mamagotcha: (bonk!)
[personal profile] mamagotcha
Good lord, I just saw how long it had been since I posted here! Yeesh... fie upon you, Facebook.

OK, I want to touch on the things I'd been wrestling with over the last year. The biggest battle was the ear infections. They kept coming off and on for most of the year, and I had the last round start the day after Thanksgiving (in both ears that time, dangit!). I've found a regimen that helps beat back the various bacterial and fungal infections, though, so while I still have days of very stuffed ears (and very deaf mama!), I can usually beat the main infection in a few days with minimal pain. I've also found that avoiding dairy will help clear up the infections faster (keeping the eustachian tubes clear for drainage, I suspect), so I'm limiting that. Reishi and French Maritime Pine Bark supplements have helped with building up my immune system. I think it's just a matter of waiting until the friendly bacteria repopulate my ears again. (As a side benefit, the pine bark has also helped calm the psoriasis!)

I've been off gluten for most of the year. The good news is that it's definitely helping with my joints and energy levels; the bad news is that even a tiny bit accidentally ingested will result in a lot of pain and lethargy for a day or two (a "glutening"). I'm getting better at dodging the accidents, but they still catch me once in a while.

Two fantastic events that I was able to attend were great fun and wonderfully educational: Wiscon and Abundia.

I turned 50 in May, got a 3DS and started playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and was given a queenly gift of a necklace crown made by the extraordinary [livejournal.com profile] elisem.

I edited a book, sold a few articles (about affirmations, relish, and corn), and braided for a few wonderful brides.

My dad is still with us, thank goodness. He has had a few other procedures that worked well for him, and when we've spoken, he seems upbeat and positive. The downside is that my aunt who is staying with him has her own set of issues that result in her feeling very threatened by anyone making contact with my father. It's been really hard to come to terms with this; I still get sad when I think about it. I made him a knitted vest for Christmas this year, and he seemed to like it. I hope he can feel the love I put into each stitch, as a warm hug each time he wears it.

I'm knitting a few other things, as well as doing more calligraphy and illumination with the SCA. I'm sewing a bit, doing some volunteer work, reading, writing, editing, gardening, and... well, what I'm doing is waiting not-very-patiently for a west coast job to open up for Bill so we can move back there. Right now, I'm looking at -30 to -50 degree wind chills here in Chicago, after days of shoveling snow and sliding on the roads, and I am SO READY to go home. I know he's a terrific professor who is doing awesome research and great lectures, so I'm certain he'll nail tenure. Once that happens, the universities will be fighting over him... IT WILL HAPPEN!

My daughter Julia came to visit over Christmas, which was the first time in about seven years that I've had all four of my kids in the same place at the same time. My sister Amanda also flew in for a weekend at the beginning of Julia's visit. It was terrific, except that both of them had colds and passed them on to us. All four kids got hit... but were still pretty cheerful at being able to be together for the holiday, despite the plague.

Photographic evidence of the four kiddos!
All four!

My oldest son, Cordell, and my first youngest son, Clayton, both are pulling down straight As each quarter at DePaul, and each holding down two jobs and pitching in on the household expenses. For fun, Cord built and maintains DePaul's 3-D printer, and Clay runs the weekly French movie series. They'll both be graduating in 2014, Cord with a BS in Physics and Clay with a BA in French. I think they're both walking, too, which means Bill gets to get gussied up and matriculate them. Cord and Julia are looking for graduate school positions, and Clay is applying for a Fulbright grant and hoping to spend a year teaching English for the French government. I am, if it's not crystal clear, insanely proud of all three of them!

Linc has fallen down the rabbit hole of Minecraft, and now types about as fast as I can. He and I do weekly meal deliveries for a seniors' network, and he's doing several classes: dodgeball, tumbling/gymnastics, and a weekly nature program. We trek around the Chicagoland area exploring museums, hiking trails, gardens, and whatever else catches our fancy, as well as hanging out with other homeschooling families at park days.

Ack, this went a lot longer than I intended, so I'll wrap it up and do my darndest not to let it go so long again. I do read my LJ flist every few days, and am glad to see you when you post!


I'm wondering whether anyone else is still reading LJ, and if any of this is news to you... are you all already connecting with me on FB? In any case, I hope you and yours are having a wonderful 2014 so far... stay warm and be excellent to each other!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mh75.livejournal.com
Some, but not most, of it is news. I like the lj format better, still. Obviously, my own posting is more limited - most frivolous stuff goes elsewhere. I will read regularly.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Good to know! You are one of the folks who use LJ in a way that I'd like to as well... thanks for the encouraging words!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wild-irises.livejournal.com
On LJ, not on FB, so everything here is news, except I saw you at WisCon. Thanks for remembering us non FB types!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
And I braided your hair, a happy moment for me! OK, I'll keep with the LJ then. You are one of the people I read and enjoy, and would like to emulate. Thanks for letting me know!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauradi7.livejournal.com
You and I have only met once, so I am presumably not be on your list of people to keep track of. I'm married to Arthur Lewbel. I read LJ every day, post at least a couple of times a week, and know many people who do the same (most of us Boomer age). I only check Facebook when Arthur tells me he has posted something.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Hello, lauradi7! Thank you for letting me know you're reading, and happy new year to you and Arthur! See you at Purdue, perhaps?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauradi7.livejournal.com
I plan to be there for at least part of the time.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rightkindofme.livejournal.com
I am not on facebook and I love reading about your family. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
And I enjoy your posts, family and otherwise! Glad to know you're reading! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] metaphortunate.livejournal.com
Ugh, that sucks about the ear infections! Sorry yr still dealing with it.

Cute pic. :) Can't believe how big Linc is!

Sorry yr aunt is being weird.

Stay warm vibes ..

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
I love reading your posts, so I'm glad you're still on here.

Sorry yr mom is being weird.

<3

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rikchik.livejournal.com
I don't read FB at all so it's great to hear from you here.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Glad to see you, too! And maybe in person this summer? Fingers crossed!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wordweaverlynn.livejournal.com
So nice to see your pixels.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Glad to see you hear, my faraway friend, and glad to see that you've been posting a little more too. May 2014 bring you many good things!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elainetyger.livejournal.com
I'm on fb all the time, but with over 500 friends and "friends" and fb's inconsistent prioritizing of what it thinks I should see, I miss a lot of stuff unless I'm on within an hour of it getting posted or unless 50 people before me click "like" on it. I think we can get more personal here, because of the relative anonymity and the smaller number of readers.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
You are one of my favorite LJ folks to read; glad I made the cut onto your reading list! And yes, I like knowing that when I put something out, it's available for the folks who want to read it without some damnfool algorithm screwing it up.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:08 pm (UTC)
xap: celtic circle (a - xap)
From: [personal profile] xap
Tend to read at least some parts of LJ & DW daily, others weekly-ish (or so). Trying to get back in the habit of posting myself....have a couple updateish things in my drafts now.

I agree, this format is better for these sorts of things, and for actually being able to look back at things. Looking forward to seeing how this goes (for both of us)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Welcome, Xap! You are one of the Chicago area folks that I see so rarely but feel so happy when I do see you. Are you familiar with Abundia? We should all go!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-20 10:17 pm (UTC)
xap: celtic circle (a - celtic)
From: [personal profile] xap
I was not familiar with Abundia, will have to look into it further next month (right now I have severe con-brain: trying to make sure everything is in place for the Cafe at Capricon in a couple weeks, plus of course MuseCon).

But agreed - would like to see more of you, because it's a happy thing :) One of the downsides to being so far off in the midst of nowheresville (aka the WI border). Here's to doing better with that in 2014 :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-08 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tara-doula.livejournal.com
I don't log onto LJ specifically but I have all my friends' blogs plugged into Feedly so I don't miss updates. Of course I see you on FB too but I appreciate updates wherever!

I love the picture of your kids. Also, I don't know what it is about Cord's expression, but it reminds me of Derek for some reason. Weird!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-08 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Hee, I guess they do resemble each other a little bit! They are both similar in their personalities, too, I think... funny but not grandstanders, smart but not obnoxious about it, really good at fixing and visualizing things, patient and kind. They both say really funny things in a kind of matter-of-fact way that make me wonder if they are serious or not, because they keep a straight face, until a twinkle gives 'em away.

So glad you're reading! LOVED your card! Been wondering how you're doing... xoxo!

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