Tag Archive | writing

why I shouldn’t clean

On Mothers day, a day that was ‘meh’ at best due to a variety of things beyond my control, I went to work on the swing set and decided that I truly did need some bolts and would take myself to the store.  At the store, I see a giant banner “11% off all items” and this is the store that just a 5 days previous I got a fairly expensive load of wood.  Lucky for me I know they have a form for stuff purchased within 7 days of the sale and so I got the form.  Unlucky for me I threw out that very necessary, no replacements accepted, receipt because I decided I needed to clean my car.  So, at 9pm at night I went through our trash to find the receipt.  Yes, I will dig money out of the garbage.  On a positive note between trash day (Tuesday) and mothers day (Sunday) we only generated 1 bag of trash.

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more to come but usable at last!

This week was pretty crazy and the creep of debris was getting to me so yesterday afternoon, in the 45 min I had at home, I picked up all the litter of school, dishes, laundry, random toys etc.  Among these things was a handwritten rough draft of a paper #1 is doing for school.  Since I printed out a final copy that morning I felt pretty safe tossing the paper that was due last week and was more or less to prove they started the paper before the day it was due.  I’m at my board meeting and actually do not get the frantic series of texts about this draft but when I get home expecting peaceful sleeping children (I can’t say that actually happens but hope eternal) and I get a mess of a tween begging me to help find her draft because the teacher told them that day it was worth 15 points. Yes, I am also the type of person who will go through the trash for homework.  9pm again, going through the trash.  It was found, a tad worse for wear but legible, and I put it in a gallon ziplock and wrote a nice note to the teacher.  He is new, he is doing his best, I hope trash-draft sticks in his mind as a good reason to give a list of requirements at the start of a project.

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trash draft!  did you know gallon ziploc is the perfect size cover for standard paper.

Did I enjoy a clean car and clean living room?  Yes.  I probably will continue to throw away trash and not become a hoarder but I can see where they are coming from….  As a nice side bonus I got a bit of hero status as the mom who will go through trash for her kid, seriously, her happiness is worth way more than $50.

 

I may continue to monitor our trash production though.  I’m probably unnaturally proud that our family of 5 creates only about 1 bag of trash a week and that is before we start compost for the season (I’m behind/don’t wanna decide where to put the heap).  All the girls are following suit on reuse and recycle.  #1 requested we get thrift store plates for her party so we would not need disposable.  #2 requested I get reusable cups for hers.  This weekend we had 6 extra kids for a party and we created next to no trash because even though I tried to use disposable forks #3 personally got them from the drawer to make sure we were using washable.  Nobody tell them how much energy and water the dishwasher uses but at least we are not filling a landfill.

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party wear, we chose festive plates and the table looks so fun

Fortunately my week was really far better than my two dumpster dives suggests.  Super busy with kids, activities and helping friends plus great weather that makes us want to be outside playing.  The weather this weekend is supposed to be dreadful so I’ll probably spend some time catching up on chores and then probably going through the trash again for some lost treasure…

Like a 19th century heroine

Does anyone else remember all the scenes in Bronte books  (and that era) where the lady of the house spends time daily on ‘her correspondences’.  For some reason, those scenes have begun to truly resonate with me because at this point I need to actually set aside time in my day to correspond with various people.

I don’t actually sit at an antique Queen Ann writing desk in a sunbeam and put pen to paper, however, I do, in the course of my normal life, have several written correspondence to keep up.  Maybe in the 1970s and 80’s this was done via phone because that was faster but as a product of modern technology, I find myself preferring to compose a note (text or email) rather than call.

I also end up actually  *writing* more than I ever thought I would when I was learning to type in 1st grade.  Invitations to parties for kids, permission slips to sign, forms for school and activities and camps to fill out (x3 usually).  Notes to and from teachers in folders and planners, a decent pen is still part of my kit regardless of my tablet, phone, and computer.

Just today I sat (in a sunbeam) and checked in with someone I’m helping buy a house, letting her know what the banker needed.  I texted a mom friend about an afterschool activity.  I set aside an hour a day to do email ranging from setting up pot luck meals to following up on builder items (houses are never done).  Facebook is another 21st-century version of keeping in touch with one’s friends and relatives – checking in on certain people, posting encouraging notes, birthday greetings, adding to a conversation about this or that.  In the 19th century, people wrote to each other because travel was harder, now we write to each other because time face to face visit is still hard.

The value to face to face time is still very true.  However, in order to keep up to date with friends and family in order to have someone to visit one must figure out how to best communicate and in so many ways nothing much has changed between 1919 and 2019 except the speed.

April Already

Last week was a break for the kids from school and I have an entire long post about what we did that I wrote last Thursday.  Why didn’t I publish?  Well, the ol ‘one thing leads to another’ is the core of the reason.  I usually don’t even edit a post (can you tell?) I just write, fix all the computer underlined red line words, pop in a picture or two from my phone and push publish.  This time I had A LOT of pictures so I wanted to actually do an album link for anyone interested in the cool things we saw in Texas.  I thought ‘hey, 15 uploads and I’ll be ready to album and link’.  NOPE.  I somehow turned off my auto upload and had over 600 pictures that upload in random order to Amazon.  Why random?  I just don’t know.  However, the picture you want most is the one that loads last and I’ve learned not to touch it in process or you will just cause more issue.

Given all 3 were home time at the computer without ‘help’ is not all that common.  I set up the uploads and walked away figuring Friday would be fine to post. It was also toward the end of break so everyone was sooooo borrrred and no matter how many times I suggested room cleaning as an entertainment they wanted other things.  They usually managed to find something to do that was not tablet or TV but at one point I threatened to use my power* on school board to cancel future breaks** because they can’t handle so many days at home.  However, at some point, #2 decided to try and guess the code to #1’s iPhone (my old one) and locked it down.  They could not fix it and had to admit to me their mutual problem.  #1 shares blame for actually encouraging #2 to guess.

The trauma of a broken phone for a tween is epic and so I saw my computer time earmarked for making an album for that last Thursday post turn into researching how to resurrect a very locked out older phone.  When I say combing kids hair for lice is slightly less tedious then unlocking an iPhone you may get the picture of my frustration at this situation.  Not really anyones fault, but, something I got to deal with.  Internet says it is easy, put it in safe mode, connect, select ‘restore’ and then the phone will be purged and reinstalled.  For me that additionally meant downloading iTunes, then going through my computer to purge trash etc to FIT all the stuff the phone needed to download to restore (2g worth).  These two steps are both after calls to apple support because there is a trick to getting the newest version of iTunes, and, then a criptic error that appears to be iTunes but was actually from my computer wasted a ton of time.  I needed to tidy the hard drive anyway, but, this was a 2 day process with many attempts and restarts.  Victory at the end though, the phone is fixed!

Any spare computer time between reboots was diverted to finishing the Girl Scout Cookie process.  I’m actually good at inventory and logistics and this system was very hard to use.  I ended up getting creative and after far too much work our account is perfect, zeroed out, and each girl accurate.  If I do this again I have some notes for my future self.

While all this computer nonsense was going on, Lars and I were attempting to car shop.  We started earlier in the month with a solid test drive on a med size SUV with an awesome sales person.  She seemed extra great next to the Honda sales guy who acted like we were wasting his time and then actually disappeared leaving us standing by the not really functional floor model of the Oddysey for 20 min.  I was ready to buy that minivan, I like my current one but it is 11 years old and getting cranky.  I plan on tweeting “thanks Honda sales for helping me find the Chrysler Pacifica”  I didn’t even know there was a minivan from Chrysler since I was happy in Honda land but ignoring us has its consequences.  Anyway, much time was spent at the dealer looking at options and looking for the one we wanted in their network and in the end, we are ordering it from the factory since what we want is a tad more unique than expected.  Oh well, I can wait a month to get exactly what we want.

Yesterday the kids finally went to school.  I did a ton of laundry and catch up in peace, and today I can finally get around to making an album for the pictures that belong in the post from last week that I’ll publish tomorrow.

*there is no actual power over kids via the school board, advisory and oversight

**as an April fools joke I dropped them off and told them that we arranged that all public school were now boarding schools and I would be bringing their pj’s and pillows later in the day.  They took the joke well.  The rest of the day they pranked me and as a once a year thing it is hilarious but ONLY once a year.

ps.  No pictures in this post because I want to actually publish before I need to leave for the afternoon rounds.  Imagine frustrated computer sitting, google Chrysler Pacifica, and that is what I would have inserted had I the time.  Cheers!

my rude iWatch

I have come to the conclusion that my iwatch and I are frenemies.

Maybe it knows that I don’t think it is a good pedometer?

Maybe it is vexed that I constantly let it run out of power?

Maybe it is actually possessed by a minor daemon that at best is passive aggressive?

 

First of all, I have plenty of good things to say about the iWatch.  It is stylish, it is waterproof, it keeps time very well, I like seeing my text messages blip onto my wrist.  It is extremely handy for finding my phone because the ‘ping’ feature will make the phone make a noise even if it is on silent and I can track it down.  I’m constantly leaving my phone in interesting places because women’s clothing does not have pockets.  I also love being able to answer my phone via watch because of the aforementioned lack of keeping track of the actual phone.  Plenty of good, plenty really, just a few little things that point to passive-aggressive wrist daemon.

  1. This all started with is ‘suggesting’ that I get up, as in, I’ve been sitting too long.  I really do not sit long in my days, constantly getting up for something is my normal, so I actually get the also annoying message “good job! you stood up!” about 6x a day.
  2. Reminding me randomly that I’ve some time in the past done more walking/standing/workout by this time.  This would not really be annoying except for the fact that it seems seriously random.  It is NOT a good pedometer, I have not hit 10k steps while wearing it nearly ever when I would routinely get 10k steps in a smaller house and working out less frequently.  I’m ok with it not being good at that but it should just drop the pretense.
  3. It tells me to ‘calm down’.  You know the theory that nobody ever actually calms down for being told to…  well if my heart rate spikes it suggests “I spend a few minutes breathing deeply”.  I did not ask for this feature!  (BTW, excellent heart rate monitor).  So I’m mad about something and then my watch buzzes telling me I’m mad at something, how is this helpful?

This was my list that was on the annoying side but like an understanding friend, I just let the quirks roll off my back.  Sometime in the past week, two new charming features started up;

First, when a text comes in you have the option to reply via watch with some pre-canned options, an emoji, or, a little writing screen.  I’ve used it, it is useful, but this past week it started auto texting back “no” all by itself.  I swear I didn’t touch it, I read it, but didn’t touch the screen but then a moment later get a reply from my friend acknowledging my dissent.  this happened 3 times so far.  my friends are understanding and I can quickly reply that the real answer is XYZ and even if it includes a negative, I’m much nicer than a 1-word answer BUT MY WATCH IS NOT.

The next thing I probably have something to do with.  I activated the sleep tracker to see how I’m sleeping.  It was something I loved on the Fitbit and I miss the data.  Somehow this watch is very confused because it reports to me that I sleep very soundly about 15 hours a day; from 7am until 10pm.  This is when I’m AWAKE and you should know that watch because you are constantly congratulating me on standing up.  How does it think I am sleeping soundly (ie not moving/low heart rate) when I’m also working out and walking and generally, you know, moving?  I’m turning this bit of rudeness off, it is like telling me “yawn, you did nothing, you might as well have been asleep…”  Rude watch! I’m doing what I can!

Somehow I still put it on every day and since a friend gave me a stand for it (that I love!) I’ve gotten 99% better at charging it regardless of our differences.  I’ll keep using it because the good does outweigh the bad.  Seriously though, I already have sassy children, I don’t need the watch chiming in.

Writing around politics

Hi there

This isn’t really the place for all the writing needed for politics.  I suppose it could be…. but I’m choosing to keep my political stuff for my campaign 99% on facebook on a special page just for it.  It does tend to pull time away from here though, just like any topic I don’t want to post here, I end up not posting at all.  img_8112

Any-hoo – life has been a little crazy.  Last weekend we went to a wedding and it was one of the most pretty and well done weddings I’ve been to.  Probably because it was at a resort that was in the middle of nowhere so we were there with a ton of people we know and no other agenda but hang out.  The key might have been that there were actually very few wedding activities so lots of free time.  The resort was built in the 40’s and 50’s and other than necessary modernizations it is a time capsule.  I told the kids it would be like how grandma went on vacation when she was a little girl.  There were cabins and quaint stoves and tiny cabinets and a beach and overall a mellow vibe.  My kids were 3 of 10 flower children and they had a great time with the crew of kids.  The dresses turned out great overall and in a group you didn’t notice any one individual.

I was absolutely worn out by the weekend and various interactions and packed us up eary to leave so we actually had time at home on Sunday.  I was so tired I went to sleep at 9:30pm and woke up at 6:30am.

Contributing to the crazy of last week was a fundraiser for technology in the schools – something I totally support.  We treated it like a ‘date’ and had a great time but that night led directly into the crazy weekend so it was 3 nights in a row of being ‘on’.

Back to the ‘normal’ week and I’m slowly getting a routine.  A very odd unforeseen circumstance has come up – the sun rises directly in my face when sitting at my desk.  This makes morning work really impossible until I figure out shades.  The to-do list for the house is still giant but got to make that one more of a priority.   I have become fond of cloudy mornings though, funny how things happen.

Knocking around in my head are all the books I’ve managed to read over the past few months, I need to get back to talking about them and my blog friend posted about her summer reads, bringing that back to the front of my brain.

I’ve gotten my gym membership straight again.  We were on a pause for the move and I’m officially back as of tomorrow.  Making time for a real workout is important and Vacation Mom and I need it.  I’m sure all the people we annoy at the gym because we talk missed us terribly.  Thank you, parents, for the good genes that even though I have not worked out properly in months, I’ve kept at a good weight just by watching my intake and being generally active.

The next project to start is garage shelving.  There are still things to finish on ongoing projects but new is more fun right?  I also need to get them up so I can get space in the garage before it gets cold here.

I have also regained my ‘commute’ when I drive to/from the school I get to listen to NPR.  I loved tuning in to the supreme court confirmation hearings last week and I usually catch a good segment one way or the other.  Today though I missed my grandmother (who I also used to call weekly while I drove) because the topic was feminism.  It is a big topic to unpack and the goal if this segment was to highlight the inequality in race and feminism.  That is something I would have loved to talk with her about and I’m just going to have to settle for thinking about it.  Maybe posting about it sometime.

How are you all doing?

 

In case you ARE interested in the politics

Here is a link to donate to my campaign

Here is a link to my facebook if you want to read

 

3 Quotes – day 3

3 and done, just like my kids.  See my Monday post for more background, and, here is my final installment (although I might make a quote a weekly thing, sooo many good ones out there)

Rules; Thank the person who challenged you, post a quote, tag 3 others, for 3 days in a row.

Thank you, Fancy Paper – you are right, these are fun to post

Quote;

I didn’t come this far to only go this far

 

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this isn’t me, but I guess it could be.  I hope she finished the race!

 

I found this quote last year and have found dozens of uses for it over time but today I tried to find if it had an original author.  I’m going to say the origin is unclear but it has been said by plenty of big names including Tom Brady (a pro football star) and Mick Kremlen (fitness guru) but I can’t imagine that they were the originals.  Either way, it is a great ‘stick with it’ phrase.

The funny thing about quotes as I have noticed over time is that sometimes the opposite is equally true.  The one I often use is “don’t throw good money after bad” meaning that just because you invested so far if it is not worth doing; just stop.  Also, a good one, and a favorite of my mom “the first rule of getting out of a hole is to stop digging” . It depends on the situation whether you need to just finish the thing, or, recognize that it is time to stop.  Personally, I tend to hold onto certain things like friends and hobbies for ages, I place real value in the persistence of a long-term relationship, or, experience gained over a long-term hobby.  One can come and go but never quits.  This is probably why I’m still acquainted with friends from elementary school, and, I’m still blogging way way after the peek of popularity.

Tagging – Please please, if you are reading this and you want to do it, consider yourself tagged.  I know the ‘left out’ feeling of not being picked and seriously, I’m giving thought to my picks but also consider my brain addled by lack of sleep and focus in 55 other directions at all times.  If you do it, put a link in the comments and I will be overjoyed to read your quotes.  Seriously, I actually subscribe to a quote a day blog, I like them.

Miss Zoot – This is one of the first blogs I started reading ever, we are often on the same page about what is going on in our lives and I always enjoy reading her.  I tag her now not with any real hope she will do this because she tends not to, but, because I recommend reading her thoughts.

Unbound Roots – In contrast, this is a blog I just started reading because it was tagged in a Fancy Paper post and found that she is from 2 towns away.  Her style is fun and well written and she even edits her work (unlike me.  I edit for work, here I write fast and between projects)

Amanda’s Plate – a cooking blog I found while researching how to make a Muslim girl my daughter is friends with comfortable in our home a year ago.  While Amanda is Muslim, she mostly just talks about great looking food.  Again, finding another person who is more the same than different is one of the great things about the internet.

 

This concludes my 3 quote posts for this challenge.  I look forward to reading other people entries if they feel so inclined.  I also am looking forward to getting my life back and with that, more time for things I enjoy like blogging.