Monday, November 26, 2007

Adopt a sheep.

I want one.

Or, if the sheep is too much: an olive tree:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving is not one of our best holidays, since there is nothing to do but eat and watch TV, and I have no TV. Also some of us should not drink wine before 6pm, or if we do we should just be honest and go nap.

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The food was delicious and made by the daughter, everyone pitched in with the dishes and the general tidying. I reckon I am the Luckiest Thanksgiving Girl in the World because I had leftovers and no piles of dead dishes. (Or relatives). The daughter had some weird (probably Smith-influenced, commie) idea we should all eat the same food. Since she is a vegetarian, her father avoids tomatoes, my mother eschews fowl, eggs, and milk products (though not cream), and my father is thorough-going celiac, this was not easy. She made delicious vegetable soup, mashed potatoes, and re-invented empanadas. They were a tamale dough pockets, fried then baked, filled with a mixture of summer squashes, onions, garlic, and walnuts. Oh, my goodness. There were five pies (my parents and the housemate) and the daughter made pumpkin cheesecake. The wine was Acorn Medley (which is delicious, unfortunately; it's well out of my usual budget) and my father brought a wonderful salad.

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We spoke to geographically distant relatives on the phone and made remarks about what people were requesting for Christmas presents. No ne wants anything the others describe as exciting.

But it is obvious my life needs more excitement or I would not have been wistful listening to the ex and the daughter plan a trip to England (well, actually, it would sound pretty good anytime; I miss some aspects of being part of a family). Then the daughter and her friend took off for New York, and I should have stowed away, though it being her father's Beetle they might have noticed.

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The weather didn't make us any livelier.

I have been working on my Latvian mitten, my father's socks, my ex's tea-cozy, and rereading all of Patrick O'Brian. Next week Doug and I are supposed to be leading a needle-felting workshop. Oh God.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In other news

Last winter I made Ellie a sweater, mailed it to Italy... she reported that despite swatching and measuring and everything it was somewhat large. We consider shrinking it. We are scared. It fits me fine, although it's more her colors than mine. Rueful. Warm.

My class with Beth-Brown-Reisel, whom I liked very much (she put up with someone in the room pontificating about pre-Columbian civilization the Americas and she is a good, light-hearted, informative-without-being-imperative type of teacher) did not address aging cats who don't want you to do intarsia, or people who get home from work and crawl into AubreyandMaturin and macaroni and wine.

Splendid Japanese English (much better than my Japanese), and a nice product.

Dick is doing very well and has permission to drive. Mostly I was happy to hear, since he is sleeping some 15 hours a day, that it doesn't hurt when he turns over anymore.

Autumn is pretty much named Willow, particularly when she jumps Toby. Doug swears her eyeballs turn black (I cannot find a picture to link to, but MANY people have named their pets after characters on Buffy). She turns out not to be either pregnant or spayed, the latter condition both a)proving she is not Keet-sue (Did I tell you Miss Tucker turned up uninjured in the barn next door to her home?)and b)subject to change after Thanksgiving.

Asterix is apparently feeling Just Great, even if he is bony. He has taken to jumping up to my windowsill to sit on the microwave to persuade me to give him milk, or he will deep-six the teapot.

It got cold. It's mid-November, it has permission. Today is, in fact, the 28th anniversary of my marriage (and about the ninth anniversary of its breakup). We're still speaking. Kids are healthy. Could have been much, much worse.

Nice piece of work.

Watch this. It is way cool.
Well, I had good intentions, kind of like putting my head in a blender for the Greater Good: two people I like very much were to visit this weekend, bringing their OCD to bear on certain intractable areas of my house. Their arrival would precipitate severe tidying in the relatively malleable parts of my house, leading to an overall improvement for Thanksgiving.

In pursuit of this, did I clean off the coffeetable? No, I spent $260 at Target. New spare pillows, new sheets, new blanket for the guest futon in the loom room (as well as Grace and Dahlia, my ex-spouse or a friend of the daughter will be out there for Thanksgiving and Lisa for Christmas); curtains rods for the already bought curtains for the loom room, a clock radio/cd player for the loom room because the lack of music, NPR, and timepiece has been making me insane. While it will never be Grace and Dahlia's spare room (their hobbies are not stash-involved. They have _space_ in their kitchen cabinets. And yet they are lovable), I wanted it to be more welcoming and the sort of place I would be happy to find after 16 oz of wine.

I hate all window treatments, but you can see the BTU's beating their tiny fists against the insulated glass and sneaking through eventually. Many people are disturbed by the prying glances of bears and chickens before they dress (the people. Our bears and chickens are always perfectly dressed)(one way or another). I got the plain white cotton tabbed curtains and am contemplating a swarm of potato block-prints. How to avoid pointless busyness in a room with a wool stash and a bookshelf without just having boring white curtains? The pointless dreaded pelmet? And I may have to hem them...

Last night I put up a set of curtains (insert moan about inability to use electric tools on viciously-designed curtain rod holders and incorrect placement of electric outlets), and realized that my intuition that neither the LONG nor the short curtain rods were the right length for three of the windows was spot on. One can, however, take half a long rod and half a short rod and achieve medium. Go me.

I also moved the bookshelf. Most of you will be at peace with the idea that one MUST unload the shelves. This is not necessarily the case, but it is wise not to stack the books in the turning radius through which the bookshelf (half-full? half-emptied?) is intended to pass.

Stacks of books are no more stable than glaciers.

Willow thinks I am eccentric. She kept me company, leaving only long enough to beat the crap out of one of the boys.

The loom room is not at the moment a tranquil place, but I had some idea it could be made habitable in a few more hours. But Grace called and Dahlia's mother has just had a metastatic malignant mass removed from her back and they won't be coming anytime soon. I wish it had been for happier reason, like winning a weekend at the Balsams.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

sailing nicely

The cardiac-patient archaeologist is doing very well and back home. The cat is also back home, terrorizing the other cats when she gets the chance (not that that takes much effort, in Toby's case) and being the picture of affectionate and generally sweet catness to people. She may possibly be a Willow rather than an Autumn. Alyson Hannigan would be proud.

I am in Lovely Burlington, VT, at a an archaeology conference. It was a reason to get out of town. I had not really understood, Google Maps notwithstanding, that it was three hours' ride, and leaving here on Sunday morning in time to get to a knitting class back in Concord at 10 may be a bit unpleasant (at least for the people sharing my room).

Monday, November 05, 2007

pretty well, actually

My friend is back at home. We knew he was doing well when he was discussing the difference between mastodons and mammoths on November 2.

And here's the latest on the AUtumn cat.

When last we saw Autumn, we were wondering if she might be pregnant. Then someone decided she was their cat (the third brown female tabby to be missing in Canterbury), about two miles from the village where the cat had turned up. Sarah was unsure about the whole scene: the cat alleged to be Autumn's brother didn't seem to recognize her, they hissed a lot, and the owner said Autumn was mostly feral and lived in the back yard(which was not much like the cat who had been sitting on my lap). But she was sure this her cat, probably. Autumn rushed off and hid behind the person's barn. I think saying "Sarah was unimpressed" would be putting it diffidently enough. She left and felt bad. I don't know what I would have done either, but Sarah was not happy, Doug and I were sad, and Sarah's boyfriend put forth some larcenous ideas that sounded fine to me.

So this evening Sarah heard meowing at her door and it was not Abbey. It was Autumn, who had figured out where Sarah's door was by being carried (in a carrier) to it from the village across the road and from it to the car, several times. So Autumn is coming back here tomorrow and anyone claiming her can just produce kitten pictures and come to see her in Henniker.