I'm about to reinvent myself. Today I filed the paperwork to retire from my job. I wasn't planning on this outcome for at least another ten years or so. But earlier this year things got pretty bleak. The downturn in the economy has taken its toll on the organization I work for. Our unions were faced with accepting concessions and the offer of a "Golden Handshake" or layoffs. Two unions voted against the concessions and some people were laid off in August. My union voted the other way and now the opportunity to retire early is real. The way I see it, I'd be a fool to not to take it. So, today Mr. Celia and I signed in the presence of a notary and on January 21st, I'll be leaving my current employment. Let's call it an offer I couldn't refuse.
Now begins the reinvention. This job has been very good to me. I've learned a lot and worked on some GREAT projects. I went there as a geeky graduate student and will leave an accomplished professional. I still need to work - and I'm young for a retiree - so I'm looking for something new. The retirement income and benefits allow me to consider a wider range of options, like part-time or project-by-project consulting offers. I am alternately excited and terrified. But I'm pretty sure there's something really cool ahead. I just have to make it happen.
(Sense memory, after picking up the Mystery Sock and remembering my disgust from last night)
ARGH! DWTS voters picked Michael Irvin and Louie Vito over Natalie Couglin? I wanted to see more of Natalie, dangit. NOT more of those two. And what was Aaron Carter doing in the bottom two after his performance Monday night? Grrrr....
We had buckets of it yesterday. Between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. we had over an inch. It overwhelmed storm drains in San Francisco and flooded streets. Over at my house it came down so hard, I was able to photograph the drops coming down.
It over-ran the gutters on the street and filled the parking strip.
I considered - for a fleeting moment - pulling the car up into the driveway, but decided against venturing out into the downpour in my robe and slippers (home sick from work) and the rain eventually subsided without flooding the car or floating it down the street.
Don't get me wrong now, I'm happy to see the rain. We've been in drought mode here for many years. The garden loves it. It's cozy to stay inside and watch it come down. But yesterday's rainstorm, which followed so quickly on the tail of last week's epic storm, really taxed the system. Last week, Conan O'Brien poked fun at Californians (you have to sit through a short advertisement at this link) as precipitation phobics. I suppose we are a bit. Our fears are well founded, though. This October's rainfall total is already five times seasonal normal. Fire-ravaged hills tend to slide in rainy weather, and I can remember several rainy seasons when even the non-ravaged hills slipped. Our arid soil can only absorb so much water, and then whoosh! there it goes. So pardon us, Mr. East Coast, if we get a little nervous when it rains, especially with an early and fierce start to the rainy season.
But it does give me an opportunity to get caught up on my knitting. So we say yes to rain! Just not too much, please.
Clad in cashmere - lounging cashmere - I spent all Sunday resting up after a busy Saturday. It was a much needed pajama day. Pajama days have been sparse this year and especially recently, after a summer-of-too-much-to-do. Mostly, I just needed to stay home and do "nothing," which, of course, doesn't mean nothing got done. I'm not quite caught up with the DVR, the laundry, or the mystery sock, but there was considerable movement in that direction.
Saturday was the first annual disaster preparedness block party, held on the (gasp) twentieth anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake.
We had a fire truck
...and a sing-along.
The idea was to build community - to get to know our neighbors and establish a basis of trust for the next steps of disaster preparedness. It was a fun party! Everyone on the committee did their part to make it a success.
But it did leave me tired. And all that talking made me need not to talk on Sunday.
Finally! The Citrine Socklets are finished. They were two years in the making because I was not entirely happy with this pattern. I did...and undid...both heels and toes several times. Short rows are evidently not my cup of tea. I am very relieved that they're actually done. The yarn is handspun mohair and wool, picked up at the Point Reyes Station farmer's market. I can't remember the producer. I love the way the socks feel on the feet, but I probably won't use this method of short rows again.
I started these socks last Thursday in staff meeting. Late, I know, but I am loving the mystery and the yarn. I'm all caught up and have just downloaded the latest clue. Hooray! It's my kind of heel! It's satisfying to know I'll finish these socks before the end of the month. Heck, I might even start another pair, intended as a (shudder) Christmas present.
I am wondering when I'll ever be able to finish winding this ball of hand-painted cashmere.
This is the tangliest skein of yarn I've ever encountered. The yarn is
cobweb thin and clings to itself. I couldn't use the ball winder and
swift or hand-wind the ball on my thumb, it was driving me mad! Thank
goodness for the gift Witty Knitter brought me two (!) years ago. The nostepinde works well because I can thread it through the skein when the yarn gets caught on itself. Nevertheless, I am poking along slowly at the ball winding. Maybe I'll finish this weekend and can start to knit some lovely confection.
Start to finish. Finish and start again. And again. Little by little. It's progress.