A blog about whatever randomosity my fevered mind conceives.

Posts tagged “spring cleaning

I’m running out of clever things to say about my rambling…

For the most part, having children is AWESOME! There is – however – one small thing about kids that’s somewhat less than desirable; they’re germ mongers. It’s really not so bad when they’re little, but once they hit school age you send them off five days a week to swim in a veritable virus pool of ugly little bacteria with their little germ monger peers. What this means – for your ENTIRE household – is that you will then spend the next baker’s dozen of years cycling through damn near every minor nasty known to man. The worst part? No amount of vitamin C, zinc and/or Echinacea can entirely spare you from these lovely little illnesses; once you have kids, they’re just a part of the natural order of things.

Yep, there’s another cold/flu making its way through the house, and this one’s shaping up to be a real doozy. So far I remain uninfected, but history has already taught me how this works; I should remain healthy up until the girls are both over the worst of their symptoms, and then BAM!!! the bugs will get me! In the meantime, I can look forward to a few nights (like last night) where I barely get to sleep at all because Kara is waking up every hour or so in a fit. The poor little monkey gets pretty cranky when she’s sick, and this time around is no exception.

Ah well, it is what it is.

I meant to come back for a second posting yesterday, but (as per usual lately) I found myself short on time and couldn’t make it. No worries; that intended posting was just a ramble and rambling can be done at anytime… now works too.

For those of you who read ‘Treat of the Week’, I really wanted to point out a few (in my mind) interesting things about it. And what you ask, is that? Oh, I’m so glad you inquired! Though the story is fictional, there are some truths scattered throughout. Let’s start with the main concept of the story; the man who – completely out of the blue – comes home from work one Friday night to poison his family with milkshakes. This may or may not be a true story.

When I was a little kid, I overheard my uncle talking about just such an event – apparently perpetrated by some man he knew – and the story stuck with me. The reason I say that this ‘may or may not’ be a true story is that the uncle who told it is the same man who once told me that he accidentally ran over the Easter Bunny, and that we’d be having rabbit stew for Easter dinner in lieu of turkey. His credibility was instantly – and permanently – damaged in my mind when the Easter Bunny did in fact drop by that year with goodies. When I got older, I always meant to go down to the library to dig through the archives and find out if the story was true, but I just never got around to it. I don’t remember much of what he said about the tale back then – it was a long time ago – but I remember being a little suspicious of milkshakes for awhile.      

The other thing about this story that you might find interesting to know is that we once lived three doors down from a man who – after discovering his wife’s infidelity – blew his brains out in the cab of his truck. The truck was parked out front of their house and a gaggle of junior high kids discovered the hideous mess on the way to the bus stop that morning.

I remember being incredibly pissed at the guy for being such a thoughtless twonk. Don’t you dare judge me for my lack of sympathy in the matter, I felt plenty bad for him as far as the disloyalty went; the entire neighbourhood knew about his wife’s indiscretions (she wasn’t exactly discrete about her affairs, and one of her paramours was a work buddy of her husband’s that would show up in a (marked) work truck five minutes after her husband left nearly every morning). I was also quite sad that he would be so broken by the discovery that he felt the only way out was suicide. He lost my sympathy when he opted to take his life out in the open where his body was almost guaranteed to be discovered by school kids. Hell, the moron had his own kids that could have just as likely discovered the grizzly scene. In pain or no, I found his way of dealing with the situation to be completely irresponsible.

The quote at the end was something I read in the newspaper once. It was stated by some guy that was on trial for killing his own family and I’m not entirely sure if I got either the quote or the man’s name exactly right. That too was a long time ago and I’m afraid my memory sucks at times. I’m not even sure how that quote worked its way into the last line; it certainly wasn’t where I was intending to wind up.

Now, I’m not overly fond of this story (but when am I, right?), but I do like the bones beneath it. It’s yet another tale that I might have to return to at some point to rewrite properly, but with this whole ‘flash fiction’ experimentation sort of thing, I’m limiting my time for both writing and editing the pieces. Besides – as this whole blog experience is teaching me – I know NOTHING about my own writing. I never really know what will or will not go over well, and I’ve been doing a reasonably good job (for me) of sharing whether I like the piece or not.

Moving on…

This is just a completely random fact to see who’s actually paying attention: I HATE ladybugs. Everyone I know seems to like these disgusting little creatures, but not I! They are just over glorified beetles, and beetles are one step away from being cockroaches; cockroaches are the most disgusting creatures (in my opinion) on this planet. As if that’s not a reason enough to hate them, they piss on you; double gross. My skin crawls just thinking about those ugly little bastards. The worst thing about not being a fan of ladybugs around here is that every spring/summer our yard (and sometimes even house) gets overrun with the damn things. It’s quite creepy.

Hmm, I’ve got about fifteen minutes left to myself before my sister and her kids get here, so I best try wrapping this up.

I have been desperately trying to catch up (and stay caught up) on at least my favourite blogs for the last week and a half or so, but I am definitely struggling with this. Please do not take my absence as abandonment! I will have some time later this afternoon (between unwanted company, tending to a sick toddler, cleaning the garage and sorting computer files – still working on getting everything in order on that note, and I’ve STILL not had much time to get my new computer set up to my liking) but I’ve already dedicated most of that time to one of my favourite blogs that I’m like a thousand posts behind on. Just know that I’m working on it!

My (hockey) team has been knocked out of the playoffs (SAD SAD FACE!!!) so at least my evenings (in theory) should start to open up a little more as April morphs into May. Though I’m not overly fond of spending a lot of time at my comp in the evenings, at least I’ll have more time to write.

Oh, last thing before I go… I just wanted to (officially) welcome back my beloved Gabriela Vargas!! Oh how I’ve missed you… can’t wait to read all about what you’ve been up to all month!

Okay, that’s it. This is me running away….


Here I go again…

What a long week! I’ve accomplished a lot – though I’m not yet finished all that I set out to do – and I’m quite pleased with the organizational bliss of this house, even if it is only temporary. Sadly though, I really miss you guys and I feel a little disconnected from you fine folks, so I figured it was time to touch base as it were. The best way of doing that (in my mind) is to ramble on about my week. Sound good? Too bad (tee hee) here I go again…

This week I discovered that Kara (my youngest) is not a fan of either classic rock or country music. I’ve just been letting the BIG music list play all week and when I do that you get a little (a lot) of everything. I already knew that she preferred dance/pop, but I had no idea how little she liked the other stuff. Every time a song comes on that she doesn’t like – and apparently there’s quite a few – she covers her ears and says, “Noise! I no lika it!” and repeats this over and over until I switch the song.

Like my oldest, she’s been exposed to all kinds of music since day one, but unlike my oldest, this one seems a little more resistant to diversity. How do you explain to a not-quite-two year old that there is more to music than Lady-freakin-Gaga and Bruno-bloody-Mars?

Musical diversity was never an issue with  my oldest; that kid’s musical knowledge would blow you away; so I find it a little surprising (and super intriguing) that Kara seems to have come from the factory with certain pre-set preferences. Oh well, she’s going to have to adapt; I adamantly refuse to spend the rest of my days listening to nothing but the likes of Nicki Minaj!

I haven’t had much time to sit down with my new computer and get it all set up to my liking, though I have had enough time to figure out that windows 7 is very different from vista – which is mostly great – and that I have a lot of figuring-out to do before I’m completely comfortable with my new machine.

I spent a few minutes the other day trying to get all of the computers in this house on a network, but because of the different operating systems, this was not as easy as it should have been. I’ll have to work that out sometime next week.

I have my oldest computer – the one destined for the computer graveyard – set up on the desk beside this one. One of these days (as soon as I find the time) I have to go through its guts and make sure I’ve removed everything of import. I don’t think there’s much left on there, but I need to be certain. Once I get that done, I’ll strip the old girl for parts and get rid of the carcass. It’s actually just a little sad, this one’s been with me since just after I left my hometown six years ago… we have a lot of history between us.

Throughout this switch-over of machines and the cleaning out of drawers/cupboards/closets, I have come to the realization that we’re living a rather disgusting existence of excess. I have enough toys around here to open my own Toys R Us, an army of barely-to-never used kitchen appliances, and more doodads and thingamabobs than the four of us could find use in two lifetimes. Part of the problem (most of the problem) is that I’m a deal whore; if the sale is good enough, I have to take advantage of it. I haven’t even gotten to the top floor of this house yet (my girls’ rooms) and yet I’ve already dug out six MP3 Players – three of them still in their original packaging – (and that’s not even including my Achos Media Player that I just ‘had’ to have, but that’s been sitting in a desk cupboard since a week after I got it) two  portable DVD players that we bought last year (also in their original packaging) ‘just because they were a great deal’, three of those cute little digital keychain picture frames (I only remember where one of them came from) and Yevon-only-knows how many other gadgets that are of little to no use around here. Today’s smart phones render most of these thingamajigs useless; I have a 32 gig SD card in my Blackberry to take care of my portable music and picture needs and our last two vehicles have had built in DVD players. Also, portable gaming systems; my oldest daughter’s Nintendo DS and PSP; seem pretty useless around these parts since I don’t even remember the last time I seen her playing with either. She’s either playing games on her laptop or PS3 – yes, she has her own PS3, further proving my point about our disgusting excess – and she’s got at least five DS games that haven’t even been opened.

We had a family discussion about this ‘stuff’ the other day and we’ve come to the agreement that some of it will go to the transition house up the way, and then we’ll have a garage sale this spring to unload the rest. The proceeds will then be split between the girls’ savings accounts, and in the future I shall try to avoid pointless purchases – no matter how great the deal.

Let’s see, what else?

The weather has been fantastic! I have extremely high hopes about the winter being truly over now, and I’m looking so forward to our first bonfire out back. I freakin LOVE BBQ season and can’t wait to have all of our friends over for a night of good food and bad liquor, hehe.  

I have barely written a word all week. I’ve been putting in long hours around the house and by the time I call it quits for the day, I’ve been exhausted. I hope you guys have been enjoying ‘Reflections’, though (once again) I find myself hating it. I’ve gone back and forth on that piece since it’s conception… and like nearly all of my writing, once I release it into the world, I’m filled with insecurities about it. An interesting side note; Reflections was the first large piece I ever wrote in first person. Another interesting side note; there are two other parts to the story (started but never finished) written from Dean and Mort’s perspectives. One day I might actually sit down and finish them… who knows?

I’ll post the final piece of that story later today (as long as I don’t forget again) and then tomorrow – hopefully – I’ll find the time to work on something new.

Okay folks, the coffee’s run out and now it’s time for me to get back to my regularly scheduled day. Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

Spring fever…

I’m more than a little neurotic at times; ask anyone who knows me in the really-real world and they’ll attest to that without a moments hesitation. I already mentioned that I’ve officially started my spring cleaning for the year, but what you likely do not know is just how nuts I am about such things.

You see, I was born into a long line of packrats. I come from a clan where a good 80% of the women would have (should have) been on those hording shows long before those hording shows existed. When my maternal grandmother passed away (and we went to clean out her house) there were thirty some quilts tucked away in various closets – all still in their original packaging. There were clothes (of various sizes; most not Grandma’s) in all of the closets with price tags still on them. Amongst other things, there were hundreds of cassette tapes, still in their plastic wrap (my grandmother didn’t even own a cassette player), insane amounts of unopened makeup, shoes, medications, dishes, towels, soap, gift baskets (still in their cellophane wrap) shampoos, perfumes, something like fifty tubes of toothpaste, over a hundred boxes of cereal, tool kits, and – though granny never sewed – boxes of clothing patterns and rolls of fabric. This sort of thing was (is) pretty common amongst the women in my family, and serves as yet more proof (to me) that the line of mental illness in our genes did not start with my generation, even if we were the first to accept it and do something about it.

Once upon a not that long ago, I was no better than the rest of them; I used to have one hell of a hard time throwing anything away, and so when something outlived it’s purpose, I just tucked it up on some shelf or in a box somewhere. It was comfort sort of thing that stemmed – I believe – from my constant need to feel like I had a place, a home, a point in life, but it used to make moving hell.

After I started putting my life back together (following my downwards spiral) one of the first major changes I made had to do with a de-cluttering of my private universe. Before I was strong enough to move on to the people that were toxic to my wellbeing, I started with my possessions. Over a week and a half (or so) I went through every single thing I owned and parted with more than 3/4 of it. The only ‘useless’ items I kept were those that I found too sentimental to part with; like my old records and whatnot, Benny the monkey, and my writing. I donated three pickup trucks worth of clothing and things to the Salvation Army, and created another four truckloads full of landfill fodder.

This unloading felt so amazing that I have gone on a major purging once a year ever since.

Each spring when the purging bug bites me in the ass, the true strength of my OCD-like tendencies surface and I start sorting, organizing, tossing, cleaning, labelling, recycling, and fixing like a madwoman. Seriously, it took me five hours just to clean out my desk this weekend. I literally went through every pen and scrap of paper, every paperclip and thumbtack, and tossed away anything that I didn’t need, didn’t want or that didn’t work.

This is just how I roll. Everything that I deem too important to throw out or give away – but not necessary to keep at an arm’s reach – gets neatly stored in plastic crates (how fortunate that Canadian Tire just put them on sale!) and a generalized list of contents gets taped securely to the side before it goes into storage.

This is a three-story, four-bedroom, two-storage room, multiple-storage closet house with an unattached garage. There are four permanent residents (not including the cat and dog) and an endless stream of visitors; my sister and her family are always leaving things behind either because they don’t have room for it their fifth wheel (their house is in B.C. and they live in a house-on-wheels while in this province) or because it’s handier to leave things here since they spend so much damn time at my house. This drives me a little nutty, but whatcha gonna do? My point is that the spring purge around here is not a simple task that can be accomplished over a couple of days. I put in about five hours on Saturday and another fourteen yesterday, and so far all I’ve managed to get through is my desk (looks fantastic for the record), my bedroom (everything but Zed’s closet) and the cupboards in my kitchen and pantry. Since I was also working on the set up of my new computer and babysitting my sisters three kids most of yesterday, I think I made pretty good time, but I’m still a hell of a long way from finished.

Zed has known me as both a packrat and as a minimalist, and while he admits to preferring the latter (by far), he always looks just a little uncomfortable while I’m in purge mode. He does his best to make himself as small as he can (which is no easy feat for a guy that’s 6’2, 220 pounds) and stay out my way. I’m not sure what makes him more nervous; that I might throw away something he’ll later need, that I mumble to myself so frequently while in purge mode, or that he and/or the kids/dog/cat might accidentally end up out on the curb with the recycling. Or maybe he’s just nervous about what jobs I might stick on him, “Hunny, could you just…” He’s already put together two new bookshelves for me, taken a trip to the transition house up the way, fixed the hinges on my wardrobe and – oh so kindly – done a handful of other little chores for me, even though Sunday was his only day of rest♥. Regardless, he’ll be happy as a pig in shite when I’m done and; ever the predictable little bunny that he is; he’ll reward my hard work with a new houseplant (that I’ll probably accidentally kill sometime between this and next spring) and a night out. That’s just how he roles.

Because I have such a big job still ahead of me – and knowing that I won’t be able to rest properly until it’s finished – my time allowance for other obsessions is going to be limited for awhile. Later this afternoon I’ll sit down and break up that big piece I recently promised/threatened, and I’ll start posting two or three parts of that a day as well as (likely) some older poetry pieces; even though I don’t really like posting old stuff. I’ll share with you what I write (if/when I actually find time to write) and I’ll do my very best to keep up with your blogs whenever I find myself with a few minutes to spare.

If you should find yourself in need of my attentions (for whatever reason) just shoot me off an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP. In the meantime, remember that I love you all and have a GREAT day!

A wee little note…

I  really did mean to get back here and do a little something for you fine folks, but I got SO tied up with the spring cleaning/computer set-up thing that I never had a chance. The poem I just posted is an old one – I think most of you could guess that – and the hockey game just started so I’ve no time to hang about now to whip you up something a little fresher. I promise – no matter how busy I get  – I  will make time for you tomorrow. Have a great night! ♥

PS: I think this post was just an excuse to use my new computer! tee hee


Remember how in my Monday post (A post with no name…) I said that I’d committed myself to making a commitment about the purchase of a new computer by Friday? Well, I got busy this week – as per usual – and the whole computer hunt just sort of fell by the wayside; I hadn’t even given it any thought. Yesterday I had to go into the city to do some grocery shopping and whatnot, and I stopped in at the Future Shop to pick up (yet another) external hard drive, and lo and behold, I bumped into a deal I couldn’t resist and the decision sort of made itself.

My new baby is sitting in the boxes she came in; I got such a good deal that I couldn’t not get a new monitor too; and unfortunately, she’ll be staying in them for at least a few more hours. I know what I’m like with new toys… completely obsessive. If I don’t take care of some things before I start playing with her, I’ll never get around to properly taking care of them. So alas, I must force this beast to vomit up the contents most important to me onto an external, clean my nightmare of a desk (which I started last night so that’s half done), move out my old and dying computer from the bedroom – after taking anything important from that hard drive – and then; and only then; will I let myself slice into the crisp packaging my new baby came in. It kind of feels like Christmas Eve, and I kind of feel like a five year old; all antsy and excited. The only thing I’m not excited about is all the set up and messing about that it’s going to take to get myself comfortable with the new machine… that stuff seems to take forever.

Between shaping my new computer into my perfect slave, and the spring cleaning (that I also got started on yesterday) that unfortunately needs to be done – despite the return of that blasted snow – I imagine I’m going to be even busier then normal. I wish you could purchase extra hours for a day the same way you can purchase extra memory for your computer.

About that short poem I wrote this morning…

Last night I had this weird dream about all of the trees on my street coming to life like the Ents in Lord of the Rings. They weren’t really doing much; just standing around and watching the sleeping houses on my block; but it was still fascinating. In the dream, I was watching them through my kitchen window and every thing they did – every single move they made – was done in unison. They reminded me a little of synchronized swimmers (which – by the way – I can’t watch without laughing for some reason).

I’d really like to write more about the dream, when/if I find the time… we shall indeed see.

While I am now – and will always be – the queen of too many words, I do write a lot of short poem… even haiku, which I’m not overly fond of… and likely you’ll see a little more of that this coming week while I’m fixated on other things.

Okay, I’m off to catch up on at least a couple of blogs while Zed’s still snoring away – can’t start pulling things apart at my bedroom desk without waking the poor guy up – and I’ll check in with you folks a little later on. Have a great Sunday!