Tues. March 22, 2022: Challenging Start to the Week

image courtesy of Paul Barlow via pixabay.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Waning Moon

Sunny and pleasant

There’s a post on the GDR site about being the architect of your life.

I hope you had a good weekend, and a blessed Equinox. Now, we’ll really see the gains in daylight, since it’s tipping toward longer light.

Friday was a mixed day. Very foggy in the morning. Not fun to make my way to the mechanic when I couldn’t use the broken windshield wiper. But I got there.

The wiper was easily fixed. But the engine light issue, not so much. As long as the light stays steady and doesn’t blink, I can continue to drive short distances. The mechanic thinks it’s a fuel pump issue, but they can’t even get me in for a diagnostic for another month. They suggested a mechanic in Williamstown, who specializes in foreign cars. It’s the second time that mechanic has been suggested to me. I am trying to get an appointment.

Stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and restocked our food supply.

Moved the plants back out on the porch, and even opened the windows once it warmed up enough.

Did some client blogging, and roughed out the next edition of Devon’s Random Newsletter, which should go out this week. I think I wrote too much, so will probably edit it back.

Worked on a recipe for strawberry-vanilla mousse. It tastes quite good, but doesn’t look appealing. Nor did it set properly. Ever. I think the acid from the fresh strawberries had something to do with it. So I need to adjust the recipe, and figure out how to make it look better without using artificial colors.

In the afternoon, one neighbor was working on a new piano composition. Another neighbor was on her front porch, playing her guitar. I worked on script coverage. It was a great vibe. Everyone in their own space, but knowing people around them were doing creative work.

Fresh cod for dinner on Friday night, with rice and steamed spinach. Yummy.

Throughout the weekend, I did some cleaning here and there, but nowhere like the intense spring cleaning I planned. The Plan was to start in the kitchen and work forward doing intense deep cleaning. But I spent more time unpacking and organizing things than in deep clean mode.

It kept raining and then not on Saturday, and I didn’t feel like going out, so I didn’t. I did regular housework and changed the beds and did some unpacking and organizing. I made more vegetable stock. I finished reading a novel I’d started that was recommended by an acquaintance over at VOGUE. I liked a lot of the book, especially relating to the characters and what they were going through. I got ahead of the plot a little too quickly, and there were some chapters where way too much backstory was info-dumped, instead of being integrated into the overall story. I liked more than I didn’t, but it’s not a book I’d rave about. Went through some other books for research on various projects, and put them back in the pile for the library.

Percolated on the retro mystery for a bit. I’m creating a new name for my fictional community and putting in some lines as to how the creator of it is in competition with The Spruces. This will give me the flexibility I need for plot and character and even some geographic deviations. The application for The Spruces was careful and thorough. I want my fictional community to be a little more raucous and freewheeling. On Monday morning, I did some research on different mobile homes, and I found the one I want for my central protagonist: a three bedroom, with a second story for her main bedroom and a roof deck, with a patio downstairs, two bedrooms, a bath, a kitchen, and the living room. I need to go back to the library and look at the dimension widths for the homes that remained in the park. On the road, they could only be 8’ wide, but if they weren’t meant to move? Could they be 10’? When I did my research, I wrote down the length, but not the width.

Sunday was the Spring Equinox. I kept the celebrations simple. It was cloudy most of the day, so I decided not to run errands that day, either. I did some more unpacking and organizing.

I spent a good portion of the day going through a research book I’ve had out of the library for months (I am allowed 99 renewals on it). But I felt like I should go through it thoroughly and return it. I got 9 pages of notes on one project, and images that are relevant to three projects, so it definitely was worth taking the time with it.

I did a chipotle chicken in the crockpot, which was yummy. I do love my crockpot.

I’m slowly working my way through ATLAS OF THE HEART, which was recommended by the leader of the Thursday meditation group. It’s not an easy book. There are things which resonate strongly with me. There are other things with which I disagree. The third category is the most problematic because they resonate, even though I don’t like them! But they make sense. Definitely a worthwhile book, albeit not an easy one.

Up early on Monday, on my own. Got the morning routine going, in spite of going down another research rabbit hole with The Spruces.

I had a long list of errands that needed to happen. On the way to the first set, I stopped at the credit union to make a deposit for my mother, in the joint account, on which I am named with Power of Attorney. The teller and the teller supervisor accused me of trying to scam my elderly mother. Even though I have POA, and my mother signed the check (since it was made out to her), and marked it for deposit. Because I am named for my mother, and therefore must be trying to scam her, because heaven forbid a daughter have the same first name as a mother. If I was a man named for my father, this would never be a problem. Because misogyny. I had to go home, get the check stub and the letter that came with the check TO MAKE A DEPOSIT INTO A JOINT SAVINGS ACCOUNT. On top of that, they’re going to hold the money until the end of the month “to make sure the check is real.” It’s from a major company in the Midwest. On top of that, they said she should have come in to make the deposit herself. First of all, she’s 97. That’s why it’s a joint account and I have POA. So that she doesn’t have to come in herself. Second, none of the staff is masking. Why would I put her at risk in a pandemic? As usual, they are inappropriate.

EVERY interaction with Greylock Federal Credit Union since we opened the account has been unnecessary drama. Why would I want to keep our money in an establishment that treats me like a criminal instead of a customer? The whole point of being with a credit union is because their mission is to treat their members like individuals.

Not Greylock.

As soon as I can legally move the money, I will. It will be a nightmare to open yet another account and switch everything over.  I’m starting the research now. But it’s necessary. Because my mother is 97. I hope she’s around for a long time, but when she does go, how much you want to bet they’d refuse access to the JOINT ACCOUNT so I could pay the bills for the funeral? What about when I start traveling again? How much do you want to bet they’ll leave me stranded somewhere, even though I will have given them the information about the trip in advance? Not to mention that, as a legal adult (for decades now), I shouldn’t have to get the bank’s “permission” to travel.

NONE of this is about security. ALL of it is about control.

The Annual Meeting is tonight. Part of me is exhausted at the very thought of attending. Part of me wants to go in there and tell them off. Yet again. I have brought up these issues before, and they “feel bad” that I have a bad experience with them, but never adjust their behavior.

I have ALWAYS been polite in dealing with them, even when they frustrated and insult me. And EVERY transaction is an absolute nightmare of unnecessary drama.

If I was rich and laundering money through them, they’d let me do anything I want.

Part of being the architect of my own life is only dealing with businesses that treat me with basic human respect and decency. The credit union does not. Therefore, I need to take my business (small as it is) elsewhere.

After it took the hour plus to get sorted what should have been a basic deposit, I did the rest of my errands: the liquor store, the library. Did a pass through the thrift store, hoping for some cute plant pots, but they didn’t have any in stock. Went to another store, where I found pots, potting soil, and even got some morning glory and moonflower seeds.

It meant I didn’t have to drive to another store I thought I’d have to visit, for the soil and the pots. So that saved time, energy, and stress on the car.

After lunch, I planted eight pots with seven kinds of seeds (I’ll discuss it in detail in this Thursday’s post on Gratitude and Growth). It was lovely out on the porch, so we moved all the pots out there in the sun. I updated the plant journal. I’m trying to be more consistent with it. Keeping it in a 3-ring binder instead of a spiral-bound notebook makes it easier.

There were plenty of things I “should” have been doing in the afternoon, although I was well in the zone, deadline-wise. So I cut myself a break, read a book I really wanted to read for fun, and watched the clouds roll by. Being up in the mountains is fun, because the clouds are low enough to really observe.

Tessa started howling as soon as I went to bed. I got up, sat with her while she ate her bedtime snack, and waited until she fell asleep before sneaking off to bed. I was awake on my own just before five this morning, and she was happy.

Took the laundry to the laundromat in the rolly cart. The moon was still out and shining brightly when I left. They’d adjusted the lights to the time change, finally, although the clock is still an hour behind. Got a nice chunk of edits done on CAST IRON MURDER, in spite of some guy coming in to do his laundry who kept trying to talk to me. What is it about men that they can’t stand to see a woman involved in something that isn’t them? I had my folder open with a full manuscript of several hundred pages, I was editing hard copy in red pen, it was obvious I was working. Basic greeting and acknowledgement make sense; trying to engage me in conversation when I am obviously working is not. I was polite, but minimal, and made it clear that I WAS WORKING, and not there to hang out and socialize.

I mean, it’s a lot better here than it was on Cape, but still. Read the room, guys. Not everything is about you.

Home, put the clothes away. I only have about two chapters left to edit on CAST IRON MURDER, so I might just go ahead and do that, and then put in some of the fixes I noted in pen this morning, before switching over to The Big Project, and then client work in the afternoon.

Trying to decide if I want to do a run to the library – six books came in after I had done my drop-off/pickup yesterday.

The tansy seeds finally showed up after travelling from Missouri to Massachusetts to Chicago back to the Berkshires. I hope to plant them today. Otherwise, I have to wait until Friday, which is the next planting day.

By the way, any business that is running around with an unmasked staff behaving like the pandemic is over does not get to use “the pandemic” or “supply chain issues” as an excuse for not being competent or fulfilling their responsibilities. Either they acknowledge we are still in a pandemic and follow protocols, or they forfeit the right to use it as an excuse. It doesn’t work both ways.

The Republican racists are in full sail in the hearings for our new SCOTUS. People need to believe them when they show who they are, and remove them.

The week has barely begun and I’m exhausted.

I will make the time for extra meditation today.

Mon. Sept. 21, 2020: Intent for the Week — Balance

image courtesy of Peggy_Marco via pixabay.com

My intent this week is to work on balance. I am not arrogant enough to believe I will achieve it, and I know obstacles will be thrown at me all week. But I will work on it.

Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox, Mabon, which is about the balance of light and dark, before tipping over into the dark of winter.

We just keep trying.

What are you working on this week?

Note: this didn’t post yesterday, although it was scheduled. Apologies).

Published in: on September 22, 2020 at 6:18 am  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 21, 2020: Intent for the Week — Balance  
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Fri. Sept. 21, 2018: Exciting Invitations

Friday, September 21, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It finally feels like fall! So happy about that.

Have to go in to my client’s for a few hours to do some more coordination for the event ceremony next week. Have been invited to another networking breakfast the following day. Still debating whether or not to go to that one.

Got some client work done yesterday, and some reading, but not enough writing. Had to get some political activism work done — there’s too much at stake right now to shrug and claim that I don’t have time. It was raining off and on, so I couldn’t get yard work done.

Got some work done on what used to be POWER OF WORDS. Have a lot of thoughts about what I still need to do to polish the last three books in this first major arc, and then ideas for the next books. I’ve made some decisions about the Mia-Evan arc that incorporates a lot of what I felt had to be either/or, but now see can be worked into an interesting conflict between them.

Getting ready to dig into the edits for RELICS AND REQUIEM. Have a review to finish, and also want to polish at least most of the calendar articles — that deadline is looming. Plus get some decent work done on DHARMA.

I’ve been invited to participate in a virtual global human rights conference, put on by the university where I’ve been studying the International Tribunals and the UN. I’ve even been invited to contribute a piece for their “Ideas Bazaar” on one day of the conference. We have to work out the details, especially with the time changes, but that’s exciting. I’d really like to do it.

I wanted to participate in the local yoga festival this weekend in Falmouth. But they’re so unclear about costs, etc., that I hesitate. I wanted to buy the three day pass that supposedly gives access to everything. But I look at some of the workshops and they’re marked as “sold out.” So that would mean I’d be paying, but not able to attend what I want to attend, unless a certain number of slots are being held for 3-day pass holders. Because why should I pay for 3 days when the entire first day and most of the things I want to do the other two days are marked “sold out”? I asked about it, and no one organizing it has a definitive answer.

So I’m not buying something that may or may not be honored.

Because if you’re selling a 3-day pass, it means the holders can attend whatever they want on those days. Not be shut out of events for which they’ve already paid. It doesn’t make sense.

And, this being Cape Cod, they’d just shrug and keep my money and not let me in to the workshops. So I’ll pass. I have enough to keep me busy this weekend. Plus, there are dozens of other things going on. Everyone tries to pack September to the gills, because the damn tourists are still here.

It’s also the Equinox, and I have ritual.

So it will be a busy, but hopefully happy weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side!

Published in: on September 21, 2018 at 8:39 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 21, 2018: Exciting Invitations  
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Wed. March 23, 2016: Lots of Good News!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Busy few days! Including a snow storm on the Equinox, although it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as predicted.

Saturday, I had some running around to do, and some writing to do. Baked cupcakes. I’d come home from work on Friday feeling just awful. We think I might be having a bad reaction to the new carpet.

Then, at 2 PM, we hosted Caroline Kepnes at the library. She’s got two wonderfully creepy books out, You and Hidden Bodies. She’s also a smart, funny, terrific person. it was a great presentation. We’re so glad she could fit us in before she went back to LA.

Sunday, I had a few things to pick up at the hardware store to finish prepping my canvas, and then it started to snow. I read and researched, but didn’t do much else. In my mind, I was preparing to write two short radio plays.

I also pulled out of an interview with a theatre company for a project because there are upcoming scheduling conflicts, and we’d all get frustrated. Maybe we’ll work together at a later date. They’re interviewing plenty of candidates for this particular project, so it’s not like I’m the top choice or leaving them in the lurch.

The snow on Sunday night into Monday was more like two inches, instead of ten, which was a relief. I sat down and wrote “Not Such a Bargain”, one of the ten minute plays, finished putting the hardware on the canvas, dropped it off at Cotuit, and then came back and wrote the other short radio play, “Fright Shift.” By then, I was ready for a glass of wine.

I’m happy with both plays, although I think “Not Such a Bargain” is a little stronger. I do love Emily in “Fright Shift”. She’s kind of a bratty teenager, but she gets things done!

Watched CRIMSON PEAK on Monday night. Absolutely gorgeous production design, but Tom Hiddleston’s character was underwritten, and not given enough to show his transformation. He did the best he could with what he had, and I liked that it was the Edith who was the rescuer, not the rescued, but if he’d just been given a handful of lines more in a couple of scenes, it would have worked better for me.

Tuesday, up early and wrote a grant proposal for an individual grant. I had to do a one-page synopsis of where I think SONGBOUND SISTERS is headed, and they also wanted a one-page bibliography of my published work. I could only fit back to 2012 on one page. I might have too many credits for the grant, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Then, I outlined a new project nagging at me — a novel. I see the shape in my head — just have to get it all down, and figure out where to slot it in.

Did some research. Watched CHASING SHADOWS, which is a little odd, but interesting, and THE BIG SHORT — well done, and I still think all of them should be in jail.

Got some excellent news — “Broken Links”, the comic mystery, won first place and will be produced and performed by On the Air Radio Players in June. I’m excited and thrilled! I plan to have a listening party when I get the link. So that was a good note on which to end the day.

Up early this morning to do the revisions on the two short radio plays, and do a final polish on the grant proposal. Today will be a long day at work, with an “Easter Tea” program. I have to do PR, and I have to get posters and PR done for the Shakespeare night and for the ArtsWeek Boston panel, and some other programs.

Onward!