11-13-2005 Panic Time

Dear Friends,                                                       November 13, 2005

The weather has been gorgeous- windy, not too cold except at night. There are a lot more leaves on the trees than I’d expect for November. It’s been a strange year.

Saturday morning I woke up and realized that it was THIS Wednesday I’m leaving for Hawai’i (at 9, so I expect I have to be there at 7, so we’ll be on the road at six- ugh). Panic time! (controlled, orderly panic, I hope, but still…)

So much to do- first, getting things ready to leave for two weeks so things don’t come crashing down on the kids heads while I’m gone, etc. I think I’m giving up on having every bit of laundry and dishes done before I go so they have no excuse not to maintain while I’m gone. That’s not going to happen anyway! I still haven’t moved the empty water bed out- and something else into- my bedroom. I’ve come to the conclusion that my best bet is to take it to the recycling center. I’m not even going to save it for a yard sale- I don’t want to store it until spring. I’m not going to need a double bed in this house again- when I need a double bed again, the chances of my not moving to a different house are infinitesimal, so why bother storing it? In a similar way we’ve decided to “dump” the dog carrier. We’re not going to have another big dog, at least not here. Someone may as well get some good from it. I guess I’m letting go of my old life- which probably has some major implications, but I’m not going into them just now. I hope the van comes back from the shop before I go!

Today has to be a “do-over” day from yesterday, aside from the (what’s become) usual correspondence with interviewees for the book, I spent most of the day on the internet looking for a bathing suit in which I was willing to appear in public. Until Morgan and Steve showed up, I hadn’t realized I probably spent 5 (very frustrating) hours on the project. I did find some that would have been fine- but either they didn’t come in my size, or they had no overnight delivery option. (I thought I had another week!) I was very proud of myself for not crying from the frustration, but maybe I should have let it out. I’ve discovered that the very painful gas I started getting this year comes when I’m stressed, and it happened again last night.

Morgan came by, because he’d been horse riding in Hudson. He also was returning the cat-carrier- and reports that Saba is settling in beautifully. His mother has responded by providing him with cat treats and coupons for the same- many of which deals are such that the coupon is for more than the actual treats. The store is paying him to take them away! (and he gave us some) The October Salem festivities being over, and he’s now applying to the Science Museum (and Petco, as museum work can be so seasonal). Steve Raskind also came up, and we were all settling down for a lovely evening of chatting when the bellyache hit, and then a few minutes later, I suddenly got nauseous and vomited. I still have no idea why, although I’m going to check the delicious curry I’d made on Saturday, and had for breakfast again on Sunday (although Willow ate it with impunity- I’m guessing it was the stress, this is the first time in several years I’ve known what my measurements were, and I’m going to try to forget them!).

So, I should go off and pack, make sure all the bills are paid etc. Kat called and has run through all the money we sent with her, which makes me a bit nervous about how much I should take. I’m thinking that since I’ll probably never go to Hawai’i again, if I can figure out a way to do it, I should try to take a side trip to see the volcano at least. (considering that many of the bathing suits I looked at on line were running nearly $100, not getting one might cover that!) But I’ll have to see when I get there. I expect after a day and far too many flight changes I’ll be happy to spend a day resting up. I’ve been reading up on Hawai’i (which you can tell because I put in the apostrophe which is technically correct, but most people leave out- like the ugh on Lyndeboro). I can recite most of the Islands: The Big Island, Mau’i, Lana’i, Moloka’i, Oahu, Kaua’i, I still have trouble with the little ones: Kahoolawe is the one that the US Military just gave back to the civilians, and you still have to swim in if you can get permission to go (and they are still clearing out mines and unexploded shells). And Niihau is the one the MacGregors bought and “No one ever goes in, and no one ever comes out” so they think that that’s the only island where people still have hawai’ian as the primary language. It’s a bummer that only 12% of the people are “native”. Oh well, I suppose that’s better than here on the mainland isn’t it? I keep forgetting that.


This was the last week of the pottery class- I will be happy to have the day back, as it got to the point where I was leaving at 7:30 and getting back about 12 hours later- when I did errands on the way home. The majolica jar I did came out kind of blurry- there’s a technique I still haven’t mastered, but it looks OK from a few feet away. I’ll see if I can get a picture of it to post.

On the other hand, I can’t seem to figure out how to put the pictures of the kitten I took with the palm pilot onto the computer, so it may take awhile. We did get Greymalkin her first shots this week, and she should be spayed by December, but meanwhile we are trying to keep her in, and it seems that about half of her vocalizations sound like she’s in heat (a great motivator for us to keep an eye on the door!).

The kitten finally has a name Yuna. We noticed that she has one green eye, and one blue, so I was thinking of calling her Delirium, after a comic book character, but that could be like naming a cat Loki- giving it something to live up to- so Yuna is better. She continues to be incredibly cute. Gwynne and Kiera came up, and fell in love with her- so did Avi, and just about everyone who sees her. She’s still almost as wide as she is long- which is probably that she’s a puffball of white fur, and has only the little manx tail, which I’d call a “rabbit tail” but it’s not even that big. You can feel it when you stroke her, but not see it as the rest of the fur is as long as the tail. She has a very round silhouette.


I finally saw the new Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I liked it, but I think special effects and stupid songs (in both) aside, the Gene Wilder version was better than the Johnny Depp version. Wilder at least seemed honestly childlike in his affection for the candy he was making. Both of them were appropriately weird, although I’d describe the new one as a spooky combination of Peewee Herman and Michael Jackson. Perhaps we are simply used to the idea of any childlike adult being potentially pedophilic. I liked the father (done very well by Christopher Lee- it’s nice for him to get a less evil role), but I rather resented that whole sub-plot being tacked on. (I don’t remember the “his father was a dentist” bit being in the book either, although I was pleased that they went back to the squirrels rather than the geese laying chocolate eggs.)

Willow has been doing her best to rest and recuperate from the long season- as well as get all the pictures done for this year’s calendar. She’s done some lovely work so far.

Kat says she’s tried using the water colors, which she’s never done before, and it didn’t stink.  Her portfolio is coming along- I guess since she’s getting back the day before me, it means she’s only got two weeks left of her foreign adventure too.


Correction from last week- I should have known this: Sake is the drink, Saki is the poet. Also, I liked Kami’s comment on Pursuit of Happiness Week- “Why does it keep running away?” In Kami’s case, she just had to deal with having to pass up an opportunity to buy a stable because she didn’t trust the guy who was her potential partner. She probably would have gotten stuck with most of the work, and maybe an unfair share of the expenses if her judgment about him was correct, so it was a smart move, but still, it’s disappointing to have a near miss on an opportunity you’ve been hoping for like that.

Having been working on it for nearly two weeks now, I’ve come to the conclusion that this book has the possibility of being an important one- and that’s kind of chilling. Had one day of being sure that I’d put lots of work into it, and not get it published… but I’ve decided to put that down to a blood sugar or other brain-chemical imbalance. Or maybe an appropriate awareness of what a big deal this is. I’ve decided not to try to go back to college in January, and that’s a big decision. I just don’t think I can do a good job on the book and full time school at the same time. Maybe I can do one course just to keep the possibility open- as Dan is doing (I don’t think I mentioned that Dan aced his Psych mid-term last week).

Midweek Willow helped me set up a Live Journal account, because several of the people who offered to be interviewed are on someone’s live journal, and I couldn’t respond to them if I didn’t. (I used to think I was a fairly intelligent woman, but the difficulty I have with some modern technology makes me wonder…) I think part of the problem is vocabulary (such as if you “friend” someone, does that mean they can read your account or you can read theirs?) and some was because things work differently on macs and PCs, and I’m on a Mac and she’s on a PC. I also am incredible intolerant of people who make their pages with an “artistic” dark background color, with colored writing in tiny type so I can’t read it, even if I can get to it! THAT day I did cry (a lot) and ended up with a “hangover” that even Rescue Remedy and B vitamins couldn’t rush through my system.  It occurs to me that that was the day before I was sure the project was going to fail- so that could be the reason!

Star had a visit from George Peterson last week, who used to work with him through Voc Rehab, but this time just wanted to tell him about another young man he’d met to also draws. I also bumped into Pam, one of Star’s aides from school, in the store. Apparently he was liked, but he really hated school because of the teacher who teased him. Oh well. I’ve tried to explain that getting training at college wouldn’t be the same as school. They don’t make you take classes you don’t want. Of course, if you are taking a program aimed at something like Massage Therapy (Pam still remembered how good he was at getting rid of her headaches) you probably do have to take classes you don’t like. Still, he does seem a bit more open to the possibility of training, and has started asking for driving practice again. I think he could probably pass the driving test- unless he got insecure during it, as Kat did, in which case he couldn’t. So more practice is good. If he gets a drivers license, it’ll make both school and work easier to arrange.

Willow put her butterfly shawls onto e-bay (stressful for her- she’s convinced that no one is going to want them, especially as she didn’t spend extra to get them pushed, and is going to feel rejected if they don’t sell). I’m sure that people who see them would want them, but the trick is to get them where the people who can afford a hand-painted silk shawl will see them. One of the comic artists that Willow likes actually asked about them though, and that’s good. Shoot, I’ve got to mail off some ceramic orders before I go!

No letter next week, of course, but a long one when I get back. Have a good Thanksgiving.

I am really NOT looking forward to going to a Luau on Thanksgiving, much less missing having it with my family. Someone suggested that they scheduled this conference on this week because people would be able to get away with the long weekend. Personally, I think it was a stupid choice. I am missing important time with my family, and travel arrangements are complicated. I think a week before or after would have been better!

As Willy Wonka said- “So much to do, and so little time!”



“All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.”  Samuel Butler


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