Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More of nothing

I meant to post yesterday since we didn't have to drive up to Fond du Lac but as I had a little bit of energy, I tried to get caught up on cleaning.  Didn't succeed very well, but I did manage to straighten up the house, at least.

It's sunny and warm today which is a nice change from the past few days of cold and rainy.  But I'm still hesitant to put any plants or seeds into the ground yet.  The temps will get down to 34 tonight and that's too close to freezing for me.  I'll give it until the weekend, I think.

We had lunch with our priest which was nice.  It's great to have contact with people outside this house once in a while.  I'm developing a friendship with someone at church as well.  She's also an anglophile and loves movies and books, too.  But I still find myself holding back.  I'm not sure I know how to have friends.

Church Sunday was great, as usual, except I ended up reading the lessons.  It wasn't as bad as doing special music like I used to do at our old church but it was still a heart-pounding experience. Zach had vestry so I took my knitting along.  I'm working on the Tapestry Christening gown, only I'm making it into a shorter dress out of pink Bernat.  I love knitting baby clothes but I have no babies to knit for.  There is a new little one at church I might give the dress to, but I need to come up with something for her sister as well.  It's so hard for the older ones who are used to having all the attention from their parents.  

Professor is still not using that leg so I'm going to make an appointment with the vet.  Just which vet, I'm not sure.  My partner in the Altar Guild is a vet tech so I might take him there.  I won't go back to our old vet.  There is a new owner and he's not very good with small pets.

I'm coming along with the beaded scarf.  I will definitely do another project with beads.  I'm sorry I let myself get scared off before.  It's really not so hard although it requires more attention to the project than other things.  

My drawing is coming along.  I'm not very patient with myself though so I'm not letting it be fun. I'm taking it with me to Fond du Lac today. Along with some books to read and my notebooks for writing.  I don't take my knitting up any more because I need to work on other things besides knitting.  I feel so one-dimensional.

Not a lot to report today so I'm going to sign off.  I'm back to being tired and uninspired.  I'll try to take a nap in the car while Zach is in class.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trying to change myself yet again

Warmth again.

I'm hoping it's here to stay although in August I might be ready for cooler weather again.  I'm just as fickle as the next person. 

I'm just sayin'.

Blew the whole day running errands again.  And I only had enough energy for that.  I went to sleep early last night but woke up when Tom got home and intermittently until he went to bed himself. Then at around 2:30 woke up with pain and couldn't get back to sleep.  It wasn't agonizing so I just took some tylenol and waited until the pain went away.

While waiting I watched Run Fatboy Run on OnDemand.  Loved it.  I'm a Simon Pegg fan though.  And Dylan Moran is one of my favorites.  I need to get Black Books from the library again.

I ended up sleeping until 11 a.m.  Can't remember the last time that happened.

I found my old art books so I'm excited to get back to drawing from them.  The stuff I got from the library is pretty basic and not what I'm looking for.  Unfortunately I didn't have time to do any drawing today because of the errands and all.  Tomorrow I plan on hanging out clothes and working in the yard but I intend to set aside some time in the afternoon when my energy wanes to draw.  The light will be better that time of day.  I also got Sister Wendy's History of Art to look through.  

I've decided to go aspertame free.  I don't know if I'll succeed but I'm going to try giving up diet sodas.  There are many benefits to that goal, including not having to carry the cartons in and have them come unglued so the cans race down the hill into the road.  Or what to do with all the empty cans.  I admit I'm addicted to the bite that carbonation has but I'll learn to live without it. I hope, anyway.

But in looking at other things I use to substitute sugar in my diet, aspertame is one of the most prevalent so shopping was longer today because I was reading a lot of labels.  I did succeed but I bought items that had spenda in them instead.  I can't have the sugar because of my diabetes so I need some kind of option that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I tried to buy healthier foods today and still not break the bank but the final tally was still a bit staggering.  

Tom made a crack today about him hoping I would have found a job where I could have benefits, which you only get if you work full-time.  He says he understands about the fibromyalgia but I guess he doesn't.  Not really.  Not to mention how I would work full-time and still ferry him and Zach around when we're frequently down to one car.

I knew he didn't get it.  He never has.  When I was going through chemo he accused me of being selfish and lazy.  Why should I believe he understands about the fibromyalgia?

Well, off to wash and hang out a load of clothes and fix a vegetarian supper.  I'm going to work on cutting meat out of my diet as well.  And I like to hang clothes out at night because the morning dew softens them so much.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My batteries are still low

It's a good thing I didn't plant anything yet.  The temperatures got below freezing for a few days. Supposedly it will get in the low 50s today but near freezing tonight.  Then perhaps we will see a warming up.

Not that I have any energy to do any planting any time soon though.  I'm rethinking where to plant the garden since Tom's back has been giving him fits.  He's been in a lot of pain from it but I figured out that it was a kidney infection rather than a disc or muscle problem.  I got him some cranberry juice and had him take echinacea and he's feeling better now.  I finally convinced him to call the doctor but he got impatient with the receptionist because she wasn't moving quickly enough to get him an appointment and he told her he was sorry for wasting her time (in a tone that didn't seem sorry at all) and hung up on her.  Since he hasn't been to the doctor in over 10 years, he would have been viewed as a new patient and apparently the doctor is not taking new patients.  There are two other doctors in the practice he was willing to see but the receptionist had to get his insurance information and this is where Tom got impatient.

So I'm thinking of a smaller garden behind the garage where we used to have it because the sod is already looser and easier to turn.  I might not have to get a roto-tiller.  But it would make life easier if I did.

Tom has plans for every weekend in May (hunting, fishing, poker parties) so I'm pretty much on my own as far as yard work and planting go.  And Zach and I are heading down south to see my family the end of May.  I haven't seen my parents in probably 5 years.  I talk to them on the phone weekly but it's not the same. I don't travel well, though.  I don't sleep well away from home (not that I sleep well at home) and there are certain dynamics with my parents that are very stressful for me.  Such as my weight. How I wear my hair.  Stuff like that.  I know they're going to go off on Zach for his weight which gives me pause about going.  They are great people and were pretty darned good parents, but they have this need to fix people when the people don't necessarily think they're broken.

Still, I want Zach to get to know my parents a little bit.  Who knows how much time we have left with each other?  Life is such a crap shoot.

Of course I'm getting antsy about casting on the sock yarn but I'm being good and am only working on the beaded scarf, the baby blanket and the shawl.  I will start the socks before I travel down to Indiana though.  It's good travel knitting.

I'm going to go through my stuff to see how much of it I can give to Mom and Dad.  Not that I want to unload stuff on them, but I do have things they might find useful so instead of giving it away to Freecycle or the thrift store, I can share it with them.

Just a minute ago there was another dog in the yard while Professor was out on his leash.  This time it was a big Golden Retriever mix.  The dog stayed in the road until I brought Professor in, then he inspected the yard for odors, which drove the old Prof nuts.  But surprisingly he was walking on his bad leg with no problems.  The minute I put him down inside, he went back to limping.  Hmmmm...

I'm pretty frustrated with my drawing.  I'm having to start over which I don't seem to do well. But my eyes doen't seem to communicate to my brain which in turn doesn't let my hands know what needs to be done.  I know that the more I do it, the better I will be but I have to break through my fear of failure first.

Well, I'm off to get a few things done before the energy drains away.  Not that I have much right now.  I'm thinking I might get the dishes put away but beyond that, I don't know.  Zach wants me to teach him how to hand sew so I'll get that done, too, before we need to leave for school.

And I plan on enjoying the sunshine today as well.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here come the clouds

It was a successful buying trip.  I got sock yarn and art supplies, although not all the art stuff I wanted.  I just couldn't afford the conte.  Not at $25 for a small (tiny) box.

I got some Patons Kroy in a gray color for some socks for my dad and some Walk Away sock yarn in a multitude of colors.  Teal, burgandy, beige, brown.  Should be interesting.

I won't cast on yet because I have other irons in the fire.  Or rather other needles full of yarn.  But I feel better just knowing I could knit socks if I wanted to.

Our lovely weather is going away for a while.  It's supposed to start raining soon with plummeting temperatures.  I'm glad I didn't go ahead and plant yet.

After all this shopping (and Tom's trip) it's time to put a halt to the spending.  I just balanced the checkbook and nearly fainted at how little we have left.  Granted, we spent a fair penny on brakes for both vehicles, and paid off the hospital.  And I still have the second half of the property taxes to pay off.  But it's time to go lean.  No more extras for a long, long time.  I need to save for the trip down to Indiana at the end of next month.  No eating out on the way.  We'll pack lunches and take a jug of water.

We're in triple frugal mode from now on.

At least we'll be okay on the utilities and be able to save there since we won't be using the furnace anymore.  And I think the car is paid off.  If not, it's just a month or so until it is.  I'll have to check that out although we're still going to be making the payments to ourselves.

Zach found out today that the reason the pre-requisite and the other class were in the same semester is because they are both 8 week classes.  So he'll get them both in and shouldn't have any trouble getting the rest of his classes in second semester.

And FAFSA is done.  What a relief.

Well, I need to finish up laundry, clean the kitchen and then get ready for church tomorrow.  Next week will be pretty busy for me because I need to get some baking done and no more using the dryer (if possible.)  Cooking from scratch, packing meals and no more store-bought snacks.  Plus, planting...I hope.

Where is the energy going to come from?  I guess I'll just have to go into the red on it because it has to get done.

Off to work while I have the impetus.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Is Spring really here?

I have become that crabby old lady I feared in my youth.

Yesterday on my way to Beaver Dam, someone tried to enter the one way street I was driving on from the opposite way and I threw my hands up in the air and mouthed that it was a one-way street.  I felt so bad when I discovered it was an older woman (yes...there are people out there older than me...) and she was mortified when she discovered what she had done.  We waited patiently for her to turn around and go the right direction, but I felt so bad for making her feel worse.  Then I felt bad that I probably wouldn't have felt bad if it had been a kid or someone younger.

Then, when I tried to back out of my angle parking space at the library, some kids walked behind the car just as I was starting to move.  And just stood there.  My back-up lights were on and they made eye contact with me and giggled.  But they just stood there.

Now, apart from jumping out of the car and getting arrested for battery, what could I do?  I just sat there waiting patiently until they moved on.

Of course, inside I was using language that wasn't very polite.

I've become my grandparents.  Horrors!!

On the plus side, it's been beautiful the past few days.  I got nothing done because of the fatigue but it's still been heartening to see sunshine and grass turning green.  I wanted to plant some things today but I only got 2 hours sleep last night so I've been dragging all day.  I got an hour nap but it only allowed me to stay awake when I went to get my prescriptions and pick Zach up from work.  It didn't imbue me with energy.

Tomorrow will be another hectic day with Zach in West Bend all morning, but I intend to stop by Hobby Lobby for art supplies and to look at their yarn.  I'm only in the market for sock yarn right now.  I don't need anything else.

And speaking of yarn, I'm really loving the beaded scarf project even though I keep dropping stitches and have to tink back a few rows.  Several times.  I'm savoring it by only knitting one repeat a day.  Sometimes only half a repeat if I have to tink a lot.

And the blanket is slowly growing.  No pictures, I'm afraid.  I forgot (lack of sleep does things to my memory) and now I don't feel like setting it all up.  

In fact, I'm not fixing supper tonight.  Tom went up north to his brother's place to celebrate his birthday so we've got the weekend free.  I can't tell you how liberating it is.

So I won't.

I hope to get some things planted next week though.  Zach has class on Mondays again so I probably won't get to it until Thursday.  The things in the pots are growing.  Still no idea what anything is except the cat grass.  And I think there is some catnip in that pot.  I know I planted green peppers but I'm not sure in which pot.  I think my lavender is coming up.  I've been trying for over a year to grow it but nothing ever comes up.  I think it's going to work this time.

Hopefully I'll get to bed early tonight because we have to get up early tomorrow morning.  I'll try not to get too interested in television so I won't fight sleep and I'll take a pain pill ahead of time so I don't wake up after an hour of sleep last night in pain and not be able to get back to sleep until 6 a.m.  At least I won't get woken up at 8 a.m. by someone who decides to slam doors and stand by the side of my bed and talk loudly to the pets while playing with them.

Yeah...at least that won't happen.  Especially since I'll have to leave by 8 a.m. to get Zach to school tomorrow.

Well, I'm off to put some clothes in the dryer.  I was just too danged tired to hang anything more out (I got the a load of whites out) and I need something to wear tomorrow.  Plus, I do think I'll fry up some hamburgers, but that's it.  Then I'm going to hop into bed by 8 and maybe get to sleep by 10.

I'm so boring.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feels like the weekend to me

Zach registered for his fall classes today.  Two days in Fond du Lac at least.  One day in Beaver Dam. Two of the classes don't have dates yet so I hope there is no conflict since he has to have those classes.  The other networking classes he needs won't be available until the spring semester.  They changed the way they did things, moving to a block schedule so some classes are only available in the fall and others only available in the spring.  Which is going to make it not only difficult to get the classes but also to to make sure you're carrying a full load for scholarship purposes.  We had to dig to find 12 hours for him to take.

I want him to contact his advisor on the dates though.  How the heck can you register if you don't know when the classes are?

He's also trying to get his internship done this fall and so those dates are in the air as well.

He's paying for the services of an advisor so he needs to stop trying to do things on his own and use her.  Or him.  He has two degrees he's working toward.  If everything works out, he'll be done with his tech support degree after the fall semester.  But he's not sure if he can get one class he needs in the spring semester because the class and its pre-requisite are both available in the fall.  If they're only going to be available once a year, does that make sense?

I moved my bed again.  Tom's mouth got tight when he saw it because he doesn't like it when I move furniture, even if it is my own room (which, technically I don't have.)  The bed was butted up against an ungrounded electrical outlet and it made me nervous to have the bedspread pushed into it.  I worried about sparking and bedclothes catching fire.  The post that holds the couch up when it's in bed position broke off and Tom duct-taped a piece of wood onto it so the wood shifts now and then and the bed falls down about six inches, which is unnerving in the middle of the night so when I tried to move the bed away from the outlet it would shift sometime in the night, the wood would slip and I'd be back where I started.  Plus, trying to prop up my pillows (I have to sleep nearly sitting up due to acid reflux) put me on the frame to the window. Which is about 4 inches wide.  

Now, I'm against a wall, and the frame of the couch won't let the mattress reach the outlet so I'm safe.  And because more of the couch is on the carpet instead of the wood floor, it doesn't shift as much so the wooden post stays in place.  

I slept so good last night.  I had not been sleeping well because I kept waiting for the bed to shift or fall or the pillows would slip out from under me and I'd end up lying flat.  Last night I didn't have any of those worries.

Plus, I could see the television better from my bed and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Did I wake up refreshed and rested?  Nope.  But at least I was able to get through the day with only a 15 minute nap.  Okay, it would have been longer but there was a squirrel in the tree outside the window and Professor went ballistic.

But not as ballistic as when the mailman letter carrier came.

Have I mentioned before that one of my pet peeves is when someone drives on a freeway using their bright lights.  As if the person in front of them isn't affected, or the person driving across the median from them isn't either.  This woman had her brights on and was in the left lane, right on my left back corner, wouldn't pass me but just sat there keeping pace with me.  I slowed down because I just couldn't see the road from the glare in my side mirror, but she slowed down when I did.  I almost had to stop to get her to pass me.


I wasn't a happy driver today.

But I am a happy knitter.  I started on the beaded scarf that I won on a blog contest a long time ago.  And it's going beautifully.  I take back what I said about working with beads.  This is great. I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow since we found the camera (it was "lost" in Zach's room...no comment on the state of cleanliness in there.  Not all people with OCD are clean freaks.  Some need their clutter.)

Still working on the baby blanket.  I got the pattern off the ball band from a Bernat's Baby yarn. I really like the pattern:  it's a two row pattern that's a piece of cake to memorize and although I have to throw instead of knit continental, and I do have to really watch when I'm knitting the pattern row, it's still interesting enough to keep me from being bored and I love the way it looks. Maybe I'll get a picture of it as well.

Saturday Zach has a class in West Bend and they're doing lunch afterward so I plan on hitting Hobby Lobby.  I don't get there very often anymore since Zach got his braces off so I plan on looking at the art supplies as well as yarn.  I'd love to knit some socks but I don't know if they have sock yarn there.  I'm not interested in purchasing any more worsted weight until I can use up a bunch of what I already have.  Not to mention the cost.  But a pair of socks on hand works out well for an unexpected gift.

I plan on buying a water barrel this year.  I can order one from StuffMart for a reasonable price. I've been looking around and saw some but I don't know the company and don't want to risk losing time or money with someone I don't know.  My empty purse has made me more wary of online stores.  But we get a lot of runoff from our roof and I'd like to put it to good use.  And with the garden going in, I'm going to need it.  I'm planning on trying to get rid of the sod this weekend.  What's under that will determine whether or not we need a roto-tiller.  I'm thinking we will since we have a lot of clay.  My plants are coming along nicely in their pots.  I still don't know what's planted where though.  I should have labeled them, but I was so sure I would remember.  

I'm also going to get my hostas and elephant ears in the ground this weekend.  I think we might be done with freezing weather but I think at this stage I can just cover them if I need to. According to the zone charts, I should be able to plant now.

I plan on having two separate gardens.  One is for vegetables and the other for herbs and sunflowers and regular flowers.  I'm thinking of putting strawberries in the latter garden.  I also need to pick up another grape vine this year.  And get my fruit spikes in the ground.  I didn't get any pruning done, dang it, so the apples will be tiny and inedible again.  I'm thinking this is the last year for the pear tree because it has lichens on it so bad, which seems to be an indication of a tree's ill health.  The wood doesn't look good at all.  But then, I really don't like pears.  I've never eaten them.  We mostly just give them away.  Although last year there weren't enough to give.

Today is Tom's birthday...and Stephen's as well.  We didn't get Tom anything because he's going up north this coming weekend and the gas and money for food is his present this year.  My firstborn is mumbly years old today.  Much older than I want to believe.  He's grown into quite a man, I must say.  I'm so proud of him.

Well, I don't have to go pick Tom up tonight so I'm going to crawl into bed and knit on the scarf and the blanket until my stomach settles down so I can sleep.  I keep telling myself not to eat after 7 p.m. but I never seem to listen.  At least I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow.  I can if I want to but I don't have to.

Off to bed to listen to LOTR commentary and knit away.  I won't need the extra blanket tonight and might even have to use the fan.  I love not hearing the furnace kick on.


Monday, April 13, 2009

What do you give a diabetic for Easter?

Candy, of course.  Yeah, Tom bought Zach and me a bunch of Easter candy.  I wish I could say I was strong and resisted.  I ate way too much until I asked Zach to hide it from me.  I have no willpower of late.

I feel like such a whiner but I just can't shake this fatigue.  All I want to do is sleep or just lie in bed. I'm not even knitting much at all.  I read for a bit and get so sleepy that I have to take a nap. Fortunately Zach didn't have to be on campus tonight but we didn't know that until after I took Tom to work so I have to stay up late enough to pick him up.  

At least I don't have to get Zach to school tomorrow until late afternoon so I can sleep in.

Tom is probably getting a bit fed up with me because other than some really simple meals (and some frozen stuff heated up in the microwave) nothing is getting done.  He cleaned the kitchen today and didn't seem too happy about it.  I need to finish up the laundry but the thought of climbing up and down the stairs really doesn't appeal to me.  I could have Zach do it, I suppose, but I don't really need the laundry done today so I think I'll just wait on it.

It's cold today.  Around 38 degrees.  Tom started taking the plastic off the windows this morning. I stopped him before he could get all of them off, but I don't know what he was thinking.  He said he wanted more light in the kitchen but the shade is still in the position it was behind the plastic, so I don't know.  

I'm finding it hard to care right now either.  I just want to feel good again.

I've got pizza in the oven and after I eat I'm going to just lie down until I need to go pick Tom up. This is not a good way to save money though...cooking freezer stuff.  I need to reconcile the check book as well as get Zach's FAFSA done this week.  

It's a vicious cycle, I think.  I know eating better would give me more energy but eating better requires a)more money because healthy foods cost more and b) more effort because eating better requires more food from scratch.  I just need to find that one moment when I can get the upper hand.

This week is going to be terrible as far as getting rest since Zach has class on Saturday in West Bend and has to meet afterwards in a restaurant.  Trying to eat healthy on the run has eluded me so far, especially when I've got to deal with meals out.  It looks like it will be another week before we can get started on our fast-food-free month.

I'm off to bed.  I'm striving to go sugar-free as well which is not easy because I found the chocolate Easter Bunny that Zach missed.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Eve

We're back to one vehicle yet again.  This time the truck is down with a bad brake.  And by bad, I mean non-existent.  Apparently something broke off and was spinning freely on the rotor, scoring it so badly that we have to replace it.  Fortunately they had a rotor in, but another part we had to order.  And it won't be in until Tuesday.  Tuesday is the day we're up in Fond du Lac all day so it will be Wednesday before Tom can get it.

Which means I'm back to driving all over Wisconsin.  I had to do it Friday because both Tom and Zach had to get to work at different times so I had to be flexible enough to be able to drive everyone where they needed to go.

Unfortunately I'm dealing with a huge fatigue factor that is just wearing me down.  I took two naps today and I'm worried I won't be able to sleep tonight.  I'm going to miss the Easter Vigil and decoration of the church but I just don't have it in me.

But on the plus side, the pain isn't too bad.  It always seems to work out that way.  Sometimes the pain and fatigue overlap but I just never catch a break.

Speaking of not catching a break, the price tag for the brakes (Tom went ahead and replaced the other brakes as well) is staggering.  

Zach found the camera so I hope to get some pictures of my blanket and shawl.  Plus I need to stake out the garden tomorrow and I'll try to get a picture of it.  I'm not sure I'll have the energy to start breaking the ground but maybe Tom will.  Zach, unfortunately, has to work tomorrow. Most of the fast-food restaurants are closed on Easter, but not McSnacky's.

And speaking of fast food, Zach and I have made a deal that we will stop eating out (after we get through this week of me being on the road non-stop) and we plan one meal in a nice sit-down restaurant, like Applebee's instead.  Just once a month.  It's cheaper in the long run and gives us some kind of motivation to quit.  There are healthier choices in a nicer restaurant and more selection as well.  If we give in at any time, the countdown starts over again.

I hope we make it.

Church Thursday night was fantastic.  I love the foot-washing.  It's so uncomfortable because of the physical intimacy from someone you're not used to being touched by, but there is a humility that is there that is precious.  And the stripping of the altar always brings tears to my eyes.  It's so symbolic of the desolation Jesus must have felt.  I was sorry we weren't able to sit vigil but I just can't with all this fatigue.  Not to mention, I had to go pick Tom up after the service.

And I hated missing church tonight because it's so fulfilling to bring everything back in and to decorate the church for the service on Easter morning, but if I want to be there tomorrow, I need to stay home tonight.

So Happy Easter to all who celebrate.  I hope to post tomorrow but I'm not sure if I'll have the time (or energy...I still have laundry to do tomorrow as well.)


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I wish you could bank sleep

When I said I needed art lessons, I didn't mean it was because I sucked as an artist.  Well, I do, but that's beside the point.  What I meant was that all I can do is copy.  I can't draw from nature or create my own compositions.  I need to have my hand held thoughout.

So I am reading, reading, reading and trying to understand it all.

I stayed in the car today instead of going into the college and hanging out in the commons.  It was a good thing I planned it that way because they had a ceremony in there tonight.  I was comfy, cozy curled up with my blanket and pillow reading until there was too little light.  Then I switched to the DS and played video games.  Which, nowadays, is after 7 p.m. so I only had a little over an hour to play.

We started the last Artemis Fowl audio book and are so disappointed.  Nathaniel Parker isn't the narrator.  The one who is doing these books isn't very good.  He doesn't know how to do an Irish accent. At all.  The babies don't sound like babies at all, and Butler sounds like Diggums did on the other books.  The German doctor sounds terrible and the narrator sounds like someone who never did voice acting before.  It's such a disappointment that we're not going to finish it but get the print version so we can at least imagine the excellent Nathaniel Parker reading it.

I don't recommend it at all.

I was really prepared to give this guy the benefit of the doubt but he's really bad.  Maybe I'm just too picky or maybe I've listened to the best before (Nathaniel Parker, Jim Dale) and just can't settle.

I did mess around a bit with my pencils today, just to see if I have forgotten everything.  It wasn't so bad and it did feel good to hold them again.  I have a lot of catching up to do, but it's not as bad as it could have been.  Still...back to the basics.  I'm learning about composition, value, and color right now.

I watched almost two episodes of Midsomer Murders, set 10 last night before I fell asleep.  And Tom came in (which woke me up) peeked in (I didn't want to really wake up so I kept my eyes closed) and proceeded to talk to me from the other room.  This after seeing that I was asleep.

So of course it was after 2 a.m. before I could fall back asleep again.

Mr. Cranky is back.  And for some reason, Mr. Cranky loves company so he hangs around downstairs with the dining room tv blaring playing solitaire on the downstairs computer so everyone can be cranky, too.  I can't watch Midsomer Murders when he does that because he tells me to turn my tv down and there is no close captioning so I can't hear it well enough to watch it.

I slept a lot today.  I had gotten up at 9 a.m. because I had to fix lunch, load up the stuff I was taking and get dressed and such.  I ended up sleeping 2 hours in the car this afternoon.  It was so toasty warm that I had to crack the windows and put the sun shade up in the back window.  But it was comfortable and quiet, until the person in the next car left. Not that they were noisy, but starting a car does make noise that can't be helped.

I nearly fell asleep again this evening but played the game instead.

And now I could fall back to sleep again except I have to fix Tom's supper.  Mr Cranky was annoyed that I didn't fix a full meal last night.  I have been battling some debilitating fatigue and pain lately so I just fixed some burgers.  I thought he could fix his own side dishes but he informed me that it would take too long so he slammed dishes around and fixed just a sandwich. After making sure I was wide awake.

And yes, the irony isn't lost on me that I called Sean Astin a whiner.  Pot, meet kettle.

Professor was putting some weight on his leg today so I'm hopeful that the corner has turned. He's gained a lot of weight so I need to get him out walking.  Maybe tomorrow I'll take him around the block.  Unfortunately our block is a steep hill so it won't be easy on either of us starting out.  

Off to finish up supper and crawl into bed for some more Inspector Barnaby.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Why I need art lessons

I'm too lazy to comment on each picture individually so I'll  just generalize down here.  The earlier pictures (note the dates on the lower right hand corner) are from a Walter Foster book that I used.  Others are from other books or the LOTR calendars.  One of my more obvious mistakes is centering the picture on the paper.  I did well to get them on the paper at all, to be honest.

It's been years since I picked up a pencil for the purpose of drawing so I'm pretty much starting from scratch.  And I skipped over the lessons that taught the fundamentals because I wanted to drawn, darn it, and I didn't want to waste time learning values and perspective.  I'm older (cough, cough) and wiser (shut up) now so I'm going to attempt it again but from the beginning.

Vicki is having a giveaway on her blog so I encourage everyone to go there.  It's sock yarn so don't kill each other fighting over it.  Just kidding.  She's very talented:  knitting, crocheting, spinning...there is no end to her talents.  You'll enjoy her blog.  Trust me.

Off to start the Silmarillion again because it's the only thing that appeals to me right now, being in my LOTR frame of mind.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sorry, sorry, sorry

Whenever Zach apologizes for something he has to say sorry three times.  It's part of his OCD.  I've gotten so used to hearing it (at least daily) that I tend to do it, too.

I didn't make it to church this morning because at 2 a.m. I was still up due to pain.  I should have taken a tramadol just as a matter of habit since I know I'm going to need it but I don't, thinking that this night I won't have pain.  It takes a while for the medication to kick in so I have to deal with the pain until then.  I ended up nearly rocking myself with the pain while waiting for relief.  It was almost an hour before I felt the edge taken off and I knew it would get no better than that so I took another aleve at that point.  Another hour before I was pain free enough to sleep.

And three hours of sleep just wasn't going to be enough so I turned off the alarm and went to sleep.

Unfortunately I didn't remember that Zach had to be at church today to do a reading.

I can't let it go.  I'm kicking myself and worrying about not being reliable and making him look unreliable as well.

I'm also kicking myself for taking off yesterday to treat myself to lunch and an afternoon of time alone.  Not so much for the time alone but for the lunch.  In reality a soda and an ice cream would have been plenty.  I didn't really enjoy the meal as much as it cost.

And that brings me to still trying to deal with what to eat on school days.

I've been kicking myself all day and now I'm bruised from it.

Well...figuratively, anyway.

We were supposed to get freezing rain and 5 inches of snow today but not even a drop of rain to be seen.  Not that I'm complaining.  Far from it.  But it is cold out there.

Professor is still not walking on the leg although he does put his weight on it now and then.  He won't even try the steps anymore and won't try to jump up on the bed either.  No, in the middle of the night, after he's gotten up for a drink or a wee (he's paper trained) he whimpers and softly barks until I wake up and reach over to pick him up. (I've trained him to use his indoor voice.)

I started knitting a baby blanket.  I love the pattern.  It's a two row repeat in two different colors that is easy to remember and although it requires a lot of attention to it, isn't so difficult that I can't let my mind go somewhere else when I'm knitting it.  I'm using the Bernat baby yarn that I got from my secret sister last month.  I love the way the pink and green look together...almost like sherbert.  I think I'm done with the baby hats for a while, though.  I'll alternate between the blanket and the shawl.

I do find that I have to knit this pattern throwing the yarn instead of continental because the the way the yarn has to wrap around the needle in different directions.  It's a nice change though.

I've been doing my annual trip through The Lord of the Rings dvds.  I've made it through all of the extended version of the movie, the making of documentaries and am in The Two Towers commentary by the writing/directing team.  Next will be the designers and then the cast.  Then I'll watch the movie again.  I do this every year.  I was joking with Stephen that I had to watch it again because I couldn't remember how it ended.  I've read the books over 35 times.  I lost count after 35.

Not that I remember a lot though.

Tomorrow I'm going to start the course from the Open Learn site.  I'm taking a Welsh history course.  I think that's good for a start.  I'm also re-training myself on pencil sketching.  I tend to gloss over the tedious stuff and go right for the meat.  This time I'm going to learn the fundamentals and move from there.  I'm also going to spend more time weekly on piano.  I've let myself get dull.  I'm tired of not moving forward.  It makes me feel more and more like a failure and I'm tired of that feeling.

I watched Any Dream Will Do tonight.  I like it much more than American Idol.  I have a few favorites but no one stands out just yet.  Except for John Barrowman and Andrew Lloyd Webber, but they're the judges.

Torchwood was on BBCA last night.  The first episode.  I taped it so I can watch it later this week.  I've got Midsomer Murders set 10 to watch as well but it's not due back until next week so I'm going to finish up the commentaries from the LOTR first.  At least the writer/director commentaries.  Then I'll take a break.  I've also got Angela's Ashes to watch.

I finished an autobiography just now.  Sean Astin's There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale.  I loved him in Rudy and his Sam was great, but I can't say I like him as a person.  But then, most of the autobiographies out there tend to do that to me.  Maybe they're too honest about themselves or they try too hard to be self-deprecating, but it doesn't impress me.  Too much whingeing anyway.

Still, I like to read about people.  I have another one on the shelf about a Chinese girl who was unwanted by her family.  I'm not sure what it's all about but that was on the jacket and it intrigued me.

Off to watch the rest of Two Towers, knit a bit and then maybe sleep. I snoozed for 2 hours this afternoon (and Tom let me!) so I thought maybe I wouldn't be sleepy but I'm yawning as I write.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Random Thursday

I think Thursdays are becoming my favorite days.  I no longer do errands, leaving this day to be my official day off.

I did go to the library today but it was all for me and I didn't go anywhere else. I've got plenty to keep me occupied for the next couple of weeks and most likely won't need to go back next week, which will not only save a few dollars of gas money (which is going up pretty fast these days) but will also give me a total day off.  No errands, that is.  I don't actually get days off.

I've got a chicken in the crockpot so supper tonight will be a breeze.  Not.  But at least I'll have a jump on the meat portion.  I need to get some baking done this weekend but probably not today. Today is for relaxing.

I still have to figure out what to do about meals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  We're still eating fast food on those days, partly because I can't guarantee the microwave is available in the commons area and partly because I hate cold sandwiches and can't come up with an idea for traveling meals that doesn't involve transporting a huge bag of plastic containers.  Tuesdays are hard because there are two meals involved.  And some days Zach has to be there a couple of hours earlier so that messes everything up, trying to figure out when we can eat and where.

It's my weakness, I know.  But I need to figure it out.  I'm not saving any money otherwise.

Professor is still limping but he's putting some weight on that leg.  Not a lot though.  Last time he hurt his leg it took him a couple of weeks before he would let himself use the leg.  I can't blame him.  He broke his leg when he was about 10 weeks old and I'm sure he remembers the pain. Poor wee thing.  Except the poor wee thing is getting chunky from lack of exercise lately.  Next week I'm going to start walking him again.  Short walks at first.  Or short hobbles at first. Eventually I'm sure he'll use the leg again.  There's nothing broken and I can't find a tender spot so I'm not sure what the problem is.

My back is better but still aches at night.  Which is when the rest of me aches as well.  I'm still taking one tramadol but not letting myself have more.  Last night was a bit bad but eventually the aleve and tramadol worked and I was able to get to sleep.  I really need to get busy moving around a bit more during the day though.

I have something growing in one of my pots by the window.  I just wish I could remember what I planted in that particular pot.  I think it's the cat grass by the look of it.  Of course the grass would come up first. So far nothing else is peeking it's nose above ground yet.  Probably due to lack of sun and not much heat in the house.

I'm trying to spend less time online and more time productively around the house.  I want to get back to piano, drawing, reading and studying.  There are a couple of courses online I'd like to take.  One is the Open University site I mentioned in an earlier post and the other is from a BBC site. They're not for credit but at this stage in my life, that doesn't matter.  I'm more interested in exercising my brain and improving myself than I am with spending a fortune for a degree that I wouldn't really be able to use.

Some of my reading on the left sidebar looks a bit cheesy, but I tend to go with junk food for the brain now and then.  I saw a movie about Jacqueline Susann the other night and that got me intrigued about how well her books would translate to today.  So I got Valley of the Dolls.  Oddly not that out of touch with the world today.  The vernacular was way off but people are still people and the behaviors weren't that different.  So I found Shadow of the Dolls, which is based on the notes she had written before she died.  It wasn't all that good (but neither was Valley of the Dolls, to be fair...nevermind that it was on the best seller's list...it's not literature by any stretch of the imagination) but it seemed to be true to the characters of VotD.

Still, I sometimes just need junk food.

I'm also reading her biography, written by her husband.  I suspect she's been santitized a bit, judging from other things I've read about her, but what did I expect?

I got The Forever War from the library today as well.  I read that probably 30 years ago and when Stephen mentioned it to me, I had to get it.  A great scifi read.

Other than that I got mostly art books so I can reteach myself.  I'm going to get my piano books out as well.  And maybe tomorrow I'll scan some of my better drawings.  They're still not very good though.

I was going to go to church tonight for Stations of the Cross, but the brakes are going out in the truck this time and Tom doesn't want me to drive it until he can fix it this weekend.  We just can't catch a break.

I'm off to enjoy this relaxing day because tomorrow I plan on doing laundry and maybe some yard clean up.  If not, then some closet clean up so I can get rid of things I'm not using to make room for things that are cluttering up the house.