Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy, dreary, miserable

I can’t believe it’s the end of July already. Wow. This month flew — and it’s supposed to be a long month!

Yesterday was busy — caught up on quite a bit in the morning, got some tidying up and vacuuming done (the cats were NOT amused). Those little stinkers stashed my yoga block somewhere — I always keep it with my mat and it’s gone. I tossed the whole living room — it’s nowhere to be found. I’ll probably find it when we do the furniture swap. In the meantime — I miss my block!

I was about an hour later than I hoped to get out of the house, so I had to skip the whole writing-in-the-coffee-shop thing. The parking lot was full, so I may not have been able to grab a table anyway. I’ll try to get there at some point next week.

Met my friend for lunch, headed to the site job. Had a good afternoon on site, and also got a nice chunk of work done on a big client project I’m going to finish today and get out the door. Had my headphones on, and since, the iPod is synched with the computer, just used the “shuffle” on the computer and only used one device instead of two.

Wound up with eight pages of prospect leads — I have GOT to get that mailing out in the next couple of weeks. The prospect list has gotten incredibly long. Plus, as I’ve been working on the brochure, I realized that I offer some services that most other freelancers don’t (that looks weird on the page, but it’s nothing skeezy, I promise), so I’m adjusting the brochures to reflect that.

I LOVE direct mail projects. I know, I’m a freak. And I love the postcard follow-ups. I especially love it because I can do such cool designs on the Mac.

So I bought those OFF clip-on thingys — and they need BATTERIES! Really? You’d think they could have mentioned that in the ads! Urgh!

Unfortunately, because I couldn’t use it, I was bitten. Badly. On the outside of my arm, just above the elbow. It’s swollen to about the size of a golf ball. I put after-bite ointment on it, iced it a few times (it’s so hot the ice melts), wrapped it in witch hazel compresses, and took ibuprofen last night as anti-inflammatory. I don’t know if taking an anti-hystimine is the right thing to do, or if that will interfere with whatever the body’s trying to do to protect itself. It’s itchy and distracting, especially when I move my arm. And now there seems to be a rash forming and travelling down the arm. When I head out to do errands later, I will stop by the local mom-and-pop pharmacy (rather than a chain store) and show it to them. They’ve got a great holistic section as well as a good pharmacy, and they’re very helpful. Since I don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a doctor’s visit, my options are limited.

Meanwhile, the dickhead senators claim they don’t want the government involved in health care on principle. Yet they’re not willing to give up their government-sponsored health care they receive — policies which work, and work well. Medicare works well. It has nothing to do with principles, because most of these politicians have none. It has to do with financial contributions from the insurance industry to these politicians’ campaigns.

The wrist is better, but now I’m dealing with Mega Bug Bite! Always something.

I wasn’t able to participate in the Health Care Town Hall last night, but I emailed over my suggestions, solutions, and opinions.

I’ve got some follow-up to do and some more interviews to schedule. I have GOT to get to Staples today — I’m on a use-it-or-lose it day with a coupon. I need to get to Target in the next couple of days, too — more bins and also the stationery is cheaper there than at Staples.

I’m going to do some intensive Czech study today and all weekend — I let it slide most of the week, and I only have six weeks left before Costume Imp and I leave.

I’m also going to a different meditation session at another studio this evening. That will give me an idea of what’s going on around here, and I can see where I feel most comfortable.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 7:34 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Hop on over to the Scruffy Dog Review blog for my article, “Don’t Assume You Know My Contract” and leave a comment.

I’m so tired of everything being damp and clammy all the time. Ick!

After a day as good as Tuesday, of course, yesterday was filled with interruptions and frustrations. I had a heck of a time getting out the door to storage, and it wasn’t fun hauling the crap to storage. My wrist and I are not on speaking terms.

I swung by the site where I needed to get some paperwork signed and took care of that, had lunch with a friend, and installed myself at the Greenwich Library to get some work done.

I wound up finding some very interesting material and going off on a tangent, but that’s okay, because it will come in useful further down the road. It just means working some additional hours today and tomorrow to get everything done.

I looked up about halfway through the afternoon and saw the storm moved in, so I gathered my belongings and headed home. I tried to get some more work done, and managed to write two articles and get some editing work done before the storm was bad enough for me to shut down all the electronics (since surge protectors are basically useless).

I tried to read a mystery I picked up. It lost me in the first sentence. I felt I was being unfair, so I struggled along. Most of the writing is far too precious — the writer is in love with the sound of her own voice and wants to sound “literary”, but doesn’t have the skill level to pull it off. And, while she writes well about the conceit of the protag’s profession, the mystery part of the tale falls apart. The protag makes such stupid choices that, should she become the killer’s next victim, it wouldn’t bother me too much. This is the third book of a series. I won’t be going back to read the first two, and I won’t read the books that follow. These are hours of my life better spent reading GOOD writing.

Well, at least I learned valuable lessons about what NOT to do in this type of book!

I packed up some more stuff — this has to be stacked in a corner until the furniture swap happens, and I can put it away in the furniture coming in. The new couch shipped, and, after using Safari to push the site link (it spun and wouldn’t connect in Firefox) and discovered that it left California on Tuesday (huh?), so I don’t think I have to worry about it showing up until the original Monday – Wednesday time frame.

I had a good writing morning on the mystery short story. I’ll have to rearrange a bit of the dialogue for logistical reasons, but I think I can finish it this weekend and let it sit for a week or so while I write the second story, and then go back, edit this one, edit the other one, and get them in on deadline.

I’ve got to vacuum (here we go, Jupiter Retrograde influence). I’m going to write in a local coffee shop for awhile, then I have a lunch date, then I’ve got a site job in CT this afternoon.

It also looks like I’ll land a gig down in DC for a few days in November, which will be really cool! IF all the contract details work out.

Of course, if I go down, I will build in time to visit my Senators and Congressional Reps. Can’t let any opportunity slip by. My Congresswoman wants me to be part of a Telephone Town Hall on health care tonight — only I’ll still be onsite at the time it starts. I’ve sent her my cell phone and also some thoughts on it, in general.

Devon

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, stormy

My father died on this date in 1972. One never gets over it; one learns to live with it.

On a happier note, yesterday was just about the freelancer’s perfect day. Shot out of the house early to get on the road and drive about 45 minutes up-county to do my interview. The drive wasn’t bad — on a road I don’t usually like because it’s a pain. The cops were out in force — probably because of the woman who got on the Taconic Parkway a few days ago and drove TWO MILES the wrong way on the parkway before slamming into an SUV. Eight people were killed, four of them children, and included her. They still don’t know why — she wasn’t drunk and she had no underlying medical conditions, according to reports.

Anyway, the cops were out in force. They caught six speeders on the way up and one on the way back. I was grateful to them for grabbing one guy, in particular, in a white van. I saw the cops out, so I held to the top of the speed limit. This guy in a white van tries to crawl up my tail pipe. He’s flashing his lights and waving his fist at me. Whatever. I keep to the speed limit. He’s got plenty of lanes in which to pass me. So he goes onto the shoulder, passes me on the right, screaming and swearing at me as he passes, then cuts in front of me and slams on the brakes.

Fortunately, I was expecting it and managed to get out of the way. Even more fortunately, the whole thing went down in front of the State Police and they were all over his ass in seconds. Buh-bye. Enjoy your fine.

Like I said, the interview went very well. I like my interview subject a lot, and the interview gave me a slew of ideas for which I could use him as a source, so I’ll make notes on them and start pitching them to other markets, too.

I drove back down, had to stop at home because I forgot to mail the bills, drove to the Purchase post office to mail everything, and continued on to the gig in CT. Had a quick lunch and went to work. Their internet was down, which sort of slowed down the afternoon, but I managed to get everything done for them and get over to my friend’s place for dinner early.

I got a nice chunk of a big client project done at my friend’s place, wrote up notes for a story, and got an idea for a new series. Ideas tend to come in clusters for me, so I jot them all down, and then they take a spot in the queue.

I had dinner with my friend, came home, did five loads of laundry, and headed off to meditation. There was one guy thee who immediately starting questioning my training, my methods, etc. I was like, “Dude, this is meditation and you’re totally stressing me out!”

Once the meditation session started, it was fine. There were four of us and the leader. We did a sitting meditation, a walking meditation, and a sitting meditation. I was “the new person”, but I also had the least problem staying still. My mind may wander a bit here and there, but keeping my body still has never been an issue. Each of the three sessions felt like it went by like lightening. I loved it — and I loved the cushion I used. I don’t have a cushion when I sit at home, because I haven’t found one I like, but this was perfect. I’ll have to find out where they get them. I did walk into the wall at one point during the walking meditation. As the leader said, “It was bound to happen sooner or later; thank you for being the first.” Especially since I thought it was funny, and didn’t get upset. Hey, if we’re going to be one, we might as well include the wall, you know?

And when we discussed the day’s reading, I realized the aggressive guy really wasn’t that bad; he was just trying too hard. So, I think as long as I set boundaries, it won’t be a problem.

One thing the past set of workshops — whether they’re computer workshops or holistic workshops — has taught me over the past few months is that my life in the arts means I either don’t have or quickly dealt with a lot of these issues and obstacles that many of my fellow students have. I just plunge ahead, guided by passion and common sense, and don’t let other people dictate rules. I try to be considerate (I don’t always succeed there, I’m afraid), but I don’t let others define me. I wouldn’t have been able to spend my entire working life in the arts if I hadn’t been that stubborn and independent. I think it’s much harder for actors — they’re constantly defined by their roles, and have to constantly fight that.

It’ll be three weeks before I can go back — the leader’s out of town next week, and I’m working out of town the following week — but I’ll definitely be back.

The two people who talked me into going last night never showed up! Oh, well. I’ve even looked up and printed out some information we’d talked about. Either I see them again, or I don’t. Can’t get too worked up about it.

Came home, did my evening yoga session. Was too tired to type up my notes from the interview, so I’ll have to do it today, while it’s all still fresh.

I’ve got to take a load of stuff to storage before the bad storms break, take some paperwork over to CT for signatures, work on the big client project, and get in another writing session. I might take my writing with me when I go to storage and go to the library from there. I also want to type up my notes from the interview, and send some email questions to some sources. I also want to work on the magazine pitch and do some more work on a long-term proposal.

I had a decent writing session this morning — not great, but decent. I figured out the odd word backwards and forwards — it’s not the same thing in either direction, it just has to have a very specific meaning when it’s spelled forward and seem kind of odd, but still possible backwards.

I decided that, when I work out of town in an upcoming week, I’m going to take ANGEL HUNT with me, and that will be my main focus from the week. I think some uninterrupted work time on it without distractions, and I can get it out the door.

We’re supposed to get severe storms later in the day and, yet again, are on floodwatch, which means once the storms start, I’ll be dashing down to check the brook every hour or so, and trying to figure out when to move the car.

Gotta be productive until then.

Devon

1and1.com is having its daily problem — I can’t get into my email AT ALL. How am I supposed to run my business? I’ve had problems almost every day since MARCH. This is NOT acceptable. They used to be a reliable host with a good reputation, but the past year and change — forget it.

I think, when I have the new sites designed, I’ll use that opportunity to move hosts. It will probably be post-Prague, but there’s no reason for me to keep paying these guys when they don’t deliver.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, humid, hot

Yesterday morning absolutely flew past — I got out a bunch of submissions that stacked up (I’m finally getting out the backlog of projects), I got out a bunch of queries, I dealt with some business-y stuff. It was very productive, but definitely a case of “noon aleady?”

I found a great market to pitch an article about a local historical site about which I’m passionate, so I’m getting to work on that, and working on a long-term proposal for an exciting project. The chances of me being chosen are about the same as when pigs fly, but with the way scientists make break-throughs nowadays, maybe the pigs and I will both get the chance!

Made a quick run to Costco, to pick up a few things. I’m taking advantage of the fact that it’s only about a mile from me, because when I move — the nearest Costco is 45 minutes to an hour away, which means I have to be very organized, have lots of lists, and make a day of it — Costco, lunch, return. Thank goodness for insulated food bags, right? Sort of like when I go to Niantic now — it turns into a day trip.

Now, I have the luxury of being able to dash over and pick up one or two things and dash out — provided I don’t get distracted!

Prepared for today’s interviews. Got the bag packed — camera, tape recorder, notebook. I’m going up county to conduct the interviews, working in CT this afternoon, and then going to a meditation session tonight, at the same place I attended the Herbal Hour last night.

Parking was hell, but the facility is terrific, and maybe I’ll even try a yoga class or two. The session was fantastic — there were six of us, and we all instantly connected. Three of us are coming back for the meditation tonight. The workshop leader was fantastic — I definitely want to work with her again. It was great to get out there and meet a bunch of people in very different lines of work — it’s rare that I’m the only person who works in the arts in a room, but, actually, out here in the ‘burbs, it’s more the norm. When you attend workshops in the city, about 70% of those attending will be somehow connected to the arts community. And yet, workshops like this bring us together because of what unites us, not because we’re so different, and we can use our differences as frames of references to help and support each other. So that was all very cool. There was one woman who’s what I call a professional workshop attendee, but she’s very funny.

Not going to get my morning 1K I think, because I have to leave so early to drive up county. I’ve set aside time in the afternoon instead. I don’t usually write much in the afternoon, but today I’m going to have to!

I’m curious about the meditation session tonight — I’ve also been invited to one on Friday at another location. So, we’ll see.

Off to eat a hearty breakfast and then to do my interviews!

Devon

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 6:15 am  Comments (3)  
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, rainy, hot, humid

I had the best time on Kim Smith’s radio show yesterday afternoon. We talked about a wide range of subjects. If you didn’t get a chance to listen in real time, you can listen at your leisure here.

Busy day. Wrote a lot in the morning. Read quite a bit in the afternoon — a new-to-me book on oil blends,which gives me a lot of ideas. And then I read a novel, a mystery and pseudo-ghost story. I really liked the first two thirds of it. However, then I got ahead of the protag and got impatient with him, and the ending was too fast and left too many loose ends. Ultimately, it was unsatisfying. It was a a stylistic experiment which didn’t quite work, in my opinion.

Went to Target. Bought more bins on sale. Also bought the cat toy Brandy talked about in her blog. All three cats are absolutely wild about it. It’s hilarious. I told them their “Auntie Brandy” recommended it. They’re not quite sure who Auntie Brandy is yet, but they’ll meet her someday, I hope.

I also had an interesting encounter in the checkout line at Target. The woman in line ahead of me had an overflowing cart and a toddler belted into the seat. She was struggling with her packages and her purse and everything else, completely overwhelmed. The toddler, with more dexterity than most adults I know, unsnapped the safety belt, stood up in the seat, and launched himself over the handlebars of the cart.

I stepped forward and caught him.

He thought it was the Best Game Ever.

I put him back into his seat and fastened the belt with one of my Magic Knots. When I was little, my dad wanted me to learn how to tie nautical knots. He bought me instructions and rope and I was supposed to spend time every day practicing. I was like six or seven at the time. I HATED it.

So I made up my own knots.

I used one of those knots to secure him back into the cart. He was wearing little khaki cargo pants, cute as can be, and the pockets were full of little games and toys. He had to take out every single one and show me.

I asked him how old he was, and his mother said, “Two.”

He frowned at her and said, “Two years, four months, and thirteen days.”

I stared at him, because two year olds aren’t usually that dexterous or that articulate, and he said, “I REALLY wanna be THREE.”

I was good. I didn’t laugh.

HIs mom finished paying and packing and I undid the knot so she could actually get him out of the cart and into the car seat. He grabbed a box of Cheerios and opened it (with a lot less trouble than I have opening a box of cereal). His mother took it away and said, “We’re not eating cereal now. We’re going to have a real lunch.”

He looked at me and said, “I think you need to come home with us and read books to me.”

It was very cute. That mother’s got her hands full — he’s smart as a whip, and I bet he’ll invent something really amazing when he’s a little older. Like seven.

I had a decent but not great writing session this morning on the story. I have to do some research — finding a word that spells one thing going in one direction and another going backwards. It’s a plot point, so I have to get it right.

I’ve got a bunch of correspondence and business to take care of, and then I hope to get in another writing session. I’m going to try to pack a bit today. I’m also doing the final prep for tomorrow morning’s interviews up county and tonight I’m attending a holistic seminar about two towns over.

My wrist still hurts like heck. The only yoga pose that bothers it is the “bound hands” pose, where you interlace your fingers and raise your arms over your head. Downward dog, plank, the ones you’d THINK would hurt — they’re fine. But a simple overhead stretch isn’t.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 8:38 am  Comments (5)  
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and humid

The lovely and talented Kim Smith is hosting me today on her BlogTalk radio show at 4 PM EST to talk about DIXIE DUST RUMORS:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kims

We’re finally getting some summer heat and humidity, but it’s still not too bad and I still haven’t put in the air conditioner. Not that I could lift it to put it in until the wrist heals anyway.

Yesterday wound up being more of a reading day than a writing day, which was fine. I trundled my package off to the post office. I’d brought tape and markers and all that because I had to buy the envelope and pack it there. So I’m taping my envelope shut when this chickie snatches the tape OUT OF MY HAND and walks off with it! If she’d asked to use it, I would have said fine, but to walk up to me and take it out of my hands when I’m using it — sorry, I”m far too much of a territorial only child to put up with that! So I followed her and took it back, and I told her that it was my personal tape (the post office now charges if they give you a piece of tape, which is probably why she took mine) and if she’d asked, I would have shared, but not under these circumstances.

She gets all pouty — well, as much as the Botox would let her move her facial muscles, and said, “You don’t have to be such a bitch.”

I just smiled and said, “Sweetie, you really don’t want to me around me when I’m a bitch. This is me being nice!”

I swear, the stupidity quotient around here is rising exponentially!

Anyway, I read a lot, took a nap in the afternoon (I had a good old-fashioned “tummy ache” for some reason), and roughed out three short stories that I hope will fall into the 3000 word range. Two of them are for an anthology, whose deadline is coming up quickly, and for which I was just recommended. The third is for another publication for which I’ve wanted to write for awhile, but haven’t figured out what to do for them yet, and which was inspired by a road rage incident in which I chose not to engage on Friday.

This morning, I wrote 1200 words on one of the stories (a comic mystery) and outlined a fourth piece, which I hope will come in at 2500 words, because I want to serialize over five months in the newsletter. Yes, Michelle, I got the idea from you!

The wrist is actually worse today for some reason, even though I rested, iced it, wrapped it, and babied it yesterday. Go figure. It’s not the sharp, shooting pain now, just a steady dull throb. Um, is that supposed to be an improvement?

Brandy, if you can find a good place that doesn’t charge too much to replace the springs, that’s one option. Or you can get a board cut to size that fits OVER the offending springs. You can either keep it as a separate underneath piece and make a new cushion with a combination of foam and batting and then make a cover for it, or you can put the board within the cushion itself and place the foam and batting on top of it. The former will make cleaning/washing easier, because if you use the second option, you’ll have to fasten it in a way that you can unfasten it in order to remove the board before washing. As long as the edges of the board are sanded and there’s a little trim on the bottom of the cushion to hide the board, you should be fine. Because I’m so close to NYC, the pros who do things like fix springs and reupholster are out of my price range — at least the ones who do the quality of work I want. It might be more reasonable in your area.

Regarding Verizon, Brandy, thank you for asking Chris about it, I totally appreciate it. The doctor’s office swears that no one there did any forwarding — all of a sudden in the afternoon, the calls simply stopped coming in to them, and switched to me. They checked with their answering service, who promises they didn’t do anything either. I think Verizon needs to do some line-checking. The calls have stopped coming to us — at least for now — but aren’t back to normal at the office, so someone else must be going through the same thing now. Somewhere, a line’s getting crossed or some electronic something is miscommunicating with something else. Maybe if the doctor’s office calls in a tech, they can figure it out. Thanks for the heads-up about the stores — I’m being really careful about which ones I go to. I need a phone upgrade and I need to adjust my plan, because the one I’m on isn’t meeting my needs, and I have to find one of the good stores who’s willing to take the time and cut the smarmy sales talk. The minute my eyes start to cross because of the double-talk – it’s time to go! ;)

Target discounted the big bins yet again and I need some more, so guess where I’m headed? Ooh, shiny . . .

I had a good yoga session this morning. The YOGA JOURNAL DVDs are great when I get up early enough so I don’t feel rushed. It’s silly — I make my own schedule, I should never feel rushed — but there are days when I do and that sort of works against the whole “mindfulness” principle of the practice!

Devon

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 8:38 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot and humid

We’re finally getting the summer weather, but it’s not anywhere near as bad as it could be.

I’m on retreat this weekend. Yay!

Yesterday was a hit-and-miss day. I went to Home Depot to pick up wood glue so I can work on the 1950’s couch and the 1950’s chair that also needs some help. Don’t you love it when there’s a whole aisle worth of stuff, and one individual purposely blocks anyone else from looking or choosing merchandise because “I need to look at it all as a piece so I know what I want.” Honey, this is a pubic store and you are not the only customer. Get over yourself. Literally, this guy was spreading his arms and dancing back and forth not letting any of the half a dozen of us or so who actually knew what we wanted and were reaching for it and then clearing out actually put hands on product. Get a life, bub. And learn some basic courtesy.

After Home Depot, I drove over to White Plains (looking longingly at the turn off to Target) to Verizon, where I wanted to talk to someone about upgrading my phone, the phone plan, and the problem of the forwarded calls (got a barely polite message frm the doctor’s office stating that “we didn’t do anything; you better call Verizon.” Um, what do you think I was doing on the phone with Verizon for an hour and a half? They INSIST the problem originates in the doctor’s office. Frankly, I don’t give a damn where it originates. It is VERIZON’S responsibility to fix it, and they’re just shrugging it off. It’s not surprising, but it’s annoying.

Anyway, the place was really busy, and after waiting around for a half hour, I was done. Plus, they only let you check in with one type of issue, and I had three. As usual, they try to put people in boxes instead of dealing with individual issues. So I left. They’re perfectly nice there, it’s just that the way they’re set up doesn’t meet my needs. And since I am paying them to meet my needs, we need to negotiate a bit more.

Continued to Hartsdale to the fabric store. Searched for bobbins for my Viking Hvesquenhana — which I bought there. Got a song and dance because they decided not to carry them there and have no idea what other bobbins are compatible. Found thread to fix a skirt of mine — and got a lecture on thread from one of the clerks. Honey, I’ve been in wardrobe for over 20 years. I KNOW what kind of thread I need for this repair. Don’t lecture me and damn well don’t condescend to me. Went downstairs with a swatch I’d gotten from them awhile back to actually purchase the upholstery fabric to recover the 1950’s chair. They didn’t have it, they’d never heard of it, etc., etc., even though I had the swatch and all the details from the last visit. I looked at the fabrics they had in stock — none of them were what I wanted for this chair. So I left, only purchasing thread, and with a bad taste in my mouth. They’ve always been a little eccentric, but, in the past, they were friendly and funny and it was worth putting up with the eccentricities. Not with these particular employees. I doubt I’ll go back.

Stopped at Michael’s — they have a variety of bobbins, but until I talk to Viking and find out which bobbins are compatible, I’m not buying them. The same packages are also half the price they were at the fabric store.

I really need to find a new fabric store, but there’s a dearth of them in the area. I think I’ll have to go hunting in CT, and, whenever I’m in MASS, I’ll have to add stops at fabric stores to my list. I don’t want to haul into the garment district in NYC every time I want some fabric. Although the silks at the fabric store are now three and four times more expensive than they are in the garment district, and not as pretty or as high quality. Well, maybe in fall I’ll make a list and do one big trip to the garment district with a wheeled suitcase and get everything in one haul.

In other words, it wasn’t a very good shopping day! ;)

Diane, the bureau isn’t the one I “inherited” at storage — that’s too big for this space. I’ll use it when I move. The one I’m bringing in is a smaller one. When I lived on the Deuce in NYC, right off Times Square, I went to a huge Salvation Army store on W. 46th St. I found a bureau there painted an ugly shade of green for about $25. I loved the lines of it. I took my little folding airport luggage cart, strapped it on, and wheeled it home. I stripped it and painted it a glossy black. Topped with a red silk scarf and some pretty little candles, stones, and other pieces, it had pride of place in the bedroom. It’ll fit in this space, once I clear out some other stuff, and I need the extra drawer space.

The 1950’s couch will go into storage once I re-glue it, but I won’t refinish it/make the new cushions until I move. I will recover the cushions in the 1950’s chair, however, over the next few months. That’s still here and will stay here. I’m getting rid of the black, broken recliner (which was delivered the day Bobby Kennedy was shot) and I want to replace it with another reading chair, yet to be found. The oversized reading chair that I love, stashed in storage, won’t fit.

Anyway, I came home to find some yoga/writing clothes I ordered arrived. I tried everything on; all but one piece fit and look good. They were on sale (like 60% off), and they’re a great, soft, organic cotton. I feel like I got a good deal. I’m returning the one piece that didn’t fit if I can catch the post office open. Since I can’t drive until the wrist heals, I either have to catch the post office up the street when it’s open, or wait. Or have someone drive me.

I ordered the new couch that will take the place of the 1950’s couch — it’s a light, simple piece that flips out into a sofa bed and works better for the space. Poking around on the internet, I found some promotional codes, and got a nice chunk discounted off that, too. It will be delivered in about ten days. Which means I have ten days to finish packing stuff up in the apartment and hire the guys to do the furniture switch. Provided the wrist heals quickly, it’s do-able.

I got some client work cleared off, caught up on a few things, read a bit I rested the wrist — icing it, taking some ibuprofen (since I want to remain on speaking terms with my liver, I’m being careful). Diane, great suggestion on the witch hazel compress — that made a big difference. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions — I’m implementing as many as I can to get this resolved as quickly and healthily as possible!

I thought I’d have to modify my yoga practice, but, for some reason, the poses don’t aggravate it. If they do, I’ll modify.

The cats didn’t like the thunder and lightening storms last night. They huddled under the blankets, watching the lightening strikes, and demanding that I make it stop. I enjoy a good thunder storm, especially if I’m inside!

This morning, one of the window shades spontaneously popped out of its fastening and shot across the room like a missile. I’m lucky it didn’t hit the mirror and smash it. The cats dived for cover. I managed to fix it and replace it. It seems to be working fine, now.

I had a good morning’s writing session. I’m off to the post office now to make that return,and then it’s back to a day of writing. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of it. I’ve got some ideas to work on, and some projects to get back to. I’ve also got a novel that looks like a lot of fun to sink into when I get tired of writing.

I had a great morning yoga session and I plan to do one more this afternoon and one tonight. No packing or client projects this weekend — just doing what I want and need to do for myself, getting refreshed both mentally and physically.

The landlords are being scumbags again, but I will deal with them on Monday.

And I answered someone’s question on a forum about my opinion on mill content sites (and one in particular) — I’m sure several of the “writers” on the forum will take issue with it. Too damn bad.

Devon

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 8:40 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

GRRR! 5:30 in the morning, I am awakened by leaf blowers. You know how much I hate leaf blowers. And our city code forbids the use of leaf blowers from May-September, and always at 5:30 AM. So I stomp down to pitch a fit and call the cops — and it’s city public works trucks using them! You can bet City Hall is going to get an earful. Not acceptable.

My wrist is in bad shape. I put too much pressure on it yesterday — two carloads of stuff into storage. Heavy stuff. For those of you with driveways and garages, it may not seem like a big deal, but remember I’m in a third floor walk-up, and have to not only navigate the stairs, but cross a large courtyard to the street and/or parking lot, carrying the stuff. No dollies or anything else. So, filling the car with 18 boxes (which is what the car can hold) means 36 trips up and down the 3 flights of stairs. Once I get to the storage facility, it’s fine, because I load everything onto dollies and roll them right in to the unit; I’m now on the ground floor.

There’s more room in the living room, though. And I managed to save the old couch from the 1950’s. For awhile there, it looked like it was beyond salvation — on one side, the wooden pegs have come loose, and the elastic struts underneath suffered dry rot. But I stripped the struts out, stripped it all down to just the wooden frame, which is still great with a little TLC, washed it. I’m going to get some wood glue and maybe some new pegs and put it back together again, and then put it in storage during the furniture swap. When I move, I’ll make a new bottom cushion and back cushion with upholstery foam and create covers for them in whatever fabric I want — it’s a nice piece of furniture in a unique style. The back corners already have angle braces. I can add some in the front corners, and then I don’t need the struts. It had wooden supports placed every few feet. So it will all be good.

But now I have a six foot wooden couch frame upended in the corner of the living room until the furniture swap happens!

The cats are having a fit!

I’m also reaching a point of lots of stuff stacked, because until the bookcases and the bureau come in, I have no place to put the clothes and books that are going IN them. There’s a bit of chaos going on.

Wasn’t able to get all the client projects cleared up, so I’ll finish them today and probably start the writing retreat tomorrow. I think, for the remainder of this particular Jupiter Retrograde, I have to block off Thursdays as just for hearth-and-home. For whatever reason, it’s got a strong influence on me, and I better just go with it.

As far as the wrist goes, I can’t see a doctor because I have no insurance (get that damned health reform bill done, Congress! All of you who voted to bail out AIG and the banks– who shouldn’t have been rewarded for their bad decisions with taxpayer money– if you can afford that, you can afford to reform health care, so stop dragging your feet. And stop calling it “socialized medicine” when it’s not and you have no clue as to the actual definition of the term. “Socialized medicine” is a very specific set of procedures, none of which I’ve seen included in any drafts of the current health care bill possibilities. If you can’t learn about that which you speak, shut the eff up. Don’t regurgitate inaccurate talking points), and my acupuncturist is out of town until fall. I’m going to take some ibuprofen, wrap it, brace it if I have to, and hope for the best. Only turning or heavy lifting bothered it yesterday — EVERYTHING bothers it today. I discovered that I can’t turn on the ignition using my left hand, so driving will be interesting.

Of course, when I had insurance, the usual round was: Go the the doctor; get sent to another doctor; get sent to a third doctor who sends me for X-rays. Go back to one of the three doctors who shrugs and writes a prescription for narcotic pain killers that I’m not going to take anyway, and I probably won’t even fill the prescription. Yeah, that’s “health care.” And it would be nice if any of the doctors and the X-ray people would actually talk to each other and have the same information.

Aside: the absolutely useless insurance company our union forced us to switch to (before I lost my insurance entirely), which isn’t accepted by most doctors or clinics in this area –is owned by the same parent company that owns U-Haul. That explains a lot! There are just so many bad jokes I could make, and I’m not going to go there . . .

I’ve got some errands to run this morning, then finish off the client work, and then descend into my weekend writing retreat. I am so looking forward to it.

Czech lessons are going slowly, but I’m plodding away at it. I always have trouble with a language when I’m not immersed in the country. For instance, I can’t speak French in NY, but once I’m in Montreal, it comes back pretty quickly. I certainly don’t consider myself fluent, but I can get by. And that’s what I’m hoping with Czech — if I work steadily from now until I leave in mid-September, hopefully enough will stick so I can get by.

Decent morning’s writing, in spite of the unpleasant wake up. I look forward to a productive writing weekend, in spite of the wrist. I’m eager to get back to the page. I’ve had too much practical lately, and not enough creative.

Devon

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and humid

First, and most important, I want to wish Gerard Canonico — actor, musician, songwriter, and friend — an enormous HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are awesome, and I hope today ushers in the best year yet for you, and many more to come.

Got the Trader Joe’s errand done yesterday morning — I just love their ice cream! The cats are happy that the food cupboard is restocked. Got another load of boxes to storage.

Spent the afternoon researching at the Greenwich Library. Some of it was frustrating, since the information is so contradictory, and I’ll have to sort things out. But at least I have a starting point for the article. Since I was there, I also did research on a couple of other projects, took lots of notes which I’ll have to organize and then implement. The library was busy, but the desks are scattered well enough so that it’s easy to find a quiet corner where one can work undisturbed. It was a great and productive afternoon.

Came home, dealt with some correspondence. Had a lovely email exchange with a couple of potential new editors that allows me to return to one of my WIPs with renewed vigor. What a relief!

Decent writing session this morning — not brilliant, not terrible.

Somehow, I’ve managed to wrench my wrist. Doing things like turning the key in the ignition or lifting the coffee pot are excruciating. Unfortunately, I still have to haul boxes to storage, so I’ll wrap it and hope for the best. Just when the insect bite was healing well, too. I’d treated it earlier in the week, when it was red and irritated. I put one of my herbal concoctions on it — it actually bubbled and icky stuff drained out. Then I washed it and put neosporin on it, and it’s healed well. I don’t even think there’ll be a scar. But there was definitely venom in it. And it hurt like crazy when the concoction did its work. But it got rid of both the venom and the infection, so it’s all good.

Off to get stuff to storage, pick up a few things I forgot at the store earlier this week, and then client projects. I want to get the newest one turned around right away, because I plan to do a writing retreat this weekend starting tomorrow, and want to get everything cleared away before then.

An acquaintance of an acquaintance is offended because I won’t do a freebie. Too bad. I’d actually considered doing it as a favor until said person claimed to be getting an “error” message on the email, when it was an auto-responder, because the person (who was supposed to contact me four months ago and “never got around to it”) contacted me while I was away and is mad because I didn’t respond within a couple of hours. Sorry, buddy. Being a jerk costs extra.

Devon

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 8:00 am  Comments (3)  
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Got business stuff done in the morning. Went grocery shopping, which is just about my favorite thing in the world. I always feel so creative. I even used the “notes” function on my iPod touch for my shopping list — pretty happy with it. (I love the font — makes creating notes fun).

Got out some correspondence, finished up a few client projects, talked to a couple of my editors, looked over some guidelines for new projects. Set up an interview for an article next week.

It was pouring with rain all day — if I took out my cardboard boxes, they’d be soaked by the time they got to the car, and it would just be icky in the unit. So I didn’t attempt it — just packed up more stuff, and now my hallway is filled with boxes. So I may have to make more than one trip today.

Also, I’m off to the library — not the one in my own town, but over to Greenwich, where they’re actually open when I need them to be open and have a much larger selection of the research materials I need. It amazes me — both Sandwich and Plymouth, MA are smaller towns than the one I live in, yet not only are their libraries larger, but the hours make sense and their post offices are also open during hours when I can actually use them! Can you imagine? I have a post office about two blocks from where I live, but, half the time, I have to drive 20 minutes to another town — and sometimes another state — because the hours are so wonky. And, when the post office IS open up the street, the lines are so long and they don’t have enough personnel. Work efficiently and give the service for which you’re paid, and maybe enough people would use you so you don’t have to whine about losing money all the time. Sheesh!

My computer reminded me I hadn’t used the Time Machine back up in ten days — so I plugged it in and everything was backed up in 90 seconds. It took me longer to plug it in than to back up the computer. Love it!

First things first, though: Got to head to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food.

Speaking of cats, Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, lived up to her name by waking me up at 4:20 this morning, rummaging, swearing she hadn’t eaten for a week. Right. That’s why you’re as round as a beach ball. She’s not quite overweight yet, but I’m watching her eating patterns carefully, so she doesn’t tip over into the danger zone. And I’m trying to give her more exercise.

Had a good writing session this morning — finally! The piece I’m writing is set in Southwest Scotland, and I was so surprised to look up and be at the kitchen table. So, I guess I really got into it. I’m taking the elements I love best from Felbrigg House in Norfolk and the elements I love best from the Culzean Castle property and mixing them in my fictional estate. If I keep stretching geography in that area of the world, pretty soon the shoreline will reach across the Irish Sea and touch Ireland! ;)

Anyway, I’m off. I’ve got a lot to get done today. When I get back this evening, I need to pack up some more stuff and haul another load to storage tomorrow. Getting rid of the clutter — good Feng shui!

Devon

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (6)  
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Yesterday turned out to be really busy, but flew past. I had a lot of business stuff to catch up on, which is a good thing, and I got out a requested partial on one project and a batch of queries on another. I found some interesting submissions listings that I will work on over the next few weeks, and did some work on the brochure.

In the afternoon, I took a load of stuff to storage, repacked some of the boxes that needed a little help, and reorganized things a bit. I can’t find the lamp I wanted, which is frustrating, but oh, well.

Some books arrived, one of which is LIBRARIES IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, which I need as research for a project. The other is REBORN, the first volume of Susan Sontag’s journals and notebooks. I was never a big fan of hers — to me, she always seemed far too impressed with her own intellect, quite judgmental, and demanded a level of adoration from her admirers that I found off-putting. Our paths crossed a few times, and, while I certainly can’t claim to know her, even as an acquaintance, the fleeting in-person impressions I had of her were not very positive. And yet, her journals are fascinating. I definitely have more respect for her and her work through reading them, while still convinced that we would not have gotten along well, had we spent a lot of time together!

I had a decent writing session this morning — not brilliant, but decent. I found a lot of the “great house” brochures and photos from my various trips, and I’ve got them handy for research. Of course, I keep getting distracted by happy memories! I’ve got some more business correspondence to get out today, some more groundwork for Prague, and I start my attempts to learn some rudimentary Czech today. I’ve also got some client work to do, another load of boxes to take to storage (darting between the raindrops) and more to pack. Oh, yeah, and grocery shopping. That’s kind of important!

We’re supposed to get a lot of rain in a short time, so I’ll be checking the brook regularly. I hope to have a productive morning, so that I can have a fairly quiet afternoon.

I did my weight training work out last night, so I’m getting back on track with the evening workouts again. Boy, missing a whole week’s worth was bad. It’s amazing how quickly one back-slides.

The morning glory vines reach almost to the ceiling, and the tomato plants are nearly five feet tall — no little tomatoes, though. The plants are gorgeous, so I don’t really mind, but I don’t think I get enough sun with a northern exposure.

The telephone forwarding problem seems to be solved, although it would have been nice for the person who caused it to apologize for the inconvenience. Dru, I never even thought about the fact we’d be charged for those minutes. Thanks. I will write a formal letter stating I want the minutes credited back.

Iris is running up and down the living room, playing with one of her favorite balls. It’s really cute. Oh, now she’s brought it to me and is meowing — I’m supposed to throw it so we can play “fetch.”

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 7:55 am  Comments (3)  
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Monday, July 20, 2009

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Monday, July 20, 2009
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

No wonder I was so tired yesterday — the day before the dark moon is my lowest energy day of the month.

Tried to catch up on some of the stuff that piled up while I was away, tried to catch up on blogs, etc., etc. Played with the cats, who wanted a lot of attention.

Did some percolating on some projects. I’m prepared for a big bout of unpleasantness with one publisher in particular and have made plans for alternatives. This is where one wants to practice detachment — it would be very easy to spiral into a personal fracas, and I refuse so to do. This is business. I’ve cut a lot of slack over the past few months, and I am at the boundary line.

On a happier note, the Llewellyn annuals for 2010 are out. Under the Cerridwen Iris Shea moniker, I am in both the Witches’ Calendar and the Datebook. It’s my last appearance there for awhile — I wrote for them for 15 years steadily, and I’m not in any of the 2011 annuals. I need a break! I need to find something new to say! ;)

I’ve been around there longer than most of the editors at this point!

Regarding PETA and the fly thing, if the policy truly is “harm to NO living creature” that’s fine, but when you make a fly MORE important than the life of a puppy or a kitten, I have a problem with it. If you choose to make them equal, that’s your choice. But my sense was that they went after the President regarding the fly because they knew they would garner attention and ignored both the skinned puppy and the cooked kitten because the perpetrators weren’t famous. To me, that’s hypocrisy.

I went up to CT yesterday afternoon, to a site where I’ve found some interesting stuff over the years. They used to clean out estates and sell the contents; now, they actually build reproduction furniture. Some of it’s great, but most of it is not as interesting as the found stuff. There was one lamp made out of a teapot that was very unique, but more than I wanted to spend for a lamp, and an old carousel horse that was WAAAAY out of my price range, but that was it. Disappointing.

I packed a bunch of boxes for storage and will take them over later today, then pack up some more. I want to get that sorted this week and do the furniture swap next week.

Decent but not brilliant writing session this morning. I need to get back into the groove of it all. I decided that I’m going to do a writing retreat this weekend, and possibly next weekend. Stay away from outside interference and just write.

Some client projects came in while I was gone, so I’ll get going on them this afternoon, and maybe even get some more stuff pulled off the PC. I really want to get that behemoth out of here and get my desk back. I also want to get to work on the prospect list I created while I was away, and get that mailing going, and I need to do another round of DIXIE DUST PR.

Off to work.

Devon

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (6)  
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

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Sunday, July 19, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Here is one of my ultimate “bad kitty” photos of Violet, Elsa, and Iris on the table, where they KNOW they are not allowed!

It was quite a trip, with a rocky start due to the telephone kerflamma and the City Council meeting the night before we left. We didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 in the morning, and had to be up at 5. So, Thursday was a long day.

Traffic was bad all the way up to Maine. I guess that’s a good thing — means people are out on vacation. But it made driving — when we were already tired — more difficult. And the weather was odd — showers off and on.

We stopped in Kittery to pick up a few things, I found a few things I can use for Prague, and then headed up to York, where I restocked supplies from Stonewall Kitchen. And we got a new jam — a Strawberry Apricot Brandy concoction that is fantastic!

We had lunch in York, at a wonderful local spot called The Stolen Menu Cafe. I hardly ever eat red meat anymore, but I was craving a burger, and boy, do they make terrific ones. I had it with bacon and sauteed mushrooms — no tomato, no lettuce, no ketchup, no mustard — just a perfectly prepared burger with bacon and mushrooms. Delightful. Their coffee’s great, too.

Meandered on up Rt. 1, past the usual haunts. I miss the bookstore in Wells where I always stopped — the guy retired a few years ago, and the large old barn is still empty. We made some of our usual stops along the way, and did a bit of shopping. There was a lot of traffic, so I guess people are out spending money, doing their bit to stimulate the economy.

And I collected a bunch of information that will result in at least a 300-piece mailing to prospects for Fearless Ink clients — there are a lot of people, businesses, and organizations in New Hampshire and Maine for which I’d love to write.

Arrived in the late afternoon, caught up on the news with my great uncle, fixed dinner for everyone, and we made it a Very Early Night. I had strange dreams — something to do with John Cusack, a warehouse full of artists (as in painter and sculptors), and health care. I don’t remember the details. It was weird, because I rarely dream about actors, and I don’t dream about actors with whom I haven’t worked. I wish I could remember the details. Then maybe it would make sense.

Up early on Friday, coffee and blueberry muffins for breakfast. Out to take care of some business still related to my grandmother’s death. It was strange to be up in Maine without her.

On a whim, ran into a store to see if they had a suitcase — none of my current luggage works for Prague. They had a Samsonite bag in a lovely color in the perfect size and on sale. It is now mine. I also picked up a gorgeous pair of dress slacks on sale and a pair of jeans. The slacks are comfortable enough to wear all day sightseeing in Prague, but nice enough so I don’t have to go back to the hotel to change if we go out that night.

Picked up a few things at the grocery store, got back to the house, bundled my great uncle and my mom into the car and we drove to a little town called Cornish, that’s close to the NH border. We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant called Bay Haven — fantastic lobster casserole. Really wonderful. After lunch, we visited some of the stores, including Rosemary’s Gift Shop, where the second floor is devoted to a yarn shop. She’s got one of the best selections of alpaca, llama/silk blends, and bamboo I’ve ever come across, and at wonderful prices. I took her card and will sit down and figure out what I need for which project, and then order from her.

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On the drive back, I stopped at some rapids just outside of Standish — it’s something created by the power company — really interesting. I took photographs — I’ll post them over the next few days. Great place to set something.

I’ve got a Jain Lazarus tie-in story and another Rose Olen (protag of DIXIE DUST) percolating.

My great uncle rested when we got back, but my mom and I took a walk — Little Sebago Lake is close by, but too far to walk (we discovered the hard way). I hadn’t realized how much land the family owns — it’s really wonderful.

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Lots of terrifically spooky woods, and then the massive blueberry fields and all the rest. The blueberries need to be harvested soon (calendar-wise), but there hasn’t been much sun, so they’re not ripening as fast as usual. Some sort of insect bit me — not a mosquito. Whatever it was took a chunk out of the skin on the top of my wrist, leaving a little hole. Ick. It’s a little irritated — I’m going to treat it today.

I’d been wondering why I got stuck so early in DEAD MAN’S STALL, which is set in Saratoga during the summer race meet. I think it’s because there’s a Rose Olen story that happens earlier, between DIXIE DUST and DEAD MAN – and is set in Maine. I’ll give her relatives in Maine, and she and Simon visit in the summer, before heading to Saratoga. It’s starting to come together, and now the outline for DEAD MAN is even making more sense. Amazing how that works. So I”m making notes on this, inventing a new lake, because I need stuff to happen that’s different from the lakes here, but will stretch geography to place it in the vicinity. And I think that Rose’s relatives will run a Morgan horse farm. Yes, still focus the mysteries on horses, but not race horses this time. It’s all percolating. I wanted this to be a tie-in, but I have a feeling it will wind up being a novel.

I found out there was a health care reform rally in Portland, but I found out too late to go. I don’t think John Cusack was there, so that disqualifies the dream from being precognitive. ;) I was also invited to attend an art opening in Kennebunk for women artists, but found out too late — it takes about an hour to get there from here, and by the time I arrived, it would almost be over. Gosh darn it. I would have liked participating in both events. The Clam Festival started in Yarmouth today, but, since there’s an outbreak of Red Tide up here right now — I skipped it on purpose. No clams or mussels for me on this trip, I’m afraid! I’m sure the retailers are very careful . ..but so am I, especially when I don’t know the retailers personally.

I did eat way too much lobster. And I always feel like a hypocrite, because I won’t cook lobster — I cannot bring myself to put a living thing into a pot of boiling water. But I’ll eat it if someone else cooks it. So report me to PETA.

Speaking of PETA, I was so darned annoyed when they criticized President Obama for smacking a fly when the same day or maybe it was the previous day, a couple in Oklahoma skinned a puppy to make a belt. Why wasn’t PETA all over them? And where were they when the psycho teen in NY put her friend’s kitten in the oven “as a joke”? Yes, the kitten died. THAT chick’s on her way to serial killer-dom. THOSE are the types of incidents I’d respect PETA for protesting — not the President smacking a fly so that they can get attention. I’m disappointed in them.

I packed up my grandmother’s art books (she was an art teacher) and taking them back with me. I also brought back my grandfather’s college yearbooks from Amherst College in the 1920’s. They’re pretty amazing, and I can definitely use them for research.

Up early Saturday and on the road. It was raining — a shame, because Wells was supposed to have an all-day Pow-Wow. That was something else I wished I could attend. The farm stand we wanted to stop at was closed so early, but we went down to — I think it’s York Harbor — to have breakfast at Goldenrod. The staff is very nice. The food is basic and no frills — I’d have liked a bit more seasoning in the eggs. But it’s hearty and filling. We walked around the town a bit– an old-fashioned seaside town, really nice.

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We went into Whispering Sands Gift Shop because they have a lot of moose-oriented merchandise, and I’m a sucker for anything with a moose or an owl or an otter — and I bought a couple of cookie cutters. When I make the spice cookies for the Christmas packets this year, some of them will be moose-shaped!

We stopped in Kittery to exchange something bought on Thursday — the place was packed. Well, people are out there doing their bit to stimulate the economy, right? We’ve all got to do our part! ;)

Instead of hopping back on I-95, we stayed on Rt. 1, and went through New Hampshire on that. Rt. 1 isn’t exactly a back road, but it isn’t the highway, ether, so we got to see a stretch of road we usually only zip past. I wanted to stop at Drake’s Antiques in North Hampton — I’d seen quite a few large advertisements and it’s supposed to have a wonderful array of furniture, linens, and books. However, when we got there, although there were flags outside saying “Open” — all the doors were locked. So we got in the car and left.

It’s a shame, because that was their one shot to get me as a customer, and once I’m a customer, I tend to come back a lot. I’m looking for some specific pieces right now, too, so I was there to buy, not just browse. It was out of our way, we arrived within posted business hours, during high season and . . .nothing. Oh, well.

For some reason, I missed the turn back to I-95 over the MA border, and before we knew it, we were in Danvers. When we’re on the highway, that stretch seems to take FOR – EV-ER! Yet going Rt. 1, even at a lower speed limit, seemed to take hardly any time at all because we were looking at new sights.

Back on the highway, navigated Rt. 128 (ick), made a note that I need to get back to up Lexington and Concord at some point in the next few months for research, and onto the Mass Pike. It moved pretty well until about 10 miles from Sturbridge, where it was heavy, slow traffic, and for no good reason.

We hopped off at Sturbridge to visit Earth Spirits, one of my go-to spots for herbs and oils. And they’re CLOSING as of July 31. I am devastated! The herbs and oils are moving down the street as part of a garden center — next time I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll stop in and see how I like it. But they won’t have the books or the stones or the candles or the incense or the other stuff that I loved. They’re selling fixtures — there’s a gorgeous oval oak table that I wanted to buy, but how would I get it back to NY? It wouldn’t fit in the car, even without all the luggage. I stocked up on herbs, they’d sold through the oils I needed, so I’ll have to get them elsewhere, got a few stones, and a couple of books, including another book on oils and blends that has some recipes I want to try. And a book on holistic pet care.

The rest of the drive back was uneventful. We got home in the late afternoon, unpacked. The cats were delighted we were back. Elsa seems fully recovered. Unpacked, played with the cats, had a quiet evening.

I was supposed to go to a holistic pet care workshop this morning, but it was cancelled. I’m going to use today to rejuvenate, maybe catch up on some correspondence, and pack some more stuff to go to storage. I want to get the bulk of that done so that I can do the furniture swap sometime next week. I’m also very tired, for whatever reason, so I bet I’ll take a nap. I was vigilant about my morning yoga practice, but I missed my evening workouts all last week, and I can feel the negative effects. I’ll have to fix that this week.

Have a great Sunday, all!

Devon

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