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Scattered Sundays

For the last 15 years or so, my sister and I have claimed that the entire month of August was cursed. Each August, one or both of our parents would have some sort of medical emergency.

My sister is a teacher and I used to work in higher education, so let’s just say that August is (was) a BUSY time for both of us. Each year, we’d approach August with bated breath.

August struck again in 2022 and man, it got us HARD.

Let’s recap August so far: 1) I had emergency surgery during the first week of August. 2) Bennett had his tonsils removed on August 12th and was in recovery hell for almost 2 weeks. 3) My dad has had some a-fib issues that have had him in and out of the ER and cardiologist’s office (he’s fine now BTW).

I feel like that should have been enough. August had other ideas.

Last week was a hell week for Troy at work. He had made a few shift trades at work over the summer and they basically all caught up with him in one week.

For those who don’t know, (most) firefighters either work 24 or 48-hour shifts and then have 48 or 96 hours off before they’re back on shift. Last week Troy worked Tuesday, was home for like 20 hours on Wednesday, back to a 48-hour shift on Thursday and Friday, home for 20 hours on Saturday, and then back to work on Sunday.

That’s brutal for him, brutal for the boys, and brutal for me, the solo married parent. It was rough but we survived and were all looking forward to a calmer week ahead. I even scheduled a pedicure for myself on Monday. August took a look at that and said “NOPE”.

Troy started feeling kinda crappy at work on Sunday and decided to come home that evening. While he was waiting for someone to come take over the shift (you can’t just leave a fire station down a person), his chief brought a test from another station.

Troy tested negative at work and then drove home. He took another test at home because he just had a gut feeling and it immediately popped as positive. He took a second one just to make sure the other one wasn’t a fluke, and yep, it was positive.

At this point, it was like 12 am on Monday morning. He throws a mask on, wakes me up, and tells me he’s leaving the house until we can figure out what to do. It’s early, we’re all tired and nobody was doing our best thinking.

Thankfully the next morning my sister graciously offered Troy her very very nice camping trailer as a germy man cave for the next 5-12+ days. We truly lucked out in that regard.

But wait, there’s more. Starting Sunday night, Bennett had started displaying some cold symptoms that looked a lot like his normal PFAPA symptoms. You know, the symptoms that removing the tonsils was supposed to put an end to. Yeah, those symptoms.

Also, I should add that we had promised the boys an epic week of adventures for this, their final week of summer. We had local day trips planned, tubing on a lake, floating on a river, meeting up with multiple friends, etc.

Jack bounced into my room on Monday morning all ready for our first adventure and then I got to watch his face fall while I crushed all his dreams of fun for an entire week. It was peak parenting, let me tell you.

Ok, a few things. One: we have been extraordinarily lucky and also have worked hard to avoid Covid up until now. We still mask in indoor public places and still have avoided doing things in super crowded areas. We’re those dorks.

As a first responder, Troy might have the record at his station for being the last one to get the ‘Rona. They’re in and out of people’s homes on medical calls, and for us to go over 2.5 years without previous infection was a dang good record. I also knew that eventually, our luck would run out. We had a great streak and I can’t be remotely mad about that.

TWO: we gave up two weeks of summer before Bennett’s surgery to keep him germ-free so that he could have his tonsils removed. We then went through hell for two weeks while he recovered. He had been feeling better for FOUR days before he caught another cold.

This SURGERY WAS SUPPOSED TO STOP THE EFFING COLDS. I am a very optimistic person, but man oh man, I have had some low moments this week where I have felt SO defeated. We put our kid through pain, gave up so much time, and spent a lot of money on surgery,…and it seems like it was all for nothing. NOTHING.

All at-home tests showed that Bennett was covid-negative. We even took him to get a PCR just to be extra careful heading into school starting next week. All were negative. It’s just the same crap that we’ve been dealing with since he was 2 months old.

Now let me say, we have friends who have a child with a form of cancer that they cannot eradicate. My mom was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease at 26 that completely reformed the life she and my dad had expected to live. My dad is an amputee.

None of our health things are life-threatening. These are mere inconveniences. We’ll all be fine in the end. We’re lucky and have health insurance and can access quality care. But inside I am having a big epic meltdown adult tantrum and I want to punch all the things.

Knowing how quickly Bennett caught yet another cold, just makes me think about yet another school year where he is missing days and days of school each month. I want to scream into a jar.

Please do come back next week when I will not be as grouchy and full of sugar. Stress = sugar consumption for me because sugar never judges or talks back.

August can bite me. That is all.

In the Garden This Week

Being stuck at home this week did result in a productive week for the garden. I did ALL the weeding that has needed to be done for a few weeks now. I also tackled Mt. Morning Glory, AKA the retaining wall that divides our neighbor’s yard from ours.

We live on a hill so all the homes/yards are terraced into the hill. Most of us have some form of a retaining wall to prevent earth movement. Well, this wall is on our neighbor’s property but it seems like it has slipped their mind for the last…7 years to ever remove the excessive morning glory that starts on their side of the property.

I have enough morning glory in my yard and gardens already, thank you very much. I don’t need more and I certainly have no use for weeds that belong to someone else. But I was bored and had some rage to get out this week and let’s just say that the portion of the retaining wall that I could access is currently completely cleared.

I’ve also been picking epic amounts of blueberries in the mornings. It’s too hot in the afternoon to pick and they’re also hard to see when the berries are in direct sunlight. We have 26 blueberry bushes and yet every year, two of them produce as much as ALL the others combined. It’s an embarrassment of delicious riches.

Other than that, there was a whole lot of weeding happening, especially near the retaining wall. Now that I can access our yard under all the blackberry vines. coughcough.

Our heatwave has broken and this coming week the temps will be dropping into the 70s, so I’ll be getting our lettuce starts into one of the raised beds ASAP.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

I’ve been listening to The Sunshine Place because 1) I was appropriately targeted by apple podcasts and 2) I noticed it was produced by Robert Downy, Jr and his wife, Susan Downey.

Fun fact: when we lived in Los Angeles, I worked with Susan Downey’s brother at a consulting firm. So, in a way…I basically know Iron Man. 🙂

From the website: “The Sunshine Place tells the mind-blowing, true-story of Synanon – one of America’s most cutting edge social experiments, turned into one of its most dangerous and violent cults – as it’s never been told before: by the people who lived it.” (source)

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Jeni left this five-star review on our How to Make Chicken Bone Broth tutorial {Pin this recipe}:

I used the Instapot recipe today and I am so proud of myself. It was my first time making broth from a carcass and I’ve never felt more “Little House on the Prairie”! Called my husband at work to impress him with tales of my domestic triumph and he was not impressed- apparently they use this recipe all the time at the fire station (he’s a firefighter) with leftover chickens so I’m trying to not let him rain on my crunchy granola dreams haha Anyways, the recipe was super easy and made SO much broth, I’m looking forward to using it in soups as we move into fall.

two jars of homemad chicken bone broth on a tray with lemons and rosemary.

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Frozen Waffles in the Air FryerMaking air fryer frozen waffles is incredibly easy and fast. This easy grab-and-go air fryer breakfast is simple to make and cooks in only 3-4 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

maple syrup being poured over a stack of waffles.

How to Dry ThymeLearn how to dry thyme in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven. Drying thyme is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple! {Pin this tutorial}

a small grey dish filled with dehydrated thyme on a white board.

Confessions – everyone’s favorite post of the month.

A woman with a finger up to her mouth saying "shhhhh"

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  1. Canning Peaches – like sunshine in a jar that you can enjoy all year long. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Canning Pears – Welcome to pre-fall, everyone. {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce – use up all those delicious garden tomatoes in this simple recipe. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  5. Canning Whole Tomatoes – delicious work for all the prepping squirrels chasing summer. {Pin this tutorial}

MEAL PLAN

I have a loose idea of what we can/will eat this week but can’t come up with the motivation to assign it to a certain day.

A lot could happen this week. IF Troy is feeling better and testing negative, he’ll be coming home. And IF he is feeling well enough, I have a long-planned trip to Denver to see my bestie on Friday.

But it’s all guesswork at this point right now. Who the heck knows!

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36 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Aw sweetie, virtual hugs.

  2. Hugs! Lots of hugs and healing, and celebrating August being over!

    That’s so rough that B’s surgery didn’t fix things. Maybe it takes a bit to kick in? Fingers crossed?

    We managed pretty long without getting COVID as well (although I’m pretty sure the hubby had it in Februray 2020 before we knew it was a thing). But both he and E got it in June (on my birthday).

    Here’s to September being a better!

    • I called the ENT and they did say it could take some time to “kick in”. We’ll see. If this doesn’t fix it, the next step is meeting with a rheumatologist because apparently, they’re the doctors who specialize in “immunity”. That’s what I was told by the ENT’s office, but I have never heard that before!

      Oh happy freaking birthday to you!!

  3. Oh man, that is awful. We got covid in January 2020 and it was awful, but we’ve managed to avoid it since (we do homeschool, which helps a lot). My deepest sympathies regarding Bennett. Is it just faintly possible that he has covid but the tests just aren’t picking it up? I know there are different strains of ‘rona, and maybe the tests aren’t picking it up? Not that it would make him feel any better, but maybe it’s not the usual junk he’s been dealing with.

    • Oh wow, you had the “OG” strain of covid!

      No, this isn’t covid for Bennett. It’s 100% the same damn thing he gets every 4-6 weeks for years and years. I could identity this crap with my eyes closed. LOL. It’s like knowing your period is coming.

      But we always test just to be good stewards of other’s health.

  4. Sorry for your troubles! Hope everyone is fully recovered quickly. We had managed to avoid covid until this July, when I got it. Thankfully, 3 vaccinations in, my symptoms were mild and it was more of an inconvenience (though 1 month later I still get coughing fits) than a terrible illness. I was able to isolate in our basement, wearing a mask if I went upstairs and washing my hands and any surfaces I touched like a disinfecting ninja. My point of pride is that no one else in the family got it. Regardless, it sucked being isolated from family for over a week (I waited until i tested negative to rejoin society, 9 days, and wore a mask around others for 10 days). Damn covid.

    • Yes, thank goodness for vaccines, right? My (vaccinated) neighbor got it at Christmas and was so mad and texted me “so much for vaccines”. I reminded him that the vaccines are meant to keep us out of the hospital. It’s not necessarily able to keep us from getting sick.

      Troy has had his 3 shots but had been slacking on his 4th booster. I’m a bit annoyed by that but think he probably would still have gotten this even with the 4th shot. He had a really rough go of it in the first few days but was a candidate for Paxlovid (sp?) and thankfully it kept everything out of his lungs. He has asthma, and colds/viruses always setting in his chest and never let go.

  5. Yep, August is no winner! Both came down with Corona, day 2 4 am husband had a severe allergic reaction to Paxlovid- face swelling, numbness, etc . Not an experience I care to repeat!

    • Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear about his reaction! Was the solution to like snort a bunch of Benadryl or something?!

      Troy took Paxlovid and while it didn’t help any of his symptoms, it deep keep the rona from getting into his lungs. He has asthma so that was our biggest concern.

  6. Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry about your August. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Troy and a super-boring September for your whole family (except for that fun trip to Denver).

  7. Oh man! I hope Troy gets better quickly and it doesn’t spread through the house.

    My kids went back to school the first week of august (Louisiana has early start dates). We’ve been homeschooling the past two years because of Covid but felt that the kids need the socialization again. Especially because we don’t really know anyone. The next freakin week on a Monday my 11 year old son tested positive. Then Wednesday my 3 year old. Friday my husband. Saturday my 6 and 8 year old and I tested positive. Sunday my 18 year old. The only ones who didn’t test positive were my 13 year old and 1 year old. The 13 year old got Covid in Washington when she was there visiting family all summer. And I think I tested my 1 year old too soon. And it was super traumatic for him so I never retested him. We have too many people and not enough space in the house to isolate properly from each other. Or no where else to send sick people. It was craziness! The kids all had to miss a week of school. 🙄 and then go back to school the next week wearing a mask. Thankfully it seems to be past us now! This was our first time with Covid too. I was kind of hoping we were going to be lucky and not get it!

    • Glad everyone is ok now! And yes, with the number of people you have in your family, there is no escaping it.

      We knew we were going to get it eventually. There’s just no avoiding it forever. But I kept telling Jack that by waiting it out, when it finally got us, it would be the mild version.

  8. 3 days of kindergarten and the youngest woke up with a cold Saturday morning. Lots of swearing under my breath and sugar followed. We had hoped being sick so much during pre-k last year had boosted his immune system for this year but nope. I hate sick kids especially when you think you fixed the main cause. Hopefully Bennett being sick is a fluke

  9. I’m so bummed for you with regards to covid (I also caught it for the first time early June, 2 days before I was supposed to go on a 10 day trip). I also mask everywhere and avoid public spaces. It seems Detective Rona has finally found the address of all those who had managed to avoid him for 2.5 years! 
    Hopefully, B just caught an undetected form of it, or a simple cold. My fingers are crossed. I totally get your frustration over having him undergo surgery and making so many sacrifices to make it happen, only to have him get sick right after… one very pale silver lining is that if he hadn’t had his surgery, you’d still be wondering every time he gets sick if removing his tonsils would help. Now, you won’t have that option living rent free on your mind! I hope that’s even a tiny little bit comforting. 
    Also hope Troy gets a mild version of the Rona, and doesn’t pass it along to your whole household. 
    Sending thoughts and a virtual hug!

  10. Hugs, and sorry to hear about Bennett’s cold and Troy’s Covid. Our family avoided it until this summer too, and it stinks no matter when it hits. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for both, and that Bennett’s cold is just a fluke.