Monday, September 28, 2015

OCTOBER = FALL BREAK!

Ahem.

AHEM!

Excuse me!!

How did it get to be almost October already?

Anyone?

An answer to that question, please.

I really need to stop blinking.

Today marks my first day of Fall Break.  I'm going to be honest here. In times past, I have yearned for Fall Break ... wished its arrival to be speedy and its stay lengthy.  When it rolled around this year, I was all, "Whoa! What happened? It's time for you already!?"

Because I wasn't expecting it ... because I was soooooo wrapped up in doing this teaching gig, I didn't anticipate it as I probably should have.  So, it's deciding to get me back.  How's it doing that, you say?

It's making my refrigerator die.  Like D.I.E.  Five year old refrigerator. FIVE YEARS OLD.  I know this because, five years ago today, I was likely packing up my apartment like a crazy woman in anticipation of signing my life away on my first house!

I've been in this house for five years.  I've been making mortgage payments like a big girl for five years.  Where has the time gone?

Again with the blinking.

I have some adventures planned for Fall Break. Some that have been in the works for a while.  Others, I am planning as I go along. But this whole refrigerator deal?  Not planned.  Not needed.  Not necessary.

I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday.  Thankfully, it was with a good friend.  So, the tears weren't misunderstood.

I am much better this morning.  It's part of the deal, my mother tells me.  These things always happen at the most inconvenient times, she tells me.  She should know.  She and my dad have been paying mortgage payments for .... .{silent while attempts to do math} .... {gives up when sees the bottom of coffee mug} ... well, a really, really long time.  Suffice it to say, they have some experience with the breakages during inconvenient times.

When is it ever convenient, though, really?  I'm going out on a limb and saying never.

Never a good time for this stuff, but you know what?  This is life.  Gotta get through as gracefully as possible.

Going to admit it, yesterday? Wasn't so graceful.  Perhaps today will be better.


Monday, September 14, 2015

HOUSEKEEPING

When I bought this house five years ago (HOLY CRAP! IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS AGO!!), I had to buy a stove and refrigerator as they didn't come with this place.  Short sale and all.  I couldn't afford what I really wanted, which was a freezer on the bottom, double door job that would refrigerate the whole stinkin' world!

Honestly, what do I need something like that for?  Honestly?  I do not know!  But the space! And the fact that I would not have to bend down to dig stuff out of the fridge [read: laziness here] just sounds amazing.

Alas, I am a teacher. I can't afford those luxuries.  So, I bought cheap.  Read: it keeps things cold.

That was five years ago. Did I mention that?

A couple of weeks ago, I started noticing odd stuff like my freezer not freezing a 32 ounce bottled water that was left in there over night. Seriously? That should totally freeze, right?

Then there was the milk that went bad BEFORE the expiration date.

Oh yeah, and the tomatoes that went bad almost immediately after putting them in the refrigerator.

And all the leftovers that rotted much sooner than normal.  Trust me. I know when food rots.  My mother was the QUEEN OF LEFTOVERS and the GRAND DUCHESS OF SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS [that's fuzzy food left in the refrigerator waaaaay too long].

Then, last Thursday, I opened up my fridge to discover a luke warm temperature, water dripping from something or another at the top of the fridge, and for an added bonus, my freezer, for lack of a better word, defrosting.

Insert panic mode here!

I ran around the kitchen, grabbing as much frozen stuff as possible, running it downstairs to my deep freeze, sopping up water, throwing away a TON of bad food, and whining at the cat, "I can't afford a new refrigerator! I just can't buy a new one.  Which one of us is selling body parts if I have to buy a new fridge?!"

The cat voted for me. She never wants to do anything around this house!

As I am cleaning things out of the refrigerator and trying to talk myself off my proverbial ledge, I decided to unplug the stupid thing to see if it would reset itself, thus fixing everything.  It was when I was pushing the fridge away from the wall that I happened to look down and see a wad of cat fur sticking out of the back of my fridge, and a thought occurred to me.

"What if this just needs a good vacuuming out? What if there is so much hair and dust, the motor isn't able to do what it's supposed to do, and it has just decided to give up the ghost?"

I texted my dad my theory.  I felt like he should know I was thinking more clearly after receiving the "OMG MY FRIDGE WON'T WORK WHY WON'T IT WORK DO YOU KNOW I'VE ONLY HAD IT FIVE YEARS HOW COULD IT STOP WORKING SO SOON" text.  Like he is capable of doing ANYTHING from two states away!

His response: "Yes, that is a good possibility. When was the last time you vacuumed that thing out?"

Ummmm ... never?

Seriously.  In five years, I've never vacuumed out my refrigerator.

And here's where the story gets ... what?  Embarrassing? I guess I can't call it embarrassing. If it were embarrassing, I'd refrain from telling the story altogether, but here I am, laying it all out there for you.  So, perhaps I should use the word pathetic. Yes!  Here is where the story gets pathetic.

You see, for as long as I can remember ... say, four years, my refrigerator makes all kinds of crazy noises, and by crazy, I mean, RAUCOUS noises that could wake the dead. In fact, this past Christmas, my mom even asked me if my refrigerator should sound like that.

I was all, "Eh. It's sounded like that forever! That's just the way it is."

So, I pull out my vacuum and attachments, and I commence to taking off the cheap cardboard backing that covers the motor housing and coils and stuff. There's lots of stuff in there. None of it I understand or desire to.  Just know, it was all COVERED in a thick, sticky coating of cat hair and dust.

Now, you have to understand, my cat has long hair ... and a lot of it.  The very act of breathing causes hair to fly off of her body and go floating all over the house. So, it stands to reason that a motor that sucks up all kinds of stuff would suck up cat hair, especially when said cat with said hair stands right next to the fridge to eat and drink, an activity she does with a great deal of frequency. The feline LOVES to eat!

I spend, here's more pathetic, about 15 minutes vacuuming out every crack and crevice of that motor area, and all of a sudden, that thing just took off. Within an hour, I started detecting a cooler temperature.  The something or another stopped dripping, and the freezer stopped defrosting.  By the following morning, everything was nice and cold.

And the crazy noises?  They stopped.  That refrigerator runs so quietly, you hardly know it's on!

Apparently, it was begging me for close to four years to clean its inner workings out. I just ignored its pleas. Until, one day, in an act of desperation, it finally decided to start killing my food.

Here I sit with a number of degrees. I am a functioning part of society. They let me buy a house and everything. But I nearly killed my refrigerator because I didn't vacuum out the back of that dang thing.

Let's just say that my housekeeping might just leave a little bit to be desired.

A YOGI IN THE HOUSE

About five weeks ago, I started going to a weekly yoga class with my friend and her daughter.  We were both looking for additional "stuff" to add to our exercise regime, and by my exercise regime, I mean, I used to walk 3 miles every day, and now I don't have time to go to the bathroom let alone walk, and dang it! I sat down.  NEVER SIT DOWN!

So, yeah. I needed to add something.

I'd done yoga DVDs before, and I liked the mind body soul connection. Not in a weird, New Agey way, but rather recognizing that if one area of your life is out of whack (the technical term for not very balanced), all areas get out of whack.

Boy do I have out of balance issues in my life right now!

After five weeks of doing yoga once a week, I have started noticing a difference in my body.  It's been a slow burn, but I'm finally noticing a bit more flexibility in my arthritic body.  I don't feel quite so achy in the mornings.  There might be a slight difference in my energy level ... slight.  It appears as though my posture might be getting better as well.

My friend reports the same sorts of differences.  Although, I suspect hers were noticed much faster than mine.  I am sooooooooo out of shape.

So, last week, I decided I would get up 20 minutes earlier to do an AM Yoga tape I've had for ages --- clearly, I've had it for ages ... it's a freaking VCR tape!  Each morning when my alarm went off, I would groan, get out of bed to shut it off, and head back in bed until my back up alarm went off.  The Cat judged harshly with her judgey eyes all the while curled up in her furry ball of laziness. I suppose I could count her as an accountability partner.

Yesterday morning, I told myself I would get up and get this AM Yoga business underway.  It WAS going to happen this time!

When my alarm went off at 4:40 a.m., I hopped out of bed, went into the kitchen, grabbed a cup of coffee, fed the cat, and got the tape started.

Okay, I lied.  I didn't hop out of bed....unless you consider hopping to look like someone dragged me out by my hair toward the hallway.

The jacket of the VCR tape claims that this particular practice will energize me.  AWESOME! I need some energy 'cause this coffee ain't cutting it!

Now, I'm not sure how many of y'all have attempted yoga with a cat in the house. If you haven't, let me fill you in on what occurs.

#1.  You must immediately shoo aforementioned cat off the yoga mat, because as soon as you roll that sucker out, she is all over it like white on rice, sniffing it, rolling on it, laying on it, basically making it impossible for you to get into resting pose, because, well, she's in cat resting pose! Back it up, human! I'm doing my yoga!

#2.   After said shooing occurs, you must contend with aforementioned cat all over your face and attacking your hand because, hey! Human! Whatcha doing on the floor? Wanna play? Oh! Fingers! Let me bite them!

#3.   When the cat notices you aren't buying the "playing hand game" idea she's rolling out, she goes to the sofa and begins to scrape her paws on the sofa because she KNOWS she is not suppose to do that and HUMAN!  YOU AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO ME!

#4.  The "I'm going to be naughty" tactic doesn't work so now she gets a toy out, and bats it around THE YOGA mat, because that's just the kind of degree of difficulty cats look for in toy batting.

#5.  When she sees that I have found complete relaxation as I practice my poses, she reluctantly parks it on the sofa, perched over top of me, glaring wickedly while she plots her revenge.

I am not going to claim I am more energized than I was prior to the yoga this morning. However, I did manage to get a load of laundry in, eat breakfast, and write this post.  So, there's that.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

ALL THE FEELS

I've been feeling all the feels this week.  Some weeks it's like that.

I've been feeling frustration ...
... frustration at my lack of motivation to get everything done that I want and NEED to do.
... frustration at not being able to afford all that I would like to do.
... frustration at not being able to afford all that I need to do.
... frustration that I am not getting my way.  Okay, this is selfish and sounds like a whiny brat. But don't we all just want to stoop to that whiny brat state, if for just a moment? It makes adulting so much easier ... at times.

I've been feeling pain ...
... physical pain because of the weather changes. Oy vey! The migraines! This hasn't been a good season for migraines.
... my arthritic knees are a constant issue.
... my feet have developed this tendinitis thing. This tendinitis rocks it out on the top of my feet now, and my arthritis medicine doesn't seem to touch the inflammation.  That's frustrating.

I've been feeling hurt ...
.... hurt at the ways in which people treat others.  Adults ... well past their high school years, who are, for whatever reason, attempting to save face or feelings are something. In the wake of their half truths, they are leaving resentment and bruised feelings.
... listening to the stories of children whose lives do not match the growing up years I had.  Mind you, we were poor when I was growing up, but the love for us by our parents was so apparent ... we knew we were loved and appreciated.

I've been feeling excitement ...
... interesting twists and turns in life are making for exciting adventures ahead.
... excited for friends realizing dreams and achievements.
... for professional futures.

I've been feeling anticipation ...
... for things turning around.
... for the future.
... for the present.
... for Fall ... and Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

I've been feeling resentment ...
... for the people around me that are moving forward when my life seems to be in a static holding pattern.
... for change.
... for things moving forward.
... for things falling behind.

I've been feeling contentment ...
... contentment in my job. Teaching is actually fun this year!
... contentment in life. I am moving toward being content with where I am at in my life ... life is beautiful and complicated and boring and exciting and I am content.

I've been feeling gypped...
... when is it going to be my turn???

All the feels this week.  Sometimes it's like that. It isn't bad, and it isn't good.  It's just all the feels.

Monday, September 07, 2015

LABOR DAY DICHOTOMY

Today didn't turn out at all how I planned.  In fact, this whole weekend didn't turn out exactly as planned.

You know what they say ... the best laid plans and all that.

I planned to get amazing amounts of stuff done on Friday afternoon and evening so I could have the whooooooole long weekend stretched out in front of me.

That didn't happen.  Instead, I met my sister for dinner at one of our favorites, Melissa's Cottage Cafe, and we spent a fun evening laughing and talking and just having a good time doing next to nothing.

Saturday, I planned to get grading done and clean and organize my house.

That didn't happen. Instead, I laid around and just relaxed.  I can't remember the last time I did that ... just laid around and did nothing.  I thought about doing stuff, but I really did nothing.

Sunday, I planned to wash my truck, mow my lawn, and get some physical exercise.

That didn't happen.  Instead I had lunch with friends and dinner with my church family.  It was fueling ... frustratingly fun-filled ... but mainly fueling.

Today, I planned to spend a luxurious day hanging with my sister and enjoying the extra day off.

That didn't happen.  Instead, I ended up with a headache and spent the day slowly making my way through two rooms and deep cleaning (as well as stopping and relaxing) as I thought through big thoughts and worked through lots of STUFF,inside my head.

I am feeling very nostalgic today ... summer has officially ended (although, someone needs to tell Mother Nature that ... whew!  The humidity!).  That means we are moving into the holiday season, which is ALWAYS difficult for this terminally single girl.

I find myself longing for the freshness of Spring despite the fact that I am enjoying the thought of crisp nights with cozy fires.

I'm experiencing a bit of a Labor Day Dichotomy.