Marriage = Teamwork

We all have things that we excel at and then, there are those other things that we could do a bit better.  For instance, when it comes to our household, DH is the picker-upper-organizer-put-things-in-their-place guy.  Myself, I'm the sanitizer-scrubber-make-sure-the-ants-stay-away guy.  Craig is also the do-the-laundry guy, but I'm the clean-clothes-putter-away-guy.  Our personalities work beautifully when we sync.  And when we do, we're an amazing team.  
There are times though, when we aren't on the same page.  Last week, I decided to clean the entry way.  Doing so, I shoved everything from it into the front porch and put back what we needed...and left the the porch.  Craig was sweet not to say anything and he still isn't pushing me about finishing the job I started.  I suppose it has to do something with the fact that he cleaned the truck and put the junk in tubs (that I had purchased to organize the porch stuff) and placed them on one of the couches.  At least his mess is contained and we can approach it when we have some time.  Besides, most of it is the boxes from my old office which I'm still struggling with the fact that I have to put away.  Sometimes, when I know that DH has a particularly busy travel schedule, I will even help with the mowing (this doesn't sound like a big deal, but our mower is self propelled and only has one speed - FAST - which means I'm literally running behind it and wheezing and sneezing the entire way).  Doing chores that will ease his load makes me feel as though I'm a contributor.

But when we go to Craig's parent's home, or the lake, we manage to stick together.  I may help with cooking or cleaning, but Craig is mowing, updating the computer, picking up dog remnants, washing the boat or dishes, and what have you.  My point is simple: even when we don't agree, it usually works out in the end.

This is one of the very many beautiful things about marriage; pray together, stay together.  Work together, stay together.  It just doesn't get any better. 

God bless our late, injured and active troops. 

One more thing:  Does anyone know how to transfer pictures from my phone to my blog?  I've tried, but it's not working.  Thanks in advance!

The Ant Saga: Part II (or is it three or four) and Other Stuff

I have scrubbed, and when I say that, I mean bleached, scrubbed, and rinsed every single surface in this house.  Door frames, walls, ceiling fans, cupboards, the refrigerator, window sills, and base boards.  I've cleaned the basement, pulled out every piece of furniture and appliance and scrubbed underneath and behind.  After all of that, I sprayed Raid Indoor (twice) and sprinkled the outside with ant killer.  So when I spotted the darned ant again, I was livid.  But, I "re-Raided everything I could think of (besides Murman), and then, it happened.  If ants could fly, then that's what they did.  A trail of them (and a large one) streamed from behind the fridge (said area was raided, then scrubbed, and then raided again with me yanking the damn thing out myself a week prior from today) and then I lost my marbles.  My rage could be a combination of losing my job, struggling and juggling homework and the house and the fact that there are only four more episodes of Oprah, but I did it - I flipped.   I don't think it has anything to do with anything other than my war against the S&*^$ ants.   Please allow me to remind you that this house has been as clean as a hospital since the "unfortunate incident".  I just can't get rid of the ants, and I've tried EVERYTHING!  Suggestions?  Please? Anyone?  HELP!

Good news to share; I've scored very well on my first few assignments.  Summer courses, especially online are incredibly demanding and I'm thrilled that I've been able to not only keep up, but make the grades!  Go me!

I went back to the doctor yesterday because my allergies have been getting worse.  I love Dr. J.,  but I should have just called the Great G.K., an expert on most things, one of them allergies.  She reminded me that not only is the cat a problem (sadly) but so are feather pillows and any sort of dander.  When I used her words of wisdom to analyze the symptoms I've been having, so many things made sense.  In fact, please excuse the poor paraphrase: G.K. said, "Allergies are cumulative.  The more triggers you add, the worse the symptoms become."  What I thought was strange is that for most of my life, I haven't had seasonal allergies.  I learned that they can develop over time, and best of all, I'm not a hypochondriac.  At least, I think not.  So for now, I'm closing the windows, the cat has a new home, and tomorrow, I'm going pillow shopping.  The good news?  My oven is clean. 

Happy weekend.  My your life be allergen free and your floors never be dirty.  Good luck with that.  :)

Extreme CLEAN Home Makeover: The Beckerleg Edition


Sounds funny to go from there to here, but it is what it is.  See below.

The ants go marching one by hurrah, hurrah!
The ants go marching none by none HURRAH, HURRAH!

Yes, we had an ant problem.  I was too embarrassed to admit it, but it turns out that in cool, wet, temperatures, it can happen to anyone.  I went through approximately $100 and four hundred and fifty-nine hours of cleaning to rid our home of them, and I do think, just maybe, I've succeeded.  And they weren't the nice sugar ants either.  They were huge and nasty and black and just gross. 

Speaking of cleaning, keeping busy has been a life saver for me.  Housework to the extreme, yard work (woman on a mission), working ahead on school work (again, woman on a mission) and I'm beginning to feel a bit better.  My hands are raw, my body aches and I'm probably smelly, but it's good.  I have been deep cleaning this house since the "unfortunate incident",  but it's been worth every second.  The strange thing is, I can't stop.  I really don't have any other major projects, but every time I turn around, I think, "Oh dear, the ceiling fans need dusting", or "Shoot, I scrubbed the entry way, but forgot to put everything I threw in the porch back" or, "For crying out loud, now I have to sweep...but I just did!" So I guess I do still have some big tasks left.  Good thing, too.  I love to be busy?????.

After a wonderful, but long day, Craig and I have collapsed.  As my dear Grandmother says, "the housework is never done".  She hit the nail on the head, as usual....the key now is to keep up with it - another great piece of advice from the Great K.  And don't be afraid if you visit us and I'm spraying Raid Indoor and wiping every little surface with bleach.  It's just my new normal.  Good riddance, ants (although I'd like to tell you to get the bleep out)!

P.S.  I would LOVE to hear any advice for cleaning and maintaining the clean.  HELP!

Chin Up, Buck Up

I've had sme time to process since last Wednesday when I announced the latest hurdle.  It sounds easy to move on, and sometimes, it feels that way.  That's not to say I don't  have my moments.  Relying on my inner strength, my faith, family and friends is helping.  Today was the first day that I went to the office, despite the fact that I was dreading it.  I woke up this morning with an attitude of, "take names and kick a**, but Craig reminded me that it's not my style, or in my blood to do so.  So I went to work with a cheery face, worked on getting organized for the people who will be taking over my work, and grinning when I wanted to cry (not that I didn't have tears when I left). 

I had a quick, healthy lunch, came home, started some more house work and when I couldn't help it anymore, I called my loved ones.  I feel better at the moment, and remain positive that I will continue to do so.  As I've said before, keeping busy is an immense relief.  By the end of the week, the majority of deep cleaning will be done and then I will focus on my creative writing course (which I need and am excited about). 

As far as projects go, does anyone have advice for caring for an out of control Umbrella Tree Plant?  I love it dearly, but am afraid to split and and re-pot it for fear of an untimely plant death.  The poor thing is thriving, but her roots are growing out of a very large pot.  Help!

The best news?  I don't have to worry about missing Ellen or Oprah.  If I work hard all day, I can have 2 hours of entertainment and solace until we begin our evening.  LET'S DANCE!

A Figurative Slap In the Face

"There isn't an easy way to do this, so I'm going to jump in and say it.  Your position has been eliminated.  It has nothing to do with your performance, but as you know, the state is in financial crisis.  Therefore, we have to make some changes, and unfortunately, we have no choice but to let you go."

These were the words that slapped me in the face yesterday.  I walked into my meeting with the VP and AVP under the impression that I would be gaining added responsibilities and signing a contract (per previous discussions and emails with the bosses).  For millions of hard working people across America, similar conversations are taking place every day.  I've been lucky enough to have been "laid off" (for lack of a better term) three times in 18 months.  Times are tough.  I know that.  I also know I'm not alone.  But when you absolutely love your job, enjoy going to work every day, work your tail off and sacrifice time with your family, it really and truly is a slap in the face.

I'm lucky to have options.  I'm lucky to have a severance package.  I'm extremely lucky to have a husband with a career.  I have options.  Just when I finally thought I was working my way up the ladder, the ladder tipped out from under me and I fell off the roof. 

This isn't a blame game.  It's more of a written pity party.  I promised myself I wouldn't wallow, but instead of sitting here enjoying the sunshine, I'd rather be in my office, doing work I love.  Every time I think about it, the tears flow like the swollen Red River.  It's not that I want any old job; I want MY job.  I loved it.  I know, I know, there are billions of problems that are a lot worse than my little drama, but I'm going to wallow for a bit.  The only thing I know right now is that I'm going to turn this into something good.  I don't know how, but I will.  When God closes a window, He opens a door.  In the mean time, I'll fake it 'till I make it. 

Time to call the unemployment office and update my resume.  Here I go again.