Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: personal (Page 2 of 3)

Domestic Bliss

On Saturday I went thrifting at a nearby Salvation Army store. I found a suitable (if not perfect) Other Mother dress, and a couple of work skirts, among other things. Other finds include two warm winter coats – an anorak-style jacket that matches the color of my eyes (baby poop green), and a tailored dark navy wool coat that looks like it will attract all the cat hair in the house if I’m not careful. The wool is very soft, though, and both coats are pretty snuggly, and I finally have winter coats that aren’t from Target or Old Navy and that are actually warm, hooray!

I also picked up a black shirt dress with a white collar and cuffs. It was cute as is, but the skirt half is a bit tight (but would probably look fine over some Spanx) and has some small grease stains, so I plan to cut it off and hem it and make a cute top out of it. Yesterday I washed it, and while it was hanging on the line I looked out at it and something pinged my brain and said, “Hey! That’s a Wednesday Addams dress!” So now I’m conflicted about my costume. Except not really, because people at my office will most likely (I hope) understand Wednesday Addams, and I don’t really want to pay to have an apron overnighted in time for Fake Office Halloween, and I’m pretty confident I can make a Wednesday wig in time. But it all hinges on whether I’m right about the Spanx.

I think I was born to be a housewife.

Speaking of the clothesline, I love spending my time at home, doing domestic things. If I could tell my 20-something self that, she would want to drug me and lock me up somewhere until I stopped talking crazy-talk, so it’s probably a good thing that I can’t do that. But I love it. Yesterday, I spent all day doing laundry and dishes and vacuuming and making things clean and presentable. I even hung the laundry out to dry for the first time ever, and it took a long time, but the weather was beautiful and Speedy Pete was running around under my feet and I was in my happy place the entire time. If this was my full-time job, I would have no complaints. Okay, maybe I would. But not as many as I have now.

I’m pretty sure it all started with the knitting.

But I’ll take working at home as the second-best option.

This is why I’m going to take a course in copy editing in the spring. I know that sounds sudden and typically flaky after I’ve been talking about web design courses all this time, but that’s only because you don’t remember (or weren’t around) a few years ago when I wanted to hire myself out as a freelance copy editor, but didn’t think I had the right experience and training to pass the tests. Back then it didn’t even occur to me that you could take a course in it–I assumed you had to have an entire English or Journalism degree. But Mediabistro has a course that looks both respectable and useful, and my company will pay for it, and after that I should be able to pass the requisite tests and get some freelance work. And if 9 to 5 office jobs are my eternal destiny, I would enjoy proofreading all day much more than doing what I do currently. So, I’ve got that going for me.

I still want to learn web design, though.

So, NaNo.

Doing it. Working on Hero Factor. This won’t make me eligible for a shiny button or certificate at the end, but all I really want for Christmas is to finish this book, so that’s fine by me.

Here’s the agenda.

The one I made up just now, in my head, and is totally subject to change, because see my earlier post re: flakiness and me.

The rest of October: Get caught up on work projects so I’ll have some downtime at work in November.

November: Dive in. Write. Do not come up for air until first draft is completely drafted. Spam friends list with word count updates.

December: Come up for air. Recover from burn-out, then edit, edit, and edit some more. Divide into installments.

January: Start posting it at , finally.

February: Get to work re-writing last year’s NaNo-produced manuscript.

March: Figure that out when it gets here.

Earlier today I had a flu shot.

Now I have the sniffles. Coincidence?

We watched the new Indiana Jones this weekend.

It might as well have been called Indiana Jones and the X-Files of Doom. It made for a very cute piece of fanfic. I’m glad George Lucas felt the need to share his head trip with us. But for the future I’ll stick with the trilogy, thanks.

I has a clean office!

Mostly. My desk is still covered with papers and small stuff that need filing or homes. But my worktable is clear, which means that my only excuse for not making pretty, crafty things is the lack of time. And my lack of a sewing machine.

And then, there’s this.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz…

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid — “I am unique”

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don’t always want to be cheered up when I’m feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don’t tell me I’m too sensitive or that I’m overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What’s Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don’t deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don’t have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don’t fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents’ divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children’s creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

A meme, because I don’t have time to come up with something on my own.

And anyway, this is a nice one.

Post 10 things that are going right in your life right now, it doesn’t matter how small. You’re happy with your cup of coffee. You saw a flock of geese flying over. ANYTHING. Things that make you happy. Things that make you smile. No pressure.

1. Even in his e-mails, my husband is adorable.

2. It’s Friday, which means I can sleep in tomorrow morning.

3. Speedy Pete the Wonder Pup and his inching ever closer to grasping the concept of housebreaking.

4. BFF Tess.

5. My house.

6. My new car.

7. The existence of ibuprofen.

8. Halloween decorations and candy.

9. Our freezer is stocked with quality ice cream.

10. I can play the bass line to Elastica’s “Connection” on my Badtz Maru bass, and it makes me feel like a rock star.

I’m in a good place again, which is nice, because I haven’t been for quite a little while now. Even before I got sick I was tired and moody and blue and generally no fun to be around. A number of things contributed to snapping me out of it, not the least of which were getting back into a gym routine and going to bed earlier (because if I take care of my physical health, my mental health will follow; I know this. So why do I always need to be reminded?). But what really helped was Saturday. And what happened Saturday? Not a blessed thing.

We had planned to go to my mom’s to do some cleaning and retrieve some stuff we left there, but both of us started the day out feeling completely wiped. Must have been something in the air, because even Speedy Pete was more Sleepy Pete that day; although I’m sure all of the errand-running I’d done the day before, coupled with dinner and a night at the opera with Tess (La Boheme, which shall henceforth be known in my house as “Boring Italian Rent,” because that’s pretty much what it is, and I gotta say, I prefer the Catchy English Rent; I am so not high-brow), had something to do with it.

So I declared it an official Lazy Day, and we both proceeded to ignore the messy kitchen and living room and all of the boxes that still need to be unpacked and instead sped the day alternating between napping and vegging. The most productive thing I did all day was read a magazine. And man, I cannot tell you now much I needed a day like that. Even when I was sick, I puttered around between naps trying to get things done around the house. It had been so long since I’d had a DO NOTHING day that I wasn’t sure I remembered how to do them.

Sunday was a different story altogether. I had energy, I had motivation, I had a new magnetic To Do List pad on the fridge that I was rarin’ to put to use, and let me tell you, things in my house got DONE. The kitchen and living room got cleaned, the recycling got sorted, the bathroom shelves got assembled and installed, the bathroom got cleaned and organized, a puppy sweater got halfway knitted, and I was a domestic DIVA. I finished a new scene for the novel, too. I RULE.

Or at least, I ruled yesterday. Today, not so much with the ruling. But for now I’m content to rest on my laurels.

So in an effort to both restore sanity around here and maintain it through NaNo and the holiday season, hopefully avoiding becoming burned out and spending Christmas in a rum-scented, nutmeg-garnished funk, I’m abandoning the ridiculous notion of having Hero Factor both finished and ready to start posting this year. This doesn’t make me a flake. There are SO MANY OTHER things that make me a flake. This only adds more weight to the accusation. But I am a flake who knows her limits. Sometimes I forget them, and bite off more than I can chew, and then remember said limits when I choke and almost die. But anyway.

So, for now I’m writing, a little bit each night before bedtime, a little in the mornings before work (on the days I don’t hit the gym), a little on weekends. And I’m editing the earlier chapters when I get time. I still want to finish the manuscript before NaNo. Maybe that’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I’m not going to make myself crazy trying to get it done.

But I WILL get it done. That’s the important thing.

UPDATE: Y’know, it only just now occurred to me that NaNo is optional, and that the truly sane thing would be to skip it this year. I could still play along, unofficially, by trying to finish THF by the end of November. But I have this novel to finish, and I still have last year’s NaNo project to rewrite, so…why am I wanting to dive in and hammer out a third novel right now, exactly?

I need to examine this question. And somebody needs to examine my head.

Hey, you know what’s not cool? Sinus infections, as in, the thing that’s had me down and out for the last three days. That’s what. On the bright side, it afforded me some badly needed rest. I figured I was due to get sick in one way or another soon. I knew that if I didn’t slow down and get some quality rest, my body was going to rebel and force it on me, and that’s exactly what happened. So the rest has been nice. I could do without all the snot and the sore throat and the pounding headaches, though.

In other news, our AC quit working. Thankfully it waited till fall, so it’s not an emergency. We suspect we might have mice in the vents and may need to call an exterminator, but for now we’ve got a call in to our friendly home warranty service department. Pay attention, kids: if you buy a house, be prepared for it to break in all kinds of ways after you move in.

I still managed to post a couple more scenes for the Beauteous Beta Babes, so this crud hasn’t thrown me too far off schedule. I’ll try to get some more done today, since I think the antibiotics are kicking in and I can stay upright for more than thirty minutes at a time. I hope you guys are all doing better than I am. Hopefully I’ll be back in action tomorrow.

Jean is Emo

Today is trying its very best to make me go emo. It already made me cry once, the big bully–that would be this morning, when I received a rejection e-mail for “Mamie’s Pie Shop.” I like to think that if I was getting proper sleep and not hormonal and suffering cramps I’d have taken it better. I’m probably wrong, because the truth is that I’m a big ol’ thin-skinned wuss-bag. But I still like to think it.

Also, I don’t like my hair. That’s not making me emo, specifically–I really am not THAT shallow, I promise–but I’ve been gathering pics of possible future ‘dos to take with me to a stylist. Somewhere out there, floating aimlessly around the internets, is a picture of me from way back during the Chicago Buffycon in ’03 in which I had pretty good hair; but when I went searching for it all I found were old ghosts that want me to put on thick kohl eyeliner and cut myself and write bad, self-involved poetry using my own blood as the ink and then make a video of myself reading it that I can post on YouTube for the world to share my pain and try to understand the fathomless depths of my blackened soul. Or possibly just to make me cry again. Sniffle.

I need some Pamprin and a hug. And lots and lots of sleep. I ate a spoonful of peanut butter a while ago, and that made me feel a little better, until it made me want to beat myself up for using food for comfort, but I didn’t, because I mean, come on. It’s just one spoonful. It’s not like I shoved three consecutive Reese’s Pumpkins in my mouth (that was last night, and dad-gum, those things are yummy).

I’m going to spend an hour cleaning off my desk and making things orderly (to regain my sense of control, obvs), and then I’m going to edit a new scene that I wrote the other day for THF and post it for the Beautiful Beta Babes. And them I’m going to try to finish a short story I started for this before I research other markets for “Mamie’s.” And by the end of this week, I’m going to nail down a posting schedule for , and start gearing up for the launch. All because if I stay busy, I won’t have time to convince myself that one person deciding my story’s not right for their web site must mean that I’m not good enough and will only ever be a mediocre hack. Because that’s what you do when rejection happens: you pick yourself up and get back on the bike and pedal as fast and hard as you can.


So we have a dog again, and things feel a little closer to right than they have since Fizzgigg’s passing. There he is, up there, in the only picture I could get him to hold relatively still for during the ride to his new digs (and if you click on the picture to embiggen, it will show him pretty much at his actual size, just like Gachnar). He was pretty trepidatious, shy and reserved, until we got him home and settled, and then his shy, delicate flower act was demonstrated to be lies! All lies!

Actually, Niblet was what prompted him to drop his little ruse. As soon as he saw her, it was exactly like his switch got flipped to ON, and then stuck there. I could practically see his thought process as this introduction happened, which went like this:

“Who are these people? Where have they brought me? These toys look nice and this bed is soft, but I just don’t know about thi–KITTY! OMG KITTY YAY KITTY GET IT GET IT PLAY PLAY PLAY RUN PLAY TOYS KITTY WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!1!” And he pretty much stayed with that line of thinking the rest of the night, as he bounced and zipped and generally wrought chaos upon the house–which I thought was a pretty good argument for naming him Cthulhu–only pausing occasionally to, um, get on more intimate terms with his new bed. Which I thought was an even better argument for naming him Captain Hammer.

But Husband put his foot down and said “No nerd names!” and so he remains nameless, because nerd names are all I’ve got. I think we’ve finally narrowed it down to Mojito and Chewie. I’m leaning toward Chewie. It satisfies my inner nerd as well as the apparent rule that chihuahuas must have Mexican-sounding names.

And what was Niblet thinking while all this was going on? The look on her face said it all. “Hey, a new bed! I shall now make it min–what the?! Oh sh–! WTF?! GET IT AWAY! GET IT AWAY! DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” I gotta say, I had not a drop of sympathy for her. As I reminded her every time she gave me a look that said, “You will pay for this, hooman. Just you wait,” this was exactly what she did to Fizzgigg when she first joined our family, only with more climbing, so consider it payback from the grave. Although, I think she secretly enjoyed it. She kept coming back for more–making sure to act put upon all the while, of course. She got pretty depressed after Fizzgigg disappeared, so I think deep down she’s happy to have another amenable play & snuggle buddy.

As for Sasha, I think her thoughts went something like, “I swear I’m going to claw that little bugger’s eyes out if it gets near me,” so we tried pretty hard to make sure he didn’t. That… could be a problem. Husband might finally have to consent to allowing his little princess to have her claws clipped.

So, that was pretty much our first night. The Pup With No Name was pretty disappointed when play time turned into bedtime, but I put my Dog Whisperer skills to good use and got him to settle down and go to sleep (with no help from Husband, who totally nabbed the role of Good Cop when I was busy trying to establish some pack order. He really has no idea how pwned he is by that three pounds of Alpha Male).

This morning, though, he was nothing but a sweetheart, and I had a hard time leaving him for work. Husband reports from the homefront, though, that everybody’s getting along swimmingly and behaving themselves, and they’re having a great time hanging out together, and I can’t wait to go home and join them. It’s pretty safe to say that we’re both smitten, and No Name seems pretty happy with this arrangement, too. This was definitely a good decision.

There will be no writing tonight

And this is why:

I’m going to pick him up after work, and then I am going to take him home and feed him and pet him and love him and squeeze him and call him… probably not George. But certainly not Peewee, which is what his current/soon-to-be-previous owners inflicted upon him. It may not be as dramatic a rescue story as Fizzgigg’s, but I’ll take it.

Not!Peewee is 5 months old, and I cannot wait to meet him.

I just need a name. Any suggestions?

Pretty toes are the cure to all my woes.

I’m not sure whether it’s because I haven’t had time to indulge any of my creative outlets lately (which always drives me a little buggy and/or into a fit of despair), or if it’s that today has been particularly overwhelming (our plumbing broke, and work is trying to be stressful, and I’m having to stay at the office really late to make up the time I lost this morning to the broken plumbing), or if it’s just general tiredness (this weekend was productive, as far as putting things away and getting organized, but it was pretty dumb of me not to just get some rest), but I’m dealing with some pretty major self-doubt right now.

Specifically, I’m doubting whether Hero Factor is worth even finishing, let alone posting. I’ve been working on this story for far longer than common sense would allow, and by this point finishing it is more a matter of principle than desire. Well, sometimes there’s desire. I still love these characters and I want their story to be told. But at times like these the only thing that keeps me going is principle, because I’ve got too many unfinished stories under my belt and by golly, this won’t be one of them.

Unless maybe it should be. Maybe it’s time to let it go and move on.

What I really need right now is a pedicure. Thirty minutes in a pedi chair is as good as any massage, plus at the end I have pretty feet to show for it. And it would put me in the right frame of mind to make these kinds of decisions; the kind that probably wouldn’t even arise were I getting proper amounts of R&R; the kind of non-dilemma wherein I should stop whining and get to writing.

Right then. I guess that’s settled.

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