Thursday, July 16, 2009

Once more, with feeling!

When I decided to move into a bigger apartment, I knew it would be hard work. When I moved into this apartment more than 9 years ago, I had just over two weeks to pack, as I had been busy prepping for graduation and working on the job search.

Within a day of getting my job (I had two offers come in the same day, including one where I received the offer before the interview was over - oh the good old dot com days...), I had found an apartment, but I had just a week until graduation. I was teaching two classes at the time. I had to completely focus on getting my students through finals, finish grading final projects, and pack up my office during that week. Oh, and I had a five-year-old, and Christmas to deal with.

How in the heck did I do it???? I know I had less stuff, or rather, most of my stuff was already packed in the basement storage unit in family housing. The old apartment was also much smaller (but had a much bigger kitchen, go figure). I just honestly feel like I have been packing for ages and ages.

I started out with big plans for doing a perfectly organized move. I packed up seldom used items first, including all holiday themed items, tossed and donated tons of clothes, books, and even some furniture. I labeled boxes quite well, and as I packed a box, it either went to my room, my closet, or a corner of the living room.

That worked for awhile. I've reorganized my closet no less than four times, each time consolidating old boxes, packing away more items, and trying to figure out how to get more boxes into the closet so they can be out of my way.

Unfortunately, I didn't stop to think about keeping boxes that belong in the same rooms in the same areas. They are all mixed in with one another, because of the way I packed! All of the boxes at the very least have the room marked on them, and nearly every one has a general list of contents. This all works well and good until you try to find something that you didn't think you would need until after the move, and the contents are written on the ^&%&^% lids instead of the sides!!!!!!

SO yeah, I didn't find what I wanted, and I think I may actually have thrown it out, thinking we didn't need it. Whoops.

Anyway, I know that by this time on the 31st, I'll be going to bed in my new, bigger apartment, glorying in having two bathrooms instead of one, 7 closets instead of 3, a bigger kitchen, a garage, and a new sewing room all to myself. It will all be worth this stress and hard work in the end.

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway...

Changes for the better

This is day two of my push to sharpen my mind by making myself blog for at least 15 minutes a day.

July 6th, I decided I had had enough of seesawing weight, and wondering if my clothes were going to fit from month to month. I was alarmed at the weight I saw on the scale, and decided that I really, really had to commit to losing this weight in order to feel better, and look better.

I decided to join Weight Watchers Online. So far, I haven't regretted that decision, even though this probably wasn't the greatest time to start a diet, what with the move and all. The first few days were really rough, mainly because I still had fattening food in the house, wasn't eating the right things, and ended up feeling very hungry at the end of the day.

I ended up downloading the iWatcher app for my iPod Touch, which includes a points calculator. THis way, as I am shopping, if I see a snack food that LOOKS like it might be a good choice, I can calculate the points and find out if it will actually work. Case in point: Reduced Fat Pringles are pretty much the same points value as a serving of NORMAL Doritos (3 points). However, the Light Pringles are only 1 point. Much better choice, really. Sugar Free Jello Pudding is 1 point per serving, and tastes yummy enough that I feel like I am indulging in a treat, as well as being filling and a good source of dairy. So, you can't always look at a package and tell for sure by the name that you are getting a good item (Light) as opposed to a shady item (reduced fat). Once I started doing this, the whole plan got easier.

So far, I've lost about 5 pounds. It probably would have been more, but there was an incident Sunday with a rack of ribs, and my mother's cupcakes (yes, I only had 5 ribs, but the 3 cupcakes more than balanced that out at 6 pts per cake!!!!!!!). Oh well.

That's the end of that little bit of info. Four more minutes to write...

Lat night, I decided to take my son to the new Harry Potter movie. The movie was excellent, but there were a few things that bugged me about the audience. The guy swearing behind us during a particularly tense scene was one. It didn't help that he kept hitting the back of my chair. Luckily he didn't do it often. The guy in front of us who apparently hadn't bathed in awhile, and decided to remove his shoes was another. My God, it was an awful, awful smell.

And then there was this little incident. When the movie first began, I could have sworn I had heard a baby cry. Nah... I thought. No one could have been THAT stupid...

Apparently they can. Now, I have to say that I did not hear the baby cry again during the movie, but I did see a woman with a newborn infant in a snugglie in the restroom afterwards. So yes, someone actually brought a newborn to the movies.

People are weird.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here it is, July already. Folks, that little hiatus was the longest I've gone without blogging in FIVE YEARS. Nope, I haven't been blogging elsewhere, just not writing at all. No wonder I feel like my brain no longer works correctly!

In any case, today I felt compelled to sit and write.

I don't have any grandiose reasons for writing, no out-of-place product reviews, or attempts to monetize. I write because I don't really have anyone to talk about adult things. It's either write or talk to myself, and honestly, I'm kind of sick of the sound of my own voice.

First off, the good news. My father finally had shoulder surgery in May, and is on the road to recovery. I can't wait until he is done with physical therapy, and back to normal. In addition, his 3-month cancer check came back normal, and we're hoping the 6-month check will as well.

More good news: My grandmother is FINALLY coming home after a 6-month ordeal after having surgery for cancer, where she had some lymph nodes removed as well as a tumor. We visited her in the Pocahontas Hospital on Sunday, and she was doing wonderfully well! I was practically in tears the whole time (and am now!), just so happy to see her doing so much better. The skilled care at that hospital was extraordinary. They saved my grandmother, and there is no way to thank them enough for that. She gets to come home tomorrow!

And more good news, although not quite of the same importance: We are finally moving in 16 days. I am trying desperately to get everything packed pretty much by myself. The 15-year old hasn't been much help, although he is one stellar garbage-taker-out-er, and has nearly single-handledly dragged all purged items to the dumpster for me. So, he's been a LOT of help that way.

The big problem with moving is that it really, really is a ton of work, even if you have months to do it. I feel like I've been packing forever. I've been living around boxes all summer. I still can't believe how much stuff I have, even after purging a lot of furniture and other items. To be honest, most of the stuff I've packed may not be sticking around after the move. I'm unpacking what I really love, and I'll go through the rest of it one box at a time. My mother is coming to help the day before the move, and I intend to have all of the big chores out of the way, so we can focus on last minute cleaning and organizing for the move.

News on the Faire-front is also good. Wow! This might just be the summer without drama, but still lots of excitement! We attended the Dubuque Renaissance Faire at the end of May, and even had hotel rooms this time. That is an interesting story that deserves its own post. Later this month, I get to attend a performance of "Twelfth Night" as Bess Throckmorten, to my friend Lynne's Queen Elizabeth. In September, we of course have the Des Moines Renaissance Faire for the first three weekends. For the last weekend of September, and the first of October, we have a new faire in Door County, Wisconsin. We will be flying for that one. Luckily, they will be chartered flights, not commercial. In addition, each Saturday evening after this faire, we will be going to a good restaurant for dinner, to help promote the faire (again, this faire is paying for everything except dinner Friday/Sunday, and breakfast Saturday).

Six of the group members also get to go to the Bahamas August 8th for an event at a private school in Nassau (all expenses paid!!!!!!!!). I'm really jealous, but there were multiple reasons I wasn't able to go (moving, no passport, etc). Hopefully I'll get to go next year!

Now, you shouldn't think that everything's been perfect this past few months. We did have a run of extremely bad luck for quite a long stretch of time.

The day after my last post, my son called to tell me he lost his glasses on a ride at Disneyland. He lost his cell phone at Kennedy Space Center. I ended up being sick with a nasty respiratory illness for FIVE weeks, and went through two courses of antibiotics, plus steroids before finally beating it. I'm still not fully recovered, and my immune system seems to be taking a break, meaning I get EVERYTHING that goes around. I also haven't been able to sing pretty much most of the summer. I am practicing more lately, as I need to be able to sing by the time the faire rolls around.

Ian also ended up getting really sick in April. It started with ear infections that just would not go away. Six weeks worth, including 8 missed days of school due to not being able to stand up without being nauseous, three courses of antibiotics, ear drops, and ear flushing. He hadn't had problems with his ears in 10 years, and suddenly, he had terrible problems.

We keep joking that it was because he grew too fast! Seriously. He hit 6 feet tall last week, and shows no signs of stopping there. I'm growing nostalgic for the good old days, when he was a baby, and didn't take up half of the living room when sitting on the couch with his feet on the ottoman. ;)

So, while this year has had its challenges, I think that I was able to make changes that will really help make our lives better in the future, and also have really come to know exactly how important my family is in my life.

Here's hoping that the rest of the year is much better than the first half!