Monday, January 9, 2017

Commencing the countdown

"Now the light commands, this is my home, I'm coming home
Earth below us, drifting falling, floating weightless, coming home."

Twentyseventeen. One week in.

We woke up on New Year's Day in Lake Charles, where we'd spent a couple of days doing some baby Blake bonding.



We spent the first three nights of the new year at home, before an action packed three-day trip to Charlotte for our pre-building meeting. Weather permitting they'll set the footings for our new house within the next week. Winter Storm Helena may play silly buggers with that plan which is OK with me.

The latest prediction is that our house will be ready in July. That's a little scary soon. The countdown truly has begun.

I have to admit, I liked everything on this trip except for being one thousand miles and change away from my kids.

It's not like they live here in town now though.

I liked that, despite chilly temperatures, I dressed in layers and wasn't too cold. I liked that we explored more and found some pleasant culinary diversity, local coffee shops, and the quaint university town of Davidson. I liked finding out that Carolina Cones opens on March 15, which means both that winters are endurably short enough and that it will likely be open again when we return for aour pre-sheetrocking meeting.

We stayed at our first Airbnb abode. It had its upsides and its drawbacks. I accentuated the positive in my review. "Very clean, new, convenient location, quiet, private, good value. Thank you."

The unmentioned downsides were the small size of the room which held only a queen bed and two nightstands, not even a dresser or chair, forcing us to put the bedcovers and throw pillows on the floor. The bathroom needed another towel rod and a hook or two, and a cup for teethbrushing. Our asian host cooked (for herself) both morning and evening, so the condo had the ever-lingering scent of chinese food.

Worst for me was no coffee in the morning. Yang offered filtered water and nothing more. I asked where the closest coffee was and she answered, Starbucks inside Harris Teeter. I may start traveling with a jar of instant coffee if I can't find lodging that mentions coffee access.

Our next two trips, Lake Charles again with Neil's Dad later this month and Keller in February will be test cases.

Neil asked if I'd stay with Yang again. I said I might if it was for a night or two but if we go for a longer time I might look at other options.

I did just make our next Airbnb reservation for Lake Charles later this month and hearted some options in Keller for next month.

I mentioned the Beads of Courage 2017 Bead of the Month Program, where BOC is offering to pay an artist $5 per bead for a total of 100 beads about 1.5 inches in size. Initially I said that I'd do it, but after some reflection I decided the stress of churning out 100 alike beads in that size would kill any joy in creating, even for a good cause.

I sent BOC this note on Dec. 27.
Hi Angeline - I made some test beads over the holiday and realized that I can't make 100 beads in that size that would be close to being identical. I think I should withdraw and let someone else have my spot.

I'm happy to keep making Dream Bbeads and Carry-a-Bead pairs as needed.

Thank you,

Liz
The test bead part was a white lie, but I didn't need a test to know it would be difficult for me. I could have agreed to 100 beads with a size and a theme, such as flowers or trees or fish, if I could vary base colors and design elements.

I got no reply. So it was with some surprise that I received an email from BOC on January 5 BOC announcing the program, and one of my beads was the featured example.


That's my bead in the middle, one side of the Dream Bead I made for Emma. I don't mind of course. No credit of course.

I also noticed a pair of my beads in another photo in the email that promoted the Carry-a-Bead program, the white pair with red and dark blue spots pictured on the safety pin.


It's fine, I am happy to be working with them and supporting their goals in small ways. I have them as my designated charity on Amazon Smile.

Every little bit (coming from enough people) makes a little difference.

I'm thinking about signing up for the 10th Bead Soup Blog Party, to be known as the Bead Hoarders Edition. I know I said last time that it would be my last one, but I want to have a reason to make some jewelry again. I know I don't necessarily need a reason, but even when I have an idea and want to make a finished piece, it rarely becomes a priority or reaches the top of the bucket list.


I did finish this piece yesterday. It's the Solar System in case you can't tell. I had a hard time deciding how to order it and I'm not sure it makes sense, but the idea is that you move up one side from the sun to Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter, then move across to Saturn and back down through Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (yes, I kept Pluto). Which begs the question of why Pluto is adjacent to the sun.

Badly-lit mirror selfie, but you get the idea.

I thought about starting with the Sun on one side and moving through the planets, which would make Jupiter the focal point. Or I could have started with a cental sun, with the planets in sequence up one side, counterbalanced with a host of asteroids (random beads) up the other for a nice asymmetric number. Neil thought I should make the whole system a long dangle, but even without spacers, that would have been a long bit. These ideas all have merit and it's possible I'll make a few more versions before the end of time.

In the meantime, you might say, I'm wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.


Standing there alone, the ship is waiting
All systems are go, are you sure?
Control is not convinced
But the computer has the evidence
No need to abort
The countdown starts

Watching in a trance, the crew is certain
Nothing left to chance, all is working
Trying to relax up in the capsule
Send me up a drink, jokes Major Tom
The count goes on

4, 3, 2, 1
Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Calling calling home

Second stage is cut, we're now in orbit
Stabilizers up, running perfect
Starting to collect requested data
What will it effect when all is done
Thinks Major Tom

Back at ground control there is a problem
Go to rockets full, not responding
Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?
Turn the thrusters on, we're standing by
There's no reply

4, 3, 2, 1
Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Calling calling home

Across the stratosphere
A final message
Give my wife my love
Then nothing more

Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning
They don't realize he's alive
No one understands but Major Tom sees
Now the light commands, this is my home
I'm coming home

Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Coming home

Earth below us
Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Coming coming home

Home.

(Peter Schilling)