Update of the Thankful

It’s been a rough few weeks, the kind of month where so much bad stuff happens that it becomes a bit of a joke after a few days.

Right now the joke is, “If it can break, it will.  But we won’t.”

I haven’t blogged for a bit because I’ve been immersed in bailing out the boat, plugging up the holes and trying to keep the sails on straight.  I don’t sail, so this is probably a really bad analogy, but maybe I will sail someday (it’s on my list, as well as learning to fly fish and visiting the Tarim basin.)

Things that broke

  1. Our sewer line heading out to the main line has been pronounced ‘in bad shape’ by the Roto Rooter guy, who quoted us $14K to fix it (including all of the road work, etc.)  This price will increase at the end of the week as the ‘hot patch’ asphalt work will end for the Winter and apparently the cold patch is much pricier.  Oh, the things we learn.
  2. Our car is making very sad sounds.  I’m betting that it’s the transmission and my best guess is $900.  Gerry says it’s the axle and he’s guessing $1000.It’s this kind of exciting guessing game that keeps the spice in our marriage
    We’ll find out the real damage when the week begins.  Thankfully, the garage (and the liquor store) are just a short walk from our house.
  3. Atticus the wonder dog has arthritis. Or his crucitas ligament is damaged. We spent $200 for the first vet visit, the estimate is $350 for the Xrays, and if there needs to be surgery we may just be coddling our dear 10-year old doggie along with drugs for a bit.
  4. The washer was making scary noises, too.  However, Gerry the brave (Gerry the strong, Gerry the true) has taken apart something, pulled something out (and discovered a few darning needles – oops…) and the noises have ceased.
    Huzzah, Gerry, you are my hero!
  5. My computer is making sounds like a washing machine (see #4).  My work is totally backed up, and the computer is on warranty (yay Apple Care) so the outlook is not terrifying, but it’s just kind of a secondary punch line to the whole thing.
  6. For some unknown reason our female cat sprayed on Hannah in her bed while she was reading.  Whether it was the choice of the book (Manga) or anger at our other cat for relentless harassment, we’re keeping an eye on her.
  7. My elbow is very painful.  V E R Y.  The kind of painful that when I move it or bump it into anything I swear like a sailor with a sore elbow.  This has been a stellar vocabulary lesson in for the children.I think it may be residual injury from when I landed on it during a bike crash earlier this year, but I’ll be off to the docs on Monday to check it out.

So why is this an update of the Thankful?

  1. We’re ALL here.  This is no small feat.
  2. Thankfully (OH HOW THANKFULLY) I now have health insurance again.  It’s like a carousel, this MN care thing, it seems to vary from month to month, but while I have it, I’ll use it.
  3. The kids are well, smart and very good looking.  They’re funny, industrious and they still like to be around Gerry and me.  We know how lucky we are.
  4. The city of St. Paul offers a program whereby we can finance the sewer (at 4.75% interest)and pay it back through our taxes over the next 20 years.

    We’ll be getting a second opinion, but Gerry and I are discussing options other than a total rip-up.(After all, our yard was totally ripped up by the city 2 years ago for a gas problem, and part of me wonders if that may be part of the problem…)

  5. The cats are great, and Atticus-the-good is not complaining (as a matter of fact, he seems to sense what’s up and seems VERY grateful.  He’s a magnificent dog.
  6. My bike works and the weather’s been nice enough that I can get around on that for most shopping, errands, etc.
  7. I’ve been invited to teach at both Interweave Knitting Lab events next year, which is both flattering and very good.  I also have teaching gigs lined up for December, January & February (btw, if you know of a shop, guild or group in the San Fran bay area that might like to have me speak or teach in late Feb / early March, I’m ALL EARS!)
  8. I have several projects due in the next few weeks and work is progressing nicely.The deadlines are hard and coming up fast, but the work is good and I’d rather be busy than the opposite!
  9. I’ve had several nice projects published in the past few weeks–some of my best work to date.

    Jane Austen Knits
    Kensington Mitts
    Linen Work Apron
    Lydia Spencer
    Interweave Crochet Accessories
    Jazz Bag

    Multi Directional Kimono

    This is a mercy as I continuously feel terrified that my best stuff is behind me  (I think most designers feel this way sometimes.)

  10. We have hot water, heat, an oven and stove and refrigerator, all the food we need, a dishwasher and cable, computers, phone, interesting books and a great library to visit.
    We live better than most monarchs have for much of the history of mankind.  We had an exceptional Thanksgiving meal (and leftovers!)
    We know how lucky we are.
  11. We have a hugely love-filled house.
  12. Gerry danced with the cat this week.

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18 thoughts on “Update of the Thankful

  1. NancyB

    Whoa that’s a whole lot of stuff!
    You and your family have always carried on in the past and I hope that continues. Good luck with the sewer business – we experienced something not quite that large scale but it was an inconvenience, expensive and only a temporary (5 years maybe?) fix.

  2. Christine

    Those are pretty high vet bills for the services you mentioned. At that rate the surgery, if required, will be very expensive. Have you looked into whether the clinic at the University’s vet school is more reasonable? I have had the extracapsular repair done on two dogs and it is very straightforward and easy to do. My vet does it in under 15 minutes (I get to watch). Recovery time is pretty speedy but will be a little longer for a dog Atticus’ size. Alternatively, if the cruciate is just torn and not completely sheared off, rest can work (although I think it’s harder on you and the dog in the long run).

  3. Pam

    WOW! When it rains it pour. I have a suggestion for Atticus. We have a 15 year old cat that has arthritis in her hips. She’s now on steroids that help quite a bit — I don’t know if they prescribe them for dogs — but they’re only about $16 a month. But what she really likes is her heated bed. I’ve put it right in front of a baseboard heater and she’s a happy cat. It seems to have loosened her hips as well.

  4. ellen

    Wow, what a month you are having. I admire your optimism/perseverance throughout all the challenges you’ve had in recent years so much. May the coming year bring you more gifts than challenges (for a change!).

  5. Adele Marano

    Gotta remind everyone to check all pockets before putting things in the washer!

    I like that dance video. Gerry looks good. Although you didn’t mention it, I’m sure you think of Myeloma every day, same as I do.

  6. Sandi

    Well, at least the liquor store is nearby, that must be how you formulated the design for the incredibly fabulous kimono. No unoiled mind can think like that! JK..seriously, it is awe inspiring. Wishing you all the best of luck with pipes, car, dog, elbow, fibro & Gerry’s MM. You touch more lives than you know, and remind us all to give thanks in all circumstances. Shalom.

  7. Robin F.

    Best of luck with the bailout. Since I just finished a similar stint I can lend you my bucket. Also where can I find info on your fall retreat?

  8. Cindi

    Ah, the joys of living in Minnesota! I feel for you on the sewer problems. Sorry you’re having a tough spot, but you seem to be keeping your sense of humor through it all. Yeah for Gerry! My honey fixed our washer too. I’m drooling over your jazz bag. I love freeform crochet. Take care! Cindi

  9. Jennifer

    Last November our sewer line failed. It was spectacular. We live in an old city suburb and the clay tiles just gave up. Because of complicating factors we put in an entire new sewer line and capped off the old. With all of the surprises that come with loving an old house our plumber honestly didn’t know if it was all going to work even when he was done. With a daughter (smart like Hannah) preparing to go off to school, and a husband with a low paying job and a wife who is a consulting (anyone notice how bad the economy is?) we had no idea how we were going to swing it. We bit the bullet, refinanced our mortgage and included enough “extra” money in the refinance to replace our 90+ year old windows.

    Did I mention that we live on a county road and our yard is almost solid clay? The county required that the job be completed before snowfall (mid November in upstate NY–we were already pushing it) while the asphalt could be laid. The town and county required a HUGE bond be held for 12 months to cover the road repaving. The entire winter our yard was a slippery, dangerous clay pit. Come spring we moved 12 yards of top soil to fill the holes left by the work.

    December 30 found us replacing 17 very drafty windows so we could take advantage of the energy rebate.

    The good news–and there is good news–is that our sewer line works like a dream. With two huge weather events this past year we were the ONLY house on our street that didn’t flood. Our energy bills dropped with the new windows. And our daughter still got enough financial aid to attend Oberlin College.

    Life is scary. We are strong and we survive. You go Annie and Gerry!

  10. Deb

    We just had the sewer line done and all they did was route a smaller but more durable one through the existing line. All they had to dig was the spot in the street where we met the main line and up at the house (they also replaced the cleanout). Not sure if that’s an option for you but since it’s trenchless, I think it’s cheaper. Also was completed in one day and didn’t destroy my new landscaping, though one plant near the front door was in the way, alas.

    If you do have to go the medication route for your dog, see if your state allows your vet to write you prescriptions. Most vet meds, including antibiotics and steroids, also have human equivalents and hence can be filled cheaper at human pharmacies. My dog’s prednisone is the same cost as my co-pay for MY meds! Not all states allow it so hopefully MN does.

    Glad you’re still smiling!

  11. Terri Drimel

    We had a house in Richfield which developed holes in the old sewer line. They put some type of resin “sleeve” inside. No digging, guaranteed for life, and much less costly. It was a new process about eight years ago. I think it was through Mr. Rooter.

    BTW – I took a wonderful class from you at Creative Fibers a number of years ago. I hope to take another soon! Take care.

  12. Paula

    The dog watching the human and cat dancing made me smile more. I don’t have advice on the sewer issue, although I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up with similar problems in time (house is not young). Hang in there! You have “a lot on your plate”; keep trying to be positive and looking for creative solutions.

    1. Annie Post author

      I love how absurd Atticus (the black poodle) seems to think the whole dancing thing is. Or maybe HE wants to be on Gerry’s shoulders…

  13. Rebecca

    Roto Rooter was recently sued by the state of MN (I think) for gouging people for unnecessary repair work. At least it was some kind of disciplinary action, so you’d be better off going elsewhere.

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