Still the One

Girl Shows On White Background Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free)  8508739 | Shutterstock
V for Vaccine Victory!

Fair warning! I had my second Pfizer shot last night. I’m expecting any serious side effects to kick in in about 4-6 hrs. But I do feel a little feverish (99.3F), so cut me some slack today. Two weeks from now, I’m 100% vaxed! But I’m keeping up the vigilance because I read a study this week on post-vax covid cases. The vast majority of them were attributed to people relaxing their safety protocols before the 2 weeks post-vax was up. Gotta say, I hear this mistake happen a lot. So sad, to get that close to dodging covid and fall on the last hurdle.

For anyone still not vaxed? At this point, our county is walk-in everywhere. So no appointments needed, no excuse not to give it a whirl. Mother’s day is coming up. If you get the first dose then, you can get the second dose on Father’s day. Do it for the folks! Or, if you’re graduating high school or college soon, maybe get the first dose in June and then the second on the 4th of July and celebrate being a patriotic adult. If you’re moving this summer or if travel interstate (or even overseas is) on your hit list, do it now and by Memorial day, you’re all set.

In some interesting vax news, Mutti got a text from My Turn, California’s vax website, telling her she needed to schedule her 2nd dose. Huh? She’d had her 2nd dose a week ago. So weird. I think there might be a glitch in the system. Which would mean there’s a lot more people who are getting second doses in California, but the system is failing to record it. I would have thought the pharmacy she went to would have reported her getting the 2nd dose, as a crosscheck, to My Turn. But….whatever. I told her to report it to My Turn and to the county public health office.

Large Coffee Mug Pottery Soup Mug Stoneware Coffee Mug | Etsy
Oh yeah, 2 of these is a lot of coffee. Etsy.

This week is ending well, I got my vax. And today new AC units are arriving at the house! Yippee. I wouldn’t have imagined this positive outcome based on how the week started. On Saturday, I gave Gran toast and coffee in bed. She didn’t seem herself. But I went out to the front yard, while it was coolish, and started working on the summer trim, tidy and weed pull. After a grueling hour and half in the sun, I came in. I checked on Gran, she said she wanted to get up, but she seemed out of it. I got her dressed and up and wheeled her out to the living room, whereupon, she began to have a seizure.

Or, it seemed like a seizure. I wondered if I should call 911, but she has a DNR. Mutti? At which point, she vomited up all the coffee all over herself – 2 large mugs worth. Usually she has 1 but today….yeah 2. Then a lot of snot came pouring out of her nose like a fountain, and then she hawked up the a phlegm glob the size of a golf ball. Uh…..”Are you ok, Gran?” “Yes, I think so.” I cleaned her up a little and I went back to her bedroom for a moment, to compose myself. I thought about calling the Cal Hope helpline. But I didn’t need hope. I needed help.

I picked up the phone (yep, still got landlines here), and called my friend (who is fully vaxed), who helps Mutti with laundry when she’s with Gran. She was very gracious and took a couple of the 7 loads off my hands. I went back to Gran and found that it wasn’t just one end stuff came out of. Yep, watery diarrhea everywhere. I girded my loins, took Gran back to the bedroom and started the process of clean up. It was a long day. Really long. I eventually flopped on the couch and passed out while the LTG Women’s World Curling Championships played.

Canada's Einarson extends win streak to four games in world curling play
Team Canada, I love you, and have faith you’ll bring home a gold next Olympics.

When I woke up an hour later, I realised I was watching a game from Friday, and not Saturday’s live game. WTF? I checked my tv. Nope, this was not what was supposed to be on. I had to go online to find a press release. Apparently 3 members of the CBC team covering the event came down with covid Sat. This resulted in a total coverage blackout Sunday. Then more people tested positive, 7. And the total blackout was extended. Games were still played but no one could watch them. At this point, they hope to have coverage restored by this evening.

It’s 10-day event. We’ve missed 6 days of the bonspiel. WTF Canadian Broadcast Company?! You couldn’t ask LA or NYC to send you a team of FULLY VACCINATED people to run the frigging cameras? I’m sorry but, this event is the apex of play. It determines who gets an automatic spot at the Olympics. What kind of action plan did you have in place? I mean, you did have an action plan, right? In case someone got covid? You knew it could happen and you’d need a back up plan, right? Or did you just not give a crap because, you know, it’s only women playing and they’re just not that important?

Like my friend Pietro says, “First world problems.” I get it. I admit that. I do try to keep perspective. But as the SO wisely says (at least to my face), “We live in the first world, so these are our problems.” I’ve been hanging on by a thread this time round. After back-breaking hand weeding in the heat, then coming in to be vomited and shit upon, and facing piles of filth and laundry, as well as life’s knotty questions and vicissitudes, alone, again, was a little respite of watching ladies curling so much to ask? Apparently so. Okay I’m done “sweeping hard” on the CBC.

Jerry-built' vs. 'Jury-rigged' vs. 'Jerry-rigged' | Merriam-Webster
I dunno. Does this look fixed to you?

Things went on like that, Sunday. Monday it got hot. So I turned on the AC in the kitchen. I was literally hit in the face with a chunk of mold. Um, yeah. Gran has allergy induced asthma. But she’s had the same AC units in her windows for over 20 years. I just lost it. In terms of me losing it, you know it’s happening when I go deathly silent and then walk outside. You need to stay at least 20 ft back and not speak. Better yet leave the neighborhood for an hour. Let me talk it out with the dogs or cats first. I’ll get back to you.

You have to understand, Gran has been saying she’ll be dead by 70, since she’s 40. And dead next year, since she’s 70. And now she’s 90+…. She uses that as an excuse not to fix things. Her house had sprinklers. Instead of repair them, she just shut them off. The guest toilet that I use? It’s had a intermittent leak from the tank for 15 yrs. I’m not allowed to replace it. A bowl under the tank for the occasional leak is “good enough.” The garbage disposal rusted over, so the second sink in the kitchen now doesn’t drain. Not allowed to fix that. “There’s still a good sink.”

Now, as the queen of the jerry rigging — Jerry is a term for German, and we consider that term a source of pride. It means we can make anything work, but probably in not very correct way — I do admire a good Jerry rigging. I love Jerry rigging stuff. When you grow up without a lot of money, jerry rigging keeps things going till you can get stuff fixed properly. It’s a useful talent. But the implication is you’re doing temporary creative fixes till you can actually fix stuff properly. That’s not Gran. I don’t know if she’s got some weird, reverse Winchester House syndrome, going on or what.

Barry Shabaka Henley - Bob Hearts Abishola Cast Member
The fabulous Barry Shabaka Henley, currently starring as Uncle Tunde in Bob Hearts Abishola.

My grandfather, the engineer, always made sure any household fixes were correct and legal. The right tools. A job done right. He tinkered a lot for sure, but always in the garage, not with household daily use items. And if he couldn’t do a job, he got a professional in. Sure, he’d buy the garbage disposal himself, but he’d get a qualified plumber to install it. And I’m sure that time he blew up the garage as a teen and was almost arrested by the govt for messing with radio waves left an impact in his “do-it-right” column.

After getting hit in the face with mold….yeah. I cooled off a bit. I thought about an episode of Bob Hearts Abishola (S2Ep15 Tunde’s Loving Care). That was totally my grandfather. You weren’t a man if you didn’t fix your own stuff. This applied to women too. Self-sufficiency tied up with thrift (and wrapped in sexism). Anyway, I thought, well, Gran won’t ever let me replace it, so I’ll have to take it apart and clean it. And there’s probably a video on youtube about it. God bless The Fixer, he had exactly Gran’s model!…..So, there I was doing AC cleaning.

I’d like to say it all went wonderfully well. But, that was not this week. I did get the 90lb unit out of the window, bounced onto a lawn chair, then slid onto a dolly. Minimal bruising. No blood. I did get it apart, cleaned, and put back together in working order. I could have kept it. But I made an executive decision. My Gran’s house needed a new unit. And while I was at it, the 2 smaller bedroom units? They were going too. My Gran and Mutti needed to be healthy and comfortable this summer, and next fall, I wasn’t getting stuck inside with old AC units while outside was burning like Rome under Nero.

This is the before. See the mold covered wheel and insulation?

I told Gran, “Biden gave you $1400 to stimulate the economy. We’re going to get new AC units, or I walk out that door.” Surprisingly, that ultimatum worked. Probably because I rarely use ultimatums, but when I do, I always follow through. I put the old unit on the curb, with a sign saying Free, Works! It took 48hrs, but it vanished. And that saved us a “bulky item” collection fee. I feel good about that. It got recycled. It didn’t go to a landfill. Maybe somebody is enjoying it who could not have afforded AC otherwise. Or they’re doing a further clean and selling it on. Either way, win-win.

I got a new 12K BTU unit at Home Depot. A Toshiba. It was 71bs. So, with a 1-minute assist lift from Pietro, it was up and in Tuesday by 5:30pm. I realised Weds, however, it was at the wrong angle and wouldn’t drain unless I fixed it. So I had to re-do the angle, but Huzzah! got it done. I bought a couple smaller 5K BTU and 6K BTU Toshiba units at HD for the bedrooms Thursday morning. I got as far as removing the old Kenmore from my bedroom window, and putting the new unit up in it’s place when I had a sudden and awful epiphany. The cleanable screen wasn’t accessed by pulling the front panel outward. It was a tiny screen one had to pull from the left side. The left side was up against the window casements.

Ugh. There was no way to know this at HD because there were no floor models out. I was pretty pissed off. And more bruised. I boxed up the unit and took them both back that night. They both had the same problem. I got full refund. Not even charged restocking fee. I went home and ordered new units from HD online. I’m getting the front-cleaning, 5K and 6K Frigidaires today. They’ll be in on Saturday, barring post-vax sickness. And one week and $1k later, I’ll be delightfully cool and watching curling, like it all never happened. Thankfully, it was cool Thurs and it’s supposed to cooling further through Mother’s day. I’m guessing God looked down Tues and thought “Yeah, she looks like she need a break.”

This is the after.

I still have to decide if I’m going to clean the Kenmores before I put them on the curb. I suppose I could just leave a note with the link to The Fixer’s video. I can always call for a bulky item pick up but I’d rather not. I really want to recycle the unit into the hands of someone that can use it or benefit from it somehow. I think my grandfather would say try to clean them, as an act of kindness. Maybe after I’ve had some chocolate, things will look different. Might take at least 2 full Cadbury bars, with almonds, though.

At this point, life here is a bit like I’m on a crab boat. Except, instead of chocolate, cigarettes, and coffee, I’m running on potatoes, Pedialyte and protein drinks. In no way is this healthy lifestyle. But like I said, this week was a quite (first-world) challenging. And I have A/C fin cuts on my hands, bruises on my arms, muscle pain in my back and sunburn on my legs to prove it. (word tot he wise, A/C fin tools? Forgetaboutit. They suck. A kitchen knife or scalpel works just as well. Yes, I own a scalpel. Don’t ask.)

My hope is that the new AC units in the house, sans mold, will be life-changing for Gran, and that in itself will make Mutti’s life way easier. As for me, I just need to change my life, and in a few weeks I will have that opportunity. I’ll be breezing up the freeway back to BC with my windows all the way down and my radio all the way up. Definitely this week’s love song from the SO will be on my road-trip mix tape. Love me the Orleans. Feelings about the SO? Still the one.

Have some 100% fresh and fully vaccinated fun this week!

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