Day 86: In Which I Write 5 letters

I awoke extremely happy (as I’d done for the past week — something I’d forgotten to write about, but there you have it, I have been very happy for over a week now) and eager to head to the study to continue sorting out my belongings. Today I’d planned on attacking my physical in-box.

I dug down to the very bottom of the pile of stuff in the in-box and worked on the least exciting task first: contacting the roofer again about a leak and contacting the retirement folks from when I was a teacher to gain access to my account. After that I wrote a condolence letter to Clare’s boyfriend on the loss of his grandmother. Then realizing I’d never actually written Clare a letter since she’d moved to Olympia, wrote her a quick note telling her how proud I was of her (oops, another thing I forgot to write about — stay tuned). I also wrote a note to my mom’s best friend, sending her a note she’d sent my mom and a note my mom had written to her but never sent. I sent my sister-in-law a note she sent us in 1981 and wrote her a small letter. Finally, I sent my childhood friend, Lori, a note just because she’d sent me a sweet birthday card (we share a birthday, including the year) and I’d not sent her a card this year because she was at Yellowstone all summer.


The thing I was proud of Clare for was that she was named as Emerging Leader in a Conversion!

Here’s what the US Federation of Worker Co-ops had to say on Instagram:

Clare Follmann joined @orcabooksoly last September prior to its conversion to a cooperative. She became its president in February and led the board and staff to finalize the conversion on April 1, 2020 – all during a stay at home order. Conversions are businesses that have transitioned from a traditional business structure to a cooperative one.

Clare led the staff in planning a move to a new space, hiring new staff collective members, and securing EIDL and PPL loans during the pandemic. Clare’s leadership and commitment to cooperation made Orca Books Co-op’s recovery and conversion possible and successful.

US Federation of Worker Co-ops

Days 79 – 85: Clearing Out the Attic Closet

Last Thursday I tore the attic closet apart looking for my box of recipes in which I’d hoped to find Jeremy’s Aunt’s parkin recipe. I was unable to find it but did end up with a huge mess in the typically messy, but rarely this messy side of the study.

After the weekend I decided that since half of the things in the closet were out of the closet, I might as well pull everything out and start organizing it.

I went through a 2000 square-inch box, a large grocery bag and a smaller gift bag-sized bag of DVDs/CDs — sorting them into piles (after often inserting them into my DVD player to see what they were, if unlabeled or labeled inadequately): Music other than Dan Bern, Dan Bern music, disks holding data files of photos, documents, and blank. These are all now in their own boxes awaiting further action. Note that there were many delights found on the unlabeled CDs and DVDs.

I also went through a shoebox size and 6x6x6 inch boxes of cassette tapes and divided them into piles as well (after often playing them on a cassette player if they were unlabeled): Dan Bern, music other than Dan Bern, people talking, and trash. These are also now in their own boxes in the closet ready for further action. Note there was a small delight found on a cassette tape that my brother must have recorded in secret. Hearing my family’s voices again was bittersweet but delightful.

I moved shelves around in the closet, puting things I rarely use in the very back and things I use more often in the front. The CDs/DVDs/Cassettes are on the back wall and my two “things to blog about” boxes are in front of them. Anyone looking in the closet would not realize that I’d just sorted it out, but they hadn’t seen it before.

I also moved a tacky three-drawer cabinet from the closet to under my desk and moved the paper to be turned into lists into that and moved the shelf the paper was on into the closet.

My next step is to organize the dozens of cables and put them into boxes that fit on the shelf that used to hold paper.

The often messy side of the study is nearly as tidy as the never messy side of the study and that is a delight!


There was a delightful sunset today. The image at the top of this post is how the sunset looked on the wall of the study (you can see some of the mess in that photo). The image below is the sunset through our tulip tree.

Day 77: Yes!

Today’s news is really too big to be considered a mere delight but I include it here because how could I not?

We’re going to have decent leadership that we can be proud of, instead of embarrassed about.

I spent the morning on Twitter again, hoping to be “there” when it was announced, but at noon decided to work on the attic. Dean is the one who told me about it by playing a loud horn sound from his bluetooth speaker.

I ran downstairs and outside to the front lawn, smiling bigger than I’d in months. I could hear horns honking on Old Georgetown Road. Such a delight.

Day 76: Georgia and Zooming with the Burgoynes

Yay Georgia! Yay Stacey Abrams! Can I really have hope now that Biden will win?

I spent another day on Twitter, some of it in the wee hours of the morning where I learned about about Biden taking the lead in Georgia from Randy Rainbow’s tweet — screenshot above.

I had a delightful Zoom session with Jeremy and Frances. See, I posted on Facebook that I was planning to celebrate Rupert’s 100th Birthday on Sunday with cake and if anyone wanted to join us I would schedule a Zoom meeting. Jeremy sent me a message that he had never Zoomed and I suggested I show him how it was done. After a few false starts we were able to have a great conversation. I wish I’d gotten a screenshot.

Day 75: Bonfire Night (and more hope)

Today is Guy Fawkes Day so I decided to make a parkin and have a fire in the fire pit tonight. It kept me occupied and away from Twitter for part of the day.

The recipe I chose from the Great British Bake Off was overly complicated (well, duh, Dona) and I had to think out of the box for some of the ingredients. I made my own golden syrup (OMG is that good — Delight!), ground rolled oats to make what the British call oatmeal (we call rolled oats — and steel cut oats — oatmeal in the States), and finally I had to cobble together “mixed spice” but I didn’t have any mace.

The parkin turned out well, but it should have been made a week ago to let the flavors mingle according to the recipe. Looking forward to seeing what it tastes like in a week. [edited November 13 — the parkin does not taste much different — maybe a little drier.]

After dinner we went out back and Dean lit a small fire in the firepit. We ate our parkin and had a tiny drop of whiskey. It was delightful.


Also, the trumpet still has not won.

Day 74: Hopeful Anxiety

I was very worried when I saw Helen’s message that she was going to bed. Also some expletives about Lindsey Graham and pollsters. I was sure the trumpet had done it again.

I immediately looked the news feeds on my phone and was relieved that was not over. Trump had not won, yet. That was a delight, albeit a tenuous one.

Therefore, I did what any rational adult would do in this sort of situation, I spent today endlessly scrolling through Twitter and updating my feed every few seconds.