Fri. Aug. 31, 2018: A Flying Poodle & Beer Nuts

Friday, August 31, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Finally, a break in the heat and humidity.

August wrap up is up on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. September’s To-Do List won’t go up until Wednesday.

Yesterday, after I was done at the library, I went to the liquor store (of course I did). Or, as we call it here, “the Package store.” Two Ladies of Certain Age were in there. Old-school, with wigs, dark make-up, oversized sunglasses, blinding cocktail rings. One of them had a male, black, toy poodle on a leash. They’re either having a party or they plan to be drunk for the next five days, because in addition to one woman with a full shopping cart of bottles and the other woman’s arms full of vodka bottles, a staff member had two cases of wine on a hand truck. Good customers, nice sale.

I’m about to step up to the next counter with my own bottle of vodka when the poodle yanks his leash out of his human’s grip and leaps into the air at me. I tossed my vodka bottle to the clerk, who caught it like an infielder, and the poodle landed in my arms, whereupon he wriggled with joy and licked my face.

The woman was embarrassed, but I told her no problem, I love dogs, and it was an honor that he wanted to make friends. I put him down and she pulled him back to her counter so she could finish paying.

Only there are rows of snacks under the counter.

So the poodle grabbed a bag of beer nuts. Which he shouldn’t have. The two women and several employees were alternately trying to scold and coax him to drop the beer nuts. But he’s got it by the corner of the packet, backing away and growling at anyone who comes near.

I got on my knees (technically Hero Pose in yoga, with my feet tucked under) and the poodle bounced over to me. I held out my hand and asked, “Will you share?” He dropped the bag onto my lap and did that two-step bounce back dogs so often do when they bring you something. I told him he was a good boy and he danced around, wagging his tail, happy as could be.

It was hilarious.

I didn’t keep the nuts.
When I came home smelling of boy poodle, both Tessa and Lucy were displeased, so I had to scrub the poodle scent off.

I’m reading the anthology WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE, and enjoying. Donna Andrews has a great story in it called “The Haire of the Beast.” I laughed out loud when I read it.

Managed to unpack four basement boxes yesterday. Sorted some stuff, found some really cool stuff, am airing out and cleaning some things, and there’s stuff to throw out. Slowly, but surely, if I keep at it, I’ll get the whole thing tackled and done. I should have been doing it since we moved in, but should have doesn’t solve anything. I’m now DOING.

Percolating some story ideas as I work. We’ll see what happens. Fitting them into the schedule is the big thing right now.

Ari Meghlen needs the blog post earlier than expected, because of a schedule change, so I will write it this weekend and get it out early next week.

Finishing this draft of RELICS is on the agenda, making good progress on DHARAMA and calendar articles. More box-purging, and sorting and integrating what I’ve unpacked that I’m keeping so far. Writing ahead on the month’s posts for Upbeat Authors and for Ink-Dipped Advice. Doing yard work, if it’s not too hot. Meditating.

It’s interesting how GRAVE REACH, the fourth and next Coventina Circle book, is taking more and more shape the closer I get to the end of RELICS. I’ll revisit the outline for it shortly.

Hopefully, I’ll also have some time for relaxing!

I hope you have a great weekend!

 

Friday, November 4, 2011


Herring Cove Beach

Friday, November 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I was up at 5:30 in the morning yesterday, wrote 3500 words, and out the door by seven thirty for yoga. Yoga was good. We did a lot of work on immunity-building stuff for the winter, which means, of course, I’m getting rid of toxins today as they work their way out of the body and I’m not feeling so great! I was able to do fish pose properly for the first time, but there were a few poses I had trouble with, due to the rotator cuff problem in my shoulder. Part of it is that it’s gotten injured and re-injured so often that I’m overprotective of it in the wrong way, and I have to get over that in order to strengthen it.

It was such a nice day when I came home that I decided to just chuck everything else for the day and go to Provincetown. We walked on Herring Cove beach for a bit, gathered some stones (I found a really wonderful one). I drove to the inn where I want to set a section of POWER OF WORDS and took photos. My memory card filled, and, when I went to put in the new one, it didn’t work. I was not pleased.

Drove back along 6A, enjoying the nice fall weather. Found my receipt and took the memory card back to Staples. Turns out my camera is “too old” to handle anything over a 2 GB memory card, and they’re no longer manufacturing those. Now, why should I be forced to buy new equipment because some dumb corporate fucks decide to “stop making something”? They should not be allowed to force additional large purchases like that. And why isn’t that information ON the product itself?

Anyway, I found another memory card by a different manufacturer that fits and swapped them out. I’m wondering if I should order 3 or 4 more memory cards (they last me about a year and a half each) while it’s still possible to get them. I love this camera, and I plan to keep using it as long as possible.

Wrote a fun scene for class that I want to use at some point in the trilogy, but am not yet sure where it fits.

Early night — I was tired.

But check out my post on The Writer’s Vineyard about the importance of Daily Practice.

I need to finish the yard, but it looks like it’s going to rain, so that may not happen today. Need to spend time with students, polish lectures for next week, run media kits for the book, write some follow-up notes, and catch up on admin. All I want to do is work on the book and a couple of short stories, so I have to figure out how to best configure my time without letting any of the balls drop.

I also need to prepare a big marketing push for later this month, and I’m wondering whether or not I should rent a PO box for business correspondence.

I talk to Tessa, the kitten, so much every day, and she’s responding so well that she could probably ace the SATs at this point. She comprehends a larger vocabulary than many college-age students!

Need to unpack some more boxes from the garage and set up some more shelving in my room. And tonight, I’m attending a meditation workshop. Busy, busy! But good.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1,010
Total word count: 54,018

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

Busy day, which seems to be the norm now, but in a good way! Spent a lot of time with my students in both classes. I’ve given the Advanced Dialogue students a couple of optional exercises and am getting ready to wrap up that class. Also getting ready to start the Scaling the Wall: Unsticking Your Book workshop on Monday, and we start writing our books in the year-long class tomorrow. I’m doing a proofread of the information packets for my in-person class that starts next week, and for the conference, and then I’ll print them over the weekend.

I feel good about the book I’m set to start tomorrow. I think I hit the right balance of planning and left enough room so it’s not over-structured, and I can flow with the story. I have a good handle on the characters and a solid plot, so, off we go!

I was offered a contract on one of my books yesterday. I need more information before I can make an informed decision (and I need to run it by my lawyer), but my gut reaction is to decline. Part of me says I must be crazy, since this is a hard book to place, but I have a bad feeling about this, and my instincts are telling me this is not a good match. I need to think about it some more.

Worked hard to get the storage room to rights yesterday. i have two more closets to sort out (there are four closets in the storage unit, plus five enormous,built-in bookcases. Unpacked and shelved twenty boxes of books, got knick-knacks and linens and sheets and towels sorted. Put together an etegere for the living room, which gives us some more space to display some of our favorite things, and rearranged a few other things. You know how it goes –you change one thing, and it affects twelve others.

I’ve got some bills to pay and some errands to run and other freelance work to kick out today, and then it’s time with my students. Tonight, I’m going to a craft class taught by a colleague from Broadway who’s out here as an artist-in-residence. Should be fun.

Devon

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 7:22 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, July 11, 2011


Heritage Museum and Gardens

Monday, July 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy weekend. Saturday, I got some work done, did three loads of laundry, and unpacked about six boxes of books in the basement, slowly, figuring out where they will actually go.

Violet was sick, and I was very worried about her. I managed to reach a nearby vet and set up an appointment for this morning. Of course, once I made the appointment, she had no symptoms for the rest of the weekend! Which is a good thing, but now we have to go to the vet today! I needed to find a new vet and get their shots updated, so it’s not a bad thing. But the negative vet memories connected to Elsa’s illness are still very raw.

Sunday, I was up early, got the papers and read them, and went to over to Armstrong-Kelley Park in Osterville for a meditation walk through the garden. It was lovely. The group was small, but everyone was very welcoming and friendly. The Park itself is gorgeous, and much bigger than I expected.

When I came home, I unpacked some more stuff from the garage, which wound up being three more loads of laundry, some great finds, some things that will be ironed and go to the consignment shop, and some stuff for the donation box.

Put a coat of black gloss paint on the bureau. Dealt with the laundry. Unpacked and put away three more boxes of books downstairs. Spent time with my students.

This morning, Violet and I are off to the vet (think good thoughts for us), and then I have a lot of work to do both on the Mermaid Ball and the book. Also have to get my post written and scheduled for The Writers Vineyard. Both cats are irritated with me right now because there’s no breakfast until after the appointment.

I’m playing with ideas to offer a short story tie-in to go with ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — something to please those who have read the book and intrigue those who haven’t yet. I’m not sure if I should set it before or after the events in the book, or deal with some of the ghost stories told in the book. Mulling over the possibilities, while other characters from other pieces squawk at me.

Devon


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

Friday, June 10, 2011


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHTavailable from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, June 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The delightful Shirley Wells is hosting me over on her blog on how “Dressing is Not for the Faint of Heart.” Since Morag, one of the two main protagonists of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, is a Broadway dresser, yes, it ties in to the release!

Yesterday was busy. Ran around a lot, doing errands, which somehow always takes longer than I expect. Managed to get more cat food in (huge priority), get a small table to match my Adirondack chairs for the deck, some other small plant tables, Juliet’s new book HEXES AND HEMLINES, and some other stuff. Also stopped by Country Gardens to get the petunias for the planter (where the lobelia failed to come up) and some other stuff, including something so I could treat the lawn for ants. The guy said I should do it ASAP, since we’re supposed to have rain that night, and rain is better than the hose for getting the stuff into the ground.

Spent some time in the basement dealing with boxes, doing some unpacking, getting things ready for today’s inspection.

Came home, treated the lawn, watered it in, and, of course, it was the day every dog in the neighborhood came by to play, so I had to chase them off and warn the owners to wash their feet! The water makes the stuff BUBBLE, which is a little disconcerting.

I hated the thought of using this stuff (even though it’s EPA approved), but, according to the garden center, there’s no fully organic way to get rid of ants. Ants are very persistent. I can divert them from the house with the mint and the tansy and the red pepper, but to get them off the lawn, I have to treat it.

Dashed off to Buzzards Bay for a really good meeting on the Mermaid Ball. I really like the people at the National Marine Life Center, and I’m glad I can do some work with them. I’m also doing some “recommended reading” — I don’t have a background in marine biology or oceanography, so I’m playing catch-up. I should probably take a course of two at the local junior college.

Drove back in a bad storm. It was both gorgeous and frightening to cross the metal Sagamore Bridge with lightening streaking down on both sides. Rt. 6 had some very deep water-pits along the way. It drains off quickly, but until it drains — it was up to the running board in some spots.

But I got home safely, ate, didn’t go online, and started Juliet’s book instead. I really enjoy the Lily Ivory series, so I was glad to get my hands on the newest book!

When I pulled into the driveway, the lawn, where I put down the ant treatment was absolutely frothing! It’s not supposed to hurt birds or pets or people after a few hours — I hope that’s true!

Up early this morning. Didn’t have to water because of the rain. The crows haven’t managed to pry the crystals out of the vegetable bed (the crystals are too big and heavy).

I don’t feel like I can start much until the inspection is done, and then the owner is going to come over and help me prep the house for summer, so today’s pretty much a wash. I’ve got a few things to do for the Mermaid Ball, and I’d like to get some writing done, but the primary focus today is on the house. Which is a good thing.

The Belmont Stakes are tomorrow, and my next class, the Write in Company, starts on Monday, so busy, busy. But it’s good busy, and there’s a bunch of stuff coming up that I really want to do with the local wellness community, and Costume Imp is coming in next week, and the garden stakes are in and . . .

You get the idea! 😉

Devon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The close-up of the heather is for you, Lara!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Tried to catch up on things yesterday — three loads of laundry, getting things straightened up, going through mail, getting stuff sorted with the publisher.

My new, pushed-up release date for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is June 6. Gulp! So I’ve got a lot of promo work to do in the coming weeks. It’s coming out digitally first, with the possibility (if it does well) of a print run 3 or 4 months later. I’ve also been chosen for the publisher’s Author Spotlight for June, so I have to get all that info out today.

According to the calendar, yesterday was a planting day, so I got some repotting done (thing are growing fast) and started two kinds of tomatoes, the echinacea, the yarrow, the soapwort, and the Love-in-a-Mist. I’m looking forward to getting some work done outside towards the end of the week, when it’s supposed to stop raining. It stopped for about ten minutes yesterday afternoon, and people were out mowing their lawns! I thought the grass had to be DRY — my manual is very clear about that.

Not enough writing or reading done yesterday, so I have to make up for that today. Got HEART OF STONE finished, and really liked it, so I’m looking forward to the next one, hOUSE OF CARDS. However, I have 2 1/2 books I have to read before I can start that, all within the next few days.

Caught up with my class. There’s been a lot of good work this month, and I’m glad.

I’ve got to prep for the Preakness this weekend, too. I’m doing a little bit of prep, not much.

I unpacked three more kitchen boxes from the garage, and found some wonderful stuff I forgot I had. Lots of washing and drying and oohing and aaahing. Now, to figure out where to put it!

Not sure where to start with the work today, so I’m just going to pick one thing and get going. There’s a lot of hiring going on in the area, not just the Cape, but in Boston — nearly 6000 jobs in health care alone. And all sorts of other jobs, too. I’ve got to get my proposals finished and out the door, and the brochures redone, too. Strike while the iron is hot, right? There’s a lot of work. I may push a little harder for the next few months so that I really can sit back in August with a clear conscience. Several people are mad at me for taking the month off. “Why can’t you just do X for me?” “Because I’m not available.” “But you can make the time.” “No, I can’t.” I’m tired of going for years without a real vacation because other people are disorganized. Part of this Saturn return lesson — taking a reasonable amount of time off to recharge every year!

Of course, August seems VERY far away right now! 😉

Devon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy, cool, foggy

Is anyone else as heartily sick of all the fuss about the Royal Wedding as I am? Let them enjoy their day, for crying out loud! The way the media keeps trying to ruin it for them is despicable.

3 loads of laundry yesterday.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read about the latest goings on in the garden.

I’m struggling with THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and I don’t know why. So I’m just pushing through. There’s a deadline to be met. Just keep going, that’s all I can do, and remember that every word I wind up with at the end of the writing day is more than I started with.

Didn’t get enough work done on the final copyedits for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, either. Must do better on both today.

The workshop is off to a good start, though, which is a relief.

I find I need to take breaks between unpacking. Some of these boxes have been in storage since 2001. I haven’t seen the items inside for ten years. Some of them can be thrown out or given away; some need to be integrated into my life. Everything has a memory and a story attached, and I have to spend time with each story and see if it’s a part of my past, a part of my present, or relevant to my future. It’s a very strange process.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 7:08 am  Comments (3)  
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy, foggy, cool

Decent day’s work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Not an easy one, but at least I got more than the basic 1K done. I need to really up my game the next few weeks in order to get the draft in decent shape by its deadline. This is what I get for not creating a solid outline when it was hot in the brain. I remember the beginning, the end, the point, and the primary relationship, but lost the rest of it because I didn’t write it down. And now, that I have to go back to it on deadline, it’s nearly like starting from scratch. My own damn fault. I know better. So now I have to re-figure it all out and make it work in a timely manner.

And then I found this quote from Madeleine L’Engle, in A CIRCLE OF QUIET:
“Inspiration does not always precede the act of writing; it often follows it.” (p.162)
So true!

Read the second Crosswicks journal, THE SUMMER OF THE GREAT GRANDMOTHER. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Payment all sorted out, and problems resolved. Very glad to move on.

Had to get out a partial I wasn’t expecting to have to get out, so that took some time. All the bits were there, I just had to personalize the cover letter and print everything, so it wasn’t a Big Huge Deal, and I should be glad I had to get a partial out, right? 😉

Spent a good chunk of the afternoon up in the storeroom, sorting out the many boxes of books. I got most of the series juvenile fiction shelved (Nancy Drew, Penny Parker, Trixie Belden, Judy Bolton, Vicki Barr, Beverly Gray, Kay Tracy, Dorothy Dixon, the Dana Girls, Sue Barton, Cherry Ames, etc.) I even have a few shelves on which to put other books, and i have to figure out which ones should go there. But I’ve still got about 40 unpacked boxes of books up there with no idea where to put them, and close to 100 in the basement.

Yeah. I need more bookcases.

Gave some advice to a friend, found a request for a blog post and wondering where my contribution was to an anthology. Since this was the first I’d heard of it, it’s not yet written. I’m waiting to hear back on the deadline, to see if I can possibly whip something worthwhile out. The blog post I’d written and sent them over a year ago, so I’m not sure if they’re using it again, or just getting around to it.

The copyedits/galleys have come through for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, so I start those this morning. I’ve got ten days to turn them around, but I’m hoping, even working slowly with “copyeditor eye” instead of “writer eye”, that I can get them done by the weekend.

Today’s a deadline for the first assignment in the workshop, so I’ll spend some time with the students.

And I thought this would be a quiet week! 😉

But I would rather have all this good chaos going on than any other kind.

Last night was the first night I didn’t need the hot water bottle along with the big pile of blankets. I’m hoping I can slowly use fewer and fewer blankets, and soon switch from the flannel sheets to simple cotton ones. My neighbor’s tulips have bloomed, and are lovely. And the squirrel dashes over every morning, grabs his two lettuce leaves, and scrambles back up the tree. Too funny!

Devon

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 5:53 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Earth Day

Today actually IS Earth Day, and I will celebrate by spending time in stewardship of my own little patch of it later today.

Lots of admin yesterday. Got the payment situation for the workshop sorted out, and should be paid soon. Glad I asked — or I wouldn’t have seen the money.

Good day’s work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which was nice. It’s starting to come together and make a little more sense. I have a feeling that Daisy and Dulcie, the two Yorkshire terriers who share the protag’s life, are going to be scene-stealers!

Ran some errands, picked up some books that the library got in for me on Sissinghurst, the famous English garden. When we travelled in the UK, we visited a lot of big houses and their wonderful gardens. Felbrigg, where we stayed in “the Mustard Pot” cottage had gorgeous gardens, including a walled garden and an orangerie filled with camellias and tropical plants. Blickling Hall, not too far away, had gorgeous, formal Italian gardens — and even some stone sphinxes and a pyramid! The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall remained lost to us — never could find ‘em –but I hear they’re wonderful. Anyway, I love visiting and looking at the formal gardens, but I don’t think I could live with one — and not just because of the upkeep. I admire the designs very much, but I need a garden I can live in. Someone asked my garden style and I said, “Enchanted cottage garden with gothic touches”. I like to tuck in surprises that will make those with good intentions laugh at the contradictions, and those without good intentions will get a jolt.

Took a drive down to the large, shoreline compounds on the water in and around Hyannis. Beautiful stuff. The water was an amazing shade of blue-green yesterday, really wonderful. Again, a lot of these large summer houses are too formal for me. They’re pretty, I appreciate them, but I need something that can be lived in, not just admired.

People who live here year-round do most of their own yard work and planting, while people who live here part-time hire in landscapers and the rest — which makes perfect sense, because they’re not here, and someone’s got to stay on top of it. But again, there’s a difference. The landscaped properties look sterile and aloof, whereas the ones where the individual owners do the work are filled with life and enchantment. In CT, where I still work a lot, almost everyone hires in people to “do” the yards, which means they mow and use leaf blowers all the time, but things rarely look enchanted and individual — just cut. It’s interesting to see the contrasts in different styles.

Started working on the back bed of my own yard, which will take MUUUUCH longer than I expected. I got maybe an eighth of it done in the hours I spent on it yesterday. I’ll write about it in detail in tomorrow’s garden post.

Unpacked some stuff in my office, and then unpacked six of the kitchen boxes still in the garage. Found some cool stuff, including a set of martini glasses I didn’t remember owning. I need to get a couple more shelf units for the basement, so I can store everything properly. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there.

Occasionally, I watch THE MENTALIST, because I like the ensemble cast. I happened to flip it on last night, and it was a story-line that supposedly took place at a racetrack. It was AWFUL. Either the writer did ZERO research, or the showrunner/producers/network execs decided to ignore the research. The episode was a slap in the face to anyone who works in the industry and who loves horse racing. So many details had nothing to do with what it’s actually like to work on the backstretch — and most of the story took place there. It wasn’t even remotely plausible. I understand that some things may need to be changed for dramatic reasons, but at least root it in the reality of the world, so it’s got some relevance. Absolutely an offensive and insulting episode. The lack of research and respect for an intense and unique industry was unacceptable. Guess I won’t be watching that show again.

Frost again last night — Mahoney’s sent around another warning to cover the in-ground plants. I saw a squirrel run away with a few tiny leaves of the neighbor’s lettuce this morning, which was pretty funny.

If you celebrate Easter weekend, may you have a beautiful time.

Devon

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 7:13 am  Comments (3)  
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Busy weekend, but first of all, hop on over to the Savvy Authors’ Blog and read my piece on “Character, not Caricature”.

I hope you sign up for the deconstruction workshop on Stephanie Plum in January, the One Story, Many Voices workshop in January, and then, from mid-April to Mid-May, the Setting as Character Workshop. The latter two have limited enrollment, because of the intensity of assignments. The Plum workshop can fit in as many as want to take it.

The weekend — Saturday was busy. The breakfast at the National Marine Life Center was a lot of fun, I met a lot of great people, and the progress they’ve made in the past real is truly wonderful! They’re doing an amazing job, and once the center is complete and fully functional, it will make a huge positive difference in marine wildlife around here. They’re up for a $250,000 Pepsi Challenge grant, so if you could vote for them as often as possible (you can only vote once a day, but you can vote every day in the calendar month), it would help them get the grant and hook up the next part of the facility.

Came back, did some unpacking in the afternoon. It seems no matter how much I unpack, there’s no change, and it gets discouraging.

Decided, on Friday night, that I didn’t like where my bed was situated, behind the door. I started to feel claustrophobic. However, my head is in the North, (northeast, actually) which is the best way for me to sleep. But I moved it to the opposite site of the room, so my head is northwest now. The cats like it better, the room feels overall better, but I didn’t sleep well on Friday night into Saturday at all.

Read the papers Sunday morning, then planned to spend a couple of hours working on my room, which turned out to be the bulk of the day. Of course, a lot of it was spent rearranging the closets, so you can’t really see much impact on the room itself. However, I couldn’t unpack boxes in my room until I took out and unpacked the boxes in my closet which didn’t belong in the closet, but were stashed in there because I was afraid they’d go astray during the moving process.

Also managed to get a few loads of laundry done.

Got dressed up, went to the neighbor’s open house across the street. The little Westie no longer lives there — had to go to another home because of separation anxiety, poor thing! The Scottie is still there, and very cute. Met a bunch of the neighbors, who are all very nice, and each has their own unique qualities. They seemed relieved when I said we planned to be here for at least two years — I wonder if other renters moved in and out quickly? Anyway, I met the two women who live in the house on the corner, with the absolutely amazing yard, and they are happy to give me advice come summer. They also recommended a vet, and there’s a no-kill shelter close by they work with, and I may get my next cat there instead of the other shelter. We’ll see — it’ll be at least mid-January, to give these two a chance to settle in more, and for me to put away the decorations. New cat + many decorations is just an accident waiting to happen.

There’s a serial arsonist on the loose in the area. He (assuming it’s male) seems to be targeting people he thinks are rich, so we should be okay. This house is really cute, sweet, and loved, but it’s hardly a McMansion or in the throes of a multi-million dollar renovation. Still, it’s disturbing — a house in Sandwich was torched, a house in Barnstable was torched, and, last night, a lovely historic inn in Yarmouth that just went under renovation. I’ll have to be vigilant and set up some extra protections.

There’s an enormous black something sitting on the shed at the far end of the yard across the street. It’s much too big to be a cat (unless it’s like, a panther, and I doubt there’s be a panther sitting on someone’s shed washing its face), so I’m assuming it’s yet another Very Large Dog. It’s too far for me to see, but whatever it is, it’s calm and feels it’s on its home turf.

No one knows who owns Imp-dog. I told them my sense is he sneaks out without his owner’s knowledge. I’m hoping I can get close enough, eventually, to read his tags.

They told me, however, who’s most likely to be tossing the beer cans on the lawn. It seems there are some renters around the corner who think, because they’re renting, it doesn’t matter what they do in the neighborhood. They give renters a bad name.

Bad storm last night, but I slept better anyway, and the basement remains dry, so that’s good. The house definitely passed the “squishy test.”

Weird dreams last night (head in the West), but they might turn into an interesting story.

I want to spend some time on the page before I go back to the Search for an Ethical Insurance Broker so I can get these plates switched out and be in compliance with the law. In addition to just being angry at Allstate for not knowing the regulations in the state and not caring to find out, I have no confidence that, if, heaven forbid, anything happened, they would make good on the policy. Yes, they have in the past, but we had an individual dealing with it, not an outsourced 800 number where the person on the other end has no reason to care. (An Allstate commercial came on last night when we were watching TV and we started yelling at it).

Had a lovely conversation with someone for whom I worked who booked me for a week in February and another week in May. That will be fun. There will be some organization necessary on the cat front here, but we’ll figure it out, and it’s one of my favorite gigs, so I’m happy they still want me.

Also got a call from the family in Maine –we’re going to nip up for the big Christmas Day dinner. We’ve never been able to spend Christmas with them, because of distance and I was usually working on either Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or both, depending upon the show schedule. We do our big celebration on Christmas Eve anyway, and then just stockings on Christmas Day morning. We’ll nip up for the meal and come back the same day.

And the neighbors are all good about keeping an eye on each other’s houses without getting into each other’s business, so we just tell each other our schedules and keep an eye out. A utility truck and a jumpsuit do not credentials make! Not in this neighborhood! 😉

Watched Carrie Fisher’s WISHFUL DRINKING on HBO last night. It’s well done, very well done, in fact, but more bitter than I expected.

Off I go. Maybe I can get some of the kitchen boxes in the garage unpacked today, so that I have everything I need for the party. And I have to finish writing cards and packing gifts. I kind of got stuck mid-N.

Devon

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and c-c-c-cold!

According to the morning news, it’s snowing in Provincetown this morning.

Got some work done yesterday morning (writing) and some unpacking. I keep trying o unpack the office, but none of the boxes are going away. I still need to spend some time on the bedroom, but I can’t paint the bureau (which will be gloss black) or the two bookcases for the back bedroom (colonial red) with the very cold temperatures and the chance of snow. I should be able to do a little unpacking and rearranging in my room,though.

Kind of gave myself the afternoon off. I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold or something, so, instead of pushing until I was miserable, I just eased up.

We went to the pharmacy to sort out my mom’s prescriptions. The doctor’s office in NY, of course, screwed up, because that is what they do. The fact that they had everything IN WRITING weeks before the move, in addition to several phone conversations? They ignored all of it. But, between the former pharmacy and the new one (they are so nice, both of them), everything’s sorted out and the pills will be ready for pick-up today. The doctor’s office may be incompetent, and the insurance company is composed of dickheads, but at least the pharmacy is committed to getting things sorted out and making sure my mom doesn’t run out of pills in the interim. And they gave her advice on finding a new doctor in the area.

Managed to sock away almost all of the stocking stuffers, too, which was fun.

Most of the afternoon was spent at the car repair place. I didn’t really care — I brought a book and just sat there and read. What got my BS detector alarm bells going off was that I was close enough to overhear the conversations with people who’d left their cars there for servicing, and every single one “needed” a major repair. I find it hard to believe that no one takes care of their cars via regular service visits and that so many cars are in such bad shape. This brand of car doesn’t fall apart like that, and for call after call to go, “Well, I know you brought it in for X, but we found Y, Z, and more wrong, and it’ll be an extra $1600”– warning bells. It happened too often for me to buy it.

I’d told them EXACTLY what I wanted done and what I wanted checked, very polite, and they did as I asked, and the total came to about 1/10th of what they were finding wrong with everyone else’s cars. They started in on something and I (very politely but coolly) shut them off.

I will be looking for a different service place very soon. I have the 40K checkup coming up, much faster than usual because of all the driving during the move, and I don’t trust them there. I may have to go off-Cape for it, but I just got a Very Bad Feeling there.

The car was delighted to get out of there, you could feel it. And they may have checked the brakes, but they didn’t tighten them like I asked.

We were totally spoiled at Riverbank in Stamford. They were tiny, friendly, and committed to doing right by their customers. They knew customers had many choices in the area, and if they weren’t on their game, they’d lose business.

It was dark when I got back, so I put on the trees, we had some eggnog by the fire, and I heated up some leftovers for dinner. The cats ran around and played, we watched some TV, and I read. I’m reading Norris Church Mailer’s memoir A TICKET TO THE CIRCUS. Our paths had crossed slightly a few times in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s always interesting to read a memoir about a time you’ve lived through and see the various perspectives of the same event. It’s quite well written and very interesting. I admire Norman Mailer’s writing style and the scope of his work, while not really enjoying a lot of the content, and I’m grateful for all he did to put PEN on the map. The few brief encounters I had with him weren’t particularly enjoyable (I bear my part of the responsibility for that), but you’ve got to admire his work ethic and commitment to the page, while living an extremely diverse and full life.

I gave myself the night off from writing cards and letters — just wasn’t feeling the holiday mojo and needed to refuel.

Up early, usual routine. Got laundry going, put together the rolling rack (finally) for stuff that can’t go in the dryer. Hey, I’m a wardrobe person, I must have my rolling rack. When everything’s through the washer and dryer, I have to gather together all my crap, get the title from the safety deposit box in Osterville, and it’s time to head for the DMV, which I expect will take all day. But Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow, and I want to get it done. Besides, by the end of next week, we’ll have been here a month, and they get cranky if you take too long to convert the plates, licenses, etc.

While the laundry’s going, I’m spending some time on the page.

Devon

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 8:33 am  Comments (6)  
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and COLD!

Busy morning yesterday. First load to the dump was the single bag of household garbage, and the rest of the car was filled with recycling. We just don’t generate that much garbage. That one 30-gallon trash bag was from nearly a month’s living. The rest of the car was filled to bursting with cardboard boxes, tins, glass, plastic, etc. for recycling.

The guys who work at the dump are so nice. They explained how everything was set up, the protocols, etc. It’s extremely well-organized. I walked the whole space to get a sense of it (‘We’re really not as fun as the amusement park,” one of them said drily, as he watched me take in the sights), but I wanted to figure out where everything was BEFORE I started carting stuff out of the car.

Trips 2-4 were leaves. I got 21 of the leaf bags emptied out, and have 10 more left in the garage. I can get 7 bags (30 gallons each) per carload, and, since the dump is only about a mile away, I just kept making round trips. The leaf piles are huge — I should take my camera next time, they’re really, really cool-looking.

Yeah, I’m new, and I even find the dump fascinating! 😉

Ran some errands, had lunch, decided it was too cold for yard work (procrastinator). We spent the afternoon unpacking the most of the rest of the kitchen boxes. We’ve got two left. But everything’s unpacked, and most of it is put away — the island has too much stacked on it, but I have to figure out a few things.

Of course, I still have 60 boxes of kitchen stuff stacked the garage, but I’ll go through that a little at a time — or a lot, as we get closer to the party.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1, got it off, did the invoice (forgot I had the holiday paper still in the printer, oh well). It’s a FESTIVE invoice.

Violet is OVER all the unpacking, and Iris simply hides. I think we have mischievious pixies around, because things are vanishing and turning up in different spots in the house. Violet is very non-chalent about it all, but there are times when Iris enters a room, her eyes get huge staring at something I can’t see, and the she shoots out of the room like her tail’s on fire. Don’t get me wrong, the house has a great vibe — there’s just a sense of mischief around lately, and sometimes it’s okay, but when I’m tired and hunting for something — not so much.

Found the candles I put aside for the holiday, so I could put them into the candelabras (candelabrae?) on the mantel.

Wrote domestic cards A-D last night (about 20 cards) and packed 5 more of the gifts to ship. So, it’s off to the post office this morning again — I also have to buy some more packing supplies. I have about 8 more gifts to pack and ship this week.

Taking another carload of leaves this morning, helping my mom with some stuff for her prescriptions. I’ve already had to rip her former doctor’s office a new one and the insurance company a new one. They think because my mother is 86 and a nice person, they can take advantage of her and make things rough on her. Then, they get to deal with ME, who is not 86 and not a nice person. Sort of an immediate karmic return for them. Sometimes I think I do better as I am without insurance, although as a MA resident, I’m now required to get health insurance. Won’t the companies love it when I interview them — because guess what? It’s my money, I’m doing the interviewing. The health care industry in this country needs to be completely gutted and dismantled, and rebuilt from the ground up without profit to the corporate executives. It needs to go back to being what it was originally — non-profit.

Car gets fixed at 2 PM, so there goes the afternoon.

The Hounds of the Baskervilles went above and beyond in their arias yesterday afternoon. I think it’s hilarious — hey, it beats leaf blowers, right?

I’d like to work on the yard a bit today, in spite of the cold, but it’s also really windy, so I don’t know if it’s counterproductive.

Hitting the page for a few hours this morning first, though. I’m behind on everything, and I overslept again this morning. I didn’t want to get out of my cozy bed!

Watched the special Christmas episodes of both EUREKA and WAREHOUSE 13, and laughed my head off, especially during the former. Both were very clever and absolutely hilarious.

Devon

Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 8:34 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, November 27, 2010


Violet likes the sofa

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was busy. A few hours’ work unpacking more kitchen boxes (22 left, and then about 60 in the garage). A few hours’ work in my office — didn’t get enough unpacked, mostly because I’m at a loss where to put stuff. Never managed to unpack anything in the bedroom. A few hours’ worth of paperwork. Citizens’ Bank is a pain in the —, and I’m starting to think I made the wrong choice there. Waaay too much hoop jumping. If they continue to act like Chase, I will take my business elsewhere. They have three months to prove they’re worth the hassle.

Caught up on a lot of the paperwork that’s built up during the move, did a lot of filing, set up the files for next year.

Nipped down to the store down the road to get the BARNSTABLE PATRIOT — the small, local paper that contains more actual information and journalism than both of Rye papers combined– and the CAPE COD TIMES.

The Cape is Very Busy for the holidays, and there’s lots of fun stuff to do. I booked reservations at a few things that sound like they’d be interesting. And I was invited to a breakfast at the National Marine Life Center over in Buzzards Bay, an organization to which I toss a few bucks whenever I can because I like them so much. Got the voice mail set up — we haven’t even given out the number and are getting scam trash calls. I was rather abrupt, and made sure we’re on the Do Not Call Registry. I can’t screen calls and decide what to pick up, so I just won’t pick up. I also blocked any call that doesn’t provide Caller ID. If you won’t tell me who the hell you are, I’m not interested in talking to you!

The weather was too bad to do any raking, so lost yet another day of that. Heated up some beef stroganoff for dinner, which was good, watched some TV, played with the cats. Did some work (but not enough) on the lectures. Stacked more stuff in the basement. Since the Danish sofa probably won’t be ready by Christmas, we may put the enormous tree in that corner in the living room.

This morning, I’m about to make the banana-walnut chocolate-chunk cookies (the bananas really need to be used), then haul up the area rug from the basement for the livingroom, unroll it, and use rug cleaner on it. While it dries, I hope to get about an hour of raking done. Then, I’m driving to Brewster for the owl program (I love owls). I have to run a few errands on the way back, and then, hopefully, I can rake some more. The next three days are supposed to be clear and cold, so I hope I can make good progress.

The workshop starts Monday, so this evening I want to finish the lectures. Hopefully, I can post my welcome message this morning, and then I’ll post the first lecture tomorrow night, encompassing the various time zones inhabited by students.

The cats are sleeping all day and roaming all night. Going to have to do something about that. Sigh.

Devon

Published in: on November 27, 2010 at 7:30 am  Comments (4)  
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