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A Day in the Life

Discussion in 'The Home Front Woman' started by St. Louis, May 17, 2014.

  1. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Actually the Bolshoi film sounds wonderful. Wish I could have seen that. Interesting combo: basement sludge and Russian ballet.

    My day today was less stressful (well, I can't imagine a more stressful one) but brought its fair share of golden-era style adventures. It's been raining so hard this afternoon that the alley out back is literally a river. The good news is that I had just finished planting some annuals and didn't need to water them. The bad news is that I actually have a sauce pan in the back room catching the rain. The roofer told me this morning that he will have to tear off the whole roof off the back room (badly built by some 1930s do-it-himselfer) because it's completely rotten. I think this will decimate my savings. I was so upset I made myself a cup of Ovaltine. Definitely helped.

    Stray Cat, here in St. Louis, an 86 degree day would be balmy!
     
  2. Ok, this was my day.

    7:30AM: Alarm goes off. Daughter is asleep. This means I can take a shower! Shower, dress. Go downstairs and mix up her yogurt and prepare her straw cup with milk. Get on laptop for a short while.
    8:30AM: Daughter wakes up. Change her diaper. Feed her yogurt and milk. She requests cheese as well, so I prepare that. Daughter feeds her dolly.
    9:00AM: Daughter needs another changing. I run into the cellar to get more diapers out of the dryer. Fold two flats and stuff them into the All In One (AIO) cover I made. Change diaper.
    9:15AM: Go into kitchen and discover Kitty has killed a mouse. Spend the next five minutes telling Kitty she needs to kill it, because I'm not doing it for her. Kitty continues to play with (torture) it.
    9:30AM: Go outside to look for my small shovel in the garage. Can't find the small shovel. Get out the large shovel, drag it to the end of the driveway. One of my neighbors gives me a weird look. Just wait until I bring the mouse out here, buddy.
    9:45AM: Go back inside. The mouse is dead. Use the broom to sweep the poor thing into the dust pan. Go outside and dump it in the trash can. Return the shovel to the garage.
    10:00AM: Change the daughter again. Get her water as a drink. Make myself a cup of green tea. Do ABC song.
    10:15AM: Make pudding. Empty the dishwasher. Load the dishwasher. Start it. Then proceed to find 25 cups, pieces of silverware, etc. all over the house.
    10:45AM: Restart the dishwasher.
    11:00AM: Realize I left the diaper bag out in the car. Retrieve the bag. Stuff three more diapers. Pack snacks and water for the daughter. Put diaper bag back in car.
    11:30AM: Empty dryer. Move what is in the washer to the dryer. Put load of wash into the washing machine. Spray down stained clothes with anti-stain stuff. Take daughter and I's bathing suit from the top of the drier and hang upstairs. Make another cup of tea. Cut up orange for daughter.
    12:00NOON: Change daughter. We read Giraffes Can't Dance, The Christmas Robin, and Lambs. Sing Pop Goes the Weasel, Mary had a Little Lamb, the ABC song. Play some on the small slide. Take Dolly's sweater on and off about 20 times at the daughter's request.
    12:30PM: Switch wash to drier. Cut out dress for daughter. Give her a snack of crackers, peanut butter, and celery. Find checkbook, wiring book, and broken sunglasses for husband. Pack these items in the car.
    1:30PM: Take wash out of the drier. Bring up clothes. Pick out dress and pair of socks for daughter. Spend 5 minutes trying to find her shoes, as she climbed up on the shelf and pulled them down to her level.
    1:45PM: Pack daughter into the car. Call husband to tell him I am headed to the new house. (He spent the night there.) Drive one hour. Stop at pharmacy, buy sunscreen and hair clips. Stop at home improvement store, buy 100 feet of plastic fence. Stop at McDonalds and pick up lunch. Drive remaining 20 minutes.
    3:30PM: Arrive at house. Husband suggests we eat at playground. Drive to playground. Playground has an event (like a wedding or some other *huge event*) Drive home. Eat lunch. Change clothes. Change daughter.
    4:00PM: Husband works on attaching fence I bought to the posts we put in last weekend to make daughter a play area. He is wearing her in a carrier. I work on mowing the orchard we planted.
    4:15PM: Lawn tractor is stuck in horse barn. Husband has to push me out. Mow a path down to the creek (the grass is higher than the tractor), then lower the mower deck and mow the entire orchard. Go up towards the house.
    6:00PM: Go to mow the front yard. Mower stops working. Go get husband. Mower belt has snapped due to age.
    6:30PM: Get the mower deck off the tractor. Water the trees we've planted.
    7:30PM: Put tractor away. Finish watering. Go up to house to change clothes.
    7:35PM: Realize I've lost the mower key I normally keep in the mower someplace on our almost 12 acres. Swear.
    7:45PM: Give up looking for mower key. Swear. Daughter and I change our clothes. Change daughter. Husband looks for mower key. He swears.
    8:00PM: Husband gives up looking for the key. I swear. he changes clothes.
    8:30PM: Go and have icecream. Order Pizza. Pick up Pizza. Drive home.
    10:00PM: Get home. Change daughter, put her in PJs and to bed. Empty dishwasher. Wipe down counters. Put rice in rice cooker for tomorrow.
    10:30PM: Eat pizza. Turn on Svengoolie, some movie about a cat that is possessed with her murdered owner.
    11:00PM: Go online and do research on a medication I'm on. Go to Fedora Lounge. Husband finds out lawn tractor keys are universal. Yay! He gets a glass of wine. I think I deserve one as well. ;)
     
  3. That's something we are yet to see: the repair-man coming on time. Darn, our folk miss out entire day. We have called the repair man to come and clean the water boiler, he said "I'll come on Sunday" - it was Tuesday when he arrived. :doh:

    This is so pictorial - I can see this happening. And, I must say: I don't like it.

    Wait.. what?!

    I, too, am curious to find out the phrase that was put in use. :wink:
     
  4. It was a Yiddish phrase I learned when working in a deli many years ago, and which is very useful for dealing with just about any situation where you feel you're being dealt with in a high-handed manner. It also flows out quite nicely when hissed under the breath: "Kish mir in toches."

    As for checking the bathrooms, given the average age of our clientele -- especially for things like opera and ballet -- it's not an exaggeration to say we have to prepare for the worst. I once had a woman go into cardiac arrest during the third act of "Manon," and managed to get her safely out to the lobby and onto an ambulance without disrupting the show. Well, a couple of people did tell me to keep the noise down, but, you know, under the circs, "kish mir in toches."
     
  5. Oh... :doh:

    :wink: ...I had to. lol


    We had that two weeks ago. The belt was old, brother was too hesitant to "get it over with", pulled too hard, and broke it.
    Never mind; he managed to "trim" the grass so low (I wouldn't call it mowing, I'd call it "digging over") .. so, we no longer need a mower, since we no longer have grass. :rage:

    Good news.
    And, I must say: what a day!

    .. :eek:fftopic:
    Sorry if I pry: you are feeling all right, sheeplady?

    ...

    Not much today (so far)
    Pea-work continued.
    Due to the fact that mother had to pack all that pea into the freezer, father made lunch - naturally: barbecue.
    It's too hot outside now, so I'm indoors, planning a possible road-trip to o near-by city, to visit a friend. :D
     
  6. I just had that translated. :pound:
     
  7. I'm feeling great, actually! I am about 100% most of the time. The only time I feel a bit unlike myself is when I get sick- then I get really fatigued.

    BUT... that said... I was sick this week and handled it as well as my husband, so *maybe* I am getting better on that front too. They say it takes two years after chemo/ radiation finishes to feel 100% normal, so I am doing really well.
     
  8. Great news! :thumb:

    Sore thumbs make it hard to type. After spending the entire day getting peas out of their pods, thumbs tend to get swollen up.
     
  9. Yep. I'll be using that too. Heh.

    Glad to hear you're doing so well, Sheeplady. :D
     
  10. TimeWarpWife

    TimeWarpWife One of the Regulars

    I wish I'd taken this advice when the house I grew up in went on the market to be sold a few years ago. I made the mistake of going by our old house when it was up for sale and I almost cried when I saw the remodeling that had been done to it. Sadly, in my mind the childhood home I grew up in no longer exists and it might as well have been completely bulldozed to the ground.

    I do feel a nostalgic "pain" when I think about how things were when I was a kid growing up in the 60s and 70s. During the summertime and weekends when we were in school, we'd go outside to play all day, only coming in at mealtimes. My parents and grandparents never even came to check on us until they called us in for lunch and supper. Before I started school there wasn't anyone for me to play with during the weekdays because my brother and the other kids were in school. I remember being 5 years old playing outside by myself on days when the weather was nice, waiting for my brother to get home from school so I could go meet him at the bus stop. Again, the only time an adult checked on me was when it was time to eat. Parents now days, well responsible ones anyway, wouldn't think to not check on their kids playing outside every few minutes - if they could even get the kids away from the computers, iPads, iPhones, and all the other electronic gadgets to go outside to play. Sadly, we just don't live in that kind of world anymore.

    Btw, LizzieMaine, I needed a nap to recover after only reading about the day you posted. I'd have probably been comatose by the end of the day if I'd had to actually live it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  11. I've realized recently that as a child, I was "trained" and prepared for a world that doesn't actually exist. Many of the lessons I learned when young in the mid 60s, about how the world works, how you do things, what's expected, what an adult behaves like, how to dress, just how to navigate and what's the norm, is so different than how we are expected to live now that it's often jarring. I'm not saying it's completely unrecognizable (and I'm grateful for the civil rights changes), but the social norms can feel so different it's like living in another culture altogether.

    I'm not sure if the pace of change has ever been as quick in just one generation before. Perhaps a more knowledgeable person on history can chime in. But my impression is that change and "progress" was a much slower process before, taking more lifetimes before it was materially different that their parent's or grandparent's world. Everything is accelerated now, it seems...
     
  12. I think a lot of this is self-made, though. I do think there is something to the absolute advance of things like technology- Moore's law about how fast computing power increases is true (but it is true in part because Moore set a standard to which researchers and technologists have strived to fulfill).

    But I think it is self-created in the sense that we pressure ourselves to do more and spread ourselves more thin, and I think that adds a ton of stress to our lives and makes the acceleration go faster.

    I think about my grandparents (my father's mother and father) who were born in 1901 and 1908. They saw a transition from mostly horses working the fields to tractors that could plant close to a thousand acres in a day. They saw a transition from one-room school houses to a college degree being so common it could be taken for granted. They saw a transition from horse and buggy, to flight, to putting men on the moon. They saw a transition from telegraphs being the most reliable way of communicating to the earliest intranet being more than a theory and even put into practice between universities. From entertainment being what your family did for playing music or reading, to the radio, and to the television?

    That always amazes me. Can you imagine living in a time when you saw your first car- and it was the first car your parents ever saw too?

    I'm not trying to argue against your point, but I think we tend to ignore the monumental changes that were felt by our ancestors. The development of the internet as compared to the telephone is really nothing compared to, say, the development of the car as compared to a horse. It is just hard for us to think of a world so different.
     
  13. I think for me the difference is that even with all the technological changes, I was raised with essentially the same worldview as my great-grandparents: you were born, you grew up, you scratched out a living, you got old, and you died.

    That's all there was to it. That's what life *was* in our world -- there was no hand-wringing about whether the work you did was personally fulfilling, there was no emphasis on social climbing or prestigious posessions or any of the rest of the stuff that the modern bourgeoisie holds so dear. You worked, you did what you had to do to get by, and you died. That was the world I grew up in, and was raised to live in as an adult -- and I find it impossible to relate to the idea that someone would, for example, quit a perfectly good job to "find themselves." The constant navel-gazing of modern society baffles me, and has created a world that I don't understand and don't even particularly want to understand. The idea of a woman torturing herself because she doesn't send her kid to the right pre-school or because for whatever reason she doesn't breast-feed, or because she did this or that while raising her children would have been incomprehensible in the world I grew up in. The idea of a woman driving herself into clinical depression out of a quest to "have it all" would have been incomprehensible in the world I grew up in. We didn't even have a concept of "having it all." You did your duty -- you worked, you raised your family, you paid your bills, you kept on the straight and narrow. And that's what life was all about -- there wasn't any "all" to "have."

    The older I get the more "born out of time" I feel. The world has mutated into something that has nothing to do with the kind of world I knew.
     
  14. I hear you, Sheeplady. And I actually agree. I did have in the back of my mind the more enormous arc of change since the Industrial Revolution, but was focused on the mini lurches of change within that span (like my personal experience of change mid 60s to say, mid 90s). It just seemed that for a long while, even during this larger arc of change, that it often originated in major cities and slowly trickled out to small towns and rural areas, through the flow of radio or movies, say. But the relatively slow pace and lower saturation of change and "progress" allowed slower acclimation and pockets of life where things were wholly recognizable for many generations in either direction. I, on the other hand, have "the bends".

    I've related elsewhere that my own grandparents lived their farm life in Kentucky as they had in the 20s and 30s straight through until the 80s with very little change. They were certainly aware of the moon landing and such, but their everyday personal life had the same pace and expectations. Their exposure to modern technology was slow to come and deliberate (electricity, radio) and it didn't overwhelm their sense of self or place. And I think that was largely true when America was mostly rural until the stats flipped and and the majority American population became largely towns and cities. Some might see those older pockets simply "being behind the times" and just being sadly isolated or backwards, but even though I don't really agree, I'm not even making the argument that it was socially better to be in that bubble, just that it was easier on our nervous systems that didn't accelerate and alter quite so fast and completely our daily lives.

    This full immersion into media and technology and consumerism and celebrity is pretty inescapable now for most people (and most aren't really trying to). I imagine that the kids that are born with a computer in their lap won't find the coming changes as jarring as I have. I guess I'm just acknowledging that as an fledgling Analog baby this hyper Digital world seems pretty alien. And while I admire my grandparent's ability to wrap their head around the fact that the world went from horse-drawn to moon landing, they weren't forced on the space capsule themselves. lol Sometimes I feel like I'm being stuffed into the capsule and launched into space. Not ignoring the enormous larger technological and social changes, but I think having been born in that mid 60s period, I was really straddling a pivotal period of an enormous acceleration of change to the individual life that had of course already started long before.

    And there's little escape now from this barreling downhill, picking up pace, free-fall of change (at least in America, it seems). It's harder to opt out. It has to be a conscious decision and made with effort, not just circumstances of isolation or slowed exposure. And you're considered a loser by society if you can't handle or don't aspire to the "better", faster, intense, caffeinated pace of modern digital society. I lived in Atlanta and worked a computer in desktop publishing, so it's not that I didn't try.

    This has been a lot of talk to basically say this, I guess: part of why the Golden Era appeals to me, is that that level of modernity and pace feels familiar and manageable and not overwhelming. Beyond that, it feels comforting and pleasing and attractive. It makes my nervous system happy. Current modern life does not. And I think it's because my "early socialization" (like a puppy!) exposed me to that level (or something close) and that's what I continue to feel most comfortable with. It feels more sane. I'm aware that there are grannies much older than me gleefully cruising the internet like a pro and directly defying what I'm saying. But I suspect that's the same character that would have left their country home and gone barnstorming in the 20s. My introverted overly sensitive system finds the acceleration I've experienced, too much. It's not that I'm saying that there has been more relative paradigm shifting tech happen during just my lifetime, but that the pace and level of daily exposure to the individual has been significantly altered during that period, across the board.

    An example is the 24/7 news cycle (that many people seem addicted to), is too, too much to take in for me. I want to be "informed" but I believe that knowing every bad thing that happens in the world, all the murders, missing children, wars and disasters (man-made and natural) constantly, instantly and in great detail is more than the human nervous system can take. News used to travel at a more human pace. This onslaught of news (most of which we can't do anything about) is a constant adrenaline rush and chronic "fight or flight" that I can't see as desirable. I was, however, acclimated to newspapers and Walter Cronkite for a half hour a day as a kid, so I can deal with that kind of level, most days.

    I don't know, maybe this doesn't make sense to anyone else, and I'm still working it out in my own mind, but perhaps I've articulated it a bit better...
     
  15. :nod: Yes, as I first posted, I too feel what was framed as the expectations of our lives changed dramatically. But I think that and my later rant about technology and pace and Sheeplady's other comment are really all related:

    Because I don't think that it's "self-created" as much as we've willfully surrendered to the commercial spin created for us (or as Lizzie calls it The Boys from Marketing). Aspiring to what they are selling us, believing that is something to aspire to, creates that stress and speed. It didn't come from no where. They have framed what "the good life" is, and it's no longer just being a good (and useful) person.

    And I think the saturation of technology I was going on about has just allowed the further infiltration of this marketed, commercial standard further into our world. The fast paced, the disposable, the commercial is desirable for them to make money and part and parcel of the the ubiquitous tech we live with daily now. We swim in it. The tech that could do and does do great good is often first filtered through an onslaught of marketing and money making. People selling us something set the pace, the standards, and most people kill themselves to keep up.
     
  16. Ever watch a little kid eating Halloween candy? She shoves it into her mouth with both hands, whether she's actually hungry or not, and eats the whole bag, just because it's there.

    Modern people are exactly like that when it comes to consumption of media. The Boys have induced social juvenilization in more ways than one, because it suits their purpose for people to take everything all at once -- if you shove it all in together you're less likely to think carefully about any one part of it, and less likely to question the assumption that your purpose in life is to consume.
     
  17. Then maybe I just have a tummy ache, not the bends. ;)

    Marketing makes it relentless, technology make it inescapable, both contribute to speed and shallowness and noise - and I can't handle it. Or don't want to. And don't relate to it. There. A very shortened version at last!

    It's just having lived a time when it wasn't quite this bad, and knowing it doesn't have to be that way...I just don't want live the "new normal". If that means looking back to enjoy my present, so be it.
     
  18. This is the way to respond to the people who come on here from time to time and accuse us of "idealizing a time we never knew." It's not about the calendar, it's not about decades, it's not about clothes. It's about a world we *did* know, a world which is still a living memory for us, and a world which was taken away without our consent. It's not that we're trying to "go back" to something. It's that we've never left where we originally were.
     
  19. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    This is an astonishingly sensitive and thoughtful series of posts. Decodame, sheeplady, LizzieM, you all express what I've been trying to articulate for some time. I got to the point years ago when I realized that trying to fit myself to modern (at that point late 20th c.) standards of appearance, economic success, and outlook was causing me intense stress. Not only that, I actually felt as though it was endangering my personal ethics. I don't consider myself a throw-back; after all, I have to earn a living, pay the bills, have some sense of what's going on in the world. But I never signed on for this insanity -- having to own the latest electronic toy, or a shoe that costs more than a month's groceries, gas, & electric bill all rolled into one -- I can't do it. I realized that magazines & ads were trying to force me to focus on trivialities. What's worse, they were fueling vanity, greed, and envy. And the last time I looked, some of those were deadly sins.

    It hit me about ten years ago that I simply did not want to be that kind of person. (Digression: you know, a Sex in the City type of gal; I never could understand why my women friends loved that show so much. I tried to watch it once and found it painfully depressing.)

    I love the golden era for all the same reasons Decodame mentions: it's beautiful and interesting. The materials are warm and tactile, the shapes appealing. The music has humor and emotion. Well, I don't need to go on preaching to the choir.

    There's more to be said, but I think my posts always end up much too long, and you have all said much more eloquently anyway.

    I guess I'll leave it with a comment from my late (God rest her soul) Mom: she told me once that she couldn't stand those "filthy TV shows." I wondered to myself, what has the old dear been watching? So I asked her which shows she meant. She said, "Oh, you know -- Sex with the Housewives."
     
  20. So I don't know what it is, and perhaps I'll make no sense in this, but I don't really feel the pressure- or at least not to the extent some of you ladies describe.

    I've never paid that much attention to magazines- the only ones I've ever read were cooking or crochet orientated. Occasionally Old House Journal or Countryside. I'd rather die than have Vogue or Cosmo darken my doorstep. I never really felt pressured to wear modern fashion. I've never wanted the latest and greatest electronics. I had to look at Vogue because it was the only magazine available at the radiation oncology office waiting room (you can't bring your own stuff in that area) and I got my fill after 7 weeks for life.

    My daughter has free time. She's left to independent play for several hours a day while I do housework (which she can help me with, but often chooses to play by herself). I only do things with her as far as scheduled that we both enjoy- that's about three times a week we go to "toddler stuff" (storytime, swimming, and playgroup/ time). Otherwise she's stuck doing "my" stuff. I know that this is different compared to some parents who over-schedule.

    Maybe I live in a little bubble, but I don't feel like it. I don't feel like my lifestyle is a great contrast to modern life styles, even though I know that there are people out there that live differently. I know I don't live like everyone else, but I also don't feel like an outsider. I do what I want, wear what I want, buy what I want.

    Maybe it's because I'm so used to being with grad students, who tend to be cash poor and therefore don't have money for new things that I don't notice the trends or feel pressured by them. Maybe it's because I know enough hippy types who tend to live off the land, don't accumulate, and shop at thrift stores. Maybe it's because I live in an economically depressed area where people don't tend to have excess money to follow trends.

    On the other hand, I studied how people use computer and information technology- the latest and greatest. I've worked in technologically demanding careers (I taught in IT), and I've worked with large companies in various fields. I have a Facebook account (I use the heck out of Facebook), I have a new phone (fits my lifestyle great), and drive a new car (best I've ever owned). But those things don't define me totally as being a modern, and I don't feel like being involved in them creates some kind of dichotomy between when I get on my laptop and when I go and can a couple of half pints of jam.

    I see modern things and modern trends. I'm just not that interested enough to care other than to note it and move on. I don't feel like I've checked out of modern culture; but I also don't feel like I'm separate. I feel like I'm one of many subcultures that don't follow trends.

    Maybe I need to go to bed because I fear I am not making sense.
     

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