Monday, September 17, 2018

The Lost Week

I was actually doing a fabulous job of starting off the school year right, and not wasting time while the kids were gone. I had my multi-page, appropriately titled, "Tedious Chore List." I had actually completed more than 50% of the tedious chores (calculating by line item, not by time it would take to complete said chores.) Things were looking cleaner around the house. A pile of discards was growing for Purple Heart pickup.

Then the Fall Colds hit, leaving me with multiple days of feeling in a fog, sleeping excessively, and attending to kids who were also sick, and not in school. Slight gratitude here that it happened in week two of September, hopefully giving me time to recover and get back on track, before the inevitable late October Halloween derailment.

At the library tonight, where I'm supposed to spend an hour and a half every Monday between Ballet class drop off and pickup, working on my writing. I did this last year on Wednesdays. Mondays are a lot more annoying at the library. Many more people coming and going, getting dropped off in shuttle buses, etc. Difficulty finding a quiet nook to work. I spent my time this night as follows:

Closing all open windows on computer.
Figuring out how to log on to library Wi-Fi, yet again.
Sending email to writing critique partner.
Getting distracted by emails from Music Class, re: Trip I must sign my child up for ASAP so she doesn't end up on the wait list, Dance Class, re: Convoluted Schedule change which might save me 15 minutes of tuition fees, could I be so lucky?
Sign Child up for Music Class Trip.
Email Dance Teacher to inquire about fee refund?
Search for my manuscript and realize the most recent chapters I was revising have not made the transfer over to the Annoying New Computer.
Email OTHER writing critique partner, (the one I'm actually supposed to WRITE for, not just READ) and inform her of my goals to complete transition to Annoying New Computer and revise a chapter by next Monday.
Log on to Writing Chat Group.
Write this.
It is now time to go pick up the girls from dance.

I'm supposed to present a topic for 10 minutes at FCL Writers group tomorrow. Perhaps will research time management for writers.

Edit) Informed by dance school that 15 minute fee refund of $1.40 will be applied in the event that class indeed goes 15 minutes short. My optimism at the extent to which my thousands annually would be affected was obviously misplaced.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Sugar I Said I Was Going To Stop Eating

Sitting at the kitchen table, shoveling leftover-from-my birthday coconut pecan frosting straight from the tub into my mouth with a knife, reading an article in a soggy scattered newspaper, about all these people who got food poisoning from Kellogg's Sugar Smacks, and thinking deep thoughts like, What kind of person is still eating Sugar Smacks at age 95? Probably the kind of person who eats leftover-from-her-birthday-in-May frosting out of the tub at age 40-um because it's back to school week, and not Friday yet. Who even knows how many times the power went out since May, we were gone for three weeks this summer. This probably wasn't the best idea. Dang, I just dropped a glob on my leg. Oh, look, there's none left. At least I can recycle this container now, and stop moving it out of the way while looking for snacks in the fridge. 

Anyway, maybe I'll have oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. That sounds healthy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Bubble Tea

As I was leaving the library with the kids this morning, after purchasing four books from the used book sale, an older man approaches and says, "Excuse me. Can I ask you a question?" Thinking he wanted to know something about the library, I pleasantly say sure.

"I noticed that she's rather dark-complected," he begins. She being my 13-year-old, who looks as perplexed as I feel. "Is she of mixed nationality, or is it just from being in the sun in the summer?"

(Does anyone ever say "No" when someone says, "Can I ask you a question?" Thinking I should start.)

Anyway, since I agreed to a question, I blurt out "Yes," and leave him to puzzle out which "or" I'm answering. He then tells me about his maybe mixed race son (not sure if that's what he said) who is in Singapore? or somewhere, and somehow this is why he's now interested in people's heritage.

So anyway, I guess my ability to attract oddballs is still going strong.

According to my son, it's just weird to ask personal questions about a stranger who is 50 years younger than you. I completely agree.

We stopped for Bubble Tea after grocery shopping, fulfilling the girl's month-long quest. One sip of the overly sweet concoction was enough for me.

I've rearranged cupboards to accommodate the new Moka and espresso cups, and create a breakfast and lunch prep area. We'll see if this helps the kitchen stay magically clean.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Post-Vacation Resolutions

Back from a week Up North. As usual the trouble with the joy of getting away from it all, is the realization that despite abundant free time on my hands, I'm unable to productively accomplish anything because "it all" is back home. Instead, I must sit around in sweltering humidity, gritty with sand, occupied with bad reading choices, since I decided to try to clean house before we left and ran out of time to stop to the library (e-reader is rendered obsolete aka, bricked by B&N--still saving that rant for another day.)

The usual result is that I spend a boatload of time gazing at the lake and thinking up ways to make everyone's life miserable.

Not really. I mean, actually, I'm thinking up ways to make my life absolutely perfect. Like how I'm going to get off sugar and feel full of energy and super-thin, but lose weight slowly and sensibly so I don't become a wrinkled old hag. I'm going to do at least an hour of cardio daily, some of which will be while cleaning the house, and will also take the dog on long walks, and get tons of inspiration for writing. I mean if Dickens had time to walk 3 hours a day, then surely I can houseclean, walk dog and still write this generation's classic literature. (Note, excess time on hands on vacation leads me to Dickens trivia, but does not lead me to time to crack open the creaking laptop and compose my own brilliance.)

Also, I am going to do crafts, and create beautiful quilts and crocheted things with fabric from my old tattered clothes and my burgeoning collection of grocery store plastic bags. The very first thing I'll make is a reusable shopping bag, and I will never forget to take this one into the store. Probably because the no-sugar diet and extra walking will improve my mental function.

I will also connect better with my children so next time we sit around a campfire and try to talk about hopes and dreams and feelings, it won't all be about farts. We will be better disciplined about screen time, and they will do housekeeping and crafts with me instead of binge-watching every single episode of We Bare Bears. As a result of this, on Monday back from vacation, I abandon the heaps of waiting laundry and take the kids to see a movie, Christopher Robin. (Please don't ask me to explain my logic.)

The movie was funny and sweet, and the 11 year old liked it. (Thirteen was unimpressed). Unfortunately it's one of those well-used plots, where the parent(s) is all busy and stressed out and have forgotten how to connect with their childhood and What's Truly Important. This does not coincide well with my plan of reining in my undisciplined children.

Return home with "please just one or two things" from Target, including Laundry Detergent and Milk (needed). End of Vacation is not sitting well with the other family member who is home from work and hungry and Wondering where we all are.

Very well. We all yell a bit, get dinner made of Corn on the Cob and Hot Dogs (left over from Vacation) and I make kids clean the kitchen with me until someone cries at my efforts to explain how to wash a dish, rather than merely giving it a gentle tickle with a dish brush.

I write this blog post to prove that I can do it, even without my three hours of walking/housework/cardio.