getting my house in order

getting my house in order
it's a jungle out there

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Circles

It's two thirty in the morning and I'm walking in circles.

Again

Seems like I've been walking in circles for weeks

Circles in the pink and purple house where's the duct tape where's the sharpie why am i up here why am i down here there's so much to do

And now circles in the new house where's that extension cord which box has the napkins mom where's the iPad charger where are my danskos why am i up here why am i down here there's so much to do

Right now it's where's the incense? ssshh... the kids are sleeping

lesson #1
to avoid the circles label the damn boxes
caveat to lesson #1
if you're not gonna label the boxes unpack them and put the damn stuff away


I know the incense is here somewhere cause I've been burning it to mask the smell of cat pee.
All the neighborhood cats apparently have found a way in to the basement and made it their Gaza Strip.
They pee on top of pee to claim the area as their own.
I turn on the heat forced hot air and the whole house smells like cat pee
charming
Well the Dusty dog is here now and the cats are staying away.

the Universe Is Abundant

I drive in circles now that our home is on the other side of town and most of the time when I'm in the car 147 things are going on in my head and I'm on autopilot and realize I'm heading to the pink and purple house instead of the round window house
i'll post picts tomorrow ms. moon i promise

lesson #2
to avoid circles pay attention while behind the wheel


I drove Jack all the way to the city on Tuesday for an appointment scheduled six weeks ago with a specialist who is not covered by my shitty health insurance that I pay a thousand dollars a month for but doesn't cover ANYTHING my kids truly need the best therapist around sorry out of network no reimbursement the only surgeon in the fucking state who will fix jack's ribcage with a brace rather than surgery sorry if it's not compromising his heart or his lungs it's considered cosmetic. fuck you health insurance he's a thirteen year old boy whose ribcage is growing funny and it's gonna keep growing funny don't fucking tell me its cosmetic

rant

oh. right. circles. sorry.

So we got to the Children's Hospital my how things have changed since my school days here and the nice secretary tells me she called twice to let me know the appointment had been cancelled because of Passover didn't you get the message?

Anyone who knows me in real life knows I do not answer my phone.
I don't like talking on the phone i text and I certainly don't answer the home phone.
There are routinely a dozen messages blinking away that the babysitter or the kids check and I just ignore.
Apparently two of those messages would have informed me I did not need to pull Jack out of school and drive in a 140 mile circle to the city on Tuesday. But since I do not check my messages I drove that big circle.
I chalk it up to 3 hours of alone time with Jack not a bad thing at all.
I still haven't checked the 9 messages blinking on the home phone since it was connected on Monday wonder what other important messages are there...

lesson #3
to avoid the circles check the messages

So up I am at 2:30 a.m. 'cause I was too hot. I read the electric blanket control upside down and thought it was on L for low but it was really 7 which is damn hot and the dog had me pinned in my new bed which is making me all achey so I'm going to drive in a circle tomorrow and upgrade to the stoopid expensive mattress I wanted in the first place

But for the first time in YEARS I have my bed to myself.
Ty and Mia are feeling comfy and safe in their new beds in their new bedrooms in the new house and I am no longer a squashed sardine in a bed with two kids two cats and the dog.

the Universe Is Abundant

lesson #4
to avoid circles buy the thing that you REALLY want if you can afford it
caveat: especially if it's something important that you may have for the rest of your life.
like a bed or a car or a house

So I woke up hot and thirsty with my brain going in circles with all the stuff I need to get done and the smell of last night's tacos in the air yuck
I got up to light some incense and walked up down and around this big old house unable to find the incense but I did find the computer.

all is not lost

Like I said the Universe Is Abundant

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kid-less liberation


It was a kid-less weekend.

For the most part.

The boys went off for an overnight with Bruce early Saturday, and I drove Mia down to Sister Melanie's for a girls' night.

And then I was by myself.

The last time I had 24 hours to myself I mopped the floors.

That was almost 2 years ago.

*****

Saturday morning I read this.
Thanks NOLA.
It's about the atrocities being committed in Cote d'Ivoire and folks try to cross into Liberia.

It left me feeling afraid and sad and angry and embarrassed and disgusted at the ability for people to be conduits of evil
and awestruck at the ability for people to survive.
how do you go on?

It left me feeling deep gratitude oh my god i can't imagine thank you we're safe here

It made me pray all day.

If that's what you call it.

*****

So I didn't mop. I tried to pack. Again.

We've yet to have more than a handful of perfect spring days. Saturday was one of them.

Pack schmack. I'm gonna do yard work.
I mean, why should the new tenants have to deal with a whole winter worth of Dusty shit bombs in the back yard?
Right?

And I needed some sunshine on my shoulders.

So I picked up all the dog poop.
I removed the blue balls and Christmas lights from the porch it looks plucked and bald unadorned

I cleared some of the dead weeds leftover from the fall.
I picked up all the shingles that this wicked winter tore off the roof.

I looked to see if the lilacs were budding.

Half of the lilac hedge is bent in submission.
I thought it was from last year's Snowmageddon.
All that heavy snow took the poor lilacs down.
I thought they'd spring back in the spring, but they spent the whole year remaining prostrate, unable to stand tall.

I took a closer look.
Those beautiful lilacs were being strangled by some
nasty vining choking look alike fuckers that were relentlessly taking them down.

Fuck that.
Fuck you. You can't strangle my lilacs goddamit.
No fuckin way.

Clippers. Handsaw. No gloves.
I spent 2 hours liberating the lilacs.

My hands were scratched and bleeding halfway to my elbows.

Fuck you vine you cannot do this you think you can do this? you cannot strangle the lilacs i'm gonna cut you off at you're ankles so fuck you. I'll bleed and my skin will sting and my nails will break but fuck you i'm taking you down with my bare hands. fuck gloves. fuck you.

ummm... michelle... it's just a vine doing it's viney thing. And they're just lilacs.

It wasn't until my fourth trip dragging away the defeated vines michelle what the fuckin fuck is goin on in your head?

oh. right. Cote d'Ivoire was goin on in my head.

talk about transference.

*****

After that I had to get out of the house.

So I got in the car all dirty and smelly and scratched up with leaves and briars in my hair thinking I need a new bed.

The Sleepy's sales lady didn't bat an eye at my appearance but I was certainly ready with a look lady I was liberating the downtrodden and my knees and my back hurt and I want a nice new soft bed for my nice new house so the next time there's liberating to be done I won't be so achey.

Not a chance. Liberation is hard work. It leaves bruises.

yummy soft yummy bed to be delivered to the new house next week. yum

*****

By the time I got home I was done.
Fuck packing. I'm tired. I'll pack another day.
Drank a beer and took a shower. My hands stung from the scratches. Guess it was my Purple Heart.
Made up my makeshift bed on the living room floor.
Drank another beer and ate leftover chinese and watched Season 2 of Lost.

*****

I woke up Sunday morning in a quiet house feeling safe and calm and yummy and
a little liberated.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

my undisciplined soul is still here


that's why your soul picks this time to come
because in the discipline that it takes for you
to keep on keepin on
it's a discipline that your soul requires

that's what she told me
20 years ago
dang that angel lady gail was right again

A few weeks ago Dr Jim another crazy doc whom i absolutely adore
asked me if I have another job on the side or run a not-for-profit or something

????

it just seems like you're the kind of person who would be doing all sorts of amazing things really well you're like a power house

????

are you fuckin kidding me?

Jim. I am the least disciplined person you could ever meet. If I didn't have a load of external pressures I'd be sitting home watching tv all day long drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes in the morning and drinking wine and smoking cigarettes in the evening.

you smoke?

I think he missed my point.
But I sure have him fooled.

*****

So. After 6 months of trying to close on a new house it's fukin beautiful we're almost there.
Sanctuary. Me and the kids.

Are we packed yet?

No we are not.

I keep telling myself we don't have a lot of stuff we don't and the tenants for the pink and purple house aren't moving in till May 1
so I have 6 weeks oh now it's 3 weeks of overlap.

So every Tuesday and Thursday for the past 3 months I've chosen to go to yoga then chat with Shannon then meet Jordana for lunch then do a little grocery shopping maybe and cook something from scratch which the kids will refuse to eat instead of packing.

I have plenty of time.
We don't have that much stuff.

*****

Today I decided to exercise some discipline.
Texted Shannon no yoga this-week packing.
Texted Jordana gotta be productive this week and get some stuff done.

There. I said it. It's out there. Now I have to get down to business.

Forget that I forgot Mia had a class trip today and needed to pack a lunch.
Pack a lunch?
No peanut butter.
No turkey.
American cheese and jelly eeewww
Mommy can I take pancakes?
How bout leftover mac n cheese?

I nuked the mac n cheese and wrapped it in tin foil.
Mommy it has to be small enough to fit in this bag.
She showed me the tiny gift bag that had held her birthday present from The Most Awesome Babysitter Amy.
Honey? Where's the gerbil?

backstory
last week Mia concocted all this weird goo stuff with cornstarch and water and food coloring.
It was really fun to play with and maybe the gerbils would like to play in it too.
So when she came down and asked if she could clean the gerbils I thought she was asking if she could clean the cage.

I'm a trifle deaf in one ear.

gerbil + cornstarch glue + gerbil bath = hypothermic gerbil which I did my best to revive = dead gerbil

bummer

She wrapped him in a little blue blanket.
Damn if he didn't look just like Stuart Little.

Honey? We have to bury him.
No mommy I want to keep him with me forever it's all my fault that he died.
Honey you can't keep him. We can bury him here or we can bury him in the new house in your garden patch.
You don't have to decide right now, but you have to decide soon.

She fell asleep with him on her pillow.
I moved him to the bedside table.

The next morning she put on her coat and grabbed her backpack and put him in the tiny gift bag and looked at me with defiance.
Honey. You cannot take him to school

glare. defiance. try to stop me. glare

Mia. Trust me. If anyone finds out you have a Dead Animal at school they'll take him from you.
It's a Health Code Violation trust me honey he has to stay here

I guess possibility of the Department of Health putting the school on lockdown was enough for her leave him home.
She popped him in the freezer.
All swaddled in blue, resting in the gift bag.
Next to the toaster strudel.

That was 10 days ago

So today as I'm putting the mac n cheese cause we have no turkey and no peanut butter cause i totally lack discipline and we have like 150 tortillas but nothing to make a sandwich with in the tiny gift bag and trying to convince Mia to wear a rain poncho cause it's raining out and they're going hiking in a swamp and she looks at me like I have two heads rain poncho are you kidding me? and dons her leopard print short stylish trenchcoat and I want her to wear her snow boots and she says no way ok maybe the rainboots which she agrees to because I can even make rainboots look good i say where's the gerbil?

Ty says he's in the freezer in a brown paper bag

OK. Fine.
As long as he's in the freezer and not on a kitchen counter or her dresser or something.

*****

So. Time to be productive. Time to pack.

I walked back and forth from room to room looking for the goddamfuckin duct tape that I told the kids they had to put back in the drawer so when I started packing I could find it.

No duct tape.

fuckin fuckin fuckin goddammit. i hate this shit.

Well. I actually got some stuff packed.
A few more boxes.
A few more bags of shit to throw out.
A few more square feet of cleared space in the attic.
A few more loads of laundry.

At some point it occurred to me is it really weird that I let Mia take her lunch in the bag that's been holding her Dead Gerbil for 10 days?
Is that problematic?
Poor judgement?

Whatever.

11 a.m. and Jordana tempts me with lunch.
She is the Eve to my Adam and lunch at Max's is the Goddam Fuckin Apple.
AND she knows how extraordinarily undisciplined I really am.
She had a good laugh this morning when she drove past and saw the Christmas lights and Blue Balls are still hanging on the porch.

Well.
Inasmuch as I'm going to lunch instead of packing I might as well write. Right?

Completely undisciplined.

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.