Home Economist

Mondays are home economist days. This is the day of the week I picked out to deal with all those distasteful things one has to do when somebody dies. I am not working as much as I was before Jim got sick, and January is not generally the time for me to pick up more work. So, my Mondays are free of paid work until at least next Fall. They are home economist days.

Right after Jim died, there were so many details to take care of. I was exhausted. I tried to get one detail done per day. Now, I can take care of things in one day per week. But…they are really full days. Much like a “day in the life of Jim”, I will take you through today’s “to do” list, so you can see what a day in the life of a home economist looks like.

4:30 am: Alarm goes off. Drink coffee. Get kitchen ready for breakfast. Let dog out, in, out and back in again. No….Sadie, this is not a running day.

5:30-6:45 am: Swim. Wake up about the time practice is over. Do math to figure out how many yards swum. Wow, over 2000 again!

7:00-8:00 am: Shower, dress, breakfast, make sure Jasper has what he needs. Feed dog. Let dog out, in, out and back in again.

8:00-10:30 am: On the phone with medical insurance company. In the last 3 months, we have had 3 different policy #’s. Jim’s, then COBRA, then as of Jan 1, private. All the same company, just different #’s. Claims for 2010 not covered because they keep trying to apply them to the new policy’s high deductible. Much time on hold. Higher premiums than quoted due to “lapse in coverage”. Not true…just a different #. Department A just needs to talk with department B. More time on hold. I do this on Mondays because I have the time to sit on hold without getting snippy with the innocent person on the other end of the line. I try to make it pleasant for both of us.

10:30-11:00 am: Do finances, pay bills, balance bank accounts. We still have some money left over that the community raised for us. It is paying our health insurance for the next few years. We lost health insurance when Jim died, and Jim’s PERSI pension wouldn’t even cover the COBRA premium. Change to a high deductible private plan. This allows me to continue to afford a massage twice a month, I can pay my swim tuition, and there might even be enough left over for the occasional bottle of scotch. All….very important for my health.

11:00-12:00 pm: Open a health savings account. Can do this on-line, but when I try to log in am denied access and given a phone # to call. Yup…more time on hold. Send Emerald a copy of our insurance card. Still on hold so write a handwritten letter with goofy doodles with telephone attached to my ear.

12:00-1:00pm: Left overs for lunch. Yum. I like soggy salad. Catch up on email, file stuff that is now blotched with salad dressing. Check stuff recently listed on e-bay to see if anything is being watched or bid on. Nope.

1:00-2:30pm. Search one last time thorough all of Jim’s files for the snowmobile trailer title because one of the emails states that we have a buyer coming to town on Friday. Still can’t find it. Look up what to do on-line. Discover that utility trailers don’t need to be titled, just registered. Phone message to friend bringing trailer up tonight (he is out skiing today) that we do not need title, just reminder to bring the registration.

2:30-3:30pm: Take a break, do something fun. Call mother in law to discuss Spring Break plans to spew some of Jim off the OR coast, and have Jasper visit OSU. Call B+L bikes about selling Jim’s bikes on consignment. Sadie has a play date in the backyard with another friend’s dog. Laugh at their antics. Visit with friend who comes to pick up her now tired (and therefore, good) dog.

3:30-4:30pm: Call and make appointment for physical. It has been over 2 years. I couldn’t stomach the idea of another waiting room. I am finally ready. Call my hairdresser…it hasn’t been 2 years, but last time I called her I found out her husband, who has cancer, wasn’t doing so well. He is now in hospice. We talked for a while. I waited until I hung up to cry. My hair will just get longer.

4:30-5:15 pm: Prep dinner. It is a day I am home, so it is supposed to be a good one. Roast chicken and potatoes, and asparagus. It smells great, but still has another 45 minutes to go.

5:15-6:00 pm: Talk to raft frame guy about building a new frame for Jim’s old SOTAR. Sold his guitar, now we can afford a frame for a 5′ 2″ person (2 out of 3, sorry Jasper). So many options to think about. Extra seat? yes. Dimensions? Gotta think some more. Extra for color…I think, yes. Yellow.

6:15 pm: This is now. I just poured myself a drink. Dinner will be out of the oven soon. Jasper is doing homework. Friend will be by at 8:00 pm with trailer and hopefully registration. Should I line up a body-guard for the cash transaction to occur on Friday?

I hope to get to bed before 10:00 pm. The alarm will go off again at 4:30. Yes, Sadie, tomorrow IS a running day. And then, a work day. No more home economist….for another week. Ahhhhhh.


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5 Responses to Home Economist

  1. Phil Druker says:

    I like this: one step at a time. When do you get time to write this wonderful material?
    Phil D.

  2. Judi Kloper says:

    Your day is complete with the somewhat mundane tasks you have to take care of, the home economist tasks. You know, I think I should send you my degree from OSU; it’s in Home Economics. You deserve it–I certainly don’t.

    Having had your life defined in such different terms for more than a year and now trying to find your new balance, your new ‘normal,’ has got to be challenging, especially emotionally. You seem to have that inner strength to meet your challenges, and I hope that you always have close friends and family nearby to surround and support you as you deal with them.

    Meanwhile, when is your spring break? I should be here, hopefully, so if you are coming to Corvallis, please know that you can stay with us. Or at least let’s get together. Jasper really wants to look at OSU? I was thinking of suggesting to Dassi (also a junior) that she might look at U of I. (She does, however, want to be in a city that’s bigger than Corvallis!)

    Take good care…and keep writing.
    Hugs your way,

  3. If you need some “muscle” on Friday, let me know. 🙂

  4. jj says:

    How *you* manage to cheer *me* up every day time, I don’t know, but you do. You can add that to your done-did list: cheered up bunch of other people.

  5. Martin Trail says:

    Hi Kathie, I finally got signed up! Hopefully these ‘home economics’ days will be come shorter and shorter until Sadie gets to run on them…better for both of you I am sure. Martin

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