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Week in Review!
urban anchorite
catvalente
I've meant to post all week, but it has been the Week of Houseguests around here, and that leads to socializing, and less internet.

First, over the weekend, we had the wonderful nex0s and midnightstation, who arrived with their adorable child. nex0s  is secretly a gardening superhero, and she designed us a garden and we had a party full of emilytheslayer , lynxreign , babymonkey , and mishamish  to put it all in. I built planters! With power tools! nex0s  has pictures and a full write up here.

It was a pretty amazing experience--just what dedicated (and awesome--thank you everyone who put their back into it, we are in your debt!) people can do in a weekend, and capping off an rather epic planting spree (we now have a nascent sunflower labyrinth plus tomatoes, eggplant, squash, beans, cucumbers, snap peas, blueberries, strawberries, rainbow chard, basil, cilantro, red peppers, hot peppers, lemon balm, and three kinds of pumpkins! Plus nex0s  picked plants with fairy tale names for me, so we have Hansel and Gretel eggplants and such delights) settling down around our fabulous new firepit (finally! We had one in Cleveland and missed it so much) and making smores with friends. Even telling the THERE WAS A HOOK! campfire story because justbeast  had never heard it before and those are the pleasures of Dmitri.

So now we go out and peep and hope for shoots every day, and I finished up the herb planters between the New York crew leaving and my friend from junior high/high school Jennifer arriving.

Jen is pretty much the only person from high school I'm still in touch with--between graduating early, running away from home, changing my name, and not taking a terribly mainstream path through life, I'm not really more than Facebook friends with anyone else. But somehow Jen and I keep running into each other. I ended up in a poetry class with her in grad school, and she came to a Palimpsest show, and yesterday she made a cherry pie in my kitchen and we watched Jennifer's Body and I thought a lot about my childhood in California. I do love living in a place where people want to come and visit me.

Also I practiced my accordion and she didn't run screaming away! I had my first lesson on Tuesday and it was a lot of seeing where I am with piano and musical theory (which is not far--I always got a year of lessons in any given thing when I was a kid and then money or time ran out. But I tell you what, I am grateful for my mother teaching me what she did of piano at this point, because otherwise I'd be way lost) and deciding what books to use and being like "the button with the rhinestone on it is C" and making noise. My assignment for the week is to order all my books and sound out melodies on the keyboard and practice the standard C-G-C-G oom-pah-pah sound. So yesterday I plinked out Mary Had a Little Lamb and Three Blind Mice easily, and then (I'm fairly proud of this) figured out the melody line to Katyusha and part of Dark Eyes. I'm still having a little trouble with the fingering on the oom-pah-pah but hell, it's only been two days. I like it a lot, I think about it even when I'm not practicing, and I want to practice all the time. These are good signs. Also I have a shiny red loaner accordion until I can get my magical one, and I am calling it Temporarily Gretchen, for it is not mine to name permanently.

Tonight I'm going to see my accordion teacher and the island accordion ensemble play a concert, and copyediting Fairyland. It is a busy life, and the fact that I managed to get a long chapter of a Secret Project done this week is a small miracle. I am very tired, physically and mentally, and needing to cocoon after so much social time.

But I have a garden. And an accordion. And coffee brought to me in bad. Not so bad.

I'm just so happy you guys are happy with it!!!

Gardening makes me *bounce* :)

N.

We are! It's been rainy, but we have sun for the next week, so we hope to see wee plants!

And I FINALLY remembered to friend you, lol! I was in so much pain the next couple of days; turns out my quads didn't like all the bending and digging and whatever. I didn't care though, it was ridiculously fun.

I am sorry to have hurt everyone--we were all laid out flat here too.

Meh, whatever. I am entirely unconcerned by it, and if I didn't want to be hurting I could have taken it a little easier during the work. You guys certainly aren't slave drivers or anything, and no pyramids were built!

I'm glad the mirror's right outside the door to my office, so I got to hear you practice. The accordion blends in really smoothly with my coding music, oddly enough! :)

My favorite bayanistochka.

I'm kind of dying to know what "bayanistochka" means.

*laughs* Here, I'm using it loosely as a diminutive for 'girl who plays a bayan', which is a type of big russian accordion

That's... adorable. You get an adorable sticker for today.

The accordion is a seductive and formidable instrument. You're going to have a blast.

...I think about it even when I'm not practicing, and I want to practice all the time. These are good signs.

I love that feeling. I started playing the mandolin not quite a year ago, and if the NRE is not as imperative as it first was, nor has it entirely faded.

(I'm learning Dark Eyes, too, Django-style.)

Thinking about the accordion even when you're not playing is a good sign! I have a feeling YOU'LL be one of the ones performing before long, at this rate...

This all sounds pretty freakin' fabulous, Cat. There are worse things to be tired from than house guests, too :) at least there was some enjoyment in the tiring. I'm a bit on cloud 9 right now myself from my spinning lesson, which ended being one-on-one because no one else showed up and my teacher didn't want to cancel.

Even telling the THERE WAS A HOOK! campfire story because [info]justbeast had never heard it before and those are the pleasures of Dmitri.

I always love the freshness my immigrant boyf brings to tired old things. I'm always OMG, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO ___ OR SEEN ___? WE HAVE TO!

((cannot hold in the giggles at the thought of Dima hearing the HOOK story for the first time OMG))

D is the best audience for anything...this had to be good.
I love you so much.

I am curious what the HOOK story is...

You are happy which is happymaking! Someday, I *will* make it out to visit you, with shiny things and silly stories!

I'm so excited for you! (I'm looking to move into a house with gardening space early next year, and I am SO looking forward to it.) It looks like a beautiful garden.

I'm also glad to hear about the fun you're having with the accordion - it's always a beautiful thing when you're really interested in something and then it turns out to be as fun (or more fun!) than you thought it would be.

I realize this may not be the best place to post this, but I wasn't sure where else it should go. I'm a huge fan of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland (which I am absolutely going to buy if you ever publish it). Which got me addicted to your writing (currently scouring my local bookshops for any of your other works)
Anyway! In the interest of finding more web novels to read, I posted a review of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland on the forum of a web novel I am a member of. The web novel is Mirrorfall, by Stormy, and of course, I highly recommend it, and the review is http://requirecookie.com/content/web-novel-suggestions if you're interested in reading.
I'm not sure if cross-promoting is a faux pas on the internet, but I thought you might be interested in knowing that I wrote it. I hope?
Enjoy your day, and congratulations on your garden (and growing accordion skill). Thank you for the stories!

Not at all! Thank you for the review--and the print copy is coming out in May of next year.

You may enjoy onaleopard as well, it's the Fairyland fan community. :D

I've been lurking here for a long time, really enjoying what you write in both book and blog form, but not having the nerve to comment. However, your mentioning Katyusha finally pushed me to make the leap to friend such an auspicious figure as you. (My Rusophillic mother, god rest her soul, taught me to sing it when I was young and while I don't remember a lot of it now it still makes me all nostalgic to hear the melody playing through my head.)

Anyway. Finished being silly and sentimental now. Good luck in all your endeavors, especially the accordion one.

My husband is Russian, and he taught it to me!