disorganization is killing me

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:48 am
jenni_blog: (Default)
[personal profile] jenni_blog
When I retired on June 30th last year (almost a whole year now!) I knew that it might be tough adjusting to a new lifestyle. After all, I had continued working after having my two children and that was back in the day when working mothers were given only three months' paid maternity leave and fathers none! (Now it's a year for both, I believe. Such a huge difference that would have made in my day. But on reflection I think my experience made me a tougher person and able to deal with anything that came my way.)

Anyway, I've discovered that retirement isn't easy! It requires a huge adjustment from living a life of organization to one of a freewheeling mess that I am not used to and don't particularly enjoy!

A year ago I couldn't wait for my last day of work to come. I felt quite impatient waiting for it and slacked off something terrible because I was suddenly sick and tired of our patients and what I perceived as all their whining. Obviously, that was a terrible attitude to have when dealing with sick people but I wouldn't let anyone see it and basically left my co-workers to handle these patients. And when my last day finally came I was ecstatic. One of my co-workers drove me home with all the gifts I received from patients and colleagues alike - I felt quite loved when I saw the stuff that she dumped out all over my front lawn but also relieved that the past 50 years of working were finally over.

My boss asked me what I was going to do first and I told him "Sleep for a week and then get up and figure things out!" I did accomplish the first part, sleeping for a week, waking in the summer mornings with the sunlight streaming through my windows, stretching like a cat before turning over and falling back to sleep again, wearing my pyjamas all day long and not doing a single thing that required any mental or physical effort. It was a week of heaven.

Then my daughter arrived to spend a month with us. She took me shopping for plants and gardening supplies because the first thing I wanted to do was plant a beautiful garden and keep it nice. The best thing about that month was that I got to spend all that quality time with her. We went on a few hikes despite the hideously hot weather last summer and we spent a lot of time sitting on the patio sipping cold drinks while watching the flowers grow. Or else we'd go shopping, for clothes, gardening stuff, pretty things for the house that we didn't need. My boss had given me $5,000 as a parting gift that I just blew.

At the same time my husband and I decided that we were going to pay off the rest of our mortgage from our savings (there wasn't that much mortgage left) since I wouldn't be having anymore employment income. We also had our swimming pool closed and filled in and covered up with new sod to create a beautiful grassy backyard that everyone could enjoy. It had been years since anyone used the pool and it needed a new lining that would have cost as much as the fill-in, plus the extra expense on our monthly hydro bill for running the pool heater.

All that made me think I was on the right track. I began organizing the huge clutter bomb that our basement had become and pulled out a few items that we could put up for our garage sale that we held last July. But we didn't sell very much stuff and after a good start on the basement mess I haven't really made any inroads since. Once in awhile I will get off my ass and go downstairs to tackle it again. But what usually happens is that I'll come across something I want to use again and I'll drag it back upstairs. This happened with a bunch of cookbooks that I hadn't used in years but they gave me the idea that I'd like to start making dishes again from scratch and that became my new hobby for awhile. Now there are piles of cookbooks scattered over the family room and it's a cluttered mess right now. In fact, the whole house is a cluttered mess and needs a good clearout.

I'm sensing a pattern here. I go down to the basement to clear out the clutter, find something that piques my interest (heaven help me if I come across my old scrapbooking stuff), drag it upstairs where it piles up, clear the clutter from upstairs and take it down to the basement again where it piles up. I'm facepalming right now just thinking about it.

What I need to do is what used to be called a good spring cleaning. I want to begin with the kitchen cupboards, take out everything that we haven't used for years, dispose of it in the garbage and retain one or two cupboards for storing the cookbooks that I brought up from the basement. Then I'll move on from there and clear out every room in the house, one at a time, leaving the basement for last. It could take years and it's still in the stage where I'm just thinking about doing it but haven't done anything yet.

What I really hate is this feeing of indecisiveness and ennui (laziness) that has taken me over! I wasn't like this when I was still working!

Real life has gotten in the way too, and has made me sad and a bit anxiety-ridden, which hasn't helped me become more efficient around the house. My husband suffered two cerebral hemorrhages in January, spending a week in hospital to recover, and while he was very, very lucky to not have too much lasting damage in a physical sense, he has definitely experienced cognitive changes that are sometimes quite challenging to deal with. Besides increased anxiety on his part, he forgets things very easily and requires much repetition before sometimes understanding what I'm saying to him. It appears as if he is not listening to anything I'm saying but it's really that he's not comprehending. He will sometimes use the wrong word to describe something, or he is incapable of description altogether. I worry about him driving - once on our way to the library he went to make a left turn into the path of a car coming toward us. It was as if he didn't see the other car at all. That scared the shit out of me. It was only one time but nobody can afford to make one major mistake on the road.

Then our son who had borrowed our 'good' car had a minor accident on the way to work not long ago that left the car with a crumpled front end, two broken headlights and a damaged air conditioner. My husband was so mad at him he made Jamie take his own car back out of our garage where he had stored it and drive it in the winter (which was something he didn't want to do and was why he borrowed our car in the first place). He then bought two new headlights for the car and hammered out the dents in the front so it looks passable and we've been driving it. It just doesn't have air conditioning but we've been lucky so far that it's been such a cool spring that we haven't needed it.

Just now I've heard from my daughter who was supposed to come for the long weekend next Saturday, but last night her car died and she had to have it towed home! She lives about an hour and a half away from us by car. She was at the mall and had to take a bus home. It was the last bus and she didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. She and her husband have an appointment on Friday at a dealership to buy or lease a new car but she can't come over to see us now. Sean hasn't seen her for awhile and is disappointed. She is his real mother although we are his legal guardians as well as his grandparents and he lives with us. A long story best left for another time.

It just seems as if the family drama is all happening right now and I feel jittery and not able to concentrate on anything else. Plus I am heartsick about having to cancel a trip I was planning to take next month to Vermont for a special event. I would have been meeting some online friends that I've had for years and was looking forward to with much pleasant anticipation. I thought it would be possible to go but when I told my husband about it (I purposely kept it from him until very recently because of his tendency to forget things) he freaked out and said he didn't want to be separated from me for even two-three days because if something happened to him (another cerebral hemorrhage or something worse) then nobody would be around to discover his body lying on the floor. He was so full of anxiety that I had to cancel my plans. I'm devastated about it but I understand his feelings as well. He would be alone for those few days. Our son Jamie was going to drive me to Vermont and stay with me of course, and Sean won't be here because he's going to the cottage that week with his other grandma. Olivia probably wouldn't be available to come over because her two little kids would be off school and her husband needs to work. She could bring the kids with her but doesn't want to because my husband (her father) told her that he needs his peace and quiet and doesn't want noisy little kids around. (Believe me, they are very noisy! But I love them.)

Anyway, I feel very bad right now. I've been trying to write some stories that are overdue for challenges I entered but my mind is so scattered that I cannot concentrate. I think I left out some things I wanted to add to this post too, but it's long enough as is so I'll just end it here for now.

Peace out, everybody. Don't feel bad for me, I always want to keep a positive view and I'm sure everything will get better sooner rather than later.

State of the renovations...

Jun. 28th, 2017 12:35 pm
[personal profile] openidwouldwork
I can has tiles in the bathroom!


... in progress... )

One week gone, five weeks to go....

Jun. 26th, 2017 07:44 am
shirebound: (Piglet signature)
[personal profile] shirebound
I'm still here, but soooooo busy! I'm slowly crossing off items from my 3-page, single-spaced Task List of Doom for the upcoming move across the country, but it's still quite daunting. Today I have a doctor's appointment then it's off to the Auto Club to get the route mapped and find out about pet-friendly motels, I'm dropping off my 15-year old car for $$$ repairs so I can trust it on the long drive and beyond, meeting with the landlord, returning a bunch of phone calls, and continuing my research on renting a moving truck vs. hiring a moving van. I also want to find out about shipping Shiremom's car across the country so we both have a car when we get to our destination.

But while I'm buried in details and flailings, life goes on. My free-spirited niece just got engaged! Her equally free-spirited boyfriend designed and carved the engagement ring himself (they don't have much money). She's ecstatic, and so are we. He's a sweet and attentive man, and most importantly, Pippin adores him.

Pippin needs breakfast and walkies.... gotta go!
ysilme: Slashy Santa Swap icon. (Slashy Santa)
[personal profile] ysilme
I managed to completely oversee the original sign-up post, and I'm even late signal-boosting the sign-up extension. I assume, though, that you've all seen it elsewhere already anyway. ;o) But still, I'm happy to see [livejournal.com profile] slashy_santa hosting the summer challenge again! So just go there for more details and sign up!

Ardor in August 2017


Due to moderator illness, sign-ups have been extended until Tuesday, June 27!

From the Years of the Trees through the Fourth Age – it’s time once again to make your Tolkien FPS fanfic dreams come true…

Have you always wanted to read a certain pairing or scenario, but couldn’t write it yourself? Have it written for you – specifically and especially for your own sweet self! And share your own gift in exchange!

That’s right, it’s time for Ardor in August! The exchange focuses on the Elves, Men, Dwarves, Valar and Maiar of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. Maybe it’s Gildor and Glorfindel you love, or perhaps Boromir-on-Theodred strikes your fancy... or maybe Lúthien and Thuringwethil is your OTP? From the Years of the Trees to the Fourth Age, from sultry tales of the Silmarillion to romances in the Ring Wars – spread the word, recruit your friends and fellow authors, and have some fun!
Critical dates:

  • Sign-up period: June 11 - June 25

  • Assignments to be distributed no later than July 9th

  • Deadline for first-time participants: August 13th

  • Deadline for returning participants: August 20th

  • Archive opens: August 27th, 2017

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:15 pm
phyncke: (Fleur de Lys)
[personal profile] phyncke
So hey - I am here with a post. I had a great vacation in New Hampshire/Massachusetts. I spent time with my family and met my half-sister and there was nothing bad or scary about that. She is very nice and we all got along. We spent a Friday-Monday weekend thing together on the Cape in Mass and it was very good. It was amazing how relaxed it all was. I was very happy that there was no weird awkwardness and that my Dad had a good time. This was the first time he was meeting his eldest daughter so that was pretty cool.

Had some great gastro experiences - ate fried clams, had a lobster roll. So that was very fun. We did some girlie things - I got my face done with a make up person. So now I know how to do make up. It is funny - I have spent most of my life not doing make up but now I am kind of getting into it. I got some stuff and it looks pretty good. It is not that hard to do. I do quick make up on work mornings - just mascara and lips and then more involved when I am going out on the weekends. So there is that.

The only other thing that is new is that I have gotten back into plants. I went through a phase for a while where I was killing my plants. I guess I was not paying attention to them. But now with the help of a friend - I am getting some nice plants and herbs and enjoying caring for them. I made some salmon with fresh dill that I grew myself. That was fun and delicious. Fresh dill is way better than the dry stuff. More flavorful.

Anyhoo - that is about all I have. Tomorrow, I am going to Santa Cruz for the day and to see David Sedaris speak at a local bookstore there. I am very excited about that. We get a copy of his new book and hopefully he will sign it.

So that is the state of me. Hope all is well with you. Comments are awesome.





by www.laurahonest.com
 photo k4u-bbgs-lhg-jadagarden-phyncke_zpstvmkfjtc.gif

Ardor in August

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:34 am
keiliss: (sunset_tree by ohsweetwitchery)
[personal profile] keiliss


If you were in two minds about signing up for Ardor in August, here's a message from the universe just for you - sign ups do not close tonight, they've been extended till TUESDAY! See? You are meant to do it! Go here for the full post including the rules.

And then CLICK HERE to sign up. Go on, you know you want to!!!

Sign-up period: June 11 - June 27
Assignments to be distributed no later than July 9th

Deadline for first-time participants: August 13th
Deadline for returning participants: August 20th

Archive opens: August 27th, 2017
hhimring: (Default)
[personal profile] hhimring
Balcony Scene (200 words) by Himring
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien, TOLKIEN J. R. R. - Works & Related Fandoms
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Fingon | Findekáno/Maedhros | Maitimo
Characters: Maedhros | Maitimo, Fingon | Findekáno
Additional Tags: Valinor, Romance, Fluff, Romeo & Juliet - Freeform, Moon
Summary:

In Valinor, after Maedhros and Fingon's re-embodiment.
A light and fluffy variation on the famous rescue, with a little bit of help from the Bard.

Reccing a fic I beta'ed

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:39 pm
hhimring: (Default)
[personal profile] hhimring
I failed the Matryoshka challenge myself, but I managed to beta a great fic that Robinka has written for it.
It features a lovely Beleg, both brave and kind, not without a sense of humour.
It is entitled "A Hero of the Day" and she posted it to the SWG Archive yesterday.

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 03:09 am
keiliss: (pink sky)
[personal profile] keiliss
No, I'm still alive. Just loooots of family stuff lately, all bunched together so I barely had time to breathe. Pink Flamingo is waiting patiently (because it's a nice, understanding fic). I have final edits to do on a chapter, (which should be a day's work really), and then the final chapter to write. I do not know what happened to my creativity, but it took off and hibernated. I have never experienced anything quite like it. I suppose at least part is to do with how quiet fandom has been lately.

My space bar sticking every third word doesn't help inspire me to type, lord knows. I need to get it looked at but it is such a business following the warranty instructions (knew there was a reason to get the extended warranty) and they will take it away and spend forever fixing what is probably a tiny problem so I keep putting it off.

My SWG Hero challenge fic will be late. I was on target and proud of myself but life happened (plus it was so cold that on two nights I just went to bed and left it - we people of the far south do not do single digit temperatures well). Current personal challenge is to finish it before the end of the month. I have to work this around a colonoscopy/gastroscopy and the prep therefor so we're talking less time than the calendar suggests :D

Otherwise life is as it is. Grandbaby is gorgeous and started smiling at 5 weeks (I told her mother she was talking nonsense, but the child does in fact smile, eyes light up and everything). She has discovered Making Sounds and has a sweet, very girly voice. She hardly sleeps at night. Daughter has that hollow-eyed, deathly pale vampire look. I say it's karmic revenge for her 3 months of colic.

I'll be crossposting this. I know I had all these ideas about using the two blogs differently but it's too quiet right now and I'm not exactly posting up a storm so that seems a bit silly really.

(cries in elvish)

Jun. 24th, 2017 03:07 am
fernstrike: (Cityscape)
[personal profile] fernstrike
 please take a moment to mourn my entire post that i just lost by accidentally clicking away and returning to a blank autosaved draft

Essentially, it consisted of the jubilant announcement that I have at last finished my entry for the Hero's Journey Matryoshka Challenge. It was definitely a challenge!!! I definitely enjoyed it nonetheless. 

Then, an apology for the absence because I was travelling in Europe with my mother.

Then I ranted a bit about my writing projects, which were basically:
  1. Camp NaNoWriMo this July. An 80k word overhaul of my 2016 attempt.
  2. Golden Point Awards entry (a Singaporean literary competition).
  3. Writeup of my Russia trip.
  4. Writeup of my Europe trip.
  5. Completing my first 'villain treatise' (which is basically a quasi-analytical rant)
Then I was excited about starting Malay lessons in two weeks!

And then I mentioned the books I'm currently reading now that I have time - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, and The Unfinished Tales by Professor Tolkien.

Sorry for this slapdash summary, I'm so heartbroken about that lost post and it's too late to write it nicely again :(

It's a birthday!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 06:56 am
shirebound: (Default)
[personal profile] shirebound
Happy Birthday, [personal profile] nessrealta! Celebrate your day!

bilbofrodo

Today, we met the teacher.

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:18 pm
oloriel: (hp - i don't make stupid mistakes)
[personal profile] oloriel
By the unfathomable algorithm that assigns the ~90 new kids to their teachers and classes, Felix was sorted into Raven class. This naturally amuses me a lot.

The meeting went well. I continue to be positively impressed, even if the teacher speaks a bit too emphatically slow for my tastes. (None of Felix' kindergarten teachers used or use a special "small children and fools" pitch. More's the pity, because one of the old ones had a voice like fingernails on a blackboard, and another spoke like a drill sergeant! So I guess there's worse things than emphatically slow. This teacher has a very warm and pleasant voice, at any rate.)

I also continue to be somewhat sad that the Flixster makes things a lot harder on himself than they need to be. I know that Felix starts to squirm and goof around and act absent-minded because he's embarrassed and anxious about doing something wrong, so he acts like he isn't interested at all, but of course that's exactly the sort of behaviour that leads to strangers thinking that he's a) trying to piss them off or b) on the spectrum (possibly both). But the teacher was a woman of great patience and equally great experience and cracked his shell pretty quickly by first showing him around the classroom and then challenging him to some reading and counting games. Since he likes to excel and feels comfortable about letters and numbers, that went well. (It's when he doesn't feel secure about something that his desire to be the best seriously gets in the way. Ah, that paralysing mixture of ambition and fear of failure, I know it so well!) Embarassing moment: When he made a mistake (not even a proper mistake, it was actually just a misunderstanding), he berated himself rather severely, and I expect the teacher now thinks that he's got that from us, the parents. Which is not true! The only thing he undoubtedly got from us is that dratted inner perfectionist! I keep telling him that it's alright to make mistakes and that mistakes help you to learn! Which the teacher duly told him as well, repeatedly. He acted as if it was a completely new idea. *sigh* Well, perhaps he needed to hear it from somebody else.
(When I suggested piano lessons or some other musical instrument to him, he said "No, I don't want to", and when I asked why, he said "Because I don't know how to do it!" Sweety, that's what lessons are about!)

At any rate, it is now established that Felix will probably start on the material for second grade in most fields. (First and second grade are in mixed classes and the material is adapted to different learning speeds anyway, so this will be very easy to do, logistically.) I had sort of hoped to avoid that because, because let's face it, emotionally Felix is more like only-just-five rather than almost-six, let alone seven like normal second-graders. But the teacher judges that he'd quickly be bored even by the more challenging first-grader material and it'd be unwise to hold him back. She's probably right. But the fact remains that he's already smaller than most kids his age, so when he habitually gets to work with kids who are actually older, it gets even harder to keep up. Physically and in terms of maturity! It's not his intellectual capacities I'm worried about. But at least his teacher is sympathetic - when I apologised for Felix' fidgeting and yawning at the end of the meeting, she just smiled sagely and said "We have to remember that he's still a very young child". Yes! That's something that's so easy to forget because he's so precocious sometimes, even for his doting parents and grandparents, and it was apparently impossible to grasp for the folks at his old kindergarten. So if this teacher can keep it in mind, that's worth a lot.

Next week, the whole class will assemble for the first time, and I'm glad he already knows his way around the room so maybe there'll be less need to play down his anxiety. Of course, I won't know! They'll meet without their parents present! TERRIFYING THOUGHT! My baby! My snowflake!

What went less well is that in the end, because Felix is still a very young child, he scuffled with his even younger brother and thus forgot to take along the notebook the teacher gave him to playfully work on his penmanship. Embarrassing, that. I hope she found it and keeps it until next week's get-together...

Languages 101

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:39 am
la_samtyr: books (books)
[personal profile] la_samtyr
"Adios y gracias por el pez."

species mis-communication

Back home, back online

Jun. 20th, 2017 10:01 pm
oloriel: (summer sea)
[personal profile] oloriel
Sooo, time to fess up: I wasn't just internetless for a week, I was away from home for two, too! Nobody will be surprised at this point that this year's vacation - the last vacation in which we were independent from the school holidays and their ludicrously raised prices for presumably a long time - took us to Britanny once more. Yes, it was good. No, it was not long enough. A picspam is probably imminent. If I manage to sort through the hundreds of pictures while trying to take care of stupid adult priorities and the garden, that is. Don't hold your breath.

Speaking of school, while we were gone Felix' future teacher called and left a message. True to the school's assurances that each and every student is supported individually, she would like to meet Felix in advance so she and the classroom will be familiar, and also so she can decide which (if any) books to get for him instead of the standard. I am positively impressed.

Speaking of books, while we were gone, my signed copy of Flowers of Luna arrived! Fortunately, the post office held it until I was back. Snail mail was faster than expected. Thank you so much, Jen, your dedication made me blush and it's going to be so much fun to read FoL as a real! physical! book! <3

Speaking of books again, re-reading A Game Of Curule Chairs the Cicero trilogy for the third time. Repetitio obviously placet because I CANNOT STOP. Are we witnessing the beginnings of a new obsession or are we already well past the beginning stage? You decide. Seriously, ALL THE FEELS.

Speaking of obsessions, the gorgeous Vanity Fair shots from The Last Jedi are also instilling me with all the feels. ALL THE FEELS YOU GALS. This one, for instance,



begs two questions, namely,
1) how long until I try to replicate that rebel alliance gambeson, because seriously, it's awesome and
2) does the slash write itself or DOES IT WRITE ITSELF?

Having now proven that I have a long way to go as far as adult priorities go, I think I shall retire to bed. YES, WITH CICERO. I know, I know, desperate stay-at-home moms in their mid-thirties are supposed to fall for Edward the Sparkle Vampire, not dead Roman politicians! (Guest commentary from Jörg: "I know you have a thing for older men but that's a bit excessive, don't you think?") Whatevs!

Night night!

Renovations

Jun. 20th, 2017 08:23 am
openidwouldwork: (*flails*)
[personal profile] openidwouldwork
The radiators will be replaced in 2 weeks! YaY! *knocks on wood*

Mooooving..... *sigh*

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:39 am
shirebound: (Pippin bonnet)
[personal profile] shirebound
I have now finished creating a 3-page, single-spaced list of things I need to get accomplished before (and after) our move at the end of July. It's a massive, massive list. I have one quote from a moving company, and will have two more by tomorrow. It's EXPENSIVE to move 'stuff' across the country! But Shiremom will be very anxious (more than she is already) not to be surrounded by familiar furniture and possessions in our new home. Her quality of life is my main concern.

We're planning to drive across the country with Pippin, if we can get Shiremom's car in good enough shape for the journey. Good thing Pip is such a good car traveler. :)

State of the renovations...

Jun. 18th, 2017 09:52 pm
openidwouldwork: (*flails*)
[personal profile] openidwouldwork
Bounce bounce, soon to be SPLASH!

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