Wednesday, September 22, 2010

opening doors, finding skeletons

This blogging thing.  Is gonna cure me or kill me.  I'm not sure which way it'll go.

As I read my chosen ones, and those they've suggested, I sometimes dredge up an old memory. 

I realize I've shelved a lot of memories.  I just need to remember why.  I know some of the whys.

The very shy little girl... that didn't have friends because she was too afraid to talk to anyone.
The naive teenager... that didn't know what everyone else was talking about.
The young woman... who let herself finally go and didn't like what she'd become.
The single mother... who realized she wasn't the nurturing mommy type.
The wife... who even though she knew all the signs married the abusive man.
The adult child of an alcoholic... that can't mourn that parent properly.

There are many memories for each of those people.  They are not the person I am now. Or, are they?
 Is that why those memories are shelved?  Each of those people has a story.  Perhaps, as I get reaquainted with them...I'll introduce them.  In the meantime, there's only me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Balancing Life...a contemplation of chaos

I have so many things I want to do.
I have  no concept of how to do them all.  Actually to do them all well.

I own a restaurant, which is a full time responsibility.
I bowl league twice a week.
I am twitterdicted, so I must check the timeline hourly (at least)
I beta test for 2 game developers.
I crochet (though not as much as I'd like anymore).
I love to read and haven't had the time.
I'm still organizing after our move, still have boxes to unpack.
I like to can my own food, which is usually a full day lost to prepping, boiling, waiting...
Hubby dear wants fed daily.
Three cats and one dog want fed daily.
I have now added blogging and the reading of blogs.
Grocery shopping needs done.  I hate grocery shopping.
And I have housework that never gets done.

I keep trying to figure out how to balance all this.  Is there a formula?  A schedule template?  And is there room in there somewhere for a nap?

I'd like to put some blame on Hubby dear for not being helpful enough.  But, he is the gardener, maintenance man and listener when I come home from work.  So, I'd be an asshat if I laid my lack of organization at his feet.  Especially since he ran most of the laundry yesterday while I had the dog and one cat at the vet.

I don't want to quit any activities.  But maybe we could add an extra few hours to the day, at least enough to get a nap. 

Think I'll work on that nap now, after I check my Twitter timeline, read a couple more blogs and see what's for dinner.  Oh, and it's time to feed the three cats and one dog.  They know what time it is,  and they're reminding me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Short Confession of a Slob

I have a confession.  I'm a slob.  Been a slob my whole life.  Married a slob.  Well maybe slob is harsh.  Cluttered is closer.  .

And housework is something I have to make myself do.  I should be doing some right now.  But this has to be more important.  I've been a bit better at it since I'm in a real house, but the glamour is wearing off.  I even bought a new belt for the vacuum, and installed it, and vacuumed a couple of floors.  The rest of the floors need it yet. But, I required a break. 

In my head I know exactly what I want to get done, and how lovely it would be to not watch cat fluff roll across the floor like tumbleweeds.  But, really, do I have to?  Right now?

The floors want swept and mopped.
The end tables want cleared and dusted.  I have a habit of piling my life on table tops and stuffing bits into drawers.  I even banished coffee tables in my house because they become too stacked to see the TV.
There's a pile of junk mail, magazines, and paid bills that need filed, thrown out, shredded.
The kitchen counters need wiped and de-furred.
The bathrooms, just, eww.
There are still boxes to sort from the move.
Should be thinking about dinner.
And there's a load of laundry in the dryer to be folded.

I don't even have kids at home.  I have no excuse.  I just simply HATE housework.  I want a housekeeper.  If ever I won the lottery I'd set aside enough to hire a good housekeeper. 
I'm very jealous of people who can keep clean homes, actually I'm intimidated by people that keep clean homes.  I feel out of place in other people's clean homes.  I'm a clean house failure.

Sigh,  as I sit here avoiding housework, I realize the monitor needs cleaning.  Badly. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gramma and her iPod

As I've been sitting on my butt for the last three hours, with my iPod, reading, and replying occasionally, to tweets and blogs, I try to remember what I used to do before this little handful of technology entered my life. I can't remember. Since the the iPod entered my life/soul I've joined twitter, photobucket, google groups, skype, and I've just recently begun to "blog"(what does that mean, really?).

It all began innocently. A few games. Access to my email without going to the computer. Then came a silly little music game called TapTap Revenge. I tried it. I failed. I became annoyed. I tried again, and again. I got better. I made it to a top ten global leaderboard. I became a TTR addict. They had a twitter account, I signed up to win prizes. I was invited to join a "team" of a select few players to provide feedback. I needed a google account. I was Invited to become a beta tester.  I needed a skype account.

In the meantime, my twitter followers began to increase. From 2 family members to 20 mostly bowlers(did I mention I love to bowl) and TTR players/friends. I began following a few celebs. I gained a few more random followers. I gained a couple of local followers.

I needed a profile picture. I signed up to photobucket. I uploaded my picture. Somewhere along the way I started to become "social". I'm a loner by nature, my "real life" friends are few. I don't do lunches with the girls, my best friend is my daughter.

I retweeted a pretty saying and acquired pretty saying followers.  I followed some back.  My followers passed 100.  I tweet about coffee, several more(mostly trying to sell me their product), I followed anyway. Pushing 150.

I followed a tweeter called @salamicat.  I read her blog. I read blogs she recommended.  I thought about blogging (aren't you sorry now).  I started a blog.  For no good reason.  Well, maybe so someone besides my family could listen to me rant. 

Wow, this started as a story about how I thought I'd lost my beloved iPod once.  I have a grocery list app.  I have a lot of apps.  I have more apps than a gramma needs.  I'm an app addict.  Ok, back to the story.  Using my grocery list app, I went to the grocery store.  I brought my goodies and some food home.  It took an hour to unload, organize and put my purchases away.  I was singing to some song or other, don't remember what.  I sat down to relax, check emails and tweets, reached into my handbag (where the iPod lives) and.....NO IPOD!

I emptied the bag, muttering OMG OMG OMG!  My heart began to race.  I ran out to the car, under the seats, in the console.  NO IPOD!  OMG OMG OMG.

I began mentally retracing my steps.  Had the iPod out at the grocery, checking items off in my grocery list app.  So sure I put it back in the zipper compartment before I checked out.  It's gone!  What will I do? no one is going to turn in an iPod.  Someone is doing a happy dance.  With my iPod. 

I grabbed my keys, ready to go back to the store in hopes of a miracle.  Went to turn off the stereo as I left.
Stereo?  When did I turn on the stereo?  Oh.

Lookie there, in the iPod dock with the speaker.  Thank God, Hubby dear was not home to witness my meltdown.  He'd still be laughing.  The jerk.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yes, you can go home again. pt2

So, here we were, less than a year after the move.  We were counting on Mom being around a few more years.  We'd barely settled into our little space at the back of the house and suddenly, we had an entire house to live in.  As the estate is settled, my brother will take over the mortgage for the time being and we'll pay rent. In time, I'll jointly own the property with him. It was made clear, if Hubby dear and I made this move, I intend to live the rest of my life here.

As we were redecorating the rooms in the back of the house we discovered a lot of "treasures".  The room we made into our bedroom was my parents room.  My parents chose to have separate rooms after the kids were all moved.  For five  or so years it was my Daddy's room.  He was a pack rat (a trait I've inherited) we found keys from cars long gone and locks that no longer exist.  An entire cabinet of knick knacks we had given him for birthdays, Father's days, and Christmases.  He was a Freemason, and there were dozens of books and trinkets from his time there.  I never knew Daddy to be a reader, but there were books I've not had time yet to explore.

Mom's things are more material, we siblings have our work cut out for us, trying to decide what to do with most of it.  She was busy for the last few years giving away or selling stuff. She has left little of her personality behind.  Her collection of swans and some puzzle books.  Since the house was also where Daddy grew up, I think she never made it her own.

That it was Daddy's home was made more apparent by the discovery of many of his mother's things still in the house.  My father's mother died in 1952 of cancer.  When she died my grandfather put all of her belongings in old steamer trunks and suitcases.  There are hundreds of pictures, a collection she had of postcards from 1910 until her death.  Utility statements from the 40's and 50's, letters from her family and friends, old dishes and kitchen utensils.  I often use a box grater that was hers.  I have found and read a few books that were hers.  And we haven't even begun to really sort through the trunks, they have her clothes and other personal belongings in them.  An adventure to come.

The property itself was neglected since Daddy died, and actually before.  Daddy was never a handyman.  He mowed grass.  And Mom's peonys.  We've reclaimed a lot of the yard, and the older neighbors have said it's the first flowers and gardens they've seen.  Although it's said Daddy's mother had roses and such.  We still see the irises she planted, and the pink tulips.  I remember those being around when I was a kid.  She had planted red cedars and they're still here.  Hubby dear's biggest complaint this summer was the cicadas.  He's never heard as many as loudly.  To me, they're a flashback to childhood.  They were perfect to me.

The transition was easier for me, I grew up here.  It took Hubby dear most of July.  He still watches TV in the back, I'm more actively in the main part of the house. As we're making this adjustment, we're starting to think about how we will remake this space into our own home. The room that was Mom's is in disarray, it will become our family room, and the makeshift living room in the back will return to its original purpose.  It will become a guest bedroom, a place for my grandson and the soon to arrive granddaughter to stay overnight.
This is a work in progress.  But I feel like I've come home.  All of my dream houses have had their roots in this house.  This is where I belong.  I am Home.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yes, you can go home again. pt1

I remember hearing a long time ago the saying "you can never go home again".  I have to disagree. 

From 1988 to 2009, Hubby dear and I made our home in a 70's vintage mobile home.  It was 12' x 60' with a tip out.  The appliances which apparently came with it were harvest gold.  But it was home, on a reasonble sized lot in a mobile home park.  We were content with our small space.  We had made the little lot special with several mini-gardens and a fancy deck.  We even carved out room for a small veggie garden.

Then, in fall of 2008 my mother fell and broke a hip.  When she came home we realized there was a lot of work that needed to be done on the old house she lived in if it was to remain habitable.  Selling it was out of the question.  My siblings and I grew up there, and it was the one thing always promised to one of my brothers.  So, Hubby dear and I began to look into what it would take to fix the bad spots on the roof, evict the numerous racoons that had decided to make the attic home, and repair a few other things.  Fortunately, her home owners insurance covered that mess.

Two weeks later, Mom called.  The dining room ceiling had fallen.  Again, Hubby dear and I headed over to see what had really happened.  It was a suspended ceiling, and we thought maybe a couple of the tiles had fallen.  No, the entire suspened ceiling, rails and all had come down, probably due to the attic work the previous month.  Well, more phone calls, more hiring of fix-it people to replace the ceiling.  Brother had to pay for this, and he did without question.  We also put in a new laminate floor and painted the dark brown paneling a bright yellow.  Mom loved her new room.

After this incident, I sat down with Hubby dear and suggested maybe, just maybe one of we five siblings ought to move in with Mom.  I knew neither brother was wanting to be caretaker.  My two sisters weren't interested either.  Hubby dear knew where this was headed.

I told him we had a choice.  Move in and try to prevent the problems, or keep getting phone calls and cleaning up the mess.  After a lot of discussions between ourselves and with Mom, we finally decided to give up our little home and come back (for me) home.

I took the first seven months of 2009 to open the to back rooms to become our private living room and bedroom.  They had been closed since my father had passed away in 2004.  We emptied the rooms of accumulated stuff, we painted and floored.  Then we began packing.  It's amazing how much stuff you can get into a 12' x60' trailer over 20+ years.  Finally, in September 2009, we moved ourselves and pets into Mom's house. 

It worked out better than I had hoped.  Hubby dear had two acres of yard to play with, and we had a start at gardens as we had also moved as many of our plantings from the trailer park as we could.  We replaced the water heater within the first six months, one phone call that didn't have to be made.  I cooked meals for the three of us.  Mom had been eating from the microwave, if she remembered to eat.  She enjoyed our pets, they would visit her if I was at work and Hubby dear was outside.  We put a hummingbird feeder outside the dining room window, Mom spent her days at the dining room table doing puzzles and watching TV, she had never seen hummingbirds at a feeder.  We had other feeders where she could see the goldfinches, cardinals, and house finches.  Outside this window we also planted rose bushes, Mom always wanted a rose garden.  She said she was glad we had moved in with her.

Then, the first week of July, Mom had to be hospitalized.  With the heat this year, we guessed she had become dehydrated.  The ER doctor thought the same, some fluids, rest and a little rehab, and she'd be fine.  We were wrong.  The next day her kidneys began to shut down, followed quickly by the rest of her body.  She passed four days after her admission.  This was not part of the future I had seen....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Can I Do This?

Alrighty then!  I have been inspired to attempt blogging.  I have no clue what I'm doing or what I'll write about.  My life is a chaotic jumble of the mundane and insane.  I'm prone to political rants, yet sometimes I pleasantly surprise myself with a deep thought.  Although those deeper thoughts are probably planted in my psyche by the glowing eyes of one of my cats. 

As I sit at this keyboard, I am having a blank moment.  I can think of no rant.  There is no thought, deep or otherwise in my head.  Hmmm, fail.  Or not, after all I am sitting here.  I am typing.  We'll just see how this goes.