Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Trying again

I just got a new keyboard.  A USB connected, wireless ergonomic keyboard--this one, in particular.  I got it from Sam's Club ($12 cheaper than Amazon), because of one thing written on the box: whisper quiet. 

It's not.  I had tried one that was at Walmart, but they don't seem to carry it anymore.

It is, however, not significantly louder than my laptop keyboard.  And the volume is a lot more tolerable than the other ergonomic keyboard I was using.  I'm listening to music over the laptop's speakers and using the new keyboard at the moment.  And, unlike the other ergonomic keyboard I got, this one isn't drowning out my music.*

It's comfortable, too.  The keyboard isn't flat.  It isn't split, but it's curved comfortably.  The keyboard itself dips where your longer fingers rest on the home keys, and rises where your ring and pinky fingers rest, making most of the keys much less of a stretch for me to reach.**

It's got a music control panel on top, above the keyboard itself.  The delete key is as big as the backspace, is vertically oriented, and sits next to the enter key, between the main part of the keyboard and the number pad.  The home key is just above it, with the page up and page down keys sitting just to its left.  The scrolling arrows are right below it. It's incredibly handy.  I can see how this keyboard would work really well with a desktop, too. 

The best thing about it?  The keys don't stick, and it can keep up with my (slow) typing speed. 

So far, having used this keyboard for the past...two days?  Two and a half?  Anyway, so far, I'm really liking this keyboard. 

*I got to the point I couldn't stand to use the other ergonomic keyboard without using my headphones to drown it out.  

**I have really tiny hands for an adult.  My fingers are only about as long as my ten year old son's.  For those of my friends who shoot...a double-stack 9mm handgun is TOO BIG for my hands.  Even the compact ones. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Been a busy day

This morning actually started last night. 

In context: I wear glasses.  STRONG ones.  Things become blurry four to six inches from the end of my nose, nothing but blobs of color about three feet away, and indistinguishable a room away.  So, my glasses are a life-line--without them, I'd be damn near blind. 

I'm also a mom.  Which means that life is, often, a full-contact sport (tackle-hugs by a ten year old nearly the same height as you, anyone?).  Which means my glasses don't just see heavy use, but hard use.  I can't tell you how often one of my kids has accidentally knocked my glasses off my face, or off the table where I set them when I rub my eyes.  In the past year. 

I've had this particular pair of glasses for about three or four years, now.  I like these frames.  I like them enough I got a pair of prescription distance only sunglasses with the same frames. 

Last night, the right-hand nose piece started feeling like it was pinching my skin, or had something caught under it. 

Nope; it had broken in half, and I was feeling sharp edges.  The left hand nose piece was spiderweb cracked, and about ready to follow suit.  And the vision center had closed. 

So, my morning this morning started with dragging unwilling munchkins out of bed, fixing breakfasts, hot tea, and coffee, cleaning the cats' box, and otherwise chasing little humans through their morning chores list.  Then I dropped the kids at school, and went to Walmart. 

My glasses are repaired, and I confirmed with the technician that my instinct to wait six more weeks on my thyroid levels being stable at "normal" levels was the correct one.  I also took a quick glance at the frames. 

I didn't see any like the ones I'm using.  I'm...gonna have to think this out.  Because I like these frames.  But I'm pretty sure my thyroid levels are improving my vision a little, and that I will need a new prescription when I do go in. 

Went from Walmart to Sam's Club and got grocery shopping done.  They've changed a few things, and the cost of 90/10 ground beef has decreased a bit (which makes me all kinds of happy).  That took about an hour of walking around and consulting my list more than once. 

Everything's (mostly) been put away, at this point.  I've gotten dishes done, some cleaning done in FlyLady's zone 4 (not as much as needs to be done, but what I got done makes a visible difference), and all of my laundry washed and half of it in the dryer (along with things that are not mine, but were lost by those to whom those things belonged, so why not?).    I've been in constant, slow motion all day.  I got more done than I thought I would. 

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.)