Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grrrr

So, I got talked to today. About my tone of voice. I do know that my tone of voice doesn't always reflect my opinion, intention nor frame of mind very accurately sometimes. I get asked why I'm so angry about something when I'm not at all angry. I might be passionate about what I'm speaking about, but not angry. But it's coming across as angry. I get that.

Today was a bit odd though.

I got talked to because someone other than my boss thought my tone was disrespectful. By my boss who did NOT think I was being disrespectful. Really? So, someone comes to you to ask why you let me be so disrespectful of you (all based on tone of voice); you disagree with them, but feel you need to discipline me because of it.

So, is she lying and she does think I'm being disrespectful; but doesn't want to state that? Or is she simply caving to other's opinions?

AND I'm getting talked to because someone doesn't like the tone of my voice. They didn't disagree with anything I said, they didn't think that the words I used were disrespectful, it was just the tone of voice.

I need a new career... or I need to just stop caring that I can't do a good job because of things that can be changed and should be changed, but won't be changed because people other than I don't care. If the process can't be improved, I get passionate - which projects in a way that others see as inappropriate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

smoke

Wednesday night 3:30 am we were woken by every smoke alarm going off. 'A' had accidentally turned the wrong burner on the stovetop on (a mistake I've also made) then left the room. Compounded by alcohol-induced slow reaction time... and the apartment was filled with toxic (at least it smelled toxic) smoke because of the potholder that had melted to the burner. We were trmendously lucky that it was smoke and not a huge fire.

'A' has been told not to cook after a night at the bar; but this was to try to light his cigarette... even though he isn't supposed to smoke in the apartment either.

I am not angry, because it's a mistake that anyone can make and because there was no real damage done. But I've had a few nightmares since about how much worse it could have been. And worry that we might not be lucky if it were to happen again. To the point of trying to figure out if rental insurance covers temporary housing if your apartment becomes unlivable.

But there is very good news within this. 'A' is moving out the week after Christmas. He has a friend looking for a roommate. He'll have his own bedroom with a bed and everything. I had just talked to my sister recently about the fact that he was sleeping on the couch in the living room. She had great ideas. The issue was that it went against the grain for me because I am directly opposed to making my place more comfortable for him, withv the thought that privacy and everything else can be attained by making sure he gets his own place. The other (not as nice as it could be) trick was to make him pick up after himself and a little after 'a' as well as helping with dishes, laundry, all the grocery shopping ... and if he was home during a meal time - he was cooking. On top of that, if he really cleaned, not just the normal pick up stuff but thoroughly cleaned for more than an hour I would pay him house cleaning wages...

It may not all seem like a hospital way to treat your child, but being 22, in legal trouble, and getting free room and board to avoid having to really work for a living? Well, I think he got enough out of the deal that he could help me out some as well.

He still has a lot of growing up to do. But he bought a used car by himself, is fixing it up, he's now found a new place to live, ven though he's aware that doing so is going to cut into his money for drinking. (Not a bad thing in my mind).

Now, chances are he'll have no food money for the next six months or so. At this point he's hoping he can do my shopping for me and buy food for his apartment at the same time with my money. So I am trying to decide what other chore he can do in exchange.
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

busy weekend

Friday I left work a little early... drove over three hours. But got safely to my brothers house. They had about two inches of slick snow by the time I arrived. About fifteen minutes later a's dad got there to take him for the weekend. Amazing really since they had gotten over six inches.

Original plan was to take my brother's fish tank down and drive home another three hours yet that night. They talked me into spending the night instead. Probably for the best as the last twelve miles i'd driven had been quite slick. First snow storm of the winter and i am really missing my all wheel drive.

By morning they had gotten another inch... but once i had gotten to a paved road the drive home was a breeze.

So saturday started by taking the fish tank down... driving three hours, cleaning the tank up a bit Jprobably could have done more there), dropping off an eight inch algae eater who had out grown the tank at the fish store, ran and knit with my new knitting group, did some xmas shopping, ran home to finish setting up the fish tank. I am still exhausted come this morning.

I should be getting the house cleaned up for getting the tree out, but i am watching Harry Potter movies on t.v. and knitting instead. Have to run and pick up 'a' yet today. That'll be four more hours on the road (ugh).
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Can't forget to bake two dozen cookies for cub scouts today... no rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

greedy? probably

Seven year old takes toy catalog to circle tpoys he wants for Christmas.

Sounds normal, right?

What does he do?

He circles every single toy in the book. Even the baby toys. Even the girl toys.

He decided that he thinks it would just work out better if Santa brought everything.

I told him I didn't think there was enough room for that many toys in his bedroom. First he thought he could find enough room. Then he decided that there would be more room for toys if we got rid of his bed... then he could just sleep in my room.

The boy is always thinking.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

More blogging

Well, my cell that was a cheaap no-good knock off trying to be a smart phone, but failing miserably phone died. I had been planning to buy a droid next year for myself... but since another cheap craptastic phone would have cost around $75... i broke down and bought the droid.

Best $200 I've spent in a long time.

Better knews is that I can now blog on a whim insteadof waiting until I practically burst with the need to vent.

I am still going through a bit of a midlife crisis. Work that I used to find fulfilling just because I could do it well, yet that is challenging just isn't enough. I kind of wonder if I would have hit this point in my life sooner if I hadn't been so focused on moving from job to job to avoid boredom.

No matter. I am definitely still not bored at my current job. Just completely disgusted by the fact that I spend close to 50 hours a week doing work that I think is completely worthless.

So, I keep digging around seeing if I can mastermind some kind of grant or program where I can make a decent living, but make a difference.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Still at the cross roads

I am fully aware that having a good paying, stable job with good vacation and health benefits is a blessing. I am.

I am fully aware that being a single parent who is in debt to her eyeballs, that a good paying, stable job is more than a blessing, but also a necessity. I get it.

But, I still feel like I need to look for a new option. I feel to the depth of my bones that what I spend 8 to 10 hours per day doing; is worthless. Love getting paid... I do. But, the things I spend my time doing? Complete waste of time in the grand scheme of things. It used to be enough to me to feel like I'm contributing to a project (which I still am); to be a contributing member of a team tackling a big task (still am); producing technical documentation and/or software that helps someone do their job better (still am). But now? I spend too much time thinking about the fact that when it all comes down to it, my contribution is simply helping the company I work for issue more mortgages so the corporation can make more money off of people buying homes they (probably) can't afford when the going gets rough.

I'm not helping children, families, or elderly. I'm not providing food or education or helping people live safer lives.... I'm not clothing the poor; feeding the hungry; educating people so they can support themselves.

I still miss teaching. I found a way to incorporate a little of it into my regular life... I teach knitting to anyone who asks for help and teach a knitting class or two through the local school district in their continuing education program. I have more fun during that hour and a half a night than I do in a month at work. It's SO rewarding to have people take a semi-challenging thing to learn and find their way through it.

I taught for almost 10 years; but didn't have benefits, when I got divorced, I had to sacrifice the teaching for a job that carried health insurance. I did get offered a chance to teach full-time, but it would have been a 50% pay cut; and making ends meet wouldn't have worked. Now, it would be closer to a 75% pay cut; and I'd never get my debts paid off... sigh.

Even then - the demand for instruction for young adults and adults in how to use basic applications isn't in such huge demand as it was almost ten years ago.

But... I did get to chatting about this dilemma with a few people (off the record, of course)... and it's got me thinking. What if I could find a government/philanthropic/etc back-to-work kind of program; working with convicts; or working with unemployed; or even people working through recovery for addiction? I've been mulling for quite a while going to the hospital to see if I could find a way to volunteer to teach knitting to stressed out patients; bed-ridden patients; or parents of ill children as a sort of coping mechanism... but what if I could find a way to support myself (well) AND provide a service to society that I find meaningful?

I'm a smart girl. I might not find something this week ... to be honest, I'm not even sure where to start looking... but if I never look, I'm pretty darn sure I won't find it. If I dig; heck; if I can find a way to apply for grants, who is to say that I couldn't find something worthwhile, fulfilling AND able to support my kids?

I had a daydream - ooh... ages ago. What would I do with myself if I wasn't in debt, and money was no object. Where would I be... what would I do. First thing would be to buy land (and quite a bit of it). Second ... there would have to be a lake or pond (don't know why really.... just has to have it. Third... the house can't be too big; but it sure as heck would be bigger than my current 1100 sq foot apartment. Next (a bit off my norm) - wind turbines - lot's of them. Enough to power a mid-sized city. Tons & tons. Enough to cover my electrical needs plus sell back power to just about anyone. And last? (now this is less off my norm; but a bit) -- Alpaca. For the wool. And men to take care of them (because I have enough trouble getting the kids & pets fed on a daily basis some days). And a mill.... where I would hire & train women who are/have been in a tough place to spin wool; dye wool; knit. Maybe have a compound of small homes available for short-term emergency living quarters for them & their children. A safe place. A place where there's someone to help watch the children, help them with making sure everyone was fed... and a place where they can learn skills that they might be able to use to make a living... computer skills, analytical skills, knitting, etc.

Do I really forsee this place as really happening? Not really. It's a nice dream that captures a lot of different parts of my personality. A place where I can help others; get as much alpaca as I could dream of having; the wind turbines to contribute to improving the environment and our place in the stream of the world. I would do sheep, too... but I'm allergic to wool. Cotton is a possibility... silk worms, etc. But, that's mostly just wishful thinking.

BUT that doesn't mean I can't start thinking of ways to incorporate a little of this into my life. The cubicle farm is just the LAST place in the world that I want to be; and every single day it seems like it's taking me away from something that I SHOULD be doing.

I just have to figure out a way to be able to meet these needs without sacrificing the fiscal, stable, vacation, health insurance needs. And that's going to take some time.

Anyone have a winning lottery ticket they feel like giving away??? LOL

Monday, September 27, 2010

Struggling

So, part of my coping strategy last week - was I took a couple of PTO days at the end of the week. I thought by spending some time alone in the house (a in school; A at work) that maybe I could just veg out a bit, knit a LOT and get a better attitude.

Nope.

Today stunk. Really, really stunk. I'm spending 80% of my work day in meetings where I really couldn't care less. No really. It's next to impossible to care less because I don't care about the call. I don't care about the information I'm supposed to be getting out of the call. I'm barely listening.

I got irritated this morning when I couldn't find the remote. I mean, the tv has been busted for SEVEN years where you have to use a remote and today I wanted to pitch it out the window.

I got irritated that the bus driver didn't just drive into the parking lot (odds were she didn't even see us) but parked on the street because she'd come early and instead of blocking traffic while she waits for us; she waits on the street. ... so it's not like she isn't being ultra polite by doing it. It's stupid to get irritated by it.

I got irritated at work when I booted up my pc and it had to go through the hard drive scan (which it does once a week - every week). But, it ticked me off because I didn't get all the files I'd loaded to the pc deleted (before realizing it was a waste of time to have them) which means that it takes 12 hours to scan my hard drive instead of 2; and every time I try to delete a bunch I keep getting errors - and have to mess around with it for hours; and then usually run into other things that I need to do; so I never quite get to the point where I get enough files deleted that it does me any good. Sigh.

About every five minutes all I can think about is quitting my job - which is positively the most stupid, irresponsible thing I can do. And it's starting to show. A couple of people have said something to my boss; who has said something to me now. I told her I was struggling with a bad attitude and that I had hoped a long weekend would help. (it didn't).

I've tried chocolate therapy. I've tried knitting more. It's not helping.

But, since I'm not independently wealthy and I need my job; I need to figure out how to keep my bad attitude from showing. So far? Nothing that usually helps me turn my attitude around is really helping. I'm trying REALLY REALLY hard not to speak in any meetings, not to write up any emails... only the bare minimum. I may have to resort to having someone else edit my emails before I send them if things don't get better.

I'm kind of feeling lost about the whole thing - because I've had bad attitudes before; and usually? One good nights sleep or one day of mental-health PTO day - and I'm usually right back on track. Admittedly, I don't spend too much time being miss happy-go-lucky; but usually I can see the positive side of things and it's ok. Now though? I just spend most every minute of every day wishing I wasn't where I am (that includes work and home) but not having a better place that I want to go.

I feel "stuck". This is what drives guys to buy sports cars - I'm sure of it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

At least this time, It hasn't been three months since my last post!

I feel like I'm in the middle of a mid-life crisis.

I'm struggling with the "point" of going to work to earn my paycheck - doing what I do. I mean, I get it. The paycheck pays my bills (well, at least it's trying to) - keeps a roof over my head; keeps food in our stomachs; keeps the heat on.

But, I'm spending 8-10 hours a day making sure mortgage documents are populated accurately. How does that REALLY benefit mankind? I'm not feeding the hungry. I'm not growing food. I'm not clothing the poor; educating the youth; putting out fires; protecting citizens. I'm making sure that the computer programs that feed & produce documents are accurate.

And, even then... I'm donating money to charity; I'm making hats, mittens, scarves, and baby blankets and donating those to charity. So, why do I feel so "un-fulfilled"?

I've got debt up to my eyebrows and as a single mom supporting both sons... I can't afford to take off from my job on some whim to find a more fulfilling role in society (that won't pay even a third what I make now). I don't even have the skills to take any position that would be more likely to do so - even.

Two weeks ago, I left work early one day because my filters were broken (not feeling well + PMS + mid-life crisis mindgame - bad combination). Went home. Felt a bit better the next day. Monday came around and I dreaded walking in. Spent the first three days in the week with a completely terrible attitude (which at least my filters were on... and I kept most of it to myself). Thursday & Friday were a bit better, not great, but so-so. Monday this week came around and it was ten times worse than the week before.

I LOVE the work I do - I do. I basically get to solve puzzles. Twist the data until you figure out what you really need it to do for you and get it to work. Where else can I do mentally challenging work like this AND make the kind of money I do? Not many places. But if we were to go through a semi-apocolyptic event? What good will any of my skills and life experience be? It won't matter that this form or that form printed in the state of California loans and when the LTV was equal to 80.000 and not 80.

sigh.

I'm debating trying to find a way to donate some time on a regular basis that can be USEFUL instead of pointless. Am hoping that will get me out of my funk.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New school year (well at Hogwarts, at least) ... resetting on goals

Figured I'd post it here - kind of helps to make me feel guilty if I don't follow through.

My goals for the next three months (beyond the crafting aspect):

1) Settle into "routines" before and after work to keep the house from falling down around my ears.

2) Lose 10 of the 25 pounds I keep saying I want to lose, but have yet to accomplish even one.

3) 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week. I can easily fit in a 10-15 minute walk daily at work... have been cheating with 5 minute walks with the dog, once a day... so here is my pledge to up it.

4) 20 minutes of strength training at least 3 days a week. Yep, I know I need this. I know I enjoy doing this. I just haven't convinced myself to do it.

Challenges (besides just being lazy/not feeling well) - is that there is a limit to where/what I can do and still meet my plans for paying off debt. So, no gym memberships. No extra paying for daycare. Alex might just have to find a way to join me or I'll have to work out how to do this in the house with him. Lastly... work. sigh. By December 2011, we are expected to make so many changes to our system so as to start the process to retire the half-dozen existing systems today. THAT means that all the work we've done over the past 4 years? Well, we have to do about ten times that amount by November 2011... which is just over 12 months. They are planning to hire more people... the problem is that by the time we get them trained we might have almost have had enough time to do the work ourselves. sigh. So, we're anticipating a lot of overtime. I don't do so well with overtime anymore. Getting old, I guess. But what will be will be.

Rewards - a cleaner house means less stress (very important if I'll be working a lot of extra hours); and the rest will definitely be important for helping to continue to improve my health (again, very important in gearing up for long hours - as extra hours can really tear me up).

Monday, August 16, 2010

The trip home, that wasn't

Trip to Madison, WI originally scheduled last week was canceled to keep a certain someone from another parole violation.

Got a wild hair that decided I needed to get a picture of Jungletown. Same certain someone has been wanting to go and visit Grandpa - so we thought we'd head home for the weekend.

"A" found out that there was midget wrestling on Friday night - broke his heart when he realized we couldn't go that soon because I had to work at midnight on Friday night. Must have wi-fi which is in short supply in the middle of nowhere.

So, plan was to try to take off Saturday mid-morning and go for a quick visit.

ONLY midnight turned into 3:00 am.... so 10:00 am I was NOT in any position to take off on a 3 hr drive. By 1:00 pm (after failing to convince "A" to not go after all.... even though the original plan to go was my idea).... we headed out.

We got 20 minutes out & ran into road blocks "ahead" on the Interstate. Tried taking two detours (both were "road closed" for flooding). Apparently the interstate was closed due to a seriously bad accident - and instead of detouring traffic, they just had everyone sit on the interstate for four hours.

We got 3 hours in - realized that we'd only driven 2 miles in 2 1/2 hours.... (mostly because people were turning around). AND we turned around. 1/2 a mile back was a McDonalds.... so we spent 3 hours on the road to go to a dumpy McDonalds 20 minutes from our house.

Sigh.

We consoled ourselves .... thinking we would come out this coming weekend instead, when we can leave town on Friday afternoon..... BUT "A" got his job back (Yeah!!!!) AND starts Wednesday, works a double shift on Friday, a double on Saturday and Sunday (Yeah!!! and oops - guess no trip next weekend either)... oh well.

We'll survive. Some other time, I guess.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Long time, no post (again)

Geez... I can't believe I haven't posted in about four months (eek, gotta get better at posting more often, huh?).

So, let's see.... what's all happened?


  • "a" finished kindergarten and spent the first week of summer at his father's (nice break)
  • "A", "a", and I (along with "A"s GF) spent a nice weekend in Kansas City for a footie tournament
  • I've been spending most of my free time on Ravelry (facebook for knitters) and knitting
  • "A" got a job (woot!)
  • "A" lost his job when he went to jail for a parole violation (not a woot)
  • "a" and I got to spend a whole week in Orlando. (probably shouldn't have, but got a sweet deal and since I've made a LOT of progress on my debt this year, I figured we needed to splurge while he was still young enough to find it magical... he did.... so much so I had to remind him which things weren't real so he wouldn't get too scared) Oh, and would have been the four of us again, but since "A" was still indisposed at county jail, that kind of fell apart. Reminds me... I need to follow up on the trip insurance and try to get money back for the no refund flights.
  • Junior, my beloved cat of 11 years (the BEST CAT in the entire world) managed to disappear on us. Totally heartbreaking to all of us.
  • We broke down just last weekend and went to the shelter (a house isn't a home without a cat, you know). Picked up a fantastic cat (even though she'll never be Junior)... poor thing had gotten an infection in her eye that was so bad that she lost the eye & broke her eardrum... all the while she was nursing babies... not just her own either. She had two full litters she was nursing when she was brought into the shelter. A full 12 babies. Completely sweet to everyone EXCEPT "THE DOG". Yeah - they're not friends yet, lol. Name the shelter gave her was "Angel Baby".... and it suits her (and she comes when called)... so we're thinking we'll keep that name.
  • I've had a few days here and there where the fatigue has gotten overwhelming again, but it's less and less often - which is a HUGE gain... so I'm thrilled about that.
  • School starts in two weeks (sweeeeet!).
  • Work is about to get bonko-busy-nuts in a very short amount of time (basically our proto-type application is up & running & revolutionary... so much so that we now are basically being tasked to get it to do everything but the kitchen sink by the end of 2011 so that we don't have to keep supporting the systems that it will be replacing)
Well, I think that's the short version. All-in-all a little bit more insane than usual, but then again, that's kind of the norm most of the time anyway.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Challenging to post

So, work has blocked facebook & blogger - I get it, I do... and normally I don't mind too much.

BUT - then "A" went and did a naughty - I - not him, ME am permanently banned from having internet access through cable for life... because he did something he shouldn't and it was in my name. Now, we have internet in his name through another company. BUT, it took 3 weeks to get Internet again - so while I can check my email at work and what-not; Blogging & time on facebook was a no-go.

Add to it, that I managed somehow to trash my laptop's screen - and I've just been having a grand old time.

Other than technology issues? Things have been going pretty well... I'm back to salaried at work at the job I had before my boss messed with me. We're taking a lot of short-term trips this summer for "A" to play footie. AND we're planning on a week in Orlando to enjoy a little sun and get "a" to Orlando before he's 20 - yeah, I know 7 isn't on the verge of 20, but it seems like time flies once they get to a certain age, and I'd really like to take him to Disney while it's still magical instead of lame.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Still feeling a bit better

So, I'm still not feeling 100%; but at least I don't feel 90 pretty much every single day. As a result, I think I'm finally in a place to start looking at trying to lose weight.

I'm going back to my hunter/gatherer diet (what you eat; when you eat) which worked pretty well after "a" was born.

And I'm going to increase my exercise - although really, this is going to start pretty slow. I'm taking 20 minute walks at work; and I'm going to start taking 30 minutes walks in the evening. Next week or two, I'm hoping to start doing Pilates again.

It might take me a month or two before I'm feeling up to strenuous exercise - but at least this is a start.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kindergarden Funny

"a" came out of the bath tonight; and even after I told him twice; he still didn't have his pajama's on..

"It's time to put your pajamas on"

"Tell that to my dresser" (apparently the drawer was sticking and he couldn't get into it.


I'm thrilled he gets sarcasm.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I know... no updates for a while.. then ka-blam

Been busy with life... been feeling *pretty* good... not great... not ecstatic... but good. I'm still more tired more often than I'd like. But, I'm able to stay up longer, able to spend more time up and doing instead of laying down every moment I'm not working and absolutely have no other choice.

Still - by 7:30 - I'm down for the count. BUT, I have added a ton of other vitamins to the regimen including more folic acid and SAMe; the plan being that they help break down B12 into it's usable form. Per my blood tests three months ago - the unusable form of b12 was through the roof; the usable form was near non-existent. I'm hoping by building a basis of these other vitamins that I can increase my b12 again... and hopefully the building blocks to breaking it down will keep me from becoming toxic on it again.

I'm taking 50% of what I was taking when I felt great - right up until the moment when I became toxic and lost the ability to walk again. Thankfully this time it only lasted three days.

On the kids front - "A" is still dating the model-hopeful; and "a" is kicking things up in kindergarten. He's getting pretty bright....still a bit behind his other classmates, but, man... he's thinking now ... ALL THE TIME.

This weekend he's staying at dad's... he was quite upset about it. It didn't take much to figure out why. Because "A" gets to sleep in the living room all the time (since he refuses to share a bedroom with "a" and I'm not making "a" nor I give up a bedroom for "A" when he should REALLY have a place of his own. With a two bedroom apartment... the living room is his only option. I figure it works for me, because I don't want him to get too comfortable... ideally, he gets a job again and gets out on his own, again. Until then, I'm ok with him not being overly comfortable.

So, "a" is jealous that "A" gets to sleep in the living room. As a result, he's bargained with me... and if he sleeps in his own room as he is supposed to and when he's told without arguing - then he can sleep in the living room ONE night a weekend. Friday night. Only, dad doesn't have the same policy... dad makes him sleep in his own bed. So, he's upset that he has to go to dad's on Friday; can't he go in the morning instead? um... with two hours drive each way for both of us to meet in the middle; he needs to get as MUCH time with dad as he can get (and give me as much free time, as I can get). Seriously. Already, driving four hours on Friday night and four hours on Sunday... really? that means technically I get Saturday free... and maybe a few hours on Sunday to myself before I have to go get him. Not much for free time. And at only once a month? No chance on earth we're changing the pick up time to Saturday and cutting into my only free day all month. Not happening.

But, the boy... he was a think-ing. But, mom... I could do extra chores and be really good in school and not go into time out - not even once. Could we do it day-after-today (because tomorrow is a dirty word in his book - I'll explain that next) if I'm really, really good? LOL

As for the day-after-today thing.... He gets REALLY mad if I say something like, we'll go to the park tomorrow.... because "tomorrow never comes mommy". Because he always wakes up and asks if it's tomorrow yet... and I try to explain that now that he's been to bed and gotten back up that it is now today. But the concept hasn't sunk in yet.... so tomorrow never comes. BUT the day after today DOES come the next day, so that's a good answer instead of tomorrow. Like I said, he's always thinking... and he's convinced it's TOTALLY unfair for someone to promise to do something tomorrow because (even though it does happen) if they say tomorrow they MUST mean that it will NEVER happen since you can never wake up and have it be "tomorrow". LOL ornery stinker. Some day I'll be able to convince him that tomorrow really does mean the day after today...

Well, enough of a novel, I guess... nothing for months and then - blam... another novel of a post.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Long over due for a post .... totally random stuff

I know, busy... busy... busy; but I still should find time to post.

I've been knitting up a storm. Made a star wars blanket for Alex that he sleeps with every night... several small projects, and am in the middle of still more. I know I'm crazy for doing it, but it's been tremendous fun participating in the Harry Potter Knitting & Crocheting House Cup competition.

I taught my first knitting class in the last few weeks. I think it went really well. Most of the students commented that they wish it wasn't over already... so that's good, right? I didn't bore them to death.

Work is work. Busy and insane most of the time, but liveable. I did finally get back my salaried position; am off being on call every third week; and feel much more capable of providing value in my old position. My performance review a couple of weeks ago did not go very well.... but the guy who did it really only knew me for about a month (the regular supervisor was out with a death in the family) and honestly, I really didn't work very hard to ensure I'd get a good review because I felt stuck in the position I didn't want to be in and lost a lot of motivation. I'm back where I feel I belong and where I feel I can contribute, and things are going much better now.... so hopefully next year's review will reflect that.

A got a job; got a girlfriend, quit his job because he's been promised two jobs (even though he doesn't officially have one yet) --- sigh. But, his last interview for the one is on Monday; and he's supposed to go directly into Orientation if it goes well. I've been trying to talk him into trying for both jobs; even though their both waiting tables... because most of the time, these jobs don't give you a lot of hours; and there's a possibility he could do both at the same time ... just on different nights. But, he'll do what he wants to do.

a is starting spring break. I'm happy because he'll be spending six days with dad. I'm hoping to do some spring cleaning while he's gone.

As for me, I'm starting to feel a little bit better again. Silly me, I was told you can't take too much b12; and taking quite a bit made me feel great; so I kept doing it. BUT, I managed to become toxic on something that's not supposed to let you get toxic. The current theory is that especially since my diet regularly consists of things that would contain plenty of b12; is that my body is missing something helpful to break it down. AND since it can't break it down; it also can't eliminate it normally like everyone else would... hence, toxic build up. So, I stoppted taking it altogether to see if I could walk again sans-b12. Sure enough, I've regained my balance. BUT, I'm right back to the exausted, can barely function state. Now, I'm taking the b12 in a lower dosage; AND taking double the folic acid and adding SAMe. Apparently those two items are very useful in the process of absorbing b12. My goal is to get the *useable* level of b12 up without getting toxic. Am starting to feel a little less tired - so I'm getting caught up on laundry, spending a little more time out of bed.... not back to where I felt great; but am thinking that once we find the right balance ... that I will get there. Just a matter of time.

In the meantime, I'm spending part of my annual bonus to ONCE AGAIN buy another digital camera. Seriously? Why do I go through so many?

Today I spent two hours at a's school volunteering. They were having a fine arts day and I helped a lady who sells amazing puppets online. AMAZING... every bit as good as the muppets. She had a nice program, and another mother & I got to help about 60 kindergarten students make their own hand puppet. a thought it was great to have me at his school. He believes I ought to quit my job and start working at his school. I think that I ought to keep my day job... lol.

Lastly, we brought home a hermit crab (again). Last one I named "crabby patty"... the joke went over a's head. He didn't get the connection to naming the pet after food. This one, he named..... Harry Potter. (yeah, he's noticed my obsession). But, I'm enjoying getting to say things like:

"put Harry Potter back in his cage right now"
"don't drop Harry Potter, you'll hurt him"
"last night Harry Potter was crawling all over me"

silliness, but it makes the days go by.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Well, so much for trying to be prepared

The pics I posted before? I was trying to prepare by uploading the pictures for a virtual food fight ahead of time here... but I couldn't get them to display, so at the minute of the virtual food fight, I had to go and upload the files a second time... sigh.

Technology stinks sometimes.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

True confessions of a geek, who also knits.

Yep, that's me.

I've been enjoying a guilty pleasure for about 21 days now, that I now have to share.

I am currently enrolled in a Hogwarts Knitting and Crochet House Cup competition. I'll give you a minute to absorb that.

I'm competing as a first-year Gryffindor classmate (go Gryffindor!).

Yes, it's funny, yes, it's hilarious... but it's fun. So, why not?

January 1 was the start of the my first term (year). Each term is really only 3 months, with 1 month off to recharge, and then we start another term.

To participate the only REQUIREMENT is you have to turn in 1 piece of homework per month. (I've completed five and am working on the sixth tonight). There are six classes per month (yep, I'm an over-achiever, tackling every class this month). Each assignment turned in earns points towards the house cup; more points are given for exceptional projects, for using house colors (red and gold for Gryffindor; but I can also use Purple for Hogwarts Unity color (wherever that came from???)).

Then, there's the opportunity to also take an OWL (examination). First years and Second years are only allowed to apply for one owl a term. But, in our third year, we can try for two. To qualify for an OWL, you have to come up with a project, supplies, plan, etc for a large project that would NEVER be able to be completed in a month. In fact, if you complete it within a month, you're asked to do MORE or you don't get your OWL awarded to you. There are over a dozen different classes you can get an OWL in, however, you can only complete an OWL for a given class once in your time at Hogwarts (i.e., I can't keep doing the same thing every term.) AND, you have to get pre-approval before you can start working on your OWL.

Yet more points can be earned by playing Quidditch - I'm a competitor, but not given a regular *position*.... the positions match the game; but their assignments include things like turning in lists of competitors, making sure everyone has what they need to compete, etc. This month, we had to organize some information on the web site; next month, we have to create a ?uniform? (most likely knitted earings according to the latest gossip) that we can where when we compete in an *olympic* competition, not sure what month three will entail exactly.

My classes this month include:

Transfiguration - actually more web site organization
DADA - make something that relates to a new years resolution that you CAN meet - I made a shopping tote (done in red & gold btw)
Charms - make something ticklish or that will make the instructor laugh - *top secret item; I can't disclose what I made yet
Arithmancy - make something that demonstrates the Droste effect (images repeated within itself) or a spiral - I designed a hot pad that had rectangles nested inside of rectangles (again, done in red & gold.... man, I need to change all my color schemes if everything is going to red & gold .... lol)
Divination - palmistry - I had to identify my palm type (I'm a fire palm) and produce something that will protect my palms.... I made fingerless mitts that have owls on them (owls? you say? Why? -- because the Gryffindors have been challenged to add an Owl project to an assignment - ok, I'm a total geek).

Last class left to do is Potions. I'm supposed to make either something Dangerous (and interpretation on what is dangerous is pretty non-literal) or something that Dumbledor would love. Lot's of lemon-drop colored socks are being made. I had planned on making a stuffed dinosaur for Alex per his request; however, I only have 10 days left to the month, and it'll take more than a month to complete a dinosaur.... so I'm looking at my list of things I'd like to make. AND, the only thing I have right now, is to make some baby hats and booties. While it is hard to make the jump that baby hats and booties are dangerous, I'm pretty sure I can come up with a creative story about how making such things tends to make oneself vulnerable to the dreaded and deadly Baby Fever that makes its rounds occasionally (ever notice how coworkers all get pregnant at the same time???). I'm still working on the story, but I'm sure I can turn it into a tale of woe and worry and needing special magical protection to prevent me from catching that dangerous fever.

AND I've been approved for my OWL for my first term. I've been given permission to apply for a Transfiguration OWL; my project is to knit a large tote bag (to carry my knitting, of course) and then to felt it. I've never intentionally felted anything; and it's been a LONG, LONG time since I've felted anything even by accident. Basically you make something out of wool that isn't intended to be put in the washer and intentionally put it in the washer ... preferably with something like sneakers or tennis balls to REALLY abuse the heck out of it; it will shrink; then you dry it over a "form" to make sure it retains its shape... and voila; something has been transfigured from one form into another - true magic ( I hope!!).

AND, of all this? I only feel a slight bit silly. For the most part, I find it funny. And even funnier, is when I talk to other "normal" people about it. The looks I get when they found out I turned in my homework and what it was and why???? Priceless!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Kindergarden Funny

First, although I LOVE the fact that I can work from home on snow days, can I just say that I think it's long overdue that my son go back to school???

Anyway, he's walking around with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders cape-style. AND just informed me that I should be feeding him ketchup ALL day.

Why? You ask? Because he's thirsty and he's a vampire.