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Looking back on September I did not finish doing all the things quite as I'd hoped. There was overall less knitting time. There was generally less time for reflection outside of those days in Maine. And I have not really thought about what I want to do in the last two months of the year either personally (household, chores, projects or the garden) or work or Christmas - none of it. I count myself lucky to have scheduled all of the immediate necessary appointments. I am working to be content with the progress, rather than beating myself up about it.
I know it is truly fall when the house plants come inside after their summer holiday out in the back yard. After so much discussion over the last few months, there is a new approach this time, with all the smaller plants wintering over upstairs in the “spare bedroom” and the big plants with leaves and fragrant blossoms downstairs in the TV room. I honestly like it much better, the room we live in does not feel quite so crowded. Miss Leo was the plant nibbling cat, but BooBoo has lost his favorite snoozing perch with the big window view.
Sitting on the couch in my spot, I realize I am smelling something very… unusual. It takes me a few minutes to realize it is coming from the meyer lemon tree which is on the plant table, deliberately positioned in the spot closest to the couch. The fragrance is heady, nearly overwhelming. I am astonished that such a strong scent is coming from such a small blossom. The tree has several lemons growing, they’re still very green but getting bigger, so himself is hoping they’ll continue to ripen and we can have our own “harvest” in a month or two.
One of my stated goals was to not buy any more yarn. But…70% off one of my favorite yarns, with the suspicion that they are going out of business? Colors that made me tremble? Nope, I’m not that disciplined. A beautiful, pale and soft pink. A bold, heathered deep electric purple. A heathered pale boysenberry tone. And then a blue/purple mix. So I caved and bought yarn. Two scarfs or shawls, and two tops - tee, tank/cami, vest, or very lacy cardigan. I know I will have to wait for the yarn, but seriously, I want this yarn like yesterday.
The movie was exactly as expected. A gorgeous period piece filled with sumptuous interiors divine dresses and exquisite exterior landscapes. The gang was all there, visible and with juicy lines given to everyone. The storyline -one cannot actually call it a plot- was nothing surprising. Nothing new or interesting was revealed about any character and in fact I would argue that Edith had a perfect opportunity to exclaim her desire to break free from the mold of a duchess or whatever she is and do something meaningful but all she did is whine – which is unfortunately rather true to character.
How can there be no pumpkin in the house? It is something that we both buy because we both love pumpkin bread, scones, muffins, waffles and pancakes. And now is the season. I don’t care for pumpkin spice coffee, and pumpkin pie should wait until Thanksgiving, but baked goods with pumpkin are the highlight of fall. There is no pumpkin bread today because there was no pumpkin in the house – not that I could find. At least I was able to I bake sour cream cookies this weekend. I will buy pumpkin and be ready to make something next weekend.
I should very much like to have a three day weekend next weekend, like everyone else. I could work in the garden, preparing flower beds for next spring. I could sort clothes and linens that are stuffed in closets and figure out what to donate, and to whom. Both need to be done. Both are more than I can do in a single weekend. But the truth is, I don't know quite how to balance to a large time consuming project on a regular 2 day weekend and still get the “usual chores” done without being completely exhausted come Monday.
The long day in New York was days ago and still I ache. I do not know why. The massage was good on Saturday, although not great; Sunday it was as if nothing had happened. My back is stiff and at this point I am ready to blame the bed. I don't know how long it will take to soften up. It still smells. The down pillows are now too soft or perhaps it is the bed - the mattress is not soft enough, but angles everywhere are off. I am not happy with any part of the new bed.
If we ever do move or build a new house, it must be somewhere with a real view. By that I don't mean an expensive waterfront view, but that I can look out the window and keep looking into the distance to see things. The view cannot be bound by trees on all sides so you are only able to look upwards, or occasionally catch glimpses of the upper tree branches. I want to be able to actually see the light change on a daily basis, or watch the moon rise or set, not just the house across the street.
Perhaps I can spend some time with my journal in the next few days and get my head prepared for the end of the year. I haven’t done anything for October yet – no list, no goals, nothing. I got off to a good start with journaling in the first half of the year, and it really did help me get some things done and figure out what actually needed to be done. I have always liked making lists, why am I having such a hard time with this now? I don’t think I’m particularly overwhelmed, but I am very tired.
The dynamic between mother and son is one I don't understand. I know it is complicated by the fact and events of his childhood, the death of his father and his serious illness as a toddler. I do not understand so much of how things are between them and hope the coming years somehow don't get any worse. I do not know if it is actually worse now, or if I just have a better view of everything that is going on. It also makes clear to me for the millionth time how incredibly fortunate I am with my parents.
Whenever we order Indian food we always go overboard. Way overboard. Dinner tonight was no different. The dishes were not quite as refined as Raga (or the long-ago place in Huntington) but more than acceptable. It has been a long time since we've had Indian food. This will probably go into regular rotation for dining-in options, particularly since the delivery time on a Saturday was quite reasonable. After a busy day, it was a lovely to have a quiet evening in, with Netflix and dinner without any cleanup required. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been seven years already.
The realization that dad is doing nothing to help with cleanup of leaves this year almost escaped me. Mom speaks almost casually of her having done some of the cleanup and trying to figure out who might be able to help in the coming weeks as the Woods lose their leaves en mass. I am disheartened that Dad makes no attempt at a token protest, or “how I can help, honey”. I suspect things are sliding further than Dad is aware, and Mom isn’t going to say anything with him on the line. I need a separate call with her.
I realized suddenly today that it was just a month ago I was in Maine and saw the amazing moon set. It somehow seems impossible that it was only a month ago, it seems forever ago now. We don’t see much of the moon in the front yard, but the backyard often is awash with moonlight in the wee small hours of the morning. I have promised myself this before, but one of these full moon nights, I will walk the backyard garden in the moonlight. This may need to wait until warmer weather, but I will walk in moonlight.
As I drive to work it seems like I am running after a full moon. I know It's not quite a full moon, there's a tiny bit shaved off the lower right hand quadrant. But it is almost full daylight, and the moon is 30° above the horizon and quite obvious in the sky. I wonder now about the moon set that I missed last month, because here in the pale blue sky I can still see the bright full moon. And so we play hide and seek as I drive the twisty, turning roads between home and the office.
As he said this is something they're going to want to socialize probably within their team as well as the funding organization. I am admittedly something of an unknown to many of them to the team. And I am not entirely sure at this point exactly what is controlled by that position. It is a particularly interesting, and potentially thorny, question given their proposed expansion and change to becoming a self funded organization. Should I press for more details now to make an informed decision or wait and let them find out if there is a possibility of this happening.
There is a tree positioned just right on the road, at the deepest curve, that in the late morning this time of year, is strongly lit by the sun. That same tree is the only one in that entire stand of trees has already started to change colors. It is really quite striking, it looks as though the tree is being turned to gold by the morning sun. The same tree stands behind the sign for the Monastery, on the property of the Timothy House. I still think of the possibilities of that house, even though it cannot be mine.
Driving to work in the morning, I am still listening to classical music – a lot of it medieval and renaissance choral music. There is definitely a therapeutic effect listening to a beautifully balanced choir while driving with the moonroof and windows open in a quiet morning. I’m enjoying the Palestrina albums. I am not going to get up extra early to sit still and meditate, not while I’m working full time. But with the right music, the commute becomes a bit of a medication, a calming relaxing experience, communing with my coffee. Even with idiots on the road.
I am not in Rhinebeck. Perhaps next year we will make a family outing an anniversary outing And play in the Hudson Valley. But this year I am home and plan to spend the day playing with yarn: soaking and blocking two lace bits, and swatching new yarn for a retreat sweater. This will be the first retreat pattern that I actually made. After two teal scarves and a green sweater I have decided it is time for everything purple: the Ardennes shawl reknit shall commence, the purple chocolate chambord Fairwind sweater, the Stoker cowl pullover. And more, I’m sure.
Our garden’s Swiss chard is much better than anything store-bought, which should be no surprise. With the beet greens, some bacon fat, some garlic and chili pepper, the sautéed greens were delightful last night. And there was enough left over to use in a very yummy frittata for breakfast this morning (and lunch tomorrow!). It is interesting to think of having our own chickens but I know that's not going to happen. Not in this location. Maybe never. But it would be nice to find someone local who grows organic eggs around here at less than seven dollars a dozen.
With five bedrooms there should be sufficient space to do anything we want but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Our bedroom and the guest bedroom are defined. The knitty room has much of my former library and living room stuff crammed in it. Himself declared the office as his room, never mind that my desk and the printer are there; when I work from home I’m in the office. The other large bedroom is his dressing room, and is now the winter home of many of his plants - can we make it a comfortable space for him?
I keep turning the opportunity over in my head. There are several hurdles to overcome in order to make it happen, and even then, it won’t actually happen for a year. If it happens. To be honest, while I am very flattered and believe I could do a bang up job in the role, I’m not entirely sure that I want it. It would be a long commitment – five or six years. It would probably require regular travel. I have to decide if it is what I actually want or if it’s a shiny distraction from what I really want.
There’s just about a week left in this month and I’ve still not managed to actually get my journal going this month in any meaningful way. And I admit that I’ve done an absolutely terrible job with words during this month. Its not even retrograde (although next month is, which kinda worries me, but I’m not going to borrow trouble at this point, I will deal with November when it actually is November. Oh, and I’m going to be traveling in November too. Crap.) I’ve contemplated just giving up on this month, but can’t quite bring myself to do that.
Although it does takes time each and every day to at least skim the thread, I am enjoying keeping up with the monthly crafting thread, seeing what others are doing. The crafting by this group goes well beyond knitting, crochet and spinning – there’s an embroidery-along, sewing, quilting, diamond painting (not for me), jewelry making and more. I am not really posting very much, but then, I’m not knitting very much, so making daily updates doesn’t really make sense, I’ve never been the very chatty type, I’m always a lurker. Next month perhaps I can contribute something more to the conversations.
The question was posed: what’s your favorite place? I had to really think on that. I enjoy the garden, but I can’t say it is a favorite place. But I can look back and remember several favorites from my childhood. Gatlinburg at Easter – as it was then, not now. Copper Harbor – the Fort, the Queen, the whole place. Sitting in the crook at the top of the pine trees behind the house, with what seemed like an eagle’s view. Now, the one place that is my favorite place is a certain spa with a certain lighthouse room in mid-coast Maine.
It is a weekend before a holiday so of course there must be a party at the neighbor’s house, right? Right. Orange party lights went up in their backyard, the music started mid-afternoon and got louder as evening approached. What is up with that house? It appears completely uninhabited for weeks at a time, but every holiday weekend, there’s a crowd. Is it their “island getaway” from the city? Seriously? I can only hope that they will stay inside for parties with the colder weather on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. And let’s not forget St. Patrick’s Day.
I have no idea how it happened, but sitting on the train, while not even knitting, I broke a knitting needle. It’s the start of my trip, I have a lot of knitting time over the next few days, and I’ve broken my knitting needle. I don’t have a spare, why would I?! The thought of not being able to knit for the next three days is a little… overwhelming.. I think of those Ravelry memes: I knit so I don’t stab people. Thankfully, it wasn’t completely broken through, I macguyver’d it with a bit of tape from the hotel.
At various times in my life, I thought of being an academic, though never of teaching classes (contradiction?). Even just a few years ago I seriously considered going back and getting a phd in my current field. I couldn’t really justify the time and effort (assumed no cost due to scholarships in the field) given the fact I was already doing research. And just a day in to this meeting, filled with academics, I know it was the right choice. Maybe thirty years ago I could have “grown into” the mindset, but not after those years spent in business.
The realization sinks in deeper with every hour since reading the solicitation and doing a few quick calculations. They’ve changed the rules again. This effectively kills all my known potential opportunities. I’m not feeling panicked by the altered prospects, just depressed. I can already see how the changes in next year are shaping up differently than I’d hoped. It will likely coming down two choices, because the status quo won’t be an option for much longer. One of the choices I want but probably can’t swing. I’m so tired when I get home I can’t explain the situation to himself.
The last two days were long, yes. And a bit of a strain on my back and body: schlepping luggage (even on rollers, it wasn’t cooperating), really lousy chairs at the conference, standing around for poster session, eating while crowded around a table with unknown people, a hard bed. But even with all of that. I am very disappointed by how broken I am today, given the long massage on Saturday. I am worried about the collateral damage from two longer trips to the west coast that are coming up. Another thing for November’s list: do more yoga more often.
When the day started, the trees were full of autumn color. It had been slowly creeping over the landscape in the last two weeks, and was really just reaching peak color – with reds, oranges, mahogany, dark gold, and greeny yellow. But cue up howling winds and rain in the forecast for tonight, just to make it extra spooky on Halloween. Which means tomorrow, the landscape will probably really look like Day of the Dead. Some year, it would be nice to just have a quiet All Hallow’s Eve, and still have November 1 arrive looking like just another fall day.
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