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Saturday, July 4th, 2015 07:29 am
AWOL again (where i'm the one who grants leave).

I disappeared into reading another stack of space opera books for a couple of days. I know i'm escaping, i know what i am escaping: i suppose this is a sign i should try and find a therapist to talk to. The goal would be the coaching that i seem to not be managing on my own right now.

On the other hand, i wonder if i can motivate myself with the 120-90 minute a week budget that therapy would take (Transit time, included). meta talking to myself )

--==∞==--

We watched the movie Mr Turner last night. There's a review at IMDB that faults the movie for being "a series of largely disjointed vignettes." It's true it misses a driving narrative. When is life truly a driving narrative? We are taught to value the narrative, to see the pattern of the narrative among the random, but as we live our life the threads are so interwoven with other stories, there is no actual narrative. Narrative is the pattern we find as we sift all that is for what to attend to.

The movie's disjointed moments of low and high portray the common, eccentric, and sublime without guiding the viewer: i am reminded of the effect of some of Turner's paintings. They were so abstracted, yet intended a narrative (with titles such as "The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838 " and "Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhon coming on"). In this movie, too, we have abstracted moments from the last half of Turner's life intended to provide the narrative.

It's available streaming on Amazon.
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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 06:23 am
A pleasant visit with my brother last night, despite his late arrival. (I'm not proud that i'm keeping score: let it go.) There was a small circus around the inflatable mattress. In the wait for his arrival i inflated it.... and then found it deflated. Clearly i hadn't sealed the two ports. So, again i inflate, again it deflates. Knowing it is a definition of insanity, i inflated it again as my brother was ready for bed. Voila! The hole was right near where his head was, and we were able to seal it up.

N thought MacGyver would disapprove of my blue duck-brand duct tape, but i think it is perfectly acceptable.

He was off, apparently, only after some few hours of sleep to work jet-lagged in a 24 hour taqueria near the airport.

He advised me to get on the phone and fuss at United over their "inability" to assign me seats on my flight from Tampa to SFO via Newark. It was a thirty minute call just to find out that, indeed, they are "unable" to assign me seats due to the same flight number on both sides of the connection despite the change of planes. Presumably, if i do nothing, i will show up at the airport, and will be waiting for the folks who are trying to upgrade their seats to move to better ones. I'm trying to decide which will be more distressing. Minimally an hour hassling airline staff by phone when i could be doing something at home, or being pissed off at the airport when i would just be waiting around at the airport. I expect the airline to be required to get me to SFO somehow. ... and Hipmunk shows that there will still be flight choices from United from Tampa to SFO and from Newark to SFO. So, worst case they put me on a later flight. I'm still indignant that i have this complication.

I'm wondering if i get a first class upgrade out of this, wondering if being the pleasant but distressed passenger ends up being rewarded over the jerk. Or if it's the Yes-I-AM-entitled-I-paid-for-a-ticket behavior that wins.
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Friday, June 12th, 2015 07:28 am
I'm going to get to attend the American Librarian Association meeting in San Francisco at the end of the month. I'll go up with a friend and colleague on Friday and knock around, and then Saturday i have a schedule of meetings and events about privacy to attend.

I'm hoping it will be fun and not too overwhelming.

We finally have warm days. Monday was downright HOT, and it seemed unfair to be thrown into the furnace after so many mild days. Today is simply going to be pleasantly warm, but the power company is calling for a saving day where we should reduce our power. We did have a drizzly day on Wednesday: so delightful, so needed. Tonight i hope to sit on the deck and enjoy a balmy evening into the night.

We watched the documentary series The Century of the Self over the past few weeks. It shows how propaganda, public relations, and advertising developed over the century. Intentionally, Americans were encouraged to focus on their desires and fears over the century, and one can easily see so much of what is problematic - the waste, the over-consumption, the lack of concern for others and lack of civic-mindedness - as a result. We're also watching the Roosevelt documentary, and it does provide a sense of the difference, the before. Corporate greed was well entrenched, but the progressive spirit of both Teddy Roosevelt and FDR was well connected to the progressivism of the culture. I can't imagine what the Tea Party would brand Teddy Roosevelt. (I'll admit a certain ... squeamishness around his attitude toward the constitution.)

I'm left with questions of how well can i guard myself against the self satisfaction culture.

Elephants are coming and going. Some days feel like a stampede and then some days it seems they are gone. My record-keeping failed in the past weeks when it seemed my brain went on a long vacation to Liad as i read book after book, so it's hard for me to verify my perceptions.
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Thursday, June 4th, 2015 06:45 am
I've been lost in the Liaden Universe's Agent of Change series since Monday afternoon. I bought Mouse And Dragon and when that was done i tore through four of the five stories following. I believe i read these first when i spent a trance like week at a conference in Vancouver over the summer solstice weekend. The daylight and the books had me reading late into the twilit night. The books are threads of narratives woven together and i seem to have remembered some thread better than others. I think i may not have read Conflict of Honors so much of the subsequent narrative of those characters was ignored.

So, just reading and fuzzily going about work for the past 60 hours. (I'll note that Tuesday had an early all staff presentation and Wednesday an extremely early meeting which has also scrambled my schedule.)

So, trying to reenter after the clerking retreat.... and i'm hoping what i learned at the clerking retreat hasn't been too subsumed by the practices of Liaden melant'i.
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Friday, May 15th, 2015 06:28 am
Why is it when i read these folks want a common sense approach, i think it means "Not in my back yard and don't spend any of my tax dollars."

I've read the internet this morning, and Christine seems to be resting quite well. I'm looking at my ticklers for this mid month point and find a reminder to re-read this contrast of the harm of too much praise and the need for validation and encouragement.

With the OVER HALF INCH of rain yesterday, perhaps it is the clean air. I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Maybe it was actually walking before bed. I'm ready for a good Friday and good weekend.
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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 07:03 am
Wow.

I've been using the Moodscope tool for six months or so now. It seems a trivial tool and i feel like i'm answering the questions the same way... yet the score moves. I'd been in a mood decline over the past few days (where decline means going to the all time average score level: my scores before the job change seem to average below 50% while i now seem to average at just under 60%*). Today i've perked up. And i think that's because yesterday, not only did i do the filling the form exercise, but i also looked back at my serenitree plans for my 47th year. [Accidental post at this point in writing.] I reconnected with that visioning and dreaming exercise, and found it more clear as to what i am trying to do.

And, i did get my tiny "condition of enoughness" goals done. Beyond that, while i didn't get in a walk, i did get a load of laundry and i knitted while watching our evening diversion. Plus, Christine and i had a long lovely chat on the deck, a habit we've been developing that i adore. (Although there was a six month period where we would have some walks when i came home that were twice rewarding.)

It's nice to have a data measure that enforced my impression that i was swinging up yesterday evening. Looking back over the past few months and seeing i had been progressing in going though stuff and that there were household care issues that had actually been improved.

If Moodscope allowed a csv export of the raw scores, i could actually calculate the averages before and after certain dates. But no. If paying for it allowed data export, i'd be interested.
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Sunday, May 10th, 2015 08:55 am
Rough morning for us.

I woke to very bad dream about my parents. It wasn't too early to get up, so i tried calling Mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day. No answer. I have a slight sense of disturbance that lingers, that will be better once i hear their voices.

I then messed about in the kitchen, preparing a vegetarian dinner loaf. I tried using the grinder on the nuts: too small an amount to make it through the grinder. When the chickpeas were done, i pushed them through, pushing out the pecans: in general, too much fuss for the effort. I think i'll just use the potato masher in the future. The (very very old, back of cabinet) quinoa cooked up with much more volume than expected. I thought i was being clever by steaming the loaf: i was not.

It tastes pretty good, at least, but even after having been in the oven in a pie plate for 25 min, it has the texture of refried beans. I suppose it will get me through the week.

Christine is having her own bumps.

Yesterday I took a friend for an MRI: that ran over long, as it hadn't started by the time i came to pick her up. I then saw my friend DP, who has moved to Seattle as it is less expensive there. She is in town to visit her mother who has dementia. She's coping with depression since her move away, and coping with her mother's decline.

I'm clerking both worship & meeting for business today. I feel tired.
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Friday, May 8th, 2015 06:18 am
Another 7:30 staff briefing, but this one i can attend in pajamas via webex.

Yesterday was a lovely workday. I focused, then took a break, and then focused again. It was a pleasant intensity, a flow state.

We had showers, too, lovely rain. Not enough to accumulate at the bottom of a bucket, but i suspect some plants were happy for the damp. This morning dawns bright and clear.

I knooked -- knitting with a hook -- in the evening. This project is essentially a practice project with lace-weight, a skein bought for me as a gift. I didn't take the time to run it up in a ball, and i'm glad i didn't, because there are bunches of loose ends that i see now. I don't know how the yarn broke, or was cut, or... I ponder whether the gift was purchased from a remainder table. Meanwhile, my knitting is uneven and before i start doing lace patterns with lace-weight i wanted to get a rhythm. I'm beginning to have that, learning to knit much more loosely than i naturally want to so that i can manage to insert the hook on the next row.

It wasn't on the "to do" list, but it was a doing and not merely staring at a screen (although i've discovered that Lost Girl has two full seasons i haven't watched).

Off to try and set some more goals.
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Thursday, May 7th, 2015 11:49 am
Yesterday we needed to be in the office at 7:30 for a "Town Hall" meeting for the technology division. Not really a "Town Hall" meeting, as "Town Hall" implies questions from the community. I'm not sure what warranted an all-staff meeting, but whatever. We were there. I brought cream cheese, French bread, orange juice, and strawberries. No one indulged during the presentation but myself. Ah well. Someone did thank me afterwards, as they indulged mid-morning.

I was home early, a bit out of sorts because i hadn't gone out for lunch. I ended up distracting myself with SUV shopping. At the moment, i believe the Subaru Forester to be the most efficient high-clearance vehicle that i'd be interested in. On the other hand, it only tows a couple thousand pounds and Tumbleweed Tiny Home RVs need 3/4 to 1 ton trucks with tens of thousands of pounds towing capacity. (Looking at floor plans and the "barn raising" options distracted me this morning.)

I complained about my Very Expensive (to me) Tunisian crochet hooks kit last week, i believe. I took a pencil sharpener to the smallest one last night, barely trimming it. It's made a huge difference, and i happily completed a couple of rows.

Today is a gloriously empty schedule work day. I probably need to set my goals pretty clearly for the day. As far as goal setting goes, i'm not thrilled: i am still having a challenge with after work non-productivity and early morning distractibility. The time to deal with elephants also impacts my goal setting:
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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 01:16 pm
Other than the hummingbird....

I returned from Lake County, California in love. I didn't see much of the county, but it felt mountainous and rural, with a pleasant mix of agriculture and wild spaces. It was not terribly far away, and it didn't feel like it was remote and cut off. Zillow and some math revealed that for the same amount as the rent we pay now, i could get a tiny rented room near the office, commute four times a week, and we could pay the mortgage on over an acre with a decent small house. (Basically, i spent one evening and the next morning looking at economic statistics, zillow, zoning regulations, etc.)

Next step: a trip with Christine there.

The training over the weekend was how to scientifically collect plants to be used as specimens for two projects. I've a stack of photos to go through and three different lupines in the fridge. I can't identify to what species another patch of lupines belong from the photo -- that was another evening gone. I was a bit intimidated about the scientific collection with the crowd: i think i need quiet to record data etc.

The other stretch of California i've recently fallen in love with, the Panoche Hills, is in the opposite direction from Lake County's creeks and lakes: it's a patch of desert and near-desert landscape. That's where i'm planning on doing my collecting. I'm very much looking forward to it. Paperwork comes first: i need a permit from the BLM.

I am ... moody ... in an odd way. Part of it is that the land and plant thoughts are not what i am supposed to be doing. What i am supposed to be doing is pleasant enough, but, oh, it is not where my passion is. So there's guilt for being distracted, a bit of blues over whether i would ever be able to devote all my energy to these passions, a sense of procrastination paralysis (again).

Meanwhile, i bought very nice crochet tools (hooks with highly engineered cable attachments, and a nice hard plastic cable) and have found the crochet hook knitting to be harder with the stiff cable instead of the fiber cords. I'm thinking if i sand down the tip of the hook to a point, it may be easier to lift the lace-weight yarn off the cord.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 06:46 am
on retreat.

Much of the week had the sense of procrastionation-paralysis. I didn't want to spend time sorting out my to do lists because that seemed just like more procrastination, but when i finally did, my mind cleared and what i needed to focus on became obvious. I can hope it was the action of working on the list, but i have a suspicion it was something before that.... It may have been talking about how i was feeling with Christine and her assistance in getting me through a few steps (laundry and a walk).

At work i was poking at learning some things like Linked Data concepts. Friday morning my Boss had questions for me and, after answering, i mentioned i would take off work early in the afternoon to prepare for this trip. "Take the whole day as a comp day" he said, which was wonderfully sweet. Admittedly, i showed up for the team meeting, but i did appreciate taking the time to get things done, including some extra things.

The retreat theme is Practice and Play, and last night we played games. We were terribly few, and there were a few physically challenged folks. It took the coordinator a moment to really surrender her plans, but she eventually did. Presumably, many more folks will show up this morning.

I'm stopping now to make words with marker on construction paper for a mind-map. I'm hoping for some fun as people get tangled in yarn linking the words together. I HOPE the tape holds.

I hope your weekeends go well!
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Monday, April 13th, 2015 07:18 am
Yesterday i clerked my second Meeting for Business and, due to last minute scheduling shifts, i also attended our Worship and Ministry committee. I am trying to acknowledge my cranky feelings without dwelling too much in them: the clerk of the Worship and Ministry committee can't seem to manage the agenda task. I was happy the Clerk of Meeting could join us as he too could note that, yes, our committee was given a charge back in January or February and it wasn't just i as nag.

The next layer of grumpy was the couple persons who, having been given opportunity over MONTHS to contribute to retreat planning and have say, became all brainstormy and enthused about new ideas. I'm sorry but it's a week away and where were you when we had our planning calls and the months of discussions.

Similarly, one person who had had a chance to edit the State of the Meeting report via email, then in the early Worship and Ministry meeting, waited to have ideas during the Meeting for Business where editing as we go is not best practice for our community.

Amazingly, someone i respect praised my patience after meeting. I wonder about whether i would have this composure if i was still managing at work: I have so much feedback about how harsh i was as a manager. I know the harshness was the effect of years of stress, nonetheless it's hard not to frame it as failure. I remind myself that i held things together over the years of insane management, and if i was intimidating and oppressive, the team was being protected from stuff that is no longer going on.

Meeting for Business was very short, and a friend remarked on the shortness when i clerk. I think i have just been fortunate to have non-issues in the past two business meetings: surely issues will come forward as time moves on and i move to the role of Clerk.

--==∞==--

Between committee meeting and Meeting for Business, my worship led me to reflect on what's next for Christine and i (settling here or not, my work life), and i feel led to be as open as i possibly can be to alternatives to the expected. I suppose i was somewhat affected by Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and the vision of pursuing something that made my heart leap. The delight of thinking about forestry management on Friday, leads me to ask how can Christine and i find roles as very middle-aged sedentary persons that allow us to get involved with biodiversity in any of a number of ways?

I reflected back to a series of visions i had over ten years ago. The Divine gave me a huge seed (perhaps more a rhizome or corm) and told me that this was my happiness to plant in my garden. I remember the hesitation and fear i had: what if it ran rampant and took over everything? I distrusted, i was concerned about my control, my decisions and choices. And i overcame that fear and planted it. Over the years i've been aware that i have let that garden get trampled and apparently destroyed, but as soon as i take care, the happiness plant (some sort of lily) sprouts up green again. It persists and now cannot be eradicated.

Providence has given me glimpses of possibilities, of happinesses in work and life, and i know i need to be open to stepping out into the unknown. I think i'm slowly emerging from the deep rut, and so i will have a chance of seeing myself other possibilities. How to get there.....
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Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 06:59 am
Last night we watched the documentary on James Cameron's expedition to the bottom of Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench. There were critters and, while the camera gazed lovingly at them for moments, the narrative quickly skipped over any details. The focus was on the expedition itself, which was interesting from an engineering project management point of view and from a human interest point of view. Project management: really? You schedule the ship to arrive before the submersible is ready? Oh to have the edited footage that the scientists analyzed for critters and just gaze at the depths for an hour or so!

So.

Does the website from National Geographic link to scientific papers about the trip? No. Are there papers? Yes. I read the paper about the community patterns last night. I found the microbial mats paper this morning. There were also big -- giant! -- amoeba called xenophyophores - i hope to find a paper on them.

I delight in Google Image search as an assist when reading that scientists prior to the trip "identified several distinctive features that characterize hadal communities including a) dominance of certain groups like the actinians, polychaetes, isopods, amphipods, echiurids, and holothurians, b) lower representation of non-holothurian echinoderms, c) insignificance or lack of fish and decapod crustaceans and d) mass-occurrence of holothurians at maximal trench depths."

I'm realizing that these days i read fewer books but delight in reading various science papers as topics catch my interest. Instead of book lists, i now use Zotero to collect the citations for both the professional documents and my diversionary reading. A browser plug in, Lazy Scholar, helps me find full text on occasion, although this morning i note that it can't find the full text of the paper presented in full on the Science Direct website. I will blame Elsevier (which always produces a satisfying sense of self righteousness).

Off i go to day two of the internet identity workshop, hoping to return this evening not feeling exhausted by the pressure of so many people talking and presenting myself as a competent being. I am tired of feeling so tired, which does seem a depression symptom.

Cameron, James. Deepsea Challenge. National Geographic Entertainment, 2014.

Gallo, Natalya D., James Cameron, Kevin Hardy, Patricia Fryer, Douglas H. Bartlett, and Lisa A. Levin. “Submersible- and Lander-Observed Community Patterns in the Mariana and New Britain Trenches: Influence of Productivity and Depth on Epibenthic and Scavenging Communities.” Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 99 (May 2015): 119–33. doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2014.12.012.

Munroe, Munroe. Lakes and Oceans. Webcomic, April 9, 2012. http://xkcd.com/1040/large/.

Nunoura, Takuro, Yoshihiro Takaki, Miho Hirai, Shigeru Shimamura, Akiko Makabe, Osamu Koide, Tohru Kikuchi, et al. “Hadal Biosphere: Insight into the Microbial Ecosystem in the Deepest Ocean on Earth.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 11 (March 17, 2015): E1230–36. doi:10.1073/pnas.1421816112.
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Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 06:15 am
I wonder what Edward Cat thought when he looked out the door this morning and saw rain (and did not leave the house). He's certainly older than the drought, but he's used to his ritual of leaving in the morning. I think he's sulking at the foot of the bed.

I delighted in hearing the rain in the wee hours. I'll go out in a bit and collect the rain water from a couple buckets. I imagine a new home frequently, and often design a rain collection strategy (no matter where i imagine the home).

I've been imagining living in a tiny house (not that we live in a large space now). There's the stuff question, which gets easier as i carve away things i might do and digital delivery of media makes it imaginable to reduce a library. I still can't imagine living without one floor to ceiling bookshelf (we currently have six, and that doesn't count the partial shelving, desk tops, counter tops, and floor space occupied with books). I would keep art books and poetry, i think, if i were to prune ruthlessly. The home i imagine though (putting the stuff question aside) would have a large outdoor living room. I imagine a space that could be shielded with outdoor awnings or clear plastic roofing as the season required. I think i could enjoy having people over in an outside space: i find i want every inch of interior space tuned to private life.

This outdoor living room has been easy to imagine in a drought here in a very temperate area of California. Even then, i am aware that we've sat on the deck in the evening light and retreated indoors, too cool for comfort.

--==∞==--

I've talked with Christine about a strategy for dealing with aspects of our elephant issues (ours in so much as the elephants affect me) and that seems to have helped me feel less distress.
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Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 07:04 am
Current pondering various financial strategies for housing. We don't have a pressure on us, but i wonder about paying rent vs paying (equity+interest)+taxes+insurance. If the later is better, switching sooner is better. Yet water shortage and uncertainty whether we could stay here without my current job.... So, ponder. We've set a moratorium on decision making so that we can spend the time pondering, dreaming, imagining with intention.

Becoming an orchardist with peaches and various fruits and nuts in coastal Carolina areas passes through my mind as wishful thinking.

--==∞==--

I shared with Christine my impression that i am slower and not getting as much done as i used to. (Not talking about my employed activity here.) Could it be that in the years of dealing with trauma and angst, with depression, the effort crowded everything else and made it seem to me like i was interacting more? (The "done" as i think of it is reading the morning news and folks' journals and my email as well as my journaling and introspection.) Perhaps i am doing more unrecorded introspection? I can't help but believe that this sense of less done and time evaporating is an illusion (although time is pretty illusory), and that my capacity is more now.

My goals for "Conditions of Enoughness" were met yesterday, and i'm trying to not write, "The goals were embarrassingly meager and i can't imagine not meeting them, but i haven't met goals for so long." Belittling and beating myself up isn't going to help. I met the goals! Yay!
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Sunday, March 29th, 2015 09:30 am
I am much improved without dramatically lingering coughing, which points to the wisdom of taking my daily steroid dose for my lungs.

One part of me harumphs, i guess because that part of me wants to be tough and not need the stuff.

But really, HUZZAH, because i don't need to go through six weeks of lingering hacking and feeling subnormal.

Yay for rest, yay for my lower stress work situation.

I spent much time doing nothing yesterday. Some of the nothing was with my eyes closed, but a pleasant amount of it was with my ears very open listening to the sounds i could hear from our deck. There's a sound that i have heard often, hiking as well as at home, that i cannot assign to a particular critter: bird or bug? Six or seven crunch/snap in a row, pause, repeat.

Christine bought Guardians of the Galaxy for us to watch. It was entertaining, but i find i am unimpressed with the Marvel universe movies for anything other than entertainment. I did like Rocket and Groot, and found the portrayal of their companionship to be sweet and touching. I said something to Christine about her being a Groot for me sometimes and i a Groot for her; i think she sees far more of herself in the sarcasm and pain evinced by Rocket.

I imagine "I am Groot" might enter our vocabulary at some level, but it isn't as valuable as --Squirrel!

Part of my reading this week and for this day's worship: http://www.holyweekofresistance.net/ (#ReclaimHolyWeek) & http://www.carisadel.com/3560/where-white-people-should-start/
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Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 12:39 pm
I've not been able to really sit and listen (read) your posts for the past few weeks: i miss it. After traveling and returning last Friday, i spent Saturday going over my scribbled notes from the air and reviewing satellite imagery on Google Earth trying to track down features. I learned about the "grand staircase," the layers of sedimentary rock that make up the strata of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and so many features in between. I learned about a Navajo council, and about pig farming on a massive industrial scale i can't quite imagine -- even though i saw it from the plane. I'm not sure why i spent all that time on understanding. I could write an essay now, but....

(Last night we watched an interview with historical writer David McCullough. How did he get started? He saw photographs of the Johnstown Flood and was dissatisfied with the books he found on the subject. I however have Annals of the Former World by McPhee to read,)

Flowers are still languishing in the fridge.

Sunday my brother was in town. He and i drove to Mount Diablo, picnicked in Rock City, visited the peak, and circumnavigated on the short Fire Interpretive Trail.

Monday i overslept, and then got a call from my mother. She went into distressed mode about her and my father's relationship with my brother's family when i mentioned i'd seen him. I eventually said, "Surely this isn't why you called: what's up?" and she went into a bit of distress talking about my grandfather's wife, my grandfather's will, and the great MYSTERY of the will. I am currently the chosen one to ask for the will on genealogical grounds because ... I'm not sure what folks are afraid of.

I ended Monday feeling wrung out, after all day working on a presentation of the work I'd done in Ohio the week before. In the afternoon i'd had some nuts, got a bit stuck at the back of my throat, and triggered coughing spasms.

Those haven't stopped.

Tuesday i presented and then designed and then was exhausted. I came home wiped out, stopping at [redacted] for [redacted list of calorie laden fast food] on the way home. The calories were consumed before i got to the door.

Today is a work from home day, and once all the intensity was over (5 pm Eastern time) i've spent time reading the internet. I'm still coughing and feel under the weather.

I'm trying not to think negatively, but all that comes to mind was how last summer, from solstice into October, i limped, coughed, and generally felt a pervasive sense of unwell. Do Not Want.
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Saturday, March 21st, 2015 06:12 am
I've been thinking about how i rarely write poetry, so different from my younger years. I scribble still, scribbled for hours on the plane yesterday as i noted my observations with the time so today i can go find out a bit more about what i observed (confirming my guesses or not).

But it's not poetry.

I chatted with Christine about it. "If a picture is worth a thousand words...." "Photography is far more efficient...."

Yes, but, i thought, pondering that maybe i have decided my experiences are not remarkable enough to capture, not insightful enough to share. I hope it's that my expression is satisfied with photography, but i wonder if a change has happened. Maturity: when you realize that there isn't a need to share? When you realize the aches are not so bad? That the exquisite emotion is one of a million others?

This morning, waiting for my computer to start from its power-starved state, i walked to the bookshelf and grabbed a book of poetry, A Daughter's Geography from Ntozake Shange. Later, in the loo, i picked up Naomi Shihab Nye's Honeybee. Ntozake's words from 1983 still need to be heard. Naomi's witness to the violence in the middle east looses no poignancy when i realize she's not writing about last summer's violence.

But then there's a poem about Naomi's mother, baking, and i think of my mother working in a bakery too, in that flurry of empty nest, learn skills to escape, effort. Maybe poems about my mother is where my writing should be. I look at my sister's photos sent from Saint Patrick's day dinner and - oh, my parents look so old. But more than the aging that seems to have happened so quickly, is my emotional resonance with how my mother's face is stiff with the "I'm smiling for the camera" smile and her eyes have the tension and stress that never seems to ebb away. I don't think the camera communicates that outside of my history and experience. Words might. Maybe.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, March 16th, 2015 06:18 am
Friday was a rare "start the day at 6 am" day. I celebrate just how out of practice i am. I ended up reading a novel from when i stopped work into the evening, missing a number of plans, missing some meds....

Saturday i met a friend for brunch, which was lovely. We were having a quite unseasonably warm day, though, and the car was very warm as i ran errands afterwards. I wilted. At home, i just listened to an audiobook and (along with some time yesterday afternoon) brought a crochet project started AGES ago (is 2008 possible?) to DONE. It's a finished object! Woohoo! The sleeves are terrible, and i think it is about as unflattering as possible, but it's done. Next on my list is to finish a lace-weight sweater which is 98% complete.

OMG, Ravelry says "Started October 27 2007"

I suppose i should count this as a major victory. I've a great desire to finish projects up this year, and this is a good start.

Yesterday i cooked up some greens (kale, carrot tops, and spring onions) and then froze them for meals when i get back.

This morning started a little earlier than usual, thanks to feline misadventure, but since i am boarding a plane for Ohio mid-morning to head for a three hour time shift, i welcome the early start.

I've been dragging my feet all weekend on anything that looks like getting ready for this trip. I'm sure it will go well. I just want to stay home with Christine.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, March 1st, 2015 06:21 am
So far, looking at the photos from yesterday, i am mostly muttering "What WAS i focusing on??!!" but i think the answer is, "USE THE TRIPOD." There are landscape images that are not as crisp as i have managed in the past.

I did bring the tripod but left it in the car.

Almonds in bloom

Almonds are in California news for how much water they take to grow.

Goldfields in Panoche Valley

Panoche Valley was not covered with goldfields, but there was a lovely stretch with enough to create this image.



Next time i 'll be smacking my forehead will be as i face the flowers i collected and realize i did not document well enough where i took my samples from.

I'm building the trip notes up in Evernote, but in short it was a gloriously lovely trip. There was weather, downpours and sprinkles, as well as puffy clouds and passes of sunshine. I had thoughts not to visit the BLM Access Road area in Panoche Hills, and am glad we decided to head up there to use the picnic table. We didn't use the table, but the flowers were wonderful.

For the California photo list i wrote that we, "Found carpets of goldfields, some asteraceae bigger than gold fields but about the same color, hill sides with fiddlenecks and phacelia. Some were on Panoche Rd (a dirt road which was fine for our car when we were on it this morning), others up in the BLM areas off the Panoche Hills Access Rd before the picnic/overlook spot. Looked like there had been a terrific fiddleneck bloom earlier and many were fading, but other areas were still lovely. The hills were getting showers while we were there. Other flowers - lupines, blue dicks, cream cups, tidy tips, owl's clover other asteraceae, variety of native brassicas -- sighted. Between the hills and I-5 the almond tree bloom was lovely, with petals coating the ground under trees. Plenty of mustard along I-5 between Pacheco Pass and Panoche Hills."