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Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 07:30 am
On the weighing heavily on me list: elephants, humidity, overcast skies. Less heavy, but in mind: therapy and the discussion regarding the word "lazy." Procrastination on filing receipts at work. And a need to schedule travel.

In the lightness column: blister is much less uncomfortable and less weepy.

In the greatest entertainment news: bunnies! I noticed rabbits racing around at 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday and they continued until after 5 pm. I think i would have noticed them before this if this is usual behavior. I did notice herbivory on the lettuce when i returned from Baltimore so perhaps they were around last week. It still seems like a sudden invasion. The deer are out in the late afternoon as well.

My cell phone has been cranky about charging, probably due to me being not gentle enough with the micro USB plugs. I know that i could get a new phone, but i'd rather wait until the next release to upgrade. I've made it this far with the screen damage from Carrie teething on it: i'd like to make it longer.

So yesterday's distraction was purchasing a wireless Qi charger for the phone. And, because of the additional annoyances i have with charging i bought the wirecutter-recommended 4-outlet USB charge adapter and some appropriate cables. This should slightly ease travel in mid June. In Baltimore i found myself trying different adapters in different outlets looking for a combination that would reliably charge the iPad. I'm hoping this adapter will cope with phone (USB A to micro to Qi), laptop (USB A to USB C), iPad (USB A to lightning), and watch (USB A to micro to Qi, but NOT the same Qi that the phone uses because that would be too simple).

My favorite shopping discovery was a four USB port adapter with a built in watch charger and the warning to only charge three things at a time or risk overheating. I'm assuming this was discovered AFTER going to market....
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Friday, May 18th, 2018 06:23 am
Long ago applications of bile and current repercussions. )

Part of the dwelling on my mom's shaping of me as a child is that i am currently wrestling with the word "lazy." What does lazy mean, any way? )

I do note that i've reduced my SSRI prescription to a roughly 60% level (alternating between a 3/4 dose and a half dose). I think that instead of tapering down again next week, i will stay at this level another week.
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Thursday, March 29th, 2018 09:36 am
John Bowlby, the psychologist who led the work on attachment theory, said the way we view the world is based on our early experience with our caregivers.

We build up a picture of how the world of relationships works from the way they respond to our needs. We then use that template to interpret new relationships. We start to make assumptions about what we can expect from others, and even what we deserve.

The good news is that once we become aware of our default patterns, we can take action to change our behavior and move toward forming more secure attachments.

In discussion with my therapist SF yesterday focussed my frustration at not getting responses to people and contacting others. It's an old issue, but one that, living here in my hermitude, i feel i ought to be even better about. (It's unlikely i will bump into someone and catch up by accident.)

On thing we discussed is that i have an element of rebelling against the "ought." SF directed me to my mother, and yes, my mother's interactions with people are all very "ought" and duty driven. Despite her great desire to create lovely holidays and festive meals, i don't recall her ever being present and engaged with a gathering much past where she has to sit down and also eat, or the ritual of passing out gifts at Christmas. She and dad had their own coffee drinking ritual, and in the immediate family, i saw her present in that time with him (and in the inevitable arguments). But no model for communication and connection being anything other than a duty.

We also discussed how i feel when forgotten. There's a delight, a sweetness when i am remembered. I hate hate hate the Facebook birthday thing, where Facebook alerts everyone that it's your birthday and there is a cascade of "happy birthdays". Why that is different from someone having a calendar reminder, i'm not honestly sure. I have pretty mixed feelings about the cash or gift card gift, but in a way that's all tied up in the duty bit: if i give you a $25 gift certificate and you give me a $25 gift certificate.... Anyhow there's a generosity that i think i am missing, that i think echoes back to lessons such as my mother's lecture about what we had to provide guests at a wedding reception in compensation for the gifts received. (I'm sure this was no different than earlier lessons.) And here i've digressed from what i feel when forgotten, which is -- i don't remember any pain or hurt around that. What i remember is the complex calculus of what being remembered obligates me to.

Where i'm going to try to focus now is on how the other person *feels*. I will dismiss my inclination to try to be focused and centered in giving the attention i want to give, because that focuses again on me. I'm going to take what i've learned from Christine and from friends here: most people feel bad when they aren't acknowledged and replied to. They probably appreciate the acknowledgement and are less likely to be engaging in some judgmental calculus. So respond in a way that lets them know (clumsily, maybe! casually!) that i care for them and appreciate them. On my reminders and todo lists, i'll change the entry from something that makes me focus on a task and instead on my intention.

I described myself as self-centered in therapy, thinking about how i view interactions. I appreciated how SF let me sit with that without steering me away, despite our work on trying to get me not to beat myself up over not getting things done (right). There's a different quality to that insight.

I'm not sure how to balance this with feeling overwhelmed. Maybe i won't let ... well, i was going to say, "obligations pile up," but that then looks at interactions as a duty.
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Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 07:08 am
I'm trying to come out of a turned inward paralysis phase. I think i'm beginning to recognize a sort of pattern of behavior with a variety of habits dropped and a resistance to interacting with others. There's a procrastination/paralysis mind set: a noise of "must do mumble, don't wanna do mumble, let me distract myself" where the actual avoided activity is not clear. It's vague and all encompassing, so the usual advice of "small steps" and teasing out what i am afraid of is a challenge.

I made myself go to Meeting for Business and Worship on Sunday.

I'm trying to resurrect my todo list from a week of just throwing things on, resurrect a few self care habits.... it's harder because 2017 was marked by not doing these things and i was finally feeling the opening that getting back to the habits creates when i slipped.

I recognize this pattern as "depression" and "procrastination" but i think i'm going to start calling it the paralysis pattern. That sort of unloads the history and baggage.

February's not a great month in general, and it's been more grey than i've seen in years. (NC drought followed CA drought.) While i appreciate the beauty of "dreary" days, the boost of energy is missing. Finally, Christine's therapists said to her that the people she saw who had the "crud" in January are suffering a low energy period now, so there's that, as well.

So writing this is moving through the paralysis. A step.
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Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 06:46 am
Yesterday's grey skies put me in mind of firming up plans for a rain garden. We finally had enough rainfall for me to see the effects of the new drainage pattern: i'm pleased. So i spent too much time looking at native plants that might happily exist in such a place. I have found a nice selection of blue flowered plants that should presumably keep color from April through October. I'm hoping to have the location picked out and marked by the time we have the folks come to grade the orchard (and get up all the roots). Digging down a foot by hand in this clay for 78 square ft isn't an exiting prospect.

My punishment for distracting myself was that when i took a few moments on the "most important thing" and i tried to steer it in a more expected direction, it looked like i was a major contributor when we met later in the day.

This is like when i would procrastinate in grade school, then rush the project, and get an A at the end. My therapist is encouraging me to see this as my way of being, and well YES it is. Abstractly, it is a optimization for pleasure and efficiency. I manage to leave just enough time to get the thing done; as long as the procrastination time is spent on something productive from some point of view maybe it's good. But from another point of view, it's cheating. Someday i hope to be able to be paid to play with native plants, but that's not what's going on now. And from yet another point of view, part of it is that the project that i had set to work on and was procrastinating on is being mis-led and i'm not entirely sure we're doing what is asked.

Listening to some of the folks dither on in the meeting ... i just dunno that anyone is taking it seriously.

Christine brought home Chinese food for dinner, but did not have time to eat any herself. It was delicious. Hmm, this recipe makes frying the tofu for General Tso's Tofu sound like it's not a deep fryer sort of situation. Hmm.

Then we went off to a screening of Christine's sister's documentary in Chapel Hill. The theater is one of these schmancy better-than-your-living-room, QR code to order and have delivered to your seat sorts of places with assigned seats. Perplexing. Mistaking the orientation of the seating map, my sister and her kids thought she would be seated behind us on the back row, but was instead in the very front on the loungiest seats. During the Q&A i slipped in to sit with them.

Everyone gushes so afterwards, and i just want to curl up in a ball and hide. I think i am rather comfortable being with one or two people, whom perhaps i don't know that well, and being vulnerable. Or typing my vulnerability. But i think i know i would be too honest. Listening to Christine deftly answer folks' questions, i realize i would blurt out things that are not ready. She was asked about her brother, and she was honest that his discomfort with her continued. She did not give the concrete example of the very hurtful way he excluded her from all the scarf Yule gift to the other women of the sibling group, clearly communicating that he doesn't see her as a woman. And when the conversation went to the culture wars and how one feels, Christine could point our her privileged and the vulnerability of so many other transwomen -- instead of sharing how vulnerable it feels to know how easy it is to find our address if someone wants to act out their rhetoric towards her/us.

I know we're not alone in our fear: a local potter commented about her fear of having her shop set on fire if the wrong people learned she was a married lesbian.

Apparently the film will stream on Amazon soon, and it's going to be on UNC TV's North Carolina channel on Feb 7 at 10 pm with repeats the next day. And apparently it will be streaming on the UNC PBS website? I'm fuzzy on that.

People are very sweet to me after, acknowledging my support for Christine. The story told doesn't share how she helped me become a person who could be authentic, who escaped the game playing of her family. Christine held up a mirror to me that gave me an undistorted (at least, less distorted) reflection of myself, correcting the extreme monster-princess view i was given growing up.
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Friday, December 29th, 2017 07:27 pm
In other weather news, the trail camera said it was 5°F when the doe wandered past at 1 am.

I've placed an Amazon order for additions to my little greenhouse: seedling germination heating mats, a temperature logger with internal and external sensors, and a remote controlled outlet thing that will let me turn off the heating easily.

I already have a temperature sensor, but without a guide as to the external temperature, i was left with a mystery of whether there was any "greenhouse effect" going on at all. The historical temperature logs i could find were far enough away that i had no idea as to whether it was appropriate for my location. With three sensors i can measure the bottom of the greenhouse, the top of the greenhouse, and outside. Then i can get an idea of how effective running a lightbulb is in there and so on.

When i say "greenhouse" i mean a 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse, 27" Long x 18" Wide x 63" High thing. It's not big, but it's enough. Unfortunately

(Oh, my, the temporary greenhouses.... I could shelter a dwarf orange and Meyer lemon on the west side of the garage some day, as well as the little avocado tree if it survives....)

Meanwhile, i decided i was taking today as a vacation day when i failed to really get going. Instead i was pretty focused on going through a virtual stack of "to do" items to look for any urgent and important items, to remove items i know i've done, and to leave the rest for a miraculous time when i might consider them.
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Friday, November 10th, 2017 07:18 am
Me: OK, i am ready to stop the 
       Voice: malingering 
Me: [thin lipped silence]
Me: I am ready to engage in 
       Voice: no you're not. Go play suduko. Read the NYTimes. 
   Perky: Hey, let's play "SILOS"!
       Voice: Give me a break.
Me: I'm not sure where you're from perky, but OK. 

Narrator: "SILOS" is a mnemonic for a list of reactions to pessimistic 

  Perky: So, is there a silver lining to the distractability this week?
Me  &  Voice: [together] NO.
  Perky: [Looks a little taken aback at Voice's participation.]
  Perky: Um, well, i'm going to write down something about, say, the 
         change of seasons and daylight savings time and -
Me: That's a silver lining?
  Perky: [Looking a little defeated] Well, you know, cycles of nature -
       Voice: I knew this would be a was-
Me: [Cutting Voice off] Right. Good to have a embodied reminder of the
    wheel of the year and the need to slow down. OK. What's next? I...?
       Voice: [Rolls eyes, slumps against the wall, looks bored]
  Perky: [Looking relieved]: Yes, right I... um, I stands for um 
    initiative? No, ummmm...
Me: [Opens notes and reads] SILOS: (look for a) Sliver lining, (re)
    Interpret, Learn, (identify) Opportunities, (is something) 
  Perky: OK, how do we reinterpret the week of -
       Voice: MALINGERING.
Me: Let's leave that for last. 
  Perky: [Relieved]
       Voice: You are really going to encourage this one to stay?
Me: [Glares at Voice]
  Perky: [Looks at Me, is encouraged] OK, then what can we learn from
         this past week?
Me: One, reading a novel doesn't always reset my brain. Two, i don't 
    like paperwork and i'm not well motivated to fill out the conflict
    interest forms to serve -
       Voice: Do more work and attend more meetings.
Me: Well - [deep breath] - right. I don't like doing work that makes me 
    review the month either
       Voice: because you do squat
  Perky: [Looks encouragingly at me]
Me: because i am insecure about how much i do. [Pause] This isn't new.
  Perky: Try a little more.
Me: [Pours more tea and looks out at the sunlight]
Me: Oh how i have missed having sunlight!
  Perky: How about you've learned that if you don't keep track of 
         minimal day-to-day status, it's hard to judge if there's 
         remnants of monthly cycles affecting your energy levels.
       Voice: [Looks suspiciously at Perky, under breath] That one is 
              sounding more confident. What gives?
Me: Sure. If i want to thrive, i need to be more clear on what these 
    cycles are. So, knowing today would be sunny helped a little in 
    being patient with the moodiness this week. Whether it was hormones
    or light, the moodiness would shift.
  Perky: Right, this is shifting to reinterpretation.
Me: ok, let me try from the top: 

So, it's been a week of patiently waiting out my lack of motivation and energy. The lack is possibly due to a "perfect storm" of time change, rainy grey weather, and possibly monthly cycle remnants. Last Friday we used some time management tools that put us on a faster pace than was comfortable. Yesterday we used the same tools and managed not to oppress our self with them. Instead of rushing into the race again, i should ease into today, laying a groundwork for effectiveness next week. I shouldn't look to do two weeks of work next week, but just a reasonable amount.

It's worth noting grey bleaknesses can reoccur frequently in the next months. This was a preview in a clear moment, perhaps thankfully when i didn't have deadlines making me miserable. So, maybe there's some way i could take advantage of bright days and prioritizing paper work and other miserable crap on those days, so end of the month reporting is done in small bites when i'm more energized.
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Thursday, November 9th, 2017 07:39 am
I'm occasionally thinking about whether in 30 years we can make the attic space into a nice studio or one bedroom apartment and have live in elder care. I find myself speculating that my dad might still be around but my mother not: would we offer him a room to live with us? I wonder too, if i might be widowed. I think it could be a nice place for someone: i'd encourage them to have pets, because at some point i'm not going to want to take on the responsibility of new pets. I have high hopes for what the property will be like in thirty years: chestnuts and filberts, fruit trees, and happy garden soil. Lovely walking trails through the woods.

--== ∞ ==--

Tuesday's gloom got to me at the end of the day. Monday's gloom defeated me by afternoon. Oh daylight, i miss you. Christine had gone out to talk to a potential client and then see a film with her sister.

I did take Carrie for a quick jaunt at lunch down the gravel road across from our driveway. Not enough to really use up her energy, so there was much squeaking of a squeaky toy all evening.

Wednesday wasn't much better, i felt defeated by midafternoon. Sunlight returns tomorrow. I'm hoping that part of my lack of motivation and general surrender is due to some hormonal remnant of my monthly cycle, that has otherwise ended.
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Monday, November 6th, 2017 09:45 am
I didn't really notice the "extra" hour yesterday, so i think i took it as sleep. I did notice it getting dark far too early. Fie.

Yard work included: planting three potatoes that had sprouted in the cabinet, tilling up most of a bed and seeding it with greens, then divided some of the "Green and Gold" and "Robin's Plantain" -- both low growing plants in the aster family -- and spread them out some more in the "tapestry lawn" area. I look out and can see the Seminole pumpkin spreading madly everywhere. It's 150 square feet of vine, at least. I'm pondering where i will plant squash next year. It did work quite nicely under the corn, which was the plan, but it's taking far longer than the corn did. It's success in growing over the "lawn" leads me to speculate on a totally different bed for it next year.

I'm jealously looking at the shaded area under two crepe myrtle trees and wondering about veggies *there.* On the other hand, i haven't kept all the beds i have in cultivation, yet, so i shouldn't be too greedy yet.

I'm not doing a very good job getting going this morning. Not sure what that is about. Some function of overcast skies and the time change, although the time change would argue for an earlier start rather than a late.

I'll post this and then do some writing as therapy for the paralysis. I've gone out and picked greens and had an early lunch and i still feel stalled.
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Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 11:43 am
Past EG tried hard to get a post written, but was trying to do many other things. Current EG thanks Past EG for TRYING and recognizes that there are too many things at top of mind. Current EG hopes future EG will be happy that Current EG is writing a weird post at least.

The above time twisting note based on a practice suggested in the NYT (see below).

It's been wet and cool and autumnal: it's delightful. I don't know if my seedlings are going to be able to make any progress, but they will be hardened off enough to make it through the chance of frost in the early hours of Monday.

I used my archived journal entries in reviewing a practice i engaged in 2005. I certainly found more time to journal then. I realize that i have my evernote archives now, that have daily logs and topical logs and all sorts of recordings.... Having the evernote logs is certainly useful for pulling to-dos and such out of this venue, but, then again, i'd like to participate more in the day to day sharing.

Fortunately, my noon meeting has been cancelled, yay, so i can keep trying to whittle down the list of things whirling in my head. Today's XKCD speaks to me. Erm, Monday's.:
    [Megan is sitting and looking at a laptop.] 
    Megan: I started the day with lots of problems. 
    Megan: But now, after hours and hours of work, 
    Megan: I have lots of problems in a spreadsheet. 
    Title text: I started off with countless problems. 
    But now I know, thanks to COUNT(), that I have
    '#REF! ERROR: Circular dependency detected’ problems.

Herrera, Tim. “Your Best Tips for Beating Procrastination.” The New York Times, July 23, 2017, sec. Smarter Living. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/23/smarter-living/your-best-tips-for-beating-procrastination.html.
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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.


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.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 07:17 am
For some reason, it feels warmer outside today, even though the thermostat reads a bit warmer in the house. I suppose it's something to do with slight humidity levels. I'm on the deck, listening to the wind in the trees. We are promised a rain storm today, very welcome. I've a big pile of brush we cleared on Saturday that needs to be disposed of, which is by burning it here, out in the woods. I'm learning NOT to burn to ash but to stop at a char stage, and then use the charcoal/biochar in the garden. The ash is a fine amendment for our acid soil, but i can get lime for that.

My compost is in the red zone this morning, which is finally up in the pathogen and seed killing temperature. Huzzah. 

I need to make a new place for composting: the current location is too visible. I fantasize about creating a woven (wattle) screen around the area. It's not like i'm wanting for materials. The autumn olive branches are very flexible, and it would be nice to put them to use.

--== ∞ ==--

List of things i'm procrastinating over:
communication with extended family and friends
getting my to-do list back into order after a month of ignoring it
getting engaged with Meeting
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 08:44 am
LIFO, Last in-first out, is in my impression an "anti-pattern" for personal effectiveness. Get to the requests that came in first, respond to the oldest emails, etc.

I'm not 100% certain of that. I have grown to appreciate that opportunities are constantly making themselves available, and i periodically strike off old to-dos ("punt"), file old emails (email and comment bankruptcy), and in general focus on the present. So, that's what i tried to do this morning to get myself going instead of the "read the whole internet" strategy that i have been employing lately.

I must say, Usenet kept me fixated MUCH LONGER than the internet does today. I suppose the surfeit of choice makes me more picky. Facebook is excluded from my "read the internet," so that removes all sorts of trivia. I do have an extensive list of web comics, but they are optimized -- i have reading lists for each day of the week, and i simply open all the tabs in my bookmarks to have a cascade of amusing reading to do. I've added various local news sources that don't have RSS feeds.

--== ∞ ==--

Oh oh oh my soil tests are in!!

Fairly acid, pH 5.5. Potassium is good, but it seems like there's very little phosphorus. The report is given as an index, and the lawn area reports very very high phosphorus. I don't know if the index is so different because of the difference in planned planting (a grass that doesn't like being over fertilized vs a vegetable garden) or if the previous owners fertilized the fenced in lawn area to death. The area near the lawn, that has been the target of much of our clearing, i specified would be for apples. It took seems to have an extremely low phosphorous rating.

I want to find out if tobacco cropping leaves phosphorus depleted soils. That might hint at the land's history.

ETA Hrm, this 1927 report http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/tobacco_bulletins/tb_7.pdf says tobacco is not a heavy phosphorus feeder.
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Sunday, March 8th, 2015 06:35 am
One might argue that the time i spent grooming my Evernote tags (merging tags that meant about the same thing, making consistent the use of "." or ": and all caps vs lower case) was not so much procrastination as all i could manage thanks to the onset of daylight savings time. However, procrastination is occurring. I've created a yam for myself for no good reason, except that summarizing the State of the Meeting is daunting. Apparently i'm expecting a great deal from myself.

I have a nagging feeling that there is a third person to whom i want to send condolences. I dug the cards out last night, but i can't recall the third. THERE, flashes the memory. It's someone whose husband died unexpectedly about the same time Christine's mother died.

I'm just catching up, i think, from the winter with its additional blues this year. All the "ticklers" and "to dos" are in order now. There is a deep pile of physical paper and a backlog of email, but I'm nibbling at it. And if i did the procrastination-causing task, a nice chunk of emails would be covered.

I guess it's time to do that task. What foot dragging!
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Thursday, December 11th, 2014 04:11 pm
The Mercury News coverage of the storm notes that there's been unusually light traffic: my colleagues and i are part of that with most of us working from home today. It's wonderfully wet. One colleague was without power all day.

Christine withstood Edward's wheedling for quite a while, and there even was a point where we offered him out, and Edward stood, staring out at the rain, then returned inside. But he's now out.

I have been procrastinating a bit, as there is something large for me to understand, and i lost a week to bereavement leave. I'm helping the colleague who took over my role to do one of the painful tasks, and so those interruptions are playing into my old procrastination habits. However, i think this afternoon i pushed past the initiation barrier, and i should make some more progress tomorrow. I have also done something i never learned to do in grad school: i lowered my expectations for myself.

Now to sort out what sort of energy i have left. Christine is very blue today, and that certainly plays into my energy levels, too.
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Monday, August 12th, 2013 05:38 pm
So, i have quantized most of my Piles of Stuff

  • 6 install plans to write tonight (which will each spawn more tasks)

  • 7+12+5 work todos (that was many fewer than i thought -- but the 48 incoming evernote records will have more)

  • Physically: 6 books, 3 projects in LR; 36 oz papers in office

  • Evernote:48 incoming; 15 tag:+20130815; 37 tag:"+LATE_TICKLES"; 82 tag:@[Meeting]*

  • 48 email

My sister is going to have a stack of hours to herself for a week later this month. Let's say three hours a day. She and i talked about her using it for brainstorming/discernment time.

Is there a practice you engaged in for about that time frame that you've used to plan what you want to do for a year or so? I can cobble up something for her from the practices i've put together, but i'm curious if there are any practices you've had that helped you.
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Monday, June 3rd, 2013 08:04 pm
8 pm on the deck, the sun not quite set. Anna's hummingbirds feed at the scented geraniums and chase each other about. Goldfinches eat thistle seed, robins warble, California towhees hit their single note over and over. Crows call in the distance, and gulls cruise above the redwoods. I note the temperature (66.2 °F), sunset in 20 minutes, and wonder how quickly it will cool off.

I've a sweatshirt, jazz, tea and too much to do.

8:11 hummingbird checks out the lemon tree and the house finches "feeding." From the sound of the seed hitting the deck, i imagine them just tossing it out of the feeder. I've made it onto the VPN, onto the software control page and type while waiting for my approval to cycle.

8:16 Goldfinch at feeder. Distant robins. The highway sounds begin to dominate. A gull flies by catching the last red light. Sun still glows on the redwood bark.

8:20 four minutes to sunset and the goldfinch flies off. Robins are still singing.

8:26 Jazz and the highway and very distant crows. A robin whinnies around the corner. Mr M comes out on the deck to explore between the pots. It is remarkable how quickly the birds responded. It's dropped half a degree Fahrenheit.

8:44: airplanes, robins, and an insistant California towhee. Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. Sky is still light, but colors are fading to silhouettes. The cats circle me on the deck. The glow of the solar garden lights now seems significant.

8:50 last tweet? Mr M nests in my lap.

8:54 Mr M gives up on my lap. A robin is still warbling in the far distance. The sky is still light with no stars. I keep hearing Edward's collar bell ring from the nearby sidewalk.

8:59 I toss a blanket over my lap.It's 64.5 °F. Two install plans done, two to go. Not going to get to my performance appraisal or monthly report today.

9:50 Stars are out. I've made a nice dinner and eaten it. I just heard a cat yowl and went down to find Edward facing off with a inky black cat.

10:17 I'm done. Had a lovely chat with Christine who will be home tomorrow, huzzah. 61.8 °F
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 08:00 am
I have, in the past year or so, finally come to a way of tracking to-dos and such that i am able to be persistent and consistent in recovering them over time.

There's a problem with that: the natural forgetfulness that erases the "Oh, that would be nice to do," opportunities fails me, and so i am swamped with "nice to dos" and "ought to dos." Forgetfulness made prioritization so much more easy. Email is "easy" to prioritize: a bunch of messages over a few weeks old? I sweep those under a rug. But when i've made the commitment to get it on a list or flag it for the future, it's a little harder. I'm working on the practice of adding expiration dates. "If i don't read this in a month, nevermind." I think i need to be more ruthless, though. What makes the future have more time than the now?

Some of this effort is to quit multitasking. If i sort *through* a pile and clear it out, leaving notes on the actions is that more focused than following up on every step? Theoretically, i'm able at the end of the sorting to know what is critical or important in the pile as opposed to simply interesting.

I like the idea of becoming more intentional about what i "lay down"*. Yesterday i sorted through a box that had become, essentially, a junk box. Implicit projects hid in the box: parts bought to fix things, resolve problems we no longer have, broken things to fix, items that could be reused in some crafty way, and so on. I threw out, recycled, or put aside for a rummage sale most of the stuff in that box. I gave a broken thing back to Christine: she could keep it until time came to fix it. I went through my yarn & dye project boxes, too. I have discarded early crochet work: particularly a large, stiff shopping bag project that i started with recycled plastic bags. It was good practice, but i have beautiful yarns to use now, and much more rewarding projects to finish.

* This is a term used in Quaker process. We lay down a committee when its work is done, lay down tasks and roles when we no longer feel called in that direction.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, June 17th, 2012 06:40 am
Today is one of those fun days where i will be trying to finish a number of procrastination targets. That means the dish washer is running, the bird feeder is topped off, i've gone out to check on the racket the crows were making....

I think the crows are a family with recent fledglings: my were they making a ruckus! I half hoped that one of the young ones would be not be fledged enough and that we could adopt it. I believe a pet crow could stand up even to Edward! Happily all the youngsters were fine, just making short flights from various railings to eves as the parents exhorted longer flights.

There's nothing particularly loathsome about the procrastination targets themselves. On the otherhand, look, one of my staff is logged in and replying to a message from someone doing the install overnight. What the!!!

** Time passes as i leave a voicemail with my Dad, collect all the laundry and sort it, win a game of Lexulous (a rare event for me), get a bingo on my first move in the rematch (ditto), and chitchat with Christine and Mr M **


A Procrastination Log )
I made minor progress. Off to meeting in a bit.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 07:51 am
Superduper procrastinator, that's me. A good bit of yesterday's procrastination was willful, but i finally got the reporting done in time for us to see the 8:30 showing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We were, in fact, early, and Christine wanted to enjoy the theater ambiance. Instead, we flinched under promotions for TNT and ABC television shows. As SF themed cliche and trope vehicles bounced over the screen in front of us, i wondered why everything must be the same genera. I'm thankful the SF generas are prolific, but what would breadth look like? I asked Christine of what genera would she wish to see more. (In my mind, Marigold Hotel is in the Boomers Getting Older genera: RED, Bucket List, and Something's Gotta Give... Does On Golden Pond count? Seems too early. I digress.)

Trailers ran and The Intouchables was previewed. "More of these," Christine said, after watching the hints of narrative crossing boundaries of privilege and ability.

Admittedly, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel also crossed boundaries, too. I feared Christine and i would be the youngest folks in the theater, but we weren't. We were the youngest Caucasians, perhaps. The treatment of India seemed authentic, and Indians helped fill up the grey theater.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel reminds me of Outsourced, too, which i enjoyed. I assume the globalization theme takes on India because of the English language exoticism: China would be harder?


In food questions: are pinto beans stinky?

We tend to buy dried kidney and black beans, and canned kidney, black, and cannellini. I bought pinto beans recently, and yesterday made a couple plates of nibbles by spooning five beans into a cup shaped tortilla chip, adding cheese and salsa, and zapping. The pintos definitely had an odor, that Christine, far more sensitive to offensive scents than i, later found incredibly repulsive.

I've always thought of beans as basically having the same flavor, subsumed by all the spices and flavorings in which the beans are cooked. Do you notice a difference in bean scents and flavors? Texture, yes, i've always noticed a difference in texture and density.