Life of Reilly

It’s time to post an entry before the emails start coming in: “Are you still alive over there?”

Yes indeed, alive and well.

“Doing what?” you may well ask.

Nothing out of the ordinary, I’m happy to say.

There’s getting to be a habit of late-night television viewing, since the programs that interest me don’t come on till 10 or 11 o’clock. I’m drawn to some of the detective series that come out of England, and also several of its anthropological history series. These come without commercial interruptions, which makes a difference in my viewing choices, as I’ve lost nearly all tolerance for commercials now that we have several channels advertising only between programs and not during. Once you’ve enjoyed that … it’s hard to go back. Sometimes I read when commercials come on but the noise is distracting; it’s difficult to concentrate on the words before me.

When Scott’s watching TV earlier in the evening and I’m not sitting next to him on the couch, I’m often in the bedroom with the door closed to shut out the sound, reading. I’ve just finished Lawrence Hill’s Black Berry, Sweet Juice, which is a memoir focused on being black or of mixed race in this country. Last week I read Kent Haruf’s Plainsong and this week I’m nearly done his Eventide; I like his stories about everyday people and the ways their lives connect with each other. I read Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler too, and have another one of her novels waiting in the stack. And through the library I’ve just ordered The Greatest, an autobiography by Muhammed Ali. I have zero interest in sports of any kind and especially violent ones like boxing, and know little about the man, but his book was recommended so I’ll give it a go.

There is no Christmas baking being done at our house. I may yet get the urge to make whipped shortbread or caramel corn, but my view in recent years is that there will be enough boxes of chocolate around that our bodies will be overloaded with fat and sugar as it is. I used to bend over backwards making a lot of seasonal treats when the boys were living at home, and many cookies and candy items were given away too, but those days are gone.

It’s still quite cold out, like 20-below if not -30, but I go out in the afternoons and fill the bird feeders and stroll to the end of the driveway or down the road. Yesterday I walked a mile and was perfectly warm — wearing ski pants and a balaclava beneath a fleece and a big warm parka. I carry my cellphone in case I should slip on ice and need help; it wouldn’t take long to freeze in these temperatures if one couldn’t keep moving.

hoarfrost-and-fog-r

It is supposed to warm up next week.

Time to bundle up and go plug in Little Green so I can pick up Emil in town later. He’s coming for the weekend and we have plans to go to Margo to do some visiting tomorrow afternoon. I will be staying with my sister’s three dogs while she and her hubby are away after the 22nd, so need to get informed: what and when do the little buggers eat; how do I get into the house when it’s locked; that kind of stuff. Methinks there will be no internet while I’m there for 10 days, so I will advance-schedule some entries for this blog during my absence, but your comments won’t be visible till I am able to check in from home. I’ll be missing my Scottie from time to time so will surely pop back in here every once in a while.

There’s quite a long list of stuff to pack along: the two home-made herbal tinctures I’m taking; a stack of old journals I should have time and inclination to read through; the quilt Mom and I started, which I’d like to finally finish after more than 11 years; my fluffy green housecoat, which tore down the middle and needs the attentions of a sewing machine and someone who knows how to use one (Aunt Shirley). Will Ducky Doodle come along? On the one hand, Scott would miss snuggling up with him while watching TV at night. On the other, Ducky would be here by himself much of the day, and no dog likes that. So it could be that I will have four dogs (and a cat, apparently) for company rather than three. We’ll see.

There is a lot of space in my days, and that is helping me to see clearly: how things are, what I want and need, and what I don’t. I’m not stressed about finding time to squeeze everything in. Life is good.

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