I took the day off of work again. Normally I'm busy enough at work that I can fill my days, but lately it just hasn't been busy. Or I've become amazingly efficient at my job, whichever. So when I noticed on Tuesday that I had a light week I started to prepare to take Friday off. Having the house to myself is a luxury to me and I love it! I love my boys and my guy ('boyfriend' sounds sooooo teenage) very much but I also like a good deal of time alone to recharge.
Having S around was a difficult thing to get used to. When I was married my ex would spend the vast majority of his time on the computer in a separate room. This gave me huge amounts of time alone. I was always aware of him in the house but he rarely disturbed me watching my movies or reading. We had a crappy relationship. When S moved in I sort of expected him to want to be alone as well. I was wrong. He likes spending all his time in the same room as me. Very flattering.......and a bit difficult for me. So both of our computers are in the living room and we both sit on the couch to read. There is no other room in the house for me to go to if I want to be alone. I have a full basement, but I really don't like basements. And I spent seven years running a dayhome in the largest room of the basement. I don't ever want to spend a lot of time in that room again.
So my solution to having time to myself is to work from 5am - 1pm. This means I get home two hours before my boys are off school (except Thursdays they are off at 2pm. I wonder if I'll ever like Thursdays? They were difficult with the dayhome and are difficult now). Summers kind of suck for that, they are home all day playing World of Warcraft. Anyway, S gets off work around 5, so I have a bit of time every day for me. But there is nothing like a string of several hours where I know there won't be anyone home so I can completely relax. Which is why I like taking the occasional Friday off. I think I've taken six days off so far so I'm rapidly running out of vacation days. I'll just have to work slower or something. Man, I hate that. I'd rather be busy and run off my feet than wander around trying to make my work last three more hours.
One sucky thing about today was the weather. I know there are people who don't mind it a bit chilly out (it's only 12C right now), and usually I don't mind either - if it's sunny. There was little sun today. Mostly gray, boring, cold, yucky skies. I like to track the progress of the sun and watch how the shadows and colors change. If the sky is gray I feel like I don't really wake up, then I get headachy.
I did decide to take a small walk anyway earlier in the morning. I slept in - for me - until around 830am (I'm usually up at 4am) and saw a tiny bit of sun. I've been wanting more pictures to play with so I grabbed the camera and set out. I walked the circle I used to take years ago. I used to walk every morning before the dayhome kids came over. I had a couple of different routes and would only miss maybe three days a year. I would walk no matter how hot or cold it got and usually for an hour. It was the best start to my day I've ever had. There is nothing like a walk to work out all my stressors, problems, or concerns. I would just talk away in my head about anything at all, and frequently felt like I'd resolved many issues over the years. When my ex moved out I stopped walking in the morning because I wasn't comfortable leaving my boys home alone at dawn. I could have walked later in the day, but I prefer going out when most people are still sleeping. Then I got the job at the bakery and was working at the time I normally got up to walk. Someday I will take up walking first thing in the morning again.
Anyway, on my little walk I noticed that two houses in my neighborhood were boarded up. One had obviously been on fire (but not too badly) and the other just looked abandoned. I was in the alley behind the abandoned one and saw their garbage area was filthy. I actually considered calling Bylaw Enforcement for an eyesore complaint. Who wants to look at old diapers and broken toys? When I looked into the yard I saw the boards up on the windows and thought that was probably why the garbage area/driveway was such a mess. The boarded up houses bothered me only because the area is established and I thought pretty tame. Ok, maybe not 'tame' as we had the police out recently in full force. They blocked off all the streets around us, had sixteen cars out and at least three canine units. When I was able, I asked an officer what was going on (I waited until they looked relaxed and calm). He said a neighbor reported that it looked like some teens had a gun and were waving it around. They treated it as a real gun and diffused the situation. They had three boys in the back of their car for a while but let them go. It turned out it was a toy gun and they were just fooling around. I wouldn't know a toy from a real gun from a distance. Or up close.
The other thing I noticed was that two houses had new stucco put on in the same color. It's a nice dark olive-brown with dark brown trim. It made the houses look very nice and new, but the house itself is still old (the area was built in the late forties/early fifties). There are things I'd fix in my house before updating the facade. Like re-wire it, put in new plumbing and re-do the basement. And put bay windows in the front. And extend the back a bit. And a garage. Definitely a garage. But I rent my house and my landlord is cheap, so no major anything gets done unless it's desperate.
It was a bit weird to walk through the area and notice changes that had taken place without me being aware of them. With the dayhome I used to take the kids for walks whenever possible in addition to my morning walk so I would notice every little thing. Now I have no idea what's going on unless I can see it from my windows.