Tag Archives: frustration

Progress! But . . .

I sold more than 30 boxes of books at the book sale last weekend. Great! I’m getting rid of books and other items, daily. Also great!

But the progress is still not really discernible, which is NOT great.

I have taken boxes of books and stuff to the dump’s swap shop. I have boxed up items for future flea markets. I have gone through all the boxes in various stacks and removed the obvious culls, labelled and then restacked tidily, the remainder. Does it look better? Yes.

But it’s still a mess.

And it isn’t that I’m so tired of owning all this stuff, it’s that I’m tired of spending all my time dealing with stuff or ignoring the mess.

I want to do other things. I have acquired some new work gigs, which are going to obviously take some time. The memoir probably needs revision and I’m in the midst of an edit of that manuscript anyway. And so on. All I need is a month of 100 hour days, and we’re all set!

The biggest issue of course really is the PTSD. If I push much harder than I am, I’m pretty sure it will jump down my throat.  Panic attacks are not fun. These days they seem to show up in the middle of the night most of the time. I’d really like to avoid that, if at all possible.

And aside from just pitching everything in a dumpster, there is no other solution. It takes time, that’s all.



Assuming the fridge is dead, what do we do?

I’d like to go low-tech, no-tech, but DH won’t, so, a decision had to be made. After much discussion and looking at big box stores and our local used appliance place (great deals, if you want to spend that much — I don’t.) we decided on a dedicated fridge as opposed to a fridge/freezer combo. Much cheaper. Eliminates the ice maker we don’t use. (Did you know if you buy a side by side fridge WITHOUT the ice maker it’s more expensive than one with it?)

I’m willing to spend big bucks (the approx $2,000 we spent for the fridge we own) for something which was the “last” such item purchased in our lifetime. I’m not willing to spend that much if I have to replace it every 5 years. Energy efficient, stainless, etc. be damned. I’m not a good “consumer” I guess. I should have leapt at the $3,000 fridges for $1,000 I saw at the used appliance place, but didn’t. I love the shelves and bins in my current fridge, but I’m not willing to spend $1,000 or more for something similar, if I have to do it again in 5 years. No. (And you know? we already OWN the bins and shelves in the current fridge, I may repurpose them.)

This is the same sort of thing which happened with the furnace. I get mad and drop out. The older I get the more ornery I get and less willing I am to put up with badly made crap and corporate greed.

Your “lifetime” warranty is only good for 20 years? Even though we’re the original purchaser? Fine. I’ll go low tech instead — and if I do buy something new?

I’ll do much research. I won’t count on your machine working except as a backup for my low tech. And that is part of what I’ll do with the new fridge

Fall’s coming and with the house in the state it is, we can’t afford another project. But over the fall and winter I will plan our new pantry and kitchen, I was supposed to anyway. I will include a California closet. Or maybe I’ll get a metal worker to make me one for a window. The Victorians used a metal “bread box” hanging out a window, like a window air conditioner as a small “ice box” in winter.

Hmm. I wonder if you could use an old air conditioner shell . . . ?

I came home yesterday having delivered the merchandise to the new antique store and found DH priming the remaining trim in the hall! 😀


The way I have to do things (or always have in the past). . . this is what I did this morning.

  • Put plastic dj protectors on two books. Try to get them into mailers. I need bigger mailers. Decide we can’t mail these on the way to the mechanic’s shop.
  • Take the car to the mechanic for repair/inspection.
  • Come home. Wash and dry the lime basil. Salt some of it. Saute some of it in olive oil.
  • Work on knitting project.
  • Read email.
  • Work on knitting project.
  • Clean next batch of basil, Thai basil this time.
  • Cull 2 skeins of yarn from my office and put them in the “swap shop” bin.
  • Dry basil.

Before I got up from the computer when I wrote this, I opened one of the short story files. Went downstairs, worked on the knitting, then went for a walk with DH. Came back, worked on the story, then the retype of the memoir. Then went to the pantry and started reorganizing and straightening it, which is overdue.

Yes, things get done this way. Yes, it keeps the panic down and the panic used to stop me cold. But it’s ridiculous! Why can’t  I just decide I’m going to work on food preservation for an hour or two and do all the basil? Why can’t I schedule an hour for knitting? Or writing?

The really bizarre thing about this is that this doesn’t happen when I’m working for someone else. But at home? I’m a task bumblebee, dancing around: buzz-buzz-buzz.

bee dance

Absurd, isn’t it?


Ratwheels Forever

Okay, okay all ready! Yes, I am READY to move on with my life.

But, but I’m weighed down by previous work obligations and all the stuff. I’d get a dumpster and have a “pitch it” party, but you might as well make a big target on my back , point and say,


This is what it feels like to be trapped in an Isben play, I guess.


I got here.

I don’t hurt.

I didn’t flashback with a major revelation.

I’ve waited for those two things to occur together for 58 or so years. And I’m bogged down with all the strings, ties, stuff: emotional and physical trash that I accumulated to deal with  the undiagnosed PTSD and abuse issues for most of a 1/2 century.

The mechanisms and stuff helped. It kept me safe. Now I’m not afraid to see what it could be like to live in a neat house, but I’m afraid of going too fast — because that’s always brought the issues up before, and I don’t know if it still will — but it always has, for 50+ years.

Will someone please just find the F’n switch for this stupid ratwheel I’m on and shut the stupid thing OFF already???

Bet: it won’t happen that way. I have to clean up my own mess. I have to keep fighting. I have to push on and on and on. Which, considering that I stayed alive at birth, as a preemie, when they expected me to die, means if you’re me, I’ve been fighting since my first breath. They expected me to die at the first suicide attempt, when I was 16, didn’t. I almost did the 2nd time I tried at 19, but I  didn’t. Had the motorcycle accident which could have left me brain dead or just dead, didn’t. On and on.

I’m alive. I don’t hurt. That took 58-9 years. Now what?

Well, “now what ” is that I have to deal with more backwash, more stuff, more things and mechanisms I had created so I could cope.

Part of me wants to PARTY! CELEBRATE!!! Find a new direction and go thataway!

But I have several 1,000 books to get rid of, first. I have a new way to live to learn, first. I have to learn new skills because the new me is more aware of my shortcomings than my old self (I was too busy hurting.)



And yes, I’m sick of this. I’m running out of energy and I can’t do anything but deal with the vestiges of my past, even though I’ve spent all this time/energy learning to cope with it.


This pity party stops here.

How I ‘ll fix this I have no idea, but I’ll find a way. I have to believe that or I will go mad. I’m just tired.





Being Self-Sufficient & Not

It’s getting colder, thankfully, the furnace is finally fixed! We’ve been using the woodstove, a thing we’ve decided we’ll do much more of this winter. For one thing, it helps deal with the various downed wood on the property. For another, it uses the resources we’ve already paid for, like firewood, instead of incurring a bill with the local propane company.

We’ve wintered here without a furnace before and it isn’t fun to come into an absolutely frigid house, but it can be done.

I have for the first time put root veggies (carrots) in wet sand to store them overwinter. We’ll see how that goes. Being able to buy organic and then storing them without refrigeration sounds like the best of all possible worlds to me. Along that line, I found a Mother Earth News article (of course) about this. You can find that here;


Also, I’m making bread again. Making our bread all by itself saves us about $5 a week as we like hard crusted, “gourmet” type bread, not the supersoft cheap stuff. It ends up being about 2 loaves in a week. This time I cut up the end of the last loaf, to prepare it to become breadcrumbs.

I’ve been using a lot of breadcrumbs lately. I made stuffed mushrooms Sunday morning for both the political party my neighbor had and my writing group. Last week, I made a crustless quiche, why I’ve never heard of this technique before I don’t know, but I doubt I’ll ever make a quiche, at least for us, with a crust again! You just brush the inside of your quiche dish with olive oil, then spread a layer of breadcrumbs on that. Then add your quiche batter and bake. It was great, took WAY less time than a pie crust, was made with ingredients I almost always have at hand. Not to mention that it probably uses way less fat than traditional crusts too.

Otherwise, I did something I never thought I’d do. I gave up about cleaning the house. Last week I started to get really depressed, the house was a mess and no matter how much time I spent on it, it seemed it was still a mess. Or, I clean it up and then mess it up again. I finally asked 3 people to help. All of them know about my house, indeed two of them are neighbors. The other is one of my bosses (!). But I asked for help. I’m not getting it done on my own, I’m doing the same thing I’ve always done, fits and starts and forward & back.

I’ve had it. I’m stuck already. I asked for help, and thankfully, all 3 of them responded that they’d help. This is sort of scary for me, but I don’t really know what else to do. Professional help isn’t possible, it will make me panic AND we can’t afford it, so that’s out. And I’ve tried almost everything else I can think of, short of getting a dumpster, and that’s out for much the same reason the professional organizer is.

So, I swallowed my pride and asked for help where I needed it and otherwise, we’re working at being more self-sufficient.

The Plan

is to produce/put away enough produce in the spring/summer/fall that we don’t have to buy any in the winter.

I have potatoes that were sprouting in the bin, planted out in the yard growing. I intend to grow the red seed potatoes I bought yesterday for winter. I also got storage onion starts. Celery was planted, it’s not doing well, but I planted it. I bought 2 celeric bulbs last week, haven’t been able to find the seed or starts. Figure I’ll plant those, either use the stalks, get seed, have it for next year OR the bulbs will grow enough that I can harvest 1 and grow the other.

I have summer squash, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, peas, & beans coming up, home grown broccoli seed sprouting, asparagus making wonderful ferns, etc. The garden is trying hard to produce food. The problem is that my garden sits atop the septic field, all sand. All the nutriends I feed the garden just seep away. I’ve added compost, leaf litter, worms, potting soil, you name it. And, as long as I keep it up, the plants do okay, but stop for one week? And they go back to producing enough to keep us in salads throughout the summer.

Raised beds help, but they don’t entirely change the situation. A giant sponge sits under my yard. The other side of the house is the north side, and is heavily wooded, so that won’t work.

Arg. I’ll manage. But I’ll never have a spectacular garden here, because I have a spectacular leach field, all nearly 1/2 acre of it!


California Crazies

As a person with a mental illness diagnosis (PTSD) I’d like to comment on the recent insanity in my home state. I was not a popular youngster, but I had friends. I think the difference is that these days we lead others to expect instant gratification.

I knew it might be college before I had a boyfriend. I cried myself to sleep many a night in jr high and high school thinking I’d never have a date. Didn’t happen like that at all, but I didn’t know that, any more than anyone does.

Also, there was a whole social climate that even if you had access to guns (and some of my friends did) that you’d never use them against those in your community. We’ve distanced ourselves from each other, stopped teaching civics, stopped telling kids that being a candy striper or equivalent is laudable, etc. We didn’t just believe in our ecology, political party, etc. we were part of a country. We were Americans.

I think the difference between my generation of misfits and the current crop of the socially maladroit were two things: 1) We expected things to get better socially and be okay financially. We would be able to find jobs, etc. 2) We were taught from a very early age that we, all of us, were part of something bigger than we were,  we were all connected that way.

Not all people with a mental illness diagnosis are going to shoot up a room, but all of us, with a diagnosis or no, need to believe in our future and that we are all connected,  a part of something bigger than we are.

I just don’t see that happening dammit! So I expect we’ll keep having tragedies like this, where someone feels disconnected from those around them, is hurting and lashes out in the only way they think they can take control and can matter, even tragically.