Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Week

I've been looking forward to this week for a long time.

Why, you ask?  Because tomorrow and Tuesday are my Fall break and Saturday is my birthday.  So it's kind of like my "Birthday Week," really.  A definite wish come true.

The main issue I've been wrestling with for the past 48 hours is whether to make my cake now, or wait until later in the week.  I'm leaning towards "later in the week," because the fact that I have a few days off this week means that there is a very real risk that those days could easily be spent consuming cake.

To such an extent that it might be essentially gone by the time the actual birthday rolls around.  And I'm not sure I possess the willpower required to not go and make myself another one, if that happens.  (I think it's bad mojo to not have cake on your actual birthday.  It sets a very bad precedent for the upcoming year, imho.)

So I've opted to wait on the baking.  That said, I made apple-cranberry muffins.  I've already eaten 3 of them.  (This is what I'm talking about.) 

Today was actually a very nice way to start off the week because, truth be told, yesterday was a bit of a bust.  It rained all day and, for whatever reason, I could not get myself moving.  I blame the (children's) benedryl that I had to take in the wee hours of the morning: I was sleepy all day.

Yes, that's right: I take children's dosages of OTC medicines and they put me out of commission for an entire day.  I'm just not cut out for hard-core drug use--I know that about myself, thank you very much. 

I did do a whole bunch of reading, though.  (In between dozing and taking selfies of my kitty cats who, I must say, look much cuter dozing than I do.)  On the advice of a friend, I'm reading Antjie Krog's The Country of My Skull (1999) about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.  (I'll blog about it when I finish.)

I must confess, I am woefully ignorant about South Africa.  I mean, yes, I know about apartheid (I came of age in the '80's, after all, and Bono made sure we all knew what was going on there) and I know about Nelson Mandela, of course, but in other respects, I can't deny it, I'm woefully ignorant.

For example, did you know that South Africa doesn't have an official capital city?  In fact, it has 3: Cape Town (seat of Parliament), Pretoria (seat of the President and Cabinet), and Bloemfontein (seat of the Court of Appeals).   And the Constitutional Court convenes in Johannesburg.  Plus, South Africa completely surrounds the land-locked country of Lesotho.

I didn't know these things--although I should have, obviously--but now I do.  So that's something accomplished yesterday.

I also worked on knitting a sock while I was reading.  This is pretty much what I accomplished (bad picture alert):

It's the top portion of a sock, in Stroll Fingering, "Cupcake."  It actually does look kind of like a chocolate cupcake, believe it or not, in terms of coloring--browns and pinks.

I've developed this new habit of working on two different socks for two different pairs of socks simultaneously, alternating between them from day to day.  For some reason, I think it makes the sock-knitting go faster.  I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense and really isn't very logical at all, but that's how it feels. (I suspect it falls in the category of a "variety is the spice of life" kind of thing.)  So here's the other sock that's currently underway in my world:

I honestly don't remember the name of the color for this one.  As you can see, both of them are at exactly the same point in the knitting process: the only thing left to knit on each is the foot.  And then, I will start the process all over again, to make the second sock for each pair.  I alternate between them, as the mood suits me.

And yes, this is a slight shift from all the work on sweaters that I did last weekend.  But fear not, I will return to those as well.  Right now, the only thing I need to try to do is not buy myself more yarn for my birthday.  That would be foolish, but it is always a very real possibility in my world.

I have also discovered a time-saving secret that I will share with the world at large: whenever possible, you should run errands on Sunday mornings, between 8-9 a.m.

Yes, I know there's that whole "sleeping in on Sunday" thing that most people do, but in my own personal case, my kitty cats have decided that that just isn't good for me, because it means I risk missing precious minutes of their early-morning adorableness.  And they just won't have it, I tell you.

So I'm up in the morning, always, and this morning, I headed on out and managed to go to Lowe's, the grocery story and Petco, all within the space of an hour.  And I got everything I needed for the week.

I even got this little box of eco-friendly fire-starters, since I'm getting myself supplied with firewood for the season.  I have no idea if the little jiggers actually work, but what I can tell you is, they smell.  Not badly (luckily), but boy, they sure do pack a wallop.  Close them into a small space (like your car) for about 5 minutes and woo-wheee.

I put them in the basement, on a shelf immediately opposite the cats' litter boxes.  I figure the two entities can duke it out for smell-supremacy.

Meanwhile, although I have a serious birthday-break this week, my time is still somewhat spoken for.  I enjoyed a mini-harvest earlier this week (look to the right), but the mini-ness of the harvest means that I will inevitably need to do a whole bunch of end-of-season gardening sometime soon.  To say nothing of the leaves that have yet to fall.   

I'm rather pleased, though, because for the first time in, well, ever, actually, I managed to grow some spinach.  (That's what's in the plastic container.)

I also have another cord of firewood to stack this week.  I will have grading to do.  And a whole bunch of work for a committee I'm serving on.  And all kinds of professorial odds and ends.

But that said, I'm gearing up for a few more bike rides this week since pretty soon, it will be too chilly to go on them with any regularity (at least, too chilly for me).  I took one today, actually--it was odd to see the park and the beach empty.  Seems like only yesterday, it was August.

But yes, it's autumn.  Here's to a wonderful week.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."