Almost Wimping Out

For a while there, it got hard. Really hard. I almost wimped out. I went so far as to tell Mauricio that I wanted to rent an apartment for the winter.

Not sure what I was really expecting out here, but I didn’t expect myself to wimp out so quickly. I mean, I spent two years on an island with no running water or electricity in the Peace Corps, so what could be so hard about this?

In one week, it went from being all sweat, all the time, to freezing at night with two down comforters on.

And suddenly, our “school” year started, and I was driving all over tarnation to get the kids to their classes. My writing work picked up drastically. And now, all of the chores that used be quick, have become events. Throwing in a load of laundry has become a half day trip to the laundromat. Getting dinner on the table has become a juggling act between cook, prep and eat space. Throwing everything in the dishwasher has become a few trips to the spigot outside to fill a basin for handwashing a pile of dinner for 5. A quick trip to the grocery store for milk has become at least an hour-long odyssey in travel time.  And showering (now that it’s too cold in the outdoor shower) is a trip to the rec center we joined.

Add to that a terrible, awful, horrible case of systemic poison oak for Stella, and yeah, an apartment started sounding really good to get through the coming winter.

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Poor Stella, my outdoor woman warrior. She can identify more native plants here than any of us, including poison oak sticks without the leaves, now that they’ve fallen off. So we don’t know at what point she got poison oak, but one Friday night she started itching and by Sunday, she was covered, COVERED, in hot red welts. She was having a systemic reaction, and she was miserable. And when Stella is miserable, she makes sure the whole family is miserable. I tried every natural remedy I could find on the internet. Oatmeal baths in a barrel (see photo), calendula cream, chamomile tea, coconut oil, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, Tecnu wash and cream. Oatmeal baths gave her temporary relief, but only for an hour or so, before the itch fest began again. Finally, on Monday, our lovely homeopathic doctor took one look at her and said, “Steroids.” Which finally gave her relief.

And me, too. I finally got my heart back in it. Mostly, it was Mauricio, hanging in there just fine, who gave me the courage to stick with it. And then we kicked in on getting that dome up, which is taking WAY longer than we thought. I’m downright excited about it. More about that, next.