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Monday, December 10, 2012

Finally, Winter

I've been remiss in my blogging... again... and again will try to pick up the threads.

Working "part time" in town has turned to full time plus hours for what I call the "crazy season." You know, that time between when we supposedly give thanks for our blessings and when we mount a new calendar on the wall... that time that appears to be given over to greed, conspicuous consumption, worry, stress and ... oh yes... blamed on the birth of a religious icon many years ago whose followers co-opted the long held traditions of much older religious traditions. Yes, I am a bit of a cynic about this time of year, at least as it is portrayed and appears to be dealt with my many folks.

For me the "season" is winter, the reason for it is the way the earth is slanted on its axis and the observances I make related to this particular cycle have as much to do with commerce as the rest of my life does... that being "not much." Other than the fact that I work "part time" in retail which means that I work full time at present, with little time left to do any of the needful daily tasks, prepare hex signs and such, let alone ramp up for a major celebration. So we don't.

I will set up my altar, soon, in a winter mode. I have several representations of "Father Christmas" or as I call him, Odin, to bring out. The dark time of the year calls me to spend quiet time reading, studying, spinning and weaving... and planning... things best done by the hearth fire. And yes, come January and February, that will be the mode. For now, I chip slowly away at the backlog of things undone from the busy times of autumn and the backlog that comes from the big design projects that this season still (thankfully) brings.

THAT had been made a bit more stressful this year because Tractor Guy got a good deal on a new computer for me and bought it. Yes, I needed one; doing major design projects (a 100 pg yearbook layout, for example) on a laptop is decidedly non-optimal. However, introducing a new and very different operating system in the middle of a major project is worse. My new machine uses Windows 8 and I do not recommend it. I am not sure what the target market is for this OS, but it does not seem to be aimed at those of us who constantly use multiple programs and use the machine mainly for projects, as opposed to communication. It seems to want to be a tablet or - as I am more familiar with the interface -- a "smart phone"... a device which naturally and understandably focuses on communication and sharing of various media in multiple ways. Yes, it will do what I need, but it takes jumping through an extra screen. At least I presume it will, once I get a software upgrade. My professional programs are several versions old (dammit, they still work JUST FINE!) but upgrades have been purchased which are supposed to work better with this OS.

It has been hard for me to get into winter mode this year at least partly on account of the weather. We have had rain, damp, fog and more rain. Some seasonal temps for the location but mostly above average. At times I feel more like I am back in the Pacific northwest than in Maine! Thankfully we had a bit of snow today, accompanied by ice which is not quite so nice but at this point I will take it. It is not supposed to stick though, as we have rain in the forecast for tomorrow and then a run of temperatures well above freezing again. It felt really odd last week to take the wash out to the line on one of the rare, almost passable drying days, as I could tell the ground was frozen a ways down but I was walking in soupy mud, the very top layer of the ground.

We did get our carrots out of the ground, topped and stashed in bags in the fridge and the rabbits are enjoying the tops, as they are doled out over time to keep bunnies from being runny. I need to do some serious grooming on the fiber bunnies as at least one of them was ready for her first major shed during my first peak busy time this late fall. I am anxiously looking forward to the next couple of weeks, when once again I have only one full day of work in town with the balance of the days being 4 or 5 hours of work. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get caught up before spring!