Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Anxiety, Thy Name is Karen

When we last left them, Carl and Karen were in the midst of figuring out their septic tank woes.  And woes they are; the soil test failed, so now we are scheduled for a mound system installation this spring.  It will be 100 feet long and approximately 3-4' tall, not sure on the height yet, more soil tests are necessary for that determination.
December 23, 2015

One good thing; we can put the mound a long distance from the house, so the River Bed is not in jeopardy.  Well, except for the fact the original septic tank will have to be dug up and removed and a new one stuck back in which will entail digging up most of the back yard.  And, oh yeah, I forgot; the truck bringing in the new tank is Really Big, so we may need to cut down a few trees here and there and possibly say adios to the gazebo, but other than that, with a little luck and ambition and with the weather cooperating, we might have something other than mud by July.

Time to go into the Tardig and teleport Somewhere Else?
And to add to my stress, I've got three garden walks already scheduled for this summer, the first one in June.  Thankfully, they are not big tours; but I do hate to disappoint people when they've traveled for any distance.  I had another call this week and I told them about the possibility of seeing far less than perfection upon their arrival, but they were undaunted.  Luckily, they don't want to tour until August. 

Good ol' Castle Aaargh will be on the back burner again this season, but it can't be helped.  Having indoor plumbing trumps everything.

Random snowy urn things.

The financial side of this is stressful, to say the least.  I had just about enough saved up for our remodeling fund (if I don't pay any other bills for the rest of the year) to cover this.  The soil test guy joked, "Seeing all the rocks around here it seems like you guys like hard work, why don't you just put your own septic system in?"

Well, ha ha, Mr. Funny Man, if we could legally do that, we definitely would.   But of course there are government inspections, paperwork, official rules and regulations, permits, red tape, so on and so forth, so that's not an option.  Don't even dangle the carrot of sweat equity in our sad old faces, ok? 

Have a seat.
I have a doctor's appointment later on this week.  Yet another expense we really don't need, but I don't have a choice.  There are tests and more tests in my future, I have a tentative diagnosis of Lyme disease at the moment and have no idea where we go from here.  Like most people my age, some days I feel fairly good, but the joint pain is unrelenting along with very frequent headaches.  I'm still exercising on a regular schedule and trying my best to watch my diet, but a few pounds crept back on already this winter.  I gave up on heavy weightlifting since last summer; it takes far too much of a toll on my joints at the moment.  As trite as it sounds, I have to listen to my body or risk being unable to function.

More Random Snowy Urn Things.
Skiing has been my salvation as it is every winter.  We've only had one good snowstorm so far and I've been making use of it at least four times a week, going out for an hour a day.  Lately the temperatures have been below zero and the windchills are nasty, but if I stay in the tree line in the Back Eight and up against the neighbor's woods on our northern farm fence line, I don't suffer too much.  Crossing the bare fields from the trees to the woods is the worst part.

 Some days I get really down on myself; the woulda coulda shoulda's creep in, I shoulda seen this coming, coulda stayed working for the insurance company, woulda avoided being bitten by a woodtick, you get the picture.  Woe is me, nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna go eat some worms.  (Where did that come from?  My father...it was one of his favorite taunts when I was a little kid feeling miserable over something.)

But then I go outside and take in the beauty of the world around me and it helps so much.  I'll never be thin, I'll never be rich (that's a No-Brainer!) but I can still get around and all is not lost.  Not yet.

 I can't afford to throw a Pity Party.  Heck, I can't afford to throw any parties at the moment, but pity parties are definitely off limits.

There's always something to look forward to, every day is a blessing.  But try as I might, the obsessive thoughts fly around in my poor old brain.  Here's a sample of my daily ruminations:

 I may or may not have to look for a job this year; it's all up in the air.  With employment comes other headaches (on top of the ones I have daily now) such as am I up to it physically?  Mentally?  My car is already eleven years old and Carl's is a 1989; any work traveling will soon put both cars into the junkyard and we'd need new-ish ones; depending on the work I can get (if it's office-related) there's a wardrobe to consider, would my measly imaginary income help us or hinder us when it comes to tax brackets? There is no way I can tend this garden to the extent I do now; I'll probably end up on an opposite shift from Carl; what if this is Lyme's disease?  What if it isn't? What is with the new rash that just developed?  I don't think I felt a lump, no, it's gone now, how can I afford this doctor?  Our deductible is $15K before insurance picks up a dime.  The dentist says I need a root canal and a new crown, it's only $800..... and Mom.........what about Mom?  I am her sole caregiver, she's doing ok at the moment but there's no guarantees.  There are no guarantees on anything.  No extended warranties any of us can buy that will ensure our health, wealth and well-being.  No one gets out alive.  Bah, humbug.

End Rant.
(Aren't you glad you don't live in my head?)
No, I didn't take the Christmas decorations down yet. 

Take a deep breath.  Calm down.  It will all be fine.  So much of what we worry about never comes to pass.  Pray.  It's not that bad.   But then the mind starts up again with the old tapes, my MIL told me years ago that 'failure to plan is a plan to fail' and 'you should always have a backup plan in place'.  She had no sympathy for those who didn't,  'Times are tough all over.'

Yes, they are.  And I know my current 'tough' times are nothing compared to what other people are dealing with.  I still have a warm house, enough to eat (too much, if you believe my scale) a loving husband and family, I have it all, I'm just a Worry Wort.  That's nothing new.

There's still snow outside, and it's free for the skiing.  What more could I ask for?

Plus, we have the Biggest Balls of Them All.  (Inappropriate, but true.)

This too shall pass, even if my perc test didn't.  Wish me luck at the doctor's office this week, I can really use it.  (And what is up with my blog format?  Good grief, I apologize for silliness!)


El Gaucho said...

Sorry to hear of all those troubles Karen. Sewer issues are never a thing to be taken lightly or trifled with, it's a shame that this came upon you. Best wishes for a good diagnosis, happy skiing trails, and a quick/cheap resolution to the sewage issue.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Karen ~ What a LOT you are having to go through.

I also am a Worry Wort. Things run around in my head too, especially in the middle of the night when you can't do a dang thing.

Love, hugs and prayers for you, Carl and your Mom. ~ FlowerLady

Beth said...

Karen, I care about you, I feel for the difficulties you are experiencing, I admire you and your work ethic, your dedication, your garden design skills...You and Carl are wonderful people and I so enjoyed meeting you and touring your garden in 2014! THANK YOU! And, I will be praying for you and your family.
Hugs and blessings, Beth

Stephen Andrew said...

Oh Karen, you have my permission to worry! This is a lot on your plate. And anyone would worry. And to have garden tours in top of all this! Im glad you're finding comfort and taking deep breaths out among the trees, enjoying the snow. Sending my best wishes!

Karen said...

El Gaucho, yes I'm a Gloom and Doom type lately, that's for sure. Thank you for the good wishes, I really, really appreciate them!

Rainey, yes, those thoughts that go through our heads (especially in the middle of the night) are filled with dread. Someone once told me to keep a notebook by the bed and write down anything that troubles me so I can think about it the next day. I guess that's supposed to help a person sleep. Maybe I should take that advice? :-)

Beth, thank you so much for your kind words, we so enjoyed visiting with you, too! Thank you very much for the prayers. :-)

Stephen Andrew. thank you for the reminder to breathe!

Alison said...

Good luck at the doctor's office, I hope you get your health sorted out. Going through some of my own health issues at the moment. My inner voice sounds quite a bit like yours.

PlantPostings said...

Oh dear, you've been through a lot lately! I hope your doctor appointment goes well. Sorry about the big septic challenge--darn, it's frustrating when plans get dashed by unexpected challenges. I'm praying that things will turn around for you soon, and you'll have an amazing 2016. Some kind of surprise good thing. That is my hope for you. Take care!

Tim Pinkelman said...

Sending you prayers and warm wishes! Things will turn up!