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Laura Wise

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March 18th, 2017

05:49 pm - Last twelve days' joy, Post #12
Basically, the icon of circles signifies where I've been the past not-quite-a-fortnight -- chasing around in circles, never exiting the maze. But I have had to take today off because I am trying not to succumb to the sinus infection that's brewing. (POLLEN IS THE DEVIL.)

So let's go on to happy things:

*thinking of Champagne. Drinking the inexpensive but perfectly dry and crisp Veuve du Vernay Brut (non-vintage) with friends last night downtown. Looking at Shini Park's blogtorial spread for Moet et Chandon. (Guilty secret: I prefer Taittinger or Bollinger to Moet.)

*I should only be shopping for shoes for my London trip, but.... Boden has backless loafers (ON TREND) going on sale. This is my idea of subtropical summer footwear.

*My place of employment had its annual health screening fair this past week. I am pleased to report that my good cholesterol is apparently *remarkably* good (thanks, morning oatmeal!), as is my blood sugar. Weight, well, not so good. I have resumed mindful eating....

*Which was not happening during the past couple of months, or during the short jaunt to the Plains a week ago to see Aged Parent and my brothers. "I blame the weight gain on the Vienna Fingers** you had at the house," I told my Aged Parent, to which he dryly replied, "Yes. I'm sure that was it." This characteristic reply is a sign that he's holding his own after last year's illness -- still weaker and unsteadier than one would hope, but hanging in there.
**Vienna Fingers (a brand of cookie) and Publix Ginger Snaps are of course my favorite mass-produced cookie, and peanut butter cookies are my favorite cookie ever. I will wave goodbye to them for a few months, however.

*Making plans with my landscape guy for the last of the front-yard projects. ("Your projects are really smaller than we usually do," he told me, "but you're a really good client and, you know, only five blocks from our shop, so...") He's giving me oakleaf hydrangeas, whee!

And next year he gets to start the backyard.

What great stuff is happening for you?
Current Mood: exanimateexanimate

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March 6th, 2017

08:39 pm - Last week's joys, Post #11
Oh Lord. I'm supposed to have time off this week, but ha! Not so much. Every new email is like a carrier of some work-disease, spreading at a horrifying rate. Ah well.

But let us go straight to the joys:
*I have the new Bujold novella -- the further adventures of Penric and his demon -- on my Kindle.
*I cooked a pot of red beans today, with Penzey's chili powder and a sprinkle of Penzey's dried shallots. Mmmm.
*Two big work-tasks are DONE, yes, praise all gods.
*All About Eve on the big screen, which is joy upon joy.
*Watching the first five minutes of Doctor Foster -- after which the story takes us to a bad bad place -- for the B Carvel of it all.
*Two and a half months to London!

What's great for you this week? What are you celebrating?

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February 26th, 2017

10:45 am - This week's joys, Post #10

Let us pass over the allergies from hell, and focus on good things:

*my tree guys came Friday and cleaned up one section of the backyard, including trimming a cherry laurel that now looks like total awesomeness and cutting back a hell-holly that was trying to kill me every time I walked by. Whee!
*Naomie Harris got an OBE and looked like a million pounds. Awesomeness.
*The reprinted Virginia Woolf short story, "In The Looking Glass," in the March Harpers Bazaar UK. First line: "People should not leave looking glasses hanging in their rooms any more than they should leave open cheque books or letters confessing some hideous crime."
*Having friends over on Wednesday and Thursday. These were, I blush to confess, the first social gatherings I've held in two years. My friends are awesome, though, and they made me happy with their presence.
*Also, Paradiso de Maria Sauvignon Blanc from Benziger. A+++.
*new ankle-strap chunky-heel black shoes.
*thinking of B Carvel for a project I'm working on.
*Dancing this morning.

By the way, these lists I've been posting don't mean I'm not horrified by the political climate at present. They're just moments to keep me going.

Anything good for you guys this week?

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February 18th, 2017

10:23 am - This week's joys, Post #9
So that week also happened. [falls face-first on floor, narrowly missing Master Danger]

The week's joys:
*booking a lunch for a couple of weeks from now with a colleague and friend I don't see often
*completing a work-task I'd been dreading and putting off
*not yet getting the death-rhinovirus going around my workplace (it's knocking on the door, but I've not let it in)
*after the passing of Al Jarreau, pulling out all of my 80s vinyl and remembering how I loved him
*finishing The Riviera Set by Mary Lovell, a nonfiction book about the glamourous years 1920-1960. I loved the first half, pre-WWII. It took me forever to get through the post-war chapters, however, since I didn't care for those people.... But it's finished!
*this image of Caroline Issa in a color combo from my past
*thinking about David Hockney, excited to see the exhibition
*making iced tea with Fortnum's Rwanda Orange Pekoe, local honey, and two slices of lemon
*finding a shirt-dress I'd forgotten I had [rolls eyes at self] in my closet
*new Brooks Brothers cunningly cut blue shirt on massive sale (I'd link but it's gone from the website)
*azalea season
*writing a couple of pages on my stalled project

What's making you happy these dark days? Sending good thoughts and light your way.

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February 12th, 2017

07:02 pm - State of Me, Post #8
So that week happened.

1) Master Danger is now on (temporary) medication for a minor but annoying condition, and that medication means he has to go pee every two hours. He seems to be peeing each time approximately twice the amount of liquid he is actually consuming and I have NO IDEA what is happening. Also, sigh.

2) I am in the throes of allergy badness at the moment. This morning I went for a walk (damn the pollen), and then came home and collapsed in a little heap. For the next five hours -- a) I have told myself I can't take Benadryl because it makes me sleepy and unable to function, b) I have tried to do some Important Task, c) I have utterly failed because allergies also make me sleepy and unable to function. So yeah.

3) I love love love the Victoria Beckham Autumn-Winter 2017 collection that was shown today in NYC. I cannot even tell you how I want to live in these garments, including the gloves. Like, I want to wear this dress every damn day of the year. I would travel around the globe so it would always be the perfect weather to wear that dress. I LOVE IT.

And as I contemplated how I love these clothes and yet would have to lose weight to wear them, I made a batch of oatmeal-cranberry cookies. What is wrong with me?

4) I tried to watch the second episode of this Abbie-free season of Sleepy Hollow, despite not making it all the way through Episode One. (I have been thinking a lot about Tom Mison, for reasons which need not be explored at this juncture.) Made it literally three minutes in before bolting for the hills. Dear Sleepy Hollow Season 4 writers, spoilerCollapse ) well, GROSS GROSS GROSS.

May you have better lists for your week ahead. :)

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February 5th, 2017

04:59 pm - Things of Joy, Post #7
This week's joys:

*the new entry in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, The Hanging Tree
*Thomas Nightingale in that series. Posh,(seemingly) middle-aged, beautifully mannered English wizard who favours well-cut suits and drives a Jag whilst he deploys his enormous power in the service of good... No, I don't have a type, why do you ask? (Hee.)
*This week's Lucifer
*A kind package from ljrags
*random nice words
*roses from Publix
*listening to Jamie Cullum
*fog this morning, curling around the houses as Master Danger and I passed
*happy hour with some of my fave people Friday evening in a perfect subtropical golden sunset

May your week ahead be full of joys!

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February 4th, 2017

03:41 pm - Mistakes were Made, Post #6
Three quick things, after dropping off the face of Livejournal:

1) Sometimes a mistake works in one's favor. Last week I had that wonderful massage; afterward I booked what I thought was a March 4 appointment for a followup. The thing was that I (my mind already in February) had said I wanted a massage "next month," and so the receptionist duly put me down for the first Saturday in the next month.

Which, er, was today.

I didn't pick up the confirmation voicemail until yesterday evening, after their office had closed. It was really too late to cancel, and anyway -- it had been a stressful week.

I've had the massage, and let's just say that it was a great mistake to have made.

2) I have been drowning at work, just barely dog-paddling along while the waves got higher and higher, and the awful thing is that I bear most of the blame for the flood of horror. (Also the aftermath: afternoon stress-eating Girl Scout peanut butter sandwiches which had been delivered to my office? Child, what a bad idea.)

But I think that I might actually get one week out of the month to breathe, just a little. (Not next week, but the one after that.)

Tea. Walking in pollen-heavy mornings. More tea. Thinking about London in May. Mentally casting Neil Gaiman's Good Omens which should be in pre-production as a limited series. (I'm thinking Bertie Carvel as Crowley and, because of his sweet smile, Adrian Lester as Aziraphale. Who would you like to see?) Still more tea. These are a few of my coping mechanisms.

3) One thing -- not a mistake -- that I've been doing this year is set aside a bit of money each month for one direct giving opportunity to a person who needs a little help. Right now this family, moving across country to seek better opportunities, needs a little help. Give if you feel moved to do so.

Cheers, tea, no more mistakes!

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January 27th, 2017

06:24 pm - Things of Joy, Post #5
I have been absolutely terrible at keeping my bullet-journal, largely because work has been overwhelmingly busy. (This state of affairs should ease... [looks at calendar]...in February. For one week only.] But I am thinking of joy:

*dancing in the evening to the Balmorhea album Stranger, dreamy mostly-instrumental music.
*Deanna Raybourn's second Veronica Speedwell mystery A Perilous Undertaking. I liked it much better than the first book, for some reason.
*celebrating an anniversary of adoption for Master Danger (who is currently NOT contributing to joy, because he is barking at the neighbor who's chopping wood for their stove).
*a massage today, wherein my regular masseuse started to work and within a couple of moments murmured "Oh dear." I am now drinking water and popping an ibuprofen, because OW. But I needed it very badly.

I hope you have taken care of yourself this week, and I wish you loads of joy!

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January 19th, 2017

08:20 pm - From A Wrinkle in Time, Post #4
From Chapter 4, "The Black Thing," of L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time:

It was a shadow, nothing but a shadow. It was not even as tangible as a cloud. Was it cast by something? Or was it a Thing in itself?....

Meg looked. The dark shadow was still there. It had not lessened or dispersed with the coming of night. And where the shadow was the stars were not visible.

From Chapter 5, "The Tesseract":

"Yyouu hhave ssaidd itt!" Mrs Which's voice rang out. "Itt iss Eevill. Itt iss thee Ppowers of Ddarrkknessss!"

"But what's going to happen?" Meg's voice trembled. "Oh please, Mrs Which, tell us what's going to happen!"

"Wee wwill cconnttinnue tto ffightt!"


Sometimes it's good to revisit children's literature, especially as the shadow's getting closer to us. It's good to remember to fight on.

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January 15th, 2017

11:40 am - Things of Joy, Post #3
I haven't been Livejournaling in the past few days but I've been semi-idiosyncratically bullet-journaling. (However, I've chosen the wrong gel pen for this project, as it inevitably weeps on my fingers.)

So I'm just recording a few lists every day: Work, Home Etc, Writing, Weather, Exercise, and Joy. Sometimes that last is only an item I've had to work hard to think of; other times that last is very real record-keeping of things of joy.

A short list of things from the past few days:
*tea with a friend
*new workout shoes
*watching a video about Chatsworth House
*a new microwave popcorn-maker from Williams-Sonoma (ordered before Christmas)
*wine and appetizers downtown with friend; visit at a different bar with different friends afterward
*baking Whole Wheat Batter Bread from a 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook my mother had
*2-mile walk in perfect weather
*hawk flying low over my backyard, bird and shadow
*dancing to an old Stevie Wonder album
*wolf-moon on a cold clear night

Do you keep a journal? Do you track your joys? What's a thing you've loved in the past few days?

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