176 – 183 Some Delights, Some Gratitude

I feel as if I am not looking hard enough for daily delights. Days and weeks are just the same old, same old.

Let’s see —

New computer

I bought a new-to-me (refurbished) desktop for the attic study mostly because my laptop (which is still great) is very low on storage space. I could have moved things off the laptop to external drives, but this deal came up ($150 for a decent refurbished Lenovo ThinkCentre) and I pressed “buy” without out much thought. It arrived and works very well. So what if I cannot use video backgrounds with Zoom.

Vacation planned

Dean’s been wanting to get away so I researched and booked an Airbnb in Savanah. The weather should be nice and maybe I will see Painted Buntings!

Cocktails

Dean and I had Last Word cocktails on Friday (yum but strong!) and less potent champagne (cava actually) cocktails on Saturday.

The Secret History

I started reading The Secret History, Donna Tartt’s first novel since my last post. It was a book group read early on in the history of the book group (pre-1999) and probably before I joined in 1995 (the book group was founded a few years before I joined). Anyway, I wasn’t sure I liked it when I started reading it. The first couple of chapters were a slog, but I am having a hard time putting it down now. I might have given up in the middle of chapter two, but Clare said she loved the book. I assumed she would with the ancient Greek and all. Interestingly it takes place at a fictional college in Vermont that is based on Tartt’s alma mater, Bennington — a school I really wanted Clare to visit on her college tour because it is where Shirley Jackson wrote most of her works.

Letting go

I threw away a 17 year-old can of Bird’s custard yesterday. I kept the 9 year-old one though.


In the more grateful than delightful category:

Electricity, water, heat

As I hear about the power outages in Texas, I should be grateful (if not delighted) I live where a winter storm might cause power outages, but we’d still have water and the power company is prepared for winter weather.

Life and health

As the numbers of people dead from Covid-19 in the United States near half a million, I should be grateful that I am healthy and wealthy enough to be able to stay away from people who might be exposed. I am able to have groceries delivered instead of going to the store. I don’t have to go to a job where I might be exposed.

Day 73: The Day of Waiting, Japanese Inspired Food, and Ulick

We voted early, by mail (actually got the ballots in the mail, filled them out and deposited them in a dropbox) so that was not something we needed to do today. I refused to look at the news all day and am going to bed early. I am so very worried that the trumpet will win again and I don’t know what I will do.

That’s not to say we had no delights today. Dean grilled tuna and we made tuna with soba noodles for dinner. (Yum!) We also had saketinis (why have I never had one of these before?). Our chopsticks were red and blue, we had one of each color.

Finally, I spent some of today on the honeymoon photos again. I got through our Ireland photos and chuckled delightfully when I found the photo of Ulick.

Ulick was our bed and breakfast host in Galway. He came up to us at the train station and asked if we needed a place to stay, told us his fee and we decided to go with him as it was easier than finding somewhere on our own.

His house was fine, our bedroom was cozy, although filled with religious icons. His breakfast, however, was unique.

I don’t remember that much about the food, probably fine, probably typical Irish breakfast, but things got cold as he chatted with us about his life and asked us about ours. At one point while we were drinking our tea Ulick asked Dean if he’d ever had Poitín. When Dean replied that he didn’t even know what it was, Ulick poured some into Dean’s tea. Dean tasted it, then coughed. Poitín, you see, is Irish “moonshine” and very potent. Note that I was not offered a taste…

Ulick in his kitchen.

On the very rare occasion that Dean accidently tucks his outside shirt into his underwear, I call him Ulick.


Featured photo courtesy The Washington Post.

Day 72: An Act of Kindness; also Nikki McClure

Today, the day before the day of waiting, I needed to find a spice in the back of the spice cupboard and needed a stool to reach it. I was delighted to see that after months of not having a handle, my step-stool now had a sturdy twine handle. I’d asked Dean to help me figure out how to make a handle for the stool because I was afraid of pinching my fingers every time I opened or closed it. He came through.


Have you heard of Nikki McClure? Most likely not. I’d not heard of her either until I saw some of her work in Olympia where she lives, writes and creates amazing works of art with one piece of black paper cut with an X-Acto Knife. Check out her website, I guarantee you will love her artwork. (Actually, go to BuyOlympia instead — her website seems to be having trouble loading images at the moment.)

Every year I request a Nikki McClure calendar from Clare (who, as you know, lives in Olympia too). The image below is the November artwork and it hangs on my refrigerator. I looked at that this morning and whispered a tiny prayer, “Please.”

Day 70: Halloween

I am not the biggest fan of Halloween festivities. Maybe I was as a kid — I am sure I was — but I don’t like it now. I think I first began disliking it when I was a teacher because the kids were always very worked up on Halloween, which we added to by providing them sugary snacks during our Halloween party. The following day was often worse, the kids having stayed up late eating their Halloween treats were either as excitiable as the previous day or sullen.

There are other reasons I don’t like Halloween that I won’t get into. They are a reflection on me and not the folks who do like it.

But every Halloween I do think about a delightful Halloween. Our black mitten-kitten (polydactyl) cat, Halloween. She was the friendliest cat ever and much loved by all of us.

Day 68: Several Delights

Google suggested I conjure up a 3D ghost with my phone today, and who am I to refuse Google? I was also given the option to create a dancing skeleton. Delightful!


Most Thursdays bring me a large box of vegetables and other goodies from a company called Hungry Harvest that “rescues” produce. Today I received such a box and it was delightful, just like all the other Thursday deliveries.


When I stepped outside to pick up my HH box I noticed that the neighbors received a delivery too. I am pretty sure it was a fire hazard at that point. I don’t know how they were able to get out their front door. Nonetheless, the giggle that escaped my lips was delightful when I saw the overcrowded porch.


Finally, I have repurposed Dean’s side of the attic. I will no longer call it “Dean’s side of the attic” and get pissed off that he has more than one office to call his own when he never, ever works up there. Now that we’ve got a comfy chair, it is my reading room and non-electric writing room. I will continue to keep it tidy because I want to, not because Dean insists I do. The letting go of the anger and resentment is delightful as is sitting in the chair, reading and sitting at the desk writing with a pen and paper.