Falling Leaves, Flying Geese, Settling In

As cool days and nights move in, we are able to get beyond the confines of the master suite with its window air conditioning unit. I set up the ironing board and my new sewing machine–more later–in the upstairs room and finished up a pillow that had been half done for several years. An honest to goodness sewing room! With its own bathroom.

I’ve had the WII in the den all summer but now it is much more pleasant to work out. I am having fun challenging myself but did finally break down and cheat a bit today, looking for advice or a walkthrough on a particular bicycle route that has me stumped.

We may move our bedroom upstairs and there’s a room that could just be for the treadmill I want to get. After years of 1300 square feet, I want to experience space…use rooms for one thing.

Obviously, getting heat is a priority but we have space heaters, an electric blanket and a pioneer spirit so we can get through the next month or two.

We submitted our application to be considered for state historic status and additional information was requested. They want more chronology of the house such as when additions and windows were added. We’re hoping the family may have some idea; I may have to tackle the two filing cabinets in the chicken coup. I know they hold file folders of family records so I might find some bills.

Meanwhile, I have been reading. I went from the Civil War to Look Homeward, Angel, by Thomas Wolfe. Thick, thick prose, some stream of consciousness, but held together with a compelling story of complex characters.

Just finished Olive Kitteredge and was so sorry to see it be done. The vignettes were poignant, loving portraits of human beings, who are held together by sometimes gossamer threads. I was stuck with the image of Olive in her vest made from drapes, a modern day Scarlett O’Hara somehow making it no matter what (“You have to have a schedule.”) Even when that schedule includes visiting her unresponsive husband at the nursing home every day. She was prickly and difficult, but aren’t we all? I found myself agreeing with her about her son and his therapist, whose need to find blame made it impossible for Christopher to see her love and concern and had to see a bit of Olive in myself as I grow older.

This was my first book on the iPad and it was a very enjoyable reading experience. Just so clear and easy to navigate. I found I preferred to the two page book format rather than holding it vertically. I am going to transfer my New Yorker subscription to the iPad.

I picked up The Yiddish Policemen’s Union on vacation and found its quirkiness very interesting. Set in an alternative history where Jews were relocated to Sitka, Alaska, after the war, but are soon to be dispossessed, an alcoholic detective, his Tlingit/Jewish partner and his ex-wife investigate the murder of the Messiah. The sprinkling of Yiddish words gave it a gravely texture.

Last night, I started Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I haven’t read The Corrections despite having a hardcover copy on the shelf. I think I bought it because he stood up to Oprah. While it averages a 4 something in LibraryThing, the written reviews vary widely and some people really hated it.

I forgot about the sewing machine but this post is already too long..

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