to be doing much of anything, the mild first effort leaves me crumpled in my chair with a fever. Never mind what I had planned today, this will be a day of quiet activity spent inside the house. It would be perfect for a bunch of girly chick flicks but a) I donít have any on DVD and b) the living room is the only place to watch. The new house needs two comfortable places to watch TV or a movie, so that we donít have to endure the otherís entertainment indulgences.
Iím not jealous. At least, I donít think so. Seeing the email that sheís moving the shop to a much larger space, just one year after opening? Iím so excited and happy for her, delighted that sheís really making a success out of her career change, doing her own thing, incorporating a hobby that she loves, turning it into a profession. Yes, I do wish it was me - but I donít want it *not* to be her. I have known for years that I need some level financially security although I do hope to take that same leap someday.
I sat there, amazed and appalled at the admission and omission. Having identified a major and seemingly probable cause for failure, she had done nothing to address it. Nothing Iíve said about preparation, planning, thinking ahead has sunk in. And clearly, the idea that you are responsible for managing the project does not seem to mean the same thing to her that it does to me, or to most others. I cannot determine if this is a generational thing or a lack of intelligence/awareness thing. Lack of experience doesnít count after nearly a year and this many months of mentoring.
Iíve become distracted by a new house. It is rather new in many ways: recently built, new to the market, new to me. It is big (I wonít let myself think too big) and bright. Lots of wood, with cedar shakes outside. It has some nice details but nothing showy or overwrought. I look at the floor plan and the photos and think: we could comfortably fit our lives into it. Weíd each have a retreat, and plenty of room for guests, yet only 2.5 baths to clean. Ignoring the asking price, I want to drive by it this weekend.
Are my expectations really that outrageous? I want a doctor that is on-time, maybe 15 minutes off schedule at times, but to be an hour late before 10:00 AM and not apologize, not even acknowledge this to your patients seems to me to be beyond the rudeness weíve come to expect (and regrettably, accept) in doctors. My time is valuable too, and Iím paying YOU for this privilege, not the other way around. I liked her as a person and her approach. I was comfortable talking to her Ė but if this lateness is not the extreme exception, Iíll keep looking.
The Tip Jar