Hard Lessons

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Learning Disabilities

I have no water in my house. I’ve had no Internet for weeks. My dog is at the vet’s having major surgery that will cost $1,000 U.S. that I need to go to the bank to withdraw along with another $1,000 I offered to loan to a friend to buy a car they need to buy who just called to say they need the money tomorrow! Problem is I can’t get to the bank because I’m hoping for a call from Telmex saying they’ve figured out my internet problem––and the plumber who is going to try to come at 3. All this and to top off the perfect day, I have amoebas and the new medicine I got yesterday has given me a headache and fever. Or I’m just stressing out and the entire kit and caboodle is giving me a fever and headache.

I’m beginning to fear I’m no longer able to handle running a house. The floor is covered by boxes of three different types of tile I have laid out to try them out. I have a dozen things to complete before I leave in a little more than a week. I’ve been trying to get a haircut for a month, but no time to do so. Gripe gripe gripe. You would think I would learn, but somehow time and time again I am getting into these high-stress situations where hyperventilation is the norm.

From a perfectly organized house last night my house has turned into a disaster area. Files from the file cabinet lay piled on the headboard/case of my bed—leftovers as I looked for a brochure of the water system to try to figure out what particular tube I need for the purification system. My bed is covered by the contents of six different big baskets I pulled down from the closet to look for a pair of gloves to handle the tube I bought after visiting four different water supply places. No, none had a man to come install it. Yes, I broke it installing it. Good thing I had one glove on—all I could find.

My desk is covered by little slips of paper concerning tile types, prices, business cards, discarded amoeba meds (wrong variety for what the lab told me yesterday) and old VHS tapes (what are those doing there?) Earlier, when I needed to call the water place to see if they could locate another purification tube light (answer was no) I couldn’t find one phone of four that I have in the house that was still in its cradle. Then when I did, turns out one of the lost phones was clicked on so I couldn’t call anyway. Search house again. Finally found it on the bookcase by the doggie domain. What in the world was it doing there and where in the world are the other 3 phones that are still lost? Last night I found them all and restored them to their cradles. Do I have Telmex poltergeists infesting my house every night?

Yes. At.The. End. Of. My.Rope.

Should I move? Can’t stand to think about that. Perhaps there is someone pleasant willing to trade free rent of my casita for a few managerial tasks such as dealing with electricity, phone, internet, gas and minor construction. No, I don’t need a keeper yet, but my house certainly does. It seems to be reaching that age when everything needs attending to. Walls aren’t crumbling, but floors need replacing, the walls painted less than a year ago need a second coat, and someone needs to search the Virginia creeper vines to find those hummingbird moth caterpillars that are pooping bee bees all over my terrace table and the steps outside the doggie domain.

Yes. At. The. End. Of. My. Rope.

I need to pick up Frida in an hour and still can’t get hold of Pasiano or Yolanda to come let the plumber in. If the plumber comes. And even then, I won’t have purified water—just water, at least, to flush toilets and wash with.

Headache. Chills. Frustration. Breathe. No one has died, at least today. Calm down. Was I always such a fussbudget? Yesterday I was screaming “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” when I had for the zillionth time lost my keys. They were no place. How could I be so dumb???? It was past time to leave for something important and the other set of car keys had vanished into the void 4 years ago. This was my last set. Last chance. I looked in the outside locks, the inside locks, the bathrooms, kitchen, under the bed, on the nail on the wall where I usually hung them. Emptied out my purse. Twice.

I imagine, now, neighbors passing in the street hearing this madwoman scream invectives at herself. With all my doors and windows open, they must be able to hear me as clearly as if they were inside my house. For 15 years, I’ve overlooked this fact until once earlier this year when all three of my dogs were barking and I roared “Frida!!! Stop!!!!” above the din, a friend protested,“Judy! You are worse than the dogs. You should hear yourself. You must scare the neighbors!” my friend uttered this softly. Unlike me.

I had to shout to be heard above the dogs, right? But did I need to scream at the keys?

I found them eventually and was only 10 minutes late to the appointment I started to leave for half an hour early. I found them by calmly retracing my steps which took me eventually by my open closet door with the new file cabinet inside—my keys dangling from its lock. I had gone to get some necessary file, but the cabinet is so new it had not yet been added to my key recovery route. It has been now.

I am, you see, capable of learning. It’s the remembering that is the hard part.

The End (Perhaps)

Postscript: Just now the lovely lovely girl from Techno Agua called. She has called all over town and located the right water purification tube light. It is 60 pesos above the price I paid for one this morning. Is that a problem? No problem. The plumber can come at 3. I just called Pasiano and although he still is not answering his phone and although Yolanda is working and can’t come to let the plumber in, her husband has agreed to do so; so when he arrives, I can go, hopefully, to the bank and then to get Frida. The tide is turning. Maybe today will turn out to be slightly less frustrating than earlier happenings indicated. 

An hour later: good news and bad news. I got to the bank in time to get the $1,000 U.S. for the surgery and the $1,000 for the car, but when I got to the vet’s I was informed that Frida still hasn’t awakened and so I need to leave her for the night. They assure me they’ll feed and water her when she wakes up, but although I understand I can’t take an unconscious dog home, nonetheless I know she’ll be traumatized to wake up in a cage away from home and to have to spend the night there. Also, I was supposed to sit the info booth at the Lake Chapala Society tomorrow so will have to try to find someone to sit in so I can go get Frida and take her home. Always a new thrill. Still no internet at home, so I am at the mall. Getting to be a regular mall rat as they have free wifi and otherwise it is $15 U.S. a day to use my phone as a hot spot as I was over my limit in just four days.

Are you tired of my whining yet?

 

The Prompt word today was “Learning.”

43 thoughts on “Hard Lessons

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    You actually made me feel a bit better. I was just sitting here, feeling overwhelmed. Autumn is coming and we’ll be fending off the invading mice. The cable guy was here … and we need some new wiring, but it’s a big deal, so we’ll put it off until things get so bad we can’t deal with it anymore. OY. The downstairs, now that no one is living there, is getting dusty and needs cleaning and I can barely manage to keep the upstairs where we live in an acceptable state. OY.

    I don’t think of this place as old. It was built in 1974, but it’s old enough that the wiring is dicey and the plumbing is dodgy. We’ve replaced the well pump and rebuilt the well. We replaced the roof when we moved in, but it’s closing in on 20 years … and Bonnie needed her teeth done and that was cheap at $400. Garry’s gums need more work and we do not have the $3000 to do it. And then, there are the hearing aids we also can’t afford.

    Overwhelming. I think I’d be overwhelmed even if I were 20 years younger.

    I don’t think there’s an answer. At least none that I can think of. We will just do what we are doing, coping with one thing at a time and hopefully, somehow, we’ll manage.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Dentistry is soooo much cheaper in Mexico and I know an excellent guy. You can always stay here.. so before you embark on anything dental, let me check it out here. Usually is cheaper even with the air fare and you can always stay at my house. Upstairs is more private, but a room downstairs on my level as well. Both with their own bathrooms.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I have three diamond drills of different sizes in my purse and signs up on my bathroom mirror and on my steering wheel. If you want to guarantee delivery, call me around 9:45 as that should be about when I’m driving by your turnoff. Isn’t this crazy that I need that many reminders???

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  2. JoHanna Massey

    Oh my..I’m hoping writing all this out has released some of the tension, if not solved all of the issues. Doesn’t it just boggle the mind how stressful things can stack up so quickly. And they will reach a peak and then begin to diminish. The internet looks like the start of the normal returning.

    Surrounding you with positive thoughts and energy. 🐞

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  3. Anonymous

    Must be a day for problems and ranting. Mine was about our horrible, HORRIBLE health care system here in the U.S. and the end of my wits with that. I would love to join you to help out there, but I’m afraid it would just mean 2 aging women to misplace everything in one location rather than in two separate locations. Forget the tiles until you get back. I hope Frida will be OK and that you get those amoebas rounded up and squashed.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Mainly, I need to calm down and think instead of getting flustered. Also to slow down. Usually in such circumstances I start having accidents but this time although flustered, I didn’t rush. Thus, no falls, running into things, etc. Well, I did break that long bulb..but no bones. And I got everything done except one thing. Not bad. And took a rest at the end. I think perhaps Frida’s not coming home was a chance to retreat for awhile, much as I wish for her that she’d been able to. It gave me a chance to go to the mall, have a meal, use the wifi and chill out. Had a couple of very good encounters..Was given a coupon for a free meal by the restaurant owner.. stroke out of the blue.. ran into a couple of friends. Had a few mysteries about my phone solved by a TelCel employee who spoke perfect English! So the day ended more peacefully than it began, and I’m told Frida is fine––just not coming out of the anaesthetic as fast as she should have. This happened with my other dogs as well. I think perhaps they oversedate them, but better than the alternative, I guess.

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  4. hirundine608

    The whining is fine, for me. It happens. I am not one for blogging/posting about my personal problems usually. Though I have on occasion. That’s not the relevant point. I would recommend you scale back a bit? How far? I don’t know? Yet it sounds like you have too much to do, right now? Best wishes for all that. Breathe deeply and take some liquid magnesium. Things will seem better in the morning: I think. Cheers Jamie.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Yes.. but unfortunately there was nothing I could avoid today.. except the internet problem which I did just forget about. I have to have water in my house, had to pay the vet bills and get the money for my friend whose car had broken down and he needs a car for his job. Had to pick up sweet Frida, although in the end I couldn’t. But on the other hand you are right. There is just too much going on with my house that needs to be done before I leave.. Blah blah..Life just has so many potentials which, added to the obligations, makes for dizziness. You are right but I don’t know what to cut out. Blogging takes up so much time but I love it, so…Yet I know that is where I need to cut back.

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    2. lifelessons Post author

      It is already better, by the way, thanks to friends who were willing to help out with different tasks. Friends are the payoff in life, for sure!!! Thanks Blue, Betty and Pablo–and the sweet gal at Techno Agua who saved my life by providing the light tube and the plumber!

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  5. Christine Goodnough

    Wow — what a day! You wondered if you’re no longer able to handle running a house. I’m sure that’s not the case — but maybe THAT house,

    There comes a time when people can’t look after do-it-yourself repairs anymore. My husband tried to replace the element in the hot water tank last week and finally gave up. “I guess I’m done being Mr Fix-It,” he said as he called our son-in-law.

    I know how it is when a person gets uptight and your brain short-circuits somehow. I’ve looked frantically for half-an-hour for something I know I had in my hand five minutes ago. Usually I give up and it shows up.

    One thing that could help (Don’t you just love belated advice?) is to make sure at least two phones are on their bases and your keys are on the hook every night before you head for bed.

    I’m finding nowadays (since chemo’s fried my brain) I NEED bedtime routines the night before “events.” Like setting out tomorrow’s clothes or checking that my cell phone is charged. And I’ve never really had any routines, just let spontaneity rule, so now I’m trying.to mend my ways. My mother-in-law was a creature of routine, especially pill-taking routines. I’m learning. 🙂

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  6. Embeecee

    No, not tired of the whining, just concerned for your stress level. Whining (as such) is a good release valve IMHO. Um. I’m all for the key ‘hook’ as I’ve done the same thing looking for missing keys (once with people waiting to take me somewhere), and cursing about/at the uncaring keys. I now have a spot where they ‘live’ and I’ve had a lot fewer lost keys episodes. Although I did lose the garage door opener (at 2 a.m. yet) and had to find my way in the dark to the back door of my home so I could get in. Thank God for the keys! Sometimes things just pile up and cascade down on a person, and I think that’s the instance here for you. I’ve read such beautiful stories about your lovely home and your life that I won’t believe it’s going to stay in this current ‘bad’ state. Take care. Hug your dogs. That’s the best remedy.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Comforting words. Thanks for them. Everything better today.. No internet, but I can adjust. I’m manning the info desk at a local community center today and they have wifi–yay!

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  7. scampertotellthestory

    Sometimes we need to share all of our woes so that we can see the bigger picture and let off some steam. It is a way of having things in a mirror and seeing them in a new way. Blessings upon your struggle and all your good outcomes and hopefully they won’t all happen on the same day ever again.

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  8. Mary Francis McNinch

    I hit like, but I didn’t mean it. I read the first 3 paragraphs and glanced down to see how many more there were. (For your sake not mine.) I sincerely hate that you had to go through all of that. One day, my Mother was having a huge fit, over what a friend thought was nothing. The friend said, “This is nothing! What if one of your grandchildren had cancer? Then you could be this upset.” I can’t believe Mom let her live. Mom replied, “Well you know what!! They don’t have cancer, so shut up!!!” I thought that was a great response. Even if no one died, you were dealing with more than most can and continued to function and move forward. I would like to know how you are feeling and how is poor Frida?

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Frida’s pain meds seem to have worn off. She’s breathing heavy but sounds like she is asleep. She’s been licking her wounds which I hate but she goes crazy when I put a collar of shame on her.. I mean absolutely nuts! And the dr. didn’t. He said to wait and see.. so I am. I just gave her another antibiotic. She was really happy and frisky when I went to get her this morning..and not traumatized. They had given her a tranquilizer but she was full of energy and jumped right up into the back seat. She’s a trouper. (I could have used that tranquilizer yesterday but okay today. I will take the advice offered Loretta as it does apply to me and thinking that always calms me down) Also there has been so much support like yours.. and I do appreciate it. xoxo

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      1. lifelessons Post author

        Ha.. yes, I got that. And I certainly had my own madhots during the day––but after some of them, this reminder to myself helped me to put things in perspective.

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  9. Christine Goodnough

    So glad to read in further comments here that the day turned out so much better. Having friends you can rely on is a great help in any house “happening.” (We’d be in dire straits without our son-in-law!)
    Hope you had a good time manning the booth. And the compensating “blessing” of a free meal as well must have been really cheering! Is there any resolution in sight on your internet issues?

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  10. dancingpalmtrees

    As the expression goes I could feel your pain. I’ve had those Murphy’s Law days in fact had one this past Monday. Dealing with my brother Stephen’s Group Home can be trials and tribulations. Stephen lives in a Residence for developmentally disabled adults. I have to admit that I do feel overwhelmed at times making sure he is getting good care, holding down a full-time job and the myriad of multi-tasking such as housework and overtime on my job. Thank goodness my vacation began this week. I can rest, relax and hopefully regroup before I must return to my crazy job on Tuesday. Hope everything is getting better for you. Frustration is a horrible thing. Be well Dear One.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Have you noticed that hearing someone else’s problems often makes you glad to have the ones you have? So sorry to hear about your brother. Frida, after additional problems and another stay in the hospital, is reported to be doing well by the house sitters. Everything else seems to be going well, except for the roof tiles that are sliding off the roof and the portion of the roof that will need retiling when I get home, or so my house sitters tell me…and wood borers in the porch beams. Ah well. Those are worries for another day.

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