how i organize with onenote

About this time last year I made the switch from Evernote, which I’d used since it came out, to Microsoft OneNote, which is an integrated part of my Office software. After making a ‘trial run’ of OneNote to see how I could organize everything, I knew this was the better program for me. I hated to let Evernote go – they’ve been very good to me! But I just needed more than what their program offers.

imho, the worst thing about OneNote is that there aren’t a lot of templates available (although I’ve found they’re easy made), and there doesn’t seem to be much support / tips’n tricks available.

The biggest plus is that it integrates with the other Office programs – you can “print” to or from OneNote and share in the Office cloud (though I don’t use Skydrive – does anyone?). I keep my OneNote files inside my Dropbox folder – so it backs up its own backups, essentially. The program is largely intuitive. It’s easy to figure out what does what and what you can and can’t do with it. As for the lack of support et al, googling OneNote turns up what I’m looking for. I like that I can customize the interface, too. In the quickview bar, I have only the tools I use most often; everything else is tucked into the ribbon.

I have ADHD (leaning toward the Inattentive/Distractive side), so the way I organize things drives people straight up a wall. For them, it’s not intuitive or organized. For me it makes perfect sense. (I have friends who don’t like using my laptop because they never can find anything – but to me, its organization makes perfect sense)

From this article:

OneNote is designed to mimic a collection of spiral notebooks, with metaphors of tabs and pages. It has six total levels of organization–notebooks, sections, subsections, pages, and two levels of subpages. OneNote also has a system of links that allow notes to contain links to other notes, or to a Web page, a Word document, or a PowerPoint presentation.

I have three notebooks. One is for all my personal stuff, one is for all my blogging stuff, and the third is for all my writing stuff. I could break the writing notebook down into three notebooks, really: writing advice, adult stuff, young adult stuff. And I might if it keeps getting more crowded in there.

Another thing about OneNote is that you can size and position the sidepanels. You can put them on the right or the left and collapse them or widen them as large as you need them to be. When you open a notebook, tabs open across the top of the display, so really you can collapse the notebook pane entirely to give yourself more workspace. As well, you can minimize the pages panel. You can also color the notebooks and individual tabs any color you like, just like a physical notebook, to help sort this into that. “Oh, that’s in the green tab.” Click! Very handy if you’re as visual as I am. One thing I don’t like is that each page and subpage (and sub subpage and sub sub subpage, ad nauseum) under a given tab is the same color as that tab. I’d like to be able to color the individual pages – that’d be awesome!

Like I said, I prefer OneNote over Evernote; it’s what works for me. OneNote gives me so many more organizing / sorting / filing options. Also, the workspace is more user-friendly – I can make everything else smaller in order to view what I need to see / work on. OneNote pastes text into blocks (similar to a text block in Word) that you can click and drag around to reposition where you’d like. If you have a lot of small elements (small text bits / pictures) on a page, this comes in handy; it allows you to put things where they’re more available to you.

Since I started using OneNote last year, I’ve dumped almost all of my writing notes into the program. Some stuff still remains on my hard drive, but bit by bit, I’m moving it all into notebooks. This is so much better to (and for) me than having endless folders with endless streams of documents. Click FAQ tab, and voila, there’s everything in a neat little row for me to pick and choose from. Even with descriptive file names, I’d find myself sitting here thinking, “Is this the file I need? Or is it this one?” I don’t have to do that any more. Less muss, less fuss – I’m all for that!

happy 12th anniversary, baby

So we did it again. Preston and I bought each other the same card. We’re good at that. You should see our keepsake box. It’s full of either the exact same card or cards are so similar that they could pass for the same. A friend asked us yesterday how we do that. My only answer was, “We’re the same person in two bodies?” It could be true. And Preston just stood there nodding his head saying, “It is true!”

The same friend also asked us how we can remember what we had for lunch the day we met (he had taken us to the store so we could pick up ingredients for said lunch). Because I was starving that day? Because I was loaded with emotional trauma? Because it was delicious? Because it was Preston? Because Preston bought me lunch? Gods, who knows? It’s like people who remember exactly what they were wearing when they met. I don’t know what Preston and I were wearing, but I do remember where we were sitting (sadly, it’s no longer there!).

Have you ever heard the phrase “they’re retarded for each other“? Well, really, that’s me and Preston. It’s true. And it’s been true for going-on twenty years. Twenty years next month. Where did the time go? It just doesn’t seem possible!

But today. Today we celebrate our Gwyddon wedding. Twelve years ago today. Our apartment was full of friends and family, and we were all so happy – and so full of ritual and food! I’m sitting here now looking out the window and remembering the weather that day. To us, the day was absolutely beautiful. Our gods smiled. We lived the day under severe storm warnings. The day was full of torrential rain, high winds, and much lightning and thunder. We had originally planned to have the ritual outside on the patio but had to move it inside to the living room, but it worked okay.

You know you want to know what’s on the menu. What did we have for lunch the day we met and walked together starry-eyed into The Grille? Go ahead and laugh – we do. Deli sandwiches. We had deli sandwiches on Kaiser rolls (meat, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and dressings), french fries, and root beers. My mind also keeps wanting to tell me we split a basket of breadsticks – The Grille had the best breadsticks, and they were just a dollar a basket. But I didn’t get any breadsticks. But I did get a Pepperidge Farm frozen chocolate fudge cake for later. The cake we had with our ritual was a German chocolate cake; those are hard to do for just two people!

I told him later we need to play at least one round of Corbin-rules Rummy or SongBurst or some board game. Trivia for Dummies (but that’s not as fun with two people)? Monopoly? I’d even take my socks off for that, wouldn’t I, Preston?

Love you so, so very much. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, until the day after the end of Forever …

memories: granny’s porch

Granny’s Porch

There is a sound of abundance of rain – I Kings

I love porches. I particularly love porches in the rain, particularly if they’re screened in. My great-grandmother had a terrific porch, but it wasn’t screened, and even if it had been, it still faced the prevailing winds. What Granny did have, though, was a tin roof. Her attic was located mostly over the kitchen and the “cold room” (began life as a side-porch but was later closed in), so when it rained, you could hear it deliciously dancing over that tin roof.

Now Granny’s roof wasn’t one of those new, colorized punched-tin roofs. It was made of those drab-grey corrugated sheets of tin that tended to rust with age or if they weren’t cared for properly. If wind blew across the hills “just right”, the eaves sang, and the tin whistled. I always thought that if those tin sheets ever came loose in the breeze, they would play Litz.

[[i’m making an effort to write down memories instead of letting them get lost inside to time. i collected a bunch from my old blog. i also make notes when memories pop into the forefront of my mind. this post is the second in a series that’s going to crop up now and again.]]

memories: if all else fails …

… read the instructions??

I guess, that is, if you can find them.

See, I made a big pot of homemade beef vegetable soup for dinner. Preston called at 10:30 and said that he’d rather have fish portions and a baked potato. Fine by me. I washed the potato and put it in to bake. When he got home at 11:45, I put the fish portions in, but I couldn’t find the cooking instructions, although I was sure I’d saved them in the Ziploc with the food. Oh well. Into the oven go the fish portions.

You can see where this is going, right??

Fifteen minutes later, I took the fish portions out to turn them over. And yup. Stuck on the back of one were the cooking instructions! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t get the fished turned over. I’m still giggling. Preston swore, though, that they did not taste like instructions when he ate them — er, the fish portions that is.

[[this is a post from 2003. i promised preston’s mother around this time last year that i’d make an effort to start writing memories down instead of letting them get lost inside my head. i collected a bunch from blue moon journal that i didn’t want to lose and saved them. i’m also in the process of making strong notes when memories pop into the forefront of my mind. this post is the first in a series that’s going to crop up now and again.]]

some news about thomas

Looks like I didn’t blog at all about Thomas after Tuesday, and I apologize for that. Tuesday was just so appalling that after that I just got a bad case of the don’t give a damns. About a lot of things – but that’s probably another post all by itself.Or maybe an entire book …

Tuesday Thomas very plainly stated that he wants to be with family, that he’s unable to live by himself. Yet, he is still bucking the idea of living in assisted living housing. (Also, he told me that he got something from the SCL people the other day about housing, didn’t understand it, and just threw it out, gods above.) He was asked (by the medical staff and by the transplant social worker (Molly): Do you want to do what it takes to stay alive? Are you willing to take the necessary steps to get your health under control? He said he is. Then again, he also told Molly, and the medical staff, that the signs I’d made him last month and the dry erase board I’d gotten him had been a big help. He told me during his clinic visit on Halloween that he’d lost the dry erase board. I took this to mean that he’d never hung the signs I’d made, as well.

While we were discussing housing, treatment, and care with Molly, Jane whipped out her copy of the psychiatric testing I had done on Thomas in July 2009 – waving it around like it were a magic ticket that would get stuff done. She looked smacked in the face when Molly looked at the paper and said, “None of this matters right now. Thomas is over eighteen and is his own guardian. That’s what matters. He’s over eighteen and can make his own decisions. The family can discuss everything with Thomas, but the family can’t make decisions for him. He has to do that on his own.” Still both Molly and the medical staff all agreed that Thomas needs to be staying with someone and having some kind of supervision (caregiver) since he’s not been taking care of himself on his own – plus there will be days he’s not going to be able to drive himself to or from the dialysis clinic.

This brings us up to Wednesday. His creatinine was still sitting at 9.2. We were told again that dialysis was an inevitability, but we all hoped it could be held off for a time. We thought for a while he might get discharged that afternoon, but that didn’t happen. He called Jane and was talking to her at one point about it, and he said if he did get out, he could go home with me and stay until someone came to pick him up. I could hear Jane on the other end of the phone say, “No, you can’t do that. She kicked you out. She doesn’t want you there.” Thomas grumbled and said, “No, Grandma,” and tried to explain, but she didn’t want to hear any of it, so he just gave up (as did I when she spoke with me further into the conversation). Thomas and I both gave up trying to explain much of anything during that conversation because it was being misunderstood or misinterpreted or something.

Dr Castelliano said that for certain no medications showed up in his blood work before his admission to the hospital Sunday evening, but they all were showing up now (Wednesday) due to treatment there on the transplant floor. Also, we were still waiting on the rest of the results on the biopsy – still, two days later! Remember he showed both cellular and humoral rejection when he was in the hospital last time. This time, the biopsy was showing acute cellular but wasn’t coming clear on the humoral. If he’d had humoral, as well, he’d have had to have come back to the clinic three times a week for a series of plasmaphoresis therapy treatments. The biopsy and ultrasound did show some mild fibrosis but nowhere near as bad as anyone had suspected; this is good news!

Which brings us to Thursday.

Thursday, his creatinine had dropped down to 8.7, but Dr Hundley said it may never go down any further and told us not to get our hopes up. He said that when Thomas does go on dialysis, there’s a lot of things he has to consider. He’ll have to be 100% compliant with his meds, his clinic and dialysis appointments (and treatments), and have to go on a renal diet. I said, “Thomas, this means, if you want your McNuggets, you’ve got to go out right now and eat as many as you can, because you’re not going to be able to get them later.” Dr Hundley agreed. Dr Hundley said that Dr Shah would be visiting with us during his clinic appointment Monday (today) to discuss the fistula and all that happy stuff – what it is, how it works, and all that. Also, his medications were swapped around again. They’ll be swapped around again when dialysis starts.

So he was discharged, and we packed everything up and walked out to the bus stop. We had a bit of a wait, but that was okay. Thomas called people who needed to know so they could get a plan in place for picking him up at my apartment later in the day. Turned out that his uncle Danny came to pick him up after work. But nobody took Thomas to Mt Vernon so he could pick up clothes (all he had in his bag were pajamas) and his medications; so he didn’t have those Thursday evening or Friday morning. For the record, he did get to Mt Vernon to pick up some stuff Friday afternoon I think it was. Also for the record, after standing there preaching at him all day Tuesday that he has to take care of himself and that he has to take his medications, not going to pick up the stuff he required was a really shitty thing to do.

Now we’re up to today. Monday. November 14.

He weighs 153#, and his blood pressure was a little high – it came in at 156/80. He still has 9% total kidney function, and that’s likely never to change regardless of treatment. Dr Waid said Thomas definitely still has ‘significant ongoing acute cellular rejection‘ but that the humoral stain was ‘inconclusive’; in other words, too close to call.  His creatinine had dropped down to 5.6 somehow. We were all surprised, even Dr Waid. Again, he told us not to get too excited. He didn’t think at this point that the kidney can be salvaged given its history over the last four years. He said he could see dialysis starting within two to three weeks.

Thomas kind of made a face, and I asked, “Thomas, how do you feel about all this?” He shrugged. I said, “You feel ‘whatever’, then?” He said, “If this is what’s got to be done, then that’s what I have to do.”

Dr Waid explained it takes a fistula six to eight weeks to be ready to use for dialysis. Dr Shah said they can insert a dialysis catheter (this is what I meant when I told him about looking like he was driving nails up his arms) as a temporary thing until the fistula matures enough to use. They said the vein mapping they did Thursday morning didn’t give them the information Dr Shah needed to get the fistula done – he said he needed measurements and all he got was a note saying Thomas has ‘normal veins’, which made us laugh because he has my veins, and they’re awful. (the vein mapping is simple – all it is is an ultrasound of the veins in one of your lower arms, which is kinda cool, considering.) So we went upstairs to the vascular lap and had the mapping done again, and it took a whopping fifteen minutes (counting checking out of the clinic, getting on the elevator and going up one floor, and giving the receptionist Thomas’ lab order).

He comes back to clinic on the 21st at 10am. Then comes back to clinic on the 29th for the fistula surgery (very simple). I don’t have a time on the fistula surgery yet; they have to get that scheduled for that morning then call and let us know the time. I look for him to have a clinic appointment on the 28th as well, given how everything has been going so far. Dr Shah said that after he does the fistula, Thomas won’t be able to carry, lift, push, pull, or anything like that. Too, he won’t be able to get injections or have blood drawn out of that left arm anymore, either, because they have to ‘save his veins’ as well as they can.

So that’s where we are right now. More news as it comes down the pike.