Thin-skined, Bungalow Clean, and Finally the Fifth Wheel…

Why is that someone can say something in an off-hand way, without much thought to it at all, and it can leave a seeping wound? If one’s skin supposedly gets thicker every time they are hurt or slighted, then why is mine still so paper-thin, even gossamer thin, in so many instances? Sometimes I wish I had no feelings at all.

Yesterday went fairly well. The house on Queen Anne was beautiful! I love the bungalow style houses that were the popular building style between 1905 and 1930. They always feel so…homey, cozy, comfortable. Around the Seattle-Tacoma area, a lot of people have taken these houses, updated many features, restored other features, and overall taken them back to their original beauty with a few twists. I love them.

This one had a chef’s kitchen in it. The stove was a stainless steel, 8 burner, gas stove. The fridge, also stainless steel, was huge!! Cleaning these two appliances alone took the majority of my time yesterday. Though I love the idea of having kitchen appliances such as these in a kitchen of my own one day, I would want to be able to hire someone to come clean them once a week. Yes, hire someone.

Ok. I could manage the fridge by myself on a regular basis. It’s really the stove I would want to hire someone to clean. It’s not that it is extremely hard to clean this oven because, in all reality, it’s not. It’s very time-consuming and there are a lot of different parts to it, under the burners, that require finger contortions that leave my hands nearly ruined by the end of it.

The basement in this house had been converted into basically a huge master bedroom, complete with amazing walk-in closet with more than ample space for hanging things and drawers for others, including a jewelry drawer. The people who did this, or had this done, obviously were smart and had thought things out to the very end, accounting for every variable. Since this is a basement setting, clothes can kind of pick up that basement dwelling smell to them. The walk in closet walls were cedar, eliminating the potential for this smell. Brilliant.

Every time I have to do a clean in Seattle, I am reminded on how much I don’t miss struggling through traffic. Today, I have two apartments to clean. Both 2 bedroom, 2 bath, and local. I’ll be done and home long before dinner time. We didn’t get home until almost 8 o’clock last night. I hate getting home so late. It doesn’t leave much time for reconnecting with the kids, the dogs, and myself.

My daughter’s fifth wheel comes today. Her excess funds from school didn’t end up coming in until yesterday so we had to put off taking care of purchasing and arranging delivery of her fifth wheel until today. I have to admit that I am excited about her fifth wheel. I may have mentioned that the other day. It will be fun helping with the fixing of the 5th wheel.

The 5th wheel has a leak in the typical place (up front) and the floor in the kitchen has a section that needs to be replaced, as I said in an earlier post. This evening may be spent collecting the necessary materials needed to do the repairs. I have cleans scheduled through Tuesday so I won’t have much time to devote to the project until then. Wait. Not true. I actually have Friday scheduled off, though I am going over to the condo complex to replace a bunch of light bulbs. I don’t plan on spending the entire day at it. In fact, I’ll probably only spend a few hours at it. After that, though, I’ll be working away at getting my daughter’s fifth wheel in order so she can move into it. In the meantime, my daughter will take down the damaged panels and ruined insulation behind them so Friday will move along a bit quicker and go farther. Yay!

Ok. Enough rambling from me. I need to go get ready for my day. I hope everyone has a wonderful day that is worthy of journal notations, at the very least.

Busy Busy Day…

I have very little time this morning. I’m running at full capacity and I can almost hear Scotty somewhere in the back of my mind yelling “I’m giving her all I’ve got, Captain! She can’t take anymore!” Yeah, ok, I went through a Trekkie phase, once upon a time.

I have a clean in Seattle, today, up on Queen Anne hill. It doesn’t sound like a horrible clean, but it is still just past downtown Seattle, in an area that is crowded, hard to drive around due to everyone parking on the streets leaving roads to be traversed in a single lane fashion and intersections dangerous due to lack of visibility. I actually like the Queen Anne area, but I feel it is best consumed on foot.

After the clean, a three bedroom, 2 bath house, we have to go to West Seattle to pick up a water heater for the bathroom shed. We have to uninstall it so it is not just a load and go. More work after work but the benefit to it will be a great one in the end.

Have you ever had the feeling of impending doom for unexplained reasons? I am having some of that this morning. I can’t think of anything that could go drastically wrong and that this feeling probably has more to do with the busy-ness of this week, the trip into Seattle, but this feeling always causes me some angst. There have been too many times when I have had this feeling, faced my day with a clear decision that it was going to be a good day despite this rancid feeling, only to have things either not go right or something terrible happen. The inconsistency of the accuracy of the feeling just leaves me feeling anxious all day. I don’t like it.

Whatever anyone is doing today, please be careful out there. Our world is full of the unexpected and sometimes the unexpected shows up as less than happy. May you navigate your day in a protective bubble of safety.

Living with a Wild God, Peace and Plenty, and a 5th Wheel…

I’ve been listening to Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich the last couple of days and I’m really enjoying it. I love her matter of fact demeanor and the story she tells, her story as referenced from a journal she kept growing up, is one I can find bits of myself in. Not all of me, mind you… my home life and parents were much different from hers and, though I know I’m smart, she is quite clearly much, much more so. Dwight Garner with the New York Times did a review of the book, which you can read here.

Though Barbara is an atheist, which I am not on most days, parts of her story reminds me of myself as I have looked at different religions and contemplated ‘faith.’ Listening to the book has also caused me to contemplate my directionless directions that I have taken/allowed the wind to carry me down along my path to now and wonder if maybe I have really screwed up along the way by not being more interested in the whole learning process. She chose books as her teacher and confidant; I chose life experiences. I guess one can’t really place a higher value on one over the other as, in my  own experience, one is just as important as the other in order to reach complete comprehension. At least, that’s my perspective. All in all, I am enjoying the book and would recommend it.

My daughter’s 5th wheel comes today. Her excess funds come in today and we shall be making the necessary arrangements to pay for it and have it brought here. It’s a wonderful thing that the guy she is buying it from is willing to deliver it. We have no way of moving a 5th wheel at this time.

I’m excited about my daughter’s 5th wheel. She has wanted a space of her own for quite a while. The fact that she is the one buying it gives it more meaning. It will be hers, not the 5th wheel her mom has that she lives in. I jokingly mentioned that she is “buying her first home.” She didn’t find that statement as amusing as I did but, in all reality, our reality, that is in essence what she is doing. She said this is not what she imagined when she has thought of what it would be like buying her first home. I hope she holds on to that because it means she will keep striving for more than the existence she is in now.

I started carving my pumpkin the other day. It’s not finished. The design is not very elaborate but I like it. My hands haven’t been bothering me while I have been carving, so that is a good thing. Unfortunately, with the way my schedule looks for this week, I’ll be finishing the carving on Halloween/Samhain.

When I opened my pumpkin, I found that it had started to rot a little inside. Not horribly but enough that it was disappointing a little. I scrapped out as much of the rot spots as I could. The outside of the pumpkin is still pretty solid, no soft spots felt at all, so it should survive through Halloween/Samhain and a little past that. At least I hope so.

I just got done downloading the book Peace and Plenty, Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I will be done with Living with a Wild God later today and I think I am going to listen to this one next. Part of the description on the back of the book’s cd box states “…Sarah reaches out to those who are financially strapped, showing them how to pull themselves out of their psychic and monetary difficulties as she provides support and cheer along the way.” This definitely sounds like something that I could use to understand, the sooner the better.

Though I always walk into books of this type with a healthy bit of skepticism, I do hope it can provide me with some information for better managing my finances. I have always been less than stellar with money. Sure, I’ve been getting much better at it over the last 4-5 months with each passing paycheck, but I believe I can never have too much knowledge about how to better handle money. I think this hold true for most of the population. If it didn’t, would we be such a nation of debt? My opinion.


Relationships, 5th Wheel, Work, and Pumpkins…

I think the next series of audiobooks I might put on reserve are books on relationships. They can be so challenging sometimes. Maybe I need to learn more about them to be better at them. I don’t know. I’ve put it in the think tank. I’ll look at it when I am nearing the end of the 15 audiobooks on religion and spirituality I have lined up.

I woke up kind of grumpy this morning. I don’t know why but it doesn’t change the mood. I apparently have something I’m not looking at that my mind is working on anyway. Perhaps my mental committee will come up with a great power point presentation, complete with solutions for me. A girl can dream, right?

Today is my last day off. The past two days have been ok. I did laundry, yesterday. I feel like I did a lot of things yesterday but I couldn’t begin to tell you where the day went. Well. ok, I know where some of it went.

Of course laundry takes some time to do. I always fold the laundry when it comes out of the dryer. There really is nowhere to fold them at home, number one, and it’s just easier if they are folded already when I get home so they can just be put away. This is at least a couple of hour process, start to finish.

I found a 5th wheel on Craigslist, yesterday, for $500. It needs some repair, not a whole lot, nothing we can’t handle relatively easily and quickly. My daughter has been complaining about not having any privacy or room, no space to herself, no place to really do her homework. We have been talking about building her a room shed but, with the amount of time it is taking to put together the bathroom shed, I decided finding another travel trailer, motor home, or 5th wheel might be the better, more efficient solution. My daughter is getting excess funds from school soon. I know she had plans to get this or that, but I think it would be better for her to take care of her space issue instead. As much as I would love to be able to just buy it for her, I can’t.

I told my daughter about the 5th wheel, how much it is, and what my thoughts for it are. We went and looked at it. There is a leak in the roof at the front of it. We will need to take down and replace two ceiling panels and the insulation under them. We will also need to caulk all the edges on the roof, reseal everything. There is also a small section of floor in the kitchen/dining area that will need to be replaced. It sounds like a big deal but it’s not so bad really. We have done such work in our first RV, Winnie the 68′ Winnebago, while living in it. Since my daughter won’t move into it until the work is done it should be easier to get done. After checking it out, my daughter decided she would buy it. Her funds don’t come in until Tuesday or Wednesday, so we made arrangements with the guy to get together then. Big bonuses: he said he would deliver it for free, everything works in it (no fridge but she won’t need one), and he took the ad off Craigslist right away. YAY!

The van is starting to have an issue. In the past 4 days, we have had to get a jump twice. I’m going to have to have the alternator and the battery checked. Both of these items will have to wait until pay-day to be taken care of. One week.

I’m really sick of having to put things in the category of waiting until pay-day. It means we can’t always take care of things as they arise. Some of these things are really important things. It ends up feeling like we live in a constant state of lack, which I guess we do a lot of the time. At least there is a payday to put things in wait of as opposed to the never knowing how we were going to take care of anything. Somehow is not a plan. Its getting better but there is still tons of room for improvement.

I’ll get us there. Its part of the reason I am looking forward to the Spring, when cleans pick up, again. Yes, I am extremely money motivated. As much as I’ve complained about being so busy, often times too busy, the pain in my hands, the lack of time to refuel or feed my soul, you would think that I would be looking forward to the slower time, and part of me is. There are two parts of me at war with each other. There is the part that wants the down time, that got used to having all of the time in the world to pursue whatever caught my attention at the time, the part that likes to wander around with my camera, photographing this or that, and then there is the part that is in love with being able to take care of all that needs to be taken care of financially. Such opposites, though I wish they didn’t need to be. Perhaps its just the need to find the balance between the two. I’m not sure what that would look like at this point but I guess I should probably be trying to figure it out, for my own mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Its been such a long time since we have had a steady income we could rely on that the financial part of me is taking on the role of tyrannical dictator over the mental, emotional, and spiritual. Ok. maybe tyrannical is a bit strong.

Today is set up for getting ready to hit work hard, again. This week is pretty busy. I don’t think there is a single day this week that I will be home before dinner time. I know this is a normal schedule for most of the population, but it is still one I am getting used to. This is not the first job I have had with this kind of schedule but, somehow, this time seems more demanding. Maybe this is because there are set things that must be done before calling it a day when before I could pretty much make my own schedule.

I’m going to carve my pumpkin today. I won’t have any time this week, as I said, so today is the day. I will post pictures later, of course. I’ve been looking through the Google Images of pumpkin carving to try to find a design that I would like to try that won’t leave my hands falling off. This means the design isn’t going to be as elaborate as I’ve been know to do, but I think I will love it just the same. There is this one carving of a fairy, looks like an Amy Brown fairy, that I would love to do. I just need to decide if I think I can do it and still have hands left for cleaning. There are a few other carvings I have bookmarked as well. Guess I better hurry up and decide! :-)

Days off, Planning Direction, Learning How to go Slower…

Yesterday started my 3 day vacation from work. I had great plans of this or that to do in a lackadaisical manner, refueling my soul, recharging the battery. None of those things happened.

Apparently, buried in the deep recesses of my mind, there is the fear that these days off will be just as much work as work itself. I woke up yesterday about an hour and a half later than I normally do. As I lay casually in bed cuddling my Tru-dog, who had decided to stay home from the walk yesterday morning, I felt like these days off were getting off to a great start. I rolled out of bed to make my coffee.

As I headed out the door with my coffee and laptop to sit at my desk (which is outside), I noticed I felt a little queasy. I decided I would wait until after I had blogged for the morning to do a more thorough systems check. I never made it to my blog (obviously).

As I sat drinking my coffee, staring at the blank post page on my computer screen, it became apparent that I needed to crawl back in bed. I had arranged with my friend to be at her house about 9 o’clock. It was ten minutes to 8. I put my laptop away, finished up my coffee, set the alarm for 8:30, and crawled back in bed, taking advantage of being able to have the whole bed all to myself. When the alarm went off at 8:30, which felt like mere seconds later, I crawled out of bed, again, made a second coffee (very unlike me), and headed out the door. I still felt icky but figured it would wear off as my system eased into the day.

It was really great getting to sit, drink coffee, and chat over at my friend’s house. I love hanging out, drinking coffee and haven’t been able to do that with anyone for quite some time. I really enjoyed it. I wish there were more time for this activity on a regular basis, but there doesn’t seem to be. My friend is just as busy as I am, if not more so. I hope she enjoyed the coffee hang out as much I did.

I headed home from there to crawl in bed, again. Maybe a little more sleep would leave me not feeling so icky. I think it’s just wrong to get sick on days off, pseudo vacation days. Being sick on pseudo vacation days just doesn’t feel like days off to me. Sure, you’re not working or expected to, but wouldn’t you be staying home if you’re sick anyway? Not the same. These are supposed to be my freebie days, not days for my body to decide it has the chance to be sick. Yes, I’m pouting a little bit.

I woke up today feeling a little bit better. The upside to being sick while you have some days off is there isn’t any pressure to hurry up and get better so you can get back on the wheel. Yesterday, I slept some and spent the rest of the time being a sloth on my bed, watching Netflix. I just finished the last episode in the latest season of the Vampire Diaries on Netflix. The latest season of Supernatural is up next. My son has watched this season of Supernatural and is longing to chat with someone about it so…Supernatural it is.

I picked up 15 more audiobooks the other day. I have actually started a plan of what I am going to be listening to for a while, besides the language programs. Spirituality and religion have always been topics that interest me. Spirituality, that thing that brings you to the center of you, is a personal thing, I believe. There are a million different and similar methods peddled out there as being the key to finding your own spirituality. I’m of the thought that whatever centers you, whatever reconnects you with you and brings you peace is the thing that you should be doing on a regular basis, whatever that may look like. If it works for you, doesn’t harm you or anyone else, then do it. I don’t think there is necessarily a wrong way of doing that.

Religion…well, religion is religion. I don’t pretend to know what religion is right or wrong. I have my own opinions on each of the religions I understand, and I can see the benefits that could be had by following a specific religion, or mixing a few together. For me, what it boils down to is this: If you find something that helps you make it through the more difficult times in life, that helps you maintain some level of morality, and possibly helps you understand yourself and others better, than go with what works for you.

I don’t really have anything against any religion. I just don’t understand religious followers that have closed their minds off to the idea that any other religion could be just as valid as the one the feeds them. Every religious sect has its own group of devote followers and this just tells me that they each have some form of validity to them. I feel like when one religious sect, or its followers, place judgement on another, different religious sect or its followers, then they have lost hold of the true message. It has become an us and them thing and I don’t think religion, any religion, was designed to promote that type of thinking. My shoes are purple and yours are green, but they are both good shoes. Does that make sense?

Anyway, so the audiobooks I recently picked up are mostly about spirituality and religions. A couple are from the Modern Scholar recorded books. Religion, Myth, and Magic; the Anthropolgy of Religion is one and Discovering the Philosopher in You: The Big Questions in Philosophy. I have two from the Great Courses, World Religions series: Christianity and Hinduism. The End of Faith; Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris. The Theory of Everything; The Origin and Fate of the Universe by Stephen W. Hawking. The Great Transformation; The Beginning of our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong. An audiobook with guided meditations, another with Buddhist tales of happiness, another one on Tao. I guess maybe I just want to understand these perspectives better.

Some may look at this and think I am lost and looking. I’m not. Though I don’t believe that I have the world or life figured out, I am secure in my own ‘belief’ system. Religion and spirituality fascinate me and I think this has to do with my fascination in human behavior. I think both are interwoven, though I couldn’t tell you exactly how. Maybe I’ll find that.

Despite not feeling well, I have been finding it somewhat of a challenge to make myself slow down and relax, completely. The list of things that need to be done around home starts to manically circle my head and I have had to firmly tell myself that I am on a mini vacation. Sure, there are things that I absolutely must get done, like laundry, but the rest, though still stuff on the to-do list, are not pressing. Teaching myself how to differentiate between the two, how to let myself rest and not obsess about moving forward in every area of my life for just a few days, has proven to be somewhat of a challenge. Perhaps this is why my body woke up yesterday feeling icky. Sabotage to the driven, keep moving part of me that doesn’t know how to just let things wait, and that alone is still progress. ;-)

Memories, Cleans on Alki, and the Need for an Ark

Its been a really long time since I have headed out to Alki Beach. I used to live about 15 minutes away and somehow never ended up over there, but that was a different time, different life. Driving through some of the areas on my way toward the cleans we had on Alki yesterday definitely got the memories going.

When I lived in West Seattle (which is where the Alki District/Alki Beach is) wasn’t a great time for me. It’s not that much horrible actually happened, I was just miserable. The kids’ dad and I were still together and we were less than happy in our relationship. Other things in life were going ok – we had recently opened our vintage collectibles shop, Hula’s Vintage, my best friend didn’t live very far away so we got together quite often, rent was paid and food was in the house, had a reliable vehicle to drive, but I was miserable. I look back at that time and I realize it was all me. I wasn’t happy, hadn’t learned how much I need to been learning something to help keep me content , wasn’t really doing anything productive with me. Remembering that time reminded me of the kids’ dad and the fact that, despite the fact that we were horrible for each other in an intimate relationship, we had been good friends. The beginning of this month was the two-year anniversary of his death. It is really odd whenever I come face to face with that reality. He was a part of my life for over 20 years and it’s just strange knowing his is gone. I guess I haven’t completely come to terms with that, exactly.

The cleans we had on Alki were….well, not horrible but not great either. There is still a bunch of maintenance things that need to be taken care of in the units. When we walked into the lower unit and found tools and other evidence that maintenance wasn’t done, we were a little concerned. It took almost 2 hours to get to there, due to the weather and all, and we didn’t want this to be a wasted trip. Usually maintenance is done when we come in. It makes sense. Maintenance makes a mess, we come in after to put the shine on the unit. After about an hour of trying to get things sorted out through Cayle (the guy I’m working with), it was determined that this was as far as the owner had wanted maintenance to go before having us come in. They are having new vinyl laid down over the existing vinyl and wanted the vinyl scrubbed really well for that.

Most of the appliances had been removed from the unit to expose the vinyl so it could get thoroughly cleaned. This was an upside since it meant I didn’t need to clean the fridge or the oven in both units. YAY!! It still left a lot to do though. When we finally finished about 6 hours later, we were exhausted and more than ready to go home. Too bad the battery in the van was dead.

Our van has the automatic sliding doors on it. Unfortunately, they don’t close properly and we have to butt bump them closed at the end. One of the doors didn’t get bumped in, which leaves the lights on in the van, and it drained the battery. I’ll admit I wanted to have a temper tantrum when Lance came and told me about it. It was that kind of day, plus I’m worn out, but we just loaded the van with our cleaning supplies, pushed the van out to the street, then attempted to get someone to give us a jump. After about 15 minutes, I finally got someone to actually acknowledge our existence and help us out. People on Alki are a little…snooty.

I forgot to bring my camera with me so that I could get some pictures. That turned out to be ok since it has been raining, nearly monsooning, and all the photos would have been of the dense cloud bank settled in over the water between Alki and downtown Seattle. Of course, as we were driving out of there last night around 7pm, I glanced toward the water and immediately regretted not having my camera. The cloud bank had lifted and the stunning view that has been photographed by many a photographer of downtown Seattle at night from Alki was beaming at me. I thought of stopping to take the picture with my phone but decided it wasn’t worth it. It wouldn’t end up being the shot I wanted so on I drove.

The rain yesterday, and looks like today, is intense. It comes down in buckets then lightens up just long enough to put the wipers on the lowest setting only to have it start dumping buckets, again. My driveway and part of my yard are flooded. By the end of the day today I am going to wish I had a little boat to get to and from the van.

Lance, to his credit, is out walking the dogs in this weather. I’m sure the dogs were soaked within the first 3 minutes or less of walking. I should get them rain coats for this time of year, and for Spring. Especially Truman and Achilles. Truman’s fur is so thick (German Sheppard mix) that, despite drying him off after the walk, retains so much moisture that we have had to start using an anti-fungal shampoo on him. Achilles, on the other side of the spectrum, has a single layer of fur and the water goes straight to his skin. Poor kid is probably really cold on the walks when it rains and a raincoat would at least keep him dry. I’m going to have to look around and see what I can find. The feed store, Del’s, right up the road sells some coats for dogs and I believe I saw rain coats in the mix.

One ‘really quick’ clean today and then my days off begin! I’m looking forward to it. Lance and I discussed when we wanted to do this clean since there isn’t a time limit on it today. Both of us agreed we want to get it done first thing so that we can get on with the time off. This is supposed to be a light cleaning but we shall see. We have been told that before by people who don’t do deep cleaning. They just don’t see the unit the same way we see it. At any rate, by lunch time, we should be starting our down time. I think I may just start it out with a nap. ;-)

Four, no, three, wait, four, no three, and more audiobooks…

I am so ready for my days off. I’m a bit burnt out and just really want some time at home to spend with my kids and my dogs, and, of course, some time just doing nothing. I’m starting to get really disorganized, in my head, and I’m not liking it. It will eventually lead to forgetting things, like what bill needs to get paid when, writing all my cleans down in my schedule book and Google Drive spreadsheet, what day it is. Ok. I’ve already lost touch with time.

I originally scheduled four days off with the thought that the first two days would be probably utilized catching up on things around home. This would leave me two glorious days to just go where the mood takes me. This has now been shortened, two times, to three days.

A last-minute, rush job clean came up the day after I schedule my four days off. It had to be done before November 1st. Next week is already packed pretty solid so there was nowhere to fit it in, which meant giving up one of my days off. I begrudgingly agreed. Later that same day, the guy I work with called to let me know that he got one of his Seattle teams to go down that day and handle it. Awesome! Back up to four days off.

Yesterday, he called, again, extremely apologetic, detailing his attempts to arrange for someone else to come do a different clean needing to be done right away, stating how horrible he felt to ask me to give up one of my days but that he had no one else he could assign to the clean. I really like the guy, he has been really accommodating and has helped us out when we needed it, I know he had done his due diligence before calling me on this one, so I agreed to do the clean. It’s a small clean and should only take a couple of hours to get done.

It’s not giving up a full day off, but it will seem a little like it at first just because I will still have a clean to do that day. I can show up to get it done whenever I want, as long as it is before 3pm on Friday. *shrug* More money on the paycheck.

Four of the audiobooks I had put on hold while at the library the other day were ready for pick up yesterday, so I picked them up on our way home last night, around 7pm. These are The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, Stitches by Anne Lamott, Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich, and The Modern Scholar; Ideas That Shaped Mankind: A concise History of Human Thought with Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto. I’m looking forward to these ones, especially…ok, I’m not sure there is one that I can honestly say I’m more interested in than any of the others.

I have heard about the Tao of Pooh a few times along my path. My understanding is it is supposed to be pretty good. I’ve also heard otherwise. I love Winnie the Pooh so I’m going into this one with the thought I am going to love it. It should be fun!

Two of the others are ones that speak to my spirituality (Stitches and Living with a Wild God) and The Modern Scholar speaks to the learner in me and my fascination with human behavior. Sure, I have all those languages that I am learning but I can’t just listen to those all of the time or I will self combust. I must feed the other parts of my mind, as well. Now, to choose which one to listen to first…

Day After Tomorrow, Languages, Other Talking Books…

The day after tomorrow can’t get here soon enough. I have scheduled 4 solid days off starting on Thursday and I am somewhat like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. Four glorious days of not having to keep track of anything, not having to drive everywhere, potentially being able to sleep in (though I’m not sure that will happen since my internal alarm clock is set pretty solidly), the opportunity to blog multiple time in a day if I feel like it, and four days of just being Mieke, not worker Mieke, not making it happen Mieke, not Super Woman Mieke. Its going to be amazing. :-)

I’ve been listening to the language programs the I checked out and downloaded onto my computer then my phone. So far, I have sampled Arabic, Greek, Gaelic, and Hindi. I have no intention of trying to learn them all at the same time. That would be ridiculous, and I don’t think I would be very proficient at any of them that way. I’m just trying to decide which one I want to learn first.

It is said that Arabic is one of the harder languages for English speakers to learn. From listening to the first two lessons, I can see it is one that will probably take a little time and a lot of practice to really get good at. That’s ok. I have the time to do that while I’m cleaning.

I’ve asked my daughter if she would be willing to learn some of the languages I’m going to be learning. She agreed, as long as I am willing to learn Japanese, the language she is most interested. Sure! Why not? The reason I asked her to learn the languages too is so that I have someone I can practice speaking with. If I don’t have someone to practice speaking the language with, chances are I will not retain any of them for very long and a few of the languages I’m interested in would make it hard to find someone to practice with due to the lack of availability. Who do you know that speaks Hindi? Gaelic? I know no one.

After I started downloading these language learners and other talking books, I came to realize that the micro SD card in my phone was going to fill up fast. What did I do about that? Headed to Amazon Smile (a portion of all my purchases go to the charity of my choice, which happens to be the World Wildlife Fund) and ordered a bigger micro SD for my phone. My phone currently holds a 8 gig micro SD. I found a 16 gig one for about $3 on Amazon. It came yesterday. Let the downloading begin!!!

One of the audiobooks/talking books that I had put on hold was ready for me at the library, yesterday. This one is called Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Ph.D., Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D., and Steve J. Martin. I find the topic of human behavior quite fascinating and I believe this will be along that line with a direct theme. There are definitely some great benefits to being able to persuade people into being able to see your point of view. There is a part of me that thinks of persuasion as partially manipulative, but I am hoping to have a better understanding of the concept by the end of this ‘book’ so that it may not see it that way. I know not all persuasion is manipulative. There is definitely good persuasion. I guess I have experienced too much ‘persuasion’ being used as a form of manipulation along my path. I want to be able to take away my negative perception of persuasion.

I re-listened to The 5 Love Languages yesterday. It’s almost time for it to go back to the library and felt I really needed to listen to it, again. I feel I have a better grasp on all of the concepts provided in the ‘book,’ now.

Lance listened to The 5 Love Languages the other day and it really affected him. We talked about it that night. He was stirred up by the book, and it left him feeling a little out of sorts in some ways. He isn’t sure of what his primary love language is, which is ok. He will figure that out. We will figure that out. He asked me what my primary love language is and I have to admit that was an easy one for me: touch. Hugs, cuddling, a random kiss on the forehead, holding my hand, a pat on the rear, an unexpected caress of my arm…these things really fill up my love tank. Touch is not my only love language, but it is the most important one to me. I think everyone even thinking about a relationship should read/listen to this book. In the short time since both Lance and I listened to it, we seem to be connecting better than we have for quite some time.

While I was at the library, yesterday, I hopped on the library catalogue computer and put a load of other audiobooks on hold. Many of them are on spirituality. It is a topic that has always interested me. No, not religion, really, though I do find theological subjects quite interesting, as well. A few of the audiobooks I put on hold are about different world religions. I’m interested in learning more to have a better understanding. There are also some books on human behavior that I put on hold. I’m excited to listen to all of these. Expanding my knowledge and understanding is always exciting to me.

trip to the pumpkin patch

Cleans, Farm, Pumpkins…

Oh my goodness have I been busy!!! I have missed my morning writing/blogging over the last few days. I was farm sitting this weekend so the time I usually have set aside in the mornings specifically for blogging had to go to taking care of the farm.

I love taking care of the farm. It’s not like there is a ton of interaction between me and the critters but its a cathartic experience. It’s just me and the chickens, ducks, goats, alpaca, lambs. Its non-demanding, though I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I get everything done right. Its manageable pressure, though. Nothing so stressing as to lose the benefit of being around the animals and getting to feed and water them.

There is one chicken on the farm that I think needs to be named Jesus or Messiah. By now, anyone reading this blog should know that I’m not a religious person and my belief system doesn’t really include a god, exactly. I’m not sure if the chicken is a hen or a roo, but the name would fit it either way.

You see, this chicken was dead. Completely dead. Bagged up and done. When the place that the dead chicken was placed was accessed later, this chicken was found unbagged and very much alive, much to the surprise of my friend. Now, before anyone gets to thinking that my friend just doesn’t know what she is doing, I want to clear that up. She is quite adept.

I really like this chicken, too. It’s a bit crazy and pushy but we bonded over the weekend. I know how that sounds but it doesn’t change the feeling. Perhaps it is just my feelings toward it but that is enough. I held this bird while I cleaned out its cage and it just kind of snuggled in. That is, until taking flight for a second took its fancy. It fluttered out of my arms and landed about 3 feet away and just stood there. When I went to pick it back up, it didn’t try to scurry away or flap its wings at me in an attempt to avoid capture. It seemed to be content with the fact that it had gotten to flap away for a second and deemed me to not be a threat. Thanks, Jesus/Messiah.

The cleans over the past few days have gotten me home in time to turn around and head to the farm to put the farm to bed. Everything has left me with not much time for anything else but I feel good, and that is the important part. Taking care of the farm feeds my soul some. I have scheduled 4 days off this week, so there will be lots more time for feeding the soul in various ways.

Yesterday’s clean was a pretty quick one. The sun was out and, as I said, I’m feeling good, so I decided a trip to the pumpkin patch was in order. My husband and son weren’t up to going so just my daughter and I went. That’s not such a bad thing, either. We needed some just us time.

me and my girlie at the pumpkin patch

me and my girlie at the pumpkin patch

The pumpkin patch was extremely packed!! I think it took us longer to get from the freeway to a parking spot than it did for us to find a couple of pumpkins, pay, and head back to the car. It was good, though.



Its been about 6 years since I have gotten pumpkins. Wait. That’s wrong. 5 years. Since RV life started, I haven’t really felt like partaking in holidays. My heart wasn’t in it. I can’t tell you want changed that for this Halloween/Samhain, but it has changed and I am looking forward to carving pumpkins in celebration. We will be making another trip to a pumpkin patch so that my husband and son can pick out pumpkins. I’ve already picked out a spot to display the carved pumpkins  when we are done. I’m not putting up any other decorations, but I never really have for this holiday.

Well, duty calls. I must head out to work now. Not a hard day. Its only the common areas at the condos, but that is still a long day. The next two days will bring me up to South Seattle and Alki Beach for cleans. I haven’t been out to Alki in too many years to count/remember, so I am looking forward to that. I’ll have to remember to bring my camera. ;-)

Coffee, RV Life, Neighbors…

I have my coffee this morning. My luscious, creamy, comforting, soul-fueling coffee. Ok. So, soul-fueling may be a bit of an exaggeration but I think that if it feels that way, then it is. :-) Those of you that love your coffee know exactly what I mean.

My paycheck didn’t show up yesterday. Very frustrating. Thankfully, the guy I work with is pretty accommodating with this sort of thing. We made a plan, which included him getting a reload card for about 1/3 of my check and texting me the numbers so we aren’t broke. This benefits both me and him. I have gas to keep making it to cleans, of which I have quite the load over the next 4 days, and I get to keep working, making more money, feeding the family, and covering our bills. Win-win. As for the remainder of my check, if it shows up today, we call the 1/3 he covered with the reload card an advance. If the check doesn’t show up today, he mails out another check tomorrow for the balance. I am incredibly grateful this guy is so easy to work with and that we have formed a comfortable level of trust and consideration for each other. Keeps the paranoid doubter on my mental committee from being able to take over and stir the pot.

As my schedule sits right now, I won’t have a day off until Wednesday, but that could always change. To be honest, I am hoping that Wednesday and Thursday stay open. My hands are going to be a bit pained by the time we finish the cleans from today through Tuesday. Today’s clean is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment, which isn’t too bad. Then tomorrow is a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath house in Seattle, Sunday is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, Monday is the condo common areas, and Tuesday is a really yucky house in South Seattle that I’ll need to wear a mask in due to mold and general funk. Yes, I think Wednesday and Thursday should be down days to rejuvenate the system.

The bathroom shed is coming along nicely if slowly. It takes time when you are grabbing as much of the needed materials as possible off of Craigslist. The level of excitement I have over this bathroom shed is somewhat…sad, in a way. Its something that I never would have thought I would be looking forward to, or ever need, in my life. Then, again, I never believed I would be living in a RV and/or travel trailer, and definitely not for this long. It is what it is, it just takes a little processing to find where to categorize it in my mind. I miss living in a house.

I was thinking about that last week. Not obsessing about it, just some passing thoughts. I have lived this RV life for so long with the benefits of having some distance between me and the surrounding neighbors that the idea of living right up next to someone else is a bit…well, lets just say I’m not exactly comfortable with the idea. Living in a house, theoretically much closer to neighbors, would be an adjustment, to say the least. I like my comfort zone buffer. I have neighbors, I can see their homes, but I hardly ever see the people. This is in part due to the distance. It is also partially due to the fact that I am usually not home. It is really nice to come home and not have to possibly engage in niceties with the neighbors, especially since I am usually exhausted by the time I get home and want nothing more than to reconnect with my family. I guess we kind of live in our own bubble and I’m really ok with that. I am a moderately social person. I do enjoy chatting and hanging out with those outside my home family, but I love the sanctuary of my bubble. I know I would adapt pretty quickly to being in a neighborhood, a house, again, where I would be closer to other people, but there is something to be said for the solitude this life provides.

Well, its time to go suit up for the day! The sooner I get going the sooner I can come home, which is where I almost always would rather be. :)