November is the weirdest month

So things are not going according to plan this month. But that’s okay.

The Wife of the Traveling Scholar

We thought Hubs would be gone by now, like, back in September, them possibly October, but the Russian institution that was going to sponsor his visa decided that given the political circumstances, they were going to pull their support for him. And not tell him. So after some scrambling around and submitting new proposals and such, he’s leaving on November 20th for Moscow. It’s going to be a higher cost of living, but it’ll be so much nicer than the middle-of-nowhere city where he was originally going to be stationed for this. He’ll still have to go down there a few times for frantic bouts of document scanning, but that’s better than living in the middle of nowhere for six months.

I’m planning to go visit him in February or March or sometime like that, but after my trip over there, it’s possible I won’t see him again until August. I’m just not thinking about it right now. That’s not something I can plan for, and it doesn’t make sense to get one’s panties in a knot over something that’s months away.

The Job Search

Something that’s weeks away, though, total pantyknots. There’s an opening at one of my jobs in a different department. The job hasn’t been posted yet for part-timers, let alone interviews scheduled, but I’m kinda freaking out about it. I want this job badly, but I feel like I have a ton of work to do before I can go for it. I’ve already started preparing, but I feel nervous and jittery constantly for the last couple days.


Once upon a time (July) I stumbled across the National Novel Writing Month and said, hey, wouldn’t this be an awesome thing to do while Hubs is away? And so it seemed. Then Hubs ended up here for several more months than planned. If it’s a choice between writing a novel and being stressed out, or not writing a novel and getting healthy / prepping for the job / spending time with Hubs before he disappears for nine months… well, it would be pretty silly if I chose the potential novel over health, husbands, and human resources, wouldn’t it? (Yes, I know that last one was a stretch.)

I will survive

So yes, I survived however many days of Hubs-less existence that I had. I think it was like 66 days or something like that. I got used to him being away, and it was a bit of an adjustment when he came back and I had to share my space with him.

I started off strong with taking the dog out and exercising and training for the 20k over Labor Day weekend, but I had a series of disruptions that threw me seriously off-track.

Setback #1: I got a new job. At the end of June I interviewed for a part-time position at a place where I had done substitute work, and they took me on for 18 hours. I quit my old job and So I was working three nights a week, then three afternoons, with one day off a week. Also it started raining and didn’t stop and then it stayed cold (cold being anything less than 86 degrees). We really didn’t get a proper summer here in Connecticut, and I’m dreading what this winter will bring.

Setback #2: Lyme disease! (Seriously.) (Perhaps.) In the third week of July I suddenly broke out into itchy hives, and the next day the joints that connected my thumb to my hand became swollen and red. I was fortunate to find a decently-priced walk-in clinic that got me on antibiotics right away. I felt perfectly fine in a matter of days, but I still wanted to take it easy because Lyme disease affects the joints. My blood test came back negative, but Lyme is notoriously difficult to diagnose through blood tests. If I did have it, I got it treated in the early stages and should have no lasting effects down the line.

Setback #3: At the end of July like a week before hubs came home, the apartment building adjoining mine caught on fire in the middle of the night. Everyone and their pets got out okay, but the six apartments in the adjoining building are basically destroyed, as are the three apartment in my building that were next to the other building. About a dozen people were displaced, and I had a little soot damage from the firefighters breaking in to my apartment. It was hectic for a few weeks with restoration companies cleaning the apartment, taking all my rugs and curtains and clothing for a cleaning, replacing the door and locks, and me having to live in a hotel room for a few days. Things are more or less back to normal now, and though I’ve somehow gotten used to living next to a burned-out building, it’s not an experience I ever want to repeat again.

With all the chaos, as well as a minor car accident and ice cream maker purchase and a mini-vacation in July, I gained a few pounds and was seriously thrown off my exercise schedule and had to defer my entrance into the 20k. I was struggling to finish 5 miles, so the 12.4 miles just wasn’t going to safely happen. It doesn’t help that we keep having visitors to see my hubs off before he goes off for the Long Haul, which has been rescheduled to October. However, I’m super-glad to have him here an extra month, and he’s happy to be here too. He gained a couple pounds abroad too (easy to do if you’re living with a host family that’s constantly trying to feed you) and has been a semi-willing participant in my quest to fit in some hiking adventures in Connecticut before he leaves.

I feel like all the bullshit I had to deal with over the summer – on my own, without the hubs – has shown me just how resilient I can be. I’ve also learned to take it easy on myself and not beat myself up when I falter in my health plans. The job change alone was disruptive enough, but I had so much other awfulness heaped on my plate at the same time, it’s no wonder I got off-track. And I’m doing my best to fix it now. A couple weeks ago I went back to logging my food through LoseIt, and though it led to some kinda destructive behavior when I used it before, overall it’s a useful tool and I think I know how to recognize that behavior now and stop it from happening this time around.

Day 5: Carmel and the creeps

Worked all day, so nothing crazy exciting could really happen during the day (though there were some awesome doughnuts). Getting ready for upcoming programs, mainly. Dinner was more ham salad, this time with some hot sauce and fried eggs.

Greens, eggs, and ham. Har-de-har.

Greens, eggs, and ham. Har-de-har.

I tried Sleeping Giant with the dog again today, and we ended up crossing the street to wander Quinnipiac’s campus. It’s absolutely gorgeous and was totally designed to complement its location at the foot of Mt. Carmel. I don’t know if the park is too dark or too rocky or gravelly for her, but we could have wandered along the campus walkways all evening if not for the stuffy air. And yes, her panting was exacerbated by me encouraging her to run.


Not summer camp. This is their School of Arts and Sciences.

At home, I made the mistake of putting on a Haunted Histories DVD from the library. It was from the History Channel, so how scary could it be? Well, it creeped me out so much, I hung out in the bedroom playing smartphone games until it ended so I could avoid seeing any photos they might put up on the screen. To recover, I put in an Usher concert DVD (another library goodie). I can’t be scared when Usher’s dancing around, showing off his moves and singing about making Usherlove all night.

Day 4: birds and Bob

I started the morning watching a catbird pitifully trying to eat from my suet feeder. To be clear, I don’t mind them eating the suet. I like them. Not quite as cute as wrens, but not awful like the starlings that swoop in and sit on top of the feeder and bully the other birds with their size and loud caws and general starling-ness. I had to rig the feeder so that only upside-down eaters like woodpeckers can reach it, and this morning I was trying to reach a compromise with the catbirds by offering them cornflakes and walnuts.

Watching intently for any signs of interest.

Watching intently for any signs of interest.

Hubs interrupted my birdwatching, and we ended up skyping for two hours until I had to go to work. He looks healthy and happy for the first time in months, which I’m glad to see. Work went fine considering I was away almost two weeks, and I managed to not go overboard at the grocery store on my way home. I used leftover ham in a dinner that was unquestionably inspired by this Italian hoagie-like salad that Smitten Kitchen just posted.

So much ham to use up...

Still so much ham to use up…











I decided to force Lola out into the neighborhood, by making her run down the hill. It turned into a 40-minute half-walk, half-run. By the time we got back I was a little sweaty and kind of amped, and though I wasn’t planning on doing any exercise due to the back soreness, I pounded out an hour of Bob Harper. I am a machine!

Things are definitely feeling okay around here. I mean, it would be great if hubs was here, but I’m feeling like I can manage things for now. I have some missions that have to be accomplished, anyway. Like getting this dog to learn “wanna run?”


Day 3: Interpol and interaction

I weightlifted this morning, which went pretty terribly actually. I lowered the weight on my deadlift to try working on my form and still ended up with a sore back, and I could only do a third of my normal reps for my ab exercises. Eh well, I still showed up and did it.

I subbed for two hours – though it’s quite a drive, it’s still a little money and some social interaction. A coworker mentioned that Interpol was playing in New Haven tonight, something I’d completely forgotten about. So at home I defrosted some leftover meat and threw together a lamb-udon-spinach-red pepper soup, tried to walk the dog (she wasn’t having it), and changed my outfit about eight times before settling on my standard “I’m a married woman leaving my house for something slightly more exciting than work or groceries, like maybe I’m going to Chili’s” outfit: jeans, flowy tank, cardigan. I have no idea how people dress for shows. As it turns out, everyone else wears their “I’m going to Chili’s” outfits nowadays. Even Interpol.

"What we really need to do is create a powerful sense of dread." - Super Hans.

“What we really need to do is create a powerful sense of dread.” – Super Hans.

Wearing all black suits, just as I’d hoped. The guitarist was a lot of fun to watch, and the band interacted with the audience more than I’d expected from a group with their persona. They started with “Say Hello to the Angels” and did “Stella was a diver and she was always down” in the encore, both of which made me super happy. Definitely glad I stayed up past my bedtime for this.

Day 2: doing slightly better.

Ran errands. Tried to take the dog for a walk at Sleeping Giant State Park, but she lasted five minutes. I took her home and went straight back for a trail run that turned into a really shitty run / hike. I don’t know if it’s because I gained a couple pounds the last few weeks or the sudden increase in temperature, or the fact that I had a pack full of water on my back that I’d never run with before. Something made it a gigantic mass of suck. Did I mention I fell, too? Not enough to hurt anything but my pride. I was in there for an hour and a half, braving waning daylight and bog insects and feeling frustrated and very, very alone.

For dinner, I made broccoli soup with leftover blue Stilton from our trip to Vermont, a simplified version of this recipe I found. Pretty tasty! Watched a few episodes of Samurai Champloo and only fell asleep on the couch for an hour!