I have friends who can’t stop themselves from writing. They don’t understand how I can NOT write. They can tell I’m literate, and I edit their things and help make them better, and I can tell funny story, so they just assume I must be able to write too. But what they don’t know is that almost all the funny stories I tell are just true.
My family is just interesting and funny, and we go interesting places and funny things happen to us. When I’m with them, and someone does something, I say, “you know you’re going to be chapter 57 when I write my book!” We’ve even decided what the title should be. And Then There Was More Food, because there always is. We laugh until we cry, and then we go back for more pie.
Yesterday went well, once I finally got in gear. I slept until 10:30, and only woke up then because Thomas started playing piano to wake me up. But after some fumbling around and making tea, I began working on stuff for Elance. I'm trying to put together things for our portfolio. I was having good ideas and making some progress when bedtime came around. I had trouble getting to sleep and trouble staying asleep, which is probably why I'm up now--too many ideas going 'round in my head.
The champagne glasses I ordered for Brian and Mallory’s wedding arrived, as tiny little pieces of glass. Amazon has a good return policy though, and told me they were shipping new ones today, and not to worry about returning the broken pieces. They were going to pay for return shipping, but it’s good to not have to worry about taping everything back up and making ship UPS gets it.
Thomas was a good sport at Ann’s, wrapping tulle up as we cut it, and other equally exciting jobs. We did get several things accomplished, but Thomas wasn’t really used to the best of his abilities. I also got signed up to bring home and print the programs and some place cards, and I’ll be picking up the groom’s cake at Publix. I volunteered. I’m actually having a lot of fun, enjoying the bride-side of a wedding, which I would otherwise never have a chance to do.
It’s been a full day, and I’m ready to relax, and fall asleep.
Today was just slow and stay home. Slight headache, not much accomplished, except I did take an Elance test and rank in the top 5% in English Word Usage.
Monday I got right up and got on over to Ann’s pretty early, after only taking care of a few duties at home and making sure Thomas had a list for the day.
I caught her out in the yard. She offered to stop with the landscaping and go on in, but I told her I thought she ought to take advantage of the slightly cooler temps and the nice breeze we were having, and she agreed. So we spent a couple of hours outside, and I ended up helping her move a shrub from one spot to another. We both worked up an impressive sweat. There are pictures. I’ve got to remember to ask her for copies, so maybe I can add them here.
We had lunch together, and then started on another wedding project. We were cutting tulle lengths and sorting them out for use in making chair decorations. We got a little over half done. We’ll probably work on that some more tomorrow. Thomas and I both will be going over for some more wedding prep fun. At some point Bethany and another woman, Inez, showed up with the dress. It looks incredible on Bethany, better than the pictures in the catalog. It was fun spending time with women, chatting and keeping our hands busy.
I've spent most of it with my good friend Ann, whom I really haven't been able to spend time with much the last year, and her daughter Bethany, the bride-to-be. Yes, the same Bethany that comes every other week and helps with the cleaning. Or, some weeks, does what little cleaning gets done around here. I love to spend time with Ann, and I hate that we go so long sometimes without seeing each other. But she has a grandchild she takes care of and I have trips to hospitals to make.
The wedding is the 18th, and Ann and Bethany are trying to do too much all by themselves. The bridesmaids and cousins and so on that usually help with this sort of stuff are out of town or busy, and Bethany doesn't have any sisters. So I'm pitching in as the Crazy ole Aunt, and Thomas is helping because he doesn't have aything else pressing right now, and he also has a small stake in the wedding. Well, maybe bigger than small. He's the musician. He'll be playing the piano during the ceremony, for the prelude hymn, procession, etc. and during the reception he's going to play violin music. I'm hoping word gets around and he gets more "gigs" that might actually pay. He's doing this one as a gift to Bethany and also Ann. She's been really good to him over the years, and a happy, positive force in his life.
Pretty much all day Saturday I spent with them, forgetting entirely that Thomas had a Pizza party to go to and I was in the only car he likes to drive. By the time he called and asked where was I it was too late to get home and him get to the party even reasonably late. I felt so bad I took him to Ruby Tuesdays and We had their fabulous, cooked to order burger. They will actually cook you an almost rare burger, the way I like them. Thomas likes Medium rare, and that's not as easy to get as you think it is. Nobody wants the liability of serving you meat that might still be pink. But at Ruby Tuesdays' they let you be a grown-up and make your own decisions about meat. Then, as we were moaning about how good the food was, I sprung it on him that it was also a little bit of a bribe, and that I wanted him to come back to Ann's with me on Sunday to help with things like putting together favors and painting latticework for a backdrop, etc. He didn't really need a bribe, he loves Ann too, and doesn't mind being helpful, but it was fun to go eat our bribes!
Sunday we did just that. We spent the morning running around my house cleaning and doing laundry and the afternoon sorting flowers and putting together fru-frus and nailing and painting old lattice work (well, Bruce, Ann's husband, did most of the actual painting with a giant paint sprayer, but Thomas did lifting and toting and nailing and moving and such). But we also had cake, left over from the bridal shower. And Thomas left for a couple of hours to go practice at the Fret Shop with his medieval music group (Consort a L'Ancienne). So it wasn't only work.
Today for a while we're going back and helping cut and tie tulle for chair decorations, etc. When I say they were doing it all by themselves, I meant ALL. They do have a caterer, and a cake person, and a florist for the live flowers, but most of the flower decorations are being put together right there at Ann's. And thy bought a wedding gown, and bridesmaid gowns, but Ann is doing the alterations on the bridesmaid gowns, and sewing the flower girl dress. I'm preaching at her about being able to delegate a little better, but it's too late now! So, once again, I'm glad I only have boys.
Today was a frustrating day at Target. I was trying to get two wedding gifts and a bridal shower gift. Plus a few quick groceries. It took all afternoon. Allegedly both brides were registered there, but one only had one item there, and the other had let her fiancé pick too many things. And I’m sorry, but I am not giving video games, or video game systems or 40” televisions or brown washcloths to anyone for their wedding. And I always forget how badly laid out target is. Just because something is on shelf C34 doesn’t mean you can find C34. It’s nowhere near the D-F shelves. And as best we could tell, there are no A or B shelves. And if something says “limited quantities,” that’s code for it was on sale, and there ain’t no more. After finally finding 2 of 3 gifts (one on a registry, one not) we wheeled over to groceries for about 15 things. The grocery section is even less intuitively laid out, and it turned out that half the things we wanted aren’t groceries and are spread out about the store in other places: shampoo (cosmetics), hand soap (Pharmacy), scrubbing sponge pads (housewares, with the mops), pet supplies. However, toilet paper is in the grocery section. And vinegar.
We came home exhausted. The good thing about wandering around was that we passed through frozen foods and I scored some frozen TGIFridays tater skins, so supper was happy.
Now I just need to wrap the shower gift.
I know it’s petty. Compared to how bad things were, complaining about today’s migraine is like someone who’s jst spent months with broken legs up in traction then complaining about a sprained ankle. But still, a sprain can leave you unable to walk. And today has been one of those migraine days where none of the various drugs or combinations has completely done the job. I keep trying to focus on the fact that this will be an isolated incident, as opposed to a four-days-a-week affair. I just hate that I’ve wasted most of a day not being able to think clearly.
I started reading Freakonomics today. It’s immediately interesting. Both of my boys have read it and raved about it. But it keeps being loaned to someone else before I can catch it. So I had to order it on PaperBackSwap. Which is okay, I have a lot of credits to use. I’ve been letting Mat order books, and he’s managed to order 17-18, but that still leaves me about 15-16 credits.
Speaking of PBS.com, I got an App for it. (I love my new iPhone toy.) Now instead of logging onto the site and entering the 10-digit ISBN, I just aim my phone at the bar code, and it beeps and the book is listed! It is entirely too cool. I threatened to scan every book in my house, but I don’t want to swap most of them. I wonder if there’s a app for just scanning them into a spreadsheet or database?
Thomas and I also spent some time calming down Bethany. She’s getting married in a couple of weeks, and she’s about ready to turn into Bridezilla. Thomas is the wedding musician. He’s playing piano before and during the wedding, then playing violin during the reception. He played a few things for her today, and reassured her that at least the music would be beautiful.
ETA: There is a book database app, called iBook! Scanning as we speak.
We are now an official business with our own EIN. We work online, through a virtual business site called Elance. (Elance.com is like a big virtual temp agency.) We are editors, writers, proofers, helpers, etc. Nanette has worked through Elance before in the summer when she wasn't teaching and made some spending money. It was her idea that if we teamed up, we might could make serious money. She claimed it'd be just like Beta Reading, only for money, but it's not. Beta reading is relaxed, and I pick who I want to Beta and when. And it's fiction. In genres I like to read.
On Elance, the "providers" (authors, other editors, entrepreneurs with ideas, etc.) list their work (e.g. 105.000 word young adult fiction manuscript or 120,000 word diet book with charts and menus) and the contractors (me and NJ) write up proposal/bids. And usually anywhere from 10 to 20 other folks/companies bid on it, and then one gets picked. We've bid on 20-30 things, and gotten exactly one job, with one follow-up from that same provider. Hey, it's better than nothing. And we're learning more about how to write up bids, and which kinds of jobs to bid on. Some providers are obviously just picking low bid. Some jobs go for so little I'd have rather done them for nothing.
The bad part is that no one's sent me anything to Beta since I told them I've started to do this for money. I was quite clear I intended to keep doing Beta work for just love. Maybe they imagine I'm just covered up with paying work and don't have time. That is, of course, most definitely NOT the case, and never will be.
Sometimes I don't write, because I think, "Who cares? No one wants to read that, or will." Sometimes I don't write because I'm afraid someone might read it. Maybe in both cases I'm just lazy and rationalizing.
Rook wrote me a story. I gave her a plot bunny, basically the song, "Behind Blue Eyes" by the Who, especially the line, "My love is vengeance, that's never free." She wrote a perfect Henry/Christina story from it. I'm savoring it just to myself now, but I'll probably let her publish it somewhere too.
We rise to speak
a web of bodies aligned like notes of music.
Bless what brought us through
the sea and the fire; we are caught
in history like whales in polar ice.
Yet you have taught us to push against the walls,
to reach out and pull each other along,
to strive to find the way through
if there is no way around, to go on.
To utter ourselves with every breath
against the constriction of fear,
to know ourselves as the body born from Abraham
and Sarah, born out of rock and desert.
We reach back through two hundred arches of hips
long dust, carrying their memories inside us
to live again in our life, Isaac and Rebecca,
Rachel, Jacob, and Leah. We say words shaped
by ancient use like steps worn into rock..
Bless the quiet of sleep
easing over the ravaged body, who quiets
the troubled waters of the mind to a pool
in which shines the placid broad face of the moon.
Bless the teaching of how to open
in love so all the doors and windows of the body
swing wide on their rusty hinges
and we give ourselves with both hands.
Bless what stirs in us compassion
for the hunger of the chickadee in the storm
starving for seeds we can carry out,
the wounded cat wailing in the alley,
what shows us our face in a stranger,
who teaches us what we clutch shrivels
but what we give goes off in the world
carrying bread to people not yet born.
Bless the gift of memory
that breaks unbidden, released
from a flower or a cup of tea
so the dead move like rain through the room.
Bless what forces us to invent
goodness every morning and what never frees
us from the cost of knowledge, which is
to act on what we know again and again.
All living are one and holy, let us remember
As we eat, as we work, as we walk and drive.
All living are one and holy, we must
make ourselves worthy.
We must act out justice and mercy and healing
as the sun rises and as the sun sets,
as the moon rises and the stars wheel above us,
we must repair goodness...
We will try to be holy,
We will try to repair the world given us to hand on.
Precious is this treasure of words and knowledge and deeds that moves inside us,
Holy is the hand that works for peace and for justice,
Holy is the mouth that speaks for goodness
holy is the foot that walks toward mercy.
Let us lift each other on our shoulders and carry each
Let holiness move in us.
Let us pay attention to its small voice,
Let us see the light in others and honor that light.
Remember the dead who paid our way here dearly, dearly
and remember the unborn for whom we build our houses.
Praise the light that shines before us, through us, after us, Amein.
▶noun: Judaism: a prayer consisting of a varying number of blessings recited while the worshippers stand.
– origin C19: Heb., lit. ‘standing’.
You probably don't care about any of this stuff, but...
This algorithm is slightly less than perfect. To even out the quiz results I'm assuming the short phases (full/new moon, quarters) last just as long as the transitional phases (waning crescent). I mean come on how many times have you looked up at a full moon and wondered if it was really only 98% illuminated?
In addition, if you were born in between phases it might be a bit off because it doesn't consider the location, time of day, or timezone you were born in. If you care deeply there are more accurate ways to get this information (like this).
Also, my algorithm does not take into consideration the fact that the sun's gravity sometimes makes the moon's orbit more or less eccentric, changing the length of a synodic month by nearly 13 hours. So while the algorithm is good if you were born in recent history, it may drift off if you're a vampire or something, so you should consult NASA's tables of moon cycles covering the last 6000 years.
Final note: the personality descriptions are based on astrology, which is not really scientific. But you probably know that.
Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe abd he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure.
And I agreed:
Every time. Teach "Nature" at a cub scout, take them around and say, "Now, I'm going to show you poison ivy, so you can avoid it," and as you point, get ready to slap away at least three little hands!
I wrote her today:
Sherron Lucile Ostrander to Cathy Schmidt Barnes
Just thought you might appreciate the fact that I had to go out and buy Thomas black pants and shirt. He has several black t-shirts, but they all say something clever and distracting. At least he owns a pair of black shoes!
Cathy Schmidt Barnes
Ah, but did you go out to Wally's at 6:30am because he needed them by 8? :)
Sherron Lucile Ostrander
No, it was not nearly that exciting! In fact, it went much smoother than I expected. Remember T has Asperger's, and generally doesn't wear anything with buttons. But apparently this fits in the "costume" category and since he knows he'll rarely wear it, he was more flexible.