Mar 202019

Still not quite back in the groove. But. I did sleep for something like nine hours straight which is s definite improvement. It did mean turning the lights out around 8 pm but I’m good with that.

So I woke up a little before the alarm, started doing my morning routine things, did not write (I’m starting to feel rather lazy), made breakfast, my husband showed up rather early but this time I was expecting him, I knitted a bit, we talked, we did a few more things to straighten up the mess we made before painting, my husband went to his dentist’s appointment and I went grocery shopping.

Bakery, butcher, health food store and back home while listening to a rather good podcast („The Creative Penn“), I put the groceries away and changed into running gear. By then it was already noon and I was getting a little hungry and didn’t have much energy left which meant that my 3 k run was more like a 3 k walk. But that’s alright. The weather was gorgeous if a little chilly:

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Then we had a super-Bavarian lunch:

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Traditionally these have to be eaten before noon but that was before modern refrigeration was a thing.

Then I fell into a bit of a slump, talked with the boy, then did dishes and picked myself up from the slump just in time for teaching. In between I had started calculating how long the current novel will take me. Well, if I continue at the same pace as the last few days the answer is ‚an infinite amount of time‘ because there is no progress without writing. If I extrapolate the average pace since I started into the future the answer is 166 days. Um, not good enough.

So, somehow I will have to get myself in the chair and back to writing.

Then I taught my students and it was fun. I was a little disappointed that one of my ukulele students canceled because I have found a really nice fingerpicking piece for her to play. I did offer it to the other two ukulele students (the one who canceled is an adult but those two belong to the elementary school crowd) but they shot it down immediately. So I started them on a Russian folk song instead.

Then the boy and I did twenty minutes of bodyweight exercises, I got ready for bed, contemplated maybe writing a little and went to bed early again.

And all day in between other things I read „Can’t escape love“ the latest in the excellent and fabulous „Reluctant Royals“-series by Alyssa Cole.

Mar 192019

I woke up from the alarm but would have preferred another hour of sleep. So I didn’t really do anything until breakfast apart from reading. My big hope was that I would get back to my normal routines but, um, not quite.

I did get up on time and made breakfast and re-started the misbehaving sock heel while the boy got ready for school. My husband showed up early and basically started cleaning and getting the living room back in order before he even had breakfast. There might have been words along the lines of „I am working here like crazy while you just sit there.“ He was right, of course, it’s just that I find it rather unnatural to do that kind of thing before breakfast. Okay, I already had had mine, but still.

I did get up eventually, we found that there were vast tracts of kitchen ceiling still unpainted so my husband broke the paint out yet again, we cleared paint stains off every surface at least twice and started putting things back where they belong.

After he left for his run it was me who kept doing ‚just one more thing‘. I think he was back home again before I left. In between I had started a load of laundry, found out that when the boy hung the last load up the day before he had not made sure to spread the laundry out properly, so everything was still damp, my husband found the laundry room in the basement had almost flooded so I went upstairs to my mother-in-law who had said she’d call a plumber about that.

I went running/walking. I had been so exhausted and a little sore from the painting that I almost didn’t go but in the end it was a great idea. Even though my earphone’s battery went somewhere before the middle:

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I did have a good idea for lunch:

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Pasta e fagioli, a little too spicy.

Then I actually did the dishes right after the boy had finished eating, got ready for teaching, did my singing warm-up, found a new ukulele piece with fingerpicking for a student and printed it out (also made sure I could play it), taught a few students, checked e-mail way too often, brushed my teeth, got ready for bed, read a little and went to bed super-early.

Today there will be more running and some shopping at the health food store and my husband has a dentist’s appointment and there will be quite a few students and some strength training.

Mar 182019

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

I woke up from the alarm and spent two hours lounging in bed reading. Had breakfast, knit, talked with my husband, bought yet another non-fiction book, woke up the boy, did some dishes and then it was painting time.

We started with the living room so that we would be able to make lunch in the kitchen and things took quite a bit longer than expected. As they always do.

There was goulash for lunch. It was very good but not as tender as it could have been. We should have defrosted the meat earlier. Still, a very good meal:

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We took a short break after lunch during which I read and then started culling my feedreader. And then we went back to painting.

And we painted and painted and painted. Painting all the tiny nooks and crannies with a small brush took the same amount of time as doing the ceiling and all the walls with the big paint roll. And there was paint everywhere.

We did the kitchen next and were finished an hour after dinnertime. And then there was still some cleaning to do. And dinner to eat.

The paint brushes and the roll are sitting in the bathtub soaking and there is still cardboard and old sheets everywhere. We did manage to bring all the furniture back in from the porch which was a good thing because then it started raining. And it’s supposed to snow today.

Of course, we did miss a few spots, one always does. But the living room and kitchen are now white and shiny and all the mold is gone. Next up we need a new sofa and then I will declutter the bedroom so that we can paint that and the old bathroom and the hallway.

After dinner I took a quick shower (there wasn’t much hot water left after all the cleaning and soaking), the boy and I watched some „Big Bang Theory“ and I finished the heel on the Coriolis sock for the second time only to realize that the sock was the wrong way up. I had to rip the whole heel back. Note to self: don’t start a sock heel while distracted. At least not one of the Cat Bordhi heels that come with several set of instructions.

Then I still had to plan out the week so I went to bed a little late.

Today I really hope that I’ll get back to writing, we will deal with the aftermath of the painting and there will be teaching. Maybe running even.

And it will be a whole new week.

Mar 172019

I woke up from the alarm and then didn’t do much for two hours. Got up a little late, had breakfast and then the rest of the family showed up. We had asked the boy to get up early for a Saturday because he still needed to go through about half of the things left in the living room from when it was his room.

I never got around to running either. We started right after breakfast, there were dishes and my husband cleaned all the things and the boy needed a little help with deciding what to keep and what to get rid of (we still need to actually get rid of everything and we also need to go through all the LEGO and the stuffed animals).

And then I started putting tape everywhere to make painting easier. And that’s what I did the rest of the day.

We did take a break to make lunch and it was extra-yummy. Since we had seen that „Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat“-documentary I was inspired to buy different kinds of salt. I had gotten some fleur de sel and some other sea salt and those are both amazing. We put some of that sea salt that is pretty coarse and of a light gray color on both the potatoes and the Brussels sprouts and it was a revelation. Huh. Who would have thought. The boy tried arguing that the actual structure of the salt crystals couldn’t be different but he was floored by the taste as well:

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Then we took a little break, I did the dishes and then we were back to preparing for the painting. And we prepared and prepared and I used two rolls of tape and then it was time for dinner. Well, almost. But we decided that it was a good idea to eat first and wade through gallons of paint afterwards.

And then we sat there and had very nice sandwiches for dinner, with boiled eggs (and yes, there was more special salt involved) and bresaola and I started getting drowsier and sleepier. And we might have finished the painting that day, maybe after three more hours of work but what if we didn’t? And since I’m getting up so super-early these days my energy is really waning after six pm. Also, I know from experience that painting after dark can lead to some sloppy patches. I mean, we used to be pretty nocturnal back in the day. I distinctly remember the time that my husband got one of his fits back when the annex was built and I ended up painting furniture at midnight on the porch. I can’t really recommend that.

So the boy and I watched some „Star Trek Deep Space Nine“ and another episode of „Big Bang Theory“ and we called it a day.

Which means today will be the day of painting. My husband has looked at everything again and is estimating that we’ll need two hours for the kitchen, three for the living room and another hour to clean up. So that will take most of the day.

I might not make a to do-list, even. I’m not planning to do any writing, practicing or anything else. There will be food, though. Some things you just need to fit in somehow.

So, if everything goes as it should we will finally have a nice, shiny, useable kitchen and living room again by tonight.

At least I hope so.

Mar 162019

.Woke up from the alarm and started reading right away. Yeah, I know. I did manage to meditate and to listen to the daily piece of classical music, so that’s something. No writing.

Got up, had breakfast, found that I had moved all the knitting to the bedroom because of the impending renovation and moved some of it back, of course. I’m finding that the running socks I’m knitting are really taxing my patience because knitting 3-ply takes a lot more time than knitting 4-ply and the stitches are just so tiny and the needles really thin. The fabric looks and feels great, though.

I finally got around to listen to the podcast and write the show notes. I wasn’t quite finished when my husband showed up but since he was building the fire again it was fine. Also, he basically started cleaning and preparing everything for painting right away. He has really worked like crazy on this. I haven’t.

I had had plans to go for a run but decided to stay home and do some writing. I had ditched my weekly cleaning because it didn’t make sense to clean everything only to start painting the day after.

Then I got the podcast ready, published the blog post, finished uploading the video and wrote a couple of posts on social media to announce it. Unfortunately, I forgot to attach the audio file to the blog post. I was lucky that I couldn’t keep away from Ravelry. A mind listener told me that her podcatcher couldn’t find the new episode. Oops.

Then I did make an appointment with an oral surgeon because the boy needs to have his wisdom teeth removed. I was so fuzzy while on the phone that I couldn’t remember my own phone number for a second. That was embarrassing. It’s always hard to find a time where the boy and I can go and see a doctor together because of school for him and teaching for me. I got an appointment for Thursday at 3. My first student on Thursdays usually comes in at 4. That was cutting it a little close even though the surgeon’s office is only a few minutes away.

I am rather proud of myself, though. While I did feel a little embarrassed for not remembering my phone number and being spaced out on the phone when I realized that the appointment would be stressful because I wouldn’t have any margin for error I picked up the phone again and asked if I could possibly have an appointment at 2 on a Thursday. And lo and behold, the 2 o’clock slot was still free. She just hadn’t offered it to me. So while it will be a little hectic to get there, maybe, I won’t have to leave in the middle of the appointment in order to get to my lesson in time. Phew.

And then I called the dentist’s office to tell them to send the boy’s x-rays from the orthodontist to the oral surgeon. Yes, I know. Complicated.

I guess that filled my adulting quota for the day.

My husband went running and somehow I neglected to tell him that I had decided to stay home. I tried writing but got stuck. I think that might have been the problem the two days before as well – I just didn’t know what would happen next.

There was some singing and then there was the making of the pizza:

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Oh, and some time in the morning I had gotten a text from the boy that he would be home later than usual. Which was a little odd but I thought there was some school thing he had to attend or that he maybe wanted to do something with a friend for a bit.

I did start to worry when he was more than 90 minutes late. And then, thirty minutes after I had started worrying he came home, all wet and cold. Apparently, he had gone to Munich for „Future Friday“. It seems almost everybody had gone and the school didn’t mind.

I did give him a short lecture on how to tell your parents where you are and what you are doing. „Today I’ll come home later,“ Is not an adequate message in this case. „We are all going to ‚Future Friday‘ in Munich, I’m not quite sure when I’ll be home but everything is alright,“ would have been a much better version.

So I fed him cold pizza and salad and made him promise that he’d sort through all of his crap that still occupies the living room.

I went over to the annex for my first student. Pity she didn’t show and didn’t call. When I was coming to the old part of the house after having waited for fifteen minutes the boy was just showing up again. Seems he fell asleep after lunch. He did start sorting after helping me with the dishes, though. Doing the dishes had the unexpected side effect of giving me ideas for the next two scenes in the novel. Sweet.

I taught two students and when I was finished the rest of the family was eating dinner. It turned out that the boy had only gotten halfway through his stuff. So I made him promise to get up early today to sort the rest.

Then we watched an episode of „Star Trek Voyager“ (another good one, the series is really starting to get better) and an episode of „Big Bang Theory“. Then we talked a bit, searched for his Skylander collection and I finally got ready for bed.

You know, now that I’m writing it all down I don’t feel quite as lazy anymore.

Today there might be running but I don’t think I’ll do the 10 k that’s on my training schedule. And then it will be cleaning and preparing everything for painting and then the actual painting which is always way less work than all the stuff you need to do before and after. Like finding clothes to wear while painting.

And tomorrow will probably bring more of the same.

Mar 152019

Und hier ist wieder eine neue Folge: 


Gestrickt habe ich: 

  • Scary Blythburgh: fertigIMG 2307
  • Adventskalender-Coriolis: erster Socken bis zur FerseIMG 2323
  • Zehensocken: gerade angefangenIMG 2324
  • Owligan: fertig gestrickt, es fehlt noch Fäden vernähen, Knöpfe und spannenIMG 2326
  • Crazy Tee: bis zur Teilung von Ärmel und RestIMG 2325

Gehäkelt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:
  • Grünes Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweight ein bisschen weiterIMG 2327

Projekt Kleiderschrank:

  • Nichts gemacht

Erwähnt wurde:

Mar 152019

I woke up from the alarm at 5 and had a hard time getting into gear. No writing, no meditation and got up a little late.

Still in time to make breakfast, though.

My husband built the fire and then basically went at the kitchen and living room again. We have decided to paint those rooms on the weekend and there is a lot to do before then.

I knitted a bit and we talked and I’m still not quite sure about the advent calendar sock and then I took the bike and trailer and went to the hardware store for paint and to the grocery store for all the things.

It’s always fun to ride the bike uphill with the trailer full and this time it was even more fun because of the wind. Those are the times that I am very happy to be reasonably fit.

My husband had cleaned the worst walls in the meantime and had cooked lunch:

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It’s pasta with spinach, tomato, and feta. Very good. And O had a chocolate bar for dessert.

Then I made the boy look through his discarded things that still clog the living room for a bit while I did the dishes.

My student was already there when I went over to the annex five minutes before my first lesson.

I taught non-stop and enjoyed it tremendously. I’m still shocking myself with this re-found joy of teaching. Then the boy and I did some strength training, I did go to bed almost on time for a change.

Today there will be no weekly cleaning. Instead I will go for a short run, help to make pizza and get the living room and kitchen ready for painting. I’m hoping that maybe one coat of paint will be enough which would be marvelous. There is also the podcast to get ready for publishing.

Fridays are usually rather long teaching days but two students canceled so I have a pretty generous break in the middle.

And then the boy and I will watch some Star Trek and it will be the weekend.

I’m already looking forward to a bright and shiny kitchen and living room. A living room that can actually be used.

Mar 142019

Things are really picking up around here.

So I wake up at five because operation ‚get ready for daylight savings‘ is still in full swing and started writing morning pages. I meditated and read for a bit and then started writing. Guess who was in a good mood today…

I got up, made breakfast and ate it and was just debating whether to write some more when my husband showed up early. Fire in the wood stove. We talked and I knitted and I’m not sure if I should change something about the Coriolis sock I’m knitting. The gradient makes weird blocks of color because of the heel. I didn’t think about that beforehand. Now there is a way to knit a sock that is almost the same with a different heel construction but I’m not sure I want to.

I might knit this one for a little longer and then decide.

There was some housework and just when I wanted to go for my run did I realize that I had promised my husband that I would get potatoes from the farmer’s market and that I’d need the bike trailer for that and that I couldn’t run first and get potatoes later because by the time I came back from running the market would be closed. And my husband was away buying beer. With the trailer.

So I busied myself getting ready and peeling some other potatoes. Then I rode my bike into the wind, met my mother-in-law at the market, bought my big sack of potatoes and biked home again. The farmer who sells the potatoes always insists on carrying the potatoes over to my bike trailer. Every single time. When I told my husband he said that he always had to carry his own potatoes.

I did tell the farmer that I can carry my own potatoes but he always does this. I made up for it by carrying the whole sack, all 25 pounds from the garage to the door by myself. The thing is, 25 pounds is not that heavy. The average toddler weighs about the same,

Then I finally went running and found that my legs were still extra heavy. So I cut my run a bit short and walked a lot. The weather was rather windy but nice:

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And all the fallen trees were cleared away.

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I came back home then we had lunch. Wednesdays we usually eat something that is quick to make because my husband is running and has to start teaching early. Not much time for elaborate cooking:

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And yes, it’s time that I go grocery shopping again, we’re almost out of veggies.

Then the boy came home, I helped him a little with learning a poem by heart, then I hung up a load of laundry, took a shower and did the dishes. And ended up having only about 25 minutes of free time instead of the 90 minutes I had hoped for. That always happens to me on Wednesdays. I should plan for it.

What I had planned was to start getting the podcast ready. But there was no time.

But then the next two students didn’t show (one had called and the other hadn’t) and so I had enough time to get the podcast all cut and put the video and audio together.

I also did something a little complicated. The boy is all done with his braces. So as an incentive for people to stick with the whole braces routine until the end you have to pay something like twenty percent of the cost out of pocket. But if you finish the whole procedure you can ask for your money back. So I gathered all the orthodontist invoices and got the right form off the internet and filled it in and made the boy and my husband sign it along with me and found the letter from the orthodontist where she states that he is all done and put it all together and found an envelope and weighed and measured the whole thing to find out how much it would cost to send and got a stamp off the internet and printed it out.

So later today I will put that fat envelope in the mail. Hurray! And then I will get a sum of money back that is twice as much as I thought it would be. Let’s just say that we might be all set for August when we usually make less money than the rest of the year.

Then I made the boy play piano for the first time in ten days or so, taught another student at a time where I usually only shut down, started this post, got ready for bed, wrote in my journal and went to bed.


Oh, and my husband stated that he wants to paint the kitchen on the weekend. I’m all for it even though it means that I won’t sew or write much. It’s time to claim our apartment back. So today I am planning to get groceries and go to the hardware store to get paint and more mold treatment. And I need to find out if we need any brushes and stuff.

That’s one of the few times that having a car would be great. I mean, I could maybe get the paint and leave it in the bike trailer in front of the store for the time it takes to get groceries. Both stores are near each other at the other end of town. Doing it the other way around might be awkward. Especially since I need to buy frozen veggies and blueberries.

I’ll see. It might also snow later today in which case I might clean today and buy paint tomorrow. Because the snow won’t stick. At least I hope so.

So today there will be grocery shopping and maybe paint shopping and then the boy and I will go through the things of his that are still in the living room and I will listen to the podcast and write the show notes, finally, and I will teach quite a few students and do some strength training.

And go to bed early. That is rather important.

Mar 132019

I woke up from my alarm at my new and improved wakeup time of 5 am. Since I managed to go to bed too late the night before because I was too exhausted to get ready for bed and spent an hour eating cheese and hoping that I’d find the energy to do the dinner dishes I ended up with lack of sleep again.

This is a really bad habit that needs to be culled ASAP. So I will have to go back to brushing my teeth and changing into pajamas the minute I step into the old part of the house after teaching. If I do that I usually find my way to bed easily.

So I did not write, forgot to listen to the classical music but read and meditated. It is a bit funny that I was reading the book about grit while not being gritty at all. There’s a reason I thought I needed this book.

Then I started researching Firewire to USB adapters for recording and since there is no such thing, really, I started researching mixers. As one does. Since one that connects to my computer without any kind of adapter would cost 500 Euros at least (probably more) and since the ones that would need only a USB to Thunderbolt 3 adapter where many and the cheap ones probably weren’t any good I gave up on that soon. I will have to rig something so that the two adapters in a row are more secure. I might have to involve duct tape after all. (Did you know that duct tape is actually called gaffer tape in German? True fact. And it’s pronounced ‚gaffa‘. I never knew why it was called that and thought that that might be the name of a city or something.)

So I started breakfast a little late but early enough for the boy to have a relaxed breakfast. He wanted to have a conversation about how dumb it was that they have to have PE in school. While I really get that he doesn’t like PE I still think that it is an important subject. I don’t agree with the way it is taught at the moment but in general I think that everybody should have a chance to learn about exercise and try different kinds. The boy doesn’t agree and finds that PE should be abolished. Or if they have to take it there shouldn’t be grades.

I then told him that there are people who believe no one needs music education or chemistry in their lives either and that school is for everybody and should make students able to do all kinds of things with their life and teach them all kinds of thinking and approaching problems.

He wasn’t convinced. As I said, I get it, PE was always my worst subject in school. It was a little better in the winter but the moment we were required to run, jump, catch or throw a ball I was screwed. Interestingly I did quite well high jumping. I’m blaming all the rope jumping I did for fun.

My husband showed up and lit a fire. It is still rather cold here. We talked a lot and then I went to the health food store and the bakery and to the stationer’s because the boy needs better drawing tools. I was looking for a fineliner but no luck. I brought two pens, both of which are not quite what he needs.

Came back home, changed into leggings and my old jacket and went for a 3 k run after mailing a birthday card for my aunt:

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Then there was chickpea curry for lunch. Very good:

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Then my husband would have liked help with washing the walls in the living room but I was a little pressed for time. I still needed to do some lesson prep, get changed and put on makeup and do my singing warmup. I showed my habit tracker to a new student the day before and it was a little embarrassing when looking at my music practice. So I’m determined to get a lot more crosses in there.

Then I taught quite a bit, practiced piano in the break between two students, got a little more detailed than usual with an old student (first I told her about my social media experiment and then she had to do her practice a little more deliberate after having to listen to a lecture about grit, oops).

Then I saw a potential new student, managed to brush my teeth early enough, wrote in my bullet journal, started reading a new non-fiction book because I had finished the one about grit (again, highly recommended – I’m all fired up about getting grittier), did the dinner dishes and turned the lights out on time.

Today will be another full day with running and a trip to the farmer’s market for potatoes and maybe some errands and writing show notes for the podcast and teaching. Lots of teaching. I really hope I’ll also do some writing.

Funny how all those new students mean I have less time. Weird.

I’m not complaining, though.

Mar 122019

I woke up a little before the alarm even, always a good sign. For once I did write my morning pages and did all the morning things including listening to the piece of classical music of the day from „Year of Wonder“. There are about five pieces I skipped so I’ll put those on my to do-list one other day. I decided that waiting until I had time to listen to the all in order was dumb and just dove back in again. I also wrote a bit but there weren’t many words. I had to actually do a little research and that slowed me down. All good, though.

There was breakfast and the boy had forgotten to set the alarm to tell me that he was up but I didn’t panic and just sent him a text message. I’d rather not climb two flights of stairs without reason.

After breakfast I started preparing the podcast and then my husband showed up and started the fire. Which was very good, it was snowing and much colder than the days before.

And then my husband attacked the living room with gusto. That is the one that was the boy’s room until, um, about 17 month ago. Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to renovate it yet or even to get the rest of the boy’s things out. It’s all the things that he doesn’t need and want but he is afraid of all the emotions that might come up when he deals with the stuff.

My husband said he’ll throw everything away if it isn’t dealt with in a few days. Then he cleaned everything.

I did help some, did the dishes, sorted through the board games (I’m sure the boy doesn’t really want any of them so I put the ones I’d like to keep in the place where my board games are kept and left the rest for him to sort through.) and went running. After shoveling the sidewalk. For once our sidewalk was the cleanest in the neighborhood because it had only started snowing after everybody else had left for work.

My 6.44 k run was rather soggy, my socks were totally wet when I removed them afterwards. And you can see that there were storms last week:

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I was able to pass that tree on the right hand side.

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Gray weather but really beautiful:

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At home I helped a little with lunch, then took a shower and started putting all my gear in place for recording the podcast. We had lunch and it was fabulous:

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Then I did the dishes real quick, told the boy that he will have to sort through his stuff until the end of the week and that we’ll be doing strength training at 6.15 and recorded the podcast.

The good thing is that I now know where the weird sound comes from. The bad thing is that the weird sounds comes from the mixer unplugging itself from the computer which makes the computer switch to its internal microphone. And that one really isn’t good. So there is nothing wrong with garage band or the computer it’s just that the weight of the cable and the three adapters makes the plug move something like half a millimeter and that’s enough to sever the connection.

This time I had set up the settings differently so every time the mixer got unplugged the recording stopped. And that happened twice. Once because I set down a notebook on the cable (rookie move) and the second time just out of the blue. I am not amused. But now that I know the reason for the problem I might be able to do something about it. I might be able to find a way to secure the plug better or I might try a different kind of adapter. I’ll have to see.

I had to cut the podcast a little short because I needed to get ready for teaching.

Teaching was fun. I’m so happy that I’m happy doing my job again. That’s something Duckworth talks about in „Grit“, by the way, she teaches you how to find meaning in the job you’re doing so that you can be happier. I can tell you from experience that it works. I mean, not that I ever thought my work wasn’t meaningful, I just had started to lose the joy in it a bit.

Then the boy and I did our strength training and I forced him to sort through a couple of board games, Pokémon cards and books and then I got ready for bed and rewarded myself with reading.

Today will be a rather busy day again. I want to go for a short run, go to the health food store, help with lunch, prepare my lessons for the week and teach all the students. The first is coming in at 2, the last will leave at 7.30 and there is only one short break in between. That will be fun!

So I probably won’t get a lot of writing done today either.