Thursday, November 30, 2006


The other day I wrote an email to this woman who has her own business knitting custom sweaters and dying yarn and fiber to sell. I asked her a question about her business and hoped she would not think it an imposition. She sent me an answer which was kind of her. However, part of her email was a bit disturbing. I had written that I had started my own online shop and had aspirations to dying my own yarn and fiber. She wrote back, "Good luck with your business. You have jumped into a pond that is getting more crowded all of the time." Now, why would you say something like that to someone? As if I wasn't worried enough that I'd missed the boat and was at least a year too late? Am I crazy? Have I taken a well meaning comment and turned it into something nasty without cause? Perhaps. Anyway, I had a nasty feeling for a while after that. It's gone now but I always have to be careful to tune out that rotten radio station that plays in my head, what Annie Lamott calls KFKD. I wish I could unplug it forever.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sarah's Gift

My friend Lisa had a baby this year. So naturally I knitted a gift for her. I made a nice package, printed up some postage and sent it off Priority Mail. On my end everything went well. The package was sent and arrived in Atlanta 3 days later. That's when the trouble began. No one was home when the postman came so he left a slip. A few days later Lisa's husband signed the slip and put it back in their box so that the package would be redelivered. Nothing. No package. And when you have two children you do not have time to keep checking on the package. Finally, they called the post office. The post office couldn't find the package. And I'll tell you why. Because they had sent it back to me since it was unclaimed. What became of the signed slip? Who knows. So I sent the package again. This time I used Fed Ex and sent it to Lisa's husband's office. Success! To see the gift go and see my other blog here.

I have always had good experiences with the postal service though my own post office can be very slow if you have to wait on line. But as far as I know they have never lost anything or failed to deliver all my mail. I have never asked for re-delivery as it is easier to just go get it but I think it would be fine though it might take 3 days. I have been sending my store packages Priority Mail and they have arrived but the tracking is a little sketchy. I'd like to use FEd Ex but they are more expensive. We'll have to see what happens. It's hard when it all depends on the destination postal workers and how good they are at their jobs. There is no way to control that and as we know I don't like not having control over things. It's probably some kind of life lesson.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Full Belly

My family chose to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday this year. My cousin Beth is a nurse and my cousin Wendy's husband is a fire fighter. They both had to work on Thursday and Friday so we got together on Saturday. It was our biggest party ever, I think. 19 people, 5 of them children. The dining room was certainly too small and a buffet didn't seem feasible either. So we set up in the garage. It worked out really well. We had two tables set perpendicular to each other and used every chair in the house including the plastic patio chairs. The kids ate in the kitchen, away from the crazy adults.

As for the food, it was pretty good. The turkey was especially tasty. And the desserts came out very well, even if I do say so myself (maple walnut pound cake & pumpkin chocolate tart). The kids partook of a 10 pound Toblerone bar that Uncle Mark brought. I have no idea where he found it. It was kind of scary actually.

We also had two non-family members with us. Our good friends Barb and her partner Robin. They're fabulous. They live out on the North Fork of Long Island. I may have to go for a visit next summer. I haven't been swimming in ages and Claudio's Restaurant has some of the best clam chowder and crab cakes I've ever had. Besides, I think they'd be a blast to hang out with for a couple of days. And the way time is flying by it will be summer in just a moment.

We adults spent much of the evening talking politics. We are cautiously optimistic and are really hoping that this is the turning of the tide. I think we're due for a change. I like to believe that there is new wind blowing, that this country's rampant consumption and total disregard for the rest of the world are diminishing. I have to think positive. It's either that or make plans to move to Iceland.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Positive Method

I don't know if any of you ever peruse the self-help aisle of the bookstore. One of the categories involves visualization and manifestation. The idea is, if you visualize a thing - really see it, every day- you will manifest that thing, attract it to you. It can be a relationship or a job or a house. Similarly, if you see only trouble that is what you will attract. What I found surprising is that this idea isn't really that new. It began with Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich (1937) and Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). Both of these books advocate action and faith but the core idea is that your thoughts are the starting point, if you think a thing with conviction and faith and persistence it will come to be. Now, my genetic background is one of skepticism. I find it hard to let go of ruthless logic (a former co-worker used to call me Scully). However, in the face of the business I haveThe Power of Positive Thought decided to give it all a try. I will proceed as I would have, looking for opportunities and ways to get the word out but I will also do the visualizing and positive thinking. While it may not live up to the hype it can't possibly hurt. Besides, thinking that all is well and wonderful is much better than sitting about brooding about how things are not going as planned.

Here is someone who never troubles about the future. She is enjoying a toy I made for her.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I had thought that the people working on the facade of my building were done with my side. Alas, I was in error. Today the drilling almost sent me over the edge. They were right under my window for about 2 hours. I was praying to anyone who might be listening to make them stop. I had a brief respite when I went to the store but when I returned they were still at it. It's like being trapped next to an enormous dental drill. Finally, after 4pm they stopped. I am fervently hoping that when they come back tomorrow there is no drilling.

But there is a bright spot in the day. A very fragrant bright spot. I made beef stew. It's in the oven right now. The whole house is redolent with it. Yum.

Monday, November 13, 2006


So, just two orders in I had a customer problem and it was my fault. (Sigh) It seems that in the checkout area of the cart it listed the shipping as USPS Priority 1 day. Now I would swear, on anything you'd care to name that it did say 2-3 days which is Priority Mail average time. I have no idea when or how it changed. The upshot was that my customer thought she was paying for overnight shipping and was miffed when she didn't get it overnight. I explained that it was a mistake and I refunded her shipping. Fortunately she didn't actually need it overnight and understood about computer glitches. So all's well that ends well and it was a relatively painless way to find the problem but still... What started out as a good day is now all icky. I certainly know that in retail you have customer problems but I really didn't want one quite so early on. But perhaps it's better this way. In any case, I can see that I will have to run through the process frequently to make sure there aren't any weirdnesses. (Sigh)

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I have been very fortunate in the apartments in which I've lived. Only in the first one did I have a roach problem. Since that place in back of Fenway Park I've lived pretty much bug free. Occasionally one might show up but that was it. This has held true in my current apartment. However, they've been doing work on the facade of the building for the past 5 months. The work involves drilling out worn bricks and installing new ones. This has resulted in more bugs. I can't really blame them. They sense the world through vibration and the drilling must be like the neighbors having the stereo on 10. They have been appearing sporadically, maybe once or twice a week. But in this apartment a bug has an incredibly short life expectancy. As soon as it comes out into the open the cats are on it. It's got no chance at all. Occasionally I will catch a cat with a bug in his/her mouth. Now, I know that these bugs don't carry disease but there is something just icky about the idea of the cat eating it. I suspect it's the stigma the roach carries. I wouldn't feel the same about a beetle or a moth. At any rate, I usually try to get the cat to drop the bug then I kill it quickly with one swift clog and toss it in the garbage. The poor cats then hunt around for the bug. They can smell it but it isn't where they left it. It must be very frustrating.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


After yesterday's deluge the sun came out in a brilliant blue sky. I went to the park and everything had that after the rain smell. I just stood there and inhaled deeply. The park was beautiful. The golden autumn light was made even more golden as it passed through the leaves. A gust of wind would come up and leaves would flutter to the ground like butterflies. Perfect.
Or almost. There's a problem I have that I've been trying to get rid of but I can't quite manage it. Two years or so ago a young Julliard student named Sarah was murdered in the park. Her family organized search parties and they found her about a week after she went missing. The worst thing about it was her death. She must have been terrified in those last moments. But the second worst thing is that her murderer became part of the park. He made himself a part of it. Now, the park wasn't perfectly safe before this. There are countless spots for people to lurk. In one spot there is a circle where fires have been lit and a lot of beer drunk. But it felt fine. After Sarah was found my behavior in the park changed. For a while I didn't venture further in. Then when I did I would keep looking behind me, listening to every little sound, hyper alert. And that is still true. I can't help thinking of what might be hiding in the forest and wondering what became of Sarah's killer. They haven't found him. Is he still here somewhere? Did he get arrested for something else or leave town? Did he die? And how does he feel? Powerful or horrible? I suppose this is the price for living among people. We do awful things to each other, often for no reason at all. I hope that one day I can walk under the trees and think only of the beauty and not of evil.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Victory-I Hope

I'm trying not to get my hopes up. We've taken back the House. Now we have to do something with it. I suppose we will still meet with a lot of opposition from the White House but we should be able to turn the tide a bit, don't you think? Please say yes. We've strayed so far from reason that it will be a long road back to some semblance of sanity. History teaches that things tend to swing back and forth. We are long overdue for the swing back to sense.

So, repeat after me: We will make a difference.

Say it every morning at it may turn out to be true.


Ok, the NaNoWriMo is not going so well. I've gotten stuck and I don't quite know where to go. I know the end, it's the middle that's the difficulty. And then there's the fact that my wrist still hurts when I type. After 1700 words it can really ache. It really seems like a bad idea to stress it out. We'll see if I can find my way through. Even if I do I may not make the 50,000 words by the end of the month but I'll have a start on the book. That's the important thing really. I have decided that I will not beat myself up over it. So there.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


You remember the Purple Soup from the previous post? Of course you do. Well, I didn't eat all of it that same day so I refrigerated what remained. Last night, when I took it out to reheat, I discovered that it was a different color when cold.
This is the soup right out of the refrigerator.

And this is the soup after heating. Weird.

I needed some new jeans so I took myself to the Housing Works Thrift Shop. And in a miracle of biblical proportion found two pairs that fit pretty well. One is slightly gapey in the waist and if I were buying them new at full price I probably would have rejected them. But I paid only $12 a pair so I took 'em and counted myself blessed. You can't beat that price with a stick. I also found a pair of boots. I know, I have lots of shoes and boots. But these were only $15 and they're BLUE!
Here they are in all their glory.

And here is Nora with the boots. She loves shoes almost as much as I do.

NaNoWriMo begins today. I will try to keep you posted.