Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cold feet, warm heart

My sweet retro-namesake leaves for New York tomorrow. She was so cold while she was here, I finally took pity and turned up my thermostat for her . . . ahhhhhh, what luxury. I have been dialing down for so long that I had forgotten what a warm house was like this time of year. No shiver of dread as I push back the covers, no morning shock as I race to the bathroom to do my necessaries. It has been a real treat. Soon I will be in Sanibel for a couple of weeks, where I willingly jump up on (much warmer) mornings to comb the beach for shells, but I will return to frigid Michigan workday mornings after that. Thank goodness the little namesake will be back for Christmas so that I can get warm again! In the meantime, I will get back to doing my part to save fuel. I am getting to old for these cold nights alone, if I were a better environmental activist, I'd start looking for a warm body to warm my feet against!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I am having pretty good luck with my homemade grocery shopping bags, which I am finally remembering to take with me almost everywhere. (apparently I am having better luck than my sweet daughter-in-law has had in her local area, where the switch from 'their bag' to 'her bag' is too challenging. (Imagine the cool link I will someday learn to make to her blog at http://infiniteparentheses.blogspot.com/ here.) Honestly, some of the five bags I've made so far are kind of neat, although the others are embarrassing losers. I bought a remnant today to make one out of patterned fleece, we'll see how that goes. Someday maybe I will also learn to post photos, but don't hold your breath. You will just have to use your imagination for now.

I spent Thanksgiving knitting another baby blanket to donate at the "local" Florida hospital when I visit my friend in Cocoa Beach in the spring, because that is my excuse for visiting her. I wanted to try making my own cheese, because clearly I am more cut out to make homey things than to actually do anything really useful to conserve or contribute, and I guess we each have our own path . . . I read about making cheese in (another imagined cool link here:) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, which I read about in another favorite blog, (tah dah, use that imagination again) http://crunchychicken.blogspot.com/ But I ran out of time and energy and never got past buying the milk. Maybe I can try to be a contented cheesemaker for Christmas, instead.

This month has not been without its challenges, but in my life as, no doubt, in yours, that's just the way it goes. I am grateful to get to take a deep breath between the times when one or another shoe drops. My mom's death was sadly anticlimactic after her troubled and volatile life, and it was a wonder and a blessing that she went so sweetly and gently when the time came. Soon after, her sweet namesake had yet another melt down, such an appropriate term. I picture a graceful, slightly exotic candle that burns down to a puddle and a fragment of wick, so unrecognizable and sad. I hope she will be able to reform herself again soon, there is still a lot of good wax there. Thankfully, she was out of the hospital by the weekend, and she was able to set aside, for the moment, her nearly 30-year old conviction that it is still my failed responsibility to give meaning to her life, and we eventually had a nice dinner. When the namesake of my mother, her bittersweet remnant, was ready to rejoin the world, I made cheesecake instead of cheese, and other exotic healthy foods, and we had a nice time after all.

The drama put everything else on hold, though, and so now I am even further behind than I was before . . . I leave for Sanibel in a week and am holding my breath hoping that things will go well enough til then to allow me to really go and breathe a bit in paradise with as little guilt as possible.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Being thankful

It has been such a long time since I have taken the time to post. I have been using my few "optional" computer minutes to read other people's blogs! There has been illness in my family, both physical and mental, and I have been feeling a bit drained . . .

But I have much to be thankful for, including the wee ones who first inspired me to make more of an environmental effort. In that vein, I have ordered a fairly local, hormone free, free range turkey, even though at this point I have no idea whether we will be having a family thanksgiving any time soon . . . certainly my grands will stop by over the weekend, and nothing says loving like as much local, healthy food as I can muster. I am hoping that a couple glasses of red wine (domestic, to save on petroleum) will help give me the oomph I need to get things done and keep a smile plastered on my face! Blessings of the season to all.