Wednesday, May 30, 2018


     I'm not exactly the best person to handle an unflaggingly hectic schedule.  With Tam out of action as far as housework is concerned and me slowed by a bum knee, it's a bit of a dance to stay ahead of things when nothing goes wrong.

     Unlike Tam, I can't sleep comfortably on the futon when it's in couch-like mode; I have to sproing it out flat, and have my sheets and quilt and big wedge pillow.  Take note of that, it'll be significant shortly.

     The new normal morning routine is, I get up, feed the cats, start water for coffee and a pan of breakfast, then go make up my bed and turn it back into a couch while breakfast is cooking, one cat is busy eating or having an after-breakfast grooming session and the other cat is shut up in the back of the house.  Then I can put an ice pack/soft brace combo on my knee (which needs it by then) and leave it on until shower time.

     This morning, I got breakfast started, turned to the living room....and discovered Rannie contemplating a good-sized pile of fresh cat-yak she had just disgorged.  Not on top of the quilt, but right on the bottom sheet.  At least I'd made the futon up with a fluffy quilt between the futon "mattress"* and top sheet, and thus the mattress itself was somewhat protected -- if I acted quickly.

     1. Turn down fire under breakfast.
     2. Remove cat from bed and clean up mess.
     3. Strip bed, sort bedding into "wash immediately" and "wash later" piles.
     4. Check breakfast; pour just-off-boil water over coffee.
     5. Go to basement, start laundry, make hasty check for replacement thick quilt (none) and flannel sheets (ditto).
     6. Dash back upstairs with two not-so-thick quilts, turn breakfast, pour more water over coffee.
     7. Sequester both cats in the back of the house.
     8. Lay quilt on bed, start to tuck under, check breakfast, flip breakfast.
     9. Go to basement, find regular sheets.
     10. Check breakfast, finish pouring reheated water over coffee, finish quilt, start bottom sheet.
     11. Take bacon off fire, start egg.  Tam shows up for caffeinated soda.  Dodge Tam. Start toast.
     12. Finish bottom and top sheet; start to lay out top quilt, realize it's not enough, realize egg may be getting unhappy, return to kitchen.
     13. Dodge Tam, turn egg.
     14. Go to basement, find light blanket.
     15. Lay out blanket, begin to unfold sheet, hear "thump-thump-thump of unbalanced load from washing machine in basement.
     16. Hobble back to kitchen, dodge Tam (now digging out ibuprofen to go with soda), limp downstairs, find washing machine has wobbled itself askew on concrete half-blocks† and turn it off.
     17. Call washing machine a bad name, get all four feet back up on blocks, rearrange heavy wet quilt, restart washing machine.
     18. Go back upstairs, remove egg from pan.
     19. Finish making bed and tun back into couch.  Release cats from back of house.
     20. Assemble breakfasts, squabble with Tam (shockingly, we're both crabby this morning).
     21. Carry coffee to office, start computer.
     22. Put on ice pack at last!
     23. Take breakfast office.
     24. Figure out something to post -- but what?   Oh, I know!

     Mornings like these are better remembered later than experienced in the moment.

     Edited To Add: And I seem to have blown up my knee, possibly on the basement stairs.  I'm out; I couldn't make it across the parking lot at work with my briefcase and lunchbox.
* We don't use the word "futon" in English the same way it is used in Japanese, I'm told -- for them, the fluffy soft mattress is the futon, and the futon frame has its own word.  Possibly "spanner."

† The washing machine and dryer came with the house.  They were up on half-blocks, which I found convenient and only later realized should have been A Clue that the basement occasionally takes on water.  I need to improve it from the present one-block-per-corner system, and use blocks that don't have old mortar lines making them wobbly if placed wrong.


JayNola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayNola said...

No no, spanner is the word for the thread that runs between the two buttons that hold the cover on the mattress. 🤔
Sorry about the knee Ms. Ecks.

Will said...

I may be repeating myself, if so, my apology. You state you would prefer to defer a joint replacement. Look for a physiatrist (sports medicine specialist) for a second? opinion. Look for them in a city that has a professional sports team. Joints would seem to be their primary specialty, with a focus on getting people functional ASAP, with surgery as a last resort. This area of medicine seems to have originated in the late 80's/early90's. They are much better than regular physicians, in my experience. They seem to be very innovative with surgical techniques when surgery is required.

Countglockula said...

Ditto on the suggestion by Will. The XYL was facing double knee replacement. We had it done by specialists at a local sports clinic, one favored by a local sports team. Ever heard of the Dallas Cowboys?

Fast forward to now, no issues.

Not medical advice, just suggesting another source of information for you.


Roberta X said...

Gentlemen, we are in the middle of a project at work that if I am not involved with, I might as well quit now. It is central to what my employer does, especially to in terms of equipment my department installs and maintains. I need six months at minimum; I would prefer about five years. The only training any of us are going to get with this thing will happen during the installation and if the manufacturer's past performance is any indication, the written material will be out of date, incomplete, and never catches up.

I cannot take time off because my pooooor widdle knee hurts. I own canes, crutches and a knee brace. I tolerate OTC painkillers well. I dislike using artificial aids for walking (okay, it leaves me teetering on the brink of outbursts of frustrated rage trying to manage a cane or crutches) but I have used them before and I will use them again.

Old NFO said...

So sorry to hear about the kerfuffle. It's bad enough when ONE of you are down, much less when both of you are having issues, plus dealing with cats. If 'I' don't get my pot of coffee in the morning, I'm not fit for human company... Get well soon (BOTH of you)!

Roberta X said...

Thanks, Old NFO!

For the "replace now!" guys: I was unclear -- I need six months before the earliest possible time I would consider knee replacement. Recovery is a lengthy process. I'd rather put it off for years if I can.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your writing and commiserate on work and life shtuff!
Thought I would offer a couple tangents- YMMV? or be not applicable.
Kinda random order. mix and mingle!
Tho I get what ya say about the bricks being necessary lift-- and why unstable.
Maybe a piece of plywood underneath for now,and then toenail the bricks to hold them still. some rubber on top to help non-scootch funky loads? My basement floor is not exactly level for couple old reasons...
A trades buddy gave me a section of rubber conveyor belting which the dryer and washer set on. I spose these days a section of exercise mat would be similar effect.
Bit soft to sink on and grab the machine feet.
I took the feet off-she sets on frame. one thin shim to level a corner-tensions the other 3.

I know you want to just do new solid half blocks. do the area solid square feet.(pay neighbor kid to carry them downstairs!) Caulk em down with urethane! Urethane!
Then that rubber layer.

Carry on! Best Regards!