Monday, December 8, 2008

PCSing Adventure #1

We found out on Dec 3 that we needed to be in MO for Kevin's career course by Jan 5. Which meant I had lost brain function by Dec 4th.

I immeadiately started working on transportation and arrangements for my horses- one is retired and will stay in the NorthWest while one will come with us. I scheduled appointments for the dogs to get their annual vaccines and health certificates and copies of their full medical records. I called in a refill of my migraine meds. I started the ball rolling on housing for us down in MO. Notified our landlord. Put in requests for quotes for carpet cleaning. Went ahead at turbo speed on our christmas cards and rewrote our Christmas letter to include the move.

Then, taking a breath, I looked around the house we've lived in for two and a half years. Looked at the garage- which contained all the debris that had come from my husband's bachelor apartment. Started to scream.....but took a deep breath and appreciated the opportunity to lighten our physical load. It's so easy to accumulate things that they begin to crowd the people out! I'm a bit of a pack rat, but I like my hoardings to be sorted, organized and stored. I don't like to see them just know that they are there. My husband is also a pack rat- but likes everything to be accessible on a whim- and has no organizational impulse. I've encouraged him multiple times to sort through and get rid of things that are not worth keeping but it never managed to get done.

So I pulled out my rubbermaid 18 gallon tubs and started in our guest room- which houses my "crafty stuff". Since it is doubtful that I will have the time over the next busy three weeks of moving and holidays to sit still, that seemed a logical place to start. So, I sorted through. I built up donate piles, trash piles, and stored away what would be coming to MO with us. I felt great about my progress.

Fast forward to the weekend. My husband, bless his heart, wants to also get started on his stuff. He begins with his military equipment- which takes a day and ahalf and takes over our garage. By 3 pm Sunday, it's mostly done but somehow his uniforms have migrated to our living room floor. I'm still busy sorting upstairs, so I take a deep breath and bury my head in what I'm doing.

Sometime mid afternoon, I hear him knocking around in our closet. A few minutes later, he walks by with a massive load of clothes. In response to my confused look, he explains that he's decided (since he's on a roll) to go through his clothes and throw out what he doesn't wear and decide what will come with us on the drive and what the movers will ship. OK. He's being proactive, I'm a fan!

In the evening, I come downstairs to start dinner and behold the Federal Diaster Area that had been my living room. The christmas decorations and wrapping storage that I had worked with that morning was now on the couch with all our jackets and the dog blankets and bed on top of them. Various tools and whatever had been in every pocket was on the dining room table. The clean clothes that I had folded that morning were on the other couch (with the dog on top of them). The clothes basket that had contained the clean clothes now held a small mountain of apparently dirty uniforms and workout clothes. The entire floor area in front of the tv was occupied by considerable mounds of clothing that had no discernable pattern- at least to my untrained eye.

As I stood at the bottom of the stairs surveying the "progress" my husband had made, he came cheerfully through the front door proudly displaying pocketknife that had been hiding out in one of his jacket pockets. I considering having a small mental breakdown since there was no place to sitdown and I was going to have to rewash the clean clothes.

But he's trying to help. My order-challenged husband was attempting to share the load of preparing for this move. So I closed my eyes, reminded myself that when I am teaching the dogs or the horses a new behavior even a fractional move in the right direction earns a reward, and smiled. Commented on how much of his stuff he'd gotten through. Then I grabbed a bowl of leftovers and retreated back to the guest room to remind myself that at least in this corner of the house there was visible floor space.

And tried not to think about the 12 loads of laundry that I knew he was leaving for me to do on my day off.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Cleaning

I'll list some of my favorite green cleaning tools and hope you'll contribute what you've discovered works without exposing our families, pets and home to potentially hazardous chemicals.

Baking Soda- mixed with water into a paste and used as a cleaner for counters, sinks and bath tubs. I also use it when washing dog and horse laundry. Nothing else can get the smell out.

Distilled White Vinegar- Mixed 1:1 with warm water for cleaning mirrors or windows. Also as a stain remover on floors.

Lemons- juice desolves soap scum and hard water deposits. Throw a peel down the disposal to get rid of odor

Rubbing Alcohol- the single most effective streak free glass and mirror cleaner I've ever used. Also perfect for stainless steel and picks ink up out carpet. (thanks pups!)

My Journey to Massage

I have always had more interests than time. My family noted my "short attention span" early. I was only saved from an ADD diagnosis by my habit of reading for several hours at a time.

As I grew older, I came to understand that it was not an attention span issue- I simply was driven to engage. I prefer reading to watching tv, playing sports to watching them, cooking to dining out. I love to learn and experience. I am constantly discovering topics and ideas that I would love to learn more about.

In college, I wandered through majors and minors until settling on marketing. It involved people, research, and was multi-dimensional. It also had more practical applications than some of my other interests (philosophy, for example). Once out of school, I found that an office job was not for me. And I just wasn't quite satisified. Along the way I met my future husband, got married- finding myself also married to the US Army. This raised some additional career concerns: frequent absences, his long days and unpredictable schedule, moving every few years.

I searched around for a career path that would keep me engaged and stimulated, offer constant learning opportunities, play on my marketing experience, and leave me the flexibility to support my husband's career and contribute to my family on my terms. (not too hard, hmm?)

Massage satisfied all those criteria. In addition, while going through massage school, I found that helping others relax, rejuvenate, and alleviate pain was fulfilling on a completely new level. There are so many ways to develop my practice and skills. So many rewards for my clients and myself. It is a journey that I can view with both excitement and contentment.