Monday, September 27, 2004

This is the Week That Was

Remember that old television show? It always started with an announcer broadcasting in a booming voice: "This is the week that was." I never knew what part of that announcement actually represented the title of the show. I can't even remember the show very well. Michael tells me it was a satirical take-off on the news imported from (or ripped off from) the BBC in the late 60s or early 70s. Hard to believe I even recognize it, then, because I didn't have a television set for most of 1968 to 1972, which were my undergraduate years.

I think of it tonight because I have had quite a busy week. Busy and fun. Would it be too boring to run down the highlights? Probably. Is this my blog and I can do anything I want? Definitely. So, just to let you know I was not goofing off and thus neglecting my blog, I will share a little of a week in my life.

Last Monday didn't amount to much. I worked on restoring the house to normalcy, something I always have to do after the weekend. It is getting a little harder to discern normal from abnormal, though, because having Michael here throws me off in small, but noticeable, ways. I feel "observed" and awkward about what would otherwise be routine. Not his fault by any means. He pretty much keeps his head down and works on the job hunt, but I feel I should include him or acknowledge him about things, whereas before I would just do what I wanted or needed to as my day developed.

Monday night, after dinner, we had to go to IKEA because we had previously purchased the incorrect frame for our new desks and they had to be exchanged. Going to IKEA when you're in the right mood can be a kind of cheap date - fun without much expense if you're just window shopping. This wasn't actually expensive because we were doing an even exchange, but it turned out to be seriously annoying. There were very many IKEA employees and very few IKEA customers, yet getting service proved difficult. Their apple crumb cake (found in the snack bar in the Houston store) is very yummy and cheap at $1.25 a slice. We did enjoy that.

Tuesday, the cable guy came by to move our cable modem to the new location. (We are flipping the office and the cozy corner - a big project that has been underway for a while and included building shelves, etc. in the old cozy corner. See my archives for more.) We expected him to install the outlet and when we were ready, we would move the actual cable modem. Hah!! When you install the outlet, the cable modem has to be moved immediately. He explained why and I understood it, but it's not worth repeating. Bottom line, we had no cable in the office where our computer's were. Quickly assembling the desks and using my laptop computer proved to be a short term solution, which is good because Victoria had a dentist appointment that afternoon and I had a WIVLA meeting to attend early evening.

Check out to find out about this unique organization I belong to. WIVLA stands for Women in the Visual and Literary Arts.

Victoria had no cavities and the meeting went well, too. My friend Joanna presented a program on designing and building your own website that was fabulously instructive. You can find Joanna at . As always, we had wonderful conversations and high energy around art and literary topics. My friend Bertie attended with me and I took a new friend, Jane, along, so we had lively conversation to and fro as well.

Wednesday, I spent hours at the dentist myself on my second round of abscessed tooth relief. The aftermath hurt like the dickens, though, and I felt thoroughly miserable Wednesday night, Thursday and into Friday. But let's concentrate on Thursday. Michael isn't home for dinner on Thursday nights because he dines with a group of men friends every week, so Victoria and I have kind of girls' night out, although I don't think we were very festive that night. We made quesadillas at home and I worked on some writing I needed to have ready for my writers' group meeting on Friday morning.

I belong to the Friday Morning Writers' Group. We've been meeting for 7 or 8 years, it escapes me now, and the group is composed of excellent writers who give very good critiques. I love them dearly. I think they are my most devoted fans. They have certainly helped me polish a lot of writing. On the way home from that meeting, I stopped at Sam's and bought a few groceries. (That's a joke. Get it? No one can buy a few groceries at Sam's!) The point of the groceries is that we have to adjust our cooking now that Michael is not working.

For the past several months, we have been preparing meals at the Village Table, a place with a smart idea for making feeding yourself easy and delicious. You go there once a month and in two hours prepare (if you're a small family like us) 22-24 meals for the month to put in the freezer and cook later. We have been eating so well and enjoying such hassle-free lives in regard to groceries and food preparation, but there is a cost and we felt we couldn't spend the money any longer. But we wanted to continue the idea, so we are preparing 4 identical main dishes every time we cook and freezing 3 of them. So far, we've made meat loaf and baked ziti (of course, it's not baked yet, just frozen). And we've pre-packaged meal-sized portions of pork and chicken for the grill. It's working so far.

Friday night, Victoria had a Girl Scout meeting and Michael and I had to watch the season premiere of "Joan of Arcadia" which is our favorite television show. And we had to watch the "Andromeda" premiere, too, but we missed the early show and consequently had to stay up until midnight to see it.

Saturday, we went to Sam and Howard's 20th wedding anniversary. Sam throws a terrific party. The food tasted fabulous: Thai pumpkin soup, egg drop soup, curried chicken salad, spring rolls, crab quiche, poppy seed cake, brownies and another cake I didn't taste. Sam prepared everything except the spring rolls. The Thai pumpkin soup tasted especially terrific.

On our way home from there, we stopped in for a nightcap at Faye and Bill's. What a lively conversation! We touched on everything from "The Raj Quartet" to book publishing and ate Hagen Daz ice cream to boot. Saturday turned out great. And I wore the DRESS. Boy did I get compliments on it. Made me feel so proud of myself. Michael took a photo and when it's printed I'll post it. (Don't hold your breath, it's not a digital photo.)

Sunday I went to church and later I finished reading "The Raj Quartet." I love those books. Paul Scott (the author) has really written about 2000 pages of poetry. I marked several passages to write down later, but one of them just sticks with me: " ... and drops of rain strung from trees to dry." I can see those raindrops, I can see the clothesline, I can see the sun beating down to dry them out. The whole book is so well-written, as you've heard me say in previous posts. The ending is sad because the end of the British raj in India had so much violence and bloodshed attached to it. But the way Scott told the stories is just beautiful and I am so glad Teri gave me this book to read.

Also on Sunday, I had to interview someone for the monthly member profile I write for the WIVLA newsletter and get that into shape and submitted. I interviewed an artist who intrigued me so much that after we talked I checked out her art on the internet. So gorgeous. She paints the indigenous peoples of Mexico with astonishing authenticity and respect. You can see her art by looking at and then searching the artists galleries for Kay Sarver.

Now it's Monday. I slept in until 11 AM out of sheer exhaustion from last week. I do have lupus, you know, and I just don't hold up well. Then I had more organizational stuff to do for WIVLA. I went grocery shopping in the afternoon. And here I am. I am caught up. And you can see the kind of life I lead. It's busy and invigorating, even if only in small ways, and it makes me happy.


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