JusJoJan – Jan 31 – Chaos


The last JusJoJan of the month and obviously, the year because January is finished. Linda has gifted us with a variety of topics from many bloggers. 

I was crazy deep in thought today about housework. Yep, housework was on my mind. I did a lot of deep cleaning today which brought up reflections on how I have felt about housework over my lifetime.

I have had a variety of feelings about housework. Those feelings include hatred, apathy, sensibility, enjoyment, and affection. The chores haven’t changed so why have my feelings varied so much?

My feelings have changed because of time and circumstances. As a child from 9 to 18, I was responsible for all the chores in the house. Because of course, I was the girl. I was in charge of cleaning the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and my bedroom. I had to do all the dishes, laundry, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, and care of the pets. In the very beginning I liked the responsibility of the chores. I was proud that I could do it all right. That was short lived of course. I came to be angry at the chaos my brothers caused. They purposely made messes that I was forced to clean up. I wanted to be a kid, not the maid. I resented having to do their dishes and their laundry just because I was the girl.

When I first married at 18, I rebelled against the must-do chores. I had my apartment and my husband. I hated chores so much I lived in chaos most of the time. I shake my head at how horrible I let things get. I was rebelling because I had freedom for the first time since I was a little kid. I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t care. I had the choice of living how I wanted for the first time in my life.

When I had my baby, things changed dramatically. My baby deserved to be in a clean house. I became obsessed with cleanliness. As my baby started crawling, I vacuumed the floor twice a day. I washed my windows weekly and all my screens every month. My refrigerator was emptied, and all shelves scrubbed every week. My baby never had store bought food. When the time came, I made all her baby food. I made all her clothes. I was super psycho clean lady. I did it with joy because I was trying to do better for my child that I had as a child. I was on a mission.

When the girls started school and I returned to college as well as all the other homemaker jobs I morphed into a very different type of house cleaner. I did the mandatory things to keep chaos at bay. But dishes were not important, nor was laundry, unless we were out of dishes or clothes. Many chores became so low on the importance level that if we didn’t have company, I didn’t worry about the chores. I was apathetic about the lack of order in my home. It just wasn’t important with all else that was going on. I knew it was not the way I wanted to live, but I I also knew it wasn’t the end of the world.

When my kids grew older, I wanted them to have responsibilities of house cleaning chores, but I did not want them to hate chores because of having to do too many. I am sure if you asked them, they would tell you that I was cruel and unusual because they had to clean their own rooms and the bathroom they shared. They had to vacuum the stairs going up to their rooms because all the debris was theirs alone. I liked keeping my house clean, but I had no desire to be the only one cleaning with messy teens in the house. I had not learned at that point that a grown man should be a part of the process.

When my daughters moved out, I loved cleaning my house. I made the messes and I cleaned up after myself. Everything had a place and I even dusted and ironed with joy. If extra deep cleaning was necessary, I fit the jobs into my schedule. The difficulties arose with my desire to accumulate things. I developed new hobbies and the paraphernalia required to complete them. The contents expanded but the walls did not. Keeping things clean was much easier than keeping things tidy.

When I remarried, I hoped to maintain my enjoyment of cleaning. But alas, I don’t like cleaning up after other people. The pendulum has swung many times these last 25 years. I know I am most content when both parties are contributing to the upkeep of the house. I have no delusions that my partner will ever enjoy taking care of the house. I can only hope that he understands that we make the mess and we need to clean it up. I recognize that when we work together, I am happier.

A clean house makes me happy. If I make a complete mess when sewing or scrapbooking, I take full responsibility for my disaster. Now that I am retired, I spend days on end doing things that make me happy. The rooms I am working in are messy, but clean. I love that. I am grateful for the time I spend in my home doing things that bring me joy.

I have been purging items from my home for a couple of years now. As things leave, I recognize that there is less to take care of. Less to take care of, means less cleaning. It is a win-win.

I no longer must spend all weekend doing chores because I am too exhausted after school to do anything. Now I can clean when the mood strikes me. I am enjoying cleaning again. Truth be told, I like the results. I appreciate knowing that once I am done, I get to enjoy my space.

This morning I put on Sirius Radio to 70’s on 7. I cranked up the volume and attacked some long overdue cleaning chores. I spent hours on my toaster oven, my oven, my stovetop, and my kitchen floor. I was singing (out of tune) while I worked. I decided to also do the floors and laundry and dishes. When I finished, I was exhausted but oh so happy. I am grateful that for now, I am enjoying cleaning again. I appreciate that when I have the time and energy, I can happily keep my home clean. I am not going to worry about what the future looks like. Today I was joyously cleaning.

JusJoJan – Jan. 14 – Publish


Today’s prompt was given to Linda by Ritu. Drop by her blog to see what she writes about. 

Linda keeps us going by setting up the rules and guidelines. It is a pleasure to follow her blog and prompts. If you want to see what its all bout, you can go here.

I had hoped to write and publish a blog post before midnight, but I didn’t make it. I contemplated backdating the post and publishing a blog about subscribing which was yesterday’s prompt.

Personally, I don’t subscribe to the theory that you must do the exact prompt on the exact day if life gets in your way. Life got in my way of blogging today. I was very busy.

I had to go to two banks to pay my bills in person. The mailbox outside the post office had been robbed and all my bills were in the loot they took. I do not have autopay on my bills so when all the new bills stated I owed for two months I knew something was wrong. The charge cards added a late fee and interest charges. One bank quickly reversed the extra charges. The second said it was not in their authority to delete the charges and I needed to call customer service. I presented them with a letter from my credit union, but they were less than impressed.

I needed to look for some fabric before my grocery shopping. I was quasi successful at JoAnn’s but hit a home run at Stater Bros. When I arrived home, I was greeted by the aroma of the 15 bean soup I had left simmering on the stove this morning.

As soon as I finished my yummy lunch, I started making a quilt top for my grandson. His birthday is next week. I finally stopped at 11:55 PM. I still need to add gears to the top. I also need to find a fabric I like for the back.

Except for food breaks, phone call breaks, texting breaks, and Annie breaks, I worked all day on the quilt top. I am pleased with the end product. I am ready to publish the blog and try to sleep now. 

I need to add the appliqued gears still.

z quilt

My Thankful Thursday – Practicing Gratitude

It has been a better day today and I am grateful for it. SARK asks on Thursdays how we are loving ourselves. It always makes me think.  I am loving myself daily by following the diet restrictions that keep me feeling well. I am thankful for the diet reducing my pain levels.

I was ironing fabric this morning and suddenly remembered I had to put out the trash receptacles. The first of the three garbage trucks comes by 6:30 AM. I went through the house and emptied the bedroom trash cans. Then I took out the black trash can as the truck was four doors up the street from me. I am thankful I made it in time. Score one for me. I took out the recycle can and the green can in plenty of time.

I got ready to go out to do my chores and responded to morning texts and calls. The bank was stop one. Sadly, one payment check never arrived and I had to cancel the check and resend it. It is frustrating when a company doesn’t inform you of not receiving payment. Then I went to two grocery stores to get some items for Thanksgiving. I was tickled that some of the things I wanted were greatly reduced in price.

I was getting very hungry by then. I was passing multiple fast food places. Thankfully, I wasn’t interested because I had yummy food I had made at home. I am so happy I have multiple Pyrex containers filled with food I have made for myself. I am not a gourmet cook, but I prefer my cooking to fast food any day. I am loving myself by making new dishes that satisfy my diet restrictions as well as my taste buds.

The day was passing quickly, and I don’t like to be out past two if I can help it. School gets out and parents are not exactly safe when they do pick-ups. My house is right by four different schools. The high school is directly down the street from my house.  Many high school drivers are less than safe. I avoid driving in the area surrounding my house at drop off and pick up times. I am loving myself by protecting my safety in a known traffic accident area.

I made it safely to the freeway and out to JoAnn’s. I found the interfacing and thread I needed for a new project. I am thankful for the time I am giving myself to sew. Sewing is a good 10 for me.

I need to practice moderation. I am thankful for the knowledge that I tend to overdue time spent on things I want to get done. I am grateful for having the time and space to do things I enjoy. I just need to remember to do less.

It is cold outside. The low 60’s is a dramatic change for our neck of the woods. I am grateful for my warm house, warm clothes, and warm food to fill my hunger pains. I have seven or eight things I want to get done today. But I will be happy if I only do a couple of things. I am thankful I am learning to be happy with what I do and not frustrated with what I wanted to do.

I am grateful for another good day in my retirement. I am thankful that I am loving myself and caring for myself. 


Practicing Gratitude – One step over the line

I don’t know why this line came to me but the song was in my head today.  I am still experiencing a wonderful remission on two out of the three things my new normal has handed me. The third is reducing itself. 

So why the title as a thought? I kept thinking today, can I take one more step? Can I push the line and do more things without causing stress?  Can I take care of my physical body and still complete things that will make me happy? So I did what any red blooded list maker would do and made a mental list of all that I would like to get done.   

I woke up early, about five AM, and felt totally rested. I have a nice long conversation with a friend I have missed. It was a great day to start my day. I played with Annie and did my morning activities. I read an email from a dear friend that brought joy to my heart.   

I have been decluttering my home ever since I entered the road to recovery from PTSD. I keep finding things that could possibly send me spiraling to sadness.  Instead I am looking at how far I have come and how much I have learned about choosing my reactions to events. 

Today’s big chore was to clean my tiny master bedroom. All the drawers, all the medicines, all the nooks and crannies needed help. Sadly, three drawers were broken. One was totally missing its bottom.  I went off to the hardware store to see if I could figure out a way to finally repair the mess. Once there, I saw a multitude of other things I just “had to have.”  I bought plants for out front in my pots, I bought bulbs to enjoy next spring, I bought hardware to fix the drawers, and a few other sundry items.   

I then went to the grocery store as my pain had not elevated past a three. I was taking one more step over  the line. When I came home I worked out front on my pots and replanting succulents until I felt my arms getting a sunburn.  I was so grateful to work on my garden doing something I hadn’t done in a few years.     

It was back to my bathroom again. I worked at repairing the drawers first, then I cleaned everything. There were meds long outdated and items I can no longer use. I set aside some wonderful bubble bath that I can no longer use. Hopefully I can find someone to adopt my multiple bottles of vanilla scented bubble bath. I am highly allergic to scents and this was the only one that did not bother me. I asked a couple of people if they could use one or more bottles, but most I know also cannot tolerate fragrances. 

This weekend I planned a surprise visit to my aunt. It will be the farthest I have traveled from home in four months. I believe I can do it. I believe my body will cooperate. As I was making dinner I received a text from my cousin. It seems my aunt was being evacuated from her assisted living because of the Saddleridge fire. They were taking the residents to a hotel 75 miles away where they would be safe. 

For some this would be very stressful.  For my soon to be 94 year old aunt, this is an adventure. She is looking forward to the dinner at the hotel, even though it is very late for her. So tomorrow is up in the air. We may be able to see her if the roads are clear and if she is up to visitors.   

Tonight I was able to chat with friends and family. I am grateful that the people that know me, lift my spirits and rejoice with me when I share my truth. I am grateful for learning that people who try to hurt others should have no place in my tribe. I am grateful for my tribe. 

My body is exhausted. I am grateful for the physical exhaustion of doing things I wanted to accomplish. I am grateful I am not exhausted from dealing with pain. I am grateful for the brighter days ahead. I am grateful for this day of greatly reduced pain. I am grateful that as I clear the clutter in my home I have more and more clarity in my head. 

I took one step over the line again and again. BUT NOT THE WAY THE SONG MEANT!   I listened to the video and was more than a little surprised about the true meaning of the song. I guess it shows that I don’t listen to country music often. I just like the line, one step over the line.  I guess this was my Learn Something New Every Day item.


Day 308 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Monday morning the start of school – There is always something to be grateful for.

It’s here. It’s the first day of school with kids. My peeps are at work. They are starting another wonderful adventure with new students and new experiences.

So how did I start my day? My daughter called and we had an early conversation about the going on in her life. She asked if I was already up even though she knew the answer. I am still an early morning riser. If I sleep or not, I am up super early. 

I was at school by 6:30. I dropped off items I was gifting to my friends as well as gifts for anyone that can use them. The car ride was a challenge as my body is in pain. . I saw the noon aides. They wondered why I was there. One joked and asked if I was lost. I already miss these people. Not enough to feel like I didn’t do the right thing retiring though. 🙂 

I popped back home in time to miss the terrible traffic that will ensue from the high school. Crazy parents, crazy teen drivers, and crazy bus drivers make for a difficult mandatory route if not timed well.

I came home and had the luxury of  texting with a colleague to wish her well as she returns to work. We had a long conversation uninterrupted by my needing to get items planned or run or designed. Yippee. I wish my body was feeling as happy as my emotions.

I am not sure what my dog thinks is going on. I left and came back in such a short time. I know she is happy to be sitting in my lap as I sit on the floor. 

I saw some posts on Fakebook that made me smile. I enjoyed the leisure time responding to and posting some fun things. That’s a first. I sent a message to my former work husband wishing him a great day on his last first day of school. I  also wanted him to know I dropped off lab supplies of mine that I thought he could use. 

I boxed up some items to send to my cousin and then I saw she was online. That surprised me as I expected she would be at work. I sent a quick message and to my delight she called. We talked for almost an hour. We rarely have long periods of time without obligations.  Such a luxury for us both. She was home waiting to meet someone and I hope for her sake the meeting goes well. She deserves some good things coming her way.   

I read some blog posts and worked on tagging and categorizing some of my old posts. I read posts from loved ones who I  have missed. I also ventured on to some bloggers I don’t follow to see what they were up to. Who knew you could play on the computer during work hours. Oh yeah, I don’t have work hours.  I am retired. I wish my retirement was not beginning in physical pain. 

It is still morning and I have been able to use the restroom (or loo as some call it) whenever I damn well please. I can drink beverages without worrying when I will have a break. I can do what I want when I want. Such a novel idea.   

I received a text message from the pharmacy that I have meds to pick up. I can actually go when it is not crowded. I can shop for some needed items at my will. I can drop off the packages to the pot office and hopefully there won’t be a huge line.  

It is morning and I have no commitments until 3:30 today. I am sitting here with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart.