Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh The Clogging!

Friday, I tried to vacuum up the dog hair from the living room. Only, there didn't seem to be any change in the floor (other than some obvious vacuum cleaner lines). Since our vacuum is bagless, I thought that it must be the filter being caked with dirt that was causing the issues.

So, we bought a new filter for the vacuum cleaner yesterday, and I tried vacuuming the carpet today. Only, I still had a problem with not getting anything up.

So, I look at the bottom of the vacuum cleaner, to see if the tube is blocked down there. Other than a lot of dog hair caught in the wheels, there isn't anything obviously keeping the vacuum from working.

Then, I noticed the part of the tube that attaches to the canister. It's full of dog hair, maybe that's the problem.

On the plus side, it's only attached to the vacuum by two screws, so I can easily remove it and try to fix the problem and then reattach it.

On the minus side, I really don't have anything to easily stick in this tube to get all the hair out. So, I grab a metal hanger (it wasn't being used, and was oddly the only purely metal hanger we have) and I straighten it out as much as possible and use it to clear out the hair. And, I quickly reattach the hose.

Then, I use the vacuum again, trying to actually get my floors cleaner, only to notice that it's clogged up again. So, I get to do this whole thing all over again.

On the plus side, there isn't a dog to add more dog hair to the floor and make this a continual problem in the future. And, I didn't have to just buy an new vacuum.

But, I did get rather dirty trying to fix the problem. And I didn't get around to folding and putting away my laundry today, because after working on the vacuum twice, my back was done with housework for the day.

Oh the joys of cleaning house!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Change Is In The Air

After a few months of just waiting for some change to happen, I'm suddenly faced with lots of changes happening in a fairly short amount of time. Changes that I'm not fully ready to talk about.

The one change I am ready to say something about is that Guillermo is no longer our dog. He's Karen's dog again (she gave him to us while she couldn't keep him, and now we've given him back). He is a wedding present for the whole family-to-be (2 adults, 4 kids).

She took him back today, even though the wedding isn't for a few weeks. It's better for everyone.

And so a season of change has started for this house. And as we find more things that belong to Guillermo, we'll have more to give them at the wedding. Now, Ace and I have to get used to it being just the two of us again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Frustration with My Back

Tonight, I'm being reminded why it is that I get frustrated with my back some times.

Ace and I have figured out the best things to do to minimize my discomfort with my back when it comes to things like grocery shopping (he moves most of the groceries back into the cart, and everything from the cart to the trunk) or housework (I take it slow, do some chores shortly after getting up, and do about one chore a day).

And then, all I have to do to mess that stuff up is sleep funny and I'm suddenly unable to stand still for short periods of time without my lower back protesting, strongly.

It's frustrating to find myself planning to do some hand-wash dishes, only to wake up and realize that I'm not doing anything that requires me to stand still for more than a minute today, because my back won't let me (and I know better than to just push through, as the punishment will be worse than an extra day needing to do dishes).

So, I make plans, and know that we'll see in the morning if those plans will actually come about. And I make back up plans for what to do, housework wise, for if the original plans fall through (because of my back).

Later (after I get some sleep, as it is the wrong time for doing anything but sleeping), the goal is some dishes being hand-washed and Ace's hair being cut. The back up plan is cleaning half the bathroom and cutting Ace's hair (that won't take long, and he really needs that hair cut).


Sunday, August 23, 2009


While I have a good relationship with my dad, we don't talk much. I tend to get wrapped up in day to day life (or rather, stuff on TV that I watch in my day to day life) and I forget to do basic human kindness stuff like write him e-mails.

So, when I say that I was blindsided by his news of a cancer scare, know that it is mostly my fault and that he probably wanted to keep me from worrying about him (he was busy worrying about himself and trying to keep my step-mother from being completely freaked out).

He doesn't have cancer. That caught it in pre-cancer stages. They probably got it all, he's probably going to be fine for a long time. But...

He's more at risk now. He'll probably have to be screened more often for potential cancer. I need to find out what kind it could have been and now my siblings and I have to keep in mind that we need to keep our eyes open for symptoms in the future.

Right now, I wish I was sitting with my dad. I wish I was there, like my sister is, just spending time with him. I wish I had kids already, so they could get to know him. I wish Ace wasn't at work, because I'm just not sure how to handle all this and I know I can't go anywhere until tomorrow night, because Ace has work tomorrow too (which would give me a chance to get my laundry done).

I wish I could breath easy. I wish I knew what to say. I wish this whole thing had never happened so that I could stay in my safe little world which currently feels like it's coming crashing down.

But, for all my wishes, I have to deal with reality. So, for now, I'll be sitting over here reminding myself to breathe and trying to distract myself until Ace gets home and I can talk with him about all of this.

And the next time I see my dad, I think I'll spend extra time just enjoying the fact that he's here and fairly healthy. Plus, I'll give him an extra long hug. I think we could both use it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Brief History of Cramps

Or: Sometimes It Sucks to be a Girl

WARNING: This may be a little graphic. Sorry, but I need to get this off my chest (or would that be my uterus?). Also, I don't know why I feel the need to share this now, but I am.

On the first day of my period (thankfully, a day that was roughly a week ago for me), I get cramps. Bad ones. Make me want to curl into a ball and cry ones.

Unless I take Midol at the first sign that I've moved past minor spotting to the full on start of my period. Then, it usually kills the pain before it starts.

When I was a teenager, I wouldn't think of taking something to kill the pain. Which always made shopping look interesting. One minute, I'd be browsing at my normal height, then next I would be crouched down and walking at that level (it did seem to drop the level of pain, at the time). Of course, as a teenager it didn't seem likely that stretching those hurting muscles would help make them stop hurting either.

Because of these bad cramps, I've learned to keep Midol in stock in my house and to move some near where I'll be when I first start noticing signs that my period is definitely going to start soon (like, spotting). I've also learned that on the first day of my period, I should wear the loosest pants I can.

So, yeah. Some days it sucks being a girl. But, one day a month isn't that bad, right?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Laughing Instead of Crying

A short while ago, less than 30 minutes, I got myself some food (queso and tortilla chips). I set down the chips and the queso to go get the mail while Guillermo was out, enjoying the yard.

Then, I moved something, slightly, and the queso fell.

I took a few moments to move stuff around, so that Guillermo could more easily get to the queso to lick it up (he doesn't get queso that often, as we don't eat it that often... and usually he just gets to lick the bowl). Then, I pulled the jar of queso back out of the fridge, put on some flip flops, and went and got the mail.

Nicely, he wasn't staring at me while I ate my late lunch (I kept getting distracted with my mental to do list and forgot to make myself something to eat until a little while ago), because he was too busy cleaning up my accident. Of course, since I was having queso, he was happy to lick my bowl when I was finished. I think that currently he's fairly happy with me, even if he is frustrated that I keep shooing him off from licking the floor where he's gotten most of the queso up already (I guess that it still tastes like queso to him, but he really doesn't need to keep licking the floor).

Nicely, I mostly found the whole thing funny. A small part of me wanted to cry, but the feeling passed quickly and then I just wanted to laugh at the whole incident.

At least one member of the household was made happy by the whole thing.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Comedy of Errors

Today, Ace and I did some grocery shopping. When we were finished, we stopped by the gas pumps to fill up before coming home.

While Ace was pumping gas, I had some visual entertainment from some other car coming up to get gas.

First, they tried to pull in front of us, because Ace had used the back pump (the one ahead was out of service). Then, they couldn't get the car re-started (it had died), because there wasn't enough gas in it to start up again. So, the two guys in the car got out to push it to another pump.

As they are pushing, the driver's pants look like they are going to fall off of him, because he was wearing loose pants, slung low to show off his boxers (a look I've never understood). I saw his legs below the boxers from the droop of the pants.

So, they get the car to another pump, and the driver gives his passenger money for gas. Then, they discover that they need to be members of Sam's Club to use the pumps there (we had just been shopping at Sam's, so it was the closest place for us to get gas for the car). When we left, the driver was on the phone and the worker of the gas station's box was trying to help him figure out what he needed to do to buy gas.

Ace, as we are headed home, mentions to me that they had to have passed at least one other gas station before this one where they could have paid for gas with cash and not needed anything else to achieve their goal.

It was an amusing way to spend a few minutes while waiting for us to be ready to go home. And I was happy that it was someone else dealing with all the errors.

Planning Ahead

I'm awake tonight not because of my brain, but because I'm planning ahead into our future. I'm reading a book on homeschooling, because when we have kids, Ace and I plan on homeschooling (no, there is no correlation between me reading about homeschooling and any definite knowledge of the future. I just really like to be informed sometimes).

We are excited about the possibilities, even though we aren't looking forward to the discussion with Ace's parents on why we are homeschooling (we both dislike public schools, with a passion). Ace's mother was a public school teacher (She retired at the end of May. At least, the last I heard that had been the plan.), so I don't think this plan is going to make her feel warm and fuzzy about us. Although, I think she was getting tired of teaching to the No Child Left Behind tests.

So, tonight I'm excited about the future, whenever it may come.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finally, A Good Night's Sleep

Last night, I went to bed at a reasonable hour. Then I slept fairly deeply for the night. And when I got up this morning, while still being tired, I felt much better.

Because I went to bed so much earlier than I had been, I got up much earlier than I had been. It was slightly surprising to me how much earlier in the day that I got my mental to do list done. In fact, by noon I only had 2 things left of it. By 2:30, I was done.

Now, normally I get everything I plan to done before Ace gets home, but it's not normally until later in the day. It was surprising to me to be done with 3 hours left until Ace would get home (the other day, it was within an hour).

Hopefully, tonight I'll get another good night's sleep. Hopefully, this pattern will continue.

But for now, I'm celebrating my good night's sleep.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Letter to My Brain

Dear brain,

Hi. How are you?

Now that I've gotten that preliminary question out of the way, let me ask this one: What is up? Why, oh why, when you know that I need sleep do you decide that it is now time for you to work and think?

And no, I will not climb out of bed 10 minutes after climbing in (at hours of the night I know that I'm not supposed to know exist) to come into the living room and type stuff here. It can wait. I'm tired and my body needs rest.

Don't try to deny it that you were trying to get me up again last night, I was there. "Hey," you said, "let's go into the living room for a quick post. It won't take long." And I refused. Was not actually falling very deeply asleep my punishment for that? If so, what's the matter with you? You're just punishing yourself too.

Don't give me this whole thing about it being the fault of caffeine either. I didn't give you enough caffeine to keep me up that late. Plus, I used to drink Dr. Pepper and go right to sleep. I know it's been a while since I've drank caffeine much, but this is only supposed to be as much caffeine as is in a cup of coffee. And it should have all left the system HOURS before I went to bed.

So, from now on, we treat each other right. You don't keep me up all night and I'll continue to not drink much caffeine or alcohol. Deal?

Your friend,

P.S.: Lack of sleep leads to missing things and not remembering stuff. I know those things bother you. Let's keep that from happening.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've got a lot of random things floating around in my head that I want to get out, but none of them are really long enough for a post to themselves, so I'm going to stick them here together.


My sister and her boyfriend have been dating for about a year and a half. When she was little, because of her outgoing personality, we thought she'd be the kind of girl who changed boyfriends every week (like some of my cousins apparently did). From what I can tell, this hasn't been the case. Although, I do think this is the longest dating relationship she has had.


Today, Ace and I watched 16 episodes of Get Smart (from the first season). While I don't think either of us expected to spend 8 hours watching Maxwell Smart, we both seemed to enjoy it (to the point we got distracted from the other things we were doing). When we can, I want to get the show on DVD.


I have a weird personality sometimes. I am introverted and quiet, unless I feel safe and comfortable. Then, I can talk your ear off. I can get comfortable enough around groups to seem somewhat extroverted, but it can take time. Around groups of kids, I don't seem to need to observe the culture first.


One time, at summer camp (Bible camp, 1 week long), I told my counselor that my only talent was reading (there was a talent show that night, and I didn't want to be in it). While this is probably mostly true, I think most of the issue was not wanting to get up in front of the camp and do something.

The next day, at mail call (pretty much all inner-camp mail), I had to read a Bible verse to get a piece of mail. I'm pretty sure I blushed through the whole thing. It was better than being asked to do a song I'd never heard before to get my mail (which also happened that year).


I feel better now that I've said all that random stuff. Hopefully some of it was interesting.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I wish I could start this post with something cool about the idea of Death as a character in a novel, but I really can't come up with anything.

Instead, I'll just say that I've been reading Discworld novels lately, and I've found some of them more fascinating than others.

This whole reading extravaganza (if 3 books in 4 days can be called an extravaganza) began on Tuesday. I got Ace to take me to the downtown library before we did our weekly grocery shopping. He agreed because I knew roughly where I needed to go to find the books I wanted to get. Also, I had the cash for parking at the library.

So, I picked out 3 of the 4 books they had of the series, checked them out, and off we went to do our shopping. Later that day, I started one of the books and found it hard to put down for long. I finished the book within the day. The next day, I picked up another of the books and read it within a day.

The only reason I took longer to finish the third book is that I didn't read far enough to get involved enough Friday (and I didn't read on any books Thursday, for some odd reason). But, once I got involved in the story, I found it hard to put the book down long enough to do much of anything.

Now, I wish I had grabbed the other book too. I'm sure I can check the library just up the street soon to see if they have any of the books there.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Family Sadness

One of my cousins was pregnant.

I say it that way, because recently the baby died.

She was still pregnant at the time.

I've got mixed emotions about this. I mean, obviously I feel bad for my cousin. This is a terrible thing to have happen. It hurt to hear.

On the other hand, it all seems kind of far away and it doesn't hit very hard. We aren't as close as either of us would like. We don't talk much as she is busy with 2 kids and I haven't tried very hard to reach out.

I'm not feeling as crushed emotionally as I was a few months ago by Jenna's news. I'm just feeling a little sad, like I would if I heard anyone lost a baby. Knowing that makes me feel a little sad.

There is a small, teeny-tiny part of me that's feeling relief from small amounts of jealousy that we're hidden deep down. And I feel a little bad about that too.

This is one of those things that is still rolling around in my head. And I'm not sure I'm quite done thinking about it yet.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Shoulder Will Eventually Be Better

Or: Why I'm Currently Torturing Myself Everyday

Okay, so I'm not really torturing myself, but it kind of feels like it after I'm done (when my shoulder hurts some and the muscles just want to be relaxed for a long while).

Ace and I talked yesterday to my chiropractor about what we could do to make my shoulder better to where I won't wake up with a sore shoulder and needing to not do much for a day because I rolled over in my sleep and hurt it, again.

His suggestion was to do some exercises for me to do to help strengthen my rotator cuff to help. He also mentioned that they will help try to fix my shoulder while I'm there for my back too. He also suggested that some of my problems were possibly from scar tissue, and thus would never fully be the same as it was before (I'll be more likely to re-injure it more easily now), but these exercises should, hopefully, allow me to sleep without hurting myself just by rolling on my side.

But for now, until the muscles are built up, I'm hurting doing them (it's been 2 days, and they are sore right now).

I did, teasingly, ask Ace if my shoulder was looking more buff now. His comment, "After 2 days?" And then, I'm pretty sure we both laughed.

P.S.: I blame the dog for my shoulder hurting. I know that I'm partially to blame, but I'm also the one that still hurts some, thus he gets the blame. That's the fair way to split it up, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Dog Vs. The Tub

Before I start my simple little tale of something that cracks me up, I want to say that I've got lots on my mind lately. But, none of it is ready to be shared here yet. It's all still tumbling and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about everything yet.

Anyway, on to my story.

The other night, Ace and I were in the bathroom, getting ready for bed. In comes Guillermo, interested in the room because that's where we were. As long as he's just outside the bathroom, I'm content to leave him be, but as soon as he steps into the bathroom, I start automatically telling him to get out. Then, the perfect phrase hits me.

M: Do you want a bath?

Guillermo, upon hearing that and seeing me move the shower curtain, runs as quickly as he can out of the room and into the living room (a mostly straight shot from the bathroom).

I, being the loving and caring pet owner, burst out laughing.

Sure enough, because we are still in the bathroom, in comes Guillermo again. As quickly as I can, I ask him again, "Do you want a bath?" Again, as quickly as possible, he runs out and into the living room.

Again, moments later, same thing, reaction and all. And again. The fourth time I'm asking him if he wants a bath, I can hardly get the question out, I'm laughing so hard.

Then, we've finished in the bathroom. I'm standing in the bedroom, waiting by the door as I want some cuddle time with Ace (the dog isn't allowed in for cuddle time, it's my time). Ace is standing just outside the bathroom, trying to convince the dog to go to bed. Guillermo, because he feels like he never has enough attention, wants to come into our room with us.

Ace, as a loving, caring pet owner, then asks Guillermo if he wants a bath. This time, Guillermo runs to the bedroom, by me, I guess hoping for me to save him from the evils of bathing (he likes water, but not the bathtub). I kick him out of the bedroom.

Then, Ace starts scratching Guillermo behind the ears. Now, Guillermo is happy, as he loves this. Then, Ace asks again if Guillermo wants a bath. Guillermo starts... well, it looked like jumping, because he doesn't want a bath, but he wants to keep getting attention. Then, because I'm leaning against the open bedroom door, laughing, Ace, while still scratching, asks Guillermo again. Same reaction.

Then, Guillermo got sent off to bed, Ace and I had cuddle time, and we giggled for a good 2 or 3 minutes over the whole thing.

We never had any intention of giving him a bath that night, but it's a good way to get him to leave the bathroom (and it always cracks me up). And he pretty much always reacts that same way, running away from an empty tub.

I guess when it comes to Guillermo vs. the tub, the tub wins.

Monday, August 3, 2009


It's 2:15 in the morning. I know that I should be in bed, asleep. Instead, I'm awake and feeling like I'm probably going to start spiraling into depression if I'm not careful.

I'm not quite sure how I let the shore slip away, but I did. I think I got distracted with YouTube videos and didn't notice that the current was pulling me away from safety.

Part of my problem is that I opened the door to the past, to pull out select bits, and while I was there more bits came tumbling down. The past seems to be badly organized and arranged like all those closets you've seen in sitcoms where stuff starts falling and just keeps coming.

This is why I try to stay away from that door marked past. Because just when I think it's safe to open it up, for a short peek, it starts falling around me again, pulling me away from the shore (I do believe I'm mixing my metaphors, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. I apologize, it's kind of hard to keep everything as neat as I'd like it to be when I'm working on putting the past back where it belongs.).

So, as I look around, I'm not as far from the shore as I originally thought, but if I don't correct this now, it'll be harder to correct very soon.

So, tomorrow (or, well, later today), I'm going to sit down and talk with Ace about this. Between the two of us, we should find someway to help me find the shore again.


P.S.: Why do I have the words "I'm a survivor, I'm gonna get up" running through my head? At least it's a positive message.