A step away from meds

On Wednesday night, Ryan and I went to dinner at the Blue Bird Bistro for their Wednesday Night Table–Four courses with wine for just $40 each!  It was divine.  The restaurant is nationally renowned for farm-to-table deliciousness, and I can say that all the food was spectacular.  The wine?  Tasty.  The company? Wonderful.  We dined with the owner of the restaurant, the hostess, and a baker.

I needed that date night.  It felt good to relax with my husband. But it also felt good to talk about something that brings me great joy–food–and relate to others over a meal.  I wasn’t afraid to just be myself and share.

Of course, I had a leeeetle too much to drink. I’ve become such a lightweight.  I hope my dining partners forgave me, but I think I wasn’t *that* enthusiastic.

Something happened that day, though, that also has lightened the mood around here.  I forgot to take my meds that day. With all the excitement of having grandparents around and getting a date night, it completely slipped my mind.  The next day, I decided to start an experiment. Since I’ve read that cold-turkey abstinence from Zoloft can cause some unpleasant side effects, I figured a half-dose would do.

Just dropping some of the chemical dependency has made me happier.  The side effects I’ve endured–non-stop eye twitching and chronic headaches–aren’t the worst things ever, but I’d prefer not to *need* a daily pill.  We’ll see if I’m successful.

April 15, 2011. Tags: , . Medical avenues. Leave a comment.

For rent

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re under contract on a new (to us) house in the suburbs of Kansas City.  Spending another summer in this poorly insulated house with no yard motivated us to quickly find another place to live.  The downside? We’re bogged down by a lease until the end of September.  Needless to say, we’ve been doing our darndest to find new tenants for the rental.

This challenge has done wonders for my outlook. First off, it’s completely distracted me from my anger over the budget nonsense in Washington.  Secondly, and more importantly, it’s been fun getting the house ready for prospective tenants.  After having lived here almost a year, this place looks great.  Sure, it’s still riddled with holes in the wall (and floor), random odors

The clear, shiny kitchen sink

emanating from the basement, and a lovely draft bringing the outdoors in, but it’s calm. And clean.

Our landlord had posted a bare-bones ad on Craigslist almost a month ago, and no one had come to see the house. So we took matters into our own hands and composed a new ad complete with pictures. Within an hour, someone called to make an appointment to see the house.  And it was the *right* kind of tenant–that is, someone used to living in an historic home with lovely details and…well…quirks.  You don’t want someone expecting a brand new builder grade cookie cutter house.  Not sure if she’ll take the house, but I feel good knowing we’ve got it ready for showings.  And hope to keep it that way.

All this work has got me thinking.  Should I make an effort at the new house to keep it “show-ready”?  I’m not talking about making it beige and blah–ahem, Sabrina Soto, not everyone likes that stuff–it’s more that having a clear kitchen makes me want to cook more.  And then clean up.  My eye twitches less, my smile is more sincere, my gas is less stinky…okay, that’s dumb.  But it definitely keeps my mind calmer.  And that’s what I’m hoping for these days, right?

April 10, 2011. Tags: , . Aspiring to Minimalism. Leave a comment.

Angry politicians and the budget

I have been walking around pretty pissed recently. Not because I’m feeling holed up at home, but because I feel like American politicians are completely oblivious to the troubles of everyday people.  Of course, hasn’t this been a problem plaguing just about every nation out there with representatives?  I bet so.  That doesn’t make it right, though.

Many Congressmen–and I use the term “men” because most are men–are pretty darn wealthy.  And they claim to be representing the views of the people when they stubbornly hold up a budget plan in order to get concessions on abortion funding or the obliteration of environmental protection.  It might be true that a small majority of Americans do not like abortion. However, holding up the funding of national parks, social service agencies, and the IRS (!!!) can hardly be beneficial for anyone.  Without paychecks, federal employees won’t be able to spend. Yet when in the midst of economic crisis, we get messages from the government to get out there and open our wallets!  How’s that gonna work?

Of course, it just came out that spending is up in many parts of the retail sector.  I don’t think this is a sign of growing prosperity, though.  Wages continue to stagnate.  Food prices are squeezing us. Gas prices are on the verge of killing us.  But how many times can we wear the same pair of ratty pants to work?  Many people have hunkered down for so long that they cannot wait to purchase necessities any longer.  I’m in the market for some myself after years of not purchasing much at all.  It hurts to spend the money when things are so tight; however, I’m down to one pair of pants. And they’re maternity wear.

Bureaucracy is notoriously inefficient. And expensive. I don’t see, though, how targeting money earmarked for Planned Parenthood is going to solve our budget “crisis”.  Keeping wages from workers during this time of vast unemployment most certainly won’t.

April 8, 2011. Tags: , . The Angry American. Leave a comment.