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Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 07:34 am
A private premier of Christine's sister's film was held Monday night. She rented the Varsity in Chapel Hill and there was quite a crush of friends, associates, neighbors. Christine's brother & my parents as well. Their other sister isn't able to travel as easily and will see it at its public premier in Winston-Salem at the River Run Festival. My sister was returning from a work trip to England.

In general, folks really appreciated the film. A filmmaker mentor & friend said she nailed the memoir format; Christine & D's hairdresser confirmed that D succeeded in making the film about their family and not about Christine's transition. I think it does a lovely job of communicating that a difference like being transgendered can be accepted by bible based faith family members, and that it provides some help in being compassionate. (Left unanswered, given the initial filmed responses, what if a son had come out as gay in their family. The cognitive dissonance of Christine & i remaining together is expressed in a few comments.)

There was appreciation for our willingness to be vulnerable, and that awareness of vulnerability -- seeing yourself on the big screen with a hundred or so mostly strangers -- is bouncing around in both my & Christine's emotions. The next year will be festivals and some point the NC PBS station. I know there are some Texas festivals D's applied to.

--== ∞ ==--

Meanwhile, Christine's aunt died, the last member of her mother's generation. We drove up to the little country town for the graveside service yesterday. It was simple, which i appreciated but perhaps not Christine. The closing reading was of the rapture as described in Revelations. We were the city cousins, particularly with D's Fluevog high heels in pink and black, her grey tights with black flowers and birds, her fit-and-flare black dress, and her capelet with pink chenille embellished on the black net. (I'm forgetting what that textile work is called.)

--== ∞ ==--

I'm sick, although pine trees are entering into the pollen season.
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Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 11:44 am
Carrie seems terrified of towels. Unlike drought era California, we do have rain here and she has no choice but to get wet. Not sure how to solve this: manhandling her so that i can dry her doesn't seem likely to help. Must remember to have treats at hand. Maybe some treats while holding towels, etc.

Winteresque weather has returned. We're due some solid lows (22°F). The peony has emerged, and i think i need to keep it protected. It out grew the cover i had for it on the first day -- i need something else. Maybe a sheet or towel over an old tomato cage?

Christine gave me a game camera/camera trap for my birthday, and i think i have ruined it by leaving it in "aim" mode all day on the very first day. Eventually i need to call them for support. Not happy about the fuss.

This morning a near catastrophe occurred. My teapot's handle gave way: it is bamboo held on with wire hooks through the ceramic, one of which finally slipped through the loop. I had a heavy robe on, protecting me from a serious scald. I was able to have a controlled drop of the tea pot, right side up, on to the empty dog bed below, so there was still tea. The thought of that failure occurring at some other more vulnerable moment is daunting.

I can't remember if it was my Silver or Cadmium year resolution that was about habits, but i think that this year is going to be about habits again. I've dropped so many. Some drops may be just fine, but i think others need to come back.

Goals Check-In )
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Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 04:20 am
Is there a graphic novel of a team of superheroic ex-presidents swooping in to the White House to save the country? Reading that George W Bush has lectured the President on the importance of freedom of the press.... Eight years and one month and a week sure puts GWB's tenure in a new light.

"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated." -- President Donald Trump to governors

It's so hard for me to not find this a poorly written comi-drama. Would Pence have had the sister of a transgender woman perform at his inauguration? Yesterday we have singer Jackie Evancho’s sister Juliet winning an injunction against a stirred up school board so that she and two other students can continue going about their education without (additional) stigma -- three days after Trump drops the order that all schools behave in a similar way. The Evancho sisters want to meet with Trump to explain.

I suppose my brain sorts this into "entertainment" because it's a way to cope. Christine was devastated last week by the headlines. Me? I'm here wondering about the next twist in the storyline: will we hear about the chaperones the Evancho parents insist on being in the room, because what sane parent would allow their daughters near that man? Creating a depressingly crude tweet storm about the girls' attractiveness and peppered with slurs against transgender women? Or is it Pence and the evil manipulators invoking The Base? Tune in tomorrow morning when the headlines read.....

It's a distraction.

--== ∞ ==--

Christine's elephant herding skills are so much better than ... well, probably a year ago. Her capacity has expanded. But there are still stampedes. I wish i was able to show her how much "better" she is now. As for me, i felt very worn down, but i also have self care available to me.

Last night i stood on the front walk, quickly shifting out of my own sense of weariness to a sense of wonder as i listened to sounds in the woods. The crashing came closer and closer, the night lit by reflected lights on the overcast clouds - not pitch dark. I wondered if i would see deer or ... and then something dark scurried against the light of the gravel just six feet away and -- as i startled -- disappeared. What was it? It was where we saw the fox tracks in the snow, but i don't think the dark shape was long enough or large enough to be a fox.

I want a game camera.
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:01 am
Yay, Trump wasn't the big news this morning! Seems like something to celebrate.

I was depressed last week: no particular triggers. I'm hoping i'm pulling out of it to a place where i can be intentional and not slide back. I was pretty clear that i was not in a place where anything other than day to day needed to be my concern.

I did keep focus on gardening. Saturday was balmy and quite unseasonable: i kept looking at my gardening Gantt chart to see what else i could be about planting. Tomorrow is five weeks from the average last frost date. Saturday i planted potatoes, breadseed poppies, parsley and beets. The peas are breaking through the soil. Next fall i really want to make sure i get romaine lettuces and greens started early because the one lettuce i did get in is looking quite nice.

Saturday morning i took my mother to visit a camellia nursery: i meant just to buy the native holly that has caffeine, and i came home that that PLUS a glorious ornamental camellia hybrid in a pale gold color and Camellia sinensis -- TEA. She went home with a plant from Darjeeling and her own ornamental camellia. I need to figure out how to get my dad to forgive me. He's of the opinion mom buys plants but doesn't plant them. Maybe by cloning some of her existing camellias?
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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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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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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 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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Sunday, January 8th, 2017 07:53 am
I remember cold snaps growing up and i remember accumulation of winter precipitation growing up, but i sure don't recall both here in NC.

The two together, "snow" first, is a good thing! I know the little green plants out there are all encased in the inch plus of sleet and ice pellets with a decorative coating of snow on top. It's 8° F this morning, but the ground is, i'm sure, still above freezing. We didn't get much in the way of the ice glaze that weighs down trees and snaps them, so continuous power has made this all the more pleasant.

My memory growing up was that one woke the day after the snow to a drippy mess. This morning it is spectacular outside. Tomorrow morning should be the same.

We are "stuck" here, though. Road plowing is a good ways off, i suspect: it's not snow plowing, either. It's the inch of sleet pellets that those who have been out in their vehicles have packed to ice. We have decent tires on our Ranger pickup Liandra, but as we don't need to leave, i see no reason to test just how good the tires are.

The HVAC is running on electric heat, so i've just cranked the gas logs. Should have thought of that earlier.

Hot cocoa to come.

I haven't been feeding the birds. In California i realized just how much we were paying for bird seed, and when we quit (due to the apparent ease of predation), i resolved not to feed birds unless i could grow the food. That's one nice thing to say about the Autumn Olive: it's bird food. I'm looking at oil-seed sunflowers and millet for next year, as well as popcorn and peanuts. For now, i threw out the bug riddled rye grass seed, some old peanuts i roasted in the shell, and buckwheat seed. No one has descended to inspect the seed, but i've seen birds come around foraging in the woods. Maybe today.
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Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 06:44 am
The thermostat says it's 22°F outside, but when i stepped out, the dry air just registered as crisp. The stars were sharp in the sky. I looked up at the last quarter moon and thought how every dawn view of it over our home will remind me of arriving here in late May. I also reflected that 25 years ago, the moon was full, rising in the eastern window of the church, opposite the nave, when Christine and I were married. This home is our 25th anniversary celebration.

I had expected silence except for traffic sounds, but the owl seemed rather vocal this morning. And i heard the cat flap. After making tea i went out on the back porch to join Edward who seems to love the brisk weather. Poor thing, i think he must have spent all summer in dismay at the heat. The vet says that at 22 lbs he's about 3 lbs over weight, and i suppose that he, like i, can take the cold with the extra insulation we carry.

Yesterday evening Christine went out to see Rogue One with her sister. I didn't mean to, but i watched the three episode story arc that end season 9 of Doctor Who. The story arc was compelling, but i was procrastinating about communicating with people directly.

Still am.

News from yesterday is that my grandmother's husband had another TIA, mini-stroke. I'm angry, not sad, because i don't think he treats my grandmother right. )

So there's that venting off my chest.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 07:17 am
For some reason, it feels warmer outside today, even though the thermostat reads a bit warmer in the house. I suppose it's something to do with slight humidity levels. I'm on the deck, listening to the wind in the trees. We are promised a rain storm today, very welcome. I've a big pile of brush we cleared on Saturday that needs to be disposed of, which is by burning it here, out in the woods. I'm learning NOT to burn to ash but to stop at a char stage, and then use the charcoal/biochar in the garden. The ash is a fine amendment for our acid soil, but i can get lime for that.

My compost is in the red zone this morning, which is finally up in the pathogen and seed killing temperature. Huzzah. 

I need to make a new place for composting: the current location is too visible. I fantasize about creating a woven (wattle) screen around the area. It's not like i'm wanting for materials. The autumn olive branches are very flexible, and it would be nice to put them to use.

--== ∞ ==--

List of things i'm procrastinating over:
communication with extended family and friends
getting my to-do list back into order after a month of ignoring it
getting engaged with Meeting
photography
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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 10:31 am
Family gatherings were the most concerning thing about moving back home. We did NOT miss being at big bustling day-long gatherings. Nor did we miss the massive meals. Indeed, we don't like making big food productions on the holidays. I like having the time off to make some special things, but we don't eat them all at the same meal. Feasts make sense in the times of want, and also in the times of poor storage options. That's no longer the life Christine and I live.

We also don't eat most animals: we have some fish and shell fish we chose to eat with environmental awareness. Sitting with omnivores' platters of meat on the table is not appealing, particularly for Christine.

It seems we are negotiating this holiday with aplomb. We'll have 'brunch' for Christine's sister & husband here, and then desert over with my extended family at my parents'. It will have the quiet and space we're accustomed to on holidays. I'm very happy it's working out to be low drama and low stress. (Except for Christine immediately assuming any food i mention is intended for brunch.)

I might try baking cannoli this weekend. I don't think i can stand to fry up cannoli, but there are a number of recipes for baked pastry that might be a pleasant adventure. A filling of pumpkin and ricotta seems like a wonderful treat.

I hope for those of you observe to able to enjoy the coming American holiday as you wish.

--== ∞ ==--

I didn't go protest last night, i didn't even leave to accompany Christine to the concert where she volunteers. I was pretty sleepy well before she got home.

Today i have a list of calls to make to advocate for the Water Protectors in North Dakota. I'm also trying to round up tasks and to-dos, clean out in boxes, etc.
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Friday, November 18th, 2016 06:03 am
Yay, i have my laptop back: logic board replacement needed. Then I needed to restore from backup, which i had gotten just before the last failure to reboot.

Skimming the wildfire incident reports in North Carolina is a bit too much like California. Currently there are five incidents, each involving thousands of acres, including onw that is 13 thousand acres. Four of the incidents have hundreds of folks assigned to the incident. I don't know if som of those folks handle multiple incidents at the same time (firefighters couldn't but someone managing logistics could be assigned to multiple). We're to the east of the drought, but it looms as a reminder to do something about collecting rain water.

I'm running SETI@home again. I have mixed feelings about the energy usage, but a nostalgic wish to be involved -- i was running the project in 1999 apparently. There's also http://www.climateprediction.net/ running on the same platform. If you happen to be running on either & on a "team", let me know. I'm on the Sluggy Freelance team and i haven't read that comic for YEARS.

Hoping for a good work day, in particular that the product manager is in a less aggravated state.
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Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 06:39 am
My rhythms are all out. My laptop is gone to be fixed, so my morning laptop rhythm is all gone. Multiple instances of distressing news has distracted me and affected Christine. We have VERY different reaction patterns to traumas. Right now Christine is angry that college kids are being treated compassionately for an election trauma when she was rarely treated with any compassion. Since i was instilled with a culture of tough survivor behavior (Think black knight, "It's just a flesh wound.") i've had to learn self care, and so i can still get a great deal of vertigo in judging myself: am i being a lazy, work avoidant lump? Or is this reasonable self care? I'm still feeling guilty for taking time off work on Friday.

Christine's had to put up some shields, and her shields can be a little counterintuitive. That anger at others getting concessions is part of the shielding, and i accidentally knocked out that shield last night by creating a logical feedback loop in her thinking and self awareness.

My shields are different and what i most want to do is go bury myself in completing a gantt chart plan of next year's gardening and a resource map of available planting areas. I'm trying to decide what i think of various companion planting advice: do i believe the wikipedia assertion that marigolds should be separated from legumes? By how much?

Hmm https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/110135/Fagan_O'Halloran_Przybylski_Rentschler_2014.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
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Thursday, November 10th, 2016 08:03 am
My distant Swedish cousin wrote a few days before the election, sharing photos of her son and noting the All Soul's Day observation. I replied this morning

Thank you! [your son] has grown, and what a beautiful blue sky in the background. Is your weather behaving oddly? We have had an uncommon stretch of mild weather, and no rain since the hurricane hit. When it hit - oh my, there was much rain and the nearby creek was flooding the bridge to our neighbors' homes. We live on a gentle slope and a sheet of water was draining from the woods around our house across the entire yard.

We are still unpacking. Sometime this winter i will take the time to pull together the before and after photos of a great deal of our outside work. We have been clearing an area that had become very overgrown with non native plants, vines that warped trees. We started by having goats visit and eat much of the underbrush. We've since been clearing -- pulling up vines and cutting down trees.

I've planted onions that grow over the winter, and i am planning my garden for next year.

Our family here in the states spans the political spectrum. I'm not really sure how [the Florida family] voted. I know [my aunt's] husband often expresses right wing views to my father.

My immediate family-- Christine, my parents, my siblings and their spouses -- all voted for the Democratic Party candidate Clinton. My parents are concerned about the environment and climate change, concerned about justice for their Muslim grandchildren and for LGBTQ rights for myself and Christine. Yesterday I called my brother, my parents and reached out to my sister: we are all dismayed and grieving at the turn of events. [My brother] reported having to calm his sons who were very worried they could never come back to the US. My spouse, who is transgendered, is worried that she and I may need to escape the US if the radical right wing gets their way. One of my African American colleagues has shared that she and her family are all getting passports. There's a great deal of fear due to the extreme rhetoric of the past months.

I am leaning on my faith, consoled that we are close to our family and we can be together if the extremes of history repeat. I hope we have learned from history, and believe that more people are awake to justice for all.

I hope our country's chaos doesn't cause distressing ripple effects for you all. Do i recall correctly that you work for Ikea? I imagine seeing such a large market vote in protectionist government causes practical concerns.

May Love triumph, and with love to you and the extended family in Sweden,

[me]


I'm not quite sure how to articulate i really mean by leaning on my faith. It's a more existential faith i'm leaning on -- not a faith that somehow i will be protected. No, i am very aware of my privilege. Because i'm white, able bodied, educated, cisgendered, and don't present in a way that shouts Queer i have some insulation: it's hard for me to know if i am having faith in my privilege as protection.

Tonight Christine's sister's film has a short that is being screened at a festival event in Wilmington -- her sister received a grant from the festival last year. Color correction and audio balancing takes time. The film's depiction of coming together despite difference seems all the more meaningful today.
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 08:40 am
Observing the wheel of the year has not been very active on my part. Last night i didn't feel like bestirring myself from the house, and did not drive up to see the pumpkins on the Old Bynum Bridge. Instead we watched the new Ghostbusters. I found it amusing but a little weak: i have a suspicion that there was interesting narrative left on the cutting room floor in order to keep special effects. The multitude of hat-tips to the original were delightful.

I've ordered two books about the area, one about trying to drive a small economy from the person who started the biodiesel plant and another about someone who apparently was "back to the land" in the 70s. I feel a little guilty ordering books as i have not read the book i bought at the beginning of the month: The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature. Instead i do things like read the 1937 soil report for the county -- which was interesting in its snapshot of the county's way of being. (I ought to find the county soil reports for where my Dad grew up.)

I'm hoping i haven't killed the mother plant of candystripe moss phlox. I recently moved it from its container planting (since i hadn't decided where it should go) to a spot where we had filled in one of the many annoying holes with (clean) kitty litter clay. I then put the phlox on top. I think the issue is one of watering -- the weather has been very dry since the hurricane. My one consolation is actually 13: the number of rooted plants I have from the mother plant.

In depressing work news, the competent security guy has left the company (well, last day is tomorrow), which means we're left with the tedious fellow who has failed to impress me with any sort of context or systems awareness. Christine helped me characterize the remaining fellow: he's a bureaucrat.
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Monday, October 31st, 2016 08:59 am
I read the Weather Underground blog entry this weekend about how warm this October has been and reflect on my observations: lilac budding, four flowers blooming on an azalea, a violet. Looking at the trees that are almost bare (elms, tulip poplar) i assume they are driven by day length. The others must be thinking to photosynthesize while the process is still good.

On my drive to Meeting on Sunday, i passed critters that have been hit by cars. It seems there are more now than in the summer, although it may be i became very sensitized a few months ago when i hit a squirrel. I now drive with as much concern for little darting critters as i can.

I also passed a pretentious neighborhood entry way (likely filled with McMansions) where the cherry trees were in full bloom. Poor trees. I am appreciating not having to heat and having this extended period of idyllic weather, but we haven't had rain since Hurricane Matthew and really, cold is not a bad thing. I saw even more violets blooming as i worked in the septic field Sunday afternoon. I suppose i should find a candied violet recipe.

As a log of the weekend:

* Friday night raked the glade, dinner out with Christine's sister at The Mod.

* Saturday morning, appreciated being together given the rest of the schedule. Christine cooked part of a lovely breakfast while i created rather disappointing corn flour+rice flour biscuits. Christine had an afternoon gig; i burned brush (and got rather exhausted). I do wonder about the exhaustion and pounding heart i experience when doing a good deal of bending over. I would think that bending over would be easier on the heart? In the late afternoon i finished watching Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell . I'd gotten a bit creeped out by Thistledown's stalking of Arabella; i'm glad i returned to finish the series. Christine was home in time for a light dinner: we listened to the world series as i faded to sleep.

* Sunday morning i was to be at the meeting house at 9:30 for a lecture about the local Revolutionary war battle. It turned out to also involve a great deal of historical context, which was very interesting. Also, the battle was between neighbors, essentially -- not many British soldiers brought over for the war itself, but men born in the colony. I reflected on the neighbor vs neighbor quality of the revolutionary war, the civil war, and the local & current political rhetoric. I'm not sure what insight i gleaned from the reflection. Meeting for Worship had little waiting worship, and the person who visited to speak to us was from Durham Monthly Meeting -- someone who has a passion for addressing the injustices in our legal system. Afterwards we all went to the site of the Battle of L's Mill and had a lovely walk to the existing markers, listening to a recap of the morning's lesson.

I do want to know where the road from Hillsborough to L's Mill traversed. (And i keep getting distracted to see if i can find hints online: i've found groups who work on this sort of thing.)

Christine was in a bit of a dither when i got home as she prepared for an afternoon gig. I headed out and walked around the familiar areas of our lot, then decided i's work out on the septic field area "tidying." I now have a large pile of stuff to burn and have added to the chipper piles. I spent late afternoon on the screened porch reading until dark. I managed to bestir myself and get the front light on just as Christine returned.

We had some disappointments trying to use Sling TV to watch the World Series. Apparently, we need to get an attic antenna if we want to receive channels over the air beyond a very unpredictable PBS. Instead we watched a Kenneth Branagh episode of Wallander.

I didn't sleep well, and so this morning has not been very focused.

Hoping the week turns out well.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 07:47 am
This morning i stepped out into crisp air. CRISP! I think i was traumatized by the miserable summer. Everyone says it was specially bad, not normal, but i am not going to get my hopes up. However, crisp! Hurrah.

The tulip poplars are dappled yellow and brown, dropping leaves like mad. The leaves are loud as they come down through branches, causing me to constantly look for the critter crashing through the woods. I'm raking a little bit up just because the tree seems to be planning to loose all its leaves this week.

I don't think it's going to be a pretty autumn at all. The elms seem to have just given up on having leaves. Only the dogwoods seem to be doing any color. Still, many trees are still green, so maybe the color will come soon -- Last year the first frost was Oct 19th; average date is Oct 30th.

The crisp air at 6 am silenced most of the insects, and, as it is Saturday, vehicular noise was absent as well. There was some yipping critter in the distance: dog or fox or coyote? And i heard a rooster for the first time. It was still night, no noticeable hint of dawn. The quarter-cycle moon was still incredibly bright: i look forward to having trails through the woods to walk in the moonlight. The stars - wow, even with the moonlight there seemed more than i would see in the light pollution of the bay area.

Today i'll burn more brush: we need to line the chipper up soon. This evening we will go into Raleigh for a concert by the Raleigh symphony. We'll see how spoiled i have become by the Philadelphia and San Francisco performances: i don't think my ear is trained enough yet to notice. Tomorrow is a wildflower walk: Christine needs the new camera for an interview, so i'll be testing to see if the old one actually works after its wacky behavior in Death Valley.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, October 7th, 2016 06:43 am
TL; DR: yes, big bad hurricane. No, not likely to locally do more than cause a power outage of unknown duration, cause flooding in low areas (not a problem for us), bring a tree crashing into the house or vehicle (but we'd have a place to stay during repairs). Nothing like needing to be prepared for the Hayward fault to rip. So why am i so preoccupied with preparedness??!! OY.

--== ∞ ==-- )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 07:21 am
I now own an excellent SAD lamp, with many thinks to the Sweethome review. I hope it is a good boost now that day lengths are short. I probably did not need it today, but we'll see if i get outside before i need to head to Meeting.

Yesterday was tainted with the annoyance of our real estate agent. She had forgotten to submit the inspection costs as part of the settlement. After sending email that they weren't there, back in May, and not getting a response, i figured she was doing real estate as a hobby and couldn't be bothered - that she'd take it out of her fee. But no, she's just going to take the amount that she had gotten the seller to cover (septic pumping) out of her fee.

For Christine, who became terribly frustrated with the communications around the settlement, and who dealt with the next door plumber who created a small black water flood in the bathroom during the closing, this has triggered a reprise of the distress and frustration -- and grief -- of that time. (I think she wanted something beautifully ceremonious.) I was irritated, but that would have passed quickly except for Christine's lingering triggered state. Later in the day we went out to cut down trees and found the case of the chainsaw terribly difficult to loosen (in order to tighten the chain). I noted we needed the "scrinch" -- the screwdriver-wrench tool mentioned in the Stihl training video. Christine called the nearby hardware store and found that the service and parts desk was closed. I figured it wouldn't hurt to drive up there. It turns out the service and parts desk was open, and they rolled their eyes when Christine reported the communication. I went off to familiarize myself with a second hardware store, while Christine got a chain-tightening tutorial and the "scrinch." She also got an apology from the store manager.

We both agree: if the real estate agent just went, "Oops, this should have been handled differently but wasn't. My bad, nonetheless can you help get this paid," we'd be far less irritated and triggered. On the other hand, i suppose business is a game of chicken at times where you hold out to see if the other side is going to cave first.

Some of the best customer service i've received has been at hardware stores, back to the Edenton, NC hardware store that took a look at the futon piece i needed, machined me a match right there, and charged me a nickel.