Wednesday, December 04, 2019

One must have a mind of winter

Food, fire, walks, dreams, cold, sleep, love, slowness, time, quiet, books, seasons – all these things, which are not really things, but moments of life – take on a different quality at night-time, where the moon reflects the light of the sun, and we have time to reflect what life is to us, knowing that it passes, and that every bit of it, in its change and its difference, is the here and now of what we have. 

More by Jeanette Winterson on the lovely, cozy, dark seasons of the year here.

It snowed. We have warm lights on the outside and the inside of our house, toasty sweaters and socks, and thanks to Mom and Dad, a brand new heated mattress pad on our bed.

I met Emily today to go Christmas shopping, which we did while clambering over snow banks and avoiding icy puddles. We also sat for a long time talking over coffee at a cafe, which was so lovely. I spent precisely eight dollars on teeny stocking stuffers and took pictures of other things to contemplate later. 

So much in the holiday spirit was I that I also ordered special stamps for my theoretical holiday cards!

If you ever feel daunted by the snow and cold, get yourself a dog with a mind of winter. Or two.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Yesterday I was seven in the woods

I don't remember if I've mentioned Spencer Tweedy's blog, Observations, but it's one of my favorites. It's so simple, just a list of ordinary or extraordinary things he observed that day. I like the way he sees the world.

The other day I met my pal Melissa for lunch at Rose, where we split a delicious bagel sandwich. It made me extremely happy when the bagel was ready and they called out, "Circe?"

I am tired of all the takes on astrology lately (maybe because I keep seeing youthful astrology memes where the Libra version is unrecognizable to me, a 50-something Libra lady). However, this thread on the signs as NYT Cooking comments is hilarious.

I'm glad to know the correct spelling and pronunciation of Kyiv now.*

*Whatever ends up happening, we are, in fact, impeaching this motherfucker as I type.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

3. Point out beauty when you can.

This Tom Hanks Story Will Help You Feel Less Bad

My Friend Mister Rogers

It turns out that I really can't wait to see this movie.

Looking up. This building is famous! And it's slated for demolition within the next five years!

I can't help mentioning the weather, because wow it's been cold. It's truly a shock to the system when the weather goes from late October to February so abruptly. We are mixing up the dogs' activity, so that Clover gets a chance to romp off leash and play with other dogs a few times a week, while we protect Gus's achy joints from overdoing it. We all went to the beach yesterday and ran around on the sand, so today I strolled with Gus around the neighborhood while Mark and Clover went to the woods. Gus, honestly, is fine with this scenario, especially if he gets unfettered sniffing time and a few opportunities to bark at other dogs. 

It's an awkward time of year, everything bare and sparse and pale, starting to look like it really wants to be covered with a few inches of fresh snow so it can sparkle a little bit. The sky, though, was covered with those jittery little clouds, and we mostly stuck to the sunny side of the street. I was thinking about Minnow today, the way he would strut down the sidewalk and more or less ignore approaching dogs (he was polite, but we always described him as "more of a cat person"). Gus lives to interact with other dogs, but he has strong opinions and a clear bias against brachycephalic dogs (despite plenty of pleasant interactions with them, including one time he wouldn't stop licking the ears of a French bulldog). Back in the days of romping on the dog beach, he also (I am ashamed to say) gave three-legged dogs a particularly hard time.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

As if it had mattered, all of it, every second

It's warm-your-nose-with-your-fluffy-tail season!

The day started off on a shaky note, when I went to fire up the trusty laptop and it just wouldn't turn on. After I'd roused my in-house IT guy from sleep, it magically turned itself on, and then I felt terrible for robbing him of 20 more minutes snuggled up with the forest creature pictured above.

So, fingers crossed, re: laptop. Mark did something to it that may help? Not sure, he's the IT department around here. I did work through all my stuff to make sure there would be no disaster if I were laptop-less for a few days (i.e. it's all in the cloud, I just need to remember how to find all my passwords, etc.).

And then I slippy slid on the icy front steps and dithered for way too long about which jacket to wear (it was freezing, but raining). I went for the rain jacket, and now I'm trapped at the coffee shop watching snow fall outside. It's so cozy, but long past lunch time and a person can only drink so many cups of coffee (1 caf and 1 decaf) and eat so many slices of pumpkin bread (1) before a person needs some peanut butter or something.

I never feel quite prepared for winter. We have dug out the aforementioned accessories and located the ice cleats/snow pants/bucket of sand/et al. Closed storm windows, found extra blankets and hots bags of corn. Still. 

Okay, wish me luck as I head out into a damp November mini-blizzard.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

I'm glad I don't believe it / For it would stop my breath

"Don't too tight when measuring" is my life's motto.

There was a frosty night recently when Clover was all a-shiver on our evening walk, and I entertained the idea of getting her a little jacket. In retrospect, those might have been shivers of anxiety? Not cold? But I'm looking for an excuse to buy her a cute little jacket.

Isaac and Edna are here so briefly this weekend, swooping in for a day and a half, then off again early Monday morning. We have been planning our spectacular Thanksgiving menu.

Here is a $350 bracelet you can buy that...cools you down or warms you up. It's specifically marketed at ladies of a certain age who are experiencing hot flashes. It's described this way: The Wave provides a similar sensation to the refreshing chill of a cold glass or the comforting warmth of a hot mug. Okay, granted, if you're having a hot flash in the middle of the night, you don't want to have to pad down to the kitchen for a glass of ice water.'s three hundred and fifty dollars.

If you need a brief but deeply heartwarming story, I have a cat-related anecdote for you.

What else? It's so very November now, silvery-gray and bare, blowing leaves and cold breezes, dogs curled into balls with their noses blanketed by their tails. We dug out the long underwear, scarves and hats and gloves and Bean boots. We've been making soup and tea and pots of coffee and heating up hot bags of corn in the microwave.