I wrote the first part of this last night at Dad’s Townsend Military Band concert on Townsend Common–and I’m very grateful about that because last week, the concert was rained out. But picking up where I left off…
I did it again–found something that Dad had lost! And on Father’s Day, no less.
I’d given Dad his gift and custom-made card after the band concert on Thursday, June 16 because I didn’t expect to see Dad until my birthday on Monday. But the next day, Dad called me about a different topic, and he complained that he’d misplaced his glasses and couldn’t find them anywhere. He really needs them to do any reading or close work, including work on the computer. He’s been doing a lot on the computer because he’s been working a lot on his genealogy database. We talked about where the glasses might be, and he said he’d dug up an old pair of Mom’s reading glasses and they were better than nothing.
On Saturday we talked again, and the glasses were still missing. Dad by now was saying that he’d just put them down somewhere without thinking, couldn’t reconstruct where or how, and “they’ll just have to turn up sometime.” But I was pretty concerned, imagining Dad trying to manage without his glasses. He’d misplaced them somewhere between checking his email and getting dressed on Friday morning.
I had this very strong feeling that they were on the floor somewhere, and I had a visual image of them caught in a tangle of extension cords or wires behind a desk or chair–where they’d be hard to feel and difficult to see. In any event, on Sunday I called Dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day, and he still hadn’t found the glasses. So I said, “okay, I’m coming up to see if we can find them.” Dad fussed a bit that I didn’t need to do that, but he fussed because he just wanted to putter away on his projects, and how could he do that without his glasses? Dad also had Office 2010 that he’d bought back in April and it still wasn’t installed on his computers.
So I drove up to the lake. It was a very nice day and I was actually glad to get out of the house. Of course, you can never plan! When I got up there, Dad said that his desktop computer was being wanky, and I spent some time fussing with that. I couldn’t find anything definitively wrong, but it did seem to be very sluggish, so I left it running a full system scan in Safe Mode just in case.
Finally, Dad and I started hunting around methodically for the glasses. We checked around chairs and the computer desk and whatnot, but I finally spotted them. They’d fallen down between the bed and nightstand, and were on top of a tangle of extension cord from the bedside lamp. They’re brown and were camouflaged very effectively–but they were in exactly the situation I’d imagined they were. I’d thought they might be under the computer table because there are so many more cables and cords under there, but my “vision” was absolutely right.
Dad was gobsmacked, saying that he’d “felt around down there” and not felt the glasses. But that’s the trouble when things are mixed up with wires–you can feel around and only feel the wires, because everything is loose and moves as you feel it. But he was very pleased, and I got some great ego-boosting from it, so we’d have to say that Dad had a pretty good Father’s Day. He liked his card and gift, too. His computer finished its scan without detecting anything suspicious and it’s running fine now, so maybe it was just bogged down with software updates. It’s an older machine. I installed Office 2010 on Dad’s new laptop.
The next day, June 20, Dad came down to my house for my birthday. We went down to the Groton Nursery where Dad bought me something I have wanted (and repeatedly asked for at birthdays and Christmas) for years and years–so many years that several of the stores where I used to pine over them have actually gone out of business. I finally have one of those big, deep-toned, and expensive tube windchimes. I love those!! I also bought a pot of peppermint (because I did the supposedly impossible and killed the peppermint I bought last year) and took a free banana pepper plant because the nursery was giving them away. I don’t have the best luck with peppers, but we’ll see how this one does.
After we got back from Groton Nursery, we had dinner at a restaurant that recently opened in Pepperell. Up to now, Pepperell’s eateries have been confined to pizza, Chinese, ice cream stands and coffee-shop sorts of places. This place, Dolce, advertises itself as serving “Tuscan” food. The location is a remodelled former bank on Main Street, and it’s small, with booths, but the food is…just amazing. Really, really good. I had spinach ravioli stuffed with ricotta, with parmesan cream sauce and wilted baby spinach. It came with a house salad that was lightyears beyond the average side salad you get in even a nice place. Dad had a sort of seafood bisque that he thought was one of the best soups he’d ever had. So we had a really super dinner.
The Solstice was Tuesday the 21st at 1:05 p.m. local time, so I did Tarot reading Monday night and then ritual on Tuesday, which concluded my formal observance. My Tarot reading was rather mixed (which is typical), but it’s only for the current octave (6 weeks) so I can’t put too much stress on it.
I’m glad the Solstice is past. The several weeks leading up to it, I felt more and more tense and unsettled. I couldn’t sleep at all, it was like I was pumping adrenaline all the time. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t get work done, I couldn’t stop eating, I just felt completely out of sorts. Since the Solstice has turned, I’ve been feeling a lot better–energized, focused and motivated. I’ve just finished editing a manuscript which is about to go off to the author, a process that took me a full seven days to complete. It’s weird, because I was born at the Solstice, but I don’t like this time of year at all.
The weather on Tuesday the 21st was stunningly beautiful: you couldn’t have asked for a more perfect, quintessentially summer day. So I was a little surprised to awaken Wednesday to dripping eaves and rain. From then on, it rained…and rained…and rained. Before it stopped, Pepperell had logged an “official” 2.6 inches of rainfall–and we got a bit more. It rained on Thursday, and the band concert was cancelled. It rained on Friday…it thought about clearing up Saturday…and finally, on Sunday, the sun came out. Well, briefly.
This was highly conducive to the editing task, but man, did I get sick of the rain. I’d been writing in my journal since my sister went home that I needed to mow the grass–and with an electric mower, it has to dry out a bit before I feel comfortable getting out there with the equipment. Some of my neighbors (or their lawn services) are out there on their rider-tractor monsters as long as it’s not actually precipitating, but I don’t like to run my heavy electric cords through wet grass. The big catch, of course, is that the grass has just been loving all that rain. Plus, I hate it when Dad’s band concerts are cancelled, because he devotes so much work and energy to them.
It’s been slowly drying out this week (we got more rain late Tuesday night), but aside from the wet, I really wanted to get that manuscript edited, so if I wasn’t doing obligatory chores like workouts and animal care, I had my nose to the computer screen. Yesterday I finally got out there and mowed the grass–in the nick of time, too, for a few of the thickest spots. The grass is really lush and green. So is some, if not all, of the garden–the potatoes are about 10 inches tall already. Some things, like the tomatoes, need more sun than they’ve been getting, but they’re growing. Weeding the garden is the next serious outdoor chore. I seem to have lost about half the row of carrots–the rain might have drowned them. The pumpkins and zucchini are doing well so far, and more of the gladiolas have appeared, to my surprise. The day lilies are just about to start blooming in back.
But one flourishing “crop” that I’m definitely unhappy about is the poison ivy, which is lush, fertile, and appearing in more and more places where I’m extremely displeased to see it. Even worse, I have some poison ivy rash again–and I don’t have the foggiest clue how I got it!!! I first noticed it last week and thought it was dermatitis from my malachite necklace, which I’d worn on Solstice. Then it spread into a whole streak over one shoulder, as though it rubbed off some kind of strap, and the insides of my elbows and forearms. I hadn’t done any work in my yards since June 4! I’m completely baffled as to where I contacted poison ivy in that pattern–unless it’s not really poison ivy, but then, I don’t know what else it could be. But gods, I’m sick of having ugly rashes and hives and feeling itchy for six months out of the year! If there was a vaccine for poison ivy allergy, I’d be first in line, even if it cost hundreds of dollars and I had to pay out of pocket. It would be worth every penny!
I’m slowly maneuvering through the process of signing up to supply ebooks directly to Kobo and, via Ingram, Apple. I hand-edited all the .epub editions of BLUM’s titles to pass epubcheck ver. 1.2, only to have Ingram tell me that Apple’s books must be epub ver. 1.0.5, “the very latest version of epub.” Uh, no, it is not either “the very latest version!” But, grumbling, I downloaded ver. 1.0.5 of epubcheck and made sure all the files passed it, because I’ve heard that Apple is extremely persnickety about the .epub files meeting strict protocol (its own, that is). Barnes & Noble and Google don’t seem to be nearly so fussed. But speaking of Google, I’ve also been running around in circles trying to get a problem resolved with Google ebooks, and I have to say, Google is nowhere near being ready for prime-time in the book world. I don’t know what they think they’re doing, but working with them is the most frustrating experience I’ve had with a vendor, and that’s saying a lot. I completed the four-part webinar series on “metadata” with BISG (I paid a registration fee, it wasn’t a freebie, so it had solid content) and I hope to be putting all BLUM’s metadata into ONIX format for distributors soon. It seems like pretty straight-forward XML code. Twice I asked questions which the presenters said were really good ones.
I hope everyone has a pleasant holiday weekend! I have no particular plans, may walk down for the fireworks tomorrow night.