About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One Step Forward, How Many Back?

It's been a difficult and disappointing week here at Chez Chaos ...

J catered a big party last weekend.  Apparently the party itself was a great success, her food was a huge hit with the crowd, and the word-of-mouth advertising will certainly pay off in the long term.  However ... the friend who was helping her with setup and cleanup wasn't really paying attention, or something.  Whatever her reason, all the clean kitchen utensils got wrapped in dirty, damp towels before going into the bins for transport back here, and some containers of food that should have been in the cooler were down in the bottom of the "clean stuff" bin as well.  Now, due to a hectic work schedule, J didn't get to unpacking what should have been a bin full of clean, dry things until Friday.  Result:  mildewed towels, moldy food, and two sinkfuls of dishes and utensils to be scrubbed free of mold and disinfected.  Between all of that and a massive post-birthday-celebration hangover, J is not a happy chef this weekend.
My workplace was seriously understaffed all week, due to one vacation and one nasty case of flu.  Between working through lunch and staying late every night, by the time I got home in the evenings I didn't have the energy for anything other than wolfing down a sandwich and collapsing into bed.  So nothing got done here on ongoing projects, and nothing by way of housework other than the absolutely unavoidable minimum of animal care, dishes and laundry.  To make the week even more hectic, our highest-volume ocean terminal lost all their computer systems for three days, which meant I was deluged with phone calls from truckers who couldn't get what they needed because "the terminal has no record of it".  Every one of those calls meant I had to print out what was originally booked, call the terminal, and read it to someone who would them write it down and send someone to the main gate with it.  Every three minutes. For three days.  On top of a doubled-plus workload.  Fortunately, the usual IBS reaction to stress held off until Saturday  -  which was a blessing at the office but has kept me from accomplishing much of anything at home this weekend.  Even the sweater that I'd hoped to have finished by now is still in pieces in my knitting bag. 

One of our downstairs tenants is having a really hard time finding work, and for the last two months they've only paid half the rent.  I'm sympathetic, but at the same time the money shortage is more stress we really don't need right now.  I'm going to sit back and let Big Guy deal with them about it; I already have more than enough stress to keep my innards in an uproar.  But if we don't see some more money from them this week, I may resort to cutting off the cable television and internet to the suite  -  after all, both are included in the rent, and so (in my view) have not been paid for.  "Need" internet access to look for a job?  It's free at the public library, which is within walking distance.

I've also come to the unhappy realization that no matter how much organizing and purging I do, there will never be enough space in my workroom to do what I'd like to be doing in here; the room is just too small.  The only way to create enough space would be to move everything I work with to another part of the house, and that's just not an option.  Somehow, I just can't see myself climbing the ladder to the attic to go through boxes every time I need a reference book or a spool of thread ...

We're not sure if this spring is really colder and wetter than usual, or if we're perceiving it that way because every time we finally have a little time to work on the garden, it rains.  In either case, it's frustrating ... we'll go outside and get started on something, and within ten or fifteen minutes the weather changes and drives us back under cover.  Eventually it will all get done; it's just hard to maintain any enthusiasm for it when progress is measured in slow, damp inches.

There were a few bright spots in all the gloom, though ... 

J was very happy with her birthday gifts; I gave her a gift card to her favourite frilly-girly-girl lingerie store and a month's supply of transit tickets, and Big Guy is taking her shopping for three new pairs of jeans.

The ornamental trees downtown are all bursting into bloom, and tomorrow is supposed to be fairly nice weather-wise, so I've already tucked my camera in my bag.  Every year I tell myself I'm going to get pictures when the trees blossom, and every year I either forget the camera, or it rains, or both.  This year, I'm ready!

Sister S and I get together at Mom's on Wednesday evening instead of the usual Friday, and it was a really nice evening.  I had to leave pretty early, but Mom had some good news for a change ... although the changes are small and slow, her health is gradually improving.  She may never get all the way back to where she was two years ago, but the improvement is noticeable now, and gives hope for more.  We're all very happy for her, and looking forward to doing more with her in the future.  Maybe another road trip ...

Friends D and J came over Saturday night as usual, and we had a very pleasant, relaxing time with several episodes of "The Mentalist".  When we run out of episodes we might move right on to "Stargate SG-1", or possibly take some time out for a few board game nights.  Either way, fun evenings with good friends, and without spending money  -  it's all good.  Next week it's my turn to provide the snacks, so there will either be homemade cookies or coffee cake, or maybe a big tub of popcorn and a plate of homemade fudge.  Good times on the cheap!

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