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Guilt and Waking Up at 3 am

Tonight I didn’t answer the phone when my mother called repeatedly from the psych ward at Lakeland.
 
I wanted to have one night this week where we could pretend life was ‘normal’ and not falling down around our heads- so that we could all enjoy Halloween and not spend it crying.
 
She left a ton of messages on my voicemail, each wondering if I knew she was in the hospital.
 
I woke up abruptly from sleep,with this huge sense of dread and guilt weighing heavily upon me. I wouldn’t even call it guilt- it was remorse. Stomach churning, benign neglect of another human being. I have been doing this a lot lately- just to try to save my own sanity- and it makes me ill inside.
 
I could tell that she didn’t remember her previous calls and it scared me. I could clearly hear the panic and confusion in her voice, the not remembering part… and it was heartbreaking.
 
What a difference it was from our visit with R’s 93 year old grandmother tonight! She lives alone and is only a bit forgetful, but otherwise sharp as a tack. It almost served as a painful foil, a bittersweet contrast.
 
My mother is 20 years younger than Nana. This monster that has consumed her entire life, seems to be now eating away at her brain, like pac man.
 
It is hard to distinguish the bipolar, the mental illness, from the dementia- she is so clever and sad and angry and anxious and lonely. She is still HER inside of her core and it is going away bit by bit.
 
Tomorrow, I finally head to the courthouse to apply for guardianship. We had been ill (and I’ve been depressed) since the previous week, so it hasn’t been done yet.
 
If you ask me how I feel, I’d say so sad. I feel as if this is my lot to bear, not because I truly love or respect or even feel like she was or is my parent- but because she is my parent, I have to do this. I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else.
 
I would never want my children to feel the same apathy that I do about my parents. All of this, including Maisie being born so recently, has given me a second chance to re-examine my relationships with my family, myself, and those around me.
 
Unfortunately, I come up lacking in so many regards, but I know I can fix ME. I can’t fix her or my dad or my siblings.
 
I wish I could make them love me or me them, really.
 
I wish I had a magic wand to fix this for everyone.
 
My only solace is giving my 2 youngest kids the magical childhood- as much as I can- and love that I wish I would have had myself.
 
I thought I felt better today… and I do… but I am kind of upset to have woken up crying at 3 am, sad all over again and typing.
 
The people who know me in real life know that I am not prone to being this weepy mess- so it is really bothering me to feel this raw and exposed.
 
So, like any brave Aquarian would- I’m going to go with it and try to learn to love me and be authentic.
 
If anyone else is going through similar, I want you to know you’re not alone.
 
xo
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Part 3 of the Dumpster Diaries: The Upstairs Kitchen is a pain in the ASS and there’s now a BAT in the Basement

If you’re just seeing this post for the first time, parts 1 and 2 are here and here.

I live in a 102 yr old house that is long on rooms (7 bedrooms) and short on closet space. It was divided into 2 apartments around 1929 (hello Great Depression) and we’re the first single family to dwell in the house since then. As a result, I have an upstairs kitchen that I really don’t need and a downstairs one. I have an old servant’s bedroom off of the downstairs kitchen that I use as my ‘closet/clothing room’. I need to gut that room and turn it into another office/studio space for my oldest son… and eventually a playroom/tv room for Maisie when he leaves. My master bedroom is directly off of the upstairs kitchen. I want to turn that space into my clothing room. Currently, it is a storage room for forgotten furniture and junk.
 
Woke up at 11:30 am, not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed… not long after we’d woken up and I’d given the baby her breakfast, people started showing up out of the blue on my porch.

the first batch of Maisie's callers today... this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

the first batch of Maisie’s callers today… this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

We had about 10 visitors today- Maisie had a fantastic time.

Got her to nap- FINALLY- and thought “wow, ok, time to start on the upstairs kitchen”

Nope. She woke up within 10 minutes of that thought.

Isn't this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she'd sleep MORE!

Isn’t this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she’d sleep MORE!

I was informed by R that he heard a squeaking/rustling noise last night in the basement when he went to do laundry. My youngest son confirmed it today when HE went to put clothes into the washing machine.

Great, we have a possible bat in the house. Not the baseball kind, either.

I can't be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

I can’t be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

So I asked my oldest to watch Maisie while my youngest and I did laundry in the basement. I needed the boy with me as a witness just incase I was bitten by something and died of rabies on the concrete floor. Yes, I am a super chicken. I don’t care who knows.

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn't- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn’t- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

We did whites. I separated them and added the detergent and bleach while the (almost) 17 year old looked on.

C: “why are you separating the colors from the whites and why are you putting that stuff (BLEACH) in? I just use the soap”

Me: “That’s why your clothes look dingy when you wash them- you’re SUPPOSED TO separate them first and do this

I shook my head at his comment, because I’ve showed him probably 102 times how to separate/wash these clothes. It doesn’t compute in the male mind, evidently.

We didn’t see any bats- but C could hear the squeaking and rustling noise. I am hard of hearing, so I could not.

I figure, if it dies in the ductwork I will have to call someone to clean the ducts- which I’ve needed to do for years. A potentially dead and rotting bat is all the impetus I need to finally call the duct cleaners.

After a couple of loads of laundry, I said screw it and hauled the boy to the kitchen upstairs. My oldest was still watching the little girl for me, thank goodness.

We threw out SIXTEEN huge garbage bags of things and old boxes, etc- and still did NOT MAKE EVEN A DENT in that room!

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here- the stove will be junked, too.

I have antique furniture stacked in there and there’s no way I can move that stuff by myself. We have boxes of old dvd movies and games- again, this is not my domain. R needs to sort through them.

there is no rhyme nor reason to the 'storage' in this room

there is no rhyme nor reason to the ‘storage’ in this room

I have a fridge and stove in there, too. I will junk the stove- let one of the scrappers take it- and maybe switch out for fridge for one my dad gave me that’s been in my garage for 2 yrs.

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

I called it a day after we threw out the last 5 bags, etc. I think I will start on my clothing room downstairs (throwing stuff out) tomorrow instead. It will be easier to look after Maisie at the same time if I do that room. All of the things in my clothing room are MINE and I don’t need help with that.

Wardrobe to Narnia. I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

Wardrobe to Narnia.
I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

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Part 2 of the Dumpster Diaries: Red Room/Office Revamp

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This is how full the dumpster is after 4 DAYS. We can keep it only 6 more days (unless I want to pay an additional 15 bucks a day). I have TWO MORE ROOMS to clean out.

OMG! My house is a CLUSTERF*CK!!!!!!!!

Go to my previous post if you don’t know what’s going on-

My ‘game plan’ for the revamp is this (not in order):

1. we have a 10 day dumpster rental (it was rented last Weds, so we have 7 days left).

2. The ultimate goal is to get the back room turned into a studio for the oldest son- we will have to empty it of my clothing and stuff, drywall and paint, put down carpeting.

3. I had to clean out parts of the basement to make room for extra stuff from the other rooms to be moved into storage there.

4. I have to clean out the upstairs kitchen (which houses stored furniture currently) in order to turn that into the master bedroom’s closet.

5. The “Red Room”/my office has to become my son’s interim office while the remodeling happens.

The rubble in the red room

BEFORE: The rubble in the red room

super cluster fuck before pics

BEFORE: Super cluster fuck

The basement part was carried out on Weds/Thurs. All day yesterday we worked on the red room. We weeded out junk and papers that were no longer needed and threw them away. Walls were scrubbed, furniture polished/scrubbed- the whole 9 yards. My Art Deco burled walnut library table and lamp that I purchased in Paris were spiffied up.

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

The furniture was rearranged to better suit my kid’s needs. My handmade rug from Afghanistan was hung on a line and beaten with a Victorian wire rug beater (which, for some reason, always intrigues the neighbors/tourists/passersby when I have someone beat the carpets- I DON’T know why! We always did this when I was a kid…).

beating the rug

beating the rug

For SUCH a small room, I was shocked at how much crap we had to throw away! It’s just crazy how things pile up.

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

We went through every old paper, receipt, scrap and disposed of everything that we no longer needed or used.

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

The walls and floors and furniture all needed a good scrubbing. Everything was SO gross. I have neglected this room for 2 yrs (since becoming pregnant and having the baby). The problem (#firstworldproblems) with owning a huge, old house is that it is SO easy to pile junk into a room and close the door/forget about it for a while.

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they'd fit.  Bye-bye window for now...

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they’d fit.
Bye-bye window for now…

At this point, my stress levels (and everyone else’s) were pretty much at max. We had to drill a hole into the floor to run the ethernet cable to the modem (and fish it out through the basement and back up through an air vent again).

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

The end result was worth it- it looks lovely again and no longer like a dark storage hovel. It took me all day, in between doing other stuff, just to finish writing this post!

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Part 1 of the Dumpster Diaries: Cleaning Out Crap and Redoing a Couple of Rooms.

I rented this 20 yd dumpster today

I rented this 20 yd dumpster

I wasn’t going to so publicly chronicle my cleaning and renovation endeavors, but I was inspired by Brey’s post on her Ordinary Adventures blog, where she started doing the same thing in her loft.

I got a call last week from my oldest son, Sam. He wanted to move back home from Chicago and we have to make room for him/his studio. More on that in my previous post HERE. He’s been gone for about 5-6 yrs, so this is a big deal… I rented a dumpster and the fun is now beginning.

yeah... I can jams and sauces and things, too... what a MESS!

yeah… I can jams and sauces and things, too… what a MESS!

 

this is my basement shame. It flooded earlier this spring and we were unable to do much about it because of the baby and my back until now.

this is my basement shame. It flooded earlier this spring and we were unable to do much about it because of the baby and my back until now.

I am very fortunate to have a 7 bedroom home. It’s over 100 yrs old, but not all the bedrooms have been utilized as such since I bought the house. One room off of the master was converted into a kitchen (when this house was divided into 2 flats in 1929). Another 2 bedrooms downstairs house my office and ‘closet room’ (for my clothes, since this house has very little closet space. I also have a full (and I mean FULL- HOARDERS FULL) basement.

I had 2 SETS- of washer/dryers that no longer worked in that basement. That's FOUR big hunks of junk just taking up room- I gave them to people I know who do scrapping.

I had 2 SETS- of washer/dryers that no longer worked in that basement. That’s FOUR big hunks of junk just taking up room-
I gave them to people I know who do scrapping.

base5

I also had an old art deco buffet that was damaged some years ago by teenagers and dogs- they were gracious enough to haul this away as well.

Sam will be getting the downstairs closet room as his studio- it was originally probably meant as a servant’s room, since it is off the kitchen. It has access to the back door, so it’s the most private room in the house.

He does a live comedy/entertainment show thing on the Internet, so he needs a room specifically as his ‘broadcast’ room.

Before we can even BEGIN on the new ‘studio’, we have to make space in the basement/bleach everything/spray anti-mold crap so that we can store whatever we aren’t throwing out in the ‘clothing room’. Sam still needs to broadcast, so he’s getting my red office room as an interim place to work. The ‘Red Room’ has been basically storage/a catch all for the last 2 yrs as well. We have to work on THAT ROOM before we can even THINK ABOUT cleaning out the other rooms.

an antique psychic carnival sign my friend in Missouri sent to MI for me. I love this thing.

an antique psychic carnival sign my friend in Missouri sent to MI for me. I love this thing.

we're going through every book, scrap of paper, you name it in my office (Red Room) and tossing EVERYTHING that is of no use.

we’re going through every book, scrap of paper, you name it in my office (Red Room) and tossing EVERYTHING that is of no use.

After the Red Room is sorted and cleaned we STILL CANNOT start on the studio. I have to actually go UPSTAIRS and empty the kitchen (and future closet room). It’s currently stacked to the CEILING with antique furniture that can’t go anywhere else. I will probably give a majority of it to my parents so they can sell the excess in their antique store.

see this adorable 10.5 month old with the chewed onion in her hand? She makes work nearly IMPOSSIBLE when she is awake.

see this adorable 10.5 month old with the chewed onion in her hand? She makes work nearly IMPOSSIBLE when she is awake.

Maisie, her onion that she pulled from my garden (she loves onions) and the girl who came with the scrappers, sitting on my lawn.

Maisie, her onion that she pulled from my garden (she loves onions) and the girl who came with the scrappers, sitting on my lawn.

It’s slow going because I have to watch Maisie and she is NOT conducive to productivity at ALL. All the REAL work falls to the males in my household, mostly poor R. The other two (including the person for whom all this is being done) keep running off to nap or hide in their rooms. Unfortunately, R goes back to work Sunday, which means people will need to do their parts and get their asses in gear. I really should’ve done this BEFORE the manny left, but we didn’t know until this week that Sam was moving home.

If we persevere, we MAY finish the red room and the basement this week. Next week will likely be the upstairs kitchen/closet/storage and then clean out the back room/future studio.

I haven’t even figured in the RENOVATIONS I need to do to the back room- the plaster (not drywall) has water damage in the ceiling and wall from previous floods (bathroom and kitchen upstairs). We fixed the bathroom and installed new flooring and toilet last week. The studio will need drywall done over the damaged plaster (thin sheetrock veneer- MUCH easier than gutting the lot). It will need to be painted, the new carpet put in, etc.

LAST week's project: New TEEN PROOF acacia smartcore floors and toilet in the upstairs loo-

LAST week’s project: New TEEN PROOF acacia smartcore floors and toilet in the upstairs loo-

this spare bathroom project took only a day or two... unlike the project I have going now

this spare bathroom project took only a day or two… unlike the project I have going now

ALSO WE MUST get everything tossed within the next ten days, because that is when the dumpster goes back- OR, I COULD PAY *ANOTHER* $400 BUCKS TO RENT IT.

No. Fucking. Way.

In 2 days, this arrives- it’s the new computer desk for the studio that won’t be completed any time soon:

http://www.amazon.com/Walker-Edison-Soreno-3-Piece-Corner/dp/B001FB5LE8/ref=sr_1_2?&s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1437666914&sr=1-2&keywords=desk

His birthday is in a few weeks, so my folks and I also bought Son Numero Uno some studio gear: green screen stand, umbrella lights, clips.

Tomorrow I go to check out a hide-a-bed sofa for the room that god knows if/when it will be completed.

I am kinda freaking out right now. I really am. If this post isn’t edited well, sue me. I’m so damned tired, I can barely type.