Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Monday, December 31, 2018

Meeting obligations, minimal

The newsletter editing job is now mine...for the church.  And our last editor helped me put everything together after church today...after we found out the new password.

Before church I stopped off at the Red House (Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League) to pick up the angels which hadn't sold during their Christmas show.  I was glad the larger ones had sold, and I just had a few small pieces to bring home.  It was also fun to see several women I knew who were touring the display.

After our hour or so editing the newsletter, I picked up fast food, and came home.  Nothing much to grab my interest...I felt tired, hungry and wanted to sleep...which was my next activity for the day.  The head cold is still taking a lot of my attention.

The house is slipping further and further into disarray.  Somehow I can go out and do what's expected of me, but when I'm home, I just lie around (or sit around).

TV, Netflix, books, facebook, blogs...anything that just is simple and somewhat interesting.

I like that other facebook friends post things that I agree with, so I share them, and then others of my friends can like them, or sometimes comment on them.  This is a minimal form of communication.  The really neat part is when I get to see pictures of my family who live hundreds of miles away, doing something fun. I save the photos.

I do need to go grocery shopping.  So that will be top of the list for Mon.  And pick up a prescription at my local pharmacy.

Can I tell you a secret? (There are very few people who read this, so I guess I feel an intimate sharing is somehow ok.) I make myself take a shower almost every day.  When I do, I feel so much better.  My aching muscles all are warmed and relaxed.  I get on clean clothes, and add the old to the pile that's growing.  So far I've been able to haul the dirty clothes over to the laundromat...and spend about an hour watching them go round in washer and then drier.

I'm going to do some serious meditating on all my gifts that are waiting to be sent to my family members.  I used to think about them in the middle of the night, but I don't any more.  I was afraid that no matter how I wrapped the ceramic pieces, they would break.  I'm almost ready to not even send them to them.  I have other things that are more packing friendly!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Just when you think it's not going to get any worse...

Well, life does have this habit of making something else happen when you're just hanging on by your fingers.  So while trying to figure out if I'm not as depressed as I seem to be, and while slowly packing and wrapping the presents...I get a head cold.

Nope, that's not the worst thing in the world.  Finishing the presents before New Years might have been my goal.  But gee, I slept 3 hours yesterday afternoon, and I'm so glad I did, because my nose didn't run while I was using the C-Pap.  It means I have to breathe through my nose, and thankfully it kind of dries stuff out enough that I was able to snooze.

So when I woke up I felt like some Chinese food, and got on real shoes (not slippers, which my friend Cathy gave me for Christmas!) and with weather in high 50s, drove down to our only Chinese place.  Don't know what happened to all the others, but this one is good...got my hot and sour soup, egg roll and sweet and sour chicken...and will have left overs the next day.

Deep breath.  Cough a bit.  Sit and stretch.  Walk around. Tea is good! Lots of liquids!  I'm grateful for what I've got!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Baby steps

OK, I don't have to do everything at once...or at all.
I'm determined to get to feeling better.  So I'm just starting today.
This depressed feeling, grief over loss, sadness, not being motivated to do a thing.

Today is a start to do one little thing.
There, just that one thing is done.
Now I'm resting.

Another one little thing.
Acknowledging that I can accomplish something.

I love the earth-rise picture from the moon...I've lived through such interesting times.  Men walked on the moon.

I had children, and now they've had children too.  I survived my own childhood.  Yay, haven't we all, somehow or another.

So today everyone is looking at their latest gifts.

But today I'm finally wrapping my gifts to my children and grandchildren.  Five of whom won't even be home till the end of the month.  So their package will not be mailed too soon.

Anyway, I am sending New Year's gifts this year.

And 4 of them just got wrapped! I may not wrap the ceramic pieces, since they'll be in bubble wrap anyway.

Unfortunately 3 sons will get just a promise of their gifts, because I haven't finished them yet.  They are to get a genealogy showing our lineage back to Edward I Plantagenet of England.  I will work on it again each night until I can print it for them...and get some copies made to go in the binders...and make an updatable copy on thumb-drives.  This is a determined mom that keeps on doing a bit here and there on these documents...I can give them something of myself this way.

Now, more baby steps. There is not the pressure of getting gifts to them by Christmas, when they would have been buried under trees with thousands of others.  No kidding, I've been at their houses for Christmas before.  Well, my youngest doesn't "do christmas" so I guess he doesn't have gifts under a tree at all.  He also doesn't give gifts.  I love him anyway. And I always give him and his lovely lady gifts too...it's a mothering thing.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Waiting for wellness - reading Pratchett

Whenever my lung conditions rear their ugly heads, I'm for bed and a book.

And this season I felt like reliving some old favorites!

Terry Pratchett has given my mind such a release from the worries of the season, or even of my conditions.  I have almost all of his books.  Certainly enough to read for a month, while coming up to eat on occasion.

These are the first, The Light Fantastic, and The Color of Magic.

As you can see, the first book, about a wizard and a tourist, and many strange magical things that happen on discworld, came out in 1983.

Its sequel, The Light Fantastic, came out in 1986.

Do you know when Harry Potter appeared in bookstores? Yep, 1986.

Seems like a "fortuitous time" for books about wizards and magic.

Pratchett died a couple of years ago of Alzheimers.  He wrote many books in those 2-3 decades...and I've read most of them.  Of course not being British, I've had to extrapolate to understand some of the satire about the institutions like banks, postal service, communications, and especially the police force.  But even an American can be laughing out loud at the hi-jinks these characters get into and out of!
And the witches! Oh they are much better than the wizards, I think!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Consumerism of Christmas

Just for fun, think of The Christmas that Never Was

The one without any consumerism...

Well, there is the story of Christmas, which we all get to hear over and over, as well as it having been recorded in the Bible.  That might not have had anyone trying to sell you something to give someone else.  Maybe.

I salute all those parents who apologize to their children (through many years actually) because Santa hasn't brought them a.) what they asked for or b.) anything much at all or c.) whatever someone else has droned into their heads that they should have, or d.) more than just being kept warm, dry and fed.

Dickens did a great job of showing how Scrooge had a bad attitude, which could be changed by a loving family.

Then along came "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart, and don't forget little Natalie Wood with "Miracle on 34th St."

I apologize to my readers, that I haven't watched that many of the more recent Christmas movies.  They were fun, and I watched them once.  But not more than once, (except Home Alone.)

If I'm going to escape reality into imagination, I'd prefer something with magic, music and maybe pure adventure. Yes, Star Wars sometimes.  I don't plan to go see Mary Poppins remake!

I loved my father, and miss his sweet silly nature.  That's me being hugged when about 3 years old.  He's been gone for about 33 years now.

 A few years later, probably 1947, there's my almost 2 year old sister with dark hair in foreground.  Among the fun toys was a wind-up metal music man with a piano at my feet (clad in P.J.s with feet!) and I have no idea what I was busy unwrapping, but there was a nesting set of cardboard blocks (very large) behind me...they had interesting photos pasted on the sides!  I miss my sister Mary Beth.

 My dear Grandmother "Gummy" was late arriving, but had presents which were wrapped in newspaper.  I had almost forgotten that!

 She was always full of love for all of us, though I know she rubbed my mother the wrong way many times.
 My little sister got her first phone...and since she didn't hear anyone on it (even if she'd turned it the right way around) she couldn't figure out why everyone wanted her to say hello.

My mother worked in her kitchen, and had prepared a feast for us all.  I know she got out the good china and silver, though we didn't have real dining room furniture for many years to come.  I miss her hostessing at holidays.

These photos are all from home movies that I may have published on another blog at one time or another.

Here's my contribution to the meme for this Sepia Saturday, a photo of "Lucky Christmas Customers 1934"

Today's quote: Hado

Walking through a Japanese garden, one truly feels the life force energy that is known as Hado. Hado isn't just present in Japan, but it is a concept that has existed in Japan for centuries. The two Japanese characters that make up the word Hado mean "wave" and "move" - perfect words to describe the energy vibrations that permeate all life. Hado is present in all things, animate and inanimate. It resides everywhere, even in the air and in people.

 One of the most important principles of hado is to monitor your thoughts and intentions every day. Enjoy the improvements that you will create in your life and the world around you by consciously working with hado.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Celebrating the darkness

Happy Solstice.

As we await the dawn of a new year...the one that depends upon the tilt of our mother earth in relation to the sun, there's a pause, a moment when the earth has to change directions.

I am somehow aware of that shift in the tilt.  I anticipate it, and try to imagine this large hunk of rock (lots of iron) slowing down in it's tilt, still spinning at the same rate (I hope), still navigating in its eliptical orbit...and suddenly it stops...and then tilts the other way.

I've finally felt up to wraping some gifts.  Oh my.  It was easy.  Of course these are ones I can just hand to people.  None of the major bubble wrap thing, and what size big box will I need?

I'm not sleeping the day away, but just most of it!  I already had my list made out, and bought gifts starting in Oct.  Now to get them to the people I chose them for!  It will happen.  In the great plan of things, not for Christmas I'm afraid.  But for sometime in the next week...or so.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

White Elephant Pot Luck at Studio

Front row: Charles, Gail, Moly, Teressa, Regina. Back row l to r. Barb, Carrie, Fred, Amelia, Suzi Paul and Frieda.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Some thoughts to remember

I want to remember 2 things from the first Yule ceremony I attended this year!

I love doing things with my good friend, Helen (on r). She's a bit older than I am, but nothing stops her from being active in all kinds of things in the community.

One light moment of the ritual for Yule which we attended last Sunday at the UU Congregation in Ashville.  The "Sun" (personified) has returned (as will happen after Winter Solstice this Friday!)

For me, first I was able to give away something that I spend so much of my time thinking about, my fear.  I really would like to live without it.  And secondly, the thing that I put intention into for the new year is making a goddess out of clay each month.  Quite a project!

Today's quote:
Courage has nothing to do with our determination to be great. It has to do with what we decide in that moment when we are called upon to be more.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Another weather report - how dull

My life has been put on some kind of hold.  I don't do what I plan to do. I can't get into the BMCA clay studio till Monday because of flooding.  That's ok.

 I need to lie down and take a nap at least once a day.  And lying down I just fall asleep and wake up and go back to sleep for hours.  Drat and darn.

So that's how I'm not doing what a week ago I thought I would be doing.

I'm also eating easy fixing things...lots of soup, toast, bagels, fruit, and some fast food.  I have the fixings for a good soup, but haven't cleaned up the kitchen for a few days.  So it's not a good idea to make a bigger mess yet.

Maybe soon.

See, my health report is duller than the weather report.  Snow is mostly gone now, after a day and half of steady rain, light but cold.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Snow everywhere!

It's mid December, and we had snow starting to fall a week ago Saturday.  I've actually been out every day except Sun and maybe Mon.  Just to drive around where it's been plowed.  Schools in Buncombe County were closed M-W, and a 3 hour late start on Thurs, but open Fri I think.  I wonder how working parents deal with having youngsters with no school to go to.  I bet lots of the parents are also home bound.

The Black Mountain Christmas Parade (rescheduled for Saturday) was canceled.  Today (Friday) has been in 40s and almost constant rain.  Fortunately tonight is due to stay warm, so perhaps more snow will melt away.  The piles along all the roads and parking lots have limited some of the places we can go.  And that's probably why nobody wanted to try to see a parade, since you can't even stand next to the main streets to watch it go by with the 2 foot high piles of snow.  Wet weather isn't going to bring many people out either.

I'm parking so that at least one of my front wheels is on pavement, which makes for interesting angles in the parking lots.  But everyone else is also dealing with this.  I wear snow boots, which have some nice grooves on the bottom to grip in icy snowy places.  There is just a bit of slush, which is finally responsive to an indent from my boot.  For several days, the snow had too much ice and I'd clump my boots in it to get traction.  And hold onto any solid thing nearby (like cars I was walking by.)

I worked in the BMCA* studio yesterday and today, made a small figure of Brigid...every time I've attempted to make that goddess/Saint, I've had trouble with the clay drying too fast.  So she's bagged up and hopefully will dry slowly since the rain will make the air in the studio damp.  It also may leak under the walls and flood the floors.  We had the shop vac out today trying to keep the floor dry...but we left at 1 pm.  I'm thinking it may or may not be open as scheduled at noon tomorrow.

*Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

I'm looking forward to a day with sunshine, even if the nights are growing longer each day until the 21st, Winter Solstice.  I've got several rituals to attend, so that's something I'm looking forward to.

I'm not quite feeling 100% these days...having finished the antibiotics, now working on the residual side effects. So I had a nice long nap this afternoon. Today I did my evening breathing treatment with the nebulizer while watching "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed...script and acting were so intricate even in a black and white film.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tuesday notes as snow melts

I love my son's fiance's ring.  But I don't know what the translucent turquoise stones are.  I think I'll ask him!

He says turquoise and lab opal. I think it's beautiful!

And sending a big yahoo! to Simone Biles, who was on Good Morning America this morning. (I had the sound turned off, just checking on closings that stream across the bottom of the screen.) I turned on the sound in time to hear her report of having kidney stones while winning medals, and doing a gymnastic feat that hadn't been done before! She also shared how valuable being on anti-anxiety medications has been and having regular therapy sessions.  She was congratulated for this, but not for missing her doctor's appointment by being on the show!

Well she's a teen.  What a young woman!

Now there was one more thing I was thinking about...let me try to remember!

How about this event from Thailand?
police in Thailand join protestors

Of course it wasn't quite like they disobeyed orders...it was someone in authority who told them to do so.

Monday, December 10, 2018

It's Monday so it must be Bounty and Soul day

Volunteers unload produce from the Bounty and Soul truck, and then put the food in baskets for us to go by and take whatever we want, free.  Us seniors get some things that are pretty high priced in some stores, but have been donated for us to enjoy.  This week I came home with a baking potato for 2 (huge), a grapefruit, some cherry tomatoes, a lemon, a halo orange, a bag of 3 pounds of bartlett pears (unripe), a small serving of organic spinach...and I didn't take about half of the other things, 3 kinds of squash, eggplant, onions, cucumbers, bananas, apples and a few things I've forgotten.

Many of us will have plenty to eat this week, and certainly more variety in our meals.  The same outfit will offer the same foods at 2 or 3 other sites this week.  What a wonderful opportunity for those who don't receive government food subsidies, or maybe some do.  But this program is helping so many of us.  My refrigerator is full again.

I mentioned this beneficial outfit before in a post HERE.

Let's see, last week I used an eggplant and squash and onion and added some cheese, spaghetti sauce and Italian bread crumbs, drizzled some olive oil and made a faux eggplant parmesan.  And I still have some left over...so I didn't get any of those ingredients this week.  I was out with friends over the weekend, and each time I brought home a box to provide another meal...that way I justify ordering larger servings because they make 2 meals.

So getting to age 76, I've learned a few tricks...mainly to live more economically now that I'm on a "fixed income."  The only things not fixed are the prices of things I need to purchase!

There's a great thrift shop (locally owned and operated) that provides pretty much of my wardrobe these days. I've learned the Goodwill people aren't really as friendly when they refused to give a homeless man a coat (or maybe it was a shirt.) Either way, what's with these people?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

My friend, the poet, musician

Annelinde Metzner

Just listen to her read her own words (in the link above) while improvising on the piano.  A beautiful experience I would like to share with you today.

Annelinde Metzner in the Woods. Photo by Susa Silvermarie

Friday, December 7, 2018

The baby in the manger

I glued a wing back on the angel, and now it is part of the nativity scene in my daughter-in-law's and son's living room. Actually this picture was taken while Madam Angel still had a broken wing.  I'm not sure who the other being behind Joseph and Mary might be.  I see the 3 kings with their crowns. Any clues?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

So 10,500 bots can't be wrong

Or can they?
I posted about my son's engagement.  Maybe the title caught someone's eye (an algorithm probably)
One commentator said they were probably bots.

Wikipedia has information about bots:
SOURCE: Wikipedia.

So the announcing post got about 2000 hits (is that the right term?)  Blogger says these are pageviews.
My other bog about pottery is the one that got 10,500 pageviews, the same day.
And the blog about living in Black Mountain NC got 1500 pageviews...same day and time.
My kind-of inactive blog about my ancestors did have a spike on the chart, of 54 pageviews.

Does anyone know if there's a problem? I worry.  I'm 76, I'm allowed to worry.
But I haven't been in a computer class, like most of my grandkids have.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Finally putting my feet up!

What a day...
unloaded the pots, went to a harp concert, moved my furniture changed around to include a new shelving unit, which will help a lot... (thanks, Russ)
just watched the Concert for George Harrison on PBS, how very lovely.

Just checked the stats on my various blogs...oh la la.  Some 10,000 on one, 2000 on one, only a few less on another.  A couple of these were posted to Facebook.

That's what happens when I post my blog to FB.  I think I may not do it any more.  And I removed the blog that triggered all those hits.  Sorry son, your engagement was interesting to too many strangers!

I do have some control, only about when comments are posted...so I'm moderating my comments again.  But how do I keep all those counts from coming into my blog, which aren't real people but what I call hackers.  They don't care a whit about me or my blog.  And maybe they aren't even just hits, but trying to get my information.  I don't know.  I worry about it.

Any suggestions?

Friday, November 30, 2018

Pottery shows

In an hour we'll be loading a van with tables and bins of pots.  Truck on over the Swannanoa-Old Fort pass to Marion, the McDowell High School...and unload into our booth.  I wish the weather didn't look so much like rain, but then, people choose to do indoor events when it rains.

Whee.  The season that I'm showing indoors is starting.

Just have 3 more opportunities after that.

Holly Jolly night at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts is next Friday night...just for the evening hours.  It's not usually a lot of sales for the students, but I'll have something up there.  And have 2-3 pieces in the Gallery too, which will remain until the end of Feb.

Then the next day, Dec. 8, I'll have some wares for sale at Owen Middle School Christmas show.  If my friend Sally and I are in it...I haven't actually heard a confirmation, though I know Sally did send in the money.

And I'll be going to Shelby NC for a Feb-March "Treasures of the Earth" show at the Cleveland County Arts Center.  I just heard my friend Cathy may also be going to it.  We share our booth tomorrow, which really has helped in the division of labor!

So this is my big opportunity tomorrow, from 10-4.  And I hope to have much lighter bins when we are coming home.  Fingers and toes crossed.  And the hardest part for me, moving things in and out of the show, is being helped by my friend with a van, Tim!

Then and now

A photo of a plein air pastel drawing I did in 1997.  Probably Amicalola Falls in Georgia. Glad to see my middle son, Russ  has it hanging over his desk in his office.

About the same time in his life, that's Russ on the right, my youngest Tai in the middle, and me from many moons ago on left.

While I visited his family last week, Russ made lovely fires for us in the cold evenings and also was doing the Christmas lights installation outside in mid-30s degrees...and the system he'd invested in wasn't working, so he tried a few other methods before he was satisfied.  Brrrr.

I like the sweet consideration that Michelle and Russ gave me of staging my guest room with many old photos of me.  I know they aren't there all the time, but it was a fun welcome, and I took my own photos of theirs!

And this is my youngest granddaughter (raised a foot on hearth) Russ, and myself, taken last week!

Russ being pensive, which was how he spent a lot of time figuring out how to hang lights outside, when he came in to warm up.

I'm sharing this with Sepia Saturday, these are some fond memories for me! (I might have more next week!)

Don't miss the photo of Russ riding a pony when about 4 years old!  HERE

Thursday, November 29, 2018

He's my granddog...

...though I can do without his barking.

Actually he's pretty imprinted on the 5 family members, and doesn't come when I call. He gave me a few frustrated minutes of his roaming the neighborhood at 10 at night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Being in the right place...

I missed meeting a friend yesterday, never caught up with her as to why she didn't make it. (see below)  I hope all is well.  While sitting around, I got to chat with the administrative person at church, who works in a small office with computer and printer.  That was nice.   But after a while I decided to go on home.  That's when the administrator said she had a message for me, but she couldn't find it, and didn't remember what it said.

I called my friend and left a voice mail, asking her to reschedule.

Went on home and got the mail.  And there was a woman with an electric wheel chair walking her dog, on one of those leashes that retract.  But the leash had gotten under the big motorized wheel and wound several times around.  The woman was trying to go back or forward and another woman was rushing out of the laundry room (right next to mailboxes and the neighbor with wheelchair and dog).  She tried to do something, but needed to go pick up a grand-kid at school.

Location of boardwalk in front of laundry room (no people and tables today.)  Mailboxes in corrider to right. Office is in building to right.

I was free to help, but couldn't figure out how to unwind the many turns of the leash (more than just once) on the axle of the wheel.  I thought maybe we'd have to cut it, but also I wanted to get the manager and or the maintenance man to come help.  The manager came out of her office with me, to find our neighbor lying by the wheelchair, trying to reach through the few openings in the wheel.  Manager and I were both worried about neighbor on the boardwalk.  She said she knew how to get down and work things that got caught.  She actually had moved the chair back and forth a few times, and now only had one more loop stuck on the axle.

The Manager had contacted the maintenance man, to perhaps use some tools to reach the leash?  In the meantime, I pulled one end, and neighbor puled the other, and then she reached through and pushed the leash the other way, and at last it was free.

By then we'd put the dog who was shivering from the 31 degrees of cold into the laundry room.  But we brought him back outside.  And neighbor was praising God for giving help.  But she couldn't get up from the boardwalk, as she's paralyzed from the waist down.  The foot rests of the chair were in her way to lift herself up to sit in it.  A couple of neighbors tried to lift her, but she was facing the chair and was just total weight, not able to get into it.  And they complained of their back problems.

I offered to get a straight chair from the laundry room, and she was able to get herself pulled into it, and then transferred sideways into the electric wheelchair.  By then it was snowing lightly.  And then the maintenance man came to help, and there wasn't anything left for him to do.

So I figure I was in the right place at the right time.  And then I was happy to bring my mail home to my warm house, and feel thankful for what abilities I have after seeing what my neighbor had to deal with.

And then I turned to Facebook and read about someone who got a horse out of the second story hay loft using a power lifter thing (and I can't find it again, sorry, I don't know who posted it, someone in Virginia I think.) My life is so simple!

And then my friend emailed to apologize for standing me up.  She had been in ER with a TIA this morning.  She said that our meeting wasn't really that important.  I agreed!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Soccer mom

Throw-back Tuesday! This was in 1998 or so...maybe 99?

On the way to see a soccer game, we all gathered at my apartment in St. Augustine, then were happy to watch the game in Jacksonville, FL  Having my 3 sons together as well as their father and his wife, and one of Tai's friends from college, and Michelle before she married Russ!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Russ on a pony

What a sad little pony, but the kids got to sit on him and get their picture taken.  I love that Russ is waving his hat. (also a prop)

Sunday, November 25, 2018


 This was taken many years ago, and the camera had a "redeye" correction, which gives me huge black pupils.  No, I wasn't on drugs!

Taken in 2002 I think.  Back when I wore makeup to work everyday.  Whew. Glad to retire.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Being Part of the Family

Living alone, I don't have many people in the kitchen preparing food, nor do I have many people sitting down together to enjoy it.

This was a special Thanksgiving, shared with my son and his family.

That was a feast to remember, and have over and over again in bits here and there!

Feeling klutzy

Before coffee, I proceeded to spill the whole container on the floor, where of course it popped open and flung grounds all over.  Before coffee I found broom and dust pan and cleaned up the mess.  Before coffee I managed to pour water into the proper place, and put a tiny paper filter in it's place, and measure some grounds, then close it all and turn on the power.

After coffee, I got out a yogurt and a banana.  A good start for a rainy day visiting my family.  Whew.  Everyone is mostly still asleep, except my d-in-law who rises early every day, but stays in her sanctuary to do her morning ritual.  We said good morning, and she left to go back upstairs.  I went back downstairs to do my morning ritual of breathing treatment and reading emails/blogs and facebook posts of friends (and not friends, where did some of these come from anyway?)

So what's going to happen today?  I'm waiting to have better weather and less traffic congestion before starting on the highways.  I'm also waiting to have advice from my family as to when/which way to go. They travel these roads in Ohio more than I do.

So far today has been less than auspicious.  If I had any fortune telling sources available, I'd figure it's a day to hunker down and clean up whatever mess needs attention.  After all, I started out the day that way!