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.

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waiting for godot

Zoe and Charlie have a new little friend whom I am calling Godot. So far, I have not gotten a good picture of him. In contrast to the play, it’s Godot’s arrival that causes the waiting. He comes up on the deck, peers into the window and/or grabs some fallen seeds from the bird feeder, then dances up on the rail and away. Then the waiting commences.

By the large thud I just heard, I surmise that Godot has made an effort to get on the bird feeder and acquire his seeds first hand.

godota-little-tail

Squirrels and birds do not appear to like flour tortillas, in case you were wondering. I miss my raccoons and possums and skunks. What does one do with chicken bones in suburbia?

Today has been a gray day, feeling much colder than it really is. It has been one of those days that would be greatly improved by a fire, a good book and a nap. Instead, I made attempt #2 at peanut butter granola, listened to Stephen Frye talk about his life and edited a paper by a friend of mine to help with his French to English translation issues. The day is closing and I have no further observations for this week.

it’s a mystery

cushion

Some days my back says I must use the wheelchair cushion. Other days, it forbids that I even think about using the cushion. Some days Zoe says that the cushion is her’s.

Some kind soul sent me two place settings of my favorite fiestaware. There was no gift tag in the box and I would really like to thank whoever sent them. They are starting me on my way to a complete – and probably multicolored set. But please let me know who you are – privately if you prefer – and accept my thanks!

sunday tidbits

I thought that I would try something new (new for me) and set aside Sundays for small thoughts or comments that don’t always fit in a regular post. We’ll see how it goes.

I bought a new bird feeder for my deck – a very cute John Deere colored barn that holds, it turns out, the whole 10 pound bag of deck friendly seed. T didn’t know what deck friendly was – it’s seeds, nuts and berries without shells so nothing goes to waste and it doesn’t make a big mess on your deck or patio. I used to buy naked sunflower seeds but I think this is even better since it attracts a bigger variety of birds.

Of course it’s nearly impossible to take a good snap of it through the patio window…

birds

The kitties enjoy sitting on their cat tree watching the birds up close. Charlie mostly sits on the bottom as Zoe smacks him from above. I’ve seen him on the top level but he is pretty easily controlled by her.

bird-watching

And as I was sitting here typing about birds I looked out the patio door and it’s freaking snowing! BIG honking flakes of snow. That wasn’t in my forecast!

snow

And well, okay, by the time I snapped a picture and finished my phone call, the snow stopped and melted but that’s about the most snow I’ve seen this winter.

And I wanted to tell you about my wireless plan. As you know, I’ve been talking about getting a smarter phone and changing carriers forever, but I’m also trying to save money and even the plans that you re-load your minutes on are pretty expensive. Well I found a plan that was tailor made for people like me. For $20 per month I get unlimited talk, text and wifi data plus 1gb cellular data. What the phone does is connect to any wifi that you’ve used before in preference to cell towers. It will switch back and forth between them if it needs to but for someone like me, I use the phone mostly at home – where I have wifi – and while I may check email or messages when I’m out, I’m not streaming music or video. Last month I used like 5mb of my cellular data. Score! The only drawback is you have to use one of their approved android phones, at least for now, which does the switching thing that allows them to charge so little. Oh, silly me – it’s Republic Wireless if you happen to think this plan would be right for you.

Zen Koi, by the way, is my phone time waster. There is something very relaxing about swimming around eating those little fishies. And there’s no competition or stress with the game. You grow your fish, he ascends to become a dragon and you hatch a new egg. I suppose you could spend a lot of money if you were all anxious about having more egg or fish slots to collect the different koi, but hey, it’s supposed to be Zen.

So that’s our tidbits for this week.

in which I will end up feeling stupid

Well, I continue to work on making this house a home. A lot of the time it doesn’t feel very real. I think perhaps I need some goals – something to be moving toward. So much of the last decade has been sitting around in my little boat, sometimes complaining, sometimes searching, but I don’t feel like I’ve moved forward that much. Perhaps that is just life, eh? What did you dream of when you were a kid? Are you where you expected to be? Where do we go from here?

But for now, working on the home thing.

It’s really kind of funny, I used to collect cows and when I moved the last time, I got rid of most of my cows. In my head, I had just a few that I really loved left. However, when I unpacked them, I had this whole corner shelf filled with cows. Plus more I repacked in a “possible garage sale” box. And then, I found another box of cows – mostly plushies. I guess I will have several boxes of things to possibly sell or give away. We’ll see how much when I get everything unpacked.

cows

I have put the irreplaceable hand painted forget-me-not set in my blue cupboard as planned. Plus a few knick knacks. I’m not sure those are the ones that will stay there. On top will go the platter and coffee set that match.

cabinet

The blue shelf became overly filled with mooses. I’ve taken down the Christmas mooses but there are still too many mooses. I was the one that started collecting moose. Then my parents decided they liked them too. Now I have both collections. And not enough space. Ever. I can’t find my fish yet but I have some fish and other things that will break up the moose. Perhaps I will have to rotate things. I have a crap ton of snowmen to come out next Christmas.

toomanymooses

My helper’s grandfather is ill this week and in hospital. I took myself to the store yesterday and survived. It was a bit more difficult not having help but I did it. It’s good to know that I can if I need to.

Oh, does anyone have a garage door opener? Shortly after I moved in, T and I went out and when we came back the garage door was open. Could not figure out what had happened as I was a little concerned that someone around here was cloning the opener frequency. But then, yesterday I paused in the drive while it was going down. Then when I started to back out, I looked up and the door was going up again. No apparent reason but it stayed down the second time. Ideas?

Now I am going to feel a little be dumb. Hannah asked me to make a wishlist for housewarming gifts. I have had one going on Amazon, adding and taking away things as I got a feel for what I need here. Or just want. Please don’t anyone feel like you need to buy me presents but I remember a few folks who wanted the list, so here you go…

Amazon, by the way, should provide you with my address and promises not to spoil my surprises.

Housewarming Link: http://a.co/ejZwk3a