Friday, November 24, 2017

Still Stock-Taking, This Last November Friday. . .

While many of you were busy travelling and gathering and cooking and baking and sitting around beautifully set tables being grateful -- Happy Thanksgiving, Belated -- I was swooping over to Vanc'r Island to catch up with friends -- four friends, four visits, ten hours of full-on conversation, laughter, sympathy, all the feels, fabulous!
And I managed my first fall-free run-- second run off the treadmill--in months! No hobbling at all the day after either . . .

Back home now, looking at the calendar and figuring what needs to be done in the two weeks until our trip, and it seems like a good day to post the rest of that November stock-taking. As I said last Friday, this is a light-hearted but nonetheless effective way to slow down a bit and get some perspective. The template comes from Pip at MeetMeAtMike's where the blank template is available for you to cut-and-paste.

PONDERING: What to write about in the next chapter of my project. . .

CONSIDERING: Whether or not to sign up for a language class in the New Year, and if so, which language?

BUYING: New bedding, long overdue. I want softer tones, greys and taupes and creams, a blend of textures.

WATCHING: The second season of Call My Agent (French soundtrack/French subtitles) Also This Is Us and Life in Pieces.

CRINGING: Sorry, I woke up this morning and realized that I'm not comfortable sharing some of the information these three revolved around, and I've redacted. . .

NEEDING: To sit still just a bit more often . . .

QUESTIONING: How much time I want to spend travelling in the next few years and how much I want to nest at home.

SMELLING: In my imagination, the delicate powdery sweetness of the Sarcococca which will likely bloom while we're away.

WEARING: My green Fluevog boots, day after day after day.

FOLLOWING: The astonishing Instagram account of Michelle Kingdom.

NOTICING: How I feel after certain social occasions, large extended family ones in particular, that engender mixed feelings.

KNOWING: That I'm very lucky to have been married to a very good man for 43 years, but that gender and power interact in ways that still require ongoing negotiation. . .

THINKING: About gender and power and intention and the very challenging zeitgeist.

ADMIRING: The creative accomplishments of several of my friends. Cynthea's and Alison's novels, Sandy's whimsical illustrations.

SORTING: Through my digital photos, finally culling most and getting a few printed.

GETTING: Fitter! This program Ive been following through my trainer is working and I'm even beginning to run again.

BOOKMARKING: So many things. I make notes of books to read, music to listen to, things I want to sort. . .

COVETING: More time -- or rather, a kind of movable stretchy-ness to time, so I could use it freely when I'm really engaged in something I want to stick with for longer.

DISLIKING: That the new monorail lighting system we had installed in the dining area two months ago isn't working and we're waitlisted for the electrician to return.

OPENING: The fridge door and seeing that it needs a good cleaning (and culling!)

GIGGLING: Whenever my grandson tells me he has a "plump belly." He learned the word "plump" from Wanda Gag's classic, Millions of Cats.

FEELING: The usual pre-travel mix of emotions, fretting about getting packed and ready, but also excited about what we'll see and do there.

SNACKING: Popcorn is my snacking go-to these days.

HEARING: Less and less noise from the construction across the lane. Much of the outside work has been done now and the inside work is either less noisy or more contained.

I loved the contributions so many of you offered in the comments last week, picking up the challenge to say what you're DO-ing or EAT-ing or BAK-ing or MAK-ing or READ-ing or WATCHing or. . . . well, you get the idea, obviously. If you feel so inclined, I'd love to play this game one more weekend, so I encourage you to leave your fill-in-the-blank comment below. . . . Or just say hello, or just waft your hello my way telepathically to greet the Happy Weekend! vibe I'm sending out to you.


  1. Wearing: endlessly, my black patent leather,pointy-toed flats with leopard inserts over the toe area.
    Noticing how truly proud I am to be American, although I adore my adopted home of London
    Thinking and crying, non stop, about my beloved nephew who has left home very young because of mistreatment and the awe I have for his strength. Buckets of tears for weeks and weeks.

    A suggestion about your photos, Frances. There are lots of online companies that will put them into book format ,really cheaply, where you can add captions and backgrounds...maybe do one for each grandchild of your favorite photos of them and times you have spent together?My sister did that with some of our best honeymoon photos from South Africa, a book that my sweetheart and I have looked at many times. A treasure and fantastic use of photos. London

    1. This is really a great idea,A. in London!
      My friends did the same and it is wonderful!

    2. I'd wear those shoes non-stop as well!
      So sorry to hear about your nephew, and glad you're so obviously in his corner. That must help.
      I like your photo suggestion, and this is actually one I've ben planning to do -- just have to sort and decide how to group, text, etc.

  2. Kudos for your run and training!
    I've had a very difficult week and I'm FEELING very tired.
    Thinking -difficult to think in English right now (or to think at all :-))
    Needing :a quiet moment (a long one) to close my eyes and not to think
    Wearing,endlessly :-),dark navy Cos dress with leopard ankle boots
    Watching:The Last Post,first season,like it very much
    Sorting:my administration,receipts,bills etc
    Buying: it is a Black Friday and I've bought perfumes for my mother and me,planned before,nothing more
    Pondering: the menus for the dinner and lunch I'm going to host
    Questioning: Do I need to go washing rucola and radicchio salad right now?

    1. Hope you feel better soon Dottoressa
      Wendy in York

    2. So sorry to hear you've had a bad week, but it sounds as if you've at least looked very stylish (Cos makes such great, wearable dresses -- and those boots!)
      Now I'm going to look for The Last Post. . . hope you find time to sit quietly after you've hosted that dinner and lunch (however do you take this all on?!)

  3. These category lists are fun, occasionally- to see what's on one's mind or learn more about a friend. More than that is not Freeing.

    1. Well, perhaps that's subjective, no? And for me, Freeing isn't so much the goal. I do find the exchange fun here, at least...

  4. Learning: first professional development day in 6 years.
    Questioning:why acronyms have come into such common use.
    Feeling:like a "modern elder"
    Buying:Daughter and I did "Girls Night Out" in Steveston last night. I felt inclined to buy a new dress for Christmas.

    1. I think you are a modern elder -- you bring so much to the staff room and to the students in your school library.
      I know you've kept your wardrobe tightly edited this last year or two, so I'm betting that dress is rather special (and well deserved!)

  5. MARVELLING at how much you pack into your life
    SLIGHTLY PANICKING having ten for xmas dinner when I rarely cook for more than two these days but -
    LOOKING FORWARD welcoming my nephew’s Polish girlfriend
    ADMIRING the heavy frost on the various old seed heads in the garden , which we leave on for this reason
    WATCHING ...”Dickensian” on DVD , second time but seeing lots we missed when it was on TV
    READING .. May’s “Runaway” & enjoying it
    IGNORING...The stupid politicians in the world , including ours ( not easy this )
    NOT BUYING ...any new xmas tree decs - really not needed (also not easy)
    GIGGLING next door’s five year old who insists he is now a dog & curls up in our dog beds
    SIGHING WITH RELIEF youngest sister was recalled after her mammogram . My younger sister , the pessimistic nurse , was planning our chemo rota but all was well . So glad .
    Wendy in York

    1. I'm sure you'll host a very successful Christmas dinner -- and your guests will be able to look out windows into your beautiful garden. I love leaving the seed heads for the same reason -- a winter garden gives us so much to ponder, if it's done thoughtfully.
      I'm not even putting up a tree this year, and haven't bought new decorations for a few years, but I know what you mean about the temptation.
      So glad to hear about your sister's good news. . . .

    2. Also feeling relieved for you, Wendy. Sisters are precious.

  6. Considering: My teaching life coming to an end after 30 years at three institutions

    Enjoying: my fresh faced students

    Buying: (just bought today) my flight to Reykjavik, my hotel there, my flight on to Manchester and my return flight from London ten days later.

    Contemplating buying: something made of fish leather in Iceland

    Watching: The Good Place and This is Us

    Needing: to just BE

    Smelling: my new fall scent English Oak and Hazelnut by Jo Malone. It suits me now; it may not be for the long term.

    Thinking: about sex and gender and fearing the backlash against #metoo. Plus #metoo

    Admiring: Cynthea Masson’s new novel

    Sorting and purging: Christmas ornaments.

    Fun to read other's lists. Brenda

    1. I like the way this exercise can gather the Big and the Little, as here. . . 'cause that's the way our life goes, right?
      BIG -- your trip (and your retirement, of course) -- I've thought about that Reykjavik routing, decided 'no" for this trip, but considering it for the next. We'll have to chat about where you change, etc.
      Yes to the just BE-ing, and also, sadly, yes to the fears about the backlash. Seems inevitable. . . And The Good Place, another nudge up the list, thank you!

  7. Pondering: what to pack when I move north before Christmas for my new permanent work contract.

    Making: 'body maintenance' appointments galore in Edinburgh before I have to leave all my support systems behind and find new ones.

    Wearing: the same John Lewis own brand blue skinny jeans day in and out, hence one of the body maintenance appointments being personal styling one at said JL to buy another pair. Buying jeans scares the heck out of me - where to start??? They are all the same but different...

    Hoping: that my adult children find paths in life that will make them happy. So very hard for young people starting out today.

    Watching: Journal Télévisé on France 2. Apart from that I have zero appetite for TV, and about 2% tolerance for film at the moment.

    Reading: again, the deeply unfashionable novels of Elizabeth Goudge, and finding a lot of balm in them.

    Thinking: about starting on Christmas cards.

    Resolving: to write very individual Christmas letters this year.

    Loving: being back, temporarily, at my French cafe conversation circle.

    Looking forward: to the last wine tasting at the Institut Français d'Ecosse.

    Wishing: that your gym programme will give you the results you are after.

    Studying: whisky, for my new job.

    Looking: at pale, low northern sunshine on a wintry city garden.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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