June 29, 2011
I somehow lost the previous post and found it when I went to write on my blog today. So, after wrestling with the blog, I finally got it to publish the one I wrote and lost. If I don't lose this one, I'm in business again.
What a busy weekend! Martin and I attended the first ever Chuckanut Writer's Conference held here at our community college. It was very successful even with the little frustrations of a first-time event. The workshops I went to were excellent, and it was especially fun to hear people the caliber of Tom Robbins and Jim Lynch. We returned from the second day's activities on Saturday to find Christine and Lionel waiting for us. My Santa Barbara friends, Judy and Lance Boyd, returning from a Canadian trip stayed over Saturday night. Include also Dani and family and we had a 24 hour marathon of visiting although Lionel was awake much of the night with a runny nose, and his mom was walking him early the next morning. His father also appeared in the kitchen Sunday morning with cold symptoms and Judy had been awakened at 4:00 a.m. by her daughter calling to report that her mother had gone into the hospital. I think I was the only one who slept that night. Everyone left just before Jeni and Ron arrived with Nicole for her week with grandma. I met them at Dani's house for dinner and was one tired lady on Sunday evening. Since then I've been playing with Nicole when she is not in her art class at Bellingham Art. It is one of her favorite summer activities. We've been to the tea room for lunch, Village Books, and to the movies to see the new Pirates movie, the mall twice, and tonight to Olive Garden for dinner. James is joining us on Thursday and Friday since his parents want his room for some guests.
Here I went to a perfectly lovely writer's conference and got very inspired only to be too busy to even think of writing until today when I have tackled this blog. I'm hoping I can keep up the momentum after it calms down around here. However, the calm won't be for long. Charles is here until the 6th or so, and Dani and family have to be out of their house a few weeks before they move to Hong Kong for the year. That means that they will be camping out here for a few weeks. It promises to be slightly crazy, but maybe fun too.
Dani and I went to hear a favorite writer, Ann Patchett, in Seattle a week ago. Ann wrote Bel Canto and has a new book out about the Amazon. She was the best writer I have ever heard talking about writing. She talked about fashioning a book in her head -- maybe for even two years before writing it down. But, that she could never ever make it as good as it was in her head. The written product was always a disappointment compared to the book in her head. Also, she could only write for 15 minutes at a time when she began putting it down on paper. It is helpful to hear how such an amazing writer struggles with her craft. She talked about not doing research until she was halfway through the book. She would write the beginning of the book wrong because if she began with the research she would never ever get to writing to book. So, after her research, she would have to go back and fix the errors. She was funny and interesting. It was such a treat.
Now, I just have to get in gear and do a bit of writing myself. Maybe I'll write about baking and about bread. Nicole told me about this great snack they had at art camp -- cinnamon bread from Great Harvest. I have thought about that bread for a few days and finally went and got some. Three slices later, I'm convinced that it is simply the best cinnamon bread anywhere on the planet. But, I'll never buy it again. I would have no control with it around my house. I'm hoping Nicole helps me finish it before I gain 10 lbs. I'm off to pick up my granddaughter from her art world.
June 16, 2011
I finally got out into the garden in the sunlit universe. I simply could not go out before this! It has been so dreary that I refused to garden. But, in the past few days I was able to clear out a few beds and begin planting some flowers and trimming back my encroaching bushes. The early mornings have been overcast, but the sun comes out around 9:30 and has been consistent for a few days. I hope that bodes well for summertime. What is there about the sun that gives me energy? Martin, Christine and Lionel were up this weekend and Charles came home on Sunday. We had lunch together on Sunday (third week in a row I've missed church - last week I was working and the week before I was lazy). After everyone left, I even mowed and began edging the lawn. That was after making a big dinner on Saturday night and putting together a big lunch on Sunday. Sometimes I think I have a solar engine -- fueled by that round orb in the sky. Maybe that is the California girl in me.
Life is really slowing down which is lovely. Dani called the other evening and invited me to a movie at 9:30 pm. Since that is time I'm usually half asleep, I was surprised to agree and we went to see Bridesmaids at a local theatre. It was funny some and stupid some -- but more important, she had Charles to watch the kids. Today she invited me to go down to Seattle to the Arts and Lectures to see writer Ann Patchett. This weekend Charles will take the boys to Leavenworth and give her a few days to herself. What a difference to have a husband around! I'm tackling housing necessities -- cleaning chandeliers, closets, repairing quilts, taking my bedroom light to be fixed, buying paint for my living room. Spring cleaning coming late!
Not much else to report except that I have to take this computer into the Mac store to be diagnosed. It has consistently had little problems that are annoying. I have to leave it overnight for a few days. I'm actually not sure what to do without it. I guess I'll find out.
Here are some weekend pictures. Hooray for the sun! Hooray for the son!
June 6, 2011
Finally, Some Sun!
The past few days have been glorious, and it is about time! Maybe I can finally move my body to clean off the patio and put up my umbrella and table and chairs. My neighbor, Leah, had her first of our traditional summer wine and appetizer evenings on her patio on Friday night. I got about 15 minutes in before I went to a church dinner. But, it was enough to promise that summer might really come. Unfortunately, I spent most of the weekend inside. I was in Everett doing Exit Interviews for City University -- I'm not sure why! Each graduating candidate has to interview with someone, show their portfolio, and talk about their internship and their projects. It was certainly pleasant, but I'm not sure that effort was worth their time. It is the final act before graduation next weekend. I think the original idea was to get them used to presenting themselves in front of a hiring committee -- but I'm not sure it transfers. I think a school district person who hires people should give them a class in what to do, what to say, and how to act -- it would be more helpful. But, for me, I got paid, the school had a lovely lunch spread, and snacks, and it was nice to visit with people who work with me around the region. Then, I topped off the weekend by having some of my book group at my house to discuss the book, "Room." Some of the folk didn't want to read it since the premise is dark -- but it was a fascinating discussion with those that did. Now, I'm looking at a sunny day and have to spend the morning counting money at church. I'm hoping that I can finally get outside this afternoon.
Two of my family are slaving over their houses. Jeni and Ron had a garage sale this weekend and now are frantically trying to get their home cleaned out since today is the final day before the new owners move in. The last word (through Facebook) is that the garage, downstairs and attic was done and they had the first floor left. What a huge job! Dani was last heard getting her house ready to show yesterday for potential renters while they are in Hong Kong next year. Charles will be home in a week for a couple of weeks - to help further along the process. I saw her briefly as she brought Nico over to stay with my neighbor yesterday (I was of no help to anyone since I was working). She ran in and out of my house trying to locate her patio folding chairs.
The other big news is my new boiler. I'll put a picture online when I retrieve my camera stuff from Dani who borrowed it to take pictures for James Biology project. It is huge and is now hanging on my basement wall. It took four days to install and, of course, I need no heat at the moment. The old boiler is gone, and I'm left with a couple of pertinent questions for Barrons Heating -- one is that I now have a new thermostat that is not programmable -- so I'm not excited about turning it down every evening and having to go downstairs before I have any heat in the morning. I don't understand why I have it. Also, there are some other questions lingering from talking to the installer. Nothing huge, just not quite adding up -- fortunately, I haven't yet paid a dime! So, I'll see those answered before I do.
That's about all on my mind this morning. Katie is here for her last week of teaching before she disappears for the summer. I guess it is time for everything to begin to wind down. Sounds good to me!