Monday, November 30, 2009



They're running a Hoarders marathon this afternoon. I watched it while cleaning my room. I know I'm bad, but I don't think I'm THAT nuts. I think it's a matter of degree. Mostly I'm just lazy.

I should have that show running on a loop 24/7. It really makes you want to clear the crud. And when I see what those people go through, and the look in their eyes, like, glazed, vacant and crazy, it makes me reeeally want to avoid becoming like them.

It's the same look I saw in Dad's eyes when we tried cleaning his house and the barns. I'm talkin' BEFORE Alzheimer's. Some years back Dede and I took a week at Spring break and came down to Riverside to clean up Dad's barn. Stacey, Drew and Mindy also came to help. We tossed out major truckloads. We got it all organized and even made one room into a place for plumbing supplies and other stuff he needed to do maintenance on the farm. We worked our asses off while Dad resisted the whole time. When we were finished he seemed happy. But by Christmas all that work was completely undone. All the organizing we had done was still just as we had left it, but there was a ton of crap piled on top. When we cleaned everything out when the farm was sold, all the bins of pvc connectors were still on the shelves, unused.

Yep. He was a hoarder. Alzheimer's magnified it to an extreme level.

I think that show is providing a valuable public service. Many of us will be able to see ourselves in those people and their families. Since moving here I've been overwhelmed by my stuff, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job of clearing it out. My little mantra of "more out than in" really helps. Almost every week I take a carload of stuff to the thrift store. It has taken me a long time, which has been frustrating, but I'm starting to see progress.

Ok, back to it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The Thanksgiving meal turned out really well. The least successful dish was the stuffing- too dry. Everything else was really good. Boy, it sure is tricky getting everything to come together at once. Having another oven would really make things easier.

One Friday we had dinner with the rest of the family at Stacey's. That meal was crazy awesome. Scotty is the supreme grill master. Ok, now that we've had a few days of huge meals and tons of leftovers it's time to get back to food sanity.

I've been having a lot of back trouble lately. I get muscle spasms that stop me in my tracks for 10 to 15 seconds. If I remember to relax and breathe they release pretty quickly, but once my back starts acting up like that there's not much I can do. Hot baths and stretching help, but what I really need to do is get back to exercising regularly and work on losing weight. I feel pretty crappy these days and I'm sick of it.

Hope is on the horizon. I've got Lindsay's room cleaned out and ready for paint. I don't know if I'll get it done before the treadmill arrives, but I think I'll be able to work around it. I'm starting to get ideas for decorating that room. It's always a good sign when the ideas start to flow. It really changes my attitude towards the job ahead.

Getting back to an exercise routine will help get me through the holidays. Every year I seem to enjoy them less and less, and that ain't right. Feeling better physically will help with the emotional stuff.

Got some fun stuff coming up! We'll be going up to Dede's as usual, but after that the Langs and the Browns are heading to Las Vegas and I'm going with them. The girls are going to a Black Eyed Peas concert and the boys are going to see Blue Man Group. I'm sure the concert will be enormous fun, but I'd rather see the Blue Man show. Somewhere in there I'll do a little sissy gambling. I'm a total novice when it comes to gambling, but I do enjoy the nickel slots. Who knows? Maybe I'll win big. Really, I'd be very happy if I won enough to pay for the trip. And if Vegas kicks my ass I will still have had a good time with my family.

Ok, time for a hot bath.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It looks like we'll be having Thanksgiving here this year. Well, the usual, normal, thursday Thanksgiving. The Lang sibs and spouses always have Thanksgiving on Friday. It's just easier that way. And for the last few years we haven't done the turkey dinner thing. Everyone gets that on thursday. We do a much easier meal of steak, chicken, salads and sides. Very summery. And the way the weather has been, it's kind of appropriate.

I don't know yet how many people we'll have. Lindsay and Kyle for sure, Renie maybe. Paige and me. Could be more. I haven't made many Thanksgiving dinners. We pretty much have always gone to someone else's house so I'll just make a dish or two to take, but I haven't cooked very many turkeys. It's always a little iffy. I think I'm getting the hang of it, though. I'm a big believer in brining.

So, I'm in menu planning mode. Turkey for sure, ginger carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, some kind of sweet potato thing. Paige is making pies. I found an interesting recipe for cranberry chutney that I'm going to try. I usually make a pineapple/mango relish but that's waaaay too much work, so not this year. I'll make cornbread stuffing. I wish I had Mom's recipe. She made the best stuffing. Someday I'd like to try oyster stuffing.

Handle those particles. Make lists. Clean the house.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big ticket item

Spending a big wad of money always makes me nervous. But I wanted it and I planned for it and I think it'll be good for my health, so I'm considering it a good investment. I ordered a treadmill today. It's a Sole and it'll be here within two weeks. Paige and I need to get Lindsay's room cleared out. Really, I should paint it before the treadmill gets here. That might happen. I think that room would be a more pleasant space to exercise in if the walls are painted.

Now that I've made the commitment I'm looking forward to it. I want to get a cheapo dvd player and a wall bracket for my small tv. We really could have a nice little gym in there. We'll see how much space is leftover once the treadmill gets moved in. I'm hoping there's room for a floor mat.

Ooh, this'll be cool. I love treadmills.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bunny cage fixed!

Paige and I finally fixed that damn cage. We had lined the bottom with chicken wire when we first built it, but it rusted and the rabbits were able to bite through it. There were several escapes. Today we ripped out the old wire and carted out the dirt. I'll spread that around in the front yard. Bunny poop is great fertilizer. Then we relined the bottom with galvanized mesh and screwed it into place. Then we shoveled in some fresh dirt. I took the top off the old dog house and screwed it to a piece of plywood that had been cut to fit. It makes a perfect little house for them. I set it inside the cage up on some bricks. When we put the bunnies back in the cage they got kind of excited. Eddie was pushing dirt around and Walnut was merrily exploring every inch of their refurbished space. Happy bunnies.

As I sift the gravel out of the front planting beds I'll cart more dirt to the rabbit cage. I want to fill it up to the top of the frame (about 10 inches). Then they can burrow under their house. It'll be a cool place for them to be when it gets hot again. I'm also going to plant to bamboo next to the cage for shade.

So, yay, I can cross something off my list! The tile game has advanced a square. Today was a good day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Saturday night. I gotta get out of here. I was going to go see Pirate Radio, but Paige intercepted and said she wants us to go together tomorrow night. She doesn't like it when I go to the movies alone. So, ok, I'm not going to the movies but I still need to do something. Maybe I'll cruise the bars downtown and see what's shakin'.

Just kidding.

Today I took a section of the old rabbit cage and turned it into a gravel sifter. Gammer and Gaffer used a lot of white gravel around their bushes. I'm sure it looked good for the first three months after they installed it, but they didn't put down a weed barrier and now it's all mixed with dirt and old roots. It's gotta go. I sifted several wheelbarrow loads, made a gravel pile on the driveway and used the dirt to fill in some low spots on the lawn. I pushed my back to it's limits. I cleaned out the area next to the back door. I'm planning to build an enclosure for the trash cans there.

After I rested a while I got out the long tape measure and measured my front yard and the front of the house. Then I put the whole thing on graph paper. One of these days I'll get some stakes and string and lay out my design. But that won't be until after all the gravel is gone. Progress is very slow but at least it's a-happenin'.

I hardly see Paige these days. Since she broke up with Gabe her whole social life has taken off. She's having a lot of fun right now. Atta girl! But tomorrow we're going to work on repairing the rabbit cage. That's one of the places where I'm planning to stash all that dirt I'm pulling out of the front yard.

But right now I gotta get out of here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yes, you can blame Facebook

I haven't blogged much lately. Can you tell?

Not much is happening lately. I've been working on the house and going to school. Still working two days a week at RCC. Every once in a while I'll find something fun to do. My new friend, Tracey, and I have started going to the uke circle in Huntington Beach on Thursday nights. It's a fun group. And Tracey has a FastPass so the drive ain't so bad.

Poor Tracey! He house was burglarized last weekend. She knows who did it but she can't seem to get the police to care enough about it to investigate. I'll get an update from her later.

I'm fretting a little about some upcoming expenses. I have to pay my property taxes and get some homeowner's insurance. Now that the house is officially mine I have to deal with this stuff. I need to buy a mattress and a bed. I really want to get a treadmill,(and I will) but I want a good one and that costs money. The cars need work. And then there's the usual stuff like bills. It galls me that every month I have to shell out $600 for health insurance for Paige and me.

My hours at work were cut for the summer but I didn't get them back. I really could use those two extra days per month. Things just suck everywhere right now.

I just re-read the posts from last year. Yeesh! I still can't believe we went through all that. It's been harder for me to keep a positive attitude lately. I was always a naturally happy person but that's no longer the case. Some days are just a fog. When I do have a good day, like yesterday, I really appreciate it. And yes, I'm still on antidepressants. It helps but they don't cure everything. And then there's those approaching holidays. Can we skip it this year?

Aren't you glad you tuned in?

I think there's a lot of stuff wrapped up in this Katamari ball. Money worries, Jim's birthday, the holidays, the sad anniversary of 1/18, plus all of life's other disappointments, all bound up in a ribbon of fear. Yee-haw! Right now all I can do is get through it and try to find some enjoyable things to do until, say, February.

It'll be ok. I am making progress. I'm just never sure if I'm doing it right.