(This was written, then I forgot to hit publish. Your RSS feeds aren’t confused; I backdated it to when it should have appeared.)
Owlet is walking, albeit stealthily. This morning I watched from the kitchen as she stood up in the middle of the living room, bounced in place for a bit, looked over at her toys by the wall, and walked over to them before plopping herself down. Ha ha; we see you, baby. It’s not a secret.
Sparky starts camp on Monday. His info packet arrived a few days ago, and his personal schedule came by e-mail. Guess who needs his own set of drumsticks? (We have one. It’s just amusing.) He’s doing science, karate, choir, drums, and art/cartooning. We also got the info packet for the International School, so we have supply lists and fee deadlines and so forth. He’s going to start halfway through the last week of August, and the first two days are mornings only, with the Friday being the first whole day, followed by the three-day Labour Day weekend. The ped days at this school are scattered through the weeks instead of being clumped into a long weekend, which is nice in a way.
HRH has painted the front awning! (Or whatever the thing over the front door is called. We call it the awning, even though it’s solid.) It was a horrible faded purple, once brown, we suspect. I chose a lovely dark green, and it looks wonderful. He’s going to continue the green up around the trim that’s the same faded purple-brown later this year when it isn’t so stupidly humid and hot. Next year we’ll tackle scraping and repainting the white ironwork and it will be the finishing touches on the front exterior.
(That’s actually not a very good colour match for the real thing. It looks more blue than dark green here. But anyway.)
I’m participating in the Tour de Fleece for the first time this year. (I’ve also signed up for the
Ravelymics Ravellennic Games for the first time. Hanging out with my online July 2011 babies group of knitting mamas is doing weird things to me.) My personal goals were to spin for about fifteen minutes a day, to sample the Teeswater I got in a swap last year, to sample the Cormo/silk that Bonnie blended, and to attempt a new technique like corespinning. So far I am good on the first two, so now I get to choose one of the last two and give it a go. I’ve got one week left.
I received another freelance project, this one editing a YA science-fiction/paranormal title. My publisher recently launched a couple of fiction imprints, one for YA, and so this is my first pro fiction copyedit. It’s very exciting. I’m ahead of schedule because it’s good and an easy read. This is a nice switch from trudging through the fiction manuscripts from the self-publisher I used to work for, where I had to read them in order to evaluate them. I was instructed to edit this with a very light hand, which also helps. It’s also a nice switch from the last book I edited, a non-fiction book on manicure art, where I handed it back more red than black after rearranging and rephrasing and clarifying steps. Step-by-step instruction is hard to write for most authors, pro or not, so a lot gets reworked in the editing stage to clarify what the reader doesn’t know simply because they’re not the author.
I am now in that limbo between forty and the answer to everything.
It was a quiet birthday. We’re all rubbing against one another uncomfortably here at home; no one is used to having all four family members home all the time for more than three days in a row, and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. The day started off very nicely, and then we kind of got irritated with one another, but it ended nicely again. We had sushi as a birthday treat, and Owlet devoured a kappa maki and Sparky decided that he liked sake sashimi (which he has liked on again and off again since he was three… mostly off again). Now I am excited, because this means we can go out for sushi together and everyone can eat something.
The birthday may have been quiet in person, but online there was a riot of birthday wishes and greetings in forums and through Twitter and Facebook and via e-mail. It took me ages to read through them all, in several sittings. Thank you again, everyone!
My birthday is also my parents’ wedding anniversary. My rudimentary math skills tell me that as I was born on their fourth wedding anniversary, they have now been married for forty-five years.
I had an early birthday dinner with my in-laws before they left for a month on holiday in Cape Breton, which was lovely. They gave me a teacup and saucer that had been owned by HRH’s maternal grandmother, and I had my tea in it the very next morning. I love gifts like that, that come with meaning and history. They also donated to my Saving Up for an iPad 2 fund. My parents sent me money for the same fund (and blew me away with their generosity!), and HRH and the kids also gave me a gift certificate toward it. I am over halfway there already. I want to get it before I leave for my conference on the first weekend of August, because then I will be able to Skype with the kids each night. The Windows laptop that could handle Skypeing is now dead, the old iBook that is a glorified typewriter can’t run the program or load the web-based interface, and my iPhone doesn’t have a front camera.
The iPad is the result of a long research- gathering and decision-making process. It was evident that I needed an alternate work computer. I use my iPhone all the time via wi-fi through the day, and I also wanted a larger e-reader where I wouldn’t be turning a page every five seconds. I liked and coveted the iPad, which answered most of my needs, but I couldn’t justify it since I couldn’t use it for editing, which is the majority of my work. Track Changes is my main tool, and iPad apps didn’t handle it. If I needed a backup unit to work with while travelling or if my desktop went down again (please no, not any time soon, or ever again, really), then investing in a computer-like thing that couldn’t be used for work was pointless. So I kept looking at small laptops half-heartedly, which would let me work but not provide an easy e-reading experience or the casual online messing about and communicating I enjoy doing. It was starting to look like I’d have to buy two separate units, and if I was being responsible (and that was essential, because money has been really, really bad) it would have to be the laptop first. And frankly, that made me cranky, because I wanted the fun thing first, after a couple of years of making do in pretty much every area of life.
At least… the iPad apps couldn’t handle Track Changes editing until a couple of months ago, when app developers began to provide the Track Changes function in response to the demands of users. And when I discovered that, my dilemma was solved, and the iPad was a go! I decided that I’d ask for money and gift certificates for my birthday, and when my paycheque from my first freelance job after a year off came in, I’d make up whatever was left and buy one. I’ve got the Bluetooth mini Apple keyboard that came with my first Mac mini to pair with it, so I’m not limited by the touch keyboard if I do work on it. Now my last decision is whether to go for the black one, to minimize the grunge-collection, or go with the white, which will blend in with the documents and books I’ll be reading and working with. And what kind of case I’ll get for it, of course.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner with Eric yesterday at his new house. All aspects of the visit were lovely, and future visits will be even lovelier when Soo and Ro move up to join him next week. The evening ended with cheesecake, of which I am not a fan, but this one changed my mind. Not only that, he sent me home with the remaining 3/4 of the cake. I don’t know if this is a universal un-disliking of the cheesecake genre, or just of this one particular kind from this specific bakery, but I’ll take it! I have disliked cheesecake mostly for its (a) leaden texture and (b) the heavy taste of cream cheese, a food I don’t like. This one was feathery light, tasted of butter and cream, and was more like a mousse with only the faintest nuance of cheese. A fabulous thick graham crust, a light cheese layer that had the texture of a heavenly vanilla sponge cake, and heavy whipped cream on top of the cheese layer with a pile of seasonal fruit and sliced almonds along the sides… really, it was divine. And the sausages he grilled for supper (particularly the broccoli-cheese ones) along with the watermelon-feta salad… I think I ate from the moment we got there till the moment we left, either grazing while we prepped food or formally partaking of supper. And that includes eating the tiny apples off the trees in his backyard, with fruit so sweet and somehow fizzy that they tasted like apple candy.
And finally… seven years ago yesterday, Sparky came home from the hospital to properly start life with us as a family. The middle of July is full of celebration in my family, and I am thankful for all of it.