Saturday, February 28, 2009

Meme - 1 in 5, just about.


1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (No, but my brother tried to roll me off of Liberty Island)
18. Grown my own vegetables/fruit My Nana taught me how to grow strawberries, a long time ago
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run I'm going to take this one, as I've been hit by a home run more than once
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (no, but I was on local TV twice when I was in elementary school)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant
101. Read an entire book in one day (Oh, I've read 5 books in one day: maybe more)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Looking on the 'pro' side of moving, again.

Way back when, I wrote a post about how much I hate the PUS (Yes, I know, there's certainly more than one post about that here, but this is a specific one) that talked about a playlist of songs about hate. That I then created on my computer. And have since updated every time a song came out that really reminded me of just how much I hate them. And so, I now have quite the extensive playlist.

Over the past few weeks, the PUS have been moving their things out, and oh, is it a bittersweet sound to hear - the sound I should have been hearing all those years ago, the sound that should have happened when my Nana was still here, when it should've just been them leaving, and us staying. It is hard to hear that sound, knowing that we'll be the ones creating it in just a few weeks.

But I found out the other day that they are planning on moving into their new place this weekend, which means that we will have at least 3 PUS free weeks in the house! It's very exciting. And also my last chance to blast the "I hate you PUS" songs, which I have been playing all morning.

Here are a few of the lyrics that caught my ear -

"I know it's just no use, when all your lies become your truth."

from Are You Happy Now?, Michelle Branch.

"... and so my heart is paying now, for things it didn't do..." Cold, Cold Heart , Norah Jones

"Get out. Right now. It's the end of you and me." Leave , JoJo

"It's been a long time coming, but I know... a change is gonna come"A Change is gonna come, Patti La Belle.

"You can crawl back home, say you were wrong, stand out in the yard and cry all night long. Go ahead and water the lawn, my give a damn's busted." My Give a Damn is Busted, Jo Dee Messina

"We'll look any many straight in his eyes and say Kiss my Irish Ass" Kiss My Irish Ass, Flogging Molly.

"Move it move it, outta my life." Move, Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

"I won't lie I sometimes cry when I think of how it used to be.... but wait one minute, I failed to mention, those tears I cry are tears of joy."How Am I Doing?, Dierks Bentley

"Prepare for the chance of a lifetime, be prepared for sensational news...A shining new era, is tiptoing nearer." Be Prepared, Jeremy Irons/Scar, from The Lion King.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"What are you a f@)%&* wizard?"

Did you all catch the Daily Show last night? (If not, why not? People: watch The Daily Show. Always.)

Jon's take on Obama's speech, nearly had me in tears....

"Have you met America?"

Although, because of my utter hatred for mayonnaise, I was having a hard time deciding whether I should laugh or gag.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Points of interest (ish)

For Lent, I am giving up not posting every day: It's my own personal NaBloPoMo! Basically, bad things happen in my brain when I don't have a place to blurt it all out, and since you all are kind enough to come back and listen, I should do my best to post as regularly as possible. And we all know that I do better if I feel I have to post, so I'm signing up for posting everyday till Easter Sunday, and committing to it right here on this nice bloggy thing. If When I make it, I will let myself get a little treat. Must think of good treat. Feel free to offer your suggestions below.

For my first post, I'm going to attempt the dazzling and death-defying bullet point post (oh! ah!):

  • My parents may have found a house that they like enough to buy. They're going to the bank today to talk about putting down an offer so that they can get an inspection done. The only opinion I have about it is that it has a lot of stairs outside so that I cannot get in, and this does not please me. This whole house buying situation is showing me just how deep my control freak nature is - I am very uncomfortable buying a house I haven't been in, knowing I will have to live there for the foreseeable future. It's scary.
  • Come to think of it, the house buying/having to move is bringing up a lot of issues that I'm not entirely comfortable with - the fact that I can't just go buy myself an apartment and have to keep living with my parents; the fact that my parents are not good with money and I just want to take it away from them (perhaps an allowance?); the idea that we've sold our 'family home' - it's been in our family for over 100 years, although it was originally a family run business. My great-grandparents moved here when Nana was just an infant, so from 1923 - 2009 my family has lived here. That's a lot of history to just be giving up on. And sometimes it does feel like we're giving it up. (I know we're not, it's just the closer it gets, the more I realize that this is forever.); the fear that my brother is trying to figure out a way to move with us into this new house (he didn't come out and say it, but he sure was asking a lot of questions about the house's finished basement, and the fact that it has it's own bathroom seemed important to him) because things are not going well with Soon-to-be (?) Sister-In-Law. A lot of things.
  • We took my grandmother to lunch last week and she met three people she knew in the restaurant. I met 0. I was so happy for her, because she never goes out, really, and was so excited, but there was still a little piece of me that was jealous. Of my 92 year old Grandmother. Nice.
  • I still haven't packed much of anything: A couple of boxes, but there's nowhere to put anything else, so why bother?

  • Lil Girl is potty training and doing really well - no accidents at all yesterday. She came wearing big girl 'underwheres' (she says it like it's got that little h in it), and seeing them made me kinda sad, cuz she's the baby.
  • This does not mean that we want another baby to take care of, so the universe should not see it as me putting out a call to any of my siblings. We are - none of us - in a position to have any (more) kids right now. I'd like to be, but that's a whole nother post.

  • A little update from Friday's post about my TBR challenge - I suck at reading things I'm 'supposed' to be reading. If a new PBS book comes in the mail, I put it at the top of the pile - although I have cut down a lot on PBS incoming books, because I am trying to get rid of books, I still will say yes to a wish list book if it becomes available. And then when it gets here, because I know it's been on my list for so long, I read it first. I am totally counting this because it's been in my virtual TBR for longer than some of these books have been in my physical TBR. Counting it.
  • I learned two new things while typing this post - how to do bullet points and strikethroughs on HTML. This makes me ridiculously happy.

  • That's all I've got for you right now... Check back in soon, because it's going to be a long Lent. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

So I signed up for a TBR challenge, because I am looking at the amount of books I have to pack - 3 keeper bookcases, overfilled: 2 little plastic 3-drawer chests, also overfilled, of books I've listed on PaperbackSwap and am waiting to swap; all of my children's books (which are in 5 different Rubbermaid containers, three bookshelves in the parlor, and two bookshelves in the side of my desk); and my TBR 'pile', which, at present consists of 2 stacks under my bed (each 9 books high), 3 bins and the books tucked between my mattress and the bed frame (I'm counting 6 on this side) - and I am thinking that there will be no room in the new house for anything besides my books. (Not that we have a new house yet, HA! Am ignoring this fact as much as possible. Moving on!)

When I say that my keeper shelves are overfilled, I mean literally: I do not understand how people are able to 'display' things on book shelves... there is only room for books, and even then, there is still not nearly enough room for all the books. Oh, I've shown you the pretty book case, all organized by color and beautiful, but what I did not show you is the two other bookcases - also well organized (by genre, time period, &/or category), but also overflowing and extra-burdensome. (Also, the drawback of the by-color bookcase is that when you get a new book that should go on there somewhere, you have to shift the whole damn thing and try to make them fit... it's a little aggravating, but still totally worth it if only for the fact that people who Live In Your House and come in your room rather often, are only just noticing - after two years - the fact that it is color coded, thereby proving that they are totally oblivious, as has been previously suggested.)

So, the goal of joining the TBR challenge, for me, was to help me clear up a little bit of my TBR pile, and to commit to it publicly. But here's the thing: my to be read piles are varied and I am a finicky reader: I have to be in the mood to read a particular thing.

Right now in my non-fiction TBR I have a book on helping kids cope with divorce, another 3 or 4 about chronic illness, at least one about style (because I haven't got any), a book on photography, a memoir or two, and a book about food that I started reading in November and it scared me so much that I put it back in the pile, instead of having to starve to death because I could never eat anything again, ever. My fiction pile consists of a bunch of romance novels; a bunch of classics I keep meaning to read; a bunch of contemporary 'literature' that people told me was good or I read an intriguing review of; a few YA novels, a tiny bit of Sci-Fi, a comic book, and holy crap, let's not even start talking about the kids books.

And yet, with all that variety, the likelihood that I will still say "I don't have anything to read" is fairly high. (I will usually say this only to myself, of course, because members of my family are apt to react badly to this assertion, for reasons incomprehensible to me.)

So I've committed to the TBR challenge - for me, it's a 3:1 ratio: 3 from the TBR pile for every re-read or new buy - because I think I am judging my books to harshly - if they don't immediately 'call' to me, then I move on, usually to a reread from the keeper shelves, and the piles don't get any smaller.

Part of this is realistic - since I am no longer in school, I refuse to 'force' myself to read anything: if I am not in the mood for a book about killer food, then I will not read it, even if I know I should. (And will, eventually.) For optimum entertainment value, a book should suit your mood - it should be a good fit. I'm not going to throw that out the window, challenge or no. A second element to the mountainous TBR piles is that I continue to buy new books, which, also is unlikely to change. (Cannot not buy books: is physically impossible.)o

But another part of why my TBR pile never shrinks is a strange combination of laziness and fear - I fall back on the books I know will be good (because I've already read them) instead of attempting something new, taking the risk that this new book will have poorly plotted scenes or lacks witty dialogue. As long as those books stay in the TBR, they have promise, and too often that promise falls through once I start to actually read.

But I've decided that I don't like that aspect of myself - the playing it safe all the time part of me - all that much, and am trying to make changes when I see the opportunity to do so. Yes, this is a small thing, a trivial change, and no real hardship - if a book sucks, after all, I am not required to finish it: I just post it and move on. If it doesn't, and is instead wonderful, I have given myself a treat. Either way, the book is out of my TBR, and so: mission accomplished - but it feels good and necessary and like I'm doing something positive that, if I get the hang of it, might just carry over into other aspects of my life.

"Basically," you are saying to yourself now, "this entire post was her way of saying anything in her life can somehow be connected to books?" And you would be right, I expect. But at least I know I'm not alone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's with all this growing up stuff?

Youngest Nephew is here for a sleepover today, and let me just say this:

How did he get to be almost 9 years old?

Not only did he tell me he had to go "take a leak," which I don't think I've ever really heard another person say in real life (as opposed to TV), later on he told me that something happened in a movie we were watching because "that girl is hot!"


Am not prepared for this, at all... all this growing up stuff.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Brotherly love

I've been falling way behind with my pictures, mostly because I'm kind of an editing perfectionist and wind up running some of my favorites through 14,000 steps before I declare it finished, and so I've got months worth of pictures to finish editing, upload to some place and order. (Also, with the packing et al, I keep thinking "Don't order anything new, because then you're going to have to find a place to put it if you don't finish it." Ah, the joys of not being settled.)

So, I wound up with more than a couple of contenders for this week's My Best Shot Monday, which has a new home, because the fabulous Tracey has a new blog.

I did finally settle on this one, though, of Big/Only Brother and his Lil Girl:

Happy President's Day, everybody, and if your kids are on vacation this week, may it be as peaceful a vacation as possible. :D

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh, boy, I don't know

I'm trying to figure out the right thing to do in a couple of different circumstances, and have come down with a bad case of the "well... maybes".

I do not like the "well ... maybes": being indecisive sucks. I hate it when other people can't make up their minds and commit to a freaking plan already, and I hate it even more when I'm the one holding up the works. Usually, like in these situations now, the hold up is a health issue... I just don't know whether or not I will be able to - or should - participate.

Scenario #1 is relatively nothing - tomorrow a bunch of my family members are going to check out the possible house, to make sure that there's nothing readily and obviously wrong with it that will take big bucks (bucks we don't have) to fix it. I'm supposed to go, but I'm on the fence: Do I put my energy here, when it's all still so hypothetical? My parents visited last weekend, and now they're calling for submissions, basically: "Help us make sure this place is OK." Which, ordinarily - fine: bring whomever you want, sounds great.... the more eyes the better. And I'd like my eyes to be involved... it's just that there are two steps up to get in (which, obviously, we'd address if we bought it), and then there's all the questions - odors, pets, etc. And to I absolutely need to go? And maybe I'm just being overly sensitive because of Scenario #2 ...

Scenario #2 is much more important. My cousin Kate is having a baby shower, at her parents house, in March. We got our invitations this week, and I asked her big brother about the accessibility of the house (since I've never been): he says there's steps, but that he talked to his dad and he's going to see about a ramp for the few steps in the front of the house. OK, that's not making me wicked comfortable, but it all may be moot because there's also a cat. A cat. Ordinarily? A cat automatically equals, 'I'm sorry, but I can't come," but the cat is a basement cat, and lives not where the people live, mostly. So now I'm stuck wondering - risk it or not?

I love my cousin, I'm wicked excited about her baby, and I hate to miss a family party, so those are all on the "Give it a try" side, but on the other hand, we've got the possibility of an unstable ramp (or having to be lifted, which NO Thank You), the fact that there's an animal in the vicinity, and the fact that the house is a good 50 minutes away, so there's no escape plan, really: If we get there and I can't stay in the house, I've got to either stay in the car while the party is happening (which, if you can believe it, would totally not be the first time that happened), or make somebody leave to take me home (if it gets really bad).

Pros, cons, and WTFs leave NTE pretty deep in the "well ... maybes".

The more I think about it, the more I both want to go and pretty much know that I shouldn't - between odors and my breathing (which has been pretty sucky since Christmas, as my tonsils are still as big as a baby's fist), and the pain of sitting in the car, sitting at the party, then sitting in the car again... It would all be a lot, just under normal circumstances. If I'm adding in potential pet hair and crickety stairs, then the scale tips pretty far over to the no-go side.

But then I think about being able to pat my cousin's (apparently large) tummy, the fact that her mother is kind of a source of scandal in the family (haven't seen her in... at least 10 years, and now she's HOSTING? C'mon, man.), and the fact that most of the people I love will be there (some coming from pretty far away), and it tilts the scale back a bit again.

Need versus should, I guess. Optimism vs realism, vs. pessimism. I hate to let people down, and I hate to be left out, but I can't really see a way to make Scenario #2 work in my favor.

Grr... I had kinda hoped that writing it all out like this would make other pros pop into my head, but I'm running out. Crap.

And then, of course, if I can't go, I've got to explain that I can't go, after my cousin has already talked to his dad about the ramp and all that, and that makes me feel bad too.


Must switch brain to new topic or risk explosion.

.... I put a new widget on the sidebar, so you can see all the things I'm finding interesting in my Google Reader: also, it's reminding me that it's probably time to fix the template so that it's not quite so Christmassy.

And, in other news, I bought some scratch tickets and won hundred thousand dollars. Actually, I bought some scratch tickets and haven't scratched them off yet, but I was just trying out that positive thinking thing my CBT therapist has been talking to me about. :D Update: I have won $4... I don't think I'm quite getting the hang of this.

I have been posting videos from You Tube all week,

and none of them are here... Were they here and disappeared or did they never appear... must investigate.

And, of course, I can only remember one of them for re-posting purposes...

Well, here you have it: a song that's been stuck in my head all week, here to taunt you during the weekend.

I'll be back later today, I hope with more things, but I just saw that there were no new posts up and that was confusing to me. ... Any ideas?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Just in case you wanted my opinion

(and if you didn't I don't suppose you'd be reading my blog, now would you?)

So here are my thoughts on a few (very random) things that have been floating around the world, the blogosphere &/or my brain for the last little bit:

Topic #1 -

Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps smoked pot. While not training for, or competing in, the Olympics. Therefore who the hell cares? Personally? I think the illegalization of marijuana is ridiculous, for a lot of reasons (and not just because of it's potential uses for chronic pain), and I think that making a big deal out of the fact that this kid (because he is only 23, and think of what YOU and your friends might have been doing then) smoked a little pot is even more ridiculous. Nobody should care... it was a 'mistake' only because it was illegal, and breaking the law: that's stupid (breaking the law while there are cameras there? even stupider. Breaking the law while there are cameras there and you are FAMOUS? Totally idiotic.) But pot can do that to you? Ever been with someone who's stoned? They're not exactly big thinkers just then, now are they? (Although they certainly think they are.) Should he lose contracts because of it? I think not, but the companies are certainly allowed to decide who should represent them. It seems to me that they wanted some superhero, and instead found out that they had hired an actual human being, and they might decide that's not good enough for them. Their call. My call is that everybody should just leave the poor guy alone - he didn't hurt anybody but himself here: From now on, every race, every meet, every record will have this asterisk next to it - at least mentally - and that's too bad. Just walk away, people: nothing to see here.

Topic #2 -

Now that I've just written all that pro-pot stuff, it occurs to me that you might wonder "Is NTE a pothead?" I'd like to just state - for the record - that I've never tried marijuana - but it's only because it's a smoking type of drug, and my asthma and smoke are not friends. I'd totally eat the special brownies that my cousin has promised to send to me, but so far - no go. If I did try it and it helped with my pain? I'd be putting it in my morning tea, people. Brownies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Trust me. (Also, I have a lot of reasons behind the whole, "pot is not the devil drug that the government has made it out to be" line of thinking, but that would require resources, and I am not in the mood to go find them right now.. remind me to write my "legalize pot" post later on, will you?)

Topic #3 -

Valentine's Day. I. Am. So. Over. It.

There are times of the year where being single sucks more than normal. Valentine's Day is one of them. Mostly, it doesn't bother me, except that EVERYTHING is lovey-dovey, and it's making me feel very anti-love. I'd like to focus on the crafty side of it, like I usually do, but every time I take something out of the craft supplies, I have to think about how I'm going to sort it all out to pack it, and that gets distracting very quickly, and then I eventually run out of energy to do the actual craft. (It's a strange place, my head.) Mostly I'd just like to stop the commercials that try to convince me that everything from flowers to cars to jewelry would show someone how much I love them. It really wouldn't, but thanks for trying.

Topic #4 -

I have been reading an excellent book about disability, the experience of being a person with a disability, and how culture contributes to that experience. It's not a new book - from 96, actually - but I have just discovered it, and I have been Post-It flagging nearly every other page or so. It's wonderful: the author, Nancy Mairs, has MS, and she's able to say things so clearly, to explain the fears, the frustrations, the joys, the jokes of living this new kind of life, that I hardly want to write, because I'll never be able to say it better than she has. (This happens to me a lot: I think - "why even bother writing, because Joe or Molly has managed to say it better than I ever could?" It's a humbling and strange experience, because you're both grateful that somebody else is able to understand it and to communicate it, and sad because you can't figure out a way to communicate it too.) Anyways, here is a bit that I wanted to share with you today...

“In a society that prates about, but seldom practices, communication, the craving to be listened to, heard, understood – which originates with the first terrified wail, the circling arms, the breast, the consolatory murmur – is hard to assuage. And because a cripple, in order to earn a shot at social intercourse with “normals,” must never publicly lament her state, must preferably never even mention it, an other who treats disability as a safe topic of conversation offers immeasurable relief…” p7

Thanks, guys, for being my 'other'.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Oh Hai

Do you know what month it is?

If you said "February", as in the shortest month, as in the month before we have to move out of our house, then you are correct!

But you don't get any bonus points.

No, sorry I am hoarding the bonus points, as I have apparently hoarded Every.Single.Thing. in my entire life.

In case you couldn't tell, the packing? It is not going well.

And by "not going well" I mean, I haven't even started.
I have done a lot of what I like to call 'pre-packing' and what you might instead call 'not packing at ALL', but we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

'Pre-packing' mostly consists of looking at my room, crammed full of books and art supplies and teaching supplies and paper products and electronic equipment that predates my life, and wondering "How the hell am I going to pack all of this crap?" Other questions that get asked during the 'pre-packing' stage include: "Do I really need four sets of headphones, especially since I detest the ear bud type of headphone and will not wear them (the noise is in my ear! Who likes that?)?"; "How can I possibly get rid of this vital memorabilia from my life/my sibling's life/my parent's life/my niece &/or nephew's life? (And why have I made myself the receptacle for all of this stuff???) And yet how can I possibly store it all?"; "Would this be worth anything on e-bay or should I just Freecycle it? Maybe I should try Craigslist first?"; "What is the point of packing everything up if I'm just going to have to try to maneuver around the boxes AND the furniture for the next 6 weeks?" and Oh Yeah: "How the hell do I know what to pack, what to toss, what to store, if I don't know where the hell we are going??? (After all, you do tend to keep much less of your possessions at hand if you are living in your van.)"

The open houses are not proving fruitful, just yet, as sellers are wary of selling right this minute, and also, their houses are in really awful shape (and not applicable for wheelchair users, in most cases).

I am still strangely not panicked, as I assume I will be living out of a home for quite a while anyways (and have spent zero non-essential dollars since the beginning of the year in hopes of being able to supplement this nomadic type living): No matter where we move, it will need repairs, updating, painting , cleaning, etc. All of those things are smelly - even though we're definitely aiming for as smell/chemical free as possible - and not just short-term smelly... they smell for a while. So I am going into this assuming that I will be living on my grandmother's couch for some time - which you all know I both love and loathe - and that, at some point, the pain of the springy mattress and cushionless couch, and the need for a shower, will necessitate (at least) intermediate stays in a hotel.

(I no longer have alternative housing options with friends or family - all the condos are rented out and siblings are living with their respective in-laws, most of my friends are pet owners, all of my other family & friends insist on living in places with stairs... Plus? How awkward a conversation is that: "Hi! Can I come take a shower at your house please? And then I need to have a coma for at least 3 hours, so I need somewhere quiet to lay down. Thanks!" ...)

So the packing thing is extra tough - What will I need at hand in the next three months? In the next 6? How do I best pack things so that, if there's something else I haven't thought of, I can easily send somebody to find it? How much of my craft or healthcare entourage can I reasonably expect my grandmother & uncle to accommodate in their den? My computer's a must have, but what about the printer? I need the box full of patches, but can I live without the just in case cough medicines and sinus pills? I can't lug my three bookcases full of books, so how do I decide what I might feel like reading on a spring day when I feel like crap or during a late winter snow?

I am, as usual, conflicted: feeling both energized and drained by the thought of being somewhere new, feeling both a longing to stay and a wanting to go. It's scary, this change: it is for us all. I'm worried about so much - how this is all going to effect me physically, how it'll impact our relationships, our dynamics (if we wind up moving further north, will SisterNc & Big Brother decide, for example, that the drive is too much so we won't get Lil Girl during the week anymore?), how much more of the year we'll be rootless, and a million other things - and I know that each member of our family has different concerns and so it feels like we're in a snow globe, with each of those worries floating around us, constantly churning.

And we just won't know until we know.

So, I'm trying to just go with it, to not be constantly focusing on all of those worries, to just let them be there until we have some answers. It's tough, but it seems like one of the skills I've picked up along the way: living with the questions because there's no other choice. You keep working towards the answers, keep plugging along, but you don't let them bury you.

Still, it certainly doesn't make the packing go any easier.