Stay young!

Sunday, January 31

Snowpocalypse 2021


It’s been snowing since around 4pm yesterday off and on. I just went outside with the dog and shoveled in front of the garage, the sidewalk, the front porch and a patch beside the sidewalk for Bitzi to relieve herself. The snow is heavy and wet and slides pretty easily. I came inside because I was pretty sure Bitzi’s  paws and legs and belly were packed with snow and ice. We came inside and I peeled off her sweater and harness and put her in some warm water in the utility sink and dried her off with a towel. Mike is still in bed sleeping. I’m not sure our snow blower is going to handle this stuff. I’ll let him deal with it. 

I have a nice beef roast in the crockpot. I browned it in my cast iron skillet with some olive oil and spices then put it in the crockpot with onion, mushrooms, garlic, celery and a bay leaf. I’m going to make beef barley soup with the leftovers. It’s smelling good. 

Mike is up now. The guy who is in charge of high school sports just called Mike about some big screw up in a sports story in today’s paper that was the fault of some woman on the night desk. He talks to John a lot more than he talks to me. F sports. Ignore Ignore Ignore

I am waiting to have “ the talk”.

My potato soup, crockpot roast and beef& barley soup turned out really good. Good stuff on a snowy day. 

Saturday, January 30

Waiting for the storm to hit

The sun is shining and it’s cold outside but not nose hair freezing cold. We are supposed to get a big snowstorm of up to nine inches starting this afternoon and continuing until Sunday night. I hope it will be this winter’s last hurrah. I’ve been up for a while and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, wiped the counters and stove, fed and took Bitzi outside to pee. Mike just got up and is watching the morning news. He said he’s lost ten pounds. I’ve noticed he’s eating less and reducing his carbs. He’s been on diabetes medicine about five years but never checks his blood sugar and until recently has never watched his carb intake. He also has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout and two painful shoulders that surely need replacement surgery. I’m sure he has sleep apnea. He won’t ever listen or go to the doctor. I’m living with an exhausted surly grouch-ass bear. There is no playful puppy left. I hope if he continues watching what he eats things will improve. He never exercises or will go for a walk or swim with me. He’s just stuck at his laptop or the TV all the time. It does zero good to try to talk about it with him. He just gets mad and defensive. It is what it is. No one can change anyone else. They have to want it. He has the kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever known but he also is very gruff. He’s a combination of Lou GrantLou Grant and Andy Sypowicz Sipowicz  a scary  teddy bear. 

I’m going to try to go walk Bitzi as much as I can before the storm hits. I was feeling kind of yucky again last night and my mild sore throat / sinus junk came back. It seems like I’ve been trying to come down with something. I had that horrible digestive ick a couple days ago.

My old friend from high school,Echo,  has yet another skin cancer spot on her back that needs to be surgically removed. She’s had about ten removed so far from all over her body. She used tanning beds for years in her twenties and thirties and now the damage is done. She has had one hell of a time the last several years. 

5 years ago today ( after my stem cell transplant) 

And this morning .....

Friday, January 29

A house divided against itself cannot stand.


I’ve been up several times during the night. I woke up a while ago so just stayed up. I have a 6:30 pool time scheduled today. I haven’t been in a couple days because I haven’t been feeling well. I’ve had a little of worry lately due to family. I wish I could wave a magic wand and fix things but I can’t. They just have to play out, resolves themselves and heal. I have to have faith it will be okay. 

Sub finder keeps calling. I’ve been waiting to get the two doses of vaccine in me before I resume subbing in person but there are tons of jobs out there. I’m getting offers from three districts. There is no organization to the vaccine roll out. It’s frustrating. 

We’ve been watching this series on Netflix called Designated Survivor about an internal terrorist attack on the capitol. It’s pretty good and holds our interest. 

I’m drinking coffee and trying to wake up. I’ll read the news, check emails and go get my swimsuit on under my clothes. When we go to swim for the one-hour time slot we have to scan our ID card twice and get our temperature taken. We are not allowed to use the locker room showers or blow dryer. Just change and get out. Since the pandemic began they drained the big hot tub and the sauna cabinet is not on or available. None of the pool floats or foam barbells they have can be used so I bought my own and take them each time. The big outdoor pool wasn’t even open all summer. The smaller one was open and we went a few times.


The pool was nice this morning. I had three lanes to myself. I did thirty-five minutes of vigorous water aerobics and then hurried to the locker room to dry off, dress and get back home to tend Bitzi.  I took her for along walk up along the main lodge where the snow and ice are cleared off really well. After that I went over to Aldi (about 1 mile from our house) and got a few things. I’m making tacos for dinner tonight so got some items for that and a couple others we needed. There are so many friendly people around here at Sun City. When I got in my car to leave Aldi some man knocked on my car window and told me he really like my Biden-Harris bumper stickers on my back window, so then we proceeded to talk about the whole Trump mess, the insurrection at the capitol, all the batshit crazy Trumpers and information now in the new forecasting more violence coming. It’s a crazy world but at least there are still daily reminders of good and random acts of friendliness and niceness. There IS hope.

Capitol Insurrection
American Unity

Yesterday my oldest daughter called again and talked for a couple hours. There is so much crazy drama going on with her siblings and her father. I try to stay out of it and try to stay neutral but I am for sure on the side of my youngest daughter. I cannot get swept up in that. Let them solve it themselves. Since my ex has colon cancer he made a big dramatic production of how he’d had his will made out and who was getting what and started some big awful power play and shitstorm. What a total lunatic narcissist. I kept waking up last night thinking about it. There’s nothing I can do. They are all adults. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

It’s starting to drive me crazy now not working and not going anywhere. I’ve had it long enough........I was already crazy before any of this started. I have no real indication as to when I might be able to receive the vaccines. The super of my old school district sent out an email saying they should receive them and start inoculating staff the second week in February but there is no sign up or guarantee yet. My doctor’s office is supposed to notify me when I can get it..........still, no one really knows what’s going on. I saw on the state of Illinois website that some countries have been hosting vaccine clinics but not around here. WTF.......

We’re supposed to get another big snowstorm this weekend. I hope it’s the last of the season. I can’t take much more of this dreary bullshit. I need to start planting seeds to watch them grow. 

I made a sugar-free lemon cheesecake with ladyfingers cookies crust. I just made this recipe up. It’s in the oven now. We’ll see how it turns out. 

Now Mike is more busy than ever since high school sports are starting back up. He has a guy under him in charge of prep sports but Mike makes all the assignments and cuts and edits and arranges the stories. He’s working seven days a week and into the evenings. I’m starting to hate sports. I need to take Bitzi outside again. She’s being a bad girl today. The cheesecake will bake another forty-five minutes or so. I have to set timers or I forget and burn stuff. 

Wednesday, January 27

Moving slowly

It’s midmorning Wednesday. I slept late and still am feeling slow. Yesterday afternoon I started feeling sick at my stomach and between 2-10 had about thirty bathroom trips. I’m not sure what caused it ( maybe these new keto capsules I just started taking) but it was pretty awful. I will be throwing those capsules in the garbage. I feel like a limp dishrag today.I canceled my fitness appointment yesterday and my pool appointment today. I’m going to give it a rest. 

Yesterday afternoon my ex called me and talked for a really long time about his cancer treatment and our kids and grandkids. I’m sure we haven’t talked like that since the mid eighties. It felt pretty surreal. It’s weird how things evolve.

I’m going to go to Kohls and Aldi in a bit and that will be my big accomplishment for the day. 


4:57 pm
It’s almost 5pm and still light out so that’s progress! I am still feeling pretty blah and weak today although I’m not running to the bathroom like yesterday. My muscles burn and ache and I’m just taking it easy. 


Aiden Michael Smith was born at 2:45 today. My stepson Casey & his wife Jackie's baby. Mother & baby doing fine. This makes 8 for us. 

My youngest son Alex and his Cassie are expecting a baby in July.

Tuesday, January 26

Yucky day

I’ve been outside shoveling a couple times and walking in the snow. We got a lot of snow since yesterday. I started feeling sick at my stomach an hour or so ago and I have the chills. I put on my slippers, a thick hoodie and a blanket. I’ve run to the bathroom about ten or more times. I don’t know what’s going on but it’s not good. I canceled my swimming and fitness appointments this morning so I could help clear our snow and the next door neighbors’ snow. Since I’ve started feeling sick  I went ahead and canceled tomorrow morning’s pool time.

Monday, January 25

Early morning rising

It’s 5:49 am. I have 6:30 pool exercise sessions all week . I went at 6:30 Friday and it was great. There were only three of us in the pool and the other two people were in the far lanes on the other side lap swimming. I do a vigorous 35-40 minutes of water aerobics with my foam dumbbells and then leave. Fast and furious.
We’re supposed to get a snowstorm later today and tonight. I’ll get a couple walks in with Bitzi later before the snow comes.

11:45 I did my pool time. There were three other old men swimming laps with snorkels! It was a good workout and nobody bothered me.
I took my vaporizer back to Kohls for the Amazon return. The water tank leaked!
I walked two miles with Bitzi and it’s getting overcast and colder. I’m going to walk her a couple more times before dark.

Out of the pool. A bit damp and chilled.

3:05 Mike just took a break from his work to duck into his bathroom to discover Bitzi had been in there and had a poop accident so he came screaming out of there and went to my bathroom so I cleaned it up and put fresh rugs in there and put Bitzi in her pen in the kitchen. I’m not sure what the problem is. She pooped when I took her for a walk earlier so she usually only goes once a day. 

Saturday, January 23

Coffee IS good for you

coffee benefits Time magazine

11:15 am 
I’ve been for a long walk with Bitzi and loosened up my aching muscles. I woke up four or more times last night with pain from the more intense pool workouts this week. I was going to get up and take some ibuprofen but was too lazy to search for it. Now that I’ve gone for a walk the pain and stiffness is less. 
In a little while we’re going to the big IKEA store in Schaumburg to walk around and look at all their awesome stuff. I told Mike yesterday that we HAVE got to GO somewhere today. I’m SICK of being stuck in the house! 

Friday, January 22

Same old same old

4:47 pm

I got up early this morning and went for a 6:30 pool time. I’ve also taken Bitzi for two long walks. Mike is working late tonight, as Hank Aaron died ( among other stories) and he’s the sports editor. Stupid sports. Just games.....

I’m super sore in my leg and butt muscles from the last couple days. Moving is painful. I’ve done some hard workouts in the pool and walked a lot the past few days. I’m sitting on the big living room couch with my feet propped up on the hassock with a blanket on my lap. Bitzi is splayed out on the rug by the back door exhausted from our walks and running in the house to play fetch ( about a hundred times so far...)

Thursday, January 21

I need a big warm bear hug, please.

6:06am I’ve been awake for over an hour. I just keep thinking about everything that’s going on both good and bad. At least there are good things going on for a change. I spoke with my youngest daughter and oldest granddaughter yesterday. That’s good. Things always eventually work out and or resolve. I’m old enough now to know that. Even when things are bad they never last and get better. There’s always hope. You just have to believe it and look for it.

I have a 7:45 pool appointment today and 6:30 tomorrow. Evidently a lot of the other residents here aren’t snapping up the early time slots so I’m going to take them. I haven’t been swimming in many weeks before yesterday. 

I’m sitting in my usual chair in the front sitting room typing with my index finger with a big soft crocheted blanket  on my lap sipping coffee. After I get back from the pool later I’ll take Bitzi for a walk and then go to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Someday we’ll be in a warmer climate during this sucky end of winter time period. I like the first part of winter until around January 15. Then it’s over for me. 

I took all the money out of my two 403B accounts and accepted the lump sum offer from TRS (instead of getting slightly higher pension increases every year) and invested it all in a Sammons account on the advice of a financial adviser and all that paperwork and signing BS didn’t get completed until October. Since then it’s made a really good amount of growth so I’m relieved and happy that I opted to do that. Hopefully my snowball continues to get bigger. That’s one of the blessings I’m counting.

Indoor dining is now resuming at a couple of the suburban counties but not Kane yet. I’m on the text list at my doctors office and with the county to be notified when the Covid vaccine is available. I’m think I’ll probably be notified by my school districts as well. Chicago public teachers union is striking against the Covid risk and their return to in- person learning. The union claims not enough safety precautions are being utilized. I know the students need to return as soon as possible. 

Any day now my daughter-in-law Jackie and stepson Casey will be having their first baby Aiden. I ordered a chunky knit blanket for him in early December but the company and USPS have both screwed up and I haven’t gotten it. I ordered other things from Amazon yesterday and they will be delivered today! I love Amazon. 

I worked really hard in the pool so now everything from my waist down is sore and burns. A little while later I walked two miles - a lot for me. I was supposed to attend this Zoom substitute teacher training BS this afternoon from 12-4 for district 300 but my log on credentials for their district account wouldn’t work and then it locked me out. There’s just too much security bullshit associated with that district and I just don’t need the aggravation. To hell with it. 

It was sunnier out today but still cold. I wore my thick neck warmer with Ava thick stretch hat with a red plaid scarf wrapped around that on my head plus my fuzzy coat hood and gloves. I love that I bought these tough thick sole Skechers walking shoes this fall because my left knee kept hurting. My knee stopped hurting after I started wearing these chunky shoes. They feel like ass kicking shoes. 

I’m making broccoli- cauliflower- cheese bake and hamburgers for dinner. Mike said he won’t be done with work until after six at least. At night we eat dinner then watch TV - Anderson Cooper 360, Jeopardy and usually Shark Tank and I cuddle up and he rubs my feet. Around ten I stagger off to bed. He watches TV until about midnight and takes Bitzi out to pee before coming to bed. We’re just plain old folks. 

Wednesday, January 20

Hope for our future

I can’t believe this day is here. It seems like it has taken forever.
Lady GaGa was Lip Syncing the anthem and was way over the top trying to steal the show. Puke. Garth Brooks did a really nice acapella version of Amazing Grace and Jennifer Lopez was very good yet tasteful. President Biden’s inaugural address was very powerful, healing, sincere and uplifting. Good job. 

It snowed quite a bit last night and it’s much colder. I’ve taken the dog out twice now but no boom- boom. I’ll have to try taking her out again in a bit. I’ve managed to snag a few indoor pool time slots this coming week. 3:45 today, 7:45 am tomorrow, 6:30 am Friday and three 7:45’s next week. I just exercise and jog with my foam dumbbells so my hair doesn’t get wet. The locker rooms still aren’t open for changing! I just wear my suit under my clothes going in there, strip down in the pool area and then leave the pool before the hour time slot is up so I can dry and change in the restroom. Pain in the ass but it is what it is. Oh and masks on all the time except in the water. I also have to scan my ID for entry into the building.

5:15 I went and did about thirty minutes of water exercise with my foam dumbells until I bumped my knee on the pool wall that’s still sore from my ice fall so got out and went to the locker room to dry off and dress. 

Tuesday, January 19

What do you believe?

I just dropped Bitzi off at the groomer, Doggie Styles. She’s just getting her feet, face and butt trimmed and a bath and blow dry. I want to keep her coat longer the next couple months. After I left the groomer place I went across Rt.47 and dropped off the load of bedroom stuff at Goodwill. Bitzi should be done in thirty minutes or so.

My daughter is accusing my two sons of something bad and they swear it isn’t true. Their father, my ex, being the total misogynist he is, sides with his sons. It’s a shitstorm. I believe my daughter. My sons swear it isn’t true. They’ve learned the lying from their father. I’m sad to say it but it’s true.

I watch ( on TV) and read daily news from a variety of reputable sources for my knowledge and to form my opinions. Yes if you only consumed one news source you surely would be more biased as to what that source was reporting. 

I just turned down a high school building float sub job from now until the end of the year. Bartlett High is a good school but I’m not doing any in-person jobs until I’ve had the vaccine.

4:54 I just turned down another full time building float sub from now until the end of the year from Huntley School District. Hurry up with the vaccines already!


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