Yesterday I…

Yesterday I introduced Ethiopian food to Lori; she liked the shiro best, which shows she has excellent taste, and was also fond of the doro tibs wat. She has surprisingly good spice tolerance for a Midwestern girl. :-) It was great fun even though it also totally killed my diet, oh well. I am powerless in the face of sour spongy bread. My diet, by the way, has been entirely ineffective thus far -- five days in, I weigh exactly the same as when I started. And oh, I so want to believe that it is all fat being converted to muscle as I continue to haul boxes around and climb lots of stairs, but darlings, I seriously doubt it. My Ethiopian food leftovers are now gone (mmm...injera for breakfast), and so I get to take another stab at this now. Yay. Maybe this week I will actually carve out some time to go to the gym, now that the frenzy of the first week of unpacking is ebbing a bit. (There is oh, so much left to unpack. But the house is mostly functional now, at least.)

We did actually manage to write a little, though we had less than an hour after eating -- luckily, I had forgotten I had a story partly written (which makes it much easier to get started quickly, when you have a project in play), "The Language of Birds," the story I'd started for The Speculative Ramayana anthology ages ago. I don't know when they're going (went) to print, but they have a reprint of mine they were going to use ("The Princess in the Forest") -- I had just hoped to write them something new instead, but it is probably too late. Ah well; perhaps someone else will want it. I quite like the character, almost enough to write a much longer piece about her. Honestly, Kaikeyi's story could easily make a novel, but it would needs be a tragedy, and I'm not sure I have the heart to write it. We'll see how the short story turns out, and then see. Actually, turning it into a novel might be an excellent Fulbright project, since it would certainly benefit from a few months living in South India. Or would that likely be politically problematic, doing a Ramayana retelling, given the religious context? I'm not at all sure, and not sure whom I should ask. Hmm...

I do have two other stories I want to write soon. One is another Detective Chandran story (my Oak Park detective (which reminds me that I really need to do a final revision on my first story with him and send it out!)) -- I think I want to have him investigate a bicycle theft (see below). And the other is a backstory from my YA trilogy; at the end of book 1, Ezi's sister, Anushri, makes a choice. And since book 2 is probably going to pick up about twenty years later (in the fantasy world), I'd like to show the immediate consequences of that choice in a story. It might end up folded into book 2 eventually, as flashback, but for now, I'm more in the mood for working on stand-alone stories. So some things to look forward too -- now that the craziness has eased, I have a tentative goal of writing for a few hours every Mon/Wed/Fri for the rest of the summer (while the kids are in school). We'll see.

I'd like to do more gardening too; that was part of the point of buying a house, after all. I spent too much time in the car yesterday stuck in traffic, but at least I eventually came home with eight roses. Roses that are in pots twice as big as I expected, which means that I'm actually not sure I'm physically capable of planting them. There is the digging of massive holes, and the dragging out of big thorny things from their containers. Normally I would have Kevin helping me, but he hurt his back with all the moving / lifting, and while it's better, he should probably rest it for another week at least. And the roses don't have to be planted right this second -- they've lived in these pots for quite a while, most of them. But they're scattered around my yard in the locations I think I want to plant them (and just hauling them there was quite an effort yesterday), and now I'm fretting that someone will steal them. Oak Park is a pretty quiet and low-crime community in general, but we do have some robberies. Usually it's more along the lines of stealing bikes, but neighbor Ron was telling me that there had been accounts in the paper of flowerpots being stolen off porches. Which just makes me indignant. Who steals a flower pot? Really!

Anyway, my roses are very heavy, so hopefully no one will be tempted. And they're not blooming yet, which probably helps. I think they can wait a week or so. Although if the children stay asleep for a bit, maybe I will sneak out and take a stab at one of them, perhaps my William Shakespeare or Christopher Marlowe or Tess of the d'Urbervilles (what? a theme, you say? I have no idea what you mean...) and see if they are really as difficult as I'm anticipating, or if I am making a fuss and pother over nothing.

Before I go, though, here are some other flowers for you. Still to be painted, perhaps a medium grey (I actually kind of like the natural white of the anaglypta but wallpaper installer Michael told me quite sternly that the rule is that walls should go darker below, so as to avoid the feeling that the walls are falling in on you), but isn't it pretty? I didn't quite realize how feminine the powder room was turning out, but given what it's called, perhaps that's appropriate? A place to powder your nose. Kevin doesn't mind girly stuff at all, thankfully; I think it would be frustrating if one had to temper one's adoration of flowers because your manly man grunted in disgust at the sight of them.

That's anaglypta Heaton. So pretty. :-)

6:51 update: Sweet William and proud Tess are in, hooray! That wasn't so hard. Although whomever came up with the technological innovation to fold over the top of the spade, allowing you to put your foot there and use your body weight to help dig, was a freakin' GENIUS, and they have my eternal gratitude and admiration.

Incidentally, it is a gorgeous morning in Chicago, clean and crisp and and airy, so if you can, go outside. You won't regret it, especially since they're still predicting 60% chance of thunderstorms later in the day. Perfect gardening weather. Right now, I have to give my hands a break, but I may manage to slip out and put a few more roses in the ground soon.

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