Posts Tagged ‘house’

Five Question Friday – Mourning Morning Edition

Friday, February 11th, 2011

I feel a little at a loss for what to write here these days.  I tentatively intended the next couple of posts to be a list of memories of my little guy, and maybe some pictures or video clips.  I don’t know whether anyone else would want to see them, but it’s sort of beside the point anyway.  I thought it might make me feel better just to put them out there.  But I’m not sure that I’m ready to delve into that.  And everything else just seems  a little trite right now.  And thus end up just avoiding the blog as a whole from time to time.

I am doing okay overall.  I know that I am still grieving.  I also know that I am blocking things out like a champion much of the time (which I am not entirely content with, but does make me seem more okay).  I almost feel sometimes like I am doing TOO well on the surface; like if I really loved him that much, I would seem more upset.  Which isn’t true.  And I am plenty upset as it is.  It’s just coming through in different ways now.  I try to make comments with some humour in them, but it’s like reflexive, going-through-the-motions humour.  It often doesn’t reach down all the way.

Anyway, I told myself I would try to do Five Question Friday, despite the fact that part of me reacted like someone with a monocle and top hat finding themselves in the middle of a NASCAR event.  Internally part of me is huffing with distain that I’m talking about things that seem so trivial.  But the other part thinks that’s silly, so I guess it balances out okay.

(Note:  I do not actually have any scientific evidence to back up my assumptions about what monocled people do at NASCAR events.  Clinical trials in which participants survived long enough for study seem to be limited)

As a really interesting side note, I went to read the Five Question Friday questions last week.  I was grieving actively and did not feel up to answering them at all, but I thought I would just look and see.  …And there weren’t any.  Instead there was a post about grief.  I am really sorry for her loss.  But something in that seemed profound.

Questions come via Mama M, and comments or answers of your own are welcome, as always.  Just to push me out of my comfort zone, I’m even going to include the blog hop bit this time around.  Assuming the page with the code stops hating me.  It seems to hate me.  So now for at least a while I just look like the douche who linked to the list without doing the courtesy of passing on the links of others.  Comfort zone pushed out.  Check.

The Questions:

1. Would you rather be on ABC’s Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC’s What not to Wear?
2. Do you have any tattoos?
3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?
4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?
5. What’s your preference: chocolate or chips?

My Answers:

1. Would you rather be on ABC’s Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC’s What not to Wear?

Neither, I think.  …And that surprises me.  I would have jumped at the chance for either not so long ago.

As much as I would love some new clothes on someone else’s tab, I would be terrible for What not to Wear.  Not because I don’t desperately need it, but because they would try to make me throw out items of clothing that I love, but are old, or unflattering, or tacky.  And then I would hurt them.  And then it would not be a family show anymore.

As for the home makeover, I like my home mostly the way it is.  We have it to the point now that I think I would be happier this way than with a bunch of other people’s tastes coming into play.  We renovated the kitchen and bathroom, so they are exactly what we want them to be, within reason and budget, already.  We really need to get curtains someday to replace the cheap blinds that came with the house, which our contractors beat up and left giant footprints on (seriously), but Extreme Curtain Makeover might not be great for ratings.  Our couch is due for replacing, but I wouldn’t want just any plain old couch in its place.  I need a couch that is welcoming, and comfy, and that I can tuck my legs up onto.  The bedroom furniture is a bit of a hodge podge, so I guess that could be redone.  But I like our bed frame because I have vivid memories of how happy we were to get it when we moved in here.  And despite the fact that 99% of our furniture required an Allen key and pictorial instructions to put together, it is our furniture, and we bought it with our hard earned money, and there is meaning in that somehow.

The basement, though?  They can come on in and finish that for us any time they like.

2. Do you have any tattoos?

Nope.  I very much want one, and have for a really long time, but being me I have the drive to make perfect decision about most things.  Especially long-term things.  Important things.  Things that would be etched into my flesh.  You see where this is going…

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?

Don’t have kids, but if I did, I think I would answer any direct questions honestly for sure.  As for volunteered information, I imagine I might tell them about a good chunk of it, but only in a “teachable moment” sort of way.  That time that I came home late from a party and was in the grass beside my house with some guy who wanted to go down on me?  Yeah.  I may leave out that one.

My husband is the absolutely open and honest type.  He would tell them everything.

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?

I usually stop, even if it means stopping abruptly (unless there’s another car close behind me).  If it’s slippery, or the road is wet, then I just keep on going.  Sometimes even if I know the tail end of my car is unlikely to make it before the light turns red.  I skidded once trying to stop at a yellow light, and that was enough for me.

…Although every time that happens, I rehearse in my head how I would apologize and explain and politely accept my ticket if a police officer pulled me over for it.  So they would know the reasoning behind my anarchist ways, I guess.

5. What’s your preference: chocolate or chips?


Although I would prefer it in the form of cake, cupcake, brownie, cookie, or high end ice cream/milkshake.

Change that to chocolate bar vs fries, though, and I may have to change my answer.

Things on my mind

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

1)      We were returning from a friend’s house this weekend and in the car realized that an ant from there (they had just noticed the beginnings of an invasion force) had stowed away in our bag.  We live around two hours away.  So it occurred to me, what would have happened to that ant if it had made it home?  What happens to an ant in isolation?  Would it feed itself?  Where would it live?  Would it attempt to build a new ant hill all by itself?  Would it just be lost without its peers?  I don’t know.

2)      I think I have some kind of crazy Mutant Virus.  I’ve been feeling generally unwell, and my glands have been swollen for at least a month now.  And I have confirmed this week that in the times I’m feeling especially ill/shaky/feverish, I do actually have a bit of a fever.  But it only happens sometimes, for an hour or two.  And the rest of the time my temperature goes back to totally normal.  What the heck is that??

3)      I had to help out my University-age sister this weekend, as she’s run out of credit and hasn’t yet found a summer job.  …Not because she’s irresponsible, just because student jobs are a little scarce, and she wasn’t able to find part-time work during the school year this year, so her cash situation is absurdly tight.  Our situation is not good either, but at least we still have some credit left.  My mother has mentioned that maybe someday my step-father will be willing to sell the house they’re in and move back to Canada.  It’s very close to the water, and worth a pile of cash as a result.  If they bought a pretty nice house here, all of our financial troubles would just vanish.  Just like that.  Poof.  Theirs, my sisters, and mine.  I can’t even imagine.  Damn, it would be amazing to be able to get on with our lives looking towards the future instead of paying off the past.  I sort of think it would be better in the long run anyway, since eventually one of them is bound to have some kind of medical problem, and taking advantage of the health care their taxes have been paying for would probably be a good idea.  I’m not sure there’s actually any chance of it happening, though.  I am trying not to get my hopes up.

4)      I have determined that if I am able to continue at my current rate, it will take about a month before I’m free of the Luvox.  A nice, long month of feeling sort of crappy, if this week is any indication.  Just right on that line of crappiness where it is very crappy, but not yet so crappy as to be too crappy to continue.  Good times.

5)      When we moved in there were some…puppy-related stains…on the living room carpet.  After several cleansing attempts, I ended up dousing them solidly with enzyme-loaded pet stain and smell remover.  Very effective. …Except that the resulting moisture left them smelling kind of musty instead.  Noticeable again now that the windows are open and there’s a breeze blowing across them from time to time.  So a couple of days ago, I doused them with anti-mould spray as well.  …Except the dampness of the anti-mould spray seems to be generating more mould.  How is that even possible?  It’s like soap getting dirty.

6)      I haven’t been feeling especially internet-inclined of late, and I feel a little guilty for not being more up-to-date on everyone’s happenings.  Also, I’m craving toast.

7)      The cat pictured in yesterday’s guitar case has decided that I have been at the computer too long now, and is attempting to remove me by force.

8 )      “…I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do…tonight.”


Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Have you ever witnessed two ant colonies warring with each other?  I saw a group of ants going at it on the sidewalk outside our old apartment, and until I looked closely I couldn’t even fathom that the huge black mass of debris filling the sidewalk was actually ants.  One of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed in person.  It looked something like this, the meticulously chosen (read: first hit on youtube) video that I have found for your edutainment.

When we first moved into our new house, we discovered that it had a bit of an ant problem.  Like, you’d see one on rare occasions, and then it would rain outside and suddenly they would be pouring down the walls.  My cats loved this house.

There was also some kind of black dust coming up from the heating vent in the office that I had to keep vacuuming up.  Except then I realized that it wasn’t dust.  It was ant parts.  Because we have TWO ant problems.  And apparently they don’t get along.

At any rate, it is spring again, so our home is once again filled with the sounds of birds and laughter and swearing at the m$%f&*ing ants on my m$%f&*ing ceiling.  Have you ever considered the logistics of trying to stick an ant trap to your ceiling?  Because I have.  Except the crappy ones we have now seem to just kill the little buggers, and really, would my house be that much better if it was RAINING ANTS?  Can’t seem to find the effective stuff we used to get anywhere.

I also find it interesting that they have so far inhabited the office and the hallway, but show no interest in the kitchen, dining room, living room, or anywhere else that there has ever been food.  Maybe that’s why they couldn’t care less about the traps we’re setting.  I need a Raid with stationary in it.   Ha ha, ants!  Mechanical pencil!  Take that!!

(I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised given where we found the fruit flies.  This place is a veritable den of bug-related confusion.)

So I’ve spent the last few minutes standing on my desk and attacking ant trails with a disinfectant wipe while my boy-cat gives me a look caught somewhere between horror that I’m packing away the playground and envy that my arms go all the way up like that (this is the cat who can stare at the ceiling and yowl at it for an hour for being so rude as to be up too high for him to reach it, so I can’t say as it’s an entirely unexpected reaction).  Then, since I was walking around with a mostly-wet disinfectant wipe in my hand, I toured the house cleaning off every door handle we have.  Which on further reflection probably would have been a smart thing to do when we first moved in.  They had a pre-teen boy, after all.  Eeeeew.

So, mission partially accomplished.  Which is good.  I have learned to run with the impulses when they come.  Small projects are safer, though.  If something requires effort in more than one session, I’m usually out of luck.  I purchased the replacement toilet seat.  I took it out of the packaging.  I even partially unscrewed the bolts holding the old one in place.  But then they were resistant, and I determined that it would be much easier with some pliers and another set of hands.  So now we have a loose and shifty toilet seat and a new one on the bed in the guest room (What?  It’s not like it’s used or anything.).  I have grown accustomed to things like this.  They are a minor piece of my current reality.  At some point several months from now I will be inspired about the toilet seat again, and the next spurt of energy will carry it to completion.

Or at least to getting the old one fully off.

Let’s not presume too much.

Spin Cycle

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I wonder if police officers get frustrated that it takes them so long to drive anywhere because everywhere they go everybody is driving just under the speed limit.

Just sayin’…

Have been feeling off and on much more like my usual self for the past few days.  Unfortunately the “off” periods are still filled with crazy sulking tearstained not-me-ness, but I’ll take what I can get.  Not sure if it’s related to a sign that my withdrawal symptoms will be starting to improve now, or the Wellbutrin, or the beautiful spring weather, but I won’t complain either way.

I love spring.  I get all crazy enthusiastic in those first spring days.  I get strange new reserves of energy during daylight hours.  I feel much more like I could tackle anything I set my mind to (Except maybe bears.  At least angry ones.  Peaceful bears I could totally take down today.).  I can’t really yet, but feeling that way is a step in the right direction.  I normally get quite frisky in the spring as well.  We’ll see how the medications deal with that one.

I get a lot of memory flashbacks in the first days of warmer weather too.  I don’t know what it is, but I am instantly bombarded with warm days from many different years of my life.  This doesn’t happen with other seasons (no memories of the first snowfall), but it happens every single year in the spring.  Currently, I am purchasing our house, starting to meditate, planning my wedding, finishing exams, starting part time jobs, and hanging out with my friends from high school.  At least, in my head I am.  In reality I’m going with sit outside and read a self-help book.

At any rate, the last few days have had good points, and that’s news in and of itself.  A week ago I was struggling to push myself to feed my cat.  Today I am clean, and dressed (in real clothes!), and made myself a nice lunch, and received delivery of our new washing machine, and plan still to get outside, and do some reading, and who knows what else.  Maybe it saddens me a little that these are such huge accomplishments, but they are, and I am overall pleased.   I have made a commitment that I will at least be showered, and brushed, and reasonably well-dressed, and reasonably fed every day for the foreseeable future.  No negotiations.  No exceptions.

Incidentally, the washing machine that came with our house was a Maytag Neptune.  Do you know what happens when you google Maytag Neptune?  You get a whole slew of pages telling you why you should not ever ever ever buy a Maytag Neptune.  Which I will echo.  I really wish the previous owners had been a little more internet savvy.   I also wish I hadn’t spent so much time and money trying to clean and repair the thing before doing that search myself.

I know.  Who ever would have thought you’d see something bad about a Maytag on the internet?

The Good, The Bad, and the Sort of Homely

Monday, August 17th, 2009

The Effexor doesn’t seem to be doing much good for me.  …Either that, or MAN would I be messed up right now without it.  To be honest, I really think it’s made me significantly worse, as these past few weeks have been the lowest I can remember, with no definable external reason.  The couple of friends who can handle it (sort of) I’ve mentioned this to when I’ve seen them.  It’s a difficult thing to explain to people who haven’t been there, and I worry that even with the best of intentions, it will be difficult for them to grasp accurately.  I’m sure that if our roles were reversed I would try to be super supportive and sympathetic, but I don’t know that in the back of my brain there wouldn’t be the tiny thought that if they just tried a bit harder, or did a bit more, or [insert various other possibilities here] they could maybe improve things.  …Or that if they REALLY wanted to, they could do this or that or the other thing.  I don’t know that I would be able to fully believe it if I hadn’t gone through this stuff myself.  Heck, I AM going through it and there are moments when I almost don’t believe it myself.  Seriously?  I’m lying on the floor?  On the floor??  This is my activity??

It’s a tricky thing how much to tell different people.  There’s still a lot of misperception out there about depression, and about the differences between capital D depression and extreme bouts of sadness or listlessness.  I am on the floor because everything seems hopeless and this seems like the only place to be right now – extreme sadness.  I am on the floor and I CANNOT SEEM TO MAKE MYSELF GET UP FOR PETE’S SAKE WHY WILL YOU NOT FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING GOOD JUST GET UP AND WHY IS THERE APPARENTLY NO PROPER PUNCTUATION IN MY INTERNAL MIND VOICE??? – capital D Depression.

As a nice added bonus to the Effexor, apparently the withdrawal effects are known for being particularly severe.  I was delayed a few hours from my usual schedule in taking my pills one day last week, and I spent the ENTIRE REST OF THE DAY either gagging over the toilet or lying as still as possible on my sofa in order to avoid gagging over the toilet.  The whole frigging day.  Sheesh.  No joke – all I did was watch whatever happened to air on the TV (as it got to a point that it really wasn’t worth the movement to change the channel), and moan like a drunken hippo.  Out loud.  With no one to hear me.  On the plus side, I’ve become very punctual.

Our cats and ourselves are settling into the new house.  There is still much unpacking to do, but it’s very livable now, and looks pretty much mostly like a real home.   I am loving that.  Our male cat has been exploring every nook and cranny with endless curiosity (which was not surprising).  Our girl stayed in the bedroom for a week after he was already off and running, then emerged yesterday as the Queen of the World.  Apparently she too has been doing some reflecting on her formerly passive ways.  Her strategy seems to involve a lot of hissing, swatting, and complete lack of negotiation.  Maybe I should try that at work.  It does seem to be impressively effective thus far.

We’ve had a couple groups of friends up to see the new place too, which was refreshing.  It rarely seemed worth it to have people over to the apartment when there were more spacious/nice/clean/centrally-located/what-have-you places to be.  I think at heart I secretly love entertaining.  Or at least using small and interesting dishware.  That may be it too.  No worry over turning too Martha Stewart though.  I made up the guest room (we have a GUEST ROOM!  How cool is that??  (The answer, my friends, is very cool.  Very cool indeed.)) with quite clean but excessively wrinkled sheets.  Sort of a modeled after a ball of aluminum foil kind of look.  I am going to go with the explanation that that’s the cooking-product-related look that we were going for with the décor as a whole.  You’re more likely to stop by and find that I’m raising giraffes than ironing sheets.

Not in the kitchen, not on my fruit. Are they rebels?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

So…My bathroom has fruit flies.
Let me write that again, in case one might think I had mistyped that.  My bathroom has fruit flies.

You know…my brand new bathroom that is nowhere near food products and doesn’t even have a garbage can in it yet?  Fruit flies.  Tons of them.

I actually learned to identify the gender of fruit flies in high school (my final biology project was on genetics, so I did a pile of breeding and classifying the little suckers).  One of those “talents” that will never leave me, I guess.  There I’ll be, on my deathbed.  “Rosebud.  …That fly is a female.” *choke* *die*

Anyway, when faced with a group of them, I’ve been strategically pegging off the females.  Have fun, boys.  Sausagefest in my bathroom.  No fruit, no girls.

With pineapple mango jam. …When did this actually turn into a blog about what I had for lunch??

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I wish sometimes that human beings came with a little view screen that displayed what’s really going on in there.

“Oh – I don’t really want these nachos, I’m just lonely”


“Oh – I’m cleaning this floor so intently to avoid dealing with those incomplete forms on my desk”

”Oh – it’s the Flintstones theme song”

Sometimes I think I know what’s going on in my head, but at other times I’m totally lost.  And my head lies.  Frequently.  And well.

I’ve been feeling lately like I didn’t really have time to write here (or to do much of anything else, really) because I’m trying to get the house in order after our move, and am eager to have things in some vague level of livability.  I think that’s part of it, but I also think that I have been MUCH more stressed out about other life events than I’ve fully realized.  I wonder if my workaholic nature is often affected this way.

There’s been a lot of financial stress lately on this end.  Since the allergic reaction to my meds, the prognosis for my return to work has changed dramatically.  The financial situation was not entirely rosy to begin with having just purchased our first house, and the extra costs associated with trying to get me better so far had significantly chewed through any reserves we may have had.  So now we’re up to our eyeballs in debt, and weighing significantly any purchase of items for the house.  Do we really need a lawn mower?  Could we cut each blade by hand?  Maybe we could get a goat…

If I can’t go back to work as intended, that will leave me without pay for a period of time before long term disability insurance benefits would kick in.  That’s thousands of dollars difference in our income for that time, and still a significant difference after even once the insurance payments start (provided all goes smoothly and I’m quickly approved).  Thank goodness that I even have that, is all that I can say.  I can’t imagine working through something like this without that safety net.  We’d lose our house, our car,…just about everything but each other.

At any rate, as thinly stretched as we are, the extra strain is going to be significant.  I think in part I’ve been trying to be strong for my husband.  I know that the possibility of my being off work longer stresses him RIGHT THE FUCK OUT.  He’s had a couple of mini-meltdowns because of it, and I can’t help but feeling on some level like it’s all my fault.  I’ve been trying to be the voice of optimism, and focus externally on how we’ll get through it and everything will be okay.  It could be much worse.  If nothing else comes up, it will be very survivable.

I just spoke with the Disability Services Manager (or something like that) from my employer, though, and when she told me about another financial hit, I turned into a wet, tearful mess on the phone.  I’ve acknowledged that I’ve been putting off filling out the disability forms and making that particular phone call, but I hadn’t quite realized how much the whole thing was still eating at me.  I think in my attempts at previous survival, I’ve gotten quite adept at shoving things aside and burying them as quickly as possible.  Not so good for the long term benefit.

So I’m going to eat a peanut butter sandwich now (because finances are tight), and sit down for a minute to do something that isn’t work related to try to pull myself together (because finances are tight and that stresses me RIGHT THE FUCK OUT).

In an hour and a half I have to face down the contractor who’s trying to get out of fixing the damage his workers have done to our house and belongings.

Because I’m the together one right now.

And that stresses me right the fuck out.

That, and my internet access gets shut off for a while

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Heading into full-scale moving mode, which may make things a little quieter on this end.
Have already packed away at least five items that I’ve needed since then.

Am considering making new furniture out of cardboard boxes to save on both moving fees and time spent unpacking.

Cardboard is the new black.

And learnin’. Good learnin’.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Sometimes I feel so disproportionately lonely if there’s a gap between when my husband expected to get home from work, and when he actually makes it home.  Even if it’s not a huge gap, I find the house suddenly more empty.

Packing is proceeding…slowly.  I have now sorted through several old university binders full of things in my handwriting that I can’t remember ever knowing how to do, and essays with titles that sound far more impressive than they actually are.  It’s kind of cool, though, to think that I did that stuff once.  Sort of wish I still was.  I would become a professional student in a heartbeat if someone would just pay me…

…at least until I remembered how much all-nighters kind of suck.

….and that I hate writing essays.

…..and that there was always way more work to be done than could conceivably fit within a 24 hour day.

Still, though,…good beer.

In which I realize what we’ve gotten ourselves into

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I’ve realized that my postings lately have been a bit less related to my attempts to kick the depression thing.  To be honest, my progress in that area has been kind of on hiatis while we frantically try to get the new house liveable and actually,…you know,….maybe put some of our belongings in it (I’m seriously considering claiming enlightenment and doing away with all of our worldly posessions. …Except that then I would want new, shinier posessions.).

In the mean time, we have progressed almost a foot and a half with the laminate flooring today.   Over about a four hour period.  Oh boy.