Category Archives: Life

Wife sleep ramblings, January 2016

“Don’t you DARE!” she suddenly announces in a gravelly voice.

“Dare what?” I reply.

“You better stop what you are doing right now” she threatens, sitting up.

I look back at my Surface, looking at the book I’m reading on the Kindle app and try to keep from laughing.

Jennifer gets out of the bed, and crosses over to the desk.

“What is this?!” she demands, picking up a medium cardboard box that had, until this afternoon, contained several pairs of pants I’d ordered online. Now delivered & emptied, it was languishing on the desk, waiting for me to take it downstairs and then out to the garbage.

“An empty box, honey?”

She quickly shifted it aside, hunting for something that had drawn her ire. Her gaze narrowed and she seized the object of her hatred. “What is this?? THIS!” she screeched, thrusting her arm at me.

“It’s a mouse?” I snicker.

“Why is it flashing?” she asks, her voice becoming confused.

“Because the battery is dying” I respond.

She rubs her nose and the light begins to appear in her eyes, then heads for the bathroom. I turn back to my book…


0230 and I can’t sleep

I can feel my mood worsening and I’m getting into one of those states where the pressure is increasing from all sides.  I finally got fed up with it, and made the decision to get dressed and come into the shop and try to do something, anything.

‘Jennifer’s’ cat was outside waiting for me, lounging on the stoop of the neighbor’s apartment.  I unlocked the front door of the shop, relocked it behind me, and made my way to the receiving area.  I pulled open the side door to get some airflow, and started in on the task in my mind: making a small box planter out of reclaimed wood.

About 3 years ago I’d deconstructed a bunch of pallets with the intention of using the reclaimed wood for various projects.  The first thing I did was make a small wooden crate that wound up collecting scrap pieces of other boards.

By the time I was finished, this box was packed full of dressed wood in various lengths.

Life happened, and the crate was moved to the new shop where it languished in a corner until tonight.  I came in, thinking that I’d have dozens of pieces of wood to choose from for the planter.  Unfortunately, as usual, circumstances got in the way.

A year passed, then we moved, then two years passed.  The new shop has had multiple problems with roof leaks, and the wooden crate, neglected in the corner, apparently was resting in one of the spots where water not only dripped down, but accumulated.

As a result, I didn’t have a plethora of beautiful wood – I found a mess of wood with 6″ covered in black mold.  The bottom of the crate is a mess as well; I shouldn’t have butted the edges together.

The cat decided this would be an opportune time to come in and supervise, so he watched as I unloaded a handful of wood at a time and separated the clean pieces from the moldy ones.  10 or so minutes later there are now several dozen pieces of wood laid out behind the shop where the morning & afternoon sun can bleach them.

As I type this, the cat is wandering the pitch black shop, making himself at home.  Periodically he brushes against my legs to let me know he’s on patrol.

MRI Monday

I went to see my GP about my arm injury on Friday, and after an Xray & range of motion tests, it would appear that I have a supraspinatus injury.  I was referred to a MRI place and had imagery done this morning.

If you’ve never been in an MRI, it’s an interesting experience.   Though I had a general idea about how the machine worked and limited exposure to seeing them in action (generally through popular media), I hadn’t been inside one prior to today.  After filling out the multipage questionnaire asking if I had any metal within me, wires, and the like, I was brought back to a changing room.

Surprisingly I was told that I could stay clothed, I just needed to empty my pockets, remove any jewelry and my belt.  This surprised me; I was wearing jeans and I had a fleeting vision of my pants violently being yanked through the air similar to what happened to this hapless police officer. Fortunately for everyone involved my pants remained on me and I was settled into place.

The technician put headphones on me and asked if I had a particular station I’d prefer to listen to – I asked for NPR, hoping for something soothing & relaxing.  Instead I was treated to a discussion about war crimes and other horror stories while I was put into the machine headfirst.  It’s a good thing I’m not claustraphobic – all you have to look at is a featureless curved wall a few inches past your nose.  The pre-procedure documentation stated I should make every effort not to move, and that the scanning would take anywhere from 20-60 minutes.  I hooked my thumbs into my rear pockets and lightly pressed my hands into my sides to keep from shifting and focused on taking shallow breaths.

Then the scanning began.  WHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMP whiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr knockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknock over and over again.  Boring, yet I’d be lying if I said my heart rate wasn’t elevated with worry about what the scans would reveal.

After all was said and done, I was out of there by 10:15 and on my way to work.  Tomorrow I should know the results of what was found.

Life’s little difficulties.

It’s been a trying time of late.

Last week, the downstairs furnace went out; it’s gas with heatpumps and when we had the 9″+ of snow along with -5 degree temperatures, fate decided this would be the perfect time for it to go inop.  Despite space heaters throughout the downstairs, the lower level quickly dropped to a temperature of 40 degrees that Thursday.  A repairman made it out on Friday, and pronounced it fixed.

Naturally the furnace went out again shortly thereafter.

The repairman returned late Friday and determined that the issue was a pressure switch; unfortunately the warehouse was closed.  His advice was to just reset the furnace and it would turn back on until the pressure valve went off again. Naturally the furnace would work for 10 minutes and then go off again.

Friday was cold.

Saturday saw the temperature rise above 32, and the ice started to melt.  Thankfully this meant the ice everywhere started to melt.  This had the fortunate side effect of clearing off our heating units and allowed the downstairs furnace to function properly again.  Saturday was warm.  As was Sunday.

Unfortunately there was a side effect to the ice melting at the house.  The ice also melted at the shop.

The shop has a series of issues.  The landlord was nice enough to finish the shell and have the place wired to spec… well actually I wound up footing the bill for the wiring.  The one thing he didn’t do is put a new roof on, and I’m paying the price.

When the snow & ice started to melt on the roof, the accumulation blocked the drainage areas, causing pooling. That pooling found each and every hole in the roof, and decided to come for a visit inside the store.  So, where there were already intermittent leaks I discovered pools of water all over the store.  The bathroom was flooded.  The northest wall was flooded and had water streaming down it.  The shipping computer got soaked – fortunately the PC was shielded but both printers drowned and the phone was ruined.  Water was all through the warehouse.

New printers cost me $1k.  I’m not sure how much a new phone is going to cost yet.  Until new printers arrive, I can’t ship orders.  When it rains, it pours.

I’m tired

I rarely have excess energy anymore.  I feel like go through each day in a fugue; I’m swaddled in blankets that don’t warm me, and the world is muted.

I don’t get good sleep because KJ constantly comes into the bedroom through the night, or the kids are making noise downstairs, or I’m in some sort of pain, or a litany of other reasons.

I have no outlets for stress release other than reading or working out, and they are largely mere postponements or temporary reprieves.  The problems never go away or are resolved, they simply lurk and bide their time until they can return to the surface.  It’s no wonder I have headaches at least 3 days a week.

I haven’t eaten since Saturday night, but I’m not hungry.  I’m not even thirsty, really, though I know I need to hydrate in order to function.

I’m numb, or I’m angry, or I’m deflated.  Who knows what the future holds.

No matter how bad it gets

Midnight plus thirty and I’m at Skyline, eating my most wretched of comfort foods.

I don’t know if the guy behind me is trying to be polite because he’s had too much to drink, or if he’s flirting with the waitress in a painfully cringeworthy way.  I choked down my usual food substitute while reading 50 Foot Ant’s fourth story, then left as I had no excuse to stay longer.

Sitting in the 4Runner, trying to get warm. I ate trying to fill the same hole, The truck hadn’t begun to warm up and already there’s man walking up on me.  I crack the window and make sure my strong hand has access to my holster.

He says that he’d just gotten out of jail, and wasn’t trying to run a game on me; he just wants to get enough money for a beer and a bus ticket.  I appreciate the brazenness of that approach, so I give him all the folding money I had on me: 7-12 dollars, I don’t count it, He needs it more than I.

As depressed as I am, as empty as I feel, there are people who have it much worse.

Carl told me today that I have the patience of Job.  I am just a man, trying to do what I can to make it through. Lord, it’s tough.  I don’t ask for help with my journey, just the strength to make it through.