25 December 2021

Covid Christmas - A Three Act Play

 Opening Scene/last night/right before bedtime:

Most of our presents are wrapped and organized for the morning.  Organized in that most of them need to go next door for the kids.  My office looks like Hallmark and the UPS store projectile vomited all over it.  Boxes, wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, everything.  

My plan was to keep the majority of the house clean and just let my office by like a large-scale Monica's Closet.  Mostly that worked.  The flaw in the plan was that I work from home now.  I don't have a giant desk to wrap presents anymore.  Instead, I would take the present(s) out to the dining table, wrap them, and put them under the tree.  Rinse and repeat a gabillion times.

This worked well until I got tired and a little overwhelmed.  I left the gift cards for the kids to the very last.  I had bought bags and boxes of candy to hide them so the presents had weight and sound to them.  What I didn't factor was boxes.  I only had big boxes.  When I went to bed, they were lined up on my desk with sticky notes with the kids names.  Oh, and I had both over-bought and under-bought candy.  I couldn't evenly distribute the candy among the five bigger kids.  Sweet Baby Nephew already had his and so did They - our non-binary nephew.

I told Kevin that I didn't need to sleep in this morning. (this is called foreshadowing...) that I had to solve the box problem and wrap them, I wanted to vacuum the house, and straighten everything up before his parents came over for presents.  No problem, he told me.  The parents won't be moving around early.

Act Two:

He mostly let me sleep in, but not too late. I was in the shower when there was knocking on the door.  Always a good feeling.  Kevin doesn't hear the door because he has hearing loss so I'm leaning out of the shower, yelling his name over the water, and through the house. 

It was his dad, bringing over gifts for later. he assured Kevin that his mom was sleeping and it would be hours before they would come over.  I hurried and got myself ready, then figured out the wrapping issue for the kids.  Luckily I hoard decorative boxes so I emptied the candy into those then buried the gift cards in the boxes, wrapped the boxes and we're done.  Except now I have extra bags of candy.  I found the only two gift bags that I possess, put them in them, and voila.

We loaded the remaining presents into bags, put on boots and coats because it snowed overnight. (hooray!!)  Kevin opened the door for us to leave and....there stands the parents.  Because OF COURSE.  They had made their way from their house THROUGH THE SNOW to ours.  And without checking with us first.

Kevin froze, standing still in the doorway, while I lightly cursed under my breath much like the baby jesus intended.  He sprung into action and brought them into the house - because they're both exhausted now - and got them settled on the couch.  THEN he announces "We'll be back in a minute"  Now it's my time to freeze because umm, Kev? we're leaving your parents alone in the house?  Seems rude but okay.

We walked next door with our presents in time to see Niece, Nephew and They for a few minutes so that was nice timing.  Then we came back to begin our Christmas festivities.  I'm trying not to obsess that the office is a mess, that I was going to sanitize the bathroom for them, and that I hadn't even thought of snacks yet.  But I'm in it now.

Kevin and I got dried off, dried off Lucy and gave her extra treats because, oh yeah I didn't mention THEY BROUGHT THEIR DOG.  If we ever wondered about if Lucy would like a partner, the answer is an emphatic No Thank You.  She's not mean to other dogs but she did spend her time hiding behind Kevin in his chair:

I started to get stuff organized and thought about getting snacks when I turned to spot their dog POOPING ON THE CARPET.  It's a little dog, like five pounds and the poop was a big dog size.  AND she had already pooped in our walkway on the way over here.  

So now I'm trying not to react, trying not to get grossed out, and keeping an eye on Kevin, whose blood pressure was somewhere in the atmosphere at this point.  We tag teamed the clean up and tried to just pretend it never happened.  Meanwhile his dad kept repeated that he was going to take the dog home yet didn't move.  Finally, after clean-up was completed, he wanders back over to the house to put the dog away.  

He finally returns and now we were just starting to think about how to do presents when there was someone at the door. Because you know what? WHY NOT.  It was Kevin's brother and...wait for it...their brand new puppy.  We have now become an Everyone Loves Raymond very special Christmas episode.

So, pause:

Kevin's brother NEVER EVER comes to our house, let alone inside.  Now I have to flip into Be Pleasant, Be Inclusive mode.   I invited him to sit in my chair and I moved the dining chair next to Kevin, which was better anyway.  Nope, gotta make it weird: he sat behind everyone at the dining table "because of the dog".  I so, so, so wanted to say "What's the worst that can happen? It poops on the carpet?"  But I did not and I want a cookie.

And continue...

We start to distribute presents and Kevin can't read the labels so I jumped in and started dealing out presents like a card game.  Finally, everyone is ready and his mom just sits there, bewildered.  She has used every ounce of her energy and brain power to get to this moment and now she's over whelmed.   

Kevin started it off by opening the present that his brother gave him (we chose names) then things started rolling okay.  It turns out that my sister-in-law sent over a gift from them so the gifts would be balanced.  It's a coffee mug with Kevin's photo on it.  Two things to know: Kevin hates having his photo taken and this one is at a Mexican Restaurant, for his birthday, WEARING A SOMBRERO.  Epic.  

So, now the presents are all opened and everyone is just chatting amongst themselves for a minute.  Kevin, who can't exist in clutter is all "Whelp, let's clean this up."  which made me laugh and wince at the same time.    On "normal" Christmas, this is my f-i-l's favorite part.  But Kevin has assumed the mantle this year because 2021.  We separated all the plastic from the paper and rounded up everything in the mud room.  Kevin took the first batch out and I continued cleaning up.  I walked into the mud room to set boxes down and I hear a noise. A noise that sounded like water.

There is my f-i-l peeing in the common folk bathroom and he didn't close the door.  Just left it about halfway open.  Kevin returns and didn't notice so when he turned around, I did that spousal silent communication that you develop over the years to get him to look.  Again, he just freezes. Stares for one beat, his eyes widened then I could actually see him take a deep breath.  He just picked up boxes and went back outside. His dad followed shortly thereafter.

Now it's just my mother-in-law and me, which is fine.  I began to gather up their presents and get them organized so it was easy to carry them. Took the plastic and tags off, put the boxes away, etc.  She's clearly worn out and a little confused at this point.  

Then my f-i-l returns and announces "It's time to go home"  Umm, okay.  He continues to stand in our kitchen, repeats himself, then stands there.  My m-i-l told him to come sit down for a few minutes to visit but he just says "I'm all wet"  No explanation or follow up.  Just "I'm all wet"  (because snowing, I'm hoping/assuming)  She indicates that he just got tshirts, jeans, and a flannel shirt for gifts and he could change clothes.   I'm thinking "Sigh....now she's coherent..."  But he is steadfast, it's time to go home.

Kevin comes into the house and is all What's Happening?  His dad repeats "It's time to go home."  So Kevin flips into combat mode and we try to get everyone headed out the door.  HERDING KITTENS.  My gawd.  Where's my purse? Where's my coat?  Where's my cup?  How are we taking the presents home?

Finally, we get them out the door.  By the time we are halfway there (75 feet, maybe) I hear Kevin ask his mom "Can you make it?" and she says she doesn't think so.  He shifted his body to bear more of her weight and basically carries/shoves her the remainder of the way.  He got them both into their house, put the presents on the table, and I'm pretty sure they were still talking when he closed the door and walked away.  He had hit his Dealing With the Parents Limit.


We returned to our nice, quiet, cozy house and just took a deep breath.  Levin sat down and admired his presents. Then I could see he was getting a little antsy.  "Do you want to go out to your shop and play with your new toys?"  You could SEE the relief "If you don't mind..." as he's standing and gathering his stuff.  He had had his limit and I was actually looking forward to some peace myself.

I finished cleaning up and putting stuff away then decided I would go outside to enjoy the snow for a little bit.  Lucy and I walked around the neighborhood and I took photos while she hunted.  Then cold and wet, I came inside and began to write this.

Kevin phones about ten minutes later "The kids are outside, playing in the snow. Come out."

I booted and coated up again and headed out onto our deck and down into our yard, which now has about five inches of snow.  The kids were all playing in the lower property, trying to figure out how to sled without sleds. Flashbacks to about ten years ago when they were little and spent the whole day out sledding.



One of the boys asked me "How would you describe us as we were ten years ago?"  It's such a thoughtful and deep question that it took me a second to absorb it.  "Unstoppable" I told him, "You guys were out here playing so hard, in whatever way you could, with whatever you could."  He seemed to like that answer.

Slowly everyone made it back next door, except the two younger boys.  One complained that his hands were cold and he wanted to go inside.  His brother stopped, stripped off his gloves and gave them to him.  Cue to me getting misty-eyed watching this happen.  They're such good, kind boys, I told Kevin later.

Finally we all returned to warm houses.  I made myself a mocha and sat down to finish this.  

Now an hour later, we've had dinner delivered by the Nephew and have full bellies.  Kevin is dozing and watching television while Lucy sleeps in front of the fire.  I am in my office feeling mellow and cozy.  The m-i-l phoned to thank us for the "perfect, peaceful Christmas" and to apologize for their dog again.  Kevin had her on speaker phone just in time for a gunfight on Yellowstone to break out so we hurriedly finished the conversation. They too are cozy in their home with fully bellies.

For our second Covid Christmas, it was actually pleasant with dashes of crazy.  

I hope this finds you mellow and cozy as well, Happy Holidays

24 December 2021

Merry Happy Holidays


Merry and Happy Holidays to you.  

May it find you safe, healthy, and happy.  Spend it with people you love or in your own company, whichever is best for you. May these days bring you a little peace.

22 December 2021

Frock This Tree

 As a young child we didn't have many Christmas tree ornaments.   To add to this: my parents disagreed on how to decorate a tree Because Of Course They Did.  AND my dad wanted a Charlie Brown type tree - sparse and branches way apart. 

So instead of garland we had a cloth, faded, used-to-be-red, rope. Tinsel was not allowed because reasons.  I don't have any memories of "special" ornaments; mostly glass globes that had clearly seen better days. I'm sure there were others but I just remember the scratched glass globes.

The only photo I have of the tree, in probably about 1974

Oddly, my dad would also get a tree for us kids that was in our collective room. But this was only when I was very young, under the age of six or so.  I have zero recollection how it was decorated but it was probably with whatever handmade ornaments we brought home from school.  As in "Those are nice but put them on your tree."

The next part you call me a liar and that's okay.. 

My dad quit his job at the State Transportation Department to start-up a garbage company with his alcoholic best friend, who fronted the money and my dad did the grunt work. (you can imagine the drama)  So my dad was a garbage truck driver for a little while; he was many jobs for a little while.

This job, as you imagine, included going to the dump.  One Christmas my dad brought home discarded ornaments from the dump. "They were just laying there." I remember him saying. Ornaments..FROM THE DUMP.

So, of course there were broken ones.  My mom fished out the good ones and told us to be careful.  Well, we were young, probably ten and five years old so we weren't as careful as we could be or that we were even able.  And we broke a few and she was annoyed and that's just the holiday enjoyment one hopes for.

In that stash was also garland, the tinselly kind.  Of course it was all different lengths and didn't match but we didn't care because TINSEL.  We put it onto the tree and all the Who's in Whoville rejoiced.

Yes, my dad was annoyed.  The red rope returned the next year, in addition to the piecemeal tinsel garland.  Red, silver, green, and blue if you're curious about the colors. All varying lengths so they would not wrap around the tree.

So, with that story a person can understand that I Do Not Play when it comes to our Christmas tree.  I always want one bigger than we have room for.  Kevin always patiently rolls his eyes and makes it happen.  

I have too many ornaments and continue to buy more each year.  They range from simple to flashy, expensive to dollar-store.  Old and new.  I have bells from when I was married to satan.  I bought two sets for our very first Christmas tree, which now I can't even remember, and brought them with me when I left.  It's an odd thing to keep but it's not about him or that time, I just like them.

At least they fit in one box...if you consider a tote a box

Super fancy ornaments and bells from the before times

We have ornaments from Kevin's childhood that were his grandmas.  I love them like they were from My grandma

There are also plastic candy canes & another elf
but those were already on the tree

We also have a spark plug on our tree.  You just thought Wut? or "Oh, of course, they have racecar" but no.  Kevin's best friend had this idea and we started doing it when another best friend passed away just before Christmas a few years ago.  It always surprises me when I take it out of the box then it makes me happy sad. (Karl, we speak your name)

Then finally one funny story to lighten up this place.  (unintentional pun!)  The other day I set Rosie the Robot to cleaning the kitchen/mud room and then went into my office to work.  Probably an hour later, I went into the bedroom and thought I saw a flash.

Well, I had a pout because something like that could be a symptom of the vision thing.  A few minutes later, I walked out of the bedroom and into the living room.  To find that Rosie had gotten into an argument with the tree.  The tree was now in display mode, flashing all the colors and all the ways.

I had to crawl under and nearly behind the tree to retrieve Rosie who had retreated to a far corner to enjoy her handiwork, and to reset the tree from disco-mode.  Sometimes the universe is funny and reminds you to get over yourself.

And that, my friends, is the origin story of our Christmas tree.

18 December 2021

This is All Over the Place

I started this TWO weekends ago but I'm rolling with it.

It's Saturday and I woke up not feeling stabby and disappointed so that's a good sign. 

Kevin has apparently...said with complete amusement...decided that it's time we can joke about the diagnosis.  I was out in the shop with him last night to see progress on his big project.

He was doing something fine-motor and needed his glasses.  He sighed heavily, "I'm just saying Take Care of your eyes so you can see."  At first, I did exactly what you probably did; somewhere along the lines of WTAF did you just say.  

But he has a look when he's been facetious and I happened to catch it.  Then I laughed.  You have to have thick skin to be married to Kevin sometimes.  But this was his way of saying Enough.  

When I went to sleep last night, today's plan was to put up the Christmas tree.  It's now 4:00 pm on Saturday and I have...pulled apart Monica's Closet. Well, what had happened was...

I need a box to store all my work office stuff.  I just have a sneaking suspicion that next term I will need to be at the office.  So my lamps, artwork, desk stuff that are duplicates, etc. are being boxed. BUT I don't have a box that's adequate.  So, pause that project.

Chaos that is begun when I open the door to
Monica's Closet.

I took down all the Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and boxed them up; only to find that they don't fit in one tote anymore.  Now I need one more tote.

Trying not to be daunted, I continued.  I have one cardboard file box that has held the remnants of my scrapbook project.  I dumped it out onto the floor of the office, which could be categorized as brave or stupid, you decide.  It was both, because:  I ended up putting photos into a photo album, culling even more stuff, then stuffing it back into the closet.

Fast Forward almost exactly 24  hours:

Kevin and I went to dinner last night with his BFF so this enabled me to get two big things off of my list:

We bought two totes to solve the above issues.  Although one tote now holds the files, file dividers, etc. from the file cabinet.  I don't have the patience to undo it right now or go buy another tote.

We bought casters for the filing cabinet that is always in the way and now, bonus! I don't need because my work has gone paperless.  The casters make it - duh - movable so I can put it in Monica's closet and move it whenever I need to.  Put this on the list of Things That Should Have Happened Years Ago.

This brings me to the Christmas Tree.  Because of course it does, this is how it began.

First, a recap:

We bought a fake tree last year when the tree place where we usually go wasn't open because of Covid.

We also bought me a new chair last year and put it where there wasn't a chair before.  And a standing lamp.  Oh, and we moved the china hutch to the opposite corner.  We've managed to create both more space and less space.

Which brings us to the coffee table.  (keeping up? No? seems reasonable)

We have a live edge coffee table that is old (35-ish years) valuable, and the nicest piece of furniture in our house.  It's also huge and it also doesn't quite match anything else in our house.  We have threatened to give it away or put it in storage but we just can't quite let go.  No matter what we do though, it's in the way and yells "HI! I'm a Coffee Table!" as soon as you walk into the house.  

Well, we bought a frame for the television and we're going to mount it on the wall.  Then the nice entertainment center that we spent $cough a few years ago will go away and the table will go underneath it.  Like an art piece.  When is that supposed to happen?  This weekend.  Has Kevin mentioned it? Nope.  One of his contractor guys is reportedly coming up to help him.

Right now he's in the shop with the fabricator for the racecar and has been most of the day. He's already been on "errands" this morning (getting my birthday card. He has no subterfuge skills)

I've already been to town as well.  I was supposed to finish shopping yesterday and my brain went "you know what? Nope. Not today" which is always just fantastic.  Instead I mostly finished today in the pouring down rain.  We're going out to dinner and I have one pick-up at the target then I'm done.

What else?  Oh, how this started. The tree is up and decorated.  It had a little tiff with Rosie the Robot the other day.  I came out of the bedroom and it was in display mode: flashing, changing colors, etc.  I had to crawl under the tree to disentangle the both of them then find the switch to turn off the disco lights.

The house is decorated but a little low-key this year.  It was kind of an energy thing when I began and as I mention every year: this house shrugs off Christmas decorates like a toddler wearing a hat.  I persevered and put out about 75% of the decorations.  INCLUDING my office because I work here now, which is both festive and strange. 

So, then...sigh.  My birthday.  Because pandemic, we can't go on an adventure like previous years. I thought about it and we're going to go driving on an off-road trail that goes to a lookout over the entire valley.  It's five minutes from the house and we have NEVER been.  Then we're going to an old junk shop by the post office and to a tiny little restaurant in the cutest little artist-colony town you've ever seen. (Edison, WA)

Kevin was all "Are you *sure* that's all you want to do?" and I'm all yep.  And he's all "Okay..."
I should have known that it went too easily.  The other night he said "I was thinking..." which is marriage speak for "You're not going to like this idea"  

"We should go see your mother and take her a Christmas present on your birthday."

Luckily he was on the phone but he got the gist of my feelings when I replied "Why ya gotta be like that?"  In his most patient tone and ending in a loud voice "Because that's what NORMAL PEOPLE DO."  There was discussion about it and about it again and we're going.  With all the holiday spirit I can muster: fml.

But Christmas cards went out earlier than they ever have ever so that is happy. 
Shopping is mostly done so that is happy.
Tree is up and that is happy.
Everyone is healthy and that is happy.

The rest of it...well, 2021 can die in a fire. Meanwhile, here's a photo of Lucy dreaming about all the squirrels Santa is bringing her:

10 December 2021

It Just Felt Like Four Days

 I follow the weather via a local facebook page.  It is almost always correct.  Where we live, the weather reports are often based out of Seattle, with our area included.  Sometimes it's accurate, sometimes it's not.  My weather said it would snow today.  Kevin's weather app said no, it wouldn't.  Guess who woke up to snow?  We did.

Guess whose power went out just as I was standing up from my desk to go shower at 8:00 this morning? Yeah, mine.

I always give it a minute before reporting it because often enough it will pop back on. But not so much this morning.  I made the report and the automated service predicted a 10:30 am restoration time.  Okay, that's not too bad.  Other than the not shower thing.

This isn't my first experience with no electricity.  A few years ago we went for FOUR DAYS, which was remarkable in it's suckitude.  Four Days  Click the link for the original post and the three subsequent  following posts.

This is where I say that Kevin spent part of his vacation making sure that the parents generator was serviced and ready to go in case this happened.  When I checked, I could hear it happily whirring away, keeping them warm and with lights.  Usually he comes home to care for the parents but it wasn't an option today, he had two meetings that couldn't be missed.  Since the Four Days thing though, we have a pretty solid process in place.

At 8:00 am, it's still not quite light yet.  I brought down my kerosene lamps to see if I could use them to read by.  Well, it's been years since they were in use and they were dusty and sticky.  The wicks needed replacing and does kerosene go bad?  What I'm saying is that it wasn't successful.  And the house now smelled like kerosene.

Okay, well, we know I have candles. I went to the cupboard where they live(d) and no candles.  Then I remembered where I put them and was good to go.  Until about a year ago, there was a radio in the bathroom.  But it wasn't being used anymore so I took it out.  It's battery powered so I kept it...in Monica's Closet.  So I had to dig through it - in the dark - to get it because the battery-powered light was no where to found.  Now we have candlelight and music.

I remembered the not-showering thing from Four Days and went to address that issue.  Changed clothes, the cringingly named whores bath (read the Four Days post, it's explained there).  I have dry shampoo and used that with some success.  It wasn't a warm shower but at least I felt a little better.

Then I played solitaire dominoes at the dining table and read some magazines. I tried reheating my coffee on the stove with some success. I tried to not think about the food in the refrigerator and freezer that I couldn't get to and instead had a banana and peanut butter & crackers. Add Kevin phoning every thirty minutes for a status update and that's how most of the day went.

10:30 went by and no power.  I phoned the power company and the time had been bumped to 12:30; frustrating but no big deal.  I did some chores, went outside with Lucy for a while, then finally landed on the couch.  A quick snoozle was interrupted by my father-in-law wanting to know if I wanted to start the generator yet.  I looked at the clock and it was now 1:05 pm, thirty-five minutes past the SECOND restoration time.

I told him I would let him know and that I would phone the power company again.  The automated system made me re-report the outage.  That didn't feel good.  I'm already trying to squelch the ptsd from the Four Days without Power thing.  I then hit all the buttons until I got a real live person.

I explained what had happened AND that the last time the restoration time kept being changed, we were out of power for FOUR DAYS.  She was properly horrified and assured me that it wouldn't be that long.  Oh, and now the restoration time was 6:30 pm.  

Again, trying to squelch the ptsd, I did the rote "There are elderly folks who live on the road. One of which requires oxygen and two that are medically fragile.  If this is going to be A Thing, we need to know."   She was sympathetic but could provide very little insight.

Then I walked next door to make sure they were still okay.  My father-in-law insisted to start the generator for our house. Kevin was coming home in an hour or so and I really wasn't worried about the generator, but the f-i-l insisted. Luckily, I had notes on my phone for the process because this is a task that he's no longer able to do.  He's 84 and has had significant cognitive skills loss.  It's terrible but now we know.  Eventually, the generator was started and I had heat again. And a lamp.  Because he won't take no for an answer.  

I phoned Kevin with a question when my f-i-l gestured.  "Ask him to bring gas home."  I repeated the request and Kevin pauses.  "I...don't...have...a...gas can.  I'm at WORK."  Now this is a two-fold problem: whenever something needs gas - lawnmower, tractor, whatever - it's our gas that gets used; because of course, the b-i-l never has gas.  Also we had to literally and actually tell my f-i-l to stop putting gas cans in the back of their van to get filled.

This is one of those Fix Your Face times.  I had to not react to Kevin's response while my f-i-l was right there.  "Okay, f-i-l can maybe call your brother Who Gets Home Earlier Than You, that he needs to get gas for the generator."  My f-i-l was a little shruggy because they know they can't count on the b-i-l. But if we don't make him step up, he doesn't.  And I can get out to get gas so it wasn't an EMERGENCY, it was just the principle of the thing.

It had been about fifteen minutes of the generator running when my m-i-l phoned.  I had a little panic as I answered, thinking the f-i-l had over-exerted himself.  No, no, they were just curious why their television wouldn't work.  They plugged it in but it wouldn't connect to the satellite. Well, because their televisions are on our system and my satellite does not have power.  

I told her that I would see if I can power up my satellite without running a daisy chain of electrical cords and would let her know.  Then Kevin called because it had been thirty minutes.  I explained what had happened and he was all  "Umm, I think they can MANAGE."   I just laughed and said "Then you tell them."   Turns out, I couldn't so they didn't have television after all. "It's okay, honey, we were just curious" she says when I break the news.  

Now, the water thing.  If there is no power, there is no water or sewer.  We have buckets of water outside to flush the toilets so that part was taken care of.  I have bottled water stored in the pantry so that was taken care of.  Usually, if it's stormy enough to risk losing power, I will fill one or both of the bathtubs.  Because this was a surprise, I didn't.  I brought in snow to melt in the sink if I need to wash something, true Little House on the Prairie style.

All the while this is happening, and in addition to Kevin's calls, I posted on social media and messaging my friend with updates.  Because these things are in important to do when you don't have power and you should conserve the battery on your phone.  So, maybe it was good that the generator was running.  Also, I kept using the flashlight on my phone instead of the actual flashlight.

Oh, and the internet.  I only have a little hotspot that works if the power goes out and it's only until the battery dies.  I had already called out to work but I kept having the impulse to go on the laptop and work.  Then I'd remember I didn't have internet, check on my phone, and rinse and repeat.

At one point, I thought "I'll get the truck out of the driveway and take Lucy to get coffee and treats, maybe charge my phone.  THEN I remembered the last time we drove in the snow to get coffee.  Snowplow and a totalled truck.  So, we stayed home.

Then without warning, the house roared back to life.  Three hours ahead of the scheduled time.  I happily went around the house undoing all of the above and continued my life as scheduled.  EXCEPT, the power coming back on meant I had to make dinner.  Gotta give to get, I suppose.

I didn't publish this post this morning because I wanted to add photos.  But I needed to go shower.  I went into the bathroom, which the door had been shut to conserve heat yesterday, and saw this:


08 December 2021

I Do Not Have The Skills for This

 How's the whole vegetarian thing going, you might be wondering.  Well, it's a process.  I tend to be an All or Nothing person so I have to like Not do that.  

I haven't had red meat since the diagnosis. Until.  Until I made spaghetti and meatballs last night, because my mother-in-law requested it. (surprises happen every day)  I ate one meatball without thinking about it then ate half of the other.  Yep, paid for that at 2:00 this morning.  Super.  So my body is clearly a fan of the no meat thing.

However, I had to decide that dinner has to have chicken or turkey still.  I barely have the skills to cook for both of us, let alone make a dinner for Kevin and a dinner for me.   I did have a gardenburger while everyone else had a burger the other day - I would like a sticker, please - and I like fish-wiches when it's time for fast food.

During the day, I do just fine.  It's just me and the choices are limited to what I have here in the house.  I have yogurt, and smoothie stuff.  Cereal and oatmeal.  Peanut butter and cheese.  (not together, eww.)  I'm not a big fresh fruit fan, other than a banana that I make myself eat every day.  Vegetables are okay and I do enjoy having a salad at lunch now.  

As a "Meh, I'll give it a try" I bought Just Crack an Egg.  I can only have eggs sporadically but I thought it might be good to switch it up or that Kevin would like them.  It's a protein but it's processed so really kind of a wash.  

So, if you don't know: it's a plastic bowl with little packets of potato, cheese, and bacon.  (or sausage)  You take all of that out, crack an egg...thus the name...into the bowl and mix in the other ingredients.  This is where the wheels fall off.

I couldn't get the egg to crack.  The edge of the provided bowl flexes and isn't conducive to cracking an egg.  Well, for someone with my skills, maybe.  The first egg I broke went into the sink, about as expected when I try "cooking" something new.  But I persevered and mixed it all up.  Put it in the microwave with the broken handle and waited.

It was....mushy?  It was one of those things that taste better than they look.  I think the intention is a quiche-like texture.  Also, it tasted mostly of cheese and bacon.

Because of the texture, I think it's a hard pass for Kevin.  I did eat the remaining one, only this time adding two eggs and scrambling them before adding the other ingredients.  It was significantly better so Just Crack Two Eggs and Scramble should be the name.  

It's not a no.  It's a meh.
This is the one egg one

Then it comes to smoothies.  Swistle was helpful with ideas and made me realize that I had forgotten honey and that's why it was a little bitter or yogurty.  The smoothies have been mildly successful.  I don't hate them but I'm also not skipping to the kitchen for one.

I made a mango/banana/strawberry one the other day and I liked it.  Until I rinsed the glass out in the sink and noticed the remnants looked like vomit.  (too many years in Early Childhood Education)  It will be a little bit before I make that one again.

Today's issue was the yogurt.  It's always the yogurt.  All the smoothie recipes say use plain yogurt. I am not a fan. Today I decided to use fruit yogurt the same as the frozen fruit.  When I opened and began to dump it in the blender, I thought "That looks...soupy...."  But the thought didn't complete before the action.  I checked the expiration date and it was a week past due.  Because why not.  I dumped it out and started again.  This time with success.  The honey and flavored yogurt made the difference!  Hooray!

So, not winning. Also, not losing.  

27 November 2021

Ten Topics, Twenty Minutes

 Kevin made me phone my mom on Thanksgiving.  My inner toddler was so pissed but I did it.  He actually said he wasn't going to do something I needed until I did it.  We are a match made in heaven, let me tell you.  I resentfully phoned my mom and hoped on the fourth ring that it was going to the answering machine.  Yes, answering machine. Not voicemail.  

But she answered, sounding flustered but pleasant.  After the introductory pleasantries, she announced that no one was there yet and how nice it was.  Umm, Happy Thanksgiving? She went on to explain how "everyone" got in her way last year and she "might have" said something.  Thanks Covid, that I missed that.

I could tell that she was going to be on a roll so I started to make a list while silently flipping off Kevin, who was in the other room.

The hummingbirds had repeatedly emptied her feeders but now they're not.

The Santa Anna winds are kicking up in Southern California, where my aunt recently moved into assisted living, and she's "allergic" to them.  

This prompted a soliloquy about killing the electricity in California, during the winds despite it being Thanksgiving.  She was pro no-electricity and offered ideas how millions of Californians could handle the holiday.  

Which then lead into logging, as it does.  It took almost a minute for me to understand that she was now talking about property way above her house that had two new houses which can be seen now that the leaves are gone.

Then she wandered off to talking about another new neighborhood in the community.  She mentioned a family member who used to live there that I didn't realize has a SCHOOL named after her.  I scribbled down "Look up 'Ma Rawley" so I can verify what she said.

It's now been about fifteen minutes, tops, so we're making good time I guess.

Because of all the rain and flooding, she told me about the damage that a landslide did not far from her house.  She's told me this before and I read the news, so I kind of mentally wandered off for that part. Until she asked a direct question and I had to scramble to figure out what she just asked.

She asked about our friends in Canada and if they'd been impacted by the flooding in Abbotsford.  It was odd that she remembered all detail that but it was nice that she did.  I explained how they were mostly fine without having to go into great detail.  Because it's a mess up there and there's too much detail to go into with her.

She sequed into Christmas Eve from there.  It sounds like she wants to cancel the "festivities" at her house and just have Christmas Day dinner at my brothers.  The RELIEF that I felt was surprising.  She said she would talk to the boys and let me know.  Now I'm praying to sweet tiny 8 lb. 6 oz. baby jesus that they agree.

Finally, she asked me about getting a flu shot.  I'm allergic to eggs so I can't have one and she asks every year.  Then she shares that she hadn't gotten her Covid booster shot yet because my sister-in-law hasn't scheduled her one.  I counted to five and just let it go. I have enough on my hands with my own family.

Then she sighed and said "It's been twenty minutes and I'm sure you just called to talk for five but that's what you get." then laughs at her own joke. She wished the family Happy Thanksgiving and said "I have to go finish before everyone gets here and I can't do anything."

Call your mother, he said. It's the holidays, he said.  It's what normal people do, he said.  

25 November 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Smoothies and Snoopy

 Apparently when I receive bad news, I become a pouting teenager.  

I've done the bare minimum both here at home and at work.  I pouted on the couch for a few days.  I splurged on needless purchases.  I've since mostly bounced back but I'm not Full Strength Surely just yet.

One of the joys of having an alphabet brain AND being married to someone with an alphabet brain, is that I can let things slide, house-wise and no one notices.  Working from home makes slacking a little easier. And I can also say that I'm taking a "vision break" and everything is excused. lol.  The pouting was not enough to be worrisome.

The splurging was minimal, as well but not something I'd usually do.  I bought two antique chairs so that I have a set of four chairs for the dining table.  I had plans to buy something used and refurbish them but then found two on the fbook marketplace that I couldn't resist.  It was more than I planned to spend but still not a lot.  Less than what new chairs would have cost.

The seat was hand embroidered by the owner's grandmother

This is perfect for my orange master closet
but it's almost a shame to keep it behind a door.

I went to the big box book store because I needed to do something soothing.  A second-hand store wasn't a choice because Covid is still rampant in the county where it is located.  For the first time ever, I didn't buy a book.  What did I buy?  

Cozy Snoopy blanket & Christmas cards that I don't need

Because Snoopy helps when you're in the dark twisty place.  Prove me wrong.

Update on the Whole Thing: 

I'm working on the smoothies thing.  It's been an experiment for sure.  Kevin, so far, is not a fan.  I've asked Swistle and our friends at the coffee stand for advice. I've increased the amount of salads I've eaten, which isn't terrible but also isn't terribly fun. It's difficult to not add things into the salad for taste that makes it No Longer A Salad though. I made it about a week before I started missing treats but that is to be expected.  I've landed on a during the day system like a charcuterie; with vegetables, crackers, and cheese or peanut butter.

The changes in our eating is a little defeating because we've already made those suggested changes when Kevin got sick.  The challenge now is You can have protein, but not Too Much Protein.  You can have eggs (which I'm allergic to) but not Too Much Eggs.  Rinse and repeat for dairy.  The suggest diet is the Mediterranean diet, which is everything Kevin won't eat.  

The medicine part of it is easy other than taking pills of varying sizes of tiny to huge.  I'm adding some St. Johns Wort into the mix next week.  I've tried it before and didn't enjoy how it made my brain feel all *spangly* but I'll try a little harder this time.

I've ordered another pair of reading glasses, which is ridiculous when it's all going to change in three months but I need another pair.  Which also frustrates me to no end.  I guess all of this will make me extra grateful after the surgeries.  Then I will donate all of my glasses to the Lion's Club for anyone who needs to be able to see the surface of the moon.

Usually I would begin a big project in this kind of situation but I'm kind of out of projects.  My project has been just staying on a schedule.  Lucy insists on that so I understand extra why people suggest having a dog.

That being said, I'm mulling a new color for the mudroom.  I'm leaning toward a Tuscany shade of yellow that I have always liked.  Mulling and action are pretty far apart right now though.


20 November 2021

Weathered the Weather


You may have noticed that the lovely PNW had some record epic rain and flooding.  We are safe and dry and feeling pretty lucky.  The flooding happened all around us but luckily no one we know have been affected by it other than by inconvenience. The last time it rained like this, we helped sandbag the dikes and had family have to evacuate.

Seven inches of rain in three days is way too much.  It was beginning to feel like it was never going to end.  In fact, it's raining again today but not measurably so that's good.  

Live in the PNW they said.  It's beautiful they said.  Three days out of the year, yes.  


12 November 2021

Everything's Fine...

 So, how's it going? you might be wondering.

Well, today I got soaking wet twice.  Once was walkies with Lucy in the rain. I had planned for the rain but the trail was flooded so my sneakers were too.  I had an extra hoodie and was going to change in the truck at the trailhead. But there was a county worker filling puddles with gravel so no peep show for him.  Kevin was horrified "You're wearing a t-shirt underneath, right?"  Umm, no and do you even live with me?   The second time was unloading groceries, the rest of my work office, and all of Lucy's stuff out of the truck while my phone kept notifying me that work needed me.

Yesterday my mother-in-law phoned to let me know that the oil I used in baking my father-in-law's birthday brownies had gone bad.  Actually she said "rancid".  So, that's nice.

It's been non-stop raining and while I don't usually mind it, someone I live with does and has no problem telling me at every opportunity.  He gets a bit of a pass because he works outside but dude, I KNOW IT'S RAINING.  I have windows and skin. The obvious solution is to move but it seems cruel to evict his parents.  (JOKING)  Also, the roof has a small leak.  Lolsigh.

One of my favorite stations on Sirius/XM keeps playing live versions and there are few things that I hate more than live albums/songs.  (super extra first world privilege problem there, I realize)  It just ruins my life in little three-minute increments.

The blender I had to buy - because mine is next door - remains sitting on the counter because I just can't motivate myself to learn how to make a smoothie. Yes, it's not that difficult. Yes, I have all the ingredients. Yes, I am pouting.  Oh, also, I didn't pay attention (surprise!) when I ordered it and it's black. I'm not a fan of black or stainless appliances and everything in the kitchen is white.  It's clearly a symbolism of how things are going.

My engagement ring broke because why not.  I returned to my old/new jeweler in my old work city and he can repair it. Two weeks and $200.  

I know 2021 has been challenging for everyone. In any case, I am not special. I realize that mercury is probably in refrigerator or in gatorade.  (I don't know why that makes me laugh so. Mercury is in Retrograde) It will be better soon. Soonish. Eventually. Probably.

Meanwhile, my work communicates fluently in memes and this is the last one I used, which is really a perfect ending for this post:

05 November 2021

On Becoming A Hippie

This is another one of those posts where I've thought of a few different way to begin.  One way occurred to me just now when I sat down: It's a good thing Lucy broke my nose.

The other one was Kevin and I were talking a few weeks ago while in the office.  He glanced at the bookcase and wondered "What are you going to do with all those books? Just keep them forever?" It's a fair question because more books come in this house than leave.  

I explained that some day I will be old, unable to leave the house, and will have the opportunity to read each them again.  Remarkably, he seemed satisfied, if not a little nostalgic, with that answer.

Then I got a migraine - it's NOT what you're thinking - and it was attributed to Lucy breaking my nose.  Which it was, and then there was something else.  The headache prompted me to call the eye doctor because my eyes have been challenging lately.  I attributed it to working from home and being on the computer way too much.

I have to change eye doctors because mine is retiring.  I'd been thinking about switching anyway and this was just the extra push.  I chose to go to the eye specialist clinic near my work, where my mom also goes.  It feels a little "Take a Number" with patient care but they have state of the art everything.  I don't need them to be my friend.

Two years ago, I had the beginnings of cataracts.  After a consultation, I was told that I had a few years to worry about it but come in if anything changed.  And here we are.

The guy who did all the screenings was pretty cool.  I made a Doctor Who reference and he got it.  He was thorough and good at explaining what all these tests were going to do.  One test took a long time, multiple times, and just seemed like a lot.  I attributed it to it being the eye that is significantly lesser than the other.  It wanders around my head, it has terrible vision, it's basically decoration.

Then the actual specialist came in, did some more testing, looked at the results then did more testing.  He's scribing to the tech in the room and I hear "There's sodfusdofisdflskdfj on the macula."  My ears perked up because that's a thing.  I don't want to hear anything ever about the macula. You'll understand in a minute. He didn't say anything else, finished the test, then began reviewing the results.

Now, because the universe just likes to eff with me, English was his second language.  I would guess he is from somewhere in the Scandinavia area.  He matter-of-factly with a heavy accent begins to explain the results, mentions that the cataracts need addressed and "There is the beginnings of Macular Degeneration."  Matter of fact, almost like I knew it already.  I did not know already.

So, pause.  Macular Degeneration is hereditary and it is rampant among the women on my maternal side.  All of them went blind.  Great grandmother, grandmother, aunts, great aunts. I have been being monitored for years.  

The expectation though is that it strikes in the elder years.  NOT IN MY DOGDAMN FIFTIES.  The doctor even mentioned "Wow, you're Really Young to have this."  I think he meant it as soothing but it wasn't. Also: "Rarely, there is a genetic link and can occur in younger people."

It could be said that I've been waiting for this.  However, I thought I would be in my sixties before having to worry about it.  I had been told "Oh, there will be treatment developments by the time you have to worry about this."  How about No?

Details:  It's like a dirty lens on your glasses but it's on your eye. It affects how the eye communicates with the brain. It is incurable, there is really no treatment, and eventually blindness happens.  But wait, that's not fun enough: the blindness is in the center of your eye.  So you have peripheral vision, until you don't.  AND I have the "good" kind of the disease.  

I made it through the remainder of the appointment, during which because I'm so *lucky* I had to make decisions about the cataract surgery.  This surgery is not a simple one because of my vision so there are variables to be considered.  I will still need to wear glasses for close-up and for the amblyopia.  

It also bears mentioning that the doctor kept referring to it as "Mac Gen" and I felt like I was in a television medical drama.  I get that the name is kind of a mouthful and people tend to abbreviate but ack.  

Now that wasn't fun enough, I had already flipped my brain into combat mode, there was more.  I then had to go with another doctor to schedule the surgery and go through all of the details.  For THIRTY MINUTES, I had to sit and review paperwork and make more decisions, and schedule everything.  And this is just for the cataracts.  This is politely ignoring the other diagnosis.

The cataract surgery happens in two parts, one eye at a time.  Then there is a ton of follow-up visits. Day after surgery, week after surgery, two weeks after surgery, one month after, etc.  I will get new glasses once everything is healed so there will probably/might be a time between surgeries that my vision will be jacked.  Meaning: no driving, etc.  SUPER.  Because this can't possibly go like a normal surgery.

Finally, I was able to leave.  I had been there for two hours.  I sat in the truck, took couple breaths then had a little cry. Because: Fuck.  A minute later, I straightened my shoulders and phoned Kevin.  "How'd it go?" he asked, a little distracted but concerned.

"Not great" I got to tell him.  I heard him power down whatever he was working on to listen.  I explained what happened and he just said "Okay. *deep breath* Okay, we'll just deal with it."  Which is what I would say if the shoe was on the other foot.  

Strangely, when the specialist first told me that I had it, I flashed to the conversation with Kevin about the books.  I better start reading them now, I told myself in that moment.  Then on the drive home I took a few photos of the clouds and that hit me: photography has become one of my favorite things.

Once I got home, I had work to do so I couldn't process or wallow.  I had to just gut through it.  I set all the paperwork aside and just...wait for the pun...avoided eye contact with it.  I visited with a friend later in the day and I don't think I was able to convey the whole thing, I was still in it.

Yesterday I did some research, even though I'm already aware of this disease because of my mother.  The biggest take-away that I had was that becoming a vegetarian can be helpful.  The intake of fruits and vegetables have been proven to help.  So, that's a thing I'll be trying.  There is no capital-M medicine to take for it; but there are vitamins and minerals which are helpful.  I'm actually relieved about that.  

So, I ordered a blender, I made a grocery order, and ordered the vitamins.  Some of which I already take.  I bought a pill organizer today and have it already filled.  Then like a funny little consolation prize from the universe, when I bought the organizer the pharmacist said "It's purple, do you mind?"  I'm all "No, that's one of my favorite colors actually."  It's a little thing but I'll take the metaphorical assist.

Now it's been a few days and I'm starting to bounce.  Every once in a while, like happens in grief, I get sucker punched by the words Mac Gen. I'm trying/not allowing myself to borrow trouble.  I'm not going to think about anything in the future.  I'm just going to think about how I need to learn how to love smoothies.  I'm going to have to become a hippie: vegetarian, exercising, taking vitamins & minerals, being low-key.

Oh, and back to the beginning of this post: without Lucy breaking my nose and causing me headaches, I would have dragged my feet with this appointment.  So, I guess I have to thank Lucy.

01 November 2021

Sing Along Songs Part 2

Still a little headachy so I'm just going to continue this musical journey.

I think I forgot to mention that playlists are so subjective. For me, this is mostly an up-tempo playlist using many of my favorite songs.  Although once I hit a threshold of skipping the song multiple times, I delete it from the list.  Example: Justin Timberlake.  It's just been played SO MUCH everywhere that I'm over it.

I mentioned that I'll get songs from the ticktock and  television.  I use the shazam app then add it to my music app on my phone.  The other resource would be Road Trip Radio on Sirius/XM because it makes these lists seem normal and orderly.  The point being is please, don't think "Oh she's got such eclectic taste."  No, I choose music randomly based on how it makes me feel while being home all day, every day with the radio playing.  If I find myself singing it or worse: dancing, then I add it to the list.

Also, I had the realization that the teenaged me would be horrified at the inclusion of country and dance music and the lack of hair bands on this list. I have realized just how much I like a lot of the New Wave and Punk in the 80's however.

If this isn't enough, I've made a playlist page on the pinterest with the intention of returning and building playlists based from them.  And that's...tsk...adorable.  I will screenshot lists when someone has a favorite song debate/discussion on the twitter.  Someday I'll look at them again.

Meanwhile, play these with the volume up and using earbuds/headphones. I guarantee it will lift your spirts.  Well, unless you hate the song then it won't.

Coldplay- Up & Up

AC/DC - You Shook Me

New Radicals - You Get What You Give

Blondie - Heart of Glass

Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun

Madonna - Music

Train - Bruises 

Big Audio Dynamite - Rush

Imagine Dragons - Follow You  

Kongos - Come With Me Now

Erasure - A Little Respect

The Wild Feathers - Big Sky

Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel of Love

Ellie Golding - Burn -   This one is on the cusp of being deleted

Panic at the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Florence & The Machine - Shake It Out

Tom Petty - Don't Come Around Here  One of my theme songs during the divorcing satan era

Heathens - Twenty One Pilots  (upon hearing this the first time, I was all "Is...is that...do I hear a frog?"

Logan Mize - Better Off Gone

Eagles - Seven Bridges Road  The only live song on my list because I hate live recordings. There's a story behind it.

Pearl Jam - Last Kiss

Eric Strickland & the B Sides - I'm Bad for You  (super country & not my taste but I love it so)

Hugh Jackman - The Greatest Show

Red Rider - Lunatic Fringe

And this one will surprise NO ONE:   Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated

29 October 2021

Sing Along Songs

 While I'm still fighting a headache, here's a lazy post.

I'm wearing headphones so I can concentrate on my work.  It's ridiculous that I'm alone in my own house, in an office with little distraction, and still require headphones so the alphabet brain will stfu.  But here we are.

My playlist is all over the place.  Like "Have you thought of medication?" all over the place.  This list is  my favorites and mostly upbeat.  This is my go-to list most times but specifically when I need motivation/concentration.  Yes, of course I have a "quiet" playlist and a "loud" playlist too.    

Maybe you'll find a song you forgotten about or didn't know and add it to your playlist.  Maybe you'll back slowly away from the computer with a "That chick has lost it..."  A few/many of these songs  I've gotten from Grey's Anatomy and the ticktock app, using the shazam app. (just a handy little tip for you)

The Cars - Moving in Stereo

Dean Martin - That's Amore

OMD - If you Leave

Fall Out Boy - My Songs Know...

Saint Motel - My Type

Barenaked Ladies - Pinch Me and The Old Apartment

The Cure - Lovesong

Frank Sinatra - Ain't That a Kick in the Head

All I Want - We Were Giants

One Republic - Counting Stars

Gomez - How We Operate

Walker Hayes - Fancy Like and You Broke Up With Me

High Dive Heart - Vintage

Boston - More Than A Feeling

Russell Dickerson - It's About Time

Randy Travis _ King of the Road

Michael Jackson - Beat It

Alabama Shakes - Always Alright

Morgan Wallen - Whiskey Glasses

Robert Randolph & The Family Band - Ain't Nothing Wrong With That

AC/DC - Thunderstruck

Nappy Roots - Good Day

Jimmy Eat World- The Middle

The Git Up - Blanco Brown

Sublime - What I Got

Could Have Been Me - The Struts

MKTO - Classic 

Tom Petty - You Got Lucky

Love & Rockets - So Alive

Rolling Stones - Waiting on a Friend

Crosby Stills & Nash - Southern Cross

Pete Townsend  - Let My Love Open the Door

Stereo MC's - Connected

Imagine Dragon - Believer

Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan - God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

28 October 2021

Dumb Injury Olympics

 Okay so you would think that dislocating my pinky finger because I accidentally punched Kevin while getting into bed was a dumb injury.  That would be a fair think.

Or that Lucy somehow heard the command "Okay" to jump down out of the truck when I didn't say it; thusly slamming my hand in the truck door.  That's not necessarily dumb but one that people who knows me in real think "Yeah, that plays."

And that these have happened within a week of each other.  There's that part.  But things come in threes for me.

I present Dumb INjury #3

Remember when Lucy head-butted me a few months ago?  Like, the original dumb injury; getting your nose broken by your dog.

Well, I reset it and thought everything was fine, except for a bruise that wouldn't quite go away along my nose.  

Sunday I had a headache. I attributed it to my eyes being tired, too much screen time, dehydration. Whatever.

Then Monday it ramped up to a migraine.  A vision migraine so no screens and dark rooms.  Again, chalked it up to being tired, too much screen time.  I can only think of one other times I've had a migraine and it was years ago.  

Tuesday it continued, which feels like it shouldn't be.  Nothing had put a dent in it.  Not anti-histimine, no pain reliever, not hot shower and compress, naps. Nothing.  I even wore glasses with an old prescription to try to relieve any eye strain.  It sort of worked, until it didn't.  

I know it's not one of the two possible scary type headaches. I had just been to the chiropractor so it wasn't that.  I am due for an eye exam and a surgery because I have cataracts.  So, I thought "Oh, you so funny universe, getting me to make the appointment by debilitating me."  So I made the appointment but it's not until next week.

Now I'm laying in bed and getting angry because I don't do sickness well.  As I've mentioned multiple times before I get my appropriate emotional responses often wrong.  

Poutingly, I consulted the interwebs.  Now, I'm not Suzy Hypochondria, quite the opposite. I am Suzy Walk It Off.   Also, from all the health issues this family has had, I know to only use the Mayo Clinic website.  This is what I found:

What, pray tell, is a sex headache?
I did not click it.

And then there was this.  This is where I had my A Ha moment.

Sinusitis. Huh. It is exactly like that.  But...I'm not sick. I don't have a temp.  No runny nose, no color in my snot.  So then I consulted the doctor online and she asks "Have you had any recent trauma?"

Umm, you mean, like, maybe getting headbutted by your dog and breaking your nose?  Like, that kind of trauma?  Well, then yes.

I have a sinus blockage from when Lucy broke my nose. Because OF COURSE I DO.

Out came the saline rinse and I spent the next twenty minutes hosing out my sinuses.  The relief was almost instant.  I had to do the same thing yesterday and I was better.  I fully expected to be all better today and I wasn't.  So, I still think that my eyes are a thing... 

In addition to getting head butted by a dog.

25 October 2021

Playing Goldilocks - A What Did Surely Take Apart Now Story

 You know when is a good time to take your bedroom apart?  Not right after a conference that required travel and during a work deadline. 

As always, learn from me. Welcome to today's edition of What Did Surely Take Apart Now?

We have needed a new mattress for a few years.  I would mention this periodically and until recently, Kevin would say that he felt like it was fine.  Neither of us can remember how old the mattress is so that's a good indicator of need right there.  

We distinctly remember that our old mattress broke on the day of a family reunion so we had to leave early and hardy har har har Surely and Kevin broke their bed.  I know it was in the old house so it was pre-2005, which still falls into the it's way past time to replace the mattress timeframe.   But it's one of those things that keeps getting put off by other things.  

But then I spent a week sleeping on an air mattress during quarantine/Covid so our old mattress felt like heaven when I finally was able to return to it.  I forgot that the mattress needed replacing for a little while.

Then I went to Vegas.  And had this wonderful huge bed:

I got home on Thursday then Friday night we went to "just look"; of which we know better.  We don't "just look" at cars or puppies.  It seems mattresses are now added to the list.  We didn't get anything particularly fancy and it was still expensive. Sheesh.  Well, we did pay a little extra so the head and feet raises a bit.  I think Kevin was trying to plan ahead with that decision. He even said "Imagine if someone broke their ankle" with a side-eye.  Well, then someone would have forty-five days of bedrest with using every pillow in the neighborhood.

The kid - because I'm at the age where all the salespeople are children - remarkably didn't try to upsell us.  I have an innate dislike for salespeople and often cannot fix my face.  Also, Kevin has become more direct in the last few years so the kid read the room appropriately.  We tested three mattresses, which is so awkward when someone is looming nearby, and agreed pretty easily which one we wanted.

We left there and went to eat dinner.  We talked about what to do and how to do it.  Kevin wanted to take advantage of the "free" financing and I wanted to not or at least do half and half.  Kevin won out in the way that we financed it but I'm paying it off in large chunks.  

Now, in order to do the financing, it had to be completed online. No worries, I'm a geek and this will be easy.  It was.  Right up until - and I swear this is true - we had to provide proof of life.  Proof of life being a five second selfie video where you turn your head both ways to prove it's indeed you and that you're alive.  Shudder.  

Then, because we plan our lives so well, there had to be an actual phone call to complete the process.  By the time we completed Kevin's part and did mine, the offices were closed.  So I had to set an alarm to wake me so I could phone first thing in the morning to complete the process.  Sigh.  

But it went fine and after going back to sleep for a little bit, I went back to the store and ordered the mattress.  I was ready for "it will take at least a month because Covid" but nope, Monday.  Okay, no pressure.  Needing all new bedding in 24 hours? no worries.  Because why not start a week with your bedroom torn up while working a deadline.

It was delivered and set-up as promised.  They texted my phone the night before with the delivery window, which was surprisingly small.  Then the next day they gave me a thirty-minute warning that they were about to arrive.

I had worked most of the day because frequently mentioned deadline PLUS still tired from the travel. Then afterward, I took apart the bedroom.  I moved the bed stands out of the way.  I propped the mattress and bedspring against the wall.  I attempted to take the frame apart but Kevin must have been annoyed when he put it together because I couldn't loosen the bolts.  

Oh, and both the salesperson and the scheduler mentioned having a clear pathway for the delivery guys.  INCLUDING any pictures on the wall.  OMGNO.  So not happening.  I told both of them "There are tens of photos on the wall, I will have to risk it."  They were careful and not one photo was lost in the process.

All said and done, they were here maybe forty-five minutes.  They took away the old and installed the new and demonstrated how it works.

It actually fits in the room nicely with our furniture so that's good.  I remember when we walked through the model house, the room seemed gigantic and it was because it was set up with only a full-sized bed in a little bit of trickery.  So there was a little panic when we moved in with our queen size and the room shrank.  Now it's shrank a little bit again.  

Remember we bought a bed frame with head and foot board two years ago, just prior to the pandemic.  I liked it so much and I didn't want to replace it.  However, Kevin wasn't a big fan of the footboard because he's tall.  He feels like Ned in the Too Short Bed.

But the frame is queen sized and now we have a king size.  So, to the installers amusement, the headboard is just propped up behind the bed.  The headboard is a little too small but I still like it.  Kevin said it looks fine but it can't just stay propped so he's going to just bolt it to the wall. I mean, no one else is going to live here so might as well.

Shortly after we bought the headboard, I replaced the quilt so it's fairly new.  I tried to make the quilt work because I love it so and I didn't want to spend MORE money.  Unfortunately, it would only work turned horizontally but it's still just a little bit too short and yet, too wide.  Also, the ocd doesn't enjoy that the stripes are vertical. I tried it for a few days and it just made me squint every time I walked into the room. I gave up and ordered a larger one.  

I bought flannel sheets at Kroger the day I ordered the bed and am a little disappointed. The last set I bought there were really nice.   But these are just not great quality and the color is a bland oatmeal. The other options were snowflakes or hunting themes because apparently that's the law if you have flannel sheets.  But I bought another set online and they're heavy and gorgeous.  I tried to screenshot a photo but they look army green instead of deep dark green that they are. 

I have slept well since and will admit that I have gone back to bed for a little nap a few mornings.  I really like having the space in bed, even though I think it unintentionally hurt Kevin's feelings.  I kept explaining that one of the recommendations for people who don't sleep well is a larger bed. (hello, privilege)   AND THEN there's Lucy who can be a bed hog.  ALSO, he had it installed significantly lower so it's not such a big jump for her to jump up or down.  

You would think I was done but I wasn't.  You can't see them well in the photo below but we had antique lamps that were Kevin's grandmothers.  They had a white ceramic base, like a candy dish.  The original shades were frilly and ruffley.  I replaced the shades then used them because they looked fine.  But now with the new paint and now new bed, they stood out in their grandma appearance. Then I brought home my lamps from my office that I haven't fully moved out of yet. But they were too small, so I ended up buying cheap lamps from the amazon. They're mid-century modern and I ended up really liking them.

So, new mattress, bedding and now lamps.  The paint is less than a year old.  I think I'm done now.  
We started with this in 2005:

Yes, that is an old waterbed headboard and frame
I'm a recycler

To this, a truly grownup bed/bedroom: