Saturday, January 5, 2013

I FEEL Like I'm Multitasking

Publication was delayed on this because I couldn't upload the pictures for some reason. One of the "help" suggestions was to try a different browser, so I downloaded Chrome, which I hadn't liked on a previous tryout. It solved my picture problem, because, and I should not be surprised, Chrome and Blogger are both Google products and generally interface better than with IE9. Shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

A collage of my December Photo A Day posts
You know, this is a follow-on to my mention that I'm planning to continue with my regular schedule along with doing room-addition related things, even though I already usually feel frantically crazy or crazily frantic. My Mom seemed to lead such a serene life from the point of view of childhood and I thought it was only a matter of time until serenity also descended upon me. Still waiting.

I feel like I'm multitasking at the moment, watching a Castle rerun which is not familiar, working on this blog, and monitoring Facebook for a lively conversation that is taking place (excitement in the air) about tomorrow's debut of Season 3 of Downtown Abbey and another about a common-sense quote that doesn't seem to apply universally. But I heard a neuroscience person on PBS the other night saying that multitasking is not possible; that the brain can only manage one task at a time. Despite that . . . I feel like I'm multitasking. But you know how they say women multitask, and men don't. Perhaps men really don't? Not at all? So this guy just doesn't feel it?

I went to NeedleCrafts this week, my regular Thursday Out activity. After the excesses of the Holidays, not to mention lots of sweet snacks last week at the group, a good Samaritan brought snacks suitable for all.

Room construction is at rest, awaiting the building inspector. Building inspectors were furloughed over the holidays (which is financially different from being on vacation) and will resume Monday. Presuming there was someone in the office to schedule the inspector for this Monday, we might be getting foundations poured on Tuesday.

Here's Henley watching ground breaking. He took a marginal interest in all the banging and clanking of the backhoe, a little bit of curiosity.

On the other hand, my little tough-guy Jean-Luc was completely terrified by the whole thing.

My own construction-related tasks this week have consisted in moving a bunch of little boxes of quilting fabric to the storage shed (I showed them in my trunk of my car in the last blog). I've filled up another big plastic box with other quilt-related things (with a careful list of the variety of contents), and sent all my sewing machines except for one (we quilters tend to accumulate these things) for storage at Sister's house, which is more secure than the storage shed. Sister and Brother-in-Law took away my glass-topped coffee table and a computer desk I'd never taken out of the box to transport to our local thrift store. Daughter has my truck and meanwhile I'm having some work done on her SUV, so BIL is helping out with his truck.

When Sister and BIL came back up from their city home after a few days away, they brought me 30 boxes to pack books into. Books seem like a good starter item. They're easy to pack so I can develop a sense of progress and momentum. So far I've packed up some of the series book I love, reference books, and unread books that will come back on the shelves after the addition. In the past I've pretty much culled out the books I don't need to keep (painful to part with a book), but there are some oldies I'm just going to keep for sentimental reasons by allowing them to go into permanent storage in my new storage space in the addition. (Heirs beware.)

I filled one box with all French/France related books. It's a big, flat box because I have a big book of Monet's Nympheas (water lilies) that doesn't fit in the 11X14 boxes. I packed these three books in French that I can't wait to get out again to read. I took a look into L'Incendie de la Sainte-Victoire which I couldn't read when I bought, but I think I can now. The one by Candace Bushnell is translated from English and I anticipate that I might get bollixed up by slang.

The picture with the big rows of books in the center of the collage has several of my Roman mystery/history series and some biographies of historically important Romans. I discovered in my sorting that I'd purchased one the the big scholarly books (Augustus) twice. Amazon usually warns me when I try to do that!

I've pulled all these off of my bedside table and out of a rickety box on my bedroom floor where I put new and unread books. Some of these are no longer very new. When I get to that serene point in my life I will read them all. I think my bedroom is stripped free of all books now, except those currently being read. Since I'm trying to pack by category, I'll supplement these various piles from my bookshelves. I notice I missed a few French books for my French box.

There's a bit of computer equipment mixed with my book boxes, ready to go to Sister's storage.

When I was pulling little boxes of fabric out of my closet the other day, I found something that had been missing for ages. I don't remember what it was, but I was thrilled for the moment. But talk about finding something I thought was gone forever, my Pageminder dropped out of one of the already-read books on the bookshelf. This was truly exciting. It was losing this that prompted me to buy a Kindle, because if you like to read while eating alone in a fast food, this had been my answer, and I couldn't find a replacement when it went missing until the Kindle came along.

Like the Kindle, you can prop a book hands-free on the rim of the tray and use both hands to hold the hamburger.  Like this, although I'm still so newly into this book that the Pageminder struggles a little against its effort to close.

I've attended other meetings besides NeedleCrafts in the past week, missing photos sometimes by leaving the SD card for the camera in the computer at home, or not thinking the meeting was that exciting. Somehow at the computer users group board meeting, I talked myself into giving an update to earlier presentations (by others) about Facebook to a meeting, as much as I hate public speaking. Well, that's not totally true. It's the preparation and the anxiety leading up to it that I hate, but the presentation itself usually goes okay once I get through those preliminaries. Thus things keep adding themselves to my schedule. When they start sawing and hammering at seven AM every morning outside my bedroom window, I may have to curb the late night hours a little.

I must throw in a little exercise, maybe even a lot. I tripped over my own feet the other morning while out on the deck picking up the feral cats' water cup, skinned my knee, bruised my wrist, but at least did not knock myself silly and got up right away. I need to work on balance (again) and leg strength, for I was also inspired by some photos Nina Camic took in Ephesus, Turkey, the other day. She took them from high in the Great Theatre there, looking down at Ed, her Occasional Traveling Companion in a lower row, then being joined by him up at the top.

It reminded me of a visit a few years ago to the Roman theatre in Orange, France, similarly impressive, when I had made it almost to the top for the exhilarating view. (Getting the wits scared out of you by heights also includes a certain exhilaration.) I was there again with Sister in 2011 and I didn't have the strength in my legs to lift myself up even one step, nor the confidence I'd get safely back down, even if I were to make it up. So when I look at Nina's pictures, I almost want to cry. I hope this will give me the motivation to do something about this fitness thing -- even more than all the lectures my doctor gives me -- in case we go back this year.


See you soon.



  1. One of the things that frightens me about having to move house is the books. I have a few--thousand, I think. I've culled them twice, much as it hurt, but I'll have to do it again. I doubt I will find a place to move to that will have space for all my bookcases!

    1. I was surprised at how many books will fit in a box. In a future space, you might be able to archive them in boxes, even though it's not the same as on the shelves.

  2. Fortunately Tom doesn't arrive until 8 AM, so when he starts, yo will have an extra hour of sleep.

  3. As they say -- one step at a time! (I say this as I try not to pay attention to the ache in my hip, telling myself that surely yoga would help that...)
    My father developed a sore knee in his older years. Watching him become completely immobilized by it makes me excessively vigilant about matters of movement.

    But one step at a time! You already do so much more than most people I know!