Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The lovely weather continues.

Another cool, overcast, breezy day. I think I'm in heaven.

And I slept so good last night. Tom, bless his heart, let me sleep in until the phone rang and it was my doctor's office wanting to reschedule my appointment due to a family emergency. Which was good news to me because I really didn't want to be on the road on a Thursday before a holiday weekend. So many people get that extra day's jump on the holiday and are out on the road.

I finally felt caught up on sleep. I had so much energy that I did two loads of clothes, spiffed up the kitchen, tackled the dining room and my bedroom (the couch is made into a bed permanently for now) and will do the bathroom once I get Zach off to work later.

I'm crocheting the purse flap now. I plan on making it into a pouch for my gloves or handkerchiefs or something that won't easily fall out. Plus the extra weight will keep it from curling on the edges. I want to get back to knitting though. I'm missing it a lot. Since it's so cool, I think I'll work on the baby blanket and the scarf tonight. I have a documentary about King Arthur and a Midsomer Murder episode to finish. Then I might watch Ghost Hunters from last week (taped.)

I dug out some more old tapes from the bin upstairs and found some novelty yarn in my storage while I was up there. Something else cool to work on when it heats up again. I could do with a dressy scarf to wear. I'm trying to pamper myself more. I think the martyr complex is part of mothering101 but it needs to be removed from the curriculum. Taking care of your family shouldn't mean you have to put yourself last all the time.

I do have to say that tensions are lessening here at home. I can't say it will last but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. Also I've been burning incense to get rid of all the bad juju that's been in here forever. Don't know if it's working but I feel better and that's what counts.

I may actually get some ironing done this week while it's cool. I don't have much but the tablecloth needs to be ironed and I have a couple of shirts that never come out of the dryer without needing it. I haven't hanged clothes out on the clothesline much this summer, mostly because Zach needs his uniforms and since he only has two, I'm usually down to the crunch and need them NOW. Plus, we've had threats promises of rain and no followthrough. It's going to be like the kid who cried wolf someday.

The sky got really dark yesterday and the wind picked up like it was going to storm, but we didn't even get enough to wet the sidewalk. On the radar you could see the storm moving just north of us.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. sigh

We didn't even get enough rain to reach the spigot in the rain barrel. Although it looks like the patch is holding and it's not leaking anymore.

I've got three sunflowers growing and replanted two more. I plan on digging a mound for the zucchini and pumpkins later this week. Otherwise, it's going to be all containers from now on. I have 2 big kitty litter containers that would work for next year and I'm sure I can come up with others little by litte.

Well, off to get Zach's uniform pants (and the rest of the colored clothes) out of the dryer so he can get dressed and off to work.


Monday, June 29, 2009

I made it for the Monday post...just barely though

This won't be a long post because it's nearly bedtime for me.


But still, not a lot to report.

I scrubbed the kitchen today and I'm ashamed to say how bad it was. But it's better now. Tom wanted me to take down my kitchen altar and put the spices back there but I compromised and made room in the cabinet by the stove where we keep the medicines. He doesn't know it's an altar to me. He just thinks it's some kind of decoration. And in a way, it is.

I'm not going to be going online while he's home because he's been reading over my shoulder for the past few weeks, reading aloud and asking me what I'm reading or why I'm reading it. I see what little privacy I've got ebbing away.

I know there is the possibility he might read this blog but so far he hasn't. I'll cross that bridge if I have to come to it.

It was cool today. Cool enough that I put on a light jacket when I went to pick Zach up from work. I loved it. I love an overcast sky and wind. There is a lot of energy in that. I didn't work outdoors at all and probably should have since it was nice and cool, but I did get some things accomplished indoors. Tom was off work today because he had planned to go up north to be with his brothers. But they weren't going to go up until this afternoon so he stayed home. No sense going up there by himself. So he waited all weekend for his brother to come visit, like he said he would. I don't know if he didn't make to our neck of the woods at all (their sister lives in town, too) or if he visited his sister and not Tom. If the latter is the case, Tom will be so hurt.

I think it's just a case of his brother having a short amount of time to spend and not wanting to travel all over Wisconsin to see everyone. Especially after making the trip up here from Kentucky. I'm the same way. When I visit my hometown, my family is really good at having a central location for a meetup so I don't have to put more miles on the car.

I do feel sorry for Tom though. He's having feelings of being left out because his older brother is retired and the younger one can spend all his time up here with him. And Tom has to go back to work tomorrow. It sucks to be him, for sure. Especially since all the hourly employees are getting paid for the 4th of July and he's not because he's salaried.

The Professor is nearly fully healed. He put full weight on his leg while he wee'd this morning and didn't wobble at all. And tonight when I got his treats out, he jumped up on the bed. That one amazed me because it's twice as high as he is tall. I took him off the aspirin last week. My partner in the altar guild is a vet tech and she said to just use the aspirin for pain from now on. Otherwise to discontinue it. Some vets don't like aspirin for dogs.

I'm done with the body portion of my purse and am working on the flap. I'm going to knit a book pouch since I almost always carry a book around with me. I don't carry my knitting and if I do take it to church for coffee hour, I use a different bag for it. And I want lots of compartments so I don't have to dig around in my purse anymore. And I want the shoulder straps long enough to go across my chest so I don't have to keep pulling it back up on my shoulder every two seconds.

I'm off to watch Hairspray again. I'm going to tape it for Zach to watch in his room but I'm fast running out of old tapes. The new vcr is pretty sensitive and kicks a tape out if it sticks even the least little bit and sometimes it chews up the tape. Most of these tapes are years old...like even 12 years old so I'm amazed they've lasted this long. I guess I'll see about getting some new ones if they still sell them. But not until the weekend. I don't dare go back to the store again and spend more money.

And for some reason all the mosquitoes are hanging out around the computer so I'm outta here.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wonderful cloudy Saturday

The sky is overcast and there is a nice breeze and rain in the forecast. And this time it looks like we will really get rain. Tom is outside working on the rain barrel. There were several small cracks in the bottom where the weight of the water pushing down on the very unlevel foundation (pieces of concrete broken up from the patio he started demolishing 10 years ago) he threw together cracked it. And when I told him I hoped he could get to the rain barrel this weekend, he didn't appear to understand that there was a problem with it. Even when I reminded him of the conversation he didn't seem to think I had mentioned it before. After talking with my altar guild partner, though, it seems to be a common occurrence in husbands.

I got about 4 hours sleep last night. We were infested with mosquitoes again. Even Professor was whining and nipping at them. I killed at least 15 before I fell asleep at around 6 a.m. And I used mosquito spray. I think it was a magnet for them.

I met with my priest today informally. She just happened to be at the church and since no one else was there and she had the time, we talked a bit. I feel so much better spiritually, especially knowing that the things I've been thinking aren't an aberration or even blasphemy at all. In fact, she seems to think in similar ways, albeit without the pagan overtones. I feel so much better. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I wasn't even listening to my own advice: that spirituality should be as natural as breathing. I was trying to use cpr on it when it wasn't dying. I feel comfortable with my path now and at home again in my church.

I just checked on Tom and the rain barrel is fixed, the platform level and solid in time for the rain promised for tonight. I will say in his favor that he is very good at innovation and if he fixes something it stays fixed. In fact, in some cases things he has fixed will outlast the sun.

I plan on doing much of nothing the rest of the day and evening. I started crocheting a purse last night and changed my mind a couple of times about how I want it to look. Considering I'm designing on the fly, that's not too bad. It's a work in progress.

I watched Hairspray again last night. It was another one of those shows that didn't grab me the first time but the second time I became a huge fan and watch it every other day (that's the way onDemand works, apparently.) Same with Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day, except I loved that one the first time I saw it.

Just a couple of weeks before Half-Blood Prince comes out. I will avoid the crowds and wait until later to go. And only for the matinee. I don't pay full price for a movie if I can help it and most times I can help it.

I've got Midsomer Murders to watch tonight and a documentary on Celtic history from the library. But I think I'm going to watch The Royal and Doc Martin instead of taping them because my tapes are so old that they don't tape well. It speeds up in spots and fuzzes over. I thought about buying new ones but I'm not sure they even sell them anymore. I'm recycling some of my old tapes and I can get a few uses out of them before they go all gafuzzle so I'm going to do that for a while. Plus, it helps free up the space the tapes were using.

Tom is off to play poker with his brother and friends tonight and then up north tomorrow morning. Zach has to work more hours this week but only a couple of hours a day so I've got to drive him four times next week plus I've got to go to Fond du Lac for the rheumatologist. I'm thinking of going back on my arthritis meds. It's not so much because of the pain but for the flexibility I don't seem to have anymore. I really have a high pain tolerance due, no doubt, to many years of practicing by having constant pain without relief.

I hope everyone has a pleasant weekend. Mine is feeling great so far in spite of lack of sleep. Some of the books I've been reading have really made me do a lot of thinking about my circumstances and the attitude I've been taking about them. It really is what I make of it. If I continue to view my life as being in prison, I'll never feel free. I just need to take charge of my own happiness from now on.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Last Friday in June...wow

Another day of heat but at least I got more than 5 hours sleep last night. Although Professor woke me up to go outside and I looked at the clock with fuzzy eyes, not being able to find my glasses case, and thought it was 20 till 10. I let him out for his wee and after powdering my own nose went to let him in by which time I could focus enough on the clock to see that it was 10 till 8.

I went back to bed.

And slept until 10:30. I was still the first one up.

I ended up with errands to do today, getting Zach's check, banking, library and a quick stop at StuffMart. The original detour is open for the weekend but we had to go through the labyrinth to get to town. At least getting to church tomorrow for altar guild will be easier.

We talked today about Zach quitting his job before the semester starts. He will have an internship this semester and with his already full work load, I don't think it will be worth it for only a few hours each week. I told him to put his two week notice in mid-July. He didn't argue much. He plans on using his Stafford Loan this year anyway so even if he doesn't get much in the way of grants or scholarships, it's still not going to be insurmountable debt. At most, $3,000. He has some money still in savings to take care of incidentals.

Tom expects his salary to go back to normal this fall. I sure hope so. We're still squeaking by and I can't figure out why I'm not stuffing money in the bank. Except we've got things that have had to be repaired and that has sucked up money like a vacuum.

I'm beginning to re-think the garden. I've been noticing a lot of container gardens in some of the blogs I read and since our ground is mostly clay and wouldn't produce much this year anyway, I'm thinking of just collecting containers and going that route. I can line them up around the hill that is on two sides of our property (in a decorative way, of course) and that would save me so much physical exertion that is beyond me right now. Plus, I have buckets and such in the basement that I would otherwise just have to either freecycle or throw away. And the compost can go just as well toward fertilizing the pots rather than the soil. Plus, it leaves me with more yard.

To be honest I'd rather use the land for fruit trees and fruit bearing bushes instead. And sunflowers.

Tom is going to be gone part of the weekend. His brother is up from Kentucky and he hasn't seen him in a while. He's settling for a reduced amount of money for the trip which tells me he's been taking way too much money with him the other times. If I had more energy I'd tackle the upstairs while he's gone, trying to make sense of all the chaos up there and even get rid of some things, but...no energy whatsoever.

I have my appointment with the rheumatologist coming up and I need to make an appointment for my annual with the surgeon. I hate the long drive, especially since I will have to do it several times a week come fall.

I need to clear my head somehow. I talked to Tom today and told him that the depression is overwhelming me and stealing my joy. He seemed receptive to what I was saying. Time will tell. I have decided that I'm tired of living in fear of opening my mouth though. I know that holding everything in and not being allowed to express myself without fear of harsh retribution is exacerbating the depression. And making my world colorless.

I'm not sure how to change things but I must or else it's just not worth getting out of bed anymore. I'm thinking of written communication between us until I get a bigger backbone. But that needs to be well-thought out before I endeavor that. Anger is anger whether it's in writing or spoken. Still, if written he has time to cool off.

I'm off to read. I've got tons of books from the library. I'm not finishing everything I've started because I tend to lose patience with self-help or how-to books. And some of these spiritual books aren't exactly what I'm looking for although some of the information in them is interesting and somewhat helpful. Just not enough to finish the book. So my number count to the left isn't increasing like it should because I don't put it down if I didn't actually finish it.

I bought some cotton yarn to crochet myself a purse. I want something that has pockets so I don't have to dig through everything to find what I'm looking for. Yet I need it big enough so I can carry everything I own with me at all times. So I'm looking at patterns but I think I'll end up designing it myself. It's shades of brown. I do like earth tones.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

A sad day

Not a good day on the news front. The news stations are reporting that Michael Jackson has died from a heart attack. Farrah Fawcett died this morning. Makes you really aware of your own mortality.

I used to be stationed in Corpus Christi, TX and many times drove past Farrah's parents' house. One of the guys I worked with went to school with her.

I'll be upfront that I was not a fan of Michael Jackson. In fact, I believed the boys who accused him of molestation because, having been a victim myself, I believe the kids unless someone can prove to me it's a malicious lie. And that did happen in San Diego where a man was accused of some preposterous acts against children and it was obvious that the child protection social workers had couched the kids and led their imaginations into uncharted territory.

Some of the complaints against the kids were about inconsistencies and their pattern of lying. That's typical of kids who were sexually abused. In fact a lot of what was used by the defense against those kids are textbook characteristics of sexually abused children.

Those kids were believable to me.

'Nuff said.

Any time anyone dies from cancer, it puts me on alert. You'd think that it would make more of an impact on me as far as taking care of myself but so far, I don't seem to be doing it. But I'm always aware that my cancer can come back. I don't lose sleep over it and I don't think about it every minute of the day, but it's always in the back of my mind.

It's not as hot today, thankfully, but still mighty warm. I'm running out of rain water and the promised rain for the past few days hasn't appeared. I'm using dish water for the plants now and have told Zach to put a bucket under the faucet when he showers to catch the water that escapes from the faucet instead of the shower head. I've suggested it to Tom as well, but he won't do it. He thinks our water usage is minimal, but $30 a month isn't minimal to me.

I'm eating vegetarian today. I keep trying. I might get some exercise in later when it cools off. I didn't wake up until 11 a.m. today because I was still awake when the sun came up. No reason except for the darned insomnia.

Someone on Ravelry said something that really resonated with me about depression and lack of creativity and how living in an environment where you can't be open and have to hide what's inside you really affects you. It's not something new necessarily but it really hit me that things have got to change or I'm not ever going to be healthy again.

I've got a monstrous headache and couldn't figure it out until it occurred to me that I haven't eaten yet. So when I say I'm eating vegetarian I mean I will eat veggie. I'm cooking supper as I type. I don't know why I didn't eat. I just didn't think about it. I'd love to be in the position where food was just something to do to sustain myself instead of my security blanket.

I cut Zach's hair today, really short. I don't think he's had his hair that short since he was a toddler. It's strange to see him with short hair. And he shaved his goatee off. He claimed it was because of the heat and judging from all the hair on the floor, I can imagine how hot it was.

Well, supper is ready and I've got nothing to talk about. I'm such a bore. :-)


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Heat continues

Not as bad as yesterday but pretty hot nevertheless. Professor isn't liking it and keeps wanting to go outside but when he gets out there it's hot and he wants back in. It's like he forgets or something.

Good news is I can't find a leak in the water barrel. I think the heat just evaporated the water or maybe it leaked out a bit from the faucet. It's possible I had used more water than I thought before, but I'm going to keep an eye on it and if the leak is on the very bottom it won't be very evident and I can check it out come winter when we bring it in the house. Otherwise I don't think I"m losing enough water to take it apart and look for it. I haven't lost anymore water from the last time I looked.

The detour in town has become a miserable experience. As long as the main intersection was open, the detour was a minor inconvenience but now that they're working there we have to drive through a maze of construction, unpaved roads, huge dropoffs (for a person with a car that sits very low to the road, that is) and confusing signs. If I didn't know this town so well, I would have been lost since the detour road also has signs that tell me the road is closed. And it will be like this until August, it seems.

I've got laundry to do but there is rain in the forecast so I didn't hang it up but it's too hot to use the dryer. Now it's to the point where I really can't hang the clothes out because of the supposed rain but need the clothes for tomorrow so I'll wait until sunset and just use the dryer. I thought about using the racks but I have to do two loads so Zach will have his black uniform pants and white uniform shirt (can't have them so I can wash in one load, can they?) for work tomorrow. And no way can I get two loads, especially when one of them has tons of white socks, on the racks. I should have just hung them out before I went to the store.

Hindsight...the universe's way of saying, "I told you so."

I've got to get reading, and I don't mean the internet. I've got two more books in at the library and I'm not done with what I've already got. One of the books is better just skimmed since there is information in it that I'm not really interested in but the others need to be read and savoured.

I managed to clean out a bit of the basement yesterday and found some yarn that someone had given me a couple of years ago. It's not good yarn, probably 30 years old and in brown skeins and off-white skeins, which I will never use but thought I had to hang onto because someone gave them to me, so they're off the the thrift store this week. If I can find some more things to send there, I will. I sometimes think the harmony of this house is seriously flawed because there is so much in this house nothing can flow through it. I can barely walk through the house without turning sideways. But because Tom hates to let anything go, especially something that his family gave him, even though they have probably forgotten they gave it to him, we are stuck with things that we never use. I would never throw away anything that was given to him personally. That would just be rude, but things given to "us" are just as much mine and I'm tired of playing the "but what about what I want" game. It's a head game he uses to get his way all the time. So I just don't bother playing anymore.

Well, time to fix supper so I'm off to find something that won't heat up the kitchen.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

That was the sound of me screaming

I went to water the plants last night and the rain barrel was empty. It had been nearly full the day before last but I had noticed while I was filling the watering can, that there was a small leak at the bottom. But I thought it was just run off from what spilled over the can. Now I have to take it apart and find the leak and fix it. I'm so frustrated. I try to do the right thing and it inevitably breaks. I have felt like we were under a curse for the past 12 years. Seriously.

And today it's too hot to do anything. The heat index is supposed to be around 100 today and I don't want to use the a/c this early in the summer. I don't like to use it at all because of the cost but I will if we're really miserable. Thing is, we lost two fans last summer (they broke apparently) so we don't have the circulation we had last summer. I've got all the windows shut and the blinds and curtains closed and the window fan blowing to the outside so it's only about 85F but we haven't peaked yet.

After the sun goes down I'll go out and see about the rain barrel. I hate to spend more money this month since Tom is going to go up north anyway. Not with $100 though. No way do we have that. And the fifty is coming out of grocery money. I hate to use the credit card but it's going to be in the 90s all week long and that can really wear on you.

He's working five days a week now but only getting paid for 4. The owners have told them that if they just hang on with the company there will be a reward later. I doubt it. I'm terribly nervous about this coming winter. Zach's still only getting about 5 hours a week which isn't enough to pay for his upcoming semester if the funding doesn't come through. I hate this uncertainty. If I had the energy and health to work, I would. I used to put in 70+ hours a week but I just am a mess right now. And so out of touch with the work force that I have no skills. I haven't even gotten a call back from the fast food places I submitted applications to. I'm nearly 56 years old. Too old to go back to school and be guaranteed employment. I can't afford to spend the money to go back to school for a degree or certificate when I can't be sure it will result in a job. I keep wracking my brain trying to figure out how to use what few skills I already have. I keep coming up blank. There are a couple of things I have thought about but those get sabotaged every time I try them. Not that they would really have resulted in any income though.

And I really do look like the typical overweight housewife that you see in StuffMart. Not really appealing to an employer.

It's too hot to do much inside. I didn't get the floor mopped yesterday so I planned on doing it today but not until later when it cools off. Definitely too hot to do any baking so no bread today. And I don't want a lapful of yarn today. I might get my cotton out and knit on some grocery bags. I need to go upstairs and see if there are any spare fans up there and to see if Tom put the window fan in to draw the heat out. He kept leaving the upstairs door open today and the smoke from his cigarettes kept drifting into the living room and Zach's bedroom. Ack! I felt like gagging.

I tried reading a bit this afternoon but fell asleep. Professor is miserable and can't find a spot that's cool enough. I misted him by spraying water into the air from the fan and he seemed to love that but he's back to panting and pacing. Hannibal is sleeping in the bathroom which seems to be the warmest place in the house.

I just checked and the heat index is 93 which is not my upper limit so the a/c stays off.

Well, I've got to go searching for more fans so...


Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer is definitely here

It's not that it was scorching today, although 88 degrees F was pretty warm, but it's that we've had such a cool spring up until now. Zach and I worked outside after Tom left for work. Not the best time of day to go out but we needed to get some things done because Zach has to finish mowing tonight after it cools off a bit and I had to get the yard cleared so he could mow. We took the wood that Tom had dumped in the middle of the garden up the hill to the wood pile, moved the ladders and other junk back into the garage after finding and crushing all the cardboard we could find and moving things around a bit. It took us less than an hour to do all that, including moving some of my potted plants to the back of the garage near the garden and cleaning up a pile of leaves that had found a corner to nest in.

It's just not that hard to do. It took him more time to throw things around the yard than it took us to find room for them in the garage.

We took off to McSnacky's this afternoon to escape the heat a bit. Just got a soda and hamburger but it's nice to spend time together. I'm sure I'll survive just fine when Zach moves out on his own but it's nice to have his company now. It's going to be warmer this week and we can't run to McSnacky's every day but eventually we'll get used to it. I never use the air conditioner before August unless the heat index is over 100. Heck, I never use the a/c ever unless the heat index is over 100. And then just to dry the air out a bit. We live on the side of a hill near the top of it so we get a great breeze until about August when there is no breeze.

Weekends should be interesting because Tom spends so much time upstairs but it will be like an oven up there unless he uses the a/c and I wouldn't be happy about that. I'll just have to get used to not being able to watch television on the weekends, I guess. It would be a good time to read and learn more about gardening and herbs and stuff. If I can find a quiet place to do that.

He wants to go up north next weekend because his younger brother is going to be up here from Kentucky and wanted $100 for the weekend. I nearly choked. He had to take a 15% pay cut a few months ago which means I've been trying to live off of less when we were stretched to the limit before. And he thinks we've got $100 spare each month? I haven't been able to put any money away for winter yet, let alone money for a trip up north. I offered him $50 even though we really don't have that. He mumbled something but wouldn't repeat it when I asked him what he said so I don't know if he was upset with me or what.

I'm tired of being the bad guy when it comes to money. Yet I dare not let him take over the finances. Last two times he did that he didn't enter a single check in the register for months and we had checks bouncing. I still don't know exactly how much money we have in the bank.

Yeah...it's hot and I'm cranky.

I've got to learn to let things go and not get so upset all the time. Confronting him even in gentle tones achieves nothing but him getting defensive and angry so it's counterproductive to try to "talk it out." My only option is to just learn to let it go. How does one do that though?

Well, off to clean up the kitchen. I finally put all his tools away but I had to wait until he left for work. I just hope he doesn't notice. Probably won't until he needs something and tosses everything on the floor again.

Anyway...the floors need to be mopped. It amazes me how those floors don't stay clean with two pets and three humans in the house. And I need to vacuum the living and dining room. I think I'm making progress with the mice. They're not scratching as much and I'm not finding as many little dots in the cage. I'm going to change their bedding area once a day but otherwise leave the rest of the bedding there. I use cheap toilet paper for their bedding and it's easy to see those black dots so I can change them out during the course of the day if I find some there. Otherwise, once a day.

I got some more books from the library today and picked up set 8 and 9 of Midsomer Murders. I was having withdrawal. And I think I'll watch True Blood tonight. I didn't catch it last night. On the knitting/crocheting front, I'm nearly done with the shawl and have turned the heel on the last sock. I knit one row of the baby blanket but it's wide and I'm using sport weight yarn and small needles so it takes a while. Nothing on the beaded lace scarf for a couple of weeks. It's getting warmer so I plan on saving that back for those days I don't want the heat from a lapful of yarn.

I should have pictures of the shawl soon and maybe some pictures of the yard work I've accomplished. No before pictures though. I don't want anyone to see how bad it was.

Off to wash up the lunch dishes and get the floor mopped.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

I must have dreamed it

I was sure I posted yesterday. Apparently I dreamed it. I wish I could remember what I posted in my dreams so I wouldn't have to come up with something for today.

Happy Father's Day! I have to call my dad later. He's most likely at my sister's house today or at least taking his nap right now. He's still going strong at 76, which is hard to imagine. He's had COPD for over 20 years and still hangs on. Not just hangs on, he thrives. He volunteers at the hospital as a Redcoat and does a lot of administrative things that have really innovated the way they do things. They absolutely love him there. When I say going strong, I don't mean he has the energy to tackle anything. He's still a very weak man, on oxygen all the time and does tend to sleep a lot when he's home. But he still loves to hop on his riding mower to take care of not just their yard but the disabled neighbor's yard.

I love you, Daddy!

Zach got Tom a pocket watch for Father's Day. Well, the kind you clip on your belt loop. When I say Zach got it, I really mean I got it for him. He didn't want to get him anything but I always make sure he does and that it's from him and not me. Normally I buy Tom something for Father's Day, too. I always have. But he never gets me anything for Mother's Day (and let's not forget the infamous year and a half when he didn't buy me anything for any event) so this year I didn't buy him anything. He didn't seem to notice.

This year Zach will be 21 and I'm not going to require that he buy Tom anything anymore. He's a man now and can make decisions on his own. I will back completely out of their relationship (what relationship?) and let them figure it out on their own. Maybe I've been wrong to insist Zach buy him presents but I really didn't want to hurt Tom's feelings. Maybe by doing that I prolonged the inevitable: that Tom would realize that Zach doesn't want anything to do with him and maybe wonder why. Nah! I doubt it.

At any rate, I'm washing my hands of it all. Whatever happens between them, is between them from now on.

I'm waiting until Monday afternoon (after Tom leaves for work) and am going to clean up the yard again. We look like the neighborhood slums, I kid you not. Junk all over the back patio, ladders and piles of junk in the back yard and the garage door wide open. And Tom is upstairs sleeping or watching television and smoking. I tried to clean the kitchen up a bit and will put the tools back in the cupboard because otherwise I have no room on the counters to fix supper tonight.

And he laid some stuff on one of my flower beds, the flowers that I have reminded him at least 6 times were there. You know...if I treated him with this little respect, he would have left me years ago.

Ohhhh...there I am ranting again. So sorry.

I'm reading Mists of Avalon these days. A huge book and although it seems like I've spent a lot of time on it, I'm still so near the beginning of it. But it's good even if I don't look at it as a handbook for pagan ways. I don't think I'm so much pagan as I am questioning just what Christianity is really supposed to look like without all the man-made stuff added to it. I remain as confused as I was a year ago when this really started weighing on my mind. I imagine I will never have the answers I'm looking for, but instead will try to enjoy the journey of questions.

I didn't make it to church today because the sugar I ate last night sat on my stomach like a rock and I was afraid to lie down to sleep. So I spent most of the time trying to keep myself propped up. As a result I didn't sleep much until my stomach quieted down about 5 a.m. And I woke up at 10 when I heard Professor outside barking.

I cleaned the mice cage out again and only found a small amount of critters. I only found 2 on the mice although there might be more there. I tried to get them off but Ayeka kept squealing like I was killing her. And I was barely touching her! I hope I got them all but by keeping the cage cleaned out every day I'm at least keeping the population down.

Well, I'm off to pick up Zach and maybe take a nap before I call my dad.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blessed Summer Solstice, y'all

I'm seething right now and trying hard not to use this as a place to rant. I'll just say that all the effort I've made this summer to clean up the yard was wasted as someone decided to empty out the garage into the yard and back patio. And I'm ordered to leave it like that until the garage gets cleaned out. Not...until he cleans the garage. Until it gets cleaned out. I've been married for nearly 23 years so I know exactly who is expected to clean it out.

And since there are big items in there that have to go to the landfill, and since I've loaded up the truck four times now for him to haul them away only to have him unload it because he didn't want to drive around with it, I don't really want to go through that again.

I got to listen to his ranting today about how places are cluttered and how he's sick of it. And a huge explosion in the kitchen when a bunch of tools and such fell out of the cupboard onto the floor. And now are all over the kitchen counters so I couldn't fix supper tonight. I had to listen to doors being slammed. I guess this turned into a rant after all.

It's so hard to keep my mouth shut but I somehow managed to. His reward was to bring me candy as a "peace offering." Yep...that's what you give as a present to diabetics. Sugar.

We had to clean out the mice's cage today because Zach saw some little black critters moving around in there. We almost lost them when the temporary cage dropped onto the floor because the lid wasn't on tight enough. Okay, I was the one who dropped them. Ayeka didn't try to get out of the cage but Ryoko made a bee-line for freedom. We cornered her and got her back in the cage so they are safe and sound. Hannibal just laid on the couch and watched. It's odd how they know not to go after the pets.

Of course, if we hadn't been there, I'm sure he would have gone after them.

That reminds me of when we lived in San Diego and Pearl was still alive. Zach had two hamsters who were always getting out but never away. One morning I woke up and went in the kitchen to fix coffee. I got ready to throw the grounds into the trash can when the plastic, which was wadded up on the bottom of the can, moved. I looked into it and found one of the hamsters. Now, they couldn't possibly climb up on anything to get in there so the only possible explanation was that the cat caught the hamster and put her in the trash.

Seriously the only possible way it could have happened.

So the cage is clean and we have to clean it out every day and wipe down the mice with a washcloth and soap and water. It's not mites but I'm not sure what it is. I just checked the cage and the mice and I'm not seeing any more critters but I will be vigilant.

This might also explain all the itching and bug bites I've been dealing with. They jump like fleas but are tiny. And they definitely aren't lice either. (shudder) The living room has been sprayed well and will be sprayed every day for a week. I'm hoping that will do the trick.

I watched a weird movie last night: Babylon A.D. It wasn't that it was a bad movie, but it was very badly edited. The ending was like...huh? Unanswered questions, bad flow of plot. I guess the director hated the edit as well since they turned it into a different movie from the one he shot. Wow. The power of the editor.

It was hot today and I need a shower before bed. Zach won't be going to church tomorrow because he has to go into work early. I'm going without him although it would be nice to sleep in but I really need to connect with people other than Tom and Zach and I could use the spiritual boost. My world is really small.

I'm not sleepy like I was a couple of hours ago. Why does that always happen? Off to make up the bed and get ready for an early night, I hope.


Friday, June 19, 2009

I feel like my week is just beginning

I had amazing sleep last night. I went to bed at about 11:30 p.m. and slept until 9 a.m. There was some waking up but not for long. The storm woke me briefly but after that it was daylight before I woke up again.

I think what helped was washing all the sheets and pillowcases and comforter and spraying the couch, pillows and surrounding area with flea/tick spray. I also bought some anti-itch cream for bug bites, which helped a lot. So far, no new bites.

I also got some tiki fuel for our tiki torches. I plan on spending time outdoors this summer, unlike all the summers we've lived here. Without some kind of help, you just can't do it because the mosquitoes are so bad. And I mean bad.

Unfortunately the bill after shopping put me into shock. I had to get some things for the car as well but it was twice what I normally spend. And I was so hoping to be able to put some money away this paycheck. I'm so frustrated.

I didn't buy any hamburger this time. I want to stop using it altogether, actually. Tom doesn't like ground turkey but it's cheaper and healthier. Granted, not good as hamburgers, but not bad in soups and chili. I'm also trying to eat less meat. I had some tuna salad for lunch but supper was a penne dish with spaghettie sauce and mozzarella cheese. No meat. No one noticed at all.

I bought two chickens that I will cook and shred so we eat the meat in casseroles or stews rather than as the main event. My family can eat a whole chicken in one setting. I remember when my mother used to feed a family of five on one chicken. We eat way too much in one setting.

Between the two chickens and I do have one package of hamburger left in the freezer, I think that will do us for the week. But I'm going to have to work harder at the meals and not just throw something together at the last minute like I usually do. Not to mention more baking and cooking during the day.

I have one sunflower coming up out of the five I planted so I'm going to get more out today. It looks like rain so I'd better do it soon. I still haven't gotten anything more planted, including in my pots. Technically I could do that indoors. I don't know why I don't.

I finally caught up on laundry except for putting it away. And I need to get more done inside, like vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. Hard cleaning. Not the surface stuff I'm used to doing. I'd love to better organize my kitchen so I can effectively work in there. The flow is just wrong. No counter space, no adequate storage. I wish I knew how to fix it.

Well, off to accomplish something since I have had all that sleep. Don't want to waste the energy since I don't know when I'll have it again.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I have been duly squished

I finally got my mammogram today. I'm so glad it's over but things have improved a lot since I was there last year. They remodeled the facility and got new machines that are digital so there is less radiation and you can view the results immediately instead of waiting to develop the film. And they don't put you in agony at all. The plastic cover plate is flexible and molds around the breast instead of flattening it.

So...done for another year. I'll know the results next week but I have no reason to really worry about it.

I planted some columbine seeds about a week ago and keep looking for some evidence that I really don't have a brown thumb and can actually grow things but...I'd water and look: nothing. Water and look: nothing. Water and look: nothing. Today, on my way to the car to take Zach to vestry meeting I saw tiny little flowers growing. At least I hope they are flowers. I should know soon what they are.

Tomorrow is yard day. We've been trying to get out there all week but between the rain and the lack of sleep (yes, I've gotten to the point where it's the norm and not the exception so what's the point of blogging about it) I haven't gotten out there. Zach is going to mow the yard and I'm going to try again to plant things in the ground and in my pots. I know it's late in the season but maybe my perennials will grow and I can enjoy them next year. And I should be able to get some sunflowers in this season.

I also want to work on a little grove at the back of the yard, hidden by the bushes and the pear tree. Just a private place I can go to be alone since I have no place in the house like that. I really need privacy, a place I can go to be with my thoughts.

I got a Doris Chan book from the library today of crocheted lace projects. I'd gotten it before but wasn't ready to do any crocheting, I guess. There are a couple of shawls in there I might try. I know I've already got five projects going now, but this is for the future. I can always get the book again. I just want to look at them for now. I'm making progress on my shawl so far. This one I'm keeping. It's made from Red Heart Plush and is very red in color so I think I'll make that my fire shawl. I decided I wanted a shawl that represents all the elements. I have a blue shawl in the making that can be water and some brown yarn in my stash that could be earth. I'm not sure what to use for air though. I have plenty of time to decide though.

Zach and I have to get busy on our weight, for sure. I got a phone call from Stephen, my older son, from the hospital. He'd had chest pains and drove himself to the ER. After hours of testing they found out he didn't have a heart attack but has damaged heart muscle that indicates he has had one in the past. And he also has diabetes. If this doesn't wake me up to the realization that I'm on a path to destruction health-wise, nothing will. And if I don't set the example, Zach will be where Stephen is, maybe sooner.

I've been trying (and failing) at changing to vegetarian because with my cancer history and obesity it's a healthy choice but this time I'm really going to try to make it work. And I'm still struggling to get off diet sodas. Or at least limit them. I bought some stevia packets (with a coupon I found on the shelf near them) and it's not bad at all. In fact, it was a bit too sweet and I only used half a packet. I don't want to use soy products though because with breast cancer that it estrogen driven, I don't want to have to worry about that aspect of it. Studies have been done on phyto-estrogens but there is no clear-cut answer on the dangers of it with breast cancer survivors. Besides, fake meat doesn't impress me. I'd rather just learn to eat differently than pretend I'm eating the same only with something that looks like meat but isn't. At least that's how I feel today.

I hope I can succeed this time.

Well, off to finish up the laundry and see if I can fumigate my bed. I'm being bitten by something in the night and I don't know what it is. I'm not going to use the mattress foam tonight so I can see if that's the problem. I don't seem to get bitten when I'm just sitting on the couch so why should I get bitten when I'm sleeping on it. I have washed all my bed stuff recently so I don't think that's the problem. If I don't find any new bites tomorrow, I'm trashing the mattress foam. I hate throwing it away but if it's got critters it can't do anybody else any good.

Hoping to get a good night's sleep like I did last night. Ten and a half hours' worth good, in fact.


Monday, June 15, 2009

This was supposed to be Sunday's entry

I should be sleeping but, of course, I'm not. I didn't get a nap in today thinking it would make me sleepier but...here I am. I just finished watching How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria on BBCA. I peeked so I know who wins but it doesn't limit the enjoyment or entertainment value. I am a bit sleepy but thought I would log an entry before crashing.

I talked to my older son last night and upset him a lot over my spiritual choices. Come morning I wasn't as sure as I was before so I really thought about it and pondered it during church today. We had a wedding as part of the service, which was lovely if not a bit unsettling, but the visitors were what was distracting. Two women sat in front of us and chatted the entire time of the Eucharist. And giggled. And since we kneel during that time and they didn't, Zach was unable to kneel because they were planted on the back of the pew so there was no place for him to put his arms. He sat instead and tried not to look annoyed. I thought he succeeded.

There was a reception afterward and it was so boisterous I couldn't think. That's a good thing, by the way, because I needed not to think at this time. Just enjoy the company. But afterward Zach and I stopped at Subway for a cup of soup and talked. The bottom line is I can't leave Jesus behind. I may not agree with the nature of God as taught by traditional teachings and I do believe the Bible has been tampered with so the dogma of church authority could be established beyond a doubt (obviously it wasn't beyond a doubt, but...) but this Man still speaks to me and I need Him in my life. But I also can't deny that I find accepted witchcraft, folk lore, a pantheon of gods/goddesses and unlimited acceptance in the Bible and plan on incorporating them into my practices. I understand others don't find that there and I'm okay with that, but I do.

The closest path I can find would be Celtic Christianity which is also a significant part of my heritage. But mostly I just need to be intuitive and open to whatever He/She wants to teach me.

I've noticed that readership is down a bit. I thought about the possibility of that happening when I decided to talk about my spiritual choices. It's not that I don't care. I don't know who is out there so I can't even begin to please everyone. I have to be true to myself though. I hope those who have been here a while will understand. And know me well enough to know that I most likely won't be talking about it much at all. Only when it comes up in the course of my day. I don't like preachy blogs at all so I don't want to be one.

I managed to get some crocheting done today. Several rows, in fact. The nice thing about crocheting is that it goes quickly. But I'm missing knitting and plan on putting a row or two on the socks before I go to bed. Tomorrow looks to be an outdoor day so I need to get some sleep tonight.

I think I've been bitten by some kind of critters because I've got a couple of spots that won't stop itching. There don't appear to be bumps of any kind but those two spots are annoying me to no end. I take niacin (the doctor wanted to put me on Niaspan, which is in the $50 range on my co-pay, no thank you, not to mention a $25 co-pay for an office visit) which I got at Stuff Mart. I don't get the flush that Niaspan puts me through but the itching is there and it keeps me awake. I don't know if that's what this is since there isn't an insect bite anywhere.

Well, I think I'm ready for bed although I'm pretty sure once I turn off the lights I'll wake up like I always do. I don't really have anything to read right now so I'll have to rely on something boring on tv.

Much to do tomorrow with plantings, and turning the earth for a garden next year. And I've got laundry to finish as well.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

A wide-awake Saturday

I survived the church rummage sale, but just barely. I went into it with about 2 hours sleep, lasted all day there but drove home thinking I had to be super aware lest I fall asleep while driving. Fortunately I took a back road and got home quickly.

We made over $1000 so that was good. Our church can't survive on tithes so we have to have fund-raisers like this and Brat Stands. We also had a bake sale so that's where a lot of the money went.

I bought a wood stove for $20. I couldn't believe it. It was priced at $50 but I couldn't afford that much and by the end of the sale when it hadn't been bought, I offered the $20. I'm not sure what we'll do with it but I hope we can incorporate it into the house somehow to save a bit on heating next winter. It's a good size stove although not house-heating size. Definitely 3 room heating though. It has two burners on it, but it sits low to the ground. The guy who donated it said it still sells at Fleet Farm for $200. I'd say we got a good deal.

The rest of the stuff I bought was just a really dressy blouse, which I don't think is me but a couple of the women there thought it was so as long as I can wear it with jean, I'm good to go. I also got some candle holders and a pair of white pedal pushers. I know...white pants on this butt...not a good idea. But they were fifty cents and pristine white. Maybe I'll dye them.

I managed to stay awake until 8 p.m. so I made up the bed and decided to just go for it. I woke up again at 9:30 but was back asleep by 10:30 and slept like a rock until 8:30 a.m. I hope I've broken the insomnia cycle for a while.

I'm back to reinventing myself yet again. I'm sure everyone is rolling their eyes at this stage. It hasn't worked yet; why should it work this time? But something has to give. I'm so tired of having no energy to do the things I not only need to do but want to do. I bought some stevia today to substitute the artificial sweetener I've been using although this supposedly doesn't work in baked goods. I've got splenda for that. But no more sorbitol or anything that has it in it. I'm tired of my stomach being torn apart because I want a candy bar once in a while. I'm also working at cooking simpler, more natural meals. I've got to get off some of this medication. It's been a downward spiral ever since I started taking it. I'm not getting better, I'm just taking more medication. And getting worse.

I'm nearly done with my cancer medicine. I'll see the doctor in a few weeks and see about going without anything after this. But it means being vigilant about my diet and exercise. I know it's going to be an uphill battle and I will probably slide down a few times before I get to the top. I just hope I can keep trekking.

Tom is being supportive. Surprising in some ways but I'm going to be cautious. I keep hoping he'll return to me as the man I married, but that man, while he shows up now and then, never seems to stick around. I don't dare tell him where my spiritual journey is taking me. That's fodder for a future argument and I don't want to keep my adversary supplied with ammunition, so to speak. He complimented me today on how I've been doing with the bills. I'll take it when I get it.

I moved the firepit/weber grill to the back of the yard near the prairie garden/hill. I talked to a member of the church yesterday who happens to be a judge and he mentioned that they have to be 15 feet from any structure. He thought it would be okay since it's really a weber grill but because our back yard is directly below a major highway, he thought we might get the police called on us by people who didn't realize it was a grill. And while the police would be okay with it, they wouldn't enjoy being called more than once about it. So now it's more than the regulated distance. And it doesn't look bad where it is. When I finish with the area it will look pretty good, in fact.

I think I'm going to make a private space for myself on the shelf of the hill near the thicket of lilac bushes we've got. The pear tree gives me a lot of privacy and I can erect some kind of organic wall to hide me from anyone walking down the hill. Walking up they wouldn't see me. I'm thinking of another bush of some kind. I have no privacy in the house and would like someplace that's just mine. It will most likely take me most of the summer to set it up at the rate of energy I've got though. And I'll need mosquito repellent because they're bad in our back yard. Too near the marsh, I suspect.

I've got to bake bread tomorrow and finish up the laundry tonight. I had forgotten about it. I've got two loads to go once Zach gets home with his dirty uniform. There is a wedding during the church service tomorrow and a reception afterward but I won't know if we can go to the reception until Zach gets home with his schedule for next week.

I also need to get back to knitting. I've been doing a lot of reading but the lack of energy is the main reason I'm not knitting. I just seem to collapse on the couch or bed and veg out.

Well, it's time to go get Zach so....


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Love that little blue sleeping pill

I broke down and took one. Just one. And I won't do it again for a while but I slept for 11 hours. And I feel like I could sleep for another hour at least. I need to work on better sleep habits and Tom has promised to be quieter when he comes in at night (without my even asking!)

Tonight I'm going to drink some herbal tea instead and try to get to sleep sooner. I have to get up early tomorrow to work the rummage sale at church. I tend to panic when I need to get up early and as a result get to sleep way too late. I'm hoping that changing a few of my habits, like not knitting right before I try to sleep, not putting an interesting show on television before I try to go to sleep, and not eating after supper. I'm hoping that helps some.

I was reading Dance of the Dissident Daughter last night. It's a hard read for me because I have to take time to absorb what she says. Some of it is a bit shocking, most of it familiar and...dare I say it..parts are boring. But that's just me. A lot of what she talks about regarding patriarchy are conclusions I've been coming to on my own for the past few years. Yet, I don't want to turn to a matriarchy either. She talks a bit about egalitarianism, which is exactly what I want but I don't see, so far, that happening with her. I understand she's talking about her journey in a chronological sense so maybe after a while she'll address it more. Mostly she talks about the Goddess and her renewal/rebirth as a woman. I personally don't need to be "born again" so to speak. I had enough of that in Christianity.

What I found boring was her need to find symbolism in everything. Don't get me wrong, I do think symbolism exists as a tool for us to use, but I found it tedious that everything was symbolic to her. Maybe because I saw stuff like that happen within Christianity to the degree that I felt left out because "God" never dealt with me as blatantly as he seemed to with others. I'm sure her journey was enhanced by all of it, but...well...for me it was just...dare I say it?...silly. Like when she was planting daffodils in a circle of trees she and a friend found, she suddenly thought of her life as the daffodil, having to be buried, then emerging to new life in the spring. If that were the only time she referred to her "rebirth" I would be okay with it but she found several things that suddenly made her think that her new life was like that.

Okay...I do tend to be a bit of a snark.

Mostly the book is great though. Her journey is so similar to mine...thinking that the Episcopal church would satisfy her. And then it didn't. I admit to a lot of grief that I didn't find the rituals of the church to fill the void that was in me. It was such a letdown.

Also, beginning to notice that Christianity, even within churches with female priests/pastors/liturgists the male was still the prevalent figure. I remember thinking several years ago that if God was our father, who was our mother? If the family unit as mother, father, children was essential to God, where the heck was our mother? I didn't buy that Mary became our mother. I tried to suppress those concerns but I just couldn't deny that the Female was calling to me. And her name was Brigid.

So what did I do? I did nothing. For years.

Now, I feel like I can do nothing less than what I'm doing. Acknowledging a female deity, acknowledging that there is more out there than I was raised to believe. Reading the bible again but with new eyes, seeing things as someone without all the baggage I was raised with. And I see this so succinctly in it. This is my path, however late I came to it.

Moving on. I've been doing no knitting lately. Yesterday I was so tired I did nothing but read and try to nap unsuccessfully. I probably won't get much knitting done today although I want to work on the crocheted shawl later on. I have to drop by the church and see if they need help labeling things and drop off some stuff. I didn't tear the house apart like I wanted to so I have very little to donate.

Well, I need to get ready to go. I'm still in my pajamas, which I never got out of yesterday (although this are different pajamas...clean ones.) And I need to water the plants before I leave. It's a beautiful day but I'm still dragging so I'm not getting much done.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Still working on with a sleep deficit

In spite of little sleep yet again, I accomplished some things today. Not a lot, I'll grant, but enough that I feel pretty good about the day.

I planted four sunflowers that I will probably have to re-plant because the squirrels are impatient and won't wait until it's grown to get their seeds. And I'll try to get more planted on Thursday. I also planted some columbine in front of the dining room window. I've got a wild flower growing there that I don't remember planting but it's lovely and now I want more. Tomorrow will be rainy so it will be Thursday before I get more planted.

I also got some herbs moved to bigger planters. I figured out some of what is there: sweet marjoram and maybe some sage. Beyond that I'll have to wait a bit longer to find out. I need more dirt from StuffMart in order to transplant the other stuff and to plant the strawberries. I'm thinking of putting them on the east side of the garage, near the fire pit Weber grill. Unfortunately that's next to the compost pit but there is no odor so I think I'm safe.

And Zach and I are going to start turning the soil on the side of the hill that isn't the prairie garden because it's out of reach of the pets' leashes and wasted ground for the most part. I'm going to plant the onions and squash and pumpkins there this year. Next year I'll make part of the hill my herb garden. Not this year though. Too much clay there. I need to supplement the soil somehow. Preferably with compost so I don't have to spend more money on dirt.

Zach got the yard mowed today and we both realized we are in bad shape and need to get fit. I sure hope we can find the motivation to get there.

I took down my "studio" because it's awkward to use. Tom is right there looking over my shoulder and I much prefer sitting on the couch anyway. I'm not too creative sitting hunched over a card table on a folding chair. So I put the rocking chair there so I can view the computer monitor from there and also listen to podcasts as well. Now I need to find a place for my art supplies. I can use the dining table for those things that require more room since no one ever uses it to eat at. It's mostly a place to dump things.

And I've moved my altar from the dining table into the living/bed room. I got a book from the library that a friend recommended called The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, about Sue Monk Kidd's spiritual journey into the feminine. I'm really looking forward to it but I have to get back into The Strain as well, since it's due back next Friday. I feel very good about this journey so forgive me if I bring it up here from time to time. I don't normally talk about religious or political things on this blog. And maybe that should change. Still, I don't like preachy blogs and I don't want to become one. So...just in passing as it applies to my day, I think.

I finished the second season of Sex and the City. I'm hooked. I've got to order the third season but I need to catch up on some knitting, reading and drawing first. I must spend less time in front of both the computer screen and the television.

I started crocheting a shawl yesterday and was surprised how easily I fell back into crocheting. Jan has been putting out shawls like crazy on her side of the world and has inspired me into action. Only these are for me. I like something around my shoulders in the winter rather than bundling up all the time. And this will be good for those days at church when it's a bit cool but not cold enough for a coat.

I'm making this shawl in Red Heart Plush. Red, Red Heart Plush. So far, so good.

Well, I need to get away from the computer and get something useful done. I still have laundry down in the dryer and washer so I should get that done today so I can focus on reading, knitting and drawing tomorrow.

Sure hope I get some sleep tonight.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Still so tired

Saturday and Sunday weren't that great.  Didn't make it to church because I was up until 5 a.m.  Along with everyone else in the family.  Both Tom and Zach couldn't sleep either.  I got sleep last night but I'm still dragging.  I haven't gotten a whole lot done today.  Some laundry, some vacuuming.  Baked a roast.  That's about it.  I need to get some ironing done before the clothes need to be washed again because of the dust and pet hair.

I got a bit of work done on the drawing.  I'm focusing more on technique than any particular picture.  I'm learning more what I'm doing wrong than how to do things right.  But that's good because I can correct it.  Before I just kept trying to make it work without figuring out how better to do it.  

I've had a few ideas about writing but so far haven't had the energy to actually put anything down on paper.  I fell asleep two nights in a row while trying to write in my journal.  Getting to sleep isn't my problem, it seems.  Staying there is.

I keep wanting to re-invent myself but I don't seem to have the wherewithall to do it.  How do people change?  I'd sure like to figure that one out.  I know I tend to want to change everything at once and not do things incrementally.  It seems like it takes too long to do it one step at a time.   
Maybe I should work on patience before I work on anything else.

I printed out a couple of crocheted shawl patterns today.  I'm going to start one tonight.  I haven't done any real crocheting in years and have forgotten a lot of what I used to know.  I'm also going to study up on herbs.  I want an herb garden but I'm not sure how best to do it.  I've got some books on order from the library.

I'm also looking into druidism again.  I'm still drawn there.  Spiritually I'm still pretty empty and need to find something to fill in that hole, but I'm not going to use this blog for that journey.  I might start up my old blog again or I might just write in my journal.  I still love my church and there are parts of it that still retain meaning for me, but it's just so hard to go through the motions when I don't believe in all of it anymore.  I'm fortunate that this church isn't that concerned about how much or how little of the Nicene Creed I have to believe.

It rained today so I didn't get any yard work done.  I need to get the sunflowers planted and the onions.  The squash can wait a while, until Zach and I get the garden turned.  We're going to do it with shovels and hoes and only do a bit this year and a bit next year.  I'm still pondering putting the herbs in the ground or using one of the many pots I've got around here.  I still need to identify what is growing in the pots I've already planted.

Tom fixed part of the roof yesterday.  The addition that the former owners slapped together was leaking and he fixed that.  No leaks this morning.  I think the upstairs is more the rain coming in under the shingles rather than a leak because it's rained several times since the last waterfall and not a drop of water in the bucket.  That's good news, but we still need to look into it.

Well, supper is ready and the clothes in the dryer are done.  I'm ready to go back to be to be honest.  I'm that tired.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better and get more done.


Friday, June 5, 2009

A Good Friday

Still not much sleep but I did get some yard work done today.  Tom was out there helping Zach and me and it felt pretty good to have us all together again.  He even fixed a huge lunch for us all.  But I know that these things have a cycle and I can only enjoy it when it's good while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We had an old Weber grill that the legs were falling off of.  I had bought it at a yard sale nearly 20 years ago for $5.  It's traveled all over California and ended up in Wisconsin.  But it's not too sturdy anymore.  We used the propane grill that Tom's brother gave us several years ago.  The gas part doesn't work but we can still put charcoal in it and cook that way.  So I took the old grill, removed the legs and set it behind the garage and piled some huge rocks around it.  So now we have a fire pit of sorts but because it's still a grill with a lid, I don't think we have to worry about a permit or anything.  I mean it's not going to be a huge fire and it's no different from cooking out.  I found some old lawn chairs that really need to be re-webbed and set them out there. Should be nice if we can keep the mosquitoes away.

We also put some netting over the cherry tree.  We only have a dozen or so cherries this year but last time all the birds got them before we did.  I got this netting at our church rummage sale a couple of years ago.  Free.   We were clearing up and the less we had to haul away the better so we were taking stuff home.  This was a long wedding veil until I cut the tiara off.  I was wearing it while I was weed-eating today.  Zach thought it was the perfect accessory.  Tom also created a webbing for the grapevine to climb and we got the weeds raked up.  I finally found the roses. They were hidden behind the weeds.  We're going to wait until Monday to mow.  The grass just isn't that high and with gas prices creeping up, I'm not going to mow just because the neighbors did.  I'll mow when the yard needs it.

I've got my drawing mojo back.  I found a great book at the library that works on shading and texture, which is what I really needed to work on now.  I fooled around with it a bit but I'm so tired that I don't plan on doing anything that requires a lot of concentration right now.  

I've been reading The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro.  Wow!  This guy can really write.  The pictures he draws with words is absolutely amazing.  It's about an airplane that has landed at La Guardia but all the passengers are dead.  There's a vampire involved but I haven't gotten too far into it.  But the writing is excellent.  Such a refreshing change from some of the good but not great literature I've been reading lately.

It was a beautiful today.  I need to get some plants watered but aside from that, I'm down for the count.  The water barrel is full and it's supposed to rain tonight but I can only use so much water.  I've been filling empty milk jugs and empty apple juice containers.  Come August we don't get a lot of rain and I can use what I've store.  Each week I gain another milk jug.

The elephant ears never came up and the flower strips I put down didn't produce any flowers so I guess I'm going back to seeds.  Maybe tomorrow though.  I need to space out my energy usage or I'll be back on the couch for a day or two.

Off to watch the last show of last season's True Blood, then the second season of Sex and the City.  I'm beginning to feel like Odysseus's Penelope in that the sock I'm knitting has been tinked back to the same starting point three days in a row.  That's how tired I've been when I sit down to knit at night.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It caught up with me

I'm really dragging.  I managed to dig out a flower bed for the hostas but not much more than that got done.  No drawing except for fixing some of the shading on my last picture because my brain is so tired I can't think of anything to draw.  No writing because I can't form a coherent sentence in my mind.  No knitting...yet.  I have more True Blood to watch so I will be knitting later on.  I started the second sock for my dad and worked on the blanket last night.  I didn't do the beaded scarf though.  Just didn't have the energy to think about yarn overs and moving beads.

I cheated and went to the store today because we were out of a couple of things but I used cash only and only bought what I went to get.  But we did stop at Wendy's and grabbed a sandwich off the dollar menu.  One sandwich and a value drink (which was free for me as a senior citizen) filled me up entirely.  I had gotten two sandwiches but gave the second one to Zach because I just couldn't eat it.  So we managed to eat out for around $5.  But we can't do that very often because even the pennies add up.

Professor walked on his leg almost all the time today. He rarely held it up at all, only when he caught his foot in the fringe of my sweater.  The tiny bit of aspirin I'm giving him seems to be helping with whatever inflammation and pain he has.  Problem is he doesn't trust me and won't eat anything I give him unless the cat eats if first so I have to give Hannibal un-aspirined food but in such a way that Professor doesn't notice it's different from his.

Pets can be such a pain.

Not unlike humans.

I wonder sometimes if my fatigue and depression are linked.  Because today I was at my lowest with self-esteem and didn't feel like any of my efforts at anything was worth it.  Not my drawing, not my writing, not my yard skills.  I will admit I'm not a gardener.  I know little about it even though I read a lot and I don't get that thrill digging in the dirt that some do.  I do it because it has to be done.  Same as with baking.  I really don't like to bake.  I don't like to cook either, for that matter.  But it has to be done and there is a certain amount of satisfaction in doing something valuable even if you don't enjoy it that keeps me going.

But not today.  Today I just want to lay on the couch.  I should feel pretty good that I had two good days in a row, which hasn't happened in a long time.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I'm going to have to reschedule the mammogram.  I forgot I have to work the rummage sale at church that day and it's a work day for Zach so I would need to get him there.  I shouldn't have any problems rebooting to another day.

I got to thinking about something today and wondered if anyone else ever did this.  When I read blogs, I hear them in accents.  If the blog is from Australia or New Zealand, I tend to think of them as being read by Peter Jackson (or better yet...Hugh Jackman) even if they're written by women. If from Britain, they tend to be read by Felicity Kendal or Nathaniel Parker or Helen Mirren.  Does anyone else do this?

I do the same thing with books.

Although I do believe all fantasy books should be read with a British accent.  I have a hard time with fantasy movies in which the characters all have American accents.  It feels somewhat...fake...or something.  Something is missing at the very least.

Tom's getting hot dogs and potatoes tonight because I have no energy for anything else and nothing is thawed out anyway.  Oddly, that's what Professor is getting for supper, too.  He's getting wise to the peanut butter trick.

Off to watch tv and knit a bit.  I'm rethinking what I said yesterday about using the dryer.  I can't help thinking that my mindset should be on saving no matter how small the savings is.  But the clothes are still sitting in the washer because I haven't decided yet.  Or had the energy to do anything about it.

Ah, well.  Tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not sure I can keep up this pace

The latest picture.  I had an idea for the Illumination theme:  using the "idea as a light bulb" I used an energy efficient one instead of the traditional one.  I don't think it really comes across with the humor I intended.  I'm not sure I'm going to submit it.  But it's a start.

Another busy day.  I did some baking:  muffins and Irish soda bread.  I did some cleaning in the basement.  It's pretty nasty in spots down there because of the water from the past few rains.  I need to get some bleach going on down there.  I'm fixing supper now and still cleaning up all the stuff I used for baking.  It's probably the reason I hate to bake.

Still...chili and soda bread for supper.  

I haven't seen any birds on the bird feeder yet but I am hearing more of them.  I suspect I'm just missing them because the amount of bird seed is diminishing.  Plus, I keep forgetting to look until I hear them.

I started watching the first season of True Blood last night.  It's really good.  I've got the whole season to catch up on before season 2 starts this week.  It might be an all-nighter tonight. I didn't get tons of sleep last night but that one night of great sleep seems to be carrying me through.

I scheduled my mammogram today.  It will be next Friday.  I hate driving all the way up to Fond du Lac, especially with gas prices going up again but my doctor is affiliated with that hospital and I'm not a fan of Beaver Dam Community Hospital at all.  Those are the asshats that tried to get me to mortgage the house minutes after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And continued to badger me every year after that.  They were party to the humongous bill we had for a gall bladder operation:  $22,000.  And that was 13 years ago.  Asshats!  They got away with all those outrageous prices because we didn't have an insurance company telling them no way.

And next month I have two appointments up in Fond du Lac:  the rheumatologist and the surgeon.  I think I'll be done with the aromasin.  It's been five years and it's not been known to be any more effective after that.  I don't know what else is available or if I'm just down to the watch and hope phase of this.  It would be nice not to have to spend that money every month, but I like having a security blanket of sorts.

Professor is walking ever so much better on that leg.  I'm sneaking his half a baby aspirin (crushed) into a tablespoon of peanut butter.  It's the only thing he'll consistently eat.  Today he snubbed his nose twice at his food and ate the cat's food instead.  And of course, Hannibal was eating Professor's food.

It didn't rain much today but I still didn't get a lot done outside.  I'm finding it hard to fit everything in that I want to do.  It's such a pain having limitations that interfere with my aspirations.  I'm not spending hours drawing like I want to because all I can think about is what I need to be doing instead of sitting at a desk drawing.  And I'm not getting any writing done either.

Knitting?  Not as much, but more than the drawing and writing.

I'm starting to ache right now so I think I'm done for the night.  If I push too far past it, I'll be on the couch for a couple of days and I don't want to do that.  I've got so much I want to do and sitting on the couch all day isn't big on my list.

Supper is ready and I need to crash for a while.  I've got some laundry to put in the dryer.  I've been thinking about all I need to do and weighing it against the cost of using the dryer versus the amount of time it takes to hang clothes out, take them down and then iron some of them.  I'm thinking for about 30 cents a load, it's more frugal to spend my time where the money will matter more.  Like improving the property value of the house, or growing food, or cooking from scratch.  It's a huge relief to come to that conclusion.  I feel like I spend all my energy on the things that aren't a huge payoff for me.

Well, off to eat and watch True Blood.  I have some more dishes to do but I think I'll stick them in the dishwasher and do them tomorrow.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Sleep...does a body good

I'm so very tired, but in a good way...I hope.  I'll let you know at 3 a.m. if I'm curled up on the bed in pain.

I slept last night.  A good, solid eight hours.  I actually felt good this morning.  Good enough to work outside, cutting down weeds and moving chunks of concrete out of the compost pit (don't ask who put them there...I'm trying to stay in a good mood.)  I had help, of course.  Zach was out there moving them with me.  So now the compost pit is ready for garbage.

I also did two loads of clothes and cleaned up the kitchen.

You know...when I write it down it doesn't look like much but for me it was an incredible day.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow so we'll work in the house.  I plan on baking bread and maybe making pizza from scratch.  Also I need to work on the bathroom, cleaning it up.  And maybe fill the garbage bin with stuff from the basement.  I've made a lot of progress there but there is still so far to go.

I didn't get a lot of drawing done today.  I tried working on something but my proportions were off and I couldn't get the shading right.  I don't feel too badly though.  It's still better than it used to be.  Tomorrow I need to start earlier and work steadier.

If I can move, that is.

I still haven't scheduled my mammogram.  Our financial cushion is gone, aside from what I have in savings and I don't want to use that.  I'm hoping to save some money this summer but I need to get that mammogram out of the way.  And that's going to be around $100 a month for a few months because the hospital and radiologist won't take less than $50 a month in payments.  I wish I knew why the insurance puts this on my deductible instead of paying a portion of it, at least.  They've got me in a hard place because technically they cover it so I'm not eligible for any of the programs out there.

I'll try to remember to call tomorrow.

I have to admit I'm worried about this coming winter.  It doesn't look like Tom will be going back to 5 days a week any time soon.  I know I should be grateful he's still got a job, but prices are still going up and our pay has gone down.  It's so hard.  We're locked into the Charter bundle for another 18 months but we need the internet for Zach's college and it's nice to have television.  If we went to just an antenna we'd only get 3 channels.  And two of them are PBS.  I could probably live without it because I get stuff from the library and have hulu.com and the various channels to watch online but Tom would drive me crazy because he won't watch tv online and if he isn't watching tv he wants me to keep him company.  Not keen on that idea at all. 

If we cancel Charter we have to pay about $400 in penalties.  That's how they get you.  Yet, I have no complaints about service and I went into it with my eyes open.  Keeping the cost down for 2 years seemed like a good deal when we had a full paycheck.

I'm down to super-duper frugality though.  I used half a pound of hamburger to make a rice casserole tonight.  I used to make a meal out of a quarter pound but I'm going to try it this way for a while.  No more eating out.  No more packaged meals.  No more store-bought snacks.  I should have dried the clothes out on the line today but I was weeding where the clothes line is and didn't want to get grass all over the clean clothes so I used the dryer. I'll just wait until it's sunny again before I wash another load.

My homemade laundry soap is fantastic.  I use about a tablespoon of soap in a load of clothes and it cleans them better than the cheap stuff I used to buy at the store.  And I've been using white vinegar for softening.  No complaints whatsoever.

My hostas are coming up on the north side of the house.  I didn't see them at all last summer but this summer they're back.  I bought some more so I think I'll plant them there instead of the garage and use the garage for herbs since it's right at the back door.

I'm slowly getting rid of all the junk around the back door and garage area.  Shhhh....don't tell Tom.  He hasn't noticed yet.

Well, off to grab a shower and make up the bed for the night.  I looked at some crocheted shawl patterns today.  I love knitting but it takes so long to finish anything and I've got so much yarn to use up so I thought I would polish up my crochet skills and crank out some shawls.  Not tonight though.  Tonight I'm working on socks and the beaded scarf.  I'm a bit tired of the blanket.