Productivity FTW!

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:45 pm
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[personal profile] aome
There's nothing quite like knowing you got Stuff Done, is there? I so rarely feel that way, or my "getting stuff done" feels more like running a million errands, or doing routine laundry and stuff, which isn't quite the same.

But! Today I:

1) Ran 3 miles with the dog, then walked my niece's two dogs for another 1/3 mile as part of my cooldown. Ok, the running was a routine thing, but at least I did it.

The rest of my day was spent doing yardwork that has needed doing for ages.

2) Took the lawn tractor trailer, full of small and large rocks from the removal of some landscaping back in April, and repurposed them. The small rocks went around trees where their rocks had gotten thin, and the large rocks went to line the front walkway.

3) Went along the fenceline, twice, once with the dark gravel and once with the more decorative stone, filling in low spots around the posts and the fence itself.

4) With MiniPlu's help, spread more decorative stone around the back yard roses.

5) With Two's help, weeded, pruned and harvested the vegetable garden, which took ages. Ended up with a huge pile of weeds. Also, we're being snowed under by cherry tomatoes, and we're going to be snowed under by regular tomatoes probably just in time for us to go to Hawaii. :P

Yes, I bribed both kids with some money to help me, but it was definitely a worthwhile expense.

By the end of all that, I was in desperate need of a shower and a nap, and my back was killing me from the combination of shoveling heavy rock and weeding. But it felt so, so good to get that all done!

(Less successful: summer bbq at church. It was dry alllll day, and then rained right as food was about to be served. We ate in the Knights of Columbus meeting room in the basement of the church office. Our priest joked we were like the early Christians, hiding out in catacombs.)

Also done today: coaxed MiniPlu to whittle down her packing list because, for a 10-day trip, no, she does not need four black tank tops, 14 tops all together, two pairs of nearly identical brown sandals....

My other Maine niece is currently visiting with her two dogs and one of her best friends. While this means, yes, having houseguests yet again, this one - the younger sister of the one with the toddler - is really laid back, her dogs are well behaved, etc, so it's really no trouble to have them all here.

For your daily laugh: Funny tweets from parents about summer vacation. :D

Hunger, Bodies, and Power

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:47 pm
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
I just read Roxane Gay’s Hunger and it resonated with me very deeply.

Discussion of sexual assault, suicidal ideation, and body image under the cut. Please read (or don't!) with your own self-care in mind.

Read more... )

Sunday reading

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:09 am
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Just read a lovely column called [Your Three Feet of Influence]. The author suggests that while we cannot control the world, we can choose what we do with the three feet directly around us, and whether we bring to that three feet justice, calm, and kindness or not. Great reading for this Sunday!

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:49 am
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
My nieces (4, 10) have been watching The Great British Baking Show, and decided that yesterday afternoon should be all baking, all the time. So I went over and helped out, and we made the FUSSIEST BAKED GOODS IMAGINABLE. First came the Banana Bread from America's Test Kitchen. What a pain in the ass that recipe is. And yet it made the best banana bread I have ever tasted, so I can do little but shake my fist and do what they say.

Then we made Blackberry Scones, which had the best-tasting scone mix imaginable, and which took forever to make. I think I'd like them better with blueberries or raspberries, but they're very tasty (no doubt from all the butter). Again, very fussy recipe, but the end product felt worth it.

At the end of the afternoon, niece C made brownies out of a box, and lo, we were glad for it :D

Woke up this morning stiff in every place imaginable, so I'll need to do a bit of gentle yoga to loosen back up after I finish this cup of tea. I feel like Andy in Parks and Recreation - working out is great and all but at what cost? :D

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:36 pm
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Today I told my yoga instructor about my ankles and calves, and what we were doing in PT. It's always good to let her know what's going on, and we had a long conversation about how hamstrings and calf muscles can pull on ankles and plantar fascia and so on.

And then she proceeded to make the entire class about stretching out hamstrings, calves, and plantar fascia. Oh my god.

It was great for me. My PT exercises don't last a whole hour, and aren't as dedicated to holistic work, so I felt great when I was done. But mid-class I was silently cursing :D At one point she had us get into downward dog, then lower our knees almost to the floor, hold it, and then come slowly back up. She then had us shorten the distance between our hands and feet and do it again. And again. And I wanted to vocalize my feelings as "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I did not, however, and it was all for the good.

Yesterday at 3pm it was 94F, felt like 110F. Holy moley. Today is better so far, tomorrow will be a little better again, and Monday we've been promised a balmy 80F. The main result of all of this is that all my everyday bras are in the wash right now, as they were treated very badly by the heat, leaving me with only demi-cup lacy bras to wear today. My girls have not been this perky or fancy on a weekend in a very long time. I keep expecting to be going somewhere, but nope, I'm just the perkiest and fanciest in my house.

Visit, movie and books

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:53 pm
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[personal profile] aome
Life continues apace, nothing really that exciting going on. I did spend the day in PA on Wed, attending two TKD classes and visiting a friend. This was both good, and concerning. )

Otherwise, it's been steadily hotter and hotter all week, reaching about 96F/35.5C yesterday, and only slightly better today. I skipped exercise class last night because it was still about 100F/37C with the humidity, and even in the shade, exercising outside just didn't seem like the smartest move. On the other hand, our neighbors have been very generous with their pool, and I took the kids over twice this week for some cooling relief. The two youngest kittens (sibs) were spayed/neutered yesterday. I get that the cats are her children, but the amount of worrying Karen does when something like this comes up (from isolating them so they don't eat before surgery, to worrying if the vet techs are giving them enough love, to thinking something might be wrong with the girl kitty because she wasn't hungry right after surgery) is enough to drive me batshit. Oh, and she called me in the middle of the day today to ask how they were doing. Thankfully, they're both pretty much normal at this point.

This morning, Will and I took Two to see the new Spiderman: Homecoming movie. Overall view: I liked it, but didn't love it. But I think that has more to do with where this Spiderman is in his life than as a comment on the movie as a whole - it was definitely done well, but... )

In books, I finished reading Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee, which [personal profile] hamsterwoman gave me for my birthday. I'm now re-reading it to Two, because of some of the LGBT themes in the story ) The first part of the book takes awhile to get going, with a lot of worldbuilding and character establishing going on, but I'm only really noticing that when I'm re-reading it aloud to Two. When I was reading it for myself, it didn't really bother me. Of course, some of the "plot twists" in the story you could see coming from a mile away, but that was ok, too. Anyway, I enjoyed the book and will be on the lookout for the sequel, which will seem to be Bells' story. Thank you again, [personal profile] hamsterwoman!

And speaking of reading aloud to Two, we finished reading the second Apollo book by Riordan, The Dark Prophecy. Not too much to say there except that it was typical Riordan in that it blended mythology, adventure and smart-ass humor. Apollo is finally starting to be less of an ass, a trend that I hope we continue to see in the next book, whenever that comes out. Apollo starting all the chapters with a haiku is pretty amusing, too. Anyway, we liked it.

Currently reading Raven Boys #2: The Dream Thieves. Still at the beginning, but I'm enjoying it.

Other than that, it's the usual: prodding kids to do homework, being followed around by Two every moment, chores, errands, exercise, worrying a lot about an flister friend, and trying to sneak in some time for myself now and then. An exciting life.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:30 pm
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
I'm thinking a lot about being left and leaving today. I've felt so low since my brother went home - lowness that is grief, Jan suggested, because whenever someone leaves for an extended period of time we grieve their absence. That I only get to see him once a year, and that those circumstances are not entirely of my creating compounds that. She reminded me that we do not expect a lot of people who are grieving when we clearly see the cause, and so I should not expect too much of myself while I'm working through all these feelings.

Having the feelings in the first place is a wondrous and hard-fought thing, and I'm keeping my eye on that as I process.

There's been a lot of left and leaving recently. Three people left their jobs at my place of work and left a vacuum that has still not been filled. Their leaving increased the amount of work on my plate to such a degree that when it's time for the creative part of my job I'm already depleted from the administrivia I'm doing, and my creativity feels forced and lacking. The hard conversations I had with colleagues last week happened while two of my closest local friends were away on vacation, so I felt their absence keenly, too. Then my brother. This all twists up with the bigger narratives of my life about leaving - especially about leaving England - in ways I haven't quite fully pinned down. But at least I see the patterns, or the patterns that my brain finds important, at least.

Leaving things has been my path to freedom. I wonder if, because that leaving was so big and important, I used up my share of goodwill where leaving is concerned, and now I just fear it. Lots to think about.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:36 am
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
My brother's visit last weekend was really lovely. We hung out, I took him to the outlet mall for jeans (501s, on sale, are about $80 in England right now. He got two pairs, plus a shirt and some boxers, for $116 here), we cooked together, we took a walk around the local lake, and we had a good time with friends. It was so much fun, and Monday I was horribly sad after I dropped him off at the airport. In the past I would have simply quashed those feelings instead of feeling them, but on Monday I kept thinking, "I am so sad," and told myself, "just feel it." It made for an uncomfortable day, but it was honest. There's something I can feel good about in that.

I got new glasses yesterday, and while my eyes are still adjusting some, they're pretty revolutionary for me. For the last two years my reading vision out of my right eye has been blurry - not because of my eye, but because of the lenses in my glasses. We replaced them three times last time and eventually they told me that was the best that they could do. It's made reading difficult and frustrating when it used to be a real joy. Now, with the new glasses, I can see to read again, and OH it is amazing. I keep looking at pages of books and the computer and noting that I can see and just reveling in it. Yay new glasses! (And yay for a FSA that made it possible.)

I have a bunch of deadlines at work coming up and I feel singularly uninterested in everything I have to do to meet them. I will meet them, but eh. Sometimes it's just not that satisfying. But that said we're about to enter a heat warning that will last until Saturday night - real temps of 95 and above, heat indexes into the 110s, so work will be delicious because it is air-conditioned, as opposed to my house which has floor units that at best keep things at about 80F. So I am prepared to find work much more interesting as of today so that I can soak up the cool.

I hope, wherever you are, you are not about to enter a heat warning, and that you can soak up some delicious cool wherever you are (or, if you're in the global south, you're not utterly miserable with cold!) ♥

Birthday and camp, Part II

Jul. 15th, 2017 11:41 pm
aome: (Default)
[personal profile] aome
For MiniPlu's official birthday, last Thurs (13 Jul), she had one request: for me to take her and a couple of friends to the beach. Beach, lunch, and dinner - the good, the bad and the ugly )

So, kind of a mixed bag for MiniPlu's birthday, but hopefully the positives outweighed the negatives for her.

One thing that was weird, though: Twice - both on the way to the beach and on the way to dinner - Google maps decided, about 3/4 of the way to the destination, to randomly *change* the destination and start giving me directions that made no sense. Fortunately, both times we pinged onto that and pulled over to see what the heck Maps thought it was doing, and discovered the problem, but still - I have no idea why it was doing that. For the beach trip, the diversion was fairly minor - it tried directing me to a nearby town that was further inland, but not *that* far off track. On the way to dinner, however, Maps suddenly thought I wanted to go to ... Norfolk, VA. I have no idea why.

Friday night we drove up to Springfield, MA, where we stayed overnight so we'd be poised to pick up Two from camp by 10am on Saturday. Yet ANOTHER long road trip, whee, plus some camp stories )

So, anyway, kidlet is back, which is both good and stressful. We dumped the entire cloth-based contents of his duffle into the washing machine as soon as we got home, so at least that's already done.

For those who may have missed it, I posted MiniPlu's birthday and throwback pics at LJ here. You will need to be logged into LJ to see them.

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:12 am
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[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
This week has been a doozy. First came the workplace politics, where I discovered someone believes I have been bullying a close friend of mine into doing things she doesn't want to do. It's such an astonishing mis-read of the situation that I was actually rendered speechless when I heard, and not only is it a horrible thing to think about me, it's a horrible thing to think about my friend. I have no idea what has prompted this interpretation of events, except to say that last night I remembered that the person who believes this is firm and fast friends with a former supervisor of mine, who famously remarked in a work evaluation of me that I wasn't nice enough. (Which - what? And second - can you imagine a man ever getting that in an eval? Me either.) I have no idea if their friendship is at play in this, but the last time I was so fundamentally misunderstood was that eval. For whatever that's worth.

Learning this was unbelievably painful, especially as it has repercussions for the department in which I serve, and I spent a lot of this week feeling very low about it all.

And then there was a situation where I did every last thing right, and ended up without a reimbursement on Wednesday as I'd been promised, and so things bounced at the bank, and I ended up with fees, and then I ended up in a mad scramble to make sure my water wasn't turned off. And then there was the letter about a loan from my retirement account that has been declared in default, which means I will owe taxes on it next spring, despite the bankruptcy proceedings. *HANDS* As I remarked to Rachel, I am the opposite of King Midas. Everything I touch turns to NOT gold.

But! I started bouncing back from all this junk on Thursday, and then my brother arrived yesterday for a weekend visit. It's so fun to have him here, and it's so easy to hang out with him. Today we're headed to the farmer's market and an art pop-up market and to hopefully have lunch with some friends. The weather has miraculously agreed to stay fairly cool while he's here, too, which is nice, since the last two times he's visited it's been above 90 his whole stay. We can get out and about much more pleasantly now! I feel really lucky that we've remade a relationship as adults, and that we've both turned out as good, fun people despite the odds. It's not true for everyone's situation, and I will count myself lucky to have this good thing come out of the ashes of the old.

Off to find green beans and corn and flowers ♥

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windbringer1

July 2012

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