Sunday, January 27, 2013

Butterbeer, oh yeah!

When last we left our intrepid heroine, I have no idea what was going on because when was that? Don't know!

I recently had to stop saying "I know!" to the dog in sympathy because I realized he can't tell the difference between no and know. Ach! Poor pup. I made him a giant dog bed nest on my desk so he can look out the window when I'm at work all day. He's on it right now, chin on windowsill, watching the cows and birds and things. It means he's six inches away from me, which is his favorite place to be, second only to right against me or on top of me. And I can lean over and smooch his soft ears any time I want. Yay!

Oddly enough, this has drastically reduced the activities of the United Housepet Writing Prevention League. Hmmm!

Yes, I'm a getting up in the morning and going to work person these days! I love it. But I'm still exhausted by the whole thing. I know I'll adapt. I'm already waking up early on weekends, even. It's awesome to be so strangely functional and productive, ha! Hoo boy.

I also like the commute what with how it's the only time I'm actually by myself pretty much ever. If by "by myself" you mean "without housepets" also. Since they are rather INTERACTION INTENSIVE I think I will count it.

My only conundrum has been...tea. Yes! Because I'll make a cup of tea in the morning in a ceramic cup and one in a travel mug. But the ceramic cup one is too hot to drink before I leave. So I take it with. And then it spills in the car because it tilts in the cupholder. And the travel mug tea is too hot to drink even when I get to work. And then I manage to spill it (even with a lid) on my hands and so on while walking into the building and juggling all my assorted stuff.

Sheesh, it's complicated being me!

So I got a tall travel mug shaped ceramic travel mug with a lid that closes. How about that?

I'm pretty psyched. It's white and it has all these big bright flowers on it! Woooo!

I have a lot to do today but I'm sort of sluggish about wrapping my head around it, organizationally. Which is why I'm here, no doubt, ha ha! Online Job is starting up again (for which let us be truly thankful, oh man, $$$) so I have all that to set up today, plus laundry, not to mention cooking some food for tomorrow in some kind of inventive way. And I have to go out to Walmart (oof) and return my library books and fill up the car. With gas. Not with, like, pillows. Though that sounds kind of nice.

Yesterday I didn't get these things done because of a sudden project: fixing the sump pump outflow, which froze solid. And I mean twelve feet of inch and a half PVC pipe, solid ice. This is bad because the sump pump will keep trying to pump anyway and will burn itself out and cause who knows what havoc, starting with but not limited to needing to be replaced. By me. And it's in a two foot diameter well in the corner of the basement. I could totally do it, and I'd love the project, except, what are my least favorite things again? Confined spaces, wells, and basements? Ooooooh boy. Also the water is incredibly disgusting down in that well. I looked. EW.

Fortunately the pipe came apart into sections, mostly, so they're standing up against the wall, waiting for spring. And I cut off the stupid part that the idjit who put the thing in did. He put all these elbows into the pipe, I don't know why, but it meant that the water didn't flow right out as it would with a steeper angle, but laid in there and froze up and up and up in layers.

So anyway I cut that part off and put a bigger pipe under the outflow to drain it away from the house.

I love any job that requires figuring things out and using multiple tools. Including the heat gun! Boy oh boy I sure do love the heat gun. It looks like a drill but instead of a bit on the end it just puts out HEAT. Very very hot heat. It melted the ice inside the remaining pipe (and kind of melted the pipe, too, or at least made it all soft, but it didn't deform) so I could hack it out and pull out the ice plug.

I sure do love power tools, don't I? Did you know they make little baby electric chainsaws that you charge up? I might have to get one some day.

Yesterday before the PVC extravaganza I also shoveled the whole entire driveway, which kind of takes it out of you. And later I took Mr. Dog for a walk up in the woods. Basically I was my dad. Don't think that wasn't clear to everyone around, either.

This is the slightly unfriendly thing I did: I came downstairs after a nap and went straight out the door with the dog when I saw alien boots in the front hall. Remember the Amish neighbor girl who said I looked Amish and then said I looked squirrelly? Those were her boots. Which I knew. She was visiting with my mom. So I skipped out. That is unfriendly! But it wasn't because of her--I didn't want to see anyone. It wasn't personal.

Then I saw from her boot prints in the snow that she came over through the fields and our woods, which we'd talked about last time I saw her, so that's cool.

Gawain found a skinned rabbit leg up by that one chewed up tree where Larry and I were talking about porcupines, but gave it up quite willingly. Good boy! I don't think he knew quite what to do with a skinned frozen raw rabbit leg, but he thought it was pretty interesting and carried it over to me. I flung it into some briars. And now I kind of want to wash my mittens.

Oh! And I invented butterbeer. Or my version of it. SO GOOD. Boiling water, brown sugar, a bit of butter, and some butterscotch schnapps. Yes! I know, it's basically liquid cookies, or something, but oh man, it's about the most comforting thing in the entire world. It's a slight variation of hot buttered rum, really.

I am feeling kind of awesome? With a question mark? I even grappled with my heinous bills today and put all of them into Quicken as liabilities, with the startling result that I seem to owe ten times what I have at the moment, which at least is a number and not a formless cloud of DOOOOOOOM. Anyway I'll knock it down fast now that I have some of those INCOME things. Once they start coming IN.

Oh and I cut my hair Thursday night, but just the back mullet-y part. It is now super cute and a mop top Beatles kind of thing but tucks behind my ears a bit on the sides. Like a proto-bob with bangs? Maybe.

I'm also heavily into shortening (and therefore widening) all these gorgeous old long skirts I have that don't fit anymore. They're sort of A-line so if you cut off the top ten inches or whatever and make a self-casing for elastic, you suddenly have a beautiful twirly knee-length skirt with a professional hem on it. It's fast and it turns dead weight baggage into immediately wearable clothes.

I get compliments on them all the time. How cool is that? My favorite one was: "I love your outfit! You have the best skirts and shit!" Hee. Actually I almost always wear a scoop neck black knit cotton top with 3/4 length sleeves and black cotton leggings and boots. I just vary the skirt. I mean I seriously went out and bought four nearly identical black tops. And one white one. And one olive green one. And I have the red ones I got for the WGA strike. And I have a stack of black leggings and a lot of different boots. Mix and match with skirts! And I always have some cardigan or other but I'm up and about all the time and rarely need it.

Those tops, man, they changed my getting dressed life. CJ Banks, upholstered people! I'm telling you. Great quality clothes. Very well cut, sturdy, well shaped, utterly comfortable. Unlike that other place which makes poor quality clothes covered with sequins.

So I have some skirt surgery to add to today's list of things to do. Let's start with the laundry! Okay!

I hope y'all are doing well and hanging in there and COPING and all that! January is a hard time but February is often even harder, so get yourself a heart-shaped box of chocolates (excellent against dementors) and take good care of yourselves. And try the butterbeer! Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oh, hi! Oh.

I think I moved that Ojai story to Ohio. By the way.

Gosh I'm in a finishing mood. I'm mostly burning it off on knitting, though I did make or alter a bunch of skirts. One of them was a head-scratcher because I'd measure it and it would look super short and then I'd measure again and it would be long. This is before finishing it. I was measuring to pin it up. How bizarre.

Then I wore one of my favorite skirts yesterday and it just seemed weirdly short all day long. I don't think that can actually happen, can it? Though it's possible I put it in the dryer by mistake or something. Huh.

Anyway. Productivity, man! I'm working on it! (That is a joke.)

Also work! I love having a job, no kidding. You don't appreciate the you-did-it-right-now-relax of a job until it's not there. The opposite of that many-hyphened thing is anxiety. I mean, it's the biggest check mark ever. Tied with writing. Not doing it is so very bad! Bad in the sense that you don't get that satisfaction, or money of course, and can't relax.

It's going to be somewhat intermittent for a while at least but that's okay! It lets me ease into it again. Maybe I'll even return my overdue library books on a day off like today, huh? (Maybe not.) Anyway I am thrilled no end and that's a fact. Long may such a state remain!

Actually I'm making chili again in a hands off kind of way, which just means the soaked kidney beans are cooking in Little Baby Crockpot. And while that's going on, I'm messing with various yarn and thinking about what to make and how, and knitting rows and rows of The Most Boring Rug Ever while I do it. I think I started this during the men's World Cup. Eek!

Other things on the finishing blocks:

these green/blue/purple toe-up socks on teeny tiny needles, started in the last century, dude
the aforementioned super boring rug/blanket
Deep In the Forest mittens, black trees on deep blue
the most beautiful sweater in the world, seriously annoying to knit, though

There aren't finishing blocks, I realize, but it's some combination of starting blocks and the block in Chicken Run where Mrs. Tweedy chops off Edwina's head prior to roasting her for Sunday dinner. Combine, mull, get this knitting done.

I did finish a mitered block baby blanket for Afghans for Afghans. Yay, me! Oh boy, this came out super cool. It wasn't quite the required 30x30 inches, so I started knitting along the sides, which turned into stripes, then I put mitered blocks in the corners to join the stripes together. It's red, purple, green, pink, yellow, and white. And it's completely freaking awesome. I'll take a picture and show y'all. I have to wash it, too, but they don't want baby blankets right now so there's no rush.

I'm keeping a log of everything I finish this year. I'm on the finishing rampage, I tell you what. I'm putting rows and rows into the most boring rug/blanket ever, every day, because I really want to cast on new things but I can't really do it while I have so many projects on the needles.

Knitters are laughing their heads off right now because lots of people have a TON of projects on the needles all the time and who cares? But I'm feeling finishy, as I say.

Gawain Dog decided to run straight up the mountain out the back door today, so I went with him, cup of tea in hand, little wool Mary Janes on my feets. Fortunately the ground is frozen today, not all soggy like the past few days. We ended up having a terrific time rummaging around up there in the woods. I found the eastern boundary line, for one thing, which I've been looking for. It's not marked all along its length so you can go past it and not know it. But now that I know how to find it, I can mark the rest of it. Yay!

And I made a giant bowl of veg for lunch. Oh boy, I'm getting all minimalist again with food. At least it was three types of veg: carrots, peas, corn. In a bowl. Plain. Cooked with a little salt, though!

Mostly I seem to be living on brown rice pudding (SO GOOD) and chili. I'm making more. Bliss! I even soaked the beans this time. Last time I just cooked them for about a hundred years so that when they came out of the crock pot, they were way beyond soft and heading toward dissolved.

A lot of the snow melted, most of it in fact, but there's some heinous winter storm coming tonight and tomorrow. I hope it doesn't interfere with my travels to and from work. Because unless they call to say not to go, I'm totally going. I'm ridiculously excited about work. Oh boy! Happiness!

Also, you know, since it's ME we're dealing with, I hear winter storm and think, "Wooooooo!!! Which boots should I wear? I might get to wear my newly finished hat! Oh boy!" Yes. I get excited about things. I even jump up and down for real. Oh it's true, it's all true.

Back to knitting exceedingly boring things, reading exceptionally good books, and plotting exciting things to knit next. Whee!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Overdo, overdid, overdone

It, that is. Not today. Today I staggered around going oof at irregular intervals. Oof, I said. Oof. That's because I overdid it. It got overdone! Next time, overdon't.

Mostly cutting trees, throwing gigantic tree limbs like the Hulk or a caber tosser, hauling branches and junk like that out of creeks, cutting bushes, throwing bushes, and so on. Oh my heavenly days. Do I have it? Then it hurts. And I'm so very very tired.

Today I eschewed the lumberjacking in favor of sleeping a lot and running errands. I got all these essential supplies for next week when I start work. (YAY!) The list is tickling me.

rice cakes
psych meds
panic meds
Hershey kisses

Yep. Oh and a tank of gas.

Yesterday I also made two green skirts and watched The Avengers. I enjoyed it very much but I could tell there was a huge amount of stuff going over my head. Which is an interesting experience, isn't it? But you know I love Iron Man despite the many, many issues there, and I'm having a mild Robert Downey, Jr., movie phase lately, to the point where Netflix noticed and tried to tell me to rent more of them. I demurred.

I've been sewing and knitting like mad all week to the point where my habitat was exceedingly upgefrakt, so this evening I put in some time putting a lot of stuff the hell away. Jeez! What a mess! Now it's much better. And it didn't even take that long. So weird.

I even got my full-length mirror up here so I can see what I look like in the morning when I get dressed for work, what a crazy concept.

I caught some cold thing. I don't think it has anything to do with the hours I've been spending messing around in creeks, however. It might have something to do with the neighbors heating with wood. There's wood smoke. I'm not good with smoke. However, my mom caught the same thing, so it's probably just some dumb bug.

Actually on top of that, my mom got an unholy shiner yesterday. Oh dear. It goes like this:

I vacuumed the whole house like two weeks ago, except her bedroom and office, because I knew she wouldn't want me to. But she wanted to do them, so I left the vacuum upstairs per her instructions. Then the night before last, we were digging around in her yarn trunk (aha! now you see where I get it!) for more of this ancient Red Heart wool so I can finish this mitred square blanket. Anyway, the vacuum got moved a foot out into the hallway. So when she got up yesterday and went across the hall without turning the light on, she fell over it and onto it, whacking her face on the wall, bending her glasses and giving herself a great big black eye.

And I do mean black. It's all deep dark purple all around the orbit. It's extremely dramatic. Though it took a whole day to show up, which is odd.

Strangely, she refuses to let me take a picture of it! Can you imagine?

I feel terrible, obviously, though she insists it wasn't my fault. But I also feel terrible because I heard some odd noises in the hall, told the dog to hush, and went back to sleep. Whoops. AND I didn't notice the black eye, which really didn't show up until today. I did see some redness but didn't really get how bad it was. Though she didn't really say anything and just went out and went about her errands as usual.

So not only did I cause my mother to fall and hurt herself, I was right here, ten feet away, when it happened, and didn't notice, and then still took 24 hours to notice. WAY TO GO. Not my finest performance ever in a supporting role.

I've got a bit more tidying to do (hahahahahaha understatement) and then maybe I'll watch The Avengers again and finish this blanket. I really want to see The Hulk now. I like that Ruffalo guy's take on him very much. And Loki was completely awesome.

That's the scoopage. I'm wiped out. And I have to adapt to getting up six hours earlier than I usually do, ha ha, but I'm sure it'll be fine, no problem! Meanwhile, drink plenty of fluids, rest up, try not to throw any trees around, stay out of the creeks, make some lunchy casserole things, make lovely brown rice pudding for breakfasts, and get psyched up for next week. Oh boy!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Oh, it's not from or about anything. It's just on its own. Terror, unconnected to any cause! Interesting, no?


Hmm, it was last night. I got ready for bed and everything and then coming back from the bathroom there was this gust of perfume (?) and I saw a big white misty light cloud thing by the stairs. Upon which I bolted into my room and freaked out. And then later, after I'd tried to sleep for an hour but couldn't, I had to get up to go to the bathroom but I was utterly terrified to see that light again. I was too scared to move.

Well, obviously that's when I took some excellent benzodiazepines because a) I knew perfectly well that misty cloud thing wasn't there, because I've seen things that weren't there before, and b) I was going to have to go to the bathroom eventually. It's one of those laws of nature.

I've never gotten scared by a hallucination before. Misty/cloudy things are a common theme. Once I breathed out all this sparkly gold dust, for example. At a rest area on the turnpike in Maine! So I just think, "Wow, that's cool/strange/interesting, but that's not real." And then I meditate on how bizarre it is to experience an event that I know for absolute certain isn't really happening. So strange!

The terror is new. Or rather old. Racing back from the bathroom reminded me that I spent my entire childhood gripped by mortal terror most of the time, but especially at night, especially when I had to get out of bed to go to the bathroom in a dark house.

Often I'll be sitting here in the comfy chair, the absolute picture of coziness, quilt on my lap, dog sleeping nearby, cat sleeping on the dog bed, knitting in hand, peppermint tea or whatever at hand, and I'll feel the terror rising up. FOR NO REASON. I know perfectly well there's no reason. I'm utterly safe, warm, fed. For goodness sake, my MOM is just down the hall.

So abject terror is more or less a daily affair for me. It's only today I realized how strange that is and how it really, you know, shouldn't be that way. I mean, if you're facing a mountain lion, yes. If you're not facing a mountain lion, however, no. Also if you're just thinking of mountain lions while in the woods, that is not sufficient reason to go all dry-mouthed with terror, now is it?

I saw wolf prints up in the woods today, but that was just cool, not scary. Other prints: deer, bunnies, coyotes, foxes, squirrels, porcupines.

We had the best walk in the world, me and Gawain. I took a ski pole because it's slippery. Actually I packed my bag with the following items: iphone, hatchet, cough drops, bandanna, ancient Cheerios and Triscuits that were my excuse for going in the first place, to dump them high enough on the mountain that they wouldn't bring critters down to the house.

I need to go up again with blaze orange spray paint and mark the boundary again. My dad's paint marks are fading off. And also, wheeeee, more walk in woods!

Walking in the woods in the snow: utterly no fear. Walking along the (tiny, rural, dead-end) road: moderate. Walking through Walmart? Level red critical alert, and if I don't get out fast enough, panic attack.

I wish I knew what to do to cure this. Besides acquiring an immense fortune, which I think would help. Also eating dinner, because I'm sure my brain decides how secure we (meaning me and my associated parts) are based on whether I've been eating sufficiently. And yesterday I had lunch at 3 and crustless pumpkin pie at 5 so kind of skipped dinner.

Actually I'm about to do the same thing today. Must go eat a food to tell my stomach to tell my brain that we are okay. Our ship is not sinking, our castle is not under siege.

I got some potentially awesome news today in regard to work and whatnot, but it's quite vague. Still, I think that sort of thing gets through to the brain eventually, especially if speeded on its way with cheese.

I also blame Voldemort for being incredibly scary in Goblet of Fire, the movie. And the dementors in Prisoner of Azkaban. The dementors terrify me beyond all sense.

And I think the perfume set me off yesterday. What was that? Where did that come from? Sheesh. Maybe I can disregard one sense but when two gang up on me, it's all over.

The Mayo Clinic's advice on night terrors (though actually I'm sure it's all just part of generalized anxiety disorder) is to make your situation feel secure and safe. Lock the doors, put a gate across the door, whatever you can do to convince your subconscious that nothing can get you. I don't know, that terror overrides all rational thought. It even occurred to me to get my mom last night, but I couldn't think how without going out into that hallway. Whereas really I had my phone right on the corner of the bed. I mean, if I called my mom on the phone at 1 a.m. from twenty feet away and woke her up because I had night terrors, I would NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT, justifiably so.

Dear, dear, how to stop being afraid? Talk through what actually scares you, I guess.

mean people
mountain lions
the Dursleys
car accidents
dropping my phone
being broke
screwing it all up
sucky writing
no tea
no water
no hand lotion
no animals
missing things due to being petrified
panic attacks
night terrors

Ha ha! Yes. Well. Now THAT's a heck of a thing.

I'm going back to knitting my gosling Jayne hats (oh yes!) and reading Goblet of Fire, after I eat the food of subconscious peril perception reduction. Good times.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I'm all thrilled to be doing stuff. Doing stuff! Whee!

I went around tackling neglected and bothersome and irritating tasks today, check check check.

To wit:

undecorated Christmas tree
collected Christmas decorations from around the house and put them away
watered plants with that slightly mossy water in the jug, emptying it out
cut up all the blue cloud fabric so I can finish laying out my flannel quilt
chopped and shoveled the rest of the ice off the driveway
put the last cookie cutter down with the rest of them (jeez!)
put the stand mixer away
found that yarn I needed
wrote thank you notes for Christmas
paid bills
filed all the filing
returned library books

Well, that's a lot of it. I don't know what else I did, but my mom said I inspired her to put the sheets on the guest room bed, where they've been waiting since...October?

I'm exceedingly psyched to get this flannel quilt set up. I'm ironing squares right onto the interfacing stuff, so laying it out = making it, pretty much. Except for, you know, all the WORK. Heh heh.

Actually I have to do this complicated thing where I hang the finished lengths of ironed on squares and interfacing so I can see what's where. Hang them on these big curtain rods that have to be balanced on top of the closet doors...which means probably taping the curtain rods together. Yes. It's a big operation. I think the tape might be in the car? That is a slight holdup right now.

So guess what I just opened? That bottle of black cherry Wishniak soda! I know! It's been lurking around for ages. I'm finishing up all the sugar foods as part of operation Finish Up All The Sugar Foods. And also the alcohol! Yes! I'm pleased to report huge success on the Eat All The Cookies front. And I have successfully and ecstatically enjoyed the heck out of the delicious Kahlua! I know! Who would have guessed?

The bizarre thing is that this Wishniak stuff is amazingly good. I didn't expect that, did you?

Anyway mostly in the interests of not being allergical/asthmatic/arthritic all the time, I'm returning to my usual ascetic (bahahahaha) eating habits. Okay okay, not ascetic so much as purrrrrrrre. Which I'm supposed to do all the time anyway. And I feel dreadful if I stray. So back on the path of food that won't make me ill or otherwise compromise my healthitude! Wheeeeee!

After this two liter bottle of Wishniak, that is. And the last of that vodka. Oh dear!

You should read my three favorite New Year posts! You have your Law of Sympathy, your Crazy Aunt Purl, and of course the Bloggess, who has renamed 2013 The Library because she has issues with the number 13. I am totally on board with that, not least because I get to spend the whole year in the library. Yay!

Also you should read this about what dragon tails would be like, by an actual paleontologist who does not mince words, so be prepared to read about some unenlagiine dromaeosaurids, for example. And my favorite name, Rhamphorhynchus. 

I have got to get myself a paleontologist. Where is there a paleontologist whose life will not be complete without an anxious polylinguistic nocturnal writer philologist who can hardly sit still, must be outdoors for hours every day, and knits feverishly while reading books? Dog and cat included. Indeed they are non-negotiable.

I feel certain I would get along incredibly well with paleontologists. I have fond memories of South Dakota! I know several dead languages! Call me!

Isn't a lot of the New Year thing about trying to get ourselves to do what we really really really want to do but somehow don't do? It's that troublesome gap between intention and reality. And T.S. Eliot. Who is so very depressing. Anyway I think it's incredibly admirable to try to do anything we can to narrow that gap. Live up to your expectations! Make good choices! Have some chocolate, it negates the influence of dementors!

I've been reading and watching so much Harry Potter lately, I keep imagining (and laughing at myself for it) that if I were faced with someone with a weapon of some kind, I'd yell, "Expelliarmus!" And if I had to work with dementor-type people again, which heaven knows there are a lot of out there in the world, I would yell, "Expecto patronum!" and then I would think a bunny would hop out. A bunny, right, like Luna Lovegood? Or was hers a hare? Maybe my patronus would actually be Luna Lovegood! Aha!

I've got Goblet of Fire here on dvd right now. What a strange experience, watching it. Only a few moments look at all familiar and I don't remember vast stretches of it at all. Like I didn't even remember that the Godric's Hollow and World Cup sections were even in the movie. How bizarre. I wonder if I was quilting when I watched it and didn't look up enough? But how could I forget huge sections even existed?

Also I remembered all sorts of things from the book and thought that I remembered them from the movie, so at one point I raised my big yellow cup of peppermint tea to Cedric Diggory, expecting everyone to say his name, but I was the only one! And then I said, "Why am I the only one saying his name? Didn't you people read the book?"

And then I realized I should maybe get out more. Ha ha.

Well I do plan to walk to the Amish store and buy cheese tomorrow. BIG EXCITEMENT. Unless the salt hurts puppy's paws, in which case I may well be carrying him home. Oh dear. Or we'll just walk through the fields. Bovine presence permitting.

Don't you always want to say to a bull, "Shouldn't you be in a china shop somewhere?" But bulls have absolutely no sense of humor. Sad, really.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I baffle myself, bafflingly

It's really a two part resolution type thing. And actually the two parts seem to buttress or else undercut each other, I'm not sure which. Plus there's a third part.


1. Make good choices. Everything we do happens in the right now, know what I mean? What's the right thing to do right now? When faced with these various options, do the right thing. That's the gist of it. I can get supremely overwhelmed by every little thing, don't we know it, but this kind of stop-and-choose habit should help with that by reducing decisions that seem world-changing into tiny little choices.

Otherwise, with me, it's like doing x means this whole extended high speed montage into the future, but doing y means another one entirely. And then I'm paralyzed and whimpering under the comforter.

So I'm going to work hard on making good choices in the moment. And the way to make those is back up and think, "What do I want?" That tells you which way to go. Okay.

2. Confidence. See, that's where it gets tricky. I'm basically baffled when it comes to confidence because I'm fatally empirical. Confidence is all about creating a reality and then living there. And I'm like, "Wait, but that isn't true." Except you CAN actually make things true by believing they are and acting on it. But you really really have to believe. And that to me is confidence.

Confidence will also help cure the x versus y paralysis mentioned above. I know what I want. Therefore I can make choices that will get me there.

3. FINISH THINGS. I'm sure this one relies entirely on 1 and 2 above. I'm working on it! I'm definitely working on it.

So that's my list for 2013. Make good choices, be confident, and finish things. That should pretty much set me up for every kind of major success in the book, eh? I know!

Because. Say it snows. You know that if you leave it and don't shovel, it might just melt. Or it might half melt and refreeze into four inches of solid ice, which is what happened at my sister's house because she has a bad back and her husband got sick so nobody shoveled. So you could do a lot of work for nothing, or no work and end up with a really bad situation.

The way I see it is: you don't make that bet about whether it'll melt or freeze. You shovel it. Every time. You can't make that bet because if you're wrong, you have four inches of solid ice, see what I mean? You're screwed. So you have to shovel it every single time, as soon as possible, and get it done.

I had to explain my philosophy to my mom, who didn't understand why I was out there killing myself with the snow shovel day after day when she figured she'd just wait and let it melt. And then today she said I made the right choice. But it easily could have gone the other way. But since you don't know in advance, you ALWAYS have to make that choice.

That's my whole philosophy in a nutshell, isn't it? And it explains why I always have string, safety pins, a jackknife, benadryl, etc. in my purse. And it explains why I'm crushed under all this crippling anxiety, ha ha!

Actually I'm pretty sure that's the right-choice thing in the list above. Make the right choice even when it might be sort of wasted because it might not be, eh?

I'm going to go invent some kind of sweet and spicy salmon dish for dinner. Mmmmmm! And keep on reading Harry Potter and knitting myself some mittens. Because, mittens! Yes! Knitting! Quilts! Fish! Veg! Dogs and cats! Books! These are the things I adore.