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Huh. Not Much Going On, Interweb

It appears that I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon. Same with friends of mine. Okay, the two I know that have a blog. Others might, but I only know of two of them!

School started yesterday. A is in grade 5, R in grade 3, and K in grade 1. Wee Mister M is three years old and will be starting next year. Next year! Holy cow!

And then I’ll have to back to (or find something new as) work.

First Summer 2014 Cottage Trip

I’ve been finally sitting down for the past half hour or so. I feel like I’ve been on the go since before yesterday! DH left Wednesday to go to a clients golf-thing in a town an hour past our cottage (and our cottage is about 3.5 hours from our house). He flew there, and will be bussing it tomorrow to get to the closest town to our cottage – we’re picking him up tomorrow afternoon in town.

So. It’s been me doing all the packing and organizing. Getting a list to A, R and K regarding what to pack. Then checking R and K’s little suitcases and a) removing/replacing stuff, then b) folding stuff to make it fit. Honestly, how hard is that? Even A had a problem getting her stuff to fit, but she must have heard me with her brothers – she got it all to fit. How? By folding the clothes :)

M helped by being cute.

Except, well, he didn’t exactly nap on Wednesday. I went in to the school to help sort books for when the BAB (Borrow A Book) program starts again in the Fall. I keep popping back to the school to do end of year stuff for that program – I did volunteer to be the parent co-ordinator after all. Anywho. M stayed with a neighbour and had a lot of fun. Then fell asleep on the sofa at home. Not good. I had to work on packing, so I moved him. So, so not good! It took around forty-five minutes for me to get him to go back to sleep. Then he didn’t sleep long.

{ five minute break as I get M water to drink … again }

And he didn’t sleep well that night. And today? He got a half hour nap in the van, and I caught K poking him. Seriously?!

{ another five minute break to take M for a pee, then tuck him into my bed, sigh … }

So M hasn’t sleep well in a few days, nap or night time.

That said, a number of things have gone surprisingly well!

  • I don’t think I’ve left anything major at home (forgot the potatoes, but that’s not major)
  • we had lunch at home, so I could drive the whole way without stopping! Which I did. We didn’t stop until we got here :)
  • three kids were in school while I did a lot of packing – yesterday and today
  • M was being looked after, and having more fun than being home, while I did a tonne of things this morning (like mop the kitchen floor, clean the one bathroom that didn’t get done yesterday, close all the room blinds and turn off all the lights, dig up 1/3 of a hosta to bring, dig up a bit of another plant to bring, put my front porch plant pots in the flower gardens to get watered automatically by the sprinkler system, plant the thyme I kept inside over the winter, plant some of the green onion and basil in a pot to bring with us, frantically search for the power converter for the Koolatron and then give up in frustration {DH never puts it IN the actual Koolatron when he unpacks it}, dump old fridge food in the compost bins, etc)
  • with the van almost all packed before the kids got off the bus at 11:30 am, we could start out within about half an hour after lunch
  • I’d prepped some papers for A, R and K to have in the van, and it worked well. Like a printout of the cartoony map DH made years ago, so check off the towns as we went. I did a word search for them, using an internet tool, using cottage-y words. And I also did a scavenger hunt type sheet – check off the things you find – with stuff like a purple car (saw one!), someone fishing, a cow, a horse, a car with kids in it, a police car, a specific town sign, and other things.
  • I let them roam a bit after we got here, and while I scrambled to get dinner ready. Thank goodness I had prepared veggies!
  • while M got mad at everything, multiple times, I managed to get the dock pieces into the frame DH had already put in the lake – yippee! I even got the stairs in the water (A and R helped move them a bit, getting them along the dock so I could push them – the stairs, not the kids – in).
  • with M in bed, I managed a quick swim with A, R and K :)
  • before the dock stuff, but while M was awake, I managed to get the plants in the ground, and watered a bit.

It isn’t even the first day – we just got here – and while some things have been so very, very frustrating, lots of things have gone well.

{ June 26th }

Fine

Sometimes I text you too much during the day, instead of walking to your office to talk? Fine. Forgive me for not wanting to interrupt your work when it’s just a quick question that can wait (though I’d forget it if I didn’t ask). Oh, and for letting you know when the kids do something cool – no more cool pictures of them coming your way anymore. No problem. Just done complain that you don’t get to know what fun things they do while you’re away.

You say I’m so chatty, especially when you’re trying to watch a show or read something on your phone at night, when we’re lying in bed? Fine. I now bite my tongue instead of talking to you. Don’t complain that I’m ignoring you or that I’m mad, though. It’s what you wanted.

I can’t take criticism? Really? The little remarks over the years, and in the last few months have increased. Don’t worry, I hear them, even if you don’t realize you’re doing it. But fine. I won’t comment on how badly you receive criticism. Because that gets turned around every. single. time. And becomes my fault somehow.

I’ve changed over the years. For you, without my even knowing it. You didn’t like the amount of sarcasm I used (which I grew up with), so I cut it down. A lot. And now, apparently, I have no sense of humour. Thanks. But you know what? You reap what you sow.

Little remarks about the house have added up to a whole pile over the years. Fine. And you know what? I’m no longer looking for your approval. That’s over – I don’t want to be that person, that wife. How I maintain the house from now on will be how I want it. Then I will get the satisfaction from it, rather than {man, I hate how this is going to sound} from your approval. If you even notice.

Little remarks about the iPad and my usage, about craft stuff left out, about things I put on your desk … Fine. Not once have made it an issue when you dump things on the kitchen island. That I then have to figure out how to deal with. Or stuff bought and dumped at the front door, waiting for days (I’ve tested this) for me to put away.

Fine. That’s just fine. I’m fine. We’re fine. Fine.

Just fine, freakin’ fine.

PS to anyone reading – I ended up finding a bookcase that went well in my girls room, so the conversion of the red dresser to a bookcase has been halted. And won’t be restarted. But I do plan on doing something with that table! And yes, the “look” I got about the whole DIY stuff is another issue. Making me feel like I can’t do what something, which makes me question myself, and often makes the result end up being exactly like what that someone expected. An incomplete. Meh.

About The Previous Post

Here’s an example of what I meant.

I picked up a table and a dresser the other day. Yes, at the side of the road. I actually drove past the table a few times (it was going to the school and back with A for an optometrist appointment on Thursday) and decided to just go for it and take it on my way home.

The push was that the garbage truck was about seven houses away. I knew that I wouldn’t get a second chance to take it if I didn’t.

This is the table:

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So it needs a little TLC. But like the shape and think it works well. My plan is to sand it (good thing it’s a simple shape and design!) and stain it to match the other furniture in the room:

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DH has been away most of this week, and he just looked at me funny when I told him about the table. I only brought it up last evening, because I wanted to see it in the room. The kids loved it – we played restaurant for quite some time! Anyway, he isn’t that enthusiastic about it. He thinks it’ll look bad. Or that I won’t actually sand and stain/paint it.

Usually, that would be enough for me to think “Oh, okay. He’s probably right.” I tend to defer to others opinions – my parents when I lived with them (though I did do a lot of creative things anyway) and DH.

But you know what? Who cares? The table was free. Free! So I buy some sandpaper and stain. That’s crazy cheap compared to the price of buying a new one. If it doesn’t work out, I throw it out.

Then there’s the dresser. One neighbour had two out for the trash, and they didn’t get picked up by the garbage guys. I’m not sure why – too big? I took the bigger of the two (it had all four drawers, but I pulled them out – put one in to show how lovely they are)

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Gorgeous, no? So, without the drawers, here’s my plan:

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Take out the drawer supports in the front and the middle drawer line things that go from the supports to the back. Sand the whole thing on the outside enough that I can paint it (a colour to match my girl A’s room, probably going with her bedspread and being a light, soft purple) inside, I’ll paint white. I’ll go to Home Depot and get them to cut three pieces of wood the right length – one for the bottom to plug it up, and the other two as shelves. I’ll paint those white as well as the interior of the “new” dresser. Maybe decoupage a flower or two on the top or side to go with her bedspread. It’s pale purple with some chrysanthemum-like flowers on it.

I showed it to DH about fifteen minutes ago. Yeah. His expression was blank. He said he doesn’t want her room to look like there’s trash in it. He didn’t say it mean or anything, but that’s definitely not supportive.

So instead of agreeing and getting rid of the items, I’m going ahead. Because, really, what’s wrong with trying? Why should I not do something I want to try just because someone else doesn’t think it’ll work?!

Part of me wants to run out and get the supplies and start NOW, but I’m being realistic. One thing at a time. And I want to talk to the Home Hardware guys (they’re closer than Home Depot, and while they don’t sell wood at their tiny location, they do seen stains and paint and lots of other supplies) and see what they recommend for sandpaper for both projects.

With the nicer weather slowly approaching, I can keep the van out of the garage and do the work there.

My girl is excited about having a bookcase, and likes my colour plan. All her stuff is in her closet. She doesn’t have a dresser (she uses the three drawers under her bed and the two, yes two, closets … and the shelf things in them aren’t that great for putting books on). >

Glimpses

Now and then, I see glimpses of who I want to be, and what I want to do. They’re not from a mom or parent or wife or daughter or aunt point of view. They’re from MY point of view. This is something I’m becoming more aware of. These glimpses are showing me what I can/want to strive for. Even if I can only strive for them now and then, that’s still moving forward. Because I am a mom, parent, wife, daughter and aunt as well.

Music Playing

I’m enjoying the flute. Not sure if I will continue renting after the month is up, wait to purchase a second-hand one (wait, since I do not have the money to buy one) or what.

But I can play G A B C D E now, by sight. Ode To Joy is the most complicated one I’ve played (well, just one part of it is a bit harder, the rest is easy) and a bit of Call Me Maybe. I tried that for K. It’s one of his favourite songs! I don’t know enough notes to play Amazing Grace, which is what A is working on.

Flute Learning

I rented a flute for a month (about $24, which includes damage insurance and tax) because, well, I wanted to. I’ve been thinking for a while now of playing it again.

Last time I played the flute, I was in high school. Like, twenty a few years ago.

So I rented it and put it together and then stared at it.

Where do my fingers go? I wondered. Yeah, I’d forgotten that. So I looked it up on the internet.

How do I play the notes? Oh dear. I had to look those up too, and looked at some (free) iPad apps. I kept one, which lets me tap where a note would be and it shows me the note, plays the sound, and shows the finger positions. Phew!

So on Friday, the day I first rented the flute, I taught myself C D and E. And made a simple practice sheet:

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Very simple, but I practiced it a few times that day. For a few minutes each session. Because really, with four kids, it’s not like I can hide for half an hour and practice in peace! (and yes, I know, I did the sticks on the notes wrong – they should be going down for the notes above B, not up!)

On Saturday, I taught myself B and did another practice sheet. Today, Sunday, I was going to do just A, but kinda sorta wanted to play an actual song on the flute. So I did A and G (very similar hand positions – one finger is different). And, of course, made a practice sheet for myself for A B C D and E.

And I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I have to work on holding the flute parallel to the floor, and getting the right tone thought the mouth plate. And I have a cold, so I sound weird when I talk. And my DH had music going for the kids in the background (I was hiding in his office, using the fax machine as my music stand – it doesn’t get used for much else, since A does the same).

I’m not amazing, but I’m enjoying it. And I hope A and I can play something together soon. Her on the recorder and me on the he flute. It’s also good, I think, for my other three to see me playing something. Once “we” finish the basement, DH will unpack is electric drum kit and they’ll get to see that and play on it.

In case you’re curious, here’s me playing Twinkle Twinkle. I’m sick, my hair is poofy, and I really only recorded it so I can compare how I play and what I play now to maybe next week.

NaNoWriMo! Yay! Woo Hoo!

I have a new novel, Allegiances :)

I did it! I made it to 50,455 words, as of 8:40 pm today, November 30th!

Yay!

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Next step? Editing.  I’m actually looking forward to reading my novel from start to finish.  I haven’t done that at all!

Okay, I Changed The Last Chapter

I know the point is to not go back on your own work, but I didn’t like how Chapter 12 ended. And, truthfully, I still don’t like where it’s sitting, but it’s an improvement. It’s too short, and isn’t really an ending. The Epilogue shouldn’t be the actual “ending”, right? It’s the leader into the next book.

Anyways, I just updated Chapter 12 and will likely add more. It’s a much shorter chapter than the others.

Oh my goodness! Only today left to do (at least) 990 words!

Last Chapter! But There’s Still More :)

Chapter 12 is done. Phew! It’ll need some work to get it how I really wanted it. It isn’t as … smooth as I’d like. I needed all of them to stop being so mopey (as it seemed to me), but I couldn’t seem to get them moving. It felt like it droned on, I couldn’t make them do what I wanted them to do. So frustrating – my characters all behaved for the rest of the novel, LOL! Well, behaved for me :)

So there’s an Epilogue. Which isn’t done, but it will be there. Partly because I know how I want that to end, and partly because I’m at 48,985 words and need just over 1,000 hit the target 50,000!