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sakon76: (Sakon)
Slowly getting back into routine. (Which still, unfortunately, involves waking up too early. I am just trusting that will work itself out over time, for all three of us.)

Since we were going to miss the first three weeks of classes for this term at the community college and city programs, we didn't sign up for some of them. No Monday yoga, no Saturday morning belly dance for me and gymnastics for Squiddle. It's been sort of relaxing, really, to only have four classes on our family schedule. And after my first couple days of frantically making the front yard and garden beds look, well, not abandoned, I've eased off on what I'm trying to accomplish each day.

(Wonderful Husband has, several times in the past, accused me of overloading my to-do list. He is correct about this tendency.)

Today's to-do list included a CostCo run, watering the kitchen garden and my potted plants, baking bread, and de-cat-hairing the sofa. All this has gotten done. Dishes are washed and the dry ones put away. I'm nudging at the kitchen over the next couple days because I'm at a point where I look around the house, and though there's space, there's clutter. I figure if I try to tackle one room each week, maybe I'll be able to make headway.

And as part of trying to slow down, I'm trying to cook more. Last night I tried a recipe from one of the Jamie Oliver books I brought back from the UK. It was... okay. The steamed coconut buns didn't turn out, but I later figured out why - the dough was too wet. The hoisin mushroom and chicken mixture was okay. The cucumber "pickle" needed something more, but I haven't yet figured out what. Tonight's meal is going to be simpler, and more familiar. Grilled bratwurst, homemade sauerkraut, and probably rice pilaf from a package. Wednesday dinners tend to be fast and simple, as I have writing class tonight.

For just now, however, I'm going to get a refill of my tea, and go lie down next to the napping Squiddle.

Sigh.

Dec. 1st, 2015 06:49 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
The Squiddle often does not wake up happy from his naps. Today was entirely typical in this respect. We went to the kitchen together and he wanted the fridge opened. I obliged. I asked him if he wanted some juice, and set the jug on the counter. No, he did not. I asked him if he wanted a yogurt, and set that on the counter. No, he did not want that either. Sigh. Following his gesticulations, I put the yogurt back. And he wanted the juice put back too. Except I apparently did not move fast enough, so he went to pull it off the counter himself.

A three-quarters-full gallon jug of apple juice. Versus a 26-month-old.

Fortunately, it was a plastic jug.

Unfortunately, about half of it still ended up all over the kitchen floor.

I have mopped, and sharked the floor. My jeans and socks are in the laundry. The floor still has a faint tackiness that indicates I need to shark it again. And I haven't even touched the foam and gel mats, other than to just dump them out of the way in the shower....

Pancake dinner tonight. Because I am really craving pancakes.
sakon76: (Sakon)
I had absolutely no energy when I got up this morning, and actually made the decision to skip Squiddle's class this morning in favor of R&R and cleaning. Mostly cleaning. But at least the temperature has dropped back down to the low 80s for a couple of days, so I was able to leave the doors and windows open and do the laundry during the day. And Wonderful Husband entertained the Squiddle for a few hours this afternoon while I experienced unconsciousness. And then he cooked dinner, and helped me pull weeds (and the dead corn) from the kitchen garden, filling the yard waste bin for this week. Hmm. And yet the lawn needs mowing this weekend... will have to see if the weeds can squish down.

The crane quilt is steadily being quilted. Two orange panels and two black panels remain. If I manage one of each a day, I can then bind it on Monday, wash it on Tuesday, and turn it in the the next person in the challenge Tuesday night. Then I will be free of deadlines.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Laundry and dishes, more laundry and tidying.

sewing and machines )

cleaning )
sakon76: (Sakon)
Been on a bit of a tear today. Finished all the laundry, including the bathroom mat. While it was washing, I deep-cleaned the bathroom. I changed the fish water and started the algae treatment. The contents of the linen closet have been hauled out, reorganized, and replaced. Squiddle and I did the grocery shopping. Made sun tea, washed lots of dishes, coiled hoses, filled the fountain and cleaned its filter.

I finished quilting the Science Fair baby quilt (a different pattern in each hexagon) and sewed the binding on. Or tried to. Got three-quarters of the way around and realized that because of the ziggy-zaggy ends, I didn't have enough binding, and I didn't have any more of the fabric to make more. Wonderful Husband seam-ripped some of the binding off while I made more from a different fabric. And I have just finished seam-ripping off the rest.

Things I did not do: my homework. Any writing. Que sera sera....

Tomorrow: sewing on the new binding, and doing homework. Alternately, collapsing because I used up my entire energy allotment for June on the first day.
sakon76: (Sakon)
After Squiddle's class this morning, he and I decamped down to my parents' place for a while, where I picked up two more plastic tubs (the city's compost giveaway is on Saturday; I need containers) and my sister's old three-gallon fishtank. My mother is revamping their 30-gallon tank (the last surviving fish, a plecostomus of 10+ years, died while they were in Mexico) and so has been making me want a tank of our own. That plus Squiddle really liked [livejournal.com profile] toothycat's fish while we visited!

We went with Mom to Tong's Tropical Fish, and happily toured the aisles while she made up her mind what she wanted to add next to her tank. And I thought about what I want in my much littler one. After she made her purchase (five barbs), Squiddle and I went to the Midway City Feed Store, admired their bunnies and chicks, and bought a bale of straw for my garden. Then to home and washing the tank and gravel, setting it up, patiently filtering water, and getting it running.

I'm thinking I'll let it run empty for a few days, then go buy a couple plants and whatever water testing kits I need. Wait a few more days for the plants to settle in, then pick out a pretty betta. I'd like some tetras too, but they're happier in groups of 5+, and I think the tank is too small for more than one or two fish. Even little fish like tetras.

And on a different note, after I put Squiddle to bed this evening, I tore through the bathroom cabinet, purging without mercy. The Squiddle has grown tall enough and inquisitive enough that he's able to reach to the back of the counter, which means certain stuff (medications) needed to come OFF the counter yet remain adult-accessible. I found a surprising amount of nail care stuff, now all consolidated. When did we ever buy that many tweezers and emery boards??
sakon76: (Sakon)
Title: the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing
Author: Marie Kondo
Length: 206 pages

Review )
sakon76: (Sakon)
Ha. I have finally bulldozed through cleared off one of the two piles of novel edits sitting on my desk. There is a 8.5" square of space at my right elbow now! And the other pile is about five inches tall. Or a hundred pages of edits, take your choice. So the end is in sight!

I've also finally pulled out my seed packets and started starting seeds for this year's garden. Melons and squash and and aubergines and peppers and corn and popcorn, oh my! I still have the tomatoes, flowers, herbs, and root vegetables (which get seeded in place) to go through, but I'm halfway there.

And, all the bricks on the patio from half taking down the double fence have been neatly stacked in the dogrun. (The dogrun for the dog which we don't have. Meh, the house came with it, and until we feel like taking metal posts out of a concrete slab, it's staying where it is. Storage space it is!) Now to start whacking more bricks out of the remaining inner fence, and eventually planting fruit trees along it....
sakon76: (Sakon)
My mother-in-law is a baby whisperer and has managed to get the fractious Squiddle calmed down and asleep over Skype. All hail!

According to the guy at the sewing machine shop yesterday, the needle hitting the foot is what broke the foot. He would not accept me saying that the needle didn't start hitting the foot until after the foot broke. Wonderful Husband thinks he's trying to get me to buy a machine specifically for quilting. Which I would love to do, but since the $4K Babylock Tiara is no longer there, there's nothing in that shop I'm interested in.

So I wait, and hope I win that auction on eBay for the old all-metal foot that will work on vintage Singer machines. No more free-motion quilting for me until I have one of those.

Instead I turned my attention to my crafting shelves yesterday while it rained (.2"), and cleared out my old WIPs bin. I pulled out the pins, kept the pattern pieces, and threw all but three of the projects into the trash. At this point, I was never going to finish them, and I need the space and sanity more than the silent reproaches of the ghosts of Kristins past. I also pulled out probably another 16-inch cube of fabric to pass on to others, a few more specifically quilty things to donate to the Guild, and managed to snaffle three bins of quilt stuff down into two. Thus a little more space has been made.

I did not do any editing on Queen's Choice yesterday, and probably won't today either, as I need to edit my classmates' story submissions instead while the Squiddle is sleeping. And bring the bins in from the curb. And figure out what I'm making for dinner....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Body feels better than yesterday, head feels worse.

Stuffed all of yesterday's weeding efforts into the yard waste bin, then lopped off all the suckers from the 40-ish trees lining our backyard, as well as the branches dipping down into walking height, and the ones blocking light from the windows on the north of the house. The yard waste bin is now full, so unless I borrow the neighbor's bin (which I might do; they have like no yard so never use it), I'm not pruning the rosebushes today after all. :/ I've also swept half the house and started the week's laundry.

Time for a sit-down break, which will probably consist of sun tea, painkillers, and more going through my backlog of edits on Queen's Choice. I've been powering my way through twenty pages a day, and it feels good. Both in the getting it done and clearing space on my desk sense, but also in the continual tweaking of the story for a smoother read. My word count isn't dropping much (currently at 118,124 words), so I'm also trying to identify subplots and characters I can cut if needed. 120K words is kind of the absolute upper limit for this genre, with 100K a safer goal. I think I've got one set of threads I could cut, if I can finagle the words to still make sense, but I'll need to be careful if I do so, because it's entwined with characters I cannot cut.
sakon76: (Sakon)
I'm on a cleaning/purging kick at the moment. Have been for a couple days, actually, and I'm hoping it sticks around. I've pulled a pile of stuff I'll never actually use/don't love anymore off my fabric shelves and hope to yank more. Still doubting I can purge enough there to "earn" that $4K Tiara quilting machine, though. I tried quilting on my mother's singer 201 only to find that the FMQ foot that fits my (newly serviced) Babylock doesn't work at all for a vintage Singer. And the foot that does will cost $30+. Thus, I've shifted back to the Babylock for the current quilting project, and just one and a half squares in, am back to dreaming hard about that Tiara, its table, the lovely lovely 18 inches of harp space....

But today I ended up working on my desk instead of sewing. I know it has a surface down there somewhere.... I've gone through a bunch of magazine issues, ripped out the few pages I want to keep, and tossed the rest into recycling. Ditto for swathes of "why do I even have this?" bits of paper. So far the left side of my desk has gone into four stacks: "priority to be dealt with," "books to read," "miscellaneous to be dealt with later," and a box of photos and cards. The right side is still a foot and a half stack of novel edits. I've done twenty pages worth today. If I manage to average ten pages a day... it'll be clear in a month. God that's depressing. My own fault for letting them pile up for so long.

Right now, though, I'm hitting the wall. Time to put the Squiddle to bed, and then find sleep myself. 'Night, all.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Being the parent of a toddler completely changes how you do things. Instead of having uninterrupted blocks of time to get things done, you have this other person directing how and when you do things, and that other person frequently wants attention now, pick me up please, bored, hungry, mummy my diaper needs changing... the list goes on and on. So I'm learning to steal time. Five minutes pulling a handful of weeds while we're outside and he's exploring the garden. Ten minutes standing a bit back from the sink so he can worm between me and the counter, going around and around and around me while I'm doing dishes. Taking the time while he's napping to triage the pile on the dining table. Triumphantly going through the medicine cabinet and disposing of all the past-date crap after putting him to bed.

Ah, as if to illustrate my point, he's just woken up. No more blogging right now.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Somehow, though you would not usually think it to look upon the mess that is my house, tidying before going to bed has become a bastion of my sanity. So, my inlaws being out at the theater tonight, Wonderful Husband having packed it in at eight, and the Squiddle going down at nine, I'm still up, sitting in the lounge. It is much neater now than it was two hours ago (Squiddle mess everywhere), and my mind is calmer. Time to turn in and see if I can get a night of sleep tonight.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Feeling a bit better after a bout of depression yesterday that led me to skip my writing class. I'm attributing the downs to one part that class and anticipating the remarks on my next ten pages, one part my parents leaving for six months sailing around Baja, and one part my period. At least the latter is finally back on a four-week (rather than two-week) schedule.

Things that are making me happy this week. I'd heard, months ago, about the Detroit Land Bank auctioning off vacant homes, and thought it was a good idea. Then this article popped up on CNN, reminding me of it, and I went to look at the DLB's auction site. If I lived anywhere in the midwest, or didn't have roots and a mortgage here in SoCal, and a milder climate wasn't better for Wonderful Husband's health, I would be on this like white on rice. Meanwhile, my mother, sister, and I can all use this website to fuel our Rehab Addict-inspired daydreams.

Also making me happy: getting back in my homemaking groove. I put up four half-pints of Marisa's Honey Lemon Apple Jam today to go into the stash for Christmas gifts. And now, while Squiddle's asleep, I'm going to attempt to triage first the dining table, and then, if I'm lucky, the living room.
sakon76: (Sakon)
It's been a hot weekend, so we've mostly been hiding inside until the heat of the day dies away. By opening doors and windows in the early morning, and evening, and then keeping them closed during the heat of day, we manage to keep the inside of the house about fifteen degrees cooler than the outside. The difference between 100 Fahrenheit and 85 Fahrenheit is significant!

That said, I feel like I've gotten a fair amount done this weekend. We had my parents up yesterday for brunch, the last chance we'll have before they sail off for six months in Mexico. I went through twenty pages of edits on Field of Stars. I made sun tea, swept two rooms, and realized my Italian plums weren't going to last another day, so put up four and a half half-pints of Peach-Plum Ginger Jam.

Today I've gotten less done, so feel like a bit of a slacker in comparison. I've done the laundry, swept two more rooms and the hallway, made chicken cacciatore for dinner, and edited ten pages. Wonderful Husband and I also did a bit of grocery shopping.

But mainly we've been staying cool.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Had kind of a quiet Father's Day this year. Wonderful Husband painted the front of the garage while I attempted to reclaim the kitchen and dining room from their disaster area state. (Does this happen to anyone else, where their house just... devolves into independent disasters? Or just me?) I made far i kal (a Norwegian dish, literally "lamb and cabbage") and my parents came up for dinner. I haven't had far i kal since I was a child. It brought back memories.

We got to bed on time, a rarity, and then got a call at eleven-thirty that the website of the company Wonderful Husband works for was down. So he ended up staying up for two and a half hours in the middle of the night, working to fix it. (I got up once during that time to change and feed the Squiddle.) Thus, he slept late this morning and I made oatmeal for brekky. Tonight, since we also both slept late yesterday and thus it got preempted, I'm making pancakes and bacon for dinner. It's a two-breakfast day!

My inlaws are, as I type, on an airplane winging in my direction. Thus the order of the day for me is laundry and housecleaning. I've got both bedrooms and the hall done thus far; next is the shower room, and honestly, if that's as far as I can get in between attending to the Squiddle's needs and wants, I'm good. Well, that and sweeping the office floor. And de-catting the sofa. So, really, no, still a lot to do.

And, ah, the baby's awake from his nap. Time to go pick him up!
sakon76: (Sakon)
Thursday and yesterday, I pulled down my stack of "patriotic" themed quilting cottons and cut some donations for the quilting guild next week. July's Opportunity Basket raffle will be patriotic fabrics, so I'm donating a total of ten pieces, all at least half a yard long. I also auditioned various fabrics and cut out and sewed five Stashaholic's Dream Blocks for that block raffle. Pics of my blocks to be posted... eventually. I'm amused that my mother and husband both loved the yellow/red one I made, but had completely different reactions on the purple/green one.

I also have continued on with the process of pulling fabrics I no longer want from my shelves. Still not done, and it's depressing how little visual difference my pulls (nearly a two-foot stack at this point) make to the shelves. And, of course, now that Squiddle is fully mobile and has found his way into the sewing area at least once, I'm doing a full reorganization, moving all things that little hands can grab and do damage with/to, up. So now all my patterns are on the third shelf, and I've gone through my spools of thread and tested and discarded a lot of the old ones on wooden spools. The threads are starting to rot. So I'll be on the lookout for another interesting glass jar to put those in. I've got another couple large tubs from Target, so time to start organizing the bottom-shelf items into those.
sakon76: (Sakon)
My dad's side of the family live halfway up the state (and I live in one of the loooong states, not a rinky dinky little state like in the northeast of the country) so we don't get to see them too often. Though one of my cousins on that side does live down here; I should invite her and her fiance to dinner sometime, hmm.... But I digress.

My two uncles that I don't often see will be in town on Saturday, so that they and my dad can attend the 70th birthday party of their eldest cousin. Last time I saw these uncles, I was roundly pregnant with the Squiddle. Who will get to meet that side of the family at the above-mentioned cousin's wedding in June. But the younger of my uncles got a touch weepy last time I saw him about Squiddle being his parents' first great-grandchild, etc. So I e-mailed him and asked if they would like to meet Squiddle while they're down this Saturday. He e-mailed back, and it looks like my uncles will be turning up at my house sometime on Saturday!

Cue panic attack!

I like to joke that I come from the poor branch of the family. How true that is, is up to debate. But I've never been at my uncles' homes and seen them be less than immaculate. My house is currently... not quite a disaster area, but it could be much cleaner. So I spent what of today I could cleaning and reorganizing my sewing nook. Which is now like half-done and spread across the room. But the problem is that a decent section of the mess is (1) things to be mended, and (2) things to be finished. I don't have time to clear the latter out, but I've started in on the former. Two pairs of trousers and two skirts, done. More to be done tomorrow....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Baked the sourdough bread today, it came out quite well. Got about half of the ironing done, and finished today's every-other-day wash/dry of Squiddle's undies. I also made lemon pudding cakes for dessert at my parents'... my mother and I thought they were too sweet, while Wonderful Husband thought they were just right. What's that saying about you can't please all the people...? :)

Right in the middle of baking, of course, while Wonderful Husband (still not 100% recovered from sickness) was napping, Squiddle had an MSE. He managed to go all over his diaper, diaper cover, onesie, leg, sock, my sleeve while I carried him to the changing table, and the high chair cover, straps, and buckles. Boy is DETERMINED!

Tried again to register for my writing class. Today the whole school website is down. I am unsure which direction this is progress in, but if I can't do it online tomorrow morning, I'll resort to going there in person and waiting in line to do it.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Bit by bit, inch by inch, the house is being reclaimed. The empty canning jars that covered the kitchen counter have gone out to the garage shelves, where they will probably live unfulfilled until next summer. The bags full of canning rings have been sorted and strung and hung from the same shelves. All the Goodwill donation items have been catalogued and put into Wonderful Husband's car for a drop-off tomorrow morning. We still have no dining room table, but at least we have floorspace around it and in the living room now, and everything on the table just needs to be put in its home. Meanwhile, I've spent the day battling nausea and gas. If I'm going to have abdominal discomfort, can't I have it in the form of contractions, please?

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