Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Well, it took seven hours and $200

but I got the car back, and it's drivable. I went over to work and got a package from Amazon that included a closet purse organiser, came back, put them all on it (11 in all; I put two small ones on one loop), and since then I've worked on the house a little and listened to music/rested a lot. I spoke with YKWIA after sunset. But otherwise I've been home alone, which has been nice, although I haven't been particularly productive. Whenever I get to hurting a lot (and it's not as bad as it has been all week) I lie down for a bit. I've had the windows open; I just closed them. Now I'm making bread. I've watered all my plants. I leave to get A a little over an hour from now. What shall I do in the meantime?

They're still working on my car

So, we're six hours in. They apparently had trouble and had to get parts from another store, which I presume was the adjuster, as it was the only thing that was going to be changed. I'm getting a little antsy--I'm supposed to pick A up from work tonight; they close in two hours and don't reopen until Monday morning. I need my car.

Well, that could have gone so much better

I took the car over to the shop first thing in the morning, when they opened at 8 am. Apparently the noise was that a mechanism that adjusts the brakes had broken off and was spinning around inside the drum. I need new drums and shoes on the rear of the car. I also need to have a ball joint replaced, an alignment as a result of that second one, and new windshield wipers. I can't even do the brake job at this point--it'll be over $500. In fact, it'll take everything I have to put everything back so that it's not dragging and I can go back in a couple or three weeks and get the brakes done properly. :( They're open the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, when I'm off. I'll also check with my normal mechanic, who's only open weekdays, to see how much he would charge and see if they're open on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when I'm off. My goal is to try to have the car running in the interim, as we have a lot of appointments next week.

Also, I'd signed up for Amazon Prime last month, but as a month-to-month subscription, not yearly, and found that instead of charging me $11, they charged me nearly $105. So that was less money for the repair. I called Amazon while I was at the shop and they took care of it, and I called the bank, and since it was in pending, should be okay by Monday.

So, I've had a day. At 10:30 he told me that it would take about an hour and a half to fix the car, and he offered me a ride home, so I'm home now and I've eaten for the first time today. The stress is clenching up the muscles in my neck and shoulders, which isn't helping on that front. I had to text a friend to let him know I couldn't pick them up from their appointment, that they'd have to find another way home, and they had to take the bus to get there this morning). But hey, you do what you can, and I couldn't be sure the car wasn't dangerous, and had to have it looked at, and the adjuster has to go back where it needs to be; I can't be driving with it inside the drum. So that's how my day has gone so far. I think I'm going to go lie down on the heating pad for a little and try to relax, then get up and do some things around the house. But boy, today could be going better. If you factor in the ball joint and everything, the total will be nearly $1000. I'll have to do it over time, there's no way around it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Good news/bad news

Good news: I went to physical therapy and feel much better. We decided I should come twice a week, since the pain has been so bad, I have unlimited visits, and I've met my out-of-pocket max till January. So, I'll go Monday and Wednesday next week. Yay!

Good news: I got the monitor hooked up, with the power cable, etc., and I've adjusted my chair and placed the monitor on its box. I've set the laptop to work when closed, and I'm using the ergonomic keyboard instead. Of course, even with adjusting the chair, while I'm good on the monitor, my keyboard and mouse were too low, so I moved them up onto the top of the desk rather than the tray, and in fact the keyboard is on top of the laptop, and it seems much better. It's not quite as nicely set up as it is at work, but it's better.

Good news: I applied for a job at the University of Kentucky (and one for the state a couple of weeks ago). Think good thoughts.

Bad news: I think my brakes are failing on the car. They've been a little mushy, and now I feel like they're going near the floor. There was a horrible sound from my rear passenger wheel last night which was repeated today, and it sounds like something (a caliper with pad?) is dragging on the wheel. I don't want to drive it any more until I can find out what is going on, so even though my friends have an appointment tomorrow, they are going to take the bus, and I am going to take the car in to the shop very early in the morning, so I will at least know what's going on. I'm not sure I can get it fixed, having just paid most of my bills, but I'll try. I'm just afraid of the brakes failing entirely. I don't think anyone wants that.

Okay, I'm going to go see what I can do tonight. I'm home and I may just try to relax; I've been tense over the car. Maybe some music and reading is in order. :)

I know this is meant to be comedy

but seriously...watch this. It's got good points.

I checked Facebook before heading to bed

Since I haven't been on it in something like three or four days. And look what I found--a band from Belarus called Stary Olsa which plays mediaeval instruments and makes covers of rock songs!

--and this one is even better, I think:

Mission accomplished!

I got all the clean clothes either folded and put in the chest-of-drawers or dresser, or hung up in the closet. The dirty clothes are all in a hamper in the bathroom. That's the first time that's happened in, well, months, and I think the first time clothes have hung in the closet since I got here twelve and a half years ago. Really. And I got A from work, got some gas, took him to Kroger for ice cream, and came home and finally got to take the muscle relaxants. I'm going to finish getting ready for bed, take my medicine, and go on to bed.

So that leaves some minor things in the bedroom to straighten up, a little in the living room, and some boxes stacked up in the dining room. But I can walk freely through the house. After I get those taken care of, I'm going to try to work on that other closet. Then we'll try to conquer the books when I'm feeling better (if ever--I'm beginning to doubt that, it's been at least a few weeks now). But I do have physical therapy tomorrow, so that should help.

Oh, and I did find a few more clothes to give away. I'm going to check with YKWIA if he wants any of the t-shirts, as they're his size. Otherwise, it'll be time to go back to Goodwill.

I nearly freaked out getting A tonight because something shifted in my trunk several times. The first time I thought I'd hit something. The second and third times I was beginning to think my car was about to fall apart. I think it was a coffee maker that I'd planned to take to the electronics recycling centre for YKWIA.

Okay, time for bed. Good night.

UPDATE: The sound was definitely not good. Not stuff shifting in the trunk. I'll update when I know more.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

But first

Okay,  I decided to put the heating pad on for about 30 minutes before tackling the clothes.  If I can't take meds for the spasms,  then some heat should help.  I must work on the clothes though,  as I almost fell badly when I closed the blinds.  So for now I'm listening to Mumford & Sons and not putting on the CPAP in the hopes that I won't fall asleep.


I had to do some minor electrical work to the headband, as one of the wires had come loose. I got it back in the right spot, and it does, indeed light up. So I'm ready for Halloween. :)

I'm trying

to make things more ergonomic at home as well as work, to be better for my neck. To that end, I've hooked up an external keyboard to my laptop, and I went by YKWIA's and got one of my monitors (I have two, one with the desktop he has borrowed, and one that he had borrowed before his desktop tanked). I found a nice, sturdy box to elevate the monitor, which doesn't adjust normally, that my Bulova clock came in when I reached my ten-year anniversary at the hospital. (Yes, I have kept this box for nearly 10 years, without using it for anything. Have I mentioned I'm a hoarder?) Unfortunately, I forgot to get the power cord to the monitor, so I can't hook it up just yet, and I apparently didn't hoard an extra monitor power cord, and so I have the entire laptop up on the box, which does better for looking at the laptop screen. Just having my normal ergonomic keyboard on its tray should help.

Today my neck, shoulders, and arm have been pretty painful. I have taken ibuprofen, arthritis Tylenol (not at the same time), used the muscle rub--nothing has come close to taking it away. The muscle rub actually does best, because I think it actually gets to the nerves, as opposed to the oral medicine. I will have to go back and look at last night's post that I did while under the influence of the muscle relaxers. I remember it being damn difficult to type. I was also waiting for my bread to bake, and it had something like 12 minutes still on it, and I was trying to patiently wait while practically falling over. So the relaxers do make me loopy after all. I definitely cannot take them till bedtime tonight--I'm getting A, who is doing a special shift at work, at midnight, and I certainly can't drive if I take them.

Today was good. I was as productive at work as one in severe pain could be, and I got all sorts of things done. I found out that they can participate in DOCLINE (the National Network of Libraries of Medicine's interlibrary loan system) even after I'm gone and there is no longer a library, because they will have access to enough electronic journals that if they're willing to lend, they can borrow as well. That gives research and other clinical staff access to the information they need.

I also paid some bills, went to my allergist, got my shots, went to the grocery store, and took a care package over to YKWIA (and picked up the monitor, sans cord). I now have a Halloween costume to wear to work Monday. I'm going to wear my Miskatonic University School of Library Science t-shirt, with a headband I got at Kroger with light-up tentacles. Yes. A graduate student who has read too much, most likely. I have a box that looks like a large book, and I'm thinking of putting something on it (that's removable) that says Necronomicon. There's only one person at work that I know who has read HP Lovecraft, so most people really won't get it, but they'll like the headband, anyway. :) That's the second Cthulhoid costume I've worn to the hospital, the first being Great Cthulhu himself.

Alright, I've hooked up the keyboard, I've eaten. Now I am going to put away the rest of the groceries, queue up some music through the Bluetooth headphones, and start folding clothes, after rubbing some more of that stuff on my neck and shoulders. It really is the best option. I should have gotten some more while at Kroger's. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Note to self

Normally I take the tizanidine (Zanalfex) right before I go to bed. Tonight, like last night, I was having spasms so bad that at one point this evening that I gasped out oud. So I went ahead and took the pills, along with Tylenol Arthritis and menthol muscle rub. It's barely touched it all day. So I took the medicine, which is a muscle relaxer, as soon as I got home fro the day.

That was two and a half hours ago. Apparently that is my 'normal' window. After that I begin to list to the side, nod off, and I can't type a sentence without a LOT of typos. Plus, words seem to be fleeing me. Time for bed, I think. I'm no good like this. Good night.


Between a friend's appointments,  we stopped by Goodwill and they unloaded the entire back seat,  which was full,  as I'd added things since I took the picture.  I feel pretty good about getting it all out of the house,  along with a bag of recyclables and two of trash.  It'll be nice to go home tonight and find the dishes done,  the fish happy,  etc.  I still have to work on getting the clothes folded or hung up.  If I can do that,  then I can (temporarily)  move to the other closet and deal with the cables and small electronics in there.  My therapist didn't want me hurting myself by tackling the books,  just yet,  which YKWIA had predicted.  The main thing is to progress some each time.  I'm seeing the therapist every two weeks.  That gives me time to work on things,  since as a hoarder I tend to procrastinate that.

I also need to work on a cover letter and apply for a job that closes Friday.  Our plans for tonight have changed,  so I may do that.  I also want to retrieve one of my monitors from YKWIA,  plug that and my keyboard into the laptop,  and set it so I can run it closed.  I think that will be ergonomically better for me at home.  At work things are set up much better. At home I hunch over the laptop even though it is on the computer desk.  That's not good at all.

Okay,  I think I'll close for now.  His appointment will go for awhile longer,  but I think I'll close my eyes and just relax for a bit.


I decided the only way to do a few things before a friend comes over to bake a cake in my kitchen was to do it early in the morning before I was hurting too much to lift a finger.  So,  I got up at 5:45 this morning,  and I have:

1. Taken the things for Goodwill to the car.
2. Taken out the trash and recyclables.
3. Washed dishes.
4. Wiped down cabinets and did some rearranging.
5. Cleaned up the dining room table so we have more prep space.
6. Gave the bathroom a once-over.
7. And lastly,  but certainly not least,  as it will probably be felt longer,  I filled the fish tank with 15 gallons of water,  five gallons at a time.  It had to be done,  neck issues or not.  But everything else was light,  and I used my granny cart for the trash.

So  I've been drinking water for a few minutes in front of the fan.  Now it's time to get ready for work.  But it was nice timing - - I started listening to two albums by OneRepublic when I started working,  and they just finished. Hope you have a good day.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hurting too much tonight to really write

Therapy: Excellent.  My therapist had good suggestions and was pleased with my progress.

Dinner at YKWIA's: Very nice,  yummy,  with good companionship.

Pain: Neck and shoulders in spasm,  couldn't get comfortable.  Once home,  slathered on muscle rub,  took Tylenol Arthritis and muscle relaxer.  Listening to music and am stretched out on the bed.

That's a brief update.  Good night!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Here's what's going to Goodwill

Not bad for my first foray into getting rid of things under therapy. I've gotten the game notes finished and need to fold the clothes that are on the bed and put them in the chest of drawers or hang them up in the half of the closet that's free before A calls about 12:40 am.

Closet before

An hour and a half of diligent effort. My plan originally was to start with the books. When I was over at YKWIA's earlier he pointed out that since I had been in intense pain for several days, this would be stuipid, and my therapist would understand if I didn't do repetitive lifting of anything heavy. He has a point. Instead I concentrated on the clothes, stuffed animals, bags, and various stuff. I filled up a 13-gallon bag with clothes, filled three boxes with shoes, toys, stuffed animals, belts, etc., threw away some things that were just not something you give away (dying underwear, old CPAP masques, etc.) There was a small bag of medication I missed for the Med Toss, but most of it was stuff they couldn't take, like nasal sprays. I just went ahead and threw those in the trash bag with the other things. I want them out of the house. I went through the rest of the clothes and purses and decided what to keep, all of which is in good repair except for one dress, which needs some attention, but is quite lovely and I wasn't going to part with it just yet, as it's totally fixable. I left my Sandman and Mummy shirts out of the pile to go, because I want to see if YKWIA wants them. I seem to recall taking them over before and he didn't, but they are his size, so I want to be sure.

So right now the top of the closet is completely taken care of. The bookshelf had some things that went, that weren't heavy, such as ankle braces, etc. Yes, the camel with the fez went, too. The stuffed animals are actually the hardest. Some things, not so much--the Rainbrow Brite horse is okay, because I didn't bond with it in childhood and actually when I got it the horse was part of some things set out, and I had no idea what it was till someone told me, as I never watched the show. But I managed to give a large elephant and several smaller stuffed animals away. Now I just have to load the trunk of my car with everything. The boxes are purposefully light. I'm not sure I want to actually take them to Goodwill right now, though--YKWIA pressed on my shoulders and back, causing me much pain but releasing a lot of the tension being held there. He suggested taking one of my muscle relaxants (I'm supposed to take three at night, so it was only 4 mg), when I got home, as it would wear off by the time I have to get A tonight, as I was worried about that. I then took a nap with the heating pad on and woke up feeling much better. I don't feel groggy or anything from the medicine and I've been working steadily without feeling sleepy.

On the other hand, I still need to do something with the clothes that are the bed. Some can be hung up, and I've cleared the chest of drawers, too. But I have to also work on the game notes, which shouldn't take too long, as we didn't play for very long because of Brenda's son's work schedule--maybe three hours, and it was down time. Still, I'm supposed to finish it by midnight on Saturday so I don't stay up till all hours. On the other hand, I'll be up till about 1:30 am anyway, getting A. But I think I'll work on the notes for awhile and then go back to the clothes, as I won't be able to sleep otherwise (most are on the bed).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Did I mention

That I got notice of my final day at my job at Shriners,  barring finding a new job before then?  My last day will be March 31, 2017--right after I reach 20 years there,  and two days before my 50th birthday. Somehow knowing the final date makes things more real--it saddens me and makes a cold pit of fear dwell in my stomach. I'm trying to not be anxious or depressed,  but it's hard,  especially with the other stuff going on right now.

Today I spoke with one of my bosses about the upcoming procedure and small (must remind myself of this) chance of a hysterectomy. She was very encouraging.  I should draw up a plan to complete the shuttering of the library using other personnel chipping in,  just in case.

Tonight I took my friends to the store and A to a meeting, and then came home and laid on a heating pad listening to Pandora on the bedroom Roku box.  I used the time to free up some space on my phone so I could download some updates. Between uninstalling and moving applications to the SD card,  I freed up about 2.5 GB. Yesterday I had a Marshmallow security update,  and it optimised 334 apps. That seems excessive.

Now I'm baking some herb bread.  It should be ready about an hour and a half from now. So, basically it's a quiet night.

Tomorrow I need to pick up some medicine from the pharmacy (on top of everything else yesterday,  I have a yeast infection due to a round of doxycycline for that spider bite). Then there's taking a friend to an appointment.  While he's there I'll try to work on the notes for Sunday's game,  assuming we play (it's Brenda's birthday).  I also plan to work on my closets in the bedroom tomorrow,  as that was my 'homework' from my therapist,  and I see him again on Monday.

Okay,  I'm going to lie down again and listen to music on my phone while the bread machine makes bread.  The heating pad helped,  but my neck is still having issues.  Good night.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'd said I'd update

although my neck pain is enough that I'll try to make this quick. Sigh. I'm still digesting the full-impact of what I was told, but here is the gist:
  1. The lining of my uterus is very thick, much thicker than normal, and that's a sign of possible endometrial hyperplasia.
  2. I have fluid inside my uterus, which may be some sort of fluid-filled polyp or the like.
  3. I have a couple of fibroids, nothing to worry about--they're benign--but they could be causing the bleeding.
  4. I have to have a biopsy of my endometrial lining to check for the hyperplasia, see what type it is, and check for precancerous or cancerous cells.
  5. The doctor tried to do a biopsy today, but:
    • I apparently have a very small, very closed cervix.
    • She could not get the instrument into it.
    • In order to dilate it, she will need to use another tool that will hurt. A lot.
    • Also, she might have to cut it somewhat, to get it open, so that will also hurt, a lot.
  6. As a result, I will have to have a hysteroscopy and D & C, so she'll open up my cervix, put a camera inside, take the biopsy, scrape the lining and remove the fluid. All of this will be done while I'm under, so I need a driver, and I'll need to take off work for a day, and I have almost no personal time off, due to going to doctors' appointments for me and a friend.
  7. Best case scenario: The endometrial lining is relatively normal, and does not show hyperplasia.
  8. Medium case scenario: I have endometrial hyperplasia, and have to have a special IUD placed inside my uterus for the next five years that will release progesterone, keeping the lining small, reducing the chance of developing cancer, and make my periods irregular and possibly stop.
  9. Worst case scenario: They find precancerous or cancerous cells, meaning I'll have to have a hysterectomy, be off work for two to six weeks depending on what type, may need a short hospital stay, and take care to recover well.
  10. I got sent home with a pill I'll have to use vaginally four hours before the procedure. Hopefully I won't lose it in the meantime. :) It will help my cervix loosen up a bit. They will call me with the appointment time and date as soon as it is scheduled.
I've always rather taken my lady parts for granted. Sure, I've had the hormonal imbalance found in polycystic ovarian syndrome all my adult life, but my periods were regular and everything seemed to work as advertised. I assumed that the symptoms I've described were the beginnings of perimenopause. I think my doctor's very good with instinct, and I'm glad she counselled having the ultrasound and getting checked out for this. At no point has any other gynaecologist even mentioned the chances of uterine cancer were higher due to diabetes, obesity, and PCOS. She said that was probably due to my lack of symptoms and regular periods. That's actually in my favour; the risk for cancer is there, but is much greater if you go for long periods without a period due to hormonal imbalance--too much oestrogen--(rather than pregnancy or breastfeeding, both of which lessen your chances of uterine cancer).

I know most likely it will all be okay. But this is the first time anyone has seriously thrown the 'C' word into play, and I'm a little scared. Scared of cancer. Scared of having minor procedure and then possibly major surgery, especially with so little time left in my job, almost no PTO (although my extended illness bank is great, so that would pay for all but three days of the recovery, so that's good), and with so little time left with insurance.

After I got back this afternoon, in the midst of the initial stages of panic, I called my best friend. Just hearing his voice was comforting. I knew he wouldn't sugarcoat anything, insist that everything would be fine, etc., but even though he is usually about as comforting as Sheldon from 'The Big Bang Theory', I find him comforting in times when I need him most. He calmed me down and urged me to take it one step at a time. Later, I went over there after work to help with a couple of things and he fed me; he's Jewish, what can I say, he comforts with food.

So I will not panic. I'll take information as I get it and weigh my options. Even if the cells are cancerous, I think the hysterectomy is normally sufficient, so long as it hasn't spread outside. Even worst-case scenario, it's not like I'd die the moment they tell me. But I have to admit, this just reiterates to me how precious time is.

I debated doing this update. It might complicate my job prospects, for example. I finally decided for one reason: if any of you are experiencing changes in your bleeding, spotting between periods, missing periods--even if you're of an age for perimenopause, I strongly urge you to seek medical advice. I'm glad that my gynaecologist, on my very first visit with her, immediately pursued this rather than just pooh-poohing me or assuming I was going through the change. I really appreciate her manner and candor. Her name is Dr Elizabeth Elkinson, with KentuckyOne Health.. If you're in the area, have these symptoms, or any of the reproductive system that just don't feel right, I would recommend her.

Okay, I think I'm going to go ahead try to relax, maybe listen to some music, and then turn in early. Good night.

Well, the ultrasound wasn't bad

Better than an external one on my legs that I had one time,  which hurt quite a bit in the trigger points near my groin.  They were running behind,  so I went back 15 minutes before my follow-up appointment with my GYN.  I'm in her waiting room now to get the results.

This morning,  I woke up about 5:30 and thought,  heh,  I'll stay up,  go to work early,  etc.  Then I moved,  and was in very bad pain (about an 8 1/2) and laid back down.  I woke up at 8:11 and had to call my boss and explain that I'd be a little late. The pain is a little better,  so long as I don't move much.

Okay,  I'm back in the room now,  so I should go.  I'll update later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On a 1 to 10 scale

where 10 is the highest, I've been having pain at about the 7 or 8 range. Despite this, and the difficulties concentrating, I soldiered on through work and doing some things for YKWIA and A. So now I've used the heating pad and am somewhat, just a tiny bit, better. Now I'm going to take the muscle relaxer my doctor prescribed and some pain reliever, and head to bed. I have been doing my exercises faithfully. I hope this flare-up ends soon. I'll go months without any trouble whatsoever and then have this happen, although this is worse than I remember. I don't have physical therapy until next Friday, I think. It's going to be a long week. And I had my allergy shots today, so I was itchy and in pain. Joy. Oh, well, I'm sure things will be better soon. In the meantime, I'll just keep soldiering on.

Tomorrow I have

a trans-vaginal ultrasound and a GYN appointment immediately thereafter to determine if I have endometrial hyperplasia. It's probably just as well that I'm having this done; I was supposed to start my period last week, and never had it, even spotting. While it could be just going into perimenopause, she thought there was a good chance that it is this, instead, as I am at a higher risk due to diabetes and polyscystic ovarian syndrome. If it comes back positive, that could mean treatment with progestin, a dilation and curettage (D & C), or worst-case scenario, maybe a hysterectomy. Since I have about nine months of health insurance through my job, it would good to find out now one way or another. I am a little nervous, I must admit. Wish me luck.

I don't know how

but I just got home, opened the windows, put on Pandora, and put my feet under my computer table, only to brush against something...moist and cold. At first I just thought maybe I'd dropped some eggplant last night, and I looked down, and it could have been that, but it looked, well, different. My mind was trying to tell me that a slug was not in my house, on my carpet, but that was what it was, little antennae going and slinking about to full length (about an inch and a half). It curled up when my foot brushed it. I guess it got through the window screen somehow. I'm sorry, I don't need a roommate: time for sluggie to go outside.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fifteen years ago today

I started this blog in the days post-9/11 with an post that was frustrated and annoyed, as I was just learning how to do it, spent time composing the perfect first post, and then lost it. I've gotten better since then, at least. Nearly 11,200 posts later, here I am. Thank you for reading. I know it's not earth-shattering stuff, usually. But I appreciate you all anyway.

This makes me think of my great-grandmother

who lived with Alzheimer's disease for fifteen years.


I filled up my medicine box, straightened up all my medicine bottles and put them in order of expiration, consolidated some, put the expired ones in a bag to go into the Med Toss they're having in Lexington on Saturday, and then got the clothes off the couch and went through a box of things and put them where they should be. I took the reusable bags that were in a pile in the living room, put them together in one bag, and put them in the hall closet, where they belong. Now I'm terribly hot. I have the windows open, but the breeze has stopped, and where I've been up and down, it's warm. That leaves one box of papers to go through later and a box of things to give away. I even managed to get the star-shaped fairy lights back up and turned them on for fun, which really hurt. I think that's enough for tonight. That just leaves a few things in the dining room on the table and finding a place for a few things that are stacked up in boxes in the bedroom (most of those being holiday decorations).

Eating the last of the Chinese food from Saturday

Which was garlic eggplant and tofu. Last night I finally got some much-needed rest. I'd been going to bed late, tossing and turning, not being able to get comfortable. I had physical therapy yesterday and YKWIA suggested my heating pad. So I took my mild muscle relaxer, put my pad beneath me (it turns off automatically after an hour, which is nice), and proceeded to fall asleep. I woke up about 4:30 in the morning without pain whatsoever. It was wonderful. It didn't last very long after I got up, even with a hot shower, but it helped me get some rest.

So this afternoon, I went to sleep on the heat again, supposedly for an hour, but it turned out to be two. Again, it's just great enough to let me sleep, but all I had to do was reach my hand up to about chest level and it hurts again. But hopefully that's a temporary thing. Now I'm awake, and I'm going to do some things around here, go through some things that didn't really get put away during the great clean up a week or two ago, that sort of thing. I'm listening to Ed Sheeran, which is conducive to that. I want to get the living room totally put away (There's not much to put away, so it's doable). I also need to get a few things ready for tomorrow, like filling up my medicine holder and the like. I watered all the plants once I got home, but I'd like to fill the aquarium as well. So, I have my evening planned out until bed, I guess. It's a quiet evening at home. I saw YKWIA earlier and took him on an errand, changed the pads under his cat litter box, and then we sat down and verified what was needed for a dinner we're having for a friend. The dessert will be baked here, as his oven's a little touchy, and while it works for most food, it's harder to bake when an oven needs adjusting. That'll be next week, so I have incentive to keep the house nice.

Okay, time to sort. I'll probably write later, but if not. Good night.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Here it is

I came very close to hitting a puppy today

I was on my way to YKWIA's,  and a dog with a leash came running in front of my car suddenly,  with a man chasing it.  I hit the brakes for everything I was worth. It activated my anti-lock brakes.  I managed to stop.  The man said thanks and kept running after the puppy. I had someone behind me,  so I drove on to my friend's house, shaking and crying the whole way--and that was having avoided hurting or killing the dog.

Which is one reason I cannot see the movie from the previews called A Dog's Purpose, as the trailer alone made me cry a lot.  I'll try to post it here.

Instead of playing Call of Cthulhu today

YKWIA,  Brenda,  and I went to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It was enjoyable,  although the book was so much better.  I did okay with most of the changes from the book,  but I really don't understand why Tim Burton switched Emma and Olivia's power of fire and air,  respectively.  And of course in the books the air power was limited to floating,  really.  But they did okay with it despite that.  The hollowghasts were well done. Anyway,  it was a nice outing,  and I used my cinema and concession passes from my annual employee appreciation gifts, so it didn't cost anything.  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A pretty active day

I have worked,  been to Costco,  Meijer,  Kroger,  to my friend's house,  to Jin-Jin,  back to his house,  and more,  finally,  I am home.  I am pooped.  And my feet hurt.  But look at my activity and walking stats,  plus I hunted down and brought home a reasonably-priced vacuum,  which I have put together and would love to go ahead and test,  but it is midnight.  On the other hand,  my upstairs neighbours are making some sort of sofa or bedspring bounce up and down above me in their living room,  a sound that cries 'sex'.  So they probably wouldn't notice.  The ones downstairs might,  though.  Oh,  well,  that will be tomorrow's fun. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Quotes for the day

“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”--Rod Serling

"Numquam magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit."  (Latin for "There is no great genius without a tincture of madness.") --Seneca

I forgot to mention

That there was a loose wire causing the problem with no hot water,  which has been rectified.  I still have the large fan they left,  though,  and while the floor seems dry,  I'm still running it just in case. I'm too tired right now to take a shower and stay up to let my hair dry (I don't really like blow drying,  to be honest). I'll take one in the morning. In the meantime,  I'm just going to chill for awhile.  Good night (for real,  this time).  :)

My goodness, this is so true...

Thanks to YKWIA, who showed me this, and a bunch of other videos about the sad death of intellectual freedom and critical thinking on campuses.

So this morning

I woke up and was hurting, and really looking forward to a nice, hot shower. I, however, remembered that the water had been cold the night before, so I tested the water before getting into the shower, only to find it very cold, indeed. Somewhat grumpy, I left a polite message asking for them to look at the water heater again, as the water hadn't heated up at all. This was about 5:30 am, long before they came in. Then I went over and woke YKWIA up for an 8:30 appointment (it takes awhile to get him going, and we were still somewhat late). After that, I dropped him off at another one and went on to work. Our benefits fair was going on, so after I checked my e-mail to make sure there was nothing urgent, I went and did that. A couple of hours later he called, I went and got him and took him home, then came back and did my afternoon work. After work, I went and paid my rent and got some gas, as I was on my gas light. I called around today and tracked down a grocery that actually carries hazelnut oil (Fresh Market on Tates Creek Road in the Lansdowne Shopping Centre), and I took him to get it, then to Kroger for a few things, and then home. He fed me some soup and bread, which was marvelous. Now I'm home. I had thought to go shopping for a vacuum cleaner, as I have a little stick one that does nothing, really, on my carpet, but I'm tired, I feel grimy, and I'm ready to relax and call it a night. I talked for awhile with my landlady today when I paid my rent. I guess the apartment passed muster. Yay. She's very pleasant. I know I'm not always the best tenant, but I've been here for a long time, and while I don't always pay on time, I do pay every month, and the full fees on top of it. So whatever she may think privately, she still chats with me and seems keeps any negative thoughts to herself. And when they did the inspection, they did find a leak around the toilet upstairs that hadn't been reported, so I came out looking a little better. :) Fortunately, it didn't make it down to my apartment.

Okay, I think I'll move to the bedroom, take the phone with me to plug up, put Pandora on the TV back there, and chill for a little while, then take my meds and go to bed. Maybe I'll read a bit, too. I'm going to try to get up early to make up some time from today at work. Good night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hadn't thought about it

But when I got up to go to the bathroom and went to wash my hands, there was air in the pipe and for a moment it ran brown, due to the water heater having been changed. It was also decidedly cold. I hope I won't be taking a cold shower in the morning. The temperature in the apartment is also pretty cool; I've had the windows all open and it's only 67 degrees outside.

I stopped by Kroger on the way home from PT earlier, to look for hazelnut oil for a friend, and took back the two 13-gallon bags of Kroger plastic bags. I'll put a bunch of reusable ones in the car for further trips.

It feels good to have a house that is somewhat orderly. For all that I tend to hoard, I actually get quite distressed by clutter. Some people never realise they have a problem; I do, immensely. Oh, don't get me wrong, often I don't realise 'just how bad' it's gotten, or I can be noseblind or somewhat blind to the clutter, too, as many people who hoard tend to underestimate their clutter. But it's a part of my life that's about control--I should have control over it, but I let my possessions control me. I'm not a materialistic person per se--they're not expensive or flashy by any means. But each item tends to have an emotional component assigned to it that most people wouldn't begin to do.

Ironically, hoarding is sometimes about trying to maintain a certain amount of control of one's environment, when one feels other things are not within one's control. Like the neat freak or someone with OCD or an anxiety disorder, compulsive hoarding and acquiring (for that's an important component that's often overlooked) is a means to keep others at bay. I know, for example, with myself, that it is an extension partly of my social phobia. If my house is 'out of control' and unpleasant, others will not set foot in it. It becomes my area alone, a sort of nest, when I don't need to worry about others interfering. That is one reason, I think, that hoarders get so terribly upset (sometimes to the point of crisis) if someone goes in and removes their clutter or things without their permission. Please, never do that to someone. One, it causes deep and lasting damage (I still remember having my dad throw out everything that wasn't in its place, and a few things that were, when I was a kid, and it was devastating, and only contributed to later problems). Two, it doesn't address the problem, or only addresses it temporarily. It does not change the behaviour, and often one finds the hoarder will then collect more things than ever before in an effort to seek that control that was taken away from them.

I think one of my problems is that, as a military brat, my things were regularly given away or thrown out without my consultation whenever we moved. I have very few things from my childhood, and things that were precious to me were tossed or given away without any real consent. I remember, for example, that the dress I graduated kindergarten in, which I had outgrown, was given to a neighbourhood girl that I didn't like at all, who'd been mean to me, and I resented it. Yes, I couldn't wear it, but it wasn't my decision to give it away, and if consulted, I would have chosen someone else.

For someone who has blocked out much of their childhood experiences, those still ring with emotion. My things were like friends. When I was young, living in Louisiana, we were uncharacteristically stationed at one base for six years. From age 6-12, I actually had some stability. Then I moved, losing my friends, and began a three-state journey with three junior high schools in that short of a time. It was a terrible time to have that upheaval, and I didn't really make many friends. I derived comfort from my things. Even as a small child, I'd been messy to the point of problems with my parents, who could not understand why I would not clean my room. In one way, it was a bit of rebellion. I was such an utterly good child. I was almost no trouble at all, because I put so much pressure on myself of being the 'good girl', the responsible one, the studious one. I was chatty when I was young, but shy with strangers as I got older. Looking back at it now, most of my childhood I was depressed and anxious, feeling unwanted and unloved, for the most part. Not having strong peer relationships (I usually had one friend or so at a time, at least until we (or they) were stationed again), I made relationships with books, in particular, and with generally useless objects, like pretty rocks, or stuffed animals.

When I went off to college, our tiny dorm room prevented me from being messy, except maybe under my bed, which lifted and hinged for storage. When I moved into an apartment with the man who would later be my ex-husband, we had a walk-in closet that we referred jokingly to as my 'hoard'. The apartment was cluttered, but he was a neat freak. So, things stayed in check. Then I divorced, moved out on my own, acquired over a very short time four more animals (I'd had one cat--then another because he was inconsolable at losing his sister, my ex-husband's cat), then a dog, a cat, and a dog.) That made things worse, as you can imagine. At one point I really did have paths through my tiny apartment, and things got pretty bad. Things are actually not nearly as bad in terms of clutter as they have been, and I've had several self-imposed purges and one eviction (not for hoarding, but being unable to pay for a larger apartment after having my work hours cut) to deal with since that. But the underlying behaviour has never changed. I'll be okay for about six months, and then it will start to creep in again. And I'm tired of it. I'm feeling buried under my things, both physically and emotionally, and that is why I sought out my therapist, who has specialised in anxiety disorders and uses cognitive behaviour therapy.

I probably shouldn't really be writing about such things, or posting pictures. I'm trying to find a job, after all, and a quick Google search will bring people here. But maybe I can help people understand what's going on a bit. I know people are fascinated with so-called reality shows and the like. I don't watch those. They may be uncomfortable in the extreme, because I recognise that I have the same problem, and I would never want my life so put on display like some sort of freak show.

I read in one of my books that as mental illness goes, hoarding may actually be much more common than other disorders. There are a lot of us quietly suffering, mostly in silence, in our own homes, in our own mess, afraid to let anyone in. And hoarding can have lasting effects on children growing up in that environment and on spouses of those who hoard. But a lot of us are on our own, with a limited support system. I'm lucky to have a friend who not only is very, very loving and who has helped nudge me to therapy, but who has experience with multiple cases of hoarding in his own family and so yes, on one level he gets it. But sometimes I say something that just floors him, because I don't think like other people, at least about possessions. And for all his experience in some ways, he's not a hoarder himself. He and my other friends tend to just think they could help by cleaning things up for me or helping me purge things. But it won't. This is going to be a slow process. My therapist said that in most cases he's encountered, people work on their hoarding problem for awhile but eventually fall away; perhaps parting with things becomes more painful than the motivation to change. I don't want to follow this road; of course, in about nine months I lose my health care benefit (and my job loss is six months away). So, at a time when my anxiety level is increasing, I'm possibly going to lose that chance at therapy. I've got to work as much as possible in the meantime, I think, if I'm going to reap the benefits of therapy. That's the idea, anyway.

I've rambled on for almost an hour. I think it's time to shut the windows, get ready for bed, retreat to the bedroom, and maybe do some reading before I fall asleep. Good night.


Much better.  It took hours,  but it was worth it.


Pretty bad,  as you can see.


The leak came from my water heater, which has now been replaced, my carpet has been cleaned in the hallway, and a large industrial-strength fan is drying it as we speak. Yay! I don't know why the water wasn't actually showing up in the closet that holds the unit, but hey. I Googled the life expectancy of a water heater, and it's 8-12 years. I'm in my thirteenth year here, and I've had one replaced before, but it's probably been about that. That one had a much bigger leak, which is part of what threw me off. But I couldn't figure out where else it could have come from, since the wet area was between my kitchen and bath. The closet with the heater is between those two rooms. I am glad I rent in this case, so it doesn't come out of my pocket. And I suppose the inspection went well.

I had a good deal of success in the cleaning. While the house wasn't spotless by any means, it was navigable. My bed is made. Anything that hasn't been put away is at the periphery of the rooms, stacked neatly, or on the couch or dining room table, and the latter are in boxes. However, I got three-and-a-half hours' sleep last night, and I'm really tired. I went to physical therapy after work and am very relaxed due to the manual therapy, and I think I'm going to lie down for a bit and rest, and then get up when it's time to take my meds and do that.

At least the apartment is now in a place that I can work on things a little at a time, starting with those closets, as my therapist suggested. But not tonight. Not at all. Heading to the bedroom for some quiet time. :)

PS I searched my blog for the last time the water heater went out, and it was actually ten years ago, September of 2006. So that wasn't too bad. And it didn't get quite so wet. The new one is a Whirlpool and looks all bright and shiny. :)

Time to go to bed

And work some more in the morning.  My plan is to get up at 5 in the hope that I'll definitely get up by 6 am.  I've put the bedclothes in a pile.  The bed is cleaned off.  I'll take out the trash and recyclables in the morning,  and try to straighten up a bit more.  But while there's definitely clutter,  the trash is gone. It amazes me how much I had to work on the bedroom just to separate the things to go and the things to keep (for now,  anyway). It's a start.  Considering I still had the boxes of Yule ornaments out under everything,  this has been about ten months in the making.  The library books are now together,  except one to go back,  which is next to the front door with my purse and keys.  I've done what I can,  for now. My neck is bothering me,  but I daren't take the muscle relaxer,  but I will take some ibuprofen.  And I need some water before I go to bed. Good night.


asked me to come over for just a few minutes because he was having trouble getting the DVD player in the bedroom work through the VCR. It usually is never 'just 10 minutes', but I went on over about 7 or so, he showed me something interesting on the computer, I fixed the problem in the bedroom, and was probably out of there in 15 minutes, anyway. I think that's a world record. :) I stopped by Kroger and got some caffeinated soda and some Airwick plug-in air fresheners, plus some cash for tomorrow (I had to eat in the cafeteria on credit today because the ATM at my bank was out of cash, the other was down temporarily, and ours at work was acting up). So I'll need to pay for stuff tomorrow. I came on home a little after 8 pm, and was feeling a little overwhelmed by my bedroom. I didn't properly start working on it till about 9:30 pm. However, I have been working with nothing more than a pee break for about three and a half hours. I have excavated the floor; the clothes are in either hampers (the small one for the dirty, the large one for clean, or in the closet in a pile, but out of sight. I can close all the closet doors. I have filled up two bags of trash and about the same of recyclables, once I transfer the ones in the container to a bag. The bed is piled high, but almost everything is 1) Christmas boxes that originally should have been (but weren't) in the closet, handbags, and reusable tote bags. Oh, and the bedding to change everything into. So I still have some work to do. I haven't done anything to the dining room at all yet tonight. I am not particularly sleepy--apparently resting earlier gave me a bit of renewed charge. I'm not sure I'm going to get any real sleep tonight. I've been listening to Ed Sheeran on my Bluetooth headphones, which, nice to know, work even in the living room when my phone is charging on my bedside table. So I'm drinking a cool drink and sitting for just a few minutes. I don't want to lose momentum. I desperately need a shower--I may take one before going to bed, since the bedding will be clean and happy. I usually shower every morning, but since I took a late shower yesterday, I decided to risk it this morning and wait. Okay, back to working on the bedroom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I had a good session with my therapist

I'd sent him the pictures I'd shown him before and in the e-mail told him about the upcoming inspection. He pointed out that they weren't inspecting my housekeeping, but rather checking to make sure the windows could be opened, there were no active leaks, changing the filters, that sort of thing. I feel a little better. The plan is still to clean tonight, but I'm not going to kill myself, but rather try to do what I can to make it look habitable and allow them full access to the apartment.

I had thought to rent a Rug Doctor machine, but I'm concerned that the leak may be ongoing. It had pretty much dried, but there was more last night. I'm going to call them tomorrow to check it out. I told my therapist that of course that would mean admitting that I didn't call before. He said to just tell them that I didn't think the leak was ongoing and I had thought I'd taken care of it (which is true).

He wants me to start the actual process of overcoming hoarding by beginning with my bedroom closets. Part of my problem is that I simply do not have the room to put things that should go into closets there, like clothes, because I have a bookshelf in one and a shelving unit full of things like cables and electronic stuff that I haven't used in years, waiting for that time when they 'might be useful', in the other. These need to be gone through and removed to make the closets useful again. He suggested this because he found that people who hoard generally have no place to move the truly useful things to, and then bog down and just rearrange it (as my friend calls it, the tidal method of cleaning).

It's going to be a busy night. Here's my plan of attack:

Begin in the bedroom. Put things that are on the bed in their places. Change the sheets and make the bed (all the bedclothes are on the floor, taking up space). Put all the clothes that are on the floor on the bed and in their hampers. Fold the clean ones; put the others aside for laundry. Put what I can away in drawers and in the small part of the closet that is free. Put the things to go up above in the closet there. Close the closets. Throw away any trash and recycle whatever I can. Neatly place things either in their place or at least temporarily have them out of the way of reaching the window.

Then I need to go back to the dining room. For that, I think it would be best to just dump things into paper boxes to be sorted later, and put them stacked up in the living room near a bookshelf or something. Once I get that free, it means later I can fill the aquarium (although not necessarily tonight).

Next is to finish the little bit of the living room and sweep/mop the linoleum and vacuum the carpet. I think the Rug Doctor would take too much time. If the leak is ongoing, it needs to be fixed first, anyway. I'm still owed a free carpet cleaning for continuing my lease. Maybe I'll just do that, as the cleaner and solution would be about $45 otherwise.

Okay, I know I'm better at planning with good intentions rather than doing. I definitely need to go ahead and start. It's nearly 7 pm now.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I just cooked for some friends at their house

It was butternut squash pasta sauce over gemli tuscani pasta, with some bread, oil, balsamic vinegar, and dipping spices. It was actually quite good. I was nervous about making dinner, and YKWIA had to direct me a little on certain things. The sauce I'd gotten from Costco, and was very, very good. Everything else came from Kroger, where they'd been doing a 'Taste of Italy' promotion. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Now I'm home. I'm a little behind on the cleaning, although the bath and kitchen look great, the living room is basically okay. I need see about the dining room tonight, and tackle the biggest problem (the bedroom) tomorrow. Also, the hallway had dried, but it seems to have gotten wet again, and I don't know how, so I'm going to call tomorrow and aks them to take a look at it. The bedroom won't be finished, but I can close the door. At least you can actually get in and out of the apartment without obstruction now.

I see my therapist tomorrow. I just sent him the pictures I'd taken to show him last time (he wanted them on the computer), and I included information about the inspection coming up, and also took a picture of the bathroom, which he hadn't seen. I'm looking forward to our session. Then the idea is to go home and finish the bedroom. Like I may have said, I'm not really getting rid of much; just the trash and recyclables and certain things such as the box of jars I gave a friend and some of those Kroger bags for the kitty litter. I'll recycle the ones he didn't have room for; they're still out in the car's trunk.

Okay, back to what I was doing....

Saturday, October 08, 2016

This is what the living room looked like a couple of weeks ago

It was worse when I started tonight. I'll post when I have it finished.

And even when I get this room finished,  there are four more to go.

Two and almost one-half hours in...

I'm pooped. I took the trash and recyclables out, which had filled up the living room floor in bags. There were two of each, one each from the living room and kitchen. The actual trash can is almost full (I trimmed some dead leaves off the plants, too), but I didn't take it out yet because I want to add the trash from the bathroom. I went ahead and watered all the plants inside, too.

It's not quite great yet, but it's getting there. There is some stuff to do before I go to bed, although I doubt I'll get a lot more done:
  1. Move all dishes to the kitchen.
  2. Move food (from various grocery bags) into the kitchen.
  3. Put the clean plastics back in their old cabinet (I had aimed to put them under the microwave in that cabinet, but it needs to be cleaned out and I don't have the time right now).
  4. Cut up a pineapple and put it into a container for tomorrow.
  5. Put together the fixings for butternut squash pasta that I have for tomorrow. I'm going to treat YKWIA, since he's been sharing his food with me quite a bit.
  6. Clean the toilet. I got some new cleaner today at the store.
  7. Get all the trash out of the bathroom and into the kitchen trash can. I'll take that out tomorrow morning, or when I get A tonight.
  8. Gather up the dirty laundry to do tomorrow so I don't run around like a maniac in the morning.
  9. Move into the bedroom.
  10. Clean the bed off a bit.
  11. Open the bedroom window for a little while. I will get a call about 12:40 am from A asking for a ride from work, so it's not like, if I fall asleep, that I'll sleep with it open all night. I used to do that occasionally when I had a dog to alert me. Since I live alone and live on the ground floor, that's not such a good idea anymore. It's a nice neighbourhood, but you can never count on that.
  12. Listen to some music and relax.
Okay, I'm going to grab some cold water, hydrate, and start that list of tasks.

I'm an hour in

And the trash can is about three-quarters' full, the recycling bin is full, there's another bag of recyclables and trash in the living room, a bunch of plastic bags from Kroger, a paper copy box full of things to keep, a small pile of things to shred, and two boxes of things to give to others (one whole box of bottles and jars to go to YKWIA, a cookbook for him, and a few other things to go to Goodwill. So, I am making progress. I'm listening to Ed Sheeran's + and x albums, and right now is one of my favourite--a song that sounds upbeat but is actually quite sad--'Small Bump', about a father's visions of bonding with his unborn child, who miscarries. That's from +. Although I do like 'Sing' from x, my favourite is 'Afire Love', about his grandfather's Alzheimer's disease and growing up with someone fading from them day by day--I can relate, as my great-grandmother lived with the disease for over fifteen years. I also really love 'I See Fire'. Okay, I took about a ten minute break and had some cashews I found in a bag. Back to the grind.

Oh, one quick thing...I have no idea why, once I started using Bluetooth--on a tower speaker and my headphones--that the various music players I was using to play the music on my SD card alphabetised the songs, which I found annoying (I like them in track order, and some are musicals or concept albums, where it matters), and couldn't find a solution that was particularly good online, but I found a player called Stellio that doesn't do it, and you can CHOOSE to sort various ways, including alphabetising and track or folder order, or if you're playing music from different musicians, you can choose to do it by musical artist [you can also sort in reverse order for all of those]. It was $1.90 for the key to unlock the free version, and also has a built-in sleep timer, and unlike Equalizer+, which I liked, doesn't mess up the album cover art randomly on Marshmallow. It also plays the music without the pause between tracks that so many music players do. That's great, because some albums, such as Linkin Parks's A Thousand Suns, have music that purposefully blend into each other, and it's annoying to have a pause in between. I've only had it for a day or so, but I recommend it.

Well, I'm home, and while that took longer than I expected

(doesn't it always), I think I'm ready to tackle the living room for awhile. A called me right after I wrote earlier, so I have to start with the trash, etc. I think I'll put the windows up while I work. On the one hand, that means people can see in and see just how messy things are, but it'll be more comfortable with the cooler temperatures. I also need to water the plants tonight; they're looking a bit peaked. Okay, I've eaten and my I'm all out of excuses. To work!

Okay, I sort of did panic

After I blogged, I went to take a friend home from another's, and told them about it. Then I came home, thinking to get started, and just felt overwhelmed by my living room and retreated to the bed and listened to music instead, then went to bed early thinking to get up early, which didn't work at all. Today I had to be over to a friend's house at 10 to take him to an appointment. While he was taking a shower I put together a plan for action. On the way back, I stopped by Kroger to price Rug Doctor machine rentals and cleaner, and to buy some cleaning supplies. He should be out soon, and then I have a few small things to do at his house. After that, the plan is:
  • Saturday
    1. Living Room
    2. Finish Kitchen
    3. Bathroom
  • Sunday
    1. Dining Room
  • Monday
    1. Bedroom
  • Tuesday
    1. Bedroom
    2. Rent Rug Doctor and do floors
  • Wednesday--Inspection!
I'm going to basically start at the entryways of each room and work from there. I should have more time today than any other; that's why I have three rooms on the agenda (and there's not a lot to do in the kitchen). The bedroom is the worst, so it gets two nights. I know I can't get the apartment in great shape, but I'll do what I can. I don't really expect to get rid of much--that's something that's going to take therapy. But I can at least try to get things in their places. The first step is to take the trash from the kitchen trash can out, as well as the recyclables in the kitchen container, to make room for stuff that's going to go into them when I start. I might be able to at least do that till one of my friends calls to be taken home.

Friday, October 07, 2016

I will not panic, I will not panic...

Five days. I have five days to make this place look like it belongs to a neat, sane person (or at least as close as a hoarder with certain issues can).

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I am reading a book on my Kindle that dovetails nicely

with the workbook I got for therapy, as two of the authors are the same. It's called Buried in Treasures, and a lot of the self-evaluation carries over to the workbook. This has good suggestions for going through and working on the house a little at a time. I brought a copy paper box home today, to go with one I had already, and I want to set up a staging area in the living room and have four containers: the trash can, the recyclables container, a box of things to keep, and a box of things to give away. At the end of each session, I'll put away the things to keep, and then just keep emptying the trash and recyclables as needed, leaving me with things to get rid of that are still useful (to someone else). I'm going to set a timer and try to increase my time of sorting each day. I'd like to read a little more of the book tonight, and start tomorrow, first taking out the trash and recyclables that are already in their containers. So I have a plan, of sorts. I need to do it without distractions, although my first thought was to listen to music to help me 'clean'. This is different than cleaning. This is sorting and making decisions on the way items should be discarded or kept. I'm hoping by the time I see my therapist that I've made a good start, between the assessment in chapter two of the workbook and the work on the house. If I can do a little every day, even if it's just a half hour or so, then I can do a lot. I've told my friend that I'll be weeding books soon, and he's got first dibs. After he's had a chance, I'll give them to the public library (since I can't get even a dollar a book from Half Price Books for brand new books, grrr.)

Today, before Costco, I went and dropped off a friend's bill and while I was there paid mine. Then I put a cheque he'd given me to reimburse me for some things into the bank. At Costco I tried to not impulse-buy, and got just a few things I knew I'd use, like orange juice, bagels, cheese (those Frigo Cheeseheads I take to the game are $9.99 for 60, as opposed to $6.89 for 16 at Kroger), and crackers. Oh, and I found some butternut squash pasta sauce that sounded good, and I have a lot of pasta right now. I can make that and take it to work for lunch.

Okay, I'm going to go do some reading, charge my phone, and listen to music. Good night, in case I don't write anymore tonight.

My phone (and Samsung Health) did something it's never done before tonight

I went to Costco and explored some more, since I was interrupted last time. My phone decided that I was doing a workout and once detected, saved the particulars (3.3 mph, 0.8 miles, 14 minutes 31 seconds total, with 113 calories burned). :) That puts me at 83 minutes total activity for the day, and 8,210 steps, 4.40 miles, and 742 calories burned. Not bad, really.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

So I'm back in physical therapy

and while Jeremy, my therapist, doesn't think I have a pinched nerve, my pulse goes away (this has a name I didn't catch) when my arm is brought up or back, on both sides, so there's compression near some of the muscles where my neck, shoulder, and chest meet. He did some deep tissue massage and showed me a couple of stretches that would help. I go back next week and I've also scheduled for the week after to coordinate with a friend I take to the same place. I'm feeling lots of tingling now.

Last night I lay down and was pretty much gone for the night. I'd almost gotten the kitchen straightened out, and I thought about maybe getting up early this morning (I was shooting for 4:30 am, since I'd gone to bed so early, but alas, that never seems to work out. Instead I got some much-needed rest. I'll try to wash the plastic dishes tonight and wipe down the counters, then take the trash out tomorrow when it's light outside. Oh, and the recyclables. I really should sweep and mop as well. But otherwise, the kitchen is looking much better.

Tomorrow, thankfully, there are no appointments (we had three between us today, although in two places). I'm going to over to YKWIA's for a little while, but tonight we're both tired, so I came on home. I really just feel like going on to bed, but it really is too early and I have stuff to do. I could try to go into the bedroom for maybe a half an hour, but we both know if I do that I'll probably just fall asleep. Still, it's very tempting....

Monday, October 03, 2016

Have to sit down for a minute

Well, I've corralled just about every dish I own, and the ones that can go in the dishwasher are washing at the moment. I've put things away, gone through all the cabinets and drawers looking for the bottom piece of the blender carafe, without luck, and all I have left to do is do the plastic dishes, wipe down the horizontal surfaces, including counter tops, stove, and my wooden kitchen island, and take out the trash, since I filled it cleaning out the refrigerator.

It's a start, anyway. I'll try to work on the bathroom when I finish that. But right now, I'm going to water the plants with the water from my Brita pitcher (it recommends doing that for the first three fills, rather than drinking it, because the new filter needs to get all the carbon dust out of it), and then just kind of stretch out my back for maybe a half-hour. But then I should work on the book review. In fact, I should take one more look at the book while I'm resting.

Saw this, by the way

I've never played Cards Against Humanity, although I find the idea intriguing. But then I saw this, and I'm thinking their name is somewhat ironic, because they're trying to protect us from evil.

Can A Popular Card Game Stop Donald Trump?

A good day

Today was pretty decent. Unlike Friday, when I overslept and ran out of the door without bothering to even comb my hair (I noticed in the rearview mirror on the way, at least), I was up a little early, got to work right on time, and had a busy and fairly productive day, which was pretty decent considering I spent most of the weekend over at a friend's helping him cook and cleaning his house. I got to eat some of what we cooked last night, and it was great. The butternut squash which I'd groused about because I hate peeling winter squash, and there were five of them, was wonderful, with sauteed garlic and onions mixed in. There was escarole surprise soup--the surprise being that it was actually spinach, as the store didn't have escarole. :) I went over after work today to finish the floors (I'd put off mopping since I figured I'd get potato skins on the floor anyway, as yesterday was a potato broccoli cheddar casserole.) But he was expecting company, and I'd forgotten, so I took my groceries (I'd stopped by to get a decent container for soup, and got a few things for dinner), and came home--which works out perfectly, because I have to 1) finish a book review for The Journal of Hospital Librarianship that's due today and 2) I need to at least do the dishes (yes, I didn't manage that Sunday), and I plan to work on the kitchen and the bathroom. Because I was bringing in groceries, the first thing I did upon getting home was clean out the refrigerator and put it in order. I found some Greek Gods yoghurt at Kroger that I'd tried, it was a new flavour--chocolate cherry--and there was some marked down. I also got salad makings and the spring mix with herbs was marked down. Oh, and sourdough bread, the Goldminer's brand I like, was in the bargain area, so I got it and I had some for dinner with havarti cheese and dressing.

I also want to sit down and do some reading about hoarding, and prepare for my next session (which isn't until the 11th, but hey, it's something that I need to do). I fixed the notebook yesterday, of course, with tabs for each chapter. But I haven't really read through any of it yet; I've just taken the assessment.

One of my co-workers showed me the 'Saturday Night Live' sketch with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. He did such a good job. I really enjoyed it. You should watch it.

Okay, I've got Pandora on, the Bastille channel, and I'm going to work on the kitchen. I think I'll switch from the TV to my headphones and phone, so I can move about. I'll probably write later.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

So late Thursday night

I came home to find my carpet in the hallway mysteriously wet. My air conditioning hadn't leaked, my kitchen and bathroom were dry, and there was no sign of leak from above, although that must have been where it came from. This is where being a hoarder whose home is in the condition of say, moderate hoarding at the moment, is definitely a problem, because of course the first thing a normal person would do is call maintenance (the perk of not accruing equity in a house, but paying rent) and they'd come over with a wet-dry vacuum or something like that. But I didn't. And it wasn't so wet that I thought it would dry by morning, or least by Friday night.

I think that was wishful thinking. And of course, being a librarian, I am familiar with the temperatures and timelines of mould growth, although fortunately we've had cool fall temperatures the last couple of days.

Yesterday was spent with errands for my friend and cooking several things for the week for him, but today I'm actually free till about 12:30 or 1 pm. So...the first thing I did on my agenda, after sleeping late till 10:00 (I didn't get home till 1:30 last night, picking up A), was check my finances to see about renting a Rug Doctor machine from Kroger, when I remembered that I have a small (very small) machine from the days of when I had cats and dogs that vacuums wet stuff up. It's a Bissell Spotlifter, and while small and close to the ground, not meant for a yard of wet, it did work pretty well. I got quite a bit of water out of the carpet (it holds about half a gallon in its tank, and I took out one and a half of those), and using the cleaner will probably help, as well. So we'll see if it can dry completely now. If not, I can go ahead and get a bigger machine that will go deeper. But this had good suction, lifting the carpet and pad slightly, so I'm hoping it's sufficient.

On the hoarding front, I got the book that my therapist requested I get, It's called Treatment for Hoarding Disorder Workbook (there's also a therapist's guide, and he has the last edition, while this is the second, and he said he'd get that, which sort of indicated I'm the only active hoarder he has at the moment). The authors are Gail Steketee and Randy O. Frost. I have a book on my Kindle by them, called Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding, also in the 2nd edition, and written along with David F. Tolin, who is listed first in the authors. I went ahead and put together a notebook for therapy, dividing it into various sections that go along with the book. Rather than write in the book, since many pages will be used multiple times, I photocopied the second chapter's assessment pages (the first of the exercises), and did a self assessment, and will go over it with my therapist next time. The notebook is big enough that the workbook can fit in there as well. It's a plain black binder, so I'll need a place to keep it that I own't lose it. Right now I've got it in my backpack, because I want to read the first chapter thoroughly before going back to therapy in a week and a half.

Today we're going to cook some more and I'll do my laundry over there. So I need to get together some laundry. And maybe, just maybe, I'll work on the bathroom or kitchen today, because frankly, my home is getting not just messy, but dangerous, as things are strewn all over the place. :( Just doing the water pickup earlier was risky; there was going between the wet carpet and linoleum, as well as the whole bumping into things trying to throw stuff away or empty the machine. Not good. And really, if I'm going to rent a carpet cleaner, I'd rather rent it for the whole carpet, and that's not doable right now. I am going to try to marginally improve, at least, before the next meeting with the therapist, though. I just have so much to do lately, the apartment has had to take a back burner, and even when I'm here, I'm overwhelmed and tired. So I don't do anything. Maybe I can get some things done this morning--at the very least, dishes. Yes, I'll start with dishes. :)