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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. 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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A random nice thing the Red Cross sometimes does is tell you what happened to your blood donation.

For example, I recently received the following email:


Dear LIZ,

Thank you for giving blood with the American Red Cross on 3/16/2017. After first ensuring that local needs were met, your blood donation was sent to University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY to help a patient in need. Your donation is on its way to change lives!

Every day, patients receive blood for a variety of conditions including life-threatening illnesses, blood disorders and traumas. Your blood donations are critical to helping save patients' lives.

On behalf of the hospitals and patients we serve, thank you for being a Red Cross blood donor.



I think this is both a nice gesture of acknowledgement and a really effective way to make people want to donate again, because it puts a tangible result -- your blood went to this place to help an actual human being who needed a transfusion -- onto what is otherwise a very open-ended, giving-to-the-void sort of activity. So kudos to the Red Cross communications team members who came up with this idea. I will even forgive you for trying to make me sign up for a half-dozen blood drives while I am still in the ineligible eight weeks after my previous donation. *wry*
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1. Watered my houseplants. I also saved two of my peppers from a bout of dehydration, via emergency watering and temporary toothpick stakes to lean on. I keep forgetting how fast the peat pellets dry out. :/

2. Failed to floss my teeth Monday night because I was so tired from working 8:30am-9pm at Not the IRS (plus travel time). This is noteworthy since I think that is the ONLY time I have failed to floss my teeth since I started my "if you don't floss, your mouth and teeth will feel gross and be totally icky" campaign, which, considering how many years I had previously spent trying and failing to make flossing a daily habit -- I tried guilt and shame, I tried logic, I tried financial panic (cavities are stupidly expensive to fix), I tried flossing at work on my lunch breaks, etc. -- really says something about the power of revulsion as a motivating factor.

The problem, of course, is that revulsion is horrifically easy to misuse. But I think in this particular case, it helps a lot more than it hurts.

3. Imported my Livejournal to Dreamwdith, which, um, ran into some problems.

4. Opened a mini-ficlet prompt meme. (I am still taking ficlet requests, if anyone is interested!)

5. Bought groceries.

6. Attended the Stewardship committee meeting on Thursday night. I now have a list of people to call in the second round of "please pledge money, we can't run a church by wishing," and I will call them... Sunday afternoon, probably. *adds to to-do list*

7. Boiled a dozen eggs.

8. Wrote three prompt ficlets. I am still working on a fourth, but I couldn't finish it before work got busy and I hit the exhausted and brain-fried portion of my day. (Another 8:30am-9pm shift today, joy. By the time I leave the rental office tomorrow, I will have worked 60 hours this week. And next week I get to do it all again! What fun! (Kill me now.))

9. Wrote twelve thank-you notes to church members who have already pledged for the 2017-18 fiscal year. I got six of them into the mail for Saturday morning pickup, and will drop the other six off on my way to work in the morning. The remaining six envelopes are stamped and return-addressed, and I will write the cards tomorrow.

10. Changed the scented wax in my wax melter.

11. Backed up my computer onto my external hard drive, which I really ought to do more frequently. I wonder if there's a way to harness revulsion for that task as well...?

And now to bed. Mmmm, bed.
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1. Took garden progress photos and posted them online.

2. Plunged both bays of my kitchen sink, which didn't seem to do anything. Poured drain-declogging fluid down the left bay of the sink, and also down my shower drain. Washed it out fifteen minutes later with boiling water from a teakettle followed by generically hot tap water. The pipes seem to be running better now.

3. Put away my remaining laundry.

more items under the cut )

17. Gave blood! \o/ It took me three and a half months to get my health and my schedule aligned, but by gum, I finally managed it. :DDDDD

18. Did a preliminary read-through of the Small Fandom Big Bang fic I am editing. I will try to go through and leave actual comments tomorrow night.

And now, I think, to bed.
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1. I did not go to church on Sunday, since it was either a Sci-fi Sunday (alternate joint program for high school and middle school kids, runs the first Sunday of each month) or an improv/drama session, and in either case I wasn't needed to facilitate anything. Also I was very tired, so I slept in. Then in the afternoon, I took a nap. Sleep is delicious. :)

2. Changed linens.

3. Thawed and cooked some more tilapia fillets.

more items under the cut )

8. Changed the wax in my wax melter. The new wax was another of the kinds my parents bought me as an ancillary Christmas present, and as before, I do not recommend it. The Glade scent was obtrusively artificial -- it just smelled off in a way that's hard to put my finger on. This brand -- ScentSationals Scented Wax Cubes -- smells less off-putting... but the smell is impossibly strong. I could literally see volatile fumes rising from the surface of the melted wax, and it permeated the air to the point where I felt like my breaths were slowly coating the inner surfaces of my lungs with a layer of wax. I could not sleep because the scent and the wax-in-lungs sensation were so overpowering and inescapable. And this persists for hours even if the heat source is removed from the wax after only thirty minutes!

Despite this, the scent wears out very quickly. I had to dispose of the new wax on Wednesday because it had lost its advertised scent and now was just filling the air with the scent of generic candle wax, while still feeling like it was coating my lungs with aerosolized wax particles.

Additionally, the wax itself is not packaged usefully. It is notionally divided into six cubes, but in practice they're all fused together into a massive lump that requires a heated knife to separate, and even then sheds annoyingly sticky wax flakes all over one's work area.

In short, I actively disrecommend ScentSationals brand wax melts. I have thrown out the unused portions of the scent I tested, and have tossed the unopened other scent into my box of assorted random donations for my church's annual recycling sale.

(For the record, wax melts I have had good experiences with are Yankee Candle, Woodwick, and (tentative initial assessment) Chesapeake Bay Candle Home Scents.)

more items under the cut )

And now, I think, to bed.
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1. Paid my monthly rent, paid my credit card bills, and transferred some money to my savings account. Yay financial responsibility!

2. Filed my own taxes, since the waiting period for the EIC is now over. (Go on, ask me about the PATH Act. You know you want to...)

3. Bought groceries. (I failed, however, to buy more applesauce, since my store was completely out of their own un-flavored brand with no added sugar. I will try again on Monday, and hopefully buy a few other things in the process.)

more items under the cut )

16. Made a little more progress on my Cotton Candy Bingo prompt fic, mostly reconfiguring the opening scene so it will feed better into the climax and conclusion.

I'm going to keep working on the story tonight, and then hopefully go to bed before midnight for the second day in a row. *crosses fingers, makes resolve face at self*
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1. Went to bed early on Wednesday, in an attempt to shake the not-quite-cold that I still haven't been able to get rid of.

2. Was still semi-sniffly when I woke up Thursday morning, and reluctantly rescheduled my blood donation appointment YET AGAIN, argh.

3. Rescued a spider from my shower and let it go in my front room. I am happy to coexist with house spiders, provided they stay OUT of my bedroom and bathroom, and never touch me unexpectedly. Startling me in the shower is not good for their life expectancy.

4. Wrote a bit more of my Enchanted Forest prompt ficlet, and also figured out (I think) a way to better tie the opening into the later action, so there's some groundwork for what the unexpected ambassadors have come to discuss. I have not yet attempted to implement that, because I continue to be constantly tired and kind of brain-fried. *sigh*

5. Wrote and mailed my birthday thank-you notes, which involved finally getting rid of the last of some tiny butterfly stickers I acquired over a decade ago (I have no memory of either why or how) and almost getting rid of some free bee-and-flower stickers I got from... probably the Nature Conservancy, in one of their periodic 'donate to us again!' mailings. (I get mailings of that nature from several charities, since I used to give money yearly to, uh, the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Nature Conservancy, Planned Parenthood, and the International Eye Foundation. I also get mailings from the US Methodists' charitable arm, since I donated to them once some years ago as Susan's Christmas gift, but they didn't have a 'donation in the name of' option so now UMCOR thinks I'm their good target instead of her. *deeper sigh*)

6. Took kitchen compost to backyard bin.

7. And, of course, the reason I'm so tired all the time is that I am working stupid hours at my two jobs. This week will end up being ~53 hours all told, and then I will probably be working both Sunday the 26th and Sunday the 5th so starting from Monday the 20th that's like... three weeks in a row with no days off, yikes. (Well, I may ask for Saturday the 4th off at the rental company, but that would be so I could chaperone a youth group thing at church so I wouldn't exactly call it a day of rest.)

...

The money is worth it. I think.
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1. Took my beef experiment out of crockpot, packaged it, and put it in the freezer.

2. Withdrew cash to pay for a haircut today and laundry next week.

3. Haircut, yay! (Then I came home and took another shower to wash out the little prickly trimmings that always get everywhere.)

more items under the cut )

9. Continued adding words to my current Cotton Candy Bingo fill/request ficlet for [livejournal.com profile] wistfulmemory. The new approach is working much better, I think, but it's still not anywhere near finished.

I think once that's done, I will set aside my remaining three Cotton Candy Bingo squares (though I have outlined and/or partially written ficlets for two of them) and work on my FandomTrumpsHate auction fic... assuming I will have any time and mental energy left over before March arrives and hopefully brings a bit of sanity before April takes it all away again. *wry*

---------------

And now to bed, because I have to be at the rental office at 10am Saturday morning. (Six days of work this week, UGH UGH UGH, for ~47 hours total. But I need the money...)
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1. Watered houseplants.

2. Photographed my pepper and narcissus. That is going to be my last 2016 pepper project photo for the foreseeable future, since I doubt the Lazarus pepper's one remaining bud will ever actually amount to anything.

3. Put away laundry that was air-drying since Sunday afternoon.

more items under the cut )

17. Backed up my files onto my external hard drive.

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Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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