Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Escape through exhaustion...

I sleep about 12 hours a day, in two to three hour segments.  These days, I have been awaking from each segment in the throes of the wretchedness my sleeping mind creates.   Oft I am screaming and spent a long while shaking and terrified even after I awake.  Sometimes I am weeping with a sorrow so deep it is unspeakable.

Since starting on my back porch project, I have spent my days sleeping for 12 hours, working for two hours, and resting/recovering/napping/moaning and groaning for 10 hours.  Two burned finger tips, two burned knuckles, and one blister later, I finished the scraping of paint from the floor.

I moved the lounge chairs to the garage, since they get a bit dirty hanging out on the porch during the winter.  I would like to figure out a way to hang them both up off the floor.  Yes, I cleaned the grill.  Yes, I very much would like to figure out a way to really clean the recycling bin.  And that clay duck watering pot is my grandmother's, from when she was living in Guatemala during World War II, whilst her husband worked on engineering projects for the service.  

Isn't it interesting how, from one direction, the door mat looks almost black and the other direction it is its true color?

In both pictures, you can see the worst spot is the section between the doors.  I could possible work a bit more with the heat gun, but the wood is so rough there that I end up splintering it.  Really, the floor needs to be sanded.

You can see the threshold back in place, but I removed it to scrape the paint all the way to the edge.  The wood is thick and rather beautiful, so I am utterly loathe to paint it again. I really, really, really want to use the deck sealer.  However, I just do not see how I am going to be able to sand this myself.  I could rent a drum sander, which would probably do this small porch in a very short time, but it is 105 pounds and, thus, impossible for me to get in and out of the car.  I can rent a handheld belt sander, which is only 12 pounds, but I am not sure that would work.  I would very much like to know if it would before I tried to rent one.

So, I am at a stopping point.

Because the paint was so heavy, I weighed all the bags.  Twenty-seven pounds.  Yes, I scraped off 27 pounds of paint from that floor!  I also removed the quarter round, because it was not worth trying to salvage by scraping paint off of it.  For a quarter-round-loving-gal, I very much prefer the porch without it.

Being at the start of the new budget cycle, I am throwing most of my grocery and household money into replacing the boxwoods that died and filling all the pots on the front porch that I should have known to bring inside once Indiana started copying Alaskan weather.  I also got most of the herbs I wanted for the raised bed.  I could not find oregano and, since the middle rosemary perished, I would like to buy another one.  Given that I was shy on plants, I decided to plant from the edges to the center.

There are two each of basil and sage and one larger thyme on each end.  Being exhausted, I only mulched the parts of the bed that are planted.  I am rather sad to report that whilst planting, I only came across two red wigglers (out of the 250 I purchased), and both of them appear not to have grown much at all.  I am wondering if there is a way to buy worms that are not microscopic.  Had I known I was getting babies, instead of the fat ones pictured, I would have chosen the much, much, much larger quantity available.

Notice the utter lack of ground cover peaking up from the ground between the bed and the sidewalk? Firewood Man soaked that area with his super secret killer formula.  I almost slugged him when he pointed out the weeds already growing in my raised bed whilst he was mowing last week.  My neighbor got a bird feeder, and the birds like to perch on my fence after swooping over to get some food.  The seeds that don't make down avian gullets are sprouting in my bed.  SIGH.  Hopefully the mulch will help.

The other two plants are birthday presents from someone.  I have two (I believe) georgia plum coral bells.  The other two Amos watered to death.  I got two more to fill in the gaps of the row beneath the magnolia tree ... blondies.  So, now I have two deep purples and two muted pink/orange ones (something akin to fall foliage), and alternating bit of beauty beneath the magnolia tree in my shade bed.  The great thing about coral bells are that they can take temperatures well below freezing.  So, they fit my criteria of planting once and never having to do anything but fertilize and mulch again.  Whilst the blooms are not all that impressive, the bulbs I chose for the front of that bed came up larger and more bloomy than the first year.  Again, plan achieved.  Plant-it-and-forget-it.  Annuals must no longer be a part of my yard.

Below is how I decided to refill all my pots on my porch:

A 10" X 20" palette of sedum gloriousness!

Now, I was not so much interested in having to figure out how to divide this into 14 pots, only six of which being the same size, nor was I keen on having to cut it apart.  But this was the only sedum option I could find.  The part of me that finds this most awesome, would like to figure out how to get a feeding trough for my yard someplace and just fill it up with a few palettes of gloriousness.  However, finding a perennial replacement for my porch pot debacle is the only authorized sedum purchase.  This ended up being $1 per pot, though, clearly, the larger pots got larger sections.  The last pot (a 15th one) I filled with all the broken pieces and am hoping fervently they will take root and grow.  Because I finished at midnight, I have no photos of that work.

I finished at midnight because we went from the winter-that-never-ends straight into steamy, stinking hot, sweltering weather.  Even working in full dark, I was sweating profusely and fainted more times that I care to document.  I worked in segments of misery broken up by sessions of lying across the floor grate in the kitchen trying to recover enough to venture on.

The real problem I face is the boxwoods. I have four boxwoods that need planting.  I have three very dead boxwoods that need digging up.  I have four boxwoods for which I need to dig four holes and drag compost manure, peat, and potting soil from the garage up to the front of the house.  I have four boxwoods for which, after having been planted, I need to lay out and stake a soaker hose (so as never to have a water issue again) and then I need to drag at least four bags of mulch from the same origin point to the same destination.  I honestly thought that I might be able to do this, but with the weather forecast being nothing but Myrtle-Danger-Weather, I am not sure how the four bushes, watered twice now, sitting on the back sidewalk are going to make it into the ground.

I am worried about this problem.

Amos got rather dirty lying amongst all the paint chips and dust and such.  He also go rather stinky from keeping me company as I tried to do my small soil puttering chores.  So, I ended my late day bathing both myself and my puppy dog.

Before setting out on my errands, I put the line-dry load into the washing machine.  Once home, I hung it before tackling any soil puttering and started the next load of laundry, which included my sheets.

I mailed the 5 packages I had prepared during the last budget cycle ... at the post office that is too cheap for air-conditioning and to staff all the available windows.  I nearly fainted there.

I went to Target and fetched some of my prescriptions, battling a bit of sticker shock because I have entered the donut hole.  That was hard to swallow.  I got a slew of samples and so have not had to pay for Celebrex (and a few others) for three months.  That means when I pick it up on June 27th, I will probably need some nitroglycerin to survived the check out.  I will also ... I think ... be picking up the first round of erythromycin pills.  I am still not 100% certain—after working so very hard to find a way to live solely on the disability—that I am willing to start dipping into the now-almost-gone retirement money to pay for that medication.  However, I really don't think I can go back to a life of constant innards misery.  If the pills work, I believe I will take them.   At least for a while.  Starting June 27th, life is going to get really, really, really miserly.  Certainly no more Taco Bell now that the gift cards have run out.

From Target, I had to go to three places to find the variegated boxwoods.  Apparently, a lot of boxwoods in Fort Wayne ... even very old ones ... did not make it through our wild winter.

After my car had the authorized plant purchases safely secured in the back (the seats having been folded down ever since fetching the soil, mulch, peat, and compost manure), I headed to Walmart to get a few household items and some grocery items.  Sadly, the cut of pork I used for my beloved Dr Pepper pulled pork was not there.  However, I got the things on my list and some fresh vegetables.  I did a very good job of shopping, even though I saw a MUST-HAVE second birthday present for myself that somehow wound up in my cart.  My new insane household and grocery budget goal is a mere $150 a month.  We shall see if it is doable.  I will mostly have dairy and a bit of meat left to buy for the rest of the month.

Yes, I secured the final item for the vodka sauce recipe.
Yes, I resisted buying the funky, cool pasta Pioneer Woman used since I have plenty at home.
No, I have not yet made it.

The one errand that I forgot was to take the two bags of donation items that I managed to cull from my home.  I dug deep within and decided that all the CDs that I thought I still liked but do not actually listen to, two microphones, and many books on cassette tapes are sitting in the front seat of my car for drop-off.  Seriously, don't you think having them there should have been enough of a reminder to swing by the donation center??  I have to fetch the second-to-last bottle of the erythromycin solution in a few days, so I hope to take care of that last errand then.

Only ... what next?  I am at a standstill with the porch and a standstill with my soil puttering, I cleaned the grill (that story is awaiting the arrival of the replacement heat tent).  I have a sufficiency in my larder (so as to not need to cook any time soon).   And I finished the final version of the review draft of the booklet (the author of which is booked up until the middle of July so I will not have feedback anytime soon).  What next?  What can I do next to distract myself from the spiritual terror and the now deep, abiding spiritual grief?  I thought I could not long for the Lord's Supper anymore than I did, but I do.  The longing has sunk so deep within me that I no longer have words to explain, to describe.  It is as if my soul is weeping and yet silent.

But nothing has changed.

I have tried to explain to Celia and to Mary, who have asked.  The words that I use frustrate me because I do not believe I am communicating a fraction of what I think ... and fear.  Those two women are silly and sweet and refuse to consider me Saul.

But I do.
I am.
Who else could I be?


Mary Jack said...

In addition to being silly and sweet, if I am such a thing, we're perceptive and honest and probably basted in awesome sauce. :)

Myrtle said...

You (and Celia), Mary, are most definitely basted in awesome sauce!!