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Happy Beltane! Iím taking a day off to celebrate spring, although the weather isn't cooperating. On impulse, I checked the website before we left Ė so glad I did: our favorite place for fried chicken is gone, retired after 27 years, it is understandable. Instead, we head south to what is probably my favorite flower garden/nursery place, and we feast on good Greek food. Wandering through the General Store, there is always something that catches the eye Ė and today it was little tumblers in iridescent pressed glass. We donít need more glassware, but they make me very happy.
I am delighted to see that both tulips still exist when I get home from work. It's been 48 hours Ė no more than that - and the deer have not yet eaten those few remaining tulips which I sprayed on Saturday. So maybe this new spray will in fact work? I am heartbroken that the massive numbers tulips (100 in one year alone) I planted five years ago have been decimated to the point where they were just two left in the yard this year. And of course the bloody deer ate the one heirloom Dutch tulips, a tiny yellow variety.
The soft damp environment reminds me vaguely of England the morning after Helene's wedding. The redbud in the front yard is particularly electric against the grey mist that seems to soften and mute darker colors. Magnolia blossoms now are mostly petals on the ground, just a few leaves clinging to the branches. Our white, yellow and purple lilacs have been joined by two new pink lilacs. Our white and yellow lilacs are popping open, proving spring is really here. The standard purple lilacs will open in another week, but the very fragrant Miss Kim plants will bloom a bit later.
There was a flurry of birds at the feeders this morning. Not the typical array of jays, robins, woodpeckers and grackles. There was a gathering of orioles - so very orange! I donít think Iíve ever seen one in real life before. And certainly not in our back yard. As we were exclaiming over these very spring-like, exotic birds, there was another unusual, colorful bird, with a red patch on its throat. It took some research online to find out this was a rose breasted grosbeak. And then, in a flash, all these new, beautiful birds were gone.
Finally sat down to watch my Christmas present DVD of David Bowie at Glastonbury in July 2000, with 120,000 people in the crowd. Just months after I saw him with Mike Garson at Studio 4 for the Yahoo Internet life awards in the world before 9/11. I could only marvel at his voice and quality of the live sound recording. Bowie was the same age that I am now. What a stunning performance. I saw Bowie on the Serious Moonlight Tour (Detroit), The Glass Spider Tour (Chicago) and New York (NJ actually!) with Nine Inch Nails in 1995.
A Monday morning detour is an unexpected and irritating start that could have set the tone for the day. But a chance remark leads to a somewhat long discussion that has nothing to do with work. I don't often engage with coworkers anymore in conversations about what they or I do outside of the office. A single conversation does not mean we are going to be friends, but we both enjoy baking. This is apparently his first real, having been a grad student for a long while, which rather explains a lot, including past questions that rather raised my eyebrows.
I am trying to keep track of several new high-priority tasks, like getting my passport renewed, scheduling an oil change and service for ZuZu. Not quite mundane things, but things that I don't really usually think of when I look up from my computer at work for a minute or two. I've been doing OK on a weekly basis with the journal - so maybe that's how I should approach the layout: not a daily basis as Iíve been doing, but a weekly basis with the focus on the weekend. Because that is when work is actually getting done.
Iíve been thinking about machine knitting for some time. I'm now watching instructional videos to figure out if I want to pursue the idea. I think thereís room for a small machine in the knitty room but putting two needle beds together to have a sufficient number of stitches seems more than a little unlikely. I am trying to find a video that actually shows that kind of set up in detail, no luck so far. It would mean time alone - not knitting on the couch - however that is something I am willing to contemplate at this time.
The luxury of imagination - there's a phrase I don't entirely know what I want to do with. Turning it over in my head, an image flashed, followed by the thought: what if all those petals that float gently downward from the flowering trees, and pool on the ground Ė what if that was rain? What if rain always took form of these colored petals? Would children still be fascinated by playing out in the rain? Would more adults willingly join them? Can you imagine this world, with pink, white, and creamy pools of petals on the ground Ė not just in spring?
I just want to be able to do my work with no distractions, no interruptions. Words are beginning to move, not exactly falling from my fingers but no longer bottled up inside. Practice, practice, practice is required to keep things lubricated: the more I write them, the more I can write, this I know. And yet if I get these papers written, all of them in the next six months Ė what is the goal? Will I be ready to walk away, not from the job but from the projects that I have built up, created, and sacrificed so much for?
All I want is an old-fashioned (not modern, not grafted, not licensed) fragrant rose to fill the hole left by the wisteria tree that has been moved to the back. But the current fashion is for landscape roses, or the David Austin stuff, and none of the local nurseries have any heirloom type roses. So we mounted an expedition to two big nurseries that are in more heavily populated areas. It was our first time at the big one that advertises on TV Ė it had no variety and was crowded with rude / oblivious customers. We wonít go back.
I slept in, and it was very late for me. I donít typically sleep much past 8:30 AM even on weekends or if I stayed up late, but today I slept almost until 10 AM. I know, for some people that isnít really sleeping in, but is almost unheard of for me: not only do I have to actually be asleep, but the cats have to let me continue to sleep. I must have been very, very tired. And it was deliciously cool Ė that is the bonus of all the unseasonably cool weather weíve been having.
Iím still watching machine knitting videos and thinking about buying one so I can truly knit all the things. Iím afraid it isnít wise, though Ė it gives me delusions, thinking I will actually be able to knit all the things, and so, naturally it would be OK to buy more yarn. Iíve already bought two skeins of yarn that I shouldnít have, but I couldnít resist the Sundara colorways. And one of those colors is still available. I have held off on buying, but only because thereís several cones in my Colourmart basket.
The discussion today about becoming an Associate Editor is interesting (is it a reward, or a punishment?!) and Iíve agreed to it, but I donít think I need to say anything to the office quite yet. I mean, thereís no real indication about what the possible honorarium will be, and as it wonít be enough to quit my job Ė what does it matter? I can slide in the work during lunch, perhaps - unless it evolves into something really substantial, and thatís likely a year off. I am hoping to have resolved the situation by then.
I don't know why I thought Ėand have kept thinking for several months, despite evidence to the contrary - that I would be able to keep up with the journal when I can't keep up with my words. The journal is not going to help me find time. I don't know how to approach the juggernaut of today's tasks. I sometimes feel no matter how hard I try, no - the harder I try to get my hands around that which needs to be done, the more it slips through my fingers. I'm sure it's only a matter of perception, not reality?
After months of holding the yarn, I can feel the desire for yarn creeping in. I may have bought some hand-dyed yarn from a favorite dyer, as a celebration of spring weather and flowers actually arriving. OK, I did buy a two skeins. I have several cones of cashmere in my Colourmart cart. I look at them every few days, but I havenít bought them. Yet. I did remove some from my cart. And added others. . Maybe if I swatch some new yarn it will satisfy the craving? Cast on a new project in super pretty yarn?
It was a quiet knit nite. But I was so happy to be out, to be social and doing something Ė this is my only outlet on any regular basis. I could be really close friends with some of the knit night crew but I canít seem to fully connect with them Ė they have a full plate with work, family & life. The truth is, I never had a lot of friends. For several years now, Iíve been down to just one: Miss H is my only real friend. My only friend. I cannot wait to see her next week.
With no rain today, it became a marathon session in the garden, trying to make up for lost time. For four hours, I worked to weed, plant, water and clean up the front yard flower beds. I am still trying to recover from having all but abandon them last year. I was able to plant some my veggie seedlings started from seed into the raised beds in the back yard. And then I made rhubarb ginger muffins that came out OK, but a little lacking in flavor. Only much later, at night, did I realize weíd missed the Preakness.
Like on so many weekends, I had a longish list of things that was supposed to get done today. Chores, cleaning, maintenance, more gardening (spring is all about the gardening). Some of it, the most urgent of the items, did get done. But so much of it didnít get done Ė like so many weekends. I wonder if I should be learning that all of this stuff doesnít have to get done? I donít seem to be able to adapt to that world view Ė maybe writing it in the journal every week will bring me to that point?
There have been so many rainy days and it has been so cool this spring that the property truly is unbelievably green and lush. It has warmed up enough that the seeds I planted four weeks ago are now growing and beginning to fill in. At least the seedlings and plants that are new to the flowerbeds this year are settling in without the stress of bright sunny hot day. Will it be a cool damp summer or just a delayed spring? Hopefully the plants will have had sufficient time to adjust even if June suddenly becomes completely seasonal weather.
I awoke early this morning with the feeling of sunshine on my face. Which felt wrong, in this bedroom we have a north facing window and a west facing window. Clearly, its a north-ish facing window and I was turned toward it for the few moments during sunrise at this time of the year when bright sunshine peeks through the north window in the bedroom. I donít remember ever seeing the sun through the window before, although I know the north side flower beds do get some early morning direct sun. Perhaps the blinds were more open today?
I got to play with Miss H in the city tonight. When was I last in the city at night? Christmas market in 2016? Washington Square park at night was looking unexpectedly and uncharacteristically lush and posh at the edges with green plants and wrought iron benches. The fountain at the center, however, was essentially the same as it ever was, musicians, skateboarders, and the near-homeless everywhere Ė a certain pungency hinted at the possibility of a contact high if you wanted it. The mews north of the park still entrance me, I wonder what the houses are really like?
Is this going to work? Software has proven difficult to use at best recently, but Iíve learned through disappointment that using the dictation software in the car is mostly useless. I don't know if there's too much ambient noise or if it is the wireless connection but the ability of the software to understand and comprehend and transcribe is entirely too faulty to use with any regularity. Composing words at night as a reflection on the day maybe the new operating procedure for me. I am willing to let go of the daily habit that has been anything habitual.
I would swear weíre in retrograde with all the odd problems Iíve been having with technology. I spent a good hour today trying to find on my laptop the abstract I wrote on Tuesday morning for the paper that must be submitted on 6/15. I was really happy with that abstract, I didnít want to face writing it again. By the time I found it, I only had a few hours left, but I banged out an initial concept draft of the paper. Much work remains, but this way the holiday weekend will be work free.
What seemed be a childís birthday party with a bouncy castle went on, and on through the afternoon, and as evening approached, the music took a turn towards bad dance music. Blaring through loudspeakers in their back yard, which due to odd property lines, abuts our house. Even with all the windows and doors shut, the music was loud, the base line pulsing through my body. Clearly, they donít really know the local ordinances, which prohibit loudspeakers at any time, not just after 10 PM on a weekend. By then, I felt sick and in a foul mood.
I think the events of last evening didnít actually leave me overnight. I didnít feel quite right all day. I was tired, Saturday was a long day: I got up at 5:30, and clearly did not get to bed early. I felt frustrated, pissy, and my back hurt rather a bit the later it got. Despite the day being quite a bit warmer and more humid, I did get some stuff done, the day wasnít a complete washout. It is a three day holiday weekend, so tomorrow I can play or be productive as I wish.
The individual flowers on the Miss Kim lilac are beginning to fade to white, but the smell is beyond incredible. Sitting in the TV room at night we can smell the one that is by the front door. It's become fat and bushy, taking up all the available space. The Otto Leuyken cherry laurels in front of the house have also expanded, overtaking the primrose and daisies. I will accept those cherry laurels, which I previously never liked, because earlier this month the explosion of white blossoms gave off an amazing fragrance that I don't think we've ever experienced before.
Itís one of those days today Ė a damp, misty gray and cool. It is perfect weather for staying in bed, cuddled up with a good book and a cuppa tea. I honestly don't know the last time I did that. Instead, I am a good little soldier going off to work. I spend at least an hour identifying all the work that needs to get done before Independence Day, estimating how long each thing will take, and trying to block it out on my calendar. The result: virtually every hour of every day between now and then is full.
I had low expectations of the movie Jupiter it. In many ways it was the movie I should have expected. Fight & chase scenes go on too long Ė the superhero / summer blockbuster formula doesnít need to be in every science fiction movie! Visually, the movie was beautiful, and some of the effects Ėflying with the anti-gravity boots- were pretty amazing on our big TV. I understand why it was polarizing Ė the POV is wrong with too many powerful women Ėwho are the ones who succeed! The world building with slow reveal of storyline & plot point details is like Highlander.
Realizing I can't remember when I last spent an evening in bed reading . . . worries me. I'm so tired I don't remember what I read the night before, which distinctly lessens the pleasure of reading my preferred type of fiction. I have two books on my bedside table that have been there for a year now, and Iím midway through a series of complex convoluted science fiction history future history of earth, but canít read if don't remember important plot lines from one day to the next. Disposable fiction seems to be the most I can handle right now.
Looking back at the month Ė I did a better job of keeping up with the words. I will actually be finished posting the whole month on June 1, which is something of a miracle. I did a lousy job keeping up with the journal. The last few weekends, trying to figure out the Get Shit Done list Ė Iíve had no idea what the real priorities were (beyond laundry and litterboxes!). I have decided, however, to slightly increase my caffeine intake on weekdays Ė the one cup days are just awful, and Iím spent by the time I get home.
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