Today I am thankful...
- that I was able to get Molly (our Chevy Bolt) down the (snow-covered) driveway and on the charger Tuesday;
- for our newly-installed charger, that can charge Molly from empty in nine-and-a-half hours, as opposed to fifty;
- that I was able to get Molly up out of the driveway yesterday, and do some grocery shopping and drug running between snowstorms;
- that Colleen's appointment in Freeland was cancelled (just as she was in the process of cancelling it herself);
- that I was able to retrieve Desti after the silly creature decided to go out in the snow;
- that I was able to get a couple of songs written for FAWM (whether I will manage to write any more remains to be seen);
- for Boot-Repair.
How did it get to be Thursday again so fast? Today I am grateful for...
- FAWM.ORG for giving me a reason to get off my butt and do something creative...
- ... and also giving me an incentive to put Coffee, Computers and Song up on Bandcamp...
- ... and that it hasn't started yet, so I can be grateful for it without knowing whether I will actually have any creativity to be grateful for next week.
- The electricians, who are finally installing the car charger outlet, and the outlets in the garage that I expect to be plugging shop lights into.
- As always, my family...
- ... including our quadrupedal family members.
Today I am grateful for
- A callback from a prospective employer. (I still don't really expect this to go much farther, and I suspect that any job at this point in my life is a stretch, but we'll see.)
- The occasional recruiter on LinkedIn
- Family members getting the health care they need.
- Housemates. (Continuing the household tradition of taking in stray puppies and lost sheep.)
- The Ultimate Rain Sound Generator, which includes a very effective conversation-blocker setting.
- Ginger and dark chocolate, for throat-soothing.
- Just possibly, getting off my arse and doing stuff.
So this is my first gratitude post of 2019. That ought to be good for something, but I'm not sure what.
- I'm grateful to the universe that I'm still alive.
- I'm grateful to 2018, mainly for being over. Not much else.
- I'm grateful to Colleen, my wife of 43 (as of today) years, for not murdering me. (I'm pretty sure she's thought about it.)
- I'm grateful that today's windstorm seems to have abated without causing a power outage.
- I'm grateful to our cats for being patient with my rather meager grasp of their language.
Feeling scared and not particularly grateful this week; we'll have to see what I come up with.
- I got some nice presents on Christmas. You know who you are. Many thanks.
- Colleen, who somehow manages to put up with me.
- I'm really grateful to my Mom, who has been providing some financial assistance (out of my inheritance). I'm not the first one in the family she's helped -- both my kids and my nephew have benefited from her generosity.
- I'm no-end grateful to my sister N, who came up from Seattle to visit for nearly two weeks. (Does it count as a visit if this is her real home and she's only living in Seattle temporarily because Reasons? Whatever; I'll take it.)
- Cat cuddles. We have excellent cats.
- Grandmother in the Kitchen -- I don't know how long Colleen has had that cookbook, but we've gotten a lot of good use out of it, Especially the Yorkshire pudding recipe.
- ... and I guess, since this is the last Thankful Thursday of 2018, I ought to be grateful to have survived it.
Thursday I was thankful for:
- our gas stovetop
- the UPS that kept my internet connection up for a couple of hours
- my phone's mobile hotspot
- laptops with decent batteries
- a remote server I can sync with
- N staying with us through Boxing Day
- sunshine, at least -- bright and sunny even with the current windstorm
Today, I am thankful for:
- the return of power, water, phone service, and internet (The cell tower lost power just as I was preparing to post this.)
- an electric car that can be used as an emergency UPS
Extra points to anyone who recognizes today's music.
Oh, right. Thursday. Today's gratitudes include...
- Colleen finishing her two-week course of IV antibiotics. She has her central line out (her veins have been so overused that they can't even use a PICC anymore) and is much more comfortable.
- Desti has had no complications or even apparent discomfort from having her teeth cleaned and the big fluid-filled cyst on her shoulder removed. She get her sutures out Monday.
- Additional gratitude to our cats. We have wonderful cats.
- My singing teacher, Nancy Nolan, who among other things has convinced me to capo up two or three frets on most songs.
- My friends here on Dreamwidth, with a special call-out to jesse_the_k for this post pointing me at Fan Is A Tool-Using Animal and some of the things it points to -- great read. Watch out for the rabbit-hole.
- Back-handed thanks to Tumblr for driving more users to Dreamwidth, inciting some fascinating posts (vide supra), and giving me something interesting to post about tomorrow.
- Slack, which plays a significant role in holding our bilocated family together.
- Damnation with faint praise to Medicare.
It's (American) Thanksgiving, so this is the day when I try to include an extra helping of gratitude and maybe add a few explanations. So here we go: Today I'm grateful for...
- my family, the Rainbow Caravan: my wife Colleen, my sister N, her husband G, my niblings j and m, and our housemate L. The extended family: our kids Chaos and Emmy, the Niblings' other parents, assorted cousins, and most especially my Mom and N's parents.
- our feline family members: Desti, Ticia, Cricket, Bronx, and Brooklyn.
- all of my friends on and off the net. Present company explicitly included.
- our health -- or at least the good parts. Despite serious crises for many of us, we are all still alive and more-or-less functional. No thanks to our assorted conditions -- we are alive in spite of them. Or should that be "to spite them"?
- modern drugs and medical technology, without which many of our respective health conditions would have been fatal rather than merely harrowing.
- our medical insurance, what there is of it. Because we live in the US, the above-mentioned modern medicine is overpriced and incompletely covered, but at least it's mostly covered. No thanks to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries and their paid lackeys in Congress.
- music: the filk community, my bandmates N and m, and the songs -- notably "The Mary Ellen Carter" and "Bells of Norwich" -- that get us through rough times.
- modern computing technology, particularly the communication protocols and software that tie our household together: TCP/IP, HTTP, ssh, slack, signal, firefox, and dreamwidth, among others. Also noteworthy are git and rsync, each of which has saved my arse more than once.
- the GNU project for emacs, make, and bash; Don Knuth for TeX, Leslie Lamport for LaTeX, Linus Torvalds for linux and git, and IBM for the Thinkpad keyboard.
- Whidbey Island.
NaBloPoMo stats: 13281 words in 24 posts this month (average 553/post) 328 words in 1 post today
Today I'm grateful for:
- My family; especially Mom
- Our cats, and our cats' vet
- Companies that have given me a phone screen and haven't rejected me yet
- My health (because what there is of it is still better than my housemates', which says something, but I'm not sure what)
- Still having things to learn.
NaBloPoMo stats: 9716 words in 16 posts this month (average 607/post) 84 words in 1 post today
Today I am grateful for
- My family, the whole crazy lot of us,
- A chance to sing with N and m -- adding m to the group makes a huge difference.
- New (for us) songs to work on -- "Ripple" and "Mother I Climbed".
- Taking back the House -- not enough, but a start.
- Scheduled interviews (for jobs I seriously doubt whether I can do, but my judgement is notoriously poor in that direction).
- The World Wide Web.
NaBloPoMo stats: 4322 words in 9 posts this month (average 480/post) 109 words in 1 post today
Hmm. Today I'm grateful for
- not being out of money yet,
- online courses I can take,
- a housemate, L, who can do things sometimes when I'm not up to it,
- the household cats: Colleen, Ticia, and Desti,
- L's new T-Mobile femtocell (which doesn't help me and Colleen, but we have signal from AT&T; the rest of the family is on T-Mob and our house is in a dead zone)
Is it Thursday already? Where did the week go? Today I'm thankful for...
- A phone interview scheduled for next week,
- A cat who reminds me when it's bedtime (not to mention dinner time -- thank you Ticia),
- Non-employers who get rejections back to me quickly (I know, sort of back-handed),
- A bug that I should have figured out sooner, but was ultimately successful at finding (will make a decent blog post),
- Strongly-typed languages, in which 3+1 is always equal to 4 and not 31,
- The ability to concentrate on a problem for hours on end (which is something of a double-edged axe).
I'd be thankful for hope, if I had any.
Today I am thankful for...
- The cats. Especially the one sitting in my lap and purring. Thank you, Desti.
- People who like my songs. Especially, people who like my songs enough to sing them.
- A daughter with initiative. (That would be the younger one.)
- Being able to spend entire days programming. I was worried.
- New skills I can learn.
Today I am grateful for:
- People who post interesting things on their journals,
- A mostly-recovered thumb (I hope; not pushing -- or bending -- it much right now),
- Music, especially after doing something stressful,
- My singing teacher,
- Getting stuff done, even if it's only a fraction of what needs doing,
Today I am thankful...
- That Colleen is back at home after a week and a half of hospital and rehab,
- That Colleen's rehab was in Coupeville and not Everett,
- For Vivian,
- For friends, and a chance to meet dialecticdreamer in realspace.
- For my family,
- That I can still learn new programming languages,
- For rain.
Today I am grateful for:
- Colleen's recovery, which is going better than I expected. Don't know about what she expected, but she's living up to her reputation as the Turbo-Snail.
- Friends who bluntly tell me when I'm screwing up.
- Friends who give me encouragement when I don't realize I need it. (Which is almost all the time, of course.)
- Getting un-stuck.
Today I am grateful...
- That things are not nearly as bad as they could be.
- That the members of our family most in need of care are receiving it.
- That we are all still alive.
- That, somehow, I seem to be coping.
- That I was able to connect a small grey cat with his family.
Hmm. Not as many as usual. I'll take what I can get.
Hmm. Don't think I did one of these last week. Goes to look Nope. Let's try that again. Today I'm grateful for...
- Family visits. Now that the household is bilocated again it's especially important for us to get together more often.
- Colleen's caregiver/old lady's companion V.
- Free web hosting from GitHub Pages. The Jekyll site-builder.
- Shopify's Liquid template language. Not the best I've seen, but close enough to be usable, and I found a stand-alone version in Go that I can use in MakeStuff.
- Learning new stuff. (See above.)
- Getting off my arse.
- Cat therapy.
Today, and specifically this evening, I am grateful for:
- Batteries. We're having a power outage. Hardly notice. I wonder how long the UPS will keep my CPAP up.
- A backup drive that doesn't require a separate power supply. That may be what killed the last one.
- An electric car with lots of range. (It does significantly better in warm weather.) But what in blazes were we thinking?
- Colleen's scooter -- likewise.
- Electric toothbrushes. Teethbrush? The dental tech said that my teeth were a lot cleaner than last time. I have no idea what I'm doing differently.
- Always having something new to learn.
- My family's health and safety. That's not something we can take for granted anymore. If we ever could.
- Being far enough north that twilight lasts a long time.
Well, a day late. And some unknown but substantial number of dollars short, but we won't go there just yet. Today I'm thankful for:
- My readers! Yes, you. All of you. You keep me on my toes, and my toes need exercise.
- My family. Especially my nephew j, who came up to provide an extra pair of hands while my trigger thumb (that's what it appears to be) is recouperating. And my sister N who thought of that idea.
- Progress toward recovery, both Colleen and my nibling m.
- Special gratitude to the good folks in the MAC clinic, where Colleen has been going for her daily dose of IV antibiotics for the last two weeks.
- Good Drugs.
- Our cats. We have wonderful cats. I'm sure they would agree.
I seem to be hitting these on time recently. Possibly because I'm avoiding more important but less pleasant things. Anyway, today I'm thankful for...
- Colleen's personal assistant (a more accurate term than caregiver, in my opinion), V.
- Good Drugs. Mostly the one Colleen is mainlining at the moment.
- Problems caught in time (hopefully).
- Interesting things to write about. (I think they're interesting, anyway.) Look for another post later this evening.
- Lambda expressions. (See above.)
- Living on the island, rather than leaving it after the holiday -- the ferry backup is horrendous this evening.
- My phone's WiFi hotspot mode.
I'm not sure how I'm managing to get these out on Thursday. Maybe not having a job? Anyway... Today I'm grateful for...
- Cats. Therapy cats, cuddly cats, snuggly cats.
- Order out of chaos. No, not you, Chaos! The garage.
- The people who made the above possible.
- Spare rooms. Want to rent one?
- Not having run out of job listings yet. Some of them I'm even qualified for.
- My family.
- Somehow managing to keep going.
Already? No wonder I feel like I'm running out of time. Anyway, I'm grateful for:
- My singing teacher. The Wednesday evening singing lesson is pretty much the high point of my week.
- (C's caregiver) V and (housekeeper) T.
- Help lifting stuff. (I am perhaps not taking enough advantage of this, hence...)
- Finally tracking down the CPAP supplies that hadn't gotten mailed -- and arranging for automatic delivery by mail in the future.
- Home Depot, even if it is a 45 minute drive.
So soon? Feels like I just did one of these. Anyway, I'm grateful for...
- A few more phone interviews (three with one company). I thought they went fairly well, but not spectacularly. Hoping for an offer but not expecting one.
- Our cats, Ticia and Desti, getting along smoothly. Desti has been with G for the last year, but fortunately they seem to have recognized one another. J's room is now Desti's -- that's the room we had her in for a couple of days.
- A successful move. Went very smoothly, in fact. I'd have been even more grateful if it hadn't been necessary, but...
- Everyone in the household still being alive. It probably says something that that seems like an accomplishment.
Today, in no particular order, I am grateful for
- Progress on the job front -- a couple of phone interviews, and more on Tuesday. I might pull this off after all.
- Singing lessons.
- Safe places.
- Packing completed in time, and movers coming tomorrow.
- Colleen. Especially Colleen being tolerant of my cooking disasters.
Um, ... okay; this will be the first gratitude post of 2018. Whether there will be another next week is unknown at this point. Anyway, today I am thankful for:
- Living through 2017. There were times when I wasn't sure.
- My family, especially Colleen and N. See above -- they're the reason I was able to.
- ... assisted by (housekeeper) T and (caregiver) V; also their predecessors G', G", and M'. I may have to start using subscripts.
- A reasonably generous retirement package from Amazon, and having the good sense to take it.
- Whidbey Island.
- The Younger Daughter and her fiancé. She has become a very together young person.
- Coffee. (To a lesser extent: gin, whiskey, chocolate, tofu, and basmati rice.)
- A freezer with a functioning icemaker and door-mounted ice and cold water dispensers.
- Singing lessons.
It's Thanksgiving day, in the evening. A strange one. But I'm not going to talk about that now. Today I am thankful for
- Colleen. Why she stays with me I'll never know, but I'm glad that she does. I don't think I'd be here without her.
- My sister of choice. I wouldn't be here without her, either. She thinks better of me than I do; I suppose somebody has to.
- The rest of my family, both blood and chosen. I'm especially grateful that Mom is still alive and well, and my younger daughter, at least, is thriving. The older is struggling, but I think -- I hope -- she'll be ok.
- Our cats, especially sweet Ticia, who comes to comfort me when the black thoughts wake me in the dark, lonely hours of the night. And one mustn't forget the rampaging kittens. Not that they'd let me.
- Retirement, I think. It's a very mixed blessing, at this point. I'll be more grateful if I can make it until next Thanksgiving.
- Whidbey Island, mostly. It's lovely out here, but it can be a little isolated.
It's been an eventful week. I'm thankful that it's over. That's probably enough.
- We sold our house in West Seattle. Done. It required a marathon cleanup session the day of the closing (Tuesday!) after the buyers' walkthrough Monday night. Why the *bleep* couldn't they have done it Friday evening? But they didn't, and our agent and I spent all day Tuesday cleaning out the stuff that I'd been too tired to deal with last Thursday, and the stuff that the movers dumped on the side path after they ghosted on us Friday. And G and I rented a UHaul and hauled his two motorcycles -- that the aforesaid mover had said he wanted to buy on Monday but never showed up -- over to our housekeeper's house in Auburn. But we did it.
- In the end, after dropping off the truck, I went back to the old place to collect the paint cans the buyers had complained about, drove around to the front, and picked a bud and a flower off the Royal Amethyst rose. Thank you, Ame.
- ... and sang "The Mary Ellen Carter" as loud as I could on the way back over the West Seattle Bridge. Thanks, Stan -- I needed that.
- Our purchase of our new house on Whidbey Island went through without a hitch. That was a long search, and a lot of anxiety and research, but that too is done. Special thanks to our agents, Rob and (especially) Leif.
- Also somewhere in there my final payment from Amazon came through. Less than I'd been expecting because I hadn't allowed for Social Security and Medicare taking their cuts, but welcome just the same. I note in passing that they have not come through with my promised health care, so no thanks are due in that direction.
- Thanks to my family, too, the whole crazy lot of us. Special thanks to the Younger Daughter, whose new phone plan and health coverage through her employer have taken several additional worries off of my mind.
- Thanks, too, to you, my readers. Your occasional comments and encouraging words have meant a great deal during this, um..., adventure? Something like that.
Without much ado about nothing,
- Selling our old house. The deal hasn't closed yet, but it seems unlikely that there will be any problems now that the inspection period has ended.
- Getting closer to buying our new house on Whidbey Island. We could still turn up something fatal during our due diligence period, but we have decided to stay with Whidbey in any case.
- A mortgage close to getting approved.
- Enough income, even in retirement, to get a mortgage.
- Good friends close by our new house.
- Retirement. To be honest, I am not entirely thankful for this; I will greatly miss being surrounded by brilliant people. Ask me next week.
- My family of choice. In which I include not only my sister of choice but my darling wife. Both of these amazing women have chosen to live with me. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm going to shut up and enjoy the ride.
So, today (Thursday, for sufficiently large values of day), I am grateful for:
- Colleen being home from the hospital, where she has been since Tuesday with a severe infection;
- the fact that she simply forgot that she hadn't retrieved her wallet from the safe, rather than (as she thought) losing it somewhere;
- an annual review that went much better than I expected;
- a new review process that focuses more on forward-looking strengths and growth paths than on past performance or lack thereof;
- a project just this side of launch, with all my parts of it completed and working (a thing that no doubt made my review better);
- downsizing, which lets me see how little I actually need;
- a purring therapy cat;
- a format that keeps bullet points without subjects or verbs from looking like sentence fragments.
So we come to the final Thursday in 2016. I am both thankful that it's nearly over, and afraid that next year will be worse. In addition, though, I'm thankful for...
- My family. They're all wonderful people, and I am really glad they're in my life.
- Having a definite plan for next year.
- Therapy cats.
- The drugs that keep us all functional.
- My job, which I am somewhat surprised that I still have, but I'm not complaining.
- Warm blankets.
It's time for another year's worth of gratitude. On the whole, 2016 has not been a great year -- about the best I can say is that I -- and my family -- lived through it. OK, here we go: This year I'm grateful for...
- My family. All of it -- family of blood, family of choice, Colleen, Chaos and Neko, Naomi, Glenn, the Roo and The Duchess, Mom, the relatives we hardly ever see, ... the whole crazy bunch of us. They're what's keeping me alive.
- Our wonderful house, Rainbow's End. For all its plumbing problems, it's still a great place to live. I will miss it when, sooner or later, we can no longer afford to keep it.
- Music. The songs that keep us going: "The Mary Ellen Carter" in particular; "Gentle Arms of Eden", "Quiet Victories", and "Kitchen Heroes" as well; and we've recently added "The Bells of Norwich" and "Millennium's Dawn" to that list. Songs of hope, determination, and defiance -- we need them now more than ever.
- Friends. Thanks for the late-night conversations, the hugs, the blog comments, the words of encouragement and comfort, and just knowing you're there. You know who you are, and I love you.
- Work. I'm getting weary of it, but I'm glad my employer still wants me, for the moment.
- Hope. Pandora, 2016, you're a bitch, but at least you left us that
Here's hope to heal your sorrow,
Now that the old dreams are gone,
And the past has turned into tomorrow,
In the light of the Millennium's dawn.
No thanks to most of what 2016 has brought us, aptly and obscenely summarized in The 2016 Song. Not safe for work, because 2016.
- My family. Special callouts for N, C, and g.
- Hope. Feeling way too much like Pandora, except it wasn't me that opened the damned box.
- Therapy cats.
- Music. Special callouts for "The Times, They are A-Changin'", "Desolation Row", and "Julian of Norwich"; the last two being on opposite ends of something or other.
- Ethanol and caffeine. Also toward opposite ends of a different scale.
Ok, better late than next week? Anyway, today I'm grateful for...
- Revised schedules. Still dicey, IMO, but at least it's possible.
- Not being the only one responsible for the schedule slip.
- Our tenant. Rent is not to be sneezed at.
- Ubuntu laptops with SSDs
- Thinkpad keyboards. (Just got a new one. The one I'm using at work has developed a flaky space bar. Maybe too many aliens hanging out in it?)
So it's Friday already. Today I am thankful for
- A week's vacation. I needed it. It's not long enough.
- The check I was expecting and worrying about, arriving in Tuesday's mail. (I would have saved myself a lot of anxiety if I'd had enough cope to set up an electronic transfer.)
- Getting things done.
NO thanks to
- offices that aren't where you expect them to be, and close early
- stuff that piles up because of procrastination
Today I'm thankful for:
- Our new tenant, who is only here for about a month, but extra income is useful even when it's temporary.
- My daughter and partner moving out this weekend. I mean, I love her, but... It will be good to have a little more space, and it will help a lot with the food budget.
- A long weekend, and a week's vacation after that.
So, a day late again. And much more than a dollar short, for that matter. But anyway. I'm grateful for:
- The fact that my cat, Ticia, appears to be healthy. A little overweight -- what I was afraid might be fluid in her abdomen turns out to be fat. Finding this out was expensive, but it was well worth it: Curio had had that same symptom, and...
- Ticia. I am glad to be one of her favored worshippers. (Though, for a goddess, she's pretty easygoing. Unlike Desti, who plays the role to the hilt.)
- Compassion. I am learning about self-compassion, which is apparently a thing, and supposedly works better than self-esteem. This remains to be seen. I'm not very good at it. Oh. Right.
- Electronic sphygmomanometers. My doctor has me watching my blood pressure carefully after taking me off my diuretic because it appeared to have been affecting my kidney function. Some instability earlier in the week, but it seems to have settled down now.
- Along those lines, not having postural hypotension nearly as often.