Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Definitely in a small project mood lately...can't remember if I mentioned it yet, but I started a baby sweater, the Spirogyra fingerless gloves, and a fresh pair of Broadripples this past weekend. Did a little bit of all three last night while I watched TV, and it was surprisingly satisfying. Those and Beach are the extent of my attention span where knitting is concerned lately...haven't gotten around to frogging the other projects, but I see it happening.
I can see Mom's going to take some convincing where Dad's tools are concerned. She made the comment that when Lil Bro and I get around to having our own homes, that we'll want all new stuff. She doesn't get how valuable Dad's stuff is, that they plain don't make tools like that anymore, and the last thing I want to do is buy new stuff and have it turn out to be crap when I could've had Dad's. In this throwaway society of ours, it's just a given that most of Dad's tools are built better and will last longer because of their age. I'm hoping Cyril and I will be able to sit together soon and just go through the whole cabinet and split his stuff between us. I get that she's trying to make money at the tag sale, but there's plenty there of value for us kids too. I can see myself weakening on my desire for his big drill; if I could get one of his electric circular saws instead...so much stuff to go through. I'm going over Saturday after knitting, and we'll just start taking boxes down.
Got Friday the 9th off! Very happy about that. The 12th may be Dad's 1-year mark, but things started that Thursday night, and that Friday was the longest day of my life. I didn't want to be in Jacksonville for that day at all, let alone working; it would've been brutal. This way, we'll go up to SC Thursday night, hang with his folks Friday, and go camp Saturday and Sunday. This also means coming back Monday and being there Tuesday morning for the church service that Mom has had dedicated to Dad.
Monday, April 28, 2008
OT first half of this week...I hate OT during the week, but my boss is blackmailing me...he isn't really able to spare me on Friday the 9th, but he will if I put forth a good-faith effort to knock out the queues for month end. I'll take his manipulation, can always use the money, and I haven't been doing any weekend OT since they started it back up, because one day a weekend has been devoted to Mom in some way, and I make sure to have one day for me.
Pretty sure we found Mom an apartment this past weekend, so organizing her house will kick into high gear now. I'm going to have to get my own storage space, because she likely won't get a garage in the new place. That's fine, will allow me to better parcel what I want from the garage hopefully. Cross your fingers for us, that one of her neighbors comes through on their interest in buying the house as an investment.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Friday means the weekend, wearing jeans to work, having time for me. Technically I could wear jeans about everyday, but a) I only own one pair, and b) I'm just old enough to have some standards when it comes to what's appropriate to wear to work. These 20-somethings who show up for work in their club wear and flip-flops baffle me. Where'd their parents go wrong? Is that another sign I'm old and out of touch? Nah...
Hanging with Lil Sis and Mom Saturday, while we scope the apartment sitch on my side of town for Mom. Sunday, hopefully some puttering and baking. I want to try the Emergency Chocolate Cake recipe from Farmgirl, start some fingerless gloves and another pair of socks, and do some cleaning. It could happen. Finished Husby's socks last night!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
But my hatred for the man spawned when he decided that he was smarter than the medical community and needed to voice the evils of psychiatry and psychotropic medications. My bloodwork and symptomology are scientific proof that I benefit from certain medications, and that I'll likely be on them the rest of my life. I find his views poorly researched, unsubstantiated, and his desire to spout them so publicly, dangerous.
I've been down to 10 mg. on the Paxil for about 2 weeks now, the result of trying to wean off the stuff before getting pregnant. The result has been constant headaches, I'm back talking to myself constantly, I can't stand being trapped in meeting rooms for long periods, and I'm scattered as hell. Decided I'd had enough of that yesterday, and today I went back up to 20 mg. It's been a good morning, and while I'll grant you that the decision itself is enough to swing my emotions a bit, I also know I'm doing right by me, making this choice for now. If/when I get pregnant, I'll talk it over with both doctors before deciding if I cold-turkey the rest. But until then, it's just not worth coming unglued. I like me on Paxil; I'm a very strong, more complete person on it. Tom Cruise can go f*ck himself.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Aside: The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule is a delightful book. Granted, I see the ideas inside it with the new-eyed advantage of not even having kids yet to try them out on, but I was just blown away by the gentle, nurturing guidance she offers. I read it cover to cover, and am starting over so I can dig into the projects. I recommend it for anyone with small people.
Been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately; the house is suffering from terminal clutter, and not having a desk to work at is definitely not helping my scattyness. I FOCUS at a desk; I'm able to put stuff into piles, put those piles into files or boxes, and make things all right in Melanie's world. If it's possible to neglect the family finances more than I already do, I neglect them worse when I don't have a desk. This needs to be remedied, and we'll be investigating several options over the next couple of weeks. We have dibs, it appears, on the computer desk at Mom's, but it's a biggie and appears to be a one-piece deal - not something we can break down; so transport from Westside to Southside is an issue, as we all own sedans. But that would give me the dining room table back as a desk, and Melanie's planet would shift back onto its axis again. And that would be ok, because in spite of my whining about not having a dining room table either, Mom's thinking of letting go of her dining room table as well, and I'm pretty sure my other sibs don't have the room for it. I'd love to strip and refinish that sucker, and it comes with a leaf too.
I know, I know, don't you also whine about having too much furniture? This is true, but I'm looking with a long eye, toward renting a house next year, and that helps me remain patient with the overcrowded feeling. I look at the heavy oak coffee table that I rescued from the dumpster years back, and I see a perfect size table for toddlers to do crafts on. I'm planning to cut the cord on a couple of our end tables, which will move the extra end table into one of their spots. I'll have quite a few things to contribute to Mom's yard sale, when the time comes. And for the stuff that I can't seem to part with, I'll pull a Tim Gunn and "make it work." The wing chair I procured from Terra takes up room and still suffers from a case of the uglies, but it's comfy and I'm not ready to part with it, so how about trying my hand at my first slipcover? Even the strategic tucking in of an old bedsheet with some fabric paint for flair would be an improvement. Man, sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. Thankfully, I'm finding myself less interested in TV in the evenings lately, unless it's something new and specific, so that affords me the time to dig into other projects.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Turned the heel and heading up the gusset on Broadripple...made our reservation for the campsite...
Friday, April 18, 2008
Quarterly bonuses created a nice paycheck boost today, and my brain is aflutter at the idea of getting bills taken care of and still having enough to squirrel away so that we can go camping next month. It's a nice feeling. Still gotta be careful, of course, but it's nice to start budgeting when you've actually got money to work with.
Got sock up to heel turn, will start that this weekend. Those short rows are satisfying and go by fast. This weekend is pretty packed with projects; I may go to Mom's both Saturday and Sunday to help out. She'd love to get the house on the market soon, which means going through that garage and figuring out what goes into storage and what gets tag-saled. It's not a small task, so it's important we start chipping away at it.
Got my first spam in a while in the Comments...I'm pretty sure the individual trying to sell hair transplantation in Spanish doesn't give a crap about my blog. If it continues, I'll change my settings.
Happy Friday, folks! Enjoy the Spring!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Can tell I'm a little more scattered these days. Need to recognize it better, rather than ride it, or else I'm going to be frustrated with myself for not getting more done. When I'm able to look back on the evenings and can't remember DOING anything, that bugs me. I know I need relax time after work, but if all I'm doing is zoning in front of the tube, well of course, that won't do. There's exercise and detritus purging and Husby harassing and cleaning, and plenty of other stuff to amuse myself with.
SouleMama's latest entry lists some neat children's book selections for spring, plus shows examples of freezer paper stenciling. My cup runneth over every time I read her blog. Can't wait to get paid tomorrow; a tiny chunk of my bonus is going toward her book.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Joked this past weekend that I at least wanted to bring back the breeze. This has been a lovely spring - in like a lion in March with fun winds, a showery April, but like any Floridian I'm getting ready for the other sweaty shoe to drop and the temps to crank up. Did not expect the cold snap as I was leaving work last night (granted, at the ungodly hour of 8:00 p.m.); was in a short sleeve top and capris and freezing my niplets off! Well, wasn't THAT bad, and anyone who knows me knows I ain't complaining. But it did get down into the 40s, and this morning dawned cool with a light breeze that's promising to pick up later. Sweet! Now if only I wasn't chained to a blasted computer...
Mom J. asked me this weekend if I was thinking of homeschooling. She's a public school teacher's aide for special needs kids by trade, so I certainly wasn't going to malign public schooling in front of her, but it got me thinking. I hedged, citing the fact that it'll certainly depend on where we are 5 or 10 years from now, because as it stands, as the breadwinner with more likelihood of maintaining a solid job with bennies, it's a less feasible proposition. But with planning from me and better health on Husby's end, who knows where we could be in 5 years?
But watching Kylie this weekend helped me realize that I really am interested in unschooling or more Waldorf-style philosophies, as well as more natural and organic eating habits, or else the habits they're starting in her wouldn't make me so nutty. She seems to be developing "on time," which I'll admit surprises me considering the amount of time she spends watching TV (and the chemicals that hit her system in utero). But if a kid that size gives you a brown stare, it should be because of their 2-second attention span, not because they've learned to zone out already. Then there's the food issues...I got her up on Saturday morning and fixed her some milk and let her putter around, but for some reason she was showing almost no interest in the milk. Turns out that's because someone (Nana/MomJ.) had the bright idea of adding strawberry or chocolate syrup once, and now that's all she'll drink. The kid's 20 months old! As a treat when they get older, sure, but geez...and in a similar vein was a conversation Les and I had, where he thinks he remembers having Coke as early as age 6; he was justifying them giving her little sips of iced tea or Coke occasionally, because it's the way they were raised, so they're just unknowingly passing on not-necessarily-great habits. Well, I was raised on 7-up and as a treat at that, didn't look sideways at caffeinated drinks until high school. There was always Pepsi in the fridge, but that was for the adults (to go with their rye). So we were raised a bit differently, and it made me realize that if I really want things to change, I need to start talking it up more now, making small changes now, so that I'm not a complete hypocrite come parenting time. So that's getting more thought this week...and more investigation; I want to find library books on the subject, so I can actually research and stop feeling like I'm being judgmental without backing. Every time I feel myself being too critical, in my head there's the "yeah, well, just wait til you're a parent" thought. That's certainly viable, and it helps me hold my tongue when necessary; but once I'm there, I want to have the knowledge to make the right decisions, not just wing it based on how we were raised. Again, the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
This was also brought on by a friend's blog. Her son attends the local Waldorf school in Mendocino, CA, and he loves it so much, he has trouble finding enough to keep himself entertained on the weekends, never mind spring break. Makes her a little nutty, but it has to be heartening, especially considering what they shell out a year for that school. It's quite hard to imagine affording a private school tuition (or two) when you presently live so paycheck to paycheck you're barely making ends meet, but that would be one solution to the inability to homeschool question. It's certainly not an impossibility, just something that would require a helluva lot of planning, credit repair, and budgeting, which needs to happen anyway. Hmm...
Biggest Loser finale tonight! Go Ali!
Monday, April 14, 2008
The weather was so exquisite yesterday, Les and I actually did something we'd hoped to do while up there: wash the car. Quite out of character for our lazy butts, especially considering he still hasn't been able to get his hair cut yet (it's been growing for the better part of a year now without a trim, and is finally driving him batty - he stuffs it under a ball cap, and with his beard, he looks like he belongs at the wheel of a big rig ::grin:: damn cute n' scruffy), and I was working with my glasses on, because I thought I had managed a scratch on my eye (serious irritation, pain, and tearing late Saturday through Sunday that thankfully wasn't that bad, as I'm back in contacts for work - yay!). Ironically, we live literally across the driveway from our complex's car-washing station, but we never have quarters to spare, and it's ALWAYS occupied by a tenant who cares more about automotive aesthetics than we do. The weather was high-50s/low-60s with a nice breeze, and we worked as a team. I had such a blast! But in true "wait, we're outta shape?" fashion, our bodies started to tell us later that evening, in no uncertain terms, that we need to get to work on getting healthier. My goodness, the sore muscles! Then take that soreness and imagine waking up at 5:30 a.m. to hit the road back to Jax...and working a full shift after 5 hours in the car. I'm a bit shredded today, but it was so worth it, to get back up there, breathe fresh air, see and hug trees, play with the niece...she's really a beautiful kid, and I got some great pictures of her and of spring coming up around their yard and neighborhood. I'll post some soon; got 2 cool shots of bumblebees in the azaleas and the biggest iris I've ever seen in my life.
Tonight's a wash...I''m betting when I finally get home around 9 p.m., the bed will still be covered with laundry, suitcase, etc. And that really is fine, because Husby worked hard not to turtle this weekend, in spite of his head, so I'm expecting him to head undercovers for the next day or three, which is ok, because his body needs the recoup, and we're starting to talk seriously about finding him part-time work, so it's a take-it-while-you-can-get-it kind of thing. My evenings this week will be with Kathy Smith, the Bean, and my weights, as well as Frugal Living for Dummies and that menu plan/financial notebook I started months back; I'm teaching myself to budget our time and our finances. Being married 9 years, I figure it's about frickin' time :)
Almost ready to turn the heel on the second Broadripple sock, so that'll get my crafty attention this week, as well as deciding what to do about a pair of capris I got this weekend...made a classic mistake with those: it was a top-and-capri set for $11.98 (yes, I know, too good to be true) and they were displayed with the pants hung inside of the shirt. I noticed the ones I originally tried on had grease on them, so went back to the rack and grabbed another in the same size, without giving them a proper QC check. Turned out to have rips down BOTH legs. Well, frick on a stick! I usually do give clothes a QC check, but I was so delighted to be getting this little wardrobe boost, my brain glazed over. The darn things were only serged to begin with, so I fear my attempts to carefully hand-stitch the rips could result in disaster, and machine repair would result in them no longer fitting well around my legs, but if that turns out to be the case, I'm hoping to use that pair as a template for making myself something from scratch...stay tuned!
Friday, April 11, 2008
These SC trips really aren't a big deal; it's the change of venue that I'm looking forward to. I mean, it's harder to relax there sometimes, given the family drama; it never feels like we get enough time there, and the trip itself is a drag at times. But in between that, there's Mom J. buying me clothes, really fresh air, tall trees to hug, a nearly 2-year-old niece to lavish love on, and if I'm lucky, a quick hike in Hitchcock Woods. Mom J. wants to take me out Saturday, so maybe early Sunday when everybody else is still sleeping, I can get my woods time. I spend a lot of time outdoors when we're up there, partly because it's quite pretty and partly because that house does get kind of small at times with all the people that live there. The ride up is half-interstate and half back roads, and the back roads are beautiful...lots of fields, farmland, cows, horses, etc. Even at night, it's a lovely stretch.
I'm packing smarter, only 2 books and 1 knitting project, since time will be tight. Plus I have a bad habit of neglecting Grandma when I'm there, so I'll be trying to spend more time downstairs chatting her up. She's over 85 and doesn't get around a whole lot, and the split-level nature of the house makes it easier to bypass her floor, which she has to feel sometimes.
This weekend is 11 months. This Dad-being-gone thing is really getting old, and I think it's time for him to come back now. I'm really glad that I'm weaning off my meds, because it is allowing me to grieve again...TV's a real bitch, can't keep a dry eye during any funeral scene, no matter how detached I think I am from the show at the time.
Mom's had nibbles from 2 different neighbors about possibly buying her house as an investment, so she's totally hot to clear the joint out and getting cracking on a move. Next weekend, I'll be over there giving the garage a true once-over and making a list of stuff that I'd like to see in storage personally; and I'll plant her aloes while I'm at it. I'm bringing an aloe up to Mom J. this weekend, so I'll finally be down to 1 plant besides the Big Boys.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Naturally haven't gotten to the aloe this week, so I'll just bring up the clay pot version for Mom J. This weekend will be about spending time with family, breathing fresh air, and starting lists. And knitting Les's sock...been neglecting all my knitting lately.
The weather's doing that tourist poster thing...sunshine, breezy, 70s...my brain is already enjoying a Publix Boar's Head sub outside, but I suppose I should edit a few more sites first...
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The breeze appears to be sticking around, I ache to be outdoors...hope it's present up in SC too...
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Then there's the ever-present aloe...I brought 3 plants over to Mom's this past weekend, which I'll put in the ground the weekend after next. That leaves 2 good-sized plants and the big boys. I'm thinking I need to play in the dirt this week...I want to bring one plant up to Mom J. and maybe smaller ones for Kara and Jade (LilSisinLaws), so I'm thinking of breaking up some plants in the evenings this week. Thing is, I can't afford topsoil right now...wonder if I can pilfer some earth from the complex without them noticing? I'm definitely going to play a bit this evening...the plants out on the front landing just aren't getting enough sun, they're getting droopy and losing their succulence...so I need to a) bring them into the front window where they'll get decent light, and b) give them better homes. Also, there's a neat weed growing with one of the aloes, that I want to give its own pot, see if I can nurture it further and figure out what the heck it is...
So, giving the apartment a cursory mental glance, I'm thinking I'll move the green end table back into the bedroom, rearrange all the crap near the knitting chair, and cover the table well so I can put the aloes on it below the front window. I'll pull out my tools and lay down newspaper and see what I can break down. I neglected the aloes for so long out on the porch, thinking I didn't care about them...now that the neglect appears to be doing some harm, I'm determined to turn my brown thumb a little greener.
Lightbulb! Those shallow containers that I set aside for planting (old litter boxes mainly)...aloe thrives in shallow containers; since I'm fearful of planting greens and herbs without a catproof structure in place, I'll use those containers for aloe for now. It'll seem to multiply my plants right when I was trying to decrease them, but it'll be healthier for them and allow me to give some away in the smaller containers.
Pictures soon, I promise!
Monday, April 07, 2008
Rested well this past weekend, got to spend time with Mom and get laundry done...found some fresh library books to read for a week and then ignore...looking forward to Friday! Barring further illness, we're heading up to SC for a quick visit and respite. Nice to have something to look forward to...
This week will be filled with small tasks, mainly spring cleaning and some preliminary budgeting. I'm reinstituting direct deposit finally (had to get my checks cut for about 4 months there), which introduces the opportunity to put some in savings and the rest in checking every pay period. Can we afford to? Of course not, but it's one of those "can't afford not to" things...every little bit of planning gets us closer to SC for good (or even just having a frickin' buffer for emergencies...). Will be working on Husby's sock, checking out some J.D. Robbs' that I inherited in a pass-around at work, and continuing work on finding a balance between my appetite and my desire to eat healthy.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Later, sunglass shopping at Target ($6 for Wayfarer wannabes), the library after work, and relaxing, relaxing, relaxing...
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Weather's gorgeous, almost too warm, 80s and muggy because it's not raining nearly as much as it's threatening...makes me want to cut my hair shorter, but I'll try to have patience. Besides, now that it has fresh layers, cutting it shorter would just give it more body, which would drive me nuttier than the length. Yes, I know how fickle I am about my hair, what's it to you?
I ache to be elsewhere, am quite ready for a jaunt to SC next weekend, even though it's barely a breather between the family drama that accompanies these trips and the fact that I can't get any time off work, thanks to the flu sucking all my PTO dry. Hopefully I can get a hike in at Hitchcock Woods and some play time with the niece; both those activities help recharge me nicely.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Yeah, well, Technology-Free Day never really got off the ground in the Johnson household, but Husby was so jazzed about Earth Hour this past weekend, I think this one has a better shot. Check it out at Elements in Time when you get a chance; every little bit helps!
Energy level markedly better today...went to sleep after watching The Biggest Loser, and the motivation was still there when I got up this morning. Finally a reality show I can get into...even blew up the Bean last night! And then promptly realized I'd eaten too much at dinner and would have to make do with stretching. Still, better than nothing...the problem with my appetite is still there, but I'm always hungry as a result, so I have to be careful not to overeat when I do have an appetite for something...learning as I go, and having my pants all fit again is a real shot in the arm in the meantime. Watching The Biggest Loser is a real motivator though, because even though those folks are probably losing weight a little fast for the medical communities' liking (the average seems to be about 80 pounds in a 3½ month period...which I know is just nutty and doesn't work for everyone), it's still a "real person's account" of sorts, meaning they aren't perfect or instantly athletic...watching them do the triathlon last night, it was obvious how they struggled, which only makes sense when most of them were sedentary and shaped like me only 3 months prior...anyway, I'm enjoying the competition, and the drama isn't too contrived, although one of the guys cries so much, it's kind of funny.
Man, it feels good to be feeling better!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
So around 9 a.m. every morning during the week, my favorite time of day rolls around. The coffee kicks in (and the morning medications and supplements) and my brain opens up with ideas and dreams. I'm in Columbia riding my bike to work at the local health food store, I'm taking the kids to a park, I'm planting my garden, I'm baking in a kitchen that's not galley...or better yet, I'm making lists on SCMoving for how I can get closer to these dreams. My spirit lifts markedly, and it doesn't hurt so much that I'm trapped indoors at a computer, and that my kids are still eggs.
Living in the future too much? Yeah, probably, but when the present is disappointing, part of working to change it is planting your ideas firmly in the future and then taking the necessary steps to get there. Sure, I'm risking never being happy with the present, by leaning so heavily on the dreams of the future, but I find a balance usually.
Anyway, while my body's still on the mend, it's been harder to get up in the mornings and get moving...I'm in the third full week of the latest Paxil decrease too, so that's gotta be contributing to the malaise that whomps me when the alarm goes off in the morning. So when my spirits take that upswing in the morning after I've been at my desk a bit, had some breakfast, done some sites, it's delicious...it's a breath of fresh air, it's springtime, it's diving into water and then breaking the surface, it's good food and Husby hugs and sinking my hands into soil. How can you knock that?
Special congratulations go out to SouleMama, whose first book, The Creative Family, hits the shelves today. I look forward to shelling out the dough for this one; her family is one big warm fuzzy, and I can't wait to learn more from her. Now, to start my own family to inflict inspiration on...!