Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Tag Archives: cleaning

Hi Strangers! Where’ve you been?

*blink blink*

I’ve been thinking about you for a while now, but honestly? I couldn’t stand myself! And for the one of you who still stops by (Hi Debra!! *waves*), I couldn’t subject you to any more ick from me! I could hardly stand myself! Subjecting you to me? NO!

*****

So.

I am on vacation this week. Thank GOAT! I cannot tell you how badly I needed to get away from the Gas ‘n Sip. It was practically unbearable. The mechanics were being ornery. Every time I asked them for something, it became a giant battle. Then they had to “escalate” it to their manager. *headdesk*

Even Don, the Nacho manager, said to me last Friday – “You need a vacation! I can’t stand to listen to you any more!”

I KNOW! Ugh!

Enough about that place.

*****

Today, I decided to clean. Big whoop, you say. No, no. This was a clean the closet/drawers/under the sink in the bathroom, AND clean the bedroom closet.

I was RUTHLESS! There was NO ruth in my house today.

Turns out? I? Am ridiculous.

I am NEVER allowed to buy another makeup brush for as long as I live. The number of brushes I found today is EMBARRASSING.  Really. I have washed them all, and stowed them in one of the 14 (literally) makeup bags I found. The sad part? I wear very little makeup. I have, no word of a lie, 27 makeup brushes.

Ridiculous.

Also? Apparently, I have a “thing” for fingernail clippers. It always seems I cannot find one when I really need it, so it seems I have taken to buying them in bulk. I will never need to buy another one.

Ridiculous.

Moving on to the bedroom closet….

Wallets. I have issues.

Scarves? Ditto. Now, granted – I went through a stage when I wore scarves very often. I love them. They are so pretty. But once I hit a certain age (SHUT UP!) and the scarves started making me sweat, I don’t wear them any more. (Not to mention that crew-neck t-shirts make me all chokey.)

All in all, I have a back seat full of stuff to go to the charity shop. And enough garbage bags to fill up my bins for 3 weeks.

Ridiculous.

Although… being ruthless felt good. I have been wanting to do this for months. I have been looking in my bathroom closet and rolling my eyes at the chaos there. Now? The shelves are clean and organized. Everything is labelled (I love my label maker!).

So, now, I am relaxing on the sofa with a book, wallowing in a job well done.

Tomorrow? Perhaps I will tackle the cold/warm weather clothing swap.

Ruth won’t be allowed there, either. *wink*


Oh, hello! Come in and have some tea and yogurt. It’s the yummy Greek kind.

So… something I forgive someone else for….

I bet you think I am going to write about Mr. F*ck Off, from yesterday. Nah, that’s too easy. I’ve forgiven that long ago.

No, this is bigger. Today, I am going to forgive the boy who took my innocence. The boy, for he was only 15 to my 16, who, after a “date” at a movie, didn’t listen when I said NO. Over and over, I said NO.  And yet he kept on until he was done. The boy who didn’t give me the option of losing my virginity to someone lovely. The boy who instead took it from me without my permission in the front seat of a Chevy Malibu.

That event lost me “friends” who didn’t believe me when I told them what he did. It eroded my self-worth as I thought that was how I deserved to be treated. It led me to make decisions that I wouldn’t have otherwise made. And while I can’t regret the things I have done as the result of that event, since they made me who I am now, I can wonder how things might be different for me now.

And so, Mike, I forgive you for raping me. I forgive you for changing the course of my life. But I have spent way too much time and energy on thinking of you and then and it. You are being evicted. I will never forget what happened, but it’s been almost 28 years now. This baggage is heavy and I’m not going to carry it anymore.  I said NO then and you didn’t listen. I’m saying NO MORE now and you don’t have a choice.

Tomorrow: something you hope to do in your life


Oh hello! Yes, I’m here again so soon. The tea is fresh. Help yourself.

If you’ve spent any time here at all, you know that I am ridiculously hard on myself. My self-esteem hovers near non-existent. And generally speaking, I am lazy. I have posted before that I need to make a change and I get lonely, and blah blah blah… until even *I* am sick of myself.

Well, I also spend a lot of time trolling around on other people blogs and clicking links to things they like. By doing that, somehow, I had come across this. Over the summer, I even signed up for the 40-day cleanse. But, continuing a familiar pattern, I didn’t follow through because I wasn’t held accountable by anyone. (Not even myself.) And I hadn’t told anyone that I was doing it.  Part of this website talks about the Inner Mean Girl Reform School. It’s a 10-week program to help you stop being so hard on yourself, enjoy your life, and to feel successful. BRILLIANT!!

Yeah, except, again, continuing a familiar pattern, I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT. GAH!!

And then.

I have a birth mark on my forehead that is usually not visible. It used to be when I was little, but very rarely now. It’s in the shape of an angel. When I was little, I thought it was to remind me that I have a guardian angel protecting me. But as the mark faded, I forgot about it. And I forgot about my angel. On Sunday, as I was getting ready for my weekly visit to my parents, she was back. My angel was back. She is still faint, but I could see her again. I wondered if she was back for a reason, but then set that aside and went on with my day.

I found out on Monday why my angel appeared again. She was reminding me that I do, in fact, have angels working for me.

How do I know this?

Monday evening, while sprawled on the sofa watching (very likely) another NCIS* repeat, I got a Tweet from an angel. She wanted to know if I would attend the Inner Mean Girl Reform School with her, as her guest. It would be her gift to me. (I would tell you who it is, but I’m not sure she wants that, so I will keep my angel’s real name a secret. Henceforth, she will be referred to as Angel.)

I immediately burst into tears. And almost fell off the couch. Here was this woman, whom I have never met IRL, offering to in essence GIVE ME MONEY TO CHANGE MY LIFE. What? Really?

WHO DOES THAT???

Angels do.

Angel and I have “known” each other only for about a year. We Tweet frequently. We have spoken on the phone occasionally. We have read each other’s blogs often. I wouldn’t say we know each other well, but evidently, Angel saw something in me that told her I am worth her time and money.

I. Was. Floored.

No one has ever done something like this for me before. And as anyone who knows me knows, I don’t typically accept things like this. From anyone. Sure. Buy me a coffee or a lunch once in a while, (and I will reciprocate), but this? Normally, it makes me uncomfortable.

This was different. I didn’t get that feeling of “Oh she just feels sorry for me” or whatever. I just knew that she sincerely wanted to give me this gift, that it made her happy to do so. And it felt right.  I know that if I were a better money manager, this is something *I* would offer to do for someone, but I didn’t know I was worth it. (And someday? I will do this for someone. Pay it forward. It’s the right thing to do.)

So I said yes. And cried some more. (It’s what I do. Apparently.)

So, starting tonight, and for the next 10 weeks, I will be back in school. Reform school. What am I hoping to get out of it? I hope to be able to tell my Inner Mean Girl to STFU (nicely of course… *batting eyelashes innocently*). I want to stop hearing all the negative things that go on in my head. I want to find the motivation to get off of the couch and walk. I want to replace all the negative cuck (It’s a word. Shut up.) with positive stuff. And remind myself that I am worth it.

Part of this process is to solicit support from people. So, instead of hiding on my sofa, in front of the computer, here I am. Putting it out there. I am going to Reform School and will be making positive changes in my life. I am going to need your support. (Yes. I’m looking at you… and you.) I will slip up and I need you to call me out. (But kindly, please.) And I would like to share with you what I’m going through. I hope you will help me and accept me and support me. (And if you can, join me! Sign up, too!) (No, I didn’t get paid to say that…. le sigh.)

Anyway. That’s what is going on here. And in about a week, I get to meet Angel, in person, for the first time. She is coming to visit me! And I’m sure I’ll cry again.

Thank you, Angel, from the bottom of my heart. You have given me a gift that I can never repay. I hope I am worth it. And I hope I deserve it. And I look forward to going to Reform School with you.

*One of Tony’s lines has stuck with me. And I think it’s kind of appropriate here: If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. If you want something different, you need to do different.

Who knew Tony DiNozzo could be so profound?


Oh, hello! Come in and have a coffee and a pastry. It is free pastry day at Starbucks, so I stocked up. YAY!

Dear Depression and Anxiety,

Go away.

I know I shouldn’t be so rude, but you have more than over stayed your welcome in my life. It’s time you move on to greener pastures; to someone who can welcome you with open arms and love you the way you deserve to be loved.

I would say here “It’s not you, it’s me”, but I can’t. It *is* you. You take up too much of my time and thoughts and energy. I am ready to embrace new, happier thoughts; new, healthier energy. I cannot do that until you get out.

Depression, you have been with me the longest. You have been an omnipresent cloud sitting right behind me for as long as I can remember. You have forced me to take pills to keep you from enveloping me completely. I don’t want to take pills any more. I don’t have a problem with “happy pills” per se, but when the very thought of “Did I remember to take my meds today?” awakens Anxiety, your partner in crime, I know it’s time to look at my dependence on them. Depression, because of you, I have taken on other peoples’ problems as my own. I have internalized so much more ICK than should be humanly possible to bear. You have encouraged me to sit out of my own life and miss out on too many fun things. I don’t want to miss out anymore. You need to find a new playmate.

Anxiety, what can I say to you? You show up at the most inopportune times, causing panic attacks and uncontrollable sobbing. I’m not entirely convinced you don’t also invite your friends, Self-Doubt and Self-Loathing, over quite frequently as well. I don’t want you, or your friends, around any more. I *know* I am a strong person. I *know* I am a capable person. And while my life, right now, may not be all butterflies and rainbows, I’m okay with that. It is the challenges that make us better and create new opportunities. I *know* that my life is great and getting greater. And I know that while your cousin, Nerves, might show up occasionally for a cocktail, that’s okay. He knows when to go. He doesn’t wait to be told.

So, old friends, it is time for you to go. I’d like to say it has been fun, but let’s be honest. It hasn’t been. You’re presence has caused weight gain, and tooth erosion from grinding my teeth. You’ve caused loss of friends and loss of opportunity. And it ends now. So, to quote the great Angela Bassett from the movie Waiting to Exhale: “Get your shit. Get your shit and GET OUT!!” (I love her!!) Your lease has been terminated. Your bags have been packed. And your taxi is waiting.

Best of luck to you.

MaM

P.S. Please tell Loneliness that he’s on notice and I’ll be talking to him soon. kthxbai.


Oh, hello! Come on in. Help yourself to some coffee. And sugar cookies.

I am my own worst enemy. I constantly self-sabotage and despite the best of intentions, my diet/job search/laundry/house cleaning goes by the wayside. I’m not sure why that is, and I know the best way to find out is to do a lot of self-exploration, but I can’t even bring myself to do that. I’ve tried meditation, but I cannot sit still for very long and quieting my mind is like herding kittens.

But despite several false starts, I am still plodding forward, in my quest to be better. At least it seems that the span of time between bursts of motivation seems to be getting smaller. I have finally gotten really serious about my job search. I have sent my resumé to a career advisor to get help with it. (My resumé sucks! I know it does. But I’ve never known how to make it better.) They will look at what I now am sending out, and when they stop laughing, they will tell me how to make it better and help me with the rewrite. (YAY!) I’ve decided that commuting farther than my current 6 miles won’t be such a bad thing. I’ve decided that I need to be confident in my abilities and to stop minimizing my capabilities. I know more than I give myself credit for, and I need to own that.

Another area that I’ve decided to stop whining about is house cleaning. I hate house cleaning. I’ve thought I would love to have a cleaning service come in to clean for me. Then I think, OMG, my house is TINY! There is no reason to have someone come in to do it for me. When I get started, it really takes about an hour to clean it because most of the time, it’s just tidying. So, instead of whining about it, I’m going to just shut up and clean it. And it will mean that I don’t have to spend a couple hundred dollars a month for someone to do what I am totally capable of doing myself.

My health. Recently, I ordered up something that is supposed to help me with my activity levels by motivating me to do a little bit more every day. I won’t endorse or disparage it here yet since I just started with it. But if it helps me a little bit, I think it will be worth it. I don’t want to be super-model thin, or tri-athlete fit, but I do want to be healthy. I think that is the important thing now. I view this as a step in the right direction.

So why did I pick the title of the post I did? I will no longer think of my faltering steps as failures. Not meeting my goal on the first try will not completely derail me, no matter what area of my life it is. If I don’t get the “dream job” the first time? There is something better coming. If I leave my cereal bowl in the sink in the morning? Big whoop. I’ll wash it that evening. And if I am tired at the end of the day, and want to lie down on the couch watching NCIS reruns (for the 83rd time) then that’s okay too. None of this makes me a bad person. It just makes me fallible and fabulous. In the grand scheme of things, faltering steps make me who I am.

And just like the little engine, I WILL get to the top. The top of whatever I decide to tackle. I am a work in progress, and I will never be complete. Each step is another brush stroke toward greatness.


Oh, hello!  Help yourself to some beef stew. Mum made it.

So, after having read Debra’s brilliant post, I was inspired to straighten/clean/discard/sort through my stuff. It’s slow going, but the end result is worth it. This past weekend, I tackled, among other things, the front closet. More specifically, the shelf in the closet with all the really important winter scarves, etc thrown up there into a ball.

What did I learn? Bottom line? I have a problem. Turns out, I have eleventy jillion scarves. All beautiful. All ones I think I love. Also? I have 24,000 baseball hats. Which, you know. Good thing. Because I only regularly wear 3 of them. What. The. Heck? What do I need this much stuff for? Yes, I love the scarves. And yes, I still wear a lot of them. I could probably sell them on eBay, but it would break my heart to let them go to someone potentially yucky!

Earlier in the week, I had been wondering to myself why I still had so much outstanding debt. Um, duh, Mary. Why do you think you have so much debt??  (Yeah, I’m talking to myself. Don’t judge.) At least now, I have cut up my credit cards and can’t rack up more.(That’s a whole other post.)

I also recently went through all my purses, and weeded those out. And shoes. And I’ve been going through my clothes as I change them out for the season. It really is freeing to get rid of “things”. I think I’ve said it before, but I read somewhere recently that you should have in your life only things that enrich your life, and make you feel wonderful. Trying to eliminate things that don’t fit that bill is a worthwhile challenge, and one that I endorse heartily. It still isn’t easy, and I will continue to chip away at the rest of my clearly necessary stuff that I don’t even remember I own.

What will remain will be all things that I love. And make me smile. As it should be.


Oh, hello! Sapphire and tonic? With lime, of course.

I’m pretty sure there is no one on earth who hates house work more than I do. Well, except for those people on “Clean House” because that’s just gross. And okay, my neighbor, in the asbestos shingled, field for a lawn, use broken down minivans for storage (because that’s his “business” – selling cr@p at flea markets). And, okay, people who live like Deliverance folks.

Okay, whatever. Don’t get me off track. I get it. There ARE people who hate housework more than I. The point is that I hate it. HATE! I would love to hire someone to do it for me, but my house is so small that even I would feel guilty.

I think my family doesn’t like to come visit for very long because of my housekeeping skills. I mean, I don’t have rats or big giant bugs or anything. I did have ants, but only because I forgot to get the ant killer for the outside – and because the twins like to play in the garage, and I have to leave the door open so they can come in. But, my brother, Herb, even likes to say that I vacuum once a month, whether I need to or not. (So not true, but you get the point.)

Once year, Herb and his ex, Satan, were so sick of my dishes in the sink that they, along with my parents, bought me a dishwasher, and built an island for my kitchen to house said dishwasher and presented it to me for Christmas. (I cried. Don’t judge me.) (Related: I can never move now, because I love the island and the dishwasher, and I don’t want to leave it behind.)

I have gotten better though. I think I have the twins to thank for that too. Them and their black fur and their epic shedding abilities. It really is impressive how much they shed for such little bitty things. Alas, their fur is black (and white) and my carpets are beige, so frequent vacuuming is in order. The kitchen stays mostly clean. I think I have finally reached the responsible adult age that hits most people in their mid-twenties. Maybe I am just developmentally challenged.

OR, I am just lazy. I vote for the latter. I’m not going to win any awards, but I know I also won’t ever make it on to “Clean House”. And I’m more than okay with that.