Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas at chez nous brought with it the traditional Crud Attack.
This year's recipient was TonyP - the man who had tempted Fate at WDW by declaring that (for once) neither of us had gotten sick during our trip to Disney.
The Crud Attack hit him the day after our return.
The week before Christmas is supposed to be a fairly quiet one at WDW but it was actually pretty busy, when we were there. Evidently, the poor performance of our dollar is attracting a lot of foreign vacationers - as well as encouraging folks in the US to vacation in-country.
If you've never been to WDW around the Holidays, it's really something to see. The decorations and floral arrangements are wonderful and there are large gingerbread displays at all of the resorts. There are carols playing over the speakers and the lights and trimmings are perfect.
Well, maybe a bit too perfect. Because this is Disney, after all. And scores of designers have been working on this for months.
I had a great time and it was a wonderful experience but I'm not sure if I'd do it again because - nice as it is - I can't get my head around palm trees at Christmas!
Not that I personally associate Christmas with snow. When I was a kid, it was generally damp and dismal at Christmas. When I was little, that kinda sucked. We didn't get Currier & Ives; we got red mud with occasional snowy patches by Epiphany.
Of course, since we're currently in the midst of a big, honkin' drought, all of that grey damp and dismal rain seems like a blessing. This afternoon, I was pleased to notice some small puddles of water standing in low-lying areas so the wild critters are getting a bit of a break. It rained buckets on the day after Christmas.
(That's Boxing Day to my Brit and Canadian friends. Here, it's Trying-to-Find-a-New-Coat-at-Macy's Day.)
So, as 2007 winds down and we're all polishing off our gifts from A Southern Season, I want to wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season, the Best-est New Year imaginable and rain - if you need it!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
So, anyway....last Saturday, I was out doing a little Holiday shopping and went into SteinMart to see what else I could find to wear with my wonderful jeans when I suddenly felt the urge to pull my pants up a bit because I could feel a bit of a breeze where NO breeze should be.
That was when I realized that the chain-stitching holding the waistband to the rest of the jeans had come undone and the entire seam was slipping out as quickly as the stitching zips right out of a bag of charcoal briquettes!
I gauged the extent of the damage in the nearest mirror and found that more than half of the stitching had come undone and the only thing holding the jeans to the waistband were the belt loops.
To make matters even more interesting, I was kinda stuck at the shopping center until TonyP returned with the car from doing HIS shopping. I had to sort of keep one hand on the jeans at all times which - I'm certain - HAD to have looked pretty danged suspicious to sales associates. ("No, Ma'am. I'm not hiding any merchandise. My hand is in my pocket to keep my jeans from falling down!")
What I couldn't help but wonder was why anyone would chain-stitch a waistband onto a pair of jeans but, as it turns out, nearly all of my jeans have the same type of stitching. Why this hasn't happened to me before this is a mystery.
I have managed a temporary repair that should get me through the next couple weeks. But, after Christmas, I really want to take some stronger thread and go over that stitching one more time!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I've decided not to do Winter Session because I really need some time off. And it will be awfully nice to enjoy the hustle & bustle of the Holiday Season this year without classwork getting in the way.
For the first time in centuries, I am not doing anything either artsy or craftsy for the Season. No last-minute cocktail dresses re-conned from altmodische ballgowns. No frantic crocheted prezzie binge. No massive floral projects.
I do have some sewing to do for Winter but nothing pressing and there are a few pieces of needlework to keep my fingers amused. But all that I really plan on doing is giving the house one good end-of-year cleaning and then enjoying myself for a few weeks.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
It was my first conference and I didn't set too many objectives for myself but I did set a few and (I'm happy to say!) that I met them all!
Objective 1: Introduce myself to five people.
Objective 2: Ask five people about what they are writing.
Objective 3: Read aloud from something that I've written.
Now, I'm kinda shy so #s 1 & 2 were intimidating.
Objective #3 was terrifying. I was signed up for a session on short story writing and the instructor asked everyone to bring a first page to discuss during the class. Now - while I have no problem sharing my essays and non-fiction writing with the general public - I've always kept my fiction writing private. But, I had a first page that I felt reasonably confident about so I printed it off and tucked it into my portfolio - just in case I felt brave enough to raise my hand.
Brave is a relative term, mind.
I volunteered. I never volunteer. My hand was shaking so hard that I could barely hold the microphone but I managed to get through the passage without rushing and my voice only cracked a couple of times. I actually found it easier when I imagined that I was simply reading an excerpt from someone else's story!
The passage was well-received and the discussion about it was extremely helpful. I had already been taking copious notes during the session but it was helped me tremendously to have specific feedback on something of my own.
Later that afternoon, another writer approached me and wanted to discuss what I had written!
I was over the freakin' moon!
One of my Mom's best friends is a writer. C was surprised to learn that I was attending the conference because she didn't know that I wrote.
C: "How long has J been writing?"
Mom: "I don't know. Since High School, I guess."
C: "What kind of stuff does she write?"
Mom: "I don't know. I've never read anything she's written."
I told you... I'm kinda shy.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Over the last several years, you have probably heard me complain about how hard it can be for these online classes to get sorted out. The changes to Bb never seem to have been made in time and there's usually a lot of bad links and last minute alterations to be made by the professor and teaching assistant.
Well, this semester has been no exception. It might be one of the worst for lack of preparation. The course was designed with an earlier edition of the text in mind so the reading assignments don't match up with the actual units. The list of required films has yet to be settled on.The manner in which the discussions will be graded was changed over the weekend. And we're three weeks IN!
There are two writing assignments every week, which I'm rather used to. But this is one of those classes where the prompts are things like "In your opinion, what was the most important factor....?" And the materials being used are very scant lecture notes and one of the worst textbooks that I've ever encountered. So, all I can really say in an essay is what the authors of the textbook considered to be the most important factor in this or that because, really, I've not been directed to any primary sources.
The assigned textbook is crap. The authors of the book make very sweeping statements about motives and conditions that they can't possibly know with any degree of precision. Citations are not as thick on the ground as they ought to be. Theories on cultural development are flatly presented as facts - without any supporting evidence.
Did I mention this was a college textbook?
To make matters worse, the course is on Western Civilization (a topic I fancy I know a little something about) and the teaching assistant who is facilitating (and grading) the discussion portion has some very hard and fast notions about just what Western Civilization is/is not. I rather suspect that the discussions will be graded accordingly. The TA also seems hell-bent on arguing with a student until the student finally gives up and concedes. It's possible to side-step this behavior in a colleague but a little more difficult when the colleague is doing the grading!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
This is a watercolor of the Rideau Canal, Ottawa. During the Summer, the canal is dotted with boats and the footpath alongside is filled with joggers and pedestrians. During the colder months, people skate on the canal. It's a lovely place to walk!
This drawing is one of several studies that I've done of water lilies. The inspiration for this particular one came from a koi pond in Manteo, NC. I had developed a cartoon for a painting and liked the lines of the drawing so much that I did this version in silver ink on black paper.
Please note that 10% of the sales at GalleryJ will be donated to WCPE, the listener-supported, classical music station that I listen to throughout my work day.
I've been listening to WCPE since the '70s and you can, too! No matter where you are in the world, go to theclassicalstation.org to listen live.
(Note: For the time being, I am only shipping within the US but, if you live elsewhere and are interested in my work, I would love to hear from you!)
I've had a nice, long break, this Summer.
But, I'm afraid that I've spent most of it twitching - trying to decide what to do with with all of the free time because I hadn't had a break since last June.
Sailing through the year, propelled by strong currents and steady winds, I was not prepared when Summer came and I suddenly found myself in The Doldrums.
I have only a few more classes to take before I get my degree. Spending the last several months becalmed has forced me to think about life beyond Graduate School.
What will that be like?
I wonder how prepared I am to face the day after I get my Master's.
TonyP figures I'll probably go for a few more letters after my name!
Friday, August 03, 2007
July turned into one of those can't-seem-to-think-straight-where'd-I-leave-my-brain kinds of months.
I've been very busy getting the GalleryJ shop up over at Etsy.com. (Please see link to the Right, on this page>>>)
Now, I am trying to get everything uploaded for my Cafe Press shop.
I also want to let everyone know that the Twin Cities family members are all OK.
Please send good thoughts to the families who have not been so fortunate.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
(It's a little hard to make out the motifs in the tapestry fabric but they're Egyptische - which is, of course, why the bag has always been one of my faves!)
Friday, July 06, 2007
In the weeks to come, I will be moving some of my original artwork over to GalleryJ. This will make it much easier for you to know what is currently available.
Etsy.com does require user registration (like lots of other sales and auction sites) but registration is free and quite simple.
(Note: For the new few weeks, I will only be able to take checks and money orders but that will soon change.)
Not only did I actually attend the annual neighborhood progressive dinner last month but I've even joined the neighborhood book club - an entity which seems to have existed for the entire nine years that we've lived here (probably longer!) but which I knew nothing about.
We have lived in this house for nine years, as of this month. It's hard to imagine that it has been that long.
Harder still to believe that there are still boxes in the garage that have not been opened since moving day.
It was a bad moving experience and those of you that know me have heard the story often enough, so I won't bore anyone with the details. Suffice it to say that, after nine years, a lot of my things are still either in those boxes or stolen/missing and I have trouble dealing with finding out which is the case. It's been awfully tough to cope with any of it.
It was easy when I worked at B&N. Then, there was finishing up my undergraduate degree to concentrate on. Then, my art career. Now, there's this whole graduate school thing on top of it all, so ignoring the issue hasn't been too difficult to manage.
Still, I've looked for all sorts of excuses to not deal with those boxes: I didn't want to bother the dog....The weather was too hot....Too cold....There might be black widows.....
Well, the dog passed away over a year ago....Autumn is coming up and the weather will be cooler....I can wear boots, gloves and carry bug spray.
As I proceed, I plan to put some things aside (clearly labeled!) for church sales, charity and eBay. And there are probably lots of crafts materials that will find their way into my Etsy shop. The rest will either need space in our home or get stashed in the storage unit. Room will need to be made in both.
It's a daunting project - and one not easily or quickly completed.
But it's time to finally finish that move we began nine years ago -
- and to get to know the neighbors!
Turned out, they're having a promotion - buy 1 pair and get the second pair for half. As I've been needing a spare anyway, I took advantage of the offer and brought home 2 pairs.
Neither of which I like nearly as well as my old ones. I'm still hoping to get that screw replaced because I love the frames.
I do try to go without reading glasses as often as possible - especially when I'm on break. And I try to do my eye exercises every day - just the way my vision therapist showed me.
The truth is that wearing any sort of glasses makes my eye muscles lazy and, hence, the accommodation problem worse. So, the less I wear reading glasses the better.
But, sometimes it is danged good to be able to see -
.......... when I need to replace the very tiny screw in my reading glasses!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
TonyP has upgraded his photographic equipment so I got the camera he's been using (a Fujifilm S5100) .
Decent photo equipment is a very good thing.
Friday, June 15, 2007
These are the rayon shorts that I refashioned from some altogether too billowy pairs of pants. I cut the shorts pattern from the thigh parts of the original garments so there is still plenty of rayon left to play with!
The little tote was made a few weeks ago from the remains of a fitting muslin that I no longer needed.
This is where I sew!
I have had this old machine since I went off to Uni and I have always preferred to sew with it perched atop my old suitcase. It's just the right height for me to work at when I'm seated on the floor. I work the pedal with my knee.
I have had sewing tables in the past but this remains my preferred method.
The cabinet to the left houses my notions and threads so they are handy when I'm working.
In front of the machine are a couple of the binders that I'm using to get organized.
Here are two versions in plain cotton prints. The pattern requires so little fabric that I am able to splurge on some of the rather pricier things at the local quilt shop. It's also a very useful pattern for re-using fabrics.
For a recent trip to DC, I packed four of these skirts and some basic tees and felt reasonably well turned-out, despite the oppressive heat and humidity.
This Spring, I am making up a few more skirts from this pattern. Some of them have already been cut out, as in the photo below. This brown/white/turquoise print is one of the versions that I cut out a year ago but haven't gotten around to sewing up!
While I was preparing to take these "before" shots of the linen shirts I want to refashion, I noticed that both fabrics would work well with that skirt fabric! The shirts are massive and there ought to be plenty of linen to work with. These used to be two of my fave linen shirts and the fabric is well broken-in and oh-so-very-soft.
I'm thinking of some sort of camisole or short-sleeved blouse from the white. For the turquoise, I'd like a semi-fitted shirt with 3/4 sleeves but I don't have such a muslin already fitted, so that particular project will have to wait til July.
In addition to finishing the turq/brown skirt, I have about five more abandoned projects in my sewing area! My plan for the rest of June is to get those sorted out and try to finish them.
The "sorting out" portion of the process is being facilitated by a new ring binder system that I've pulled together for projects. Using the project planner downloadable from the Wardrobe Refashion website and a few plastic sleeves, I've finally got a place to organize the projects, make fitting notes and so on!
Friday, June 08, 2007
I should probably spend more time painting - if for no other reason than to justify the additional expense!
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
I, JennySlash, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thriftiness brings! Signed, JennySlash.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
We decided to stay Downtown and do a little sight-seeing so I finally had a chance to show TonyP the National Cathedral. We also lobby-surfed the Willard, promenaded Pennsylvania Avenue and dined at the Occidental Grill.
Not to worry - we managed to work in a few museums!
There's a fascinating show at the Corcoran called "Modernism: Designing a New World, 1914-1939". (The ticket is a bit pricey but students get in for $10, so bring your student ID!) It's a very interesting and thought-provoking exhibit. "Modernism" runs through July 29, 2007.
We also stopped in at the Renwick Gallery where the entire ground floor is featuring "From the Ground Up: Renwick Craft Invitational 2007" which showcases the work of Beth Cavener Stichter, Jocelyn Chateauvert, Paula Bartron and Beth Lipman. The work is stunning. "From the Ground Up" runs through July 22, 2007.
Not surprisingly, I spent entirely too much time in the book/souvenir shops and I came home with three more things to add to my Summer reading: American Gothic by Thomas Hoving, a Taschen book on Mondrian and a somewhat denser read by Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind.
It was a very Washingtonian weekend and I promise to post pics as soon as possible!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I will probably be mucking about with the point size for a while until I find something that I can read comfortably but still like how it looks on the page.
Also, Please note that all comments from the last three years have been deleted.
Sorry about that, Folks. It was NOT intentional and was the result of too little coffee before I embarked on this little revamp.
I don't think that there is any way to recover them at this point.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
My birthday was a few weeks back and TonyP ordered a beautiful Native American-type flute from Erik the Flutemaker. It arrived Tuesday and it's even nicer than I'd dreamed it would be.
I haven't taken a picture of it yet but it's one of the dark, carved ones. The motif is the night sky and the mottled surface of the flute looks like a star field.
The instrument has a good weight and feels wonderful in my hands. It is very easy to play - as long as you just gently breath into it!
As soon as I have pics I will post them!
Beginning June 1st, I shall abstain from the purchase of mass-produced clothing for two months.
If you are not familiar with the site, participants are encouraged to recon, refashion, recycle as well as make things from scratch.
So, in addition to my usual postings, you will probably see some of my sewing and crocheting projects on this blog.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Like a lot of you, I've been searching for ways to reduce my own carbon footprint without it becoming more of a hassle than I'm inclined to put up with. For example: the "18 seconds to change a light bulb" thing is a bit misleading. In order for me to switch to non-incandescent bulbs in our home fixtures, we would have to switch out every single hard-wired fixture in our home. So, I'm not sure how environmentally responsible that actually works out to be. I still don't like fluorescents and LEDs are too expensive and kinda worthless for task lighting. I hope that new, affordable solutions come on the market, while I'm trying to save up enough money to remodel.
There are actually two Earth Days. The United Nations observes one on the vernal equinox. Here in the US, we've been observing Earth Day on April 22nd, since 1970, although local observances seem to vary widely. So, if you've been confused about what Earth Day is or what it's about I'm not surprised.
In the late 80s and early 90s, talk about environmental issues always ended up being about recycled paper and soda bottles. The biggest concern seemed to be that our municipal landfills were beyond capacity but the discussion rarely moved beyond that point. And, while our cars became more fuel-efficient and less polluting, the American buying public switched from automobiles to SUVs and light trucks that were not held to the same standards.
The thing that's the most troubling to me is that we've been "observing" Earth Day for 37 years and we just keep making things worse. We got the Clean Air Act passed but manufacturing shifted to other places where there were no such restrictions. We got more efficient and less polluting cars but we stopped buying them and bought less-regulated vehicles instead. At virtually every step we keep circumventing any attempt made toward environmental responsibility.
We have an Environmental Stewardship Committee at my church - I think there's one at virtually every congregation. Usually their activities are focused around making sure that the church parking lot is permeable, that no rice is thrown after weddings and that there aren't any Styrofoam cups at the after-service coffee. The one at my church has been inserting helpful tips in the weekly bulletins and in the monthly newsletters - both the recyclable paper and the paper-free versions. Our rector asked all member households to reduce carbon usage during Lent and to keep track of all of the minor changes. He's going to announce the cumulative results of this exercise on Sunday, to show just how those small behavioral changes add up.
But,it's hard to take this process one step at a time. In the early days, the talk in the environmental movement was all about pollution. Last time around, it was all about waste management. Now, the attention is on becoming "carbon neutral": reduce what you can and offset what you can't. But, does this slow, step by step approach match the speed with which the environmental problems progress? Can this be addressed piecemeal or do we need a comprehensive approach?
Are we wrong for trying to promote more environmentally responsible options to the US buying public? No. Are we wrong to be pushing to make "green" trendy? Maybe. Do I have a better idea? Not really.
My concern is that, without a cognitive shift and a comprehensive approach, most people who go fashionably "green" will just as easily abandon environmental concerns when the next trend comes along.
I'm not saying that it isn't a good idea to change out a light bulb and turn off your computer at night. I'm not saying that recycling isn't worth the effort. And, I'm not saying that there's anything substantially wrong with increasing overall environmental awareness.
But, I am saying that the current trendiness of the topic makes it just as likely that the environment will end up on the next IN/OUT trends list.
So, let's take advantage of this increase in popular interest to make real strides and formulate comprehensive strategies to make continual improvements.
Monday, March 12, 2007
The decision to replace it was not an easy one. TonyP and I had spent every evening on that sofa. We'd virtually lived there. God knows, we'd eaten dinner on it every night. The state of the upholstery (as many of you can attest!) was frightfully worn.
While we might have had it reupholstered, it had never really fit the family room of our current house. The time had come for us to begin searching for a replacement.
Finding a piece that could easily slip into our lives was a daunting task. We looked everywhere and at everything. From pods...to pits...to wing chairs...to recliners, we tried them all. There was a wonderful circular thing, called MyPod (from Carter Furniture), that had a nice crash-pad sort of vibe to it. There were those teacup chairs at Ecko that we've been lusting after for years. And, there were some seriously ungodly recliners that looked like saggy, baggy elephants.
Oddly enough, during an excursion into Raleigh (shudder), we found ourselves at Rooms To Go. Within three feet of the door, we fell in love with a variation on this unit:
Now, imagine that this microsuede chair is actually more of the size of a loveseat, is so high and deep that one's feet dangle without touching the floor and that it folds out into a bed. Also, imagine there's a honkin' rectangular ottoman pulled up in front of it. Now, imagine that everything is a luscious cranberry red!
It's wonderful and cozy and provides very comfortable TV viewing during Tournament Season.
It also looks nifty with the leopard/zebra-print rug!
The one thing that does take a bit of getting used to is that the fabric is very like suede - which means that it water-spots like mad and grabs hold of stains....
....so, no more eating on the sofa!!!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
As you all know, it's pretty easy to do. Still, I'm quite surprised that TonyP, myself and most of the people that we interact with on a regular basis leave many more digital footprints than do many of my old acquaintances.
What's perplexing is that a lot of the folks that I used to know were in the arts - actors or writers or visual artists - and you would think that they'd be the easy ones to find. Wouldn't you?
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
....BUT, the fact remains that I saw a pair of bluebirds in our side yard and that means that there will soon be a nest in our carport!
We've had a lot of cold, this Winter, but not much in the way of snow and almost no ice (knock wood!) so maybe the birds aren't being too optimistic, after all.
Maybe Spring really is just around the corner!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
So far, the biggest problem that I've run up against is having to set up new accounts, both for my personal and my school-related blogs.
It's a real headache. Mainly because I already have entirely too many accounts - of one sort or another - to try to keep track of!
Of course, I'll soon become so used to the new log-ins and so forth that I won't even notice what my fingers are doing on the keyboard. The old, reptilian portion of my brain will kick in and I will be able to do it all without thinking about it.
That, however, is usually when problems set in!
It's like driving a particular route so many times that you don't even notice the signs. Then, one day, you're sitting in the passenger's seat and trying to give directions to a driver. Suddenly, you're actually looking at the street names and haven't a clue.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
I took a Writing class over Winter Break and started a Physics-related class before the Writing had finished, so I haven't allowed myself much in the way of down-time.
That might explain why I have had such a hard time concentrating on doing any research or writing. And, given that I've got a paper due in less than a week, I should probably snap out of whatever funk I'm in and focus.
It's not just classwork that I'm having trouble concentrating on. I've tried doing some sewing this week but that's not been going very well.
Fortunately, embroidery is working out well for me. I have a project that my mother gave me a couple of years ago - pillowcases with a printed design and three different shades of blue floss. It's a Jacobean motif, so the placement of the colours isn't exactly crucial. I don't really have any decisions to make. Thinking is minimal. I can just sit and stitch for hours on end.
Last week, I finally bought a very pretty sewing box from Hancock Fabrics. I've been looking for an attractive basket for several years but they are usually either too expensive or crappy. I managed to find a very charming one when I was at Hancock Fabrics, last week. Mine is one of the ones in the upper lefthand box but the fabric is different and (I think) more attractive. It's large enough for my handsewing things and the tools I use most often. There wasn't room for all of my pattern drafting stuff but I have something that works for that stuff. What I've needed was a pretty basket to travel around the house with me.
I've only had one proper sewing box before now. It was a tiny thing that I got when I was a girl. Since then, I've tried any number of containers but none of them were either pretty or special. I think that the last thing that I was using was a recycled plastic box that once held wipes, so almost anything would be a better!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
What caught my eye is that I'd certainly seen books with that title before. They are usually prominently featured at the local mega bookstore. A quick check of a major brick-and-click reveals that the new Oliver James book is (at least) the third book to sport that title and there are scads of books and articles and talkshow homilies devoted to the subject.
The point of this epidemic of print on the subject?
To. Sell. Books.
There are a mind-numbing number of books being sold on how to save money and publishers are making a mint on the subject. You can't walk into a bookstore without running headlong into some schmantzy display of tantalizingly marketed books that are designed to get you to buy a book - that you probably don't need - the premise of which is that you buy stuff you don't need!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
I know that Bb looks different on the instructor side than it does on the student side but someone needs to explain to me why in hell my professor for Spring semester decided to disable the "edit" button for our posts because it confused him and gave him too many things to keep track of.
Instead, he has asked us to add another comment line, asking that a post be removed and he'll do it for us.
This is easier for him exactly how?
Not to mention, it drives me buggy because he expects us to cut and paste from Word and Bb scrambles Word and adds funny little artifacts for no reason.
But, at least the professor is happy.
And, isn't that what it's all about?
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Don't worry. I won't subject my readers to my verses.
I'm not a poet. Just trust me on that one.
The problem is that the class description available at the time of pre-registration did not indicate that it was a workshop-for-people-who-write-poetry-already ( which was clearly what the professor had had in mind but was unable to convey to the folks who wrote the course description).
I am one of several people who took this to learn how to think and write more creatively but who have no poetic pretensions. There are a couple of people who are poets (and damn fine ones!). There are also a few who haven't read a poem outside of a Hallmark store since childhood and cannot read a poem with any comprehension.
The readings assigned for the class were clearly selected with the professor's original intention in mind and he has struggled to teach poetry to a bunch of us who haven't got a clue.
The last day to drop the class was two days ago and I fear that we are now all stuck in the same lifeboat for the next few weeks so we'll just have to make the best of it.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
We've still got a couple of days left in the liturgical season of Christmas and - while I intend to continue celebrating through to Epiphany - TonyP has pretty much decided that things need to be back to whatever-the-hell-normal-is-these-days.
So, slowly, the house is becoming undecorated.
Gifts are being put away and new clothes are being laundered while old clothes and unused items are being gathered up for Goodwill, church rummage sales and the local convenience center.
Our gift from the solid waste management folks of this fine town was a second recycling bin and an expansion of the curbside program to include a long list of paper products. That means that the annual trek to the recycling center to offload the past season's holiday catalogues can be stricken from the too-do list.
Unfortunately, they still don't do cardboard.
I have quite a bit of housework to take care of but it's mostly the normal stuff that gets put off - like laundry, lightbulbs and putting things where they belong (or, at least, out of the way for the time being). Since my decorating was a little on the sparse side there isn't as much un-decorating that needs to be done.
Few things are as dreary as taking down holiday decorations so I do try to find another Wintry decor change to make as a part of the process. I'll put out throws or put out Winter decorations that aren't specifically Christmas in orientation and try to think of ways to celebrate the rest of Winter... because Spring is a long way off, People.
A few years ago, we purchased a set of dishes with a pretty winter motif. (Right, like we really needed more dishes. But these are very lovely, suitable for daily use, dishwasher-safe ....plus, they have cute polar bears on some of the dishes!) We begin to use these dishes on the Winter Solstice and keep using them through the Vernal Equinox although there are years when it can be hard to tell Fall from Winter from Spring, where we live.
If you didn't get anything warm and cozy as a gift this holiday season you'll be out of luck if you head for the local mall in search of clothing to keep the chill off for the next several months because they've put out all of the Spring clothes already. They don't even seem to bother with Cruise Season anymore but go straight on to Easter and beyond. Even the local outfitters are having their end-of-season sales so forecasts for a warmer-than-average Winter for this part of the country had better be accurate.
Otherwise, there's always knitting and crochet!
(photo above was taken at Colonial Williamsburg in December, 2006)