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I think the pinch hit is mostly done. I need a title for it, and I'm waiting on a beta reader, but I've put what I have in a draft document on AO3 in case I need to post it from my phone. I'm not sure how easily I'd be able to edit it there, but I think I can change the title to something better than 'Title yet to come' and post. I have one more treat that I'd like to finish and post for the Friday deadline, but I figure I can gift that after the deadline as well as before as the recipient already has a story from the exchange.

I ended up staying home yesterday while Scott and Cordelia went to the family gathering. By noon yesterday, I had a migraine, complete with light sensitivity and nausea. Even with me trying everything that sometimes helps, I was still feeling sick for hours after Scott and Cordelia left. Fortunately, I was able to write anyway.

I tried cold brewing some black tea (Stash's white mocha chocolate) over night. After twenty hours, give or take, it has definite flavor but is still mild enough that I don't absolutely need sweetener. The main benefit for me, though, is that it's cold enough to help me out when I'm overheating. A pitcher of water might do as much, I suppose, but this is nice as an alternative because it has flavor. I'm not sure if I'll go with it most mornings. I'm used to a hot beverage at this point. Some mornings, though... Hot tea may wake me up, but it leaves me sweating sometimes.

I can't find the form I need to fill out for Social Security regarding Cordelia's payments for the last year. I've looked everywhere I might have put it with no luck yet. I found the documents that I put with it because I needed them in order to fill out the form (the bank statement is still in a sealed envelope, so I think it unlikely that I filled out and mailed the form and then forgot). I am finding a lot of papers that can be shredded and/or recycled and a lot of papers that should have been filed. I need to make a file for my various genetic screening reports and biopsy results, etc.

Later:
Right at the moment, the laptop is on and at about 82% power, so I'll have a little time for things like posting this and responding to email on my pseudonymous accounts.

I found the Social Security paperwork. I should have thought of it earlier-- I'd stuck it in a library book that I was carting around right then because I knew I wouldn't throw it out accidentally that way. I'm not sure why I didn't think to look there sooner.

On the bright side, I swept under my part of our bed and recycled enough paper to make the bin too heavy for me to lift. (Sadly, I am now reasonably sure that the missing library CD isn't under the bed. I was really hoping it was even though I'd looked more than once.) I also found an unopened Christmas card with cash in it. The cleaning lady must have put it there and then stacked stuff on top of it. I found an uncashed check, too, and will have to ask the person it's from if it's still okay to cash it. Oh, and find out if the bank will still accept it.
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I finished assigning all character points for my UCon game shortly before I went to bed last night. I think I’ve got reasonable balance between the characters and have spent their points on things that make sense for each character. I’ve still got to assign spells to the two characters who have sorcery, make lists of 'things to remember' for each character, and write up what each character knows about the others and about certain npcs that they know well. I also need to write some explanations of the various powers characters have, just in case the players aren’t familiar with the novels or the game rules.

Scott’s sister ambushed us last night with a request that we come up on Sunday (during UCon) to celebrate our niece’s birthday a couple of weeks early. I explained that we’d be busy, and she responded that it did sound like we’d 'be too tired.' Scott and I kind of boggled at that because I’d said that there really weren’t any windows in our schedule when we could leave the convention. We have four hours on Sunday afternoon between checkout from the hotel and when Scott and I both run games, but trying to get up there and back in that window wouldn’t be easy.

Parent teacher conferences took forever. I think we were there for more than two hours, trying to see three different teachers. We saw the orchestra teacher within ten minutes of arriving, and that made me hopeful that the other two would be as easy, but they weren’t. Nobody had anything bad to say about Cordelia, so that was nice. The orchestra teacher did say that, if Cordelia goes to Community and wants to keep on with viola, she’ll have to go to another high school (Pioneer) for that class. I overheard some parents talking about high school orchestra, and they were of the opinion that being in orchestra is like playing a sport all year in terms of time commitment and competitiveness.

The school counselor was hanging out in the hallway to talk to parents who were waiting to see various teachers. He talked extensively about high school options and encouraged everyone to apply to Community because it’s easier to say no after applying than to try to get in later if one hasn’t applied. He also said that they’re planning to have people from the various schools visit to talk to the eighth graders and that he will put together some information on the options so that parents can look at it all.

The walking involved in the conferences left my foot aching pretty badly. It wasn’t as painful as Sunday’s experience, but it was painful.

Scott and I got Chinese carryout for dinner. He had just enough time to shower between ordering and needing to leave to get the food. We didn’t end up eating until after 8:00 because our next door neighbor stopped by to talk about a letter she’s putting together to send to the city about the parking situation in our neighborhood. She wants the city to limit how long people can park on our street during the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. That would still accommodate school drop off and pick up and would make it easier for the nursing home around the corner. I suggested that she mention that having trash pick up at the same time of day as school drop off is kind of dangerous because, due to the number of cars parking along our street, it’s very hard for the robotic arm to safely grab and lift the bins.

I called UHS (the clinic where my doctor works) yesterday. When I talked about tendonitis and pain, they said they couldn’t get me in until December 8th. When I mentioned the prolonged diarrhea, suddenly they wanted me in quickly. I’ll be going over there at 4:30 today (I got the last same day appointment because I called a bit more than an hour after they opened. I was up in time to call earlier, but my brain wasn’t working well enough until after 9:00). I won’t be seeing my doctor. I’m not sure if the clinician I’ll be seeing is a doctor, a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner. I could look him up, but that would take more effort than it’s worth right now.

I feel like they’re overreacting because I have a pretty good idea of what’s been going on in that direction, and pretty much only the last week and a half have been illness. At least, I have other explanations for the earlier stuff. I’m not feeling bad, just annoyed at having to deal with it, so I’m pretty certain I’m neither dehydrated nor starving. I don’t have other symptoms unless the tendonitis is related. Some sort of long term, nasty intestinal bug might explain the sudden tendonitis issues as apparently certain infections can do that even after they’ve passed, something called 'reactive arthritis.' I’m fairly dubious that that’s what’s going on, but it’s possible. And there’s something really bizarre about getting tendonitis, at the same time and in the exact same place, on both hands.

I’ve already gotten about thirty emails from various political lists urging me to go and vote and telling me all about looking up my ballot in advance and finding my polling place and who to call if I need help with transportation. I know it’s important, but I’ve already done as much as I can do by sending in my absentee ballot. I’m kind of tempted to temporarily stop checking that email address. I could go in tomorrow and do some mass deletion…

I’ve tried a couple more tea samples in the last three or four days. Stash’s breakfast in Paris is a black tea with bergamot, lavender, and vanilla. I wasn’t sure I should try it because I’m allergic to the scent of lavender. I could definitely taste the bergamot, and at first, I could, I think, taste the lavender, but the lavender vanished rapidly. I’m not sure that this is one I’d go back to. It wasn’t terrible, but I don’t think bergamot is my thing.

I tried the other sample this morning. It’s Stash’s fusion breakfast green & black tea. I didn’t expect to like this because there’s nothing but black and green teas of various types mixed in together, but this reminded me a lot of tea at Chinese restaurants which is sort of a nostalgic thing for me. I might consider getting more of this one just because it’s something I could pretty reliably drink.

I’m working my way through a couple of different kinds of 'apple cider' teas that we’ve had for a while. I’ve been cold brewing those, mostly. I just want to use those up so we have more space for things that all three of us are likely to drink. I suppose I could offer these to our cleaning lady, but I kind of enjoy them. Not enough to buy more but enough not to mind drinking them. One is something we bought because Scott had gotten it before and liked it. The other, I bought because I knew Scott had liked the first one and this one was cheaper but much the same flavor.

I think I’m going to lie down and try to nap. Getting up at 8:00 was really hard, and I’m still dragging pretty badly.
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Okay, the game preparation is moving along. I now have four characters at 2/3 done. The list of canonical npcs is complete, and the list of canonical terms is almost done (I’ve got five things left to define). I’ve got two characters left to get moving on, and they are, of course, the most difficult. I also need to name a lot of non-canonical npcs, decide what’s generally known about them, and figure out which characters know which of those npcs personally. I have decided that I’m ignoring about 90% of the second series. I’m keeping some characters and some bits of information about the Courts of Chaos.

I’ve tried a few of the singleton Stash teabags that have been floating around the kitchen for a while. I didn’t end up noting down all of them because most were black tea variants that tasted alike to me. Yesterday, I tried guayusa tea with mint early in the day (I can’t safely have mint late in the day). It was okay, but I don’t think I’ll buy more.

A couple of days before that, I tried Stash’s licorice spice tea. I kind of liked that, but I think I would need to dilute it a lot more or maybe mix it with something else. It was very sweet, and it left an aftertaste that— Well, it wasn’t horrible, but it kind of felt weird, like I had a film of flavor over my tongue and palate. I was only able to drink half the cup, and that took about three hours to get through. I wonder if this would mix with black tea of some sort?

Scott has been having the same intestinal difficulties that I have, so maybe this is a bug that I caught from him. He started having trouble before I did, and he felt okay yesterday. I had enough gas yesterday that I kept having to lie down to ease the pain of it. I’m still having trouble this morning, but who knows? If it is a bug, it will pass.

Cordelia’s teachers are planning to do a 'Colonial Day' either the Monday or the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and have asked parents to donate supplies. We’re willing, but there are a lot of things where they haven’t said how much they actually need. Embroidery floss, for example, would be easy to pick up, but how much and what color(s)? They want the kids to all cross stitch their names on bookmarks. I haven’t done cross stitch since I was seventeen, and I never did it in a way where I had to figure out quantities of anything. Or we could provide freshly baked bread, but how many loaves are needed? They seem to be asking for 40-50 of most of the stuff for which they give quantities, and I know there are between 40 and 45 kids in the eighth grade.

I have not managed to make any of the phone calls that I need to. Some of them, I could, in theory, manage today, but I don’t know that I will. I hate making phone calls; they’re so very, very hard.

The folks at the library found the missing book on CD, so I’ll be able to pick that up on Sunday, but they did not find the missing CD. I moved the couch and didn’t find the dratted thing. I have not looked under the loveseat yet. I probably ought to get down on the floor in our bedroom and see if it fell under the bed or something. It’s not on my table in there or on my shelves.

I have three episodes left in season one of Murder She Wrote (and I keep wondering why all of these people, mostly police, are handling guns and other such bits of evidence with their bare hands). I also have two library DVDs, one of which I’m halfway through and the other of which I haven’t started yet, and a Netflix DVD that arrived yesterday.

I’m debating ordering in for lunch today because nothing currently in the house appeals to me. But nothing I could get delivered appeals much either.
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I actually did a little writing last night. I think it was only about 150 words, but it broke through the block I had on that story.

I had trouble falling asleep last night. I think it took me two or three hours. I also woke every two or three hours, needing to visit the bathroom.

I gave away two boxes of mint tea to our cleaning lady yesterday. I still have two boxes of other types of mint tea that nobody’s going to use. I need to weed out the other teas that nobody’s going to use. There’s a ginger tea Scott bought that’s just plain nasty to me. I don’t know if anyone else would like it, but there’s a lot of it. Stash’s decaf chocolate hazelnut tea isn’t worth keeping, either. If it was caffeinated, I probably would, but it’s got all of the black tea flavor I don’t like without caffeine.

Scott tells me that, as of yesterday, work wasn’t planning to run anything this weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that’s true because it would be really nice to have him home all weekend.

Cordelia says she wants to dye her hair. She has long, dark brown hair, so I’m not sure how feasible it will be without destroying her hair. She first said that she wanted rainbow colors in the lower half of her hair. Then she said maybe purple instead. Anybody have any suggestions?
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I’ve been cold brewing some fruity herbal teas that are too acidic for me when brewed normally. It really does cut down on the acidity. I still won’t buy those particular teas again, but at least this way, what I’ve bought already won’t go to waste.

Our internet is blipping in and out or was earlier this morning. I can’t actually tell if it’s steady now or if I’m just asking for things at moments when we have service.

I managed to drop the Girl Scout stuff off at the school yesterday. I put it off for quite a long time but finally made it out the door at 2:00. I went out the back door of the building so that I’d have a longer walk home and get a little more exercise. I overheated quite a lot, unfortunately, and really wanted a shower by the time I got home.

I couldn’t shower, however, because, while I was walking home, I got a call from the folks who do maintenance on our furnace. They were supposed to come do a tune up today and wanted to know if it was all right for them to come yesterday instead. I wasn’t sure when the technician would arrive (three hour window) and really didn’t want to have shampoo in my hair when he did.

I heard back from my psychiatrist. She’s puzzled by my reaction to Zoloft because most people have the opposite problem to the one I have. She endorsed the Benefiber option but added that I’m the one who has to make the call about when side effects are too much.

I woke with a headache again today, but it was gone by the time my tea was done steeping, so I don’t know what was going on with that. Sleep last night was okay but interrupted. Scott’s cell phone alarm went off at 2:30 which is when he needs it for days when he goes in early. Then his alarm failed to go off at 5:00. Fortunately, I woke only a few minutes after it should have gone off and was able to wake him.

I think I was quite accurate about the Amber fic I just posted being an audience of me story. That’s not a complaint. I knew it going in. I just wonder, given that, why I want to write a sequel. I do, though. I have no idea where it might go, but I want to find out. If the words come as fast as they did for The Fruit of Your Intents, it’s not even a huge time commitment.

Right now, I need to work on my UCon game scenario. I’m currently trying to come up with names I like for the player characters. I want all the characters to be playable male or female since I have no idea what sort of mix I’ll get in that direction, and it’ll be easier if I can use the same names either way. There’s one character I want to be female, so I’m poking at that one to see what changes if the character were played male instead. I’d have to rename the character, but that’s doable.

The scenario is a mystery, so I have to plan clues and red herrings and to write up the backstory since I’ll be throwing the characters in relatively late in the sequence of events. It’s just that the first few things that happened weren’t taken seriously and weren’t publicly obvious. The scenario starts after something that’s big enough that it can’t be hidden or waved away as trivial.
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I took yesterday's Zoloft around 1:00, and I took today's right when I got up. Barring unexpected side effects, I'm going to keep taking it in the mornings.

The headache is gone now, thank goodness. I got up a little after 10:00, so I guess I got another three hours of sleep, more or less.

Cordelia did a movie night with her friends last night, so Scott and I had the house to ourselves. Scott suggested dinner out. I had a headache with nausea, so I asked for something mild. We ended up with carryout from Wendy’s. I think that that meal did more to kill the headache than any of the medications I took yesterday. It’s just frustrating because I don’t see what’s so magic about that meal as opposed to the other things I ate yesterday.

We finally got around to watching a Netflix DVD that we’d had for a while, so that was nice.

Scott mentioned an app he wanted me to be sure to download, but, of course, since he didn’t write it down, I can’t remember the name. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth texting him to ask or if I’m just going to wait until he gets home.

I wrote a bit more than 400 words yesterday. I was hoping for more, but 400 is a lot better than none. With luck, I can manage a good bit more today. I know where I want the story to end up, but I’m not actually sure how to get there right now. I also worry that the ending I have in mind will be too open to be pleasing.

I’m drinking some raspberry zinger tea right now as part of my effort to clear out the teas that we have very small amounts of that are taking up a disproportionate amount of space. It’s a little too acidic for me in a way that lingers for minutes after a sip. I can’t remember if I’ve tried this one before or not. We had a never opened sample bag with three teabags in it. It might be that I never tried it, but it might also be that I remembered trying it and not liking it much. I’m pretty sure I bought the samples so that Cordelia could try them. Except that that doesn’t make sense because they were mostly zingers, and Cordelia decidedly does not like hibiscus. If I bought these before we figured that out, they’re at least five years old.

I’ve got three library DVDs that I’d like to watch today. I think I’m giving priority to the lecture series (two DVDs totaling six hours left) because I can write while it’s on because it’s 80% a guy standing there talking. The other DVD is subtitled, so I’ll have to give it my eyeballs. Both can be renewed, so that’s not a factor. I’ve got two movies and another lecture series waiting for me to pick them up from the library, and we’re watching the library copy of Star Wars: Rebels season 2 as a family. That has another week and can’t be renewed, so we need to work on finishing that as quickly as we can. I think we have nine episodes left plus the extras if we decide to watch those. I would like to, but… I don’t know if we’ll have time.

As far as library books go, everything I haven’t finished can be renewed. I’d like to finish some of them by tomorrow, but I don’t know if I will. The times when I have mental focus enough for reading, I’m mostly writing instead.
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I got everything urgent on yesterday’s to do list done. There’s part of me that feels like I didn’t do anything on the writing front, but I spent about an hour doing research to help me make some important story decisions. Sadly, the option that works best is the one that’s least original. I suppose cliches are cliches for a reason.

I sent off the Social Security forms today. Scott looked them over and said that they looked accurate to him. I just kept staring at them and thinking that there must be something else I needed to say or to clarify.

I’m still debating the question of running something at UCon. I thought about taking an old Amber scenario I ran at a convention in the 1990s and repurposing the characters, but none of the related documents are in a format I can open (I don’t know what they were originally, either, which makes it harder). I might have hard copies in the basement somewhere, but looking would be as difficult as reconstructing everything from scratch because I’m not sure which boxes my mother put that stuff in back when we were packing stuff away before Cordelia arrived. Tomorrow is the deadline for event submission. They’ll likely still take events after that— they usually do— but such events don’t tend to get scheduled when the GM wants and are otherwise inconvenient.

At this point, Scott’s not planning to get a hotel room for the convention. I would prefer a place to stay if only because it’s a huge help during my down times to be able to lie down or pull out my laptop somewhere comfortable.

Scott’s getting annoyed with the books in the living room, the ones I want to get rid of. I just don’t feel like there are enough of them to merit talking to Books by Chance, but they’re all things that start at at least $8 used on Amazon. It’s just that Books by Chance doesn’t like to take old books, and most of these are. I suppose I should email them. I also need to email an antiquarian book dealer who’s been recommended to me as someone who might be interested in an old Quaker book that I have. Those things just keep getting pushed down the list of priorities.

I’m looking at ordering some tea from the Stash website. The hard part is keeping myself from ordering lots and lots of stuff. I really just want the white chocolate mocha black tea, but I could get that sampler that Scott used up again, and I could try this, that, and the other thing that looks interesting. But I don’t want to spend money, and I really don’t need more boxes of tea cluttering up the cupboard, not even if they’re on sale. Sadly, the other Stash tea that I wanted more of, one of their Chanakara teas, the blue ginger, is out of stock. My impression is that that entire line may be going away because all of it is heavily on sale or out of stock. The Walmart website says they still have it for mail order, but I don’t know if I want it enough to order there.

I spent a while last night looking at fair trade chocolates I could order online. I won’t because, by the time it arrived, I wouldn’t want it any more. I discovered, though, that one of the chocolate shops downtown, Kilwin’s, has some fair trade stuff, not everything but some things. But I also don’t want chocolate enough to go downtown just to get some. I also don’t want a lot or need anything high end. A couple of squares of Dove dark chocolate (which I’m 99% sure isn’t fair trade) would do me.

My to do list for today has two things that will be very quick, one thing I can’t do until about 5:30, and two very time consuming things that I likely will be working on for days or weeks. One, of course, is the fic I’m writing. One of the quick things will be hard because it’s a phone call. I managed two phone calls yesterday, changing our phone number with Cordelia’s pediatrician and school. I should probably call Kroger pharmacy today as that’s more likely to matter soon than my various doctors.

The other quick thing is making sandwiches for Scott and Cordelia for tomorrow. For some reason, doing that at the end of the day seems to eat up a vast amount of time, but when I do it in the morning or early afternoon, it clearly takes less than five minutes. I have no idea on that one.
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We still don’t have Comcast internet. As far as Scott can tell, they decided we only wanted TV after all. He had two hours last night, between getting home and having to go to bed, so he really didn’t have time to call them. Tonight and tomorrow will be as bad. He might not have time until next Monday. He thinks that getting together the information necessary for me to call wouldn’t work because I don’t know which bits of hardware are which. So I’m going to have to listen to him rant about it for the next week. I’m not sure he realizes what him being that cranky does to my anxiety.

I wrote about 1500 words yesterday on two fics, mostly on the pinch hit.

I tried coconut oil in coffee yesterday. Maybe it would work better if I’d been able to find our immersion blender than it did with a whisk, but the oil didn’t do anything about the parts of the flavor that bother me. I tried adding stevia on top of that, and the combination was better but still not something that I can drink. It’s not even a question of just getting used to the difference. My body simply announces to me that, If I drink that, it’s coming right back up.

People who know tea— If I make tea with 3/4 of the cup filled for steeping and then add cold water to fill the cup after the steeping’s done, will the resulting tea be weaker than if I did a whole cup of hot water for steeping? Adding the cold water makes a huge difference in how long I have to wait before I can drink, but it’s not something I’ve ever done with tea, just with instant coffee. This morning’s chai took twenty minutes to cool to where I could drink it. My goal is to finish my caffeinated drink within the half hour window after I take my morning medications because I can’t eat during that time and might as well be doing something toward getting ready to face the day.

My first goal for today is a shower. My second is to finish a library book that’s due on, I think, Friday and can’t be renewed. I’m a bit cranky with myself for not having finished it yet because it’s by Donna Andrews, an author I usually really enjoy.

Other things I need to do today— fill and run the dishwasher, gather the trash and get it to the curb. I think everything else is optional, so I’ll see how much energy I have and go from there. I still want to do work in the basement, but in order to do anything down there, I have to do something with the suitcases and boxes Scott has piled down there because I can’t get around them to the bookshelves. I don’t want to just move them because that would mean they would block the path to the laundry. Why is figuring out where things go harder than moving them?
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Scott is going to see the Star Trek movie at 10 a.m. He thinks he’s going to shower and make pancakes and still get there on time. I think he’s going to shower and then realize that he has to leave right away or he won’t make the showing. At this point, he’s got forty five minutes before the showing, and he’s not out of the bathroom yet. I really don’t think he’s going to have time for pancakes.

Cordelia has been watching movies (DVD and Blu-ray) with us in the evenings. She says she wants to go through the movies she likes in alphabetical order, so we’ve done Alice in Wonderland (Disney animated), Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Big Hero 6. It means that Scott and I aren’t getting through our Netflix DVDs, but it’s really, really nice to have some time with Cordelia actually in the room with us.

I forgot to mention yesterday— We got pizza Friday night. Our internet connection was so bad that I couldn’t order online. We had to call because the Cottage Inn website will make you start over if things take too long to process. The guy Scott got on the phone could not understand when Scott said his name. First the guy thought he’d said John; then he thought Scott had said Josh. We really can’t figure out how he got there. He did, fortunately, get the order right.

Scott ended up putting the bed back together last night. I had worn myself out with a long (for me) walk that I started about 9:45. If I’d remembered needing to make the bed, I would not have gone nearly as far. As it was, I went down by the church and then up into the science and nature center parking lot.

I pulled some more books off our shelves last night. I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s worth hanging onto the one children’s book in order to give it to the school library. It’s in quite good condition, and it’s a fairly popular/well known book (Neil Gaiman’s Coraline). I offered it to Cordelia, but she doesn’t want it.

I tried Stash’s Moroccan mint green tea this morning. I thought I could probably get away with mint this early in the day. It wasn’t bad at all. The mint rather overwhelmed the green tea which was a plus for me but might not be for someone else.

I also tried Stash’s premium green tea the other day. I think I got the temperature of the water close to right. I’m never going to love plain green tea, but I didn’t hate this.
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I wrote about 850 words last night. Sadly, none of it was on the WIP Big Bang story. I’m still trying to find my way into the next scene and am really not sure where to start. I think I need some transition to indication the passage of time because this scene only makes sense a good bit later on than the previous one.

I’m at nearly 4000 words towards my goal of 10000 words for the month. I don’t know that I’ll make it to my goal given the amount of time left and how much trouble I’m having, but I’m doing better than I did the last time I did Camp NaNo.

Our requests for absentee ballots are in the mail. Hopefully having put them in the same envelope won’t be a problem. I don’t see why it should be, but the whole process is hedged about in rules that make very little sense.

It’s supposed to get very, very hot today. It’s not terrible outside yet, so I’m debating trying to get dressed and go out for a short walk because it’s only going to get worse. It’s about 80F right now and expected to get up to about 95F. It seems like we always get weather like this for Art Fair. There’s generally at least one severe thunderstorm during Art Fair, too, so I’ll be waiting for that.

I kind of want my library holds right now because I’ve finished the CDs and DVDs. I’m just not willing to go downtown to get them during Art Fair (not to mention while I’m still hoping that the repair technician from AT&T will come).

I definitely have to freeze more of the pulled pork. I’m simply not getting through it very rapidly. I also need to come up with different ways to eat it. Right now, I’ve got plain, as a sandwich, on a salad, and on a baked potato (with some sort of vegetable mixed in, too). I suppose I could melt some cheese on top of it, but that doesn’t seem like much of a change. Maybe mixed with canned soup? I’ve got a can of French onion soup, and that’s 90% broth, so adding something wouldn’t make too dense a meal.

After I post this, I’m going to start going through a bin of papers and assorted crap that’s been sitting in the living room for several weeks. The cleaning lady specifically asked me to go through it this week, and she’ll be back in three hours and expecting that to be done, so I’d better get cracking. I don’t think it will take more than half an hour. I’m planning to pull it over near the couch so that I can sit there while I sort. Otherwise, I’d have to either bend over the whole time or sit on the floor. Neither of those options are things I can sustain for more than about ten minutes at a time.

I’ve tried a couple of tea samples recently.

Stash’s Jasmine Blossom green tea has traces of a not green tea flavor that I assume must be the jasmine. I suspect that the water I made it with was too hot because I ended up with more bitterness than I expected, not as much as if I’d used boiling water but some. I only had one bag, so I can’t experiment to see if it’s better made differently.

I also tried Stash’s salted caramel mate herbal and black tea. I didn’t sweeten it, and I think it might have been tastier if I had. It wasn’t terrible as it was, but nothing makes me want to try it again except the realization that I’ve got an entire box that I have to do something with.

The single bag samples I have left aren’t really things that appeal to me for various reasons. Some of them are things I’ve tried before. At least one is something I’m allergic to. One is a mint green tea blend, and I’m not sure mint is wise for me given the reflux. The others are various pure black or green teas that will all taste pretty much the same to me as any other black or green tea.

I think I’m going to focus for a while on using up some of the boxes of tea that have been sitting around. I’m not actually sure what all is buried in the pile of boxes next to the stove or hidden in the cupboard. I’m probably going to use up the stuff that isn’t caffeinated first. I’m not tired enough most of the time to think that adding caffeine will do anything (and when I am that tired, I don’t think the caffeine actually does anything except checking off a box on the at-least-I-tried list), and I don’t think that I want anything that will dehydrate me in this hot weather.
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Lying down helped. I think it was actually the lower light levels. When I came out here and opened my laptop, that hurt. I’ve turned down the brightness of my screen considerably, and that seems to be okay now. My head still hurts somewhat, but I can’t think of anything much that I want to do that doesn’t involve the laptop or a book or something visual. I think I’m going to be trying podcasts and audiobooks to see if I can keep myself occupied that way.

I took a cab to my appointment yesterday and then took the bus home. In between, I saw the gynecologist and had my IUD removed. I’m not entirely happy with doing that because I don’t know how my body’s going to respond. (I’m a little worried that this migraine is related to that. I’m not sure why it would be, but who knows?) I’ll go back in about four months, and we’ll see where things are then.

After leaving the clinic, I did some Ingress stuff in terms of hacking and capturing some new to me portals. I stopped at the Espresso Royale on State St, mainly because I wanted to use the bathroom. I got a scone and a ginger dragon. The barista didn’t ask me if I wanted it hot or cold and just gave it to me hot. I hadn’t thought to specify because, in June, I assume that I’m going to get it cold. Having a hot drink meant taking about three times as long as I’d expected to because I had to wait for it to cool enough not to burn my mouth.

I ended up catching the bus home at the stop near Division and Liberty rather than trying to go all the way to the central bus station. It would have taken me long enough to get to the station than there was time before the next bus left.

I had a baked potato with green beans and pulled pork for lunch. That meant that I wasn’t very hungry when it came time for dinner. I ended up having just a bit of cheese and a small bowl of ice cream for dinner. Weirdly, I had reflux when I went to bed. I guess I need to eat a bit more at dinner time or something.

I tried still another Stash tea yesterday. This one is very berry, a caffeine free herbal. Hibiscus is the first listed ingredient, and I could definitely taste it. Fortunately, I like hibiscus. This was a bit astringent in a way I didn’t love, but I would be happy to drink it again.

I think I’ve got two or three samples from that batch left that I haven’t tried yet and then another three that are things I’d had before I bought the sampler. I’ve got another sampler that I really haven’t touched because it’s all green tea variants which I find more challenging to prepare properly.

I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s worth spending $10 to get a used copy of the first season of a show I don’t much like but very much want to write fic for. The library has it, but that means pre-planning when I need to watch (and not being able to go back to spot check things) and managing to watch everything in a short time. If it was streaming somewhere, I’d go with that. $10 really isn’t all that much for the convenience, right?
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Tried another Stash sample— This one is guayusa tea with lemon. I have no idea what on earth guayusa is, but apparently it contains caffeine because I recognize all the other ingredients (mostly lemony herbs) as not containing caffeine and the packet clearly says, 'Contains Caffeine.' I steeped it five minutes, as recommended on the packaging. It was a little more bitter than I quite like (I didn’t try sweetening it, so that might help), but it wasn’t undrinkable. The lemon flavor was fairly weak and more in aftertaste than anything. I suppose I should look up and see how much caffeine the stuff contains. The fact that I can drink it unsweetened, even if I don’t love the flavor, is a point in its favor.

Hm. Google claims that guayusa contains 'the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.' I’m not clear as to the amount of guayusa that’s required.

The Caffeine Informer says sixty six mg of caffeine in an eight ounce cup when starting with two grams of guayusa tea and steeping for four to six minutes. The site also says that this can vary a good bit, depending on the batch. I had to look at other sites for information on coffee, but it looks like that tends to run between ninety mg and two hundred mg of caffeine per eight ounce cup with instant (what I use) tending toward the lower end of the scale.

Cordelia sees the orthopedist again today. She tried to talk me out of making her go because she thinks it will be boring. Which, well, it will be. Right now, my intention is for us to take the bus to get there and then to wait for Scott to come get us after work. The appointment’s at 3:15. Scott will likely get off work no later than 4:00, and it’s a half an hour for him to get to the hospital to pick us up after that. I don’t think we’d end up waiting longer for him than for a cab. The bus we’d need for getting home is chancy at that time of day. It might be fine because there aren’t many students, but… I think most of the crowds on that route are people who work for the university rather than people attending classes.

I have an appointment of my own tomorrow, and I’m debating whether or not to take the bus to get there. The appointment’s at 10:00, so I’d need to leave here about 9:00. That bus tends to be crowded in the early morning, to the point that it really sets off my anxiety and to the point that there’s zero chance that I could get a seat. 9:30 is about when things settle down, so I might be okay. I don’t know.

I’m not, so far, too stressed about either appointment. It only just occurred to me that maybe I should take Ativan to prepare for today’s appointment, and I slept mostly okay (I had disturbing dreams about being ill, but I don’t think there’s a connection).

Last night, someone from the other side in Ingress came through the neighborhood. They attacked a lot of portals and did a lot of damage but mostly didn’t bother to capture anything. They very specifically went after mods on the portals. When they attacked the church, they left it in our hands by the barest sliver, and I really can’t think why. They got it to the point where they could have knocked it out by breathing on it and then just stopped. Even a level one burster would have finished the job.

We got a copy of Kung Fu Panda 3 yesterday and watched it. I enjoyed it a lot. I hope that they don’t try to do a Kung Fu Panda 4, though, because I don’t see where they could take the main character. He could work as a supporting character in someone else’s story, but he knows who he is now, very firmly. I liked very much that the movie didn’t shove Po’s father aside in favor of his biological father or make Po’s father either too gracious about the interloper or hostile beyond reason. He clearly feels threatened, but he tries very hard.

I wrote a bit yesterday. It was even the Narnia story. I don’t know if I’ll manage more today, given the appointment and that we expect to have people over in the evening. Tomorrow’s iffy, too, because of that appointment combined with the cleaning lady coming in the afternoon. Maybe Gdocs on my phone…? I got the writing moving by throwing out several paragraphs. Those contain some key information, so I’ll have to figure out another way to include it. The new stuff is more active while the old stuff was more summary. There’s information about Lucy and Edmund that will matter a great deal, long term, but that my POV character only sort of notices. That’s going to be harder to work in when I’m in her active POV.
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Yesterday, Cordelia was scrambling, trying to find a copy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that she could show to her new-to-Star-Wars friends on Friday. We don’t own it because Scott loathes it. Cordelia put a hold on a DVD copy at the library, but there were several people ahead of her and no copies currently available. She was going to try to get it from Netflix, but her current DVD wouldn’t have started the trip back to them until today, so the timing was tight. I looked around online to see if there was a cheap copy that I could buy that would arrive in time.

Then it occurred to me that the library pretty certainly had the movie in Blu-ray as well as on DVD. For watching here, Blu-ray is an option. It’s not at any of the other girls’ homes at present, but Cordelia’s plan was to show the movie here. Sure enough, there were five copies of the Blu-ray on the shelves at various branch libraries. I had Scott pick up the copy at Traverwood on his way home. It wasn’t much out of his way. He, of course, told me we needed a lead lined box to keep the thing in and that he’d check it out only with the understanding that it would leave the house again. I pointed out that, if we wanted a copy of the dratted thing, a used, former library copy would not be what we’d go for.

Last night, I lost the Ingress portal that I’d been holding for about six weeks. I’d hoped that nobody would find it, but… Whatever. Holding onto a portal is more than 90% luck. I enjoyed seeing the days tick over and add up, but it was a pretty minor enjoyment.

I tried another Stash tea sample today— Spice dragon red chai. It’s a rooibos based chai, caffeine free. I’m generally iffy on rooibos, but I quite liked this. It only has four ingredients: cinnamon, rooibos, ginger root, and cloves. The spices were at the right level of strength when I steeped the bag for about five minutes. I don’t think that steeping longer would have made things nasty, though.

Scott has changed the temperature settings for the house, putting things back at 80F. I’d had things set at 78F for quite a while. Scott has been having problems with being too cold at night; specifically, his feet got cold enough that he had trouble sleeping. Sadly, at 80F, I had trouble sleeping. I was warm enough that I got itchy and did a lot of tossing and turning. I rather think that it’s easier for Scott to get his feet warm than for me to cool off. We’ll have to negotiate tonight.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to take a walk. It’s quite cool today, but my ankle tends to get cranky after long walks. It doesn’t tend to bother me while I’m walking, just later on. That makes judging how much I can do kind of difficult. I need to get out and move around, however.

The Fluoridex sensitivity toothpaste is working well, so far. I’ve used it the last four nights as a supplement to my regular brushing and flossing, and my teeth haven’t started getting sensitive again (three days without Gel-Kam is generally long enough for me to have problems with heat, cold, and sweet). I don’t know that Cordelia has tried the stuff. She’s just after the fluoride and doesn’t have problems with sensitivity (I asked her specifically), so we may end up wanting to buy her a different kind than what I use as she doesn’t need the potassium nitrate.

I think we’re going to have to budget to get me a new bite splint. The current one is twenty five or so years old and has a rather large bit that’s on the verge of breaking off. I clench rather than grinding, so I’d hoped that this bite splint would last a good bit longer, but there’s a thin spot in it because I have one upper tooth that comes down farther than all the other upper teeth. Some time last year, that tooth broke through the splint, and now there are cracks from that point. The dratted thing might last another six months, but it also might not. Most dental insurances only allow a person one bite splint in their lifetime, so it’s very likely that we’ll have to pay the entire out of pocket cost for a new one. It’s remotely (very remotely) possible that our current insurance will cover it because it’s a different insurance than what I had that paid for the current one.
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I woke this morning with a migraine because we lost power repeatedly last night which means than none of us got much sleep. Between 3:00 and 3:25, the power blipped on and off four or five times. At about 3:25, the power went off and stayed off. It didn't come back until just before 8:00 this morning. This means that Scott only got about three hours of sleep last night, and that there were about four hours when I didn't sleep.

DTE has called three times since 10:00 to give me different estimates for when our power will be restored. The most recent one said that they have no idea when it will be. Which... We have power, but the calls don't give a stop calling me option.

It started raining and kind of vaguely thundering about fifteen minutes after the power went out. I've heard that other parts of the area had heavy thunder and lightning. DTE says the problem was 'trees on private property,' but the outage area, looking at the map on their site in the early morning was pretty large.

We had a scare yesterday afternoon. Everything worked out fine, but... The younger brother of Cordelia's best friend missed the school bus after school. When that happens, he's supposed to come here, and he didn't. His sister didn't realize he wasn't on the bus until after it was underway, too late for her to get off. All she could do was call their mother. She, in turn, called me because someone had told them that the boy had been seen walking toward the city bus stop at the bottom of the hill. He's nine or ten, and he had no money. He's also never ridden the city bus alone, so even if he'd had money, getting home that way wouldn't have been sure. It requires taking the Plymouth Rd bus outbound and then getting off at a particular stop to transfer to the route that actually goes near their home. The routes have all changed in the last month, so what he remembered might not have been valid any more.

As it turns out, he got a ride home from a friend's family and it's just that no one thought to let his mother know.

But I sent Cordelia out twice, looking for him on her bike, because we were afraid he was trying to walk home which is three kilometers as the crow flies (looking at an Ingress portal near where they live) and involves crossing some streets that are very, very busy. I told his mother that, if we didn't find him in the next ten minutes or so, it would be time to call the police. Fortunately, it didn't come to that, but... If he had been trying to walk home, he'd have been on Plymouth Rd for a very, very long way, so finding him there should have been easy. We were mostly worried about him getting exhausted, getting lost, or getting hit by a car.

I went for a longish walk yesterday before the school day ended. I twisted my ankle relatively early on, but it felt okay after a few steps, so I went on. Then, twenty minutes later, while I was on my way home, it started to hurt. Right now, it's okay when I walk, mostly, but aches when I'm sitting still or lying down. I wrapped it about an hour ago. I'm not sure it's helping. It hurts to walk with it wrapped, not a lot but noticeably, and I'm constantly aware of the pressure from the bandage at other times.

On the plus side for the walk, I managed to find an easier route into the science and nature center. The route I knew involves climbing a steep hill along a long path with absolutely no shade at all. I haven't been willing to do it in the last few months because I'm afraid that climbing that hill will wear me out enough that I can't climb the hill I need to in order to get home. This route is a path through the woods. It's entirely shaded and a good bit shorter and with a gentler slope. It lets out right by the community gardens, on the same level of the park as most of the Ingress portals.

In the evening, [livejournal.com profile] cherydactyl came to visit. She hadn't been sure that she was going to be able to, but she ended up coming after all. We ended up just sitting and talking for a couple of hours. That was really nice.

I need to eat something healthy now. Because of the migraine and all of that, I've mostly had very sugary things so far today. I'm not feeling bad from that, fortunately, but something healthy would be very nice. I also need to get the dishwasher running before the cleaning lady comes (in about an hour and fifteen minutes). I've moved the things I have to move, and I put away most of the clean laundry. Apart from eating and the dishes, most of what I need to do is to find a bag or box in which to put the rest of books that we plan to send to Scott's parents' yard sale. I've got one full bag already.

I tried a new to me Stash tea today. It's an herbal blend, chocolate orange. I didn't actually like it. I couldn't taste either flavor, just some bitterness. Fortunately, I only had one bag of it, so nothing's going to go to waste.

I've got thirty messages in my email inbox right now. They're all things I want to/need to answer. I have no idea if I'll get to them.
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Last night, I discovered that the Spartan brand frozen sweet cherries are vile. I ended up throwing most of the bag out. I’ve got another bag in the freezer. I will sample it to see if it’s different, but I’m not optimistic. There’s something very wrong when the best of the cherries in the bag taste like sweetened sawdust.

Usually, we buy Private Selections brand, but I got the two bags of the Spartan brand when we did that grocery order for pick up at Busch’s the week after Scott’s kidney stone because they didn’t have the Private Selections brand available (it’s a Kroger house brand, so no surprise there).

I tried Bigelow’s ginger snappish tea this morning. I liked it. The ginger wasn’t as strong as I’m up for, but it was noticeably present. I did not sweeten this one, and I didn’t miss that.

I think I’m going to end up napping a lot tomorrow. I’m really dragging today, even with extra coffee. I don’t think I’ve got anything I have to do tomorrow, so that should be possible.

Somewhere or another, I seemed to have picked up an Ingress portal key that someone dropped that’s for a portal a long way away, more than 1300 km. I can’t tell exactly where it is because I haven’t figured out how to get the entire address to display (it gets cut off in the middle in all the displays I’ve tried). Since I don’t get out much, most of what I do with Ingress is remote recharging of portals, so I am prone to picking up portal keys if I see them lying around.
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I tried Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s ginger peach black tea today. I apparently hadn’t tried it before. I thought I had, but there were four teabags in the tin. I think I might like it better with a shorter steeping time. I went with three minutes this time, and while it wasn’t exactly bitter, it wasn’t not bitter either. It did not blend well with the stevia I added. I don’t know if I’d like it better with honey. Possibly.

My foot is hurting off and on now instead of constantly with spikes when I walk. I’m applying heat right now, and that actually feels good. Ice was really bad in terms of making the pain worse. The foot is not sore when I press on it and/or massage it. I can’t find any sensitive spots that way. It’s just when I walk and when I curl my toes under to stretch my foot.

I tried Tylenol for the foot pain yesterday and didn’t notice any difference at all. I may try naproxen, but I’m not sure. I don’t really expect that to do anything, either, and I’m very wary of it after the trouble I had with it during radiation.

Cordelia has pointed out that I actually saw my step-father for about an hour this summer when he and I and my mother went to lunch at Zoup. I had forgotten about that, probably because it was so very, very brief. Cordelia doesn’t see why she should be enthusiastic about spending time with my mother. Hopefully, she will be polite and at least try to enjoy herself.
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I tried Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s coconut chai for a second time today. I steeped it three and a half minutes rather than the recommended five to seven minutes because I wanted to avoid having it get too bitter. I think, for me, that’s a good choice. I got enough flavor from the spices that I could tell it was chai without getting overwhelming bitterness. I’m pretty sure I can taste the coconut. At any rate, there’s something there that’s sweeter/mellower than I expect from black tea and chai.

I tried another new to me poet this week— Langston Hughes. I was wary because I haven’t really been thrilled with any of the poets I’ve tried so far, but I found I liked Hughes’ work quite a lot. It reminds me, in a way I can’t put my finger on, of what I like about the two Spoon River Anthology books. Maybe it’s a feeling of having people at the center? I really don’t know. I probably won’t finish the book I got from the library because it’s huge and because my best times for reading tend to be other people’s best times for podcasts/Netflix streaming/YouTube stuff. Scott generally does that while he’s moving around from one part of the house to another, cleaning, making his lunch, getting ready for bed, things like that, so it’s not like I can ask him to use earbuds.

It’s almost 3:00. The cleaning lady got here promptly at 2:00, but Cordelia’s friend has not yet arrived. I may need to email her mother and ask what’s up with that. Her being late is not terrible since the logistics of two kids in the house with the cleaning lady are challenging, but we were expecting her an hour ago and haven’t had any word. Now, I’m worried that there was some sort of email I was supposed to send her mother and haven’t and that that means she’s not coming.
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I rather like Chanakara’s blue ginger tea. It doesn’t taste of ginger at all, and normally, that would disappoint me. I just happen to like the flavors that do come through. I have no idea what 'blue malva flowers' are or what 'feijoa' is, but those are the only other ingredients, so they must be what I like. Chanakara is connected to Stash Teas as I bought this through the Stash website at a point when I was ordering a little of all of their different ginger teas (and a lot of their lemon ginger which I already knew I love).

Today, I tried Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s raspberry earl tea for a second time. I was prepared to hate it because I remembered disliking either the raspberry earl or the gypsy rose and, well, I rather liked the gypsy rose when I tried it again earlier this week. I tried steeping this for only two and half minutes, and I think that helped. It’s not something I’d seek out particularly, but I felt no urge to pour the contents of my mug down the drain. There was some bitterness of a type that seemed to push at all the parts of my mouth at once, but it wasn’t overwhelming or concentrated, just kind of large.
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One of the teas that [personal profile] kyrielle sent me was Bigelow’s Eggnogg’n. I was a little dubious about an eggnog flavored tea, but I was also very curious. The ingredients say that it’s a black tea/green tea blend with 'natural eggnog flavor and other natural flavors' and cinnamon. I actually quite liked this one. It went well with the stevia I sweetened it with. I’m not sure how much it tastes like eggnog because I haven’t had any in years (I have to have the kind with no actual eggs because eggs are a huge migraine trigger for me, and Scott doesn’t care for it).

A few months ago, [personal profile] retsuko sent me a sampler of teas— Zhena’s Gypsy Tea. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried all four of them, but I don’t remember what I thought of them, partly because I didn’t write it down at the time and partly because that was while I was taking a lot of hydrocodone. I just tried the Gypsy Rose kind again. It smells very rose like. I added stevia. It tastes very floral, but I’m not sure it tastes like the rose petals I ate as a kid (my mother assured me they were edible, so I wasn’t just eating stuff at random). I think I like this one.
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Yesterday, I had nausea after the morning dose of Bactrim, but I haven't really today. I have my fingers crossed that it doesn't come back. I had Scott pick up some ginger tea, just in case, and I'm having some of that now. I'm not enthusiastic about the flavor. It's Harney & Sons, and it looked promising because it has actual chunks of ginger. It might taste better if I sweetened it, I suppose. I just don't find that necessary with the kind of ginger tea I'm used to. The other ginger tea Scott got is actually a black tea with ginger flavoring, so I don't expect it to do much to settle my stomach.

The guy from the heating company just arrived. I'm glad they managed to get us in this week because I'd hate to try to schedule it for later. I'm just not entirely happy because I would like to be napping right now. I've not been sleeping well. I haven't gotten back to sleep after Scott's 5:10 alarm since last Friday. That means I've been getting about five hours of sleep a night. It's a wonder I'm not doing worse than I am.

I'm trying to fit in my various library DVDs today. I'm not sure I'll succeed because one of the ones I have left is multi-DVD set, an entire 24 episode season of an anime. Right at the moment I can renew it, but that would mean a mid-week return, and that's not desirable. Maybe when I try it, I won't care for it and can return it right away.

The radiation oncology people scheduled me a surprise appointment in December. The first I knew about it was the message I got telling me to check the patient portal. The appointments were for 12:45 and 1:00 on the 22nd. Cordelia's dental appointment is at 1:00 on the 22nd, and I'm not interested in rescheduling that again. For some reason, they didn't think it was important to give me a phone number to call if I had questions or needed to reschedule. I ended up having to call the hospital operator and get transferred. I would have thought that a contact number would be basic information. At any rate, I've rescheduled to a week later. This is apparently for some sort of research study, and I did say I was interested in doing those. I didn't expect to get tapped, though. I would like more information than that, so I hope the papers they send me contain something useful.

I started a new book last night. GoodReads recommended it to me as a comic mystery, but I'm not actually finding it funny. It's readable, but it's not fun in the way the blurb suggested it would be. I'm also more than 50 pages in with no sign of actual plot, just background and character stuff.

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