Halloween

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We’re handing out doughnuts to the students today, and I was forced to have a costume. Heh.
Suddenly I am exhausted. I could barely drag myself out of bed this morning. I think I’m finally over the conference, etc.

Here’s what’s new at my house:

  • The plumber came and the bathtub now drains and, miraculously, there is water pressure in the shower!
  • Lucy has taken to sleeping in my down vest.
  • We’re having stones laid along the side of the house where there was a tiny mud path. I think this is going to be nicer than I thought. Too nice, K. said. The very cheapest stone happened to come from Connecticut. I’m from Connecticut! This made me happy, while simultaneously appalled that we’re using stone dragged across the country. But what could I do?
  • I’m leaving work early to carve the pumpkins. I was too exhausted to carve them last night. Sleep. Pumpkins. It is important to have one’s priorities straight.
  • I read a good book, Send in the Idiots, and am reading another, On the Noodle Road. I read the first a month or so ago, so can’t give a great review off the top of my head, but it’s a good book — one of the autistic people the author interviews is a Democratic speechwriter, and it’s quite interesting to think about the difference between democrats and republicans from an autistic perspective. The Noodle one I’m not quite through. It’s more a sort of travelogue of the silk road rather than an actual study of the origins of the noodle (which I would like to read), but it’s interesting nonetheless from her unfiltered reactions to various cultures. Central Asian cuisine is pretty boring (plov). It’s pretty unpleasant to live in a country, like Iran, where everyone is spied upon. (And China isn’t like that — also interesting.) Not terribly deep, I think, but still interesting.
  • Hathi hathi hathi ho.

Chrysanthemums

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When N was home, which is now a month ago, she noticed the chrysanthemums. This is a kind of sad batch at the local CVS. There are nicer selections elsewhere. She was pleased to see them. She hadn’t noticed them here before, but they have them in Maine. She noted how they suddenly appear in the fall. “I like them,” she said, and it made me realize that she’s a grown up, now, with whole formative experiences in other places. She’s come to an appreciation of fall chrysanthemums all on her own, somewhere far away.

I am missing her. She’s far away again, having all kinds of experiences, and I realize I am just eager for her to get somewhere and stay put for a while. However, it seems not to be up to me. Sadly.

It really is fall here, now, finally. We’ve had a few fires in the fireplace, and this morning I had to go up to the attic to get some corduroy jeans and a long sleeved shirt. Too cold now for the linen pants which were the only ones I could bear to wear last week.

Wrapping up all the reimbursements and reports and evaluations from the conference. It really is nearly over. (Yay!)

Oh, I am back

Squirrels

(More squirrels from M)

So.

The conference that I have been planning for about a year and a half — really, almost two years — happened. I think it went well. (Here’s a review!). My committee was great in the end — they showed up early and stayed until the end. They noticed things and fixed them. They really pulled together and were great. The place we held it is great — everything works and things run very smoothly. It really all worked very well. And I think the speakers were great. It’s kind of a shot in the dark — you think things will work. You hope you’ve picked good speakers. Actually, thinking it over, I might have moved a few things around 9or maybe not, actually), but as it was I think it worked pretty well. I think we had a good mix of theoretical and practical, big-picture and close study. I think it was a success, and now it’s over. Phew.

I sort of can’t believe it.

I met a bunch of interesting people, too, including some of the speakers and a young librarian from SF with whom I discussed binge tv watching. She recommended Buffy, Breaking Bad and Battlestar Galactica. Ok.

I’m celebrating by sitting on the couch.

It’s a perfect fall day, and I ought to go out for a walk and do some stuff in the garden. So maybe, in a bit, I’ll do that.

Look!

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It’s a planet, of some sort. Well, honestly, it’s Venus, and what I could see, but the camera couldn’t, is the star Antares, right below and very red.

I love fall. I love walking home in the dark evening.

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Apparently N is out of the jungle, and M is sending reports of clear crisp days and delicious rainy days from Ohio.

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It’s nice to be home.

Sofa!

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Tada!

The new sofa.

I’ve left the pillows oddly placed and the crap all over the coffee table just for that air of hominess. After I took the picture, of course, I straightened the pillows and put all the books away and mailed off that zappo’s box — you know, the way we normally live.

(It’s very comfortable!)

Squirrel

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The squirrels are acting all, well, squirrelly. They climb up the toyon to get to the rose bush, where I guess they are eating the rosehips.

They make a great deal of noise, and take great offense at my questioning them.

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They’re awfully cute, though.

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Here’s what’s going on —

Work: Ridiculously busy. Insanely so, which is not all bad.
Gym: Well, suffering the consequences above. But I am walking a lot.
House: The new couch came! It’s lovely.
Life, generally: Well — sad that N is gone. Too busy to do much of anything. Generally okay, though. Holidays — the holidays are looming out there. Just looming, though — not actually present just yet. I will be happy to see M, and sad to not see N, but it’s still a long way off . . .

Okay! So that’s that.

fall planting

A friend of mine is taking three weeks off between jobs. The previous job was very stressful and consuming, and I think there were months where she went to work, came home, ate and went to bed. Now she is celebrating by making extensive plans for home renovation and by completely overhauling her garden.

It’s infectious, actually. Maybe not entirely influenced by her, I scheduled house cleaners and bought a couch. I can’t really even describe how great it is to have a clean house. The house is pleasant to be in, and I can sit in the living room without thinking that I really should be dusting. It’s amazing.

My friend also enticed me to come with her to the local nursery, where I really didn’t plan to buy anything at all. Really, I haven’t been outside at all, not to mention the deer episode. After following her around down two aisles, though, I saw something that I thought I might need. So I got a wagon and completely filled it up.

It seemed completely crazy. I had vague plans for where I thought things might look okay, but I hadn’t gone so far as to dig up beds, as my friend had. I put everything on my shady front porch, where I could admire it as I walked by. And then today, after packing up a bag or two of clothes for the goodwill and looking though a stack of books (I.e. finding a few I hadn’t read yet and remembering why I had wanted to read them), I started to think about where I might want to put things. And then I planted them!

I have at least half left, but as I was walking around I realized I could really make the central bed a lot bigger, and it seems like I got a lot of things that will grow nice and tall, so I can make a little cave of the patio by the fire pit, and that I can solve k’s wet feet compost problem just by moving the compost closer to the back door, and maybe we really can fit a big-leaf maple over in the corner.

Also, it was so pleasant to come back in, after noodling around in the garden, and not have an entire week’s (or month’s, really) worth of housecleaning waiting for me. Just a bit of laundry.

We have made it to Friday

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Here’s what’s going on around here —

I woke up this morning to find a dead deer in the back yard. He may have been the one who used to sleep here as a baby. Animal control came to pick him up while I was at work. She called me because she broke a garden ornament while dragging him out from under the pineapple guava tree. He was quite large, she said. He’d been hit by a car, most likely, and then retreated under my tree to die.

It was a very peaceful place to die, she said, but we both agreed that it was sad.

Oh,

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This is a little frustrating, since I have all kinds of pictures I would rather post, but the internet is funky at the moment and I’m not able to move things around the way I’d like to. However, these really were some very nice Japanese anenomes, although it’s a pretty bad picture of them. Sorry.

So, in the interim, Oracle did win the boat race, which was pretty exciting.

And N has been home, which has been great. She hasn’t been home since — I don’t even know when, actually. Last Thanksgiving, I guess, which is also her birthday — so nearly a year. It was great to have her here. It’s fun to have someone to cook with, for one thing. She’s fun to be with. Well, I just love her, is the main thing, I guess.

We have been awfully busy, though. An old friend was in town. Having N home meant we also saw lots of people with her. I went to watch hawks migrate. We did lots and lots and lots of last minute shopping for N’s trip. Work has been ridiculously busy —

The big excitement, though, was taking N to the airport this morning. She and her high school friend E are off to South America — a place I really can’t even imagine. I am looking forward to the reports which, ahem, I am sure will be forthcoming.

I will have more later, when I’ve had a bit of sleep. But I’m still here —

See ya.