Saturday, April 16, 2011

Contest: The Mystery Room

Below are five photos taken in a room in Naples, Florida. If you can guess what this room is, you have your choice of being taken out for espresso or gelato in Seattle or being sent a bottle of Italian olive oil. Have at it! (By the way, I don't expect anyone to get even close to the answer.)

HINT: The room is not in a private residence. And, yes, that's a waterfall in the first photo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How deep is my swamp?

My iPad 2 arrived Friday and I haven't unboxed it yet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A great weekend

What  great weekend! Friday I went out and pressure washed about 1/3 of the hardscaping, getting covered with wet moss (which smells like seaweed). I came in, took a shower, and can't remember what we did Friday night; apparently I was very tired. Kate arrived for the weekend.

Saturday morning Kate and I survived two mediocre yard sales, thanks to the restorative properties of croissants from Besalu. She went off shopping with a friend while I ran a record number of errands, picking up a blue fescue at Swanson's, visiting the dry cleaner in Wallingford, picking up a replacement outlet cover for a patio outlet, dropping off two ancient laptops at the computer recycler near Gas Works Park, picking up a special trellis for the grape arbor at the Fred Meyer garden center sale, and getting an aggregate paver at the stone yard. When I got home, there was time to install the blue fescue and the paver and dig a lot of weeds out of one of the garden beds. My neighbor Jeff came over with some scary power saws and removed the pear-tree stump, right down to ground level. Impressive — more than payback for taking care of their cats at Christmas. Tom got home from his continuing education class around 6:30. We went out to dinner at Fu Man Dumpling with Kate and Janna, then came home and collapsed.

This morning Kate packed up and headed off to a knitting confab. After the Sunday check-in with my mom, I braved light rain to make yet another foray into the garden. This time I dug up a huge rhodie to make room for a high-bush Legacy blueberry bush. This was one of the rhodies I'd transplanted from the south side of the house 8 years ago, possible the one whose transplantation resulted in the need for wrist surgery. This time I approached it with caution. I cut off the branches, then went to work on the stumps, which had apparently once again sent a tap root down into bedrock. After I dug down two feet, the damn thing still wouldn't budge. Tom, on his way to a Potlatch concom meeting, came by and stomped on the stumps. As a result, I was able to pop them out, in two pieces, about five minutes later, and plant the blueberry.

I then prepared an area for the new trellis, but the rain started in earnest before I could make any significant progress on screwing together the various pieces of tress. That may have to wait until after the trip to Florida.

So, I'm now at my desk looking at all the office work I didn't get gone. And not particularly caring about it.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Pressure and Pressure Washing

I woke up this morning with the urge to go out and pressure wash the hardscaping in the garden.

It's not going to happen, unless I get a lot of other stuff done first. I can't believe the lists.

This is the year that I'm spending 50% of my normal work hours and about 99% of my normal dancing, gardening, yoga, etc., hours working with the boards of two non-profits that are in the midst of exciting growth, repair, and transition.

The work isn't a pain; it's fascinating. The brainstorming stuff is, of course, energizing. The people are great. I'm learning to anticipate how people will react, how people will react with each other, and how to create experiences that bring out the best in people — which often means challenging them with responsibility and trust.

I'm also learning how to ask people for help and for money — large amounts — which I find exhausting.

All that said, this is not natural work for me, and never will be. I'm tired, and it's frustrating not to have time for the activities that restore me: aimless wandering around the neighborhood, pottering around in the garden, reading books that I have no idea if I'll like or not, and writing stories that might not pan out and that never have to be posted on a blog. I very much miss demolishing structures, digging up deadwood shrubs, and pressure washing moss off the patio — big, messy, projects that are measured in hours rather than minutes.

I am promising myself: Next year. Please let me get to next year.

Meanwhile, off to write a book review, run a round of errands, and condition the wood on the antique dresser Tom brought out of The Magic Storage Locker.