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Saturday, November 30, 2013


On this last day of November, I would like to share the things I am thankful for:

  1. I am thankful for my mom, who is not only my mom, but my primary babysitter and chauffeur and all-around helpful person. Even when she doesn't feel like it, when her sister is ill, when she has other things to do, whenever.
  2. I am thankful for my husband, who whether he actually groks is or not, is completely accepting and supportive of things like mom and me needing to spend an occasional afternoon together without the children and with no responsibility. 
  3. I am thankful my auntie is recovering.
  4. I am thankful that I have a job I really enjoy and that it is nearby.
  5. I am thankful I earned a B in Communication Law, because it was a hard one for me.
  6. I am thankful that the kids are basically healthy and generally happy people.
  7. I am thankful that my Abby's father is a good dad and a conscientious ex-husband.
  8. I am thankful that the new place is almost ready for us to move into: we're just waiting on a final date before we give thirty days' notice at our current apartment.
  9. I am thankful that even though we are not at all sad to leave here - the cost is very high and the space is too small and we'll probably have to pay over and above our damage deposit even though we have been here for four plus years - that we have always felt safe pretty content here.
  10. I am thankful that although we will not have enough money to get all the things we want for the kids (new bed frames, new bedding) or for the household (linens, dining room chairs, a new couch, etc) as we move, we will soon after that. Our new place is so much less expensive - just over half our current rent - than here that it will only take a few weeks to catch up again, especially if the Hubs gets a job sooner rather than later.
  11. And on that note, although I am not thankful his employers decided he wasn't "the right fit" my silver lining here is that there is someone to oversee the packing and moving and all that. And to keep the kids on those few days when my mom (see number 1) cannot keep them.
There you go, eleven things for the eleventh month.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spoiled Spoilers

Miss Abby is a fairly responsible child. But she is still a child, and normally we try to make the consequences fit the action. Or lack of action, in this case.

But it wasn't completely her fault.

Yes, she did leave her beloved sonic screwdriver in her coat pocket. Her bad.

But we washed the coat without the usual warnings ("Yo, kids, washing coats, clear the pockets or lose the stuff...") and without checking the pockets ourselves. Our bad.

What we thought was the noise of zippers in the dryer was sonic screwdriver bits, at least partly.

And we can only find half of it. Not even enough to build a cabinet.

Abby gets attached to her things anyway, and this one was special even by her standards, given to her by her Aunt Laura for her last birthday.

"Can we get a new one?" She asked tearfully this morning.

"Well... normally I believe in suffering the natural consequences of not taking care of your things; you know that."

A nod, fresh tears, dripping on my night-gowned knee.

"But I think that in this case, since you didn't know I'd be washing the coat, and I didn't check the pockets, and your birthday is coming up, how about we get you a new one for your birthday?"

Sniffle. Nod. "Okay."


Okay (in case you hadn't guessed), on to the spoilers for the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who. DO NOT CONTINUE UNLESS YOU WANT TO RISK SPOILERS!

These are just random observations.

I'm sure I am not the only fan to notice that the broken statues scene had the music from Time of Angels, and therefore was intended to mislead the audience into believing that it was that kind of statue <shudder> with which we were dealing.

I was Osgood (although I was more of a Doctor McCoy fan at that age than a Doctor Who fan in the US), as I'm sure many of us were or are, and that may have been a nod in our direction.

I thought they had blamed the TARDIS-from-a-helicopter incident on Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame. As an American this made perfect sense to me. But the lovely Claire of PlanetClaire (where I get my quotes when I write Who fanfic) explained that Derren Brown is in fact a British illusionist. This makes even more sense.

I cried (both times I saw the show) even though I knew who the curator was. I may be an Eleven fangirl in many ways, but Four was my first Doctor.

And as pointed out by my mother, Clara was born to save the Doctor... and in this special she truly did. She saved his soul. Sniffle.

The trailer I saw for the Christmas special had River Song's voice. If they don't find a way to (a) get her out of the damn Library, or (b) get a copy of Eleven into it with her, it will give me a sad. I've seen it (and written it) in fanfic, but there's nothing in canon of course. Besides, if they do it the way I imagine it, they could also get Jack Harkness reacting to a Doctor who looks alarmingly like one John Frobisher (and yes, a gazillion spoilers there).

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Day of the Doctor, Revisited (no spoilers)

It was a rough weekend in many ways, but some of it was great. Leanna and Abby and I joined Grandma in watching The Day of the Doctor Saturday for the simulcast, and that was fun. Miz Liz is now practically a caricature of a six year old, as you can see above. We attended a birthday party for the girls' friends. All good things. But some of it was really hard too.

So tonight, Grandma and Abby and I saw The Day of the Doctor again, this time in the theater, as a present for Abby's upcoming 11th birthday. Since she is as much an Eleventh Doctor fangirl as her mum is, this was extra special, and she was totally gleeful in the evening but too wired and excited to sleep. She went to bed at - you guessed it - eleven, so... we'll see how that goes.

And then - and THEN (about 1:47) - a good online friend and fabulous fan artist +Dangreenacres sent me a piece of fan art he made just for me. It's totally Whovian and brilliant and creative, and I adore it; he made it as a lock screen for my particular phone, as well as a companion (hee hee, I said 'companion') piece to a story I wrote in the Whoniverse (and no, I don't usually share my fan fic publicly; if you want a link, pop me a private note. You won't understand it unless you're a Whovian anyway). The story isn't done yet; Real Life got in the way. But feel free to squee over the art as I did.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's Just as Well...

...that this was Leanna's weekend with her mom.

Because historically, she's here during her stepmom's (hi!) worst days.

I don't like myself like this. And I don't even have the excuse of PMS.

It wasn't really anything wrong - just every little thing was pissing me off; sometimes it happens. Right now I am typing this so I don't shout at Abby for chewing her toast too loudly. Lizzy's been at her very attention-grabbing worst (I-want-Mommy vied with I-hate-Mommy most of the weekend), and I have three papers to complete.

I'm sure that's part of it; Lizzy trying to grab attention when I'm typing homework is the same as Lizzy - or any kid - trying to grab attention when mom is on the phone.

However, the dishwasher is running, Lizzy went to bed on time (she was also looking super tired) and lunches are packed. Except for socks, we're ready to go in the morning, and I'm almost done with the first of the papers (the others aren't due until next Monday, a week from tomorrow, but I want to get them done early so I can take it easy a bit next weekend).

I think I need a day at the spa.

Or failing that, the massage place, the hairdresser, and the nail spa down the street.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anxious Revisited

Some is better. Some is worse.

My aunt is doing better, although she is still in the hospital.

My step-grandmother (my dad's stepmother) passed this afternoon. We haven't been close for a long time, a couple of decades really - maybe fifteen years since I saw her last. But she was my last grandparent, and that feels... odd. I'm sad, more on behalf of my aunt and uncle - her kids and my dad's half-siblings - than for me. And I feel... old, I guess.

The Hubs did in fact lose his job; just wasn't a good fit for him. It's stressy, although as I said, the money sitch isn't as scary now that we're moving soon. Which brings us to...

The house. It will be ready (fingers crossed) my no later than the end of the year. This is a Good Thing (though we'd like it to be earlier), because at least we know. Assuming nobody gets sick again or what-have-you. This also means we'll likely be moving over Christmas.

Which is complicated under the best of circumstances, with divorced and remarried families (although we get along, thank goodness). This year it's even more complicated than usual, because Abby's dad is going out of the country for work, and nobody knows his schedule yet, including him.

On the flip side, the Hubs - who is in fact certified as a K-12 teacher - is getting re-certified (as a teacher, silly, not because he's certifiable). We sent off the paperwork today

This is a very mixed report. And my fingernails are still too long, dammit.

Ooo - I said the D word.

I want to talk to Abby alone because of her dad's work thing up there, and I have an opportunity when I take her to a sleepover tonight. If Lizzy ever stops behaving as though I'm pulling her fingernails out one at a time by not letting her come with us. "But, Mommy, I'll do anything if you're just let me go with you. I literally already put my shoes on even. Mommy, please, I'll do anything."

I suggested she go to Toshi Station to get some power converters and she said, "Okay. I said anything." But when I showed her the clip she was Not Amused, and accused me of mocking her.

Which I am.

Wow. That is a tired kid, I think, because that last bit was very Elmer Fudd. And now she's kicking her bedroom door where Daddy put her in there in trouble for whining and nagging over and over.

And when I get back I have homework to do.

At least I got us insured, and my anxiety meds will come in Tuesday


Monday, November 11, 2013

I Can See Clearly Now...

...and I had forgotten what it was like.

You see, I had terrible vision s a child, and I was never able to manage contact lenses. When I had LASIK in 1999 (I think it was) my vision was -8.75 - that's something stupid like 20/1100 - and the surgery corrected it to 20/20 in my right eye and 20/22 in my left.

It was freaking amazing.

Sort of like when you get new glasses and you can see all the leaves on the trees and feathers on the birds, but with actual peripheral vision.



But now I'm 45 years old, and I'm seeing just fine at a distance but I'm starting to get headaches at the end of the week. I mean, think about it: I write blogs eight hours a day at work, then come home and work on my school work online for three or four hours, and I write for fun. That's about 14 hours a day and that doesn't even include reading on my Kindle (also electronic) or reading other things (paper) or watching TV/playing video games.

That's a lot of eye use. Overuse even.

So today on my lunch break I had an eye exam. Eyes are healthy (yay!) and distance vision still good - it's only slipped a couple of bits (now 20/25 left and still 20/20 right, yay!). I need reading/computer glasses though, and my prescription is so minor that I can use standard drugstore cheaters at 1.00 strength (my astigmatism is negligible). This is very good, because prescription reading glasses are like $400 without insurance. So I picked up a couple of pairs at my local drugstore and I'm wearing one now, as I type.

And you know what?



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Anxious (with a bajillion links)

I have a newish job, which I love. But it's still new, and my recent (the last several years) job history is such that I don't feel like I can relax into it for fear it will disappear because I'm too fat or my writing style is too weird or there's some personality conflict I'm not even aware of.

The Hubs has a newish job too, and while he enjoys night shift, he's apparently having trouble with ten-hour days nights. And although he knows what to do and when to do it and even how to do it, he has problems remembering the vocabulary when they put him on the spot with a pop quiz. He's convinced they think he's stupid, which he is not; he just isn't a pop-quiz kind of learner. (I am not very concerned about money here, which is unusual, because our new place - once we get there - will solve that problem.)

My aunt is in the hospital (she'll be okay per the doctor) and will likely be for another several days. I fret.

Our landlord cum builder (we'll rent the land and own the house) has been quite ill too, and the house / moving is therefore behind schedule. Not a big deal, and certainly not his fault, but another thing to add to the pile.

My clone Abby is an ASB representative, is in Glee Club and Girl Scouts, and her birthday is coming up, along with the holidays. All of these are Good Things, but oh, the scheduling! Thank Google for my rational ex-husband and my helpful mom / childcare provider / chauffeur.

The class I am currently in isn't quite F&^king Algebra, but I am not really enjoying it. Thank Google that my team is great, because my individual work in Communication Law is average at best.

I have to fix this issue with our medical insurance (when the Hubs changed jobs he lost his insurance) and I have two choices. COBRA (the same coverage as we had before) for $1357 a month (I already sent off the paperwork for the first month but this is as much as our rent for crying out loud, and quite a bit more than the rent/mortgage once we move), or the Washington State Health Exchange (assuming I can ever (a) get all the way through their web site and (b) find Lizzy's social security number).

Oh, and my false nails are getting too long to type comfortably and I haven't the time to go get a fill and trim.

I realize that last is pretty minor.

Thing is that situational anxiety isn't something my normal SAD medication or my sun lamp or copious amounts of Vitamin D can take care of. Assuming I can get it at all, given the insurance snafu I've created. And before you as why the Hubs doesn't deal with the insurance thing since he's home during the day, well... I speak Insurance courtesy of my abortive career at The Duck (which brings us back full circle to the first paragraph of this post, doesn't it?)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gorgeous Gamers' Girls (well... Gamers' Gorgeous Girls)

Sadly I do not yet have pictures of Leanna; I don't know when the middle school picture day is, especially as she's in a different district (although, when they're available, my mom would like a 2x3, okay, Leanna's Mom? Pretty please?)

But I do have - legally, no less - electronic and hard copy pics of the younger two. Cheers:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

She Shoots! She Scores!

Abby and the Lizster
Abby ran for Student Body Representative in third grade. She didn't win because other people actually asked for votes. Would you believe?

She ran in fourth grade. She didn't win, and this time it was bribery, I tell you, rank bribery!

But this year, fifth grade?

She won.

And she won by saying in her campaign speech that if she is responsible enough to to take care of her little sister and other kindergartners every morning before school, she can be trusted to go to all the meetings and to bring her classmates' ideas to the ASB.

She told them some of her own ideas for fun things they could do in school, like pajama day and wacky hair day (this is her favorite part, she admitted to me later).

She then explained that other kids had gotten a chance previously, and she felt it was time for a change.

And she won.

Normally there is one representative from each gender for each classroom, but there were no boys who wanted the job, so another girl is Abby's alternate.

I'm so impressed. I was so not that child. And it looks like Abby is. Maybe it's down to the Girl Scouts and their emphasis on leadership. I don't know.

But I am impressed.