Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Almost back to normal...not that normal is pain-free

I'm feeling better but Professor isn't.  Friday a stray dog wandered into the yard and scared him.  I'm not sure what happened but I got out there as soon as I discovered the dog and by that time Professor was limping badly.  No blood and no broken bones.  I think he strained it trying to get up the steps.  The dog was standing on Professor's leash and he fell down the steps.

He's still limping and can't get up the steps but I think part of that is Tom trying to force him.  He wouldn't pick him up to let him back in and so Professor kept falling back on the leg again.  I convinced him to pick him up from now on so we'll see how it goes.

To be fair, the dog wasn't much bigger than he is and wasn't the least bit aggressive.  But Professor isn't well-socialized.  Well, with other dogs that is.  He's just fine with cats.

I saw a terrific show on BBCA the other night.  John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and Torchwood) did a special on what makes a person gay.  If you can get hold of it, it's well worth it.  I also watched Any Dream Will Do.  It's a reality show/contest in the genre of American Idol (which originated in Britain anyway) to choose the next star of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I really liked the show in a way that I don't care for American Idol.

And John Barrowman was on it as well, as a judge.

I spent the last part of my time in Fond du Lac in the car tonight.  It wasn't too cold and I was so sleepy.  I dozed off for quite a while and it was much more comfortable.  I think I'll stay in the car in the future.  It looks like something is going on in the commons area tomorrow anyway. But I need to clean the car out so I can fit in the back seat.

I'm not sure what I did to my back but I have never had back pain like that before. I couldn't move.  I spent some time flat on my back on the hard floor and that helped a bit.  Tom thinks I might have injured it trying to put the couch back together.  It's a futon but a real pain in the tush to put up.  So Tom suggested just leaving the bed made up and making that room my bedroom.  He spends all his time upstairs anyway and if he wants to watch the upper channels on that tv, he can see it from the living room.  Otherwise there is a tv in the dining room if he's on the computer or in the kitchen.

In a way it's a huge relief.  It has been so hard folding the couch back up and time consuming folding all the covers and dealing with all my pillows every day and night.  Plus, I have missed having a room to call my own.

It's nice to just crawl into bed at night.

Which is where I'm going very soon.  I've done next to no knitting lately.  Some working on the log cabin-ish blanket for Haiti babies and a bit on the shawl.  I do need to finish up another baby hat but I'm pretty burned out on them.

I've dug my art supplies out though and am going to get back to that.  I'll try to scan some of my pencil sketches later this week.  They're not very good, but I'm not a trained artist at all.  Just self-taught.

I have been thinking about how I would live my life differently if I had the chance and I think I would have quit band in high school and taken art classes and maybe a shop class or two and ended up in the prop department at some studio in Hollywood.  That's where my real love is.  I loved doing props at the church we used to attend.

But it's a bit late in life for that so I'll settle for just puttering around the house with pencil drawing.  Maybe I'll take a oil or acyrlic painting course when I can find one I can afford. 

Off to bed for now though.  In spite of all the naps, I'm still so very tired.  I'm managing my pain as well as I can with the Aleve though.  I'm still taking one tramadol at night, however.  The pain gets pretty bad in the middle of the night, waking me up and not letting me back to sleep.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


I'll write more in a day or two.  I did something to my back and the pain has been...well...off the charts.

It's bearable now, but still very painful so talk amongst yourselves until I can sit long enough to type up a full post.

Oh, and I must have outrun the cold because it never grew into anything.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It caught up with me

Sickness, that is.

I'm feeling really puny, dizzy and just started coughing tonight.  It was a good run, though, this past winter being illness-free for the most part.

I found something to relieve most of my fibromyalgia pain.  Not the really bad pain, but the pain tylenol won't get rid of.  Aleve.  I took one last night and it did the trick.  It's good to know I can save the tramadol back for the really horrendous pain.  Maybe some of the fatigue and grogginess will ease off, too, now that I'm not taking tramadol daily.

I watched hulu.com on Zach's laptop tonight while waiting for him.  I watched the first episode of American Gothic and the pilot and first episode of Firefly.  Then I discovered Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog.  Really good!

American Gothic is so good.  I think it was ahead of its time.  If it had been made in this era, it would have had a better run.  Gary Cole is so creepy in it.

And there is nothing better than Firefly.  Darn Fox for messing with it and canceling it.

I haven't watched Dollhouse yet.  I guess I'm afraid it's not up to par with Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.  From what I read, apparently no one else thinks so either.  I might give it a whirl though.  

I knitted on the shawl tonight instead of baby hats.  I didn't want to deal with any finishing while I was waiting in the commons.

They had the movie of the month today.  It was Valkyrie with Tom Cruise.  It looked pretty good but the sound was too loud in parts and people walking around talking overwhelmed the talking parts which were too soft.  But I might get it from the library.  Any movie that kills Tom Cruise in the end has to be okay.

Just kidding.  It did look like a good movie and has a fantastic cast.

It's a deluge out there tonight.  Strong winds and heavy rains.  It wasn't too bad driving home, but I'm glad to be here and very soon will be making up the couch so I can get to sleep.  I've got the vaporizer ready to go and I've already taken cold medicine.

Feeling too crummy to talk more so I'll just...


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not my best Sunday, but not the worst either

I've got some pots sitting on a card table in front of the only window with a southern exposure hoping that this time I'll get some starts to my garden.  I seem to have a bit of a brown thumb so I'm not being overly optimistic.  But I am doing a lot of reading up on what to do to improve my efforts.

I'm planning on moving the garden from behind the garage to the northern side of the property in hopes that the soil is better there.  I've had horrendous luck with growing in past years.  I think poor drainage and too much shade are some of the problems.

I want corn this year.  We tried it once and it didn't turn out well but I'm willing to try again.  I don't think this is going to save us tons of money this year but hopefully in successive years I'll get better at it.  I don't even mind tearing up most of the back yard to use for a garden in the future.  I sure don't enjoy mowing it so much that I want to save back more of the yard to mow.

The only problem would be the pets who like to roam the back yard.  Hannibal hunts out there at night and keeps the rabbit and mice population down.  I've got chicken wire to use as a fence for rabbit control, but they've been at the few flowers I've tried to grow as well.  I hate it that it's necessary but if he didn't kill as many as he did, we'd been overwhelmed with them.

I'm planning on a herb garden as well.  Not sure exactly where that's going yet.  I might just use containers for those so I can bring them in next fall.  If that's the case, I can put them behind the garage.  I need to sow grass seed back there and somehow get rid of all the weeds we have instead of grass all over the yard.  We generally have a find crop of dandelions.  Ugh!

I'm going to plant some cat grass and catnip as well.  For some bizarre reason, Professor loves catnip as much as Hannibal does.  I've never seen a dog react to it that way before.

Unfortunately the week went by and I got nothing done in the basement.  Zach busted up the old toilet that has been sitting on the back patio ever since Tom replaced it.  There is still some ceramic pieces in the cracks that I can't sweep out but I'm hoping to break up the patio this summer as well so Tom will be able to replace it with a wooden deck.  That might have to wait until we can afford the wood unless we can find some salvaged some where.

Tom's sister got rid of some furniture the other day.  He helped her move it and take it to the dump.  I was a bit amazed that she didn't offer it to anyone or even take it to the thrift store. They had dog hair on them but that can be vacuumed.  She also threw away a motorized chair my late mother-in-law used.  There was nothing wrong with it except for pet hair.  It cost her $40 to leave the stuff at the landfill.  But Tom said she wants to sell her house and she wanted to get rid of everything fast.  A lot of people would have reponded if she had advertised on Freecycle.

I guess not everyone has the thrifty mindset.  Or even a green perspective.

I don't consider myself green so much as just trying not to waste money.  Although I did spend too much today.  Vestry meeting went way over and I was really hungry by the time they got out.  I fast before church because I want the Eucharist to be the first thing I ingest on Sundays and by the time I got down to Coffee Hour, nearly everything was gone.  Even the coffee.  And I had gotten only about 4 hours sleep last night because I just couldn't stay asleep.

So...tired and hungry equal weak-willed for me.  We went to Arby's, which isn't the cheapest of options.

I got to church this morning and was horrified to discover I had altar guild this week.  We always have it the last Sunday of the month but this month had 5 Sundays so ours is the fourth. Unfortunately my partner had thought we had it next week as well.  Fortunately, another woman, who isn't even on the altar guild, got most of the work done and when I discovered the error, raced into the wet sacristy and finished up.  Except I forgot the priest's chasuble and did that during the peace.

One of the other ladies on altar guild made a comment about it but the priest was okay with it. Both Betsy and I are dealing with a lot on our plates and it was a weird month schedule-wise.  In the end, it all worked out but I let it bother me the whole time during church and that made the whole morning not very enjoyable.  It was my own fault but I couldn't let it go.

I feel so unreliable.  And I'm harder on myself than they could ever be on me.

Hopefully I'll get some work done in the basement this week in order to make room for the queen bed.  I've just had no energy.  None to speak of anyway.  

I did manage to be as frugal as I could last week, baking, making things from scratch, etc.  I made homemade macaroni and cheese with corn bread last night so it's chili tonight with leftover corn bread.  Zach hates chili with beans and Tom hates it without so Sundays are perfect for chili with.  Zach works and gets a free meal on Sundays so I don't have to feed him.  And Tom gets beans.

I don't care either way.

I've been working mostly on baby hats this week.  Out of all the hats in the basket at church, all but three are mine.  I sure hope someone else brings some in.

I'm going to cheat tonight and work on the shawl.  I just need something else to work on. Nothing but baby hats gets really boring.

I've got to license the pets tomorrow but I'm going to walk there.  With the detour it's definitely not worth it to drive.  Parking is at a premium and it's not really that far.  Uphill both ways but not that far.  Plus it should be nice.

I hope to get some laundry done tomorrow as well.  I won't be able to Tuesday or Wednesdaybecause of Zach's schedule (back to routine) and I'm running out of things to wear.  I don't have a lot of variety in clothing.  It's a personal choice, not a poverty thing.  I would buy things on sale and they wouldn't fit or be comfortable or be...well...me.  So now I just keep to the few things I enjoy wearing.

But it does make for a creative laundering schedule.

Thanks so much for the comments in the last entry.  My mother does come from a generation where things in the home remained private.  Us, not so much.  It helped to get some feedback so I don't feel like a freak.

Well, off to finish up supper.  Big Love season finale is on tonight.  Not sure if I'm going to watch it tonight or wait because I'm still working on season 6 of A Touch of Frost.  I'm still hoping my brain will come back to visit me next week so I can do that Open University class.  And maybe the BBC class on Welsh.

I hate having my brain turn to mush.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why am I here?

I was just talking to my mother a short while ago and she thinks (she who never has read my blog) that I put too much personal information out there...that I'm "airing my dirty laundry" in public.  

I personally don't think I'm any different from other bloggers.  In fact, I've read more personal stuff before.  I don't give a lot of information that would link to me...like phone number, last name or even city.  Location, yes.  But without a name, how would you know who I was?

Besides...there's nothing here that's not the truth.  In fact, I hold back a lot because it's not my intention to hurt anyone.  Even Tom.  The fact that he never reads my blog, even back when I used to practically beg him to, tells me that what I write isn't important to him.  And maybe this is a cathartic way for me to get it out to him, even if he won't read it.  Because I can't talk to him about it.  It always ends up in an explosion of some sort and I'm the one in tears and sleepless for many nights on end.

Also, I figure if people are offended by what I write, they don't have to hang around.  I sure don't read blogs that offend me.  Or bore me.  I have wondered more than once why anyone would read this.  My blog seems so boring compared to other blogs that I read.

I figure that the faithful who hang around here just read because they care.  And that means a lot to me.

Or it's like a train wreck and they can't help themselves.  (wicked grin)

Seriously, I can't please everyone.  I tried initially to be a knitting blog, writing about knitting, knitting and nothing but knitting.  I bored myself.  I listened to people on Ravelry who sneered at blogs that wrote about personal lives and thought maybe I should just talk about my projects. I nearly stopped writing.

Tom told me once, when we lived in California, that I talked to everyone because I had no one to talk to.  I guess that's what I do here.  It keeps me sane and out of prison.

Just kidding.

I think.

To be honest, though, my favorite blogs are the ones where I get to know the writer.  I do read some blogs that are strictly knitting or strictly frugal or strictly whatever.  But I don't gravitate toward those first.  I want to read the ones where I'm allowed into that person's life.  Maybe I don't comment on them as I should, but I feel like I'm a part of something.

I feel... just a little bit...like I belong.

I feel like I've evolved over the past year or so since I've been writing this.  I went from feeling artificial to feeling at home.  I don't feel awkward here and I'm trying not to feel awkward when I comment on blogs.  Maybe my social skills are improving.

At any rate, I'm here to stay and as far as I'm concerned, nothing will change.  Unless I change. And I really hope I continue to.  Maybe some day I'll even grow strong enough to stand up for myself to people who are constantly trying to make me over into the person they want me to be instead of getting to love the person I am.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

RIP Natasha Richardson

Damn!  I hate this outcome.  I tried not to believe the rumors out there but apparently they were true.  I didn't see a lot of her work but what I did see was excellent.  And of course, being married to Liam Neeson raised her esteem in my eyes as well.  I keep getting reminders that life is such a gift and I need to be more gracious about it.  After all, I've had my own brush with death.  I've got to stop being so complacent and get busy on getting healthy.

The pets are good to go for another three years.  We went to the vaccination clinic at Animart today and while it was crowded and stressful for the boys and us, it was definitely worth it to save several dollars.  I was amazed that Professor was dumb-struck by all the other dogs and kept his yappy mouth shut the whole time we were there.  In fact, he hasn't barked at all since.  I'm sure it's just a temporary thing though.

Both pets were very well behaved as were all the pets there.  I was impressed how quickly it went in spite of the long line and crowded environment.  The vets were terrific and if I find out which clinic they are at, they will be our new vets should the pets need medical care.

But I am in for the night and most likely tomorrow and tomorrow night as well.  I just can't get rested and it's so frustrating to me.  I have tons of things I want to get done.  I do like to be productive.  It makes me feel good about myself.  But I will spend the next couple of days catching up on rest (as if) and gradually getting some cleaning and de-cluttering done.  I figure between the thrift store and the garbage bin, I might be able to get rid of some of the stuff in this house that threaten to implode it.

Tom finished up the brakes yesterday before work.  It was a close call.  I fixed his lunch for him and got his thermos ready.  Normally those are sacrosanct and I'm not allowed to mess with them, but he was highly complimentary about my efforts so I must have passed the test.  Not that I'm eager to take over the responsibility but it's nice to hear good things about me instead of all that I do wrong.

Perhaps things are really changing.

I must remain cautious, though.  I've been down this road before.

I got some knitting done last night but it was mostly spent ripping back.  For some reason, I kept making silly mistakes and had dropped stitches...mistakes I don't normally make.  A simple hat with some yarn-overs and knit two together.  I normally could do that in my sleep.  Hmmmm... in fact, I think I have done it in my sleep before.

I did learn last night not to go to sleep before Tom gets home.  The front door is right beside the living room and while, he didn't tiptoe in, he wasn't necessarily being obnoxious.  In spite of it, I woke up after an hour sleep and then was up until 5 a.m.  And of course, Professor's bladder wakes up at 8 a.m. so I was up for the day.  I did try to get a nap in but Zach had a panic attack about getting to the vaccination clinic and woke me up.  Poor kid.  He can't help it.

Remember all those bandwagons I never jump on until they are long past?  Well, I finally opened up a facebook account.  Several family members are on there including my sister, older son, daughter and nieces and nephew.  I"m still figuring it all out but I don't get it.  I find the blogging community more fulfilling but being so impaired with one-on-one relationships, I don't get that from this.  Maybe facebook will help me fix that.

Or maybe I could just push myself and get out there and comment on other people's blogs.

Well, I'm off to fix supper and then watch A Touch of Frost season 5 because I had already seen season 4.  I discovered that when it put it in the dvd player last night and didn't feel like watching it again so soon.  So I got season 5 & 6 today at the library.  I should get some knitting done tonight because I'm not getting up off the couch once I sit down.

I've not been reading a lot lately because my brain seems to be on vacation and I can't seem to concentrate.  Probably tied up to my fatigue levels but what can I do?


Monday, March 16, 2009

Is spring around the corner?

Another glorious day weather-wise.  I got three loads of clothes out on the line before I ran out of steam.  I'll get two  more tomorrow.  I did manage to shift two pieces of furniture in the living room (aka my bedroom) that make the television more accessible from the dining room.  And of course, they were two very heavy pieces of furniture so I am all used up for the day.

We did do Zach's taxes though so we can get FAFSA done before the month is out.  And supper is cooking in the toaster oven.  For one dish things I use it rather than heating up the whole oven. I've tried to bake bread in it but it burns on top before it cooks in the center so bread goes in the big oven.  I need to organize things to the degree that I'm cooking more than bread so I don't waste all that heat though.

Nearly finished with season 3 of A Touch of Frost.  I swear they need me to do the subtitles.  There is a lot of (unintelligible) in addition to mis-heard (and mis-spelled) phrases.  Or maybe I'm just getting better at hearing British lingo.

I'm hoping to get started on a course from the Open University page that I mentioned in a previous post.  I just wish I could jump-start my brain and get it to work again.  It's still so hard to concentrate.

And of course today was a terrible fatigue day.  I had all this work I was going to get done and no energy to do it.  I felt like I was swimming upstream trying to get the laundry out on the line, let alone clean the basement.  Which didn't get done.  Not so much pain though, which is a blessing. Although I suspect I'll be needing a pain pill tonight after all those stairs and moving that furniture.  I haven't needed one for two days.

Thankfully, Tom conquered the brake from hell and has only two more to do.  The right brake was done in just under an hour so he shouldn't have any trouble with the back two.  I'll be so glad when it's done.  Driving that truck is expensive.  And I really want to go to church on Thursday night.

Tom is set up with the internet upstairs.  I'm hoping against hope he will use it in the morning so I can sleep at least until 9 a.m.  He was up at 7 this morning banging the dishes around and with the television in the dining room blaring.  I know his hearing is okay because he just had a hearing test at work not too long ago.  Maybe he just doesn't realize how loud it is.  I might have to get my courage up and tell him.  I never know how volatile his reaction will be.  Not physical, but he can get very vocal if he feels like he's being criticized.  

Otherwise it's not so bad.  

I'm really grateful to him for handling the brakes on the car.  There was a time he would have let it go and made me drive it with bad brakes while he took the good vehicle.  That seems to have changed.

I can smell that supper is done and I'm hungry.  I'm not eating as much these days and not so much in between meals so I do tend to actually get hungry.  I just wish I could conquer the emotional eating problem I have.  Baby steps though.  I did lose 2 pounds last week without really trying.  I'm hoping to incorporate exercise into my schedule very soon.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunny sunshine

Life doesn't seem nearly as bleak when the sun is shining.

Tom might disagree with me as he is still struggling with the brakes.  Apparently the caliper on the left front tire is different...meaning, I suppose...the wrong one.  So instead of going to the caliper store to get the right one, he is still banging and swearing, trying to make this one fit.  I'm pretty sure this is a Y chromosome thing.  I could be wrong.

I cheated on the baby hats last night and worked on the shawl.  I'll get back to baby hats tonight though but I think I'm going to have to stray from time to time to keep from getting bored.  I have a short attention span.

I finished the third season of Doctor Who and am officially a fan.  But I still think I love Torchwood better.  But just by a smidgen.  I'm squeeing because the library got seasons 3 through 6 of A Touch of Frost in.  I watched two episodes last night instead of getting the sleep I needed since I had to get up early for church.  I did try to sleep.  I really did, but it took a while. I need to put a hold on season 4 because I'll be done by Monday and since it's spring break I hope to get a lot of knitting done since I won't be on the road driving back and forth.

Oh, and they also got set 10 of Midsomer Murders in.  I'm on the list, of course.  Don't know how long I'll have to wait since the checkout is for two weeks and I don't know where I am on the list, but I'm patient and will watch Frost until it comes in.

Plus I've got Buffy at home.

Church today was wonderful as usual.  I'm feeling much better spiritually although I have yet to discipline myself for setting aside time daily.  Maybe this week I'll be able to set up some kind of routine.  I also need to get back to piano.  I'm pretty sure I'll have to start at the beginning because it's been so long since I've played.  But I've been missing it lately.

I used to sing special music in church but since moving to the Episcopal church haven't done it.  I was thinking about that today and really don't feel inclined or even miss it.  There was a time when I loved doing it to the degree that I think was unhealthy for me.   We don't have special music outside the choir, which I'm not even participating in.  I really don't miss it at all.  I was so surprised to discover that about myself.  I'm so satisfied to be behind the scenes doing altar guild.  

I'm off to finish up supper and get back to Jack Frost.  More baby hats by next Sunday I hope.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Yes, I survived the week from heck

I survived this week and am so looking forward to Spring Break next week.  Although Zach informs me that he might need to go up to Fond du Lac for a team project he's working on.  And that he is going to be going back to classes on Mondays.  Still, the week off is so nice.

I plan on tearing into the basement and getting rid of as much as I can, clearing out a space since tornado weather is coming upon us.  Tom has taken the twin bed for his room, leaving the queen size available either for the landfill or the basement.  I'm choosing the basement.  We've never had to spend any significant amount of time there because of tornado warnings but you never know.  At the least we'll have something to sit on instead of standing around waiting for the sirens not to go off giving us the all clear.  They don't seem to be good at letting you know the waiting is over.

I'm hoping Tom can get the brakes fixed this weekend but we'll see.  He's tearing his room apart doing some spring cleaning of his own since he'll be getting Zach's computer up there as soon as he's ready.  Zach has been saving up for a laptop for forever and finally had enough so we invested in a wireless router so Tom can take Zach's computer upstairs.  He's pretty much got his own apartment up there, minus bathroom and kitchen.  I think we get along much better if we have plenty of space between us so I'm not complaining at all.  It's the only place he allows himself to smoke so he does tend to spend a lot of time in his room.  Personally, I gag whenever I have to go up but I try not to let it show.  It's really thick up there.  Now that it's getting warmer, however, he'll soon be able to open windows.

I put a lot of miles on the truck this week.  Over 600, I think.  Tuesday I got up, took Zach to FDL and immediately turned around and came home.  I had less than an hour before I took Tom to work and when we got there, the headlight in the truck had burned out...again.  Tom had just replaced it a couple of weeks ago.  It was terribly foggy Tuesday and rainy and I didn't want to be driving the country highways at night in fog and rain with only one headlight so I raced home (okay, I stayed within the speed limits because I'm so terribly anal about it all,) grabbed the things I was going to need in FDL (I didn't have any cash for Zach to get something to eat on campus so I had to bring him something before his next class,) and head out to StuffMart to get the headlights fixed...I hoped.

I parked in the parking lot, race-walked to the back of the store to the automotive section and breathlessly asked them if they had time to change it. Fortunately, they had no work going on at all so I was able to race back to the parking lot and move the car to the back where the automotive was.  Half an hour later and $12 poorer, I had working headlights.

I took 151 from there to FDL, stopped at McSnacky's (I wrote a check for $10 at over at StuffMart which I hate to do because frequently I forget to get my change and they forget to give it to me, resulting in me coming back...sometimes...and them treating me like I'm trying to pull a fast one over on them) to get supper, found the perfect parking spot right in the front of the parking lot and met Zach in the commons with three minutes to spare.

Needless to say I was already wiped out.  By this time all that running and race-walking had taken a toll on my Fibromyalgia and I was aching.  My joints and muscles were throbbing in rhythm to Queen's We Will Rock You.  I took some tylenol but hesitated to take the tramadol because a) I'm running low and need to get an appointment for a new prescription and b) I was already so tired that I didn't need the added fatigue from the medicine.  I toughed it out until nearly 8 p.m. but it got pretty bad so I took one.  Fortunately Zach showed up soon after and we headed back home.  I thought I might take an hour's snooze before I had to pick Tom up but of course I couldn't sleep at that point.  I did decide he could fix his own supper though.  I'm just that kind of a girl.

I got there on time and waited for him, kind of mentally rubbing my hands together in wicked glee waiting for him to notice he had two headlight and how he would be so grateful to me.  Sigh. He got into the car and merely said, "Oh, the headlight's working."  I told him the story, how I had raced to get it done and he simply shrugged.

I said some bad words in my head.

And of course I couldn't get to sleep once I got home.  The pain was gone by that time, but I was beyond tired and couldn't get my eyes to stay shut.  I did manage to sleep late Wednesday morning but the whole day I was so groggy and tired.  Except when driving.  I was okay to drive, but sitting around bored made me sleepy.

Luckily the woman from housekeeping asked me if I wanted the television on in the commons.  I said, "sure."  She's really nice and we talk nearly every day I'm there.  I've gotten to know her a bit.  Since I was the only one there I got to pick the channel so I chose SciFi since Ghost Hunters was on.  I'm not crazy about the show anymore but it was something to watch.  I wish I had brought my knitting along though.  In the future I will because in exchange for driving Zach to school, I get to use his laptop one day a week.  I'm going to watch Hulu.com while I wait.  I thought I'd start with American Gothic.  That is such a cool show.  I might alternate with Babylon 5.  I taped the entire run of that when it was on television.  I have a bin full of very bad copies of it due to change in daylight savings time, weekly alert tests, cable outages and things of that nature.  Someday I hope to own the set but Buffy has to come first.

Back to Wednesday night...people kept walking in and out of the commons as they usually do but tonight they were stopping to watch.  A girl came in and sat in the booth behind me and started talking about the show.  It seemed to be the popular choice.

I haven't been knitting on hats so much, but I have been doing a log cabin-ish baby blanket for the babies in Haiti so I'm counting that toward my Lenten discipline.  I keep looking longingly at my prayer shawl and might knit a row or two just to keep up with the pattern.  I want to start the beaded scarf kit I won but with things so hectic right now, I'm afraid I would lose the beads. Soon, though.

And soon I want to start the garden.  I have hopes this year of putting in some kind of sidewalk leading from the front porch to the driveway so we can salt it next winter.  I'm tired of sliding down the little hill into the side of the car.

Well, I've babbled on enough.  There is more but I need to get some things done today.  The sun is shining and it's in the 40s (F).  My depression doesn't feel so depressing and even with all the cutbacks, I'm feeling optimistic.  Go figure.


Monday, March 9, 2009

As if I've got time for a job

I've got a half hour before I have to hop back in the truck and take Zach up to Fond du Lac.  I already dropped Tom off at work in the other direction.  It looks like tomorrow will be even more hectic.  Race up to FDL to drop Zach off, drive home (almost an hour drive each way,) pick up Tom and take him to work (half-hour drive in the other direction,) come home and get some stuff done, then race back up to FDL to pick up Zach and come back.  Fix Tom's supper and get more housework and cooking done, then go pick Tom up.  

Considering my day will start at least at 10 a.m. tomorrow and won't end until midnight, I'm already tired.  And in the deficit sleepwise because I couldn't get to sleep until nearly 3 a.m. and Professor woke me up at 8:30 with his timely bladder again.

No real chance to sleep in the truck.  It's uncomfortable as can be and I don't think the college would like it if I snoozed in the commons area.  I might get some sleep in in the moments I'm home after getting back from FDL, but I doubt it since I've got Tom's supper to fix.  

It's not his fault.  He hasn't had a chance to work on the car the past few days because of the weather.  Although it was pretty sunny today, there really wasn't time to work on it because he had to get to work.  I'm guessing it will be Thursday before he can get to it and it's supposed to be in the 20s then.  So I guess Friday.

I'll have to miss church again.  I can't get over the way we are physically prevented from getting there.  I'm a bit cheesed about it to be honest.  There are two schools of thought, of course. When I was a fundamentalist, if someone had this situation it would be either a) God didn't want them to be at that church or b) Satan was trying to prevent them from going.  No one ever told me how to tell the difference.  I figure if you want to go to that particular church it's Satan, and if you're looking for a reason to leave, it's God.

Cynical me.

The past few days our server has been wacky.  I haven't been able to get on Ravelry and several other websites I usually read.  Today, miraculously, I've got them all back.  I found I didn't miss much at all on Ravelry.  Makes me wonder why I go there so often when I could limit it to once a day and cover everything I need to cover.  I might just do that in the future.

I've gotten 6 baby hats done already and another one started.  I'm anxious to start on the baby blankets but I'm trying to be good and discipline myself to finish what I start.  I don't know why I have such problems with that but it's seriously affected my ability to get ahead in life.  Heck, it's affected my ability to break even.

Did I mention I'm trying to bake bread before I leave?  I should have done it yesterday but I forgot that we were almost out so here I am trying to get it done.  I should have enough time. Yeah.  I should.

I have laundry to do tonight but I don't think I'll hang it out because there's a chance of rain tomorrow morning so I'll just use the racks.  It takes longer but if I hang them in front of the windows, they'll get some sunshine in addition to the heat from the vents and maybe they'll dry in a single day.  

Did I tell you that our utility bill for last month was $127?  We got a $32 credit from the gas company for gas supply market adjustment, whatever that is.  And this summer we won't need the a/c because Tom won't be sleeping days so we might actually break even during this cutback.  And maybe even save a penny or two during the summer.  

I've been reading some frugal blogs lately and I'm not sure a few of these people know what frugal really means.  They think getting something for less is frugal, when frugal is doing with less.  Spending a lot of money getting "bargains" isn't the same as cutting back and buying less.  I know because I've been there and done that.

I finally got it though.  Even if when the money comes back I think I'll keep it at this level in order to get a decent cushion in the bank.  Plus we need to start putting money back in the house or we'll never be able to sell it.  I'd like to live in a fixed-up house for a while instead of fixing it up so it looks nice for other people.  Makes me feel like I don't deserve a nice place to live otherwise.

Well, I can smell the bread and Zach is nearly ready to go.  By the time we load everything up and head out it will be time to leave.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

And when it rains, it snows

Poor Tom.

He couldn't work on the brakes yesterday because it was a deluge.  Today it's sleet and now snow. I took Zach to work driving about 35 mph on the highway and in places, that was too fast.  I don't know if he can get the brakes fixed in time for work tomorrow but Tuesday we need to leave at 11 a.m. and if we don't have two cars by then, I'm toast.

And I wonder what will happen to the roof where all that water poured in now that it's freezing.  I can just see that ice expanding the rafters a bit.

Life just seems to keep kicking us in the rear end.

But church this morning was great and that is something, at least.  Coffee hour was magnificent from my perspective.  Normally they have sweet rolls and pastries with occasional grapes. There was quite a spread today of raw vegetables and dip, almonds and cashews, and grapes.  I was actually not hungry anymore when we left there.  I let them know how much I appreciated it.

I started Doctor Who, third season last night.  I don't know why I never got interested in this before.  It's great!  And soon...Torchwood.  I did watch Ashes to Ashes last night.  I'll continue to watch it but I miss Sam Tyler.  I'll let it grow on me.  After all, Gene Hunt is there.

Tom is cooking supper tonight.  I don't much like to cook anymore so it's nice to get a treat like this.  I do think he's trying.  I am proud of him that he didn't lose it over the brakes.  Normally he would have but he managed to keep his temper and only slammed one door.  Surprisingly, I didn't freak out over it.   

Still...many times burned, many times shy.  I'll reserve judgement because I've gotten sucked in before.

Off to eat supper and read 'Salem's Lot.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

When it rains, it pours...literally

I know I've used that title before but it was never more appropriate than it is today.  I should have known that fixing the brakes on the car wasn't going to happen easily and it didn't.  The car is sitting in the driveway on jackstands because Tom couldn't fit the new pads back on the rotor.  He's sure they're the right size but can't figure out what is wrong.  And he never asks for help from anyone so the car will sit there until he can figure it out because we can't afford to put it in the shop again.

And it's been raining all day so he can't get out there to work on it.  I know it's raining because we had a waterfall on the stairs this morning and the back hallway had a steady leak as well.  The back is an addition that was slapped on by the previous owner and it's barely attached.  I'm sure it's pulling away from the house because I can't shut the back door properly.  It's all cattywampus to the frame.  But it does lock okay.  It just doesn't fit the frame right.

Tom asked me if the upstairs had leaked before and I told him yes.  He asked me what he had done about it and I told him, truthfully, nothing.  Because he ignored me like he did about the toilet.  So he said, "Well, obviously that didn't work."  I didn't laugh.

He is pretty depressed today.  Feeling overwhelmed.  I didn't say anything to him but that's the way I've lived for the past 7 years since my cancer.  Trying to pay off my expenses during treatment, that the insurance didn't cover, trying to cover Zach's college expenses, trying to pay for his trips up north.  I've lived for years in that state.

But I didn't say anything.  I was a good girl.

I haven't heard anything about the applications I put in, but I didn't really expect to.  I'm not even marketable to fast food restaurants because they have a lot of people to choose from who have some kind of work experience and I have none.  Who knew that this would happen when we decided I would stay home and homeschool Zach.  I don't regret homeschooling him at all.  It was absolutely the right decision.  But I would have picked up a part time job so I didn't get left behind in the job market.

I'm getting low on my tramadol so I need to get an appointment with my rheumatologist. The mammogram will have to wait though.  I don't have the $500 for that right now.  I'm nervous about not getting one, but I don't know what else to do.  Last year, the hospital gave me a ration for not wanting to pay if off all at once.  I ended up putting it on the credit card and I'm sure I'm still paying for it, what with all the other things that got put on there.

I got the kitchen and bathroom cleaned up well today but that's all the energy I had.  Aside from preparing meals and such.  I feel so worthless that I can't contribute more financially.  I know that any job I get will be very physical and physical jobs are very hard for me.  But I have no skills for anything else.  My own fault, of course.  I should have finished college when I had the chance.

But, I did find something online.  I wouldn't get any credit for it, but it's online study.  It's called Open Learn and it's affiliated with Open University in the UK.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I've been browsing it all afternoon.  It's not the same as college but it's learning.   And I need to exercise my brain.  Lots of very interesting courses there.

I need to go get Zach from work so I'll sign off for now.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'll get used to this...eventually

Yesterday wore me out.  I had to take Tom to work, take Zach to school in Fond du Lac, bring him home at 9:30 p.m., go back and pick Tom up at 11:30 p.m., try to get to bed early because all my errands had to be done by the time he left for work so it was up early in spite of getting to sleep at about 3 a.m.  And I had gotten up at 8 because Professor wanted outside.  It was a very long day.

I hit the ground running today (Professor must have an alarm clock in his bladder because he got me up again at 8.)  I had washed a load of clothes yesterday but planned to hang them outside today since it was going to be warm and sunny.  They lied about the sunny party but it was warm.  Only one load dried but the whites were merely damp and are now resting on the wooden racks in front of the heating vent that hasn't been used today since early morning.  I'm loving that, let me tell you.

Raced home in time for Tom to get to work and hang out another load (the whites that didn't get dry) and clean up the kitchen a bit.  It really suffers during the week because I'm mostly throwing food together and running out the door or cooking late at night and going to bed rather than cleaning up my mess.  If I would just clean as I go it would be better.  But it never fails health standards.  It's just cluttered.

I've got to mop the floor in there tomorrow.  Too tired tonight.  

I managed to nearly cut my food bill in half again.  This time I got enough that if I run out of anything that wasn't on the list, I can wait until next week. I've given Tom orders not to buy anything but the brake supplies and my prescriptions tomorrow because I'm not going to the store again.  I could kick myself for not remembering to call them in so I could pick them up today but since he's got to go tomorrow anyway...

I fixed a turkey/rice soup tonight for supper with a salad and garlic toast (just regular white bread spread lightly with butter and garlic under the broiler in the toaster oven.)  Not a spectacular meal but very filling and there will be tons of leftovers for weekend lunches.  I got some stuff to make a granola mixture as well.  That instead of snacks.  Healthier, too.

Since the ice is mostly off the sidewalks now, I should start walking Professor daily.  Although this time I won't do it for exercise, but for his bodily needs.  I lost the thrill of walking when I had to do it.  I used to love to walk.  And this summer, Zach and I plan to get the bikes out but not here in this town.  It's too hilly and there will be tons of road construction starting Monday (not sure how we'll get to Beaver Dam from here) so I think we'll pack the bikes in the truck and go to Wild Goose Trail.  I've lived here for 12 years and have never gone on it.

I'm also working on my brain.  Fibromyalgia has really done a number on me.  I have such difficulty concentrating and studying is so hard for me.  I started reading the Welsh course and it looks good but I can't "hear" the proununciation so I'm going to have to rely on a BBC site that has a Welsh course to help.  Plus I was thinking today that I wanted to dig out my old college Astronomy book and read it again.  Not just read it.  Study it.  I'll need to get up to date because it's pretty old, but I can use the internet for that.  I might even look to see if there are some free internet courses that aren't necessarily for credit.  I just want to exercise my brain.  I'm tired of being so dull.

I don't mind doing the thrifty things.  In fact, I rather enjoy them.  What I need to do this time is when the weight lightens up a bit on my shoulders, not to change anything.  I need to keep doing this regardless.  It's what you make of it and I need to make it my lifestyle.  

Well, maybe next winter I'll turn the heat up above 60, but the rest of it I need to stick with.

Vicki requested my recipe for homemade laundry detergent.  I got it off of this site.  My recipe is similar to recipe number 4 but I used two bars of Ivory soap and I added one cup of Baking Soda to the mix.  Otherwise it's the same.

Well, I'm off to get into my jammies and curl up to watch the rest of Mission: Impossible, season one and hopefully get started on Doctor Who, season two. And I'm reading 'Salem's Lot as well.  I haven't read that in ages.  I remember the first time I read it was when I was in Germany with my ex-husband.  We lived on the ground floor of housing on the Army base and there were no screens on the windows.  I can't remember if he was out on detachment or not but I do remember not sleeping well while I was reading it.

I kept reminding myself that vampires had to be invited in.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Nothing but baby hats

As I have mentioned before:  being frugal takes a whole lot more time.  I made some laundry soap powder today, am in the process of making pizza dough and supper for tomorrow night is in the crock pot so I can get it ready tonight and all I'll have to do is take it out of the fridge and put it in my knitted cotton grocery bag and go.  Lunch tomorrow will be pb&j with Whales (the StuffMart version of Goldfish crackers.)  I've got some gelatin cups that I can take as well.  

I had to wash Zach's flannel sheets today because Hannibal barfed on them last night.  I hung them on my racks in front of the window and the heating vent but it will be tomorrow before they are dry so I gave him some cotton sheets for the night.  I'll give him a hot water bottle to put under the covers so it won't be so cold.  I've also got some other stuff drying about the house, but I think in a week I can start hanging clothes outside.  We've always got lots of wind and if the sunshine holds out I might be able to get one load a day dry.

I tried very hard to cut back on groceries but I still ended up spending what I normally do.  Well, what I normally spend in one trip.  I do tend to go back frequently because everyone seems to regard the chalkboard in the kitchen as something to write the list on when they're out and not when things are getting low so I can get them in one trip.  Not that I'm griping, mind you.  

Tom spent way more on the toilet we had to replace than what I had intended.  Twice as much, in fact, because he needed some handy-dandy super new tool to help him.  We just aren't on the same page when it comes to saving money.  He lets Professor outside and stands there watching him with the inside door wide open.  Keeps the door open when chaining him up instead of bringing the leash in, shutting the door, hooking the Professor up and then letting him out.  I've mentioned it a few times to the degree that I'm considered nagging and he still won't do it differently.

I've been fudging around with the money and think we can weather this financial storm if we're frugal.  I'm thinking of hiding the checkbook so he can't use it anymore.  I had told him I had to go to town today because I had books in the library I had to pick up so he went before I got up and spent a whole bunch of money on stuff we didn't actually need and neglected to get some of the things we did need.  My mom says my dad is like this, too, so I'm wondering if it's a Y chromosome thing.

I'll sit in the house without the tv on all day but he can't be in a room without a tv on and then will go upstairs to smoke a cigarette for half an hour without turning the tv downstairs off.

And remember we're not frugal.  Meaning I'm not frugal.


I'll be knitting baby hats for Lent.  Nothing but baby hats.  The Episcopal Church in Jeanette, Haiti, is our sister church and we help support the school and hospital there.  They need baby hats for newborns because the area is at high elevations and the nights get very cool so instead of doing the Seaman's Institute this year, we're opting to support them.  I got a lot more enthusiasm for this project than I did last year.  I've got two hats done and will work as much as I can.  One reason they want the hats is to encourage the women to bring their babies into the hospital so they offer a newborn packet of things, like onsies, diapers (cloth), pins, etc.  The hats will be included in the packets.

So everything else will go on hold until Easter Sunday.

I haven't really figured out anything for my Lenten discipline beyond this although I would like to effect some changes in me to make me a better person, more in tune spiritually.  I am doing much better in that area.  Church is good again for me.  There wasn't anything wrong with church, but I was having trouble finding God there.  Not that He wasn't...just that I had blinders on for a while.  I'm much better now.  A huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders.

Surprisingly Tom and I are getting along a lot better.  I can't seem to let myself trust him, though, but as long as we can be civil to each other and he gives me some space, we'll be okay, I think.  I still wait for the other shoe to drop constantly though.  It always does.  He gets in a temper and life is really difficult.  Not that he hits me or anything but he has in the distant past and it's always in my mind what he's capable of.  Twenty years isn't enough time for me to forget that.

My secret sister amazed me at church yesterday.  I got two pair of Danskin pants in gray and black, my two favorite colors for pants, and 4 skeins of Bernat baby yarn in green and pink.  I can make two baby blankets for the Haiti project out of that.  I was so surprised to get all that wealth.  And yet, I had such a problem accepting it.  I'm just not good at feeling worthy of getting stuff without feeling like it's either a dig at the fact that I wear the same pair of pants all the time because I only have one pair that fit and are warm enough.  I know that's not the case but I can't seem to accept that someone wants to give me something without any strings attached just because.  

I will work on it but it's so hard when you've felt inferior for over fifty years.  Especially when there are so many people in my life, even people I love dearly, who think it is their job to fix me, like there is something so wrong with me that I need to hear it all the time.

I haven't exercised yet today so I'm going to get my ten minutes in before supper.  I didn't get the pizza dough started in time so supper will be later tonight, not that that really hurts anything but I'm hungry now.  I think a cup of tea will help hold me over for a while anyway.

Off to exercise, then fix pizza, then knitting baby hats for the rest of the night while finishing Mission: Impossible* the first season and Midsomer Murders, set seven.  

*I never realized how cheesy the acting was back in the sixties.  And Barbara Bain's teeth are as yellow as mine.  When did blindingly white teeth come into vogue and why, for pete's sake?  Another reason I love British television and movies is because they don't have artificial looking actors.  They have crooked and yellow teeth just like me.  They're not skinny with big bosoms and flawless complexions.  They look just like people I know.  I wish Hollywood would get a clue.