Livin La Vida Loca

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Whew! Hello Again “Strangers”! My apologies for being away from you all for such a long time. I have missed writing, blogging, and my photography intensely these last few months. Life took an insane turn for the busy is the best way I can put it. (Those of you who are friends on Facebook will know exactly what I’m talking about) But for those of you who are not, or who I’m not in direct communication with – here’s what’s up in my neck of the woods:

I have scarcely had time to breathe or relax since August. Several family members – including my mother – have been very ill with serious medical issues and/or issues with aging. It is now time for me to step up further, along with my sister and step-siblings, as we continue to adjust our assistance to help meet the needs of our parents. The initial period of adjustment has been, shall we say, “bumpy”? – as diagnoses are mentally processed by all, and plans are put in place. I’m not a friend of Bill W – but I do find myself saying the Serenity Prayer frequently; as I’m learning the difference between what I can and can’t change in a BIG hurry; and finding my balance in the process (which is a good thing!) But I gotta tell ya – its tough when you live just down the street – jussayin….

As someone who went to school for Social Work and more importantly, as a Parent, my first instinct is always to be “The Fixer.” I see, I analyze, I solve…. Problem is, not everyone agrees with what to me are obvious fixes. Therein lies the rub…. I also need to remember that not everyone is looking for advice, sometimes they just need to vent. I don’t have to have a solution for everything. And I don’t. There are things that I have to let be, whether I like it or not. I can, figuratively speaking, grab a seat and some popcorn to watch the ensuing train wreck. I may have to do that – and I’m not happy about it at all.

Additionally, other friends and family are struggling with their own issues and I am doing my best to be supportive of them. Who ISN’T struggling these days? That would be the short list I think. That’s the list I would like to be on, even for a brief time. It doesn’t appear to be in the cards for me right now – but I’ll live. The Viking changed jobs and went back to his old company in CT. His former company has downsized considerably and cut all overtime for employees. Since we are trying to replenish the seriously depleted nest egg – this was unacceptable. Like most in the middle class – we can generally pay our bills on 40 hours, but saving appreciably? No way. So, he applied back with his old company and was pretty much re-hired on the spot. We had to get a second car for him, but well worth it. Good news in the midst of Mi Vida Loca!

For those who are interested, my weekday looks like this:

6:30 am – Hit the deck, get ready for work etc
7:30 – Commute
8-4 or 4:30 – Work
4/4:30 Commute
5pm-7/8/9 pm – Dinner Prep, Chores, Pet Care, Child Taxi Service as needed, Dinner, check in with family, friends, shop, run errands etc. etc…. (Wine, anyone? 😉 )
9/10/11 pm – TV/Read/Bed (depending on level of tired I am)

It doesn’t look like much when I write it down, but Boy Howdy! It sure takes the starch out of my knickers. And when the morning light comes shinin in I get up and do it again, Amen. And I remind you, dear readers, I am not 25 anymore. La Vida Loca, indeed. Weekends are spent catching up on chores I don’t get to do during the week (like the major housework) and helping the Viking with the outdoor stuff, plus doing whatever my Mom needs help with. So yeah…. Busy, busy. And its not like the girls don’t help. But Chaos is rarely around on weekends and busy with college and work during the week. Mayhem is helpful but also increasingly busy as her high school social life expands. She’s now involved in the Drama Club and the GSA at school; and Keystone Club and the PAL Mentoring Program at The Boys and Girls Club after school. Fortunately, one of her friends’ family and ours kind of “co-op” transportation duties so no one has to play taxi all the time. In many ways, it does take a village these days – or at least another family – to raise children. This weekend my friend Eve – of the aforementioned family transportation co-op – is coming over to help me regain some control of my house and the clutter therein. It’s a mess despite best efforts otherwise. She’s really, really good at organizing and de-cluttering so is going to give me a consult free of charge! Hurray!!!!! We have a really small house (approx 800 square feet) with only two micro-closets. Add two large breed dogs, a cat, a ferret, a teenager and three adults and VOILA – hot mess!

So that pretty much catches you all up my friends. I should have an op-ed post up about the Healthcare debacle in the near future, as well as whatever else strikes me or tickles my funny bone. I just need to find the time to gather my thoughts and write the darn things! Hahaha.

I’m out for now, Peace.

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The Last Few Days…..

Despite the heat, there are things that need to be done that I’ve been putting off. So today I tackled one of them:  cleaning underneath my sink and cleaning the wastebasket.  Although I am glad that chore is done, I sorta kinda wish I hadn’t.  There were things achieving consciousness under there…. like the old rusted can of krylon rustproof enamel spray paint. and the half opened container of turtlewax.  Whoops!  Not to mention the empty single serving paper thingies of splenda that never made it into the wastebasket… or the empty peanut shells.  Icky images indelibly burned into my minds eye….  guh-ross!  Thank Goodness for Clorox Clean up and latex gloves!!  It wasn’t a time intensive chore but despite the a/c I was dripping sweat by the time I was done.  I try to get in and get that stuff cleaned out and organized every few months but I was overdue with this one for sure.  Shame on me….

After cleaning, it was time to organize.  Got a cardboard box top/cover from a paper ream box at work, and put all the cleaning and auto supply stuff in the upturned box cover. Also took the opportunity to check the plumbing for the bathtub and shower while I was under there- all is dry thankfully.  But we do have to replace the fixtures in the tub and shower soon.  Leaky and old… Its always something in an older house, isn’t it?  The girls sprayed the crabgrass springing up in the driveway cracks and on the patio cuz its too hot and sticky for me to be outside for more than a few minutes. and had a waterfight with the hose they were SUPPOSED to be using to rinse out the wastebasket….  😉 The Viking is outside organizing the recyclables.   And, Emma, if you read this, my lavender is blossoming and attracting loads of honeybees!  They don’t bother us at all and in fact seem to chase off the wasps and hornets.

So, my abbreviated work week (2 days) was a nice transition back to the daily grind. However, the air conditioning at work was not very effective, which made for a long tiresome 2 days… Last night we went to friends’ house for a great barbeque.  Tim and Lucine are awesome chefs and great friends. Tim put an almost 13 lb beef brisket on his smoker yesterday morning and let me tell you – when it was done – it was also gone –  in less than 15 minutes.  I’ve never had smoked beef brisket before – it was FABULOUS!!!  Lucine had a full on feast to go with the  brisket.  Tim’s brother and his wife are up from Florida, and they also had lots of other family over. Their new grandbaby Jaiden is a HUGE flirt.  And “Queen Super Brianna” (the oldest grandchild)  is super adorable!  The pool was like bathwater, but so refreshing! Needless to say, a good time was had by all.  Most welcome and relaxing.

And now the thunder is rumbling in the distance. Severe thunderstorm watches out for this area all day today.  Hopefully nature’s air conditioning will start working and we’ll get some relief from this awful heat.  There are days where I wish I lived in Alaska – or north of the artic circle.  These last few days have been those days for sure.  Peace, out….