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Oh, my aching back!

Seems it’s taking me a bit longer to get back into the Blogging Swing than I thought it would. Or maybe I’m just enjoying doing stuff in The Real World more than usual. It’s nice. Except for the sponge growing out of my couch, life is good.

I may have lost my mind, tho. You see, my back is sore today because I spent some hypnotically vague amount of time folding my shirts last night. Sounds insane, right? But it’s all connected, as you will see.

I’ve been very unhappy about the state of Towanda’s insides for awhile now. Most especially since The Kid moved in with me. There’s just too much clutter, too much Stuff, it’s total chaos and I have reached the end of my rope. I tossed a bunch of stuff but it still wasn’t enough. I feel like my skin’s on too tight but didn’t know quite why.

A few blogs I read have been touting this book

KonMari CoverI’ve never been one to “join” any sort of organizational method with any amount of ambition, but I bought the book for my Kindle and started reading. KonMari (as she likes to be called) has developed a system whereby her clients discard and then organize their possessions. “When your house is in order, wonderful things start to happen,” is my paraphrase of her main tenet, and anyone who knows me understands that I seriously need some forward motion right now.

Step one is to sort all clothing. ALL clothing. As in, gather every stitch of clothing in your entire house, including accessories, shoes and bags, and pile them in the middle of the floor. Then sort according to her method which amounts to, “if I were to see this in a shop today, would I buy it?” If the answer is “no,” out it goes. No second chances, no take-backs, no hesitation.

I’d already done a clothing purge a couple of months ago, putting all the Winter stuff into bins under the bed but I did it again with the warm weather clothes in the wardrobe. A surprising amount of things went out in a donation bag. I even purged some shoes! And I love my shoes…

KonMari recommends using shoe boxes inside drawers to organize clothing, hanging those things “that are happier to be hung up.” Having no drawers creates a bit of a dilemma, but I am Crafty and went out and bought some old wood drawers, painted them and added shelves inside. They stack inside the wardrobe and boxes sit on their shelves. Boxes that are now full of perfectly folded shirts and underthings. It.Is.A.Marvel. I kid you not.

However, this has led to a grim dissatisfaction with the state of the rest of my wardrobe. I may have lost my mind. I’m sitting at work and all I can think about are the bins of clothes under the bed and the state of the rest of the wardrobe. How many more pairs of shoes can I donate before I start to feel like I have “the perfect number?”

Where does this end? Should I keep track of how many bags (or pounds?) of crap I toss out the door?

The next catagory to de-clutter and organize is Books, followed by Papers (“just throw all of them away” is KonMari’s advice) komono (misc. stuff) and finally things that have sentimental value.

Books will be easy – now that I have a Kindle I don’t buy them any more and those that I have can be cheaply purchased on Kindle so long as I bought them on Amazon. There are a few that I will keep, but the vast majority will go. Papers will be even easier – it’s all crap and I’m eager to get it out of my space. Komono will be the longest process as I have a lot of things that would fall into this category.

Sigh. I really have lost my mind…

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Blather, Happy, KonMari, RV Living

 

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“Relax…” Part Two

A lot of things have been going on here that I haven’t blogged about, mainly because I am tired. So very tired. All you men can just stop reading here unless you want way too much information about the workings of the female reproductive system.

Okay?

Those who are squeamish have left, right?

Good. That leaves the sympathetic and the curious. Perfect.

So. I’m 46 this year. We all know what that means, right? I’m of the age where all those wonderful Changes start happening that herald the end of my child-bearing years and the beginning of Real Freedom from the plagues of women. Right? What a load of horseshit!

I want to lodge an official complaint to who-the-fuck-ever informs society about the “most common” symptoms of menopause. Dude, you suck!

Oh, sure, we’ve all heard about Hot Flashes, right? Great news – only about 30% of women experience hot flashes, and that’s the most common symptom we all hear about. Hot flashes and night sweats. I’m usually cold, so those don’t sound so bad. And, no, that’s not what I’m talking about today. Nope.

You occasionally hear that your periods will get lighter, irregular, and then stop altogether. When you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months, you’re officially in menopause and done with all that messy business. Right?

WELL! The symptoms no one talks about (except women on various internet boards who are all shocked and horrified, apparently) are the two I’m experiencing at the moment – flooding periods and peri-menopausal rage. I don’t know if one isn’t caused by the other, but I suspect they go hand-in-hand.

I’ve had regular periods all my life. Like you could set your watch by them. Seriously, totally predictable. A few years ago I went in for my usual Yearly Exam. The doc told me I could expect my periods to get erratic and likely much lighter in the next few years. It’s like the words went from her lips directly to my uterus and the irregularities began. Nothing too shocking, just not on schedule, but lighter, so that was a great bonus!

Not long after I left the narc, I missed completely for three months. There was no way I was pregnant, so I counted my blessings and was a bit disappointed when they started up again, slightly irregular, but back to my normal.

I missed February, March and April this year and was pleasantly surprised, but since there was no way I was pregnant, I didn’t think too much about it. In May it  came back a little more severe – more PMS than usual, heavier bleeding, but nothing too strange.

But then! June 7 (about a week early) it started. With a vengeance. At first I didn’t make much of it. Maybe it was a little heavier than usual, but no biggie, right?

And then it was quite a bit heavier than usual. No panic, this never lasts more than five days and I can do five days of pretty much anything.

That was when the flood began. It went on and on. And on and on. A full week. Still, no biggie, this is to be expected at this stage in my life. But it didn’t stop. It was heavy and oh-my-god-surely-I’m-dying heavy. Then nothing overnight. Whew! It’s over, right? Nope. It’s freaking Niagra Falls down there, if Niagra Falls were prominently featured in a slasher flick.

Today marks Day 18. A bit of online research reveals that it can go on much longer or stop at any time. It can never happen again or start up again at any time. Either/or and/or both at once. Lovely. AND I can expect this to go on for 4-10 years! Halla-freakin-looya. Being female sucks.

Besides the irritation of going to the toilet and having it look like a crime scene, there’s the expense of all the pads I go through.

From a website (they all agree on this info):

The usual length of menstrual bleeding is four to six days. The usual amount of blood loss per period is 10 to 35 ml. Each soaked normal-sized tampon or pad holds a teaspoon (5ml) of blood. That means it is normal to soak one to seven normal-sized pads or tampons (“sanitary products”) in a whole period.

Srsly? So I pay way too much money for pads that only soak up a teaspoon of liquid? How many drops is that? I’ll save you the Googling – one teaspoon equals 76 drops. Okay. So each pad soaks up 76 drops. Lemme tell you this – Flooding Periods can produce as much as 2 cups! How many drops is that? Yep – 4,732 drops per cup, for a total of 9,464 drops. Divide that by 76 and you get 124.52 pads. I wish I was kidding. Two pads per hour sometimes and it shows no sign of stopping. It’s a laugh riot around here, lemme tell you.

Now, being smarter than the average bear, I use a FemmeCup, which holds 7.5 – 15 ml, so more than two pads, which makes it a bit more convenient, but it still has to be emptied every couple of hours and if I miss that, well, it gets really messy, really quick. Good thing I have a good stain stick for the laundry!

If all of this becomes too inconvenient, I can opt for birth control pills (which may or may not work to bring my cycles back to a predictable rhythm and which have many terrible side effects, naturally much more severe considering my age and that I smoke) an IUD (with more side effects and which may not work but could result in a host of really nasty problems) a D&C (which may or may not work and can result in severe pain and other side effects) a hysterectomy (just what I need – invasive surgery which will knock my hormones into all kinds of insanity but will bring on menopause proper) or various other drugs that may or may not work but will have side effects that may or may not make life unbearable.

All the websites agree that I should go see the doc and have a host of tests done, some invasive, some not so much, all of which will confirm that I am indeed Peri-menopausal and this is just the beginning of the next chapter of my life. With the wait to see a doc around here, I think I’ll pass on that one.

ALSO, I’m probably anemic, which can lead to a bunch of complications, including fainting. Yay! I bought some multivitamins and iron tabs today at lunch time to try to head that off before it becomes a problem. It does explain the fatigue, though.

Which brings us back to the Peri-menopausal Rage that I mentioned. Yeah. That’s not something anyone warns you about. My moods are all over the place and I would cheerfully choke the life out of my own child if it meant my uterus would quit gushing blood for just a few hours. I’m not even kidding. So far I haven’t acted out, but I think I chipped a tooth biting back words that I really didn’t want to speak to someone with a penis who was being especially stupid in that moment. Or maybe he wasn’t being stupid. Who can even remember? It was…something…whatever. The rage has passed, for now, but I know it will be back.

The good news is that I haven’t had any hot flashes or night sweats! Yay?!? Or will that be the next cross to bear?

Oh, but wait! There’s more stress. Tune in tomorrow for Part the Third.

 

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First Spring Weekend of 2015!

Don’t hate me, but we seemed to have skipped over Winter entirely this year. Oh, there were a couple of weeks when the mercury dropped below freezing, but we had no snow or even freezing rain and I am not complaining, believe me!

How can I be sure? The birds are back and the Spring flowers are up and blooming. Flowers can be fooled, but the birds can’t – they’ve been waking me up in the morning for the better part of a week now, so I can be pretty sure Spring is here to stay. Please don’t shoot me if we get a foot of snow tonight – sometimes my life just goes like that.

What better way to celebrate Spring than a Wool Sale! What? It’s a Real Thing. It IS.

Posting over at Starting Over Designs today if you’re here for an update. Something more in line with the usual theme here tomorrow…

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Crazy, Fiber Arts, Social Interaction

 

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Groundhog Day

We’ve all seen Groundhog Day, right? That silly movie where Bill Murray lives February 2nd over and over again until he Learns a Lesson and is finally freed from endless repetitions of the same day?

Well, lately it feels like I’m living the same day over and over again and time is speeding up but each day is just enough different from the last that I know I’m not trapped in a time loop.

One thing that messes up my sense of time is the screwy weather. Last year at this time we were freezing under what would develop into 18″ of snow with more to come and this year the temps have been in the 50’s with a fraction of the usual rainfall. Please, don’t hate me, it’s really freaking me out. Now, I’m not a fan of Winter storms, but it’s not supposed to be this warm or dry right now and I worry we’ll pay the price for Mother Nature’s switch-up for months to come. Feeling like we went from Fall to Spring  skipping over Winter entirely.

This Saturday is the Newport Spin-in, the fiber event I wrote about in both 2014 and 2013. Don’t think I’m gonna go this year. Taking stuff to sell is just too much work for no return and I’m done with that sort of thing in 2015 – life is too short to do stuff that drains my energy. Besides which I have plenty of work from The Other Boss and money earned has to trump energy going out.

Last week was a bit fraught with drama of the stupid-ass-kid kind. Srsly? You would think that events from a few weeks ago would be fresh in his mind (my nightmares have stopped, finally!) but it seems he did not take my lectures and advice to heart.

He had almost two full months to find a job and get a roommate in order to keep his life on track. We were in contact by phone and text pretty much every day. He acted like he was working hard to get his shit sorted but it was all a lie. He did not get a job. He did not get a new roommate. What he did instead is a mystery, but it wasn’t drinking, thank all that’s holy. In spite of my constant encouragement and inspirational talks, he has decided to throw it all away and become homeless.

Now, before y’all get up in arms about mental illness and substance abuse and depression, you have to understand that we’ve had conversations in the past where he’s joked that he doesn’t want to live in a traditional house-type situation, how he would prefer to live in a tent in the woods, far away from people and all the bullshit. He has always been dead serious about this, so it’s not mental illness or depression talking – this is nothing new.

He hates the way most companies have online applications – all he wants is to go into a place and talk to the manager about any job openings because he feels he has a better chance that way. Of course, that presupposes he is actually walking into places that are hiring, but let’s not get in the way of his version of reality, ‘k? His way to find a job is (much like my father’s) to go stand on the porch, look down the street, say, “well, I don’t see any jobs today,” and go back inside to do something “fun.” I wish I was kidding. He’s always been that way – the last five years was an obvious anomaly.

I didn’t know how very dire the situation was until Wednesday night when I talked to him on the phone and he finally ‘fessed up about what was going on. I offered to pay his bills this month, stipulating that I could make it happen once and only once, but he flat out refused to take any money. Said I’d done more than anyone could ask and he deserved to live with the consequences of his actions. This was no one’s fault but his own and he has to grow up some time.

I went so far as to go online and send him links to job openings and people looking for a place to live (no shortage of either, as far as I could see) and sending them to him. I ranted on the phone, giving advice and trying to encourage him, but he had made up his mind and my efforts were futile. He detailed his plan for living outside and how he will manage. He has put considerable thought into this plan of his. I told him to keep trying – time has not run out yet and he can turn this around.

Friday night he was not talkative on the phone, answering in monosyllables, not wanting to hear any encouraging words. He refused my help several more times and I finally rang off, telling him I would talk to him on Saturday morning.

No answer Saturday morning or afternoon. I was torn between driving up there and letting him execute his horrible plan. Unable to decide, I called Mom instead. We talked for 2.5 hours and concluded that I’ve done all I can do. He’s a grown man and this is his choice. All we can do is be there for him if he wants help. Parents don’t have to like the choices their spawn make, but it is our job to support them however we can. Paying his bills will only waste my money and delay his moving out by a month.

I left several voicemails for him, telling him that I’m here if he needs anything or if he has any trouble paying his cell phone bill to get in touch and I’ll pay it online so he can stay in touch with the family. I told him that Grandma is there for him and that we all love him and support whatever decision he makes.

Now he has the chance to live his “dream.” This totally fucking sucks.

Didn’t I just do this?

Last weekend was full of the pointy-ball game and its associated hype. Yawn. Proud to say I don’t care who wins – I root for the Clydesdales 🙂

Here’s a question for y’all – when I say “last weekend” does that mean the weekend just past? When I say “this weekend” does it mean the very next Saturday/Sunday, assuming we are speaking from Monday or later in the week? Does “next weekend” mean, not the very next Saturday/Sunday, but the following? The narc would lecture me for hours about how confusing my use of the English language was – he just couldn’t keep anything straight because I did not use words in the “correct manner.”

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Blather

 

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Observations and Conversations

I had way too much fun over the weekend to bother with laundry and what with this and that and going to the dog park, but Wednesday night it was too late to even consider. It had to get done last night or I’d be going to work commando today.

So I set out into the rain, two baskets in the back seat. Had to stop at Crap-Mart to get some laundry soap and as I was wheeling the cart to the register I looked over my potential purchases and wondered what conclusions people would draw about my life. You know, how you do in a crowded mega store.

Electric razor. Laundry soap and Oxy-Clean. Ginormous box of scoopable cat litter. What? It was on sale. Six cans of cat food. Friskies because the Little Prince will only eat Friskies, the fish flavors, shreds, not pate. A mat that promises to keep the litter in the vicinity of the box.

Conclusion? Crazy cat lady with mounds of dirty laundry and hairy legs. Great. Thank god I’d skipped the cookie sale!

After lugging my purchases to the car and lugging the laundry into Spin City (the only game in town) I got started. The laundry had already been sorted and I popped the two burlap bags into a top loader before anyone could object (rug hooking!!) and was loading up three front loaders, minding my own business, lost in a daydream and eager to get back to my book, when a woman tapped me on the shoulder, nearly causing me to scream.

Is it just me, or does everyone generally avoid eye contact at the laun-dro-mat? I tend to shove the dirty stuff into the machines, eager to get them going so no one can make judgements about my clothes or the dirt on them. I’m probably just paranoid, but it feels too intimate for people to be looking at my clothes, all limp and dirty like that. Anyway.

“I don’t know if you’ve used these machines before,” the woman said, “but don’t put the soap in until you’ve started the machine or it will just run out and not stay in with the clothes.” Followed by a long-winded explanation about how I should add the soap and some other nonsense that was totally necessary. Granted, I was wearing rain clothes, but I’m pretty sure she could see I was female, and not young, so how could she think I didn’t know how to do my own laundry? I thanked her for the heads-up and shook my head as she walked away.

La la la la la. The clothes go round and round. The soap bubbles up. The water isn’t too dirty, but then again, I hadn’t loaded the machines up to capacity, either.

Another woman approaches.

“What made you choose these machines?” she asked. At my confused look, she went on. “I always thought those were dryers and I’ve always used the top loaders. I just never paid attention before!” This was not a young woman, but a middle aged woman like myself – she HAD to have done this before.

She went on to explain that she had a washer and dryer at home but was having problems with the washer drain and had to come to Spin City to wash.

I told her that I chose the larger machines because I was washing fabric and felting sweaters – the clothes were an added bonus to save time. There! That made me sound all Artsy and Sophisticated instead of a loser who doesn’t have a washer and dryer at home.

“Oh! You’re crafty? You’re washing fabric?”

“Yep. I sew & quilt, knit and spin and lots of other stuff and regular washers just don’t do the job when you’re washing yardage.”

She lost interest at that point and wandered off about the time the Cleaner Boy arrived. He is tall, with a really bad haircut. He has the braying voice of a redneck who thinks if he only talks loud enough he’ll sound smart. That’s a cruel thing to say, but I lived in his town and let me tell you, the natives are a little…let’s just say…inbred…and leave it at that.

He asked a million questions of everyone, trying to engage us, but really, we’re here to get a job done and go home, not have a conversation. Finally everyone was gone but me and the homeless drunk guy who acted like he was moving in for the night.

Cleaner Boy just wouldn’t leave me alone. I asked for a rag to wipe out the top loader I used (burlap sheds horribly the first time it gets washed) and evidently that means we’re now BFFs. He started asking questions and it came out that I have a dog. He leaned in conspiratorially. “If your dog is in the car, after these people leave you can bring her inside – it’s okay while I’m here…”

Yeaaaaahhh. Thank god I left her at home! Dude was getting way too cozy.

Finally, everything was dry and I was packed up to get out of there.

“Do you know the time?” I asked my new BFF.

“8:30”

“Oh, crap! I gotta go!”

Cleaner Boy carried one of my baskets out to the car, said, “have a great night, Ma’am,” and loped off in the rain.

Anyone else notice that laun-dro-mats are like casinos? No clocks. The mesmerizing sound of the machines. You plug quarters in the slots until you have no more, snap out of a haze and realize how much time you’ve lost. The only thing missing is free drinks…

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in right?, You're kidding

 

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