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Pants Apprehension

Recently I found some unused shoes from Zappos that I'd intended to return last year... but Vijay had his heart attack and they were set aside, forgotten for a while. So I returned them, over a year later, and the wonderful people at Zappos still gave me store credit, hurray!

After much consideration I decided to use the credit for some much-needed pants. They're scheduled for delivery this afternoon, yay! I ordered two sizes smaller than usual, because I've been losing weight. Will they fit? Will they be comfy? Or will they be unzippable? THE SUSPENSE IS BUILDING!

What's Cooking at Aglarond

These are people who do not eat. The fridge was so full of leftovers this weekend, there seemed to be no point to cooking anything more! I finally had to send the rest of the delicious squash and lentil soup home with my mother. It was really, really tasty soup; there was just so much of it, and neither maiabee8 nor alataristarion generally take seconds of anything.

Although, to be fair, I have not been eating either. I saw my doctor yesterday, a checkback to see how I'm doing on the new arthritis med we started in August. "You've lost 16 pounds in the last 3 months!", he proclaimed. "It was all in the last month and a half", I told him. "It's called the Heartbreak Diet. Very effective, but I don't recommend it."

So, here's what's cooking here this week -- with what I'm actually cooking underlined, for my convenience:

Sunday: Graze on leftovers.
Monday: I went to play in a Magic draft with my other son-in-law, Adam, and just noshed on trail mix between rounds. Maia and Paul made brats-in-blankets and a big yummy salad. (I had leftover salad for lunch today.)
Tuesday: Tortilla soup (from mix) with added chicken, peas and carrots; re-crisped leftover roasted potatoes (perhaps with added onion?). (This will be only about a four servings of soup, I hope!)
Wednesday: Weekly gaming night at Aglarond; I'll be at my knit night and need to remember to eat something before I go.
Thursday: Big green salad; beef and broccoli pasta skillet (use a box of pasta, some hamburger from the freezer, broccoli ditto, an onion or two, and maybe the can of cream-of-broccoli-and-cheese soup... or maybe just deglaze the pan with a little wine and throw in a spoonful of ancho chili powder... hmmm....)
Friday: Need to check and see what the weekend plans are, TBD
Saturday: (But will most likely involve a round steak.)

Something Not About My Relationship Woes!

My fabulous daughter took me shopping today, to get a whole bunch of little things that will make me feel more comfortable: a detachable shower head, shelves for my room, a hook for my towel, that sort of thing.

And we got them all at a discount, because a sudden freak windstorm knocked out power to the store just as we were in the checkout line. Target gives good customer service -- as soon as the generators kicked in, while the cash registers were still rebooting, someone came around handing out discount coupons to everyone caught waiting in line.

I'm looking forward to getting my yarn in order and finishing up all the old projects, so I can start on some new ones. What do you think about this cool wolf hat? wolfhat_large
I think it needs two grey I-cords coming out the top, with white fluff balls on the end, for the wolves to play with...

And my mind is clicking with cool knitting ideas, inspired by this great article combining statistical analysis and handpainted yarn to created amazing designs using planned pooling.

Let's see, what else am I excited about? Programming! I have an opportunity to mess around with databases again! My cousin is involved with a small nonprofit that's migrating its donor and client databases to SalesForce. He doesn't have the time to figure SalesForce out, and the nonprofit doesn't have the money to pay for training. So I am figuring SalesForce out for him, and optimizing the database, and designing queries, and having a ball.

It feels very, very good to be back in the saddle again. Here, have some coding humor to celebrate with me!

So tired

Exhausted today. I hate surrealism.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Now had the season returned, when the nights grow colder and longer,
And the retreating sun the sign of the Scorpion enters.

Birds of passage sailed through the leaden air, from the ice-bound,
Desolate northern bays to the shores of tropical islands.
Harvests were gathered in; and wild with the winds of September
Wrestled the trees of the forest, as Jacob of old with the angel.

All the signs foretold a winter long and inclement.
Bees, with prophetic instinct of want, had hoarded their honey
Till the hives overflowed; and the Indian hunters asserted
Cold would the winter be, for thick was the fur of the foxes.

Such was the advent of autumn. Then followed that beautiful season,
Called by the pious Acadian peasants the Summer of All-Saints!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood.
Peace seemed to reign upon earth, and the restless heart of the ocean
Was for a moment consoled. All sounds were in harmony blended.

Voices of children at play, the crowing of cocks in the farm-yards,
Whir of wings in the drowsy air, and the cooing of pigeons,
All were subdued and low as the murmurs of love, and the great sun
Looked with the eye of love through the golden vapors around him;
While arrayed in its robes of russet and scarlet and yellow,
Bright with the sheen of the dew, each glittering tree of the forest
Flashed like the plane-tree the Persian adorned with mantles and jewels.

Now recommenced the reign of rest and affection and stillness.
Day with its burden and heat had departed, and twilight descending
Brought back the evening star to the sky, and the herds to the homestead.
Pawing the ground they came, and resting their necks on each other,
And with their nostrils distended inhaling the freshness of evening.
Foremost, bearing the bell, Evangeline's beautiful heifer,
Proud of her snow-white hide, and the ribbon that waved from her collar,
Quietly paced and slow, as if conscious of human affection.

Then came the shepherd back with his bleating flocks from the seaside,
Where was their favorite pasture. Behind them followed the watch-dog,
Patient, full of importance, and grand in the pride of his instinct,
Walking from side to side with a lordly air, and superbly
Waving his bushy tail, and urging forward the stragglers;
Regent of flocks was he when the shepherd slept; their protector,
When from the forest at night, through the starry silence, the wolves howled.

Late, with the rising moon, returned the wains from the marshes,
Laden with briny hay, that filled the air with its odor.
Cheerily neighed the steeds, with dew on their manes and their fetlocks,
While aloft on their shoulders the wooden and ponderous saddles,
Painted with brilliant dyes, and adorned with tassels of crimson,
Nodded in bright array, like hollyhocks heavy with blossoms.

Patiently stood the cows meanwhile, and yielded their udders
Unto the milkmaid's hand; whilst loud and in regular cadence
Into the sounding pails the foaming streamlets descended.
Lowing of cattle and peals of laughter were heard in the farm-yard,
Echoed back by the barns. Anon they sank into stillness;
Heavily closed, with a jarring sound, the valves of the barn-doors,
Rattled the wooden bars, and all for a season was silent.

Holiday Gift Plans

I have several WIPs -- Works In Progress. For the most part the actual knitting (the fun part) is complete; what remains to be done is the boring, picky finishing work. Seaming, weaving in the ends, picking out and redoing a bind-off that proved to be too tight... all boring, picky work that I could easily be distracting from.

Some of these have been sitting around waiting to be finished for a few years!

So I intend to do something about this and start finishing them up for holiday presents this year.

Anyone who doesn't get a knitted something-or-other will get baked goods.

If you are really really lucky, you might get a newly-finished knitted cap AND a plate of pumpkin cookies. Oooo! Ahhhh!

Nov. 13th, 2013

This description, from the poem "Evangeline", caught my eye. I thought it a fair description of bbwoof's expression of contentment in the picture below it, from the Queen's Croquet in June 2011:

"his face, like the face of the morning,
Gladdened the earth with its light"


queensCroquet2011

I like thinking of him looking this way.
Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré
Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household.

Many a youth, as he knelt in the church and opened his missal,
Fixed his eyes upon her, as the saint of his deepest devotion;
Happy was he who might touch her hand or the hem of her garment!
Many a suitor came to her door, by the darkness befriended,
And, as he knocked and waited to hear the sound of her footsteps,
Knew not which beat the louder, his heart or the knocker of iron;
Or at the joyous feast of the Patron Saint of the village,
Bolder grew, and pressed her hand in the dance as he whispered
Hurried words of love, that seemed a part of the music.

But, among all who came, young Gabriel only was welcome;
Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the blacksmith,
Who was a mighty man in the village, and honored of all men;
For, since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations,
Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people.

Basil was Benedict's friend. Their children from earliest childhood
Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician,
Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their letters
Out of the selfsame book, with the hymns of the church and the plain-song.
But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson completed,
Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith.
There at the door they stood, with wondering eyes to behold him
Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a plaything,
Nailing the shoe in its place; while near him the tire of the cart-wheel
Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders.

Oft on autumnal eves, when without in the gathering darkness
Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and crevice,
Warm by the forge within they watched the laboring bellows,
And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes,
Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel.
Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the swoop of the eagle,
Down the hillside bounding, they glided away o'er the meadow.
Oft in the barns they climbed to the populous nests on the rafters,
Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone, which the swallow
Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings;
Lucky was he who found that stone in the nest of the swallow!

Thus passed a few swift years, and they no longer were children.
He was a valiant youth, and his face, like the face of the morning,
Gladdened the earth with its light, and ripened through into action.
She was a woman now, with the heart and hopes of a woman.
"Sunshine of Saint Eulalie" was she called; for that was the sunshine
Which, as the farmers believed, would load their orchards with apples;
She, too, would bring to her husband's house delight and abundance,
Filling it full of love and the ruddy faces of children.

What's Cooking at Aglarond

alataristarion and maiabee8 may have settled on a name for their house, their "Fortress of Not Solitude": Aglarond.

I am having trouble, however, cooking for the inhabitants of Aglarond, as they are not in the habit of sitting down to dinner, much. But they like the idea of getting Aviva in the habit of a family dinner, and I like the idea of facilitating that. It felt so soothing to cook today!

So. Last week the soup I made was delicious, and bountiful. So bountiful that I cooked nothing else, and we are still eating delicious soup.

Wait, I also baked banana bread. Does that count?

Anyway, here is the menu for this week:

Sunday: Eat out at Schlafly Bottleworks, Paul's treat. I had nothing but a pint of beer and a large serving of sticky toffee pudding for dinner, and that was just right for that day.
Monday: Whole-wheat pasta with spicy tuna and tomato sauce; big green salad.
Tuesday: Eat up the leftovers. We shall defeat the delicious squash and lentil soup! Yes!
Wednesday: Weekly gaming night at Aglarond; I'll be at my knit night and will probably just make myself a sandwich.
Thursday: My brother, Mark, will be in town! Dinner out with Mark, and steadying advice, and hugs.
Friday: Baked chicken; broccoli; roasted potatoes; green salad; challah; pumpkin spice cookies.
Saturday: I will graze on leftovers, or perhaps fix myself some eggs, while the other Aglarondites are out of town for an SCA event.
Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas,
Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré,
Dwelt on his goodly acres; and with him, directing his household,
Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village.

Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters;
Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes;
White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the oak-leaves.
Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the wayside,
Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her tresses!
Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows.

When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide
Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden.
Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret
Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop
Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them,
Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her missal,
Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings,
Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom,
Handed down from mother to child, through long generations.
But a celestial brightness — a more ethereal beauty —
Shone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession,
Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her.
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.

Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer
Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea; and a shady
Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it.
Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath
Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow.

Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse,
Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the roadside,
Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary.
Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-grown
Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses.

Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the farm-yard,
There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;
There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,
Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame
Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.

Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase,
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous corn-loft.
There too the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates
Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant breezes
Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.

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