I got the hashbrowns going, and turned to start the coffee, and there were these flowers, that needed to be photographed.

bee balm

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The nasturtiums seem to appreciate not having their roots tampered with.

This here? Is a victory lap.

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We moved from Minneapolis to the farm 20 years ago. The place was a dump. One of the windows in the living room had been covered over with cheap siding on the outside, and filled in (poorly) with mirrored tiles. I could not bear the sight of it, and made this quilt top to hang over it. It’s all cheap fabric, and barely enough to make the seams in places. But it was so much better than what it covered.

Aaaand. Things got worse, as they tend to when things begin poorly. I moved out and on, dragging Daughter with me. A lot of packing was done by an angry drunken person, and I was glad to get as much of my stuff as I did. So I was incredible happy when I found the quilt top shoved in a box with some loose papers and I don’t know what all.

Aaaand. Things weren’t that great then, either, but eventually things started going better, and now that I’m on a fairly even keel, I decided to actually make it into a quilt. I won’t show you the back, because as in all things, I have to make mistakes before I can do it right. All the mistakes. But it’s so much fun to get into bed under a blankie I made myself.

It’s like I kept a promise or something.

I’m in a place. Again. Tuesday seems to be where the place lives. Maybe I should make sure I sleep through Tuesdays from now on.

I’m almost done with a sock. Except that it is about a half-inch too short, which means I have to rip out the last inch of sock back to where I started the decreasing.

I would switch to toe-up, but I probably would muck that up too.

Which is a Tuesday thing to say.

I’m also restless, and starting to start new projects.

Have a flower.

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This is one thing (of many, actually) that went right today.

(Okay, technical stuff. Close focus and shallow depth of field equals a lot of strange focusing, what with the weaving back and forth I apparently do. The peony is actually a dark wine color, but the flash burnt it out to the bright pink, and dropped the background to black. Fair warning, I will use this combination more in the future. Also, I love the little peep of yellow peeking out.)

After trying for two weeks, I finally wrastled Katniss into her wee little kitteh harness, and dragged her outside. The outside bit was fine, it was what she’s been TRYING TO DO! for the year and a half that we’ve had her; it was the harness. How Dare You Constrain Me! But, she got the idea pretty quick. By the second morning, all I had to do was show her the harness, and she was up and outta here. (She has to be on a leash, as a condition of our lease. She’s supposed to have a rabies shot too, but I like my skin, thank you very much.) I added a length of rope to her leash, and tie her out, leaving the screen and the inside door open so she can ESCAPE THE EVIL! But of course, she is still a cat, and must go in and out and in and out. So, we leave the harness on for most of the day.

And, I take her for a walk in the evening. It’s embarrassing. First, crazy cat lady walking her cat. Second, she wants to peep through everybody’s basement windows, and sniff at their doors. I won’t let her go near the yard across the alley, because crabby, and I don’t let her go in the neighbor’s yards. But she MUST go sniff around in the raspberry patch, and she MUST I don’t know what. I was impatient the other night, and wanted to keep moving, and she got mad and hissed at me. I think we have a domestic terrorist in our midst.

A terrorist who does this;

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Bad things had been done to the farmhouse we were living in, and I made this quilt top to cover a particularly ugly wall. After 20 years, I finally got around to making it into a quilt this week. I’m doing just a little bit of quilting on it, and left it on the table to work on this morning.

I don’t think I’ll get much done on it this morning.

Today has started well. I had something interesting/puzzling in my inbox, which caused me to research an idea, which led to twelve open tabs, three of which were philosophers. Also, I still have questions about the definition of civilization.*

Yesterday was rough and stressful at work, ending with a big ugly stinky boom. But I salvaged the day, beginning with taking Katniss for a walk. Then I moved to Wreck This Journal;

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I started at the upper left corner (upper right to you) drawing circles, slowly switching to pebbles thrown up on the shore.

I went downstairs to color some of the pebbles, and Katniss, as is her wont, followed me downstairs and jumped up on my table and walked across the book and drank out of the water cup, as is her wont. Proving that I must continue on painting with watercolors, to encourage her renal health.

Oh, shoot! I almost forgot the most important bit! Today’s Melville;

Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

I … I can smell the air and see the horizon all around, and grasp the sense of liminal space. We have entered the myth.

A few pages on, Melville writes his sarcastic treatise on cetology, marking out what fools we are to pretend to know.

*(And then I erupt into a fountain of things I want to know. Sheesh.) Descartes, Hume, Jaspers, Civilization, Late Bronze Age collapse, Iron Age, Axial Age, Rectilinear Polygon, Art Gallery Problem, Karaoglan. Mostly Wiki pages with a couple of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy pages. And civilization as defined starts in the Neolithic, which seems a little arbitrary to me. Also, Axial Age is contemporaneous with the development of coins, which seems to imply to me more trade than the wiki allows for. Or maybe the trade came after. I don’t know.

There are so many things I don’t know.

Yes, Moby Dick.

Some days elapsed, and ice and icebergs all astern, the Pequod now went rolling through the bright Quito spring, which, at sea, almost perpetually reigns on the threshold of the eternal August of the Tropic. The warmly cool, clear, ringing, perfumed, overflowing, redundant days, were as crystal goblets of Persian sherbet, heaped up—flaked up, with rose-water snow. The starred and stately nights seemed haughty dames in jewelled velvets, nursing at home in lonely pride, the memory of their absent conquering Earls, the golden helmeted suns! For sleeping man, ’twas hard to choose between such winsome days and such seducing nights. But all the witcheries of that unwaning weather did not merely lend new spells and potencies to the outward world. Inward they turned upon the soul, especially when the still mild hours of eve came on; then, memory shot her crystals as the clear ice most forms of noiseless twilights.

Pg. 161, in my text. Chapter XXIX: “Enter Ahab; to him, Stubbs.” There’s an entire chapter I am thinking about putting up – a whole page. Nothing else is going on, except weirdly enough Daughter and I went to Duluth to go to a real clothing store. And no trip to Duluth is complete without a visit to Barnes and Noble’s, and I found three books in a matter of 10 minutes, including Tolkein’s Beowulf, while Daughter came away empty handed.

And while I’m not touching those other books till I finish Moby Dick, Duke University has published a bunch (all?) of their books on line. It took me a solid three minutes to find something I must read – because of slow loading, mostly. But I’m not touching the paper books. I think.

We had days of perfect weather, ending this morning with a daytime thunderstorm. I spent my shower time downstairs getting valuable things out of the way of the possible basement flood. There’s a lace shawl in progress, which needs pictures. (I think I like that sort of thing because it’s a pattern, and I don’t have to think.) And Katniss is being all adorable and cat-like.

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So, I’ve been getting stiffer and stiffer for years and years. Hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, back. And this, combined with the whole, “I don’t know what’s wrong with your back or why you’re so stiff why don’t you stand up straighter and go for a walk?” kind of upset and confused me, along with making me think I’m a whiner. (Which of course I’m not since there’s actual real shit wrong with my back that got tons better when I quit walking. Snort.)

And then “they” put me on a restricted regimen for my liver, which basically meant cut way back on saturated fats. So imagine my surprise when I went to a doctor for SSDI told me to squat down, and I did. And stood back up. With no problem. And just now, I dropped my lens cap down by my feet, and got all fretty about having to figure out how to get down there to get it, after which I just bent down and picked it up. Weird. And so much better.

So we go back to last Sunday, when I got out of bed and all the things hurt, just like the old days – you know, like last January. I actually had somebody offer to help me up from a chair in a restaurant. I couldn’t figure it out. The only thing new I had done was eat banana chips. What could be wrong with banana chips? – which may or may not be deep-fried in coconut oil, i.e. nearly pure saturated fat. Oops. Just because it’s at the co-op doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Anyway. I did this today.

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Installed eye hooks and hung the baskets, and strung new christmas lights, because pretty. I think I’m going to break down and paint the railings this year, too.

It was a beautiful day again, much hampered by spending two hours at the eye doctor, and walking out into a parking lot in the middle of the afternoon with my eyes dilated. Ow. I am going to refuse that malarky next time, and the time after. We were spoiled as kids. Our eye doctor didn’t believe in that crap, preferring to spend a good chunk of time peering through a normally contracted iris.

But. Like I said, a beautiful day, warm and soft, with temperatures dropping as the evening came on. I was outside in a jacket when a friend called from an hour away, saying it was hot there still. She’s coming up tomorrow; I told her to bring a sweater.

Spring is here, weeks late for the second year in a row.

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Golden Locust, I think. With a thread of spider web. It doesn’t sprout until it’s pretty sure there will be no more frost. We might be in the clear.

Catherine was talking about daily affirmations. So I went and looked, and found one that I thought was okay. I suppose I should watch the cloud video, but no. To be honest, it reminds me a lot of that scene in “Grosse Pointe Blank” with the ‘I am the me in the moment’ bit. But, when I feel myself going off-rail, I just say the focus on the good part, and keep moving. Maybe I should cut it back to, “Focus on the good. Keep moving.”

Saturday was 90º. Sunday was in the 80′s. So was Monday. I turned the heat back on this morning; it was 60 in the house. Crazy stuff.

I use Weather Underground for forecasts, even though their record is not so good. Their reporting station about a mile from here says the high will be 59º. The weather station a little more inland says the high will be 67º, up from the 57º it said this morning. Wear layers, I guess. And a bag that you can shove them all in, when it gets too hot.

I’ve been accepted for grad school. Which is a personal affirmation of a pretty high order. (I was thinking about it this morning, and they had better accept me. I worked my ass off.) I’m excited and concerned. And worried about getting too tired. I didn’t know how I would manage undergrad and I graduated with honors, so I think I will be able to figure it out.

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We’ve been taking Katniss out on a leash. I feel bad; she hates it. But as my reward, I get to watch her being a cat instead of a pain. She spent minutes catching something I couldn’t see in the grass – little bugs, I’m sure, but I didn’t feel like getting down on my hands and knees to check it out. And she’s a peeping Tom! We walked around the neighbor’s side of the house, and she peered in all their basement windows. She did this on our side of the house, too, I’m guessing orienting herself in the world.

Katniss has spent too much time indoors; she is not very sure of herself when she climbs. (She’s also clumsy. Another thing I feel bad about even though it’s not my fault, but she handles it pretty well.) Which means she spent a lot of time just looking at trees, assessing their climbability. It’s hard to explain to a cat that their leash is only so long, and I’m not about to stand at the base of a tree till she decides to come down. Although I agree, the maple would probably be an easy climb for her.

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