Continuing The Tradition

It’s my fault for not knowing about it, since I still haven’t managed to get my ass back onto FB since before my cancer scan, but yesterday my cousin Jim texted me to let me know that he was hosting the family cookout that night. He announced it in the family group on FB, but like I said… so yeah, maybe that’s what I should have done to try to keep myself awake longer last night – but having woken up before 4am that same day, I just didn’t have the oomph to put on my social face… and I also didn’t wanna concern people, with them noticing that I was low-energy and possibly thinking it was cancer related. I mean, technically that could be part of it, but I covered the real reason in the entry below.

But I texted him today to apologize for not going, and he said that turnout was relatively low. Mostly local family and then a couple of the extended family that live within reasonable driving distance. I gave him props for still having the oomph to host cookouts or bonfires now and then, because even without a kid and a job, I know how just the crap that I’m dealing with can often have me just wanting to stay at home and recover from whatever has been wearing me out.

Talked about how lucky we were as kids, when we’d have the reunions at Grandma and Grandpa S’s house… how all of us kids just always had a great time, and were blissfully unaware of any “shit” that the adults may have been dealing with. Maybe they were just a slightly tougher generation, but whatever it was – it let us all experience those moments and create the memories that we now can only hope to reenact for the younger folks in the family now. So hopefully when Jim has a cookout like last night, and turnout is light… we’re comparing it to how it was when we were little… so hopefully the younglings are still getting a similar good feeling and creating similar fond memories to look back on when they’re older – even if it didn’t feel like a complete success to Jim.

I told him the same thing that I told Toni a while back… just because I might not come to an event, please don’t stop inviting me. When I don’t show up, it’s usually not because I don’t want to go – but because the other stuff that’s happening or recently happened in my life just has me distracted, tired, or otherwise just lacking the oomph to make myself go. But I do have good days, and I do wanna go to those things, and sometimes everything works out where I actually make it… and of course I end up having a good time.

Last time was an impromptu trip out to Shannon and Chris’ house with Matt, Toni, and Anna… even though I had to drive out through the field and park right next to the bonfire since it was during the period where my right knee was almost unusable. And as much as I hate being the “man, he looks pretty messed up” guy, it was still nice to spend a couple hours out there with all of them. Meh… I’m rambling…

I did manage to stay up a little later last night, and woke up a little later as well, so at least that plan worked last night – and I’m feeling somewhat better because of it today. Still having crappy dreams, but at least last night they didn’t actually wake me up. But I’ve already done up the little bit of dishes, made some pasta w/garlic sausage sauce that I split up into three plates for easy microwaving later, the doors are open since the day is nice, and there’ll soon be a NASCAR race to play in the background as I decide to do whatever it is that I’m gonna do with the day.

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Sweet Corn Fest

I feel like I’m gonna be back to “good” tomorrow, but I’m still glad that it’s a three-day weekend so I don’t feel like I have to do anything tomorrow, should I wake up still feeling a little off. I probably should have been more prepared that several hours of walking around the festival could drain me more than I thought it would, considering it was my first big “thing” after starting to feel close to normal thanks to the thyroid meds. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

I’m fine, it’s just that frustrating sluggishness that I can’t “mind over matter” myself out of just yet. πŸ˜’

That’s probably why when I got home that night I was a little more “meh” about the evening than I’d normally be. I just expected more out of myself… but hey, 3.5 hours isn’t nothing… and it’s actually pretty damn good, considering everything. πŸ™‚ So yeah, the trip was fine, it was good to see Jim and Adam again, and despite not seeing any former classmates or anyone that we knew really, it still felt good to keep up the tradition. There have been more changes over the past couple of years though than in the decade or two prior. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ I probably should have taken pictures of the things that were significantly different, but once I took a handful of shots of the rides, Adam showed up and I kinda just abandoned photo mode.

The weather wasn’t great, so all the pics just have a bleh gray background, and then once the sun went down… I guess I could have tried to do some long exposure pics of the rides, but we were just too busy walkin’ and talkin’ for me to wanna bother. So I guess that’s a good thing. Next year, when I’m hopefully feeling even better, I think I might actually go twice… once for tradition night, and once for just wandering by myself at my own pace, eating whatever, taking pics of whatever, playing whatever games, etc. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜

It Shouldn’t Be This Challenging

Today’s been kind of a flop. I didn’t have anything on the schedule really, but even after not getting much sleep – I still woke up with some motivation to work on one or two of my extra projects around the house. Also, between the lack of sleep and the shitty weather, I knew today wasn’t a car or glasses day either… so I’ve spent most of the day waiting for my upset stomach to go away so I could do a little of the work that I wanted to do without feeling like I was gonna yack. 🀒

It did make for a nice lazy day though, something that I sometimes struggle with allowing. Texted with Dad quite a bit, along with a few other friends, and then finally decided to go in the kitchen to chop up some green peppers to make some tuna salad for sammiches – to hopefully settle my belly, which it did. πŸ™‚ And to be honest, I was glad to just wake up today without my back being screwed up… something that it was showing signs of before I ended up falling asleep early this morning. 😯😬

So it wasn’t really that today was a flop… it was just unremarkable for the most part, so I wasn’t looking at it in the right way. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ And now that I’m feeling better since this afternoon, I know it’ll help my mood to get some more of my “unessential” stuff done before whenever I fall asleep tonight. Normally my lack of productivity would have made me a little twitchy, but I think I’m still riding along on the thyroid med train – still seeming to get back a little more energy with each day that passes. πŸ€’πŸ€žπŸ» I wish I could explain how bad the bad days really were just a few weeks ago, to emphasize how these little improvements are still a big deal.

I think I might go ahead and pull out the 360 cam and charge it up, in case I feel up to shooting any video at the SCF here in a few days. If not that, I plan on taking a lot more regular pictures this year. It’s been a few years since I’ve bothered, especially since last year’s trip was kind of a shit show from the start. πŸ˜’ And with my mood being decent lately (for the most part anyway…) I’m hoping that it’ll also nudge me towards getting interested in my hobbies like video and photography again. 😟

Every now and then Jim will post one of goofy our old videos on Twitter and I’ll come across it, where we were just goofing off and having fun for random Squirtman themed videos, and it makes me realize how long it’s been since I could truly say that I was having fun at anything, or that I was in a good mood for more than a couple hours out of one day. 😞 I’ve gotta start trying to figure out how to get a little more of that back, despite all of the other non-fun stuff I’ll obviously have to be working on (or facing) as well. 🀨 It wasn’t that many years ago that I was a totally different person, and it’d be nice if I could find my way back toward that at least a little bit. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ If my body will just stay physically un-fucked for a while, I might have a shot at it.

Meh… just thinking out loud again I guess…

Almost As Good As Medicine

When I’m having a bad day, and my energy levels just aren’t there, often I’ll feel bad for Maven. 😿 She’ll wanna play or follow me around or whatever… but since I’m not really doing anything – sometimes she’ll just sit and stare at me, sometimes she’ll flop down next to me, and sometimes she’ll just piss off to the basement to do who-knows-what for a couple of hours. 😏 But it’s weird that a cat, with just a certain look, can make you feel like you’re letting her down in some way.

But this weekend I’ve kept busy (off and on) and was doing enough “stuff” that she was actually getting a little bit twitchy. 😾 She doesn’t like change either, especially when it probably doesn’t have any reason to her, so whenever I would sit down and take a break she would join me. Almost as if she was relieved that I “stopped doing stuff” so she didn’t have to wonder what the heck I was up to and when I was going to stop. 🀨

You probably have to be a “cat person” to really get this… but this cat, when I first got her, she didn’t like to have her belly touched – let alone petted, rubbed, or scratched. 😯 But over the years, with just me and her here, it’s molded her into a critter who shares a lot of personality traits with me. Plus she absolutely trusts me now, and has turned into a kitty that (most of the time… heh) loves belly rubs. πŸ˜„

So, shortly after I finished folding, hanging, and putting away my laundry… using up the last bit of oomph that I had for that moment, I sat down on the floor for a short break and ended up with this in my lap… 😏😊

Sorry about the large blurred edges, but the only way I could record this properly was in portrait mode… and if I uploaded it “as-is” the video would be taller than the height of the actual page. But anyway, knowing how she used to be, seeing how she is now… this is one of the very few things that can take my mind off of all the bad things swirling around inside my brain, to where all I’m thinking about is how lucky she is to have me, and how lucky I am to have her… and that sometimes I don’t make too bad of a critter daddy, I guess. 😊

How It’s Supposed To Be

Okay, gotta change the mood to something lighter… just hopped onto Facebook to see a thread over 100 comments long, everyone arguing about how the police treated the man who was firing a gun in the city as the cops looked on. Wanna see a thread where every damn person thinks that they are absolutely, 100% correct and everyone else is an idiot or moron? 😏 Go find that thread in one of the local Lancaster groups. πŸ™„

But like I said… changing the mood. As I’m sitting here on the floor with my knee in front of the space heater, Maven just jumped up on the couch behind me and started staring and purring at me. 😏😸 See, I started the process of grooming (shaving) her a couple of days ago… and she’s gotten to the point now where she actually likes it. At least to a point. πŸ˜„ So I think she’s trying to give me a hint that she’s ready for a few more swipes here in a bit. Oops… no… she actually just curled up on my mail and fell asleep.

It still amazes me, how far she’s come from when I first got her. You couldn’t even pet her belly when she first got here… and now I can lay her on her back between my legs and shave her belly with a loud trimmer and she’ll mostly just take it. πŸ˜… Although the twitchy tail does reveal that that’s probably her least favorite part to be worked on. But I’m lucky… I’ve got a couple of throw carpets in the bathroom, and when I go in there she’ll usually follow me for a few minutes of grooming, and then when she’s had enough she’ll take a few steps out into the hallway where she knows she’ll get the good hair brush treatment which she loves. 😻

I think it’s partly that, in general, I’m pretty boring when I’m just hanging around the house with her, so she really eats up all of the attention that I’m then giving her as we go through the process. She only gets twitchy about it when it comes to her belly and her butt. I think that’s just because it’s probably a weird feeling… and a very vulnerable position for her to put herself into willingly. But yeah, so far so good, because I’ve taken more fur off of her in the first two days of this process than I’ve usually been able to do over the course of an entire week before. πŸ˜ƒ I think between it getting warmer, and her getting tired of licking and cleaning all the time, she’s actually as anxious to get this done as I am.Β 

(Day One, Session One: Already waiting patiently by the door for some more swipes and brushing… 😊 )

I think the good trick this time is that for the times when she doesn’t just follow me into the bathroom, I snatch her up either right when she’s falling asleep or right when she’s waking up… when she just doesn’t have the oomph to give me too much shit right away. 😁 I’m probably gonna give her a break from it today though, to also continue giving my knee a break. I’ve got two loads of laundry to (hopefully) bring upstairs and fold, and I wanna do that while I’m still feeling decent and before I let more hair loose into the house.

I’m so glad that Genesee decided that I needed her when I moved in here. 😏 Whenever you’ve got a critter, and then lose that critter (😒) part of you says that you don’t wanna do it again. The inevitable heartbreak of getting and loving a critter that you know will eventually end as it always does, as much as you don’t want to feel like you’re just getting a “replacement” for a critter that you just lost. πŸ˜• If it would have been up to me to decide, I probably wouldn’t have gotten another cat after Kitty B. But just as any true “critter person” will tell you – I can’t imagine what life would have been like without all of the years that I’ve had with ol’ girl here. 😊

Why Do I Make Plans?

(Alternate / Extended Title:Β  Haven’t You Learned By Now? You Should Know Better…)

Another day, another disappointment. Not forΒ me… well, yeah, actually for me too… but the night before last I was feeling pretty good, planned on having a productive day yesterday, maybe even go grab Bri and take her somewhere so she could get groceries… but nope. πŸ˜’ I just haven’t found the “trick” when it comes to sleeping and my knee in its current state. One night it’ll be fine, next night… fucked. 😠 Last thing I really wanna do is have another round of xrays and scans, fearing that they’ll all “look fine” like with my lower back recently… but yeah, definitely gonna request xrays when I see the doc at the beginning of next week. 😣 Hopefully it’ll be something where a steroid injection will help, because I’m much more inclined to let them do that to my knee than to let them do it in my spine at the base of my neck. 😳

I think I’ve got it through my head now that “feeling better” on one day doesn’t mean it’s actually getting better. It’s not like I’m even pushing myself, but yeah, when I have a slightly better day – I do slightly more stuff… but that’s not working this time. So I’ve been in a shit mood, kinda disappeared from people for a couple of days, haven’t done most of the stuff that I had on my mental “maybe” list, but today – even though it hasn’t been quite as bad – I still haven’t pushed it, and I’m not feeling too bad. πŸ˜’ So that’ll keep my mental mood good enough to finally get through the bills (that I skipped the other night due to an instant headache) and probably check and respond to e-mails and messages. 🀞🏻 I think it being the weekend actually helps too, even though that’s sorta dumb when I don’t really keep a normal M-F human schedule except when appointments dictate.

But yeah, I’m around… and I’ll get around to the stuff that I need to get around to, whenever I end up getting around to it. 😏 It’s funny, when you’re young and healthy… and someone older tells you to enjoy it while you can, and tells you about all the random aches and pains and whatever… when you’re young, your brain just won’t allow that idea to register. (And therefore I don’t think anyone is really prepared for it, or accepts it gracefully.)Β Your brain doesn’t realize that you’ll eventually be the one with all the defective pieces, telling someone younger than you that this is what they’ve got to look forward to. πŸ™„ Heh… see… this is why it’s better that I just avoid people when I’m like this. Not exactly a ray of sunshine right now.

And say what ya’ want… but I still don’t think I’m old enough to feel this consistently beat up. πŸ˜•Β </whining>

A Tale of Two Mother’s Days

It’s been a rough week, with today being a lot harder than I expected. Talk about different groups of people having vastly different experiences on a holiday. 😟 I haven’t been on Facebook much anyway, but today, the contrast of the posts from the people who were spending the day with their moms, to the posts of those of us who no longer can… ugh… I should have known better than to even open the app.

But by the end of the evening, I had kinda changed my mind about that. Just as everyone wants to share their happy events from today, I realized that there are a whole lot of people who need to share their memories… to not let their moms be forgotten among all of the ongoing activities of the day, just because their moms don’t happen to be around any longer. πŸ˜ͺ And I ended up being one of those people. How could I not post something about Mom? And how could I not be there to click off an emotion or offer some words to friends of mine who are feeling the same way about the day as I was?

So I posted one of the recently scanned slides of Mom from when she was young, playing with “baby me” on a swing in the park. 😊 And I can’t even remember how I worded it, but basically I just tried to show that I wanted to recognize everyone else who has lost their mom (especially since last Mother’s Day) and saying something about how I know that everyone thinks that their mom was the best, and that everyone was absolutely right about that. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I dunno… trying to be a little lighthearted I guess, but honestly – what can you say? So many happy memories, but such a sucky feeling…

And I thought I was feeling basically useless over the past few days? Today, the only thing I was able to do was pick up Brianna as planned, so we could go to the nursery and get some flowers to plant in Mom and Christina’s memory. πŸ˜• I’m glad that Genesee got me that little tin planter box for Easter and suggested the flower idea… but man was it hard to get up and actually do that today. Normally Bri and I function as a distraction from each others “bleh” but there was no avoiding it today. But she picked the same type of flowers that Brantley got her for Mother’s Day last year, we got them planted in the tin, and they’re now decorating the doorstep to her new apartment. πŸ™‚ So many positive things have happened for her in the past few months, stuff that she desperately wishes her mom was still around to see… meh… I don’t think I need to explain further. You either know how it feels, or you’re gonna eventually.

MomFlowers

But I came back home and turned into a physical, mental, and social potato… and I think Bri took a page out of my playbook and just called it a night in the early evening, trying to just go to sleep and make the day go away. πŸ˜” I feel shitty because I haven’t e-mailed Dad in about a week now, and I thought today might be the day… but then, yeah… 😣 I’ve just gotta focus on all the good things about Mom that I can remember tonight as I try to fall asleep, and hope that tomorrow I can wake up and somehow turn this shitty state of mind around and start functioning like a semi-normal person again. 😐 Being twitchy like this in itself isn’t what really bothers me… what bothers me is when it affects the people I care about and the people that care about me. And it’s definitely doing that right now.

*repeating to myself until I get it*“Mom wouldn’t want me sitting here feeling shitty that she’s gone.”

(What is it with me, and not being able to process the type of shit that millions of people process every day? πŸ˜”)