For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Feeling wasted...

Well, yesterday was, pretty much, a bust. Hardly anyone showed up at my garage sale. I was hoping to take advantage of the long weekend crowds, but I guess everyone is just going to - and staying at - a nearby festival. Thousands come out for that and since we live only about 10 minutes away, I figured I'd see more people. Hopefully, today will be better. Either way, I'm going to have to have more sales if I want to get rid of this stuff and raise more money for the move.

My kids, meanwhile, got a chance to visit with some cousins we haven't seen in ages. My BIL came over to pick them up, showing up after 3. I was expecting him at about 1:30 :-S Ah, well. Once the kids were off, I went to bed and pretty much passed out. A couple hours later, the phone rings. In a sleep deprived delusion, I somehow thought it was time for me to get up, so I answered it. Bad mistake.

It was my mother.

First, she was all surprised that I was home. Turns out she'd swung by the house (yes, she *does* know I sleep during the day) and since I didn't answer, she assumed I wasn't home. Then she started giving me a hard time for being asleep rather than having the sale still open, since someone with a truck came by while she was there. Uhm... I do need to sleep, Mom, and if people can't be bothered to read the extremely clear and colourful signs I put up - making sure to highlight the times - then that's their problem. As it was, I still had occaisional people coming in while I was waiting for my BIL. I made $1.25 in the two hours I waited. :-P

Then she started giving me the third degree about what I was going to sell - making sure I wasn't going to sell the furniture she bought "for" us. Since we're moving, she wants them to stay. No problems there. Her "gifts" always come with very steep price tags, anyways.

Then the started going on about the kids, and why are my kids staying with my brother for the summer instead of me dropping them off at my in-laws when I go to work, etc. My kids are such a burden to them, you see, and they have to feed them ...

Somehow, she managed to cram all this crapp into a call less than 5 minutes long. She would have happily continued to tell me how useless and horrible I am for much longer, but I hung up on her.

I can't wait until we're out of there.

Of course, after that, I was too stressed to sleep. So I stayed up the last couple of hours before I went to the festival to meet my in-laws and the kids. At least that part was fun, but by the end of it, I was so tired, I probably shouldn't have been driving. I should have stayed up all night again, but I had to get some sleep. I ended up napping for longer than I should have, of course. Now, I'm just waiting until it's time to open up the front door and continue the sale. Then the kids are off in the afternoon and I'm back at work tonight. I really hope I'll be able to get some sleep this afternoon.

Reminder to self. Don't answer the phone. Don't answer the door.

Ah, well. Time to get back to reality, and the sounds of the cat trying to catch my daughter's betta fish through his jar aquarium. *L*

Saturday, July 30, 2005


I've got 4 hours.

Four hours before my first garage/moving sale. At this point, I am *so* glad I work nights, because if it weren't for tonight, there's no way I'd be ready in time.

Ok, I admit it. It's partly my fault. I procrastinated too much. Some of this could - and should - have been done earlier. Still, the sheer volume of stuff I have to go through is almost overwhelming, and there's no one to help.

Right now, it's the kids' stuff I'm going through, and that's what's doing me in. I'd given them their 2 large storage bins and told them to put in whatever they wanted to take on our move. Everything else is going to be garage saled.

Neither one filled their bin. I could probably put the two into one and still have room.

So, that leaves me with everything else. I don't often go into the"play room" - I hang my laundry in there and, these days, that's all I've had time to do. There are shelves and boxes of stuff, and I'm ready to scream right about now. I can't *believe* the sheer amount of *garbage* the kids have shoved into there! It seems that, whenever they'd had to clean up after themselves, they've mostly just tossed everything anywhere. So I'm finding used up paper, bits and pieces from crafting, broken toys, wrappers and remains and, strangely, hundreds of pennies. I could probably roll about $15 in pennies by the time I'm done. I've had to get a bucket just for them, pouring them in from boxes, baskets, jars - even the bottom of a kite's storage bag.

When I'm finished, all of it will probably fit into about 10 of the boxes I'm using for their stuff - and these are small boxes. Spread out all over and needing to be sorted, however, makes it look so much bigger!

I still have go bring out some of *my* stuff, too. Can't do that until their stuff is finished, though, just for the space. I've already got the big stuff - the exercise equipment, a couch, an armchair... there's still more, though.

It doesn't help that for the last couple of days, I've been in a lot of pain. I don't know what's going on. Both my arms have been just aching in the joints, including my fingers. I've got a headache. I *never* get headaches, unless I'm sick or seriously sleep derpived. I am somewhat sleep deprived, but not all that much. My knees and feet are threatening to give out on me, too, but there's nothing new about that.

For now, I'm just going to pop a few more pain killers, hope they actually help, and take a bit of a break.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Well meaning, blind arrogance

Yesterday I got to spend some time with my in-laws for a visit. Many years ago, they lived in the north African country of Mali, and even now I find myself hearing new stories of their time there. Their experiences there are high on my list of reasons why I have little faith in well meaning events such as the recent Live 8 concerts. I will also never donate money to any of the big charities.

Now I have yet another example of the pretensiousness and arrogance so many of us in developed nations have aquired. How easy it is to make assumptions! Many people, organizations and goverments offer their aid to African countries, believing that what they're doing is actually helping, yet they never even bothered to find out exactly what *kind* of help people actually needed! Yesterday's story was a prime example.

Mali is a French speaking country and my MIL speaks both French and English fluently. As a result, she was often called upon to act as an interpretor. One day, she was asked to interpret for a woman from England who's pet project seems to have been Meals On Wheels. She had come to Africa to share this wonderful project with the locals, and my MIL had the dubious pleasure of interpreting her speech. On and on she went about Meals on Wheels, how great it would be if they implemented this programme in their homeland, and how great it would be for their elderly to have meals delivered to them.

After the speech was over, my MIL approached the woman and pointed out to her that these people would have *no* idea what she was talking about. At first, the woman was rather insulted, so my MIL explained. Unlike us in our so-called developed nations, the people of Mali were not in the practise of hiding their elderly away into boxes, out of sight and out of mind. There were no Senior Centers. No "old folks homes." These people lived in extended families, and the idea that they would need some strangers to come around delivering meals to them was ludicrous. They had family to feed them, after all. Why would they need someone else to do it?

Can you imagine the confusion these local people must have felt while listening to this woman talk? Would they have been insulted that this foreign woman thought they didn't care for their own elders? Or what might their thoughts be of our own culture, to learn that elders would need such a programme to keep them from going hungry?

In our afluence, it's so easy to assume that what we have is what everyone else wants and needs. Maybe, every once in a while, we need to realize that we're the ones who could use the "help."