gfrancie: (sasek)
Dealing with the UK home office is a mildly frustrating experience in the best of times. We are renewing the passports for the kids, and because they are dual citizens we are asked to send in their non-UK passport as well as their UK passport. But then on the same god damn website it says you can send in a photo-copy. Maybe. No one is really sure. No one at the home office is ever really sure of anything. And then we are attempting to fill out the rest of the form and for some god damn reason they want to know information about both sets of grandparents of said children. This is a renewal form. Wouldn't this information be on file at this point? Shouldn't a renewal form be straight-forward? It just feels a few shades of hinky.
Then there is the business of getting photos countersigned by a middle class British person with the right sort of job. And again this is a renewal... shouldn't information be on file. It is essentially having to apply for a passport from scratch every single god damn time. Fuck you Theresa May and your time at the Home Office as a peddler of motherfucking fascism and hate. And fuck you now as a shady worthless PM who kisses up to those fuckos in Saudi Arabia while bitching about Easter Eggs and ignoring what is going on in Syria.
I have feelings on this subject.

At least getting the photos countersigned was a pleasant experience. I know someone who is a registered translator (counts as a person of good standing) and our kids go to school together. So I came over for tea, Senor Onion played with her daughter, and I brought cookies. It was most civilized. Also she lent me some really cool comic books she got from a friend who runs a comics shop in Normandy. We talked about schools, travel, languages, books, and "Fucking Brexit". (That is now Brexit's official title. Fucking Brexit.) Senor Onion who is usually bored pretty easily had a dandy time helping his friend work on her den. They found some bricks, cleaned them up a bit and began to work on the foundation. Like Minecraft but in real life. I love his friend because she is this wonderfully confident girl, and just so comfortable in her own skin. He was almost reluctant to go home. I am so pleased he had some fun in the sun.

Miss Biscuit remains listless and has this cough that won't go anywhere. It showed up rather suddenly last week. It has meant a low-key Easter holiday break so far. I think if this keeps up I will take her to the doctor and see if there is some kind of infection going on. (she mentioned pain around her lungs this evening.) At least the weather has been rather lovely as of late. It makes running an almost cheerful experience. The other day when I was out, I had to run against the wind for half of my usual run but the light kind of made me forget about a lot of difficulties. The run back was down-right perfect and my mind drifted so much, it was a surprise to find myself back at home.
gfrancie: (sasek)
I have gotten through the first month on birth control and holy cow, life is night and day. It appears I have been living for years with completely out of whack hormone levels. I freaking sleep all right. I don't feel suicidal anymore. I feel... pretty darn good. It isn't for everyone but this is kind of all right.

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK. It always feels a bit like, "sorta Mother's Day but whatevs... the real day is in May." I was given cards by my children. (Thank you very much.) And then Mr. Jenner took the kids to his mum's for a sunday roast. I stayed home and had a few hours to myself. I ate cold pizza, watched my spanish soap opera, and slouched across the sofa. I also did a bit of laundry, and poked about in the garden. It was just a few hours but dang, it was a gift and a half. Then everyone came home and I made children supper, and cuddled with Miss Biscuit, and talked with Senor Onion. It was not too bad a day.

A friend of a friend is pushing me to submit something to some anthology. So that is what I am doing. Because rejection is life and life is rejection, and sometimes you get ice cream. Or something. I have no idea why I do this.

I made a cake that I sort of messed up in the process of mixing the batter but somehow I managed to save it and it turned out even better than I had anticipated. I have been passing out hunks of it to people. It is a rather Spring-like cake. Very cheerful. "here have something to make you feel okay about things." My sister in law fed some to her children for breakfast. Yes breakfast cake can be a thing.
gfrancie: (sasek)
A few years ago I wrote a short story inspired by a fun conversation I had with someone about alleged ghosts in their house. And then I put that story away. Then a few months ago I worked on it a bit and then let it sit awhile. It won't be anything anyone would pay to read because it isn't what most editors or publishers want. Which is okay. It is sweet and earnest, not gritty and raw. I think today is a day people might need a little respite from all the chaos around them in the world, so I tossed the story up on Medium. Here is the story
gfrancie: (sasek)
The cat peed on the carpet, (which is rather unusual for him, so I may take him to the vet on Monday) I have this enormous pimple on my face, (what am I? thirteen?) and I am slowly adjusting to birth control. (it feels a bit like early pregnancy.) BUT BUT BUT I booked my mom's flight so she will be visiting us this Spring for a few weeks. I am really looking forward to seeing her, and the kids are incredibly excited. GRANDMA TIME!!!!
Now to deal with this pimple. (I think it has its own postal code.)
gfrancie: (sasek)
I wish I could do an advert for the gorilla glass screen protector. I am an absolute butter fingers, and I have cracked a few screens in my day. I decided I needed to do EVERYTHING to protect my phone. (because they aren't cheap.) I don't have a super cute case anymore. I have a bad-ass gonna protect shit at all costs case. (it IS orange so hey a bit of color.) And then I spent a few quid on the screen protector which has tempered glass. Well the other day I dropped my phone -once again. (and from a pretty short distance onto the fucking tiled floor we have in our kitchen and laundry room.) And I saw the cracks and thought, "yep, I fucked shit up again." But the cracks looked a bit different and I began to wonder... was that the screen protector? Maybe I didn't mess up my screen. I had a look and holy cow my screen was all right. The best part is that the original protect was two for the price of one. HELL YEAH! Popped the new one on, and then ordered another couple just to be safe.
Best money ever spent.
Butterfingers rides another day!

The kids had World Book Day dress up at school. Senor Onion decided to go as one of the children from "The Midnight Gang" for two reasons. One he had assorted injuries and bruises from falling on his face, and two he could wear his pajamas and dressing gown to school. Which to him is the ideal life situation. I like how he thinks. Miss Biscuit decided to go as Marigold the Unicorn from "Phoebe and her Unicorn." She TOLD me she had it figured out. She just needed help with a tail. She wore some sparkly clothes, and a favorite necklace. She has her unicorn headband. I put her hair in a high pony-tail and added some decorations to look like a mane. I got out some other material and made her a multi-colored tail. and then added some polka-dots to her face. (She was going as Marigold in Razzle-Dazzle Unicorn, so there was more color involved.) She was PSYCHED!

Tomorrow Mr. Jenner leaves for his yearly work trip to the states. It will be me and the kids for a week. We will eat pizza, have milkshakes and have ourselves a time. We will miss him of course. Loads. But we will lay about like slugs with our pizza.
gfrancie: (sasek)
Yesterday I was really proud of myself. I got through the day with only one bout of crying. yeah I was somewhat suicidal but I got through the day and I got things done.
I went to my GP this morning and said, "Help!" At first she asked if I had tried CBT and I laughed and explained that I use it A LOT, and I am white-knuckling it during those days when I am using it like mad. I explained in detail how long I have been tracking these mood swings, when they show up, how they manifest, and why I don't need an SSRI, but something to help with regulating my hormones. So we are beginning with some good old fashioned birth control pills. It is a combined pill -which is much more likely to help with the wicked PMDD. She said, "if it doesn't work come back immediately and we will try something else. And hey if you want to skip a period you can do that. Go right to the next pack."

Then I went and ate a meat pie. I kept me full most of the day. I made tacos and then we had pancakes (American style ones, and crepe ones.) with loads of toppings on offer. I was still feeling rather raw today but again I got things done. I cleaned out the fish tank, I did laundry, I tidied here and there, and began working on another story.

We got a call today that Senor Onion had fallen over at school and ate the asphalt. They said his injuries weren't super bad but they felt like it should be my call to take him to the minor injuries unit. I went and had a look at him and he was a mess. His poor beautiful face. He had bumped into another kid, and fell RIGHT on his face. His nose was bloody and bruised, his lip was busted, his hands and knees were bloody. It was a sight. Nothing appeared to be broken, there were not any obvious signs of concussion, and his nose had stopped bleeding. I took him home, gave him some ibuprofen, bundled him on the sofa, and we watched a tv show together. He will likely end up with a black eye or two, and the lip swelling has gone down. Thankfully his face is still pretty. It was nice to have a bit of cuddle time with him.

Then??? I had parent teacher consults this afternoon. Those are always stressful for me. "How have I messed up my children this time???" But they went pretty well. Senor Onion remains a smarty marty when it comes to math, reading, science, and most subjects. (This kid is soooooooooooo damn gooooood at math is really leaves me in awe. Math was such an anxious subject for me and for him it seems so easy. His teacher did say that he HATES it when he gets the rare question wrong. It just makes him go a little mad. He wants to be absolutely perfect. I do not know where that comes from.) He is a bit... unenthusiastic when it comes to writing. He does the bare minimum. And I get that. When he is passionate/interested in a subject he gives it his total energy and devotion. He is getting better at handling some of his emotions. (he has been working with an aide in this one program and I have noticed a massive difference in how he relates to people, and his observations about what is going on with other people. He really pays attention.) His teacher seems to like him a lot. I will be sorry to see her go.

Miss Biscuit is a sponge for knowledge. The teacher remarked that Miss Biscuit always has perfect punctuation and spelling in her writing. Somehow Miss Biscuit knows how to do all this stuff that they haven't even taught her to do yet. My guess (and the teacher agreed with me) was that Miss Biscuit does a huge amount of reading, and has absorbed a lot of information. (this is the same kid who taught herself to read, and it took me awhile to notice it. "Oh...yeah... look at what you can do.") They are doing a lot to help keep Miss Biscuit challenged. The teacher also said that while Miss Biscuit is a really clever kid, she does day dream, and then ends up missing directions. When that kid is on, she is ON. She is super enthusiastic about science, math, and telling/writing stories.

This was a bit of good news.
gfrancie: (sasek)
I spent about ten minutes trying to find the perfect Parks & Rec gif to sum up my depressive state to make things seem funny. I want to say to people, "hahaha yes, I am depressed and everything is grey and dead inside but things are okay no really." Mostly as a heads up for why I am being weird and that I am safe and all right and COME ON let me try and find some humor in all of this because it is what makes me feel better for a few minutes.
(and yes I have listened to the "Hilarious World of Depression" podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed it.)

I got up, I had some tea, I made my daughter's lunch. I will help find jumpers in a moment. I will get dressed, brush my teeth, slap on some moisturizer, take the kids to school. I will run errands. I will tidy as much as I can. I will do this. And in exchange I can have another cup of tea, and look at some videos of a capybara chilling out.
gfrancie: (sasek)
Today I felt the beginning of that slow descent into depression/weirdness that comes every month. It was kind of a blech feeling to realize it, but I am also kind of calm because I know what is going on, and I am going to the doctor on Tuesday and I know how to advocate for myself and get what I need.
It was just a bit hard around 5:30 because the light was a certain way and it was windy and since I was a child, there has been something about that combination of things that makes me feel squirrely. Even in a room full of people it can make me feel absolutely alone. I focused on making toad in the hole (it has been awhile since I have made that) and carefully slicing vegetables and all those other inane details. It doesn't quite get me out of my head but it is a direction.

I just have to tell myself when I don't feel like doing anything, that I have to do those basic things. I have to get out of bed, get dressed, brushed my teeth, eat something, tend to my children, talk to my husband, and so on and so forth. My reward is a hot bath at the end of the day.

I edited/expanded a short story I wrote awhile ago and tossed onto the pile. I feel kind of good about it. It is just a matter of figuring out what to do with it.
gfrancie: (sasek)
I have been in London the past few days. (Now I am back home in time for another storm to come through.) It was good and too short. It is always too short. I met up with a number of friends for a lot of blathering, I saw some art, and did loads of walking. I could have done more walking. So much to think about.
I am okay these days. At least I think I am. I am just frustrated because my attention span is not where I want it to be. There is much I want to do but everyday I wake up trying to stay on top of existing. And I KNOW there are things I could do. Maybe. I sort of wish I could take my head and shake out everything and start anew.

VD

Feb. 14th, 2017 05:25 pm
gfrancie: (sasek)
pumpkineater
She was taking Dan Savage's advice about being good, giving, and game, but she found the insides of pumpkins to be really gross. Still, she loved Peter that pumpkin eater.

out we go

Feb. 12th, 2017 05:06 pm
gfrancie: (sasek)
Things are not bad. I was overcome with a grand idea and wrote it down. It is shaping up to be quite the story. And then another came to me during a walk. the whole idea of it made me burst out with laughter -which makes one look completely bonkers. A woman laughing to herself and then trying to keep the laughter under control.

Miss Biscuit's crush on young Obi Wan continues. She bought a cupcake at the school bake sale and it had his image on the cupcake. (one of those awful rice paper transfers) She refuses to eat the cake. She says, "I just like having it about." Obi Wan cake may need to be put in the bin soon.

Friday I drove to Stourhead to meet up with a friend from the states. She lives to do a Snowdrop tour, where she visits grand houses and wanders about their winter gardens. Sometimes the houses are open as well (most are not at this time of the year.) and I had the pleasure of joining her. I had never been to Stourhead before, and it was a truly fantastic place. We went on a tour of the house. Much of the house is shut up right now and things are covered in specially designed drop-cloths, but we got to see parts of the house that most visitors do not get to see, and learned a bit about the family that once lived there full time. I loved the picture gallery which had brilliant green walls that were likely poisonous as hell. There were all sorts of paintings, and it was high victoriana at its most gaudy -complete with an over the top chandelier. I absolutely loved it.
Then we went down into the cellars where they kept the wine, meat, and the dairy. A family member still lives in the house in an apartment, and it seems she keeps her supply of gin down in the wine cellar. (we noticed about 6 or 7 bottles of gin near the wine.)
We examined some of the original kitchen, which had subway tiles which was considered rather hygienic for the time. The kitchen was slightly unusual for being on the ground floor and having so much light from the windows.
Then it was to the top floor where the nursery and maids' quarters were and it was like a horror movie in the making. The wallpaper and paint were more arsenic-filled delights, everything was incredibly cold, and cramped, and there were ancient creepy toys strewn about in the old school room. I was waiting for a ghost to show up.
After that we wandered about the gardens. Even in the depths of winter there were things to see. (besides the snowdrops which were everywhere.) My favorite parts had to be the enormous rhododendrons, and the red cedars. The cedars reminded me so much of the ones I played about on as a child. They sort of bend and twist a bit so you can always climb on them and make them forts. It was so cold out (even with my gloves on) and the mist added to the vaguely sinister atmosphere that came with the place. A fantastic day out as they say. It was so good to see another American and blather at one another for awhile over a good lunch in an inn called, "The Spread Eagle". Yes. Really. Would eat there again.
gfrancie: (sasek)
I am having a weird time mentally this week. Where every conversation I have feels not quite right. I suspect much of it is my PMDD that has gotten way weirder over the past year. I finally made an appointment to see a doctor about trying some form of birth control or something to even out this situation. Essentially I am fine most of the time but RIGHT before my period shows up, my hormones go so crazy that I essentially go crazy. It used to be a few days before, I would find myself kinda irritated by everyone, and I would want to eat a bag of chips. (I would then think, "oh yeah, about that time. And I would chill out and eat that bag of chips.) Easy-peasy. Now I feel this sudden drop in my emotional state (it almost feels like the room goes cold physically) and I will feel genuinely suicidal. Like REALLY suicidal. (awhile back I was about five minutes away from hanging myself because I felt like my existence was ruining everyone's life. And then the next day I was fine.) I stay safe. I work through those feelings and remind myself it isn't real, I just have to hang tight until my uterus catches up. And I feel so worthless and down-right paranoid thinking everyone hates me or thinks I am terrible in some fashion. It becomes this spiral of emotions and reactions. I become afraid of offending everyone, and if I do in the slightest I am scrambling like made to fix it. "oh no they hate me, I have fucked up royally again." (I already spend a good portion of my life trying not to hurt anyone's feelings. I aim to give the impression that I am find with most things, and that nothing bothers me. That's right, I want to be everyone's totally fine acquaintance and nothing more.)
The closest sensation I can compare it to is when I was breastfeeding and I had D-mer. (which is this weird reflex, where just prior to my milk releasing I would have this massive drop in dopamine and I would feel horribly depressed for a few minutes, along with this sick feeling in my stomach. It would go away, but it was always an odd feeling.)

I am making that step to get help for this. But if I am weird now and then, it is because I am trying to manage completely out of whack hormones and serotonin levels that have nose-dived.

Now to inhale a bag of ruffles, and hide under blankets. And stop irritating me people. Some of you are getting on my very last nerve. Except for you over there. You may stay. But only if you are quiet. No you may not have my crisps.
gfrancie: (sasek)
Here are some good things about today:
I had my hair done. It looks amazing. I just want the world to know that. Yes that is my natural color. Thank you.
I got to talk to my mom (and she also got to talk to the kids) and that always cheers me up. We kind of skirt around how awful some things are around us, so instead we gave each other suggestions about shows to watch that provide a bit of comfort. Plus we discussed a song we really liked.
I had hot dogs for dinner. (this is what happens when I go grocery shopping while hungry.) They were good. Damn I make great hot dogs.
I went to the local pie shop and had a truly fantastic chicken and tarragon pie. I think they put some kind of drug in those pies, they have no business being that delicious.
I have made some plans to see fun people this month.
I bought some art. Art made by a woman. I can't wait to hang it on the walls. My house has a lot of great art. Sometimes the outside world is too much but at least here inside there is beauty around me.

My son cracked me up tonight at dinner. He was really tired and he said, "The problem with hot dogs is that I have to hold them if I want to eat them." He is looking for some gravity-free hot dogs so they will just appear at his mouth and he can chew.
gfrancie: (sasek)
I am scared but I am also filled with hope. All those people showing up and saying, "NO!" This is how you fight someone like that neglected tuber. You keep saying NO. You don't ask to sit down and have a civilized debate. You keep showing up and saying NO.
KEEP DOING IT EVERYONE!
He will try to scare everyone but fuck that. Keep saying no.

too friday

Jan. 27th, 2017 06:51 pm
gfrancie: (sasek)
Some days I am thrown sideways when I feel myself missing my family in the states. I always slightly miss them but today I missed them a great deal. I haven't seen most of them in at least a year. I am hoping to see my siblings, and my mom this year. I always knew to some degree what I was signing up for when I moved half-way around the world but now and then it hurts a bit more. I text with my sister everyday. I email/fb with my mom everyday. I even talk to my brothers in some form or another about once or twice a week.
I found myself watching an old episode of Mary Tyler Moore, and I felt all verklempt because it made me think of my sister, who is gorgeous, very smart, super sweet, has kind of an early seasons Mary Richards look, and like Mary Richards, she had a Mr. Grant kind of boss who gave her a chance on a job. Man I am proud of my sister. She is much younger than me, so I have always been crazy protective of her and possibly her biggest fan (besides my mom of course) and have always watched what she has done with awe. Still. I miss her a lot. And I keep wishing for teleporters to become a thing. One day.

England you are great but I am sorry.. you aren't as good looking, interesting, and funny as my family. You try. You really do. But this is the truth. But I put up with you. Keep trying. One day you will have great hair, and do excellent impressions of Laura Petrie. One day.

I am going to go and stress eat a thing of chocolate covered marzipan.
gfrancie: (sasek)
Senor Onion was telling me how when he and his friend went off to the park at the weekend, they kept running across dead pheasants. The first one was do big deal. He said that by the time they saw the third one they said, "What is their problem? Are they really that stupid?"
Yes... Yes they are son.
Then they watched as someone in a van stopped to pick up one.
Free dinner is free dinner. Especially when it is fresh.
gfrancie: (sasek)
Miss Biscuit is experiencing what amounts to her first crush on a celebrity. I love hearing how she communicates this. She has these Star Wars comics, and she has developed a bit of a crush on Young Obi-Wan. Namely she has developed a crush on Ewan McGregor. (good choice kid.) Last night before bed she was talking a bit about him. "I just really like the look of his face. It's my favourite."
(Imagine if more adults said that!) I told her, "I am not surprised. He does have a nice face to look at." She asked, "So do a few other girls and women like the look of his face?" I laughed and said, "Many women and girls, and some men like the look of his face. So you aren't alone in your feelings."
She wanted to see his picture on google images and she sort of hummed and said, "Yeah. I am a BIG fan of his."
Then she discussed how she liked Anakin Skywalker's scar. "I love a good scar." But really when it comes to faces, it is Ewan McGregor (bearded) all the way for this kid. Plus she likes all the cool stuff he does as a jedi.
Then after that she cuddled her stuffed horse Rora, and read one of her American Girl books before dropping off for the night.
gfrancie: (sasek)
My life right now: tangling with nazis and assorted fascists. I don't exactly seek them out but you know how it goes, being a woman online, speaking my opinions and they show up telling me to kill myself, or how they want to rape me, or whatever unoriginal nonsense they can come up with. I find that by taking a surreal approach to the conversation or just plain changing the subject really throws them. They don't know what to do with someone talking about cake, or elves dreaming and how we are part of their dreaming lives and we must not wake them.
Sometimes all you can do is drag them into a circus of absurdity to deflate them. I upset one man so much that he ended up blocking me. This was after he jumped into my mentions to tell me how terrible I was for being a liberal.
I never quite envisioned my late thirties being like this.
I suppose the upside is that I don't have time to have some kind of white lady existential eat pray fart crisis. I have to help save the human race, and my home country. (probably makes for a better story down the road.)
gfrancie: (sasek)
I had that casual feeling that I would live to be pretty old. It was just how it was going to be. Women in my family do. They live to be wicked old out of spite. That is their thing. I even looked at some really old records of ancestors from the 17th century and they all lived to be pretty old. (a few died youngish due to a famine that came through but for the most part they lived to be old.)
Then this man was elected president and now I don't know if I will live to be old. Or if my children will live to be adults.
I am filled with such rage at that horrible worthless human being, and his disgusting gremlins. I wish upon them the kinds of things I don't normally wish upon another human being. But by God, I want everything terrible to come to them if they are going to try and take my life or the lives of so many others with them.
May something in the universe stop them from engaging in all of their potential horrors.
Now is the time to engage in the sort of civil disobedience that isn't polite but saves the human race. Sometimes you have to break a little property to preserve the republic.
gfrancie: (Mother)
One has kids, and goes through a period of existence where you have a pretty good idea about what your child knows, and where they are receiving their education. (First from you the parent, then later school, and from assorted media. But you are pretty aware of what they are learning.) And then one day your son surprises you with assorted things he knows, and you have no idea how he knows such things. It is strange and wonderful. Yesterday at dinner Mr. Jenner was talking a bit about letters that aren't commonly used/exist so much in the modern English alphabet. Suddenly Senor Onion mentions, "Oh yeah, you mean like Thorn." And I was a little thrown, "how do you know about that?" "Oh I read it somewhere."
Then this morning he and I were playing our geography game. It was a game born out of trying to lessen his grumpy behavior on the drive to school. I would announce, "We aren't going to school today. We are going to... somewhere far off in the world." And it has always drawn him out of a bad mood. And we might talk about what something is like in that particular place, or facts I might know about the place. (Yes, it is serious geography nerd times.) Miss Biscuit always wants to go to somewhere warm. She told us to drop her off in Mexico. Senor Onion suggested Canada today. We were talking a bit about how varied the weather is. I mentioned Prince Edward Island and he said, "Oh that place has this sand that makes odd noises when you walk on it. Singing Sand." And again there was something I didn't realize he knew about. (and I didn't know that Prince Edward Island had singing sand.) I asked him how he knew about that. "I watched this video about it. I like looking up stuff about geography."
I was just so tickled that how alive his natural curiosity is. I don't want it to ever be squashed. (sometimes school can push it down a bit.)
Quiet Senor Onion who likes the things he likes but still likes to surprise me.
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