Well, I did better with a meme, didn't I, as far as posting regularly goes!
Tony has gone on and come home from his first trip to China, thanks to his company's being purchased by Alibaba, and shot lots of video and stills which he still needs to edit. He's still jetlagged a bit but that takes time and sleep to get over. The purchase will certainly create change for him and others. While he's told me lots of stories already, his main takeaway is that China is not what he'd thought it would be and is far more capitalistic than he'd ever imagined.
I'm sure he'll eventually write about some of his experiences on his blog, Cat-E-Whompus, and I'll link to it when he does.
In the meantime, if you're interested, you can read about the trip here, and soon there will be post-trip entries from him and others. Check back often -- new entries will be added.
I'm glad to have him home. China is a 14-hour trip at best, and a 15 hour time difference. I was always aware of what time it was there and looked forward to the 15 minute phone calls I'd make every afternoon around 4-5 pm; early morning there.
I did spend time getting things organized in the home office and finally moved my jewelry bench into position and put away all the tools I bought nearly a year ago. Just a few more piles to deal with and it'll look and be easy to come in here. I have lots of old jewelry to recycle into something 'new' and some new beads and baubles to play with too.
This stemmed from a class I took last fall given by Troy Hawkins, artiste extraordinaire, who has some truly unusual pieces that he's made from recycled bits and pieces. This weekend he's teaching a two-day class on jewelry-making -- last year's was a four-week, one day a week, class and included a field trip to some of his favorite thrift stores.
Like so many people, I have lots of costume jewelry that I never wear anymore. Partly that's because of the far more casual life we lead in California; partly it's because the styles change. The jewelry I own is from my life in Indiana and Alabama, both of which also involved jobs which required a level of professional dress. What's stylish also varies hugely from region to region: Alabama, for instance, was the home of the big earring, at least in the early-mid 1990s. I have some danglies and big pieces that I'll never wear like that again, unless it's dressup at Halloween.
So I'm looking forward to creating and mixing things. The project I began in class is to create a necklace incorporating all of the charms from my high school charm bracelets plus a few other meaningful pieces -- an honor brooch from an organization I belonged to, a very old charm from my mother, an enameled pin from my junior high days, my high school ring.
Don't know if all of that will make it into the necklace -- it might evolve into a zipper pull or a pin too. It'll be fun to play, though.
Of course in cleaning out, throwing away and filing tons of papers -- I am such a paper hoarder -- I've also realized that every drawer and cabinet and closet in the house needs cleaning out. We've been here for nearly eight years -- the longest I've lived in any house as an adult -- and it's either move (because everything gets sorted out as you pack) or clean. So my next ongoing project is to move through the house, taking a closet or drawer every few days and reorganizing, recycling, or donating what's there. I know there are expired meds; I know there are sheets that no longer fit my beds that someone else can use. It's time.
And then there are the ginormous cucumbers I've been blessed with in the garden: I'm giving them away, but I'd also like to make a vat of pickles -- refrigerator or freezer pickles -- which I've never done. Tomatoes are in a bit of a lull; the zucchini are coming just enough to be enjoyable; peppers also. Our days are currently warmish -- in the low 90s to high 80s, but nights are cooling into the low 60s and even 50s, which is wonderful. We're to get rain this weekend and much cooler temperatures: still unusual for this time of year in the Sacramento valley. I'll take it though.
I love this transition from hot summer into fall, with hints of winter rains now and then. While we just don't get the fall color that rainier areas do -- we are brown and crunchy -- we do have the falling leaves, deer munching on acorns, and the cool evenings that speak of change. I'm hoping for another wet and cold winter: last year's replenished ponds and lakes and water tables so well, and we need another like it. I'd even be up for a few flurries.