M has riding lessons out in the country, which is actually not all that far from our house. I always forget how beautiful it is out there.


The cows are already having calves. I guess because the rain has started and soon there will be green grass.


It was a dark and wintry day.


It really is pretty out there.



People are coming and going. K’s brother N is in and out, and I went home yesterday to find N and a friend wondering what to do on a rainy day. So we made cookies.

I am really wanting to go home right now and make some more.

And apparently there was snow on the hilltops!

I am documenting trees, but you will have to wait for the results.

And we are plotting our ski trip. It does seem that the time to go will be exactly when the girls are having all their teeth pulled, rendering them unfit for much of anything till the end of the week. Bah.

Wintry mix

It is chilly here! (I’m looking it up.) 47 degrees! Chance of thundershowers! Hooray hooray hooray!

Which means, of course, that it is going to be cold and snowy in the mountains, and (hooray hooray hooray) we can go skiing!

I can’t wait.

Lets you think otherwise, I should tell you that I’m a careful and rotten skier — I’m old and creaky and I do not want to break anything. So I go pretty slowly down not very difficult hills. I work on my technique. My technique is not so great, but you know — it could be worse.

What I really like about skiing is the chance to go visit winter and then spend the day outside thinking about pretty much nothing. It is pretty mindless. You go up, and then you come down. You wonder where the children have gone. You eat cold turkey sandwiches and oranges and chocolate bars. Yum.

I really was beginning to think it would never snow this year, and now it has.

In other news, N has returned. She is so happy to be finished. K’s brother N is visiting. M is suffering because she is not finished. I cleaned the bathrooms, made a batch of virginia bars (a strange christmas tradition — they’re really pretty much these, but were always made at Christmas by our beloved housekeeper, who called them virginia bars), we did not go get the tree, OR put up lights, because it was raining.

So we sat inside, lit a fire, read a book or two, knit a sock. M fretted over an assignment she doesn’t quite understand. N was out with friends. A strange kind of weekend.

We did go see Cadillac Records, which was good.

I’m reading something Harriet recommended, The Box of Delights. I’ve finished it, actually, and moved on to its prequel, the Midnight Folk. Good reading for wintry Christmas days.

Okay — got to go.

Xmas. It continues.

Harriet”s done an interesting meme about Christmas presents. I will think about it. I’ve reached the point where I have bought some things and stuffed them into my closet, and now I have no idea what I’ve got up there, no idea what anyone needs, and no idea what I need to get. Also, as usual, I can think of 20 things for one person (this year M) and 1 thing for K, but not really anything at all for N. And I guess if I’m going to send anything, I really have to do that, too. It’s time to make everyone leave the house so I can take everything out of my closet and figure out what’s going on.

I think we need to get the tree. I’m sure I’ll be able to think much more clearly once we’ve really committed to the Christmas season.

Of course, my brother in law is going to be sleeping in the dining room for the next week. (Oddly, we have a futon in the dining room, which I think is supposed to be the dining/sitting room, and the thing we call the living room is probably the parlor.) I like him, and he’s a most welcome guest, but I’m wondering if that will impede decorating, Actually, I think not.

It does begin to seem like we’re running a rooming house.


Then there’s a huge kerfuffle involving the school district. Surely I have bored you with the principal’s plan to redo the schedule so that the kids can have a longer day, two meaningless “advisory” periods, and then a special 90 minute period to leave campus and wreak havoc on the city at large? Apparently it’s been scaled down, and we get everything but the havoc period. Whatever, as they say. We’ve got one more year. But now there’s a big fight going on because the ptsa stared their own e-tr**. ??? The excitement never ends.

And at work, the space wars continue.

Oh, and we had the first of the holiday parties!

Oh, the holiday party. I don’t even really know what to think about the holiday party.

Okay. Now I’m off to:

a) Think about my christmas list and
b) Get some coffee.


The missing post

I wanted to take pictures of all the really lovely trees I pass on my way to work, but yesterday I forgot my camera, and today I had to hurry because I was worried we were going to have a meeting.

And in fact, we did have one, but not till later.

It was a somewhat stressful meeting — another one of these space planning meetings where we try to fit everyone in to various non-ideal spaces.

Actually, I think it is going to be fine.

Along the way, though, it is difficult to not get annoyed at the people you are likely to get really annoyed with. You may even go so far as to tell person 3 that you think person 2 is annoying AND stupid.

Only do this if you’re pretty sure person 3 feels the same way.

(I am pretty sure.)

Anyway — Christmas.

I think we’d better get started. Everyone else is. I’ll make M help me get the lights up outside, and I really think we’d better get our tree this Sunday.

I’m afraid I have nothing else to talk about, although I really want to buy this toy as recommended by Fresh Hell. (By the way, Freshhell, I’m wearing the efficiency pants today.) I think my kids would like it, but they really are too old, and would like it in a sort of abstract sense, and then we’d have to find somewhere to put it. (Also, read Freshhell’s desciption of a review which is now missing, and then the extant reviews will make more sense. I do think the Torquemado idea is a sound one.)

Otherwise, I think I may just give everyone socks and long underwear. (But nice socks.)

Ho hum. If I hurry, I may be able to get some shots of trees on my way home.


I should warn you, I’m a librarian

Oh, but I am tired. The sort of tired where your head hurts, and you can’t quite think.

It’s cold outside! I could almost have worn gloves to work today. I mean, without getting heat stroke.

That was exciting.

I think eating lunch might be a good idea, so that’s what I’m going to do now.

Perhaps I’ll return with some pictures. Who knows — anything is possible!

So . . .

It is quite late, and I’m still up. Why? My services as a typist are about to be required. My services as a researcher and literary critic have already been requisitioned. I am nothing if not handy.

Earlier today I was sent to the library to check out books, and also to copy articles out of the excellent 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Honestly, it was exciting, and I am happy to report that the volumes are mostly in excellent condition. Most have been rebound, and there was another old set I also consulted which was also in good shape.

I was thinking, as I was carrying books and xeroxes home, that I should have made M come with me. It was her paper I was researching, after all, which is shameful. She was tucked up on the couch in her pajamas, reading other articles we’d found online, though, and didn’t want to leave the house. It’s so much fun doing research, though — maybe especially when you don’t have to write the paper. I’ve always felt this way. I remember going through the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, which was an enormous set of fat green books, and how I would be pretty methodical looking up every last citation, even when it was some dumb article from Time magazine. I think I may like research more than most people do, and it did occur to me that there is a reason I’m a librarian.

Of course, there are other exciting aspects to the public library — the whiffy man who explains to you (while he copies some kind of investment book) how sometimes people have a lot to copy, but it really isn’t fair of them to hog the resources. “It is a problem,” he reflects, as though it is something he’s devoted quite a lot of thought to. “Take your time,” I say. “I don’t mean to rush you.” And the other slightly odd man who jams his copy card into the machine while you are copying, so that yours no longer works at all and you have to rush around, 20 minutes before closing, to ask the librarian to help you. “That’s a new one,” she says. “I try to keep track of the machine and its problems, but that’s one that’s never occurred before.” Which I find hard to believe.

It’s a good topic, actually. It’s about a roman king and his house, and there’s some information, but not a hideous amount, and it’s all kind of speculative since it’s from a very long time ago. I couldn’t help getting interested.

Also, it’s slightly colder outside, which I find cheering. AND I made the first batch of Christmas cookies, did about 40 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed the whole house.

I feel uncommonly virtuous, although there are still a ton of weeds to pull (which seems SO UNFAIR in December, when the garden ought to be asleep) and the bathrooms are a health hazard. But vacuumed.

And, we watched a series of ridiculous tv movies about a librarian — have you seen them? My favorite line was, when he’s about to fight a vampire or something, “I should warn you I’m a librarian.”

And here’s a meme, courtesy of Harriet and the Lass:

1. Five names you go by:
[short version of my name]
[short version of name]ie (if you grew up with me, or are my mother)
M’s mom
[short version of name]iedina (ONLY if you’re my sister).

2. Four things you are wearing right now:
Some rather odd but comfortable (although sadly too short) pants from LL Bean. Brown.
An old purple shirt

3. Three things you want very badly at the moment:
A shower
A Christmas cookie

4. Two things you did last night:
Went to see Milk
Walked there and back and admired the moon

5. Two things you ate today:
Baked potato
Brussels sprouts!

6. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
A guy wanting money for C@l
M’s friend MT

7. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
Walk to work
Walk home

8. Two longest car rides:
Connecticut to B3rk3l3y
Connecticut to North Dakota

9. Two of your favorite beverages:

10. Two things you can hear right now:
The furnace piping up
The shower (M is in it.)

Good night!