plans? hah!

This weekend, I planned on doing some heavy cleaning. The dusting and vacuuming have been neglected for more than a month and the dust monsters and furballs are conspiring to smother us as we sleep. If not for good fans, we never would’ve made it.

But I forgot about that post-crisis numbness that sets in. You know, the kind where a good, solid eight hours of sleep doesn’t begin to touch that bone-level exhaustion.

Saturday, I stared at the same paragraph in the New York Times for 15 minutes before I realized I didn’t even know which article I was reading. About all I accomplished, besides paying bills, was to trim the lovely flowers Candy sent Stanley so they’d last longer, water the plants on the porch and the small garden (five or six tomatoes now!), and dig out and dust one of the side tables (liberating it from 30 pounds of magazines I’ll never read). Oh, and I went to PetCo to get cat food before the kitties started nibbling on the dog. I’d gone to Stew Leonard’s Friday afternoon for the groceries we needed for a couple of days (and came home whimpering—too much humanity) and to Walgreens for Stanley’s meds, so didn’t need to go out anyplace else. And I made a great dinner—Sharon left us a wonderful care package from the Westport Farmers Market so we dined off that. Tuna salad and good tomatoes and corn on the cob and berries—it finally felt like summer to us.

stanley's 46 staples and 12 stiches

Stanley’s leg looks like someone took a baseball bat to it, at least, today it does. The photo, which you can click to enlarge if you want to, was taken Saturday morning before the real bruising started turning a lovely shade of green-purple. He pushed it a little lot on Friday so took it very easy on Saturday. It’s swollen and black and blue. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but we see the infectious disease doctor, Zane Saul, on Monday so we can ask him. It’s still draining, but the good draining and not the awful draining like he had with his staph infection. He’s still on IV antibiotics—it will be wonderful to reclaim the quarter of the living room that’s taken over by medical supplies and IV poles. Maybe Monday Dr. Saul will take him off the antibiotics and pull his PICC line. But if not—better to be safe than sorry. So what’s a few more quarts of yogurt ... He has, I think he said, 46 staples and 12 stitches. He’s mostly irritated that he can’t go back to his installation and finish work for about ten days—he has lots of web work and research work to do, but he has clients who’ve been patiently waiting for him to recover so they can get their window treatments hung and computers fixed. We had a couple of completely stupid arguments where we just yell at each other, at least on Saturday we did. Neither of us took it seriously—it’s just frustration and exhaustion breaking through. Sunday, we managed to get a little bit more housework done. Very little. Stanley did some laundry, I cleaned up our George Foreman toaster oven from last week’s bruschetta and mozzarella “pizza” (it’s a very strange toaster oven—some very dumb design features. But I like it anyway—I’m not sure why.) and got rid of still more magazines. Stanley showed me the notice from the Norwalk tax assessor’s office: they’re going to be snooping through our houses over the next couple of weeks so they can jack up our property taxes again (we already pay nearly $6,000 per year). So Stanley said we should just leave the house a big dust bowl, in hopes that they lower our assessment. Ha. Even sparkling clean (which lasts for all of two hours before dust and fur start taking over again), it’s clear that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. And we received a notice from our home insurance company, Nationwide, where we’re told that it would cost $355,000 to replace our house, rather than $275,000 or whatever it was, so our homeowner’s insurance is being jacked up in October. We don’t know by how much yet. Things keep getting better and better ... I just wish I knew when the tax snoop, from J.F. Ryan Associates, is planning on dropping in. The letter just says between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. over the next two weeks. To set a value on our house for October 2008. That will probably push a few hundred more senior citizens out of their houses here, like it did during the last re-evaluation. The worst part of the weekend came Sunday morning about 4 a.m. Yes, I was awake, doing computer maintenance stuff and odds and ends. Ginger had to go out. She was out quite a while, so I went outside to see what she was up to. Meanwhile, Twitch was hovering around the door, trying to get out. When I let Ginger back in, the effing cat slipped out the door and made his break for the trees. I tried to stop him and jammed my left ring finger so hard against the door I think it might have a fracture—it’s swollen and sore as hell. But that didn’t matter. I had to find that damned cat. In the dark. In the fog. Steamy out, I felt like I was in a sweat lodge. Mosquitoes snacking on me. Went in and got the flashlight and proceeded to search. We live on a half-acre plot with lots and lots of shrubbery, all of it mid-summer lush. I checked the tress (Twitch is a climber, usually)—no luck. So I’m out there, poking through the bushes with a flashlight, calling “here kitty fucking kitty,” and hoping 1) that I could spot the stupid cat and 2) the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops. “Some perv is in the bushes with a flashlight ... ” I finally spotted him running across the driveway to the gully that runs between our property line and the school property—and down the gully he went. Making those stupid cat sounds they make when they’re having fun tormenting their human. Calling him, but not too loud because I didn’t want Stanley to hear me and wake up and hobble around the yard on his gimpy leg and rip his stitches out, toying with going down into the gully and risking getting my eyes poked out and bothering Mama Skunk or whatever ... Eventually, the stupid cat got tired of playing with me, and came out and threw himself on the ground like he does when he wants his belly scratched. Waiting for me to pick him up and take him inside so he could eat and sleep. He always does. But I always panic, anyway—I never know if this will be the time he ends up in the street and gets smushed or strays too far and gets truly lost. I told him that one of these times, I’m not going to go looking for him, but he just looked at me and sent me a mind message: “Yeah, right.” Sometimes I truly hate that cat. Off to bed, long day tomorrow, to the doc’s office and lots of catching up to plunge in to. A lot. But, it seems, the worst is behind us now, as far as Stanley’s health goes. I hope.

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