The sounds of spring:
Just listen to the first 10 seconds. :)
I’ve been keeping busy with work, PT, work, baking, work, a couple of trips to the international film festival in town (always a good idea), work, and some good reads.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters was well-written and, like the other two books I’ve listed below, had wonderful descriptive prose; however, the big event that occurs halfway through the book was so well described that I nearly had to put it down without finishing. I might have a queasy stomach. I managed to slog through the part that bothered me and made it to the end of the book without further pain. This put me on a book-reading binge.
I highly recommend All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Even my husband read and enjoyed it. I can’t say enough good about that book! Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng was quite good but made me cry (hello, dysfunctional families!) and I didn’t pass it on to my husband since that sort of thing isn’t his cup of tea.
For something different, my book group read Tolstoy’s “Walk in the Light” (a short story that is part of the book, Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales) which we discussed last Thursday over a meal of beef stroganoff. I admit to being thoroughly swayed by the incredible meal prepared by our chef. Frank really is a chef and it was one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Each bite was a revelation, even the salad with feta and roasted beets (beets normally make me gag). The story itself? A little too preachy for me but I admire that good arguments were presented and discussed.
Now that I completed both of the annual reports for work (one statistical, which nearly made me tear my hair out), I thought I’d have a few weeks respite. Somehow, I managed one day of breathing freely before it was time to prepare for Lent. Next will be Easter and spring break. Time passes so quickly and I still haven’t mailed the snail-mail version of our Christmas letter (which I had to rewrite over the weekend to bring it up-to-date). Let’s hope it doesn’t get lost in the mess known as my craft area.
In my defense, I can’t walk around the desk because the dog and his toys lie (lay?) in front of the pellet stove. Also, I find it impossible to work there at night or when the guys are at the computer (see photo). But those defensive words ring hollow now that I’ve written them.
EB moved home in mid-December and is still looking for a job. Since he is no longer in school and he’s used up his grace period for job-hunting, he owes us rent beginning March 1st. The dog enjoys having another person to take on long walks and the younger brother enjoys having someone around to help with chores.
In other news:
The roads have become a little scarier..
SnakeMaster has his driver’s permit. Yes, my baby is growing up! Luckily, he still let’s me hug him and call him my baby without rolling his eyes too obviously. I think he understands the benefits that come with being the youngest and amazingly he still wants me to be around.
He requested that his picture (taken for the grandparents and shared surreptitiously here) be snapped in front of this truck of which he is part-owner. Dad paid the other half and uses it to pull the Scout trailer, but SM will hold the keys once he becomes a fully licensed driver. With zero-hour classes next year plus cross-country practice after school, he will need his own transportation.
Winter appears to be over. We only received half of the usual amount of snow in the mountains — never a good thing — but soon I will need to get out and take pictures of the slow arrival of Spring.
What has been happening in your corner of the world?
An older woman whom I am proud to know as a friend [waving hello to Carol :) ] sent the following message to me in an e-mail, and I wanted to share it with my blogging friends.
I hope this poem has the same effect on you as it did me — then my forwarding it will be worth the effort.
WALK WITH ME AS I AGE
Walk with me by the water . . .
I forgot the words.
It’s been raining for several days now. I’ve learned to take pleasure in the puddles’ placid reflections during the rain breaks.
I stayed in my pajamas today until 3pm (can you tell it’s my day off?) and then put on yoga pants and a t-shirt. Honestly, there is very little difference between those two outfits. I often wear yoga pants, masquerading as dress pants, as my work attire and Sunday morning attire but I try to dress them up with a nicer top and a sweater. Lately I’ve been coming home and changing directly into “lounge wear” just to feel like I’m done for the day. It works so well that I’ve gotten very little done around the house. Instead, I check my e-mail messages and surf facebook for mindless entertainment and bits of news from friends.
Today’s to-do list (written during a sleepless 2am pacing of the house) is partially completed. I’ve called to get my assignment for Saturday, handing out cookies and coffee at a rest stop; I’ve made the first batch of cookies to take to this Boy Scout fundraiser. But mostly I’ve been sipping tea and reading a library book (The Paying Guests)… and surfing crackbook on the side.
One of the things on my to-do list was to buy myself a ticket to see Rush in concert this summer. I pulled up the website to find that most of the good seats were already sold while I was sleeping. Rush is one of my favorite bands and I really did want to see them, but at what cost? The prices for the tickets was shocking to me (decent seats were $151 before tax and other fees); the 6-hour drive to get there wasn’t too off-putting but the return trip home the next day and going directly to work was making me shudder. I hemmed and hawed while the few remaining seats of interest sold. In truth, I’d made my decision to not go but wanted to see how disappointed it made me to lose the chance. My dh told me to spend the money on something else to make me happy. I can only hope that Rush puts out a concert DVD since this tour is supposed to cover 40 years of band history and may be their final tour.
The volunteer maintenance crew at work managed to find a leak before this latest round of wet days. It wasn’t the roof per se… it was a weakened place where an old roof met a newer roof at a slant, dripping down between brick walls. (Part of the church was built in 1917, part of it was built in 1926, and part of it was built in 1956, so it’s not such a weird problem as it might seem.) I always thought that little bathroom smelled mildewy… turns out I was right! The back wall of the women’s restroom in question is now stripped to the studs. Before the rains began this week, some old gutterwork was slanted into a large bucket. I checked it on Thursday and it was 5/8 filled, so I had someone empty it before leaving.* SuperDad went back an hour later because it was raining pretty hard and sure enough, the bucket was nearly half-filled again. He added to the draining system and had it empty directly into the sink instead of a bucket. I’m glad these guys are on top of the situation — one which involved mud and climbing up between walls — I’d be wringing my hands in despair. At some point in the very near future, hard work and ingenuity won’t be enough and we’ll have to rub money on the problem. If only there was more money for rubbing…
*See what I did there? I avoided splashing my nice yoga pants with nasty leaky-roof rain water by getting someone else to empty a bucket. Not my proudest feminist moment, but my pants stayed clean and dry.
SuperDad spent the afternoon waxing his skis for a nordic race upon the mountain this weekend, a race that he looks forward to much of the year. It’s raining up there, too, and I can’t say anything to make it better. My comment about waterskis earned a glowering scowl. Obviously, humor is not helpful in this matter. He’s currently taking out his frustrations on raw vegetables: chopping and grating.
Tonight there were pretty pink and purple clouds to the west — the first color I’ve seen in what feels like ages. Between the warm winter rain, the wind chimes singing in the breeze, and something brighter in the sky than varying shades of gray, it feels like spring is on its way.