Altering Habits

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Scotty's Place





Productive Weekend
2008-06-30, 4:21 p.m.

Day 1408

Gad that’s over! Finally had out little ‘come to Jesus’ chat Saturday night. Went pretty well really. We don’t agree on all points, but we’re agreeing to disagree for now. Some other misperceptions were cleared up too. AND!! Sunday morning at least, the surly, ill-tempered, definitely-not-a-morning-person I’m used to didn’t show up. Not sure just who exactly I was having morning coffee with yesterday, but it was pleasant.

Saturday morning weather was yucky enough that hitting up a spin class at the Y was mandatory. Must have been an unusually humid morning too because not only did I manage to soak my shirt down to the hem, the “V” of the sweat pattern was more of a “U”. TMI? Sorry. But man, there was a lot of sweat happening.

The rest of the day Saturday was spent puttering around on unfinished little side jobs. When the countertops were installed, the guys ‘secured’ the dishwasher by running a big wad of RTV (aka silicone sealant) along the joint between the top of the dishwasher and the bottom of the counter. Told me it would last for the life of the dishwasher. But they also left me two little metal clips with weld nuts on them and a batch of epoxy to attach the clips with. Just in case. This did not bode well for the dishwasher. Earlier this week, when pulling out the bottom drawer to empty it, the RTV joint let go and the dishwasher tipped very noticeable forward. Oops.

So Saturday’s main project was figuring out how to mark just where I needed to install those little clips. Then there was the task of centering the little nuts on the little mark when you couldn’t actually see through the nut to find the mark. Long story short – it’s back in. Got at least ONE of the holes to line up. Maybe I’ll go back through and squirt in another wad of RTV for good measure.

We’d also noticed that the dishwasher was a whole lot noisier since it had been re-installed after the countertops were put in. There was a big, hollow, buzzing noise coming from it, mostly when the main pump was emptying the tank. We were afraid the pump was getting ready to shit the bed in a barely 2 year old washer! Curiously, I also could not find my favorite utility knife, and hadn’t seen it since around the time the counters were installed two months ago. You’d never guess what I found when I slid the dishwasher out of it’s cave (well, except for the excellent set-up job I did, right?) There was my utility knife, wedged in between the cabinet and the main housing of the dishwasher. Any large-ish vibration from the dishwasher would rattle that knife against both the washer housing and the cabinet. It’s sort of funny, once I got the dishwasher re-installed (again) I ran a load and it was ever-so-much quieter. Can’t figure out why!

So. Better dishwasher situation. Putzed around with some other small jobs, but really tried to avoid sweating anymore. It was SO humid all day.

Sunday had the potential for trouble. Cindy was to set-up and attend the graduation ceremony for the school where she works. She already does a metric ton of shit for the graduation – programs, checking all the kids names, making sure only the kids that will actually graduate are listed, award coordinations, lining up a speaker – tons of crap. It’s a major stressor for her for the entire last month of the school year. The last two years, the current principal has requested that she attend the ceremony. He’d like her to be there so he can recognize her for all the effort she puts in, not only for graduation, but for the entire school year. I make no bones about it – she’s a huge part of keeping the school functioning as well as it does. Cindy would just as soon melt into the woodwork. I think it’s good for her to be recognized. She really deserves that pat on the back from her peers & superiors.

Anyhow. To do this graduation thingy, she’s got to be out of the house by 11 and will be gone till 5:30-ish, leaving me to my own devices. What do I do? Why call Zach and arrange to get some big pieces of furniture moved out of the room formerly known as the family room. Of course, this calls for a little bribery. 9 holes of golf? Sure. Pick you up around noon!!

So we snuck in 9 quick holes. Third hole we caught up to a guy playing single, so we joined him and made a threesome. Had a very pleasant round, except for the two asshole teenagers behind us. One time they kinda sorta hit into us with their drives, but it was up and over a hill so the shot was kind of a blind one. Another time, they hit onto the green while we were still putting. In plain view. One of the kids managed to get his ball just off the back of the green – not quite on the apron, just into the first cut of rough off the back edge. The temptation to either pick up his ball and throw it back at him or just stomp it into the ground was nearly overwhelming.

Instead, we putted out then waited at the next tee. When they finished, we invited them to go ahead and play through. It was really kind of cool, because you could see that they both felt about 2 inches tall. It was almost more satisfying than burying their (golf) balls. Almost.

Just heard from Cindy. She had to drop a prescription refill off at her dad’s. We’d been wondering why we couldn’t get hold of him all weekend. Well, she found out why. His phone/answering machine (same style we have) was unplugged and un-powered, wrapped up in its’ cord and stashed away on top of his kitchen cabinets. His place was also a wreck. He was under the impression (again) that someone had stolen his wallet. In an effort to find it, he dumped everything out of his closet & dresser. Again.

His wallet & keys? Under his pillow. The paranoia associated with his particular brand of dementia is powerful. He is his own worst enemy. Fearing that people are going to steal his stuff, he hides it. Then he can’t remember where he hid it. In a rage, he starts throwing stuff around, usually breaking it. His walls bear the dings, dents & scars of his frustrations. His apartment is stark, utilitarian. Anything that was used to decorate it is broken, discarded. He has a bed and 3 recliners. TV stand, computer/secretary desk, bookshelves, filing cabinet, nightstands – all broken & discarded. He’s on his fourth Norelco razor this year. Dropped, thrown, losing the power cord, what ever. Four razors. It’s frustrating for us, watching it happen. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for him, living through it happening, knowing it didn’t used to be like this. This, I think is the worst stage. Things are going south and sometimes he knows it. Cindy got in touch with the social worker at Bob’s swinging senior living facility. She’ll be doing some advocate work for us – getting Bob’s appointment schedule tweaked, and as a professional, voice her own concerns with his behavior in an effort to get his medications adjusted more quickly. She’s afraid that in his current condition, with the aggressive tendencies, that no Alzheimer’s facility would admit him. They’d be too worried about the safety of the other residents. We’re just worried period.

Man. Enough depressing stuff. Fun stuff . . . hmmmmm. The room formerly known as the family room is nearly empty. Next up? Floor removal. After that? Eliminate a closet and move the door coming in from the garage. Then build a wall and create a laundry room. Re-do the powder room while we’re at it. (Finally get rid of that toilet that just will NOT stay clean.)

Then, maybe, move the pond. Then, maybe build the back deck and roof it. Peej – you & your mad deck building skillz are invited. I’ll supply all the wings & yings we need, and toss in a few sardines & mustard(?) for good measure. And we have a real live guest bedroom, so no sleeping on the floor or couch. Even if you’d rather. And puhleeze – no new sunburns, mmkay? Of course, by the time I get to it, sunburn may not be the problem, more likely snow burn will be the hazard.

Better go start drawing up some plans.

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old habits - new tricks