This morning I scared a racoon in the garden as I left the tiny zendo after-meditation. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it scampering away because it was undoubtedly the fattest raccoon I have ever seen. Compared to when we lived in East Vancouver, I don’t see raccoons here nearly as often, but springtime definitely brings them out into the open a bit more and I’ve heard them fighting on the other side of the fence some nights as well.
It’s been a week of trying to get things done despite intermittent insomnia. I can only blame the shift in weather and energy for my sudden inability to sleep through the night, so I hope that calms down again soon – because it’s very difficult to move forward on projects when I’m exhausted all the time.
Workwise things have been in a bit of a lull the last couple of weeks.. This is always the case when the fiscal year flips over and we do our project plans for the next year. Up until year end is a flurry of activity and then things get pretty quiet again while we wait for the budget to drop and new projects get approved. I’ve been focused on work planning, and performance management – and getting the two people on my team properly assigned with work now that I have them as permanent staff. I had my own performance review as well this week, and received the highest praise I have ever achieved in my working career, which stemmed from the huge shift in my work unit I’ve helped motivate over the last year, first as acting manager, then as supporter to the other acting manager. While I’m glad that our regular manager is back now, her year of absence did afford me some pretty great work opportunities. I’ll be interested to see the government priorities outlined in the upcoming budget, because that guides our work to some degree.
On the studio front, I’ve become re-obsessed with weaving in the last couple of weeks. As I’ve written here in the past, weaving is a time-consuming and somewhat complicated undertaking (not to mention, expensive). All fiber arts have dimensions of this, but weaving more than any of them. I think this is why I tend to drop out of it periodically. Only a month ago I was talking to Brian about possibly selling off all my weaving supplies since I had not been able to rouse my interest in weaving in close to a year. This last week I got a warp on and off the loom (to make four tea towels) in record time. I am starting a new project today (hand towels for the bathroom), and am re-tying up the treadles on the large loom (although I did manage to get it warped at Christmas time, I tried a new tie-up that it turned out I don’t like). The problem with weaving is that I’m hot/cold with it. When I’m hot, it’s all I want to do. When I’m cold, I want nothing to do with it. Few other of my interests work like this for me – and I can’t ascribe it to one season or another. It just happens when it does. Go figure that it would happen just when the weather is getting so nice!
Around the house we’ve started working on our latest project – a canning kitchen! While I have long had an outdoor burner for canning in the summertime, we are going to go all the way and install a sink and counter alongside that. It will sit directly in front of our actual kitchen so we can share the plumbing going in, though we will greywater into the garden going out. To start with, we invested in a (kind of pricey) stainless steel sink and countertop which we will then get some cabinetry installed around. The three-burner will also get a cabinet front to hide the propane tank. Because this is at the (covered) entrance to our house, we are paying a professional to make cabinets. I want it to look good and not cluttered. We got the sink/counter last week so we popped things into rough place last weekend:
I know I’ve said this before, but the more we tool our home to be specifically for our needs/interests/comfort – the less likely it is that I am ever going to leave. A properly set-up area specifically for canning and outdoor entertaining is something I have dreamed about, and we are making it happen!
This is one of those weeks that has dragged a bit (insomnia) so I am pretty glad to nearly be seeing the weekend when I can catch up on my sleep and make some more headway in the garden and studio. Hope you all are seeing sunnier days out there!