Wed. Jan 2, 2020: A Long, Catch-Up Natter

Thursday, January 2, 2020
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
8th Day of Christmas (last night’s dream is August’s Oracle)
Hanukkah Finished (as of Dec. 29)
Kwanzaa Finished (as of Jan. 1)
Sunny and cool

Welcome to 2020!

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Site, where I’ve answered the questions posed for 2020, which I consider the year of Transition and Transformation.

Starting Monday, for the next cycle (90 Days or so), I will begin this blog’s Monday with an intent for the week here, and some tools and suggestions for achieving goals over on the GDRsite.

Pull up your favorite beverage; it’s been nearly two weeks since we sat down for a natter. Last daily post was the Friday before Christmas, although the 23rd and the 30th had Upbeat Author posts. I planned to post on the 27th, but I had so much going on that I decided to cut myself a break. So this will be a loooooong post!

The Winter Solstice celebration on the 21st was lovely. We sit without electric lights as the sun sets; then we start by lighting the fire (with greens from last year’s Solstice season). Once the fire catches, we light the candles, put on the trees and the other lights (working clockwise from the North), and then put on the outside lights. Once all the lights are up, a simple ritual welcoming the return of the sun, and a wish for peace, joy, and prosperity in the coming year.

Dinner was Cornish hen with sweet potatoes and spinach. It was yummy.

Sunday night was both the 4th of Advent and the First Night of Hanukkah. We lit the fourth candle on the Advent table. I still haven’t found my lovely silver-plated Menorah (haven’t seen it since we moved, although I know it went onto the truck). But, in honor of the first night of the celebration, and because I miss my Jewish friends from New York who always included me in their celebrations, I made potato latkes. They were pretty damned good.

We watched MISS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES, where Phryne’s niece takes over in the 1960’s. If it wasn’t connected to the original, I would have liked it better. But that constant referencing kept reminding me that it didn’t quite measure up.

It was difficult to get up early and out early to my client’s. But I was there. I took in a shipment — with one box missing. I had other stuff to do, of course, wrapping up before the holiday, but we’d hoped to get everything in. I promised to come in Christmas Eve, at least for a few hours, to wait for the box.

It was Nameless Day — I’m going to start incorporating that into my celebrations. A day for Potential. I have not lived up to my potential in the last few years, and I intend to change that in the New Year and the New Decade.

After I was finished there, I went to the library, to drop off and pick up. Was tired of computer work, so sat in a corner and read for awhile, just enjoying how lovely it was to be in a building full of books.

Went to meditation group. It was a small group, led by a sub this week. One of the attendees was The Woman Who Tests My Compassion. She shows up now and again, and is an energy vampire. She sucks all the energy we generate as a group into herself. I try to be generous, maybe she needs it, I don’t know what she’s going through, etc. But she is such a black hole of energy that it hurts everyone else’s practice. But I put up my shields and focused on my own work. The teacher taught a new exercise for the lower back that helped me enormously. First time I was pain free in weeks.

Another furnace company came by to look at the work that needs to be done. I respect getting multiple estimates, but the day before Christmas Eve? Really? Not happy about it.

Baked and frosted the Red Velvet Cake. It looks glorious. I rarely make them, because they are such a pain and need to be eaten so quickly. But I wanted to do something different for this holiday.

I wrote steadily through all this, even if it was only a few pages in the morning.

Up early again on Christmas Eve. Went to my client’s, waiting for the Fed Ex shipment. Basically, for most of the day, the tracking had no information, just that it was scheduled “before 4:30.”

Well, honey, I was leaving at noon.

I waited five extra minutes past noon, feeling down about it all. I’d gotten a bunch of work done for the client, and I was the only one in the office, which meant uninterrupted work time, my favorite. I locked up, turned on the alarm, pulled out of the lot — and looked in the rearview mirror to see Fed Ex turning in. I reversed up the road and turned back. (Luckily, there was no traffic).

The driver had done his best to get there by noon, and it was only a few minutes after. I unlocked the door, turned off the alarm, signed for the package, shoved it into the warehouse in back, set the alarm, locked up, and went home – where I fixed myself a nice, big Sidecar.

So it all worked out.

Put in the pork roast, played with the cats, enjoyed the tree and the drink. The dinner turned out perfectly — roast loin of pork, mashed potatoes, red cabbage, green beans with Hollandaise. The lovely red velvet cake for dessert.

We cleaned up and put the leftovers away, and opened presents. The new coffeemaker made me especially happy.

I put the new clothes into the washer, and we settled down with new books to read, Icelandic-style. I read Val McDermid’s updated NORTHANGER ABBEY, set in and around the Edinburgh Festival, which was delightful. Burned down the bayberry candle, and had a lovely, cozy Eve.

I was sad to read, on social media, all the racist drama around the RWA. I’m not surprised, but I’m disappointed. I’m also disappointed in white colleagues I know who are heavily involved in the organization who aren’t saying a word. Or, even worse, defending the racism. Again, in many cases, I’m not surprised. But I am disappointed, and have lost respect for several people. I’ve always been leery of RWA — to me, it always looked like a pay-to-play organization. A group that charges high fees and expects a lot of unpaid time put in. While I’ve had good experiences teaching at NECRWA, I’ve noticed the racial imbalance on the national level, and also a great deal of economic segregation.

It’s so painful for the many people who’ve spent countless hours of their time, unpaid, working to make the organization better. Working FOR the organization, without compensation instead of on their own books. How many tens of thousands of dollars have writers lost through their volunteer work with the organization? How many books will always remain unwritten? And now, they find the trade-off wasn’t worth it. What they worked for didn’t happen, and, in fact, they are being slapped in the face for working toward it.

I’ve been there, with other organizations. I know how much that hurts.

Releasing their statement the day before Christmas Eve was a deliberate strategy on their part, hoping their members would be too busy to notice. Then, trying to walk it back on Christmas Eve, when there was a furor — how could they believe the members who feel so betrayed would ever trust them again? It should never have happened in the first place, the process was skewed, and, without a clean sweep of everyone involved and a fresh start, how could they ever rebuild trust?

Or do they believe that their primarily white membership won’t care or even agrees with them?

How sad and painful.

Anyway, along rolls Christmas Day. Stockings, scrambled eggs, panettone, a quiet day of reading and writing.

For the big dinner, I made a rib roast, with mashed potatoes and peas. I don’t eat red meat often anymore. As good as it tasted while eating, I was uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

I took off Boxing Day from all obligations. Read and wrote and played with the cats. My oracle dream for January was a mishmash that basically boiled down to, “You will find allies in unexpected places.” So I have to remember that in January and be on the lookout.

Watched ON THE TOWN, which I hadn’t seen in years, and was kind of fun, except for the number in the museum, which was a little inappropriate.

I did a lot of running around on Friday, the 27th, especially when it came to grocery shopping. I had an encounter in one of the grocery stores what just depressed me.

When I got to the self-checkout, there was a $20 bill hanging out of it. I called over the store worker supervising the self-checkouts and said it had been left. She thanked me for turning it in, took it out of the machine, and said she would take it to the Customer Service desk in case anyone came back looking for it. I was glad about it — everyone’s overtired and stressed, and that $20 could be important to someone. Plus, I knew this worker, we talk often at the store, exchanging pleasantries and cooking tips.

When she walked away, the woman beside me said, “You’re in idiot. You should have kept the money. She’s just going to put it in her own pocket. You know how those Hispanics are.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “I’m glad I’m not you,” I said.

“Practical?” she sneered.

“A racist,” I replied.

She started sputtering.

“Don’t you start clutching your pearls at me,” I said. “You’re the one making a racist comment.”

“I’ve never been spoken to like this in my life!”

“Get used to it. Or change your behavior.” I went about my checkout as she huffed off, but the whole thing depressed me.

I went to Michael’s to take advantage of their sale. I found a small, artificial tree, and some white fabric roses I want to use to decorate it. I found a Santa on sale (for my collection) and a pineapple ornament. And candles (one of the few places that still sells tapers) and thank you notes.

Then to another grocery store, home, unloaded, to the library to drop off and pick up, home to read and write, because that’s all I felt up to.

However, in the late afternoon, I saw a vanity table go up on Craigslist just a few miles away. I jumped into the car, raced over, and wrestled the table and its chair into the car. I’ve always wanted one.

Watched CALL ME MADAM, which I’d never seen before. It was a lot of fun. Now I’ve got the song, “You’re Not Sick, You’re Just in Love” stuck in my head. For days.

Woke up Saturday, having lost the dream that was February’s oracle. I know it had something to do with organization and was positive.

Got the vanity table and chair out of the car and up the stairs. The chair is too high for the table, but that’s okay. It was a stage prop and had a fake mirror on it, but the real one came with it, and I swapped them out. It’s a really cool piece. I have to repaint it in spring and touch up the gold edging, but I like it.

Tessa wasn’t sure about it, but within two days, she was sitting on top of it, lording it over Charlotte on the floor.

I didn’t remember March’s dream, but I woke up calm, so I hope that’s a good sign for March.

Put together a platter of baked goods and drove it to the Emergency Vet to thank them for their kindness through tough times. Took 6A back, to enjoy the nice day.

Read and wrote. Made pork banh mi for a late lunch, which meant we really didn’t want much dinner.

I’m reading Lucy Worsley’s biography of Jane Austen, which is quite good. Came across information on Susanna Centlivre, the most famous female playwright of the 18th Century. Jane Austen and her family used to perform her plays as part of their theatricals. Susanna will be my top choice to write about for 365 Women next year.

Woke up late on Sunday. Couldn’t remember my dream, so let’s hope that means a quiet April, too.

Wrote. Did laundry. Finished THE QUALITY OF LIGHT. What a relief to get it done. It’s a one act, and I barely scratched the surface of time and place, but I picked one dramatic incident in their lives and, hopefully, did it justice. I hope I have the chance to do more research, especially on the Bibiana family of theatrical scene painters. I would love to do a piece about them.

We watched THE ROYAL WEDDING. It has two of Fred Astaire’s most famous dances in it — the one with the hatrack, and the one where he dances up the walls and on the ceiling. Great filmmaking there, but the rest of the movie didn’t work for me. I especially hated the character of Ellen. What a whiny, unprofessional little brat. There’s no way she could have achieved success with her brother as a team with an attitude and behavior like hers.

Didn’t remember my dream when I woke up on Monday morning, so I hope that means May will be calm!

Up at 5, morning routine, did a final proofread of THE QUALITY OF LIGHT so I could send it out. Got it off my desk and onto the company’s desk.

Was at my client’s by 8. Worked on Year-End stuff. Got out a mailing for next week’s big trade show.

Followed up with a colleague with whom I want to do an interview for Biblio Paradise. He’d never gotten the materials, so I re-sent them.

The weather was awful. Raining, switching to sleet, switching back.

Meditation was cancelled, sadly. Swung by the library to drop off and pick up. Went home and sat zazen on my own.

Dinner, reading. I read Elinor Lipman’s essays, I CAN’T COMPLAIN. They are lovely.

Up early on the 31st. At my client’s by 8 AM. Got out two more email blasts, worked on some appointments for the trade show. Didn’t remember my dream, so hopefully that means a quiet June.

Got the information on the first shipment of contest entries that is on its way. I’m only doing two categories, not three, this year.

Downloaded a bunch of Susanna Centlivre plays onto my Kindle from Project Gutenberg.

Interacting on Twitter with a fellow author, I decided I wanted to feature her on A BIBLIO PARADISE, too. Plus, I have to ask my friend Arlene if she wants a slot for the book that released a couple of months ago.

Receipt of THE QUALITY OF LIGHT was acknowledged. I’m glad.

Stopped at the grocery store and the liquor store on my way home from the client’s. Made the chocolate/honey/almond/fig bites and a peppermint/chocolate cake. Dinner was salmon with a brown sugar/lemon/mustard/cumin glaze, mashed potatoes, and spinach. Yummy.

Read LISTENING VALLEY by D.E. Stevenson. Love the line, “You need to make friends with your life.” I want to do that in the coming year.

Finished LV and started THE TWO MRS. ABBOTTS, by the same author. I really love her work.

Burned down the bayberry candle. Let the old year out of the back door, welcomed the New Year in by the front door. I wish they did First Footing here.

Raised a glass as we watched the ball go down on Times Square. I’m grateful I used to be able to watch from my living room window, and grateful I no longer live there.

Slept well, up at a decent hour. The day did not start off well. I’d forgotten to make ice, which delayed the Fire and Ice ritual. The bathtub stopper didn’t work properly, so the Abundance bath bomb dissolved before I could soak in it. I fixed the drain and made my own concoction. But by then, we were out of hot water, so I splashed around in lukewarm water. I hope it’s a case of “bad dress rehearsal, good opening” and not “2020 is gonna suck.”

Especially because I came into the year feeling better and more centered than usual. Instead of forced optimism out of desperation, I felt much better at the end of 2019. Glad to see it gone, but able to release the ghosts of past mistakes. I realized, as I fretted over mistakes I made back in the 1980s, for goodness’ sake, that the people involved probably don’t even remember who I am anymore. I am some random chick who was in their lives for a few months, not someone important. They lived their lives, I lived mine. I don’t have to still feel bad about fleeting mistakes from 40 years ago. That gave me a sense of liberation.

So Jan. 1 starting off with things going wrong was upsetting. But, again, none of it was monumental. So I don’t get the bath the way I wanted it. So what? I came up with an alternative and it worked. It’s not important in the scheme of the universe.

The Eggs Benedict was delicious. I love Eggs Benedict.

I sent in my proposal to 365 Women. I had to pick three possible women to write about, so I picked Susanna Centlivre, Isabella Goodwin, and Frances Marion. I can’t write about all three (and said so) this year, with my plans to do the additional Kate Warne plays and the play about the two female authors. So we’ll see what happens.

I wrote 8 pages of a new play called “Trust.” It’s a short play, based on an idea I had last month. I have to do some research on a couple of myths, and then I can finish it. It’s only going to be about 10-12 pages. I have it aimed to at least one market so far.

I took a half hour walk because it was such a nice day and I’m trying to walk more. Wandered around the neighborhood and found a warren of streets and sweet houses I never knew existed. People waved as I walked past and I waved back.

Started reading Lauren Dane’s BLOOD AND BLADE, her latest Goddess of the Blade series, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Dinner was ham glazed with bourbon and molasses, mashed potatoes, and my special carrot-parsnip in mushroom sauce concoction. It was good.

Made bourbon balls that will be given as gifts to the work colleagues I’m having over on Friday. They turned out well.

Watched THE BELLE OF NEW YORK. What a hot mess. Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen’s dancing was good, but there wasn’t much story. It started as a rip-off of GUYS AND DOLLS and went. . . nowhere. The women’s costumes were lovely, though. The dresses designed for the dances were superb. Helen Rose designed the women’s costumes. There was a different designer for the men’s costumes. More than half the movie is dance numbers, which is a relief, because the rest of it is a mess.

Up early this morning. Didn’t remember my dreams, so here’s hoping for a quiet August!

Wrote a few pages on the Winter Solstice romance. Started weight training again, before my yoga/meditation practice. I’d stopped late last summer when my back started bothering me. But I need to start up again. I definitely felt it by the end of it. I will be sore tomorrow!

I am happy to say that I meditated at least once a day EVERY day in both 2018 & 2019. It’s made a huge difference.

Library this morning, getting out some interview questions to people, posting ahead on some of the blogs, and then I have to track down a few things for tomorrow’s get-together.

I’ll clean the house this afternoon. And make the rum cake for tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, early, I’ll go to the grocery store for the last few things, prepare them, and swing by the library for a bit.

The weekend is about taking down the decorations and packing them away. I’m doing it a few days early this year (I prefer to wait until Jan. 6). But the 6th is a Monday, I’m not throwing a Twelfth Night party this year, and it makes more sense to take everything down over two days of weekend. After all, it took 3 weeks to put up!

Hope all of you had a great holiday season. New Year, New Decade!

So starts The Year of Transformation.

 

Saturday, January 1, 2011 — Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and mild

First and foremost, Happy New Year! I hope this year brings us all an abundance of health, joy, and the stamina to make our dreams come true.

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog so you can see how I’ve retooled my wishes for the coming year. And hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read my “Wish for the Garden.”

I’ve put together my To-Do list for January (daily to-do lists get in my way, but a monthly helps keep me on track). In addition to all the short turnaround, quick-pay jobs to make sure I stay on top of bills, and waiting to hear from my editor so I can actually do the edits on the book that’s slated for July release and all the new ideas that are pulling at me, I want to finish stuff and get it out.

I have way too much of a back log. Some of it is work that’s finished, polished, and is either waiting to go out, or came back and needs another look before it heads out again. I have one novel out on the submission process (it should be a lot more than that). I have a series that needs to change publishers, which means retooling that and rethinking the overall arc of the series. I have to make sure the second book is ready to go when the first book launches for a particular publisher, and I’ve only done a single chapter (I’d hoped to have a whole draft done by today). I have a great opportunity to do a YA book for a contest, provided I set it in one of my favorite places in the world, and I don’t want to drop the ball on that.

And then there’s ANGEL HUNT. It started as a series several years ago, evolved into a novel when the publisher went belly up, and I did some major reworking over the last two years. It moved from occult to paranormal to urban fantasy. The problem is that, when I work on it, I’m completely consumed and obsessed by it, and nothing else gets done. What I have to do is carve out that patch of time so I can obsess about it, finish the new ending, rewrite the query, and start getting it out there. I think about it constantly, but I haven’t done any actual physical work on it in months.

That has to change.

Because I’m so obsessed with it, there’s an element of fear involved in actually getting it finished and out the door. Not because I’m worried about rejection — either it gets rejected or it doesn’t, until I find the match, big whoop — but because I don’t want to let go of it and not obsess about it anymore.

I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but there are times when a writer’s psyche doesn’t make sense.

What I need to do with this book is get out of my own way, give it the finish it deserves, and get it out the door so it can live its life.

I know what I have to do; now it’s just about the doing.

The owner stopped by to give me a choice of fire extinguishers. He wants to make sure we have no more emergencies and is trying to think of every possibility. I actually have a pair of extinguishers I brought up in the move, but I don’t know if they’re still good — might be too old.

Repairman showed up and put in the new hose. In and out in ten minutes. Fingers crossed it actually works!

Still getting the annoying texts. Verizon is bound and determined to extort more money out of me. Guess it’s time to file a formal complaint. And now I start billing both Verizon and the point of origin of the annoying texts. Although, I tried a little something-something and managed to get a confirmation that the texts would stop. So far, so good. No thanks to Verizon!

Off to Harwich for the rocking chair. I got lost — because the owner gave me the wrong directions. I kind of don’t understand how you don’t know where you’ve lived for 30 years, but whatever; he realized it, we connected, he gave me directions to a Dunkin Donuts, from where I followed him to the house. It’s a lovely house overlooking a lake with two lovely rescued dachshunds. Of course, I had to play with them for awhile.

The rocking chair is gorgeous, the proper money changed hands, it fit into the VW, and off I came home, stopping on the way to pick up a few things at the store.

Once I got the chair situated, I did my hair, scrubbed the bathrooms, washed the floors, and vacuumed the whole house. Can’t go into a New Year with last year’s dirt on any level, now can we?

Got up some of the first lectures for both workshops — I’m doing some rewriting on the Plum ones, so the first of those will go up later today, although the Welcome is up.

Cooked salmon fillets in a cumin glaze for supper, played with the cats, enjoyed seeing out the old year quietly with a glass of champagne. Just before midnight, opened the back door to let the old year out; just after the midnight toast, opened the front door to welcome to the New Year, and, much to my surprised, get first-footed! Don’t know who the lovely dark-haired gentleman was, but it was much appreciated.

Times Square looked like an even worse zoo than usual, and I was glad to be away from New York. The celebration in Boston looked like a ton of fun, though — lots of creative performances by people and local groups, kinetic artwork and ice sculpture, not just bringing in a bunch of wanna-be and/or washed up pop stars like they do now in Times Square.

Well, it was quiet until the drunken dumbasses around the corner set off fireworks next to their garage, which is directly opposite my front window and doors. They weren’t the pretty kind that do anything — basically, it was just canisters of blasting powder that made a big noise. The first time it went off, I thought one of the houses on the street had exploded. But it was just the drunken jerks. I may not have kept up my pyro license from my special effects days, but at least I’m properly trained. They keep machinery filled with gasoline and cans of gas in that garage — how stupid do you have to be to set off explosives next to it? The ground is all black over there this morning.

It was nearly 2 AM before the bayberry candle “burned to the sprocket” for prosperity in the year –even though I’d started it at 4 PM! We were at the point where I sat on the couch with Iris on one side and Violet on the other and just stared at it, willing it to burn down!

Up early, great yoga and meditation session, lovely Greeting-the-Dawn New Year’s Day ritual, good first writing session. How goeth the writing goeth the year, and I don’t like to take New Year’s Day off from writing, although I sometimes take off other holidays.

Packed to drive my mom to CT and then pick up Costume Imp. Still not organized enough for the party, but that’ll happen.

The Christmas Cactus is in full bloom. When I bought it, I thought the blossoms would white, but they’re actually a very pale pink.

Will watch the Tournament of Roses parade this morning, cook a lot, eat a lot, play with the cats, do some more last minute tidying up for Costume Imp’s visit, polish the Plum lectures one final time.

And the New Year starts!

Happy New Year, all!

Devon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy and cold

The weekend’s been an adventure, that’s for sure, and the week promises to be just as . . .interesting.

Christmas Eve was great, pretty quiet, nice big meal, opened the presents, read, played with the cats, etc. I was up late waiting for the bayberry candle to “burn to the sprocket” for the tradition of “a bayberry candle burned to the sprocket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket” on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Well, this was a really, REALLY high quality bayberry candle (from the 1856 shop) and it used every smidge of wax, so it took about six hours to burn down, when I expected it to take one.

Santa came and went, he had a brandy (because let’s face it, you can only have so much milk and cookies), the cats got their new toys and played with them, people came back from midnight mass, and I’m waiting for the candle to burn down . . .

And then I couldn’t sleep. I finally got to sleep a little after three and had to be up by six. We did stockings and ate breakfast and were on the road by 8.

The drive to Maine was smooth, not much traffic. I was going to try a way around Boston so I wouldn’t have to drive through the Big Dig, but I misunderstood the signage and wound up driving through it anyway. It wasn’t so bad; maybe I just have to get used to it.

We made it to Maine in 3 1/2 hours, went straight to my cousin’s farmhouse. It’s a large house, from the mid-1800’s, and he’s restored it himself, keeping the original details, restoring a lot of the things he found on the property and in the barn, but also making things like the kitchen and bathrooms updated and workable, while still fitting within the spirit of the house. It was great. We had 12 or 14 adults at dinner (kids’ table in another room), very nice, lots of fun, lots of actual discussions and laughter.

Left around 2:30, were back by 6. There was more traffic going back, but it still wasn’t bad. I was just tired from all the driving and lack of sleep, so I went to bed pretty early.

Started the laundry as soon as I got up yesterday, baked biscuits, got the newspapers and some supplies from the equivalent of the corner bodega — it’s a local store less than a mile away that has a bit of everything. The weather people said the storm would start at 4 PM, so of course, it was already pretty bad by 8 AM. Stuffed the turkey, got it in the oven, kept turning over the laundry — I figured just because we’re snowed in doesn’t mean we can’t have clean underwear.

I went down to get the last load into the dryer and stepped into about an inch of water covering the basement floor.

Yup, you guessed it, for some reason, the washer threw up, nice, clean, soapy water. I shut it off, shut the valve off, and called the owner. He came over (poor thing was sick),went out to get a pump, and we pumped and then wet-vacc’d the basement. The front line of boxes served as a buffer, so I don’t think I actually lost much (and nothing terribly valuable was in the basement), but I think the old rug still down there may be a loss, unless I can unroll it to air out sooner rather than later, and we’ll see how the edge of the box spring dries out. It’s not enough to put in an insurance claim, and it’s more disruptive than damaging.

So the sheets and towels are hanging on the rack downstairs, too wet last night to go into the dryer, but I managed to get the clothes dried and put away. The floor is really clean and smells Arm-and-Hammer fresh! 😉

I wrenched my back very badly rescuing the crates of LPs (the only thing that I was really worried about down there). It’s muscular, so I’m keeping it warm and keeping it stretched. I’ll be uncomfortable for a few days, but it is what it is. A doctor would send me for a lot of expensive, unnecessary tests and then give me a pain killer. I can treat it with stretching, hot water bottles, hot baths with proper salts, salves, and some Excedrin if necessary, and that will actually not just treat the pain but the cause. I just can’t do anything very quickly.

Did I mention this is a challenging Mercury Retrograde?

I put in a call to the repair place, who swears 7-day, same day service and has an answering service. I have yet to hear back. Now, with the weather as bad as it was and the basement pumped out, I would have told them not to come out in it yesterday anyway, but I would have at least liked the courtesy of a returned phone call.

I’m reading gardening books and all kinds of other stuff, trying to figure out what to do in spring. I shovelled out the drive and the front walk around sundown last night, using my new little electric snowblower. The lousy cord works my last nerve, but the actual machine does a good job. The ice melt is also keeping the drive and the walk fairly clean (supposedly it’s pet-friendly, car-friendly, and lawn-friendly). I’ll have to go out and do a little tidying up later this morning, and shovel out where the snow plow shoved stuff from the street across my driveway — because it is JUST out of reach of the blower’s cord.

Today, I have a lot of paperwork to catch up on, and I have to take care of some other correspondence, a blog post due at Savvy Authors, work on the Stephanie Plum lectures, and deal with the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Hopefully, the power stays on and the repairman shows up — I have a busy week this week, and next week Costume Imp is here and we have the party, so everything has to be in working order.

Metro North woke me up every two hours all night with text messages telling me they weren’t in service. I could have figured that one out all by myself. When I lived in NY and was desperate for service updates via text message, I never got them. I asked to be put on the list THREE YEARS ago. You know when they started coming? The day I moved into this house. And now they won’t take me off the list.

Sums up Metro North right there. Useless.

Love, love, love the new chairs, and actually, sitting in them is the only place where my back doesn’t hurt. Considering how much unpacking I have to do this week, and now checking the boxes and seeing how much water damage there is and if anything needs to be thrown out, this was a bad time for it to happen.

But the turkey dinner was really good! 😉

Onward — want to get some writing in this morning; I’m playing with a couple of things.

Devon