Monday, September 23, 2013

My Way Too Eventful Day

Looking at my calendar, I thought today was going to be the easiest and quietest day of the week.  It was the only day that I expected to be home all day, able to focus on homeschooling, chores, and cooking.  Each day for the rest of the week has some sort of outing that I'm committed to attending.  All those evening events mean I have little wiggle room for getting dinner done, which means a little more stress getting everything else done earlier in the day.  Today was not the peaceful day I expected.

The day started off with me waking up a bit later than I wanted to.  I was tired, and had trouble getting out of bed.  I managed to get dressed and feed the kids bagels for breakfast, but my usual chores didn't get touched.

Once 9am rolled around, I made a call to the vet.  Our 14 1/2 year old cat has been getting older and older and sicker and sicker.  We decided over the weekend that he's suffered enough.  So I was calling to see about making an appointment to have him put to sleep.  They asked if I could bring him in at lunch.

Having made the call, I returned to getting school done with the kids.  Despite wearing jeans and a sweater, I was cold.  My daughter has been living in sweats and a sweatshirt and complaining about being cold.  We knew our furnace wasn't working, but we hadn't put in a maintenance ticket yet because the property management company and/or owner has been dragging their heals on a much bigger issue.  I decided to go out to the shed to get some wood to build a fire in the fireplace that happens to be in our school room.  Heading out with gardening gloves, to protect my hands from spider bites, I instructed my eldest to wait by the door to let me in when I came back.

I headed out to the shed and started grabbing some pieces of wood.  Most of this is cut up branches of fir that fell during a big snow and ice storm.  It had a lot of dirt and some dried out fir needles and spider webs on it.  So, I decided to try to clean up each piece before throwing it in the bin I was using.  Some of the pieces I thumped against the floor to loosen the debris.  About 7-8 pieces in, I suddenly feel a very sharp pain in my shoulder.

With spiders on my mind, I first wondered how a spider had gotten inside my sweater.  I started swatting at my shoulder frantically while running out of the shed door.  I stopped just outside the door, still freaking out about the spider when I felt another sharp pain on my ear and another on my upper lip.  At this point, I realized I was under attack my some sort of winged, stinging insect and took up running full speed, waving my arms frantically to the deck, up the stairs, across the deck, down the stairs, and towards the sliding glass door where my daughter was waiting for me to return with an armload full of wood.  I yelled, "Open the door!" as I approached.

Seeing my running and waving, she realized I had been attacked by bees or something.  Bless her heart, she opened the door for me.  (She later admitted that she opened it because she knew she'd be in huge trouble if she hadn't.)  As I ran through, I yelled, "Close the door! Close the door!" I ran through the kitchen, stripped off my sweater, and kept running to the bathroom to look at the damage.  While in there, I felt a sharp pain on the top of my head.  I managed to swat the thing dead before it got any venom in, because that spot did not continue to hurt.

I stepped on it to make sure it was dead and ran back to the kitchen to frantically make myself some baking soda paste, yelling to my son to get me some Benedryl.  (I've been stung before...30 years ago by a honey I was pretty sure I was ok, but I wasn't sure what three yellow jacket stings would do.)  Then I ran back to the bathroom to smear baking soda on my lip, ear, and shoulder.  All this time, I'm breathing so hard and fast, I'm practically hyperventilating, and I'm shaking so bad, I was having trouble stirring the baking soda and water together.   Did I mention that I've had an exaggerated fear of stinging insects for years?

I finally calmed down enough to grab my tweezers and pick up the dead wasp on the floor, grabbed this picture, and flushed it.

I headed back into the school room to try to calm down when I saw a rather angry yellow jacket running repeatedly into the walls.  I sent the kids to the girls' room, and told them to close the door and stay in there.  I didn't want them to get stung.  I called my husband, told him what had happened, and found out that he was nowhere near coming home.  Between my fear and the shaking I was experiencing from the ordeal, I knew I couldn't take care of the wasp myself.  So, I headed outside to go knock on my neighbor's door.  I saw that our favorite neighbor had arrived home and went there instead.  He didn't answer, so I came home and texted him.  Then I saw that he was coming out his door so I called him over.  I told him what had happened, and near tears asked if he would kill it for me.  Then I joined my kids in the bedroom.

He called that it was dead, so I came out.  He has wanted to come over to talk about the furnace and the other problem. (He's awesome and has been trying to help us solve the problem that the management/owner are ignoring.)  While we were talking, I caught a glimpse of another wasp, screamed and took off running.  He killed that one too.  Then he checked my sweater that I had peeled off and left on the kitchen floor to see if there were more hiding in there, and suggested I wash it.

Then he closed the fireplace flue for me.  I was envisioning a swam coming through the fireplace.  Did I mention that phobia of stinging insects that I have?  And then he fixed the furnace.  It turns out that the property management's inspector and replaced the cover wrong when she changed the filter which deactivated the fan.

Then he looked for the source of the water leak again and proposed another possible cause since no source of leaking could be found.  Then he went home and contacted an insulation company to ask if his theory was plausible.  When I got home, I borrowed a dehumidifier from another neighbor and got it going in the master bedroom (three bedrooms and the living room have wet carpets when it rains).

Finally, it was time to take the cat to the vet, so I left.  It's not the easiest thing to drop your cat off to be put down, but we knew it was coming soon, and I'm normally calm about such things.  On the way home,  I stopped at the library to pick up holds.

Shortly after that,  the insulation guy came to the house, and my neighbor showed him around while they investigated the moisture problem.  While they were doing that, they discovered a new problem with the house...lovely.  Fortunately, it isn't a huge problem at this moment.  Unfortunately, they did not find any indication of a leak anywhere.  The current theory is that there is any airflow problem and humidity in the air is getting condensed into the carpet...part of the modern houses are too tight problem.  He proposed that we get one room dry with the dehumidifier, get the furnace fixed/rigged so the whole house fan can be run without the heat having to be blasting, and see if that fixes the problem.

Between being stung, taking the cat to be put down, and dealing with trying to fix things (and the lease tells us not to fix file a maintenance ticket and let them fix it ignore it), I just didn't get around to defrosting dinner.  Nor did I feel up to washing dishes and cooking dinner.  So we went to Wendy's for dinner where I burnt the tip of my tongue on my sandwich.  Yes, yes I did.

It's been about twelve hours since I was stung.  There is still a bit of ache in my shoulder where I was stung, and my lip has a stinging/tingling sensation still.  The dehumidifier has been running for about nine hours and has pulled 20 cups of water out of the air.  I'm looking forward to the rest of my week being as uneventful as today was suppose to be.

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BB. said...

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