Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010
Dark Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

The tree is still a work in progress. I’m starting to think it will be New Year’s before I will get it done.

My retired neighbor was mowing the lawn at 8:19 yesterday morning. Guess I don’t have to worry about disturbing neighbors with early starts. Good to know! He’s also really, really proud of his shiny, new red snowblower.

I will miss the workshop when it ends tomorrow. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this batch of students.

Ran some errands yesterday, including grocery shopping. I decided I want to make pot roast tomorrow. Well, it must be Pot Roast Weekend on the Cape and no one sent me the memo, because I had to go to three stores to find the meat! But I found it. And, totally by accident, I found the black gloss paint I need for the bureau and the Colonial Red paint I need to repaint two bookcases I decided need to go in the back bedroom (because the only rooms in the house allowed not to have books are the bathrooms). I still haven’t found the blue I want for the bookcase that will eventually go in my bedroom.

I’d really like to have some time to unpack the rest of the boxes in my bedroom. I want it to be a sanctuary, not a storage locker. Half the room is fine; the other half . . .but, once I get the bureau finished and can stash my clothes, then I can unpack more of the boxes and put stuff in the closet, where I currently have stacked the clothes.

Visited the Cape Cod Art Association to check out their holiday gift show. The work by the artists is GORGEOUS, and the place absolutely rang with happiness and laughter. A lot of the work was more expensive than I felt comfortable spending right now (although it’s definitely worth it — I just want to replenish the coffers from the move first). I bought two prints by an artist named Joan Shostak for my mom — we kept being drawn to her work. Funnily enough, she’s originally from Westchester! I’m going to find lovely frames for the prints and those will be my mom’s primary Yule gift (she doesn’t read the blog, so I can post that).

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a pottery class at my beginning level to take in January in the area — they’re intermediate and advanced, most of them wheel-throwing, and nothing with slab work, which is what I want to concentrate on right now. Truro might have a class, but it’s about an hour’s drive each way, plus a three hour class, and I’d have to combine studio time on the same day — I don’t know if I can commit a full day per week to clay at this point. I’ll see what’s offered later in the year.

Writing’s going well. I have a good idea of what I want with the article, and will send out questions this week. The fiction piece I started the other day is also shaping up nicely, even though I’m not really sure where it’s going. Of course, now some of my other characters are tapping their feet saying, “Hey! What about ME?”

Comcast has some sort of issue almost every day, either with internet or television. And I’m sorry,but it shouldn’t take me 90 minutes to pay my bill online.

Cablevision agreed to credit the “unused” portion of November and December for which it billed me, and refund the bit I paid — unexpected, but appreciated. But they still won’t admit they were wrong in the previous situation where they nearly cost me my job and then, when I complained, decreased service. So, I guess they’re getting another invoice come December 19.

Usual morning routine. Violet settled onto my lap as I started work on the computer, and we were both mesmerized as an enormous white and black cat strolled down the street. At first I thought it was the Imp dog, that’s how large it is, but the grace of movement and the complete lack of hurry indicated it couldn’t be the little hyper one. Then, the cat turned to stare at us. Violet couldn’t believe it. She gave a little hiss. the cat, completely confident it was in no danger, kind of stared at us, like “huh”, then turned and sauntered behind the garage across the street. It’s not safe for cats to be outside here because of the coyotes and fishers (not to mention pick up trucks driving waaay too fast on the little roads), but this cat doesn’t look like a stray and is supremely self-confident. It would have to be, to wander in such a dog-centric neighborhood.

I’m going to a Holly Walk in Falmouth, on a holly plantation, sponsored by the MA Audubon Society this morning (who knew there were 65 varieties of holly? Not me). Tonight, we’re going to a Celtic concert in Barnstable. Tomorrow is about wrapping presents and writing cards. I have either two or three more gifts to get, two more things to order online, and then, except for a couple more things for my mom, I am DONE.

The online ordering has been ridiculously stressful. They pretend all this hoop-jumping is “security”, but it’s really just a way to gather too much information so they can pepper you with spam, and the STILL hem and haw about putting through the order. And then say, “oh, it’s the verification system that’s the problem.” Guess what? I don’t give a flying fuck WHAT the problem is. Either you want my business or you don’t. And, if I have to re-do the order six times and you ask me for inappropriate information for “security” reasons, and then tell me, oh, it didn’t go through on the day of the sale and now the prices are different, I will take my business elsewhere and not give my hard-earned money to YOU. Going to the small businesses in the area has been pleasant, the quality of merchandise has been better and totally unique, and the prices are better. There’s plenty of reasonably-priced, one-of-a-kind pieces by local artists that I can pack and ship off myself that are better choices than something I can get online. So that’s what I’m doing!

Okay, I need to get some empty ornament boxes up to storage and then bundle up for the holly walk. It’s in the 20’s here today, and I don’t want to freeze.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cold

The movers are supposed to show up a 8:30 this morning and then we can get this furniture swapped out and back to a real life. I’ll be glad when today is over. The furniture swap itself isn’t such a big deal, but what surrounds it is.

I managed to purge a lot on Tuesday from years past — things I held on to that no longer support my life or my goals. Reminders of some poor decisions made in the mid-80’s and early 90’s that I’ve definitely atoned for, but kept reminders around. So I got rid of them. And felt better. My life is in a different direction, I paid up for those mistakes, let’s move on. It was difficult and somewhat emotional, but necessary, and I’m glad I did it.

Have you ever caught yourself getting pissy about something really stupid? I caught myself at least twice yesterday, pulled up and said, “WHY are you letting this get to you? It’s not a big deal, and it’s none of your business. Get over it!” Because it’s not like I don’t have enough relevant stuff to worry about!

And then there’s relevant stuff, like trying to order online and the site is cantankerous. I warned one vendor with whom I’ve done business for years that this is the last year I’ll be shopping at his store because I couldn’t check out — for a half hour, whenever I tried to check out, it went back to the site’s home page. I had to call it in — which I didn’t want to do, because that’s why I order online and I HATE using the phone. On top of that, because it was a phone order and not an online order, I couldn’t use any of the promotional codes. And yes, I did ask them to extend the promo codes to me even though I called instead of ordered online, because of the site problem. They refused. So that store has seen the last of me. I would have cancelled this year’s order, but I don’t have time to hunt down that speciality elsewhere in the current time frame. However, with a year’s lead time, I do. Another store, a first-time experience for me, lost my business completely because, when I tried to check out, the site kept insisting my phone number wasn’t valid. Now, I’d used the exact same information in the exact format on a sister site to place an order ten minutes earlier. So I cancelled the order and ordered from a different store. I let both stores know that they’ve lost my business and why. I am not going to waste my money on stores that don’t provide excellent customer service. Because there are plenty of stores out there who actually DO provide good customer service and a quality product at a fair price.

So, it was frustrating, but the online ordering is done, and I’ve just got a couple of gift cards to pick up and some stocking stuffers, and then all my shopping’s done.

I’ve also got to do my shopping for St. Nicholas Day, which is on Saturday night, going into Sunday.

Everything is stacked in the living room and the bathroom to give the movers access to what they’re getting out and the spots they’re putting the new stuff in. The cats are beside themselves. Now, we’re not swapping out all that much furniture, and yet everything that was around it has filled the other rooms to bursting. It simply doesn’t make sense. How could that much crap be stored in such a small space?

I’ll have more purging to do when I put things back.

I’m stressed, the cats are stressed, I don’t trust these movers — not only did they call after 6 PM with this morning’s time, the guy started giving me a hard time about not sending him a deposit — until I reminded him he never gave me the information and had told me I didn’t need to. Then he asked me what we were moving, even though I’d sent it to him TWICE in writing. I don’t have a lot of confidence in these guys, and I just want to get the job DONE.

I’m printing out the emails with the estimates, so there can’t be anymore hassle.

Think good thoughts for me.