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The rain woke me last night. I sleep right under the roof in a the low end of the eaves of a converted attic, so the water was drumming less than a yard above my head. I went downstairs to pee, and the little dog woke, heard a noise she had never heard in her life before, and barked and barked to warn me.

At six in the morning the rain was very light and the wind was gentle and gusty. I couldn't find my raincoat so I just threw on another layer of hoody and we went for our walk as usual. The drops were fat and slow and Zluta liked it at first. Dogs are often delighted with a bit of wind, and she was, happy to be out before dawn. I was composing poetry in my head about the familiarity of rain after a long absence, the way the streetlamps halo in it, the bright crosshatches of ripples in the swift-running gutters, the leaves sticking to the sidewalk. When we were just turning back towards home--not quite a mile away--the rain started coming down hard again and we both got soaked through.

For Zluta the heavy-rain experience--unlike the light-rain experience--was unpleasant, even frightening, even though she loves cavorting in the water from the garden hose, which often comes out stronger than this rain. But the difference: she can run into the water and out again, it's not relentless like the rain this morning. She tried cowering from it, dodging it, shaking it off, seeking shelter. I just urged her on, reminding her we were not far from home and we'd get dry as soon as we got there. When we were a couple of blocks away she cheered up and began hurrying straight forward, going as fast as I would let her (I am not running on wet streets with even with my brand new deep-tread waterproof hiking boots. I am taking no risks of ruining my perfect new titanium knees by falling at some stupid angle). When we got home I raced us into the bathroom where I rubbed her down wiuth a towel while she flailed around. She liked that part but it was a bit overstimulating for her, so that she ended up racing around looking for things to shred. Then I stripped out of my wet clothes (wet down to the skin, except my feet were dry) and rolled myself into some dry clothes. And I thought I didn't want to write a poem about it after all. I hardly ever want to write poems: it's not a medium that often fits my way of thinking and feeling. I'm a bit embarrassed about yesterday's poem: it's not very good, but I think it has a good one buried in it if I took the time to dig it out of the muck. Also, I'd want to give it a subtitle.

The rain starts and stops. The wind blows up and wuthers around the house. The trees outside my window go into panicked placating ritual dances until the wind dies down again. Zluta is ill at ease, wants even more attention than usual.

I spent too much time yesterday trying to refresh my memory about military ranks and found out some things I didn't need to learn at this stage because I don't need more details about army life in the previous fin de siecle. Also I had underestimated the recovery needs from the carpal tunnel release I had Monday. I am really, really, really tired. But compared to the "real" surgeries I just had, it's just a wee snip and hardly any re-arranging of my body parts. Still. That's how it is. Even so, I am now taking the steepest hill in my neighborhood like a normal person, no mincing steps at all. My friend Glen's driveway, now, that's another thing. It's much steeper and caltropped with eucalyptus pods, so when I took Zluta there to play with Glen's dog Abby, it was toothgrit all the way down. Up is not a thing, though.
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I decided not to buy and install a rain barrel this year (they are only 45 dollars from the city water department) because there wasn't any rain.

I believe that today I could have filled the whole thing.

I am filling what I can, but I won't be able to save it for long.
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I thought it might serve to post a couple pictures of the Newt Migration Adventure.It's quite a few pictures )
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About six inches so far: by now we're usually pushing twenty around here. I figure if we got 20 in the whole season we'd avert actual disaster. With about twelve weeks left in the season, I guess we'll be all right if we get like an inch and a half of rain every week. That's possible. Is it likely?
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Our "likely rain" for tomorrow has been upgraded to "showers, with a chance of thunderstorms." Well, okay, it's not like we never have them, but thunderstorms are not really common around here. And also, it looks pretty wet from here until Monday.

On another front, Truffle and I met a mushroom hunter at the park. He's also the plumber who drives around the van with "425-CRAP" painted on it.
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One thing you can say about plants is they tend to be pretty optimistic. Stress them, and what do they do? Set seed.

It hasn't rained all season but a fraction of an inch back there in October, right? But the lemons are ripening on time and there's green stuff sticking up all over (where are they getting the water?) and my quince monster is covered in scarlet flowers. This is not, unfortunately, the eating kind of quince, but it makes the birds and the bees pretty happy.

I guess I'm an optimist too because yesterday I planted an Italian Prune tree, mainly for Zack because he likes them better than he does the Satsuma plums and you cannot buy them around here but by infinite cleverness and sweat. I also planted artichokes and oregano. Yes, I planted oregano again. I am having a lot of trouble finding the spot.

Yesterday I fetched my banjo back from upstairs at Union Grove and started trying to figure out a Macedonian dance song ("Dedo mili zlatni")on it. Why shouldn't I? Boundaries are antithetical to music. My banjo is very happy to be cleaned up and tended to. It holds a tuning very well now, too, which is a relief. I used to barely make it through a rendition of "Roving Gambler," which is not exactly a very long song. Tomorrow my new autoharp (excuse me, chromaharp) is supposed to arrive. I shelled out more money so I could have the 21-chord kind because it does make a difference in what songs you can squeeze on to it. I mean, "Wildwood Flower" is a very fine song, but there's more to life than that.

Spent a much longer time today than I should have daydreaming on the onlinbe fabric store sites. I have become such a consumer now that I have clothes.
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When people gather at this time of year, somebody will surely mention that they saw a whale recently. It spouted and everything. The really lucky ones were out on a boat and saw a whole bunch of them.

Also, suddenly, everybody is either an expert on persimmons or wants to become one and which ones can you eat now, anyway? (The flat kind which is less astringent, the pointy kind has to wait until it is dead soft)

And suddenly, too, everybody wants to know what they can do with all these pumpkins everywhere (you can ask me, I've been eating them all along).

The hillsides in some places have a little color to alleviate the endless gold: bright red leaves on the poison oak. The air quality is different, so that people keep asking when it's going to rain (the answer is, not yet. Some more fires have to happen first).

But the thing I noticed this morning -- the thing that makes walking down the street a different experience, and can make a person feel transported into a better, more beautiful world -- the Monarch butterflies are back for the winter.
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When you don't have sauerkraut, and you do have cabbage, and you're willing to wait one day but not six weeks:

1. shred your cabbage all all up
2. put it in a glass bowl with a little salt (really, just a teaspoon for half a head of cabbage)
3. put a little whey from the top of the yogurt, or a little lemon juice or vinegar
4. put a weight. I used a smaller bowl, in which I put a large jar of water
5. leave it overnight
6. in the morning, put some vinegar. You could put dill now
7. a few hours later, drain it. I rinsed it to make it less salty

Then I shredded pastrami into it and put some brown mustard on it and ate it like that for a reuben salad.

On a related front, I have too many parsnips, for complicated reasons. And almost no onion or garlic for another week or so. I am about to prove to myself that it is possible to eat well without onion or garlic, I suppose.

On a completely unrelated front, we're well into springtime action around here, with the birds making a racket and attempting to flock. I say attempting because Rachel Carson was completely correct and we've got just ragged little refugee communities of birds. They're not getting more than twenty or thirty together, when they should be blacking out the sky.
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My thermostat says 66 degrees, which is traditionally really quite warm enough for me, but I'm here in two sweaters and fingerless gloves (and thank you, Emma, for the large stash of fingerless gloves you have made and given to me over the years! I have dry ones tonight because of that!)

My friend Bonnie's staying the night again.  She's wandering off to Asia next week, but today we walked to the wharf and back and watched the seals and sea gulls being adorable.  It's like I'm on vacation, because there are no jobs to apply for.  The last summer's baby gulls are pretty much grown, now, though they still have juenilve feathers and behavior.  The nice fellow used to call animals like that "Archies" after the Archie of the teen comics world. So these Archie seagulls are going up to their parents -- who are no bigger than they are, and making cute little baby-bird sounds and bobbing their heads in the general direction of the red spot on daddy's beak, and the mommy or daddy gull makes a parenting chuckle noise and then goes "what? No! You're old enough to get your own fish!" and flies off and the grown-up baby seagull goes "tweet! I am a baby bird! Don't leave me!" and follows.  This was going on all over the wharf.  I never noticed it before.

The seals, meanwhile, were all sacked out on the lower rungs of the pilings, of course, but there were a few that were barking and barking.  I told Truffle, "Look, they're just like you -- they sleep and they bark.  If they're not sleeping, they're barking.  If they're not barking, they're sleeping." She was underimpressed, but mildly curious.  She did eat something objectionable on the wharf and spend fifteen minutes after we got home trying to upchuck it, but I don't know what it was, I only became aware of it after it was too late.

My neighbor across the street begged us to try to get some of his figs because there are a lot of them and he is busy at work and doesn't have time to get them all, so Bonnie and I tried.  There is an art to picking figs with a pole harvester, expecially if the fig tree hasn't been properly started off in life by a little old Italian man with a ready pruining knife and the fig tree has grown as big as a mighty oak, which is what they do if you leave them alone.  The stem of the fig gets sturdier as the fig gets riper, which is just plain stupid, but you can't expect trees to go out of their way to be convenient. And of course the fig is very soft and vulnerable to the tines of the pole harvester, so if you're not in control of your technique you rip the little thing to shreds. Nevertheless we did succeed in collecting a few figs. 

I am not really nanoing.  I am writing.  But I have to take days off to digest what I am learning about the work of a soldier during battle of this kind, and I keep having to discard chunks of work that I messed up.  So it's more like normal writing, rather than intensive writing.

I went and spent a couple hours with the nice fellow's military history buff friends and learned a lot. They got what I was asking, too, and didn't insist on telling me history buff things.

One thing I keep asking myself over and over every time I learn something new about the way war was actually conducted on the ground is, why weren't there a lot more mass desertions?

Actually, I don't really want you to try to answer that question, okay?  Because there's a direction that discussion leads that I don't want to go to.  But if you have anything to offer me about latrines, trenches, the maintenance of weapons, supply trains, water supply, or whatall, I'm happy to read it.

I'm not, actually, writing a book that is about anti-war. It's about Yanek's experiences and evolution, how after fighting all through childhood to be a man that is respected and included, he succeeds in becoming something else, not quite human, but respectable and essential in his own right, in a new place he couldn't have imagined as a child. So war is in it, and of course war is horrible, and war is bigger than anything, but the story is bigger than the war, for Yanek.

on another front: I can sit cross-legged on the floor again.

and another thing: I have the loan modification papers, and unlike the unemployment website, they are written in normal language and laid out comprehensibly.  They're still intimidating.
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I have easily spent a thousand dollars over the last six years or so on printers -- not ink, that's a whole other fiasco -- and I never ever have a working printer. And whatever is wrong with the printer can never just be fixed.

The last printer had a phantom paper jam. No paper was acutally jammed but I couldn't convince the printer of this fact and the manufacturer had no advice.

This one simply doesn't print. As far as I can tell, the printer thinks it's in fine condition: the computer thinks it's in fine condition: the USB connection appears to be in order . . . it just doesn't print. Not from Open Office, not from Word Perfect, not from Notepad, and not from a command prompt, and not from Windows troubleshooting. It will print a nozzle check. I have gone through the troubleshooting steps in Windows and from the manufacturer's website. I am currently uninstalling the printer so I can re-install it. After that I guess I have to go crying to the manufacturer's phone help, at which point. . . I don't know. There's not much support for the model.

I hate the idea of giving up on having my own printer and taking files to a copy shop for printing, but I may have to. Too bad Kinko's, the big, well-equipped one down the street, closed.

On another front, I have decided to write other things for about a week and then go on a revision blitz for the not-Poland story before continuing with the draft, because the things I need to do to the story are giving me the trots, I can't sit and write the further stuff until I get that other stuff fixed.

On yet another front: spring blossoms scented the air when I rode over to the Women's Center this evening to teach moms in recovery how to do fingerplays with their babies. February's almost over, and it hasn't been very winter-like lately, but I haven't been heavily impressed with spring events either. The almond tree is blooming, though.

edit: . . . and the uninstall-reinstall did the trick. But why, for the love of all things real and beautiful, did I have to do this? Why don't things just work?
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So that character that turned up and threatened to do terrible things to my protagonist and my story? It turns out he's just foreshadowing. What a relief.

And . . . I know what to do with the rest of the chapter. And the next chapter is all about the turning point thing that the story has been leading up to till this point. And the chapter after that is when I have to suck it up and write one or two battlefield scenes, and somehow get across a bunch of stuff that has to happen offscreen since my intention to write omniscient fell by the way and I seem to be writing from only Yanek's point of view and more or less in tightish third (though the grip loosens now and then). Originally, when I had this planned out in omniscient, it would have been very easy to follow the Duke and the little Duke and the sister around while they had their various adventures. Now I need to save some of that for later revelations, and figure out how to hint at other parts of it indirectly, or how to have Yanek hear about some of it (but since most of it is stuff that he really can't know about until later and still preserve the integrity of the story, that last category is very small).

I think I caught all the missed letters, by the way, but the notable thing about this laptop handed down from Frank is that it does not register every tap on the keyboard, especially certain keys, so if you see a bit of garble that doesn't have enough letters in it to make sense, that's just because I didn't catch it and beat the keyboard into submission. The letters most likely to go missing are a, i, l, s, n, and t. Not all the most common letters, but they are all very common ones.

On another front -- had my first parent conference in this job that wasn't with a teen parent. It went well.

And also -- I'm riding the bike to work, like I said I would, not every day, but some days. And some days I walk, and some days I drive there and walk back. And yesterday because I came home at lunch to print out some stuff, I drove to work, walked back, and rode my bike there and back. I still need a wider seat and higher handlebars, but the distance is so small that it's not a fatal problem.

I don't see how we can go much longer without rain and not call it a drought.
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So I'm writing along, minding my own business, trying to get some stuff in there to prevent everything happening at once and still have no pointless filler, when this fellow steps out of the crowd and bumps into my Yanek who is exploring the capital on his own. I'm trying to figure out who he is and he insists that he is the same soldier Yanek's supposed to meet two years (and a chapter or so) later. What the hell? And the conversation they're having is kind of creepy: it sounds like he's flirting with Yanek, which might make sense in two years when they're actually supposed to meet, but just now it's really creepy, as Yanek is sixteen and very, very small for his age and people still confuse him with a child.

I am going to have to fix this next writing session but for now I have to go to work early today. One way or another: either to go with the creepy and what the hell does that mean for the story? Or throw out the scene and do something else with the rest of this chapter.

It occurs to me that the appearance of this soldier might only just signify that I'm worrying about the wrong things and maybe I need to find an economical way to skip ahead to the events two years in the future and not worry about everything happening at once. Or he could be foreshadowng the creepiness of Yanek's army life.

On another front, the physical therapist is of course making magical things happen and I am in fact walking around and riding the bike as a bike now. If the rain ever returns I will have to return it to the stand in my bedroom. It is way too long since the last rain but the last few years have had divided rainy seasons, with big dry spells in the middle, and we've had normal-to-wet years anyway. A dry year will happen eventually, though, it could be now.
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Three days three rats. Two traps, and one by dog or cat.
Does this cut work? Maybe you don't want to read about dead rats. )
On another front: I have much better dreams in my own bed.  And by better, I mean more detailed, with richer plots and characterization and setting.  And I remember them better.

On still another front: we're still getting rain.  I think we went two whole weeks without it.  This breaks the seasonal pattern.  The last two? years, the early-winter dry spell was long and scary. Are we moving to a dry winter-wet summer climate?  That would be disastrous for our local plants and animals, who are adapted to a wet winter-dry summer climate.
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I've been traking the dogs to Meder Street Park -- actually "University Terrace Park." It's a good place to go when you have an extra dog because there's a moderately long moderately steep trail that is offleash all the way, which means no handling of two dogs on the leash (both of whom are almost well-behaved but severely undertrained). It's alongside Moore Creek (where I have done observations for Snapshot Day on two (three?) occasions), which is bordered with eucalyptus and a mix of native and invasive understory plants. Chiefly, at this time of year, poison oak, which is in its vine phase there, climbing up the eucalyptus trees (which are a very tall and robust species, the kind Californians actually think of when they say eucalyptus -- probably one of the species that was mistakenly planted in a lot of places to provide wood for railroad ties). The poison oak is very lush right now, all green, with berries, very attractive if you don't know what you're looking at.

Poison oak is a really important plant in several plant communities in California. It has different growth habits depending on the habitat. In the riparian habitat succession, it tends to grow as a shrub before the tall trees grow, and at this point, it provides a protective cover for little baby willows and stuff. When the willows are replaced (normally by oaks and other native trees, but hereabouts the eucalyptus has muscled in), the poison oak becomes a vine that climbs the taller trees. All along, the poison oak provides food for a whole community of animals -- birds and rodents and insects, and everything that eats them.

I think in open parkland the posion oak stays in shrub form like it is at Lighthouse field, forming dense clumps that the animals use for food and shelter.

Poison oak may be a nuisance because of the tashes we get when we touch it, but it's also a vital -- necessary -- part of the landscape. I am lucky in that I have never "gotten poison oak" except possbly this one time when I had slightly red, slightly rashy, slightly swollen skin around my ankles but no itching and it just faded away after a few days. Other people can get amazingly severe reactions.

The part of Moore Creek below the eucalyptus stand has been undergoing an extensive habitat restoration for the last few years. For a long time it looked just awful -- it was all raw and there was landscape cloth everywhere. Now its banks are lush with horsetail and baby cattail plants, and there's blackberries everywhere.

The blackberries in the upper part of the trail are on a different schedule from the ones on the lower part of the trail. In the upper part they are less advanced. I'm not sure they're exactly the same berries. The blossoms and leaves on the upper blackberries are bigger. Sometimes plants do that when they are in shadier areas, though. The blackberries in the lower part are in that stage where there are still many new buds and blossoms but there are also ripening berries. I actually had a substantial snack of small ripe blackberries yesterday! I know that blackberries are early summer treats in some places, but hereabouts the usual peak is in August.

Another observation: to walk from the top of the trail to the bottom and back takes a bit over an hour for me, and I am very fat and slow these days (apparently my reaction to every setback is to eat like a crazy person and huddle in a little heap. But I'm back at work a lot of the time now, so I should be recovering). My back muscles actually do not like pulling so much weight up the hill, so I have to stop and do stretches. So for another person, or myself in better shape, maybe a bit less than an hour? So it's maybe a mile and a half (three kilometers) each way? The steep part is really quite steep. Not steep enough that it's scary to go down, but steep enough to make you have to walk in a somewhat different way going either way. The dogs love that. They love everything about it.
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I have to go to the airport, and I am not going anywhere. I have to show the Delta ticket counter my credit card so that they can verufy that it is an actual physical card. This is because I have bought a ticket to go to Accra, where apparently people pull frauds or something. I am not going to Accra. Frank is going to Accra. He will be working in the traumatology department of the hospital there, for a month. He is stoked. I am a little squeamish. But this is what he wants out of life.

It is cheaper to fly to Accra from Brussels than anywhere else in Europe. I don't know why. I especially do not know why it is five hundred dollars cheaper to fly from Brussels to Amsterdam to Accra than it is to fly from Amsterdam to Accra. Yes, it costs five hundred dollars more to take one less flight and not go out of your way. It makes no sense.

On another front, it was cold and rainy this afternoon after it was hot and sunny in the morning. I don't believe anything any more.

Phenological observations: along the Arroyo Seco Canyon Trail at the edge of the University Terrace park, blackberries are in full bloom, and poison oak berries are bigger than allspice berries, but mostly still green. Also, birds. Oh my dog, the birds. So much birdsong: more than I remember almost any other place or time. Currently I am really only going to this spot because I am not up to dealing with bog of the dogs on leashes and the other offleash all the time park is gooshy still from the rain. But sometimes I don't have the car, so I should just make up my mind to walk the dogs on leash in the neighborhood. They're good dogs. I can deal with it if I decide to.

Emma made me a new purse! This one has a cell phone pocket because I liked the one in one of her purses. Now I have three purses, though I wore the first one pretty much out.


May. 8th, 2011 09:39 pm
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Summer is here.
The wild oats are ripening. Foxtails are behind them but coming along. And the preschool yard is full of sowbugs and jumping bristletails.

Hills are turning yellow.
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Bognar Szilvia(Szilvia Bognar).

On another front: frost on my rooftop this morning.

Note to weather fairy: it is April. One could even say mid-April. This is Central Coast California, not the mountains or some other place with inhospitable weather. It's only three-four weeks till we expect the hillsides to start turning yellow. Last night it wasn't dark at eight o'clock. In other words: you're screwing up. There should be no frost on my rooftop.
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I feel like an overprivileged brat for the second time today writing about this, but it's tropical out there.  Warm and muggy and very windy, with that weird light that comes from a certain kind of cloud cover -- like we're going to have sunshowers or even a full-bore rainstorm with the sun glaring through.  It's not very cloudy, but the clouds that are there are heavy looking.  Did I mention the wind?  It's not dropping palm fronds on my car, but it feels like it will.
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For reasons I don't know, James had a pollon his lj about whether or not all prologs ought to be cut from fantasy novels.  I'm probably misreporesenting that.   My own response was that prologs ought to be be reformatted as beginning chapters and then judged as to whether they should remain.

Which made me realize that almost everything I've written in The Drummer Boy so far is probably prolog-material and I should probably not start the story three years before the birth of the protagonist, but rather ten or twelve years after.  I even know the real secret reason why I started it where I did and it's not pretty.  It's because a big chunk of the story really ought to take place on an early twentieth-century sort of
battlefield (with the not-Poles running cavalry and archaic formations and yes, using drummer boys to communicate orders to the troops, as you do in the early twentieth century while your opponents are using automatic weapons and chemical warfare).  And honestly, honestly, honestly, I hate battlefield writing.  I hate writing it.  I hate reading it.  I skip those scenes in most books, or at least, skim them.

The only battlefield scenes I can recall enjoying were: (1) the cattle raid early on in The Prize in the Game by Jo Walton, in which the events of the battlefield communicated so much about the world and world view of the story, everything from material culture through the medicinal system and how magic and gender worked and (2) a couple of scenes in a couple of Cherryh books, where the battles were fast and confusing and the participants were overwhelmed and nearly helpless, and then on the other side, life goes on, and it seems almost like nothing happened because of the battle, but everything happened, the entire universe is changed forever.

So originally I was thinking that the story was really about how the protagonist ends up in this ridiculaous and dangerous position (being a drummer boy on a semi-modern battlefield), and I wanted to tell everything about the not-Polish world in which he lived.  And I was thinking that the reunion with his not-brother was a kind of a coda to the story, and the protagonist's ultimate fate was almost of no consequence as far as the story goes.

But because I've been ruminating about what a prolog is and what it does and why people feel like writing them though people don't usually feel like reading them, I've been thinking that while it's entirely true that all this backstory stuff is the real true story of the story, it doesn't really want to be hanging out in the front of the book like that.  It's kind of boring to read in a lump, like it's all infodump.  A paragraph at a time, I'm mostly pretty pleased with what I've written so far.  But it's been months that I couldn't make progress even though I knew exactly what was coming next (and no, I'm not one of those writers who discovers the story in the act of putting words on the screen, so "knowing what happens next" is not why I was unable to make progress).  I think it's because I have known for a long time that fifteen years' worth of "The Great Marsh goes on and on" and finicky details about inheritance and bloodlines that are important to everyone in the backstory but not to the protagonist and wave after wave of a fatal epidemic and cabbage soup and hot milk and more cabbage soup and hot milk and even or possibly especially small magical events that hint and hint and hint . . . is just a big slodge when it shows up in an unbroken lump at the front end of a war story, even if the story is also a romance and a story about magic and landscape and memory (yes, that's an overt reference to Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama, which is an amazing, amazing book, also about not-quite-Poland).

So.  What this means, I think, is that I begin again.  This time I begin, I think, with the first appearance of the army recruiter, and the dancing that happens in his vicinity (dancing as army recruitment is Not Polish, as far as I know, it's more on the order of Hungarian, but that's okay, because this world is not our world, and this land is Not Poland).

On another front.  When I went to the Kolo festival, I bought a random CD.  That is, I told the guy selling them that I was interested in music from someplace other than the main places our dances come from, with an emphasis on maybe Western Slavicsorts of people.  So I ended up with a recording of choral music from Poland.  Which I do not love.  It has nothing in it that grabs me: it sounds like church music.  So sad.

On still another front:  all the babies were exhausted and didn't want to sleep today.  They were exhausting to be around.  I had two different people come to help at different times because Lourdes was sick and had to go home.  While they were there, the babies calmed down -- there were enough arms to go around, and though the babies didn't know either of them as well as some other people who have come more often, they liked them.  You want to calm a strange baby down?  Sit down nearish to them and talk very softly about what's going on in the room.  Smile gently.  Don't make a move on them until you see them relax and start to beinterested in you, and then move slowly.

And finally: Quince blossoms for the last week, and oxalis.  I think I have to declare early spring has started.  The radish flowers don't count because they never completely stopped.

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We've had a couple of "yellow alerts" from the weather guy, and now we're on red even though it doesn't look like we will have First Flush today.  The radar doesn't seem to indicate enough rain to measure, and the pilot storm drains are dry, but it does keep sprinkling on and off.

So I'm doing a dry run in my rain gear.  I shortened my rain pants so now they totally work with my silly rain boots.  They're really snow boots, which got to go to Prague last winter, so they're not as waterproof as I'd like, and they only fit without socks, thougfh they're really cozy without socks.  And they're off-white and have fake fur on the top, but that gets hidden inside my totally butch green rain pants.  And my styling blue raincoat.

After First Flush, I will keep these out so on the days of heaviest rain I don't have to completely change my clothes when I get to work.  The steep uphill block on Laurel Street seems to channel the rain downhill, so no matter which way the wind is blowing elsewhere in town, you get it full in the face when you're walking up the hill.

Know what's cool about that?  I know that because this is going to be my second winter walking up that hill to my babies!

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