elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, March 30th, 2017 07:22 am
Carrie carried many shoes into the living room overnight and chewed a strap off one of my sandals and one of Christine's shoes overnight. She also took socks out of the bedroom and left them in front of the library, and pulled jeans to the door of the bedroom. It would be adorable if it wasn't so expensive. Christine talks about nominative determinism: i should remind Carrie her name is not "Carry."

I've ordered "bitter apple" spray that should arrive in a week.

Also, i will be trying to not let her sleep all day.

--== ∞ ==--

A black snake slithered out of my way as i was mowing the east yard yesterday -- first snake of the season. The exterminators found mice under the house, so snakes follow. (Actually, we'd seen a snake going under the house when we first moved here.)

Also, when i went out before heading to sleep, fireflies. Fireflies! Already! I don't recall them before June, but i also didn't have the habit of going out every night when i was growing up.

The exterminators gave us a quote for replacing all the vents under the house, around $1500. It seemed wise to get an estimate for sealing off the crawl space as we had pretty serious humidity issues last summer. I was sure it would be over $10k, but it wasn't. So, we'll have the crawl space sealed up and included in the HVAC system. I think it will help reduce Christine's anxieties about snakes under the house, and it should be more efficient. All around a good investment.

--== ∞ ==--

I saw a therapist yesterday. She thinks i'm lonely, and that's affecting my capacity in dealing with Christine's elephants. She's echoed one of my goals for the week and helped chat me through some of the procrastination. It's hard for me to see myself as lonely, but i have been aware that my interactions with people have decreased. Even here with you all.

One insight i had was that i didn't have a clearly social relationship with many of my CA friends. That is, it was either a group gathering, stopping to see someone at work, or in conjunction with Meeting activities. I never had a pattern where they or i reached out directly to each other.

She also loaned me a book about living with someone with one diagnosis of what the elephants may be. Much of the details did not resonate. Christine said when i shared the book that it was a diagnosis that was one of the more unlikely. After reading some of the diagnostic points, i'm leaning towards discarding it as a possibility altogether.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 04:20 am
Is there a graphic novel of a team of superheroic ex-presidents swooping in to the White House to save the country? Reading that George W Bush has lectured the President on the importance of freedom of the press.... Eight years and one month and a week sure puts GWB's tenure in a new light.

"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated." -- President Donald Trump to governors

It's so hard for me to not find this a poorly written comi-drama. Would Pence have had the sister of a transgender woman perform at his inauguration? Yesterday we have singer Jackie Evancho’s sister Juliet winning an injunction against a stirred up school board so that she and two other students can continue going about their education without (additional) stigma -- three days after Trump drops the order that all schools behave in a similar way. The Evancho sisters want to meet with Trump to explain.

I suppose my brain sorts this into "entertainment" because it's a way to cope. Christine was devastated last week by the headlines. Me? I'm here wondering about the next twist in the storyline: will we hear about the chaperones the Evancho parents insist on being in the room, because what sane parent would allow their daughters near that man? Creating a depressingly crude tweet storm about the girls' attractiveness and peppered with slurs against transgender women? Or is it Pence and the evil manipulators invoking The Base? Tune in tomorrow morning when the headlines read.....

It's a distraction.

--== ∞ ==--

Christine's elephant herding skills are so much better than ... well, probably a year ago. Her capacity has expanded. But there are still stampedes. I wish i was able to show her how much "better" she is now. As for me, i felt very worn down, but i also have self care available to me.

Last night i stood on the front walk, quickly shifting out of my own sense of weariness to a sense of wonder as i listened to sounds in the woods. The crashing came closer and closer, the night lit by reflected lights on the overcast clouds - not pitch dark. I wondered if i would see deer or ... and then something dark scurried against the light of the gravel just six feet away and -- as i startled -- disappeared. What was it? It was where we saw the fox tracks in the snow, but i don't think the dark shape was long enough or large enough to be a fox.

I want a game camera.
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Monday, January 30th, 2017 08:33 am
My dreams tend to have surreal landscapes. Last night's involved river-like waters and odd fishing. The night before i dreamed of a new home that had a second cottage attached. I was finally checking out the cottage and it was a maze of additions and ad hoc construction, including a school bus. It was furnished in a weird sort of dollar store luxury, odd dog kennels built in (and then i would see how plastic laundry baskets and towels were involved. And then we discovered that an older women (or women?) still lived in the maze.

I'm not sure why i would want to remember my dreams. I have a strong sense that the visual symbolism is not tightly coupled to the process that is occurring: the seeking and exploring experience seems more significant.

However, sleeping in the past two mornings i actually have snippets to remember, so there's that.

Friday night Carrie and i went over to my sisters, ostensibly to go for a walk. Instead i plopped down and had a few glasses of wine with my sister. Yesterday morning i spent with my sister at my parents, ostensibly to go through a pile of my mother's craft stuff. I cam home with block printing tools and stuff to preserve flowers. My sister: much more stuff.

We also had a long chat with my Dad who remains distressed about his mother's husband, C. C was scheduled to come home from rehab this week, but had yet another stroke. Meanwhile, Dad's mother has been paying all C's bills (including his broker bills), running her into an overdraft state. I think Dad's resolved the urgent part, but he's anxious about getting C's sister to pay his mother back. All in all he's anxious about C and his people exploiting his mother's generosity. (And C is not in need of financial generosity to survive.) (Although Grandmámá's gifts of gold to C ... eyeroll.) The long story of how C has only partially managed his affairs, such as appointing those responsible for financial & health decisions, but not telling them and not being willing to tell my father who they are, just leads to more indignation.
Because now i'm indignant that this man's selfishness and paranoia puts my dad in the uncomfortable situation of being the competent person on the scene with no authority. I know C has accused my dad of being after my grandmother's money, and dealing with such accusations weighs heavily on my father.

And, this is very comfortable middle class money: my grandmother worked for the phone company when it was an monopoly. We're not talking fiscal empires here.

The rest of the afternoon and evening i just relaxed. We did take Carrie for a walk at the walking track at the near by community college.

At home for me, elephants have been a concern. The rest of the clowder have had their own small dramas: Greycie Loo is coming out of the traumatized reaction to her teeth cleaning. Carrie was going to be spayed, but after being left at the vet, it turned out the vet & back up vets were unwell.

I've finally settled up for my road trip with Carrie, reserving places for us to stay. I remain closed up, not reaching out to family other than those here and not reaching out to friends. Hard for me to parse what is going on with that. The governance issues of this country can't be blamed for everything -- yet ....

[and then i had to go about my day]
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 08:54 am
Due to a combination of triggers, elephants had a rough handful of days. Greycie Loo, too, had a tooth cleaning. Between her vet visit and the cleaning it looks like she smashed her face into something breaking a tooth and chipping a few others. Dog scare seems the most likely cause, so i'm feeling a little guilty about that.

A major trigger looms on the horizon for the elephants (and my mother & father, depressingly enough): we'll be clear in two weeks, i expect.

Carrie Dog has a bit of surgery ahead. We did ask about laparoscopic spaying, but, wow, a bit much. I hope Carrie can do some dog park activity before then so we can get an idea of whether she's OK with dog parks. On Tuesday Carrie goes to play with Christine's sister's new puppy: that should be a good outing for them.

I will be talking some time off and have a road trip, just me and the Carrie Dog, so there's that for me to look forward to. It will be just a handful of days after her surgery: i hope we're able to relax and not be stressed about stitches management, etc.

I need to become more attentive to the garden. Seeds have all arrived, it's time to start collards and plant peas. I spent time on the raised bed yesterday: not enough time, due to rain. Today, rain or not, i need to make progress. I've 50 lbs of fescue seed for the orchard, 100 lbs of lime for the garden and, well, everywhere, and some clover seed. It's not natives, but my goal is to defeat the stilt grass. I'd been worried about the chickweed and the hairy bittercress before i ID'ed them: it was clear these were weeds on a mission. They are low growing winter annuals, neither introduced plant is yet considered invasive here. Still, i'll see how much of the chickweed rakes up before putting down the grass seed.

I'm tempted to skip Meeting, but there are donations i need to take for a collection.

I'm doing bits of civic minded work. A small group has organized in my workplace, and i'm setting up the google group etc for them. (I did offer a mailing list that wasn't google, but everyone preferred the tech giant to not.) I'm not sure what i was expecting: maybe with time we can talk about bias in our own workplace. It's more an Indivisible group than a Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) group. Ladt night i listened to a phone call sponsored by the AFSC: https://www.afsc.org/sanctuaryeverywhere I think the concept behind #SanctuaryEverywhere is what i was thinking about with safety pins.

Ugh: just thinking about #SanctuaryEverywhere makes me think about the ComingEvent and the myriad of unpleasant side distractions that are involved. The seed of the ComingEvent is my Grandmámá's 100th birthday: her husband's illness, her husband's family, miscellaneous Florida family, and awareness of less than progressive qualities in Florida all lead to a dampening of enthusiasm around what ought to be a delightful celebration.
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Friday, January 20th, 2017 07:15 am
Wednesday collapsed under the weight of too many concerns. I read  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children sitting on the deck in the sun: it helped. Mental reset. Christine & elephants yesterday and the wee hours this morning. I think once Greycie Loo is back from her teeth cleaning (off to take her in shortly) things may settle here.

Measuring the weight i felt i was carrying, i decided to not attend the Raleigh march and stay home. I suspect i'll end up working outside in the rain, moving dirt.

Carrie Dog is settling in -- which actually means she's less settled. She's getting a bounce in her step and i really wish we could let her off leash in the front yard. She just isn't quite under voice control yet, and she seems attracted to going down the driveway. She's got energy we don't know how to dispel. She's not interested in fetch. Long walks seem like a good plan, and Christine's sister has suggested a local dog park. I'm thinking of trying to tie her out while i work in the yard Saturday.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, January 6th, 2017 07:05 am
Last week, I reflected on managing the demands and stress of being in a caregiving role. I think i am beginning to hear Christine's message to me that we have moved into chronic illness care. While she has gotten better since the acute episodes some years ago, the "getting better" trajectory may not continue.

There's a balance i need to find between hope for continued improvement and sustainability. After writing last week and corresponding with [livejournal.com profile] bobby1933, i asked myself, "What am I attached to?" My plan, was my answer to myself. The "ah-ha" for me (that won't be obvious to anyone else) is for me to recall the bad habits i developed in grad school. In the morning i would say, "I am going to make progress on my dissertation today by doing X!" Get to the lab and there's a crisis with the computer system to address. That crisis might be over by noon, but my inner message was, "Well there goes today! I've been interrupted and can't make progress. I will go read all of Usenet."

In hope, i plan for a morning (my most productive time) that includes Christine at her best. When elephants intrude, i am taken by surprise, and my intention is thwarted. If i don't set intentions, i loose that productive time. The obvious (to everyone else?) and challenging (to me) thing to do is to set the intention with the awareness that interruptions may happen.

Ugh.

Great, universe, thanks for handing me ANOTHER chance to learn this skill.

Wrestling with my issue. )
OK, a vague area for queries for me to carry into the next week.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 02:11 pm
I've been thinking a bit about the Elephant In The Room, and what my needs are.noodling )

So current action plan:

* Stay aware of my sense of balance, and when things tip to where i feel i have to carry more than i should, discuss with Christine;
* feel free to describe how things are going with L (my sister);
* review my self-care activities here.

These include
* continuing to delight in the landscape,
* getting out of the habit of video entertainment every night (I know i'm tired... we're tired... but evening numbing leads to "is this all" feelings),
* having a list of "work outside at twilight" exercise things to do & doing them, and
* interacting with other human beings (camera club, Meeting).

Things i feel i "oughta" but seem fraught with procrastination:
* exercise my ankle and get to a point where i can make some decisions about the need for medical attention or what,
* correspond with western friends and with family, and
* work with Christine as manager in getting photos in local venue.

--== ∞ ==--

On Tuesday i cleaned up a section of our road frontage. There is a small berm of soil right at the edge of the woods. I think it is associated with the power line easement. I like this berm as i suspect it provides a modicum of relief from the road noise. We want to have a visual barrier in that direction (as well as along our eastern perimeter), so my goal is to transplant holly and cedar seedlings to the top of the berm. The road is along the northern boundary of the property, so the shading will be along the road side. There are already some ferns (as yet unidentified) and some fan clubmoss (Diphasiastrum digitatum) growing on the north side of the bank, exposed to the road: they should continue to thrive in the shade of hollies and cedars.

I dug up two cedars (Juniperus virginiana) from the edge of the driveway and installed them on the berm -- much closer than the 10' spacing http://www.windbreaktrees.com/redcedar.html recommends. Well, i can always thin them. And it's much further apart than where they sprouted.

I was delighted to find many holly (Ilex opaca) and more cedar seedlings in the woods behind the berm. I'd like to get some Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria): it's a native of the coastal plain, a traditional tea plant that has caffeine. Somewhere i read it is the only caffeine bearing plant native to North America. Yerba mate is in the same genus.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 10:22 pm
Christine has taken steps to manage the elephants, so wrangling after stampedes may be easing again.

And then the air conditioning went out. Today was ok, though, as we kept shut up. I miss how it would cool off in the California evening. Tomorrow will be tough: hopefully the repair folks will be able to make it by 9:30.

One hen turkey and  ten teen turkeys were in the east yard today. Looked like they were vacuuming up bugs. I wish i knew how i could keep them at it. Apparently, "High-quality turkey habitat will support one bird per 30 acres or a flock of 18 to 20 turkeys per square mile." They can have all the black walnuts & hickory nuts they want. (Although how on earth can a turkey get into a hickory nut?)

I am really going to have to plant LOTS if i want any of whatever it is: i have lots of neighbors to share with.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 07:19 pm
Monday the elephants in the room were spooked into a stampede; yesterday was much unrest. I hope that there will be a lessening of distress today.

It's also miserable outside. There was a lovely drop in temperature as a storm came through, but by the time work was over, the tempts had regained ten degrees. I've really grown to appreciate doing things outside after work. It's just that even though it's five degrees cooler by 7 pm, the heat index was still 107 °F.

I went outside just before bed. Either it's too hot for the fireflies or they have all settled down: the light show has drawn to a close. The concert, though -- i wondered if it was louder than earlier this summer.  
I've just found several websites that may act as guides for me to sort through the katydids, crickets, and tree frogs that make up the massive chorus.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, June 11th, 2016 07:49 pm
Today was spent driving back and forth.

First was to the dump and a stop at the thrift store (successfully finding a small bin for some of the recycling), and then a stop at the co-op for microbrews (to offer to my sister and her husband) and PBR for my dad. Christine purchased a card for her brother and the bagger forgot to bag it.

So there was the return to get the card.

Then, given various challenges in trying to flush sediment from my water heater there were several trips to the local big box hardware store (only five minutes away, thank heavens). My current conclusion is that the spigot on the heater is stripped. I've found a partial solution at Amazon, and will need to return to the big box store for a hose clamp (unless an appropriate one is lurking in the tool box).

Christine's elephants traveled with us and today was fraught with some elephant tending.

More youtube watching plans involve how tos on finding the distribution box of the septic tank and pouring copper sulfate in to kill roots that have invaded any septic lines.

I am resisting both an interview about HB2 with Christine & her filmmaker sister tomorrow morning and going to Meeting. I probably *ought* to go to Meeting, but i will go to worship outside, waiting and listening.

We've been here for two weeks and a few days -- and our stuff hasn't been here for a week yet. There's still no good rhythms yet. We're quite tired.
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Friday, April 22nd, 2016 07:02 pm
I had a panicky few moments earlier today. I think i am overwhelmed by the things i am behind on at work. And of course that leads to more procrastination.

Christine is dealing with the elephants as well as all the move stuff and the coping with HB2 stuff, so i miss her. I know that things have been getting better and that they will be better, but unfortunately i feel a negative feedback loop starting with my own stress.

In NC HB2 injustice news, Christine is getting her birth certificate changed. She has two choices: leave the name as is (Christopher) or change to her legal name -- which is a different last name since she took mine. This is very distressing for her: she'd like to just change her first name. Actually the whole thing is distressing, this is just salt-in-open wound distressing.

In good news, we do have an agreement with the sellers, which includes some fixes (the siding, the moisture barrier under the house) and there's a credit to cover the clearing of the septic field. We're also going to need to get someone to move a bedroom set from my folks place to our new place. My grandmother bought it while she was living with them. It's a dark brown wood: my mother, who is not as confident as she used to be about details speculated it was walnut. It's in a simple Georgian style with Chippendale style drawer pulls. This colonial/Georgian style is what i grew up with, and therefore contempt has been bred. However, after pricing real furniture, the fact it is free and not Ikea is making the decision to say yes easy. I'm still pouting, though, as i spent too much time adoring this Amish Arts & Craft/Mission style furniture.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 07:15 am
I dreamed office HQ was eight hours of driving away. Did the basin and range and the rockies disappear? At least dream geography got I-80 correct.

My new year is in the spring, the beginning of March with my birthday. I've tried to use January and February as a dreaming time, a time to evaluate and set course. I'm not sure i want to change course this year, though.

The Elephant in the Room has been an overwhelming aspect of the past few years. We're in a phase where Christine is slowly assembling a vessel from shattered pieces of the past. I can see the progress, remember when all there were were shattered pieces. I know she's making progress, but it's still a difficult task.

I note that, because i feel aware of how the antidepressants i use cut me off from a treasured part of myself. Maybe i will see about reducing the medications, replacing with caffeine as necessary. Still, i make significant effort to keep an even keel with the Elephant in the Room shifting its weight unpredictably. I trust that the antidepressants keep my resources available to me and provide a type of predictability.

The focus on building habits, finishing projects, releasing the things we've accumulated that marked last year still seem valuable. I can't help but start new creative efforts, but the scope seems more focussed.

One lesson of the past year is that i am incredibly challenged when it comes to developing habits of doing things. I think it was a year ago i tried starting some basic intentional habits of the sort that most people have had since they were small children. I must still make a conscious effort.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 06:15 am
Within the last week, mornings were cool enough that I felt the need to start warming up the teapot before making tea in it. Now we have a heat wave and i wish i'd made tea the night before.

I've started watching The Newsroom with Christine, an Aaron Sorkin show. I've decided that Aaron Sorkin's next series should be The School Board: plenty of chance for human relationships and drama, plus plenty of opportunities for sermons on democracy. I like that about Sorkin's work. The Newsroom has two narrative threads about relationships that are approaching tedious. I do like how they've characterized the man the young woman will probably leave for the other guy: he's not bad or obviously abusive. Instead he's just a bit patronizing, certain he's doing important work, and missing chances to affirm her work.

We watched Titanic over the weekend and the aristocratic fiancé of the female romantic lead was just awful, over the top. Although i suppose the whole movie was over the top. Back to Sorkin, it is nice to see the guy to be left behind in a romanic triangle have "normal" behaviors held up for scrutiny, as opposed to obvious abusiveness.

--==∞==--

I spent much of the weekend researching my Grandmámá's amazing life, starting with the lumber mill in Brazil at which she spent her first five years.

A friend of mine met Grandmámá recently and heard her share some of those early Brazil stories. Afterwards my friend noted how amazing was Grandmámá's life -- and how caught up in the imperial extraction machinery of the early 20th century was her life. And it really was. I suppose i can stretch that thread across and connect it to how she supported herself working for Ma Bell as an adult: from that imperialist extraction era to the communication era?

--==∞==--

Much of the blues faded away and i have concluded that they were rooted in my endocrine system more than anything else. On Sunday i felt a clear sense that it is time to move forward with some things where i have been in a bit of a holding pattern due to elephants.

I explained the elephant metaphor in July 2014, but elephant care has been very heavy this summer. I'm not quite sure when it got as heavy to carry as it did. In February of this year Christine was still able to cope to a certain extent, but at some point in the spring -- she might point to when her tooth broke as the tipping point -- elephant issues became the overriding concern of the house.

It seems with the fading of summer and the arrival of cooler weather, i have a sense that i could breathe deeply again, no longer hold my breath. This heat wave, i have to remind myself, is not directly related to the issues of elephants, and i can still breathe deeply again.
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Monday, August 24th, 2015 05:11 pm
In more selling off the china news (I suppose this is tedious to read about, but it's a bit of an adventure for me):
Read more... )
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 06:18 am
Lessee.

I took Friday off for Mental Health. We drove straight over the Santa Cruz mountains on tiny windy roads, myself at the wheel, no rush. Lunch in Pescadero, not at famous Duarte's (thirty minute wait) but at the Country Store restaurant up the street. Then to Bean Hollow State Beach where we meditated on the waves and i visited tide pools.

I've bid on two sets of gold flatware to go with the china. One set is won, and that will cover the tea set and the six settings without tea cups. Another set looks to be almost won at a sweet agreeable price. I've bought the matching linens. Soon the fashion photography will begin.

It looks like mis-matched china teasets are going for hundreds of dollars on etsy. Hopefully, the additional elements i'm adding will get the premium price i am hoping for.

I didn't attend Meeting but did some research on visioning process for Meeting as well as some discussions about elephant herding with Christine.

Work starts in fifteen minutes with conference calls for a standards group outside work.

Before we begin the home buying process in earnest here in California, i believe i will be asking my directory and manager whether i could keep my job if we moved to NC. This sort of timing issue would be gone then, and we wouldn't be buying on the Hayward fault (and probably within reach of sea level rise).
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Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 07:07 am
Woe. I've some sinus infelicity and hope this has resolved before my planed flight east later in the month.

Meanwhile, the construction has begun next door. Bang, bang, bang. It is driving home the knowledge of our neighbor's forced departure.

We investigated our our-of-network health claims today. I now wonder if my calculations about going to the more expensive insurance were correct: it turns out that the charge for service is only considered up to the medicare contracted fee. Thus, 40% of the out-of-network provider fee is totally ignored. Back to the spreadsheet. [Edited to add: whew, we still come out ahead paying for the more expensive insurance that subsidizes out of network providers.]

I'm fighting my sweet cravings with carrot chips. I just found a second bag in the fridge, so apparently it's my intent to fight, at least.

I had my first self therapy session today. That is, i sat down and wrote what i would say if i was visiting a therapist. It was useful. I probably haven't been journalling as much as i used to because i don't feel free to write about the elephant in the room here. Writing in a private venue, imagining i was talking to a therapist, helped me process. The best parts were not having a commute and not having to give a long background. At the end of the session i was clear that what i am dealing with is loss. Having that frame helps.
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Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 05:41 am
And then there were four.

Four cats, as our neighbor's big, orange cat Luigi joins our clowder. He's been spending days with us for the past several weeks, so the distress in the household was minimized. Nonetheless, i did not have a restful night's sleep. I'm not sure how much was feline activity and how much was just me. It feels like the apartment failed to cool in the night, as well.

Mr M is terribly frail, but i believe his great purring heart will be with us for some while. It's hard to tell how Mr M is taking it: it seems his universe is very small. Every now and then he has realized something was up (ie: there's another cat), and there have been a handful of full hissyfits. Christine used a pillow shield in the first fit. Mr M attacked it with serious purpose, and, considering how many times Mr M has bit me when distracted from his target of protective fury, one course of antibiotics was avoided. I think Luigi has rapidly realized that he out weighs Mr M substantially and he seems pretty calm.

Greycie Loo is indignant (which is nearly her common state). She's hissing her displeasure in Luigi's general direction. She's also sharp as a tack, and i think she'll negotiate this with skill.

Since Edward and Luigi have been playing together for years, Edward seems to barely notice the change.

Christine grieves the change. Out neighbor has lived here longer than we have. While we have not been close, we have been supportive of each other.

How am i? I don't really know. The past month or so, i've been loosing myself in books and have generally felt rather detached with a general anhedonia. I think i'm in a coping mode as Christine is distressed by this change and other issues. Some travel to see family looms on the horizon, and i can't see much beyond that. If anything, the long days have gotten in the way of rest as dinner has been occurring as it gets dark, with a dose of video entertainment after that.

I think i need to be journaling more. I'm recording a great deal, but somehow the daily "moodscope" exercise is not as potent. Yes, there's the immediate gratification of seeing a score with moodscope, and there are up and down variations -- but i'm not certain of the value. It's faster than journaling, but in juggling all the little recordings and such perhaps i can say i must do moodscope or LJ journaling every morning (ie: i can skip one if i do the other) with at least three moodscopes and three journal entries a week.

I recall the high i had from learning a bit of python: i've been denying myself that as i make sure all the analysis that is needed is covered. I think i will pick it up some today.

In other aspects of my back to the command line experience, blah blah to do lists in evernote and in emacs org-mode )
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Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 09:07 pm
Woo! Programming! Woo!

I have a buzz from refactoring. Also, i think i've demonstrated my insanity because i have a dictionary of dictionaries that are made up of list of two items, one of which is a dictionary, and the other is a list. It probably ought to be an object.

This is the first i've done object oriented programming. The programming i did in graduate school was FORTRAN or C written like it was FORTRAN. And tons of hack-like scripts.

It's also the first i've been able to just WORK on something days on end.

I'm a little disoriented but delighted.

--==∞==--

I am often doing a doodle journal in the evening and i would love to share -- but getting it off my iPad onto DW/LJ in a size that will not torture folks is apparently not a common thing. I may have just found an app (named "Resize Image") and will give it a go.

--==∞==--

Elephants do stampede periodically. I continue to have faith that his will become less of a concern with time: currently it takes up a large fraction of my attention and emotional space.

--==∞==--

Tomorrow we will have a celebration at work for two folks who have been with the organization 35 years and another who has been 20 years. Next April will be my 15th anniversary. (When the minnow and the whale merged, our hire dates transferred.) I am so glad for caterers because i really don't think i have the mood to put on a party. Being involved in planning tomorrow's party and the 50th anniversary party for my parents in a month is definitely pushing some of my limits. Fussing over presentation and decorations just isn't where my mind and heart are.

--==∞==--

I've reconnected with a friend from graduate school. I'm chatting with her on my ride home from work once a week. It's good to be catching up: i think both of us had a dark stretch and have simultaneously come out into the light. I might get to see her in a month.
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Friday, June 12th, 2015 07:28 am
I'm going to get to attend the American Librarian Association meeting in San Francisco at the end of the month. I'll go up with a friend and colleague on Friday and knock around, and then Saturday i have a schedule of meetings and events about privacy to attend.

I'm hoping it will be fun and not too overwhelming.

We finally have warm days. Monday was downright HOT, and it seemed unfair to be thrown into the furnace after so many mild days. Today is simply going to be pleasantly warm, but the power company is calling for a saving day where we should reduce our power. We did have a drizzly day on Wednesday: so delightful, so needed. Tonight i hope to sit on the deck and enjoy a balmy evening into the night.

We watched the documentary series The Century of the Self over the past few weeks. It shows how propaganda, public relations, and advertising developed over the century. Intentionally, Americans were encouraged to focus on their desires and fears over the century, and one can easily see so much of what is problematic - the waste, the over-consumption, the lack of concern for others and lack of civic-mindedness - as a result. We're also watching the Roosevelt documentary, and it does provide a sense of the difference, the before. Corporate greed was well entrenched, but the progressive spirit of both Teddy Roosevelt and FDR was well connected to the progressivism of the culture. I can't imagine what the Tea Party would brand Teddy Roosevelt. (I'll admit a certain ... squeamishness around his attitude toward the constitution.)

I'm left with questions of how well can i guard myself against the self satisfaction culture.

Elephants are coming and going. Some days feel like a stampede and then some days it seems they are gone. My record-keeping failed in the past weeks when it seemed my brain went on a long vacation to Liad as i read book after book, so it's hard for me to verify my perceptions.
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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.