naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (autumn bountiful harvest)
Been meaning to update here more often, but...

...if wishes were horses then beggars would ride, or something like that, right?

Had a lovely holiday weekend. We roasted four whole chickens over the past four days, made five different kinds of stuffing, and had a total of three Thanksgiving dinners that couldn't be beat, not counting the leftovers noshing. I listened to Alice's Restaurant. We had friends over. We boiled the remains of the roasted chickens and made homemade soup stock to stash in the freezer. We took down our autumn, Samhain, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, and began putting up our winter, Yule, and Christmas decorations. I saved more holiday music from my CDs into my home 'puter, and moved the subwoofer and one set of speakers from my bedroom to the living room, so now I can pipe playlists there, which is especially good since my stereo out there is on its last legs. The stereo up in the loft still works nicely, of course, but there's something to be said for programming a playlist of many, many hours of custom-mixed music, you know? I love the holiday music I have on CD...

I started getting organized for The Holiday Card-Mailing Adventure of 2004. I'm really glad I keep buying cards in January every year... I have a sizeable stash of them, though it's taken me a few months to figure out where I'd squirreled them all away this time, since 2003 was pretty much utter chaos, the few years before that weren't all that much better, and moving last April just let the disorganization reign a while longer.

Which reminds me... if you suspect that I may have lost your current address, or never had it to begin with, please email me at adele @ shakal.org so I have a chance at keeping my rolodex thing up to date!

I actually went to Fry's early in the morning on Black Friday because one of the friends we had visiting this weekend is very good with computer hardware installation and repair, and I needed a few specific bits for the project I needed her help with. It wasn't bad... well, I had fun, anyway. It was a chill, foggy morning, and Fry's opened at 6am. I got there at 6:30 and spent about 45 minutes waiting in line to get into the store, a half hour finding what I wanted, and another 45 minutes waiting to check out. I thanked every retail worker I bumped into for working that day. In retrospect, I should have worn my santa hat. That would have been even more fun! Then I stopped at Trader Joe's to replenish provisions for one of the feasts, and picked up a lovely and lovely-smelling wreath for which I still need to get an over-door hanger. But it smells really great!

I started working on my wishlist for this year, since Thanksgiving is the time my parents and I always did that when I was younger. I'm almost done with it; I'll probably post it tomorrow.

I spent some time on my projects-and-purchases gift list for others, too. Wow, do I need to do a lot of crocheting this month...

I spent some time going through three boxes of computer-related clutter in my room, though I'm still working on the Great Decluttering and Simplification of 2004. I did a bit of work, too, because I didn't get to all of the items on last week's to-do list for work, and deadlines are looming.

Oh, that's right... I didn't mention my latest effort to get organized at work here! I've been feeling really, really swamped lately, and last week, after being inspired by [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom's time management tutorial at LISA, I took all of the random lists and scraps of paper and random things I've been worrying about for work lately, and made a big list of all of it. Then I shuffled things around according to importance and deadlines and broke it up into weekly lists from last week until the end of December, and monthly lists for all of next year. Yes, I was carrying around an index of some stuff I need to do next year in my head! Yeesh. No wonder I've been feeling miserable.

Anyway, it turns out to be eight pages when I print out the HTML file. But that's OK. At least it's not rattling around in my skull making me miserable. I printed it out and chopped it up into the weekly and monthly lists and stuck it up on my bulletin board at my desk, and kept last week's list on the desk right beneath my monitor. I got almost everything on last week's list done (except for the items I took home this weekend), which was rather shocking, actually. So now I'm just finishing the things I took home and did some of this weekend, and then starting in on this week's list.

I used to do this sort of thing all the time. I don't know when or why I fell out of the habit, but I'm going to do the 21-day habit-forming thing and get back on the wagon.

After all, there's a saying in Dad's family: "Hitch your wagon to a star, bust your butt and there you are!"

I had apple-cranberry pie for breakfast, and now I have hot chai tea, which smells and tastes wonderful, I'm listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and I know exactly what I need to get done at work today.

It's a good morning!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
I love this time of year!

Here is my entry from a year ago.

This season, I find myself thinking not only of those who have gone before, relatives, friends and strangers, who have inspired me or given me guidance or simply made me think... but also of the parts of me which came before, the facets of myself which found expression during the past year, the facets which caused me pain, the facets which brought me joy. I'm trying to learn from them all, and I bid farewell to the aspects which are waning, hoping my path is clearing some of them this turn along the circle yet knowing I'll miss others. I myself try to clear the way to greet aspects waxing... some I am hoping for, anticipating, looking forward to, trying to encourage... and at the same time I try to be open to unexpected surprises.

There's a joyful chorus going on.

The veil between past and present, between what was and what is and what may be, shimmers this night, this season. Apple pies and pumpkin bread and spiced cider and scones with berry preserves and golden honey celebrate the bounty of the year's growth.

The wheel turns.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
I find myself torn today between wanting to be with lots of people and wanting to be alone, either way marking the passage of time. It has been quite a year, and simultaneously both longer and shorter than I expected it to be. I may be posting more on that later... I'm also considering driving down into Los Angeles this weekend for the Dia De Los Muertos celebrations there, and if I do, I'll be posting about that here, too.

Happy Halloween and All Hallows Eve, and may you have a contemplative Samhain, folks. Whatever holidays you're celebrating this weekend (or even if you're simply celebrating TGIF), may they commemorate for you all that you wish of them.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
I spent some time Saturday and this morning planting flowers in the pots on my front porch. Yeah, Southern California weather is weird enough that that's perfectly normal. I put in some snapdragons and some pansies to keep the geraniums and the Martha Washington company, spoke encouraging words to the marigold seedlings that are the next generation of the plants I put in last spring, and I tucked a bunch of bulbs into the soil... A few different types of tulips, daffodils, narcissus, two bearded iris, and a handful of some other small bulbs the size of marbles that I can't pronounce or spell the name of, but whose picture looked pretty and whose packaging said descriptively "good container bulb".

One of my gerbera daisies survived the summer and now has three blossom-heads just beginning to strive upward, to uncurl their bright faces to the sun.

This weekend has been full of cleaning and errands, and for tucking bright futures into the soil, providing for color through the winter and into the spring.

I know most places in the country can't plant flowers outdoors this time of year, but do tuck some bulbs into the earth for next spring before the first freeze. And force some bright white paperwhites or deep purple crocus for indoor blooming, if not both. Buy an amaryllis for stunning blooms during the winter, from your local home and garden store or by mail order from places like Harry and David or Jackson & Perkins. You can wait until after the holidays to try to find amaryllis sets on sale, pot, soil and all, but if you do so, peek inside the box and make certain the bulb didn't attempt to sprout already and expend all of its energy trying to escape its packaging. Note that many common bulbs are poisonous to pets; keep daffodil, narcissus, and amaryllis bulbs away from pets, and your pets from them.

Putting in bulbs means that you've already planned for some springtime joy, even as we go into the dark time of the year and cope with colder weather. There's something fundamental about planting hope.

February 2017

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