Since I can’t sleep, I might as well write. Not that I have anything momentous to say (except that my hit counter just hit 45,000). In fact, I’m not sure I have anything to say at all. Maybe I’ll just blather instead.
I need to back up both my laptop and my desktop, wipe the hard drives and reformat them, then re-install some software from scratch. I don’t hate Vista as much as everyone else seems to, but once it gets buggy, no amount of tweaking seems to make it better. Now all I need is to find a couple of unobstructed days to do it.
As I mentioned on Facebook, the huge pot of stock I made over several days turned out wonderfully. I’m making chicken soup tomorrow (with extra garlic and ginger, so maybe it’s Asian chicken soup), and then cabbage soup over the weekend. The rest of the stock gets frozen for sauces and future soups.
Indigo Bunting, who just wrote a nifty piece about Facebook being an addictive timesuck, asked me to tell the story about the Middletown Springs town dump that I posted on Lali’s blog, so here it is. Lali was writing about living frugally and finding wonderful things in the trash and at rummage sales, so I posted this comment:
I’m going to try to take these lessons to heart this year. Mostly my year will be about Throwing Things Away, stripping down, digging out. There are new things I want, definitely, but I will try not to be hasty, and see if what I have can be reused and repurposed.
You know, I wonder if non-Vermonters know the wonders of The Town Dump. It is SO not what I expected when I heard IB talk about it. Ours was essentially a combination community center and recycling station.
People sorted their Stuph into the myriad collection bins—newspapers separate from magazines separate from white office paper separate from colored office paper; bins for plastics, for glass, for aluminum cans, for tin cans, for garbage—and then there were the large items that no one could use, pieces of furniture, the pallets that Lali mentioned, mirrors . . . it was fascinating to see what others threw away, and fun to pick through anything that called to us. I spent a lot of time at the magazine bin, picking up fascinating small-circulation journals or catalogs for things I never knew I wanted.
After sorting, disposing, and collecting, people would stand around and catch up on the news, chatting happily the way they did in the general store or the post office.
I knew those neighbors, spread for miles across the Town, better than I know the ones down here who live just yards from my front door. We ate in each others’ homes, had pleasant evenings of board games, went to community meetings and town dinners at the firehouse, volunteered at the library. I have been in precisely one neighbor’s home down here, and that was only so I could babysit their cat.
However: as much as I’ve been longing for Vermont lately (and dreaming of what I’d do with my Powerball winnings), I don’t mind not having to shovel sidewalks or unearth buried cars in winter.
I’m still not sure how to deal with this house. It needs an interior paint job (exterior too, probably, but not quite yet) and new carpeting; before that, it needs to be purged of all the stuff cluttering up the walkways in some rooms and the closets in others, not to mention the truly frightening garage, which has been reduced to two narrow aisles, one to the outside and one to the washing machine and freezer. Once I strip away, do I have the painting done first? The carpeting? What of all the furniture and really, really heavy stuff that will need to be moved before anything happens? Where does it go when there’s no free space?
More troubling still, I don’t know what to do with this odd nook off the dining room, which is currently occupied by an easy chair and side table that no one ever uses. It’s sort of the elbow between the living room and the dining area in this open floor plan, with some angled walls. The chair looks fine there, and we’ve put the Christmas tree there in years past, but it’s really not useful space. It’s too public for an exercise machine (and who wants to sit next to that when you’re eating dinner?). An altar of some sort? It doesn’t feel like a terribly sacred space.
I missed my acupuncture appointment today. Completely spaced it until it was too late. When I talked with Jennie to apologize, I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling sad or blue or depressed, but I was acting the way a depressed person acts, she reminded me that qi, and particularly liver qi, can get stuck, and when it does, it makes you feel “stuck.” The fastest way to get unstuck, both metaphorically and physically, is to move. Start walking. So tomorrow I hope to buy some decent walking shoes, and just break the habit of not moving.
Sorry. I know this isn’t what you’re used to seeing here. But maybe you’ll be comforted to know that I’m feeling drowsy at last. It’s 2:24 a.m., but it’s not like I have to get up early in the morning to work or anything.
Oh wait, I do.