Juggling a Lot

As you have probably figured out, I have a tendency to juggle a lot. Between work, school, and my own entertainment, I have a lot on my plate. This isn’t even counting my family commitments. Yes, I am scattered.

This week, I didn’t have school because of Thanksgiving. All of my instructors told me to take the full week off. They seem to have forgotten that when I return to school, I will be starting finals. My last set of finals!

I had been putting off getting my Covid booster and my shingles vaccination, since I had several months of busy weekends, and I wanted the time to recover if needed. I finally got it done yesterday. I woke up with a headache and I have been tired for most of the day, but otherwise, I seem to be ok.

When I woke up, I realized how much I had to do for school and around the house. I have a ton of reading and writing to do for classes, and I also have several films and videos to watch for the classes, too. I started making my oral todo list, then realized that I had too much to remember. Molly, the dog, was not great at being a secretary, so I eventually got up and wrote everything down. It doesn’t look like much on paper, but each of the projects will take me several hours.

I decided to stop ignoring the blog here for a moment, since I got a few tasks on the list done and needed a little break. Just a few more weeks of school and I should be done completely! I’m making progress, but it’s slow.

I have a few book reviews to finish writing and post here, so those should be coming up soon.

It’s Been a While

I have been slacking when it comes to writing here. I have been eyeballs deep in books for school. My last two required classes for graduation came with a ton of reading. I have learned that I can catch up on only one class at a time. Both instructors understand this, so I am passing. Midterms are this week, so that means that I am halfway through my final semester. I can’t believe it went that quickly, honestly.

We’re in October which means that we are in breast cancer awareness month. If you are behind, think about getting that mammogram scheduled, and actually go!

I hope to check back in soon. I am a little behind on my reviews, but those should be popping up soon.

Some Time Away – The Days Before Departure

I had planned to take the weeks between semesters off. It ended up being just over 2 weeks. I had the shift covered for all of that time, and then I planned what I would do. I decided that I would go to the condo and just relax and hang out poolside for the first week and a couple of days. I would be away from home for 11 days. I just had to get through my final papers and pack. I had been throwing things into bags and boxes all week, so I had most of my items gathered, but not packed well. My swimsuit and toiletry bags were already in the car, since I had them ready for gym trips. There’s a washer and dryer at the condo, so it’s easy packing, but I made a list, anyway.

The day before I was scheduled to leave, I had planned to write 2 papers. One final research paper for each of the classes I was taking during summer semester. One was 2500 words, the other was 1600 words. Most of the 1600 word paper had been written over the weekend, and it just needed another hour or two to complete. The 2500 word paper needed a lot more research and to be written. Both due Friday. The 1600 word paper due at midnight. The 2500 word due at 6pm. Difficult, but not impossible. I would head home after my class that day and crank them out.

Toward the end of the very last afternoon class, I got a text from a friend who never asks for help. He needed help. He was admitted to the hospital and his family was across the country. His turtle was loose and needed to be fed, and so did his fish. I knew that I would be away, so I dropped by the hospital, tied up his loose ends, and told my daughter that she’d be turtle sitting while he was in the hospital. I had them start texting each other so that I would not have to play middleman. All settled.

I got home late because of the unplanned outing. I worked on the 2500 word paper, using part of that week’s bookclub meeting to get started. By the time bookclub was over, I had only 300 words written. This was not going well. I had a friend checking on me, since he knew bedtime for me was usually at 9 on work nights. I was updating my word count periodically. He was cheering me on. I needed that. At almost midnight, my mom came to check on me. I had 2300 words written and was going back and adding quotes. This was doable! I finished up and submitted the paper just before 1am. Well before the deadline. I went to bed and woke up 3 hours later. I looked at the directions and found that I forgot to put in one line of required information, and that I was supposed to change the font type to Times New Roman. I pulled the paper from the submission page and told myself I would deal with it after work.

I got up and went to work. I was originally planning on leaving directly from work, but because I hadn’t packed the car yet, I would have to go home before heading out to the condo. That’s fine. It isn’t really out of the way.

I got a text from my mom while I was at work. She wanted to know where my friend’s keys were since he wanted something from his house. I’m at work. My daughter has the keys. I can’t really do much about this from work. Long story short, I would have to come home, move a car so it wouldn’t be on the street for street cleaning, get my stuff, drop my friend’s stuff off at the hospital, go to the sourdough shop for mom and my daughter, pick up my daughter’s prescriptions, get gas, and have lunch before heading to the condo. At least I didn’t need to be at the condo at a certain time, because there was a large concert going on near home, and I had to pass traffic for it on my way out of town.

I got home. I got the car mostly packed. I realized that it was getting late and I needed to fix my paper and resubmit it. I got it sent off and I did a little bit of the 1600 word paper, since I had the laptop out. I got it to the point where I knew I had only about a half hour left of it. It wasn’t due until midnight, and it was only 3pm at this point. I was going to hit traffic no matter what.

I headed out to the hospital. My friend was asleep when I got there. I tried to drop off the stuff and leave, but he woke up. I chatted for a few minutes and ran off. He knew I was headed out of town. I stopped to get gas and went to the post office to pick up mail. It wasn’t on my list, but it was near the sourdough place, so I figured I might as well get it done. I got the bread and called my daughter to ask her to make me lunch, since I forgot about it when I was home. I would trade her the bread for the lunch. I wandered off to the pharmacy and there was only one person in line in front of me. Thankfully.

I ran home, used the bathroom, traded the bread for my lunch, was given something to mail and headed on my way! I got about a half mile from home and stopped. Concert traffic. But, I was on my way! 4 hours late, but one paper was submitted and I was moving in the right direction.

To be continued…

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up for required reading for school. I had attempted to read it when it was part of On City One Book when it first was published, but I got sidetracked and never got to it.

I had a hard time following the story and who the main character was writing to. Even once I figured it out, I still wasn’t thrilled with the book. It read more like fiction than a memoir to me.

View all my reviews

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

In the Dream House

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up as required reading for one of my classes. I enjoyed most of the book. It delved into issues with same-sex relationships being similar to opposite-sex relationships in some not so fun ways.

The layout of the book was interesting and I know that some subtleties we missed because I hadn’t read the book that the author was referring to, or had no knowledge of a topic that she discussed. The book was still very good and worth reading.

View all my reviews

Almost Missed a Step

I am taking summer classes in order to graduate as early as possible. The problem with summer classes is that the semesters are so short – 5 weeks long. The assignments are due several times a week, and they seem to come quickly.

I was supposed to have written 2 papers that were due on Sunday at midnight, but I had a long day on Saturday, getting organized, so I fell asleep early without the papers being written. I ended up writing the papers during my sleep intermission.

I submitted one paper right after I wrote it, but the other paper needed to be sent in with a specific format, so I had to email it to myself and then submit it. It would have to wait until I turned on my laptop again.

Sunday afternoon, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t turned in the paper. All of the work was done, but it hadn’t been submitted. Thankfully, I remembered with plenty of time to spare, or I would have been mad at myself.

Halfway through the first summer term!

Nearly There

I’ve been neglecting the blog for a few weeks. Between school and work, I just haven’t had the creative energy to write for me.

I just got all my grades from Spring semester, and it looks like I’m well on my way on the path to graduation.

I should be catching up soon. I have been reading, but haven’t published reviews. They will be coming.

Six Books Behind

Goodreads informed me that I’m six books behind on my annual goal. Yes. I’m falling behind after a great start to the year.

I have several books started and I’ve almost finished many of them. I just haven’t been pushing myself to do my for me reading. I need to remember to get some of these books done, too.

I’m coming up on finals week, so I’m going to fall a little further behind before moving forward. Summer session might be a little breather, or it might be a little more difficult than expected. I’m going to try to use the week between Spring and Summer sessions to breathe and take a little vacation. Hopefully a book or two will be finished on this breathing time.

Happy mother’s day!

Today is the second day of the Bay Area book festival. I didn’t go yesterday because I went to the ceremony to honor Buster Posey before the Giants game. I was supposed to go to the ballet after the game, but I ended up skipping it.

Because of the fact that today’s mothers day and that I have a ton of stuff to do for school, I think I’m skipping the book festival today.

I had a rough week of school following a weekend away, so a lot of stuff backed up.

I think I’m going to be spending mother’s day by doing the grocery shopping and writing school papers. I have one due tomorrow and four other papers due later this week. I still have reading and film watching to do for the papers, so I think I’m going to have to adult today.

Mother’s day gift from my daughter

Back at the Easel

I’m nearing the end of the semester. I was assigned a creative exercise for one of my classes. I thought and thought and finally figured out that I had all the equipment for a painting.

I made a fruit basket based on one of the poems we read, and using an abstract technique. I had to do an artist statement that included comments about the help from the animals. Hopefully the grade will be a passing grade.

As always, there’s a story. I had help with my painting. Molly decided to taste test the brushes. Just a lick of a clean brush was enough. She moved on to the chair for nap and observation time.

Later, when I had my music going, I forgot that I had an open tube of red paint in my hand. I was singing along, talking to Molly and moving to the music. Before too long, I had dripped paint onto the floor and into a box. It ended up all over. I closed the lid and cleaned up what I could. Paint was everywhere, especially on my hands. I called for help because my extra rags were in the drier and I didn’t want red paint on the clean clothes.

I managed to keep the paint off everything else. I cleaned up but still had paint under my cuticles for a few days. At least it was not on clothes or door knobs.

When it came to taking the photo, I had to enlist help. You can see my assistant’s finger impressions on the upper parts of the painting, since she was holding it from the back, so we could get the lighting with minimal background.

Now I get to finish up one more paper for this class and then I’m done with this class. One step closer to graduation. I’m checking things off the todo list slowly but surely.