Hustle and flow

It’s been a rough bunch of weeks for my body. It’s August in Texas, so breathing doesn’t exactly come easy to my lungs. COPD is a total motherbitch sometimes. I’ve been struggling with fatigue in a way that I haven’t felt since the antidepressants really started working. My addict brain says “get the doc to increase the dosage”; the 12 steps tell me to hold off until the weather cools back down a bit and see how I’m feeling then. It’s hard, trying to wait; I hate feeling this old, sore, tired, and generally crappy.

It’s our busy season at the produce stand, so work is 10 to 11 hours of non-stop hustle. It’s basically outdoors, and it’s a lot of lifting and toting. It can be brutal in this heat and humidity. 

We’re building a house, so we’ve been non-stop hustle trying to get the place to an air & water tight point so we can slow down a bit. I’m sick of watching Sunshine kill himself to pay for things, and would like to see him rest & relax a bit.

The fall garden is off to a rollicking good start, but I still haven’t planted the squash and beans. Mr B has promised to help me tomorrow morning,  and he’s usually good at figuring out ways to do gardening that aren’t as punishing to our old-ass bodies. Hopefully,  he can prevent the planting from being an entire day of non-stop hustle. 

My trip to Georgia for my sister’s wedding didn’t help matters any. I spent entirely too long in my truck on both parts of the round-trip drive. I actually slept til 10 one morning; my mom was so alarmed she came in and woke me up to make sure I hadn’t died in my sleep. I’m looking forward to spending Christmas with my family, and am glad Sunshine will be with me to share the driving.

Today, I’m off to help the electrical engineer pre-wire our house; another day of non-stop hustle. We really need to save on labor costs whenever possible, so tag-I’m-it.  All I know to do is go with the flow and hope the weather patterns changes soon so I can maybe feel better.

Mother Nature is trying to kill me

This heat wave is making it hard for me to breathe. It is sucking all of the life out of me. I am struggling with fatigue. It doesn’t help that I had the road trip from hell on Tuesday, spending most of it IN A HOT CAR WAITING ON SHIT TO HAPPEN.

I’ll quit yelling now.

I’ve been borrowing spoons from the coming day to get through the current one, and I feel like a crash and burn is imminent. I’ve probably leveraged my spoons through Halloween, at least.

I’m so low on spoons that even posting on this blob is draining me, but I need to write. It provides some release, it helps me see things clearly when I look back, and it serves as our record of what we tried and what didn’t work.

I’m off to spend some quality time with my couch and a book called “the urban homestead” that was gifted to me by the wonderful Eco-Feminist. Thank you for such a thoughtful (and well-timed) gift, I owe you one!

Overdone

I am overdone right now. I am so completely out of spoons it isn’t even funny. It’s definitely summer in Texas.

Mr B and I got out in the garden Thursday and tag teamed the weeds and grass. He ran the weedeater while I crawled around pulling weeds and grass by hand in the places he couldn’t run the weedeater. Then we picked blackberries. Then I worked 10 hours yesterday, and it was stupid hot.

I have been handed a reminder that, no matter how normal I have felt since the antidepressants started working, my body still has limits; and that there is a very heavy price for pushing those limits.

Chronic…

It’s one of those weeks when I’m really reminded that I have a chronic condition. My COPD and anemia have me feeling fatigued. The overabundance of things needing my attention combined with my job and the heat/humidity have me exhausted on top of the fatigue. I’m also STILL hurting in my back and hip from the great septic system debacle, which only serves to drain me further.

I can’t drop dead just yet. My boss is going out of town for the weekend, so I have to work all day for the next three days. In the heat and humidity. 

I had planned on resting today. Ass, meet couch. Ass and couch, meet Netflix.

I really need to stop making plans.

Last night, Sunshine made a shitty comment in a shitty tone of voice: “well you could help me out sometimes” (referring to our house construction). I ignored it at the time.

Today, I tried to watch Netflix. But I couldn’t get that shitty comment in that shitty tone out of my head. So I dragged my COPD/anemic/fatigued/exhausted/hurting ass down the hill and sanded the exterior door to prep it for stain and sealer. Then I sanded the exterior door casings to prep them for stain and sealer.

Of course, the hours I spent sanding on those doors will come off the end of my life. I spent spoons I didn’t have to help Sunshine realize his dream of building a house. 

I’ll probably wind up resorting to steroids to get me through the next three days at work. I’ll probably have to resort to steroids to get me through learning to can jam on Monday, too. 

Side note: my neighbor is some kind of canning and cooking genius, and has graciously offered to teach me to can jam.

I’m exhausted, I’m fatigued, and there’s no rest for the wicked this weekend.

Final note: I have chosen what to name the house and Sunshine gets no say in it. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. “El descanso del diablo”. Or “la Paz del diablo”. Either/or. They each mean “devil’s rest” in Spanish, with subtly different nuances. I shall name that house Devil’s​ Rest, and I shall name it in Spanish. I just haven’t yet decided which subtlety to use.

It’s that time of year

It’s starting to get really hot here in Texas. The temperatures aren’t that bad, high 80s to mid 90s, but when the humidity is factored in….

It exhausts me.

Well, that’s not true.

I am exhausted by all of the labor. I’ve picked blackberries until I look like I fought in the zombie apocalypse. I have preserved those blackberries, all by myself. I have preserved cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, and squashes…mostly alone. I have planted parts of the garden alone. I have sliced and chopped fruit and dehydrated it…mostly alone. I also work my ass off at my job on Fridays and Sundays. That alone is enough to exhaust me. My COPD means that I have no stamina.

To do all of that shit in heat and humidity, with a chronic and progressive lung condition…and to do so much of it alone?

I’m tired. I’m tired on so many levels. My body aches, my mind is functioning slowly, and my spirit is sagging.

It’s that time of year.

I need a nap.

I’m still on strike

I’ve taken myself off of most of the meds they gave me for my back injury. It still hurts, sometimes a lot, but I can at least function (more or less). However, I am not attempting to go back to full function with my fingers in all of the pies. I’m not cutting grass, I’m not taking food to the compost pile, I’m not planting things in the garden, and I’m not even doing a lot of physical labor on our little house build.

However, somebody isn’t on strike around here. Two days ago, I was surprised to hear the sound of a lawnmower in my yard. I wandered outside, and I discovered that Sunshine had gotten out my trusty freegan lawnmower from last summer and gotten it cranked. It wasn’t cutting the grass very well because the grass was as out of control as it has ever been here.

side note: saying that the grass was as out of control as it has ever been out here is saying a lot. This place had been abandoned for a couple of years when Mr B purchased it. It LOOKED like it had been abandoned for several years. It was gross and I am very disappointed in myself that I don’t have pictures of the jungle that was growing here back then.

Just for a bit of proof that I’m not making this shit up, this is what the grass looked like while Sunshine was cranking the lawnmower.

very tall grass

I should have snapped some pics of the giant, bushy, very tall clumps of clover and shit that were in the middle of the backyard. Alas, I forgot. Take my word for it, it made the shit in this pic look small.

The lawnmower wasn’t cutting the grass, and Sunshine was getting frustrated with it. I don’t know why on earth he dicked with it for so long when we live ACROSS THE STREET FROM A GUY THAT FIXES SHIT but whatever, Biff got tired of watching Sunshine scowl as he rode the lawnmower around the yard and took it from him.

Biff finally got the lawnmower to cut grass (don’t ask me how, I went inside because my back was hurting).

somebody cut some grass

Of course, he ran out of gas before he could finish the job, so now the lawnmower sits abandoned under my clothesline. And as usual, no weedeating got done. The grass around the magic bus is even taller than the grass around that propane tank. Because everybody wants to ride the lawnmower but nobody wants to use the weedeater.

final note: there’s a whole comedic post just begging to be written about the lonely neglected weedeater, but it won’t be written by me. I’m still on strike. I’m seriously on strike, and I don’t care if I get chiggers or if the grass gets taller than me. My back STILL FUCKING HURTS from the great septic system debacle and I’m not eager to put any more hurting on my body. It’s peak “I have no spoons” season, so I’m having to focus all of my energy on simple respiration.

I am my mother’s child…

So anxiety has been kicking my ass lately. It’s so bad that Sunshine pretty much ordered me to seek professional help. I have an appointment with my primary (for allergies) on Thursday, and the receptionist told me to mention the anxiety to the doctor so that I could get a referral to the mental health care provider. I’m pretty sure that the meds I was taking for the back pain plus the steroid nose spray for allergies contributed to the explosion in anxiety. All that shit is slowly flushing out of my system, so the anxiety is lessening incrementally. I’m still going to get that referral, because Sunshine is right. There are proven methods of dealing with this, and it’s time I tried letting a professional help me.

Today, the anxiety wasn’t too bad until I wandered outside. I got hit by some nasty humidity and now my COPD is showing its ass and that’s causing the anxiety to ratchet back up. Time out for more fun.

In spite of all of the COPD and allergy woes, in spite of the anxiety, I actually feel like cleaning house today. It needs it desperately, and I actually seem to have the spoons for it.

This is where the part about being my mother’s child comes into play. Mom was more than a little bit OCD about keeping a clean house when I was a kid.

side note: I get it, actually. Sometimes, life is just so fucking much, and a clean house is something I can absolutely control. Well, maybe I can’t control Sunshine’s efforts to keep it from being clean, but I can absolutely control how long it stays borked after he borks it. There’s a weird sort of comfort in cleaning my house.

I often rebel against all that OCD cleaning I lived through. I notice dust on the entertainment center, and I want to clean it but I force myself to ignore it. However, that only goes on for so long before I can’t stop myself and I start cleaning. Today is that moment for me.

Yesterday sucked ass. Storms, fatigue, back ache, Sunshine out of town for the day… So I sat here and played around on the internet and texted with my bestest best friend ever. I also bought two pairs of slip-on sneakers, because I have resolved that slip-on sneakers are my new stilettos and I intend to own many many pairs of beautiful slip-on sneakers.

side note: I got a hell of a deal on them. I had the cash to spare, and they will actually get a lot of use. I’ve finally let go of the me I used to be with my sky-high heels and embraced something that works for my life as it is today.

I think I’m digressing, which is apparently a problem today. I have made it my mission to clean my house, and I have tweeted out a call to #thebloggesstribe to hold me accountable. They offered immediate support and some helpful suggestions about doing it in small, easily digestible bites with frequent breaks. Which was brilliant advice that I needed to hear.

I made it through making the bed and putting on not-PJs and then I got distracted by progress at our little house build site. I was down there snapping pics until my phone died. I brought my phone back to the magic bus to charge and promptly forgot to return and use Sunshine’s phone to take more pics because I started cleaning the kitchen because I am my mother’s child and am twitching over how dirty some parts of my house are after a weekend of guests and yesterday’s rain.

Of course, every trip outside is causing the humidity to send my lungs into fits, which starts ratcheting up the anxiety, which causes me to seek distractions, which leads me down rabbit holes on twitter and my favorite shoe shopping site. Hence this post.

Ultimately, I’ll get up and finish cleaning the house. Because it really is gross by my mom’s standards, and I am my mother’s child.

final note: I am actually proud of being my mother’s child. I am oddly comforted by all the quirks I see in myself that I know came from mom and nobody else but mom. Some of those quirks are annoying as fuck, and I don’t care. I am my mother’s child, and I’m fucking grateful beyond words for that.