Sunday, November 30, 2008

Going to be a strange week...

this is going to be an "interesting" week and if you don't see much of me, this will be why.
  • I work this afternoon until 8, then on Mon and Wed 4-9 (closing).
  • there is a semi-naked tree in the living room that needs dressing
  • hexes to paint
  • leaving Thurs for NC -- plane depart at 6 AM from Portland, a couple of hours or more away. Put this together with Wed. schedule... grrr
  • Fri - Sun working in NC, meeting clients, photographing a 3-day event
  • Plus, of course, all the usual chores.
I am hoping K is feeling well enough to drive me to the airport and pick me up, as I HATE long drives these days and if he doesn't feel up to it, he will insist that I take the Subaru, leaving him with the manual trans old truck which, if he is not feeling good, he cannot drive, therefore stranding him.

I also have not yet got the illustrations done for the kids book, nor all the layout on the Words of Wisdom book, though I am making progress on that.

so I suppose I better sign off here and get on with it, eh?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Buy Nothing Day

Well, gee.... the commercial chaos begins and I am thankful that my store doesn't carry "consumer goods." I will have to go to town today -- Bangor, after I get off at 4 -- because I didn't get my paycheck (which was written Tues) until Wed, when I worked a late shift, and need to do the bank and post office run.

Normally I support the concept of "Buy Nothing Day" and aim for a "buy nothing Christmas" -- instead focusing on small home made gifts, as I have for years. Heck, from Thanksgiving to after the first of the new year, I pretty much only set foot in the grocery store, the gas station and if necessary, the drug store... not necessarily as a political act but as one of self-preservation! LOL And I will add, into those as little as possible... It can seriously help the budget, too.

So in that context I will still be on the usual track, though I will likely stop at the grocery store today as well as the credit union.

I know the retailers and producers are all hurting, everyone is hurting in some ways, but I was never convinced that our slide toward the throw-away world was the right one and still am not. And I will continue on my current path to live as lightly as in practical.

In touching a bit on the theme of yesterday, one of the things I am thankful for is the blessing of a job close to home. My current "commute" is 3.3 miles, and I live in the country, folks! And I am thankful for good friends -- both online and off -- like the ones with whom we had Thanksgiving supper yesterday... Our hosts and their family, other friends as well, and us... all sitting around the table behaving very much as if we truly were one big, somewhat dysfunctional family! LOL Truly, it is wonderful to be with folks who don't feel compelled to keep their masks -- their "company faces" on, where we can all relax and be ourselves and still get invited back again.

And I am thankful to be here in Maine, looking at going to NC for a long weekend next week, instead of being in NC and having just returned from a far-too-short weeks vacation in Maine. I am thankful that K is able to see the doctors and they are working to try to get to the root of all that ails him and thankful that -- once he sets his mind around the idea that he CAN see a dentist (he is covered for it...) -- he will be able to. do so. I am thankful for the many useful things we have -- may they live long and prosper! -- especially the Subaru, so suited for this climate (so said, as I need new tires on my truck and had to seriously rock it after work Wed to get out of the mudhole I had parked in).

I am thankful that my kids have each other, out west, and strong sister bonds, that they and the babies and families are mostly healthy and those who aren't, are at least improving. And there is much much more, but I have things to do today and therefore must get on track for the day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

End of the drying season

It seems that -- although they got dry -- the frozen stiff wash blowing in the "high wind warning" quality winds, were too much for the "clothes tree". This is the second of the single pole units with 4 metal arms and lines running around in a square pattern that has died under my use.

The bad part is that the ground is frozen and though it is supposed to get above freezing for a couple of days, and stay above over one night, I do not think it will thaw the ground sufficiently to plant the other poles, even if I had the concrete to put them in with. I will likely buy a bag of the stuff on my shopping trip tomorrow in hopes, but knowing that I have to fit the hole digging and cement mixing/pouring in around work, I am not holding my breath. At least I have the inside drying rack and can get another if I must (I learned this past spring that those things blow over in the least breeze, so putting them out is not an option) but I am determined to use the electric dryer only for emergencies and for clothes that must be de-haired. The best way I have found to remove the vast quantities of cat (mostly) and dog hair is a trip through the dryer with a dryer sheet included. I hate dryer sheets, as a rule, but it does help to get rid of more hair.

I have an odd list for the shopping this week. The cupboards are getting thin, as it's been a longer month, I think, and I want to get started on the holiday baking Thanksgiving day, since we are eating with friends and I do not need to do the major part of the meal, so I will make sure that I have the stuff needed for the rolls and pies that I will take for Thanksgiving and enough honey and molasses and spices for the Lebkuchen cookies (they get included in the holiday shipping boxes) and do the rest of the major shopping after the first of the month, as usual.

But we discovered the tree stand's bolts are missing, so I need "tree screws" and I am determined to fix the bedroom closet door so that the cats cannot breech the door and climb on/tear down/SHED all over my work clothes, so I have added a "door hook" and then there is the cement of course, in addition to peanut butter, Splenda, shortening and K's meds.

As it has gotten to winter and the garage is neither insulated nor heated (yet) he has brought inside the sawhorses, boards and stain, and I found a dropcloth, so I will be applying the stain to the boards today and likely tomorrow we will be framing in the office window. Then I can finish the wood and once it dries, we can afix the heat-shrink plastic.

We do need to figure how to keep the water pipe to one of the sinks the the master/cat bathroom running though. That sink only had hot water, as the cold had frozen previously and been shut off on account of a leak. Night before last I noted when I got a drink in the middle of the night, and in the early morning, that it was giving warning signals, but it never occurred to me that it would freeze after sunup, but it did. Being plastic pipe, heating it with the hair dryer did nothing. I am not sure where the thing froze, but I am seriously considering trying to add on a foot or so to that end of the trailer next year. It would eliminate the bay window that surrounds the non-working spa tub, but as the added foot would be "dead space" used only to help insulate, we could still have a window on that end, and hopefully it would help stop the freezing. The winds are constant here, it seems and out of the west of course, and it does suck the heat from that end.

Eventually there will be windbreak trees, but the will take a few years to get started. If I put in freestanding greenhouses, I am thinking of putting them to the west, too, hoping that they can temporarly help break the incessant wind, though I am not sure how practical that option will be.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Freeze drying laundry and other thoughts

Well, it starts in earnest now, my new working schedule. I got my next week hours yesterday, and it seems that mostly I will be at the store from noon to 8 pm, which does not mean I am closing. They seem to close at 9 this time of year, at least. I work that shift today and then again tomorrow and Wed, but on Fri I am there during the day (9-4) as that is the day they get most of their deliveries.

This beats the heck outa 3-11, which used to be my favorite shift when I was younger. Here and now, though I get up at or before dawn and starting at noon still allows me to have a productive day before work. And work will become more routine as the weeks wear on.

Today I have worked a bit troubleshooting a client's online store front, and hung out two loads of wash. We are predicted to have wet or snowy weather for the forseeable future, starting tomorrow, so I decided to see if clothes will freeze-dry in Maine like they used to in CO. I don't remember the constant wind, though, on the western slope (though it did blow a lot there, too) and it was doing a number on the wet wash, freezing things in the first load before I could even get them on the line! I am thinking that we will likely install the clotheslines (two metal poles with plastic line -- that I would like to replace) that were left with the place but not installed next spring in a more sunny location. I guessed wrong as to how much sun at the current clothe tree's location, which is shaded by the garage much of the day now. I have told K to bring the stuff in before dark tonight and to plan on laying it over the inside drying rack no matter what. It will be a full rack with the two loads, but as his nerves do not allow him to be able to tell the difference between something that is wet and something that is only cold, it's the best deal. I will feel them when I get home and adjust as need be.

Got the tree out of the car and the car cleaned out, and found the stand but unfortunately the bolts for the tree stand are missing... I am sure they are in a pill bottle, labeled and put in one of the two small boxes into which we put loose hardware eons ago when we were packing to move, but I have no idea where that might be at present. New bolts can be bought, on Tues most likely when I am planning a quick trip into town.

On that shopping list are: ribbons and possibly other decor for the wreaths (our small one is shown at left), graham crackers and sugar-free chocolate pudding mix as requested in addition to the apple and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, and a post office and bank run as usual.

I am hopefully not going to be writing much about working at the store, as I am intending that this will not be a major focus of my life. It is something that must be done, but in all honestly is the least of all the things I do. But at present, it is a bit more of a focus than I would like it to be, as I try to adjust my schedule. It doesn't work for me to eat late at night and having to be at work by noon kinda puts a kink into the "dinner at noon" option, so I am going to see about eating two meals instead of three at least this time of the year when dawn comes late. I get a sandwich off the menu at work, pop and chips for free but I also don't want to add that much pop and chips to my dient so... I dunno... I will likely see to take leftovers on the evening hour days, and hopefully have enough of them in the house that K can find something to eat as well.

I am going to post pics of yesterday's snowfall... K took these while I was gone.
My gargoyle and sign on the porch

And this is looking out the office window, to the east.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wreath Day, part 2

I got a later start than intended by half an hour... K needed something and then I got halfway down the driveway and had to come back for my wreath forms. Headed out under the just lightening skies, with a brisk wind and barely visible bits of snow blowing and swirling in the road.

As I got to Bangor, there was a bit more snow visible and when I left the interstate to head into the area where my friend lives, the farther I drove the more snow I found. Before I reached Washington county I was in line following the snowplow, though there was only about 2" on the ground, giving the Subaru no problem. One by one we each passed the plow and when I crossed the county line, came onto already plowed road.

I met Robin's husband's truck just leaving their road as I turned onto it. His tracks were the only ones through the snow, and then mine heading in. He had called her on his cell and she was expecting me when I drove into their drive. After a potty call, coffee and conversation we headed into the woods to "tip" trees. Gathering greens for the wreaths is actually fun, even if the ground is snowy and the snow obscures all manner of stuff upon which you must tread. Next time I will take one of my walking sticks I think. It will make this crone a lot more sure-footed.

We broke off bits of branch, gathered into the gunny sacks we were toting and while we worked, kept eyes peeled for a good Christmas tree to come back for later.

Robin's wreath forms were very different from the ones I had -- one old one that has seen many seasons and two newly bought from JoAnnes. Mine had three circles of wire, shaped into a not-quite-flat form; hers (bought in bulk from a professional wreath supply company) were a single strand of wire, slightly wavy around the circle. Hers made it easy to make double sided wreaths; mine was designed for one sided ones.

I learned that professional wreath makers do not afix each individual branch to the form, like I had been doing. Instead, they wind the end of wire, from a largish spool, onto the form and then gather several layers of brush together, lay them on the form and wind the stem end tightly to the form with several winds of wire. The next "hand" of brush is assembled likewise and wired on, spaced to cover the previous wiring, with a continuous wire wrap. It goes amazingly quickly, which is how folk can afford to sell home made wreaths for $7-10, as the signs along side the road were saying.

In no time at all I had completed my two small and one large wreath. I was planning to stop and look for ribbon on the way home but in the end, put that off until my next trip to town on Tues.

We went back into the woods after lunch with my old saw to find the tree we had spotted for me to cut, and Robin dragged it back to the car for me. I was lucky in that we cut one that was able to be -- very carefully -- pulled, pushed and dragged into the Subaru, AFTER I had laid down the seats and gently bent the top around by the passenger seat window. The butt end was in the opposite corner of the back, but it fit.

I stopped and gifted another friend, who had hoped to go with me today, but was unable to, with one of the small wreaths and on Tuesday, after I have added a bow and possibly other decorations I will ship the large one to the Museum in NC where I will be attending their Waterfowl Weekend (with Christmas theme decorations) Dec 5-7, a gift from "up east" to "down east."

Wreath Day!

In about half an hour I will head out, into the darkness, heading ENE to visit my friend Robin. She is hosting a bunch of our friends tomorrow for a wreath making party, but since I got my new job and have to work, she has kindly consented to let me come up a day early. She also said that we may cut a tree for the holidays as well, from her land.

"They" are predicting snow here and there, though I see no sign of it here... but I am taking camera and AWD Subaru on this adventure, just in case.

Will be back later with pix of the results of my efforts and likely of the day as well.

Now, time to find clothes and get dressed to go out into the cold and dark.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

back among the living

I started my new part time job at the corner store yesterday. They call it a convenience store but for those of you not familiar with what that means in Maine, let me describe the place.

Bigger than a breadbox, but not much. but yes, it is a bit larger than the typical 7-11 (which there are none of in Maine, by the way) but not quite as large, physically, as what I remember as the neighborhood grocery store, from the old days (you know.. the 50s? LOL)

They have a fresh meat market and a meat cutter who comes in 2 or 3 times a week, grind their own 90/10 and 80/20 ground beef, a small grocery section, some refrigerated and frozen groceries, lots of snack foods, candy, ice cream, drinks -- including beer, wine and a good selection of the hard stuff -- pet food, animal feed, savings for animal bedding, nuts, bolts and the like, a bit of fishing gear, (and this is NOT a complete list) and made-on-premesis, to go foods including burgers, pizza, hot dogs, sub sandwiches, "baskets" (chicken nuggets, fish, etc.). Plus the sell gas, diesel, kerosene and exchange propane tanks. Oh, and I can't forget the lottery and smokes...


Oh, and this being Maine, they tag deer, bear, turkey... for the fish and game folks. Learned how to do that yesterday, among other things.

Lots to learn, not hard work, just standing a lot. I bent my knees and circled my ankles fairly often and though I was hurting and hobbling when I got home, I feel ok now.

... after a hot bath, a glass of wine and (on account of the congestion still bigging me) a nighttime cold cap... which put me out cold at 9 last night.

Today I am going to try to put out the mailbox, if I can get one more coat of paint to dry on the bottom of the board that secures it and this afternoon am going to clean under rabbit hutches for a lady in a nearby town, to manure more of the garden. And hopefully work on the Words of Wisdom book a bit, I am almost halfway through and it has been going faster as I get into the groove.
Oh, and an aside to my daughter, who posted on her blog about Getting Things Done and how she is amazed at how much I get done -- and how much I did even with youngsters "under foot" as she remembers back... On those times when I had an ultra-clingy 2 YO... every one of you were 2 and sick more than once, y'know .... I didn't get much done. It was the time in between you really are remembering... and truly more kids are easier in that regard and just one, typically, as they can entertain themselves or at least distract each other for a bit now and again. I did not have a kid with extended needs, 24/7. I am amazed by YOUR resiliance, Amy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Returning to the Blogosphere

It's official. The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum yearbook is in the can. Even the prepress operator at the printer's shop has told me to "take a rest." LOL

It is a marathon but honestly has been taking less time -- and producing less stress on my end at least -- every year since 2001, when I started.

I hadn't a lot in mind for today, beyond that and beginning to shovel out after the marathon. These times remind me of finals week when I was working full time and going to school full time at the same time. NOTHING got done. Oh, I did get a couple of loads of wash hung out yesterday. I have gotten programmed already that the first "good drying day" after a protracted rainy period I do laundry, dovetailing with everything else. But I hadn't got it in yesterday, so I waited for the frost to depart from it and in it came, dry as need by. So they are sitting waiting to be folded and put away.

Also got the dishes caught up which wasn't as bad a chore as I had expected. K had talked about cutting the wood for the framing we are adding around the inside of the windows to allow us to install the shrink plastic, but we discovered we had got the wrong size boards on the last trip, so instead he suggested that we carry off the old red couch that came with the place. We did cut the board to go under the mailbox to afix it to the post, which I need to paint then we can install.

He was already hurting and figured to do it now, as it wouldn't likely make him hurt MORE and save a not-hurting day for other stuff, so we pushed it into the truck and off we went. Salvation Army is the only place around that takes used furniture and -- after going over it with a fine tooth comb -- the accepted it. We picked up some more boards (the right size this time) and I stopped at JoAnnes for wreath forms. Then K offered to take us out to eat at Texas Roadhouse for steak so we did, and the dishes are all still clean. Woo hoo!!

It will give me a hand up on getting started with the work at the store / work at home / housework trip.

I also had been wanting to try to get a decent fix, with a reference point, for the north star so as to begin to determine real north in the back field for my working space and happened to remember when I stepped outside a few minutes ago to dump the kitty box. After quite a long period of cloudy or overcast night skies, it is clear tonight. (portends the beginning of real winter weather, I think, as the forecast for the rest of the week shows highs running around freezing +/- only a couple of degrees F.) Anyway, a rough reference is one of the dog yard fence posts, as I lean against the west side of the Craft room door. Hopefully, when I take the cat box scoopings out tomorrow morning I can find a more distant reference, in the far woods. I will then, at my leisure later in the week, start at the post, point at the marker point in the woods and begin walking toward it until I am in the vicinity of what will be the center of my grove. and then I will keep pointing and facing the same direction while I side-step to the west until I reach grove center, where I can pick a new reference point in the woods (it will change due to parallax and it is much closer to me than the north star is) and put down a rock to mark that direction.

Other than that, I am in the post-project brain-mush funk state. Not much good for higher mathmatics or other deep thought, but functional if no one asks too much of me.

I am likely going to veg in front of the TV this evening, foliding clothes, and maybe having a glass of wine in hopes of falling sleepy early. I do not have to be at the store for my training to being until 9, so at least I don't have to transition to another early morning job.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full moon day

This was the view that greeted me this morning when I opened the door of the craft room to let Brandi out in the brisk foredawn morning.... Fulla's moon, a few hours past peak full, setting in the north northwest. Thanking the Powers That Be on this day for the bringing to fullness, with the full moon, of my new moon working for abundance, in the guize of a job.

I have heard over and over how hard/impossible it is to get a job -- any job -- in Maine and especially in the rural areas, if you aren't kin with roots back several generations. Well, perhaps things are changing. My new boss was apparently repeatedly disappointed by the lack of work ethic in the last few youngsers he hired. Not I don't know that they are old Maine family kids, mind you... but I do know he hired me and I sure don't even know folks here, let along be kin to them.

And this was the view out our office window yesterday. The sun popped out from under a cloud layer just before setting, bathing these bare trees to the East, and the neighbors horses, in the colors of autumn once again.

Earlier in the day, while we were working to repair a split in the plumbing near the new pressure tank, we got peppered (or many it should be salted) by a flurry of these "fairy snowballs" -- or that is what they made me think of. Out in Colorado, where I was hanging with some cross country skiers, I believe they called it "corn snow."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I must be feeling better...

Yes, I am tired and yes I am a bit stiff and sore. But today I have DONE STUFF to account for that all.

I have:
  • Had an interview and got a mostly-nights-and-weekends, just-a-job in the little store down the street. It is what they call a "convenience store" here in Maine, but it is not much like a 7-11. For one, they MAKE hamburgers and pizza and sell them to go, they have a real meat counter, and grind their own ground beef. And they have some groceries -- a little better selection than "the Sev" (of which there are none in the entire state) -- and sell booze (not just beer and wine but the hard stuff too) and smokes and gas and diesel and kerosene and lottery tickets like a convenience store. And I am not making minimum wage either. Start training next week. I think I had the job before I got there... it was a strange interview punctuated with the boss' horror stories of the lack of work ethic in the young folks he had recently tried hiring...
  • brought in the two loads of wash I had hung out yesterday, and hung out two more (one is in, not quite dry, the rugs are still out)
  • washed and dryer-dried ALL the bedding but the wool blanket, including the extra flannel sheet set that did not get done last week. Dryer on account of being able to put in a dryer sheet and it DE-HAIRS it all.
  • de-haired all the floors (mega-vacuumed all the carpets, sucked up hair from the hard surface floors and mopped same)
  • washed dishes
  • completed installation of the fencing around the dog-yard
  • played with dog in her yard. She can be LOOSE in there...took her a few minutes to figure out that she was not on her long leash
  • went to the store for more flour tortillas for supper
I have yet to: put away clothes, hang the slightly damp ones over the drying rack, make the bed, make supper, work on any of the books, or make cookies that I am hungry for...

But I will...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Museum book crunch time

You won't see much of me for the next week or so... It is "crunch time" for the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum yearbook, and then follows promotion of their Waterfowl Weekend event.

This 64 page book (think corporate annual report) is put together each year by the Director and me with community business ads in the back (about 20 pages... this is what we have been working on up until now and it is finally finished and ready to go to press...) and the remainder of the book which we are working on now, is about what they have done over the year (write ups and photos) as well as a list of members and contributors in various categories.

I had been told, when I moved, that this project would no longer fall to me, though I was to continue working on their web sites and email promotions. However, apparently they changed their minds. It will be different -- working totally electronically. Though in the past at least 90 % was done via email and phone, there was always at least one or two visits by the director to the studio -- often in the wee hours -- when we would meet in our robes and fuzzy slippers to trade hard copies, look over edits etc.

It will be strange not answering the door at 3 AM, or having the national park superintendent (still in his ranger uniform) dropping a pile of edits in my hand, having gotten drafted by the Director (the park headquarters and museum are next door to one another) as a messenger, when she found he was heading my way.

See y'all on the other side!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quiet day

I am hoping for a quiet and productive day today, after a day of running yesterday. Got K to the doc, where we were told that -- despite his heavy chest feelings, pain and shortness of breath the stress test showed nothing amiss with the heart. I supposed that is a good thing, but there are still the disturbing symptoms to explain. K feels they will find something -- eventually -- likely almost by accident and it will not be anything the expect. I dunno...

I did have a good session with my client and have a bunch of new pictures of his camp, which is for sale, to add to his web site, with mouseover script to bring up larger images to view. Started on that last night, getting some of the other images swapped out as he had wished and need to complete that bit today. Also need to get back on track with editing my book of Words of Wisdom and do some painting, all of which have got left behind.

The weather forecast shows nothing but rain (90% now, down to a low of 20% by mid week) in the forseeable future, so it should be condusive to working inside. However, I still have lots of green matter than CAN be raked and applied to the garden, as long as the snow has not yet covered the earth. I am planning to try to do a bit of that each day when I can find a bit of time that is it not actively raining, presuming I can get the pickup -- which needs new tires -- over to pick up the load. There is still a bit of mulching that can be done on the berry bushes, but that is nearly done... the rest of the green stuff will go to the garden proper I think.

Then there is the matter of the newly sprouted fall lettuces; I want to try to set up a bit of a cold frame over some and pot others into the house as an experiment...

My cold or whatever "bug" it is that has been mommicking me seems to be abating some; after my client meeting yesterday, I stopped at the grocers on the way home and seemed to have my usual level of energy.. walking quickly through the parking lot and the store as I normally do. However by evening I was less than perky and this morning, feel congested again and less energetic than typical. More ecenacea tea for me... and DO remember the vitamins today!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Socked in

We have FOG. It looks and feels like there should be a warm front somewhere, but the weather map does not agree. In any case, I can barely see the horses in the next field and when I put the dog out, could not see the house across the road.

I am still not feeling totally well. I guess the herbs and vitamin C will continue, though if it dries out enough I do hope to get out to rake some more clippings, finish the dog yard (I finally picked up a few more posts and a bit more fencing) and such, in the predicted 60 degree temps.

I had a question from reader OldCrow61 about my mention of the Handmaidens Grove so I will digress a bit and talk more about spiritual stuff than I usually do in this forum.

For the last few years, I have been called to walk with and learn from and of some of the Northern tradition Gods and Goddesses, most notably Frigga and her 12 handmaidens, the Goddesses Syn, Fulla, Gna, Var, Lofn, Eir, Sjofn, Hlin, Saga, Gefion, Snotra and Vor. You can learn more about them, and this path, from my friend and fellow-traveler D. Kate Dooley who has written the book, The Spindle Hearth and who more or less chairs a Yahoo group of those of like mind, Spindle and Broom.

Each of us walks our walk with the Ladies a little differently... hears their voices in different ways. For my part, around a year ago, they pretty much called me out and told me that I was to be the Volva of the North. Now, I had never heard of the term before... though through the mists as I sat in the sauna at my gym after my morning exercise, I often had seen and heard strange rituals and the voices of what I took to be possibly Lapland shamans... strange stuff.

Anyway, this was all tied in with my study of the Runes, receiving the daily Words of Wisdom and lots of other stuff, part of which pushed hard to fuel my already existing desire to move north, to Maine in particular, and to buy a bit of land. It was there (here) that I was told I would practice this addition to my path.

Studying a bit, I learned that apparently the Volvas were wise women, seers, who traveled about from place to place and served their people. Now, I was specifically told to be planted, as it were, and to offer the Wisdom and Sight to "the larger community"... specifically not to just fellow travelers. Actually it came across a bit stronger than that, more that while those who followed my tradition would hear and listen, my words would be aimed outward, elsewhere...

Anyway, back to the Grove... It is to be the anchor post for my working here, on tree for each of the ladies. Frigga's Birch already stands near the entrance to the land... Now there is little written about a tree correspondance for each of the Ladies so as I learn about trees, and think about Them, They are revealing what variety each will have to anchor and mark her spot around the circle. The back field in which the Grove will be planted, will likely be planted to trees to the North at least...various sorts, as a windbreak as well. I am thinking the south part of the field may go to grain. I am still working out what tree goes with whom; some will be likely the tradtional sacred trees (and of those, the varieties that do not end up associated with a Handmaiden will be planted somewhere, as I can find them) and some likely not. I know for sure at this point that Hlin wants Holly and I am leaning toward apple or willow for Eir... I have seen that there will be a pine, and an oak... Eventually there will be a stone, suitable for sitting on, near each of the trees, inside the circle. I think there will be a stone circle for the Needfire in the center, but that is not yet clear. And it will be to this place where I come each Friday, at some point, to commune with Frigga on her day.

And now, the muse has left and deposited me back firmly in mundane 2008, on a foggy morning in West Corinth, where the oatmeal calls from the cupboard and I wonder whether I will find the time and energy to make apple pies today or simply apple crisp, whether I will get the clippings raked and K will get the new garden cart assembled (THAT is a tale all its own... the parts do not fit together well), how many more pages I will get laid out for the Words of Wisdom book, whether or not I will get to the hex signs that need painting and the illustrations for the Moose book as well... and still there is client work -- essential as is brings needed cash -- a calling.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Under the Weather

Actually the REAL weather is not bad... it is overcast, but we are on a warming trend and the wind which was so brisk and cold yesterday and more so the day before has abated.

However ever since I got in from completing the insulation and crack-stuffing under the craft room, I have been feeling rather more under the weather than I like. I had first tried to attribute it to having got soap in both of my eyes, as I rinsed my hair under the shower rather than in the tub as I usually do -- making sure to get all the residual fiberglas off. But even after my eyes stopped being irritated from that and time enough had passed that I should no longer be sneezing from the stirred up dust, I have remained puffy-eyed, congested and achey. Not really SICK but not feeling well and energetic either. Damn. I hate this.

Spent a fun time yesterday visiting with my friend Farmer Robin and her step mom (a resident of Corinth), though, and did a good bit of work on the Museum book ad section. Still too many ads hanging fire and no content yet...

I need to get invoices out, some to post and most to email or fax, today so that they postal ones can be carried to town when we go in for K's eye exam. Post office and bank runs, of course and I think I was not feeling well even Saturday when we went shopping, as there are several things that were on the list that I overlooked and several more that are needed and were not even listed, so I will pick them up today, I hope. A few groceries and the hardware store list that we just plain didn't do, as K was not feeling well. I will have to make a bit of an out-of-the-way trip to the orchard to get more local applies today though.

I did get out around the property this morning though. I had scooped the cat boxes and had droppings to spread on the back field, and it was warm enough, so I did the walkaround that I would like ot make a habit, at least one circuit each morning. Three times around should equal close to a mile, if I want to exercise and/or take the dog. But this morning I went alone and on the way back in (I walk out the back door, North to the boundary then around sunwise, and back to the house) I was keeping senses open for the land to help me locate the center of the Handmaiden Grove I am planning to plant. And I believe it has... there is a rock (I do not know if it is simply a small on on the surface or a larger one showing just a bit) near, but not quite on one of the higher places in the gently rolling land. I stood there a bit facing north, then circled round, then paced off radius in each of the cardinal direcitons. Then I walked to the nearly highest point -- slightly to the west -- but was returned to my original rock point. We will see... I will check it out again when I next walk.



Glad I did remember to buy the Kleenex that was on the list.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November dawns

It is the month of NaNoWriMo, of Thanksgiving and the earth in final preparation for its winter's rest.

This is a beautiful late fall day: cold and windy, dry, sunny. Most of the varied color on the trees has gone, but an amazing variety of shades of brown and a bit of yellow -- and yes, still some green -- remain. I love the stands of birches. They have dropped all but the topmost leaves and stand like phalanxes of upturned paintbrushes, dipped in shades of yellow and ocre against the sky.

There is still much to do, of course. I do not know if I will get all the mowings raked, but those that lie where they were cut will fertilize that ground, in time. And it does all need it. I do need to re-stack the compost, complete the insulation of my craft room floor and the pressure tank under the trailer. Those things will have to wait until tomorrow, as sunset is coming and we only just returned from our monthly "big shopping" trip to town. Did not even complete all the errands as K was feeling poorly to start and went from bad to worse. He will need to go in on Tues for an eye exam, so I will ride along then and pick up the additional window-framing lumber, more stain and a mailbox flag.

However I do have a lot of food and sundries to put away, including 10 pounds of ground beef to patty up and freeze and stuff brought in from the garage to find places for as well. I am glad that I finally found the ends for my oversize drawing compass. Using a string, pencil and a nail is decided the hard way to inscribe the designs on the larger exterior hex blanks, which was what I was doing yesterday. I knew I had packed it... but apparently it was one of the last things and it went into a box that was pretty much random.

But, as a result of that -- and a bit of judicious rearranging to get the lawn tractor into the "storage" side of the garage... TA DA! The Subaru is in the garage!! Yes, it is nose up against the sawhorses and the box they are holding which contains my Christmas present from Kevin... yes I know about it, we picked it out together yesterday... it is the largest of the 3 sizes of open metal mesh garden carts, with a handle that works for human pulling as well as to be towed by the lawn machine.

It will be good to have the car enclosed, as most of these mornings now there is frost on the windshield.

On another thread...

Several of my friends are doing NaNoWriMo. I tried it last year but November is NOT a good month in general for me to try to do anything else big and organized. Instead, I am trying to complete the illustrations for my moose book for the Grands and the editing of my "365 Days of Wisdom" book based on the past year of Words of Wisdom. And the Museum projects of course...

Well the laundry (yes, I am hanging out wash in the late afternoon in late fall) is ready to go out, another load to be washed and maybe the rugs as well. Tomorrow should be a sunny day as well, and breesy, brisk and dry... so they will dry, just not today.