Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Okay, for someone who thought she'd removed one of the stressful things in her life (I've taken a doctor-recommended leave from my day job--my last day was Sunday), today is shaping up to be one of those days where my head goes all explodey and showers bits of skull and brain matter all over the place.

I made an appointment for a pro carpet cleaner to come do these hideous carpets this morning. Last night, Firstborn and I lugged all the dressers, desks and assorted stuff out of the upstairs bedrooms, and this morning I finished up by removing my daughter's bed. All this stuff (more furniture than should reasonably even be in two bedrooms, really) is now piled in the middle of my living room, (and kitchen and dining room), which is also full of assorted toys (legos and bionicles everywhere, OMG). It's quarter past ten and I'm wondering where the guy is, so I phone. He's fucking sick in bed. Can't even get up. But couldn't call last night to let me know he was really sick and had to cancel, apparently. Aughhhhh!!!!!

There is no other pro carpet cleaning outfit in town, and the people in the next town aren't answering their phone. "We're probably out cleaning someone's carpet" the message says.

To add insult to injury, my parents arrive tonight. Yes, tonight. And Firstborn has been sleeping on the sofabed downstairs (where my parents sleep when they visit), and Blammo has been sleeping on the couch in the living room. The couch is now buried under a mound of bedroom stuff, and the boys' beds are stacked in the family room, which leaves no floorspace for "camping out" there and so basically, there's only two usable beds in the house--the sofabed and my bed. And two extra people looking to sleep here tonight.

I suppose I could leave a message at the other place, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting all day to hear back, only to be told no, they can't come out. So now I'm stuck renting a Rug Doctor and hoping beyond hope that it works 100x better than the home-model Bissell my friend loaned me.

I swear, I could kill something right now. Like, kill, kill, kill.

On top of that, my ex's lawyer has missed yet another deadline (Monday), and MY lawyer, courteous, non-litigious guy that he is, is going to phone his office to double-check that no response is forthcoming before he sets a date for a case conference. Dude, am I going to be married to this guy forever, or what?

I think I need a drink. It's gotta be past noon somewhere in the world, right? I mean, screw the whole 5 o'clock saying--as long as it's afternoon, it's fine, right? Right?

ETA: Okay, so I rented a Rug Doctor, and yeah, they're a LOT better than the home-model I was using. Way more suction, and the brushes? Holy cow, you can hardly hold onto the thing, those babies are shaking so hard. I'm 1/3 of the way done the big, huge room, and it looks good so far, and the carpet doesn't go "squoosh" when I walk on it, either. So I'm hoping that the blammo suction that's pulled all that moisture out, well, maybe it's pulling more crap out too, and I won't end up with ugly brown patches as it dries. I may go over it twice, just to be sure. Oh, and it might even be dry enough to put some of the stuff back by tomorrow.

AND, I had some bacon-wrapped chestnuts (my toaster still works since the power surge, it just doesn't get quite as hot as it did), and I'm having a glass of wine, too. Just a little one.

AND my mom phoned to say they'll be here early--like dinner time--and did I want her to get me a bucket of KFC on the way up? Holy hell, yeah! Nice, salty, greasy, KFC smothered in a gallon of KFC gravy? And that way, dinner's taken care of too! So I'm feeling better. Yay!

ETA II: So I'm 2/3 done the big room, and the brushes stop brushing. Ack! I felt the top of the machine, and it's really hot, so maybe it just needs a rest? I hope? If not, I'll have to return it and get another one. Bluh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

you know you should shampoo your carpets more often when...'s the fourth pass on the "heavy traffic" setting and the waste water you're pouring down the drain is still dark brown sludge. Bluh.

I borrowed my friend's Bissel to do the former boys' bedroom, which is really the master bedroom, and I'm absolutely amazed (and revolted) at how much crud can build up in a carpet in a kid's bedroom, even when you vacuum fairly regularly. The more I think about it, the more disgusting wall to wall carpet seems to me. I suppose it might get cleaner faster if I was using some harsh, heavy duty, stinky chemical solution, but I went with an all-natural product because I don't need to spend the next few weeks in a VOC-induced stupor, thanks.

Thanking my lucky stars the carpet is a glue-down--no underlay to collect mud during the shampooing process, only to reimpregnate the carpet with filth as the fibers dry and wick the dirty moisture up. Before I installed laminate in the living room, I made the mistake of shampooing the carpet before my inlaws came to visit. There was one patch I went to town on every day for over a week--kept looking clean, then ten minutes later I'd turn around and holy crap, the dirt's back. I eventually gave up, and had to deal with having them judge my housekeeping skills by the ugly brown stain on the floor in front of the sofa.

If, when I move, there is any amount of wall to wall in my new place, I'm totally investing in a steam cleaner. I'll do the whole floor every month or two, just to not have to look at the filth in the waste reservoir.

On the bright side, with the exception of two small stains (from strawberry-flavored fruit roll-ups, I think), the spots are coming out. I pre-treated them with a spot remover--Folex--which comes in a very lacklustre spray bottle that was virtually invisible next to all the TV-familiar brands on the shelf. But reading the label--no petro-chemicals, no VOCs, no obnoxious scents--won me over. And it worked really well. Smells like...well, like nothing, which is good for someone with chemical sensitivities.

And if you all are as grossed out as I am by the thought of kids playing legos on a floor completely saturated with filth, all I gotta say is moderately unsanitary conditions build healthy immune systems. My kids? Their immune systems must be super-human--but then I figured as much when the Swine Flu visited our house and didn't even cramp their styles. My coworker, who practically lives in rubber gloves and bleaches her whole house weekly? She and her kids were down for three weeks.

Yup, it's Sophistry, but it works for me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

what the...

Okay, so I just brushed my hideously shedding dog, and the pile of hair I got was bigger than the dog. And yet she still has hair on her body. In fact, she looks no smaller and no less fluffy than she did before I brushed her. WTF? How is this possible?

In other news, due to two power surges yesterday, my toaster oven is...uh, toast. Wonder if I can find an el-cheapo one at the local bargain store? If not, that's the end of my bacon-wrapped chestnut addiction for a while. But at least the fridge (my beautiful new fridge, OMG), which issued some seriously disgruntled noises when the lights flickered, seems to have recovered and is chugging along nicely.

In other other news, next Sunday is my last night of work at the local Chinese joint--doctor's orders. And strangely enough, a lot of old, favorite customers, some of whom hadn't been in in over a year, came in to eat last night. It was like revisiting my past or something. Surreal, and kind of sad, but at least with one less thing to angst and stress and obsess about, I won't end up committed anytime soon. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully... Heh.

I've been plodding along on the upgrades to the house, while at the same time trying to tame the heinous mess my kids leave in their wake--which is all the more heinous because it's migrated from the bedrooms I'm working on right into the middle of my living room.

Oh, and I posted a new story on my website. It's been on my hard drive for a few months, but I was feeling lazy and unmotivated and signing into my webhost is just SUCH a bother, lol. Standard disclaimer applies: it's dirty (like you all didn't already know that). And Mom? Don't look.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Okay, the little, teeny-tiny cracks forming in the paint on my bedroom walls? Well, they were everywhere, scattered patches of little hairline cracks all over the place. So I tried touching them up, and nope. Still there. Shitty, crappy, cheap builder's paint--three damn coats to cover the blue in the room, and then it's all for nothing anyway.

So today I went and bought a 5 gallon bucket of Sico paint (hang the expense), tinted to a really nice buff off-white. I primed over the worst patches, and then threw one coat of the new stuff on and yay! Looks damn fine. Just one more wall to do tomorrow, and then I can shampoo the carpet and start moving my furniture in there (it's the master, but Firstborn and Blammo were sharing it). Then, while there's no furniture in the downstairs bedroom, I'll patch the ceiling, paint that sucker, and then finish the walls.

I'm going to grab one of my daughter's dressers to put in the master bedroom, move her computer and desk downstairs, and then I'll have enough free space to paint in her room too. Then the stairwell, kitchen, living room and bathroom (including the bathroom ceiling).

Then I have closet doors to install, baseboards to nail in, tiles to grout, light fixtures to change, laminate flooring to trim out, toilet seats to replace...

Oy. Every time I think I'm almost done, I realize how much I have left to do. Bloody hell.

And I haven't even begun to think about dealing with the yard--which is in an advanced state of "naturalization" and if something isn't done about the drainage problem soon the government will declare it a protected bogland and I'll be screwed. Where's a big strong man with a back-hoe when you need him?

Think I'll leave the gardening to my mom when she comes. She lurrrrrves weeding. Really, she does. It gives her the warm fuzzies. Fresh air and sunshine and back to nature and all that. Honest. And ever since she moved into a condo, she hasn't been able to slake her demented garden-lust. So I'm doing her a favor, really, when you think about it.

And I think my dad has been jonesing to try out that power washer he bought me a couple years ago. 3000 psi? Subaru engine? A nozzle that can cut through solid granite? Boo-yah! Gotta keep an eye on him, though, or he'll start taking pot-shots at passing teenagers just for giggles. Not that I'd mind...dang whippersnappers always throwing their Slushie cups and Red Bull cans on my lawn.

Yup. Busy as heck and stressed out of my mind, but at least I'm accomplishing things. I'll post pictures as the rooms get done, just so you all can see how awesome I am.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting busy...

Not writing, so much, though I have been trying to find an hour or two every day to devote to finishing my many stalled WIPs. We'll see how that works out, heh. My editor hasn't heard from me in so long, she's probably gone through all seven stages of loss and accepted I'm gone for good. I can imagine seeing something from me in her inbox at this point would be as likely to induce severe myocardial infarction as pleasant surprise.

Mostly I've been trying to get my house in order--cleaning, washing walls, patching drywall, painting, getting the plumbing sorted out (the guys who built this place were clearly stoned, and according to my plumber, not overly concerned with legalities, either), getting ready to fork over some serious cash to deal with the drainage problems in the backyard, and summoning the will to trim out my laminate floor and grout my tiles.

In a week or two when the weather turns, I'll call my parents (otherwise known as the Fifth Elite Domestic Viking Brigade) in to help me haul a shit-ton of stuff to the dump and thrift store, get the lawn, flower beds and rock walls looking nice, and help my kids prioritize their belongings into two piles: 1) can't bear to part with this, and 2) pitch that shit in the dumpster.

Then it's time to stage the place and hopefully unload it before BC's Harmonized Sales Tax (11% on house sales and realtor commissions? yikes!) and new mortgage regulations for first time buyers (possible 20% down payment? double yikes!) get together in an orgy of fiduciary devastation and send property values plummeting.

So no, I won't be around the internets much, either here or elsewhere. Not that that isn't much of a change from the status quo, mind you. It's just that instead of moping, obsessing and contemplating the gruesome demise of the men in my life (except for my plumber, who has proved himself both useful and not a turd-ass), I'll be actually doing something constructive.

And if any of you all know how to slap paint on a wall or use a nail-set, you're welcome to come over and help me out. I have beer and sandwiches. :)