In the above photo I’m wearing the self-drafted MOTB blouse that apparently isn’t sun damaged after all (more below), Eileen Fisher ponte skirt, Wolford Synergy tights, Bella Vita Wow black silver pumps, and Wendy Brandes Venus Chalcedony earrings.
Life happens while you’re making plans. I’ll explain, but first, the diet still seems to be going well, down almost 14 lbs to date, with 14 lbs to go for BMI 25.0 and 24 lbs to go for BMI 23.3. That was as of last Saturday, my weekly weigh-in day. Given the drama last week, diet zen focus was compromised. I don’t think I gained, but I may not have lost additional weight. Oh well, everything is back on track.
What happened is that a proposed neighbor 2nd story remodel concerned us to the point of investigating the possibility of relocating to San Francisco. This is a fantasy we had before buying our current home eight years ago, and one that occasionally resurfaces. After several days of attending open houses, visiting homes by appointment, online researching the blood sport that is the current San Francisco real estate market and whipping up a detailed spread sheet cash flow analysis, we concluded that this move does not make sense for us financially because of the risk involved.
The good news is that our city is on the ball when it comes to managing 2nd story remodels, including soliciting neighbor input. There is a formal process and the city codes and design guidelines help keep these remodels tasteful and appropriate for the neighborhood. Informed, we engaged with the neighbors and it went extremely well. To make a long story short, their remodel is not going to be a problem for us at all, and we’ve now got their approval for some landscaping/repairs on our own property.
We are incredibly relieved, because we didn’t really want to have to move.
As for the self-drafted purple blouse shown above that supposedly got sun damaged, I don’t know if the good fairy visited my closet or my eyesight is deteriorating or what, but I can’t see the sun marks without a magnifying glass. Is it possible that my top healed itself hanging in a dark closet? I can’t explain it but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. The blouse has risen from the ashes and is back to its old elegant self. Yay!
The earrings in the above photo are these beautitful Autumn Creole earrings made by our friend and pattern tester Ana of Cat’s Pajamas, Dog’s Tuxedos.
What colors go with coral? I know coral goes with white and black, and from snorkeling I know that it goes with greens and blues and ivory tones, but I don’t remember seeing purple fish or red fish underwater.
Purple and red tones are my primary color tones.
As often happens with us when there is tumult, what fell out of the maybe-we-should-sell line of thinking is some clarity on points we didn’t realize needed clarifying. For example, we realized we’re due for a little fun. Our four kids are busy with other relatives or travel plans or grad school this Thanksgiving (we hosted my family last year), so that weekend is open and we’ve arranged a romantic San Francisco get-away that weekend with walks, concerts, fine dining, window shopping and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Union Square. We’re leaving the car at home and taking the train/Muni up to stay at the Westin St. Francis at Union Square. One nice benefit of living here is that we can roll our suitcases a few blocks from our house to the train station in about 12 minutes.
As my hair guy put it, our subconscious minds knew we needed a little vacation so they took one without us in fantasizing about a new life in San Francisco. (Btw, my hair guy thinks blonde hair is a bad idea for me.)
The process of considering what we might need to do to prepare our home for sale made us aware of some home repairs needing attention. These projects are now on our radar.
We also realized we’ve been too intensely focused on the pattern business given Martin’s job and the time bottle neck problem going on with the pattern grading. In short, I’m under-employed (as usual!) and he is over-employed juggling both his job and the pattern grading. The thing is, Martin isn’t just a faculty member at the college, he is senior faculty, which means that within thirty seconds of stepping foot on campus when the semester starts he’s on four different committees, involved in hiring, asked to participate in student grievance hearings and so on. He has no spare time. I was trying to create spare time for him to work on pattern grading by taking up the slack cleaning, cooking, gardening, doing laundry, running errands and managing our social calendar, but after several weeks of this my inner feminist is not a happy camper. It feels like I’m spending too much time in the role of housewife.
The pattern business has been fun for me in spurts. I really loved the mathematical sleeve research earlier this year and I enjoyed working out a self-drafted bodice (the purple top above). It was fun writing the Shannon pattern instructions and creating the technical flats, but now I’m twiddling my thumbs while the grading goes on and on. We thought it would be a great idea for me to learn the grading but seeing Martin shake out his hands from pain after hours of doing it is not encouraging. Maybe we can take turns.
In the above photo I’m wearing the EF rock star jeans Susan recommends here. I might soon wish I’d bought a size smaller.
My mind wanders when I’m underemployed. Reading Wendy’s post about women in science got me daydreaming about studying some mathematics. It’s the one discipline I could pursue without worrying about my hands, because pencils and paper are still used by and large in lieu of computers (computers are used in certain research areas). At Adobe, we used to speculate that maybe the reason the Computer Scientists there with the most mathematical ability and creativity came from places in Eastern Europe like Bulgaria was that even in distressed economic conditions pencils and paper are affordable.
At San Francisco State University (SFSU) upper division mathematics courses are open to the public. You don’t have to be enrolled. This is unusual for SFSU. Many (if not most) upper division courses are not open. We’re guessing it’s because they don’t expect too many people from the general public to show up for an upper division mathematics class.
The nice thing about mathematics is that there is no risk of running into philosophical differences as you might do taking courses in the Humanities. The difficult thing about mathematics is that you need full fluency to continue. I took my last serious mathematics course Fall 2004, nine years ago. As an analogy, this would be like speaking German fluently and then not speaking it for nine years except for an occasional conversation. I would have at least a year of work to do to get ready to continue.
Thinking of all of that work also makes my mind wander, perhaps even all the way back to the pattern business at hand.
Maybe thinking of studying mathematics is like thinking of selling our house. Maybe there is a better answer I don’t see right now.
In closing, we framed this gorgeous Chrysler Chapeaux print created by our friend and artist Pat Alexander. It looks great in our home office. You can see a larger and more detailed view of the print here.
My daughter and her husband and my son and his long-time girlfriend are celebrating pre-Thanksgiving and my son’s birthday — also known as “Octoberfest” — with us this weekend, so it will be Monday before I am able to catch up on all of your blogs.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Updated to add: I forgot to include a photo of these cop shoes. I’ve been dying for a pair of lace-up oxfords but cannot find them in my 8.5 EE shoe size. I decided to try out these cop shoes just for fun. As you can see, they miss the mark by a pretty wide margin, although I’m sure they look quite smart as part of a dress uniform for our women and men in blue.