Friday, June 27, 2008


I have never had that great of a memory, but I feel an increasing sense that it is getting worse.  I can’t recall entire conversations I’ve had with people, personally or at work.  I don’t fully doubt that they happened, but I am starting to wonder what’s going on.  Have people noticed that I don’t necessarily remember things, and then try to con me into thinking I agreed to something that I didn’t intend?  Perhaps, but most of these types of conversations, such as the one I had at work today, don’t present any real gain for the other person so I choose to believe I have just forgotten.


I will admit that I tend to multitask, which does reduce my attention to both functions.  Sometimes I don’t pay close enough attention to a conversation that is not vitally important, so I end up forgetting parts (or all) of it.  Some periods in my life I prefer to block out because they were painful, I wasn’t happy, or they just weren’t vivid enough to stick in my mind.  That being said, why does my memory seem so much worse than the average person?  Do I spend too much time thinking inside myself to the point where I am blocking out the outside world?  That may be a possibility.  I am used to spending a lot of time alone, thinking to myself.  I have been known to think about conversations in my head, believing that I truly did have that conversation with the person, only to have them adamantly reply that I said nothing to them about a topic.  That makes me think I’m starting to lose my mind.


I’m not stupid, though.  If anyone asks me to remember the conversation we had about me lending them $1000, I’ll know better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm tired today. I was at work from 10:30 to almost midnight last night, trying to fix an issue. Still isn't fixed. I am now the ping pong ball in the fun game of "the problem isn't on our end, it must be on the other company's end." This is not a game I enjoy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

John's progress - Day 4 & 5

They passed through Knoxville and stopped for the night in Roanoake, VA. They have attempted to send me pictures, but the first batch bounced back, and the second attempt was foiled by computer hogs. Today they are on the road bound for Lancaster, PA, home of his sister, where they can get some rest and family time.

I don't think John has gotten a full night's sleep in about a month. His one comment to me this morning (he was driving, so didn't want to talk & drive) was "I hope this is over soon." Today is a short day of driving, so hopefully he'll be able to get some R & R at his sister's house. They haven't decided yet how long they're staying, but I hope they stay long enough to get some good rest.

Today I am going to continue the cleaning & purging in the house. I need to make sure the spare bedroom is ready for his mom, that things are out of the way in the basement where we'll need to carry things inside, drop off the bags of clothes that I've purged, take some cardboard to recycling. I still have to drop by ADT and order another alarm keyfob... been meaning to do that all week since ADT is in the building beside me at work. He will also need a bridge pass, but probably not until he gets NB plates. I'll call and see what info they need and if I can get it early.

Sometime this weekend I also need to put on a push to finish the book for book club, do some more knitting so I can estimate how much yarn I need in total, and ponder some work HR issues I may have to deal with. My brain is full.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

John's progress - Day 1 to 3

John left Irvine on Tuesday, went as far as Scottsdale, AZ. Stayed overnight with Chris, Cynthia & Summer. Left Wednesday and stopped in Tucumcari, NM (close to TX border). Today, they are headed toward Knoxville, TN, taking a more southerly route in order to avoid tornado weather. At least I think that's what he said in his voicemail, as the message cut out. I keep managing to leave the room when he calls, grrr!

I can tell that John is pretty stressed out. He hasn't slept well in weeks due to the stress of packing, Caly, and moving his whole life around. His biggest concern right now seems to be the fear of robbery. He's traveling with everything he owns in the world, the only exception being his guns. If his trailer and/or vehicle got broken into or stolen, that's most of what he has to his name. I can't fully relate to this fear because I live in a place where crime is relatively low. I understand his concern, though. All he can do is follow best practices. Keep things locked and secure, don't leave the stuff unattended except overnight, etc.

He hasn't been eating very much or very well lately, so I think it's a good thing that his mother is with him to remind/"force" him to eat.

I want him to get here, get settled, and start to feel like a normal person again.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Toilet Tales

When John is here, we often find ourselves in the predicament of both needing to use the bathroom at the same time. With his move happening very soon, our need for a second toilet in the house was becoming more important. So over the past couple of weeks, that has been my household focus and goal.

I started by talking to Dad about getting water pipes into that room. The waste pipes were there, but no water was being brought into the room. We discussed what needed to be done, and he decided to bring just one cold water line in for now to handle the toilet. In the meantime, my task was to go toilet shopping and pick one out.

I decided I wanted an elongated toilet, since it was closer to what John was used to. Jenn and Stew got a new toilet last summer, and they seemed happy with it, so I decided to go with the same model. Since toilets aren't really something you can try out, it wasn't really something I could spend a lot of time on -- they all end up looking the same in the end. This toilet was from Home Depot, was only $100, and I had gift cards from my wedding shower that would cover the purchase. The only problem was that Home Depot was out of stock, and couldn't tell me when they'd get any in.

Dad called last Saturday morning asking if I had gotten a toilet yet. I told him Home Depot was out of stock. He suggested we could wait until later, but I wanted to seize the opportunity that my Dad was available and willing to work on the project. On a whim, I called Fredericton Home Depot, and lo and behold, they had 6 in stock. I decided rather than driving around SJ looking for another toilet, I could spend the same amount of time driving to Fredericton and back. So I did.

Dad and I started our project upstairs, since I wanted to put the new toilet upstairs and the old toilet downstairs. The old toilet always seemed to spray water on the seat, and that annoyed me. We got the new one installed without too much difficulty. We then moved the old toilet downstairs, unfortunately some of the wax came off on the stairs. I worked on cleaning it, but could only get it to come out so well. I may get the carpet cleaners to attack it next time I have them in.

Next was installing a flange for the toilet to sit on in the basement. All I had was a pipe sticking out of the floor. Dad needed more tools, so we called it a day and picked back up again on Sunday. I did manage to get a lot cleaned up in the spare bedroom on Saturday, though, which was good. I went through a couple of buckets of paperwork left over from the wedding/last fall, and sorted those. I also found another bucket I didn't know I had and that ended up containing the coupon I'd been searching for about my wedding dress preservation.

On Sunday Dad came back over late morning. He chiseled out around the pipe in order to put in the flange, and put down a piece of plywood so the toilet would be level. We set the toilet in place and then went to work on the water pipes. After realizing he had bought the wrong connector, he went out to replace that. He ran the water pipe, turned off the main water supply, and cut the cold water pipe to install the T joint for the new pipe.

That's when the fun began. None of the 3/4" fittings he had bought would fit the pipe. We drove to Home Depot and Kent, only to find out that my pipe was Kitek. Plastic on the inside & out, with aluminum in the middle. It was discontinued and thus no one stocks parts for it anymore. It is just a fraction of an inch larger than all of the fittings currently available. We ended up buying some parts to make a temporary fix, at least so I could shower or use the toilet. That fix wasn't very reliable though, and ended up leaking, so I turned the water back on long enough to fill the toilet tank but that was it. Sunday night I ended up taking my stuff and showering over at Dad's house, to prevent any catastrophes from the pipes leaking more downstairs.

Monday morning Dad hit the plumbing stores bright & early. He discovered that they didn't stock any parts for Kitek pipe either. With it being discontinued, most places returned their parts for credit. The problem with the Kitek pipe was that the material used to keep the parts of the pipe together was water soluble, so if the pipe got wet in between layers, it would fall apart. No wonder it was discontinued, but my whole house is plumbed with this stuff. If we couldn't find a fitting that would work, I would have had to replumb my house. Luckily, one of the plumbing supply shops was able to find a couple of fittings to fit the pipe, and rigged up another piece of copper pipe to go between the two. Dad had my water back in business by noon on Monday.

This weekend, I put on the finishing touches. I installed a curtain rod that I stole from the bathroom (it was empty and I had never put anything there). I took a twin size bedsheet that I previously used as a dropcloth to act as a "door". I discovered yet again that I am inept at using a cordless drill, so I ended up doing 2/3 of it by hand with a manual screwdriver. I also put the blinds up in front of the window. They ended up not being totally centered, but by the time I was done fighting with the drill, I didn't really care.

That's the best I can do for now, but at least it provides an extra toilet.

After having the new toilet upstairs for the past week, after all of the effort that went into it, I am disappointed. It has a sluggish flush, so you need to hold the button down for all of the paper to go away. I am also still getting water sprayed up on the toilet seat. Jenn says she doesn't experience either of these problems with her toilet, so I can only assume it is something about my house.

The other thing I don't like about the new toilet is the seat, but that is something that can be easily changed. The seat that came with it is angled inward toward the bowl so much that I feel like I am falling in. I also really miss my padded toilet seat. I am one of the few people who love padded toilet seats. Frankly, I spend enough time in the bathroom that I need some comfort. I did some research, talked to John about what he liked, and started looking into wood seats. While I was researching that, I found a brand new model of seat by Kohler called Zofa.

It's a padded seat, but a single-layer of foam rather than vinyl over stuffing/wood, which means no cracking and splitting of vinyl. It's not freezing cold to touch, and the foam is removable for cleaning. It also has quiet close so the lid doesn't slam, and has quick release, which allows you to remove the seat without unscrewing the bolts so you can clean around it. John seemed to like the idea, he wasn't against this type of padding, so I decided to go searching for it. I found a place online and will ship it to Calais. They're currently out of stock as this model has been quite popular (good sign), but they should have more in by June 18.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


A lot of people have asked me why I never got a pet when I moved into my house alone. Yesterday explains why: I don’t deal very well at all with death. A pet is great as long as you have it, but eventually you know you’re going to have to say goodbye. I’ve said goodbye to enough humans in my life so far, and am terrified of saying goodbye to more. I don’t need to add another living being to the mix whom I’m going to have to mourn someday. Some would say that’s not a good way to live your life, because you never experience the happy parts of having that companion. They’re probably right, but I just can’t bring myself to do it knowing it will end badly, someday.

She was a cat who made a lot of messes, but not all of them were her fault. She loved lying in dirty laundry. She loved my new sneakers. She loved being scratched under the chin. She was a very quiet cat who didn’t meow loudly and annoyingly like some. She moved slowly. She was cuddly and soft. She grew to accept me even though I disrupted her comfortable living situation. She even licked my hand. She appreciated that when I came to visit, I was awake at 4am and could scratch her. She loved her pink brush. She loved eating ribbon, even though she wasn’t supposed to. She never tried to escape to the outside world, she was content to just sit and look out the screen door.

I can’t ever see her again.

She wasn’t even my cat.

But here I sit, at my desk, bawling my eyes out over a pet that wasn’t mine. If I can’t handle this, how could I handle the death of pet that did live with me for 10 years?

Someday John might talk me into getting a pet. I will go through the ups & downs, and eventually I will have to say goodbye to it, and it will hurt even more than this does. It just doesn’t seem worth it, but not having had experience with the joys of pets, I guess I can’t relate.

I don’t want to keep saying goodbye to people/living things.

So I’m doing the crying for both of us. I seem to be good at that, so I guess that will be my role.

I miss you, Caly.