To Do

To Do

Just to capture a moment in time, personally and culturally, here are the minutiae of the next few weeks. On our schedules:

Take the old chest to the antique restorer
Pick up the police accident report
Submit claims
Birthday Brunch with E and K
Take Adie to the Princess and the Frog
Built-in cabinetry (linen) design to Casey
travel for work (San Diego)
Snowshoeing with Printha, weather permitting
Submit proposal to Arts and Society
Financial portfolio maintenance
arrange trip to Hawaii for our fortieth wedding anniversary, and J and M’s wedding!
attend Local Authors Read at LOTTA studios
hem pajama bottoms
order knobs from Georgetown Pottery for desk drawers
install shutter hardware
new shades for dining room?
Print photos and frame them
clean out the basement
winter pruning
Theater workshop with the girls (Adie’s play)
Studio session with E
haircut – Bruce
Salon – me
Set a date for the block party
tea with Britt

+ water the plants
+ exercise
+ grooming
+ pay bills
+ laundry
+ menus, shopping, cooking, dishes

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I wake up around 7:30, sometimes before, sometimes after. At that time of morning in winter light streams in around the shutter and bedroom door. Bruce is out to work already, and the house is on pause, waiting for the day to fill it. I open the door, and the shutter, and the skylight shades. Next I do the shades in the extra room, and those in the bathroom so the bright winter sun can reach in, all through the second floor.

Downstairs the cardinals and titmice are calling to be fed, so I slip on Bruce’s down coat and slip outside to sprinkle sunflower seeds on the slate under the wisteria. The cardinals are platform feeders, but not the titmice. They have adapted, though, landing just to pinch a seed, then flying off to a perch in the magnolia, where they crack it open on the branch. I put out a few old grapes for the sparrows too. Soon the jays and squirrels will muscle in for what is left.

There are clean pots and pans to put away while my tea warms. Today I am drinking Russian Caravan, but other days I opt for Willoughby’s special blend of black tea and dried apricot. I hit play on WMNR and classical music layers into the morning and the kitchen. The light above the hood stays on night and day, but loses its importance by eight a.m. No other lights are needed even on winter’s shortest, cloudiest days. Email and weather are unremarkable, so I check the headlines, but nothing there is of note either.

Back upstairs I make the bed, and put a load of laundry in. I like to do laundry in the winter, when the sun makes pleasing patterns and warms the tile floor. The Miele goes swish swish swish … swish swish swish … swish swish shish. It is rather hypnotic.
There are bills to be paid so I have another cup of tea while I schedule them. Then I call Meg, for news of the kids and the estate settlement, and her work.

I am ready now, to go up to studio, and write. I have established a practice, for every weekday morning. I spend at least two hours writing, to put down six hundred to one thousand words. Today I will write about today.

Bruce is stopping by to photograph a painting in progress for an issue of MUSE. I can’t work through the interruption, so I’ll exercise while he is here, hand weights I think. I’ll finish writing when he’s gone.

When I am done writing, I’ll make lunch. It is the meal that breaks my overnight fast, and the biggest of the day. Today I’m having a beef stir fry, with asparagus, red pepper, green onion, basil, garlic, ginger, and soy, and sticky rice on the side.

After lunch I usually nap upstairs in the sun, on the bathroom chaise, catching up with Sucksters on my Kindle until I drift off.

When I wake up, I’ll water my menagerie of house plants to ease into the rest of the day: painting in studio, and emails, miscellaneous chores (like closing all the shades I opened this morning), and edit what I wrote this morning. Then Bruce is home. We’ll catch up over a light supper/snack, and likely have a deep discussion about ideas or plans or news or people. Then I’ll watch Jeopardy! and Wheel. Afterwards there is time for reading – “Making Sense of the Smart City” or “China Rules” – or a Netflix binge, and quiet togetherness. Then I’ll sleep until tomorrow, and wake when the sun streams in around the shutter, again.

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January is a traditional time for reflection, resolutions, new routines and plans, too. At our age, a list of New Year’s resolutions looks a lot like a bucket list. Here’s mine:

  • open a gluten-free Bakery and catering company (with Bruce the baker, natch, and Printha when she’s old enough).
  • Take a one-year sabbatical on the island of Puerto Rico, to do historical architectural research, genealogy, and recover my fluency in Spanish.
  • Work as a volunteer plant material gluer/assembler on a Rose Parade float.
  • Try out for Jeopardy (again).
  • Travel – a very long list …
  • Make art – another long list of ideas and projects.

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