I think I have pinched a nerve in my back. Have you ever tried to help a small child play at a playground while your lower back is screaming "Codeine! Dear G-d give me CODEINE!"
I can move, sort of. I can’t get up or down without screams agony. Soleil came from behind me and "tagged me". I screamed. Literally screamed in pain. Oh man.
I need drugs. The strong kind…
If I didn’t have my "let’s see how the government can move my review from June to December to October and screw me out of pay raises at the same time" annual review tomorrow, I would be talking to a doctor about large doses of drugs.
What a weekend!
Friday night, I saw "Wicked" with a friend of mine. It was a good story, although most of the songs were not memorable. I also had a good laugh over the T-shirts on sale in the lobby. They were promoting the song "Defying Gravity" (sadly, not the Jimmy Buffett version). The T- shirts had the words "Defying Gravity" across the chest. Now all I could think was "Implants!"…But maybe that was just me.
Yesterday afternoon/evening Jay and I went to the Yankees/Red Sox game. For those in the know, the title of this post refers to the middle of the 8th inning in Boston. It was a great game (Boston won, 10-1), but man was it long. I had to buy (darn) a Red Sox hat in the early innings because the sun was in my eyes. It’s just part of the inevitable… I am a Red Sox fan. I refuse to be a Patriots or Bruins fan, but yeah, I can cheer the Red Sox.
This morning, I awoke to some of the worst pain in my life (labor was worse…really). I developed sciatica. I have scoliosis and this can cause severe pain when I sit still too long. I guess the theatre and the game was too much for my poor back. I went apple picking with the kids and Jay, but only picked 2 apples as I can’t bend at the waist. I am sitting on the couch with a heating pad on my back… I hope this ends soon! At least I can watch the Red Sox on TV tonight with a heating pad!
That sound? That was the sound of my ass being kicked by mono. Again.
I thought that I was done with this. I have felt good lately. As in, I can exercise and not need to go to bed before the kids good. But this week has been tough. My science team has been working hard on a plan to turn off a heater on our instrument. A friend of mine mentioned that it was odd to imagine needing heaters in space. Yes, spacecraft often have heaters. Space is damn cold. We have designed a test to turn off the heater to measure the time it takes to cool. We have everything in place. However, a common phrase where I work is "Plan for the unexpected".
This is what I have been doing this week. It started last Thursday. I wrote the engineering requests to run the tests. My boss and I worked out the timings based on the communication times with the spacecraft. Then we submitted the requests and reviewed the spacecraft command load. In addition to this, we spent Friday and Sunday, writing contingency plans. What would we do if…? If the heater failed to come on? If the instrument cooled too quickly? Etc… So most of my week has been spent working on the contingency actions. We realized that we might have to do something fairly drastic and spent a great deal of time discussing this. We worked out three cases of "failure". We debated the difference between an anomaly vs a failure.
Today, my boss and I spent 1 hour discussing with a group of flight managers and mission planners and a flight director the plans. And we worked on it. Hard. We were questioned. We explained everything. We went down the path of "what if…" we didn’t do the drastic thing. And we decided to follow the basic plan that we had decided on.
This saga ended around 1:30. I was able to go and get lunch. This was the third day in a row that I worked through lunch. While I usually don’t do this, I spent this week for the spacecraft. So imagine my surprise when I returned home today to realize my ass was kicked by mono. The symptoms are coming back. The ones that really killed me early on this summer. I have been ordered by Jay to get to bed.
So, the spacecraft is killing me. Slowly slowly…it is coming to get me!
Not to memorialize anything. Just that right now, I have a moment of silence. The commanding for our test is approved. If Selene launches on schedule, we will be fine over the weekend.
So I breathe…
I finished the chilly Willy Jammie pants the other night. The waist is 1 inch too high. Depending on my paranoia and perfection, I might rip it out and redo the waist. Or I won’t. Length is perfect. As part of my lessons learned from prototyping the pants for myself, I made a little Chilly Willy tag for the back of the pants. I can’t figure out the front or back of my jammies for lack of a tag. And the way you put them on makes a difference.
I am ready to start on the top. I need to start that tonight. I hope to sew the sides to the back. That’s not asking too much is it? (Asks the woman whose daughter went to bed after 10:30!!!!)
Last night, Jay was at Temple for services, so I put the girls to bed. Luna was first. I asked Soleil to have her snack, brush teeth and read a book or something until I was done with Luna.
When I walked in, I found her hard at work:
What’s this? I ask…
"Oh, I’m just doing some math" she replies
"Who taught you these?" I ask, rather surprised
"My brain taught me"
For those celebrating Rosh Hahnana, L’shana tova! Happy New Year!
For those celebrating Ramadan, Saalam!
May you all find the peace and comfort we need in life.
Now that we’ve been integrated into our school for, oh a week and a half, I can feel a difference.
Last night, Soleil asked me to rest with her. Since I was exhausted, I grabbed my pillow and did just that.
And we talked. She told me about the boy she played with at school. The books she reads. How the lights go off during "quiet time"(state mandated!oy!) How hard it is to make friends.
It was nice. We’ve had our share of sleep issues. Trust me on that! But I didn’t mind taking the time to rest with her. We were able to connect. We used to connect at the end of the day on the ride home from daycare. It’s about 30 minutes from daycare to our house in the evening. Now we rush to get Luna, and drive to the after school program and get Soleil by 6pm. We connect with Luna, but not Soleil.
I can see us slipping now. I can see her growing up. She is now in school She’ll start Girl Scouts soon (yippee) and in a year or two, she’ll be more and more independent. I want her to be independent. Oh yes, I want that, but it is hard to loosen the grip I have on her life.
I hope that we can maintain our communication. I hope that I can keep my mind open and sometimes snuggle with the girl who needs a little mommy time. Because as she grows, our relationship will change.
The test was set, and commanding was approved
Waiting in space, the heaters shall disable
On earth, the DSN listens for the bird’s chirp.
But the Goddess stirs!
She demands the attentions of the antennae
She laughs at the Earthly weather!
A delay in her flight!
Now we wait in silence.
Will the Lunar Ruler grant us the time?
The time to check our lowly orb in the sky?
Or will she require us to wait
And bow to her needs?
Yes, we are conducting an operational test next week.
We need to check the spacecraft in a real-time communication,but the
schedule may change with the launch of a Japanese/NASA satellite. They
need to have the communications set for her burns to get into the
appropriate orbit around the moon.
And the schedule has already slipped a day due to weather.
May Selene** launch Friday, with no more issues!
This is my request today! Because I will have a hell of a great deal of paperwork to redo if this launch slips and changes the DSN schedule.
That is all!
**Astronomers, at least Americans, are very superstitious. Even though we know the name of the satellite, we use the former, on-the ground name, until it is in orbit. We did the same with our telescope, Spitzer did it, Hubble did it… It’s just how it works!
A friend and I are rolling with an idea. I am not putting it out here yet, but I am starting the patent application. She has collected the materials and the printing services.
This will be an interesting experiment. I have never tried to patent an idea before. I hope this works and it would be cool if this idea takes off!
I wish I could describe it more, because it’s a very cool idea, but I don’t want it out there until we file the paperwork!
Before I start this post, I want to point out that I am in a pretty bad place right now. The funk that started before Cleveland has settled in for the long run. This is tough and I am not a happy camper at all right now. But that’s for another day.
Most mornings, I wake with a small body curled next to me. Often it is two small bodies.
Soleil will wake up around 7am to climb into bed with us. Sometimes, she had nightmares and will come in without me noticing her there. I will turn over at night and feel the gentle breath on my skin and wake up to see her perfect face there. Luna comes in almost every morning at 5:30-6. I think the birds wake her. She comes to my side of the bed since Daddy puts her back in her bed. I am too lazy to get up and do that. I hold out an arm for her to use to help her climb into our bed. Then she curls against me, back to back and sleeps.
I wake to the sound of multiple breathing patterns. Luna is loud. She snores and I often wonder if she has some problem with her throat. Soleil is quiet. Their breath is no longer the swell smell of baby breath, but I still enjoy it.
Once, we would be awoken multiple times a night by a screaming child. Four consecutive hours of sleep was a luxury. Now we have traded the wake ups for night time visitors.
And to be honest, those are two warm bodies I do not mind at all.