Much Doctoring

It’s only half way through the week but I’ve taken care of the blood draw, the appointment for my off-and-on lower back issues, and then another appointment to go over the lab results and schedule some additional things that need to be checked off of the “Post ’18 Surgery / Keep an Eye on Stuff” list at some point during the next six months. 😯😊 That was a pleasant surprise to hear that last part… that my lab numbers didn’t trigger any sense of urgency from the doctor, and that I can just do those next things at my leisure. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»

Tomorrow is gonna be a partial day off… probably gonna make a couple more phone calls (yay?) that need to be made, but other than that I’ll probably just potato in the AC here at home. It’s been effing hot so far this week, and looks like it’ll be just as bad (if not worse) as Independence Day approaches. πŸ˜“ Some of us are meeting up on Friday for my friend Jim’s birthday, and that’s gonna be outside, so I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope that we can find a place around here with both a low human count and lots of shade. 😎

Had a nice surprise towards the end of the day. πŸ™‚ Well, nice for me, but slightly less nice for Dad. He wasn’t feeling great so he had someone take him over to the ER to get things checked out, and once they were done I went and picked him up and gave him a lift back home. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸš– He seemed like he was feeling pretty good, relative to the reason for his trip out. I’m glad my car was cleaned out since a couple weeks ago though… heh… ‘cuz not only would I have been embarrassed for him to see it, but he also would have been sitting with his knees pinned to his chest due to all of the trash clutter in my passenger-side footwell. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜…

My sleep is still pretty screwy, so I’m almost positive that I’m gonna be up half the night tonight – but I’m not even gonna sweat it one way or the other. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Half the time, when I can’t sleep, it’s ‘cuz I’m stressing that I can’t sleep. But with nothing major on the agenda tomorrow, it doesn’t matter when I crap out or wake up. 😴 My nap today was solid though. 😊 I didn’t even hear when the lawn guys came and mowed… only noticing it once I was backing my car out of the driveway later in the day.

A Different Ramble

Yay. Made it to the weekend. 😐 This past week had been a big ol’ MEH for me personally, even though there wasn’t anything particularly horrible… just not a whole lot that was good, either. Getting to the weekend allows me to mentally switch gears, which is silly – since “weekday” or “weekend” doesn’t really have any functional difference in my position, but it just helps me to push aside the “meh” of last week and prepare to work on some different “meh” with a bit less on my mind. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Some good stuff from the past week… I had a friend come over and bail me out when my lawn had gotten overgrown and I hadn’t seen or heard from my normal mowing crew in two weeks. 🀨 Got my orders of paper masks and hand sanitizer from Amazon. It had been hard to find in stock for a while, so I went ahead and got the pack of 50 masks and a friggin’ case of a dozen 8oz bottles of gel. But having that much, that allowed me to take some up to a couple different friends in Columbus who are as cautious (paranoid?) as me, so they wouldn’t have to go searching for it in stores. 😳😷 Oh, and I did pick up a load of groceries for Dad, using Kroger’s curbside pickup, but unfortunately wasn’t able to stay and visit. 😟 Should be soon, though.

And I don’t know yet if this will turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing, but since the start of last week – all the way up through yesterday – I’ve gotten pieces of mail of various thickness and sizes from the Center for Medicare Services, my Medicare insurer, the Social Security Administration, and I think there may have been one in there from my WC attorneys as well. πŸ˜³πŸ˜‘ If it’s all just stuff to help finish up the settlement phase of my case, then great… I’ll grit my teefs and get through it. But something just tells me that there’s gonna be at least a couple things in this pile of mail that are waiting to be a pain in my ass.

I’ll hold back on my complaining about the lawn situation too much, since it was mostly a misunderstanding. I ended up having a friend mow my lawn in the evening of the 14th day since my normal guys had been here, because the prior week I had contacted them to let them know that part of the yard was getting overgrown with weeds and new bush growth from where they had missed it before. πŸ˜• Yet five days later I still hadn’t even gotten a reply, never mind anyone actually showing up to mow. He said it was because I was down for “every two weeks” even though I thought it was every ten days or so, but like I said… if he’d have replied I’d have at least known that they would be coming eventually, and when I told him five days prior that the yard was already getting out of control – you’d think they’d wanna take care of that sooner than later. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜’

And I’ve been watching the news, reading the articles, paying attention to the numbers all week… and I’ve decided that I can’t go to my cousin’s graduation party this evening. πŸ˜” There’s been a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases which comes from people’s Memorial Day activity, and then all these protests… woo… it should be about another week before we start seeing the increases from those. 😬 That’ll be the first big “experiment” that may relax some of my fears. If things don’t really pop off after all of the people rubbing up against each other in all of the protest cities, then maybe I can let up on my concern just a bit. But yeah, I can’t go and mix it up with a bunch of folks who’ve been who-knows-where doing who-knows what… especially if I’m gonna be spending time with Dad soon. I hope nothing bad comes from the gathering, because she’d probably feel awful if any of the family members get sick (or worse) just to go to her grad party. 😟

Okay, I’ve gotta run down to the quicky mart to gas up and grab some pop, chips, bread, etc. It’s really the only “store” I’ve been in for months now, so thankfully they have all the small essentials to keep me going – even if it costs a little more than at a regular store. But they’re good at keeping customer numbers in the store low, the doors all open with the breeze blowing, and plenty of space while standing in line. Only once or twice did I see everyone there (as customers) wearing a mask, and last time I was the only one… but yeah, I’m comfortable enough with that place that I don’t have an instant panic attack as I park and prepare to exit my car. 😳

So the plans for tonight include grabbing gas station goodies, hitting BK a little further down the road for dinner, getting back here to the house to then start the laundry, finish the dishes, and face whatever fresh hell all of this mail is waiting to bestow upon me. 😠 I tried to do that last part a couple times this week but couldn’t make myself do it – but I can’t stall anymore since the stuff is probably time sensitive. πŸ˜’ Fun Fun.

Not Yet

It’s a deceptively beautiful day outside so far today, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a trip to the store like I was considering quite yet. My brain hasn’t really made it out of “weekend” mode, and after a night of bad dreams and waking up in a cold sweat a few times – I’m finding it easier to kinda just sit here with the doors open, trying to absorb some of the “nice” while I plan a few things I need to work on later this afternoon.

I think, lingering in the background processes of my brain, the way that a lot of the country is planning to “re-open” is filling me with an ominous feeling. 😳 Since not every state practiced a well-thought, simultaneous “shelter at home” order along with every other state – the effectiveness of such precautions has already been damaged. Sure, your state will have lower numbers while they individually practice such restrictions, but if surrounding states aren’t being as careful and allow their infection numbers to grow, what do you think’s gonna happen when your state decides to relax their rules?

You may have seen the videos on Twitter or the news… where, just because rules have been relaxed, hundreds of people decided to pour into the streets, the parks, the sidewalks, the beaches… basically just because they haven’t been allowed to for so long, and now they can. Good for them? πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ And when reporters ask them why they’re out and mingling with others, it’s almost always a “Because I can!” / “Because it’s our right as ‘murricans!” type of answer. Awesome. 😐 Way to prove a point. 😐 Job well done. 😐

If you look at the actual numbers though, you’ll see that we’re getting ready to open back up right at the time when people should be recognizing that the isolation is making a difference, and that if all states keep/start doing it, the downward trends should continue. But no, politicians are obviously gung-ho about opening up, the citizens hear the optimism, and far too many of them are now thinking and acting like the danger has passed and there’s less (or no) need for precautions. 😞 And in a further display of stupidity, our governor was going to mandate that for the time being – employees of stores and their customers must all wear masks. Sounds like a responsible idea, right? Well, he had to go back on that because of public outcry, of people being that vocal that they shouldn’t have to wear a mask, and so he not only backtracked on that – but essentially apologized for it by saying that they “went too far” with that rule.

It’s just amazing to me that there are that many people bitching about having to wear a mask. Something to protect them. Something to protect employees. Something to protect everyone by lowering the transmission rate. Who are these angry people? Who could be so selfish to angrily protest such a rule, others be damned? ☹️ It blows my mind…

So, yeah, I was originally gonna go out today and get pop for me and Dad, along with some other stuff, but obviously with all of that stuff swirling around in my thoughts, today isn’t the day for me to go out and do that. Especially since it’s likely that there will be a lot more folks out today than before. It’s just a creepy feeling to live in a state where so many people are vocally and angrily opposed to cooperating with a very simple precaution. 😟 Yeah, that’s not most people, but it doesn’t take many careless or indifferent infected people to cough or smear their cooties all over the place and ruin it for everyone else.

If anything, the state starting to “open up” is more likely to make me stay at home. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It’s like if you’re at the beach and there’s been a shark warning – but the lifeguard says it’s all clear now, and people can return to the water if they want. 😧 You’ll have plenty of people who go running in, neck-deep… meanwhile, my ass would stay planted in the sand as I watched the water to see what happened. πŸ˜ŸπŸ€” That’s what right now feels like to me… the time to watch from the safety of my living room for a while, to see what’s gonna happen. πŸ₯Ί And if this virus is anything like what most doctors are saying, “what happens” ain’t gonna be good.

Another heavy blog entry… I’ll try to balance it out with something lighter this evening. 🀞🏻 My mood isn’t actually that bad otherwise, it’s just taking me a lot longer to get mentally and physically moving today than I’d prefer. I’ve got workers comp / settlement mail that I’ve yet to read, and then wanna do some typical straightening up around the living room and bedroom… so if I’m hard to reach today, I’m probably just trying to do something to make myself feel productive and normal. πŸ™‚

Blue Angels / Thunderbirds

Looks like they’ve sprung for cameras like the 360 cam I’ve got for each of their cockpits… πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒπŸ€“

It’s a shame that people on Twitter and on the news had to take something nice / distracting like this and poop all over it though. You’ve got one group of folks that are talking about how much it cost to do the performance, saying how the money should have been spent on PPE for the hospitals and doctors… and then the second group is mad because the mayor of NYC scolded the Jewish folks who held / attended a funeral in which hundreds of people attended, flouting social distancing rules… and the bitchy people complained that the folks who went outside to watch the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly over weren’t scolded in the same way for their supposed “gathering” to do so. 😐 Because those two things are apples to apples and definitely make for a perfect comparison. (Note the heavy sarcasm in that last sentence please.)

Quite a video though… those guys / gals are brave / nuts. 😊

Oh, and as for the cost of the show, and the hospitals needing supplies… I can almost guarantee you that not a single hospital or doctor is going to ask for PPE or supplies and be told, “Well, we would have been able to get you that extra ventilator, but we had that airplane show the other day, so…” πŸ™„πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I mean, let’s be real. The hospitals and doctors are going to get the help that they get. The Blue Angels / Thunderbirds show isn’t going to reduce whatever help those folks would / are able to get from the government any more than Pence’s trip to the NIH did, or Trump’s flights back and forth to his properties. πŸ˜’ Let the people have some fun. You know how many kids were probably thrilled when they stepped outside and saw that stuff? 😁

See? The grumps even tainted my viewing experience, and I wasn’t even there. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

The Day After

“What are you thankful for?” Well, at this moment, I’m thankful that I had absolutely zero desire to go out and do any shopping with the Black Friday crowd – and that I can sit at home and regenerate from the past several days of stuff. πŸ™‚ Nothing bad has been going on really, I’ve just used up all of my social juju over the past few days – so the long weekend will be even more appreciated.

I know that I’m always invited to the family gatherings, which is technically just Aunt Sharon’s clan usually, but there’s still a bunch of people if everyone shows up. And everyone showed up yesterday… including me, since Toni invited me again a couple days earlier. It had just been so long since I’ve been to even a cookout, so even though I knew I was low on energy I still wanted to go and at least pop in and say hi to everyone at once.

Dad knew ahead of time that it would likely zap my energy if I stopped by at the dinner, so he didn’t mind that I wasn’t able to make it over there yesterday, since I’ll be able to sometime else here soon when I’ll be far less twitchy. But I’m glad that I went… it was nice… but I got home around 4:30p and was sound asleep about an hour later. πŸ˜³πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Woke up after midnight, decided to eat the leftovers that Genesee had dropped off for me, and fell back to sleep around 4am. Slept in until about 11am, so sleep-wise I’m actually doing okay I think.

But yeah, there used to be a time where I’d at least be considering going out and doing some shopping… but I’m recovering too nicely today by just sitting on my ass and watching random stuff on YouTube. πŸ™‚ Hell, next year could be different and I might be right back out there with the crazy shoppers… ‘cuz sometimes it’s just fun to watch people scramble for what they want… but today, this is right where I need to be.

Who Invited You

As I suspected, I had fun… but it wiped me out. We all ended up staying there for about an hour and a half, dodging the rain under the shelter house now and then as needed. Unfortunately, Aunt Sharon forgot to bring her packet of pictures. πŸ˜πŸ˜‘ She asked if I would come out towards the end of the week to take her to see Mom anyway, so I’ll just grab them from her then and figure out what she wants to do with everything.

Lemme see if I can remember who all was there. πŸ€” Me, Sharon, Jim, Vicki, Toni, Wendi, Gloria, Jamie, Chris, Me, Matt, Anna, Jamie, and Mark. 😳 I think that’s it, although it felt like more people than that at times. I tried to absorb as many people’s stories as possible while they were talking, but you know how it is. 😏 It was nice though. And they made a bit of a fuss about me showing up at one of the family “things” since I often don’t, but it was all in fun… and they’re not wrong. πŸ˜…

I allowed myself to zone out as I watched the ducks, geese, and babies every now and then. πŸ˜΅πŸ¦†πŸ¦† All of the critters helped to make it sort of peaceful once you reached the edge of where all the picnic tables are. I even sat right next to some geese for a minute and none of them tried to give me the business. πŸ˜„ But I’m back home now and trying to get back into “home” mode, and at least right now I’m looking optimistically towards tomorrow and some of the things that I want to do.

Stop Typing and Get Ready

When I talked to Aunt Sharon yesterday, she mentioned that she had finished writing what she wanted for her “family history” project that she’s been working on. I think it’s going to be a brief scrapbook or storybook from her, Mom, and Uncle Jay’s childhood. πŸ™‚ It started with us just talking about how so many old photos are unlabeled, and sometimes difficult to figure out who’s who and what’s going on, so she decided that she would start writing down memories that would then go with certain pictures, to eventually be assembled into a document that she could print and share.

It sounds like the writing is done, it’s been typed into a word document, and now she just needs to have the matching photos scanned and put into the it… and I think that’s where I’m supposed to come in. 🀨 It shouldn’t be too much trouble to do, it’s just getting the oomph to spend an afternoon over there talking it all through and making sure each picture is positioned with the right story. πŸ€“πŸ”ŽπŸ“• I mean, I absolutely love the idea, so all of us “younger” people will get to hear the stories and see the things that we might not have known about otherwise… so hopefully it all comes together.

If nothing else, at least I’ll be able to scan all of the pics that she gives me today, kinda like how I just did with all of the photos (of Mom) that she loaned me a few weeks back. I’d love to snap my fingers and have every old photo just magically appear on my hard drive, but at least as we do this little bits at a time they’ll start getting archived and saved for future Shepherd / Riecky / Snead / Batina / Klingler / Burnside / Meridith / Orlowicz generations to see. 😁

Oy… somebody send me some energy plz. πŸ˜₯ This is probably gonna be rough.

Merry Christmas, Ya’ Filthy Animal

After watching a couple Christmas specials last night, before it reached midnight I got into the shelf with my DVDs on it and dusted off “Home Alone” for us to watch as well. 😊 Surprisingly, and I have no ideaΒ how she managed this, but Cassi said that she remembers watching it within the first couple of years of it coming out – but that she hadn’t seen it since then. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ At least not as in sitting down and watching more than a few minutes of it at a time. πŸ™‚ So that was kinda neat, watching a movie that me and everyone else on the planet have seen dozens of times, and seeing her experiencing it with new eyes.

Since neither of us had any obligations to wake up to, we both ended up sleeping in. I slept unusually soundly in the bedroom, while she slept out in the living room – where Maven decided to wake her up just a couple of times, probably like “Hey. I know who you are, but why are you in my house right now?” 😼 We didn’t set any alarms, and just figured that I’d end up taking her home whenever we got up and around.

But before we really had a chance to put that non-plan into motion, her grandma decided that she was going to do a real Christmas dinner in the evening and asked if I’d like to join them as well. πŸ˜³πŸ™‚ Even though Cassi and I aren’t together anymore it was nice that her grandma thought enough about me to include me, and since I’d be taking Cassi back up there anyway I accepted the offer. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ» So we spent much of the afternoon just watching Netflix until it was time to go up and get the evening started. By the time everything was said and done I didn’t end up getting back home until almost 10pm.

On the way home I was thinking about what a difference time has made. When Genesee and I were together, my family had gatherings for nearly every other holiday on the calendar each year. πŸ˜‹πŸŽ‰ And for Genesee, it wasn’t something that she was used to, but in a good way… my family became her family and she looked forward to every gathering we had. This year… this year was the first year since I’ve been alive, I believe, where there was no multi-family Christmas get-together in our family. 😐 (I’m sure it was killing Toni. She tries so hard to keep things like they’ve always been.)

Now, folks in Cassi’s family don’t always get on well. 😏 I don’t mean it in a bad way, but just in a way where I wouldn’t necessarily count on them having a family gathering for Christmas. So that’s what made me smile, originally thinking that it was just going to be like any other Monday today, yet there I was eating an awesome dinner with all of them. For a moment it made me think about how Genesee appreciated our family doing that sort of thing, and now that my local family is no longer doing it, it was me that was appreciating being invited to someone else’s family holiday thing. πŸ™‚

But I’m ending Christmas Day feeling better about things than I thought I would. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I had company for the eve and day that I hadn’t expected, some neat presents from Genesee (πŸŽ…πŸ»)Β that I’d never even seen before but were perfect for me, I got to sleep for about 10 hours straight, and then I was surprised again with the family dinner when I had projected that I’d be back home and just moping around the house by myself by that point.