I feel like I'm Living in a Pressure Cooker or Why I've Been MIA again
Paso Robles, California
December 7, 2017 3:59am CST
I don't have time to go find a pressure cooker image, but you all know what they look like. Here's how things are going. I finally hired a friend to help me clean and declutter. We work at it a few hours a week. We had started the garage last week and I wanted to finish that before the rains come. If they come. I'm still having occasional heart palpitations in spite of my adjusted dosage. My neighbor has been building a greenhouse in his backyard a few yards from my bedroom window and using noisy heavy equipment early in the morning for the last two weeks. This has made it very hard to get adequate sleep. I hope they have finished with that phase now. They seem to have moved to the front yard. Last week sometime a plumber came to change the fixtures in my shower. We bought the fixtures over a year ago, but before the plumber who was supposed to install them, who was our regular plumber/handyman, could get to it he was arrested on a DUI and jailed. I think his dad has had him under house arrest since or won't let him work for us anymore. I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with his dad's religious beliefs. I know he keeps his kids under tight control even though they are now adults. But that's a whole different story. The point is that the fixtures have been sitting here uninstalled for over a year. And then last week my husband found another plumber someone we respect recommended. He got the hole made in the wall to access the plumbing but he didn't have something he needed so said he'd have to make a return trip. Last Saturday morning I was awakened by the loud sounds of fluent Spanish coming from my back yard from two men I'd never seen before. Evidently they've been doing yard work for my husband at the other house and he told them we had work for them here. He turned them loose in my front garden to trim shrubs and let's say they didn't stop there. They took out things I still wanted and left things in I wanted out. They had finished that by the time they woke me up while working on the back yard shrubs. My husband just tells them to trim and turns them loose, and he has no understanding either of which plant is which. At least I was able to show them the five baby oaks, now about a yard high, that need to come out of the rose garden. The back yard is half done and I need to talk to them when they return to finish the back yard and haul the branches away. Except I have no idea when they will come. They come when they can and we have to adjust. My husband says that's how it is. I'm not used to not being able to plan and it's driving me nuts. I afraid if I take a shower they will come then. The plumber came back this afternoon and worked several hours. The fixture I bought isn't working out. It's probably too late to get a refund. The plumber did say he could put the old hand sprayer back on and leave the handle that I can just pull and turn. But the package didn't tell me all I needed to know about what I bought. Like I can't adjust the water pressure. There is one pressure, and all I can adjust is temperature. The plumber raised the pressure coming into the house, but it didn't solve the problem with the new fixture. He will have to make another trip before we will know if the fixture I bought that matches the handle in the set will work properly. When he gets back, he will also make the shower in the guest bathroom functional. We haven't used it for the time we've lived here because the hose on the hand spray leaks. Of course, he's not sure yet when he'll get back here again. So while the plumber was here my younger nephew called. It appears the family Christmas won't happen this year. We would not have been able to drive to Orange County. My nephew in Fresno doesn't want to drive to Orange County. My brother in Orange County doesn't want to drive anywhere. Joey wants to bring his girlfriend, R_, and maybe his mom, to spend three days here helping us get organized from the 21st to the 23rd. I said I don't have anywhere for them to sleep. He says they will bring sleeping bags. I can't let my sister-in-law sleep on the floor, so that means a change in my organizing plan with my helper. We need to clear beds, or at least one of them, in the guest bedroom instead of what we had planned. Also my husband wants me to clear the freezer at the other house and my helper and I will have to do that tomorrow. Meanwhile I need to clean out the one at this house of anything that isn't useful anymore to make room for anything still good from the other freezer. I'll do that while my helper is cleaning inside the house tomorrow morning. She has to clean up the mess in the bathroom the plumber made. Then we will work a bit in the garage until about 3:30 and drive to the other house to take care of the freezer there. Hubby is having cataract surgery in his other eye on Dec. 19. Then if Joey comes it will be on the 21. We had hoped to spend Christmas Eve with the friends we see only once or twice a year and they are a three-hour drive. By Christmas Eve I may be a basket case if the pressure doesn't ease up. I'm a bad administrator and don't know how to delegate the work to my family volunteers. Records need to be kept if we work on getting rid of inventory to clear the living room. Meanwhile, into all this at some point will come the plumber and the tree people. I just don't know when. I'm not used to having people around all the time. It drives me nuts. On top of that there is a complex relationship issue where my husband and I may not see eye-to eye on how to handle the sleeping arrangements for our guests. Then there is R_'s medical issue. She spent Thanksgiving in the UCLA Medical center because her heart transplant was acting up. She didn't get out for four days. I really don't want her sleeping on the floor. Hubby is wondering how she will get help if something goes wrong with her heart while she's here -- five hours from UCLA. Twenty years ago I might not have felt so overwhelmed by this, but I do feel like I'm being swept along by a current I can't control. It takes me some time to get used to changes. I don't have any time. I want to see my family, but I don't know how to manage what three other people are doing. There are decisions I have to make. I wish they could just come and not feel they had to work. My sister-in-law is the type that does not know how to rest. She will want to be doing something every minute. If I could work just with her we could get a lot accomplished, but I can't just turn Joey and his girlfriend loose to go through everything. They could maybe help finish the heavy stuff in the garage. I suppose by writing this I'm trying to organize my own thoughts and form some sort of plan. I can't imagine having no privacy for three or four days. I have one week to get mentally and physically prepared for this. I guess I'll need to do a lot of praying and leave the results in God's hands and be glad everyone wants to help. Maybe I just have to let go of my need to control what goes on in my house. If my sis-in-law is planning to come, maybe I should make some sort of plan with her first instead of waiting until everyone gets here. I'm open for suggestions. Advice. Questions.
9 people like this
• Bunbury, Australia
I'm sorry you're so stressed. Can you decide what each person can do that you'd be happy with? Better to give them instructions perhaps rather than have them deciding what's they'll do. Maybe with luck you can benefit from the help they can give you. I hope so.
• Paso Robles, California
I've turned into one of those people who needs time to get used to something. Fortunately I have a week to think things through. They still may decide that not all of them will come. Or my husband may say something that will change their mind about coming. I hope that won't happen. He wants to see them, too, but the sleeping arrangements bother him.
• Boston, Massachusetts
You are definitely dealing with an exhausting range of problems, and what makes it worse is your feeling of lack of control over the circumstances. That's totally understandable. I agree with you as to the heart patient not sleeping on the floor. Another solution might be an inflatable mattress to go under the sleeping bags. I had a teen boy staying with us for an extended period and we didn't have a bed for him. I got a cheap inflatable from Walmart that was very serviceable. Maybe just step back and see what your family guests can do to help you out with all your other projects. I hope Christmas is more merry than stressful.
• Paso Robles, California
I'm hoping my helper today will help with clearing the beds or deciding which projects we need to finish before they come. I can work with one person at a time. It's figuring out how to manage three that's driving me crazy. -- and having no privacy or rest when I need it.
• Paso Robles, California
You have my sympathy if you are preparing to move. I'm afraid that someday we may have to flee California for economic reasons, and I really dread emptying two houses. I'm hoping that my friend here will help me clear some of the clutter and dispose of what I don't need before we get to that stage. Right now I just have to get through until Christmas. I don't feel bad about her helping because we pay her.
• Greencastle, Indiana
good lord, I just visioned everything you talked about on here & I'm OVER WHELMED myself with it all, I say you got your hands full & IF I was you I'd do what I could with the time you have to do it in & pray for the best that after the holidays you can get some rest. I hope all goes well with the holidays & they family in one place & you can get everything done in due time but as far as trying to get things under control I'd take time to get some rest & relax a little.