My Week: Living with Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

This week has been so messed up I haven’t even attempted a daily update. I can pretty much remember how the days went because so much of it centers around Twinkle and her many moods. She has been thoroughly traumatized by her recent experiences and I don’t know if she will ever recover. I may not, either. I am under almost unremitting stress when I’m at home and practically welcome going to work now.

On Sunday, I got up to an almost calm cat. She had “soft” eyes with none of that psychotic bent to her demeanor. Everything was going well with nary a shriek until after I had my visit with DD. I’d sat on the deck in the sun during the 45 minutes or so that we talked. The front door was open and Twinkle was looking out at me just about the whole time. I thought she was enjoying a little of the outside but that’s what I get for thinking. When I opened the door to go in the house, I was greeted by laid back ears, wild eyes, open mouth and all the related sounds. It really does send chills over me and makes my hair stand on end. I know I give off a scent that tells Twinkle I’m having the fight or flight response—mostly flight. I have no desire to take her on.

It was nice out so I grabbed my tools and went to plant the garden which is what I did on last Mother’s Day. I’d used the bathroom before I went so I didn’t have to go back in for a long time. When I did, Twinkle was nowhere to be seen. I started looking for her, very warily, thinking that if she had died of stress I would have to wrap her in something and bury her. After looking all around, I spied her under the rebounder. She wasn’t asleep but was glaring at me as if to say she dared me to come closer. I didn’t.

The rest of the day was spent dodging her.

Monday was a repeat except I had a reprieve of work and then going to town for groceries. I was able to leave a little early because I was the bank/post office person. I’d purposely put off my shopping because I had been told the truck comes in that morning and I should have everything I needed at my disposal. NOT! I got what organic romaine they had and went to Bi-Lo for a couple more packages. I’d already been to the produce place where I got a big Swedish ivy hanging basket and a box of oranges. I paid for them but left them there until I got the rest of my business done. The woman told me they closed at 7:30. Also NOT.

I did my shopping at Wally World with the belief that I’d be able to get what I needed/wanted but, as one shopper put it, the produce was skimpy. I asked the man stocking the meat department if any of the produce people were working. He said he didn’t think so but, just then, the main produce guy walked up. He isn’t the department manager but he’s the one who is always glad to help me. Going to the back to get me what I needed proved fruitless—or greenless. There was one sorry looking package of conventional romaine and only four of the organic. I got the four, did the rest of my shopping and went to Bi-Lo where I got two more packages of organic romaine.

When I went to pick up the oranges and plant just after 7, the doors were closed. I thought, “OH NOOOO!” There was a police car and another car parked in front so I drove over to see what was going on. The other car belonged to the husband of the woman who had told me the wrong closing time. He opened the back door and I was able to get my Stuff. What a relief! I could see myself having to go back the next day.

All this time, the check engine light was staring at me. I’d called the owner of the station where I buy gas and he wasn’t going to be there because of a doctor’s appointment. I made it a point to go before I went to the hospital on Tuesday morning so I could get his opinion. He said he wouldn’t touch it. He’s an old school mechanic and doesn’t deal with more than oil changes and tires on the computerized cars. Sometimes I feel the auto industry hasn’t done us a big favor by getting high tech. He referred me to his son’s place where they do work on cars like mine.

It had slipped my mind with all the other that was going on (and, yes, Twinkle was still on a tear) that the man was coming that morning to install the new Pitney Bowes equipment. He was sitting in the lobby when I walked in. It took all morning to get it done and I put in a work order for a network line to be dropped to the machine in the break room. It’s a monstrous thing but kinda fun to operate. When it’s hooked up, it will update automatically and I won’t have to deal with chips any more if there’s a postage increase. The man was quite a talker and we had an interesting time swapping war stories.

I had a Mother’s Day card from DD & merm. It was hilarious. There’s a couple on the front saying something like “Happy Mother’s Day from the two of us” then inside it says “from your real kid and the one who married your kid under the mistaken assumption the family had a lot of money.” I don’t remember exactly how it’s phrased because I took it to work and forgot to bring it home. It was really cute and I had to share it.

And, no, Twinkle hadn’t calmed down. She was still yowling and shrieking but would come sit on my lap when I was on the computer. A real mix of personalities.

By Wednesday morning, Twinkle was seeming to settle down some and I certainly hoped so. I was about down to my last nerve and it was going fast. Then I wasn’t watching where I was going and stepped on something I’d left on the floor. It slid with me and I went down. I don’t know where Twinkle was when it happened but it freaked her out all over again. I wasn’t hurt. I have two quarter-size bruises and that’s it. It was like she had never been calm in her life. I left her hissing, spitting and screaming. No use trying to talk to her. She wanted none of it.

I was glad to get out of the house and go to work. The chaos there was better than what I had here. At least I felt I had a little more control of the situation whether I did or not.

In the afternoon, I went back to the station and asked the owner to get in touch with his son. He tried but the place was already closed. I took the number so I could call him the next day.

Thursday was more of the same Twinkle-wise except that evening, she came and sat on my lap and even let me brush her. If I got up to walk, though, it was back to Ms. Hyde. She can look positively demented during her episodes.

Friday came with not much change except at work. One of the staff noticed charges had been removed from an account because of an invalid order. We have been accepting orders with diagnosis codes only and, come to find out, they are supposed to have the codes and descriptions. No one had thought to tell us, the little rural step-child. The manager of all the areas like mine had let everyone know but us. Happy happy joy joy. I spent most of the day with emails flying back and forth between me, Patient Financial Services and Health Information Management (aka Medical Records). On the last few, the Patient Access Manager was copied but nary a word was heard from her. There was no Out of Office, either, so she must’ve been there.

I informed the registrars who were there that we had to have descriptions as well as diagnosis codes and sent them the emails I’d gotten. It’s going to be quite a project to get all of this covered. They spend a lot of time on the phone as it is, getting amended orders from doctors. This adds another item to the list. They are ‘WAY underpaid. One of the HIM people added another title—Gatekeeper. If that’s so, and I guess it is, it should come with a raise and a handsome one at that.

The high spot of the day was going to get strawberries. The co-op has had them for over a week but I hadn’t gotten any until Wednesday. Well, I’d gotten berries but not as good as these. The first were kind of like the commercial ones that ship well. Then we got some homegrown that were better but still not up to my standard of a good berry. The Wednesday ones were still better but the ones from yesterday are sweet and delicious. I’ve shared with my neighbors so they have been well stocked. I’ve eaten a few today and still have enough for tomorrow and Monday. They come in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I don’t know how long the season will last but I’m loving it while it does.

My neighbor mowed the yard and it looks so nice! I had taken my kitchen shears out on Sunday and cut the weed seed tops away from the boxes but the weedeater did a much better job. I assured the male half that I wasn’t going to grow watermelons this year or anything else that would sprawl. The cucumbers will vine but I have the trellis up for them.

Mid-afternoon, one of the men from the church called to see if I could go help clean. I said I would stop by on my way home. I was delayed at the hospital looking for a $20 bill one of the nursing staff had lost. I never found it. When I got to the church, they had finished up and were leaving. I went in to set up the organ and discovered that my music was missing—again. After a lot hunting this morning, I located most of it with help. The bathrooms are still not usable which, to me, should be a priority. My opinion doesn’t count for much, I’m afraid. I’ve contributed monetarily but I’m not doing the work.

There are some other people who have the spot vacated by the death of the Produce Man. I stopped by the other day and got some tomatoes. They had some sad-looking strawberries and tried to tell me they’d been picked that morning. If they were, I was born yesterday. The Produce Man wouldn’t have put anything out that poor quality.

The carpenter bees are still hard at work. I saw the male half of the construction partners who built the deck and told him what was going on. He asked what I’d done and I told him I got a can of Raid and sprayed. He said not to spray the bees directly but to spray it in the holes. I’d tried, unsuccessfully, to find a humane way to get rid of them but wasn’t able to. So…I took my step stool and sprayed it in the holes. Then I noticed if I sprayed it in one, it dripped out another two feet away. It has made a tunnel between them. I hope this does it and discourages them from nesting anywhere around my house.

Twinkle parked on my lap again last night. I’ve noticed a pattern to her incidents (if they can be called something that sounds that insignificant). When it starts getting dark, she begins to calm down. As long as she can’t see outside, she seems more content. She doesn’t like it when I have on my Curves sandals, either. This morning, though, she started out okay and I gave her the Sabbath treat of a small can of cat food.

One of my NC sisters called me to let me know she can’t get on the Internet. When I called her back, I found out it’s because she doesn’t have her computer. It’s in the shop. It was infected with malware masquerading as an antivirus program. If she’d called me, I could have probably saved her some money. My other NC sister and the one from Colorado are at her house so I won’t be hearing from any of them except by phone. None of them have a laptop or netbook so they are Cyberspace-less for now. I’m supposed to meet them at my niece’s house next week but I told her if I couldn’t get the car fixed by then, we’ll have to meet closer home.

To keep from having to hike to the school to the bathroom, I went dehydrated to church. I had eight ozzies of water and then some dried fruit for breakfast. I don’t like doing this to my body. It makes me feel yucky and I know it isn’t good for me.

During prayer and praise time, I requested prayer for my sister, my cat and my car in that order. I’m hoping for the best for my sister, Twinkle has hissed and shrieked somewhat less but the light is still on in my car.

Our resident farmer had the sermon today. It was good. He talked about the different kinds of soil and how Jesus told the parable of the seed in Matthew 13. He had different weeds with him that he held up for identification. It’s amazing how the Johnson grass looks just like a young corn plant. I really couldn’t tell the difference. He had one that he said he’d been told was poke but I think it might have been lamb’s quarter. I told him what I thought but said not to eat it unless he can find out for sure. I’d hate for them to get sick. I’m pretty sure, though. It looked like this.

There was thunder off in the distance mid-afternoon and it started sprinkling. I went out on the deck to investigate and my neighbor hollered at me. The mailman had given him a package. I crossed the yard to get it and saw something had dug a couple of my cucumber plants almost up. My sister is having the same problem. She scattered some mothballs and I guess I need to, too.

I’ve seen hummingbirds at the feeders! Only one at a time but they are different ones. I went out this evening and took a picture of my hanging basket of ivy. I had a Swedish ivy plant in the greenhouse in Alabama that was gorgeous. This one was a little down and out when I got it but the rainwater and sunshine is making it look better. I groom it some whenever I go outside. It will be gorgeous one of these days, too.

Swedish Ivy

The Wordscraper games have been something else this week. First, we had a high dollar board that I won, then there was one where I couldn’t quite catch up and my opponent won and now, we are playing with tiles that are priced out at tremendous amounts—for instance, here are the values of the letters.

Letter Values

Makes for some interesting scores. She seems to know where I’m going to play next and manages to get there first. I’m ahead at the moment but, with words netting over 1,000 points each, that could change quickly.

My DSL has been like a yoyo this afternoon. Up down up down. It got quite monotonous. Twinkle was parked on my lap much of the time but she’s who knows where now. As long as she’s happy. When Twinkle ain’t happy, nobody ain’t happy.

Well, that about does it for my week from wherever. It certainly hasn’t been Paradise. Good night!

6 Responses to My Week: Living with Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

  1. Cynthia May 15, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Ah, poor Tommi– I hope you have great blessings in the week to come, joy, happiness, a calm, contented cat, a pest-free homestead, a fixed car, and a functional loo at the Church so you can have a great big old smoothie next Sabbath morning!

    • Tommie May 16, 2010 at 7:33 am #

      Me, too, Cynthia! Please pray to that end!

  2. Mary Jane May 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    The mothballs didn’t keep the tomatoes from being pulled up, but covering them at night did.

    I think you have mistakenly inherited a wild cat!!

    • Tommie May 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

      Nothing has bothered the tomatoes—yet. The critter might have been after the taters my neighbor had planted in the cucumber area. I’d forgotten he’d done that (they still aren’t up).

      You may be right. She’s wild for sure!

  3. Lila May 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Do you mean the title of Gatekeeper would be yours? If so, congratulations!

    • Tommie May 27, 2010 at 6:59 am #

      It would apply to anyone in my department. In other words, it’s our responsibility to be gatekeepers. It’s a big job for the wage earned.

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