0445 – Alarm goes off. Which is the signal to ignore the alarm and sleep some more.
0505 – Backup alarm goes off. Up and at ’em.
0530 – Carl informs me the downstairs toilet is broken. The chain/seal connector is busted so it won’t flush unless you reach into the tank and lift the flapper by hand. Happy Tuesday morning! Breakfast. Morning reading/internet. Spend a couple of minutes outside enjoying the early morning nip in the air. Carl leaves for work.
0630 – I dust the house. Jealous, aren’t you? Don’t answer that.
0700-1230 – Work.
12:30 – 1:30 – Mix up a batch of bread and leave it to rise. Lunch. Collect the mail. Email. In addition to the broken chain, the flapper in the toilet no longer seals. Annoying (expensive) sound of running water in the background. Discuss broken toilet with Dad, the encyclopedia of home repair. Shut off valve. Put off thinking about repair until later.
1330 – 1630 – More work. Still in transition on the new role, so no overtime right now. Also, prep a loaf of bread from the now-risen dough and toss it in the oven.
1630 – 1700 – Waiting on the bread to hurry. up. and. bake. already. Patience = not my virtue.
1700 – 1815 – Errands, including parts to fix the busted toilet. I enjoy most handyman tasks, but I’m not at all good with gross. Plan to leave the toilet for the husband to fix when he comes home. Talk with husband on phone – he’s exhausted and stuck late at work moderating subordinates’ drama. Somehow dropping a “welcome home honey, can you fix the toilet” when he walks in the door doesn’t seem like the most loving option.
1815 – 1830 – Start potato-leek soup cooking. Tidy the kitchen. Avoid facing reality. Are there any more ways to procrastinate?
1830 – 1845 – You’re a home owner. Man up and fix the toilet already, wimp. Haul off the lid, dump out the parts, glance at the directions. Directions appear to have been written in Korean, translated by a cheap computer program into Swahili, and then transcribed into English by third graders in India. At least, that’s my best guess. Ignore the directions, play around with the parts until I figure out how they work. Grope around in the bottom of the tank for an unpleasant five minutes unhooking the broken chain and removing the leaking flapper. Install new flapper, attach chain. Turn the wall water supply to the toilet back on. Husband arrives to find me elbow deep in the rusty grimy toilet tank. Not exactly warmed slippers and a newspaper set out by a crackling fire, but it’s still a version of “Welcome home, I love you”…in a convoluted disgusting sort of way.
1845 – 1915 – We go for a walk around our neighborhood. I love where we live.
1920 – I puree the soup, slice the bread, and start to serve dinner. Right on cue, the pager goes off. The hospital always knows exactly when we’re sitting down to dinner, no matter what time we eat. Soup stays warm on the stove. Discussions of intubation, Foleys, labs.
1945 – Phone call is over, we eat.
2015 – Prep lunch and coffee for tomorrow. Try not to think about how many more times the pager may go off tonight. Distract self by gloating about the toilet.