Pretty Good Mom News, for a Change

It’s been a week and three days since the awful hospital experience started. Over the last couple of days there have been definite signs of improvement.

My brother and sister have been taking turns staying at my parents’ house each night just in case something happened.

Today, my mother and my father both agreed that they don’t really need anyone to stay over tonight. Oh, what a huge relief. We’ll still keep our phones on just in case they need us in the night, but this is a huge change for the better.

I’m really happy.

Things are Getting Weird, Explained

Okay, here’s the dish, along with lots of back story that you’ll find boring and will probably make you stop reading before you get to the actual weird.

Back story #1 – The wood stove.

When we were kids, my parents had a wood/coal stove installed into the cellar. It was setup for wood at first, and it cut down on our energy bills quite a bit. Years later we switched to coal because it was easier to acquire and store. I’m not sure if it made any difference to the budget or not. They stopped using it completely many years ago so it’s just sitting there. Once we opened it up in the late fall to clean it before using it for the cold months and found a dead squirrel inside. It had fallen down the chimney, wiggled its way through the pipes and into the stove and died. It was gross. At the time it was sad, but now that I’ve come to hate squirrels (they steal bird seed from my feeders) I’m kinda happy about it. Suck it, squirrels.

As part of the initial installation of the stove we had a vent put into the basement ceiling/living room floor with a fan that would help blow the warm air from the stove up to the living room. It worked great, and to a kid it gave me a cool new thing to use while playing with Star Wars toys. I basically had a real world Sarlacc pit in my living room floor.

Fast forward to 2020, the vent is still in the floor. The fan hasn’t been turned on in decades, and the actual metal vent that covers the fan is pretty much bashed to hell. It’s got to go.

Back story #2 – The bulkhead.

This one will be much, much shorter. We have a bulkhead door in the cellar. It leads to the back yard. There’s an inside door, then a bunch of concrete steps that lead up to an outside door. Simple, right?

The actual story – That wascally wabbit.

My brother in law, Ken has decided that today is the day that the hole in the living room floor gets covered. He brought a bunch of tools into the house through the bulkhead. He opened both doors, took a load of stuff in from his car, went back outside to get another load and…

A rabbit ran into the house.

No, really. A friggin brown little rodent bunny rabbit hopped on down the bulkhead stairs into the cellar. Once there it likely got really confused and found itself a really good hiding place and hunkered down, apparently waiting for more bunnies to come and rescue it, because that’s probably how it would work in a Disney cartoon, right?

That was about 9:00am. It’s now coming up on 2:00pm and that little shit is still there. How the hell are we going to get it out? One of those box leaning on a stick with a carrot underneath rabbit traps that they use in cartoons? Does those even work? Do we leave a trail of carrot chunks leading from the cellar up the bulkhead stairs and out the door in the hopes of enticing him to follow the path? It’s a little bunny, what if the stairs are too steep?

What the ever loving fuck? Isn’t there enough shit going on in my parents’ lives right now?

A bunny rabbit.

I shit you not.

A bunny friggin’ rabbit.

Regular PT

My mother had a physical therapy appointment today and an occupational therapy appointment. It was the first of each. They both made some suggestions on things we could do to make things easier on her. Good. More important, the PT is going to come by twice a week. We won’t know which days until the last minute, which seems odd, but it’s happening. There’s no way that can’t help.

They are going to work on some of her pain spots, back and legs. Her hip was diagnosed as bursitis while she was in the hospital. She’s supposed to be getting some treatment for that too, but we don’t have an appointment yet.

Oh, and did I mention that today is my parents’ 53 wedding anniversary?

Progress. Still about a million miles to go though. Keep your fingers crossed.

Another Day

My mother was pretty bad during the evening last night. Once she was able to sleep she managed to sleep through the night. Today she might be a little better, but still not good. My sister was there over night. My brother will swap places with her later today.

She has a couple of physical therapy things today and she has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. We’re trying to keep a list of all the questions we have for the medical staff so that we don’t forget anything. They all can be summed up by, “please help.”

Here’s hoping for a better day today.

The State of the World

Want to know my take on the current state of the world?

It sucks.

My step daughter is supposed to study abroad next Spring. She’s supposed to spend a semester in Europe. Yesterday, over the breakfast table, she was sharing some of her plans for what she will do if that trip is cancelled. How is that for heartbreaking? Let’s dangle a once in a lifetime experience in front of people and then at the last second snatch it away.

Earlier today Jen and I were discussing what we can do to make sure my step son gets senior pictures taken for his last year of high school. Can you imagine how bad things have gotten when the idea of something as simple as senior pictures becomes a life risking adventure? I did suggest he take at least a few pictures with a mask on, just to demonstrate where in time the pics were taken.

I am tired of having to worry about the safety of my family every time I cough. I cough all the time. I think it’s an allergy thing, but I’ve been coughing off and on since about 2001. It doesn’t mean everyone is going to die, but that thought goes through my head. I want that shit to end.

I want to take a trip to California.

I want to go to a concert.

I am so sick of this crap.

Wash your hands and wear a friggin’ mask.

Into the Spiderverse

We watched Into the Spiderverse tonight, after we had a video chat with my brother and sister and their families, which was after we played Trivial Pursuit.

So when all was said and done, I did make pretty good use of my vacation day today.

The Low Point of the Week

We had two distinct low points this week. I just experienced the lower of the two.

On Monday afternoon the kids left our house to go to their dad’s house for a couple of days. I had to say goodbye to them. I didn’t want them to go. I never want them to go.

Today was worse for two reason. They left for dad’s about an hour ago. This time they are going for five days. We won’t see them again until Wednesday. That’s bad enough, but when they left I was in a meeting and I didn’t get to say goodbye.

From suck to double suck.

I wish this weekend was a mom weekend instead of a dad weekend. I wish they were all mom weekends, but I get the reasoning. Give me a break, it’s been nearly four months of quarantine and I am being a selfish brat. I’m not sorry. Blah.

I miss them already.

Mondays Suck

Hello and welcome to the start of Quarantine Work Week #15. I have been working from home for roughly 27.4% of a calendar year and I still for the life of me cannot keep my damn glasses clean.

(Pause to clean glasses, once again)

I’m tired, both literally and figuratively. I had two excellent nights sleep in a row followed by a less than stellar night last night. I’m probably going to need to pack it in early tonight. I’m starting to really feel like I need a get away. In a normal, non-COVID universe, I would pack up the wife and the kids and go spend a day or two in New York, or hiding in the mountains, or something. That’s not happening now. We tried driving over to the ocean this weekend but didn’t make it. We got detoured. We weren’t planning to get out of the car, but at least we were going to see it, you know? It was still great to go for a drive with all four of us.

Massachusetts is supposed to be opening up restaurants today. What phase is that? Two? Three? Whatever. New Hampshire was already there so it’s not a big change to those of us who live on the state line. We talked about it yesterday. None of us feel comfortable going out to eat. We don’t even feel comfortable picking up take out. Even ice cream stands are out. This sucks.

Yesterday was Fathers Day. I have a tough time with that. I find it uncomfortable celebrating a day like that when the kids I’m celebrating with are some other guy’s kids. I feel like I am stealing from him. I know that’s not really how it works, but in my gut that’s how it feels. I did better than most years though. I called my dad in the morning and after that felt really depressed. Like… I just laid down on the bed and didn’t want to get up. Patches came over to see if I was okay, but all she did was show me her butt and smack me with her tail. It didn’t help.

Then my wife and the kids made me breakfast and that helped. I did spend some time alone bashing on the guitar and that helps, but not quite in the same way. That’s therapy for something else, and I can’t even put my finger on what. I checked with the kids to make sure they wished their father a happy Fathers Day. They did. That made me feel better too. They are really excellent people, those step kids of mine. I don’t think I screwed them up too much. At least whatever ways I screwed them up they were able to outgrow it and recover.

For the record, Step Parents Day is September 16th. I’m all in favor of celebrating that one, even though I share it with their step mother. That’s 100% A-Okay with me.

For the first few months of lock down we did a really good job not blowing money. It seemed very important to be ridiculously frugal. In the last week and a half, Jen and I both bought something. Neither was too expensive, but still expensive enough to take note of. It was easy. Too easy. It made us both temporarily feel good. Again, it was too easy. We need to get back to being frugal. I should be able to distract myself with the new guitar amplifier that is being delivered today. See what I mean? Way too easy.

It’s Monday. The first day of week #15. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. Black Lives Matter. Keep your head down and do the right thing.

Good luck.

I Want Another Kitty

We adopted Ms Patches in October 2010. Her name was Panache then. It took a little while for her to get used to the house. That’s okay. We had just moved in and it was taking us a little while to get used to it too.

Later, in April of 2014 we adopted a second cat. Sabrina.


It ended very badly. We tried hard to keep the two cats separate from each other until they could get used to having the other around. We failed. We hid Sabrina in Bellana’s room. Patches would guard the door so we couldn’t get in and out of the room without her trying to get in.

On one of the first days, Patches and Sabrina came face to face and immediately hissed at each other. It was bad. After that it got worse. We made the decision to take Sabrina back to the shelter when Patches started running full speed, head first into the bedroom door. I guess she was trying to break the door down. She would hiss the whole time. She wanted to hurt Sabrina and she was going to hurt herself in the attempt. We couldn’t have that. Patches is family. Sabrina went back. It was very sad.

The kids have a new kitten at their Dad’s house. One of my co-workers just adopted a kitten too. I’m jealous. I want a second cat. By no means do I want to get rid of Patches, I just want another one.

Last time we had two females, and Patches was maybe six years old or so. I don’t remember how old Sabrina was, but she wasn’t a kitten. She was probably two or three. Patches is 12-13 now. She’s much mellower than she was in her crazy youth. Maybe if we got a kitten… a male kitten. Maybe she wouldn’t see it as a threat. Maybe she’d see it as family.

I don’t know cat psychology.

I just want a second cat.