elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 06:09 am
Daily journaler is seeking other daily journalers. I'm looking for other diarists that share some aspect of their daily life, whether it's limited to a narrow aspect of creativity or concern or is wide ranging. The diarist should be open to reading my entries and ideally is already reading the entries of folks in my circle.

ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 06:47 am
I survived the day of the chipper with only more scratches on my arms and legs. And a thorn went through my glove and lodged in my thumb. And another thorn ripped my pants. Fie, autumn olive is quite the nemesis. And i felt a particular delight wrestling the fans of the large shrubs into the maw and watching it spray out the chips. I am delighted with the amount of chips we have to use. I put tarps, sheets, and the wagon in the way of the spray, and so had a full wagon to distribute yesterday evening. Getting more loads into the wagon will be less fun, but i am glad about the foresight of laying out the tarps.

They're not light.

Last night when i took Carrie out i could hear deer browsing about in the underbrush: three, i'm fairly sure. Carrie eventually barked in indignation, and the deer seemed not to care. Later i came back out, turned on the light, and called for Carrie -- this did cause a bit of crashing around. Deer are loud.
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Saturday, February 18th, 2017 03:55 pm
I lingered a bit longer inside than i meant to Saturday morning. We're trying to let Carrie out of the front room at night, but in the wee hours of Saturday she slipped under the baby gate to make a raid on the kitty litter cabinet. Fortunately the cabinet doors made a sound to wake us as she tried to get in, so i was able to scoop her up and deposit her in the front room. Last night she seemed to stay on the couch all night.

I thought lingering might be a good idea, as it had gotten down to almost freezing last night. My suspicion was confirmed in the garage, as it was 40°F when i went out. But no, i had lingered too long because outside of the garage it was 60°F.

My great pile of brush went up in flames very quickly, no struggle getting it started. While it burnt i cut down a bunch of autumn olive and pulled down honeysuckle. There's now a tidy patch of woods beyond the screened in back porch. The honeysuckle is definitely greening up. I've found the young yet very long shoots of autumn olive flexible and have made a loose "fence" from the "whips" for the peas to climb. I am not making a super-tidy construct: i hope its irregularity is more charming than sloppy, in a wabi-sabi sort of way.

In the front, the pink saucer magnolia (Magnolia × soulangeana) is suddenly exposing lipstick pink buds. I'm sure they weren't there yesterday. I've forced some branches -- not as attractive as other forced branches, but they're what i have. The next ten days look terribly pleasant and mild. I don't suppose i can go shouting around "another month and a half till average last frost" to the plants. Instead, i have created a form to use to log the status of all the plants, in an attempt to capture first and last bloom dates, etc.

Today i ponder another fire on the other side of the house. There's also the annual meeting of the county history association, which is tempting. Monday is the chipper.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, February 17th, 2017 09:02 am
Yesterday we came back from a disappointing errand and i wandered the yard before returning in. While i was out, Christine let Carrie into the back yard. She was so excited, so i went to play with her and accidentally lobbed her toy out of the fenced area. I bet she'll stick with me to go get the toy, i thought.

Ha, so wrong.

That dog raced around the house multiple times, looping around in the cleared areas, sprinting like a horse. She lunges as she runs, both front legs extended out in front of her. She paused to look down the driveway, which Christine and i have been carefully treating as "not-yard". I was relieved when she just raced around some more, eventually racing into the back yard again.

--== ∞ ==--

Other animal drama includes Slugger and Louise, a pair of cardinals. Slugger perches on the rear view mirrors of both car and truck, frequently enough that plenty of sign is present, and attacks his reflection. I'm a little worried that they may be planning to nest in one of the brush piles, so i have finally arranged for the chipper on Monday.

--== ∞ ==--

In the yard, i am saddened to see Autumn Olive leafing out. I'm not ready. North Carolina in winter is still more green than the bay area in summer. I've enjoyed being able to see through the woods, get a sense of the shape of the clearing. I need to remind myself we've made much progress and it will never be the wall of jungle it was last May. When we are out driving, it seems spring is even more on the way. Forsythia, quince, foaming cotton candy pink trees (cherries, i think, not red buds), some white flowers on trees - not dogwoods yet, i think. Daffodils are blooming elsewhere, too. Our yard seems slow, perhaps because our slope faces north. I think i am thankful for the reprieve, especially if it means future fruit trees won't rush to bloom and get caught by freezes. Average last frost date is April 4th.

--== ∞ ==--

I am greatly enjoying the NY Times mini-crosswords. Their application makes crosswords more enjoyable for me - some element of immediate gratification, i suppose, along with easing the clue to box visual logistics. The full crosswords require another subscription, so i have refrained -- and i am not sure how much self control i would have to not do crosswords all day. I've never liked crosswords in the past, so it seems the mini was just the right size to get me hooked.

So tempted to buy a novel and blow off the rest of the day.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 01:40 pm
An extended family member, on Christine's side, had a crisis yesterday. Christine's been carrying the concern that this person was headed for such a crisis since before we moved. I'd been spared the details. I knew there was some reason to be concerned, but i didn't want to be nosy or gossipy. Now i know how bad it was... is... and i find myself with a sort of free floating distress today.

It's not helped by less focused distress, captured like the NY Times headline from today, "‘Unbelievable Turmoil’: Trump’s First Month Leaves Washington Reeling."

An opening for discernment is whether i should volunteer to serve on the county Climate Change Advisory committee.

Meanwhile, in dog news, the mailman thumps a package on our steps before Carrie or i notice. And by notice, i mean, lifts head up. But bicyclist ride by some distance away while Christine starts the truck? Ba-roo! More barking than i've heard from her.

Last night she made a short bark outside. I went out to hear baying of hounds somewhere to our south east and dogs barking in other areas. Also, rustling in the woods consistent with deer browsing. Perhaps we'll still have visitors if they've all learned that dogs are penned up critters.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2017 10:35 am
Last night was quite fun. We went out with my sister & her spouse. The Mexican place we intended to eat at was full, so we ended up at the nearly empty Roots Bakery, Bistro & Bar (http://www.rootschapelhill.com/menu/). We all had the chile relleno prepared in a Guatemalan style with only a light breading and little sauce, stuffed with potatoes and other veggies as well as cheese. It was divine. It was sad to see the restaurant so deserted when the food was so good: it seemed like it would be a hit in Mountain View. Not so sure about a college town.

The concert had two parts, the first with Laurie Anderson. They performed with poetry, some read by Anderson, some by Glass (i think all of that was Anderson's words). There was a recording of Ginsburg reading - very powerful and still relevant -- and a recording of Lou Reed, which reduced my sister, Christine and i to tears. Imagining how it feels to perform with the recording of a loved one -- not enough and such a blessing? Glass had spoken for a bit about the Ginsburg recording, how he had forgotten he had the recording for some years after Ginsburg died. Much less introduction was given to the Lou Reed piece -- too close?

The second part was from  the opera "Monsters of Grace." The glass of prosecco made it's presence known and i may have dozed over bits. Subtitles would have helped as i have a hard time making out the words in operatic singing.
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Friday, February 10th, 2017 04:40 pm
Tonight, a concert with Laurie Anderson & Philip Glass. My 49th birthday is some ways off, but Christine considers this an early salvo of the celebration. I've not been much for celebration in recent years, and this year it will be the first anniversary of the rent increase that triggered the move. I'm beginning to find space to hold both the delight in our new home & being close to family and the loss of established connections. I share my birthday with my father & i would love to have a cake decorated with the fine skills my mother developed in handling gum paste and making flowers. I regret, though, that the rest of my family had too much of the very good thing and have dissuaded Mom from making such elaborate cakes. And now i wonder if she can manage any more. Still, being with my Dad on our birthday for the first time in years: that will be a delight.

Another joy+loss is probably one parents find: the dawg consumes attention and time. I've lost some quiet moments and i'm aware of the attention i need to keep on her. It's been almost a month. We still need a bit of supervision around the cats because Christine does not like the cats acting spooked. It's not entirely overprotective, i guess. And Carrie is getting a bit more boisterous and seems likely to chew on random things and pull things out of boxes, etc. No harm yet, but there is the care in attending to where things are left. I expect most of the hyper vigilance will fade away as we have better voice control. She is delightful to watch when she frolics and plays!
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 10:39 am
I am back from my trip to Florida to celebrate my grandmother's 100th birthday. I now have over 8 hours of music from the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. I used some lists of best American songs of the twentieth century to make sure i had appropriate classics. I'm not sure it registered for my grandmother, but my parents were delighted. Watching my youngest niece be inspired to dance by Rag Mop was a hoot.

I managed to spend much of the driving around in more rural routes than interstates, which was a pleasure: pines, palmettos, and cypress knees. I had brunch with a friend B in the market town of Webster FL. Only the buffet place was open. A few cows lingered in the cattle auction barns, and friend B, Carrie and I wandered the empty open market stalls. Family visits were pleasant, watching the kids fish wonderful. The place i had found for my parents and sib's families worked out wonderfully: i was gratified by a number of acknowledgements as to how pleasant it was. Tampa area weather was balmy. There were some significant emotional demands. I've returned home with one of my facial inflammations: a tiny ulcer in my mouth and an ache that consumes half my face. (Not the burning pain, at least.) Not particularly rested -- i'm glad i didn't over do it earlier in the week.

Carrie was a great road trip companion, and we visited four different dog parks. All were pleasant, and Carrie was a good participant. Winter Park's dog park has lake access and MANY squirrels. That was the best. Also, the first, and i became happy to see how willing Carrie was to stay close while off leash. I would like to have her off leash while i am working in the yard, but a road is moderately close. I was coached on dog park etiquette and dog psychology by my aunt and her husband, which eased me past my anxieties about how Carrie would take it. Then i was able to ease Christine's anxieties.

I do wonder how i could entice squirrels to play with Carrie.

Now struggling to get caught up after my absence.
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 01:45 pm
Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note5.
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Monday, January 30th, 2017 08:33 am
My dreams tend to have surreal landscapes. Last night's involved river-like waters and odd fishing. The night before i dreamed of a new home that had a second cottage attached. I was finally checking out the cottage and it was a maze of additions and ad hoc construction, including a school bus. It was furnished in a weird sort of dollar store luxury, odd dog kennels built in (and then i would see how plastic laundry baskets and towels were involved. And then we discovered that an older women (or women?) still lived in the maze.

I'm not sure why i would want to remember my dreams. I have a strong sense that the visual symbolism is not tightly coupled to the process that is occurring: the seeking and exploring experience seems more significant.

However, sleeping in the past two mornings i actually have snippets to remember, so there's that.

Friday night Carrie and i went over to my sisters, ostensibly to go for a walk. Instead i plopped down and had a few glasses of wine with my sister. Yesterday morning i spent with my sister at my parents, ostensibly to go through a pile of my mother's craft stuff. I cam home with block printing tools and stuff to preserve flowers. My sister: much more stuff.

We also had a long chat with my Dad who remains distressed about his mother's husband, C. C was scheduled to come home from rehab this week, but had yet another stroke. Meanwhile, Dad's mother has been paying all C's bills (including his broker bills), running her into an overdraft state. I think Dad's resolved the urgent part, but he's anxious about getting C's sister to pay his mother back. All in all he's anxious about C and his people exploiting his mother's generosity. (And C is not in need of financial generosity to survive.) (Although Grandmámá's gifts of gold to C ... eyeroll.) The long story of how C has only partially managed his affairs, such as appointing those responsible for financial & health decisions, but not telling them and not being willing to tell my father who they are, just leads to more indignation.
Because now i'm indignant that this man's selfishness and paranoia puts my dad in the uncomfortable situation of being the competent person on the scene with no authority. I know C has accused my dad of being after my grandmother's money, and dealing with such accusations weighs heavily on my father.

And, this is very comfortable middle class money: my grandmother worked for the phone company when it was an monopoly. We're not talking fiscal empires here.

The rest of the afternoon and evening i just relaxed. We did take Carrie for a walk at the walking track at the near by community college.

At home for me, elephants have been a concern. The rest of the clowder have had their own small dramas: Greycie Loo is coming out of the traumatized reaction to her teeth cleaning. Carrie was going to be spayed, but after being left at the vet, it turned out the vet & back up vets were unwell.

I've finally settled up for my road trip with Carrie, reserving places for us to stay. I remain closed up, not reaching out to family other than those here and not reaching out to friends. Hard for me to parse what is going on with that. The governance issues of this country can't be blamed for everything -- yet ....

[and then i had to go about my day]
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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 08:54 am
Due to a combination of triggers, elephants had a rough handful of days. Greycie Loo, too, had a tooth cleaning. Between her vet visit and the cleaning it looks like she smashed her face into something breaking a tooth and chipping a few others. Dog scare seems the most likely cause, so i'm feeling a little guilty about that.

A major trigger looms on the horizon for the elephants (and my mother & father, depressingly enough): we'll be clear in two weeks, i expect.

Carrie Dog has a bit of surgery ahead. We did ask about laparoscopic spaying, but, wow, a bit much. I hope Carrie can do some dog park activity before then so we can get an idea of whether she's OK with dog parks. On Tuesday Carrie goes to play with Christine's sister's new puppy: that should be a good outing for them.

I will be talking some time off and have a road trip, just me and the Carrie Dog, so there's that for me to look forward to. It will be just a handful of days after her surgery: i hope we're able to relax and not be stressed about stitches management, etc.

I need to become more attentive to the garden. Seeds have all arrived, it's time to start collards and plant peas. I spent time on the raised bed yesterday: not enough time, due to rain. Today, rain or not, i need to make progress. I've 50 lbs of fescue seed for the orchard, 100 lbs of lime for the garden and, well, everywhere, and some clover seed. It's not natives, but my goal is to defeat the stilt grass. I'd been worried about the chickweed and the hairy bittercress before i ID'ed them: it was clear these were weeds on a mission. They are low growing winter annuals, neither introduced plant is yet considered invasive here. Still, i'll see how much of the chickweed rakes up before putting down the grass seed.

I'm tempted to skip Meeting, but there are donations i need to take for a collection.

I'm doing bits of civic minded work. A small group has organized in my workplace, and i'm setting up the google group etc for them. (I did offer a mailing list that wasn't google, but everyone preferred the tech giant to not.) I'm not sure what i was expecting: maybe with time we can talk about bias in our own workplace. It's more an Indivisible group than a Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) group. Ladt night i listened to a phone call sponsored by the AFSC: https://www.afsc.org/sanctuaryeverywhere I think the concept behind #SanctuaryEverywhere is what i was thinking about with safety pins.

Ugh: just thinking about #SanctuaryEverywhere makes me think about the ComingEvent and the myriad of unpleasant side distractions that are involved. The seed of the ComingEvent is my Grandmámá's 100th birthday: her husband's illness, her husband's family, miscellaneous Florida family, and awareness of less than progressive qualities in Florida all lead to a dampening of enthusiasm around what ought to be a delightful celebration.
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Friday, January 20th, 2017 08:30 am
A dog and the vet and rain. Oh the indignity.

Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note5.
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Friday, January 20th, 2017 07:15 am
Wednesday collapsed under the weight of too many concerns. I read  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children sitting on the deck in the sun: it helped. Mental reset. Christine & elephants yesterday and the wee hours this morning. I think once Greycie Loo is back from her teeth cleaning (off to take her in shortly) things may settle here.

Measuring the weight i felt i was carrying, i decided to not attend the Raleigh march and stay home. I suspect i'll end up working outside in the rain, moving dirt.

Carrie Dog is settling in -- which actually means she's less settled. She's getting a bounce in her step and i really wish we could let her off leash in the front yard. She just isn't quite under voice control yet, and she seems attracted to going down the driveway. She's got energy we don't know how to dispel. She's not interested in fetch. Long walks seem like a good plan, and Christine's sister has suggested a local dog park. I'm thinking of trying to tie her out while i work in the yard Saturday.
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Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 07:19 am
Similar to my reflections on Trump and Loki some weeks back is David Brooks' reflection The Lord of Misrule.

While i admire Brooks resolution, it's not clear it follows.

Also, this documentation of Trump's network - thank you :
https://www.buzzfeed.com/johntemplon/help-us-map-trumpworld

I have apparently misfiled Buzzfeed in my mind as silly listicles, but seeing this article about Dylan Roof it's clear i need to file it as also a good resource.
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Monday, January 16th, 2017 07:17 am
Saturday was all about the DAWG. Carrie is her name now, with a nod to the fact that her rescuer's last name is Fisher. She's a hound, somewhere with English or American foxhound in her history. Wouldn't be surprised if someone told be she was a Treeing Walker Coonhound. She's tricolor, with mostly black cap and mantle.

I think she's still recovering: she spent some time isolated while undergoing worming treatments, and then joined a household with three boisterous dogs. She seems weak and tired to me, struggling to get her back legs up on the couch. I'm choosing not to take her currently sedate nature as her native nature. But, oh, sedate right now means the cats are getting used to her.

Yesterday i read John Lewis' March, a graphic novel trilogy depicting Lewis' history with the SNCC. My sister had given it to us for Christmas, and given the weekend and the president-elect's ignorance, it seemed a good day to address my own.

One: reading about and seeing images of all the violence of those years in one sitting was a bit overwhelming. I was aware of the pieces: putting the pieces together was... stunning. I've thought of nonviolent resistance as a type of "soldiering" before, recognizing the parallels between armed, violent combatants and nonviolent resistance. Reading of the training and the strategy, i am certain nonviolent resistance is just as if not more demanding of any characteristics you might glorify in a "good soldier."

I am left with the spectacle of comparison of an intelligent, compassionate, principled, educated, disciplined, courageous man who has given thought to issues from the global scale down to the family scale with the president-elect. And nausea.

Representative John Lewis' example is just stunning. May his story stir my mind and heart into action.
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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 07:07 am
One of my reactions to the election of Donald Trump was subscribing to the New York Times (digital version). What has surprised me most is the cooking section, a constant trumpet of "what to cook tonight." Clicking through reveals a huge cooking section with tons of how-tos, such as this encyclopedic soup how to: http://cooking.nytimes.com/guides/40-how-to-make-soup.

Day ... 4 of waking up to beautiful snow on the ground. We're going to leave freezing temperatures today, so tomorrow may not be so lovely. Last night, with the bright moonlight, the landscape was amazing. I think i would have liked to go walking, but Christine reminded me of the slipperiness. It's not really snow.

Indeed, when we did our daily perambulation for Monday, we finally saw deer tracks -- and these included a few long, skating skids. I prefer to imagine a bit of a frolic and delight, while Christine -- already worried for the poor creatures in the cold -- added yet another worry. We also saw a track of some critter cutting across the wide open of our yard. I think a canid, and i surmise a fox, as the distance between the paces seems small for a coyote. I suppose it could have been a cat, but the running prints seemed more canid like in the open space and direct choice. It went by the compost area without checking it out, and followed a path beyond which aligned with the kitty litter bags -- so there's that.

On Sunday we'd seen a rabbit track, and there's a fan of tiny tracks going in and out of holes beneath my raised beds. No critters seem to have found the seeds and peanuts out the back. Maybe today.
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Monday, January 9th, 2017 05:52 pm
Grumble. My senator is a FAN of Jeff Sessions.

At least he writes back. The other senator is a black hole.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, January 9th, 2017 07:49 am
I have a senator on the Judiciary Committee, which is getting ready to review Sen Jeff Sessons for atty general. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/

Maybe you do: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members (Both TX and MN senators are on this committee).

Here's some information about Sen Sessions, with the first article the source for my complaint that "I am concerned about Senator Sessions' identification of cases in which he had a key role including cases he only handled in a pro forma way. Willingness to make such misleading representations seems disqualifying enough."


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jeff-sessions-says-he-handled-these-civil-rights-cases-he-barely-touched-them/2017/01/03/4ddfffa6-d0fa-11e6-a783-cd3fa950f2fd_story.html?utm_term=.15d8229a5174

See also
http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/08/us/politics/jeff-sessions-attorney-general.html

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/11/18/jeff-sessions-champion-anti-muslim-and-anti-immigrant-extremists

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2016/11/18/statement-splc-president-richard-cohen-nomination-senator-jeff-sessions-attorney-general
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Sunday, January 8th, 2017 08:06 pm
I made a grits and greens casserole tonight. So. Many. Pots. Hmph. It's like the food is twice cooked: fix the greens, fix up the textured vegetable protein, fix up the grits. Then bake it all. The kitchen got quite warm, which was fine, all things considered. I fixed the vegetable protein with apple cider vinegar and sorghum molasses, ingredients in NC eastern BBQ sauce. I think that turned out pretty well, although maybe it was just a bit much vinegar and not enough red pepper.

We've been running the logs for a while, then turn them off when the thermostat reaches 70°F. When it gets to 65°F we turn them back on. I'm running the ceiling fan in when the logs are on. Note to self: clean the blades BEFORE reversing the rotation direction. Or, maybe, note that a real quick way to clean the blades is to reverse the rotation. But the rest of the room has mats of cat fluff spread everywhere.

I do feel thrifty in that i figured out that the HVAC system has a "circulate" function. By turning that on we could circulate the heated air throughout more of the home. I'm not sure what to do tonight. We let the temps drop down to 60°F at night, but the heater is going to need to run frequently to make up the 50°F to 60°F difference with outside.

I haven't had a heat pump as a heater since becoming an adult. The heat in Philly was unstoppable steam heat. It ran, and you managed the temperature by opening windows. In San Francisco we had gas heat. In Mountain View there were several electric base boards. I grew to distrust all of them, and we just used a space heater.