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If I'm trying to get myself on track with life I might as well go for broke. I always have done well with lists, why not work with my natural inclinations? I hope joining in the larger group of encouragement, celebrations and documentation will help me make progress. I would like to finish or frog certain works in progress and even just identifying that list in September strikes me as worthy. There's a chance I will get sucked into more discussion and reading which is a real danger since two days generated 50 pages of content - I can't even.
Up early?? On a holiday morning?! Weather made hash of my plans today, so instead I tried to think seriously about my knitting. It’s a hobby, but also part of my mental health routine – or, self care. There are knitting themed gifts emblazoned with “I knit so I don’t stab people” – and that is true in many ways. There’s something about knitting 100 yards in an evening that can really take the edge off when nothing else is going right or getting done. But if I get frustrated with knitting –and it does happen!– then it is a double whammy.
The difference a week makes blows my mind every single year. By now I should not be surprised and amazed. I should accept the radical change in traffic since last week, the end of August. I literally went across the back roads without seeing anyone behind me in or front of me. At stop lights I was typically the first in line maybe with a few other cars, no back up after the school. Traffic was free flowing and moving well. Then bam! Tuesday after Labor Day, schools are back in session and cars are everywhere, not just at school.
Driving to work you don't see the magical illusion, but driving home, I watch the shape of a covered bridge appear on the road. It is made of leaves on trees. Trees close to the road have been cut – precise, vertical and horizontal cuts that meet at a right angle, allowing for big trucks to get through the narrow road way. It is actually a series of trees that have been cut, and as you approach the effect comes into view, holds briefly and then the shape of the covered bridge begins to pull apart, to dissolve as you approach.
I like my new habit of music during the morning drive time and keeping podcasts to just the afternoon. Trying to find the right music in the morning is sometimes a bit of a challenge. I need music that is not going to smack me in the face, but still something I want to listen to. And I am trying to listen to new things, not the familiar tunes and not just same thing every day. I think I have worked through listening to all my new Renaissance choral music. Time to rotate thought the back catalogue on the iPhone.
Today was like my worst nightmare come to life. I have a bad history with dentists, and particularly with dental surgery. So discovering yesterday that I needed a fractured tooth removed was, um, difficult. Even knowing that himself, who hates doctors and dentists, thinks this oral surgeon is great wasn’t enough to dissuade me. The idea of being conscious throughout the procedure was enough to make me light headed and nauseated. But tonight I can gratefully acknowledge that while medicine may not yet quite at be Star-Trek levels, dental surgery has made some significant advances in the last four decades.
Her storytelling approach in the new book reminds me of that in Highlander. The short vignettes are like living inside the protagonist’s head. I like it. I know this book has great personal meaning to her, I probably will never know how much, and I’m delighted that it is getting such positive attention. And a potential movie deal in the works - beyond exciting! I will never understand the objections of those who feel that writing can only be done or have meaning or value if the author has personal knowledge or expertise of the subject matter. Hello? This is FICTION.
It is a quiet Sunday morning, turning sunny. I’m feeling no pain now and have downshifted again on the meds; I slept well last night, but I’m still tired. I probably have too much on today’s list but I feel like I lost a few days of productivity and I’m going to Maine this weekend and will be in NYC the following weekend. Spent too much time looking at patterns for another green fingering weight sweater yesterday, rather than knitting on the green fingering weight sweater that is currently on the needles. Such is the way of the world.
It was another Happy Birthday Day for himself, with masses of Chinese delivery food that make him happier than almost anything I would make, at least on a school night. He somehow didn’t notice yesterday that I brought in a quarter sheet cake, decorated and already frozen at the store, and wedged it into our freezer. So he had proper frozen birthday cake, although without candles, to go along with cards and presents. He seemed to appreciate the traveling soap dish, which was planned well before last month’s shenanigans from his mother. I do hope it was a good birthday
The pool at all of 72° tonight was rather brisk but also unexpectedly very restorative. Dangling stretching floating and moving through the water released some of the aching in my back and allowed my foot to stop tingling. In just two weeks the pool be closed, boo-hoo. And once again I will have to manage my back through stretching like yoga and Pilates. My favorite massage person is still essentially gone so I’m not sure I can rely on that. I am sure to sleep well tonight in any case, just between being so tired and being quite thoroughly chilled.
I was massively productive today, although it wasn’t necessarily at work. The list of chores to be done at home tonight was monumental, but it was all driven by the fact that I want to be on at 9 AM ferry to Maine tomorrow morning. I am in getaway mode, and I’ve learned to pack light, but there’s always some thing you think of last minute. I managed to wedge in pool time, packing, cleanup after dinner, litter boxes, downloading entertainments to the iPad, bought ferry ticket and.. um… something else significant. I just want it to be tomorrow already.
I chased the sun as I headed north and east. Intermittent rain alternated with brief glimpses and hints of sunshine. Until I hit Maine. And then the glorious sun opened up as Maine welcomed me. In the room, the long view of the harbor to ocean was amazing as always. And I watched at low tide with some doubt and amazement as an otter scampered along the ledge directly outside the room. They were four legs and a broad, flat tail that I recognized from having knitted one. Later, in the evening, I heard loons calling. Welcome to Maine indeed.
I awoke early, at 4:00 AM, because the moonlight shining into the room was so bright. I then watched the moon set in the west, across the water, finally slipping below the horizon at 5:30 in the morning. The night sky was crystal clear and as the full moon slipped slowly down the in the western sky, it became larger and warmer, until it was a fat orange disk. The glimmer of moonlight across the water was magical and I thought of being able to see the moon set like this on a regular basis. My perfect Harvest moon view.
I learned a knitting thing today. My teacher… well, she’s someone I greatly respect and admire. I was and am floored that she took the time to work with me after I asked her opinion on my swatch. Even though that’s why the teachers are here. And when I applied what I learned during the morning, it made a clear and obvious difference. I took the opportunity this afternoon to show her, and express my appreciation, and I was floored again as she became so excited by the difference in my knitting and waving my swatch around to another teacher.
The fog is a physical thing this close to the water’s edge. And once again I forget that the lighthouse being so close to the water Is much cooler then the main building that has the retreat events. So in my fine sweater that I so badly wanted to show off, I am overheated at breakfast, almost beyond redemption. But as the day progresses, the fog is burned away leaving a gloriously sunny and warm September day in May. I cannot believe, do not want to believe, that this is the last time we will, or I will be here.
Sunrise. Water at low tide or as low tide approaches. The bay is flat, like glass, as I watch the boats on the horizon - a big tanker going to Portland, fishing boats getting an early start of the day. For a few moments close to sunrise the sky lights up giving me a Maxfield Parrish moment. I take photographs and yet the detail I can see with my eyes – like the island ledge in the middle of the bay lit up really by sunshine so that each tree is articulated- is never captured with my phone or my iPad
Not for the first time I consider knitting a sweater with many different kinds of blue, gray blue dark blue, sky blue and pale blue. With thin lines of green, pine green, deep green punctuated with splashes of a pale stone, deep charcoal brown – no, the golden green of the seaweed on the ledges! Perhaps those are the colors for my Serotonin, now that I can knit in fingering. I can find sufficient colors in my stash. Sebasco Seratonin. Or a Sky and Ground Serotonin, with sky blue and greens, punctuated with white. Oooo … a Maine Wildflowers Serotonin. Yes!
I knew the re-entry to real life, aka being a working stiff, was going to be rough. Thankfully its a short week, the last one in September. I made it through the one day spent in the office without major incident, and managed to at least completely triage my email inbox. The last week seems even more unreal now, just a dreamlike memory now, and the peace and tranquility that was with me is receding further into the distance. Wish I could have taken this whole week off and hold on to that wonderful state of mind a little longer.
She thinks she’s bringing me up to speed on recent developments, making me feel like I’m “in the loop” and preparing me for upcoming changes. But of course, office gossip is rampant, and someone has already shared the most salient points with me. I am oddly unmoved – neither excited for her nor afraid for my future – by the news that in a few weeks she will be completely segregated within the other company and I’ll have a new boss. Maybe it is because I just want to be done with all of it, to walk away and never look back.
I have been productive at work over the last two days without being run ragged or being annoyed by loud co-irkers. Working from home has its advantages. There are the obvious ones, like sleeping in a bit later because the commute is so short. And being able to do a few chores such as laundry while still on the clock, freeing up time otherwise spent evenings and weekends on such tasks. And there are the less obvious or infrequent advantages, such as being able to bake fresh croissants for afternoon tea. Even if the croissants were professionally made and frozen.
This was a pretty spectacular day, between birthday cake at Lady M, people watching in Rockefeller Plaza, seeing the murals and decorations inside what is now the Comcast Building. But the scene stealer was absolutely King Crimson. And getting to “meet” Robert Fripp before the concert, ask questions of Tony & Jakko. But truly, it seems you can either see the band perform (sit close to the stage) or hear the band perform (sit behind the sound desk). Doing both at one time is not possible. At least, it hasn’t worked out that way for me at the NYC concerts.
We had delightful morning shopping at Eataly before leaving the city. We confined ourselves to that which we could easily carry back on the walk to the hotel, and to that which would withstand the trip home without a cooler. We would have bought so much more if we’d had the ability to immediately pack things away in a cooler. The drive home was surprisingly quick and easy. Best of all, BooBoo greeted us at the door! He was happy to see us and only complained a little bit. Lunch was a bit of mortadella tucked into not-yet stale croissants.
It was the autumnal equinox this morning (welcome to fall!), and when I made it the pool at my usual after work time, it was quite evidently fall. The light was definitely faded, the pool was quite brisk even after few days of unseasonably warm weather (I didn’t want to know quite how brisk) and trees are dropping leaves at an alarming rate. On the plus side, the colder pool temperatures definitely are reducing the impact of the arthritic inflammation in my back, leg and ankle. I just need to be brave enough to get in the water to start.
Alone in the pool tonight as evening started to settle in, I had a chance to look up and caught sight of the gorgeous evening light at tops of trees. The gloaming, for sure, as the light was absolutely golden as it hit the leaves. As I floated, drifted, tread water, watching the simple beauty of my favorite time of day (which I rarely see evidence of in this house), a movement caught my eye. A butterfly, a monarch by the shape and pattern on the wings, was dancing about the back yard, about 15 feet above ground. Wondrous beauty.
Recently, it doesn’t matter how much I plan out what needs to be done at work, I end up spending most of my day doing something else. Something that has a high priority, is a short turn-around or which had escaped my notice until the last minute. I am doing a lot of writing, but without opportunity to clear my head, it is slow going. So I am behind and getting further behind every day. Meetings are constant interruptions, and I lose the flow of what I’m doing. Even working from home today I wasn’t able to get caught up.
There’s no one to blame but myself if I don’t like it now that it’s here. I know the challenges of buying online, and that color almost never accurate. I also know that descriptions can be deceiving, whether by accident or deliberate intent. Yes, the wood will likely darken over time, that’s what cherry does. The lines are still gorgeous but I am somehow underwhelmed and the complete lack of space underneath is a disappointing surprise. And if the bed squeaks, as does my Stickley, I will be completely dissatisfied. At least the king size easily fits in the room.
Knit night has definitely shrunk in the last year – not in terms of who comes, but how long we’re there. We used to stay until well past nine, sometimes only leaving as the store was cleaning up for the night. Was it because there was decent caffeine? Tonight we broke at 8:15, which is not uncommon, so it was just two hours. I miss the longer nights with more talking, more laughter, more interaction and yes, more knitting time. Which is not to disrespect seeing the ocean themed mobile characters (ray, tortoise, octopus, and jellyfish) being needle-felted – that was fabulous.
While I appreciate having a delivery window that is only four hours, when it is a Saturday afternoon and the delivery shows up in the last 30 minutes, I am less than thrilled. And I am overwhelmed by the godawful smell of the mattress; off-gassing was supposedly a rare thing, maybe it is more common with a king size mattress? The mattress does not seem as comfortable as the one in the showroom. I’m trying to not be completely disappointed or pissed off by the whole experience, but so far absolutely nothing has gone really right. Or even mostly right.
This was my last time in the pool this year. The water temperature was all of 67 degrees today, so I only managed to stay in about twenty minutes, but that was enough in the cold water to provide relief. While I haven’t minded the brisk pool, I can’t wrap my head around the idea of soaking in a cold bath in a cold bathroom in the middle of winter looking for similar relief. I will manage through the usual route of warm Epson baths, stretching and massage. But it feels like a long, cold winter is on the way.
It takes me a few minutes this morning to realize that the reason there is no one else on the roads is because of the Jewish holiday. It makes for a truly delightful Monday morning commute. Windows down, Music of the Kingdom going inside the car – if this was the commute every day I would not mind it at all. As some kind of odd penance, I end up spending too much time trying to figure out the train schedule for New York Comic Con on Thursday. If we had bought tickets three days earlier it wouldn't be an issue.
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