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Thursday, November 19th, 2015 03:33 am
Re bewailing my hotel:

The quirky story is even better in the full form -- it will be a good story to tell. Despite the good laugh Christine got when i told her, i don't think i'm ready to spin this yarn until i find out who pays for the uncanceled, unused reservation. (It won't matter in telling the story later, i just have a little anxiety about how the new corporate card and then new expense system work, and feel miserable at the thought of sorting it out with our financial staff. The bill for the new corporate card goes to the company, not me.)

I have a reservation at the hotel next to this one. I'm at the one a number of other folks urged me to stay at, but i already had made the reservation at the other one, which had some odd cancellation policy. I didn't realize there were two on this side of the highway.

So folks have been saying, "I'm a the X, where are you?" And i reply i'm at the Y. But i'm really at the X.

I have apparently been just squeaking past seeing folks at breakfast.

Meanwhile, the hotel charge tangle sits on top of a software architecture tangle. I couldn't fall to sleep last night with my usual ease. I think i've teased apart some of the issues, but i'm altogether unhappy. At least i found the issue now.
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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 04:37 am
I am so happy to have found that Ghirardelli chocolate is environmentally and socially sustainably sourced. Yippee!

I am feeling a little guilty about eating in with microwaved frozen entrees and carrots and olives and a nice but unexpectedly garlicky cheese. But why go out to eat? It's dark here before 6 pm, as well, which removes my usual woodland walks as an evening outing.

I'm in a flare, with various bits of my dermis screaming, "Itch, itch, itch," or at least presenting small swollen lumps of discomfort. Is that an excuse? (Or is staying in introducing too much temptation that i will go scratch scratch scratch?)

I was called upon to make a presentation today, a bit unexpected. Poor voice: i was trying to project to the large room, and i felt i was straining it a good bit. That and public speaking nerves. I feel i did well, so i'll pat myself on the back for that. One particular colleague engaged in a bit of eye-rolling around a particular response. This particular person seems to have an issue with our team or our team's work or something. And unfortunately, he's pretty highly placed in the organization.

[Next morning]

Christine and i had a very enjoyable long conversation last night. The topic itself was not very enjoyable, starting from the violence of Friday night in Paris. Christine's favorite contemporary philosopher, Slavoj Žižek[1], had been part of a round table discussing the film Children of Men, and she had just finished marking up her transcription of the discussion for her blog. (I don't see it at http://ideaspeak.us/2015/11/ ... maybe it's going up in an undated section?) Ten years out and the discussion (and presumably the film) is remarkably pertinent, she notes. I never watched the film -- it looked depressing, and i don't need help in that direction -- but i might read the book.

[1] It took a number of attempts at a phonetic spelling before Bing figured out which "philosopher and social critic" my following jumble of letters was supposed to mean.
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Monday, November 9th, 2015 06:01 am
Once a very very long time ago Christine and i were in one of the early coffee stores in Raleigh, a place where you could buy flavored coffee. One was labeled as flavored with the exotic Southern Pecan.

Pecans are native plants to the south east -- perhaps more the Mississippi valley than the Atlantic coast, but they are far less exotic than say, English walnut. We giggle about that to this day.

Recently we were looking at houses in region around our families in North Carolina. "A rare brick ranch" began one description. We looked at each other and completed the sentence: "With an exotic Souther Pecan." I swear, there is nothing rare about brick ranches in the area. Many date back to the 50s through 70s, as this one did. Rare! Pfft!

Apparently, i'm not going to be able to look at a listing for a brick ranch without rolling my eyes thinking about that listing, for a while. (Can't find it any more - must have been fixed.)

--== ∞ ==--

My 7 am meeting was cancelled, and i found out before dashing around to make it. Yay!

--== ∞ ==--

Posting a full work day after writing. Oops!

Thinking about subtle shifts in mood, energy, and health )
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Friday, November 6th, 2015 07:12 am
My energy for writing is better in the morning than in the evening: thus the doodles posted as entries. I'm feeling a touch overwhelmed by some meeting correspondence i need to do. As clerk for the next meeting for business, i posted our agenda in advance (first time for our meeting, a new practice), and i've gotten several responses that i feel need a thoughtful response. On the other hand, i feel the expectations of the internet day and age are immediate response. Thus, I balk.

Other parts of our Meeting's "Purpose and Vitality Tune-up" mean i have invest a great deal of energy in deeply listening to those in our meeting and am trying to assimilate all the input.

I guess this is similar to what i am doing at work: listening to the needs of the product teams and trying to assimilate all the input into a consistent implementation rather than the hodge-podge that is the actuality of the requests.

So, maybe it makes sense that my own life seems unattended to and that my head is very very full.

--== ∞ ==--

Just was speaking with Christine and couldn't remember the term for the in-system evernote message (Work Chat). "I've sent you a tweekle." Tweekle? Turns out both Tweekle.com and Tweakle.com are registered domain names.

--== ∞ ==--

Edward is refusing to go out this morning. Apparently, it's too cold. 47 °F
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Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 07:05 am
I've restrung and otherwise mended some necklaces that were in my beading box. Last night i tried making compositions for two new blue necklaces for myself. I think i've a focal pattern for one and the other will probably have a rhythm and not a focal point.

I've been fighting off the cold that brought Christine low last week. I felt pretty low energy on Sunday with a hint of sore throat. My chest hasn't felt completely clear. Today i feel the congestion in my head. None of these symptoms are particularly strong, just enough to suggest that i am fighting off something.

A conference is going on that i'm attending: meanwhile, work i have been engaged on for months is finally getting critical attention from borderline panicked people. I felt like a failure yesterday after the meeting: maybe it's the cold. Anyhow, i'll miss lunch at the conference today in order to return home and attend yet another meeting. Tomorrow i will be stepping out to attend two other work meetings.

I stumbled upon this macro and found it suited my mood after a Monday meeting. ("Huh, 'I can has cheezburger' is still a thing!")
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Sunday, October 18th, 2015 09:00 am
I flea'd the cats. Edward is glaring at me.

I will NOT will NOT bid on the gravy boat that is currently at $25 free shipping in our wedding china pattern that goes for $170 at Replacements. I will NOT. No more dishes expansion until we move, whenever that is.

Christine lands in two hours.

I probably can't get everything i planned to do over the past few days done in the next hours.
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Sunday, October 18th, 2015 07:06 am
Christine's flight home takes off in minutes. Meanwhile, those with an academic and postmodern bent may be interested in reading her talk: http://ideaspeak.us/you-are-here/ .

I spent yesterday threading beads on a double strand of monofilament. There's a clever technique where one does that, and then one can take a strand of yarn (or beading thread or what have you) through the loop of the monofilament and slide the beads off on to the yarn. I've been thinking about selling some of the beads and thought this would be helpful, but I feel an odd despair looking at the box of beads. So many ideas and hopes and projects....

[Rummaging at Firemountain Beads because i am irrepressible and have an idea.]

Hrmph. I am going to see if i can fix one of Christine's broken necklaces in the box. I don't need to buy a focal bead. I can just fix it with what is there.
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Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 08:14 am
Not that it matters, but i think Lost Girl's plots and writing went completely down hill after she met The Wanderer for the second time. The dialogue during the finale was awful. I was thinking, since that concludes the episodes available on Netflix, that perhaps they were canceled and their heart wasn't in it -- but no, there's a season five.


My brother's visit on Thursday afternoon went pleasantly, although i lost him in Target too many times. Got exercise doing laps around the store though while he collected Halloween candy, clothes for the kids, costumes, toys, and clothes for himself to take back to Singapore.

Did i mention that we bought new porcelain dishes? In my periodic "three things to make things better" i have been frustrated with the silverware marks on the stoneware. It's clear that scrubbing with something like Bon Ami is the answer, but it is a very annoying answer. I switched to our very nice flatware and that didn't make a difference. I've been pondering how we have plenty of fine porcelain plates (compared to how often we would use them), but they have a metallic rim. I saw a set of porcelain dishes marked down to roughly $10 a place setting (which is incredibly cheap) in a pattern that was agreeable and splurged. It is a whiter white than our fine porcelain pattern but the greys on both match. In general it doesn't look completely mismatched.

Meeting issues on my mind. Meeting a friend at the Sunnyvale Farmer's market before spending some hours in a clerking meeting discussing the state of the meeting.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2015 07:40 am
The week was pretty disjointed. Ill Tuesday and Wednesday, i fought to work through the day Tuesday, and read novels much of Wednesday. Early morning presentation by the executives at the company on Thursday left me dissatisfied after ninety minutes of platitudes and biz speak. Friday, another early meeting.

--== ∞ ==--

Yesterday was the Harvest Festival. I did some sales in the morning at our jewelry table (where the Swarovski rivoli earrings i made several years ago have still not sold). At "full price" from rummage i bought a dated Samsonite bag that will be perfect as a work tote ($1). (Aha, a quick image search turns up one from eBay; tweaked image search for SAMSONITE "SILHOUETTE 4" Pink Tweed".) I also acquired an apparently never opened small cuisinart-like device ($4). I don't know if it can chop herbs as finely as i would like, but i'd been thinking about trying to find something similar.

I returned at the end of the day to help with the jewelry booth, but the woman running it clearly did not want help. So i wandered the rummage during the period of everything that fits in a paper grocery sack for $3. Miracle of miracles the Calphalon 12" pan was left. Regrettably it's from the nonstick line, not the basic commercial grade simply hard-anodized surface. Also in the bag, yarn.

I tried very hard not to fill the bag, but, so it goes.

The evening effort of dissembling the tables, old doors and saw horses made of plywood, has left me stiff this morning. Of course, everything, including a few minutes Friday night going up and down stairs as minimal exercise, leaves me stiff.

--== ∞ ==--

$399,000 Mobile home in Half Moon Bay. There's a parcel number - so maybe the land is included? (It's also a 55+ community, so we'd have to wait... but it's not that far away.)

Now wondering if Pacific coast trailer parks, free of tornados, become tsunami magnets.....
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Monday, September 21st, 2015 05:32 am
This was a weekend of intense research into what plants i am likely to find in the Panoche Hills. I am now prepared to write for a collecting permit. I also polished some gold flatware and got a good photo of the full four place setting set of china. I've started the packing of the pieces, trying to make cardboard structures to cushion the china. I have done very little otherwise.

I was silly and thought i'd look at all rare plants in a large region, cutting out the ones that needed too much rain or were adapted to serpentine soils. After much sifting and review of observations, i think i excluded all the plants that weren't near by my place of interest. So.... i could have started with a limit just around my place of interest.

I do look forward to getting down to the hills again. The white hills fascinate me with the rhythmic repetitive curves and the wonderful interplays of light. This weekend was a bit of a heatwave. Today's high for the town near the hills is 101 °F. I think i need to get back into shape before i can manage that. Soon it will cool and we'll drive down after work some evening, stay in a hotel off I-5, and i'll wake at first light to go drive into the hills. I've picked a few exploration spots - areas where the soil types change. It seems like that will maximize the likelihood of finding interesting plants. There are a number of rare plants that are still in "bloom" at this time of year. The blooms are not very showy, but they're doing their part for the ecosystem. Indeed, the amaranth family may look "weedy" but the seeds are surely a food source for critters.

I blew off some responsibilities this weekend, and was terribly sedentary. Must get some movement in if field work is going to be pleasant!
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Thursday, September 17th, 2015 06:05 am
Yesterday evening Christine and i had a long and involved discussion about cladograms and phylogeny. Cladograms are the visual representation of an analysis of DNA that reveals the relatedness of organisms. I'd bumped into something that she had a strong concern about in a conversation months ago, and yesterday there was a NSF announcement of grants for "GoLife" - the "Genealogy of Life." Christine knew that the cladograms she'd seen in arguments that "birds are dinosaurs" were missing meaningful information; i showed her a cladogram of the asteraceae family. It prints out on an over seven foot wide poster. She's right that generally that much detail gets abstracted away and a diagram that represents the topology of the results is what is presented.

Her point is that while some folks may understand that the diagrams are severely abstracted not everyone does. Also, she has a language point. "Birds are dinosaurs" is not the same as "Class aves is in the clade Ornithurae of the clade Dinosauria." There is a good reason the Latinate endings get shoved on the end when naming groups: the convention has a meaning.

--== ∞ ==--

Instead of just a long conversation for our evening, we then turned on the videos and watched two hours of entertainment. And i didn't pick up my knitting. And i had ice cream. So, yay for an intellectually engaging evening and points off for staying up too late, eating desert, and not exercising.

Another success was going through a stack of papers and purging it. Goodbye Yuletide cards and articles i wanted to follow up on and so on. I want to get to where i am able to have a healthy communication flow and not have things stack up. If i could set aside N minutes each day and get to where i can keep up with incoming and do some amount of back log care, i could imagine a steady state. But i have a hard time imagining that N minute a day discipline.

--== ∞ ==--

California news: wildfire evacuees, check. Jerry Brown & Republicans debating climate change, check. Tsunami warnings ... wait, what?
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Monday, September 14th, 2015 06:15 pm
So, i'm threatening to make curtains if Christine will investigate curtain hardware. We have two pairs of sliding glass doors. I love all the light but Christine isn't so fond. We've had highly annoying vertical blinds that have been disintegrating since we moved in. I wonder if she'd like the windows better if there were decent drapes. It's just straight seams, right?

IKEA has in a fabric botanical print with a purple-gold-green color scheme. It might be very close to some of the carpet squares we have. It is, at least, a similar scheme. I hope to get to IKEA today to get a sample of the fabric and some storage boxes for the china sets.

My morning tea water didn't really boil this morning. The electric kettle became cranky, so i put the tea pot on the stove. (It's a heavy ceramic designed to be used as a kettle as well.) That seemed to take forever. I don't feel well prepared for the day.

--==∞ LATER ∞==--
Template: Filling the Form

1. Work space
* Get through loose papers and stay caught up
* Digital workspace clutter
>> I am clearly taking on too many little administrative tasks. So many, "oh yes, i'll deal with that" moments as i go through email and mail. I need to let things pass by more often.

2. Car/transportation
* Happy with car
* I threaten to get back on the scooters to practice for taking caltrain.

3. Kitchen
* Continue to conquer clutter
* New dishes are a temptation due to all the flatware marks.

4. Living room
(Curtain discussion)

5. Bedroom
* In clearing off the top of my dresser, i noticed more things that could be donated or packed away.
* i'm developing more discipline around cleaning chores -- but room for improvement

6. Wardrobe
* Still pretty pleased
* Have tights to get together for winter
* two more slips?

7. Reading list or entertainment plans
* No video nights are happening more often
* See exercise habits

8. Exercise habits

9. Eating habits

10. Spiritual/intellectual maintenance
* I'm hoping to re-enliven my worship (but i do fear some of the depth is dulled by my antidepressants)
* Plenty of challenge coming up in the community
* I'm in an odd place with my mind with respect to work: i hope the workgroup mental block breaks soon.

Take the list or similar, and quickly dash off three small things in each area that can be done to improve your quality of being. Then set aside. Repeat the process some time later (a quarter? "ten week" period?) and then review the previous one. Tag taw@w & ftf
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 06:15 am
Within the last week, mornings were cool enough that I felt the need to start warming up the teapot before making tea in it. Now we have a heat wave and i wish i'd made tea the night before.

I've started watching The Newsroom with Christine, an Aaron Sorkin show. I've decided that Aaron Sorkin's next series should be The School Board: plenty of chance for human relationships and drama, plus plenty of opportunities for sermons on democracy. I like that about Sorkin's work. The Newsroom has two narrative threads about relationships that are approaching tedious. I do like how they've characterized the man the young woman will probably leave for the other guy: he's not bad or obviously abusive. Instead he's just a bit patronizing, certain he's doing important work, and missing chances to affirm her work.

We watched Titanic over the weekend and the aristocratic fiancé of the female romantic lead was just awful, over the top. Although i suppose the whole movie was over the top. Back to Sorkin, it is nice to see the guy to be left behind in a romanic triangle have "normal" behaviors held up for scrutiny, as opposed to obvious abusiveness.


I spent much of the weekend researching my Grandmámá's amazing life, starting with the lumber mill in Brazil at which she spent her first five years.

A friend of mine met Grandmámá recently and heard her share some of those early Brazil stories. Afterwards my friend noted how amazing was Grandmámá's life -- and how caught up in the imperial extraction machinery of the early 20th century was her life. And it really was. I suppose i can stretch that thread across and connect it to how she supported herself working for Ma Bell as an adult: from that imperialist extraction era to the communication era?


Much of the blues faded away and i have concluded that they were rooted in my endocrine system more than anything else. On Sunday i felt a clear sense that it is time to move forward with some things where i have been in a bit of a holding pattern due to elephants.

I explained the elephant metaphor in July 2014, but elephant care has been very heavy this summer. I'm not quite sure when it got as heavy to carry as it did. In February of this year Christine was still able to cope to a certain extent, but at some point in the spring -- she might point to when her tooth broke as the tipping point -- elephant issues became the overriding concern of the house.

It seems with the fading of summer and the arrival of cooler weather, i have a sense that i could breathe deeply again, no longer hold my breath. This heat wave, i have to remind myself, is not directly related to the issues of elephants, and i can still breathe deeply again.
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 06:17 am
Thursday, Christine wrote:

Our farewell to Mr. Montague was a precious, peaceful, painless, utterly trusting one around 10:30am (PT) this morning. ... His was an attentive, caring, fiercely protective, and noble soul. We are so grateful that we were able to provide him with this final gesture of our love and respect.

We drove up into the mountains to deliver him [to the potter who also does pet cremations], and then down to the sea for a few hours where we could hear the ocean purr and our salty tears fell amidst tide pools of memories; our cries were answered by sea birds on the wing who could miraculously lift our hearts onto the breeze, all of us together -- for a moment -- again.

Thank you all for your expressions of sympathy and condolences. They mean a great deal.

Friday we started talking about Edward. He's pretty much run wild the past handful of months as Christine hasn't had the heart to say "no" or ignore him when he asks to go out. I found a website about cat training (not all of which seemed appropriate for our situation), and we negotiated from there. We've started a practice of carrying him out to a bench in the little yard area near our unit, holding him and chatting with him, before we return in leaving him there. We are going to the same place to collect him. We've talked with the neighbors where he hangs out and asked them not to feed him. So that's been some distraction, especially while he's inside, trying to retrain us to let him out.
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Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 07:14 am
This morning i found in my Associate Clerk inbox a letter from the clerk of NCYM-FUM, the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends that aligns itself with the anti-universalist branch of the Society of Friends (Friend United Meeting). He writes that three meetings have been released from their membership in that Yearly Meeting. Two (Poplar Ridge and Holly Spring) because they were involved in funding the formation of a new yearly meeting and one (New Garden) because it holds membership in another yearly meeting.

Reading a March summary from Chuck Fager (http://quakertheology.org/Preview-QT-26-03-01-2015.pdf), my interpretation of the action of North Carolina Yearly Meeting-FUM is this:

* Poplar Ridge is almost indistinguishable from a Baptist Church;
* Polar Ridge's pastor wanted to reduce the theological diversity of NCYM-FUM by insisting that all Meetings be aligned with NCYM-FUM and no other Quaker bodies.
* New Garden is the meeting most targeted because it is in fellowship with the more liberal branches of Friends "New Garden Friends Meeting is an inclusive, welcoming Christian faith community. Our members and attenders represent a wide range of religious backgrounds and traditions. Grounded in more than 250 years of Quaker heritage, New Garden remains a vital Meeting for those who seek that of God in every person." [Code word inclusive means they welcome LGBTQ members.]
* Poplar Ridge's attempt to dominate the Yearly Meeting business by demanding unity in theological stance has been incredibly divisive.
* The Yearly Meeting executive body, witnessing that Poplar Ridge had finally crossed a line in beginning exploration of starting a new Yearly meeting, had grounds to release Poplar Ridge and its financial partner Holly Spring before the gathering of the whole where the dissent and tumult would be even more charged. Unfortunately, by applying this particular judgement of a line to the disruptive and demanding meetings, they needed to equally apply it to the more universalist meeting that maintained a membership in a second yearly meeting.

So, i read this as a trimming of two extremes from the Yearly Meeting.

Ah, here's Chuck's more up-to-date blog post: http://afriendlyletter.com/breaking-carolina-bombshell-three-nc-meetings-expelled-will-it-stand/

It seems my reading aligns with his.

I'll note that were i to move to North Carolina i *might* sojourn with a North Carolina Yearly Meeting
(Conservative) meeting, but i could not join one. I would not be interested in any meeting that was aligned with NCYM-FUM -- except with the possibility of the expelled New Garden Friends Meeting. I'd be more at home at a Meeting that was part of Piedmont Friends Fellowship and Yearly Meeting. I've happily joined Friends at the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting in the past.
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Monday, August 24th, 2015 05:11 pm
In more selling off the china news (I suppose this is tedious to read about, but it's a bit of an adventure for me):
Read more... )
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Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 07:26 am
Housing ponder for this morning: East Oakland, just really how much crime are we talking about? (It's remarkable how many houses for sale in the low budget end are available.) I'll note that we are looking for houses that won't require a dramatic change in our housing budget. Between the crazy upsurge in the past few years and our budget landlord, we are comparatively spoiled for housing costs.

This morning Mr M has left his corner to come join us on the bed. This is so remarkable after weeks of his hiding in nooks. He's been sitting on my chest purring away. Such a delightful gift. Meanwhile his spine and legs seem simply skeletal.

I signed onto skillshare yesterday for a free sketching tutorial (Digital Drawing Workout: The Art of Subtraction). It was a pleasant diversion. There are also food photography tutorials which seem likely to align with my china shoot needs. The system is offering three months for 99¢, so i went ahead for the trial. It's not my preferred mode for learning, but it may provide the inspiration needed to pull off the etsy sales photos. (I also think there seem to be plenty of similar tutorials on youtube; the difference is there is theoretically a learning community at skillshare.)

This morning i've a planning meeting for a visioning process for Meeting. I'm trying to get in the right mind frame for it: the reading i've been doing just doesn't fit. I suppose thinking about moving and the elephant issues have not helped. I'm preoccupied with how to find sustainability day to day: i've not been thinking about helping the Meeting find such sustainability.
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Friday, August 21st, 2015 12:43 pm
This morning i am imagining life in Concord, CA. Transit.511.org helps me estimate what the commute would be like on public transit: over two hours one way. It's mostly on BART, one of the area rail systems, and so it could be useful time for reading and writing. Wikitravel makes me laugh:
Concord is located 29 miles east of San Francisco, meaning that the commute through the Caldecott Tunnel and across the Bay Bridge can be done in approximately thirty minutes when traffic is light, and in less than a week when traffic is heavy.
Would a two hour ride be better than a one hour drive? (Especially when the one hour is so uncertain?) I imagine four hours of reading the interwebs and writing twice a week might be pleasant. (Admittedly this is with the rose filter on at maximum strength.)

The linens arrived for the china sets. This means this weekend can be spent in photographing pieces. I'm still trying to decide how many place settings for the dining set that includes the serving dish: six or four? I'm convinced the tea set should be for six. And, it's time to commit to the second attempted replacement tea pot.

Edward has coming home during the day, twice now Hurrah! His regular presence and comfort staying inside certainly reduces Christine's worry.
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 06:18 am

I took Friday off for Mental Health. We drove straight over the Santa Cruz mountains on tiny windy roads, myself at the wheel, no rush. Lunch in Pescadero, not at famous Duarte's (thirty minute wait) but at the Country Store restaurant up the street. Then to Bean Hollow State Beach where we meditated on the waves and i visited tide pools.

I've bid on two sets of gold flatware to go with the china. One set is won, and that will cover the tea set and the six settings without tea cups. Another set looks to be almost won at a sweet agreeable price. I've bought the matching linens. Soon the fashion photography will begin.

It looks like mis-matched china teasets are going for hundreds of dollars on etsy. Hopefully, the additional elements i'm adding will get the premium price i am hoping for.

I didn't attend Meeting but did some research on visioning process for Meeting as well as some discussions about elephant herding with Christine.

Work starts in fifteen minutes with conference calls for a standards group outside work.

Before we begin the home buying process in earnest here in California, i believe i will be asking my directory and manager whether i could keep my job if we moved to NC. This sort of timing issue would be gone then, and we wouldn't be buying on the Hayward fault (and probably within reach of sea level rise).
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Friday, August 7th, 2015 07:09 am
Wonderful evening with two rain showers, a few flashes of lightning, and distant rolls of thunder. The heady scent of summer rain: if i hadn't been back east and caught in downpours in Tampa, i would have found it even more magical.

Summer rain is so very very rare here, even when it's not a drought.

Reading the twitter hashtag on the GOP debate depressed me. Admittedly, my sense of cheer is at a distance due to some concerns that i am carrying.