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Things could be going better, but I suppose I still have my eyesight and both legs. Estep would trade places with me in a heartbeat. If he had one.

I was dismissed from my jiu jitsu school this week, a month and a half before a belt test that I have been working towards for almost 9 years. Seems word gets around quickly in a small town and social stigmas are alive and well. I can thank those same stigmas for the loss of my job last year too. 

The family was invited to spend four days at a massive cabin on the lake in McCall, Idaho. I say "The family" because it was them that were invited. Not me. Same thing happens sometimes at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Depends on what mood my sweet mother in law is in. I'm used to it. 

If I stay home by myself though I just get lonely and bored and start to go quite crazy and that is a little scary because I have no idea what I'm going to do all day once the kids go back to school and I'm stuck there alone.

Preferring to not head down that path towards complete apeshit insanity, I got in the car and left town. 

Ten hours drive later, I am here at the farm, trying my best to remain civil to Farmer Goober. The guy is either going to get sent packing or he'll quit the farm altogether and I'd rather not deal with him at all. I admit that this is a bad habit I have with people. I hold grudges and I ignore them.

Brought YowYow hundreds of pounds of food but I don't think he will be around long enough to eat all of it. He isn't staying on past November. He is going to go home and I can't say that I blame him. He is being treated like absolute shit.

Its ungodly hot here and the mosquitos are biting me non-stop. Back of the elbow. Top of the knee. Earlobe. Sole of the foot. The absolute worst places to get bitten. I'd almost prefer to get hit in the face than bitten by mosquitos. My body overreacts to whatever anticoagulant fluid they inject upon biting and I get monster welts that don't go away for at least ten days. I seriously just got finished with the batch I had from the last time I was here.

The temperature outside keeps most everyone indoors, or at least in the shade from 1pm to about 7pm, when the sun starts to dip down behind the piney hills that surround my sleepy little farm. From our positions on the lazy front porch we watch the cat chase butterflies and listen to the wind in the trees, we smoke cigarettes and throw pinecones for the dog to chase. We listen to Jefferson Airplane on the on cassette tape player and talk to each other in paranoid Dr. Gonzo or Raoul Duke voices. We talk about things we did in the army. Things we've done since. 

We talk about Estep and Coker and Brantley and a dozen other soldiers and we take turns telling each other stories about how crazy the other was back then.

Back in the day.

Ironically, those stories keep me from going mad.

I didn't handle my meeting with one of the grocery managers and Human Resources the way that I wished I could have, but I'm letting it go. It was a very long, stressful day, I got called up to the office at the end of the day which is never my best time. I didn't really get into trouble, but avoiding meetings like that in the future will be a goal of mine. The grocery guy said that he feels we have the strongest department he's ever seen, both of them iterated their hope that people get along better and communicate more while our department continues to improve. It's very difficult for me to work with people that I feel are ineffective and inefficient, there's probably a lesson to be learned here if only I was smart enough to figure out what it was.

Food, fitness, parenting and money are categories where I need to improve. Today we had biometric screenings at work. My good cholesterol levels are low, the guy told me they are raised through exercise which is something I'm trying to get better about incorporating into my life. This morning I was very lazy and laid on the couch instead of going for a walk or doing my yoga DVD. I weigh 156 pounds which is too much for my height. I had hoped that working full time and being more active would help me lose some weight, but unfortunately it's going to take a lot more effort on my part. I need to develop a morning routine, I've been writing out a schedule every week, this past week I didn't and I could tell the difference.

Other than that not much is new. I transferred money to both of my savings accounts. That made me feel very good. This morning I bought some glass lunch containers and a Milwaukee Brewers hat as a treat for myself. I'm saving in some ways and spending more in others. Buying berries is a weakness of mine. I'm spending a lot on groceries which is easy to do, more so now that I have a discount. I pulled out some menu sheets we did a couple weeks ago, I need to get back to planning meals so I know what to buy. Whenever I think I'm simplifying, I still find out that it isn't enough. Very frustrating to say the least, but I've been cutting out grains so I'm going to give myself credit for that. I feel like a constant work in progress, but at least progress is being made. 

Packing has begun in earnest. Except it feels like we didn't do much. Or that I didn't do much. 

My mom has packed a bunch of boxes from the kitchen. I packed a box of random toys and games from one of my closets. My dad has packed a variety of tools into a plastic cabinet. We've sorted out some ancient medicine to discard of. We've taped a bunch of lawn tools together. We've also taken a couple of shelving units apart and gotten them tied together so they can be moved. 

I have managed to do a number of necessary chores that aren't directly related to moving. I've reserved a hotel room -- my stuff will be in the moving truck on Tuesday morning, but I won't be signing the final paperwork for the house until Wednesday, so I'll need to stay an extra day in Denton to do that. I've also made arrangements to cancel my Internet service and utilities, and I've talked to a local insurance professional about getting health insurance in the Panhandle. These are needed, of course, but you don't feel like you're doing anything important when you're talking to someone on the phone. 

We still need to pack clothing, bedding, electronics, medicine and cosmetic items, pictures and wall art, and food. We need to take the computer apart and pack it in one of the cars. We need to find a place to put all the many small, odd-shaped, or delicate items. The giant metal skull won't fit in any boxes, and I have a surprising number of light baskets that would be too easy to crush. We also need to figure out a good system so the movers will know which boxes need to go to my parents' house and not into the storage facility. 

I haven't been worried about getting everything packed before. I'm now worried we won't be able to get everything packed up and ready to go by Monday night. 

It's rained steadily nearly all day.

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