Mar 232019

I woke up a little earlier than the alarm and while I just lounged about for half an hour looking at books and organizing them and contemplating buying more, as one does, I did then meditate, write morning pages and work on the novel for 45 minutes. Very good. I have decided that I’m content with what I can achieve in those roughly 50 minutes for the moment. It doesn’t help if I berate myself for not doing more instead of being happy that I’m writing more than I have in past weeks.

That doesn’t mean I can’t stretch myself but first I want to make this habit solid.

Then I made breakfast and ate it, the boy came downstairs, and then I thought my husband would show up but he didn’t at first. I’m very proud of the fact that while I didn’t do more writing I did manage to do a bit of work on the teaching website. I want to give that a complete overhaul and ‚overhaul website‘ is not really a task you can cross off at once. So I reminded myself that all I have to do is the next thing on the list – or in this case the kanban fridge – and so I looked at the handy post-its, found that I needed to choose a new WordPress theme, found the pages of teaching website research in my bullet journal, looked at the two themes they were recommending that were free and choose one. Done. It is already downloaded and ready to be modified. Then the next task was ‚find stock photos for website‘ but when I started looking on Shutterstock I remembered that I might have a picture of a guitar or piano or two already in my own personal photos which I can use without paying anything for them. And that I am in the process of learning a new photo manipulation software which means that I can take the pictures I took of my husband teaching and can edit out the messy background. At least I hope so.

And then I watched a few minutes of the book cover design course and then my husband showed up for his breakfast.

We talked and I worked on the sock in progress and then I did the dishes and he cleaned some more paint splatters off the floor in the living room and I started doing my regular weekly cleaning and the plumber had come in the day before and had done something so that we were able to do laundry again without causing the basement to flood. So I did a load of laundry as well.

When I changed the bag and the filter in the vacuum I found that I had ordered the wrong filter, so I started the return process for the wrong one and ordered the right one instead.

In between there was a systems update on my computer.

I helped my husband make lunch and it was rather good:

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Then I did dishes again, hung up the laundry outside in the sun, did my singing warm-up and started teaching.

There was non-stop teaching until six, then I waited for the boy to come home who had been out practicing English conversation again, I wrote a few e-mails, we watched some ‚Voyager‘ and some ‚Big Bang Theory‘, I started writing this post and went to bed late aka 9.30.

So I’m hoping to be equally productive today. I want to go on a long run, sort through all the piles on the dressers in the bedroom and start preparing the bedroom for painting. I guess that might be enough for the day.

Mar 222019

I woke up from the alarm after sleeping enough. This never gets old. Then I meditated right away so I didn’t forget, wrote morning pages and started writing for fifty minutes. Sweet.

Breakfast with the boy and my husband showed up right after again. Seems to be the new normal. That got us off to an early start which is not the worst thing to have.

I sorted through the stuff that formerly occupied the fridge and kitchen bench and ended up with piles of half-read books and comics. I’m not quite sure where to put them and I definitely want to read them all, I just don’t quite know when. One problem is that it’s all on paper and I don’t really do paper books anymore. I know, weird.

I also decided to finally give up on the last two books of the „Shadowmarch“-series by Tad Williams. I did like some aspects of the first two books and as usual I really wanted to know what happens next but the second book was mostly slog already and then I started the third one and somehow never finished it. And the fourth one has occupied my shelf of unread books for years now.

Okay, I just looked it up and I bought the third book, „Shadowrise“ in January 2010. And I haven’t managed to read it through in all these years. I’m giving up.

Then I went to the grocery store, this time on foot because I felt like it wasn’t all that much to carry and when I’m walking I can listen to podcasts. Came back home and helped a little with the cooking. Lunch was very good:

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The boy was home a little later than I had hoped because we had that oral surgeon appointment. He had to eat lunch real fast and then brush his teeth in a hurry but we made it on time. The surgeon’s office is just ten minutes away from our house, if that.

I had been worried about that appointment because I had no idea what would happen and when we would be able to get an appointment for the actual wisdom tooth extraction and such but my questions were all answered and we now have a date in mid-June, right after our visit to my parents. The boy will have four days to recover which should be enough.

We came back home and there was still time before my first student so I practiced a little. Then teaching, then a break, then more teaching.

The boy and I opted for moving strength training to today because it was already a little late by then.

And then it was 7 pm and I was ded. I need to find me some more energy in the day. I am very motivated to make more changes and get all the things done! Again. I also am thinking that I have to be content to not finish this novel before my trip to Hamburg. I really tried spending enough time writing over the last two days and I couldn’t fit it in. Not for lack of time, this is more of an energy management issue. Which I’ll continue to think about.

Today will be pizza Friday. And I will do a little cleaning and quite a bit of teaching and then there will be bodyweight training and then the watching of Star Trek. Preferably while having a beer.

And then the weekend on which I’m planning to declutter the bedroom.

Mar 212019

Well, I did start writing before breakfast, so that was good. And I wrote morning pages. I did forget to meditate, though. It’s always something.

I was all primed to write some more after breakfast but my husband showed up before the boy even left for school. So I just sat there and knitted during his breakfast.

Then I did the dishes and such, went for my run which was really fun and the weather was nice if a little cold:

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We were pretty early with lunch which was yummy again:

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Then I took a break and then I spent some time with the boy. I practiced a bit and taught two students and waited for the third who didn’t show. Then I basically sat around reading (I finished the last „Unlikeable Demon Hunter“-book. I really like the series and am looking forward to the spin-off.) until my last student came in late.

We sang some „School of Rock“ and some Monteverdi (a fun piece where you sing „Let me die!“ over and over, no, really) and then I was somewhat exhausted.

Speaking of Monteverdi, there was also some Monteverdi on the classical playlist for the day. I didn’t care for that specific recording, though. A little too playful with too many recorders for my taste. This one is much better:


But I am fully aware that not everybody has a thing for music of that period. When I studied musicology in Munich most of our classes were on music between the 12th and the 17th century. We had to study Palestrina, counterpoint and Back extensively. Which explains why I have a lot of opinions regarding Monteverdi and how to play it.

And now I want a harpsichord.

I still had half my to do-list for the day left. The problem with that day was not that I didn’t have the time, the problem was that all of my time was in tiny chunks with the expectation of interruption at each point. Not a good thing for writing and such.

At least I refilled my Waterman fountain pen with ink, so all was not lost.

Today will be another fun-filled day, there will be the weekly grocery shopping, the appointment with the oral surgeon to talk about wisdom tooth extraction and then three students with a big break in the middle. Because the student in the middle rescheduled his lesson to Monday. Which I did before realizing that I had just filled half my podcast-recording slot.

I guess I’ll deal.

The best thing is that I’m writing again.

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

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.