Sunday, February 28, 2021

I played around with my sewing machine yesterday, and it works beautifully. After studying the manual, I managed to thread it and load the bobbin, and sew some nice practice seams. Of course I also made plenty of mistakes as I am not particularly good at spatial relations and am trying to re-tailor an apron in an awkward way. I think I spent most of an hour ripping out the seams I'd just sewn. But finding a place to set it up is difficult. The finish on the dining room table is too fragile for a machine, the basement is too dusty, I have no room of my own and no folding table to set up in a public room. Yesterday I used a table in Tom's room, but he needs that for his own work, so I don't think it will be a regular option. Things are pretty cramped here at the Alcott House.

We lost a lot of snow in yesterday's rainstorm, and today the temperature is supposed to rise into the 40s. So this afternoon I plan to make my first venture into the garden: to pull out last season's collard and kale stalks and maybe pour some compost into the cleaned-up boxes. It's too early to rake away leaf litter and such, but I'll be glad to tidy up those stalks and maybe start trimming back some of the autumn flower detritus that I'd let fade in place. I am itching, itching to get back at it: to fill those new shade beds with ferns and Solomon seal, to hover over the little shrubs I coaxed through last summer's drought.

The other thing I did yesterday was to submit poems to a journal editor who actually reached out and requested some from me. The sense of being wanted certainly does improve the submission process. I took the risk of sending him a strange long ironic poem that has been hard to place, and he immediately wrote back and said he liked it, so that was pleasant as well. I like that poem myself, but for many reasons it's not exactly journal fodder. Maybe saying "Descartes parodies aren't super-fashionable" will be enough of a clue for you.

Tonight: roasting a chicken while having a Zoom cocktail hour with my friend Meg. I hope I'm up to the multitasking and don't accidentally baste my laptop.

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