Quarterly Goals – October, November, December 2022

Health and Fitness

  • Achieve the 20lb weight loss goal
    • Current count = 10lbs
  • Reduce caffeine to zero by year end
  • Drink gallon of water in a day 60 times
    • Current count = 1
  • Work out 40 times
    • Current count = 0

Environment

  • Deep clean Loki’s room, Basement, bedroom
  • Maintain cars, bathrooms, kitchen, livingroom, and laundry

Education and Reading

  • Read Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Read Ancillary Justice
  • Complete Ranger’s Apprentice books
  • Catch up on NetGalley
  • Read Invisible Kingdom
  • Read HG Well omnibus
  • Read Mother’s Reckoning
  • Finish 20 books
    • Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas

Hobbies

  • Organize old pictures
  • Catch up on letters

For My Soul

  • Attend 10 religious services
    • Current count = 0
  • Complete 40 episodes of Bible in a Year podcast
    • Current count = 1

Life

  • Finish work courses

The Glow Show, by Susi Schaefer

#NetGalley Publication: May 2, 2023

In this adorable little book, Glow the squid enjoys impressing everyone with his bioluminescence. But he soon finds that having friends is better than impressing people.

The Glow Show, by Susie Schaefer, has fantastic, cute, colorful pictures. There are very few words per page, usually with a sentence description and some speech bubbles. I would say it’s appropriate to be read to kids with short attention spans for wordy books, as well as those that enjoy cute pictures. It’s also a good book for kids learning to read.

4*

Update October 8, 2022

News

It’s been a pause again, but here I am, back!

Sunday, we went to Olive Garden as a family.

Monday, M10 had his doctor appointment where we found that he’s been maintaining his weight at the minimum weight goal, which is nice. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing. We also went as a family to the Jack’o’lantern Spectacular at the Minnesota Zoo. It was quite amazing, and everyone loved it.

Tuesday, M10 treated me to a movie – we saw Avatar in 3D. I had seen it before, though not in 3D. M10 was amazed and awed. He loved the movie. During the day, IL3 had his occupational therapy intake. He was not qualified for fine motor skills, which he was in special education, but he qualified for feeding therapy. He doesn’t really eat a lot of solid food at home and wants the main portion of his calories to be from apple juice right now. He eats very little at daycare too.

Wednesday, D12 fainted in school, and we spent 3 hours in Urgent Care to be told there’s nothing wrong. Then we went out to dinner.

Thursday, I had a little extra time on my hands. D12 was supposed to have a procedure, but she ate something in the morning – we forgot to tell her not to. Now she has to wait till December! I’d like to say I accomplished a lot during my newfound free-time, but I relaxed. Which, I suppose, is an accomplishment in itself. The daycare teacher asked us to send IL3 in undies on Monday. That’s kind of her, because he purposely pees in corners at our house.

Friday was another calm day. I took a nap, then worked in the evening.

Wrote

  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter California Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter to Belgium
  • 1 letter to New Mexico
  • 1 letter to Austria
  • 1 letter to Virginia
  • 1 letter Massachusetts

Week’s Photos

Books Read

Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas – last 1.5 hours (Audiobook)
The Quiet You Carry, by Nikki Barthelmess – first 26% (ebook)
Halt’s Peril, by John Flannagan – first 4 hours (audiobook)
Will Do Magic for Small Change, by Andrea Hairston – first 5.4% (audiobook)

New Books on my Shelf

Source: Netgalley, Format: Audio
Source: Library, Format: Audio
Source: NetGalley, Format: Audio
Source: NetGalley, Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley, Format: Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Format: Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Format: Ebook

Reviews Written

Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas

Movies / shows watched

Game of Thrones Season 2, episodes 3&4
Avatar in theaters (3D)
Labor Day
Scrubs Season 1, episode 5

Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas

In Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas, Yadriel struggles to prove his identity as a trans boy to his “conservative” family. Meanwhile, he calls up the ghost of Julian and tries to find his murderer. This had a fantastic premise, though I felt the action slowed considerably several times as Yadriel explored his identity. In short, I would like to give 4 stars for premise, but 3 stars for action. So I’ll settle on 3.5

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