Archive for the ‘insomnia’ Category

Chamomile

Posted: December 27, 2010 in insomnia, Memory Lane
Tags: ,

It’s 2:30 in the ay-em, and I’ve been awake since 1:15. I don’t think anyone ever greets bouts of insomnia with enthusiasm. So, dammit.

I’ve suffered with insomnia off and on for my entire life. I distinctly recall weekends spent at my aunt and uncle’s home – they lived the next town over and took me for the weekend at least once a month, from the time I was about two or three, until my teenage years. My aunt would make up the living room couch for me, and everyone in the household went to bed at 9:00. The lights would switch off, goodnight’s would be called, and in very short order I’d hear my uncle’s distinct snore rumbling from down the hall. I’d try to settle my mind to sleeping, and was just never able to manage it. I’d listen to the clock tick, stare out the window at the streetlight, and wait and wait and wait. Sometimes I would cry in frustration – sleeplessness is, after all, an entirely lonely, solitary, frustrating occupation.

Sometimes I would get up and sit in the kitchen with a glass of water, and my aunt would find me just sitting there, blinking, in the dim light coming from the stove lamp. She’d fix me a cup of chamomile tea, sit at the counter while I sipped at it, then usher me back into the living room and tuck me back in. And there I’d lay, blinking at the lightening horizon, until I heard my uncle’s alarm go off and everyone would roll out to start the day. Every time I stayed with them, I walked into the visit with the knowledge that I would get exactly zero sleep – or, any sleep I managed to grab was during afternoon naps laying across the foot of my aunt’s bed, on her folded wedding ring quilt.

I never could explain – to them or to myself – why I could never sleep when I visited them. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that the worst news I’d ever received in my young life – that of my mother’s passing, and that of Brad’s passing – occurred at that house, while I was visiting them. That I was there at the time of my mother’s passing was intentional – I was left in my aunt and uncle’s safekeeping while the family dealt with my mother’s hospital stay, surgery, and eventual passing. That I was there when Brad died was just an unhappy coincidence – his accident just happened to occur on one of my weekends with them.

I was also never able to sleep at my friend Elizabeth’s house. As is often the case for kids living in the sticks, weekend sleepovers were common. I’d stay at her place on Friday night, right “off the bus” from school. Then her mom would drive us to Grandma’s in the early afternoon, and she’d stay at my house on Saturday night. Grandma would haul our butts to church on Sunday (this was before she became a Witness and we were attending a Baptist church), and Elizabeth would be dropped back off at home after the service. On the nights I stayed with Elizabeth, more often than not it was my asthma that kept me awake. Back in those days inhalers were little more effective than Primatine Mist, and since she had an abundance of pets AND her home was heated primarily with a wood stove, I was never really able to breathe well. I could handle it for the most part during the day, when our adventures took us outside, and when I was upright.

But at night, laying down, things quickly escalated to the point of near panic. So I would sit outside in the middle of the night, on their front steps in the weak light of their porch lamp, brace my arms behind me and shoulders climbing to my ears to help expand my lungs. I’d do the breathing exercises my doctor taught me, listen to the crickets if it was summer or shiver my ass off if it was winter, and wait and wait and wait. Many times Elizabeth’s mother caught me creeping in or out, and her cure for what ailed me was a hot cup of chamomile. She’d sit me down in the kitchen, or she’d bring it to me out on the steps, she’d pat my head and tell me not to wander around in the middle of the night, and she’d go back to sleep. Leaving me to sip, and stare, and breathe.

Sleeplessness happened less often at my own home, but when it did it wasn’t nearly the exercise in loneliness and frustration that it seemed to be elsewhere. I would simply switch on my bedside lamp, choose a book from my bookshelf, and wile away the hours. Or I’d quietly let myself out the back door and into the screen house in the back yard, where I would sit and breathe and listen to the night sounds. Occasionally my Grandmother, who was a light sleeper, would discover my awake state, and she’d fix me a mug of chamomile tea. We’d sit together in the screen house, or at the kitchen table, and she’d stay up and talk with me until I finished every drop. She’d ask me if I was sleepy, and if I was she’d tuck me back in, kiss my forehead, turn off my light, and leave my bedroom door open a crack. If I wasn’t sleepy she’d tell me to “keep my butt inside the house”, then tuck me in with my book and a glass of water, hunt up the cat and deposit him on the foot of my bed, kiss my forehead, and leave my bedroom door open a crack.

Tonight – this morning – I’m awake yet again. The routine hasn’t changed all that much, I just address my sleepless state with a great deal less frustration than I used to. It’s an opportunity for me to read, or surf the web, or watch something I DVR’ed. Tonight, I have a warm ball of purring cat at my side, an itch to write, and a hot mug of chamomile tea. Funny thing is, I don’t particularly like the taste of chamomile. Some things are just ingrained, I guess.

Whelmed

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Headspace, insomnia
Tags: , ,

I am going to try (valiantly, mind you) not to drop the F-bomb all over the place up in here.

The way that a panic attack makes me feel now, in its fledgling aftermath, is just plain old PISSED OFF. As the heartbeat slows and the stomach un-clenches, instead of feeling just kind of relieved that it’s over, with a dash of contemplative confusion over why it may have started in the first place, now I just get ticked. Because, you guys? This is getting fucking ridiculous.

Sorry. Fail.

Last night Bill and I went to bed at 11:00 (after watching Memphis Blue, which is mostly decent and if it were on one of the “big three” networks it would never make it). At 2:30 my eyes popped wide open, and I felt fearfully adrenalized without the benefit of, you know, having been chased by a slathering Rottweiller or something. At that moment right before awakening, I hadn’t been dreaming. I hadn’t, obviously, been thinking about anything. I had been sleeping, goddammit. And yet here I was, hot and then cold, with a demolition derby going on in my gut and my breathing coming in short, shallow gasps. I tried taking deep breaths, tried finding a more comfortable position, tried closing my eyes and counting to a hundred. After about a half-hour of trying to calm myself down, I gave up the ghost and grabbed a Xanax from the bathroom. Swallowed it dry. Went back to bed. Tossed for another half-hour or so, then finally drifted off to sleep.

Only to wake up again, about forty-five minutes later, from a nightmare. Bill and I were on an airplane that crashed into the ocean, and then it was just the two of us in the murky, dark water. No debris, no other bodies, just us. And he was staring up at me as he was sinking down in to the ocean, while I drifted above him. He locked eyes with me, and he was peaceful, while I was frantic and thrashing in the water. I woke up gasping, and immediately rolled over to touch Bill as he lay sleeping next to me. He kind of grunted, but turned his hand in mine to hold it.

That old, stupid fear of death gripped me once again, and I wondered frantically how much time we still had together. Would we see the fulfillment of our goals that lead to a more soul-satisfying life, or would we just continue grinding away in the superficial surroundings of this valley we live in? What was the point of it all, and had I done anything, anything worthwhile? If I were to depart this mortal coil at this very second, would I be nothing but rotting bones in a grave? What happened to my mother, and my grandmother? Did they just stop existing? Because I don’t think I could bear the thought of Granny not existing somewhere, on some level.

Spin spin spin, panic panic panic.

I squeezed my eyes shut and sent up a hard, fast prayer to please help me find peace. Tonight, and in general, so that I could avoid these inexplicable attacks. For crying out loud, give me a normal mind.

Eventually, I fell asleep. My eyes popped open again at 9:00 this morning – the latest I’ve slept in weeks, benefit of the Xanax. But it had worn off, and my gut was well on its way to grinding again. So I said, out loud (to Ozzy, in fact, who was staring me in the face and sniffing my eyebrow), “FUCK this.” I got up, I made coffee, I called Bill, and hearing his voice made me feel better. I stared up the computer and figured out which assignments to write today. I took a pause, read through my feed reader, and now I’m writing this. None the wiser for what the hell is going on with my brain, but fed the fuck up to HERE with it.

I am sick to death of being such a mental mess.

Up.

Posted: June 17, 2010 in insomnia

It’s 1:21 a.m.

We went to bed at about 9:45, and I think I woke up at around 12:30. Ozzy, who has taken to sleeping ON my feet at night, was having a dream or grooming himself or something, and woke me up. Since then my brain has been switched to the “on” position, and I have contemplated the following:

– It’s going to be a pain in the ass it’s going to be to travel with all of my camera gear. I’m going to have to keep the laptop and camera body accessible for inspection through security. I’m going to need to pack the cleaning fluid in my check-in luggage.

– Said luggage is going to be heavy, because we’re packing for ten days, and maybe I should just buy a couple of new suitcases since the ones we have are pretty much beat to hell. And they should have TSA-approved locks.

– Oh yeah, last time I flew I got bitched at by security because I left my inhaler in my purse instead of putting it in a separate baggie. I need to remember to buy slip-on shoes. Not sandals, though, because my feet will kill by the end of the day.

– We live in an age where a Twitter persona can get his own television show. And now that he has, I’ve noticed that Dad doesn’t seem to have as much Shit to say. Probably keeping all the material for the show, now.

– I probably ought to go get a massage tomorrow. And go to Home Depot.

– I don’t want to get up because I’m comfortable and would like to sleep. But I keep tossing around and Bill has to get up for work in a few hours and I’m sure I’m disturbing him.

– WHY does having a cat on my feet make me so hot in general?

– PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT: Ladies, I am completely serious. Go buy these jeans. They are totally flattering, and the most comfortable things I’ve ever wiggled my ass into. (Readers now go into a veritable free-for-all of snarky fresh comments, the Internet implodes upon itself, mass mayhem ensues, cats and dogs begin sleeping together…)

– Last night, Bill and I went to bed. As often happens when we go to bed, we goof around for a good fifteen or twenty minutes before actually settling down to sleep. By “goof around”, I don’t mean FOOL around. I mean GOOF. Wrestle. Giggle. Tickle. Poke. And some grosser things that I won’t get specific about. I shriek, he laughs. I slug his arm, he pins me to my pillow. I try to roll him off me, he rolls onto me harder. I push his pillows off the bed, me makes me EAT my pillows. All in the dark, all very slumber party-ish. A certain extra element of hilarity was added last night, when I mentioned, “Wouldn’t it be HYSTERICAL if I set up the video camera and all it recorded was darkness, except for all the NOISE we’re making while we’re fucking around like this?” Then we started giggling. Then we started wondering how some of the noises would be interpreted, and we laughed harder. Then we considered all the definitions we’d have to provide to you, the general public, and cracked up. For instance, do you know the meaning of “Wish You Could Breathe But Can’t”? Do you know what it means to be threatened by the “Polar Bear”, or the “Walrus”, or the “Titanic”? Do you know what a “vwop” is? Do you understand the dread anticipation that follows the words, “Okay, now…” uttered by my husband, and causes me to holler, “NO OKAY NOW!” back at him? Can you even comprehend what I could possibly mean when I shriek at the very tippy-top of my lungs, “STOP PUCKERING ON MY LEG!”? Perhaps, my gentle snowflakes, you are better off not knowing.

– Bill and I almost fought over the terms “Slug Bug” versus “Punch Buggy”. Which vernacular do you use? Argue the merits of one term over the other. Analyze and elucidate the wrongness of the use of the incorrect term. Discuss.

– Last night I dreamed that nobody showed up for Joss’ benefit party. I woke up in a full-blown panic attack, complete with a gut that was on FIRE as if there were hellish little Oompa Loompas who had built a campfire in my innards and were happily toasting marshmallows while alternately poking at my stomach wall with their sharp, pointy, fire-heated sticks. The fuckers. I tossed and turned for the better part of an hour, and when I finally fell asleep I was stuck in a nightmare in which Bill was bitten by a zombie and was slowly turning into one and there was nothing I could do about it except either kill him or join him. Interpret. Analyze. Discuss.

Up.

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Headspace, Home, insomnia, Video

It’s 3:00 in the morning. I woke up a half-hour ago. I thought I was gently tossing and turning, but I guess in Calvin’s Bill’s sleep-absorbed mind I was jumping up and down on the bed. I got several “Uuuunnnggg!”‘s from him, so I decided to give up the ghost and just go out to the living room. He has to work tomorrow, after all, and I do not.

(Aside: I’m going to amuse myself with keeping track of how many times I automatically type “Calvin” instead of “Bill”. Nine years of this is going to be difficult to break, I suspect.)

It’s cold in here right now. Google’s weather widget says it’s fifty degrees outside, though I’m not going to open the back door and turn on the light to check the thermometer on the patio. Our suburban area is often times a good five degrees cooler than Phoenix itself, which is what I believe the weather widget is based on. Fortunately I did a load of throws and afghans, so I grabbed one from the dryer just now and I am currently curled up on the couch. Ozzy is rather put out that I have the laptop on my lap, when HE could be on my lap. He’s purring like you read about, but alternates between marching in place with his front paws on my hip bone (ow, cat) or standing on the edge of my lap desk and sticking his nose in my ear. Yeah, he’s not fooling me. He’s pretending to be affectionate because he’s cold. It is always thus, in wintertime. Zoe will probably make an appearance soon – she chirped at me from her position at the foot of the bed when I got up, but seemed disinclined to leave the warmth of Calvin’s feet at the time. That will change as soon as she figures out I haven’t just gotten up to go pee or something.

A thought just crossed my mind. See, with as much as I write EVERY SINGLE DAY, for some reason I’m still stuck in the mindset that unless one has a published series of books on the shelf, and makes their primary living putting the written word down on paper, one is not actually a writer. It comes from the definition that I held as a child, I guess, when I used to write stories in my Mead notebook and dream of being an author “some day”. That daydreamed visualization of sitting at a typewriter, reams of paper scattered at my feet, tearing my hair out while searching for an exact phrase, stressing about plots and deadlines and manuscripts. YET. I have pudding-proof that I am wrong in that narrow definition, beyond the fact that the sheer number of my words that exist on the internet (many of them that I actually get PAID for) is ASTOUNDING. My proof is this: the first thing I did when I got up in the middle of the night was start this entry. I didn’t pick up a book, didn’t turn on the TV, didn’t make a cup of tea or do any of the other myriad of things that are in an insomniac’s arsenal. No, I started writing.

When your automatic inclination, when you have some spare time, is to start typing or scribbling away, you’re a writer. Doesn’t matter if you never share your writing with another living soul. Doesn’t matter if it’s poetry or fiction or journaling. When you just HAVE TO write because it’s such a deep set part of you that the thought of writing rather than SLEEPING doesn’t bother you in the slightest, you’re a writer.

That is my deep ponderance for this episode of Insomniac Theater. I am off to surf Hulu and perhaps have a cookie and some tea. I shall leave you with this, which I dedicate to Heather.

4:30

Posted: December 5, 2008 in Bring the funny, Calvin, insomnia, Music, Video

1iconcalvinkissgirlhandIt’s 4:30 in the morning and I’ve been up for an hour. I’m now on the couch in the living room, drinking too-weak tea (I didn’t let it steep long enough – I was cold and wanted to get under the blanket), with Zoe at my side. Oz just jumped up a minute ago to say hi, got in Zoe’s bubble space to do so, and she didn’t hiss.

That, my friends, is progress.

I only got a few hours of sleep – Calvin and I went to bed at about 10:30, but then lay there talking and giggling like teenagers for another hour before we finally fell asleep. It’s a wonderful, glorious thing to fall asleep while laughing.

We’d been talking about our ex’s, and how Calvin still has unanswered questions and would like to be able to get the real truth out of his ex’s head. He said he kind of wished she had a blog like I have, so that he could read what was really going on in her head. We had the following exchange:

Laura – “So, would you like her to have written a whole saga like I did?”
Calvin – “Well, yeah. I think it would have been… I don’t know…”
Laura – “Cathartic?”
Calvin – “Well, I was thinking more like, you know, medicinal.”
Laura – :: blink ::

Heh. You know he says things like this on purpose, don’t you, just so I have things to write about?

Prior to turning out the lights, Calvin had spent a good half-hour scouring the internet for a replacement starfish necklace. He couldn’t find the exact place we went to on-line, so he said, “Oh well, we’ll just have to go back! Darn!”

I love that man.

———-

This song is stuck in my head, and has been for a week. It’s on Rock Band 2, and I have to say that vocally, I TOTALLY KICK THIS SONG’S ASS. Which is saying a lot, because the difficulty meter is pegged on this one. (Also, Calvin is awesome on the guitar. Must give him his props.)

Other songs I kick ass on: Faith No More’s “Epic”, Fallout Boy’s “Arms Race”, and Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” Songs I don’t kick ass on: any Judas Priest. Just can’t get my voice wrapped around ’em.

———-

Hah, now to change the musical mood ENTIRELY. PBS is running their regular funds drive right now, and they had on the “Yanni – Voices” special last night. Calvin and I are big fans of Yanni, and I LOVE what I’ve seen and heard from this project so far. He took his existing instrumental songs and added lyrics to them, then got these four VERY talented young singers to accompany. He’s touring next year and you can REST ASSURED we will be hooking ourselves up with tickets.

Just LISTEN to this tenor, Nathan Pacheco. I LOVE TENORS.

What this video doesn’t show is the pure joy that is evident on this man’s face as he sings.

Le sigh.

He also does a very lovely duet with another member of their quartet, Chloe:

———–

Okay, I’m going to go surf the web for the next hour and a half, before I have to start getting ready for work. I foresee a nap in my future. I’m a bit psychic, you know.

Sleepless

Posted: October 19, 2008 in 101 in 1001, Headspace, Home, insomnia, Journal, Memory Lane

Sharon asked in the comments the other day what I did about insomnia, since she’s a fellow-sufferer. It’s funny she should ask, because I was up at 3:00 on Friday night/Saturday morning after only going to bed at 12:30. I watched the 1944 version of Jane Eyre, the one with Orson Welles as Rochester and Joan Fontaine as Jane (thereby crossing off #63 on my 101 in 1001 list). What a dark and gloomy movie! I found Orson Welles to be imposing and rather ugly at first (as was accurate for the character), but then his appearance started to grow on me. I guess I just have a thing for large-featured men (I can hear Calvin now, “Huh??”).  Cobie Smulders (Robin from How I Met Your Mother) is a dead ringer for Joan Fontaine. I kept getting surprised at the resemblance throughout the movie – it was her profile more than anything, I think. It was interesting to compare the ’44 version to the ’96 version with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg, which I’ve watched several times. I believe the ’96 version stayed truer to the book – which, as my long-time readers and friends know well by now, I’m a stickler for. And did you know Jane Eyre has been made into a movie more than ten times, not counting various mini-series for television?  Why, for goodness sake?

Anyway, I watched Jane Eyre, then I watched the saved episode of House I had hanging around on the DVR. Then I watched the most recent episode of Life. Then it was 7:30 and Calvin came stumbling into the living room, all chicken-haired, to find out where I was. So I went back to bed and slept until about 11:00.

I have had intermittent bouts of insomnia since I was very little. The first memory I have of experiencing it, actually, was the summer I stayed in Gardiner (Maine, natch) with my aunt and uncle (my mother’s brother) and cousin, a few months after my mother died. I was eight, my cousin was five, I stayed in her room where she had a pair of twin beds, and she snored. Or, well, she didn’t snore exactly, but she breathed loudly. I was frustrated and crying a little because it was past 2:00 in the morning and I just wanted to sleep. My aunt happened to get up and check on us, found me in tears, and immediately figured I was crying for my mother (actually, I wasn’t, I was just frustrated and kept telling her so, but she didn’t believe me). So she laid down with me and snuggled me and promptly fell asleep and started really snoring. So there I was, trapped, with my cousin Darth Vadering it up on one side of the room and my aunt with her bear-like snoring in my ear (she was a rather large woman). I laid awake until it was light and my aunt returned to her room, then I feel asleep only to be shaken awake before 8:00 by my fresh-from-her-slumbers cousin.

Another aunt and uncle, on my father’s side of the family (the only family from that side that I’ve ever had any kind of contact with) used to keep me on weekends quite frequently, from before my mother passed away until I was well into my teens. I would sleep on the couch in their living room, all made up with soft sheets and blankets to protect me from the scratchy couch fabric. They would go to bed promptly at 9:00 every night, as my uncle worked for the department of transportation in Gray (Maine, of course) and had to be up at, like, 4:00 every morning. I actually very rarely fell asleep at their house. I have no idea why, I just started to expect insomnia whenever I stayed with them. I’d just lay there, awake, and stare out the window at the safety light over their garage. I don’t know why I never got up and turned a light on and read a book or something – I guess I figured I’d get in trouble for it. I wouldn’t have, I know, but maybe that’s what was going on in my head. Crazy kid.

I’d frequently have insomnia when I stayed with my sister, who’d inherited my early-childhood home owned by my mother, after she passed away.  I think THAT insomnia was prompted more by the parties she held, though.  And if I ever had a sleep-over at a friend’s house, I’d usually lay awake there, too.  Sometimes I’d make my friends stay awake with me and we’d make pancakes in the middle of the night, and make “cocktails” with orange juice and 7-Up.  We’d catch hell in the morning for leaving the kitchen a mess.

I’d have insomnia every now and then while living at home with Grammy, too. Then, I would turn the light on and dig out whatever book I was buried in at the time. I actually liked being up in the middle of the night at home, especially in the summertime. My windows would be open and my bed positioned between them to get the cross-breeze (I had a “winter” bedroom furniture arrangement with the bed away from the windows, and a “summer” arrangement with the bed between the windows – I don’t know anybody else who had their furniture moved around every six months like Grandma did for me). The crickets and frogs and whippoorwills would be calling outside, the stars and the moon would be brightly shining on clear nights, Grandma’s snoring could be heard clear and rhythmic from the next room, and I’d be safe in my little well of lamplight reading L.M. Montgomery or Susan Cooper or Franklin W. Dixon.

Nowadays I have insomnia, oh, once or twice a month – at least, the kind that gets me up out of bed. I never sleep soundly through the night anymore – I haven’t since I lived at Grandma’s. I fall asleep, stay so for a couple of hours, wake up, stare at the ceiling for about twenty minutes, doze off again, wake up, roll over, doze… and on and on until the alarm goes off. If it goes on long enough without a doze in sight, I’ll give it up as a bad idea and just get up so I don’t keep bothering Calvin. I’ll go into the living room and fire up the laptop, make a cup of tea, turn the TV on with the volume on low, snuggle a cat or two, and have a book at my elbow should middle-of-the-night TV programming prove to be problematic.

Perhaps I’ve learned to have this attitude about it, being a life-long sufferer, but I don’t mind insomnia so much. At least, a night here or there. If I had it every night for a prolonged period of time, I’d probably resort to Tylenol PM and a good big glass of wine. But the occasional night or two, I enjoy having the quiet time to myself, and I like the stillness of the world outside (rare, here in suburbia).

What do YOU do when you have insomnia?

I posted the UK video of The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done” in yesterday’s entry. This is the US version of the video. First, anybody know why there would be two different videos for the two countries? Second, what the HELL is up with the US version? I found the UK version to be kind of uplifting and hopeful. I found the US version to be a (bad) Dali painting come to life.

There had to be some marketing genius out there who convinced The Powers That Be that the song wouldn’t be popular in America unless its video was shot in a trailer park and used cowboys, sluttishly clad women, a midget, and a donkey. And if that be the case, what that says for the American culture just makes me sad.

Oh, the things that get me going when I have insomnia.

Insomniac

Posted: January 7, 2007 in insomnia, Journal

Can’t sleep. Normally, I don’t mind insomnia, because I have plenty of things with which to occupy myself during the “wee sma’s” (that’s the wee small hours of the morning for those of you who didn’t grow up in my Grandma’s household). I mind tonight, though, because I have to get up in a timely manner tomorrow morning for work. I guess I really screwed up my sleep schedule while on vacation, but I can’t “force” myself to go to sleep. I tossed for a good 45 minutes and annoyed the bejeezus out of Calvin, so now I’m back out on the couch.

I surfed the web. Read up on all of my regular journal reads. Futzed around some more with WordPress. Personalized my Google homepage. Looked for new songs to download. Changed out a load of laundry. Made myself a mug of spiced cider. Looks like I may have to “go run around the block”, as my Grandmother used to instruct me to do in order to burn off excess energy.

How ambitious do I feel like being, tonight? I want to consolidate my blog archives onto a separate page instead of having all of the months listed down the sidebar. I also want to list my post label categories in the sidebar, which feature isn’t automated for my particular template. After all, someday I might get a hankering to read all of my entries about “lizards” or “boredom”.

Yeah, I’m not that ambitious tonight. I’ll probably watch Buffy episodes on-line, or read another book.

Insomnia

Posted: April 24, 2005 in Calvin, Family, insomnia, Music

What I’m doing right now would absolutely put Calvin to sleep, but it doesn’t seem to be working on me. I’m sitting on the couch, and after a futile attempt at finding something watchable on TV, I am now listening to Symphony No. 36 in C Major by Amadeus on Sirius’ classical music channel. I’ve brewed a cup of tea, which is cooling to a drinkable temperature next to me. The window beside me is open, and the sprinklers just went off in the back yard. I guess Calvin forgot to turn them off last night like he was going to – we got quite a bit of rain. It smells wonderful coming in on a slight movement of air.

We went to bed near to 1:00, after watching “Birth” with Nicole Kidman (which was quite the strange movie). I tossed and “doy”-ed until after 3:00, then moved to the living room so I could quit bothering Calvin. Marie has finally moved back up to her bedroom – she went on a cleaning fit yesterday from the time she got up until after dinner. She brought down a bag of clothes she no longer wears, for donation. She cleared out a bunch of pack-ratty items that she no longer uses. She dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned her bathroom. Her closet looks like it belongs to Imelda Marcos – she’s got the only walk-in closet in the house, and her 27 pairs of shoes (“that I wear, there are more!”) are lined up like soldiers across the entire floor.

Wow. Symphony No. 36 is really long.

We got a lot of stuff done yesterday – I got all the laundry folded, this week’s and last week’s. We wiped down and dusted the whole house, and swept the floors. I took the area rugs outside and scrubbed them down with carpet cleaner. I cleaned off the patio furniture out back. Calvin cleaned our entire bedroom (like father like daughter?). I washed almost all of the bedding.

Today we’ve got a dump run, mopping the floors, detailing the kitchen, and making the beds for the kids’ visit. Calvin wanted to do the back yard, but I think the grass is going to be too wet for it. Yeah, like his heart will break. We’ll probably do some straightening up in the garage – we bought a storage shed (by Arrow, the same brand that Home Depot sells, for $200 less) so we could put away the overflow stuff that wouldn’t fit into the Cabinets From Hell. And we’ve got to do a major grocery shopping trip. Really major.

Hey Heather! Don’t let me forget to take the movies back!

Huge congratulations to Sherry and George, who are expecting a little someone to be a companion to Hayley! Amanda, I bet this is going to make it so much harder for you to move.

Finally. Symphony No. 36 is over, and we’re on to Fantasia para un Gentilhombre by Joaquin Rodrigo. Pretty tame, if this is supposed to be a musical representation of a gentleman’s fantasy. I do love acoustic guitar, though.

It’s 5:30, and it’s starting to get light outside. It looks like the vines on the back yard wall survived all the wind from last night. The Charlie Brown vine has more flowers on it than leaves. Our first attempt at maintaining and growing a rose bush doesn’t seem to be too successful at this point, though. Such a sad, droopy little plant. I shall name it Eeyore. Because we have to name all the underdog plants in the yard. I would name it Marvin, but nobody in the house would get it.

Man, the birds are singing fit to be tied this morning. Must be some good worms out there. I expect to hear the regular morning visit of the metalpecker on our chimney any moment, now. Sounds like a damned machine gun going off in our All Tile All The Time house.

Why are all these classical songs so long?

My neck is KILLING me. It hurts to look in any direction other than straight ahead – which is one of the reasons that I couldn’t sleep. I am so. tired. of my back and neck and shoulders hurting all the time. ALL the time. It never stops. I still see my massage therapist on occasion, but she’s moved to California and only comes back to AZ one weekend a month for her clients (she rocks, she’s so nice). I think the only way to cure me would be to have a session with her three times a week for the next year.

I have been absolutely not hungry for weeks and weeks. I think it’s the meds. I’ll eat yogurt for breakfast, three bites of a sandwich for lunch, and still not feel like dinner at night. This is taking a toll on my metabolism, I know. And providing for a decided lack of energy, which means I’m not motivated to work out. Which also draws my energy down. No movement = lack of hunger. It’s a vicious circle. The upside, of course, is a bit of weight loss, which isn’t breaking my heart one little bit. But I’m still disinclined to wear sleeveless shirts – there’s no tone to my arms at all.

And now to completely flip-flop on my above statement, I think I’m going to go make some peanut butter toast. And put something on the TV other than Overture to a Picaresque Comedy. Who odes to any comedy, Picaresque or otherwise, I ask you? Well, apparently Arnold Bax does.

According to dictionary.com:

pic·a·resque adj

1. Of or involving clever rogues or adventurers.
2. Of or relating to a genre of usually satiric prose fiction originating in Spain and depicting in realistic, often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social degree living by his or her wits in a corrupt society.

Huh. You learn something new every day.