Stay young!

Saturday, October 31

I Know This Much Is True

It’s Saturday morning. I’m feeling better today. I’m not sure what was going on with my gut yesterday but it’s definitely purged now. I’m not sure if that’s what they call the keto flu or what. Bitzi is feeling better today too.

Now I’ve moved to the spare bedroom where my new little mini office is set up. It’s cold in here. I have on an insulated Columbia shirt and pants and socks and shoes but my upper arms are still chilly. I’m wondering if this front window has a draft. It probably does. I know the window above the sink in the kitchen is drafty and our bedroom windows too. This home was built twenty-one years ago with all contractor grade materials. We could probably use some window insulation for winter ( or eventually new better windows...) It’s always something, isn’t it? That much I KNOW is true. There’s always something that needs replaced or fixed wherever you live. So now the counter stores says that due to Covid their supplier is behind so now we won’t get out counters installed until around Thanksgiving which then has the cabinet painter after that and the flooring guys after that. This remodeling stuff is a pain in the ass under normal conditions but it seems live EVERYTHING is a much bigger pain in the ass with Covid hovering around. Despite my unpleasant gastrointestinal events yesterday I still have stuck with keto and my intermittent fasting schedule. I didn’t eat very much at all yesterday and have been fasting since about 3pm yesterday, It’s 8:30am now but I’m still following the rules and not eating until noon but I am hungry. I’m sipping my black coffee now, which is allowed. 

I had a text dispute with the lady that owns the spaniels I had been tending for two weeks. I not only went over to her house four times a day for two weeks and fed them and let them out in the back. Yard but I took them for walks, I washed their poopy buts, I brushed and groomed them. I watered her plants, brought in her mail and newspapers, checked her house inside and outside several times. So she arrived home earlier than she’d told me yesterday and then she wanted to pay me $3 lower per visit than we agreed She said she never agreed on the price and I told her she most certainly did. Ultimately I just told her whatever and I would drop off her key and garage remote on her porch. I didn’t even want to deal with her. I didn’t even want to go over to her house. Mike went over for me and my check was stuck inside the front door jam. It was more than she wanted to pay me but less than I expected. I did not have anything in writing before I started tending them. That is the lesson I learned- that I should have gotten it clearly in writing and had her sign it. If I tend anyone else’s dogs or house I will for sure get it signed and locked in before I start. Mike told me to shake it off but it still pisses me off. Oh well, you live and learn. No matter how nice people may seem at first they still could turn on you and try to dick you around.  Her dogs were kind of assholes anyway.


I’m happy with my new Belkin keyboard. It has really nice smooth key action. My older janky one still works. I should give it to someone else who might use it. It does work just not as well. Maybe Goodwill could use it. We give SO much to Goodwill. I’ve sold a few things we wanted to get rid of but mostly that’s a pain in the ass and a hassle. Actually there are two pole lamps here in this spare bedroom I need to get rid of. We just got a nice bright overhead light installed in here so we don’t need those pole lamps taking up floor space. We both like nice and neat and lots of space, low of “stuff” and clutter. Mike is, of course, way more OCD about it than I am but we both prefer a nice clean spacious feng shui home,


I have to run over to Aldi and get some more low carb bread and tortillas. After yesterday I’m going to go easy on the vegetables and going to make myself an actual sandwich. I’m grateful for my life and my health, for my Michael, my kids and grandkids, my in-laws, my friends, my home, my Bitzi, our ability to pay our bills and live comfortably. I’m grateful for all the blessings and opportunities that have come my way and I’m confident that more will come. We are spending way less on living these days overall. We’re living a quieter, more modest, calmer life. I guess this is getting older. Maybe it’s getting smarter.

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Sunday morning

I found out last night from my older daughter that my younger daughter has left her husband with the three boys. We all knew it would happen some day. She hasn’t called me yet. I’m assuming she isn’t ready to talk. She’s a good strong woman but leaving your longtime partner is very painful and difficult. She’s been a better person the whole time and lately has finally been accepting that she needs to rise up and leave. 

Friday, October 30

Thursday, October 29

Keto works if you actually do it right and don’t cheat

It’s midmorning Thursday. I’ve been up for a while. Bitzi has an upset stomach last night. It’s probably something weird she ate inside or outside or the chew one treats I gave her yesterday. She sleeps in her little soft fabric dog igloo inside her portable metal pen in the kitchen at night. This morning I found some dried up runny poop on the floor and cleaned it up. Mike said she had a messy accident last night when I was sleeping. I made her some plain rice this morning but she doesn’t like it. I’m only going to let her have plain rice all day and see if that helps.

I went over and took care of the spaniels and then drove to Pingree Grove and bought a nice adjustable rolling laptop table from a nice lady.

There is trouble going on with my oldest teenager granddaughter and her mother ( my oldest daughter). I talked to my daughter for a long time last night. I told her my granddaughter is welcome to come here and stay a while and just settle down. There has been a lot going on the past year. Her dad has three other younger children by two other women. My daughter has another younger daughter by her second husband. Lola has been going back and forth between her parents’ households and families plus she’s just almost 14 and it’s a pandemic with quarantine and remote learning. 

This is my 9th day of keto / intermittent fasting. I am eating between 12-6pm and fasting the rest of the time. When I eat I’m keeping it below 20 net carbs. I don’t really believe my scale but I’m down 6 pounds so far. I can gain or lose 3 or more pounds a day from bloat under regular circumstances anyway. My belly is starting to feel different though so something is happening. The low carb diet kills my cravings for sweets which has always been my downfall. I need to take Bitzi for her regular long morning walk but I’m feeling kind of lightheaded from not eating since 5:30 yesterday plus she had the diarrhea last night so I’m letting her relax in her pen. I’m going to watch the new Borat movie on my IPad today or over the weekend and get that out of the way. Mike doesn’t like silly movies. Mostly he just likes detective / cops stuff. Blechhhhhh. 

It’s so overcast outside and I just feel pretty weak and hollow sitting here so I’m just sitting doing nothing but tapping with one finger on my IPad. 

Yesterday when Cliff and Dave we’re here Cliff had to crawl through insulation ina dinky low crevice of the attic to get the wiring for the ceiling light that they installed in the spare bedroom. I’m claustrophobic and it creeps me out just thinking about it.


2:33 It’s starting to lightly rain now. The wind has been pretty harsh too. I fast-forward through the new Borat movie on Amazon Prime video. Stupid and vulgar as expected. I didn’t really see anything funny just lame and brainless.

I gave Bitzi a bath because Mike said she was stinking up the house. My sense of smell and taste haven’t come back very well in five years since the stem cell transplant. My sense of smell is worse than taste. Bitzi probably weighs close to seven pounds now.

2:50. Now I have my little laptop table and the other IKEA white table in the spare bedroom set up in the corner like my own tiny little office-let. Mike likes the back office better but I can now keep my stuff in here and it can serve as the spare bedroom as needed. I love the new pale yellow paint in here! Mike still has some of his framed sports pictures in here on the floor propped against the wall. He takes forever to do or take care of anything. I bet if I didn’t say anything those pictures would still be sitting there a month from now. I don’t know if it’s because he’s so pressed for time and deadline driven with work that he just lets regular shit get shoved aside or what but that’s how it always goes.
He’s been really busy today with several Zoom meetings so I haven’t talked to him much.  He said if I take sub jobs in the next or so he’ll take care of Bitzi when I’m gone. He always reminds me she’s MY DOG.

I’m feeling kind of tired and kind of squishy at my stomach now. I ate a pretty big low-carb lunch. So far today I’ve had 7 of my 20 daily carbs. I think I need a nap. Bitzi is in her igloo trying to dry off from her bath.


*******************

11:04pm

I am happy.



Wednesday, October 28

How to keep it together in this crazy time

We had to get up early today to get the house ready. Someone from the countertop store is coming first thing to laser measure our kitchen counters and island to then cut the quartz to fit perfectly. I chose the cheapest plain white for my low vision but also I like the pure simple look. Many of the patterns looked too busy to me. We’re getting the cabins painted white and crown molding and under and above cabinet lighting installed. The island will be painted a nice buttercream yellow and we’re putting in silver drawer pulls to replace the cracked white knobs. The floors will be replaced with a nice honey oak colored engineered plank vinyl to give the home more of a flow ( there are several different floor treatments now.) 


Corona virus numbers are surging and businesses are having to shut down again. More people I actually know are getting it. People across the country are up in arms over the election and all the political, economic and racial unrest. I’m intentionally avoiding watching some of the news, not reading certain stories, avoiding people who are inflamed and raging about politics. I’m trying to keep busy and physically active. I’m guarding my emotions and mental state. Lots of people are being assholes. That’s just the way it is. Move on. I’m making a point to be grateful throughout every day. I’m forcing myself to look on the bright side. I’m working hard to side step the flaming shit piles and killer volcanoes that randomly erupt out of nowhere in my daily life. I have to wear comfortable supportive shoes and stay vigilant. Shit piles are going to pop up and you have to always be prepared to deal with them, face them, jump over them. Whatever you gotta do to stay level and keep moving forward. I feel myself mentally putting on my armor and holding my sword. You must keep moving forward even when people hurt you. Even when people betray you. Even when people leave you. If you give up you die. 

I accepted a twenty-one day sub job but after I did I noticed it wasn’t for full days ( or full pay) and it was clear down in Carol Stream. Uh no so I canceled it but someone else took it right away. I think I’ll just wait......

The guys who did the painting the other day are coming back to install some light fixtures and a few other repairs. Mike has a big busy work day so I’m dealing with the workmen. My dog sitting job ends Friday. It will be good to be done. Four times a day got to be a little much.

Monday, October 26

The things we do for love

I can’t believe the damned Republicans shoved their Supreme Court nominee in there. I am sick over this. It’s such bullshit. I hate watching the news anymore.

10:47pm. Mike is working on my weird layered toenail. Evidently I have nail fungus.





Tuesday 7:19 am 
 He clips my toenails for me every couple months when we’re laying on the couch. Either the fungus came from HIS clippers or from a nail salon. I only get a pedicure once or twice a year. The left big toe nail has looked and felt weird for a few months. I’ve been putting tea tree oil on it and some cream. Now it’s burbling up in layers. He was using the clippers on it last night when I was laying on the couch half asleep. It just dawned on me that he must have used HIS clippers as I don’t remember him going in to my bathroom. I don’t want him to keep giving me his toe fungus!!!!! Feet / toe stuff really creeps me out! 

I am sitting here with two shirts and a hoodie on and I’m still cold. I don’t feel like having coffee because I chugged two big 16 oz cups of water when I got up.

The wall clock is ticking loudly. It always makes me think of The Telltale Heart.
I woke up because subfinder was calling and my alarm was going to go off. I’m not taking any sub jobs this week at least because of tending the dogs. Still not sure I want to at all until the pandemic is over. It’s mostly special ed sub jobs or para educator jobs that have been open lately. I believe all the rest are online still.  

7:39. I just made myself a cup of black coffee with a pump of MCT oil in it. I opened the kitchen back window and door blinds and fed and watered Bitzi. I’ll take her out in a few minutes before I go over to tend the other dogs. Mike is still sleeping. I hear a landscaper mowing in a yard across the street on the side of our house. We’re on a corner. The north and east sides of our house face the street. A lot of people walk in this community so there’s always somebody out there walking most of the time. Some of the close neighbors are super old and snoopy and gossipy because they have nothing else to do. They think they know every fart that goes on around here. After we lived here a while I’ve discovered this community of about ten thousand people 55+ is all Caucasian. Once I saw an Asian woman at the community garden but that’s all. It’s so weird after living in Elgin and working in Streamwood- both very ethnically diverse. 






Dodging the Covid-19 bullet

It’s early morning. I got my rooster crow alarm to finally work. Sub finder called me twice. I’m tending the spaniels this week so not taking any sub jobs. I may try taking my first one next week. I am done submitting all my stuff in order to sub for Huntley school district but the lady in charge of the subs who actually enters you in the system is now quarantined at home due to exposure to Covid. Bitzi’s pet groomer is closed down this week due to two of the groomers testing positive. Our mechanic and his daughter just had it. Annette’s sister and brother-in-law died from it. Restaurants & bars indoor seating is now shut down again because of the virus surge. I’m trying not to freak out but am trying extra hard to be careful when we do go out. Even though all my other blood tests are fine and normal I still produce hardly any immunoglobulins in my blood so I have almost no fighter guys to fight off viruses. So I need to be careful. 

I have four alarms set on my phone and IPad to remind me to go tend the spaniels. I’ve overslept or gone late a few times. Four more days to go and then the owners return from Myrtle Beach. 

My oldest daughter is 38 today. I’ll call her later. I emailed her an Amazon birthday card gift card but don’t know if she got it.I have a 10:45 pool time scheduled this morning. They are actually allowing us to change in the locker rooms now after the one hour time slot. All summer they didn’t allow us in the locker room and we had to just towel off and leave. I put a big beach towel on the seat of my car to drive home. They’re still not allowing us to use the showers though. They still have the big hot tub drained and won’t let us use the sauna. At least we can use the pool though. I bought my own foam dumbbells to use as they don’t allow us to use theirs anymore. I have to go to the store today to get some keto foods. 






















Sunday, October 25

Switching over to “Rocky” mode

11:20am Sunday
I overslept and didn’t wake up until after 9am! I had to throw on my clothes and rush over to feed and let out the spaniels. I slept SO WELL last night. I fell asleep on the couch trying to watch Adele on SNL. Usually I never watch it because it’s usually lame, stale and sucks. I fell asleep shortly after Adele’s opening monologue. She’s lost a LOT of weight! 

At some point I woke up on the couch stiff and achey and staggered in the bathroom and brushed my teeth and put in my two retainers. I sleep on a foam wedge pillow with an additional neck pillow behind my neck and a black room darkening sleep mask. Most nights I fall asleep listening to podcasts on Anderson Cooper’s 360 show or the NewYork Times Daily podcast or episodes of Talking Sopranos.

The wedge pillow helps keep my head elevated so my sinuses aren’t draining keeping me up coughing all night. The neck pillow comforts my cranky neck. The mask pretty much makes everything pitch black so my brain switches to sleep mode. We keep it pretty cool in there. As winter comes on I’ll start running a vaporizer next to my side of the bed. The older I get the more stuff I have to tend. 

This is day five of my keto- fasting program. I’m sipping black coffee. At noon until six I can eat very low carb stuff. I’ve been out for two walks so far ( very brisk!) and used my hand weights. I’ll be 61 in a few weeks. I’m legally blind in the left eye ( just the center vision from the detachment) and I have problems with my left knee and lower back on the right side. Other than that I’m very healthy. I take one thyroid pill a day and that’s it. I’m very blessed and thankful. Trimming off my extra weight I’ve packed on will help my joints and my overall health and immune system and ( hopefully) longevity. The less you weigh the less your immune system and organs have to work. I have pool and fitness appointments scheduled every day for the coming week. I just have to keep pushing and thinking positive thoughts and keep my goals in mind. I did way too much baking during the first few months of the pandemic- bread,buns, cookies, brownies, fruit cobblers, pies!

We’re going to go out and try to find me a couple comfortable new rocking recliners to sit and read. One for the bedroom, one for the front sitting room. They have to be microfiber and over stuffed and super comfy and cozy. We’re also going over to Annette’s in St.Charles to visit. 

Wednesday the guys are coming to measure the counters for the new quartz. Friday a guy is coming to measure the floors for luxury plank vinyl. I am pushing to do the two bedrooms also and get rid of the 21 year old Berber carpet in them but that’s going to jacket up the price. I think in the long run it will be worth it and we’ll be glad we spent the extra money to do it. We’ll see. We are getting prices from two local flooring stores. It sounds like the second store will be significantly higher but we’ll wait for theIf final estimate. 

Saturday, October 24

If he loses will Trump exit the office gracefully?

7:40am I’m the only one who’s awake. I left Mike to sleep. It’s weird being empty nesters but for sure it’s more calm and peaceful. I love to go visit my kids and grandkids but after a couple days I’m physically and emotionally worn out. Sleeping on a bunk bed with a bad mattress doesn’t help. It’s good to spend time with them though. It feeds my soul and restores me. I’ll go see them again in a couple weeks. 

The two landscapers are here. I can hear them using a weed eater out back. It’s extra brisk out there this morning. I took Bitzi out to pee about a half hour ago. I have on long pants, wool knee socks and two hoodies and I was still cold.

I’m finishing my black coffee and have to run over to the Griffins’ house and take care of the Tibetan spaniels Holly and Divot. They’re nice old gentle dogs. I feed them and let them out in the small fenced yard. I take them for a walk at noon if the weather is okay. Holly pulls at the leash but Divot lags behind and struggles. I think he has some hip problems and doesn’t see well.

Yesterday morning I dropped off some clarinet books & music to another music teacher in Elgin and then drove to St. Charles to my mother-in-law Annette’s house. She has recently got a 2 year old female Yorkie. Her old Yorkie died a few weeks ago. The new dog is much healthier and prettier but has ear mites and Annette couldn’t get the ear drops in so I went over and chatted a bit and showed her how I put ear drops in. I let the dog smell me, then I petted her and rubbed her ears. Then I put her on my lap and petted her and massaged her ears. Then I wrapped a towel around her to swaddle her and calm her down and put the ear drops in with no trouble at all. Annette said the dog fought her and absolutely would not allow her to put them in. You have to warm them up first so they’re not afraid. 

I’ve been afraid for a while that if Trump loses he will tweet out rage to his evil horde of followers and there will be a shitstorm of violence across the country. I seriously am dreading it. I WANT HIM OUT but feel like we need to prepare for a political explosion from his deplorable. 

8:29 I just took Bitzi over to the spaniels’ house, fed them, let them out to potty then let them sniff Bitzi for a bit before leaving. I’m getting Bitzi socialized with all sorts of animals and people. She’s doing really well, gets along with everything and is not fearful or aggressive at all. I’m still leaning toward having a litter of puppies with her once she hits 18 months but Mike wants to get her fixed. She should know motherhood. She’d be a great mama. 







Im still on my first cup of black coffee. I’m still doing keto and intermittent fasting. It’s good for your immune system and longevity. I have a terrible sweet tooth. Keto kills off my sweet / carb cravings by lowering my blood glucose. I ate dinner a little late yesterday so now I can’t eat until 12:30.

Friday, October 23

Stormy morning

7:40am

My rooster alarm went off at 6:45. It hadn’t been working right but it did today. It’s raining and thundering outside. I’m going to take Bitzi out with the umbrella then drive over and tend the spaniels. I hope it’s not rainy and overcast all day.

Thursday, October 22

In pursuit of enlightenment

9:29am I’m going to attempt to go early vote in a few minutes. I went over and tended the two Tibetan spaniels then came home and fed Bitzi and took her out for a long walk. I haven’t eaten since before 6pm last night and that meal was a chicken breast and broccoli. I’m fasting until noon. Well I am having some black coffee.

It’s chilly, damp and rainy today. Good Halloween weather. 

Since the painting is done Mike has his office set up in the spare bedroom which was just painted the prettiest shade of pale yellow. He doesn’t like it as well in there and says it’s not as sound proof as the back office. I put most of my stuff back in the office but did manage to thin out some more stuff. It’s hard to part with all my band teacher stuff and instruments I’ve acquired over the years. I’ve gotten rid of a lot but I still have two good student clarinets and a flute that need to go to some deserving soul. Anyway I told Mike to move his set up back in the real office if he wants. I don’t use it that much anyway but he needs a quiet office most days. 


I voted at a mobile unit in the parking lot of the Huntley Jewel grocery store. There was no line or wait! I’ve been hearing of people waiting in long lines to vote.Sweet!

I’m going to go organize my crap in the back office. I just kind of dumped the stuff back in there when the painting was done. It’s kind of a mess. I got my plant situation fixed in our bedroom. I have a lot of potted plants that live outside in the summer. In the fall I bring them inside and put them by the windows in our bedroom. I had a bunch of small folding tables in there holding the plants. I moved all the folding tables out and put my glass shelf unit and an antique table by the windows and put the plants on them. It looks a lot neater. Space is everything in this small house! 

I’m trying to be more patient and understanding of others. I am trying to always deal with others with kindness and respect. This is a very harsh, divided country right now. I remind myself that people often have some underlying problem I don’t know about that can make them come off as f-ing assholes. I often don’t know what their story is. I remind myself to have patience, kindness, forgiveness and love in my heart. That’s what I would like others to show me. Life is an echo. Whatever energy you put out will come back to you in some way. I hope that one day I can reach enlightenment (or sumthin’ close to it.) 


I just got Mike to take a break from work and run over and vote. It was quick and he didn’t have to wait and got back to work.

2:05 I just finished organizing my stuff in the back office and told Mike he can move his set up from the guest bedroom back in there if he wants. The back office is more private and quiet for his Zoom meetings and conference calls. It looks much neater and brighter with fresh paint and a bunch of stuff gone!

*********************************

8:27pm

Watching the presidential debatešŸ™„. Ugh

SO now we are NOT taking Mike's mom to Wisconsin. Too much risk with the virus surging. Thank God.  He sat next to me a few minutes ago and talked her out of it on the phone. I'm so relieved. I was dreading it. I'm going over to her house tomorrow to put drops in her dogs ears. 

Wednesday, October 21

Monday, October 19

Who wants to be a millionaire?

2:55pm Monday

This day has been weird from the start. I intentionally downloaded an alarm clock app and set it for a rooster crow for 5:45 am this morning so I could make my 6:15 indoor pool slot but I woke up by myself at almost 7 and was horrified. WTF happened with my alarm?  Damn it! I’ve reset it and I have Wednesday and Friday 6:15 slots scheduled. So after I got up I took Bitzi outside to pee and then fed her and then went over and fed the spaniels and let them out. I came back home and took Bitzi for another walk. Then I did some stuff at home and then went over and took the spaniels for walk. Then once I got home I got a call from an attorney with the Miller firm in Virginia. I’m a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Roundup (Bayer-Monsato) for my non-Hodgkins lymphoma brain & eye cancer  and this class action lawsuit has been dragging on quite a while. They’re getting close to the final settlement but ( the lawyer Jeff) said that in reviewing my and a couple other peoples’ cases ( medical records), they suggest I opt our of the class action and instead go for individual mediation because they’re thinking we few (and the firm) will get a whole lot more than the average share. He said the other lawyers and he have discussed my case and medical records and they plan to ask for 5 million on my behalf.I’m not paying a dime out of pocket and really have nothing to lose so I told him okay, I’d sign the document to opt out. The hearing for these individual mediated cases will be probably next summer in NewYork. I’d either have to attend in person or via Zoom. Hey whatever. It all seems so crazy far fetched anyway, so whatever. I was exposed to RoundUp for years on the farm spraying weeds around the barns and fence lines. We’ll just wait and see. Surely something good will come out of all my horrible suffering.
I don’t really even want to think about it at all or get my hopes up. Mike has always assumed I was being scammed but I’ve investigated them pretty thoroughly. I dunno. Whatever.



We had to go back down to South Elgin to our attorney after lunch for Mike to sign a document for my IRA and drop off some forms. I now have a nice lump sum nest egg in my IRA after transferring funds from several places. Supposedly I should get a minimum of 8% gain on it each year (fingers crossed.)



Mike’s in the other room working and struggling with technology. He will never ask me for help. I’m Certainly no Steve Jobs but I am way better than he is with technology and apps. He is kind of dinosaur-y, He barely uses his cell phone and doesn’t have any apps on his phone or utilize a lot of tools that he could benefit from. He has a brand new IPad and keyboard he never uses and keeps it in the original box in the closet!



When I took the spaniels for their walk around 12:30 the sun was shining brightly. Now the sky is overcast and milky and looks like snow is coming. I don’t think it is but it looks that way.

I have some more cleaning organizing to do but have been avoiding it so far today. Ugh....I’ll feel a lot better when it’s done. A smaller house shows more clutter than a bigger house because everything is condensed down.



We’re having leftover chili for supper tonight. I made the Chili on Friday and used some tomatoes and jalapeƱos Sallie gave me from her garden and some hamburger I thawed out from the freezer. It was really really good!

My sister Sallie and her husband Pete (66&70) are now at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN for Pete’s kidney biopsies. He has had some kidney disease and had been in remission for years but last year started having troubles and they’ve been trying to deal with it but it’s gotten worse. I saw him last week when I was in Canton and he look much older than he had-very thin, pale and his hair and beard have turned from gray to white. His legs were showing (wearing shorts) and they looked like really old man scrawny white chicken legs.  I hope things go okay and Mayo can help.



OMG I just overheard Mike talking on the phone to somebody about us taking his mother up to Mennomonie WI to visit his cousin the weekend after Halloween. I thought this trip was canned. He hasn’t talked to me about it. His mother has been a problem lately and has mean rude crazy stuff to me. Now I’m filled with angst and dread...... that’s a long drive all the way up there and back!



Tomorrow I have my labs and check up at Loyola with my oncologist Dr. Patrick Stiff.  Stiff


Saturday, October 17

Deliver me

11:26am Saturday

It’s very chilly and windy outside. It’s supposed to get below freezing tonight so I brought a few potted geraniums and a mum in the garage to protect them. We’re starting to put the stuff back since the painting is done.

For some reason I overslept this morning and came out into the kitchen at 8:38, looked at the clock and realized I was late for the 8am feeding for the two Tibetan spaniels I’m caring for so hurried and threw some clothes on and zoomed the 11 blocks over there. When I went in the dogs came rushing to greet me with joy because they were hungry. I put their food down and they inhaled it and then ran to the door to be let out in the fenced back yard. It’s very briskly cold today so the dogs didn’t dawdle and came back in right away. 


Bitzi has puked a couple times today. I’m not sure what’s wrong or if she ate something she shouldn’t. She’s napping in her fluffy bed now.

Mike had some online work to do this morning and now he’s done and started to clear up junk that’s piled around and sort things to get rid of before we put the stuff back in to the rooms that have been painted. We got some new lights installed, a big framed mirror mounted, the TV mounted on a bracket on the wall and four rooms painted fresh. We’re going to go to the countertop store this afternoon and put the deposit down and they’ll come out and measure. We’ve been going to go all week but things kept coming up.

I went for my Huntley School district sub orientation yesterday. My criminal background check has to come back and my health form with the TB test and then I’m good. Their preK-5 starts back to in-school learning next week on a MTTHF schedule with Wednesdays off. Their 6-12 return Nov.2. Elgin SD U-46 returns their K-2 and sp ed students the 26th.

I have to go tend the spaniels again. 

1:16pm
We took a few things to Gooodwill as we’re sorting and putting stuff away. I stopped at Great Clips and got the back of my hair trimmed. It’s growing out from the short layered cut I got in March so I have to keep getting it trimmed so it doesn’t look like a mullet. I’m letting my hair color fade so I will soon have all natural color hair. It looks like a very pale reddish blonde now. I’m pretty over coloring and highlighting my hair. So expensive, so much upkeep and so many chemicals. I barely wear any makeup these days too. Just a little eyeliner maybe. That’s it.
It’s still super windy out. I attempted to help put stuff away but Mike is OCD and has to do things in a certain order so I just stopped and waiting for him to finish and move. Whatever.......

I‘M wondering if the dog puking could be after effects of her lepto vaccine she got the other day. Hmmmm either that or she ate something. She’s still acting pretty mopey. Shel’ll follow me around and wag her tail though.









I’m going to give Mike a while and then start sorting and moving things. It sounds like he’s using the vacuum now. It is HIS Shark vacuum, by the way.
Tuesday afternoon we’re going to Maywood for my check up with Dr. Stiff and bloodwork. I haven’t seen him since March and my 6-month appointment was postponed a month for some reason. I‘M sure all my tests will be fine. They’ll probably give me a flu shot This will be my first service with the new Aetna retired teachers group insurance. I have to pay the first $500 out of pockets before they start paying at 80%- not as good as my old school district insurance but it will have to do.

I’ve been reading more lately. Usually I just read news front online newspapers- The Daily Herald, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The New York Times, Reuters........but I’ve started reading books on my IPad books app and Kindle app. I read the Comey book, the Mary Trump book and now I’m rereading and old favorite. It’s hard for me because of my vision. I have to adjust the font, the contrast, the lighting but I’m doing it. I have friends who read books for hours every day and are in book clubs. I used to be in book clubs before the eye cancer and detached retina and cataracts. Back in the day..........but hey, ya do what ya gotta do and do what you can do.

I’m getting a delivery of spoons today. We are short on eating spoons. I think it’s from me taking them in my lunch to school and them not getting back or something so I have a delivery of spoons coming today. I got my new 9X12 Wilton baking pans yesterday that I ordered. The thing about remodeling and purging your cabinets is that you see what crappy shit you’ve hung on to that needs replaced. OH and I got me a nice new iPad keyboard that actually FITS!  I‘M living high now!

Friday, October 16

Get over it

4:38am I woke up too early and couldn’t go back to sleep so I just got up so I wouldn’t wake Michael. I’m sitting out in the front sitting room with my coffee wearing my long butterfly print nightgown, my gray synthetic zip-up Columbia jacket and my super soft white angora socks sipping my Costco dark roast coffee with milk in it. 

Yesterday a lady from our Sun City compliance committee rang our doorbell saying one of the neighbors had complained about my two small Biden signs that were in our windows. Yard signs are not allowed here but I figured the window signs would be okay. If you don’t comply they fine you. If you don’t pay the fine you’re banned from using the amenities ( most of which aren’t currently available now anyway). This is total bullshit. Mike took my signs out of the windows. He completely agrees with me that whichever neighbor complained and tattled to the compliance committee is a total asshole. We had an issue like this last year because the Nextdoor lady complained our downspout was too close to her property line. That’s the way it had been for 20 years before we bought the property! We had to have it dug up and rerouted at great expense. The same neighbors have a downspout too near our property that violates the same rule but we are uphill from them. As we’ve lived here the last 18 months I have come to realize that this 55+ active adult community is 99% white conservatives. Many are old crusty f-ers and Trumpers.I have come to see how many geezers are racist and feel women’s place is in the home and subservient. It’s subtle and underlying but it’s pretty evident to me in many social gatherings. Our house sits on a corner lot. There are covenants for our community about property maintenance, what colors you can and cannot paint your front door, you have to apply to the committee to remove or install trees, bushes,etc... people walk by our corner house every day inspecting our stuff and frequently making comments and assessments. Several times nosey old busybodies have asked me if I got permission to plant something or enlarge my flower bed, cut down a bush. We’ve always gotten along with all our former neighbors. I just don’t know which asshole complained about my Biden signs. Mike told me to “ get over it” a couple times......

This morning I have to go over to the Huntley school district for a couple hours for a new employee orientation. Yesterday I went to the ROE for my finger printing for criminal background check. Each county has their own requirements. I went to my primary doctors office in Bartlett and got my TB test and dropped off my health form. When that’s done I have to go get it.

I started pet sitting with the two Tibetan spaniels yesterday. For the next two weeks I’ll be going over there four times a day to tend those dogs. They’re only 11 blocks away. They’re sweet and friendly dogs. The owners are in Myrtle beach playing golf. I told the lady a couple months ago I’d tend her dogs for her.









There’s something in the air this time of year that causes me to wheeze faintly. I suspect it’s mold from decaying leaves but who knows?     


Wednesday, October 14

Remodeling angst

7:44am I have to take Bitzi over to the vet in a few minutes to get her leptospirosis vaccine. I have some stuff to get done around here later. Our house is all piled up with stuff out of the rooms and closets we’re having painted and worked on. The remodeling hell has officially begun. It will be worth it in the long run. 

1:06pm
I have brownies baking and I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my iPad and keyboard directly across from my husband doing work on his MacBook Pro. The workmen are hear painting the office, laundry room and closet, spare bedroom and closet. They’ve painted all the ceilings first. There are drop cloths  and paint cans and supplies all over. Combine that with our junk piled around (from the rooms being worked on) and it makes for a very hectic environment. 
It’s chilly and very windy outside. I’ve been for two walks with Bitzi. I’m feeling very good lately aside from the bug bites I got last week and my occasional left knee pain. I think I aggravated my knee by walking around a bunch in flip flops at the beginning of summer. I believe that’s what started it. I has felt much better since I got the Dr Scholl’s inserts designed for knee pain and put them in my Skechers. Mike thinks I need walking shoes with a thicker sole and better support. I hate heave clunky shoes though. I like my Skechers because they’re so light and flexible. Anyway I’m feeling good, exercising and sleeping well. 
Next Tuesday I got to Loyola for my check up with Dr. Stiff my oncologist who did my stem cell transplant. It will be five years on November 23. 
The brownies are out of the oven. I’m letting them cool before they’re frosted. They’re made with duck eggs Sallie gave me. I’m not telling the guys......


The brownies are a hit!  Really good.

The wind is super strong and nasty outside. After her lepto vaccine, Bitzi is pretty slow and lethargic. She’s walking like she’s a bit sore. They gave her a steroid pain killer and Benadryl. Poor little fluffkin.  

I’m reading Lee Smith’s Oral History again for the third time but I haven’t read it in a long time now. I love to reread and rewatch my old favorites. That’s just the way I am. 

4:37 after much research and thinking and pricing and investigating I decided not to buy a new laptop and I just bought a new nice higher quality keyboard for my existing iPad. I think it will suffice for my needs. Actually it isn’t even a new nicer keyboard it’s a refurbished nicer higher quality keyboard at half the price of new. I’m using now and it’s like driving a Cadillac compared to my old broken down jalopy keyboard. SO smooth......and nice and it actually FITS my IPad instead of slipping and being stuck on there with nano tape. So I’m happy for now. I feel fancy. I’m happy. The guys are still here painting and Mike is on a work call across the table from me. After while we’re going to the countertop place to finalize our selection and put down half on the quartz so they can come out and laser measure to cut the stone. I‘M SO excited!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 13

Rise up


I met an old friend for lunch today. It had been over a year since I’d seen her. It was good to catch up. I also stopped to see another old friend in Peoria on my way home Sunday. I had never seen her new
house. I felt sweaty and cruddy from traveling and driving that day. It was good to catch up.

I have to go meet with the lady about tending her two Tibetan spaniels for the next two weeks starting Thursday. I’ll have to go over to her house four times a day and let them out and tend them.
Thursday I also have to go to the McHenry county ROE in Woodstock and get fingerprinted for my criminal background check so I can be on the sub list for McHenry County and Friday I have to attend a 2-3 hour orientation to sub for Huntley school district. I’m not still even sure I want to but I do want to have options and keep contributing to my IRA so......

Tomorrow we’re having some rooms painted and the bedroom closet attic fixed so we can put luggage up there and the living room TV mounted on a wall bracket and some garage lights added. 

Saturday, October 10

Sunday

It’s Sunday mid morning. Mike just got up. He never sleeps that late. I was pretty exhausted when I got back home yesterday around 4. I got bitten by a bunch of mosquitoes and gnats at the Norris park Thursday. I had tiny bites all over. Last night I took a hot bath and scrubbed myself all over and then I put on anti itch cream and took a Benadryl. I went to bed around 10 but was watching Greys Anatomy on my IPad for a long time. I hadn’t watched it in a couple years so started watching it from the beginning a couple weeks ago on Netflix. I don’t know what season I’m on now.

I had a good time this week in central Illinois. Good to visit, spend time with family and drive around in the beautiful fall scenery but I was ready to come home. 

My keurig has been messed up for a while. It’s super slow and will only give me the smallest, strongest cup. Just now I tried cleaning the coffee hole under the pod with a paper clip, turn it upside down and patted it on the bottom to loosen any coffee jam, ran white vinegar through the reservoire and it still sucks. Figures. This pisses me off. It’s less than a year old. WTF?

Tomorrow I have to go over and meet with the lady whose Tibetan spaniels I’ll be tending the next two weeks four times a day. She wants to show me how she feeds them and lets them out to pee and poop in her fenced back yard. I’m meeting a friend for lunch Tuesday and I have to get some stuff taken care of to be on the sub list for Huntley.





















I think Mike managed to get the Keurig running better. I’m done with coffee for today anyway. I took Bitzi to the park, put in two loads of laundry, cleaned  up the kitchen and put peanut butter cookies and pumpkin bread in the freezer, cleaned up my bedroom, cleaned out dresser drawers, changed to cooler clothes ( getting warmer out now), gave Bitzi a bath in the utility sink ( badly needed) and now she’s hiding in her little gray fabric dog teepee glaring out the opening at me. 
My ex is dealing with stage four colon cancer and doing outpatient chemo but he’s lost a ton of weight and is very weak. My youngest daughter Sarah has been put in charge of his accounts and holdings. She’s 32 and has a husband and three little boys. She’s handling it okay and learning the ropes but the hardest part is dealing with my two sons. It’s a mess but they’re adults. I try to help her with the boys but I can’t get in the middle of it. All too hairy....I’m proud of how she’s managing. 

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