Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Give me liberty, or... actually, just give me liberty. Please.

So, last week was school vacation.  For the last few days of the break, we had seven (7) overnight guests at the Sandyshoes house.  I don't have a huge house, so it was sort of an ambitious undertaking, but it went quite well.  The guests are lovely people and we were happy to have them stay with us.

As happens after hosting houseguests, I have extra sheets and towels to wash, in addition to the regular household laundry, which I do all on Mondays because I hate having it drawn out for the whole week. 
Sunday night, for the first time in -- 3 years?  4 years?  ever? -- the Peanut wet her bed.  So, more sheets need washing, plus PJs, a duvet cover, mattress pad, and a down comforter.   Not good fun, but not a big deal, until:  Monday morning, my washing machine was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the bearings.  

Monday afternoon, Mr. Sandy wished me luck and left for the west coast, to hobnob with his fellow oceanographers at an annual conference.

With nothing to lose, I kept running the washer until it truly blew its innards.  Laundry sorting became triage, as every load could have been its last.  I got a fair bit done until it well and truly quit, which it of course did mid-cycle, and refuses to pump out.  So I have a load of wet soapy sheets in there.  Not bad though, and we did get 10 years out of it, which I'm told is unusual these days, although why that should be I don't know.  Are new machines crap, or do people just abuse them?  Whatever.  We need a new one.  

As of Monday evening we appeared to be in good shape.  Most of the laundry was done, the rest could wait until we get a new machine after Mr. Sandy gets back. With a husband like him, I don't go hiring people to install things.  So, not a big deal, until:  This morning at 4:30 the Peanut wet her bed again.  Now I have mattress pad, sheets, PJs, duvet, comforter to wash again -- and no washer.  

I gave her a bath and put her to sleep in the Bean's bed, and the Bean in with me.  Going back to sleep I didn't feel right.  Stomach thing coming on?  I tried to chalk it up to being woken from a deep sleep, but you know how you can just tell... ugh.
Kids off to school on time this morning but I am feeling wretched, though trying to deny it.  A bowl of Cheerios later I know for sure I have a stomach thing.  Cancelled yoga, cancelled piano (oh I know, boo hoo).  Back to bed with an alarm set to meet the Peanut's bus midday.  For some reason I still thought that an hour's nap would make it all better; it didn't.  Feeling really weak, I drove up the street to pick her up, with a plastic bag on the passenger seat Just In Case.  Back home, immediately to the couch.  I heard the Peanut pulling a stool around the kitchen gathering ingredients for making her own PB&J for lunch ("Mommy I can spread but not cut... is it OK if it isn't in little squares?").  Then she put blankets over me, and popped The Lion King in the VCR.  We set an alarm to wake me to meet the Bean's bus.  I fell asleep sobbing for loving her so much and feeling so bad. 

I had some crazy-ass dreams of  floods and car accidents in the front yard, and someone riding a wheelchair into my living room and hollering that my game of Monopoly is actually hers, and who knows what else. 

Then we drove up the street again to get the Bean, because I still didn't think I could walk the 500 feet, or whatever it is.  Peanut said I seemed a little better to her, which is frankly not saying much, but it's better than nothing.  Somehow I manage to help the Bean "build a weather instrument" for her homework.  My stomach feels rotten and my head hurts.  Need to drink some water.

Later I hear a cry of dismay from the Peanut's room - for the first time since learning to use the toilet, she's wet her pants (and, naturally, the carpet).  So add more pee-soaked clothing to the growing pile.  But of greater concern, I now think there's something really amiss with her.  The on-call nurse says to give her a bath with a cup of white vinegar in it -- although she doesn't know why this would help -- and bring her in to the office in the morning. 

So that's our plan.  White vinegar in the bathwater, check.  Dirty laundry accumulating in a pile until I can think straight about how to deal with it, check.  Get the Peanut to the doctor to see what's up with her bladder.  Drink some water and get myself to bed again, and hope to feel better in the morning.  Somewhere in there I fed the girls dinner.  One advantage to having had a ton of houseguests is that I now have plenty of delicious leftovers. 

In I-wish-it-weren't-related news, there is a laundromat opening in our town soon.  I drove by it today, hoping it was ready for business.  Signs are up... LIBERTY LAUNDRY, with an American flag/Statue of Liberty theme (give us your soiled?)... and the washers appear to be in, but the sign on the door still says COMING SOON.  Not soon enough for me, maybe, but I'm glad to see this business in town.  When I first moved here in '99, I didn't have a washer/dryer in my apartment, and though I usually brought it to the soon-to-be-Mr.-Sandy's house, there was a laundromat in town I could use in a pinch.  It's since gone out of business, and I've been wondering what people do.  LIBERTY LAUNDRY (I think you have to say it in all caps like that) to the rescue. 

Anyhoo.  Here's hoping for a dry overnight for the Peanut, and a settled stomach and decent energy level by the morning for me.  That'll feel like liberty enough.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I guess I took a month off - but only from blogging.

Hey there, reader(s).  Sorry to leave you with kind of a downer of a post back on 1/21.  I hadn't intended to go on blogging hiatus -- it just happened.  Mostly for good reasons, the first of which is that I seem to have gotten myself back in the habit of using my treadmill in the mornings, which means I have to -- have to -- get to bed earlier than I had been, and that cuts into blogging time until I work it into the day some other way. 

I have absolutely no excuse not to exercise regularly. When Mr. Sandy finished our basement, he built me a little room specifically for the treadmill and yoga mat.  I painted it a nice light purple that I love, and I have a TV and DVD player set up in there, and it's perfect.  But as much as I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that even my paltry workouts bring, that's not enough motivation to do them.  I have yet to experience these legendary endorphin releases that exercise fans say make them feel so great.  What motivates me is the satisfaction of it being my routine to put my own health first in the day.  I like to be up before I have to explain to anyone what I'm doing or how long I'm going to be and that I won't hear them if they try to talk to me from another room (another awesome thing about my exercise room is that it's well-insulated.  I put the TV volume pretty loud to hear it over the 'mill, and it doesn't bother anyone else in the house).  I like to be done with the exercise chore -- maybe someday it won't feel like a chore, but I'm a long way from there yet -- before facing the rest of the day. 

Also, exercise time is TV series time.  That's how I got started with The Sopranos a while back.  I never had HBO, so the show was already long over by the time I started watching it on DVD, but I was totally hooked, from the first episode's very first note of opening music.  So hooked that one evening, unable to wait another 10 hours to see what happened in the episode I'd started that morning, I brought the DVD up from the exercise room to finish watching it.  Mr. Sandy walked past, and then he was hooked, and from then on we watched The Sopranos together ("wanna watch someone get whacked?" we'd say).  Which was good fun, but I still needed something to watch from the treadmill.  So this resurgence of morning exercise has meant looking for a new series to get hooked on, and to guard jealously against Mr. Sandy getting hooked on as well.

I started with The Wire.  While I appreciated the excellent writing and some charismatic performances, after three episodes I was thoroughly bored with the Baltimore drug/crime scene, and there didn't appear to be any other facets to the show.  One of the reasons Sopranos was soooo goooood is that it was a dense, dense drama, covering all kinds of ground at once.  The Wire was a yawn by comparison. 

Then I tried True Blood, which has an intriguing premise (with the invention of synthetic blood, vampires come out to live openly among us), but -- and this is an odd criticism, coming from me -- it's kind of gross, actually. I don't like the opening with all the crazy religious fanatic imagery, and the baby in Ku Klux Klan garb, and the insects, or whateverthehell.  Bon Temps, LA looks like sweaty backwoods hell on Earth. And though we're supposed to like them, I find something unappealing about the gap-toothed, telepathic Sookie Stackhouse (really?) and her pasty vampire Bill.  The other characters, particularly Sookie's piggish, dumb-as-dirt brother, aren't going to carry it for me either. Oh, and the sex?  As much as I'm a big fan of male nudity and not put off by explicitness, the vibe of this show is hella creepy for 6:00 AM.  I'm only a few episodes into it, and I gather things get more interesting later as more people get killed and the characters' supernatural traits come more into play.  So maybe I'm not done with it, but for now I'm not loving True Blood

However!  I think I have hit paydirt with Deadwood, the HBO series about the South Dakota town of that name during the peak of the gold rush.  It's set in 1876, before the Dakota territory was formally annexed to the United States, so there's no law there and everything's crazy.  Timothy Olyphant plays Seth Bullock, a former marshal come with his partner to open a hardware business catering to prospecters.  Keith Carradine is Wild Bill Hickock, and you can't take your eyes off him.  Ian McShane is chilling as Al Swearengen, who owns the saloon and most everything and everyone else in town.  Evil dude.  The supporting characters -- my favorite is Calamity Jane -- have depth and interest as well.  The whole thing is well-written, beautifully set, crude, tense, and compelling, and Mr. Sandy is not going to get a glimpse of it.

So now I'm off to bed again.  I go up at 10:00, read till 10:30, then I'm up at 6:00 to see who's being fed to Mr. Wu's Deadwood pigs. 

Life is good.