안녕하세요

There was one other day where I allowed myself to do something a little frivolous. It was already something that was going to be a little bit outside of my comfort zone, but then we had to completely change our plans. 😳 The original plan was for me to go up to Columbus and pick up Cassi from work, so we could then head over to Arirang Market – which also has (or had) a restaurant in the back that serves authentic Korean food.

We went into the store and I asked the fella at the front if the restaurant was open yet, since it was only around 11am, and he said that the restaurant is no more. 😕 It’s a shame, because they had a ton of variety, at good prices, and they had all sorts of good reviews on the various sites. But since we were there, in a Korean market full of authentic Korean foodstuffs, we decided that we could just buy the stuff that would allow us to make our lunch and dinner from scratch. 🙂

In no particular order, we got kimchi, tofu soup starter, yam noodles, seaweed, soju, red pepper paste, rice, sesame oil and soy sauce, eggs, chicken and cabbage rice dumplings, rice cakes (for soup), and then a few misc snacks and a couple pairs of metal chopsticks. We were excited, because between the music, the travel and foodie videos on YouTube, the different TV shows, the picking up of the language here and there – I dunno, it just felt like we were taking our next step in the appreciation of the country and culture.

I made the soup meal on the first day, including the kimchi… and while the kimchi was pretty awful, the tofu soup, noodles, and rice cakes were tolerable. 😐 Not good, not bad… it just kinda was what it was, and that would be something that neither of us necessarily needs to try ever again. 😅 On the next day we teamed up in the kitchen, with her making the fried rice from scratch, and me frying up the chicken dumplings in condensed broth. Now that meal was amazing. 🤤 Part of it was because I was super hungry, but no… it really was amazing. I ate until I was beyond poofed, and I still wanted to keep going.

Granted, that was probably the furthest from “authentic Korean” and towards “normal food” that we could have gone, but it still counted as Korean. 😏 And neither of us were that bad with the chopsticks, either. From both days there was enough left over that I was able to send a decent sample of it all back up with Cassi so her mom could give it a try. And she agreed with us when it came to the dumplings and rice, for sure. (I forgot to send the kimchi… which is probably a good thing for her.)

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Christmas Day

Oh hell… I completely forgot to come back here and update this entry to reflect the crap that I did on Christmas day. 🙄 And now that it’s not all fresh in my memory, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to paint a very vivid picture of how things went. 🤔 Let’s see…

Went up to Columbus fairly early, and Cassi and I threw together our “exclusively microwaved” Christmas dinner for me, her, her mom, and her little cousin. This was also his first “good” Christmas where he had a bunch of packages to open, so it was nice to vibe off of his excitement and enthusiasm. 🙂 And since he knew that I got him a couple things as well, he made sure to have Cassi take him to the dollar store so he could buy me a few little gifts of his own choosing. 😊

Didn’t get back home until late, and like I’ve done in previous years – I saved the gifts that Genesee had gotten me for opening once my day was essentially done and I was settled back in at home. Lots of neat “baby game console” keychains, ranging from a tiny Atari 2600 to a tiny Sony PlayStation. A View-Master viewer with a couple reels of custom photos that she picked from my huge archive of pics from my past… so I’ll probably be able to use my 3D camera for making actual 3D reels for the thing. 😄 Lots of new candy and wrappers, a big ol’ heavy handmade throw blanket… just lots of unexpected goodies that put a nice cap on a day that was already pretty good.

I’m having deja vu right now… 🤨 really feeling like I’ve already written an entry like this for the day, but I’m guessing it’s probably just familiar typing – since I texted with a few different people as well and told them about how my day went. 🤷🏻‍♂️ The only real glitch was the amount of time I had to spend up in Columbus. I mean, I didn’t have to… I wanted to… but after our lunch-time dinner my brain decided to go into protection mode, with Cassi and I both actually taking a nap for a few hours.

That’s about all I’ve got. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it really was a better day than I had been expecting, for this reason and that. Okay, now I’m all “worded out” so I don’t know if I’m gonna make that “pre-NYE” entry that I actually came here to make… before realizing that I hadn’t even gotten this one done yet. 😐 I should probably avoid any optimistic “coming soon” promises in the future. 😏

Oh… Yeah

Today was a good day. I have some papers that I needed to sign which also required two witnesses, so this afternoon I went over to my friend Amy’s house so she and Rick could provide some initials and signatures to help me out with that. I ended up staying there about a half hour, and we stood outside talking and looking at various projects that Rick either had been working on or planned to start working on soon… and lemme tell ya, that guy can do almost anything. 💪🏻😎 And like I told him, sometimes it’s nice to live through someone else’s inspiration and motivation about their passion projects. 😏

After that I made a quick trip to the gas station in Rockbridge so I could a) fill my car with gas, b) pick up enough necessities to make it to next week, and c) grab some Burger King so I didn’t have to do any cooking tonight… all in one shot. Basically just a mini-run to keep me “good” here at the house until next week, when I intend to do a much bigger “stocking up” shopping trip before my surgery… just in case I don’t feel like leaving the house and mixing with the unwashed public for a while afterwards.

But what I actually did while I was out today isn’t the point. The point is that I did all of that stuff today without thinking about the problem with my leg at all. 😃 I may have had some pain as I was getting in and out of the car, but I don’t remember it. 🤷🏻‍♂️ And as I was walking around to get ready, or over at Amy’s house, or while I was filling the car and doing my shopping… once I got home I realized that I hadn’t been limping, at least as far as I know, through any of it. 😯

I’m not going to start cheering just yet, since I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs as I’ve been going through this… but yeah, it feels good to have not been nagged by pain for at least that small part of my day. I’m hoping that sitting on this giant silly yoga ball is actually making a positive impact, because I’m going to keep doing it. I’m also going to change the sheets on my bed and add that fluffy mattress topper thing that I bought a few weeks back.

I really needed something like this today. 🙂 I mean, I’ve got much less on my mental agenda today than yesterday, but it really was an uplifting surprise to have (for the first time in a couple of months) such a span of painless walking. And the older and more broken that I get, the more that I’m learning to appreciate these small victories.

Paying For Yesterday

I’m right in the middle of a “spell” with my lower back. 🙁 It happens a couple times a year, and I’ve even been to the ER once (several years ago) while it was happening – and the scan or x-ray or whatever that they did, it didn’t reveal any damage or specific thing that could be causing it. (Because of course it didn’t. 😠) So, even though I woke up today essentially unable to walk or take steps due to the unpredictable random jolts of pain – I’m still planning on waiting it out, and then the next time that I feel this coming on I’ll make plans to go to the ER again to see if I can get some answers.

It’s hard to describe the pain and that effect that it has if you haven’t experienced something similar. Cautiously and slowly taking each step, being unable to predict what movement is going to cause a jolt of pain that would knock me over if I didn’t have a wall to grab on to. 😳😢 Even just getting out of bed required five minutes of rolling, twisting, sliding, bending – all to find the one way that allowed me to sit up. And I do mean allowed. Because no matter how much pain that I was determined to accept, there’s a point where pain dictates what the body does, and when it doesn’t wanna allow you to put your weight on one leg, it’ll be happy to let you fall to the ground to avoid it. 😔

But anyway, today is the price that I’m paying for yesterday’s activities. I went up to Columbus to take Cassi to her doctor appointment, and it was actually helpful to spend so much time sitting in my comfortable car seat with the heating elements set to max. ♨😋 I think that’s actually what allowed me to function as well as I was during the moments when we were out of the car. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I also gritted my teefs and made a bunch of phone calls to handle appointments and things that I’ve been needing to take care of. 📞😬

I had $80 in free slot play, and $30 in dining credit, so after her appointment we went over to Hollywood Casino. By the time we got there we were both starving, so we opted for the buffet and absolutely poofed ourselves before we played. 🧑🏻👱🏻‍♀️🍕🍗🥙🍔🥩🥓🍟🥗🍖 I let her play on my free money, and I took the same amount in cash to play along side of her. By the time we left she had won over $240, and I was able to (again) walk away with the same amount that I took, which is absolutely fine with me. 😁 So that “Meh… why not?” side trip ended up being a good experience for both of us.

We then went to the huge thrift store across the way from the casino, and she picked up a handful of new black pants for use with her work uniform, along with some extra shorts and tops thanks to the unexpected winnings. 💁🏻‍♀️ I found a couple of shirts that I liked, but no jeans. 😒 I’ve finally started looking for jeans that have a waistband that’s one size up from the ones that I’ve been wearing for the past many years… not something I’m too excited about… and I’m hoping there’s still a medical explanation that can eventually be fixed so I can stick with my normal “almost fat” sized pants.

So yeah, even though I felt miserable, and feel even more miserable today, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. 🙂 I like when I can do something fun with a friend and it ends up actually really helping them out at just the right time. And when I got home… I was still hurting, but no worse than I had throughout the day… so I certainly wasn’t expecting this when I woke up today. 🤔🤨 I’m going to be taking it super, super easy for the next couple of days though, so I can give it some time to hopefully recover a bit. 🧘🏻‍♂️🙏🏻 I mean, I know I’ll get better – because I always have – but it’s still scary when your ability to walk becomes questionable at best.

Visitation

I’ve been a bit distracted over the past several days. 😳 Genesee, Sarah, and one of their friends came to town earlier in the week, so I’ve had little micro-visits from them as they’ve been coming and going and enjoying their vacation here in Ohio. I knew this was a “them” versus a “Gen” visit, so I figured they’d be on the go most of the week and that I wouldn’t get as much time as I would on a solo visit. But then, due to an emergency at home, their stay got cut even shorter than expected. 😐 So their planned trip to Cedar Point, and our planned dinner at Jack’s and possible visit with Mom and Dad all wound up getting the axe.

I saw her for a few minutes when they first arrived, so she could drop off some donuts and diet shake mix things that she’s been taking so I could try them. 🤤 The next day I saw her for a few more minutes when she dropped off Nesh so they could visit Amish Country sans puppy, and then for a few minutes when they picked Nesh back up and delivered some Heini cheese (*giggle*) and a selection of cheese crowns. 🤔 Hmm… I guess that was it. It seems that I should have taken them up on their invitation to go out to eat with them earlier in their trip.

Nesh is a big horse of a dog, but he’s really well behaved. I’ve never seen a dog that pays  so much attention (along with perfectly timed head tilting) when you talk to him. 🐺 He missed his mommy the entire time they were gone, but he still tolerated me and my lack of knowledge on how to work a dog. 🤷🏻‍♂️😅 Maven wasn’t thrilled about our company for the day, but by the end of it she at least wouldn’t run off… and instead she’d just kinda glare at him as he’d walk around the living room or occasionally come over to sniff at her. 😾

I had a couple appointments yesterday and today, both of which went without incident, so now I’m just readjusting to “normal” and getting ready to do up my dishes and laundry, before I tackle the much bigger task of taking apart my current bed frame before assembling the new one. 😬 It’s much lower to the ground and doesn’t require a box spring, so it’s just something different to see if I can prevent my back from getting fucked on a semi-regular basis when I sleep on that mattress. 🙇🏻‍♂️

I’ve recently started (somewhat) using my email again, but their visit (despite it coming in brief chunks) had my head relatively full already, so I’ve not been checking it over the past few days. I don’t think I’ll get back into it tonight, but I’m going to give it a shot tomorrow before I really get my day started. It was nice seeing Gen, but it’ll be nicer when she (hopefully) comes back in a few months on her own, with a little more time for being a potato here at the house with me, just hanging out and really catching up.

Prepared

Cassi sent me a text a couple of days ago to ask if I’d wanna join her for Thanksgiving again this year. First thing that flashed in my head was that it sure didn’t feel like an entire year could have passed since we made our premiere attempt, throwing together a (surprisingly edible) Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in the house there. (With neither of us having any bird cookin’ skillz to speak of.) 😏 We were pretty proud of ourselves.

This year she stepped up her game. 😯 She did her research and the bird was prepped, seasoned, in the oven, and half-way done before I even got there – so she alone gets the cookie when it ended up turning out amazing. 😃 It’s weird how the turkey was almost half the size of last year’s bird, but we somehow ended up with way more “good” meat this year… and it was every bit as good as anything that we used to have at family holidays. I was impressed.

Honestly the only tasks that I had were making the cornbread and then making the gravy, and most of the rest of the time I just tried to stay out of her way. 🙂 Oh, I did the carving too… but even that I can’t take much credit for, as the bird basically fell apart in a way where all of the “good stuff” separated itself from the “ick” in nice big chunks. I didn’t let them know that though. 😁 I mean, I gotta appear useful for something.

I’m glad that I went. And it wasn’t a definite. It’s not easy to leave the bubble and go out for something uncertain, even if I know it’s gonna be at least an okay time. 😐😟 But agreeing to it when she asked “locked it in” so that even if I wasn’t feelin’ it today – that alone would have made it harder for me to cancel. Oh, and Aunt Sharon left a message about our local family’s gathering today – but she left it at 8:00 am, I didn’t get it until I woke up around 1:00 pm, where I learned that “we’re gonna eat” at noon. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️ Another example of how my inability to conform to human schedules kinda messed things up. But, while I love my family and love that they still invite me, our family gatherings are just shadows of their former selves these days. 😟