Number One:
Why is it that I only really want to do yard work on the days that it rains? I did get fertilizer spread over the bits of the yard around the deck, the south side of the house and the front yard before I ran out of fertilizer. I spread it by hand so it's probably not done evenly, but as crummy as the grass looks at the moment and since it's not been fertilized in a year, it'll have to do. Later today or tomorrow I'll go to Lowe's or Home Depot and pick up a fertilizer spreader and some more fertilizer. I've decided to go with a towing spreader rather than a push spreader so that I might actually treat the whole yard at some point. (Yes, I could use the exercise from a push spreader, but if you've ever tried to push a spreader over 1 1/2 of hilly yard you'll realize that it's not likely to happen very often.)

Then, since it started raining and there weren't any puddles to splash in, I fixed up a bucket of oily sand and cleaned the spades, spading fork, hoe and rakes, then oiled them so they won't rust.

Number Two:
And now I'm sitting in the comfy chair updating webpage information, having a conversation with my stomach about how it can stop hurting me at any time now thank you very much, and debating what to knit next. (though if I keep working on the webpages I'll end up spending my knitting time doing NO knitting whatsoever). I should do some laundry and my office is a mess. I'm not sure how that happened. I suppose that's another imponderable. How do you end up with a mess in your office when you weren't home? I *swear* the desk was neat and tidy when I went to the TB meeting in NashVegas last week.

Number Three:
While we're wondering how things work, just why is it that I cannot now find the website I was going to order pool filter parts from now that I'm ready to order the stinking parts? (Update: I did finally find where I'd put the note with the relevant part number and URL. The multiport valve unit is now ordered.)

Number Four:

I'll end with a classic imponderable: Just where *does* the color from the Kool-Aid go when you drink it? No matter what color it is when it goes in, it all comes out yellow.

I'll leave the imponderables at just four for today. I'm sure there will be more in the future.

On Spending Time
Time is the one thing in life of which everybody gets an equal amount. No matter how smart, rich, poor, healthy, sick or whatever else you are, you still get 24 hours in a day. The number of days you get and the amount of stuff you have to do is different, but the amount of time in each day is the same.

As I commented in Stefaneener's blog the other day, I have some time luxuries in that I am a single girl living alone. I don't have to juggle dealing with a spouse, kids or any of their schedules. On the other hand, I have nobody to share chores with. I am the only person who will be mowing my yard, painting my living room, rewiring the ceiling fixture, cooking dinner, doing dishes, washing/folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the floors and taking out the trash. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done. Usually this is manageable. At other times this is overwhelming, like when the pool decides to turn lime green when I go on vacation or when it's been a long week at work and I'm tired. Or when I've let things go for a little while and suddenly all the little things start annoying me en masse.

It has taken me a long time to learn that even when my "work" isn't completely done, I still need to take time for myself and do fun stuff. When I was growing up, we had to get our chores and homework done before we could do fun stuff. This is not necessarily a bad thing since homework would definitely have fallen by the wayside most of the time, but sometimes exceptions should be made. I held onto this philosophy well into graduate school. This led to some problems. You see, when you're in grad school, the homework is *never* done until the degree is completed. There is *always* something hanging over your head needing some work. For that matter, the same thing is true about being a grown-up and running a household. There will always be something needing cleaning, mending, trimming, folding, cooking, etc. If all you ever do is the work and never have some of the fun, you get burned out and fried. In grad school, part of the reason that my PhD took as long as it did was that I was burned out from doing nothing but working on it, which made me work less effectively and take even longer to get done so I got more burned out, thus launching a never-ending cycle of misery.

Now I take time for myself every day. Part of that time is workout time. Part of that time is knitting time and blogging time and reading time. I might also cook, clean, edit webpages or pay bills, but I absolutely will spend some time just sitting around and doing whatever I darned well please, even when the "work" isn't finished. On occasion my mix of "fun" things to do gets a bit out of balance so I feel unsatisfied with my life. A little bit of introspection and adjusting things and I'm back to being reasonably happy and satisfied and to having good supply of "sorts". (As opposed to being out of sorts, which is not so happy.)

For a while my blog writing and blog reading time was cutting into my knitting time. I'd sit in the comfy chair and surf the internet. Suddenly it would be bedtime and I had completely missed knitting time (and sometimes also chore time). A couple of weeks doing that and the house got pretty untidy and I felt like I was always busy, but never getting anything done. Now I limit my blog reading and blog writing time to about 90 minutes a day. I also don't try to blog every single day. I have time to workout daily, keep up with housework and other life chores (usually kept to 2-3 days a week) and still read and knit daily. The relative proportions of these activities change from day to day, but they're usually there and at least some of the time it's not that much of a struggle to get it all in. And if I don't get it all in, that's ok too. I try to end most of my days feeling satisfied with myself, regardless of what I do.

A Bit of Wisdom Overheard from the TV:

"I cannot control how I am perceived. I can only control how I am presented."

A Picture in Words
From a blog I read regularly--the commentary of Anthony Bourdain on BravoTV's Top Chef. "I should point out, by the way, that I'm guest judging again next week. Which means I know what happens. And while I am precluded from discussing future broadcasts by a confidentiality agreement rivaling the NSA's in the severity of its penalties for unauthorized disclosure, I can reveal this: There will be a SlaughterFest of Horror, an Orgy of Bloodletting, Partial Nudity, Flammable Liquids, Unspeakable Misuse of Power Tools and Small Woodland Creatures, and the Plaintive Wailing of the Doomed. It will make Altamont look like Lilith Fair."

Now, does that not paint a vivid picture in your mind's eye? I'm particularly intrigued by the Misuse of Power Tools and the Plaintive Wailing. I might even have to watch the show. If it doesn't cut into my knitting time.

Today's Excitement:
I know. It's hard to believe that I could have excitement on a day that was largely spent in my comfy chair, but I managed to pull it off.You won't believe what I just did. Remember back when I got some sourdough starter from Carl's Sourdough? How I carefully nurtured it and occasionally neglected it, but kept it alive and even baked with it on occasion? Well, that has come to an end. This evening the starter had a wee bit of an accident. You see, I'd put the starter container in the oven where it was out of the way and a bit warm the last time I fed it. I wanted it to be a happy little growing starter.

When I bake, I don't usually bother pre-heating the oven. I turn it on and immediately throw in whatever I'm baking. Not today. Today I actually pre-heated the darned oven. And right about the time the oven beeped that it was at temperature I discerned an unusual smell emanating from the kitchen. When I opened the door to put the biscuits in the oven, I found this sight.

It took me a while to figure out what it was. It rather resembles a partially melted block of cheese. I debated trying to save some of it but the plastic from the container has probably melted icky things into the starter and, given that the oven reached 450 degrees, I'm not entirely certain that there is any live starter left to save.


I can definitely get another batch of starter. I don't think I will do that, however. I wasn't all that excited about the taste of this starter. I liked the history behind it, but without a good flavor to back it up there really isn't much point. Several places sell starter made from San Francisco starter cultures and I might try some of those in the future, but for now, my sourdough keeping days are over.


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