At least that’s the premise we’re operating under.
This weekend, I did homework (and am honestly not sure if I completed the assignment properly, though you’re all tired of hearing that), hung out with (we conclusively proved that shopping at Marshalls is infinitely better with a friend and without a goal), finished my puzzle, got a lot of sleep (but not enough – I’m still tired), didn’t do yard work as scheduled (it rained – soggy leaves does not make for good raking), and made 2 coffee cakes. On Sunday, and I finally installed a lightswitch/timer in the basement hallway where the litter box is – this involved running new wires (because the switch required a neutral wire, which it didn’t have) and fumbling around a bit in the dark, but it went relatively smoothly (says the girl who only had to watch as struggled to get 6 wires twisted together in the cap). The light will now only be on from 7 pm to 7 am, instead of 24 hours a day, so we should see some savings on our electric bill. During this project we were again made aware of some of the strange wiring that is going on in our house. Wires that went into one of the ceiling lights were connected to two different circuits, so someone got a nasty shock since only one of those circuits was turned off. At least this time we were dealing with normal-colored wires (unlike the three-way switch in the hallway that has purple, yellow and pink wires). Ah, the joys of a 55-year-old house.
is taking the week off because he has too much time off saved up. I don’t know what that’s like, but it must be nice. I have some coworkers with that problem, but they’ve been here 30 years. At just about 8 years (my anniversary is Halloween), I am only earning 5 hours of vacation every two weeks, and 4 hours of sick leave. Of course, I almost never use my sick leave, so I’ve got about 3 months of that saved up. However, I have only a little over a week of vacation available. Bummer. But, to look at the silver lining, according to my countdown on the right, there are 18 months until I graduate, and then I will hopefully get a new job, and my vacation and sick leave balances won’t carry over, so I might as well use those when I can, right?
Tonight we’re going out to PF Chang’s for dinner. Yum! Better eat my light yogurt and apple now (you know, in case it gets too late and then I’m not hungry for dinner – just kidding).
Has anyone else felt like October has been … unsatisfying? Sure, the weather was nice, but the daylight hours are steadily shrinking. We have not made progress on yardwork like we should have. I have barely even turned on my sewing machine, let alone create anything. Blah. Maybe November will be better. If it’s not, well, December will definitely be productive (since we’ll be gutting the family room, it will be hard to not be).
I’m getting weird PHP errors today – sorry if the blog is acting weird for you.
- One of my strongest beliefs is that chocolate or ice cream can fix most bad moods.
- Our garage is huge!
- The sky is cloudy with a threat of rain and wind and cold, so welcome to Minnesota in October. Snow is in the forecast for next week.
- Hot cocoa is comforting to me.
- I always thought I’d be happy with my job when I grew up. Oh, the innocence of youth!
- I remembered what day it was, so I grabbed my coat and then I went outside to look at the full moon. I don’t know where I came up with this – it would make a good chapter start in a book though, right?
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing the puzzle, tomorrow my plans include yardwork (what else?) and Sunday, I want to see the Dead Sea Scrolls (maybe – it’s the last day of the exhibit, and I’m not sure if we’ll make it there before it closes)!
via Friday Fill-Ins
Wednesday night we discovered the awesomeness that is the Hennepin County Hazardous Waste Recycling Facility (whew!). For $19, we were able to get rid of a load of construction waste that had been laying on the garage floor for quite some time. By load, I mean that we filled the back of the Rav4 (the garage mid-purge, the Rav mid-loading, and on the road). Last night we spent more time cleaning the garage, which included several bags of trash, lots of sweeping up sawdust, setting the old paint aside, and moving some stuff around. Major improvement! We’re not done yet – we can’t take the paint over to the recycling facility until Saturday – but it’s looking really good. Spacious, too.
OK, enough boring garage talk and onto boring homework talk. Just kidding. But, so you know, that’s all I did last night – homework (for two hours, instead of spending it in class for 3 hours – nice trade-off). That and the puzzle (and the aforementioned garage cleaning).
Wednesday night called to let me know that Grandpa is in the hospital with pneumonia. It’s never good to get pneumonia, but when you’re 97 it’s especially not good. The last I heard he was doing well, would be in the hospital for a few more days, and then will be going to a rehab facility because Grandma can’t take care of him (she’s 91 herself, and Grandpa’s a big guy and not very mobile anymore). We are hoping for the best (but well aware that he’s 97, and at some point God’s going to want him to hang out with him permanently).
If you don’t know anyone who’s 97, let me help you out putting it into context.
This picture was taken before I was born, sometime in the 1970s. Looking very Grandpa-like already. (Here with his first wife who passed away in 1978.)
Fast forward … 30-ish years….
Here's Grandpa at our wedding 3 years ago.
Needless to say, 97 is pretty old. It’s amazing to think about how different the world is today than when he was a boy.
If you have any spare warm and fuzzy thoughts to put out there, kindly direct them towards Illinois.
There should be a Friday Fill-Ins coming soon, so I’ll save my weekend plans to share then.
Last night, I didn’t do any homework (surprised?). I also didn’t get any sewing done, though I did try. We made a Hancock Fabrics / JoAnn / Target run ( needed to find fabric to recover a chair in his office), and while at JoAnn, I bought some new sewing machine needles for lightweight fabric, so that I could work on my lingerie project. Alas, I bought the wrong kind (reg, not ball point), but I did have the right kind on hand anyway. Then I ran into the problem of not having the right kind of lace to embellish the pattern with, which wouldn’t have been a problem except that it was the first two steps. Oh, I tried to use what I had, but it wasn’t right.
And then I worked on my puzzle some more. While drinking wine and trying to convince my cat that I have a personal bubble and she doesn’t need to be inside of it constantly. Man, has she been clingy lately! It’s like that stage of parenthood (or so I’ve heard) where your small child can’t stand to be away from mom, or sometimes even needs to be touching mom at all times. In a child, you’d think it would be easier to deal with because you know that they’ll eventually grow out of it. I have no such guarantee with my cat. (This does not mean, however, that I would like to trade my cat in for some children.)
The lesson plan that I struggled with has been graded and returned to me. I really did worry about this grade, as I had no way of knowing what the standard was, and we didn’t have any other graded work so far, and I really, truly thought I did a terrible job. I mean, compared to the sample that he gave us (which, we were told, was not a fabulous example but merely an OK one), I thought I’d done B- work. Now, I know you’re probably not surprised with my grade, but I was: 98/100. Oh my. Even more interesting, however, was the email we got last night from the professor. All the lesson plans had been graded and returned to students, and the mean grade was 89. That’s not the interesting part. The range of grades? 48-100. Who in my class got 48/100 points? I’m trying really hard to figure it out, and I can’t pinpoint one person who would have done work so subpar. I have some suspicions, but they’re based on my like/dislike of the person, not so much his/her academic performance. I’d bet all the money in my wallet that it was an undergrad student and not a graduate one (does that sound elitist? snobbish?), but mostly because I am familiar with the grad students and have been in several other classes with most of them, and I know they do quality work (also, you generally don’t get to grad school by half-a**ing assignments).
And how does one even get 48/100 on an assignment like that? There was an example. There was a template we were to use. Do you just not do 1/2 of the assignment at all? I understand when it’s an essay assignment and someone fails to answer the question because they’re not organized and haven’t been taught how to write a good essay. (Maybe I should write out my strategy for this, because it seems to be very successful. I always get As, and often have had professors request copies for their files. Anyway.) But when the assignment seems so clear? I don’t get it.
I’m sure that, when I become a teacher and have my own classes, I’ll understand how it is that poor grades are earned. For now, it’s a puzzlement. A wondering.
When I got home last night, was working out on the deck, securing the boards again. It’s about 2/3rds done now, which is awesome. No more falling through the deck, for me or our guests.
I seem to have lost any and all motivation to do schoolwork, which must mean it’s the middle of the semester. Oh, yes, it is. Conveniently, my teachers have arranged to give me very little homework this week, perhaps because they’re teachers (public school) for their day jobs and it’s MEA week. If you’re not from Minnesota, you don’t know what MEA week is (and I don’t exactly, either), but basically the kids get a few days off school, and I think the teachers are supposed to be improving themselves or something. At any rate, this week holds one class (Thursday night was canceled, or rather re-purposed to a “work session” in which we are instructed to not attend class), and no reading homework. Some projects to catch up on or get ahead, but really, pretty light.
So you understand why yesterday, when I had the house all to myself for a whole afternoon, I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t do homework (even though the house was quiet and there weren’t any distractions). I didn’t sew (I did a tiny bit more cleaning up in my office, but my sewing machine hasn’t been used in weeks). I didn’t even read (well, not much). What did I do? I basically wandered around the house aimlessly, played the piano a bit, watched some TV, and worked on a puzzle (a new one – it’s terrible).
The weekend wasn’t entirely slothful, though. Saturday morning we cleaned the garage – lots of work, and we’re quite proud of our progress (though I didn’t take pictures to bore you with), and then came over in the afternoon and we dug up some daylilies (so she now understands fully the h*ll that is the garden/landscaping at our house). I also made a roast for Sunday dinner, along with baked squash and stuffing. My massage Friday night was so good that I immediately scheduled another appointment with the same therapist for two weeks out, though now I’m thinking that I could go in this Friday too and my shoulder would probably like that. She reminded me to use my heating pad on my shoulder – every day – so that’s been helping.
The big question is – will I do homework tonight? I’m leading towards no, unless I find the motivation and focus to work on my “formative assessment” for tomorrow night’s class (it’s not due or anything). That thought fascinates you, doesn’t it. Now that my office is clean, I’m hesitant to use it, lest it get messy again. That was not the intention. I have several in-progress projects in little piles on my cutting table, and I should really finish up at least one of them.
No pictures to share, but I can tell you that we now have a Blue Jay who frequents our bird feeder, and the chickadees have come back (the little brown birds seem to have disappeared). So, pictures a Blue Jay in your head, and now isn’t this post more aesthetically pleasing? I thought so.
- Wow, it’s Friday and I completed a full 5-day work week!
- Kit Kat bars are beautiful.
- My favorite way to start a day is not getting up until I’m rested.
- I don’t know how to start a sentence that ends with: and he walked in the door holding a pumpkin.
- I look out my window and see greyed-out buildings, because the windows here at work are tinted and I’m downtown.
- Puzzles is what I’ve been thinking about lately. Once you start, you can’t stop!
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a massage to start working out the rock that my shoulder muscle has become, tomorrow my plans include a visit with and Sunday, I want to feel like we’re not really far behind in the upkeep of the exterior of our house – winter is coming!
via Friday Fill-Ins
Did you know that today is Blog Action Day? This year’s topic: water.
Instead of writing about it, I thought I’d just direct you to others who already have written about this critical resource:
via Google Reader (Shared Items)
Well, I received a phone call last night because I hadn’t blogged in a few days, and there was fear I was still sick.
Not to worry – all is well. Yesterday I didn’t take any cough medication, and today I didn’t take any cold medication at all! I’m feeling about 90%, which is really good (aside from being really tired, but that’s kind of status quo around here).
I haven’t written because… life has been boring. No sewing (though I have spent lots of time cleaning my office). No yard/housework (unless you want to hear all about vacuuming). No get-togethers with friends or family (unless text messages count). And nothing from class to babble on about (though I try not to bore you with that).
Boring is not a complaint. Boring is… wonderful. I was pretty sure that October was going to kill me, with all that was on the calendar. Turns out, plans change, people get sick, and things calmed down a bit. It’s all good.
Today, I’m thankful for…
… the ability to breathe freely through my nose, and to go 15 minutes without coughing. Yay!
… my toothbrush. Lots of days of drinking Tang and eating cough drops made my teeth fuzzy by mid-afternoon. So glad we don’t do that whole “chewing on a stick” thing anymore.
… my Rav4. It has been so… utilitarian! It’s the only vehicle we’ll take to go to Home Depot anymore (even if you’re only planning on buying a few nuts and bolts, it’s possible you’ll come home with supplies to [insert house project here]). It’s been great for Craigslist purchases too (I no longer have to try to find someone with a big vehicle to pick something up for me, which almost never worked) – has a new desk in his office that he’s in love with, and it’s 78″ long – it definitely wasn’t coming home in the BMW or the Focus.
… the awesome Special Ed teacher I’ve been making plans with at Richfield HS. She’s really quick to return emails, very accommodating, and it has been so much easier than most observations I’ve tried to set up. (The MS person, not so much. Bummer, because I’d prefer MS, but it is what it is. At least I don’t have to drive to the HS, it being a block away.)
… making friends in class. It has been unexpected and pleasant (especially so early in the semester). Also, both of my professors are excellent (or, at the very least, actually teach us stuff and keep us engaged).
… a great hair day yesterday. I didn’t have to wash it this morning – just fluff and go! That almost never happens.
… ‘s plans to come over this weekend and take away some daylilies (that are taking over the garden). It’s been a while since I’ve seen her, and there are so many things in the house to show off!
… my friends. I know you’re out there, even if I haven’t talked to you in quite some time. (Well, last week I didn’t talk to anyone outside of class and .) I know you’re there, and I know the next time we see each other we’ll have lots to catch up on, and I am so very happy for your present happiness (you know who you are and what I’m talking about).
… the cornucopia that is Etsy. Sure, it’s a bit overwhelming to have over 8,000 items to look at in my quest for a new wallet, but it’s great to have so many choices! I’m sure I’ll find the right one eventually (though last time I had to have someone custom make me one, but that is always an option on Etsy, and the one I had has held up excellently these past few years).
… time to slow down and relax. Being sick last week forced me to take it easy – I was super unproductive and I wouldn’t have handled it well if it hadn’t been for the fuzzy head and all that time I spent sleeping. That time reminded me of some of the fun things I like to do that I don’t get to indulge in as much – reading (outside of class and a few pages before bed), doing a puzzle, watching endless hours of TV. I’ve intentionally not done homework a few times this week in order to just have fun. Amazing.
So, that’s it for me. What about you?
Note to – something to think about for Saturday: we need to decorate our front/side door somehow so that the neighborhood kids know they can come trick-or-treat, but I don’t want to carve pumpkins. I don’t think turning the light on and having a festive wreath outside is enough. Any ideas?
I am back in the land of the living. I’m not well, but I’m certainly much better than I was. Most of last week was spent laying on the couch or in bed, reading or watching a movie or sleeping. Seriously, that’s about all I did. I managed to get one homework assignment finished by Saturday dinner, and only because it was due this morning. I didn’t let myself take any cold meds until I finished it, for fear of any fuzziness. But, it seems that the fuzzy head I had Thursday and Friday was just from the cold, not the medications.
It really wasn’t all that bad – no headache and no nausea, and those are the things I really don’t like. But the runny nose and hacking cough are getting annoying. I’m sure my co-workers and people on the bus love that. However, I don’t think I’m contagious anymore. A little extra sleep, more Vitamin C, and hopefully I can be caught up by the end of the week (with life, that is – I’m already caught up at work).
I attempted to clean the house yesterday, in celebration of feeling better, but only got the vacuuming done (and some clutter in the kitchen picked up) before I was exhausted. helped out so we could move furniture and vacuum behind it, and it was amazing what we found back there. Nearly a whole cat. It’s not like I’ve never vacuumed back there, either, so … amazing. Soon I’ll get my bathroom clean, and my office is again a wreck. It was getting better (I ironed a whole pile of fabric that I didn’t even know was on the table!), but then with cleaning up the house, a bunch of stuff just got thrown in there “to deal with later.”
Aside from books and movies, I enjoyed the beautiful weather. I think it really did help my spirits, it being so sunny. I didn’t go out and enjoy it, but I looked at it, and it made me happy. Also, we started a puzzle on Saturday night (or was it Friday? they all start to blend together after a while), mostly to distract me from the coughing (I find I cough more if I have nothing to do). It’s been quite a long time since I’ve put together a puzzle. The cats were very interested.
So there’s nothing else to talk about, really. I’m hoping to get caught up homework-wise tonight or Wednesday so that I can devote more of the weekend to working on the house. We’re going to have to rake soon, and that is a big project. But, as of yet, there are still leaves on the trees, so we’re holding out. Unfortunately, it’s dark well before 7 now, so there’s not much time during the week to get outside work done.
I’m glad to be back and doing my normal thing, even if that is pretty boring.
… for the physical stamina to get myself to work this morning. I’m hoping it will hold out long enough to get me back home – I am not fit for work.
… for co-workers telling me to go home, easing my feelings of guilt (two other key support staff are out).
… for this sexy, deep, raspy voice thing I’ve got going on. It’s so much better than the sinuses thing.
… for OTC cold medications. I heart all of you.
… for the bay window in our living room that looks out onto the high school athletic field. Also, for the gorgeous weather this week, which I was able to enjoy… from the couch in the living room (through aforementioned bay window.
… for e-books. I am loving reading books on my iPhone!
… naps. ‘Nuff said.
… the happiness of friends (you know who you are).
… bone density. When I fell through the deck on Monday, it’s not hard to imagine breaking my leg from that (if you saw the bruises, that is). Thanks to my love of milk, as well as my former love of espresso drinks (made of primarily milk), and my current (last two years) breakfast routine of Carnatian Instant Breakfast (also milk), no bones were injured. Just two really, really horrible (large and colorful too) bruises. I might just take pictures to share.
… feeling better. (OK, this one is actually a “thankful” for the future. I really need to be better by Saturday, or Sunday at the very latest. I have an important homework assignment project thingy to do and it needs to be emailed by 8 am Monday morning. I hate waiting until the last minute, but fuzzy-headed lesson plans probably wouldn’t be my best work.)
If y’all could just send all the good vibes my way, especially the healthy ones, I’d appreciate it. I’m kind of amazed that I formed complete sentences and typed them all out. It took all of my concentration to do so, but I did it! See how much I love you?
Home again today. Everything moved from sinuses to chest overnight. Feel a little better, sound a lot worse. Contemplating a field trip to Walgreens later this morning, but don’t want to take anything I don’t have to – spent too much time yesterday feeling fuzzy.
I’m hoping to be a tiny bit productive today, either with homework or some sewing. All I did yesterday was read and nap.
I’m also hoping to post my Thursday Tankful post from work tomorrow, and that “feeling better” will be one of many things I’m thankful for.
BTW, this is only the third time in eight years at my current job that I’ve taken more than one day off for illness. I think my coworkers will be glad I did.
Spoke too soon. Head feels like it was hit by a semi. Home sick.
Fell through deck last night. Nothing broken, but two massive bruises on leg.
Small homework success last night, but much more needed by end if week.
Hope to get a nap today, if sinuses will allow.
That is all.
[Editor's note: published from iPhone. Hope it doesn't look too weird.]
When I left work on Friday I wasn’t feeling so hot. My symptoms were similar to what had been sick with for the past week, despite my having declared that I wasn’t sick and wouldn’t get sick (note to self: have discussion with immune system about disobedience). It was a weird kind of sick, though, because my only symptoms were needing to clear my throat frequently (annoyingly so) and having “sick mouth.” What was strange, on top of that, was that I was starving. Like, eat a large pizza all by myself starving. It’s really odd to have sick mouth and be hungry. At any rate, life did go on. It seemed as though a sore throat would come on at any point, but it never did show up.
Saturday I felt OK, assisted by a change in plans that meant I didn’t have to clean my house ( decided not to put herself in the land of contagious diseases). I was pretty tired all day, and quite lazy, but it was a halfway decent day. I did take myself to Rainbow to get some Tang (my drink of choice when sick) and then, since I was feeling good and the weather was so gorgeous, I walked myself over to Michaels (about 100 feet from where I’d parked my car at Rainbow – not exactly a trek) and got some lovely fall decorations. Oh, and we reassembled our deck before lunch. We were about six pounds of screws short (having only bought one pound, which got us through 6 boards), so though the deck looks mostly done, it’s in need of some fastening down to actually be done.
and I went over to ‘s house for dinner, a pre-race pastafest. (That should really be a word.) Everything was lovely and we were stuffed. My ability to be entertaining (or civil, or fit for company – however you want to say it) started to wane, so back home we went.
Sunday morning, woke up very, very early (well, just half an hour before a weekday wake-up, but it was Sunday) and went to run the Twin Cities 10 mile. He did excellently, coming so close to his target time that it’s not even worth mentioning the discrepancy. Then he drove around the cities with ‘s dad, cheering her on as she did the marathon.
For my part, I slept in very late (10 o’clock) and didn’t do much of significance. I was feeling really good, though, and think the extra sleep helped a lot (so did the Nyquil that I took before going to bed). I did take a bit of Dayquil, but really had nothing to complain about.
I don’t know about you, but getting rid of that sick feeling makes me want to clean my house, or at least pick things up and get back on track. So there was some cleaning, and then I got to work on some kitchen tasks I’d been meaning to get to. I had already separated out the possibly damaged apples from the good ones, so I cut those up to make strudel and froze them (because I did not have the wherewithal to embark on that project).
I also cut up the pumpkin from our garden (above) and one of the pumpkins we bought from a farm stand in Illinois, and roasted them. Skins removed, I used my immersion blender to make them all creamy, drained out some excess water, and froze them up for later pumpkin-pie-making (I got 3 cups per pumpkin, FYI). Two more pumpkins to treat this way, but it was super easy (1 hour at 350*).
I did work on homework, as well as cleaning up my office, lest you think I was totally lazy and irresponsible. Unfortunately, this morning one of my professors emailed out an article that we have to read for class tomorrow night. I find this unacceptable (yes, the syllabus did say we would have an article as reading, but less than 48 hours to get it done in? come on now). I still have a bunch of work on some projects I need to make headway on, but they required creative thought (lesson plan, assessment plan, research paper), and that was not in the cards for the weekend.
After dinner, took a nap* while watching a really boring football game (Chicago v New York) and I let myself start a new project. I shouldn’t have, but I did.
This could go really well, or really poorly. All I know is that I probably need to get some new needles to sew through this charmeuse satin.
* would probably like me to clarify that he doesn’t take naps (despite having taken two yesterday), but may have been “resting his eyes” for a bit. Uh-huh. (Not that I find fault in his napping – had I gotten up at 5 am to run 10 miles, you can be sure I would be sleeping away the whole afternoon.)
Instead of leaving you with lingerie pictures, I’ll leave you with this strip instead. The birdfeeder we purchased is supposedly squirrel-proof, though lots of people complain that the squirrels outsmart the system. Not so at our house. This guy tried and tried and tried, but could not get any birdseed (it’s weighted and closes off access for animals larger than little birds).
Guess he'll have to stick to scavenging on the ground underneath. There's plenty there to go around.
Today, I’m feeling almost back to normal. I go through periods where my inner ears itch (usually a sign that a sore throat is imminent), but then the itching goes away. Otherwise, I feel fine. I wasn’t even overtired when I woke up this morning. I must be better. (But I’m gonna drink some more Tang just to be sure.)
- My back wishes I had time to schedule a massage or 6.
- My hair is always wild.
- Leaves are falling all around, which is lovely until you remember that no one else is going to rake them up.
- What was I suffering from earlier this week? forgetfulness.
- Healing is what I’m hoping for tonight (apparently I now have a cold – came up a little suddenly this morning on the way to work, and I would really rather not be sick).
- Schoolwork is what I’ve been up to lately!
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to taking care of the window well situation at our house (not exciting, but something we’ve needed to do since we moved in), tomorrow my plans include cleaning the house, digging up daylilies (and sending them home with ) and then dinner at ‘s and Sunday, I want to do lots and lots of homework (see how I’m trying to be positive about the mountain that is about to crush me?)!
via Friday Fill-Ins