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I ended up not going to Kroger yesterday. I just couldn't spend that long out of the house when Scott was still too sick to be able to refill his water bottle without wiping himself out. (Cordelia wasn't home until almost 5:00). I thought I'd go this morning, right after walking Cordelia to the cross walk (if you can call it that when she generally walks about twenty feet ahead of me and doesn't acknowledge I'm there. It's just that she finds the idea of me not doing it completely unacceptable), but it's pouring rain.

I'm hoping that the rain will let up a little later on. I absolutely have to get the prescription today because I've taken the last tablet and need another some time between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. I just don't want to deal with wet feet from standing in the rain. In a little bit, I'll dig up some dry socks and see if one of my other pairs of shoes is closer to waterproof. My boots are, but I'd feel silly wearing those with shorts.

I'm also trying to figure out what to get in addition to my prescriptions. The things we actually need are mostly kind of heavy-- honey, chicken noodle soup, lemon juice-- which makes things more challenging. Maybe my backpack? But I also need to get bread, and I don't want that to get smashed.

Maybe cleaning the bread machine and setting something up there is a better option? I'm not sure if our bread flour is still good, though; I'll see how it smells.

My back was so tense and painful last night that I did end up lying on the floor. It helped those muscle spasms a lot but hurt in other ways because the floor is hard. I just think I'm going to have to do that a time or three every day. Usually, I'd try having a little alcohol (like a wine cooler amount) for this, but I'm taking Tylenol for the elbow pain, so alcohol is absolutely out.

I've promised Cordelia that I will finish my current Netflix DVD today so that I can send hers back in the same envelope. She's been waiting a couple of weeks for me to finish, so I really, really have to do it.

Because I really needed another WIP, I started a new story yesterday. I wrote about a thousand words, and I'm hoping to keep it under three thousand. It's another Weiss Kreuz story, so if I finish it in time, I can use it for [community profile] weissvsaiyuki. I started from one of the posted prompts, but I don't know that the story actually fits it now. I just have to figure out what the story's actually about.
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Tonight is going to be dedicated to filling out forms for an appointment Cordelia has tomorrow. Some of the answers required will be long, and I'm thinking to ask Scott if he can get her out of the house for a while so that I can work on it . I lost the morning and early afternoon today to an appointment of my own, so she'll be home in slightly less than ten minutes. Tomorrow is a half day at school, so I won't have child-free time then to finish.

Cordelia seems happy at Skyline and not regretting giving up on Community at all.

I'm inching closer to level 11 in Ingress. I think I might be closer to that than Scott is to level 10. My current guardian portal is at 127 days, and I have two other potential guardian portals that I've been maintaining for a while. Sadly for Scott, I accidentally deleted the only key for the one I'd been recharging for him for the last forty plus days. (I think I'd feel worse about that except that he didn't care enough to try to maintain it himself.)

I spent a little time this morning looking at the Yuletide tag set. Finding things to request is always harder than finding things to offer. I wonder if it would be a terrible breach of etiquette to request something as a gift for someone else?

We went out last night to get Cordelia fitted for a rental dress for choir concerts. That was $25, payable to the choir program at her school. Then we shelled out $30 for shoes to go with the dress. I'd have felt better about that if they had samples in different sizes so that we knew what we were getting that way. Also, girl-identifying folks aren't supposed to wear flats. Guy-identifying folks can. Then we paid $15 for a t-shirt.

For some reason, going out there really smacked me hard physically. I'm not sure why. It was very, very hot outside, but Skyline is air conditioned and was no warmer than our house. I got cranky and ran out of ability to stand (I can still walk when that happens. I just can't stand in one spot without falling over). I had my left arm in a sling because I finally got the discharge instructions from my doctor's appointment back in August. I'm apparently not suppose to use that arm and hand for anything at all. I don't know that I can manage that, though.

The choir also requires that each child's family provide a volunteer on at least three occasions. The thing was that they couldn't tell me exactly what they'd expect me to do on those occasions or exactly what times I'd need to be there or really anything but the title of the event and the date. They probably had about twenty different events needing volunteers. I was near melting down, and Cordelia was horribly embarrassed by me.

I think that some part of this was that this was something for which I'd normally have taken Ativan, but it was too close in time to when I needed to take Halcion in order to sleep. I was also worried that we wouldn't get home in time for me to eat (we did, but I no longer had energy to prepare myself food, and Scott has apparently decided that he will only make me food if I ask specifically and tell him what to make).
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I slept soundly from a little after 11:00 last night until about 4:30 this morning. I didn’t sleep at all after that. I don’t currently have a headache. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the dratted thing stays gone.

Cordelia is doing okay at school in terms of getting around with her crutches. I think there’s less stuff that she goes downstairs for this year than there was last year, and they’re not doing any classes in the basement any more. Tomorrow is a half day, so I’m going to have to remember to set my alarm to tell me to go pick her up very early. Thursday, I have an oncology appointment at 1:00.

Before Cordelia’s injury, I wasn’t worried about getting back before school ended because our cleaning lady will be here then. Now, though… If I see the nurse on time, I should easily be home in time, but if they’re running very late, it gets tight. Normally, Cordelia stays at school until about 3:45 on Thursdays for the GSA meeting, but that meeting gets canceled sometimes with no warning, so I want to be home by the time school ends at 3:03. If I’m done at oncology by 2:30, I can probably make it. If I’d known last Thursday that Cordelia would need help getting home, I’d have talked to our cleaning lady and asked if she was willing to do it if I wasn’t home in time. At this point, I could call her and try to explain over the phone, but English isn’t her first language, so that’s challenging for something complicated. I could leave her a note, but leaving a note wouldn’t give her a chance to say no.

Scott has come down with the cold Cordelia and I had (and still kind of have).

I poked at the Zenni Optical website last night. I measured the frames of my current glasses according to the instructions and discovered that I’m either doing it wrong or have a really weird head. The frame width on my old pair is 125 mm (I measured four times and had Scott check that I wasn’t miscounting). The website considers that to be a child’s size. I can’t find anything at all that matches the measurements I got from my old pair, not even approximately. If one dimension matches, others don’t. There aren’t any instructions I can find for measuring one’s head to figure out sizing. I’ve never had problems finding frames that fit when shopping in person.

Yesterday, I did three loads of laundry, baked a cake for Scott, did the dishes, took out some of the trash, and cleaned out my two dresser drawers and the floor of my closet.

I have one overstuffed trash bag of things that I think are still wearable and therefore worth donating. I have one trash bag about 1/4 full of things that aren’t worth donating for resale. I know that most of the places around here sell such stuff by the ton to companies that do… something with it.

I haven’t done much weeding of what’s hanging in my closet yet. I might get to that today, and I might not. The closet is packed, and it’s going to be challenging. I have a lot of dresses that are cotton knit and that are too worn at the seams for me to wear them in public without feeling self-conscious (most of the wear, I doubt anyone but me would notice). The dresses are 1X petites, long sleeved mock-turtlenecks, with elastic waists and A-line skirts that go down to mid-calf on me (I’m 5’2"). There’s a lot of fabric in each that’s still in excellent condition, some of it in big pieces, but it’s only going to be useful to someone who sews and who can make something else out of it or take it in to be worn by someone smaller than I am. I’m wondering if I should try the local freecycle list or something similar.

I haven’t really worn dresses since the cancer diagnosis in 2015. I couldn’t wear them immediately post lumpectomy and didn’t want to deal with them during radiation. Once I started the Tamoxifen, I couldn’t deal with clothing that heavy/warm. I haven’t worn anything long sleeved since December 2015. No, I take that back. There was one afternoon I felt chilly and wore a cardigan. (After Cordelia’s concert, Scott’s mother kept trying to get me to zip up my coat before we went outside. She didn’t say it directly but kept talking about how very cold it was out there. If I’d zipped up my coat, I’d have melted by the time we got to their car. I finally realized that I needed to explain that.)

I’m trying to decide how much to keep and how much to get rid of in terms of the things I’m not going to wear while taking Tamoxifen but will wear again after. I’ve got almost four years of Tamoxifen left, and that’s a long time to keep things, but, you know, cotton turtlenecks aren’t going to spoil or anything if I store them for a while. Buying replacements would be expensive.

At any rate, my first priority today is changing the sheets (that became urgent this morning). The second is the rest of the trash. Then I must make about three phone calls (well, ideally, I’ll intersperse the calls with other things). After that, I’ll consider my closet.
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Anybody here have an interest in about a dozen pairs of cotton rag socks? They’re very warm, but I have trouble putting them on because they’re thick and kind of stiff. They’re thick enough that they can only be worn with certain types of shoes.

They’ve also been sitting, unworn, in my dresser for about a decade. Some pairs are orange; others are various shades of blue. They’re crew length, women’s. My feet are size 7-7.5.

I’m pretty sure I bought these from Land’s End, probably remaindered (no way would I have bought this many pairs at full price). I’m not sure how many times I wore any of them or exactly when I bought them.

I’m pretty sure that none of the resale shops take socks of any sort. If no one here wants them, I may query the local homeless shelters, but that means phone calls, and I really would rather not.
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The Community High School meeting was terribly crowded. They were trying desperately to figure out where people could sit/stand and still be able to see. The meeting was in an auditorium, but it was about half the size of the multi-purpose room at Cordelia’s current school. There was an opportunity to talk to teachers and current students after the main meeting, but Cordelia wanted to go home, so we didn’t.

I got the application filled out and sent in within about twenty minutes of us getting home. It was a very short form, mainly contact information and me having to say that yes, we really, really do live in the district. The only thing that took thought was getting Cordelia’s student number because I don’t have it memorized. Fortunately, she does.

My appointment with my psychiatrist went well. We talked about strategies for using the Ativan, and she suggested that I use it 'aggressively' for a couple of weeks and see how that goes. She told me that she thinks I’m a very, very poor candidate for hypnotherapy (something certain people have been trying to push on me). We are going to talk about talk therapy options in a few months, probably once Cordelia’s settled at whichever high school she ends up going to.

I started sneezing around the time Cordelia left yesterday, big sneezes. I routinely take an antihistamine, so all I could try was Sudafed. That helped, but the sneezing came back at bedtime. Sudafed helped again, so I was able to sleep eventually, but I’m not happy about this. It feels like an allergic reaction, but I can’t imagine what I’d be reacting to. No new toiletries or cleaning products. Cordelia wasn’t wearing her sandalwood scented new cardigan. It’s January in Michigan so pollen is pretty unlikely. I did some digging around that raised dust, but I did that after I had taken the Sudafed which would make the timing beyond odd.

I guess I’ll see what happens when this dose of Sudafed wears off in a couple of hours.

When I was a teenager, I used to occasionally get bouts of sneezing and runny nose that weren’t colds and had no explanation I could figure out. They’d last 24-48 hours and then vanish abruptly, and I wouldn’t have any other symptoms. They could happen at any time of the year, too, and started up once every month or three. I don’t think I had them once I started college, though.

I’m in the process of switching bras again. I keep hoping I can stop wearing them, but the lymphedema gets worse when I don’t. It’s also worse if I wear the Fruit of the Loom bras, just not as bad as with nothing. I have two Just My Size bras that I bought via Amazon. I thought I could try one because they’re about ten dollars plus two dollars shipping. It turns out that they’re more or less what I was actually looking for right after I had the lumpectomy. They’re just not tagged with any of the keywords I was using to search.
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I wrote one more ficlet for [community profile] fandom_stocking. I have tabs open for three more stockings, but I’m pretty sure I won’t manage to write anything for them because my mind is completely blank. Given a prompt, I might manage something, but just fandom and characters and likes and dislikes aren’t getting me anywhere. I think I have finished a draft of chapter 3 of We Are Where We Began. That’s not the end of the story, not yet. I think there will need to be another chapter. Hopefully not more than that.

Scott’s parents stopped by in mid-afternoon in order to bring us a single bottle of the brand of B vitamins they favor. They told us that this brand 'doesn’t contain chemicals.' Scott and I were on the phone with them when they said that, and we made faces and waved our hands at each other because, while we know what they meant, we heard what they actually said. At any rate, Scott’s parents are certain that B supplements will solve all of Cordelia’s current problems. I don’t see harm in Cordelia taking supplements, but they’re going to be a PITA because we will have to crush each dose and mix it with something else.

We went out yesterday evening because Cordelia really, really wanted to go somewhere she’d never been before. Scott suggested a clothing store downtown that he had noticed as looking interesting. (I’m a little surprised that he did because it’s not the sort of thing he would normally notice.) It’s a place called Orchid Lane that sells a lot of brightly colored women’s clothing, all imports and (I think) all fair trade. Cordelia ended up with a very pretty dress and a black cardigan-ish thing to wear over it. She chose them to go together rather than the store suggesting it.

I had trouble with the trip because the entire store reeks of sandalwood. I’m not quite allergic to it, but my sinuses and lungs tend to do a big WTF? when I breathe air that’s heavy in that sort of scent. I don’t sneeze or wheeze or anything. I just don’t feel quite right. The tendinitis in my left heel also gave me trouble after I’d been up and about for five minutes. There wasn’t anywhere that I could sit down, and Cordelia wanted me to look at everything she was considering, so she wanted me following her.

We watched the first half of Big Hero 6 last night. It was, of course, a rewatch, but it’s kind of rare to find something that Cordelia’s willing to watch with us.
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Cordelia bought two t-shirts yesterday, one Totoro related and the other a Winnie-the-Pooh quote. Scott tells me that they were kind of pricey, but they fit, and she loves them, so…

We need to go grocery shopping, but figuring out when is difficult. I’m not sure it’s going to be possible today because Scott and Cordelia both have late afternoon dental appointments. I don’t think we’ll get home until after 6:00, and then Scott will need to shower.

Scott won’t necessarily be home in time to drive me and Cordelia to the dentist for her appointment which is at 4:15. It’s possible he could be, but I can’t count on it. She and I will need to leave at 3:15 to catch the bus or call for a cab then instead. I need to check to see if the buses are running on the usual schedule today or if they’re on a holiday schedule. It’s just a little bit above freezing, so the weather isn’t horrific, temperature-wise.

Scott’s mother is planning to have Cordelia and her fifteen year old cousin come up tomorrow to decorate gingerbread. Neither girl is hugely enthusiastic, but gingerbread is a family Christmas tradition. I expect it will last two or three more years. Usually, it happens before Christmas, but the timing didn’t work out this year.
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Today’s to do list:

Change sheets
Collect and take out trash
Make fudge
Make Chex mix
Make bacon wrapped dates
Make more phone calls
Visit the school?
Cordelia’s doctor appointment
Wrap presents

I’m not going to get all of this done. I know that. I’ll be lucky if I have four hours to deal with chores before Cordelia’s appointment, and the phone calls take first priority. The trash has to be dealt with today. Everything else, apart from the appointment, can be done any time this week. I’m just afraid that, due to other stuff going on, all the cooking will end up on Friday and wreck me.

I also really, really want a nap. I wish I thought I could justify that. I’m not yet tired enough to have a headache, but it’s likely to happen before Friday if I don’t get more sleep than I have been.

Hm. Putting it like that, napping sounds more important.

I’m debating what to do about socks today. I need to go outside, so normally, I’d wear knee socks in order to stay a little warmer, but the knee socks I wore yesterday hurt to put on. I didn’t dare use sock glue to keep the one on the bruised let up, either, but also didn’t want to pull it up at all. A knee sock that ends up entirely bunched under the arch of my foot isn’t all that useful for keeping my leg warm. I have ankle socks which won’t go anywhere near my bruises, but they’re uncomfortable to wear with my boots and leave my legs bare.

I’m a little annoyed with Scott because last night he bought some things that technically meet the parameters I set out (because I wasn’t vastly specific) but that are entirely unusable for the intended purpose. He knew the purpose. He was just in a hurry and grabbed the first things he saw that kind of matched. Two of the things are items that are supposed to work together and very obviously won’t fit together. The other two items are simply terribly designed for the task that we need them for. They were advertised as doing what we need, but they don’t.

I wrote a little last night. I’m not sure if I will write today, and I’m pretty sure that what I wrote last night won’t go anywhere (mostly because I think it’s the wrong approach to the scene in question).
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We can’t find Cordelia’s snow boots, so she’s been wearing my secondary pair. That secondary pair is easier to put on and take off than my primary boots but isn’t as good for walking around in because it’s not well insulated on the bottom and because it eats socks. Cordelia seems not to have the sock problem, that or she doesn’t care about it. When I wear these, it’s generally for things like taking out the trash where five to ten minutes of putting on boots is annoyingly long compared to the thirty seconds I’ll be out in the snow.

My primary pair of snow boots are more hiking boot sort of things. They’re a major chore to get into and out of. They’re also lace ups, and the last time I asked for laces, because I didn’t specify a length, Scott got the longest available. This means that I’ve got more than a foot of excess lace on each side of the boot. I have to wrap the laces around my legs and double knot things in the hope that I won’t end up walking on the laces and falling over.

I need to figure out what length of laces I actually need and then get them. It’s just been very low on my list of priorities that I only think about it when I’m about to go out.
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Half of our spoons are unpleasantly rough because they’ve had a close encounter with the garbage disposal. They’re not tall enough to show if they slip into the disposal. Nine times out of ten, I remember to check before I start the disposal, and most of the time, when I don’t there’s nothing there, but it adds up. Scott doesn’t notice the roughness, but I always feel like I’m going to cut my lip and tongue. He says he might be able to smooth the edges, but I can’t actually ever get him to take the time to do it. Last night, I had another spoon in the disposal incident and was really angry with myself about it.

Scott and Cordelia went out last night to look for dress shoes and a Christmas dress for her. They didn’t leave until 7:30, but DSW was open until 9:00 or so, and Kohl’s was open until either 11:00 or midnight (Cordelia and I found conflicting information. I think I found the December hours, and she found the regular hours for the rest of the year). I don’t think that Scott realized that Cordelia was looking for a Christmas dress because they bought an entirely black dress. It looks really very nice on Cordelia, but I’m going to have to figure out something she can wear to brighten it up. There was apparently another dress that they both liked better, but that one was $85 while the black one was $30. They also got her black shoes (flats).

I finally gave in and took an Ativan last night. That took the headache down to a level where I was still very aware of it but could at least think again, but the relief only lasted an hour. Pressure on very specific spots on my left shoulder and on the back of my neck helps but only for as long as it’s being applied, and I can’t get the right angle to put enough pressure on with my own hands. Apart from that, this feels like a migraine because it’s all on the left side and feels like there’s a spike through my head just above my left eye. I’m also kind of odor sensitive which is a migraine thing for me. I don’t have nausea, though, and that’s a normal migraine thing for me.

Lying down with my head hanging off the edge of the bed helps, but the pain is worse for a while after I sit up than it was before I lay down. Bending forward helps some, too, but isn’t comfortable for the rest of my body and has the same rebound problem.

I’m desperate enough to try a small amount of alcohol now in the hope that that will relax the spasmed muscles. I really didn’t want to go that way because dosing is hugely imprecise, because of the sugar and calories involved, because many of my medications say to be cautious with alcohol. Also, all we’ve got in the house is some schnapps nearly as old as Cordelia is. Experience says that an amount equivalent to about one wine cooler should help for several hours, however, and I can do that more than once a day.

But, saying that one is using alcohol medicinally, freaks people out even more than saying that one’s using a controlled substance constantly. I just haven’t had a headache this bad since August 2015 (well, maybe the one around the colonoscopy…) while I was waiting for the lumpectomy. That was only two weeks. This stress could go on a lot longer, and I’m going to need to be able to think and to leave the house and to do laundry, dishes, etc.

Update: And an hour after having some alcohol, the headache is less intense but more general. That is, I can actually open my left eye and read with it, but the right side of my head now hurts noticeably, too. It’s now a 4 or a 5 instead of an 8.

Time to go see if I actually have clean clothes to wear. Going out today is not optional, so the sooner I know, the better.
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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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I wore myself out pretty thoroughly yesterday. I’m not actually sure what I did that was so strenuous. I ran and emptied the dishwasher. I took out the recycling and gathered up the trash. I ran one load of laundry. I made brownies from a mix. I spaced it all out, but by 4 p.m., I was wobbly and pretty mentally out of it.

I ought to run Cordelia’s laundry today, and I have to take out the trash and get the bins to the curb. I don’t know, though, given the oncology appointment this afternoon, that I can manage those things.

I slept so-so last night. I kept dreaming about needing to wake up and not being able to, about my alarm not going off and me missing my (afternoon!) appointment. I suppose I should be glad that I slept without needing Ativan. I’m not feeling yet like I desperately need that, but I kind of expect that I will before I leave.

Yesterday’s compute access was helped by Cordelia staying at school until 5:00 for drama club. I’m not sure that today will be as easy. She will have a friend over after school. If they watch DVDs in the living room, I can keep Cordelia’s power cord, but if they want to watch stuff in Cordelia’s room, she’ll want her cord.

The hill near the church is very definitely a problem as far as my Achille’s tendon goes. I wasn’t hurting when I went out to hack the portal by the church, but by the time I started back up the hill, things were hurting quite a bit. I’m really not sure what to do about that.

I got a package yesterday that claimed to be something I’d ordered online. Unfortunately, the contents weren’t what I’d ordered and didn’t match the packing slip which did say what I’d actually ordered. I ordered a two pack of nightgowns and ended up with a pair of purple pants not in my size. The company that shipped them will let me send things back for a refund but says they can’t do an exchange since I bought via Amazon. This makes me pretty angry because I bought during a sale. The price was about $15 less than it would be now.
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I spent a lot of time sleeping yesterday, and I suspect I will again today. My digestive system is still being obnoxious which is pretty frustrating, too.

It’s frustrating because there are things we should have gotten done and didn’t. I’m not sure what we’ll do about the leaves because it rained really, really heavily in the early part of this morning (like around 5 a.m.). We can put wet leaves in the compost bin for pick up, but the bin will be harder to move. The bin is one of those things with two wheels where one tilts it and either pushes or pulls, and I almost couldn’t get it to move last week when it was stuffed with dry leaves.

Christmas this year is going to be weird. Scott’s sister has decided to take her family to Seattle to visit Scott’s brother and his family over winter break, and she’s normally the one who hosts the big Christmas gathering. I can understand her reasoning— She’s figuring that this is the last chance for a family vacation before her son finishes high school in June. It’s already really hard to get him to show up for family things.

Scott’s sister says she tried to tell their mother her intentions but that their mother didn’t want to hear it and so didn’t understand. The only time Scott’s sister hasn’t been with her parents at Christmas is the year she spent in South Africa on a journalism internship, and her children have never spent a Christmas away from their grandparents (their father’s parents and sister come to the Christmas gathering at their house every year).

At any rate, we normally spend Christmas Eve at Scott’s parents’ place and Christmas Day at Scott’s sister’s place. Scott’s sister lives closer than Scott’s parents do. I really don’t want to drive up and back twice in two days, but I also really don’t want to spend the night there (which I’m sure Scott’s parents will suggest). Cordelia will be the only child there, and five people aren’t enough for a game of Telestrations, especially given that I don’t want to play.

Scott and Cordelia went out last night and got Cordelia a coat. I don’t think Scott was pleased by how much it cost, but with luck, she’ll be able to wear it for years. She’s likely near her full growth at this point, so I don’t think she’ll grow out of it. She also needs dress shoes before the orchestra concert in December (last year she borrowed mine, but her feet have grown), but none of us felt that looking for those was urgent enough to do it last night.

The current plan for today is for Scott to get groceries while I shower and run the dishwasher. Then we’ll go to the the library. I need to get bread going, too. I’d rather have Scott buy some, but I don’t think he will at this point.

Cordelia’s class is going to a high ropes course tomorrow, so I’m going to have to get up with her to braid her hair. We’ll see if I can go back to sleep after that (or if I need to).
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I tried sock glue again yesterday. It worked reasonably well and didn’t leave my skin red or otherwise upset. I learned, however, that it’s better to use the glue about an inch below the upper edge of the sock and that I must not fiddle with the sock because, if I do, the skin where the sock is glued down will start hurting and continue to do so for hours. Removing the socks required getting the upper part wet (the glue is water soluble). Some bits could be pulled off without pain, but other bits couldn’t.

I woke with a headache again today, but this time it was pretty clearly sinus related. I had a headache come on toward the end of the evening last night, too, which was an anxiety thing. That is, Ativan helped. My guess is that the anxiety is an intersection between the things I need to write for the UCon game and the appointments I have this week.

I want to go for a walk this afternoon, but I kind of suspect that it won’t happen. Once I take the Zoloft, I will become a lump and have difficulty getting myself off the couch for anything at all. My current plan is to deal with the dishes and the trash before I take the Zoloft. If that doesn’t exhaust me, I may walk. I can’t do it after Cordelia gets home because she’s bringing a friend. The two girls are, in my opinion, old enough to be left alone for half an hour or so while I walk, but I would want the other parents to okay it before I do it.

Cordelia and her movie watching group are trying to watch all of the Studio Ghibli movies available to them in production order. The next one up is The Grave of the Fireflies which… Well, I told Cordelia what it’s about and that it may be too depressing for them, but she and her friends are quite certain that it will be okay. I have no idea if they’ll actually watch all of it.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I need to see a doctor about my hand. It feels fine right now, but I haven’t done much with it today, so I’m not sure that means anything. I think I’m mainly afraid that they’ll tell me to stop touch typing because I suspect that hitting the space bar so often is a factor in the problem. Which means I ought to stop doing it, but I like being able to type as fast as I do. It makes writing much, much easier. Maybe setting a timer and taking breaks would help?

Today’s audiobook is Northanger Abbey which I have not previously read (I tried once and kind of bounced). I didn’t finish The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, but I thought that varying what I listen to might be a good thing. I’ve got about a dozen books on my laptop, and I want to listen to all of them so that I can delete them. Having so many helps because, when I hit a point with one where I can’t go on right then, I can switch to another until my anxiety over the previous one(s) subsides.
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A book I thought I could renew suddenly has a hold on it. All copies are checked out, so the one I have that’s due today is actually needed. I might be able to finish the dratted thing, but I’m not sure I will. I’ve only got fifteen minutes left to watch on a DVD that’s due today, so I probably will finish that before we go to the library.

We have to make that trip earlier than we normally would because Scott’s parents are expecting us mid-afternoon. Scott’s sister’s birthday is this week, so this is to celebrate that. We need to fit in flu shots before we go, too. Scott wanted to do those yesterday, but Cordelia asked for a day’s notice, and we only told her yesterday.

We ended up going to IHOP for dinner last night. I had pumpkin spice pancakes and turkey bacon (I didn’t dare go with regular bacon at that time of night because of reflux issues). I know I shouldn’t have because of the blood sugar issues, but this is something we do once every three or four months, and I’m not quite ready to give it up. We tend not to go to IHOP weekend mornings because the wait is always more than half an hour. When we go in the evening, there’s no wait, and we get our food in under ten minutes.

My hands have been cramping, and I can’t figure out why. I haven’t been doing anything new or different. On both hands, it’s the bit between the base of my thumb and my wrist. It’s more my right hand than my left, I think, but that may be because I use my right hand for more things and so notice it more.

I need to try sock glue again because, if I can’t use it, most of my socks are useless. Knee socks were okay when I wore stretch pants under a dress because the pants held up the socks. I’m now wearing loose pants, so the knee socks end up bunched under the arches of my feet after about two minutes of walking around. They’re not terrible if I stay in the house and only walk to the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom, but if I walk to Cordelia’s school, I have to pull them up three times on the way there.

The difficulty is that I have lots of knee socks and lots of ankle socks and only about three pairs of intermediate length. I paid $8-$10 for each pair of knee socks, too, so I’d like to wear them out. Also, they’re pretty. I don’t think I’ll try sock glue today, given that we’ll be away from home for hours, but tomorrow is definitely an option.

There’s something else I was planning to try tomorrow, and now I can’t remember what it was. I just remember that it’s something I was worried might give me physiological problems and didn’t want to try on a day when we’ll be in the car a lot. Oh, I know! Scott bought some Mio, and I looked at the ingredients and didn’t see anything that I know I can’t have, so I thought I’d try it because, if my body’s okay with it (and if I like it), it would give me some options for drinking something that tastes different.
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I forgot to mention yesterday that Scott picked up Chinese carryout for dinner on Saturday. The construction that made getting to Gourmet Garden too difficult has ended, so we went with them. They have severely cut back their menu, and they don’t give much information at all about what’s in the dishes, so we ended up with surprise peppers. The spring rolls, according to me and Scott, had no flavor and, according to Cordelia, were unacceptably spicy. I have no idea if we got spring rolls from different batches or if there’s something Cordelia’s tasting that Scott and I can’t at all.

At any rate, I’m not sure we’ll go back to Gourmet Garden. That means finding a different source for Chinese carryout by experimentation, and I don’t think Scott’s going to go for that. It might be that he’d rather stick with Gourmet Garden because we know where it is. It’s still the only place we’ve found ginger chicken with string beans.

I’m waiting to see how my digestive system reacts to yesterday’s dinner. I had about ten blackberries, two strawberries, thirty or forty blueberries, and a slice of peach pie. That might give me trouble, and it might not. The deciding factor tends to be long term anxiety levels rather than short term ones, so I might be okay even though last night got pretty stressful.

Basically, Cordelia went to bed then started feeling unwell. I was up with her until about 1 a.m. It wasn’t anything that would keep her from going to school, just that would keep her from sleeping. She asked me not to post any specifics, so I’m not going to. I’m going to have Scott pick up a few things on his way home from work today, though, in the hope that, if this happens again, we’ll have ways to deal with it. I’m a bit worried about her starting the first day of school on five hours of sleep, but she was adamant that she was going to go.

I was hoping to sleep later this morning than I ended up doing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I nap later. I just want to shower and put away my laundry first.

I wrote about six hundred words yesterday. I have got to be near the end of this story. I just have to be. And not just because the deadline looms.

Scott’s sister gave me about eight shirts that she found at a half price sale at the Salvation Army. She’s been trying to find a shirt to give me since May, but everything she picked out was cut so wide and low that it showed off a significant portion of my bra. They were very pretty shirts that I liked a lot. I just can’t wear them unless (until?) I can stop wearing bras again. At any rate, I think all of these shirts will be wearable with my current bras. I don’t find any of them particularly attractive, but I also don’t find any of them repulsive. I will wear them if they fit well enough and not think, while wearing them, that maybe I’d rather not.

We got away from Scott’s parents’ place about 7:20. That was earlier than I’d expected but not quite as early as I’d hoped. Our niece was very disappointed because she really, really wanted to get people to play Scrabble with her. Her mother pointed out that she, too, has to be up really early (her school bus comes at 6:48). Our niece also complained that she can’t get a ride to school from her brother because he doesn’t have a class first period and so will be going in later. Her mother pointe out that, if our nephew did drive then, they’d have to leave right around when the bus came anyway, but our niece seems mainly concerned with not having to deal with the bus.
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I need 700 more words to reach the minimum word count for the WIP Big Bang. I also need to find some sort of ending for the story. It won’t be a really satisfying ending because I’ve realized that this is a small piece of something larger (of course). It’s just that other bits have to be from other points of view or they won’t work.

The chicken is cooked. The dishwasher is running, and when it’s done, I’ll cook some sweet potatoes.

I kind of want to lie down for a little bit, but because the cleaning lady’s here, Cordelia’s in our room, reading, and she won’t/can’t read if I’m in the room, too. (Plus, she prefers sitting on my side of the bed to sitting on Scott’s side.) I think I may go down in the basement and do some shelving since my brain is trying to shut down. I can do that without thinking, and maybe I’ll uncover some boxes I can use to ship the things I want to pack up and mail.

I’m trying to figure out how to get Cordelia to Target to shop for a bathing suit before Sunday. Scott’s working late tomorrow and is probably working during the day on Saturday, so this evening and Saturday evening are the only possible options. Cordelia just needs new bathing suit shorts, if we can find them. It’s a little late in the year, so I’m less optimistic than I might be. I’m not sure what we’ll do if Target fails us. I’m not sure that any of her normal shorts will work instead, and she wants to be able to swim at the hotel.

And, while I was in the bathroom, the mail carrier shoved a bunch of mail into our box and didn’t take any of the outgoing mail at all. I don’t see how he can have missed it being there. The absentee ballot envelopes are large, and the Netflix return envelope is bright red. The mailbox opens with a drop down door, so even people my height (5’2") can see everything inside when standing on our porch. The mail carrier must not have even bothered to look.

Fortunately, our cleaning lady was able to track down the mail carrier before he left the neighborhood and got him to take all three items. But… WTH?
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Fruit of the Loom has apparently stopped making bras. This is unfortunate because the four front closure bras I have that fit are from them and don’t seem to be available anywhere in my size. Hopefully, by the time these fall apart, I won’t need them any more, but it would have been nice to be able to get more.

I just ordered four shirts from Blair. These have high enough collars that I’m not worried my bra will show, but they cost five or six dollars more each than the others did. I really do need them, though. I’ve got five short sleeved shirts now that don’t show my bra, and two of those bunch up at the waist. Doing laundry twice a week isn’t terrible, but I’d like to have more flexibility about when to do it.

I have eighteen emails to answer, and I really need to work on my WIP Big Bang. I think I’m awake enough to do it now (after four cups of coffee). But part of me wants to do something— anything— else, even basement cleaning. I’d try going for a walk to see if that might help, but I’ve been having intestinal issues and don’t quite dare leave the house yet. And I’m not absolutely certain that taking a walk wouldn’t be just a procrastination technique. Well, I suppose that, if it were, it would at least be something that I ought to do today in addition to writing.
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Cordelia is having issues with her cucumber slices ending up dried out and bitter by the time she gets to lunch time. I can’t figure out a way to stop them drying out, and I’m not certain that it’s not actually a problem of us picking bad cucumbers. She thinks it’s not that because she’s happy enough to eat the slices right after she cuts them. We’re substituting sugar snap peas. They’re more expensive, but we only have about a dozen more lunches to make.

The shirts I ordered from blair.com arrived yesterday. Sadly, although they fit, I can’t wear them because both bra straps and about the upper inch of my bra show because the dratted things have scoop necks. I’ll have to send them back. They’ve got a tunic t-shirt (which, weirdly, is not longer than the regular t-shirt) for twice the price that might be better in the neck/chest/shoulders. It seems to have most of the same color options. And let’s see… There’s a t-shirt for about the same price that has a better cut neck but comes entirely in prints and colors I don’t like. They’ve also got polos that I could try, but they also cost more, and I’ve had poor luck with polos— I’m afraid of getting that bumpy cotton knit fabric because I find it very, very unpleasant. (I don’t even like hugging Scott when he wears it.) There are also less than a dozen colors to choose from there. The stuff that looks best in terms of collar cut is all long sleeved.

I’ve emailed the company to find out how to go about returning these shirts. Looking at their FAQ, I will have to pay $10 on top of the shipping I paid to get the shirts in order to return the dratted things. That’s not enough to make keeping them a good idea. It’s just enough to make me angry.

The energy audit guy says that our house is fairly tight. There are some issues with Cordelia’s closet, but I suspect that that’s largely because there’s a pipe running through the closet and up into the attic and out the roof (all of the plumbing for the shower is in that closet, too). He said that, given that, insulation is likely to help us a lot.

He also asked if I grow sage for religious/purification reasons. I told him that I grow it because it overwinters, can deal with the low levels of sun, smells nice, and is great to cook with. It’s pretty, too.

Scott had to be ready to go in early this morning for work, but they turned out not to need him. I stayed up past 11:00 in the hope that they would call and tell him he could wait for his usual time, but they didn’t. He had to get up at 2:00 and call them.

The FDA has a recall out of certain brands of flour for possible E. coli O121 contamination. I have no idea if the all purpose flour we have is part of it because we always move it from the package into a heavy duty plastic bin and throw out the container. Scott goes back and forth, depending on which is currently cheaper, between Gold Medal (recalled) and King Arthur (not recalled). The chain of logic for the recall is pretty tenuous— 50% of people who were part of a recent E. coli O121 outbreak remembered making and eating baked goods, and 'some' reported using these flours. I suppose it’s a good idea to be extra cautious. I’m just thinking that we’ve already baked with the flour we’ve got without issues, so maybe we’re okay?

Scott bought a new kind of coffee creamer. It is terrible. It is also, sadly, expensive and of a size to last me the better part of two weeks. This is going to make my morning coffee challenging. It took me nearly half an hour to drink my coffee this morning.

I wrote about 100 words last night, right before I went to bed. It’s not the next thing that should happen in the story, but I was having trouble getting that bit to work. Skipping around isn’t my usual method of writing; I can think of only one other piece (still incomplete) in which I’ve done it. Me doing it now isn’t a great sign, but I’m still hopeful that I can pull this off.
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I need to order some t-shirts that are loose enough to be comfortable but that actually cover up my bra straps. The shirts I’ve been wearing are plenty loose, but the necklines are wide enough that I can’t arrange them so that they will cover things and stay that way. The website where I tend to buy clothes has regular cotton t-shirts and stretch t-shirts that are cotton with lycra. The stretch t-shirts have a bunch of comments from older women (self-identified) saying that the shirts have to be ironed before they can be worn outside of the house. I can’t imagine a t-shirt being wrinkled enough that I’d think ironing it was necessary.

The problem I run into in selecting t-shirts is that my hips are wider than manufacturers allow for at the size that fits my upper body. I really dislike both having the shirt bunched up at my waist or ending high enough up that it doesn’t hit my hips. I’m not keen, either, on buying larger shirts than my upper body needs. Unfortunately, those seem to the three possible solutions. Anybody know of a t-shirt manufacturer that makes shirts that widen at the bottom?

I’ve discovered that our local library catalogs all of its Archie comics as adult titles. I’m a little puzzled by this since there’s nothing in them that isn’t age appropriate for younger readers. Maybe they figure that only adults will be interested and only for nostalgia?

Scott is upset. He was going to use the grill last night and discovered that, in spite of everything being off, the gas cylinder he bought in April was completely empty. Also, the ignition on the grill seems not to be working (he considers this a separate problem from there being no gas). This is a fairly expensive grill that he bought last year and expected to use for many, many years. To have it be broken this soon (and at a point when we really can’t replace it) makes him fairly angry.

He blamed the grill being broken for the roast he was trying to prepare needing three hours in the oven. On the one hand, yes, if the grill had been working, we wouldn’t have overheated the house with the oven. On the other hand, the grill would not have gotten the meat cooked all that much (if at all) faster, and he’d have had to stay out there to babysit it and so not been able to watch the TV shows he wanted to see.

Cordelia has a cold. Scott and I are hoping not to catch it but are not altogether optimistic. It would really, really suck to be sick next week for my birthday.

If I owe you an email, I apologize. I didn’t end up answering much of anything yesterday, and I find myself wanting to sleep more today, so I’m not sure when my brain will come back.

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