Of winter and New Year’s and BMPs, oh my!

Hi, I’m (insert name here) and I share my life with my loving spouse, my horse, three dogs, five cats and a llama when I am not in my city apartment. I spend my time writing this blog about (insert topic here) with all sorts of advertisers sponsoring me so I have to mention their products subtly in every post…yadayadayada

No – this is not that kind of blog!

I am not some twenty something or thirty something happy little housewife/chef/nutritionist/DIYer/perfect mother to kids and/or furkids who doesn’t need the income from the blog but is happy to milk it for whatever she can get.

This is a sixty something mildly bipolar widow with no kids, one aging cat, living in a 55+ community trailer, working two part-time minimum wage jobs that keep losing hours making bill paying a juggling act, which tends to be stressful and make me CRANKY!

Not to mention it is winter, Florida is not keeping me warm, as promised, my trailer has central air but no heat so I have space heaters which just take the worst of the chill off. After 10 years in the Catskills shoveling and paying for oil I hate the cold. Bah humbug!

In other words, welcome to the real world of the barely getting by, the borderline surviving, the ageing as gracefully as a limited income and diminishing interest in the process allows. IOW I don’t give a rats ass about aging gracefully – just want to stay healthy, since I can’t afford to get sick.

Welcome to my world, and if this isn’t what you came for or want to read – get offa my lawn!

As the meme says, I don’t know how to act my age – I’ve never been this old before! I am going to wear whatever I feel like, whether it be thrift store finery or a designer (me!) original, pulled together in whatever colorful, funky comfortable way I see fit. I am going to continue to maintain my purple and teal plumage (AKA hair colors) as long as I don’t have to change jobs to a place that pays well enough to be worth giving it up if they require it (my current jobs don’t care what color our hair is as long as it is clean and combed and shows up on time).

*************************************************************

Surprise surprise surprise! 1) I actually stayed up to watch the ball drop in Times Square (online – got no TV), 2) the live feed actually stayed through the process (last time the feed fizzled and died just before midnight and came back about 5 minutes too late to be worth anything.) 3) There were actually 4 available live feeds, and after what happened last time I had all four running in different tabs. The so-called Livestream (the one I relied on last time) did it’s disappearing act exactly like last time. The Times Square official site and their Twitter feed got a little too funky to watch toward the end, but amazingly enough the TS Facebook feed ran smoothly through the ball drop and beyond – way to shatter expectations FB!

*****************************************************

Last summer was a bad one for fleas – both my cat and I suffered as I tried ever escalating weapons to beat them back. From the ‘green’ methods – baking soda/salt/diatomaceous earth (in my case utterly ineffective – YMMV) to flea bombs (they laughed at it – I swear they laughed!). Bigger guns time – Black Flag – three cans over two days, and hours of airing out each time before we could go back inside. Improvement but in three days they were back – that stuff is supposed to kill eggs and larva too, but nooooo!

Finally gave up and went to an arms dealer – AKA Lowes pest control expert – who sold me a pump sprayer from Bayer a company I hate about as much as I hate Monsanto 😦   No choice – neither the cat nor I could keep getting used as a walking banquet. Day 2 – no fleas. Day 3 – no fleas. Week 2 – no fleas. Finally! Torn between relief and disgust at what it had taken to get there.

Now I tend to favor the natural life at home – AKA barefoot all the way up, AKA walking around in my skin. Unfortunately between breathing and ingesting lingering molecules of numerous pesticides in the air from the war, and the surfaces of all the furniture and of course the carpet and vinyl flooring, I knew I had taken a nasty dose of poisons. The cat was OK – she spent the war behind enemy lines in the screen room, but I could feel the nastiness in my system. Did a little reading and realized I had the solution in the house – diatomaceous earth.

Every morning I was already sipping sole* first thing while the coffee brewed and the cat was being fed and litter boxes cleaned. Upon inquiry I determined that I could combine my existing morning ritual with the DE to help detox me, so now my morning glass of slightly salty water has a spoonful of what amounts to clean dirt stirred in – hence the nickname the BMP – Brackish Mud Puddle. Sounds silly, but within days I was feeling better, and since I am exposed to more than the usual daily dose of toxins at both jobs I have chosen to include it daily. Cheap and effective.

*(pronouced so-lay – look it up – great stuff if you want the trains to run on time)

***************************************************************

Somewhere along the way, in one of my posts (have to go back and re-read them myself – at my age I don’t want to be repeating myself LOL), I think I mentioned that this blog is not going to be a political forum. I stand by that, whether I said it already or not. From time to time I may make note of something going on which pleases or (more likely) angers me, but in light of the vast wealth of political insanity going on currently I shall attempt to keep this a little haven, outside the fray… mostly. Instead I shall let Piet Hein speak for me

AN ETHICAL GROOK

I see
and I hear
and I speak no evil;
I carry
no malice
within my breast;
yet quite without
wishing
a man to the Devil
one may be
permitted
to hope for the best.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The more things change….

My trailer, my neighborhood and I all survived Hurricane Irma, with nothing more than a lot of small branches down and positive drifts of Spanish moss to clear away. Blessings duly counted, as it could have been so much worse. Puerto Rico suffered badly and is still suffering, first from the storm, then from the arrogant neglect by our current White House occupant 😦  But this blog is not now and never will be a political forum, so moving on.

Still struggling with fleas and mosquitoes – the county spraying program a few weeks back, after Irma – killed more mosquito-eaters than mosquitoes, and now they have begun a major comeback as I expected. In the meantime the drier weather has not helped as much as I might have hoped, and now my flea infestation has also rebounded, leaving both Nova cat and me scratching and miserable. Much as I hate to do it I am going to have to spray again. Good thing I have lots of DE, as I am going to need to continue detoxing myself for a few more weeks.

Also good because I am not sure when I will be able to afford to buy more. My formerly full time job is now part time, putting a big hole in my finances. Happily my other part time job manager has shown a willingness to give me more hours, which, while it will not fully make up for the loss, will at least narrow the gap somewhat. Blessings being counted!

On a much more positive note, Hurricane Irma did me a huge favor. It reintroduced me to a casual acquaintance I had barely gotten to know before our separate lives got in the way. R invited me to spend the duration of the storm with her in her new-construction poured cement apartment building – with my cat – a much safer situation than alone in my trailer. I accepted and we hit it off like gangbusters! Her elderly beagle effectively ignored my elderly cat and vice versa, she and I discovered we had much in common and we effectively laughed our way through the storm and the power outage and are now fast friends. I adore her dog, she used Nova’s gentle nature to help overcome her fear of cats, and we get together a couple times a week to chat, watch movies, go on jaunts and generally do what friends do. When we are not together we keep in touch by messenger, but not obsessively, so it is not oppressive  just fun.

We seem to have the capacity to help each other through our individual spells of depression by giving each other the sort of common sense advice we each need to hear. It has been healthy for both of us – I work to keep her from self-administered guilt trips, she reminds me that taking care of myself is a good thing, and we both encourage each other to get up and do things even when we are feeling lazy and down.

As a result, yesterday I finally did something I had been procrastinating about for weeks. I pulled out the under-bed storage bags of cool weather clothing and sorted it into piles, along with current clothing, based on size – I gained some weight over the past year and some of the clothes don’t fit at the moment – suitability for the coming season, and items I just don’t see myself ever wanting to wear again, for donation or trash depending on condition.

Bagged or put away the clothes as required, then stripped and dismantled the bed. Used linen to the laundry pile, risers under the bed legs, fresh linen on the bed, summer weight comforter into storage, winter comforter onto the bed, clothing bags under the bed in the newly expanded space.

It was no piece of cake either – it took almost half an hour to put the bed back together, because every time I tried to put the box spring back onto the frame it would fall off the risers (lots of creative and not so creative cussing ensued). It was really a two person job, one on each side to lift it on, but since I had no available help I persevered until I succeeded. Bam! It reminds me of the installation of the stove vent fan – another two person job that I managed on my own thankyouverymuch! LOL

Yay!!! The bedroom is now (relatively) neat, and I feel I accomplished something for a change instead of napping my Saturday away. The dresser top still needs work, but baby steps – the room looks much better. I slept better too, in my newly lifted bed, knowing I had done what I set out to do.

Unusually, for Florida based on the past couple years experience, Autumn has arrived on calendar schedule and with an awfully chilly attitude! Down into the 40s at night, 70s to low 80s by day. Only a high of about 65 expected today. After consistent 90s by day and 80s at night it is pleasant – especially for sleeping – but really, a little easing into cooler weather would have been nice. Oh well, I just hope this is not indicative of a bitter long winter, that is not what I moved to Florida for. In the past few years this didn’t happen until the end of December. BRRR! LOL – my blood seems to have thinned since moving south – this would have been Halcyon Autumn weather in the Catskills 😉

 

Ah well, enough for now – another of my goals achieved – not letting months go by without logging a post here. Yay me!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uh oh

Just when I was starting to think September was going to bring cooler weather, and with it more opportunities to get outside and be active, Mother Nature threw me a curve ball. First Hurricane Harvey made a gigantic mess of coastal Texas, now Irma is barreling down the chute seemingly aimed right for Florida. Currently churning up a swath of the Caribbean, chewing up beautiful flyspeck islands best known as tourist attractions – but people live there too – and this is a bad one – 186 MPH sustained winds! That’s enough to scour some of those islands down to nothing!  Next on Irma’s hit list appears to be Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo/Haiti and Cuba. Again, these may be bigger islands, but the people are mostly poor, living in conditions that would be considered wretched on a good day, and when Irma hits it is not going to be good.

After that is where the guessing game has yet to get a clear lead. It could veer north, as so many have in the past, brush the coast and continue to oblivion in the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic – best case scenario. It could continue straight ahead and impact close to the Mexican/Texas border and rain down hell on the folks just starting to shake off the shock of Harvey. Not a pretty picture. Or it could split the difference and barrel right into South Florida then follow the coast up the Gulf and whale away on the west coast. Or it could angle up slightly, hit Florida squarely and cross diagonally right into my back yard. Either of these two options could result in my being effectively homeless if it hits full strength. We have had so much rain over the past month that the water table is high and the ground is soft as a sponge. Even assuming there is no flooding in my inland region, the two huge trees in my yard have no solid ground to hold onto, and the wind could easily drop one or both on my trailer or either of two neighbor trailers, depending on wind direction and root structure.

Now, it being Tuesday evening, the best guess is we won’t know until Friday at the earliest what Irma might do, so all I or anyone else in Florida, can do is wait and make plans for the different contingencies. If it turns north, even if we get brushed by the edges I can foresee hunkering down and waiting it out. If it beelines straight across the Gulf it more than likely will have little to no effect on us other than watching in horror as Texas gets chewed up again.

But if it looks to be a direct hit calling for evacuation, I will throw my most important stuff, along with clothes and whatever else I deem necessary, and hightail it to Georgia to stay with my Aunt until it blows over. At that point I will make the long haul back and see if I still have a home. If it is still there and livable, then live in it is what I will do. If it has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable more than likely I will turn around and head right back to Georgia to figure out what to do next.  Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst – what else is there to do?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OK, now where was I?

Good grief, the more things change…..

Well, since the last blog I started somehow vanished into the maw of Tumblr, and I have decided to start posting (however irregularly) again, I guess it is time to put this one back into use. In point of fact it had gotten such brief use that I had quite forgotten about it and was going to start afresh, but when I opened WP and logged in lo and behold, there was this poor neglected scrap with a perfect title already in place 😉

Well, the place I had been so excited about moving into with my friend could have been everything I had hoped for, but…. Lets just say my former friend and I parted ways, she got the paradise-to-be and I moved on to a very nice trailer in a 55+ community with pleasant neighbors, reasonable lot rent and a cat.

It is a bit harder to change a trailer than a house, so I am having to get creative about things like storage (limited space and too much stuff). Happily I am creative, and also willing to let some of the excess stuff go. I am nowhere near the Zen space I once dreamed of, but the pseudo-Victorian/Steampunk vibe is coming along nicely. Slightly (coffcoff) cluttered, but fun and funky 😉

Happy to say my internal refurbishing is coming along as well. Just as I did after my widowhood, post blowup with my friend I went into a yearlong funk, though nobody around me could have told – pretty good at faking normal after all those years married to a schizo Peter Pan. So I went through the drinking too much, eating poorly and gaining back a bunch of the weight I had taken off during my 1 1/2 years hard labor AKA indentured servitude at the homestead.

After I realized recently just how far I had let myself fall I declared independence from my demons on the 4th of July – apt and not an accident, as now I will always have the holiday as a reminder if I backslide. Since then I only allow myself any sort of alcohol on nights when I do not have to go to work the next day, and sometimes I don’t even bother then – skipped it last night!  Yay me!

My diet needs a bit more of a nudge, and I need to get more active (hard in this Florida summer heat), but actually with excess alcohol out of the picture, even after only 10 days I can already feel a difference. Not quite as bloaty and certainly more clear headed. Lots of hearty salad lunches, more chicken than red meat, and almost nothing processed.

Of course I do make exceptions – all things in moderation, including moderation. I keep salsa and frozen burritos in the fridge at work for emergencies like when I forget or don’t have time to get salad makings, or just need something more satisfying and substantial.  They have also made me a good friend in a coworker who frequently forgets her lunch or simply needs to spend her money on feeding her kids. I figure I can spare a couple burritos for the cause.

So, yeah, I am going to start this again, try to update at least once a week, but who knows – I may wind up blathering daily or monthly. Since I do not expect followers, as this is primarily a place for me to vent, it hardly matters I guess.

If someone actually finds this and reads it, fair warning – this is not going to be carefully crafted for your reading pleasure. It will from time to time contain anything from vituperous rants about crappy drivers, to cuddly cooing about my lovely cat Nova, to discourses on whatever I happen to be reading or watching – all bets are off!

Caveat Lector!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OK – now there is a reason!

Well, it looks like we have found our new home – should have the paperwork signed and official by the end of next month – and we may also have found a buyer for the old place as well! Crossing fingers and saying a multitude of ‘pretty please’s and ‘thank you’s to the universe! Now to get really serious about the de-cluttering and packing! Act as if it is happening and it will! 😉

 

Oh yeah – and WOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!! 😉

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another day, another blog – and no real reason

This is getting ridiculous – I’m on my 5th – or is it 6th – blog, and I barely have time to read much less post. Oh well, so it goes. My bills are behind and getting behinder all the time, no new income in the foreseeable future, so hey, kids, lets put on a blog! <sigh>

Oh well. Back to de-cluttering – at least if I get rid of enough stuff I’ll have a clear place to fall over if I find I’ve won the lottery 😉

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment