Family Tree

This should make my cousin happy. πŸ™‚ I got some mail yesterday regarding my aunt (who passed away some time ago) which required me to rummage through my old file drawers for some info that they needed… and while doing so, I came across all of Mom’s genealogy stuff. 😌 That’s something that Shannon has actually asked me about a few times, since she has become the unofficial official “keeper of the history” on that side of the family. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Mom had done a ton of research over the years, some of which may have even been done with Shannon’s help, so she’s excited at the thought of being able to look at everything again now that it’s all in one place. And like most of us, she’s got some “bleh” in her life that she’d appreciate a distraction from, and this is definitely the type of thing that can do that. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦β€πŸ‘¦πŸŒ³πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

Toni sees Shannon pretty regularly, or at least way more often than I do, so I think I’ll give all of Mom’s papers and folders to Toni tomorrow (while I talk her into giving me a haircut) so she can give them to Shannon next time she’s out that way. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ I’ll admit, even as I briefly look through it all, it’s a struggle for me to piece everything together. So many names of relatives that I’m just too young to have known… but, especially with Uncle Jay’s help, I know Shannon will be able to take all of the research and really tighten it up into something we’ll all be able to follow. πŸ™‚ Plenty of “filling in the blanks” that’s yet to be done, but she says she’s looking forward to it. So I’m glad, and I’m sure Mom’s happy, that the research, refinement, and continuation will… well… continue. 😌

Weekend Ramble

Went over to Bri’s for a while the other day. Got to see all the work she has done on the apartment since moving in several months ago. She’s really got the place looking good, with the boys’ room having an Avengers theme – plus she’s getting ready to put up a bunch of glow in the dark stars to go with the blacklight. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ I definitely see her mom’s decorating style in what she’s done… most people’s first apartments don’t start off as nice as she’s got hers so far. It’s nice to see her happy and proud of what she’s been able to accomplish.

Brantley was with his grandma, but he did make a FaceTime call to Bri while I was there. Now, when he was a newborn, baby, then toddler I was around him a lot. But when he went to live with his dad… I’m not sure how long it has been, but he’s in kindergarten now – and last time I had seen him, other than his birthday a few months ago, he still wasn’t even talking yet. But her phone was almost dead at that point, so I went to grab the charger so she didn’t have to get up, and Brantley caught what couldn’t have been more than a second or two of me in the background of the image, but he smiled and said “Hey, what’s Bobby doing there?” 😊

So that was pretty neat, especially since I’m not even used to him carrying on conversations quite yet – and since it’s been so long since I’ve been around him. So whether he remembered me mostly from the birthday party, or from his younger years of being around the house, it’s nice to know that I’ve got a somewhat-permanent spot in his little brain somehow. πŸ™‚ It’ll be nice once they get their custody stuff ironed out a little better, where we can all actually do stuff more regularly again, hopefully.

Like I’ve mentioned plenty of times, my energy is coming back – but I’ve still got a surplus of twitchy when it comes to my social energy. πŸ˜’ That’s not related to my thyroid, but more just how I’ve always been… or at least how I’ve become over the past several years. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So even if she gets him a lot more often, and even though I love spending time with them, it still uses up my batteries a heck of a lot faster than if I was just at home by myself. 😏 Hey, what can I say, I’m just an old fart that’s getting more set in his ways… it happens.

So this weekend I’m gonna take it easy for the most part. I’ve got plenty of NASCAR stuff to watch, gonna do a little of this and that like usual, and then Monday I think Cassi and her new possible-boyfriend are gonna come down for a bit. He’s already gotta be in town for something, so I figured between the two of them they can get the heavy-ass old mirror out of my bathroom closet and up to her place to hang in the hallway. It’s the one that was in my living room forever, but I took it down months ago when I thought I was getting close to being ready to have the place painted. Heh… that didn’t happen, but that’s okay – it doesn’t bother me, really, and I’ll get to it at some point – and meanwhile that mirror can live on and be appreciated and actually used.

I like when I can gift something (that has meaning / history) to someone that actually knows the history, understands the relative importance, etc… whether it’s Bri’s bed, which was actually Grandpa’s bed… or like with Genesee, her and Sarah have a nicely decorated home, including a nice curio cabinet where they stick “special” or particularly “pretty” stuff. So about a month ago, before my scan, I actually sent her “The Candy Dish” to be added to the cabinet. It’s funny… to anyone else it’s just a regular glass candy dish with a lid.

But it’s definitely a “Batina thing” because it’s been around since I was little, and the whole “thing” was that you weren’t allowed to take a piece of candy from it unless you could lift and replace the glass lid without it making any clinking noise whatsoever. 😁 Now, once her nieces and nephews are old enough, she’s going to carry on that tradition / game with them… and that makes me happy, versus it just sitting here and not living its full purpose anymore.

So yeah, gonna try to keep my weekend light… a few doctor appointments coming up next week, along with whatever other stuff that I didn’t accomplish this past week, so it actually makes sense to treat the weekend like an actual weekend in this case. Might try to do something fun / hobby related… like, I still have fireworks from a couple of years ago that I’ve wanted to shoot in slow motion – might try to do something like that. Or I might do nothin’…Β  who knows. πŸ˜‹πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Better Than A Micro-Cassette

It’s funny, I’ve got this really nice Sony digital audio recorder that I picked up on eBay a couple years back for cheap – but technically, with everything our phones can do these days, and at the quality they can do it, having a dedicated digital voice recorder can probably be thought of as old school. 😏 But I actually started putting it to use a little over a year ago, before my thyroid surgery. I just thought it would be nice to make a bunch of little recordings in case something happened to me… or now, for whenever it is that I happen to not be around anymore. 😯😬 It sounds morbid as I type it, but I think at least some folks would appreciate it.

Despite being nervous and uncertain about my own medical condition at the time, I made sure that everything I recorded was generally upbeat or at least not gloomy overall. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ A little bit of everything… stories I haven’t talked about in a long time, stories I haven’t talked about ever, lots of memories and stories from when I was younger and in school… I dunno, I don’t even remember most of what all I said by this point, other than having a little numbered index with a one sentence description of what that particular recording was mostly about. (Which, honestly, doesn’t tell me shit now… heh)

But I do know that I made recordings every couple of days up until my surgery, and after that it just kinda slipped from my thoughts and I haven’t done any since then. 😟 I think I wanna try to start up again, because a lot has happened in the past year. Problem is, it’s not necessarily a lot of good stuff… and I’m trying to figure out how to talk about some of that stuff without the recordings becoming totally depressing. 😞 I guess I could start off with the good news that I’m at least still here. Wish I could say the same for some other folks, obviously… and that’s where the problem lies. πŸ₯Ί

But I’ll figure it out. Sad or depressing stuff doesn’t necessarily have to translate into sad and depressing recordings. Just gotta do like I’m trying to do with my day to day life – making sure I recognize (and therefore talk about) the good among whatever “bad” there might be. This could very well end up just another one of the many things that I put on the “might do” list that ends up getting forgotten again, but even just planning random little side-projects like this makes me feel a bit better, like every day doesn’t have to end up being almost identical to the one before it and the one after it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

Been There, Done That

Trying to force my brain to take a break today… and having an evening NASCAR race helps with that. It’s actually at a track that I’ve been to, but when I went a handful of years ago it was still a traditional Sunday race. Ya know, having all the races on a Saturday night would be a good selling point for the out-of-shape, disabled, or old farts. (Of which I’m like 2.5 out of 3) Mid-day summer races, with all the blacktop and aluminum seats reflecting and radiating the heat… β˜€οΈπŸ”₯πŸ˜“πŸŽοΈπŸ’¨πŸ’₯Β Thankfully it wasn’t until I was a little older and more out of shape (after all my trips) that I realized how brutal it can really be. 😯

Tonight’s race is from Kentucky Speedway. I think it was four years ago that I went… staying free at ‘Da Boat for a couple of nights, and hopping over the river to Sparta on race day. 😎 If I remember correctly, Cassi went with – but just to enjoy the room and the getaway. It really is a fan friendly track, but woo… all that walking. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ It’s no Indianapolis… another track where I’m amazed that I would spend entire days walking around (miles) in the August heat. πŸ˜₯πŸ™‚Β I suppose it helps though, once you’re there, hearing the cars, seeing the drivers, getting the pics and occasional autographs… it only hurts and burns later that night. 😏

It’s funny, I remember having a Skoal Bandits matchbox car when I was a kid, but that was the extent of my interest in NASCAR until after I was out of school and Dad took me to a couple races at Indy. Since then I’ve seen two Brickyard 400s, two Indy 500s, one race at Kansas, and one race at Kentucky. πŸ˜ƒ But, probably showing early signs of what was to come, the last few times (and those were a while ago) that I went to Indy… I’d only go on qualifying / practice day. That way I could see the sights, collect all the good shots that I could, sneak in whatever areas I could manage… but not getting the “bake in the stands for however many hours” experience that actual race day would require.

I’m not saying that I’ll never go to another race, or another track around race days, but I just haven’t been able to stay as interested in the new drivers once “my drivers” or “our drivers” retired or otherwise exited the sport. 😟 Think about who you’re not seeing anymore when you go to a race, and if you’re old enough – it’ll probably make you wonder if you still wanna bother going too. πŸ€”πŸ€¨

Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Jeff and Ward Burton, Darrell and Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Bobby and Terry Labonte, Mike Skinner, Kenny Schrader, Ricky Rudd, the various Bodines, Rusty Wallace, Morgan Shepherd (oldest driver to start a NASCAR race, at 72 😯 years old), Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle,Β Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and even Dale Jr. That’s how you know you’ve been a fan a while though, when you’ve watched a kid come into the sport, run for a good long time, and now even they’re gone. And yeah, I didn’t necessarily give many shits about a few of those named… but boy did they all have personality. πŸ™‚

And that’s exactly what made their presence so easy to remember and, now, miss. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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.

Better All Around

I don’t wanna celebrate too much, at risk of jinxing myself, but I actually got a decent amount of sleep last night… and woke up feeling good enough to head into town to grab a fresh change of clothes for Dad, for when he got released from the hospital to go home. 😎 As it turns out, when I got to his place, he was already there and settled back in. πŸ˜ƒ For him feeling like absolute crap only 48 hours earlier, I was surprised and pleased to see that he appeared to be back to his old self again already.

I hadn’t taken my morning pills before I went in, because I honestly thought I’d only be picking out some clothes, getting them ready, and then heading back home – so after visiting for a while I was really starting to feel my neck. 😣 Before I left my house I was also half-assed thinking about getting my hair cut… but meh… I figure it’s the weekend and I’d rather go home and medicate, and hopefully keep myself good for the rest of the day and into the weekend. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I’ll probably go back in a few days for another visit, plus I wanna grab him some pop and some kind of junk food goodies for Mom – so that way I’ll be “coming bearing gifts” when I check in on her. 😁 I don’t wanna get ahead of myself though, as that’s not the only plans that I’ve got for the next few days. First thing on my list is writing up a brief but complete recent medical history so I’ll have something to offer the doctor, whenever my appointment may end up being. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Between what the MRI tech said, and now after experiencing some concerning chest pains a couple times over the past few weeks… I mean, I’m 99% sure it’s just anxiety related, but I’ve gotta just suck it up and “play grown-up” and start with the regular doctor visits. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m no spring chicken anymore. It’s just been a while since I’ve been in for service, and you know how it goes… you go in for the oil change, and pretty soon they’re talking about air filters, rotating tires, transmission fluid, unexpected rust, blah blah blah… 😏

Not particularly looking forward to that shit, but like I told Genesee… I can deal with whatever aches, pains, or glitches that my body may have – but I’d just like some reassurances that all of it is relatively normal and that I’m not going to just drop dead here in my house on some random afternoon while doing basically nothing. 😯

I’mma Ramble For A Min

I don’t know if I’m going to have to deal with that nonsense every thirty days, but at least yesterday I was finally able to get the situation resolved. πŸ˜’ Everything ended up getting approved and paid for (after I got a refund for what I paid the day before) by the workers comp insurance. Everyone that I spoke to on the phone was super nice and helpful, which was almost disappointing – since I was really needing to shout at some people by that point. 😐 But yeah, it’s all settled for this month…

Now I’m sitting here in the house, living room floor covered with cat hair, wondering when my new vacuum cleaner is finally going to ship from Amazon. 🀨 I got it as part of a Black Friday / Cyber Monday/Week sale, but it wasn’t in stock at the moment and was advertised that it would ship in about a week. (It’s been about a week.) Meh… at least I don’t have any company coming over to see my furry carpet. πŸ™„

Outside, nothing has changed. It’s cold now, so stuff has stopped growing, but I never did get around to hiring someone to trim back all the hedges and other shit around the yard. πŸ™ It doesn’t look that bad, but it stays in the back of my mind that it needs tended to. πŸ˜’ That’ll probably be a “spring thing” to deal with before the lawn even requires mowing for the first time.

This house. I really don’t know what I want to do about it. It’s way too much house for one person, but it’s never been lived in by anyone other than a Batina. Grandparents, Dad, Aunt C, and now me. 😳 Lots of memories here, both good and bad… and it will/would be hard to not feel a little bit guilty about selling it and moving somewhere else. 😟 It shouldn’t be that way, but you know me – and how much memories / history / nostalgia / etc plays into my life. Plus, it’s the last thing that acts as “established Batina history/presence” and man would it feel weird to not have it around anymore to keep me feeling connected to my past. Hard to explain… but anyway…

Thankfully, now that I have all of my required meds in my system I’m feeling pretty good. Neck is still feeling more funky than it has in a long time, but I’m trying not to complain. I’m still waiting to see if the MRI is approved… and I’m hoping that if it’s not, that maybe I can use my Medicare insurance to cover most of it. Because I’m not doing it just to do it… something feels different, not good, and it’s making me a bit anxious. 😬 It’s been a decade since my cervical fusion surgery, so I don’t think it’s that far fetched to think that things may have changed in there since then.