Let’s take a break and celebrate something good from the past week.
For me, I was able to head up to DC for a couple of days. There was a decent size conference that I did not directly attend but I wanted to be around for the social events. I got to see a bunch of people I follow on twitter, several collaborators and informants that I’ve never met in person and a bunch of friends I’ll see once or twice a year. We laughed, we geeked out, we ate, we drank and we were merry.
So tell me something good about your week….
Heh. 15 minutes and still nothing good from anyone. :-)
Well, yesterday was my daughter’s birthday.
It’s warmed up about 5 degrees since sunrise and is now only -18, plus the dripping tap I opened has kept the pipes from freezing. That’s my good news for the nonce.
To get new threads right away, I have to get to them from Cole’s twitter feed. Otherwise there seems to be a big delay in thread showing up, even from the wings on the previous post. My RSS feed is often an hour or two behind.
For the second time this week, I have had to use the hairdryer on the sliding door in order to get it to unfreeze enough to open. It worked last time, but today I ran the hairdryer for twice as long with no success, so the pups had to go out a different door. At least I didn’t have to take them out in the front.
@WaterGirl: Baud says that’s because you aren’t a member of the Super Special VIP Early Commenters Club. ;-)
Well, this is mixed: temperature fell from -15 to -19° F, but the sun is brilliant, the wind died down a bit, I shoveled the front gate free, the furnace abides; and it’s terrific fun to troll my Mexican family with pictures of the cold and snow. Last week I was seeing them after more than 20 years, and it was as if no time had passed at all.
Also, friends are the flowers in your garden and because of this place my garden is overflowing with beautiful flowers. And that’s good too.
Well, I am clearly a better person than Baud because I am willing to share the secret with everyone. Or, I am violating all the norms of BJ and telling secrets out of school. But, seriously, who am I kidding, I am most certainly not a better person than Baud.Never mind.
Two good things. I ordered vegie seeds for my container garden, and I rewrote the prologue for my historical novel, two things I have been putting off way too long. Oh, and today is the last day of my Whole 30 program. Tomorrow I will have a celebratory glass of wine with my son.
Staying in from the cold is paying off in rug hooking time for me. I’ve made some progress on my newest project, which is a dedication to a soldier and his bomb-seeking dog. It’s 20” by 33” and I’m using the finest cut of wool strips you can use.
@satby: Isn’t it interesting how we miss people more when we have just seen them?
On a different note, I am suddenly worried about how all my plants, shrubs and flowers will survive this devastating cold. Any store that guarantees their stuff for the first year is going to lose some serious money.
Our premier nursery here got totally clobbered either last year or the year before – we never did freeze consistently and the ground froze and thawed, froze and thawed, and that killed a ton of trees. Ouch for everyone involved.
Dorothy A. Winsor
My current book came into focus this week. I’m finally doing something other than skimming the surface. So yay. That only took a year.
Also, when I came back from the gym, my internet was out but by the time I got out of the shower, it was back. Small victories.
J R in WV
My solar installer is coming with new batteries for the solar plant at the winter camp in SE AZ, so YAY. Running a generator isn’t expensive, but there is a low whirring sound all the time. I’ll probably still have to run the gen-set some in the evenings, but not all day will be great.
Cousin made it to the airport yesterday, had a nice day in town, great lunch at Bangkok Cafe, feeling OK, meeting a mineral collecting friend next Sat in Tucson for dinner, lots of minerals, fossils, gemstones to look at. Cousin got home just before 11 pm, reports 20 degrees at CRW.
Plus, warm here, cold back east.
ETA: Coffee’s ready!!!
@donnah: Wow, you have made great progress since I last saw it. Even from the photo I can see that the strips are very fine. You are an amazing talent. It’s quite lovely.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: Small victory on the internet, major victory on the book!
I am doing a bunch of loads of laundry today, hoping that with the -50 windchill that moving water through the lines will help protect my pipes. My washer and dryer are on a totally unprotected outside wall. Seriously hoping that I am doing the right thing, rather than the absolute worst thing I could be doing.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@donnah: That is wonderful!
I’ll be adding “Semper Fi” in the empty space above the dog, just tone on tone so it’s there, but doesn’t stand out too much. It’s very slow going because the loops are teeny, but I’m pleased with it so far.
@WaterGirl: fortunately, if you have snow it should insulate the plants against the worst of the cold wind and freezing temps. I cover my shrubs and wrap the tree trunks until they’re at least 2 years old, so I’m hoping it all makes it. I only have until May to see what of my newly fall-planted roses survived. Switching to a different garden supply place that offers a year guarantee if I do have to replace them because Jackson and Perkins didn’t replace or refund one that died after about 40 days, and I ‘m still pissed off about that.
New strategy for my illness seems to be paying off.
I’m not in the Midwest.
We had a casting call on Saturday for the theater I work for, and for a miracle, we actually had more *men* show up than women! And they were all great! So, I’ve got the men’s roles cast for “Dearly Departed”, which is the play I will be directing (first time directing in over 20 years, yow!), and looks like I will be able to cast all the women’s roles after callbacks next week, so woot!
@donnah: I bet you had to do a bunch of research to make sure that the uniform and dog outfit are the right match for temper fi. Or maybe you come from a military family and know that stuff already?
1) My daughter got accepted to a major state university (one of her top three choices)
2) Heading for a 3-fer next week (happy hour Thurs, concerts Fri and Sat)
3) Beef barley stew in the crock pot for dinner tonight!
@Miss Bianca: Wow! I have never before thought about the other side of the equation — I always think about it from the perspective of people who are hoping for roles.
@WaterGirl: Can you drain the pipes? Otherwise running water helps, but only if you keep doing it and it’s hard to do laundry at 3 AM.
@Jeffro: What cut of meat do you use? I have completely given up adding the meat to my mom’s vegetable beef barley soup because the meat is always so tough. So now it’s made with beef bones that might have a bit of meat on them, but they are obviously removed before serving.
I had a great lunch Monday with two friends at La Côte d’Or, a little Arlington bistro that looks kind of fusty but has great food. It has the vibe of a place where “stylish” people dined in the ’60s, and whenever I go there it looks like those same people are still there—old! Current hipsters probably would not be caught dead in the place, if they even knew it exists. But, as I said, the food is very good.
One friend was the one who lives in Las Vegas, who was in town to visit her daughter. The other was my media-connected friend whom I have mentioned a couple of times on the blog. All of us were at Mizzou in the early ’70s, and it struck me that we’ve got almost fifty years of shared (on-and-off) history. We took our time, had a great conversation with lots of laughter. A very nice thing.
@satby: It’s rare thing for my winter to be more balmy than yours!
@Fair Economist: I can’t drain the pipes. I figure that even the heat from the dryer keeps that area warmer than it would be if I didn’t do the laundry. So it’s surely not perfect but I figure it’s better than nothing!
@WaterGirl: Chuck is my goto. Cheap and the longer you cook it, the more tender it gets. Though bones are very beneficial: don’t skip those.
I already said this somewhere — but I dropped off the paperwork and accepted Nick’s seat the the magnet school. He is set for orientation and picking out his freshman high school classes on the 23rd, and he is super excited. This is a fantastic school — one of the best in the state and nationally ranked. It’s a performing arts intensive school and all Nick wants to do is music, so it’s a perfect fit. I was so worried he wouldn’t be accepted, but so far so good. And the further this goes, the harder it will be to take it away, so I’m feeling good about it for the first time in a year. I’m am going to make sure this works even if it’s through sheer force of will. :)
@WereBear: Yeah, my writing was unclear. I always use the bones; but I have been skipping the meat. Will have to try chuck for the soup. thanks.
Oh, that is just beautiful. Makes my heart happy,
@WereBear: Made a glorious split-pea soup the other day with a ham hock – after two days in the crockpot, all the meat fell off the bone. YUM.
Now looking at getting a 25-lb bag of split peas from Bob’s Mill to keep the supply up!
@Dorothy A. Winsor: That is good news!
@donnah: That is really nice!
@donnah: Oh, my, that is breath-taking – getting teary just looking at it!
A couple’a good things:
1) This past week, a solution to a financial problem materialized- we now have the wherewithal to move our sailboat this year from New England to Puerto Rico. At Salty Son’s suggestion, a Christmas 2019 family reunion is being planned for Isla Culebra. Can’t wait!
2) I feel very fortunate to currently live where temps bottomed out last night at 45°F (currently 55°) I don’t do cold- y’alls Polar Vortex stories I’m reading sound like a horror movie.
The photo source for the soldier says that the soldier is a Marine, so Semper Fi is appropriate. The dog’s name is Windy. I believe the photo is from Afghanistan, 2014. I was deeply moved by the soldier’s obvious love for his very special friend.
Hooking the camo has been, shall we say “interesting”? It’s quite a challenge, and I’m expecting the background to challenge me as well.
Free day off today–and it’s so quiet! Very few vehicles on the main thoroughfare a half block from my building. Would love to walk a half a block in the other direction to look at the lake, but the work of bundling up to be safe to do that drains the will out of me. But I”m warm, the sun is shining brightly, and I get to have dinner at Frontera with a good friend tomorrow (all hail Restaurant Week!).
@Steeplejack: I know that joint! IIRC, it opened in the late 70’s, been there all along while the neighborhood around it was convulsed by construction for I-66, EFC Metro and now gentrification. Ate there a few times decades ago, nice to hear it’s still funct.
Pumpkin is shyly pleased with her new leopard print blanket beside the wood stove.
Bert and I went to the beach on Sunday. Cool but still nice.
Steve led me safely out of the woods later the same day. Actually you can see Bert in the distance at the very top of the pic.
Things kinda went to hell after that but it was a good weekend.
@Steeplejack: Fun for you! Looks like Chef Jacques has overcome more than one stroke of bad luck. Persevere!
@donnah: Donna, that is absolutely beautiful.
I am not onboard for the gratuitous veneration of the military that this country displays. But those troops with their K9 partners have a special place in my heart.
ETA: “Semper Fi” from the perspective of the K9 partner is *especially* appropriate…
Was going to be glib and say Im very glad I dont live in Chicago this week. But seeing a couple of stories about the homeless struggling to survive in this weather… Im immensely grateful I have a roof over my head and a warm place to retreat to.
@jacy: Wonderful news. It’s so inspiring watching the kiddos move forward.
I’m getting a new kitten this week. Sadly, my beloved cat Hugh died in December after what was supposed to be a long illness suddenly accelerated. My remaining cat, Louie, and I have been mourning but now we are both ready (pretty desperate in Louie’s case) to bring a new cat into our lives. A friend of mine has a 7-month old male kitten, named Harley, who needs a new home. I’ve only seen pictures so far, but he is a little brown tabby and looks like he could be Louie’s little brother. I’m excited but a bit frantic with cleaning up a bit and making arrangements for Harley. It’s been a while since I had a kitten in the house.
@chris: I love hiking cats!
I’ve figured out how my current book is going to end and it’s going to be awesome!
Yay, kitties! So sorry for you loss, but Here’s good thoughts that your new addition (and Louie) have a smooth transition.
The move is on. My work is done in CA-45; Katie Porter will have to get re-elected without me.
John Carter, you’re next.
J R in WV
another good thing:
My cousin and I spent the whole 7 days together, and we’ve both had 50 years of very varied life experience, much of which we had never shared. I knew little drabs of some of his big stressors, but it had been decades since we spent more than an afternoon or dinner together.
We are closer than ever, both hate Trump, both joined ACLU the day after the ’16 election, both enjoy being off in the woods. Neither of us the least bit racist or homophobic. A wonderful week of connection on many levels, so that’s all good.
I have lost a couple of cousins to political madness and/or crazed religion, one to — well, let’s just say he has many restraining orders against him from women he has worked with. So long, dude!
So wonderful to reconnect with a guy I’ve known and respected for such a long time !!
@donnah: Awesome work, that is beautiful…who will it end up with?
As for good news…I finally got back the $4.00 I lost in a broken washer at the laundromat a month ago!
And it looks like I am going to be casting a published romance author in the production I am directing – it’s amazing the people we get showing up at auditions in our little town!
@jacy: I’m so happy for him! It great to have such an strong interest at a young age.
Snowmageddon turned into a big nothingburger yesterday. Traffic was extra light b/c many people stayed home. I got to see daylight on the return trip (important b/c early darkness can apparently affect my mood). Feels like I’m finally settling in here.
Last week I was in Toronto on a very fun contracting gig, which means I hit a weather sweet spot between two spells of frozen hell. Feeling relieved every time I look at the news from there.
My really good thing, though, was that on the plane out of ORD to Seattle on Friday, a big chunk of the passengers were people traveling here for a conference of librarians. Not only were they lovely, but THREE different times during the flight one of them asked if I was headed to the conference.
I think that means I look like a librarian. WIN!
It’s hard to think of anything good this week other than “well, at least I still have my job.” Last week, our company got acquired by another one and 25% of our coworkers were unceremoniously kicked to the curb.
I booked another voiceover gig this week & got a call back for a very professional gig with real money. If I can just land a couple of those big jobs and do them remotely…
As I was getting my old girl down the front steps to take care of business this morning, one of my bad beagles made her way through the deep snow, across the mostly frozen, still dangerous stream and down to the deer carcass that she and her sister keep defying my efforts to keep them from. I got the Weimaraner and the other beagle back in the house quickly. They had no desire to be out in the cold. I grabbed my neon pink elmer fudd hat and trudged down through the swampy woods to Lulu (bad girl) happily gnawing on Bambi (the ice pop). I had remembered to grab the ‘poke’ stick as Lulu needed encouragement to leave her tasty treat and head back to the house – not by the shortcut of the iced over stream either. Her feet and belly were already cold and wet, but no sympathy from me. She squirms too much to carry her through the swampy brush. We would both end up in the mud and slush. I am thankful to be back in a warm house now listening to three dogs snore while the wind whips up outside – we just missed that.
Just signed up to volunteer at a film festival, which is something that I have always wanted to do. On the mixed blessing side, found out today my spouse, who had made it pretty far in the interview process, didn’t get a job with a higher salary…but it would’ve involved a lot of 60-hour weeks and a grueling commute, so that’s probably good news for the sake of our family’s mental health, if not our bank account.
@Jerry: That sucks. I’m glad you still have a job.
@jacy: Thank you. Louie is an older cat, but he’s still very playful. He’ll enjoy having a youngster around.
Cool to know some of the history. Yes, it is in a slightly odd location, easy to overlook. But worth searching out.
If you’re still in the area, there are a couple of good places around the corner on Westmoreland Street: Yayla Bistro, “contemporary Turkish,” and a sushi place called Yume. Actually, I haven’t eaten at the latter, but it gets good reviews and I’ve been eyeballing it. I have eaten at Yayla and thought it was good.
You’re moving to Texas?! If so, that’s a big change. Tell us more.