Wednesday, December 22, 2010


ice-encrusted light fixture by the front door

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Stayed in all day yesterday, except for the few times I went out to brush the snow that fell from the roof right onto the front step (would be good to have a little awning over the door, but that’s not my call). Wrote, read, enjoyed the season.

I’m thoroughly enjoying Alan Bennett’s UNTOLD STORIES. I’m a big fan of his writing anyway, and this book of diaries and essays is fascinating.

Designed, wrote, and delivered the thank you notes to the neighbors for helping me out by digging me out.

Had to redesign the party invite, because the template didn’t work with the notecards I have, but managed to do it. I had to wrestle the printer, though. I love Canon printers, and want to stay with them, but the MX860 is a piece of crap, especially the bottom tray, which is plastic painted to look like metal, and messes up special papers. I’d use the top tray exclusively for special papers, but you can’t always convince the printer to pull from it. I’ve complained to Canon about this model ever since I bought it, and get no solutions. I want my old multi-pass to get fixed and use that again, because it was a warhorse and a workhorse, and maybe just keep this for photo work, but I don’t know if I can still get the ink. I’ve got a stockpile, but still . . .

Anyway, the invitations are very pretty and will go out today.

Didn’t get much writing done, unfortunately.

Tried to light a fire in the fireplace for Yule. The smoke’s going up the chimney, so the flue’s properly open, but it’s also going in the house. Not badly enough to set off the smoke alarms, thank goodness, but enough to notice. I’m not sure if it’s my fire-building skills (probably) or what — the owner said the chimney was cleaned and inspected right before we rented. Costume Imp will have to figure it out when he gets here.

Speaking of Costume Imp, we are finalizing the plans for his week up here, and he’s already packed. We are very much alike in those types of aspects!

I looked at snowblowers online. I may get a small, electric one — yes, I know if the power goes out I’m back to using the shovel. But I need one that fits in the car and that I feel comfortable handling, and a lot of the bigger ones (besides being out of my price range) don’t seem comfortable for me to handle. I’ll have to play with a few today in the store and see what happens.

I also have to stop by my insurance agent’s to drop off the Allstate policy so she can do the official State of MA paperwork telling them to shove it, we’re covered with a better agency. I love that the state has official paperwork for that!

I contacted the Senators and my new Representative to introduce myself and voice a few opinions. Because how can they represent me if they don’t know where I stand on issues? I can’t expect them to be psychic. Anyway, within 24 hours, I heard back from everyone’s offices, very nice, offering to meet and talk to me about anything that’s on my mind, and giving actual responses to the content of my messages, so it wasn’t just robo-response. I was particularly blunt with Senator Brown’s office, saying I expected him to actually listen to his constituency, not goose-step the Republican Party line. He’s stepped out of the box a few times now to vote for things with which I agree, so it gives me some cautious optimism. I’m an independent — I’m an example of the type of voter both parties need to listen to, or they won’t keep their jobs.

MA will lose one congressperson in 2010, and NY two. I hope it’s none of mine! I was counted in NY, because that’s where I lived in April. And now I’m here, where they’re saying population has dropped (which, on levels outside of Federal funding, is just fine with me).

ALICE was rebroadcast last night, and I watched the last two hours. I enjoy that production so much, especially Andrew Lee Potts and Caterina Scorsone. Lots of really good work there. Makes me miss my actors (but not enough to go back).

The Hounds of the Baskervilles woke me up early this morning, baying at who-knows-what. Probably the moon. The full moon was gorgeous over the yard. There are also all kinds of tracks in the yard, including a set that come right up to the windows, skirt the house, and go to the back deck, but not on it. I’m not well versed enough in tracks to know what it is. It might be Imp Dog, it might be a small coyote, it might be a fisher. And there was something in the yard with hooves rather than paws, but I don’t know what. I haven’t seen any deer in the area since I arrived — they mostly stay on conservation land. Maybe a reindeer took a break on a training run! 😉

So, today is about writing, errands, and maybe getting some more unpacking done. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight, and they’re wavering as to whether the weekend’s big storm hits on Saturday or Sunday, so I don’t know if we’ll risk going to Maine. We might be better off tucked in here at home.

Back to the page. I want to play with a few ideas.

Devon

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Violet uses the chair to pretend she’s a professional log roller

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy, rainy, cold

Wrote in the morning, in spite of Violet now insisting that she must sit in my lap while I type. She’s small, but it’s still like trying to reach around a meatloaf.

Spent most of the morning raking and tidying up the front and side yards. They look pretty darned good, if I say so myself, and even some of the neighbors stopped to compliment me on the hard work! One has a landscape business and I don’t think he understands that I WANT to do this — what’s the point of having a yard if you simply hire someone else to do it all the time, like they do in Westchester? It’s interesting — on this street, most of us have much larger yards than the clients I worked for in CT — yet here, most people do their own yard work (and then hire someone to come in and haul it away or do the last-minute tidying that makes more sense by machine. Everyone here works (except for my retired neighbor, but he’s always very busy — his wife is already on the 14th batch of holiday cookies in her baking cycle!) and has busy lives, and it all gets done somehow. Back in Westchester, everyone just spun around and complained how busy and stressed they were and nothing ever got done on time, there were always excuses, so they kept hiring in people to do it. People actually DO a lot more here, and a lot more gets done — there’s simply less drama about it. Plus, there’s not that sense of entitlement and resentment and feeling like one doesn’t have enough because someone else has more. I think the difference is that here, people actually do stuff — they’re not concerned with what I called “faux busy-ness”, where one’s schedule is crammed with meaningless crap. There’s work, the stuff that has to get done to maintain one’s home and family, and there’s fun stuff. And somehow, it all seems to flow together without much angst. I greatly prefer it.

In the afternoon, we drove up to check out Barnstable Village — very cute. Stopped at Nirvana Coffee, which was nice (can you tell I’m looking for a new coffee hangout spot?), walked around, met a really nice (and cute) guy with his newly rescued husky, who thought coffee was something she really ought to try.

Drove back and saw that one of the houses I’ve admired for about ten years is on the market, so stopped and picked up a flyer. It’s out of my budget at the moment, unfortunately, and right on 6A, which is a little too busy for me. But it was built in 1700 and modernized, and has a large main house, a guest cottage, and a fully electrified post-and-beam barn that used to be an antique shop. The grounds are gorgeous. It even has a library! And five working fireplaces. The only drawback (other than the fact that I don’t have the cash sitting around to buy it) is that it is on that main road. It’s busy now, and, in summer, will just be hateful. And since so many of the summer people have no respect for anyone’s property and just park wherever they want and wander over people’s yards and litter, etc. — I’d probably hurt someone.

But that’s another cool thing about living around here — since I’m planning to rent for a few years, I can watch the houses I really like and see if they go up for sale. If the right house becomes available at the right time . . .

I love this house, and I want to stay for a few years, but the simple truth is that, when I buy, I need to go bigger. I always joked about that 13 room Victorian — yeah, that’s about the size I need for myself, my books, and the animals.

Anyway, hit a gift shop I’ve been meaning to check out for awhile, found some great Yule gifts, but didn’t like the vibe of the owner at all, so I won’t be back. Drove home a different way, learning the neighborhood, through lots of horse paddocks and conservation land, which I’ll have to check out as soon as it’s warm enough. Approached my street from a different direction and nearly missed it, because it’s harder to recognize.

Started the assignment for Confidential Job #1 — interesting, but again, I’ve had a whole set of very similar assignments in a row from that job, and they’re starting to lump together.

Some books arrived from Strand, although the pie book was sold out. But I got Alan Bennett’s UNTOLD STORIES he’s one of my favorite playwrights) and Nicholas Basbanes’s EVERY BOOK ITS READER. I started the Bennett book. It’s wonderful, but I expected no less.

I’m still playing with the character who arrived the other day, and still don’t quite know what to do with her. I’d like to try a short story and see if we get along, before I make a novel-length commitment. Have another idea I’m playing with this morning.

The workshop is humming along nicely. I have to finish up a couple of blog posts today and get them off. I’m hoping I can sneak in a bit of time raking the flat back before the rains start, but it looks a little sketchy right now. I might just have to leave it and hope it dries out this weekend so I can take care of it.

Comcast totally sucks, as expected — trouble with the TV, the internet, the phone, impossible to reach a customer service rep either via “live chat” (right, live, that’s why no one shows up) or on the phone. So much for 24 hour support! Really not happy they are my only option on the Cape.

The big event today is to start putting up the tree — my Very Big Old Tree — we’ll see how that works.

I can’t believe it’s December already! Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate — I really need to get my act together and start getting those cards out!

There’s going to be a full moon on the Winter Solstice — how lovely!

Devon

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 7:32 am  Comments (7)  
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