Sunday, July 30, 2006

Quiet Sunday

It's a nice quiet Sunday morning. Most of my 'have to do' stuff is done, and I am now to the 'better get done' stuff. My stress level is much lower than last weekend, the parental units are doing fine now and all is well. Time to look around and figure out how to actually make some progress out of this phase rather than just holding on trying to survive.

I've done some thinking, and some discussion in the chat room last night, about what my next move might be. The end result of a lot of thinking and looking around is that the cheapest way to live still seems to be to get the new house fixed up and live there. I went to a 'don't foreclose' type site yesterday to see what that is about. I'm thinking of just dumping this place for what I owe on it and moving on. This is a nice place, and I'm sorry that it isn't selling. But, it's time to get out from under it. I started telling my realtor that when his contract is up at the end of August I'm going to 'take it off the market for awhile'. Basically, if it isn't sold, I'm going to actively explore the option of just selling it to the bottom-feeding brokers.

There is a job that I am qualified for and that actually sounds fun listed on So, I need to get my act together and send in a resume. I also need to do 2 new certifications for my current job. It would be a good thing to also take a load of stuff from here over to the new house. I still have things down in the small outbuilding that need to be moved or gotten rid of. I keep asking Nancye if she wants to meet so I can send some clothes off with her. Some things I just can't dump in an anonymous Goodwill bin. The end result is the same, it's the actual hand off that is easier.

Yesterday I spent about 20 minutes watching a doe feed in my back yard. The dog was on the deck and never even knew the doe was in the yard. It was fun watching a wild animal graze over most of the yard, wandering here and there. The new place should also have wildlife since it has acres of woods all around it.

Ok, time to get busy. I want to make some progress before the next disaster causes me to stress out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Mom called me at 6:30pm and she was finally home. She was going to fix my Dad something to eat as the first thing since he won't eat unless one of us is there for some reason. She sounded fine. Now life can get back to just being the level of out of control it usually is.

Mom's OK

When the heart doctor finally said it wasn't her heart and let them start treating her stomach issues, she bounced back almost immediately. She is to have a CAT scan this morning, then be released. She asked me where I put the van so she could find it to drive home, and the nurse who heard her said that there was a good chance that she wouldn't be released to drive herself home. We talked about how to handle it, and she is to call me if she needs me to drive her home. So far I haven't heard from her.

While loading my Dad's wheelchair into the van yesterday evening I went too fast with it and got it partially off the ramp. I was able to get it back on, while Dad just said "if it gets away from you just let it go, don't hurt yourself". I was happy that I was able to use leverage and not have to lift it since my back didn't hurt at the time. I can tell today, though, that my back isn't quite as healed as it was before. Oh, well. I drove Dad and I to Cracker Barrel and we had supper last night. I saw Mom going both directions since I stopped at the hospital and got her van to transport Dad's wheelchair. I haven't told her about almost dropping it off the ramp yet. Several folks at the senior housing were out on their porches watching, though, so I'm sure she will hear about it. sigh.

Today I am doing my regular weekend stuff, laundry and such. The temperature outside has broken and is now bearable. My back says no yard work, though. One step at a time. That seems to be the only way to get though this phase of whatever it is I'm going through right now.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Mom called from the hospital. Seems that if she hadn't had a problem before, they made sure she had one. She had the pains that had prompted the doctor to send her there again during the night. They put her on oxygen and a nitro patch. These gave her a headache, and she had them removed. They also ran more tests, which meant that she got little sleep. Dad had called her this morning, and apparently I had let him take the wrong pill holder into his bedroom, the am one stays on the kitchen table and the pm one stays in his bedroom. He took his morning pills (about 10 of various ones) last night instead of his evening pills (only 3), and since the water pills are in the am routine he ended up going to the bathroom all night. He had 'washed up' (mom usually helps him with his bath), and gotten his pants on, but no socks since he didn't think he could get his socks on by himself. At this point Mom has told the nurses that she is going home today if she just has to get up and walk out. The nurse said that the doctor would most likely want her to stay till Monday when they can do more tests. Mom says she can't just lay there at $150/day co-pay waiting for Monday. It may get interesting. If she doesn't get out by noon, I'll go check on my Dad. They live an hour from me or I'd have gone over this morning already. sigh.

When it rains is pours - again

They gave me a light day at work yesterday, only 4 calls which mostly were my left-over calls from the day before. My back is just an annoyance at this point when I move a certain way, but by the end of the day I was achy and tired. I was home by 3:15 and took an Ibuprofen and laid down to take a nap. My cell phone rang around 4, it was my Mom. I was going to tell her I'd talk to her later and I needed to sleep, but in my half-awake state I heard "hospital" and "you need to come get your Dad". I woke up quick, and had her back up. Seems that she and Dad had appointments with a new doctor yesterday afternoon, and he decided that given some of my Mom's recent symptoms she needed to go into the hospital 'right then' to be checked out. My 87yo Dad isn't supposed to drive, and wouldn't be able to get his electric wheelchair out of the minivan at home anyway. So, I drove over and met them at the doctor's office.

It was finally blowing up the rain that broke the heat wave just as I got there. Mom had the wheelchair loaded into the minivan already. We dropped her off at the hospital, and I headed off driving Dad in the minivan. He hadn't eaten all day, and we were going to go to Cracker Barrel. It was raining hard and all the handicapped spots were taken when we got there, so I went through the drive-thur at Ky Fried and got us supper. Then, at the senior housing where they live it was time for me to figure out unloading the wheelchair. I have watched Mom do it (she doesn't let anyone else do anything if she is there to do it), but the hard rain didn't help. I did manage to get the poncho on Dad so he didn't get wet, the ramp set up and the chair unloaded, but the seat got wet as I drove it around to his side of the van. He headed on in as I pulled the van into the parking space and ran around to their apartment. I was a drowned rat at that point.

We ate and then with Mom on the phone I measured out Dad's medications for the next few days (just in case) into his am and pm pill holders. Drove back to the hospital in the van, went up and saw Mom for a few minutes, then drove my truck home. Not exactly a relaxing evening. I had planned to run over to see them this weekend anyway. Mom is supposed to be out of the hospital today after they finish the tests. She is somewhat miffed about the entire thing, thinking it is a waste. Dad and I are glad someone is finally checking her out since we think 'something' is wrong. So, I'll not plan anything much today that I can't drop if I need to to head over there.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Walking Wounded

On Wednesday when it was so hot I made the mistake of trying to carry a very large box a couple of blocks on a call for work. What I should have done is take the two boxes of parts out of the much larger box and carried them. It was a strain no matter how I carried the box, and the heat didn't help. I called it an early day as soon as I could since the effort in the heat made me dizzy and weak. Yesterday morning as I carried the same box from my truck into the depot to send back I felt the same muscles from the day before go rubbery. I shook it off. The box wasn't heavy at all, just large and cumbersome. Later as I was pulling my parts for the day I leaned over and picked up a stack of boxed parts - again not heavy - and twisted to put them aside so I could get my part from underneath. My back went 'sproing!'. I leaned on the stack of boxes with my left leg kinda at the weird angle it had been when my back went out, in sharp pain. Valerie asked me if I was injured, if I was ok. She knew I had 11 calls in my tank and no one else to take them. Oh, she was also worried about me... It took a bit but I was able to finally move to a wall and lean on it. Took longer before I could put weight on my left leg to walk. After about 15 minutes it eased enough for me to shuffle around and finish calling my clients and get ready to start the day. The head of the business where we get our parts carried my boxes out to the truck for me. Everyone else had to leave before I was near ready. I was able to finish 6 calls because 4 of them were in one building and Valerie get me her 2 wheeler to use for the day. The other 2 were across the street. Both Jeff and Valerie called me to see if I was ok, and Jeff had hurriedly finished his calls to come take mine if necessary.

Today I still have a catch in my back on the left side. I'm making notes of what movements I can't do right now to see what I need to work on strengthening. I know it is important that I stay in shape in order to do my job. I have gotten lazy. So, once I'm recovered I need to start the stretching and strengthening exercises again. Valerie did tell me about the time references to file a worker's comp claim, and said I should go to the doctor that day in case they wanted to do a drug screen which is fairly common now if you are injured on the job. I made the decision that it is muscle, and I'll just take it easy for a few days.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


One of the things that I saw while driving around Clarksville one day for work was a work truck for a local Plumber. It said: Our plumbers arrive on time... and they smell good! Ok, I get the promptness claim, but a plumber that smells good? I had this vision of the guy getting ready for work, putting on his work shirt and then splashing on cologne while his wife looks on suspiciously... "Honest, Baby, it's a requirement for work!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Finding It

Motivation, that is. I got up around 6am this morning. I had gotten into the habit of sleeping in since I don't have to leave for work till around 9 now. Even when unemployed I had gotten up at 6, so sleeping late was indicative of how I had let myself get run down. I have been taking my supplements, eating more if not more healthy (that will come), and working on tying up the loose ends and stressors. I am still letting some major things go, but all in good time.

I wanted to write about my work day yesterday, and since I didn't do it last night I guess I will do it now. I do Dell field service. I print out my calls that are emailed to me at home, go down by the airport and get the parts, turn in the parts from the previous day's calls, call my day's clients to tell them I'm coming and head out. Last week we were down a tech since one of the guys got a real job and left, so I was running a bit harder than I like. This week has settled down. I only had 4 calls yesterday, which is more or less the norm.

I started out at TSU - Tennessee State University - in their athletic department. It is one of those places I would never end up if it wasn't for this job. Nice lady and an easy call, just replacing a LCD panel in a laptop. It worked when I was done (doesn't always if they didn't troubleshoot it right over the phone with Dell), and I walked back out still early in the day. Then I headed north, off Hwy 12 to someplace called New Visions. I found the side road and headed down it. I was surprised that some commercial place would be so far off the beaten track. Then I saw lots of brick buildings, which surprised me. Then, I saw tall fencing and barbed wire. Holy ..... I was at the front of the penitentiary that I see from the back on Briley Parkway. Turns out New Visions Youth Development Center is apparently the youth jail. I wasn't feeling warm and fuzzy, but after some mis-communication that had a uniformed guard saying that I'd need to inventory all my tools, etc. (I carry a LOT of tools), I took in only the screw drivers I needed and the parts. When they realized I was there to make the Superintendent's computer work again, things suddenly smoothed out. Again, an easy fix, a motherboard and power supply replacement in a desktop machine, and I was out the door.

Headed up to Clarksville and their school district IT dept. I had been there the day before and replaced a LCD in a laptop, but it hadn't solved the problem. Called Dell and they had sent a motherboard for me to put in today. The woman who is my contact there is nice and the only strange thing is they have a TV on all the time. I don't watch TV, so I find it distracting. The previous day I had to ask them to change the channel because the movie they had on - Face Off (?) was too disturbing for me. I have a problem watching movies, and I definitely couldn't concentrate with fights and some guy crying and dramatic music and such. Both of them had already said they had seen the movie. This time the motherboard fixed the problem, and by 2:30 I was again out the door. Headed to AO Smith in Ashland City (they make water heaters) and had a call to replace a hard drive in one of the largest desktop models Dell makes. Dell sent 2 hard drives, so I wasn't sure if I was headed into a raid, or if they just duplicated the order as they sometimes do. It turned out to be an easy single drive. I'm still a bit unsure swapping SATA drives, but it all went easy. I was home by 4. I thought how I had served the youth of the area from college age to grade school, ones who had issues with the law, ones who had made it to University, and also helped them stay clean with hot water. It was a good day.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Caught up, sorta

All the effort to clean the house has had the benefit that I have taken the past week to rest up and the house still looks good. I am at another plateau moving-wise. I have enough stuff moved out of the house that it isn't nearly as cluttered. I'm sure in a few weeks (if it doesn't sell before then) I'll look around and get rid of some more stuff (by moving it to the other house, no points for actually decluttering). I need to spend some time mowing the yard this weekend, but for the most part this place is ok. The other place is totally neglected. I still don't know quite what to do about it.

There was a couple that wanted to look at the house after work yesterday. They couldn't get to the open house last weekend, and I'm not sure why they wanted to wait till this weekend to see it, but there you go. So, I made sure the house was show ready when I left for work yesterday. My realtor called me already talking about what to do when the offer came in. He was pumped after talking to them. They already live in a place smaller than this one, and since the size is what most folks say is the problem, he was sure this couple would be the ones. I went to Rivergate Mall after work and walked around a bit. Went to the dollar store and got some pens (I lose them all the time in this job, as I need to jot my time and mileage down as I go) and some bathroom cleaner. I'm getting better at just buying what I need rather than 'stocking up'. As I got some supper at the food court my realtor called and said that the couple had been confused. They thought the house was 2 counties away, not over where it is. They aren't interested after all. My realtor was crestfallen. Oh, well. I came home.

I'm getting more comfortable in the job. I do need to work on certifications this weekend, too. Now that my body doesn't ache when I move and I am caught up on sleep I can concentrate more. I'm still in the holding pattern, but I have the survival items in line now. I also need to cook some of the food that I've gotten from the CSA. I can't keep up with it. I knew I wouldn't, but it still feels strange to have a fridge full of odd things that I don't really quite know how to make into food.

I read a lot of other blogs regularly, especially the ones on that are the folks hiking the Appalachian Trail. I check them daily usually. I always hope that there is a daily update, and tend to get loyal to the blogs that are updated frequently. Given that, you'd think I'd update this one more often. I waited till this morning, a Saturday, when I had plenty of time to ponder and pontificate so that I could add my thoughts to the blogosphere. But, now that I'm here I forgot all the neat little things that I thought 'I should write about that' when they happened during the week. Hopefully I will start making more frequent, if shorter, posts.

Oddball just called, and I'm off to help him and Naienko move today. I need more coffee and to wake up a bit more. Should be fun. More so for me I'm sure than for them. It is more fun to watch other people move all their possessions around packed in boxes and man-handled around than it is to have my own possessions in such a state of disarray.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I just ended up in a fight in the chat room. There are folks who like to pick fights and then act like it's the other folks' problem and get insulting. There is a lot of bad juju going on on the group of geeks here lately. I think it is time to really, really sit back and just ignore what is going on.

Back to what I was doing... The house got cleaned for the open house. Mom came over and washed the windows for me, then couldn't just stop and washed most of the walls of the spare bedrooms and then raked the leaves away from the house. This is why I don't ask her for help very often, it is just demoralizing to be shown up so badly. Of course, I was already sore and about whupped from cleaning for a week.

A guy stopped by early while I was still working on the yard. He said that he'd be back when the realtor was here for the open house, but apparently didn't show back up. A couple showed up near the end, but said the rooms are too small. The realtor said the guy was trying to talk the woman into it. Most guys love the yard and workshop. Most women don't what this small of a house.

I am still sore and tired. I took last night off. Today I start working on certifications and looking for a better paying job when I get home from work. The normal dispatcher is off for a knee replacement, and will be gone for 3 weeks, so I have no idea what kind of calls I'll get. It seems I wasn't officially in the system. He would pull my calls individually. He said he fixed it, but that is the second time he said he fixed it...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Motivation, I need to find some. It is 11am, and I haven't vacuumed yet, much less started cleaning the carpet. I put this off till today because part of the carpet cleaner was at the new house rather than here. I think I have all the necessary parts here now. I just need motivation to start.

I am doing well getting the house ready for the open house next Sunday. If I just don't totally stall out it will be good. The heat outside isn't helping, but thankfully I have most of the yard work done. The new mailbox lists badly and is wobbly, but it is up. Now if the local hoodlums just won't steal it before Sunday I'll be ok.

I got another basket of CSA vegetables yesterday. I haven't started on the one from last Monday, and I have some stuff from the week before that. At least I'm starting to get things I recognize now like carrots and potatoes. I need to make some potato leek soup, some chicken curry, and the Indian dish whose recipe I got from I know some of my tiredness is from not eating enough lately. There is no food in the house now, just ingredients.

Ok, off to start slowly. I'll pull the vacuum out and watch my cat, who is currently peacefully sleeping on the couch, head to parts unknown and I won't see him till late tonight, if then.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Chop Wood, Carry Water

This is my post on LiveJournal from Friday, now cross-posted here to begin the blog:

Chop wood, carry water is a title for something that escapes me now, a book or poem or something. It is also how friends describe tending to the basics of life, the day to day stuff that causes bad juju if you don't do it. I have decided that right now I NEED to just chop wood, carry water in order to get through this phase of whatever it is that is going on. I have no energy to do anything extra. So, I may attend meetings and such, but I won't volunteer to do anything extra. Lately I've fallen through on what I volunteered to do anyway, so I am accepting reality and just fading back. I need to concentrate on first, getting up to speed with the certifications and such for the job I now have. This will also carry over onto my resume and maybe help me get a job that pays better than this one. I need to concentrate on really getting the old house clean and more stuff moved out of it so it is always ready to show. I have the main parts ok, I just need to really get down to it and make it shine. I need to start working on the new house. It is last on the list cause I need a better paying job and to sell the old house before I have the money or energy to really do much over there.

I was going to take Monday off to work on some of this stuff. Then things fell into it making more sense to work on Monday. I have calls left over, and so it will be fairly easy to do. I also need the money. So, what I need to get done has to be done tomorrow, Sunday, and Tuesday. This includes cleaning the carpets here at the old house. I got the carpet cleaner from Mom. I hate to clean the carpets. That is why I'm excited that the new house has new laminate floors almost everywhere and no carpet except in the bedrooms. Tomorrow will be mowing the yard here, and then taking care of some business with Mom and Dad, then coming home and packing and general cleaning up. Sunday is carpet cleaning and maybe putting up a new mailbox. It's time to replace the beat up old one. They don't even leave mail in the current one anymore, and I think there is an old bird's nest in it. Tuesday will be spiffing and polishing, and probably working on my office and paperwork and such. At least, this is the plan. I need my life back. And this seems to be the only way to get it.

Getting Started

I have another blog over at, but since most of the folks over here require a blogger id to comment, I will also have one here it seems. I will mostly just cross post, and the only folks who will know about this site will be the bloggers. It might actually be nice to have a blog that no one who knows me in real life knows about.