Life has been a handful lately, and it doesn’t show signs of letting up any time soon.
More than two years ago, Frank stepped up to help his father through some health issues. Of course you expect improvement, but sometimes it seems it’s one thing after another. Complications, reactions to medication, tests, follow-up tests, appointments, follow-up appointments, therapists… And then of course there’s the paperwork that comes with each and every little thing. You look for every step to get you moving uphill, but in many cases it’s more like a roller coaster — up, down and sideways.
In the meantime, readership of the magazine just keeps growing. We became the largest independent publication in the state without even knowing it. We simply kept trying to meet reader demand with the budget available from our advertisers. As the magazine grows, it needs more of our attention, but right now, our attention is often elsewhere.
It’s all been very challenging, to say the least.
The world of health care and elderly services is daunting and frustrating.What is covered, what isn’t. What is necessary, what isn’t. What’s been considered, what hasn’t. What meds have been taken, what needs to be taken. What’s the symptom, what’s the cause. Many days the question simply stands at, “What now?”
And delivery — even with school letting out and gas prices dipping a little — is always a challenge. It takes six days to get each issue delivered, (rain, hail, sleet, snow, flood, etc.) and it seems as though there’s a crisis of some sort around here every four days or so. Funerals, flat tires, the flu — just to name a few.
This week we missed a day of delivery waiting for a stool sample. That should explain the ebb and flow of our lives right now.
I don’t share this information to say, “Woe is me.” I share it to explain:
We’re not currently at our business best.
If you call and get our answering machine, please leave a message. We could be as close as the garden or hay field (if the sun is shining), or as far as Morgantown Medical Center or a clinic outside Columbus, Ohio.
If I don’t return your call or e-mail quickly, or seem a little distracted or rushed when I do, please don’t consider it my typical behavior. It is possible that a day or two might pass before I get to even catch up on phone messages, and I might not check my email until 11 pm.
If you miss seeing us on delivery and tire of finding bundled copies have been left on your doorstop in the night, please don’t think Frank and I are avoiding you. We enjoy visiting with our friends on delivery routes, but it takes less time and less gas to deliver them in the middle of the night than in the traffic of the day.
If you are wanting to pitch a new column, request my help or services on a project, or ask me to volunteer, or research or direct my attention to something new — forgive me if I cringe or duck and run for cover. Now just is not a good time. (Please check back later.)
We’re juggling at maximum capacity, and though we’d love to do more, deliver more, add more, sell more, post more, market more, network more, serve more, reach more, harvest more — right now we’re focused on what we have at hand -
Family, home, garden, clients.
And with that, we’ve got our hands full.
I had a groove goin’. My routine, not yet rolling smooth, but definitely movin’ to a beat, a rhythm of some kind.
Get up, do morning news and facebook online, work on the magazine, visit the gardens, gather eggs, bake some bread, do some housework, work on the magazine, piddle with a project or two.
That was my rhythm, and I was really getting my groove.
Then, I decided to get a job with the census.
Bye Bye groove.
As a crew leader, my hardest task is getting everything done in under 40 hours a week. (Not counting the hours now required for regular laundry, ironing, organizing, primping — those things a job also requires.) But as a creative person, the hardest part is watching all my other projects fall behind.
First off, we’re back to store bought bread. Even with the bread maker, I just don’t have the mentality for it. For some reason, baking bread requires a complete “homebody” mentality, and I’m carrying that “career woman” mentality again. I just know any bread I would make now would be hard as a rock.
Also, the house is a complete mess. Dishes, laundry, dusting, sweeping — all behind, with new messes made every day. There’s clutter, everywhere. For me, clutter outside the brain causes clutter inside the brain. It drives me crazy. My usually organized desk is scattered with notes, papers and post-its. My work table is covered in census paperwork. The coffee table is piled with reading material that I now feel I may never get to.
The chicken pens need cleaned, the plants in trays need put in the ground, the flower and herb beds need weeded & mulched, the porches need cleaned off, and the yard needs mowed.
But, I’m caught up on all my census work and am only slightly behind on my monthly magazine routine.
It doesn’t help that I am always tired now. This typical insomniac has slept like a baby since this whole thing started. In fact, last night I fell asleep at 6 pm after dinner, woke up at 1 am, went back to bed at 2 and slept until 6. That manic energy that normally swirls around inside me (some people call it ‘gumption’) has vanished. I work from 7 am until 2, and by 6 or 7 in the evening, I’m tuckered – with still so much to do.
Thank goodness we don’t have children. They’d be going to school dirty, naked and unfed – without their homework.
We had Daisy Dewdrop on a diet and regular exercise schedule – that’s gone by the wayside.
I missed my last CEOS meeting (our cemetery clean up day, and that’s a good one), and I’m the club secretary.
Sure, I’m getting a regular paycheck now, and that’s all well and good. I like paying off credit cards, stocking the pantry with store-bought sundries, treating ourselves to Chinese food and a movie.(I ate two boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal this week – and am now wracked with guilt.)
It is very, very difficult to balance work and home – and I seem to be failing at the task. But it’s only week two, and I’m starting to feel like things are smoothing out. I might soon get it on a rhythm, and then I’ll get a new groove.
Soon, I hope.
Although Mother and I talk every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and go for more than an hour, whenever I visit her house or she visits mine, we are up into the wee hours talking at least one night of the weekend. This time, we almost made it until 2 a.m.
The purpose of her visit is to help me clean and organize the office after the remodeling.
First off, the remodeling isn’t yet done…
AND, you never EVER let your Mother really know how dirty your house can get.
So, of course, before Mother came to clean, I had a friend come over to clean before Mother came. She did the spare bedroom, the kitchen and the bath. In other words, Mother’s space is clean.
But, see, Frank doesn’t like to pay someone to do work he (or I) can do, so before the friend came to clean so Mother could come to clean, he swept, ran the vaccuum, and washed dishes.
One would think, by now, the house is spotless…
But, there’s still the upstairs, where the items belonging to the living room, office and bedroom are kinda all mingled together.
See, to work in the office, we put office stuff in the living room. And then, to live in the living room, we moved some of that stuff to the bedroom. Then, after that, I moved some of my furniture and stuff home from the office, and that landed wherever there was space out of the work zone.
Living in the chaos, there became a sub-system where nothing is anywhere near where it should really be. but it’s been there a while so you kinda know where to find it.
AND, it’s all covered in drywall dust.
Tonight, I left the back door open for a while, and the house is just filled with brown beetles, so tomorrow, there will be dead beetles in the dust…
I have been told, a remodeling project is one of the true tests of a relationship.
I don’t doubt it.
But, were more than halfway done, and by the weekend, some of the shelves will be in place, and I’ll be able to bring all the ingredients related to Two-Lane Livin’ back into a brand new office space.
The home office should be ready by Thursday, when I relinguish my office at work. (Which was a really cool office, by the way.)
The conversion will be complete.
I just have to remember, between now and then,