To bring you up to date

It’s been eleven days since Mom was admitted to the hospital.  For the past week they have said every day that they think she’s almost ready to transfer to a skilled nursing facility.  On the one hand we’d like to see her moved because that’s a sign that things are progressing.  On the other we want to be sure she’s ready to be moved.  Duh.

When she developed a raspy, wet cough we were concerned about bronchitis or pneumonia but she never ran a fever and her oxygen levels have remained in the normal range.  They eventually started her on cough medicine and when we visited the other evening she sounded much better.  I was still surprised yesterday to learn they were moving her to the nursing facility.  I guess I got so used to hearing they wanted to observe/evaluate her overnight that I wasn’t prepared to hear she was ready to go.

The nursing facility is not as convenient as the hospital was for visiting.  After work I would request a ride via Uber and off I’d go, arriving at the hospital within 10 minutes.  Then I’d visit a while with Mom, waiting for JD and SIL to arrive.  We usually stayed for a couple of hours, grabbing a bite in the hospital cafeteria or a coffee from the Starbucks in the lobby at some point in the evening.  We don’t make it home till nearly 9 and by then I’m ready for bed.  On top of that schedule, I haven’t been sleeping well – go figure.

No way I can visit the nursing home like that.  I understand it needs to be closer to where Mom lives with my sister and brother in law but we won’t get to visit except on weekends.  Visiting here in Seattle every night exhausts me.  No way I can travel up to Lynnwood after work, visit a couple hours and then head home.

Lest I fail to look on the bright side – this IS a good sign!

On to other news …

The other day I had some time on my hands and I was looking for a wide version of my favorite wall paper:

Not now Jack

The old one doesn’t work on my new monitors.

I couldn’t find this exact wallpaper for wide dual monitors but here’s one I did find:


It looks so much cooler on my monitors than it does here!

Finally, on Tuesday we had a department white elephant holiday party.  Pizza and dessert were eaten; gifts were opened and some were even traded.  There was a lot of laughter.  Here’s what I’ll be taking home:


Um, yeah, I am so ready for this weekend.  Too bad it’s only Thursday.

Fiasco Finale

I have Doobster‘s comment yesterday to thank for inspiring the beginning of this follow-up post – THANKS DOOBSTER!

When we left our heroine she was struggling not to scream bloody murder…

… the hose came in contact with the foot rail and of course since it was only “crammed in” it of course made a leap of freedom – and began fountaining all over my carpet.

Cue the melodramatic theme music.

I made a grab for the hose, like I could magically keep it from flooding more of my bedroom while Junior hollered out to JD to turn off the water.  Seconds later the deluge ended and we started soaking up what we could with our supply of ShamWow!s.  (Yeah, I know that spelling looks weird but you have to see the website to fully understand that it is probably accurate.  The ! is part of the trademark name so to insert the “s” between the word and the exclamation point, while grammatically correct, degrades their trademark.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)  Digression aside, ShamWow!s work pretty well at soaking up water once they’re wet themselves.  The first round wasn’t very effective but by the time I’d wrung them out and reapplied we were having more success.

Somewhere in the middle of all that I’d plugged the hole in the waterbed and screwed on the cap so we weren’t in danger of re-flooding from that source.  Now came figuring out a fix.  Jack (you remember him right dear reader?) figured we could just slide the platform toward the foot of the bed.  “We” being the guys of course because as we all know I’d already tried scooting the mattress up without any luck.  No surprise they didn’t fare any better.  Besides the fact that water weighs a ton, the oh-so-clever Jack had forgotten he’d screwed the platform down just moments before.  Bright boy, that Jack.

So where did that leave us?  If you guessed that we had to remove the semi-full mattress and take apart the bed frame then you would be exactly correct!  Sorry, there is no prize.

The men hauled the mattress out and slid it aside into the vanity area off the master bedroom.  Then came the grunting, groaning and screeching screwdriver as Jack unscrewed screws and re-positioned the platform while JD and Junior assisted with the headboard and side rails.  Soon the last screw had been reapplied and they were ready to re-install the mattress.  Success!

Um, not so much.

With the waterbed mattress in place it was immediately clear there was a problem.  The mattress didn’t billow out to fill in the corners of the frame as it should have.  Instead there was a humongous mound in the middle of the bed.

Apparently some waterbeds shouldn’t be moved when they’re full:

In the case of waveless or semi-waveless bladders, a tethering system is recommended beneath the bladder to keep fibers from bunching in one place.

Something tells me our waterbed doesn’t have “a tethering system”.  Sigh.  It was amusing to watch grown men trying to mash the gargantuan lump flat, so there’s that.

Finally, they gave up and we decided the wisest course was to drain the mattress and try to flatten it out once it was empty again.  Of course that raised the issue of no adaptor and how we were going to do that without recreating the Great Flood (sans animal pairs).  JD dismissed Jack and Junior saying we would take it from there, and they sped off before we could call them back.  We then let our fingers do the walking and called everywhere we could think of to find an adaptor so we could use our hose to drain the mattress.  No one had anything that would work.  Oh sure, there were plenty of waterbed drain/fill kits – online!  Dammit Jim!

We were left with one option, haul the stupid mattress out of the frame, through the house and onto the front porch where we could open up the drain and let it rip.  Figuratively speaking.  So JD got busy; I can’t say I was much help.  When it comes to upper body strength I’m a lot like cooked linguine.

Now that the mattress was happily spilling its guts onto the ground via our deck we addressed the reassembly of the bed using our standard box springs and king size latex mattress.  It had been our original plan so we weren’t too disappointed.  That is until we discovered the one question none of us had thought to ask.  Geez.

Turns out no matter how hard you try you cannot fit an Eastern king size bed into the frame for a California king size bed.  Fuck.  FUCK!  FUCK!

Sorry, sorry.  No.  No, I’m not.  There is no other word to describe how I felt at that point.

JD flopped down on our old mattress where it lay in our living room and I found a seat and fought back tears of frustration.  We remained like that a while, then JD went out to the shed to retrieve his own cordless drill so he could start taking apart the bed frame.  At least we could use the platform part and get our mattress up off the floor.  We’ll store the headboard and side rails until we either fix the waterbed mattress or replace it.

And the cherry on the sundae?  Wouldn’t you know the battery on JD’s cordless drill was dead?


The Great Waterbed Fiasco

Oh sure, it’s funny now, but Saturday afternoon I was in tears and not from laughter.

A few weeks back my friend — how about we call her Patty — told me she was going to have to give up her bedroom set.  Now you have to understand that Patty has had this bedroom set since before her daughter was born – probably more than 30 years!  But she has COPD and other health maladies which have contributed to make breathing difficult.  Lying down, breathing is nearly impossible so she started sleeping in a recliner in her living room leaving her waterbed to gather discarded clothes, dust bunnies from hell and cat hair.  She needs it gone so she can move in a standard bed and sleep there using a bean bag chair to keep her elevated.  I thought this was an ingenious idea and I hope it works.

Well JD and I discussed it and decided that if nothing else, her waterbed frame would be strong enough to support our latex mattress since its frame bought the farm a few months back.  Latex mattresses are hella-heavy y’all, but pretty comfy most of the time.  We offered to buy her 30+ year old bedroom set and she sold it to us for $50!  Plus her friend and his son were going to deliver it; the faster to get it out of their way don’t you know?

Saturday we made the drive over to her place to pay her and pick up a couple of things that wouldn’t fit in her truck with the camper shell on.  Then we led the way back to our place, Patty’s friend playing leap frog with us in traffic.  That man definitely has control issues.  Too bad that control doesn’t extend to attention to detail!

Sorry, sorry {in with the good air … out with the bad, repeat}

We arrived at our house and the men started unloading furniture, a LOT of furniture.  All the parts to the waterbed – six drawers that made up the base, foot rail and side boards plus a huge mirrored and lighted headboard; a dresser with a matching mirrored, lighted …hmm, hutch isn’t quite right, but suffice it to say it was big and heavy; and finally the armoire.  Plus there was the waterbed mattress – which we’d decided to try out when we heard it was still somewhat new.  To get a good idea of how my living room looked you have to remember I live in a manufactured home.  Sure, it’s a double wide but it already had a full complement of furniture in it.  Yeah, it was a tad crowded.  As in the Grand Canyon is a tad deep.

Patty’s friend – I guess I can’t keep calling him that can I?  Let’s call him Jack, as in JackAss.  So Jack sets about assembling the waterbed frame with JD and Jack’s son providing the brute force to lift things and hold them in place while Jack directs them and clicks the trigger on his cordless drill.  To be fair, he started the assembly while JD and Junior were still unloading the trucks so he did a fair amount of hauling things into place himself before they were able to assist.

I didn’t watch the time so I have no idea how long it took, but there were a LOT of parts to this bed frame and they had to go together just so.  Once it was together and all the screws were tightened a la the cordless drill we were ready to position the waterbed mattress, which the guys did.  JD hauled our hose out of the shed, dragged it in the back door, through the kitchen and dining room and snaked it into the bedroom where Jack crammed (technical term) it into the appropriate opening.  We didn’t have an adaptor so someone was going to have to watch to be sure it didn’t become disengaged.  That wasn’t enough of a red flag apparently because a few minutes later Jack and Junior started packing up and getting ready to leave.  I watched the mattress filling for a while, fascinated as it began to bulge at the bottom and started sliding down between the platform and the bottom rail.  While I have never put together a waterbed in my life, even to my unschooled eye that gap had looked wonky.  But hell’s bells, Jack had just taken apart the blasted thing, he should know how to assemble it shouldn’t he?


Idiot that I am, I tried to yank the mess up toward the headboard.  Yeah, I hear you laughing; I did say “idiot” didn’t I?  Pick yourself up off the floor, there’s more.  The bulging vinyl (or whatever they’re made of) kept growing and while I was tugging at the top to no avail, the hose came into contact with the foot rail and since it was only “crammed in” of course it made a leap for freedom – and began fountaining all over my carpet.

This was only the beginning of the end dear readers.  Part two of my tragic saga to follow.

Thank You


I was going to title this post VICTORY in all caps with at least one exclamation mark.  But lest I tempt the hand of fate, or karma or what have you, I’ll just quietly say thank you to everyone who responded to yesterday’s rant, and tell you all that we are taking the grandkids to dinner with their aunt the week after next.


Also – yahoo!  (A wee little celebratory note shouldn’t tempt fate too much, right?)

Thanks again all of you who weighed in on my dilemma yesterday.  I so appreciate your support and that you took the time to respond.

Wow it feels like forever

since I was here last but it’s only been a few days.  How does that happen?  No sorry, that was a rhetorical question, don’t bother answering.

So, Charlie’s story is still not quite complete but I am working on it.  I’ve also been battling what I HOPE are allergy symptoms (as opposed to a nasty cold).  This week has been a blur of work (getting out invoices to clients is so much fun), commuting and going to bed as early as I can possibly manage.  I even turned down a dinner out last night because I was so exhausted.  JD was very sweet and made me an omelet which I noshed on in front of the TV.  I was in bed shortly after 9 PM again, which is unheard of for me.

All that aside, I wanted to catch my peeps up on the happenings in the Doe household.  Over Thanksgiving weekend we had three – count’em! – three family encounters and there was absolutely NO bloodshed!  I count that as a win.

Because my best friend and my favorite daughter both had to work the Friday after Thanksgiving, family encounter one involved us driving to the Peninsula to have a restaurant Thanksgiving with them and the daughter’s beau.  We had so much fun and Shari’s put on a nice enough Thanksgiving dinner for a restaurant.  I got to have cherry pie for the first time in forever!  Yum!  Afterward, because the friend needed to get to bed early (her alarm goes off at 2:30 in the freaking AM people!) we said goodbye to her there and then followed the kids over to see their new place.  After hanging out there awhile we headed home.

Family encounter two was on Friday at our other daughter’s home.  This is the one I was most concerned about as it included not only my mother, sister and brother in-laws, it also included The Ex-Wife.  My husband’s niece and her beau were up from Oregon too.  Needless to say, I drank wine – a LOT of wine, and as I said earlier, no blood was shed.

From there we headed up to a small tourist town in Northern Washington where we were going to meet JD’s biological father for the very first time.  No pressure or anything!

The drive took a really long time; or maybe it just felt longer because it was night time and I was way tired.  We got to the inn about 10 PM and checked in.  What we had not planned on was the freezing temperatures.  There’d been torrential rainfall in our neck of the woods when we left but the temps were moderate.  So I was wearing a zip-up fleece with a rain jacket over it; not at all suitable for below freezing temps!  Thank goodness the inn had an incredibly good heater!

Sadly, the overindulgence in wine wreaked havoc with my digestive system and I was up and down all night visiting the lovely porcelain god.  And the tile floor was so icy even wearing slippers didn’t help so when I wasn’t answering nature’s call I was shivering under the blankets trying to sleep.  It made for a very long night.

But thankfully I was better in the morning and I still woke before JD!  So I pulled on clothes, took the dog out to empty her bladder and gave her biscuit.  Then I hiked over to the inn’s lounge (hiked may be an overstatement; it was directly across the driveway from our room) and took advantage of what they called a continental breakfast.  The coffee was heaven; and I even indulged in a mini sweet roll while I called the man who had donated his sperm to create my big palooka of a husband.

I think we all have some familiarity with the story of an adopted kid who has dreamed their REALLY REAL parents will come and save them, right?  Or perhaps when you were growing up you went through a phase where you hoped you were adopted so your real parents who were either wealthy, royal or super heroes would come and rescue you.

JD knew from an early age that his biological father was no longer in the picture and when I started looking for my father’s family earlier this year we also put out some inquiries about his.  Lo and behold we discovered he was still alive and resided less than 2 hours away!   Now to be clear, JD doesn’t consider B to be his REAL father; only his biological father.  His real father is the man who married his mother when he was around 1 and then proceeded to adopt all three of her children.  He’s the one who taught him to ride a bike, drive a car, etc.  That said, JD was curious about his bio dad and thus we made arrangements to meet him.

IT WAS AWESOME!  Okay, I may be exaggerating, but I loved the little town and I loved him.  And all his friends.  He knows everyone in town!  Or almost.  Plus?  The absolute cherry on the sundae is that he worked at Walt Disney back when WALT was there!  His first meeting with Walt was when he almost ran him down on his way to grab coffee!

So to sum up, Thanksgiving weekend was a blast.  We had wonderful family time; got to meet new family and enjoyed a nice little respite from home.  Other than freezing my a$$ off most of the weekend, I loved every minute of it. Including the Coconut Banana Pancakes I had Saturday morning!  YUMMMMY!

Happy weekend Peeps!


You can’t make this shit up

Wow do I feel stupid.  While posting my Writing 101 exercise earlier I saw Part 2 of this post but it just occurred to me I didn’t see this post – the one that should have introduced the situation.  So, if you don’t mind reading in reverse, below is the post which should have gone up FIRST.  (By the way, “yesterday” was last Wednesday.)  Sigh.

Well, sure you can if you’re a writer I guess. But this is my real life and this really happened.

Yesterday I woke up with a pain in the neck. No, not my husband. A literal pain in the right side of my neck. It was so bad I considered staying home, but I had a previously scheduled chiropractor appointment immediately after work and I thought I would tough it out. I stood a long time under the hot stream in our child-size front shower (more on that later); put on my big-girl panties and other assorted attire and headed for the train station. Even though I was running a bit late there was a good parking spot available and I maneuvered the truck into it with plenty of time to get to my train. Because of the above-mentioned pain in my neck, I’d opted to leave behind my backpack, hauling only my cross-body purse and bottle of water. It wasn’t until I stepped down from the truck that it dawned on me my transit pass and office access cards were with my backpack on the dining room table.

Practically in tears between the pain and frustration, I climbed back into the Dodge, wove my way out of the garage – it is amazing how idiotic commuters can be in a garage isn’t it? Most everyone entering the garage had to drive smack in the middle of the two lanes of traffic so I had to wait a few times to avoid driving too close to the parked cars on my way out.

At home I woke my husband to take me back to the train. I’m perfectly capable of driving myself, however, parking in a completely FULL garage is beyond me and by the time I could get back there it was most definitely going to be full. Don’t doubt me on this; I’ve been there and done that. While the sleepy guy I live with was trying to become coherent I took the dogs outside for a quick pee and we headed out.

Thankfully I wasn’t late to work, but I had to hit the cafeteria immediately after dropping off my stuff and then eat breakfast at my desk. I wish I could say more about work (not really)  but we’re not supposed to talk out of school – and no, I don’t work for a school. I GET to work with lawyers! You can’t see me but I was doing a happy dance as I typed that. No, no I wasn’t. Not even. Though I must say I do have the absolute best desk in the office principal-wise. I LOVE the folks I work for, but the work load for four attorneys can be wearisome at times. And with an already sore neck? ‘Nuf said I think.  Or perhaps I go on too much.  Let’s move on.

Office Yoga was on the agenda but I was afraid I’d do more damage to an already painful neck so I played hooky and ate lunch at my desk with a few crossword puzzles. Then in the afternoon there was a surprise fire drill – lovely. I know, I know – the whole idea of a drill is that it’s a surprise right? They want to ingrain in everyone how to react when it’s the real deal. But let’s be honest here okay? Raise your hand out there if you believe that people in a skyscraper are going to calmly descend multiple flights of stairs in a real emergency. Hey, will someone count the hands please and get back to me? Great, thanks.

So…fire drill completed we all went back to work and a bit after 4 PM I headed to the chiropractor’s office a couple of blocks away.

To hear how our story ends, tune in tomorrow! Or maybe the next day; we’ll see.

You Still Can’t Make This Up

And now back to the shower from earlier in our story:  We live in a manufactured home built almost 30 years ago.  You know how a stick-built home is supposed to increase in value over time?  Not so much with a manufactured home.

Anyway, the shower head in the master bath was leaking so JD* fixed it.  It continued leaking.  JD fixed it again.  Hey, it wasn’t his fault; he knows what he’s doing in a stick-built house.  Unfortunately, manufactured housing doesn’t use the same standard for their materials, at least they didn’t when ours was built.  The shower head didn’t exactly leak again, but it did blow off the pipe that comes out of the wall.  It was just too old and too stripped to be usable.  Story of my life.  And boy do I wish I had video of that — it happened while JD was using the shower!

So JD took off the fixtures, a chore in itself, and prepared to pull the vinyl (or whatever they used umpteen years ago) away from the wall so he could replace the pipe.  Unfortunately the vinyl or whatever cracked (did I mention it’s old?).  He was able to see behind though and discovered strange looking plumbing used mainly in manufactured homes and possibly in ancient RVs.  His tool collection doesn’t stretch to the appropriate gadgets for working on that.  It appeared we’d need help on this project so we set up an appointment with BathFitters for an estimate.  We knew at a minimum the wall would have to be replaced and we weren’t sure the plumber we’d had out last month did that sort of work.

Yes, two months running with plumbing problems.  Last month it was the water heater for which we shelled out 1200 clams – get it?  Shelled out?  Clams?


Moving on…I left my chiropractic appointment and while walking to a bus stop JD and I chatted about how I was going to get home from the train station.  He had parked our truck back in the station garage and since the taxi stand there was empty he was trying to figure out which bus would take him closest to our house.  With the BathFitter guy due at our place by six we were going to be cutting it close.  Two different bus drivers identified a bus that should get him where he wanted to go.  Did he ask his wife, the Super-Commuter?  Nooooo.  He ended up having to walk a lot further but he made it home before the rep got there.  I wasn’t so fortunate.

Super-Commuter that I am, I made the single worst mistake a commuter can.  I neglected to ask the bus driver if he stopped at my stop.  Hell, I’d been catching buses at that corner twice a week since I started going to the chiropractor in April.  I had asked every single driver that very question because I was unfamiliar with most of the bus routes I saw there.  Till now.  I was so glad there was one waiting at the stop!  It meant I’d get to the train station in time for my usual train and I’d get home in plenty of time!  I’d be able to take off my shoes, change out of my work clothes and be comfortable before the sales guy showed up.

Sadly, it was not meant to be.  I looked up seconds after taking a seat to find that the driver had made an immediate right turn.  Surprised, I signaled for the next stop, figuring I could still retreat back up the hill and catch a different bus.  The woman across the aisle from me advised that I had gotten on at the last stop; we were now headed for somewhere far, far away from where I wanted to be, damn it.  Okay, not that far, but I would not be making my usual bus.

I exited the bus at the first stop, crossed the street and waited at the sign there for a bus returning downtown.  Thankfully one stopped only a few minutes later.  Even more thankfully, the driver explained that the stop I was at was defunct – the new stop was a block west – but he had stopped anyway!  Bless him!  Unfortunately, his first stop was even further from the train station than the stop where I’d boarded the wrong bus.  And it was well into rush hour so what buses I saw were either SRO or barely creeping along.  Keeping an eye on my phone to monitor the time, I began to worry I would miss even the last train out.

 To be continued . . .

*JDis John Doe – who else would Janey Doe be married to?