Thursday, August 4, 2016

Changes... and Progress?

I tried to laugh at myself this morning on my trip from bed to the bathroom. I stumbled, tilted, double-stepped... all in all would have failed a sobriety test. Good thing I didn't have to drive to the bathroom. I'd like to blame the dogs I was dodging, or the walls, bed, rugs, dresser, doorknobs... but really, I'm just completely uncoordinated when I first wake. However, considering how far the hike in this house to is to the bathroom, it didn't seem wise to wait to fully wake up. Especially when one of the four of us has just left for work (what woke me), so I know the odds have just improved of no waiting outside the door.

I have decided to tell folks that I have two new knees and they are still getting used to me. Of course, nobody bothers to inquire.

I am walking a bit more, not so much out hiking the paths but trying to do actually useful things. It was a slow start, beginning with the shower and progressing to the bathroom floor, including new rugs and some of that animal doedorizer, then progressing to the kitchen, bit by bit.

Now I can sweep the living/dining/kitchen/hall floor all in one go, no sitting down four times to rest, no stopping before the full two gallons of dirt and doggie dust bunnies are mostly relocated behind plastic.

I noticed a pair of bruises where I haven't seen any for years now. That may seem odd, but I was out along the driveway with hand and long pruners ridding the garden of trees that have grown up unimpeded during the last several years when my knees kept me from doing more than mentally tut-tuting as I walked or drove by. Those bruises? Oddly, they're in my tummy where I had to use full body pressure to close those pruners against some of those branches. And yes, this job I had to take several breaks from, and am currently taking another few days from getting back to it. Anyway, those bruises, they're tiny, thanks to being off warfarin now for months.

I collected my dirty laundry together and hauled it down the basement steps. The process involved one foot down, clinging tightly to the rail, drag the basket down one step, rebalance and shift grip, repeat 14 times. It was going to be another step towards independence, but one long look at Paul's new washing machine quickly told me I have no idea which of the 83 buttons I need to push in which order to accomplish the task. So the dirty clothes sat there. At least some clothing and detergent made it into the machine. I got that far!

On the way down I did notice that I could still be helpful, and wound up with  total of 4 trips up and down those stairs. I'm not sure they've been swept for the 4 years since I last struggled down, so the first trip involved fetching and using broom and dustpan... and bags. More bags, broom, and chair were appropriated to knock down neatly stacked piles of empty water bottles, scrunch them into smaller forms, load into bags to carry up - later just try to throw them up and be happy with any progress per bag, one step, three... and keep progressing by the bag on the last trip up I had any energy for. By then, almost zero.

I had to ask Paul after starting running the washer to bring up the broom and dustpan again for me. I hadn't gotten to the floors up here yet at that time. They waited two more days. I was having company over.

Is the basement job done? You shitting me? A certain son and I are getting together this weekend with more bags, brooms, whatever, and the chair I'm mostly going to be supervising from, to clear a much better path through the chaos and make some decisions on what is absolutely NOT going to be inhabiting that space again in the near future. I figure a couple months of that should result in  some progress, always given the limits of space in the garbage can, and the fact that the empty water bottles, completely recyclable, take up a lot of room per unit and we're starting with a can nearly full already from all the bits and pieces of metal from a twin mattress spring that got cut up and disassembled this week by a certain other son with some assistance from his mom while watching one of the earliest Doc Martin episodes on TV.

Amazing what bits you remember. Fun new favorite show, anyway. We get bits of Season 3 in Phoenix, and Season 1 just started up here. Answers a lot of questions.

Anyway, while garbage goes out weekly, recycling goes only every 2 weeks, so that job is slower. While you can squeeze a lot of crumpled water bottles in a plastic bag and knot the tops, they can't go out that way, so I imagine them puffing up like popcorn in the bin.

In a few more days I may feel like more gardening, including cutting down all the ragweed that took over. By then I expect to be able to start finding those 3-year-old Amur Maples that sprout up everywhere ( a poor choice of landscape tree in retrospect, in the garden, but oh so pretty in the fall). The garden is a particular challenge for me because the ground was lined with rocks and things planted in the spaces. Nothing is level, and my knees particularly hate that. Nor can I kneel.

One of the biggest changes to the appearance of the yard is the absence of the old RV. I had nothing to do with it. This time Steve gets the credit. A couple years ago I signed over my half of the title so Paul could get rid of it however he wanted. After all, Steve and I planned to never get under the thing to hook up grey- and blackwater hoses, and Paul wasn't all that keen to go camping with us again after The Disaster Trail. I mean, fun, yeah, but Murphy came along on that one. So it sat in the driveway. And sat. There are nice (!) ruts in the asphalt where the tires were all that time.

Tuesday was National Night Out. Steve loves to go. He gets to ride in the fire engine. He's still the oldest "kid" to take that ride each year, and knows all the local firemen by name and vice versa. Rather than drive over, he took the scooter my dad used to use. (Still not sold. Needs batteries. Cheap. Anybody interested??) The batteries died on his way back and some lovely folks gave him a push the rest of his way home. They got to talking about the RV. The guy's a mechanic and an optimist. The end of the story is that it got towed out of here yesterday morning at no cost to us. Everybody happy with the price. Mouse nests added for free.

And OMG we can see the neighbors again! Well, plus vice versa, sorry guys. Once Steve and I leave again, the guys don't have to juggle cars each night depending on who leaves first the next morning! So bonuses all around. Of course some garbage that was hiding - from us - behind the thing now needs to go away, but that's ultimately a good thing too.

So, I'm feeling useful, a tad more competent, and we're still snickering when national news here reports the disaster of 2" of rainfall down in Phoenix shoving cars down the streets. It never falls on our yard, of course.



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