Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Violence is not the solution

When your daughter calls to say "I'm okay", there is always a moment of oh shit, what happened.  My oldest daughter called me yesterday to give me a heads up her place of work was going to be in the news.  She was working and in the parking lot a lot of drama took place.  Apparently two people had a confrontation resulting in one of them shooting the other.

Apparently the two people were arguing over a parking spot.  My daughter said her car might be in some of the footage.  I'm glad it was her car and not her.  She lives in a large metropolitan area, crime is expected.

At work yesterday I got notified a robbery suspect was at large in the small town I work in.  This is not common.  Yes, there is crime but not generally armed robbery.  Are we safer in the small town?  I doubt it.  Shit happens when and where it happens.

Fortunately for my family, no one was involved any more than peripherally.  The robbery notice I got, I disregarded as I wasn't near the location and doubted I'd see the suspect from my building.  My daughter's incident took my breath away because there's the instinct to protect.  However, after a bit of discussion and joking about letting people have whatever parking spot they want, it had little affect on me.  We were fortunate.

The "give me what I want no matter what" attitude is beyond my comprehension.  Perhaps because I grew up on a farm where we worked hard and appreciated the benefits we managed to eke out, I find this attitude a horrible symptom in our society.  I'm not going to say it's a generation or a young person's attitude.  I certainly know older people who have this attitude.  I find it shallow and counter productive to a healthy society.

To me, it doesn't matter what your beliefs are or what you look like or your abilities.  What matters is are you a productive member of society?  Are you working to the best of your ability to take care of yourself?  If you are, we're good do what you want with your life.  If you aren't, get a clue.  You aren't some anointed God or Goddess who has power and control over lesser beings.  There are no lesser beings.  We're all interconnected and need to rely on each other to make it through.

Is a parking spot worth a man's life?  If he dies, are you willing to live with the fact you took a life?  I've got a temper and I know it's not easy but walk away.  Walk away, call the police, and don't do something you can't take back.

Friday, July 7, 2017

One Down...

This week a friend came over to spend the morning helping me get my living room cleaned and organized.  Things got shifted, cleaned and rearranged.  The living room looks wonderful!  I'm very pleased and can't thank my friend enough for helping me.

My stress level goes down every time something gets organized.  When I can move through the house and not be banging into things, I feel better and less stressed.  Now I have to work on the other rooms.

In my office I have a bookshelf which has random stuff all over it.  There's no organization and in reality, I'm not sure what the heck is on there.  In the closet, I want to make a shipping center so when I have a package to send out, I can go in there and easily find what I'm looking for.  There's three or four boxes of genealogy stuff to go through.

Genealogy always takes longer.  I started with a stack of papers less than an inch thick.  It took me two hours and I didn't get all the way through.  It's a lot of data to process, research to do and then where does it get put?  I have a file cabinet full of folders by last name.  If I have a folder, it's easy enough to file.  If I don't have a file, it gets more complicated.

Some of the work I can do on my own.  I need to start sorting through what is on the shelves and figure out what to do with it.  The closet I'm going to need help.  My biggest frustration is I used to tackle a room and get it done in a day or less.  Now with my limitations I struggle to get through a day unless I have someone else to help me.  I keep reminding myself, I can only do what I can do.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Waving the White Flag

We have a new built in dishwasher!  It's built in!!! No more clunky beast rolling back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen.

Our a/c stopped working which required a call to the repair guys.  When they repaired the a/c, they discovered our furnace was not working properly.  We needed a new one.  This is never what you want to hear.  Then they told us it was covered under warranty.  Thank goodness.  They have been out and repaired the furnace as well.

This leaves me with a few more repairs.  When they installed the dishwasher, they discovered the cabinet under the sink was going and the sink was not in good shape.  It looks like redoing my kitchen will have to come sooner than I really want.

Ken was working in the basement making sure the furnace guy could get through, when he discovered our water heater is leaking.  This means more money.

I've got a call in to a tree trimmer because we  have four trees which need to come out.  I've gotten one quote, but I want at least one more.

All of these household expenses on top of the medical expenses is making 2017 a difficult year.  I like the new dishwasher and I'm happy my a/c is working and our furnace won't kill us but I'm waving the white flag.

All I can do is pay my bills, start buying supplies for the kitchen redo and hope things last until I can get the work done.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are We Caught Up?

We've been so busy.  A few projects have gotten done around the house.  Ken and Vicki painted the garage door and our front door.  They are now a lovely purple.  I LOVE how they turned out.  We still have to do the back door but of course we ran out of time.

We also got our new appliances delivered.  Yes, we know stainless is in but we prefer the black and I think they look great in our kitchen with the yellow walls.  The dishwasher still needs to be installed but that will be next month!  I cannot wait!!!

I'm still recovering from my surgery.  I still get tired too easily but it's getting better.  I didn't have a lot of pain but every now and again, I'll touch my nose and it will twinge.  It's not really a hurt but more a sensitivity to being touched.

This last weekend we accomplished nothing other than to go to the ALA (library) conference with Vicki.  She got to talk to a lot of vendors, librarians.  We got a massive number of books for her job.  Ken and I got a large number as well.  On top of the lovely books, I spoke to some amazing people.  One was a children's book publisher who expressed an interest in my children's book (once I get it completed).  I have her card and hopefully I can make a connection.  I also spoke to and gave a card to a reviewer.  Interestingly, I stopped to speak to a vendor and we got to chatting.  He asked what I do - i.e. why I am at this conference.  I had on my tag I was an author.  He asked about what I write and took my card.  Now we will see if he purchases.  I realized I need to get more general cards - something which promotes my writing, editing, and publishing.

I have two days off now.  I'm in need of them.  The conference was fun but exhausting.  I've been spending my nights working on crochet things - currently I'm crocheting around all the fleece I have to make it into different things.  I have several I'm making up for the rummage sale.  I also got another set of potholders done.

I'm working on reading a book for review.  I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.  I've decided I'm going to take a book to work and read during my lunch hours.  My to read list has gotten excessive and I miss reading.

I got my purse sent off to the publisher.  I'm excited to see it in the magazine.  I hope they like it.  I know I do.  It will be wonderful to get another publishing credit under my belt.  This weekend I'm hoping we can get through some of our to do lists.  All three of us have this long long list of things to get done.  We're making progress but our weekends are so busy.

I've been experiencing some serious crankiness over not physically being able to get things done.  I know what needs to get done, but I can't physically do it myself and the other people in my house are working on other things.  It's making anxious because there are aspects of the tasks I can do - i.e. sit and sort through things but when I physically try to shift things, or work on it, I can't.  My legs hurt, my joints hurt. It is frustrating me I can't get more done.  I was getting cranky at those in my house - even though it isn't their fault - but now I'm recognizing what I'm doing, I'm attempting to do what I can.  I've started a list and I'm getting someone in to help me do the things which are top of my priority list.  The other people in my house all have their own lists which are as important as my list.  I keep reminding myself in the end we'll have a more organized space.

Today I'm working on some computer stuff where I need to be at my computer but then I'm going to go write.  I've already updated my budget, sales for the last two months and other reports I do to keep track of my writing stuff.

I need to write my pagan blog and work on my web page.  Once I'm done with these tasks (and hopefully in the process I don't find more tasks) I am hoping to go write.  I need to be off my legs and give them a chance to rest.  I'm either going to write or I'll watch some tv and crochet - with the dozens of projects I have going it won't be hard to pick one or ten to work on.

The plan for the today and tomorrow - rest and recover from the last three days.  My legs are swollen and painful which is what happens when I spend too much time doing and not resting.  It will pass and in the meantime I'll be busy doing things I'm able to do.  The more I accomplish the less stressed I am about the things I can't accomplish.

I would think things would slow down a bit but they aren't.  Our a/c was giving us grief so we had the HVAC people come look at it.  In the process they discovered our furnace was broken to the point where it is dangerous to turn it on.  Anyone who knows me knows I can run my a/c or furnace any time depending on my temperature.  Our furnace had been red tagged - meaning we cannot use it at all.  The HVAC guy turned off the gas so it doesn't even turn on accidently.  In all this drama, I'm starting to have a panic attack about the costs of the work.  To fix the a/c it cost us nearly $200.  When he told us about the furnace, it's only seven years old, I started to freak out.  However, it's under warrantee so no cost to us (thankfully).  But it still needs to get fixed.  They are coming in on July 5 to fix it.  Since I had to take off, I asked someone to come over on that day to help me with a few projects.  The guy who is installing our dishwasher is coming on July 8.  We have a ton of stuff to get done between now and then.

I'm hoping for a cooler weekend so I can get out in the garage and sort through some things which we have to decide if we want to keep or get rid of.  I think Vicki has stuff she needs to sort out there as well so hopefully we can get it done in a couple of hours.  Then I'll move on to other projects.  There are so many right now, the problem will be more in deciding which one than to find a project.

It is the Fourth of July weekend so I think Vicki has plans but I doubt Ken and I will do much more than hang out at home.  If I can get the sorting done in the garage, I will likely need to sit with my feet up.  This means crochet or writing time depending on who is around and what's going on in the house.  Either way at least I'll be productive.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Surgery and Other Updates

Last Wednesday I had sinus surgery.  It was a day surgery where they cleaned out my sinuses, straightened a deviated septum, narrowed some bone in my nose to alleviate some of the allergic reactions I have, and removed a bone spur.

Each hospital personnel who entered my room for the first time commented on my list of things I'm allergic to.  It doesn't build confidence when the anesthesiologist asks what does work for me.  Shouldn't he know options?

Fortunately, everything went smoothly.  The surgery was successful and I was home and tucked into my recliner before too long.  Thursday and Friday were uncomfortable but Vicki was around to bug me and make me drink but let me sleep.  I accomplished almost nothing for those three days.

Monday I had the stents taken out.  I was told by someone it was extremely painful so I was a little apprehensive.  I was pleasantly surprised when it was nothing more than slightly (very slightly) uncomfortable.

I left the doctor's office being able to breath which was very nice.  I came home and wrote.  My afternoon was spent at my computer working on the next Wayfarer novel.  Tuesday I was supposed to meet up with my niece but she couldn't meet so I slept late, got up and dressed and sat down to the computer again.  I spent four hours working on the Wayfarer novel. I'm two or three scenes from being done, drawing the final plot lines together, making them solidify into a really good (I hope) conclusion for this group of plot lines.

Wednesday I came back to work.  I expected to be over tired and grumpy by the end of the day.  I certainly didn't want to fall back into the work day routine but it was nice to see my faculty and student worker.  It was good to get out of the house and my head.

I've been working on my basket patterns.  I wrote them more than a year ago and never got around to publishing them.  I was less than happy with the pictures I had.  While I was off, I went through the patterns, edited them (thankfully) and I'm down to half a one left.  Once I get the last one done tonight, I'll work on pictures - hopefully better than the last one.  I'll do a few group pictures and individual ones.  I think the baskets will be a pamphlet, though I do have a couple places I may want to submit them to in an attempt to get them published.

Once the baskets are done, I have a bunch of fleece I want to get made up.  A few pieces I'll be keeping but most I'll be setting aside for the sale we're having next month.  Once I'm through those pieces, I'm going to look at the themes for the crochet magazines and see if there's anything which inspires me.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Comedy of Errors

Last night I decided I was going to write.  Several people have been bugging me for the next installment in the Wayfarer series and I've been working on the novel but it isn't flowing easily.  This  happens sometimes.  My normal response is to wait it out because when it isn't flowing, I need to go with the flow.

I opened my laptop which I use in the living room.  It's a lightweight both in programming and in physical being.  It took forever.  I figured it might as I hadn't turned it on recently.  I played on my phone and did other things while I waited for it to grind through all the things it needed to do.  Updates, loading, opening, and all of that took at least half an hour.

My sister started a class and had a paper due yesterday.  She wanted me to edit it for her.  I told her to call me because I was writing.  If you don't know a writer, let me explain.  When I'm writing, I don't pay attention to anything.  I will forget to shower, eat, dress, answer my phone.  About the only thing which gets through to me (in a good writing session) is my phone ringing because it isn't just a noise.  Fortunately, my sister gets this.

When she got her paper done, she called me.  I said no prob, I'll switch over.  I did.  I opened my email and tried to download her paper.  My computer would not do it.  I've done a number of editing tasks on this computer including downloading papers from my email before.  Yet this time, I could not get the paper to open.

After a frustrating fifteen minutes, I shut everything down on that laptop and moved to my office.  Now I don't like to sit at my desk at night because my legs hurt when I sit at the computer too long.  However, she needed this paper edited.

Fortunately, I was able to download and edit the paper for her and send it back.  I went back to my recliner and tried my computer again.  As long as I was only working in Word and Excel it seemed to be fine.

I kept scrolling through this section trying to figure out how to make the chapter shorter.  I couldn't.  It frustrates me because I don't like such long chapters.  After a frustrating time skimming through, I decided I'd work on writing.  I got a small amount of writing done but suddenly I was so tired, I couldn't keep my eyes open.  Opting to be responsible, I shut down (I'm hoping the computer will be better tonight when I open it) and prep for bed.

By the time I got ready for bed, I was awake.  This happens to me a lot.  I try to do a lot of my prep stuff early so when I get tired, I can just go to bed.  Not last night.  I ended up playing on my phone for an hour before I got sleepy again.  It wasn't a bad night but it wasn't stellar either.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Three Day Weekend Equals Three Visits to a Craft Store

This past weekend was busy.  It seemed like there was no time to do anything.  I hoped for more progress than I got on my list but I don't know when we could have done more.

Saturday I paid bills, worked on budget and we went to my sister-in-laws wedding.  Sunday we went to several stores.  The first was Home Depot and after that I sat in the car while Vicki and Ken went into the stores.  Vicki and I did go to Joann's.  There were Ibottas and coupons.  I got a lot of money back for buying yarn I was going to buy anyways and 10% back.  Additionally I had a coupon for 20% off my whole order.  On Sunday, I had two coupons for 60% off any regular priced item.  I got two lengths of luxe fleece.  This is super soft fleece which is normally $15 - $20 per yard.  I only buy it when I have big coupons or it is on steep discount.  I also found lace I liked for the front window.  Ken had put up an dark blue ugly curtain I didn't like on our front door.  I looked through the lace.  There was this gorgeous feeling white which I loved the feel of but didn't really suit the room.  Vicki picked out a color I liked but I didn't think Ken would.  I'm not sure he likes it but I do.

Monday Vicki and Ken went back to Home Depot to get a range hood.  Ours has been getting louder and louder as well as working less.  They picked up one.  Ken came home and installed it.  We discovered more strange things about how they did things in our house.  The range hood is on the same breaker as our garage.  Vicki and I went back to Joann's because when we were there on Sunday we picked up some buttons on clearance.  These are the fancy buttons which normally cost anywhere from $1 - $5 each but on clearance for 50 cents.  When we were there on Saturday the buttons had all sorts of prices on them but they rang up as 50 cents.  So Sunday we went back specifically for buttons.  Vicki and I picked over what they had and then found a table to lay them all out at.  We weeded through and narrowed it down.  I still spent over $20 on buttons.  But I got a great deal on them.  Plus I got the 10% back on Ibotta.

All three days we went to Joann's and I used coupons to save big, bought stuff on clearance, or used Ibotta to get rebates.  I saved over $16 in rebates from Ibotta but in savings from the coupons and in store sales I saved over $85.  I saved almost as much as I spent so really good deals.

As for what did get accomplished, I got bills paid.  That was on my list.  Ken finished the closet space in the family room.  Next step is for Vicki and I to figure out what we want out there.  I did work on crocheting all weekend.  I got six sets of hand towels / dish towels done.  I also prepped five fleece blankets for crocheting.  I crocheted the edging for two of them.  Other items I worked on, I got four pairs of earrings and four scrubbies made.  I organized all the stuff which had been accumulating on my couch.  I'm going to keep working on dish towels and hand towels.  I have three skeins of scrubbie material so I'm going to keep making them up.  All the excess crocheted items are going on the rummage and craft sale we're going to have.

I got stuff done.  I shouldn't feel bad I didn't get stuff done.  I just didn't get the stuff done I planned to get done.  In the meanwhile, I'm going to keep crocheting and adding to my stockpile for the sale.  I have excess fleece in the craft room which I plan to make up into blankets for the sale.  In my head I have a list of things I want to make for the sale.  I'll see how far I get in making the stuff.  I'm trying to only use the yarn I have on hand.  I'm trying to use up my stash of yarns and reduce the amount of stuff I have in my craft room.

Ultimately a productive weekend but not productive for my list.  Part of me says to let go of the damn list but another part of me knows I'll forget things if I don't keep my list.

Violence is not the solution

When your daughter calls to say "I'm okay", there is always a moment of oh shit, what happened.  My oldest daughter called me ...