Well, the Bottom is Done.
Days 1828, 1829 & 1830 & 31
Gah! Guh! Goooooooo . . .
Seems like I’ve been writing this for days. Keep getting little tidbits to add, but no time to sit & post. Or – when I have the time I don’t have my thumb drive, laptop, gumption – something is always missing. So on this Thursday the 27 of August, 2009 Anno Domini, I promise me that I WILL get this crap loaded tonight. So there.
Here ya go:
We had a very productive weekend here. At least a far as generating trash goes. I hauled out the garage, tossed out a 30 gallon bucket of rags I’ll never use, found my workbench, such as it is, and in general cleaned up a summers worth of flotsam & debris. On the inside, in preparation for Zach & Jill joining us this weekend, Cindy hauled out several of the upstairs closets. She managed to drastically lighten the load up there. It’s amazing what was crammed into some of those closets.
All this is also in preparation for the big garage sale. Peej – you are of, course, invited, but I’ll understand if the 5 hour commute dulls your enthusiasm some.
Also on Saturday I got to pull lots & lots of weeds. As much as I dislike the weeds, I sseem to really enjoy pulling them out. You can kinda go all Zen and sort of meditate as you’re doing it. Well until you hit a particularly tough hunk of crabgrass. Then you have to go a little medieval for a while to get that puppy out. Once it’s excised, it’s back to the land of Zen.
Sunday. Had something on the radar screen as far as needing doing, but didn’t expect to tackle it just yet. But opportunity knocked, I opened the door and a window walked through. See, we’ve been planning on re-doing the downstairs powder room since we revamped the room formerly known as the family room. But then spring & summer, with all their projects, got in the way and the functional but ugly as sin powder room got shoved to the back burner. Except that we need to finally repaint the back of the house as the finishing touch for the porch (so all the paint colors match – some of the house colors have dimmed somewhat in 5 years). Well, the powder room window is on the back of the house, so there’s no sense in painting the back of the house until it’s replaced.
I am happy to report that I can now paint the back of the house – as soon as I finish the exterior window trim. But!!! Now, all the original, leaky, drafty, inefficient windows on the bottom floor have been replaced with nice, tight, thermally efficient windows. I really only have one complaint. I used “Great Stuff” to seal the space around the window. I got the low expansion variety because it’s better for windows & doors – it won’t exert pressure and get them out of square. But I must have been a little over exuberant in the application and it oozed sort of all over. I scooped up what I could, but it sorta dripped here & there. Turns out, what got on wood, plastic & glazed tile is easy to clean. What won’t come off is what got on my hands.
Water? Nope. Soap & water? Nope. Mineral spirits? Not after the soap & water sealed the surface. Nail polish remover? Mmmmmm – a little, but it hurts like hell when it gets into cuts & scrapes. Having suffered through this before (d’oh – I have latex gloves for just this purpose!!) I’ve found the easiest way to remove this stuff is time and a Mach III razor. I’ll end up shaving my fingers to get this crap off. But the window is in. Only 4 to go, and they’re all upstairs.
OK – now we’re into Tuesday.
When we were in New Orleans (now that I’m back up north, I can say & spell it like a Yankee), I didn’t give much thought to Cindy drinking. No point. There was no way I was going to nag her about drinking and ruin the trip for the both of us. As it was, drinking was kept to dinners with the occasional ‘beer to go’ snagged from the jazz club across the street as a treat while we were in the hotel pool. (Hotel beer prices were outrageous!) and the odd beer or two if we were out listening to bands in the evening.
Things seemed to go pretty well. I didn’t fret it, Cindy seemed to keep things in check. Except now at home, I’m noticing things again. Weekend afternoons, by dinner time she’s glassy eyed and overly chatty. Her breath reeks. She appears to be drinking some Crystal Light crap, but it’s spiked. The night we went to pick up the new truck (it is too a truck!), I noticed the same things – glassy eyed, too talkative, sweet breath that reeked of alcohol.
Come to think of it, this was happening before we left too. Cindy had managed to talk Janine (our marriage counselor) into possibly believing that she wasn’t truly an alcoholic, she just made a string of poor choices in dealing with the loss of her mom by burying everything with booze. Further, Cindy told me in session that she didn’t want to feel like she was being watched 24/7 and every time she had so much as a beer I was going to bring up in session how uncomfortable her drinking made me. She is apparently under the illusion that she can ‘drink socially’ and not have a problem. Except that secretly sucking down a couple ginormous Crystal Light & vodka’s on a Thursday or Saturday or Sunday afternoon isn’t really ‘social’ (that’s starting to be a lot of ‘excepts’ isn’t it?).
I think that’s what she gets out of her AA meetings though – the social aspects of it. She’s found a flock of people that will accept her – faults and all – and she likes it. Hell, who wouldn’t? Problem is that they only have to deal with her during meetings and the Friday evening gathering at the coffee shop. The family & I get to deal with the real shitty end of the stick.
The kids notice too.
Wednesday now. Might even post tonight. Tempus Fugit. (Hah!! I lied)
Tuesday’s counseling session was another interesting one. I didn’t bust on Cindy’s surreptitious home drinking. No point to it yet – it would only breed anxiety & distrust. And other stuff that I can’t quite put a name to just yet. Not contempt, but similar. It would make her believe that I was being disloyal to her by telling the truth. All I get out of that is that she’s still in denial and isn’t owning the fact that while she may be a borderline alcoholic, she certainly has a problem with abusing alcohol. Fine line there. Too many shades of gray in her mind. Black & white in mine, but we’re trying to agree to disagree on other things, so I’m extending the courtesy here too (aka – paying out the slack in the rope. You know what comes when one runs out of slack.)
Had my private counseling session with my buddy Annette – my reality check visit. With Annette not being involved in the relationship side of things, she’s better able to keep me (and Cindy) honest. The other good thins about seeing Annette is that I often get these little germs of ideas related to how things are going and she is able to flesh them out and complete them.
F’rinstance: Tuesday with Janine the girls (that being Janine & Cindy) brought up in couples session how Cindy often feels left out in group situations. In larger gatherings, smaller groups form as people link up and start discussions on various topics. Cindy somehow manages to find herself not in these little sub groups. Often, I will be. I’m socializing, right? So now, because we are a ‘team’, I’m supposed to figure out a way to get Cindy included, insinuated, invited into what ever sub-group I’m happily conversing with. In session with Janine, I thought out loud, “Sure, I can do that. All I need to do when Cindy slinks over is to sorta make room for her in the group, then do a ‘Hey Cin, we were just talking about the finer points blah blah, what do you think about that’ – or something to that effect, right?”
Except – when the fuck does Cindy get to own at least one of the god damn problems she professes to having? So far, with any character defect she’s identified in herself, there’s something I can do to fix it. So, while I buy into the whole team-building thing and wanting to help out your team mate, I also want to see that some work is being done by the person with the issue – the person that ought to be owning the problem.
That last paragraph really came into focus yesterday when I was talking with Annette. It will have to be brought up in our next couples dealie next week too.
I also told Annette I’m trying to not get my radar working quite so loudly – that is to say that I am trying to avoid the obvious situation assessment whenever I get home. Cindy has picked up on the fact that the kids and I withhold interacting with her until we’ve had a chance to figure out if/how much she’s been drinking that day. But you know what happens? As soon as you let your guard down, Crystal Light & vodka breath blasts you full in the face. Along with the glassy eyes, ratchet jawed over-friendliness and other physical tells. Maybe I don’t need radar?
Confessed to not wanting to confront Cindy about how itchy scratchy her latest behavior REALLY makes me. Her drinking so far is nothing like it was even two years ago (during that whole Ms. CL episode), but when you get home from work on a Thursday night and have less than an hour before you need to go pick up your new vehicle and she’s already been drinking? And then does a repeat performance Saturday and Sunday? Not slurring, falling down drunk – but enough that her behavior hell, even her accent, changes. All in all, these are minor transgressions. Taken individually or even a weeks worth at a time, there isn’t a whole lot there. But I am sitting back, with my radar on low, waiting. Waiting for that big “I told you so” moment – knowing that when it comes, declaring it so is the absolute wrong thing to do. Annette agrees, but I may do it anyhow. Cuz it’s going to feel good. Janine also knows I’m laying in waut
When a puppy pees in the house, part of housebreaking it is rubbing it’s nose in the pee, then (gently) putting it outdoors. Repeat until it associates pee with outdoors and figures out how to tell you it needs to go out. It only take ‘em a couple weeks to figure it out.
Found some interesting data on the clunkers program. Here’s some clunker numbers: (from here: http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/107610/the-final-numbers-on-clunkers?mod=loans-autos)
Top 10 Trade-in Vehicles
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Ford Explorer 2WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD (My Dud!!) (18mpg)
6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van
Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD (My stud!!) (24mpg)
Thursday evening now:
Got home, cooked dinner (chicken paillard, stir fry veggies, rice and a nice little pan sauce), cleaned up. I’m bushed. I was going to edit all that crap up there, but you’re stuck with it.
Zach & Jill move in this weekend. That will throw a whole different dynamic into the house.
Got a visit from a detective from the Onondaga County (Syracuse area) Sheriff’s department yesterday. He was doing an ‘unannounced visit’ to try and see how things at the house really were. Eric was stuck working overtime in the freezer, so Cindy & I had a nice chat with him to while the time away. Talking to him helped ease some of our own anxieties about the job – we think it was well worth his time. He also told us that the department was really trying to attract people like Eric, kids that scored really well on the qualification exams. All good news. Last couple of steps? Drug test and possibly a psyche profile. No official word yet, but things are looking better and better. It’s exciting.
Time to post & run. Gotta go sort pictures.