30 November 2012

November -- Done!

Hello Friends!  Gosh, I've missed you all!

Made it!  Survived and WON at NaNoWriMo.  I have written over 50,000 words this month, almost all of them about my mom.  And about me and my mom.  And our family.  And, and, and.  It's a lot of words, but it just begins to scratch the surface of what I want to say about her.  Still, it's a start.

What else is going on?

For the last year and a half I have been on my own schedule, stumbling through life.  For the couple of decades before that I had been getting up painfully early to be to work before dawn's early crack.  This let me be home in the afternoon when I was raising the Kid.  Well, when my mom got sick and I started taking care of her in the mornings, I no longer had to set my alarm to get up.  That was nice.  Real nice.  It's now been a year since my darling mumsey left me, but did I go back to my previous early morning schedule?  I did not.  In fact, I forgot how to set my alarm clock!  No kidding.  I had to download instructions online this week.  I had to be to work early one day and I was damned if I could remember how to set the thing.  Ridiculous, I know.  You don't get to toss out the alarm clock until you retire!

One thing I will need the alarm for is to get my lazy ass out of bed and back to the gym.  I stopped going on a regular basis this summer.  We had a big upsurge in busy-ness at work and besides that I was riding my bike to work.  So, I felt ok about not going.  Now, however, the rainy season has set in and I just don't feel like commuting in a downpour, spending all day feeling damp, and then riding home in the pitch black, wet night.  Just doesn't sound like a good time to me.  So, it's back to the gym before work.  Hence the alarm clock and it's mechanical intricacies.

Here's a big thing.  You probably remember from my whining about it that I don't love my job and have made up my mind to explore other options.  I've been giving this topic a lot of thought over the past year or so, and have come to a decision.  I am going to go back to school and get a degree in Engineering.

Let's let that sink in for a minute, shall we?


I can just imagine that stunned look on your faces.

It may sound crazy, and it may indeed be crazy, but I'm going to go for it.  I have some ideas about small scale energy generation and I would like to learn the theory and practice of how to make it work.  Actually, I have some ideas about other projects as well, and I'm really looking forward to taking them beyond the idea phase.  I'm excited about it!

But, engineering requires a whole lot of math.  In my previous scholastic career, I studied plant biology.  There was some math involved in that but I didn't have to go beyond algebra, trigonometry and statistics.  So, I'll have to do calculus.  I AM NOT AFRAID!  She shouted to the Universe...

I'm planning on doing a self-study refresher through the Khan Academy and then I'll take the math placement test at the University.  I am totally cool with repeating the basics because I think it will be important to really understand the nuts and bolts of this stuff.

So, that's what's going on with me in a nutshell.

Just to catch you up on the day to day stuff, here's a little overview of the past month or so.

  • The end of October was the one year anniversary of my mom's death.  My daughter came down from Seattle and she and I, my dad and my younger brother got together for a little ... what ... 'acknowledgement' might be the best word for it.  The kid and Pop and I had a lovely tea using all the best china.  Later the kid and Pop and I polished silver together and talked about mumsey.  The last day of her visit was when my brother joined us and we all sat down at the table together.  It wasn't enough for me, but at least it was something.

  • Thanksgiving came and went.  We had six at the table and it was generally pleasant.  My dad and brother came, Zoe and her man, and me and T.  I had lots of help in food preparation and everything turned out well.  Sent leftover home with everyone so that we didn't feel obligated to eat all that stuff.

  • Speaking of eating, I gained back a couple of pounds over the holiday but overall I am still down 20 pounds since starting Weight Watchers.  Still losing!  Back to the gym should help with that...

  • The gf and I are getting along moderately well.  I'll settle for that right now.  We've got that other holiday coming up though and her mom is expecting her to be there.  I don't really feel like going - especially since they don't much like me after my outburst of this summer.  I would stay home, gladly, but T's feelings would be hurt and I don't need to do that.  I am still debating whether or not I can do it.  Undecided.

  • New furnace.  Ouch.  The house is nice and toasty warm and we have the latest thing in thermostats (the Nest), but man oh man was that sucker expensive.  Oh the joys of home-ownership.
I think that's it.  The large and small and in between.  I hope you are all doing well.  I've been reading your blogs when I can and when you post... haven't heard from some of you for as long as you haven't heard from me.  I guess it just goes like that sometimes.  

Let's all catch our breath before the next onslaught.  December starts TOMORROW!