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Jan. 1st, 2017

New Year's Day 2017

From @literallyalflame:
an open letter to 2017
listen….. pal…… buddy…… the bar has never been fucking lower

Happy New Year. 2016 was rough, really rough. I can't imagine that 2017 is going to be an improvement, considering the incoming President. I'm going to try really hard to keep a positive attitude about the future of the United States, despite all evidence to the contrary.

My goals are to lose weight and get more creative work done. Easy to write, harder to do.

Dec. 29th, 2016

Thundering Thursday

We had thunderstorms this morning before 7 am. On December 29. That's just plain weird. Of course, the last time we had a thunderstorm at the very end of the year, in 1999, we got 24" of snow within the week. Happily, it's not supposed to get cold enough for snow all next week. And yes, I did check the minute I heard the thunder.

The rain stopped around noon, and now it's sunny and mild outside, a distinct improvement. I drove in today, since I needed to run an errand at lunchtime, but I'll walk to the shuttle lot after work and get a little fresh air and sunshine then.

For the first time in quite a while, I didn't sleep well last night. Since Ivy insists on sleeping on the bed, I put a towel down for her to lie on. This is because she still does a little submissive pee sometimes, and I don't want to have to wash the duvet (again this week). David rolled his eyes, but didn't put her on the floor. I woke up again and again, probably from subconsciously worrying about Ivy, down by my feet. Apparently, there was no snoring to wake David, as he was still asleep when I left for work.

Sometimes it's not my snoring that disturbs him, but Jake's. Jake snores so extravagantly that I'd swear he was putting us on. Then there's the squeaky almost-barking, the twitchy almost-running, and the ferocious growling that he does while dreaming. We call it chasing rabbits. It's entertaining while we're watching tv, but less so at night.

David also snores, but a brass band probably wouldn't wake me up. Apparently, only a 15 pound dog by my feet will disturb my slumber!

Dec. 27th, 2016

Tuesday blues

Made it through the holidays, despite having zero holiday spirit. I can't think of a year when I was less interested in Christmas, presents, or anything to do with it. I did listen to some Christmas music, but that was it.

Between the short days, the election and the relentless drip of bad news that has followed it, and general malaise, I've felt unmotivated for weeks. I haven't done any weaving, the house is a disaster area, hell, I haven't even managed to put my clean clothes away in over a week. My stepson is an entitled, ungrateful brat. My job is boring as hell.

Hey, the days are getting longer. It's cool enough out that I can walk to work, thereby getting some exercise AND some daylight. Things will get better. In six weeks, flowers, shrubs, and trees will start blooming all over the neighborhood. Spring in NC is the equivalent of fall in NY - the beautiful, magical scenery that is the consolation prize for the hellish weather that follows.

Man, even when I try to be positive, the negative still sneaks out.

I sleep very soundly. Actually, I sleep like the dead, and I always have. But I also snore, and occasionally gasp, so I am scheduled for a sleep study next week. Sleep is my superpower - I have no trouble falling asleep, and I feel rested when I wake. Unfortunately, I'm been keeping David awake, and five days out of seven, he sleeps on the couch. That isn't good. Anyway, the doctor at the sleep center said I sounded like a very sleepy person (?) and recommended the study. It seems to me that he has a financial interest in diagnosing me with a sleep problem, but I'll try to keep an open mind. (There it goes again.)

Bah, humbug. This, too, shall pass.

Dec. 21st, 2016

Wednesday

Today's random prompt is "Tell us about your favorite holiday concert experience."

In 2008, I took my in-laws, Doris and Wally, to the Sandhills Community College to hear a holiday concert. The music was performed by local musicians who got together to do this each year. That part of the state is chock full of retirees, so a bunch of them formed a big band. They were reasonably good (though under-rehearsed). The big ending was the big band arrangement of "Sleigh Ride," which is always a crowd pleaser. It was a good show, and we really enjoyed it.

Doris and Wally traveled a lot in their marriage. Since they couldn't drive any longer by the time they got to NC, I took them out as much as I could. When they were staying with us, I got us all tickets to see the Lipizzaner Stallions at the local arena. We went to a Fourth of July concert in Pinehurst. We went to Pioneer Days at the Malcolm Blue Museum, where Wally told me all about using the various antique farm equipment they had on display - he was raised on a farm in west Tennessee. I took them to house concerts to see Jonathan Byrd, and then the Santa Cruz River Band, on a tour from Tucson.

My in-laws were always game. They'd go anywhere and eat anything. One of the last big outings was to the botanical gardens at that same college. We went in the spring, when everything is blooming and it's like a fairyland. We saw a huge, lovely weeping cherry, which took Doris' breath away - so pretty! We walked past it, turned right, and seeing it from this angle, Doris exclaimed again in delight. It was a whole new tree for her. There was also a walled cactus garden, where we sat for some time. She missed the desert.

Over time, it became harder and harder to take Doris anywhere because of her memory problems and other problems that stemmed from that. By the fall of 2009, we couldn't go much farther than to the Walmart or TCBY. Doris passed away in July of 2010, and Wally moved to Oklahoma to be near his oldest son in November.

And that's the story of my adventures with the old people.

Dec. 20th, 2016

Tuesday anniversary

David and I got married in the chapel on Smoke Bomb Hill on Fort Bragg, thirteen years ago. It was a cloudy, chilly day. When we got there, I was surprised at how many people had come. We got married on short notice and didn't really expect anyone but nearby family. It was lovely, and I'm glad every day that we are married.

I have a webinar at 12:30 today. I sent out the wrong instructions for it, and now I'm waiting (waiting, waiting) for someone to email me the correct ones. It's in an hour. I'm getting a little panicky, and I'm afraid I'm losing my damn mind because I looked right at the damn information and sent out directions for January 20. C'mon, brain, I don't want to be here either, but pay attention. I hate it when I screw things up like that. It makes me look like an idiot.

Feh.

Dec. 16th, 2016

Friday

It's actually cold today, but it's going back up to the low 60s again tomorrow. I can't complain, but I do feel like December ought to be at least chilly.

Today, in reading this and that, I discovered an article about knots in space - specifically, what type of knots are used to secure cables in NASA's unmanned vehicles and other things that get launched into space, along with the deliciousness of sending modern technology out into the void with technology from Viking days. Then I fell down a rabbit hole of knots in Wikipedia, reading about the bottle sling, the miller's knot, and the constrictor. Amazing what people can do with string. And you know, I do like string.

This weekend, we have a different SCA event on each day. They shouldn't take up the entire day of either, so I hope to get some other things done, too, like grocery shopping. I haven't done much about Christmas, still. Mom suggested donating to charities in lieu of buying gifts. I'm inclined to agree. We all have so much stuff.

The puppy discovered last Sunday that she can jump up on the bed. And not a scramble - she gets up there in one quiet, easy leap. I can barely feel her land on the bed. I wouldn't care, but David is opposed, so we make her get down. Since she tried it, she's gotten up there (only to be booted off) every single day, and has woken me up with a wet nose more than once. So far, David's been tolerant of her desire to be with us. (She's been on the couch since day one, and he's used to that now.) I think it's adorable and I hope he comes around, but really, having a dog on the bed is a personal preference and if he doesn't want to, I understand.

Man oh man, I love my dogs. Ivy is the most cheerful, happy little dog you'd ever want to meet. Jake is a good boy (though 100% untrustworthy around food), always friendly, with no aggressiveness around other dogs, at all. He's a sweet boy. Dogs are the best.

Dec. 15th, 2016

Thursday

Today's random prompt at Holidailies is "Five Years Ago." I checked, and it seems the kitchen renovation was still underway. Those were good days - David was deployed, and Dolly, Noel, and I were all living in the back of the house while the front was re-done. A friend had lent me her dorm fridge and small microwave, and I ate a lot of take out. But the work got done, and it was beautiful. What a gift that was, and is.

As I recall, that's when Dolly started trying to get out of the yard and go wandering. She did it twice before I started keeping her in the house instead of the yard while I was at work. My dad got me a bracelet to remember her by, and I'm wearing it today. She was the world's greatest dog. I'm sure your dog is wonderful, but Dolly was the best. It's hard to believe she's been gone two years. Heck, the friend who waited for me at the vet's office the day I took her in has died since then, too. (Old age ain't fer sissies.)

My post-election blues is getting a little better. I think the president-elect is going to make George W. Bush look like a true Christian and a sensible adult in comparison. I hope we get through it. I hope Roe v. Wade survives. It won't if the vp-elect has any choice in the matter. There's a true misogynist for you. I often wonder why it is that men hate women so much, but I doubt even they know. (Doubt it? What do they call a man to insult him? Girl. Pussy. Bitch.)

I read an interesting article today on the Reverend William Barber and the Third Reconstruction. I think I'm going to have to start doing more than despairing over the state of the world. (Updates as events warrant, I guess. I promise no munitions will be involved.)

Here's a cute picture, so I don't just go hide under my bed for four years.

Dec. 14th, 2016

Wednesday

This morning, I went to a consult at a sleep center, where they told me it's almost certain that I have obstructive sleep apnea. As soon as it's approved by the insurance people, I will have a sleep study done. We'll see what happens there.

Our company holiday party was today. I had a webinar scheduled for most of it, so I fixed a plate beforehand, then made it out in time to collect a little dessert at the end. I don't mind missing the party, it's usually noisy and has contests like karaoke or lip-synching for the extroverts in the crowd. If I didn't have the call, I'd have brought my knitting. That gives me something to look at instead of scowling at people.

Through a forum called Metafilter, I found this: Christmas with The Believers, a 6 song collection of jazz versions of holiday songs by an unknown trio. A++, would burn to a disc to listen in the car, and I already have. Christmas is 10 days away, I think I can handle the music now. I need to do something to get in the spirit, because otherwise, bah humbug.

Bah, humbug!

Dec. 13th, 2016

Tuesday

I had a pleasant time at the SCA event this weekend, mostly sitting inside and knitting. I got some useful advice on inkle weaving from someone who made a gorgeous tablet-woven band. (I'll get to that someday.) The group collected 700 presents and $100 in donations for a group called Country Santa, who distributes presents to kids in South Carolina. Bless them.

I did tackle my clothes on Sunday, but not as thoroughly as I probably should have. Some of them went to the trash, and I got three bags to go to charity (after they ride around in the back of the car for a while). I did separate the stored stuff into sizes, so I don't have to dig through all of them to find things as I (hopefully) lose weight. (I do need to lose weight - I'm finding myself out of breath doing things I used to do without trouble. That ain't good.)

This morning, I'm listening to a CD I call "Lydia's Jesus Music." Lydia was a co-worker at the church where I worked in 2004. She was a true believer, and nice as the day is long. The songs are contemporary versions of carols, and they're really quite good. This is surprising, because most contemporary Christian music is treacly crap, in my experience. Anyway, holiday spirit, ho ho ho.



Am I the meanest mother ever for putting this on my dog, or for laughing my ass off at her response to it (sitting down in abject disgust and resignation)? Both, I'm sure.

Dec. 9th, 2016

Friday in the hallway

I'm at our Friday class. I am not a mental health professional, so I declined to sit in the class - I'm out in the hall, waiting for the next break. My poor tailbone is killing me, so if I'm in the class, I'm likely to heave a great sigh every time I shift position. Also, about two out of every three of these classes have topics ranging from distressing to traumatizing, so hallway it is.

I had a hard time this week finding adult outfits to wear. I can be fairly casual at the office, so this is not usually an issue. I have a lot of clothes, but many of them are too small, since I've gained some weight over the past couple of years. So, I need to go through my drawers and closets, and get all the stuff that doesn't fit out of my way. I hope to tackle that on Sunday. It's a big job, and needs a practical attitude. None of this, "I can wear it once I lose five pounds" BS. The hardest thing is to dress in an attractive and comfortable way. It seems like I can have one or the other, but not both.

Old age ain't for sissies.

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