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Sleep. I want to sleep, relax and luxuriate in my own bed. But no, I'm up and moving at an early hour. There are things to be done, preparations for the family visit tomorrow. As well as the regular weekend chores. I don't mind the cooking or baking, it is generally theraputic, an activity that allows me to both empty my mind of other thoughts and to create something. Something that is both lovely to look at and yummy to eat. By the end of the day, the chores are done, food is prepared and my ankles are killing me.
Families are just odd. All of them, in different ways. I am agog that DH's cousin we've not seen in what, seven years? invited herself over on a holiday weekend. I am aghast when she questions why DH's sister hasn't invited us over, or why he hasn't pushed it. Clearly, we have different boundary lines. Perhaps being part of such a small family I have a different view on family expectations, and being a private person likely made those expected boundaries further out and stronger. But the visit is very short, then they are gone - maybe for another seven years?
Plants want to be in the ground, naturally. Several perennials have been hanging out on the patio for many weeks now, waiting for me to be home for more than a few days. And despite the amazing heat and humidity, I've decided that today's the day to get them in the ground and make their dreams come true. In the end, I am not certain if I found the right location for several of them, I think there may be too much sun. I didn't manage to get the biggest shrub in the ground before the heat squashed me completely.
Woke up with a migraine, but took some meds and managed to salvage the day. In addition to the usual "sunday' type chores, there were black currants to be picked. In the end, I was a little disappointed by how few there were - the birds are definitely going after them. The red ones are not yet ripe and I am worried that they will ripen while I'm away. Or that, being red, the birds will see them and snarfle them all up, as they did with the sour cherries. THankfully, the netting is working to protect our raspberries and blackberries.
There is a large difference between elementary school kids and middle school kids. Even I know that. So I still cannot figure out how they thought that it would be appropriate to talk about careers and cyber security with elementary school kids? Especially when they know our target audience is 7th and 8th graders? They gave us a bunch of third and fourth graders! It was chaos. And now we're going to start over with a bunch of kids they've just pulled from the camp and shoved into our program? In what universe does this make any sense at all?
Today was groundhog day, of a sorts. We rebooted the program after yesterday's fiasco. The students today are the right age but they clearly have essentially no interest in the topic. I don't know that we can spark their interest in the next two days. I don't know that I have the energy to figure it out at this point. I was supposed to slide in for three days and then slide out, but now I am committed to being here on Monday as well. Before traveling to DC for the big show. No easy travel day for me now.
Once a year, I have an evening alone in the house, just me and the kitties while himself plays with the boys up in Connecticut. I had plans for tonight. A special dinner of something only I like, followed by hours of girly television while finishing the last sleeve on Big Purple - maybe even seaming Big Purple. But as I look up from work (what else?) I see it is nearly 8PM already. I feed the cats, grab the leftover scalloped tomatoes and a piece salmon and leave the desk behind. Chores await tomorrow, but the evening is still mine.
A simple dinner out at our local diner after a day apart. Walking out into the nearly empty parking lot, the setting sun is casting a rosy glow on everything and I suddenly don't want the day to end. We take the very long way home with a drive to the lighthouse, watching the fireflies begin to spark as the full moon rises over Conscience Bay. Nearly dusk now, we stop by the beach and I realize that we still haven't made it here for a picnic supper to watch the sunset. Life is rushing by but I'm always elsewhere.
Prepared to rummage around the yarn closet, poking through box after box, searching for the handspun brown yarn that has been waiting patiently to be knit into his socks, I am startled that the yarn is right there, front and center! I need a new knitting project for the trip tomorrow. If I don't have a knitting project with me, I am certain to be delayed for hours at an airport, or have some other quasi-tragedy befall me that only knitting will help me not lose my mind. I have dreams of spending Tuesday evening --after the presentation-- knitting.
Memorization has always been relatively simple for me: poems, scripts, music, whatever. Today, I am very thankful for that fact, as I read, re-read, and rehearse the presentation script on the plane and in my room. I've never really needed to memorize fifteen minutes of material in about two hours of working on it - but that's really all the time that remains at this point. There just hasn't been time; I finally finished writing the damn thing on Friday, with some re-writes yesterday. I want this week over, all this traveling over and I want my life back.
Looking back at the day, I'm not sure I could have scripted it any better. Oh, wait, yes I could: I wouldn't have been so incredibly overheated walking from the Metro to the Mayflower that I was drenched, soaked in sweat. Wedged in between two uber geeks who will simply never be good presenters, my presentation probably looked even better, but I did pretty much nail it. I was fielding comments and questions from all over afterwards. And the demo / poster session was pretty mobbed, the guys did a number of demos while I talked to several prospective transition partners.
Sometimes on a business trip, you get really lucky and find a great place to eat. Captain Groovy's in Norfolk, for example. And tonight, we found a Balkan place in Arlington that was superb. Extremely noisy from the tile walls and no textiles anywhere, but such lovely, lovely food. I want to bring G here, the small plates smorgasbord experience is exactly what we love to eat. The three of us all got 4 or 5 items, and we shared everything. It was all delightful. I nearly swooned over the stuffed peppers, and the fried sourdough donuts were just perfect.
I was beyond startled when I saw who was tapping on my shoulder. And his words - you've made the news - just didn't make any sense. Not until I looked at the source he named, and there it was: the story, immediately under the lede, and it accurately summarized my presentation from Tuesday. Ten projects to choose from - and they selected mine. This has got to mean we get some real traction, people start really using the application. After joking all week that after three years, Doug still didn't know who I was? Well, he sure knows who I am now.
We haven't talked in months. We haven't seen each other in a couple of years, at this point. I'm not sure we've seen each other since my wedding? When was the last time I was at the Gaylord? I'm pretty sure we haven't met in the city since the wedding. Whatever. It's been too long. But we are a thousand miles apart, with busy lives and very limited time off. I'd love to just fly down to Nashville, hang out for a few days, but I can't even figure out how to carve out the time to see my parents,
Watching a episode of Gilmore Girls - season five, I think? - there it was, in the background of the scene: the bell shaped lights that are in our front walkway are also in Lorelai's front yard. I did a double take, hit rewind and then hit pause when the shot came up again. Yep. I ended up with the same lights as are in Lorelai Gilmore's yard. Ours were installed a decade later, which explains why they were discontinued and impossible to find parts for. I decided this was something to not share with the husband, he wouldn't find it amusing.
Trying to figure out how big Boo might get - he's starting to get distinctly BIG - it appears there aren't many breeds of cats that share his distinctive traits: long hair, ruffs, tufted paws and are large cats. The options seem to be Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest and Siberian. But the face is all wrong on the first two - Boo's face is wide, and his eyes are big and round, with a little upturn. Looking at pictures of Siberian cats, particularly the back ones, I swear I'm looking at Boo. I'm not sure we're really prepared for a 25 pound cat!
First day back, staring at the week ahead. I so don't want to be here, I'm still tired, achy, cranky and short tempered. More so than usual, at least. Coming into the run of travel, I had thought that everything would be over by now. Done, finis, stick a fork in it. But the realization that there's still a day left, with the students, a session that is now being cut short because the camp scheduled a movie. So I still get to spend a day traveling, out of the office this week - beyond the usual days at the incubator.
Floating in the pool as evening settles in, a blue sky overhead and our local hawk screaming in circles overhead, I am suddenly struck by the realization that the summer is half over. I've spent half the summer on the road, not home, cooped up in hotel rooms, eating bad food, chasing transportation from point A to point B. Determined to not miss summer, I begin thinking about how to maximize the remaining weeks. I've picked enough raspberries to make a pie... I don't think I've ever made a raspberry pie, but I sure remember eating them as a child.
Driving down the tree lined street, very late in the afternoon with the occasional small leaf twirling down from above, I remember some other summer, as a child, being in a car, on a similar road. For a moment, the vision from memory overlaps with reality. I know I'm tired - two near misses on this drive home are unprecedented - but this both freaks me out and amazes me. I wish the weather would break and the cool come back so that we could turn the the AC off and sleep with the windows open. I want to sleep well tonight.
No relief in sight - the heat and humidity are hanging on. Welcome to the dog days of summer, and it's not even August yet. The air conditioning, which is so lovely when I go to sleep, is drying me out overnight, and I wake up again feeling like a mummy. My feet and ankles are crunchy even when I wake up, so I walk like an old lady, shuffling across the floor in tiny steps. But I am home. I don't have far to drive today. Best of all: our little Bunny FuFu is lounging in the front yard again.
I slept in today. When I first woke up this morning, I honestly thought it was Saturday. Then I remembered it was Friday - but that I had no morning appointments. I decided to not get up. And amazingly, the cats weren't demanding breakfast. So I went back to sleep. I slept past 7. I slept past 8. And when I did wake up, I still felt vaguely as if I still could sleep more. I almost never sleep past 8 AM. For me to sleep until 9 AM today was a very rare indulgence. Almost like a real vacation day.
Raspberry pie.... hmmm. A taste I remember from childhood, and it was a treat even then, when raspberry canes ran in a long row across our garden. I tried the raspberry pie at the Lobster Roll once - and it was really pretty good. I've been saving our berries all week, but some disappeared with the shortcakes I made. Others disappeared into yogurt. But today, I pulled together enough to make a small rustic raspberry pie. Six pieces of summer heaven, from our garden. After eating out at the Tavern, the small pieces were the perfect size of after dinner sweetness.
Binding off is often a gleeful affair, nearly mindless, the easy part. Particularly with some of the super-stretchy bind-offs. But not with silk tape yarn. That's also laceweight. My first attempt at the bind off was a disaster: tight, and I dropped two stitches down two rows. So I sat at home, concentrated and suddenly, one more project came off the needles. It feels like I have nothing to knit. Except for G's socks. My silk scarf. Or the Blumchen. Or... well, you get the idea. I have projects that need to be finished before starting something new.
I found myself looking at yarn today. Funny how that happens, I finish a project and suddenly I'm itching to start something new and buy new yarn. Never mind that I already have a closet full of yarn. And many projects that have been started. I decided to enjoy the virtual window shopping, but I have more yarn than I know what to do with. I will not buy any yarn today. It is made easier when I don't find anything I truly want. I'm feeling hemmed in by all this stuff, that it is all beginning to own me.
Yes, I'm still scrambling to write. I fully expected it during the first half of the month, with all the travel over the month. But the second half of the month has been harder to keep on track. Maybe the lack of adrenaline coursing through my system because I'm no longer traveling an insane amount means I'm no longer quite as focused? In the course of trying to catch up, I've managed to post an entry to the wrong date, blather about small stuff that seems to be the only thing I remember about certain days, and this apology post.
The hawk came really close to us today, as I was in the pool and G sitting at the table. It swooped across the backyard, low over the garden and across the pool. It looked like the hawk (male? female? no idea!) was struggling to gain altitude as he headed across the south fence into the trees - the wings were flapping furiously. Is it a juvenile? No sound, no screeches, but the wingspan, the coloring - it was a hawk, not a seagull. I went digging online and discovered that the distinctive scream indicates it is apparently a red-tailed hawk.
Not the day I had planned. I was going to get shit done for work. Plough through a bunch of tasks, and even if I wasn't able to get ahead of the curve, at least I'd get a handle on things, since tomorrow will have a big hole in it. But I slept badly and felt lousy all morning. I finally gave in and took a few hours of PTO in the afternoon. That is what it's there for, right? I've been hoarding it in the hopes that I'll be able to take serious time with G and travel somewhere.
A rare lunch out with a friend. Who has been going through quite a lot of crap in the last few years, and now her husband is flaking out on her. I am glad she is realizing that she doesn't want to be with someone who isn't really there with and for her. But it absolutely sucks to be starting over in your personal life at our age. Especially when your financial security is built on the assumption of both of you, together. I can't do much about most of it, but I can certainly give her a poolside daycation!
Cleaning a room --not organizing, but seriously cleaning and making it gleam-- has often been a way for me to cultivate zen attitude, restore my own balance. I've not done a lot of serious cleaning recently, but I am so pleased by the results, I want to do more. There certainly is more to do in this house, despite the weekly cleaning. There was one downside to the activity - I wore the wrong shoes, and by the end of the day, I can hardly walk. Joints are cracking, I am shuffling like an old lady. So, this is my future?
It is Christmas in July. We saw the Great British Bake-off's Paul and Mary create amazing bakes like the the cherry chocolate braid with seemingly no effort in their Masterclass series. But the Christmas episode today made us both weak in the knees, wishing for snow. St. Lucia buns look like a delicious way to ease into the baking holiday season, for the weekend we get the tree. The ginger cheesecake sounded and looked luscious - the perfect celebration dessert at a holiday party. The light Christmas cake (aka fruitcake) and holiday courant were beautiful but still not quite tempting.
My head is spinning at the constant rotation of bad news coming out of the White House lately. This latest one was an absolute outrage, someone who should never have been hired for the post - and thankfully, managed to lose it before actually starting the job. I have many, many doubts about the current situation, and seriously I do try not to think about how things could turn out; it makes me sick to think of what could still happen. Despite what someone else thinks, I am not sure that Hilary would in truth have been worse for the country.
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