Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meanwhile, He's Back at the Ranch

Jon works from home now. At least, that is what IBM is telling him this week. He will be part of a team of experienced implementers who help other IBM business services people troubleshoot projects that are not meeting their deadlines, etc. He will be here pretty much all the time, on the phone and computer, except when he suddenly has to fly somewhere for a few days/weeks to help a project onsite.

There is tremendous upside potential to this arrangement for Jon and the kids. Travelling every week isn't easy, even for a person who can sleep standing up the way Jon can. And the children should benefit from his more consistent involvement in their daily lives. I think they may get a little tired of his involvement, to be brutally honest, but it will be good for them to have it whether they want it or not.

I'm having more difficulty finding the upside for myself. I still can't commit to a regular job, as I can't count on Jon for childcare with any regularity. Just because he is at home doesn't mean he is available, and experience indicates there will be little prior notice before he is called away. I will lose the use of the office/sewing room often, due to his frequent business calls (every sewing machine I've ever met was too noisy to be used in the same room as a cellphone.) If I have a rush sewing job, I can always set up in another room, but it will be an annoyance not to be able to use my functional setup. Jon will take on various daily household duties, which will be good for him, but will also increase my already growing dispensability. If the only reason to get out of bed in the morning is that there are kids to be fed and taken to school, but Daddy can handle that, well then why bother getting out of bed?

I'm almost to the point where I should cut my thyroid medication dose in half and spend most of my day meditating by a sunny window. I often said I should be reincarnated as a cat. Apparently, I won't have to wait that long. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Just had to provide evidence that I can in fact move these muthers.

Does this rock make me look fat?

I'm pretty sure that I sometimes make messes just to experience the satisfaction of cleaning them up again. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taking the Good with the Bad

The last guava finally ripened and fell from the tree last week. The very next day, our apricot tree started flowering.

In a good year, this tree would be covered in blooms. But there's no way we got anywhere near the 400 hours of chill (temperatures below 45 degrees) that this tree needs to set fruit. Now that the tree has broken dormancy it is too late for any late winter chilling to do any good (and it might even kill off whatever fruits do manage to set). So odds are that this will be the second year in a row of no apricots, or very few. Several of my other stone fruits most likely won't be bearing either, but at least the tropicals are happy. I'll just have to save up the money we didn't spend on heating to buy fruit this summer. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

And When I'm Thoroughly Pooped Out

I watch lectures on  My favorite series is the Mini Medical School for the Public out of UCSF. I have a little tiny crush on this lecturer.

As a mother, this lecture on pediatric issues was quite useful.

I like many of the lectures in the Science category as well. Wanna see some Science Cheerleaders? (They're at about 3:02, if you don't want to hear the rest of the lecture.)

Other subject areas include Arts & Music, Public Affairs, Humanities, Business, Education Issues, and Gardening and Agriculture. (I think I've watched every video available in that last category.) The site is searchable and new talks and lectures are posted regularly. I am occasionally disappointed in the sound quality, but not usually. There is often an extended introduction of the lecturer, but it is easy to skip past it.

Anybody know of other sites like this?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So I've found that if I get a solid hour or two of exercise per day, I don't need any antidepressants. I could just do a good workout in the morning and another at night. But I'd really rather just have physical activity be a natural part of my day. If I had a job, having one about 4 miles away that I could cycle to and from would be ideal. Or having a job that naturally involved a fair amount of activity. But for the last two weeks (and the next few, I'd guess) this is how I have been getting my exercise.

The chickens "help out" by eating all the juicy worms I dig up when I remove an inch or two of dead grass/dirt to set the stones in. They've never eaten so well in their fluffy little lives. 

I can set 20-50 stones per day, depending on how large the stones are (they vary from about 15 to 50 pounds- I have Jon move the occasional 75 pound monster) and how easily they fit together. It's like the world's heaviest jigsaw puzzle, with no picture on the box to guide you.

Putting in the stones will help a little bit in reducing the water bill, a bit more in reducing the amount of mowing we need to do, and rather more in making the back yard look like I meant it to be like that, rather than just "Eh, I didn't know what to do back here, so I left it to the bermuda grass." I suppose I could try to make a job of it, but can you imagine the business card? 

World's Wimpiest Stonelayer! 
Two hours per day, maximum.