Pressure Cooker

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I published someone else’s words earlier this week as a cross-reference to this post.  “Martyrdom Virtue”.

In reading through the homily from one of my friends about how their god finds them by the virtue of their labors in keeping the home fires burning, it just pissed me off.

So much passive-aggressive martyrdom, and for what purpose?

If god exists, won’t he find me even if I choose to sit and vegetate?  Why must my life and my value as a female be weighed against my sacrifice?

Contrasting all those thoughts with the war I’m quietly waging with the houseguest as she takes over my home, I think I’m taking Cindy’s viewpoint of the never-ending drudgery.  It’s not virtuous, it’s indentured servitude, and I didn’t sign up to live this way.

I want my miracle, with the houseguest finding her own place and leaving me in peace !  If god requires a martyr, then he’s come to the wrong house.

Breaking Point

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Sneakiness.  It gets on my last nerve.

I spent the day working.  Screens off and in the tub for cleaning.  Asking permission to enter the office / the houseguest’s bedroom, to find that all sorts of things had changed since I’d last been in there.

She’s nesting, and all sorts of things are in there that we never discussed.

I realize there is a shelter-in-place pandemic going on, but finding out that she had changed more things than I realized hit me in the face this evening when I got home to find she’d put up a picture of her own and taken down my office sign ( when there is nowhere else in this 700 square feet of space for it to fit).

Of course, I didn’t notice this until 11pm at night, and not wanting to start a fight at bedtime, I swallowed it down.  But.  But…

We are going to have to have it out tomorrow, again, as she’s “nesting” and that is not what we agreed on.

That picture is going back up on that wall, or will be stored in the closet, BUT IT IS NOT GOING TO LIE AROUND THE LIVING ROOM.  It’s been on the wall in the room she’s been using since she moved it, and there is zero reason for me to allow her to continue to push me around.

Yes, the houseguest is getting on my nerves and pushing my last button.

I hate sneakiness and passive-aggressive bullsh*t.  But, I’ve also go to manage my boundaries as she is expanding more and more into my home, and this is NOT a permanent living situation.

Hopefully, I’ll find a way to put my foot down tomorrow without there being a big fight.

Martyrdom Virtue

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Danielle Dibble Boyte, April 14 at 9:04 AM

Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord?

Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever
hear of women going to the mountains,
and we know why — right?

Because the women were too busy
keeping life going;
they couldn’t abandon babies,
meals,
homes,
fires,
gardens,
and a thousand responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains!

I was talking to a friend the other day,
saying that as modern woman
I feel like I’m never “free” enough
from my responsibilities,
never in a quiet enough,
or holy enough spot
to have the type of communion
I want with God.

Her response floored me,
“That is why God comes to women.
Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are.”

I have been pondering on her words for weeks and have searched my scriptures
to see that what she said is true.
God does in deed come to women
where they are,
when they are doing their ordinary,
everyday work.

He meets them at the wells
where they draw water for their families,
in their homes,
in their kitchens,
in their gardens.

He comes to them
as they sit beside sickbeds,
as they give birth,
care for the elderly,
and perform necessary mourning and burial rites.

Even at the empty tomb,
Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection,
She was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.

In these seemingly mundane
and ordinary tasks,
these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with divinity.

So if — like me — you ever start to bemoan the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend in the mountains with God as you would like. Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and in the most ordinary things.

He lives.

Original Author: Heather Farrell

 

S-I-P / Quarantine

Unlike the Nora Roberts book, “Shelter in Place”, this situation did not involve a terrorist act which is quickly over, but leaves lasting echoes in one’s life.

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(Big Nora Roberts / JD Robb fan, and their audio books are keeping me company as I work to fill the hours and avoid Der Orangevone on the TV daily, as he thinks his idea of a “press briefing” is a great time to bully people, and hold a campaign rally).

So, we’re all working hard to learn the differences between S-I-P, Quarantine, Lockdown, and what we can and cannot do.  And, we’re getting lectures from friends and family about what “we” should be doing….

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with further clarification:

Can and Cants SIP guide

And, then we get to an update as to what “essential” businesses and workers may mean:

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Clearly, California is trying hard to define “essential” workers, and limiting access to seniors for cross-contamination of their fragile community members.

However, I submit to you that – so long as you have workers going in and out of the senior care facility on a daily basis, for up to 3 shifts per day, that you are still risking those seniors.

While I am being very careful to stay away from my friend with dementia, this extended period of time of her being refused visitors and being isolated in her room seems to be overkill – so long as they let their workers return home each evening to their family and especially their children.

It’s kind of the same argument that I have about airport security “theatre”.  Since most x-ray equipment can’t detect plastic weapons that don’t have a “gun” or “bomb” shape, it’s more theatre than actual protection.  As has been proven again and again when someone gets a plastic gun through security.

So, I tell you all that to tell you this – I’m not stupid.

I have been self-isolating for years, but especially since August 23, 2015, when my doctor finally agreed that disability was in my best interests.

So, to have friends (yes, the Melaleuca connection), feel free to go out for a ride in the country, ignoring all warnings about traveling beyond their local home area, and by not being out for any specific reason beyond the fact that they needed space and fresh air, all while lecturing me to stay home and let the kindness of friends and strangers strangle me to death with their caring, is entertaining.

Yes, I’m that perverse.  The minute you told me not to do something, you also guaranteed that I find a way to do it, and safely, while chanting, “You’re not the boss of me!” under my breath.

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The fact that I am still alive after numerous hospitalizations, despite being disabled, despite being told that my ability to get things done despite my breathing numbers is amazing…  blah, blah, blah.

At the end of the day, we’re all going to do what we think we “need” to do; what we think is “right” to do; and what we think that it’s “safe” to do; all without risking the health of ourselves and others.

When you’re number’s up it’s up.  My only goal is to not take anyone else with me when that time arrives because I was too stupid to understand what shelter-in-place restrictions really meant.

Be safe out there.

 

 

 

Cleaning Wars II

Melaleuca Logo

Melaleuca is a wonder product according to my houseguest’s sister.  While I love my friend to pieces, I’m not taking cleaning advice from her because she, too, believes subjective and sometimes deceptive advertising vs. knowing the truth behind her beliefs by doing non-sponsored research… Melaleuca falls into that category.  Everything sold has a scent, is costly, and is designed to get you to encourage your friends and family to use their products.

Yes, I checked it out years back, when first approached, and – no – I didn’t want to live in a plastic bubble.  If necessary to clean, I wanted to do it once via hydrogen peroxide and alcohol when deep cleaning is necessary to assure a sanitary surface.

If you use the Melaleuca products to disinfect, there is a fine print comment in the EPA approval that is buried in their advertising, that makes it too expensive in terms of time and money to make Melaleuca products my first choice for cleaning materials:

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Melaleuca EPA 04

 

and, on page 5 of 5 of the EPA 2011 posting available on line:

Melaleuca 05 EPA

Why in the world would I use ANYTHING where 95% of the ingredients aren’t detailed on the EPA letter or the product, and where further warnings as directed on the label by the EPA indicate that this product can be hazardous to people and pets?

At any rate, as a continuation of my earlier blog, “Cleaning Wars“, dealing with the landmine that is everyone’s opinion about what you need to do to have a COPD-clean environment that works its best for you is no easy task.

As with most of us, we don’t have much energy, so we don’t want to do anything twice.

Here’s the crap that’s on their feel-good website that irritates the crap out of me:

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Key triggers for me?  Anything that purports to help MY finances and my quality of life, while also telling me it can also help me “reach my goals”.  They have a really slick advertising company or marketing firm helping them reach people’s soft and gooey underbelly without even a blip on most people’s radar…

Melaleuca Company 02

Given the advertising of their botanical cleaner to not say that it’s a cleaner, but merely that it’s a disinfectant, for use AFTER you actually clean:

Melaleuca 02 - Botanicals

And the disclaimer in their online ads that actual cleaning needs to be done BEFORE using the disinfectant if one wants a truly clean surface:

Meluleuca Ad 01 - Bathroom

“Final step”, implying that this is to be used AFTER you actually clean.  Nope.  No thanks.  Not only does it make more work for me than my regular cleaning, it’s also only available in a scented product, making the scent wars in my home more of a challenge, too.

So, I remain stubbornly assured, based on EPA evidence, that my choice of alcohol and soap and water as a cleaning / disinfecting agent is the best choice vs. doing things the Melaleuca way.

Cleaning Wars

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Well, after last week’s “FOOD WARS” posting, the houseguest and I got into it over her demand that I give her her own shelf in the fridge.  Seriously.  She has 3 half shelves, so that we can take advantage of size alternatives, and she’s taking over my half of the space, but she thinks that I’m being dictatorial in not giving her a single shelf for her own use.

The houseguest who is homeless.

The houseguest who lives with me for free.

The houseguest who has been here since July 16, 2019…  Going on 9 months…  And she picks a pandemic, when we’re on shelter-in-place directives, to start picking fights over me being controlling.  Now she has decided to debate my cleaning choices.

Me, who got bacterial pneumonia from her bringing a cold home in February.

Think about that a minute.

I’m sitting here fighting for my life, actively, every day since August 23, 2015, when it was confirmed that the medications they were giving me weren’t working well enough to help me versus their dangerous side effects.  It was determined that I go on permanent disability, and that I figure out how to live the rest of my life (maybe 3-5 years at that point, but there were no fixed timelines or date stamps on my foot because everyone reacts differently to triggers and their version of the COPD illness).  So, you’d think I would have learned a bit about my triggers in my 55 years of living up to that point, as well as adjusted my needs as my COPD continued to worsen.

At age 59, I am as healthy as I possibly can be, despite 25% lung function / lung capacity, and approximately 92-96% routine oxygen saturation.

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Trying to avoid breathing issues as most scents and aerosols trigger difficulties, I have made it my mission to clean as simply / quickly as possible to avoid exhaustion (hey, it only took me 4 days to clean the kitchen floor when the houseguest was away having her knee replaced, LOL).

Generally, I use 70 – 91% alcohol (whatever I can get inexpensively in the first aid aisle), with the addition of peppermint oil (because it helps me breathe, and doesn’t cause any coughing spasms).

The houseguest hates this, because it smells “too hospital-y”.  Seriously.

Screw the fact that I can’t breathe with the scented crap she keeps trying to sneak in !

So, as we’re on lockdown / shelter-in-place, the houseguest is becoming increasingly paranoid, not wanting to go out, not wanting to be in the fresh air (even away from people!), and she decides that “we” need to do a better job of cleaning with a disinfectant.  Seriously.

As always, she’s free to use whatever she wants in her bedroom (not my concern, as long as it doesn’t travel to the rest of the house), but I have had to put my foot down again and again that the crap that she wants to use – when she actually bestirs herself to clean our common areas – may smell better, but works WORSE than my affordable and very effective solution.  To back up my belief that alcohol is better with scientific references:

Isophoprol Kill Rate

What makes me crazy is that most of the crap she wishes to use, because it’s all about what the media has “educated” her via commercials, takes 2-10 minutes to be effective in terms of truly disinfecting a surface, while straight alcohol at 60% concentration or above, kills in 10-30 SECONDS.

For someone who has made an art form out of how to survive, 10-30 SECONDS for cleaning / killing / sanitizing effective rate sounds much more livable for me than waiting 2-10 minutes for something to take effect, never mind the habit that we all have of wiping / drying a surface vs. letting it dry for 2-10 minutes…

Lysol cleaning time

Lysol Neutra Air vs. other

Lysol Deodorizer

Clorox Bleach

Lysol Tub and Bath

Why in the world would I want a slower-effective product, especially an aerosol that messes with my breathing ability, to be used in place of alcohol???  Never mind the fact that I have limited energy and already need to take frequent breaks when cleaning, so why extend the time involved in cleaning properly?

And, why pay for a brand name when the product exists, cheaper, in the first-aid aisle (and there’s no run on this aisle in the stores as most people buy into the ads vs. truly understanding the difference between ethanol, alcohol, and over the counter / OTC commercial products)???  When I tell her that 70% alcohol works better and doesn’t hurt me, I get an argument that I’m a know-it-all from someone who refuses to hear that this is my house, and that she’s lucky to stay here and be having these debates, especially considering she is a guest.  She refuses to back up her beliefs by showing me, with outside scientific opinion, that I am mistaken.  So, we’re at a stalemate.

No bueno.  Pouty temper tantrum and back into her bedroom she goes…  I am living with a 64 year old teenager who wants what she wants, regardless of its impact on my ability to survive.  Exhausting.  And that’s before we get into how exhausting it is for me to do anything on a regular schedule, never mind when it’s deep cleaning (vs. simply picking up clutter and thinking that a space is “clean”).

Having this shelter-in-place edict extended out to May 3rd may just end up killing us both.  I can put up with a lot, but her nerves are getting on my last nerve.

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