Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This is a test.

I am testing the blog-by-email feature of Blogspot. Today they had
school in all the relevant districts, but I got lucky -- about 10" of
white and fluffy. Given that yesterday I spent most of my time not
having anything urgent enough to cut through my miasma of self-pity, I
am taking today as a sick day. And I plan to pack.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Update in haste

It should be haste, I need to get dressed, etc. Second night on Benedryl (diphenhydramine, an antihistamine and off-label soporific): _excellent_ slumber, drugged as hell and dizzy in the morning. I haven't coughed yet, which is good, because my back and rib muscles are not happy (and my head may yet explode. Would you want to risk it?). Dizziness may be the glop in the sinus, or the aftereffects of doping.

BUT! I need to say that my knee has gone back to its Clark Kent identity of mild-mannered and not all that wimpy (not that I am pushing off on it or anything silly).

I also heard chickadees yesterday seriously making 'personal column' calls. Northampton, that well-known den of free love and free thinking, had cardinals and woodpeckers advertising, as well as swelling lilac buds; it's a good sign that Bird Romance is in the air here, along with the threat of little white flakes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

So on Saturday

ON Saturday I woke up and the end of the world was not all over my driveway. I had just decided to call my daughter and warn her I was coming after all, when my daughter called and hoped, very politely, that I might reconsider and come, bring the suitcase with which she hopes to accompany her father to England over spring break. So I put my luggage back into the car, and it was a very pretty drive with sunlight and snow caught in the trees, and they only had maybe 8" in Northampton. I made a small pilgrimage to WEBS and bought yarn... well, it was murky green, and beautiful, and who can say, if I don't do seed stitch I might make a sweater. And some sock yarn. Two skeins, one of which I will offer Sarah, since yarn you give away has negative calories, it's like not having bought any. (She took the brighter one, which is fine; I have a murkygreen and red Trekking now)

We went to the paint-your-own pottery and I think my Minoan octopus will be a worthy tribute. I won't get to see it fired until April (Conbust). Then we had Tea in her room until dinner time, which was quiet but fine. I think maybe my lack of ambition to Shop Northampton should have tipped me off that the scratchy throat I woke up with was not a good sign. We had tasty Indian, and then we walked back to her dorm. This made two trips to and from her dorm to downtown. To prove that no good deed goes unpunished, the knee I sprained two years ago-- the one that has been sulking and softly swelling once I started going on the elliptical thing again, once I could breathe after the horrible cold in January-- that knee? began to have big time temper fits. Back in her room, I translated French summaries of articles on Roman North African villas (Ellie took German, because that is what classics majors are supposed to take, so now she's stuck in a francophone research paper). Although this was fun, I don't think any of the articles she had found were useful to her, and I was tired and my throat hurt.

By the time I crawled into Grace and Debbie's apartment I could barely walk and I developed this great little dry cough (amazingly similar to the one I had in January). Grace made me healthful lemon and honey drinks and at least after two of those I had a reason to need to crawl in to bed.

It would be good to be lively sometime when I visit them. They keep getting a guest with the muscle one of a dead possum.

I drove home the next day wondering if my clutch leg were going to fall off (can you get surgical reattachment at a service station?), in time to find Sarah at the bottom of the driveway. She could drive most of the way up. My Subaru said, "Snow? what snow?@@" and we pacified the cats and had tea until the quilt shop opened. I only wanted to take her to see it. Entirely Sarah's own problem that she bought four yards of discreetly 19th century prints. Which she washed, dried, and cut into strips before she left (and says she hopes to sew all the strips together tonight, except she was cutting them up and Rail-Fencing them together, which slows you down).

I made dinner and continued to needle-punch my sheep. Very calming, and I am stabbing myself less.

I spent last night having the kind of punctuated sleep where you are sure you haven't been asleep, and maybe I wasn't. Today at work I had only light alphabetical lifting, which was good because when I coughed my head threatened to explode. Olivia who sometimes works in my office was also coughing and my boss came out and told us to please get well. I came home and took a two-hour nap and will be returning for, I hope, another 8 soon.

Guess what it's doing tomorrow? AND the next day?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland. I cannot take much more of it.

It's snowing again. We had enough melting that the immediate danger of not being able to plow the driveway seems to have passed. It has (somewhat lower, now) frozen mini-Alps on either side, extending a yard or so out from each side of the roadway. The tractor can only lift and dump so far. The Alpinini are frozen solid; I have suggested dynamite.

Doug and Sarah C (not the former housemate Sarah D),perhaps GFSarah (for girlfriend, not gluten free; and she's a real, interesting, lively person, so you should understand that GF is a very minimal description) are on their to Spa, or perhaps not. I was supposed to be in Northampton, MA, but discretion overcame valor as the path from here to there is apparently exactly the path of the heaviest snow this evening. I wanted to go. I wanted to have wild creative time with my daughter (the last hurrah of a china-painting shop), and see Grace and Dahlia, and also get a haircut, but it is not to be.

So I am having wild creative time with the cats. It is strongly to be hoped I will pack for the trip to Texas in the next couple days, as I am leaving here Friday ( a week from tonight)(not that I am counting. My mother is even counting, vicarious trips to warmer climes being better than none. And she's sending me camping equipment. Very kind). If it doesn't snow obscenely. It's not that it isn't beautiful, it's that you get kind of ENOUGH ALREADY and start remembering that once you could wear short-sleeved shirts.

The thermostat where I work always says 70 F. The more-dedicated-than-I- ever-will-be, environmentally aware person who is working for all too short a time for another non-profit in my office, Olivia, says she thinks it's maybe 65F. The floor is carpet over a concrete slab and one's feet are cold unless one wears TWO pairs of handmade socks and the furry-inside Merrells. At home, I can wrap Polarfleece around myself and drink tea, or more to the point, go to bed. I do wish we had a tradition of hibernating, or at least officially sanctioned torpor (as opposed to the slackjawed drooling torpor I try to fend off at work).

My mother's hat is nearly nearly done; I need to make the other braid. It is curiously shaped; if I had made it as deep in the crown as the pattern suggested, my mother could have worn it quite comfortably like a turquoise paper bag over her head; it's kind of wide. If, however, you pull the earflaps down it feels very snuggly, and she says she doesn't mind looking funny. Perhaps a picture tomorrow. Willow, who is now capable of being within a few feet of Marten without turning into an insensate spitting fury (Toby is just never in the same room, and I wish he would get over his fearfulness), is sitting on my feet. This is a warm thing for both of us and makes me unwilling to move her off.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not pretty at all.

Unlike these sheep (enjoy caption).

Do I mean the really, I think TEN inches on top of the four-6 of crunchy, unyielding older snow, the ten inches (of which we got about six or seven got between about 1:30 and 6:30 this morning -- it must have been something) now being tucked in with a steady supply of freezing rain? It's 32.5 F (say 0.25 of a degree C) outside. It will be interesting.

I could mean the kitchen floor, with tastefully distributed groceries, or the bedroom floor (laundry, much in baskets, clean), or the living room where I cocoon, covered in a nasty combination of beads, embroidery floss, a few fat quarters (I have been frequenting the quilting store in the village, which is not Keepsake quite but is really pretty darned (buttonhole stitched, punchneedled) good.

I have been downstairs several times, trying to get the woodstove to start and feeding the cats and looking for a camera cable so I can download the beaded Valentines I made my daughter and our friend also named Eleanor. I am afraid the cable is in the car, which is entirely surrounded by water in its more solid, less gaseous phases.

Valentine, bead, embroidery ,craft

I found a cable in my room, with real cobwebs.

I did want a snow day. This may be excessive.PhotobucketThis is the deck outside my bedroom, with redpolls. Note that the feeder-tree is set in a joint-compound bucket. Which you can't see.

By the way, check out these chocolates. Read the interesting thing in the NYT about milk chocolate.

NH, Winter

The weather in happier times, about two weeks ago.

I finally realized I should make my Photobucket album public. You might be able to click for bigger. We'll see.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Something else to do with your knitting machine

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A poem for the Poetry in Cyberspace project (only it was yesterday...)

A Bat Is Born by Randall Jarrell
A bat is born
Naked and blind and pale
His mother makes a pocket of her tail
And catches him. He clings
to her long fur
By his thumbs and toes and teeth.
And then the mother dances through the night
Doubling and looping,
Soaring, somersaulting-
Her baby hangs on
All night, in happiness,
She hunts and flies.
Her high sharp cries
Like shining needlepoints of sound
Go out into the night and
echoing back,
Tell her what they have touched.
She hears how far it is,
how big it is,
which way it's going:
She lives by hearing.
The mother eats the moths and gnats
she catches
In full flight. In full flight
The mother drinks the water of the pond
She skims across.
Her baby hangs on tight.
Her baby drinks the milk she makes him.
In moonlight or starlight,
In midair
Their single shadow,
printed on the moon
Or fluttering across the stars,
Whirls on all night.
At daybreak,
the tired mother flys home to her rafter
The others are all there.
They hang themselves up by their toes,
They wrap themselves in their brown wings.
Bunched upside down, they sleep in air.
Their sharp ears,
Their sharp teeth
Their quick sharp faces
Are dull and slow and mild.
All the bright day, as the mother sleeps,
She folds her wings about her sleeping child.