Update August 4, 2022

News

Thursday, M10 got some bad news. He dropped 1.5 pounds! So he’s not at his goal weight after all. ☹️

Friday, I met with my dietician and got to tell her I’ve been losing weight. Yay! She was very affirming. Unlike my physical therapist! My dietician asked me how physical therapy was going and I explained how the PT told me to workout 5-7 times a week, and that working out longer on other days didn’t replace lost days, and she knows how I feel pressed for time, but I simply have to make time. It made me feel so unmotivated not to be congratulated for getting up to 3-4 times a week, and so I stopped working out altogether. I mean 0 to 3-4 is a huge improvement! That deserves a little happy dance.

The dietician told me that if 3-4 days a week is what I could honestly handle right now, just maintain that, and increase when I can (which I said will probably be when the kids start school). That made me feel so much better. I think I will quit bariatric PT, or switch to a different therapist. I guess I just need more positive, affirming guidance than that one is willing to give.

D12 got back from horse camp Friday, which she noncommittally enjoyed and maybe would do again. She apparently had a lot of anxiety attacks, as well as a girl she didn’t get along with. She had two counselors, and one of them railed into her on the comment sheet.

There was a huge space for good comments and a tiny space for room for problems. She wrote one vague comment in huge print in the good section. Then she wrote a whole bunch of criticisms in small print in the problems section. The other counselor (we’ll call her B) softened the blow a bit. So I say to D12, “wow, you got along with B better than A, didn’t you?” D12 said “Actually, it was the other way around.”

So. Seriously…Counselor A apparently really didn’t like D12. But D12 had no clue. She was a bit floored when I showed her what had been written. I told D12 that if this woman is not going to clearly set boundaries with D12 and tell her that she disapproved of D12’s behavior, then it was her problem and not D12’s.

I’m not usually a “the problem is with them and not us” sort of person. (At least, I don’t think I am.) I like to see how our own actions impact a situation. But. How does counselor A expect us to address issues that D12 doesn’t remember? She needs to tell D12 that she’s misbehaving in order to expect correction of behavior. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Also on Friday, D12, M10, and I made our characters for D&D. (Yes, I now have 3 D&D campaigns going on. I guess I’m an all-in sort of person right now. D12 is a butterfly fairy, M10 is a dragonborn, and I am a water genesai.

Saturday, M10 had his play – Robin Hood. He did a great job. I really like this theater company.

Also on Saturday, Aaron and I had our first adult D&D session with our new group. It lasted 5.5 hours 😱, but otherwise was pretty amazing. The DM homebrewed it all up for us, and we went out and fought some ogres.

Week’s Photos

Movies / shows watched

Update July 28, 2022

News

This week started out a bit slow. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I was just not in a productive mood, though I was pretty busy Saturday, anyway. I went with a client to her church. It was a nice service, but then when I walked out and checked the news on my phone, I found an article about how I was going to Hell for playing D&D. It’s a little creepy.

Another thing going on that made my productivity (and reading) decrease is that I was searching for a group of people to play D&D with live. I thought it was a good way for Aaron and me to take time together without having to hire a babysitter. So I have been very immersed in that project. I did end up finding a group that I’m happy with by looking on a Discord channel for people looking for a D&D group. I not only found an awesome group there, but I found a DM who seems pretty awesome. Our game will have a Norse setting, and my character is a frost giant.

Also on Sunday, Aaron took D12 up to horse camp. She took some time to settle in, but we think she’s enjoying herself now. 😊

Monday, M10 had his audition for his week-long acting experience. The play is Robinhood, and he is a sheriff’s deputy. He was a little disappointed not to get a lead role.

So…I’m supposed to get my pulse up to 106 for an hour each day, but my dad, who knows I need to exercise more gets pissed off that I’ll exercise instead of walking with him. It hurts my feelings to have him pissed off, especially since I know that he wants me along so he can go in less populated areas without worry of falling and hurting himself in isolation. But he walks super slow, and takes breaks every 5 minutes. I can’t get my pulse up to 106 when I’m with him, and don’t have time to do both. But my client had an excellent idea: I wear weights when I walk with dad, then my pulse will go up. Of course, then my dad wants me to wear a backpack with lunch and water in it, which isn’t enough weight, so he’s annoyed at me anyway. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

As of today, I have lost 9lbs so far!

Wrote letters to Louisiana & Pennsylvania.

Week’s Photos

What’s his problem with sex workers?

Games Played

In my D&D accountability group, the team of intrepid explorers – a lizard, a fairy, and two elves – are moving around in the area city of Saltmarsh. It started outside the gates of Saltmarsh, sharing a flask of whisky. My hope was that they would share the whisky with the guards and be able to swap rumors. However, one character misinterpreted and thought they were in a tavern…so suddenly they were in a tavern outside the gates. Then it became an inn. It hasn’t become a 5 star hotel yet, though!

They swapped rumors with the owner of the 5-star hotel-to-be, and I rolled a die to determine a random rumor from my book – that a troll was wandering the area. They decided that the troll was their mission despite it being a 5 difficulty, and they’re only level 1. So I introduced a frost giant berserker NPC to travel with them and try to tell them when a mistake will be made, so I don’t TPK them.

However, immediately one of the characters (fairy) insulted my berserker, and she threw an axe at them. There was a lot of back and forth because neither the fairy nor the frost giant would back down. But luckily the frost giant is mercurial in mood and loves a good insult. So as soon as there was a good one, she laughed off the whole incident.

Actually, my frost giant NPC is my character that I made for my live D&D campaign, which will start next Saturday.

Update July 21, 2022

News

Friday, Aaron drove M10 and D12 to Wisconsin for their grandmother’s funeral. I had a little extra time to read and get some stuff done that I’d been putting off. IL3 had speech therapy, and his assignment is to use verbs ending in “-ing” and to say “I want _.” I had physical therapy through the bariatric clinic, and my assignment was to find a time to workout every day, getting my pulse up to 106 for a full hour (can be split into 30 minute intervals).

Saturday, Aaron and I did some yardwork for my client. We dug out the plastic lining and cleaned the leaves and needles out from under a shrub. We relined the area with landscaping cloth and placed new edgers (but were unable to dig them into the ground due to time).

Sometimes the pictures IL3 takes on the “green phone” amuse me the most. I found these gems while purging random shots of the TV and feet.

Sunday Aaron, Loki, and I went on a 2.1 mile hike. We managed to carry Loki almost halfway between the two of us. My pulse was about 130 during most of the hike – so well above my 106 goal. Loki was exhausted walking, but found energy when he saw a playground at the end of the hike.

Monday I took Myra (my cat) to the vet because she’s losing weight and peeing in strange places. They found that she has stage 2 chronic kidney disease. That doesn’t explain the weight loss, but may explain the peeing.

Tuesday we had great news. M10 has reached his weight goal! As long as it doesn’t drop back down, we’re done with the eating disorder clinic for now. We are so proud! Just one more week of appointments!

Also on Tuesday, I reached my 40% mark on my Ring Road virtual walk challenge through Conqueror. They will plant a tree for me!

This week I wrote letters to pen pals in Pennsylvania, Florida, and England.

Books in progress

I have a group of friends that is starting a post-by-post campaign from this book, which contains a total of 7 campaigns. I read Chapters 1 and 2. That is enough to start roaming the environs of Saltmarsh.

Listened to 3 hours of Cemetery Boys.

Listened to 20 minutes of The Time Machine.

Movies / shows watched

D12, M10, Aaron, dad, and I watched second episode of Psych Season 6. This one was pretty funny.

Games played

D12, M10, and I played Ticket to ride because I’m limiting their TV time. πŸ˜… I won.

Aaron, M10, D12 and I played pandemic and almost one. Too many outbreaks!

Update July 14, 2022

News

On Thursday IL3 had an occupational therapy assessment through the school district. He qualified for assistance, a bit to my surprise. They suggested that he also have “outside” OT because the school district focuses on school-related activities. I have already got a referral, but the waitlist is about 4 months long.

IL3 had his “outside” speech therapy intake Thursday, after many months’ wait. He did better than I expected given his results a couple weeks ago through the district. I was really proud of his recent progress.

Also on Thursday, I made it to mile 828 on my virtual Ring Road journey, and got this postcard:

On Friday, D12 and I went on a shopping spree. We bought her a couple of books and new kicks for her, me, and M10.

On Saturday, D12 and M10 completed the Tough Mudder. They had so much fun, and M10 went around twice. 😁 Later in the day was stressful, though. Sadly, their maternal grandma passed (the mother of my husband’s ex). It wasn’t totally unexpected, but still was very sad. They did get an opportunity to say goodbye to her last week, though, so that’s good.

On Monday, I took our 4 year old car in to the shop because for the second time it burnt up its oil way too fast. Their conclusion was that it burns oil too fast. Lol But apparently that’s covered by warranty. They just need to document the oil usage by seeing it every 1000 miles. Delightful! But at least it’s covered by warranty.

Tuesday was a tough day. I had an unbearable stress headache, but had to just go through with my day regardless. Part of the stress is M10’s eating disorder clinic. He keeps gaining half a pound per week, and they keep making that sound insufficient, and adding more and more pressure on both him and me to get him to increase calories. It’s relentless, and I’m so overwhelmed and burnt out. But I really want to utilize this window of opportunity to get him to eat more variety (he’s willing to try), so I don’t want to quit the clinic. Next week, I will point out that if they require adults and teens to gain a pound a week, is it medically advised to increase a 10yo by the same rate?!

On Wednesday, M10 passed level 3 of swim lessons.

Movies / shows watched

Dad, M10, D12 and I watched this gem. All but dad had seen it before, but it’s so priceless.

Aaron, D12, M10 and I watched the first episode of Psych Season 6. The kids are loving it. I kinda feel like the joke is getting old.

Games played

Aaron, D12, M10, and I played. IL3 was my die roller and piece placer.

M10, D12, IL3, and I played charades. IL3 successfully acted out a dinosaur, and was thrilled when we guessed it. Priceless. I have no idea what the card he looked at said. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

D12 & I teamed up against M10 and Aaron for Cranium. The boys totally annihilated us, and we had to take out several cards that the kids wouldn’t know, but it was a lot of fun. We were more evenly matched playing kids against adults on Sunday. Playing was a reward to M10 for being kind to D12 for 2 days.

Week’s Photos

Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

Q: Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, do you prefer listening rather than reading?

A: Yes, I do the bulk of my reading by audiobook. That way I can “read” while I multitask. However, I try to set aside a little time every day to read with my eyes. I absorb the information better when I read with my eyes.

Rose City Reader
Freda’s Voice

Book Beginning: “Death is a part of life,” Orka whispered into her son’s ear.

Excerpt from pp 56: It had been a long, hard climb from the fishing village. Through the break in the trees Elvar could see the village far below her, the Wave-Jarl moored in the bay, all of it blurred by the snow. A fence-line stood in a half-circle between village and trees. Wooden stakes, rune-marked to protect against vaesen.

Update July 7, 2022

On the Reading front

Korede is a young nurse in Lagos, Nigeria who is hiding a secret – her sister is a serial killer. Braithwaite’s stunning novela “My Sister the Serial Killer” follows Korede as her need to protect her younger sister from harm struggles with her own desire to get something she desperately wants. I was left wondering who was the biggest monster. Definitely a book whose memories will last.

Will, Halt, and Horace are off on another adventure in the kingdom of Clonmel. This time, they battle mob mentality and the wiles of a cult leader. A good continuation of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Photos

News

Over the 4th of July weekend, M10 and D12 spent the weekend with their mom and grandparents in WI. They wanted to surprise their grandparents with new hair color. IL2, Aaron and I were supposed to go camping at Lake Itasca – headwaters to the Mississippi – but Aaron had been sick for several days leading up to it, and still had a fever the day before we were slated to go, so I released the reservation. It was very disappointing. I had a readathon instead, though. Finished 2 books.

The rest of the week was uneventful. Lots of appointments, as usual. M10 is slowly gaining the weight the doctor wanted, he’s up 0.5lbs this week.

A group of people and I are starting out an accountability group (for productivity) where we play D&D and the hit roll is determined by how productive our day was. Aaron is DMing, but he still has a fever and is unable to start the campaign.

Today (Thursday), IL3 has his medical speech therapy intake and an occupational therapy assessment by the school district. He already qualifies for cognitive and speech assistance through the district, though I suspect his cognitive portion is simply his refusal to do what is asked on demand rather than a cognitive issue. The district probably won’t start assistance until the school year. He is also to be assessed for autism in November.

Coffee Addicted Writer

Q: How many books do you buy in a month?

A: 0-1

Update March 13, 2022

Phew! I haven’t updated you since my Christmas post! So much has happened.

Aaron: Got a new job!

D12: She’s in the school play! She’s a tree in Into the Woods, Jr.

M9: He’s getting his braces off on Thursday!

IL3: He can count to (and backwards from) 10.

Dad: He moved in with us!

I am struggling with long COVID, as well as a very busy schedule. With all the tests they’ve run on me after I had COVID in August and again in December, I discovered that my kidney function is running at about 50%! I am hoping I’m misinterpreting the results, but my doctor has been brushing me off. I decided to get a second opinion, since the person I’m seeing has literally ignored my questions on the topic.

With the fear of dialysis-in-the-future in my mind, I’m going to double-down on losing weight and becoming healthy. I always say I’m working on it, but I fail over and over again…I think because I never had the right incentive.

I have planned out a regular monthly menu to reduce my habit of eating out when I can’t figure out what to cook. I will get a fitness center membership and will start swimming and stationary biking. I hope to be able to do triathlons again by August 2023.

A few pictures over the past few months:

Bout of books 33

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 3rd and runs through Sunday, January 9th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 33 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My goal is:

  • Finish The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Finish Red Clocks, by Leni Zumas
  • Finish introduction to Mahabharata, translated by Bibek Debroy

Erak’s Ransom, by John Flannagan

Book 1: 2022

Erak’s Ransom is the Seventh novel in the Ranger’s Apprentice series, by John Flannagan. This series is set in a fantasy world much like medieval Earth. In this installment, Will must save his friend Erak, who has been taken hostage by a people based loosely upon the Arabs. Erak’s Ransom is set out of place chronologically from the previous book, which is a decision I don’t understand. Otherwise, I found it quite enjoyable. 4 stars!

New, Improved Classics Club List 2022 – 2027

My Classics Club list got kind of old when I got married and had a kid and couldn’t read as much. Here’s a shiny new one.

  1. Mahabharata, by Anonymous
  2. Darkness Visible, by William Styron
  3. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust
  4. Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  5. The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy
  6. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  7. The Souls of Black Folk, by W E B Du Bois
  8. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
  9. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  10. Master and Commander (series), by Patrick O’Brien
  11. The Divine Comedy, by Dante
  12. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
  13. Far From the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy
  14. The Witches of Eastwick, by John Updike
  15. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
  16. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  17. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
  18. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  19. Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane
  20. The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
  21. The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
  22. Native Son, by Richard Wright
  23. Seize the Day, by Saul Bellow
  24. The Apocrypha, by Anonymous
  25. The Bible, by Anonymous
  26. The Merry Adventures of Robinhood, by Howard Pyle
  27. Bleak House, by Charles Dickons
  28. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
  29. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
  30. Middlemarch, by George Elliot
  31. Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  32. Complete works of Edgar Allan Poe
  33. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  34. Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  35. Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger
  36. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  37. Their Eyes were watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  38. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  39. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
  40. Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
  41. The Deptford Trilogy, by Robertson Davies
  42. Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie
  43. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  44. A bend in the River, by V S Naipaul
  45. War with the Newts, Karel Kapek
  46. Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  47. Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Johnson
  48. The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
  49. The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse
  50. Doctor Faustus, by Thomas Mann