Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Perception vs. Reality

In a sleep deprived fog of hours spent trolling the intrawebz for things that would make me laugh when the temptation is to crawl in bed and see how long I can hold my breath... I started catching up on the adventures of one of the funniest writers in the blogiverse. After weeks and even months of allowing my own blog to gather dust while my circular thinking kept me paralyzed and unable to do much more than play time management games on gameshouse games, because beating those games proves I can actually manage time and accomplish something... even if it is totally fake.

Okay, there was supposed to be a wonderful sentence to end that paragraph and tie it into a cohesive little bow of rationalization. It didn't happen.

So, reading this other blog has given me the gift of laughing fluids out my nose and spastic-ally trying to shield the keyboard when laughing fits strike. It has also inspired me to decide "What The Heck" and blog whatever rambling nonsense can ooze its way from my frighteningly disordered sloth brain. I've been so tied up in my own convoluted restraint and protective wall things for so long that... did I mention I'm having a productive day if I manage to leave the house (or my room) for more than church?

I wrote a comment that turned into a blog post. The hours of composition in the pre-dawn light gave way to the first bit of writing I've done in recent memory that made me laugh to write it.

It even made me laugh to read it aloud to Charlie... and to rapid-fire edit 29 times in 20 minutes.

Charlie didn't seem to find it so funny. He didn't make a sound. (He now says that is because he had his Listening Hat on and was fighting not to laugh so he wouldn't get his butt chewed for not listening.)

Until I read him the one comment The entry has received... a very tentative and concerned seeming [hug] and then he bursts forth with belly laughter... and I think, that wasn't supposed to be the punchline. The humor was not meant to be in the very concern displayed by the well-meaning and loving individual(s) reading the post and thinking "Back away slowly, she's gonna blow!"

Even now, in a state of second, third and infinity guessing myself, I'm also rebelling... DAWGONEIT! This is a good thing! A little technicolor keyboard diarrhea is exactly what I need to break out of my self-imposed expectation to be the funniest, wisest, most awesomely radical Follower of Jesus willing to love the unlovable and not get caught up in the meaningless details like "is saying shit a sin?" person who is the just the epitome of all things bright, beautiful, poignant and still crap your pants funny in all the web.

I may never achieve that lofty if delusional status... but I can certainly acknowledge my brain is currently broken and hiding it ain't gonna fix it. Got to drag that craziness into the glaring light of an LCD monitor where it loses its fangs and shrivels with a high-pitched wicked witch of the west kind of keening cry before transforming into the Joy of the Lord best exemplified in the ideal Proverbs 31 Woman... Or at least can be revealed to be not quite so shamefully crazy as I'd feared.

But if I'm going to seem like I've lost my mind, I may as well enjoy it. SO I DON'T CARE THAT STATCOUNTER SAYS I'VE HAD 24+ UNIQUE VISITORS TO THE PREVIOUS POST WITH ONLY ONE ACTUAL COMMENT. I don't care that my stretched to the breaking point brain takes that to mean all at least 2 dozen people are quietly pitying my pathos...


I wouldn't object to the occasional reminder that people aren't waiting for the news of my commitment or even that they can relate to some of the scribbling...

BUT I DON'T CARE! really... if what I percieve to be milk-through your nose hysterical is actually frightening and disturbing to others... this is about HEALING!

Let the catharsis begin!

God is Watching!!! (Or What Was Supposed to Be a Comment to Hyperboleandahalf)

Last year we agreed to take in one of our nearly-adult kid's friends for a few weeks. NAK's friend was crazier than a shithouse rat and louder on his own than my rambunctious and ADD-riddled progeny had ever been as a group. Had I known before offering our couch that Jesus had recently healed this young man of Paranoid Schizophrenia after the latest round of hospitalization and ECT I might have been able to find a nice way of explaining that we had our legal limit of Crazy in the house already and would be toying with the laws of nature if we added even a little bit more. You know how he knew he was healed? Jesus stepped off the pages of his bible and told him so, to his face! And He told him in Olde English, because no matter what any historians want to believe... Jesus sounded like King James when He spoke and as a result the KJ version of the bible is THE ONLY ONE THAT CONTAINS TRUTH. All others are an abomination by their very existence.

But I transgress...

One week into his stay I wanted to drop him off (read: shove him out) at the local homeless shelter from an only slightly slowed van but Hubby said "We've never turned anyone away. We won't start now." I argued that sometimes exceptions must be made, especially when a delusional young man is taking advantage of your relatively warm couch while ramming his divinely inspired version of The Gospel According to TIM down everyone's throat and calling the family's pastor to tattle on what terrible Christians we were. Also, when my tenuous hold on sanity is slipping, the cause needs to GET THE &#%$ OUT!

Two weeks into his stay I overheard a conversation that told me everyone else in the house was on the ragged edge too.

Delusional Kid: (to another member of the household) Is that your bible? *points to little camo-covered New Testament on coffee table*
Other Member of Household: Yeah.
Delusional Kid: Do you read it?
Other Member of Household: Wh... why?
Delusional Kid: Can I have it?
Other Member of Household: No man, we use the pages for rolling blunts.

Around that same time, the Oldest Child Still Living at Home accidentally made deviled eggs with Delusional Kid's eggs (the only thing he'd purchased with his own money while happily cooking complete meals for himself from food intended to feed eight other people as well) then within minutes of his outraged discovery had replaced them with a 2 1/2 dozen carton. That sin was so egregious that everyone in the house was reminded of it on a daily basis until Hubby finally snapped and explained that while he would love and pray for Delusional Kid, he would do it at a distance and Delusional Kid needed to get out before my Rage Filled Mountain of Head of Household Man flayed him alive, seasoned him and turned him into Asshole Jerky.

So it was that three weeks into this particular chapter of OMGWTFBBQ (a period of time even our church family thought was three months) Tim/Delusional Kid made his exit from our backdoor while passive aggressively offering his remaining food (you mean the EGGS?) to the rest of the family...
"It's not like I have anywhere to keep them... sleeping on the ground... using my jacket as a pillow... in the bitter cold. So you may as well keep them and eat to your good health."

The scene had been so loud and entertaining... because everyone likes when Dad/Hubby/Head of Household is angry as long as they aren't the Objet De Ire (that's french for "Top of the Crap List")... that every member of the household was gathered in the kitchen to wave goodbye to our former guest. In the silence after his departure, Oldest Child Still Living at Home opened the fridge to see what vast stores of food were left for us and pulled out the egg carton. She looked at it and immediately went into such convulsions of laughter that I briefly thought she was having a seizure... until she showed me the carton. Scrawled across the top of the carton, in several places and font sizes (is big scribbles a font?) was the following warning... "TIM'S EGGS. DO NOT TOUCH. 1 DOZEN + 1 EGG. GOD IS WATCHING!!!"

Anyway, your post reminded me of that... but a Klonopin should stop the flashbacks.

Oh and thanks for giving me a blog post.


And Just For Fun- The actual comment I posted...

Okay, it started out as a comment but then I was unceremoniously informed my comment was too large and so I made it into a blog post, just for you... but I know you're too Busy and Successful and Good Self-Esteem-y to have the time to read it, I'm going to leave the link anyway because I'm self-flagellating that way..


My description of Delusional Kid is in no way intended to be offensive to or derogatory toward ShitHouse Rats. Many of my dearest and closest friends have been rats and while none have been of the ShitHouse variety, even Fancy Rats understand that a Rat cannot be held accountable for his birthplace.

Also, no offense is intended toward the mentally ill, the somewhat unstable or the slightly neurotic. You're the people I prefer to hang out with anyway.

Oh, and I don't mean to discount the possibility that Jesus can or has healed people of serious neurological disorders, it's just that I tend to question the validity of the claim when said healed person is still clearly delusional and then gets mad at your church leadership for not letting him sing, preach or take over the bible college classes after his first 2.3 minutes in the building. I mean, seriously... When someone has to be told that return visits will be met with a police presence you can usually rest assured it's not a case of Prophet Persecution.

I'm pretty sure there's at least one other potentially offended group I have yet to reassure but it's been, like, 45 hours since I last slept and about 32 of those hours have been spent reading a computer screen and I'm pretty sure there is some tiny print somewhere on the computer monitor box warning of Contacts Melting to Eyeballs from such extreme exposure so I'm going to step away from the computer and count the cracks in my slightly quivering eyelids.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Requisite Post

Yesterday was a blur of babies and missed opportunities to nap. Oh, and tie-dying all of Dora's white clothes. Should have taken pics before Krys left. They came out really nice and it was a lot of fun. Charlie blames me for 'hippy' kids and grandkids. He's just going to have to suck it up.

Keeping up with the change things but spending entirely too much time inside my own head. That never ends well... so next week, perhaps it would be a good idea to find something that draws me out of the cave before I throw myself to the monsters lurking in the darkness there.

Sometimes I really believe the fragmented person I was then had a hell of a lot more going for her than the supposedly whole person I am now. When it comes right down to it, I liked the Crew better than I like myself and for all my talk about accepting myself, I confused liking my cast of characters with liking Marisa.

I'm turning off comments for this post. It's all I can manage to be that raw and honest right now... Don't have the capacity for input just yet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Freeform Friday

It's nice to sit down with a subject and a few thoughts on said subject before opening a new post page... but I've been thinking and thinking and then the room started to fill with smoke and I gave up. So whatever comes to mind it is...

John's sense of humor is awesome. The First Place winner of his middle school's spelling bee posted the following status on Facebook in response to queries about the winning word: "i forget teh winnin werd sumthin in teh 'Godforsaken' catagory".

One of the most wonderful things about my family is knowing I can count on a true belly laugh at least once a day.

I've been playing on youtube again...

Yes, I am that grandmother. And Becka's that Mom (offscreen left) and Rachel's that Aunt (offscreen right).

Babysitting (borrowing) Dora for the night so Krys and Steve can have a night out on his birthday.  They're going midnight bowling. Dora keeps their schedule so she's usually up until about 2am. So I'm tossing back coffee spiked with coffee shots. The corner gas station gives them away with the creamer and I grab one every time I get a refill.

Wow, that sounds pathetic. I'm such a java junkie... but still a non-smoker so I'll worry about the caffeine another time.

I can't say enough how much Charlie and I are enjoying the grand-parenting gig. It's not just the babies... there's something about Charlie holding an infant that makes me fall in love with him all over again, every time. Krys and Becka are beautiful Moms and it's a joy to see the parents with their little ones.

Cleo, the adorable little kitten I bottle fed and played mama cat to, is pregnant. We're expecting the kittens just about any time. We're fairly certain she managed this before we had the AC replaced and could close all the windows. I didn't think she'd gotten out after that... but won't really know until the kittens are born. It's frustrating... We've been scraping together car money for the last few months and missed the chance to get her spayed before procreation. As much fun as it is to have kittens in the house, we really don't need to be the crazy cat family... oh, wait... forgot, we already are the crazy cat family. *sighs*

Random statement that reminded me we'll never be a normal family... "You'd better not be making biscuits on that yoga ball, cat. You pop it while I'm sitting on it, we're gonna have words."

Soda can tab chain mail

When Krys and Steve came over, I was about a quarter of the way through the above project. Krys asked why I was making it (I can and have made linked steel chain-mail) and I shrugged and said "Because I can." I'm a craft collector, especially those that involve repurposing materials. I'll try any new craft at least once.

Not long after Krys and Steve left for their date, Daniel came in, hinted around about how many tabs it would take for a wearable shirt, speculated on how comfortable it would be then suggested we drink more soda... and I thought, that is why I'm making it. If it can impress Daniel and engage him in positive verbal interaction, I'll beg on the streets (or online) for tabs and build him an entire suit if he'd like. I might even be willing to buy more soda... but would rather not have to go that far. I like my family with teeth.

So, yeah... if you live nearby and you drink from aluminum cans, save the tabs for us. I need to find someone who drinks Red Bull. The tabs are different and it'd be fun to use those for a bracelet.

Lazy hair pic. This is immediately after putting it up, after applying smoothers and de-frizzers and before leaving the apparently protected air of the bathroom... because here it almost looks good. Daniel said something earlier today about me looking young. (I resisted the urge to ask if he was looking for something) John then came up to me, fluffed the frizz at my temples and suggested that "without those" I'd look even younger. "Yes, dear. Thank you. Now go away."

It may have been a fluke, as we haven't been able to repeat it and teething babies can be fussy that way... but yesterday, Becka and I were fairly certain Elena was freaked out when I had my hair down. Granted, it was the hideous Trelawney look... but I took my hair out of the ponytail, looked at Elena and she started to shriek. Put my hair back up and she instantly stopped and smiled at me. Curious, I took my hair down again and shook it out. Elena flipped out. Put it up, giant toothless grins. I did it one more time to be certain, while Becka giggled and I resisted the urge to grab the electric clippers and pull a britney spears... Not sure if I feel sorrier for Elena or myself.

Charlie and Daniel are going to fix a few things on the car tomorrow... Thank God for that car. It's getting too cold for sitting in the back of a truck to get around town. I was beginning to think the boys would have to keep sleeping bags in the truck to stay warm.

When I asked Daniel about his increasingly fluffy sideburns, he informed me he's NOT shaving until he first grows a beard. He's not waiting until he's "35 or something like that". It almost (but not quite) makes me miss the days when stinky feet were his biggest hygiene/grooming issue.

Hmmm.... not sure this is going to be a satisfying way to post... but I missed one day and did not want to miss a second. Technically, I have anyway as it's now half an hour into Saturday morning.

Thursday, fulfilled all the change guidelines... today I slept way late and mostly hung out with the babies. I'm not able to stay up late anymore just because I want to. As previously stated, it requires chemical assistance even with the extra sleep. However, bouncing on a yoga ball with fussy babies in my lap totally counts as exercise so it's all good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Those Days

You know those days... when the crap seems to hit the fan with frightening frequency?

This wasn't one of those days... until I woke from an afternoon nap to find it was now too late to make church.

I should have gone anyway.

But then, some long needed issues have been addressed with the teens in the house and I believe sincere effort will be made to affect change... at least until they forget and the cycle starts again... *face palm*

Okay, I'm being a little dramatic. It's been a good day. As Krys put it, it was a "Momma, daughter day".

Krys needed some dental work done so we headed to downtown Charleston and the Dental School clinic.

Okay, I know dental work and good day don't seem as though they should fit together... but they did. We got there at an awkward time so they did the exam and the work almost 2 hours apart, giving us plenty of time to take a long walk and short lunch together. Were we both in better shape, we could have make it all the way to Noeli's resaurant. Maybe next time.

Years ago, when Krys still lived at home and The Crew were a daily part of our lives, Krys and I would make the occasional midnight run to Walmart for milk or some other necessity. We used these late night excursions to talk, bond and to just cut loose and be silly in a place where you can do that and not get a second look. When C was here, that was taken from Krys. For two years, I couldn't get alone time with any of the kids without major drama and competitive bull-crap. After Krys moved out, the opportunity to have that bonding time... well, let's just say there was a dry spell.

Krys and Becka both enjoy their Daddy time and they spend a good bit of time talking as father and daughter. Due in part to the current bout with depression, in part due to different lives and different interests and in part to I don't know what... Mom and daughter time has been pretty scarce.

For a little while I even entertained some silly thoughts that Krys didn't want to hang out with me. I even cried on Charlie's shoulder about it. Then, just before Dora was born, Krys and I had an afternoon pretty much to ourselves. It seemed like forever since we'd talked like we did that day and simply enjoyed our time together. Today was another one of those days.

I shared with the three girls last night my secret paranoid fear that growing up with a mentally ill mom would leave them wanting to get as far away from home as possible as soon as possible. I've always had a fear my kids would want to distance themselves. It was tough to admit out-loud. I've shared similar concerns before... but last night was more of a "I'm sorry for all of the things you guys had to deal with and I want you to have your own lives and move where ever you find happiness but I hope it isn't so far away that you never want to come home and I don't get to see you and your children as they grow." They were reassuring, of course... but days like today truly set me at ease.

I don't want the kids to feel dependent on us for help in their adult lives or as if we're trying to maintain control but I also want to be there when and where I can. Krys thanked me for accompanying her to the dentist and all I could think was how glad I am that she wanted me there and I could spend that time with her and Dora.

It was a good day.

Change One Thing
- Walked for at least an hour, carrying both my over sized purse and the diaper bag. I think under the circumstances and the way they were carried, that counts as extra resistance. So I can count that as a workout.
- All the walking was outside. BONUS twofer.
- Hung out downstairs with Rachel for an hour.
- Too pooped for onerous chores but did finish a hat.
- Wrote... again... *gasps*

This is enough to get a good start. I'll work to keep consistent through November and work to change other things as these become part of the routine... but I'm definitely hopeful that it's been a good start and a little more thought out than my usual efforts.

So, yeah... hoping this writing thing gets easier again. When I start composing posts in my head, I'll know it's there.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ooo, Tuesday!

You tease me, Tuesday... with all your "I'm so much better than Monday" talk... but I know better. You drag me out of bed early only to toss me on my rear in the center of the middle school car-rider lane. Okay, so it was better than the middle of a road or highway but couldn't you at least have let me get to a place that didn't COMPLETELY block traffic and draw every eye in my direction? The roll out of bed, throw on yesterday's clothes, try to pull the mop into a reasonable ponytail look is NOT my best.

Should have taken a picture.

Charlie told me he'd never seen a ball joint snap the way this one did. The bolt was found a few feet from the truck, sheared in half. A teacher who stopped by to see if he could help made the same statement. Charlie just replied that only his wife could do that kind of damage to a vehicle. *sighs* I'll never live down the Cadillac Eldorado. So you shouldn't drive a car 250 miles without oil. I know that now. I still say it wouldn't have happened if he'd kept the car he had before the Caddy (HOTT '67 Chevy Nova he'd restored himself). The Caddy's death was God telling him the trade was a mistake.

While Charlie, Krys and Steve were struggling with the monster truck at the school, Daniel asked me to explain the ball joint. I said that in vehicles with independent suspension, the ball joint is just like the ball joint in your hip or shoulder. That basically what happened this morning was the truck fell and broke a hip in the school driveway. I know this information because I helped Charlie replace a ball joint... possibly even on the blasted Caddy.

The fact that I not only know what a ball joint is but can also explain it using an understandable analogy, yet can't help my kids with math homework disturbs me.

Then again, the boys are learning about cars too and each of my daughters knows more about cars than their respective significant others ever have. It's resulted in some hurt pride on the part of more than one male, but I think it's awesome. They know enough to diagnose and repair the basics. They aren't helpless little girls. That's a good thing.

I'm rambling... Waiting for the good news from Charlie that they found a vehicle.

*2 hours later*

He bought a Lexus. A silver, '98 Lexus. For the price we could afford.

'Scuse me while I go give thanks.

And Tuesday? You're forgiven. This time.

Change One Thing
- 15 minutes outside- This was unplanned but hey, it works. Doesn't matter if I'm outside due to a broken down truck or if I'm intentionally soaking up vitamin D... 15 minutes is 15 minutes.
- Well over 15 minutes sorting through Mama's stuff. There's more space in my room (still not all the way there) and some things can now be relocated to the garage.
- Yesterday it was shoulders and upper body, today abs and lower back... wow... tomorrow I might even take a walk!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Haircut Hell

I'm so jealous of my daughters. All three of them can just randomly state "I'm cutting my hair.", do it and there's never any drama. Even with Rachel's waves, which did create a little bit of discomfort when she chopped off her hair earlier this year, she can still cut and go. The last haircut was a bit of a 'screw you' to her ex who disliked the idea of short hair entirely. After 2 years of broken promises, she felt entitled to do something for herself without checking with him first. Considering all the ways a hurting woman can get revenge on an ex, I think Rachel chose the most productive and healthy route. I wish she'd been able to leave her hurt on the floor with the 4 pounds of hair she shed. But I digress...

This is supposed to be about me!

Kidding... just kidding.

Well, only slightly. Just haven't gotten there yet.

Rachel has been straightening her hair. She has an audition for an acting scholarship (among other things) on Sunday and her hair looks far more polished and dignified straight. So, with that in mind, she had Krys trim her hair to just slightly shorter than chin length. It looks awesome. She'll do a great job this weekend going from the slightly scorched (physically and emotionally) animalistic character she plays in Saturday's competition to Sunday's poised and polished young actress doing a monologue.

Here's where some of the jealousy kicks in. As Krys put it, "With your face, short hair makes you look butch, Mama." I really wish I could wear the style Rachel has right now... I mean without looking like the stereotypical white, southern grandmother... or like the male in my relationship. Now you know my stand on negative sexual stereotypes but come on... when someone says 'butch' does a feminine picture come to mind?


After Krys finished Rachel's hair, she started on her own. She's taking 6 inches of length off her hair and it's still shoulder length... it still goes from auburn at the tips to blonde in the center to dark blonde/light brown at the roots. Somehow she carries that look well. It's been less than 2 years since she cut her hair chin length and this is how much it's grown.

If I wore my hair this length, it would look like Dark Helmet... not the look I'm shooting for.

Becka's hair is currently past her backside and longer than a micro-mini skirt. She's cutting 22 inches of it this week for charity and her hair will STILL be past her shoulders.

She could cut her hair shorter than it's been since she was a thumb-sucking toddler and it'd probably be past her shoulders in 6 months. Don't hate her because she's beautiful. Hate her because you want her hair.

Did I mention that not only does their hair grow with above average speed, it's as thick or thicker than their Daddy's hair? The same Daddy who decided to grow his hair long when Krys was a toddler and had a ponytail halfway down his back by the time Becka was born? The boys are the same. They need to see the barber monthly or I lose track of their facial features.

Becka's hair is totally straight... so much so it won't even take a curl for more than a few minutes. Krys has waves but not curls. Rachel has a lot of curl but manages to tame it down to waves.

My hair... well, my hair was once upon a time as straight as Becka's. Then I hit puberty. With each successive child, it has grown curlier and curlier. Something I dreamed of as the only straight haired child in a curly haired family. And I admit, it has it's moments now, when it's finally below my shoulder blades. It's back to the length it was when cutting it short was a necessity because i couldn't lift my arms long enough to even gel my hair, much less braid it or blow it dry. It's taken many years to get back to this length. My hair grows at the rate of a sloth on barbiturates.

I like this length.

Except when I don't.

Now that summer is over and keeping my hair off my neck and out of my face is no longer an issue of survival, I still can't get out of my head the image of the halo of frizz surrounding the too sweaty face that has been my visage since mid-March.

Plus, I'm lazy. If I can wear my hair up and out of my face, I will. Except it rarely looks good that way. Whether I wear it up or down, it requires lots of gel, and smoothing... stuff and anti-frizz spray or pump oils and prayers and contortions and it feels like I'm using my head as a cauldron and getting the curls just right requires a particularly difficult potion and if I get the mixture wrong, I'll end up looking like I have a head full of slightly rusted steel wool... texture included. (or if that offends, my hair is a souffle and if not handled properly it falls flat. Sorry. That analogy just doesn't work) No matter how perfect the look when it's done, if it goes up in any sort of style, wings sprout from my temples and wave to draw attention to themselves.

Which brings me to mumbling something about "just shaving my head". Which, if said within Charlie's earshot, sets off a PTSD like reaction from him where he curls in a ball and puts his hands up to protect himself from the memory of the crazy woman raging through her tears about the idiot at the salon WHO CLEARLY FAILED HER COSMETOLOGY COURSES AND I'M NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE AGAIN!

When he's able to relax himself enough to regain the powers of speech, Charlie usually begs me not to or attempts to forbid me getting a haircut without planning weeks in advance and providing him a prescription for a powerful anti-anxiety drug.

It's been 20 years since a haircut reduced me to tears but the reaction is the same.

Usually, I end up hiding in the bathroom while he's out or sleeping and trimming away the split ends that only enhance the Professor Trelawney look I so try to avoid. Then, when he doesn't notice, I casually mention I cut my hair and wait for his brief spell of hyperventilation to pass.

Did I ever mention he doesn't do well with change?

Wouldn't it be cool to wake up and not have to worry that only my autistic son sees the merits of my 'morning curls'... to be able to run a brush through my hair and go? Better yet, wouldn't it totally rock to not have to worry at all? I mean, like, without shaving my head at all? I'm pretty sure that would send Charlie into a genuine cardiac event... or psychotic episode. Neither of which I'm willing to risk.

So what are my options?

Learn to like what I have as it is... high maintenance or no... I prayed for curly hair like my sisters for years. It'd be silly to try giving back the gift.

I'm going to take pictures and post pictures of days and moments when my hair isn't up to scratch... and I'm going to deal with it. If I can learn to accept my face, I can accept the hair that goes with it.

Or the clippers will come out and it all gets shaved off.

Either way, It'll be a change.

Ack *cough* Spores

I've unleashed something in my bedroom. Don't know if it's the moth balls, the mold on the leather or 40 years of whatever can grow in the dark and damp. It's all over my bedroom floor, in piles related to subject... most of what is certainly trash has been taken care of (Don't tell Momma I called anything trash, please. When she's not angry with Charlie's older brother Jerry, she still reminds us of the great emotional and sentimental devastation we caused when the church pulled a hoarder's intervention on her in '99.)

The pictures are awesome. The jewelry ranges from total costume junk to some truly lovely fine jewelry. There's all Daddy's (That would be Charlie Sr.) medals from Korea, all the news clippings from the rape and murder of the 14 year old aunt Charlie never met... and the subsequent stories from the trial... the amount of ammunition found stored next to the the mint condition vintage car Avon decanters is mind boggling.

This is my third time trying to consolidate three trunks to one. It's getting easier to recognize the difference between the envelopes marked "very important papers" and papers that should be preserved. I'm pretty sure the records of bills paid in 1984 are no longer necessary. The actual insurance policy is important but everything the company has ever sent... not so much.

Honestly, this is the stuff I love doing... but today it's interfering with the ability to breathe. Time for some benadryl and a break.

It frustrates me to no end the computer has decided to quit recognizing the scanner. These stiff and crackling snapshots from 50 and 60 years ago need to be preserved... and I'd love to show off what an adorable toddler Charlie was. One way or another, we'll get them all saved digitally.

What to do with 75 pounds and 20 years worth of Happy Meal toys is something I don't know how to tackle. I'm fairly certain the possible value of even the rarest item will be outweighed by the time it will take to unearth is, research it, clean it, and try to sell it.

Okay, with or without a player, the Beatles 8 track stays.

Krys is on her way over with Dora. I need to get this stuff packed back in the trunk and hope the air clears a bit before they get here. It's Grandma time.

Oh, and for the record, I've written, worked on an overwhelming chore and hung out downstairs... that and 15 minutes of PT exercises for my shoulders. Yeah.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Start something new, lose access to the computer. Well, I had access... just not more than a minute or two and nowhere near enough to sit and write.

On the upside, I got my 15 minutes downstairs and 15 minutes outside, soaking up the sunshine (while I still can) and will make certain to do the same today. But first, the nap.

For a 'day of rest', Sunday is often the most tiring day because of Praise and Worship. Not complaining or anything... it's a good excuse for a nap. But it's something that involves body, soul and spirit... that can be draining.

A friend is helping me revamp the look of this thing. Can't wait to see what she's come up with.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Change One Thing 2.0

Yesterday I changed something about the house that has the effect of changing my comfort level. It's a good start but the whole 'change one thing' idea is more about changing me, my outlook and my physical health. Perhaps not entirely, as changing things in my environment can also serve to help improve life in general for the family as well as me. What's most important is making changes, a little at a time, that have a positive effect.

Rules. Hmmm... not sure it's a good idea to set actual rules. Silly as it sounds, that's an almost instant guarantee that I'll pressure myself right out of doing anything after only a few days.

Guidelines. Yeah, guidelines could work.

As for the house, changing one thing can be anything from doing an avoided large chore I can do on my own to simply rearranging a shelf. It doesn't have to be every single day just yet as it's important not to take on more than I can physically handle and end up stressing myself into overdoing it. For now, I'll limit household changes to anything I can do in less than half and hour. This does not count the day to day responsibilities of being mom/wife/grandma.

The personal changes seem small to me right now and I'm determined to stop judging myself so harshly. If it's small, it's small. We all know how quickly small stuff adds up so I'm setting, well, I guess it is a rule that I can't ever tell myself a change isn't enough. If it's made, then darn it, it's enough.

I could list all the things that immediately jump to mind as far as needing change but again... I'm trying to do this without overwhelming myself and shooting myself in the foot at the start... so no list.

What I will do is explain each change. In all those DID recovery years, the why of things was pretty darned important. It gave clarity and helped fix the point of whatever was being dealt with at the time.

So, today I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and spending 15 minutes sitting downstairs in the living room. That time will be spent reading, knitting or talking with the kids. It will not involve reminding kids about chores, homework, behavior or any other 'orders'. It will not involve me doing any household-y work of any kind. I won't distract myself from the discomfort of hanging out in a room that's not my bedroom. I'll do this each day until it stops being something I have to consciously decide to do. When that happens, I can extend the time and use it for more productive purposes. For now, it's about getting out of my room for no other reason than to do it.

Oh, and to keep myself accountable, I plan to chronicle the effort. Even if I don't post more than a sentence, I'll post something daily. I need this outlet, this medium and I'll never get back to it if I keep telling myself there's no point unless I have something 'important' to say. pbfft. That's got to be one of my lamest excuses for avoiding something yet.

So there it is. Today I'll greet the kids as they come in from school instead of expecting them to come upstairs and say hi.

And it is enough.

Managed the 15 minutes... but they weren't all at once. Rachel unexpectedly brought over a friend (STRANGERS!) and Krys brought over boxes of baby clothes to sort. Still, I did manage to just hang out. Took an hour and a half to accumulate 15 minutes but it happened. Overall, an hour and a half downstairs and my head didn't explode and I didn't totally panic. I'd say that's a good start.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Change One Thing

I've been thinking about this for a little while... the idea of simply focusing on changing on thing at a time. Perfectly logical, I know... but as much as I am able to see details, it gets hard not to become buried in them to the point of uselessness.

The living room has been a particular frustration for me. I've simply stopped spending time in that room as much as possible. Really bad way to encourage family time. *sighs* There are a couple of things I can do that won't take too much a toll on my body to improve things. One of those things is the curtains.

Curtains in the living room have been a problem as long as we've lived in the house. They're either too long, giving cats, kids and furniture against the walls something to pull on, or they're too short. One other problem has been that the few decent curtains I've found in thrift stores don't block light, causing TV and fish tank glare that's tough on the eyes. A few months ago, I gave up, cut a couple of old blankets in half and just stuck them in the windows.


Last week, while going through some of Mama's things, I found a couple of sets of matching curtains in her linen closet. I brought them home just in case. They fit. They fit without having to move the rods. They come to less than 1/2 inch below the windowsills and will not get caught between the furniture and the walls. They're thick enough to stop the glare without blacking out the room.

In the grand scheme of things, it's a small one... but being able to have real curtains that do the job is one simple change that will make a huge difference for me. One little thing that makes the idea of being in that room less onerous... meaning doing the chores for which I'm responsible (the kids have finally gotten consistent with keeping it tidy, minus folding their laundry) less stressful.

So today I'll change the curtains. It's only one thing but it's something... and that will have to do. Maybe it will lead to something more.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wanted: Someone familiar with Blogger to help me improve the look of this thing...

yeah, well title says it all.

comment if you're willing.

What to do, what to do

I hate not smoking. There, I said it. I think I hate not smoking maybe even a little more than I hate smoking.

Okay, maybe not more... but more than 2 months into this and i still can't go more than a couple of hours without thinking about a smoke.

It doesn't help that I've achieved the 'average' amount of quit-smoking weight gain and grown right out of my clothes... the size that has fit well since John was born... the size that has been, on occasion, a little loose is now choking me. That constant pressure brings up a whole other set of bad habits I miss.

One of FB friends has been on a weight-loss journey for the last year or so. He's done quite well... but I see pictures of him now and wonder why the hell he's still trying to lose weight? and then I remember the pleasure of the accomplishment and get jealous. He posts his food and exercise journals and all of his other weight-loss trials and I have to admit to wanting to tell him to screw off. Though I think hiding him from my feed is probably the better option. It's not his fault I'm so bothered by it.

And I have to keep telling myself that smoking is NOT a healthy or recommended form of weight control... That's what my Mum said when she started smoking again when I was in my tween years. "I'm only doing it to help me lose weight." She quit again a couple of years later... I never did. At least not before Charlie and I got married.

It's the MDD season again and over the last few weeks I've been more inclined to fall into it than to fight it. THAT is not an option... but I am tired... so freaking exhausted. I want someone to tell me that major depression doesn't have to be a part of my whole life. I know that's not true... but the lie would be nice to hear anyway. Maybe one day I won't have to worry about upping my medication or trying to find something new or how are we going to pay for it... I hate resorting to scheduling every moment of a day so I don't zone out in front of the computer or hide under the covers.

Time was, I could turn on the radio or some CD's and sing my way out of the clouds enough to make fighting more of a positive challenge than a chore. Charlie is officially retired and it's rare that he and Becka's family are all out at the same time. I don't get alone time during school hours anymore and I can't let loose in front of others. Stupid excuse, yeah... but it is what it is.

I want to write more... to come to some positive conclusion... some plan to jerk myself out of this melancholy... but not today. I will say I have made arrangements to get myself out of the house and spending time with other people for tomorrow. At least that's a start.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And if I need reminding...

that I still love dress-up...


They announced an impromptu costume contest Thursday or Friday and I jumped to play along. Of course, that was when I thought John would wear it.

This makes 2 last minute costumes that have won contests. Rachel's Whomping WIllow from a few years ago is still my favorite. Rachel was teasing me this morning (they ran around waking up to the house with the news of my win while I hid my face in my jammies and blushed like crazy) that at least she was only seen by the People Of WalMart... while STM's blog is read worldwide my tens of thousands.

It's an odd feeling when your ego is both stroked and flogged at the same time... and No Jarred... not THAT kind of feeling. :P