Struggling not to multitask

I would have bet the whole farm that I had to work at the Big Red Box Store tonight. I even got dressed and went there after working all day at my primary job, and tried to sign in to work. Well, will wonders never cease…the time clock wouldn’t let me in because I actually didn’t have to work.


So, what does a girl do with an unexpected night off do? She obsesses about what to do with all of that extra time. Too much work to do at home.

As if working two jobs wasn’t work enough, there’s always a lot that needs doing at home. Especially when I do have to work tomorrow night, and Thanksgiving night, and I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Not that cooking Thanksgiving dinner is terrible work. It’s quite a labor of love. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I LOVE cooking for my friends and family. We’ve got it down to a science. I cook the Turkey, Ham, and potatoes, and set up all of the little extras like the veggie tray, pickles and some side dishes like Cookie Salad. OMG…Cookie Salad. I can’t wait! Mom brings the Green Bean Hotdish, and my friends bring the best homemade bread and deserts. OMG…I can’t wait!!!

But, I digress…Thanksgiving is a lovely distraction.

Our society is so consumed with the idea of multitasking, and it’s something I have become so trained to have to do constantly, that it’s next to impossible for me to sincerely enjoy an unexpected night off. Just to lounge around binge watching something I’ve been missing out on, or putz around my house doing something I feel like doing, as opposed to something that needs doing, is not possible without guilt.

That’s right…I feel guilty for enjoying down time. Therefore, I don’t.

I always have to have something else going on in the background. Tonight, it’s the laundry running while I am avoiding being productive. That’s worth something, right?

My question, to myself as well as to you, my Faithful Readers, is why is it so terrible to enjoy time doing nothing? American society prizes hard work to the point of exhaustion. If you are sitting, and not being productive in some way, you aren’t working hard enough. If you are on time, you are late. If you don’t work overtime you are lazy. Sheesh…I can’t even watch TV, or go out somewhere, anymore unless I at least have laundry going.

What happened to doing a good day’s work and then going home and doing whatever the hell you feel like? Without guilt, without worry. A person should have a whole weekend to be able to rest, relax and putz around the house, or around the yard. Or just sleep until you are fully rested. What the heck does being rested feel like?

I’m only 46, and I feel like I have traversed a longer road than my age would give evidence of. I have felt like I needed to pack in a whole lot of living in between my two jobs, and I have done a pretty decent job of it.  Nobody can accuse me of not checking things off of my Bucket List.

In the last few months, I have become aware that I crave a few things. I so badly would like to slow down. I have run at such a fast pace in the last five years, and in stressful circumstances, that I feel like I am burning out.

I crave to do things that feed my soul. Crafts, gardening, reading. I love all of those things, but have lost the drive to do any of it because there just isn’t much time to really do them.

I crave so  badly to turn my weigh-station of a house into a home.  A real home where I get to cook something for supper every night. A real home that I get to spend time in. A real home where I get to have company more often than just Thanksgiving.

Changes are coming. They will be slow and deliberate, but they are coming. One more thing I crave to do and don’t have much time for is writing. Well, look at me…looks like I’ve taken a step forward tonight!

Here’s hoping that you don’t suffer from relaxation guilt and that your life is slow and and as non-productive as makes your life lovely. Blessings all!


Hope in days of despair, which means we win

So much despair today.

As I was busy last night, catching up with some old friends, I was a little slow to find out about the terrorist attacks in Paris, Kara Gjerdeand I was shocked when I woke up to the news this morning. What happened to those poor people is unconscionable, and unforgivable. Apparently there were attacks in other places this week as well, but they didn’t seem to get any press. There’s nothing to prove by systematically shooting innocent people. Nothing. While most of the people who perpetrated these crimes are dead, they certainly have accomplices, and I hope they are caught before they can strike again.

I spoke with Younger Son today. I made sure to speak with him on the phone before Monday, because he ships out and will be at sea for 5-7 months. As a consequence, I will not hear his voice for that long, and will have very little communication with him during that time. If I’m lucky, he will get a chance to send a quick email when they get close enough to shore. I feel quite a lot of despair about him being on an air craft carrier out in the middle of the ocean. I shouldn’t because our carriers are surrounded by a whole group of support ships, which have heavy-duty fire power. Still, I worry. Especially in light of the escalating events going on around the world.

Add on top of all of this that my work life feels like an ongoing train wreck, my house is a shambles (with the exception of my lovely new cupboards), and I just have very little interest in things that used to give me a lot of joy.

At times like these, sometimes it’s all I can do to hold it together and not just sob hysterically. I just about did today, at a wedding.

I hate weddings. What? Who hates weddings?! I hate going to weddings because I get really emotional and cry. Never fails, and it doesn’t even matter if I know the bride and groom well or not. As is the norm, I found myself sniffling with tears running uncontrollably down my cheeks…and I wasn’t smart enough to bring a kleenex with me. Uff-da…

I thought hard about why I was crying. It was a very lovely service, with lots of impromptu humor, and it was fairly quick. I analyzed myself and wondered if I cry at weddings because my own marriage failed. No…I don’t think so. I’ve been crying at weddings since before I got married myself. Probably, I am just an old sap, and there’s no help for that.

Something I did notice is that people having babies (and there are a LOT of them I know having babies right now), and people getting married, give me hope for the future. Despite the fact that evil people are making a concerted effort to inflict terror on innocents around the world, we are still going about the business of living, and being happy. We forge ahead assuming life will be good, and that we will just carry on. Regardless of what comes, that’s generally what people do.

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Join me in pissing off the terrorists“. I read it through again, and I believe what I said then still stands. We just need to keep on keeping on, because that’s what makes us happy, and what infuriates them so much. They are evil because they work so hard to make us feel something other than happy or hopeful. If they spent as much time working on themselves rather than killing others, perhaps life everywhere would be much better.

I’m glad I didn’t get the news about the attacks until this morning. I spent quality time with old friends, eating some awesome grilled pizza and catching up. That is something those nasty terrorist bastards can’t ever take away from me. Life is too short to hunker down and not live. Let freedom ring…ring it loud.

Here’s hoping that, no matter what, you are getting out and living life to the fullest you can…whatever that means for you. Every single time we do something that makes us happy, even the tiniest bit, we win. Blessing All!

The joys of home improvement…a new kitchen!

The, last two days have been a dusty, noisy, joyous, anxious roller coaster ride. I’ve been planning a kitchen remodel since the end of August, but nothing quite prepares you for the actual havoc of it all.

I’d been waiting for a call from the folks who are installing my new kitchen, and I’d asked them to give me a couple weeks of lead time so I could arrange to have the time off to be at home when the install happened. I got the call two days ahead of time. Whoops! Good news is that I was able to get the time off short notice.

The demolition of the Beforeold kitchen went off without a hitch, and was carried out in short order yesterday. The picture on the left is what the kitchen looked like to start with, in all of its ancient, built-in, plywood cupboard glory. Notice the really old brown/orange-flowered flooring? I’ll look forward to seeing the last of that, but more about the flooring later.During

Once all of the cupboards were gone, it was lunch time, and then it was time to get the new cupboards installed. The thing about installing new stuff in an old house is that you never know what you might find after you pull all of the old stuff out.  They did find a little mold under the sink cupboards, but they took it all out and sprayed some stuff over it to prevent it from coming back.

They would have been able to get the whole thing done in one day, had the plumber shown up on time. He didn’t manager to show up until day two, and the only reason he came right away this morning is because there cold water feed line decided to spring a leak in the middle of the night. Older Son woke me up at 3am to let me know that it was raining in the basement. The whole kitchen floor was covered with water. Poor kid had to work all day today on not much sleep. After we got done mopping it all up, there wasn’t much sleeping going on.

After the plumber showed up and fixed the leak, he said he would be back about 2pm. Well that time came and went, and we had to call him to remind him to come out. The crappy part about that is that this is my regular plumber that the kitchen installation team just happened to contract with. I was super disappointed with that, and hope it was just a fluke. As things stand right now, it’s 3:30, my kitchen installation team has done their job and gone, and I am still waiting on the plumber. The new cupboards are installed, along with the new counter/back-splash. I still have the electric items, dishwasher/garbage disposal, painting and flooring left to do, but that can wait. I’m hoping to have that done by the time June rolls around. Just need to save up the cash and build up some time off. This was a good company to work with, and I’m super impressed with them. If you live in the High Plains, check out Your Home Improvement Company. They are based out of St Cloud, MN, but have branch offices in other places. The guys who did the cabinet install is WIT Construction, LLC. Good guys. They showed me how to operate these new-fangled cupboards, and take the doors off if I need to. You wouldn’t think there’s much that goes on with cupboard doors and shelves, but there really is.

All done but the plumbing and electric! 11-13-15

This last picture is of my new cupboards in all of their honey oak glory. I’m so happy with this…it’s really quite surreal. I can hardly believe this is actually mine! You know what, though? I work my butt off, and I deserve this new kitchen. It’s been a long time coming and, while it might not be done all the way yet, I can still enjoy it on the way to completion. It’s amazing what kind of transformations can happy in just two days!

Now the plumber is here and is putting in the sink stuff. It’s not going to be too much longer before I have my running water back, and the stove and fridge back in place. Time to wipe everything down and get my house back together, until the next round of home improvement!

Here’s hoping all of your home improvement projects go smoothly, that you find nary a weird thing behind your kitchen cabinets, and your plumbing never leaks! Blessing all!

Why can’t you just apply for a job? And a little Indian Summer Lore…

So, my job has become pretty awful and I’m in the process of searching for a new one. A job that is much less stressful, and will make me work many less weekends. Not that I want to be a slacker, mind you. I will still need to keep my part-time job at The Big Red Box Store, but I find I need more time for myself.

I remember the good old days when you could turn in a resume, and then they would read through them and just call you if they were interested in you as a potential employee. Not anymore. You have to jump through hours and hours of poorly constructed internet fill-in-the-blanks to input your information. Just for one job! I sat at my computer last night copying and pasting, and rewriting, all of the stuff from the resume I had already uploaded to this site. What a waste of time! I think it’s seriously an exercise in patience and perseverance more than anything else.

Mouse River Valley

Overlooking the Mouse River Valley

Uff da… Whatever new job I get is hopefully worth the work it takes to just get to the interview!

In other news, winter is on the horizon. It still smells like fall, but the cool bite of winter approaches. I love fall, and we have been blessed with a nice long one…what many of us in the High Plains call an Indian Summer. I did some reading up on Indian Summer, and apparently it really only occurs when there are warm days after a cold spell, some time between November 11th and 20th. Well, look at that. We haven’t quite reached those dates yet, but we certainly have had some lovely warm weather. We did have a cold spell a week back too. It counts as far as I’m concerned, and with any luck, we’ll have more warm weather to add to it. To learn some more cool facts about Indian Summer, click here.

Here’s hoping you have lovely weather where you are, and that your jobs are easy to apply for. Blessings all!

Welcome to the procrastination zone!

I am procrastinating. I’m not even doing laundry while writing this blog post. Cup of coffee #2 is tasting super good. I may even make time for #3.

The house looks like a bomb blew up in it, and I have more laundry to do than three households. Life has been pretty busy during October, and I’m so exhausted I could sleep for three days straight and probably not feel adequately rested.

So, with all of this work that needs to be done, what am I doing? I’ve missed my blog, and it’s the thing I make the least time for these days, so I thought I would play a little catch up here. While I would love to say that catching up here is equal to getting something done, the truth is that it’s purely a selfish activity I want to do for myself. Hey guys! What’s new with you?!

So what’s new here? Not much. Work, work, work… with a side helping of extra crap I have to get accomplished. Having two jobs is enough, but the fabulous new job I got this last January has turned into a giant sucking Hell-Hole-‘o-Doom, and I’m actively looking for a new job. I won’t get paid as much anywhere else, but I will most likely be happier. I’m in the middle of rearranging my finances so that I will be able to live a more sedate life. I want to have a life where my job doesn’t take it over to the point of having nightmares about it on a daily basis.

The good news is that my 2nd job is pretty good. Working at The Big Red Box Store (heretofore to be known as TBRBS) just enough to provide a little extra cash has been awesome. I don’t work that many hours, but it’s just enough. I have a lot of friends there, and it has been a kind of sanctuary there when days at my primary job have been super awful, which is pretty much every day now.

I have had a few questions rolling around in my head lately…

  1. Why do I have so much crap?! I can’t imagine why it was a good idea to buy it at the time, and now I have mountains of stuff I don’t want or need. It’s been my weekly goal to piss off the garbage men by putting a bunch of stuff on the curb. Whatever people don’t just take, the garbage guy has to deal with. I’ve been a little lax about it in October for being so busy, so it’s time to get back on the wagon and hall that junk out!
  2. What the heck is it with Christmas that it has to begin by the end of September every year? At TBRBS, the one whole back wall of Seasonal was covered with outdoor Christmas decoration stuff…lights, etc, when Halloween stuff came out. In the next week or so, all of the Halloween and Thanksgiving stuff will go on clearance, and Christmas will bust out in all of its consumeristic train wreck glory. Ugh…It’s two months away, and I am already tired of it.
  3. Why do I feel like I want to sell everything and just go be a hermit? Lately, I have craved so badly to just go off by myself somewhere and just sit in the quiet. I get very little quiet time to myself, and it’s gotten to a point that when it’s quiet in the house, I don’t even feel like moving. I think getting a new job that doesn’t require me to work weekends will help. The search is on.

Enough of the questions rolling around in my head. Time to finish my coffee, put my big girl panties on and just get on with my day. I have a bridal shower to attend today for a lovely young lady, and I have a great afternoon to look forward to. I may even throw some laundry in so I can feel like I am getting something done while I am away from the house this afternoon.

grassy toes nov 1!Here’s wishing you all a lovely fall afternoon, with much procrastination. Take time for yourself…it’s something worth doing. Today I took time to do something we don’t get to do very often in North Dakota. I went into my back yard barefoot in the mostly still green grass! Simple things feed your soul…Blessings All!

Where does one start?

I have a day off, and so much to do, I can’t even start. Well, I can…It’s just tough to know where to begin. Maybe I’ll hang out with all of you for a while and procrastinate a bit. :)

Really, if I had been super intent on getting things done, I would have gotten out of bed at 7, when my alarm went off. Instead, I chose to lay around for a few hours, listening to the radio and playing on Crack Book. It was awesome, but I have been doing that in the morning way too much. There’s a lot I could get done in the morning if I just get up an hour earlier, rather than laying in bed listening to the radio and playing on Crack Book. Hmm… a new goal/good habit to be met/cultivated by the 1st of the year, I think!

In other news, I did finally find a new home for my kitty, Harley. He has been with us for almost 5 years now, and he’s part of the family, but allergies have reared their ugly head. I’ve always been slightly allergic to him, but my Flirt is deathly allergic to him. Silly man can’t help but pet him on the rare occasion when he comes over, and within an hour, his airways are shutting down. This week he gets his shots updated, and then he is off to live with an old friend in my home town. I’ll miss him, but I think he’ll be happier where he’s going. I have no doubt my friend will spoil him rotten with all kinds of people food, let him outside, and not fuss at him for getting on the counters.

In other news…my new kitchen is coming! My poor old kitchen is ugly, falling apart, and needs updating badly. I was able to get a home improvement loan, and am spending the money on a custom built kitchen. It won’t be anything fancy, and I will have fewer physical cupboards, but the way the new cupboards will be arranged will actually give me more storage, and better ways to organize. The skinny cupboard to the upper right of the stove? That is a 12 inch wide spice rack. I’li also have a built in dishwasher, which will only be 18-inches wide. Excuse me, while I go mop up the drool….I’m so excited! I’ll take before and after pictures and post them here like when I had my bathroom remodeled. Oh… the bathroom is getting an update too. It’s been 5 years…time to repaint!

What else is on my to-do list? The basement. I have accumulated a bunch of crap that needs to be gone through and thinned out, so that’s got to be done. I also need to paint the ceiling and floor come the spring time. If I am lucky, I will have saved up enough cash to get new basement windows. This on top of just keeping everything going. My regular housework is definitely falling behind.

So many home improvement projects, and so little time to get everything done. Given my Two Year Plan, it’s time to get on the stick and get stuff done.

Speaking of which, my house isn’t going to clean itself. It’s a really lovely day outside… I need to go make a choice between mowing the lawn and working inside the house. Uff-da! I guess I better hurry up and pick something. My Flirt’s coming to get me soon, as we have a whole day of activities planned. One thing we are doing is looking at mobile homes. I think I like the idea of taking my house with me wherever I go…more on that later.

I hope you all have a fabulously restful and relaxing weekend. If you have to choose between 50 different tasks, pick the one that makes you the happiest to have it done. Me…I think I’ll go putz around my kitchen. :)

A Two Year Plan

Greetings to my Faithful Readers. It’s been one heck of a year so far, and I am astonished that we are now in the fall of 2015, and I’ve not blogged since January.

Wow, it has been a ride!

Taking on a new job, which is waaay out of my knowledge zone has been quite a challenge, but is paying the bills, and I’m starting to catch on. Having said that, it’s really not my calling. I get to know way more about people than I ever wanted to, and there’s a lot of bad office politics happening. I have really great people to work with, and I will hang onto this job for a while, but it’s going to be just a stepping stone for the next good thing to come along.

In other news, I finally redid Younger Son’s room. It took me all Winter and most of this Spring to get up the gumption to make the change, but it was worth while now that it’s done. Now it is my friend place my friends can come and stay when they are in town. It’s not done all the way, but it’s functional.

I will be getting a new kitchen soon, and will make sure to post pictures of the demolition of the old, and installation of the new. It’s a big, expensive, stress inducing, joyful, exciting project. Did I mention expensive? That’s ok. I’ll get all of that back when I sell the house. I’m keeping my eye on the prize, which is to move away. To Grand Forks. Hopefully within the next two years.

At the very least, I’d like to feel like I am ready to go in the next couple of years. If I can feel like I am ready to go, that is most of the struggle. As long as I can sell my happy little fixer upper, I can go.

Part of getting ready to go is to also do some landscaping and curb appeal projects. I was forced to do some updates to my back yard and my shed this year due to skunk infestation. That’s right…skunks. IMG_5345

IMG_5370Cute little buggers,but vermin nonetheless. Luckily I got some amazing help to live trap all 7 of the babies living under my shed, and my Dad and my Flirt helped me to get rid of the extra brush around the shed that was sheltering them. It was a large adventure, and I’m glad to be able to check that off the Bucket List and move on!

This summer, I did a lot of running and I don’t regret a bit of it. I wished I’d got to spend more time with my Parents, but that’s something I need to get my life reorganized around. My change in job took me farther away from their house, and it’s something I want to fix. I miss them.

I got to see some amazing concerts, one of which was Aerosmith. My Flirt took me to a small town rodeo, and it was one of the loveliest evenings I’ve had in a long time.

Boots on the groundJust for fun, I took this picture of us sitting on the hillside watching the rodeo, and it is one of my favorite pictures ever.

We did a lot of walking, a lot of just hanging out, and a little bit of traveling. It was a good summer, and I’m happy to say my Flirt and I are getting along well, and seem to be happy with things as they are.

We’ve been talking about moving in together, but before that happens, my cat needs to go to another home. He is deathly allergic to cats, and as a result he doesn’t come over to my house much. The good news is that my cat will be going to live with an old friend, and I have no doubts that he will be much happier there. I don’t believe in spoiling my pets, and I certainly don’t believe in allowing cats to get on kitchen counters or anywhere else food is prepared. I think that the house where he is going to live will find him very spoiled and allowed to do all sorts of things he is not allowed to do here. It’s a win for both he and I.Harley Napping I’ll sure miss him, but part of my two-year plan is to rearrange my life so I can travel light. Part of that is no more pets. I raised my kids, and have had numerous fuzzy creatures in the house. Now it’s time to take care of me, and not have to worry about having someone at home to always have to be home for. It sounds selfish, but I promise you I’ve done my bit for family raising and now it’s time for me.

My new work schedule is going to allow me to blog a little more, so I am hoping to make that part of my daily routine. I’m amused by some of the pre-election shenanigans, like Trump running for the Republican ticket. More to come on that. I’m appalled by this whole thing going on with Kim Davis, and I’ll have a few things to say about that too.

Until then, I wish you all a lovely Sunday evening, and hope that the weather where you are is as awesome as it is here in the High Plains.


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