Posted in A Bit of That, A Bit of This, Art, Blogging, Friends, Holidays, New Year's Day

Back From the Dead…Or Headed That Way

Sparkler
Lighting the Dark

I was planning to give up on wordpress.com. The interface became bogged down with multiple ways to add posts and pages. I was becoming more enamored of just plain ol’ WordPress, the kind you install on your own web host and customize from there. While WordPress.com kept getting slower and less efficient, wordpress-just-wordpress was becoming easier and easier to use.

So, why am I back? Maybe I just need to talk, to re-enter the forum I’d deserted so long ago. Maybe Facebook posts just don’t do it for me anymore. They’re not enough. Maybe the ready-made community here was the better option, at least for now.

I use WordPress a lot for my work. I even run a multisite network and learning how to manage that has been a trip and a half. But, maybe for some things anyway, I just need you.

Maybe it’s the new year. I’ve left a lot of my artistic inclinations on the floor as I’ve dealt with work-related issues which are always harder for someone who’s self-employed. I’ve had some medical issues, some of which seem to be retreating and others of which are somewhat more stable than they were before. Maybe 2018 will be kinder than 2017, 2016 and 2015. I’m looking forward to it, at least.

So…HELLOOOOOO out there. I may have nothing but my own voice echoing back to me in a vast, empty cavern. But, maybe some of you are still here. Maybe we can get a little something going that doesn’t include visits to medical specialists and therapists from a number of different backgrounds. Maybe 2017 taught me a little something about reaching out and finding another hand taking mine.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Friends, Just Bitching, Writing

Infuriations

I’m slowly recovering from my cold. I spent all of yesterday in bed. I didn’t even get up to change out of my pajamas. Can’t remember the last time that happened.

While I was browsing, trying to ignore the differences in pressure between one ear and the other, a friend of mine posted something absolutely wonderful: a listing of the things that infuriate her the most. This is not your typical meme – she clearly spent some time crafting this. After this weekend, I definitely have some things to add to the pile!

From Lynette’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing Blog: “Life’s Little Infuriations

My very wise friend Lynette

People who say, “I’m a good person.”

The variations in sizing among women’s clothing manufacturers. Sometimes I wear a 6, or even a 4. Other times a 10. Impossible to order clothes via the Web.

People who keep talking, even start a new topic, after I say, “Well, goodbye, I have to go (or hang up) now.”

Those who only want to communicate via phone, never email, although I ask if we can do a little of both. On the phone I have to be on my toes, unreflective, ready to ask and answer. Not to mention that the caller and I have to organize our schedules so that we’re both available at the same time.

The impossibility of finding an address to write a letter or email to a company.

Bloggers whose posts I share, who never, under any circumstances share mine, although we write on related topics for similar audiences.

Having to buy big sealed plastic bags of food or bunches of produce for just my husband and me.

Excessive skincare product packaging.

Most recent check-in time for B&Bs: 4:00. Out the next day by 11:00 a.m. Charged for 24 hours, but getting only 19.

People who insist, they’ve “always wanted to write,” but never make an attempt.

Oh, and stale cupcakes sold to me by my neighborhood baker, after I asked if they were fresh, and how I could keep them fresh until my guests ate them 28 hours later.

Her reply: “Oh, yes. Don’t worry about that.”

When I noticed half a red velvet cupcake was left uneaten by a sugar-loving friend, I cracked off a piece. Hard. Dry.

When I told the baker about it, she blamed her refrigerator and offered neither a refund nor replacement. I used to buy pastries from her as an end-of-the-course treat for my creative writing students; but she’s lost my business.

 

Okay, so, here are a few of my own:

People who say, “do what you love and the money will follow.” If you love robbing banks, then this is probably true.

Getting a cold and having to flip in bed from one side to the other to avoid congestion in one nostril and then the other. This drives me absolutely nuts.

On the same subject, changes in ear pressure. One ear is fine, the other one is occluded. Damn, I hate that.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Blogging, Christmas, Friends, Hanukkah, Holidays

Safe and Sound

The presents have been opened. The food’s been prepared and then eaten. Even the leftovers are gone. The families have been telephoned or visited. We’re done for another year.

It was a nice Christmas and a nice Hanukkah, too. Went to a neighborhood Argentinian restaurant (of all places) for our Christmas Eve dinner. Had a lovely meal, then meandered back home to open presents. We videotaped the event for the folks back home, since I have a blog just for them. Then my husband’s side of the family came over on Christmas day and we were treated to fresh latkes (potato pancakes) by his mom, along with a wonderful roasted chicken and salad, made with ingredients from a gourmet food gift box my brother sent me.  More presents were exchanged – nothing huge and complicated. Overall, an enormous amount of fun on both days.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday, whichever one or ones you’ve celebrated. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy all of your blogs, by the way? I don’t always get a chance to respond, but I do read them all. It’s wonderful to have so many friends in so many places, not just here in the US but in Australia, India, Britain and elsewhere. I’m fortunate, indeed.

Here’s to friendship and to blogging!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Friends

My Room of 8 (Thousand)

I got a rather inspiring email from an old, and dear, friend of mine this afternoon. I liked it so much I thought I’d share this wish with all of you:

“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

Happy Valentine’s Day and pass it on!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Blogging, Friends, Life, Writing

Thoughts on a Wintry Night

We’ve managed our way through the second of two major snow storms in the last 30 days. My husband was outside shoveling for four hours yesterday. I looked outside after the snow stopped coming down to see shoveled walkways that looked like canyons, with walls of snow on either side.

I hope the rest of 2011 gets a little better for the world. It’s been okay for us, at least in terms of the insurance reimbursement from our recent plumbing adventure. The rest of human kind, from Arizona to Brazil and thence to Brisbane, has not been so fortunate. I think we need to take stock of what we’re doing to ourselves and then stop doing it. Denial of warning signs: economic instability, global climate change, you name it, has gotten us to this point. We started it. We need to stop it.

At least I’m writing again, and a lot. I just finished an article for a newsletter that’s affiliated with Sisters in Crime, a national writers group for women mystery writers. I was asked to write about social media, and suggest ways that unpublished (published, too) writers can use it effectively. I do that stuff in my sleep at this point, so I was happy to oblige. Hey, maybe some readers will call me for a paying consult! We can always hope.

I’m playing around with some new screen and video editing tools. I’ve gotten past the “duh-I-don’t-get-it” stage and am actually starting to have a little fun playing around with it. I have a new lapel microphone, too, that makes me sound pretty darned decent. Just don’t ask me to sing, or at least don’t ask me to sing in the wrong key!

Goodnight, all. Sleep tight. Stay dry, stay warm, stay cool. We shall all make it through, somehow.

Posted in Friends, Just Bitching

I’ll Have A Valium. Double. Straight Up.

Spent today at my in-laws house, after driving here at 11:30 pm last night. I’m staying here, and I’m staying at my house. Last night I realized I’d left medication at the in-laws house, so had to drive back at that ungodly hour. It’s about a 30 minute drive without traffic and a nightmare with traffic. I was a nervous wreck by the time I got here and woke up so exhausted that I completely forgot about a meeting I was supposed to have with someone this afternoon – near my house.

I have to say, the in-laws are taking very good care of us. Only problem is with the internet connections here. I couldn’t get online with my netbook so was unable to work the entire day. I occasionally booted up a computer here to check email (and write this blog post!), but my computer has my stuff on it and it’s hard to work on anything else. So, I spent the day driving around Newton, getting lost, and finally finding a gas station, a drug store and a Trader Joe’s. I felt better after that. I only got turned around completely one time, which is some kind of new record for me. I need a GPS to find the corner drug store.

But, my family and my friends are taking care of me. I have to say, I’m very grateful. I got an email from a business friend of mine, who’s been reading about my recent travails via this blog. She facilitated an introduction to another plumber and another builder, one of whom has already called me to find out if he can help. Dawn, thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re on my list of kind hearts and logical heads.

I’ll be heading back home to Arlington with the hubby tomorrow. We have some clean up to do, both in the basement (which is still backing up, but less so) as well as the refrigerator. We haven’t been home all week to cook and we can’t empty things down the drain, so…we definitely have some science projects in there. You might not want to visit without a respirator. Just follow the bleach and that’s where we’ll be!

Posted in Blogging, Friends

Random Acts of Kindness

It’s important to remember the basic goodness of people when bad things happen. Right now I’m sitting in my in-laws’ house. They fed me a fabulous dinner and I’ll be taking advantage of their shower for a second time. This time, I’ll be staying over. They’ve been very supportive through this. I feel very lucky.

It’s impossible to get any work done at the house. There are too many distractions. I may hole myself up in the library tomorrow. I have a lot of work to catch up with, and some deadlines that are just beginning to loom.

But, before it slips my mind: I’d like to thank all you blog readers, too. You’ve all been really wonderful – funny, supportive, kind-hearted and informative. Your comments have made some terrible days tolerable. Yes, it’s good to have a sense of humor, as I do. But, it’s also nice to know other people are thinking about me and wishing me well.

Talk to you later. Big hugs and kisses to you all!

Posted in Food, Friends

Setting The World To Rights

I’ve just spent the last two days setting the earth on its proper axis, first by spending half of yesterday helping a friend set up her restaurant website, followed by her offering to host my hubby and I for dinner that night. I wasn’t expecting that, but figured it would be a great way to end the week. In return for helping her with various and sundry computer tasks, including getting up a very rudimentary version of http://www.proserestaurant.com, the hubby and I were treated to:

  • Roasted cauliflower bisque with caraway seeds and raw milk Blue d’Auvergne cheese
  • Chicken thighs roasted in pimenton glaze over bulgur wheat
  • “Mofungo”: Braised Chestnut Farms pork belly over mashed plantains, celeriac, garlic, chilies and Chestnut Farms smoked bacon in lobster cream sauce
  • Sauteed greens with garlic, lemon and olive oil
  • Prose baked custard with Massachusetts maple syrup, caraway mead and goats milk

Burp. Not to mention some very nicely paired Australian Syrah and excellent after-dinner coffee. And, I’m pretty sure there was another vegetarian dish we tried, but I can’t remember it now.

We had fireworks last night, too, to kick off Arlington Town Day. The restaurant is just down the street from them (as is our house!) so we wandered outside from time to time to check them out. Prose is the kind of restaurant where you can do that.

Sometimes you just have to fight fire with water. I did a favor for a friend, a friend who’s had a restaurant in that spot for 15 years and who deserves to have it there another 15 more. It was a chance to to do right by someone, after an encounter with someone who didn’t seem to want to do right by me. I went home from the task with my computer in-hand and a light, bright feeling inside.