Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that it is raining. The bad news is that it is raining.

So, my husband was off for the week, and he said something about there being work in some other district, but no one had offered it to him. And I said something like we should get ready to go in case they call and offer a trip someplace interesting. And he told me where he thought it might be if someone did call, and that didn't seem very interesting, and I couldn't leave the plants that long anyway. But I looked at the weather reports, hoping that it was going to rain or something so that I could go if they did call. Only about ten percent chance of rain, with no little clouds or lightening icons or anything like that.

I pretty much forgot about doing anything that would have allowed me to go on a trip, cause even if there was a trip I wouldn't go cause of the plants. I went back to slowly digging this hole that will be the future home of a fruit tree. Not a bad hole now, even if it did take a really long time for me to get this far. The kitchen is a total mess and the rest of the house is mostly just as bad, but I have a mostly dug out hole.

So Monday we were out doing something, and my husband said he needed to stop at Home Depot. And as long as we were at Home Depot, I thought that we might as well get four more of those blocks, and so I picked four that didn't look too bad and put them in the cart before we went off to look for screws and whatever else my husband was going to look at. And then one of the workers said something to us, like did we need help or whatever, and then there was the short conversation that you'd expect to have with someone at Home Depot when you don't need any help (or don't want to admit needing any help), and it somehow ending with him saying something like "Yes, but it's going to rain."

And I thought that was a weird thing to say, cause I knew that it wasn't going to rain, cause I had looked at the reports. Okay, I hadn't looked that day and maybe I hadn't seriously looked the day before, but I had really looked maybe the day before that and there was nothing really about rain, and it didn't look like rain outside when we were out. Outside was the awful heat that is usual around here, with maybe some clouds but not yet thick enough to be useful, much less really looking like rain.

So we went on with our business, but I made a mental note to look at the weather again, cause maybe it was supposed to rain later.

Anyway, while we were still in the Home Depot, it did start raining. By the time we found all of the right screws and such and looked at whatever else my husband needed to look at, it wasn't just raining it was really pouring. And he said something about not wanting to take my stuff out to the car in the rain, but I wasn't having that, cause there's this covered part where you can load stuff without getting wet, you just have to wait your turn.

So he ran out to get the car and I waited with the stuff, and he lined up with the other cars. But somehow that didn't seem to go in an orderly fashion, with the only way you moved up the line is if the person in front of you gave up and left. So my husband finally sees and opening and pulls up, but on the outside lane, where you still get wet on one side, and that was the side where there was space cleared for the blocks. And rather than push stuff over to the other side, he just got wet loading the blocks. And he seemed a bit mad about it, but he's the one who couldn't be bothered to move the stuff to the other side, so, whatever. But he didn't stay mad, and we went home.

So of course there's this serious downpour in the next town over where the Home Depot was, but not at home. At home it was quite dry. So we get all wet but our house doesn't get any rain, which means that my plants didn't get any rain. So that was a bit disappointing. Then I remembered having left the shovel and such outside, so I went to collect those, and then we checked our phone messages.

We'd missed a call from his work. They had a job for him, but there were no details. He called, but they'd already found someone else. I don't know if it was a week away someplace cool or just a day around here. Maybe we are better off not knowing anyway.

So that night it did rain here, which is good for the plants, but not good for me trying to finish digging that hole. I can dig after a light rain, but I can't dig in the mud after a lot of rain.

The next day, we got more rain. Anyway, we've had rain off and on, so the temperature has been mid-eighties instead of high nineties, so that's good, and once we even took advantage of the nice weather and went back to the arboretum, where we learned that you have to leave the park at five, not just that they stop letting people in at five. Oh, well. We still had a nice half hour walk.

So it's a bit sad that when I was thinking about it I didn't get ready for a trip and we weren't here to get that message, just in case, cause there has now been enough rain that I could have left for the week if I had wanted to. And that probably won't happen again for a long time.

During a break in the rain, a neighbor had a new driveway poured. I don't like her much, but I hope that the rain doesn't mess up the concrete.

Anyway, the rain is all good for the plants and everything, I just wish that it had waited till I'd finished digging out the hole. Some of it will have to be done over again now, and I'll have to wait til sometime next week before it is dry enough to do that.

One of my readers was saying how she wished she could see my garden. But there is nothing to look at. We did this video last year, and I'm afraid this is pretty much what the garden still looks like. It is more in the planning stage, still. And what work I was doing got interrupted by stupid stuff like being ordered to cut down my honeysuckle. So it looks even worse, cause there are no vines to obstruct a person's view, and no flowers to speak of. It is almost all vegetable plants, and I'm not getting much veggies now. Most of the popcorn plants look good, but I won't be getting the popcorn for a long time yet. For some reason, the squash just didn't work out. It is too hot for the tomatoes, but maybe I'll get a few later. I have a few peppers, but not as much as I'd like. The sweet potatoes look nice, but you don't eat them until they finish growing in fall or late summer. And there are no beans yet. The main thing that I'm getting now is the cucumbers. And I like cucumbers, but I just can't do that much with them when that's all I've got. I'm just trying to keep everything alive until the fall when I can collect the rest of the stuff.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Double Coke

So we bought a membership to the Dallas Arboretum, cause I told myself that we were going to go and walk around and get some exercise and such. We haven't. We have been one time since the day we bought the thing. It is just too hot. It isn't near my house, so we tend to stay a long time if we bother to drive over there, and then we come home really tired and don't go back for a while.

Of course, any health benefits we get from walking around are now negated by the other recent purchase of the unlimited refills at Racetrac (til the middle of September anyway). So every time we go anywhere we stop for a free soda or Slurpee (called Numb Skull at this company), and then on the way back we might stop and get another one.

I have found that you can get Coke flavored frozen drink, and then you can pour regular Coke over that instead of over ice cubes. Double Coke. Cool.

Endless free sugar water. Lots of calories. But I'm not really thinking about that now. And it's not like I've done anything about my plans to eat better, so why not have a few more Slurpees. It's hot here. Sometimes it is really hot here.

The bedroom has not improved. The dishes have not been done. And I have not even looked at the rest of the house.

However, I did do a bit of work on two garden projects. I've bought more cinder blocks for the pathway that will keep my feet out of the water if ever I have to go out in the rain to deal with the pump. It doesn't look particularly nice right now, but I have enough of it done that I could walk over the main part of the problem if I had to. The other thing I've been doing outside is digging a big hole where someday there will be a fruit tree (probably fig). I had earlier abandoned the project for the season because of the heat and because without rain the clay just is too difficult to work with. But after getting just a bit of rain I decided to try it again, and having gotten started on it I would like to finish it. It is slow, shovel a bit, then go back in the house and have a drink and rest, then go back out and shovel a bit more. I have a large hole now. Not large enough or deep enough to bury a person, but almost big enough to make a tree really happy. Not quite finished yet, and then after it is dug there will be the work of working with the soil and putting it back in the hole, but I will not do as much work with that part as I do with the vegetable beds. I don't think that trees need as much of that as annual plants do, and I don't think that this particular tree will need any sand.

Anyway, it rained again last night, which is nice, but it might have rained too much for me to work on the hole today. I'll look at it later.

And, while I would like to stay home mostly (except when we are going to a park or getting a Slurpee), we are seriously making the rounds at thrift stores. Today we are even going to go and look for one we've never been to before. My husband has some project, and he's looking for stuff to aid his photography. I'm not sure that his plan will work, but we will see. And while we are out, I find things, and he finds other things, etc....

Yesterday, I found another piece of black costume that I had to have. Not that I will be able to wear it if I keep drinking the Slurpees, but I have it now anyway for sometime in the future. I recently bought three or four things of yarn, but that's a lot less yarn than I found. I ended up not buying most of it.

We found most of another Aerogarden, but I didn't buy it cause I still haven't found replacement parts for the other one. This one had one bulb (they use two), but the light didn't come on, so I don't know if that means it doesn't work or if it just means that the bulb needs to be replaced. Anyway, I didn't get it. And I didn't get the Makin' Bacon still in the box (not that I need another one right now, just that I thought they are so great I should get it in case someone else needs it), and I did not get the GT Xpress 101 (little cooking appliance that makes chicken and omelets and such), but I did find one of those up-side-down tomato things fore about half-price (don't think that they really do anything great but I can find out now), and I bought that and yet another kitchen appliance that will probably not get used very much.

The thing was six bucks, and it makes soy milk. And then, in theory, you take the soy milk and make tofu. And then, in theory, you eat stuff that is good for you.

That's the theory. In practice, I'm not sure that I'll ever want to eat that much tofu, and he won't want to eat any at all. But it was only six bucks, and when will I ever find one of those again? In theory, someday, I might have a group of friends and we might all want to eat health food together, and then they will really appreciate the gizmo that makes soy milk.

They will also appreciate the gizmo that makes peanut butter, and the other gizmo that grinds flour, neither of which I have even tried yet. We did use the pasta machine (which I'm guessing would be too difficult to clean even if I remembered where it was now), and my husband used to really enjoy the juicer. We had both of those a long time, maybe he even had them before we got married. But most of this other stuff didn't get used much, it was just too weird to pass up when we find stuff at such low prices.

Who knows what we will come home with today.

And I suspect that there is going to be a stop at Double Dave's Pizza for lunch, as it is something that we hardly ever do, and it is in the general direction of the thrift store that we've never been to before. And it's a bit of a drive, so we can stop and get a Slurpee first.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Besides rearranging the boxes

The boxes are still there, but I haven't really looked at them since Friday. Saturday I went and hung out with my friends for a bit, and ended up staying out past one in the morning and not getting to bed until about two. In my usual routine I try to go to sleep at about ten and usually don't make and end up falling asleep watching TV around nine or even eight. So two in the morning is really late for me.

It was a very busy Saturday. First, there was the usual stuff. Then there was the first round of discussion about the Halloween Party. Then there were people showing off their steampunk stuff, and even a demonstration on how to make steampunk stuff.

I have no steampunk stuff. Everyone assures me that with my closet full of stuff I must have most of something steampunk already, and that I just need to add goggles or a hat or something. But I don't think so. Even if I go for an all black look and just have to get a hat (which I don't think is true) getting a hat is probably going to cost some money. Hats are not something I tend to find at Goodwill. And I'm trying to cut down on the Goodwill stuff anyway.

So I'm debating on whether or not I should try to make anything steampunk, just cause that is what everyone is doing at the moment.

Anyway, after the steampunk stuff there was a bit of just hanging out and wondering what to do til seven, when we were heading out to swim and have hamburgers and someone's house. Miss Allergies wanted to go shopping a bit and then go to a restaurant, cause she didn't want a hamburger. There was so much time spent discussing this, and there wasn't much time to kill to do one of those things, much less both. And I'm thinking that going to a restaurant on the way to dinner sounds a bit dumb. It's a waste of time, and it's a waste of money, even if I only buy and overpriced soda and tip the waitress. I don't want to do that.

And why can't Miss Allergies eat a hamburger. I know that she eats steak, so what is the big deal about eating a hamburger. I know that she isn't allergic to beef.

And even though I meant not to go home, I realize that I've forgotten my phone, and I want to go back for it. And I do have an errand to run, so I tell them I'll see them later, maybe at this restaurant, and maybe not.

So after going home and running an errand and doing one more little thing, I only have about twenty minutes to kill anyway. Going to the restaurant seemed silly to begin with, and going to a restaurant for twenty minutes sounds outright stupid. So I find something else to do and skip the restaurant.

I head out and miss the place that I'm supposed to turn. I aways seem to miss the place that I'm supposed to turn, even in the daylight, and end up having to make a u-turn and drive in a big circle to get back where I was. So I end up being a tiny bit later than I meant to be, even without going to a restaurant or going shopping or any of that other stuff.

Well, I meant to eat first and then rest a bit before jumping in the pool, but nobody else seemed ready to eat, so I was soon in the pool in my somewhat tight figure-correcting swimsuit. I don't look too bad in it, and I got compliments and such. And then somehow the discussion of modest swimwear came up, and I said that I would wear one if I knew where to buy one at a good price. And I don't want to go to an athletic store and buy one there, cause while those are more modest they are for serious swimmers and they cost a serious amount of money. Then someone is saying how swimsuits cost that much money anyway, unless you go to Walmart or something.

Now, I think that what the price is at Walmart is what the item actual costs (and I often pay even less getting things on clearance or on sale), and the price paid at other places is not for the thing itself but for the label or the fancy store, not for the thing itself. So I don't know what this person has against Walmart or Target, but I would certainly buy the thing there if they had it, I'm just pretty sure that they don't.

Anyway, after looking online I think that something close to what I want is on sale for fifty dollars, and that is still too much, especially since it doesn't cover the knees, and I hate my knees. So I'm probably not going to get one, since I don't look too bad in the one I got on sale last year for eight dollars.

After that, the atheist who went on a rant New Year's Eve went on another rant. And it wasn't like a back and forth discussion or anything, it was just her going on about it, and people mostly agreeing with her except for minor points, and I can't get a word in anyway, and even when I do she just keeps going. I'm getting tired of it. I realize that most people do not hold up to my moral standards, but I look the other way if people don't rub it in my face.

Except for that, I really had a good time, but stuff like that reminds me that I should get some new friends.

Swim, eat, and then swim again. Okay, not really swimming, just being in the pool. Then I went home and tried to get out of the swimsuit. Well, it was tight enough to start with. After it gets wet it is outright difficult to get in and out of. Then I went to bed about two.

Unfortunately, I still wake up at the usual time. So I don't feel well until a couple of hours after lunch. For lunch we went to a nice place, even though it was Father's Day and both our fathers are dead. But we had this gift card from Christmas that we still hadn't spent, and the buffet that we used to like so much is only served now on holidays, so if we really wanted it that was the day it had to be. So we went. It wasn't quite as great as I remembered, but it was nice. We ran a few errands, and then I spent most of the rest of the day in bed watching DVDs.

Monday I tried to do something in the garden involving cinder blocks. Okay, it isn't the garden itself, it is the damned "please don't flood my house" pump, which usually works now, but on rare occasions it gets tangled up and you have to go and deal with it during the actual flood. And since the pump in the area that is low anyway, if you walk to it during the rain you have to wade through a puddle. So I am clearing away the area right up against the wall and trying to make a pathway of these cinder blocks. It is more work than I had in my head. In fact, just getting the things home from the store is harder than I pictured, so that is getting done four at a time, not all at once, and not even six at a time like a planned.

So I did about a third of the first part of the work Monday, followed again by several hours of being in bed watching DVDs. And then something had to be dropped off in Arlington, and what was supposed to be just that and a trip to Home Depot turned into a whole afternoon thing ending in the all you can eat buffet at Pancho's, which isn't even my favorite thing anymore. And I really must stop going to buffets, cause I feel bad about it later.

I'm about to go and add three more blocks to the path.

Until ten this morning, there's free breakfast sandwiches at Whataburger, so we'll be doing that soon. And then either today or tomorrow we will probably be going to a garden in Dallas, cause we bought a season pass or a membership or whatever. This should encourage us to go for long walks. Walking is pretty much my only exercise, as I really hate participating in any sports, and I don't really swim, even when there is a pool, which usually there is not.

And the boxes still need to be rearranged again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rearranging boxes

A fellow blogger asked us if we had any rituals. I asked if pretending to clean stuff and get organized, only to put everything back the way it was and start the whole process again the next day counted. This is really starting to annoy me. I don't feel like I've been hit by a truck, I'm now back to what now passes as physically okay, but I just don't seem to be getting anywhere. I empty a box, look at the stuff, possibly move it to a different box. The next day I'll probably move everything back to the first box.

This isn't entirely true. I've gotten rid of a few things, just not enough, and I can't even see that I have any extra space where I got rid of things. Like, I got rid of a box of jeans that are too small for me. (This box and some other boxes are small, so really it should only count as half a box.) Okay, so I got rid of half of a box of jeans. And I got rid of half a box of things that don't make me happy any more. And I moved half a box of things. And I got rid of some records. And today I got rid of another half a box of clothing, which was stuff that I liked but had some defect, and so I was putting it aside thinking that someday I was going to make something else out of this stuff. Today I decided that stuff could go. So adding up the half a box here and there, I should have either two empty boxes or empty shelves or something, but I need to do more than that, and right now I can't even tell that I've done that much. I know that I have done at least that much, cause I see the bag of stuff that will go out with the trash tomorrow and the other bag of stuff that will go to Goodwill, but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent empty space in the room that I'm trying to get organized.

I've now found about eighteen bags and boxes of things like cough drops, and about a dozen boxes of different size plastic bags. The bags were not in the kitchen because while they do have a use in the kitchen, they are also used to separate craft stuff and to help when packing for a trip (cause you should put your shampoo and such in a couple of plastic bags before packing, just in case they start leaking into the suitcase).

And there's just no place to put all that cough suppressant stuff or all of those plastic bags, and there's no place for the other odd things that go from one box to another.

Today I've decided that I can part with three or four more books, and a few magazines that I'd kept for the pictures, and some things that I had printed out for art classes. That doesn't even add up to half a box, and it took about four hours to convince myself to part with those few things.

I guess this is as far as I get with it, and I just never really noticed before. I get to the point where I put everything in boxes, and I'm just happy that there's not stuff falling off of the desk and such and on the floor. And I think that when I have time I'll go through those boxes and get rid of more stuff. It's just that this past week I haven't done much else except look at things in the boxes, so now is that time I've thought that I would get rid of stuff, but I can't seem to figure out what to get rid off.

I had to read some books just to get this far with it.

Those books are a little odd to me, but they deserve their own post.

Anyway, I'm going to go back in the other room and look at the stuff again while I watch some DVDs of movies I saw last year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I feel like I've been hit by a truck

Okay, not really that bad. But I'm probably not going to get anything done today. I'd rather skip the cleaning and the gardening, get covered in muscle rub or some such thing, and just go back to bed.

It is very frustrating to be in such pain over things that other people take for granted. And while I know that if I dig a big hole in the ground I'm going to hurt later and probably the next day, and that should be expected if I'm going to do that much work, but going for long walks and other things should not make me feel bad. Other things make other people feel better.

This makes me think that I should give up on life entirely and spend most of my days in bed either watching TV or reading large print books. No more trying to get even tiny amounts of exercise, no more trying to have relationships with other people, no more garden, no more watching what I eat, no more trying to make anything better, etc....

Someone I know has lost twenty-nine pounds in about ten weeks. I do not have the money to do what he is doing, but I think that I could do something similar if I put some thought into what I eat and plan out what I'm going to do a day or so ahead of time. But instead I am sitting here drinking a Coke and eating animal crackers.

And the bedroom still isn't clean. Forget cleaning the rest of the house, just getting this one room in order seems totally beyond my abilities, unless maybe I just throw everything into one of the other rooms and make the mess there worse.

Of the cleaning that I did get done, I've found all of these bottles of vitamins and over the counter medications. I buy something, it falls off of the shelf or something, I can't find it when I need it the next time and I buy another one. So yesterday I threw away a lot of stuff like expired aspirin. There's still a lot left that isn't expired, but I don't know where to put it. It doesn't all fit where it is supposed to go. Medicines don't all fit in the medicine cabinet, even if that is all that you keep there, which usually isn't the case. I guess it's just that medicine cabinets aren't very big, because people used to have fewer medicines and cosmetics and such.

I have fifteen bags or boxes of things like cough drops. Most of them are just things from the dollar store that I lost and then bought more of and then lost again. About six of them are stronger stuff that I stocked up on for the flu season, but then I lost them too. So now I have fifteen, about half of them are opened.

So I need to figure out what to do with all of this stuff, but it isn't going to get done today, cause I feel so awful. And I didn't dig any holes or cut any branches or move any furniture. Just did a little bit of exercise that other people take for granted, that is supposed to make you feel better, and all I feel like doing is going back to bed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More stuff

After already having complained about the cleaning not going well, I'll tell you about the last couple of days, and you'll see one of the reasons why I have so much stuff.

We like going to Goodwills, other thrift stores, estate sales, and garage sales. This is not something that I did at all growing up, unless the garage sale just happened to be on my street. I did not go to Goodwill or anything like that. Mostly, the idea of buying someone else's used stuff totally baffled me. If someone else didn't want it anymore, why would I want it?

On the other hand, for my husband's family, going to Goodwill and estate sales was like a full-time thing. One of my in-laws got really good and finding "the good stuff" and is now an antique dealer. After we were married for about a year, my husband talked me into doing this side business of going to sales and buying stuff to sell at flea markets, on the condition that if I didn't want to do it after a few months we would stop. It wasn't so bad as I had imagined, I did give it a chance, but after a while (at least six months) I decided that I'd had enough of spending most of our weekends at the flea market, most of our other free time at thrift stores, and most of our house being filled up with junk (junk that wasn't even "our junk" that we intended to keep), and that we were making some money but most of the time not that much, and if we really needed the money we should do something more traditional like me going back to work or him asking for more hours. He said that he didn't remember telling me that we would stop whenever I wanted to, and that he wasn't going to stop, and he just made me feel bad if I didn't keep helping him with it. So we continued to do this thing that I didn't want to do anymore for another eight years, and mostly stopped because we had to move into an apartment and didn't have the room for all kinds of junk. At that point he decided that focusing on used books would be a good idea, as you could get a lot of books in a box compared to say, a lot of dishes, and the books probably wouldn't chip and such. So the apartment started to fill up with books (mostly book that weren't even "our books" that we intended to keep), and eventually this lead to him selling books on amazon and a few other odd items on eBay, and he had to rent a storage unit to put all of the stuff in, as it really was a small apartment and we didn't have the room. This mostly ended about four years ago (and not because he really thought it was a good idea to stop or because he was being nice to me, just he got distracted with other things and the business just sort of stopped after that). But there's still the odd thing around the house that he means to sell, and we still go to these thrift shops and such to look for things that we want.

After all this time buying things to try to make me feel better, I've decided that most of it doesn't make me feel better, and that I shouldn't buy so much. But even as I am saying that, even after the disappointing week of trying to get rid of junk and mostly not succeeding, in the last two days we have managed to go to at least three thrift shops while we were out running errands.

I have tried to be more particular about what I buy. I bought a skirt that I am going to make something out of. I bought two large containers that I am going to store leftover cement in. I bought four skeins of yarn. It seems like I bought something else, but I can't remember what. And my husband found for me most of an AeroGarden.

Okay, at some point I really wanted one of these, but I can't see paying a hundred dollars or more for one. So we found part of one in the lamp section, but it didn't have any light bulbs in it. I'm thinking that it's going to cost another twenty dollars or so to get the light bulbs to see if it works. And the bowl or whatever is missing, and at the time that didn't seem important, but now I'm not sure.

So, anyway, if you stop going to thrift stores and such, you don't find part of an AeroGarden for five bucks. And it's fun finding an AeroGarden for five bucks.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The cleaning isn't going well

I know, I say that all the time, but somehow it seems a bit more frustrating this week.

A week or so ago I got a bag of clothes together for donation. It is gone. Great. And I was going to get another bag together this week. Going to try on all those pants and get rid of those that are too small and most of those that are too big. You need some stuff that is too big and too small unless you have some weight gain or loss, but just some, not this much stuff. So, I was going through all of the old jeans, and there wasn't so much as I had imagined. Maybe I got rid of them last year and forgot. Anyway, most of them still fit, and I put most of them back, except that I decided one pair was too frayed and then I made cut-offs of two other pair. There's only really three or four pair that I wear on a regular basis, but I will eventually have to retire the gardening clothes.

The rest of the sorting is hard. I imagine that I want to get rid of a lot of stuff, only my reaction instead is more like--oh, I've been looking for that. I'm sure that I'll be looking for it again, as it still isn't stored in a good place.

And then I found more jeans. Okay, so I hadn't gotten rid of them, I'd just put them aside in case I needed them. I decided that I didn't need them. I had to try them on just to make sure, but now I am sure, and out they go. So I will have another bag of clothes for Goodwill, but it still doesn't seem to have made much of a dent.

It isn't that this is actually more physical work than gardening, it's just less rewarding. If you do a lot of hard work and dig a new garden bed, you end up with a new garden bed and all sorts of possibilities as you think about what you might grow in it. Sorting clothes is different. You start out with a big pile of clothes that maybe doesn't look so good on you, and you sort through the clothes and wash the clothes and try on the clothes, and then you end up with a slightly smaller pile of clothes that probably still doesn't look so good on you.

Okay, I have emptied two boxes. One contained things that will now go back in their proper places (such as the kitchen), and one contained things that reminded me of something that used to make me happy. I've had them in a box for four years, thinking that they might make me happy again and I would feel terrible if I threw them away, but no, they still do not make me happy. Time for them to go. I guess I just need to figure out where they need to go, as it still seems a waste to actually through them away, but I'm going to get upset if I see them somewhere like at the Goodwill.

I have finally convinced myself to part with some of my records. I've kept my LPs all this time. In the back room, I have a record player that probably still works, and I probably know how to fix it's main problem if it does not work. But I so rarely get it out and use it. I'm not sure that I've used it since we moved to this house. And, after one of the floods, the album covers were ruined. So I've now convinced myself that most of the records should go (probably straight into the trash since most of the covers are ruined, and I think that might be a major reason that a person would still want an LP is to look at the album cover), and that I will keep mostly the soundtracks and a few others that would be hard to find. The rest are just songs, and if I get to a point when I want to hear songs again I'll buy CDs or download them or whatever people do at the time. But I've not wanted to hear songs for about four years now. They all remind me of something.

So, a bag of clothes gone (in addition to the one I got rid of a couple of weeks ago), two boxes gone, and about half a shelf of records gone. And still, it just doesn't make that much difference. There is still all this stuff to deal with. I'm making a big mess trying to do something constructive, and I don't even know why, since I think that I have done a lot of this recently and shouldn't be doing it again so soon.

But there is still a room full of stuff, so I guess that it does need to be done.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A week to myself

Sometimes I like being alone for a bit, and sometimes I don't. I suppose this time it is a bit of both.

I should know by now to have a bag packed and ready to go at all times, but I don't. It isn't so much that I don't have a bag mostly packed with clean underwear and makeup and such, cause I do have that. But I don't have other things all packed and ready to go. Like, if I'm going away for more than a day or two, I want to take knitting with me and probably a book, or else I'd just go crazy sitting in the motel room, even if there is good stuff on cable, which often there is not. And then there's the plants, which I cannot leave for more than a day or two, unless it is going to be raining a lot while I am away. I would have to arrange for someone to come and water them, and there is really no one that I trust to come to my house that has a clue about plants. So if I'm not going to hire someone, and I don't have money to do that, I worry that my plants will mostly die while I am away.

There has been some rain, but probably not enough that I would have felt good about going away for a week.

I didn't get a lot of work done yet, but some. I have removed all but the last bit of honeysuckle vine at the corner. I hope that we will get a new manager and new rules and that the honeysuckle will grow back. The backyard really looks sad without it. And with the vine covering most of the fence I felt like I had some privacy, and now I don't. It is sort of like that dream where you go to school and find out you're naked. I don't like it.

I was going to take pictures of how after I removed the honeysuckle there were all of these weed trees on the other side of the fence, but my neighbor decided to come out and cut those. He was actually going to go out and cut them with a hand saw, but when I saw him trying to do that I loaned him my new toy instead. So he got all of his work done in the one afternoon. On the other hand, I am still clearing away pieces of dead vine. But that should be done by Saturday.

I can't believe that I have done all this work on making the place look ugly, and that has left me with so little energy to do the work that really needed to be done. But I suppose that will have to wait. It is just to late in the year and too hot to do much about it now.

My husband called Monday to tell me that he had arrived safely (and has neglected to call back since then), and that something that I wanted to do is only a twenty minute drive from where he is staying. So if I had been able to go with him, that would have been nice.

But I couldn't have gone with all this stuff going on. The temporary manager is just an outright bully. My neighbor told me that someone a couple of streets over was told to remove the saplings within 48 hours. In my opinion, even the simplest of violation warning should be given at least a week, even if it is just cutting the grass. Other things take more work, and more time. The guy who received this warning about the saplings learned English as a second language always mows the grass and such, and was totally baffled that he was getting a warning about the yard, and he didn't even know what a sapling was.

The temporary manager supposedly doesn't even want the job, but he sure does a lot of extra work in the job that he doesn't even want.

I'm now taking a break from the depressing yard work to try and deal with the bedroom. I'm trying to convince myself to part with clothes that I don't wear much anymore. My goal is to get it down to three extra boxes, not counting costumes and such. I think right now I still have five or six boxes.

It is Thursday. I got a lot of work done Monday (mostly helping my neighbor with removing the plants), but not so much since then. Everything always takes longer than I imagine. Throwing away junk takes a very long time. Clothing has to be washed and then tried on, even if it is eventually to be discarded. How would I know that I don't want it anymore if I don't try it on? So, I am still at it.

Between washing clothes and such, I am watching Something Is Out There, Nowhere Man, and The First Wave. I mostly missed The First Wave when that was on, and I didn't know it had lasted three seasons. Something Is Out There is okay, but somehow it doesn't quite live up to my memories of it. The mini-series was good, but somehow the series itself didn't do it for me. Maybe I don't like that in the mini-series I was left with the idea that they would become a couple, and then in the series they both date other people. And most of the shows don't have anything to do with aliens, so they aren't that great anyway. I'd forgotten how great Nowhere Man was. This was one of those FOX shows that they tried to pair with the X-files. At least they gave this one a whole season. It is The Fugitive, with maybe bits of The Prisoner. And it has been long enough that I don't remember what happened, so I'm really enjoying it.

So, that's about it. Enjoying the old TV shows while not so much enjoying the work.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A new toy and a new board member

Yesterday I bought myself an electric saw from Sears. It is a Craftsman reciprocating saw, pretty much the cheapest one that they sell, and the sale price was thirty dollars, about half of the regular price. I have no idea if this is better or worse than the clearance one I thought of buying two months ago, but I have a saw now and I guess that is all that really matters.

It does not make life perfect. Work is still work. It does not cut through branches like butter or anything like that. And you have to rest just from holding the thing. But the situation is much improved over just having to do the work with an axe.

It will take some getting used to. And when I finally decide to cut down the two small trees, I will probably need something else to do the main trunk. But maybe this will make the trunk smaller, and it doesn't scare me near as much as getting a chain saw.

So I will see about clearing away most of the stuff already on the ground today, though I can't actually have it left for trash pickup until Wednesday. Still, it will be good to get everything cut closer to the recommended three foot sections. Last time I did this the branches were way bigger than that, and I worried that they wouldn't be hauled away.

Our little community elections are over for the year. I worry that I didn't do the right thing. I changed my mind about a few things at the last minute. I am afraid that my buddy B mislead me on a few things, but I voted for him anyway. He is now on the board. The lady that was almost evicted was short by about nine votes. The guy that B liked who was already on the board was re-elected. At the last minute I decided that one of my votes should go to the guy who said he wasn't on a side, but he only got about two-thirds of the votes that he needed.

The main guy from the other side got the third seat. A second guy from the other side only lost by three votes.

My buddy B will tell himself that he won because the majority of the people wanted him to win, but really he won because a certain other person split the votes of the opposition. 32 votes were wasted on some guy who isn't even going to be here a few months from now. If just six of those votes had gone to the main guy from the other side and the second guy from the other side, B wouldn't have won, and we'd probably be having a recount or something.

Since that second guy only lost by three votes, we might have a recount anyway.

As near as I can figure out, 183 people voted this year, which is more than I have ever heard of voting since I have lived here. The numbers do not quite add up. I think that maybe one person decided to only use two of the three votes (or two people decided to only use one of their three votes). I have done that myself (not this year), so it isn't impossible. Just sometimes after all the arguing, you decide that no one deserves your vote. Anyway, I added up all of the votes, divided by three, and came up with 182.666.... Last year we had 145 voters, almost half of the possible voters, and that was a big turnout. 183 (or 184, or whatever) is just huge.

And while I am happy for B (and hope that he hasn't seriously mislead me), I do feel for the other people, because I don't think that the majority of the people got what they wanted. 32 people were distracted by this guy who doesn't even want to live here anymore.

Of course what I and the majority of the people really want is for us to be rid of the "temporary" manager, but there was no way to directly vote for that.

It is over for now, and I hope for the best.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Weeds and other ugly things

Okay, I am actually having to cut down all of my honeysuckle on my fence. This really sucks. This is a lot of work. I'm doing a lot of work to make something look ugly. I don't really enjoy doing this much work to make things pretty, and here I am being ordered to do something to make things ugly.

After pointing out that there was no such rule saying that we could not grow vines on our fences, I was told that it wasn't in the rule book but instead in the contract itself. There's a paragraph about cutting the grass and such, and it says not to allow trees to grow in the fence and not to have tall grass around the fence and not to allow vines to grow on or in the fence. So that looks to me I promised not to have weeds on the fence, not that I promised not to grow flowers. I don't think that anyone has ever claimed that it was meant to keep people from having honeysuckle and roses and such. If that was meant, people either stopped reading it that way, or a general exception to the rule was made for certain plants, or specific exceptions to the rule were made for certain people. Anyway, the honeysuckle was there on the fence when I paid to move in, and that was one of the reasons (small reason, but without the plants I liked I might not have taken the place) we picked this place over others. And the honeysuckle was there for decades before I had the place, and it has been there for more than five years since I've lived here, and suddenly now I'm being told that it has to go. Other people are not being told to remove their honeysuckle. Just some of us.

This is ordered by a board member who is currently acting manager. Unfortunately, this is one of the guys that I voted for last year. If the guy running against him had just sent out flyers, we might not have to deal with this guy. But that isn't what happened.

Another guy that we elected also turned out to be a mistake. He was actively trying to get a woman evicted. This woman has lived here more than twenty years, but she was asked to leave for reasons that make no sense to me. Apparently, the real reason that someone wanted her gone was so that her house would be vacant for friends of board members. But, you can't evict someone for that, you have to have something else going on, like not paying rent, and that wasn't it. She was "violating regulations." Everyone violates a regulation now and then, but you don't usually evict people for that.

Apparently, one of the violations was that she had someone living with her who wasn't immediate family. I've always thought that part of the rules was about not renting the house out for profit, not that you couldn't have roommates or have people stay at your house rather than leave it vacant for long periods of time. But technically, this is what I agreed to. Hopefully, the rule will change after we elect the almost evicted woman to the board.

So, I will vote for this woman, and my buddy B, and on his advice I also plan to vote for D, who added to the board several months ago after someone else resigned. There six other people running, at least one of them is a current board member, and at least one other is a former board member. But I don't know much about the others.

Anyway, the elections will be Saturday. In the past we have been able to vote on two or three days, so I am wondering about the change, and I hope that we don't lose people because of it being on a weekend. But at least there will not be this argument about whether or not the ballot box was put in the safe on nights between voting days.

Okay, it has been a few days since I started writing this, and a lot has happened. I got a letter warning me not to vote for my buddy B or either of the other two he advised me to vote for. Everyone in the place got one of these letters, including my buddy B and the other people we are warned about in the letter. In the letter, several people are lumped together as being bad guys conspiring against the rest of us, and while I'll agree with some of it, I find it hard to believe that most of the people mentioned in this letter even get along with each other, much less that they have banded together to do evil to the rest of us. Like, I don't think that the woman who was nearly evicted is planning anything with the guy who spoke to the judge about getting her evicted. And I don't think that my buddy B could be in on anything with the woman who requested that we all spy on each other and report people who have violated regulations, since my buddy B is the one who told me about that in the first place.

But I don't know, maybe my buddy B is just telling me what I want to hear and says something totally different to other people.

What I really want to know is how to get rid of M. I thought my buddy B was the one to do that (or at least make him tone it down a bit), but after hearing other people speak there are others running for the board who want him gone even more than I do. Now it sounds like the main person who wants M gone is someone who my buddy is always butting heads with.

Now, I am going to vote for three people, so I suppose that I could vote for this guy and my buddy and a third person, rather than cast all three votes for one side or the other.

There are still three other people running. One person used to be on the board, but I heard that he bought another house and will soon be leaving anyway. So I don't see why that person is running if he isn't going to be around for more than a couple of meetings. Of course, he could have bought a house that he doesn't actually plan to move to and could stay here, but I don't think so. So I think that a vote for that guy would be a totally wasted vote anyway. Another person running probably isn't really running anymore, as I've seen a sign in her yard telling people to vote for someone else. I don't like her. I wouldn't vote for her anyway. The third other person running is someone that I don't know at all. I just got a flyer from him yesterday that said he wasn't on either side, and that is a major reason that we should vote for him, that he would consider each issue on it's own and not just vote with one group or the other.

So I could vote for this guy who isn't on a side and my buddy and the guy that my buddy doesn't like. But somehow that doesn't seem like a good idea either.

Now I really don't know what to do. But I can't not vote, and I can't see not voting for my buddy. I'm just not sure now what to do about the other two votes.