Monday, August 31, 2009

And Now Summer Is ... Over?

I must have missed the memo last week, when I was sweating in Florida. I know, I know, tomorrow is September, but still, the Summer That Wasn't is done? We're into nice, pleasant, cool-evening Autumn?

I did not approve this. And I do not approve of it.

Nor, for that matter, of this from yesterday:

Halloween candy in the store. In August. No, people. No.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home again, home again, oh joy

Yes, I'm home again, and not looking forward to going to work tomorrow. The average Monday-morning work apathy increases by roughly a factor of ten after a vacation week.

Also, it's cooler right now (about 70F) than it was at any time when I was in Florida. Brr. In fact, right now? Here's my mother's weather:

And me? I have the windows open, and feel chilly around the elbows. Today was a beautiful day, just a rather jarring change. I like hot weather, and even I found the weather last week to be a bit too hot. Not a problem, really, because everything is air conditioned (I expect that even dog houses are hooked up to a/c in Florida), but I would have liked to walk on the beach, and the one day I walked to the beach, I was too hot to then walk on the beach. And the water wasn't cool enough to be refreshing.

I know, wah wah wah, poor baby, right? Hey, I had a great time, and I'm not trying to say otherwise. Just that if you go to Florida in August, you get hot with a side of hella-hot. I knew that. I'm not complaining. Not even (much) about the thunderstorm yesterday that came along as I was at the airport, waiting for my plane to arrive; learned that it wasn't landing during the peak of the storm, nothing was (nor do I blame them); then that it diverted to Sarasota to refuel, literally moments before they reopened the runway; blah blah blah landing 2+ hours later than expected. The flight itself was actually fine, other than a bouncy descent, and was well redeemed by giving me an empty neighboring seat (which makes an amazing difference to the comfort level).

An-y-way. My last word on the weather is gratitude that the best weather we had was on Sunday, the day before Dad's 80th birthday, the day we went out to scatter his ashes. Sunny, slight breeze, calm water ... lovely.

After Dad died, his oldest friend sent these beauties.

And after the ashes, before a little good Scotch, the petals went into the water.

They floated around in every direction. Exploring. How like Dad.

Friday, August 28, 2009

More weird and wonderful Florida

The sock-in-progress has now been worked on in Florida. In the car, in fact.

Slow and steady wins the race.

I started the foot plain, guided by Charlene Schurch's invaluable Sensational Knitted Socks, planning to do something of a pattern on the leg. I'm thinking of using the one in the Spring Forward socks from Knitty. One of my knitting group friends made them and they're really pretty, and look like the making of them won't drive me around the bend. We'll see. Progress reports as and when progress is made.
Now some shopping shots. This is a lamp. Really.

This one is too, perhaps more obviously.

Doesn't every store have a shell tree outside?

My mother is now a card-carrying bionic woman. Proof!

Apparently at Publix, shopping is a pleasure if you're not scared of whales.

Or sea turtles.

He looks grumpier than Crush in Finding Nemo. Still, I can hear him in my head: Whoa, dude, Mister Turtle is my father. The name's Crush.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


There's something wrong with me, that I'm not asleep at this hour, when I could be.

And yeah, I hate that the title has it "To Excited To Sleep" instead of "Too Excited", but I can't find another version with the title right. It's an uphill battle.

I'm not going to Disney, but yeah. That.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A stunning statement, and possibly good-bye for now

I read a lot. A lot. Really a lot. This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me even slightly.

When I read a good review of a book, I often will request the book from the library, and by the time it comes in*, I've forgotten what I read or where. It makes for a little surprise, when I pick up something unknown.

*Not because the library is so slow, but because it's often new books, not yet out, that I request.

Recently, I picked up "Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading" by Maureen Corrigan, and last night I took a look at the opening pages. I didn't get far before I hit a sentence like a brick wall. Nothing wrong with the writing or the writer, by the way: just the content that poleaxed me.
"...according to a Wall Street Journal article of a few years ago, some 59 percent of Americans don't own a single book."

I stopped, looked again, read on, went back. Wait, what? Seriously? Is this possible? More than half?

I looked around, and saw many reasons why this seems, very simply, to be something that I can not fathom.


Bedside table:

Living room:

Living room:

Living room:

Living room (still):

Yes, living room:

Guess where:

Office/craft room:


59% have not one book? I honestly cannot imagine.


Today was a long day at work. Looooong. It would have been anyway, the day before vacation, but it seemed like half the company wasn't there today, making it hard to get anything done that required anyone else. I was back on the big project of much irritation. Not the best way to spend an I-don't-want-to-be-here day. However, at 3:30 my boss told me to leave, and the evening is looking up. The library books are returned, laundry is in, and I'm off to tackle the rest of the list.

I may or may not post tomorrow. I may or may not post from Florida. Possibly, even probably, but no promises. So take care of yourselves, okay? Have a good week, if I don't talk to you before I get back.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quickly on Thursday

I was just sitting here at the computer, reading, when suddenly and from out of the blue, the second toe on my right foot exploded in pain. I could have sworn that someone was stabbing me in the toe. Of course, no one was, but it took close to a minute for the pain to stop, and I was practically yelling from it. What the hell?

Earlier today, mid-morning, I realized that I'd slipped into vacation-brain mode. All I could think about was the things I'd like to get done before my trip. There aren't that many things I have to do before I go, in the sense of "I can't leave until I...", but there are enough things I would like to get done (laundry; empty the dishwasher; return library books) that my head is starting to chase itself in circles. And work is failing to adequately capture my attention. I mean, there are things to do at work and I'm doing them, but I have to keep reining myself back from to-do lists and calendars and packing thoughts.

Plus, if I can't Get Things Done, can I knit? I'd rather be knitting. Or reading. Sleeping late and hanging with the cats.

When will I win the lottery and not have to work for a living?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How smart are the pets?

I stopped on the way home tonight to buy cat food; don't I live an exciting life? Actually, it was a good bargain-shopper experience: the bigger-than-I-usually-buy bag of cat food was on sale from $38.99 to $30.99, and I had a coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase (new store opening), so I got some canned food and some toys for free.

I chose a couple of furry balls, and a catnip ... banana.

Point one: I know you can hardly see the black and gray balls on the table. I would take another photo of them, but I can't, because point two, as soon as I opened the package to photograph it, I had two cats meowing to know what I had. Apparently that banana is some potent catnip. So the toys are currently in use.

I saw something utterly bizarre in the store, too. I know: more bizarre than a catnip banana? Yes. Look at this:

The box isn't telling you you'll never touch or breathe, by the way: you'll never touch, breathe, or buy cat litter again. Yes, it uses washable crystals. Seriously. They call themselves, "The world's only self-flushing, self-washing cat box," and I bet that's true, don't you?

Of course, there's also this feature:

Amazing, isn't it?

P.S. Three days to vacation!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


One reason I prefer not to need the flash for photos is the weirdness that sometimes results. I swear to you, Harold does not have one green eye and one yellow one.

He was, however, sleeping with his head on the piece of plastic, so we must take ownership of a certain amount of weirdness.

Five days to vacation!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Where does the weekend go

This photo doesn't even begin to capture the amazing, huge-red-sun sunset we saw last night.

It was enthralling, and we just saw the last moments by chance, as we left dinner to go to the theatre. (I was seeing Harvey with friends in Rhode Island, and I can't recommend it highly enough.) (Dinner was also fantastic, if you find yourself down that way.)

It was a wonderful night, but also a late night, and though I am pleased to have been able to sleep late today, it does mean that Sunday has evaporated. I'm babysitting my friend's twins tonight, which means I have to get a little organized, which means no long flights of fancy here tonight. But I do have some photos for you.

The other wall art I already had for the bathroom, as I mentioned last time. It really isn't much, but I've always liked it.

Something about the colors.

I neglected to share one thing I did not buy at Building 19 on Friday. Some things that show up there, well, it's not all that surprising that they're left over. It's more surprising that anyone made them in the first place.

Not content with the Building 19 experience, I fit in an Ocean State Job Lot trip yesterday. I bought more of that soap I like:

And a new small suitcase:

It ought to stand out fairly well from all the black ones. (They had one that was solidly hot pink, but that was a bit much for me.) My old one had a good run, but the regular battering got to it, and I threw it out after my last trip.

Did I ever show it to you? It was black, so on my mother's advice (culled I believe from Heloise), I used fabric paint to make it mine, in a manner clear from fifty feet.

It lasted more than 5 years, which is quite decent. I'd be glad to get as much from the new one (but I don't have high expectations, which is why I buy one for $24 instead of full price.)

Have you had a nice weekend? A nice busy one, or a nice lazy one?

P.S. Six days to vacation!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Little (A Very Little) Decorating

click on the comic to see it bigger

When I moved in to my condo, November of 2006, there were some things I knew I wanted to do or get for it. In fact, even when I saw the place before I bought it, I knew that (for instance) I wanted to get a new medicine cabinet for the bathroom. When I measured the living room and my furniture, I knew that I would want a tall, narrow bookcase for the spot between one of the big bookcases and the wall. I knew I'd want to get a pull-out couch or sofa bed or something for the guest room (office/craft room/spare space). I still want to do all of those things, and I will at some point. But I haven't yet. And of course, there are plenty of other things I kind of wanted to do, without being bothered to get around to it. What's the rush?

Earlier this year, my mother said she would spend this Christmas at her mother's, in upstate New York. Of course, I said, I will join you there. And recently, she said, she might fly up to Boston a few days earlier, and visit some people here before driving to NY with me. Yay! I said (and I'm not just saying that because she reads this). Sounds great to me.

And then I started to think about what I might want to get done around here before then. Not, I hasten to add, that she expects me to do anything. But I am the sort of housekeeper (and I use the word loosely) who tends to Not See the piles, and things in corners, and you know, it's a little untidy. Sometimes having a prospective visitor is just what I need to motivate myself.

And so, I was in the bathroom the other day, and looking at the largely empty walls, and thinking yeah, I meant to get something to put on the walls. Someday. I have one thing up, a cheap-plastic-framed page ad from the back of a magazine, and I'll have to get a picture of it because it isn't quite as crappy as I'm making it sound, but anyway there are two good walls with nothing on them. Put that on the list, I told myself. Tonight, I stopped at Building 19 after work, and bing-bang-boom found two things I really like, for not very much money.

I took photos of them before hanging, as the light in the bathroom is not great, or at least not daylight. Here's the first one:

Hey, I like that, I said to myself. How much is it? $5.99? Sold!

Here it is in its new habitat:

I really think I'm going to like it there.

The other isn't a picture, but a, well, what would you call it?

It's a gently distressed framed thing with space to put stuff. Come on, help me out, what is it?

Wall-mounted curio holder, is the best I can do right now. Surely you can do better!

It does have one extra-distressed corner:

But I was okay with that, especially given this feature:

So I got out my pencil, level (yes I do), and hammer, and ta-da:

I'll put more things in it, but this is a start. I'm so pleased with them both.

I wonder how long it will take me to get used to them there? I know I just put them up, but when I went back into the bathroom, I kind of jumped.