Day: July 28, 2012

  • if there's time to lean, there's time to clean- ug


    My mom used to say that her mom used to pretend the Queen (of England, I presume) was coming over as incentive to knuckle down and really clean her house.
    That doesn't work for me....  
    There is no way I can convince myself something that vaguely remote might be possible, given the next door neighbor has never come over in 20 years. My neighbors are rugged individualists with clearly defined property boundaries who spend thousands of dollars every year on their lawns. I'm sure it irks them that we let our grass go to seed before everything dries out, which means we mowed, hang on a sec, lemme check... once this year. While the neighbor nearest us keeps the local hardware store in business with all the chemicals that run off toward our organic chicken house , we spread a little 'zoo doo' on our front yard every 3 to 5 years and do just fine.
    Anyway, I don't feel the need to impress anyone.
    I think part of my problem is I worked too hard as a kid. My dad is Mennonite and worked a big cattle ranch in Gunnison, and my mom was a city girl who dreamed of marrying a cowboy, and they wound up on a 7 acre nearly self-sustaining farm. I-worked-like-a-dog. Fast forward, my own kids are all grown up and outa here, and I'm tired now.
    Another part of my problem is cleaners. I cleaned in a big hospital when I was younger, before wearing gloves was mandatory, and my hands were in and out of the harshest chemicals all day long. I moved on to other jobs and discovered environmentally safe 'green' cleaners and thought How about that, now it's safer for the environment *and* me. But I developed airway restriction while I was using green cleaners on several occasions, and last year had a very abrupt anaphylactic reaction to lemon. Rats. I went back to good old Windex, but I guess over time my immune system had run down and every time I cleaned even a little bit, I felt very weak and sick for a couple of hours. I got to where I had to leave the house while Scott mopped floors. Eventually I did some research and found out that a very concentrated citrus oil solution called limonene is used in all kinds of things, from cleaning supplies to insecticides to candles and perfumes to you name it. Wow.    And even if something doesn't contain limonene, I guess something else is affecting me now.
    More research. Back to mixing white vinegar and water. Well, look at that, it actually works. Just like my mother used to use when my grandmother pretended the Queen was coming over. And the first thing I noticed was that I didn't feel sick at all while I was cleaning. And the second thing I noticed was that the dread I'd come to know when it came time to clean seemed to be closely tied to that sick feeling I used to get. I thought I just hated cleaning.
    So I no longer dread the sick feeling. I just don't want to have to clean at all. I don't hate it, I'm just really tired of doing it.
    I've been up and down with illness through my adult life, and I remember when the kids finally got jobs, my youngest brought home some girls on a work exchange program from Hong Kong. I had no warning, and my house was a wreck. Chattering happily in broken English, those silly girls took pictures of everything in my house, including my dirty dishes, my laundry room, my unmade bed, my bathrooms... I'm betting every one of those pictures wound up getting shared, big time. Even though I was really puny that year, that gave me enough incentive to pull it together and at least keep the place picked up. I'm in a pretty good habit of keeping everything picked up now, which is so much easier now that the kids moved out and got married. I'm biding my time till my youngest has kids, and I'm going to pop in for a visit on a rough week and take pictures of every room in her house...  
    I get a little incentive nowadays in a weird way. I like to Wabble with family online once in awhile, and I've noticed that sometimes one or two of us get so distracted multitasking over videos or facebook or whatever that I wind up sitting around twiddling my thumbs for 20 minutes. I can't sit comfortably for any length of time, thanx to spinal injuries I got rolling a car when I was young, so I've learned to get up after my turn and do a little something, like start a sinkful of dishwater, or get a load of laundry folded. Sometimes a game can last up to 2 hours, and I get a *lot* done. Sometimes all I have to do to get myself up and moving is text around to see who wants to wabble. And that gives me the excuse to sit back down a lot and take little breaks, which works out really well for me since I can't keep my momentum up for very long.
    Then there are days when it's just me, I don't feel like playing a game with anyone, and I still need to get something done. I used to at least have a little pride, either do it so Scott wouldn't regret coming home from work to a messy house, or do it because I have standards. That trick works some of the time, but not all of the time, and when you get a week sliding by, you suddenly notice it all built up and dang, now you *have* to do it.
    Now my excuse is this oppressive heat. My massage therapist told me she's getting all kinds of calls from other fibromyalgia clients, because this kind of heat triggers muscle inflammation. I have never done summers well since that car wreck, but I never connected that to the heat itself. I learned over the last 5 years that I just simply feel better if I go outside as little as possible in the summer. This year, though, it is SO hot, that even with the AC running, just reaching into a cupboard hung on an outer wall to get a dish is like reaching into an oven. Our 3 story home is more efficient than the neighbor's single story home, and we know this because we were surprised to find out when he complained about his electric bill one year that we use less electricity. We don't have a single hallway in this house, there is no wasted space. We can shut vents and close off rooms, and those rooms become insulators under the attic. The basement temperature never changes year round, being built into the side of the hill. We don't heat or cool it at all. So I'm finding it very noticeable this year that we have heat pockets inside the house, like inside all the cupboards and closets that line the outer walls. My nervous system seems to be acutely responsive to moving through the temperature changes around the house.
    So today I'm using a different trick. Stuff piled up again, so I thought I'd bore myself to death writing about it, and in between every paragraph, and sometimes every other sentence, I'm getting up and getting something done. In the time I've written this whole thing I've cleaned two bathrooms, gotten rugs through the wash, put together a homemade soup, cleaned out my refrigerator, and cleaned up part of my kitchen. This is stuff that wouldn't have gotten done if I hadn't found a silly way to trick myself into making it happen. And it'll only work if I actually post this to a blog.
    I know, I know, the whole world is watching the olympics right now, so I have an excuse not to even worry about this.    And you're not buying this at all, are you? So I'll tell you my *real* incentive. Even though I've got broadband and a great laptop, I'm in a sucky area with a bit of interference, and loading youtubes goes so slow I have to get up and do something. And right now I'm SO BORED that I'm scouring twitter for anything new I can find from fans, and then following whatever wayward links that branch off from there, so stuff like this is my reward for making it as far as I have today, because otherwise I'd have no incentive to be this patient with the internet. So thank you, Bradley James, for being pretty, and thanx to for taking the time to load it 13 days ago. And to all of you who read this far and dig this guy, treats on me. You're welcome.   

  • on a cicada-free night, you'd think we'd sleep

    Tonight has been ~waaaay~ too exciting. Scott and I both woke up around 2 with our eyes oozing, kudos to whatever can still pollinate all night after days and days of utterly wilting heat and drought, and thank goodness there are Olympics on several channels, because tv pretty much sucks at 3 a.m. So I got back on twitter to catch the funny stuff everyone is saying about watching Olympics (general consensus says Ralph Lauren made us look anti-American), but I got completely distracted watching Michio Kaku's twitter getting hacked ~LIVE~... *That* was some funny stuff. Following twitter reactions to that was better than watching Comedy Central, people in general are so witty and hilarious, it was awesome.
    And if that weren't exciting enough, Scott suddenly decided, after a year and a half into a total peanut ban in my life, that he was going to break out an old jar of peanut butter he had stashed away for to make peanut butter toast with some cereal, and I'm like *D*U*D*E*, wtcrap?!?!?!?! It's not exciting enough already, you want to risk me having an anaphylactic reaction at 4 in the morning??? omgheissodumb. I can't even let my skin touch the edge of a sleeve that has lightly brushed a suet block for a bird feeder without itching like mad and breaking out in sores and swelling, and he would have kissed me good night later without a second thought...
    So this whole night has been one long adrenaline surge, and I've never been the sort who could go back to sleep and get up at noon. And all this is with benadryl. Looks like my plan for tomorrow is to be as lazyasIwannabe.


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