Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, February 20, 2017

just home from

cat and house sitting.

I learned several things, knowing better than to number them now, whist there.

If I lived on the ground floor somewhere...even, horrors, an apartment...I would leave it more often, if only to get some fresh air walking around the block.  That is not happening now because I have really wonky and poorly-constructed stairs to the third floor (former attic) that are higher than normal steps and hurt my knees like a bitch whilst walking up and down them.

The stairway up to my flat, second floor, is made of normal steps, but I have to pass through the mold fog from the basement, foundation and crappy slapped-together walls that enclose those stairs.  I would bet a nickle that they were originally an outdoor stairway before the remodel or something.  On several levels it does not make sense, but there is absolutely no insulation out there.  It is often cooler than it is outside.  I had stored water bottles on the upper landing, right outside of my door; they froze and exploded.  Good thing I took the beer inside.

Secondly, sleeping in a bed that is not one's own is a pain.  Literally a huge, stinking pain.  First night was find.  Second and third nights kept me home from breakfast with my friends and I had to miss my grandson's basketball tournament in the afternoon.  I was pissed.  Still am.

Fourth and fifth nights totally did me in.  My back is a wreck and even my knees hurt like crazy.  So, no more foreign beds for me.  Well, until the next time someone needs me to sleep over to watch the monkey brothers whilst they go out for adult fun.

Third, and the most important of the things I learned is that I do not want a cat as badly as I did before starting the cat/house sitting gig.

I can have a cat and a wardrobe that exactly matches the cat's fur colors, or I can not have a cat.

I forgot how much hair just lives in the environment of a cat focal household.  Friday night I went to a play with a couple of friends and was not able to remove all of the car hair that had found its way to my slacks hanging nicely in the closet.  Fortunately, it was dark the whole time, evening does have that whole dark aspect, and I was the only one who noticed or at least no one else mentioned my strangely hairy pants.

The first few months of having a cat are fairly hair-free.  It takes time for cat hair to amass to critical capacity within a particular environment. 

Once you get used to it, you are used to it and you develop strategies for minimizing the coverage problems.

You keep your out-of-the-house clothes safely ensconced on a closed closet.  Said clothes are not allowed more than the briefest passage from laundry experiences to closet.  Dressing to leave the house is left until the last possible moment, often measured in nano-seconds.  I do not joke.

When returning from outside the house, clothes are returned to the safety of the closet only by developing insanely, nearly instantaneous garment divesting skills.

Once accomplished, it is a marvel to watch, although the only one seeing that show is, of course, your cat, who is not the teeniest bit impressed.  Frankly, there is not a cat anywhere who will even understand, much less concede, the need for such skills.

This is proof that cats do not know everything.

Having a cat would mean resurrecting those skills and despite my love of cats, my desire to have cats again and my need for that kind of love in my life, I am not sure that I am up to the hair problem.

Cleaning the cat's litter box twice every day was a snap.  Most folk might not consider it a pleasant task, but it is the most certain way of keeping up with any changes in your cat's health and habits.  A clean box is nice for your cat, but it is an essential way to monitor how your cat is doing.  So, no problems cleaning that box for the past week.

Cuddling and playing, well, this is where it gets serious.  I miss that so much. Playing with your cat is more fun than it should be, and part of that is how wonderful it is for your cat.  Cuddling is something that is equally wonderful for both cat and cat owner.

I am so torn.  The benefits of having a cat far outweigh any negative aspects, but I just cannot get past the whole hair mess tonight.  Maybe I will feel differently in a few days, but this feels so solidly a barrier that I think my cat owning days are most likely over.

This is sad, but I know that the hair mess aversion of going to win and I will not be getting another cat.

I do not envision adopting a hair-less breed of cat because in more than twenty-eight years of animal rescue work, not a single less-hairy cat ever came into the shelter.  That means I would need to buy a cat from a breeder, something I am not going to do.  Sure, there are responsible breeders who would be thrilled to sell a cat to me...I am hoping anyway..., but my heart and mind are pretty much stuck in shelter cat adoption.

I could have a small terrier, or some dog with hair instead of fur, that I could trim myself, as I did with our schnauzers.  But, but, but...dogs are so much daily work.

You cannot simply play with a dog, although everyone involved in said play activity loves it, dogs must be walked.  Every day, and for longer than dog owners generally want to be outside walking their dogs. 

Every day.  Weather permitting or not.  Where I live the old saying is that there is winter and the months leading up to winter.  Summer can pretty much be counted on, but springtime and fall are iffy and often rainy.  More than half of the time it is either raining, snowing or the aftermath of snow.  Rain flows off and soaks in nicely here, but snow is rude and hangs around long past its welcome.

Scooping after a dog would not be a problem; it offers the same health knowledge benefits as little box scooping.  I used to be a dog trainer, so barking and all that jazz would not be insurmountable, same thing for behaviors.  They did not call me the Cat Whisperer for nothing, and I am no slouch at dog training.  Kind of bragging, but it is true.

So, I guess I am off to find another kind of pet.

I was considering a fennec fox for a few months.  I know someone who raises them and I know I could properly care for one, but it has many of the same needs as do dogs, and being a mainly nocturnal animal would certainly suit my lifestyle, but it is still too canine for what I truly can handle now.

Guess I am back to bunnies or guinea pigs or rats.  I rescued a Capuchin monkey decades ago, but even then, during the time I had that sweet guy in my life I knew that primates are not house pets and when he was ready to move on it was sad, but I knew that having him was temporary and he was ready to go be with other monkeys.

Some difficult things to learn in just a week. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

well, so much for that

The hundred days project.  I have been ill again and, frankly, just not in the mood for any kind of big picture improvement.

My grandson's basketball game for yesterday was cancelled and since I had time coming home from breakfast with my friends, I stayed on the highway and went to visit at the humane society campus north of me.

No one spoke to me and said, "Let's go home now," so I accepted that, but I did find a 12 year old cat who had been transferred from another shelter.  She seems in good health, but moves very slowly.  She will willingly accept attention and touching, but does little more than stop near you and wait for you to initiate contact.

She is relatively old.  She has been in at least two shelters and who knows why she ended up in one in the first place.  She behaves more sad than anything else.  I pulled up a chair to watch her and when the volunteer left her enclosure (the temporary homes of the animals there are not all that home-like, but are quite nice) she stood for a while, then sat for a while and when it was clear that no one was coming back in, she walked to one of the places where she can rest and curled up and eventually went to sleep.

That cat, or one of any of the countless other cats like here, would be a perfect companion for me.  Heck, for anyone who lives a quiet life.  And, I could not take her home because cats are not allowed here.  So, I have to move.

I have to move.
I do not want to move.
I do not want to pack up all my crap again.
Or, move.

But, unless I am willing to spend the rest of my life without cats, I have to move.

This place is kind of a dump.  The landlord has stored all kinds of crap in this flat and because I am such a timid shit about this sort of thing, and even though a couple of the things are inconveniently stored and there is mold in the hallway and the weird stairway to the bedrooms was build and designed by giants, I have not said anything.  I will not.  I is not worth the effort.

So, instead of a hundred days of something meaningful, I am choosing the meaningfulness that would be packing up all my stuff and finding a new place to live.  With cats.

You know, I keep saying this to myself every month and every time that I am missing my cats so much that I think I cannot bear it a moment longer.  But, then another month goes by, beginning with a half-hearted start at packing and before I know it, another month has gone by without me completing anything that would bet me out of here.  Granted, I have a lease to fulfill, but if I was already packed and ready to go, well, I could when the lease expires.

All the mental health care work I am doing seems not enough.

I learned an interesting thing about my mental illness journey this past week.

When I work my ass off, over and over again, trying over and over again to get rid of some memory or behavior that is holding me in place, and I finally work it often enough to actually move past that thing, that thing is still there.

I can see it. It exists just as strongly as it ever did, but I cannot go back to that place. I can see it. It is still there.

It is simply no longer a place that is available to me, no longer that one thing on which I need to keep such a desperate grasp.

And, as I thought about that singular break-away moment(s), I was able to see the other places to which I can no longer travel.

I think that I can still see them because they represent the things that happened to me, which makes them important to where I am now, and it reminds me that I am not the only person who struggles with this stuff.

Just honoring where I am, where each of us might be, on that spectrum.

My breakfast friends are pretty much just breakfast friends.  We all support one another and all that jazz, but breakfast is pretty much the only time we see each other, and e-mails about where to meet for the next breakfast is the only other contact we have.  I went yesterday because I knew the woman who chose the restaurant would show up because she chose the place and I wanted to see her.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

well, I found the old days

100 that is *.

It was not about personal growth as I remembered, but about doing something every day to make the world a better place.

How egotistical for a person who thought she had that under control.

So, off to search and discover what else I have forgotten about the project.

Found:
100 Days
About doing something creative each day
http://100daysproject.co.nz/

100 Happy Days
Can you be in a better mood for 100 days?  Happier?
http://100happydays.com/


Lots more, but not that original one that I found just when I needed to make something better.  Whatever it was, I cannot find that original thing on-line, so that must mean that I am misremembering it.

However, I did find the stuff I had saved from my own project *.  And, I am thinking that it would be nice to factor in that component of making the world a better, more loving place in my own wee ways.  Perhaps I could combine positive thoughts about myself and others, seeking happiness or joy or contentment creativity into some mash of some vague everything that I seem to be wanting right now.

I talked to the folk where my divorce settlement monies are kept for, I thought, my financial security.  In the four-plus years since that final decree I have not touched any of that money. 

My frugal living preferences mean that I can live on what I have, no matter what that actual amount might be.  I have more available since earlier this year when my ex died and when I began receiving a portion of his former social security benefits.

I digress, but have you ever tasted Lotus Biscoff cookies.  The wrapper claims them to be Europe's favorite cookie with coffee, but that is likely a boast as Thomas's English Muffins, touted to be England's favorite, which "Mr. Thomas" brought to America, probably because he just likes us so much.  Epic and insincere marketing stories that surely must be directed towards the national loyalty of children and/or those who like coffee.  Those cookies are tasty, though.

So, anyway, I have more money to fuss around with.  I have mostly been using it to buy better quality food, as well as plenty of not-entirely-essential foodstuffs.  But, a bit more money would go a long way to allowing me to do more stuff.

Nothing huge or anything, but this year's health crap has brought me a greater awareness that I am not going to live forever, and the recent broadcast media remembrances of celebrities deaths during this year are helping to reinforce that notion. 

I want to do more stuff because, well, because we never know when we will no longer to do all of the things we not only do now but all of the things we wished we had done.  I am learning to release regret about my failures in the past and I would love to die with fewer regrets about what I could have done whilst I had the chance.

So, I talked to my reps' contact person at the financial place and I am going to begin taking chunks of that money and turning it into potential pleasure.

I want to spend more time doing things that my grandsons like to do whilst they are still young enough to want to spend time with me. 

We have already talked about taking a train trip to see the Grand Canyon this summer, fitting in between their summer sports activities and family time.  I used to take train trips whenever I could.  Mostly simple day rides other places, but I did visit the Canyon in the year before leaving that other life.  I had thought that I would go west and just not come back.  Too timid for that, although I was glad that I had found the gumption to try it.

So, the Canyon with the boys.  Maybe drag their parents along, too.

They like going to see movies and to visit that place with all the bouncy houses, or that gymnastics place or the one with the rock climbing wall and archery.  It will not be long before those interests will fade and be replaced by interests that cannot include a grandma tagging along, if only to watch them play whilst I read books and people watch.

I have not thought past those two things, but if I try I could bet pretty good at this business of fun.

So.  A few dozen consecutive, or nearly so, days of
creativity
self-empowerment
doing my little bits of caring more and taking more care of the world.

Not bad, I guess, although I can feel my enthusiasm lagging as I type. All I can do is my best and that is enough.  It also occurs to me that this project, cobbled together as it is, can also be about not being held captive to artificial constraints and boundaries. 

Could be interesting. 

Oh, one more thing is that I am really and truly going to try to spend less time complaining.  Choosing positivity can can be a part of this as well.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

100 days

Back in the dark ages of 2010, January 7th, to be precise, I embarked on a personal challenge to do something for 100 days.  In a row.  I am not certain that I kept to that exact schedule, but I did complete the whole project.

I was inspired by a group in the UK who were doing this thing about
self-improvement
-esteem
-actualization
or something positive like that.

I decided that I would use the opportunity to say something positive about myself every day.

You can only imagine how quickly that fell apart.

Most difficult thing I have ever tried. 

So, I modified it to include divesting my life of material things.  I began by listing the names of books, stuff like that, along with the positive self-talk.  That did not last long either.  An additional modification was to get rid of stuff and say something positive every day.  It would have been nice had I been able to keep up the about-me-part, but it was much easier to declare something positive about other people or people in general, or whatever.  I would have to go back and read all of the days' entries.  I am fairly certain that I abandoned the positive stuff about myself from the very beginning.  I think that I eventually copied and pasted the journal postings, and if I still have it in the documents on this computer, I may add a separate page to this blog on which to list it.  The sticking part will be to post it as it, warty growths, unlandscaped armpits, juvenile angst and all.

I did this as journaling on a group site to which I belonged.  It was about simple living and I fondly...and seriously...thought of myself as a Simpleton.  Still do, as those habits have stuck with me through not only the past sixteen years, but as a continuation of the way I was trying to live back then, even before I found that group or began that part of my life journey.

I did not save any of the responses that other members were kindly disposed to leave in support, but I do remember one woman who told me that it was all well and good to do all of this complaining (although I thought of it as, you know, a personal spewing of everything that fell out of my head and down through my typing fingers and onto the electronic page), but what exactly was I going to do about any of it.

In my naivete, I replied that I had no intention of doing anything beyond just getting it all out of my head.  I am reasonably certain that my whining got on her nerves, perhaps even her last one, but the journal was not about her.  It was about me and my mostly unconscious need to write about problems and all that jazz, and especially, as it turned out, my marriage, something could not have imagined sharing with anyone, much less a quasi public forum.  Anyway, I suspect she never liked me, even a bit, because she was always criticizing me about all manner of things that I shared/wrote, and not just in that journal.

So, anyway, I think I want to do this kind of project again.  I am not signing up with a like-minded group as I did before, and I believe that the simple process of making myself write every day, or at least most days could be helpful.  Pretty much what I do here anyway, so not to expect anything very interesting or profound or anything.

I think the focus will be on the work I am trying to do on releasing all of the ideas, thoughts, regrets and issues from the past that keep pounding around in my head, especially when I am unable to sleep or relax.

I am going to ponder the whole thing for a few days and begin when I feel like beginning.  This is not about resolutions or even really about improving myself in ways like health or exercise or faith practice (something that has been bouncing around upstairs for a while) or being more social or generous or practical or any such nonsense.

This blog is the perfect place.  It is very personal, not many people know I write here and it feels safe.  Any of the bad players from my past, who would be more than happy to find and distress me, are able to find me here.  The few people who do know about this blog are nice and kind and, frankly, people I trust to read my crap and hold me accountable need be.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

life is wacky

I am not much of a holiday person lo these past several decades.  Lots of reasons, many of which other folk know, but in the spirit of not being a holiday person, they, those reasons, are best left behind and I am trying (yes, a real thing) to leave all that crap behind.

Time, huh?

So, anyway, yesterday I kicked ass.  It was my own ass, but an ass nevertheless.

In the last move, I was still clinging to some safety issues and I chose to notify every need-to-know person, company, entity of the move personally.  I made a lot of phone calls and fielded almost as many inquiries about why I did not simply create a change of address with the postal service.  Well, if you are still stuck on something as ridiculous as personal safety, you do not do that post office notice.

It really does work well, but my auto license plate tag renewal fell through one of the abysses and, on the way home from work and the library Thursday night, I found myself on the receiving end of many brightly colored flashing lights, a huge SUV and a lively driver who was not St. Nick, but one of our village's cops.

He wished me a happy holiday and asked if I knew why he had pulled me over.  Of course, I had not a clue and confessed to the same.  You have to confess when dealing with cops.  I think it might even be an actual law when you get pulled over.

He told me that I had expired tags and then asked to see my driver's license and proof of insurance.  Well, I help myself properly, but inwardly I was thinking, 'well, I have this part solid'.

Driver's license, sure.  Insurance card, nope.

He let me go with two papers that suggested that it would be nice if I could, should I feel like it, you know, get that registration updated and find something that proved that I was properly insured, vehicle-wise.

I detoured to fetch my meds from the pharmacy, went home, made a wee martini (have to confess that it was not we) and went online to do both of those things.  The insurance was easy.  Apparently I chose to go paperless when I renewed my car and renter's insurance last March and, also apparently, when you do that, the insurance company does not send you a card/proof/plastic thing.  If you want, you can print a card or request to have one specially sent, neither of which I did.

At least it is a weird kind of proof that I did not need proof, as I have not had the pleasure of being stopped by cops in a couple of years, so ten months of not having a physical proof of insurance did me no harm or inconvenience.

I had the insurance card image sent to my phone, and I loaded it onto my Hello Kitty flash drive.  Covered.

When I went to the DMV web site, I discovered that I could not renew my auto license tags on-line because it was one of the alternate years when you have to present yourself and your vehicle in person to have an emission test to make sure that you are not polluting the planet any more than necessary and I suspect that they, the testers, are also covertly assessing the drivers as well.

There are no sites for emission testing open at night.  In fact, a few years ago the state decided that having their own emission testing sites was too expensive and too stressful having to deal with drivers in person, and in their wisdom they farmed out testing equipment to car dealers, which also earns the dealers some kind of income.  Whilst that has not saved the state any money, at least they do not have to deal with actual in-person people.

I did everything I could on-line, including the option to receive both e-mail and text reminders when any of that stuff is due for something.  Then, yesterday I drove to one of the car dealer testing sites, had the car tested.  It passed and for a mere ten dollar/US counter fee, was able to have the registration process completed.  Except that the car guys would not accept the fee from me, which was nice.

I then drove to the police station where they were amazed that I got it all done in one day, given the wonkiness of hours of business due to the holidays and all.  Oh, the reason I had to have the insurance information on my phone is that the library was closed yesterday.  An especially long weekend off for all of them, which, of course, they deserve because they are so nice about accepting my huge overdue fines.  Yes, I am working on that, too.

A nice conversation, some show-and-tell with the coppers, some noodling around on their computers and I am fine.  The tickets they gave me had to be completed withing fifteen days, so managing all that in less than twelve hours had me all chuffed.  And, rightfully so.

Even though I am, well, not exactly broke, my funds are cramped because I went bat-shit crazy with gifts for everyone, I treated myself to dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant.  Whilst there, it snowed, so I walked next door to the grocery store and stocked up on comfort food so that I do not have to leave my house for the next week.

I did by enough healthy and reasonable food, but I also bought three kinds of tea, three kinds of cookies to have with them...no playing favorites here.  And, now I am comfortably ensconced in my properly tarped and carpeted little home.

But, this is where the wacky stuff comes in.

In no particular order:

This village is like a small town, a really small town, like a really small town where even if you are not from here, you may have just gone ahead and been born and grown up here.
Two examples are that a month ago I had, actually one of my big, fat fingers missed the lock button on the car lock thing and instead opened the trunk.  That stayed open for five days and drained the car battery enough to keep that little light on, but no enough to start the car.  A long story short is that I decided to do what every old babe does...fix it myself.  Turns out no amount of will power will fix a dead battery, car or otherwise.  I called the hardware store to buy one of those things that you plug in, in the house, and get it all charged up for when you drain your car battery.  They hardware guy offered to bring it to my house and then use his car to charge mine.  I declined, mostly because it was weird to have a stranger offer that, and then mentioned that I was going to call R, the guy who owns the gas/service station a block from my house.  I called R and whilst I was waiting for him to come and charge me up, the hardware guy called to tell me that he found exactly what I wanted.  Great.  Cool.  But, I asked, had he known my telephone number.  When he found that piece of equipment, after our phone call, he called R and asked for my phone number.
This sort of thing most likely goes on all the time in all kinds of places, but it has never happened to me.

The cop that pulled me over on Thursday evening was the same one who followed me into the hospital parking lot where I had gone to take physical therapy after my heart operation.  The reason he followed me was to let me know that one of my car tires was low on air.

 Whilst checking out at the grocery store last evening (post Chinese dinner) I was embraced by the woman checking out in front of me.  She attended the holiday party held by the place I work/volunteer because her son was playing in the jazz quartet entertaining us.  I talked to her because, well, because she was there alone and she confided in me about how she was experiencing some estrangement from her son because her soon-to-be ex-husband was being a ass hat and trying to turn their children against her because she refused to obey him.  Turns out he has been abusive and here we are, strangers, me chatting with her and her somehow knowing that in the midst of everything she was experiencing and how vulnerable she was, she had found someone who not only would listen to her, but could be helpful.

We really have to trust our gut feelings, that intuition that does its best to help us find or meet or discover exactly what we need.

I really should have been more frugal and not driven to treat myself to Chinese dinner.  Not only was it so good, like a dream full of Asian goodness, but doing so taught me two things.  The first is that whilst I had spent all of the money I saved for the holidays, still had enough to pay all my bills and rent to the end of January, I ignored that bit of good sense and had a wonderful meal and had the blessing of running into that woman from the party.  She shared that she worked in that little strip mall and invited me to come visit her at work.  She invited me four times.  I suspect that she really means the invitation and that I will do exactly that and also that I may have found/re-found someone who is going to be a friend of the best kind.

Trying my best and accepting that trying is a legitimate and valuable behavior and attitude is becoming more helpful and supportive the more I acknowledge the effort.  I can keep heart and keep on trying.

All I use Facebook for is to play bubble and mah jong games and as a touchstone with some of my friends and a very few family members.  However, today one of my friends re posted something that I really liked, and I rarely pay attention to all of that self-esteem happy thoughts claptrap stuff.

Set some goals
Stay quiet about them
Smash the shit out of them
Clap for your damn self

Like totally best wishes to all my friends, some of my family and, gosh, just be good to yourselves first and clap your damn ass off for your damn self.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

wrong...wrong...wrong

In the past 24 hours I have done everything nearly the opposite of what I am supposed to be doing.

I have been working on that whole sleep hygiene thing.  You know, regular bedtimes, regular wake-ups, no distractions in the bedroom.  I have never had television or radio or even cute dancing boys where I sleep.  But, I have horrible insomnia whilst trying to get enough sleep so that I can make it through any day that needs to have me make it through.

I am also not to read in bed.  If I cannot sleep, I have to get up, sit someplace (rocking chair in my bedroom is fine) and read the most boring thing I can find.  Like appliance manuals or something.  I almost made a joke about reading the Bible, but I find it a fascinating read, as are most holy scriptures and texts.  Just pick a faith practice and try it.  You will be stunned at how wonderful and interesting all of that stuff is.  Same thing goes for physics, particularly the quantum type. 

Anyway, when you get tired of learning about your toaster oven, you can go back to bed, turn off the lights and just stay there until you either fall asleep or have to start all over again.  Most of the time this will work for a day or three and then I spend a week with little sleep until I cheat.  Well, I do.

My natural rhythms prefer that if I have something important to do that it begin in late afternoons and early evenings.  They also like it if I stay up late and sleep in later than works well in the practice of an ordinary day.  It is less of a conundrum than it was before I retired, but it is still a pain to be out of sync with the rest of the world most of the time.

I am trying to eat well.  Or, at least better.

And, yes, despite whatever crap you have heard about there is no such thing as trying.  There is only do or not do, trying is a valid and reasonable thing to do on one's life.  Trying means that you intend to do your best for/with/on something that is challenging, even something one would prefer to not do.  Trying is often the best that one can do.  It just is.

Anyway, I have trouble eating meat.  Not only is it expensive, but you have to cook it and it makes messy pots and pans and it is not all that easy to digest, and whilst I am most often able to enjoy it, it just has so many strikes against it.

I prefer raw food, always have.  Vegetables, even those that are more nutritional when cooked, some fruits (also expensive and I have to pay attention to how much sugar I eat, even natural ones), cottage cheese and the occasional dairy something, sprouted grains, millet and the ilk.  Like that.

Food is my drug of choice.  I am a food addict, of the purest kind.  It has taken me a lifetime to come to terms with this, but it is simply another one of those things that is what it is.

I am stunningly careful about doing the right things, but today I did none of it.  I was as contrary as it is possible to be without realizing that I was being contrary. 

It just happened and I am feeling better than I have in months.  I swear.  Months!

So:
  • Last night I could not sleep, so got up, completely cleaned and rearranged the boys' room.  Moved an end table downstairs.  Packed away some bedding Then I read in bed until I fell asleep.
  • Arose when I woke up naturally. 
  • Ate a very late lunch, having only arisen after 10:30 a.m.  Unfortunately, I had not yet come to my senses and ate a lovely couscous and raw vegetable salad that I made myself.  However, it was so delicious it could have felt like cheating had I been aware that I was in the midst of a day chock full of the best kinds of cheating...ever.
  • Had Chinese food for dinner, late, after the Advent program at the boys' school's church.  Brought home leftovers and the wait person gave me extra white rice!   Sweet!
  • Ate a chocolate swirl croissant with fudgy stuff drizzled all over it and with each bite I spritzed a dollop of spray whipped cream on it, alternating with shooting the heavenly white fluff directly into my mouth.
The croissant snack was possible only because I stopped at the market after the restaurant dinner to get mandarins, crushed pineapple, fresh orange juice and dried cranberries to add to some of the couscous salad for lunch tomorrow at work.

I am also proud to have purchased instant oatmeal, bottled water, a piece of cake from the bakery department.  There is still some whipped cream left, so I might have that for breakfast.  Just that.

So then, what have I learned today?  I have no idea, but feeling this good is very interesting.  It is most likely some kind of crazy fugue state before I crash.  Regardless, I am off to bed, to read until I fall asleep.

What a kick-ass day this has been.  And, the church thing was nice, although I wish those church Christmas things would modern-up and play Mary Did You Know.  I loved it from the moment I heard it on the radio (car, not bedroom :) ) last year. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

progress

I guess I am making some, despite my best efforts to stay in the place I know, which is not going anywhere.  I know how this goes.  I do it all the time.  Grow a bit and be content to stay there for as long as possible.

The car which saved me four years ago when I locked myself out of the flat and had to climb the car and throw myself through a window.  I still love that whole experience.

Anyway, it needs replacing and I am going to add some roadside assistance thing to my car insurance and wait until it just completely dies. 


There is not any reasonable way to winterize this place.  I should have been suspicious when the landlord demurred and changed the subject when I wanted to know the heating costs.  Turns out that the stairway up here is enclosed in a small attachment to the house, kind of like and outside staircase, but one that has walls and a roof.  Yeah, but that is all it is.  It is a cobbled together thing and has no insulation, huge gaps between all the pieces of the darn thing and is so cold that just outside the actual door to the flat that the water I left there last week was frozen and exploded the next morning.

The heating vents on that landing are drawing air directly from the outside.

So, there is a rug unrolled and against the porch door.  Tarps over all the windows and blankets rolled and stuffed along the bottom of the landing door and the door to the basement.

It has to do.  It is now too cold for me to think about moving, but I will do so as soon as the snow goes bye-bye.

I am feeling rather chuffed at figuring out what needed doing to close up this place and plug all the holes and gaps that let the cold air and wind inside.  To be honest, even standing up against the windows and such did not reveal all that pass-through air, but now that every possible vertical surface is fully tarped, blanketed and taped, it is noticeably  warmer in here.  I will still be wearing all my spare clothing (think of the little kid in A Christmas Story after he is packed into his winter outdoor play gear; yes, that is me, including a hat) and lots of socks, but I should see a lower heating bill next cycle.

I am nearly finished with my holiday gifts, with just a dozen or so left to make, and I am wanting so much to bake cookies or strudel, especially strudel, or fruit cake, which I truly love, even bad fruitcake.  A few years ago a friend sent me a small Christmas cake, which is what fruit cake is in Australia.  Other place as well, I am guessing, but here in the US it is the much maligned cake of fruit with just enough dough to hold it all together. 

One holiday season I made cakes for everyone.  They really did like my fruit cake, I swear.  Anyway, the ingredients kept increasing and I ran out of bowls and had to go to the hardware store to buy a big trash can in which it mix it, stirring with a barbecuing spatula.

It took a day to figure out that nothing I had would hold the dough.  A second day to mix it all together and a third to bake all of them.  Well, more like twenty continuous hours.  Tiring, but it was divine and if I want to treat myself, I can make a small one and simply not share it with anyone.

I am still struggling with sleep hygiene and will write about how difficult it is, as well as why I am unable to release all of the zillions of memories when I feel that I did not do well enough, or the right thing or whatever the heck is holding all of that nonsense in my head to be endlessly played in my noggin whilst I try to sleep each night.

This is not something I am doing all that willingly, it is at the behest of my therapist, and I truly am able to see the benefit of it, but I will do it.  Mostly.

I am hoping to do some marketing on the way home from work on Thursday, haul up enough food and stuff to last several weeks and just hunker down here.  I have turned down invitations for xmas and new year get-togethers, although I will groove with my daughter and the guys at some point.

Other than that, whilst I am out on Thursday I need to buy a new keyboard, as this one is full of sticky maple syrup that my pancakes were kind enough to share.  So, any wonky spellings are because I missed them when the keys stuck together to make new ways to spell words.

Peace and happy holidays to all us, because even if we think we are undeserving of good things, we are.  Deserving.