household puttering/muttering

dog

Buddy slept in his crate again last night. The rain woke me up at 4:30, so I got up to close the windows. The cats were hungry, so I gave them some food. Buddy heard the crunchies hit the bowls and decided to get out of his crate. The sound of crunchies usually means he's about to get food, too.

For a sleepy instant I thought we had a wonder-dog. He let himself out of his crate! He opened the latch from the inside without thumbs?! Then I remembered that it's not easy to get it to latch, so we must have not latched it all the way. I remain impressed, though, that he stayed in there all night when he could have got out at any time.

Adam's working on separation desensitization right now. It involves hanging out like everything's normal, then walking out the door unceremoniously. He waits outside for a few seconds then comes back, unless Buddy's whining, in which case he waits for quiet. It's tedious and makes me wonder if we should have crate-trained Buddy from day one instead of spending every moment with him. Lesson learned.

cats

Our cats are awesome. Affectionate and patient and cute. I know four is probably too many cats to have at once, but I love them all so much. Jill got on my lap this morning purring like a rock tumbler and I just about melted. Phife follows me around the house and just hangs out nearby. When I'm at my desk he sometimes gets on the desktop behind my computer and takes a nap. I know he's asleep when the purring stops.

Jill hissed at Buddy this morning. She's such a shy little thing that it was only funny and cute.

Beck and Bauer are like the welcoming committee. If you sit on my couch you'll get a lapful of black cat eventually. Now that he's not stinky, Bauer's even more affectionate that he used to be. Or maybe we just don't mind so much.

garden

I keep having ideas for the garden and realize we could actually spend an infinite amount of money and time on it. Thank goodness for winter. Leif pointed out that we'll need to thin out the irises. I read about what that entails--thank you eHow.com!--and I'll have to mark them before the flowers fall off. I want to rip the day lilies out this year. Ugly things. That should leave just the irises up on that hill, so I'd hate to pull the irises out by mistake.

We have to make a decision about the center expanse of our garden hillside this year. I think it will need to get terraced no matter what. After that, though, what to do? Put in gravel and call it seating for movies? Put in raised vegetable or strawberry beds? I don't want to just weed-whack the hillside weekly for the next few years. A stairway up the side would look nice and make it easier to traverse. I wonder who did the work at August First?

kitchen-y things

I got an immersion blender, hoping it would replace the pitcher blender I should have stopped using a year ago. So far, so good. Now I want to get the chopper attachment to grind flax and oats.

The baking bug has bitten me again. Spring fruits inspire cobblers and crunches. Fundraising gets me thinking about baking. Baking means sweets in the house. I need to find people to help me eat them. Maybe I'll send out care packages. I have trouble finding people who want to eat what I bake, though. It's tasty, I swear!

Summer veggies are also starting up. The farm share starts next week. Wooooo! I've already enjoyed some local spinach and salad greens. Salad season is upon us! Strawberries are also excellent this year. A few times, Adam replaced jelly with fresh, sliced strawberries on his PBJ sandwiches. The things we learn from Santropol.

I've been seeing kitchen makeovers that inspire me. Things like a coat of paint and new countertops make a big difference. I need to remember, though, that we need new cabinets, too. The materials are not worth rehabbing in our current cabinets. After 35 years, they completed their useful life.

Gonna go run errands and have a day out now.

(no subject)

thxthxthx: Dear people who don't follow directions, Thank you for the opportunity to practice patience and serenity in the face of entitlement. I still need practice, apparently, but can count on you to keep giving me more. Love, Sara

The lilacs started to bloom today. I smelled lilacs for the first time this spring. Glorious. I wonder if I get enough sunlight in the back yard to plant some of our own. The lily of the valley are starting to grow in, though, and I heart them.

Work was fun and challenging today. Maybe it was the task of combining five 7-17 page documents into one that comes in under 13, maybe it was Dresden novel I listened to. Maybe it was a bit of each.

Fusilli and cheeseless with fiddleheads for dinner. Mmmmm. Now I want ice cream. Boy! Ice cream!

(no subject)

one last thing before I put my slippers on and start cooking for the week ahead. The dog got out. He ran down the stairs and out the door into the garage. I took off in just my socks, Corey and Adam right behind. Bless him, Corey had the level head to close the door behind him so no more critters got loose.

Buddy was past the end of the driveway--out of sight--before I got out of the garage. Miraculously, he stayed on the sidewalk. I stopped hollering his name long enough to yell "Stop that beagle!" to anyone that might be in earshot. Lessons learned: 1) CLOSE THE DOOR AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS. 2) Buddy does not respond to his name when it does not suit him. 3) People on the street are very nice. They were ready to stop him.

He stopped to sniff the junipers in front of our condo and I got my hand in his collar. Adam carried him back into the garage and loaded him into the car for this afternoon's scheduled adventure. I don't want to think about what would have happened if he'd kept running. Into the park, up the hill, into the street. He could have gone anywhere. Oy.

Now that Buddy's out of the house for a few hours, the cats are chilling on the couch and I put down some food for them to graze. We're had to control it so tightly since Buddy moved in, leaving nothing out when he's on the loose. I'm enjoying some time truly to myself now that my heart rate has slowed back down.

(no subject)

Came home from work after 2 hours because I was too tired and scatterbrained to type or think. I was supposed to be compiling an outline of a grant application, the bones of it we would later flesh out. I've done dozens of times and I just couldn't get it together. Adam has a cold and I think I've got it now. Tired, sneezy, a little sore.

I thought I was just really tired, maybe getting too old for the late nights and long days of being a bandwife. This is something else. I'm home now, in some jammies, and gonna take it easy/sleep through the rest of the day. Farscape and chinese food.

Oddly/Happily, I got in some exercise before I went to work. I like what that says, that my priorities are in order. I chose to let myself sleep in a little and get some exercise because I knew it would be good for me. I was ready to be late for work and maybe stay a little later because I thought the rest and exercise would be better for me and help me get through the day. Normally, they would. Giving myself a little pat on the back for that.

Now I descend into something more resembling a vegetative state.

(no subject)

After a much-needed Saturday of Lazy, I got lots done today. I worked out for an hour, a first for me, including some really challenging stuff. There's not dirty laundry aside from what we're wearing right now. And I had a nice afternoon out. Bought a bunch of stuff I'd been putting off buying.

I got a small motion-sensitive light for inside the closet so I can make informed decision about what I wear in the morning without waking up Adam. Yes, I've been getting dressed in dark. You could tell, couldn't you? No, I don't pick out my clothes at night. I'm picky about what I wear and my mood affects it. I don't want to wear this morning what I wanted to wear last night. This morning I want to wear what I want to wear this morning.

I also got a new indoor broom since I destroyed our old one sweeping the carpeted steps free of the salt and grit people track up them. Oh, grrr. It's the inside. Clean your fricking shoes, people. Toward that end, I also got a nubbly mat for the base of the stairs to help people leave the grit, salt, and snow down there. Another something I got to go with winter is the long wooden broomstick wit ha metal tip for knocking icicles off the eaves. Thwack! Crash! I love those breaking sounds. (so sad that we'll never see Rik Mayall
as Peeves the Poltergeist)

The pressure cooker I got in Colorado (at the fabulous McGuckin's) has served me well. It was only ever supposed to be a starter pressure cooker, though, and is aluminum to boot. I got a new stainless steel one with three settings ON SALE at Homeport. The first batch of chili is already on the stove. Sweet.

Lots of shopping. Stuff I needed. Still. Lots.

The BEST part of my afternoon, though? The gorilla brass band walking up and down Church St playing happy jazz. I'm no expert, but my first impression was that I was hearing New Orleans Jazz. Then I saw that it was band of gorillas playing happy jazz and I stopped caring what kind of music it was. I adore my city. It gets above freezing in January and a bunch of musicians put on gorilla suits and wander the pedestrian mall playing jazz. Rock on, Burlington. As of this writing, I could not find any images, but judging from the number of cameras and phones I saw out, there will be some.

Tonight we're going to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. It'll have to be damn good to beat the gorilla brass band, though.

Good weekend.

(no subject)

feeling cruddy

Since I got home from work my throat feels a little closed, my head hurts and I'm really tired. I've started taking Zicam and will take Nyquil before bed. Not gonna succumb.

audiophile

I listened to Turn Coat, the 11th Dresden Novel read by James Marsters. It was awesome. Now I want to listen to them all. However, I went through it faster than I can afford to make a hobby, even with Audible's into offer. Only one or two books a month? What the hell is that? I'll get my audio fiction from the library for now, when I can go through a book a week and it won't cost $100+/month. Sadly, my local does not have any other Dresden novels. Plenty of classics available to download online though.

After listening to this, my first audio book, I realize how ridiculous critics of the Kindle's text-to-voice feature are. These books are performed. The Kindle just renders text out loud. No WAY that's going to replace an audio book. And anyone it would replace an audio book for is getting ripped off by audio books since they always cost more than the print version. If someone who can't read is willing to pay for the text and to listen to it in a single (computerized) voice, then fine. They get what thay've paid for, I say.

tea's ready. Intermission

knitting

I've completed knitting on two shawls. Each is currently a 4-skein rectangle. The multi-colored one will get matching fringe. The black one will get silver-grey embroidered something on it and fringe in black and silver-grey where the embroidered design touches the ends.

I bought two knitting magazines (one for me and one for Dumbledore, I told myself). One came with two shawl pins, which are like hair sticks with large decorative wooden bits at the end to keep the pin from slipping through the knitting. They're hard to find casually, so I bought some bits to make my own. They won't be as nice as this one, but they'll be all mine, and made for less than a few dollars in materials. Woot for crafts.

I found a sweater pattern in one of the magazines. Two, in fact. One is a loose turtleneck and the other is a kimono-style jacket. I can make these. But it will require buying more yarn, which means it will wait. I have too many other projects and the yarn for them already: at least three hats and 4 scarves. Two sweaters and all the socks I want to knit will just have to wait. Le sigh.

Florida-bound

Next week we're going to Florida. It felt like a long time in the future until today. Than blammo, time to by cat food and all the other things we need to get in place before we travel. Like presents, It turns out we'll be there for Hanukkah. That means presents, at least for the kids. Charging ht camera, packing, things like that. And we need to find restaurants to go to with people. I don't know restaurants in the area anymore, not really. Is that Thai place John and I used to go to still there? Is Sara's? Who on Earth would go to Sublime with us? Why isn't the whole world just vegan?

But aside from restaurants and presents everything should go smoothly. We're staying with Charlie, which is awfully nice of him. We're renting a car. We've scheduled time to see everyone in appropriate combinations. Aside from Chandra and Charlie, we won't see anyone twice. It's gonna be busy and full, I think.

bits

-- I have extra coupons for $1 off the Essex Craft Fair. It's this weekend.

-- My birthday was amazing. It was extra-special-awesome. Thanks to everyone who made it great, which is everyone I saw or talked to on Friday. You're all fantastic and I appreciate you as the unique expression of human potential that you each are. love. I'd like to write all about it, but haven't made the time yet.

-- no, I'm not high.

-- went the chiropractor. new guy. good stuff. no x-rays, but this awesome machine that measure the tension in the muscles along your spine, by which the doctor can infer subluxations. woot! no radiation. Also, he adjusted my upper back and neck until the pain went away. No "come back in two days, and three times a week for two months" no "let's wait and see how this goes". I've been adjusted before, so he just made me feel better. what a nice guy. I go back in one week for another adjustment. I got some great exercises. Funny, I kept remembering physical trauma. Car accidents: 2000, 1997, 1995, and 1993, then ten minutes later, I remembered 1981, when Mom and I get rear-ended in Cape Coral. Yeah, I fell dow nthe stairs just about annual between 2001- and 2004, but there was also that time my head got stuck under a step and I landed flat on my back when I was 7. The chiro. asst. stopped being shocked at the number of mild-to-medium spinal traumas I've had and was just amused at how these kept coming up. interesting connection: my acute asthma attacked coincided with growth spurts that exacerbate subluxations in my torso (where the lung nerves plug in). not sure if the growth spurt's the cause, but still, interesting.

-- I got inspired to learn to double knit so my hats will be warm enough this winter. Honor the muse. Easy to do when honoring the muse means buying some yarn.

-- got some free yarn last night. lots of thin stuff: gonna socks, facial cloths, fingerless mittens.

-- eczema on my eyelids. Yuck. working on that, collecting advice.

time for dinner. Adam and I are going out, just the two of us. We both took sick days, a wise decision after a full weekend of company, birthday, and party.

Brief bits

It's 64F in the house right now. My fingers feel a little cold, but it's actually OK.

We went to the Shelburne Farms Harvest Festival. We became members, something I've wanted to do for years. We ate tasty local food. I got my donut. We saw Cynthia. I took some pictures I'll post tomorrow night.

Last night HNM had a show in Montpelier. It was an excellent show that was poorly attended. I nearly broke my face smiling watching Jay and Mike perform together. Talented people enjoying themselves doing what the love. It doesn't get better.

Our trip to MD/VA was great. I miss everyone already. There's just too much to say here. Botanical Gardens, Mike's house, John's house, the boat, a kayak, the Maryland Rabins and their new dog Sky, good talks with the in-laws, adorable inn on Solomons. Good good stuff.

(no subject)

Yesterday was lovely. Jeff and Adam did all the driving, much gratitude. I remembered to wear something casual for the 3-hour drive and change into my fancy dress when we stopped for lunch just before the ceremony. Added bonus: having something to change into after the reception as well. Comfy for the ride home.

The weather was perfect for Mike and Katherine's wedding. It was a gorgeous wedding and reception, in stunning locations. Picture perfect locations and conditions. Lots of good music and food and loads of delightful people, even, coincidentally, Adam's allergist. We sat with Matt B. and his delightful girlfriend (she's a flower geek, smart, and easy to talk to, some of my favorite things in someone I suddenly have to socialize with for 4 hours!) and Matt's former stepfather and uncle. Everyone we met was super-nice.

It helped that my date is in a band with the groom. Everyone knew who Adam was and instantly warmed to us. I think, though, that everyone we met was also genuinely nice. Mike and Katherine attract that kind of person, being such kind and wacky people in the first place.

It seems the exhaust manifold on our car is no good. It started sounding like at least one motorcycle one mile from Jeff's house. It made for a LOUD drive home. Taking it in tomorrow. Hoping for the best. Beginning to wonder what it is worth fixing on this car.

Today Adam and I did some deep cleaning around the house. The Dirt Devil conked out before I could vacuum the cat tree, but it's for the best since my allergies are AWFUL after all the sweeping and dusting. I've taken two doses of Astelin and remain--somehow!--awake and sniffly-sneezy.

Adam's at band practice, which is rare for a weekend, but they have upcoming shows and a band member to prep for them. I'm home, trying to stop sneezing long enough to make dinner. I've asked Adam to order Chinese food if I'm unconscious (astelin, remember) when he gets in. Make mine an eggplant and broccoli in sesame sauce, please.

I found Jill's favorite cat toys when I cleaned under the sofa today. She's played with each in turn all afternoon. The quasi-spherical baskets with catnip in seem like her favorite. I also discovered that not only has Beck become a needy lovebug in the past few years, but she now really LIKES getting groomed with what I used to think of as the Big Scary Brush after her initial reactions to it. Today she started cuddling with it after I brushed her for 5 minutes. She was always the one who didn't like getting groomed. Maybe we can get her coat nice and healthy now.

It's rained pretty much all afternoon. We played musical windows, alternating as different sides of the building got pelted with the ebb and flow of the rain.

When I first opened the living room windows, before the rain, I looked out and noticed that my turtle figure/statue had been moved. You need thumbs to move it that far. I have no idea who did it. I also realized that it's been a few days since I'd seen it in its regular spot. Hm. I wonder if I'll get pictures of my sweet cheeky turtle with the stripped wrist in different places around town. One can only hope.

I've felt like seeing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince again lately. Maybe a matinee on Friday. If it hasn't worn off by then.

Not sneezing as long as I breathe through my mouth. Hard to stay awake now, though...

(no subject)

Last night some women came over to knit and eat. We got started around 7 and I think everyone left near 11. I had a lovely time. Hopefully we'll do it again soon.