Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shoveling Snow at Last

Only about two or three inches of wet snow, and it was pretty easy to clear, but it was a pleasure to be out in the cold crisp air again. The white layer covering trees, plants, benches -- so pretty. I'm sure the snow would have melted off the walks in the morning, but I cleared them on all three sides of the yard anyway. Maybe later in the winter I'll tire of it, but for now I'm enjoying it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Full Moon over Antelope Island

If I had a decent camera, maybe I could capture the picture, both stunningly beautiful and yet eerie at the same time. Producing no light of its own, it reflects light coming from the as-yet-unseen sun this morning, bathing the ground in a bluish light and reflecting white patches on the water as it sinks closer to the lake.

I've seen this lovely sight so many times from my living room window. But this morning it is making me think about the complexities of my life and whether I'm making the right choices for the circumstances of my life. I keep thinking the words, "Simplify, simplify."

The house and yard come to mind. Too big. Too much for me to care for alone. And yet, if I move, I would lose this comforting view that gives me peace and strength. At some point I will have to consider another view.

Datiing comes to mind. Why am I dating? What am I looking for in a companion? I don't even know. I don't need to date just for the social aspect--I have girlfriends who offer ample opportunities for outings, activities, dinners, concerts. A male companion adds another dimension both of expectations as well as benefits. Still, I need to figure out what I want and stop just dating for the sake of keeping busy on the weekend.

My work comes to mind. So many people at my age are retiring. I feel somewhat tired of working and perhaps tired of doing such limited work in recent years. I love writing and that's all I do. But I'm finding it easy and not very challenging. And yet retirement and having nothing specific to do every day does not appeal to me. And the job pays the bills and helps provide future financial security. Retiring is not an option right now.

My age comes to mind. In one month I will be 60. Each decade point in my life has represented something of a turning point. Certainly this one is marked by my divorce. But maybe other things too, yet unnoticed. I have been dating men in their upper sixties, and am impressed with the physical and mental strengths they possess. It helps me face the sixties as another decade of potential and accomplishment for myself. Turning 60 gives me thoughts about the end of my life. But statistics say that's still a couple of decades away, barring accident or illness. So the key is for me to stay physically and mentally strong so life will continue to be of worth.

The sky gets lighter, and I can't stop looking, now fuzzy pink above and pale blue below, blending finally into a brownish haze near the horizon--the moon by contrast so sharply in focus, ensconced in that fuzzy purplish area, appearing so confident in a wishy-washy sky. A bit like me.

I've always said I've lived my life without regrets, despite many wrong choices and mistakes. But I've always managed to accept the life I've created for myself and remain optimistic and confident about the future. I still do. Still, I believe things will be changing this next year. I am getting prepared. Simplify, simplify.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's all about the memories

Once again it's Turkey day and I'm up to my elbows cooking. For a woman who's thoroughly tired of cooking, this is a real marathon. But I'm taking it slow and easy since we're not eating until the evening. I'm currently between the acini de pepe salad and sauteing the veggies for the stuffing. Jenn was ready to help and even came over yesterday to try, but she is so sick with the flu, I couldn't let her cook. She worries me.

I picked up Brittany after school yesterday and she was so excited so see all the preparations, she offered to help. So after her karate class, she came over and helped me make pies, and cube the bread for stuffing while I made the cranberry sauce. Just a week away from 13 years old, she was able to handle a lot of the pie recipes herself with just a little direction from grandma. I know these occasions are particularly important for grandma and granddaughter. She will remember making pies together and will make pies for her own family some day. And she'll use grandma's recipes as I'll be sure she has them all.

The food will be good, but I know people don't remember the food. They remember the occasion and what we did that was fun and special.

Well, enough break. Back to cooking. John Lennon is on the stereo to keep me company until people start arriving.

Garlic mashed potatoes
Two types of gravy (one for vegetarians)
Candied yams
Homemade cranberry sauce
Acini de pepe fruit salad
Green beans
Homemade dinner rolls

Pumpkin pie
Cream cheese pie w/fruit

Cheese & crackers
Chips and salsa

Drinks: all sorts

UPDATE: Yams and stuffing are done and will go in the oven a half hour before dinner. I don't stuff the turkey as it's vegetarian stuffing. Kitchen is cleaned up first of two times before dinner. Now will start the rolls and get them rising. Then the turkey. Having a glass of wine now and the White Album on the stero. Feeling good about the dinner.

UPDATE2: Rolls are rising (raising?), turkey is roasting, salad is assembled. Now need to set the table and peel potatoes. Checked the football game - Detroit is behind in the 4th quarter. Brittany and I made a run to the store for more milk and flour as I was nearly out. Probably would have been okay, but better to be safe. Dinner's not for a few more hours, so might as well take a little break before tackling the table. Need to add all the extra leafs (leaves?). There will be 8 adults and 2 little ones. I think we have puh-lenty of food!

UPDATE3: Still live blogging the turkey dinner. Turkey is getting done. Needs to brown a little more. Potatoes are sitting in water ready to start cooking - five pounds of lovely little Yukon Golds - much more than we need. Roll dough is punched down and shaped into nice round shapes - 3 dozen+. Too many, I know. Table is set. Kitchen is cleaned up for the second time. Managed to do two crosswords, one cryptoquote, one jumble, and two sudokus in between all the work. Will get the gravies ready to go next. Things will come together fast now. This is when I appreciate my turkey roaster which frees up the oven for rolls, yams and stuffing. Peeling all those potatoes gave me a backache. Think I'll lie down for a few minutes and then off for the last sprint to dinnertime.

UPDATE-LAST: Success. The dinner was just perfect. Well, maybe too much garlic in the garlic potatoes; but at least we had both with and without, so we had a choice. Everyone took home plates and bowls of food, so I'm left with almost no leftovers. The dishwasher is doing its thing now and there are still some bowls and pans stacked in the sink. About 30 more minutes of cleanup remaining and I'll be done. Had fun. Sang some songs with Kevin. Played Scrabble with Jenn and Zach. I think I'll sleep well tonight. It's 9:30 now and it's been a long day. Have to work in the morning. So, I'll finish cleaning up, watch the news, and that will be the end of the turkey day. And this concludes live blogging.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kindred Spirits

I have always loved reading and from way back had my favorites that I would re-read often. One of those in my adolescence was Anne of Green Gables. I was thinking about that awkward and sometimes ill-fated young girl recently. There are some beautiful lessons in that book that very possibly helped to shape my own views of the world -- including a feeling of optimism in times of difficulty. Though my concepts of a pre- or post-existence to this world are scant, I love her belief in "kindred spirits", people with whom you have an instant connection as if you've know them all your life -- or perhaps in another life. I feel sure there are kindred spirits in my life -- people whom I trust easily, with whom I share unspoken understanding, who give just the right amount of love and comfort when needed without coddling. Some of these kindred spirits go way back. Like my dear friend Celia, whom I've known for over 50 years. Some of these kindred spirits drift into our lives only briefly and drift out again.

I enjoy and appreciate all kinds of people and have very few personal conflicts with individuals. But I am well aware that once in awhile you meet a person who resonates with you somehow, and you feel a certain non-physical (so, therefore, spiritual?) connection with that person.

I read that women are sensitive to the subtle energies emanated by other people simply due to the fact that our bodies are so closely tied to the rhythms of the earth, the tides, the moon, making us more receptive to such energies. Maybe so, I don't know. I only know I have a sense sometimes of something more when I meet someone, and I go back to that kindred spirit idea. I am lucky to have such kindred spirits around me. They lend me strength and courage, comfort and kindness, and a feeliing of never being of alone.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Morning

Well, I managed to finished planting all the bulbs after all. Things are nearly ready for winter now and I can start focusing on indoor projects. Spent a really lovely afternoon yesterday. Old friend, Pat and her husband, Mark, had an elegant wine and cheese at their beautiful home. It was relaxing and nice to have a chance to visit at length with new and old friends.

My body is still on daylight savings time. Just couldn't stay awake after 9 p.m., but woke up much too early. Played some guitar just for fun, and then played piano and finally felt like sleeping again.

I'll be working in the office this week. I have major problems with the new computer and it may require a total reformat of the hard drive. Ugh. Luckily I have everything backed up. Not so sure I'm liking Vista after all.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A near perfect Saturday

Well, after planting exactly 113 bulbs, I picked up ReNae for lunch. As we drove down the hill, a four-point buck crossed in front of us. We stopped and watched him until he wandered out of our view. We had a great lunch at Barbacoa and walked around the 9th and 9th neighborhood before heading home. THEN, I did something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I bought a beautiful, new acoustic guitar from Acoustic Music in Salt Lake. What a great shop and what a wonderful guitar is it. Then I visited the game store and picked up some games I've been wanting. Squeezed in some time to drop off at DI some clothes that are now two and three sizes too large. Recycled the newspapers. Then came home and played my guitar for an hour. My fingertips are numb, but what a pleasure. I was thinking of planting the remaining bulbs before sundown, but it's been a full day. Let's save something for tomorrow. I still have my walk ahead of me.

And could this weather be any better for a day in November?!

Planting Bulbs, Having Hope

Is there anything more hopeful that planting dry little orbs in the cold ground, expecting something really lovely to come of it months later? Today I will put 150 of the little things in the ground - oh, why did I buy so many?! Some new varieties I've never planted before. I remember the lovely color early this spring - until the deer enjoyed them too. So in hopes of a bright, cheerful spring, I'm putting these in the ground now. Spring is a long ways off. We will have winter and snow first--cold, holidays, shoveling the walks, warm firesides, friends and family close by. Life cycles on.

This morning listening to 50's oldies on Sirius radio on TV (sometimes listening is better that watching actual programs). They're playing such good tunes this morning, it's going to be hard to tear myself away and go outside. But those bulbs are not going to get themselves into the ground. Ah.

Update: 10:30 a.m. Finished 100 bulbs. Will save the rest for tomorrow. Heading out now for a little weekend fun.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Good-bye to my friend

Just when you start to feel a little steadier on your feet, life gives you a shove. It was fun having someone special in my life again after years of a truly terrible ordeal. But it wasn't meant to last, or it would have - lasted, that is. That's not to say I don't feel sad to see it end. But I'm smart enough to know that it was a rebound for both of us and there was not enough substance to sustain us. So I'm being pragmatic. But I'll go a little slower the next time around.

There ain't no good guys. There ain't no bad guys. There's only you and me, and we just disagree.