Thursday, July 28, 2016

Semi-annual Blog Post

Looks like this blog is getting more and more neglected. That's because life is getting better and better - and busier. I'm still working at the same job, and it has indeed become fun again, although I did come very, very close to quitting again at one point. In the end, I decided to take Microsoft Office 2013 courses at home, and work on getting certified. That way I will have options at my disposal if the situation becomes ridiculous again. The last thing I want is a setback. I can get another job any time, but I want it to be a job that pays the same or better. For that, I need Office proficiency. In the meantime, we have a pretty good dynamic in the current employees, and hopefully it will stay that way for a while.

Our new deck has been a great blessing, although we haven't had much chance to invite people over. The weather went from chilly to hot within a very short time, late in the spring. And with the absence of the giant tree limb that destroyed the old deck, we discovered that the new deck was directly underneath the favorite twilight hangout of every flock of starlings that comes through here. So any attempt to venture outside on a lovely spring evening was met with bird crap. Lots of it. By the time the little buggers moved on, the weather was most definitely on to summer and the mosquitoes were out. Stinkers. However, the kids have really enjoyed it during the day as a play area, and Whiz Kid especially will sit out there under the overhang in any weather - with his iPod. Not quite what I had in mind lol. We also have a little electric grill out there which I use regularly. It's especially handy in the hot weather, when just turning on a stove cap is enough to overwhelm our Brave Little Air Conditioner. I love the deck as much as I dislike the apartment. Best of all, I can breathe on it...

I'm not sure what's going on with Scouts. Whiz Kid transitioned to Boy Scouts in March, despite his protests; I told him to wait until he'd gone camping to say he wasn't interested. I kept telling him that all through Webelos, too. So he went on the summer camping trip the first week out of school. He didn't want to continue. As disappointing as it was, I let him drop out. Being a part of Scouting is something I really enjoy, but it isn't fair to make him do something simply because I want to identify with him doing it. I always resented that in my own upbringing and I won't do that to him.

Little Bear (who is definitely not little any more!) is still technically in Cub Scouts, provided the pack hasn't dissolved without notice. Our last committee meeting of the year, and our planning meeting, were both canceled at the very last minute without any real reason being given. When I started asking about it I got a lot of indirect, vaguely accusatory finger-pointing in response from one party, and a total silence from the rest. I really don't know why I'm even on the committee since no one has ever bothered to tell me anything. I was told I had to be on it in order to qualify for financial assistance, and they've had me handle some paperwork, but it seems that no one thinks I'm enough of a committee member to actually be involved in any discussions away from the meetings (which are apparently the ones where the big decisions are made), so what am I doing there? This year I will be paying for his membership fees myself, and I'm not sure if I'll stay - assuming there's still a pack, like I said. I had finally offered to fill one of two positions, neither of which I'm sure I have the time for, but they said both were very important and had to be filled. I've heard nothing back since. Not a word. Nothing to indicate which of the two they want me to take, or whether they are going to recharter at all. I have a strong feeling that our pack has been invaded by some political BS that I want no part of. I may simply switch to another one farther away. I don't need this nonsense. How shallow and arrogant do you  have to be to criticize the way a VOLUNTEER does their job? Because apparently, this all started with someone deciding that someone else was wrong for the position they were in, and demanding they step down - without finding a replacement first. Thanks a lot. Maybe the complainer can go work for the Trump campaign. It runs pretty well on shortsightedness and belligerence.

No, I'm not voting for either the rabid wolverine or the viper, in case you're wondering. I refuse to be forced into a choice between death by poison or death by dismemberment. This election is a terrible joke that won't end. I'm voting for Gary Johnson, and I could care less who stands a better chance or any such foolishness. We all stand a pretty high chance of being totally screwed no matter who wins. At least my conscience will be clear.

This summer has been so much easier than previous summers for me. Two months ago, I started taking a nutrition supplement called "Thrive" that my brother and cousin are always raving about, and it's done wonders! I take only one capsule a day instead of two, since I know I'm sensitive to things, and it's working fine that way. It's insanely expensive, and the part of me that hates waste is annoyed by the high cost. But it works. You can't argue with results. I'm spending nearly $150/month on vitamins now, for myself and the kids, which seems outrageous. But every time I try to stop, we suffer. It's keeping me focused at work and in a better mood at home, and I'm sleeping much better than I ever did. Plus, I no longer get sick in the heat! I can function, even at 90 degrees! So it's a small price to pay when seen that way.

This fall I'm going to take swimming lessons. My godmother has a pool and has encouraged me to learn, so I'll give it a shot. I don't think it will be too bad. It's the scheduling more than anything that was a problem, and the Y has a time that works for me this fall. I'm looking forward to it.

We've visited the kids' dad a few more times. He's about 7 hours away now, so it's not easy. But it's in an area where there are lots of things to do, and we have a reciprocal membership through a local museum that gets us into a few places out there. It could be worse. Plus it's a treatment facility within the prison system, and he actually seems to be getting better. That's encouraging for his future relationship with them. Only time will tell. On our last trip we went camping, and it worked out well. The weather was great, we found a really nice campground, and it's not far from an Orthodox monastery I'd wanted to visit for a while. So we stopped there. It was a really good trip, much better than I ever thought it would be. I'm not so put off by the thought of going again, now that we have other reasons to be there too.

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