Big Events

It is strange how I can see an event coming for a long time and anticipate the arrival with happy or at least content feelings, but when it actually arrives still feel so so lost and scared.

Howard left Novell today. It was the right choice to make. We both believe that is true. But the security net is gone and suddenly I realize exactly how far down “bottom” is. Staring down into that netless chasm I suddenly begin to doubt my ability to walk the fine line which keeps us up. Fear could become all consuming if I allow it to be so.

I chose not to. Fear must become background because I am making myself a new net from faith and my own knowledge and from counting the friends and family who will not let me fall without fighting to keep me up.

I have checked and rechecked. I can keep us going for the next three months with only the resources in hand. What happens after those three months depends on how much revenue we can coax out of Schlock Mercenary during those three months.

Life is going to be very different around here. Part of me is glad. Part of me is scared. But we can do this and it will be good for us.

Take That Mouse!

Ha! I finally caught the mouse that has been stealing peanut butter off of the traps for weeks. Howard suguested that I place two traps facing each other. It Worked! I’ve finally caught the source of that annoying skittering noise in the walls. Just in case he had friends I’ve reset the traps.

Sick Patches.

Patches has been sick all weekend. Sick and mostly miserable. Patches is usually a pretty easy-going little fellow, but when he’s grumpy he gets into these moods where he screams no matter what I do. I hold him he fusses and wriggles. I put him down he screams and grabs my legs. I pick him up and he cries. I sit down he screams. I try to read him a story he knocks it out of my hands then he cries because the book is on the floor. I pick up the book and he knocks it out of my hands again. This behavior continues for an hour or more until he either consents to eat something or the tylenol has a chance to really kick in.

I much prefer the kind of sick where the child climbs into my lap and just snuggles. Patches did that once too. After he’d been snuggling for a few minutes he looked up at me and gave me a kiss on my cheek. An un-begged-for kiss from a child is a parent’s best reward. He gave me several kisses accompanied by looks that said “You’re a wonderful mommy. Thank you for taking care of me.” Right then I was so soft and melty inside that all the tantrums didn’t matter.

I took Patches to the doctor today. They confirmed my at-home diagnosis of Hand Foot and Mouth disease. If I’d held off for another 12 hours it would probably have been distinctive enough that I wouldn’t have felt the need to go in at all. HFM is one of those illnesses you just have to live through, like colds. So we’re in for a miserable week. One of these days I’ll start trusting my own judgement and stop dropping a $15 co-pay to have the doctor confirm what I’d already figured out for myself.

Rambly musings.

The weather has turned cooler around here. I’m so glad. I’m ready for Fall to be here. I usually am by the end of summer. I’m glad that it gets dark earlier in the evenings. It makes putting kids to bed on time so much easier if it is already dark when bedtime rolls around.

Soon it will be time for pumpkins and Halloween. We like Halloween around here. Usually by this time of year the kids have their costumes picked out. This year I haven’t heard a word from any of them about costumes. I’m planning on waiting until we’re actually in October before I mention it. But I do need to mention it early because if there is sewing to be done I need time to do it. Hopefully this year I’ll be able to convince them to raid the dress-up box for most of their costume wear.

After Halloween comes November with candles and Thanksgiving. Usually as the weather cools down we start lighting scented candles to make the house smell really yummy. Mostly we use a candle warmer, but sometimes we actually burn them. We haven’t any big plans for Thanksgiving this year, we’ll probably hang out here.

Christmas is going to be full. All the Tayler siblings will be in town. That’s going to be a fun party.

But all of that is in the future. Today I only have a cool stormy wind blowing in the first leaves on the Honey Locust trees starting to turn yellow. The Honey Locusts are always the first to lose their leaves. Maybe thats because the leaves are so little. In another month most of the trees will have lost their leaves and I’ll once again have a view of the the mountains. . . and the apartment building, and State Street, and that Auto Auction place. Five years from now the Austrian pines will have grown big enough to block those things year round, but until then I’ll have to put up with the view. I’ll just focus my gaze inside the confines of my fences where the children are playing on our playset. That’s happy.

The beginning of the end

The cancellation of Howard’s trips to New York, Montreal are such a relief to me. I do feel a little bad for disappointing the fans in those locations who were hoping to meet with him, but not bad enough for me to want him to go.

My brain has been so full of thoughts these past couple of days. I even had trouble sleeping last night because my thoughts were running around so fast they chased sleep away. Funny thing is I don’t feel all that tired today. I think I may be running on adrenaline or something. At some point I’m going to crash hard. Hopefully it will be tonight at bedtime.

Edit 6/15/2006: When we cancelled these trips we knew it was because Howard was leaving Novell. We were upset, happy, frightened, relieved, and terrified all in turns. We couldn’t announce his departure on the internet before telling co-workers, so we spent the next 3 days carefully not chronicling any of what we went through. It is sad because now I wish I had a record of it.

Wednesday Incoming

Here it is. 7 am on Wednesday morning. Anyone who has been reading my journal for more than a week knows that last Wenesday walloped me hard. I’m kind of expecting the same today.

Scheduled events:
9:30 am Drive kids to school
10-12 am Scrapbooking at the church (Yay! Adults to talk to!)
12-2 pm at home for Patches nap
2:30- 3:15 pm Gym time
3:30 pick up kids from school
4:15-6:15 drive in circles taking kids to and from classes.
6:30 Home and collapse

Unscheduled events that need done:
Folding laundry
organize computer desk
organize pantry
eat at least 3 times
feed the children at least 3 times

I could put more stuff into the Unscheduled Events column, but I’ll be lucky to get the stuff that is already there done. Besides I don’t want to feel overwhelmed before I even start today.

My Space

The process of arranging my new office continues. I finally got the pair of bookshelves moved to their new locations. It was work I could do solo, but I had “help” from Patches who pulled books from their neat rows on the floor and reinserted them at random. The moving of all those books is what inspired my “Too Many Books” entry.

The shelves sat in the same place for 6 years and now that they’re moved I can see that the mice really appreciated the convenient hidey holes underneath them. So tomorrow when it won’t wake the children I get to vacuum up all the little mouse “gifts”. Whee.

Once the floor is clean I can move in my work table and declare my new office done.

That’ll just leave the entire rest of the house to organize. . .

Phone calls

Howard called today. It’s always nice to hear his voice when he’s far away. It’s even more fun to hand the phone over to the kids and observe the conversations and behaviors which follow. Only Gleek and Patches were home today, but they’re the funnest to watch in a situation like this so that’s okay.

Gleek: Had to be coaxed to the phone, but once she heard Daddy’s voice the smile began. “I sent you a email.” The tentative smile stretched into a grin when Howard assured her that he’d gotten it. She then launched into a description of an event from a video game that she’d watched being played yesterday. I wish I could remember the exact words. At that point I wanted to reclaim the phone so I prompted her to say goodbye. She said “Byedaddy!” thrust the phone at me and ran off.

Patches: Wasn’t sure he wanted to listen to the phone, but the moment he heard Howard’s voice he got very very still. He listened very intently and then pushed the phone away from his head so he could look at it. My attempt to reclaim the phone at this point was aborted when Patches cried out “Dada!” and reached for the phone. He listened some more and said “Dada” a few times. Then he looked at the phone again, particularly at the little speaker holes. Somehow his Daddy was in those tiny little holes. When I prompted him to give a kiss and say goodbye he kissed the little speaker holes rather than the microphone. I then had to distract him with something really shiny or he would have continued to monopolize the phone.

Three more days and then Howard’s home.

Checking for news.

It is either pathetic or really cool, but at 5:30 am I got out of bed bleary eyed and went downstairs to check email, livejournals, and forums trying to find anything Howard added. There wasn’t much, Novell keeps him busy I guess.

Back to bed for me. Maybe now I can sleep for another hour without my brain running in circles wondering if there is Howard news.


In the process of organizing my new office space I’ve come to the conclusion that we have too many books. This kind of thought is practically heretical. How is it possible to have too many books? Well, our paperback Science Fiction collection runs over 300. The stuff that schools require as reading runs over 50. Old text books run over 30. Religious books over 75. The Juvenile fiction is over 100. The picture books are probably over 200. And then there is all the miscellanous stuff which is more than 100. We don’t have enough shelf space for all of that. Not even with the paperbacks stacked two deep.

The problem is that they are BOOKS. Books are good and special even if we didn’t enjoy reading it that much. But I’m in a mood to be ruthless and so I’ve pulled stacks of books that I’m willing to get rid of. And here lies the next problem. I’ve got to show these stacks to Howard before they leave the house. Odds are really good that I’ve got books in the stacks that he isn’t ready to get rid of yet. We need to find a way for us both to be feeling ruthless simultaneously.

If we were able to sell them rather than just giving them away that would probably help. Unfortunately I check ebay and books simply don’t sell there. In the science fiction section none of the books had any bids. Large lots of 100 or more books were going for $2.50. That kind of money doesn’t make it worth my time to put up a listing. Amazon is probably a better place to sell books, but I still have to go to the trouble of listing all the books individually and then continuing to store them until they sell. Sounds like a lot of trouble.

What I probably need to do is find a local used bookstore and cart them all there. I’d be happy to sell them all for 10 cents each if I could unload the whole lot at once. And if I could get cash. Store credit is no good, I’m trying to get RID of books.