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Waffles actually are kind of easy, at least when I'm working from a mix. The biggest hitch was the egg not wanting to mix. Scott had told me to use a spoon instead of a whisk because having lumpy batter is fine, but the egg white was kind of clumpy, so I had to go to a whisk anyway. Our waffle iron has a light that comes on when the waffle is done (my assumption is that this has to do with sensing temperature since it's the same light that comes on when the iron has preheated).

In the afternoon, after the library trip, we went to Vault of Midnight, the game and comic store downtown, and Scott got two Firefly game supplements and a cooperative game that he thinks I might enjoy.

We had dinner out for a third night in a row. This time we went to a Chinese place near the Kroger. Cordelia was unimpressed by her chicken lo mein which basically had no flavor to speak of, but we all like the chicken with mixed vegetables and shrimp with mixed vegetables that Scott and I got. The service was not stellar. I'm pretty sure that the waitress must have been inexperienced. She asked for our food order immediately after we sat down, before we'd even had time to open the menus, and kept coming back to ask at very short intervals. She never refilled our water glasses in spite of a request. After the meal, we asked for three boxes, and she brought two.

After that, we went next door to the Asian grocery and bought a lot of mochi. I also got some ginger coconut hard candies, and Cordelia got some guava sour candies and some pear juice that she's had before and really likes. Scott got a large slotted ladle which we do need. I told him that we should be shopping there for dumplings and buns and such rather than at Kroger. I'm pretty sure that the stuff there was half to two thirds the price of the same stuff at Kroger, and it's just across the street.

Scott and I watched two movies that I'd gotten from the library. Well, for certain values of watched. I'm not sure that either of us actually paid much attention to Beauty and the Beast (2017). I'm sitting at a really terrible angle to see the TV and never quite managed to get interested. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract was better and held our attention.

There's an exchange I didn't sign up for for which I'd like to write about a dozen treats, but (and this is why I didn't sign up) it has the same due date as Not Prime Time. I really don't think I'm going to write that many stories in that window. Ah, well. Maybe they'll keep the collection open for after the fact treats.

I'm considering signing up for Fic Corner, but I'm not really enthusiastic about anything that was nominated. (I didn't nominate because of computer troubles. Me nominating probably wouldn't have helped as I skew toward obscure books from the 1960s through the early 1980s.) There's one thing I'm pretty certain I could write. There are things I could probably write and am sure I own. There are things I might be able to write but am not sure I still own. There are things that might be interesting to try but that would require buying the canon (if I could find it). Many of these are books I haven't read in decades.

Today's to do list )
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Scott and I went out for dinner at Bob Evans on Friday. We talked about other options, but we didn't want to go downtown, and I wanted to avoid anything too challenging to my digestive system. We also hoped (and were right) that Bob Evans wouldn't be crowded the way that fancier places were likely to be. We discovered that Bob Evans doesn't season its fries and such which is a huge bonus for me as I have problems with black pepper.

Cordelia's friend is at home. Her mother says she's resting. Cordelia says she's watching movies. I'm not sure if the movie watching is medically approved or not. I was expected her to have another 'cognitive rest' period with no books, screen time, movies/TV, phone conversations, etc. (I'm not actually sure how that works because I know that, if I were in that situation, I'd be spinning stories to keep myself from being bored, and that's more mental work than, say, listening to an audiobook).

I've started a second chapter to my Not Prime Time story. I'm still not sure what the movement in the story will be-- character development, plot development, something else altogether? I got as far as I could with the first POV character and have now switched to someone else. I don't think I have time for a chapter for each character even if that sounds like it would work.

We went out to Totoro last night to celebrate Cordelia's graduation. The hostess who's been there as long as I've been going there (possibly she's also the owner?) was astonished that Cordelia's finished middle school because she remembers Cordelia at three years old. Scott tried a different dish than his usual because he wants to avoid the grease of the tempura. He had spicy barbecue chicken which he said was quite spicy for his taste. I didn't try it, so I can't measure it against my own (wimpy) scale. Cordelia had a couple of sushi rolls, and I (as usual) had a bento, salmon teriyaki this time. I brought most of the fried food home with me to eat this morning. We split an order of vegetarian gyoza.

We have begged off from going to Scott's sister's Father's Day gathering. Their parents are traveling (in Europe, I think), so we just don't have the usual impetus. Scott liked the idea of a relaxing day at home. Cordelia and I haven't gotten Scott a gift, but he says what he wants is a chance to buy something at one of the local game stores. There's one not far from the library, so he'll wander that way while Cordelia and I get our books.

Next up-- I figure out how to make waffles. Scott says they're easy.
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Cordelia's best friend's family needs to move this summer, so it's now kind of up in the air as to which high school she'll end up attending. It will depend on whether or not they find a house to buy and where or if they need to move to another rental somewhere. I know they want to stay on this side of town because the girl's mother works at the VA hospital and needs to commute by bus. I've referred them to the buyer's agent we worked with, and I warned them about the Orangeburg sewer line problem that many houses have. A collapsed sewer line is both horribly expensive and beyond inconvenient. The city keeps a database of where Orangeburg lines have been replaced, and they recommend using it to see if the house you're interested in has had it replaced and/or is in a neighborhood where other houses have. A lot of these neighborhoods were built all at once.

I ended up spending about three hours at an urgent care clinic last night. I think that, every time my body does something weird now, my clinic's triage nurses are going to look at my medical records and panic because it could be something terrible. In this case, one round of the standard PT for vertigo (the Epley maneuver) seems to have settled things completely.

I missed my window for dinner, so all I ate after lunch yesterday was an applesauce pouch. I had grabbed it on the way to the urgent care clinic because it had already been five hours since lunch. We tried to pick up a vanilla frosty on the way home, but the Wendy's was out of vanilla, so I was SOL on that front.

Scott and Cordelia went to the class picnic without me (and still got to the clinic to pick me up before I was actually done). Scott sent me a picture of Cordelia and some of her classmates wading. There's a lot of bean salad leftover. When I tried some this morning, I was irritated to discover that some of the beans were actually crunchy. I used pre-cooked, canned beans. Crunchy is not something I wanted or expected, and it probably explains why there's so much leftover. I'm not sure what to do about that at this point. I don't want to eat crunchy beans, but I can't exactly pull out the problematic ones to cook them further now.
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I checked the shelves at the library yesterday and didn't find the CD that's been missing for months or the one that just disappeared. My best guess that both of them have fallen somewhere, either here or at the library, where nobody looks. I've searched everywhere I can think of here at home with no luck, and the likely places at the library aren't in areas where I can look. The new missing CD, naturally, continues the streak of me only misplacing CDs that I didn't enjoy listening to. It also can't be renewed, so I guess I'll be paying for it next weekend.

Mom arrived yesterday pretty much on time at 10 a.m. We talked for a little while then got in our car and drove to Bob Evans. When we got home, Scott worked on assembling the new grill he bought (the grates on the old one rusted through, and replacing them proved more expensive than buying a new, less fancy grill) while Mom and I talked, and Cordelia and her friend went to their volunteer orientation at the science center.

Mom mentioned having seen and loved Firefly and Serenity. That felt weird to me because she's usually down on SF stuff because of it reminding her of my father. She also talked about my step-father having a very traumatic encounter with an alligator while he was out kayaking. He went out alone for reasons that my mother wasn't clear on. She thought that part was unwise. Then he went to an area where he hadn't been before, with deeper water, and started seeing very, very large alligators. There was one on the shore that spotted him, rolled into the water, swam over, and then reared up on its tail to look down at him. He was sure he was going to die. Mom says he didn't stop obsessing about it for days.

I asked if it was likely a nesting mother, and Mom said that the time of year is right and that the circumstances rather sound like it.

I told Mom about the Sgt Pepper's/Star Wars (A New Hope only) mashup videos that I ran into earlier this week, and she wants the link. Scott adored the videos even though he only recognized two or three of the songs. The whole thing is here on YouTube. It's the entire album, so it's longish. People who know the album tend to be more impressed, but people who don't can enjoy them, too. They're captioned, too, which is rare for such things.

I made banana bread while we were hanging out. It's been years since I made it routinely, but I still remember the recipe without needing to open Joy of Cooking. The amounts of everything, including the final batter, looked too small until I realized that I used to make two loaves at a time and wasn't this time. The banana bread made a good snack for when the girls got back from orientation.

Cordelia tells me that she and her friend weren't the only middle school kids at the orientation. She'd been worried about that. I think that the fact that the camp accepts thirteen year old volunteers and almost no other volunteer opportunities do probably skews their pool younger. Cordelia's planning out her summer schedule with shifts at the library and at Food Gatherers. I'd probably have scheduled the camp first because that's two chunks of a week each. I wouldn't want to make scheduling those harder by committing to days here and there through the summer. She's already trying to figure out if it's feasible to do camp the week of her dentist appointment. She'd get done at 4:00. The appointment is at 4:15. If her father is home to drive, it's doable. If he's not, it's really, really not.

I wrote almost 600 words yesterday on chapter 7 of Auguries of Innocence. It needs some tweaking because I ignored one of the characters present, but it's progress. That chapter has been sitting for quite a long time. I still want to go back to my Fandom5K, but I'm also still not sure my level of exhaustion is conducive to being sensible about editing that. The currently posted version works reasonably well, I think. It could be better, but if I'm not physically/mentally up to it, the results won't be horrible or embarrassing.

Last night's experience with the c-PAP was better. At least, it didn't hurt. The hose was still a serious PITA, and I think that a four is too high for the humidity setting at this time of year, but I actually slept. I'm just low on sleep because Scott didn't let me go back to sleep after he got up. I may nap after Cordelia leaves for school because only five hours of sleep is just begging for a migraine by bedtime.

None of us have appointments today. Cordelia has PT tomorrow. I have two appointments on Wednesday and one on Friday. I'm hoping that this will be less stressful than the last three weeks were and that we don't add more appointments on for next week. At any rate, I have all day today and a good chunk of tomorrow to myself. Thursday is cleaning lady day, so even though there aren't any appointments, I can't really relax.

My chest pain is getting better. I made it worse yesterday by carrying a basket of laundry from our room to the top of the basement stairs (I made Scott do the up and down the stairs part) and by doing a lot of bending over to get things off the floor that I didn't want to be there when Mom arrived.

My hands have been hurting more. I think part of the problem is that I'm picking up and moving more moderately heavy things (dishes, empty or full, and hardcover books are a problem that way) and trying to hold open paperbacks to read them. The OT people said I should just switch to audiobooks. I pointed out that we own more than 5000 books. I didn't go into the other issues with audiobooks-- price, time investment, inability to 'read' them while other people are watching TV in the same room (or, often, while there are other people in the house at all). The next suggestion was a book stand. I've looked at those online, and they look pretty iffy. I don't think that buying one without a chance to try it out would be a good idea because the ones most likely to work for me are pretty darned expensive. Also, for in bed, I'd want one thing and for in the living room quite another.
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Sadly, showering has not helped my sneezing. I hope I haven’t caught something. It feels more like allergies than a cold, but who knows? And now I’m suddenly feeling really, really tired.

I have dealt with about twenty five things from my email inbox so far this morning, mostly by deciding not to answer them and deleting them.

The pork is in the pressure cooker. My intention is to have it cooled and put away and some other scent replacing it in the air before Cordelia’s friends come over in about seven hours. That seems entirely doable. I mainly want to clear the odor because none of the three friends eat pork for religious reasons. That we do isn’t a big deal (though I wouldn’t while any of them was here), but I feel like it would be rude to have a potentially appealing smell of something they can’t eat filling the house when they arrive. I’ll probably simmer some cinnamon teabags on the stove after I put away the cooked pork.

I’ve got the dishwasher almost ready to run. I’m debating whether or not I can rearrange things to make the pressure cooker pot fit. If I can, I should wait and do the dishes after the pork’s done. If I can’t, I might as well run the dratted thing now.

I have one more pair of trousers still clean than I thought did. That means that, as long as I don’t spill teriyaki sauce on myself or something today, I can put off laundry until tomorrow. I don’t think there’s any other compelling reason to deal with it today. I just thought, earlier, that, if I didn’t, I’d have nothing to wear tomorrow.
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Last night, we met up with Scott’s sister and her family at the restaurant where our nephew works. Scott and I left early with the intention of getting there by 6:30 so we could be sure that I would get my food in time to eat it. As it turned out, traffic was bad enough that it was 6:45 before we got there. The restaurant does a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai food, none of it very well, IMO. (It’s probably mostly that it’s wildly varying levels of Americanized so that it’s not easy to guess what one’s going to get. Also, there’s a lot of peanuts and peanut sauce floating around. I’m only mildly allergic, but it still makes me nervous.)

We traded Christmas presents for the girls. Scott and I gave our niece a game that she wanted, and Scott’s sister and her family gave Cordelia some clothes and a CD. Our nephew wanted something hugely expensive from Russia, and that’s still somewhere in shipping limbo. He’s seventeen, and it’s coming as a shock to him that, when he asked for one expensive thing, everybody went in on it and didn’t give him anything else. His mother commented that it’s a lesson that he needed to learn.

I woke with a headache today, but I could tell that it would go away once I had some caffeine. Headaches seem to be the price I pay for sleeping later than I usually would, and caffeine making them go away leads me to think that they’re withdrawal related.

I’ve got potatoes in the Instant Pot now. They’ll be edible in a about forty minutes (twelve minutes cooking, twenty to thirty minutes for slow pressure release). I’m going to tell Scott not to buy Green Giant potatoes again. He’ll promptly forget, but two of the potatoes were actually broken nearly in half and going really nasty along the break. They’d obviously been broken for a very long time. It just wasn’t something that could be seen without pulling them out of the bag.

I hope to do sweet potatoes and chicken (separately) in the Instant Pot later today, but I may not get to them if I’m too tired.

Today’s to do list is relatively short but challenging.

Call Aetna for pre-approval of next week’s appointment.

Find and mail the forms to get medical records forwarded to where they need to go.

Print forms for Sunday’s appointment and start filling them out.

Call our new prescription insurer and ask for replacement cards to be sent.

Call the folks who did my cancer related genetic testing and ask what on earth is going on with the insurance billing.

Dig through and answer my email.
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Last night, Scott decided that we were going out for dinner. At first, Cordelia wanted sushi, but as we pulled into the lot there, she announced that she actually wanted pancakes. Fortunately, Saica is on the way to Bob Evans, so we hadn’t gone out of our way.

The service at Bob Evans was pretty bad. Our waitress was slow. The manager ended up coming by and taking our meal orders because he thought she was taking too long to bring our drinks. The delay in bringing our drinks wouldn’t have been a big deal, but she only had three occupied tables. Something she said when she brought our food led me to believe that the kitchen might have been short staffed. I don’t think it’s normal for the waitress to be the one to put chocolate sauce and whipped cream on someone’s pancakes.

I got annoyed, however, when she started up a long conversation with some folks at another table (at that point, she only had two tables, and we had our food). We finished eating and sat there, waiting for her and hearing her entire conversation. She was talking to the ladies at the other table for at least fifteen minutes, probably more. The only reason she ever came by our table again was that some other Bob Evans employee came by and broke up the conversation. The waitress also didn’t think that, if we were asking for boxes for our leftovers, we probably wanted the bill, too.

We stopped at Plum Market on the way home to get some gluten free pie crusts. We were there at the right time to get half price baked goods, so we got two loaves of bread, some muffins, some bagels, and a couple other things that I can’t remember off the top of my head.

I have washed my dress. It’s hanging in the bathroom to dry. I want to do one more load of laundry, and I must, must, must wrap Scott’s presents today. I’ve also got phone calls and emails to deal with. I think I’ll start out with the (turkey) bacon wrapped dates, though. Those are easy enough, just time consuming. I’m debating, though, whether or not I should add butter or something to the pan to make up for the turkey bacon having so much less fat than normal bacon. Maybe I should divide what I make across two pans and add butter to one and not the other? The main thing that’s keeping me from working on them is that I want to be in the living room. There’s nowhere to do that sort of work in here, and I’m in the middle of a DVD.

Scott’s employer gave us a spiral cut ham. Scott and Cordelia like ham. I can’t generally eat it (ham lunchmeat is sometimes okay. I think it has less fat or something) without reflux. Scott’s trying to figure out what to do with it now. Taking it to Christmas dinner would be pointless because there’s already going to be a lot of food, and it would be… Cordelia has invited her best friend, who is Muslim, to join us. None of us want to have ham on the table while she’s there. Also, for six people, a ham and a turkey would be overkill. I suggested giving it to my parents when we see them next week.

We have reservations to stay at a hotel in Kalamazoo. We decided that was better than trying to get closer. Paw Paw is across 94 from Lawton and has three hotels, but they all had issues we couldn’t or didn’t want to deal with. My parents have said they’ll pay for the hotel; otherwise, we probably would have just done a day trip, given everything else. Being in Kalamazoo will actually give us more options for things to do. It’s only twenty minutes from Lawton, so it’s really not that far, and my brother lives in Kalamazoo.
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Scott is kind of flipping out over the idea of having his parents here on Christmas Eve because he wants the house to be clean. I care considerably less about that right now. I think we have a dozen things that his parents would agree are more urgent/important. Also, our cleaning lady comes today, and that will help a good bit. I will do some putting away of junk today because that’s part of my normal Thursday.

I need to figure out a good way to clean the dress I usually wear to the Christmas Eve service. I didn’t wear it last year, and it’s covered with dust because I kind of dumped it two years ago and then forgot about it. I think it’s machine washable but needs to drip dry, so I should deal with that today.

I have between two and four phone calls to make today (three of them are on the same subject, and if the first works out, I won’t need the other two. If the second works out, I won’t need the third). I need to send at least two emails, one to my mother and one to the mother of Cordelia’s best friend.

I want a nap and a shower, and I have two things I’d like to cook. I just don’t want to cook before the cleaning lady comes because she fasts on Thursdays. Dates wrapped in turkey bacon have a strong odor, and Chex mix, while less potent odor-wise, is still noticeable hours later.

Scott’s mother vetoed pretty much everything Scott and I offered to bring for Christmas dinner. She’s making mashed potatoes, so she doesn’t want sweet potatoes (I’d rather go the other way). She’s making chicken and noodles which is a family tradition for Scott’s family, so rice and bread would be superfluous. She’s making broccoli and doesn’t think that a second green vegetable would be desirable given how small the group is. A green salad might be okay, but she gave me the impression that she didn’t really think anyone would eat it.

That pretty much leaves desserts. We had been suggesting things that we could make without a lot of time/effort. Scott’s thinking he’ll make a pie, but he was unhappy with the apple pies he made for Thanksgiving. He was unable to cover them because he was using pre-made, gluten free crusts. He’d hoped that he could use one to cover the other, but they were completely rigid. At this point, he’s thinking pumpkin pie. I don’t really care much for that, but… Eh. Whatever. I can’t eat key lime pie at all, and his mother won’t touch anything containing nuts, so pecan is out.

There aren’t a lot of options for uncovered pies that will appeal more widely than pumpkin. At least none of us hate that. I’m just not sure that Scott realizes that pumpkin pie normally contains dairy which his father can’t have. I expect that substitutions are possible; I just don’t know what they are.

And I’m not even going to address the can of worms that is how to sweeten stuff. Scott’s father has diabetes, so they normally cook with Truvia which makes me hellishly sick. At big family gatherings, there’s generally more than one dessert. I don’t expect there to be here.
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My bruised leg is giving me a fair amount of trouble with walking and standing. I’ve got things I want to do that require standing, so I’m trying to plan my day so that I don’t try too much at once but still get stuff done. I have three phone calls I absolutely must manage, too.

The part of my neck that I kept putting pressure on to ease my headache feels really tender now. Which makes sense given that I spent two days putting pressure on it whenever I could manage.

I’m planning to try making bacon wrapped dates with turkey bacon some time this week. I usually make a lot of them for our family Christmas gathering, but there will only be six people this year, and one— Cordelia’s friend— is Muslim. If the turkey bacon version works, I’ll take some with us. If not, well, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to eat.

I need to make our Christmas porridge, too. Scott will want me to try making it in the pressure cooker, but I’m not enthusiastic about experimenting with that this close to Christmas. I know the stovetop method works.

Scott and Cordelia both enjoyed Rogue One last night. I think that, for Cordelia, the big draw was time with her friends. Scott didn’t sit with the girls. I think he’s going to end up seeing a lot of movies that way— him alone in the theater while Cordelia sits somewhere else with her friends.
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I tried to nap yesterday, but I had to get up twice to pee, and Cordelia came in once for a prolonged cuddle. Given that I was in bed for two and a half hours, there just wasn’t time to fall asleep. I had trouble falling asleep in the evening, too, even after taking Ativan. Once I fell asleep, I slept deeply.

I made fudge last night, and while I did it, I coached Cordelia through making chocolate chip bars. We almost didn’t have enough sugar, but I found some brown sugar that wasn’t hard, so we got by. The fudge doesn’t look right. It’s not smooth, and I’m not quite sure what I did wrong. I followed the directions as precisely as I could.

The fudge making left my hands hurting pretty badly. Apparently that much stirring isn’t something my hands can do without consequences.

We got two loads of laundry run, too. Well, one is still wet. I will put it in the dryer after I finish posting this.

I wrote more bits and pieces of things. One was intended to add onto my Yuletide story, but I got into the middle and realized that the plot absolutely would not work, partly for logistical reasons and partly because it undercuts what I’ve done in the other sections and because it goes too far toward one of my recipient’s DNWs. So that gets cut completely. I was looking at the angst and difficulties for the character and not at the longer term repercussions.

I’ve officially signed up for my recount shifts. The organizers are assuming that the state attorney general will end up facing a judge who looks at his lawsuit to stop the recount and considers it ridiculous. Because it is. At any rate, I’ll be doing eight hours, from 9-5, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I will do four hours on Saturday morning and four hours on Sunday evening. I expect that to wreck me pretty thoroughly. What I need to do shouldn’t be physically hard (except for how my body reacts to stress), but it will require focus and attention and, possibly, assertiveness.

It’s not clear yet how I’ll be getting there and home again. I asked the organizers to see if they could find someone coming from this area who could give me a ride. I’m not holding my breath, though. It just would be really nice because taking a cab or taking a bus means probably getting to the site with a lot of time before the doors open rather than risking being late. Given the time of day, cabs will be slower to arrive, generally, and traffic will slow down getting there once the cab arrives. I could use the A-Ride to make the cab much, much cheaper ($3 instead of the at least $30 I expect), but the A-Ride tends to arrive later and take longer to get places because it’s a shared ride service and because A-Ride customers are lower priority than anyone paying full fare. I think the A-Ride would probably be okay for getting home after since I won’t have the same time pressure and should be able to wait indoors.

Scott’s aunt, his father’s older sister, is in the hospital after a stroke. We don’t know the long term damage yet because her husband doesn’t do email and can’t hear well enough to talk on the phone. Scott’s mother also thinks that he doesn’t actually understand what the doctors are saying. They’re not sure exactly when the stroke happened. She felt tired and sick (nausea) Tuesday evening and went to bed early. It’s not clear if that was due to the stroke having happened or if the stroke happened while she was sleeping. Scott isn’t sure how old his aunt is, but I seem to recall her being more than five years older than Scott’s father, so she must be at least 78.
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I’m slowly whittling down my to do list. I keep adding things, too, but they’re generally small things. Things look much better if I don’t include my list of things I want to finish writing. There are so very many of those, and right now, I’m flitting back and forth between several different stories.

I checked last night, and the face to face training for the recount is, while technically in Ann Arbor, well outside of reasonable travel range if I have to take a cab. The bus doesn’t go close enough for the ride planner to accept it as a valid destination. They’ve set up about five online training sessions, though, so I signed up for one of those. I still need to email the coordinator and let him know that I’m not coming to the face to face session. I’d kind of rather do the face to face because I’ve never done something like this online and don’t know if it suits my learning style.

I didn’t get back to sleep after Cordelia got up this morning. I stayed in bed until she left, though, so that she could have the time to herself.

We had a game session last night. We did a little more first contact stuff, but the group is being sent on an off-planet mission next session, so I don’t know if we’ll go back to that. The npc who’ll be taking over seems only sort of competent, but I suspect that’s largely because the GM wants the pcs to make the decisions about what to try.

I made chocolate chip bars last night. I’d gotten to the point of not easily being able to delay when we discovered that we had no baking soda in the cupboard. Neither of us could figure that out because that’s not the sort of thing that we usually run out of, especially not without realizing that we need to buy more. Scott ended up making a trip to the store to get some, and I pulled things together while the game session was getting started. I didn’t want to deal with our rock hard and years old brown sugar (I know there are ways of softening it. I didn’t want to deal with it), so I used white sugar and molasses. That changed the color of the resulting bars but not the taste.

My hands are hurting a lot. I keep doing the things I need to do, but I say, "Ow. Ow. Ow!" a lot and use heat and cold and wish desperately that there was something I could take that would actually help. I need to prod my doctor. She said she was going to refer me to orthopedics and that they’d call me with an appointment. It’s been three weeks now, and I haven’t heard anything. Given that it will take months for me to get in, I really want to get things rolling now.

I have one library book due on Sunday that can’t be renewed. I’m about twenty pages into it. Finishing it is possible, but I’m not sure I will because I’m not finding it engaging. I’ve got another book that can’t be renewed that’s due in the middle of next week that I haven’t even opened and another unrenewable book that I have started and really want to finish but am not sure I can because holding it hurts a lot. The latter has a lot of full page pictures, so it’s not a long as it looks, not in terms of time spent reading words.
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My radiation oncology appointment yesterday went well. I got there about 45 minutes early and expected to have a leisurely time filling out my paperwork and reading some of the books I’d brought with me. Instead, they took my vitals and took me back right away. I was out of there by the time of my actual scheduled appointment. I need to remember that they do this because it’s happened both times I’ve gone back for check ups.

The main takeaway there is that I need to keep massaging my breast because the lymphedema is still an issue. I knew that, but I was mostly ignoring it because it rarely hurts.

I walked over to the cancer center afterwards to ask about my genetic testing data. I talked to something like four different people before I got someone who could help. Nobody seemed to understand what I was after until I’d explained two or three times. The nurse who finally helped me told me that I will have to call the testing company in order to get what I want because the testing company doesn’t actually give them that information. Which seems really ridiculous for a cancer center that’s supposed to be at the forefront of research. She gave me a copy of everything that the testing company gave them, but I think it’s exactly what they sent me through the patient portal.

I got home to find a FedEx package on our porch. It contained the two nightgowns I’d ordered and not gotten. I’d be wondering if I’d actually ordered the purple pants if the packing slip with them hadn’t clearly said that it was supposed to be a two pack of nightgowns. I have no idea why they sent this when they said they wouldn’t/couldn’t. I’m glad to get them. I’m assuming they were shipped overnight after I complained yesterday because, if they were sent before that, it’s… well, it’s beyond weird.

I let Scott mail the pants back because they were the wrong size. Since he had to go to the post office anyway, he mailed a package we’d planned to hold onto until January.

I was up later than I wanted to be last night due to reflux. I have no clue what caused that. No, that’s not true. I’m 95% sure that it was anxiety/stress. I had applesauce, almonds, and vanilla ice cream for dinner, and those are all things that are hugely safe for me as far as reflux goes. I ended up writing on my phone for about an hour before I risked lying down again. I started a new story, so it wasn’t progress on any of my WIP. If I finish the new story, it would be the first time I’ve written a Yuletide treat, so I’m kind of looking at it sideways and wondering.

I got word from the folks organizing the recount volunteers that there’s a training session tomorrow evening and that the recount might start as early as Friday. I foresee a shitload of Ativan in my future, and I’m pretty sure that anxiety over this is what caused last night’s reflux. I don’t actually expect the recount to make a difference, but it’s the sort of thing that needs doing anyway. I’m just glad that the training session for our county is here in town. I have to email the coordinator to let him know that I’ll be there. Scott might or might not be available to give me a ride, but a cab is possible (I don’t think the bus goes out there, but I haven’t checked the address yet. I just know the bus doesn’t go very far out Jackson Rd).

The training session will be inconvenient from a family point of view because Scott and Cordelia were assuming we’d find a way to fit in tonight’s Arrow episode tomorrow before Legends of Tomorrow airs. I don’t see it happening when Scott won’t be available until after 6:00 and I’ll be gone from at least 5:30 to 8:00 (and that assumes that transportation is rapid and available immediately).

I’m on the email notification list for FDA recalls, and I’ve seen two in the last week for packages missing allergen information about crab cakes containing seafood. On the one hand, it’s good to have allergen information required for everything. On the other hand, is there actually anyone buying crab cakes on the assumption that they don’t contain seafood?

Scott and Cordelia have decided that we will put up the Christmas tree this coming Sunday. That means that I need to make fudge and some cookies between now and then. I told Cordelia there’d probably only be time for fudge and chocolate chip bars. She said that was fine. I want to do the sort of Christmas baking I’ve done in the past, but I’m not sure there’s a point. Scott’s mother is GF. Scott’s father has type 2 diabetes, and my blood sugar is borderline.

I emailed Scott’s mother to suggest that they come down here for Christmas Eve and then we go up there on Christmas Day. There are four Methodist churches around town that have services that might be possible and that I think Scott’s parents wouldn’t find uncomfortable. (There’s an AME church about three blocks away, but I think that Scott’s parents would be hugely uncomfortable and that taking Trump voters to a black church would be utterly icky. Not to mention that I feel like white people going uninvited into a black space is, in general, intrusive and rude.) We could also drive up to Brighton after dinner for a service. Scott’s parents know people there, and it’s not far for us and is on their way home.

Scott may or may not have to work on Christmas Eve. Some years, the plant runs. Some years, it doesn’t. We won’t know until right before. I like the idea of doing things down here because it means that, if Scott’s home by 4:00, we could do a 5:00 or 5:30 service with dinner after. The options for later services locally are more limited. There’s a 7:30 and an 11:00 at the campus Methodist church. 11:00 is more feasible now than it was when Cordelia was waking up at 5:00 on Christmas mornings, but it’s still not attractive for a number of logistical reasons. Scott’s parents would have an hour drive to get home after, and Scott and I would still have to do the last minute preparations for the next day.
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The gathering at Scott’s sister’s house was fairly laid back. Sadly, something I ate gave me reflux. I’m kind of suspicious of the sweet potatoes because they tasted odd. Everything else I ate was utterly bland— bread, turkey, mashed potatoes (which we made), fruit salad, pecan pie. None of those should have been a problem, and I didn’t overeat.

Scott’s sister’s house was chilly enough that I actually noticed it. I think she keeps the house down around 60F even when the family’s at home.

Cordelia, as I expected, was quite ready to go home as soon as we’d had dessert. Scott would have liked to stay later, I think, to play more games, but I was really drooping, both headachy and exhausted.

There wasn’t much discussion of politics. I think Scott’s sister’s father-in-law knew he was outnumbered. He drives a school bus, and a lot of our dinner discussion at the table we shared (there were two tables of six people each) centered on the logistics of getting kids to different schools under different circumstances. That was, fortunately, a pretty neutral topic. We also talked a bit about what different kinds of high schools can offer. One of the non-family guests mourned the fact that, as far as he could tell, wood shop isn’t a thing any more. He has the impression that the classes that used to lead to skilled trades jobs are just gone.

Scott and several other people played Sentinels of the Multiverse before dinner. I didn’t because they were playing in the basement. I wasn’t convinced that unnecessary up and down of stairs was going to do good things for my Achille’s tendon (which is, sadly, still hurting today).

Writing on my phone turned out not to work because, for some reason, the 'make document accessible offline' thing didn’t work the way it has in the past. I couldn’t open documents. I couldn’t access email, either, which ought to have been possibly through use of my dataplan even when I didn’t have wifi access. I could still read LJ and DW, but nobody was posting, so that didn’t fill much time.

I want to bake today, but we don’t have anything that I’m physically capable of baking. Either we lack ingredients, or trying to make whatever it is would leave me unable to do things like eat dinner later on.

I ordered some things from Amazon last night because they were suddenly much, much cheaper than they had been. Now, I’m looking at Scott’s wishlist and Cordelia’s wishlist and trying to decide what to buy. If I get books, I want to get them from Book Bound rather than from Amazon. That means a phone call, however, so I’ll probably put that off for a while. If I was just ordering for one or the other, I’d email the order in, but I need to pay in advance for the stuff for Scott and arrange it so that Cordelia can pick up the stuff for Scott and Scott can pick up the stuff for Cordelia. Also, doing it by phone lets the folks at the store look up how long it’s likely to take for them to get copies of things they don’t currently have. With a month until Christmas, I have more wiggle room than I did when I ordered things for Scott’s birthday in February a week before I needed them.

I’m trying to find all of the issues of Archaeology and Discover that are floating around the house. Cordelia’s teachers said that they might find both useful, and I know I’m not going to read them at this point. I’ve got nearly two years of unread back issues of both. I’ve gotten all of what’s upstairs together, but I think the cleaning lady put some in the basement, so I need to check that.

I just volunteered to be a citizen observer for the recount that the Green Party has requested in Michigan. I’m a bit concerned that I’ll have issues with anxiety over doing it (getting there, being out and around other people, being responsible), and I’m a lot concerned that transportation will be a problem, but I’m free when most people are working.
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So it’s Thanksgiving. I’m not really feeling it. I think, mostly, I’m tired. I don’t want to leave home right now and spend the afternoon/evening with Scott’s sister’s family (including her in-laws) and some of her friends. I really want to get Scott and Cordelia to cuddle with me on the couch to watch a movie. I’m not even picky about what movie. Maybe we can escape early enough to do that anyway. I can hope. (Scott won’t want to leave because there are people there who will play games with him.)

My plan is to make sure I have my currently active WIP accessible on my phone and to work on them if I can get away with ignoring people. I probably won’t be able to, but I can dream.

I poked at writing a couple of different things yesterday, both the third (or maybe fifth) section of my Yuletide story and the Amber darkfic thing I’ve been working on. I realized that, with the other thing, the second chapter that I’ve been writing (to something I thought was complete) isn’t the end. That kind of makes me want to bang my head against something, but I really don’t want the resulting headache.

I distracted myself by trying to come up with a title for the Yuletide story. I have some options that are okay, but nothing’s leaping out at me. I can’t tell if it’s me being tired or if it’s that I need to look further for title options.

My Achille’s tendon isn’t so great this morning. I did the PT yesterday, but I also went for a walk to hack a portal. I think that last was a mistake. I was moderately okay until I got to the hill. By the time I got down to where I needed to be, my tendon hurt. Getting home was decidedly unfun. It got a little better on flat ground but not as much as I’d hoped. The next nearest portal that doesn’t involve a hill is about three times as far away, so I’m not sure that would be better. Oh, and last night, it was cold and raining. I was not wearing waterproof shoes. I don’t have gloves because, every time I buy some, Cordelia steals them. I think she keeps losing her own gloves. It’s that or, for some reason, she thinks my gloves are better than hers.

I can’t find my rice pack, so I wasn’t able to apply heat to the tendon after my walk. I’ve been searching for that off and on all morning. I really have no idea where it could have ended up. Wandering around the house to look for it is pretty low on my list of things I should be on my feet for.

Last night’s attempt at mashed potatoes came out pretty well. I can’t taste the garlic at all, but I really didn’t want to fuss with trying to add more. I had Scott buy Yukon gold potatoes since every recipe I was seeing said to use those (he had bought the first potatoes he found when he shopped on Saturday). He discovered that Whole Foods doesn’t call them Yukon gold but just labels them as 'yellow potatoes.' Naturally, he only realized that when he discovered that Yukon gold potatoes at Kroger looked exactly like Whole Foods yellow potatoes. (He was shopping at Whole Foods because he had to be next door to pick up a birthday present for our niece. Making more stops was not something he wanted to do.)

Scott is currently making apple pie. He decided to try a gluten free crust so that his sister can eat them. She said it wasn’t necessary because there will be four pies (for twelve people!), and two of them will be GF. Scott is finding the GF crusts frustrating because there’s no way to cover the pie. He thought he could buy a second pre-formed crust and reshape it into a cover, but that didn’t work at all. He also didn’t ask anyone who might know whether some GF crusts are better than others. He bought the cheapest he could find, and I’m rather expecting them to be utterly vile.

I think Scott said that he doesn’t have to be at work tomorrow until around 9:00. I’m hoping that I’m remembering that right. It won’t mean more time together, but it will mean tomorrow will only be a ten hour day for him as opposed to a twelve hour day.
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The potatoes we tried to make yesterday did not come out at all well, so I’m going to try again today. I’m pretty sure I know what I did wrong. I’m just going to have to run the dishwasher half full because I can’t physically handle hand washing the dishes I’ll need. Cordelia and I both want to do laundry today, so I’ll have to figure out the schedule for hot water intensive stuff.

I did both Yuletide and non-Yuletide writing yesterday. I now have enough story for my Yuletide assignment that can stand on its own that it won’t matter if I don’t manage to write the rest of what I have planned (and the rest keeps expanding in scope). I think I have a better feel for my POV character, now, too.

Plans for the birthday dinner for our niece have been changed repeatedly due to scheduling problems. We had settled on Friday evening, but Scott now has to work late that night. We can’t schedule for after he gets home without running into my deadline for eating dinner. Right now, we’re looking at Sunday around 5:00. I’m vaguely peeved about the change because I actually got myself to make a phone call to set up reservations for Friday evening. That was not easy at all.

A book Cordelia had put a hold on came in yesterday, and she wanted to get it immediately. I told her she could take the bus in today and get it, but that wasn’t soon enough. I told her to talk to her father since he’s the one who drives. We ended up going to the library last night and picking up all of our waiting holds. Cordelia had one, and I had nine.

My Achille’s tendon is hurting a bit again today. I think I may not have done the PT exercises enough yesterday. I think I did them once, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ve already done them once today, and I’ve set up three dailies on Habitica to remind me to do them regularly.

I ordered delivery for lunch yesterday, trying a Mexican restaurant I’d never tried before. I like some Mexican food, but the need to avoid peppers and tomatoes makes it challenging. Scott won’t touch it at all, so I never get it unless I’m with someone else which pretty much never happens these days. Sadly, there was enough reflux inducing stuff in what I got that I was still having trouble at midnight. I think the problem was fat content more than spice.
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Cordelia and Scott are out, seeing Doctor Strange now. Cordelia was surprised that Scott was going, too, even though he’d told her several times. The plan is for her to ride back and forth with her friend and sit with the other girl. Scott just wants to sit near so he can pretend he’s seeing the movie with someone instead of alone.

I wish I could go. I know Scott sees a lot fewer movies than he’d like to simply because I can’t and Cordelia won’t go with him. It’s just that none of us think the migraines are a good thing for me or that it’s worth paying for a movie ticket for me to sit with my eyes closed the whole time. I’m not even sure I could keep my eyes closed that long, especially when I’d keep thinking that peeking just once couldn’t hurt.

I’ve got a load of laundry in, and the dishwasher is running. I want to wash the bathmat, too, because that’s nasty. I just didn’t want to put it in with our clothes. I need to start a loaf of bread the next time I get up. We have three slices left from last week’s bread, so I can make a sandwich for Scott with that. I’m not sure what kind of bread to make. I made a whole wheat variation last week, but I don’t think it tasted good. My suspicion is that I have problems with bread because my mother, when she baked bread, added about three times as much salt as most of these recipes call for. Bread is one of the few things that I seem to need salt in. We don’t salt or butter our veggies or salt or sauce our meat most of the time.

It’s a little weird— Climbing stairs doesn’t make whatever is wrong with my left heel hurt. I guess all the movement there is in my knees. Going down is not as happy. The dratted thing has started aching when at rest. Definitely must call my doctor’s office tomorrow. This makes exercise very difficult. Walking is really the only good option I’ve got for that. (Swimming requires either paying $40+ for a cab and then the fee for pool access or walking more than I would normally and spending about an hour on bus lines I don’t know very well and still paying for pool access).
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I didn’t sleep much last night because I was completely unable to fall asleep again after Scott got up. I’m going to try again after I post this, but I’m not particularly optimistic.

I’ve started canon review for Yuletide. I’m looking for three specific scenes that I know happened, but I can’t recall exactly where to find them, so I’m digging through more of canon than I meant to. I’ve now got three story ideas. I have no idea which one to go with. One would be backstory that would shift a lot of canon in subtle ways but still fit. One would be a missing scene. One would be post-canon or possibly a divergent AU (I haven’t decided). And those three ideas are all centered on one particular character. My recipient chose 'any' but added a list of their five favorite characters (it’s a canon with a huge cast of characters). I’d be comfortable writing any of their favorites (I offered any). I can’t recall if all of those characters were nominated, but I think it wouldn’t matter if I’m working from that list. Each of my ideas would use two or three of the favorite characters.

I was going to bake a cake because Cordelia will have two friends over this afternoon, but the mix Scott got wants softened butter rather than oil. I’ve got butter on the counter. It’s been out for two and a half hours and hasn’t softened appreciably. I really don’t want to try the microwave because that pretty much always ends up just melting part of the stick.

Last night, Scott and I realized that there was a portal relatively nearby that was two level eight resonators short of being a level eight portal. Scott could have walked there and back, but I couldn’t, so we drove. We have a lot of level six and level seven portals relatively nearby. I spotted two others that I have keys for that Scott and I could push to level eight, but we didn’t have time to go out to those.

We also bought food at the Syrian place while we were out. Cordelia asked for a spinach pie. They have two sorts, one with feta and spinach and one with just spinach, and we had no idea which one she meant, so we got one of each with the intention that I’d eat the one she didn’t want. After trying them, she ended up wanting both, and I had to insist on cutting them in half and sharing them that way. I got a potato salad that I really enjoyed but probably shouldn’t eat in the evening because the spices didn’t sit well. I also got some cole slaw that I couldn’t eat at all. I took a bite and really strongly disliked the flavor. No one else will eat it, so I’ve thrown it out. I feel a little bad about spending money on it just to throw it out, but I like trying different foods.
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The cleaning lady managed to get the water out of the tub. Then, when he got home, Scott took about an hour getting the drain clear.

I made meatloaf in the pressure cooker. I had no idea if it would come out at all because we had about half as much rolled oats as I needed. I added some grapenuts, all we had, and some steel cut oats. The steel cut oats stayed a little more solid than I hoped, but I kind of expected that. We were out of bread, and I really didn’t think I was up to smashing saltines or anything. The resulting 'loaf' was rather more apt to fall apart than I was hoping. I only cooked half of the ground turkey. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

I got some writing done yesterday. This is one story that I think I’m going to have to take an ax to by the time I finish the first draft because the characters dither and dither and dither. They have valid concerns, but they’re not actually addressing them and really can’t while they’re sitting and talking. I just am not sure how to make that stop because my POV character is trapped and can’t leave. She’s only going to know what the other character tells her about what he’s going to do, and right at the moment, he’s the one who will decide where things go. Unfortunately, the best courses of action for him (and her) are things he can’t actually do for one reason or another. I keep finding roadblocks, perfectly reasonable ones, that are keeping me from going to where I’d intended and getting them out of the place where they are now.

I had a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night last night. I was going back and forth between too warm and a little bit too cold, and my brain was racing.

I’ve got a lot of chores today. I need to finish the load of laundry I started last night (I just put that in the dryer). I need to bake bread. I need to cook more meatloaf (which requires washing the pressure cooker stuff. The dishwasher is only 2/3 full, so I’m very torn between running that and washing by hand). I need to take those boxes of the kleenex to the school. I need to figure out who I’m voting for in the non-partisan races so that I can fill out my absentee ballot and send it back.
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I slept reasonably well last night and don’t seem to have a headache at this point.

Unfortunately, the bathtub has decided that it’s not going to drain at all. I tried to snake it (sitting in the tub and ignoring how much that hurt), but it’s not possible as long as the stopper’s in. Removing that requires a wrench and manual dexterity and strength that I don’t have. I ended up showering anyway because I was feeling really, really nasty and sweaty. That means there’s about four inches of standing water in the tub now.

And that water all looks vaguely brown. Everywhere else in the house, the brown seems to have cleared up. I’m not sure if it’s just that the shower started brown and there was enough of that not to get diluted or if it stayed brown all the way through my shower.

We had friends over last night. I was a little dubious about it because of how exhausted I was, but by the time they left, I felt awake and kind of cheerful. I wish there was a way to have friends visit more often. I only watched while Scott and our two guests tried out a new competitive game (Scott’s running it at UCon, so he wanted practice).

I’ve got to try to save some resources to be able to cook tonight. I simply haven’t been able to all week, and that ground turkey is not getting fresher. I was thinking that I might bake bread, but cleaning the bread machine pan (spiders have been at it) and putting all of that together might be too much. We do have enough bread for sandwiches for Scott and Cordelia for tomorrow. So maybe bread tomorrow?

I’m actually thinking, at least vaguely, about cutting my hair. I’d have to cut it extremely short in order to address the problem I’m having however, and I’m not sure I’m willing to do that. I’ve had long hair most of my life, and I like it like that. It’s just that there are two spots on my head that never quite seem to get dry now. They’ll still be damp six or seven hours after I shower. They get very wet when I sweat, so any time I go for a walk and any time it’s warmer than 75F in here. These are the areas just behind my ears, and it’s getting so that they itch a lot.

I did my Yuletide sign up yesterday. I’m second guessing myself quite a lot. There are things requested that I probably could write (though none on the zero offers part of the list) but didn’t offer and things not yet requested that I did offer. There are two fandoms where I’m the only offer, and I’m a little nervous about those because one’s a song and the other a video. I’ve never written based on something like that before.

Gah. I didn’t realize how late it had gotten. I’ve got fifty minutes before the cleaning lady arrives. I need to eat lunch and put some things away before then. And it’s been nearly an hour and the level of water in the bathtub hasn’t gone down at all.
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This morning, I didn’t go back to sleep after Scott got up. A big part of it was that I was too cold with nothing over me and too warm with the sheet over me, so I kept going back and forth, pulling the sheet over me and then kicking it off. I probably should have gotten up and turned on the fan and then pulled the sheet and a blanket over me.

Scott tried some experimental cooking last night. He had bought an eggplant and decided to slice it and fry it. He thinks he made the slices too thick; by the time they cooked through, they were a bit scorched. He melted cheese on top of them, and that worked okay. I didn’t like the amount of oil in the eggplant, and something about the way he’d done the cooking made my eyes burn, just being in the house with the fumes.

I have ground turkey in the fridge. It’s been there three days, so it might actually be thawed by now. It also might not. If it is, I will probably end up making meatloaf just because that’s easy. I may poke around online to see if I can find any interesting recipes that don’t sound like they’d need a major overhaul not to make one of us sick.

I still haven’t found the right amount of Benefiber to help with the Zoloft side effects. Right now, I’m at three times a day for the Benefiber plus one dose of psyllium husks. I’m not noticing any effect on my anxiety levels, but I’m only at a third of the dose that my psychiatrist said we’re likely heading for.

Goodness, I started writing this eight hours ago and then got distracted before I posted. I must be tired. Sadly, I have to stay up tonight because Scott’s working early and Cordelia will be up late. One of us has to be up when she gets home.

June 2017

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