urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I haven't had a lot of time or energy for writing lately. There's been a decent bit of progress on the decluttering front, and we've managed to maintain what's been cleared pretty well so far. *crosses fingers* and that has actually freed up more spoons. Just not having the overloading visual noise and worry has helped a lot!

The post I've been meaning to write hasn't materialized yet, but here's an excellent thread with some points that have been important to me, pretty much in line with my last blog post: Redistributing our time ... Running across that one was timely, since I'd been starting to reach some of the same conclusions. It's all about balance, and what works--and what I was doing definitely wasn't working. :/

More DIY fun...or something. With photos. )

Hopefully, I'll have more time and spoons available again before long.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
It's been a pretty lazy day here. [personal profile] vatine had to head to Bracknell this morning for work, and is still not back. Extra fun, trains weren't running between here and Liverpool Street, so he got to leave earlier to deal with rail replacement buses. So, I've had the day with the cats and Max.

There's been some improvement there! Mirrors and Max have spent several days with free run of the house at the same time, with only one faceoff so far. Mirrors just stared at Max, who finally went away whining--it's no fun when the cats don't try to run off so you can chase them! (He doesn't seem very clear on what to do if/when he catches up with them, so it's a lot less worrying than it could be.) With any luck, this will soon work with Punkin and Feist too. Mirrors has been the least impressed by Horrible Dog all along.

Some cleaning and reading got done, and antihistamines made me zonk out for a couple of hours. I tried to get some writing done, but got distracted listening to music. (Not my day for multitasking, oh my no.) At least Max got to go for a walk a little while ago, which he greatly enjoyed. The exercise probably did me some good, too.

Since I was alone for supper, I felt compelled to pull out items [personal profile] vatine doesn't like: today, some really nice zucchini/courgettes and sweet yellow pepper. :) The way I love summer squash and peppers, he is liable to be horrified at what happens when we get enough room to grow them. >:) (In a better climate; I've tried growing squash here, and was underwhelmed. I haven't dared to try any kind of pepper, even fairly cold-night-adapted varieties. Cloches? Bah. Snug little tents for slugs.) I was originally thinking of a quick pasta dish with veggies and some feta, but stared into the fridge and wound up throwing together the tastiest leftover casserole I've had in a while.

We had some leftover tomato pasta sauce, and some buckwheat with onions and mushroom (basically gluten free, no pasta kasha varnishkes). So I sliced the squash lengthwise, fairly thick, and seared it in a pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper until it softened a bit. Ditto with the sliced pepper. Plonked a layer of squash in the bottom of a pie pan, and proceeded to layer it with the kasha, tomato sauce, and cheese (we had mild Cheddar and Emmentaler, so that's what I used). Ended with a layer of squash and peppers, covered it with foil, and baked for about half an hour. Pulled it out to add more cheese, put it back in uncovered to brown a bit. Yum, light fresh-tasting supper with a salad.

I think I'll try something similar again with rice, possibly brown for the extra texture and flavor, but the buckwheat worked better than I thought it would. And as these things usually go, it won't turn out nearly as good again. ;)

Not surprisingly, cooking is a lot more pleasant now that I've got the clutter cleared off most of the counter space in there! Especially since it's not the biggest kitchen ever. I'm hoping to get the rest of the junk cleared off the counters tomorrow, and start decongesting the cupboards more seriously.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
It's been a pretty productive day so far. And I've even managed to pace myself so that my back isn't in too bad a shape. :) Working with a totally non-scary approach to lists has been helping again. Right now, I'm doing pretty well with the "Working in Threes" strategy; doing three things and thinking of another three I'd like to do isn't overwhelming or resentment-inducing. And it adds up.

Now it's time for some rest, and then to throw together some supper.

And, via [personal profile] the_future_modernes, France rounding up and deporting Roma to Romania. *sigh*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Boomer is gone.

Neighbor Dude came back last night, saying that he'd been in IIRC Manchester after his daughter was in a car crash. I'd assumed he had at least one of our phone numbers, but apparently not. The movement up there was one of his friends, who was supposed to come by and get the pup, but I never saw any sign that he tried. ND did seem concerned about Boomer, at least.

At least he's back with Neighbor Dude on a trial basis. If he and New Girlfriend's dogs still don't get along, he's coming back to us; ND even mentioned changing the microchip info over to us. (Now he definitely has a phone number.) This is encouraging in a way, since presumably NGF is at least a little better at dealing with dogs, if she has two of them. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens, much as it chafes.

I've been more than a little sad and worried. Not too surprisingly, the little booger grew on me, and I was sorry to see him go. (Unlike Max, oh my.) Here's hoping that things work out well for him, either way.

Last night, I got back on the Stepping Out of Squalor forum. I have been extremely dissatisfied (read: overwhelmed to the point of near-paralysis) with the state of things around here for quite a while, but got a shove from the way I started freaking out at Boomer's dragging stuff around and making the mess more obvious. (We did some basic puppyproofing right after he came, and you could hardly tell within a couple of days.) It was overwhelming enough already, especially knowing that we're going to have to move at some point in the somewhat near future. One of [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands' posts, about procrastination, also gave me a push. Yeah, more inertia. *wry smile*

I found that forum (along with the Squalor Survivors site) very helpful before. But, I got discouraged and ashamed at the clutter reappearing in spite of my best efforts, and avoided the forum. Demand sensitivity and resistance also played in there; just going there felt like it carried a set of demands I couldn't handle, when I was already kicking myself. With any luck, I can stick with it and get some encouragement and inspiration through the near-inevitable setbacks, instead of just feeling like a failure and falling into the good old "growing up with a hoarder" learned helplessness. ("All the crap just comes back, and brings friends, no matter what I do--why keep trying?!")

I'm trying hard to pace myself, and not fall into the really unsustainable old clean ALL the things! mode:
Since I've exceeded my capacity for responsibility in such a dramatic fashion, I end up needing to take more recovery time than usual. This is when the guilt-spiral starts.

The longer I procrastinate on returning phone calls and emails, the more guilty I feel about it. The guilt I feel causes me to avoid the issue further, which only leads to more guilt and more procrastination. It gets to the point where I don't email someone for fear of reminding them that they emailed me and thus giving them a reason to be disappointed in me.

Then the guilt from my ignored responsibilities grows so large that merely carrying it around with me feels like a huge responsibility. It takes up a sizable portion of my capacity, leaving me almost completely useless for anything other than consuming nachos and surfing the internet like an attention-deficient squirrel on PCP.

Ouch. Entirely too familiar, even if I am purposely trying not to bash myself over the head with the "adult responsibility, why can't I do it?" thing these days. Combine real procrastination and demand sensitivity/resistance with inertia, and things can get ugly. But, keeping in mind that I can't do everything all at once in one giant frenzy, with any luck I can avoid falling into some of this pattern. And also avoid hurting my back, going into allergy/asthma/full-body itching fits, starting snapping uncontrollably at other people, etc. I'm trying to focus on what I am getting accomplished, which does seem to help getting around the demand resistance. I'm also wanting to try more backwards planning, as mentioned recently in an LJ community.

We'll see how this works out.

September 2011

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