well, here we are again

It seems that I am still having trouble thinking of what to write. Or taking the time to write. Or opening up wordpress.

I think about writing. I write posts in my head. Either that or I’m having extended conversations with imaginary friends. But those conversations are kind of silly. Or really silly.

For example, on Chicago Fire last week, the woman former-doctor who just moved in with the fireman and the emt, had a big party and told the fireman not to come. Though he didn’t hear it that way, he thought she was inviting him.

I have several problems with this imaginary scenario. First, you have just moved into an apartment with two people you work with. The first thing you do is to throw a “rager” and tell your roommates, or at least the male one, not to come. Am I the only person who thinks that you ask your roommates if it’s okay with them that you have a party Saturday night? And except maybe if it’s a reunion of your mathletes team, you make them welcome to your party? You don’t just tell your roommate “Hey I’m having a party, go away.” And if there is some valid reason that your roommate shouldn’t come, you make sure you’re clear about why he’s not invited. You don’t just assume that he’s going to figure it out with no clues. Am I the only person who thinks about dumb stuff like this?

I’ve been watching Netflix the past couple days. I’m dropping my subscription at the end of the month. I just don’t watch much on it anymore but I’m checking to see if there is something I want to see. I watched The Tourist, which was entirely predictable. I watched Hancock. I kept meaning to watch it. Now I have. The funny thing is that somehow I had audio descriptions turned on so there was a narrator the entire movie, like Sebastion Cabot in Winnie the Pooh. And I thought it was supposed to be that way. I watched To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar because it is one of my favorite movies but I don’t own it. Perhaps I will buy it one day.

And I watched Tom Papas. He says we are all doing great, we’re doing the best we can. So what if we’re fat? Everyone is fat. We’re either really fat, kinda fat or trying not to be fat. That about sums up my life.

Snoskred has not posted on her blog either. Pug tells me her area is safe now but they’ve had like 50% of the power out. Her blog is back online so that’s good news, at least. We’re still thinking about you and wishing you and the chooks well.

thoughts out to Snoskred

Our friend Snoskred lives in Australia which is going through the worst fire season in I don’t know how long. I was talking with my friend Pug, who lives in Canberra, last night and he thinks he will be safe but we talked about what he is doing to prepare in case they have to evacuate. He described the area Snoskred lives in as being in between two major lines of fire.

In her last post (3 days ago), she wrote:

I do not remember the last morning where I woke up and did not immediately turn on the scanner to find out what the fire people are up to. I am extremely grateful we are still allowed to hear them – the police went encrypted digital some time ago.

However today the local RFS scanner frequency has been offline for a lot of the day, and I have no idea what is happening out there. It is unsettling not to know. Facebook is full of incorrect information and we can’t be sure what is real and what is not real. We certainly can’t rely on the media. I’d rather hear it from the horses mouth.

For most of us we are living in some kind of suspended limbo – many of us feel that it is not necessarily a question of if but of when.

Tonight her blog is offline. It could be downed wires or something else but join me to thinking of our friend and hoping she is safe. And that everyone in the line of these fires stay safe. Given the scope of the fires, there hasn’t been a huge loss of life and property yet, Pug tells me it’s mostly in the bush where few people live. Let’s hope it stays that way and can soon be put out.

Snoskred has chickens and cats that we wish the best for also.

it’s a new year, but not that different around here

I haven’t decided what to do with the blog, just that I want to write again – communicate with other people, you know? I have found myself isolating so I am making an effort to catch up with email. I sent out Christmas cards though it appears most people have given up on me. I can’t blame them. According to my computer, I might not have sent any out since 2013. I’m catching up on my old blogging friends, though many of them don’t seem to be blogging anymore. This means I need to pay some attention to FB. I’m trying.

But none of that has anything to do with what to do with the blog. I’m not good at short, cute posts. Although the first post back had a lot of medical updating, I don’t want to focus on that. I could tell cat stories, and you know I will. This is one of my favorite snaps of the two together. Charlie was limping around, I figured he twisted his leg or something jumping off the bed or sofa. But he kept going over and laying next to Zoe and draping his leg over her. Zoe the ottoman.

I’m going to take this blog thing slowly, try to find my voice again. It’s funny or possibly stupid that the times I have wanted to write the most are when I’ve seen something stupid in my news feed or in a commercial or some other odd source. Not interesting, not funny, more things that make me go d’oh.

For example, just before Christmas there was a video that went viral from some woman whose 4 and 6 year old ordered $700 worth of toys through Amazon’s Alexa. At first that’s all it is. I didn’t read the comments but I could imagine people beating up on Amazon for allowing this to happen. But I kept turning it over in my mind. I just got an Echo Dot a couple months ago when it was on sale for 99 cents. Mostly, Alexa tells me the weather and sets timers for me. I know I can set her up to order stuff for me but that’s something I have to set up. And other people (cats?) could use her to order stuff but I have to teach Alexa to recognize these other people. And I’m willing to bet that I’d have to give permissions for people to order stuff or I’d be able to set parental controls. Heck, I’ve set parental controls on myself on my Fire tablet so that I don’t accidentally order stuff while playing games. I haven’t used her for ordering and I’m not likely to, but how specific do you need to be to order things? And nowhere in this video did it explain where Mom or another adult was while these tykes were ordering all this crap.It’s not like kids do anything quietly and I have to yell at Alexa to get her to acknowledge me. And speak clearly.

Okay, it’s just a silly video but it reminded me of those jokes you learned in the second grade that taught you to think before responding. I ended up feeling there were a lot of holes in the Alexa story. And honestly, what is Google doing showing this in my news feed anyway?

Hey Bobby! Say “Mother may I” and spell cup! hahahahaha

Christmas 2019

Dear Friends,

Hello and Happy Christmas. Let me start by apologizing for all these years I let Christmas and the rest of the blog get away from me. Some of you are aware of the things happening but I don’t want to make excuses. Explanations, maybe, but not excuses. And I’m cheating and using my Christmas letter. I’m still behind in responding to people who have written me and commenting on blogs. I have just decided that I’d better just jump in and do it or I’ll never get the blog restarted.

Christmas and the Moose Shelf

It has been a difficult few years. Mom died just before Christmas in 2014 from complications of Alzheimer’s. She had spent the previous couple years in an essentially vegetative state so I considered it a release for her. The end was unexpected, at least In timing. I visited with her and Dad the previous night for the nursing home’s Christmas dinner and got a call from the hospital the next afternoon that she had pneumonia and wasn’t expected to last the night. She died about five minutes before I got there She looked peaceful and for the first time in a couple years, she looked like herself. I miss her. I keep wanting to share with her the things I’m doing, like showing her my Christmas decorations. She would have enjoyed the year’s Moose Christmas.

We didn’t tell Dad that Mom had died. He wouldn’t have been able to remember it and eventually it would have just been repeatedly causing him pain. He died in October 2015, about two years after going into the nursing home. I always thought he wouldn’t outlive Mom by long but it seems an odd coincidence.

In between Mom and Dad’s deaths, I was hospitalized for three months with necrotizing fasciitis. Then I spent about four months restricted to home under home health care. I kept up with the nurses at the nursing home by phone but wasn’t prepared to see the changes in him when I was able to see him again. It was only two months later that he died. Which, in some ways, was also a release for him. He did not have to experience the end stages of Alzheimer’s like Mom did.

Find the Non-Moose

I consider us all strangely lucky that I was injured and moved back down here, though I had intended it to be temporary. Already being in the house made cleaning it out, organizing stuff for auctions and donations, somewhat more simple. We had an attorney older than God who was basically nice but thought that we could just have someone else clean out the house. The boys didn’t want much but I wanted at least the photos and some things that Mom or Dad made. I expect I’m a little more sentimental than my brothers but anyone who knew Mom and Dad won’t be surprised to learn that they never, ever, threw anything away. Fortunately, the LUC Ranch was willing to take a lot of donations that the auction company didn’t consider worth putting on sale. Plus it’s a good cause and one Mom and Dad supported. The boys run a charity shop and were glad enough to take thirty some boxes of books and the old piano.

It took about 18 months to get through probate. I bought a small house in Aurora, which is a little more convenient than Shell Knob but not nearly as pretty. The house was built around the same time as our home in Kansas City and resembles it from the oak floors to the layout. I’d have to move the walls around some but it’s quite similar. There appears to be a knack for taking pictures of a house. I think it’s comfortable and cozy but it always comes out stark and empty on camera.

Another Non-Moose

I’m still dealing with some health issues. I have arthritis and spinal stenosis and other issues which make it difficult to walk. I’m in a wheelchair for now and I was hoping for better social activities up here in the little city, but I can’t drive for now. Those are things I’m working on in physical therapy. Heck, I recently learned that I’m not a Christmas tree. I’m relearning how to safely shift weight from one foot to the other so I can walk upright again. I do have some new friends up here and some help with going shopping and doing things around the house I can’t do by myself.

I really didn’t want to write a complaining letter but it’s kind of hard to catch people up with events without a bit of complaining. Oh, speaking of complaining, I was all ready and determined to get cards out last year when I developed gout in both my hands. I couldn’t even type, no less write. I plan to do better now. And no matter how slow I am, I do always respond eventually.

I hope everyone is doing well and handling these minor inconveniences we call life to the best of your ability. Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

All my best,

Zoe’s Favorite Register

and how are you?

“And how are you?” said Winnie-the-Pooh.
Eeyore shook his head from side to side.
“Not very how,” he said. “I don’t seem to have felt at all how for a long time.”
~A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

It’s been a long time since I’ve written again. I realized some weeks ago that I had taken a trip to the magical swamp of depression again. Not surprising, really, when I sit back and look at it. I’ve had a lot of stress and changes and losses in my life the last couple years and things are quieting down into a new normal now. Cue depression. This too shall pass.

Around the same time I realized this, a new-ish blog acquaintance posted about being depressed. I wanted so much to comment, but I couldn’t. I’m too new, I’m not really a part of his circle and of the comments I’ve made lately, some few have seemed to offend or anger where no offence was intended. It’s not a good time to take that risk. I still read.

Also around the same time, this article from Mental Floss appeared in my newsfeed. I really liked the way it described some of the symptoms of depression, especially the first three listed, even if the article itself is basically fluff.

1. EVERYTHING IS HARD.
“Executive function” is the technical term for the tiny emperor that lives in your brain, kicking in when you can’t go on automatic and have to concentrate or make a decision. Depression can cause executive dysfunction, making it very hard to convince yourself to sort the laundry, return a phone call, finish a project, or wash the dishes. If these small tasks are piling up, don’t blame yourself—but pay attention.

2. EVERYTHING IS BORING.
Depression is like emotional bleach. It can suck the color and life out of everything, from conversations with friends to your favorite TV show. Anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure, is a very common symptom that makes it hard to focus or care about the things that used to bring you alive.

3. EVERYONE IS ANNOYING.
Does everybody and everything push your buttons these days? Has your fuse gotten shorter? Irritability is a classic but less well-known symptom that, like anhedonia, can cause people to push their now-aggravating loved ones away and become isolated. Some studies have found that depression with irritability may be a separate, more intense subtype of the illness.

At any rate, I promised to update a couple people.

The house is nearly done. Well, once I can get to the photos and other things that go on the walls. I have some boxes left to sort and I’m loosely planning a garage sale at some point. Perhaps not this summer as I expect this summer to be taken up with medical/pain crap.

I have an MRI under anesthesia in a few weeks. The CT with contrast was not clear enough. I continue to root for a non-surgical solution so please feel free to root in your own way for something besides surgery that alleviates some pain.

I am not sure whether I am on a long blogging hiatus or whether I am a retired blogger. I’m not sure it makes much difference but I do know that this is not the time to decide. Besides, I do plan to post some pictures of the house. It’s kind of funny… At times I have felt that the house is not “adult” enough. What with my moose collection and my duckies in the bathroom. But then I decided that it is a pretty good reflection of who I am. Screw being an “adult.”

So.

I’m not sure what else to say.