wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Last week, Sprout and I were in an accident on the scooter.

It was my fault; for some reason, unknown and completely unrecallable, I accelerated when I was trying to brake to avoid hitting two cars who were closing the gap I was driving in.

I flipped over the front of the scooter, landing on my back, a mercy for a woman who is 7 months pregnant.  My right side was banged up from flying over--and breaking--the mirror, but I had no other big injuries. Sprout's bottom lip and chin were cut by the visor of her helment, and her left wrist was abraded, but the sweet love's first words were, "Momma, are you OK? Are you all right, Momma!?"

Many Egyptians came to our aid, offering help, water, comfort...even returning the two coins that had fallen from my pocket.

When Sprout finally calmed down enough, she told me that she is not used to crash landings. To which I fervently replied, neither am I and I hope we never have to get used to them. The baby was moving normally that night, and since I had no abnormal pains or anything suspicious, the doctor said all was well. I was a little nervous upon discovering a bruise just above my navel, but Coquille has been unfazed.

The next day, I was pretty sore, but Sprout seemed fine. She and Kainam got the full-fledged flu, though, and I got a nasty cough that insured this was one tiring week.  The kids still have fever today, but I hope we are all on the mend...
wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
Not a fun morning; an admin morning.

I had to renew my passport and after toting a God-awful passport photo for the past ten years, I was determined to have a better one this time around. So, J and I spent HOURS on it. No, not trying to make me look better or Photoshop me...just to do the shot, select one, make website formatting tools play nice, and get our printer to work. After wasting sheets of photo paper and buckets of ink, I showed up to my appt with several options, size-wise.  Only to be told that they would not accept my background, which was white with a faint bluish cast, even though the "rules" state that off-white is fine. Argh. So I had to go across the street and have another taken, in which I look just as tired as the whole process makes me feel and all washed out to boot, thanks to wearing a white blouse.  

I was asked to bring along "proof" of my citizenship, just in case. And spent more HOURS looking for said proof yesterday, only not to be asked for anything at all. ( I had sorted all these papers into a special pile, and then, in the move-house frenzy, packed them, instead of refiling them.)

Thank goodness I only have to do this every ten years.

And the lesson of the day: Stick to my guns and only take a taxi with a meter. On the way to the consulate, I ended up accepting a ride with no meter, agreeing to pay 40 LE because J told me that was a good rate.  On the way back, we held out for a meter and only paid 20. o.O

Second lesson: If there are no signs saying which line you should be in, ask. Even if there is only one line.  I stood in the "wrong" line for 30 minutes. I actually had a feeling it was the wrong line but did not make a move earlier because I was waiting on J and didn't want to go inside without him since a) I had his passport, b) phones have to be off once inside. When the time for my appt arrived, however, and I was only five steps closer (out of about 30 more) to the door, I did jump the line and got to go directly inside.  I did not appreciate the slight smirk of the man at the barrier which seemed to say that he knew I was in the wrong place and could have done something about it.

I did get to see something unusual on the taxi ride this morning: A motorcycle passenger sitting sidesaddle, his ankle swathed in bandages, carrying his own foldable wheelchair.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: Soëlie eating)

Can you guess which one?

I made a Thai-influenced soup for lunch:

Junebug took his spoon, dug in, and proclaimed, "Tasty!"*

Sprout looks in her bowl and without tasting it, wails, "I like shrimp, I like calamari, I like chicken; what a bad surprise this is, having them all together! And rice! I didn't want my rice mixed in!"



* Yes, I made the soup, so I might be biased, but it was very tasty.

wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I know we (well, the kids and I) have a long break ahead of us, but it seems like time has caught us up and is flinging us madly about since we got back to France. This is going to sound like a list of complaints, but it really isn't. It's just busyness and things.

the particulars )
All this to say that I had (have!) grand plans for getting some writing and art done this summer, but I haven't found the time or breath or centeredness to do it...yet.  I'll get there, though.  
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
We are all still trying to get over our jetlag. Truth be told, without the kiddos, J and I would be just fine by now.  Sprout is never ready for bed at "bedtime," and three weeks romping around the countryside have made her even more of a caged tiger in our apartment. Even though Junebug is getting better about falling asleep at his regular time, he doesn't stay asleep. New favorite:  Playing from 1 a.m. to 4a.m.  It is jetlag, yes, but it is also teething.  He is going to get four teeth in the space of one month. Three are already in and the other top one is just beneath the skin.

And all of this adds up to a very tired me.  Sorry I'm not back yet, not in the sense that I'm able to keep up with anything.  Hopefully by week's end.  Hopefully. For now, color me brain-dead.

In the good news department, the weather here is lovely, not getting hotter than 32C/89.6F.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Low oil in engine number two. Everyone had to debark. Trying to find connecting flights. And it all started off so smoothly...

At least we got off before the plane had trouble. Silver lining.
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
This post is mostly for my "records." It is easier for me to keep track of things on LJ.

So, health whinge below cut.
cough, cough, hack, hack )

I have entries to comment on and emails to reply to, but friends, please bear with me. It ain't going to happen tonight (8:15 p.m. and I'm headed to bed). It might happen tomorrow. Maybe.
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
...we have all come down with the crud.  I hope it is a quickly-passing cold.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.  Why, why, why?

OK, no more whining. Going to bed in hopes that some sleep will go a long way towards righting me.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
...at least I hope I am.

I am very much dreading the "etat des lieux" tomorrow, the handing over of the keys, the verification of the inventory and the state in which we have left the apartment.

I always leave a place spotless. Spotless. I am not a tidy person, but when I leave a home, you could eat off the floors, the walls, out of the dishwasher*...  We have replaced what we have broken and have not damaged anything irreplaceable.

However, the lady who is coming to do the état des lieux has not been...friendly whenever we've spoken on the phone.

When we had to replace the broken induction stovetop and called to find out the procedure for insurance purposes, she was downright witchy, practically accusing us of trying to rip off the rental agency when all we were trying to do was follow the proper channels.

Then, the other day, in setting up the appointment for the "check out," she told me we were going to have to pay a plumber to do the annual maintenance for the heating. We lived here from March to 1 Oct and had no need of the heating. I asked her to discuss it with J, citing we had only been here six months.  She went ballistic and said we were going to HAVE TO pay so no need to discuss anything. To which I politely insisted she talk to J about it. 

When we moved in, the realtor (different agent) said the maintenance was our responsibility, at which time J asked for a receipt showing the last upkeep done on the boiler.  We never received anything.  

Anyhow, the witchy lady never called J. He called the agency instead and repeated the need to see a receipt for the last maintenance because, hey, why should we have to pay for something we never used? And the agency kept dragging it out, claiming to be waiting on the plumber to send them the last bill. Only the thing is: They handle this apartment for the owner. It is their responsibility to have all of these documents on hand, already.

Witchy lady finally called back, leaving a message, in which she said, "Lucky for you, the last maintenance was done in Sept 2010, so you don't have to do it." (Remember the maintenance is ANNUAL, so they dropped the ball in 2011.) Lucky for us? Why lucky for us?  If we had bowed to her attempts to cow me, then we would be stuck paying something that is not our business to be paying.  Luck plays no part in it. They messed up; they have to pony up. Who wants to bet they try to fob off the expense on the next renters?

All day today, I've been tormenting myself with scenarios of her trying to find something wrong with the apartment and succeeding, thereby getting to keep all or a part of our deposit.  I'm making myself miserable. I'm borrowing trouble from tomorrow, when perhaps there will be no trouble.  I know that, but I just can't stop. Stupid mental playback of misery!

OK, enough whinging. Time to get back to cleaning so as not to give witchy woman any ground...

* that might seem an odd thing to say, but have you ever cleaned a dishwasher filter? Nasty,greasy things...
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: praying mantis)

According to the pharmacist, my itchy, bumpy, allergy-thing, probably-insect-bites ongoing saga is to be blamed on this blasted devil and his kin:

(image via Wikipedia)

Harvest mites, aka chiggers!  I have yet another outbreak of bumps after Sunday's bike ride and yesterday's walk in the ornithological park.  I ITCH!  I can't get rid of one crop of bites before the next pops up. I tried using Tiger Balm a couple of times, even though it is not recommended for nursing women, that's how bad the itching is, how mad it is driving me, keeping me awake and waking me at all hours...the hours when S is not waking me, that is.

But, there is a reason Tiger Balm is not to be used by nursing moms:  Every morning that followed a use of the balm, S would spit up. She usually never does that. I went several days without using it but last night used just a smidgen.  This morning, spit up again. Not much, but enough to confirm that the balm was to blame.

The pharmacist gave me a "safe" brand of antihistamine cream, but I am sad to say, it is not working.

Oh, my legs, I want to claw them to shreds! 
wayfaringwordhack: (I heart you)
Thank you ever so much to those who responded to my last post.  Each and everyone of you gave such good advice that will help me through the writing doldrums.

In fact, mulling over what everyone said, I came to realize that I what I really need is an attitude adjustment...

Right here, right now, there is a disconnect, a strident dissonance, in what I'm saying I want and what I'm doing to get it. [livejournal.com profile] mindseas compared story love to getting struck by lightning, and I told her that while I too want that lightning, instead of getting out and chasing the storm, I'm hunkered down in a house bristling with lightning rods. I should've added that I'm standing on tires, too.

This is not confined to my writing. It is me, all of me.  I feel pretty useless these days, adrift and without purpose, unable to contribute. I guess a bit of that seeped through because, in chat, [livejournal.com profile] frigg told me my post was depressing.

So, yeah, time to adjust that ol' attitude and get to the heart of a few matters...
wayfaringwordhack: (plot problem)
The manuscript I'm working on, the one I promised to finish a draft of by Sept 1st because I believed it was pretty sound--unfinished ending aside--is broken.

It is painful, but I must admit that my memory of a fairly sound draft does not match the reality. There is no way I can uphold my promise to Julien to have it submission-worthy by Nov 1, no way to meet my own standards in the time I have.  Especially since the story is not singing to me, not even humming. It sounds like an excuse to say that, to try to get out of writing because I don't feel hot, passionate, consuming story love. So many times I've read about the importance of showing up, of sticking with the story and pushing past any discourage sloughs of Blah. But. But.

I have so much to do, so many projects, and a baby who is a major monopolizer of my time and energy; and I think, why?  Why should I pursue something that my heart is not in right now?  Why shouldn't I turn my passion and my spare moments to working on something that brings me joy?

I promised, that's why. But when the black hole of no-inspiration-and-even-less-desire strikes*, that doesn't seem a good enough reason.

I told [livejournal.com profile] frigg that I should perhaps work on two projects simultaneously, only working on the "fun" project (WW2) after spending a set amount of time on the "promise" project.  Time, though, is in short supply.  Now I just sound whiny.

I just need to make time. And get inspired.

Anyone want to share how they get fired up about/deal with a project that has fizzled?

* can a black hole strike? :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Maki World Domination)
There is a site I wanted to join called Pinterest. However, you have to wait to receive your invite.  Said invite arrived today, and guess what?  I can't join because I can only do so by logging in with my Facebook or Twitter accounts, two sites I refuse to have anything to do with.


Thanks, but no thanks.  


30 Aug 2010 10:27 am
wayfaringwordhack: (sunflower - closed)
 I have not been writing; I have not been revising.  I have not been sleeping...well, not sleeping enough. 

Mini-meltdown )
wayfaringwordhack: (monk)
 So, still only two chapters to go till the end of this draft.  Still haven't written them.

For the past week, I've been in a bit of funk over some "bad" news and haven't felt like writing, preferring to bury myself in reading.

What's the bad news? Julien's requests for transfers (he asked for a couple of different places) were all denied. I was so sure we were going to get to move and have our housing/neighbor problems solved. Not so, or not in the near future anyhow.

He did send his application to the embassy services yesty morning, so maybe we will have positive news from that. The only problem is that interviews for acceptance are not until December. 

I'm into my sixth month of pregnancy and not looking forward to another move so soon, but I called to give our landlady notice yesterday.  She told me that she wants to do some insulation work on the house and that the smoker is supposed to leave in Sept.  Theoretically, if all the factors align, we could happily stay here. But if she doesn't do sufficiently satisfactory work on the house and the smoker doesn't leave, we're going to have to find another place before winter, and hopefully before I have the baby.

And if Julien gets accepted into the embassy service, it could mean a mission as soon as January or February.  Which would imply, possibly, yet another move within four months. *sigh*

I like change, but I have my limits...
wayfaringwordhack: (monk)
I don't know if I should be coming back to LJ-land yet, but well, here I am.  I went offline to force myself to get some writing done, and I did, two chapters' worth (4.5K words).  But I'm still three chapters away from the end. I knew when I decided to write the story that these chapters would be the toughest, hence why I saved them for last. I'm not sure now that that was such a brilliant idea. It makes getting to The End that much harder. As if finishing a book needs to be any harder.

I need to do what all writers and concerned friends of writers counsel and Just Write the First Draft. I know that, but the fears of inadequacy, they cripple me.  And they have spilled over into my dreams of late.

In one dream, I had to infiltrate a diabolical sect, but I couldn't even worship the Devil correctly. He refused me!

Last night, I dreamed that I could not take a photograph to save my life. Everything was against me: the light faded; no matter how hard I tried, the image refused to be framed correctly; the camera malfunctioned. Lots of factors outside my control, but I stupidly just kept pushing the button, pushing the button. Finally I turned to another subject, but again, everything went wrong. I thought that I should stop and check my camera, see if it was on, if it had charged batteries, etc. but no, I kept pushing the button.

So I woke up this morning, secure in the knowledge that I feel inadequate, that I have performance anxiety.  Only, I already knew that.  What I need now is the kick to get me past it.

I don't know what to do besides accept that this draft will not be perfect--nor will the next--and just keep typing one word after the next. Yet, that feels frighteningly like pushing the button.

Any advice from the masses who have trod this hellishly hard way before me?
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
OK, probably going to offend some smokers out there, but:

I hate smoking.  Loathe it.

So, imagine my disgust that our downstairs neighbor smokes. And smokes, and smokes. So much so that we can smell it in our house.  it creeps up through the floorboards in the wee hours while we are in bed, for C comes in from work/partying anywhere between 11:30 pm and 5 am. 

I wake and light a candle in the essential-oil burner, but I still (or because of that?) wake with a sore throat.

And then the stench starts again around 10 or 11am when C wakes up.

It's his house and he can do what he wants, but it infuriates me that his nasty habit encroaches on our living space.

Does anyone have any experience with anti-tobacco wall plugs/ candles? Are they effective?  And while it might get rid of the smell, I guess I can't do anything for our lungs. :(

Thankfully we are moving into summer and can keep the windows open.  But what about next winter with a baby in the house? *wails*
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Or perhaps something I said, in this life or the last, that could explain why the mongrels, as the policeman put it last night, busted our windshield?

Welcome to New Zealand.

Off to see glass repair businesses.

At least our insurance is going to come through for us. Yay Visa Premier Gold!
wayfaringwordhack: (palmier)
The net connection at Lionel's house is as infernal and unstable as I thought it would be (I've been disconnected four times just trying to get this page open), so I'm not going to take the time to respond individually to all who wished us well. Here is your collective thank you: Thanks for thinking of us! *g*

Two days after emptying our house, we are still in the middle of sorting our affairs. I weighed our baggage and cats today, and we are 40+ kilos over our limit. That means we have 120 kilos of stuff to haul with us!!! Needless to say, the post is cheaper than air fret, so we are in the middle of weeding out some of the heavier stuff and putting it into boxes to mail ourselves. Why oh why did we not do a better job when we packed for our shipping container?

No idea (well, aside from the rush and tiredness), but done is done. We have to live with the mess we still have. Luckily, Lionel flew back to continental France on Monday, so he has not seen the bombsite that is now his house. Our fellow house squatters arrive on Saturday, but for our own sanity, I would like to wrap it all up today.

We have yet to take advantage of our last days here because we are so worn out and busy taking care of last minute details, not to mention because the weather has been horrid with too much wind (our night dive was cancelled! *wails* And there won't be another before we leave) and even hissing, spitting, unseasonal rainshowers. I haven't written since Monday; I'm so exhausted every night that I can't sleep; the mattress we have here sucks so bad that I wake up several times per night with cramps in my neck, back, and thighs. We have had no water since 8 a.m. today... All in all, I'm just ready for this stage to be over.

Enough whinging. Think happy thoughts. Happy. Happy.

Back to work.


wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

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