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!

 

Six Days Post-Breakup

itsnotmeitsyou

 

I have been working hard at banishing the thought from my head that this breakup and the most-negative contents of the relationship were my fault.  I have been writing lists, indicating things I can do now that I wasn’t “allowed” to before.  They’re written everywhere.  On my computer, on junk mail, in my  planner, on scraps of paper, on the back of Kizz’s heartworm med box.  Whenever I have a thought, about something I can do now that I couldn’t do then, I write it down.  In my mind, this will free me from the bad feelings I have about this relationship.

More importantly, I hope it will free me from the thinking that the mistreatment of me and my pup during the relationship were not my fault.  I guess I could just start a mantra, “This was not my fault, this was not my fault, this was not my fault,” but I don’t think that would work.  I need concrete examples.

My memory of the past two years is a bit hazy.  When I was severely ill, a lot of those memories didn’t get locked down tight.  And, I’m just guessing, that a lot of the traumatic moments between us didn’t get remembered either, simply because of their nature.  But the thing is, the last six months of the relationship are crystal clear.

And guess what?  This was not my fault.  I try to tell myself this.  But I can’t help but wondering why I stayed so long, why I put up with the things I did, why I went along with the things he wanted me to do, why I let him put me in a little, tiny box and throw away the key to the outside world.

I am like a woman, half-drowned, getting her first gasps of air.  I am socializing now, even if it’s only immediate family (and Rock, of course).  I am staying up later and finding no ill effects.  I am doing what I want to do during the day, when I am not at work, and it is such a freeing feeling.

In the m0nths before we broke up, I was always trying to stay at work late or come in early, because I didn’t want to be at  home.  I signed up for every mission, every bank run, every errand.  I just did not want to go home.  And, at the time, that wasn’t a big red flag to me.

I saw my dad today, and he helped me take a ton of DSB’s medical supplies to the hospital to donate.  I know I should probably hang onto some of the other stuff he left, just in case, but those medical supplies were expensive and I know that is what he wanted done with them.  It is so nice to have all of those cardboard boxes out of my living room.  I mean, the living room has been packed with them since January and now, nothing but furniture and a TV.  I’m loving that, and so is Kizzie, because she gets to hang out on Momma’s lap while we watch mindless TV.

It is going to take me and mom a lot of time, but we’re going to get the house totally cleared up.  Rugs professionally cleaned, furniture steam cleaned, the works.  She’s also going to do some patching on a few holes in the plaster that have been gone through with a chair.  She says, and I believe her, that we will have this place so clean that I won’t believe it, and it will be very easy to keep it that way.  She even dangled the carrot that it would be possible that, if it were cleaned up and kept clean, that my sister might want to visit with my nephew.  I could die, if that happened.

It would be great period, if I could start having people over again and not be ashamed of what my house looks like.  My stepsister and her two kids will hopefully come this summer, if I can get the pool operational.  My dad, although he doesn’t like Kizzie (afraid of dogs), might even come in and we can sit outside in my backyard and shoot the shit.  My mom kept coming over through it all, but she did tell me how much more comfortable she is coming over now that he is not here.  I guess I’m so oblivious, that I didn’t realize she was uncomfortable in the first place.

This is a time of growth, and I am having more good times than bad times (although I’m not sleeping), and I’d have to say that getting him out of here is the best decision I have made in ages.  Years.  A really long time, anyway.  Now I just have to start building myself back up from the ground, which will likely be a daunting project, but I’m ready for it.  I have some goals I want to accomplish, and for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel like I need anyone’s permission, and I can focus on what it is that makes me happy.

 

wallow im awesome

 

Deep Within My Heart: Daily Prompt

From the Daily Prompt:  “For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.”

I BELIEVE IN MY HEART TO BE TRUE:

1)  Those who have passed before us, look down on us today.

Here recently, I have felt the strong presence of my Godmother.  Not as a ghost or a spirit or apparition, just a very strong memory of who she was.  I can feel her near and the words that she spoke to me while she was alive are ringing in my ears when I am deep in introspection.  She was somewhat of a Southern genteel card-shark (if there is any such thing), and I have found myself drawn over and over again to the many sets of bridge cards that I was given when she passed.

Vintage Bridge Cards

Vintage Bridge Cards

 

I have had similar feelings with other now-gone relatives, mostly my Grandpa.  When my sister was married, anytime I’m on the lake, whenever there was a pivotal moment, I could feel him looking down on me and in my mind’s eye I can see him laughing, proud, with a big smile on  his face.

2) If you abuse me, and I don’t immediately leave, you will never stop.

I do not think abusers can be reformed, that being abusers in any form of the word.  I think it is easy to say, “I’m sorry,” and fall into that pattern again.  Because, really, that is the pattern.  It might take awhile, but once the physical, psychological, emotional, sexual abuse has occurred, it will happen again.  Always.  And if it’s not me, it will be someone else.  Not everyone deserves a second chance.

From personal experience, this is how it really cycles

From personal experience, this is how it really cycles

3) There is common humanity in us.

At the most basic of levels, we are all the same.  We are all human, we are all people.  We all breathe the same air and enjoy the same sunlight.  From a convicted murderer to a small child to a lawyer to a doctor to a panhandler to a housewife, we are all human.

I BELIEVE IN MY HEART TO BE FALSE:

1) God never gives us more than we can handle

God does give some of us more than we can handle.  What we do when that happens is up to us.  The best thing is to find more support, so that others can help you through what God is giving you.  I believe that is His intent.  If we stay alone, and it keeps being heaped upon us, disastrous things can happen.  Suicide, murder, all sorts of violence and loneliness, despair.

2)  Dogs don’t have souls

Really?  Look at me!

Really? Look at me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) You can never be too serious

It has taken me darn near an hour to crank this out.  I have very strong opinions and beliefs on certain matters, and sometimes it seems like these opinions and beliefs contradict each other in some shape or form.  I started out wanting to do just a little light take on The Daily Post’s prompt, but soon I found myself brooding and frowning at the computer.

And then Kizzie (pictured above) jumped way up over the armrest of the chair and landed splat on my belly.  She licked my face, pawed at my shirt, wanting me to know I should pet her.  All of the angst over this damn prompt went away.  I really can be too serious sometimes, and while at times it is to my benefit, at times it is not.

I wish I laughed more, smiled more.  I’ve tried to get into the habit of smiling at strangers and the results have been positive, but somewhat mixed.  It seems to depend where you’re doing the smiling.  Walking down the street, not so well, but in a grocery store or Walgreen’s seems to be a good bet.

In the interests of everyone’s attention span, I want to wrap this gobeldy-gook post up with a thank-you to my friend, Sheena at NotAPunkRocker for encouraging me to mess around a bit with images.  My thanks to you, m’dear as this was a great stress release.

Five Lists of Five Things

Inspired by fellow bloggers, Rara, Rutabega, Benzeknees, and Cats and Chocolate, I will be presenting five lists of five (yes, the title of the post is included in the first paragraph…isn’t that annoying?).  I love these other bloggers, love their writing, their wit, their use of fun pictures, so I am challenging myself to be on their level (but will probably not use pictures…I’m almost phobic.)  Without further adieu:

Five Things I am Passionate About:

1)  Reading.  On my Kindle.  I read nearly everything I come across in a book review, as a book a blogger I read has written, books mentioned at work, by my family members, because it had a pretty cover.  I do not discriminate.  The need to read runs deep within me.

2) Dogs.  My dogs are my best friends.  When I am happy, they jump around like crazy.  When I am sad, they jump around like crazy (and lick my face when I am crying).  When I have to be away from the pups, I get very sad, and coming home to them at the end of the day is what I imagine it is like for parents who love their children.  They are my kids, my life.

3) Grammar.  I find very few typos and grammatical errors in my writing, because, where there are not rules, I make up the rules.  I am known to overuse the comma.  Me and the comma are tight.

4) Family.  I work in my family business and see both parents most days, even if just for a little while.  If I am not working and haven’t called or come by in three or four days, I get emails and texts and calls about what is possibly wrong with me.  “We’re concerned.”  It may seem like too much for some people, but I love it and I live it and it works for me.

5) Taking care of myself mentally.  There are many things I must do to manage my bipolar disorder, and I do them without aplomb, knowing often that I have blown someone off or given someone the wrong idea or made it look like I am a slave to my routine.  It’s not like that.  I know what it takes to stay on an even keel, and I am willing and ready to do that, regardless of most consequences.

Five Things I Would Like to Do Before I Die:

1) Visit somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico with DSB and the dogs.  Load up on all the good fish and seafood we can, and then put as much as we can on dry ice and run back to Kansas before it all goes bad.

2) Get married.  I have DSB, so I have one of the requisite parts for this, but marriage is not likely in our future, for many reasons.  I am okay with that, but I’m going to keep dreaming that one day he’ll pop a black box with a ring into my hand.  A girl has to have dreams!

3) Get really good at taking photos, like with a camera.  I am hopeless at this but see so much inspiration around me, mostly Marilyn.  She is amazing, and if I can get half as good and collect half the number of camera gizmos she has, I might get somewhere.

4) Write something and get it published.  A lot of people have this dream, and I am not super hurried or rushed or obsessed.  I just think it would be nice to have something out there, that people can read or not read, that I wrote.  Lord knows I have plenty of subject matter in my brain.

5) Have a real, in-person best friend.  I have lots of online friends, but it would be really great if I had a go-to friend that lived even in the same region as me that I could see and visit with on a regular basis.  It would be nice to have someone to go do things with, like visit all the junk and antique shops scattered throughout the back-highways of Kansas and Missouri.  You know, girl stuff.

Five Things I Say A Lot:

1) Mother Fucker!

2) I forgot!

3) Let me tell you a little something…

4) Have a good one!

5) I love you

Five Books or Magazines I Have Read Lately:

1) Harbor Freight Catalog

2) Disappearing in Plain Sight by Frances Guennete

3) The Orange Buffalo by Grayson Queen

4) Most of the “Odd Thomas” series by Dean Koontz

5) Twelve Foot TeePee by Marilyn Armstrong

Five Favorite Movies:

1) Backdraft

2) Top Gun

3) The Hangover (all three!)

4) Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion

5) Forrest Gump

Ack, I’m so predictable in many ways, but this has been a fun list.  There’s still time for you to do one, and don’t forget to link up to everyone at the beginning!

 

 

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.

 

Temporary as a State of Being

I have been sicker than a dog since Thursday night.  Still am a bit sick, to a degree.  I think the five hour nap in the middle of the day today speaks to that.  I am no longer running a fever, though, so progress is being made.  I hate being sick…there was so much I wanted to do this weekend!

Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  I don’t know where I would be without you, oh frozen meatballs!  QoB gave us some BBQ chicken that I am making into salad for lunches this week.  Of course Dr. Love would eat none of this BBQ chicken because he claims to only like breast meat.  Such a PITA.  Whatev.  More for me.

QoB has been working her tail off at the other house all weekend, getting it ready for the renter.  I went to her house this morning with the attention of helping her get a few things done, and didn’t end up with much accomplished.  At least I brought her some coffee, so all was not lost.  I also vacuumed her floors, which is something I have really been wanting to do at my house, as well.

I left from her house still feeling pretty good.  I had spent all day Friday and Saturday in bed and it was nice to be doing something for a change.  I went up to the Rez and bought cigs, then back into town for what I had hoped would be a productive afternoon.

I hit a huge wall of fatigue and general ickiness when I was 0n my way back into town.  By the time I made it home, I went to bed and stayed there until almost 6:00 p.m.  I finally got up and sat around feeling rather sickly for awhile.

Then I realized I hadn’t had any fluids today except a Diet Coke at QoB’s house.  So I downed a bunch of OJ and water and am feeling more “with it.”  Now that I have had an actual meal and some fluids, I think I am on the mend.  I am still going to bed early to be on the safe side.

My lists that help me…

Temporary things:

1) illness

2) Dr. Love’s crappy work schedule

3) anxiety

4) fleeting and unexpected kindness from strangers

And in the long run, I can always count on:

1) The love of my family

2) Dr. Love

3) Kizzie (I will have her cryogenically frozen, if need be)

4) frozen meatballs

Amen!

Alan Jackson, Red on a Rose