Jun. 11th, 2013 10:59 am
chantico: (Selfish)
What is work? We just don't know. Not when we are nauseous and headache-y, at least.


Had an very nice weekend. Started the mural for Cathleen's (the babby name for Jen's incoming gal) nursery, which is largely a matter of experimentation, since I've never done a mural before, I don't use physical paint very much, and I definitely don't use house paint as a medium. It went well. I was able to figure out how to do a wash. Jen asked for the mural to depict each of the four elements, one to a wall, and to be fairy-tale/fantasy themed. One wall is sky and mountains, with some floating cities and eagle nests; that flows up into a great big volcano. I'm proud of this idea-- the volcano is painted over the closet doors. On the outside, there's a little lava and some cinder cones, but the main feature is a dwarf city, and when you open up the doors, the inside is all magma pools and a great big dragon sitting on its horde (which I'm going to decorate with rhinestones and glitter, of course). On the other side of the volcano is a forest, to be populated by unicorns, and then the ocean and its mermaids.

After this Saturday, there are mountains. This coming weekend I'm continuing, hoping to get done the Air wall and the Water wall, characters notwithstanding.

Sunday I put some work into my own house. Jason and I did a lot of projects-- I gave him the handyman stuff while I concentrated on some much needed organizational and artistic projects. I'm scanning all my old sketches that I've kept around, some of them from high school, so I can dump the physical copies that are taking up space. You cannot see the library floor for all the paper. At last, I put all the physical photos into albums, like our wedding cruise pictures and the parties afterward, then I tackled some of the mending, to less than spectacular effect. Jason fixed some house hardware that was loose or improperly installed, and then, glory of glories, we affixed the cabinet doors. Our kitchen automatically looks cleaner.

This blitz is prompted by my coming vacation, because I don't want to have *shit* looming over me while trying to relax at home.

And then yesterday was Jason's birthday; there was Meat Carnival and cake and people hanging out and a smidgen of Rock Band. I ended the night with a burgeoning headache that wouldn't go away and is still threatening, and some nausea. Booooo.

So today, I have done . . . squat. Nothing. My work queue has been utterly ignored, and I really should address that.

Don't wanna. I've got, like, senioritis, except it applies to the week before vacation.


Apr. 16th, 2013 09:31 am
chantico: (Uncomfortable)
Holy shit my back is OUT. Sitting is kind of uncomfortable, laying down is fine as long as I don't move too fast, but standing? NOPE. Shooting pains and numbness in the legs from sciatica, and it feels like my midsection is in a vise. I'm doing the old lady shuffle today.

Been working on my Woo lately, in response to an overactive skepticism that's been hijacked by nihilism and my depression. I'm taking an online class with Jesa, she of the Faerie Oracle fame, focusing right now on the basics for beginners: daily meditation of a very simple sort, some journaling, and the one that I have the hardest time letting myself do, which is energy work. The exercise involves trying to feel an energy field between your hands, and wow do I have to fight the "LOL HIPPY" reaction while doing it. That ain't helpful right now, brain. (Writing any of this down makes me feel embarrassed when, really, in the moment I don't feel embarrassed at all and I feel like it's working and it's helping, and even admitting *that* makes me want to crawl under a rock, so clearly this reaction is more about being taken seriously by other people than about my own personal beliefs or well-being. Basically, I don't want to admit I'm spiritual or buy into this stuff for fear of ridicule or being thought stupid by . . . I don't know who. Internet Atheists of the worst sort. Anyway.)

The meditation and centering exercises have been the most successful, though doing them daily is still a struggle for me. All we do is count our natural breaths to ten, and then restart the counting. Do that for ten minutes. I'm getting more practiced at letting random thoughts pop up, and starting to understand better what people mean when they talk about the meditative mind; at this point, it isn't so much about stopping unconscious cognition but consciously rerouting *meta-cognition*.

I cannot overstate how helpful that skill is for people with anxiety.

Yeah, anxiety is chemical, and there are days, even with meds, that I wake up and I am afraid, for no reason whatsoever or for a reason triggered by my dreams. In the beginning of my quest to understand that I was living with a real condition here and not just a failure as a person, identifying those triggers was super important. Now though? I know what makes me upset. I know *why* it makes me upset. And since the anxiety is partially a chemical reaction, knowing that what and why doesn't always defuse the fear. Doesn't *often* defuse the fear. So the best thing I can do is recognize that, yes, this is a thought and this is a feeling, and they exist, and then *not dwell on them*. At that point I'm going to drive myself down that pretty hate spiral if I keep attacking a problem that can't be solved because it is only a problem in my illness.

So let it go. I can't stop the feeling, nor the thought, but I can stop myself from feeding it's fire. Likewise, in a meditative state, I am not going to stop that nattering voice that's observing everything, or the internal secretary reminding me of things to do. I can stop giving them import, thought. I do that by not admonishing myself for having the thoughts, by not responding to the thoughts, and by not getting tangled in the thoughts. Just redirect toward the breath and the counting.

So meditation! Good thing.


Continuing my project breakdown:

Project 7: House!

While we do not yet own a house, I am living in one and renting to own, and it needs a little work. Money is the biggest obstacle in the way of this, of course (MONEY OH GOD MONEY that is a whole other post we will get there). Organizing shit is what I can do right now. So my filing cabinet's content are all over the library and I really, really need to go through the back porch and get a yard sale ready. Other, smaller projects to tackle right now: the cabinet doors and some yard clean up. The cabinets are falling off their hinges and the screws to replace them are completely impossible to find *or* will not stay in the doors; consequently, to get them to stay on, the only screws that will work are too long and punch through the fronts of the cabinets. The real solution to this is to replace the cabinets, but, well, we already covered that hurdle. I think I have a solution-- putting the screws through so at least the doors will stay on, and then covering the ends with a painted bolt and a glass bead. Functional and decorative.

Also, yard work. I need to reseed the year and clean up the rock beds, plus plant some flower bulbs my mom has and rake up detritus so I can mow. There is a lot of detritus. All three trees on the property are terrifyingly fragile, slowly dying, and both of these factors were exacerbated by the tornado a couple of years ago. They must be taken down one day. In the mean time, I keep cleaning up the branches and pray they don't fall on us.

Bumpy Ride

Aug. 2nd, 2012 02:43 pm
chantico: (Incredulous)
Avery, the little engine that could. The mountain is crested; I'm on my way toward smooth sailing again. Everything big I have to do is over the 75% done mark. The cool breezes of freedom! Which means I finally have time to get back to Vessels (the series name that stuck). I've given up on finding a title until the damn thing is done. All options I've brainstormed are too hokey, too melodramatic, or too pedestrian-- or they fit the very beginning of the story, but not the whole book.

Jesus fuck I have a lot of characters. And this is condensed down from the original number, with half of them mushed together from other sources from the current story line or way off in the future. I mean, I'm setting up a six book epic here, so a lot of the people introduced as bit players will have time to grow later on, and that's okay, but still! My lord!

Shit's going to be long. I'm okay with that.

There's a scene I'm stuck on at the very beginning of chapter two that I think i'm going to have to toss completely. Two characters talking in an apartment is going to become two characters running into each other while hunting evil. I think. This stupid scene has given me so much shit, executing it will be a pleasure. It's pulling the trigger on my worst writing pitfall, passive characters. I've made peace with Delilah being somewhat passive in the beginning, because a large part of the book is *about* unlearning helplessness, but there's no one else in that portion of the story who should be waiting around for something to happen.


House is coming along. Most of the unpacking is complete, except for the fucking bathrooms. Oh my god, why and how did we collect 20 bottles of vitamins? We don't even take vitamins. There's still some basic stuff to do in repairs department-- the vent still isn't working right, some cabinets do indeed need new hinges, and a couple of rooms still need painting. I feel like, aside from not having money top do a few things, all is well and under control-- except the yard. YARD. What does one do with a long-neglected yard?

We have some trees that aren't doing so hot, a couple raggedy-ass box hedges, and a grassy area full of random weeds, poison ivy, and sticks. The trees are just going to have to wait, because damn, that's some money, but I'm starting to think of garden spaces. For some reason the flowerbeds up front are filled with rocks, so I think I'll build the borders up a little more and dump a bunch of soil on top, picking plants that like lots of irrigation. The grass is going to be a bitch. Sowing seed won't be too hard but the damn ground itself is lumpy as fuck, like at some point it all turned to mud, someone held a dance party on top of it, and then it baked in a kiln. WTF.

HGTV you need a good yard show.


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