Saturday, January 31, 2015

One month almost down...

 Here it is, the last day of January, the first month of 2015 has only hours to go! I'm glad. February is the shortest month of the year, over soon, and then it will be March...and the vernal equinox comes in March! Another good thing about February--its shortness being the first--is that many people who are special to me were born in February: Ba, my maternal grandmother on the 12th; Adrian, one of my brothers-in-law, on the 14th; my dad on the 15th; Nick on the 16th; two dear friends--Carol Colombo and Carole Sysack--on the 17th; and another dear friend, Colleen, on the 20th. My parents were married February 1st, 1930--85 years ago! Wow!

We will all say "Rabbit, rabbit" (or some variation thereof) first thing tomorrow morning. If we remember, that is. I do try to remember, but figure that I'll be okay as long as I remember to say it sometime on the first of the month. Otherwise, good luck is doomed!

Our weather forecast includes a "Winter Storm Warning" (upgraded from Winter Storm Watch) from 7pm tomorrow (Sunday) until 6pm Monday. Goody! 5-10 inches of snow and perhaps 1/4 inch of ice. With any luck, the forecast will be as mistaken as the one for a blizzard, early in the week. We got a storm. The LaRoches, up in NH, got the blizzard! These storms do seem to come in a pattern, as waves do in the ocean. After a while you can almost clock them: "If it's Monday, we must have a storm!" Last year I seem to remember them coming on Thursdays. Oh,'s summer in Lima and Buenos Aires!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back to the blogging...sort of

Why did I stop blogging? Who knows... Now, after a couple of years, I'll try again. On online receptacle of thoughts, musings, and general stream-of-conscious tapping on the keyboard.

I admire those who write/blog regularly, who create posts of interest to others and who know how to attract readers. I do none of the above. Would be interested in learning to do all three, but that's really not the thrust or intent of this blog. I have nothing weighty to say. I'm not funny or sarcastic (that seems to be considered humor these days), nor am I "up" on current entertainment figures or the latest music/movies/TV. I don't text or tweet--don't know how, and am not particularly interested in learning. My cell phone is not smart. It can take photos---but I don't know how to transfer them from phone to computer, to share them with others. All-in-all, I don't seem to be a 21st-century person. I bring too much of the last century with me, and have no intention of tossing it into the trash.

But I will see whether I can add something to this blog each week, and call it enough...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The die is cast, the tax worksheet's been mailed...

Why does my gut get tied into knots every year when I need to sit down and fill in our tax worksheet? And why do I always leave it to the very last minute, knowing that April 15th is tax-filing day and, like Christmas on every December 25th, that does not change? I am always down to the wire for both! Ridiculous! Grow up & wise up, Buela!

Anyway--now that the envelope is literally out of my hands and, I hope, on its way to our faithful accountant in NJ, I am doing other important things: laundry, putting away most turtlenecks and other cold-weather clothes and bringing out the warm-weather duds, and editing my husband's book chapters, which have been waiting patiently in Dropbox for me to get my head straight. One chapter and the acknowledgments are done. Preface, dedication, and foreword were finished earlier. Getting back in the groove, so to speak.

Spring is here (for the nonce, anyway--there's snow in Colorado!) and it is glorious. Windows are open, screens are down, the air is balmy (and people are red-eyed and sneezy) and the crocuses are in full bloom, with some daffodils popping and forsythia beginning its yellow luciousness. The buds on our miniature cherry tree grow fatter. Those on the japonica by the stone wall are showing apricot. Life is good.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Whan that aprille...

Time to pull out my Chaucer and refresh my memory! I don't remember whether April is masculine or feminine for him, and I don't remember how to spell in Middle English! Fie, fie, and for shame... I do love Chaucer.

Wild that I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks. Wild that it is April. Life has been rather upsy-daizy of late, but more upsy than not. I've just been feeling so tired so much of the time. Energy for the morning pages I almost always manage to write first thing in the morning, when I read my thought for the day in Courage to Change, the little book I bought many moons ago and read daily, year after year. I find myself underlining and adding exclamation points and stars and brackets to parts I hadn't marked before. And I love being able to search the index for pages on compassion and facing reality and letting go and denial and such. A good companion as I wander through life. First comes my mug of coffee (fresh or nuked), then I read and think about what I've just read (or about something else that the page reminds me of), and then comes my journal, where I write at least one page most days (and sometimes two or three or more, but not often). I got into the habit of morning pages when I read Julia Cameron. At that time I was a freelancer, working at home, so I always wrote the three pages. Not so easy when you work someplace else! It's a routine I like. A fine way to begin the day.

Today was memoir group day. I do love our little group! It's my sangha (or one of them). Almost all of us were there today, and that was good. David brought prints of the group picture he asked the young man at Panera to take of us some time ago, and I am happy to have it. Sylvia, Gail, Marian, Philippa, David, Debbie, Chris, Irene, and Lisa sitting around our tables in the way-back of the Bedford Panera (in the ShopRite plaza). Today we listened to stories about dear friends who died, mothers-in-law and middle sons (and loud noises), returning to Guyana after 18 years away, a family curio cabinet that moved from Queens to White Plains to Mount Kisco, the unexpected joy of a day in Pawling, and a meditation on "home." We enjoy each other and our work, and our critiques are good--kind and specific and constructive.

I love seeing the color starting to seep back into the world! Clumps of crocuses and daffodils are here and there along the roads and the forsythia hints at what's to come. It won't be long, now. The sun is shining like crazy right now but it's a blustery day. Coat and scarf, sweater and turtleneck felt good.

Time to face the music: the tax worksheet awaits. Argh! How I hate that job!!! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Days off are great gifts

I love Saturdays when I don't work! They are a special gift, the first of two consecutive days off. I plan to dedicate this day to reading, as the books are piling up. No matter how often I suspend holds at the library, books still manage to sneak through and I can't bear to say "go away, I can't read you right now"! I am enjoying Phillip Lopate's essays so much that I now have three of his books on my shelf: To Show and To Tell, which I intend to finish today; Being with Children, an older book about the time that he taught them; and Portrait Inside My Head, a 2013 book of essays. And I'm still going with Frank Conroy's Stop-Time. This looks to be a fine day for reading. Overcast, with snow predicted this afternoon and evening. Huzzah!

The word "huzzah" makes me think of the man who stood on the corner of a street we often drove down in Lima. He wore a shabby jacket with cockeyed epaulets that were unraveling and he waved his arms and seemed to direct traffic (a silly thought, in Lima!). Karla (she was little then, just eight years old, and had not yet become Karli) called him The Drunken Hussar, a perfect name. Don't know how she came up with it, but it couldn't have been a better fit. He may or may not have been drunken. He most certainly was a person unto himself!

Later--Wondering what to eat to stop up my gut? I seem to recall that rice and cheese are both good. Don't think we have cheese but am pretty sure there's rice in the cupboard. Funny body. It decides from time to time that the time has come to clear things out. Glad I can be home and not at work. Gotta keep reading. Enough scribbling for the day. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A lazy day

I should have known, as I lay in bed until 8:30 this morning, that this would be one of those lazy days. I had such good intentions (and you know about them and the road to hell, right?) and I really did mean to carry out at least a few of them. But twas not to be. I did manage to get dressed and take a check down to our beloved J & J Service Station at the foot of the street. I'd left Bessie there yesterday afternoon for servicing and her annual inspection (and to have her new registration sticker affixed to the lower-left of the windshield). Mission accomplished, but then their credit card connection machine didn't work and Mr. J (the younger one, not the older curmudgeonly one) said just to bring him a check today. Imagine that in suburban NY, folks! It still happens here, and not just in the Midwest.

So I did carry out that intention. How could I not? As for the rest of them...I did write a little (but not the two letters I'd meant to write and mail today). And that's about it. And I don't even feel guilty about being lazy. After all, it is a grey, rainy day and my day off. Tonight, after supper, I will read. Phillip Lopate and Frank Conroy are waiting. For some reason I thought that Frank Conroy had written Prince of Tides, which I enjoyed reading but didn't think of as anything more than a pretty good novel. But I kept finding references to him and to his memoir, Stop-Time, as excellent. So I put a hold on the book and started reading, so captivated that I looked him up online and discovered that he had nothing to do with Prince of Tides. That was Pat Conroy. Frank was a totally different cat. (He died of cancer several years ago.) There's an excellent interview with him in the online version of Narrative magazine.

In Rome today the Catholic redbirds, the 100+ cardinals, are meeting in the first day of their conclave to elect a new pope. Black smoke today means no decision. That's not surprising. I guess they hope to choose someone and have him (of course; the pope is always a him) in place before Easter, which falls this year on March 25th. (I tried earlier today to understand how the date is chosen for Easter but quickly gave up. An Ecclesiastical Full Moon is too much for my little brain to deal with. I'll just figure it's the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, and leave it to the religious to give me an exact date each year.)

Time for supper.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snowy Day...

March 8th--International (Working) Women's Day, 2013. Lots of snow during the night and into the morning. Better late than not at all, I suppose :-)

Called in as Cowardly Circ Clerk--no ganas to drive in this, particularly with other (hotshot) drivers on the hilly, curvy road. Tomorrow, yes. Today, no. Blessed to have a sane boss who'd rather have me feel safe than sorry. Thanks, Colleen!

Laughing this morning at videos on YouTube by Fairest2! So funny to hear the cats speaking French and to hear male voices! I will visit often. Merci, les chats! Merci, Fairest2! Merci, Judy!

Reading Phillip Lopate's excellent To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction, and enjoying it so much. I'm considering buying myself a copy and will definitely recommend it to others in the memoir group. What a treat it would be to take one of his classes! Talented brothers, he and Leonard.

I worked hard here at home yesterday, cleaning up and clearing out, and am indulging myself today. Cozy to be at home with husband and cats on what is still a wintry day. Daylight Saving time begins Sunday. Huzzah! Vernal equinox in two weeks. Spring *will* be here!