A busy week, a scattering of thoughts. Coherency unlikely, as past performance is no indication of future returns.
First and foremost, my beloved cat Jinian died today, after a good long 20 1/2 years of life. I am, of course, sad, but it was not a shock, and she left quite peacefully on her own schedule, so that was all good. It is not easy, it is not pleasant, but in a world in which death has to happen, that was a good way for it. My housemate and I buried her out back, near the walnut tree. I am not looking forward to breaking it to my daughter, but I think once she has settled with it some we will plant some flowers on the grave.
After that, truly scattered. Some writing has gotten done, but less than I would like; the cat's sudden decline over the last week took time, and my husband has had yet another audit to change the family's schedule. Then again, no amount of writing is as much writing as I would like to do. I have read some books, and will write about them soon; namely, one more Sayers, one novel by Brenna Yovanoff, one by Sarah Rees Brennan, and perhaps a fourth thing I am not recalling right now. Some poetry, James Thomson, a little Byron, just dipping my toe in. A very great lack of time, most frustrating. Some good books on hold at the library.
On the domestic front, our oven is broken well and truly and must be totally replaced, which is a pity, as I discovered it trying to make cornbread (which was then made on the stove, and burned, and came out inedible to all tastes except my housemate's, who ate a lot of it) and have generally been baking more this last few weeks. I am, it is rumoured, acquiring a chest freezer through the ridiculous generosity of a friend, and then must see about joining a meat CSA, or not, and making a proper trip to the butcher shop now that we have somewhere to store the results, and perhaps some menu planning so that it makes sense to buy a large quantity of meat and cook it and then use it as leftovers through the week.
And then, on Friday, our Dear Austrian Friends are coming for a five-week visit -- not staying with us (tempting, but where oh where would we put a family of four?) and that will be a lovely mad whirl. My daughter befriended their daughter (and vice-versa) in the then-local park in November of 2010, at the tender age of almost-14-months (their daughter being not-yet-one at the time), and as time went on the mother V. and I became closer, and the girls became closer, and sometime that following summer we began letting our lives twine together with the children in many similar activities, and eventually it went from pleasant companionship to friendship on the part of the adults, V. and I went to the theatre, the father P. becoming a friend to both me and my husband, and the girls got closer and farther and fought and made up and both learned to speak enough that their games began to grow, and then in 2012 their daughter started pre-school, and my daughter joined her there, and V. had her second child while I was pregnant with my son, and so on until last December, when they had to go back to Austria. We've kept in touch, a very tiny amount of Skype (I am phenomenally shy of phones, videos, seeing my own face, etc.) and a lot of google chatting, and now suddenly they will be here and we will all meet again. I am looking forward to it so much I do not actually feel anything. We have told my daughter, who handles anticipation poorly, that she will see her friend (whom she has never forgotten, speaks of much, and sometimes tells me accurate memories involving going back to when they were both 18 months old) by Halloween, but if all goes well they will come over on Saturday morning and be a delightful surprise. My daughter will shriek and jump up and down and then probably go hide for ten or fifteen minutes until the initial shyness wears off, but -- we will see.
And there, I have written so long that I must rush now or we will be late to do pick up. Well, as a means to soothe grief, it is a good one.