Wed. Oct. 6, 2021: A Day of Cooking

image courtesy of Polina Tankilevitch via

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New Moon

Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Pluto goes DIRECT this afternoon

Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a very go-with-the-flow type of day.

As I mentioned in the post, I had three loads of laundry done at the laundromat before 8 AM, which sounds like a good start to the day.

After breakfast, I paid some bills. Then, we headed out, in the rain, to the post office to mail said bills, and then to the TD Bank in Williamstown to close our account. That bank is one of the few places around here that doesn’t require masks. The staff is masked, although our teller wore her mask under her nose. Yeah, glad to be done with them. Our accounts are now officially closed.

There are a couple of bookstores I want to go back and visit in Williamstown at some point.

Got our grocery shopping done at Wild Oats and Stop & Shop. The latter is definitely having supply chain issues, especially on big, national brands. Some empty shelves, and they’ve been out of certain products now for nearly a month. Very little of it is stuff I actually use; we’re still using up stuff I’d stockpiled during the pandemic, and replacing staples and some of the canned goods as we go, so that we’re always ahead of the game and have a full pantry. We did so last year during the pandemic, in case there was ever a real lockdown and we weren’t allowed out more than once a week; we kept stockpiling once we moved here, because we’ve heard winters are harsh and there will be times we can’t go anywhere.

I’m keeping an eye on things, and making sure we’re extra stocked with certain items, so that if there are problems, be it from supply chain issues or storms, we will be okay for a couple of months.

After we came home and put things away, we had to refold the sheets from the laundry. I’d done a lousy job at the laundromat.

Read a cozy mystery where the protagonist who prayed a lot and asked for guidance wasn’t a very nice person (funny how that works, right?) and, frankly, was one of the characters who’s too stupid to live. So I won’t be reading any more in that series.

After lunch, I used up leftover sweet potatoes to make sweet potato soup (a Moosewood recipe). It’s pretty good, although when I heat it up for our lunches over the next few days, I think I will add a little more salt and pepper.

Found a “classic” radio station that was playing songs from the 80’s and 90’s, early in my career, when I had a lot of all nighters in various theatres or out and about, and the songs all hold lots of memories. So I danced around the kitchen while cooking, which was fun.

The soup took longer than I expected, and then I made a spiced apple cake (another Moosewood recipe). That turned out well, although I miss allspice in it. I like allspice in recipes with apples. It has cinnamon and cardamom. Next time I make this, I’m going to put in allspice, but I’m not sure if I will substitute it for the cardamom, or put it in addition to the cardamom.

That took longer than I expected, too, so it was after 5 before I got the chicken into the oven to roast (with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots), and it was nearly 8 before we sat down to dinner. Late for us.

The cats were very confused.

While it was roasting, we had the Knowledge Unicorns session, which went well. The kids now being homeschooled have adjusted well, and are thriving. The kids who are doing remote learning through their regular schools are having a bit more of a struggle, mostly due to the pressure to go back in person. But we’re doing a lot of supplemental stuff to their various curriculums, as far as virtual museum tours and additional histories/readings and “at home” theatre performances online. They’re definitely learning more and more widely than if they were in-person.

But it also means I didn’t get any script coverages written up. I’m still fine with deadlines, as long as I stay on track today. I also didn’t read, so I have a lot of coverage to write up today, and a pile of scripts to read.

A group of characters arrived in my brain, in search of a plot. I made some notes, and we’ll see.

Although I’m not going into detail every post, I am steadily doing my first 1K of the day in longhand. Sometimes it’s a little more than 1K, sometimes a little less. But it’s happening. There’s just not much to say about it.

Tessa and Charlotte woke me up around 3:30 this morning. I moved to the sewing room and dozed off until about 5, and then got up to feed them, at Tessa’s very loud insistence.

The plot around the characters who showed up yesterday is starting to take shape, so I took more notes.

I’m chained to the computer today, writing up script coverages and working on articles and blog posts and a book review. I plan to take time out for Remote Chat. With the new moon, I upped my daily yoga practice. I lost a lot of progress during the moving months, and I’m of an age where I have to work harder to get it back.

What I’d really like to do is take a nap! Maybe this afternoon, for a half hour or so. At least I have that flexibility.

Have a good one. Pluto goes direct this afternoon, so that eases some of the 7 Retrogrades pressure. We’ll be back down to six. (Eye roll).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tidal Flats, Provincetown, MA

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Worked a lot in the morning; didn’t get everything done. Spent the afternoon running around, taking care of some business for my mom, and also dropping off press kits and information to some of my favorite stores so they can start carrying ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. One place in particular is very excited. I’m also researching reading groups and circles, and going to send them information.

Also picked up some books at the library — two biographies and two novels, so that should be fun.

I didn’t manage to get any mowing done, but it’s supposed to be nice and warm today, so I hope to do it in the late morning or early afternoon. If I can get everything tidied and put to bed, garden-wise this week, it will be a good thing. I’ve also got to rearrange the garage, so I’ve got a specific place for gardening stuff — storing pots and tools, storing the potted plants that need to go dormant, etc. Right now, they’re in pockets wherever they’ll fit.

Harry Potter class seems fine. Slow start to discussions, which sometimes happens, or maybe people are just reading and not saying anything. Whatever. I learned a lot from writing the lectures, especially making connections to the body of enduring literature that precedes these books.

Dreamed I was working on a benefit, and we had to keep driving an SUV up and down a mountain between its two locations. Woke up feeling like I’d been working all night!

First writing session of the day was rough. I need to remove the internal editor, who’s yapping at me that I have to cut at least 20K from the manuscript. Yeah, fine, but let me write the whole thing out so I can pick the RIGHT 20K! Sheesh!

Gotta go grocery shopping and take bags of leaves to the dump. Chop wood, carry water, right? Keeps one grounded.


Today’s word count: 1,091
Total word count: 65,775

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 9:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid

Yesterday would probably have been a good day to have the air conditioner in, but we had fans, so oh well.

I had power and connectivity issues, which kept me out of the workshop forums, so I’m behind in that, which is frustrating.

On the up side, I wrote a lot, close to thirty pages, and then wrote more in longhand when I went to the site job in the evening. It wasn’t what I was supposed to work on, but that’s what pulled me most strongly, so I did. The New Mexico chapters are going really well, which points out the weakness in the Prague chapters, so, at some point, I will have to go back and rethink those. This book (or, I should say, series, in which the first draft is one big mess) has an unusual process, but I have to just roll with it. Because that’s what “process” is — an active journey to get somewhere creatively.

TORCHWOOD was very good last night — Jane Espenson wrote the episode, so it’s no surprise. I like where it’s going, and, especially, what it has to say about pharmaceutical companies. I don’t think they’re all that far off the mark, when it comes to that theme! The ensemble scenes were paced wonderfully, and there were a couple of really great scenes between the characters of Gwen and Esther that were great. And there was a great phone scene between Jack and Gwen (although, generally, I’m not a fan of phone scenes). I watched it to enjoy it last night, but I’ll watch it a few more times to break it down and learn from it.

I’ve got a bunch of errands to run today, including heading up to Plymouth for one last blowout at the sole Borders store in the area, which is about to close. The mismanagement has been so appalling. I hope the executives who made all these bad decisions will have to face consequences. They won’t; corporate executives never do, just hide behind “company policy” which is something that has to change.

I am very fortunate to live in an area with many thriving independent bookstores that get excited about books and the people who write them, and aren’t just interested in cycling as many titles through as quickly as possible.

I thought my hair was getting sun-streaked from all the beach yoga, but I got a good look at it in the light yesterday and it’s not “sun-streaked”, it’s gray! Out comes the hair dye. Got a few more years before I’m willing to go that route. I’ve picked when I choose to do so, for a pivotal date. But it’s not here yet!

Have a great weekend!


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 7:15 am  Comments (1)  
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Mostly sunny and cold

I went to Dunkin Donuts and brought back breakfast yesterday morning (their ham, egg & cheese on an English muffin is surprisingly good). Morning was spent sorting out the stove repair man, who is set to come at some point today, getting recommendations on doctors for my mother and a new, local insurance place. Ran errands, which took us longer than we’d have liked, but, since we have to drive everywhere, that’s the way it goes. The holiday cards are all mailed — I do have to get the rest of the packages wrapped and out.

Looking for some very particular almanacs that neither Borders nor B&N had (I already knew most of the independents wouldn’t have it). Lavender Moon would probably have it, or I’ll have to order online.

Bought a small rosemary tree at Trader Joe’s. It’s in my office now, but rosemary needs a lot of sun, so I think I’ll move it up to my bedroom. Rosemary is my go-to herb — I use it for many, many things, culinary, medicinal, atmospherical. It resonates very strongly with me. So my garden will have lots of rosemary, and this seemed like a good head start. When it’s warm enough, I’ll take this outside.

What a difference clean air in the house makes! Not only do I feel much better, I’m getting up early again, more focused, and productive, but the house is heating more efficiently. That makes no sense, but it’s true. Somehow, the gathering CO was affecting the heat and the house felt cold all the time. Now that it’s clear, the house feels the right temperature. Or maybe we just felt cold all the time, because of the poison. We didn’t even know what was happening — I mean, you could read how the tone of the posts was changing, but I didn’t know why I was feeling so out of it all the time. It’s a very distinct feeling — it’s that balancing on the edge where you think you’re getting the flu, sort of, but it’s not really flu-ey, and your whole body feels very, very heavy and everything is an enormous effort. There’s also a sense of disconnect that has very little to do with reality. And disinterest. Now that I have that sense memory, I’ll recognize what it means. Hopefully, it won’t ever happen again.

I hope the stove repair guy can fix everything. I don’t like being without a stove. Microwave dinners are not my idea of a good time anyway, but when I have a great kitchen, I want to use it. And it’s set the holiday baking back significantly. Not to mention with Yule and Christmas Eve/Day/Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve/Day and the Twelfth Night party, there’s a lot to do.

In spite of all this, I wouldn’t want to give up my gas stove, and, when I look to buy, a gas stove remains one of the items on which I’m not willing to compromise. I’m enlightened to the necessity for good CO detectors, but the risk is worth it for the difference in cooking quality, and the fact that I don’t like to be helpless when the electricity goes out. I’m still getting used to a gas furnace for the heat, but I must say, it’s more energy and cost efficient than oil, and I really like the quality of the heat.

There’s a group of crows who visit every morning. They’re not enough to be a “mob” — they usually number between five and seven. But they visit every morning while I’m working here, and let me know, during the day, when someone approaches. Since we don’t have a doorbell, it works. 😉

More work on the article — today is the deadline for my sources to get back the information so I can integrate it into the article and prepare the sidebar with bios and photos. I still need to get a manuscript out to a potential publisher and get some other fiction done. I need to organize and prioritize a stack of projects, get them revised, and OUT. I’ve been sitting on too many projects that are close to finished while I work on new stuff, and I need to get those that are close done and out, because they’re weighing me down. And new opportunities keep opening up — I don’t want to blow them.

Hopefully, I can get the insurance and plates sorted in the next few days (along with the stove) and then spend some time in the antique shops on Rt. 28, finding a curio cabinet and a pair of end tables.

And, of course, I have to keep unpacking. Those boxes won’t unpack themselves. I’ve asked them, believe me; but they just sit and stare at me!

Back to the page.