Saturday, June 30, 2007

Code Yellow

Officially out of crisis mode now-all are moved and accounted for and safe. The rest is just window dressing.

Mom and Dad are antsy and today is "their day" to help me unpack. They have been going mad with the desire to help, so today, this one's for them. And for me. I'm very glad of the help-I particularly hate unpacking the kitchen and Mom seems to like it. She'd like it better if I had food in the house. Peanut butter and bagel bread does not constitute a larder. She brought me some key lime yogurt.

I will have to address the food issue. I'm not sure what the delivery situation is in OKC and in my family eating out is a treat not the way of life it has become for me. The only food I brought with me from Texas was three bags of poi and three dark chocolate bars (from California) and 2 cases of wine. I have a clean culinary slate.

To that I have added one jar of natural peanut butter, some almonds, some all fruit spread and bagel bread. Mom has supplied one bottle of water and one key lime yogurt. Apparently she is afraid I will not be able to make it across Carol's yard in the event of a hunger emergency.

Empty fridge's to her and her generation are a bad thing-to be avoided at all cost. To my generation of overweight consumers, an empty fridge means nothing to clean up and no temptation to over eat. Sue loves my empty fridge and I love Sue for loving it.

Ahhh, the missing part has begun. I just spent last week with Sue and the kids while I finished up in Dallas, and I swear that I woke up yesterday and watched Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. I didn't cry, but I really missed talking about it with the girls.

Code yellow-no crisis, but still not normal. I'm totally clueless at this point as to what normal is going to look like-but the beauty of being 46 is that I know it will pretty much look like what I decide it's going to look like.

Out of respect to my parents I will keep the front and backyards tidy and the living room/kitchen ready for visitors. I actually have visitors in Oklahoma.

That's as far as I've gotten in my "what it's going to look like" but this is only the first second morning I've had coffee in my home, and the first one I've gotten to write. I'm sure the rest will come.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

So much to say

I'm very much in one foot in front of the other mode-but one habit I'm gonna have to break is to think what I'm doing now isn't important and that what I NEED to do is where I really NEED to spend my time. That is a recipe for being unhappy. It's the whole live in the now concept-not a bad idea. Wish I'd thought of it.

The cubicle has arrived and I could spend a month driving it around town looking like a big tough modern truck hauling woman, but I am taking it to be wired tomorrow and then will load it up on Wednesday. I love the cubicle. It matches my truck (both are navy blue). I can load it myself and I can drive it myself-at least going forward. I'm going to give backing it up a go later on this afternoon when the cars clear off the road.

More boxes to pack-the van didn't hold all the necessities-but it's going to feel good to walk away from this STUFF. I've enjoyed sorting through it, but there is more sorting to do in OKC and I need to be in one place again.

Playing with Sue's kids has been the most healing thing that could have happened. Children are so young and new and full of wonder. They have misgivings too, but a torn up beach towel provides enough comfort to get through anything.

Tonight I am fixing dinner-Hannah's choice-pineapple and hot dogs, strawberries and whipped cream. Yum! I should probably take a bath-it's been a few days. And I need to see Uncle John today.

Life without a schedule or a load of appointments is really weird, and I seem to need the appointments and deadlines to get things done at all....but I also need rest-and I need to value those kinds of needs more than I do. It's OK to spend an afternoon talking to the girls....really. It's not immoral and the world won't end if you just goof off.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Families

I knew to call my Mom tonight so she could tell me that Dolly (their dog) died. When we spoke earlier she was going to the vet. Mom talked and talked and talked and finally I asked and she said "I hoped you wouldn't ask, I don't want to upset you'...and I said "Oh, Dolly died."

Families speak in the most cryptic languages-most of it unspoken. If Dolly had been a human, she might have hung on till things settled down, but Dolly was a dog, and when it's time to go, they go.

I am under strict orders not to buy another dog on the way home. Dottie and Prissy are at my folks house, so they will have canine company. I have the cat and the snakes. Lucky me.

I took a nap on the floor (hardwood) and when I woke up the old cat was sound asleep...ON ME. No hardwoods for her-complete fat Okie ass cushion. Lots goin on, lots to sort out-the road is lookin good (after a bath and a nap).

I've been avoiding John because things are just too crazy and I don't want to worry him-but I also know he knows exactly what is going on. He's family too and communicates better the silent way than verbally.

I had a whole rif I wanted to write about whether it was better to pay 5.95, get 5 things and eat three of them, or order what you want and pay 8.00 at Arby's. But right now that doesn't seem to matter. Who cares?

The thing that Dolly-dog knows is that there is no good time for crisis or dying or any of those unpleasant things. We'd all be better off if we just did what we needed to when we needed to.

Downsizing costs money

Mover's came and packed the van to capacity. I will pick up the cubicle this weekend and get the rest (as well as retrieve my truck). No car hauler for this kid.

There is something soooo embarrassing about having people see YOUR STUFF. LOOK-there's a dog turd hiding under the bed. Horrors. I gave a way a perfectly good (if ostentatious) bed but carefully and lovingly packed 12 rubbermaid containers with holes and names labled on them (for the babies).

Moving, much like any other disaster, reduces you to basics and forces you to decide what is important to YOU, not to anyone else.

I do have curbside karma though-the extra tanks were all picked up by two under represented populations-a fat black man and a fat, shirtless white man with terrible feet just like I have. I'm sitting here now, a prisoner in my house, while I watch them load their treasures-but I want to preserve their dignity....because it's my trash. And I am really no better than they are-a fat white woman with bad feet, who didn't believe the experts when they said tanks were not the way to go with snakes....live and learn.

I snapped at my mother today. Seems that the camping stuff bought with the trailer money arrived yesterday, along with the rat shipment which wasn't due till Friday. That created quit a stir, and THEN Overstock.com went nuts and delivered my patio furniture. That put her over the edge-unplanned for deliveries of NEW stuff.

But I learned a valuable lesson-I just thanked her for putting the rats in the freezer and told her not to worry about the rest. (wish I had been a little nicer). But dammit-it's NORMAL to want patio furniture for a new patio. I am not going to go to hell because I spent 300 bucks. Really I am not. And I am not going to explain that I am well under budget for this entire move-because in typical Deb fashion I budgeted high and then shopped around. I am not going to explain it because I don't want to get into the habit of explaining things.

The point is-I don't have to justify it. Mom is a wonderful, loving 73 year old lady who worries about me. But if we are all going to survive this natural disaster, I am going to have to remain intact as well-the Debra that lives in Dallas is going to have to move to Oklahoma-not the Debra that left Oklahoma. And the Dallas Deb wants 4 chairs and a table that matches on her patio. AND she wants her washer and dryer enough to spend days and dollars loading a truck and driving it to OKC rather than buy a new used one when she gets there.

And, she wants to sit and blog while trash pickers haul off her mistakes even though she's hungry and hasn't eaten in 12 hours. Ok, there is probably more room for personal growth.

Well shitfire and save the matches.

It's 5:30 am, I need to leave to get the truck soon, the big snake won't load and I 've been up all night bagging snakes and am unpacked. I stink. REALLY.

So, of course, I am blogging instead of packing. I need to settle my thoughts. I may end up paying two burly fire fighters to box my kitchen stuff-they don't care what they do as long as they get paid (I hope). Relax. I can't run willy nilly around throwing things in boxes panicking.

Chill.......

This isn't my vision of well packed, neatly labeled boxes all stacked and waiting to be moved. But it's more like real life I suppose. Shit scattered everywhere cause there is just never enough time to do what I want to and need to do. And ME, sitting on my ass in the middle of the shitstorm, writing about it.

My life isn't ever going to be neatly labeled boxes is it? I think those organizational people on the do it yourself shows are liars, just the way the models in the magazines are liars. REAL LIFE is messy, smelly, and definitely more curvacious. Oh, maybe not REAL LIFE...maybe MY LIFE. Maybe there isn't one real, proper way to do things.

Well, crap, I wish I could have figured that one out a long time ago-would have saved a fortune on psycho drugs. But maybe we don't figure that out until we bash into the wall of the perfect life vs. our own about 10 million times.

Yes-I am one with my clutter, I am at ease with my stink. This is my life people of the world, no Better Homes and Gardens layout OR clutterbusters ready to come in an cluck cluck and then fix me in 30 minutes. How did the Boss put it-"aint no wine from this blood baby....."

Oh crap now I have visions of a nice blue collar man singing-what a time to get hormonal.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Out of the Blue and Into the Black

Time to unplug and pack up the electronics-I'll have to think random thoughts and go without e-mail for a couple of days. It feels like another step out of the old comfort zone-well, maybe because it is. Where DOES digital Deb go when she's not here?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Cubicle

Off to the right you will see Scotty's replacement. Well, for the time being anyway. I needed something to haul John's desk and my Kayak to OKC, then my tent and my kayak to Noel, MO for a Sisters on the Fly Campout.

I loaned my Kayak to a nice gentleman who pointed out I don't have the upper body strength to lift it to the roof of my SUV without peril to the dash, rear window or sunroof. He had a really spiffy kayak trailer, but I can't afford a thousand dollars for a one trick pony-enter The Cubicle.

I looked at tear drops till my eyes fell out, but 5K for a new one, 1.5 for used one isn't really downsizing from a 550 trailer. Well, it WAS smaller, but incredibly expensive.

I will pick the Cubicle up in Anna Texas on Sunday on my way back down to get John. Nothing is EVER easy these days.

Farewell Whiterock Lake

I said goodbye to Whiterock lake tonight-it has been a calm center to my Universe for several years. Now, Oklahoma has plenty of lakes, but this isn't about Oklahoma-it's about a place where I spent many hours with my dogs, bikes and friends, just putzing around.

Any body of water puts me in touch with something timeless. I gaze across Whiterock and I can also recall Cozumel, Cancun, Eufaula and countless other bodies of water. I know I'll gaze at another body of water and recall Whiterock, because water is connected that way.

And, maybe, just maybe, with the more rural setting of Oklahoma I won't cling so desperately to a body of water, but I doubt it. Many of those bodies of water I recalled while gazing at Whiterock were in Oklahoma-my cousins pond, Hefner, Thunderbird, the creek at Turner Falls...Yes, water is connected that way.

Add Food, Water, and stir

This whole non working thing means non schedule and I forget to eat. If you could only SEE the size of my ass this would be a big shocker.

Observations-there is a whole world out there that doesn't have anything to do with corporate America and probably doesn't give two shakes about it either. It's like a foreign country in your own backyard. I feel like I've jumped down the rabbit hole again and I haven't even arrived in Oklahoma City.

I'm scheduling trucks and rescheduling and resizing-there isn't an exact science to downsizing a house and moving 20 snakes, 4 dogs, 1 cat and 1 senior citizen. When I hit a wall I just ask whoever is handy "what would you do?" because I KNOW I tend to reinvent the wheel.

I fed the snakes today-I want the food far enough down so that they don't puke from the stress of the move, but not so far that they poop. Of course, the snakes range from tiny little 1 footers to 7 footers, but the meals are sized accordingly. However, the babies and the colubrids have faster metabolisms than the adults. Again, no exact science to this.

I've found good homes for most of the furniture I'm leaving and I've decided to pack the snakes according to size. I can't do individual crates, but I bet it would be stressful for a 1 foot hatchling to be nestled up against a 5 foot adult. The whole food chain thing kicks in.

Slow Motion Meltdown

Man, wouldn't that be a great name for a song? That's what I felt like yesterday-a beer bottle melting in a fire. Trippin-I KNEW I should be going balls to the wall, but I just moved in slllllloooooooooow motion......God, I wish Stevie Ray Vaughn were alive-he could wail the shit out of that title.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spirit is willing but flesh is weak

I think I may have to reschedule John's move to next week. That will give me time to finish up here and move on time. If I don't move the landlord will have a cow-so right now John has the more flexible schedule. He's also battling an upset tummy right now. So am I.

When I made my original plan I didn't allow for how hard it is to drive back and forth-I need more "recover time" than I had allotted.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

FOCUS

So overwhelmed and I'm so worried about not getting done I do nothing but sit and stare. Time to pop a Prozac and a Premarin and MOVE.

Get Er Done

Another trip to Oklahoma, a little more progress-My head is spinning-SHIT, how am I going to do this, WHAT was I thinking.

LOL-that's why they call it the comfort zone-you may not be happy there, but you are comfortable. Just how many times does a gal have to turn her life upside down? Trouble with me is, if I get too comfie, I get bored, and chaos happens. Or, if something nice happens, I feel guilty.

Yet, I still care what people think. Let me just say it is hard to be me.

I'm not blogging every day, but my goal is to blog true to what is going on in my life and then maybe some day I'll have time to make sense of it.

I did my errands all the way home from Oklahoma-that was an out of the box thinking spell-why does it matter if the Walgreens is in Dennison or Dallas? Same stuff. There are some benefits to cookie cutter towns and stores.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

CRISIS PART OF MIDLIFE CRISIS

OMIGOD-the house is a complete mess, my files are a complete mess, it's all messed UP. I'm tired, my leg hurts, I'm scared about finding a job, my stamina is completely gone and I will need therapy to build back up again. I'm offloading stuff that I paid good money for (couch doesn't fit in new house, etc) and this means I am a total failure because I made a bad choice somewhere.....

Ok, enough wailing. Just had to get that out. How could anyone be expected to know what the perfect couch will be for the rest of your life?

Even the Scotty served its purpose, which was to get me to thinking, both from the past and out of the box...and not be defined by my stuff. I took the Scotty money and bought an easy erect tent and a fat girl cot, a comfie chair, a portable stove and stand and a 12 volt car batter coffee pot and that will do for the camping trip coming up. The old fellow I loaned my kayak to suggested I'd be better off pulling the kayak rather than trying to lift it up on the roof of the truck, so my camping outfit may turn out to be utility trailer and a tent-depening on how easy the tent really is to set up AND take down and how the cot works out. I KNOW I don't like sleeping on the ground-and I usually end up dragging the stuff outside and sleeping outside the tent.

The important parts of camping are the kayak, the comfie bed and the bike. I have those. And a cooler of beer.

Since I am venting-I'm a little bit concerned about my lack of physical conditioning-but I don't think the Sister on the Fly are about who can paddle the fastest. As I understand the trip-we put in at one point and float down to the take out point-and drink beer in between. As for the horse trip in October-the guy said if I wanted I could sit in the chair and pet the horse all weekend if that made me happy.

Now here I am focusing on camping when I should be focusing on moving-but I have to do that sometimes-put a little "carrot" out there to look forward to, and reassure myself that that carrot will happen. It's a lifelong habit-throwing out my own lifeline so to speak-but its worked for everything else, so maybe it will work for midlife crisis.

From DementiaRescue Posting

Moving back "home" after 20 years is a little like dementia-things look familiar but aren't quite the way you remember them. So, you are in an "unknown place" that is familiar.

Moving is always spiritual/emotional for me even though I've done it a million times-there is something very humbling about having all your possessions boxed up-asking yourself "was this what I lived my life for?"


Then there is the big unknown-the what will happen next? Of course, none of us really knows that, do we?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Letter to Cousins and Bro follow up

I took Uncle John his quaker oats bars (2 kinds) and a magnifying glass and was reminded of something very important. Very few acts I do/have done have brought such a twinkle to someone's eyes. Truly, I would rather do that for the rest of my life than work for "the man" in corporate america.

And that's really all I'm lookin for-a job that gives back instead of adds to the taking.

Plus I really would still like a horse.

Urban Chicken Follow UP

From Craigs list:


4-partridge wyandotte bantams....2 hens and 2 roosters....all birds are unrelated and just over a year old.....the hens are laying well...nice wyandottes.....the chicken pen is 4'wide 4'tall 6'long......asking $100 which doesn't even cover building the pen...:)......shoot me an email with any questions...thanks....


___________________________________________________________________________

Along with pictures of a nice homemade pen. Maybe I am not the only person to abandon the urban chicken movement-at least I was able to return the books to amazon.com.


Still trying to figure out how to get rid of couches, etc. without publishing address or paying to ship it all to GW. I think the curb is the answer-hope it doesn't rain and let the trash picker gods smile upon those who search.

A letter to cousins and bro

John's a little freaky about moving and I don't blame him, but I just have to push through and get us moved. This is the icky part that I absolutely despise, having to stand up, be calm and proceed for both of us. I think I've got everything paced and spaced so I can accomplish what I need to accomplish without ripping my leg a new one or completing having a breakdown, but there is always that unknown and room for error thing.

The good news for me (and Sue and Jay who are moving to Florida) is that I know it's normal and natural at this stage to think OMIGOD what have I done, I'm changing everything and it's too late to go back.......

John thinks he'll be OK if I bring him up some proper quaker oat nutritrion bars with approved fat content so that he won't get heart disease while I'm gone for two days. They have to be the little square ones.

It's touch and go about what to tell him what not to tell him. He was very concerned that he would sign the new credit card (old one expired) in the wrong place and then got really concerned when I tore up the old one....we had to go out immediately to verify that the new one would work. So, anything that involves signing things is not a good thing.

I really do feel good (as does everyone else) about where he's going-but I know that increased family contact is kind of a stressor for him too. Yet, when the actual event happens, he likes it. I took him with me to change the oil in my truck and one of my co-worker was there and he really enjoyed visiting with her-but he wouldn't have gone if he'd know she was going to be there......agggggh.

Mom and Dad seem to just be ready for me to be there and are not pushing the coming back and helping me pack thing.....thank God. There is a time to sort, and a time to throw things away-and Sue tells me I will not go to hell if just put it on the curb because some trash picker will have a really nice day....it's like donating to the Goodwill, only doing it directly.

This past year has been nothing but moving and sorting through stuff. I am so sick sick sick of stuff I cannot tell you. Furniture, THINGS, what stays, what goes-who cares? And then you have to (when moving) make sure all your stuff is INSURED in both places, even the stuff you no longer want, cause if a trash picture cuts his finger you could be sued.

Another lessoned learned-don't tell insurance companies you have pet snakes. It just isn't worth the hassle.

Dolly (Mom's dog) isn't eating-so I don't think she'll be with us much longer. Mom asked me what I thought and I said "well, I think she's old and she's dying and we just have to let her" and she agreed. If she needs help then I'll take her in to the vet for them-I am hoping for a die in her sleep kind of thing, but we'll see. That raises the well known I can't get another dog cause I'll outlive it issue but for now living next door Mom will have Dottie and Prissy to spoil and that will ease things.

Mom actually picked Prissy out as a back up for me when Dottie goes (we all know that won't be a good thing when that happens) so we have about 8 years of risk free dog life before any of us has to worry.......

Sorry about the long ramble a lot is going on and I have the feeling that some of the things that look important aren't and some of the thing that don't look important are.....and it's hard trying to figure it all out.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Do I Ever WORK?

So I was talking to Daddy on the phone, following up to see if Mom was Ok-she'd be gone quite a long time for a Dr. Appt. and I told him she could call me at home and he asked "DO YOU EVER WORK?"

Well, that kind of hit me wrong-yes I work (for 3 more days) and I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that but I know I can't keep juggling a "real" job and worrying about checking on 3 old people-NOR can I let them go unworried and unchecked.

Sue warned me-she did. She left corp america to take care of her two kids and it's a little bit like dropping off the face of the earth. No paycheck equals no value added-not not really-Sue's husband Jay is certainly not like that.

The real chiller is "will I EVER work again". That's the one that frosts the bones-would anyone ever willingly hire me again? Am I a washed up old has been or never was or what? It's true, midlife crisis isn't all sports cars and boats.

And I KNOW part of my uncertainty stems from my leg and my limp, but there it is, for all the world to see.

And, while we are being real, Daddy wasn't just being insensitive, he's 81 and had a couple of strokes. That's how he IS now. As I allow myself to notice these things, I am able to detect with both my parents and my Uncle that angry, frustrated "why is this happening to me" thing that they don't say but I know they are feeling.

Now, this blog is about MY midlife crisis, but part of the MLC is aging parents, and I would not be fair or honest if I didn't look at them with open eyes as well. Someone should-they deserve that much.

Hmm, and that reminds me of who I really am-I'm the one who doesn't look away.

Wow

I've gone from complte panic to pretty much catonia in the past few days. What am I doing? I quit my job. I have no new job. I'm moving. All this takes time and cannot be resolved in a matter of days. If all goes well, I will be moved by the end of the month and can look for a job.

It all made sense when I was planning it. It still makes sense. But what if I'm wrong. OH LORD, the boogy man is with us all the time isn't he?

My cousin Phil had a small stroke and my brother's mother in law was in a coma last week. OH LORD, what if that happened to my parents and I was here?

Yes, I've got to get us back to Oklahoma, and I am and I will. But I didn't think it was going to be this hard.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

POIDOGZ: The Jurassic Day

POIDOGZ: The Jurassic Day

How the hell did I get on this roller coaster?

The flu coma lasted a couple of days and I new that despite feeling like hell it was the respite I needed. Now I am sitting in a shambles of a house (aquariums on the way out, wine on the way in), TV on the way out, Scotty in limbo, new house in limbo, job on the way out not a clue on the way inn, piles of paperwork left to go through for John, taxes to file and I'm thinking to myself how long can this go on?

The great wall of chihuahua has been put up to guarantee my own peace of mind (read poidogz blog for all that good dish). The two big uns are STILL at the kennel-I am here to tell you that flu knocked me OUT and I could barely cope with the two that made it home.

Ah, yes grasshopper (says the voice in my head) this is the part of change you really don't like much. The bank vault opens, huge wads of cash fly out the door and it seems the tide will never turn. Unlike a friendly Hurricane, where you can say "shit happens", this is self directed change where you are required to say quite often "what the hell have I done?" Usually the point where you begin saying this is right after the point of no return.

Oh crap, the dogs have breached the wall.