An App for That

There’s something about February that leaves me feeling something between cabin fever and stir crazy with just a pinch of spring fever to top it all off. I want to go new places and see new things. I want to get out!

OUT!

I want this blasted cold weather to be over. The clean white blanket of snow, snow, and more snow enchants me no longer. Nine days of snow we’ve had this time. That’s a new record, breaking one set in the 1980s that was a 7 day stretch of daily snowfall. I don’t think that’s a record we needed to break.

My feet want to be warm and free of shoes, not confined in wool socks and heavy boots. I have started dreaming about walking barefoot in grass again.

I long for the explosive color of blooming flowers.

I’ve changed my computer wallpaper at the day job to Carribean beaches since I have no windows near my cubicle. Sometimes I pretend it is my window. I set my white noise app to crashing waves and pretend that I live near the beach.

Sometimes it helps.

And then January was almost over

There’s only a week left in January and I feel like I’m still trying to get situated. This is partly due to deadlines at the day job, which have been requiring overtime to meet, but it’s only part of the issue. Part of the issue is that I keep waiting for the right time on the perfect day to execute perfect plans for ‘doing.’

A big pile of snow in a parking lot.

This is from January 16, when we still had snow. The snow is gone now.

There is no right time. There are no perfect days for anything.

Or maybe the moment is just “now” and get things done. Like now, with my tea cup, during my lunch hour. What would I be doing if I wasn’t right this? Probably surfing the web from my phone or wearing myself down by working through lunch.

Here’s an hour where all I have to do is figure out how to get my lunch eaten and think about things other than the day job. Why not write a blog post during this time? Or get out the door for a walk and more steps on the pedometer? Or make notes for writing?

The time is going to pass anyway. Might as well pass it doing something I actually want to accomplish. Otherwise, it’s just going to be gone, like so much snow, and I’ll be standing around, wondering where it all went.

New Year, Still Here

Welcome, 2018. It’s the New Year and I’m still here. I celebrated a peaceful holiday season with friends, waved to my family (as is our custom), and ended by going to bed early on New Year’s Eve. I got my holiday cards sent – late for 2017 and late for 2016, when I originally bought the cards, but sent none the less.

I just finished listening to my friend Christa’s annual New Year’s Mix Tape. Not on New Year’s Eve, as was the plan, but I’ve listened to it. I have some new favorites I need to track down for my own collection, as always happens. Bonus: One of the songs knocked me out of the rut is was in because of the Monday-est Monday that ever Monday-ed on Wednesday. (below, because I shouldn’t be the only one with this in my head.)

The test knit I’m working on is A) Overdue, and B) moving slower than molasses in January (which seems appropriate), so at least some things never change. It’s the bobbles. I need two hours to do bobble rows. I never get two hours to sit and knit during the week. I swear, I’m never letting me convince myself that I can knit to a schedule with my crazy life ever again.

The weather is freaky cold, which has driven me into the gym for exercise, along with all the resolutioners. Hopefully they’ll get calmed down to a schedule I can work with soon, so I’m not stuck struggling to find room on the track, too.

This weekend I plan to sit down with my calendar and my hoped activities and see what’s actually realistic to get done. Mostly, though, just doing a drive by wave at the blog. Welcome, 2018. I’m still here.

A Push for More Creativity

In what I can only call the most optimistic and perhaps naive assessment of my so-called free time at this, the most holiday filled time of the year, I thought “wouldn’t it be a wonderful to blog daily in December?”

You can stop laughing any time now.

Obviously, I was like a child in a candy store: my blogger eyes were bigger than my blogger stomach (assuming stomach as a metaphor for time to both create in a crafting sense and in a writing sense.) We’re not going to discuss where I carved out the time for drafting this post. Let’s just say that I have begun to feel like there is only one room in the house where I can get privacy with my thoughts this holiday season.

It’s not that nothing creative is happening. The color gamp potholder (above) is an example of of what I have been doing with my time. I am trying finish up a test knit, too.

It’s just more a case of better organizing the time I have for maximum success. What are my priorities? How do I work to achieve the goal I set for myself myself? Where can I find a little extra time that is actually being wasted?

Can I use my time more effectively? Do I really have to resort to drafting blog posts in the “meditation room?”

That’s going to be my focus in 2018.

All the fancy blogs make me sad

All the fancy blogs and Instagram feeds make me sad if I think about them. They have elaborate holiday displays all over their houses. I’d love to have that sort of thing. I’d love to not have cats that don’t knock everything over and nest in Christmas trees. Also, most of them take hours and hours of work to put out. That’s just not my life.

This is my holiday display. It took fifteen minutes to put out, including getting it out of storage.

Yes, that’s the only tree I do. It’s little and ceramic, but the cats can’t nest in it.

I wanted a vintage ceramic tree, but they were all super expensive on Ebay. Like $200 and more. I got this one for $40 last year on sale from the Vermont Country Store. I’ll keep it until it’s vintage or until the cats decide to test gravity with it. So far they haven’t managed that, so I’m feeling good about it.

The poinsettia wreath I made years ago. It was a skirt around some real candles for years, but it’s just the right size be a tree skirt. The fake candles complete the retro-kitsch look. They turn on and off automatically and aren’t a fire hazard when the cats decide that kitten-psycho-playtime needs to take a lap on my buffet table.

The roommate’s father made the wooden tree and manger scene on the sides of the table. They’ve held a place of honor ever since he gave them to her. They’re simple and beautiful and won’t break if the cats decide to knock them over. That last part is a bonus.

My white porcelain creche is put up until the time we don’t have cats. I think it’s beautiful and want to display it. I also don’t want it broken. It’s the same for a good number of my holiday display items. They’re just not practical at this time in my life.

All the fancy blogs make me sad, but only if I think about them too much. My life is too busy to compare to other people’s Instagram feeds.

It’s not over until the belly says it’s over

It’s so close to healed.

That’s what the wound care nurses and the wound care doctor tell me. So close. Very close.

It’s not actually healed yet.

We were using DuoDerm pads as landing strips for tape until the DuoDerm adhesive started tearing up my skin. I have a thing against randomly bleeding because my skin blistered from the adhesive. Again. I went without a dressing over the remains of my belly wound for a little over five days, just moisturizing with Vaseline to try to give my skin a break and provide some kind of barrier for my skin to heal.

As a last ditch effort to keep the wound covered, they’ve switched me to soft foam dressings with silicone adhesive. I give the wound a layer of Vaseline because if you’re not giving yourself a Vaseline barrier, you’re apparently doing it wrong. Then I stick these 4 inch by 4 inch pads down over the wound. They can stay in place for two to three days before you need to change them.

I change them every other day after I shower. That’s as long as I care to go between actual showers though I’m sure my primary care physician would prefer that I take it a little easier on my sensitive, eczema prone skin and go for cooler showers perhaps every third day.

Bite me, eczema. There is no way that’s happening, especially after nearly three months solid of sponge baths. I just never feel clean without a good actual showering, preferably with nice hot water. (Yes, I know. Bad for eczema prone skin, but it feels so good.)

I miss showering daily.

At least I can stand face forward in the shower. For a while it was all “back to the water flow and minimize direct wetness on the wound.” I’ve had road rash deeper than the belly wound is now. I have the gouge in my shin to prove it.

I just wish it were healed already. This last little bit by bit healing with the skin re-opening in some places and the bandage removal pulling up new skin in others is frustrating.

I want it to be over. It’s time belly. Really.

Hail, Thor, God of Thunder

It’s been a while since I went to a Marvel Movie on opening night. Opening weekend, yes, but not opening night. I hadn’t actually been planning to see Thor: Ragnarok in theatres, but when a friend proposed a group dinner and movie, I decided to join the group more for the company than for the movie.

I was kind of dreading Thor: Ragnarok. I wanted to love all the Thor films the way I love the Iron Man films. I really did. I don’t though.

Thor itself was pretty good. Not as good as I wanted it to be, but a solid film. I added it to my film collection without hesitation.

Thor 2: The Dark World disappointed me. I’ve secretly called it Thor: The Boring World. It will go in the collection eventually for completeness sake, but I haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet. It wasn’t bad, exactly. Just boring. I almost fell asleep in the movie theatre, something that’s only happened once: when I saw Dances With Wolves. I tried watching The Dark World again on streaming and promptly fell asleep when I was home. I didn’t even drowse for Only Lovers Left Alive and that film is beautiful, but one of the slowest paced films out there made in the modern era.

Thankfully, Thor: Ragnarok had everything that I liked in Thor and nothing I disliked from Thor 2. It was dark enough to be dramatic and humorous enough to keep it from turning into a sulking emofest. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I will likely see it again in the theatre if I can manage it and it will come into the Marvel Movie collection once it comes out on disc.

I might pick up Thor 2 at that time, too. I need it for completeness sake. Probably not, though.

What I did on the first day of NaNoNotMo

  1. Worked late at the day job
  2. Took a picture for Day 2 of the 7 Day black and white photo challenge.
  3. Made dinner.
  4. Cleaned out the refrigerator because today is garbage day.
  5. Started organizing my closet for winter.
  6. Read.
  7. Worked on a story I’ve got going.
  8. Worked on a blog post (not this one).
  9. Played RIFT because it’s Autumn Harvest and I need a new necklace.

What I didn’t do on the first day of NaNoNotMo

  1. Feel bad because I didn’t make the word count for my novel.

Nanowrimo 2017: Pass

Normally, I’d be announcing that I’m working on a novel for Nanowrimo today. I’m not. This is my official announcement that I’m passing on Nanowrimo 2017.

I have every other priority on the planet every other day of the year. I’m busier in November than pretty much the rest of the year. Why would trying to write 50K in the 30 busiest days of my year change that?

I don’t want to make excuses for not writing on my Nanowrimo project any more. I don’t want the pressure of trying hit that number in November, prioritizing my actual November priorities and then feeling guilty because I didn’t complete the goal. I don’t want to feel like a failure for not writing a novel in a month when November is the beginning of the holiday season and I have more going on this year than any other.

I start training for a 5K run in February. I’ve done a number of 5K walks. Running is the next natural progression. I’m not really sure about this running thing. I’m trying to be open minded about it, but running has never really been my forte. Be that as it may, I have too many friends who run now and I’m tired of being left behind to watch the stuff.

I have a test knit to finish. For that matter, I have a test knit to start. The swatch with the first yarn I tried was horrible. I just haven’t made it down to toss the stash. For that matter, I really need to sort the stash and donate things I’m not going to actually use. It’s time to be realistic and let some things go.

The day job has deadlines looming that will likely lead to long hours in the office. It’s started gnawing at the back of my brain. How can I make all these things at the day job fit into the timeline presented.

The laundry doesn’t do itself. The dog doesn’t walk herself. The dog doesn’t do the laundry. The dog is a slacker.

The roommate (not a slacker) and the dog (total slacker)

There are holiday gatherings to plan. Thanksgiving dinner looks like it’s happening here. Christmas dinner may also happen here, too.

Mostly though, I’m tired. I have a bone deep weariness lingering from my surgery. Maybe it’s still anemia. I’ve got a full two months of iron pill prescription to consume.

The math is pretty simple here. Something has to give. I only have so much time an energy and I need for some of that time and energy for taking care of myself.

Taking Stock: October 2017

I got this from Pip at Meet me at Mike’s:

Making: I’m still working on my crochet infinity scarf.

Very close to finishing this scarf.

Cooking: Crockpot red beans and rice. I started from this recipe and this recipe, substituted smoked jalapeno kielbasa for the Andouille sausage and added some tomatoes from the garden. Yum.

Drinking: Aldi’s Grapefruit Sparling water.

Reading: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Wanting: Mostly for the belly saga to be over. I’m very close now. I doubt that I’ll be able to get packing material into the wound by Friday of this week. Enough time to get the test knit I volunteered for cast on this week.

Looking: At my empty garden. It’s so melancholy and yet beautiful in its own way.

Playing: Lots of Jazz lately. I’ve been listening to KCCK in the afternoon. It’s very soothing.

Deciding: What yarn to wind for my test knit shawl.

Wishing: For about three extra days worth of time in the week.

Enjoying: Lying under the covers in my warm bed in the morning when my bedroom is still chilly.

Waiting: For Nanowrimo to start. I’ve failed the last 10 years. This year I have a better plan.

Liking: Moth & The Flame. All of their stuff I’ve heard, really, but this one is my favorite.

Wondering: Where this year has gone.

Loving: Sunday night game nights with the gang and alternately Friday night veg night with the roommate.

Pondering: The changes I can make in my spending and saving habits to build more personal financial security for the future.

Considering: Taking a month off of surfing Facebook clickbait. It’s Nanowrimo and I should be writing.

Buying: As little as possible. The holidays are coming up and that means nothing but necessities and additions to the Amazon Wishlist.

Watching: Next in line is Stranger Things. Santa Clarita Diet. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Wonder Woman on home video.

Hoping: Please don’t let Thor: Ragnarok be as boring as the other two Thor movies. There. I said it. I find the god of thunder’s movies deadly dull and I adore Only Lovers Left Alive.

Marvelling: at the number of Thor trailers. I can’t escape it. Also, Thor is Marvel, so there’s that.

Cringing: Kevin Spacey. OMG. Why?

Needing: Mittens to go with my dress coat. I should cast some on after I finish my test knit.

Questioning: Should I Kondo my closet again? I have clothing creep, due in part to living in a region with seasons, but in part because I haven’t been as diligent with the clothing plan as I should be.

Smelling: Dry fallen leaves. It’s one of my favorite autumn smells, second only to campfire smoke.

Wearing: Actual pants! After a summer of nothing but tights, french terry capris, and running shorts because of my surgery, it’s very nice to be able to put on a pair of jeans or trousers.

Following: Politics.  How do we get off this island?

Noticing: The older I get, the earlier I have to pull out my fleecy slippers to combat the cold in my bones.

Knowing: The holidays are coming. They’re not looming. There’s not a lot of pressure during the holiday season when you have no children.

Thinking: I’ve been thinking about disembodied hands and alien hand syndrome recently. They appear in horror movies, mostly as malevolent forces, and yet Thing from the Addams Family also falls into disembodied hand monster category, but he’s helpful.

Admiring: People who can wear glasses and look natural in them. I’m not even sure I like my glasses. They don’t actually feel natural to me.

Sorting: All the advertising emails I get. I’m unsubscribing where I’m able and filtering straight to trash where I cant.

Getting: Massages again. Finally. My fibro has been acting up fiercely and I’ve needed a massage since I came home from the hospital. Since I can finally lay on my belly without it hurting, I got one last week.

Bookmarking: Recipes in  Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 For Every Season. The Roommate brought it home on Saturday and there are some tasty looking things in there. Literal bookmarks! (well, mostly random pieces of paper stuck in the book.

Coveting: Bellies that don’t look like someone’s toddler drew straight down the middle of them with a Sumi brush and earthworm purplish brown ink.

Disliking: My skin on my belly is so torn up and delicate from the tape. I have landing strips I tape to in order to keep my wound covered, and I’m still getting tears in my skin.

Opening: Too many browser windows all the time. It’s no wonder I feel overwhelmed so often.

Giggling: With the roommate over Santa Clarita Diet. It’s so wrong and it’s so funny.

Feeling: Melancholy. It’s the time of year. It’s so dark in the morning. Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday and that’s none too soon for me.

Snacking: Kiwi fruit. I cannot say enough good things about this yummy fruit. More vitamin c than oranges. More potassium than bananas. High in fiber.

Hearing: The heat kick on to bring the house up to morning temperatures before my alarm goes off. There’s something about knowing you’ve still got a few minutes of snuggle under the covers time before you have to face another day.