Thursday, August 01, 2013

Miracle of miracles.

July rolls out; August rolls in, NTE finally manages a new post.

We're gearing up for SisterCh's baby shower on Sunday - it's Baby Mickey themed, and although I haven't done a ton of the planning/crafting, I've dabbled a little and made some cute things. I'm excited, except for how I also hate showers, which seems to be the general consensus about showers: that they're boring and annoying, but we do it anyways, because we love people.  I, personally, hate the idea of having to open presents in front of a bunch of other people (although my brother did make a good point about, how, at Christmas time this is exactly what I want us to do, each person opening gifts slowly and one at a time, which NEVER HAPPENS, but that's different, because it's just us), and I find it awkward to be watching somebody else opening presents, so that's just a weird type of party to be having, I suppose.  Showers are awesome because you get stuff you really need (not that I would know: Being single and childless, you really get screwed on this whole gift-giving side of the deal, especially, since I'm living at home, I've never even got so much as a housewarming present), but pretty much every lady I know has showers on their eye-roll, 'is it mandatory' list.  Hopefully, Sunday will still be fun, regardless of said awkwardness, because SisterJ has put a lot into planning it, and has done some tremendous work.  I'll try to remember to post some pictures next week: when you see SisterCh's belly, you're just going to want to rub it, she's totally adorable.

What else? I've met with a new primary care doc, and he seems - ok.  No giant red flags; pretty good listener, did give me a speech about weight, but it didn't seem to be his primary concern (which is good, because it sure as hell ain't mine). I'm thinking of starting the search for a therapist, as my feelings seem to be at a constant simmer lately - as if just one little bump up on the heat and I'll boil over.  Not necessarily in anger (although there's that, mostly in relation to my dad), but also sadness, or jealousy, or boredom, or just feeling completely bereft. There's not a whole lot of happiness boiling over, unfortunately. 

    ALTHOUGH - and this is a big one - I am 95% finished with a project that has taken me nearly 3 years to complete: the organization of my aunt's photographs.  When I started, I never realized it would be this difficult, but there were so many stages -
  •  Because she was a smoker, I had to air out all the books for months before I could even touch them; 
  • Then I had to find a way to get the books that were in albums (all those sticky paged albums, complete with yellow edges and disgusting brown corners) out of the albums without ruining them, 
  • Then I had to flatten them enough to be scanned (so, more months of waiting),
  •  Then I had to scan them all; 
  • After that came the arduous task of identifying the particulars of each photograph and labeling them all - both physically and on the computer file - which was not easy, because a) nearly 3/4 of them were not identified previously, so I had to do a lot of asking, and comparing her photos with our photos  - I am a total Veronica Mars/Nancy Drew/Girl Sleuth, btw: I know who had what haircut in which year, who moved to which house when; what year the back porch was screened in, which dog lived in which backyard, and who drove the green car in which years before they passed it down to the next person - to get to all the answers, and 
  • Then I had to put them all in some sort of reasonable order  -3/4 chronological, with exceptions made for trips (which nobody remembers what year they took them in plus, they took pictures of every animal in the zoo and that is stupid boring) and things like car shows (again, that nobody really cares about in the timeline of their lives).  
  • Now I am finally putting them into actual albums (non-sticky, thank the lord).
  • After that all I gotta do is put all the computer files together and dropbox them to her kids/my sibs, whoever wants them.

    Plus, in the course of those three years, I was
 - living at Grandmother's house for the summer - once for my own good, and then for hers (but neither time with access to the photos);
- helping raise some childrens; -
 having major sinus surgery & then recuperating;
- dealing with at least 22 major flares;
- grieving;
- dealing with all my family's bs;
- and a whole lot of other things I can barely remember. 

So, it's not like it was three constant years of work, but it was in my brain as a "to do" for three years (and definitely in my aunt's brain: she did not let me forget that I had her pictures, not even a little bit), and so finishing it will be a huge relief and I cannot overestimate how happy it will make me. Just putting all the pictures in the books right now (final stages! hooray!) is making me want to do a happy dance, even if it is tedious to stuff albums for four hours.  But to be able to clear something off my plate at this point and go: That was freaking hard, and I did an awesome job?  Ah-maz-ing.  Probably nobody is going to appreciate just how much work I put in (nobody even noticed when I did ours, or Nana's, really): I mean I counted candles on birthday cakes and pulled out the family bible for names long forgotten, and dug out my grandmother's pictures so that my aunt could have more pictures from her own childhood in her albums, but all my aunt will see is that one picture she knew she took on a trip to Lake George in the late 1980s that I haven't been able to find.  But I'm going to be ok with that, because I know I rocked it, and I'm going to give myself some major kudos.  Maybe even buy myself a present. Suggestions welcome!

Anyways, that's the latest from near the beach in Massachusetts (not that I've set one toe on sand this whole year, but it's still the truth).  How's all you fine folks out there in blogland?