Ten Days

I often feel when I’m posting about vacations or fun times that it seems like I’m posting something blog-perfect (to steal a term from Instagram). Not that what I’m posting isn’t real, of course, just that the warts are hidden from public consumption. So, today’s post is filled with the regular and irregular ups and downs of the last ten days.

Friday (one week prior)

The day was filled with the stress of meetings, trying to get my younger son out of bed, both of us leaving the house more than an hour late for his class (it starts at 1 pm each day), and consequently having to conduct an important call with a government official on behalf of the sector I work in from the car on the side of the road. Sigh.

My dog was acting weird before I left to go pick my son up again close to 5 (I don’t like my son to ride crowded transit during the pandemic). By the time we got home, the dog was doing this strange panting, that was actually more like gasping for air. It was super scary and I ended up taking him to the animal emergency hospital. After telling me that they thought he was in congestive heart failure (he’s 13+) which would give him at most a few months to live, they admitted him to spend the night in an oxygen cage, but not before asking me whether we wanted a “do not resuscitate” order or CPR in case things took a turn for the worse. Stressful decision, but they told me that CPR could quite possibly leave him with fractured ribs and bruising and works in only 5% of cases, so the choice was clear.


Into his comfy spot upon arrival home…”Nothin’ wrong with me!”

The next day, after the chest X-Ray was done and interpreted, they called to report that, while he has a heart murmur and slightly enlarged heart (both of which we knew), he does not have congestive heart failure and in fact they have no idea why he suddenly couldn’t breath. So, $2,000 later (no, we don’t have pet insurance), my husband said that the dog basically had an expensive night in a hotel, complete with oxygen therapy and adoring techs! No idea why this happened, but he sure did give us a scare. Now the poor guy just has a sore forearm, where they put the IV in.

Once we got the dog home around 4 pm, my son was finally ready to go to the office with me. His body clock really resists “normal” scheduling, and yet both he and I had work to do. We go to the office often on weekends because there it is very quiet and conducive to concentration with no one else around. My son is on the autism spectrum, with ADHD and other hurdles, and so, particularly at the end of the month when all the school assignments are due, he comes to the office to work. (He’s cool with me posting about him, by the way.) I have lots of work to do too, so it’s fine — except that I would rather get there before noon.


Another day, trying to get my son up, and then working together at the office from late afternoon until 9:30 pm or so. The upside about leaving home so late is that I finally managed to finish the blog post I had been working on. The smoke rolled in again, although not as badly as before. This time it’s from the California fires, they say. It promised to get worse over the week, posing a moderate health risk. Over the next few days, we all developed coughs again. My son has asthma, and I struggle when my throat is irritated. I have irritable larynx syndrome, and one of the issues I have when I am in a bad period is laryngospasm. Not fun and scary for myself and anyone watching, although I try to remain calm until the vocal chord spasm relaxes and I can breath again.


Usual weekday stuff with a 9 a.m meeting (hate those… not a morning person), trying to get my son up, me stressing over how late he is, postponing the meeting I’d scheduled for mid-afternoon because I couldn’t guarantee getting back from driving him in time. Sigh, again.


Another 9 a.m. meeting (why do people seem to like that?). At least my son decided to log in from home, meaning that I wouldn’t have to drive him.


Well, I just realized that the course I am taking for work has a huge volume of course work! Hard to find the time to do it, with regular work going on at the same time. (At least my son decided to log in from home again.) In the end, after a meeting that ended at 6 and dinner (really glad my husband decided that he now enjoys making most of the meals), I went through all the online prep and discussion topics and collapsed in front of the TV around 11:30. Yes, I know I should go to bed, but somehow watching an hour of Medium as I work my way through the complete DVD set is very relaxing. I really enjoy how real the relationship between Allison and Joe seems — and usually the gruesome murders don’t follow me to sleep.


And here I thought I was completely prepared for the Thursday morning class. No. Apparently, in addition to the Moodle (online) modules and forum participation, there was a case study for in-class discussion that was sent via email! At least I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t read it. (It’s important that I make a good showing, since I am in this course with my boss, one of my subordinates, the board chairperson, and two board members.) At least hubby did the son waking/driving routine.


An 8:30 meeting! Why??? Worked hard in the morning and early afternoon. Worked harder on getting my son up. Again, he decided to log in from home, as he was going to be late. Mid-afternoon I’d had enough and became distracted by YouTube videos of Mandy Patinkin (thanks, Esther). Particularly his singing of “Younger than Springtime” and of “Stitches”, the latter in Yiddish. I also enjoyed this video where he talks about various subjects, including his acting technique (very different from Armitage). (Haven’t finished watching it yet.)

It being my husband’s and my 32nd wedding anniversary, we had booked dinner at a fancy place that we had been to before, down by the water. It’s on the manmade Granville Island, where during regular times it is very hard to get a parking space. Coming onto the Island, my husband was remarking on how difficult it was to see the two bicycle riders on the crosswalk ahead of us. As they passed and we were moving towards it, I noticed a woman leaving the left side of the street at a running pace and not watching the traffic. I immediately yelled, which startled my husband (but at least made him stop) which of course then lead to an argument for many minutes. Inauspicious start to the evening.

My husband parked in the first space he saw, which was a very long way from the restaurant (and of course the pandemic meant that there were actually lots of spaces lol). I’m still suffering with my right hip and now my left knee too, the latter of which my doctor says is a meniscus problem that may not be helped by physio. Long walk, but we just walked slowly.

When we got to the restaurant, we realized that the fine dining part of the restaurant was closed due to the pandemic. Instead, we would be sitting on plastic seats outside (with heaters) and ordering off the pub menu. Undaunted, we ordered beer (him) and wine (me), appetizers, and main courses of steak (me) and seafood pasta (him). When the appies came, we were sharing the caesar salad and deep fried calamari, when after several mouthfuls I suddenly noticed a long black hair cooked into the calamari. So disgusting! And during a pandemic, doubly so.

The server offered to get the manager, but I just asked him to take it away and off the bill and to bring me a new fork and plate so I could at least eat the salad. After watching him serving other customers and going back and forth around 5 times without bring me a fork, I was starting to get annoyed and asked him to please just bring me a fork so I can eat at least something. That finally done, we finished the salad and waited. And waited.

After we had been at the restaurant for an hour, our main courses finally came. By this point we were starving and unhappy. I touched my steak and found that it was lukewarm and rubbery, while I could stick my finger right into the cold mashed potatoes without getting burned. Needless to say, the beurre bleu on the top of my steak was a cold hard lump. Now extremely upset, we gave the server and then the manager an earful. They comped everything and we left, me not having eaten anything but lettuce. At least the wine seemed to have lubricated my hip and knee, which were no longer painful!

In the end, we walked one minute to The Keg, a steak chain that you can count on, where we had wonderful service and a great meal.


My older son came by for a bit in the morning. The younger one slept through it, but his brother will be over again for Thanksgiving dinner. Went to the office on my own and worked again. Amazingly enough, the general manager of the original restaurant called my husband unprompted to hear our tale of woe again. If we are brave enough, we now have a $75 gift certificate to go and eat a meal for free to make up for our terrible experience. Hubby and younger son and I all went swimming in the evening. They even have the hot tub open now! And because it was Saturday night, there was only one other person at the pool. Bliss.

Sunday (today)

Finally took a day off from work. Slept in a bit and then did groceries, laundry, and cooked two dinners. See, my son wanted this tofu dish that I make with hoisin sauce, siracha, and udon noodles which is very yummy. My husband doesn’t agree… hates tofu. So, I made him beef bulgogi. Lots of leftovers for the week now. Watched the final Lucifer episode of the eight released so far by Netflix. I am really liking this season a lot and can’t wait for the next episode!

Maybe I’ll watch one more episode of Medium before going to bed and getting ready for another hectic week to come.

29 thoughts on “Ten Days

  1. Thank you for sharing what your day-to-day is actually like, Sue. I always feel there is a bit of consolation in that – just knowing that others have the same (or possibly more) stress, kind of forges a bond. Not that I wish stress on anyone! At least you still have the pleasure of going swimming. That sounds heavenly!
    What a bad experience with the restaurant! You were so right to complain and leave. Good on them for actually trying to make up for it by proactively calling you back.
    Best of luck with your course, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I almost was doubting whether to post it, but you’re right that I also like reading about others’ lives and it is often a bonding experience. The swimming is great and really helps to loosen up my hip in a way that weight-bearing activities don’t.

      I was almost in tears by the end of the restaurant experience, but I was pleasantly surprised that they actually made it up to us.

      Thanks, on the course… I have to try to do a bit each day, I think.


  2. ‘Stitches’ in Yiddish! 😆 James Corden’s album titles were funny too.

    the vid about Mandy’s acting process was very interesting to me. concerning his film work, he said he doesn’t want to know ahead of time what is going to happen to his character b/c his character himself wouldn’t know so why should Mandy? that makes logical sense, but then I wonder is it truly acting then, or is it just reacting? he also said he’s learned to shut everything off and not be such a perfectionist, that his performances are good enough. that doesn’t mean they’re not the best he can do but that what he gets stuck on and wants to do several takes of, ends up being perfectly fine the first time, and he wasted so much time and energy trying to make it better for no reason. I could definitely relate to that sentiment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I really have to finish watching that interview! He’s such an interesting person. I find it fascinating how different actors approach their craft. So many different ways to be good — or good enough!


  3. 1. That udon / tofu dish looks fantastic. Cooking two dinners: you’re a better person than me.
    2. You have no idea how much I identify with the broader themes of the question of waking your son (why is it impossible to do this the “normal” way?). We have so many of these issues, to the point that I stop discussing them because people always have advice to offer and I’m tired of thinking (but not saying) “do you think I haven’t thought of that?” It’s like this frustrating grind you can never get out of or delegate to anyone else. Similarly, the theme of trying to do something nice and having it go wrong through no fault of your own. We have a lot of that around here, too.
    3. Glad your dog is feeling better.
    4. I used to enjoy “Medium,” too — without watching it coherently, I’d see an episode here or there. I really liked the main female character, both the character herself and the way the actor played her.
    5. As to the bigger question — write what you like and everyone else can go to h***. It’s your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1. The udon/tofu dish is really good. Both my sons and I love it. We put more hoisin and a lot more siracha than the recipe, though. I have actually never made two meals before. But my husband has been so good, cooking almost every night. He asked me to cook on Sunday and then my son really wanted the tofu, so I didn’t want to disappoint either of them. Tonight I had the bulgogi and my son had the tofu again. Hubby had leftover ground turkey tacos. So, having lots of leftovers worked out well.
      2. The waking up problem is huge in our house. I can wake up now, since I had kids, as I guess I biologically tuned in to hearing them. But my son’s eyes just roll back in his head as I’m trying to wake him. He also goes to bed too late, but even if he goes to bed early he can’t sleep. No idea what will change it. Right now, I am the human alarm clock and I’m failing miserably. But I keep at it anyway, because what else can I do? Total failure is not an option. (And my husband, by the way, is in a totally different time zone. Goes to bed at 9 or 10 and is up in time to go to the gym for 8 a.m.!)
      3. Thanks. It was very scary. I had written a long comment on your voting dilemma post, but it got lost in the stress of talking to the vet from the car outside the animal hospital.
      4. That’s how I got to like “Medium”, too. I’d catch an episode here and there, out of order. So, at one point, I asked for the boxed set for Christmas or something. Now I watch it off and on. I think I’m in the 6th season now. Here’s an interview with the real life family that the show is based on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7YRtkFIPPA&list=PL_Q_AAq3J6vHcE4zfIRbpiSdHQGz-IB8n&index=17
      5. You know, my younger son, who is actually quite insightful, said the same thing! Not that anyone is trying to get me to do otherwise, but I’m struggling with what I want to write about and overthinking it, I think. I’m trying to go with the flow more and that seems to be working for me now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Belated happy anniversary! The pandemic sure has changed everything including fine dining! Glad they’re giving you a $75 gift certificate although this time, I hope you guys park closer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, the fine dining part is open for brunches now, so I’m trying to convince my husband that he actually likes the idea of brunch. (He finds it contrived, I think.) And parking closer is definitely a good idea!


    • OMG! That’s it exactly. I stayed up until 2 pm last night for no apparent reason except to gain some time! Of course this morning I regretted it when my alarm went off at 7:30 and I was exhausted. Will I mend my ways tonight? Doubtful. It’s 9 pm and I’m still working. I’ll want that revenge bedtime procrastination for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had another sort of defeating day yesterday, and I ended up watching three straight hours of Star Trek when I should be in bed. (There’s a cable channel called H and I that shows five straight hours beginning at 7, but usually dad is not in bed before 9 so I unfortunately have to miss TOS and TNG.) Then this morning I see an article about how the author thinks ST is the perfect fantasy world for our current situation. It’s kind of true. I’d probably stay up even later, but H and I switches to NYPD Blue at midnight and I’m not so into that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry your day wasn’t the greatest. I haven’t watched much Star Trek lately, but I do love TOS and TNG. Not into NYPD Blue either. I would agree that ST is good fantasy for the world today. I listened to George Takei on “David Tennant Does a Podcast with”. It is a really interesting interview, going back to the racism and in fact internment he and his family experienced during WWII, despite all of them being born in LA! And then going to work in a series designed to show everyone as equal. And as well about being gay at that time in the industry. Really good interview.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I need this election to be over — on top of everything else it’s that little layer of stink.

            Takei has led a really interesting life and I’m amazed at how much energy he still finds to fight for the right things.

            Liked by 1 person

                    • I agree with that idea. I hesitate to apply for something else in the same line as what I’m doing, because it might just be same sh*t, different organization. I would like to be in control of my own time. I guess that’s the main thing.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah — it becomes increasingly important as I get older, I find. Not just in terms of productivity but also in terms of how I feel about the task. I generally don’t resent work, but not being in control of my time pushes me in that direction. My problem is that I have one of the most inflexible career paths / educations on the planet. It doesn’t mean I’m inflexible but showing others how my skills fit their needs in other realms is getting harder and harder. I think that would now be my biggest advice to students who want to pursue advanced education: consider a degree that widens rather than narrows your possibilities. I always said I had enough degrees and wouldn’t go back for another one, but I’m actually reconsidering that right now.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I totally know what you mean. I experience that too. While as an accountant, you’d think my skills would be portable. But my work is very specialized in that I focus in on the charitable sector and I am at a level where the positions I am qualified for and are at my pay level are few and far between. There is one being advertised now, but I’m not sure I want to jump into it (if I even would get it).

                      Do you have any ideas of what you might want to pursue?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It’s definitely harder as we get older. I have had this conversation a couple of times with women who’ve more or less said, I’m so advanced in this situation that getting out would do me a lot of harm financially and professionally, so I’ll just wait until the earliest point when it’s convenient to jump off. In that sense I’m in a position with a lot of freedom (lol).

                      My issue in looking for something else is that I don’t want to do something that I feel existentially tied up with again (as I did with my research, and with teaching). The dilemma there is that I end up being good at those things because I care a lot about them and put in the time. Like, a counseling degree is said to be a good option for middle aged women and there are plenty of jobs available. I just don’t know if I could detach emotionally from the work.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes, that’s it. I’m not particularly happy, but I have those golden handcuffs. Like you, I put a lot of myself into my work too, so much so that there are no boundaries. Not really healthy. I would think that counselling would be tough from that point of view, too. I used to run a mental health charity, not as a counsellor, but still there were a lot of times when it was hard to separate from the emotional turmoil that people were sharing.

                      How is your fiction-writing going? Have you had any time/energy to work on the novel you were planning?


                    • I haven’t written anything significant this whole year. 2020 has been bad for flow and it looks like things may get worse before they get better.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Too bad. Hopefully next year will be a better one all around. If the election goes the way we are hoping, then maybe some of the external unrest can be calmed, although it may take a while. The pandemic, though, looks like it might be here for a while.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing all that and I think we can all relate to these daily frustrations.
    I’m with ya on the early morning meetings. Ugh. Luckily, recently, I haven’t had too many.
    Happy belated wedding anniversary! Glad your dog’s OK.
    Yes, I’m liking Lucifer too. I read that they just finished filming season 5, but don’t expect to release the rest of the episodes this year. Hopefully as early as possible next year, then.
    Thanks for the link-love and the Mandy Patinkin singing ‘Stitches’ in Yiddish video. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. My boss claims not to be a morning person and yet she schedules at least two 9 a.m. meetings with our team per week. Thanks for the anniversary wishes. I’m glad the dog’s ok too!
      I can’t believe we have to wait until the new year to see the rest of the Lucifer season! Oh no! I guess my husband was right to try to make the episodes last!
      Thanks for the trip down the Mandy Patinkin rabbit hole!

      Liked by 1 person

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