Stay young!

Friday, May 29

Mi a more

10:51 am Friday 5/20/20

In a little while I’m leaving to drop two bags off at Goodwill and take the puppy for her first check up. I text them when I arrive and they come out and get her and I wait in the car. Then I’m bring the puppy home and going to Costco to buy some tomato plants for my garden plot. The garden just opened for use today so maybe I’ll go plant tomorrow. 

Thursday, May 28

What day is it?

9:39am

I took the puppy out after I got up and collected her poop sample in a plastic newspaper bag for tomorrow’s vet visit. I started cleaning out my dresser drawers but am taking a break now to eat my oatmeal and take Bitzi out again. She’s doing pretty well. After that I’m going to go back to my dressers and closet to purge and organize and put the fall and winter stuff on the top shelf of my closet. I used to put all my out of season stuff in the basement but this house doesn’t have one. 


Wednesday, May 27

Silence

5:33pm. I’m sitting in the front room typing on my iPad. The puppy is sleeping in her crate near me. Mike is in the back office silent. All I hear is the faint house fan sound and distant thunder. It’s weird how it’s this quiet. I’m a bit upset and vexed because my oldest daughter has gone silent again. I went through over three months of this bullshit at the first of the year. Then she started calling again and now nothing. I don’t care what excuses she gives me something ain’t right. I don’t know what it is. I just have to trust it will work out. 

Tuesday, May 26

New baby

12:12

The past couple days my schedule is revolving around our new puppy Bitzi. Right now she’s sleeping in her cage. She’s been outside twice and had playtime inside the house. We’re trying to house train her and get her used to ringing the bells on the cord hanging from the back patio door to go out to pee. We’re trying to get her used to walking on a leash. Just putting the collar on was a struggle. She’s has never had these things. She weighs around a pound and a half I’m guessing. 












Monday, May 25

Remembering the fallen

8:23am It’s Memorial Day. It poured rain for a short times around 6:30 this morning. We’ve had SO much rain lately.

The puppy is sleeping on my lap. So far she’s doing very well. She wasn’t up crying all night. As far as I can tell she didn’t pee or poop in her training cage. She’s getting used to the collar and leash and starting to get the hang of walking with you. She has a long way to go with training but I’m encouraged. It was a long drive to the breeders place in Galena territory. The lady had a cabin set on a hill and the wooden stairs getting up to her front door were a bit scary going up. When we got inside we were “ greeted” ( attacked) by a herd of Shih Tzus- around 20 of them, many trying to climb up our legs and scratching us with their nails. The house had very rustic big log cabin decor and was pretty dimly lit so I had difficulty filling out the paperwork so Michael finished it for me. This puppy had either been inside in a pen with the pack or in a fenced in area in the back of the house that was entirely Astro turf. The dogs also had Astro turf pads inside the house to do their peeing and pooping on. Trying Bitzi to get used to doing her business outside on the grass is our first most important lesson. I’ve hung bells by the back door and every time I take her out we go over and ring the bells. I’m trying to train her to ring the bells to alert us when she needs to go out. I am handling her and touching her belly, legs and tail so she gets used to being handled and remains calm, gentle and submissive. Her mother, Buttercup, is pretty small for an adult Shih Tzu so I don’t expect Bitzi to get very big. 
Today is Memorial Day. My father served 2 terms in the Army. The first time he was stationed in Texas. He re-enlisted during the Korean War and was stationed at an artillery base in Fairbanks Alaska. He achieved the rank of Sergeant. My uncles all served in different branches of the military. 

4:14 pm 

Bitzi is worn out and passed out in her cage. Mike is back in his cage ( office) completing the dreadful online drivers’ safety course after having gotten a speeding ticket a couple months ago. I’ve done an in-person and an online class about fifteen or more years ago. I haven’t had any tickets or fender benders in over five years now. I’m uber careful. I enjoy driving but I’m the overly careful driver everybody honks at and passes. Fine by me. 

Ive been outside with the puppy several times. I talked to the neighbor guy for a long time. I transplanted some shoots from my snowball Bush ( it’s super easy to pull them since the ground is so saturated, and I swept off and sprayed off the back patio and front driveway and sidewalk. I sat outside with the puppy for a long time drinking iced tea, enjoying the breeze. I rolled out my big Bluetooth speaker and was singing away to some great tunes. I made some Purdue pankow crusted chicken nuggets in the oven for lunch. I have a couple windows open, the back screen door open and the ceiling fans on. I hear the tinkle of my wind chimes in the trees out back, the marsh birds singing and the fans whirring away. I’ve messed up my left knee from digging up and transplanting and pulling weeds. My knee is zinging me and my feet are aching the past few days.. I’m going to use my wooden roller on the bottoms of my feet then lie on the floor with my legs and feet up the wall. That should help. I have reserved a plot for planting in our community garden but it’s been closed due to covid but is set to open June first. I’m going to put some tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, sunflowers in. It’s a 10’ X30’ plot so I’ll see how much room I’ve got once I actually see it and get started. 

Sunday, May 24

Today is the day

7:40am

Coffee time in my pajamas with bare feet.
Mike is watching some cooking show.

Around 9:00 we’ll leave here to drive to Galena to pick up my puppy. Mike has still continued to complain about the cost but he pretty much complains about everything these days. I’m pretty f-ing sick of that shit and it’s getting harder to ignore it.every great once in a while I’ll blow my top and let him have it. I’m more like my dad in that respect. I’m thinking I’ll name the puppy Rosie but will wait until we meet her and get a feel for her personality.

I hope it’s nice weather for our drive. Late yesterday afternoon we got a terrible storm with a tornado nearby and massive pounding rain and flooding. I’m glad I got all my transplants in the ground before it hit!

I’ve applied for a couple more jobs locally. We’ll see if either one bites on the line. I’m not really sure about this but I don’t want to just sit around and atrophy. Also ever since Mike and I have been married I’ve covered him under my school district insurance. Now he’ll have to cover himself through his employer but there’s a high risk now that with the economy the way it is he may be out of a job and insurance before too long. He has a number of prescription maintenance drugs he’s on. He has hypertension and diabetes. Getting new health insurance will be pricey. I’m taking the TRS insurance option and my school district pays $426 a month toward my insurance each month until I qualify for Medicare. I’ll still pay some out of pocket but it sure helps. Anyway so I’ve been thinking of taking another full-time job with benefits until we’re both on Medicare and just pocketing the 400 every month. It needs to be a job close to home that isn’t too taxing. I applied at the local hospital here a few miles away as an oncology assistant. I’d have to complete some trading course but that’s okay. Lord knows I’ve spent a time of time in oncology departments over the years. 

3:38


Bitzi









Friday, May 22

The assault team has arrived

7:09 am Friday, May 22, 2020

I’ve been awake for about thirty minutes. When I walked into the kitchen my coffee was already made. Mike heard that I was up and made it. He does that almost every morning and I start each day with a little sweet loving gesture. He took off a few minutes ago to run over to the physical therapy office to continue work on his shoulders. He has to go twice a week for several weeks and he has stretchy bands to use at home. He has pretty broad large shoulders and he’s been having trouble and pain for years. He used to do a lot of tree and bush trimming at our old house, lifting the saws and trimmers and stretching and twisting to use the tools. It seemed to start several summers ago after using our big hedge trimmers a lot. He’s also had some sports injuries from his youth. He also has been suffering with plantar fasciitis the last few weeks and has had a lot of pain walking. He is not one to let me help him. He’s like a wounded snarl-y bear. Thank God he finally went to the doctor for his shoulders and started going to physical therapy.The landscapers just came and attacked the yard with mowers and trimmers buzzing and whirring away for twenty minutes and now they’re gone. It’s like a bunch of commandos on D-Day.  They’re fast and furious. I’m sure they have many yards to complete today. Most of the residents around here use landscapers. There are lots of different companies that serve Sun City. None of our neighbors have complained about our guys coming at 7am, they’re done so fast anyway. Our community has covenants about upkeep and maintainance. You have to apply to the modifications committee if you want to add or remove trees, sidewalks, change your house color, etc. The whole community is well kept and nicely maintained. There are no dumpy houses or yards here. You’re not allowed to have junk dumped in your yards. I think some of the rules are a bit uptight. When we moved in we had several evergreen trees removed. Evidently we were supposed to submit an application for approval to have that done. No one said a word. There are some prissy old dried up busybodies who want to tell you your business. I’ve encountered a couple in our neighborhood. Fran, the lady next door in her nineties is kind of snippy with me and has a barbed tongue. I try to be nice because she’s old and takes care of her 99-year old husband John. He’s so old he’s got the weak happy smiley old going on most of the time. I have seen him fly in to a ridiculous raging rant. I imagine he could have been an asshole in his younger days. He’s a WWII navy veteran and traveled around the world so even pushing one hundred he still has the piss and vinegar in him. Recently Fran got some really horrible- sounding tinny wind chime and stuck it out by the end of the garage closest to our house. It makes a really awful sound. I don’t know if it’s to scare birds away or what.  After I just wrote that I went out to my front door stoop and took down my two nice-sounding wind chimes and took them to the back yard and hung them in the back corner tree . Now I can enjoy them back there with my birds. Beautiful Wind Chimes





I have two Zoom private lessons today and that’s it. I’ve whittled them down this week. I’ve gotten some really nice emails from students and parents for my retirement. Several kids have made me nice tribute videos on Flipgrid. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of retiring teachers shamelessly milking all the praise, attention and adoration they can get building up to their retirement. I get embarrassed for them just seeing or hearing it. Just say thanks and be done already. Our whole purpose is to teach the students and push them forward to succeed. Push forward don’t cling and drag it out. I prefer clean cuts. Move on. I just got an email from a student ( actually from his mom) with a $25 Amazon gift card link. You just click on the link and it adds it to your account. This is the third one I’ve gotten. So quick and easy and thoughtful!



9:13 Now I have the back screen door open listening to the birds singing. I just filled hummingbird feeders but they’re empty again so I made more syrup and it’s cooling. I always bring the feeders in and wash them in hot water before refilling them. Something knocked over my big birdbath so I had to set that back up and fill it. Mike is balancing the checkbook and sitting at the kitchen table. He is very detail oriented and OCD and his minor was accounting so he always does that stuff. He’s better at it than me although I could do it if I had to. I hear him shuffling papers out there will the bird trills in the background. I have on super soft light gray yoga pants, a hot pink sleeveless clingy yoga top and a loose lightweight white short- sleeved Columbia top over it as a little jacket I LOVE Columbia shirt jackets  ’m wearing my neon yellow-green Crocs slider sandals that I got on Oahu two summers ago at the Crocs store in an outlet store. They’re SO comfortable. Awesome Crocs sandals 

2:36pm I just finished my last two Zoom private lessons. I’m done. Technically there’s next Tuesday and Wednesday but all my stuff is done. I feel like I just jumped out of a plane and I’m not sure if  even  have a parachute or if I even want one. Pretty strange. AND now finally the sun has come out. Everything’s gonna be alright. 

If you haven’t guessed, I haven’t really shared or promoted this blog to anyone outside a very select few who somehow I’ve up to this point been unable to scare off. It is available to search engines ( sometimes). This has just pretty much been like an online diary for me for years and has helped me cope and process life and my ( often self inflicted) struggles. I have toyed with the idea of doing it more openly after retirement and have been investigating promoting, affiliate marketing and sponsorships. I’m still in the investigative stage. Still pecking away with one finger on my iPad in my lap while I lounge in my worn out recliner with birdsongs and wind chimes as my background music. 

What’s it all about Allie? 

3:51  I have been cleaning and packing up all my Zoom lessons junk and instruments from the spare bedroom. Milo & Oscar are taking the trombones. Lola wants my old junky baritone and my oboe. I’ll put those and books and folding stands in the back of my car to get them out of the way. Mike is camped out in the office on his laptop even though he’s not working so I can’t really go in that dinky room and start purging. The ice pick pain on the lower right sacroiliac joint is back. I’m drinking my leftover vodka lemonade that was in a thermos cup in the fridge for several days. My brain can already feel it. A lady from my wine fairy group stopped by this morning and brought me wine and dark chocolate. How very nice. I got lovely retirement cards in the mail from a couple friends. So thoughtful. 






Thursday, May 21

Feelin’ fishy

7:03am Thursday

Mike left a few minutes ago to go play nine holes of golf with his work friend Jim at a course in Streamwood. It’s very overcast out and in the low 60s so that doesn’t sound pleasant to me but I hope they have a really good time. I started feeling bad yesterday afternoon when we were over at Mike’s moms in St. Charles. We stopped at Kabobs restaurant and picked up food before we got there. I had a tiny hint of a sore throat when we got there. His mom and I both love Kabobs seasoned roasted vegetable so I sat at the table and ate my container of vegetables. I also had a piece of meat. A piece of roasted potato and a couple forks of rice.After we sat there for a bit my stomach felt a little funny and I also felt a little hot. I went to the restroom nut nothing unusual happened. We sat there for another 45 minutes and then drove home. I started feeling a little worse. Once we got home I had a couple pretty awful bathroom attacks and my stomach felt queasy. I took 2 alkaline shelter. When I went to bed I just didn’t feel very good and my head was draining and I was coughing a bit. I couldn’t sleep very well wondering if I’d picked up a bug somewhere. ( I just watched the movie Contagion a couple days ago.) I still don’t feel very good this morning.




Yesterday morning early I drove to my school district central office to return my school district equipment; my laptop and charger, my school iPad and keyboard case, a few other electronics, a French Horn, my ID, lockdown key and key fob. Two masked women in gloves brought me in to the front lobby and had me stand behind a table and hold up and show them every item I removed from my bag. I was wearing a mask and gloves too. Every item I showed them I then put in a big clear plastic bag. When all my items were in the clear bag they had me seal it shut then put it in a rectangular plastic container, secure the lid, then I had to put that container on a big flat cart and then I was done. Then I went to an elementary school in South Elgin to get a bag of my belongings and leave keys and it was a similar process. Everyone in masks and gloves standing six or more feet away. Pretty weirdly sad. Happy retirement! Now get the fuck out. 



I’m going to take a nice long warm shower and flush my sinuses out really well. I’m sure that will help. I’m sure my ick feeling is just the Kabobs food, the weather, the pollen and the news. This too shall pass.



















5:27pm    It’s clouding up like it’s going to rain now. It was pretty warm and sunny earlier. I did a lot of work outside planting my seedlings into bigger pots and thinning out, digging up and transplanting lots of perennials. I spent several hundreds of dollars last year planting perennials in our new yard. There weren’t very many here when we bought the place. I tried very hard to tend and fertilize my new plants so they’d get established. I covered my new rose bushes and heavily mulched the rest for the winter. This spring I initially thought a few were dead but now everything’s showing signs of life. My new little rhododendron Bush is even blooming! My rhubarb I started from seed came up and looks pretty big and healthy. I see a couple of my asparagus plants survived. I paid for a 10’X 30’ garden plot in our community garden but due to coved it’s not open. I have lettuce, radishes, zucchini and tomatoes started in pots on the patio. I have zinnias and morning glories started in pots. I sat in the grass in the backyard listening to the Doobie Brothers on my big rolling Bluetooth speaker. I haven’t sat down in grass for a long time. I love tending my plants.  My daughters both are plant crazy too. I drove to Bartlett to my primary care doctor’s office this afternoon and got a coved-19 antibody test. I’ll have results tomorrow or Monday. Mike is being kind of snappy and pissy. I’m used to it and ignore him. Whatever. 



He has taken a couple days off and doesn’t start back to work until Tuesday. I’ve got to get him to take his stuff out of the back office so I can start the big purge. 














Tuesday, May 19

Dear God it’s raining again

2:24pm

I just walked out to the mailbox and I’ll be damned if it’s starting to rain AGAIN. Where on earth is all this rain coming from. It’s a soggy mess outside already from all the gushing rain we’ve had the last few days. 

I’m watching a documentary on Amazon Prime / History Channel  about Adolf Hitler( titled “ Hunting Hitler”)  and modern day investigations that Hitler survived the war and fled to a monastery in northern Spain and then to Argentina. It’s pretty fascinating. 

4:15
I have an 8am appointment at our school district central office tomorrow to return my district- owned property for retirement. When I arrive there in the morning I have to wait in my car and text a number so an HR rep can come out and escort me in to the building. Spy shit. 

5:42 still watching Hitler, carrying my iPad around with my earbuds in. I warmed up leftover chicken peas & rice and ate it. Why wait for Michael to finish working? I have no clue anymore when the f he’ll be done or even start for that matter, it’s awfully weird that he has so much extra work and calls at all hours when there are NO SPORTS going on. WTF???
I gathered up my school district crap with my keys. ID and fob and them to my car along with the French Horn to return. I have to leave here in the morning around 7:15. I know I’m doing the right thing but it feels weird. There’s no going back now anyway. Suck it up buttercup. Just keep swimming, don’t look back. 


Monday, May 18

The Last Dance

11:13am Monday 
  We watched the last episodes of the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance last night. It was really well done. I watched a lot of those games during their double three-pear era. My oldest son was crazy about basketball and Jordan was his idol. The program was very enjoyable to watch.

I just got home from Aldi. The store here in Huntley is only about a mile from our house. I wore my mask and gloves and used hand sanitizer when I got back in the car and took my gloves off. Everything in the stores is about as safe as they can make it. I do take precautions but I’m not going to stay hidden in my house 24/7 every day in terror. This is bullshit. I’m being careful I’m just not going to go completely out of my gourd off the deep end like a lot of these freaks. Suck it up buttercup. Darwin had the answers. 

I have my last Zoom lessons this week starting in a little while. I’ll be SO GLAD to be done! 

2:34 time gap between lessons. The first girl for the noon lesson ( whose mother just requested this lesson a few days ago) didn't show up so at 12:14 I ended the meeting. Then in the middle of my 2:00 lesson the girl emails me and tells me she's waiting. I'm not sure if she and her mother thought she could just log on anytime and I'd be sitting there waiting or what. I have two more lessons to go today. Both good studious advanced sixth grade girls, a trumpet and an oboe. I wish they could all be as conscientious and polite as these girls. 

5:43om.     As usual, Mike is still back in the office working. I went ahead and ate. I cooked some hot Italian sausage that needed to be cooked. I charred it all crusty in the iron skillet. I ate some leftover tortellini that was in the fridge.( I’m usually the one who eats the leftovers) but then Mike said he thought it looked good so I made a little more tortellini for him to have with his sausage. I have another loaf of bread rising. Wednesday I have to drive to downtown Elgin to my school district central office to turn in my laptop, charger, school IPad and keyboard case, my door key fob and a French Horn. Someone will come out and escort me into the building. After that I have to drive to South Elgin to an elementary school and bag up a few of my remaining possessions and leave my room key. I have to wear a mask and gloves to both places of course. Next week on the 27th my school email will be deactivated along with my school blog, Google Classroom, YouTube channel and everything else associated with my school email account. Today I reset my school Ipad clean of all my stuff. I’m ready. This is really happening. It feels good and exciting but a little scary and sad. It’s like I’m losing part of my identity and don’t know yet what I’m going to put in it’s place. I have a lot of thoughts and emotions brewing around in there. I’m just going to have to become fabulous in a different way. I have my ruby slippers. 

Sunday, May 17

Soggy Sunday

11:56am Sunday

It’s been raining and raining the past couple days and nights. The good thing is that the plants outside are popping up nicely. My hostas in front look so fresh and perky. That’s a good thing about today. Also another good thing is the day is calm and relaxed with no obligations. In general my mood isn’t good on gloomy days. I need sunshine. I did soak up a good amount of sunshine yesterday thankfully. Mike and I went through the Starbucks drive thru earlier to get me a couple cups of coffee. I got an email this morning the the Huntley Springs corporation is no longer considering my application as they’ve had much more experienced candidates apply. I just applied on a whim anyway having run across the opening online. The close proximity was the appeal to me. Ah, there’ll be something else come along in the future. I’ve had some ideas brewing for quite a while. I’m getting my new baby puppy a week from today anyway. 



 12:29 We got a big new TV for the living room a couple months ago. I like it just fine but it’s Mikes baby and he rules the remote which is fine. I was in the bedroom a few minutes ago when I heard out in the living screaming and cussing and ranting on. Evidently he tried to use this stupid long handle duster we have ( I never use it because it’s stupid) on the TV and there was a tiny wire poking out and it scratched the top of the screen. There’s a visible scratch about 10” long from the top on the right side. JHC why would he even be doing that????

Saturday, May 16

Solitude

6:25 am Saturday
I’ve been up for about forty-five minutes. The sun is shining, birds are singing, the peeper  frogs in the marsh are whirring away. Mike is still sleeping. I drove down to Canton, Lewistown and back yesterday and got home around 4pm. I visited with my sister and brother-in-law in Canton about an hour and with my younger daughter Sarah and three grandsons for about 45 minutes and then home. I stopped at several gas stations to fill up or use the restroom. I went in Canton Walmart to get Mike Kitchen Cooked chips ( can’t get them up here) and wore my mask and used lots of hand sanitizer and washed my hands about 20 times like I was going in to  surgery. I was pretty tired last night. Mike went to the Jewel grocery store and got some sushi and potato salad and a couple pieces of chicken. It wasn’t very good and I was tired. I’m still kind of worn out. Funny how you’re just sitting there driving but it can wear you out. I’m taking my two trombones down to Lewistown and starting Milo and Oscar learning to play. That will give them something new to do over the summer. I’ll need to start getting rid of a bunch of my stuff. 

I’m going out in a few minutes to deliver four wine gifts to four different ladies I don’t know  in my new Wine Fairies of Sun City Huntley Facebook group. We have 25 people now! I just started it Monday. I don’t really ever hardly drink anything at all. Very rarely wine. It’s all just for fun and to spread a little cheer. 



I just set a 6:15 daily rooster crowing alarm on my IPad. Mike will be so amused!

2:08 pm. I’ve been outside messing with my plants, planting seeds, laying in my chaise lounge on the back patio listening to the birds and frogs with my shorts and flip flops on.  It got too windy so I’m inside now. I’m drinking sugar-free lemonade and Costco Kirkland brand vodka with Ice in a big insulated Bubba cup. I have a mild buzz going and it’s not too bad. 
Some very old former sports columnist for Mikes paper and also a good personal friend who had been in hospice care for four weeks passed away this morning. Mike is now slammed editing the stories on this. 

Friday, May 15

Heading south

5:55am.  I’m heading south in a few minutes to go see my family. It takes around 3 1/3 to get there because I always have to stop a couple times for the restroom as I take a tall coffee mug with me and drink as I drive. It rained a bunch again last night but it’s all calm right now. I’m planning to be back home by six. I have my drinks, snacks, mask and hand sanitizer. I’m loaded to travel. 

Thursday, May 14

Sheets of rain

6:49am
It’s pouring rain really hard, hitting the roof, windows and siding. It was storming earlier so I just got up out of bed. I was rereading some of my previous posts and was horrified by some awful glaring typos! OMG I’m usually posting quickly here and there in the mornings and in spare minutes throughout the day on my IPad with one finger without proofreading before hitting publish. Gaaaaah! I’ve got to quit doing that. My apologies. 

A couple weeks ago  my daughter invited me to join a Facebook group “ Wine Fairies of Central Illinois” so out of curiosity I joined to discover thousands of women across central Illinois are members and they anonymously deliver presents of wine and other treats to members in the group. It’s sort of like secret Santa to bring cheer and fun during these troubling pandemic times when we’re all stuck at home. So I watched the group , saw the great posts and pictures and comments from people delighted by their surprise gifts and treats so I decided on Monday to start one here. On Facebook it’s called Wine Fairies of Sun City Huntley. I invited one neighbor friend but now there are 20 new ladies. It’s a good way to get to know other women, make friends and spread a little cheer. When this is all over we’re going to meet in person for a wine party. So far everyone’s liking it and telling their friends. I went out and made two deliveries Tuesday. 





7:24am The rain has settled down to a drizzle and I heard faint thunder in the distance and the dripping from the roof and gutters. The sky is bleak and now I hear another wave of rain again.

Sarah told me her dad finally saw an oncologist for the first time. He said the nodules showing up in his lungs aren’t cancer but typical farmer lungs ( caused from inhaling grain dust, livestock dander, etc. for years.) They are getting a PET scan done ( should have seen an oncologist long ago and had one) but he has to be off his blood thinner for a couple days prior to scan ( he has a blood clot in his leg) and then depending on results will surgically remove his colon cancer. Sarah has really been the only one helping her dad and she has three little boys and just finished a couple college courses online. I’m going to go see her Friday for a bit. I worry about her. I’ve been talking to my oldest daughter for a few weeks now ( after months of her not communicating with anyone) but she is not helping with her dad much at all. There is a big swirling turbulent ocean of memories and feelings mixed up in that situation. 
Mike is up now and staggered out of the bedroom and groaned walking in to the kitchen for a drink. I’m chilly and have a blanket on my legs and lap here in the recliner in the front sitting room. The rain is beating down hard again with increasing thunder. The ground is going to be soaked. 

8:39.       





5 years ago. Chemo at Rush University hospital in Chicago before going to Loyola for my stem cell transplant. This was my chemo buddy pig. 









I’m getting better at practicing more seriously. My chops are improving. Need different strength reading glasses. 




This is a Snapchat filter of me as a guy!


Wednesday, May 13

Grin and bear it

7:39am. I’ve been up for about ninety minutes. Mike went for physical therapy on his shoulders ( first time). The office is about a mile away from our house -very convenient. He has been having pain and loss of motion in his shoulder sockets for some time and I’ve been nagging him to get it taken care of. 

I have a bunch of back-to-back zoom private 5th grade lessons today between noon and four. Next week will be my last week doing these. The last day of school is May 26. Hurray!

I’m intending to drive down to Lewistown, Canton, Norris Friday and visit my family briefly and drive back home. I haven’t been down there since December. It will be good to take a nice drive and give Mike a break away from me. 👹 The weather is supposed to be really nice. I’m getting my car serviced today with an oil change, tire rotation and new batterie in my fob. I really love driving that car. So nice.

I had a phone interview yesterday with a lady in the home office in Nebraska for Resort Lifestyles Communities Inc. They have an opening for the lifestyle director at a new facility ( Huntley Springs) only about a mile from my house. It’s a 55+ resort all-inclusive community ( all apartments and condos) it is not part of the Sun City community in Huntley where I live.  The phone interview went pretty well I thought and now the site manager is going to call me. They’re going to have to raise the pay higher than the lady on the phone mentioned yesterday for me to even consider it. I don’t know how much wiggle room is there but considering the price the residents pay to stay there I’d say they ought to be able to go much higher. I just was sick of all the hoops and bullshit that have developed with teaching the last few years. Also I am not going to go on being exposed to all those kid germs and being sick constantly. Now that I’ve been out of the schools for a couple months I’m feeling better than I have in a long time. 

10:03. We took my car over to the mechanic and dropped it off. In a couple hours Mike will drive his Tahoe over there and leave it to be serviced and drive my car home then later this afternoon we’ll go get the Tahoe. Both were well overdue for an oil change.

I’ve been tending some sourdough starter for a couple weeks now and have gotten over it so used it all putting it into bread dough. I didn’t follow a recipe I was just free stylin as I usually do. I kneaded for a long time and added some olive oil to it. Now it’s in a big covered bowl on the stove for its first rise. It will either turn out good or suck big time. I like improvising when I cook. It gives an added element of excitement and anticipation for me. Some women have told me they ALWAYS follow recipes exactly. That’s just boring to me. I always have to jazz things up. I do read recipes to get general ideas though.

I just heard another bird hit the window. There are lots of birds around here. Mike hates them. I love them. He doesn’t want any filthy creatures around the house. I just roll my eyes and ignore it. 











10:17 I’m going out for a walk before I have to start teaching. Trying to keep a calm, positive demeanor







4:51pm So only one kid out of six didn’t show up for her Zoom lesson. Not as bad as usual.

8:50 pm  My bread turned out shitty, very dense and biscuit-like. I threw it away. You win some you lose some.





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