usedtobeljs: ("Dame" Emma C by Bouncy Monkey)
Joys:
1. My backyard transformation is done, and it staggers me every time I look at it.
2. Master Danger now has a border fence to keep him from the property fence, and can play safely even if the neighbor dogs are out and barking. LOVE.
3. A stone wall/privacy screen in the back of the yard will be getting its own sign (once I make it): "Jim's wall," in memory of my darling dad. He would have loved the rocks in the wall so much.
4. It might rain the next two or three days, which would be helpful in making the new plants be at home. (And, er, would mean I wouldn't have to water those days.)
5. Last night, weary, I put on an old Carly Simon album and coloured a couple of images in my Vogue Goes Pop colouring book, which also reminded me that I bought the book at the V&A.
6. Two months til I'm back in London. Maybe I should book for the Balenciaga exhibit at the V&A, now that I'm thinking of it...
7. And also Rachel Whiteread and the the Impressionists in London exhibition. (Guilty secret: I don't really connect to Impressionists, but maybe this would change my mind like the Pre-Raphaelite exhibit did.)
8. F&M Russian Caravan iced tea with local honey and a slice of lemon.

To Lift Up:
I have only been to Sonoma once, but I so loved it and have been living there creatively ever since. The horrible fires across Northern California have hurt so many, and the rebuilding will be exhausting. I lift up those who fight the fires and those who will recover from them.

Hurricane Ophelia hitting Ireland as an extra-tropical system -- what the actual hell, world. I lift up those who will be battered by the gale, and hope for the best.

Still thinking about those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria....

May you all have a great start to your week!
usedtobeljs: (Mary Tyler Moore smile and gesture)
1. I am super joyful to have lived through the past week of quotidian upsets and nightmares.
2. Work on my backyard project has begun, and a rock-and-succulent courtyard is in my future. WHEE.
3. Tea with a dear friend this afternoon, and a walk around Small Town, with purchases at a new kitchen shop as well.
4. A new candle (purchased at another downtown shop), bringing Spicy Cinnamon and a hint of autumn to a freaking hideously humid week.
5. Starting to go through what passes for my linen closet and choosing old blankets to donate to the local homeless shelter.
6. 200 words on my writing project yesterday.

Master Danger smiles at you all, and I send hopes of more than six reasons to be joyful!
usedtobeljs: (Anya Pensive Star by Bouncy Monkey)
1. Rain, but not too much rain.
2. New rainboots which are the BEST EVER.
3. McVitie's dark chocolate digestives.
4. Organizing 3 out of 4 dresser drawers, and the shining (momentary) order therein.
5. Listening to music from my childhood -- Gordon Lightfoot was the choice last night.
6. Having a day off.
7. Thinking about what my house will be like after all this construction kerfuffle is done.
8. Writing two paragraphs on a long-stalled project.
9. EVERYTHING about Jane Fonda and Dame Helen Mirren on the L'Oreal Paris catwalk.
10. Managing to post today.

I hope that you're finding amazing joys!
usedtobeljs: (Default)
Construction update: M and his son, who is learning the business in hopes of taking over, started tearing out yesterday. (For those of us who've watched Fixer Upper: this is not Demo Day, but Demo Week.)

In advance of that, I toiled Sunday in the unseasonably steamy heat for several hours, trying to go through accumulated crap that I had thrown in the attached garage space and forgotten about. It is remarkably depressing to realize how much shit -- a word I choose deliberately -- was piled up out there, gathering dust and mold. The job was made worse because I still had all the empty boxes from the stuff I'd shipped from my dad's house. I ran out of garbage bins and sacks early on, but bless M, he is throwing the rest of the discards into his dump trailer.

Currently Master Danger is reluctantly accepting the stuff I'm keeping in "his" room (luggage, Christmas decorations, paintings, chair, exercise stuff, stepladder, etc etc). The disorder makes me unbelievably itchy, but we persevere.

The good thing is that M and his son have already made amazing progress, and I am hoping (fingers crossed) that the job might be done before Christmas. Last night, before a last round of discards, I walked through the space opened up and imagined the new rooms to be created from the tearing out. New world in an old house.

What would you like to discard today?
usedtobeljs: (Default)
Just got back from a morning walk. (I have started a workout plan created by my friend and trainer Fr, in anticipation of a walking-tour vacation next July, hurrah.) It is still Hot Soup here in the subtropics, but the light has changed, and soon, soon the dewpoint will drop to livable levels.

(I hope.)

While the weather should be changing in good ways soon, my house and backyard are about to undergo Major Updates. I foresee two and a half to three months of craziness with the house, while my contractor redoes the 1960s addition and makes it a) a rationally designed space, and b) one better suited to Aging in Place. Example: currently there are two steps down from my kitchen to the utility room/hallway; these steps lead directly, as in less than a foot of clearance, into my washing machine. To the right of the steps is a giant Nixon-era (LITERALLY) water heater. It's a cramped and slightly dangerous arrangement, and I will be so glad when it goes away. I am NOT looking forward to the construction noise and mess, but the end result should be great.

Also, I adore M the contractor, who did my other bathroom renovation, and he will do a good job for me.

The other change is that my backyard, which is sort of a mess (except with excellent treework!), is getting a proper design. D my landscape designer is doing some practical things I requested, like a Corgi-size border fence keeping Master Danger away from the proper fence, but he also, like, somehow intuited the kind of Provencal stone courtyard image that I keep pinning, and is giving me a courtyard space of gravel, flagstones, and succulents, which I'll be able to see from my kitchen window. YAY YAY YAY. There will also be some "lawn" for the young master and loads of native plants, including pollinators.

I'll keep you posted on how Master Danger does with all these changes. :)

What change are you looking forward to?
usedtobeljs: (Default)
See icon.

Anyway, so Hurricane Irma happened. I spent several days at my friends' house, being nervous (before the storm) and exhausted (after the storm). The power went out Sunday night as the winds began to howl overhead. Luckily Monday, after the storm had passed, was breezy and relatively nice even without power, and when I went home Tuesday morning, my power was restored.

But that's luck.

I live in a Tree City, and everywhere old oaks lie cracked in yards or near roadways. The neighbors behind me never do treework at all despite a yard full of aged water oaks, and as in Matthew last year, half of one of the oaks fell on my back fence. La la la.

No, seriously, la la la, because my neighbor across the street (who also doesn't have tree work done) had HER giant oak snap off near the roots, and it rests partially on her house. She is staying with church friends, possibly for a long time.

Master Danger and I are back to almost normal, except for the hum of generators nearby and roads unexpectedly closed by trees and a few local shops still not blessed with power. My current project is to buy a new mattress, because after last week's hotel stays and the weekend's stay at my friends', the inadequacy of my own bed is making itself felt. OUCH.

May you only have the best of breezes this week!
usedtobeljs: (Jeremy Northam Wind-blown)
Hurricane Irma.

Because obviously my year hasn't been hard enough yet. (Or Freixenet's year, or, or, or....)

I will think of young Jeremy Northam instead of the variety of awful that's likely to hit Sunday. If you don't hear from me for a while, however....

Good things to celebrate:

Sunflowers
Friends
Making it through today

May we all make it through. Hugs.
usedtobeljs: (Lindsey Big Damn Anti-hero by Linnaea)
It's going to be a hard few days in Texas. I am lighting a candle for those in the rain and storms.

And for [personal profile] stateless82, who loves Lindsey and Fred, a little Deep Ellum tidbit about another stormy night --

Fred knows that Lindsey's wrist – the seam where another's hand was joined to his arm, still red against his tan – hurts during storms.
Read more... )

................

May all be safe in whatever storms are brewing for you.
usedtobeljs: (Dame Judi Dench)
This Saturday I am clinging to moments of joy:

*the CDs I liberated from my father's store, 50s cool jazz and 60s pop jazz and the odd bit of Afro-Cuban jazz awesomeness

*new makeup (eyeliner, eyebrow filler, highlighter, blush) with an option to buy new lippie later

*wearing my Ariat cowboy boots (3 years old now?) with a pencil skirt so I could run from meeting to meeting at work yesterday

*Bertie Carvel writing brilliantly for the New Statesman. (He talks about playing Simon Foster, who is loathsome, but mmmm, Bertie.)

*Britbox has "A Bit of Fry and Laurie"! And Campion!!!!!!

*homemade bread made by a colleague

*2 and a half inches of rain yesterday, and an almost cool morning today for Master Danger's and my walk

May your days ahead be full of joy.
usedtobeljs: (Anya Deepest Deep by Miggy)
I am so tired.

This summer has been one where I've constantly been moving ahead of the Bad Stuff all around, the waves of Bad Stuff following me. This week I had a day where I stopped and breathed, at which point the wave crashed over me and I was inundated with all of the summer's grief and stress.

I do not recommend.

But even so, there have been some nice moments:

*a work event where I could catch up with an acquaintance from another department
*a lunch with a new colleague
*dropping off old shoes for new soles
*paying off a loan or two
*thinking about workouts and asking my trainer-friend to come up with a home program for me
*reading Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels, which presented Mitford history familiar to me in a very different way
*listening to Lorde's latest album

It's raining today, and I think I'll put on the album and dance a bit, to push that wave of Bad Stuff back. Or I could nap. Either would work.

May you be dancing in good moments too this weekend.
usedtobeljs: (Anya Pensive Star by Bouncy Monkey)
Right now I am looking at a bouquet of daisies and carnations that friends have sent me, and I am making myself smile. On this Sunday, let's think about things of joy:

*fresh pitcher of F&M strawberry black tea
*Master Danger stretched out at my feet (but not so close that I will trip over him)
*flow-charts
*ticking off work done on my To Do list
*planning to listen to this Proms concert featuring Dianne Reeves with a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
*having dinner with friends on Thursday night, in the midst of a torrential downpour
*new shoes from Shoes of Prey (the brown ankle-strap mid-heels of my dreams)
*re-organizing clothes drawers and reminding myself of how much I have

May you be reminded of your joys today.
usedtobeljs: (What Would Donna Do by Omphalos)
It's been announced that this Sunday, after the Wimbledon men's championship, the new Doctor will be introduced.

I have the following thoughts:

1) I know, intellectually, that it is time for P Cap and S Moffat to go. But I am not looking forward to Chibnall as show runner, and I am very very worried about who will be the next Doctor.

2) This worry is displacement for larger political and personal worries, I assure you. But still.

3) I DON'T WANT IT TO BE KRIS MARSHALL. He seems like a lovely chap, but NO NO NO.

4) I have a list of white boys I'd like to see as the Doctor, but really, I don't think it's the time.

5) Am sad that Adrian Lester has taken himself out of the running, but then I want him to be Aziraphale in Gaiman's Good Omens miniseries anyway.

6) I will be traveling (back to see my father, who is lingering on despite all odds) during the announcement and that is also stressing me out.

In conclusion, P Cap.

Hugs to all!
usedtobeljs: (Anya we persevere thoughtful)
We continue to hang fire here, so a quick few moments of joy:

1) I just got embroidered jeans from Boden on mega-sale, and they are flattering and cheery-making.

2) Just got my blue mid-heels resoled -- the local cobbler also rebuilding the toe and polishing them. It makes me happy to repair and keep wearing shoes and good clothes.

3) A huge glass of ice-water with lemon.

4) Lyle Lovett's "Flyswatter Icewater Blues" from Joshua Judges Ruth.

5) Unbuttoned French cuffs of a white shirt on my beloved Twelve. Pretty sure this is a bulletproof kink.

6) Bet I'd like unbuttoned French cuffs of a white shirt on Lyle Lovett too, to be honest.

7) All the tweed in the Chanel Autumn/Winter 2017 show.

Hope you have things of joy today!
usedtobeljs: (Default)
So this summer has not been good so far, shall we say, and at the moment we are still hanging fire, so -- let's think about joys instead.

*the beauty of Peter Capaldi as Twelve, with special attention to the third gif down on the right side, because that is some Lord Peter Wimsey tailored-shoulders nonsense right there
*rereading the Vane-Wimsey Quartet for comfort
*brewing this morning's tea (Fortnum's black tea with strawberry)
*multi-grain baton of bread from Publix, where shopping is seriously a pleasure
*payday coming up!
*the new Diana Krall album

What's giving you joy today? May the list be long, may the joys linger.
usedtobeljs: (Lorne Damn! by Bouncy Monkey)
A short piece but mine own, a Season Six fixit diverging from canon after "Flooded," with a guest appearance by my beloved Lorne --

"Get Happy", wherein Giles and Anya go to Los Angeles for their first weekend together. Storylines are changed, the good word is given, all for a couple of snippets of song.

Cheers to all.
usedtobeljs: (Ganya Partners in Crime from Gwynne)
I wasn't going to do Summer of Giles again, but what can I say, I'm weak.

A little something will be coming on Saturday, but for this posting day, a little canon, a little I&A --

"Five Times Clothes Made the Man, and One Time They Didn't". Touch of Giles/Ethan, touch of canon Giles/Joyce, but it's I&A. It's about Giles, clothes, and identity.

Hugs to all.
usedtobeljs: (Default)
A long time since posting, but...

The writer Henry James often used a phrase which was once apparently common -- "hanging fire" -- although I only came to know the phrase through his work. According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary, it means 'to delay or to be delayed in taking action.' Googling tells me it comes from artillery. In James' prose there was something powerful, a kind of opportunity for ambiguity, when a character was hanging fire.

In my life it makes me anxious. I don't like the ambiguous power of not knowing.

In my last post I mentioned that my father wasn't doing well. In fact he is now in hospice. The nurses have told us that they didn't expect him to make it more than a day or two after the initial illness, but two weeks later now and he is, well, hanging fire: losing weight and strength, not entirely lucid, wasting away, but still here. He doesn't want to be here, I have to say, and it is all heartbreaking.

I've been flying back and forth to see him, but this week I am here with Master Danger and subtropical rain and work. Next week -- if he is still with us -- I will fly to see him again.

There is too much space in not knowing.

I hope all is well with all of you, and may you know what you need and get it.
usedtobeljs: (Giles blue shirt LJS by Head Rush)
I'm back home. Master Danger is snoozing on the linoleum, it's bloody hot in the subtropics and there's worrying news about my dad -- so let me remember my trip, which after an initial hiccup was awesome.

Rather than listing everything I did, a few moments to remember:
*unexpectedly seeing friends at the gate next to mine, and having a nice visit before I boarded (and before they went to Europe)
*checking my phone one last time on the plane out, with a glass of fizz on the armrest
*hot strong PG Tips and toast in the B&B where I stayed one night
*sitting in a cafe in a small town in Derbyshire, windows on a rainy green, with a be-hatted older woman drinking tea at a nearby table whilst her lurcher sat at her feet and sighed
*at the House Style at Chatsworth exhibit, the motto jumpers worn by the previous Duke of Devonshire Andrew Cavendish -- such as "Never Marry A Mitford". LOVE.
*green green EVERYWHERE
*a single pale rose on the bush outside my bedroom window in the flat in London; drinking wine on the garden patio of the flat
*HOT for three days, OMG. London theatres are largely not air-conditioned, either (although thank heavens for the National, which was)
*tea at the Ritz, with ambiance and sweet stuff
*some awesome theatre, including a revelatory performance of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches wherein Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, and Russell Tovey were mesmerizing and heartbreaking (okay, Roy Cohn wasn't heartbreaking); DAVID FUCKING TENNANT in Don Juan in Soho, a star to his bones, louche in slim-cut suits and charmingly repellent as the modern rake-figure; the sweet and delicious love story in Rattigan's Love in Idleness, wherein Tony Head was dashing and GORGEOUS and passionate, and Eve Best was Life Goal. [Also in LiI: CLOTHES PORN, omg: 1940s silk pyjamas for Eve Best, and a silk shirt/wide-legged trousers outfit that looked classic and still current; pinstriped Savile Row for ASH, also black tie (OMG), and a camelhair coat that was unreal in its swagger and perfection)
*visiting with friends, including Paratti
*the colors of the David Hockney exhibit at the Tate Britain
*new shoes
*my footbridge over the Thames, in afternoon and at night

Hugs to all, and may your weekend be full of good things.
usedtobeljs: (Giles/Anya holiday by Chen)
Finally the day has arrived! Travel! (Er, ignore the Tour Eiffel in the icon, 'cos I'm not hitting Paris this trip.)

I apologize in advance for all posts I miss whilst I'm away -- I hope to check DW every day but it might not happen, as my days will be rather full.

Happy days to all! I send good thoughts and virtual hugs to last a fortnight. :)
usedtobeljs: (Default)
[Please insert traditional "Oh God this week" lament here. Because oh God, this week.]

So instead of thinking of that, Joy:

*rain in a time of drought, a good solid soaking not-quite-an-inch of rain
*only two three awful work things to do before vacation
*Master Danger allowing me to stare lovingly into his eyes for a whole 20 seconds
*hearing an old favorite song on the radio
*graduation day, and the adventures to come for those who are passing that milestone
*getting annoying/exhausting professional news but figuring out a way to make it slightly better
*FOUR DAYS TIL VACATION

May you have joy too, and a great weekend.

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