I’m getting a shortish fuse.


Last time this happened I was seeing my therapist and working on the house. This time, it really doesn’t feel like it’s about the house. It feels like it’s because I haven’t been able to “let my hair down” since June when my therapist retired.

The funny thing that resulted from my being more easily annoyed is related to a method I found to categorize chores. I’d already broken them down into “shorts” and “longs,” that is things which had to happen in the next few days or longer than that. Decided that I wanted to be more specific and a graphical representation, so I replaced shorts with “rabbit” tasks and longs with “kangaroo” tasks. Kind of cutesy, but okay. Today I was thinking about how to further divide this and deal with the annoying things I have to do almost every day, and I came up with an entire scale:

  • flea (annoying — has to be done today!)
  • rabbit (the coming week)
  • kangaroo (the coming month)
  • 7 league boots (the current quarter)
  • herding continents (the general direction I want to go)

I could see how dividing things this way might lead to my actually being organized, accomplishing my goals, both short and long. Pretty bizarre if you’re me! It could be something like this. . .

Month Week 1: Review day and week chores. Week 2: Review daily, weekly and monthly chores. Week 3: Review those and add quarterly chores. Week 4: Review everything, Alter or change as needed.

Not complicated, but forward thinking. I don’t think I can do this; I’ve never been able to before  — and has that ever stopped me from trying another approach?


So it may be one more futile attempt to do an end-run around the PTSD which is terrified that if I’m actually finishing things or accomplishing something people will see my fatal flaws, or it won’t, because I’ve finally, finally done enough work to get past it.

I have no idea.

I also have no idea about why I’m getting mad so much. The only thing I can think to do to counter it, aside from start with a new therapist (not really an option) is to start swimming again — dopamine is my friend!

We’ll see. But I’ve spent a large part of today being annoyed at somebody or something. Not my normal and a usual indicator that something is brewing down in the PTSD pit. First time this has happened since the therapy ended.

Wow I made it a whole 2 months — how’s that for sterling mental health? Only cost probably about $1,000,000 and took me 55 or so years. Terrif.

Chore Status 8/22

Decided because it seems as I get things done I’m also adding more things to do, that I should repost this every Monday. Also, that I should remove from this list the things I’ve done, so that I start each week with just the still pending list. The old list is available, with the struck through text, on the last list!

to do list 1

Living Room:

  • Spackle (2nd coat and as needed): kitchen, interior stair, stair rail.
  • Primer (1st coat): kitchen wall
  • Sand: as needed
  • Primer (2nd coat) : wallboard walls as needed, log walls
  • Caulk: DH has done between the logs on the wall from the door to the entry wall and the short section of log wall on the kitchen wall. Remaining: oak wall, remainder of street wall, wall board walls.
  • Final Paint: entire room (street, oak, kitchen, bookcase wall, hall walls (closet, bath, pantry), stair wall, entry, stair interior wall, and stair rail.
  • Cull/clean: get fabric to Jeannie’s for reupholstery. Window replacement on north side.
  • (long term) Sand and redo floor.

In broad terms what remains in the living room prepainting effort:  the kitchen wall needs to be cleaned, spackled and primed. These walls need to be primed: kitchen.

AFTER I get everything primed at least once, then the additional spackling, patching, between log painting, and caulking can be done. Then we sand, again. Then we primer, again. THEN we paint! I need to remember to order the paint!

Measure room and furniture. Make a floor plan so you move the furniture and books ONE more time, not more than that!

Hall: Replace smoke detector (future).

Kitchen: (Cull/clean) Get the 2nd Hoosier into the kitchen.  Dismantle the f’n 30 square foot counter and redo it to something saner!!! (long term) Pull the windows, put in the new wall and windows.

Laundry: (Cull/clean)  (longterm) Get the switch thing set up so you don’t have to pull the dryer out anymore!

Bathroom: (Cull/Clean) corners, window,  clear out.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) get couch downstairs. When reupholstered chair returns, put it here, not living room.

Attic: Get the 1 base cabinet in there (or elsewhere) and the cabinet which canme from the storage. Get the bookcases from office 1 into the attic.[1 base cabinet used in kitchen 8/20]

Office 1: . Get the counter cleaned. Remove everything from the bookcases on the north wall and get the cases moved into the attic.  Bring in the new dressers?

Office 2: Clear off the blue desk. Sell/cull items waiting for that. (long term) Move the office function to the other office.

Dining Room:  Take down candlabra, sell. Paint china cabinet and relocate the 2 Hoosiers.

Storage: Remove the 2nd Hoosier for the kitchen.Get at least 5 boxes out and deal with the stuff in them. Move to a smaller storage unit 10 x 20 instead of 10 x 30 which is what you have now.

Garden: Continue, finish and keep up the weeding, so that the weeds don’t take over the yard and next year’s vegetable garden is a disaster accordingly! [Worked on this 7/24-5, week of 8/20]

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 51 as of 7/27, 50 as of 8/1, 48 8/9, 49 8/22)

Systems, Mostly Long Term: Heating: order 2 cords of wood. Finish basement insulation. Order 2 more cords of wood. Roof: get new back roof. Water: get clips installed on both roofs. Get guttering/water barrel.Landscaping: Walls, fences, gates, plantings as needed.

We Bought Paint!

What we did yesterday? A few things. We moved the now unplugged big fridge over to the space cleared the day before for this purpose. Before we went anywhere I used the hole this created as a chance to clean the wall and floor.

Then we went off and bought paint. The only store which sells the paint we’re using is 1+ hours away. There’s a Habitat Restore in the same town and we always  go there and to DH’s fave woodworkers shop too. Did all that, came home.

DH moved one of the corner base cabinets (we got it from a neighbor, you can read about it (here) which had been sitting on our lawn and put the small fridge atop it. We then took all the food from the coolers, tossed whatever ruined food, and packed the fridge. The little fridge is approx. 1/3 the size of the big one. However, it works, we already own it, and it saved us from delaying the paint purchase,  more wood, the roof  next month, and perhaps our septic being pumped.  The paint, wood and roof really aren’t negotiable. The septic might be, but we’re pushing it, and that might not be smart.

So the plan is to work on pulling the flat file, graphics table and stand away from the kitchen wall of the living room, so I can wash it down and we can tape and spackle it. I’m busy with other things on Monday, so no painting, or very little. It would be lovely to move the furniture, clean/spackle and primer the wall tomorrow but that’s just not realistic. On the other hand, this is FINALLY the last piece of wall which needs to be cleaned/spackled or patched in the “living room” —finally!

Today? It’s Sunday, which means DH’s pancakes for breakfast. After that? Working on the living room painting project, of course! Happy Sunday all!!!


Okay, the week has gotten to me. The “it’s never going to be done”paint job is getting to me. My work situation has become more complicated, in the way that my colleague complicates things, again. And I’m weary of the apparently never-ending, never finished overwhelming things which need to be done.

And we added one: our 2nd batch of wood was delivered this a.m. Certainly, it beats freezing this winter, but we hadn’t, because it has been so hot and sticky, dealt with the 1st cord, mostly. Now we have a 2nd to deal with — and we need at least one more, 2 by preference and there will be nowhere to put those until we deal with these.

Re the fridge? We went shopping again yesterday and codified our planning. The tech was here yesterday, talked to KA about the fridge and they’re shipping him a part. (This is identical to what happened with the 1st fridge btw.) Assuming he can recharge the system, then it should work. But whether it will work for 3 days or 3 years is unknown. So. . . our short term plan is to use the small fridge we have, buy another big cooler (just in case) and hope for the best. The midrange plan is that AFTER the new roof goes on, next month, we start saving for a new convertible fridge/freezer. We plug it in as a freezer and sell the smaller commercial freezer. If the fridge continues to work? Great. If not, we convert the dedicated fridge/freezer to a fridge and probably go buy another freezer or maybe another convertible. Dedicated freezers are a lot cheaper than fridges. A convertible fridge/freezer although the insulation and compressor have to be beefed up are basically much simpler than the (fragile?) high-tech fridges. Hopefully this means they’ll work for 10 years at least instead of 4 or 5.

The interior staircase wall I worked on yesterday is gorgeous by comparison to when I started, it is no longer filthy, and marked with various wear.

I have 2 tasks today. 1) Clear the section of the kitchen where we plan to move the fridge. 2) Start moving things away from the other side of that wall, the kitchen wall, so I can clean and spackle it. It’s the only piece of the living room’s walls which haven’t been done!

And of course, there’s laundry and dishes and various horizontal surfaces to clear: kitchen counters and the dining room table being the most urgent. The dishes, laundry, counters and table are the things which almost always need work, sigh.


Not Feeling Brave

Or in fact like doing anything at all, except hiding.

Yesterday I went to storytelling. Fine. Talked about stigma, my idea for how to talk about it. My overall impression is that the circle is bored with what I have to say. I came up with an alternative way to approach my problem.

My problem is just this: I’m not afraid of public speaking, in general. I’m terrified to talk about myself and my past issues. Same reason I’m stalling on the memoir. Makes me cringe when people say things like you’re strong, because you know? I’m not.

Stubborn enough to keep fighting myself is one thing. Talking about that in a semi-closed loop (like the ‘net or my friends) is also okay. Talking to people in general isn’t.

I was programmed to believe that people in general would reject me. Yes, I know I’m not the “flawed” human I was brainwashed into thinking I was. However, I WAS brainwashed. And unlike someone who gets PTSD and their brain changed as an adult or young adult, I have no memory to use as a bulwark against the mantra that was woven into my DNA. Of course, I also don’t have the “WTF is wrong with you?” that folks who get PTSD as an adult have as I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have it.

Ironically, I want to talk about the stigma related to mental illness, and the stigma stuffed into my brain is stopping me, cold.

I don’t know if I really want to push through it. I “should.” Yes, I know. But another thing about being 60+ and having fought this damned stuff for 55 or so years is that I’m tired. It’s not an adventure. I’m not determined. It’s just the next, obvious step. It feels like this and the memoir are what I was “meant” to do — but despite all the decades of feistiness, I just don’t seem to give a damn.

I’m not merely tired, or weary, I’m drained.

That is mighty weird since I have fought for the life I wanted, literally since my first breath.



The Week. . .

I’ve had weeks from hell before. I had a week where I was hosting 7 authors and 20 attendees for a writer’s “workshop” at the store. Had a car crash about 4 days before this event I’d spent 3 weeks frantically planning. My car was totalled and my ankle sprained. I got the last of the chores done with my desk chair zooming around the store.

Had the event. It was a success. Great. Three days (two?) later, a challenged person, with a minder comes in my store and wants books like Robert Jordan’s, but not his. Took quite some time, finally found him some books — then the guy has an epiletic seizure and collapses. His minder dealt with most of it, but not the vomit soaked paper towels. The bag of those I put in the dumpster, to be yelled at by the guy who owned the dumpster and threatened to have my shop removed from the center.

That was pretty bad.

I had a few times when I caught my current guy with someone else — always in April. Why was it always in April? That happened like 3 years in a row, 3 different men — all before DH.

This week hasn’t been that bad, but it hasn’t been easy.

Osteo arthitis.

Dead Fridge.

Scratched Cornea.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I’m afraid. I’m very afraid! But I guess I have to go anyway.



An Adventure & Cooler Reviews

I was on my way up the stairs, decided I’d grab the sanding block. Got to the entry  — oh that spot just there– over my head, just.

Got wallboard dust in my eyes. Wound up doing an emergency visit to the eye doctor. This was annoying because I’ve been, in the weeks we’ve been working on the living room very diligent about standing to one side, not sanding things I’m looking up to, etc. Except this one time. The doc’s assistant says it’s that way for pros too, they see people who just don’t think about things like this, but if you do, it’s the one time you don’t take precautions. . . . So now I have safety glasses and I didn’t get much done yesterday on the home front; because I was gone!

I also paid the storage, tried to go to one of my fave thrift shops (in a basement, got flooded in our torrential rain the other night) and went to the two antique shops and a consignment shop. In front of the consignment shop was an old zinc wall ice box. If it had been < $100 I would have bought it, just to use as that California closet, eh? It wasn’t. I did call DH and rib him that I’d found our new fridge. (He wasn’t real amused.) It looked a bit like this, except no wood.

old wood ice box


No news on the refrigerator saga, except we tossed more produce on the compost heap last night when DH refreshed the ice. We have learned a few things: If you’re going to buy a styro cooler, buy one where the lid seats to the body, like this:

lifoam huskee cooler

We have one of this line (huskee), works best of the three lifoam chests we now own.

The one which works the least well has plastic clips which hold the lid down. Like this:


So, simpler is better. We have a thinner walled plain chest too. That isn’t quite as good as the “Huskee” like the first one shown, but works better than the one with the plastic clips.