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My sleep was only middling last night. I was stressed out at bedtime and didn't end up turning out the light until much later than usual because I wanted to unwind a bit. I used the c-PAP for part of the night. It had been my intention to use it all night, but I took it off in the middle of the night. I don't know why. I remember doing it and that it seemed important to do so, but I can't remember why.

I decided to make use of being up early to do a chore that I've been putting off for months. I pulled all of the books I've already read off the shelves in bedroom (two shopping bags filled to the top) and consolidated the other books as much as I could. I've dusted some of the shelves. I don't know that the dust quite made it to the dust bunny stage, but I at least had dust mice.

I want to clear enough space that I can have one shelf for library books. Having them in six different places isn't conducive to remembering to read them. I also want space for my thumb splints and some place level to land my laptop over night when I've been using it in there before bed.

I need to figure out what to do with the jigsaw puzzles. I like puzzles, but we don't really have a place for me to do them. Setting up a card table isn't really feasible for space reasons, not unless I'm going to finish the puzzle in a single afternoon while I'm home alone.

Scott scheduled today as a vacation day so that he could deal with two medical appointments. The way work schedules things, that means he has tonight off. Their book keeping considers third shift to be on the day that it starts rather than on the day it ends. This is partly so they can say that third shift works M-F instead of Tu-Sa. At any rate, his first appointment is at 11 and the second at either 2 or 3. Right now, the plan is for him to shower and then try to nap for an hour before the first appointment.

We need to wash Scott's work clothes today, and I'd like to change the sheets and run a load of laundry for us and maybe for Cordelia. I need to shower, too, and I'd like to nap if I can. Oh, and it's trash day. Great fun.

Tomorrow, my parents will be in town briefly because my step-father has an appointment about that growth in his eye. They suggested that we go to lunch. I'm pretty sure that they were hoping to see Cordelia, but they never did much to build a relationship with her, so she's got zero interest. She'd go along if she had nothing else going on, but she's not going to skip part of her volunteering in order to see them.

Scott gave me a ride to and from my appointment yesterday. I wouldn't have asked, but I was feeling really miserable due to cramping. He took the opportunity to pick up an interlibrary loan book that had come in for Cordelia.

My psychiatrist suggested that I try to find some sort of online, at home work to earn money to help while we're financially strapped. I'm looking at that as a huge can of worms. There's not a lot I'm able to do because of not being able to commit to regular hours or even to a set number in a week. Also, most of the online work options aren't things I'd be good at or aren't things that my anxiety would permit.

I'm also concerned about the possibility that earning money, even sporadically, might affect my disability status with either Social Security or my long term disability insurance through my former employer. The LTD insurer is always looking for any hint that I might not be disabled. I might be able to work for a while before I wrecked myself, and that might well be long enough to lose the LTD insurance payments and the medical insurance that goes along with the money.

My writing might be marketable, but I think that would wreck me, too, because there'd need to be a lot of it, and I'd need to figure out how to sell it and work at making sure that people saw it and... I'd stay awake all night worrying that I had or hadn't done something that would just wreck everything. Also, the sort of writing that might bring in money within any sort of helpful time frame would likely be some sort of ebook porn short stories. I can write porn. Sometimes. I can even write it quickly. Sometimes. I just... I write dark and complicated, and sometimes, I can't write at all for days or even weeks.

My psychiatrist also said that, if I'm still exhausted the next time I see her, we can talk about stimulants because insurers will cover them for people with sleep apnea who have been using a c-PAP for at least two months. I'm not entirely optimistic. Provigil (modafinil) didn't help me at all, and I suspect that caffeine has more of a psychological effect for me than a physiological one. Well, if I've recently had caffeine, sleeping is harder because I have to get up to pee every twenty minutes, but I'm not sure that counts.

It's frustrating that she's the only medical professional I'm dealing with who understands that the things that the other doctors are worried about all derive at least in part from fatigue/exhaustion and from anxiety and pain making sleep difficult. And each of those things makes all of the others worse.

I did some edits on my second Pod Together fic yesterday, all things that my partner requested. I'm hoping that the changed text will be easier to read. I still need to do one check on the pronunciation of the name of a minor character. I think I remember how it was pronounced, but I don't want to rely on that.

I also wrote about four hundred words on chapter 7 of Auguries of Innocence. I need to go back to the early part of the chapter to lay some groundwork for the things that just occurred to me as necessary. It's all about a character who hasn't been in any of the previous chapters, so I don't need to tweak anything earlier in the story. (This is an advantage of using point of view characters who don't think the way that most people do, Draco because he's unmoored in time, and Luna because she never did.)
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We're now an hour past the OMG throw out everything in the fridge point and have no idea when we'll have power again. They're now saying 7, but the original estimate was 3, and a neighboring area has been told 11. It's 5:30-ish now.

I'm with Scott at the place where he does PT because there's AC. Cordelia's still at the library, waiting for a hold to come in.

I'm depressed about all the food we're going to have to pitch and about how much replacing it will cost.
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I got that Social Security paperwork done and mailed. It only took five minutes once I started. Cordelia's bank account is much lower than I thought it would be. There's nothing to be done about it, though.

We've finished paying off one loan (home equity for necessary repairs). I'm pretty sure that $75 a month will go to the medical bills that are currently sitting on Scott's Discover card. I need to ask Scott to show me our financial records. Wondering is worse.
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I think some of my purchased software may just be gone because I no longer have the (email!) receipts to prove that I did purchase those programs. Mainly, that would be my copy of Scrivener which... Well, I never really figured out a way to make it work for me. There's an earlier version on the hard drive, but it's likely that I won't be able to use it without having Scott's login information. The big collection of solitaire games wasn't all that expensive, so I guess buying it again won't be terrible.

I looked a bit at data recovery options in the Ann Arbor area, but I think that those simply cost too much for our current budget. We're spending too much as it is and just had to transfer another $1500 from Cordelia's account to ours. We really shouldn't have gone out to eat for birthdays or done gifts. If anything I'd lost was life/survival critical, maybe it would be justifiable as an expense, but right now, we need to look at buying me a new laptop battery and Cordelia a new hard drive (hers is as old as mine was, and we have never managed to get Time Machine to back up her laptop. That didn't matter so much when she was six but does matter hugely now).

I haven't been able to persuade Colloquy (which I had to download again) let me access anything at all. It's very frustrating because I managed to set it up a year or three ago. I like Yuletide chat, so I'm going to persist, but it may mean changing programs again. Except that the last time I tried that, I couldn't get the other program to go there, either. I'm obviously doing something wrong, but I have no idea what.

Time Machine is trying very hard to make a first back up of this new hard drive. Judging by how slowly it's moving, the process is likely to take many hours. I think it's managed about 6 MB out of 260 MB, so far, and it's been going at least two hours.

I haven't managed to make the laptop stop announcing the time on the hour. I went into the preferences and unchecked that and then restarted. The box is still unchecked, but the laptop still announces the time every hour.

I managed laundry yesterday and washed the sheets and ran the dishwasher. Today's main to do is getting the trash out. It almost certainly won't get picked up tomorrow because of yesterday being a holiday, but today's a better time for me to get it all to the curb, so it will happen today. Also, I worry less about missing pick up if I put things out Tuesday evening even when there is a Monday holiday.

I need to corner Cordelia to take care of several chores that require her participation. Most of them should take only a minute or three. The exception is the school registration stuff because there are a bunch of things that she and I both have to sign electronically. I could just sign for her because it's all stuff we've dealt with for years now, but I think it's important that she understand the process.

I should weed my document of prompts I've set aside from various fic exchanges. It's in Gdocs, and I've got about eighty pages of prompts. Some of that is that the format of copying and pasting from an AO3 prompt is to put each tag on a new line, but some of it is simply me having copied over a lot of things I will never, ever write.
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I managed 18002 words during April. That puts it second in productivity of months so far this year (February was first with over 19000 words). I'm at 64525 words for the year to date. My Camp NaNo goal was 25000, so I didn't manage that, but I think I did pretty well given how April was.

I didn't get dressed yesterday until about 8 p.m. Scott prodded me a bit about it. I don't actually see anything wrong with a single day spent that way. I was still exhausted, and I'd been feeling kind of sick all weekend.

Surprisingly, I'm better so far this morning. I didn't expect that. I had anxiety dreams, so I wouldn't have been surprised to wake with a headache.

We made a trip out to Plum Market to see what they had at their after 8:00 half price baked goods sale. We ended up with a cake, some mini muffins, and some cookies. I think we were all disappointed not to see any bread. My suspicion is that we got there too late. When they first start putting things out, there's usually a crowd, and the bread goes first. I don't think we got there until 8:15.

The last week, Ingress has been running really, really slowly a lot of the time. I can consistently get the basic map, but I can't always get the overlay that shows fields and portals and XM. Hacking a portal often takes several minutes to process, and I can't see my inventory at all. It's always a bit iffy to play when I'm riding in a car or cab that's going fast, but usually, I can see something.

Scott was complaining that I spent too much in March. I need to look at my Discover card bill, because I think he failed to realize that I paid $100 for appointments for Cordelia and bought some clothes for her. I bought some stuff on Amazon, but I'd be surprised if it was the majority of what I spent (in spite of what Scott thinks). My suspicion is that he saw a large number of small purchases and didn't look at the money involved, just assumed. Most of those were things I bought for Cordelia's birthday later this month.

He's not going to like April's bill either because a boxed set of DVDs that I wanted suddenly dropped from $83 to $48 and because I bought him a board game for $40 and a game supplement (not generally available for sale in paper these days. I spotted one for $20 and grabbed it). Our anniversary isn't until June, but those are likely his anniversary presents.

I think he's just looking ahead and realizing that four family birthdays in May, mine, Cordelia's, and both of his parents', makes for an expensive month. Our tradition is to go out for dinner for my birthday and Cordelia's and for Mother's Day. Of course, Mother's Day is likely to be unusually because Scott's parents are back from their trip. Usually, they don't come back until after Mother's Day. (I told my mother that I wouldn't tell Scott's family she's in state so that she doesn't have to figure out a polite way to refuse a Mother's Day invitation. I think her current plan is to invite my brother to join her at the brewpub in Lawton.)

June has Scott's brother's birthday, Father's Day, and our anniversary. Father's Day is generally a big family gathering with all the guys going off to play golf, Scott and his father, our brother-in-law and his father. Sometimes our nephew goes, and sometimes he doesn't. This year, it will probably depend on his work schedule.

I need to try to get to the downtown library some time this week. A hold came in about an hour after Scott picked up the other holds, and that will expire on Saturday. I suppose that, as there aren't other holds on it, I could cancel this one and then put a new hold on the item in a day or three. That just seems unfair to the library staff, you know?

Drat, I just crashed my laptop by, as far as I can tell, putting pressure on the wrong parts while changing position (I'm in the bedroom because Cordelia was watching Arrow in the living room). I'm not sure how to deal with this. When I'm using the laptop in bed, I change position pretty frequently. Basically, I moved, the screen went black, and then about five seconds later, the laptop restarted itself. I lost half a paragraph of this entry because TextEdit hadn't had time to autosave it. I was at 75% power, so it's unlikely to have been that.

Today's appointment is PT for Cordelia and is at 5:00. Scott should be home by then. I don't know if we'll both go or if I'll stay home and let him take her.
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Cordelia’s PT yesterday involved a lot of exercise rather than just stretching and loosening the muscles in her thigh. Her PT homework is also aimed more at strengthening this time than at stretching. The therapist asked her where she stands on surgery. She says she hasn’t decided yet but that she very much doesn’t want this to happen again. She is pretty adamant that she doesn’t want the more extreme surgery, but I think that, if her aunt says it’s a good idea, we might talk Cordelia into it.

The insurance company tells us that our out of pocket for the basic surgery will be $1000. If we do the more extreme version, it will be $2000. We’re not telling Cordelia that because she will panic. Right now, we’re thinking to draw the money out of an investment account that Scott’s parents set up for Cordelia when she was born. I don’t know how much is in there or what the penalties will be for pulling money out before she’s of age, but… This really needs doing.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the choir teacher at Skyline about potential accommodations at Interlochen camp if Cordelia’s on zero weight bearing or even just using crutches when camp time arrives. Not being able to bend her leg will likely be a transportation issue as it’s unlikely that the buses they’ll be using have seats that will allow for that without her either sticking her leg into the aisle or taking up multiple seats. It’s a four hour-ish drive up to camp, so I’m not willing to ask Scott’s parents to drive her up and back (and they are often out of state during August anyway).

One nice thing— The forms for camp specifically say that cabins will be assigned by a child’s ‘consistently asserted gender identity,’ and there’s an option to request a gender neutral cabin. I’m more than a bit off put by the other cabin options because ‘all biologically’ male or female sounds exclusionary. Does that mean that trans and agender and so on kids are only allowed in gender neutral cabins? But the form asks about gender identity with a fill in the blank and doesn’t ask if the child is trans. Cordelia checked no preference on the cabin options. She says she won’t be fussed unless she’s stuck with only boys.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t check off all of my dailies on Habitica yesterday. I haven’t opened the site to look yet. I think, if I did miss, it would be two dailies and not more than that.

I’m making slow progress on deleting my LJ entries (I’ve promised not to delete entirely until mid-May). I’ve just got 2016 and 2017 left, but that’s more than nine hundred posts.

I’m now scheduled for OT again, starting tomorrow morning. The location isn’t particularly convenient, but I should be able to get the A-Ride for it because it’s definitely not on the #22 or #23 route. It’s on the other side of town entirely. I’m not sure what that particular bus route is called now; it used to be the #6. My current plan for tomorrow is the A-Ride to OT then walking two blocks to the stop for the AAATA shuttle that runs from Wolverine Tower to central campus. My appointment at UHS is two hours after my OT appointment is scheduled to end, so even if I have to deal with bureaucratic nonsense afterward, I should have more than enough time. I’ll pack a lunch to carry with me so that I can eat while I wait for the bus.

Okay. Time to call and schedule the A-Ride. They should be open for business now.
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I got up long enough this morning to give Cordelia her medicine and then went back to bed. I didn’t manage to sleep until after Cordelia left at 7:50. I need to remember to ask her to keep the volume low on the TV. Closing the bedroom door helps not at all. At any rate, I slept about another two hours, a bit fitfully but still two more hours.

Apart from being low on sleep and kind of stressed over everything that needs doing, I’m feeling a hell of a lot better since I stopped the Tamoxifen. As I said to my SIL yesterday, I’m not suddenly getting spikes of pain in my hands that make me scream any longer. My hands still hurt, but it’s more low level and constant which I can deal with better. The Achille’s tendon hurts a lot more, and I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

Scott was still feeling a bit icky when he got up this morning. I’ve texted him to see how he’s holding up now. I think we’ll stick with fish and poultry for him this week and then maybe try some pork when he’s got a clear weekend.

Our nephew is pretty much confirmed as an Eagle Scout. They’re waiting on the official word from National, but the review board approved him, so National is a rubber stamp. His current plan for fall is to attend the community college near us (we live about half an hour away from their family) and then transfer two Michigan State in the winter. I don’t know that him going to school a short distance away will mean us seeing him more often, but I’ve told his mother that I’d be happy to feed him lunches or whatever. I suppose I should actually talk to him about it directly.

Cordelia tried her aunt’s green bean casserole and tells us that she very much wants to have it again. I thought it was horribly bland and tasteless, but… I can make that if it’s something Cordelia will enjoy and actually eat.

Today’s primary goal is to fill out the forms for high school choir camp. The deadline for getting those forms in is Wednesday. I had thought it would be much, much later and so hadn’t even looked at what needs doing. Scott says that we can— just— afford the camp. It will entirely devour our tax refund, though. I need to call or email the teacher in charge because I have questions I need answered before I commit $470. It would suck majorly to spend the money and then find that Cordelia couldn’t go because of needing accommodations.
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Aetna says they can’t give me any sort of idea about coverage for potential knee surgery without specific procedure codes. Scott and Cordelia weren’t out long enough for me to try to track down procedure codes because it would mean at least two more phone calls. As it was, they came in the door while I was still talking to Aetna.

I didn’t do any writing yesterday. I’m hoping today will be better, but I don’t know if it will be. I’ve got a headache and have since I woke around 8:30. How bad it is varies from moment to moment, so maybe I will be able to write later. I really want to because I hardly wrote anything at all on Monday, maybe 100 words if that.

Cordelia’s PT went okay. Scott and I are both now clear on what exercises she should be doing and how often, so she won’t be able to tell us that she doesn’t have any exercises that she’s supposed to do. I’m not sure why she’s so set against doing exercises. None of them take more than five minutes at a time, and most of them are only once a day.

I’m worried that my laptop isn’t going to last the two plus years until we can even start thinking about replacing it. A lot of things simply aren’t working right, and it’s heating up more and faster than it used to. I’m having problems with programs that are integral to the OS— Mail, Messages, Calendar— and things are freezing (temporarily) more often. I can’t, for example, load a webpage while Time Capsule is running a backup. I also have problems if I start trying to load a web page at the moment when iTunes is switching from one song to the next.

I’ve already hit the edge of the OS updates that my hardware will support. This laptop was made in late 2008 and so is almost ten years old (we bought it refurbished somewhere between two and five years ago).

We’re still paying off this laptop and the nearly identical one that Scott bought for Cordelia at the same time. Given that Scott is taking financial comfort right now in the idea that he could raid his 401K if things get worse… Well, yeah. We’re not buying new-to-us Mac laptops any time soon.

But maybe I could get something else if I ask everyone to give me money for my birthday and Christmas this year?

It’s been years since I used a computer that wasn’t from Apple. Would it be hard to move to using a cheaper, non-Apple laptop? Mostly, what I need is a calendar, word processing, email, chat/IRC, and a couple of web browsers. Being able to transfer my music would be nice but not a deal breaker if I couldn’t. (My old laptop still works, after all, and it would probably be fine just for playing music.) It would be a deal breaker if I couldn’t open my old files, though, or if I lost my email archives. Oh, and I’d want to be able to network with our printer, but I assume most (all?) laptops should be able to do that.

I don’t generally play games or stream video or muck around with photographs, so I’m not worried about anything required for those that isn’t also required for the things I listed above. I’m not wedded to any particular word processor; mostly, what I want is plain text. Page/word counts are nice, but I can do without both.

Scott and Cordelia use Mac laptops and both have iPhones and iPads. I don’t have either an iPad or an iPhone and don’t expect to, so cross compatibility isn’t really an issue.

I don’t have any idea how to do the basic research I’d need to do to look into this. I’m not sure if Scott will be willing to help me because I’m pretty sure he sees it as a failure on his part rather than as a result of me spending more than half my time on my laptop.
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According to my spreadsheet, I’ve written 50000 words so far this year, almost all of it Amber fic. I had to double check the numbers because I didn’t believe it, but they add up. Huh. I’m just short of 4000 words so far in April which puts me well ahead for my CampNaNo goal of 25000 words.

I have four library DVDs this week that can’t be renewed. One, I got just for Scott, and he’s almost done with it. One is for all of us. I don’t know when we’ll watch it. The other two, nobody but me is interested in watching. I’m not sure how I’ll fit them in when Scott and Cordelia aren’t interested and are constantly here.

I had trouble sleeping after about 4:30 this morning due to temperature issues. I was uncomfortably chilled with just a sheet and uncomfortably warm the moment I added a thin blanket. During the time I did sleep, I had anxiety dreams— I dreamed about going in for the c-PAP titration and waking up after to discover that they hadn’t bothered to do any of the necessary testing/work. Then the place morphed into a library, but I was only allowed to take three books even though I wanted many more because I’d never seen any of them anywhere before. They also were double and triple shelved in no particular order, and I somehow knew that I’d never be able to come back (How on earth I was going to return whatever I did take out, I have no idea. Dream logic is not logical).

At any rate, today is going to be interesting because the sleep clinic people specifically don't want me to have caffeine or to nap. Given less than five hours of sleep... I have no idea. The only thing likely to work is eating pretty constantly which I really don't want to do.

Today’s to do list starts with a shower. Then I need to call in a prescription refill and to pack for my overnight. Once all of that is done, I must work on insurance claim forms for as long as my hands will tolerate. The amount of money involved is not trivial given how badly stretched we are. I’m at the point of trying to figure out if there’s anything I can do to bring in any money that won’t wreck me physically or emotionally and won’t jeopardize my disability status.

Oh, and we need to go to the bank to transfer money from Cordelia’s savings to our checking. It’s Social Security money and meant to pay for things like this, but… We really wanted to save something for her for later. There’s also not much left, and I worry what happens when that money runs out. We’re getting a little bit more every month but not all that much.

My reading glasses arrived a few days ago and seem to fit well enough. I haven’t used them a lot because, any time I’m interrupted, they become visually uncomfortable. I think they’ll be good for reading when I’m at home alone or otherwise able to focus entirely on what I’m trying to read. I’ll be using them for filling out the insurance forms because those have teeny print, but that means I’ll need to do them somewhere other than the living room because Scott will have the TV on. I’m not sure I can be in there and not keep glancing up at the TV.
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Scott and I went out to the bank around 11:00 yesterday morning to transfer some money from Cordelia’s account to ours. After that, we picked up food at Plum Market, pizza for him and a spinach pie for me. The weather was really nice, so we stopped by the science and nature center to recapture all of the portals there.

The walking wasn’t particularly good for my Achille’s tendon, but it was so very nice to be out in warm weather. I can tell that I’ve lost a lot of ground in terms of my ability to walk.

During the afternoon, we watched Arrival which I’d gotten from the library and finished a Netflix DVD that had been sitting with about fifteen minutes left on it for a week. Cordelia was annoyed that we watched Arrival without her. It hadn’t occurred to me that she might want to see it.

Cordelia went out to spend time with her friends in the evening, so Scott and I got carry out dinner from Palm Palace which is a place she doesn’t enjoy. I got lentil soup and the lamb saute which turned out not to be the dish I thought it was. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I had wanted. Scott got a chicken schwarma plate and hummus.

We listened to an audiobook until Cordelia was ready to come home.

My cold is much worse than it was. I’m not at all happy about that. I can still sleep lying down (as long as I take Sudafed), but even when I’m upright things feel not right in my throat and chest.
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Yesterday, the forms for my annual long-term disability review came in. This is the LTD I have through my former employer, and they’ve always been more difficult to deal with than Social Security. I’m going to have to get the medical form to my psychiatrist so that she can fill it out. My next scheduled appointment with her is after the deadline.

There’s a longish form that I was supposed to fill out by hand and really couldn’t, not with the osteoarthritis, so I typed the questions into a document and then typed my answers. Typing is infinitely less painful than trying to use a pen/pencil. I thought about waiting until Monday to call and ask if they have the forms online so that I could type my answers that way, but I knew that waiting would mean worsening anxiety, so I wrote a draft of my answers last night. I’m letting it sit right now so that I can go back and add things that slipped my mind.

I considered having Scott write answers I dictated, but there was so very little space on the paper for my answers. For example, "Please provide us with a detailed description of your present illness or injury. Please list all physical and/or psychiatric/psychological symptoms, complaints, limitations." has three lines on the form, and I have twelve different things I need to list and detail. Each of those would take at least two lines and likely more.

Not counting the form and DW/LJ posts and emails, I did no writing yesterday. I just couldn’t focus enough to manage even a single sentence on We Are Where We Began, and opening something else seemed too hard.

We intended to go to the bank yesterday morning to move some money from Cordelia’s account to ours to cover some of the medical stuff for her, but we completely forgot. Scott thinks next weekend will be soon enough.

Cordelia’s got an orchestra concert this week, one with orchestras from all the local middle schools. She’s getting together with some friends for a couple of hours this afternoon to practice. Because her school is small, they’ll be performing with the other tiny middle school rather than on their own. Cordelia’s class went to the other school once, and the kids from the other school came here once. Cordelia says they sound really good together. The teacher for the other school’s orchestra is the woman who taught Cordelia in sixth and seventh grades.
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I got part of the Aetna hoop jumping done yesterday. I’m not sure if I can do the rest today or not. Waiting until Monday isn’t a great option because they have to mail me something and then I have to fill it out and mail it back. I realized, after making an unnecessary phone call, that I had mixed up what the Medicare refusal of payment was for. Unfortunately, that means that I might actually be on the hook for $5500. I think that the only problem is that the company didn’t bill Aetna before asking Medicare to pay, but I’m not sure.

Scott and I started listening to a new to us podcast last night and got through three episodes.

I need to shower and to watch a library DVD that’s due tomorrow. Cordelia has an essay to write that I’ve promised to proofread and provide moral support for. I should make banana bread or throw out the bananas. I’d like to take down the Christmas tree, but Scott and Cordelia are decidedly unenthusiastic.

Scott plans to do the grocery shopping today. I haven’t finished the list yet, though. I’m trying to think of food that I can put on there that will take little to no effort for me eat. I’m going to be pretty exhausted for the foreseeable future, and that makes me have problems with simple food preparation like opening a package and microwaving something. Almonds and dried fruit are good options, but they’re horribly expensive, and it’s hard to convince Scott that they’re worth the money. They also have the advantage that I can eat them when Cordelia is wanting my attention and not wanting me to get up and go to the kitchen.

Cordelia and her friend did go downtown yesterday and managed to get themselves back, too, with only one call to ask me what bus they needed and where to catch it. Cordelia hasn’t quite got the idea that, generally speaking, one can get the bus home on the opposite side of the street from the stop where one got off the bus coming into town. I have to check to see if the bus company’s app is working now because something of the sort could be useful for Cordelia. The last time I checked, they’d withdrawn the app and had a new version 'under development.'
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On Thursday, before everything blew up, I ended up calling the hotel we were considering for our time visiting with my parents. They don’t have pet free rooms. The person I talked to said they could do a deep clean before we arrived, but there’s no guarantee that that would be enough. They don’t track which rooms have had which kinds of pets or when there have been pets in particular rooms. That seems silly to me. It takes weeks for pet related allergens to decay to the point of being harmless, and I’m not the only person in the world with animal related allergies.

I am putting off looking elsewhere because, at this point, we don’t know if we’ll be able to go at all. Cordelia may not be able to leave town during the window we have, and Scott may have to use up those vacation days now in order to help her out. I should have a better idea about that by the middle of the week. My parents say they’ll cover the hotel if we are able to visit, so from the financial point of view, it’s doable.

I’m thinking that I probably shouldn’t buy the other Christmas gifts I was planning. It’s a pity because the Sentinels of the Multiverse thing I ordered for Scott turned out to be a heck of a lot less substantial than I expected, given the price. I really hope that he knew what it actually was when he put it on his list. I got Cordelia an electric shoulder blanket that got good reviews, and there’s a blu-ray set that all three of us wanted— Supergirl season 1. Cordelia bought Scott a copy of Ant-Man. I had intended to get some books for both Scott and Cordelia, but I think I need to hold off on that until I see what’s happening with our medical expenses. Of course, I want to buy Cordelia All The Things.

For today, I’m keeping my to do list short. I need to wash a load of laundry (two if I’m ambitious). I need to bake bread (bread machine) because I know I won’t do it tomorrow. Doing the dishes would be nice, but I kind of don’t think I will. I’d like to go to the library, but again, it doesn’t absolutely have to be done today. My holds don’t expire until tomorrow, and I can renew the one thing that’s due today.

My sister’s eight year old son is apparently having huge, huge anxiety problems. My sister has has five surgeries and a major car accident in the last year and a half. Each time, she’s assured him that everything is okay and over (because her doctors always told her it was). Now he doesn’t believe it any more. And really why would he? He’s struggling at school. He understands things when my sister explains them, but the methodology she teaches him for math isn’t what the schools want, so they mark his work wrong even when he gets the right answer. He doesn’t understand the methodology they’re trying to teach at all because it doesn’t fit how he thinks and learns. She can’t homeschool him because she needs to work in order for the family to have health insurance.

I kind of want to write utterly self indulgent drawerfic right now, but I’m spending most of my time with Cordelia glued to my side and reading over my shoulder (she’s out of the house right this moment but will be back soon).
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I slept about three and a half hours then got myself tea and lunch. I still have a headache. I’ve taken naproxen and Ativan and Tylenol (at intervals, not all at once). The only thing that actually helped was a cold pack, and that’s a very temporary solution.

I absolutely have to write today. I haven’t the last couple of days, and the deadline on the pinch hit is coming up all too soon. I counted research on Wednesday as my creative work and roughing out an Amber scenario idea yesterday, but I really need to write. I also want to do laundry, but I may put it off until tomorrow because I’ve still got one clean pair of shorts. Maybe I won’t have a headache tomorrow…

Scott is currently scheduled for eight hours tomorrow. He’s hopeful that he won’t get tapped to go in early, and he says they’re not currently planning any production on Sunday.

We discovered Wednesday evening that the pressure cooker instructions for cooking frozen fish fillets only work if there’s just one piece in there at a time. The instructions do not actually say that, but I followed the directions to the letter and ended up with one piece of cooked fish and three still hard enough to repel a fork.

I went ahead and reserved a room for UCon. I probably shouldn’t have done it until I had a better idea of where the money will come from, but I really didn’t want to deal with the convention without having a room, and I’m pretty sure Cordelia would want to stay home if we didn’t have a room. She’s very responsible, but that is not happening, not that much time at home alone.

Actually, I shouldn’t have done it while I have a headache.
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I took a look at my credit card bill for last month. It includes a bunch of stuff that I thought would be on the next bill, so it’s not nearly as bad as I was thinking it was, based on what Scott said. I think I’ve only spent about $30 on my card that wasn’t reflected on that bill; I was thinking that there was at least another $150 pending. I probably ought to check the bill against my specific records of what I bought on Amazon, just to be sure that I know what everything was. There are a lot of items there, and I didn’t think I bought that many different things.

I have emailed my primary care doctor and my psychiatrist about the headaches. I don’t expect I’ll hear back until some time in the middle of next week.

I’ve added about forty words to my fic and edited a couple of bits that weren’t as clear as I wanted them to be. I can’t seem to focus enough to write at the moment, so I’m thinking seriously about lying down for a while. I ought to try to read some library books that are due tomorrow, but I don’t think I can do that either.
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Scott is working twelve hours today, so we will have to do all of our errands tomorrow afternoon. It looks, at this point, like a trip to the Apple Store won’t be necessary. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but my laptop’s not feeling hot any more. Scott had me use Disk Utility to scan my hard drive, just in case it was failing, but Disk Utility thinks everything is perfectly fine. For whatever that’s worth.

I woke today with a headache again. I had it at 7:00 but didn’t try to do anything about it except to go back to sleep. It was worse when I actually got up a bit after 9:00. I’ve had coffee, food, and naproxen, and the headache has retreated to the point where it no longer exactly hurts. It’s still there, but it’s not as awful.

I’m thinking, at this point, that I do need to talk to either my primary care doctor or my psychiatrist about the headache. Nine days out of the last ten, I’ve woken with a headache, and that’s not normal for me. It could be anxiety/stress, but if it is, it’s from a source I’m not aware of.

It could be hormonal, I suppose, but I really, really hope it’s not because, if it is, I’m SOL in terms of options beyond what I’m already doing. All the usual possibilities in that direction make the damned tumor more likely to come back in one way or another. I still haven’t had a period since having the IUD removed at the end of June, so I really have no idea. Of course, if this is hormonal, then I have to talk to the oncologist and the gynecologist, too. I don’t, unfortunately, have a method for communicating with all four doctors at one time.

My sleep has definitely not been right at all points in the last ten days, but good sleep doesn’t seem to help even if bad sleep hurts. I have tried things like changing my pillow, just in case the problem lies in that direction.

I’ve stalled out on the thing I’ve been writing because I have to make decisions about exactly who I think each of the characters is and what they want. It’s one of those bits of closing down options so that I can find the end of the story. I always find that bit difficult when I can see a bunch of different and interesting paths forward. I think part of it is me not being sure how long I want the story to be. If I’m going to write another 10000 words and then figure out an ending, that’s different from trying to end it in the next 2000 or 3000 words. I think I could do either. I’m not bored with the story, but I worry that a not-me reader would be.

Apparently, I spent a lot more money last month than I thought I did. I’ve spent a good bit so far this month, too, so I’m going to have to pretty much not spend anything for a while unless it’s absolutely necessary. Not even if things on my Amazon wishlist suddenly plummet in price. Not even if I see something I really, really want. So, yes on the haircuts because it’s been eighteen months at least for me and Cordelia. Yes on Cordelia’s required for school gym shoes. No on books, CDs, eating out, cabs, etc.
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I’ve done most of the easy preparation for the cleaning lady. We’ve got four bags and two bins in the living room that are filled with things we want to get rid of. I’d like to get them out of the living room, but I have no idea where to put them except in the basement which I think will lead them sitting for months.

I’m trying to decide if the dishwasher is full enough to run. We’re out of forks, but everything else is manageable. I’m just quite sure that, if I wait until after dinner, there will be too many dishes to fit.

We’re also frustratingly at the point of needing to cook in order to have something for dinner but also at the point when we’re close enough to leaving for a few days that we won’t finish all of the leftovers. But the chicken in the fridge won’t keep until we get back, so cooking it is pretty important. Maybe I should put that in the pressure cooker now. When that’s done, I’ll have enough dishes to fill the dishwasher.

I want to buy some StoryBundle books, but I know that I don’t read books if I buy them. I just don’t. But there are about three books in that bundle that I want, and buying them in paper would cost more than buying the entire bundle as ebooks.

I also want to give some money to the local food bank. I’m probably going to do it, not a lot but at least a little. I know that summer is really hard for families with kids because of the lack of school meals, and I know that the food bank can do a vast amount with even small monetary donations.

I didn’t end up going for a walk, and at this point, it’s warm enough that I probably won’t until after dark tonight.
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We have transferred two of our three websites. The big one is going to take more doing because the interface wants us to upload a single file at a time. That was annoying with the small sites but will be beyond bearing for the photo site. I haven’t checked my website yet to make sure that I didn’t miss any of my pages. There are easily a hundred of them, and going through to load them one at a time made missing one far too easy. It was about 10:30 when I got them all uploaded, and I didn’t want to face finding problems that close to bedtime. I have no excuse for not having done it yet today.

I slept poorly last night. I was too warm, and my brain kept churning on a story idea. Not, of course, any of the stories that I’ve been working on recently. Also, the stuff going through my head was OOC and not particularly coherent because I was partly asleep. I don’t expect that, even if I write that story, I will use any of it.

When I woke up around 9:00 this morning, I was completely convinced that there was some reason I was required to stay in bed and not allowed to get up until 10:00. Fortunately, I woke enough to realize that that was ridiculous. I certainly could have stayed in bed that late, but there was no reason I had to.

I have put in a request to have our mail held for three days while we’re away.

Firefox didn’t interact well with the USPS website either, so I’m thinking there’s some sort of issue with the most recent version of Firefox that’s breaking how it interacts with some sort of standard things. The city clerk’s office website could just be that not being up to date on some aspect of Firefox, but the USPS and Google are the sort of things that a web browser ought to be able to work with because the folks putting together the browser are paying attention and making sure of it. I did try to troubleshoot Firefox printing problems yesterday, but following the instructions from Mozilla only crashed Firefox which I rather think not the optimum thing.

I’ve got a longish list of things that I really ought to do, but I can’t seem to find the motivation to do any of them. There’s the website, printing directions for the trip, writing (oh, goodness, the writing!), packing for the trip, changing our internet service (I got almost through doing that online then panicked and closed the window. I think Scott will have to do it), finding boxes in which to mail a few different things and packing those things up, answering some email, and dealing with all of the normal household chores.

I also need to pin Scott down about food plans for our trip. I’m of the opinion that taking lunches with us when we venture into Chicago might be worthwhile in terms of saving us money. Yes, it would mean having to carry the dratted things all morning, but I expect that buying lunch out would run at least $10 each. At least. Of course, I’m also expecting that I’ll be wanting to carry other things with me so that I don’t get horribly bored if I need to sit somewhere for two or three hours, waiting for Scott and Cordelia to do something without me.

I’ve eaten. I’ve showered. I’ve washed a load of laundry. I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything else, and I’m not sure how to get myself to.
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Scott had an episode of heat exhaustion at work yesterday. His supervisor got him into the cafeteria which is air conditioned and the folks who work there gave him all the water he could stand. He says he sat for about an hour and then felt ready to go back to work. His supervisor wasn’t sure it was a good idea but decided that it was okay if they put him on the air conditioned side of the plant. (There are two parts to the plant. The part where Scott works isn’t air conditioned. The machines would work better if it were, but corporate won’t spring for it because the plant isn’t productive enough to justify it.)

At any rate, Scott was really exhausted last night and really stressing out over all of the things that need to be done that can’t be done during the time he’s at home. I tried to get him to tell me what needs doing, but that freaked him out, too. Mostly it’s stuff around the Chicago trip. There’s so very much to juggle there, and the information we need isn’t as easy to come by as I expected (I had major problems trying to figure out how to extract information from the Metra website in order to figure out what suburbs might be close to a line. I could go from the name of a suburb to its proximity, but I couldn’t get something that would show me the lines with clear indications of where they went. (Some of that is that I find the interface with Google maps horribly counterintuitive. I can’t navigate at all. I just get lost and can’t find my starting point again.)

I looked around a little in an effort to figure out where there might be hotels we could afford that would have the features we want, but I really need a place name to start with if I’m going to look properly. Goodness, I miss paper maps right now. I wonder if I can find one that I could print and still have it readable? Our printer only goes up to 8.5" x 11" sized paper. It can do smaller but not larger.

Scott’s also freaking out more than a bit because he’s worried that we’ll end up spending more than we can afford on this trip. I kind of want to smack him on that one because the time to figure out what we could afford was before he presented Cordelia with the options and promised that we’d do the one she picked. I think it’s 90% that he was exhausted and still kind of sick last night, but there’s a bit in there of him not having thought through how much all of this will cost.

Discover still owes me more than $350 (They say $468 but also list a bunch of 'pending' transactions. I can’t tell if those have already been taken from the balance or not, so I’m going with the lower estimate) for the overpayments Scott made, so we’ll have that, and it might cover most of the hotel stay, depending on where we end up.

I emailed ACD, the folks we’re thinking to switch to for internet. I’m going to have to talk to them because of the whole static IP address thing. There’s nothing on their web forms that allows for that option or for asking for any sorts of accommodations/requests, and their website doesn’t mention it anywhere where I could find it. Scott thinks we’ll have to pay extra for the static IP address but will be able to get it. I need to find out how much and measure it against the other costs. We’re looking at bundling broadband and local phone service for about $40 less a month than what we’re paying for phone and internet now, so we can afford to spend a chunk of that on the static IP address.

If it’s more than about $20 a month, however, I’ll sit Scott down and make him look at hosting our websites outside of our house. Two of the three would be relatively cheap because they’re small, just text. It’s the third that would be the problem in that direction. None of them would take that much effort to move because we wouldn’t be changing urls, so it would just be a matter of uploading our saved versions of everything. I can understand his reluctance to look at outside hosting. It puts our websites a little bit out of our control.

ACD does web hosting, starting at $20 a month. I don’t think we’d want to go with them for that, however, because the price is so very high and comes with a ton of things that we would never, ever use. It’s a service aimed at moderate sized business websites rather than at personal websites. I think we will run into that with a lot of such services.

I have about one more bin of assorted junk from the basement to go through. I think that will take a couple of hours, tops, and then that part of things will be done. I’ll still have to wash a lot of stuff, but that’s not going to take much time. I think I’ll probably use the bathtub for the big stuff because I can get it all in there at once and not have to dip things in and out. I’ll probably also just wear underwear because it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’d splash bleach on my clothing if I was wearing something where that mattered.
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I've got two oldish kid's books that I want to get rid of that I'm not quite sure what to do with. They're too old for Books By Chance which won't take children's books from before 1985 because of lead ink concerns (they'll take things that are clearly collectibles but not other books), but I think both of them are worth more than the quarter we'd get from the yard sale. Well, one of them I'm sure is worth about $7. The other, I'm less sure about because it's in not so great condition. There are copies of what I think is the same edition going for more than $15 on Amazon but, as I said, not in great condition. It might be worth nothing at all or as much as $5-$10. (Amazon is difficult for this because it doesn't really distinguish between similar editions and most sellers there don't specify either.)

We're not willing to try eBay on our own for anything that we're certain will bring less than $20. Scott has sold stuff on eBay before, and he's willing to undertake some stuff, but it's enough of a PITA that he wants to limit it. At this point, we have two or three things that eBay might work for.

I still haven't found the hardware for the electric blanket. My fear is that Scott threw it out. I don't think the cleaning lady would have because she's generally careful about that sort of thing, but I could see Scott having done it.

Cordelia and her friend ended up hanging out here for about six hours yesterday. They watched Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy. Scott bought those on Blu-ray only, so the girls couldn't watch them in Cordelia's room. At 4:30, their other friend's family came and picked them up. They stayed at her place until we picked them up a little before 10:00.

Cordelia's friend now really, really wants to see Captain America: Civil War, and Cordelia has asked Scott to take them. He's happy to oblige. Cordelia will be away until Saturday evening, however, which limits the opportunities. I can't find any showings for Sunday, and I can't tell if that's because it will be gone or if it's because those theaters haven't put up their listings for the weekend yet. We couldn't find any local listings for any movie for Friday, Saturday or Sunday. There are a couple of possible showings tonight, but one of them is earlier than we'd like, and the other is later. To be honest, though, I'm not convinced that there's a good time for us tonight. Either Scott will have to hurry immediately after work or he'll have to hurry to get ready for bed when he gets home after the movie.

I washed three loads of laundry yesterday (my clothes, Scott's uniforms, and the sheets). I filled and ran the dishwasher. I changed the sheets on our bed. I spent about fifteen minutes shelving books in the basement. (I think that will go quickly if I can get myself to start at a time when I don't have other things pressing.) I pulled more CDs and books to get rid of.

Today, I need to put away laundry, search for that power cord, weed out more CDs and books (the books are an on going thing that will likely continue for a long time, but I think I can finish with the CDs today. The time consuming part is the CDs that I look at and can't remember a thing about.)

Scott worked on the dehumidifier on Sunday. He says it's the dirtiest thing he's ever seen (which is saying a lot), and he hasn't finished cleaning it yet. I have no idea when he'll be able to or if it's something I might be able to do something with.

August 2017

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