Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


In Motion

Over the past two days I've started some big processes. We're not fully committed to going through with it all, but I've set things into motion for us.

The bigness of it directly relates to the current insomnia state!

I'm realizing that I'll have to step up into driving this because CK isn't going to get less distracted by work. I'll have to get good at giving her small jobs to. I stickered up a journal to help, a place we can both put notes.

I saw my doctor online this morning. My cholesterol is "discordant". Trending towards good results, but a bit odd. We're making a small medication change to see if I tolerate it and if it helps to improving trend. I'm to prioritize moving summer daily, bonus for days I feel up to doing an activity that raised my heart rate.



It finally happened this week. The 500,000th person died from COVID.

We still don't know when we'll have access to one of the vaccines. Many of my students and friends have been at their wit's end trying to get an appointment. A student in Ohio got hers at a grocery chain pharmacy, no trouble.

Meanwhile I'm making progress on hard tasks. I sent a pile of 2018 paperwork to our tax people today and I already have a question back to answer tomorrow. I sent an email today that officially kicks off The Great Big Change; asking questions that help us know where to begin.

CK is still having numbness in her lower body. Still surface based, but persistent. I sent a detailed chronology of all the weirdness she's had going on the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, I have a telemedicine session with said doctor in the morning to discuss my heart and general health. It's all been good news, but it's a recap on everything with my doctor.

Managed to capture Ursa alerted on a "Sparkle Beast”, what I dubbed a reflection on the ceiling or walls that makes his prey instinct go off. The results were hilarious


Times They Are a Changin’

Last week we received news that we're still integrating and strategizing the first steps to take in response. It will result in a significant change. We haven't talked much about it yet, not a huge amount ourselves or with others.

It hits as we approach the anniversary of shutting ourselves aways from social interaction, except a few outdoor occasions last summer. Who knows what this summer will bring, eventually our local friends and family will all manage to get vaccinated.

My Mother's birthday is next week, March 5, and it still seems to loom on the horizon like a leaden, grief balloon. I suppose it doesn't feel quite as big or heavy, but it's still there. I've been calling CK's attention to it earlier this year, so I don't suddenly collapse in a heap of anger/grief.

All of this gave me a big rush of anxiety this morning as I tried to get ready to teach. When my Dad's clock started chiming that it was 10am I jumped back into focus. Thankfully I'd had the room well set up already and just needed to turn on Zoom, and lights. I just told people, thanked them for their patience.

I'm really enjoying a set of pens I got for myself to write in the household calendar/diary. Hoping they encourage me to keep it up. I need all the help I can get!


Too Tired for Donuts

Today was the reschedule of Beignet Day at Doe Donuts. Since it was an icy mess on Mardi Gras, they opted for this safe choice.

I like to take beignets to students on Mardi Gras. It's not a family thing for me, we didn't make a big deal out of Shrove Tuesday or Lent. It's more an expression of of love for New Orleans and the spirit of Mardi Gras.

We eat fried food on Mardi Gras because you've got to celebrate the "fat" of life. The fat is where all the richness and goodness is, it's got to be celebrated when we have it. For people who observe, they abstain from richness for a time, so they're sure to celebrate before that withdrawing and after, it makes that Easter feast all the richer.

I like to pass that on. It's one of many fine lessons I've learned from New Orleans.

Pandemic Days means no classroom with students; nearly a year now without students in shared space. I was going to drop off beignets with friends this year to still have a little of that joy.

Only today I've been worn out and more headachy than just my sinuses complaining. I think 3 hours of breathing through the double mask, doing chores part of the time, took it out of me today. It felt like my asthma was acting up, so I think today I'm just depleted.

Like so many COVID losses, this isn't tragic. It's donuts. Special donuts that take me back to a city where a small piece of my heart most certainly lives, but still, donuts.

Yet, it's another chip of grief. One more small loss and disappointment, amidst many.

I realized I'm counting down the 14 days after the plumber visit. We've been so careful for so long, it would be hell to have a clogged drain bring this virus to our home.

Ursa is sleeping with Dora, whether she wants to or not.


Drain Loc

Had an excellent experience today getting our shower drain functioning again. A drain-sculpted loc was the disgusting culprit. I reviewed my drain maintenance routine; blessed as good. I noted I'd made a quarterly calendar reminder to do it.

It was a production to be sure the air turned over in the house. I wore a respirator mask, with a second mask over it to cover the exhaust vent, for a over 3 hours. My glasses sit in such a wonky way that it really made reading or playing ACNH impossibl headache-inducing, so I folded towels after disinfecting the bathroom.

I've had a lot of grief around how hard I'd worked to get where I was a year ago and how it's mostly gone, the income I painstakingly built up. I'm really grateful CK makes a point to share the money she makes, even portioning of part of bonuses for me. It's a good reminder of the value of my work.

I helped CK write a note to "break up" with a care provider.

New pens and paper arrived!

We still have delicious cake.

Still these COVID


Why Do This?

I brought up the powered snake we bought a few years ago and for a while CK worked on the drain.

I fretted about her as she's did so.

Before too long past she stopped, noting that all the times she attempted this job we ended up calling in a professional.

"Why do we think we have to do it ourselves?"

We realized we both grew up watching our respective dad's fix everything. This contributes to feeling like we have to get out all done without help.

Tomorrow, starting with the drain, I'll start tackling the problms we're getting stuck on our overwhelmed by.

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Ugh, Plumbing

I tried to do a little drain maintenance today. It went great and was a total failure depending on which drain you look at.

The upstairs bathroom sinks are great. The shower in CK’s bathroom, the small en suite in our bedroom is “hers” and “mine” is hall one, won't drain.

We've had this happen once before, bit it wasn't a pandemic then. I guess this is something we'll be figuring out this week.

There was some miscommunication, which feels like failure sprinkles on top of my fiasco sundae.

I can't help but wonder that recent miscommunication is brought on by the imminent pandemiversary. At the very least it makes it all feel harder.


Unavoidable Grie f

CK and I watched the Perseverance lander arrive on Mars today, crowded on the sofa with both dogs and Ursa. It was so good to see and hear joy and excitement.

The rest of the day got hard. I caught up on email and saw news that a wisdom teacher died yesterday. She'd gone on hospice care a few weeks ago, so it wasn't unexpected. Still, it remains tender in a time that has taken so much already.

Then I saw the Enchanted Forest was hit hard by the ice storm, many attractions damaged by falling trees. They were already struggling due to COVID, the storm is another setback. I'm feeling sad for never insisting that CK go visit with me.

I know that nothing lasts, impermanence, etc.

The thing about grief is that it doesn't care about logic exercises on impermanence. The grief had to get integrated or it's ignored. Clinging to impermanence as a way to avoid grief doesn't relieve.

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Pain is Tedious

My neck still is hurting a lot. Spiking with pain when I attempt to turn my head very far. It feels like it's wrapping around from the back to throttle my jaw and head.

I also am having allergy stuff; sneezing like heck. Part of my headache is from this, but the neck pain makes it all worse. The sneezing also messes with my neck, so it's become something of a pain loop.

It is boring and make being in the world harder. That's my starting starter most days from my lower back issues, whenever something else significantly hurts it always feels like adding insult to injury.

Ursa is sweet. Dinner turned out good and was simple. Mixed media paper notebooks showed up today. Three Valentine's Cake is happening Saturday.

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Ghosts of Storms Part

We didn't lose power for long, but I've felt so turned about by it!

I have hazy memories of terrible winter storms during my childhood. Huddling under blankets, sleeping bags, and layers. Boiling water in pans to wash up dishes, teeth, and bodies. My Grandmother having some type of oil heater that was (supposedly) safe indoors to warm her manufactured home. Using the flat top to heat canned soup and boil water.

The memory of needing to heat water to do anything is so deep rooted that I always start to do this each time we've lost power here at the house. CK noted it over the weekend, that she reminds me we have hot water every time, usually after I've boiled water to do dishes. I don't even think to turn on the hot water, I just "know it's not there".

I was saying to CK that while I don't have specific trauma memories around storms, I also find it easy to assume that it was very stressful being trapped without heat, power, hot water, or easy ways to make food with a parent who time and time again took little to no responsibility and was unable to self-soothe. It was probably confusing, frightening, and physically uncomfortable.

That's enough. I don't need to hunt for terrible memories. If there's something that needs attention, that story will come up. I'm slowly learning to trust the process.