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sarakingdom

Sara Kingdom Wears the Lilac

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Vimes strolled back to the house. Off the register? Was he allowed to appeal? Perhaps they thought-

 

The scent rolled over him.

 

He looked up.

 

Overhead, a lilac tree was in bloom.

 

He stared.

 

Damn! Damn! Damn! Every year he forgot. Well, no. He never forgot. He just put the memories away, like old silverware that you didn't want to tarnish. And every year they came back, sharp and sparkling, and stabbed him in the heart. And today, of all days . . .

 

He reached up, and his hand trembled as he grasped a bloom and gently broke the stem. He sniffed at it. He stood for a moment, staring at nothing. And then he carried the sprig of lilac carefully back up to his dressing room.

 

--Terry Pratchett

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Do the job that's in front of you:

  • Hydrate - done
  • Put on pants (c'mon, it's hot) - done
  • Get my packages - done
  • Make a job list - done
  • Make dinner - done
  • Do laundry - done
  • Set up the robot - done
  • Fix tech problem - probably
  • Clean for the robot - done
  • Wash dishes
  • Make tomorrow's list
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6 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Here for the Discworld spoilers stuff

 

First spoiler: the butler did it.

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2 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

If I had Cdr. Vimes' butler I'd be well content to let him get on with the job.

 

You're picking up what I'm laying down...

 

And yeah, Willikins is very high on my list of top butlers.

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Week 0 Day 1

 

"You do the job that's in front of you."

  • Dry the laundry - done
  • Tech thing - attempted
  • Send a gift - done
  • Make dinner - done
  • All the stuff I planned to do - not so much

 

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I love Night Watch so much. It's so good. Every line in it is great. The only thing better than Night Watch is the audiobook of Night Watch.

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I picked up Night Watch at the library last night and stayed up late re-reading it. I decided did not do the thing in front of me. I did manage to cook pork chops and put laundry in the dryer. That leaves me doing time critical things today on not enough sleep. I am not going near the book again until the weekend. :P 

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15 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Spoiler status update: Just finished Feet of Clay and starting Fifth Elephant :)

 

Cheery! Dorfl! Donut Jimmy! Such excellence.

 

If you can, you'll want to hit Night Watch by Friday/Saturday. Not because of spoilers, because of reasons.

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1 hour ago, Mistr said:

I picked up Night Watch at the library last night and stayed up late re-reading it. I decided did not do the thing in front of me. I did manage to cook pork chops and put laundry in the dryer. That leaves me doing time critical things today on not enough sleep. I am not going near the book again until the weekend. :P 

 

Leaving my hands and eyeballs free is part of why I often do audiobooks. For later Discworld books, I stay because the performance is a-frickin-mazing. (Also, one of the few male readers who does a great job with female characters, which is important for certain later Discworld books.)

 

But without those, I understand your motivations in keeping the book at a distance. It betrayed you once. :)

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On 5/20/2019 at 6:54 PM, sarakingdom said:

Week 0 Day 1

 

"You do the job that's in front of you."

  • Dry the laundry - done
  • Tech thing - attempted
  • Send a gift - done
  • Make dinner - done
  • All the stuff I planned to do - not so much

 

 

I need to do this. I've been procrastinating on the dishes and the laundry because I keep telling myself I'm doing yard work (which I do). But the sink is overflowing, and I'm walking around pantsless.

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3 hours ago, Machete said:

I need to do this. I've been procrastinating on the dishes and the laundry because I keep telling myself I'm doing yard work (which I do). But the sink is overflowing, and I'm walking around pantsless.

 

I hear you. There's always stuff I put off doing. It's often the dishes.

 

Also, you should come back and, like, pretend to do a challenge with us again. You do not visit often enough. Maybe we can clean like monks or something.

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Vetinari steepled his hands. "Miss Kingdom, I must ask if you are aware that in order to get enough sleep, or indeed not enough sleep, one must in fact try to get any sleep at all."

 

"That, um, seems logical, sir," said Sara. She dimly sensed a chasm opening up beneath her.

 

Vetinari opened a dossier on his desk. "Four hours. Zero hours. Zero hours."

 

Sara frowned. "That can't be right..."

 

"No, indeed, it is not right, Miss Kingdom," said Vetinari. "It has gone so far beyond unacceptable that it has entered the realm of the absurd."

 

"But I went to bed. I'm sure I got more sleep than that."

 

Vetinari closed the dossier with a bang. "I do not wish you to make the mistake of presuming this is a small matter."

 

"No, sir, but..."

 

"To that end," he continued as if she hadn't spoken, "you are removed from your regular duties until this is corrected. Which will be by eight o'clock tomorrow morning, or I will know why. This audience is at an end, Miss Kingdom. Do not let me detain you."

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Week 0 Day 4

 

So, uh, as you can see, attaching a sleep tracker to my wrist clearly did not incentivize the sleep issues in any way, and this is mostly all behavioral, not insomnia (though a little of that, which might be overactive brain). It's also ridiculously abnormal for me. So I need to sit myself down and have a serious discussion and brainstorming session with myself about why I've had at least a month of really extreme shifts in my bad habits and how we're gonna fix these.

 

Also, people on the gardening subreddit are suddenly posting pictures of their lilacs in bloom, and every time it puzzles me that no starts singing "How do they rise up".

 

Today's goals:

 

"You do the job that's in front of you."

  • Shower off grossness because I am a person who does good self care - done
  • Make a list of priorities - done
  • Make a schedule - done
  • Sit down and make a sleep plan - ???
  • Make dinner - done
  • Ten minutes of cleaning - done
  • Ten minutes of washing dishes - done
  • Put on toenail polish, because I am still a person who does good self care, and it is sandal season - done

"IT IS THE END OF CAKE."

  • Made a GH LCHF chocolate cake last night in my food robot
  • Packed a chocolate cake and mozzarella snack box for work to combat this week's snacking issues

"Vimes hadn't been sleeping over the past few days, so much as recovering."

  • Got a little replacement sleep
  • Got jobs done and dinner on the table at an acceptable hour, followed by a bit of relaxation over dinner
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Have been sleeping for like three, almost four hours now. It's really great. Difficult to do, but really great. (Honestly, I'd never have managed without the Night Watch audiobook, though. It really helps those "I'm half awake" moments become "relaxing here till I go back to sleep" moments.) And there's still time for about that much again, which is also great.

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19 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Vetinari opened a dossier on his desk. "Four hours. Zero hours. Zero hours."

 

Sara frowned. "That can't be right..."

 

"No, indeed, it is not right, Miss Kingdom," said Vetinari. "It has gone so far beyond unacceptable that it has entered the realm of the absurd."

 

Yipe, that is bad. I don't know how you manage to function at all on so little sleep. I got two nights in a row of 6 hours and was a zombie by the end of the second day.

 

That is at the level where I would look for the rhinoceros hiding under the carpet. You have dealt with all of this before. You know what you need to do to meet your goals. Something in your brain has major problems with all that. I am available if you want a witness to your conversation.

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2 hours ago, Mistr said:

Yipe, that is bad. I don't know how you manage to function at all on so little sleep. I got two nights in a row of 6 hours and was a zombie by the end of the second day. 

 

I'm convinced those zero hours measurements are really like two hours, but possibly distributed in microsleeps. But ridiculous either way. And it may explain the snacking uptick this week.

 

2 hours ago, Mistr said:

That is at the level where I would look for the rhinoceros hiding under the carpet. You have dealt with all of this before. You know what you need to do to meet your goals. Something in your brain has major problems with all that. I am available if you want a witness to your conversation. 

 

Yeah, this is definitely hitting "this is not even close to normal for me" levels. This is not even close to my normal sleep problem. Once in a blue moon, sure. Not every day. And this whole month has been a bit like that on different issues. So there is a rhinoceros somewhere. A witness to that discussion might be a good idea, thank you.

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Week 0 Day 5

 

"Vimes hadn't been sleeping over the past few days, so much as recovering."

  • Got a lot of replacement sleep. Between the two, I've now made up a full night of my sleep debt.
  • Successfully made myself stay asleep for a night. This was actual effort. I had to focus on sleep-positive behaviors while half-awake.

"IT IS THE END OF CAKE."

  • Packed a chocolate cake and mozzarella snack box for work to combat this week's snacking issues
  • Made an actual traditional breakfast before going to work. (Normally I'd be fasting, but I figure that after this week, I just need to keep myself rested and fueled until it's all normal.)

"You do the job that's in front of you."

  • TBA

 

The cake I made is sadly not very good; I don't know whether I'm faking the recipe badly, or taste the sweetener more with cocoa, or both. I'll have to work on that, because I like chocolate cake. (My thoughts are some vanilla or coffee, which are traditional add-ons for chocolate cake, and maybe a hint of flax meal, which I know can make coconut flour breads taste nuttier/maltier.)

 

But it's the thought that counts. Deliberate making of recipes is on my self-care list this challenge, because if you spend too long doing minimum-effort cooking, you get used to expending minimum effort on yourself. This is why I'm counting an eggs-and-bacon breakfast, but not so much an eggs-and-bacon dinner. I'm not a purist, but right now one is laziness and one is the opposite.

 

Last night's cleaning efforts were really effective, despite being 10-15 minutes each, and not done in the case of the dishes. It was an amount of clean that made me much happier to wake up to. I think that will be part of my job-doing this challenge, especially cleaning. Like soji practice, just stop when it's time to stop, even if it isn't done. It helped a lot with not burning out and being able to get to bed on time. Being able to stop working and start working are both skills, and ones I'm not great at. So that's this challenge. Doing some is fine. Doing some is in fact probably a more responsible default mode of doing large jobs. So I'll practice doing some.

 

(I may in fact be ordinarily better at this than I've been this past month or two. Clearly my behavior is off in some ways. I either have weasels or rhinoceroses, apparently? Not both, I hope. That's a zoo.)

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Got a lot of replacement sleep. Between the two, I've now made up a full night of my sleep debt.

  • Successfully made myself stay asleep for a night. This was actual effort. I had to focus on sleep-positive behaviors while half-awake.

 

Yay for getting a  full night of replacement sleep!

 

2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

The cake I made is sadly not very good; I don't know whether I'm faking the recipe badly, or taste the sweetener more with cocoa, or both. I'll have to work on that, because I like chocolate cake. (My thoughts are some vanilla or coffee, which are traditional add-ons for chocolate cake, and maybe a hint of flax meal, which I know can make coconut flour breads taste nuttier/maltier.)

 

My sympathy on unsatisfactory chocolate cake. I have made this chocolate cake and can vouch that it is great, for almost-fudge flourless chocolate cake versions of great. It uses butter but you could substitute another fat if you needed to avoid dairy. Note that it really does need to be covered while it bakes. Don't ask how I know that. 

 

2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

But it's the thought that counts. Deliberate making of recipes is on my self-care list this challenge, because if you spend too long doing minimum-effort cooking, you get used to expending minimum effort on yourself. This is why I'm counting an eggs-and-bacon breakfast, but not so much an eggs-and-bacon dinner. I'm not a purist, but right now one is laziness and one is the opposite.

 

Last night's cleaning efforts were really effective, despite being 10-15 minutes each, and not done in the case of the dishes. It was an amount of clean that made me much happier to wake up to. I think that will be part of my job-doing this challenge, especially cleaning. Like soji practice, just stop when it's time to stop, even if it isn't done. It helped a lot with not burning out and being able to get to bed on time. Being able to stop working and start working are both skills, and ones I'm not great at. So that's this challenge. Doing some is fine. Doing some is in fact probably a more responsible default mode of doing large jobs. So I'll practice doing some.

 

Self-care is good. I am glad that your limited time cleaning is working. Dumbledore had great success in grad school with doing 15 minutes of dishes. That is enough to make a serious dent in the pile but not overwhelming like trying to finish the task.

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Garden update:

 

The zucchini is dead. I do not know why. It's all dried up. Nothing else is. I'll try to plant a quick replacement Tuesday.

 

The ground cherry is flowering a lot, and is maybe just past half its height. Two more weeks? I don't know. Sometime soon, I will have some fruit. (I have no idea what it tastes like. I've heard all sorts of combinations of pineapple, vanilla, citrus, strawberry, and mango. Which is pretty exotic for a plant that looks a lot like a deciduous woodland weed.) I might be able to overwinter it. It's perennial one zone warmer than mine; with a winter cover, I might gain that zone. I'll maybe cut it back in the fall and see what happens in the spring.

 

The tomato has a lot of flea beetle damage. I gave it (and other things) a good spray with neem oil spray. (I may try overwintering this one, too. It's pretty hardy for a tomato. Worst case, I've just added organic matter to the soil.)

 

The arugula is starting to bolt, but not all of it. So is one of the chervil plants, and it's got the most delicate little white flowers ever.

 

The garlic stalks are dying off, so I brought home one bulb. It's small, but perfectly formed, and super garlicky smelling. Probably I'll cut the stems down to a few inches and use the ground as my garlic storage. I'll sort through them and separate the bulbs and replant some later.

 

I also picked a test carrot, since the earliest ones have mature-looking shoulders. Needs a few more weeks, it's only inflated halfway down. But this half a carrot will be nice in my salad. And apparently the top can be replanted to flower and go to seed, so I may not have to waste an actual carrot on that.

 

The probably-melon vine has started climbing. With tendrils. It's got a pretty firm grip on a small piece of trellis and some of the arugula. I really wonder what the heck that is. Does watermelon climb?

 

No sign of eggplant seedlings. Fingers crossed they're just waiting on lots of heat. Pepper seedlings hanging in there just fine, but not really taking off yet. But I'm not sure anyone's are, so maybe that's okay.

 

The kale looks like it's decided to grow properly. There's mixed information on whether it'll do summer weather, but I think the variety I picked might manage it. It's an experiment, we'll see.

 

The yarrow is big and fuzzy. I actually wish it were more visible, instead of buried behind the poppies and fennel, because it's still got a really nice foxtail fern thing going on. The thyme is going wild and spreading into everything nearby, including the yarrow and garlic patch. I think I need to eat it more aggressively. I may also try the yarrow; rumor is it can be subbed for tarragon.

 

The ginger that's come up is still not too tall, but it's healthy, and it's already growing fresh rhizome. And the flowers I planted over it have germinated, which is good, because it needs a living mulch to keep water in the soil. I really doubt I can overwinter that, but I might try a piece. Hopefully it'll grow a lot faster once it unfurls some leaves. I need it to grow enough nodules that I can steal a few slowly.

 

Beet and chard seedlings are doing real well. Those are like garden powerhouses. The full-grown winter sown chard is also still doing really well. I might try to transplant it when the Brussels sprouts come out, though. It grew in the middle of all my sun loving things.

 

No poppies were open today, but five or six are about to open, maybe tomorrow. Half orange, half magenta. About six marigolds, half rust and gold, half yellow. I'm actually wondering if that's what kept the flea beetles off the ground cherry, while the marigolds near the tomato are further behind.

 

Fennel is doing fine. I may not fill in the bare patch in that section, because I'm hoping that growing fennel as a perennial will get some healthy root spread. So I will leave it space and hope it grows into it. And if not, maybe move some yarrow.

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