This isn’t my usual sort of blog post.
This isn’t professional.
This is true.
This is not meant to be a pity-party for me, it’s to shine a light on the feeling of being overwhelmed by the needs of those we care for.

I am crying at the kitchen table.  


5:30am, wake up, no alarm needed – this is sleeping in on my day off.

Start the day letting Stormy out of Kit’s crate.  To avoid diapering her, she slept in the crate with Kit’s bedding covered with a washable (FOR THE PLANET) potty pad.  She bunched up the pad at the front of the crate and soaked through his blankets.

Laundry day, it is. 

Gather up soiled bedding, take to the garage. Put the kettle on and turn up the space heater.

Fix my first cup of tea. 

Since Stormy wet the bedding so thoroughly I do not feel pressured to take them out immediately.  

Shine and Kit are in the kitchen-slash-living room with me and Stormy curls up on my bed.

Write in my journal.  Take my meds with my second and third cups of tea.  Think about the day. Write down a to-do list. Aim to make it focused on self-care, include things that are easy and when completed will prove that I am actively caring for myself.

Brush teeth AM & PM
Litter box
Make soup
Dog walk
Clean kitchen
Yard time
Critter med/food prep
Tidy Bedroom


Time to take the dogs out.  Stormy gets up from my bed, there is a wet spot under her.


It was laundry day, anyway. 

Gather up more soiled bedding, take to garage. 

Take the dogs out, everyone potties (Kit poops twice.  What did he eat? Did he raid the litter box overnight?).

Back inside, place a washable (FOR THE PLANET) diaper on Stormy. Make more tea; switch to decaf.

Put on a podcast: an interview with an author who wrote a book I just finished on the benefits of dismantling the mental, emotional, and societal cages women are in.  A book on how we owe it to ourselves, our families, and the world at large to live our lives on our own terms, for ourselves.   

Switch laundry. Prepare to prepare dogs’ and cat’s breakfast. 

Go to garage, grab the last three baggies of last week’s food & med prep; gather bowls.

Host: The heart is there, but you took me at such a fast clip through so much in such an artful… Maybe I’m just talking to you writer to writer right now, just the art and craft in this book is breathtaking.

Author: Thank you. I really wanted it to read like the cheetah running. I wanted the experience of reading it to feel as wild as the wild I was trying to describe. I wanted the actual medium to be the message.

Shine, in a regular dog dish: 
Pre-prepared baggie of food and meds
Add: water, spoon of canned food, liquid glucosamine supplement, cooked white rice

Stormy, in an “easy” slow feeder:
Pre-prepared baggie of food and meds – remove meds for incontinence as we are switching to a new prescription that will hopefully work better; place aside, wonder what to do with the old prescription
Add: water, spoon of canned food, liquid glucosamine supplement

Kit, in a “hard” slow feeder:
Pre-prepared baggie of food and meds
Add: water, spoon of canned food, liquid glucosamine supplement, stress-support probiotic powder.

Alfie, in a normal cat dish:
Big scoop pre-prepared re-hydrated cat food
Small scoop canned food 
Mix pre-prepared meds (stored separately) into canned food

Place bowls down in order: 
Alfie (in office)

Kit finishes first.  Always.

Author: I think that one of these poison roots that were planted beneath women is this idea that if we do what is best for us, that if we do what we need to do, that we want to do, our people will be hurt. We have accepted this lie that what we need and what our people need is mutually exclusive. 

Clean off the kitchen table and gather supplies for the weekly med and meal prep for the dogs and cat:
Plastic bin of meds and supplements 
Bag containing 42 ziplock bags (used & reused, FOR THE PLANET) – 1 bag per meal per dog for one week
Two kinds of kibble
Three kinds of raw, human-grade, dehydrated dog food

Begin prepping meds.

Shine, per meal-baggie:
Phosphorus binder (for kidneys) – 1tsp
Renal support supplement – 2 capsules, opened and emptied of their contents
New $100 herbs to hopefully alleviate her recent drive to eat dirt (both from the yard and from houseplants) – ½ tsp

Stormy, separated into AM and PM baggies:
AM & PM mail-order Rx for heart condition – ⅓ tablet
PM – New estrogen Rx to control incontinence – 1 tablet

Kit, separated into AM and PM baggies:
AM – Prozac – 1 20mg capsule
AM – Gabapentin – 2 100mg capsules 
PM – Gabapentin – 1 100mg capsule (titrating off from 300mg AM & PM)
AM – Calming herbal supplement – 3 tabl-fuck.

I have run out of Kit’s supplement.

Go to phone, pause podcast.  Open Amazon app to order supplement from possibly dubious seller.

Currently unavailable


Check other sources, find it for $20 more than I usually pay.


Call vet, order 45 tablets for almost $30 -this will last for 9 days.

Order bottle of 300 tablets for $95 and hope that they will arrive before I run out of the stopgap script from the vet.

Think about how I’m bleeding money.

Unpause podcast.

Author: If you need any proof that we’ve been poisoned by misogyny over and over again, all you have to do is think about the fact that the epitome of womanhood, the ultimate compliment we can receive is, “You’re selfless.” What horse shit is that? The way that you can achieve womanhood…

Host:  It’s complete horse shit.

Author: The way that you can achieve womanhood is to not have a self. 

Finish Kit’s meds.

AM – Calming herbal supplement – 3 tablets (three bags worth)
PM Calming herbal supplement – 2 tablets (three bags worth)

Separate bags that either do or do not have everything Kit needs to remain stable.

Pause podcast. Check Stormy’s diaper, there’s evidence of a very small dribble, but I’m calling it clean enough to put back on her later.  Take the dogs out for a potty break. Everyone tinkles, Kit poops again and I tell myself that it’s probably fine.  Go back inside, put Stormy’s diaper back on.

Unpause podcast.

Author:  But when you offer yourself freedom, you offer freedom to all of your people, and I don’t know what else there is to do as a parent.

Move onto food:

½ cup chicken & rice kibble
Partial scoop dehydrated veggie mix
Partal scoop dehydratFUCK

I have run out of Shine’s chicken-based dehydrated food.

Pause podcast, open app for preferred (cheapest yet reputable) dehydrated food retailer, find out that it’s out of stock.

Check Amazon, it’s more than I want to spend

Go back to preferred seller and see what other formulas might be acceptable, also look at price of smaller box.


Decide to hold off in hopes that preferred retailer is in stock soon. Set reminder on phone to check preferred retailer on Monday.

Unpause podcast.

Author: And that’s what I think we’re figuring out. That it turns out that angry, heartbroken women are not broken. Angry, heartbroken women are just some of the only people who are responding appropriately to a broken world.

Host: They’re paying attention.

Top off Shine’s food with Kit’s turkey-based dehydrated food.
Add: CBD/CBG tincture – 3 drops

Place baggies in cardboard box labeled SHINE.

1 not-quite full cup of chicken & rice kibble
Partial scoop of dehydrated veggie mix
Partial scoop of dehydrated turkey mix
Add: CBD/CBG tincture – 3 drops

Place baggies in cardboard box labeled STORMY

½ cup of turkey & millet kibble
Partial scoop of dehydrated veggie mix
Partial scoop of dehydrated turkey mix
Add: CBD tincture – 8 drops

Host: Do you know what I mean? And when we’re just living okay, people think that boundaries are a wall or a moat around our heart. But they’re not. That’s why I love this drawbridge metaphor. Because to me, good boundaries are a drawbridge to self-respect. That we can only get about being okay, not just professing it, but actually being okay, when we’ve got a really good drawbridge operator in ourselves.

Place baggies WITHOUT all the meds at the bottom of the cardboard box labeled KIT.  Place a piece of paper (part of the billing statement from my health insurance – my premium is going up this month – fuck) on top, place baggies WITH all the meds on top.

Switch laundry.  

Start cat meds:

ALFIE – placed into each compartment of an AM/PM pill caddy:
Herbal renal support supplement – ½ tablet
Different renal support supplement – 1 tablet
Thyroid Rx – ⅛ tablet
Crush together with the back of a knife, add:
⅛ tsp Phosphorus Binder (for kidneys)

Clean up kitchen table: Alfie’s pill caddy to kitchen counter by the tea, place bin of med bottles back on top of fridge, remaining food back into garage, put empty bottles in recycling (FOR THE PLANET), wipe down table, shake out placements and reposition. 

Prepare breakfast for self. 

Host: Is Honey there?

Author: Oh gosh, Honey’s there. I’m so sorry. How could I forget Honey? Honey’s always there. Yes.

Host: Geez, for all you dog lovers. Okay, last question. What’s something you are deeply grateful for right now?

Food is cooked, podcast ends. Set a new cup of tea aside to steep.

Sit down, begin to eat. 

Notice that Stormy is licking the place on the couch where she has been laying.  Walk over, she gets up. Notice her diaper sagging. 


She has soaked it through.  The blanket that covers the couch is wet, the cushion underneath it is wet.


Put new washable (FOR THE PLANET) diaper on Stormy. Gather up the new laundry, take it to the garage. Switch laundry. Notice that the upstairs neighbors with whom I share the garage and washer/dryer have a small basket of laundry placed off to the side waiting to be washed.  

Feel guilty about using the washer and dryer for so long this morning. Think about how this won’t be an issue soon.  The landlady is going to sell the current shared set. I need to buy my own stackable washer and dryer. Soon. 


Being thinking about the cost of a new washer and dryer. Think about having to decide whether to buy used or new. Think about logistics of how to get a used set to the house without inconveniencing friends who have trucks. Wonder if buying new, despite higher cost, would be the better choice due to delivery and warranties.

Decide to continue avoiding thinking about this. 

Fix now-steeped cup of tea, sit back down to finish breakfast. 

Begin eating again.

Stormy approaches the table, starts to playfully rub her rump against the table leg.  This shakes the table.

The tea sloshes, spilling onto the placemat and the table.

I am crying at the kitchen table.


The podcast: Unlocking Us hosted by Brené Brown.
Episode: Glennon Doyle and Brené on Untamed. March 24 2020.  
Produced by Cadence13. 


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