Feels Good

Being only a couple of days before Steven, Cassi, Athena, and their mom start moving, Cassi asked if I’d wanna come visit one more time in the afternoon yesterday – since she knows that once the process starts it’s unlikely that I’ll be making any appearances until it’s over with. ๐Ÿ˜• It’s just that I’ve already told her that I can’t risk trying to help them out, possibly hurting myself in new and exciting ways. And just hanging around while they all hustle about… yeah, no need to emphasize my uselessness in that situation. ๐Ÿ˜’

But since things are about to get pretty crazy for them, I figured I should go up for one more chill visit (and my last time at that apartment) to serve as a distraction for both of us. ๐Ÿ™‚ After hanging out for a while, I remembered that I had a little bit of free play on my casino card. And since money is obviously gonna be tight as they move, I figured I’d go over and play $100… twenty bucks at a time, cashing out any time that I’d double my money, and then whatever “winnings” I ended up with – I’d share with her. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe it was karma paying me back for helping Jim out with a little money this month, and then offering to share my winnings with Cassi… but the very first machine I played, I hit for over $500. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Hell, if that was all that I won during that trip I would have been happy, but then the same machine – just a few pulls later – hit again for over $300. ๐Ÿ˜ Since I was way, way ahead, after that I decided to try a few different machines that I’d never really played before, just as a change of pace.

If I wasn’t hitting decent little wins, they at least kept me “even” so I could keep playing. I eventually left not because I was losing, but because it was getting later and I wanted to spend a little more time with Cassi before it started to get dark dark. After all was said and done, I ended up going home with $700 (including my original investment) and was able to give her $400 to help with moving expenses. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

It always feels good when you can win enough that you can plop down a wad of bills in front of someone, and go “Here.”ย ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜Žย (Especially when it’s legitimately helpful and appreciated.) And in times past when we’ve gone to the casino, I’ve noticed that she breaks down her winnings into five dollar bills before leaving… so I even went to the cashier and had him count out $400 worth of fives for me. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ต (I did give the guy a tip, ‘cuz that was admittedly a slight pain in his ass for him… heh)

So that definitely made yesterday better than average. Didn’t anticipate things turning to shit overnight and waking up feeling like I do today, but I keep reminding myself that other than the lack of sleep and awesome new neck pain – nothing else has changed since that “goody” feeling of yesterday, so I’m trying to get the feeling of this day turned around. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป It helps that the weekend is essentially here, so I can recover without any obligations hovering over me.

Two Good Stops

I waited and saved my Christmas visiting until the day after Christmas. First stop was at Pizza Cottage to pick up a pizza for me and Dad. We’ve been texting a lot, but since I’ve been sick for the past week and a half it’s been a while since I had been in for a visit. He got himself a new set of wheels, much better than the last one… took it for a test drive and it handles good and has a comfy seat for my crappy back. ๐Ÿ˜

After a couple hours there I had to take off so I could make it over to Bri’s and have some time there before it got dark. When I got there, Bri let me in and told me that the kids were out back in the playground / courtyard area, and as soon as I walked out the back door Brantley saw me and said “Hey Uncle Bobby, come watch me skate!” as if he had seen me just yesterday. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Last time he saw me in person was at his birthday in July, and before that… well, it had been quite a while… probably like a year and a half. ๐Ÿ˜•

The first three years of his life, I was around all the time. (Including his birth.) In fact, it was in my front yard that he learned to walk. ๐Ÿ˜Œ (Safer out there with nothing to run into, and mooshy grass for whenever he stumbled.) Plus, the Easter Bunny left clues and eggs and a basket here at my house for him, and he followed them all and found his way to the basket. There’s too much to mention – but it went from three years of me being around, then poof, he was with his dad for quite a while. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Now that he’s back home with his mom, I thought for sure that he would have forgotten all the time he and his mom spent with me.

But I went out to where he was skating… and falling… a lot… ๐Ÿ˜… and I said “Grab my arm if you want me to help hold you up.” and he replied “No, I can do it…” as he continued falling. ๐Ÿ˜„ But he was having a good time, and was proud of the little bits he was able to skate. Then we went to the basketball hoop and threw the ball around some. Two of his little girlfriends also came over to play, and those kids were sinking shot after shot, granny style. Shooting with my good arm and continuously missing, one of the girls said “You suck.” and I agreed. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She wasn’t being jerky, she said it in a funny way…

I had my iPad with me, so we went back to the porch where Bri was still sitting and started watching some of the videos of him from when he was here at the house doing this and that, and he really did seem to remember most of the stuff he was seeing. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I wasn’t sure that 5-year-old brain would have memories of 2 to 3-year-old brain stuff, but it seems like it did. He opened the gift that I got him, and then helped open his little brother’s gift since Bryson is only 8 months old and would probably take a few hours. ๐Ÿ˜

It was nice though… he took to me as if no time had passed at all. I guess everything I did when he was younger made a good enough impression, so that makes me happy. We looked at some more old pictures on the iPad, he showed me his tablet that he got, and he was playing a game that I actually have on my phone – so we got to sit and try to figure out some puzzles together. ๐Ÿ™‚ Granted, it’s Christmas, but still… he seems really happy there, and the fact that he remembers so much about me makes me happy too.

After watching the videos, he asked if they could all come back out to my house sometime. Heh… poor kid, my house is boring as shit… ๐Ÿ˜ but I’m glad that he liked it here enough back then that he’d wanna come back out now. Maybe I’ll straighten the place up a bit and have them over some evening to watch a movie or something. Oh, and I do have my shelf of collectibles (aka “toys“) to get into if he gets too bored. ๐Ÿ˜

Out Of The Loop Too Long

A while back I used to go to auctions a lot, but it’s been years now since I’ve been. But there was one older fella that was always at the local one that I’d go to with my girlfriend at the time, Kayla. We both liked buying the random boxes of junk that would go for only a few dollars, and he would always dig out any shampoo, makeup, or random girly stuff from the boxes that he’d win and give it to me and Kayla. ๐Ÿ˜

I actually ended up running into him again somewhere after the local auction house closed… I wish I could remember where it was. ๐Ÿค” But he invited me to come out some time to see all the stuff that he had for sale at his house, which was also a Christmas tree farm. He and his wife had an entire extra building outside their house, where he had the better of his auction winnings on display and for sale for anyone who came out for a tree. And obviously any time he invited someone out.

But watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special just now, and seeing them hunting for a tree, it made me think of him… and sadly it looks like he passed away a couple of years ago. I’d say it’s been about six years since I was last out to his place, and he had stowed away a bunch of Atari and Nintendo stuff for me, which he sold to me cheap, because he knew that was the kinda stuff I was usually looking for at the auctions. ๐Ÿ˜Œ He was a great guy, just soft spoken and nice… it’s a shame I didn’t get to interact with him any more than I did. I didn’t even realize that he was formerly a local fireman… he just never spoke of it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But yeah, he was one of those people that you were glad to have met.

johnJohn Beckย  |ย  1943 – 2017

I think I’ll tell Mom to tell him that I said “Hi.” ๐Ÿ˜‡

Where’d The Weekend Go?

It’s been a busy few days again. Typical stuff with my workers comp doctor appointment at the end of last week. I mean, no problems there… but when it came to getting my prescriptions. A couple days of pain in the ass there, but it all appears to have been sorted out. Then as I was getting home from handling all that, that’s when Rick arrived to install the new garage door.

Not complaining about that… it was planned… but after dealing with the WC stress, coming home to immediate noise and commotion in the garage wasn’t exactly calming. Not just the constant sound of impact wrenches as they worked, but then also I’m too much of an empath – so I’m also sitting inside the house, cringing about what might go wrong as they work, making their job harder than it should be.

And of course, that’s what ended up happening. I joked with Dad that I “willed” it to happen, by stressing about it, but yeah… they got the door installed, it went up and down nice and smoothly, and it’s light enough that I can even open it with just my one good arm. But when they tried it with the new garage door opener, it immediately murdered itself. ๐Ÿ˜ณ The opener, that is.

It’s obviously defective, because there’s no way that a product like this should be designed so that it’s allowed to do what it did. ๐Ÿคจ He set the open and close points where the motor was supposed to stop – but upon the second test of raising the door, it just didn’t stop “raising” and it pulled the “puller” piece directly into the motor without stopping, without slowing down – with a crunch, spark, and puff of smoke. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Awesome.

So I’ll be returning that one to Amazon here soon, probably having to drag it to the local UPS office, but that meant that Rick had to go to Menards early this morning to get a different opener, take down the first new one, and then put up the second new one before the whole shpeal worked at it should. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ So if it wasn’t for the suicidal first opener, he would have been done last night – but I’ll look at the positive, which is that I no longer needed a heavy-duty opener anyway, and the one that he picked up was considerably cheaper than the one I’ll be getting my money back for. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Oh, and he swapped out my old mailbox for the new one without me even asking. ๐Ÿ˜… (The saga ends… heh)

You can see why I wasn’t anxious to do any Black Friday shopping this year though, eh? ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Between new tires for the car, a big ol’ capacitor and intake fan for the old furnace, new garage door, new garage door opener… and of course all the labor costs for that stuff… plus having to pay for my WC meds first in order to get them this month, now having to return the defective first opener, still needing to make an eye appointment and get new glasses, blah blah blah…

I mean, it’s fine… yeah, I’m bitching, but nothing was overpriced… it just feels like a whole bunch of shit all at once, and being the tight ass that I am – it’s just not a lot of fun writing all these checks. ๐Ÿ˜ Gotta remind myself that I now have a happy furnace, a happy car, and a place to put that happy car again… not to mention being able to unload groceries directly into the kitchen without killin’ myself by dragging them through the house via the front door. But it’s my blog, and I felt like whining a little bit. ๐Ÿ˜‹ (Even though I’m already planning a few more small home improvement projects with Rick after the holidays are over… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚)

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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? ๐Ÿ˜ Go find that thread in one of the local Lancaster groups. ๐Ÿ™„

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. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ธ 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. ๐Ÿ˜„ 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. ๐Ÿ˜… 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. ๐Ÿ˜ป

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. ๐Ÿ˜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.ย 

(Day One, Session One: Already waiting patiently by the door for some more swipes and brushing… ๐Ÿ˜Š )

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ Whenever you’ve got a critter, and then lose that critter (๐Ÿ˜ข) 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. ๐Ÿ˜• 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. ๐Ÿ˜Š

‘Twas The Night…

A little bit of down time here on the evening before Christmas, so I figured I’d go ahead and throw up a blog entry. I’ve currently got “Twas the Night Before Christmas” playing via YouTube on the TV (Frosty is next) and Cassi is napping in the recliner next to me. ๐Ÿ˜‹ Surprisingly I don’t have that one on DVD, so I’m stuck with the slightly sped-up, angle skewed version here… but it’s one of my “must play” shows, so I’ll take what I can get with only a few hours left until Christmas.

Having company wasn’t in the original plan, but it’s nice to have her here. While I’ve been able to help out with their move and then run back home away from the stress, she’s basically been stuck in it… so Athena decided to spend time with her boyfriend, Leona went to stay with her mom, and I went to pick up Cassi so she could spend time with me and vice versa. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m hoping the current nap status isn’t a reflection on me, but rather just relief of getting away from the chaos for a while.

It’s nice to have someone in my bubble for today and tomorrow, because like the past several years – I’ve just been struggling to grab hold of any Christmas spirit. I don’t feel awful or even bad… I just miss how I used to feel, but I suppose the older everyone gets the harder it is to hang on to the feeling we had as kids. ๐Ÿค” In fact, I’m probably lucky to have held onto it as long as I did – probably longer than most, because I think my Christmas experiences as a kid were better than most. ๐Ÿ˜€ Yes, I’m probably biased, but they really did it right when I was little. ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

It’s been difficult this year to listen to our traditional family holiday music. I still haven’t figured out how to not let it make me sad… sad that things are so dramatically different than when I was a kid… but the way it goes is a) listen to old carols, b) feel good for a few seconds, remembering, then c) feeling shitty because this isn’t how everything was supposed to end up. Yes, everyone in the family is getting older, and getting older brings various forms and levels of suck – and it’s something that should be expected and therefore able to be prepared for, but yeah… that’s not how it goes for me. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

It’s okay though… like I said, I’m not miserable… I’ve got surprise company that I’m glad to have with me, and Genesee made sure that Santa didn’t forget me and Maven when it comes to having some little surprises on Christmas morning. Things could be a whole lot worse, and I have to remember that. ๐Ÿ˜Œ I don’t wanna seem ungrateful for what I’ve got, but it’s hard not to feel selfish when I think about the things I wish were better/different. But at least I’ve got lots of “good” to be sitting here missing, eh?

Merry Christmas everyone… make the best of it.