|October 20, 2004
When I took Nathan out to the bus stop, it was still raining like mad. When I came inside 15 minutes later, it was snowing like mad... great big clumsy flakes that melted when they hit the wet ground. Last night, we had an intense sleet storm, complete with thunder and lightening. Eric and I sat on the balcony, huddled in blankets, watching it fall and hearing it hit the tin roof on the office extension. Eric had his high power flashlight that he would shoot out into the darkness so we could watch the storm. It was cold enough that our breath showed really strongly and in the flashlight, it looked like heavy smoke.
The show has stopped now, but the rain is still pouring down. I'm glad we live on the top of the mountain. There is a lot of flooding below. I'm betting the fire is out by now.
It's just after 9am and today has already been challenging. I ran out of Remifemin before I could get more and so didn't have any for a few days. The restless nights came back in force and this morning, I woke up feeling edgy and frustrated before I even got out of bed. Nathan, bless his heart, was particularly jabbery and just talked and talked and talked all morning. I've dropped everything I've touched practically and it looks like my house exploded over night and is in dire need of cleaning.
I worked all day yesterday on book reviews and only got 7 done. It seemed like they took forever. Only 39 books left to go!
Guess I'll go do the responsible thing and take a nap. Maybe I'll wake up to a world that is in order and to my liking.
Oh, by the way, I found a half a card of Remifemin, so I took 2. I need to catch up. :)
October 19, 2004
Whoooo-eeee! When it comes, it comes! All the time the last hurricane was pummeling the South East coast, I was working to pull it over here. We've needed the rain for a long, long time. Our summers are very dry, which is what brings on the fire danger and our winters are very wet, with lots of rain in the Sacramento Valley and evidently, a good bit of that precipitation turning to snow here in Grizzly Flats.
We had heavy rain all day Sunday. I had to laugh at Nathan, outside in his coat and little Batman tennis shoes, riding his bike in circles like mad in the torrential rain, happy as a lark.
We pretty much never have thunder storms here, a casualty of living too close to the coast. The static electricity doesn't build up sufficiently. Maybe 2-3 times a year we'll get some good thunder.
We also don't have fireflies/lightening bugs. Not sure why that is. A clerk at my favorite thrift store who was raised here said they use to have them long ago. Delena saw them when we visiting Kentucky when she was two and a half, but other than that, my kids pretty much equate them with unicorns and griffins.
Yesterday was clear, but today the wind is blowing with gusts up to 40mph (lame for the hurricane survivors, but hey, it gives these 500 year old trees a bend over) and heavy rain. It's scheduled to turn to slow in altitudes over 4000 feet. We're at about 4200. After I got Nathan on the bus, I figured I should bring in wood while I was still cold and wet. Sadly, so is the wood, although it is tarp covered the moisture still sinks in. Fortunately, if I can get something of a fire going, I can put pieces of wood interchangeably on top of the wood stove and it will dry out just in time to toss it into the fire. It's a process. :)
The good news is that through this, we haven't had to use the electric heat once, even though the temperature has been in the forties. The wood stove has done a fine job of keeping us warm. Eric has several avenues for getting wood, so we should be set for the winter.
The rain is supposed to let up in the next two days, so the weather should be clear for the graveyard crawl on Saturday, only with nice, rich, earthy ground rather than hard, dry thirsty stuff.
For now, the wind is whipping around the house, making that whooo whoooo sound and the rain is pelting against the windows in a very Katrina way.
We had quite a surprise the weekend that Eric's father was here. We went down to the mining claim ("Papa's River," as the grandgirls call it) and normally there is a very easy grade that takes you from the bumpy entry road directly down to the river, which at that point is about 20 or so feet across and on the average, just up to about the ankles. On the opposite side, there's an equally gentle grade up and into an old abandoned boy scout camp with trails and such. People like to ride their dirt bikes and quads across the river there to get from one side of the river to the other. It's an easy cross by vehicle or foot. We love it there because the water is so low that the kids can play freely and we don't have to hike from the car. The grade down is so wide that we can pull up, park the car and walk right into the water. I usually set up a lawn chair at or in the water and bask while the kids play and Eric pans for gold or smokes his pipe. It's silent back there and no power lines cross over, so for the most part, unless a plane goes over or a bike or quad comes through, you'd not be able to tell what century you were in. The plants are huge and the wildlife stays hidden for the most part.
When we went on that particular weekend, we were a little blow away to find the grade down completely blocked by a giant, felled fir tree. At first, we thought high winds had taken it, but closer examination revealed that it was cut down. Eric and his dad, by rings, estimated the age of the tree between 500-1000 years old. The rings were so dense at the center that they couldn't count them well to get an accurate assessment. The tree, lying down on its side, came up just above my waist. No more driving down to Papa's River. We manage to scale the tree and tossed our chairs and such over. We were all pretty bummed about it. It wasn't so much about the access, which admittedly, was inconvenient. It was more of the issue that it was a living tree that was extremely huge and old and when it went down, it took out a few other trees that were also living. It was like seeing a great warrior dead on the battle field.
I'm very protective of the trees around here, which surprises me. I'd never really thought much of it before beyond the senselessness of seeing dead Christmas tree bodies piled up on the curbside the week after the holidays. When I came up here and saw these big guys, shooting far up into the sky, I had the distinct feeling that regardless of whose name was on the mortgage papers, we were on their territory. When we were struggling to get by before he got his steady job, Eric talked of lumbering a couple of the bigger trees and I pretty much begged him not to. I couldn't bear it. I'm usually extremely pragmatic, but this time, I just couldn't wrap my head around it. They trust us to live in harmony with them, not to use them for our own gain.
I'm watching them bend in the strong winds, rocking back and forth and thinking about how they have weathered so much more than this over the years and yet, they still stand. That whole "bend in the wind" theory is a good one.
I suspect today is a good book review day. The site is well sustained and I'm not feeling particularly motivated to write about anything soapy. The wonderful weather is perfect for delving into this (huge) pile of Witchy books and giving them their due. None of my homeys are online to talk to and the only housework I have to do is a bit of laundry. Dylan is playing PS2 and Nathan won't be home for another two and a half hours. Even after he's home, there's about a 70% chance that he'll go off on his own and do his own thing.
That leaves me so good time to get into these babies and whip out some good reviews. I have, lessee, 10 Tarot decks and 46 books to do, then I get to order more. I love my life.
Or maybe I'll take a nap.
That could be good too.
Naps are my friend.
I'll leave you with a
song I found by one of my favorite groups, "Sweet Honey in the Rock."
This one made me cry.
They unfolded your lives one by one
They laid out your patchwork under the sun
And people gathered from miles around
To witness your quilt spread on the ground.
And then they called out your name
Oh yes they called out your name
Oh and you will live forever
You know that I'll be loving you
Just like a patchwork quilt.
Well there were men and women, mothers and fathers
Sisters and brothers, daughters and sons
And children and babies, and lovers and friends
They all lay before me sewn into one.
Your lives had meaning and your lives had joy
You touches so many people, many more than you will know
And you wrapped yourselves around me
As I walked along these rows
You're letting me feel your beautiful souls.
I feel the warmth of your lives I feel the warmth of your lives
Oh and you will live forever
You know that I'll be loving you
Just like a patchwork quilt.
My heart spills over, flowing with tears. I cry for your suffering and for your shortened years. And I'll take you with me as I walk away, Remembering you who have died with AIDS.
Yes, I remember your names
Oh I remember your names
Oh and you will live forever
You know that I'll be loving you
Just like a patchwork quilt.
Go now! Download it! Cry with me! It's good for you.
Meanwhile, she does the reviews, until the brownouts take away the juice to the computer.
October 17, 2004
I forgot to tell you a weird thing that happened to me last Friday when we were waiting for my in-laws to arrive. Eric was on his way home from work (which that week was a 2 hour process), the house was immaculate and I was napping on the couch. We knew they were arriving sometime in the afternoon, but weren't sure when and Eric said they had good maps and might simply drive up rather than calling for specific directions once they got to the mountain top.
As I was dozing, the phone rang and the caller ID said, "Florida Call." Since they are from Florida (adoing!), it seemed reasonable to presume it was the folks calling to check in. Right at that moment, a woman opened my screen door (the wood door was already open) and said, "Hello?? Is anyone here?" I had never met my father-in-law's very dear, long term girlfriend, but it was easy to recognize her from the pictures I'd seen. The Florida call was lost, so I said, "He must have hung up when he saw you walk in the house, knowing it was the right house. Hi, I'm Katrina." I gave her a big hug and told her how great it was to finally meet her. How was her trip?
She told me it was fine and that it was great to meet me too. I asked her if she wanted coffee or something else to drink or eat and she said no, she'd gotten something in Placerville.
I asked if Bill was getting suitcases or if he was going to sit in the car all day and she said, "Who?"
I said, "Aren't you Ann?"
She said, "No, I just wanted to ask directions to Leoni Meadows.
OK, then. Gave her directions and ushered one very confused lady out the door to Leoni Meadows.
The rain actually did come a day early after being predicted for Monday all week. The smoke cleared out yesterday afternoon with only a lingering bonfire smell outside and this morning, I woke up around 4 to hear the rain pelting on the roof. I smiled and snuggled back into my covers (for about the 10th time that night).
My plan to get rested this weekend isn't really working well yet. Kids and cats and (why am I feeling urged to write, "sacks and wives" after that? lol) my bladder are all conspiring to keep me awake. I hope to take a nap later today after I do the shed and Eric harvests a good bit of wood from a felled fir tree in a friend's yard.
If the rain keeps up, I won't be able to do the shed and they won't be able to do the tree, so all that could be subject to change.
Pictures of Delena's Halloween costume (self-designed) are here.
See you soon!
October 15, 2004
*Whew* The new and improved Eye on Soaps launched today, three days ahead of schedule. It was quite a job, but still went faster and more smoothly than I expected. We went live with it about an hour or so ago. Sherry happened to be online at the time and got to be the first person to officially log onto it as our main index. I have wanted to clean it up for a long time now and feel better that it's done on the outside. Now, I just have to tidy up the parts of the site that are hiding in closets unseen.
The webset I chose yesterday didn't play well with the new design (I didn't really think that one through), so I reverted to another old favorite that works better. (Thanks, Ty!)
The smoke is hanging in the air and ash is still falling in little flakes from the wildfires. They're about 8-10 miles away, but they are downhill from us and there is no wind at all. We're supposed to get good rain on Monday and I'm working to pull it in sooner. I doubt we'll burn. We'll just get smoky. It looks less dense than it did this morning. We're running the AC on fan only and it keeps the house clean and clear.
Everyone had schedule conflicts for New Moon meeting. Actual New Moon was two nights ago, but I didn't know then that we weren't working tonight, so I'll go do my thing on my own. As long as we're within a couple of days each way, it's cool. The energy will still be around to gather in. For New Moon, the emphasis is on creating new things, new beginnings and manifestation. (From Full Moon to New Moon, the emphasis is getting things to diminish, on endings and on banishing) I'm going to be working for a boost in our financial income, more energy and motivation and peace in my home. The kids have been buggin' a bit lately and I want to be able to regain the tranquility that I had for a while.
Turkeys were on sale "buy one get one free" at Albertsons, so I grabbed two. I was going to make one tonight, but Eric is going to be late from visiting a friend, so I'll wait until tomorrow. I'm about to do my quick clean on the house and then I'll relax for the night.
Joe suggested a new TV series to me and I'm bound to become addicted. It's on Showtime and is called "Dead Like Me." It's about a group of grim reapers and is great fun. I got the pilot from Netflix and now I'm on the first disk of the season. So far, it's dramatic and hilarious. Check it out, but don't force me into a "short wait" for my next disk, a'ite?
I plan to spend a good bit of the weekend resting. It will be good to be out of this chair for a bit. Delena and I will make the weekly grocery run, but other than that, I'm going to kick back a bit. Shit. I remembered that I have to go through the shed and get out the Harvest/Halloween decorations. Crap. OK, other than that, I plan to rest, plus Eric can help me move the stuff back and forth. Two hours tops. I can deal with that. The rest of the time, I'm going to read and rest and watch TV and be a layabout. I'll be online checking mail and chatting a bit, but I don't plan to actually work until Sunday night when I do the spoiler commentary.
Hope all of you have a pleasant weekend and are blessed with joy and rest and fun.
October 14, 2004
I was looking through past journals for a theme to stick with for a while and settled on this one from September 15th of this year. I'm not sure if I just got tired of clicking links or if I really like it. I'm not feeling like myself lately and so I'm working on not making any major decisions. Forget that what picture shows up on my nonsoapy isn't a particularly major decision, but these days, it feels like it. I'll just do true journal style and list the entries one on top of the last for awhile. It will make posting easier. This was originally called "Aimless Contemplation of the Coming Harvest Moon." I figured cropping it to "Aimless Contemplation" pretty much covered what I do here.
Today has been an odd day. The sun forgot to come up. We have wildfires a good distance from here and the smoke is obscuring the sky so that there's an orange pall to everything and it's extremely overcast. The pine needles have been falling like mad, so the road is about 7 inches wide with huge margins of needles eating up each side and they are almost exactly the same color as the air. The sun is a red jackball in the sky. White ash is snowing over everything. Last night, Eric shined a high powered flashlight up in the darkness and it looked like a blizzard. We aren't in any danger, but it's really strange outside.
Last night, Eric stopped by to check the hospital and see how our dog, Spooky, is doing and was told he has already been adopted out. Our neighbor had agreed to adopt him for us over a week ago and I prayed that she'd picked him up, but a phone call revealed that she never made it down to check into it. So he's gone and he's not coming back. It was a little stunning for all of us to have it be so final. I still miss him every day.
In the Tarot, there is a card called "The Tower" that means the breaking down of all you considered to be permanent and relied upon. It comes up when the rug is being pulled out from under your feet and your world is turned upside a bit. Certainly, I'm not in the worst place I've ever been, but I'm really feeling challenged lately. I could feel that Spooky was going to come home and it went beyond just entertaining what I wanted to have happen. I'm usually not wrong when I feel something that strong. It's not even an ego thing. It's more of a "huh?" thing. My spidey sense is something I trust as much as my physical vision or my hearing. It really throws me when it's so far off.
Eric got off on a tangent last night, complaining about a few things he doesn't like about me. I couldn't even work up the energy to argue the points. Just watched his mouth moving and forming the words. My mind drifted to trying to remember the names of the ventriloquist and dummy on the show, "Soap." Bob and Chuck, of course, the same first names as the Head Writers of General Hospital, except the roles are reversed. Corrinne was married to... Father Tim! Eunice was with Dutch the Convict! Burt's son who was murdered multiple times in tandem was... Peter Campbell! Meanwhile, he continued on and on.
"Are you doing that thing where you glaze over???"
"Benson. I mean no. I'm listening."
Jody's last name was Dallas and his father was Johnny Dallas who was Mary's first husband, who Burt inadvertently killed. I think. Cemented him into a bridge. Yeah.
"...a pay site or even pop ups would generate at least SOME income for the hours you spend in front of that goddamned computer every day, hours for which our family receives no compensation..."
...then Burt told Mary that an airplane had landed on the freeway...
"...won't even ENTERTAIN the idea because you don't want to make your esteemed fans sad..."
...and the time he thought he was invisible and the bathtub scene where Mary said, "No, Burt, I can still see you" and he replied, "No you can't..."
"...using your resources babbling about a pay site being the kiss of death when you don't KNOW..."
...left the dummy, Bob, behind, on the booth seat, one leg swinging, and told the waiter Bob would pick up the tab...
"...depressed or not, there are certain obligations you are beholden to..."
...Robert Urich! From Vegas! That's who played the playboy tennis pro...
"...driving 5 hours a day and working a full day on top of that to not make enough money to live on, to have health insurance, to get a decent vehicle and here you sit..."
... Benson saying, "You want me to get that?" heh heh heh
I never really know what to do with Eric when he's upset. He goes into a "take no prisoners" mode and is out for the kill. I've tried most coping reactions I know. I've cried. I've reasoned. I've argued. I've listened. I've left. Nothing seems to work short of letting him get it all out. Fortunately, it doesn't happen that often any more. I noticed a while back that I almost never get mad at him except in response to one of his rants. Otherwise, he's a pretty decent guy and doesn't much piss me off.
But then, I am not easy to piss off to start with. Once someone gets me to the point of really having me angry about something, they have to have pushed and pushed and pushed. In other words, if you manage to piss me off, you must have really worked hard at it and ignored a lot of really blatant red flags. At that point, I figured they've worked really, really hard to push my buttons and ignore my boundaries, so screw it.
People have been rearranging themselves in my life a good bit, which is common for this time of year. As harvest closes, the things that won't serve you in the coming year fall away, by choice or by design. By nature, harvest is a time of intense change, just as its opposite side, Spring is change. One is life and one is a form of death. When we harvest from the fields, part of the plant dies that we might live. That means by its own dynamic, worn into time for thousands of years, harvest time is one of sacrifice and "survival of the fittest." Maybe that's why we hold our elections just after harvest ends. (ha)
My sweetheart, Sherry (she's such a good friend I will forever call her "my sweetheart," I think) and I were talking about this election and how it's really bringing out the teeth and claws in people. It's pretty scary how bunged up people are getting about it. There doesn't seem to be any "agree to disagree." It's all out civil war and if you aren't voting for a person's patron candidate, you are casting a vote against the safety and sanctity of their family and them's fightin' words. It's not just a difference of preference. It's an attack on home and hearth.
I'm a firm believer in things pushing ever toward their greatest good, so I'm not one to get all wadded up about what may happen or freaking out if things don't go my way. I have one candidate that I warm to a bit more than the other one, especially since last night's debate. I like the way he presents himself and what he has to say. Sherry feels the same way about the other candidate, so we decided that since we'd just cancel out each other's votes, we'll clink together our beer bottles and agree to stay home and watch the bedlam ensue. See, people, it's not hard. You just understand that different people have different political needs and personal preferences, cast your vote, then stand back and let democracy do its thing. Every four years, we spin the wheel and someone wins and someone loses. Either way, I can't afford health insurance and who ever wins will go into office looking spit polished and emerge four years later looking 20 years older and like 47 miles of bad road. I'd better be careful, or Sean Penn's going to write me a letter.
See ya later,
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