Monthly Archives: March 2017

Burnout

I asked myself the other day why I wasn’t writing. I came up with a few interesting reasons.

The first is that my main thing to write about is my job. My job has been very, very consuming since last summer. It got worse in October and has steadily encroached into my free and personal time. This leaves me with less to write about because I have not written about my job here. It also leaves me with less energy to write because the demands of my job have become consumptive. It also leaves me tired and litless because my job absorbs a huge amount of creative and emotional energy.

The second is that I lost the schedule of writing I had developed when I stopped writing about Eve. The ‘what’ to write about thinned out. My job and my story ideas are both things to write about. Inty is something to write about as well but I find it hard to write about him since he mostly trots around and acts like a hyperactive asshole harassing the dogs and cats or wanting to be rubbed nonstop. While amusing even I struggle to describe it. Also, work again. I see him for 1-2 hours on the days that I work. My entire personal life is condensed into 1-2 hours where I come home, make dinner, pet the dogs, talk to my husband, and go to bed.

The third is my slowly healing burnout. I’m better, but it has taken a year. I wanted to be where I am now, at this time last year. It didn’t happen. That frustrates me. I cannot get that time back. It also highlights my habit of underestimating the impact that things can have. The two years that I plunged into the morass of Eve Online’s society as an elected rep was a fascinating, wonderful, and destructive time. Destructive because I am an introvert and I forced myself out of my shell.

People tell you to fake it until you make it. To do something until it becomes the truth. When it came to me being some type of social presence, I never became it. I never made it. I stayed myself and the pressure of it started to crush me. It is amusing in its disappointment. I was supposed to become more, bigger, better. Everyone swore to me that I’d grow into it and this change would happen.

Instead, I’ve suffered a year of exhaustion that I almost wonder if I’ll recover from. I know I will because I have started to. Yet, small socializations are still hugely damaging. With my busier work life and the unfortunate situation of taking on responsibilities in my personal life, I struggle to have enough quiet me time.

It makes me a bit mad. Work, well I could step back and get my old position back. I’m rather sure that I would be more unhappy. As for home? I am giving up one of my days off every week to work on cleaning out my mother’s house because she will not do it on her own. I find that I am becoming resentful. I don’t want to do it and it makes me mad that she can sit back and just abandon her life and intrude on mine. That is because I am enabling her. Now that I’ve gotten myself into this I have to get myself back out and I can kick her out and tell her to go clean up her own life but I’ve decided not to. None of that stops the resentment that I am having about it. I can’t seem to just give up on life and not do anything unless anyone helps me but she has. It is the story of our relationship and I’ve told her that she has this year to get her things together and figure out how she plans to handle the rest of her life.

The loss of a day shouldn’t matter much, but it does. My job has been taking my other free days. I’m having weeks where I have things to do for the bulk of the day every single day. It is wearing at me. I really do want to be left alone more often. I don’t know if work will improve. I doubt it. I have a time limit for my mother. As for myself? I’ll get through this but I will take a lot of learning away from the past few years.

2017 Seedlings

I planted the seedlings on the 26th of February. I wanted to wait but my excitement bit me. The overly warm winter has set the trees to flowering. The chances of an early warm spring is here and it may mean moving my garden out weeks early.

My setup is a bit neater this year. Last year I had lights hanging under my craft table and crawled on the floor to do anything. It was amusing but very impractical and a pain in the but when we started to harden the plants off with trips outside.

 

This year I purchased a cheap storage rack to hold the trays. My main criteria was shelf height. Lowes wound up being the winner with a plastic shelving unit with plenty of height. I use a space heater to warm the room. This is my spare bedroom which is a closet for my work clothing, crafts and our linen.

Once my unit was together I played with ropes to hang the lights. The lights are longer than the rack. I am okay with it but things are a touch awkward because of it. I could buy grow lights but the moment you search for plant specific lights the price tag jumps from twenty dollars to sixty. It is the similar fate of all hobbies.

The Rapunzel were the first tomatoes up. This is a type that is new to the market. I believe this is its second year on the market. I picked it up because it is supposed to have trellis that trail forty cherry tomatoes long. That sounds super fun. I am pleased that they both germinated within hours of each other.

My lights are on a switch that talks to a cute switch on the wall and lets me turn them on and off with a button click. I turn them on when I get up and off when I get home. The plants get about sixteen hours of light with a rest period.

The rest of them have slowly worked their way up. The common wisdom when planting is to plant 3 seeds per tray and keep the strongest. I decided to plant one seed per tray and see what happened. My results? One seed did not germinate. That is the Brandywine hybrid.

The Brandywine hybrid I have a lot of hopes for, so I planted a second seed. My hopes are thus: I loved the Brandywine tomatoes I got last year but the plant produced about 6 large, beautiful, delicious fruit. It looked like crap the entire year and struggled in a pathetic, anemic haze. I got a hybrid to add some vigor to the plant. In my container environment I have to weed out plants that struggle.

What a difference a week makes. I have a fan blowing across the seedlings. This helps the soil to dry out. I prefer to add water then have the soil stagnate and mold. The first true leaves are in and the second is coming along.

This year I decided to try miracle grow seedling starter soil. It is doing well, it drains well, and the seedlings are thriving.

The only tomatoes I am waiting on are my ones from the University of Florida.  If you are interested in the source of food, the story of the Garden Gem is interesting.

Over in the second tray the peppers have started to pop up. I planted them a solid ten days behind the tomatoes. They have a longer germination time.

I am also trying Ground Cherries again.I have been fretting that I should have added more seeds. I am pleased to announce that I went up to check on them and I have a tendril of green breaking through.

Garden 2017 is off to a great start.

The Joy of Appliances

Two years ago, while wandering through Home Depot and idly speculating on the future of our kitchen appliances I came across something I had never seen. A double stove oven.

This was not a double wall oven. This was not a stove top. It was a standing stove, the kitchen classic. The oven featured not one but two entirely separate oven chambers. It was also bright purple inside which I found a bit hideous. The drawer that is often at the bottom of the oven and used for storage was nonexistent. In my last home, that drawer was a warming drawer. I guess you can stick pies in it. I never did because it always filled with pet hair.

Over the last two years I’ve revisited that oven many times. I’ve examined it and started to grow fond of its purple color. Well, this year was the year that my husband agreed to buy me new kitchen appliances. The ones in our house date from the building of the house. They are about sixteen years old now. We’ve had to replace the furnace and water heater. The furnace replacement was last year and while worth it, ate into our extra budget.

This year, the dishwasher has become a pain. The microwave has entered a new temporal reality where it displays its own time and my oven has started to challenge me on what is the true meaning of cooking time.

It is an unpleasant reminder that home ownership is not as smooth as one might wish it to be. We took on a house that was eleven years old. It is now six years later and things are hitting their end of life. I am somewhat amused to think that we plan to move in a year. I will add that despite the plans to move, we will keep this home and rent it. The changes are not valueless and will hopefully afford us years of no needed repairs with future renters.

I am still excited about the stove.

An LG, double oven stove. It has five burners. The center girdle lifts off to reveal an oval burner down the center. The entire surface is grated and creates a pot slid-able surface. The useless center bit of the stove that gets to hot is now a functional work space.

The husband asked for burgers. These were the easiest burgers ever. No overheating and burns like the skillet due to the thickness of the girdle. I’m already in love at how easy some things will be to cook in the future.