Thurs. July 29, 2021: Dressing For Me

image courtesy of Pexels via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy and cooler

This is the 49th anniversary of my father’s death.

Yesterday was a heavy reading day. I got some writing done in the morning, caught up on email, etc. Got out a script coverage. Participated in Remote Chat.

In the afternoon, I read the book for review, and two more scripts.

Which means today has to be a heavy writing day, with four script coverages and a review to write up, not to mention working on my short articles and next week’s class.

I’m jotting down ideas for upcoming posts on both the GDR site and Ink-Dipped Advice. Those blogs will start up again in the coming weeks. I don’t want to start everything all at once, because then it will be overwhelming. I’m going to stockpile material and then stagger the starts of the various blogs’ returns. I’d like to always be about a month ahead. That gets sticky for some of the GDR posts, because the nature of that blog is immediate and mutable, at least for the posts at the start, end, and mid-month. But the Monday “tools and resources” posts can be done ahead of time.

I’m working on the questions for 2022, which should be interesting, considering what we’ve all been through, and what we’re facing.

One of the things I’m doing now, in the morning, after my first writing of the day/yoga/meditation/shower, is to get dressed properly. When I cleaned out my clothes before the move (and donated oh, so much from my NYC life), I found a lot of cool, interesting pieces that both fit and are comfortable. So now, I’m wearing them.

There’s no reason I can’t be comfortable in my clothes as a remote worker and still look good/professional. Those are not mutually exclusive. I’ve never been someone who can work in pajamas. Pajamas mean sleep. I have enough sleep issues; working in pajamas would only complicate them. And I’d gotten into the habit of wearing the same few items over and over again. I have a whole closet and drawers full of great pieces which make me feel good. Why not wear them? I use the good china “just for us.” Why not the same with clothes?

Do I sometimes still need to change out of writing pants to put on “real people pants” to go out and run errands? Yes. But that’s getting to be more the exception than the rule. I always put on lipstick, even under the masks. For years, I’ve said I can be stark naked, but as long as I wear lipstick, I feel dressed. That’s still true.  I’m also putting on a little bit more makeup, too, whether I plan to leave the house or not. I do it for me. After all, I have the monthly IPSY subscription – why not use it, instead of stockpiling? Not just when I have Zoom meetings, but because it makes me feel good.

I’d started wearing my rings again (for those of you who know me, I generally wear 8 rings, each with a specific story/meaning), I stopped wearing rings and most jewelry when I left the house during last year’s portion of the pandemic because of the decontamination protocols – I’d have to decontaminate all the jewelry every time I returned. Once the decontamination protocols eased, I’ve been wearing jewelry again out and about. But now, that numbers are going back up, and we’re talking about putting the protocols back in place, I’m not doing it as often.

I’m tired of having my life dictated by the tyranny of the stupid and the selfish. Anti-vaxxers should be banned from public spaces. Let THEM be the ones forced into isolation for the coming months. Stop punishing the people who’ve worked hard to do what’s right for themselves, their families, and their communities for the past eighteen months. I have no problem continuing to wear a mask until the vaccine is developed for kids, we can vaccinate kids, and we can get 97% or more of the population vaccinated. No problem. It’s a mask. It’s not a big deal. I DO have a problem with selfish idiots refusing to do their part and helping the virus mutate and kill more people. Those individuals need to be held accountable for the damage they inflict on others. And not allowed to cause any more damage.

Anyway, I’m joining the online meditation group this morning, and then it’s all about writing reviews and script coverage. If I can fit it in, I might participate in Freelance Chat at noon, but I’m not counting on it.

The days are getting shorter. When I first got up, just before 5, it was too dark to write out on the porch. I may get a battery-operated camp lantern out there (mine is, of course, in storage – will see about bringing it back when we do the storage run).

Our old Hoover vacuum is not working properly. It’s about 30 years old, so it’s definitely put in its time. I ordered a new Eureka vacuum from Chewy, and it should be here tomorrow. It says a lot that I am so excited by the thought of a new vacuum!

I’m looking forward to Lammas on Sunday.

Published in: on July 29, 2021 at 6:15 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 29, 2021: Dressing For Me  
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Tues. July 13, 2021: Patient Rebuilding

image courtesy of Peter Fischer via pixabay.com

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and humid

It certainly rains a lot here. At least it keeps the temperature down. And everything is very green.

The weekend was good. The rain let up a bit on Saturday morning, so we headed to Whitney’s Farm over in Cheshire. Bought a few plants and herbs, and some fruits and vegetables. Boy, are their strawberries amazing! Pretty much everything was delicious.

Rested a bit in the afternoon, and worked on the unpacking. It goes slowly. It’s like a puzzle. Do a bit here, then have to adjust something there. It will take a few weeks to figure out how it all fits, and then feng shui it properly. This place is difficult to feng shui. But we will figure it out.

I finished some script coverage on Friday, so I didn’t take on any more over the weekend. At least for the summer, I will try to keep my weekends work free. We will see what the finances demand in the autumn. I do intend to put my head down and work steadily, taking on as much as possible for as much money as possible, although I have to wait until my head clears a bit before so doing. The exhaustion won’t let up.

Six months of stress won’t melt away in six days.

Sunday was about unpacking. Most of the kitchen is now unpacked. I was rather horrified by how dirty the pieces that were inside a glass-fronted cabinet had gotten. Granted, last year, when I was sick, I didn’t do the all-out spring and fall cleanings we usually do, but still, things shouldn’t be that filthy after a year. Inside a closed cabinet. It’s an indication of how the pollution has increased on Cape since we’ve moved there – with the constant chainsaws and mowers and leaf blowers and other tools, there’s no clean air any more. One used to smell the salt air of the sea; no more.

We are only a few blocks from downtown in the new neighborhood, but we are surrounded by trees and greenery. There’s the occasional mower or leaf blower for 10 or 15 minutes once a week or so, during business hours. It’s not the constant cacophony of destruction it was on Cape.

Read a book on the Kindle for the first time since I moved here. Bought something on a whim, that sounded fun. It was. Fun and didn’t strain my brain too much. Not brilliant, not terrible, just decent brain candy. Sometimes, we need brain candy.

Grabbed a couple of scripts to cover on Monday. Slid back into sending out LOIs, trying to catch up on emails. Paid some bills. The check arrived from TD Ameritrade on Friday afternoon – by UPS, not Fed Ex, so no wonder I couldn’t track it. Because, you know, it would be too much to expect them to know the difference between two different companies.

Also got a lovely housewarming gift from friends who live in Kentucky, from a company called Grandma’s Chicken Soup: chicken soup, mac and cheese, challah bread, chocolate cake. Yummy!

The food from the farm was so delicious. What a taste bouquet!

Mixed feelings about the Branson “space” flight over the weekend. On the one hand, I’m of the generation who adored the Apollo missions; however, there’s plenty the billionaires should be doing to help THIS planet before feeding their space egos. Like paying taxes, for one. Yes, I want more space exploration. No, I don’t want it by billionaires.

I have to get to work on the Llewellyn pieces – I have 25 short pieces due in October, so I’m going to do 3-4/week over the summer.

Monday, I also re-started my yoga practice, after weeks away from it. I may have gained some strength, but I’ve lost flexibility. So I will work, daily, to get it back. It’s a shame that years of building strength and flexibility were all lost over a couple of months, but time to build back up.

My meditation practice suffered, although I did at least a few minutes every day. I want to figure out where I can set up a meditation space and get back into longer daily meditations. Maybe I can rejoin the online group in Concord on Thursday mornings.

Got some work done in the morning. I feel as though I’ve lost all my creative skills. The tank is empty, and everything is a struggle. I feel horribly uncreative and untalented. The reality is exhaustion and warped perception, and I have to be kind to myself as I ease back in. I’d hoped to jump in, but don’t have the resources.

At ten, we headed to the library to get our new library cards. I’m a little disappointed that we’re on a sort of probation for three months, and can only take out two books at a time, before we are considered full library patrons. From someone who regularly checked out 50 books at a time, it’s a difficult adjustment. But I got out a book on local history, and the reference librarian is eager to help me find more, so I will go back and do some research in the lovely room.

Swung by the post office to drop off letters and bills.

My Ipsy bag arrived (it’s lovely, as always), along with Goddess Provisions, and the Chewy order.

Got started on the pieces for Llewellyn. Amazing how writing even one short piece helped.

Tessa got me up early this morning, because the cats were hungry. I can ignore Willa and Charlotte when they are a pain, but then they bring in Tessa, the Big Gun. Tessa is She Who Will Not Be Ignored.

I started re-reading Christina Baldwin’s LIFE’S COMPANION, about journal writing. I’m using my personal, handwritten journal, first thing in the morning (after I feed the cats) to try to reconnect with my own creativity, so I can get back to my daily 1K first thing in the morning again.

My bad shoulder hurts today (the one that was dislocated and has rotator cuff problems). This morning, I have to take the laundry down the street to the laundromat. That should be an adventure. I’ve never lived anywhere that didn’t have laundry in the building before. I’m taking work with me. More script coverage, more LOIs, more short pieces for the almanac. Slowly, slowly, building back my creative life.

Slowly, slowly, figure things out. Make sure it works for life as it is now, not doing things because it’s the way I did them before. I don’t want to get stuck, the way I did before.

Onward.

Wed. July 7, 2021: Home

image courtesy of Sophie Ilvarinen via pixabay.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

I am home.

Aren’t those beautiful words?

I spent the holiday weekend on Cape, finishing the clearing out. Most of what was left over ended up in the dumpster, although I salvaged a enough for 7 carloads that went into storage over the various days.

My lovely neighbors down the street helped me pack the dumpster on Saturday and Sunday. They’re very efficient, dumpster geniuses, and we got it all in. Monday, once I finished the storage runs, was about cleaning.

The cleaning took a lot. The basement, where boxes had gotten damp and stained the walls, needed the most work, but I used a bleach mixture and it’s better. It still needs repainting, but hey, it’s been ten years.

As I cleaned, an alarmed face showed up in the streaks. I should have taken a photo of it. It wasn’t exactly Taco Jesus, but it was interesting. (“Taco Jesus” was the name of a play I stage managed way back in the 80’s at the One Act Theatre Company of San Francisco, with Michael McShane in the lead).

There’s still a lot of processing to do, and I will do that, and decide what I’m comfortable publicly sharing. Lots of emotion involved in all of that. But it was easier to do without my mom underfoot and every toss out becoming an argument.

I was also frustrated cleaning, because I’d clean something, and 5 minutes later it looked worse. I had to clean all the baseboards again in the house. I’d cleaned them the day the movers cleared out the furniture. Here it was, less than two weeks later, in an empty house, and they were filthy again. I don’t get it.

I scrubbed and cleaned all day. Of course, the landlord called me at 5 to see how I was doing. I was ready to go just after 6. The key exchange was nice enough, although, even though he’s keeping the security deposit, he wanted to charge extra for these five days of clearing out. No, honey, that’s what the security deposit is for. Plus, I could have just walked away and left him to deal with it; according to MA state law, he couldn’t just toss everything. He would have had to photograph and inventory everything and store it for 60 days until I claimed it. But I did not do that. I came and dealt with it myself. He gave me the water bill – although he’s paying a portion of it, for the water used for the lawn. Again, that could come out of the security deposit. He’s making noise about charging me above the security deposit, if he finds things cost more.

No. The place needs painting. It hasn’t been painted in 10 years. Most of the paint has held up very well. There’s a little wear and tear, and some damage where I removed the Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs we fastened on the walls when we moved in – damage because the hardware store guy sold me an adhesive he promised wouldn’t damage the walls, but, like everything else he told me, that was wrong.  Aside from the staining and some dry wall shrinkage in the basement, and the ding in the wall at the bottom of the stairs caused by the movers, the place is not in bad shape. It needs paint, and it needs a professional scrub. The central vac didn’t have any suction – mostly because the landlord never ordered the special bags it needs (it’s original to the house) and never told me where I could get them. Our vacuum went on the moving truck, so I was using a broom and dustpan, and also using my little hand vac. I Rug Doctored the heck out of the carpets.

What it really needs are bathroom renovations and new windows, but we know that’s not happening coming from them, and I’m not paying for that.

There were plenty of things in the ten years we lived there that the landlord “never got around to.” I’m not paying for those.

Let him jump on the Short Term Rental Greed Train. He’ll find out it’s not as easy as having a year round tenant. When holiday renters are paying top dollar for a property, they don’t want  something that’s original to the house just because it’s Cape Cod – especially since this house is 5 miles from the beach. They want better stuff than they have at home. He can blame me all he wants for not being able to rent out the place by July 4th weekend. But even if we’d gotten out at the end of April, the place wouldn’t be ready.

I was happy to drive out of there without looking back. It was about 6:30 by the time I finally got out of there.

I was practically numb with exhaustion trying to get over the Sagamore Bridge. I’d only had an egg for breakfast and some watermelon for lunch. It took 40 minutes to get over the bridge, and, according to the radio, it kept backing up.

There was another backup around Middleboro, but then it wasn’t too bad.

I managed to get to Sturbridge by 9-ish, to my favorite inn, The Publick House. I stumbled in, begging for a room in the lodge, the section that has all the goofy toile wallpaper and the little balconies.

The lodge was sold out to a special group.

I was ready to cry. I was too tired to go any farther.

But, I’m a regular guest there, sort of. I’m in their system. So they offered me a room in Tillyear House, at a big discount, which only made it about $20 more than staying in the lodge.

I said yes.

It was a lovely room. Enormous, with two queen beds with soft mattress toppers, a huge bathroom with a tiled shower, a reading/writing area, and giant TV.

First thing I did was take a shower, slather on their wonderful bath products, and feel like a human being again.

Of course, I had no real food. I had leftover chips and cookies, and the remnants of the wine I’d bought to wind down in the evenings when I camped in the empty house. So I had chips and wine, and watched Food Network and HGTV for an hour or so, until I was tired enough to fall asleep.

I slept. I woke up around 5, the latest I’ve slept in months. I lounged in bed until about 6:30, then got dressed. I’m so sick of cargo pants I can’t stand them anymore (they made the most sense during the move). Fortunately, I’d thrown some other clothes into my bag, so I put those on. I’d thrown one of my Ipsy bags in my purse, so I even had a little makeup, so I didn’t look like death warmed over.

Hopped next door to the bakery to get my complimentary breakfast of coffee, blueberry muffins, coffeecake squares. Took it back to my room, ate, wrote in my journal. Enjoyed having finished the house.

I was tired enough to want to go back to bed, but I got my act together and was back on the road by 9. The woman at the desk and I had a lovely talk, and she encouraged me to come back for my birthday weekend in March. If the weather’s not bad, I just might book myself in there for a weekend of reading, writing, and spa time, in Tillyear house. Much as I love the funky little lodge, it was nice to indulge in one of the fancier rooms.

Traffic wasn’t too bad, although once I left the Pike at Lee, the last hour to home took a little longer because there was more traffic than at 7 AM when I usually breezed through. But I got home around 11:30. Mom and cats happy to see me.

It took awhile to unload the car, because it was full of weird bits and pieces from the clearing out. I took breaks in between, due to the humidity. But I got it all done. Then I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours.

Got up, made dinner, and went to bed early.

The cats woke me a little before 5 this morning, demanding breakfast. Tessa marched out of her bastion near the front porch, all the way down the long hall to the kitchen, demanding to speak to the manager, because breakfast was late, and That Will Not Do.

A client contacted me yesterday about a possible steady writing gig. I was too incoherent to respond, but I will do so today, and we’ll see if that works out. I will start up again with the script coverage work today, and also let my book review editor know I’m ready for the next book.

There’s a lot of unpacking to do; we will do so slowly, and figure out where we want things. Shift and re-shift things around a bit. We need to do a good grocery shop.

Hopefully, I can re-read some of my own writing later in the day; I want to get back to my first 1K of the day early on in the next few days.

I need to ease in, instead of jump in, due to exhaustion. I have to prioritize the paying work, because I’ve lost three weeks’ of work due to the move and clearing out. Bills are already starting to come in, and I want to make sure everything is paid on time.

I have to process the emotions of the move, and of the friction between the life I thought I wanted on Cape Cod and the reality of life on Cape Cod. That will take time. I have to create new, sustainable routines for life here, and explore my new area.

While I need to work steadily to earn a living, I also want a balance. I need rest, and I want to enjoy my life. I am going to be much more cautious about getting involved with any local groups or organizations here – it will take me some time to recover from the burnout from the organizations on Cape Cod. I don’t care about being a good sport or fitting in anymore – I’m going to figure out how to craft the life I want, and people can either accept those boundaries or fuck right off.

I’m beyond tired, but I’m also relieved that the move is done, and I’m looking forward to building a positive next act here in the Berkshires.

Thank you so much to all of you who cheerleaded (cheerled?) and contributed to the GoFundMe, and, in general, supported me through a difficult time. I am filled with gratitude.

Fri. Feb. 19, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 275/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 23 — Baker Blows It Again

image courtesy of Hermann Schmider via pixabay.com

Friday, February 19, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Stormy and cold

After meditation, I headed out to my client’s for a couple of hours to get done some things that hadn’t gotten done the day before because so much of the day was about my mother’s vaccine appointment. As I suspected, there was NO reason for me to be there on site at the same time as anyone else. The client could have emailed or texted me the information, and I could have gone in with no one else in the office and taken care of it.

Instead of redirecting vaccine doses to areas that need them, Baker opened up eligibility to a million more residents – without, of course, checking with anyone to see if the website could handle it. Naturally, it couldn’t, and was down for most of the day. He was ranting and raving in interviews. Hey, bucko, try talking to the people doing the work BEFORE you make your random announcements, and then this won’t happen.

There’s a good reason this state is given an F in the vaccine rollout report card. And the reason starts with a B – Baker. His refusal to coordinate and communicate and give the people doing the work any support or resources before he goes out and announces things are some of the big reasons we’re having these problems.

But what do you expect from someone who refused to have any workers on the advisory committee to reopen businesses? He has a huge disconnect about how work is accomplished. He seems to think magic elves come in while he’s asleep, instead of actual people working as hard as they can in impossible situations – putting their lives at risk.

While in the office, a friend of the client’s called with a “special” number for the client to call to get a vaccine appointment that day. Which just seems weird, since supposedly, the only clinic giving vaccines all week in this region was the one I took my mom to on Wednesday.

White elitist vaccine appointments, based on who you know, would be totally on brand for Cape Cod.

She texted me after I left, saying she had an appointment. Good for her, because she’s definitely eligible, and we should all have an appointment, but if an Elitist Vaccine Appointment Line exists, that’s disturbing on multiple levels.

I’m sure I’ll hear all about it next week.

I managed to get home just as the snow started. Decontaminated, and got back to the work I should have been doing that morning.

The latest IPSY bag arrived, and is absolutely delightful. I’m so much happier with IPSY than I was with Sephora Play, and Birchbox was a total nightmare.

I forgot to mention that, on Tuesday, I received my first Tamed Wild box. Totally different vibe than Goddess Provisions, but also really interesting and well done.

Had to order a new waste toner cartridge for the big laser printer (something else to learn to fix), and ordered more file folders, too. I need them for the cleaning out I’m doing.

Snowed pretty hard all day into the night, although this morning, it doesn’t look like a lot of accumulation, except where the plow pushed it into the bottom of the driveway, where it’s at least a foot. Hopefully, it won’t freeze down before I shovel.

Packed up another bookcase in my room. Tessa was not amused.

Got some, but not all, the quotes for my first article, and the bulk of today will be spent on that and the second grant proposal. The budget is what’s really slowing me down on that. I want it to be realistic, and the samples I’ve seen just aren’t.

Got some quotes for the second article, and will also spend time working on that. I’ve written the opening in my head, and really like it.

I have a little more research to do this weekend, and, on Monday, I will send out interview requests for the third article.

Need to get some LOIs out, and need to purge boxes from the basement. I haven’t met my quota this week so far, and I have a high quota for the weekend, so I need to get back on track. However, I did pack quite a few boxes of books upstairs, which wasn’t on the week’s list!

Yesterday, my mom’s arm was really sore. It lessened as the day wore on, but then she was very fatigued, and slept on and off all afternoon. Hopefully, today she feels better.

Called my mom’s doctor to let her know about the first dose. Supposedly, the system forwards the vaccine information, but the office said it hasn’t gotten anything, so once she has both doses, I’ll scan the vaccine record card and send it over to them.

I was so worn out, I went to bed ridiculously early last night, and woke up just after midnight, thinking it was 5 AM. Managed to get back to sleep, until the plows woke me, a little after 4.

Got a lot of work on GAMBIT COLONY done yesterday. I need to find my notes on the next section, set in Venice.

I’m not even going to comment on the whole Ted Cruz thing here, which is wrong on so many levels, it would take its own white paper to dissect.

Have a great weekend, friends, and see you on the other side.

Published in: on February 19, 2021 at 6:35 am  Comments Off on Fri. Feb. 19, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 275/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 23 — Baker Blows It Again  
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Fri. Oct. 23, 2020: Die for Your Employer Day 156 — Rising Virus Numbers & Climate Change Conference

30 Tips for 30 Days — Help for Nano. Always free here.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Partly cloudy and pleasant

Battled with the migraine all day yesterday.

I was furious when a group of snide bullies on social media started on the whole “just post the recipe” thing again.

Context and culture and stories around food are an incredibly important part of the experience.

If all you want is the recipe, without context, there are dozens of sites that do that.

Don’t tell recipe bloggers and writers to change HOW THEY PRACTICE THEIR PASSION on THEIR OWN SITES.

It’s a form of bullying, and I will damn well call it out when I see it.

Too much stupid on social media. I wish I could just take a full break, personally and professionally, for a few months. Unfortunately, it’s one of the necessary tools for what I do. So I will cut back.

I have to limit screen time anyway, because the migraine just won’t go away. Valerian helped a little bit last night, but nowhere near the way it used to.

I did a segment of work on the computer, rested, did the same again. Slowed me down way too much.

Managed to get a solid 1500-ish words done on a project, though, which was nice. That project is trying to consume me and can’t, because I have other deadlines.

It was warm enough to sit outside on the deck in the afternoon. I took Charlotte and Willa out in their playpens and read for an hour or so.

Masks came from the Animal Rescue site. They’re pretty, but rather flimsy – only one layer, not two. Not sure I’m confident to wear them out grocery shopping, etc.

The other two CDs arrived – HADESTOWN and MISS SAIGON. In all the years I worked on SAIGON, I never got the CD — because I listened to it every night as I did my cues. But I haven’t listened to it since the show closed, and it was such a huge part of my life that I wanted to own it.

My IPSY order also arrived – new eyeshadow and lipstick and nail polish for fall. Yes, I still wear lipstick under the mask. I ALWAYS wear lipstick. I can be stark naked, but as long as I wear lipstick I feel dressed. (I promise I won’t be stark naked with only lipstick on Zoom. Because, you know, I’m a professional, unlike some well-known writers who’ve been Zoom idiots lately).

Mala Prayer is shutting down, which makes me sad. They had lovely quality and great customer service. I placed one final order and thanked them for everything.

The debate last night was awful.  I did not think Welker was tough enough cutting off the mic. The Sociopath was even more of a monster than usual, gleeful about child separation, no plans for anything.

I’m frustrated that the Dems aren’t stopping the Barrett confirmation. There is ALWAYS a way.

I’m in a virtual climate change conference all day. Or at least, as much as I can do before the migraine wins. Up in full hair, makeup and comfortable but professional clothes before 8 AM.

The weekend is supposed to be lovely and warm. I hope to get more yard work done, and a bunch of writing. I need to keep reminding people about 30 Tips for 30 Days, with Nano fast approaching. I need to start pushing the Trinity of Teasers promotional package.

Our numbers in MA are higher than they were in May towards the end of the shutdown. It’s disgusting.

All I want to do is lie down until the migraine goes away. Or until we get an actual president that gives a damn.

Have a great weekend, friends. I’ll see you on the other side.