IN A SLUMP

Not me. LOL

Have been for a week or so now. Don’t want to get up, don’t want to do anything, no energy to do anything, no motivation. I hate when this happens.

It is 65 degrees. And two hours ago I took a picture of the first blossom across the street.

In the center, just above the wires.

And now, two hours later, a different tree has dozens of blossoms just opening. Wish I could take a picture through the binoculars, cause you can really see all the teeny buds and the flowers just starting to open. Spring is sprunging. Finally.

HELPING

Just read an article about ‘helping’, or rather, asking if someone needs help. The gist was, just jump in and do something. If someone is struggling with bags, say something like, ‘Here, let me carry this one for you’, or if they are attempting to move something heavy, grab an end and help push or lift or whatever. When you ask if someone needs help, initial reaction is almost always to say , ‘no thank you’. This is something I have learned through nearly a quarter century of chronic, debilitating illness. ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ is NOT going to prompt someone to say, ‘Why yes, could you cook dinner for me?’ or ‘Yes, here’s my grocery list. I shop at (name store)’. That’s not how it works. Drop off a ready-to-heat casserole. Ask for a shopping list when you are going to the store. Not, ‘Do you need me to do some shopping?’, but ‘Let me have your shopping list and I will pick the things up for you.’ ‘Here, let me make the bed,’ ‘I’m just going to do a quick vac before I leave, hope you don’t mind.’ DO, don’t ask what to do. Has anyone ever actually called you when you’ve said, ‘Call me if you need anything?’. No. How about, ‘Here, let me clear up those dishes for you.’, or ‘I’m just going to take the trash on my way out.’ Like that. The person you are helping is NOT put on the spot asking you to do something for them, not made to feel like the needy one. These things matter.

I have a friend who always takes the empties and the trash whenever she leaves. She usually doesn’t even mention it, just does it. I have another friend who shops for me every week when she does her own shopping. She just emails me to say, ‘send me your list’. These are the people you want in your life, even if you are a random stranger in a store and they help you get something off a high shelf, just asking what you are reaching for, not if you want them to get it for you. This is what ‘helping’ means. Not asking, just doing.

It’s April. Cold April, but mostly sunny days. Buds look like they could pop any day now. Second floor means eye level with the treetops across the street. Love it. April is my birth month. It makes me happy. Spring has sprung and all that. Although in New Hampshire, that was never the case. Snow, more like. Some of my favorite things for April:

Not there yet. This was before the trees were butchered by the Highway Department.
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden

Is It Me?

Just some things that irritate me.

On a recipe I was reading: ‘substitutes mashed potatoes for parsnips’. Don’t they mean ‘substitutes parsnips for mashed potatoes’? You’re replacing the potatoes with parsnips. What you are substituting is parsnips. What you are substituting them for is potatoes. I see this all the time, and every time, I think, ‘Wait, that’s backwards’.

People who say ‘span’ when they mean ‘spun’. Drives me batty.

People who don’t wear masks in public places. There are vulnerable people out there, just because you’re immune and immortal does NOT mean you should not have consideration for those who are neither. Such narcissistic self-serving selfishness has taken over so many of us. It is disgraceful and I am ashamed of my fellow humans who exhibit this.

That’s all I can think of right now. Very tired today. Woke up at 7:30, fed Miss G, and back to sleep til 12:30pm. The course of the fibro is going really weirdly. I suppose I could say the fibro is being Strangely Peculiar. Ha Ha. Little (very little) joke there. Several days of misery, then suddenly I am better, really better, and able to get things done. Not like ‘sort the mail’ stuff, but ‘move the microwave over there instead’ stuff. ‘Clear off the counter, finally’, stuff. Don’t know what has made the difference. The only real change I can think of is I started taking my thyroid meds at night instead of first thing. But I still have really painful, exhausted, miserable days, so whatever is going on is not a complete fix. I just do as much as I can on those good days, and love every minute of it. Yesterday was a good day except my back really hurt. I think I slept wrong. I was still able to do things, though. Again, serious things. I think doing that while dealing with so much pain is why I am sooo tired today. Whatever is going on, I am just really, really happy to be having these good days. I have gotten a lot of things cleared out, reorganized, rearranged. Happy Jean is happy.

MY NEW FAVORITE QUOTE

When someone else’s choices destroy your present,

refuse to allow your future to be ruined as well.

Its not the life you had planned on or envisioned.

Someone took a sledgehammer to those dreams.

But you can pick up the pieces & rebuild

bigger, better, and brighter than before.

~Hank R Smith 

And here’s a couple pics of the Albert Bridge, in Chelsea, London, which I first saw on The Chelsea Detective.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

WHY DOES THE INTERNET SEEM DETERMINED TO JUST MAKE LIFE HARDER AND TAKE ALL THE FUN OUT OF IT?

Here’s something I wrote to someone today, because ‘rules’. There are now ‘rules’ for shit that should just be for fun or because it makes you happy. Sheesh, people, way to make life even harder than it already is. Anyway a bit tweaked for personal stuff:

Read a post about ‘rules’.  Seriously, everything on line is pretty much ridiculous, if you ask me.  There are tons of things about comparing your reading with others, keeping lists of books you’ve read for that purpose, making reading into a chore instead of a relaxing and sometimes informative pastime.  Rules about blogging. Rules about this that or the other. Made up by who, you may ask. Stupid people, I answer.  Not everything in life is a competition, or a way to make yourself popular or get clicks, or earn money or whatever.  I blog because I have things to say.  Period.  I read because I love to read.  I do whatever I do because it makes me happy.  I couldn’t care less about what other people read, or say how or why I should blog, or whatever rules some moron somewhere has made up for whatever part of life they think they know everything about.  Get off line and do what you love because you love it.  How do you think people survived before the internet started telling them how to live and what to care about?  I lived most of my life without the internet, and I managed just fine, thank you very much.  🙂 Just let yourself be you and do what makes you happy.  That’s really the secret to life, I think.

My town in winter. Just because it’s beautiful.

THINKY THOUGHTS

Here’s a quote from something I was reading. “The U.S. has an illusion of free-market competition in internet service.” This kind of made me laugh, because the U.S. has an illusion of free-market competition in most things, but it really is just an illusion. Competition is disappearing because our government allows companies like Amazon or Microsoft or whoever to buy up anyone who might compete with them. Allows them to buy up companies with better products and destroy them. Lets them do pretty much whatever they want. Pretty soon, one company is going to own everything, and what exactly do we think is going to happen to price and quality then. They can charge what they want and make products as shoddy as they want, and there will be no recourse for us poor consumers out here. Actually, that kind is already happening in some sectors. It’s like the news outlets being allowed to all be owned by one company in an area. This used to be illegal, but now we pretty much get one point of view, probably that right-wing jackass Murdoch’s point of view. Anyway.

The other thing is I am seeing a lot about book-banning and other things that go against the grain. A library board down south has given themselves the power to ban books. One person can cause a book to be banned if the local board is friendly to their prejudices and bigotry and whatever else excuses they use to ban books. So what can we do? How can people step up and fight what is happening in every little town in the U.S.? Start our own libraries? Hand out banned books on street corners? I don’t have the answers, but you know, looking at what is happening in the Ukraine, how individual citizens are fighting back in ways that would not necessary have occurred to me, gives me hope that if people realize what we are losing by standing by and doing nothing, maybe things can change. I certainly hope so. It is frightening, what is happening in my country, and how much it seems to reflect what happened in Germany. What went on that allowed Hitler and his Nazis to take over the country and start a World War and exterminate millions of people. Can’t happen hear, you say? Sorry, but it’s already started. No mass exterminations yet, but surely you can see it happening down the road if we don’t to something to stop them in their tracks NOW. Not later, when it is too late to matter.

Complacency is our enemy. “Why should I care? Nothing bad is happening to me personally.’ That will do it.

We need to step up, people. We need to get them out of our government, out of our libraries, out of our schools. We need to fight back or we as a country are done. Don’t really understand why the Republicans are fighting so hard to this to happen, but we need to fight back. Please. And stay safe. Mandates or no, wear your mask and save lives, not just your own,

WHERE DID THOSE GOOD DAYS GO?

Past few have not been great. Today I pretty much slept all day after a not great night. Chronic pain is not your friend. It’s gray and cold and supposed to rain later. I like rain.

My friends got me some ready meals, heat and eat, etc., to tide me over this setback. Yay. Nuke and eat. My kind of food right now.

ready meals Canada
ready meals UK
Similar to the store-made one I just had. Turkey meatloaf, mash, and corn. Side of gravy.

Reading my two or three days of email, I had 75 earlier, and there is so little good news out there. I think the population has outgrown the planet and we are causing a major disaster, partly just because of the huge number of us, partly because the greed and short-sightedness of so many of us. Our Supreme Court, mainly conservatives appointed by Republicans, are even going against fighting climate change, or so I have read. You can’t avoid this, no matter how much I would like to. I am pleased to see that Russia is suffering actual consequences for invading the Ukraine. Unfortunately, the ones who will suffer the most are the ones who have no say in it anyway. Just regular people trying to go about their lives. Too bad we don’t dole out consequences for the Republican Nazis in our own country.

Got an email from my local library about little things for adults. This one is painting a bird house. It’s in the afternoon, too. I am generally awake in the afternoon. 🙂 But I can’t sign up for it or anything else, because there is no way to know if I would be able to go on the day, and it isn’t fair to take a slot from someone who CAN use it. So that’s that. Not that I particularly want to paint a bird house, but just getting out of here and doing something would be nice.

Sorry, not feeling very cheery today. Gray days will do that, unless it’s snowing or pouring rain. Those make me happy. 🙂 Not feeling great again does not help, either. It’s always such a big let-down when I realize that ‘well, the good days were great, but are gone, gone, gone, yet again’. Bah. Also, Humbug!! It’s why I try to do as much as I can on those good days., You play the hand you are dealt, and make the best of what you have and can do. That’s all I’ve got. Stay safe, people.

JUST TODAY STUFF

Japanese Quilt by ?????

Did not want to get up, so I didn’t til 10:30. Was gray, i was feeling very lonely and alone, and Gertrude didn’t even come over to say ‘feed me, feed me’. So bah. Also, humbug. But then I made coffee and turned on my caramelldansen station on Pandora on my FireStick on my tv. Bouncy music for the win.

I am making a perked coffee every day in my one-cup stove top percolator. Turn the small burner on high, heat water in electric kettle, meanwhile add 2 big scoops coffee to basket. Pour boiling kettle water into pot to about half an inch below the holes, add basket works, put on burner. Perks almost instantly and I turn it to medium till water turns brown, then to med/low for however many minutes. Today I did 8. Stronger is better when you are down in the dumps. I then pour it through a damp melitta filter into the mug, add dairy (real dairy, not soy, oat, almond, whatever). Put mug on candle warmer and dive into my email.

Usually I eat breakfast first, but nothing appealed today. And the sun finally came out. Partly cloudy, but lots of blue sky and sunshine. Opened a window in the living room early, then one in the bedroom later. Bathroom fan on drawing in fresh air. It’s all good. You have to take the good where you can find it, right? Sometimes being alone just plain sucks, so I have to work to not spiral into that black hole. Never want to go there again, for sure.

Not black, I know. LOL

Here’s the last vestiges of snow which will be gone tomorrow, and then Friday another snow storm. Close to 70 today, snow storm day after tomorrow. I love New England. 🙂

IT’S SNOWING

Sort of. Very fine and not sticking at all. Bigger flakes earlier. Started out the day with clear sunny skies, then gray just sort of meandered it’s way across from west to east. And now snow. I do like snow.

Headline from a newsletter I get has three tips to avoid impluse buying. I have that figured out already. Get your packages stolen from the outer lobby. Cannot tell you how much impulse buying I have NOT done since this started a couple of months ago. LOL

Not as good as I have been, was awake most of the night, but it was entirely my fault because I was binge-watching Ted Lasso. I am going to dump Apple tv+ til the new season is out, because I just do not like the interface they have and there is nothing else I really want to watch on there anyway. So. Saving 5.00 a month while eagerly awaiting Ted Lasso season 3. As I was binging, I kept saying to myself, ‘God, I love this show’. The only other show I did that with was The West Wing. I really loved that show. How we wish things could be, instead of the incredible mess they really are. Remember how upset they were when Clinton got in? A redneck from the south? What? Cannot have that, now can we? Well, they went completely berserk when an actual black person got in. My country is such a disappointment. We got a good start on getting things somewhat right with Obama, but because the racists couldn’t cope, we then got the orange clown disgrace and look how well that went for those of us who are not enthralled by Fox News. Nothing lasts forever, I keep telling myself, and hopefully people’s brains will suddenly kick in and start working, and actual, rational thinking will ensue. Yep. That’s going to happen.

Making pesto pizza with store-bought pizza dough and Rana’s pesto, which is quite tasty. Also making chocolate bread, which I think I said is a Lindt bar wrapped in pizza dough and baked. I pkg of dough is enough to make both items. Dinner and dessert. LOL Actually I used to make the chocolate bread for Christmas breakfast with bread dough I made myself. Kids loved it. Me, too. Chocolate bread and coffee for the grownups, the bread and milk or cocoa for the kids, presents, real breakfast. Christmas. I miss it. My Christmas is now me and the cat.

Mine were never this fancy.

Going to finish Ted Lasso when I get done on here. Fun times. Something happy to look forward to. Yay.

Nate and the guys
Trent Crimm, The Independent
Jamie Tartt

Roy Kent Roy Kent He’s Here He’s There He’s Every F’ing Where Roy Kent Roy Kent

Okay, I’m a little delirious today. 🙂

GOOD MORNING

It is ten degrees. Ten. Another bright sunshiney day. But cold. Did not make it up til 7:45 or so, breaking my five-day record of getting up at or before 7am. 7am is usually my equivalent of 1or 2 am for someone who goes to bed at a normal time, so big deal being able to get up that early. Really big deal, and I am loving it. Less pain today, too, so maybe recovered from my three days of seriously getting things done followed by two days of ow, ow, ow. Still getting some things done. Dishes, and yesterday I cooked. Had some leftover baked pork chops and found a decent recipe to use them. Chop them and some cooked potatoes and an onion,. Fry the onion in butter, add the meat and potatoes, cook a bit, add 1/2 cup milk, 1 can cream of whatever you like soup, Worcestershire, Tobasco, s&p and cook a bit. Tasty. Can add other chopped veg, but noooo. LOL So leftover leftovers for today. I even washed most of the dishes after. Just the skillet which I did already this morning. OMG, is this really me? Have I been taken over by pod people who clean or something? IDEK.

Did NOT add peas and carrots because ewww.

Found my original Kindle receipt. As of September of 2021, I have had it for ten years, and have used it virtually every single day since, sometimes for hours if I am having a bad day. Reading is very helpful on bad pain days. Or bad exhaustion days. It has gotten pretty slow, and I’ve had to change the battery once, but it still works, thank goodness. Why they stopped making keyboard Kindles is beyond me. I really resent when choices are taken away from you by companies who think they know best. Wrong, Amazon. Touchscreens suck for a lot of us. Okay, end of that rant.

decalgirl.com for the cover. Otherwise, it’s just black.

Found this in my pictures folder.

Nothing is exactly what I expect. Lesson learned after contracting a chronic, debilitating illness. I don’t expect my emails to be replied to, my phone calls to be returned, people to turn up when they say they will. I used to. Silly me. Thinking I mattered. Here’s another:

Yeah, who needs them anyway, right? LOL

I am thinking it’s going to be another at least semi-good day. Fingers crossed. Have not even needed tylenol yet. Yay. One more weird thing. Twice now I have been woken in the night by the sound of something falling, like Miss G pushed something off of something onto the floor. However. When I get up to look once it’s actually morning, there is nothing out of place. Does she morph into an opposable-thumbed, walks on two legs, creature and replace whatever it was while I am sleeping? What? Whatty what what?? Puzzled Jean is puzzled. 🙂

Time to make the coffee. Been having nuked oatmeal first thing, since I moved my pill to before bed and don’t have to wait an hour to eat. Or have coffee. Anyway, half cup rolled oats or meusli, half cup water, half cup milk, zap three minutes. Hot bowl. Caution. Add a spoon of brown sugar and it’s good to go. Or to eat. Whatever. Lord, I am delirious this early in the morning. LOLOL Stay safe, people, and have a great day.

OH, MY

If yesterday was recovery day from my three good days, today is RECOVERY day. Woke up in major pain, just wanted to go back to sleep, but I am really working hard at not just couching now that I’ve had a sort of reprieve from the miseries of last week. So got up, fed Miss G, ate a bowl of cereal, and THEN laid back down and had a nap. Up now, but even though the two tylenol are working, they are not seriously working, so everything still hurts, just not as badly. Hobbling around. A friend I rarely get to see is possibly coming Thursday, so hoping to really be recovered by then. That’s the thing with fibro. The pain turns up much later and can sometime last for weeks or months based on one episode of having a good day. Delayed Pain Response accompanied by Really Screwed Up Pain Response. Fun times.

So here I am reading my emails, and this is a quote from a book review. Earthseed by Octavia E. Butler “When American society collapses under the weight of climate change, capitalism, and corporate greed,…” This was a book published in 1993. Oh, the prescience. Not even thirty years later, and isn’t that exactly what is happening? Corporate greed has ballooned, capitalism is completely out of control, and if you think the climate is not changing, well you need to look around you a bit harder than you have been. Actually, you don’t have to look hard at all. It’s obvious everywhere. And people. People have just lost their minds. Can you imagine this kind of protests over the polio vaccine? The smallpox vaccine? Seriously, WTF people? Of course, when these were saving people’s lives, there wasn’t easy access to so many brain-washing miss-information outlets, like you know, Fox News, Joe Rogan, and the Orange Disgrace and his minions. Free speech is one thing, but this deliberate assault on reason for profit is abhorrent, and to give it a pass as ‘free speech’ seem to me to be a crime in itself.

And more on the subject: I have been trying since late November to get an appointment with a rheumatologist, and still no luck. This is the place I have been going to for years. No appointments available. Two month wait to see my new primary care doctor. Then there is the grocery store. My homemaker shops at one store, and my friends sometime shop at different one in another town. Neither store has a regular deli anymore. No ‘scoop me out half a pound of ham salad, please’. Ham salad or any other deli item is pre-weighed and pre-packaged. No tubs of anything. Half the items in the sale flyer just do not exist on the shelves or refrigerated sections or frozen sections. The food supply has never, in my memory, been this disrupted. Prices are skyrocketing while corporate profits are SERIOUSLY sky-rocketing. Hmmmm. The western US is in the most serious drought in 1200 years, so I have been reading lately. This means food supplies will dwindle. From here:

https://wwd.ca.gov/wwd-newsletter/drought-and-the-food-supply-chain/

“This will undoubtedly impact prices across the food and agriculture supply chain in the months to come, given that California’s $54 billion agriculture industry provides over 400 key commodities, including a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.”

I’m not saying it isn’t looking good, but seriously, it isn’t looking good. Meanwhile those two or three rich white guys are getting richer literally by the millions every SECOND. Something need to be done, but somehow I can’t see that happening, and I wouldn’t know what to do about it anyway. Anybody? Please?

On the bright side, it is a beautiful but freezing (18 degrees F) sunshiney, clear blue sky kind of day. What’s not to love. Winter. Of course there is the two thirds dead mini-mall that is my only view, cause all my windows look out on it. Time for lunch. 🙂

WELL THAT’S JUST WEIRD

After almost an entire week on the couch, sleeping most of the day, Friday I woke up at 5:45, feeling the energy, and got things done. Saturday, up also early, getting more things done. Today, up at 7, lots of pain from all I did Friday, and very tired, but still got some things done. Do not know what changed, what I did or didn’t do to make a difference, or maybe it was nothing I just did and it just happened, but I plan to enjoy it however long it lasts. But weird.

As for the getting things done, I cleaned and reorganized my counters and kitchen cart. Looks so much better. It was a cluttered mess and now the counters are clean and have working room to chop veg or mix dough or whatever. Moved the toaster oven and the microwave and everything is much more accessible. Very pleased with myself. Also did some hand laundry, and cleaned the bathroom and did some tidying up in the living room. These are mostly things I do not normally have the energy for, except in very small increments of time. There was a lot of ‘move microwave, lie down for 10 or 15 minutes, clear off small counter, lie down for 10 or 15 minutes, wash counter, lie down……. and so on. But I got things done. Major achievement for me. Happy Jean is happy.

And it was snowing when I woke up and has been snowing all day. Actual snow, like winter is supposed to have. Not a blizzard, like the other day, not a brief snow and the sun comes out, but a real, all-day, beautiful gentle snow. I love winter.

STILL WINTER

Icy, but not too bad. My homemaker came. Surprise, surprise. Groceries. It’s a good thing. LOL

Amazon is raising the price of Prime to compensate for increased costs. How much is Bezos worth again? $185.5 billion dollars as of today, according to Forbes. He needs more of our cash, people. No one can survive on only 185.5 billion dollars, right?

THE BRAIN NEEDS WORK

But not necessarily in a bad way. Reading an newsletter. Headline for one article begins, ‘A.C.D.C. study found that….’ and my first thought was ACDC, the rock group? Nooooooo. It’s ‘a C.D.C. study…’ Duh!

Was in the 40’s today. Melty snow, oh yes. Maybe more snow and ice Friday. Of course. Homemaker day. Groceries, etc. I have backup canned goods and all so not worried, but sheesh. I used to have someone twice a week. Worked out better for me. Really hard to get people to do the job anymore. Crap work, even crappier pay. It’s never the people who do the actual work that get the good pay. So not fair.

I managed to stay awake four hours between two daily sleeps. Yay. Been a long time since my sleep schedule was this messed up. I once stayed awake for four days straight. Just could not sleep. Then I did. LOL

I’m sure you all know by now that today was 2/2/22. Oh, the excitement. Especially when you consider that time and dates are human constructs, and do not actually mean anything except a way to keep track of things. Okay, I am done. Just going to sit here and drink my tea, thank you very much. Oh, if any of you have PBS Masterpiece, and don’t get me started on how a public television network, paid for by donations and taxes, has devolved into several different ‘have to pay for this to see that, have to pay for something else to see this’. That is so wrong. Anyway, The Mountain Detective is a French show that is pretty good, but has the most amazing scenery. Who knew France even looked like that? Not me. Check it out if you can.