"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

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Back on the Grid & Projects

Our electricity was restored sometime early yesterday morning. The outage lasted 3 and a half days. We were among the last to get back service, but there are still thousands without. I saw a few of them this morning today at my Chairs and Vice Chairs meeting.

I could write a love letter to our generator and our fuel tank. Our experience in generating electricity provided good information on the fuel-to-generation ratio. (We could've managed several more days without getting a re-fill.) Our investment in a top-of-the-line model really paid off during the Second Worst Electrical Outage in State History. (The first being the '08 Ice Storm...a mere 14 months ago.) The generator's constant hum was part of my life for so long that I missed the fact of it (if not the noise) after we no longer needed it. My love affair with it is such that I can't, won't complain about the sound when it runs--because it's doing its job!

As the Chap keeps saying, "The best home improvement, ever!" And we've had a few.

Yesterday was my last day of legislative break, and it's no exaggeration to say it was by far the most productive. (Last week was no break at all...I had many non-legislative meetings, medical procedure, and a power outage to contend with.)

Here's how I spent my final day of "freedom" from the House of Representatives (in no particular order):

--practised mandolin

--decided on specific dates, locations, hotels, car hire, research and social activities for next UK trip and sought Chap's opinion of same.

--checked in on our loved ones living in France (at present visiting Britain) to find out whether their house in Poitou-Charentes was damaged in the windstorms attacking the other side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, it was.

--made progress on revisions of current novel

--messed about with some research/work on next novel

--completed 2 loads of laundry

--didn't use any curse words

--cooked lamb rogan josh (in the slow cooker, but I had to get it started and it's a complex recipe with many ingredients)

--knitted, which involved successfully adding on a new skein of yarn. My project is this shawl.

The needles are longer and thicker and slippery-er than the ones I used last time. But the shawl is basically just a fatter scarf. So even though my knitting mentor is touring places like Jerusalem and Bethlehem and the River Jordan and the Sea of Galilee and the desert where Jesus spent 40 days inventing Lent...I feel I'm living up to her high expectations.

Compared to all that, today I'm just a slacker. I attended my Chairs and Vice Chairs meeting, got my car inspected (revised ms. in the waiting room), and put away the laundry.

In between the meeting and the inspection I stopped at the garden centre and bought this little bonsai pot.

I've got a houseful of little boxwood trees, grown from cuttings taken from my mother's boxwoods, which were themselves grown from cuttings taken from a family friend's boxwoods. I've decided to bonsai one of them. So in addition to today's aforementioned unimpressive activities, I'll be mixing soil and planting and pruning a tiny tree, my latest horticultural project.

The garden centre had many prepared bonsai--for instant gratification types--which were quite inspiring to see. While I'm often in favour of instant gratification, I'm not about to lay out $$$ on another houseplant.

Because I have a hunch that I might just receive a plant from the Chap this week...special occasion coming up!

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