Depressing Weather

It feels like it’s been raining for weeks!  I think it’s stopped a couple times….I have seen stars a few nights and the sun did come out the other day……

I really struggle with these dark, dreary days.  BUT……

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This is sooooo true!

 

I’d decided to have a “do nothing” day and, for the most part, that is what it was….although do nothing days aren’t too exciting.   I did end up cleaning out the cupboard under the bathroom sink…..half used cream, cleaning stuff that was so old it probably wouldn’t clean anything anymore, partially used shampoo and other hair products that I obviously didn’t like (or work!) and lots of half full bottles of suntan lotion that had expired in 2012!   Why?  But they’re gone now and that makes me feel a lot better.

Another good thing yesterday was that someone finally came and picked up the leftover vinyl siding from the garage!  And I got a couple of hundred bucks for it……that definitely made me happy!

While I was doing nothing (?) I ended up sorting out a lot of my junk…..a pile for the dump, a pile for give away and a box to go to a consignment store.  I’ve gone into that store a few times and just looked around (I was a good girl and didn’t buy anything!!).  It’s all other peoples “junk” but the way they stage everything, it all looks really nice….and some of it very tempting.  The split isn’t that great, like 60% for them and 40% for you.  The best part is though, that if your stuff doesn’t sell, they’ll get rid of it for you!  That’s probably the best for them because I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t bother picking their unsold stuff up anyway!

This afternoon I’m off to a candle party.  I really don’t like going to those very much.  The social part is always fun but I need another candle like I need a hole in my head!  I’m pretty sure I’ll buy at least one because I feel that I have too…..but NO MORE than that!

Friday dinner with my friends that are moving was good…..a big pan of paella….which you just can’t go wrong with.  They are just exhausted…..him more than her…..it’s a bit of a worry because they aren’t “spring chickens” anymore and just moving itself, let alone all the packing, can be pretty stressful.  I would have just paid the movers to come in an pack up but then I’m not OCD when it comes to my stuff.  Their dining room is filled with boxed, their garage is filled with boxes and I’m sure the bedrooms are too.  She said they’ve got over 100 of them.  They used apple boxes from our local Safeway…..everyone of them is the same size so nice and easy to stack.

Tomorrow night is another dinner for them and then they’ll be gone.  I’m going to miss them a lot but it’s not like they’re moving to the ends of the earth…..including the ferry ride, it’s about an hour and half from here.  It is going to be one of those “alone” things though….like driving out to my SIL’s in the dark…..these kinds of trips are much better with a buddy but that’s how it is now and I’m slowly…..very slowly…..getting used to doing these, what are in my mind, long haul trips alone.

Between them moving, having a sick cat….yes another one….a sore back and the weather I’m feeling a little glum (is that a word??).  It’s one of those times where you really have to force yourself to find the positives or look on the bright side of anything…..selling the siding and getting that cupboard cleaned out was good.

L.

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A Cleaning Lady

Have a date set up to get my daughters apartment done but not until next week.  AND I have a date for her to come to my house too!  It was a spur of the moment thing while I was talking to her….the tub, tile and shower in my main bathroom need a good cleaning, which for some reason is just really hard for me to do…..or to do it right! You’d think being retired I would be able to do all this properly…..oh well.

I’m going to have her give me an estimate on what she’d charge to come in every two weeks or once a month to give the place a good cleaning.  Baseboards immediately come to mind!  The other thing that bugs me is the grout on the tile floors.  I’ve tried various grout cleaning products but I think that stuff absorbs every bit of dirt and grease.

This is the best cleaning spree I’ve had in years so maybe that’s why I’m really noticing everything.  My mother would have called me a “surface cleaner”.  Everything looks OK but……  We used to joke about our floors…..we’d say you could eat off hers AND mine….the only difference was that you’d actually get FULL from mine!

Tonight is another dinner with the friends that are moving…..they are just exhausted from all the packing and cleaning.  About the only thing I can offer them is food.  I think they’re covered now with meals until they leave next Tuesday.

I’ve just about gone through most of the papers that have laid around for years and the stuff that was in Ken’s night table drawer……that’s where he stashed his paystubs and other bits of paper that he would clean out of his wallet every now and again.  He has a bag….a very nice one that I got from the funeral home….with everything in it, including his ashes.  His hat and sunglasses are in there too, along with all the cards, CDs that we made for the celebration of life and the papers that I thought I should keep, like his birth certificate and passport.  They’ll sit on the top shelf in his old (my new) closet.  One day I’ll figure out what to do with it.  A friend suggested that I take a bit of his ashes with me on my vacations to leave wherever I go……it would kind of like he was there too!  I like that idea so maybe I’ll just do that.  The rest I’m not sure…..maybe keep them and then the kids can deal with him and me some day!

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Ken and his cat!

A whole life in a bag!  As soon as I put the bag on the bed Flop, the cat, (she came with that name!!) jumped up and started rubbing up against it.  I’m not sure if she knew or what…..but she was definitely Ken’s cat.  His cuddle buddy on the recliner….as soon as he sat down, she was right up there with him, usually trying to burrow her way under the blanket that he kept on it.

L.

Fun Dinner

With our friends that are moving next week.  We got her/them one of those adult colouring books, pencil crayons and felts….and a bottle of wine, of course.  The book is to doodle when she/we spend hours on the phone!

We’ve already planned a trip over to visit them towards the end of February.  Their new house has a gorgeous gulf island water view so I can’t wait to see it.

It was kind of sad though.  I’m really going to miss them but I will certainly get more accomplished around here…..not that she was a bad influence or anything but with a standing afternoon “tea” invitation at either my place or hers, well…….I’ll save money (on wine!).

Oh well, things change don’t they and we adapt to it.  I’m good now with change, as much as I really don’t like most things to change, it is what it is and we have to accept it.

Today, sore back and all…..I think I might have even blown out an ovary or whatever happens to be in that area of your body….I’ll get more stuff moved around and sorted out in that junk/garage room downstairs.  I will NOT lift anything too heavy though.  I just feel like I’m getting so much done and hate for an ache or pain (which I’ll blame on the gym….that’s when it first started) to set me back.  I have found more different types of speakers tucked away in boxes down there….some for the surround sound system, which I already have a bunch of speakers for…..some for the computer, some great big ones that went with the stereo system which were replaced by much smaller, new and more efficient ones at least 20 years ago!!  Now I have to figure out what to do with them all…..I think they’ll probably all pretty old and of no use now, so do I just chuck them?  I’m in the mood to do it, so maybe I will….

There are a couple of old computers….big honking things….down there too.  I know where to take them but is there some part I need to take out so no one can “steal my identity” or whatever?  They don’t work anymore….motherboard or hard drive or something like that is gone, done…..does that mean all the info is gone too?  I don’t know…..that’s a question for my brother.

I must say that as much as I complain about all the stuff that needs to be done and gone through, I really enjoy mucking about down there….except for the stuff I don’t know what to do with.  I’ve gotten rid of two boxes of books….a lot of indoor and outdoor gardening ones….either I didn’t read them or if I did, they have obviously not been of any help, so they are gone.  Cookbooks!  Who uses cookbooks anymore?  I do like them, especially the ones that are more than cookbooks….like my Eataly and some of the others that tell about the ingredients and regions the recipes are from. I used to “read” cookbooks like that….bedtime reading/planning for my next dinner party!  I don’t do diners like that too often anymore, so even some of those are going but I’ll hang on to a couple of my favs.

Cables and cords……just wow for how many of those I have.  I’ll throw them in with the old computers just in case some of them actually went with them.  The recycle guy might need them…..right?

So back to work I go.  And I swear I WILL NEVER, EVER AGAIN ACCUMULATE STUFF LIKE THIS!!!

L.

 

Truck Troubles

Got the old wall unit moved…..hooray!  Not quite to where I wanted it though, which was on the back of the truck.  The plan was to move the truck, which is not insured at the moment, into the garage and load that damn wall unit onto the back of it.  Then, come a nice day (not raining!), I’d whip up and get a permit for one day and haul it to the Salvation Army drop off.  It would mean parking my car outside for the time being, but I was OK with that.

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ONE DAY….this is where my little freezer will be instead of that damn old wall unit!

The truck wouldn’t start….argh.  It did just a few days ago, so thought I would with no problem yesterday.  Not to be!  In the pouring rain, I got the battery charger hooked up and tried to start it.  It didn’t.  Rather than just that dead, nothing thing that happens when you try and start a car with dead battery, it clicked…..and clicked.  The door open thing beeped, all the dash and inside lights worked….what the hell!  I left it hooked up for another hour or so and tried again….same thing.  Crap.

My son dropped by after work and helped me move that wall unit into the garage, where I guess it will sit for now.  He had a look at the truck and said it wasn’t the battery but a loose connection of some sort. Luckily nothing too drastic.  He can pick up the part and fix it over the weekend.  Thank goodness for that!!  So that stupid wall unit, once the truck is operational again and in the garage, will have to be moved again.  It was much heavier than I thought it was going to be and one of those very awkward things to carry because there was nothing on the back to get a grip on.  We had to take one of the doors off to get it out of the room and kind of then dragged it, without wrecking the floor, out into the garage.  After my son left I noticed that the door was still off!  It wasn’t a heavy door, so I was able to get it back on myself….phew!

I’ll keep myself busy today down in that room, reorganizing the new bookcases, moving the piano and stacking the boxes that we’ve brought from my daughters.  I’m going to have to be careful though because I think I’ve really hurt my back this time…..it feels fine if I just stay bent over……should be interesting when I go out for dinner tonight!

All this would go much faster, and more to my liking, if there was two people!  But there isn’t so I just have to be realistic about what I can or can’t do…..or shouldn’t do!!

I still have the walker that we bought for Ken….it’s in that room.  It was the Cadillac model of walkers.  Why we thought we needed to buy one so expensive is beyond me but we did.  The good thing was the my extended health benefits reimbursed the full amount.  It owes me nothing, that thing!  My friend Bonnie, that had a stroke last fall, is home now and doing pretty good but needs a walker just to be safe.  The one she’s got, for now,  is on loan through the Red Cross, but only for three months.  So she’ll be the lucky recipient of Ken’s walker one day soon.  Once they don’t need it, I’ll just donate it to someplace….I’m sure there is someone out there that would appreciate it.  I may just drop the walker off for her sooner than later to get it out of the junk room downstairs…..one more thing gone.

Slowly but surely……I’ll get everything done that I want.  I’ve left a message for the electrician about getting the new lighting done in the kitchen.  I hope he calls me back today and sets a date.  I think that should all be done before they start doing anything with the cabinets…..there’s going to be a few holes in the ceiling to fill…..argh, more drywall dust!

L.

Cracked Hands

From too much cleaning!

My hands have spent so much time in water and other various cleaning materials for the last few weeks they are finally rebelling……with cracks.  I’m sure that’s what rubber gloves are for but did I use them?  No.  Now I’m paying for it.  They hurt, especially around the tips of my fingers.

Another self-made problem!  Aveeno cream is great and I just have to remember to put some on about 10 times a day!  Or buy some of those surgical type gloves.

We made some progress at the kids place yesterday but it needs a lot more work.  I cleaned and my DIL went through papers and toys.  I know from watching Hoarders that, as much as I just wanted to get in there and turf everything, you can’t do that.  I also know that I’m probably flogging a dead horse here trying to help them….or her.  I wish I could have taken a picture……it’s a little scary.   Having two kids and keeping a house relatively clean and tidy wasn’t the easiest thing for me, so for them, having three little ones makes it even more challenging BUT…….   I cleaned two places….the living room, so they’d have a nice clean, comfortable place to sit and watch TV and the downstairs bathroom which I won’t even begin to describe.

Part of the problem is having too much stuff with no real place for any of it to go…..I know that problem myself and it’s taken me 40+ years to get it sorted out…..and it’s still a work in progress.  I think I’ll have to change my approach and instead of just cleaning, which I’m hoping won’t be a totally thankless job, is figuring out a better storage set up for them…..baskets and containers help…..maybe a stop at HD on my way over next week???

My DIL was a little overwhelmed by the time I left but I’m glad she sorted through all the stuff that she did.  She’s more than happy to have me come over, which is a good thing, but I also have to be careful not to overstay/overwork my “cleaning” visits….there is some psychology involved in this and I’m probably the last person in the world that should even be attempting to help.  I know she’s getting some professional help….and I’m sure she’s going to tell him about me!!  I offered to take the bags of give away and throw away stuff but she said she’d deal with them.  I’m thinking I should have just insisted on taking them because I’m afraid they’ll still be sitting there next week…..I guess we’ll see!  If only they can keep clean what was cleaned…..fingers are crossed!

After that is was back to my daughters apartment to get the last of it ready to list.  I was going to go over there and give it a final once over cleaning but I’m not…..I’m calling in a couple of cleaning ladies.  There isn’t much to do really, a bit of dusting, a good vacuuming, the baseboards need a once over and the floors washed.  It would be passable if you lived there but everything needs to be spic and span clean when you’re trying to sell it.

I’m going to have to find something to do today around here that doesn’t involve having my hands in water or touching a bottle of some cleaning stuff…..they need a bit of a break.  Maybe some shredding……….

L.

 

 

Shredding…..

…….and shredding and shredding!

In this day and age I guess it’s the best thing to do but there is just so much of it……if only I’d done it month by month, which was always what my plan was…..so now I pay for it!  My recycle bin is so full I can’t get one more little piece of anything in it.  Thank goodness today is blue bin pick up day…..tonight I can start filling it again.

There was income tax returns from 15 years ago (they suggest keeping them for 10 years only), bank statements, old mortgage papers from the first house we bought in 1975 and of course all Ken’s medical records.  I had to give the shredder a break because it was getting too hot from working too hard!

It just feels good though to be getting rid of all this stuff.  I swear my house bleeds paper……I’m really going to stay on top of it now, that is if I ever get to the end of it!  I’ve set up the shredder in the garage, so I’ve at least got most of the paper, in boxes, out there now.

I have that old wall unit to move, still!  I was hoping that would be done over the weekend but it was not to be……argh!  Tomorrow I will hopefully get some help with it.  I just wish I could do it myself….it’s driving me crazy!  I’m going to take it to the Salvation Army furniture donation place myself because I can’t wait for their next pick up which is in March sometime.  I’ll need help at this end loading it on the truck and will need help there unloading…I’m hoping they have someone otherwise at that point I might just push the thing off the back and take off……a “dump and dash”.

Fun day on Saturday.  We did our game marathon from 2PM to midnight!  Way too much food.  I don’t think more than a few minutes went by without something going into my mouth….then we had dinner and dessert…and then more junk food.

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the game in full swing…….

 

Today I’m off to my kids to help them clean up!  My DIL is a bit (understatement!!) of a hoarder and not the neatest person in the world…..I’m not sure where we’ll begin because there is just so much to do.  It’s a little scary and after watching a few of those hoarder TV shows…..it’s even scarier!  It certainly motivates me to get my mess cleaned up…..I only wish she’d watch the show sometimes too…..  It makes me feel bad for my grandkids.   My kids are really super good parents, they really are but to me part of good parenting is providing a clean, safe home for their kids too.  If we make progress today, I told her I’d come out on Mondays to work our way through everything.  The biggest challenge for them will be keeping wherever we do get cleaned up that way!  I’m not sure if it’s work…..we may need professional intervention!

Another busy week coming up but busy is good and even more so when I can see results!

L.

 

A Post Name Change and Game Day!

For April 12, 2015.  It was originally titled “Shopping Bomb :)”.

At the end of each year wordpress (blogging site) sends you some stats.  You never know who specifically read anything but you’re able to see how many views and visits your blog had by post.  It’s very interesting!  One jumped out at me, the Shopping Bomb one.  It had a lot of views and was the one that came up most frequently when someone did and online search….hmmmm.

I guess in this day and age the word bomb is not a good one to use.  So for that reason I’ve changed the name of the post to “Shopping Flop :)”.

In my time it was never a big deal to use that word….lots of things “bombed” back in the day….things I tried to make, parties that were duds, not having a good shopping day, a change at work that didn’t actually work, a matchmaking plan for a friend…..the term was used pretty innocently for stuff that just never quite worked out like it was supposed too.  Today, not so much.  It was just very strange to see that some people, not necessarily anyone actually interested in my blog, were searching online using that word…..a little scary, no?   I truly can’t imagine anyone that does follow it searching for THAT post….reading most of my posts once is more than enough because they just aren’t that exciting.

Today will be a fun day….a game marathon day.  We haven’t done that for years.  Dinner will be Beef Bourguignon.  The best recipe ever is this one http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/fillet-of-beef-bourguignonne-recipe.html  the only thing I don’t put in it is the tomato paste.  I do put in a little more bacon though….because you can never have too much.  It’s an easy dish to make and when dinner time comes along, it’s self-served in a bowl with a toasted piece of French bread and it won’t take up a lot of table space so we won’t have to quite playing.

The game were playing is an adaptation of one called “Stock Ticker”.  http://www.stocktickerclassic.com/  It probably doesn’t sound very exciting to some people, but like I said before, we were kind of a geeky family and games like this were fun for us, even when my brother and I were little.  I’ve always joked that I learned how to count playing Crib and Black Jack!  My brother took the original board game and created a more elaborate version adding more types of stocks.  He made the board, new dice, and all the stock cards (laminated!).  I’ll try to remember to take a picture of it.  My Dad and brother were always very competitive and this game was no exception.  Trying to make their fortunes more often than not would lose it all and have to start all over again…..that meant another $1 into the pot for whoever ended up being the winner at the end of the night.

I love these game days/ nights.  We don’t have them as often as we used to, which is too bad…..I think we’ll have to work on that!!

L.

Too Busy!

It’s one of those things…….I complain when I don’t have anything to do and I complain when I’ve got too much too do!  I can’t win…….at least in my head!

This week has been really busy but it’s because I’ve made it that way, or let it happen.

I’ve been out for lunch twice, after tonight I’ll have been out for dinner twice, I’ve babysat twice, out for an afternoon of shopping, a birthday party (here) for my brother tomorrow (this requires house cleaning today!) and I’ve been trying desperately to get my hoarder room cleaned out.    It’s all really my fault…..I do not have to make all these plans and I can say “NO, sorry I can’t make it” but I don’t.  I guess I’m afraid of missing something.  I have a great time while I’m out then get back home and start in on my “to do” list things only to wish I’d spent those couple hours doing something other than visiting!

Why do I do this?  Am I still looking for diversions?  I’m not sure.  Maybe I’ve always been like this and am now, since retiring, I’m finally seeing the real ME.  Is this good, or bad?  Or am I wasting brain cells even thinking about it?

L.

 

No Post Today

I’m babysitting this morning, so no time.

They were here at the crack of dawn….7AM.  The oldest one had an appointment this morning at 9 in the city so they had to contend with rush hour traffic to get there.

So far so good.  They’re playing very nicely, which makes me happy!  I just enjoy sitting and watching them….

L.

More House Cleaning

Today was going to be an “in” day but then again, so was yesterday….but one phone call asking if I wanted to go shopping and that was the end of that!   I guess this morning will be my in day because now I’m going out for lunch with my ex-SIL….but the restaurant is next to a nice market and I really needed a few groceries anyway…..

This is how I justify what I do, and don’t do, these days…..I’m not sure why I feel the need to justify anything but I find it hard to go out, or just sit and read, when all the stuff to do around here is just sitting.  It certainly never bothered me before!  Maybe it’s all part of that “unsettledness”????

AND the fact that my friends, that are moving away in a couple of weeks,  will be staying here when they have to come back into town for appointments etc.  AND, AND….she’s a neat freak!  But she knows me and my house and how I operate around here….so luckily her expectations are too high….lol.

But it is different when people just come for a evening visit as opposed to when they are actually going stay…and sleep at your house.  It’s not like they’re going to go rooting through drawers and closets or anything, which unfortunately is where I chuck all the junk laying around when I am having company!  So this is a really good experience/exercise for me.  I’m putting things back where they belong and finding places for all that crap that accumulates in spare rooms!  Why do I have so many pillows/cushions?  They’re a simple change of décor every now and again, so I guess that’s why I have so many.  Most of them are going off to the next charity that calls for donations. And of course papers……paper and more paper…most of which are old paid bills that either need to be filed or shredded.  Picture frames?  I have a lot of those too….nice ones that I picked up here and there…for all those pictures that I’ve yet to put in them!  Argh…….

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a lucky find in my junk room…..

I’ll get through it and as much work as it is, it’s kind of fun discovering things in there….like a pendant that I bought last year when I was in Oman!  I had forgotten all about it and found it in with all the bits of receipts from the cruise part of that trip.  Why it was with that stuff I have no idea….

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once upon a time I had an entire drawer that was a junk drawer…..baskets helped to contain it all…..and limit what went in it!!

It sounds like my house is a major disaster but it’s not really….or at least most of it isn’t.  But it’s like that proverbial junk drawer that every house has.  Surprisingly my junk drawer is only a couple of baskets in a kitchen drawer and is passable, for a junk drawer, so instead I have junk room!  I’m bound and determined that I will NOT accumulate anymore of this kind of stuff/junk…..today anyway.

L.