I've been really focused on personal matters lately. Though I've been journalling furiously in my private pages for over a week, I haven't had much left over to invest in this public blog. I've thought about posting, but by the time I get through with my nightly brain-dump that is not intended for general consumption, I'm ready to pass out and be done for the day. Last night I was whacking away at the keyboard till 1:00am and later, and I had to get up early for church this morning. Sacrificing so much sleep to write was a bad idea. Staying up even later to blog would've ruined this whole day. I'm slow as molasses when I write, though you'd probably never guess it from the end result.
Anyhow, for the moment, I'm enjoying a break from the craziness of the week. Sunday afternoons are usually quiet at my house. Rob's out doing some visits, and the dog's securely child-gated away in the back of the house. It's nice and peaceful. I should take a nap, as this is the best opportunity of the week to do so, but somehow I just can't persuade myself. I'm the kind of tired that makes me feel contrary and irritable. Somebody, bonk me in the head with a rubber mallet, cartoon-style, so I can rest!
Have I mentioned here already, explicitly, that Gram is moving in with us in two weeks? This and a few other concerns are occupying most of my brain space and virtually every waking moment of my days. We are in the middle of reorganizing the entire house, practically, to make room for her. Our bedroom and office both must go downstairs now, into our mostly unfinished basement. Anyone who's ever seen my basement is going to begin praying now, fervently, for our deliverance from evil. Gram will have a bedroom at the back of the house, and next to it, a "sitting room", aka t.v. room, where she can watch the toob as much as she feels she needs to and also entertain her many friends. Being upstairs will keep her convenient to the bathroom and the kitchen, and to my dog, Izzy. Gram adores Izzy like nobody else does. It's going to be a terrific change of lifestyle for all of us, Izzy included.
Other pressing projects include beginning to solicit and hopefully gather and assemble writings and photos for our annual ward history. I've also been asked by our bishop to organize a massive, ongoing oral history project for the ward. The idea is to start with the elderly people in the ward and then find those who have moved away but are still accessible, and get their life stories on tape and transcribed for a permanent collection. I recently turned in a proposal for a system and schedule that will see us through next year. This morning, the bishop approved it. The basic structure is: (1) I teach the instructors about the process of interviewing and transcription. (2) The instructors teach (in both english and spanish) short classes on interviewing and transcription to individuals, small groups, or families chosen for the work by the bishop and myself. (3) The interviewers contact the persons who have been invited to share their life stories, and the interviews and any necessary follow-up interviews are conducted. (4) The tapes are brought to me for duplication, and I stash one copy safely away in the perma-files. (5) The tapes are delivered to the transcriptionists who prepare a written record of the interviews. (6) The written records come back to me for inclusion in the annual ward history (and possibly other places as well). This cycle will repeat quarterly, and near the end of the year, the idea is to have a fireside or banquet honoring those people whose life stories we gathered, and to encourage everyone to get involved in personal and family history. I think as the process gets going, I will submit appropriate excerpts from these oral histories to the monthly ward newsletter, so people can feel more excitement about the project all through the year.
I've got a whole lot of work to get done by year's end. Never mind getting ready for Christmas.
I'm determined, though, to enjoy the Christmas spirit this year, and not give in to the seasonal schlock and pressure and commercialism. I'm going to keep it a simple affair and spend my energy on the parts that matter: loving and feeling thankful. I refuse to be distressed by the herds of electric reindeer that have already started invading our valley.
Monday before last, I went thrift shopping with Gram and found a five dollar Christmas tree. It's not bad! Okay, it's bad in the sense that it's not a real tree, but our money is even tighter this year than it was last year, thanks in large part of to the onslaught of surgery bills, and last year we decorated our sickly Norfolk Island pine tree a la Charlie Brown. As resourceful and charming as that was, I'd like to be prepared with a somewhat more attractive option this year. I guess whether or not my five dollar thrift store tree is more attractive is debatable, but anyway, it made me feel better to bring it home. Now Gram will move in after Thanksgiving, and after we get her properly snugged in we'll be all set to go on our first home project together: gussying up for Christmas 2004. That ought to pre-empt toob consumption for a while. I can hope.
On that same shopping trip, I found a pair of knee-high lace-up boots, brown, Eddie Bauer, for another five bucks. They reminded me of some boots I saw in the latest issue of Vogue Knitting; they were worn by a poncho model wearing a fabulous handmade recycled jeans skirt, and carrying a guitar like it was an accessory. I'm not convinced yet that the boots I found look better than, say, wrestling boots on my particularly curvy calves, but they're great boots anyhow. I guess if I eventually give up on them, or on my calves' compatibility with them, they'd be good candidates for selling on eBay. Hmph.
I'm supposed to be taking part in a talent show/dinner for the women in my ward this Tuesday. A nice girl named Angela called me today to ask what I would be performing so she could list it in the program. Me? Perform? I had a good laugh over that one. Angela was content with a commitment from me to produce some kind of display table that the rest of the group could enjoy before and after the meal and show. So, what'll it be? What should I put out there for general ogling? Knitting. Marbling. Photography. Sewing. Maybe if I get brave, a writing sample. What else do I know how to do that's worth displaying? I'm taking some food too to add to the pot luck meal, and I'm planning to swim upstream on that one and make something spicy and vegetarian, maybe an indian curry. That's my subversive talent on display, I suppose; I feel compelled to kick against public meat-and-potatoes sometimes.
I've been blogging a while now. I think it's time for a nap.