Where did the summer go?

by Natalie P.

August 30, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

It’s been a crazy last few weeks and I feel I owe the readership an explanation for why I have been so remiss in updating the site and adding new members.

After my layoff in May, I decided to take the summer off – at least from a job where I earn wages. It’s not like there weren’t calls and offers, but I wanted something more interesting than the last job and I didn’t want to start work until September. The bf was horribly jealous. He kept referring to me as “semi-retired”. I wasn’t sponging off him – I had some reserves to live on financially, and I used those to pay my share of the bills, etc. I did, however, go on his benefits plan, despite his grumblings that I was supposed to be his sugar momma. Screw marriage – putting someone on your benefits plan – now THAT’s commitment. And fair compensation considering that two weeks into my “semi-retirement” he came home from work and said (with a glint in his eye), “You’ve been off for two weeks now and you haven’t had my dinner ready once yet.” I noticed that he made sure he was out of range of my right foot (my roundhouse kick is deadly). I looked at him coldly and said, “Do you have a death wish?” It’s a good thing he’s so cute – it helps repress the urge to strangle him when he’s trying to push my buttons.

Though I did get in a few days of fishing, (and a 5-day trip to Rome) it was not a summer of sloth. (I am chronically incapable of lounging in a chair doing *nothing*). I went after household projects that were on my “todo” list for the last 5 years or more…

On that list (and completed):

  • Refinish the front door (a work still in progress as I await the new lockset)
  • Put end-post caps on the fence around the hot tub
  • Put in a sprinkler system front and back (thank-you Lee Valley!) – the bf helped with the back
  • Assemble that glass mosaic coffee table kit that I have had sitting in a closet for at least 2 years (thank-you Karen for the kit, and Donna for the help!)
  • Put in a new closet organizer in our bedroom
  • Complete several small projects around the cottage (such as make more light in the outhouse, build a new ladder for the HMCS Deathtrap, and put beer holders on the Deathtrap as well)
  • Reorganize the main office (a work in progress)
  • Pressure wash the fence (still have to sand down parts of it but I’m waiting for orbit sanders to go on sale)
  • Reorganize the bike area in the basement and haul stuff to recycle depots
  • Refinish the front steps in a GraniteRock finish (Beauti-tone lies – it’s NOT 3 EASY steps. It’s 2 Easy beginning and ending steps and a BRUTAL middle one)

And still, I feel like I didn’t get enough done.In the midst of all of that, I have had a friend staying with us, hosted a BBQ rib cookoff (more on that in another column), had my son visiting (his gf was here for the summer working and living with us) and had half my family plus one extra arrive and stay with us for the Canadian National Canoe and Kayak championships. (Word to the wise, NEVER call it “rowing” – it’s PADDLING. One of the girls had a T-shirt that said, “K1 – If it were easy they’d call it rowing”). At one point we had 14 people for dinner. I had to institute Kitchen Protocols to ensure that we didn’t run out of dishes. Fortunately, my brother handled most of the cooking for the crew so it was a great relief.

The last 3 weeks were the worst – my oldest son was in town for part of it and I wanted to spend time with him. He’d brought a bunch of our old 8mm home videos and we spent some time recording them and transferring a few to DVD. I still have many more to go. At this time, people were coming in and leaving from the airport on various days, the event schedule was variable depending on whether or not my niece, nephew and sister-in-law made the finals (and I wanted to see them compete), and the bf’s parents came into town to meet my mom and hubby and we all went out to dinner one night and brunch the next day. Oh yeah, and we had to go Toronto for a day and a night for his grandmother’s 90th birthday as well.Sound just a bit hairy? But wait, it gets better.

Add to that mix that in the midst of it all, the bf finally had his shoulder surgery for the spontaneously dislocating shoulder and his arm must remain immobilized for the next six weeks. (I had to sponge bath him for the first week since he couldn’t get the bandages wet – or at least that was his excuse.). The bf also can’t drive with his arm in a sling, so the major running around is up to me for another three weeks, as is cleaning the litter boxes, mowing the lawns, tying his shoelaces for him every morning, and virtually anything else that requires two hands. (Don’t even MENTION velcro or slip-ons. Been there, done that.)In there as well, I have been working on the details of my new job and setting up the necessary meetings, etc. to ensure my start date on Sept 4th. (Finally I get to work for a company where people’s eyes won’t glaze over if I tell them what we do!)

As if I wasn’t swamped enough, my youngest called two weeks before he was due to arrive and said he wanted to delay coming here to taking his college program till January because he’s fallen in love with a girl who is there on a work visa and she leaves in November. *Argh*. This involved all kinds of lectures from me (which of course fell on deaf ears. He’s “in love” after all…), and ultimately resulted in me having to juggle plane schedules, etc. I told him I’d personally fly out there and destroy any chances I have of getting grandchildren from him if he doesn’t show up here in January. I also told him I’d do the same if he gets her pregnant. It seems her mother made similar comments to that effect.

Ah yes, and August 31st is my corporate year end as well. The fun never ends. All that being said, I wanted you to know why the site hasn’t been updated. As you can see, I’ve been just a tad busy. (And tenuously hanging onto my sanity at times). But I can see the light now at the end of the tunnel, and I’m fairly certain (though not 100% positive) it’s not a train. I’ve started digging into the 183 pending membership applications and going through the sorting process. I hope to have the site updated with the latest approved members by tomorrow afternoon, barring any crisis which might derail my good intentions. And I’ll even have some new “Auntie Dote” columns and movie reviews to add as well.Now if I could just find a decent music editor. People keep sending me promo stuff for review and I just don’t have time for it.

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1 comment so far
  1. Jessee Bunyip September 2, 2007 8:09 am

    We just love to make even more work for you by queuing up comments for you to read… And this is a bit long for a blog comment but editing is a skill I have yet to master.

    “Refinish the front door – lockset pending”

    Just curious, have you heard of “bump keys” and will your new lockset prevent their use? Do you care or is it just Media FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – over reaction).

    “Put in a sprinkler system” ????

    Our water restrictions mean we’re into bucket watering only here, even though dripper systems are more efficient. Sprinklers, while convenient are generally considered a waste of water and promote mould where you don’t want it. Like black spot on the roses. Our city almost ran out of “drinking water” last March. I’m pretty sure they were putting filtered mud into our mains. Fortunately I have a rainwater tank and don’t have to drink the government supplied chlorinated mud. I’m so jealous you can put in and use a sprinkler system. http://www.sawater.com.au/SAWater/Environment/WaterRestrictionsConservationMeasures/Outdoor_watering_july_FAQ.htm
    “Temporary” means approximately until next August, so long as it rains a lot which it hasn’t, so temporary may well mean until change of government, which may happen sooner than August.
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22319844-5006301,00.html

    “Re-organise the main office.”
    A project for me, almost too scary to contemplate – though I’m reading David Allen’s How to Get Things Done (because I want to get more things done), and I’ve just got to the bit where he says I have to. EEEK.

    HMCS Deathtrap? – this is worthy of a blog link (and tag) all by itself. http://blog.heartless-bitches.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/55

    Pressure wash the fence? More envy. See previous post on water restrictions. I haven’t washed my car for nearly a year.

    Bike stuff. I’ve put one of mine onto a pulley system so I can hoist it into the roof of (my mum’s) shed. Works well.

    Granite rock steps? I’ve just been traumatised by having tradies in to do paving out the front for me. I am becoming pleased with the result as I overcome the trauma of having my garden and verandah messed up for several weeks for a job they promised would be done in half a day. Somehow when I make the mess, it isn’t as discombobulating.

    I’m not sure I’m up for the trauma that goes with building a garage let alone a house extension. Sigh.

    Rowing? Easy? We’ve got one Olympic rower famous for literally laying down in the middle of an Eights race. Now any time a footballer takes a dive and then pops up a few minutes later all ok – he gets called “Sally”. It’s still a mystery to most of us why Sally stopped, and I thought Sally’s team rowing would be over but it isn’t.

    I like your juxtoposition of ideas, that, in semi retirement, you weren’t sponging off your bf, until he had his shoulder operation – and then you were sponge bathing him – sponging him off… I can completely relate to your bf. Having someone else take care of washing (and toileting) oneself – requires one put ones personal dignity in a box and ignore it for as long as it takes. Hard. I had a knee operation, I couldn’t walk for a week, couldn’t bend my leg enough to get shoes and socks and undies on, and somehow had to keep the whole leg dry when I washed – but I couldn’t get the bag on without help either. I consider myself lucky, it was only a week for me. Some people have to imagine putting that bit of dignity in a box and burning it, as they will always need the help.


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