A little bit of a breakdown

breakdowns come and
breakdowns go
so what are you going to do about it
that’s what I want to know

I called that one right, the bit about being all frazzled by the time I finally got there. Getting ready for the doctors appointment, I had my clothes all laid out, I was freshly showered, old medical records under my purse by the door and then there was another phone call about that nasty flood.

(Okay, if you were here earlier, there was a long whiny complaint that I wrote just to get it out of my system. It was about the stresses and strains of having not so nice neighbors. We have just one, who is exceedingly unpleasant and out of whack, too. The rest are lovely people; in fact, we’ve developed a good friendship that gets better every day with our front neighbors. The problem is, I’m not used to any unpleasantness with neighbors, ever. We’ve always been friends with them, socialized, cared for each other’s families. Call me lucky. But here in the city everyone is close up on everyone else and it’s hard when life requires a certain amount of cooperative spirit and you have one in the bunch who, for whatever reasons, is just a misfit. We have one like that and so, I had written a long, dragged out messy piece on it because it is wearing me down. But, at the end of the day, I find that I don’t have any more peace of mind by venting like that and I also think that by putting so much energy into it, I’m letting his problems have too much power over my life. I’m going to say my "now I lay mees" and get a good night’s sleep, wake up and head out to the garden store. Those of you who have been here and commented- gee, it’s nice to have friends who listen to that stuff and give you a supportive comment. Thank you. For those of you who didn’t get here before I pulled it- consider yourselves lucky.

We now return to our regular programming…)

Update on the Snarl’s great African adventure

Habitat:  Every type of mopane habitat is well represented in this drive from the towering cathedral woodlands at Xakanaxa to the classic climax mopane woodland and in the drier and harsher habitats, extensive stretches of scrub mopane. The San-ta-Wani region has scattered ephemeral water pans with large floodplains and camel-thorn woodlands. 40 km of the drive is in Moremi Game Reserve with a further 40 km in areas designated for wildlife management where animals roam freely to and from the Game Reserve.

Wildlife:    One would typically expect to see good numbers of elephant, giraffe, impala and zebra along this route. It also reliably produces good predators, particularly lion and wild dog. Large herds of Cape buffalo may be found in the San-ta-Wani region particularly in the summer months. Other ruminants such as tsesebe, blue wildebeest, greater kudu, common duiker and Botswana’s smallest antelope- the steenbuck.


Birding:    A good day for raptors with African Hawk-Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle* and Steppe Eagle all inhabiting the mopane and adjacent woodlands. P5040031_jpg
Other birds common along this route includes most of Botswana’s hornbills including Red-billed,  Southern Yellow-billed, African Grey Hornbill, Bradfield’s Hornbill and Southern Ground Hornbill. A large number of brood-parasites may also be seen. Diederick Cuckoo*, Levaillant’s Cuckoo*, Jacobin Cuckoo*, Great-spotted Cuckoo*, African Cuckoo*, Common Cuckoo*, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Pin-tailed Whydah, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Greater Honeyguide, and Lesser Honeyguide.

I got to the doctor’s five minutes late after fighting my way through downtown traffic and many layers of parking structure. The receptionist looked up and said, "Take a deep breath." The new doctor is wonderfully calm and low key and predictably, when she asked about my health history and concerns, I drew a total blank. She waited patiently for me to come up with something and then asked politely if the damp folder I was clutching to my paper gown was relevant to the moment. Ah! yes. So, you’ve had two children, half your thyroid removed, a family history of early stroke, partial blindness, some basal cell carcinoma? Everything looks very good on your labs, blood pressure, physical exam and weight (I’m still six over my own personal comfort zone).  Last year, your mother died, you moved to the city after living your whole life in Ann Arbor, you’re helping care for your step-father, you’ve retired and you’re going through menopause (still). Are you depressed? I said no and she asked why not and I burst into tears and said I was just a little overwhelmed and sad. We both laughed and I said I need to find a yoga class here in town. She referred me for all those additional things: a mammogram, bone density, a dermatologist and a colonoscopy. I explained that I had had that done in 2000 and since it was fine I was on the ten year plan. She said, "Here at Northwestern, we’re on the five year plan so get that all taken care of and come back in six weeks." I think she wants to see if I’m always weeping and addled or if this was special. I made appointments for the first three and the colonoscopy department was all backed up for the next few months. If I play this right, I can get in and see her again on the other stuff and then just skip that last for another year before she notices.

Then I got my parking ticket validated so it only cost 9.00 to park instead of 28.00 (not kidding) and I wandered around the parking structure for an additional 45 minutes trying to get my car to flash or beep at me with the key fob. The problem was that the fourth floor has three levels. It’s a trick, like the lines at Disney World. In the end these two construction guys were helping me out, calling, "it’s over here. No, it’s up there. No, I think it’s in that next aisle. Wait, I hear it down there." I got back to brickhouse and called Rich and got all weepy but when he offered to come home, I pulled myself together. God, I’m such a mess today.

Good thing breakdowns come and breakdowns go.  Tomorrow I have something interesting for you from right here in the Emerald City. That’s your first hint.


15 responses to “A little bit of a breakdown

  1. “colonoscopy department was all backed up”……LOL. You said that on purpose, didn’t you? I might have said they were constipated. More LOL.

    That neighbor of yours stinks, and I might be praying for him to move out of your condos, maybe even out of Illinois!

    Did you take that fabulous photo of elephants? How spectacular is that?!

  2. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry! (((Hugs to you!)))

  3. Neighbors. They seem to be either blessings or nightmares. Very little in between. I’ve blogrolled you, I enjoy your stories. Not your problems, mind you, we all have more than our share it seems. But, we are all in this together. The older I get, the more apparent that is to me.

    I hope tomorrow is a little easier for you. I’ll look forward to your story.

  4. I can certainly understand the breakdown–dealing with repairs, insurance companies, neighbors, medical appointments. You can vent as much as you want! I skipped out on my colonoscopy last year and am at least 5 pounds over what the doctor wants me to be. I dread going in to see him.

  5. I think that Babette will love you even if you swear like a sailor. I test my theory on a regular basis and so far I’ve been right.

    I’m glad you got your check-up in the midst of all the insanity.

    Sorry about all the stuff, Vicki darling. I couldn’t follow the technical explanations about the plumbing because my eyes glazed over the way they do whenever Josh tries to explain how something works. But I gather that what it boils down to is expense, stress, and conflict with neighbors.

    Now make yourself a cup of chamomile tea and find someone to rub your feet.

  6. Oh, my head hurts after reading all that. I cannot believe how someone can be so deceitful. My stomach is churning. Oh, my. Don’t you wish you were here in Florida? Can’t Rich work from the garage all the time?

    It will be better. I don’t know when. I feel so bad for you.

    The brief interlude to Africa helped tremendously.

  7. Emerald what? Which? Where?

  8. Oh! I have no words. This just sucks, the water and neighbor bit. I’m glad the Dr. rocks. (All those questions about depression are good! You want that. I know you know that, but I’m sayin’ it anyhow) And the Emerald City reference confuses me like Michelle, because we Seattle birds (hey, I still claim citizenship) know that’s our home town.

    Um, yeah, that tea Miz S is pushing… spike it. And call me in the morning. Heh.


    Blessings, dear Vicki.

  9. Oh baby. Does it help to know that your reports of crying in the doctor’s office and being addled and weepy after a total major stressful day are reassuring to me?

    Glad your doctor seems awesome — hope that all continues.

    And, vent away — we all need to from time to time and it’s good for you to get it out!

    Hang in!

  10. Your new MD sounds wonderful. Hope things are looking up. Abby’s adventure! Wow.

  11. I was giggling so much at the computer that my honey asks, what’s going on over there? And I read aloud, “Are you depressed? I said no and she asked why not…” And then suddenly, in a show of menopausal solidarity, tears sprang to my eyes. Babette will no doubt offer up the most appropriate yoga position for you, but in the meantime, deep cleansing breaths can do wonders.

    I missed the post you pulled, but I’m so sorry you have such a sucky neighbor. (It’s a technical term.)

  12. OK, I missed the part of the post with the wailing and gnashing of teeth! You pulled it before I got here! That is no fair! Now I don’t know what happened… serves me right for being slow.

    I too was wondering where you got the delicious pictures…. and the colonoscopy “backed up”…. I guess this “impacted” your doctor’s plans!

    At least you go all weepy…. I tend to get snarly. This house thing for Stephen is hard. It was OK before the parental units really took interest… now they scour the internet and print off information about those with “really low price”, “solid red oak all over the house” (including the crown molding I might add), “pretty brick”, “beautiful rose bushes”… without looking to see that the master is upstairs, the square footage is not what he wants, the kitchen is ancient, the yard too small, the neighborhood fees too high and frankly that red oak on the walls and ceiling as well as the floors is just flat out ugly! Soon there will be a stack of papers three feet high, when I am trying to narrow down. And more to visit Friday…. four lined up.

    I hope that your day and your pipes (both inner and outer) will settle down and that the sun will shine on you but not your nasty neighbor…. yes, that is being mean, but he deserves it to do whatever terrible thing he did to you and yours! (Can you tell I am flying blind here?)

  13. You used your sailor words and I missed it??!!

    May I humbly recommend calling your neighbor a few choice Shakespearean insults with a Captain Haddock chaser or two? Thou gorbellied, lily-livered apple-john! Thou art the best o’ th’ cut-throats! You live in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love ove the nasty sty! Macrocephalic baboon! Gallows-fodder!

    You are a fishmonger, thou mountain of mad flesh! Emerald City isn’t just your personal Oz, you know. My heart skipped a beat with Margaret, Michelle, and Wende, imagining that you were here in Seattle for a visit.

    Lastly, since going to the doctor gave you a breakdown, perhaps you should bypass all that and simply take the yoga cure.

    ‘Cause a colonoscopy
    Can’t bring equanimity
    To neighbor woes
    Like yoga does.


  14. Amen to whatever it was that Babette said. It must be worth repeating if it came from her pen. 🙂

  15. I am stopping by from Mary’s View (I am another one of her awardees!). And what caught my eye in your post is that your daughter is in Africa. Small small world.
    While my daughter is now home, she was in Africa, Ghana specifically, last September to December. I know the feeling of wondering where she is, what she is seeing, doing etc.
    Hang in there–little breakdowns notwithstanding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s