elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 06:09 am
Daily journaler is seeking other daily journalers. I'm looking for other diarists that share some aspect of their daily life, whether it's limited to a narrow aspect of creativity or concern or is wide ranging. The diarist should be open to reading my entries and ideally is already reading the entries of folks in my circle.

ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 09:44 pm
Spent Saturday on my "back to the command line" project, lost in package installer upgrade land -- i hadn't taken care of various installed from unix package systems for ages. I found "port upgrade outdated" recompiling the c compiler. This took a while.

I've been fiddling with emacs and various things like using evernote from emacs and learning org-mode and markdown.

This morning, however, there was kerffluffle email at work that caused great distraction.

Christine's dental work went fairly smoothly and she's recovering.

Scattered but doing OK here.
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Friday, May 15th, 2015 06:28 am
Why is it when i read these folks want a common sense approach, i think it means "Not in my back yard and don't spend any of my tax dollars."

I've read the internet this morning, and Christine seems to be resting quite well. I'm looking at my ticklers for this mid month point and find a reminder to re-read this contrast of the harm of too much praise and the need for validation and encouragement.

With the OVER HALF INCH of rain yesterday, perhaps it is the clean air. I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Maybe it was actually walking before bed. I'm ready for a good Friday and good weekend.
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Thursday, May 14th, 2015 05:26 pm
Thunder! Rainrainrainrainrain! Oh my so delightful!

Christine came through the extraction fine just fine. Here's hoping first that the pain meds and antibiotics all have minimal side effects, and then that the reality helps dampen any concerns about further work. Probiotics acquired on the theory it will minimize any digestive side effects for her.

While she was in the chair, i visited a nearby Indian market and delighted in the spiced scents. I managed not to buy sweets, but did buy a bunch of vacuum packaged meals for Christine. And i got fresh paneer. There was a sale on tamarind concentrate, so tonight i will make coconut-tamarind fish for myself. I went through a half dozen recipes trying to derive a general theory of tomato-tamarind and coconut-tamarind curries. It looks like there's a few yogurt tamarind combinations -- including a mint yogurt tamarind soup.
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Thursday, May 14th, 2015 07:27 am
My Dad shared on Monday that my mother had sat down with a photo album of the early years they had in their current house. Similar to how Christine's and my current residence is the longest i've ever lived in one place, the home my parents are in has been their address for the longest they've ever been in one spot.

He said that she had shared with him that she had forgotten so much of the times, the visitors, the people they invited to live with them (including an immigrant family, a Russian girl who needed surgery in the US, i think some students...). He noted that they have lived together without children in the home longer than my siblings and i were with them. She'd forgotten.

She's been depressed. )

I'm hopeful for her.


Today Christine has oral surgery. There's a chance that she will have bone removal that will require bone grafting to repair. She's been very distressed around breaking the tooth last week and the prospect of not only the repairs needed (for which this is step one) but also the opportunity that this creates for orthodontics. I've told her i had five or six teeth removed in childhood for my orthodontics, but she's not finding any consolation in that.

I'm hoping that all the pain will be well managed. I fear she is letting her surgery from some years back color her expectations: this is nothing compared to some of the treatments and surgery she's had.

This distress folds in with other Elephant distress: i acknowledge that i am spending time and energy on supporting her in her distress, and i am counting. It's been a year and a half of the deep distress. A certain amount of "where has the time gone" is answered with the time spent supporting her when she is in distress. However, it's getting better. She recovers faster and has far more insight into the distress. She expresses her concern that she's not getting better periodically, and i point back at the milestones.

It seems as if Christine's journey took getting to the point where every coping mechanism learned in childhood and as a young adult had failed, in order to start building new ones. There's an echo with my mother's experience, too, and i hope for both of them that new skills of relating to the world can be constructed so that they can thrive. I know how i shifted and changed with the trauma therapy work i did: the grief, the pain, so raw for so many years, healed. It simply healed.

Now i work on building anew. With the glorious release from the stress and demands of my previous role (both self imposed and required), i think i can build new habits, new ways of moving to the tides of time and energy.


Yesterday's moments of good energy: talking on the deck with Christine, talking with KT about the work i did while she was out and the work we have ahead of us, some final analysis of how the combination of four different request flags should be handled by our system. (From the sixteen different combinations, we want only three major behavior differences.) The analysis definitely took me to a flow state.
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Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 04:23 pm
Grumbling about the first paragraph of http://blog.production.invision.works/how-to-manufacture-desire/ , i searched on a stack of terms along with the word addict.

I find the results a little perplexing, but i also see that some of the results are less about how habit forming something is and more about common turns of phrase. "Adrenaline junkie" occurs an order of magnitude more often than "adrenaline addict," for example. I suspect that the label "addict" has some associative logic, and then there are also some addictions that have unique labels (smoker, alcoholic). (Which have multiple meanings, so can't possibly be used as a scale measure.)

Anyhow. I got curious!
google results without and with quotation marks )
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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 07:03 am

I've been using the Moodscope tool for six months or so now. It seems a trivial tool and i feel like i'm answering the questions the same way... yet the score moves. I'd been in a mood decline over the past few days (where decline means going to the all time average score level: my scores before the job change seem to average below 50% while i now seem to average at just under 60%*). Today i've perked up. And i think that's because yesterday, not only did i do the filling the form exercise, but i also looked back at my serenitree plans for my 47th year. [Accidental post at this point in writing.] I reconnected with that visioning and dreaming exercise, and found it more clear as to what i am trying to do.

And, i did get my tiny "condition of enoughness" goals done. Beyond that, while i didn't get in a walk, i did get a load of laundry and i knitted while watching our evening diversion. Plus, Christine and i had a long lovely chat on the deck, a habit we've been developing that i adore. (Although there was a six month period where we would have some walks when i came home that were twice rewarding.)

It's nice to have a data measure that enforced my impression that i was swinging up yesterday evening. Looking back over the past few months and seeing i had been progressing in going though stuff and that there were household care issues that had actually been improved.

If Moodscope allowed a csv export of the raw scores, i could actually calculate the averages before and after certain dates. But no. If paying for it allowed data export, i'd be interested.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, May 11th, 2015 03:21 pm
See http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/544467.html
Take the list or similar, and quickly dash off three small things in each area that can be done to improve your quality of being. Then set aside. Repeat the process some time later (a quarter? "ten week" period?) and then review the previous one.

1. Work space
Had an unexpected clean-out of files -- probably ought to create a tickler to move receipts from active into archive and to retire archive once a year in May (after taxes) DONE.
How can i become unhaunted by unfinished projects? Christine may have books everywhere, but i have unfinished projects.
New white board plastic would be nice.

2. Car/transportation
I've been keeping even tidier (paying attention to the grocery bags). This is fine.

3. Kitchen
Need to ensure we do a purge for Harvest Festival.
Silverware drawer has been better organized, unexpected pantry purge happened on Friday to good effect.
Use up gluten free flours, seeds, etc, and see how much really needs to be on hand as staple.

4. Living room
Intentionally left blank.

5. Bedroom
Continue purging clothes.
A tidy through of the misc books would be nice but isn't really critical yet.
Shoe box management is probably top issue.

6. Wardrobe
Oh, look above.
I think i may want something for the party -- but actually, it will probably be a well air conditioned venue. I won't need to be prepared for humidity from ... North Carolina.
Maybe set of six matching rings for lacing up the mohops.

7. Reading list or entertainment plans
plenty plenty plenty

8. Exercise habits
NEED TO WORK HERE. Evening motivation - maybe i need more decadent audiobooks. Everything now is "good for me."

9. Eating habits
Evening sweet splurge needs to be drawn in.

10. Spiritual/intellectual maintenance
Not sure i feel any spiritual maintenance is needed beyond .... Well, maybe i could be more intentional about Meeting for Worship. I'm so caught up in the Meeting community, my solitary practices aren't attended to with as much regularity. On the other hand, i'm not in a time of discernment. I'm much more in a time of finding discipline, refining.... perhaps more gratitude and celebration?

Cryptography class, usecases for the working group....
Evening energy for genealogy and botany....
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, May 10th, 2015 08:55 am
Rough morning for us.

I woke to very bad dream about my parents. It wasn't too early to get up, so i tried calling Mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day. No answer. I have a slight sense of disturbance that lingers, that will be better once i hear their voices.

I then messed about in the kitchen, preparing a vegetarian dinner loaf. I tried using the grinder on the nuts: too small an amount to make it through the grinder. When the chickpeas were done, i pushed them through, pushing out the pecans: in general, too much fuss for the effort. I think i'll just use the potato masher in the future. The (very very old, back of cabinet) quinoa cooked up with much more volume than expected. I thought i was being clever by steaming the loaf: i was not.

It tastes pretty good, at least, but even after having been in the oven in a pie plate for 25 min, it has the texture of refried beans. I suppose it will get me through the week.

Christine is having her own bumps.

Yesterday I took a friend for an MRI: that ran over long, as it hadn't started by the time i came to pick her up. I then saw my friend DP, who has moved to Seattle as it is less expensive there. She is in town to visit her mother who has dementia. She's coping with depression since her move away, and coping with her mother's decline.

I'm clerking both worship & meeting for business today. I feel tired.
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Friday, May 8th, 2015 06:18 am
Another 7:30 staff briefing, but this one i can attend in pajamas via webex.

Yesterday was a lovely workday. I focused, then took a break, and then focused again. It was a pleasant intensity, a flow state.

We had showers, too, lovely rain. Not enough to accumulate at the bottom of a bucket, but i suspect some plants were happy for the damp. This morning dawns bright and clear.

I knooked -- knitting with a hook -- in the evening. This project is essentially a practice project with lace-weight, a skein bought for me as a gift. I didn't take the time to run it up in a ball, and i'm glad i didn't, because there are bunches of loose ends that i see now. I don't know how the yarn broke, or was cut, or... I ponder whether the gift was purchased from a remainder table. Meanwhile, my knitting is uneven and before i start doing lace patterns with lace-weight i wanted to get a rhythm. I'm beginning to have that, learning to knit much more loosely than i naturally want to so that i can manage to insert the hook on the next row.

It wasn't on the "to do" list, but it was a doing and not merely staring at a screen (although i've discovered that Lost Girl has two full seasons i haven't watched).

Off to try and set some more goals.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, May 7th, 2015 05:01 pm
Thanks to someone else's rant, and the following comments, i find myself pondering the observation of Anna Jarvis Day on the second Sunday in May, during which one protests the commercialization of affection and respect.
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Thursday, May 7th, 2015 11:49 am
Yesterday we needed to be in the office at 7:30 for a "Town Hall" meeting for the technology division. Not really a "Town Hall" meeting, as "Town Hall" implies questions from the community. I'm not sure what warranted an all-staff meeting, but whatever. We were there. I brought cream cheese, French bread, orange juice, and strawberries. No one indulged during the presentation but myself. Ah well. Someone did thank me afterwards, as they indulged mid-morning.

I was home early, a bit out of sorts because i hadn't gone out for lunch. I ended up distracting myself with SUV shopping. At the moment, i believe the Subaru Forester to be the most efficient high-clearance vehicle that i'd be interested in. On the other hand, it only tows a couple thousand pounds and Tumbleweed Tiny Home RVs need 3/4 to 1 ton trucks with tens of thousands of pounds towing capacity. (Looking at floor plans and the "barn raising" options distracted me this morning.)

I complained about my Very Expensive (to me) Tunisian crochet hooks kit last week, i believe. I took a pencil sharpener to the smallest one last night, barely trimming it. It's made a huge difference, and i happily completed a couple of rows.

Today is a gloriously empty schedule work day. I probably need to set my goals pretty clearly for the day. As far as goal setting goes, i'm not thrilled: i am still having a challenge with after work non-productivity and early morning distractibility. The time to deal with elephants also impacts my goal setting:
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Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 05:27 pm
"I don't suffer fools gladly," said our clerk, as he was consoling me. I'd asked about whether i was noticeably snippy with the clerk of a committee. His answer, "Yes, you are obviously having a problem with Friend Easy Going." I blanched, and he went out of his way to say it wasn't bad and i shouldn't be too hard on myself, and his colleagues just accept his explosions.*

I listened, but also recalled the recent lectures on how i intimidated the team and lost people's willingness to engage in calls. I wondered if the clerk has someone to tell him the truth.

I recall, too, my well appreciated boss of many years telling me that i didn't suffer fools gladly. There was an odd tone in his voice as he told me that: i wonder now if i missed a subtext.

Ah well, one gets older and hopefully keeps learning.

This was after worship, during which i visualized sitting in my meditation garden mandala. In front of me was a black mess of resentment, caused by Friend Easy Going's clerking style which seems to try and pass off all the work to others. "Resentment isn't like aphids," i thought. "I can't just spray soapy water on them. It's not like rot, or like dried out soil." The black mess became a large rock, in the way of my sense of orderly paths in the garden.

What do you do with rocks? My first thought was that you haul them out and make walls out of them. The rock grew bigger, more obviously a rock outcrop, and clearly impossible to move.

Ah, i realized: the rock is not my resentment, i am resenting the rock. The rock is a thing that is. You accept the rock as part of the lay of the land, and shape the garden with that land - not by imposing will on it. (Having a visualized garden it is far too easy to impose will.)

I know now Friend Easy Going is.** I need to accept that this Friend is not likely to change style any time soon, recognize that i will have the details and notes Friend Easy Going will forget to bring, and accept that the Friend has other gifts (much more social, approachable, ... easy going) that i do not. I can use my gifts to help make things smooth.

It's not like i am being misused. (I do wish Friend Easy Going would have more direct language when making requests.)

* And also the clerk let me know that Friend Easy Going has caused others to have issues with the Friend's leadership and that the Friend is aware that better clerking skills would serve all better.

** Christine completes my sentence with "is ... dumb as a rock," but getting others to do the work is not evidence of an inability to articulate.)
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 07:56 pm
We left early this morning to see the locally rare flatfaced calico flower or flatfaced downingia this morning. It's a flower that grows after vernal pools -- water left standing from our rainy season -- dry up. Someone had observed them in a vacant lot, so we followed.

Camera: 8% battery and no image card.

Downingia pulchella

Ah well, the phone is fine. I noticed, mixed in with the downingia, a somewhat scrubby DYC. It resembled a few things i knew to be weeds ... but not quite. I pulled some up to take home to identify.

HOURS later i have every diagnostic documented, but still no ID.

Collection  details

So, i decided this would be my very first botanical collected specimen. I've pressed this one and the second one i collected. What if it was something special? It's a native, at least, as someone on iNaturalist commented, "tricksy rayless lasthenia!"


I also spent another forever with another plant that looked kinda weedy. I ended up looking at all 200+ plants that were perennial wildflowers known growing in wetland areas of the three south bay counties. I found it: Lythrum hyssopifolia. (Limited invasive species.)

The last two flowers i noted on our outing i've decided can stay at genus level identifications.

(Meeting work is, as usual, outstanding.)
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Friday, May 1st, 2015 07:02 pm
Junco keeps visiting the deck as if expecting Beltane festivities.

Hummer visiting the scented geranium. Christine speculates it's wondering about the amazing heating pad.

Finished graphic ... novel? ... The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. More cogs and footnotes than I imagined possible. Truth and fiction dancing together to the progressive chunk-a-chunk of steam powered machinery and the chattering rise and fall of Victorian gossip.

(Hummingbird battle!)

I'm also enjoying Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose by Naomi Shihab Nye again. It was like finding a box of fabulous chocolates unfinished (without the sad dusty bloom old chocolate gets). I can imagine that poetry does go stale, but this poetry has not.

(I think there are three hummers fighting now.)
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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 01:16 pm
Other than the hummingbird....

I returned from Lake County, California in love. I didn't see much of the county, but it felt mountainous and rural, with a pleasant mix of agriculture and wild spaces. It was not terribly far away, and it didn't feel like it was remote and cut off. Zillow and some math revealed that for the same amount as the rent we pay now, i could get a tiny rented room near the office, commute four times a week, and we could pay the mortgage on over an acre with a decent small house. (Basically, i spent one evening and the next morning looking at economic statistics, zillow, zoning regulations, etc.)

Next step: a trip with Christine there.

The training over the weekend was how to scientifically collect plants to be used as specimens for two projects. I've a stack of photos to go through and three different lupines in the fridge. I can't identify to what species another patch of lupines belong from the photo -- that was another evening gone. I was a bit intimidated about the scientific collection with the crowd: i think i need quiet to record data etc.

The other stretch of California i've recently fallen in love with, the Panoche Hills, is in the opposite direction from Lake County's creeks and lakes: it's a patch of desert and near-desert landscape. That's where i'm planning on doing my collecting. I'm very much looking forward to it. Paperwork comes first: i need a permit from the BLM.

I am ... moody ... in an odd way. Part of it is that the land and plant thoughts are not what i am supposed to be doing. What i am supposed to be doing is pleasant enough, but, oh, it is not where my passion is. So there's guilt for being distracted, a bit of blues over whether i would ever be able to devote all my energy to these passions, a sense of procrastination paralysis (again).

Meanwhile, i bought very nice crochet tools (hooks with highly engineered cable attachments, and a nice hard plastic cable) and have found the crochet hook knitting to be harder with the stiff cable instead of the fiber cords. I'm thinking if i sand down the tip of the hook to a point, it may be easier to lift the lace-weight yarn off the cord.
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Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 10:31 pm
I found a stunned and dazed hummer on the sidewalk coming home tonight. We fed him, and kept the cats away. We ended up leaving him alone with nasturtiums filled with nectar on top of a heating pad. Eventually he disappeared, hopefully recovered and refreshed to where ever hummers sleep at night.
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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 03:52 pm
In the world of DUH, a study shows that fact checking "has measurable effects on correcting political misinformation among voters."



However, "The studies also found that the amount of fact-checking journalism produced by American media has increased significantly in recent years." Yay! (And it's about time.)
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 09:35 pm
Retreat went well; returned to find Christine had had a rough weekend (as she took on a massive household task). She did a wonderful job; i'm just so sorry it drained her so. Monday we both recovered.

Today, back at the office for me, feeling i'd been gone longer than i was. Finally did a task which i think of as an anti-flow task, as it was incredibly challenging to get "into" it.

This evening i caught something in the back of my throat after dinner, triggering a coughing spasm. That has wiped me out. The second episode of Wolf Hall was quite engaging - and it was nice to have a linear time line!

My mother says that my Grandmámá is merely enduring, and so i'm pondering the need to take time to see her the next time i fly cross country. Which, all things going as expected, will be in the balmy days of mid July when we celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Oh, to go from NC in mid July to Tampa FL in mid July. Ah shall jus mahelt.

I have become clear that i should practice standing on one leg. I think it will help strengthen my ankles and at least help me have a bit more balance. I do not want to sprain my ankles again.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 06:46 am
on retreat.

Much of the week had the sense of procrastionation-paralysis. I didn't want to spend time sorting out my to do lists because that seemed just like more procrastination, but when i finally did, my mind cleared and what i needed to focus on became obvious. I can hope it was the action of working on the list, but i have a suspicion it was something before that.... It may have been talking about how i was feeling with Christine and her assistance in getting me through a few steps (laundry and a walk).

At work i was poking at learning some things like Linked Data concepts. Friday morning my Boss had questions for me and, after answering, i mentioned i would take off work early in the afternoon to prepare for this trip. "Take the whole day as a comp day" he said, which was wonderfully sweet. Admittedly, i showed up for the team meeting, but i did appreciate taking the time to get things done, including some extra things.

The retreat theme is Practice and Play, and last night we played games. We were terribly few, and there were a few physically challenged folks. It took the coordinator a moment to really surrender her plans, but she eventually did. Presumably, many more folks will show up this morning.

I'm stopping now to make words with marker on construction paper for a mind-map. I'm hoping for some fun as people get tangled in yarn linking the words together. I HOPE the tape holds.

I hope your weekeends go well!