Friday, August 25, 2006

A lovely face

I woke up this morning feeling relaxed and limber. For the past two weeks I've worked extra shifts and have been standing seven hours a day for eleven days now. It's hard on my legs and back. I have a slightly crooked spine so if I stay in any position for extended periods, it starts to really ache. Like when we go to London and walk around all day without sitting down. I love going to London but it really wears me out. When I was a kid I took dancing lessons and my teachers were always on to me about putting my shoulders back and tucking in my butt. I always tried so hard, but I realize now why I couldn't. My back just curves that way and makes my butt really stick out. If I tuck it in my shoulders cave in. I've thought about going back to the doctor to ask about treatment, but I might not. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was about twelve or thirteen but I guess I didn't require treatment then and it's never been an issue since. But working so much has put a strain on my back and I've been taking a lot of hot baths and asking for a lot of massages from Partner these past weeks. Today I'm not working so I'm going to take it easy.

This month has been very soggy. Where July was intensely hot, August has been rainy and even cold. It's felt like fall pretty much the whole month. However, yesterday it actually didn't rain once and today it is clear and mostly cloudless so there may be hope for the last weekend of this month. Our clothes dryer isn't working so well so I really count on having sunny days to dry my clothes. I've been doing a lot of dashing out and flinging clothes off the line because of sudden downpours. We have a little clothes rail for indoor drying but it can take two days indoors and it only holds one load of washing.

The other day I found a little pansy flowering in our lawn. It's the sweetest thing. I didn't know it, but they grow wild around here and I've found them in other parts of the yard. I wouldn't mind a whole lawn full of them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pick your friends

I have had a kind of change in my attitude recently. I've realized I don't have to wait for my ship to come in for me to have a good life. I guess that's kind of a duh statement, but it's something that's just crystallized for me. Kind of like when I realized that I didn't have to be depressed; I could actually choose to be not depressed. I remember when that happened. I was watching a nature program on tv about termites. And I thought to myself, why am I watching termites? They're so gross and I hate looking at them and they make me feel ill just watching them. Then I thought, what if I saw termites as beautiful? And then I found out I could. It was momentous. And it was only a short step away from deciding I didn't have to feel depressed. I could want to feel not depressed and it would happen.

So I've decided to stop waiting to become a millionaire before I make my house perfect. I'm going to make it perfect now, with the materials I've got. I don't have to buy things. I don't need brand new furniture (though my couch needs re-upholstering pretty darn soon or it won't have any thread left--just bare) and I just need a new kitchen floor. Well, I say a new floor but what I actually need is a floor. Any floor really, so long as it is sturdy and durable. We have just a stretch of concrete right now. I was thinking I might like laminate floor boards which comes in planks and looks like hardwood but is actually pretend wood. Partner is leaning more towards what is called lino which is actually not linoleum but a cheaper variation. They don't really do linoleum in this country. Lino aka vinyl flooring I guess can look good and it's common in a kitchen. Lino is a lot more pliable than linoleum and can almost fold. I think I don't want tiles on the floor. Too cold on the feet. I think it'd be different if we had a huge mansion. Tiles would look right in a large house. But not in our small house.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The magic

It's about time I got our piano looked at. What with one thing or another, it really hasn't been played for several months and it's in dire need of repair and tuning. One of the keys is completely gone and several others are starting to go. We've had the same problem with that one key for a few years now. It's been tuned and repaired several times but only lasts about six months. So our piano guy thinks the baseboard must be cracked. He hasn't seen it in over a year now I think, so I don't know what he'll suggest this time. It may be that he won't be able to fix it and we might have to go for a new instrument. I hope not. Partner inherited it from his great-aunt and it's special to him.

I began learning to play the keyboard/piano at about age seven or eight but started in earnest at age eleven. I never had any formal lessons, but took what I could learn from my father, from general music classes at school, and out of books. At some points in my life I practiced for an hour or more every day. It was only when I moved here two years ago that I actually clicked with reading music, however. I don't have to look at my hands very much any more and can sight-read with relative ease. My father admitted to me that I play better than he does. I like to play some old favorites but I enjoy playing new music more. I don't really have any music memorized though; I'm completely crippled without scores. I suppose if I took a theory class or got a good book I might get better at memorizing. I can play lots of pop/folk songs on my ukulele without any music. Because I know about chords I don't have to have music to play most any song on the uke. Partner is like that on the piano. He's not so good at sight-reading but can play you any song you like at the drop of a hat.

I like the piano and I like to play purely for my own amusement. I have no desire to join a band or group. In fact, I think I might dislike it as I would be overshadowed and possibly underappreciated. I would only want to perform as a soloist. However I'm perfectly content to play in the privacy of my own home when no one else is around. I remember when I was younger I used to enjoy playing duets with my father; the two of us could play music that we might struggle with singly. Now I've surpassed my father and can play those pieces completely unassisted.