Wednesday, December 11, 2013
No, I'm not depressed, just contemplative. It was fun having a birthday on 12/12/12, now it's just turning another year older.
I haven't been doing much besides Christmas preps and watching TV and feeding the stove. I've started reading the book group book (Susan Vreeland) but have a long way to go and am running out of time. Book group meets Sunday at my house. Yikes. Much cleaning to be done by then, and hopefully a Christmas tree will go up. Buying it is only half the challenge.
The weather hasn't been much to talk about, but apparently that's about to change. Cold weather is coming, with temps in single digits (doubtless below zero in Hawkeye). Everyone is incredibly fussed about this, but honestly, it's not -20, and it IS winter. We're supposed to have "measurable amounts" of snow Sat. night into Sunday, but no one apparently is willing to predict how much that will be. Hopefully Donny will plow before 5 Sunday night. Otherwise book groupers will have fun getting to my house.
I mailed my Italy presents yesterday, which was a great feeling. I need to get Anna's package in the mail (well, maybe wrap things first). A friend suggested I drive to Canada to mail her stuff, which doesn't sound like a bad idea. Maybe Monday after work. Monday we have a luncheon with the CEF board. We did this last year (no one is willing to own up to having the idea to do this) and it wasn't great. Mostly trustees visit with trustees and staff looks on miserably. I signed up to bring dessert, and gleefully discovered 2 boxes of brownie mix in the pantry last night. YAY! I was hoping to be enthusiastic and make some exciting cake or something, but now I feel much better. Problem solved.
Work is fine. Full of year-end things, mostly right now we're wrapping up our assessment process for 2013. Did we accomplish our goals? Well, sort of. No, I didn't write the e-book portion of our Collection Development Policy. I started to but yuck it's just not fun. I have to have a draft by the time I meet with the director this week. Well, girlie, get on with it!
I have most of my Christmas shopping done, remarkably. I have to get something for my cousin & his wife (why we swap gifts is still a mystery to me and my mother)--I hope to hit the studio/gallery of a great potter who's a friend on Saturday and pick out something nice. I've sent them baskets in recent years, but (sorry) NO ONE is getting a basket this year.
Union Christmas party is tonight. These parties usually turn out to be more fun than anyone expects (which isn't saying a lot). Dinner in a restaurant, then as soon as the last fork is put down we all scramble out quickly and go home. Travel is supposed to be tricky tonight, with snow squalls and slick roads. Swell, just about my least favorite driving conditions--snow in the dark.
Here's my Christmas tree. I bought it in Saranac so drove 40 mph all the way home (I was one of those annoyingly slow cars). Got it Sunday afternoon, there it sits on my deck, waiting for attention. I will cut the top half off and make it a tabletop tree. Oh yes, I will. Sometime soon.
Monday, December 02, 2013
Got to Liza's in good time on Tuesday afternoon, had a quiet time and went to bed early. Weds. (late) Jenica & Justin arrived, having traveled through the storm I was so careful to avoid (it wasn't that bad). We had a nice beach walk, though it was cold, very cold, and windy, very windy. Dramatic surf but even more dramatic total of 12 dogs on the beach at once. A group who apparently walks their 5 dogs together a lot was there. Our dogs got along with their dogs, but we kept Malcolm and Tess leashed for most of the walk. I didn't want Tess to be trampled and rolled by the energetic 1-year old giant male Labs who were there. She didn't seem to mind but DID want to investigate more areas than I was willing to walk to.
Turkey dinner was great--good food and plenty of it. I helped Liza cook, we all helped serve and eat and clean up. Very nice holiday.
I walked the dogs alone in the park on Friday while Mark was at work--we went on the "nature trail" for a change and it was very nice. Always fearful of ticks in Lyme country, but I think we escaped unscathed. Mark & I walked in the park again on Sat. but it was really cold and the dogs took off so it wasn't one of our better walks.
Justin & Jenica left on Friday and I went to town for a few things. Saturday Liza, Mark & I went Christmas shopping in Westerly. It was great--we each had our own shopping cart and filled them, checked out at the same time, then went home. Liza likes to rest a lot. We went back to town in the afternoon for a few more things, then were home to rest. I didn't have lobsters this time (!!), it just seemed like too much trouble. We had good flounder on Weds night with J&J, but ate turkey and pork the rest of the time.
The weather was variable, with a couple of cold days but mostly it was in the 40's and not bad. My mother no longer has her wood stove and worries a lot about how she'll keep the house warm. She has electric heat but hers costs a lot less than mine does.
I left RI yesterday morning, had a good trip home. Made a couple of stops so it took a bit longer but I got some shopping done. My house was 49 when I got home (ugh). Temps outside had been down to -3 and the lake froze over while I was gone. I'll find out tonight from P&J when that happened. It's a bit early for that, and it's supposed to be quite warm this week so it might open.
Had a good trip. Hard to believe I'll be going back in about 3 weeks. All is well.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Had a nice weekend. Spent some of Saturday with Lin at a gallery we've visited in the past. I really like the artwork of one of the several artists whose work is there, so I bought some cards and some misc. other things for Christmas. Am I even THINKING about Christmas now? Not really. And it's a month from today.
After shopping we went out for lunch and had a nice pizza and beer together. Then home I went to pay the boys for their insulation work. They of course were thrilled to get checks, and I, of course, overpaid them. But it was great that they did it--what a disagreeable job, crawling around under the house, lying on your back to staple insulation above you. I know, I did it 20 years ago. They reported that there were parts of the house with no insulation at all. I could tell them where those spots were--the back of the house, most notably my bedroom. Now that it's insulated it's much better.
Yesterday was incredibly windy and cold. The house got warm and stayed warm well into the night. I went to P&J's and stayed a while for a very nice visit with them. We appreciate each other a lot in the winter--although there are others in the neighborhood we feel alone.
I had a wonderful visit to the Westport library last week. It's a great place, friendly people, fire in the fireplace, pretty location on the lake. I did my consulting there, then followed the lake up to Essex, cut over to Wadhams (which has some of the most beautiful views in the Adks), then to Lewis and up the Trout Pond Rd. We used to travel that road a lot. It's a pretty area with few homes. From there I followed the river to Keeseville, then went to the Chasm and on to Peru. Whew! It was grand and I really enjoyed it. It only took an extra half hour to get back to Plattsburgh, which impressed me. I like going to the member libraries. We have a great group of directors right now.
Tomorrow I'll leave work at noon, head home and pack for my Weds. trip to RI. There's much ado about a big, terrible storm coming tomorrow & Weds., so I'm trying not to think about driving conditions. I plan to leave Weds. early morning, which I think is when the storm is supposed to be particularly ugly, with sleet and ice. Rain to the south, so I just need to get out of the Adks.
I'll be in RI until Sunday, having a nice visit with Liza and Mark. Jenica & Justin will be there part of the time so it will be very festive. What will we do? Walk the dogs on the beach. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. Eat Thanksgiving dinner. Eat lobsters. Maybe go shopping at some small local shops. That's our usual Thanksgiving activity list. Doubt that it will be very different this year.
We got about 3" of powdery snow Sat. night and I guess we're supposed to get quite a bit more on Weds & Thurs. Well it IS winter, and we have snow in the winter. I don't like snow much, it's hard to deal with and complicates things.
Hope everyone has a good holiday. I'm looking forward to mine.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Last week was good--I was pleased with my progress on Monday. I had some work meetings, some webinars, and most notably I went to the dentist on Weds. I had planned to have ONE filling replaced, but of course the dentist talked me into doing 2. Ugh. I had such bad childhood dental experiences that I get nervous just having my teeth cleaned, so this was pretty traumatic for me. This dentist is very good, however, about using a lot of novacaine and waiting for it to take effect. So it was painless. Sore for a few days afterward, but all in all not really terribly unpleasant. It took a long time and cost a lot of money but who's surprised at my age to need replacement fillings?
The insulating project at home goes on. Saturday Lin was kind enough to drive me to Plattsburgh so I could buy the 3 more rolls that Ravi said he would need. Only 2 fit in my car at once, so it was great to have her larger vehicle. That's it, I hope, for buying insulation. The living room is noticeably warmer, and now the back of the house is chilly but not truly cold (as it was before). Plastic on the bedroom window has helped.
We had a good Plattsburgh run on Sat., eating lunch at the new-to-us 5 Guys. It's all about meat. I ate what they call a regular burger, which is 2 patties, so I felt sated and sluggish all afternoon. And as if I should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Which I did, that night. I also made cheesecake that night, with gluten-free crust, for book group on Sunday. The crust was OK but sort of gloppy--I used gluten-free shortbread cookies, mashed up, with melted butter added to them. The extra butter sure made things greasy, but it did turn out well.
Sunday we had our Book Group Thanksgiving at M'lou's. Very nice. Very good food, but too much of it! I ate a whole lot. Ugh. Boy was it all good, though. And we had a nice time, visiting and talking (a little) about the book (Sisterland). Next month's book is Susan Vreeland, The forest lover. I don't know if it's any good, but she's a good writer so at least it should be well-written.
Yesterday I had my annual eye exam in Saranac Lake. A lot of driving--to Platts. by 8, then to Saranac Lake, then back to Platts., then home the same way at 4. My eyes are fine except for an issue with the replacement lens in my left eye--I had cataract surgery a long time ago and he said that, when you have cataracts removed at a younger age this often happens. It gets cloudy at the back of the lens. This is just starting with me but has gotten worse in the last year so may need to be fixed (lasered). It's an easy fix, he assured me. And I trust him. Mostly now it's just a blur issue, nothing too serious. After my pupils were dilated and the solution was wearing off, one pupil was way bigger than the other, which made me a little nauseous but mostly just looked very, very strange. All is back to normal now.
This weekend Lin & I are planning to go to an open house at a gallery we visited a while ago. I like the artwork of one of the artists, and we both need to do a little Christmas shopping. Wow I need to get into Christmas mode!
Next week is Thanksgiving, and I'm off to RI on Weds. Looking forward to that. Later this week I go to Westport for the afternoon, to do some consulting on their Adirondack collection. That's a nice trip--great library, wonderful director, and I like looking at Adirondack collections. And on Friday I get paid. Yay.
Monday, November 11, 2013
It's supposed to warm up today (40's) so hopefully I'll finish up the winter prep tasks outdoors. The deck needs attention, flower pots need to be emptied, though probably will need to have the soil thawed first. I MUST put the lawn mower away in the shed. I've put that off other years until there's real snow--it's sooo hard to push a lawn mower through the snow! You'd think a girl would learn in 20 years to get these things done before November.
Had a good week, work was fine. I saw Pat & Jim twice, well three times if you count yesterday. They're fine and Pat is feeling much better. I had dinner with the Holts and Bill on Sat., which was very nice. Holts were here for the weekend and very generously took my 7 bags of old insulation to the dump in their truck for me.
I bought a new computer on Sat. Wow what a difference. I gave my old laptop to Lin and am trying to get used to this new HP with a totally different keyboard. I have good Internet access but also have Windows 8, which is incredibly frustrating. Rush, Annie & I tried to do some simple things with it yesterday but didn't have much luck. Wow, Bill Gates, even a nuclear physicist finds it frustrating.
Busy week ahead, plenty of training and a few meetings. Also, ugh, an appointment to have a filling replaced. We had terrible childhood dental experiences (lots of drilling for cavities without novacaine, which seems unimaginable today) so I'm always fretful when going to the dentist. This dentist is good about making sure the novacaine is effective before proceeding, and I've had OK experiences in he past. Wow! It doesn't hurt! Let's see if my good luck continues.
Not really much going on in Hawkeye. Only one other person on the road now and he comes and goes. No bog walkers but there were 4 cars at the Silver Lake Mtn trailhead yesterday. It wasn't really a pleasant day but did almost get to 40. Supposed to do that again today but we've got a way to go. I still have to make one more trip to the boat house to retrieve things. The lock on the gate was frozen last weekend so I waited until it thawed, unlocked it in prep of my yet-to-happen visit. Maybe today. I hope. Let's finish at least ONE thing today!
Monday, November 04, 2013
Saturday, November 02, 2013
So now I can blog at home. Hmmmm. Not sure what this will mean. More blogging? I have to switch my email accounts all over the place. My main (new) personal email address is labrdors at gmail.com--but I'll still use my cefls address, of course, since it's my work address.
It's a rainy day, not really very cold but feels cool and damp so I built a fire. The phone guy admired my stove and told me a little history of the company. He also told me where to get good, cheap firewood, from a place that makes pallets, but you need a truck to pick up the loads. So I'll probably just stick with what I do.
I went to the dump this morning but haven't done much else besides play with the Internet. I'm trying to get this computer set up with the most current versions of things but it's so slow that it takes a long time.
Busy week at work. Monday I went to an arts program in Peru at night, getting lost in the dark on the way there. I had to laugh at myself--I certainly know how to get there from here, and used to live in Peru, but I missed my turn in the dark in Peasleeville and away I went, off into the deep darkness. It was all fine, I figured out where I was and got to the library on time.
Tuesday I had dinner with Annie and a friend (at Annie's). That was nice. A dark walk home, and it was cold--down to 18. Cold days at the beginning of the week, warm days at the end.
Weds. I spent the day in Malone, where I did 2 Power Point presentations. I only prepared one, someone else did the other (the GOOD one). Mine was boring, about cataloging rules. It was short, only about 9 slides, and they were all text. Anyway, it was over when it was over. That night I met Bill & Fred for dinner in Saranac. We were supposed to be taking Pat out for her birthday dinner but she didn't feel up to it so we went without her,. never ones to miss an opportunity for dining out. It was nice to be with the 2 of them.
Friday was a staff luncheon and I cooked a cheesecake Thursday night. I used a smaller pan so it was thicker and thus not quite cooked as well as it usually is, but people ate it anyway. After work I went grocery shopping then stopped at P&J's, then came home. whew.
Last weekend I imposed on Lin to drive me to Plattsburgh to buy rolls of insulation that don't fit in my car. We did some other shopping, had our usual fun, then she delivered the insulation to my house. Very nice of her. I'm having the son of a friend--who mows my lawn--and a friend of his put the insulation under the house. I don't think I have enough to do the whole house but it's a good start. They got started on Monday and plan to work tomorrow and Monday. Jamie & I did it 20 years ago but I just didn't feel like doing it this year, and had some cash to pay for it.
Not much going on in Hawkeye. My friends hunted on my land last weekend, and may return tomorrow. They found buck rub on a tree so were pretty excited. Goodness knows we have enough deer...