Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dammit, Missouri!

It is an utterly gorgeous day, in a way.  It's cool (mid 50s when I ran the kids into school, and isn't supposed to get much more than middling warm).  It's also drizzly, rainy, and foggy.  It smells absolutely wonderful. 

I'd seen weather like this, but not often in this corner of Missouri.  It actually took me a couple of hours to pinpoint why it felt/looked/smelled familiar. 

Back in, oh, 2006 or 2007, I went to a national convention for Sigma Tau Delta to present a paper.  The convention was in Portland, Oregon, that year. It was pretty fun: Odysseus and I turned it into a road trip.  I saw more of the country in that week or so we were gone than I'd seen in my entire life before that.  We drove not necessarily because it was cheaper than flying but because we wanted to not be tied to the town and convention center. 

I absolutely hated Portland.  But I loved much of the scenery in the state of Oregon.  And there were a few tiny towns on the beach (only one of them a tourist trap) that were spectacularly beautiful 

This morning's weather reminds me of the Pacific Northwest. 

We are in the Midwest.  The southwest corner of Missouri, in fact--about an hour north of Arkansas, and fifteen or twenty minutes from Kansas and Oklahoma. 

It is pretty, in a way.  It's also messing with my joints. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Just a bit miffed

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris went up in flames, today.  From what I've read, they got a lot of irreplaceable things out, but...

They're not sure, yet, what started it.  I've heard everything from accident to malice.  Either way, I'm more than a little angry about it. 

Let's say it's an accident, that the renovations did something that sent the building up in flames.  I've heard that it was possible that they may have had something ignite from soldering the leaded roof.  If such is the case...I'm still bloody angry.  I can't call it negligence, but I can call it shoddy workmanship that should never have been permitted within a hundred feet of the front door of the eight hundred year old cathedral.  I really hope the contractors wind up bankrupt for this, if this is the case. 

If it was malice...well.

Charlemane...Charles Martel...Charles the Great...However you want to call one of the great heroes of Europe, he had offspring.  Descendants on both sides of the sheets.  One of the most famous was William the Bastard of Normandy.  JUST because he moved address from Normandy to Britain doesn't mean he was the only one.  I'd be willing to bet that any...individual...who decides to take credit for that will discover that, while the politicians are weevils and roaches and other slimy creatures lacking spines, the country as a whole is getting sick of their shit. 

And that's assuming that the French are satisfied with simply crushing the Saracens, instead of following in the footsteps (metaphorically) of that most infamous Prince of Wallachia. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

...and done.

I finished the edit for the kids' school librarian on Monday around lunch time.  I picked up the check on Tuesday, and was going to deposit it on my way home from Walmart (the pixie's teacher asked me to pick up a package of clothespins), and figured out I had no deposit slips with me.  So, I came home, and did the deposit yesterday morning.

It wasn't the first setback. 

I got it the last Thursday in March, spent Friday re-familiarizing myself with APA, and then got hit with a mild migraine on Sunday that lasted through Tuesday night.  I did get some work done on it on that Monday, but not a lot.  I managed to get halfway through it on Wednesday, despite picking up a cold (I think), and then...then Win10 decided it was time to update and restart.  And I hadn't saved my work.  And LibreOffice decided it didn't need to be recovered. 

I got back through what I'd gotten done, and really got slammed, health wise.  I did manage to finish.  But not in the time frame I'd tried to hold myself to.

You know, it's really difficult to tell whether you've got a cold plus a chronic fatigue flareup, or if you've got the flu.  I'm still not sure which it was.

Today, though, I'm finally feeling better.  Still not human.  But better.  The brain fog has (mostly) lifted, and the fever has broken.

I do not think I'm feeling up to my previous plans for today and tomorrow (cleaning and lunch out with my kids and mother-in-law).  But I may be up for Sunday's plans, if I take it easy and don't do anything to destroy any chances of recovery (like housework, damn it).

This is one of the biggest reasons why I don't make plans in advance. 

In any case, I'm going to be doing what I can do: writing.  


Sunday, April 7, 2019

What a beautiful day.

Today was one of Missouri's rare, perfect spring days.  And it's actually in the springtime.  The temperature, wind speed, and everything were just...wonderful. 

We opened the windows in the main living areas.

And the kids spent a lot of the day playing outside.  I spent half an hour on the patio with my Kindle and the dog, sitting in the sun, enjoying the (relative) quiet and the breeze.

The pixie is learning how to ride a bike without training wheels.  Her bike is hot pink and turquoise.  The imp's bike is faded neon green (he's been riding without training wheels for two years, now, but she just wasn't really interested until recently).  While she's learning, she'll be wearing a helmet.  Once she's got it, though, they ride on a long, u-shaped, gravel driveway and grass--no real need. 

Her bike was one her grandma (Odysseus's mom) found at an end-of-Christmas season sale for about what we'd be able to find a second-hand one for.  The only problem is that the back tire had a leak.  As in: aired up to totally flat in like, four or five hours.

So, today, in this utterly beautiful weather, we ran to Sam's Club for a couple things, then Walmart for a patch and a couple more things.

When we got home, I got beans started* and cleared my desk a bit more--enough to be able to use it.  Which meant disappointing the cats.  Actually, I'm pretty sure Shadow was really, really pissed off at me. 

A couple of weeks ago, I'd gotten the kids' study table in the library rearranged for both of them to use.**  I wanted my desk back.  Part of that was getting the bean-bag ottoman under my desk pulled out and getting all of the stuff the imp had knocked down behind the desk out from under and behind it.  Then, the ottoman got tossed on top of my desk, right in front of the picture window in the living room.  And the cats found it. 

I moved it today.  Back to where it goes, on the floor in the knee-hole.  And I used my desk a little while, working on editing the kids' librarian's dissertation (and yes, she really is piling it higher and deeper).  While the cats looked around wondering where their comfy thing in front of the window went.  And while Shadow glared at me over my laptop screen from where she sat between my laptop and the window...before she edged behind the curtain and sat pressed against the screen. 

 The kids are both mildly sunburned, but happy.  Despite getting called in to do homework before dinner time. 


*I love my instant pot.  I can take beans from dry to done in a little more than an hour in it.

**I still have more to do with the study table. There needs to be a tall divider (like, the width of a posterboard--which gives me an idea) between the two halves.   And the imp needs a ball to bounce his foot on instead of on the trestle leg, which vibrates the whole table.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Flippin' migraines...

They never hit at a convenient time. 

Thursday or Friday, I picked up an editing job.  It's APA style, so I spent Friday and Saturday re familiarizing myself with the stylistic requirements for source citation, tables, graphs, etc.  I planned to start work on it Monday, since we'd planned to visit my in-laws on Sunday.  

I noticed, night before last, right before bedtime, that I was seeing rainbows in my peripheral vision.  Woke up yesterday to burning pain as well as pressure pain, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, and minor nausea. 

I still managed to get some editing done. 

If this follows my usual patterns, it should be at its worst about noon today, then start fading around supper to be totally gone before I wake up tomorrow. 

I hope.

Usual patterns for me don't include aura and halos and nausea. 

Change of subject--Odysseus is going to have a busier than usual start of the month, this month.  Usually, he's dealing with the end of the previous month's stuff, but the hospital ended its fiscal year at the end of March, so he's got that, too. 

I'd had dinners planned out for the whole week.  I'm going to need to adjust that, because he may or may not be late a few times this week.  So dinner plans are going to need to go from hot and ready a few minutes after he gets home, to flexible and easily warmed up. 

One of the joys of having a very well-stocked pantry is that I can adjust on the fly if necessary.  I have a fully-stocked canned food rotation system with veggies, and Spam; I have lots of dry pasta; I have some soups for ingredients, and some for just eating. 

I'd planned pasta bake for today, but that's getting pushed back to Thursday--the kids are having spaghetti for lunch today.  The chicken leg quarters I'd pulled out for Thursday haven't even really started thawing, yet, so I can just put them back in the freezer for next week, and pull out a pound of hamburger meat for the pasta bake.  We'll be having sandwiches and mac 'n' cheese for dinner one night this week.  Probably tonight, even.  

In the meantime, I've got editing to do, dishes to unload from the dishwasher and reload into the dishwasher, and my laundry to start (everyone else's is done, even if it hasn't been put away).   And it needs to be done whether I've got a headache or not, so it's damn well getting done.  While wearing sunglasses indoors with all the lights off that I can turn off. 

(See, I can do this, even with a migraine, because even my bad migraines aren't debilitating for me.  I don't know if that's because they're not that bad, or if it's because I'm so used to pain and discomfort that I'm a bit more tolerant of a different kind of pain than usual.  Either way.  I'm still moving and doing.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Still FLYing

...or at least, I'm tryin' to. 

A few years ago, I discovered (or was pointed toward--I can't remember which) the FlyLady

My house was CHAOS*--it's better, now, but still not great (some rooms are better than others).  I'm not dealing with layers of clutter and stuff on every flat surface, anymore, for the most part.  (The kids' rooms are two of the main exceptions, and are their responsibility, not mine.)  The "better" is due to things I picked up from her site.

So, anyway, I skimmed her website, then went back and read some things a little closer.  One thing stood out: her insistence that my house didn't get into the state it's in in a day, and it's okay to work on it a little bit at a time. 

That...that helped me a lot. 

I don't have ADHD to the extent my son does.  But I do have some things in common: disorganization is one of the worst, but I've also got a little bit of the same executive function disorder where cleaning's concerned. 

(That means I don't know where to start, how to continue, or even how to stick to one task until I've got it done, and I wind up making a bigger mess of things than I've managed to resolve.) 

The FlyLady splits the house out into five zones (front porch, entry, and dining room; kitchen; bathrooms and utility area plus one; master bedroom; living room/family room).  And insists on decluttering first, fifteen minutes at a time, in the zone matched up to the week of the month you're in.  Plus a 2 minute trash sort wherever you drop the stuff in your pockets, or set down mail, every day. 

The decluttering is a constant battle.  I've been following this for a few years, now, and I'm still at the decluttering stage.  I haven't gotten to the cleaning part, yet.  But things are getting better.  Marginally.  Bit by bit. 

It also helps to have a bigger house with better storage options (don't look in the garage).  But I am pitching stuff that is obsolete, partially broken, or paper that isn't needed anymore, and giving away a lot of other stuff (outgrown clothes, etc) that's still in good shape. 

Monday, I went through and cleared out sent-home kid worksheets.  In just my basket where I keep that type of stuff, and only one quarter's worth of work, I filled a 13 gallon trash bag.  From just around my chair.  In less than fifteen minutes. 

Yesterday's accomplishment will eventually result in being able to reclaim my desk.**

After that, I was (and am) rather done in. 

Another thing the FlyLady advocates is setting aside time to create a dinner menu, for at least a week, if not a month.  I think she and Dave Ramsey would get along well--she thinks (and I think she's right) that most people get home, can't think of anything to fix for supper, throw up their hands, and go waste money on fast food instead.  That, and the menu planning helps in grocery list planning, and she advocates that, too--along with not shopping hungry so that you follow your list, and don't waste money buying snacky-things you don't need, and probably shouldn't have, just because you were hungry. 

That has made so many things so much easier.  And the kids have started eating more of what I fix, and there are fewer nights where they're eating chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, hot pockets, or the like.

But.

I am still struggling.  Because the two days of decluttering and minor reorganization in the living room have laid me out pretty hard.

FLYing?  Yes.  At least, fluttering, flapping, sometimes falling, but always trying to stay afloat.  It's the best I can do with what I have.  

*CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

**I'd had to separate the kids for homework time because the study table was badly organized: they were sorta next to each other, and within easy range for tormenting each other instead of getting work done.  I'd left the pixie at the table, and stuck the imp at my desk.  Where he's been doing his homework and study, leaving his stuff scattered everywhere on my desk, and sort of pushing me out of my own space.  I've rearranged the table to put them at opposite ends from each other, and will be coming up with some type of vertical visual divider to keep them from even making faces at each other.  And buying a basic, cheap rubber ball for him to play with with his feet so he's not kicking the trestle and jarring the study table.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Always try new things

Ever hear of "bullet journalling"?  Basically, it's a journal-based to-do list, that goes in order of priorities.  Really customizable.

I'd tried it before, and it didn't work for me.  As much because I don't have the same capability from one day to the next to complete tasks.  Hell, some days I can't do anything (including reading new things).  And I was lining it up day by day.  And some (okay, most) of the time, I didn't remember to check the stupid thing for my to-do list.

I've been trying it again.  Because I have this lovely dot grid journal* I found at Walmart last fall for under $7, and I don't like dot grid for simple writing.

Instead of daily to-dos, I've set it up for weekly.  Including menu planning, and a rough supplementary grocery list of things I need for the menu items I've planned.  And it's working.  I've been using it for about two weeks (this week will be week 3).


*Dot grid is just what it sounds like: instead of having lines, you've got a grid of dots on each page.  Not so great for simple writing, but awesome for keeping things lined up vertically as well as horizontally.