I can barely express how wonderful yesterday went at the middle school. I was a bit nervous that though I used to like middle schoolers, I wouldn’t be as enamored with them. It’s been a few years, you know. Well, there are some middle schoolers in the program when I tutor on Mondays, but mostly they stay separate, and they’re absolutely crazy and there’s no structure. Anyway. The only disappointment I experienced yesterday was in remembering that I will be student teaching in a high school, not a middle school. Heartbroken about that.
I’ll try to keep this part short. The teacher I’m working with put me to work right away. I recorded assignments, separated them out for grading, recorded oral interviews with at least 12 students who struggle with writing, paired up with some students for partner work, and generally enjoyed myself thoroughly. I wish I was there today. When I was leaving the building, I thought to myself, “This is what I was meant to do.” I haven’t had a moment of clarity like that about teaching. I really felt called to youth ministry, and when I decided to change careers, I made the choice of teaching rather rationally. I knew I’d be good at it, and I knew I’d enjoy it. But yesterday, it was … more certain. “This is where I should be. This is what I should be doing.”
Bonus: It was light out when I left the house, and light out when I returned home. So very awesome to see sunlight. Plus, I took pictures for you! I think I’ll save many of them for Friday – there are only so many hours in the day and not nearly enough time to get everything done. Here’s how sunny it was: I barely had to do anything to these photos other than crop them. Awesome! (I promise that’s true for the other pictures, but the ones I have to share today are blurry, because I was taking them myself, in my bathroom, of… myself. Not the best recipe for pictures, but I was way too lazy to get out the tripod.)
Today, you just get to see a knitting project I finished. I completed it within 3 days, actually, which is always fun. This yarn was sitting near the top of the giant Ziploc bag of yarn to give away, so it doesn’t exactly put a dent in what I have stashed away, but that’s OK. I have destashed a significant amount of yarn recently, so I’ll give myself a pass on this.
Black (which doesn't photograph well - good thing it was a sunny day!) with strands of silver woven throughout.
I had originally made myself a hat out of this yarn (which had no tags and I never recorded what it was, so it’s officially mystery yarn – I assume it’s a blend of partial acrylic and something else, as it was part of my attempt to find yarn that doesn’t make me itch). It was a lovely winter hat – double-stranded for extra warmth, cables (that you couldn’t see because it was black), it fit well…. The problem was, it was itchy. Like, really itchy. Red forehead itchy. So, I gave it to , who seemed more than happy with it.
So, what do I decide to do with this yarn that makes me itch? Make a cowl, of course! I know, wrong decision. But I only had a little bit of it (somewhere around one skein). And the pattern looked so… comfy and fun and easy (Ravelry link to the pattern called Marian). It was a nice, fast knit. Seed stitch is the same as doing 1×1 rib, just with an odd number of stitches instead of even. It’s boring, but with the big needles and fluffy yarn, the texture is really nice. And it’s really squishy.
You can almost feel the squishy-ness.
I couldn’t make gauge with the circular needles I had, so we did some math and I cast on extra stitches, and then a few more to compensate for people’s complaints that theirs were too small. I decided to just knit until I ran out of yarn. Well, that I did. In fact, I had seven stitches left to bind off and was left with three inches of yarn. Oops. Ripped it back one row, re-did the bind-off, wove in the two ends, and it was done!
I know, I know, not the most professional photo. It seems too long. And I did the moebius twist in it, but it seems like it's too twisted.
Unfortunately, I think I over-compensated, or ended up knitting looser than my gauge swatch (probably the latter). And, um, it’s still itchy (duh). Can one wear a cowl with a turtleneck? That seems… redundant. This may need to be gifted away to someone with less sensitive skin. I really want to make another cowl, in something that won’t make me itch, but I’m not sure it’s actually an article of clothing I can pull off. It just seemed… awkward. Any thoughts?
On Friday, I’ll share pictures of the Christmas sewing I’ve completed recently!
If everything stayed the same all the time, life would be boring, right? Right? I’m telling myself this is true after looking at my calendar for the next two months and realizing how … different it’s going to be. Starting tomorrow, I will be completing my middle school practicum hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I will only be at work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Hopefully, I’ll be getting an hour or two of work done from home after school, but that’s not set in stone yet. Thankfully, my Monday afternoon volunteer tutoring will be done in two weeks (three Mondays, including today), and there are only two Wednesday evening classes left, and one Friday one. After that, I’ll be able to perhaps work longer days when I’m at work, so that I don’t eat up as much vacation time.
What this means for you, dear readers, is that I will probably be posting less often. I expect that my days at work will be busier, since I’ll be here less often, and I obviously can’t blog while at the middle school. Plus, I’ll have to be writing “reflective” journal entries on my practicum experiences, so I might not feel as much need to share.
However, there is an up side. Minnesota is in the season of dark from now through… March, which means that I leave home when it’s dark, and when I get home it’s dark, and therefore I can’t take any pictures to share with you until the weekends. Well, I should have a wee bit of daylight hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so if I’m able to complete any projects or my cats are especially cute, I should be able to share that with you sooner. We’ll test this out tomorrow, since I finished several projects over the weekend that I’d like to share, but it was grey and icky all weekend long.
In other news, I did not get to decorate my house for Christmas over the weekend. Someone had told me the weather would be better on Sunday, and I didn’t check on the accuracy of that. I should have, because Sunday was near freezing and there was a strong wind that made being outside miserable. However, that’s not the reason I was unable to decorate. The reason is, I was unable to find 1) lights to string up around the house, and 2) garland to hang on the fence. I was able to get an outdoor extension cord and a timer for the lights, but those really aren’t very exciting. Do you know how expensive lights are? Somewhere in the 90-cents/foot range. Do you know how much gutter we have to decorate? 200 feet. Yikes. Couldn’t find what I wanted at Home Depot in bulk (to bring the price down a bit). We also need approximately 200 feet of garland and 14-ish bows for the fence. I was told to get the fluffiest I could find (which makes sense, and is important since our fence is large and imposing), and what I found at Michael’s could only be described as stringy or emaciated. Home Depot only had lighted garland, which is not what I wanted. I’ll be checking Target and JoAnn’s later this week, but perhaps my plans to decorate the outside of our house will, again, not come to fruition this year. Seeing as how no one else in the house has caught my holiday spirit, it’s pretty much up to me, and, as previously mentioned, there are quite a few things that I need to keep track of these days.
Our two Thanksgiving dinners were lovely, as was the time spent with family. Days of sleeping in, however, did not come. I think that I have the most minor of colds. Something has been messing with my sleep (too hot, too cold, wide awake at 5 am for no reason), and I am slightly congested. Oh, and I have that icky need to clear my throat thing, though it’s minor and doesn’t happen often. So, instead of being well-rested after a four day weekend, I am actually quite tired today. Bummer. Life goes on.
Well, I hope that holds you over for the next day or three. We’re just going to have to play this by ear. But, rest assured, I have not fallen off the planet or succumbed to some disease, I’m just… busy.
The Christmas spirit, that is. In my head. This morning. I suddenly found myself wanting to leave work to go home and bake cookies and decorate the house (which shall not take place until at least Saturday, at least the decorating part). This was surprising. It’s not that I’m a Scrooge – in fact, Christmas is my favoritest time of the year, and the only thing that makes snow and those long dark hours of winter worthwhile. But I don’t really care for this whole starting-Christmas-in-October thing that retailers have been doing for… the last decade or more. And Black Friday sales? I would prefer to ignore them completely.
But I digress.
So, my heart has gotten into the Christmas spirit, and now I’m forcing it upon you. It started with browsing Etsy, where I spent way too much time looking at vintage brooches (I made it up to the $15 mark before my eyes glazed over). Then I took my joyous self over to Pinterest, where I found all sorts of things to make me smile.
In all honesty, most Christmas-related things make me smile. Even bad Christmas songs. (There are a few themes that don’t exactly make the list, like Santa, and vintage drawings of kitty cats in bows and hats, and I could really do without blow-up, lighted lawn ornaments, and “A Christmas Story”, but that’s it. And I thought I’d get that bit of Scroogy-ness out of the way so the joy could continue.)
And now, for some of my favorite parts of Christmas, courtesy of Pinterest… (source for each image below the image; clicking will take you to the Pinterest page, where you can then click through to find the original source… eventually)
Source: catscroonerscook.blogspot.com via Dawn on Pinterest
Source: xmasluv.tumblr.com via Veronica on Pinterest
Source: potterybarn.com via Carie on
Garland - I've been wanting to do something like this (without the lights) at our new house, but haven't calculated how much garland we'd need and what that would cost.
Source: bhg.com via Mindi on Pinterest
Christmas trees and pianos (arguably the latter isn't Christmas-specific, but I do love Christmas piano music very much).
Source: Uploaded by [unknown] user via Toni on Pinterest
My collection of red and white snowflake mugs - each is unique, like snowflakes.
Source: indiska.com via Karen on Pinterest
Deer - I don't have any, but I think I'd like to acquire some deer Christmas decor.
Source: camelandyak.co.uk via brooke on Pinterest
Stars - I have many ornaments and decorations that are stars. They are so pretty.
Source: bhg.com via Elena on Pinterest
Gingerbread houses - My FIL gave me a gingerbread house kit last year, and I think it needs to be christened, don't you? I'm sure my end result will look nothing like this. (I tried to find the one decorated the simplest, and this was what I got. The internet has high standards.)
Source: google.com via Louise on Pinterest
Christmas cookies - not *just* roll-and-cut, but they are some of my favorites.
Source: glorioustreats.blogspot.com via Brandon Carrien on Pinterest
Spritz cookies - another gift last year from my FIL, a press to make spritz cookies. I've been wanting to make some up for... forever!
Source: tasteofhome.com via Stacy on Pinterest
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
Source: google.com via Molly on Pinterest
Now I’m interested – what’s your favorite part(s) of Christmas?
Saturday morning, just before the snow started falling (it was still freezing rain when we were out there), we got the deck ready for winter. We’d kind of forgotten it. The hammock came in, too. And then the snow started falling, and we pretty much hibernated the rest of the weekend.
went out to get the cats more food and came home with a new toy. The pictures are terrible (have you tried to take a picture of a cat in motion? Just blurs, kind of like taking pictures of toddlers, even on the “kids and pets” setting on the camera), but you get the idea. They loved it.
There's a toy mouse suspended in the middle of the ball. The cats spent a lot of time trying to get it out.
A lot of planning went into this toy. They can get their paws in there easily, and back out, but the mouse will never escape. It squeaks (just a tiny bit - not enough to be annoying) when it bounces, and the plastic cage is very flexible. They took turns circling it, sniffing it (apparently it has a smell, and it's not catnip), and trying to get to the mouse.
I started Christmas sewing about two weeks ago, a version of these pillows and some pinwheels. I’d started the pinwheels as backs for the pillows, but they ended up much larger (and cuter) than I’d planned, and I couldn’t bear to cut them down. So, now I have enough pinwheels for a table runner. Yay!
I always forget to start Christmas projects until mid-December, and then it’s too late. So I’m pretty proud of myself. Since I didn’t feel like messing with invisible zippers, I cut out my next Christmas project instead. (I should be able to get those zippers installed and the pillows put together in about an hour, and I don’t want to put them on the couch until after Thanksgiving, so I have some time left.)
The apron is all cut out and ready to go. I have temporarily misplaced McCall's 5825, so the mitts will have to wait. The fabrics are all from JoAnn, either last year or the year before that. The main Christmas tree fabric is the only one I had enough yardage of to make a full apron out of - everything else was either fat quarters or one yard pieces.
I have made up Simplicity 2932 before, the black and white view in this fun summery fabric. My only complaint about it is that the straps are a bit too long, so this time I cut out the straps two sizes smaller than the rest of the apron. (My other complaint, technically
I really wanted to be making this one:
I pulled out the fabric for it, but didn't cut it out for a few reasons. One, I'm not entirely sure that the fabrics go together. I think I just need to stare at them some more. Two, these fabrics are much more versatile, and I'd be happy to use them in a different Christmas project.
Also, McCall’s 5825 is currently missing – I’m guessing it’s in a Ziploc bag with some other fabric for a different apron, but I haven’t gone digging for it yet.
I did make progress on ‘s quilt too. I moved the stripes fabric from the pile of clean laundry in the bedroom to my office. That totally counts as progress. Oh, and I found the template for the large J, and the measurements of the front side of the quilt. And I cleaned my office a bit and shredded a lot of paper.
We had a visitor on Sunday.
A bunny rabbit!
Maybe you don’t know how much I love bunnies. Like, adore them. Love them so much I can never own one. (No, not because I would snuggle it to death.) I could hang out with the bunnies at the State Fair for hours if the people I was with would let me.
Not the cutest bunny in the world, but beggars can’t be choosers. He’s the only one we’ve had come around in quite some time.
He totally wasn't freaked out by me at all. Of course, I was inside, six-ish feet away, but still. Sudden movements didn't cause him to bolt.
He hung around for quite some time. A slow mover, this one was.
And apparently, he was hungry, and the leaves from our Honey Locust tree were tasty. I have a whole series of pictures from the beginning to end of eating this one leaf, but I decided not to bore you with it. Super cute, though.
The research for my paper is all done, and it just needs to be organized and written now. Shouldn’t be a problem. No tutoring this week. After the paper is written, I need to create a PowerPoint presentation about my tutoring experience, and then I’m done with that class! Just two sessions left.
I wish the Red Cross would stop calling me (I don’t pick up, because they always call when I’m at work, and it’s really awkward to talk on my cell phone in my cube). I know they want me to donate. And I’d be all about that, if perhaps they could get someone in there who wouldn’t spend 5 minutes rooting around for the vein (you think I exaggerate, but I don’t – the time before last it took three people to find the vein, and the needle was in my arm that whole time). My last few experiences have not been pleasant. There is a drive here at work in December – I might go if they have some openings left. We’ll see.
Instead of leaving you with that visual, I’ll give you this: rainbow nail polish!
- As you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you feel relief. And then you realize that the time to get there will seem to just crawl by. Sigh.
- I’ll be done with homework for the semester soon! Just one paper and one presentation (PowerPoint). Two class sessions. Oh, and that whole 60 hours of middle school classroom time. Details, details.
- I love to buy lots of things. I do not, however, like buying shoes. Too much pressure, never what I’m looking for, and always the possibility of being very disappointed upon wearing them for a full day.
- What did bring back from Colorado? That’s right, gift(s). He bought me what he thought was a chocolate rooster. It was actually a turkey, but we’re pretending it’s a rooster.
- What’s up with commercials on TV and gender stereotyping? The mom is always the mean one, and the dad is always stupid. Our household does not like this one bit.
- I like to put pretty / fancy things on my fingertips. Today I have blue suede nails with white stars, but I put a top coat on so the suede is shinier and doesn’t feel as nice as its natural finish. Still pretty.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to —I don’t even know— ( wants to spend 4 hours spray-polying the trim for the family room, but I was thinking more about spending those hours working on my paper… either way, it doesn’t sound like much to look forward to), tomorrow my plans include sleep (I am so tired today – haven’t really gotten over the wanting a daily nap thing yet, though I have technically gone without all week) and Sunday, I want to wear a sweater (that means switching out my summer and winter wardrobes, which I still haven’t done, and it’s getting harder and harder to get dressed for work)!
via Friday Fill-Ins
Since I got home at a normal hour last night (instead of 7 pm on Monday, after which I needed to procure dinner), I had myself a normal evening, with the small exclusion of the fact that is away. I ate what I wanted for dinner (a roasted sweet potato and a glass of wine – it was tasty, and we haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while), watched what I wanted on TV (all caught up on CSI, CSI: Miami, and Law & Order: SVU), and sat in the middle of the couch. I multi-tasked by reading more research on Montessori methods (for my upcoming paper) while watching TV. I went to bed at ten, but stayed up past 11 reading. Both cats shared the bed with me, though I had to bribe them with kitty treats to get them into the room (apparently we’ve conditioned them well enough that they just take themselves elsewhere when it’s bedtime).
However, I did have to decide for myself what to eat, would have had to kill any bugs that dared show themselves (none did), take the trash out to the curb, and settled for a phone conversation with . The cats and I miss him, and it’s a good thing he’s coming home today.
Marriage was a very conscious choice. I chose to marry because the future with him looked so much better than the future without him. I don’t need him – I am a complete individual and can take care of myself. I want him, which is, I think, better than need. (Apparently, two days apart and I’ve gotten sappy – can we blame the Celexa for that? I thought not.)
He gets home tonight around when I get home from work. We’ll need to acquire some dinner, and go grocery shopping, and I’m still working on my paper (class was cancelled tonight). Nothing special, nothing exemplary. Just everyday life.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
[Sidenote: Celexa and I have gotten over our differences, for the most part. No naps Monday or Tuesday. I feel normal. It hasn’t helped me the way I wanted yet, but there are five more weeks before I can make any sort of judgement on effectiveness. Also, I will be away from my computer tomorrow at a training, so don’t expect to hear from me. But I’ll be back on Friday.
You’ll be happy to know, today I am prepared to blog about things other than side effects. Yay! I have been feeling relatively since Saturday. I’m still dealing with muscle tension, uncontrollable yawning (strange, strange side effect), and the need to take a daily nap (every day since last Saturday except Wednesday, when I had to go to class), but my head is clear. I feel like myself.
I had Friday off of work due to the state holiday, and did absolutely nothing all day. It was fabulous. got final confirmation of a trip he has to take for work (he’s gone today through Wednesday – boo!), so I decided not to do any homework over the weekend. I can do it while he’s gone. We don’t really spend time apart like this – only three times since we’ve been married have we not gone to bed together – so it’s not something I’m used to.
We finished three projects over the weekend. I know! Like seriously finished. We put the panels in the door of the buffet I haven’t shared yet (you might have to wait another week – the only sunlight I’m home to experience is on the weekends). I put drawer liner in the drawers of our dining table (which I also haven’t shared). And, we fixed the filtered water spigot in the kitchen that hasn’t worked in a year and a half. We also further ghetto-fied our house by scraping off the peeling paint, priming, and painting over the bare patches (it’s a lovely look, with the old paint faded and darker, and then the spots of lighter paint…). And raked/mowed up another 5 bags of leaves. Thankfully, all the leaves have dropped off our trees now. I even remembered to take pictures of our trees in their current state, including the one we’re having taken down, so that I have before/after pictures of the tree trimming.
bought a spray gun attachment for the air compressor, and on Sunday we tried out using it to put poly on the trim for the basement. It worked well, and will save us 20+ hours of labor (6 hours per coat by hand x 4 coats versus 1 hour per coat), so that’s $50 well spent.
I worked on some Christmas sewing projects and will hopefully have pictures to share of completed items by the end of the week or early next week. I did not work on ‘s quilt, switch out my summer/winter wardrobes, vacuum, or do any seasonal decorating, but I did get some laundry done, and spent lots of time with . I also got several quality naps in. Our basement couch is fabulous for napping on.
I’m hoping to get through today without a nap, since I have to leave work early to go tutor, and won’t get home until 7, and will then need to feed myself and the kitties. If I take a nap after that, I might as well just call it a night, and that would be a sad day. I have a research paper that needs to be written, kitties that will need attention, and a veritable cornucopia of sewing projects.
Or, in this case, makes one realize the importance of something one took for granted.
That would be my ability to pay attention to anything.
Last night, after sitting at my computer for an hour and only writing one sentence (I also copy-pasted a sentence, so maybe that counts as two sentences), I gave up my efforts and searched the web. I wasn’t looking for trouble, just validation that I wasn’t going crazy. Indeed, many people had terrible side effects the first two weeks, including being unable to concentrate, muscle tension (this is terrible – must get a massage soon), and sleeping problems (woke up at 3:30 this morning, which was nice because it gave me enough time to fall back asleep before having to get up for the day). Today is day 5, so I’m almost halfway there, right? Clingin’ to a prayer.
Unfortunately, I still have that paper to write, and it’s due by 6 pm tonight. The internet suggested B vitamins to help with concentration and energy, and since has been a bit sick lately, I thought that justified taking some Emergen-C (which is chock-full of B vitamins). They haven’t worked.
On the bright side, most of my work projects (currently) are short things, so my job performance hasn’t been affected. That’s something.
Caffeine would be nice right about now.
I think this lack of concentration is causing me to over-share, both here and in real life. Really, if I actually shared the stream of consciousness going through my head right now, y’all would be frightened, and probably very confused.
, I might need some coping mechanisms to get me through this. I have a 5-7 page research paper that needs to get written before Thanksgiving. I think I can get the research done, but how can I force myself to concentrate enough to actually write the thing? Any ideas? Caffeine is NOT an option. New Age Instrumental music hasn’t helped. I suppose I should try my white noise app. I’ll give that a shot when I’m not on phone duty this afternoon.
I’ve got J Lo’s “Superlady” (Papi) running through my head (from those car commercials). Earlier it was the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice.” No matter that I only know a quarter of the lyrics to either.
Haircut tomorrow night. Have I already mentioned that? New stylist (I broke up with my old one – hadn’t been to see her in a year and a half anyway, so I just un-friended her on Facebook and that was that), and it’s a man. No good can come of this. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a man cut my hair who did what I asked; they always do what they want. Why is that? So I will have to press my case and be firm: I have been growing out my hair for 10 years now, and would like to continue making progress towards my butt. I think I’ll have to take before and after pictures of the back length. Anyway, he’s only my temporary guy – I need a haircut badly, but am trying to see if the salon I really want to go to has a Groupon deal or something fabulous like that.
Now I really am babbling for no reason other than procrastination. I’ll stop now.
This, too, shall pass (oh, talk about a first world problem).
That’s what I’m doing. Need to get that reflection paper written – I think my powers of concentration are mostly restored. It’s not ideal, but it’ll have to do. I woke up at 4:30 this morning – not happy about that. I blame most of that on the time change, and only some of it on the Celexa. I mean, I wanted to wake up earlier, so I could get to work on time (as a general rule, it sounds like a good goal), but 4:30 is overkill. Haven’t really adjusted to the time change yet.
Alright, I take back my earlier comments about my concentration ability. Still shot.
Oh, if only I had been blogging when I first went on Prozac. Y’all would have been entertained.
Tonight, for the first time ever, I will be voting in a non-presidential election. We have 15 candidates vying for 3 spots on the school board, and a levy to vote on as well. You can probably guess how a future public school teacher feels about that.
After we vote, I’m making Stir-Fried Beef, Broccoli and Yams. I love sweet potatoes.
I may need a nap after that. It’s what I did yesterday after tutoring (and eating dinner). I was beat. Lots of good stuff at tutoring yesterday, though none of the kids whose names I know were there.
OK, that’s all I’ve got. It’s taken me half an hour – I keep getting distracted by inconsequential things, like my hair. Ooh, shiny! Anyway, happy Tuesday!
…and I barely got to enjoy any of it. I drove home from my doctor’s office on Friday afternoon in the gorgeous sun. And then I sequestered myself in my office to write that paper. At 9:45, I decided that it didn’t really need to be proofread (checking the spelling was going to have to do), and uploaded it. I can’t remember the last time that I wanted until the very last minute to finish an assignment. I never do that. At least, not this time around in school. I totally did that in my undergrad, but I’m 12 years older now, and really can’t pull all-nighters. (For your information, I spent the hours from 6-9 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights working on the paper, and 6-9 on Wednesday night in class, and 5-10 on Friday night, making that at least 14 hours spent on this silly paper, not including any time I might have spent during the workday organizing my thoughts. Ridiculous.)
When got home from his kickboxing class on Saturday morning, we tackled yard work. It was gorgeous weather to do this in. Truly lovely. Cool, but not cold. We took the lazy route and put the bagger on the lawn mower and mulched up all the leaves (instead of raking them). Even with the leaves chopped up, we had 10 bags. I think about 75% of the leaves have fallen, so we’re mostly done. We also met our new next-door neighbor, and learned that our property line might not be where we thought it was, and that he’s totally cool with us chopping down the ugly pine tree. I really should take a picture of it before they come and do that.
We went out for a late lunch / early dinner. I wanted to go to PF Chang’s, but trying to eat there at a normal time on a weekend is crazy – wait times of more than an hour. So we went at 2. No waiting (still crowded, but we were seated immediately). We had ice cream around 8 pm to tide us over.
After lunch/dinner, we stopped at Walgreens to pick up the prescriptions my doctor had sent over, and then to Home Depot. Bonus: my new prescription was free! Seriously. Two month supply cost: $0. Lovely.
Back at home, went to work on some more shelving for his office, and I was going to do homework. But first I decided to take the new drug my doctor gave me. This is where things started to fall apart. Let me back up a bit. I had my annual doctor’s appointment on Friday afternoon, to renew my prescriptions and make sure I don’t have cervical cancer (OK, maybe they’re trying to learn other things while they’re down there, but that’s the only thing I’ve ever learned from that particular part of the visit). I had included a couple of things I had questions about in my pre-visit questionnaire. One was about the risk or breast cancer and early detection, and my doctor told me that the relations I have who had it are insignificant, as far as risk factors go. Don’t need to do anything until I’m 40. That was nice. I probably could have found this out by Googling, but I guess I never thought of doing it and didn’t want to freak myself out.
The other thing I wanted to talk to my doctor about was re-evaluating my Wellbutrin. I tried to do this last year, and she basically switched me from the twice a day to the once a day version, thinking that would help, and told me to try some lifestyle changes (she didn’t say what those changes might be, though – I assumed diet and exercise). I don’t think I pressed my case very well. This year I was more prepared. I also had more… evidence, to support me. It’s not just that I’m tired every single morning, regardless of how much sleep I get. It’s also that I don’t seem to care as much about things that I should care about. Like getting to work on time. Or what we watch on TV (I love TV). Or finishing projects. All things considered, compared to my pre-medication state, I’m waaaaay better. But I’m not as good as I was, say, 2 or 3 years ago. I know it can be better, but couldn’t get there on my own. I don’t have trouble sleeping, no anxiety, no thoughts of offing myself, just a general blah-ness. (A very different blah-ness than pre-medication, which was more of a flatline of everything in life. This was more like, if emotions were charted like waves, the crests weren’t as high as they used to be, but there were still waves. Does that make sense?)
Because the Wellbutrin has worked so well for me, she didn’t want to take me off of it. It works very well with the symptoms I have. The first year I was on anti-depressants, I took Prozac, and that was not good. It worked, but the side-effects were terrible. Also, the first week I was on it, the side-effects were crazy. It was the week before my sister’s wedding (over seven years ago!), I was on a mission trip in Chicago with several youth groups, and generally not a good time to be waking up at 4 am wide awake. Got a lot of Bible reading done. But I didn’t have any side-effects switching to Wellbutrin, and haven’t experienced any side-effects. Lovely. We decided to add a drug to the mix: Celexa. Now, Celexa is in the Prozac family, but supposedly works very well with Wellbutrin (they work on different aspects), and the Wellbutrin counter-acts traditional side-effects of Celexa (and Prozac). Celexa is supposed to be good for anxiety, too, but that is not really a problem for me.
She said she’d start me on a small dose, but after doing some research on the internet, I see there are basically only 2 different doses, the 20 mg and 40 mg (I’m on the 20). I read up on side-effects and notified since this would obviously affect him.
So, as I was saying, I took my first dose of Celexa around 4 on Saturday. I had a nice long chat with on the phone, then helped with some table saw work, and then went downstairs to do some homework. (It was dark by this point, so no more enjoying of fall weather.)
About 2 1/2 hours after taking the Celexa, I started to feel nauseous, and had a headache coming on. I remembered reading something about not taking aspirin or ibuprofen, so did some Googling to see if it was safe to do so. One Advil and one spoonful of my favorite nausea-fighting OTC, and I set out to do homework. While those symptoms subsided, I started to feel drowsy and also a bit jittery (the kind of jittery I feel after taking Benadryl, like you can feel the blood coursing through your veins just a bit faster than usual). Those lasted through Sunday night (at least – the jury is still out on today’s symptoms). Also, my concentration was shot. It took me forever to do my readings. I made it about halfway through before calling it quits.
Sunday was fun too. I had a burst of energy in the morning and cleaned out two closets upstairs that had been disorganized for far too long. I did some cleaning in my office, too. I found I don’t notice the jittery feeling as much if I’m moving constantly. But that’s not sustainable. Homework, again, took way too long, as I couldn’t concentrate. Read one paragraph at least 4 times before giving up on it. It didn’t help that what I was reading was a lot of theoretical/philosophical stuff on how people think and learn – a little too lofty for my preferences when I’m in a normal state of mind. I took a nap but remained tired for the rest of the evening. I did absolutely nothing other than paint my toenails, heat up dinner (homemade lasagna that I’d frozen a few weeks ago), and play Words with Friends. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy the weather at all, except when passing by the windows while cleaning.
Today is day 3, and I seem to be much better. Still feeling a bit jittery, and my concentration isn’t fabulous, but I’m awake and alert, which is good since I’m at work. I’m giving it 2 weeks for the side effects to go away, and 2 months for it to work.
This probably wasn’t the best time to start a new drug, with all the reading, paper-writing, and research I need to do in the next two weeks. Oh well. Was there going to be a good time? Probably not.
I’m hopeful that this will be the kick in the pants I need. Celexa isn’t necessarily be a long-term drug, as it can’t be taken when pregnant (unlike Wellbutrin), and apparently going off Celexa is no fun. But you know, in a year or two my life could be very different from what it is now (at least job-wise), and who knows how those changes will affect me and my energy levels. Best to just deal with the here and now.
That was a very long post about not very much, but I felt the need to share, and be open and honest. There is still so much stigma attached to depression, which is silly because it’s a biological thing, a chemical imbalance in the brain – it’s not like I did anything to cause that. It just is. I know it can make some people uncomfortable, but why should it be any different than talking about asthma or allergies? Just doing my part to help normalize it. I’m always willing to answer questions and discuss more, should there be any concerns or thoughts you have.
I’m feeling good today. I woke up early, though I think that can safely be attributed to the time change. I’ve got tutoring later this afternoon, and then hopefully will be able to concentrate enough to write a halfway decent reflection paper on those readings I spaced out on.
OK, look, here’s the deal. I have a 6-8 page paper due tonight at 10 pm. It is not yet written (though my outline is, finally, complete). [Editor's note: Can I explain this paper a bit? Just so you can understand what I've been dealing with? Basically, summarize 400 pages of reading into 4 pages, making sure to include at least 14 points of comparison. Then you get the remaining 2 pages to include contemporary research and implications for the future. Oh, and the rubric, which ideally should include objective measures, is almost completely subjective, with the exception of the aforementioned "14 points of comparison." You really cannot use the word "excellent" to describe what excellent means; you especially cannot do it in every single box of the "excellent" column.]
After that’s done, I have 200 pages of reading, after which I have to write a 2-3 page reflection paper (which is then due Wednesday).
After that, I can begin research on my paper on Montessori methods in urban classrooms, 5-7 pages, due before Thanksgiving (guess how I’ll be spending Veteran’s Day, a work holiday).
Oh, and I’ve been trying to figure out when to do my practicum (I finally have a placement!) while still working. And I’ll need to take a break at some point this weekend to deal with yard work (bonus: we get an extra hour this weekend because of Daylight Savings – so that totally fixes that problem of when I’m going to get everything done). You know, before it snows.
So this is all the blog posting you get this week. No Friday Fill-Ins. No updates on life (well, here’s a short one: when I haven’t been in class or at work, I’ve been working on this paper, except for 45 minutes yesterday that I frivolously spent at Ulta, and some time before bed watching a bit of TV). No pictures. No crafting. No communicating with anyone outside of work and . You’re lucky I took this much time to let you know I hadn’t actually fallen off the face of the planet. And now I’ve got to get back to things.
I woke up with a headache. That’s never good. I took Advil when I got up. Took some more with lunch. My headache is mostly gone – it’s kind of hanging around in the background, pretending to be a wallflower, much like half the students at a junior high dance.
I spent 3 hours last night doing research for a paper that’s due Friday. (We didn’t buy candy. We turned out the lights, closed the blinds, and hid in the basement. Didn’t even carve pumpkins this year. Maybe next year… though I am not a fan of Halloween.) I really need to draw up an outline next. We’ll see.
I had some mindless tasks to do today, so while I was taking a break from the monotony (sometimes you just can’t stare at the screen any longer), I fooled around and came up with these fabric groupings. I’m still working on figuring out a color scheme for the living room / dining room. I’ve technically narrowed it down to yellow, with pink and green accents, but having a fabric in hand would really help pick out a paint swatch. Oh, should I add that this color scheme has not been approved by all household members (but, to reiterate the logic, the exterior of the house will be blue, the kitchen will someday be green (currently blue), and the master bedroom (visible from the dining room) is rust orange, so there aren’t that many colors left; I figured I should tie in the green kitchen since it’s at least partially visible from both rooms, and didn’t think that I’d get the OK to paint the walls pink). Oh, also… we’re looking at mostly pillows for the couch (and a starting point for picking out paint color), and maybe curtains for one small window, since the piano bench and dining chairs are already recovered (apparently never took a picture of the piano bench, but I used this fabric). Though, to be honest, I’m not married to the recovered items, and they can be re-done at any point in time. It’s a beautiful thing, what one can do with Scotch-guard spray and a staple gun.
Option 1 - Fun and colorful. I had a hard time getting all 3 colors together in this one, because the pink and green prints didn't have any yellow in them at all. But I think I made it work. I already own that bottom-center green print (it was a mistake made by the company that they corrected, but told me to keep it, all 3 yards).
Option 2 - Grown-up and muted. Much more low-key, though those polka-dots certainly cheer things up a bit. I own the bottom-center green one here too. And yes, the two on the left are identical, just different colorways. Not as much yellow here, but I don't need too much if the walls are yellow. (I'm thinking just the backs of all the pillows, or something.)
Option 3 - Bold and Modern. I cannot tell you how much I am in love with that top-left floral. Unfortunately, they only made that colorway in home dec weight, so I probably shouldn't try to make a quilt out of it, or something equally silly. I linked to it below, because this little clip totally doesn't do it justice. I own the elephants and the yellow stripe. I feel like the prints are tied together best here (with the possible exception of the yellow), with a good balance of small and large scale, single-color prints and multi-colored ones. Feel free to disagree though.
Joel Dewberry Heirloom Rose Bouquet in Sepia (fabric.com)
Haven’t had much audience participation lately! Let me know what your favorite combo is in the comments! Feel free to include other opinions as well, like the silliness of that elephant print, or the inappropriateness of pink zebra stripes.
Also, feel free to commiserate with me on the hours I spent (and still need to spend) doing homework, and on the headache that seems to have gotten over its shyness and maybe had some of the punch to drink.