Friday, September 01, 2006

I am so, so sorry.

I have to make an apology to every single person in North America. Well, at least Canada. Perhaps maybe just Ontario - I'm not sure how wide my sweep should be. You see, I have known for a long time that gas prices had an invert relationship with my gas gauge. That is to say, the more gas is in my tank, the lower the price at the pump. Conversely, the more dire my need for gas in my tank, the higher prices soar. My husband can fill his tank, tell me prices are low, I can run out to fill mine, and darned if it didn't jump up ten cents! Dh came home once and complained that the price of gas went up eleven cents overnight when he needed a fill up. I apologized, since I was running on fumes and getting gas was pretty urgent, I am sure this is what caused the hike. Not a hurricane or leak in an oil line, not oil fires or wars or trade embargos. The fate of the state of oil and gas prices rests inside my 1994 Ford Escort. Finally he made a suggestion, that instead of watching my gauge go down and watching the gas prices and fretting, I should just drive in a zen state, and "sneak up on the pumps". This meant no stating, or even thinking "I need to get gas". I wan't sure how that would work, I mean if I stop keeping track of the gas gauge wouldn't that increase the chances of me running out completely? And knowing what we know about the connection between my engine and the prices, wouldn't that guarantee a jump at the pump to like four dollars per litre? I don't even want to think about what that would be a gallon. Locally we have been enjoying a drop in gas prices, first time they came below 90 cents in a long time. I say "we" figuratively because I had no faith that I would get to share in that price. Yesterday I was driving along, saw a station advertising 86 cents per litre, and glanced at my dial - a little less than a quarter of a tank. Good time to fill up, good price, HEY! I think I just sneaked up! I quickly pulled in and filled my tank before they could push me down on the way to changing the sign again. My car coughed and panicked a little as I was filling, considering I haven't let the pump go until it turned off on it's own in like two years - poor thing probably thought I was trying to drown it. I kept looking around, figuring maybe it was some kind of trick. Or waiting for a truck to come careening in and take out the pumps. Or an air craft to dump a shipment and have it land right on the station or something. But no. I filled up, paid the bill, and drove out safely. The only theory I have for this, is I must have happened upon a rip in the time-space-continuum that allowed me to circumvent the normal forces that surround me, and keep my gas gauge and the economy in their negative relativity. There can be no other explanation. Now of course, by the time I left the station, the next one down the street had already risen it's price to 94 cents, and that is where the prices hover today. Dh had to fill up this morning, and boy was he cursing at me. I tried to tell him where to drive to get that rip, but he wasn't listening to it. Too bad for him ;).

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Be careful what you wish for

See, I have been whining all these days that I can't vacuum, and DD tries but it is really too heavy for her. And to the person that mentioned the Roomba, I agree. We have one and I absolutely love it. The animals love it too, the follow it around like little baby ducks. I do admit I get the shivers when it goes in and out under the couch though, I don't know why but that bothers me a little LOL. I had a good schedule going. One day the livingroom and kitchen, the next day I bring it upstairs and drop it to do the hallway and what it could of the bedrooms. Love those little "virtual wall" thingies. However, this is what is wrong with my roomba: See that pink lamp in the corner? The Roomba lives under the table it is sitting on. I can't get to it, and it can't get out. And even if it could, the livingroom is a lost cause. Did you think I was joking about the stuff from the garage sale still being there??? Sadly it is worse than I even let on, to be sure. What the Roomba does not do, is corners and stairs. With two cats and a dog that shed their weight in a day, and a daughter that seems to emit confetti, sparkles, and shreds of kleenex like some girly version of pigpen, you would be horrified how quickly the corners and edges and stairs get disgusting. Last night after dinner, DH said he was going to vacuum. I was so excited I almost went and got dressed up, it isn't every day the vacuum comes out of the closet! I was putting dishes away and heard it start, very far off. What on earth is he......NOT THE BASEMENT! Yes, he used our good vacuum to suck up drywall dust. So now, we have NO vacuum. That is right, he killed my vacuum. It was a nice vacuum, and really not a good time for it to die. He said the filter kept getting clogged....so he removed it. As soon as he tried it like that, "it stopped sucking". If I could get to the engine parts I am sure they look mummified at this point, covered in cat hair and drywall dust. I was annoyed, I won't deny it. But I had to suppress a small moment of glee - I really didn't like that vacuum and wanted a new one anyway. But it was too new to just chuck. Now I have a good reason to get a better one! A much better one, going by the look of guilt on DH's face when he told me he broke it. Oh, why is it MY vacuum? We had an old upright that was too heavy for me to budge. I wanted something smaller, he insisted he would use that one - but we all know how often that relic got drug out and pushed around. Almost never. The bags were all but impossible to find, in fact the last one we got on ebay and paid enough for a new vacuum. Finally I got disgusted with it all and bought myself a new vacuum to use when I needed it. It was light, bagless, and had an attached hose and onboard tools. Should have been perfect, but there were issues. It was hard to maneouver for all it's lightness. It's almost like it would suction to the floor and I couldn't push it. When you changed the toggle to "hose" the suction was so hard the hose would contract and you could barely stretch it. It was short to begin with so that was a problem. I have learned my lesson and know what to look for in a vacuum this time ;). Anyway, when DH wanted to use it he always came and asked if he could use MY vacuum, so that is what we named it. I know we are odd. This is news? One of the agreements we made, was that by the end of the holiday weekend that mess in the livingroom had to be moved/disposed of/whatever. His choices are to move the items in the new storage area to make room for that crap, make his mother take her stuff back, or he could transport it all to Value Village and donate it. It just needs to get OUT of my living room. Funny, DH listed he hated how I got stuff from the garden and piled it everywhere. They don't stay there long - just until I can contend with them - but it drives him insane to see tomatoes and cucumbers and herbs spread out everywhere. He also hates how I put things ON things. Like I will put something on a table rather than the floor. Like the laundry basket will end up on the kitchen table. Or the case of toilet paper goes on the cabinet until I can put it away. "If I put it on the floor I may never be able to pick it up again". Oh. Okay, now he gets it LOL. I listed that he doesn't put things away, but piles them, and always right in the way. The middle of the doorway, in the center of the hallway, right at the entrance of a room, on the staircase. "That is so I will remember to move it". I have been stepping over the same circular saw for ten years in the basement to get to the freezer. If you haven't remembered to put it away yet, there is no hope you will anytime soon! And he needs to learn how to pile properly as well. Bigger things on the bottom, smaller things on the top and not the other way around. He likes to stack things, balancing precariously, with breakables and spillables right where they can make the most mess when it all comes toppling down. Oh, and I spill another bowl of cereal milk on myself thinking it is an empty bowl, and they are both banned from cereal forever. Bring up your own dishes, scrape or dump any contents, and load in the dishwasher or pile neatly on the counter (keeping note of proper stacking techniques, please). Better yet, if the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, empty then reload it. If it is full of dirty dishes, run it. But that might be too much too soon. My mother "won" a night in a posh hotel here, and cannot use it because she agreed to watch my oldest sister's two girls. So she offered it to DH and I, and she will take DD overnight to spend time with her cousins. My other sister offered to take Ruby for the night, just so she won't have to wait for her breakfast the next morning. No way am I getting up early and coming home to feed the dog LOL. We will have dinner in the restaurant there, maybe walk around downtown. I hear their pool is really nice - I might even go swimming. I think maybe if Dh and I have some time to talk, away from the oppressive piles of junk threatening to close in on us, we might make more progress. Or maybe we won't, but I will have the chance to sleep in a king size bed with no animals on my head, and no danger of inhaling polly pocket shoes for an evening. And I will for SURE be dressing for dinner.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It has stopped raining, for now

So finally the rain has stopped. It is cool and sunny out today, and there are tomatoes to pick, and the sunflowers look like they might start blooming soon - they were planted way late by seed so I am surprised they came up at all. Last night I was able to get many things cleared away, even if it took until after midnight. My niece came over to help me clean and sling some stuff around. We went through DD's clothes to weed out what doesn't fit anymore and re-arranged her drawers to make room for a fall wardrobe. She also kept dd content and busy reading her stories so I could take a shower uninterrupted. Funny how life goes, I am home all day and yet some days don't have a chance to take a shower. Ick, for sure, but that is the way it is. DH was out for the evening, and didn't come home until very very late. And he came bearing wonton soup (more on that later) and a recomendation for a housekeeper. I have been so sad lately. And really, it wasn't good for any one of us. Things were getting worse and worse between DH and I, between DD and I, and the house was ready to be condemned. "Hitting the breaking point" does not even come close to covering it. On top of all that, there are stressful things going on at work and with my health, and with my family. Too much all at once, and I felt abandoned really. DH would say "Do you want to talk about it?" and act all caring, then immediately downplay everything I said. DD is not respecting me and starting to show signs of separation anxiety - his response was "She only does that for you". I feel like crap, my hip is trying to kill me, and I feel sick all the time because I am not used to my new meds yet - "Just don't think about it. Work through the pain. Just ignore feeling sick". I felt I had no support at all and constantly undermined me with DD. Spiraling downwards in all aspects of life. Not a good way to feel, folks. No matter what I have ever gone through, it has never once occurred to me that taking my own life would be a possibility. I never realized that having thoughts of not wanting to BE anymore were the same thing. I didn't want to kill myself, but to be able to just drift off to sleep and have it all be over was kind of attractive. A 'lurker' called me on this, and I am quite grateful for that. In fact, I think it might have helped me snap out of it a little. Kind of like "What the heck am I THINKING?". Apparently I am the talk of my extended family. My sister told my cousin that things weren't going well, and my cousin told her husband, and her husband told their mutual union rep, who said HAVE HER CALL ME NOW. This guy may be the rep, but he is also a friend. From the first time he met DH he has prodded him that he needs to be a better husband and father. This guy works insane hours and has his own health problems, but still finds time for family AND makes his wife feel like a goddess. He is one of the best fathers I have ever met and you can just see that his family is his priority. Dh respects his opinion as well, which is a big thing because DH doesn't listen to most people. He doesn't respect the therapist which is why we are right back at square one. As soon as things got dicey and he was expected to step up to the plate and prove some changes he claimed he is making, the whole plan got dumped. So I called. And we cried on the phone together for a while LOL, and he said "I will spend some time with your husband, and take my word for it. If I can't whip him into shape I will move him out of your house and arrange a lawyer myself". So he called DH and invited him out to talk shop and shoot a few games of pool, maybe have a couple drinks etc. And DH jumped at the chance, hell I would jump at the chance to get out of here for a while too. When DH got home, I was in bed reading. I had told him once that when I was a kid, one of my fondest memories was of late night chinese food with my parents. No matter how crazy the day had been, how long my parents had been away or who had been at the house or what had happened, somehow, as we spooned up wonton soup in the wee hours of the morning, everything seemed alright. I felt safe and wanted, like we were a family. When he held out the container I felt like crying again. And I have spent more time in the last week or so crying than I ever have in my life. I said "What does this mean?". It means that he wants to try again. And he will pay for a housekeeper to come and do the chores that I can't do. So we can spend more time being a family and less time fighting over stupid things like floor sweeping and who puts the groceries away. He has said this before, and the money never materialized, and he even went so far as to send cleaning staff away. Why the change of heart now, when as of yesterday it was stupid and lazy to get a cleaner? "P. said if he calls back and you are still sad, he will make me move out and see that you get full custody of DD" and he teared up. His hands were shaking. "I don't want to lose you both over a stupid floor. It's just that after I work all day I just want to come home and relax. And I figure you've already been home all day, and your surgery was so long ago why aren't you better yet. P. told me his sister had the same surgery 15 years ago and still can't vacuum or carry laundry. I guess I thought you were making it up". We made a list of our "issues", and why they were issues for us individually. We made a set of "RULES". Such as no TV before dinner, and no TV if there are things to be done in the house. I agreed to stop keeping DD out after 8pm during the week, and to do certain things earlier in the evening so bedtimes weren't as hectic to begin with. He promised that when he is on afternoons he will get DD ready for school so I can either sleep in or work (depending on my schedule) and when he is on days, they will do a 'pick up blitz' right before bedtime to get things up off the floor. Any laundry that needs carrying down will go into a certain hamper, and DH will bring it down first thing in the morning. After dinner he will bring up any laundry baskets from the basement, then sweep and swiffer the kitchen floor as soon as the dishes are away (or right after he makes his dinner for afternoon shift). Two weekends a month he will get up early and make a special breakfast with DD while I sleep in or take a shower. Every night before bed we have agreed to discuss the day, and whether or not things are going well and how we will fix it, rather than fighting for days and letting things pile up and get nasty. And if at any time I reach the point where I am now again, he will voluntarily move out. We have done something like this before, but basically the therapist and I wrote it and he just signed it - I think to just get it over with and get out of there. This time I made him come up with his own issues and responses to mine, and write his own conditions with no prompting. He is scared to death, ladies and gentlemen. Scared witless. Maybe it might help this time. He promised that he and DD will prime the workout room tonight, and paint it tomorrow. This weekend he promised to finish at least the floor (the ceiling I could care less) and make arrangements to have the treadmill brought back in. We might buy the weightbench as well if the floor is done. If he doesn't finish by Sunday night, he has agreed (I have it in writing!) to hire somebody to do the work. I am looking forward to a completed workout room so I can get going on my new plan. It was another emotional night, and I am not going to lie and say that I feel relieved. We've already been through this before. Heck, I am just glad somebody swept the damn floor.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I thought weekends were restful?

Sometimes I feel more tired after a week-end than I do after a full work week. Not so much overly busy, but rather lack of rest. DD spent the day at the Michigan state fair, as a guest of the Karmanous Institute (where my mother works). My parents took all the grandkids except for the oldest, who was away. She had a wonderful time, although there were some disappointments. She wasn't old enough to try the bow and arrow, nor shoot the pellet gun. But she did catch a fish, milk an artificial cow, and see both a calf and a lamb being born. She would have seen a sheep sheared as well, but the poor thing decided she had to give birth right THEN (which led to the lamb birthing experience). DD has decided that "this birth business" is pretty gross and at this moment she insists she wants no part of it. And at this moment, I have no problem with her feeling this way ;). Then we had a campfire at my brothers house, but really we should have skipped that. DD was tired from her busy day, and I had spent the day cleaning and doing stuff and was tired, in pain, and miserable. DH and I had pretty much fought all day, so I was emotionally tired as well. There have been issues lately, family issues, and I really don't know how to deal with them. I have mentioned them to the therapist but we haven't set on what to do. First of all, I am a little tired of the television business. There are shows that I like to watch too, and I admit I can sit and knit and listen to the food network for hours at a time if I let it happen. But see, I don't let it happen. I have other responsibilities that take precedence over the boob tube. My husband has a more difficult time with this. He spends literally days doing nothing but eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, and watching tv. Then he spends a lot of time being frustrated and miserable because he got nothing done. He feels inadequate, but instead of DOING something about it (which means doing SOMETHING), he wallows and continues to do nothing. Then I get frustrated because he is miserable and demanding and impossible to live with. He picks fights with DD over nothing, which sets her mood then she picks fights with me. It makes it very unpleasant to live here. And frankly, that scale that weighs the good against the bad, the scale that determines whether a person stays or goes....well....it's starting to tip again. And not in a good way. He started building the workout room. In two days he had it framed, and drywalled. I was thinking hey, he's really making progress. Although I will admit I was getting frustrated at being called away from whatever I was doing every five minutes to see the new screw holes and massage his ego. Just fricken do it and I will see the finished product, know what I mean? But then, he lost his steam. He did too much too fast, got tired, and has done nothing else since then. Except for watch tv, of course. Saturday I wanted to get a good base cleaning done because I want to hire a housekeeper. It is stupid, and it is lame, but I cannot sweep wash or vacuum my own floor. I feel like a whiner and a sucky baby, but if I sweep the floor I have leg cramps for days, get a sore neck, and my back feels like my spine is made of dry sticks. Same goes for vacuuming and mopping. Washing by hand is no good, crawling around is worse than sweeping. Hundreds of times we have gone over this, that I can't do these things and he needs to do them. Sweeping is a daily task. I feel he should just know to do it every single day without my having to ask him, and having to ask him causes it's own little paradox. I don't know how your husband is, but mine runs along the defiance lines. If I ASK him to do something, then he cannot do it on principle because I nagged him about it. However if I don't ask him, he claims he is not a mind reader and how is he supposed to know I needed it done if I didn't ask him to do it. So we play this game, and dirt piles up, and two months go by and the floor has not been swept, let alone washed. I take out the broom and prop it against the cupboards, hoping a visual prompt will help. Nope. Maybe I need to video tape the broom and play it on tv, that might get his attention. So Saturday I filled and emptied the dishwasher countless times to catch up on a weeks worth of "deadline dish pile up". And I did load after load of laundry. With each load, he chided me on carrying the basket either up or down, yet at no time did he leave his chair or attempt to take the baskets from me. Cleaned the kitchen counters and cleared the mountain of stuff on the table, the bathroom, and what I could of the living room (don't even get me started on that, there are still things from the yard sale piled in there and I might have stroke if I think about it right now). Picked up in every room - why must my family throw things on the fricken floor???? I am not supposed to bend, it's like they want to hurt me on purpose. I grocery shopped and put the food away, and I admit I was getting angrier by the moment. At one point I was trying to open the door with my arms full of bags, only to see him standing there STARING at me, scratching his ass and yawning. I waited, he didn't move. Kicking the door with a satisfying bang! I yelled "You wanna open the f***ing door???" which offended him so deeply he went back downstairs and - you guessed it - went back to watching tv. Boy, isn't it a good thing he PVR'd Dumb and Dumber? Could you imagine if he had MISSED seeing that movie? That he has seen a hundred times and has on both VHS and DVD. But I digress. In case you haven't noticed, when I get frustrated or angry my language gets very bad. Potty mouth. Swear like a sailor. Not when DD is around, because she is a parrot that not only repeats but SPELLS the bad words afterwards. Through no fault of our own, we managed to survive Saturday, which brought us to Sunday. I was running late, and asked DH to help DD get ready. She needed to wash her face, brush her hair, and put on the outfit I laid out for her. This should take, oh ten minutes and only because she is a dawdler. I was running late because I was running around trying to get things done, and he was sitting and watching tv, but again, a digression. I emerged from my room 15 minutes later, fully make-upped and dressed and pantyhosed expecting to simply get in the car and go. To find them both sitting downstairs watching Spongebob Squarepants and laughing like loons. She was not washed. She was not brushed. She was not dressed. I was not happy. We make it out the door, half an hour late. When we got to the baby shower, DD was in a mood because she had been rushed. She refused to eat what they were serving. She refused to sit in her chair. She would not be quiet. Then she did the ultimate, something that made me see white hot and almost kill her. She BIT another child at the shower. She never went through a biting phase as a baby, and now at the age of six she BIT another child? I don't think I have ever been that angry in my life. There I was, already feeling like a piece of garbage, and suddenly I have a hundred pairs of eyes staring at me. The mother of the awful child that just BIT a toddler. And I could see it in those eyes. Bad mother. Inadequate. Can't take care of her house, can't control her daughter, can't motivate her husband to get off the couch. I didn't want to be there anymore. I didn't want to be here anymore. I don't think I wanted to BE anymore. I grabbed my purse and my child and fled. When we got home, I was greeted by a counter full of dishes and a pile of dirty dishcloths, and DH's first words to me were "What is for dinner?". I sat on the floor and cried for an hour, while DD laughed at me and DH looked uncomfortable before drifting back to his beloved tv. I cried while I cooked, I cried while they ate, I cried while getting my daughter ready for bed. I cried while I did yet another load of laundry and I cried while making my husbands lunch before going to bed only to cry some more. Who needs rain when there are tears to be had.