Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Arrangements

With a new cart of laptops coming to my new class this year I'm left with a bit of an arrangement problem.  Where am I going to put that thing, so that it will be easily accessible yet out of my way?  I almost considered moving part of my desk, but then realized that in front of the windows might work best.  After all, there's easy access to power.  

What I'll do about not having a board to write on, I'm not sure.  I think I'll make my own from some shower board and duct tape.  At least I'll be able to pull them down for writing, because the walls are unreachable unless I clamber onto the desktops and over the bookshelves.  

I'd still like to install locks on the cabinets somehow. It's aggravating when kids slam the doors though they have no reason to open them.  Oh, and then they scream when a brown recluse spider comes skittering out after them, though I warned them about the spiders in those dark hatches. Duh, some people never learn.  :). I do wish there was a way to get rid of the spiders though.

Fortunately, some of the menfolk at the school helped me out with my equipment storage issues. The custodians carted the big pieces of engineering equipment away to storage along with the accessories.  (Really, it was a lot of stuff to collect dust.  Quality equipment, but dust magnets.  I finally had to make dust covers.). The principal and a science teacher came to scavenge the bridge building equipment, which removed two large basket carts of pieces out of my way.  ;). Hopefully, they'll find more useful stuff as well among the older pieces such as the wind tunnel and the milling machine that I was never able to play with.  

Unfortunately, it seems that there is a misunderstanding that all tables and furniture that aren't permanently attached should be taken from me.  Uh uh! Not so fast!  I can be more more effectively organized if I don't have to cram everything onto my desktop, and that's my intention.  I may not be a silly woman addicted to buying clothes or shoes, but I need my organizing equipment.

I'm sure I'll still be finding materials that can go to storage or someone else for months to come.  I just don't want to keep storing obsolete equipment where it will be in my way.  I'm in the mood to clean house -- at work, at home, and in my personal life.  It's amazing how something you held onto for so long goes from being treasure to trash with a sudden change in perspective, and you wonder why you kept it for so long.

I'm going to start scanning old documents and manuals through the copier and sending the files to myself via email as PDFs so that I can recycle the paper and get it out of my way as well.  I've got a big file cabinet full of "big save-the-teaching-world" ideas that we've been forced to embrace over the years.  Lol. If only something worked that magically, right? 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Confessions

In 11 years I will be eligible to retire from my job.  Now, I don't know if I will be ready to retire at that age or not -- my modest little house won't quite be paid for, and I don't have anyone to help me with the bills, not to mention the fact that I won't be eligible for useful retirement benefits until I'm 70 1/2.  They might be itching to move me out in favor of someone with a much lower salary.  

It's certainly not how I had thought things would go at this point in my life, but as I've learned, it doesn't do me much good to do any life planning.  Smaller things, such as travel, I'm very well suited for planning.  Especially traveling light, with just carryons.  ;)

Actually, I've been thinking about a post-retirement career, and I haven't come up with anything satisfying that I'm qualified to do.  Oh sure, anybody can go work in a store, but that doesn't take two degrees to do, and there's nothing satisfying about dealing with the public.  (Years of experience, LOL). 

I'm open for suggestions.  Ideally, I want to do something creative and artistic, but then again, I feel as though I need some more education in art.  I could see myself working in graphic design, though I'm not formally trained for it. 

There's always fiction writing.  God knows I've been lied to enough to copy other people's lying patterns and spin them into quite the tale.  Sometimes it does take me a little while to catch on that I'm being lied to, but hey, I won't make their confession for them.  If they want absolution, they can get it elsewhere and do their penance.  I'm not in a forgiving mood lately.

I've got to work on being less of an introvert.  The older I get, the more rotten I see that people in general are and it makes me hesitant to seek out the few good people there might be left.  Trust is a major issue for me.  The ones I've trusted most have been the quickest ones to betray me.  I'm afraid their nature might be contaminating -- biting, scratching, clawing, and stomping on other people to get their heart's own selfish desire.  Some little bit of that can be attributed to survival instinct, but humans think that in order to survive, they need to be looking and spitting down on a mass of plebs beneath them.  

Chemically, we are all quite the same carbon-based life forms, though I realize there are some self-proclaimed "better people" who have deluded themselves into thinking they are platinum-based.  Perhaps plutonium-based would be a better description, because they're more destructive than anything else.  

Eh, you'll have to just forgive me.  I was awakened by the sounds of a screaming and howling squabble that brought itself into my yard and the one next door.  *sigh*  Why they have to drag the neighbors into it, I don't know.  I've seen it before.  This time it was just the aftermath I had to hear.  There's just too much drama always being stirred. It's tiring.  

It's time to start planning for my trip to Ireland next year.  I know what you're thinking -- it sounds a bit OCD, but planning now ensures no last-minute rushing around trying to find what I need.  Honestly,this  town is so backwater these days that online ordering for basic supplies is becoming increasingly necessary.  It takes a while for some things to arrive, and I want to modify my luggage, which will take some time to do.  I'll also have someone traveling with me this time, and he might need a few tips. Fortunately he is much bigger and stronger than me, so he will be able to carry his own luggage.  ;)

Confession: My packing will involve collecting travel underwear -- undies that are only good for one more wear, or are just too ragged to be seen by another human.  (My dog doesn't seem to care.  He's rather oblivious about undergarments.) Possibly even stuff that will be too big for me by then, because with my weight loss, my underwear has "gotten larger".  :D. 

I realized recently that I have several pairs of socks which could be mended, but I'd be embarrassed for other people to see... Unless I'm never going to see them again anyway.   They're going in my travel bag.  My colleague who will be leading this expedition already knows my clothing disposal plan, and intends to do the same himself, so I know he won't care that I'm wearing and then leaving threadbare socks in Paris, Dublin, or London.  Hey, I left big chunks of my skin in Venice, after all. I'm not sure, but I think that I don't have scars from those massive wounds.  

I bought wine and liqueur in glass bottles in Italy, and wrapped them in my dirty laundry and tied them with crochet thread I had brought along to make mesh shopping bags with.  Oh, my shopping bags were VERY handy in Europe.  I put all my purchases and water bottles in mine and just carried it all over my shoulder, hands free.  :) I gave one as a gift to our guide.  Working on them gave me something to do when I was bored on the bus (or waiting for it), and occasionally gave me something to talk about. :)  

It was also a way of taking a bit of my mother to Italy with me.  I know she would have liked to have gone, but at least I was able to take something of hers with me.  It was in the upper church of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi that I broke down, because one of the murals reminded me so much of what it was like when she died.  It was so similar to what my mother's bedroom looked like, with just the two of us.  She could not speak, but I heard her anyway.  She wasn't wearing her hearing aid, but I know she heard what I told her.  Some things you just know -- the message gets through despite the fact that the hearer has been nearly deaf her entire life.

I think this time I will take a few crocheted bags already made and have something to give to people that I meet.  :)  I didn't have enough time traveling to make more than two while I was there, but that's okay.  I would rather see the sights than have my nose buried in a crochet project.  :D


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cortisone Injection... Ow...

Yesterday I saw an orthopedist about my chronic hip pain.  They took X-rays, and he twisted both of my legs a bit.  I winced.  Then he gave me a cortisone injection in the bursa at the top of my thigh bone.

I won't lie... It hurt quite a bit, but it wasn't the worst injection I've ever had.  The lidocaine he injected first to numb me hurt worse than the steroid shot did.  First there's the sting of the needle going in, then the pressure as it goes in deep, and then the burning pressure from the medicine itself going in.

It left me with an ugly bruise and a bandaid, but that was the worst of it.  I'll say this for the treatment -- I limped all the way into the office after driving for 45 minutes to get there.  When I left, I wasn't limping.  It was probably the lidocaine at that point which did the trick, but I'm happy that the pain just evaporated.  I didn't believe it was possible.  (I also had no faith that the doctor would really try to help me, but I'm thankful to be wrong about him.)

My drive home yesterday was painless as well.  I got out of the car feeling like I was ten years younger, when usually that involves a painful locked-hips feeling and a lot of staggering.

This morning I was able to get out of bed easily, and without my usual sore-hips-stagger that plagues me on waking or getting up from a sitting position.  I even felt like dancing around a bit while I was making my juice. :)

The absence of that pain makes it a little easier today to pinpoint the literal pain in my butt that came out of jamming my leg in May.  The doctor is going to get my MRI from the neurologist that did nothing for the meralgia paresthetica in my thigh.  He suspects I've got an impinged sciatic nerve, more than just an irritated femoral nerve. In any case, at least he's going to look into it.  I'm thankful somebody's willing to try.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drapes & Trellises

While I'm waiting for my sleeping meds to take effect, I'll take stock of the day.  

I made two batches of juice.  They'll get me halfway through tomorrow, because I had dinner at my sister's house - ribs!  Having access to my juice may be tough though. I'm seeing a bone & joint specialist about my legs, hips, and feet tomorrow morning, and while I'm there, I plan to shop for a few other things I need, like a new running bra.  *sigh* (Hate it, but I can't get by with just any old cheap bra because I have substantial cleavage to support.). 

I'm approaching day 60 on my mostly liquid diet, and yes, I've lost weight.  I look different than I did at the beginning of June, love of my life, if you're reading this.  If it matters.  I suppose I'll continue the same way until I get to my goal weight. Jealous... Oh I'm jealous of those fat people without metabolic disorders like mine, who diet, or juice, or begin to exercise and shed huge amounts of fat fast.  It's slow for me, but I suppose the trade off is that I won't have a saggy skin issue when I'm smaller.

It's easier for me to just drink my juice than to worry about what horrible choices they'll have in the cafeteria a work.  No choices means no worrying for me.

I thought I'd simply go to Lowes and buy some rough wooden stakes to support my rather large tomato plants that have collapsed again.  They said they've been out of them for a while.  So has Tractor Supply.  Even though it's the middle of the growing season, they think it's odd that my plants need support.

Note: Never be unsympathetic to the plight of a woman needing support, whether she needs emotional support, breast support, or even garden support.  We don't take that stuff lightly, especially when we already are reminded often that no one will provide even intangible support.  I mean love, not money.  I've got plenty of money to take care of things, but you can't fix a broken heart with money.  Mine will probably hurt forever. It hurts more than I want to admit, and I don't know what to do about it.

Hey, I found out today that my dad has written me off.  Apparently I'm "not going to always be here" for my older siblings, and he's been saying it for years.  That makes me feel absolutely dead inside.  I mean, what can I possibly do with that comment, that just reeks of "no one will ever love you"?  

Ouch.  :(  Certainly puts my worst fear into words.  And so much for that emotional support.  I don't guess I can blame him, considering I'm the unloveable one. I can't be angry at him but I don't like knowing he has no confidence in me.

Well, I couldn't find anyplace to buy sturdy enough stakes, so I bought 9 of the tallest thick plastic-metal-ish ones they had at Lowes, and went home to build a trellis.  Never underestimate my knotting ability.  I can tie all sorts of stuff up.  Now the tomatoes don't have much excuse to sprawl anymore, and I'll add more trellising as needed.  

While I was at Lowes, I bought the rest of the draperies that I found for my living room.  Then I installed a set of replacement blinds that had been languishing for a while.  I believe I spent around $150 for that window, not including the rod, finials, and existing curtain panel I reused.  Not a problem.... Except for installing all that freaking hardware by myself and without a ladder.  That balancing act took hours, with one foot on the back of the sofa and the other on the narrow windowsill.  Only one large shin bruise, fortunately, and now I have a very classy looking window treatment that I installed to make the windows look both wider and taller.  It looks REALLY pretty! Red & gold. :). 

When I first bought my house, I couldn't afford to spend anything on decorating, and I didn't have any confidence in my ability to decorate a home anyway.  I'm not a very sophisticated woman, which means no man will have to worry that I'll drive us into bankruptcy over fashionable frivolities, but at the same time I'm probably never going to impress the local social climbers enough for them to be cordial to me. (Maybe that's why I get rejected... I'm not fancy enough to impress anyone.)  Considering that I never had faith I'd ever have much male company here anyway, I didn't see the point in dressing the place up.  After all, who would see it but me?

I got rid of the love seat my dog peed on repeatedly because I couldn't stand the smell, and bought a sofa to replace it.  Recently I added a bunch of bookshelves around the tv, and have begun filling them with my library.  It'll take me a while to get things right, but at least now I can afford to fix things up a bit.  Besides, it took me this long to learn about a lot of home improvement tasks, with no one to teach me what I need to know.  I've figured things out for myself, like the tomato trellis and reasoning how to arrange all of the drapery on the wall.  (Drill.  Using a drill was the best thing I did there, though I did break the bit off into the wall.  It was too small for that task and someone (not me) repeatedly bending it weakened it.  No biggie.)




Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Shoes in a New Size ;)

I took a chance last week and ordered myself some shoes that were not wide width, but normal width.   Since my Asics get stretched sideways after I've worn them awhile and my feet have the tendency to roll onto the outer edges, I thought maybe narrower shoes would help.

Since they introduced the new models in my preferred line of shoes (Asics Gel Nimbus 15) the 14s have started dropping in price.  So I thought that I could get a good deal on a narrower pair of shoes for my naughty feet.

In all honesty, I was sad when I found out that the wide versions have only one color choice and they aren't the cool colors that the others come in.  :(. The 14s had a really cool multicolored model that I wanted, but then I discovered that those were only made in "normal" widths, and I'd been sold wides.  Granted, the color choice might be considered rather tacky and loud, but I don't usually look very snazzy when I'm running or exercising, so having some flashy shoes would have given me a thrill. (Other than purple suede pumps 22 years ago, these are the first really colorful shoes I've owned.  I suck at being a fashionista.)

Flash forward to last week when I found a pair of 7.5s, normal width, in hot pink and black! Yowza, they are bright!  I ordered them, hoping that my reasoning was correct and that normal width shoes would fit me just fine.  

When I first tried them on for breaking in yesterday, two toes went numb after awhile.  :(. But you know, that happened with the wide shoes and it prompted me to change my lacing pattern.  It loosened the pressure on the blood vessels on the tops of my feet and I didn't experience any numbness after that.  Relacing also gave me more shoelace length with which to tie double knots.

I decided to take my new shoes for a test run tonight after I walked my dog in them.  I only ran up and down the street, and didn't quite manage a mile, but my feet were happy, even on the hill. Of course, I didn't use the correct app, so I have no idea how fast I ran without my dog.  It felt like a decent speed though.  

I was trying to work myself up to a run all evening, and did a little race research on half marathons.  And wouldn't you know it, I got a little rush of fear-based adrenaline that went straight to my stomach. Fear of running when there is absolutely no pressure to perform.... It doesn't make sense.  What exactly is it I'm afraid of?  

Running in the dark, alone, in my neighborhood.  There's a large number of sex offender and other criminals in my 'hood.  I've looked it up.   
Getting hurt.
Running poorly and disappointing myself.

I'd rather not run alone.  I'd rather run in a better location, and most especially not alone, but I don't like running after dark at my school unless the custodial staff is still on duty.  The same goes for the high school with the award winning mega bucks track and bragging rights football field.  Daytime isn't so bad, but after dark it's creepy.  There's also that contradiction: in the daytime everyone can see you, making it safer, but I don't want people being able to see me run because I worry about how I look.

Oh, it's not that I'm worried my hair will be out of place or some other small cosmetic problem.  I'm concerned that I look like I'm dying a horrible death.  :). When I run, I'd just like for it to look like I'm handling it fine.  Ha ha. Is that possible? 

Wherever I run, whenever i run, I worry that something bad is going to happen to me.  Maybe that's the source of my stomach knots. Some runners need Imodium before they race.  I wonder if maybe I need Xanax before I run so that I can learn to enjoy it and breathe.

Side note: I'm really missing my SPIBelt.  I don't know where it's gone, and I haven't seen it since springtime.  So... If you see an unattended black SPIBelt with a pink zipper around here, please give it back to me.  My other waist pack just flops all around my midsection.  :(




Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Kitten & the Butterfly


Yesterday I woke up determined to present a brighter outlook and shake off the recent depression that has ruined the last bit of my summer break.  Granted, it was already a pretty disappointing summer, because I wanted to fill it with fun & friends.  My friends and family were busy and I didn't get to have any fun, other than the conference I volunteered at and the 5k I ran.  That wasn't fun until it was over, actually.

The night before I had gone to bed and noticed that my sweet little kitten with nerve problems was just gazing at me and blinking, sitting in front of the food and water bowls.  I'd put her there so that she could be closer to her water, and be in the shade on relatively smooth concrete if she needed to drag herself to the monkey grass for a shady hiding place.  

The last few days, each morning she would poke her head out of the very tall and thick monkey grass and cry for me to come and get her out.  So I did that for her, and placed her gently in front of the dishes. I'd found a small low trough for her water so that she wouldn't have to struggle to get a drink.

A little history:  when the kittens were a couple of weeks old, my neighbors found them in someone else's backyard a couple of streets over.  Because I've been feeding the mother cat, they decided that they should go against Rosie's judgment and drag them over to my yard, against everybody's will but their own.  And then they proceeded to come over to my yard, going into the fenced in backyard without my permission, and rambling through my stuff (making a mess pretty often, knocking things down, pulling stuff out of boxes to poke at the kittens) several times a day, resulting in kittens that now run from every human and are too wild to be adopted.  I found out that they were doing it pretty often whenever I left my house.  When I had someone came to look at one of the kittens, they bragged about how they come over "all the time to catch the kittens".  Even though I've asked them not to.

Thanks, and will you NOW please mind your own business and stop trespassing? 

One of the kittens, the smallest and cutest, shook whenever those girls touched her. She couldn't walk on her toes, and used the entire first segment of her back legs to move, flat on the ground.  I'm sure it didn't help that the older culprit grabbed her, turned her on her back in her hand, and then shook her, saying something was wrong with her.  

Yeah? You think?!?  And do you think it's okay to treat a small living thing like an etch-a-sketch and shake it? Do you treat your toddler that way?

Enough about my anger with the neighbors.

The kitten progressively got worse, losing her ability to use her back legs (they developed scabby knees from being dragged), losing bladder and bowel control, and then her front legs started losing strength.  I brought her food and water and tried to keep her in the shade.  My dog tried to take care of her, gently nudging and licking her.  He wanted to go out very frequently to check on her.  

So, night before last she kept looking at me when I went in, and I felt so sad because she was so lonely looking, out there by herself.  Her mother and siblings were ignoring her, and had been for a few days.  

When I went to let my dog out, she was lying there, dead in the sun, on the edge of the carport. Her mother was meowing pitifully on the steps.  I think that she was trying to drag herself across the concrete and the heat killed her.  My dog was very confused and kept trying to nudge her awake.  

So I spent some time early yesterday afternoon digging a grave for her in my backyard, and crying so hard the whole time I couldn't tell the difference between my sweat and my tears.  I was hoping my neighbors all around couldn't hear me because I didn't want to explain how horrible I felt about my kitten having had such an unfair life and death.  

I kept hitting tree roots while I dug, so I finally just dug behind my dog, Terra's grave, and buried her there.  Quincy still keeps going out to look around the carport and in the monkey grass for the kitten.

Say what you will, but I never believed animals that are close to us just cease to exist when they die.  Most humans aren't better than animals, so why think that we are the only ones gifted with a soul? We aren't necessarily the deserving ones.  

I was thinking about the Rainbow Bridge story, and hoping that the kitten would have a chance now to be strong and happy, when I went to clean up the place where she died. There was an dark haloed outline of her on the concrete where she was lying, probably because of her body fluids and the heat.  I had to wash it away with the hose and I kept thinking of Poe's story "The Black Cat", in which there are similar reminders of a dead abused cat tormenting the killer throughout the story. I hoped that I wouldn't have to see a reminder of the kitten every day, and feel that there was more I could have done for her.

When I put the hose over by my small tomato plants to water them for a while, I turned back to go in the house, and there was a butterfly hovering and fluttering over the spot where the kitten had been.  It was a very small Monarch butterfly, obviously just a baby. I've only seen two butterflies this summer, and this one was the first in my own yard.  It fluttered for a little while at the edge of the carport, and then flew away.

Believe what you will, but I don't believe that everything is a random coincidence.  Some things, maybe, unimportant things, may be coincidence, but I think that things are arranged for a reason and we don’t have control over any of it.

Do you know what butterflies represent?  


Coincidence *might* be that the myth of Cupid and Psyche is my favorite.  It might have to do with my birthday, and an overly romantic nature.  (Personally,I find it amusing that Cupid was such a momma's boy that he had to get Aphrodite to take care of him while the burn on his shoulder from the lamp oil Psyche spilled on him, healed.)

Weren't the gods supposed to be immortal and invulnerable to humans? Either it's a plot hole or Cupid let down his guard. Maybe he's just smarting becausethe girl got to him and he wasn't supposed to fall for anyone. Love, what a lowly human emotion to succumb to, right?

In any case, seeing the tiny butterfly *there* of all places, helped me to feel a little better.  It's like she was hovering there for a pickup.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Patience

I miss him.  I still love him, and that's not going to change anytime soon.  He told me to be patient, and then he stopped talking to me.  Either I don't exist or I'm being tested.  I can't figure out which it is, only that there was no reason to choose to treat me like that.  He knows me well enough to understand exactly how badly that would hurt me.  He's always known, and he chose it anyway.  I suppose I'll gain some perspective from all this, while it comes with a massive dose of disillusionment.

It feels like I just woke up in the real world hidden by the Matrix.  Not that the reality I held was bright at all, but what little hope I had is dead in a dead world.  It wasn't holding on by much before, just that tiny gossamer thread that was snipped.  

I'm considered to be a doormat, but I'm not going to argue about it nor accept it.   You can enjoy your harpyish screaming matches at each other all you want, but I won't participate.  I'm going to enjoy the silence that comes with an absence of drama.  Some people crave drama like a drug they're addicted to, and are too ashamed to admit they can't live without it.  Others gain that peaceful quietness -- a rare gift they didn't know they needed to grieve.  

Grieving is the only way I know to describe it.  It feels like part of me has died, and it gives me a fresh reminder of all the other people I have lost from my life.  Some die and you're torn up forever over the things you never did for them.  Others die and you're always hurting over the smallest of things that they would never do for you, because it wasn't convenient for them or didn't benefit them personally. 

But honestly, who would have expected that telling someone you love them would make them turn their back on you?  It's not an insulting or frightening thing to hear, so why run away, even if you can't say it? They're only words.  

Abandoning someone because they tell you that they love you is messed up on so many levels.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Spooky Things

I want to create something.  It's been a long time since I've wanted to do anything creative, because depression is not compatible with creativity.  

What I want to do is make some Halloween sculptures.  Why? It's not like I can put really scary ones in my classroom, and my neighborhood doesn't do anything for Halloween.  Heck, it doesn't do much for Christmas either.  My neighbors would probably burn a cross on my lawn if they knew that I don't have a dime-a-dozen "Christmas Village". It's bad enough that I'm always so down at Christmas that I don't put my tree up anymore.  

I've got a Halloween Village.  I collect Spooky Town buildings and figures, though I admit I like the buildings the best, especially the ones with lights, sounds, and moving effects.  Throw in spooky-themed moving carnival rides, and I'm absolutely fascinated.  I only have a few buildings, a carousel, and a Ferris wheel so far, but thats because I don't have a way to effectively display them.  I guess I need a china cabinet with access to power.  

The fact that I want to make giant, menacing Halloween sculptures suitable for a haunted house just brings up another problem -- lack of space.  I could sell them, maybe, but where would I store them in the meantime? I don't really have a workshop space, so I would have to work on my carport, which isn't secure.  I can see some neighborhood punk messing with my stuff while roaming around after dark.  Unfortunately, the back porch leaks like a sieve now and is full of an overgrown crepe myrtle and a parasitic grapevine that is strangling both the crepe myrtle and my pecan tree.  So I can't work there.

I've been trying to decide whether to keep the crepe myrtle or cut it down for years now, but now I can't use the porch because of it.  *sigh* I guess it's time to find someone with a chainsaw and reclaim my back porch, which has no power or water outlets.  :) Just a wilted ceiling fan that is probably an electrical hazard because nobody was willing to help protect the wiring when I asked them to.  

Still, I want to sculpt something creepy.  If I knew an air-curing medium good for fine details,I could make table sized things, but my forays there were failures.  My work cracked before it was finished, and then it was heavy as a brick. The first time I made a dragon out of Sculpey.  It dried out and cracked before I ever had the chance to oven-cure it.  The next time I was trying to make pumpkin-head figures out of Paper Clay. They were horribly textured, cracked before drying, and the clay didn't want to hold together on the armature.  They would have made great rocks though.  They were so hard and heavy they could have killed a giant.  

So I'm open to suggestions for a good sculpting medium.  I've made one jack o'lantern from homemade paper clay made with joint compound, but the drying stages took days, and I wanted to see something for all of my work.  I'm told I did a good job with it but I was disappointed with the project in many ways.  Getting a satisfying paint color took several tries, the expression is vacant, and it has no personality. It took too darn long to get that small pumpkin finished, you know?  If I'd had space to work, I could have made a dozen, each better than the last.  I also didn't have a steady supply of newspaper.  *sigh*

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Naked

I bought a bottle of Naked juice yesterday because I was out of everything but sweet potatoes, a couple of oranges, a lime, and a lemon for my juicing.  I didn't have enough to make a decent juice from, so I went shopping for 75 pounds of produce.  I was starving and thirsty, so I bought a bottle of water and some Naked Green Machine, thinking it would taste something like what I make.

Well, it looked like split pea soup and tasted like a banana.  Supposedly, it contained the juice of 5 3/4 apples, a banana, a kiwi, 3/4 mango, pineapple, and tiny amounts of green stuff.

In my experience, the juice of nearly 6 apples would have required a bottle twice as large, not to mention blending in a banana and pineapple juice would have greatly increased the volume.  I wasn't impressed, and I think they are lying about their nutrient content. Not to mention the fact that Naked Juice is pasteurized, which kills nutrients.  Oh, the price? Almost $5 for a bottle. Meh.  Well, it was lunch.

Yeah.  I make better juice for that much money. It's fresh, and I know exactly what's in it.  Maybe the problem is that it's primarily fruit, and that misses the point of juicing vegetables.  

It's been a bad week.  I'm still hurting, and falling into a deep depression because someone did a 180 on me without even an explanation why. I just know that they did.  Add to that the typical isolation I have to endure every summer, and I develop a massive intolerance for the phonies that demand I "be happy" because I have nothing to be unhappy about.  Truth? I have more to be unhappy about than they realize -- I just hide it.  I don't have anyone I can talk to about it, anyway.  People are all about themselves, so I just don't enter into the picture.  The phonies just don't realize that they've already lost, but they're so busy feeling superior that they didn't pay attention.  They've had gold dust poured into their hands, but the tighter they gripped, the more slipped through their fingers.  Surely they will be "happy" with the few grains left to them, as they've insisted I should be.

I've been told one too many times that I should be happy to be alone and have no children, and always by married people who have children they plaster all over the Internet.  Would they be congratulating themselves if their spouse left them and their children died? Oh, sounds a little cruel, doesn't it?  It's just as cruel to throw that garbage in my face, so let's just admit they are assholes who don't deserve what they have.

I attended a couple of social events this week and they did nothing to help my discomfort in only knowing a couple of people there. (Who did their best to make me feel included.) After thirty minutes of squirming with nothing to occupy myself, I started entertaining myself with my cell phone.  I tried to start conversations, but I got some noses turned up at me, so I gave up.  I don't think I could have drunk enough to make me interesting to that group, anyway.  :). They were all friends, so why would they be friendly to a complete stranger?  (It was all very middle school cliquish, I saw.  I thought it was just because of my own awkwardness, so I tried harder the next night.  Much the same results, along with a feeling that they thought I was just a pathetic gate crasher.  Lol)

I have a friend who has been saying all his life that he wants to be a hermit.  I think if it were forced on him, he'd change his mind in a hurry. It would be like the "Last Man on Earth" who was so happy to be alone so he could read all of the time.... And then he broke his gasses, so he was just alone.  

Or maybe like the protagonist of I Am Legend, who had nobody but his dog, and who set up mannequins to talk to because he was on the verge of losing his sanity to his isolation.  Then he lost his dog and really did lose it for a while. What brought him back from the edge? Oh... another person saved him. A woman, point of fact. 

Humans aren't meant to be alone, and when it happens for too long, their psyche crumbles. Maybe the desire for isolation is due to being around people who don't understand you.  I would rather be alone than stuck with a selfish, horrible person, but I'd rather be with someone who cares deeply for me, than be alone.

People always tell you to smile, because that makes you happy.  No, it would make them happy because then sadness would not appear to exist in their Pollyanna-like bubble.  Smiling is not a magic spell creating happiness.  Don't be an idiot. Just smile like one and create more wrinkles. Sugarcoat everything... Until you run out of sugar.

The "smile and be happy" admonition always sits as well as the "I'm here for you!" one that comes from people who are literally never there longer than it takes to take something from you and then leave you behind.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Unexpected :)

I ran a 5k race this morning for a conference I am volunteering at this week.  I wasn't planning to do the race because of my leg problem, but when my friend said she was going to try despite the pain in her knee, I wanted to run too.  

Even though I'd had no breakfast other than a half quart of beet juice and a pack of ShotBloks before the race, I felt okay, energy-wise.

We started out in the very back and she was hurting enough that we were merely strolling.  It was unsure if she would have to drop out due to the pain in her knew.  Well, at some point she tried jogging, and because we were running without any traffic control, we had to go single file down the road.  My adrenaline got the best of me and I got a little too far ahead of her.  So far that I lost sight of her around the corner and thought she had called her run off.  

So I kept running, and now I feel bad, because she toughed it out through the entire distance, even though she was hurting, and I left her.  Not that me staying with her was any help whatsoever anyway, but I feel like a bad person.  She asked her friends to pray for me last week when I was so newly heartbroken.  I can't ask others to pray for me; it seems so selfish of me, though I don't think it's selfish of other people to ask for themselves.  

I'm sorry, my friend. I got to the point where all I could think about was finishing and getting out of that miserable heat.  I couldn't see you with the corners that we turned, and I didn't see you again until that final stretch at the end of mile two. I'm proud of you for not taking so much as a shortcut or for throwing in the towel.

Wen I got to the first water station, I drank about two swallows of water, and then impulsively poured the rest of my cup over my head and I instantly felt 100% better. (It was 84 degrees and rising, with 54% humidity during the race, and not a cloud was in sight.).  I was glad that I'd worn a tank top, though I was wearing black running capris that probably made me hotter.  Unfortunately , I can't handle running in shorts because my thighs chafe until they're raw, and every pair of shorts I've tried exacerbates that problem by bunching terribly.  At least my capris are comfortable. :)

I ran for quite a while in the gravel on the shoulder of the road, which was comfortably softer than the road, but all the while I was aware of my tendency toward clumsiness.  I was expecting every minute to slide and fall into the broken glass that littered most of the road.  I only stumbled once the whole run. 

A couple of times I had an unexplainable chill come over me, but I didn't suddenly feel the euphoria of an endorphin rush. :). Oh well...  

If it hadn't been for my very slow start and my slowness at the water stations, I might have improved on a previous time, but that wasn't my intention starting out, so it's not a big deal.  And I was just too darn hot anyway.  

Imagine my surprise when I placed second in my division.  I'm sure there were all of 30 people running and I finished near the back.  (And I was sure that most of the women were in their 40s, but I guess not.  Probably 20s and 30s.) Still, it's the first time I've ever placed, and it gave me a little boost that makes me want to keep running. :). Even though nearly everything hurts from my waist down and my inner arms are chafed.  Lol (Probably the t-shirt I wore after my post-run second shower. ). I do love the technical shirt from the race. It feels so soft and comfortable, and I slept in it from 8-12 tonight after I passed out on my hip ice pack.  Hee hee. 

Even though I had a lot of discomfort from my hip and my leg, I didn't have such a hard time physically with this run, other than the stifling heat. Sweat wouldn't stop running into my eyes and I added considerably to my tan,  but it wasn't too bad.

Question: I've only finished one 5k actually with someone.  The others I was alone crossing the finish, either far behind my friends or a little ahead of them.  Are other people upset when they cross alone?  I always have to do my training by myself because nobody else wants to run with me.  I think they're chicken...



Monday, July 8, 2013

Shakin'

I'm not sure what has got my insides all twisted up, but all afternoon and evening I've been so full of anxiety that I'm shaking.  It started with a feeling close to really crushing sadness and now I'm flat out scared... Of phantoms, it seems. 

I think it's because I'm volunteering at a tech conference event tomorrow, a 5k race, and I could probably run in it if I wanted to, but I fear that my limp will set in fast and I'll just look pathetic and handicapped.  

There's also the possibility of a crowd of people I'll have to be involved with, and for some reason that's always frightened me.  Maybe I was a bad person who was stoned to death by a crowd in a previous life and this life is the punishment for that one...

Well, call me silly, but I have a gut feeling it's true.

I've got the worst case of anxiety butterflies twisting my stomach in knots, though that could be blamed on the few bites of steak I had at dinner.  Digesting red meat has been causing me pain for years, though according to the doctors, I'm just imagining that.  

I'd love for them to experience some of my imagination so they'd be kinder to their patients.  Yeah, imagine *this*.

Fear of being alone in a crowd is keeping me shaking and awake. This is just crazy.

Beets, Bones, & The Lady

I made my juices last night, which were heavy on the beets.  I felt guilty because they were just taking up space in my fridge.  Maybe they were frozen in the middle, because my juicer doesn't seem to have handled them well.  My juice was more like a smoothie with chunks and stringy stem pieces (and I didn't juice the overly sandy greens this time.). It was kinda gross in texture, so I strained the juice a few minutes ago to make it drinkable. Beets are not making me happy.  I'm tolerating them. I don't want to buy anymore. Blech.  They completely overpowered everything else in my Carrot Apple Lemon juice. :(

This stuff could be a blood substitute.  I swear that it clotted overnight, and that's just nasty.

I made an appointment with the bone & joint clinic to check out my hips, leg, and feet.  I hope they don't just throw me a pain med prescription. I'm hoping they can do something to repair the problem for me.  It hurts to lie down, stand, walk, run, sit, drive -- I limp for a while when I ride the mower or drive.  Okay, just being a passenger hurts too.  But I've been living with the pain for a few years now, and it got much worse a couple of months ago when I jammed my leg into the socket.

I realize that it might be arthritis. My mother developed it early too, but I don't think she was this young. I just hope they will help me.

My hair is going blonde through no effort of my own.  Actually, I suspect that my silver hair doesn't allow color to stick to it very well for long, and adding the sun and tanning bed.... It's just turning "sun glitzed" as my sister calls it.  It's kinda pretty.  :). Although there is that one area where it's literally turning white already.  I'd be concerned about it if I thought it would hinder me from making men desire me.  Lol. Ah, I'm such a Siren, don't you know that by now? They all flock to me. 

Yeah, moving back to reality, today's Lady of Shalott is sitting at her window in her lonely abode, gazing at the world through the lens of her iPad. Lancelot did appear, but trotted on his way with no word.  If I remember correctly, her name was Elaine, and Lancelot's dalliance with her (before he abandoned her ) left her with a son who became Sir Galahad. So, it's no wonder that hoping to be with Lancelot killed the Lady of Shalott. He was no gentleman.  He stomped all over her heart. No wonder she died.  But she loved him anyway.  Sometimes that happens.

Still, the story gave my favorite painter, John William Waterhouse, a great story to paint and his are some of my favorite paintings ever. :)



I am half-sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shalott



The Lady of Shalott




The Lady of Shalott






Sunday, July 7, 2013

J624

The weekend hasn't been a total wash.  I slept really late yesterday, though I didnt intend to.  It takes me a long time to shake the physical aspects of depression, even after the first shocks of what brought it on have dissipated.  I wouldn't say it starts with hyperventilation exactly, but my respiration slows and becomes so shallow that just walking causes a great deal of dizziness.  Supposedly, emotional stress alone doesn't cause a rise in cortisol production, but when emotional distress causes physical stress, cortisol levels rise precipitously and then you have a metabolic problem on your hands.  

Obviously, my emotional distress caused physical stress and if I had tred to breathe more deeply, I would have hyperventilated.  Not much upsets me like that anymore, or I would be on medication.  I cope on my own.  People who can't empathize with others' pain simply lack the emotional depth to understand.  I suppose they can't help that they are missing that human trait, just as I can't help that I've been forced into a too-familiar understanding of it.  

Anyway, after being up for a couple of hours early yesterday morning, I simply passed out on my bed.  I guess I was still worn out from my week of coping and thinking through things.  There are several possibilities I've come up with though none paint those involved in a positive hue.  Okay, one does, slightly, but I'm not inclined to believe that one is reality.  More along the lines of a dreamer who still holds on to hope that her life could someday hold some happiness. It's like a watercolor painting left out in the sun to fade into nothingness.  Even the sounds are muted and dissipating.  Dreams often dissolve with the harsh morning light.  Hope fades away, but it doesn't go from only small portions of the scene -- it's eventually erased entirely.

During my nap I dreamed that I was once again, going off to college, and I was alone.  It wasn't the 18 year old me of so long ago who had her sister and mother to help a little bit, and who had a couple of friends already on campus, but who was still afraid of what being on my own would mean.  It was me, now, and the building I was to live in was completely unfamiliar.  There were different towers to the building, each accessible by one elevator, distinguished by letter.  My room was J624.  

If that number has any significance, I don't know what it is yet.  The dorms at my college only had 3 floors when I was there.

I found the right elevator, which of course, malfunctioned, owing to my fear of elevators.  I can't say that it's an entirely irrational fear, because I've had these stupid elevator catastrophe dreams since I was a little girl, and they are always so vivid (and sometimes entirely plausible) that when I am really in an elevator -- especially a small one, because I'm claustrophobic -- the nightmare seems so real. The cable breaks, the car falls and tumbles, the doors open below the floor, the car twists and turns and flips illogically, and sometimes the walls close in and crush me. 

When I finally got out of that rapidly tilting elevator (with no walls, just a huge rising platform), I couldn't find the right section of the hallway where my room would be.  Figures! Lol. Every hallway was just a few numbers away from being the right one, but somehow not connected to the right section.  It was like being lost on a cruise ship, and there I was carrying around swimming goggles, a towel, and flip flops.  I don't wear flip flops. They hurt my toes.  I was a little aggravated that I'd had to buy the flip flops to get the swim goggles. 

In the halls were a swimming pool and various food courts for the residents, and a ping pong table overlooking a well that opened all the way to the basement in a sheer drop.  All of the walls were painted black, so the fluorescent lighting made everything look rather dreary.   I remember looking toward the well (there were no stairs) and thinking that I was just too tired to go on looking for my place, and that I could just jump and get it over with. I just wanted to find my room and rest.  Hours passed while I was lost and searching and I woke up remembering that room number, still feeling lost, and it was two in the afternoon.  

So I trimmed my basil, put it in a Caprese salad, and shared it with my sister.  Then we went for a pedicure.  I'm not used to that, so my toes were absolutely tenderized with that file to the point that It was nearly painful.  Because I have such ticklish feet, having the bottom smoothed made my thigh muscles involuntarily jump and dance and I had a giggling fit.  I apologized, but my feet are one of those places so rarely touched that it has a huge impact on me.  If you're a guy, especially if there's a 14 year break since the last time a man rubbed my feet.  :) *blush* (If I'm just getting a pedicure, it merely tickles... A lot. Hey, it was only my third pedicure. I'm not all fancy like that.)

Had some frozen yogurt, when I realized a much smaller amount would have made me happy after all. But I wanted to taste a few favors since I hadn't been to the frozen yogurt place before. Eh, I don't get out much.  We went to a Mexican restaurant after that, where we had the worst and saltiest strawberry margaritas ever.  Yuck. We waited for an old friend of mine and they wouldn't serve us because it was 10:20 and they were closing at 11, according to the guy at the door. So, we went to Applebee's, where he kept me laughing for the rest of the night.  I mean, really laughing hard, but he's always known how to make me laugh, and I really needed to laugh.

So as I said, I didn't waste the day, after washing all of my juicing equipment and failing to make any juice.  I'm sorry about that, but it means I'm ready to go today and maybe even be ahead for tomorrow. I need to go back to the gym.  I didn't go this week because I was already so physically stressed my cortisol levels were undoubtedly high, and a psycho workout would have made it worse and probably have added a few pounds. I'm beginning to see a correlation between thinness and lack of feeling.  Hmm...

Time to go juice some good-for-my-liver beets. I've been fearing them since I bought them. They're just so nasty and dirty looking until they're peeled, and I hate peeling them.  In the juice, they don't taste too bad.  They just look like someone tossed a heart into a blender and made a werewolf-pleasing smoothie.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lacking Class

It takes a person devoid of class to post disgusting responses to someone else's remarks, apparently change the remarks, and then hide them from the person you're trying to make look bad.  

It takes chutzpah to do it after you were supposedly warned about that sort of thing.

It's okay.  I've got a screenshot of those comments to share.  I could share it right here.  

Not everybody relishes being publicly crude and vulgar.  I don't.  
Apparently modesty is dying out in some regions.

But you go ahead and represent, get yo'self some thug-style street cred if that's what makes you feel boss.

I'll pass.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Silverware Straight

I decided that yesterday I would create a drawer organizer for my sister's silverware drawer.  She's got BIG drawers. ;) (See what I did there?  Lol. It's not true.  She wears smaller sizes than I do, but tight clothes make me feel claustrophobic anyway.). 

Anyway, it was like solving a little puzzle, and I was amazed that she even has room to store her hand mixer in there. I don't.  I had to throw my hand mixer away.  Well, that was due to one of the beaters getting bent and it was so old the manufacturer doesn't sell replacements for it.  

No worries.  I've got a lovely new KitchenAid Artisan Series stand mixer to use when I need it. Happy Random Housewarming Gift to myself several months ago.  :). 

I was going to freehand the whole design, but then realized I'd be really aggravated dealing with the math on the 3/16" thick board I was using, and the likelihood that doing it that way would kill the geometry I was going for.  It's easier to fly by the seat of your pants when you're dealing with a drawer a third of that size, like mine, yeehaa. 

I Photoshopped it.  Lol. What? You didn't know that you can use Photoshop to draft building plans?  Baby, I've used Photoshop to rearrange my furniture and preview paint colors on my walls! I've used AutoCAD and DesignCAD to do a few things, but once I understood how to manipulate Photoshop for my own purposes, I didn't see any point in using the memory-hogging technical programs anymore.  

I set my grids at 1 inch and the subdivisions at 1/16 inch and then I was on my way.  I measured the big tools for minimum space needed and plotted those in Photoshop. Then all I had to do was move dividers around and resize things when necessary.  

After that, I had to cut and dry-fit all of my pieces with pins.  Things were a bit wobbly to me until I attached the dividers to the bottom.  Now she can pick up the whole organizer from the drawer in one piece if she needs to remove it.  

See, I'm not stupid, though some people probably think I am.  And as for those critical of me for not being bizarrely and artificially "happy" all the time, well, I guess I would have to say I'd really like for them to experience what I've gone through.  Yes, I realize that's equivalent to wishing them decades of physical and emotional pain, but they shouldn't criticize if they can't possibly empathize.  (And if they don't know the facts in the first place.) It takes a heart to do that and I know not everyone has one.  Fortunately, it doesn't require being a child abuse survivor either.  On second thought, stay out of my shoes.  They would hurt you.

I finished this project around two am and decided to return the drawer then.  I did send my sister a text saying that I was coming in to return the drawer, and DON'T SHOOT ME.  Lol. I didn't get shot (sorry!) but her puppy started whining and thumping around in his little crate when he knew it was me.  I had to go pet him, of course.  :). Naturally, I was mindful of any doors that might open behind me with a gun pointing out.  Oddly enough, getting shot by my sister wouldn't be the worst thing that happened to me this week. 

So anyway, here is my finished night's work.  There may not be cobbler's elves, but there is a creative sister behind the scenes, working stealthily in the wee hours of the morning to make someone's life a little easier.

(And then she needs to sleep late the next day.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Full Speed Ahead

Yes, I've been awake and in the bed for two hours, thinking.  I need to snap out of it though, because I've got so much to do today.

I've got a dentist appointment today, which is usually painful because the hygienist usually targets the nervy areas under my crowns, and those nerves are very much alive and screaming every time I chew. I'll take some Tylenol to head things off, but if I were smart, I'd take some of my dog's liquid morphine. Lol

I've got to make my juice, because I have eaten twice in two days, without juice, and my abdominal pain has come back with the grinding-glass sensation that I did not miss while on my juice fast. If there was no cleaning mess involved, I might never go back to a solid food diet again.  I don't miss the pain that comes with digestion, especially red meat.

My sister's silverware drawer is rather chaotic, so I'm going to build her a drawer organizer similar to mine, though it will be a bit more complex than mine is because she has a much larger drawer than I do. That'll take a few hours.  

And then I need to work on deglossing the kitchen walls.  Fun, fun.  And laundry.  And grocery shopping.  

I'm glad I took care of my dog's nails yesterday.  They're finally making progress toward becoming shorter.  I found a graphic online which showed how to shorten them without bleeding.  You nip a tiny bit of the nail off, just to the white, each week.  This avoids cutting into the quick, which would bleed and hurt.  This little nip causes the blood supply to recede a little bit away from the tip of the nail.  You trim that tiny bit back every week, and eventually the dog will have comfortably short nails.  So far, I've reduced his from inch-long nails (my fault - I was terrified I'd hurt him) down to about a third of an inch in a couple of months. Since I'm only snipping a tiny bit off each time, it's very quick and he doesn't get scared much anymore while I'm trimming his nails.

Still, he needs a good bath and another round of flea repellant.  I hate the way it smells and how it alters his behavior.  *sigh*

I'm still trying to figure out how to train my sister's Shih Tzu for grooming.  I tried clippers, and he was hostile because he had lots of matting close to his skin which snagged the clippers.  He attacked me, running around and literally biting my back, shoulders, arms, and legs.  The next day, I had more luck with scissors.  As long as I rubbed and petted him, and only occasionally snipped his hair while he was distracted, I could trim a little bit.  My goal is to get rid of the mats so that I can quickly skim him with the clippers and even him up.  He is going to be a maintenance job and a half with that hair of his.  

But he just loved me to bits when I went over yesterday and spent a long time scratching and petting him.  Aha... There is a lovable little fellow in there somewhere which will even allow ME to show him affection.  Maybe I should just stick to dogs.  They're a lot more receptive to love than humans are, though some are nasty bitches and others will bite you if you try to love them

I think if I just pay attention I can come up with plenty of work to fill my vacation time.

The Knotty Pine Situation

I own a house that was built in 1956, and which was remodeled in a couple of places, very haphazardly.  Even being the non-handy person that I am, I realized several years ago that my cookie-cutter little house had been added onto from the same floor plan as several others on my street.  Hey, yay for me, mine has 1080 square feet and the others don't.  I have a larger bedroom, an extra half-bath, and a much larger living room.  

When the additions were made, a load-bearing front wall was removed without anything structural to take the weight added, so that addition was cracking away from the rest of the house, as evident in a rapidly expanding ceiling crack.  A structural engineer was brought in and my father and brother added in some steel beam supports.  Fixed and safe now.  

There were other moronic "improvements" I've had to correct as well, such as the wallpaper border that was superglued directly to primed-only Sheetrock and taped seams that were never properly mudded over and smoothed.  *sigh*. Oh yeah, I'm still correcting problems 12 years later. It took two weeks just to sand the border off and smooth over all of the rough places before I could sponge-paint those walls, which actually went super-fast, because I'm a decorative painter.  Utilitarian wall painting is admittedly dull, but I've been known to create small murals and textures when the mood strikes me.  

The kitchen is knotty pine. Yuck.  After that many decades, the varnish has turned everything a dark orange that makes the room very depressing and dark to work in.  My mood is very much influenced by color, so the kitchen is a dreary place I find hard to work in.  (Other than the poor layout of the room, that is.  It's too bad I don't know any carpenters to hire to remodel it.) A few years ago I attempted to paint my kitchen.  Unfortunately, it didn't go well and I didn't finish the job.  The butter yellow paint I chose turned out to not be so cheery and clean looking after all.  I had trouble prepping the walls due to the fumes of the shellac-based sealer I had to use.  Some of it is primed.  Some is painted yellow.  It's all pretty hideous.  

But you know what?  It's my house.  I own it.  I'm not renting an apartment where I have no control over the utilities or any other decisions in the physical building. I don't have to worry about people on the other side of my wall making noise when I'm trying to sleep.  I have a yard with flowers, trees, and vegetables growing.  It's mine and I'm not living by someone else's grace. I have a lot of freedom in my  home and I don't have to struggle to pay my bills.

I have about two weeks of vacation time left because I'm planning to volunteer for a week at a conference to help some friends. School starts very early here.  It's okay.  It's not like anyone was trying to spend summertime with me anyway.  

I think I'll give repainting the kitchen another try.  I'll have to buy a special drill bit to remove some of the strange hex screws that more or less permanently attach unwanted hardware to my walls. And while I'm at it, I may change out the failing hardware on my cabinets.  It's pretty damn ugly and old-fashioned anyway.  I realize that it's a stretch to attempt modernization of my house past the 1980s but hey, it's better than 1956.  One of these days I may even replace the water heater.  I'm tired of that clanking old thing that won't provide enough hot water for one bath.  I wish I knew how to bleed it.  

So... Painting the kitchen will be a challenge because I won't be able to move the washer, dryer, or refrigerator on my own and there is no one gentleman enough to help me.  (That's kind of funny because my own family was prone to male children.  My sister and I are the only females and all the rest were sons.) They're all busy, though.  I know not to ask.  It's one of those hideous requests you hope your old-maid aunt / sister / daughter never makes, the moving of big furniture and painting. Believe me, I understand, because I've helped everyone else with their furniture moving and painting already.  :-/ 

Still, a lovely coat of fresh white paint would brighten the room, even if it does nothing for my heart.  (Still getting the cold shoulder, and now I realize there wasn't a good reason for it after all.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finishing My Handiwork

Today's distraction, I mean task, is to finish the blanket I made for my father's Christmas gift.  Yes, it's woefully overdue but there were extenuating circumstances.  I was set to finish it on Christmas Eve.  Our small family does nothing on that night, and we do our gift exchanging and dinner on Christmas Day.  I wish we did more, but there's nothing I can do about that.  

Throw a Christmas Party? :) me? Do you think anyone would come? I have my doubts.  Maybe I'll try it this year, since I'll have new furniture which will facilitate things.  I'll have to do it small, to minimize my hurt feelings when it doesn't go well.  

Back to my point.  I was going to finish the blanket on Christmas Eve.  It takes months to make one and I'd looked vainly for the burgundy yarn my father requested but didn't know that it doesn't exist, for several months. I was also going to make two gallons of my grandmother's beloved boiled custard recipe for the family to enjoy and take home.  I'm the only one who makes it.  Part of the chore is an hour of nonstop stirring over a double boiler, and I was planning on doing this twice.  Usually, there's only enough of that one gallon to enjoy together, with just a few cups for one or two people to take home.  

Plus, it's expensive to make -- lots of eggs, lots of milk, lots of sugar, and lots of time to mix and cook it just right.  

At 11 am on Christmas Eve, a very mean dog entered my yard and attacked my Yorkie.  He almost killed him.  So I spent my morning at the vet's office, unable to see him while they worked on him in the emergency room.  When we got home, I had to clean up and take him, all drugged up and still in shock, to the family Christmas dinner at my father's house.  I don't remember much of the day that wasn't about my baby bleeding and drooling, and afraid for me to leave him long enough to fix myself some food.  I wasn't hungry anyway. I was sick and afraid and cold most of the day, maybe even a mild case of shock myself. 

Yes, he's my baby.  I've put all of my maternal feelings on him.  It's probably easier to understand if you are a childless woman who desperately wanted children and you know you can't have any.  Not that it hurts any less.

Anyway, I didn't make any boiled custard, and I didn't finish my father's blanket.  I've been looking at it for six months and getting a horrible case of fearfulness every time.  Maybe I'm afraid my delay in finishing it will come to late to give it to my dad.  

Last night I pulled it back out and finished the six rows I had left to crochet at the top and then started on the pocket I like to put on the back for keeping feet snug and warm. (The greatest compliment you can give me regarding something I make, like a blanket, is to use it happily.  The hand towels in my bathroom are not decorative.... Please use them with my blessing!)  I only got half of the pocket finished, because I was completely tuckered out and dehydrated from two days of nearly nonstop tears and my contacts were clouded over from all the salt.

You see, I had finally told someone that I love him.  He didn't respond to that at all.

Then all hell broke loose and then he stopped talking to me.  I was told (by someone else) that was a stupid thing to do, telling him that I love him, but I never saw the point in playing games when I could just tell the truth about how I feel.  

Not telling him felt like I was lying to him.  I meant it, and I still do.  

I don't know if it's worth anything to him. 

He won't talk to me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kittens

I'm working on getting the four kittens new homes. I don't know how successful I'll be, because they're pretty wild and I'm not enough of a cat person to make them like people after they've been antagonized by humans messing with them too soon, too often.  (It wasn't me.). 

A friend came to see them yesterday, but she's like me, a bit afraid of hissing and scratching.  I can't blame her for not wanting a cat like that.  I had to catch the kitten with a pillowcase and pet it on my lap for a while, and it still hissed, scratched, and cried when I held it. I keep looking at my bloody knee wondering if I'm going to spend the small bit of my summer break that is left in the hospital with cat scratch fever.  It would be par for the course.

3 weeks of unwanted solitude, wondering what the hell I did to piss off God.  Unanswered prayers.  Seems like the only ones of mine that got answered were along the lines of not getting a speeding ticket when there's no reason I should get one anyway.  I've gotten a ticket before for not stopping at a stop sign when I was stopped long enough to find a tape in my floorboard.  That's when I realized that cops will lie just so they can feel powerful. I don't trust them.  I've known too many not to detect that air of sleaze about them.

I'm sorry, kitties, but all you do is eat, poop and pee on my carport, and get into the mower when I need to mow.  You have no redeemable qualities other than being pretty, and if you can't be sociable enough to be good pets, you're on the way to the Animal Shelter. 

I know what that means.  The shelter is full and they are busily killing lots of sweet dogs and cats who would be wonderful pets for someone.  I'm not even sure I want to keep the mother cat.  She's a pain and not exactly lovable herself. She just eats and stinks up the yard. 

But that's what I get for trying to keep her from freezing and starving to death last winter when she was abandoned.  Someone else to take care of that has nothing but disdain for me.  She doesn't even rub my leg when she's happy.  She rubs something inanimate, like the steps.  

I can learn a few things from these cats.  If a cat just teases affection, you're never going to get the real thing from them.  You're just a means to their end.  You can do all the work to keep them safe, happy, and healthy, and they still won't love you.  If you try to show them that you love them, they'll bite, scratch, and hiss at you until you give up.  And then they just stare at you, wondering why you thought you were worthy of their love, hating you for trying, much like people do.  

I'm giving up on these cats.  They'll probably be killed, especially the one that has trouble walking.  I need to stop worrying what their fate will be because they don't want me anyway.  They just tolerate me providing food.

*. *. *. 

Strike 2 on possible adoptions today.  None of the healthy kittens would allow themselves to be touched.