I’m difficult to live with…

Tim: You only used this fork to stir your coffee, right?

Me: Yep…and feed the cats…

Tim: …

Me: Kidding. 🙂

Tim: Don’t start with me. I don’t have the spoons to deal with it today.

Me: That’s why I used a fork, all the spoons are in the dishwasher.

Tim: …

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Aside

Pickled whatnow?

Me, joking around with the kids without thinking before I wordplay: “Better to tickle your pits than to pickle your — OH NO NEVERMIND UM.”

My inner ten-year-old at the same time: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA snort

It’s a wonder we don’t get more calls from school, TBH.

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What’s up?

It’s been a busy few weeks!

We had a brand new heat pump system installed in our house, which means our office is functional again! I’m impressed with the amount of heat these things put out. We’ve only had to turn the oil furnace on once or twice, when it got really cold outside. Hoping this will save us some cash in the long run, and reduce our dependence on oil.

I’ve joined Goodreads and am tracking my reading habits; until now, I’d been reading mostly fanfiction (there is so much good X-Files fanfic out there!) but I’ve been sitting on a stack of unread books for years. Currently working my way through Justin Cronin’s The Passage series from the beginning, so I can pick up a copy of City of Mirrors and actually understand what’s going on.

I also opened a new store at Redbubble, something I’ve been meaning to try for ages but hadn’t gotten around to. Inspiration finally struck when I needed a new phone case and couldn’t find any designs that caught my attention, so I thought I’d use one of my own. That led to my adding a bunch of work there, and I’ve been drawing/doodling more stuff as a result.

What else? I was called for jury duty in January, so at the end of this month I’ll find out if I’ve been selected for a jury. My first! It’s an interesting time to be part of the judiciary process, given everything that’s happening on a grander scale in the US. That’s also been taking a lot of my energy; keeping up with the latest in our nation’s steep decline into madness.

Pokemon Go recently released a bunch of new Pokemon, so I’ve been walking more. The Apple Watch app is super handy for this, and it nudges me to get up and move more often. It’s even been warm enough outside to go for the occasional walk!

Then there’s the usual work and family stuff. It looks like I’ll be traveling to Montreal for work at the beginning of May. My fifth anniversary with Automattic is also coming up, so I’m preparing for a three-month sabbatical starting mid-May. Every five years, Automatticians can take two to three months off to completely disconnect from work — travel, spend more time with family, explore a pet project, etc. It’s an excellent perk, and I’m excited to have the time off. I haven’t taken three months off since I had Gwen, and this time I won’t have a newborn to care for.

What will I do? I haven’t made any concrete plans, but I’m thinking we’ll visit friends out of state, maybe take the kids somewhere new, and I’ve been saving for a comic con in case Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny make a joint appearance this summer. I may also work on a fanfic novel I’ve been mulling over for ages.

I’ve managed to keep the winter blahs at bay with all this activity, although I’m very tired of snow and ready for spring. Only a couple more months before things start to warm up!

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Slimy Times

Her face says it all. Joy, wonder, intrigue…EW.

I don’t know where I first encountered the homemade slime thing (…it was probably Pinterest) but it’s been stuck in my mind for weeks. I have vivid memories of playing with Gak as a kid, and this is basically the same stuff.

I knew the kids would love it; Gwen especially enjoys tactile things, and the more rubbery “slime” works with her Play-Doh toys. It’s also a cool introduction to non-Newtonian fluids, which my young geek, Ellie, would appreciate. Yay science!

Pretty innocuous looking, eh? Like puddles of paint.

I followed this recipe, the gist of which is white glue, borax, water, and food coloring. It’s easy to make, but the process is messy. Thankfully it’s also washable (I’m told vinegar will do the trick if plain water doesn’t work).

The above recipe is straightforward so I’m not going to copy it here, but I did learn a few things in the process of making our own goop:

  • Add the borax solution a teeny, tiny bit at a time for the best results; I made the mistake of adding too much too quickly, and my goop was more rubber than slime. Still fun to play with, but not as stretchy as I wanted.
  • You’re going to get to a point where stirring doesn’t really work, and you have to knead the borax solution in. To avoid the sticky mess all over your hands, put the goop in a zip-lock bag when you do this. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you!
  • If it’s too rubbery, add more glue and water.
  • If it’s too sticky, add more borax solution.

This stuff is a pretty great stress reliever. I have a habit of twirling my hair and picking at my scalp when my anxiety is getting the best of me, and I’ve found playing with slime keeps my hands occupied so I don’t pick.

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