It's not you, it's me

on 31 January 2011

I just need a break for a little while.

Am feeling tapped out.

Tapped out on energy, creativity, and worst of all, humor.  Sorry.

I promise to get back to regular posting once I feel refreshed a bit.  I wish I could reboot my brain...

Propaganda Friday

on 28 January 2011


Chris would be the first to tell you, I've been on a World War II bender of late.  But I think the reason is that it was this extraordinary moment in time when everyone put their heads down and did their work.  And maybe there was some whinging, but for the most part, I think they just did what they had to do.  It's a reminder that I need right now, and have needed for the past year.  And so, when I find myself busy to the point where I can't sleep, I remind myself to keep calm, and carry on and things will quiet down eventually.

Surrounded

on 26 January 2011

Well.

I am surrounded by sick people.

Sick people and pregnant women. 

My sister and her whole family are down with this horrendous flu.  The Boy has some sort of mucus-y possession of his chest and head.  It's beyond gross.  Poor Chris, I delegated all nose wiping to him.  And then shocked him by telling him I'd rather change a nasty diaper than wipe a really nasty nose.  Of course, that's sort of a moot point since the Boy is potty-trained.

Chris is now the walking sick.  He's still soldiering on, I'm not sure how, but he is.  We're dogsitting Hogan again, and I keep telling Chris that I will go and feed and walk Hogan but he won't let me.

Me?  I'm not 100% but I'm no where NEAR as sick as everyone else around me.  It's been nice to be healthy enough to help take care of others. 

And so we've been laying low.  Way low.  I've been reading, watching my World War 2 documentaries and working on a pretty-pretty pair of socks for my sister.  Chris' birthday is coming up so I'm trying to come up with something fun and sort of whimsical that I can do for him...if you have any ideas, I welcome them.  I can't even pin the man down about what sort of cake/pie/cupcake/sweet-treat that he wants.  Of course, he's sick so he doesn't want much of anything right now.

And in lieu of any real content, I shall leave you now. 

Let's Review

on 24 January 2011

Last week, when we left our little family, they were just starting Finishing Week.  Here's what was on the list to accomplish:

  • Put Crap Away (PCA, pronounced pee-ka, as in "Dude, we need to P-CA now before I lose mah mind!")
  • Update finances
  • Scrub-a-dub-dub the apartment
  • Finish a wooly hat for my chilly nephew in Denmark
  • Finish a wooly scarf to match the wooly hat for my chilly nephew in Denmark
  • Finish the first of a pair of pretty socks for my stressed out sist-ah.
  • Finish the war memoirs of Major Winters
And here's what *really* happened:

  • We did in fact PCA.  And it lasted for a good 3 or 4 days!  Which, you must admit is a pretty impressive showing in winter when we're all holed up in the house anyway.
  • I did update finances and managed to get myself to the bank.  Highly motivated by the fact that I need to pay bills again soon and would rather not send a bunch of checks if there's no money in our account to cover them!
  • We totally scrub-a-dub-dubbed the apartment.  I'm pretty sure Chris thought I had gone round the bend, but it was BAD and I felt so very much better once it was done.  It also involved taking down our diaper sprayer and storing it and the diaper pail in the hopes that we'll get another awesome kid.
  • I also managed to finish the wooly hat for William.  It's too big, but then, he comes from a nice family who all have big noggins (myself included) and he can flip the ribbing up to adjust the size of it.
  • I also finished the war memoirs of Major Winters, it was very good.  It's a memoir but also very much a book about effective leadership.  
  • I did NOT finish the scarf for Chilly William, but I have made headway on it and should finish it...you know...eventually.
  • I did NOT finish the sock for my stressed out sister, I worked through the colorwork and then became increasingly annoyed at little mistakes that I had made so I pulled it off the needles rather than waste the wool.  Instead!  I went and purchased a little bit more of one kind of wool and started a new pair of even PRETTIER socks for her.  She's going to LOVE them, and if she doesn't I do!  So, you know, win-win!

All told it was a good but very busy week.  The Boy started getting sick on Thursday, and sadly, I was pretty grateful for it since it meant that I could just lay low with him through the weekend.  We did go to the Kids Exchange and it was enormous!  gargantuan! humongous!  And absolutely crazy!  I told my friend Mary, when I saw her in the 45 minute long line, that it was strangely reminiscent of a shark feeding frenzy except with pregnant women!  I was surrounded by pregnant women.  Not that I have anything against pregnant women, but when you're feeling insecure about your own fertility, it's like a sharp spray of lemon juice in a conspicuously open wound.  C'est la vie.  We found some really awesome shorts for him for the summer and polo shirts and church clothes and shoes!  And also a bit more Thomas stuff just because it was very cheap and it makes him so very, very happy.

This coming week looks to be ever so slightly less full than last week, which I confess I desperately need.  I've been feeling thinly spread lately and I find it's making me more impatient and short-tempered than normal which neither I, nor my family find appealing.   So this coming month is when M learns to draw a line and say no to people.  Pray for us sinners...

Finishing Week

on 17 January 2011

Welcome to Finishing Week here in Burnstopia.

It's a much loved tradition that reoccurs at random intervals throughout the year whenever I start to feel harried by my life.  I've got to the middle of 3 knitting projects, our winter gear has been heaped in a pile in a chair, my desk is drowning in family finances and our laundry has, quite possibly, achieved spontaneous animation and is taking over the apartment.

(What have we been doing while this has occurred?  Well, mostly we've been hanging out.  I had a fairly enormous editing project to work on and Chris has kept up with his job application craziness, and we watched the Pacific (the HBO series) and then we've been hanging out.  And yes, it's very nice and we're enjoying it while it lasts because we know it won't.  But after last year and the Missing Husband who had been Eaten by the Hospital, I'm very grateful for the time to reconnect.)

So I'm taking this week to Finish.  I'm tackling laundry and finances and Putting Crap Away (PCA) today.  I'll be working on 2 of the 3 knitting projects so that they can go out to my very cold nephew in Denmark.  And then it's on to cleaning, organizing conference classes, tutoring projects, editing projects and Other Stuff.

Incidentally, the potty-training is going GREAT!  (I'm currently knocking on every wooden surface within reach.)  The Boy spent the week naked from the waste down and had only one accident in the bathroom but not on the toilet.  He went to church in big-boy pants yesterday and made it to the bathroom each time.  He's currently tooling around the house in Thomas the Tank Engine underpants and doing brilliantly.  Our strategy came from this book...


I'm convinced that a big part of why the Boy is such an awesome two-year old is because we started applying those strategies back when he was only 18 months.  It's an awesome book and hearty thanks to my Sister who gave it to me back when the Boy was in-utero.

I packed up the diapers this week and lo, it is great.  But I'm pretty sure the Boy is trying to make up for the lack of diapers to clean by becoming the messiest eater EVER.  How he can manage to eat a peanut butter sandwich and get jam on his FEET, I still haven't figured out, but there it is.

And on that note, I'm going back to PCA and Finishing.  Go and be productive!

Propaganda Friday

on 14 January 2011

Birthday Blast

on 12 January 2011

My Birthday was Sunday.

It was a good one.  In spite of the unavoidable getting older aspect, I love birthdays.

My parents came up and took us all out for dinner and my mom made me cake and y'all, I ate cake All. Weekend.  Long.  It was awesome.

And I'm happy to announce that after six and a half years of marriage my sweet husband bought me birthday PRESENTS.  Usually, he just takes me out for dinner, but this year?  PRESENTS.  Wrapped and everything!  It was so great!   I totally felt like a kid again.

(My parents and my Grandma gave me money and let me tell you why I love money.  Because it enables me to rationalize things I would never normally rationalize--like audio versions of books I own and have read and loved!  Yay and YAY!)

And since it was Sunday that was about the end of the special...we had church and packing and so that's ok.  I've accepted that the best birthdays come when you're a kid and you get the day off from chores or whatever AND you get dinner AND cake AND presents.  Once you grow up, you never get a day off from work to be done.

And you know?  That's ok too.  Because this family of mine?  They're worth working for.

Change of Plans...

on 10 January 2011

Yesterday dawned cloudy and cold and as we looked out the window and studied the weather forecast and debated what to do about Savannah, we decided to stay home for Snowpocalypse 2011.

So we stocked up on groceries and are hunkered down.  What do you do when it's cold outside?

The Week that Was

on 07 January 2011

So, a week ago last Friday I got an email from a graduate student.  This happens sometimes.  I freelance as an editor specializing in dissertations.  Anyway, I got this email from this guy--he's a doctor in FRANCE and he wants to defend his dissertation at the end of this month, would I be available for some editing?  And oh yeah, he wants to get it to his committee members in 4 days, is that too short notice?

Me?  I'm an idiot.  So I say, "Nooooooo, that's not too short notice, I can totally do that!"  All this before having seen his document.  He assures me that all it needs is "polish."  And me?  I'm an idiot.  So I believed him.

People, this was the dissertation that would not END.  He had done a statistical analysis of circumstantial factors relating to good biomedical research and the statistics!  They just about killed me.  To say nothing of the fact that English is his second (if not his third) language!  It was awful.  It was interminable.  It turned my brain to pudding.

Needless to say, I missed the deadline.  And the guy was fairly cool about it because I think he knew his original goal was totally unreasonable.  Anyway, I got it finished yesterday, references, appendices and all.  Now, let's just see if he pays me.

(He'd better pay up, I know (and have worked with) both of the professors who run his program, I can have them hold his dissertation hostage as a piece of academic dishonesty...and I WILL if I have to...)

Anyway, it was also the week I started tutoring my nephew in writing.  I am having too much fun!  He's funny and smart and it's just so fun to get to work with him.  I've worked with his older brother and sister and they were fun too, but this is the first time I've worked with him and it's a ball.  I can't wait to read what he has for me next week.

And lastly, this was the week I had a couple of other deadlines, so needless to say, I have done NOTHING but work, work and work.  Chris has done all of the dishes, all of the laundry, most of the cooking and all the while looking at me longingly and asking if I'm done yet and can we just cuddle and watch whatever?

And so it gives me glee to be able to say, "I'm DONE!"  I finished the work, and now we're just packing.

We're off to Savannah next week.  I'm taking a day to drive down to Brunswick to sit and chat with my two main girls down there and let my Boy play with his friends Jack and Lena--and yes, he remembers and yes, he's excited!  Hopefully, it will be a fun visit.  I've tried to tie up loose ends here so that there's nothing looming and we can just have fun.

And since I haven't done anything but work for the last week, tell me, how are you guys?

Give me just a minute...

on 06 January 2011

I can't write the entirity of this week just yet--it's a long and convoluted story, but I just popped by to say:

I feel like I'm in grad school again!  I'm editing this mammoth dissertation with a space heater at my feet because the corner I found for my desk is so cold and drafty that it's not fit for human occupation!

Stay tuned for the whole story later!

600

on 03 January 2011

Well.

Who would have thought that my first post in 2011 would be my 600th?  Certainly not me.  When I started this little piece of crazy I was newly married, childless and temporarily professional while I decided on a PhD program. 

Since then, I've had a baby, made some new friends, lost some old (and good) friends, read a ton, learned a lot, made quite a few mistakes, but only some of them repeatedly, learned how to sew, knit, crochet, and make cinnamon rolls.  I've developed a boat load of new recipes, I've become obsessed with Battlestar Galactica, West Wing, and World War 2 documentaries.  I've moved twice.  I've bought a laptop and started a freelancing business.  Chris and I took trips to Boston, New York, Western Georgia and the Blue Ridge mountains and Savannah (more than a few times).  I flew out to Seattle and then to Santa Fe, NM.  I've been sick, I don't even know how many times, and only hospitalized once!  I've blogged about disappointment, frustration, anger (poorly managed), exasperation, but also humor, epiphanies, lessons learned and indescribable joy.

I've contemplated deletion and abandonment more than once.  A lot more than once.

But I've never quite been able to do it.  And I'm not sure why.  Half the time, I write, I post and then I forget what I wrote entirely.  I've had my own words hurled back in my face and have had NO recollection of having written them at all.  It's a strange relationship I have with this here piece of crazy.  I feel bad for spending time writing and posting, time that I could use to do something (anything) with a tangible outcome, and then I feel bad for NOT writing.

I've posted relentlessly, followed by long periods of unexplained silence.  I've seen my blog traffic rise from 3 to 300 and then plummet back down to...I don't even know.  I don't check the stats anymore.  I've decided it's too much like weighing myself.  I get obsessed with the number and forget about everything else.

I've regularly questioned my ability to churn out anything whatsoever that would be of interest to ANYONE to read.  And yet.  I get these amazing emails from some of you, some wonderful comments, reaffirming whatever I happen to have posted.  I can't tell you how much it's meant to me, and how many times you've pulled me back from the precipice of deletion.

I started this little piece of crazy, to be a window on our world--for our friends and family who don't live near, so that they can peek in and see what's going on.  And as I look back through the archives, that's exactly what it's become.  These wonderful fragments of our life together.  Not all of it happy, but honest all the same.