mid-winter reflections

main room in vintage round mirror

After being sick for two weeks and three weekends, my body is much recovered. The ear drum is moving again and I no longer need pain pills, even if the hearing is not back (it seems it will take time). And so as a treat to myself, finally, after months of deliberation, I decided last weekend during the last of the bed rest to replace my poor, dead, six-year-old MacBook with a refurbished MacBook Pro (non-retina), which is not as sexy, thin, or light as the Air but will function better for my storage and upgrading needs, considering how long I keep a computer.

Apple's refurbished computers are triple-tested, with warranty, and come packaged and pristine as new. And there isn't necessarily anything wrong with their refurbished products to begin with; a buyer could have simply changed her mind. My roommate, owner of an older refurbished MacBook himself, turned me onto the idea, and it saved me 15% off the new price, a bigger savings than their 10% educator discount. (Unfortunately, Apple won't let you combine discounts.) This one is beautiful, like all Mac products, and I'm in love with my new main machine. (The old white MacBook shell I'll donate to Free Geek.)

OS X Mountain Lion and the new trackpad are taking some getting used to, and I had to Google how to administer the permissions on the folders from the old computer's brain on the external hard drive, but I'm figuring it out. While Macs are more expensive than PC's, I much prefer the user experience over Windows machines, as well as the design and quality of Mac products, despite their made-in-China-like-everything-else status.

And I'm journaling again. Comparing feelings and anxieties from four months ago, it's obvious that things have on the whole gotten better, for which I'm grateful. Steady income, which adjunct teaching never provided, has been a huge part of this amelioration. And dropping the expenses of car ownership has simplified my life in significant stress-relieving ways: now I have both a laptop again and the ability to save up some money while contemplating future career options.

This week on Valentine's Day, Jeff picked me up from work and we stopped off at a couple of vintage stores in St. Johns before coming back to my place to make dinner. At Sabi & Friends, I found a vintage 22-inch round mirror, a shape I've wanted for years, its tarnish indicating its age and quality compared to most anything I could buy new: beveled, with a thick wooden backing. So now there are two mirrors bouncing light into our dark main room facing east and north. Winter in Portland, with its many cold, dark, wet hours ushering us indoors, for me with tea, candles, library books, knitting, and the Web, is at least good for reflection, looking back, looking ahead.

orange juice in vintage Heath Ceramics, olive-oil-and-butter popcorn, Zadie Smith's NW, & thrifted-wool poncho knitting*

*last weekend's bed-rest treats: reading, snacking, and watching Poirot on Netflix

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