I’m being very quiet these days, because I’m exhausted.
I remember this. It’s what the beginning of fibro felt like. The kind of zoning out, the physical exhaustion, the inability to hold a thought in my head past a certain period of time. I’m irritable as a result of all of this. I have a constant low-grade headache, and my body is starting to hurt again. I’m not sure how to relax, because a lot of my time is just spent sitting there, trying to interact with my children or fold laundry, and not getting very far. I’ve forgotten how to enjoy myself again, because it’s kind of a weary triumph when I just get through doing the regular stuff. I wonder if I need to try to start the “yay me I accomplished these things today” posts again. It would serve to get me journaling more often, and to show me that I am accomplishing things, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I need to consciously start implementing my fibro-coping mechanisms again, starting with my expectations and limits for my daily activity.
I’ve had time off from work, thank goodness. After a crazy few months, I’ve had a couple of weeks of evenings and naps to myself, and I’m so grateful. I don’t know how I’d handle it otherwise.
I’m reading a bit every day, which is nice. I’m almost finished Guy Gavriel Kay’s new River of Stars, and as usual, I don’t know how I feel about it. Kay has vaguely frustrated me a bit over the past few books for reasons I can’t pinpoint, and every time I read one I decide it will be my last… then every time I read an excerpt of the next one and the poetic prose just sucks me in. I disliked the Sarantine Mosaic duology when it came out, but now I think it’s my favourite of all his works. Funny how one’s opinions change.
I’m sending a box of handmade projects to a swap partner from my mums’ group today, and working on that has been lovely. I can’t say any more than that until she’s received it, but I pushed some of my boundaries and skills making the items, and explored new techniques, and I’m pleased with it. Even with the last-minute wibbling about one project, redoing it, and deciding in the end to send the first version after all.
I finally got around to making an appointment to drop in at the local spinning and weaving studio that’s been open for over two years, and it was glorious. Oh my goodness, I will never have to shop online again! There were shelves and shelves of silks, cottons, flax, wools of all sorts, and luxury fibres like yak, camel, and alpaca, which I’d never touched on their own, only as blends. She has two full-size floor looms set up, six wheels, and lots of swifts and rigid heddle looms and carders all over the place. There were cones and cones of cones of weaving yarn, dyes, spindles… I wanted to move in. I could have easily spent so much more than I did. She was so patient with Owlet, too, who wanted to touch all the things. Especially the packets of ginned and dyed cotton that she kept picking up and squishing, saying “skish, skish,” and the huge skeins of handspun she picked up and cuddled, saying “soft, soft.”
We actually had to go two days in a row, because I’d forgotten to take money out of the bank to pay for my order the first day, so we went back. Owlet stopped at every dandelion plant along the sidewalk and yanked off the flower tops, then gave them all to the woman who runs the studio. And she told me she hosts a spin-in once a month on a Sunday, and invited me! Unfortunately, the next one isn on a group cello class day, so I’ll have to wait for the next one.
Owlet is great, Sparky is great (he has a school concert tomorrow afternoon, and I hope everything works out; HRH’s parents are coming to stay with Owlet so I can attend, and then I think there should be a Mama-Sparky treat afterward), I have a new-to-me spinning upright wheel that was a crazy good deal (thank you, enormous tax refund allowing me to give myself a little treat amid paying debts) and HRH has a new-to-him iPhone that we’re trying to set up (ditto the treat, but grr, technology and things not talking to other things). We are a single-cat household for the first time in… well, ever, actually, since I had to take Cricket in to the vet to be euthanised two weeks ago. She’d stopped eating and drinking, and you could almost see through her; it was just time.
That’s about it. Trudging along.
Now that the weather’s nice, we get multiple requests for “Ousside? Ousside?” each day. When we are ousside, she mucks about in the dirt of the garden, inspects every flower (or “flowerfly,” if you are Owlet), giggles on the swing till she hiccoughs, picks up rocks and carries them to new places, and picks up as many sticks as she can till her hands are full. And then she stands and stares at the ones in her hands, wondering what to do with them, because there’s another stick on the ground, right there, and if she lets go of the bouquet of sticks with one hand to reach for it the ones she’s holding will fall, and that will be a crisis of unimaginable proportion.
She adores pine cones, dandelions, standing on manhole covers and crouching down to poke her fingers in the grooves and holes, and stopping to talk to random people on the sidewalk. One of her latest obsessions is the small bell tower around the corner. We can see it from our back porch, as a matter of fact. Every day as we pull into the driveway she asks two things: “Flowerflies?” If I tell her no, we can’t spend half an hour in the front garden examining every single flower that is currently in bloom, she asks, “Bayels?” We walked once to the church to look at the bells, and now she asks to do it several times a day. Most of the time it’s a nice way to kill twenty minutes, especially in the early morning after we’re back from dropping Sparky off at school, but sometimes I have stuff to do, and it’s not a convenient time.
She is also currently enthralled with bugs of all kinds. She is especially fond of bees; bee-bugs (which are ladybugs); fufferfies (we get this one mixed up with flowerflies a lot, to her frustration); and nails (snails: she pointed at the spiral in Ceri’s seal tattoo the other day and informed her that there was a snail in it). We have recently managed to get her to understand that the buzzing sound in the sky is not a bee, but a plane. Mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumber are the best snacks ever. Unless there are goldfish crackers in the house. Then all bets are off.
New words are too numerous to keep track of any more. Monster, snail, loom, sit, sauce, pizza, dip, snack, bite (“Bite?” she says hopefully when she sees you eating something, and she offers you bites of whatever she is eating, too… also to the cat, whether he is there or not), diaper, people, sure (it is hilarious to ask her if she wants something and to hear a laid-back “Shuuuure!” in reply), and phrases like “here you go” chirped every time she puts something down by you. About six weeks ago she started calling me Mummy instead of Mama, and it’s rarely once at a time; it’s usually Mummy, Mummy, Mummy. Today I asked her, “Do you want to help me?” “Help you? Shuuuure!” she said. That’s huge, being able to turn the pronoun around from “me” to “you” and use it correctly like that.
She wakes up around 6:30, has lunch around 11:30, and has a nap from roughly noon till 2:00. Then we go get Sparky at school for 3:45, have supper around 6:00, and she’s in bed by 7:00. When she wakes up from naps she calls for Gryff (“Maow! Maow!”) and I open the door for him. He runs in and they get all excited, because the next thing I do is lift the cat into the crib, and the two of them lie there and talk to one another. Owlet covers him with blankets, asks me for some books and reads to him, or just lies down and cuddles with him until he’s had enough. It’s really sweet. The two of them play an odd game of Marco Polo in the house, too. If Gryff is somewhere and meows, Owlet will meow back, and the Gryff will reply, and they’ll carry on like that for a while.
We cut out the bottle or cup before her nap entirely; now it’s just snuggling with the soother till she’s asleep, which is usually in about five minutes, and then I slip her into the crib. (We do the opposite at bedtime: a couple of ounces of milk still, then into bed awake, although we need to switch that milk over to a cup of water now). Over this summer we need to start weaning her off the soother before naps, because she won’t have it at daycare.
She’s still incredibly social. When we drive to or from school, she waves to bus drivers (“Hello, peoples!”), and blows kisses to the drivers around us as we pull away from red lights. She’s cheerful, likes to make sure everyone gets hugs and kisses when people leave (family hugs are particularly important before Daddy goes to work in the morning), and shares everything with everyone, but expects the same in return. (You weren’t going to eat half that bowl of pasta, were you? Or that scone? Or drink that cup of tea?).
Life continues tumbling pell-mell along.
The concert was lovely. It went better than it should have for me, considering that I have zero time in which to practice. We had a huge house, probably due to the fact that our conductor was our oboe soloist for the opening concerto, and we also played one of his original compositions that hasn’t been played locally (either ever, or in a long time). Lots of friends showed up to share the evening, which was lovely, too. I do wish that my intonation wouldn’t go out the window after intermission, though. I sit on the outside of our section, which means right next to the audience, and I hate that those people can hear precisely how off I get in the second half.
Our accountant handled our tax returns with grace and aplomb again this year, and we filed electronically for the first time. As a result, we got our refunds (substantial!) within two weeks. We are paying bills madly and loving it. It’s a huge relief to hack away at debt.
Both HRH and I went for annual checkups with our new family doctor, who noted some oddities in my exam and sent me for an appointment with a specialist. I was fine about it until the night before, when the potential repercussions finally sank in. Fortunately, the specialist checked me out, and said, “Um, I’m not seeing what your GP saw at all. You look perfectly healthy to me. We’ll wait for results of this test, but I’m pretty sure you’re clear.” So more relief!
I ordered books when my last freelance cheque arrived. So far I have torn through Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal and Incarnate by Jodi Meadows in less than a week. I have Elizabeth Bear’s and Seanan McGuire’s new books waiting to be read next, and the new Guy Gavriel Kay on reserve at the library, too.
We picked up our free tree for the city this weekend, and got a bonus little white lilac. All the trees have leaves starting to bud, and the birds are very happy indeed. HRH has doubled the size of the vegetable garden, and is starting to draw up plans for the new fence he’ll be building this summer. Owlet is thrilled to be playing “osside,” and keeps herself very busy carrying pieces of gravel all over the place and squirrelling them away. HRH found a handful in the watering can this morning, and I found about half a cup in Sparky’s butterfly net. She’d have slept with a rock last night if we’d let her; it was very difficult getting it out of her grubby little fist.
Work is all-consuming, and while going well, it’s draining. The lack of down time in which my brain can relax is really having a negative impact on my quality of life in general. I got a raise a couple of weeks ago in recognition of the “consistently thorough and thoughtful work I do,” which was absolutely lovely to hear. Also wonderful is the confirmation that Owlet is registered for three days a week of daycare in Sparky’s old centre starting at the end of summer, so all I have to do is get through the next three months of working during naps and evenings, and then I will have three workdays a week. No more working nights and naps, and not getting enough sleep! (There was stress and angst surrounding the whole daycare thing, because we’d been on a waiting list and due to start this fall after Owlet turned two, and then suddenly a bunch of the kids who were going to leave were staying on, and the daycare director’s schedules and plans were all thrown up in the air. She worked it all out, bless her, by opening a second private daycare.)
I registered Sparky for summer camp this past week. He had so much fun last year for the two-week session he did that thanks to Nana’s help again, he’s doing two sessions this summer. He’s started doing provincial testing at school, and thank goodness he’s not of an age where that means stress yet. He keeps coming home and casually saying things like, “We did exam stuff in math today, and I got it all right.” His cello bow snapped about a month ago (we theorize that there was an existing fracture, because the way it broke was at odds with how it fell) and his replacement arrived two weeks ago. We’ve had a recent breakthrough with reading sheet music, hand placement, and bow management, so he’s suddenly sounding much better than he was at the beginning of the year. He’s chosen piano for his music class at camp, so we shall see how that goes.
There’s been a bunch of knitting and spinning, but I don’t have time to post that. Sometime this week, maybe. After I hand my latest project in, that is.
In recognition of the fact that I have been terrible at posting information about upcoming concerts in decent time to allow people to make plans…
Hey, everyone! Our summer concert happens on July 1! Mark your calendars now! Unless things have changed drastically, it start either at 19h30 or 20h00 and take place at St-Joachim church in Pointe-Claire Village, located right on the waterfront at 2 Ste-Anne Street, a block and a half south of Lakeshore Road.
We will be presenting a programme with a dance theme. I know there is a Tchaikovsky waltz, some Strauss, some Dvorak, the Capriol suite by Peter Warlock (yay!), and there will be more.
So there you have it. No one can say I didn’t give them enough lead time on this one.
Apparently, my fracturing time sense has affected my perception of the timing of journal entries, as well as my sense of when the next concert is actually taking place. I mentioned my next orchestra concert in passing here a week and a half ago, and then was convinced that I had ages of time in which to post a dedicated entry with more details. And yeah, that hasn’t happened. (People with a better grip on time may also have noticed that I am five days late on Owlet’s 20-month update, too. Allow me to say: Zero spare time, workingworkingworking, it will be up soon and backdated for your reading and viewing pleasure.)
So yeah, orchestra. Hey, there’s a spring concert! And it’s, um, this Saturday!
Take a look at this lovely evening of a Serenade to Spring:
Albinoni: Oboe Concerto, op. 7 no 3 (soloist: Stewart Grant)
Elgar: Serenade for string orchestra
Elgar: Chanson du Matin
Beethoven: Symphony. no. 2
Sparky is absolutely fascinated that our conductor is going to be the oboe soloist for the first piece. How is he going to conduct and play, he wants to know? (I have told him that it is a mystery, and he will just have to wait and see.) We are also playing a piece composed by our conductor, his Sinfonietta co-commissioned by the Oakville and Brampton Chamber Orchestras. It is a very bright piece, with great rhythm and movement in the melodic lines
The concert is taking place at 7:30 PM on Saturday April 13 2013 at Valois United, our orchestra’s home, which is at 70 Belmont Ave (corner King) in Pointe-Claire. Admission is $10, free for children 18 and under. The concerts usually last just about two hours, including the refreshment break. There are driving directions and public transport info on the church website. Children of all ages are very welcome.