Changing Seasons

So, I’ve been thinking about 2016.  It’s not been so much bad — other than the death toll — as profoundly weird.

For us, there were some bad things, one of them very bad, which was having crazy landlord asking us to move in a month, when he’d previously agreed to let us stay through May and we were waiting on a short sale (our fault, being off lease).  (Which came through in July.)  That was the bad.  Moving a three bedroom, four people, three offices household in a month is trouble enough but our move had been delayed three years because of finding a place that would rent to us with 4 cats.  (And btw, selling a house with 4 cats was a no go, hence the move to a rental while we re-finished, cleaned and staged house for sale.)

There were weird career things, too, about which the least said the better, because on top of the sudden move, they brought me as close to a nervous breakdown as I ever expect to come.

But there was the good: one of you offered to rent us his house, for as long as we needed it, so we didn’t end up as we expected with the storage/hotel/cat boarding solution.  (Of the three the cat boarding would be the most expensive one.)

And the short sale on the house of our dreams did come through.

There was other bad.  But mostly the year was CRAZY.

Just to give you a glimpse of what has been going on since we moved into this house: we moved in and were immediately away for a month, between Liberty con and Portugal.  Another month was lost to “where the hell did I put?”

September I started to settle in.  And then someone else in my household needed surgery.  There was a lot of work up to it, and then the surgery and a considerable disruption in our household.  And then in October girl-cat got very ill.  She died at the end of October and sent us for a loop.  And then younger son moved out, with attendant disruption of routines and crazy stuff in household.  We were just settling in early December, when my body decided it was a really good time for me to collapse.  Since then it’s been holidays and doctors appointments.  (Neuro on Jan 3) and then I thought I had two weeks to write in peace.  And we’ve been caught up in admnistrivia relating to all the moves.  Stuff like closing out safety deposit boxes.  Oh, and younger son is ill. And we don’t know what it is, so he needs a specialist.  And then Derpfish died the day after Christmas.  It didn’t have the same impact as a cat dying (cats are people) but it still stole a day from me, because I was bummed and feeling guilty I couldn’t save him.

The stress has been so bad that I was on prednisone four times this year.  JUST to stop walking around with open sores everywhere and unable to breathe.

The end result of all this is that I’m heavier than I’ve ever been, and … well, thank heavens one of you gave me clothes that fit, but I don’t recognize myself in the mirror.

On the other side … the good: Younger son moved out, and is behaving like an adult.  Not on his own financially yet, but we hope in the next 2 years.  He is looking for part time work, preferably related to engineering.  His brother is doing well in medschool and growing more independent from us, which is also good.

Dan and I found a house we love and we enjoy being relatively near the Natural History Museum and the zoo.  We’re looking forward to more afternoons off in the new year, particularly if he can work from home.

My long-standing thyroid problem is FINALLY getting taken care of.  We’re organizing the house in the expectation of an at-least 10 year and maybe forever tenure (if at least one of the kids stays in CO.)  And the writing is coming back.  (Thyroid destroys word-competency, which has been getting slowly worse for 10 years, and you can see how that affects my writing, right?)

The end result of all these changes is that I’m getting “remodeled” as I told Dan.  Sure, it’s a pain going through it, but the end result is better.  After two years of sheer turmoil, we’re out of a house that never worked very well for us, and we only stayed 13 years in because were tired/ill/not functioning. A growth that could have killed me was removed while encapsulated so I didn’t need chemo.  My weird thyroid issue is getting taken care of.  I have no idea what the brain thing is, but the collapse is worth it if we can take care of it early.  There is no scenario in which waiting would have been better.  And the “things to come” are beginning to take shape, the Dan and I working and being happy in this house.

I feel roughly used by the year, just because the changes were so hard and fast.  But I also feel like I’m being kicked out of my comfort zone and into trying new things.  In the new year, there will be a book with Kevin J. Anderson, and one with Larry C.  And if things just slow down a little, so I can sit down (okay, treadmill walk) and write, I’ll be happy.

The changes suck, but the end result of most of them is positive.  (Yes, even poor Miranda and Derpy. They were both very ill and I couldn’t help them, which depressed me.  I hated losing them, but they’re not in pain now.)

Let 2017 be the year I get things done, even if means reaching beyond my comfort zone and doing difficult things.  All I ask for is that I can finally work.

And that you continue to be around as my support group.  Because without you I’m not sure I’d have survived these very interesting times.

Let’s make 2017 productive AND happy.


78 thoughts on “Changing Seasons

  1. I’ll second Paul’s comment. Hope to see you at LibertyCon again, and at TVIW in Huntsville in October.

    Oh, I plan to run another game of One Last Job at LibertyCon (no idea about the scenario just yet). If any folks from here are there and interested, come and play!

  2. May 2017 be very good to you and yours, Princess.
    Looking forward to meeting EVERYONE at LibertyCon! I’ll be the one in: A) the plumed velvet bonnet; B) the black flight cap and winged goggles; C) the wolf ears. Whatever works.

  3. Alas, at the moment I’m not going to be at LibertyCon, because of getting back from Germany (if that goes, which seems less likely by the hour). I do plan on getting books in three series out, and am waiting to hear from a publisher about a 4th series. And a totally new probably-fantasy set in the Bronze Age – Iron Age transition ambushed me as I was doing research for an academic paper. It would tie into some things I jotted down when I was in Austria in ’15.

    ’16 has been a year of transitions, some painful for me, some painful to watch (while not screaming “how can you be so [flippin’] blind!?!” at certain political leaders). Here’s hoping the next year’s changes are smaller and smoother!

    1. I’ve always said it, “I don’t plan to make the same old mistakes again, from now on I will make new and more interesting mistakes!”

    1. Livejournal’s having issues. Where is a better place for a writer to be? I’ve had dreamwidth recommended, and of course there’s always WordPress — anywhere else I should think about? (Not even certain yet.)

      1. Not sure I can recommend a place that reaches, oh, TOF’s level of rationality.

        All the science pages seem to be scientism– plus ignorance. Holy crud, there are a lot of folks who think that because they republish news articles about pop science, anything they think is clever is thus scientific and The Truth.

        Seriously, they make the occasional fanatics I meet on religion blogs look calm and reasonable, and they’re much more popular.

      1. At this point my roommate is just counting the progs that mute him on FB because he dares to not toe the line…

          1. Yes. and I have seen them fantasizing that the muted ones are just furious at being cut off from the wonder of communicating with them.

            1. I’ve met unicorns, chatted with centaurs, and suspect I have at least a slightly better grip on reality. I find this rather puzzling if not outright worrisome.

              Hrm… shall we see about starting a ‘radio’ station with libertarian leanings, but transmit by modulating a neutrino emitter? Oh, right, that will just go in one ear and out the other just like the current methods.

                1. And here I am with a face for radio and a voice for silent pictures.
                  (Not really. I am told my voice is alright, and I adjust it some to the point I have been asked if I ever worked behind the mic. I have not. But I do not fear a mic. as some seem to.)

                  1. That’s because microphones are EVIL things that make me sound like a three year old.

                    Seriously, I’ve had folks ask me to hand the phone to my mother…when I was 30. -.- Not an issue in person, thank goodness.

                    1. Could be worse. I worked with a guy who kept getting called “Miss”, because he had a high and whispery voice.

                      I’m told that the phone doesn’t change my voice at all. Apparently my voice sits right in the middle of the sweet spot frequency for phones.

                    2. Now that might be attributed to aura. I’ve got the “I work here” one– had a lady that got mildly annoyed with me when I couldn’t answer one of her questions when I was dressed nice, even. Skirt, button-up shirt in pretty girl colors, cart full of kids right near me, I had a purse…and I still gave off the “I work here” aura that folks just respond to right up until they actually refocus like you do when you want to get the person’s name off of their name tag. (As this poor lady did.)

                      I choose to believe it has nothing to do but some sub-vibe of body language. 😀

                    3. Phones strip out enough overtones that I only recognize my husband on one through repetition. Apparently his voice is defined by the overtones enough that it’s completely different on a phone.

                2. Which will either soar better than a rocket, or go thud because of the eccentric music programming – Goth, epic music, a classical show DJed by a cat? John C. Wright’s call in philosophy show, where all questions must be posed in proper Greek or Latin; Kate Paulk’s computers and medieval to late Renaissance warfare specialty hour; Dave Freer’s biology weekly (and home repair how-to) . . .

        1. The election caused them to go berserk with the bans, in my experience. Loudly announcing it every time because the purpose is to crush the banned one with the knowledge that that superior being, a leftist, will not listen.

          1. As it seems obvious that curtailing sources of information is how they lost that election, I am confident this strategy will continue to prove effective.

            As to any presumed superior being, there is an old joke abut an American frontiersman being approached by a Brit who demands, “My good sire, please take me to your master” and growls in reply, “Thet sonuvabitch ain’t been born yet.”

    1. Hey, in 2016 I got a house, and became your neighbor. That was really awesome! And you got a book (and a short story) out, and Peter got a book out, and there’s been plenty of fun and camaraderie. So it hasn’t been all bad.

      But yes, here’s a positive 2017!

  4. Would you recommend Mission Tomorrow for my seventeen year-old nephew? (I was going to get it for him last year, but I waited until too close to his birthday.)

  5. You take good care of yourself. Tell Dan to do that, too. Remember, so far you’re doing better than Carrie Fisher (PBU our first space princess).

  6. Here’s to a safe and boring 2017. And for quiet, polite politics to . . . meh, no use wishing for the impossible. Just keep the noise down to where I can mostly ignore it, ‘k, DC?

    1. I saw a headline about some (D) making “the first moves toward the 2020 election campaign” and wanted to scream. NO. Just no, give it a rest until at least March, preferably October of ’19.

      1. One of the moves for 2020 is the next DNC chair next month. Blah, blah, blah, Keith Ellison, blah, blah.

      2. I’ve seen both Biden and Warren mentioned as thinking about 2020. My response was, for both, “Oh please, please, please…” The jokes would just write themselves.

        1. If this story about Biden setting up the UN vote is true, he would probably be DOA in 2020, unless antisemitism makes a really big comeback.

    2. Sorry – in DC noise is the only thing Democrats can make for the next four years. The MSM, faced with the challenge of reconnecting to the Great American Heartland or continuing to pay obeisance to the intellectual snobbery of the Left will amplify those cris de coeur will … well, you now that answer.

  7. Oh yeah, 2016 was weird. As you say, bad and good, and the good often came out of the bad. At least I didn’t have health problems much (knock-on-wood, since 2016 isn’t over yet), but there were plenty of other things. It’s so weird that so many people I know feel the same, for different reasons – granted, the election colored everything.

    But, for now, I am doing okay, and I am guardedly hopeful for 2017. I hope the same for everyone. (And I’m particularly looking forward to your collaboration with Larry C. :-))

  8. Hear, hear. Given that I lost my remaining parent in June, 2017 can only go up. And, yes, I am also looking for changes that push me out of my comfort zone, but in a good way….and quiet politics.

  9. Glad things are going better for our Gentle Hostess. Mine goes fairly well – 2nd knee replacement for wife, husband (and step-son) acquisition by daughter, almost-wife, step-sons, and mother-in-law accompanied by long-distance move for son. Retirement has NOT been kind to my projects – no deadlines and ‘I’m reading this really interesting book.’

  10. Thanks in large part to you guys’ Hoyt-lanche and you guys’ “also bought,” my brother Kevin’s sf book, The Sculpted Ship, is selling really really well. It makes me really happy to see him so happy.

    I love you folks.

    1. I enjoyed “The Sculpted Ship”. Hope there’s more of that coming soon. Reminds me, should write a review for it on Amazon.

  11. Interesting; this year I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism (I was out of work for three months), so I know what you mean. I too have had the weight gain, lethargy and the problem with words, although it’s clearing up with the medications I now take. I’ve been on two thyroid medications now for nearly two months, and am finally able to go on longer walks and even make sense when I have conversations (at least it makes sense to me), so it does get better.

    (Does thinking of cats as human beings count as a symptom? I didn’t get that one, myself.)

    Good luck to the both of us in 2017!

      1. Indeed! I remember before I had the medications, I spent days and days reading the same paragraph in the same book over and over again. I’m back to normal again, which means I can read like I used to.

        It’s funny about weight: I never felt hungry, but every time I ate something, I ate every speck on the plate. Again, after a couple of months of the medications, that has changed as well.

        Good luck!

        1. Even if they are only photon’s I prefer “owning” books. It’s been a “failing” I guess. Bright side is that I don’t have to physically store them currently.

  12. :

    CHARLIE MARTIN IS IN TROUBLE, AND HAS A GOFUNDME SET UP. I donated, and I encourage you to. I get a lot of good links from him, and he’s good people.

    The BlogFather says it best. The details are available at Charlie’s GOFUNDME page.

    If you can’t donate spread the word.

      1. Please. His last two years have been one long shower of sh*t. I’ll post on this tomorrow. I know he reached goal, but we practically had to beat him to put this up, and he really needs some more for things like the car that died early last year.
        I will post on this tomorrow. I will also give a signed book (you guys get to choose, but I don’t guarantee I can send what you want, because half the brag shelf seems to be stored SOMEWHERE and others I’m really low on.) to anyone who donates more than $50, lets their name show, and sends me their snailmail.

  13. Of the three the cat boarding would be the most expensive one.

    It has been my impression, based on reporting in the MSM, that cat boarding is in violation of the Geneva Conventions. You might find it prudent to avoid any further discussion of such practices.

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