Loose Ends

Internet? My lawn is making me crazy. It mocks me from every window of the house. The grass is so tall that Adicus gets scent tracking practice when we play fetch. It’s tall enough that I’m afraid of what might be slithering through it when I walk around out in the yard.

The garden is a god awful mess. Rotten veggies hiding beneath a sea of weeds, some of which are taller than me. Whole cabbages rolling around in the depths of it, paths hidden by weeds and grass and marigolds gone wild. The corn didn’t even send out ears, it stunted and turned brown and died.

I want to plant berries and garlic this fall. To do that, I have to rehab the garden. To do that, I have to figure out how to get it plowed, or alternately, till it 4000 times. To do that, I have to get it somewhat cleared out. To do that, I have to weedwack or mow it. Which is hard to do when your lawnmower is broken and the guy who has the part and knows what to do has no phone. This guy is really sweet, but I am really, really frustrated with how long all of this has taken. Plus I’m scared of the weedwacker. The ex never used it without promptly angering a yellowjacket nest.

My poor cellular signal repeater landed in Utah today, so hopefully they will send out a good one, with the directional antenna they promised, and hopefully it won’t take a week and a half to get here, and hopefully my friend’s boyfriend will be more on the ball than the lawnmower guy. Because I miss you. Badly. Oh, and taking an online college class when you can’t get online at home? Difficult. Awkward.

My wedding dress is still hanging on the back of my office door. I refuse to bring it back in the house. I just won’t. What on Earth I’ll do with it, I don’t know. I’m seriously considering taking it to Goodwill. I can’t afford to have it cleaned to sell it. No one seems to want to buy it anyway. Let someone who might not have had a proper wedding dress without Goodwill wear it down the aisle. We’ll all just hope that her story has a better ending than mine.

There are good things, and good news, and just general goodness, like the package that someone sent me– full of love and gummy worms and notecards and little things that mean as much as the big things, because you know that you’re loved and thought of and it makes you cry when you didn’t even feel like you were going to cry, but you’re headed to Belk to sell your wedding ring, and you’re thinking about how good it felt to have someone in this world, even though it turned out that you really didn’t have someone, probably ever, but only thought you did, but still, denial was an okay place to live for awhile, and you didn’t eat dinner alone. So you open your mailbox, and her pretty handwriting is staring back at you, and you burst into tears, because it occurs to you that you have a lot of people in the this world, even if you have no one to eat dinner with.

I’m really fearful that if I don’t have a yard I’m not ashamed of and a working internet connection under my roof by the beginning of next week? I’ll be writing the three part series on girls who make me crazy from the looney bin.

What I Want

Okay, internets. It’s immaturity time. I put all that wisdom in my hope chest, today it’s time to make a list of things I want. Just in case God or the Universe or some rich person that is just smitten with me is reading.

  • An entire day spent under hot sun, near cool water, with a bottle of Banana Boat tanning oil, a comfy lounge chair, soft fluffy beachtowels, and a neverending vodka and pineapple juice. Fuck the book- I don’t even want to exert that much mental energy. The entire purpose would be to soak in all the vitamin D possible, and taking the “office chalk” skin down to a “she was outside, once,  at some point” level.
  • To place a $50 order at drugstore.com that has been wish listed for eons. I just wanna send the whole list to my cart and hit CHECKOUT.
  • I want a hot tub. Because if I could come home from work and get into a hot tub every night? I might be the happiest girl in the world.
  • I want an extra $800 a month that no one in the household has to work for. Rich people have this- they just get random checks for shit. Assets and investments and stuff.  Sign me up.
  • I want everyone, including me, to have a light planted in their forehead. It would activate when you were looking at someone, and if you were happy with them and you cared about them, it would light green. If you were getting on their nerves a little, but they didn’t totally hate you, it would be yellow, and if you were trying to engage someone in conversation that was just absolutely annoyed and disgusted with you, it would be red. So you could walk up to people, look at the light, see it being red, and turn right the hell around. Think of how much time we all could save. And awkwardness.
  • I want to take a cozy, half naked, favorite blanket nap, in the middle of the afternoon, and I want to be woken up to a yummy dinner. Don’t care what dinner, as long as it’s the first thing I smell when I get woken up, and it’s easy to clean up.
  • Pretty, comfy, non flip flop sandals to wear to work.
  • A few sundresses.
  • For all the animals to be happy and healthy all at once. No worms, no boo boos, no fights, no getting stuck down in the basement and wailing at the top of their kitty cat lungs.
  • For my friend to get out of the hospital so that I don’t have to go visit him tomorrow and see him all tubey and sick and wormy.
  • For my Mom to be stricken with some strange ailment that prevents her from speaking. EVER.
  • More than one pair of shorts.
  • A whole day with my friends- going out to breakfast, window shopping, pedicures, and sushi. Booze, too.
  • Prescriptions that never expire or run out of refills for Ativan and Flexaril.
  • A credit account at the ABC store.
  • A large, lush herb garden.
  • Some kind of foot cleansing device that would prevent me from bringing pet hair and rhododendron bloom trash into my tub on the bottom of my feet.

What do you want?

Wonderful Horrible

I’m a person of extremes. I run hot and cold. There’s an oscillation from productive and organized to melodramatic trainwreck that I go through. The crazier things are, the quicker and steeper the cycles. When my life is calm, the wavelength slows until stiff peaks stretch into rolling hills.

Life is crazy right now, for so many different reasons. This year, thus far, has been wracked with pain, loss and sickness, financial strain, and heartache. Sadly, I’m not speaking only of myself- it seems far reaching and all-encompassing, a blanket of misery, thin but still heavy, laying over everything and everyone as far as I can see. It’s gray and dingy and scratchy. The warmth of it is a little too much, like when you wake up with a light film of sleep sweat on your skin. Getting out of bed gives you the chills because you’re actually damp all over.

Despite how dire and dark things have been, incredible things are happening all around us. There is love, there is comfort, camaraderie, the depth of old friendship, the sweetness of new friendship. Stolen moments full of fun, or meaning, or the simple pleasure of existing. Windows of hope in a sea of futility. How does one process exquisite pain and joy at the same time?

My house, figuratively and literally, is too small not to bump into pink elephants. The strange thing is that the peaks and valleys are overlapping each other, running in together, coming so furiously and with such force that I often feel weather worn by the end of the day.

I would suppose that the former drives us to the latter; we look for comfort, meaning, camaraderie and fun in the midst of uncertain times. Somehow that doesn’t lessen the intensity of the experience. If anything, it magnifies the sharpness of it all. I am deeply grateful for my life, filled to the gills with worry and sorrow, and fiercely determined to keep it all from collapsing at my feet. All of that fitting into one ragged breath and racing pulse, over and over, all day and night.  A constant ache as the gratitude and fear keep my heart strings pulled tight.

Just like a harp, or perhaps more fitting, a fiddle, the sounds made by pulling those strings is hauntingly beautiful. A ballad fully formed, with love and hope and sorrow and desperation in a few chorus and verses. The kind of song that you listen to with the windows thrown open on a late night drive, letting the lyrics and melody bring tears to your eyes and a lump in your throat.

There’s a time warp quality to it, as weeks seem to take days, but minutes take hours. There’s an inertia, a resistance in every detail. Knowing that insomnia will only make things worse, but being unable to will myself to rest. Knowing that emotion and panic will drain my energy, but being unable to stand as the waves of desperation and frustration knock my feet out from under me and drag me face first into the shore. Understanding that I need to eat more, to eat better, but not feeling well or not hungry for anything.

Moments of respite come in irregular intervals. I’m hungry and everything tastes good, I’m sleepy and tired and the bed feels perfect underneath me, the weight of the covers calms my thoughts and I sleep long and deep. Distance is gained from the emotional storm and I’m offered a logical aerial view of my life, thoughts and feelings. Hope bubbles just under the blanket, a strong current pushing against it but doing little more than creating pockets and ripples that lack the force and fruition to peel it back, wad it up, put a good hole in it.

When people ask me how I am, or how I’m doing, and they really want an answer, I generally say that I’m here, or that I’m hanging on, or that it could be worse but it sure as hell could be better.

Would you understand what I meant if I just said wonderful horrible?

Message From the Universe

I’ve been in a mood all day. One of those “i don’t even have a glass, much less a half empty one” moods. They just happen sometimes, you get fed up with the same old struggles and the routine of daily life and even the sound of your own voice.

Then I went into my cupboard o’ joy- the place in my office where I keep my snacks.

On top of the cabinet is a cutting I took almost a week ago. I don’t have my camera (cough), but that’s okay. The plant is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve killed a half a dozen. They’re picky- not too wet, not too dry, too much light, not enough light- this plant is almost as high maintenance as I am. I’ve tried to root it forever, and I’ve tried everything. EVERYTHING. Water. Soil. Rooting hormone. No rooting hormone. I even tried bottom heat, such that I could without a heating mat. Every cutting I have ever taken has died. Shriveled up. Rotted out. Gone black and mushy.

Last week, I did some hard core research and found out that what I thought was a ‘silver leaf philodendron’ is actually a ‘satin pothos’. Which, as an aside, fuck Lowes, the lying assholes. How do you root pothos?

You put the cutting in the dark.

Yes, folks, if that poor baby has to rock out on some photosynthesis, it won’t make roots. Eventually it runs itself out of energy trying to make more leaves without the roots to support it.

So I did just that. I took a cutting, put some rooting hormone on it, stuck it in an itty bitty pot, and put it in a dark corner.

When I went into my cabinet this afternoon, I was thinking about endless ruts and cycles, and why my life has not become fabulous since I signed up for email messages from The Universe, and was shaking my fist at the Universe in general, for not sending me what I need NOW, THE WAY I WANT IT, ON MY TIMELINE TOO. Feeling bitter about positive thinking and picking up heads up pennies and doing right by the world. Then I saw it.

My satin pothos is sprouting a new leaf. In plant speak, this means that the cutting has “taken”, and a root system is developing where a week ago, it was just a bare stem with some rootone on it.

I thought that rooting this plant was impossible. I didn’t think I’d ever figure it out. I didn’t think I would ever overcome whatever the problem was. But it isn’t impossible, it happened, I made it happen, I did what I thought I couldn’t do.

Best part?

No smothering it in water and light and fertilizer, singing to it, begging it to grow, talking shit about it behind its back, telling it it didn’t love me or deserve me, asking God to smite it, trying to negotiate with it.

It worked when I left it the hell alone. When I was willing to simply exist alongside it, and allow it to do its own thing.

I’m listening, Universe. I reserve the right to shake my fist at you again, probably before the sun sets, but I hear you loud and clear.

Little Things

So life is getting back to normal, and that’s a good thing. It also means that after lots and lots of pain and drama, things are getting deliciously boring and vanilla again. Here’s a list of the little things I’ve been enjoying this week.

  • New friends, and waking up to Facebook messages from them.
  • Old friends, and the kind of chats that you can only get over a stiff drink. Or three.
  • Lemonade
  • Vodka
  • Lecturing MH about staying up all night playing computer games.
  • Getting lectured about my Facebook addiction relative to my homework dedication.
  • Being tucked in to bed by a 23 lb. orange tabby cat.
  • Sweet bloggy friends who tell me not to worry my pretty head about Chicago roomies.
  • Seeds coming to life in the garden (lettuces, spinaches) and in my herb bed!
  • Budding Irises
  • Skirt weather! (tomorrow)
  • MH feeding Adicus his very own pancake, and watching Adicus look at in drooly disbelief. “My very own pancake?!”
  • The smell of my perfume on my skin (forgot it when I went to Atlanta), though my supply is dangerously low, and this is not a item accommodated by my current budget. ~sniffle~
  • Hugs.
  • Reading blogs!
  • A certain husband going to the dump tomorrow, to clear out the basement so we can clear the office into the basement, so we can clean the office, so I can work out in there! (I guess MH will want to do stuff in there too, but I’m not super concerned about that…)
  • Starbucks gift cards and errands that require me to be within reasonable distance of said Starbucks.
  • Walmart gift cards that fund the purchase of broccoli transplants and other garden goodies…
  • Decent income prospects for MH. (Cross everything and hold your breath, please! 😉 )
  • Of course, last but never least, YOU.

What are your little things?

Snow, Potatoes, Love, and Campfires….

That’s what my week has in store for me. I said that Spring had sprung, and my punishment is roughly 1.6″ of accumulation tonight and tomorrow night. This always happens in early April, though. Nine years ago, I planned my wedding for April 8th, at high elevation in Northwest Georgia. April 7th was warm, sunny and clear, with a slight breeze. April 8th? Record lows, fog, bitter cold winds. Our honeymoon? Pretty damn chilly.

Wednesday or Thursday, we’ll set our onions, potatoes, broccoli and cabbage. The weather will have warmed up a little by then, and we might even consider sowing some seed. I have a permanent bed in the front yard for my herbs now, so I’m pretty excited about that, especially since we’re going to expand it to roughly twice it’s current size before the season is over. I’m going to have oregano and mint coming out my ears, ya’ll.

Wednesday is our 9th wedding anniversary. Brace yourself for some mushy, sentimental posts. Fair warning.

In celebration of our 9th wedding anniversary, we are leaving Friday afternoon for a camping trip.  It’s been entirely too long since we last took off into the woods with our gear and our dog. Hopefully this cold snap won’t put a damper on the fishing and wildflower hunting, or we’ll just have to find another way to spend our time…..

I’m slowly, ever so slowly catching up on things around here. Going to have to work some magic to get my deadlines for school out of the way before this trip.

Last but certainly not least? We’re done with dial up! We are now the proud owners of a cellular antenna, a repeater, and an aircard. What does this mean? It means that we have broadband at home now. It means our cellphones work for more than sending and receiving text messages when we’re at home. It means no more connecting to the internet and heading off to fix a snack while waiting for things to load. It means working from home sometimes. It means getting rid of the land line bill and signing my firstborn over to Verizon. It’s wonderful, though, and well worth it.

So. Since I’ve given you all an update, and my Google reader is upwards of the seven hundreds- how are you doing, lovelies?

Trying

This weather is trying my patience. We got 6 or 7″ of snow at the house, and I have nary a picture for you, because it was cold and windy outside, and today is Day 1 of the closing, so I had to ask WH to attempt the drive under conditions that we normally would not have risked. The parking lot here is an ice rink. It’s a damn good thing I keep my food stock here at the office at Apocalypse levels, or I would starve today.

We’re trying to spend less time in front of the tv, and the computer, which explains my lack of weekend presence. We’re trying to spend more quality time together, talking and snuzzling and doing things together instead of alone. Our date on Friday night rocked, and so did having company at the grocery store.

We’re trying to be cleaner at home. Keeping the dishes and laundry under control, so they don’t reach critical mass. WH is working on turning the garden as the weather allows, and we’ve got the garden plan done, working on the seed plan this week, to start seedlings next week? Our screened in porch has been cleaned within an inch of its life and is ready for sunny afternoons and balmy evenings.

I’m trying to do a better job with my classes, spending at least an hour a day studying and not waiting till the last minute to get my assignments done and exams taken.

I’m trying to work on work while I’m here, and not work on work when I am not. I’m trying to get the closing organized and under control so that it doesn’t bring me to my knees. I’m trying to find a routine and a rhythm with the side job so that it doesn’t stress me out.

I’m trying to better manage my time. I created a schedule for WH and I. I thought he puked in his mouth a little at the sight of it. It divides the day into half hour increments for both of us, and while I hardly think we’ll stick to such a stringent schedule, it gives us a good idea of what we should be doing when, and a framework to return to when chaos ruins it and slinks off into the sunset again.

WH is trying to squeeze as many hours out of Large Department Store as possible. So far, its working, but he gave up an appointment at Large Big Box store to work last week. If they cut his hours after they purposely screwed him out of a job interview, I’m going up there. Just sayin.

I’m trying to do the best we can with the money we have, keeping things turned on and mostly current and all of that. Oh, and you know, buying food. Because if there is one thing neither WH and I do well at? It’s not eating.

Speaking of not eating, I am trying to cram as much food as possible into my poor, broken mouth. My root canal is a week from today, and when it’s done, I’m going to have boiling hot soup and coffee for lunch and ice cream for dessert.

I’ll be trying to start working out again in the morning, to hopefully counteract the eating BINGE I foresee when the #5 is fixed. Also? I don’t know that I will ever use a straw again……..

So. We are trying.