Saturday, November 29, 2008

life is good

Right now it is sunny and the hoarfrost is insane on the deck outside. I spent Thanksgiving with my parents in Boston, down to our original nuclear family of three (my ex was with our daughter, having visited our son).

Thanksgiving, for a number of reasons (actually, a diverse number of allergies and my mother's rock-solid conviction that cooking is not fun, even if others might demur), is a restaurant holiday. We ate at Legal Seafood (garlic shrimp to die for) and had an excellent time. We returned to their apartment and observed a marathon of CSI, which is pretty good. The day my parents and I met my longest-running friend Pat, whom I met in 8th grade back when we used stick pens to write in cuneiform on our papyrus... at Chang's, and ate more and it was good.

I try (I really do, it's one of the cognitive therapy things to do for depression) to keep aware of my gratitude for stuff most of the time. From my (screaming meemies) reaction to reading a review of Slumdog Millionaire I seem to be very grateful for my hands and eyes. Right now, I am glad not to have a mortgage (despite taxes AGAIN!!). Things could be better, sure, but they are pretty good (and can you tell I have been taking my medication?). For further reflection, let me offer you Mark Morford's superbly written honesty.

All of us are healthy and we all had food on the table and roofs over our heads, and although I did drink too much on Wednesday night I didn't feel too bad the next day.

I have two community organizers staying here. They are literate, funny, and have strong liberal opinions. They like beer. I like beer, but it makes me horribly drunk so I have had a number of bottles of interesting beer hanging around for a year or so, waiting for enough people to help me drink them. We gave several a thoughtful appraisal. While drinking Insanity and Arrogant Bastard and something with a Kodiak bear on the label I made cheesecake (a caramel-sauce-free version of this (I went crazy in the supermarket; they had gluten-free lemon snaps next to the GF gingersnaps and I just mixed them, with abandon, and it was delicious. It turns out my father is having an unexpected turn to the lemon-flavored side of the Force the same way I am and he was most appreciative. Go me!) and participated in a fine argument about the existence of God. I remarked that I was lucky the cake wasn't leavened, because I kept having to stop and perorate and wave my hands a lot in between adding ingredients and Rob had an epiphany about why his cornbread is sometimes flat

**********you can't add wet ingredients to dry--where dry includes baking powder or soda--very long before baking or the CO2 goes away*********.

You don't get as many drunken epiphanies as I'd like in these trying times. But sometimes the spark comes through.

And the cheesecake is delicious.

In the morning, Marten was hoping I would give him a splash of milk and, in a fit of either boredom of terrifying genius, he bit a mini-carton of Little Milk and got his wish. The carpet here is already 20+ years old and tinged with the arterial blood of a doomed chipmunk but it seemed ominous. What will he do next?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

feathers in heaven

I was in the loom room yesterday at about three when there was something-glancing-off-the slider-type bonk. I expected a confused junco, but there was nothing, so I moved to the side window and saw, about four feet away, that a fox had taken Buffy. The fox didn't see me, and I think Buffy was past seeing anything after the fox's initial rush. He (perhaps she) kept stopping to spit out feathers, but he carried Buffy's limp body into the woods and I watched them go.

It was all very fast. I had just fed Buffy an hour before so I know she went feeling well taken care of. It was also early enough in the afternoon that I would not have had her in the coop even if she had still consented to go. I had known she was in a sort of "Live Free or Die" (state motto) way of life-- I was going to defy her wishes and get her into a friend's flock as soon as it snowed, but it hasn't yet-- and on the whole I think suddenly getting nailed beats freezing to death. But she was a lovely bird and I valued her friendship.

The fox was beautiful, too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's cold

Before I forget: go to and type "sweaterxxs" into the password bar. You can find the other passwords here.

It is seriously below freezing, several days running. I think it might have waited another week or so, but I like the bright light and the chickadees and goldfinches are great. Just keep the windows and doors closed. This would be easier if Marten had less faith in me; he seems newly horrified every time he persuades me to let him out (the cat door as such is a casualty of the kitchen renovation, which is not done, no).

On the plus side of my life I have had to count not being one of my friends: her daughter is recovering rather slowly form a bout of chronic fatigue, during which her son nearly lost an arm in a metal lathe, after which he came down with pericarditis, and is now on leave from college trying not to get sick again. My friend is having a lumpectomy on Dec. 3. I believe her husband is still healthy. I am making her a brightly colored neck warmer.

This is the second in a series so far, and I continue to worry about early onset-dementia. Even when chirality is not an issue (I have spared you the details of starting Arwen. She is not going very quickly; I needed to get a yarn with no halo, and then there was unpleasant day I spent realizing that I was reading the chart wrong several different ways. But I read English left-to-right, left-to-right, and it seems to be a harder habit to break than I would have hoped) I can't count above two very reliably. So about the fifth start I marked the daylights out of it and I think it's working all right. I am happy I am sticking with it and I hope it isn't itchy.

Every time I hear about how bad the economy is I wonder, I am amazed... these were not verbs that had to have an object, one does not have to wonder _about_ anything or be amazed _at_. In fact a-maze-d seems to imply one's wits are disordered and one is staring gently into space drooling. About right.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yes we did, and now we must

But I am not quite sure of what I should do in my position as one of the 16 million new poster children for the Crash of 2008. I seem to be having Hope.

This week has been unseasonably warm. No more talk of furnaces or wood stoves.

There was an election. I listened to streamed NPR and broadcast NHPR and window-hopped and read murder mysteries (I am very fond of Donna Andrews. Her plots are good, I like her people and her grammar is IMPECCABLE). I noticed I was still feeling stunned and worried even as I listened to McCain's very gracious concession speech. It wasn't even eleven, didn't elections last for at least a couple of days? I was somewhat relieved to find I wasn't the only one who had trouble feeling, well, anything.

Finally, Thursday, Sarah arrived, pumped out her mind that Terry Gross had referred to "President Obama," and Rob the Lodger moved his second duffle bag in. In the merriment of throwing a double mattress down the stairs (probably the biggest thing I have ever thrown down the stairs; Rob, to his credit, asked from the living room "Am I right in assuming this is the mattress you are giving me?" since lots of people keep one there and he didn't want to be pushy) and I think I finally grasped that the election was OVER, no more fear of Alaskans, and we had elected a black guy (it is so good to be pleased and surprised by one's country) who was also one of the most intelligent-sounding politicians I have ever heard (which, frankly, may have been even less likely than the color of his skin). We opened a bottle of champagne and sat in the living room with our laptops and sent funny election links to one another.

On Saturday Doug and I gave a needle-felting workshop at the Shaker Village. This meant that I spent a lot of Friday reading a murder mystery and then suddenly sprang into needle-felting workshop overdrive. It was successful. Once again we have given members of the public sharp pointy things and they have not used them on us or one another.