Friday, October 13, 2017

Days Fly By

It's only October and my life is speeding up.  My weekends are full and busy.  I need a vacation but won't be getting any for the rest of the year. 

We've been working on the house.  By we - I mean, Ken and Vicki with some outside help occasionally.  Vicki's rooms are painted and I think she's got them organized the way she wants them.  Our bathroom has been painted and reorganized.  Our bedroom has begun the process of deep cleaning, painting, and reorganizing. 

On my couch, I have a dozen (maybe more) crochet projects which are in different stages of completion.  The problem - I'm writing.  I counted this morning and have completed eight manuscripts.  Some have been published.  Some are in the editing stage.  Some I'm working on covers and other components.  I need to make gifts for faculty and student workers.  My crochet list is never ending. 

This weekend is busy.  Vicki's going to a book sale event at the state fairgrounds.  It's a pay week so we're going to have all this running around to do.  I've got to pay bills.  Grocery shopping needs to be done.  There are other errands which need to be done. 

Then there is the prep for breakfast and lunch this next week.  We'll have to fit that in.  As is normal, I have this list of things I want to get done but it's looking like this weekend will be filled to overflowing. 

Instead of stressing about the busy weekend, I'm going to attempt to prioritize things and schedule next weekend.  In a part of my head, there's the crazed maniac saying but we have (insert list of a dozen or two dozen things to do).  In another part, is the rational person who is saying there isn't anything earth shattering that has to get done this weekend.  I'll make a list (of course) and do as much prep as I can so I can be ready to do what I need next weekend which shouldn't be as busy - I hope. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Grumpiness Abounds

It's been a week.  The weather changed and my pain level is up.  I try to remember this most days but sort of lost it at work.  My student worker got to listen to me complain and curse.  I apologized it shouldn't have happened.  I did close my door, call my sister and complain to her.  I got over it mostly but there are just things which annoy  me.  I had one of those days.

All around, rough week.  Pain at levels which are nearly unbearable.  I hear my inner voice saying things I don't really feel or believe but when I'm weighed down with pain it takes me to places I don't want to go.  This is not a plea for pity or sympathy - a statement.  My hope - if I talk about this which I hate doing - someone out there will know they aren't alone and will know someone else understands.

Movement equals agony.  Breathing is work.  For me the worst part is I can't crochet.  I am struggling to write when I've got stories pounding in my head.  The things which lift and change my mood - which is supposed to help - are too painful to do.

This is what chronic pain is.  This is what I deal with.  It makes it hard to be positive and upbeat and pleasant.  My job requires pleasant.

I get through.  I'm not giving in to this bullshit.  The pain will ease.  The pain will fade.  I'll sleep.  I'll work on a story until the pain has shifted.  I'll do what I can to get through it.  It's all I can do.

Part of me wants to rail on the medical community but really what's the point.  I'm to a point where I accept they're not going to help me.  All I can do is find ways to cope.

So on to normal - whatever that is.  It's pay week.  I've paid bills.  Ken and Vicki will run errands tomorrow.  I'm hoping for a quiet weekend.  I'm hoping I can spend time writing and publishing things I have done.  I'll have to see how the weekend goes.

It seems like we always have a lot going on every weekend.  I have a stack of crocheting on my couch I'd like to finish.  I have several projects I'd want to experiment with.  I just need to get my arms, back, and neck to stop hurting.

Tomorrow I can sleep later.  I'm hoping to sleep until I naturally wake up.  This helps with the pain but again, it's a pay week so busy weekend.  I'll see how things go.  Ken and Vicki like to grocery shop at like six in the morning.  I see no reason to acknowledge six am exists.  They're happy morning people.  I'm going to post this blog and go write.  If the writing is going, I hope it will keep me busy for a few hours.

I'm working on an independent story.  If that peters out, I've got Wayfarer 17 and a few other options for working on writing.  I also have editing to do.  Always there seems to be editing to do.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Catching Up

Over the weekend, I got three manuscripts edited and worked on two other manuscripts.  Ken and Vicki did all the errands on Saturday.  Sunday we went out to breakfast.  We have a couple of places we like but wanted to try other places.  So we went somewhere other than our favorites.

The food looked and tasted good but all three of us had unpleasant stomach issues after going to this place.  We will not be returning to that place for a Sunday meal again.

Saturday, I spent a couple hours at Natureland.  I can't hike anymore which makes me exceedingly sad as it's such a nice park.  I sat in my car and edited while the beauty of the place helped me cope with a few things.  I parked in an end stall in order to be out of the way and in the shade.  The tree closest to it seemed to reach down to try to tease me.

It was productive for me to be there.  I turned my phone down.  I worked on editing.  I watched the lake and the trees.  I watched the people come and go.  I wrote two scenes (by hand which means I need to type them up).

Sunday Vicki and I worked on food prep for the week.  I cut up a bunch of stuff for her for lunches and supper tonight.  I made pudding for Ken and Vicki.  We got a lot of stuff done.

Surprisingly, we sold the snare drum which has been on Facebook.  I thought we were going to sell Vicki's table and chairs but unfortunately the guy never showed.  When I messaged him, he said he couldn't get a van.  It would have been nice if he had let me know.

We still have a few things to sell and they are listed on Facebook.  I'll see how they go.

Every weekend we're working on things in the house.  Ken's been painting our bedroom.  We picked a color and they went to get.  I thought it was darker but didn't say anything.  Ken got two walls done and had to go back for more paint.  When they mixed the color, it was different.  There was a bit of back and forth.  It was decided whoever mixed the first gallon did it wrong.  So they got the new gallon for free.  They talked about leaving one of the walls the darker color and painting the other three walls the lighter color.  I'm good with that.

Vicki's been working on getting her space more organized.  She's been painting, building shelves (book and bedside table) and a desk.  She's been working on organizing her books, getting lists made, and making it portable so she can have lists so she knows what she needs to purchase.

I've got several crochet projects I need to work on but the writing has been pushing me.  I've finished a number of things.  I have a meeting with my artist to see about covers and other things.  I'm hoping to finish several projects and get them published soon.

I've been getting journals from all sorts of places.  I took one of them and made it into my writing to do list sort of.  On one page I outlined what I've got the projects I'm working on.  I've been losing track of what stage I'm at for different projects.  This means I'm doing work twice when I shouldn't have to.  Hopefully this will help me keep better track of where I am for the projects.  It will also prompt me to work on different aspects of the projects like writing the synopsis and so on.

In the journal I think I'm going to work on pages for marketing things as well.  Maybe take a page per book and write where I've sent requests for book reviews.  I have a hard time tracking this which again leads to a duplication of work.

I feel like I've been so busy, I hardly have time to breath.  I know it's good because I keep going but there are times I want to just take a moment.  I guess that's why I went to Natureland - to take a moment.  Even though I was editing, it changed my perspective.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

On the Back Deck

It's a three day weekend!  Yesterday I sat on my back deck and spent time with Vicki, Ken and Beth.  I also sat in the front yard and talked to the same people, my mom and my sister.

Today I've had breakfast, made a decision on paint color for the kitchen, and worked on the computer.  There is more work to do on the computer.  I'm hoping my legs last long enough for me to get it all done.

I've been plagued with headaches for about three weeks.  It's annoying and frustrating because there is a lot I want to get done but can't because my head hurts.  What do I need?  A massage.  Unfortunately the budget is not going to stretch for one of those.

The problem with my being down with a headache, I have all these ideas bouncing around in my head and I cannot accomplish any of them.  Depending on the level of headache, sitting in a dark room with silence is about the only thing I can do.

Unusual for me on a Sunday, I've caught up my emails.  I try to take the one day away from all things work like so I can have the downtime my mind needs.  This may be tomorrow as I had a ton of emails to get through.

I'm hoping to get rid of the current headache and either crochet or write after I'm done on the computer.  I've got Wayfarer 17 pushing at me as well as a few other projects.  However, I'm looking at my pile of crochet projects and they are pushing on me too.  I need more time to do stuff - someone needs to win the lottery.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Published Crochet Pattern!

One of my patterns was published in Pattern Pack Pro through Happily Hooked.  I made a purse from jute and crochet cotton.  I'm thrilled with how it turned out and excited it was published!

With the jute, it's sturdy and holds its shape.  The issue has other interesting patterns as well.  You can see the pictures of the purses on Ravelry.com.

Next I need to figure out what else I want to crochet and submit to try to get published.  I enjoy this publication.  They put out a good product with the magazine but also the patterns are checked before they're published.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Moon Affirmations Journal

Now available in paperback a journal to go along with Moon Affirmations!  I'm really excited about this one.  It was an aha moment for me.  I received some promotional items I ordered for one of my other books (working on a project and needed something to include with my brand).  One of the items I received - journals I made on Vista Print.  They turned out really nice!

In the moment of looking at them I thought - huh?  I should totally do this for Moon Affirmations except with Moon Affirmations, I wanted it to include some of the art from TJ Jahns (go to her website).  She did amazing pictures for the book and I wanted to keep them for the journal as inspiration.

I decided I would create my own journal.  This led to lots of questions.  How do I do lines?  Do I want lines?  I wish journals had both lined pages and blank pages.  I realized it was a great opportunity for me to create what I would want in a journal.  For each chapter heading and day, there are lined pages and blank pages.  Some of the artwork from the original is in there.  Hopefully it will inspire the readers of Moon Affirmations as they do the meditations and work on themselves.

It's available on:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Createspace

I'd love to hear feedback on this journal or any of my books or crochet patterns.  Feel free to contact me through my web page or leave a comment on this blog!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Where is My Crazy Brain?

In my family, there's a story my maternal grandmother was a descendant from a Native American.  I've heard this story my entire life.  It was interesting to get my DNA testing done and discover where my DNA comes from.  One of which was a slight indicator (1%) of Native American.

But of course, I have two parents.  My father is passed so we couldn't test him.  However, my mom did get tested and we recently got her results.  There was a lot of similarity in our DNA - as you would expect - but interestingly no Native American, not a trace of it.  This means if there was any (which with such a small percentage it's debatable) Native American in my lineage, it came through my father's family.

One of my sisters also got her DNA done and it was fascinating to see the differences between her and I even though we have the same parents.  We were able to see three areas which were not in my mother's DNA so they are good indicators of our father's DNA.

I find genetics a fascinating topic and if I were science minded (which I fail at completely) I would go into genetics.  Now it would be interesting to see how the other siblings compare.  I would also love to have my husband and all my daughters tested.  I just have to convince the people and find the money to do it.

We had our rummage sale over the weekend.  We got rid of several of the big items and some of the other stuff.  When it was done, Ken and Vicki filled up her Equinox and took a load to Goodwill.  During the sale, we only sold two big items which was disappointing.  Vicki suggested we post the other items on Facebook.  So I did.  We sold three more items through Facebook.  I have a number of them still posted and we will see what happens.

We still have items in my garage which will need to be loaded into her car and donated.  I'm hoping that will be on the agenda for this weekend.  There were a few other things which were higher dollar items I want to post to Facebook.  Additionally, I have a bunch of crocheting I want to do.  Preventing me is the need to work on my stories.  They've been taking over!  I love it but it can also be exhausting.

The next thing for me to prep for is to determine if I'm going to make the attempt do the vendor sale in November.  If I am, I need to make a lot more crocheted items - including a lot more variety.  The thing is I feel if I'm going to do the vendor's sale, I should be able to take credit cards.  This I'd have to figure out.  It's a lot of research and I'm not sure I want to hassle with it.  This is why I waffle.

If I do the vendor's sale, I could take my books and crocheting.  I might be able to put out my books and sell some with more profit going into my pocket.  It's definitely something to consider.

Right now on my couch, I have a dozen projects but have been so buy writing, I don't have time to crochet.  I may have to take a Saturday or Sunday to binge watch something and work on finishing projects.  I've been getting ideas and ideas and ideas on projects I want to work on so I know I'll be switching from writing to crocheting in the near future.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wayfarer Convictions

The new Wayfarer novel is published!!!  Wayfarer Convictions is available on Smashwords and Amazon.  It will be available in paperback by the end of the week (I hope) on Amazon.  It's available now on Createspace.

Here's a description:
Raiders, Tuscalains, and cold cases, Walter Farento, a services efficiency expert observes the Phoenix. Rhia fumbles for leads in her cold case, while the hacker eludes Jolen. Avin hunts a firebug. Sabotage threatens the assembly of a new station. A breakthrough in the cold case points to something deeper and more sinister. It all amounts to just another day on the job for Adara and Decker

Nealon and Adara’s other pilots arrive on Ravena station to help with assembling a new space station.  Walter inspects the different departments to determine how they are being efficient.  He can’t understand why no one is comfortable with him until Abby Sprit, Galvin’s great niece tells him for doubting Adara’s integrity. 

After a romantic interlude in a nebula, Adara and Decker discuss the million credit offer made by the Busalacchis for reparation.  A break in the cold case, Rhia must leave Paul and her children for a few days to interview key people.  A link between the hacker, cold case, and fire bug lead back to an unexpected source and old enemies.  

Buy it today on Amazon or Smashwords or Createspace 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Irregular

I have two rants to vent today.  The first is silly and the second isn't and will involve adult language to illustrate my point.

Books are a passion.  Words and language I geek out about.  When I see what I consider an error, I like to let authors know.  I received a newsletter from an author.  In it was an example from one of her books which included the following sentence (similar don't want to infringe on her copyright):

She kneeled down in front of her friend.

Kneel is a regular verb but when you make it past tense, it is an irregular verb - meaning it doesn't typically add the -ed at the end of it.  Instead it become knelt.

I wrote the author a note to point this out to her - my thought was if I had something like that in one of my books, I'd appreciate someone pointing it out to me.  I never expected an answer but instead got one and was surprised by it.

She said the irregular verb was no longer being used - it was old fashioned.  She said the Brits use it but Americans don't.  In a way, she was somewhat snotty about it.  I did a google search, discovered it is starting to be acceptable in America.

My response - if you're going to write like that it's going to jerk me out of the story - which it did with the excerpt - and I'm going to be unhappy.  If you do it a lot I'm going to be unhappy with your book and stop buying your books.  I wrote her back, gave my opinion and didn't get a response - not a surprise.

To me this is a dumbing down of America.  It's okay if we have a good reason for making change but to me this just seems like someone couldn't remember to use an irregular verb.

On to my other rant.  Again - this one is going to have strong language and unpleasant language I normally would not use.  You've been warned.

Trolling through Facebook, I came across a Proctor & Gable (here's a link to where it is P&G The Talk ).  I found it moving and disturbing.  I posted it on my page because I wanted to talk about why this kind of talk is needed by a race.  I related to it as a female in our culture where we are treated like property and parents have the talk with their daughters about not going out alone etc.

On my Facebook page there was some discussion - a lot of discussion - about the video.  Some of the discussion was heated, some was discussion and debate which is what is needed to raise awareness.  And then it happened.

I have a lot of friends on Facebook and use it to promote my writing.  Generally, I'm pretty laid back about what people say and try not to get involved.  If you know me, you know I cuss - a lot.  My favorite cuss word is Fuck - FUCK FUCK fuckity fuck fuck.

Unfortunately, I dealt with some extreme unpleasantness.  A male (not a gentlemen by any standard) posted Fuck you and the name of one of the people in the discussion.  Now I know people say this in jest.  I was annoyed but wasn't going to respond or remove the post.  But he didn't stop there.  He went on to say things like he looked forward to the day when the minorities (note the plural) were all wiped out and the European descended people could rejoice over their annihilation.  And there he stepped so far beyond my line for tolerance, I deleted all of his hate speech.  I looked for a way to report him but couldn't find one.  I unfriended him.

On the discussion, I stated I wanted open discussion and wanted the debate but would not tolerate the hate he spewed.  He then messaged me, called me a stupid cunt and told me I should go kill myself.

I deleted his message.  Everyone has a right to free speech (though there are definitely limits on this) however, everyone also has the right to not hear the garbage this person was spewing.  I chose not to hear him, not to give him power over me with his hate and intolerance.  I chose to ignore his idiocy and not engage with him because there is no reasoning with an insane person.

By beliefs are simple.  If we know the individual - regardless of race, sexual preference, religion or any other stupid way you want to classify a person - if we KNOW - trully know an individual you will find the core beliefs are going to be close.  In general (yes, I'm aware we should avoid generalities) people want to have a good life, safe place to live, freedom to live their life their way, safety for their children or the children in their lives, they want love.

If we get to know the individual and look past those classifications, if we step away from generalities, we're going to find someone similar to us in a lot of ways.  If we find those similarities, we can then accept the differences between us.  Not just accept but embrace them.  If we were all the same, believed all the same, looked all the same, felt all the same it would be boring and tedious.  We are enough alike to connect and enough different to enjoy those differences.

As for the male who spewed his hate, if he thinks he hurt me, he didn't.  In truth, he pissed me off.  I wanted to reach through my phone and give him a piece of my mind for his small minded idiocy.  Words like he said, his truth - fine - but I don't have to accept or agree with them.  I don't have to allow him to spew his hate on my feed or in my messages.  In fact, his words are like he yelled fire in a crowded room - not acceptable and I think (though I'm not a lawyer) able to be prosecuted for spewing them.  I'm fairly certain I saw a news story where a woman was being prosecuted for telling her boyfriend to kill himself - and he did.

If you don't like what I've got on my feed - flip by it.  There will be something shallow or ridiculous in the next post.  Move on and get the hell over it.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Is Showering Really Necessary?

It's pay week so the normal chores have to get done.  Bills are paid.  Grocery list needs to be made.  I've got to go through Ibotta and Checkout 51 to see if we can get any rebates.  We need to make up a menu for the next two weeks.  I need to clip coupons.

Fortunately, I have  more time to do these tasks since I'm off this week.  Today I'm slow getting up.  I woke up sleepy despite going to bed early last night.  My plan for the day - pay bills (done), take a shower (I guess), check diggers hotline to see how far in advance we have to schedule, work on edits for Wayfarer Conviction, read the rest of the Wayfarer series, and remember to have meals.

Yesterday I got to tell my daughter I was at 90% for reading a book and she needed to go away while I finished.  She's usually the one telling me this - but she reads a kagillion books in a year.

My vacation is going well.  I've crossed off a number of things on my todo list and I'm still working on several of them.  Progress is good.  I've also had down time to veg.  I've worked on the business side of my writing / publishing stuff.  I've finished writing a novel and am shifting to the editing phase.

Next I want to do some crocheting.  I'm trying to decide if I will take a day to binge watch a series or movies while I crochet or if I'll do it during the evening.  I'll have to see how things go.  (This is more of my zen approach - sort of).

The hardest part for me during my vacation?  Remembering to shower and eat.  I get involved and forget to do both.  I've listened to a lot of music and read several books while I've been off - a few not the Wayfarer series.  It all goes to me taking time to take care of me and do the things I LOVE to do.

One downside to cleaning and organizing my craft room - I want to crochet and create.  I can feel that edging into my brain for let's do this now.  We were putting away some amazing yarn and I wanted to get my hands on it and make good stuff with it.  I can feel the switch from writing to crocheting coming.  However, I have a lot of editing to get done first.  Right now, characters are pushing on me more than the desire to crochet.  I'm going with the flow of things for now.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mid Week of Vacation

Monday was all about finishing writing Wayfarer 16.  Tuesday was all about organizing stuff.  Today is all about getting book work done.

Yesterday with help from two people, I got my craft room looking like a craft room rather than a storage locker.  I can find things and get to them more easily than before.  Things are labeled and stored appropriately.  I put several boxes of things out for our sale.  I weeded out some yarns (they went into my remnants crock).

Today I made some calls, paid some bills, and worked on the computer.  I updated my spreadsheets.  It doesn't sound like a lot but it's time consuming.  I got my sales spreadsheet caught up with the change in the month.  I have to look at the vendors I sell through and see what sales were.  Depending on the vendor depends on the ease of doing this.

When I'm done on the computer, I think I'm going back to reading.  I started the Wayfarer series and am working my way through them so as I edit, I can make sure the flow is right and refresh my memory on characters, story lines and such.

Many things have gotten checked off my todo list and I'm happy with the progress.  I've gotten covers made for some of my novels and I'm working on editing.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to get Wayfarer Convictions out this week.  Then I start the process all over for the next one.

I have all these ideas floating around in my head for crocheting.  I'm hoping to get to some of them this week.  I'll see how my time goes.  Tomorrow is pay day for me, so more bill paying and computer work but hopefully not as long as today.

I'm taking it one day at a time.  The progress made yesterday is good, though it did clutter up parts of my house as we shifted.  Now we have to make harder decisions about things.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Nap or ???

Busy weekend means a lot got done but also a lot of aching people in my house.  Ken and Vicki worked on a whole bunch of things while I took care of a bunch of computer stuff.

Ken replaced the small step off our deck with a wider and longer step.  It looks lovely and will be easier once he gets a railing up.  Vicki liked it a lot.

Vicki got part of her living room painted and with Ken got shelves assembled.  Of course she loaded them up with books.

I worked on Wayfarer 16.  This morning when I had time alone in the house it took me four hours to finish it.  I like how this book turned out.  I'm not sure on the ending - but I never am.

I'm showered and dressed - odd for a vacation day but I am.  Next I'm going to go take a nap.  Or maybe I'll read Wild Magic since I think I want to work on Wild Magic 2 next.  Or maybe I'll take a break from it all and watch a movie while I crochet.  So many options.  Nap is sounding good especially since I had a weird night sleep.

Tomorrow I have someone coming to help me with the organization I want to do.  Hopefully we get a lot done but we will see.  I'm looking forward to seeing her.

The rest of this week will go to editing Wayfarer 12 and getting it published.  I'm really excited to get this out there.  I've been working on covers and I need to work on back material.  It's exciting!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Response Time for Alarm Less Than 60 Seconds

My middle daughter who works in a prison as a librarian sent this text to the family texts.  I read this twice before it hit me.  Now obviously she sent the text so she must be okay.  There are a lot of reasons why an alarm might go off in a prison - medical, fight... but this is one time my mom concern came out.

My girls are all adults.  They are capable of making their own decisions and taking care of themselves.  Generally I wait for them to tell me the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

With this text, I actually set everything aside and called my daughter.  Normally I wouldn't be able to because she's not allowed her phone in the prison but I knew she was on lunch.  I called and said, what happened and are you all right.

As I said, there are a lot of explanations for an alarm.  In this case, it was a faulty radio which kept sending out an alert of an emergency for the officer in the library.

The good news - no injuries or drama.  Of course I gave her crap because she texted a deliberately provocative message, meant to make me go - what the F**K.  This is the warped sense of humor my family has.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pre-Vacation Cranky

Prevacation cranky has come over me.  Next week I'm off my day job and will be able to work on anything I want to.  If you've read my blog - you know I have a to do list.  Counting the weekends, I'm going to have nine days off!  I cannot wait.

I have writing and publishing goals.  I have household goals.  I have crochet goals.  Are there more goals than I can accomplish in nine days?  Probably, most definitely.

Writing has been stampeding me.  I've written four novels with a fifth nearly done.  I've submitted a bunch of my novels for contests.  I've submitted a story for a book.  I had a pattern accepted in a magazine, sent it off for photographing and got it back.  I sold it to a friend who liked it.  I've been editing where I can.  It's been crazy busy.

During my lunch hour and when I watch training at work, I pick up my crocheting.  I've made pot holders and coasters.  I tried a new pattern which I'm going to have to tweak because it was poorly written.  However I like the idea so I'll tweak it.  I've fulfilled one crochet order and gotten paid.

My house is a mess.  I can't seem to keep up on it.  I'll pick up as I'm able (which isn't much) but I have piles of laundry in my bathroom and lots of stuff sitting around in my living room.  It's starting to bug me so more effort.... unless I get too involved in writing my novel.

We painted boards for Vicki so Ken and her can build her bookshelves and a desk.  The shutters we wanted to replace the plastic ones on our house went on sale with a rebate.  We picked them up.  Next step is to paint them and put them up.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

If things go well, I'll have help a couple times this next week to work on more organizing, discarding, and cleaning of my house.  If schedules don't mesh, I'll work on other things.  I know my days off are going to fly by but I can't wait to have the time to work on what I want and get stuff done and off that never ending to do list.

For next week, I've got specific days which I'm working with other people.  Other than that I'm hoping for quiet days at home so I can do what I want, when I want, and without a lot of fussing.  A lot of peace and quiet to help recharge my batteries.

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.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fun Versus Work

I have the feeling I'm going to be struggling with balancing out the need to have down time while I also have a long long list of things to get done.

Things I want to get done include:

  • going through the garage and organizing all the things out there including bringing in the last of Vicki's belongings 
  • going through the back porch and organizing all the things we are storing there for the sale
  • cleaning and organizing the craft room
  • finish setting up the closet type space in the family room so the coats, scarves, etc aren't tossed on the couch
  • finish cleaning the office
  • publishing and writing tasks
  • cleaning the basement (i.e. arguing with my husband about not keeping everything)
  • getting ready for the rummage sale I want to have 
Now there is enough here to keep us busy for several weekends.  I'm aware of this but for some reason, I want to get all this stuff done so we should work on it all weekend.  Right?  Nope.  I know perfectly well I'll be lucky to finish one of these tasks.  

It may be a three day weekend but it's also a pay weekend which means there are all the errands which go along with getting paid.  I have stuff to go to the post office.  Grocery shopping and other errands need to be run.  We have a family wedding to attend.  Preparations have to be done for next week and all of us going to work.  

On the fun side, I'd love to go to a movie or spend a day crocheting and watching movies (or both).  I'm well aware all three of us work hard during the week and need to have some down time on the weekends to recharge our batteries.  

Realistically, I'm hoping to accomplish one or two things on my list.  With the extra day, we might be able to accomplish something in addition to the normal weekend tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and errands.  I'm crossing my fingers and trying to not be cranky about it.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someone.  Friday night I worked on dishcloths - lots of them.  Saturday I worked on pot holders.  Sunday I worked on a lot of different things.

It seems like my weekend flew by but I didn't get a lot of stuff done.  Sunday I helped Vicki in the kitchen with baking, prepping for the week and a few other things.

We're having a rummage sale next month.  I've been working on crochet items to sell during the rummage sale.  I've got a few dish cloths and I had some terry cloth.  Sunday I worked on cutting it up and prepping it so I could crochet around the material.

Once I'm done with the kitchen set I'm working on, I'll work on the dish towels and hand towels.  I think I might have some fleece in the craft room which isn't claimed.  If I do and I have time, I'd like to make up those so I could try selling them as well.

My goal for the rummage sale - make enough to get our dishwasher installed.  We're going to go look at the dishwasher this next weekend - during all the sales.  The hope is we will have a built in dishwasher by the end of June or mid July.

From there, we will tackle other issues in the house.  In the meanwhile, I'm crocheting a lot and hoping the items will sell.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Publishing Crochet Patterns

My day yesterday did not go as planned.  This is not a surprise to me - rarely do my days go as planned.  But last night I was kicking myself for taking a nap instead of getting things done.  Vicki went to bed early and I opted to work on the computer.

This meant the publishing I was going to do in the morning got done last night instead.  I have eight new crochet patterns out.  There are links to them on my website.  They are all on the Crochet Patterns page.

My niece asked me for headbands so I created new ones for her.  In doing so, I took pictures and wrote the patterns.  This means there's a new Half Dozen Thread Headbands available.  She also wanted a bandana which lead to me creating Bandana X.

I had two student workers graduating - one wanted an afghan and one wanted scarves.  The blanket is called Framed Tipped Lattice and the scarves are Climbing Vine, Lattice, Shades of Blue, and Sparkling Squiggle.  I finished an experiment for my daughter which is really a mini scarf - Puff Chain Scarf.

I've got a couple more in the works but they aren't quite ready to be published.  The patterns are done, I need to work on the components.

Today, I'm working on publishing stuff until my niece gets here, then I'll be working on cleaning and organizing my office and hopefully tackling some of the dining room.  It depends on how long stuff takes us.  I'm hoping we can get a long list of things done but I know my plans never work out.  I'm going to go with the flow.  Anything finished is an improvement.  If it reduces the chaos we're living in right now, that's all that matters.  I have two more places to market my stuff.  Then I'll be getting off the computer and start on the other stuff - I hope.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mini Vacation

Ken has flown the coop to visit our daughters in Georgia.  This means I get the house to myself (mostly).  Our middle daughter has moved home so she's there when she's not working.  However, I have the next five days off.  I've got plans, so many plans - too many to get done in a matter of five days.  This means I'll pick and choose which of them I want to get done the most.

I've got household, publishing, crochet, and writing projects all on my list and all screaming at me.  My house is chaos.  I'm going to attempt to get one room done this weekend.  I've gotten through a large part of the sorting but need some help.  My niece is coming out to help so fingers crossed by the end of the weekend my office will be organized and clean.

If we actually manage to finish the office, the next step for me is the dining room.  My dining room table is heaped with stuff.  I'm hoping we can clear it off and maybe get the table out of the room.  It's an old table and too big for the space.  I'll have to see how things go but I'm hoping to get it out of there.

With any luck, I'll get a little bit done in each category.  I also have to pay bills, prep for grocery shopping, and do all the usual pay week errands and chores.  I need more energy and less pain in order to get everything done I want to.

Tonight will be crocheting.  I'm working on finishing projects and making things to put out when we have the rummage sale.  While I veg out in front of the tv tonight, I'm going to work on either a shawl or some dishcloths.

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I watched a show on the Spencer family in the UK (Princess Diana's family) and made 1 1/2 dish cloths.  It will be more of the same tonight.

Vicki's usually up around 5:00 and gets me up around 6:00 so I intend to stay awake and work on several projects.  While I'm alone in the house tomorrow, I want to get as much as I can crammed into the day.  It will be bill paying, organizing the office, and if my legs can manage it maybe some publishing of crochet patterns.  This is my plan.  Now the next question is - how well will this plan go?  I guess I'll see tomorrow.

Friday, my niece comes out.  Since I'll be doing some heavy duty cleaning with her, I might take it a bit easy in the morning before she gets there.  Vicki will have me up at 6:00 though so I could get more work in whether that's crocheting or editing in my recliner or publishing crochet patterns, I don't know yet.

At some point, I'll have to make a grocery list, set up a menu for the next month, and clip coupons.  I've got a lot to fit in over the next few days.  I might end up needing a vacation from my vacation.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Projects - Done and To Do

This week I've finished the scarves and the afghan for my student workers' graduation gifts.  I've given one gift which is why I'm posting the two pictures.  For the afghan, I need to take pictures.  I plan to publish four of the scarf patterns and the afghan pattern.  This adds to my list of crochet patterns to publish.  I have a bandanna, log cabin afghan, and set of headbands to publish.  

The collar or cowl scarf shown on the left turned out gorgeous.  I'm really proud of it because it was outside my normal and preferred type of project.  The smaller yarn and projects like this are hard on my hands but it was worth it to do and redo some of the stitching.  The other scarves turned out excellent and I'm excited to publish the four new ones.  The necklace type scarf I love making.  It uses up small bits of yarn but is stunning and versatile.  

Tonight I'll be working on dish towels and dish cloths to make for someone who is helping me out this weekend.  After I get those done, I'll be back on my other projects.  Currently I have bibs for a former co-worker of Vicki's, a skirt, a couple of afghans, and a few smaller projects which aren't designated for anyone yet.  

This weekend Ken goes off to Atlanta for twelve days.  I know he's excited to visit the girls down there.  It will give him a nice break from work and our messy house.  

Vicki and I plan to play a bit on Saturday.  Sunday we will have help with getting things organized and settled.  Next weekend will be busy with working on the house as well.  

However, I'm taking off work on the 11th and hoping to get some writing stuff done - like publishing patterns.  I'll have two days with no one in the house so I plan to get up and work on anything I have for writing - publishing, writing, marketing, editing.  I have a number of projects in the works so I want to make progress on them.  

Ken may be gone for twelve days but it will be a busy time for Vicki and I.  Hopefully by the time he comes home, the house is better organized.  I'm hoping this will lower everyone's stress levels.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reader Conference

Vicki and I attended a readers' conference over the weekend.  It was interesting as I looked at it from a reader's perspective.  There were lots of free gifts - post its, pens, gadgets, and so on.  Books of course were high on the gift list.

I wanted to take aside the organizer and say - listen there are some basic things you should have going.  First an agenda of events - either handed out to people or posted in the hall.  Second, a map of where rooms are.  Third, set up early and be prepared for the long lines.

Something I want to say to hotels and conference centers.  I get they make the most money by jamming as many people into one room as possible but let's be realistic.  People are not child size.  They range in size from small to large.  Additionally, handicap people with walkers, wheel chairs, and scooters need to be able to get through.

One of the events was a signing.  In order to get to the signing, we had to go from a lunch to another room.  I told Vicki to go without me because there was no way my scooter was getting through the crowd of people and tables.  Skinny people were struggling to get between tables.

As a writer, I soaked in all the things readers seemed to enjoy.  I wonder if at some point I would do an event like this.  At the same time, I wonder if I would be able to do an event like this with my mobility issues.

My daughter suggested I donate items to one of the reader conferences.  I'm going to see if I can do this.  I can crochet something and add some of my books to a basket for one of the giveaways.  I certainly don't have the funds from my writing to be a guest author at an event but I can start small and go from there.

Small talk is not my forte but is definitely needed at an event like this.  I'd rather have a meaningful conversation than do small talk.  Yet small talk abounded at this event.  Whether it was between fellow attendees or with an author, you have to be willing to talk about common topics which won't offend people.  This is quite a feat for me.

It was good to spend time with my daughter.  I didn't know any of the authors, don't read any of them.  But it was interesting to talk to some of them and to see the event.  As normal for me, I was not in love with the large crowd or the noise.  This is my introverted self screaming in my head to run from so many people.  I like the one on one or small group.  I'm glad I went.  If my daughter asks, I'll probably go again.  I should probably read some of the books by the authors who will be there before I go to the event.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Unexpected Day Off

Registration is done at work which means the stress level has reduced.  My house is still a mess and the next two weekends are full of activities.  We'll do the activities - paint nite this weekend and an author's event next weekend.  We need the down time to reduce our stress.

Ken leaves for Georgia in May.  This leaves Vicki and I hanging out on our own.  I've got a few days off during the time he's gone.  My goal is to get some publishing, writing, and crocheting done during my time off.  However, I also have some household things I want to get done.

This week has been crazy for me.  I had an allergy test done on Monday.  They washed my arms with alcohol which immediately started them itching.  Their solution was to wash them with soap and water.  I let them, though most soaps bother me.  Fortunately, this one didn't.  I didn't really find out anything new.  I already knew I was allergic to the things they told me but these were more specific results.

Tuesday I left work early to see my regular doctor.  He gave me my results for my MRI.  There wasn't anything to stress about - thankfully.

Today I am off to the dietician.  I've been seeing her for few months.  I like her and she has good suggestions for helping me balance out life and food.  I doubt I've lost weight.  It's been a crazy few months with lots of eating fast food while we moved Vicki and a lot of stress eating.  However, I've managed to stop eating out as much which is good for my checkbook and good for my body.

The elevator at work isn't working.  I spent yesterday at work but not in my office.  It made it difficult for me to be involved but the floor was quiet according to my student workers.  Today I'm hoping it will be even more quiet.  However, the elevator is going to be down for the first part of next week.  That will make it difficult on me and a number of my faculty.  These are the joys of working in an old building.

I'm working on two graduation gifts.  I'm creating new patterns for most of the gifts so this means new patterns to publish.  The first scarf I made turned out really well.  I like the design, color, length, and feel of it.  Now I need to take pictures so I can publish the pattern.  I started a second one last night and I'm hoping to finish it today.

This morning I'm spending a little time on the computer but hope to go back to crocheting shortly.  It seems like there's always so much for me to do with a day off and so little time to get it all done.  I have to remember to keep the to do list to a reasonable length and focus on one task at a time.  Part of me wants to get a bunch of stuff done but I'm waiting on things from other people to be able to do those things.  This means I need to pick something completely in my control and work on it.  Today, it will be crocheting and watching movies.  For a couple of reasons, one - it will lower my stress level, and two - it will get things done I need to get done which has a definite deadline.

Considering I have the day off, I was up very early.  I did go back to sleep but was still up by 7.  Ava does not know what to do with me.  She came and cuddled - yup the cat who hates me - with me for a bit.  Sasha always is looking for attention from me but Ava rarely asked for attention.

It's time to hit the recliner, find a movie and go back to crocheting.  Maybe with luck, I'll finish another scarf and start a third.. fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Crochet Savior!

My middle daughter moved home.  March was chaotic with her moving.  April is turning into chaos with getting our house organized - or reorganized and integrating her stuff into our house.

I'm finally tackling my office.  Currently it's in that state of extreme messy because I've been going through papers, shelves, drawers in order to sort out what we need to keep.  There's an ultimate goal in mind but for now, I want to get rid of one piece of furniture and move two others.  These means I'm taking decorations down from the wall as the furniture is going to cover up the wall space.

I'm not certain the way I want to rearrange the furniture is actually going to work so I need to try it before I decide whether it is how I actually want it.  Also all the stuff I want to put on the furniture is sitting around my office making it seem more cluttered.  I swear there is an organized method to the chaos at this point.

I started yesterday and made good progress but today I've spent running errands and prepping for the week.  There are some things I don't want to get rid of.  I look at them and the organizer in me is saying just let it go.  But the writer / mom / creator in me is saying NO!!!  I'm working on it.  I'm also looking at a row of books - reference type - which sit by computer.  Do I want to weed through them?  No but should I?  Probably.  I know some of them will stay.  I can look at at least six of them and know they stay but there's at least three times that many.  So reluctantly I'll look through these books to weed out any.

Then there's the recycle / garbage, sale piles to contend with.  I've got a box of stuff for a sale we're hoping to participate in later this summer.  Also while I remove and rearrange what do I do with all the stuff.

It's definitely been a weekend of chaos.  I'm not sure we're making it any better.  However, at the intermediate phase, it is so chaotic I'm not sure it's getting better.

We're doing all of this while I'm at my most busy at work.  Registration and scheduling for spring 18 are going on.  Lots of changes, problem solving, and stress at work means I need peace at home.  Right now, no peace just chaos.

This is where my crocheting comes in.  I've been working on a number of projects.  I finished an afghan, several headbands, and started a bandana.  This keeps me sane (ish) as it takes me away from the stress of both work and home.  It allows me to escape into my creative mind and work on patterns.  Right now I have several which I want to publish.

I keep telling myself it will get better.  I keep reminding myself it is the first weeks and I need to be patient.  However, the clutter is starting to wear on my nerves.  After I'm done in the office, I plan to hit the recliner and work on another pattern or three in order to calm and ease the stress of life right now.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Creating Patterns

The way my brain works often surprises me.  With my daughter moving, I took a friend to her (who doesn't drive) and waited while this friend helped my daughter pack.  Since my daughter lives in an upstairs apartment, this meant I was stuck in my car for several hours.

I'm rarely bored because I always have stuff to do.  So I took some crocheting - two projects - and worked on them.  While working on one project, I came up with all these color options and ideas for working with this pattern.  In reality I wanted the yarn there right then to work on it.  Instead I'll make note of it and try them out.

While working on these two projects, another came into my head.  When I create my patterns, I normally crochet and then write.  This way I'm not re-writing but writing it as I create it.  However, this time I didn't have anything with me to be able to crochet this idea with.  I wrote a pattern - full on all rows.  I loved getting it down so I could try it later.

My middle daughter has a million skeins of yarn in my craft room she wants me to make up for her.  My intention was to find a skein or two and try out this pattern.  Instead my niece was out.  We were chatting and she said she had a need for specific headbands for summer.  I immediately thought of this new pattern I'd written.  I made her pick some yarn and bring it to me.

While we chatted, I worked on a headband for her.  By the time I was done, my pattern had been tested and revised.  She liked the headband I made her but wanted lighter weight for summer.  I had her go back to my craft room and pick out thread.

I'm not a huge fan of working with thread - it's harder for me to see and harder on my hands.  However, this is a small pattern so I thought okay I'll give it a try.  My niece thought I'd have to reduce the width of the pattern but in reality thread is much smaller than worsted weight yarn, so all I've had to do is reduce the size of my crochet hook and thread to use the same pattern to create a lighter weight headband for her.  I'm hoping she'll like it.

While I came by this pattern in almost the opposite way I normally do things, I think the pattern turned out really nicely.  It isn't difficult or too time consuming.  It works up nicely both in worsted weight and in thread.  I'll be publishing it when I get the second project done.

This means I got a lot done while sitting in the car.  I worked on two projects, came up with ideas for other projects, and wrote a pattern.  Next, I want to get those ideas for the projects down and work on them.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Medical Bills

It's been a rough year for us with urgent care and emergency room visits, doctor's appointments, tests, and procedures.  Last year our co-pays were lower and a few years ago, we rarely saw a bill with our insurance.  We paid our premiums and co-pays and the insurance paid the rest.

Unfortunately that isn't the case.  Ken had a kidney stone this year.  The emergency room visit cost us nearly $7K.  The procedure they did to blast it was about $23K.  We paid our co-pays but we're still going to be left with $715 to pay.

One of the benefits for my job - a flex plan.  I set aside money every year for medical expenses.  This year we were going to do eyes and teeth.  That was the plan.  It won't be happening.  My flex plan funds have been eaten up with co-pays, prescriptions, and tests.  I don't have enough left to pay the hospital bill for Ken's procedure.  I'll be budgeting that in - somehow.

We aren't done either.  I'm supposed to have an allergy test and sinus surgery this year.  I'm waiting on approvals from the insurance to be able to do these things in the hopes I won't spend six months on antibiotic.

I guess paying off bills and loans is going to be slower than I hoped.  I look at my budget and wonder how I'm going to fit in yet another bill and the continuing costs.  I start to wonder if I should put off some of the procedures, cut back on prescriptions, and so on.  All in an effort to save funds.  But aren't I supposed to put my health first?

Next year the state is going to self-insure.  If I'm paying this much now, how much more will I be paying?  I already have a lot of money taken out of my check for benefits and insurance.  How will we manage if I need to set aside more?  These are some of the questions weighing on my mind.  It makes me wonder if I should cope with my health issues and not have tests done.  The allergy test is $1000 if the insurance doesn't cover it.  I won't be having it done if the insurance denies it.  The question becomes how much will the insurance cover?  Same with the surgery.  They'll be knocking me out which means a full day in the hospital if there are no complications.  How much of it will the insurance pay?  How much will go on our ever growing bill?  Makes me wonder if it would be better to wait.  Antibiotics are less expensive but the stress on my body is unbearable.

We're lucky in that we have good insurance.  I cannot imagine how bad it is for those who don't have - or won't have - good insurance if ACA (Obamacare) goes away.  I'm also very concerned with what happens next year with my own insurance.  With self-insurance, I'm betting we will end up paying more - probably a lot more.  This is one of the reasons I am going ahead with the tests and surgery this year.  It is an added stress for me, especially since working for the state means raises are rare and small if you do get one.  I'll hope we don't go too far into debt in order to get these things done.

The one good thing - I believe I've finally made the last payment for last year's medical bills.  Now I have to figure out how I'm paying this years.  Anyone want to buy a book?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Riding the Waves

It's been an interesting start to the new year.  We've had a lot of going to urgent care and the emergency room.  Nothing tragic or life threatening but lots of trips with sinus infections, bronchitis, and kidney stones.  I'm ready for this to change.  It's expensive and stressful.

Monday I went to an ear nose and throat specialist.  He got me on a different antibiotic and scoped my sinuses.  I have more information now which is good.

Tuesday Ken got the all clear on his kidney stone.  It is gone.  Plus he has no stones in either of his kidneys.  All good news.

Now for the downside - after his appointment, we got supper and were settling in to our happy news.  Then my sister text to say my uncle was in the hospital.  Shortly after that text, she sent another one which said my aunt (not married to the uncle who was in the hospital but a different brother of my mom's who passed) was also in the hospital.

It's been a week.  No - really it's been a couple of months of this teeter totter affect and health issues.  I'm hoping things are evening out but I'm not holding my breath.

One of the brighter spots in my week / month is my daughter Virginia got notified she made the President's list for her excellent grades for her fall 16 schedule.  She also just finished her math class and got a 100% on her final as well as an A in the class - though this isn't official yet.  She's stressed with school but she's actually doing really well.

There's no choice but to ride the waves of my life right now.  At this point we're moving from the gully of the wave to the crest.  I'm just hoping there are no tsunamis in my future.  I'd be happy with nice gentle waves for a time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Family Celebrations and Finished Projects

It's done!  I finally finished the big blanket for my youngest daughter.  It took a lot of work and time but her Packer emblem corner to corner graph afghan is done.  In the picture on the left it is laying on top of my king size bed and a few inches hang over on the left and right side.  At the bottom you can see the G better.  With it across my bed, it hung down about a foot on each side.  It was a big blanket.


It feels odd not having a BIG project to do.  I've started an afghan for one of my nieces.  I have a couple of other projects but I'm starting to wind down on the crocheting.

It might be time to work on writing again.  I've started the next Wayfarer novel and am looking forward to where it will take me.

It's been an extremely busy few weeks.  The two daughters in Atlanta came home for a weekend.  We celebrated the youngest getting her master's degree.  We are really proud of her.  We had a family gathering at our house over the weekend.

It was good to have them home to get after Ken for doing too much.  He still hasn't passed his kidney stone.  He has good days and bad days.  I'm hoping it passes soon so he is out of pain.

I did the middle daughter's taxes while she was home.  This weekend I have more taxes to do.  I'll have to tackle ours as well as doing two other people's taxes.

This month is zooming by with one thing after another.  One of the things I'd like to stop is the ER and Urgent care visits.  It would be nice if everyone could be healthy for maybe two or three weeks in a row so we don't have to go to either ER or Urgent care... I'm not holding my breath.  

Days Fly By

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