The Deployment Diary

Friday, April 30, 2004

Day 234 - It Was Time...

I could feel my pity party of one coming. For about a week now, things just keep piling up and piling up. Yesterday evening, I cracked. I officially needed a t-shirt with a big "L" on the front of it for  L O  S  E  R. 

The day just started off crappy - literally. I had put the kitty in the downstairs' half bath. When I put him in the bathroom, I of course put food, water and most importantly - his litter box in there too.

I put him in there to keep him from getting under my feet on the ladder when I'm working on a project. We welcomed kitty into our family back in November. He was so tiny. I guess I'm officially his Mom, because where I go he goes. Being scared of heights - and getting on a ladder with a cat is not the makings of a happy experience ;).

So, I thought I'd get ahead of the game and put kitty in the bathroom before taking our daughter to school. That way, I could come home, send a few emails that needed to be sent, write some in my blog and then get to work on the dining room before 9:30. Plenty of time, I thought, to get the second coat of mud sanded, the third coat applied, cut grass while it dries, then after picking up daughter from school, sand the third coat. Hopefully it wouldn't need a fourth coat and this morning (Friday), I could spend the morning cleaning up from all the sanding and by afternoon be ready to stain. I had a plan darn it lol!

Now, the downstairs' half bath is at the back of the house - it's door from the back hall is right next to the back door - I guess for those moments when you need to go as soon as you come in lol. As small a room as it is, it has two doors. One from the living room and one from the back hall (the back hall is off the kitchen).

The half bath is not original and was created some years after the house was built in 1913. We guess in the mid-1960's or so when two owners before us needed it due to age and health problems. As they became elderly, the husband could no longer make it up the stairs to the bathroom (as a neighbor tells it), so she had a downstairs half-bath added.

You know it's going to be one crappy day when you finish writing what you wanted to write, go to the kitchen to get ready to start sanding and the smell of cat poop about knocks you down. I immediately wanted to gag - and since the half bath has had its facelift, the thought of cat poo in there and the poop messing with my hard thought out schedule - well, I was not a happy kitty Mommy.

I figured if it smelled that bad, in that short of time, I'd better just get the bleach cleaner, the rag, clean litter and a big trash bag to save some trips. I open the door and from what I can surmise, kitty's litter box liner somehow got pulled down over part of the litter. Kitty decides this would be the perfect spot to take a dump. As a bonus, I guess he decided he needed to walk through it before exiting the cat shitter. In his defense, the poor thing was probably trying to cover it up and the plastic of the liner made it impossible. In his panic of not being Tidy Cat, he spazzed, he got four feet covered in shit and then decided to walk on everything to try to get it off.

Now, I've said I've tried to curb my obsessive compulsive ways. I have. However, cat shit covering my bathroom - especially one my babies use, well - it sent shivers. The thought of them touching something that had poop on it...oh NO! I took everything out of the bathroom. I dumped the litter box, put a new liner in it and fresh litter. Kitty watched as if to say, "Bet you don't try putting me in there again." The smart as, uh -hum, - alec.

I sprayed every area of the bathroom down in bleach and let it sit as I got the rugs washing and vacuumed the kitty litter that somehow had gotten everywhere in the midst of his battle with the poop on his feet. I washed everything down and ended by scrubbing the hardwood floor in there by hand with a rag....

Not a great start to the day.

So, now I'm pretty far behind my schedule, but I hurry up and get everything put away and get to work on the dining room. I turn on the little clock radio that is normally in our bedroom and listen to Neal Boortz while I'm working. I know, I said I was having a news break, but I enjoy working and listening to Boortz in the morning. By this time, it was almost time for his last hour which is usually pretty entertaining. Yesterday was no exception. I truly hope the next time I'm in Atlanta visiting family, he'll be scheduled to appear somewhere. I'd truly love to meet him in person.

I finish sanding the second coat, I put a third coat of mud on the few places that needed it and get myself cleaned up for lunch.

So far, so good. If I hurry I can still be on schedule! After lunch I do some dusting in the living room, I vacuum in here, I get the rugs in the dryer and put soap and bleach in the washer to run an empty cycle to clean out the washer just in case. I guess therapy is in order to really tame my OCD lol. I decided, since it was suppose to rain but hadn't, I could fit in some mowing after picking up daughter from school.

It's about 2:30 by this time and I figure I can take a break, check email and relax before heading to the school to pick up daughter.

I notice an email from the folks I just finished the job for. Now, to make an extremely long story short, they wanted a fun poll - not to catch demographic info or anything of that nature, just a fun poll. I installed this on the test site over a month before it went live. Everything was fine with the poll. Everything was fine until it went live that is. Now, they aren't happy because it has few votes and looks like the site is "new." Umm, it IS new, but ok, we can fix that.

I talk to them on Wed. I told them that since everything was completed, I was going to remove the program that controls the database. It's not needed and can be a security risk. Not likely, but why take a chance. They say that sounds great and wala - although STILL waiting to be paid, the job is complete.

So, imagine my surprise when I receive an email from them that lists a TON of crap to do the VERY next day. The emailed read as though the job wasn't complete, the conversation just the day prior hadn't happened and I'm still busting butt for them. I tell you, I wanted to scream.

I email back and state that I was under the impression that the job was completed. He emails back and says well, one thing listed in the previous email he had wanted and mentioned during the job. I misunderstood apparently (and it wasn't mentioned yesterday during our phone call or our emails), it's kinda late in the game, but ok - if that was what they were anticipating I'll make it happen. He goes on to say, please let us know how much you'd charge for the rest of it. We'd like it completed as soon as possible.

Well, two of the things they want is CUSTOM php programming to get info dumping into a database. You're talking a good amount of work! Remember, I'm a web designer NOT a programmer. If I were a programmer, I'd be making big bucks.

I didn't want to even TAKE the second job, because the first one through the holidays about killed me. However, I understood them wanting both sites to be done by the same person so the same system was being used. They upped the price and I agreed. THAT job was going to be it though. I was determined not to take another big job until after my husband returned. I wanted instead to focus on the house these last four months. I am TIRED of sitting at the computer all day every day.

I tell him I'd prefer to get paid for the first job before starting another. He emails back and says they are cutting a check today. Now when did this site go live?? And they are just now cutting me the other half of the pay? And I'm sitting here checking my mailbox every day? That's the money I planned to use to pay for our new bedroom furniture so I didn't touch any of my husband's "getting shot at" money. He asks if I could tell them how much for the other jobs so we can hurry and get started.

I went to get my daughter from school at this point. I'm angry that people I trusted would not have held up their end of the bargain and paid me yet. Then, dump another $1,000 worth of work in my lap expecting me to just do it for free - only to offer to pay me AFTER I say something. I resent the hell out of that, but mostly I'm hurt because I've known these folks for four years and I trusted them.

I come home and get to work cutting the backyard jungle. I tell you, the weeds and crap back there were knee high and it started to sprinkle. I only got the back yard, the one side near the road and behind the fence and garage before I had to call it a day. By this time, I'm so darned tired and I'm hurting pretty bad. I do not feel like cooking, so we run up to the local drive in and get something to eat to bring home. I order a side order of fried mushrooms. Not smart. The next three hours are spent destroying the upstairs bathroom. That cat and I make a great pair - I tell you. In the midst of all that I get babies bathed and to bed.

I come downstairs and start an email I know I won't send to my husband. He doesn't need to hear a bunch of whining. No matter how bad my day was, his is always worse in my opinion. I'm with our babies, I'm in the comfort of our home, I have TV - I can go to sleep when I am ready, I can go to the store when I want. Nothing I go through here compares to the rat hole he's living in right now and the danger that is the reality of all our people over there. However, I just needed my best friend though. To sit down and write him as though he'd just come home from work and I was telling him about everything.

And, in the midst, I sat here typing and complaining and sobbing. Telling him how tired I am of being alone and living without him. That when we're in our fifties, we'll need to sell this place, there's no way I'll be able to take care of it all on my own. Yes, I realize now as I type this that he will be home by then lol, but it was my pity party lol. Continuing on with the my sob story in the email, I tell him I can't even do a decent job of taking care of this house and the yard at the age I am now.

I just wanted to talk to him. I wanted to lean on him and for a few moments have him here with me - his never ending support to be here in the room with me to hold me up when I just felt I couldn't stand alone another moment. Not be the one solely responsible for both our lives here at home - responsible for our family all alone. Not be a single parent and payer of bills, be the waitress and maid, the lawn service and house renovator, the animal caretaker and secretary of all things that need scheduling, the supporter of our worried family, the web designer that doesn't deserve to be paid for her time...

Just for a moment I wanted only to be wife and Mom, the other half of my better half. I wanted to think of him cutting the side yard while I weed around the roses and pond. Taking a break together to watch our daughter who just got the hang of jump roping (she's been trying so hard) and us both cheering her on - the reality if he were home. I wanted a kiss before we both got back to the yard work. Instead of running to get something to eat to bring home, him firing up the grill and me coming in to get the meat ready and the side dishes started... After the babies were in bed, taking turns getting cleaned up to sit down in front of the TV together and wind down enough to go to bed.

Instead, it was me and my only link to him - this computer. Writing a letter I wouldn't be sending, sporting my big "L" and sobbing like a fool. I got it all out, I left the email open and parked myself in front of the TV to catch some HGTV trying to see if I could find some inspiration for our bedroom and get my mind off how stupid I was behaving. Several hours later, I came back to the computer, wiped out what I'd previously written and wrote him without the pity party.

Another day behind me. One day closer to when what used to be our reality will no longer be something I dream about, but can actually live again...

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