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1. Baked brownies for church coffee hour. Took them in to church.

2. Coffee hour clean-up. Over the past few years, I seem to have become the 'old hand' at this particular task -- probably because every time my hospitality team is up, I volunteer for it all four Sundays -- and I end up sort of haphazardly training a bunch of more sporadic volunteers how to run the sterilizer and where to roll up the vinyl tablecloths and stuff. I like feeling useful. :)

3. Washed two-thirds of my curtains, as well as my comforter and winter coat. I still have one load of curtains left, which I will hopefully get done tomorrow along with my regular biweekly laundry.

more items under the cut )

13. Attended my church's annual meeting, where we:

A) voted on the 2017-18 budget

B) elected people to the Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee

C) voted on various proposed changes to our bylaws (which are, frankly, screwy -- they were written less as general guidelines and more as ultra-nitpicky sets of rules that weren't even internally consistent -- and which we have been rationalizing in bits and pieces for several years now)

D) voted on whether to adopt a covenant

E) voted on whether to issue a congregational statement of support for a New York state single-payer health care system proposal currently up for consideration in the state senate.

The budget passed (an attempted amendment to it did not), the bylaw changes passed (one attempted amendment was rejected as something that needs more study in the fall; another passed because it caught an error that had been overlooked in the editing process), the covenant was adopted (albeit with reservations on various parts), and despite a completely valid technical objection (namely, that we don't HAVE a procedure for issuing congregational statements about political issues and therefore shouldn't issue any such statements until we create one) the health care statement also passed.

I then stuck around to help clean up (there was a dinner attached to the meeting, you see) since nobody seemed to have organized an official clean-up crew and, well, that's something I know how to do! So I did it. *wry*

more items under the cut )

21. Snipped Hovera (a squash seedling) at its base so that Azer (its container-mate) could live and flourish.

...

I have also been kind of busy at work, since this is the time of year when students are leaving town (and thus vacating their apartments), and that generates a bunch of paperwork and ancillary organizational stuff -- particularly since it's also the due date for a whole bunch of quarterly rent payments for 2017-18 leases. We are also switching to a new key-logging system, which creates a minor extra layer of confusion when you have to figure out whether a summer subtenant should pick up their keys under the 2016-17 system (manual) or the 2017-18 system (digital).
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1. Put away laundry.

2. Wrote some character descriptions for "Intervention" and emailed them to my WIP Big Bang artist. That was actually a very useful exercise, because I had not thought in detail about the characters' appearances before and now I can try to work some of those visual details into the story text.

Like, about all I had before was that Kath is short and wears her hair in braids, Jahiem is a lot taller than Kath, Adam has blond hair and always wears black, Inez wears a gold cross necklace, Jayavanti is a bit taller than both Kath and Hegev, Nico is tall and often sleep-deprived, Hegev is Tellarite, Zhi-ren has long hair he sometimes puts into a ponytail, Fra Treefell is weather-beaten, and Elakwa looks like Marina Sirtis's more tired and less fashion-conscious cousin. Which is not a lot to be going on. Now I know a lot more. :)

3. Put my peppers and squash out all day on Wednesday, since the forecast predicted a mostly cloudy day rather than full sunlight.

more items under the cut )

10. Finally got around to cooking the fajita filling for which I chopped and froze the ingredients a couple weeks ago. \o/ That's now in the fridge, cooling down, and I'll stick it in the freezer in the morning.
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1. Baked brownies for church.

2. Boiled eight eggs.

3. Facilitated youth group, which basically meant running plans past another member who was (as with last week) the only person who turned up. I then caught up with the DRE to ask if she'd received my email, and we have tentatively agreed to meet in person either this week or next week to discuss the 2017-18 year.

more items under the cut )

14. Finished and posted a [community profile] genprompt_bingo ficlet, in response to a request on my latest mini-ficlet prompt meme. \o/

15. Emailed my WIP Big Bang artist to ask if they want character descriptions. (My story is all about OCs. Descriptions are kind of relevant.)

Incidentally! WIP Big Bang art claims are open! If you are an artist or know an artist who might be interested, please go take a look. :)
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1. Dental appointment at 8:15am. My teeth are fine, yay! The office manager was out for the week because of some unspecified life crisis, so I did not pay my bill on Monday (the hygienists have not been trained to work the billing program -- scheduling yes, financials no) but I should receive one in the mail sometime this coming week.

2. Made my weekly Facebook update.

3. Emailed the DRE about summer and fall youth group plans. I have not yet heard back, but I will try to corner her in person on Sunday and chat for a few minutes.

4. Caught a bus out to the mall and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I enjoyed A LOT. :D

more items under the cut )

19. Bought groceries.

20. Repotted my peppers!

...

You will note that I still have not cooked the fajitas for which I did ingredient prep last week. The containers of sliced onion, pepper, and chicken have been sitting in the freezer for a week and a half now. I may try to get that dealt with tomorrow night, but give that I will already be baking brownies (church obligations), I am inclined to doubt I will manage the fajitas until Monday. *sigh*

I failed to get any writing done whatsoever -- like, I got a couple hundred words toward a prompt response, but there were aimless twaddle, totally unusable, and I haven't managed to get any of the slightly less awful ideas onto a page. Blargh.

I think, on the balance of evidence, that I have probably been stuck in a mild blue funk for the past couple weeks. I hadn't noticed sooner because I haven't felt particularly disconnected (one of my main depressive symptoms), but I have definitely been suffering from executive dysfunction (aka, lack of can-do), disordered sleeping patterns, and a general lack of enthusiasm for things I would normally enjoy. I also may have fic-binged a couple times, which is a telling symptom even without the disconnection that usually triggers it.

There is really nothing to do except try to fight the disordered sleeping patterns and wait it out. And maybe to grit my teeth and force myself to write, because that CAN be done and I do generally feel a lot better for up to a full day after completing some kind of creative work in the face of my brain's attempt to paint the whole world gray. I guess I'll see if I have any free time at work tomorrow to get that prompt response pinned down.
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1. Put away the remaining laundry.

2. Backed up my hard drive.

3. Made an appointment to give blood this coming Thursday.

more items under the cut )

17. Submitted my WIP Big Bang snippets.

18. Checked 2D movie times for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I would like to see tomorrow. (I'd wanted to see it Thursday or Friday, but see above in re: the universe squashing me flat.) I think 1:15 or 3:10pm sound most promising.

19. And this is true for all the days in question: I plonked at a few bits of fiction to no particular effect. *sigh* I will keep trying tomorrow.
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Mom had a small pile of stuff she wanted to give me, which she set aside in a safe place so she'd remember to bring all the items up to Ithaca last weekend when she and Dad visited. Of course this meant she forgot to bring them. *wry*

Anyway, yesterday I received a very carefully packed and taped box containing:

1. A current registration card for the Camry (Ardis's old car, which has become our family's pass-around extra car), to replace my expired one from last year.

2. Two small square bars of Erbario Toscana soap, one orange and one yellow, because I like fancy scented soaps for my bathroom handsoap and Mom had no use for them.

3. Various newspaper clippings she thinks I should read.

4. A bottle of vitamin E nail and cuticle oil, which supposedly helps with both brittle/fragile fingernails (not a problem I have) and overly dry cuticles and surrounding skin, such that they tend to spontaneously split and bleed (a problem I definitely DO have). Mom started using that this past winter and now swears by it.

5. Three pages of terrible poetry I wrote in purple pen and then gave to one of my grandmothers, probably when I was twelve or so. (I have no memory of the poems, but I was really into purple ink for a couple years in my early adolescence and I think my handwriting looks about right for that age.) I think Mom and Dad wound up with papers from all three of my grandmothers, so I'll have to ask to figure out who I inflicted this stuff on.

6. A white tablecloth Mom took to NJ after Thanksgiving to wash and forgot to give back until just now.

7. Two pairs of trousers and one t-shirt for me to try on.

8. A box of four Cadbury Creme Eggs, because they are my delicious and terrible downfall. :)

...

I kind of want to transcribe and post the poetry, just as a reminder to myself and the world that thirteen-year-old kids tend to get terribly overwrought about EVERYTHING. It's embarrassing in retrospect (and sometimes even at the time), but it's normal and over the years I've come to look back on my younger self with at least as much affection as pained winces. *wry*
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1. Attended church, which was a special service with sermon and music by Samite Mulondo, the founder of Musicians for World Harmony.

2. Coffee hour cleanup.

3. Made my weekly Facebook update post.

4. Changed linens. Given the weather, I decided NOT to do the winter-to-summer swap. (I want spring back!)

more items under the cut )

18. I seem to have forgotten to mention this in my last few 'stuff done' posts, perhaps because it hasn't been on any of my to-do lists? Well, anyway, I have been reading (in bits and pieces, between other things) the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. I ended up starting with book two, The Tropic of Serpents, because I had to order book one via interlibrary loan and I am impatient. I then moved right on to book three, The Voyage of the Basilisk, which I just finished tonight.

They are fun books! I wouldn't call them deep literature, but they are a pleasure to read -- both in terms of the characters and plots, in terms of the worldbuilding (which is genuine world-building rather than region-building, and thought-out to a degree more writers should aspire to), and in terms of the actual writing, which manages to be smoothly invisible in service of the story despite having a distinctive first-person narrative voice. That is a neat trick, and I wish I could pinpoint how Brennan pulls it off.

Anyway, I have jumped back to start book one, A Natural History of Dragons, and I expect I'll make some reasonable progress on that during slow periods at work tomorrow. :)
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1. Last-minute apartment cleanup before my parents' visit, i.e., I cleared and organized the piles of stuff that had collected on my coffee table, living room table, and kitchen counters over the past few months, and temporarily stashed some other stuff in my bedroom to free up my armchair for people to sit on. Also I dusted a few shelves, because reasons.

2. Collected trash from wastebaskets and took the combined bag to the trashcan outdoors. I think one more bag and the can will be ready for curbside pickup -- so, maybe early June?

3. Paid my monthly internet bill.

4. Welcomed my parents and Dottie! ♥

more items under the cut )

14. Peeled the moldy layers off my sprouting onion and sprayed the thing with diluted anti-fungal solution. Hopefully this will help more than it hurts. (It did not seem to cause any harm to my pepper seedlings when I sprayed their little peat cylinders back in March, since they'd acquired fungal spores while they sat in storage for a year.)

15. Dumped the resulting gunk and some other compost into the communal bin.

16. Baked brownies for church coffee hour tomorrow morning.

And I think that's about it! It was a very full two days. :)
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1. Called Cat Saturday night to catch up, since I was too buried in work to arrange a call over the past few months.

2. Boiled a dozen eggs.

3. Went to church Sunday morning to hear Rev. Weis preach. Then attended the special congregational meeting, in which we voted (98.6%!!!) to call her as our new settled minister. She accepted! \o/

more items under the cut )

20. Cleaned AC and otherwise prepped for installation on Friday.

21. Organized another coffee table box (this one containing hundreds of photographs and some photo albums) into a nice basket. I still really need to get the rest of my Germany trip photos from the 90s into the albums and label all of them, and then do something to organize all the others -- because they are completely disorganized. But that is a project for another day. (Uh. Days, probably. Whatever.)

22. Called parents to organize a few more details of their visit Friday and Saturday, which is a thing that is happening. :)
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1. Took kitchen compost to communal bin.

2. Called Susan and chatted for an hour and a half. It was good to catch up!

3. Started moving my vegetables outside in the afternoons, to get them used to direct sunlight (instead of sunlight filtered through my kitchen windows).

4. Planted new seeds in three of my squash containers, since only one of my transplants (Meeny) survived. I have put two seeds per container, and will thin as necessary in a few weeks.

more items under the cut )

16. Trimmed the back of the lilac bush, which has to be done every year to make room for my air conditioner. (It grows right up against my front room window, you see.) I will trim the rest of the bush in late May, after it has finished blooming -- it has only just started blooming now, and while the flowers aren't very abundant, they are making a much better showing than in various years past. I definitely think the plant does better when I prune it regularly.

17. Did a smidge of editing work on "Second Chances," which I hope to finish by Monday night. *crosses fingers*

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Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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