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Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
09 February 2016 @ 08:13 am
When life gets overwhelming, you can taste it in my food.  It's rushed, sloppy.  Boring.
I'm happy when I have time to try new recipes, pace things so they're done on time, do them right.
Time being relative, of course.  Time being a mindset.

On Sunday I made some tenderloin steaks in my new stainless steel pan, and they came out beautifully.  Exactly the kind of sear I was hoping to see when I moved away from teflon.  I was even able to make a proper sauce from the fond for, like, the first time ever.  It wasn't a particularly good sauce, but it was quite lovely.

I also braised some cabbage in apple cider vinegar, another first.  Unfortunately the Godking didn't love that one, so I have to find another liquid to try, but I like having a way to make it other than fried (don't get me wrong - Alton's fried cabbage is amazing. Just, you know, variety.)

Last night I made pan-fried pork chops, which came out perfect because I gave them enough time to rest in the batter before cooking them.  I also let the pan get hot enough, fried them 2-3 at a time instead of crowding them, and I monitored the temperature with two meat thermometers (since one by itself is likely to lie to me).  Then I let them drain for a bit and kept them warm in the overn until everything was ready to serve, the result being perfectly browned and crunchy chops with tender insides.  The extra time in the oven allowed my roasted potatoes to develop a perfect crunchy skin, too - Tom missed out on those because he's avoid skins right now, sigh, but ah well.  I know I did good. Served it all up with some sauteed veggies - frozen, but since I fully carmelized the onion first and browned the heck out of them in my stainless, they came out nice.  Even tossed mine with a dash of sesame oil, which is my new favorite thing ever.

Was also able to wash dishes while I go, and last night Tom washed most of what I couldn't get to after (while I gave Wiggles a bath), so my kitchen isn't totally trashed.  Always a good way to start a day.  And tonight I don't have to cook, because thankfully there are enough for leftovers, even though I personally ate two chops.  Good times.

It's the little things.

I got a lot done yesterday, too, which really helps.  I'd be feeling even better if I got some exercise in, but today I did a little stretching before breakfast.  If I can just nudge myself into getting away from the laptop enough during the day, without feeling like I'm falling too far behind...

We're going to order a cheap-o elliptical machine.  Just something to give me an opportunity for cardio during the day, maybe 10-15 minutes in between tasks, at first, or after lunch. Something that I can stash when I'm not using it so it doesn't become a secondary closet or a child trap.  I think anything at this point would be helpful. Hopefully the thing won't break after a few tries.

I am so far off the path of fitness, but given the health issues I'm looking at, I've got to change the paradigm.
Little things.

I brought my old altar out of the basement, where it's been since we moved into this house.  Never was able to find a spot for it, so it got shoved against a wall and collected dust.  I'm amazed it didn't suffer any water damage from the various floods.  But I spent a Saturday (now that I have free Saturdays!) organizing down there after the Godking built me some shelves for all the bins, and I saw it there and thought, I need to do something with this or put it out of its misery.  So I brought it up, cleaned it off, and spent another Saturday rearranging furniture until it had a place - front and center at the big study window.  Tom bought me some double-sided tape to secure the marble top (so the baby doesn't pull it over on herself).  I put a single silver candlestick in the center - the one shaped like a witch/crone - with a black candle.  This is me clearing my throat: a little nudge in, maybe, a magical direction.

Did a little meditation out there after my stretching, watching the candle and the snow falling behind her.  Then came out here to share some thoughts over breakfast.

Like I said.  Little things.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
28 January 2016 @ 11:03 am
Ugh, the only writing day (half-day) I had this week, wasted.  Half the rest of the world's fault, half because I can't get out of my head.
Well if I'm not getting any work done, might as well come here and kvetch.

There are times when I'm in a bad mood but I know it will pass, and there are times when I feel the floor buckling and know the bottom is about to drop out on my mental health.  This is one of the latter.  It's like, I don't know, a switch goes off, things start to shut down, a shutter closes on parts of my brain that usually keep me going.

I can rattle off all the reasons why, this time, but what does it really matter.


I did have something interesting to share, though.  Might as well mention, since I'm here.

A couple of weeks ago I felt a presence come to me as I was doing my before-sleep meditation.  Can't describe it better than that, just - an awareness of something that wasn't me, coming in where it hadn't been a moment before.

But that's not the most interesting part: when I felt it, I recognized it.  I don't know *what* it was, but I knew it.  It was something I'd known when I was a child; something familiar and welcome.  I'd forgotten all about it, but then all of a sudden there it was again.

I think it actually came two nights in a row, though I might be misremembering that.  It hasn't been back since, though I've been hoping it would come.  I've been struggling to put a name to it - like I feel it's on the tip of my tongue.  But I can't remember.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the presence that "goosed" me in my son's room a few weeks ago, when I was making his bed.

There were presences in this house when I was little.  Not scary ones, for the most part.  Could it be one of them, come back now that there's another baby in the house? Maybe that's who she was waving to last night, while snuggling in our room.

I wish I knew more.  I wish it would come back.  I hate feeling so disconnected.  My awareness of the spiritual realm has been numbed and dull for so long.  I don't know if it's the medications, or if I've strayed too far from that path, or if I'm just old.  I feel like the lustre has all rubbed off of my soul.
Current Mood: dull
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
21 January 2016 @ 09:42 am
I got bullied all the time in grade school - like, literally, every day.  Most of it is just a blur now. But certain incidents stay with me.  Like this one time, in sixth grade, when the social studies teacher had to leave the room.  Twenty-some twelve-year-olds left unsupervised.

There were two boys in my class who'd made it their mission to torture me that year.  It was a sport to them.  Jolly good fun.  Sure enough, as soon as the door closed, they started on me.  I can't remember what they said; fat jokes are interchangeable.  But I remember they started throwing things -- spit balls, wadded-up up paper, pencils -- along with the fat names.  It was, well, particularly awful.

But what makes this one event stand out is the fact that the whole class was witness to it, and no one did anything.  A few joined in, but most just sat there, waiting in silence for the teacher to come back.  Those were the ones that hurt me most.

There was a little girl who sat next to me, someone who was nominally my friend.  Which is to say, we talked sometimes, we made each other laugh.  She was never mean to me.  But she didn't stick up for me, either.  I was crying. I turned to look at her.  She put her head down.

Eventually, the teacher came back.  Life moved on.

This is how I learned what people are like.  Some are awful and cruel, but the vast majority are just passive.  Nice enough to your face, but not brave enough to stand up for you.  Not moved enough to even be there for you when shit comes flying at your head.

In time I learned to stand up for myself.  I don't need heroes.  But even knowing what I know, I never managed to grow my skin thick enough not to be hurt when it happens again.

I have a lot of colleagues who are involved with the Arts Alliance; writers who come to the open mic or the literary events that I helped make a reality.  A lot of people.

A few of them approached me after I left to find out what happened.  To ask how I am.  A couple expressed qualms about going back.

I don't want people not to go.  I'm proud of those events.  I'm proud that these opportunities are available to writers in my hometown, that the community here is thriving, and that I had a significant role in it.

But it would have been nice if the community of people I respect and enjoy and help to champion had wondered why I was willing to walk away from it.

One person has been talking to me about it, and for that I am grateful.  It helps to put words to things.  I said something to her that really summed it up: something really bad happened to me, but almost no one acknowledges it.

It's like they're all putting their heads down, pretending they don't see.

I had a meeting with my critique group last night, people involved in this circle, who I haven't seen since before I resigned.  People aware of what I'm going through because of what I mention on social media.  People who haven't asked.

I didn't bring it up.  I smiled and focused on our mutual business. Life goes on.

But one of them, my nominal friend, was wearing an Arts Alliance t-shirt.

I don't *think* it was an intentional slight.  I think it was just a really unfortunate coincidence that she picked that shirt out of her closet to wear that day.

But it does say something, all the same.

Like everything else, I'm going to have to learn to get over this.  I have to get over myself.  I know what I accomplished, I know that what was done to me was wrong, I know that I responded in the right way for myself, my family, for principle.  I know that whatever ripples come from this will serve their purpose, that I will be wiser and stronger, and that there are new and better experiences waiting for me.
Just typing this helps.  It's part of the process.  To say, even if no one is listening, this is how it is -
and it totally fucking hurts.
Current Mood: lonelylonely
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
06 January 2016 @ 01:21 pm
In other news, I'm worried that I have MS. Or something like it.
For a very long time now I've had all these crazy things wrong with me.  Some are chronic, some come and go.  Some can maybe be explained, many can't.  But if you look at the list of symptoms for MS, they're pretty much all there.
Trouble is, my neurologist doesn't seem to take me very seriously anymore.  We did a few tests when I first started seeing him for my daily headahces six (?) years ago, we tried all these different meds, but now it's pretty much a stack of prescriptions and facetime every three months.  I've mentioned the things that concern me, but he's mostly dismissive.  Sent me for a sleep test for the aphasia (forgetting common words, like "spatula", or mixing the syllables of words, like "bood goy" instead of "good boy") on the grounds that maybe I'm not getting enough sleep - but since he's the head of the sleep clinic is it really any surprise? But it's more like "Doctor, there are times when my vision gets blurry and I can't see, or it seems like the lights are dimming around me when they aren't" - well, I'm getting up there in age, he says.  Or, "Doctor, when I hold my hand in this position my arm shakes and I can't hold my fork". - well, don't hold your hand in that position.  I think he thinks I'm a slightly hysterical nearly-middle-aged woman who needs to lose weight and stop looking up symptoms on the internet.  And maybe he's right! But on the other hand: aphasia.  vision problems.  hearing problems.  numb hands and feet.  tingling and itching for no reason.  incontinence, weakness, headaches. balance issues.  I'm mean, look it up.
I had EMT (EMG?) tests done in 2010 and 2012 (because I was dropping things back then, too).  They showed mild neuropahty and left open a lot of questions that weren't really pursued.  I want to be tested again, and I want someone to take me seriously and say, No, it really doesn't look like you have MS or anything else... or, maybe you do.  Because if I DO, I want to know now, so they can treat it early.  I have little kids for fuck's sake.  Sometimes I wish something irrefutable would happen, like I suddenly wouldn't be able to move my arm or something, so they'd take notice.  But something like that would mean the disease was further along, and it's not like I want that.  Or maybe I don't have it all, so I'm sitting here wishing it on myself? But then my foot goes numb for a few days again, or I try to speak and can't get words out, and I get worried all over again.  I'm not making this shit up.
I've been asking, but he's been glossing over it.  And I've let him, because what do I know.  But in the back of my mind, there's the knowledge that, in many cases, we know more than our doctors do.  There's the memory of the (woman) doctor who told me to my face that I don't have endometriosis when I fucking did - and I KNEW I did.
So I've been trying to figure out what to do.  Last night I had a dream that I was at the hospital for something and they did the nerve test again, and I was so relieved.  Then today I was looking at facebook after my appointment down town, feeling good about standing up for myself, and I came across yet another article discussing the gross underdiagnosis of women with medical conditions because a) women are taught not to stick up for themselves and b) doctors are used to thinking women are complainers, malingerers, mentally ill.  So it got me fired up to do SOMETHING... I looked up the name and number of the doctor who did those tests on me, hoping maybe I could go to her directly and ask about my concerns.  She was nice, I remember that.  Only she doesn't take patients directly.  I have to get referred.  So that puts me back to the same place - ask my neurologist who doesn't give a fuck, or ask my general practictioner who doesn't really give a fuck either, and knows less.
So I called the family doctor - I guess to schedule a consultation? I mean, is that what you do? Schedule a time to sit down and say "Doctor I'm afraid I might have MS will you please forget about the physical therapy and the anti-itch cream and send me to someone who can help me?" But they're out to lunch, so.  I guess I'll... call back?
Ugh.  I mean, what the fuck, Universe.  Throw me a bone here?
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
24 December 2015 @ 05:12 pm

Last night I dreamed of a woman who committed suicide.
There was a voice over, references to a poem or an excerpt from a book.  Something about a river.  Virginia Woolf, maybe.
She did it in a large, tall, glass tank - like what you'd expect to see in an aquarium, or a mad scientists lab.  Like the glass jar my mother used to use to store her cotton balls.
    Like what you might use to kill an insect with a cotton ball soaked in acetate - to keep it whole, for pinning.  After you watch it die.
Anyway, she did that, drowning herself in a giant glass jar, held down under a weight (like what stylists use at the salon? to sterlize their tools? There's a thing that floats in there, at the top - under that, maybe.)
Only she changed her mind, as she was drowning.  But she had put in measures against that, of course.  She hadn't left herself a choice.  So she died anyway, and you could see it - you, me.  The dreamer - the change of expressions across her face.  The realization that this was it.
Only she DID have a choice.  She fought, in the end.  She struggled, and she died with the echo of it on her face, and her arms stretched out in a fighting stance, pushing against the glass.  She did this, knowing she would lose, but wanting her family to know, when they found her, that she knew she'd made a mistake.  She made her body her suicide note - I'm sorry.  This was wrong.  I'm sorry.  I love you.  I tried.
I forgot about this dream.  I woke up remembering the one about the flood - of course, the flood.  Because water = emotion.  And this was a tsumami, to be exact; crashing over houses, drowning children; houses that were also bureaus, me searching through drawers for children that were also my daughter's toys.  Plastic ponies and motionless little people.  And weirdly (and this is the only thing that makes me wonder), a plastic toy mother was calling out for her missing toy son - Johnny Mac! Johnny Mac, where are you? Johnny Mac being the name of a character in one of my stories, a young man who died in Vietnam.  Now why would THAT be the thing I take into my waking day??

But I was reminded of it because I sent Tom out with the kids to the family party without me. I had planned to go up until the very last moment, but it was so hot and sticky, and our clothes are all over the floor because the laundry never got put up, because I've been running so hard doing All of the Things getting ready for Xmas, because I've been working so hard and I'm so tired, because I'm so beat down over everything that has happened, because, really, I feel unwanted.  I don't know why I can be turned over so easily, by employers, by best friends.  I must be ugly - yes that's it.  Nothing fits, nothing looks right, I'm fat and ugly and unwanted, and I have nothing to wear.
Of course I don't really believe that is true - unfortunately the laundry thing is very true and I honestly could not find anything to put on.  At least, I could not find anything to put on that made me feel comfortable enough and, therefore, strong enough to be with people and pretendl like my heart isn't breaking,
But it is breaking.  It hurts.  It hurts.
So I started sorting laundry and I sent Tom and the children away, and it occured to me, as he closed the door behind them - if something happens to me tonight... if anything happens to me tonight that isn't irefutably an accident, they will think I did it to myself.

And then I remembered the woman in my dream.

What was she trying to tell me, I wonder?  Not to give up? Because I don't plan to.  I'm not that girl anymore.
But, still.

but still.

Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
04 November 2015 @ 03:19 pm
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
13 March 2015 @ 08:32 am

So, interesting experiment.

I've been trying to do some writing every day, even if it's just a little bit of non-consequential stuff during Baby's morning nap.  If I have more time to write, I go with it, but even if I have to spend the rest of the day doing chores and babycare, at least I had that little bit of "I wrote something" momentum to carry me through.

I decided to start with just poetry - one poem a day, doesn't have to be a good poem, just something on a page.  Very low expectations. The point is just to make daily writing a habit, keep the creative muscles working, because the longer I go without writing, the harder it is to get started again.

It's been going pretty well.  I've been using one of the poetry prompt books that I got for Xmas, the one that JoAnn introduced during a workshop at the writing retreat in the fall.  I don't always get a chance to write, but I try.  I don't always get anything from the prompt, but I try.  Sometimes it leads to other things, sometimes I realize there's something else I wanted to work on and just needed to get the words flowing.  In a couple of weeks I produced a good handful of protopoems to work with, some new, some archived stuff I got inspired to revise.

Last week I decided to throw some fiction in the mix.  I'd made a promise to myself that I'd have a story to submit to my writing group in March because the last time it was my turn I didn't have anything to share.  I still saved the mornings for new poetry, but during my few few free afternoon sessions I started messing around with a story premise I'd gotten from a recent dream (I swear, I don't know where my career would be without the blessings of my dreams).

I wrote a few pages, some good stuff, some silly stuff.  I wasn't taking it that seriously, because keeping this writing thing low-pressure was a big part of the plan: I want to get to a point that writing is FUN, not stressful.  BUT, on Tuesday morning I discovered that the March deadline had snuck up on me! I still wanted to keep my promise, but I didn't have enough new work to make submission worth it.

I decided to go for it.  I spent every waking, non-parenting moment trying to get this story moving.  On Wednesday evening I still wasn't far enough along, but I actually liked where the story was going - it had crossed from "story idea" to "almost-done first draft".  So I begged my critique friends to bear with me another day, which they did, Godzblessum.

By Thursday (last) night I STILL wasn't done the story, and I have some serious questions to answer before it can be fully, satisfyingly resolved.  But, I was able to send 18 pages of consequtive manuscript to the group, pages with enough meat and polish that I think I can expect some reasonble and helpful feedback.

So, that's awesome.
The trouble, though, is that for three days I lived in a state of writing fervor.  It's the same state of fervor that has produced some of my most successful writing in the past, but it's not necessarily a good state to be in.  When I'm in that state, very little else gets done.  My house is a mess.  I'm too distracted to cook, let alone wash dirty dishes; we ate out on Wednesday and ordered pizza on Thursday.  I'm behind on laundry, grocery shopping, and still haven't deposited my paycheck.

Worse than this stuff (and yes, for me, losing control of the keeper of hearth things is pretty bad), I'm also impatient with my family.  Writing like that keeps me in a constant, even dangerous state of frustration, because it is SO VERY HARD to maintain. If the kids and husband aren't demanding my attention, just when I'm trying to settle in to figure out the next line, the phone is ringing or a work email comes up or WHATEVER.  I honestly feel like the universe conspires to keep me from being productive, which is why my writing career isn't more established, and me insisting on writing full-time is like fighting destiny.  It fucking sucks.

Now that I'm on the other side of that writing fever, I'm happy with having an almost-done story, but determined to find a way to balance all of this so that I don't have to keep repeating this unhealthy cycle.  I want to have the "I finished something" feeling, but I don't want to have to sacrifice big chunks of time and my sanity to accomplish it. 

There's a balance to this that is still eluding me.  Funny how it always come down to that - balance.
I'm not so great at that - always been an all in or out kind of girl.  But I'll keep trying.  Just, maybe I'll figure out how to be more zen about it.

Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
09 March 2015 @ 09:27 am

I don't read many books lately - takes me forever if I do.  Got through this one in a few weeks, though.  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1205771565?book_show_action=false

It was really enjoyable and had a real impact on my Kinglet perspective. Now that we're not living in triage mode anymore, we can start thinking long term.  The main point of this book is that parenting kids on the spectrum might require different strategies, but the end goal is the same as for any kid:  you want to help them become as independent and functional as adults as they possibly can.

The Kinglet has a lot of strengths, but there areas where he's behind. His fine motor skills, for example – his pencil grip, coordination. We did ask the school for help with this stuff – repeatedly – and they let us down. But to be honest, the physical stuff was not as important as the behavioral stuff, the keeping him in school. We're working on them now, pushing the team, getting outside evaluations. Wishing he could have had help when he was four or five, not going on nine, but better late than never, right?

There are other ways we've been letting him coast.  Stuff we do for him that he could be doing for himself. Responsibilities he could be rising to. Not that we have coddled him! Just, again, stuff that fell lower in the priorities. Or that we didn't know how to approach before. Like, I'm still putting the cream cheese on his bagel in the morning – and, hell, I probably will continue to on school mornings because, right now, it's just easier. But going through everything all over again with Babycakes has made me think about this kind of stuff. This girlie was insisting on finger foods at seven months, and wants to hold her own damn spoon, thankyouverymuch. How long did I spoon feed the Kinglet? A long time. Was it because he had a hard time doing it himself? Or was it because I didn't realize he could? Maybe a little of both.

One of the things the book inspired me to do is to make a weekly check list for his chores. We've done it before, sure, but that was half a lifetime ago for him. It's high time to try again. I included all the things he's expected to do and I added some that he *should* be doing. We made it a three-tiered system, which appeals to his fondness for ordering things: the more chores he checks off, the more money he can earn. And I wrote out the rewards on the bottom, so he can be reminded what he's working for. Lots of ASD kids appreciate visual cues, and the Kinglet is no exception.

I even incorporated cute little cartoons showing the chores, because I'm awesome like that.

It's taken several weeks, with lots of us going over how to do things and reminding him to do it, but last night he reached the top tier for the very first time. We're so, so proud of him, of course, but the fact is that having him do these things is also very helpful. I have a lot more on my plate now with the baby, and it's a huge relief to have someone else put the pillows back on the sofa and clear the art supplies off the kitchen table. And to not have to remind him every night to hang up his towel or put his clothes in the hamper – because the list isn't just verbal anymore, it's a physical thing he can look at and be motivated by. Really, really cool stuff.

So what he did with his first big pay day? He bought a present for his baby sister. His idea, his money, his choice. He got her one of those stuffed animals that double as a pillow – a Pillow Pet? Something like that. It's a red dragon with purple bumps on its back and a sticky-outy tongue. He named it "Draggly" for her.
Babycakes loves it. She's sleeping with it right now.

This, right here. This is what it's all about.


The Kinglet is a great big brother. He has actually been very helpful in ways that aren't measured by a chart. He entertains the baby, hangs out with her, fetches things for us when we've got our hands full, holds the door open, keeps it down when she's napping. Not to say he isn't also annoying or oblivious in the way any eight year old big brother would be, but he's made me glad, really, that they are so far apart. Each one is a treasure in their own right. They don't have to compete, they divide my attention in ways that are manageable, and they compliment each other. He helps and protects her. She makes him happy, makes him feel not alone.

So. Good things.

Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
16 January 2015 @ 09:46 am


I watched a documentary, BREASTMILK, on Netflix last week, after my buddy aellwynde mentioned it with her reactions on Facebook.

I almost didn't -- though the topic is one of definite interest to me (and not just because I'm currently a nursing warrior*), it's also a controversial one with more personal emotional punch than I realized until I considered putting the film in my queue.

A few years ago, I unfriended an old friend after an argument over breastfeeding politics turned ugly.  It was a dumb thing that shouldn't have happened, and was largely my fault -- I posted a hurtful comment about formula moms that was meant in jest but really wasn't funny.  I didn't mean it and I apologized, but unfortunately the issue is so damned volatile, things snowballed and shit happened.  It's over and done with, but apparently the idea of revisiting the subject was enough to tweak those old hurts.

I got over it, though, and I'm glad I did, because it was an interesting film.  I thought it was well done: I didn't agree with everything that was said, but that's good, really, because the film features a plethora of moms and professionals voicing their opinions and sharing experiences, which of course will differ.  As aellwynde said, when I asked beforehand whether the film has an agenda, yes it *does* (long story short: breastfeeding is good, but not always possible, and that's ok, though society doesn't help the situation, and is that ok?), it's a subtle message that comes across in what the filmmakers edited in, because the film actually has no voiceover opinions or narration.  Just real people talking, including real moms who could not or chose not to breastfeed, for real and personal reasons.

I'm not going to do an indepth review, partly because I lied - I haven't gotten around to starting my Minecraft game yet, which I really need to do before the baby wakes up - and partly because I think people are either going to watch the film or they aren't, depending on their inclinations.  And the problem with films like this, in my opinion, along with similar ones like THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN, etc, are that they are full of great information and arguments that will largely be seen by people who are already informed or leaning towards that argument.

That said, there were some really good quotes in the film that I wish I'd written down, particularly by one of the professionals, a breastfeeding advocate/author, who talks about how the feminist movement pushed against breastfeeding moms, and how the polarizing politics of breastfeeding actively work against the feminist cause -- I thought one particularly eloquent comment that she makes towards the end could be made for the politics of QUILTBAG and race in this country, too.  Plus, there's a very amusing discussion about nursing porn and the phallicness of breasts, complete with a sequence of nipples ejacluating to the swell of an opera aria.  Hysterical.

Ok.  I'mma go play now, for realz.  I'll just leave this here.

*Seriously.   I feel like my whole life revolves around breastmilk these days. If I'm not nursing, I'm pumping, or sterlizing the pump, or packing frozen breastmilk or shuffling bottles of breastmilk or mixing breastmilk with baby cereal or washing breastmilk out of my clothes.  I was literally doing one of the above while watching this film over the course of a few days.

On the brightside, breastfeeding allows me lots and lots of time to surf Netflix.

Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
16 January 2015 @ 09:08 am

My New Year's resolution was to blog more.  I totally intend to do that, but I've been busy for the first couple weeks of 2015 with a vacation hangover and digging out of the post-holiday chaos.  And playing Minecraft.

For Xmas, I gave the Kinglet a certificate that he could redeem daily for half an hour of video game time with mom.  It was good from Xmas day through January 10th.  Naturally, he chose Minecraft 90% of the time, and I hated every minute of it right up until day ten, at which point I guess I reached the saturation point because now I'm totally hooked.

I've been playing every day since he went back to school, jonesing until the baby goes down for her nap and eschewing household chores so I can, like, collect skins to make books for my library and trying to navigate caves without losing my tamed wolves.

I had a featured reading last Saturday, and I waited until the day before to start working on my set list.  Fortunately, I'm a quick study for that kind of thing (plus I don't even bother trying to memorize my poems, life being what it is right now).  I even managed to work the Minecraft into my narrative, which went over pretty well and helped me warm up to the mic.  So, that was cool.

I'm now into my second week of bingeing, though, and trying to cut back.  Hence, writing this blog entry when I could be firing up the game.  Which I will, but.  You know.  Balance.

It's not just that I have an addictive personality -- although I totally do.  It's that, as a Mom, I'm a complusive doer, so it's very rare that I set aside time just to goof off and have fun.  Truly, I hit the ground slogging in the morning, taking care of the kids and the house and the finances and the business end of writing, and I keep doing until the kids are asleep and I can collapse at the end of the night.  It's kind of sad, really: the only "fun" I can say I have is the brief check-ins to facebook that I do, plus the satisfaction of checking things off the neverending mental to-do list, the "Getting Things Done with Dolores" game that I love so.  Indulging in a video game, or reading fiction is almost unheard of.  So, for now, I'm giving myself some leeway with this, though of course there's the voice of guilt in my head reminding me of all the stuff that needs to get done: which is another big reason I don't DO fun much.  The guilt-voice is so damned annoying.

But, anyway.  I have a list of topics I want to write about, both here and on the website.  So, I'm proclaiming now that they Shall Be Writ.  Very soon.

Right after I check on my livestock and my inventory.  BRB.  ;)