Saturday, January 29, 2011
Time enough for a blog post and a little "Law & Order" before bed. Tomorrow, gardening!
Friday, January 28, 2011
The "keep calm and make tea" plan is still working well. I am more even tempered and productive at work and have been able to do just about everything that I said I would away from work. I finished a knitting project and started a new one, and also started a waitlist for wristwarmers (in exchange for tins of cat food).
The weather has been good this week but I haven't seen much of it; next week I should have some short days and will get out and wash the car and tidy up the garden and maybe even clean out part of the garage. We'll see.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
- worked on the blue wristwarmers. Only a cast - 0ff row left!
- read a couple pages of _Barnaby Rudge_. Part of the difficulty is the edition of free book that I downloaded has funny characters instead of letters in places, so I spend half my time guessing the word and half the time trying to keep track of the story.
- went to work and did my best
- fed the pets
- put a couple rows on the Twisted Alpaca Scarf
- played a little bit of WoW tonight.
- remembered to blog!
My to-do list for tomorrow starts with BUY CAT CHOW.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I had to meet with my insurance agent to sign some forms and walked Dozer to the meeting location (and back) and am tuckered out now. I will have to remember to set the alarm before I pass out.
Another plain Jane day... work, knitting at lunch, coming home, going to bed. This month-end is quieter than usual which is both refreshing and worrying. Tomorrow is last day to sign so it should be good and busy. I am still getting overtime hours, just not many doubletime hours.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I meandered around the fair a bit more, checked out the vendors and appreciated their wares (but none came home with me this year) and admired all the lovely gentlemen, ladies and fine Victorian dress.
I was late for Mr Dickens' talk, but just in time to speak with Ms Keller who presented the history of tea lecture yesterday. We had a lovely long chat about tea, England, the silk road, spinning and how rude it is for people to try and disturb Mr Dickens' lecture. No seating after it has begun!
Of course, I stayed for the tea lecture and it was another fine frolic. Things to remember: Isabella Beeton codified proper tea procedures in her book of household management; Anna Duchess of Bedford began the tradition of "afternoon tea" in home as habit for genteel ladies; the opium wars were about tea; the movement to ease the restrictive clothing of ladies began after a serving girl in a tea room had an "incident"; and it is a good idea to warm two pots when preparing tea - one to steep the tea and another to hold the finished tea without the leaves (pour from one to the other). What a simple idea!
The last item of the day was a production of Barnaby Rudge that was really not what I expected or very good. It was not helped by the hecklers in the first row. Naughty, naughty hecklers. They started to reenact a few scenes from the book when the authors of the show all made an appearance and shared some fine banter onstage.
(Far left, Poe. Center, Barnaby Rudge. To his right, Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens)
Mr Poe gave a recitation of "The Raven" which thrilled us and Mr Wilde made a witty observation on the state of Mr Rudge's intellect. I also learned that Mr Dickens' first published work was "The Pickwick Papers". Now I know.
After that, all that was left was to run into an old knitting friend and trade email addresses and then help the No Idle Hands pack up for the night. A quick stop to the bank to deposit money and to the store for milk & cat food rounded out the night. Just enough time left for a blog post, a bath and an early bedtime. I forgot to lock up two of the cockatiels this afternoon (thank goodness I closed the door against the cats) and now Mustardseed is snuggling up against my ear, asking for head scratches. A perfect day in every way!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I woke up early and paged through Anita Diamant's _The Red Tent_, and ended up re-reading the entire thing. This put me behind schedule for the morning, but I stuck to the plan and had a great day. I finished up the batch of lavender soap and started a batch of vanilla (that I need to finish up in a moment) and packed it up for delivery.
The next adventure (after quelling a panic attack over the budget) was to collect all my recycling and head over to the center. Half an hour later I had a kitchen and garage empty of cans, bottles and jars and $7 in cold hard cash. The creepy guy didn't even hit on me this time! I call that a win.
Next on the list was (finally) getting my buns down to the Dickens Festival. I found out the hard way that it had been moved to the local Convention Center and was no longer a downtown street fair. Frustration and the urge to give up were quelled and I found it at last. I located my friends, said hi, found some other friends, and then explored the Dickensian offerings. The vendor room was limited yet filled with high quality vendors (I do love the pottery guy with all my heart) and it was fun to poke around in a leisurely fashion. We found lots of ideas for Steampunk outfits. We atteneded the lecture on The History of Tea that I have been anticipating all week. It was wonderful! I could have listened to the speaker for hours. Tomorrow I will have to go again and listen for more details. I learned that the Opium Wars were over ... tea! Then I visited some more with my spinning and knitting friends (who were demonstrating as part of the fair) and put in a few rows on the second blue wristlet. It was cooed over.
Home now for some dinner and a change of clothes and then off to see a play tonight. My friend Anne is in it and had an extra comp ticket for tonight only. I had been longing to see some theater and taa-daa! she came to my rescue.
I will report back tomorrow. Stay sunny, my friends!
Friday, January 21, 2011
I knit on the blue wristlet for a bit today and tackled a few more pages of Barnaby Rudge (still, very little has happened). I made a batch of soap and snuggled the parrot and am making my daily blog post. I was all set to play some WoW, but a little wound up over the budget, so I think I will work on my knitting some more to vent the stress.
In the morning it will be time to collect the recycling to turn in for cash and collect the knitting to hang with my friends at the Dickens Festival!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
No reading today, but put two or three rows on the wristlets. It was such a lovely, balmy afternoon that I just drove on the freeway with the windows down during my lunch hour.
Some chores and some WoW this evening and an early bedtime. Our month-end at work is starting up and that means lots of long days for the next week. Tee Hee there is a cat lying on my foot; perhaps I will have to stay rooted to the spot for a bit longer.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Reading in _Barnaby Rudge_ continues. It makes _PNP_ look like a real page turner in comparison. So far some people have talked about talking, a man looked suspicious and then rode away, and someone else is bleeding. Whee.
It was another beautiful day in the mid 60s F; sunny and calm. I need to pack my sneakers so that I can resume walking at lunchtime. When I left work at 6:30 I could feel the water in the air and there was a lovely bright full moon to watch over my commute.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
- I didn't go to the beach, but I did catch up on my sleep debt.
- I didn't overhaul the garden, but I did finish _Pride & Prejudice_ at long last.
- I didn't cook any fancy food, but I did eat at home and not "out".
- I didn't get bird cages cleaned, but I did snuggle some cockatiels and the pionus.
- I didn't go to see "The King's Speech", but I did put a couple of levels on one of my WoW characters.
- I didn't go to knitting night, but I did put a few more rows on the 2nd blue wristlet.
My level of energy to go out and do "stuff" was tempered by a dandy of a headache that started in the middle of the night and still hasn't really gone away. I left my Excedrin at work and my Advil is missing... I had to resort to coffee and Vicodin and am feeling a little better. Less nauseous anyway.
The next book in the queue is now _Barnaby Rudge_ by Charles Dickens. It is the theme book for the Dickens Festival this weekend. I doubt I can finish it by then, but it will be fun to explore.
Back to work in the morning!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I did make it to gardening and that was a good time, as always. Wandered by the grocery stores for some snack food and watched a little TV ("The Legend of the Guardians" and "The Royal Tenenbaums") and petted the kitties. One of the baby cockatiels went from crabby and bitey to snuggly and nibbling my ear within an hour.
Martha strongly (!) recommended "The King's Speech", so that is on my to-watch list. Also coming up is the Dickens Festival; it looks like a really strong programme this year. Some sad news on that theme - the creator of the "renaissance faire", Ron Patterson, passed away on January 14th. It is pretty incredible that such a little idea took off in such a big way.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
*YAWN* ooh the lack of sleeping last night and the lateness of the hour are conspriring against me. Spending a little quality time with the birdlings and updating the blog is about all I have energy for!
Today was much more calm thanks to the new "omigod just freaking relax already" policy. I find myself scrunched up and freaked out every 30 seconds or so. Breathe, stretch, relax. Repeat.
Knit a bit at lunch and made some progress in the dreaded _Pride & Prejudice_.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
She is right - I have a nice life. I have a great job with people I enjoy being around, I have a home and a car and family and pets. I have friends, interests, money and my health. I have talents and wit and cheer. So why do I sit at my desk and stress out? Not every thing has to be micromanaged (and certainly not by me) every minute of every day. When I started there I was the calm, relaxed, confident and easygoing me that I discovered while I was out of work for over a year. Now, somehow, being at work has made me more neurotic, more possessive and less trusting. I need to let go again.
I like that happy person that I found inside me. I liked the quiet confidence and the knowledge that my manner was charming in its own way. I am going to regain the path of mindfulness, of thankfulness, of seeing the big picture and working for the greater good. The phrase "but... what if ???" is going to be banished from my thoughts and vocabulary.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
But I am home now, full of tacos and iced tea, communing with the beasties and having a little computer time before bed. I did work on the wristlets today - only 2 more cables on #1 to go! I also started plowing away at _Pride & Prejudice_ again at lunch. Elizabeth has finally met the Lady Catherine and she is a bossy, bossy lady.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
She is trying to convince him to be shy of people, but I am hoping for the opposite outcome; keeping him hand tame will encourage her to come out and play more often. Yesterday night, after two days with the cage door open, she came out and flew around for a while.
Another good day today. Put in some laundry, heated turkey loaf and made salad for dinner, knit on the wristlet at lunch and now it is time for some bird snuggling and blog posting.
Monday, January 10, 2011
This was a fun little read that I actually enjoyed quite a lot. Verne's style (or maybe the narrator's style?) is alternately annoying! really annoying! with far too many exclamation points! and boring, with long lists of mind numbing detail, but the actual story was interesting. There is drama within the characters, among the characters and between the characters and the environment. Ned Land = "need land" & Conseil = "consomme" becuase I wanted to make him into a clear soup by the end!
I longed to have picture book of sea life by my side while I was reading, or maybe little pop up fish icons whenever I came to the long lists of the various sea creatures they encounter. Why the author was so dead set on classifying every. single. fish. in its scientific denotation is a mystery to me. Also mysterious: where was the spinning / weaving mill that made all the sea-fiber clothing? Why didn't Ned and the boys slaughter the crew and claim the Nautilus for their own when they were vulnerable after the South Pole debacle? Why did he make such a big point about the mysterious language and origins of Captain Nemo and then drop it partway through, unresolved? Why is the ending so lame?
Next up on the reading list is _Bertie Wooster and the Lizard King_ and then I think _Around the World in 80 Days_. Pretty much anything to avoid _Pride & Prejudice_.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
First up is gardening with Martha. Now that it is winter, we have been focusing on pruning back the bushes & roses and thinning the trees. After the rains there were quite a lot of little weeds that sprouted in the garden; I think we have conquered the worst of those now. The oranges came in and were eaten and my homework this week is to find a recipe for lemon curd, as the lemon tree is laden with yummy yellow fruit.
Next stop is usually some lunch / breakfast, a stop at a pet store for supplies & browsing, or a trip to the grocery store. Today it was a visit to Bracken Bird Farm for seed and toys. It was looking a little empty in there and they have quite a lot of things marked down (food, toys, birds) or on sale. I recommend all the bird owners swing by and do their part! The quality of bird, food and service is far superior to Magnolia Bird Farm (although the selection is smaller). Grahamie was a purchase there, and Kiwi and BillyBird were owner turn ins.
Then it was back home for coffee, some cleaning and some computer time. Sunday is a good day for baking / cooking at Chez Picky. This afternoon I am planning on some World of Warcraft, some more chores and a little light reading. No work tomorrow, but I suppose I should still plan on an early evening. I am chilling out with the birds right now - they are torn between enjoying out-of-cage time and taking a nice afternoon nap. At least one is napping outside his cage; the best of both worlds.
And that concludes the Sunday recap!
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Smart, funny, chatty, soft and a real hit with the ladies (bird ladies, that is), Graham was everything you could want in a man - errr, pet. Luckily he will live on in his son (Hamlet) and the grand-birds (Mustardseed, Peaseblossom, #3 & #4).
Friday, January 07, 2011
Worked on the blue wristlettes at lunch again. It feels good to knit again. I am struck equally with the urge to finish all my projects that are in progress and to cast on for all the things on my wish list. I am pretty happy as a process knitter, but my head is still cold.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
I will admit that it is pretty nice to drive around and not worry about asphyxiating the people behind me because the exhaust system in the car is shot, or to worry about expired registration, or to drive only in the far right lane because the car could stall at any moment.
In other news, I knit on the blue-with-a - cable wristwarmers at lunch and am going to play some WoW for the first time in recent memory. Last night I got distracted watching season 4 of "The Guild" and never even logged on. I hope my friends remember me!
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I may never take them off.
Monday, January 03, 2011
There was some lovely rain yesterday and today - thankfully it started well after gardening morning was over. It was nice to knit and watch cooking shows at Ruth's and listen to it pour down outside, though! We have had quite a wet fall and now winter, but I am still charmed by the smell, the sound, the feel of the rain coming down. I also appreciate how it waters the lettuces in the garden. I have been trying to eat a little more responsibly this last couple of weeks; more salad, more healthy snacks, less fast food and more home cooked food. This week's big project is stuffed peppers. I am also cutting out pork and beef & focusing more on poultry, fish and vegetarian alternatives. Watching those cooking shows was entertaining and inspiring!
I am back to reading _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_ by Jules Verne (tr. by F P Walter) and it is still intriguing. Yesterday we watched a documentary on colossal squid (bigger than the giant ones) and Saturday I saw the Redlands Bowl production of "The Little Mermaid" ballet - so it has been a very aquatic week here. I am still bothered by the fact that the characters is 2oK LUtS wear clothes spun and woven from the filaments of undersea creatures, but there does not seem to be a spinning / weaving mill anywhere on board. Martha said to suspend my disbelief, but it is difficult!
Time to sign off - a cat is using my nylon-clad leg as a scratch post and that is just not as much fun as you would think.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
I used up every inch of the yarn; I knit them from opposite ends of the ball and there were moments of extreme entanglement, for sure! But they met in the middle when it came time to cast off and I think they are very respectable socklettes.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
No reading this weekend (I overdid it over Christmas), but I put a few levels on WoW characters and enjoyed some pleasant diversions.
Tomorrow? Gardening with Martha and then craft day with Ruth. I just hope the weather is not courtesy of Noah. A little Biblical humor, there. A very little.