Five Things of Thankful — Domestic Goddess Edition

As you may or may not have noticed, I am still down with the same bug that was plagueing me last week.  I pondered doing a Ten Things of Thankful — SickiePoo Version 2.0, but I just didn’t feel too inspired about it.  It had been pretty much the same ol’ week and I was pretty much grateful for the same things.

Before I went inpatient at our local psych hospital, my sister and Mom had helped me do a big deep-cleaning a my house.  Kinda airing out the bad DSB spirits (and smells), if you will.  When I was released from the hospital, I was very serious about keeping it clean and did so.  The first few days I was sick, I didn’t care.  About four days in, I started to care.  I mean REALLY care.

Who has more time to look at dirt or grime or goo than a sick person?  A trip from the computer room to the back bedroom takes you through the kitchen and living room, and right past the bathroom.  And you’re walking very slowly, trying to keep your balance and (some) of your dignity.  You see it all.  And if you’re like me and sit very still for long periods of time, trying not to be sick, you see even more.

So I started cleaning, bit by bit.  Doing this and that.  Today I did even more; not because I felt better, but because I’m going maddeningly stir crazy.  It occured to me that this week, there have been some Domestic Goddess products and appliances that I have greatly appreciated over the last 10 or so days.  I thought that, well, since I’m still being thankful and, well, it does still cover a week, that it would be okay if I put my own little spin on it.  Considering that I wrote a short novel for the intro (brain wander much?), I’ll keep the list short (only five…I feel like crap, people!) and to the point.

1) I am immensely grateful for paper towels.  This week they have been used to mop up spilled drinks, clean bathrooms, and blow my nose.  They have also been there for me during meal times when I heat my Ramen too hot.  I have always loved paper towels, much to the chagrin of green family members and friends, but there is so much to love!  I could probably do a post about the greatness of paper towels.  (Don’t worry, I won’t!)



Obviously, I would LIKE to give a shout-out to toilet paper next, but that’s not really related to this post.  SO, it’s not getting it’s own number, but HOORAY for good TP!

2) I am generally partial to 409, when it comes to serious anti-bacterial scrubbing, but my sister brought this (and left it here!) and it is by far the very best all-purpose antibacterial cleaner.  It takes greasy handprints off walls (thanks, DSB, the welder), spiffies up bathrooms in a hurry, and it doesn’t have a super over-powering scent.  We used almost this whole bottle in that one day, forsaking the loads of other cleaners we could have used.  This is the cleaner I have been using in my bathroom all week, so that if a non-sickie person went in there, they might have a smaller chance of ending up sickie.508240_s7



3 &4) I am probably always going to be most thankful for my dishwasher.  There is nothing like having a trashed out kitchen and being able to get it totally sparkling with not a dish or papertowel in sight, if you only have a dishwasher and a trashcan.  I’ve got both!  The bonus is that the dishes come out super-clean and you (usually) don’t have to worry about stuff left sticking to the glasses.  I use this fantastic product (in addition to detergent), because I have very hard water.  Works like a dream!


5) Probably my most favorite Domestic Goddess tool is none other than the Kizzer dog.  She is great about cleaning up small messes, eating the  last bite of the banana, knowing when it’s time for a bone, jumping all over my dad (he hates dogs), and mostly just keeping me company.  I know that doesn’t qualify her as a cleaning product, persay, but she keeps me sane, and if were to not be sane, I probably wouldn’t be cleaning.  Amen to that.



Got High Hopes

Day one since I don’t remember, I’m feeling pretty decent.  I got a good uninterrupted night’s sleep, I pumped myself full of iced tea, had a good chat with a friend on FB, and now I’m blogging.  And I don’t feel cloudy-headed.  Daresay, I feel pretty darn good.

Now, I am not new to the bipolar scene.  I, as much as anyone, realize this could be fleeting.  Realize that this could just be a little  hypomania and I’ll have cycled out of it by midday.  But for right now, I’ve got high hopes.

I’ve given myself a deadline of 12:30 pm to get off my butt and start doing some cleaning in my house.  I plan to sweep and vacuum, and clean the kitchen.  There’s laundry that needs doing, but its inconsequential laundry, like blankets I don’t use, and sheets I won’t need for another week.  All the “important stuff” has been done and is ready to be put away.  Okay, maybe I’ll put away some laundry, too.

The scary thing about having high hopes, is that they can crash ever-so-quickly.  The scary thing about having high hopes, is that you share your high hopes with other people, and then you often disappoint them.  The scary thing about sharing your dreams with other people is that they want those dreams for you, too, and they start expecting, maybe more than you can handle.

There’s a fear to having high hopes.  A fear that more will be expected, that you might not be able to deliver, that the high hopes you had in the morning are gone by noon.  There is a fear to getting better.

That sounds crazy, though, doesn’t it?  Don’t we want to get better?  I personally do, but at the same time, I’m terrified.  What does getting better mean?  Does getting better mean that I am going to constantly disappoint myself when I can’t measure up?  Does it mean that people will pull their supports from me when it seems I can do it on my own?

What does it mean that I am able to read a book again?  Or do some housework?  Or write a thought-out blog?  Does that mean I’m going to be setting up some new standard by which people will judge me from?  And if I have a little setback, does that mean I’m getting sick again?  And what if I do get sick again, or rather, WHEN I get sick again, am I going to remember what I did last time to get out of it?

Because I usually don’t.  I go from well to sick to kinda-well to better to good.  And then back down.  It’s like a ladder you fall down and then have to climb back up again.  And the rungs are slippery and sometimes you fall a little bit or lose your footing, and you’re just so unsure of it all.

The answer of course, is to live in the moment.  Isn’t that the answer with most things?  I have been doing daily diary cards and emailing them to the Goddess.  I won’t say that I’ve been doing a perfect job keeping up with them, but pretty well.  And those cards remind me that I need to stay in the moment.

Right here, right now, I feel good.  Enjoy that, revel in it, dance around in it a little.  Because right now, this moment is good.  It is SO good.  It doesn’t matter (and we won’t think about) that things could be shit in a couple hours.  What matters is that right now, I feel good and happy and like I could be productive.  I have high hopes.

This song is one of the happiest songs I know, and I have it on repeat.  Give it a go; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, no matter what type of music you like.

A (Hopefully Not) Pissy Day

I’ve been up since 4:00 am.  This is not normal for me.  Usually I sleep until anywhere between 7:30 am and 8:00 am.  And if I took my meds kind late, sometimes until 10:00 am.  Considering that I fell asleep last night around 10:00 pm, it does not bode well for the day that I was up at 4:00 a.m.  More of that mixed bullshit that I seem to have to keep going through.

Now might not have been the best time to quit smoking, but other than hounding my mom for a cigarette yesterday, it has actually been going okay.  Okay, I’m white-knuckling it, to be honest, but at least I haven’t fallen back into the habit.  That’s just over three days, m’dears.  That’s a long time to a quitter and mere seconds to a normal person.

I’ve found that most people generally d0n’t want to give you any props until you have made some “real” progress, like smoke-free for at least one to three months.  Why that is — probably because most people relapse before then.  It doesn’t make sense to me, though.  Wouldn’t you think you would want to praise and encourage from the get-go, so that person feels supported.  The people I am talking about don’t read this blog, so I feel very comfortable sticking my middle finger out at them and screaming, “FUCK YOU!”

Hmmm…thought that would have made me feel a bit better, but it doesn’t.  Maybe it needs to be a face-to-face “fuck you,” although that probably wouldn’t be much good for the relationship.  I’ll just stick to saying it in my head.  Maybe out loud once or twice, shaking my fist at the sky.  Who knows.  This lack of cigarettes makes me crazy.

Speaking of quitting smoking, my mom and sister came over and we cleaned like crazy-women.  There is not a trace left of DSB or his stinkiness or the smell of smoke.  We took out rugs to go be professionally cleaned, washed all the drapes, the works.  My sister, being the young and limber and totally-in-shape person that she is went around my entire house on hands and knees and wiped off all my baseboards.  Mom used her floor scrubber vac on all the floors.  We vacuumed.  We dusted.  We threw a ton of shit away, including some nasty furniture.

It looks awesome, I must say, and I am very pleased.  Unfortunately for everyone involved, I was in a terrible mood and extremely stressed out.  I don’t know what I was stressed out for, other than it was change (but GOOD change) and it was like a “so-long-see-ya” tip of the hit to DSB.  I threw away a lot of his stuff.  I could have donated some of it, had it been cleaned up, bit was just so nasty and dirty.  Gah!

You don’t realize you’re living in a hell-hole until it gets cleaned up.  That’s kind of how I feel about things.  Kizzie was soooo cute on her new rug in the living room.  Wiggling all over it, doing her yoga stretches, rubbing her back.  And just laying there, totally content.  I think she missed having nice, clean, soft carpet to lay on.  That about did it for me right there.

So after getting into a disagreement with mom, upon whence she left and I retreated inside to rest and cry my eyes out, I sat in my living room and stared in awe at everything.  I really didn’t think we could get it this clean.  And then I cried some more and some more.  Then I got up and did a few last-minute chores and went to bed.  I was so tired, it wasn’t funny.  I could have probably not taken my sleeping pill and fallen asleep.  It is therefore strange that I was up at 4:00 a.m.

I work today, because Rock worked for me yesterday, as that was the only day my sister could get off.  I’ve never worked a hump-day in the store before but my guess is that it’s more of the same.  I’m no worried because Blue Cat and the Big Dawg will be there, so things should go pretty smoothly.  I think I’m going to try and lay down now for about an hour and see how that goes.  Hopefully I can get a bit more sleep!

My Day of Imposed Cleaning, Minute By Minute

10:30 am — warning from the Big Dawg that he was coming over at 5:30pm to assess my progress and “help”

11:00 am — bank run

11:30 am — meet with Dad and purchase needed cleaning supplies.  Apparently everyone should have a small bucket; something I have never needed before, but I think it has something to do with using fewer paper towels.  He is so green.

12:15 pm — feel like I have  plenty of time, although I keep glancing at the clock.  Promise myself that at 1:00 pm, I’m going to get busy

12:30 pm — reply to bunch of comments

1:00 pm — decide I still have plenty of time and write my Building Rome  post.

1:30 pm — respond to more comments

2:00 pm — Mom calls and I inquire what is meant by “pre-cleaning.”  She is sick of my anxiety and tells me to just work on things.

2:01 pm — I start cleaning small bathroom.  Have to take breaks because the bathroom is literally so small that I am having a hard time reaching around to get behind the toilet.  It isn’t really all that dirty, but there is that skuzz around the toilet that only DSB seemed to be able t0 make.

2:15 pm — taking a break, Dad calls to offer me encouragement and to bribe me with chicken pho if I can get my house cleaned

2:30 pm — finish the small bathroom.  The floors could be cleaner, but it is my understanding that I am just supposed to get up the yuck and they will be mopped tomorrow.

2:31 pm — take a small break and start this blog post.

2:45 pm — spread toilet bowl cleaner in both toilets.  Take out trash of both bathrooms and put new liners in the baskets.  Rearrange hygiene and beauty items in big bathroom.  Realize I have a clean shower curtain stuffed into the cabinet and set out to be put on.

3:15 pm — sit down for a small break and listen t0 a couple motivating songs on YouTube

3:25 pm — field a call from Dad, checking my progress.  Assure Dad that I’m working at it as best I can.

3:30pm — wipe down all surfaces in the bathroom with the wonderful Scrubbing Bubbles stuff, that actually doesn’t smell like a harsh cleanser, but that can take a beating

3:40 pm  — break time…back and lungs killing me

3:45 pm — desperate text message to QoB…in need of reassurance…she was supposed to help me get ready for this!

3:49 pm — pondering if I should tackle toilet or bathtub first

3:52 pm — tackle the toilet first

3:58 pm — sit and rest a  minute.  Curse DSB in my mind and out loud.

4:02 pm — tackle the toilet AGAIN

4:08 pm — sit and rest, receive reply from QoB…replied back, no return reply…

4:12 pm — tackle the rest of the toilet and start on shower

4:19 pm — breaktime and encouraging text from Mom

4:30 pm  — tackle the shower

4:36 pm — am I ever gonna be done?  All that’s left to do now is kitchen.  Praise the Lord.

4:44 pm — scrub small bathroom toilet

4:46 pm — short break.  I am not even missing cigs right at the moment…let’s hope that holds!

4:47 pm — remove coffee pot and tray; spritz off  microwave cart; put spritzer on countertop where coffee pot was in order to set in

4:51 pm — sit and rest a min

4:52 pm — get off ur ASS

4:58 pm — coffee stains all scrubbed, new tray put under, put away unneeded cleaning supplies

5:02 pm — pondering if the Big Dawg is just going to show up unannounced.  That would be SO like him.  A little routine inspection with a white gloved hand.

5:04 pm —  clean out microwave, unload and reload dishwasher

5:22 pm — I sure hope he doesn’t come and tell me to do some more.  I have Barkeep’s Friend at handy and I’m thinking of resting for just a minute and then having a go at those stains that are on my stove.

5:35 pm — I’m still thinking of having a go at my stove.  In the meantime, I’ve talked to Mom and she sounds stoned or tired.  Probably tired.  She’s been working in my sister’s garden all day and is anxiously anticipating the arrival  of my nephew.  I think my current drama situation is pretty low on her priority list, stoned or not.  😀

5:55 pm — been sitting here for the last 15 minutes just looking and commenting on blogs.  I feel like I should feel a little better about the work I have done, but I worry it will not have been enough.  It never is enough — everyone in my life feels that way, like no matter how much they do, they should have done more.  My mom and sister are BOTH like that.  It drives me crazy, and then they wonder where I get it from!


The Key to My Contentment

I don’t want to brag, but my nephew is just over seven weeks old, and my sister just sent me some photos of him on  his tummy, and, I swear to you, the boy looks ready to scoot around, if not crawl.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’m telling you, that’s the look on  his face.

I had a very productive day yesterday in which I completely cleaned my kitchen, including scrubbing down cabinets and baseboards, bleaching my counters, cleaning out my coffee pot, reorganizing tupperware, finding all of the missing kitchen towels and potholders and putting  them in their correct places, unloading and reloading my dishwasher twice, and watering all of the plants in my window garden.  I am pumped and ready to take on another day.

I also started and completed quite a bit of laundry, including putting away a mess of clothes that were clean and heaped up on my folding table.  My goal today is to get all of the laundry done, and to be able to see the floor.  My big motivation is that I keep finding quarters everywhere and it just may add up to enough to go buy a bunch of Lifesavers.  Wild cherry, preferably.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that we take for granted, or the people in our life we take for granted.  DSB has ceased the invalid routine, and so I am rewarding him in many ways.  Mostly, by bribing him with fresh-brewed sweet tea and making excellent meals.  They do say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I think there’s a bit of truth in that.  If I can keep him happy, it’s a happier household.  Similarly, if I can keep myself busy and happy, then I’m less apt to be bitchy and unhelpful to the process.

The time changed on Sunday, as you all may know.  Or at least those living in the USA, other than Arizona, who does not participate.  Do other countries around the world do DST?  I must know, could Google it, but it would be so much more fun to hear about it in the comments section, along with how you adapt.

I was very concerned that DST was going to make me be late to everything, as I had overslept Sunday morning by a long shot.  I think it turns out that I was just overly tired, because I have been up since 5:30am (which is early for me) and feel completely refreshed.

Something new and wonderful is happening in my life.  DSB has decided that he wants to try and sleep in the same bed again.  Woot woot!  This may sound strange, but, with the exception of his first couple of weeks here, I have slept in bed and he has slept on the couch or the recliner, citing pain and waking me up incessantly.

Since that time, my sleep routine has stabilized quite a bit and he thought we could give it another go.  It has been absolutely wonderful to fall asleep with my elbow and hand resting on  his side (whereas, I generally propped myself up with Rascal, our dog), and I have been getting great sleep.  He has not, but he wants to keep trying.  He says the reason he is not sleeping has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the chronic pain he deals with.

Even on the couch or the recliner, he has a lot of pain, so we were hoping it would be eased a bit by being in bed.  No such luck, but as I said, we’re going to keep trying.  Ideally, we could get one of those adjustable beds, but they are ridiculously expensive, so I guess we’ll just have to win the lottery first.  What is it they say?  You have to play to win?  Right, right.

To make the day simpler, and allow me to hopefully get out and get the car washed amongst all the laundry madness, I just put a nice pork roast in with a bunch of sauerkraut into the slow cooker.  We’ll have it over either baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and it will be delicious.  And easy!  So easy!

Maybe I’m a simple person, but getting things done and making a good meal and treating other people well makes me happy.  Simple or not, I will continue on, and, in keeping with my homework, will find a stranger today that I can give a random kindness to.  These things all add up.

A Fat Moment

I have actually had a somewhat okay day today.  I got some housework done, spent some time with DSB, a pretty good dinner is in the oven, and I watched an episode of “Downton Abbey.”  Evening is starting to set in, however, and my good humor is vanishing.  I was reminded of what happened to me a few days ago, that I didn’t ever mention because I was so ashamed.

I was at my mom’s house, and she has a full-length mirror in her entryway.  My sister and I used to stand in front of it and preen for mirrors.  My mom and Big Dawg would joke that we were “wearing the mirror out.”  I have spent the past two years (since right before I quit Weight Watchers the last time) avoiding that mirror.  Not even glancing in it, as I go up their stairs.  Getting the vacuum out of the closet, not a second look.  Nothing.

I don’t know what possessed me to look that day, but I did, and I was confused, at first.  I simply did not recognize the stranger in the mirror.  How I think of myself in my head and I how I looked in the mirror are totally different.  I thought, in my head, that, although I have gained some weight, I have retained some of my cuteness.  Dead wrong.  There is nothing even remotely attractive about me.  Except maybe my hair, which has grown out, but even that left me confused because it was much darker than what I envision it.

Since then, I’ve glanced in mirrors.  Horrified, every time, to see what I have turned into.  And I’m not exaggerating.  I would qualify as super-morbidly obese.  I am disgusting, without a doubt.  I feel this sense of urgency to do something about it, something drastic.  When I took DSB to his appointment on Thursday, there was a flyer for weight loss surgery.  I’ve thought about it a lot in the past but have never gone through with it.  Could I now?

I’ve thought about it a l0t, and the answer is, no, I don’t think I could.  I truly do believe I can lose weight if I apply myself.  It doesn’t help that I’ve gained 10 pounds or so since I quit smoking, but that’s not what has broken the camel’s back.  It is that image of myself in the mirror, the one that I don’t recognize.

I am terrified of the health ramifications of being this overweight.  So far, the only health conditions I have are sleep apnea and hypertension.  At my weight, I should have elevated cholesterol and diabetes, to boot.  How that has not happened by now, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I am going to have to really apply myself and lose some weight.  And stay quit with smoking.

All of this seems like Mission Impossible, given my mood.  But, I’m not ready to die anytime soon, and I’d like to look at least a bit attractive.  DSB still tells me I look good, but now I know better.  Maybe in his eyes I do and I am fortunate to have a significant other that is not close-minded and can still see beauty beneath the surface.  Ok, I am beyond fortunate.  And he d0es love me and thinks I am pretty.  Ok, ok, ok.

Still, something has to change.  The depression has to go, the weight has to go, and the anxiety has to go.  All of it.  I lit a candle for myself tonight, which I don’t usually do (I usually reserve it for someone else), but I am going to need all the good juju I can get.  Something’s gotta give.

Choosing Your Battles

Today has been slightly above average, but I have been somewhat plagued by troubling thoughts, mostly inserted by my therapist, by my Dad, by some other people.

I wrote a post about the division of labor in my relationship, called
“I Cooked.  You Clean.”  I’m just warning because this post might not make a lot of sense without reading the other before.  The bottom line in that post was that, for years I expected there to be a division of labor in which I was helped out with household chores, and with DSB, I’ve come to accept that it won’t happen.

But my therapist always brings it up.  My dad brings it up.  They both bring up DSB not contributing his fair share monetarily, as well.  I think my mom would bring it up if she thought it would get her anywhere.  There are times I get frustrated and I bring all of it up to him — the money, the lack of support in doing housework, and each time I get defensiveness from him and really, I get nowhere.

That happened today.  I saw my therapist this morning and she got me primed for it, and then I saw my dad  yesterday and today, and that primed me even more.  By the time I got home at 4:00 p.m. today, from a full day of running errands and having appointments, I was hopping mad and determined to do something about it.  And there we went again, round and round, with nothing being solved and feelings getting hurt.

I’m left to wonder, if completely left to my own devices, would I ever bring it up?  I’m not sure I would, unless there was just really intense frustration.  For the most part, I look at it and pass it over, deeming it as something not worth fighting about.  Choose your battles, right?  This just isn’t a battle I think I can ever win, and one that is so sensitive, that I’d rather not get into it with him.

Is it wrong that I’d rather put love, and I mean real and true love, ahead of petty bullshit like who does the dishes or who mows the lawn or who takes the trash to the road?  I don’t think it is.  I can see where there is a concern about money from my parents’ standpoint, but $700 only stretches so far and there are bills he has to pay, too.  Do I budget my money better, with the weekly allowances I am given?  Well, of course I do.  Have I spent countless years trying to get that right?  Absolutely.

I feel in some ways, like I am coming along as a person…in my happiness level, in wanting to do and try new things, in wanting to better myself, and I am leaving DSB in the dust.  I don’t like that, but I know you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change, and he most definitely does not want to change.  He acknowledges being miserable, but he doesn’t want to do anything about it, and if anyone other than myself were to ask him, he’s doing great.  It’s quite frustrating.

The quitting smoking thing is just a prime example.  I listed all the reasons yesterday why I want to quit, and the real primary one is my health, and it helping me to lose weight and be healthier in the long run.  I want to be around for a long time, to see my nephew grow up and get married and have kids of his own.  I don’t want my mother to outlive me and have to bury her child.  I don’t want that kind of heartache in my family when it is so completely preventable.

DSB doesn’t want to quit smoking because he thinks it will make him gain weight.  I don’t get that.  I am very heavy at this time, and I don’t care if I gain another 15 pounds while quitting, even though I don’t think I will.  The point is to quit and then focus yourself on getting healthy in other ways.  I think he just doesn’t want to put up the work.

I suspect he was smoking inside the house today while I was gone, but maybe not.  I know since I have been home at 4:00pm, that he has only gone outside once and it is not a quarter after 9:00pm.  And he is in bed, and I’m doubting anything will rouse him from there except maybe an urgent need to pee.

He has been using the “e-cigarette” that my mom got for him last time he was in the hospital.  My bloggie friend, Kim, is doing what is called “vaping” and she has already cut her regular cigarette consumption in half.  Maybe DSB will unintentionally quit the real cigs this way, I don’t know.  I know that while it is cold, it is  unlikely he will go outside for much of anything, including any working that he might need to be doing.

Now I’m just blabbing.  No matter your religion, lack of religion, or somewhere in between, please do what you do and send a little kindness and understanding my way, that I can use to deal with DSB while I am on these initial days of my quitting smoking.  I think there is a possibility I am blowing things out of proportion and they might not be that bad.

My stats so far are a bit pathetic, but I woke up and smoked this morning, pushing back my quit date until today.  Here’s a little something, though:

12 hours, 28 minutes and 13 seconds. 31 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3.96. Life saved: 2 hours, 35 minutes.

I’ll take every little bit I can get.  Thanks, as always, for reading/listening.

Top Five Reasons My Housework Goes Unfinished

Many a blog have been written by me about my poor housekeeping skills.  My mother continues to nag about it, and has suggested I write about it, yet again, for the past two days.  Instead, I’m going to blog about the top five reasons housework doesn’t get done.  Because I can, and possibly, to shut her up (and I mean that in the nicest of ways).

1) I fear my lack of physical stamina to complete the task.

As you may or may not know, I’m a big girl.  I’m a very big girl that doesn’t exercise, parks as close as possible at the store, avoids stairs like the plague, and in general doesn’t move around much.  I also have asthma and smoke (no lecture needed…I know it’s bad), so my lungs are further compromised.  I get out of breath while dancing around, getting dressed in the morning.  My back tightens into an immovable ball after doing dishes for 30 minutes.  My feet ache constantly.  And I don’t like to feel this way, and most household tasks leave me feeling this way.  Most days, I can power through cleaning the kitchen, picking up odds and ends and putting them away, taking out the trash, changing around the laundry, making my bed, and going to the grocery store.  I just talk myself into it, and it’s done, and it doesn’t require so much effort that I am in a lot of pain or severely winded.  Pretty much the rest of required household tasks DO leave me in a lot of pain and/or severely winded, so I avoid, avoid, avoid, until it’s an emergency and then I need help.

2) I get distracted easily.

My mom tells a story about my inability to focus on cleaning and picking up my room when I was very small, and how my grandmother would always come over and sit on my bed, and lead me through the cleaning process step by step: “Rose, now come and put away these books.  Rose, stop reading and put them on the bookshelf.  Rose, stop climbing on the bookshelf and put this stuffed bear away.”  You get the idea.  I think needing that direction when I was young was ok, but now I almost need it as an adult.  I flail around when left to my own devices, but if DSB or my mom is to go through with me and say, “Okay, now clean the kitchen, and when you’re done, sweep the dining room and kitchen floors,” then I can manage better.  When I’m faced with a completely dirty and disorganized house, with the ENTIRE house being that way, I get extremely overwhelmed.  I really have to break things down into small steps, and it greatly helps when someone checks in on me to keep me on track, as much as I hate to admit it.

3) I have a lot of other interests.

This might sound like it goes under the category of number two, but I feel it is distinctly separate.  There are a lot of things I am interested in and that I spend considerable amounts of time doing.  The first and foremost reason I put off housework, is to spend time with DSB.  If he isn’t outside working, I am with him.  Usually this works well, because he is only inside for a couple of hours in the morning and then is outside until 4:00 or 5:00.  When that happens, I have most of the day to attend to chores (hypothetically) and other interests I am pursuing.  When he is in for the day, pretty much every productive thing I intended to do that day is shot.  I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but it’s how it is.  I also am very into blogging and following (and commenting on) other blogs.  I read quite a bit.  I like to spend time with my Dad every week, and do something with Mom often.  I also have a j-o-b that takes me out for the meat of the day, three days a week.  I always have errands to run here and there, and I often am doing some therapy-related thing.  These things all take time away from cleaning, because I consider them to be more important.  I’m not saying that’s the best mindset to take, but again, it is what it is.

4) Cleaning floors frustrates, irritates, and confuses me.

I have two wonderful dogs, and one of those dogs is a big shedder.  I also have a medium sized back yard that, thanks to said dogs, is a mud pit pretty much year round, unless we’re in a drought.  If we are in a drought, it is made up of a very fine, powdery, dusty dirt.  With two dogs, and all that mud and dust, and dog hair, my floors don’t stay clean long.  Maybe 24 hours tops, if I’m lucky.  And within a few days and sometimes a few minutes, they are so dirty that they inspire fear in even the most fastidious of cleaners, QoB.  She has literally said, and I quote, “If my floors were like this every day, after every time it rained or didn’t rain, I would cry.  I would just cry.”  She is also amazed at the amount of dog hair that accumulates in even a tiny period of time.  As am I.  So, when it comes time to clean floors, it’s always a big mess, and you always have to mop twice, if not three times for them to come clean, and then even then sometimes they’re not really clean and you’re just left feeling confused.  And it lasts maybe 24 hours, as I said.  Who would that not frustrate?

5) DSB does not want QoB to help me unless I’m desperate.

This is perhaps the most vexing of all.  My mom knows me.  She knows I need a little push, a little foot up the ass.  She knows it helps immensely if she comes over and even just directs me and gives suggestions.  She knows how I get overwhelmed and, unlike DSB, she is empathetic.  DSB thinks I just need to “suck it up and do it.”  He doesn’t get it, and he admits that he doesn’t get it.  He doesn’t understand how it is so overwhelming that it paralyzes me.  He doesn’t understand why it takes me so long to clean when I do clean.  He says he can clean the house from top to bottom in two hours.  I know that is not possible, if you’re doing a good job.  When Mom does come over and help, whether it’s her actually helping me clean or her just giving me a pep talk, it is unbelievably helpful and there is no way I can repay her in any sense of the word.  Things get done when Mom is there.  Mom doesn’t want to make DSB mad, so I think a lot of times she doesn’t help when she otherwise would.  Recently, she came over and helped me get the house clean, and DSB didn’t even say anything about it.  Maybe he is beginning to understand how vital that direction, even that direct assistance is.  I’m not sure.  All I know is that sometimes, Mom CAN make it all better, and she often does.


I Need Ear Plugs

I’d just about give up my left big-toe right now to have a little silence.  I’m even thinking of going and sitting in my car.  Between DSB and his obsession with the TV, and the dogs going sideways because the neighbors happen to be hanging out in the driveway, and DSB’s phone ringing incessantly, and my blood thumping in my ears, I’m about to go a little haywire.

It’s been a busy week, a busy weekend, and I am still running on a sleep deficit.  I don’t feel very good physically, due to the lack of sleep, and the neighbors are about to not feel very good physically get an earful if they don’t get out of my yard.  I’m starting to feel more than a little cranky around the edges.

Really, why must there be such noise?

I almost took a nap today, but QoB called and I ripped off the ol’ CPAP, invited her over, and went off to find some pants.  It really turned out to be a good thing that she came over, because we got quite a bit done.  Or rather, QoB cleaned like the madwoman that she is and I helped do a few things, but otherwise sat around feeling ill and guilty for not helping much.

And I have ants.  Hopefully we took care of them, but mercy, there were quite a few.  When I told DSB, he was unimpressed and told me that he had advised me of such over a week ago.  Somehow I doubt that, but we must choose our battles, so I said, “Ok, hon,” and went back to doing dishes.  I really did do a lot of dishes today.  That I know as concrete fact, whereas it is remotely possible that DSB had already advised me of the ants a week ago.  Like I said, you pick your battles.

Another battle that I did not end up picking with DSB was that of the “miscellaneous computer crap” that has been piling up in my dining room over the last month.  QoB nipped that one in the bud and tucked it all away, nice and neat.  On a not-so-lovely note, DSB did not notice that it was all gone when he came inside.  Apparently chaos only drives ME insane.

My apologies that this post is all over the place.  I am suffering severe brain fog that I am hoping will remit, say, tomorrow, because I am positive I am going to get a good night’s sleep.  Cross your fingers and toes on that one.  I know I am.


Ain’t Nothing But a Procrastination Thang, Baby

I am the Queen of Procrastination.  I have heard others lay claim to the title, but no one does it quite like I can.  I have a few things on my to-do list today, and I am fully convinced that as long as I start within the next hour, I’ll be able to get them all accomplished.  I am probably deluding myself.

I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night.  Mainly because I was freezing to death.  Even with plush sheets, two blankets, and a heavy comforter, it was unbearable.  And then of course you’ve gotta get up to pee.  It just wasn’t my night, and it was actually the third night of this.

Yesterday, I got wise and called my heating company.  They came in this morning and within 20 minutes, my heat was kicking on.  And I took that as a sign that I should take a nap.  I don’t think that is illogical thing.  Heat = sleep.

After my nap, I thought about cleaning the kitchen.  Then I looked at it, decided it wasn’t dirty enough to work on yet (aaack!), that it would only take 30 minutes instead of the allotted 60, and decided to show some blogs that I follow a little love.

Once that task was completed, I wandered into my laundry room.  Heeeey, guys, it’s not so bad in here!  So I threw what was into the dryer onto the folding table, threw the washer stuff into the dryer, hung up what couldn’t go in the dryer, and felt like I had accomplished a huge task.  That laundry room has nothing on me.

So, I still have to dust the entire house, clean the kitchen (not so dirty!), bring my plants in, and do a few more loads of laundry.  If I have time to spare, I’m gonna go all out and change the sheets on my bed.

It’s a quarter ’til 1:00 p.m. and if I can get all of that accomplished before 5:00 p.m. (when DSB returns to the house), I’ll feel pretty good.  And I’m fairly certain that will happen.  But right now, I think I should watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu.  Because I’ve got nothing but time, dontcha know?