A first for us here at home

Usually I have the heat in my house set on 55.

Yes, you read that correctly, 55.

An old house, electric baseboard heat.  I usually just have to turn on the living room heater so that it’s on.  Lowest possible setting.  55.  And then I wear shorts for the rest of the day because it is quite hot.

Not tonight.

Tonight, it is 20 degrees outside.  I think it is a balmy 60 inside my house.  And my teeth are chattering.  You know how once one part of you gets cold it’s impossible to get warm?  For some people it’s hands.  For others, it’s feet.  For me?  It’s the small of my back.  I will have chill bumps all over my self.  And right now, that’s about the whole of it.  I even turned on the bedroom baseboard heater.  It’s the first time all year.  Granted, the year is only 22 days old, but still.  Crazy.  I don’t think I used it all last winter, and probably not the winter before either.

Now, I have the heat in the living room set at 75.  And I just can’t get warm!

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A Light in the Darkness

Hurricane Irene made its way up the coast on Saturday, August 29, 2011.  Set to hit my town around 5pm, I woke up that morning to darkness and rain, and by noon I had lost power at home.  The next ten days were a reminder of how to make things so much simpler, as I still had no power. The last time I lost power this bad was when Hurricane Isabel (what is it with the girl I’s?) hit.  It landed in Richmond on a Thursday, and then I took off on Sunday for South Korea.  Had to go halfway around the world for a hot shower, but hey, it was better than the fourteen days at home I had no power.

This time I did, however, have generous friends who would let me come over and shower at their place.  My days became an interesting mix of “where’s an outlet??” and “Well, it’s dark, so time for bed!”.  Here’s a typical day: Wake up with the sun and cell phone alarm ACTUALLY WORKED.  Usually around 630 or 7.  Make sure all electronics that need charging are packed and ready to go: cell phone, laptop, kindle.  Get ready for work, then leave a few minutes early so I could stop at the bagel shop and get breakfast before going into the office.

Work as normal for the day.

Around 5 start to head home.  Try and figure out what cold foods I have for dinner, what drive through doesn’t make me nauseous to contemplate eating, and then grab dinner.  Go home, let dog out.  Eat dinner.  Try and do a bit of housework (dusting or sweeping) before figuring eh, why bother. Continue reading

Slacker Today = Thanksgiving Neurotic Woman

Thanksgiving is not a great holiday in my life.  I just don’t care one way or the other.

We used to make a big deal about Thanksgiving in my family, only now not so much.  Back then it was at Nana’s house.  When Papa moved into a nursing home, they had a “Tavern” room that we could use, so we just moved Thanksgiving to him.  As his disease progressed and his health deteriorated, he was no longer able to eat.  So Thanksgiving, where we all were eating in front of him, just seemed mean.  So we stopped having it.

I don’t eat Thanksgiving food, really.  I don’t care for turkey, stuffing is gross, cranberry sauce that is shaped like a can is not original.  So it was no big loss.  Family members have started going elsewhere–the other side of the family, basically.   This year is no different.  My mom has been invited for the first time to my younger sister’s house, and she lives in Philly.  My brother’s future brother-in-law has, for the first time, invited his family to Martinsville for the holiday, so they are going.

Me?  Well, I think I’m going to grab a friend and go to the Muppet Movie. 🙂

I am having a Thanksgiving, though.  One I am actually excited about.  At my house, and I”m even going to cook turkey–even if it is a turkey tenderloin.  This Saturday I have 10-12 people coming over.  It’s a group that I hang with on Tuesday nights.  I originally started hanging out with them because we would get together to watch the last few seasons of Lost.  We have progressed to still getting together every week, and now we watch old episodes of Charmed.  I go when I can, as work gets in the way more often than not, but I think we’re up to season five.  And the group has grown, and new friends are made.  We try to get together for every major holiday, and this year I offered to host Thanksgiving.

The family you choose to be with is sometimes more enjoyable than the family you’re born with.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but it’s not the same.  I had lunch with someone today who nailed it for me for the first time–I see my family so often, that Thanksgiving just isn’t special.  It’s just dinner.  So this surrogate family, this group of friends, this gang of people who I haven’t seen regularly in months because of work–they’re the ones that I am going to be dining with this Saturday.  They’re the ones that are making this holiday enjoyable again for me.

The only problem with this, well, I guess it goes back to the fact I’m working insane hours.  My house is TOAST.  I have got about two weeks of cleaning to do, and I have done none.  The summer/winter closet switch is still in progress (week seven).  The bridesmaids dresses I have tried and rejected, etc. are hanging all over.  The dog toys are everywhere.  The big bin of photos from Grandma’s house is still sitting in the recycling bin in my kitchen–right where I put it back in September when I got it.  The scrappy supplies from making my future sister-in-law’s shower gift is all over the kitchen table–along with the crystal I couldn’t find a place for from that same trip to Grandma’s in September.  I have had lists and plans and intentions out the wazoo for cleaning, and so far nothing has happened.

So come Thanksgiving this Saturday, I shall be a giant neurotic mess.

Oh, the joys of home ownership!

My house

Taken during the December 2009 snowstorm, where about 9-12 inches fell overnight

I own my own home.  Well, I guess to be technical, the bank owns my home and I routinely make payments to them in order to keep my possessions under the roof.  I bought it about six years ago; it’s not that big but it’s great for just me.  It’s about sixty years old, which I love because it has personality.  All the new houses that are built nowadays crack me up–the one tree, artfully placed three feet to the right of the front door and four feet from the curb, the same for every house on the street.  Blah. Boring.  Give me a house that has character, one that has settled into its foundation and is a comfy place to call home.   That’s what I love.

Well, most of the time. Continue reading

Please Pass the Painkillers

Don’t know what happened to the first version of this posting, so here is the rewrite!

Waiting for Community Cleanup Day....

Waiting for Community Cleanup Day....

So Saturday was it.  No more excuses, no more procrastinating, no more dilly dallying, it was time.  I raked leaves.

I recruited help in the form of B and NoMH.  Told them I’d be starting right at 8am, they said there was no way they’d be ble to get there that early (shocker!) but they’d be there no later than 9.  They got here at 10:15.  (Yes, I was irritated and annoyed, even though I knew better.)

From 8 to 4 I/we worked pretty much non-stop.  Rules were simple: get all leaves up, don’t fill the bags more than halfway because the county won’t take more than three a week and as they get water-laden they’ll break, and keep working.  B has an issue with these rules, seeing as how she can ‘fit even more’ in the bags, regardless of me begging her to stop because I didn’t want to have to redo them all in three weeks or three months or whenever that particular bag makes it into the supercan.  So B was reassigned to do the gutters.  Disagreed vehemently with the gutter rule (leaves must go in a bag, not just thrown on the grown to be dealt with later) but we had a bit better luck.  Didn’t have much success in getting her to stop fiddling with my siding or other things but that is just her way.  I love them both for helping, but I think that by the time the day was over, they both hated me. Continue reading