She’s a bad influence!

My neighbor is 87 years old. We all call her “Momma Joan” because she’s everyone’s mom, or grandmom, or great-grandmom (to the most adorable baby ever born.) Every now and again, I take her shopping with me, because she no longer drives so she doesn’t get to the fun stores that I love. (Hobby Lobby)

Yesterday I had to run some errands, so on a whim, I stopped at Momma Joan’s and asked if she wanted to ride along. I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby for a legitimate reason – to get a to-go cup for Bear to take to work since I can’t find the 7,000 I know we have. (This is why I hate to get organized, I can’t find a bloody thing) She wanted to get a PickMeUp pen for her diamond art, so she was happy to ride along. Of course, we had to peruse the entire store after we found Bear’s cup and her pen.

There were three carts full of yarn, marked down to stupidly low prices.

The last thing I need is more yarn.

I can’t resist a bargain, especially if it’s yarn.

Momma Joan is a bad influence. “Ohh, that’s a pretty color, you could make R a hat!” In my cart it went. “Oh, that would make a nice scarf! Hey! We should make scarves and hang them on trees for anyone who needs one this winter!”

I’m also a sucker for helping people who need a hand up. (Not a handout, there’s a big difference)

Several balls of yarn landed in my cart.

Today I pulled out one of them, a lovely burgundy color, and started a scarf, because I think that Momma Joan has a really good idea. I got about 6 inches done while sitting on the lawn swing, thinking about life. (Life has been weird the last few days) So if you live near me, and you need a scarf this winter, you might just find one hanging from a tree.

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Thinking, learning, reading, writing

I think the shot is finally working but I’m afraid that saying much will jinx it. Let’s just say the pain is manageable and not so constant and there might be an end to this particular tunnel of pain. Or maybe not. I fully expect it to come roaring back, laughing like the demon I picture it to be. (It felt like talons digging into my leg, hence the demon image) (Demons are not allowed in my house but every now and again, one tries to sneak in. Nasty little fuckers) (Sorry, Kristi’s Ma)*

I’ve been reading a ton – as usual. One of the people in this Facebook reading group that Peachy got me to join reviewed The Real Anthony Fauci – Robert Kennedy. I’ve been working on this book for awhile, it’s very interesting but also very heavy, and the print is rather small and tight in the hardback copy so I can only manage a few pages before my eyes don’t want to co-operate any more. However, I’ve read enough to know that it’s extremely well researched, and while you may not agree with his conclusions, I think his approach is without reproach. (I did that on purpose)

Another member of the group dismissed it out of hand as “GOP progaganda, written by a crazy conspiracy theorist.” I asked if she had read it. Her response was that she didn’t need to to know it was all lies. Well, that’s one way to open yourself up to knowledge, I guess.

I like to read lots of things. She asked if I would attend a KKK rally to “learn about it” after I commented that you really can’t learn if you close your mind. I said no, but I’d read about one. And really? A KKK rally is comparable to reading a book that might question your beliefs? Just turn a few pages, lady, don’t go burning crosses! Geesh!

While lying on my table at physical therapy and doing what is colorfully known as “the dead bug” exericise, I overheard the next pt and patient discussing the current variant of the Rona and how safe they feel because they’re vaccinated. Part of me wanted to rise up and tell them I wasn’t jabbed and feel incredibly safe but when they started to worry about monkey pox, I knew it was a lost cause. And since revealing my status might make me miss the after therapy massage, I decided to just zip it. I can’t find it in myself to be worried about monkey pox, just can’t.

This is the last week of classes. I have two weeks off, during which I’ll be madly creating content for a class I’ve never taught online before. Seven weeks of the firs session and then I’m unemployed. The joys of being an adjunct, you aren’t guaranteed a class each semester. Keep your fingers crossed that the powers that be suddenly realize they need me and give me a couple of classes. I’m not really concerned, something always turns up.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of my favorite sister. I was thinking about her this morning – I often think about her but more so today than normal. She wasn’t perfect, she was by no means a saint and the two of us fought like sisters on more than one occasion, but, unlike some of my other sisters, there was never a doubt that she loved me more than almost anyone else in the world. She was 6 years older than me. She promised me when we were kids that she would never ever go anywhere that I couldn’t go with her. I think after 30 years I’ve forgiven her for going to Heaven before me, and I live on the promise that I will join her there one day – because Betty never made a promise she didn’t keep. *For my dear friend Kristi, I’d bet money that your mom and Betty are going to be having some good laughs at our expense, I think they will like each other immensely.

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I got the shot

No, not THAT one!

I tried to find a gif that would fit in here about how I’m anti vaxx and wow, the only things that came up were about how crazy the Covid anti-vaxxers are. Proganda,anyone?

Anyway. I got a steroid shot to hopefully ease my relentless sciatica pain. I have a very low pain threshold. My 10 is my husband’s 4 – which drives me nuts because how the hell does that numbering system make ANY real sense? “What’s your pain level today, Susan?” Apparently, “It’s at kick you in the nuts if you ask again” is not an acceptable answer. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Sciatica can hit in many different ways. My sciatic nerve is being annoyed by a problem in one of the discs – they were tossing around letters and numbers and my brain went “Satan!” after a bit. Mine is an ache that goes from my butt to my ankle, with random shots of pain that feel like electric shocks that go down my thigh, stop, think about it for a few seconds, during which I think it’s done, and then slam fingers with sharp nails around my thigh and knee before laughing like a maniac and proceeding down to my ankle.

In other words, it fucking hurts.

I’ve been dealing with this for about three months. My doctor, who is a lovely, funny woman, I adore her, sent me to physical therapy. This has been 18 visits at 3 times a week with little improvement.
“What’s your pain level today, Susan?” “Punch you in the face if you ask again” is also not an acceptable answer, by the way. My PT is a nice young man who does mean things to me and makes me do things I don’t want to do. I consider this elder abuse, by the way.

So today was the shot because therapy ain’t working well. I’m surprised that my back actually feels better. I’m still having the thigh and knee cramps but it isn’t an instant cure, it should take a few days to start working, I’m staying hopeful that it works. I’m not good with pain and I take it out on eveyone around me – my normal lack of patience is increase by ten or more. So keep your fingers and toes and paws crossed, my friends!

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The inmates are running the asylum

This is long but worth the read:

and this: https://gerodoc.substack.com/p/my-masking-is-viciously-ableist-post?s=w

and this:

I am so angry and heartbroken that we’ve done this to the elderly. I am livid that we’ve done this to our children. These are the people we’re supposed to protect. How could we let the elderly die alone, without the touch of a loved one? I spent the last years of my parents’ lives with them, 24/7. I held my father’s hand when he took his last breath.

There is no force on this Earth that would have kept me from him. When my mom was in the hospital, and I refused to leave, Nurse Rachet threatened to have security remove me. I told her they damned well better be armed and prepared to use force, I was not leaving my mother. A few hours later, they brought me in a cot.

It astounds me that we fell for this. It astounds me that we were so easily cowed that we let our PARENTS suffer, the people who, for the most part, would have done anything for us. There is no way in HELL my parents would have let anyone tell them they couldn’t see me if I was sick. There is no way in hell anyone would keep me from my family.

Why didn’t we all rise up and refuse this shit? I am heartsick.

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Comparisons

Until I married the Bear, I didn’t have health insurance. I was young, healthy, saw no need. When my appendix ruptured, my parents paid the bill. (Yes, I was that spoiled.) (Judge me not)

I had the normal kinda seasonal stuff – a cold every Winter, a cold every Summer. Some were worse than others.

How do I know one was worse than the other? Because I had more than one and could compare one year to the next.

Along came Covid. Along with Covid came the push to get vaccinated. Many did, many did not. Those who did, and subsequently got Covid, universally have thanked the jab because “without it, I would have been so much sicker!”

One question. Did you ever have Covid? If so, was it before or after the jab? If you never had Covid, and you got the Fauci Ouchie, and then you GOT Covid, you have no basis for comparison, and your statement that you would have been sicker without the jab is without merit.

Why are so many people falling for this false premise? I have had the flu, many times. I had the Russian flu many years ago. I was so sick, I could barely get off the sofa. I had the flu 17 years ago, Bear and I had just gotten married and the kids gave us the flu for Christmas. Or maybe it was a wedding present. 🙂 At any rate, we were both sick for a week or more.

I never got a flu shot. (Note, it is NOT called a “flu vaccine” because it doesn’t stop you getting flu, it just makes it not so awful if you do.) I started getting them when I married Bear. Since then, when I’ve gotten the flu, I have not been as sick as I was when I had not gotten the flu shot.

I have a basis for comparison.

Why does no one seem to see that if you did not have Covid before you got the jab, you can’t say that “it would have been so much worse without it!”

Currently reading :

The Bodies of Others – Naomi Wolf

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Morning joy

I actually got to sleep till 8 this morning. With Bear working days now, he leaves at 6 and sometimes Maverick thinks that means Mommah should be up and functional at that hour.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Do not wake a sleeping witch at the crack o’dawn. I don’t do curses, and that’s a very good thing if you wake me that early – and expect me to be functional.

I got him into his harness, into the car, off to daycare. I call Maverick “Rocket Man” because when he takes off, it’s with very little notice and he moves fast. When we got to daycare, I cracked the back door open so I could get the leash. I thought he was excited to be there.

I was wrong

He saw a bunny – I presume. I didn’t see it, I was too busy being spun around, smacking my arm into a sign, and trying to hold onto the leash.

He’s gonna put me in the hospital one of these days.

So today we’re going to start working on some impulse control activities. Mommah is old and will break. Say a prayer for us!

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Routine maintenance

I think I should have been born a dog. Preferably a Golden Retriever so I could eat all the food, sniff everything and just be happy all the time. (That is not a complete sentence, and I don’t care, but Goldens are like honey badgers in that sense, they just don’t give a fuck.)

I am a creature of habit. I get up, take Maverick to daycare, drink my coffee, write in my journals and go for a walk. About a month ago, my body decided to make other plans. There’s this lovely nerve that starts in your back and goes all the way to your foot – the sciatic nerve – and when it doesn’t feel happy, no one feels happy. Mine is not happy. After a few days of random jolts of pain, and feeling like someone grabbed my thigh and squeezed hard, off to the doctor I went. “aha!” he said, “you have a sciatic nerve flaring. I shall refer you to OSS.”

Off to OSS (Orthopaedic Services something) I go. “Aha!” said my lovely doctor there, “you have a sciatic nerve flariing! I shall send you to therapy.”

Off to therapy I go. Meanwhile, I hurt. Some days are worse than others and therapy is helping, but my leg isn’t reliable. Five minutes on the treadmill sent me to the sofa for 1/2 hour, after a liberal application of Voltarin gel (that stuff is great!).

This is not for sympathy, by the way. My mother used to tell us that if we wanted sympathy, we could find it in the dictionary, between shit and syphilis. (She was a woman of little patience.) It’s merely an observation that when my routine is disturbed, I walk around like I have no clue what to do with myself.

Well, the good thing is that I’ve been hoeing out a spare bedroom. Slowly, but it’s getting done. When your great nephew mentions coming to visit and you realize that you have 4 bedrooms and no place for a guest to sleep, it’s time to start clearing the hoard. (Don’t touch my books or yarn, and we’ll be fine.)

Also, much as I love Summer, allergies are kicking my ass today. I have sneezed so many times I think my brains need to be stuffed back up my nose.

I have been watching The Young and the Restless (or, as we call it, “the old and the listless”) and The Bold and the Beautiful for a very long time. I don’t watch regularly, but most of the time you can go for months and not really miss much. Currently B&B has become quite exciting, with the return of a wonderful villain, the return of a heroine, although this Taylor leaves me missing the old one, and the possible downfall, once again, of Brooke (the mattress) Logan. B&B is on at 1:30. My therapy has been scheduled for 1 or 1:30 every other day. Therapy is about 90 minutes so there’s no way I’m catching my soap, and no, we don’t DVR.

I was very excited on Tuesday because I had no therapy, Maverick was at daycare, Bear was at work and I could watch the soap all by myself. I got my iced coffee (it’s Summer) and my knitting, and turned on the tv and WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. IS. THIS. SHIT?????????????????? My soap was pre-empted by the Jan 6th “hearings.” Really? Really? REALLY????????????????

I think I speak for a great many Americans who think that people wandering around the Capitol was far less of a “threat to democracy” than the “mostly peaceful protests” that occurred all summer freakin long. Does no one remember the riots around the Capitol in 2016 because Hillary lost? I’d be willing to bet that more damage was done to our democracy by that bullshit than on January 6th.

I’m over it.

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Mindless knitting

Because I like to knit and read or knit and watch TV, I usually have something totally mindless on the needles. I also like to shop the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby, and they often have the “faux fur” type yarn on sale. It’s mindlessly fun to make scarves from that stuff. However. It is also incredibly difficult to see the stitches.

Last night I discovered that in my exhaustion from the previous night, I somehow left an extremely long tail of yarn in the middle of a row about 10 back from where I was. It wasn’t where I joined another ball, it was just this long tail of yarn, hanging there for no apparent reason.

Fine, I said, I can frog this baby back to that. The knitting goddess laughed. Long and heartily.

So I guess tonight I’m starting another scarf from that ball of yarn I wound up last night

It doesnt’ really look this bad and I don’t know where this photo came from
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Show me the way to go home

I’m tired and I want to go to bed. In my bed. With my Bear. And my blankets. And my puppy stealing my huggin bear.

One more sleep and I’m home. Today I drove for another 2.5 hours to spend the day with a friend I’ve known forever and just met a few years ago. We met online on a soap opera message board (don’t judge). Bear was working 3-11, I didn’t know anyone and was a bit scared of the neighbors, so after dark fell, I would close the curtains and lock the doors and get online. We would discuss Brooke Logan and Nikki Newman and all the other characters and just have a good time. After a few years, we wandered to our own little message board and there we’ve been ever since. When Covid hit, I decided it was time we met, since it would be just a short detour on my trip to NY. Three years ago we met the first time and now it’s a tradition.

We went to a craft fair and bought a few things. Then she asked if I liked carousels. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!! I LOVE carousels. So off we went. Endicott, NY is apparently famous for carousels. I thought they would just be something you could see, take pictures, walk around. But NOOOOOOOOo, you can RIDE on them!!!!!!!!!!!! They work!!!!!!!!!!!

I was like a 4 year old kid again. I laughed so much, my heart felt so full of joy, it was just wonderful! Each one was better than the last. We went to a nursery and I bought a few plants, to the bookstore and I bought a couple of books, had some good food, and back to the motel for the night.

I’m exhausted. It was a long week, a lot of driving, I’d be willing to pay someone to drive me home tomorrow so I could just sleep the whole way, but it’s only 4 hours, I hope to be home by noon, but 1 is more realistic. A shower, some good coffee, lunch, and a nap are in my future. I have physical therapy at 4 and will probably be beaten up because I’ve done little all week. Bear will pick up Maverick and the reunion will be epic. And I’ll be home, in my bed, snoring my head off, by midnight.

I can’t wait.

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One more time

If I were rich, I’d have a lady’s maid (stop laughing, I can be a lady when the need arises) to do my packing and a chauffer to drive me to NY. I hate packing. I’m not all that thrilled with the driving anymore,either. People are just stupid behind the wheel! Seriously, when you’re going 80 mph, it’s not a good idea to cut someone off who is going equally as fast as you!

Anyway. It’s time for the annual visit to the relatives. Yesterday was quite a lovely day, barely a cloud in the sky, about 78 degrees – roll the windows down and enjoy the breeze weather. There was also very little traffic, which my husband says was because it was Saturday but I’m wondering if it’s more likely gas prices. If this trip hadn’t been planned for ages, I would have been rethinking it – my car only runs on premium so I’ve been paying over $5 a gallon for some time now, and I expect here in NY that it will be worse. (Aside – how the heck did we get here? More important – how the heck do we get out of here?????)

Normally, I get here and check in and unload the car and then get back in the car and go to a relative. Then I end up totally exhausted and crash at about 10 pm. This year I decided I’m really not all that excited about wearing myself out so I checked in, unloaded the car, called the Bear to check in – he worries – and just relaxed for an hour. Checked email, checked the unsocial media sites, called a friend and then went and got dinner – take out from a local restaurant – got some groceries (milk for my coffee) and came back to the motel.

After a chat with the Bear, I had my supper, got a shower, got in my jammies and started putting bracelets together. I brought the wrong elastic, so there’s a trip to JoAnn’s in my near future. But a great niece also makes bracelets so I’ll be giving her this elastic and getting myself the stuff I need later. I read awhile, watched a stupid movie, thought about crocheting and decided I was not quite functional enough to follow a pattern at that point, had an adult beverage and hit the sack, And it felt good.

Today I’m off to visit my oldest sister, who has been my best friend since the day I was born. Since it’s Sunday, some of her kids are stopping by, and I haven’t seen some of them in ages so that will be nice. Then later, I may see one of my oldest friends. If he’s busy, I’ll head to JoAnn’s!

I’m determined to make this trip be as stress free as possible. The last time I was here was for a funeral. The annual trip last summer ended in tears – a fight with my other sister, who still isn’t speaking to me – and while there were some bright spots, there was more sadness than joy. I didn’t drive 5 1/2 hours to not enjoy this time, so I’m not going to let anyone dim my sparkle for the next 9 days. Got it? Good.

Meanwhile, Maverick is apparently adjusting well to my absence. I leaned over to give him a kiss yesterday morning, he raised his head, quickly, and slammed it into my lower lip. I was expecting a bruise but it didn’t happen, so thank the Goddess for that! He’ll be fine, and the reunion will be epic, as always.

But I only brought one book and I’m pretty sure I’m going to finish it! Oh, dear, I guess I’ll have to hit the bookstore!

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