Mail Fail

I’m one of those people who uses the USPS. Do I use it as much as I did prior to the internet? No. Y’all, before I got married, I didn’t even own a television. I spent a lot of time writing letters. Imagine my blog, handwritten, arriving to your mailbox. That’s what it was like. If you’ve ever gotten mail from me, it’s been mailed with a stamp I thought you’d enjoy, decorated with at least one sticker, maybe even some drawing. Letter writing. It’s a thing. Happy mail. We gots to have it.

It just so happens I have gobs of crazy liberal opinions about socialized services, but this isn’t the time for that.

No, it’s Tuesday and therefore time to complain about my petty grievances. LIKE THE FUCKING MAIL.

Two weekends ago, I online purchased five sweaters, a jacket, and an eyeshadow palette from Kohl’s. Oh, you have enough sweaters? Couldn’t be me. Oh, you’re not buying sweaters when it’s hot as blazes? If you don’t know, this is the best time to buy last year’s warm clothes, which will still be warm in six months. I got those five sweaters, a jacket, and an eyeshadow palette for $110.00, free shipping. I’m talkin off-season deep discount.

So, on August 22, I ordered those things and right now, as I type this, my bleedin buggery package is in Kahoka, Missouri. I don’t even know where that is, but that’s not the point. The point is, the package was in Kahoka four days ago and I don’t live there. It’s so far away, I don’t even know where it is.

Googling now. Damn near Iowa, that’s where. About 370 miles from Indy.

Since it’s hot, I don’t care about the sweaters, but I’m almost out of my eyeshadow. It’s unsettling.

On Monday, August 24, I went to Kohl’s with The Mister, to get his new sneakers. He and Sassy had already gone to one Kohl’s and they didn’t have his size so we went to other Kohl’s to get them. Yay him. While we were there, I saw my eyeshadow, but I didn’t buy it, because I thought my package would arrive before… well, before now. I thought about buying it anyway, even in tiny bungalow I can store an extra… but I didn’t.

Every time I log in to my Kohl’s account to see where my bleedin buggery package is, a flash of my $20 in Kohl’s Cash pops up on my screen. It expires this week. I LOL to it. I should use it, it’s ‘free’ money. However, I must also realize, at this rate, whatever I order may not arrive before Halloween. Or, I could drive to Kohl’s and use my Kohl’s cash to buy the eyeshadow. For pity’s sake, the problems I have.

Tell me your pathetic peeves, first-world problems only, please.

PS I hate this Block Bullshit

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Oopsies, It’s August

Missed July. My best intentions may not have been good enough.

Back in January, I wrote, “Life can change in an instant. We seem to forget that now could be the moment before it changes. Those big memory markers in life, the ones that make you remember the date? They’re out there. You could wake up tomorrow and some shit could go down and then BLAMMO! Memory marker. These are the good ol days.” 

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I liked January better than July, and not only because it was cold in January. My intake receptors are overloaded. I marvel at how other people are handling these “challenging, uncertain, unprecedented times” (gag me with a spoon, aight?)

I am not myself right now. I mean, of course I’m myself, I have no other choice, but I am enduring a multitude of existential crises and I’m not handling them well. I’ve read substantial commentary on how “whatever gets you through” is OKAY. My current OKAY seems to be avoidance of expression. Suppression. Super unhealthy. Really, it’s an avoidance of conflict. “I will not dance, even if the beat is funky.”

Pleasantries instead of real connection. My diet is heavy in frozen confections and pleasantries. I will look up from my bowl of orange sherbet to nod and smile.

Anxiety-ridden bitches like me are still riding the wave of “OH YOU THINK I’M AN ALARMIST?!?”

Earlier this summer, I was expressive, even yell-y, but I’ve since conserved my energy. I was more a poked bear and now I feel rather lemme-just-curl-up-under-my-hard-shell-as-I-must-protect-my-squishy bits. Please think of me when you see doodle bugs … or yellow wallpaper.

Before I fall right off my rocker, I will share with you a few of the pleasantries, small photographic markers of my gratitude.

My green space

My pets


Office Administrator bought lollies. I find a 4:00 lolly helpful.

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One day I engaged in “risky behavior” and met Benson for lunch. We did not hug, neither hello or goodbye. We ate tacos.

They were so good, I then took The Mister there for our first date in four months. When we left, The Mister said, “That is the most normal I’ve felt in a long time.”

That’s where we are, trying to balance threat of spreading the plague with our deteriorating mental health. We’re still living, on a smaller, modified scale. The list of things we don’t do is long. As is the list of things we long to do.

I think it’s safe to say we all have at least one shared memory marker, and yet, these are still the good ol days. It’s all fucked up, but here we are. My gratitude lies in something is better than nothing.

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June

I have picked up my laptop twice in the last month. I ordered new flip flops, because what is summer without shiny new gold flip flops? Last weekend, I started to order new Fiesta bistro bowls, but a nap suddenly came upon me. Marigold, Turquoise, Scarlet, Ivory — now the cart is empty cause neglect.

I have neglected y’all similarly. Now, as a consequence, there are +1400 blog posts in my email. Err, umm… I have missed you, I promise. I forget not everyone sees me posting on Instagram or Twitter and then someone contacts me, like HEY!

I took vacation. The Mister took vacation. Sassy did not take vacation, instead, she started a second job. She’s her mother’s child when it comes to being busy. Moo has avoided taking a job and we’re okay with that, given the circumstances. Her resume lists more skills under volunteer experience than most kids have under work experience, so fair enough. Now and again, I pay her to file at my office.

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moo can take breaks to zoom with classmates, or you know, twirl

At the onset of vacation, I announced my intention to move the baker’s rack to the dining room and to finish the back hallway. Now, I don’t know how long you’ve been reading me, but ‘the back hallway project’ has been a saga for YEARS. (I began in 2014.) It is done now. It’s September Sky blue. It no longer looks as though previous owners played handball or caged animals in the hall. No strange shadows. I am chuffed!

However, I had barely begun removing wall hangings when The Mister announced his intent to rearrange the living room. Yes, tis true. Twas his plan. He consulted with Moo, who has his spatial ability, but my appreciation for aesthetics. Once the plan was unanimously approved, it took a day and a half for our entire family to execute it, cause books and wires, man.

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cletus the dog kitten is on the mend from a snot sick

Then we worked in the garden.

And planted another forsythia.

And stopped briefly to admire.

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the peonies bloomed late and hardly at all 

And we bought a new hose. And a hoe. And some more seeds.

And we bought a new lamp, which will be the subject of a post at a later date.

And we bought a power washer. So satisfying!

Then I painted the main bathroom. I don’t know why, but I thought painting that bathroom would be an endless, arduous task and it only took me about four hours. We took down the possibly haunted mirror covering the spider hotel — covered that mess and hung an old-to-me, new-to-bathroom mirror instead. It’s dramatically different and weeks later, I still smile every time I go in there.

Then I painted the pass-through and touched up the kitchen walls and some trim.

I read. I read something besides Agatha Christie. Of course, I also watched the entire Miss Marple series on streaming. Wouldn’t wanna overdo it. My inevitable metamorphosis into my mother continues. My daughters find Marple as incredibly dull as I did at their age, but I smile, knowing their metamorphosis is inevitable as well.

And, speaking of my mother, she sent me a new crochet lovey.

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it smells like her

One afternoon it was so warm and sunny and breezy and my life was so unburdened, I had to sit outside and eat cucumber sandwiches.

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the cucumbers were gifted to us

And then I went back to work, which, thank tacos, did not involve +1400 emails. And despite her concern that she would suffer in my absence, new receptionist managed. Her official title is Office Administrator, Ooh La La!

Having not been here in many months, the boy one has come to visit today. There’s a roast n fixins in my oven and we ate dessert first, so it’s a good day.

Lately, my ideal platform of communication might be yellin and swearin —  loud Italian hands sloshin drank all over the porch. But that takes more energy than restraint. I still live in gratitude, I just do it with more music and takeout dinners than I did a year ago.

How y’all livin? 

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May Twenty-Three

I clicked in here and received notice of a new WordPress Editor coming in June. Why?

Gah.

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i languish, too, clara

I cannot elucidate anything. It’s likely you think and feel similar things. Being an introvert, I need substantial time to process — relative to input — and I don’t have that. I don’t know about y’all, but I wasn’t given a guidebook on how to cope during a pandemic. If I had one, I’d read it. It would be dog-eared and coffee-stained by now. I merely tune into my attitude of gratitude and plod on. Maybe I can write about it later.

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wouldn’t mind to curl up in a hidey-hole, either, catticus

I find work is helpful. I like seeing those people every day. I like being productive. I like being distracted. I come home to my family and I enjoy that. I feel the stress, the fear, the horror, the uncertainty at times that seem insignificant. I suspect it’s when my mind quiets. Hence, ongoing distraction proves to be a healthy coping mechanism. All in favor, Say Aye!

I feel connected when my hands are in the dirt. Thoughts of being tiny me in the garden with my mother. Familiar smells, confident movement, always magical results. This year, volunteer celery.
Also, I missed my tulips. I wasn’t well for most of April and now they’re all gone.

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I enjoyed every bit of Saturday. The four of us worked in the yard. We were two weeks late, as the weather seemed also to be two weeks late. Because I was sick for so long, my garden is behind schedule and the weeds were well ahead of me. I went out there like a weeding tornado and quickly remembered I am not as young as I once was and although I frequently advise others to drink more water and to pace themselves, it took great self-discipline to drink more water and to pace myself.

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It paid off. We were almost done when it started to rain. How perfect is that? We danced in the rain.

 

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I finished Saturday with strawberry ice cream and Sauvignon Blanc. What a magnificent day.

The rest of the weekend was wonderful, just Saturday felt special. I cherish special.

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Couldn’t Complain. Wasn’t Tuesday.

Somethin is wrong with The Mister. He cleaned our gutters! and repaired our gutters! Then he pruned our apple trees!!! and cut up the fallen branches in the yard!!! He weed-whacked and mowed the grass. Did I ask him to do any of this? No. No, I did not. He just went and did all that.

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sexy beast

And then, when he was in error about instructions he gave me, which I knew, because I have ears and all that, he said, “I STAND CORRECTED.”

New moon tonight.

Have I mentioned I hate working from home? Yeah, I do. I think my one boss is losing his mind without support staff. Like, I may go in tomorrow and find his brain, wearing glasses of course — his brain on I dunno, Mr Potato’s shoes, just hoppin around his desk, lookin for the right papers. If you’re a man who doesn’t need a woman around to find your things, I’m gonna need the woman in your life to sign an affidavit to that effect. You may be brilliant but can you find things?

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we think not

The ache in my back seems to have fallen out during one of my Tuesday naps. Which is odd, because I thought today was Tuesday, when really I lost Tuesday, and today wasn’t Tuesday which you may or may not have known before this, but you should now know it’s Wednesday. Maybe you won’t read this until Thursday. I don’t wanna confuse you. I just really want my neck and shoulder aches to fall away too. They can’t fall out until my head stops being so heavy.

I lay my head on The Mister and he said, “Ow!” so I moved away and asked “What?!” and he said, “Your head is too heavy!” and I was like, “I know, I’m sorry,” and leaned back to my own side. But then he laughed and laughed cause he was kidding, cause it’s only heavy to meeeeeeee! Sad LOLZ.

Sometimes all we can do is LOL.
And sleep it off.

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this is a Zzz cat, not a LOL cat 

Nigh Nigh.

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The Ache I Cannot Shake

It’s a month today since I fell ill. I still ache a lot from the waist up. Hot baths and Tylenol go a long way in reducing the suck that is the ache I cannot shake. I still need a lot of sleep. I’m working at work, (thank tacos) and working almost full-time now. I text my boss a bit ago, letting her know I want to continue working shorter days. Everyone in my little world is now recovering, recovered, or luckiest — asymptomatic. We wonder if now we’re immune, and more importantly, if we’re still infectious. Apparently it will be a long time until we can all have antibody testing and who knows how long until we know we can’t make other people sick?

For a change, I experience lower anxiety than the general public.

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sadie lady

Some people aren’t convinced I had the plague which began to upset me, because, the only way I can explain it is to say I knew. I knew like I knew he was the one I would marry, like I knew I was pregnant, like I knew that was my dog, and this is my house. A knowing. A very woo-woo knowing. I had never felt like that. It hit different.

When the night came and coughing hurt and breathing burned and I was afraid to go to sleep for fear I wouldn’t make it through the night… When the worst had passed and I got winded making tea, or walking to the bathroom… When my temp stayed right around 100 for thirteen days… When I felt better and then worse, over and over…

Last Saturday, I wasn’t tired. I baked and cooked and had sex. And then Sunday I didn’t move from the bed. Monday I went to work for six hours and Tuesday I spent the day in bed. I’m pretty much at work or in bed.

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banana bread

While Moo has accused me of doing too much too soon and I balk at her, she may be right. Maybe the right thing to do was to lie down for a month, but I can’t fathom it and no medical professional told me to.

I don’t have proof it’s the plague. (which i know is not a plague because it’s viral and not bacterial, but i’m not naming the bastard — like a demon, like the orange-faced fucktard)
However, despite my lack of proof, you should prolly tuck my story into the notes section of your brain and remember it in case you find yourself in a similar position. Sick without proof. You might be as lucky as I. Cause I sure am lucky.

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clara belle

The scary part is not knowing how sick you’ll get. That’s scary. We’re talking about something that spans anywhere from you could already have it and not even feel unwell, to something that can give you one to nine symptoms for an unknown amount of time, send you to the hospital, or take your life. The spectrum is terrifying.

We don’t wear masks around one another at home, in our office, to drive, to walk the dog, or to sit on our patio, but we do when we will be around others. I own a lot of scarves.

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people love this photo, cause filtered af

If I have to open a door to UPS or visit the post office, I pull my scarf up and give people distance. To do so is good manners. Good manners, lest we forget, are to make other people feel more comfortable. Good manners absolutely require giving a fuck and yet, do not include yelling at other people about it.

People who do not give a fuck should perhaps take this time to gather together and enjoy recently opened beaches.

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#ThursdayDoors — Spring in Dystopia

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See also, me.

Dunno what day of sick this is. I’m not good at math. I am in the third week. I woke up Wednesday without aching from the waist down. My neck, shoulders, and back still ache. This is because my head is enormously heavy and my neck is barely visible under a microscope, or my head is a fishbowl and my spine is a bendy straw. This is good because it makes me lie down a lot. This is good because I easily plumb tucker out. My lung capacity is much improved and I seldom cough. My sickness boomerangs and I am lucky. This week better than last, by far.

Wednesday gave us beautiful weather.

I was able to work at home an entire day. As I have given up trying to work from that brutal chair, my cats now enjoy my desk.

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In the evening Sadie and I took a walk up the street to the fallow field. I put on sandals and a cardigan with my pajamas because I am nothing if not an icon of domestic fashion.

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It was just gorgeous out there. All sunshine and fresh air and birdsong.

At home, the tulips are opening.

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Spring feels like hope, doesn’t it? Normally I’d be out in that yard, cleaning up, getting ready.

Y’all, this is Indiana. Later that night, the rain and hail came down and the wind blew and the tornado sirens sounded. Because The Mister is a man who stands on the porch to posture at tornadoes, he doesn’t know the difference between a watch and a warning, and so the girls and I climbed into the linen closet for a spell.

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Something like 60,000 people were without power overnight, and I think some still are. Trees down. Lots of damage. Our patio furniture tangoed with the gate and we are lucky. And now we run the heat again.

When choosing a door today, I thought about this abandoned beach construction from Florida last year. I encourage you to draw your own conclusions and write your own metaphors.

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#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

 

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Day Whatever of Whatever

Everything seems to start that way.

Day THIRTEEN, I am still not well. I continue to recover. Notable improvement continues. My head is heavy, I ache, I get winded easily, and I am tired. I had a few better days this week, followed by a substantially worse day, then back to feeling better again.

You maybe don’t know me or don’t read me for seven years, but I get sick often. I also bounce back quickly, so this sick is absurd.

I spent most of the week in bed, continuing to tea and sleep. I’ve worked from home hours each day this week. Typing, phoning, clicking. I can’t work a whole day. Yet. Certainly couldn’t go to work today. Would need a nap before I got to my shoes.

Indiana’s governor has determined our workplace is essential. While my boss has graciously permitted us to work from home, I was too sick to work at all the first week, and managed about 20 hours this week — the other 20 was napping. I’m limited by what I can access from home. It would be much easier to work AT work. Not to mention my office chair is suitable for long days, whereas sitting hours in my home chair is a suitable punishment for anyone over the age of forty. At home, I don’t have to wear a bra or shoes, my hair can be boingy wild, and the phone doesn’t much ring. However, at work, I have everything I need to do all duties of my job. Working at home is frustrating.

I’m not inclined to discuss the health details of those I work with, but I’ll just write that it’s not good. Our office hasn’t been open during the bulk of our operating hours, because staff is not well enough to maintain it. Some of our staff have been to hospital where they were admitted and treated, presumptive, but not tested, or tested with pending results. That is how I know all the numbers everywhere are lies. Minimums. To one colleague who called the hotline, I said, “I should have called, too,” to which she replied, “They would’ve quaratined you and told you to fuck off and die at home,” and I said, “Oh mmhm.”

My doctor’s office told me to stay home until I am three days symptom free.

Operating under the presumption that we are plagued humans in a contaminated office, can any more harm be done? Only if our presumptions are wrong. See how it’s impossible to make informed decisions as there is no actual information? These are real problems.

The other people in my house are still fine, despite them climbing into my lap, sharing my bed, or my having lavished cootie kisses upon them. I am so glad and not jealous of them at all.

I will now share the highlights of my week:

The Mister brought me tulips.

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The sun came out.

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The daffodils are blooming.

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We went outside and sat.

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It was nice. Five stars, would recommend. If the sun ever shines again, I will do this again.

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Thursday evening, the sick moved into my chest which put me at the height of my panic. Burning cough burned. Tightness right at my breastbone. I took a bath, put on clean pajamas, and made a list of my current medications, just in case. I put on vaporub … (It was not like this, as I do not have to ask The Mister if he wants to get with this!)

source

I slept through more than twelve hours. I woke up, hacked and coughed until gross things happened, and since then, have been feeling better. Whatever it is, cold, flu, plague – it is BAD – I’ve not been down this long in my adult life. (I can tell Moo has grown, okay?!) It’s never taken me this long to recover after surgery, let alone illness, and I am kickin it! Now I feel like I have a cold. How I feel right now feels like a cold.
My anxiety is still heightened, but it’s no longer at AAAAAAAAAAH! level. About myself anyway.

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I reapplied vaporub last night and slept eleven hours. After six days in bed with cats and quilts and tea,  I’ve reentered the living room (where I will enjoy cats and quilt and tea) but first, I’m having coffee. The Mister’s coffee is really, really good today. This elixir is surely necessary to my full recovery.

I believe those of you who extended kind comments, sympathy, well wishes, and prayers do that elsewhere as well, making the world a better place. I appreciate that. For all we cannot fix, we can offer the best of ourselves.

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#ThursdayDoors — Indoors

As I read on Twitter, “Outside is lava.”

Day five of being sick during a pandemic:

Stories of those who have recovered from the pandemic do not present consistent symptoms. Nope. No consistency. Truly. The nurse told me to call back if my symptoms change or worsen, and they have not. Whether it’s a cold or a flu or the plague, my relief that I’m getting better is equal to my alarm in still being down day five and equal to my hope that I don’t take a turn for the worse.

While I have anxiety disorder, many who don’t express fear and anxiety on par with my own. This is surreal and I know I’m not alone in struggling to grasp the magnitude of loss. I’m not alone in my rage. I’m not alone in my horror. You wanna talk about a time when it’s hard maintain an attitude of gratitude? Worry is much, much easier.

Overall, I am fortunate – today – right now.

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My family is healthy and I am grateful.

Thankfully, my husband is stateside and housebound. I am glad he is currently earning income.

I am glad my children are the age they are.  I wish I could reassure them, but I don’t have to lie to them.

Our pets are very very happy. Catticus has basically lived on this bed with me. For five days.

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I’m grateful I have enough food. And tea.

I’ve realized that with a bit of furniture rearrangement, I could create my own work station at home. I hope that when I have the energy to do so, I’ll still have a job.

Despite circumstances, I have developed a sincere intellectual crush on Governor Cuomo. Whatta man.

Thankful for technology that allows THIS and all versions of this. Maybe it took me all day to do this, in shifts, but I brought a door!

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#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see more doors, or to join in with your own, click the link.

Posted in Personally | Tagged | 50 Comments