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Showing posts with label #againg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #againg. Show all posts

Sunday, December 6

Trudging through the pandemic

7:29am Sunday morning

I just turned the heat up. My fingers are cold. Mike is comatose on the couch with the TV news chattering away. I’m drinking my coffee ( black with MCT oil) and getting geared up to go walk. I think Bitzi is still sleeping in her fabric igloo in her little kitchen pen. I fed and watered her but she didn’t come out of her igloo. We walked three miles yesterday- quite a lot for her tiny puppy legs. I’m wanting another shihtzu male puppy but haven’t told Mike yet. He grouches over everything. We have room for another one. 

We’re going over to see Annette ( Mike’s mom) in St.Charles later this morning around ten when she’s done watching her mass service on TV. I’m leaving my mask on while we’re in her house because who knows which relatives she’s been around and I could have it and not know. I’m taking no chances. 

I just ordered some gifts through Amazon to be delivered to my sister Vicki ( who is mentally and physically handicapped and 70 and lives in a group handicapped home with three other women in Peoria) because I don’t anticipate being able to see her soon. The company is very careful with the residents.


I’m sitting here on the couch by Mike watching The Bears game. I could care less. I just did some practice lessons to get more comfortable with the technology on my laptop. I’ll try again later. Fairly awkward switching between videos and sharing the Zoom screen. My poor vision doesn’t help.

We went to Mike’s mom’s house. She is obviously depressed again. She refuses to take her prescribed antidepressants. It is what it is.

Friday, December 4

Five ways to cope with life

I’m sixty one and retired. For some odd reason I thought that substitute teaching might be a fun, easy thing to keep me busy, connected and earn some extra money ( we’re remodeling our house and things add up...) so I accepted a long term elementary music sub job in a new neighboring school district. I should have listened to my intuition when I was filling out the application-they asked a crazy amount of information, background, references, a Zoom interview with five administrators....Then I had to undergo an exceptionally thorough health exam, drug screening, fingerprinting and criminal background check. At this point I just want to flipping’ forget about it but figured I’d come that far but then it was the week of Thanksgiving and everything was shit down and I didn’t hear a peep from their HR. Then on Monday Nov.30 at 7am I got a call that all my forms had cleared and they wanted me to start right away. After that it was a crazy whirlwind getting me started. They use a completely different e-learning platform than I was used to. Their Zoom version is different and much more restrictive. Because I’m a sub I do not have access to a lot of the online staff resources. I was panicking very badly Tuesday morning not being able to access my classes until I had a Zoom meeting with a wonderful, patient tech who walked me through stuff to get me up and running. I am not all the caught up with all the latest music education technology and I am not going to attempt to learn a bunch of new programs badly to sub for a couple weeks. I am going to do my best. I actually had fun and enjoyed the five fourth grade classes I had yesterday. I was told that Fridays are asynchronous so I assumed I wouldn’t have classes. This district is also on a different kind of rotating alphabetical schedule I am not accustomed to so I didn’t even really know as this first Friday I’m doing counts toward that schedule (after calling the building secretary and being on hold for ten minutes while she found out what day it was) I learned that Fridays do not count and “specials teachers” do not have students on Fridays we just load stuff online for them to do (which I did manage to do last night.) I am more of a MAC person and not very fluent or comfortable using PCs but now I’m forced to use the building loaner PC which is an older thinkpad with a weird trackpad and clickers that is awkward to use. I had to screw around with it quite a while to adjust the display settings for my low vision. All of this causes me stress and anxiety. There’s so just so many stressful things happening in life now anyway and I have to just mentally slap myself and fix it and snap the hell out of it when I start feeling anxiety, my chest squeezing and my heart starting to feel a bit racy. Below are some things I’ve used successful to settle myself down.

  1. Take a slow deep breath. Oxygen always helps to calm me down. Go for a long walk and concentrate on your breath. Slow inhales, slow exhales are how you calm it down. Sometimes I also do alternate nostril breathing to calm down and sometimes to help me get to sleep at night.
  2. Try to think of the good parts of whatever is bothering you or making you verklempt. There are almost always SOME good parts of anything. Try to focus and lean on those for a while and less on the negative parts. When I was critically ill with my brain and eye cancer I tried to find good things to ponder on every day- whether it was the chocolate milk shakes at Rush hospital in Chicago or my fuzzy stuffed pig chemo buddy.
  3. Journal, blog or talk to a close friend or family member about whatever it is that’s causing your worry. Somehow getting it out, writing it, speaking it, processing it makes everything more manageable and gives the boogie man less power. Get it out and that will help.
  4. Look at the problem or issue from different angles. Try going at it from a different way. Explore all options. Sometimes things look completely different from another side. Take a break and come back at it later. Things may be much clearer later. 
  5. Ask for help from somebody who is informed and experienced with whatever the issue it is. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help. Everybody needs help at one time or another. Be open to advice. You can’t slay all the dragons in the world yourself. Send up a flag and ask for help when you need it.

Now it’s late morning and I’ve resolved to do some planning over the weekend to feel more prepared and confident in my sub job. I have resolved to stick it out until Jan. 15 when the teacher returns from maternity leave. When I agreed to do this job I was told I could work remotely from home. I went into the school two days last week and got my technology bugaboos worked and felt confident enough to work from home on Thursday but Wednesday evening, to cover me bases, I emailed the elementary school assistant principal that I would be working from home on Thursday just to let them know. Thursday morning then I had 5 Zoom classes all in a row and when I got a break from those and finally checked my email I read what seemed to me to be a bitchy snotty note from the principal saying that he had to have a form from their district signed from me to work at home and I should work from school until I’m confident with the technology and the music curriculum. NO ONE EVER told me there was some kind of contract I needed signed NOR did anyone mention I needed to follow their music curriculum specifically note have I been given it. I was pretty upset and sent the principal back a very polite short note saying I was told when I hired that I would be working remotely and no one ever mentioned a form nor any of the other things and he should find someone else to do the sub job.  He then sent me a note back later apologizing for not being clear. I was ready to quit. I still want to but I’m going to try my best to finish and go until Jan.15 but then I will never work for this particular district again. I get plenty of offers from my old district and my current town. I dont need the BS from this third school district. So that’s that!  PHEW!

I’m listening to Beethoven piano sonata #14.

The spare bedroom has now become my new office. I’m going to rearrange it. The laptop table I had been using doesn’t feel as stable and secure as this other table so now I’m just going to use it for the overflow of stuff.


Sunday, November 22

My cozy nest

12:18 pm Sunday

The day is mild and overcast.I did a little housework and took the dog on two walks and had lunch. I’m not fasting today but I’m still restricting carbs. I’ll admit I am feeling kind of glum today just about a whole lot of things. The overcast sky doesn’t help but the walks and fresh air do help. We went out and ran a couple errands and then just came home and continued watching season 3 of The Crown. I was cuddled up on the couch under a soft blanket with my head on my neck pillow on Mike’s lap. It was cozy. I eventually fell asleep and so did he.
Mike’s mom was sick at her stomach yesterday and said she felt like she was getting the flu. I hope she hasn’t picked up anything. 

Monday 7:33 am 
Yesterday I wrote letters and made out Thanksgiving cards to send to the grandkids. I had two gallon- size ziplock bags full on misc. cards that I sorted through. I got rid of a bunch that didn’t have envelopes. I put them in 4 different labeled ziplock bags so it will be easier to find the correct card from now on. They had all been in two nice heavy decorator boxes on the shelf in the back office but I got rid of the boxes when I cleared out the office to paint. The sorting yesterday started with me searching for a sympathy card to send my friend whose mother died on my birthday. She had been suffering with Alzheimer’s for years and the situation had been very bleak for a long time.

Today I’m going to try to get out the Christmas stuff and the Christmas cards. We need to make lists of what’s stored upstairs in the attic and what’s store in the garage and where. I drives me nuts and gives me great angst to not be able to find stuff. 

At least the sun is shining. 

8:59 I just got back from a 1.3 mile walk around Wildflower Lake with Bitzi. Although I sometimes complain about all things, I really do meet some of the nicest folks while walking around here. When someone passes me or comes near I pull my mask up over my nose and mouth. When I’m off by myself I have it down so mu sunglasses don’t fog. I saw an bald eagle perched in a tree on the far side of the lake.I took that as a sign of hope.

Around noon Sallie is supposed to FaceTime call me when she’s at our other sister Vicki’s group home in Peoria. I had been going to meet her there today but decided not to travel.

After that call I’ll take Bitzi for a walk around the other lake. 


Tomorrow the new quartz kitchen counters, under mount sink and new faucet are getting installed. I just moved the front entryway table out of the way to clear the front door. I’m excited!

Wednesday, November 18

How to keep going

7:59 am

I’m drinking my morning coffee. I have brain fog from the Benadryl I took last night. So far it looks overcast. Mike is watching the morning news. I’m so exhausted with the constant Covid-19 coverage and whatever the latest atrocity is with out demented fucknut president and his cult of deplorables. I wish I could wash my ears and brain out with hot water and bleach to make no trace of bullshit linger. I’m worried / upset with a couple of my family members. I’ve experienced this before. There’s nothing that I can do so I’ll leave it alone and stay silent. I’ll pack up my feelings and push myself forward through the emotional storm. I HAVE to keep moving forward. I HAVE to stay positive. Mike says I’m not tough enough. I’m tough in my own way. I just care and worry deeply. I have to put Sensitive Suzy back in the box and move on. Today I’ll be rereading positive affirmations, counting my blessings, walking and swimming. As of this Friday our lodge pool will be closed due to Covid phase 3 being enforced. I’m getting my pool time in today and tomorrow.

This morning I have to drive over to my doctor’s office in Bartlett to pick up my health / drug screening form for district 300 and then I have to go to the D300 central office to turn in my forms and get fingerprinted to get cleared for the long term music sub job. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to go through but it will add some money to the coffers.

8:57am I took Bitzi up to the top of the steep hill in the park across the street. Although I wore a pretty warm jacket I was still uncomfortable with the biting wind. I came back home, decided not to change clothes, fixed my hair and actually took time to apply makeup ( I rarely wear any these days. Now I’m waiting around a bit to leave for Bartlett and Carpentersville.

I made a reservation at Stoney Creek for next Monday night so I can spend time with Sarah and the boys. Normally I stay with her and Keith but now she’s left him and they’re staying at the farm with her dad ( my ex).I try to stay out of it but I know it’s hard for her. The rest of her family and I have been wishing she’d leave him for a long time. He is angst filled and oppressive and extremely needy. She’s taking control of her dads farm now since he is bad off with stage four colon cancer. It’s a very bad situation. 

 I haven’t told Mike I’m going yet. He’ll have a total FIT about me staying in a hotel during the pandemic. You do what you gotta do. We’ll be very careful and we’ll be fine. Mike always has to work on Thanksgiving. He doesn’t like turkey so I think I’m going to stuff and roast a chicken and make a couple special side dishes and a nice dessert. I told him to invite his mother but I don’t know if he did yet.

I’m leaving in a few minutes and spending my driving time thinking positive thoughts and being grateful for my life.

. Live on the good parts. Live for the good parts. 

The fingerprinting took way too long. Very tedious. Their district office was surprisingly small and plain. The lady who did my fingerprinting wasn’t friendly or cordial at all bordering on a rip. Perhaps she’s suffering with a nasty yeast infection or something.

I took Bitzi for another walk once I got home. The wind is still pretty cutting. I made myself a grilled chicken low- carb burrito for lunch ( very good). Mike came out of his office and made himself a grilled cheese. I can hear him crunching all the way in the sitting room. He sounds like a horse when he chews. It must be the big back molars and the resonance of his big skull and neck. He eats his lunch every day leaning over the kitchen island while reading the paper. Never sits down. 

Tuesday, November 17

Just be safe and smart. Stay the course.

I’m feeling better today. I’m not sure what was wrong yesterday and the night before last other than taking that really long walk out in the brutally cold wind Sunday morning. Because I felt so shitty yesterday I went off my diet and fasting a bit. Nothing too radical but now I’m back on track. There are a whole bunch of sub jobs available but all are in person in schools and I’m not doing that. The virus numbers are just rising too rapidly and I certainly don’t want to chance it. Next week my former district is shutting in- person classes down again and going back to e- learning for all until Dec.4 when they’ll reassess. I feel like I should drive down and see my kids but I’m even hesitant to do that.
I’ve come to far to be stupid and get the virus and risk having it take me out. And it might only be the sniffles but my immune system still isn’t mature and that strong. My common sense says I should stay home as much as I am able. 
Cancel Thanksgiving

Yesterday I drove to Bartlett to my family doctor’s office to do the urine drug screening test to be approved to sub for D300 but I don’t really even want to now. It’s just that I had sent a my chart request to him last week. That district isn’t very friendly or welcoming as my other two and they have a lot more hoops to jump through for a lower daily sub pay rate so I’m now not enthused about working for them. Life is too short to deal with things that don’t give you joy.

7:46am now. I have taken Bitzi for a walk to the park. Mike is awake now. I made him a pepper and egg sandwich. Yesterday was his birthday (62). He had to work and I didn’t feel well. He doesn’t like holidays or birthdays and doesn’t do gifts. He got me a card for my birthday and that was it. I bought myself two bouquets of flowers. I might as well do it for myself. 

For his birthday yesterday I made tilapia, shrimp, scallops, corn and mashed potatoes for his dinner and gave him a card I had in my card box. He enjoyed it. I didn’t feel well. 

Monday, November 9

Trump refuses to concede: Didn’t we all know this would happen?

9:23 am

I just got back from a walk with Bitzi. It’s sunny, warm with a mild breeze. In a bit I will sign in to a Zoom meeting to sub for a friend of mine who teaches elementary PE in one of my old schools. There will only be four forty-minute classes- 2 third and 2 fourth but I still get paid for a full day. Sweet. Plus the lessons are already loaded online for the kids. Double sweet. I got my first sub offer from Huntley school district this morning for preschool but it started at 7:25 and by the time I got up and saw it it was too late. I’m not familiar with the Huntley schools at all but I’m sure I will be in time. 

I knew this bullshit was going to happen with Trump and I knew that he and his cult would promote and encourage his deplorable to protest and riot and be assholes. I knew it a long time ago. Just AWFUL.

10:52am So NOW I'm waiting to log in to the Zoom class but the principal can't let me in because the absent PE teacher didn't add her correctly so she can't get in to let me in and make me teacher so I can take over so just sitting here matter whether I get logged in or not I'll still get paid!

11:56 the building secretary called and told me I didn’t have to do any zooms for them today. The absent teacher sent the principal a new Zoom link that the students didn’t have and didn’t work anyway. Still get paid though. Really crazy.....

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. 

Ten tricks to stay positive

Now in February 2021 the world has been living with, fighting, learning about and worrying over Covid-19. I keep reading all the stories of ...