Full Beard Gone

2013 is starting to wrap up and the next few weeks promise to be busy.  There are holidays, concerts, weddings, parties, movie and TV events, school functions.  There comes a point where you have to just decline invitations and not feel bad about it.  Better to be polite early than double book and have to back out later like a chump.

That said, I'm excited for all that's left of this year.  I'll be going up to Colorado to visit my family for Thanksgiving and although it'll be another whirlwind trip it should prove to be enjoyable.  I miss the cold and the mountains and the snow.  As much as I love Austin I do wish sometimes we'd get a little chillier.  There's supposed to be a freeze tonight so it's not like we don't get that bitter weather at all.  There just aren't any days where you can stay inside and drink hot chocolate and watch TV because you're either snowed in or it's just to cold to even think.  I know my dad and brother hates the cold and will think me crazy.  I'm surprised either hasn't moved.

The kids are both doing well.  Behavior issues are always a problem but for the most part they are good kids.  They are active, they get good grades, and they don't get in trouble at school.  Rowan's oboe playing is fantastic; she is really skilled musically.  Her progress in Kickstart is also amazing.  She won a first place in her forms competition and third in sparring at their city competition.  She can then move to regional and then state.  She had a disappointing performance for her state band audition, but she's bounced back and is looking forward to the band trips and competing again next year.

Gregory is still in scouts and is turning out to be a pretty awesome one at that.  Each meeting he tends to be the one who is the most focused and tries to take charge of the other kids.  He mastered his knots really quickly and at times has a rapacious desire for knowledge.  He has a science fair project coming up and he wants to recreate lightening.  He's also in Destination Imagination again where he has emerged as the dominate personality and likely team leader.  Considering what he's gone through with his ADD over the summer, I couldn't be more proud of him.  By the way, he apparently inherited my gorgeous but defective eyes.

The ladies are doing well, though Cheryl is a bit stressed as we approach the end of her first semester as a grad student.  She has a lot of papers to write and is constantly challenged by the level of work her students submit.  Still, the two of them do take the opportunities to travel and visit family and work on the house.  In fact, this week will see the end of the carpet in the main rooms.  Hardwood flooring is being put in mainly to combat the constant need to clean pet stains.  We're all concerned that the noise level will jump exponentially but with some well placed rugs that may not be much of an issue.  My room may need an actual wall put in, but that's for later.  I haven't had any reason to complain about my conditions lately and would be happy to let the status be quo for a bit.

Charlie is not doing much better with his seizures.  He has them on average every twelve days.  Several vet visits and medicine adjustments really haven't changed the frequency.  They seem less severe and his recovery time is lessened.  I just don't know if a brain can function for very long if it shorts out that often.  He and I still don't get along very well, despite how often I try to get down on his level and really just not let him run away.  He's also twitchy and doesn't really behave well with anyone.  I know he's not being a jerk to me personally, but of everyone in the house, I seem to be handling it the poorest.  Still, he's an adorable dog and when he's fully within himself he's very sweet and playful.  I hope he doesn't suffer like this for much longer.

That's about it.  I'm sadly not drawing as much as I'd like.  In fact, I've been watching a lot of TV and going out as much as I can, but the artistic and Lego stuff has kind of ground to a halt.  I haven't had a robot drawing in months.  There are a couple projects with which I'm involved but I can't seem to drum up the needed drive to sit at the table and get things done.  It's a mix of not believing I have the time to do it, feeling I'm skipping out on being a part of the family, and just not feeling any joy while doing it.  I hope that changes soon.

The cold weather is upon us and there will be many weekends with wassail and chili.  It's my favorite time of year.  I'm really glad this year is about over.  The holidays might be a little hard for me personally, but I have a lot of friends and family which should make it alright.  As if to signify it all, the full beard has been retired.  It was grown upon request and I'll likely not grow it again.

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