A Very Long Update

I’m doing this thing again where I allow myself to get overwhelmed by life without writing, which is my best outlet. Then I get overwhelmed with all of the things I need to share and thoughts I need to process, so I don’t write anything. And many a blog has died as a result.

So here’s most of the important stuff that’s happened since my last real update, collected for the general benefit of keeping everyone on the same page so something I say in three months isn’t quite as confusing. There are a few other “big”ish things reserved for their own posts to follow.


Grandmothers

Gram’s physical condition reached the point where we were no longer able to care for her like she needed, so she has moved into a sort of respite house down the road. This process is at the root of a lot of our emotional problems lately. It’s weird being able to go places and make plans without having to check in with the family to see who has Gram duty. Also, the TV isn’t on all day, which is eerie.

Not a week before this move was finalized, Dad’s mom passed away. For my immediate family, there was more relief than grief. It was expected, prayed for, and accepted. That or we’re all still in a collective shock.

Being as Dad is from a large and scattered family, it took a while to gather everyone, so the funeral didn’t happen until more than a week later. We took a very quick trip out east (we’re talking 75 hours in total from the moment we left our driveway to our return). I also took an extra day off work to adjust to our new normal. Thank goodness for a workplace that encourages mental health days.

Also, while we were gone, Aiden subbed for my class. He only had 11 kids, but most of the special ones were there. Now I feel like we understand each other better. I certainly have more respect for him.

Kittens, Chickens, and Other Critters

The kittens have all found homes. By the end of it, we had named every last one of them – partly in an effort to make them more appealing to the Facebook passerby. Mustache and another favorite found homes with friends just down the road, so we’ll get to watch at least a couple of the kittens grow up. We’re back to two cats, and not soon enough. Tip and Judy’s      hormones were starting to grate on our already-frayed nerves.

For whatever reason, we still have Eli’s guinea pig, even though he moved away several months ago. That poor guy needs a family with children.

Our flock is down to less than 20 hens thanks to the combined forces of the weather, age, and one huge, nasty fox. Both roosters are gone now and one of my favorite hens died of a heart attack after Nina scared off the fox in the middle of one of his ambushes. My personal vote for new stock is something sturdy and smart like an Orpington, as opposed to the blasted White Leghorns we still have.

My dog is still alive and mostly-sane. Sam housesat for us while we were out east and Jo’s dog stayed with her. However, while Moxie loves Sam to bits, we didn’t want to risk a meltdown once she realized we were going to be gone for a while. So we boarded her. She was in the closest thing they could get to solitary confinement.

At the end of it, we heard the same thing we’ve been hearing: she’s petrified of the world and responding in fear. Also, the woman said Moxie seems to be fiercely protective of our family, because after Mom left she settled into growling and then just grunting when people walked by.

Ok. Fine. So some dogs are one-family dogs. I get that. It doesn’t make my dog a bad creature, just challenged.

 

NaNoWriMo

I would like to dedicate this to pimples, because no matter what, they stay with me. They keep me grounded and remind me, even though I’m popular enough to be the victim of not one but two kidnappings, I’m still a fairly ordinary human being. Zits don’t go away when more life-threatening issues crop up. Quite the opposite; stress, as it turns out, is a great way to summon the acne. I probably didn’t need to chop my hair to mask my appearance.

Thus begins my current choice for NaNo Novel 2016.

I know, the guidelines suggest not starting before November. This is a preface-thing that won’t go toward the word-count. I was working on tone. This story may end up as a thinly-veiled parody of my life at points, because this month has given me some nasty acne.

November is nearly upon us, and I have no actual plot. My amnesiac and her boyfriend rebelled and destroyed the first plot. Not wanting to abandon that world altogether, I tried to switch viewpoints to a more down-to-earth character, but she was the only person who would behave.

So I set that world aside and decided to revisit my Rapunzel-esque story (as seen above). At present I’m going with this, but I don’t know how long it will last. I have two characters and a dog. Meanwhile, Calli’s world turned steampunk with dragons and she has more than three characters. Neither of us is really sure what to make of that.

 

No Spend Month

October was costly in a lot of ways, and I coped by spending more money, naturally*. (Once upon a time I wasn’t like this.) Now I have a credit card to pay off. All hope of me having a decent car by February is out the window. I’m banking on good tax returns to get me something come spring, but I have to get by with what I have until then. Somehow.

In an effort to reclaim the remains of my sanity, I’m enforcing another No Spend Month for November. Not sure on the limit yet, and I know I’ll have $50.00 set aside strictly for emergencies (like medication for my dog or the odd jug of oil for one of the cars). Everyone in the office at work got gas cards at the last staff meeting, so I’ll “cheat” and use this for half of November’s gas. I might be able to squeeze by on $100.00, but I haven’t run the final numbers yet.

Which means I won’t get my Christmas shopping done before December like I’d hoped. Compromise, right?

Also, I finally bought new razors. Yes, I have been surviving on the pack I bought during the last No Spend Month back in July. I blame this for some of my emotional distress, because I can go about two days after shaving before my ankles look like they belong to a hobbit.

I got men’s razors this time. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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*Our OfficeMax was closing and had fantastic clearance and I have a cubicle I haven’t decorated in the 8 months I’ve been at my job. It was a dangerous combination.

 

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