Daily Archives: September 19, 2010

Third Update: Work & House

Let’s see, what else. I’ve been working. I started back last Monday, and have been diligently moving words around in a document, making something completely different. Most of the time I think it makes sense, but sometimes I suspect that I’ve totally lost the train of thought I’m constructing through it. Well, that’s what the next step of editing is for: checking to make sure it flows. I did that copy-editing test, so it’s on file now, and unless I really flubbed it I should be good to go. I’ve also been redoing my pro website, which is ridiculously easy with iWeb. So easy that it was almost done the day I began, except I had to run out to cello, and I haven’t been able to finish up. Well, that’s not entirely true; it’s done, I just haven’t trusted myself enough to upload them. I started on the Owldaughter site, too.

The site redesign was co-prompted by Adelina and Debra. I did an author co-appearance with Adelina for the Melange’s nineteenth birthday (nineteen! an independent bookstore turned nineteen!), which was hugely enjoyable. In catching up, we discovered that we’d bought houses within ten minutes of one another! I asked her who’d done her site, and she admitted to doing it herself with iWeb, which spurred me to sit down with it and try it out, since my site hasn’t been touched in over a year. When I went Mac my comfy CoffeeCup software no longer worked, and I didn’t have the energy or focus to teach myself a new Mac-based one, but iWeb is so ridiculously easy that it’s practically magic. Debra then contacted me for up-to-date bio info for the Yule Fair prep, since the bio on the site is woefully out of date, and that was the final kick I needed to get to work on it.

We hosted a lovely birthday dinner here yesterday for my mother-in-law. They brought steak and salad, there was wine, and I made a very delicious cake. (Note to self: Use three egg whites and two whole eggs in this white cake recipe, make a quarter of this recipe for caramel filling and add a teaspoon of vanilla and a couple of pinches of fleur de sel, then do a really creamy buttercream frosting. Simple, tasty, and just what Mom likes.) HRH and his dad ran wiring to the side door, so now we have an outdoor light there and can see to unlock the door. They also fixed the bank of pot lights in the family room that blew when the cats got into the hanging ceiling a couple of weeks ago.

Also on the house front, we have discovered that we do not, in fact, have a heat pump. We have central air conditioning, with forced air that can better distribute the electric heat. But quite aside from the forced-air-not-heat-pump issue, there was a wire disconnected in the thermostat which was why our heat wouldn’t go on even when we tried to trigger it by setting it for stupidly high levels. So that’s been fixed and clarified now, too.

It’s been such glorious weather this month. Mostly sunny days with cooler nights, with that wonderful golden-tone light, while the leaves are only just barely beginning to change colour. There have been a couple of spectacular thunderstorms, too, with glorious lightshows over the seaway that we can watch from our front porch. We’re really loving the house. We’re still trying to find our rhythm in certain ways–for example, I still haven’t figured out where to do my cooking prep efficiently in the kitchen, as we seem to lack enough continuous counterspace–but that’s minor. I’m starting to take photos of the inside to post for everyone who’s been asking to see the interior. A lot of it doesn’t photograph well, unfortunately, and I’m working with an eight-year-old camera that tends to focus on things I don’t want in focus, or doing odd things with colour or bending images.

There you are; we’re all pretty much up to date.

Second Update: Cello & Fibre Arts

Orchestra’s back in session, as are my cello lessons. The programme of the fall concert is going to be fabulous. The theme is ‘intercontinental’ and we’ve got a smashing variety of Eastern European dances, Italian overtures, and French suites. Lovely stuff, and lively. Equally lovely is the fact that it’s not as technically challenging as the last concert. I adored the last programme, and it really pushed me to work hard, but it’s nice to be able to relax a bit and focus on musicality. (Fall concert, November 20; mark your calendars!)

Lessons are going well so far, too. I was worried about an eroded skill level after a month of no practice because of the move (two days does not count), but I’m not as bad as I expected. I need to get my head back into translating squiggles on paper into finger and bow movements—it all feels kind of sludgily slow at the moment—but apart from that, my tone was very pleasant, my bow behaved, and my elbows and shoulders and wrists were doing what they were supposed to be doing (most of the time). I sounded like… a cellist. So far I’ve had two private lessons and one group lesson, in which I spent an hour and a half sight-reading Christmas carols, much to our delight (group rehearsal is all about practising group pieces for whichever upcoming recital is next). There’s a seven-part arrangement of Greensleeves that knocked our socks off; it’s glorious.

On the fibre arts front, I’ve been spinning some plain Jane undyed Corriedale for a month, but even though I’m close to finishing it I may bundle it away and start either the delicious violet, blue, and green Projekt B dyed BFL I got from Ariadne Knits when Ceri and I took Ada on her first yarn crawl, or the stunning ‘Iris’ Romney braid I got from Feeling Sheepish and have been hoarding. It was chilly at the bus stop on Friday morning and the poor boy was pulling his cuffs over his hands, so I offered to knit him a pair of fingerless mitts. He chose white (yes, such a sensible colour for little boys’ outdoor accessories) and I knit them up on Friday for him. They’re very white and a bit feminine-looking, so I told him we could dye them whatever colour he wanted. “Yes!” he said, excited. “Like… dark white!”

Well, I tried.

First Update: The Boy

Okay, here’s a series of updates. It was going to be very general, because there hasn’t really been anything of substance in almost two weeks, but I’ve broken them up into themed posts.

First up: The boy!

Kindergarten is going swimmingly for the boy. He’s settled in so well with his teacher, classroom, school bus, and new friends (because remember, everyone he meets is a new friend) that we’re a bit at a loss, because we were bracing to deal with at least one tricky bit somewhere. I forgot to put dessert in his lunch on Friday (worst mum of the year award goes to… me!) and stopped by the school on my way to do groceries with a homemade cookie. I’d intended to just drop it off but the office called him right down, and he showed up in a tumble of fun with his bestest new friend, colourful hall passes around both their necks. He looked at me oddly and said, “Um, Mama? What are you doing here?” as if he couldn’t process the fact that I was in a place where I usually wasn’t. Didn’t even get a kiss or a hug after I passed him his care package; he ran off again with his friend back to class after an “Okay, bye Mama!” Yeah, he’s fine.

Two weeks in kindergarten and he’s sounding words out on his own. I know a lot of this comes from the incredible amount of prep we did with him about sounding words out while reading, but all it took was Someone Not Mum or Dad to really get it going. I’m thrilled at how wholeheartedly he’s throwing himself into school. We didn’t doubt, but we did secretly worry; what if he didn’t like his teacher? What if kids on the bus were mean? What if, well, anything? But all is well.

All is so well, in fact, that HRH went and joined the parental governing board. You see, the parent welcoming meeting and class curriculum meetings after it were scheduled on the same night as my first orchestra rehearsal, so HRH went to the school meeting. “I promise not to join too many committees, ha ha ha,” he said on the way out. I figured it would be sensible to wait a year to get a feel for the school, and he thought the same. Except, he said apologetically when I got back, there was one position left open on the board, and no one was volunteering for it, so…

We have been reading the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series of books before the boy’s bedtime at night, and we’re loving it. We are very excited about the movie coming out next weekend. The boy has already been asking for the music, and I have had to tell him that we can’t buy it until the Tuesday before the film comes out. He told me that it wasn’t fair that I had two owls and he had none, so he tried to wheedle me into buying a dreadful one at the grocery store, but I said I knew of a much better one. We went to the bookstore that afternoon and he bought his very own lovely silky stuffed owl, whom he has, of course, named Soren, even though it is a Barred Owl and not a Barn Owl. And also on the book front, he brought home his first Scholastic book order form, and I was terribly excited until I opened it. It’s all… so young. We don’t read many 3-5 year old books any more. There is a book on the planets, and a Scaredy Squirrel book we don’t own; we may order those. But I was pretty disappointed in 99% of the flyer.