The Wrench In The Works

I’m back, y’all! Last week was awful. Absolutely terrible. I got sick on Sunday night a week ago, and was completely out for five days straight. I spent virtually all day and night for five days in my bed, only getting up to fix food for Matt, get myself a drink, use the bathroom, or let Cooper out.

On top of that, the weather was crazy! Wednesday evening, had crazy thunderstorms, tornado watches, tornado warnings, civil defense sirens blaring all around us. It was just a crazy and miserable week all around.

And the kicker? Before I got sick, I had planned a catered party for a friend on Saturday night. Thankfully, there were going to be too many people to fit in our house for a catered dinner, so we had planned it at another location. But all week, my only goal was to get well so that I could make it to the party that I had planned.

Somehow, seemingly miraculously, after an absolutely horrible week, I woke up Saturday morning feeling great. I was so relieved! And the party went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time.

So yesterday, after church and an afternoon spent with my family, I came home and had to face the reality of my house. I was reminded of what a friend said to me earlier this year. She said that after a conversation with me, it struck her that not a single thing gets done in this house unless I do it (or unless I take the initiative to get help). So if a meal gets cooked, that’s on me. If trash gets taken out, that’s on me. If anything gets cleaned, that’s on me. If groceries are bought, that’s on me. If Cooper and Felicity have food and water, that’s on me. If Cooper is taken out throughout the day, that’s on me. Matt can’t help me with anything, so it’s all on me.

And that was never so clear as after a week of being sick, and then having to deal with the wake of mess that was left behind. I spent at least two hours cleaning last night, trying to make some headway in my kitchen, but still woke up this morning to this mess.

The kitchen was such a disaster that I had to bring in a big contractor bag to get the job done. A regular kitchen garbage bag wasn’t enough. The floor is absolutely disgusting. And after two hours of cleaning last night, I still didn’t even get all of the dishes washed. (I literally did no cleaning up after myself last week. It was all I could do to muster the energy to cook a meal for Matt, but cleaning up afterwards was out of the question.)

And as of this morning, my living room still looks like this…

And somehow, I’ve got to get this house under control and ready to host people on Wednesday.

Things never seem to go as planned, do they? 😀 I had everything worked out. By this time, the studio floor was supposed to be done, and the studio cabinets were supposed to be put together and put into place, leaving my living room free and clear and ready for guests on Wednesday, just in time for our regularly planned as we get back into our normal routine. But then a pretty big wrench was thrown in to the gears, and everything came to a grinding halt.

Oh well. That’s life. Sadly, it looks like any work on the studio is going to have to be put off until Thursday of this week. Between now and then, I just have to get the house looking more like a normal, lived-in house again, and less like the local landfill. 😀 But I’m so glad to be up and about again, and feeling GREAT again!



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  1. What an awful feeling! May be time to slow down and do some self-pampering and get back to working on the house slowly!

  2. I am sorry you were sick. I was so worried Matt had a setback. The good news is you have no real deadline, just a self imposed one. Take it easy so you don’t get sick again!

  3. As I was cruising the ‘Net yesterday, I realized we had not heard from you all week. That had me worried that something had happened to Matt. Never considered that Wonder Woman might be in trouble herself. Living alone, I know all about having to do everything yourself.
    Very glad you’re up and around Kristie. Take care of yourself and just remember, the house will still be there tomorrow if you don’t get everything done today. The world will not come to an end. Take a day for yourself and do something fun like read a book or take Matt out to lunch.

    1. I was wondering what had happened to you and was hoping you were so busy with the studio you hadn’t had time to post anything. Sorry you were so sick.

  4. I feel for you, especially with the care Matt needs, but welcome to life as a single. Everything is always on you. And I would like to say that I admire your “get it back on track and done” attitude to life, and learning! I have to admit that too often I wimp out and just let life slide, which only adds to the mess and confusion, and what one late friend called “deep cleaning.” I was taught to clean as you go; that if you keep it up daily, you will rarely ever need to deal with that “deep cleaning” ordeal. And that approach does work wonderfully well, if you’re consistent. LOL But life has a way of turning things around on a dime. Some times we fly, and sometimes we sink. You have a great attitude and go to work with a will, getting things back to your comfortable place. And you are always up for learning something new. Now that I’m nearly 76, that’s something I really need to work on. When we stop learning, we start dying, but it takes more effort these days. lol. Keep up the great work, and keep taking one day, one step at a time. You’ll reach your goal sooner than you imagine and will be so proud that you kept challenging yourself to keep moving. We’re all looking forward to your progress reports and then the final result!

  5. Kristi, sending all my love and energy to you. My wise father gave me his mantra and I have used it more and more since we bought our farm, “Breathe in…Breathe out…Repeat as necessary…” I have found that to be the best advice ever.

  6. Like many others, I was beginning to worry…so sorry you were sick. It is soooo tough to keep going when ill — but you DID DO what was necessary. Like you, I use dishes, not paper, so they pile up when there is no one able to do them. I admire your persistence and feel for you at the same time! Anyway, you can do what you need to and if not in time, maybe you could move the meeting for this week to your church or a meeting room in a restaurant??

    1. That’s what I was thinking. Couldn’t some one else in your church group host for a week or two? I know you enjoy it but sometimes you need to give yourself a break!

  7. Oh, honey. I’m sorry you were so sick but I’m glad you’re doing better now. My husband is disabled so I can understand, somewhat. If I’m sick, nothing gets done and that’s hard to deal with sometimes.

  8. Glad you are feeling better. You are amazing.

    Take some time to relax as you can.

    When I get I stressed out, it helps me to remember what the Lord Jesus told Martha about what is really necessary in Luke 10:38-42.

  9. Oh dear lady. This mama’s heart (yeah, I have kids your age). Just wants to fly to Waco and help you. Prayers will have to do 😘🙏🏻

  10. I was worried about you and Matt last week, I figured one of you were sick, since you hadn’t posted anything. So glad to hear you are feeling better and if I lived closer to you I’d be over in a heartbeat to help. I understand about being the one to do all, my husband is unable to help with much either, he’s a double amputee and mostly wheelchair bound. Prayers always for both you and Matt

  11. I’ve seen the weather map of all the crazy storms over Waco and thought of you. Glad all is well and you’re doing better. However you don’t need to apologize to us or anyone else for the state of your house ( which isn’t that bad I don’t think). I know I’m not keeping score, I just love to read your posts and see your fabulous decorating skills!

  12. I’m so glad you are feeling good again. Do what’s most important, but don’t overdo and throw yourself back into the bed sick again with a relapse. You’ve done well. You took care of you and Matt – even being sick. Ask for others in your group to come early and help you set up if needed. They would love to. Trust me. Most people don’t mind serving if someone will only tell them what to do.

  13. So amazed by your talent and creativity! Praise God you feel better. Love watching updates to your home. Such an amazing woman.

  14. As my sister-in-law once said, “That threw a monkey into the wrench.” Remember that people love to help and feel useful.

  15. Kristi! I’m so glad you’re alive!

    It’s *because* you hadn’t posted that made me wonder if last week’s wild Texas weather forced you to evacuate.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better, AND that nothing happened to you guys.

    I saw a tweet (which became a Rotten E-card) that read, “I never realized that, even if you eat take-out, you are still cleaning the kitchen.”

      1. Oh Kristi you are so hard on yourself.
        Use the dishwasher. Give yourself a break. If you’re thinking that there’s only the 2 of you and it will take too long to fill it won’t. It’s just my husband and I and we do a load every couple of days.
        I don’t see that as any different as letting them sit on the counter and doing them by hand when you get around to it. Actually there is a difference, they won’t be all over the counter and you won’t have spent hours cleaning them. Just something to think about.

  16. Glad you’re better! In my house, it’s the opposite. I’m the one who has to be taken care of by my husband.

    1. Glad you’re feeling better. I was wondering what had happened. I also have a disabled husband. He can get around enough that he can make himself something to eat and do some small things around the house but it’s a far cry from the active man he used to be. I’m just thankful for the small things he can do. I’ve had to hire people to do a lot of what he used to do that I’m unable to. Don’t hesitate to hire someone to help. You’re not doing either of you justice if you wear yourself out or make yourself sick. Take care of yourself.

      1. I was thinking that door dash and a cleaning service would have been a good solution. Then I thought about my personality, I enjoy cooking and keeping my house clean. After an illness it is almost therapeutic to put things back together.
        Perhaps you have a similar personality quirk!

  17. So, so glad to hear you are feeling better–at least physically! I am quite familiar with that sinking feeling we can get when an illness or emergency comes up and the house becomes the last thing on the list to even think about getting done. People who live alone and caregivers all experience this from time to time. Try not to overdo the under-done while your body is still getting itself back to normal. Matt needs YOU way more than a sparkly clean house right now. Keep a steady pace and it will all get done. But you know this….hang in there and imagine how nice the house is going to look when you’ve got it all cleaned and straightened up. Take a peek at that picture in your head every once in awhile while you’re making your way to that finish line. Saying a little prayer for you until all feels like that comfortable, beautiful house you’ve worked so hard to make for you and Matt returns to the space you need it to be.

  18. Kristi, I feel better knowing you are okay. Had me worried for a bit.

    I heard undertones or overtones of a bit of burnout when I read your description of the weight of responsibilities you have. It is a natural response when you aren’t feeling your best. While true that the day-to-day things you must do are manageable due to good planning and a willing spirit, there comes a time, like illness, when it gets really hard.

    I get the idea you are not a person who finds it easy to call for help. But, there are just times when it is the wise thing to do. (I would have been there in a flash.) Sure, everyone is busy but that is what friends and family are for. You would be there for them, if need be. Surely, you didn’t have to tackle all of the catch-up tasks in the house on your own. (A rhetorical observation.) I suggest you build a personal R & D team you can enlist when you absolutely need it, as was true during the grueling week you had to deal with.

    If you see your church folks that often, ditto on adding some of them to your team. Since you will be working on this huge studio project in the weeks to come, why not ask to relocate the Wednesday venue to somewhere else until you are done with it? Believe me, there will be a solution if your home is not available. Absolve yourself from any guilt you may feel for not hosting. Creative ideas will abound if you bow out for a while.

    If getting volunteers to assist if not realistic, consider checking out the service of a local teen you could pay to assist you. You just might be a fine inspiration for a young person who can learn from you.

    Stress is a killer. So, self-imposed unrealistic deadlines will never be healthy for you.

    My very best to you and Matt.

    1. I came here to say exactly this.
      I am *the worst* at asking for help, or delegating.
      I want to do all the things, & I feel like I should be able to do all the things, & I completely underestimate how much the people that care for me want to help me do the things.
      You are taking care of an entire other person, & it’s completely ok that you can’t do everything all the time. People get sick. Things happen.
      You’d be amazed at how much relief you would feel from having just a few things off your plate. Like hiring a cleaning person to come in every week…or every other week. I love the idea of hiring a teenager, or someone from your church, to help you do things here & there.
      It seems like you have a support system that you are underutilizing. And it might be good to have those things in place in case, God Forbid, something worse than a cold happens.
      I love your “do it yourself” attitude. I’m very much like that myself, thanks to my parents. It sure is a relief to have people you can call up when you need a hand though.

  19. OH WOW…I just knew something was wrong…you were too quiet! I know how you feel…my husband is not good at dishes/cleaning up although he does take care of the dogs, and cooks for himself if I am sick. Last time I was flat in bed, he never offered me a glass of water…you KNOW that won’t happen again! 🤣 Nothing like getting up and having to clean the kitchen though, especially when he cooks!!! But I know your situation is different as Matt can’t help you very much. And you accept all of that which is why if you are well it fine…when you are sick it IS A LOT!! So, next week is a new one again. Rest up, do you household things and by then you will be back to normal with projects. Life does get in our way at times. So happy to hear you are feeling much better.

  20. Glad you’re back to feeling good. Frankly, I don’t know how you manage to do it all. I’ve read your blog long enough to know you prefer to do things on your own without having to ask for help but you may want to consider bringing in a cleaning service a couple times a month just to give yourself a break. You don’t have to wear all of the hats all of the time. The time to pace yourself is before you crash and burn from exhaustion.

  21. Sorry to hear you were under the weather the entire week! But glad you are better now. I can’t handle a thing if I’m sick enough to be in bed. But then I don’t have to do it all, like you said. I can’t imagine how difficult you have it on a daily basis even when you are well! If the weather is nice on Wednesday, can you move your gathering to the back yard, or is that just harder than bringing the inside up to speed? I know we have had a slow start with getting the outside cleaned up with the delay of nice weather, and it has just started to be spring weather here!!!

  22. There’s a wonderful poem called Living in the Moment by J. Estanislao Lopez: “I like to live in the moment. No, not that one.” Some moments (or weeks) we just have to survive! Glad you are healthy.

  23. I hear ya, I had a week in bed in March and my place looked very similar. I live by myself so no help….I totally get it. Took me 2 weeks to get mine all back in order as I was still low on energy for a while after. Glad you’re back on your feet, no worries, it will all get done eventually!

  24. Honey, find yourself a cleaning lady! Just once a week, or for emergencies! That’s a lot to take care of. Don’t relapse.

  25. So glad you’re back to health, Kristi! I know the feeling well lately. A big surgery has been knocking me out for a few weeks, and I cannot believe how out of hand things have gotten. But we’ve been eating Healthy Choice and other simple-prep things, and calling it good enough until I’m able do normal things. And you know what else? Your house and my house can both wait until we’re caught up with taking care of the caretakers….IOW, us. Right? You just take your time.