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Not only did we both manage to say Rabbit Rabbits Rabbits today Ė but there are still leaves on the trees today. Apparently the brain trust meteorologists oversold us on the overnight wind and rain. I made it a point to have some hot chocolate, with some cinnamon and chipotle mixed in. It is a nice autumn day, but the run-up to the holidays has officially begun. Thanksgiving is so late this year, it seems ages away, never mind the December holidays. For now, Iím just going to enjoy the cooler weather and warm colors while it lasts Ė and plant tulips.
Today was a headache / almost pajama day. Iím too tired. Partially as a result of the trip, but that doesnít explain everything. I think the mattress and I donít like each other. I know the bedroom seems warmer since we got the bathroom fan/vent cover replaced Ėno more exodus of warm air up the staircase and right out of the house- but I am waking up entirely too warm. Every night. And I keep changing which pillow I sleep with, but I still end up with a sore neck and shoulders. I have to find a happy medium somehow.
After contemplating the recipe for many years, I finally baked the pumpkin espresso bundt cake. Himself was certain it was a bad idea, that the two flavors wouldnít work. It was a bit fussy, making the double layers of espresso filling, but the cake itself was very, very yummy. Very moist. The cake was a pretty big success, in the end. And fairly guilt free, being made with whole wheat flour and vegetable oil! Ssssh! Donít tell himself that last bit, I never mentioned that aspect of the recipe to him. Wondering if I could do mini versions, like financiers?
It is a happy day when the mail includes a box of yarn! Especially when there are no bills delivered on the same day. The purple is a lovely heathered tone, and very, very squishy with cashmere blended in. I am thinking of a cowl, for me of course. And the jewel-toned blue/green/purple mix is vibrant, just as Iíd hoped. Thereís enough for a long cami, a tee shirt with lace details or a long vest. Iím really not sure what I want to make, but I want to cast on NAO! I am trying to hold off on that.
Not a happy dental visit today (are they ever?!) but I headed off to work afterwards, like a good doggy. A few hours later and I was in enough pain I called it quits for the day. I came home, took meds, and went to bed. I lost the afternoon, didnít wake up until about 5 PM. I hate days like this, and while I donít have as many of them due to migraines as I used to, I still have them occasionally. I really resent having one because of a simple dentist visit Ė and resent is the correct word.
Today was effectively a mental health day. Yes, my jaw and cheek still really hurt, and I was expecting another dentist visit though it never materialized. I took my comp day for last weekís business trip, and spent the day relaxing and being productive outside of work (although I still havenít written in my journal). Himself and I went out Ė in daylight! on a weekday! Ė for a brief errand. I played with yarn. I snuggled the cat. I tried to relax. I didnít stress about the work I wasnít doing, although it is going to be challenging to catch up.
So much for an early start to the holiday season. We went in search of alcoholic Advent calendars today. But it was not to be, our local Aldi had nothing but the most basic calendars in stock. We were very disappointed, both by the lack of the more interesting Advent calendars that were supposed to be in stores today, and the general state of the store. It seems to me to be a small one, but I donít have a lot to compare it to; I know that they are very different than the long-ago experience I had in Bonn.
The suggestion that I could have Ėand the implication that I should have- tried to play my parents off against each other when they were divorced really threw me. Not just the suggestion, but who made it. The truth is, it never occurred to me Ė as a teenager, I was not at all manipulative. In many respects I was fairly naÔve about many things, although I already understood that the majority of people have limited ability to think critically. All I wanted was for my parents to be happy Ė I would accept whatever configuration of their lives made that possible.
For some unknown reason, I woke up from dreamland this morning aware that Asleep Me was having a conversation with Dave, the first boy I really liked in high school. I was a freshman; he was a senior: smart, quirky sense of humor, liked music, and with real integrity. His mother was the librarian at our high school (I loved that space, with its stained glass window). About eight years later, Dave married my best friend, Barb. I was headed to Germany and beyond, and keeping in touch with Barb proved challenging. But canít believe she died five years ago.
Knitting progress is often two steps forward, one step back. After two false starts with the wrong patterns for the 100% silk yarn, I at last have the right pattern (yeah!), but I keep goofing up the fairly simple stitch pattern (bah!) Iíve ripped it down several rows a few times now, but I am finally closing in on a completed cowl with some of my most prized yarn, that has been in my stash for 8 years now! Which means I am finally completing the Along-Along for CrazyFishLady, which we all started in what, the first week of February?
After winning last month, it only seems fair to offer up a prize for monthly crafting thread. I knew it would be the two green laceweight skeins, but I had no idea how appropriate it would be until I looked at the colorway name on the darker skein. It has the unlikely title of ďKRAKENĒ! Anything with tentacles is a big hit with this group, so I am hopeful someone will actually want it, even if just for the name. But given the incredible diversity of threadizens, hopefully someone will see all the possible things they could knit with it.
I am not keeping pace with the journal again this month. I pretty much abandoned it last month. I keep trying to pick back up this month, which is good, but Iím not doing a very good job. It isnít strictly for weekends only, but I have almost come to accept that on weeknights, between dinner and clean up, Rav & knitting, I am only good for one item on a list. But I keep making lists, and they get longer and longer. If you donít make progress on a list, it becomes very depressing, a measure of your failure.
There were 40 people registered for the webinar, which was very exciting. But only 4 showed up Ė and this low turnout was even after a reminder was sent the day before? Gah! But someone is better than no one, which is what happened in October with the same event. I should be happy for any soapbox, but I was really hoping this time there would be a decent sized group, for conversation and potential for conversion to users. I know it only takes one, but thereís a better chance of that happening if we have a crowd to begin with.
After getting up off to a roaring start in the first week of the month, I hit a brick wall. Part of it was the trip to Arizona putting a dent in my schedule both before and after the trip, and part of it was the usual ďoh my God I can't even think in the morningĒ combined with ďI don't want to think in the morning.Ē Entries for the last two weeks of the month are in shambles again. I am trying to pick up the pieces of sketchy notes, my calendar, and random thoughts captured through various leads.
I held my breath as he considered bailing on the trip to visit the boys. I had no plans to go out, not to knit night, I needed the night to myself. In the end, he left late in the afternoon and I had a very quiet night to myself, not in a hotel (those nights donít count). Abandoned by the cats, I was watching bad Hallmark Christmas movies. Eating tuna noodle casserole. Knitting. Not working on words or my journal. I meant to go to bed at a reasonable time, but those holiday movies sucked me in past midnight.
After sleeping in as much as the cats allow, I spent the morning playing with yarn I had hoped to be very productive on my home alone day (thatís always the plan) but the universe had other plans for me. I didnít manage to do any baking (again) and eating the leftover lobster mac & cheese proved an unwise decision. So I spent the afternoon being quiet on the couch, even after himself returned home. Although not actually in PJs all day, the net effect is that it was a pyjama day. But one that didnít leave me feeling recharged.
Sunday syndrome generally sets in around 4 PM, with the realization there are just a few hours left to the weekend, that the morning brings the return of the working week. This Sunday, that feeling started very early, as I have to pack and get ready for a very early pickup to go the airport. And neither of the two presentations Iím giving is complete. One is almost ready, the other is still... a work in progress. I tried to spend the day in the here and now, working on some knitting, doing things in the house, puttering, saving energy.
Not the way to start a trip like this: a rainy Monday morning means the trip to the airport takes much longer than necessary. In the end, I barely had time to get caffeine before boarding the plane, and that only because I have TSAPrecheck. The long flight meant I had plenty of time to knit and frog when I screwed up. I wasnít able to think well enough to actually work on the presentations during the flight, so that became the first order of business when I was finally in my room. There are a few late nights ahead.
What is it with me and hotel fire alarms going off? This time the fire alarm was right at the end of my presentation Ė as the Q&A was just getting started. Really, universe Ė this is how you are playing with me during retrograde? Iím trying to remain positive and thinking: well, it didnít go off during my presentation. But that really doesnít make me feel any better. Given the lackluster turn out at the webinar last week, I feel very let down there wasnít an opportunity for stimulating interest from new users afterwards; I know the presentation itself went well.
What a very late night it was. In the end, I was able to finish slides for the second presentation, and while they arenít great (too many words!), Iím just glad they are done. The presentation is coherent, I think. This is a topic that twice now Iíve tried to write up as a paper for a conference, and twice, Iíve failed. By entirely removing the actual focus required for that conference, I was able to get a 35 minute slide presentation written. And I was able to deliver it with time for questions, and got some good ones, too!
Up early, early, early again for the flight home. I donít ever have plans to work on the flight home, I know Iíll be tired and this time, yes Ė Iím soooooo tired and fried, so very short on sleep the last few days. As I go through the airport to the boarding gate, I remember clearly the last time I flew out of the Sky Harbor airport in 2010, having seen Grandma and presented about my first project to AFRL. That was a very tough trip emotionally, although physically this trip was much harder. Ten years does age a body.
It was a few years overdue but finally the fruit trees were pruned to be dwarf sized Ė everything will be within reach. And hopefully, the trees will be better able to support larger fruits like apricots and peaches. We got a personalized lesson in what to look for and how to make the cuts, so we should be able to keep up with future growth. I think himself is beginning to look at pruning differently, as a healthy part of maintenance, not as something that hurts the plant. Maybe he will fuss less when I do pruning in the future.
Today was spent getting shit done. I did a respectable job, even if I was scrambling to figure out priorities, especially when it became clear there was no plan for dinner. I finally tried on my reknit sleeve, only to see that it was too small in the middle, and too large at the top. What a disappointment to have to frog a second sleeve. I think I need to create a paper =or muslin!- pattern for a sleeve that I can use to get the correct shape. work now to save myself a lot of work in the future.
Grey rain is coming down in sheets Ė no raking of leaves today, although most of the trees are now bare. I made blueberry breakfast cake muffins for breakfast, but they still needed to bake for a rather long time. It will be a quiet day of puttering, and planning for Thanksgiving. I should also spend some time thinking about Christmas, since there will be a trip to California at the beginning of December that will certainly be a monkey wrench in the schedule. I also need to think if I really want to keep the work ball rolling another year.
When I returned to the office this morning, I was delighted when I looked at the orchids on my desk and realized that two of the three now have flower spikes! The third was a late addition to the party, so it may take a few months to catch up. I donít know if this was in the works before I moved them, or if the pebble tray has made any real difference, but I am so happy to see the spikes. I just hope they bloom before ChristmasÖ and what am I going to do about watering them then?
I catch a rare glimpse of autumn foliage set ablaze by late afternoon golden sunshine Ė the gloaming in full splendor. It's stunning, blue skies still visible through the trees, and capturing the raking light. I suddenly feel that Iím reflecting it backwards, a mutual display of love and affection. Somehow I want to capture these colors in a sweater. Through the bare trees across the golf course, I can see a long view of the landscape, actually looking down on far treetops - a very rare view on Long Island, apparently an unusual combination of time of day and season.
And there it is, another migraine. I am trying not to hold a grudge but I know my stress levels are high. The last few months have been a real treat, seeing two different denti (that is the plural of dentist, right?) so very regularly. While Iím glad the dentist yesterday was able to smooth things out for the previous fillings, it seemed as if she was scraping my teeth with an emery board. Think nails on chalkboard, but happening physically to you Ė where you are the chalkboard. I was trying so very hard to hold it together, quite literally.
Weíre getting the hang of Thanksgiving. The cranberry chutney, pie, stuffing, and turkey are now a steady routine. To simplify things, we baked sweet potatoes, and roasted some Brussel sprouts. It was a near constant stream of preparations going on today but it was relaxed Ė no worries about when everything needed to be ready, because there were no guests joining us. I am looking forward to a few days of quiet gluttony, taking it easy before the big push next week. Two presentations to finish and a proposal to write. But that's next week, time to enjoy the holiday weekend.
I haven't given much time or attention lately to the seasons and the cycles of the moon lately. Earlier this month, I looked up in the sky and I was startled to see a full moon rising in the east sales behind silken whispers of clouds. I do not often see the moon while driving home from work, thereís only a few months of the year when that is possible. I should like to be very much more aware of the moon, of the tides, of the seasons, of the year to year changes. Perhaps next year, with some luck.
I do miss being able to watch the moon for longer periods, as I did when on the train home. For large stretches of the drive home, the moon is hidden behind hills or trees or other landscape impediments. I often see it in the morning, if I am paying any attention to the world beyond the road. I donít remember exactly when I started communing with La Bella Luna but by any calculations it's been 20 years, at least. It is familiar and yet always different. And the lunar landings seem so far away, in both time and distance.
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