Today, I was productive.
Yesterday I was constantly convincing myself it was okay to do NOTHING. Be a human being, not a human doing.
I watched Russian Doll, I watched Sex Education (both amazing). I snacked and I napped. I consider it the equivalent to plugging myself in to recharge.
What prompted this was my husband being out-of-town.
I feel guilty just ‘being’ otherwise.
That’s not on him. It’s a psychological glitch.
I can’t even pee at work without telling myself, “Just get this one thing done, then you can go.”
So, in spite of doing nothing of import yesterday (production wise) I accomplished so very much in allowing myself to DO nothing.
This is not the topic of my post though.
I have been COLD! It’s been freezing at night and our home doesn’t exactly remember the sunlight hours.
We have a wood burning stove and a (what seems to me) a circa 1970 hall heater.
Said heater has been groaning and moaning and whirring pathetically. If it were a pet, I’d be doing what it trusted me to do.
However, shivering on Friday, I decided to try to ‘fix’ the heater.
I figured, it probably just needs cleaning. I mean, I could clearly see dust abundant.
I unscrewed it – (after shaving the caulking off the edges) and to my surprise, it wasn’t independent of the grate.
Grab something, hold it up while I work on it.
Scooted to the bathroom and didn’t want it hanging from the wires too long – first thing I came upon was a soap dispenser.
Back to my task. Cleaned the fan – dusted the wires turned it back on and … flames.
After I closed it up, I tried to turn it on again thinking (in my official capacity as not only a HVAC professional but also an electrician) that it would work.
Didn’t even turn on.
Was chatting with my husband while he was at the airport.
Me: I f***** something up, I guess when I was messing with the heather it blew the fuse in the bathroom
Me: Only just realized it, I tried to plug something in
Me: NVM fixed it.
Yeah – I only had to press ‘reset’. *groan*
I shivered the night away and spent my lazy day bundled in bed with Netflix.
Today I was determined but depleted.
I scavenged the land for twigs with a bucket like a babushka. Hunched over, head covered, layers upon layers – selecting the choice sticks.
No newspapers or firestarters.
Into the ‘office’.
Twigs and file folders!
Got that started and inserted the wood that doesn’t ‘catch’ alone and …
This is what I’m looking at now. SUCH a relief!
That being said, I used to think I could do Naked and Afraid. After a weekend of freezing temps and no ability to light a fire IN A WOOD BURNING STOVE, I acquiesce. How the hell do they manage to start a fire and keep it going in the rain???????? How do they survive nights completely naked in freezing temps????? As I mentioned to my friends, if I WERE on naked on afraid, I would have tapped out in my own living room completely clothed that night.
But, I kept trying. And hung in there. (Like, where am I going to go? lol)
And the fire is still roaring and I still feel rested. Win!
I’m baaaaack! Why?
“It is the year, 2019” (said in Morgan Freeman voice) and I have my first EVER laptop. No more stressing over my keyboard vs blue tooth connections – no more trying to tap out a post like morse code.
I, am at home and able to type this on an amazing machine.
Oh what a relief. I have so very much missed writing. And talking to you Soupers!
This post contains graphic anxiety so if you have triggers – stop reading. Also, if you have rain, flash floods, commute or coyote phobias – not the one for you.
I’ll begin repeating myself shall I?
I moved to a very rural area and have a long commute now. But, the land, the man and the hiking is worth it. I am very grateful and know how blessed I am.
It’s ours. Okay, it’s the bank’s – but, we’re not renting.
Here’s the deal though. We live on a ‘Turn around don’t drown’ road.
This has mostly not been an issue.
We have monsoon season, which has kindly occurred mostly on weekends in the summer. (Shout out to those storms dodging work days! Whoop!)
But then came ‘the day’.
It was before the day I’m going to talk about.
Our neighbor gave me a map. How very mysterious. But, actually, he was looking out for me. ‘Back Road Map’. When would I use this? When would I need this? I was fine with my route.
Oh lord. The day I first used it I figured all of that out and was so VERY grateful.
I’ll now just leap into what happened the other day shall I?
It was a foggy morn’ … arrived at my turn onto the highway with almost zero visibility.
(This is where I reiterate how this commute on a GOOD day is scary for me. I have literally driven shaking, almost losing my vision, heart pounding, can’t feel my limbs, feeling ‘out of self’.)
I watched for headlights – waited – saw an ‘in’ and pulled out.
AND – some asshat didn’t have their headlights on.
They braked, I almost had a heart attack.
Going forward – heart pounding – and next fear comes true. Coyote crosses road.
I safely navigated it and kept on going.
Long story short, I made it to work, going 45-50 in a 65 zone.
Rained ALL day.
We are … um, the ‘rain catchers’ of the area. The mountains above us drain on down.
So, when my honey told me, rain is stopping, you should be okay, I believed it.
What I didn’t take into consideration was how long it takes for those long showers to make it down.
Here’s video one.
At this point I’m thinking, “Well, I’ve gunned it through heartier. But, after seeing trucks turn around, I’m nope to the nopety nope.”
I first text my boss who asked me to let her know when I got home.
“I’m stuck on my road and shaking.”
I then call my husband.
“OK. I’m coming down.”
“You made a very good decision not crossing that.”
He can’t save me. So, I turn around, ready to do the ‘back roads’ with that map in my 4 wheel drive amazing truck … wait …
Off road car YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not.
Then, this …
Remember, I’ve come this far right? I can go back, do the highway, take those back roads. So, I turn around Aaaaand ….
I am now stuck between two washes.
I just want to go HOME!
I DID gun it through that one. Shamefully I’ll admit, wasn’t the most dangerous decision I have made, but completely stupid.
I got to the highway and THIS highway (as if I haven’t made it clear enough) is so super dangerous.
I need the next left for my ‘map’ directions.
Almost got nailed doing that.
Next part, I’ll be the first to admit was fun, if danger was not a factor.
I slid, I slid and slid and … learned to get out of past tracks.
My poor car lol! It’s not built for that.
Good thing it is a shift – and I could downshift.
And, that last track home made me smile. (Only, I wish it happened in a jeep lol.)
I made it.
Now, here’s some pics of what the rain does to our land.
Yeah, roses are pretty watered.
The morning ‘weather is going to suck’ fog.
There used to be mountains?
Our parking area today. (Yes, I’m lucky.) But, you can see the wetness, I share this post knowing my husband will be in Chicago soon and I can’t even imagine being there during adverse conditions! Me: Boo! Look what the rain did!
Him: (I’m making this up) I can’t feel my fucking face here.
So! There you go. Stay warm. Stay dry. Stay a Souper!
It’s been weeks since ‘the flood’ and weeks since I’ve written.
Today I’m rushing laundry as a handyman is to meet me at my disheveled home @ 9 a.m.
Of course, the laundromat did not open early today as Murphy’s law would have it.
‘Handyman’ is going to ‘look’ at the damage and other repairs that I’ve requested so many times.
If one more person looks and does not DO – I’m going to have to put my foot down.
I say that, but I’m not confrontational.
I did however, stand up for Muslims and others while stuck outside listening to Glaucoma man rant and rave.
A rare photo of him – he’s the one in the Hawaiian shirt.
The other gentleman was also a source of anger for Glaucoma man as he was let in before us.
I don’t care, but jeez did HE take it personally. I told him to calm down as Laundry Lady came to unlock the front door. She didn’t need any of his venom.
Other than laundry and handymen and my interactions here – life has been … Different lately.
Work is changing – two of the original owners are leaving to enjoy their lives together and travel. They will be missed.
I turned 48 and decided that I, too, needed to make some changes.
That’s been difficult. Whenever there are others involved it’s a painful process.
But as I think of my friend in the hospital and I hear news of people my age suddenly passing of late – it’s very clear to me that none of us are promised tomorrow and it’s time to start soaking up each day.
I’m seeking peace for myself. And while I feel selfish doing so, no one else is going to find that for me.
Clearly no handyman – they’ll just keep coming around and ‘looking’ at damage and making appointments to return some day.
I peopled yesterday.
I SO peopled.
Made a return at a major store – found no replacement, went to another major store – this is after an uncomfortable drive to the first place.
Care for pets.
Thought of leaving brings on another need for bathroom.
The drive: “OMG, why are they going so fast?” “Am I going too slow?” “I have to be in this lane.” “Are they mad at me?” “They’re not going to let me in if I don’t move now.”
Get me out of here!
Last store – my heart was ready to come out of my chest. I entered Safeway.
Wiped my cart with the sanitary thingy – reach into my purse for my pen (I always do a ‘tally’ as I go) and ‘POKE’ … And OUCH.
I pulled my hand out of my purse and … Blood.
A trial size perfume spritzer had shattered and the ‘poke’ was a shard of glass.
I headed to customer service because A) I am NOT going home now without my provisions and B) I needed her to check my lottery scratcher tickets because I am blind as Clarice Starling in Buffalo Bill’s cellar these days.
So I’m standing there – dripping on not only the cart, but the floor, my clothes, anything in my midst.
Me: (placing, very calmly, scratcher tickets on the counter) Um, do you have a band aid?
Her: Wow. You’re bleeding pretty bad.
Her: OK. (Scurries off for ‘things’)
Me: I’m so sorry.
Her: Don’t be sorry. How did you do that?
Me: (Feeling woozy, trying not to bleed everywhere and becoming increasingly aware of how much I am) I, um, I was by the dispenser, the thing ..
Her: The sanitizer? You cut yourself on the wipe container?
“Do you want to file a claim?”
No, no I didn’t lol. Because it wasn’t the dispenser’s fault.
She kindly patched me up and yes, I had missed a ‘winner’. $10 in my pocket and a band aid on my finger and I was off.
But what WAS their fault? The barricades in the aisles. Stock people, I know you have to stock, but, damn! It’s hard enough for me to be in the store at it’s best time (which I still haven’t figured out) but when I’m doing a grocery version of a maze/obstacle course that’s ridiculous.
I was so DONE with being out, SO done with peopling and so mad at myself for allowing the sweet customer service lady to believe the sanitizer dispenser attacked me.
The rest of the day I spent cleaning and cooking.
It’s time for my annual home inspection – or as I like to think of it, ‘intrusive visit where photographs are taken of all my belongings’.
I clean all the time, but this visit calls for the white glove kind of clean.
You know, all the things you don’t do all the time. (Or, maybe it’s just me?) Like, removing and washing the floor vents, cleaning the top of the fridge, cleaning under sinks and tossing items not used even once since last inspection.
I got most everything done except my bedroom.
I just can’t get into gear to do it!
We all have that one room everything that doesn’t belong anywhere else ends up right? Well, that’s my bedroom.
And it really sucks the ‘nest zen’ right out of my budoire.
I’ll get to it eventually. I have a deadline after all. That always motivates me.
But for today … I’m going to chill out a little.
Luckily, I am done with outside errands and there’s no more peopling in Sunday’s forecast.
I took some ‘mental health’ days from work.
I needed to decompress, give myself an attitude adjustment and also go through my son’s room.
Day 1 consisted mostly of watching everything I wanted to see on Netflix. Plus, grocery shopping.
I actually cooked a meal, peeked in on the chaos that is my son’s room and slowly backed out.
It’s so hard to get motivated to begin when you’re not sure just where TO begin. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Hoarders, you might know where I’m coming from. Ok, it’s not THAT bad – but pretty overwhelming.
So Netflix won me back.
Rewind – so, while I was at the grocery store I ran into laundry lady. We chatted for a moment and went our separate ways.
Then, I happened to be in line behind her and her roommate and not a word was shared.
I felt a little hurt. After all, 6 years of 52 weeks seeing her and tipping her and bonding … and no shopping line chatter.
I had more of a conversation with the little old lady behind me that I did with my Sunday blog muse.
I finished Saving Grace. Started the Santa Clarita Diet, finished that. Watched David Brent, Life on the Road and Finding Dory.
Felt guilty for all of that so yesterday cleaned.
I made a tiny dent in my main project (3 garbage bags later) and focused on the house to get my mind off of some of the sentimental items I’d found in ‘the’ room.
It’s still not done. But, I have today and tomorrow off still.
Not sure how much I’ll accomplish, but I will gird my loins and delve in again.
I asked Nic what he wanted to keep, he said to get rid of everything.
I don’t think he realizes some of the things he left behind.
Besides, this is the mom who saved every card he ever gave me, so, no, I’m not tossing things. Except obvious trash.
It’s also been raining, although, not nearly as much as it has been on the central coast. The devastating photos being shared by my friends in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Carmel are insane!
But, enough that it puts me in ‘just wanna be comfy and relax’ mode. That certainly doesn’t fuel me with the energy to purge and sort through a lifetime.
But, this is why I needed those mental health days.
The task has been weighing on me, and I can’t stand to know something is needing to be done and hasn’t been.
The OCD in me may win out the lethargy.