Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pleasant and warm

Wednesday we travelled to Plymouth and to the Cape, just for the day. There was a very specific agenda, which I can’t yet talk about for fear of jinxing it, but it was productive and great fun. We also picked up a few things in Hyannis, which means that I didn’t have to go running around here yesterday. Pretty much everything we need is on Rt. 132. Plus, there are plenty of small, independent businesses we like to frequent. I also managed to replace the wine glass I broke with two very pretty ones, and found a set of 100% cotton aqua-colored sheets.

Plymouth was a little disappointing — both in our agenda, and that some of the stores we planned to visit where, for some reason, closed. On a Wednesday? Really? Maybe in preparation for a long holiday weekend? One of my favorite stores there only seems to open whenever someone decides to show up. And they weren’t there that day!

Yarmouth, Sandwich, Barnstable, Dennis, Masphee — all as pretty and friendly as ever. What a great region. We had several stops to make — and EVERY set of directions was wrong. I thought Google Maps was supposed to be better than Mapquest? They both pretty much suck.

We stopped in Niantic on the way home in the evening. First stop was the Niantic Diner, where I had one of the best linguini with clam sauce dishes I’ve ever had in my life — clams served in the shells, perfect sauce with white wine, garlic, oil, and chopped tomatoes. Then, it was a hop across the street to the Book Barn, where I got a stack of books on various topics and played with several of their cats. Their little black cat followed me from shelf to shelf, telling me all about it.

Driving back was tough. I love the Merritt Parkway — no trucks and it’s pretty. And the Recovery Act construction projects have turned roads into a pleasure around New England that have been a nightmare to drive since the late 1960’s. I approve of the way those of my tax dollars are at work! However, whenever there’s work on the Merritt Parkway, it seems deliberately scheduled to be as incompetent and to create the most amount of inconvenience for drivers as possible. Whoever’s making the decisions about structuring the work on the Merritt either is a dingbat and shouldn’t have the job, has never driven the Merritt and doesn’t realize the problems he’s causing (and therefore shouldn’t have the job), or is trying to get revenge on people who drive there. And shouldn’t have the job.

We got home around nine. I tended to the cats and the cat next door. On the one hand, Elsa was happy to have a quiet day and not get poked all the time and get medicine shoved down her throat. On the other hand, I think she missed us.

Anyway, it was a great day, although driving to the Cape and back in a single day is a bit of a haul. Usually we stay at least one night. But at least now we know we can do it. and we’ll probably have to do it that way a few more times in the upcoming months.

Yesterday, I slept in, then dashed around getting stuff ready for class and taking care of the cat next door.

Pottery class was great. It took me awhile to adjust to this teacher’s teaching style, so different from the last teacher with whom there was instant rapport. But, by the end of the class, one was building. She’s really good. And I’m trying to learn how to think visually instead of verbally. There are six people in the class — five women and one fifteen year old boy. He’s very sweet and talented, but, poor thing, it’s gotta be hard to be fifteen and in a class with a bunch of women old enough to be his mother! But it’s a nice group.

We worked on pressed-mold bottle vases yesterday. We have to finish them next week. And I finished early enough to make a pressed mold bowl, which is a little wonky, but I sent it for firing anyway. I’m going to try to take advantage of some open studio hours in the coming weeks to do some work on my own, and actually have a technique. Because I have no technique yet, everything is very rough. It’s a little better than the original pieces I did in May, but there’s still a long way to go.

I’ve already used half my 25 lbs of clay in just the first class, so I’m pretty sure I’ll wind up buying more. We’re working in stoneware rather than earthenware this time, and the clay looks similar to what I worked with last time, but feels different. I’m still heavy-handed and don’t really have the feel of it yet. That’s why I need the open studio hours — to just be able to sit and work with it, squish it if it doesn’t work, and start again.

I’d like to take another class in the fall, but I don’t know if I can afford it or make the 14-week time commitment. It depends how much work I land over the summer, and what else is going on in the fall.

In more disturbing news, two little kids in this town were attacked by coyotes — in the kids’ own yards — within four days. One kid is six, and one kid is three. Both will be okay, but still . . .it’s disturbing. And the coyotes are way smarter than the people trying to hunt them down. In this area, that is not at all a surprise. People are being cautioned not to let their kids play unattended in the yard (how sad is that?) and not to run, especially not alone. I was supposed to start running again on Monday, but I may put it off for awhile. While I’m used to dealing with coyotes, that doesn’t mean I should set myself up as potential prey.

Bossy Girl moved! I heard her screaming yesterday afternoon and looked out the window. Her human had her in a harness, she was yelling and tossing her cookies, and then was stashed in the front seat of a U-Haul van. She was a pretty cat, and a smart one. I will miss her — but at least she won’t be coyote dinner. It’s way too dangerous to let one’s cats out around here, between the highway, the train, and the coyotes. Yet people do. And then they wonder when their cats are torn to shreds or hit by a car.

Today is the start of the holiday weekend — yay! It’s still supposed to be nice today and tomorrow, and then a heat wave well into the 90s all next week. Ick.

I have an appointment at 11:30 about a possible new gig at the end of the summer — hope it works out, it would pay for the fall pottery class! And I’ve got a bunch of writing to do today, too, on several projects. I go back to working on other people’s projects next Tuesday; an acquaintance sent me a play to read, which I’m happy to do, but it will have to be early next week.

Elsa’s hanging in there. I’m still waiting for the information about the new medication from the vet. Violet now sits in my lap on next to the computer on the desk whenever I’m working. Iris spends most of her time looking out of the window and complaining about the workmen.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Devon

Published in: on July 2, 2010 at 5:50 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

It was a busy, fun weekend, and it’s going to be a heck of a busy week.

We hit the road by 9 AM on Saturday, and drove up into CT. The first part of the trip was great, but once we had to leave the Merritt and travel up I-95 — nightmare. The entire I-95 was backed up going North all the way through CT for no reason we coudl ascertain. And heaven forbid the news stations gave us any real information. The Boston station is great about accurate traffic information – the NY and CT stations SUCK.

But we finally got to Old Saybrook Recycled Furniture. I walked in a got a chill –there was a trunk identical to the one I wrote about in GOOD NAMES — simple, unfinished wood with some of the original, once-scented floral paper inside. It was even the same manufacturer I named in the novel. I looked at the tag and figured it must be a mistake — there had to be at least one more zero there — but there wasn’t. And I bought it. I also spotted a two-place-setting, 16 pieces of red-and-white Johnson Brothers china and a few stray pieces from the same set — all for just over $20. Since I’m obsessed with Johnson Brothers china, I grabbed it all.

Originally, it looked like it was all one set. Closer inspection, at home, shows that some of the pieces are from the original “Coaching Scenes” set, and some are later replacement pieces. And the two dinner places are from the “Cotswold” set. But they look good together, and I like them all, so I’m happy.

Then, it was off to Niantic and my beloved Book Barn. I had a list this time, and I didn’t want to deviate too much from it. We stopped downtown first, and I picked up three of the books on the list. Then, it was up to the main set of buildings, the houses and outbuildings that comprise the central Book Barn. I found seven more books. Most of them were on my list; a few weren’t. They didn’t have any of the Edith Whartons I wanted, or anything on Carthage, but I still found more than I normally do when I go up there with a list.

The person in line ahead of me complained that the inventory isn’t online and they don’t ship. The lovely staff member explained that they get eight to ten THOUSAND books in per week, and if they were expected to enter them into a database, they’d all quit. I added that it was a good excuse for a day trip, anyway, and you always find treasures you never knew you wanted.

The staff member also mentioned he’s encouraging people to take the Niantic tote bags with them with they travel and take pictures all over the world with them. I promised to take mine to Prague!

We had lunch at our favorite Yankee Clipper restaurant – baked scallops with garlic and mushrooms, mashed potatoes, cole slaw. As always, delicious.

Then we drove south and visited the Tanger Outlet in Westabrook. Now, I’m not one for malls, but they had the only branch of a store we needed, so we bit the bullet. And I have to say, I”m very impressed with the design. Plazas, green space, very wide covered sidewalks — you don’t feel crowded or rushed, and busses kept vomiting people out every few minutes.

We found the store we needed and made our purchases. There was a Wilson Leather Store, and I got the perfect purse for Prague — at 75% off. So now I’ve got the suitcase, the purse, the wallet. And I like my carry-on. So I’m set.

We stopped at the pet store for me to pick up a few things and I fell in love with a boxer puppy. What a doll, and the coat was so shiny and velvety! If he was up for adoption, I’d have grabbed him in a second! He’s going to be big, though — enormous paws! Very loving, though.

Picked up a few other things, and left, impressed with the place. I’d actually go back voluntarily.

Drove down to Orange, to the LL Bean Outlet, which was a disappointment. They had a lot of stuff — just nothing I wanted or needed.

I-95 North was STILL backed up all the way through CT — and going south wasn’t much better. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see the Merritt Parkway in my life!

Home, dinner, rest. The arm is much better. I used the cream at intervals all day, and iced whenever I could. I didn’t take a Benedryl until just before bedtime, and it conked me out.

Yesterday, I didn’t even turn on the computer. I rested the arm. I photographed the trunk and took it to storage, because I wanted to get it somewhere climate-controlled as soon as possible — the humidity would hurt it. It’ll need some TLC when I move. I’m going to do some restoration work on it just so it looks better, not for any value reason.

I tried to work on the 1950’s couch, but it needs a professional. I am way out of my league on it. I started fixing the similar-style chair. That I can do, although I have to do it over the course of three days, to let each repair dry completely before moving on to the next.

Photographed and logged the china, so I can do some research on it.

I’m reading a fantastic book, I’D RATHER BE WRITING by Marcia Golub. She basically gives the same advice I do about writing, revising, creating time to write, etc., only she’s more personable about it!

The cats got me up at 4 and wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. I am not amused. The couch should arrive today.

I finished “Plot Bunnies”, the comic mystery, this morning. I have to type it and then cut about 1500 words to fit the anthology guidelines. I’ll type it and then put it away for a few days while I work on the second story. While I know it needs work, I’m also pretty happy with the overall content and structure.

I have client projects to do this week, work on the article for which I did the interviews last week, and prep for the site job next week. Since I’m staying there, and only coming home every day for about an hour to feed the cats, clean the litter box, and pick up the mail, I have to be very organized.

I also need to bubble wrap some pictures and haul them to storage, once the couch shows up. And pack more so that I can do the furniture swap when I get back from the site job.

Busy time. But it’s all good.

Lara, yes, I’m a total Benedryl lightweight! That’s what happens when you take the occasional Advil, but nothing else! Abby, great idea — I’ve been thinking of joining SCBWI. I didn’t realize they had insurance. I might also be able to get it through the National Writers’ Union. Brandy, the bite is FINALLY better. And the meditation practice even helps me not scratch it to pieces. The minute I sit down to meditate, I get itchy. If I just keep sitting, it subsides. Applying the same thing whenever the bite acts up helps me not make it worse.

Devon