The nurse’s sympathetic clucks just kept coming as she took my personal and family medical history. When we finished she said, “This makes me want to go home and hug my children.”

Um, can I just get some health care, please?


I Used To Read the New York Times on Sunday Mornings

The dogs woke me up. I let them out, started coffee, and put away dishes while the water brewed. Then I spotted dog poop in the living room. I peeled up the FLOR tile, tossed the poop into the bushes, added some Nature’s Miracle and let its enzyme action do its work. I gave them two great walks yesterday, including one right before bed. So why all this pooping?

Walking back through the living room, I found she’d peed on two more tiles. More Nature’s Miracle on those tiles and–sigh–on the wood floor under the tiles. Four tiles were ruined last week. I’m hoping to save today’s. Note to self: figure out why the dogs are going. Figure out how to get these smells out.

I went to fold the clothes that I’d asked daughter to bring upstairs yesterday. They were soaking wet. She, apparently, doesn’t have the hang of turning on the dryer yet. Asked her to come with me to put clothes back in the wash (because I want a witness if the rat is here). Re-washed them in the hot cycle, with Borax. Showed her how to start the dryer while we were there.

On the way upstairs, I saw little pieces of the stair carpet littering the floor. I mused as to whether the returned rat is doing that (because we hid the dog food from it), or whether the dogs are doing it (because I don’t walk them enough and they’re getting feisty). ¬†Will let that puzzle simmer while gathering more evidence.

Lugged the dehumidifier upstairs to target the mustiness from the wet clothes. Saw carpet missing from an upstairs step and was ready to conclude that the dogs are tearing the carpet.

Realizing that my tasks were one step forward and two steps back, briefly considered my list of things-to-do and wondered if I would ever get to installation of the the ceiling fan or the toilet fill valve. I’ve read the fill valve instructions. The box said there were 3 steps. But the instruction sheet has about 18 steps, with variations. The steps are simmering in my brain until the installation moment strikes.

Then my back hurt. If my back goes out, we’re all goners.

Went to my bed and had a good cry. Then I lay there and thought. I have been waking up with tight muscles. My hamstrings are as tight as they were when I was training for the half marathon. I’m pretty sure now it’s from being chronically clenched. So I rolled my sorry self out of bed, laid on the floor, and held my legs vertical against the wall in my favorite hamstring stretch. From the floor, I read a chapter or two of my Swedish detective novel and took a phone call from my son, who was not yet ready to be picked up from his sleepover. My daughter appeared next to me and browsed the bookshelves. In the corner of my eye, I saw her reading an illustrated book about the Declaration of Independence. I returned to my Swedish detective novel. Wallander is melancholy and reflective.

Came out of the wall stretch. Stretched out my back. Made a banana bread with my daughter. While it baked, I joined her on the couch in the family room. Found the last screw for the anchor box that holds up the ceiling fan–numerous screws flew across the room when I took down the old fan down–and realized that the time for the fan installation may strike soon. We started an episode of our current British tv show (which streams so nicely now) and I promptly fell asleep, hard and slobbery, for about 10 minutes.

The new Sunday morning.