Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


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It's been a while.

Stuff for even harder than our beloved elder dog dying.

Canada placing had reached the point where she completing a worksheet that includes the past ten years of employers. I got a first, ballpark quote from a moving company today. Even with taking barely any furniture is going to cost as much as our sewer repair.

CK needs a lumbar puncture to run a pile of tests on her cerebral spinal fluid. Trying to schedule it has been ridiculously frustrating.

Radiologists are the doctors who don't actually want to talk to you.

All that aside, I've been facilitating a cool art journal swap! Each person handmade a journal that will fit into a catalog envelope. Inside, on the "title page" you put the theme for your journal. Then you sent it off to another participant. When a journal arrives you check the theme, maybe get a few more details from the sign up form, create a full page entry, then send it off to the next person.

I'm going to post one a day, until I catch up.

The first one, Peace & Love journal appears last month.

The second one, picture with this post, is for a "Whimsy Journal"


Shame & Restarting

April feels a little lost. Dora getting so sick at the beginning of the month, then having to make the decision to let her go, then COVID vaccines, and seeing a neurologist for CK.

And then it was May second. I'm wondering where the days went, what're my routine and energy went for notes, tracking to help me not miss things, and any energy for poetry. Visual art still was made, even managing to participate in a co-creative collaboration with five other artists!

With the derailment comes shame. The Whinnie part of my brain cannot understand why I just can't do the tasks on my list without getting stuck. Without needing hours of downtime. Without getting distracted by talking to people, making art, or, the worst, napping.

I got the calendar out and doodled on some prior weeks' pages so I'm not focusing on how empty they are. I made notes about this week's accomplishments and started listing what needs doing next week.

Maybe this will be the week I get to DEQ.


Waiting for Bids

Monday I plan to get in touch with our home insurance agent. It was a thing that could have done Friday, but I was exhausted from working with contractors, 4 different people, in person, across two days.

I have another landscaping company to talk to on Wednesday. I expect the report on the sewer work early in the week, which I'll share, sans dollar amount, to get more bids.

I'm realizing that wearing the respirator, with cloth mask over the exhaust, is tiring. Especially when I'm talking so much. It isn't as bad shopping, I barely speak. My lungs just don't like working this hard.

Today we rested, played games, and read. I dozed under my weighted blanket again. I spent some time on the deck with Ursa and the dogs.


The Lowest Bid

The water is flowing!

We also have rocks in the sewer line and STILL have Orangeburg pipe. I'm going looking for all three paperwork when we bought the house as I had thought the company that did work was to have replaced all of this no longer code plumbing.

I might be wrong, but it is still a mess that will be very expensive to have resolved.

There was a moment today when I was discussing how not to have a portapotty in our driveway!

"I'm a nearly 52 year old woman and I'm not going outside to pee at 3am."

What we're doing in the meantime is not flushing any toilet paper. Something that is standard in other parts of the world, Mexico being one place. I was making a couple signs to help us remember.


I spent some time being angry at the way we couldn't stop the prior owners from going with an excavation company with a lower bid. I'm mad because we didn't take the time and expense to have the line rescoped after the work to be sure it was all correct; this might have been caught especially if they were to have replaced all the Orangeburg pipe.

Onto bids.

I'm also tired of airing our house for 2 hours, getting cold.

Yesterday we got emails to get vaccines, Pfizer one. Today we got emails saying it was a mistake, but they we're trying to make it work. I'm not certain our doctor wants us to get this one, especially CK with the neuropathy we don't know more about yet.


The Best Plan

I made the perfect plan for chores last week. I carefully made notes rainbow colors to help me remember! I started using the habit tracking pages in the calendar!

I thought I'd made progress getting the drain running again. I was feeling hopeful even as I was getting referrals to have the sewer work since.

Then CK took a quick shower and water came up through the overflow drain.

My two days of laundry aren't happening. CK suggested all the stuff I've been trying with the drain counts as the daily chore.

She's torture and I'm also irrationally irritated I can't enjoy 2 else without a failure of process somewhere.



We have a plumbing issue in our basement. The same one that's come up a couple of times because work wasn't done correctly when we purchased the house. Water and debris from inside the pipe running from the utility room out to the sewer backs up into the floor drain.

It's pretty gross and has derailed my weekly chore plan! I've been shifting chores off the weekend so we have more time to rest, play games, and work on things together. Monday and Tuesday I've been trying to use for changing the bed linens, laundering them, and doing the same with all the towels.

I like to run laundry on the timer so the load finishes just before I wake up. It dries in the morning and I'm able to more easily fold and put stuff away.

Until I trust the drain not to back up when a bunch of water is drained from the washer, no laundry.

I've asked our realtor for a referral for this work. It needs doing and we'd just as soon not have to keep babying the drains until such time as we leave. I also went to get landscapers getting the yard presentable and maintained. It will be a huge relief to have someone taking on the blackberry that wants to eat the shed.

I got an email about more vaccine availability and rechecked; I'm still not eligible.


No Title, No Problem

I marvel sometimes at the way I get stuck at a title for a post. If I don't will myself to just start writing and sort it later, I'll just stare at the field for the title for many long minutes, painfully aware of the time ticking on by. I'm getting better, speedier at noticing my stuckness and moving to just writing.

Today we survived expanding our bubble! More tests being run on CK's fluids. I got to go to a special bakery and get treats for CK and our friend J, who didn't get treats on Monday and have PT for my neck.

It was a really busy day, but I allowed myself to lie on the bed with Bertie, under the weighted blanket, dozily listening to an audio performance of The A.B.C. Murders with an ice pack on my neck after my appointment.

I've succeeded in doing some chores each weekday this week, giving me more weekend time with CK! I'm hoping I can keep this up, maybe making a little chore time on the weekend for sorting and getting rid of stuff.

I'm working hard to just be glad I'm figuring out how to coordinate all the chores and the work I'm still doing. Sometimes I get down thinking how I feel like, at 51, I should have already learned all of this stuff a long time ago.

I morbidly joked this week, mostly in reference to CK possibly having some kind of autoimmune disorder, that childhood trauma is the "gift" that keeps on giving. It leaves us prone to all kinds of physical and mental illness and it may have hampered our access to life skills. There's so much assumption in the world about what people are taught at home when so many of us didn't have functioning adults parenting us.

Our parents didn't model home ownership or making a budget. There's so much we're learning.


Pandimiversary Week

I can't believe we're finally here. A year since I looked carefully into what was known about COVID-19 and by the end of the week I told all my students and employers that I had to stop teaching in person due to concerns for not only my health, but my wife's health as well. Two weeks later both the sites I taught at closed.

One site has reopened somewhat, but I had a conversation with them this month that I was not planning to return to in person teaching for the foreseeable future. I heard there might be the possibility of filming content for the other site, but there's never been any follow up about that. I told students last week that I planned to be online for a while yet.

Saturday I've scheduled a workshop, although I've not had anyone sign up yet. It's my actual sad anniversary date. I both hope people sign up and hope they don't so I can just rest at home. It might be better if they sign up, grounding for me. Although who knows.

I'm grateful for a good weekend connecting with my art friends and our close friend. A game we supported the fundraiser for arrived yesterday and we've played quite a lot. It's fun, although we're supposed to be able to get to a point level to reach a "Bronze Award" and we've yet to make it. That's making it a little frustrating, but it's a lovely addition to our game collection.

CK made a comment today about not being able to sustain a constantly expanding game closet and I looked at her a bit aghast. It's true, we really should rotate out some games we've lost interest in, but it feels a little harder to consider than even books!


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.


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