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Welcome to Esther!

I'm a Mémé! Otherwise known as a grandmother 🙂 My baby girl had a baby girl on Sunday, September 11. Little Esther is absolutely beautiful, of course - she looks a lot like her mother did as an infant.

Both Momma and baby are healthy. I'm fortunate enough to be in Omaha with them for now, and I'm enjoying every minute of my time here. There's nothing else like the smell of a sweet, clean infant. It's definitely worth all the sleep loss.

We're getting lots of good singing and reading time together. I was very happy to be able to find Pamela Ballingham's Earth Mother Lullabies from Around the World series (volumes I, II, and III) on CD, as I nearly wore out the cassette versions playing them to Katie while carrying her and after she was born. They're a family tradition now!

One of the first books I bought for her? A is for Activist! She's also fond of Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey. We're going to have to find a new copy of Jennifer's Rabbit, as Katie's copy has disappeared, and we're very fond of the illustrated version of Tom Paxton's marvelous song.

Addition: Task Card Template

I’ve updat­ed the arti­cle on our card sys­tem and added a Word doc­u­ment that has blank task cards, to help peo­ple make their own cards. That has been request­ed by sev­er­al dif­fer­ent peo­ple over time, and I final­ly found the orig­i­nal Word doc­u­ment, which made it eas­ier to do so.

I’m con­sid­er­ing fur­ther updates to that sec­tion, as some of the resources I orig­i­nal­ly linked to have dis­ap­peared and it seems to need more expla­na­tion. I’ll think on it a bit more, though.

How do you feel when you return home at the end of the day?

fractured reality/grace under pain

The NaBloPo­Mo prompt for today:
How do you feel when you return home at the end of the day?

I’m not sure I should have answered this one, as I doubt that my answer will be in sync with the intent of the ques­tion. I don’t leave home every day to go to work, or leave home every day, peri­od.

How­ev­er, when I do leave home, how I feel when I return depends on many fac­tors. How did I feel before leav­ing? How long was I gone, and how much phys­i­cal, intel­lec­tu­al, and emo­tion­al ener­gy did I have to expend while I was out? Did I have to deal with any­thing unex­pect­ed, good or bad? How many peo­ple was I around? Were they strangers or peo­ple known to me? Did I encoun­ter them all at once, or in small groups of one or two at a time? Was Sam with me as a buffer? fHow’s my blood sug­ar? Am I well hydrat­ed? What was the weath­er like? Did I remem­ber to take my reg­u­lar med­ica­tions? What about tak­ing break­through pain med­ica­tion, anx­i­ety med­ica­tion, or a mus­cle relax­ant before I found myself in a state where they wouldn’t work very well? Did I use my scooter if there was much walk­ing? How noisy was the envi­ron­ment? Was it drafty, or over­ly hot or cold? Did I have to dri­ve? Was I out to do some­thing I want­ed to do, or was I doing some­thing I had to do?

Fre­quent­ly, I’m so dog-tired that I can bare­ly drag myself in the door. I have actu­al­ly fal­l­en asleep sit­ting in the car, in the driver’s seat, more than once. (There are plen­ty of rea­sons that I do not dri­ve much any more.) Deal­ing with the secu­ri­ty sys­tem seems an intel­lec­tu­al chal­lenge designed for Ein­stein. I’m eas­i­ly con­fused and my mem­o­ry is beyond poor. Even if I am dehy­drat­ed or I need to eat, I’m too tired to be inter­est­ed in food or even water. If I was out for too long, or if it was a par­tic­u­lar­ly stress­ful peri­od, I get a fever and my body reacts as if I’m in shock. I feel like I’m freez­ing, no mat­ter what the actu­al tem­per­a­ture around me is, and I start shak­ing bad­ly.

So that’s how I feel most days when I return home at the end of the day, if I’ve had to leave home. I think that should go a long way towards explain­ing why I’m such a home­body the­se days! I am for­tu­nate in that I have Sam, Katie, and oth­ers in my life, so I am able to have a ful­fill­ing life with­out being very adven­tur­ous.

Fall Cleaning

It has to be fall clean­ing because it’s Sep­tem­ber, right? I haven’t done spring clean­ing at any time since we’ve lived in this house, hon­est­ly. I haven’t been able to do it. But between a new pain spe­cial­ist who isn’t all the way on the oth­er side of metro Atlanta (who actu­al­ly lis­tens to me and treats me like an adult human being who might know a thing or two about who own body, even!) and new, appar­ent­ly much more effec­tive dosages of two oth­er med­ica­tions, I’m feel­ing bet­ter despite that oth­er new pesky health thing. And Sam and Katie have been won­der­ful­ly coöperative, as much as they can around work and school oblig­a­tions.
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That A/​C thing

Appar­ent­ly the fil­ter for the unit is miss­ing, and the coils need to be cleaned. There’s no obvi­ous sign of mold/​mildew, but Sam says that fresh air is com­ing into the bed­room via the unit, and our neigh­bors on that side have been burn­ing some­thing in their back yard.

I found the web site for the man­u­fac­tur­er, and of course the man­u­al for our mod­el isn’t there. The self-ser­vice sec­tion of the site does men­tion that the coils need to be cleaned, but doesn’t say how to do it. I sus­pect that it involves coil clean­er and a hose. Coil clean­er seems to come with a/​c ser­vice peo­ple. I’ll have to ask my father if we can get some and use it safe­ly.

Sam remem­bers a fil­ter, but hasn’t seen it since we moved here, so we may have to order a new one from the com­pa­ny. Of course, their not-help­ful site doesn’t have any infor­ma­tion about parts, either. So I sent them an e-mail, and hope that they’ll reply.

They asked me to do a review about my expe­ri­ence with their site. That was prob­a­bly a mis­take on my site, but I did it. Their rat­ings may have just plum­met­ed.

Now the girl and I need to get to work get­ting the house ready for our Dragon*Con guest next week. I hope the “guest room” isn’t too hot for him! May­be I should put up a Freecy­cle post look­ing for anoth­er win­dow unit?

I’m Allergic to Our Bedroom

More specif­i­cal­ly (I hope), some­thing in it. Not Sam, hap­pi­ly, but every time I go in there, I’m all stuffed up with­in a few min­utes.

We keep that room closed and have a win­dow a/​c unit in there, because the house a/​c just doesn’t keep up so well.1 I’m won­der­ing if there’s some­thing about the air not cir­cu­lat­ing to the rest of the house that’s caus­ing dust to set­tle in there?

The cat is sel­dom allowed in the room at all, and we don’t have any oth­er pets. There aren’t any plants in the room.

We haven’t been using the air clean­ers, because I can only get their fil­ters by mail-order and just didn’t get around to get­ting new ones. I guess I need to order them and see if that helps.

Bah.

In nicer news, the girl and I went to the nice library today. I had gone through my “to-read” shelf at Good Reads and request­ed a bunch of books. More of them than I expect­ed came through all at one time, where­upon I learned that they allow a max­i­mum of 75 books to be checked out at once. Whoops! I had to put two back.

I have plen­ty to read now, though!


1 We had to put a unit in Katie’s room, too – it real­ly wasn’t fac­tored in to the ton­nage on the a/​c unit when some­one fin­ished a for­mer garage, and it doesn’t have enough ducts. Now we need one for the guest room.

Readings & Socializing

Note: This entry went in a total­ly dif­fer­ent direc­tion than where I thought I was head­ed! It got very long, and wan­dered around a lot. I got into some­thing that’s real­ly been eat­ing at me for a long time, though, and I’d real­ly appre­ci­ate some feed­back.

I should have my micro­phone tak­en away. I record­ed sev­er­al more poems for some rea­son, but haven’t post­ed them any­where because I real­ly love hear­ing them with the music Sam adds. His edit­ing exper­tise always makes me sound much bet­ter, too! Sam got me wor­ried about copy­right issues, which is why I haven’t post­ed them to Live Read­ings yet.

I miss read­ings. Live gath­er­ings of peo­ple, close­ly or loose­ly con­nect­ed, who come togeth­er to share pas­sages of prose or poet­ry with each oth­er. Not the sort where peo­ple get up at a podi­um, or an event arranged for a par­tic­u­lar author, just friends and acquain­tances shar­ing the joy of the word. If there are authors in the group who share pas­sages of what­ev­er they’re work­ing on, so much the bet­ter! If not, well, there’s a wealth of mate­ri­al out there that just begs to be heard, that can­not be ful­ly appre­ci­at­ed on the page. I owe my dis­cov­ery of G.K. Chester­ton to such a group, and a renewed inter­est in Mark Twain.
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And That’s the Week

I con­sid­er Sun­day the first day of the week, rather than the last.

It was a week full of appoint­ments for the girl, and get­ting paper­work shuf­fled to var­i­ous bureau­cra­cies. Sam and I had love­ly dates Wednes­day and tonight, although both of us were so exhaust­ed Wednes­day that we turned in much ear­lier than usu­al.

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Sam and Saturday

Yes, it was anoth­er date night. Yay! (They are the high­lights of my week, with good rea­son.) The girl went out on a date, so we had the house to our­selves.

It still feels odd, at times, not to have any kids around, and not to even be wor­ried about pick­ing them up. We like the young man she’s dat­ing, so we feel fair­ly good about her being out with him, and don’t get very ner­vous. Still, there’s a cer­tain lev­el of aware­ness that nev­er seems to go away when you can’t per­son­al­ly ver­i­fy your child’s imme­di­ate well­be­ing.

In any case, it was a love­ly evening. I do love my Sam, and he nev­er does stop spoil­ing me.