My new job is exhausting and stressful.

I’m sleeping about six hours a night, my stomach is frequently upset, and I’m currently sporting a cold sore the size of Mars on my lower lip – my first in about 15 years. Yeah, stress. This is both an explanation/apology for my infrequent posts and what led to Ellie losing the title of Best Cat Ever this morning.

I have had a necklace stand on my dresser for many years. I don’t really wear those items anymore and really should put them on eBay or something, but they don’t take up much space so I don’t think of it often. So this morning at a QUARTER TO FIVE, when the necklace stand suddenly crashed over with lots of dramatic jangling and tinkling noises like a brick thrown through a window, it jolted me from my rare and precious sleep. I instantly knew what had happened, and I knew the only possible cause. I screamed profanities and chased her from the room, where she proceeded to make a huge racket tearing up a cardboard box. I gave up on sleep; my jangling nerves were flooded with adrenaline and there was no way I’d fall asleep again, so I got up to make coffee.

Ellie preceded me to the kitchen and nonchalantly demanded treats. I cursed her again, and sighed and gave in to her demands. Cats.

So I went to the pantry and discovered that I AM OUT OF COFFEE. I am never out of coffee. Every time Publix has my favorite brands on BOGO, I BOGO coffee. I always have a spare bag in the pantry, until today, when I don’t.

This feels like being out of oxygen – I NEED coffee in the morning. I’m not an all day coffee drinker, I don’t think my stomach could tolerate that, but I must have morning coffee.

I had to go with tea, which means I’m both under-rested and under-caffeinated. Today should be interesting, because my plan for the day is my semi-annual pilgrimage to IKEA.

The appliance and carpet work at the rental property is done, it was huge pain but all’s well now. I have a couple of thousand bucks left over for improvements here, and in addition to replacing the disgusting ancient carpet on the balconies,I have plans for my second bedroom/home office/rarely needed guest room. I need a larger desk, better lighting, and lots of storage.

Right now, the room is where pieces that didn’t fit anywhere else went: a bookcase that once lined a living room wall with its two brethren is on one wall, there’s an old, half broken file cabinet that can no longer support actual hanging files, my printer is on a wheeled storage cabinet I plan to repurpose, maybe for the kitchen, an old futon sofa – and we won’t even talk about that back bedroom closet. And for a room makeover on the cheap, it’s hard to beat IKEA.

So today’s IKEA trip will be a scouting trip. I have to get rid of/repurpose all the above-mentioned crap before I can put anything new in that room, but I’m bringing a notebook and a tape measure and I’m going to make a plan. I will not leave the store empty handed; I am also on a mission for bath mats and kitchen storage, small items like that. I am a huge fan of IKEA bath mats; the ones I have are like new, even after being used as a rug outside Ellie’s litterbox and getting washed in HOT water frequently, they’re like new.

I may have to stop in their cafe before I start my mission. This calls for more caffeine than is currently in my system.

Speaking of being caffeinated, I’m going to try something different, blog-wise, for February, and write in the morning now and then, while consuming the aforementioned coffee. I may not post every day, but I’m pretty sure that my odds will be better than when I come home from work.