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. . . But sometimes the inconvenience leads to Nice Things:

Around-about 2:30 this morning, I stood next to the north-facing window in our bathroom. On impulse, I spread a couple lathes of the window blinds to check on cloud-cover, only to immediately find myself watching a glowing blob of light fall down the sky!

As the young folk say, OMG! A Leonid fireball? or meteor! I don't care whichwhat . . . it was beautiful and it thoroughly woke me up! I tried to get back to sleep, but my mind kept rolling and hopping and rooting around--refusing to relax again.

3:21 a.m.

I gave up on sleep (yes, I'll likely be napping this afternoon) and bundled up, set out my back deck chair, grabbed hot coffee and a warm blankie--umm, make that "blanket"--and spent something resembling half an hour out back staring at the stars in the sky. Temps on the thermometer outside my kitchen window read 17 F (minus 8 C). Oh-so quiet. The air moving only enough to feel a chill slide around the obstacle that is my blanket-wrapped body now standing mid-backyard, listing back and gazing up, turning and watching, watching and turning. From the mid-backyard vantage, Orion, Sirius, the-triangle-that-is Lepus, my zodiac sign Gemini, and more reward me for leaving my sleep, for walking away from my chair to broaden my view. Big Dipper maintains its handle-tip handstand in the north-northeast, showing off for the lovely Cassiopeia floating on her throne in the north-northwest. The Pleiades tease with now-you-see-us now-we-fade-out beauty to the west.

And one more Leonid meteor flashes across the southern sky. A singular gift for missed sleep.

A Little Star-Inspired Natter

The clouds cleared away yesterday, leaving an open sky for the night. You know what that brings: November night + clear sky = cold morning. But Vinnie still needed to get outside about 5:30 a.m., so I pulled on my stocking cap, wrapped my pseudo Dr. Who scarf around my throat (Yup, cowfan, I still have it! I still wear it! I think of you!), grabbed my winter coat, and out we went.

The wind . . . what wind? . . . no wind. The temp . . . not bad! Mid-twenties F at the worst. Moon hanging a bit east of center in the south, a sliver less than a half moon. And the stars . . . Well, not too many stars strong enough to shine through the city light pollution at this season in my east-facing back yard. Big Dipper perched on the tip of its handle in the northeast, pouring forth blessings and good luck—OR dumping the cold and snow of approaching winter—depending on your perspective. Faithful Polaris the North Star managed to catch my attention, although it is dim this morning.

During the past weeks of cloud and indoor distractions, my mighty friend Orion traveled to the western side of the sky and is no longer visible to me during my back yard morning meditation. So I went to the front yard, leaned over the south fence to peek around Maggie the Magnificent Maple’s still-leafy branches, and greeted The Hunter one more time as he hovered above the house across the street. He didn’t bother to wave back.

The debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle—a.k.a. the Leonid Meteors—are due to peak this coming Friday night/Saturday Morning, the 17th/18th. Viewing in our part of the world does NOT look promising with forecasts of rain/snow, clouds, high winds, and cold temps. *sigh*

MyJeff is working the second day of the estate sale today, so I can try to finish the last of the New Tax Season refresher courses and the training on the new appointment-setting software. *mutterMutterMuttermutter* The OLD software seemed to work fine. WHY new version of the same thing? “They” just gotta mess with stuff. grrrr. And the new version doesn’t seem to be willing to let me log in to it from home the way the old one would. Need to investigate that little issue, too.

Breakfast calls. And the last few hours of refresher training. Enjoy your day, my friends! May the Big Dipper’s bounty be nothing but blessings and good luck for you on this fine Sunday.

 
. . . I told myself--very firmly--that my first activity would be posting on LJ. But I had to start with getting the coffee brewing. Then Vinnie begged to be let outside. Then the sunrise held me captive. Then I really had to drink some hot coffee. Then Arrow trotted downstairs and pointed out that BREAKFAST TIME IS HERE! Then I realized iPhoto had shots I needed to prep for posting. And probably a thing or two more. But . . . I'm here now!

Warning: This post is probably going to jump around as I attempt a reasonable Catch-Up.

Tales and Photos This Way...Collapse )

Aren't you glad I so rarely ramble on like this?

Happy Birthday, Earthmother45!

Today I'm wishing the happiest birthday ever to my friend and much-admired artist, earthmother45! Hopefully, your day will be a delightful adventure of friends, family, and fun, with plenty of photogenic moments!

Hallowe'en Report 2017

Normally, we count about 70 to 75 trick or treaters each year. Highest was around 120 and I don't think we've dropped below 50 in the 24 years we've lived here. Last night, we only had 24 trick or treaters. Full Disclosure demands I admit that we usually stay out until 9pm but closed down at 7:45 last night due to cold (a couple/few degrees below freezing) and sparsity of costumed youngsters. We did NOT do a fire bowl afterwards either. For those of you who haven't been with me for long I'll clarify: Usually, after the trick and treating ends, we move to the back yard with neighbors and friends and sit around the fire bowl recapping the night/the summer and just generally solving the world's problems. Last night did not beckon to be extended outside at all.

I forgot to count how many books I set out to offer in lieu of candy last night, so can't tell you how many were taken. I will admit that a few very special youngsters received both book and candy. The three high school age boys were only offered books, candy was not mentioned. Two of them actually took books, although they did not seem too excited.

We had godzilla, narwhal, and t-rex in one group--two of whom had some difficulty seeing the steps to climb and descend--but no catastrophes. Witches, fire chief, a small spiderman, skeletons, and I don't remember what all stopped by. Usually, we have a clown or two, but I don't think we had any last night. Perhaps the problems with "creepy/scary clowns" stalking towns and getting all that negative press, not to mention the reactions to the redone Stephen King "IT" clown Pennywise, convinced folks to avoid them. Too bad, actually, since clowns SHOULD be a positive thing; but a good idea under the circumstances.

Plenty of candy is leftover, making me glad I only picked up a couple of bags rather than the usual 5 or so (although one of the bags was a Big Bag). I really don't need all that tasty chocolate. Make that: I really SHOULD NOT eat all that tasty chocolate! I'm thinking some goes in the freezer and MyJeff gets lots of encouragement to indulge. Any locals want to come by for a fire bowl, if the weather mellows a bit in the next couple-few weeks? I'll have chocolate to offer...

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Happy Hallowe'en, My Friends!

One of my favorite holidays just succeeded in sneaking up on me. Of course, considering Hallowe'en's origins, icons, and overall focus, "sneaking up" is entirely appropriate. Don't you think? Usually, I thoroughly decorate my yard and house at the beginning of October, if not the end of September. This year . . . not one string of lights or electric Jack O' Lantern adorns my home. Have not felt at all celebratory or playful lately. And we only bought a couple of bags of treats which means we'll likely need to close up shop, so to speak, a couple of hours early. Not planning a Hallowe'en fire bowl, either. MUCH too windy for that this year.

Hopefully, my wimpy attitude will change in coming weeks.

MyJeff's temp job got cut short last Friday. But, this week we've managed to get 3 or 4 days of work lined up for the estate sale ladies. Since I did finish my Continuing Education credits over the weekend, I might get added back onto the tax office schedule soon. The estate sale work pays better, so I have to juggle the chance of getting enough better-paying hours with the potential for weekly tax work while choosing whether to list myself as Available for taxes. *sigh* Sometimes it feels as though there is not a lick of simplicity in Life. But . . . that's Life! and better than the alternatives I've heard tell of!

This might be a good time to write what I've been thinking and feeling for a while.

As best I can, I won't get into "poor me" excuses, but I do want my friends to know that I am sorry I haven't been reading and commenting lately. Not to mention sorry for the minimal posting of my own. I'm working through some stuff and hope you'll all be patient and just wait for me to get back to myself. I will get there. I do still care about all of you, but can't seem to find the energy/drive/inspiration to take the time to act. Patience, please?

Anyway . . .

                 HAPPY HALLOWE'EN!
Happy Halloween | Adventures In Digital Art - Gale Franey
Happy Halloween | Adventures In Digital Art - Gale Franey

galefraney.wordpress.com

Yesterday Was a Happening Day . . .

. . . Not necessarily in a Good Way!

The all-day off-and-on-mostly-on snowfall looked rather pretty, but certainly sent shivers through my soul. I KNEW the snow wasn't staying at all, but my emotional nails reflexively clung to the gentle cool and casual warmth of Autumn. This morning the temp is at 31 F, with a forecast high of 39 F. But NO SNOW!

This past week, I drove MyJeff to work in the morning (about 12 miles each way) since the train-and-bus ride is over an hour, and he'd have to leave the house BEFORE 6 a.m. We were working to acclimate my night owl to an earlier wake-up time for when I am again working elsewhere. Yesterday, I'd barely left the parking lot when my phone rang with MyJeff telling me to come back and get him. Unfortunately, the temp job decided to cut him from their roster and the temp agency staff called just before his start time of 8 a.m. No big, dramatic problem with him or anything. They just felt he wasn't fast enough with the computer software. Well, we sexagenarians may have helped usher in the computer age, but we didn't grow up with one as our bosom companion always riding in our hip pocket the way so many from the younger generations have done. So . . . no, we tend to not have their 2nd-nature zippiness on a keyboard. *Sigh* But we DO know how to use a rotary phone! So there! (Now, to just FIND a rotary phone still connected to the system. Hah!)

As for me:
I plowed, stumbled, trudged, and snarled my way through the so-called 6 hour Tax Refresher Course. Ya see, Timmy . . . a couple of months ago or so, I'd completed a Tax Update course, thinking this was THE class I'd been required to tack.  Then, the live instructor-led, 2 session class I'd signed up for for this past week was cancelled last week. So I really needed another 6 hours of training. You can guess that I missed this REFRESHER course by doing the UPDATE in its place. Anyway. I finished that one now. One hundred question test passed and everything!

A mighty long day with computer and sheets of paper and Tax Code! But still one more test to take. I need ONE more Continuing Education credit. Hopefully, I'll be able to get in to the office tomorrow to use the computer to take this last test, since it isn't available to my home Mac. Will be studying at home today. Mighty tricky test with some of those sneaky-worded questions that all reasonable people HATE! I do. And--with--10 questions, you can only miss on 2 of them to still pass at 80%. I WILL get it done.

In other news, we'll be going to MyJeff's cousin's house this evening for dinner, conversation, and the possibility of gaming. For months, my sweetheart has been looking forward to getting together with his cousins to play a bit.

eBay also calls, suggesting that I could pay ALL MY BILLS! if only I'd list some of these Trending Items and SELL SELL SELL! If I HAD Trending Items, it would likely mean I didn't NEED to SELL SELL SELL because I'd already have money to buy expensive Trendy stuff. But, I do need/want to list up more of the items I do have. Don't hate me, but . . . I'm looking to start the Christmas stuff. And a couple of coats. PS1 games. Stuff like that. I'm going to have to skip the Holiday Flea Markets this year, so I need to get sales somehow. I tried to coax MyJeff into a late-season garage sale with a fire bowl in the driveway and hot cider for sale, maybe Christmas music playing and such. He wasn't in the least bit excited by the idea.

Imagine that . . .

It's Been A Slice . . .

Does that phrase mean anything particular to you? It brings up one little memory for me.

In my very early 20s, I worked in the book department of a department store in a small city in North Dakota. The paperback/magazine distributor who came in weekly to keep our stock current always ended his visit with "It's been a slice" and walked away. Finally, one day I just had to ask . . . "A slice of WHAT?"

He gave me one of those "you don't know?" looks, said: "A slice of Heaven", then left.

This morning, I was gifted with a genuine Slice of Heaven.

About 4:40 a.m., I opened my back door and looked up to be disappointed by a mostly cloudy sky with uncooperative small gaps in the pale cover that blocked my star-view. Sigh. Well, it IS late October and I knew this week's forecast warned of cloudiness. Still . . . I turned to kitchen duties, putting away last night's dishes, making coffee, etc. In a few minutes, The Boys trotted down the stairs ready to venture outside. I poured some hot coffee in my mug, grabbed a jacket and stepped onto the deck. While Arrow and Vinnie tended to their early morning business, I glanced around hoping for a star through one of those little gaps. Sure enough, one cloud-trapped, rather bright star in the south caught my eye. As I watched, the clouds thinned while a larger gap moved in from the west. Soon I could identify my little friend as Rigel, because the rest of Orion also came into view.

The gap spread into a nice pie-shaped wedge providing a lovely Slice of Heaven that I enjoyed watching for the short time it was there. Orion, Sirius, Gemini's Castor and Pollux, and a few others made my morning brighter for a few moments.

I love when Serendipity is on my side.

Sketchy Update

It's been a rather full week with some GOOD STUFF and some Bad Stuff. Soon I must be off to start set-up for another estate sale--this one in Maple Grove, a far northwest suburb. With a couple of detour-like stops on the way. So this post will be short on details.

Last week's estate sale went well. I spent Tuesday and Thursday last week bending, hoisting, bending-and-hoisting, etc. Friday was our day off. At 7 a.m., my back spasmed out and I couldn't walk. Spent most of the day in a straight-back chair with a heating pad. Back is still sore and fragile.

IMPORTANT! On Thursday, MyJeff got a job through Kelly Temp Services. It is a 3 month temp-to-hire in a southwest suburb and training starts today. YAAAAYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The tax office is not happy that I haven't already finished all my Continuing Education credits, so they took me off the schedule for yesterday. For some reason, they still have me on the schedule for Thursday and Saturday. We'll see what happens as the week goes on.

I'd hoped to get the rest of my outdoor plants potted/re-potted yesterday so they'd all be set for the winter. My back and other circumstances colluded to not let me be that active and accomplished. Still hoping to get the important ones done, but will manage what I can and let the rest go.

When I let The Boys out back a little bit ago, the stars were wonderful. But I couldn't take time to just sit and enjoy. Another morning . . .

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Happy Birthday Wishes to Man_of_Snows!

I'm hoping your day today is filled with joy, beauty, and all things inspiring of poetic discourse. And, of course, cake, ice cream, and friends!

Happy Birthday, man_of_snows!

                                                                         

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