"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Break

After a hectic and demanding few weeks--often in pleasant ways--I'm on break.

We received about 10 inches of snow, very beautiful and it has freshened up the landscape. I took pictures yesterday morning. However because I'm on break I'm too lazy to fetch the digi-card from my camera and upload them.

Yesterday's drive to the State House couldn't have been easier. Despite all the accumulation it was surprisingly light snow and the plows pushed it all out of the way. I was on time for our Caucus. The Governor joined us for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, then we got down to business. It was a slow start.

Because it promised to be a long and difficult day, to cheer myself up I wore my newest skirt, black with a hem decorated with b-i-g appliqueed flowers in purple and burgundy and violet, and a top I have that exactly matches the colour of 2 of the flowers. Rave reviews! I've never in my life received so many positive comments on a garment. Even the Associated Press photographer was raving. (I wondered if my frivolous flowery skirt would wind up on the front page of today's paper! But it didn't.)

I know, you want a picture. You'll get one eventually. I will certainly wear it again, possibly soon.

At lunch break I headed to the diocesan office. Several of the staff were wearing their ashes on their foreheads. I'd hoped to attend one of the Ash Wednesday services at the church beside the State House...I missed the 7.30 a.m. one and forgot about the 12:10 one (we were still in session anyway.) But...the Speaker thought we would finish up at 5 or 5.30, raising my hopes of attending the service at my own parish with the Chap.

At mid-afternoon my committee's 2 bills came to the floor. The first one and its amendment passed surprisingly quickly. The second one had 3 speakers against and 3 speakers in favour (all from our committee, which unanimously voted against it) and I was one of those. Originally I hadn't wanted to speak on this bill because I made a similar address 3 years ago...been there, done that. But the Chairman, and some others, wanted me to. Seemed to go really well--probably less because of my arguments than because people were stunned into submission by my adorable skirt. Our side prevailed and by a much larger margin than last time.

Lastly, we dealt with 2 bills attempting to repeal our new marriage equality law. There was a re-run of the debate we heard last spring. Both were defeated rather significantly.

Because we didn't finish until maybe 6 or a little later and I gave a colleague a ride home, I missed out going to church with the Chap. When he got home he let me rub some of his ashes on my forehead. And my priest friend phoned in a Lenten benediction and left one on my Facebook wall.

For Lent I've given up swear words and bad 4-letter words. I've done this before, and it really does cure me of swearing well beyond Lent. But not forever, otherwise I wouldn't have to repeat the effort. Believe me, you don't wake up on Easter morning saying "Oh joy, Lent is over, I can say @#$! and $%@# again!" No. You say, "Wow, I went 40 days without using them, I'm going to try and keep it up."

I only had one slip-up so far. Early yesterday morning...before I remembered that Lent had begun.

I think this means I also have to give up typing WTF? too. But I don't do that terribly often.

Here's what being on break looks like.

Today = mandolin lesson, followed by coffee with Friend From The North Country whose in Concord for a Clergy Lenten Quiet Day with our Bishop. I'm cooking veal parm for the Chap tonight. Tomorrow = an evening dinner party. Saturday & Sunday = Dogs and I are on our own all weekend, he's going to Boston to hang with an old college buddy and attend an annual luncheon at which he'll feast well and drink wicked potent punch made from a truly dangerous 18th century recipe. On Sunday I drive my FFTNC to the airport--she's travelling to Israel to take a course on "The Palestine of Jesus."

Not much on next week's calendar. Loads of writing time, so I expect to make great progress on my next-to-last stage of revisions.

I've just unexpectedly acquired an exciting new writing project...but I'm not ready to share! All in good time. So I'll just say it's quite different and challenging and comes with practically a guarantee of publication and interesting publicity. Although being me I'm certainly not taking anything for granted at this early stage.

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