Tag Archives: cleaning

From Rebecca: My day so far, May 4, 2017

Hi, Joe’s readers. I would have started this blog entry earlier, but I had to wait for Microsoft updates to process. After my husband Darren used the computer this morning, it downloaded updates when he shut it down. When I turned on the computer early in the afternoon, it installed those updates – for an hour and a half! I’m not used to updates taking that long. I read a book for a while, Borderline by Nevada Barr, until Darren started playing a video game, God of War Ascension, and I started watching him.

Darren is still playing while I write this. He is occasionally getting his butt beat but is holding his own. Lots of hand-to-hand combat with a few puzzles here and there. I don’t play many video games myself, though I used to when we first dated and early in our marriage, but I love watching Darren play. Sometimes I can see things that he misses, especially for the puzzles, and then it feels like I am doing it too.

I slept in this morning, since Joe is taking a personal day today and I didn’t have to go into work. (I love being able to do the blog from home!) When I woke up, Darren and I spent some time together. We watched The Price is Right while he ate lunch and I ate breakfast. We watched a bit of the news, then I turned on the computer to do this entry, and then waited for the update.

Later this afternoon, Darren and I will clean the apartment. We clean as we go and keep it tidy for the most part, but every other month or so we do a more thorough job. One will take the kitchen and the other will take the bathroom and vacuuming. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to do, which isn’t bad. We used to do it every month, but we don’t get to it that often any more. We probably should though.

I will finish the night with the CBS lineup on television and a check on the internet. Everyday at some point I look at the sites Tor.com, John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, Carrie Vaughn’s Filling the Well blog, Facebook, Twitter, and the web comics Questionable Content, Gunnerkrigg Court, and Girls with Slingshots. I look at other sites sometimes, like PBS, but those are my favorites.

So, that’s my day off. Cleaning, blog entry, internet, video game, television, eating, and my sweetie, Darren.

Joe will be back next week with posts. Until then, as Joe would say, take care, enjoy May the Fourth Be With You Day if you are a Star Wars fan, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Whoo hoot! I passed my apartment inspection

Greetings, readers. With the help of a good friend, I was able to pass my apartment re-inspection this past Monday. It was a trying and bittersweet day. Was I happy that I had passed? Absolutely. But a lot of stuff from my life had to be thrown away. As I have mentioned before, I’m a junior hoarder and we found bags of garbage inside bags of garbage and old papers. Not fun.

To be truthful, 75% of it was old clothes that either needed to be washed or were thrown away because they dry rotted. Family mementos were carefully placed in closets or drawers, and although I never would have thought it possible, the place looked great when we were finished. I actually have a bedroom again, not a storage unit.

I was proud of myself that I had kept my apartment in the half-decent shape that it was in from the first inspection the previous week. But if I had failed this inspection, I don’t know what would have happened. I enjoy living here and do not wish to have to move. Now I can relax, sign my lease in July, and it will kick in on October 1st.

On another note, since the inspection, I found myself retreating from real life by watching videos on YouTube of crickets, ocean waves, forests sounds, rain, and other such peaceful things. I searched for meditation videos, mainly from Japan and China. As I’ve said before, you can find almost anything on YouTube. Somehow I can’t help but wonder if this sudden desire to not live in my real world has a connection to having to lose so many of my things while cleaning out my apartment. My answer would be yes. Oh, my therapist will have a field day tomorrow. My favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes dealt with the holodecks, where people lose themselves in a creative fantasy land. I have the feeling that that was what I was doing when I would listen to these 8 to 10 hour videos.

Next, here in central Pennsylvania, we have gone from mid-spring to what feels like early July in two days. Today is sunny, hazy, and a luscious 85 degrees F. No coat, jacket, or even sweater is required. I didn’t look at the long-range forecast, but hopefully this wonderfully warm weather will last a while.

Lastly, I would like to thank Rebecca for the wonderful review and write-up of my Beatles show. Everyone seemed to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed performing it.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

I’m going to have a very busy week and weekend

Greetings, readers. With my Beatles show this Friday, I’ll be quite tired after 4pm. The show is going to last approximately two hours. I know that might not sound very long, but there are many songs on the playlist. Selections include “Love Me Do”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Lady Madonna”, and “Get Back”. I’ve tried to choose a good selection of songs from their early years and their later years. Some I have sung in shows before, but a few I have never performed in public before. I am excited, but everything seems to crowding into the same seven days.

I was hoping to have this weekend to chill out after the show. A minor apartment inspection is taking place on Monday, so I’ll be doing a little spring cleaning over the weekend instead. As I’ve said before, I’m working on my junior hoarding problem, and I’ll need this weekend to get a couple of places the way I want them for the inspection.

One of the two places I’m worried about is under the kitchen counters. I’ll have to check for bugs and things of that nature; my girlfriend Traci told me that other people in the building have had small issues with little critters. The second area of main concern is my bedroom/storage unit. I think ten to fifteen trips down to the dumpster will do it. I definitely see myself throwing things away this time. As hard as that will be for me to do, I’ll feel better about myself when it is done, and there will be less stuff. I guess that is the whole point of spring cleaning.

This is the time line of what goes on in order for me to sign my new lease every year. In May, the inspection. With July comes the signing of the new lease, which begins October 1st. Sometimes I really don’t understand why things have to be done five months early. But I do realize I am not the only person in the building and these inspections, whether done by our office manager, or by our housing authority, must be done for everyone in the building.

I always hate inspections, I don’t think anyone loves them, and I will certainly be happy when it is over. I always work myself up to a big tizzy for nothing. A number of years ago, the person doing the inspecting was literally in my apartment for less than 60 seconds. I got a chuckle out of that.

We will be doing a blog entry tomorrow and going to the local library to print off the show’s playlist so that folks will be able to see what song is next. If I told you I wasn’t nervous about this show I would be a liar. Motivation for practice has been very low this past week. Though I am excited to do this show, I will be very glad when it’s over.

Until tomorrow, take care, enjoy the rest of your day, and happy reading.

Happy Friday and camp time approacheth

Greetings, readers. I cannot believe that a week from this evening I will be sitting in a Waterville, Maine motel room, getting ready to move into camp the next morning. I made my reservations for the motels and the rental car. That’s done. Even with my camp list made, I must remain alert so as to not forget something that I want to take. My memory issues have caused problems for me in the past. A few years ago, I forgot Mom’s beloved binoculars.

I have an updated list on my computer and will begin to check things off this afternoon. Since I’m sleeping on my recliner these days, I’ve decided to use my bed for the holding place for the things I will take. Clean clothes, of course, will be packed in the suitcase straight away. I don’t want kitty cat Keekee to sleep on my clean T-shirts; which she would do, if given the opportunity. I know for a fact Keekee will mope the second she sees the suitcase come out. Poor baby always does.

Quickly, here is a review of what I have achieved this past year, personally. I am most proud of two things. I promised myself last September that I would go to bed early and get up early. Rebecca kept it to herself, but I know that I have said that to her the previous years after camp and not followed through. This year I actually achieved that goal and feel healthier for it. Secondly, I promised myself that I was going to clean my apartment and keep it that way. Though I still have a little bit of work to do in a corner of the bedroom, I am no longer calling myself a hoarder. The living room is fairly neat, and the kitchen and bathroom are perfect, thanks to the help of Cathy from my building who helps me every other Sunday.

As for this coming year, I vow to do a lot more writing and reading. I plan to take a library book with me to camp to read in the evenings. That is something I’ve never done before. My biggest project is to have my bedroom perfect by next camp. I know I can do it.

While I’m gone, Rebecca will be doing blog entries from the library and taking care of Keekee. Her health and love to kitty cat is greatly appreciated. Also, Rebecca will handle the Wednesday meeting to give my mail to my accountant in case any important bills come in.

So, until after I return from Bear Spring Camps, enjoy Rebecca’s entries, take care and happy reading.

I think I hit rock bottom last night

Greetings, readers. I’m not certain whether the remnants of my illness is toying with my emotions or what, but last evening as I was watching television, I broke down and cried several times. I wasn’t sobbing, mind you, so we’ll call them junior nervous break-downs. I’ve experienced this phenomenon before but not since I’ve been on my anti-depression medicine. This leads me to two questions. One, is the dosage as strong as it should be, and two, for some reason could it have completely stopped working?

Body chemistry is bizarre and I don’t begin to claim to understand it. Maybe after a major illness it takes a week or so for regular medications to work normally again. I certainly hope so. I have an appointment with my psychologist on Monday, and I’ll be bringing a list of things to talk about so as to not forget anything.

The bedroom cleaning began yesterday and will continue at 3:00 with a hard choice made. The lamp that was my mom’s which sat on the credenza is going to be put on the swap table in the community room. It’s mildly broken and I have another lamp on the credenza now. I don’t like throwing out possessions that my parents had, as most of you know, but I have no choice. It is now or never, Dave comes Thursday.

Since getting back from the hospital on Tuesday, I am horribly behind on correspondences on Facebook and Twitter. After the blog entry goes up today, Rebecca and I will check emails and social media, leaving time to do our files back-up work as we always do on Friday.

Next Wednesday, the blog will be about one of my all time favorite shows when I was a boy. The mid-1960s Batman series. I’m watching the DVDs now, and am thoroughly enjoying them. That’s going to be a fun blog entry for me, giving my recollections and opinions on three seasons of campy fun.

Until then, take care, keep warm and dry, and happy reading.

Friend David’s visit is less than a month away

Greetings, readers. It’s been a least a couple of years since my best friend Dave has come up to State College to visit me for a long weekend. He’ll be here from Thursday, March 5th through that following Monday, and the two brothers will have some good old-fashioned bonding time. It has been way too long. In Maine, at Bear Spring Camps, he is always busy with the family doing this or that, and usually only visits me in the evening time. On this occasion we will have a good solid four days.

Along with the general catching up, there are a few private topics I want to discuss. Some discussions are easier to have face to face rather than in a Facebook message or than in a phone call. After our four days, I’m sure that Dave and I will be back on the same page.

The rest of the time we’re going to be doing a lot of PS3 baseball and movie and television watching. I have a feeling that Netflix will be running until the wee hours of the morning. I think Dave likes shows such as Emergency, Dragnet, and Adam 12. If not, I’m sure we can find some action/adventure movies that we will both be entertained by. One of his personal favorites, I shall let you know, is Despicable Me. When Dave is on vacation or a long weekend, he likes to laugh, so movies such as this, and clean stand-up comedy, are our go-to choices.

Although I can’t tell you exactly what my surprise is going to be, I hope Dave comes by Megabus. I have a little treat for him which I’m sure he’ll find quite comical. It stems from a few years back.

As far as where we will be eating, I’m sure we will have some meals here at the apartment, but I fear that Panera and the Diner will be our second and third homes. I keep forgetting that there is a Subway sandwich shop right near-by and of course we can always order pizza. I don’t think we’ll starve.

Now to the biggest problem. With Dave’s visit three weeks away, I still need to clean out the bedroom. I got a good start on it a couple of months ago but then things went awry. Although I have managed to keep the rest of the place pretty tidy, I’m afraid the bedroom will require the old chuck ‘n duck system. Throw things in trash bags and get them out of here.

Lastly, I’m not sure how Keekee will react to Dave. She doesn’t tend to do well with people she hasn’t seen in a while. If she hisses at him, which is a big no-no, she’ll get the compressed air can blown her way. I don’t do it directly on her because that would be cruel, but she hates the sound enough to know that said behavior is not acceptable. It’s always been my experience that after 30 or 40 minutes, Keekee warms up to Dave and everything is okay. With animals, who knows, she might smell the scent of Dave’s dog or cat. Keekee can’t talk to us and tell us what is on her mind; if she could we would be in Hollywood.

Until Friday, bundle up because it’s going to get cold. Take care and happy reading.

Week off yielded good results

Greetings, readers. Yes, Rebecca and I are back at it after a week off. I felt I needed it to get some personal things in order. Overall, I would say that the week off was a success. I took the figurative bulldozer to my bedroom and struck bed. I must admit that after three years of sleeping in a recliner, climbing into a comfy clean bed felt good. Now, I know that I am doing things that an early teenager should be doing. Well, guess what, I started my training late.

Rebecca told me this, and she is correct, that having specific goals is the key. To say that I am going to clean my room at some point is all well and good, but to say I’m going to have my place presentable for company around Christmas time is a stronger goal with more motivation. I must always remember, however, with my health ailments, I can only do it a little at a time. I must choose my battles.

Since returning from camp the second week of August, I have successfully changed my sleeping schedule, made good progress on my apartment, passed my inspection, and have taken steps to deal with my depression. I would give the last three months a B grade for my objectives. Rebecca told me many times that I have said in the past I’m going to do something and it never gets done, or stays done. This time I am happy to report not only am I surprising her, I am also surprising myself.

On a very brief side note, cold weather is here in central Pennsylvania. The storm that came over Alaska and came through the mid-west, is here tonight. Yesterday’s high: a pleasant 61; tonight’s overnight low: a frosty 30. I am glad that I will be inside. Last night, a bus driver told me about something she heard, which I had not heard about yet: a phenomenon called flash freezing, where the temperature can drop 10 to 20 degrees within minutes. I’m not sure about that short amount of time, but perhaps in a half hour. She said that might happen here, but luckily it didn’t. I shall continue to enjoy all the sunny days I can get, even if they are cold, for sunny days with blue sky lifts my feelings of depression.

Okay folks, I’m done babbling. This coming Friday look for a top ten list, and a From Rebecca in the near future. So, until Friday stay warm, be happy, take care and happy reading.

This is going to be a short one, folks

Greetings, readers. Unfortunately, this is going to have to be a rather quick post today, because time has gotten away from us. Rebecca and I were checking emails, Facebook and Twitter as we normally do on Fridays and between needing time to back up files and Rebecca’s leaving early for an appointment, we have to type and leave time to edit. So here we go.

First, the weather. I checked my weather source on the computer this morning and found out that on Tuesday the high temperature will only be 47. The low, thankfully, will be 42. I say thankfully because on Tuesday evenings I meet a friend for coffee, and if the temperature would go below freezing that meeting would be called off. No change of plan is needed. Today started out sunny and beautiful, but a minor storm rolled in and clouded up around noon. People keep telling me we need the rain, and I suppose if I want to see my green grass and nice flowers, I will have to accept their judgement.

Sports playoffs are going on right now. I know my Pittsburgh Penguins made playoffs, but I am not sure rather they won their first round series or not. As for the NBA playoffs, Pittsburgh doesn’t have a team and I’m not much into basketball anyway. My favorite sport is baseball, but of course you probably could have guessed that, being that the MLB video game franchise is my favorite game to play on PS3. Yes, I love my baseball.

Continued prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost on Malaysia Airlines flight 370. I read just the other day that the country is officially calling it a salvage operation now, and I was reassured to hear that they are not going to quit looking for the aircraft. Readers, it’s got to be down there somewhere.

Finally, a little bit about my weekend plans. On Saturday is Dungeons and Dragons gaming day, which is always fun. My character, Donaar, is a dragonborn paladin and I have really gotten into playing that character. The game only goes up to 30th level, so when we reach that I will have to retire Donaar. I think I will actually miss him.

On Sunday it will be a day of rest, recouping, and trying to get this apartment in some kind of order. It seems that every time I take one step forward in cleaning this place, something happens and I am pushed four steps back. I promised myself that this task would be done, so good luck to me on that.

Our next blog entry will of course will be on Wednesday, and as of now the topic is unknown. So until then, take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

Nothing like a good kick in the butt

Greetings, readers. Yes, nothing like a good kick in the butt to get a junior hoarder to clean his apartment. On Monday, I had a-replace-all-the-sprinklers-in-the-apartment/inspection and had two weeks to prepare for it. But just like me, I waited until the last weekend, and in a blind panic got it just presentable enough to pass. Some good news came out of it though. I’ve come up with a strategy to continue the room cleaning process and take back my bedroom, now serving as my storage unit. I realize I might be saying some of this a second time because I wrote an entry last September titled, “I’m afraid I’m becoming a hoarder”. I’ve changed my mind, I’m definitely a hoarder but of the junior persuasion.

A lot of the things that I have kept are items from my past and also some belongings of my mom and dad. Those are the toughest to get rid of, and I must admit will be the last to go if they even do.

I still have record albums from childhood. I’ve not listened to them in 35+ years. Why do I still have them? Because my mom bought them for me. Big pieces of furniture sit in my livingroom from my parents’ house, taking up the entire back wall. Eventually I hope to get a floral-patterned chair the heck out of here. But my mom’s beloved credenza … I’m going to be buried with it.

Yesterday I did a little redecorating as I was planning the apartment’s new look. Some paintings got switched out, a clock was moved and a mirror was hung. Slowly but surely I feel like I will be able to whip this place into shape. And that is the key – slowly but surely. People with good health could come in and in one day have this dump so clean that you can eat off the floor. With my minor health issues, slow and steady will win the race.

I told my apartment building’s office manager that I would continue to work on the rooms until they were perfect. I’m not sure if she believes me. That is an extra added incentive. When the project is all finished, I am going to take pictures, walk them down to her office, and say, “See, I wasn’t fibbing.”

So until next time, wish me luck on my project. Have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. Keekee says hi. Meow, meow.

The end???

Greetings, readers. Google search defines the word end as: “a final part of something, esp. a period of time, an activity, or a story.” I have been contemplating this word overnight and I agree with the definition I found on Google. To me the word end sounds so darned blasted final, and in most cases it is. Unless there is overtime, sixty minutes is the end of a football game. My week-long vacation at Bear Spring Camps ends on that Saturday morning at check-out time. And a person’s life ends … well only the Lord knows that.

I’ve been thinking about a few personal ends lately, but with the help and guidance of friend and writing assistant, Rebecca, I am choosing not to end my writing career at this point. As of late no promising solid project ideas are coming to mind. It seems the harder I try to come up with something the worse the project ideas get. Whether it is stress or simply writer’s block, I have not determined. I must admit time got away from me this fall but I hope to make up for it with a vengeance.

There are three things which I am going to end. And these are in no particular order. I am going to end my days of mess. I am going to throw caution to the wind as far as my back problems go and just get my apartment cleaned up.

Number two, I am going to quit overextending myself. Many years ago I was told that I am “too nice.” At the time I didn’t know how that was possible. Now I do. It is called you set yourself up to be someone’s sucker or doormat. In the past, I loaned out money when I couldn’t afford to, or gave rides when I was too tired to drive.

Lastly, I’m going to change my outlook and demeanor when associating with people. I have found, especially recently, that I leave myself open for/to hurt feelings and emotional stress. Obviously these effects are temporary, though uncomfortable. I do not like emotional drama. It causes harm to my already sensitive nervous system. Am I going to be an anti-social Mr. Scrooge? No. But I’m going to make myself more refined, slightly more introverted, and safer.

You’ve read the definition for the word end from the Google search. To me, Mr. Eternal Optimist, I say that the end can be a beginning of something new or changed or improved. I think this will be the healthiest way for me to approach my current situations.

Until very soon, enjoy the winter wonderland if you like this type of weather. Drive safely, take care, and happy reading.