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Thirty days have September,
April, June and peanut butter
All the rest have 31,
Except my granny
Who has a little red wagon. . .

The Autumnal Equinox has come and gone, when day and night balanced in the scales of the year.  The nights lengthen steadily and the world is cooling.  We’ve been in the mid-80’s F/26+ C for about two weeks now, and this weekend we are predicted to dip down into the high 70’s F/23+ C.

We’re going away this October, mom and I, back to Pearland, Tx, to stay with cousin EYJ and her husband.  Mother will visit her only remaining sibling, a brother, aged 96.  He is still doing well physically, but mentally he has begun to deteriorate.  As the saying goes, the lights are on but nobody’s home.  We will be taken to Galveston to meet Miss Raelyn Rose, for whom I knitted greatly earlier in the year.   On the way back, we will stop in Round Top, a town knee deep in family history and famous ancestors, and sojourn a night in a house of historic significance on several counts.  The black cat will stay in the pet hotel at Petsmart for the duration.

Painting 24I’ve been in kind of a lull lately.  I’ve grown obsessed with the art of Anne Bachelier, she of the flaming oranges, whose art is shown in castles and cathedrals, and other old dwellings repurposed into galleries (which is where I first discovered her), and in New York and San Francisco, and other far flung cities, whose blog I have been following for some time.  Ms. Bachelier is four months my senior, French, and her blog, written in French (oddly enough) is as impenetrable in its way to my two years of high school French as her paintings are mysterious and  imponderable.  I have made a host of her paintings into puzzles on Jigsaw Planet’s website, where one may convert any image into a jigsaw puzzle.

I loved working those 500- piece and 1000- piece jigsaw puzzles one could get when I was a child.  My dad and I would work them on a card table.  He got onto them when he was a traveling salesman as something to do in the motel room at night in the days before there was a television in every room.  We had a collection of them tucked away.  I associate them with school holidays at Christmas and Thanksgiving and with boiled sweets and ribbon candy from Christmas stockings.  You can’t buy jigsaw puzzles like that any more.  Photographs of foreign places or works of art.  Two houses ago, when you could still buy those kinds of jigsaw puzzles, I worked puzzles on the big dining room table I had then.  I bought the table from a colleague at work.  It had been her parents’, stored in a storage building in the back yard, whose roof leaked on the top (particle board and veneer) and ruined it.  But my dad and I took the top off, stripped the legs and skirting, put a new top on, and refinished it.  I acquired chairs, and that was my dining room table for years until I bought the table and chairs and china cabinet I have now.

That was in the days of portable cassette players, when I recorded my own cassettes, and listened to the tape du jour on my portable player on endless loop while I worked puzzles and let my mind wander where it would.  But puzzles got harder and harder to find, and I got cats (one of whom would eat cardboard, which is a form of paper, after all . . .).  I framed about six of the puzzles after I worked them.  I still have a couple of them.  One of the puzzles was of King Tut’s gold coffin — I sold that one when I moved.  I still have one of a painting of a vase of flowers which hangs in my bedroom.  Another one I still have is of an embroidery sampler, whose motto reads “So much of what we learn of love we learn at home.”   It hung in the kitchen of the duplex, and now hangs on the wall between the dining area and the living room.

So for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been working jigsaw puzzles of Anne Bachelier’s paintings I’ve created on Jigsaw Planet, and listening to various Rhapsody playlists.  Lately it’s been the music of Erik Wøllo, a Norwegian composer.  As I type this, the song happens to be a dialog between acoustic guitar and oboe (cor Anglais?). Typically, I’ll be listening to internet radio, hear something that strikes my fancy, see who it’s by and look them up on Rhapsody and make a playlist of what’s available and listen to it.  Rhapsody lists an artist’s work from most recent to oldest, and I deliberately construct the playlist chronologically from oldest to newest.  That way I get to listen to the artist’s work evolve through time.

I’ve started knitting projects but haven’t finished any yet.  I have a baby afghan to finish before we leave on our trip in October, which is tomorrow (October, not the trip.)  I have to go out tomorrow to get my flu shot.  I’ve ordered a new mouse.  I go through them fairly quickly.  I have a style I like.  It should come tomorrow.

In the latest episode in the unfolding saga of my BFF’s life, her car was acting up.  It’s a 22-year-old Honda.  She hasn’t had it that long — she bought it used.  The engine kept trying to die.  Turns out only two of its four spark plugs were working (!) and the spark plug wires needed replacing as well.  That’ll be $300, thank you very much.  At least it was something fixable, and relatively cheap to fix, as fixing cars go.

My car, the Silver Beetil (as it is now known) has 3500+ miles on it now and is about to get 1200 or so more this coming month.  I shall have had it a year come 22 November.  I have to get it inspected and renew the registration come October.  That’ll be almost $100, thank you very much.   I can’t renew the registration until I get it inspected.  I may do it all tomorrow while I’m out getting shot for the flu.  (I’ll have to break the news to the oil change guys where I get my car inspected that the old Crayola that they got such a kick out of has gone to that Great Parking Lot in the Sky. . . .) At some point before our upcoming trip, I also need to take the glass cleaner and clean the inside of the car windows.  I still have a coupon for a free car wash.  I’ll get it washed and vacuum it before then, too.  Busy, busy. . .