?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Moving at the Speed of Procrastination. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
E.G.

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[sticky post] Other ways to contact me [Apr. 4th, 2017|12:06 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

If i quit posting here, feel free to look for me at http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/ .

I receive email via google's mail service at the user name elaineforexample.

Confidantes may find more information at http://elainegrey.livejournal.com/654579.html
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Feb. 16th, 2018|07:25 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

In 2017 I used the optometrist on the road towards Chapel Hill in the commercial area just outside the giant planned subdivision. Slowly irritations mounted about the place, in general not feeling like a patient but a commodity. Getting off their text messages and emails has been a headache, as the automated optimization of business seems to be something they do well. Feh.

So i finally made an appointment with the optometrist in Pittsboro. The assistant seemed to be giving the receptionist a bit of a "Do you northerners say this?" quiz (Something like "this ol' mule still gots some life in 'er") and she proceeded to call me "sweet lady" as in "So sit down right here sweet lady."

It's a new permutation on "honey" and "sugar" and i've never understood the need, but i've got the social skills of a physicist, so what do i know.

There was NOT a battery of machines to sit down at and be processed through. Not the dread machine with the peripheral vision stripes, no dots, no puffs of air. Everything was delightfully analogue. Which means dilating my pupils and the time sink that is.

I've mixed feelings about that.

On one hand, the optometrist we were last seeing in California had the laser widget that developed the three dimensional map of the back of my eye. He could show me the optic nerve anomaly. I appreciated that. On the other hand, i felt the local doctor's direct observation was just as careful and thorough. So, technically, i think the examination is a satisfactory standard of care. The difference is the time - waiting for the dilation, waiting for it to wear off. Because it's only a handful of minutes away, i don't mind. The alternative would be the time it takes to get to Chapel Hill. I think i'll keep going to these folks, but I let Christine -- who goes up to Chapel Hill far more often than i --know that she might choose someone else.

I spent some of my time with dilated pupils walking Carrie. It was right at sunset and bats flitted down the road. I stood at the bridge over the creek, looking at the black branches silhouetted against the molten orange sky reflected in the water, and found two bats swirling above the water at bridge height.

I let Carrie run off leash from the back of the yard in the twilight. We're developing a balance of trust: even if she won't come when called, she does stay within hearing as she crashes through the woods. She comes by me enough that i can pretend i am permitting her to run by telling her to "go, go" (as if i could really stop her) and i can give her a treat to reinforce her checking in. Eventually, i can grab her harness on a treat stop and put the leash back on her. She seems to understand that going down the driveway to the road is not approved.

It was so mild yesterday: she spent the whole day on the deck. Maybe i should spend the day on the porch.

(I've felt so out of it since Saturday. Am i always out of it? )

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Feb. 14th, 2018|06:50 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Went to bed early; woke on time. Christine worked late into the night, so hopefully she's escaped the migraine pattern.

I went out after making tea to look at the predawn sky and listen. Stars! It's clear! I look forward to the sun rise and some daylight. I think the creek that runs behind our house creates a marshy or pond-like area in the large wood lot beside us because i hear frogs from that direction and not from the closer larger branch of the creek.

I fantasize about buying the 75 acre wood lot next to us from the hunting folks. I'd get a nice southern exposure going down to the creek and a long stretch of creek (with wherever the frogs sing) and could eradicate the additional invasive species (vinca, sigh)....

Speaking of invasive species, i found more tree of heaven in the back. I'm hoping pulling saplings out of the soaked ground will be effective -- those seem to have been starting from blown seeds, not an underground network of roots. The first tick from last year was March 10th. Going back in the woods will rapidly become less attractive once those things are about.

I am apparently scared of doing the thing i need to do to create the demo for the presentation, leading to a bit of procrastination. I'll need to get around that shortly.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Feb. 13th, 2018|06:55 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , ]

It's been grey. It's going to keep being grey. Ugh. This is typical, i know, but it didn't happen last year and it didn't happen with the drought in California and oh it is so DREARY. Also, muddy. Mud mud mud.

Today's eBird list has 11 species including an Eastern bluebird and Red-bellied Woodpecker that were on the nearby tulip poplar. Both of those i checked out using the binoculars. The others -- Northern cardinals, tufted tit...mice?, Carolina chickadees and wren, juncos, brownheaded nuthatch, goldfinch, and white throated sparrow -- were feeder visitors. The mourning dove was cleaning up underneath. The feeder is now in a very agreeable (also distracting) location easily viewed while i am working. It's a bit too close to use the binoculars on. Mr Piggy Squirrel did NOT show up -- maybe the Cayenne pepper was a slow acting deterrent?

The past few days have also had a drag on them independent of the weather: i was not myself on Saturday and Christine's had migraines Sunday, Monday at waking, and the wee hours of today. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, i've been making sure i did some gardening bits.

I identified a clumping "grass" that has an attractive quality about it. Disappointingly, it is the non-native and fairly common "lilliturf" or Liriope muscari. I've decided i'll move it so it carpets under the non-native gardenia and crepe myrtles and around the transplanted peonies. That should create a weed supressing carpet that doesn't need mowing.

My little greenhouse is all toasty. The flat i started on the 4th of February (#2) had sprouts of lettuces, broccoli, cabbage and chamomile by Saturday, when i moved the sprouts to a tray of little pots (#2'). More seeds have sprouted in the flat including slower seeds in the lettuces and brassicas. I've also a tray (#3) of just seeded small pots of brassicas and lettuce -- i'm not sure a week's difference now will make a difference two months from now, but my hope is to spread out the maturing of the plants. And another flat (#4) with flower and herb seeds.

In the garden i am trying my self-made seed tapes of brassicas, lettuce, carrots, and beets as well as a seeding of mesculun, carrots, and beets. It might be early, but the next ten days are forecast to be averaging in the 50s, with a lowest low 37°F and a highest high of 77°F. I'd rather be out there covering up in case of a freeze than weeding.

The button bushes i started last year have finally been planted where their feet will be kept wet. They're a native shrub and i think i got the seeds at a native seed swap in late 2016. I'm pretty tickled something has made it. The crabapple almost made it, but i think the hard freeze in early January was just too much. Remembering advice, though, i'm not giving up on the crab apple yet.

I've been digging up Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), a pretty and poisonous pest. My main goal is eradicating it from the orchard area, as the cats and Carrie the dog will roam that fenced in space. It looks too much like grass and is on many "poisonous to pets" lists. It seems a reasonable concern that someone will nibble on it. But oh how pervasive the clumps of little green sprouts are! I'll need to transplant out the daffodils as well for the same reason.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Feb. 9th, 2018|07:26 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Up late last night, in a small part due to enchantment with Carrie's anticipation when she hears one using the youtube channel search function on the TV. After watching Steve Colbert we turned to various Crufts recordings -- the "pastoral" finals where all the different shepherd dogs parade around, and then agility finals (more interesting for Carrie).

I think we are unwinding from the TV showing of the family documentary. I remain a bit on edge, wondering when some unpleasant person will go out of their way to dox us (as it would be fairly easy thanks to the way NC voter data is sprawled across the internet). If anything, though, i think our story remains only seen by folks who go out of their way to find it -- and that would be folks who are sympathetic and not outraged.

Today is forecast clear, and then it looks like a sodden weekend. I'm pondering signing up to track rainfall for CoCoRaHS, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. The biggest issue is that they want you to record the rainfall at the same time everyday. This makes sense if it's raining, but ... whine. The rain gauge isn't cheap, but the accuracy looks wonderful. The one i bought last year broke (glass, froze) so i'm game for a new one. I am also pondering the Skywarn training. I was enthusiastic at first because i sit at a window and note the changing light during the day, but it seems one needs better perspectives on clouds. Our tall pines screen much of the sky from me. Then there is feeder watch, which could be interesting. My uptick in interest in citizen science is nice to note.

I have finally got the trail camera working smoothly. I encountered so many issues using it that this first year has been only barely used. But i think i have finally resolved the battery drain and finicky camera card demands, and expect this coming year will be delightfully documented.

Finally, in noting the natural world, at the beginning of this week i saw the first signs of daffodil leaves poking out of the soil. I'm becoming vigilant for ticks, and will get our collection of preserved ticks from last year to find when we first recorded them. (I've seen random advice about preserving ticks just in case one gets sick.)

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Feb. 8th, 2018|08:51 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

If i understand correctly, anyone may now watch the documentary streaming from the website: http://video.unctv.org/video/3007225920/ . We watched it over the air last night, marveling at broadcasts' continued existence.

My sister-in-law & her spouse came down to see it at our place because the channel wasn't available to them (because it's not on cable and they don't have an antenna?). We dined at the nice new seafood restaurant in town, apparently at the same time as Roy Underhill of PBS's The Woodwright's Shop -- his classroom, in a 1900's storefront, is just around the corner from the restaurant (in a refurbished 70's era post office).

We'd used an optometrist up closer to Chapel Hill near one of the giant subdivisions last year. They "automated" away their customer service, so i waited for a month to hear my glasses were ready while they sent text messages to our land line. They offered no support fitting my glasses. I might as well have bought from one of those online services at a minimal charge instead of paying for the premium of in office care. Staff bordered on rude, crossing the line once. So, i've chosen an optometrist in the small town. Yesterday i showed up for my appointment & found a "closed due to family emergency" sign on the door. I tell this story, to reflect on how this small town delights me while irritating Christine. She sees the lack of sidewalks, the minimal lighting. And she didn't take kindly to the way they handled the appointment for me. My consideration is that while they didn't contact me to let me know the appointment was canceled -- the other office would have probably sent a text -- the staff are probably like family and what ever the emergency was, they were probably supporting each other.

Someday, that might all be efficiently eroded away. Silicon Valley showed me the cost of convenience and efficiency. I'm not sure i want to pay it.

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Morning mental meanderings [Feb. 5th, 2018|08:52 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , ]

I am happy to be back on my work laptop after spilling tea on it during a sweeping gesture Friday morning. But not glad enough to focus on work. Oh me.

I am happy to see the bright blue sky after yesterday's rain. I finally got to watch the gutters drain down the ditch-ette we dug when we first moved here and then continue under the driveway to the east yard. Our driveway was not washing away, hurrah. Now to dig a formal retaining area for that run off. There's nothing wrong with letting that end of the yard become a great puddle -- it percolates into the soil quickly enough -- but i'd prefer something intentional. Also -- less to mow!

Other delights from yesterday -- planting a flat of seeds and firing up all my adjustments to the greenhouse. I'll need to be careful not to cook all the seeds. On the other hand, i do have little worries about what to do with so many seedlings if they all sprout. There is a "coldframe" i received at the same time as the greenhouse. The "coldframe" seemed ... poorly designed ... in that it is held up in the air, not down on the ground, thus prone to chilling all night. I suppose i could use that to shelter some of the tender seedlings.

We also had a fellow come over and look at the cabinet in which the catbox resides. The cats can't keep to the pan, and while it's better to have misses end up in the cabinet, it still has the issue of odoriferous elements ending up on more or less porous surfaces. We will now have an aluminum box that lines the bottom and sides of the cabinet with a little partition to separate the litter area from the area where they can shake off their feet. It's about a dollar a day for 13 months, which is well worth it to not hear Christine's disgust and frustration every day. I initially thought "yikes" at the price, but it certainly is an effective place to throw money to improve day to day life for all of us.

The part i should celebrate most is that i dealt with a particularly unappetizing glutinous cold yam, writing a letter to one of Christine's family members to communicate how their choices had signaled disrespect. It's something i've carefully been thinking about, carefully drafting, trying to ensure i own the interpretation, that i have been as generous in the interpretation as i can be, and ensure i'm not putting anything but, "This is the signal i have received from you, and you can have the method of signaling back," in the letter. I did my best to minimize the opportunity for drama, particularly spilling over to the family. I was offended, and now they know that i was offended. "EG told me she was offended [by the thing i did]!" I'm sure there are ways to turn this into drama, but i'm clear that my action is simply drawing attention to what at best was a thoughtlessly cruel behavior.

Ugh.

It had been on my to do list for a week.

Boom, done.

Also, i sure hope i'm reading the regulations re forever stamps correctly. Apparently first class 1 oz mail is 50¢ now, so 4 Forever stamps on a possibly 4 oz mailpiece that is less than $2 to mail should be sufficient?

I sure hope this clears my mind enough that i can get to work!

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Camera Trap [Feb. 4th, 2018|12:46 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Raccoons, a deer, and an opossum!


https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9729664
Click on the image, possum bottom center.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9729568
Deer wanders into view and scampers out.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9729541
Raccoons -- TWO! -- in right frame. The second is towards the back on the left edge of the frame.

Link3 comments|Leave a comment

Photo exercise [Feb. 1st, 2018|08:15 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Composition of a black circle and lines -- a concave mirror and window frame


I don't know if i'm going to keep up, but i recalled [personal profile] zyzyly mention some black and white photo every day in February challenge before all the day's light left. I can try!

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Feb. 1st, 2018|08:34 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

I respect that working with a real person has its benefits, and Tuesday we spent a small forever working with a banker getting a variety of things set up. It was quite useful, actually, to have her advice.

On the other hand, for her to be forced through the same sort of web site hops that a random person signing up on line would need to fill out.... OY. Tedious.

My boss told me yesterday, "You don’t judge a persons happiness by whether they complain, but rather by when they complain about." I often complain about the myopia of the main office when dealing with the staff who are not located there, and this time was no different. Not sure what that says about my happiness.

But i do complain fairly frequently in my head. The handful of weeks back, when that miraculous happiness suffused me -- the complaints were still there. I am rather convinced that noticing the less than ideal is not the cause of the absence of that miraculous state.

And then there is knowing others' distress. Particularly Christine's. On top of a particular distress born of a rather blunt statement captured in the documentary and the local PBS station's image selection for promoting the documentary which compounded the sense of risk in putting our lives out there for the hateful to see -- migraines.

In gardening news, the top of the green house was 40°+ degrees, the bottom 51° and outside 32° after running the two 100W heating bulbs over night. I probably ought to cover the structure, too, just for the additional insulation. It shouldn't be too much of a bother in the morning & evening to remember. I've a heating mat for under a flat to add, so i should get starts begun ... tonight. Erm, i need to mix up some potting soil.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 30th, 2018|06:46 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Yesterday's grey skies put me in mind of firming up plans for a rain garden. We finally had enough rainfall for me to see the effects of the new drainage pattern: i'm pleased. So i spent too much time looking at native plants that might happily exist in such a place. I have found a nice selection of blue flowered plants that should presumably keep color from April through October. I'm hoping to have the location picked out and marked by the time we have the folks come to grade the orchard (and get up all the roots). Digging down a foot by hand in this clay for 78 square ft isn't an exiting prospect.

My punishment for distracting myself was that when i took a few moments on the "most important thing" and i tried to steer it in a more expected direction, it looked like i was a major contributor when we met later in the day.

This is like when i would procrastinate in grade school, then rush the project, and get an A at the end. My therapist is encouraging me to see this as my way of being, and well YES it is. Abstractly, it is a optimization for pleasure and efficiency. I manage to leave just enough time to get the thing done; as long as the procrastination time is spent on something productive from some point of view maybe it's good. But from another point of view, it's cheating. Someday i hope to be able to be paid to play with native plants, but that's not what's going on now. And from yet another point of view, part of it is that the project that i had set to work on and was procrastinating on is being mis-led and i'm not entirely sure we're doing what is asked.

Listening to some of the folks dither on in the meeting ... i just dunno that anyone is taking it seriously.

Christine brought home Chinese food for dinner, but did not have time to eat any herself. It was delicious. Hmm, this recipe makes frying the tofu for General Tso's Tofu</a> sound like it's not a deep fryer sort of situation. Hmm.

Then we went off to a screening of Christine's sister's documentary in Chapel Hill. The theater is one of these schmancy better-than-your-living-room, QR code to order and have delivered to your seat sorts of places with assigned seats. Perplexing. Mistaking the orientation of the seating map, my sister and her kids thought she would be seated behind us on the back row, but was instead in the very front on the loungiest seats. During the Q&A i slipped in to sit with them.

Everyone gushes so afterwards, and i just want to curl up in a ball and hide. I think i am rather comfortable being with one or two people, whom perhaps i don't know that well, and being vulnerable. Or typing my vulnerability. But i think i know i would be too honest. Listening to Christine deftly answer folks' questions, i realize i would blurt out things that are not ready. She was asked about her brother, and she was honest that his discomfort with her continued. She did not give the concrete example of the very hurtful way he excluded her from all the scarf Yule gift to the other women of the sibling group, clearly communicating that he doesn't see her as a woman. And when the conversation went to the culture wars and how one feels, Christine could point our her privileged and the vulnerability of so many other transwomen -- instead of sharing how vulnerable it feels to know how easy it is to find our address if someone wants to act out their rhetoric towards her/us.

I know we're not alone in our fear: a local potter commented about her fear of having her shop set on fire if the wrong people learned she was a married lesbian.

Apparently the film will stream on Amazon soon, and it's going to be on UNC TV's North Carolina channel on Feb 7 at 10 pm with repeats the next day. And apparently it will be streaming on the UNC PBS website? I'm fuzzy on that.

People are very sweet to me after, acknowledging my support for Christine. The story told doesn't share how she helped me become a person who could be authentic, who escaped the game playing of her family. Christine held up a mirror to me that gave me an undistorted (at least, less distorted) reflection of myself, correcting the extreme monster-princess view i was given growing up.

LinkLeave a comment

Saturday exertions [Jan. 28th, 2018|08:56 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Some time ..last week? the week before? i noticed the "collection" of citations for my general reading was gone. Since one can delete a collection but leave the citations, i thought that's what i had done. Then Friday night i realized the citations were gone. Several years of reading notes, and 2017's watching notes, gone.

I spent much of yesterday morning trying to find the latest stale copy of the database to use to recover the citations. I found one from Jan 1st, so i've only lost about 20-25 days -- and i think i can recover the books i've read from Overdrive.

That was absorbing enough that i needed to bolt to get to the NIA class i'm attending with my sister and mother. NIA is a aerobic-ish class that mingles yoga, tai chi, aikido, and dance. My sister realized it would be a good thing to do with my mom, and, indeed, i think it is. Not top of my list of things to do, and my mom's a little resistant as well, but it is a lovely joy and love and compassion filled community. As a duty it is delightful.

I begrudge a little the energy not going to the yard.

Yesterday was very mild, and so i also got out and planted the daffodil bulbs i'd dug up in Dec, crocus bulbs and onions i'd bought on a whim, the peony i'd dug up, and the peony from Christine's Aunt Rachel i was certain had died in the long freeze, sitting in a planter. The peony i dug up i failed to have patience to properly divide. We'll see if the smaller root bits manage to cope. Digging was yet another energy expense, although the slow melt of the snow meant the clay was just the right moisture to be easy but not a mess.

LinkLeave a comment

Beating myself up [Jan. 24th, 2018|10:32 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I am relieved to have a prescription for antibiotics for my sinus infection. I'm beating myself up over not going earlier, which isn't helpful.

So, i'm going to try some of those countering techniques. My asthma has cleared up, and that might have been confusing to the diagnosis. Looking back at my calendar, the clearing up of my asthma was between the 12th and the 17th. The 17th was when we were slammed with snow. I wrote my doctor on the 19th and waited through the weekend, and Monday's response was Not Helpful. But i called on Tuesday and saw the doctor today.

So, i really haven't had that much time where i could be sure my malaise wasn't because of the asthma, and The Snow would have put a crimp into addressing the malaise any earlier.

Take THAT you inner beating up on me voice!

LinkLeave a comment

Birdwatching experience [Jan. 20th, 2018|10:06 am]
E.G.
LBJs larger than life.


LinkLeave a comment

Winter wonderland and other notes [Jan. 19th, 2018|07:18 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

It started snowing Wednesday at 8 am and just didn't stop. We received around 9" of fluffy and sticky snow which created great billows in the tops of the pines. This is just the thing to cause power outages, and indeed, my sister's family were without power around noon Wednesday to the early evening on Thursday. With their wood stove and gas range, i think they did well, but with lows in the single digits, it's concerning.

Between the many power blinks and knowing my sister was without power leads to a little bit of vigilance. I don't believe the power outages are over, and so i'm still making sure devices are charged, etc.

Wednesday in the late afternoon i stood on the front porch for a while, just watching the pines sway and the occasional avalanche of snow cascading through the branches. Eventually i put on boots and a hat and went out. First, Christine and i pulled out plastic Adirondack style chairs and sat a little beyond the house -- but not beyond enough that the drip in one of the downspouts to be audible. While Christine went somewhere else with her mic to record, i went down the driveway to stand under the pines. Branches weighed with snow creaked, hung in unaccustomed positions, and rubbed against neighbor branches also not in accustomed locations. I listened wishing for a poem to come to mind, but it was more important to soak in the company of the pines, listen to the soft thuds of snow falling out of the branches.

Despite the hard freeze Wednesday to Thursday night, birdseed still sinks down into the snow. Wednesday I cleaned up a bird feeder the previous owners had left and was surprised to find it was pretty high quality: in its filth it looked cheap. I may get addicted to feeding birds outside my work window. I'm trying to tell myself it's just for this weather. I really wish they had shown interest to the sorghum i grew. I assume the birds have worked on the millet in place. Slugger, our male cardinal, looks incredible against the backdrop of snowy trees. The birds found the seed on Thursday and i had the constant company of juncos out my window while working. Tufted titmice are adorable, and there were a few sparrows - hard to distinguish from the juncos as the plumage wasn't particularly striking in contrast. With binoculars i could make out what i think were distinguishing marks on one that would be a savanna sparrow. I noticed birds with yellow plumage several times: i don't know if i'm able to strongly distinguish a pine warbler from an American goldfinch in my memory as when i saw the bird i just assumed it was a goldfinch. A chickadee was probably present, but i only noticed it as a smaller bird than the juncos and only had a fleeting moment with it in the binocular view. The birds aren't far away -- maybe 10'-12' away from the window? But perhaps the windows do need cleaning, and i know my eye sight isn't what i wish it would be.

The crisp clear skies changed the color of the snow: deep footprints became bright blue, shadows a soft blue, and the snow in sunlight a creamy gold with diamond sparkles. When the avalanches of snow fell out of the trees, diamond dust drifted against the bright blue sky.

After work i circumambulated our home's clearing (so greatly extended with our work the past eighteen months). Birds have left marks, and the falling snowballs from trees left pockets, but i didn't see anything looking like the tracks of larger animals. I assume small mammals like voles are happily tunneling at the ground level, snug under the thick blanket.

As of the past hour, i think i'm getting better at junco vs sparrow. The sparrow variations are vexing. Particularly because there's no way of knowing whether one observation is the same individual as the next. Were there white stripes on the wings or was i imagining it? Well, not on this one, but.... [HA: there's at least one white throated sparrow calling out there.]

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 15th, 2018|11:39 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , ]

It's a particularly elephant-y time around here. I am admittedly a little frayed around the edges but i have the capacity to handle it, i know that this is due to some calendar item triggers, and i can believe that Christine will get the elephants in hand again in February. As i plan for my 50th trip around the sun, i will note that there will likely be this challenge again with the holidays and events into January.

The weekend was otherwise full of exertion. Saturday morning my sister and i accompanied my mother to a NIA class -- an exercise class that mixes tai chi, yoga, dance, martial arts, etc into a very vibrant and fun practice. Lots of messages from the practitioners that one should just do what feels good. I hope i modeled that well for my mother as i was generous with myself at my left-right confusion, my routine flailing, and my only arm participation when i felt the need to protect my ankle. Mom seemed to grow into some comfort with it, and we will do it again.

I will be delighted to do it on really frigid or wet rainy days. Saturday was a good yard work day, and i had little pouts about using all that energy not on the yard. I did get the pollinator seed mix planted in the circle of the driveway island and other raking done. The raking plus arm exercises? Ooohhhhh. Hot bath was required.

Yesterday, after Meeting and lunch, i did more raking. Now all the mossy areas are glowing green, so pleasant with all the drab winter colors. My understanding is that moss grows at just above 32°F (given water and light) and so getting the leaves off helps all the little plants beat the big ol' vascular plants that are hibernating. I realized that there were areas that were just raw dirt last winter that have a moss carpet now. The year's worth of growth is satisfying. Here's hoping that it can soon get thick enough to deter the blasted stilt grass.

I also lopped down small trees in the orchard area and managed to drop a tree straight down on my foot. A perfect circular bruise.

It's gotten frigid again, and the forecast calls for snow showers on Wednesday.

I broke down and bought birdseed. I'll try again to put the broom corn (sorghum) out where i poured the purchased seed. Maybe it will be interesting now that the birds know to look for food there?

LinkLeave a comment

Looking back on last year's planning [Jan. 14th, 2018|07:05 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , ]

I did much of my planing for my 49th year using iPad's Paper app to make a notebook. The wheel of the year i drew seemed like a plausible plan, but, well, not so much in follow through. On the other hand, i engaged with therapy and i think i've pulled out of the negative framing and state that had me start going. Presenting cause was an exhaustion with elephants, but procrastination and self care have become our focus.

So there's a hope that this year will have more energy for doing available.

I had planned to take on the garage in May. I think i will move that earlier in spring this year. I hope i don't quite have as much gardening from scratch to do as i did last year, creating the beds from the raw tilled plot. And the earlier, the cooler it will be to work in there.

I had wanted to spend the hot months inside: finish unpacking and hang our wall art, spend time with friends & family, photography and fiber. I'm not sure i really recall what i did those months. (Skims journal.) Well, i think i did do a *little* toward those goals then. I did some beadwork, and there are notes about my brother's family's visit and "stopping off" at my parents. We've unpacked a great deal, but the garage needs to make room for any more unpacking. I think we're approaching ready to hang art. But i also worked outside far more than i expected, i think.

I didn't schedule anything for now through the end of February, the end of my year. I think i can redirect some attention to habits and to the garage.

LinkLeave a comment

Celebrating my day [Jan. 12th, 2018|06:35 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

1. I wrapped up the workday in a manner likely to lead to a productive Monday morning. Yay me.

2. I followed up on my laptop replacement to get a prorated refund on the Apple Care contract on the failed machine. The refunded the whole thing. YAY!

3. Six of the seven chestnut seeds i have been stratifying* in my fridge have sprouted!

Stratification is a sort of pretreatment for seeds to simulate the actual natural cycles that lead to germination.

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Pileated Woodpecker [Jan. 11th, 2018|07:36 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I saw a Pileated Woodpecker yesterday! The photo at iNaturalist was the best moment in the grainy video i captured. My, they are huge. And they hop down the tree backwards -- somehow it seems so odd.

For some reason, i have doubted Christine when she says she sees them, i suppose because i hadn't seen them. I confess now, because i feel guilty about it now.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 11th, 2018|06:24 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Last night, after Christine & i watched our episode of Longmire, i put on dog sledding videos for Carrie. We probably flipped through various youtube videos for about thirty minutes before i had enough. Carrie was still engaged though.

I'm still not sure how guilty i feel about entertaining our dog with a screen.

I let her run off leash around our property for the first time in ages ... Sunday, i think. Deer hunting season is over; i don't think the folks who own the parcel for hunting are likely to be out there for open season on coyotes or skunks or other small mammals. We were at the back of the lot, Carrie running madly in the neighbor's woods, i was picking up deadfall along the property line. This was eased by how clearly the bit of surveyor's tape stood out against the snow. Carrie was pretty much ignoring me when i called, but since she was back in the woods i wasn't getting upset or worried.

I've noticed some of her puppy behaviors are slackening -- most financially important is that shoe chewing is down -- so i do hope for a little settling. I do hope the orchard will give her enough room to run, although i expect we will have a long mud season as we wait for plants to establish.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 10th, 2018|05:22 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

The oral surgery [for Christine -ETA] went fine just fine. Despite the grocery trip on Sunday (with soft food meals picked out), we stopped at the grocery store as we came home. I went in and bought ice cream and lime sherbet and ginger ale and whipped cream in cans and half and half at Christine's request, as well as a couple different analgesics and a fancy new ice pack. And a glorious bouquet of flowers for Christine. She hid her face in them all the way home.

I had a lime sherbet and ginger ale float last night as a treat.

I was pretty cranky today.

I think i need some garden time.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 8th, 2018|07:10 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Sunday's adventure in adulting was, as mentioned yesterday, that our pump house froze. A 100' outdoor extension cord and two 150 watt incandescent bulbs did the trick. Well, plus time. Which was long enough to get a little concerned whether it would be enough.

Christine also bought halogen work lights. I suggested they were unnecessary, given she had found the 150 watt bulb outdoor lights, but she wanted to be sure. After getting the pump house rigged Christine put together the two 500W work lights. She now chuckles sheepishly having seen them on. We've got the lights in the garage (which was at 22°F) shining on the water filtration system. The lights also mean we can actually see the garage well enough to clean it after dark. I could mow the yard after dark with these lights. Yowza. The more i think about it, the more i like the idea of being able to work outside after dark in the next few months. It seems so far away, the the sauna days will come.

Our road finally got plowed. Given that we might soar up to 40° today, well, i guess it's less to melt and be wet. I suppose i was inspired and i cleaned the walk. This powder snow is not the usual North Carolina type of snow so it was rather delightful to be able to sweep the last bits of snow off after shoveling off most of it. So very very dry.

Driving around i also noted how our slight slope with northern exposure is significant enough to make a difference between still having a thick layer of snow vs dots in the grass. The northernmost area of the yard has melted: an indication of how shaded we are by the pines in with the sun low in the south.

We did our weekly grocery run early as Christine has oral surgery coming on Tuesday. There probably was a bit of overbuying after feeling a little snowbound for a couple of days.

I haven't yet decided how i'm celebrating the temperatures getting above freezing.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 7th, 2018|08:18 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

I ended up leaving work early on Friday to rest. And i did a good bit of resting yesterday. Chest still feels tight & heavy, coughing spells still occur.

We have no water this morning, which is not a complete shock. The area has passed the 1982 record number of consecutive subfreezing hours yesterday. Our outside thermometer says -8°F this morning. We'll run a lightbulb out to the pumphouse in a while and hope nothing has cracked. We have jugs of water around for when we loose power (and the pump doesn't work) so no hardship yet. Also, there's plenty of snow to melt.

Eight Fahrenheit degrees below freezing. I am strongly inclined to cuss.

With respect to resting, i read The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. which i almost didn't finish: it takes off very very slowly, and i felt the foreshadowing (can you have foreshadowing with time travel?) was rather blunt. But FINALLY there were a few new characters that introduced a little more complexity and i did finally finish. I also read Piers Anthony's Wielding a Red Sword and concluded my expectations have changed since i was in high school. If i end up reading more today, i'll try reading a book i just had delivered which is about Quakers in Tibet in the 1950s.

Speaking of delivering, we had several postal packages trudged through the snow to our house. The were light but bulky (HVAC filters, primarily). I thought of someone else's story of not receiving a delivery because their porch hadn't been cleaned of snow. I suppose delivering up our snowy walk and snowy drive and snowy porch is no big deal because the roads are black ice and icy snow.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 4th, 2018|07:22 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Some quick notes:

SNOW! We actually got 3". It was beautiful in the moonlight early this morning, and now the morning is dawning brightly. I do not remember snow sticking around under sunlight in my childhood. As soon as the sun came out it was warm enough to all melt away. This subfreezing cold snap plus snow -- two years in a row! -- is weird weather for here. Ditto the snow before Christmas this year. Last year the garden benefited by snow first, then cold. Now it's been cold for days, and the snow is on top of frozen ground.

Stress. I realized in talking it over that i hadn't been talking myself up to a stressed state, but that the stress is just due to apprehension around a new role that i will engage in today and the long list of New Things i will be thinking about. I didn't need to beat myself up for beating myself up! I think i can "make friends" with this apprehension-stress, and not be judgemental of it as failing in my attempt to care for myself. (YES, i DO know this is twisty twisty judgemental thinking!)

Dad: called to debrief about Mom and the game. Mom asked to go exercise yesterday morning, which is part of what her doctor has asked her to do, so he was happy about that.

"Thank you Jesus ⓒ" So there are all these signs popping up over the Piedmont of NC. I noticed them summer of 2016. They act as a sort of Rorschach test. Christine has read them as a celebration of the current president, i've read them cynically as viral movement to part money from people. I'd looked them up before and found just a simple web page encouraging the spread of the lawn signs across the country, please send $$. Today i looked them up and noticed that there's now a 501(3)(c) mission that's been formed to handle the money. I also noted the ⓒ -- REALLY??? I suppose copyrighting without the comma? Pfft. Finally, i noticed the spiritual home of the person who started the program was a Friends Meeting. Knowing the dysfunction of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends (FUM) over the past year, i checked out the writer who has recorded the ups and downs to find, ah-ha, the Friends Meeting associated with the signs was also one of the meetings that was pushing for the expulsion of the non-dogmatic meetings. There's something about praying on street corners: i suppose someone decided it didn't apply to lawns.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2018|09:48 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Celebrate! I actually spent the first work hour on the important task today! Following the precepts of "conditions of enoughness" today's work day is a win, no matter what else happens. Slowly creeping back to productivity is framed as getting done what i said i should do for today.

I'm trying to reward myself by not pressuring or beating myself up over the rest of the day.

And, in more celebration, i've been getting the "top ten things" done, a list i made on Friday.

This advice about pride has come just as i am ready for it.

--== ∞ ==--

Hours later: well somehow i've managed to get myself nice and stressed and tense. Fie.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 2nd, 2018|04:40 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

I ended up reading this article about the asymmetries in sex parties in Silicon Valley and this NYT article about 'live' water and the entrepreneurs who are promoting it in Silicon Valley today. Not good headspace.

Meanwhile, Evernote became very badly behaved on my work machine. That put me in a funk today.

I'm hoping for a better work day tomorrow.

Tonight i am food adventuring by fixing smelt. Fingers crossed that the small bone-in fish will be appealing.

I've ordered horehound plants after having some horehound candy this holiday season. I'm thinking about my herb garden to be and making all sorts of hard candy flavored with herbs. Lavender candy. I've ordered a mint that they claim has wintergreen flavor. And holy basil's clove scent: i wonder if that would make it as a candy? That's my escape from the thoughts of water that has a shelf life of a month (a lunar cycle, excuse me) because it will turn green.

The happiness i felt some weeks ago seems so hard to grasp today. I'm hoping after a little recovery from the holidays and the asthma flare, the happiness will be easier to find. Gratitude, compassion, and pride, i read recently, help one achieve goals (like New Years resolutions). I know gratitude and compassion are also spiritually powerful, and pride of a certain sort, the "job well done" pleasure -- well i can imagine that being very motivating.

Meanwhile:

Sentences that are hard to read at anytime but make brain go boom after the holiday include, "However if you transform a quantum key exchange to a supersingular Isogeny you can attack post-quantum RSA and thus apply our attack indirectly to secp256k1." https://robotattack.org/

LinkLeave a comment

A quick note [Jan. 2nd, 2018|07:40 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

We took black-eyed peas and scrabble over to my parents for lunch yesterday. My dad has suggested game playing in response to the lifestyle changes suggested for someone with mild cognitive impairment.


Intellectual stimulation may prevent cognitive decline. Studies have shown computer use, playing games, reading books and other intellectual activities may help preserve function and prevent cognitive decline.

Social engagement may make life more satisfying, and help preserve mental function and slow mental decline.


I thought my mom would find scrabble more congenial than my dad's suggestion of hearts. My dad's response was horror: his spelling is much worse than mine. He recognized that it would be good for my mom though, so he gamely agreed. Mom, however, disappeared and called her sister.

I was very disappointed. One reason is just the hope for ever having a relaxed time with my mother that isn't folks trapped in a car....

but it's time to go to work.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 31st, 2017|08:03 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

The asthma flare is taking a toll. I worked outside three hours on Saturday and was wiped out. My Dad called wanting to do a little road trip, so we rode up to Saxapahaw to have coffee and a nosh at the general store. http://saxgenstore.com/ It reminds me of a place you might find on the Sonoma or Mendicino coast except it's very North Carolina in content, that is, locovore foodstuffs and coffee roasted locally. lovely.

Pittsboro, my own town, has it's own renovated mill buildings and farm to fork options, but the drive up the Haw River to Saxapahaw was lovely. I'd looked with some nostalgia at [personal profile] zyzyly's California photos in the morning, but i do love the piedmont hills.

I'll get back to photos after my gardening stuff settles.... i hope.

Today was very quiet. I'd made up a batch of barley on Saturday in the pressure cooker, putting much of it in ice cube trays so i can have a small amount for the soup i've been making from dried veggies. With the cup left over and a jar of fresh oysters i made an oyster stew for lunch that was quite satisfying.

I've mostly spent the day tidying up notes in my inbox.

I hope for a New Year where i am creative and follow through on communication and paperwork. I for you a new year that brings peace and justice and happiness and health.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 31st, 2017|09:33 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I found this summary of a Politico article on crazy American political years to be somewhat reassuring. In particular, the comment from Ron Chernow about how Lincoln was followed by Andrew Johnson (not Jackson) was particularly interesting. I have pondered whether the current Obama to Trump succession was some sort of bizarre echo.

Link3 comments|Leave a comment

I am Procrastinating On All The Things [Dec. 29th, 2017|07:27 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

In other weather news, the trail camera said it was 5°F when the doe wandered past at 1 am.

I've placed an Amazon order for additions to my little greenhouse: seedling germination heating mats, a temperature logger with internal and external sensors, and a remote controlled outlet thing that will let me turn off the heating easily.

I already have a temperature sensor, but without a guide as to the external temperature, i was left with a mystery of whether there was any "greenhouse effect" going on at all. The historical temperature logs i could find were far enough away that i had no idea as to whether it was appropriate for my location. With three sensors i can measure the bottom of the greenhouse, the top of the greenhouse, and outside. Then i can get an idea of how effective running a lightbulb is in there and so on.

When i say "greenhouse" i mean a 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse, 27" Long x 18" Wide x 63" High thing. It's not big, but it's enough. Unfortunately

(Oh, my, the temporary greenhouses.... I could shelter a dwarf orange and Meyer lemon on the west side of the garage some day, as well as the little avocado tree if it survives....)

Meanwhile, i decided i was taking today as a vacation day when i failed to really get going. Instead i was pretty focused on going through a virtual stack of "to do" items to look for any urgent and important items, to remove items i know i've done, and to leave the rest for a miraculous time when i might consider them.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]