Ouch! PLUS Feeling Accomplished

I sat at my computer for hours today -- still the most painful thing I do, all this time later. (No, it hasn't been two years of chronic pain... yet.) Anyway, I needed to work on my work email. I was well over 2,000 items when I started, and down to 130 when I finished. Not bad, right? The shameful part is going over 1,000 to begin with.

The problem is trying to manage my email on my iPad. You simply can't do it on your device. So, you might ask, why did I ever try? Well, head back to my statement above. Sitting up to my computer kills me. Big ouch. But I can do so much on my iPad. And I learned back in 2018 that I needed a way to get my work done that didn't kill me...

But since the latest ios update, email is screwy on my iPad. What a pain! I went down a crazy rabbit hole trying to fix the known bug to no avail. I finally ended up on my computer -- where I need to be EVERY SINGLE DAY going forward. I'm really not looking forward to the pain, I'm telling you.

However, if I stay on top of things, I shouldn't need another lengthy session. That's certainly my plan.

I should mention that I'm sitting in my family room chair typing this on my device, and not sitting in the office at my computer.

I have three comfortable places for doing exactly this: lying on top of my bed (dressed, not in bed), sitting in my chair in the living room and here in my comfy chair. All three spots allow me to recline and keep my feet up. That makes my back so much less painful!

Right now my back is throbbing. (Really bad.) Thank God I didn't miss any of my pain pills, as I sometimes do.

Spoke to Donn about work FOUR times today. (whew) Also set a phone meeting for tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. regarding Inflow phone support for 2020. That should prove interesting!

That was all a bit rambling. Sorry! I am pleased with what I got done, anyway.

But my main feeling of accomplishment today was not work related. I continue my goal of cleaning/organizing my bedroom. It's needed it for months. I have a bad way of managing my clothes, but at least I've read that it's not uncommon -- there are others who do exactly the same. While I do have lots in my two closets and many drawers, there are nearly always clothes lying out where I can easily see them. Yeah, I know it's awful that these aren't put away, but I like seeing them. Hard to explain unless you have the same tendency, I guess.

I have too many clothes, I suppose. I don't know if I could even put them all away until I get rid of a bunch -- which I'm currently working on. June wants some, as does my sister Sue. The third bag I'm working into right now is for the Goodwill.

Today I tried on bras, which I 'discovered' inside my drawers. See? Out of sight, out of mind. Turns out I had quite a few! And I just bought a brand new one. I should have 'shopped' in my dresser first! Hahaha. None to share with Sue, but she just got a stack from Marilyn. And only one (so far) for June. But a bunch for myself, anyway -- and they're nicely organized and folded and in one drawer.

Socks are quite organized, too! And panties. And nightclothes. I made great headway today, in other words.

I'm using KonMari for folding (for the most part). The drawers are looking good -- and I really think I can find everything!

I thought I had Marilyn's pearls -- her 'Jackie' pearls she got from sister Sue. But when I tried putting them away in Marilyn's dresser, the Jackie pearls were there -- and there was no comparison! Her pearls are stunningly beautiful. Anyway, glad to know I haven't had those for ages...

I did tidy her top drawer just a little bit while in there. It wasn't bad, but I can tweak nearly any drawer, and did.

I need to stick to tweaking my own drawers, though! And the stacked clothes around the room, which are a constant issue. I've straightened the piles, but still. (sigh)

Made scones yesterday (delicious!!!).

Just missed my five year Fitbit anniversary. It was January 12 (originally 2015). I barely managed to get my 4,000 steps today, unfortunately. (sigh)

Enough for today. I have at least two entries I finished but never posted that I'll try and put up soon and backdate. Yikes! I am trying to blog again, anyway.

Johnnie needs his claws clipped. I've been having McKayla do that. Maybe I can get her over. Otherwise I'll have to bite the bullet and do it myself (gulp).

Sweet dreams, all!
mom young

Thinking of Mom Today PLUS First Blogging Day in 2020!

Marilyn was ill today (she stayed home), and I'm still fighting this bug I've had for several weeks. We both spent a good portion of the day sleeping.

Marilyn had been sure she was better, but when she finally had a bite to eat tonight, she had her usual issues again. Poor thing...

Today is Little Christmas. (Today is also known as Old Christmas. Little Christmas is a traditional name among Irish Christians and Amish Christians for 6 January. Today is also widely known as the Feast of the Epiphany, and is celebrated after the conclusion of the twelve days of Christmastide. Today is the traditional end of the Christmas season.)

In my family, this was my Grandma Elsie's birthday, the day Christmas was taken down (meaning the tree and various decorations) and was the day our Mom died, back in 2000.

It's hard to believe Mom has been dead for 20 years!

I already took down all of our indoor decorations last Thursday, got them all boxed up and stored away. I did that after going to acupuncture and after a ridiculous long ride home where my Uber driver took me on the way to Beaverton (!!!), then on the wrong side of the river (Willamette), and all the way to the St. Johns bridge, then finally down Lombard to home. I didn't report the old man as I didn't want to get him in trouble, but geez. What a long, stupid ride!

Anyway, in the long run (quite long) I'm even more proud of getting so much work done Thursday afternoon. I'd normally need a full day, at the very least.

Mom (I hope she's listening), today I managed to take down the Christmas tree. I did it without waking Marilyn, and with the car in the garage (I normally have the entire garage to maneuver the clumsy box). It went smoothly. Even more smoothly than when I put up the tree. Please consider that upholding family tradition. (smile)

We're having filthy weather right now! Rain with billowing wind. As I write this the wind keeps rattling down the chimney here in the living room.

Johnnie (our cat) has been somewhat under the weather, too. He threw up another huge fur ball. And he wanted water in the middle of the night last night, and then drank and drank. I think he's feeling a little better today, anyway.

The festival's Facebook posted a photo of me and thanked me for my work, reporting today as National Technology Day (that's questionable, by the way, but sweet regardless). Kate posted a pic of me from 2017, riding a ride in Cityfair.

I need to go practice my ukulele, which I haven't done yet today. I try to play every single day, and I think I'm improving.

I currently have 41,948 steps for the past seven days. Fitbit tracks by each seven days as they occur, rather than week by week. Recently I've been trying to walk more, no matter how much it hurts. I think I need regular exercise. Some days it goes really well, other days less so.

Basically, the pain is always with me. But I want to keep doing things, even so.

I'm doing acupuncture once a week now, and think I'll keep that on Thursdays. It hasn't alleviated the chronic pain, but has been helpful for many other things -- along with the herbal pills I take. And over time, who knows? I remain hopeful.

I see my eye doctor this Wednesday for another surgery follow-up. (Surgery was in November last year.) I'm hoping I can now get in and have a regular examination and get new glasses, which I really need.

Twenty years. It really doesn't seem like that long ago... Mom, I finally found a way to 'display' your group of wooden soldiers. About time, right? I need to take a photo! I don't think I'll pack them away, as they are a bit fragile.

Reminds me. I missed the mistletoe ball in the kitchen doorway (between the kitchen and the foyer), a hanging thing in the kitchen window, and a pillow in the living room (so comfortable I might keep it there for my poor back). I think there was something else, too. I almost always forget to pack away a few Christmas items!

I also still have a few Christmas gifts to give out. To my dentist and her assistants, and to a few neighbors...

Time to see if I can continue blogging in 2020!
doctor stethoscope, stethoscope

Eye Surgery Tomorrow - Blepharoplasty

The day has finally (almost) arrived. I've been in the process of having this surgery for some time now. Specifically, it's Blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee), a type of surgery that repairs droopy eyelids and involves removing excess skin, muscle and fat. The nurse (I think she was an anesthesiologist) who phoned me this morning said my doctor had quite a reputation, then told me she does very good work.

On the way to this surgery I've had quite a few tests, and a Botox treatment (injections all the way around both eyes). The Botox already removed the constant jerking of muscles that were pulling down my eyelids so that I could barely squint - and opened both eyes better than I've experienced in years.

My friend (and neighbor) June has had this surgery and said there's no pain. I find that a bit hard to believe, but it sounds like good news to me!

My surgery just changed from being there at 11:00, to being there at 9:45. (Not sure why it bothers me not to be on the hour, but I guess it makes it more difficult to figure exactly when what will happen. Oh well.

I'll miss yet another acupuncture appointment tomorrow (I missed last Thursday, as well). I could have tried going in on Friday, but I prefer seeing Sheridan (and she doesn't work on Fridays). I scheduled Moxi (Moxibustion) for next Tuesday. That will be my third treatment (I had my second yesterday).

Moxi is fascinating for me! Since April 2018 and my chronic pain, I haven't been able to stand heat on or near the injury. (Yeah, I tend to call my postherpetic neuralgia an injury, as my nerves were injured by shingles.) Anyway, heat has even made me scream in pain On occasion (embarrassing, but true). I've been on cold showers year round. But Moxi is a different kind of heat. So soothing! I used to love hot baths and hot showers, but this beats both.

I'm going to do the garbage and recycling today, as who knows how I'll feel tomorrow (my normal day for doing it).

I'm in the middle of coloring my hair right now. That replaces simply showering and washing my hair before tomorrow. Can you imagine that they have to tell you to shower before surgery? Clean! Oh well...

Marilyn and I recently got hung up on the History Channel's series "The Curse of Oak Island" -- an amazing true treasure hunt! The new season just started last night (very exciting).

You can read more about Oak Island ;HERE. Very interesting stuff!

I think the series is mostly intended for men, but anyone who likes a good mystery will enjoy it, I think.

And that's it for now!

Honest, I still plan to blog more again. Here's hoping this entry finds you well and happy! More soon (fingers crossed).

Meeting Beatles Mark! The Stu Fuchs Event.

What a long and exciting (and exhausting) day we had!

Marilyn had been wanting to drive up the Gorge the entire weekend, but we hadn't managed it. So she decided we'd dumb getting pedicures and just head right up as soon as we did a few quick errands.

We'd planned to get up earlier, but we ended up staying up to play our ukuleles, which we both view as being extremely important, and time well spent. I love my personal improvement with learning new chords, strumming ang making chord transitions. I'm far from good -- and miles from Marilyn -- but much better for me, anyway.

It's hard right now, as some days all we want to do is sit and play.

It was and bright, beautiful day, with blue skies, and a lovely drive. We didn't need GPS until we got into The Dalles. The store is called Yesterday & Today Music, and the owner is known as Beatles Mark (Mark Thomas).

His store is remarkable! Beautifully kept, totally tidy and organized, we were amazed when he kept saying the place was 'torn apart' and how sorry he was we weren't seeing it on a better day.

With a store that is named for a Beatles album, you can guess the record store features loads of Beatles albums, plus other goodies. It's decorated with huge yellow submarines and lots of Beatles posters everywhere.

His prices are excellent, and we bought several things. But the joy of being there was meeting Mark for the first time, and having a lengthy discussion about our favorite subject -- and his -- The Beatles! As you can guess, when you get three people together who sincerely love The Beatles, it was a lively and happy conversation!

We were sorry not to be able to visit longer, but we were on a very tight schedule, as we had tickets to attend the Stu Fuchs ukulele event in Milwaukie that required us to be on site by 6:30.

So we headed back home and got here just in time to eat, gather our materials and head out.

Dinner is worth mentioning, as we had the third of three pizzas we'd had in the freezer for some time. I originally heard about them on TV (can't recall where, off hand), but found them locally one day. I'm lucky in that I accidentally bought the better brand of a few that are available! It's the RealGood brand, with cauliflower crust. I know it probably sounds gross, but we found it DELICIOUS! For someone who recently had my doctor tell me that I couldn't use a vegetarian diet because it had "too many carbs," (and I quote), it's nice to note that these pizzas have 17 grams of protein to 9 grams of carbs. The slices are pleasantly filling, by the way. They beat delivery pizza hands down -- no, I'm not kidding!

We were out of salad (we've been eating a salad with every dinner recently), so we had it with cottage cheese (we're big fans).

We each had a three-ring binder notebook I'd prepared on Friday that contained the music for the event inside heavy-duty plastic sheets. We also had our music stands (ours fold up for traveling) and our ukuleles and tuners -- good to go!

What we didn't have was our tickets! Marilyn located the proper email, forwarded it to me, showed me how to find the proper link and then I printed them out, and we were off.

Traffic was good and we made good time, with no trouble finding the venue. Easy parking was a plus.

There was a good turnout. Getting there by 6:30 as requested gave us time to set up and also buy a few things (including t-shirts, a song book and some buttons), to be prepared for the 7:00 start.

The first part of the program was a workshop, using Stu's Ukulele Zen method. We focused on two songs. The second part was a concert of his music. Stu is a classically trained musician.

Then we headed back home where we unpacked the car and ate some more pizza. Again, imagine a basically guilt-free pizza in your life! I can't get over a grain free crust.

Apparently RealGood started out with a crust made of chicken (!!!), but now includes the veggie options. I think there are a total of three kinds, but the funny part is we don't really like the veggie pie -- we had to pick off the onions and peppers before cooking. So that leaves the Margherita and Cheese -- which are both yummy!

We splurged by splitting a beer while watching "Life of Brian," which neither of us had ever seen before. George Harrison not only supported the film (he remortgaged his house to finance the Monty Python movie to the tune of five million dollars), but he made a short appearance, too. Let's be frank: this is British humor, and it doesn't translate all that well for American viewers -- or at least for us. (Yes, I've known many people who loved it.) It's probably more difficult that we can't always understand what's being said.

The subject matter didn't bother us. I personally didn't care if it was a slam on Christianity or not. Humor is an acceptable way to make us evaluate our values, after all. And if something can't stand up to a little humorous jabbing, well...

Rich is back to work starting tomorrow!

Wednesday I go back to my eye doctor. I can't remember: Did I mention my recent treatment with Botox? Anyway, I had injections all the way around both eyes. And I won't pretend it wasn't painful, but oh well! Hardly the worst pain I experience regularly. The headache I had afterwards sucked, but when I mentioned it to my clinician, she cleared it right up with acupuncture! The best news was it worked to stop the 'tic' I'd been having, with the intense jerking down of my eyelid. I could barely see out of the right eye, and it was only slightly better for the left. Now my eyes are open and I'm seeing so clearly it's amazing for me!

Not sure if we go to surgery next for certain or not, but should learn more this week.

Friday we attend a performance by Angel. We often go to see and support his efforts.

And I'm back to Cupping tomorrow with acupuncture, plus more acupuncture on Thursday.

Missed seeing our luthier Miles last week -- maybe this week. I need a low G stringing for my Breedlove ukulele (Grayson), and we want buttons for a few ukuleles that still don't have them. I don't care what some people say/think, I like straps on my ukuleles! It makes them easy to hold and control while playing. (And, yes, I've heard the 'purist' argument against straps. I still feel it's a matter of preference, and not a statement of dedication to the art of the music!)

No new news about Shari's beloved cat Tink, who was let out Thursday by one of her caregivers. We did go out to Oregon City to personally hunt for Tink. And Marilyn offered a $50 reward for Tink's return. I keep praying and we remain hopeful!

Enough already! Here's hoping my blog entry finds you engaged, happy and very healthy! (And ideally pain-free, or close!) Sweet dreams!

The First Day of Autumn -- Lots of Errands!

Yesterday Marilyn vacuumed my bedroom (this included using a brush on my rug to pull up Johnnie's fur). She's been asking if she could do it for ages, and I finally gave in. I'm glad I let her, as it's lovely having a cleaner room.

Today is the first day of autumn. Time just flies!

Marilyn's cleaning in my bedroom is related to finally moving Johnnie's cat box to the laundry room, where we've always kept cat boxes in the past. His was in my bedroom because he lived there for the past year. He appears to have adjusted to the change just fine -- he's such a smart cat!

No cat box means a ton less mess in my room. That's going to be nice.

Later on we decided to put up more hangers for our ukuleles and guitars. These are currently in the family room, but we want some in the living room, too. It's nice to just be able to hang them up, knowing they'll be safe. And it's wonderful seeing them on our walls.

Today we ran ERRANDS all day. Really exhausting. But we accomplished a lot. Marilyn got Pendleton whiskey for her baked beans (her secret ingredient -- I suppose I'm not supposed to share).

We wentto numerous stores shopping. We went to Michael's to get our latest Beatles item re-framed. It's fairly amazing, but will be quite outstanding once the nee frame is done in two weeks.

And we bought a frame four r another project.

Marilyn got some new pants at Ross. We picked several items there, but the pants were the essential item.

We went to Freddie's and Walgreen's and Walmart. I guess the only local store we missed was Safeway.

It was a great deal of errand running and loads of steps -- if only I hadn't left my Fitbit home!

Speaking of, my second wrist band arrived today. It's blact mesh with a magnetic clasp. It's a bit difficult to put on, but I'll get used it.

Johnnie is overdo for getting his nails clipped. Actually, he looks like he has something wrong in his mouth, so tomorrow I'm calling him in for the vet.

They should clip him there if I can get him in quickly enough. I wonder what's the problem? And hope and pray it's simple to fix.

So tired I conked out in my bedroom. Later Marilyn had to come upstairs and fetch me to see Sir Paul on Stephen Colbert (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert). He was wo, as he always is. I'm glad she came to get me.

We both played our ukuleles while watching. I suspect she'd already been playing. Anyway, we need to play every day, and we take that quite seriously. Besides, we enjoy it! I feel like I made a breakthrough recently with my strumming and my transitions. That feels good.

I can barely keep my eyes open to finish this. It's currently 3:30 in the morning. Again, we did a lot of walking and carrying heavy items.

I love how wonderful it looks as I'm walking down the stairs into our family room. That back wall where ukuleles and her guitar all hang is impressive. It makes me very happy to view it.

We didn't get to adding the hangers in the living room -- hopefully soon!

Again, I love the way they look, hanging on the wall like art.

Sweet dreams, friends. I know I'll have them...

A Day of Work

Marilyn sent me the following text yesterday: We need to talk about contaminated flour. That was based on THIS alert. We had just purchased a small bag of Gold Metal flour at the store.

It was only the five pound bags, and we got a two pound bag. So anyway, we're fine. But I can't blame her for her concern. Recalls are scary.

I worked at the office today. I was training Katie, who was returning to our staff. This is a trial period, but I'm hopeful she'll end up permanent. She did really well during her training. I was pleased.

Marilyn had said I could leave, but she had nominating tonight after work, so I stayed to greet the candidates, as I always do (four of them this time).

We got home around 9:00 p.m., so it was a long day.

Jessica and I were comparing notes on medications, etc. -- and specifically on hair loss. Very annoying for both of us.

Acupuncture tomorrow morning and seeing my doctor in the afternoon.

I downloaded a book about Frances Perkins today and started reading it. I'm really enjoying it. She was an amazing woman from the beginning of her life!

I've also been reading a book from Anna Castle's 'The Professor & Mrs. Moriarty Mysteries.' I think it's the second book in the series. Really enjoyable, I have to say! I hope it continues in this vein.

Goodnight, all!
rain sidewalk

Filthy Weather! Fitbits Still Rule.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was impressive tonight, too. I'm trying not to be political (as I've said before), but these two women have touched me. I loved her story about Francis Perkins.

Loving seeing HGTV's A Very Brady Renovation -- and tonight the remaining Brady cast (the six kids, anyway) are being interviewed, and they are very entertaining. Restoring that house -- actually making the real house resemble the sets we all knew -- is brilliant! Marilyn and I are watching (we're taping and then watching). They said six (maybe ten) million people are watching with us.

Filthy weather today, really filthy. Pouring rain, that I was out in, mind you. I'm not ready for winter. What happened to autumn? In fact, this is Portland! What happened to the end of summer???

Cupping this morning hurt like a bitch -- and she left me for 15 minutes, rather than the usual 10! Yikes. Then acupuncture. I was stunned when my damn noon alarm went off -- I expected to be done well before then.

I left in a hurry, got to the lobby where I donned my socks and shoes. Went to phone Marilyn and discovered I still had two needles in my right ear. Reached over and there were two in my left ear! I had to laugh. It wasn't Sheridan's fault, as I practically dashed out. Anyway, I nearly left without paying! Haha. Got a gigantic bottle of my herbals, then departed.

I went from there to Freddies to shop. Got the items I'd forgotten. Ironically, noe I need to go back again, as I have two prescriptions ready for pickup.

I spent some time working on June's project, but need to go to her place again. What I sent myself was missing the cover! I'm so stumped.

But I was too worn out to do much of anything. Cupping plus acupuncture is exhausting. I really need to rest after that...

Marilyn and I both fell asleep while trying to watch TV tonight. We're just hanging on right now. Her IBS-d has been acting up and she's pretty miserable. (My IBS-c isn't the best, either -- enough said.) What's odd is how absolutely healthy we're eating these days. Salads all the time, and many vegetarian foods...

My new -- old -- Fitbit is awesome! I bought a brand new Fitbit, then decided to see if I could get a new brand for my old one. I got a stunning gold leather one. I love it! Now Marilyn is using my new one. She's getting used to it, so we'll see how it works out.

I just walked out in the backyard in my nightclothes during a downpour to check our tarp. We'd be screwed if it came down! I got soaked, but all is well. I need to really check it out during daylight when it's dry...

Still playing away on our ukuleles. We love them and love playing.

sister sue

Visiting Sister Sue -- My Shower is Fixed!

I'm not getting political (I try to publicly avoid it), but I'm impressed by Senator Kamala Harris. I like hearing her talk about the climate. It gives me hope knowing there are politicians out there who give a damn about making changes.

And that's as political as I plan to get tonight!

Productive day. I visited with sister Sue while Marilyn got her nails done. (I did that last week.)

Sue is worse than I often realize. Just sitting with her makes me sympathetic toward her daily struggles. There are still many flashes of the 'real' Sue. For example, she was correctly answering game show questions that even I failed to know. As I watched/listened as she answered, I could understand why she enjoys those shows. It was a chance to know. To be herself for those moments while she engaged with the TV. (No she didn't know everything -- it's not about that... I'm probably not expressing this well.)

Thank God for TV. For many of us it was a baby sitter, and a way to learn and also a means to be entertained. And this is moreso I think as we become seniors -- and especially for those of us with mental issues. Anyway, Sue is still with us, even when we let ourselves forget.

But I do better understand how Mikki doesn't know Sue -- nor can she, really. I'm doubtful she ever sits with Sue and hears her answering things even I don't know. Yeah, the next minute she'll be talking back to commercials. And during commercials we would try and just chat, but that was hard. She's also not there, I guess.

And she's remarkably difficult about being bathroomed, which is necessary. She's pretty much forgotten how to go by herself and not have a mess. And she ends up not going at all, just soiling her diaper. I know everyone is frustrated by her anger and bad behaviors, but I can only imagine how hard it is when you forget how to get up and use the bathroom properly. I'm sorry for Candy and Mikki, but I'm sorry for Sue, too.

Changing subjects again! Why the hell can't they make an EASY remote for cable??? Maybe especially designed for those who struggle with using remotes. You know, people like Sue need TV so bad! But she's constantly mucking up the whole thing, and then is unable to view for hours until someone comes to fix it. I can't tell you how many times I'm just trying to help her change the channel over the phone, but it's impossible.

Today I made the mistake of putting the TV on mute to speak with Candy (just arriving home). Sue took the remote back and started hitting buttons. Yikes. I couldn't fix it (the remote was different from ours), so Candy had to. You know, if I can't fix it, how could Sue? Frustrating.

Good news! I took a shower today for the first time since Mikki and I (mostly Mikki!) fixed my bathtub. She had broken the seal when cleaning (yeah, it was very black in there... sigh...), and we'd ended up with flooding in Marilyn's closet! Yikes.

This hadn't happened in years. We thought it was because of Marilyn's shower, but discovered it was mine. Mikki cleaned away the old caulk. Then we got Flex Shot and used that (it's supposed to last 30 years). We gave it over 48 hours to dry. Today was the test.

We had no flooding! Both Marilyn and I showered. It was great to be showering in my own bathroom again. (I had stopped as soon as we had reasoned out what was what.) And now its not black! It's very white and clean. I love it.

Shopping went smoothly, in spite of not having my list. (I forgot two things, but one hadn't been on my list, anyway! Haha.) We got piles of salad, now that we've found one I can eat without being sick afterwards. We literally went for years having salad for part of our dinner. I'd get sick all the time, but it's not all that easy to pin down. It took us ages... When we did, we began avoiding salad (obviously). It was a relief not to constantly throw up my meal nearly every day.

I love salad, and I missed it. But it was annoying having people constantly trying to nearly 'force' me to eat it. (I get that I'm fat, but salad was not the easy answer, guys.) Anyway, I'm so glad to have it back in my life. Now we're constantly eating it! But only that one kind!!!

Marilyn and I love our ukuleles and love playing them every day. She had really needed her nails done, as her strumming finger was messed up. It's extremely difficult to get it across that we want these nail strong, short on the left hand and longer on the right. Why is that? We explain and explain it, over and over. Geez. We can't be the only string-instrument players that get their nails done, can we?

Speaking of nails, I need to get Johnnie's done again. He's sticking to the carpet again, though thankfully not as bad as before.

Marilyn had to remind me that this is the time of year I have really bad seasonal allergies. How could I forget a thing like that? Yesterday I thought I was fighting a cold (and losing), today I feel much better. Marilyn pointed out that it could have been allergies... (Duh, Charlie!)

I think that's it for today, friends. Sorry, I rambled again today. But at least I wrote! I hope all of you are healthy and happy!
  • Current Music
    The Beatles - Let It Be

Another Very Long Week Uber-ing Everywhere...

I can't figure out why I'm struggling so hard to get back to my blogging. You all know I love blogging, and writing in general. I used to blog every day, after all (regardless of how boring the content might be).


Before April of 2018. Before my severe shingles. Before I had encephalitis. Before Postherpetic Neuralgia and chronic pain.

Marilyn tells me often that she never goes a day without praising me to someone for my patience and my ability to stay positive and upbeat. What a wonderful thing for her to say to others!

I won't pretend it's been easy staving off depression. Sometimes I wish I could simply have one day without this pain. One day where I could think clearly without straining. A day where I could walk normally again.

This week I was at the office, welcoming Jessica back to work after her medical leave. We were happy to see each other, as we're more than co-workers: we're friends. Believe me, no matter how hard things are for me, I never forget how hard it is for others. I'm rather proud that I've never lost sight of the bigger picture. I'm one person, and many, many others are suffering. It's all around us. But it still sucks to fall way behind when our group walks out for Starbucks...

This was a very busy week.

I Uber-ed all over on Tuesday! Rode with Marilyn to work, took Uber to my acupuncture session. Headed home. Gathered my shopping bags and took Uber to Freddies (our normal one - Peninsula). Back home to quickly unpack the frozen food. Then grabbed the same Uber over to the other Freddies (Interstate) for additional shopping. I made spaghetti for dinner.

I was dismayed to miss Cupping on Tuesday, as I had plans for Thursday with Adeena and wanted to have the quickest possible appointment. I'm certain I set for Tuesday Cupping (I always want it on Tuesday), so somebody dropped the ball. But regardless, I was unwilling to miss it entirely.

My Cupping and acupuncture are serious stuff to me. During the time I've been sick (ever since April 2018), I've done a tremendous amount of research. Basically Western medicine has struggled to find some treatment for PHN (postherpetic neuralgia). They've tried a lot of things - including surgery! - unsuccessfully, I'm afraid.

So I'm heavily medicated for pain (I'm still in pain, but I'm functional with these meds). I take pain meds every six hours (6:00 a.m. | noon | 6:00 p.m. | midnight), with an alarm to remind me. I don't know what I'd do without "Strawberry Fields" playing to remind me. At least it's The Beatles, right? And one of my favorite songs. Otherwise it could really get annoying over months and months... Yes, I agree it would be good to get off opiods. But at this point I can't do it. Yes, I've tried. Repeatedly. But I'm thankful to be functional. Most people have no idea I'm in pain or on meds. I can still do my work for the festival, work on computers, use my iPad and iPhone (constantly!) and carry on conversations that make sense -- well, with some issues.

I'm the first to admit that my Encephalitis gave me some minor brain damage. I'm also the first to be thankful that Marilyn realized I had it and forced the emergency room doctors to check for it. Most people don't survive it, so I'm grateful to be alive. Grateful every single day. I might struggle to find words sometimes (especially when I'm fatigued), but who doesn't? Actually, this past week one very kind Uber driver was gently filling in words for me as we chatted! I'd told him my basic issues, and he should be doing therapy, I think! A lovely guy. But I find the world is full of lovely people. (With a few exceptions.)

As I type this I discover I can't put everything into chronological in my head. But I'll share what pops in...

My friend June has been working on a directory project for her church. Her struggle was to find a new way to make a smaller booklet, rather than large pages. She asked for my help. I reminded her that I'm no wiz with Word, but I'd give it a go. If you know me at all, you know I'll always try to reason out the steps, then share how it's done. The teacher in me will train until I die, I suspect! We made remarkable headway -- I hope to try and wrap it up this weekend. [September 6 was June's birthday. Marilyn took the four of us to dinner to celebrate (June, Jim, Marilyn and me). Jim had turkey, but we three girls enjoyed chicken fried steaks. (It's sort of a group joke how often we all order that!) June turned 86!]

I went to Walmart on Wednesday to buy supplements. Things are cheaper there, thankfully. Even so, it was around $100 to get everything! Ridiculous! But I hadn't had some of them for months, so it was time to go there, finally. Too bad none of these are covered by insurance, considering the doctor prescribes them!

Adeena's plans changed on Thursday, so we didn't get together -- yet again. It's something of a joke that we always make plans, but never end up following through. I guess it's a sign of how positive I am that I always believe we will see each other. But I understand how busy she is. I'm always hopeful things will improve in her life. She's frequently in my thoughts (and prayers). Adeena is a lovely young woman.

Speaking of lovely people, I think the world of Mikki, our new housekeeper. Marilyn decided I simply wasn't up to cleaning. She was very, very kind (gentle) with me, knowing I felt bad I couldn't manage this work. Marilyn told me she needed my energy in other places. Isn't that a wonderful thing to say? So I agreed and have tried not to suddenly start cleaning (I usually manage that, if not always).

Mikki cares for our sister Sue. Sue’s dementia continues to get worse, though she still has good days. Mikki also cleans for Candy while there. This gave Marilyn the idea of hiring her for our house! This is a pretty new arrangement. We've been struggling to find a day that works for both us and her. Currently we're trying Fridays. Mikki and I had a huge task in front of us: Continuing to remove the old grout in my bathtub, then replace this with Flexshot (the much improved newer product). The great thing is all the visiting we do. We chat and share and are really getting to know each other while working. Plus Mikki updates me on things at my sister's house with both Sue and Candy. (Which is how I know about Sue’s continuing failure with her dementia.)

We called ourselves 'crazy,' and laughed very hard as we worked. (Well, she did most all of the work, but I was there to help where I could.) And talking helped the project along. We ended up with a highly improved tub that looked whiter and cleaner. More importantly, it should be well-sealed now. We need some serious hours of drying, but I look forward to the eventual test!

Mikki is a woman who has faced it all and stayed positive. I can't begin to express how she has impressed both Marilyn and me. She's so strong! She's the single mother of two daughters. Her teen still resides with her, and home is no bowl of cherries for Mikki. It's not easy taking care of people and housecleaning all day, then coming home to a house that also needs work. She'd appreciate having her daughter step up and help out. When she does do things, like doing the dishes, Mikki will end up with only partly clean dishes in the dishwasher that her daughter puts into the cupboard!

Marilyn and I also hate that Mikki can't really take a vacation. Her recent 'vacation' was driving back for her (beloved) brother's memorial. (It was so hard for her losing him, as they were very close. And she has no men in her life she can depend on.) I was happy to hear she was taking the weekend off. Imagine the need to work all the time to be able to cover your rent and pay your bills, with a car that may or may not get you where you need to go. She's a tough one!

Mikki and I can be ourselves together and share anything, and do. We laugh and laugh. Sometimes we do bash men a bit (sorry, guys, but it's true!). You boys know you earn that from time to time. And some women have had it harder than others when it comes to trusting and leaning on men.

No, not me, I admit. I always seem to have some man helping me out. Good friends! I'm surrounded by them. Again, Mikki is a lovely person. I'm glad to know her.

Thursday's Cupping hurt like a bitch (I don't mean to offend, but that's really the best way to express it). Interesting note: Sheridan had told me the bruises you get with Cupping would grow fainter over time, which has proved to be true. But this week I was really playing tricks on myself to hang in there. No, I never even considered ringing the bell. I'm still me, guys, and I grit my teeth and endure.

This is the longest blog ever! Even from me, the person who is the famed long-winded (and boring) blogger!

Can't leave out going to the Clown Corps Awards Dinner, however. Many clowns (not in character or makeup), many family members and many pizzas -- plus many awards. Marilyn was presented with a jellybean gumball machine with a plaque, as the person who began this popular program. We all got jellybeans, plus baseball caps! Nice.

If you've stumbled across my blog and are looking for more information about PHN, I am very well-read on the subject. I'm glad to 'discuss' it in greater detail, or talk more about the medications and Eastern treatments. I also have a wonderful paper that discuses it that I even carry around in case someone wants to reads it. I was delighted to discover it after months of research efforts.

I'm know I'm not the only one dealing with PHN. I'd love to help people who are out there not knowing what to do.

Marilyn and I ate dinner at 10:00 again yesterday, as she worked extremely late (again). She was so tired after an extremely busy week. She's so hard working.

We made it to the weekend! Unfortunately Marilyn is having asthma today (no idea why). She's really suffering. I'm happy to say she's asleep right now. She needs the rest, anyway.

The anniversary of Abbey Road is fast approaching. Couldn't end a blog without mentioning The Beatles! I could do an equally long blog just about them, you know. Oh, and no mention here about ukuleles! Soon, I promise.

And so ends one of my longest blogs ever. (grin) Happy weekend, dear friends.