Hot, sticky

It’s turned to summer here, with all the flashing thunderstorms and oppressive humidity that entails. The basement of the house is about 15 degrees cooler than the upstairs corner where I currently have my desk, so I may move back down there over the weekend. As it stands, though, I’m just off the kitchen, which means I have easy access to the sink, fridge, etc. When I’m cooking, I can lean over and see my computer for recipes; when I’m working, I can lean over and grab an apple. Making the permeable boundary between work and homelife slightly less permeable would probably be a good thing, though.

Wedding preparations are ramping up – no major catastrophes, just a lot of little details now coming due. I bought Kate and I each a little pocket-sized notebook (Moleskine s, because I’m a gigantic dork and a sucker for marketing prose around writing tools … but to be fair, they’re really nicely made) to have one place to jot down the lists and sudden thoughts of things we need to chase down before … two weeks from Saturday. So far the notebook is proving invaluable, much more than my Palm has been in years. Freeform diagrams, lists, addresses… all these things the Palm promises, and yet, entering text into it is just that little bit more difficult than just writing the damn things out longhand. It’s a critical little bit, apparently, since I haven’t used my Palm for to-do lists in over a year.

So I’m makings lists. Working things out with the caterers. Figuring out the rental order. Fretting over whether we’ve got enough wine. Working weird hours. Fiddling around with how we’ll lay things out under the tent (moderately easy) and on top of the curved top of the hill (slightly more difficult).

Things I’m doing to keep my sanity up:

  • Outdoors work. I rototilled three beds in the garden last weekend, and it was immensely satisfying. Had to put fresh gas in the tiller, and then it was just a matter of wrestling it around and trying not to let it lunge out of my hands when it hit clumps and rocks. Weeded a little, ordered a messa gardening things.

  • More outdoors work. Last couple of days I’ve gone down to help Lafayette put fertilizer around the blueberry bushes for a couple of hours. It’s not strenuous, just pouring 2 oz of ammonium sulfate in half a ring around a bush while Lafayette pours a mirror image half-ring on the other side. This morning I went down from 7-9, and about halfway through the time, we both just stopped talking and walked and poured in our own private reverie. (This is not uncommon among older Quakers, and Lafayette’s among the oldest Quakers I know.)

  • Reading books. I’ve gotten myself into such a Halo2 habit that I hadn’t finished a book in a while. Weaned back a bit and finished The Wizard Knight , which is Gene Wolfe’s reinterpreting of Faerie. Good stuff, lyrical and somewhat enigmatic as I read it, which has been my experience with all the books by Wolfe I’ve read. But I finish them pleased to have read them. Light , by M. John Harrison, another oddly poetic enigma. Good, too, but very different. And now, on my uncle’s recommendation, I’ve started The Accidental Connoisseur , which looks promising.

  • Cooking. I made a strawberry rhubarb pie for Memorial Day’s get together, and another for a dinner John had for the four of us and 6 neighbors. Making the crusts was the most awkward part (it’s always hard making good crusts in the summer) but the dinner was fabulous, and I felt really good cooking. Grilled some tilapia with Kate last night and improv’d some braised baby bok choy, which was Just Great. Had a funny kind of “Chefs do that, right?” moment doing some flashy rhubarb chopping with Kate’s wickedly sharp chefs’ knife on Sunday last.

  • Taking Care of Things. Got the hot tub running again (it helps to actually find the right circuit breaker to turn on, sigh), got my bike tires inflated and ready, tracked down something Carlos had peed on, took my knives in to get re-edged… small victories.

So it’s a hot evening after a long day. Kate’s working a 24, and I’m so sick of being at my computer that I’m going to go away, play a little Halo, and then return before bed to make the official list of namecards for my dad to calligraph.

Even in the midst of getting as many of the details corraled together as we can, I believe we’re still having fun. Our only real regret is that we won’t be able to have the lengthy conversations we’d like to have with everyone who’s travelling up for the weekend… frustrating. But we’ll make the best of it.