The Present Looking Into The Future Archive

Easing Back In

Posted April 8, 2021 By kmarrs

It’s been a minute since I last really wrote. March started out rough and just kept on going. But I’m determined to bring life back to a sense of normal and that includes writing. I’m going to ease my way in by starting not with the trauma of March 2021, but instead what kept me going.

I got my 3rd stimulus, I’m not even sure when, and did a lot of important things with that money. One of those things was to set aside money for my 2021 garden. I hesitated to garden this year. I won’t have Robin’s help and it just feels overwhelming knowing that I alone am in charge of making sure things like watering it daily happen. But those who love my made it clear I needed a garden, so I set the money aside.

Then in the thick of things in late March, I started planning. My first goal was the little flower bed out back that sits along between the back porch and patio. My hibiscus and rose from last year didn’t make it. But surprisingly, my blueberry bush is already showing signs of green. After hemming and hawing over it for a bit, I decided to plant two more blueberry bushes with the goal of having a thick wall of blueberries about 3-5 years from now. Next up was mulch. Only, last year when I watered my bushes, the mulch in the bed kept floating away. So I decided this year I would buy and install edging to keep the mulch into place.

Again, I am really glad those who love me made me set aside money for my garden from my stimulus. I set aside way more than I need for plants and pots and dirt. Which means I can do little things beyond those that encourage growth. I bought two beautiful sets of wind chimes because I wanted a set for my garden, but I won’t be able to hear them from my room, so I want a set for there too. I also bought this 3-foot high birdbath that will live amongst the plants. I’m going to put rocks at the bottom of it and turn it into a bee watering station. Because there is no life without bees, so we must do our best for them always. I also bought a compost bin with my tax return so I can make good rich dirt. I’m already filling it with things like eggshells and produce that went bad before we could eat it. While my garden will feed my belly, the things like the wind chimes and bee watering station will fill my soul.

Next up, as soon as it’s consistently above freezing at night, I have some pots of herbs to put out. I put 3 out about a week ago, but was over eager and it froze a few nights in a row. I should have checked the weather. They may still live, but I bought 3 more just in case. If anything I’ll have twice as many. Otherwise, I still have the 3 new ones.

As you can see, I have 2 basil and a cilantro. Or maybe I’ll have twice that. Who knows.

I’m waiting to see if my strawberry survived. It’s too early to tell. In the meantime, I’ve decided that one strawberry plant is not near enough and bought myself a fancy stacking pot system.

I bought the 4 petal in purple and that bad boy will be able to hold 20 strawberry plants. As an added bonus, it’s compact enough that if my strawberries can’t survive the Ohio winter, I can pull them inside. That said, there is a strawberry farm like 5 miles from here, so I have every reason to believe my berries with survive and thrive.

I’m about 5 weeks off from being able to buy any plants for my garden. Mother’s Day is when I’ll begin in earnest. I have big plans for this year’s garden though. I’m going to grow beefsteak tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes for all my red sauce needs. I’m growing Thomas some jalapeno peppers. I’m growing cucumbers for Iris. And finally, Sammy will get a pot of flowers as payment for helping me.

I’m depressed right now. March 2021 was nonstop trauma. I’ll be ok, but I’m using this garden and planning for it as self-care. I’m deeply looking forward to dirt under my nails and I grow and eat my efforts.

Are you growing anything this year?

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Giving New Life to Old Projects

Posted February 25, 2021 By kmarrs

As you may know, I wrote a memoir about 6 years ago. However, I’m far enough out from the project that I know I could have done better. Like better editing for one.

Anyway, I paid the editors that my friend Joy Demora works with (read her book!) to give it a read to see if I had, I don’t know, I guess solid bones. Did I have a book worth spending hundreds of dollars and hours to edit was the question?

Turns out I in fact do!

My initial book is too ambitious trying to be like 3 things at once and that is not working. But they like my voice and they suggested a focus that will potentially sell.

So I’m going to spend the next year or so in rewrites with that focus in mind and resubmit my book to them and get started on editing with my tax return that I’ll see next year.

I have a lot of work to do but I feel confident that I have a story worth telling and the voice needed to tell it. I feel really good about this.

In related news, I also have a children’s picture book I released around that time that is currently undergoing a major art overhaul featuring the art of my good friend @ain-individual. I have seen sketches and concept work and am really excited for this project! I’m not sure when that book will be re-released into the wild as art takes time and 2020 was shit so it’s only recently been kicked into gear but it’s cute and I’m excited to share it when it’s done!

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Toby

Posted October 8, 2020 By kmarrs

I work evenings now. I’m usually gone when Sammy goes to bed. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if Sammy didn’t have crippling anxiety.

Unfortunately, Sammy does have crippling anxiety, with a side of depression. The worst of it is at bedtime.

One night I was lamenting that I would give anything for Sammy to have a dog that could go to bed with her every night. A furry friend that Sammy could find comfort in when I’m not there. I’d train the dog that Sammy was his human and he could help her not be scared.

The catch is, our rent goes up a couple of hundred dollars and we’d need to pay a hefty security deposit if we got a dog. And while we could mostly afford the basics of dog ownership, we can not afford extra rent.

Then my best friend suggested an ESA dog and it’s like suddenly the skies had cleared. ESA dogs and their disabled humans are a protected class and legally our landlord can not charge us extra rent or a security deposit for one. And Sammy is in for real, legitimate need.

I spoke to Sammy’s therapist, and she is in huge support of the idea. She’s looking into what she needs to do on her end, then she’s going to write a letter that basically prescribes Sammy with an ESA. We’ll take that letter and a print out of the law to our landlord and have them add that to our file.

Then we’re going to go to the shelter and find a pitbull or pitbull mix that responds to Sammy as the sad puppy she is. Pitbulls make excellent ESA dogs.

Together we’ll train him with the standard set of obedience commands like sit and stay. I’ll also train him to sleep in Sammy’s room at night. Since he won’t be going to the grocery store or other errands, the basic discipline commands are all he really needs. I’ll also train him on how to be walked by the 9yo, who isn’t very strong. We’ll walk her together right now, but as she gets older I want her to be able to take her dog around the neighborhood by herself, without the dog pulling on the leash.

I told Sammy about the decision a few days after I made it. She’s in research mode very concerned with learning how to train, the best food options, the best dog beds and toys, and “we’re going to get the dog chipped, right mom?”

It took her all of 24 hours to name the dog we don’t have and that we’ve never met. I campaigned for Ativan since the dog would be helping her with Anxiety. She considered it but eventually settled on Toby. Her only concern was the Toby was a boy’s name and the dog might be a girl. I pointed out dogs don’t have a gender and that blew her mind but settled the problem.

We’ll welcome Toby into our life within the next 6 months.

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2021 Planning

Posted August 10, 2020 By kmarrs

I made a goal of getting back into sewing in 2021, at some point during the quarantine. A bit later I dug out my old machine and tested it to see if it worked, because I vaguely remember there being a problem. And I was right. I couldn’t get the needle and bobbin to do their thing.

I set it aside and ordered some oil and new needles as well as more bobbins with the plans of tinkering with it to see if I could get it to work. That was weeks ago and it’s all just sort of sat in my living room waiting on me since. I was afraid to try and fix it, because I was afraid of failing.

Anyway, I finally sat down with it this weekend and I managed to get it working which means I’m on track for my 2021 goal of getting back into sewing.

I am going to wait until 2021 to really start because I’m crowd sourcing getting my bills paid at the moment and there just isn’t any allowance for me to go and buy fabric. Hopefully by January I’ll have steady income again and can go to the fabric store without guilt.

My first project will be a couple of pairs of flannel sleep shorts for Sammy. I’ll get an extra half yard of flannel to remind myself how to do the thing (it’s been 18 years) but then I’ll go to town on shorts for her. Flannel is easy to work with and shorts are a simple enough project. This will help me getting into the swing of using the machine. Plus what little gorl doesn’t like flannel sleep shorts, espcially if she picks out the fabric herself?

Once I’ve mastered flannel I’ll get a pattern for a decent a-line skirt and some decent linen or whatever and start making myself skirts. I’ll be using more expensive fabric, but will have the skill needed to treat it right. A good linen in forgiving and sturdy as hell. It’s also priced with the idea that my great-grandchildren will be able to wear these shirts, in mind. So expensive, but worth it. I will not be working with polyester. Polyester is plastic. So 100% cotten, linen, wool, silk, etc only.

Once I’ve masters that, it’s over for you bitches, and I’m moving on to cotton dresses in my favorite 1950s cut and style. I love dresses like this:

So the thought of making my own out of cute cottons is giving me life.

I can also make my own flannel shirts and not be limited to plaid flannel (Not that there is anything wrong with a standard plaid flannel. But…)

I will have the power to do what I want, and no laws of fashion can stop me!

Anyway, I’m too broke to fabric shop right now which is OK since getting back into sewing was my 2021 goal. But in the meantime the machine is working, so assuming I’m working too, there is nothing holding me back come the new year.

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Laid Off

Posted April 6, 2020 By kmarrs

In a move that surprised no one, my job laid me off this past Friday. Initially, my job was safe, but this thing is lasting longer than anticipated and I’m going to be gone for who knows how long. They laid off a lot of people. Word is my entire job title was eliminated.

When this is all over I can reapply and go back.

Or, there is a lab that makes glasses for eye doctors like who I worked for that is like 2 blocks from home. They love hiring people like me who have worked in the business, even if it’s the patient-facing end of things. No idea what sort of job they have but I might as well apply when this is all over. Can’t hurt. And since we only have one car in the household, there are serious benefits to working 2 blocks from home. Shit. When my current car breaks down for good, any month now, I’ll be able to walk to work. So I think that is my first step post quarantine.

In the meantime, I’ve already applied for unemployment. So I just need to see that process through. And well, I just need to wait out this pandemic. I refuse to work in a way that puts my life in danger. Money is not one of my motivators. At least not when my life is on the line.

Gentle reminder here that I’m both immunocompromised and also have underlying conditions. I will die.

But also, my biggest responsibility right now is to help flatten that curve.

Anyway, we’ll be fine. We’ll get through this.

Finally, for those of you who are suddenly unemployed and who will be looking for a job here in a month of 5, remember to ask the managers and HR reps who interview you how their company handled the pandemic. You’re supposed to interview them right back. They judge you based on whether or not you do this. And this question I’ve suggested is valid and makes you look good. Also, if they can’t answer, won’t answer, or have an answer that makes them look bad, you really don’t want to work for them.

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Quarantine Chronicles Part 1

Posted March 30, 2020 By kmarrs

I can not stress enough the importance of ordinary, everyday people keeping a written record of things like this. This pandemic will be taught in schools in the future. Don’t let what the rich and powerful are doing be the only narrative.

Day 1 of isolation

I’m binge-watching The Witcher (finally) and eating an entire loaf of French bread.

Day 2 of isolation

I’m taking turns between hanging out with various family members. I might settle in and watch my weekly Netflix movie later. (I have a DVD plan.) But if I do I’ll invite at least Sammy and Iris to watch with me.

Day 3 of isolation

Pokestops, raids, and gyms from the car. Determined to finish the 3rd and final installment of a series I’ve been working on slowly but surely.

Day 4 of isolation

Quit pokemon go.

Contemplate divorce.

Day 5 of isolation

Lay groundwork and terms for solving the marriage issues

Get handed an old 3DS (thank you Iris) and a copy of AC New Leaf

Day 6 of isolation

Turns out the family is the perfect size for a family DnD game even if the 16yo won’t play with us.

Day 7 of isolation

Learned how to fish in Animal Crossing New Leaf. Accomplished nothing else today. Nothing else needed accomplishing.

Day 8 of isolation

My nails needed work and I had a Netflix DVD that needed watched and returned. I usually pair these tasks up.

More DnD tonight with the family.

Also when time is meaningless it’s easy to completely miss Sunday roast so we made up for that tonight.

Day 9 of isolation

20% done with The Magnus Archives. Reading it, not listening to it. Cuz ADHD is a bitch.

The amount of time I’m spending in quarantine has been extended. I was originally planning to be back the 7th but things are getting worse, not better. My work is still open as we are essential, but I’m high risk so I am on leave with their support and understanding.

Day 10 of isolation

The main goal of the day was catching a Tuna in New Leaf for a quest. It took almost 4 hours and 5 pockets full of fish, but I accomplished my goal and made a killing in fish sales.

DnD tonight I think. The 16yo is finally joining us. He decided there was literally nothing better to do and we need a healer.

Day 11 of isolation

Listen. I love my children very much, but it’s been 11 days and there is no end in sight.

Shipment of fidget toys was brought into the house today. More to come. Should help with both homeschooling and family DnD.

Day 12 of isolation

Much the same only with added regrets of saying the H-word on tumblr. Can’t even blame the usual culprits.

I started a new novel. This one is a period romance. Fast and easy read. I’ll draw it out over a few evenings. Or I won’t.

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