October 12 is nearly over.  World Arthritis Day was today – you know, that “wear blue to support OA” program that never really made any sense to me.  This year the WAD organizers invited IAAM to participate and help raise awareness of autoimmune arthritis.  That’s a good thing to do.

I did not write a WAD post, though.   I am busy.  The only reason I’m writing now is that I tucked my sons into bed, sat down to check my messages, and can’t get up.

Despite all the effort I’ve put into canning apples, there are still four big boxes of apples on my back deck. Those apples need to be peeled and sliced and turned into apple pie filling, then sealed in sterile jars so they will keep all year.  Our crop was astonishing this year, and I still have one more apple tree that needs to be picked. I’d planned to pick that last tree Saturday morning, then spend the rest of the weekend finishing up the apples before I start picking pears.

A happy monkey-wrench got tossed into my apple plans.   Dear friends are coming to visit this weekend. Yay! Oh, no! My house looks like I’ve done nothing but apples for a month!

When I can apples, my kitchen counters get cleared of their normal contents and replaced with canning supplies.  Canisters, food processor, toaster oven, blender, mixer – they all take over the dining room.  Cutting boards, paring knives, peeler/corer/slicers, huge roasting pans, and apples cover the kitchen table.  With no tables available, everyone eats on the couch during apple season.  It’s a mess, but it’s temporary.  We like the end product, so live with the chaos.

It won’t work for guests, though.  No matter how much we like these friends, I can’t have company for the weekend and no table to eat at, no kitchen to cook in.

I spent the day cleaning.  Everything returned from the dining room to my countertops.   I put my canning lids back in the pantry, took the canners back to their shelf in the garage, and put my jars in a box on the porch beside the apples.  Every time I started one job, I discovered another that needed to be done, too. The oven needed to be cleaned, then I wiped down all the cupboard doors, dusted that silly little rail up near the ceiling that nobody would design into a room if they’d ever had to clean that room, and got on my hands and knees under the kitchen table to scrub up all the bits of apple stuck to the floor (my kids are a big help, but they’re not always very tidy).  I washed all three sets of kitchen curtains, and since I was at it, washed the living room curtains, too.  Next I moved the living room furniture so that I could vacuum beneath it, washed four loads of laundry, mopped the kitchen, vacuumed the living room again, and emailed my son at college so he’d know that his bed just became a guest room for the weekend.  After dusting his room and washing all his sheets and blankets, I cleaned the dining room.  I am exhausted!

Did I get to the grocery store?  Clean the bathrooms?  Make the bed?  No.  My kids will clean the bathrooms in the morning while I prepare breakfast.  I’ll send my husband to the store while I finish cleaning the house, and our friends are going to see first-hand what happens when someone with RA overdoes it.

Sitting here, I just realized that I forgot to get meat out of the freezer. That means I will need to go back downstairs, find a pair of gloves, dig to the bottom of the freezer for a couple roasts, haul them to the kitchen, and climb the stairs again — just as soon as I talk myself into getting out of this chair.

Normally I would spend 3-4 days cleaning, and then plan nothing the day before our friends arrive so that I’d be well-rested and able to move.  I’m not rested.  Let’s hope I can move.