I missed yesterday

I sat in front of the computer at least three times and couldn't think of anything to write. I'm still not doing very well. I went to a jazz concert on Saturday night, but I have nothing to report about it. Today was the fourth Osher history class about Washington, Adams, Jefferson. Today was Jefferson; lots of things I never knew. 

My black eye is almost normal looking, but part of my face is still numb. Very annoying but it seems to be getting better. Maybe tomorrow I'll have something more interesting.

What do you think of this picture?

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Just in time

Here it is only November 4 and I almost forgot to post. It's 11pm and I just got back from a lovely Shabat dinner. It's been a difficult day, the result of a night of not sleeping. Thursday evening I tutor two ESL students. We meet at a Panera where I usually buy a decaf to justify my use of a table. I didn't want coffee last night so I ordered tea and chose something I thought was herbal. I can't drink real tea at 8pm and expect to sleep. I read, I played solitaire on the netbook, I answered emails. I think I finally fell asleep about 5 and slept to 9:30. It wasn't enough. With my eyes only partially open I went to look at an apartment at noon, came back and took a nap, did a little work on my latest book, finally went out to dinner. Now I'm going to sleep. Good night! 

No free lunch

Monday night, after I got in bed but before I turned out the light, I got a text message offering me a free iPad3 for testing. Just call or go to a certain website. I turned off the phone. In the morning I Googled iPad3 and found a lot of sad people who bit on the offer, their contact lists co-opted to send out more spam or worse. There's a scammer born every minute. I just figure if it's too good to be true, it isn't.

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This is how much snow we had last weekend.

Half the day is gone

and I'm just beginning to work on my first post. I have a singular lack of ambition these days and a long list of things I ought to be doing. If I get through this month of writing every day, it will be a great accomplishment. Last night, trying to fall asleep, I thought about what I would write today, but of course that dissolved into sleep. Maybe I dreamt about it but usually don't remember my dreams.

Photo

I went to the farmer's market yesterday, and amongst other things, I bought these black walnuts, simply because they were beautiful. Now I don't know what to do with them. I looked on the internet to try to find out how to open them and there is far too much information. Anyone out there have a suggestion?

I've seen slices of black walnut shells made into jewelry. I suppose that would take lots of equipment. Well, it's a thought.

Still working on the book

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I'm really a big picture person. I always grasp the overall ideas easily, letting the details float around in the air, often not finishing whatever I had started. So the idea of a tunnel book was no problem. The reality has become a huge challenge and I'm cursing all the way, but determined to do it. 

I began this fourth iteration by printing out all of the pieces, I thought.There are seven finished pages comprised of twenty separate pieces glued together. (I'll explain with pictures when I've finished the book.) Six sides have 24 separate pieces. My caveat when I said 'I thought' I had printed everything out was because I went back afterward and decided to change the last two sides. This is after figuring it all out (?) on the computer.

I drew a little diagram making decisions about how the pieces will be glued together and started to mark the pieces, but never finished because that was more detail than I could handle. Each of the 44 pieces, 6×9 or 6×6, had to be trimmed from the 8.5 x 11 card stock, maintaining tabs on the outer side pieces. Fortunately I have a new paper cutter; the old guillotine style would have been impossible, but even so, it took me most of a day. I try to do most of this in the morning; by evening I know I'll screw up.

In spite of my aching hands and tired legs (I prefer standing when I do this), I enjoyed the cutting. It made me think of my childhood when I loved cutout books. I never played with dolls, but I liked cutting out the dolls and clothes. I thought my inner child was dead, but maybe it was only comatose.

This morning I started glueing and am now taking a break while I wait for the glue to dry. I'll finish this story tomorrow or Saturday. That's as many details as I can handle in one post and it's lunch time.

Sadness

I don't know how to express my sadness about what has happened in Japan. It's such a beautiful country–such terrible things shouldn't happen. Needless to say I've been thinking about it all weekend. I won't be going there this spring and I'm having a very hard time giving it up. I thought about delaying the trip, but I don't want to be there in summer. Maybe next spring. I keep thinking about all the things I needed to do and now don't have to think about. 

One of the gardens I wanted to see is in Ibaraki Prefecture, and may well be gone. I know the area was affected. But that's obviously the least of it. I will donate money to the Japan America foundation, but I wish there was something more I could do.