Prepping to Prep

With all of the rain and warm weather, it’s getting to be about that time for mowing to start up again. I’ve already talked to my lawn d00d and got that all set up, but I still have to get out there and get things kinda cleaned up beforehand. I’ve got lots of plants that start growing before the first mowing even happens, plus the still-standing corpses of plants that grew and died last season… so I’m gonna do my best to get rid of all of that stuff, which will actually make the mowing that much easier for d00d’s mowing guys.

This work shouldn’t be too taxing, but I’m still planning on using the better part of a day to do it. Also today I’ve been gathering names and numbers for bush trimming services, so tomorrow I’ll be able to make some calls (hopefully) so I can get some estimates for the bushes around the house as well as the ones along the rear of the property. I hate spending money, but since I didn’t have anything done with them last year – I guess I can mentally take whatever it costs and divide it by two, telling myself that it was actually for service that covers two seasons of “bush stuff.”

Surprisingly, I got a decent night of sleep last night, so that’s gonna make today easier… half chill, half prepping for stuff that I need to do this coming week. I’ll be glad when all of the “outside stuff” has been handled though. It’s the same as the inside of the house… my brain just relaxes more easily when things are cleaned up and looking nice. And right now the outside of my property looks pretty rough.

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A Post-Break Break

Had a nice visit with Cassi here recently. It had been a little while since she last stayed, so with that – and her birthday falling on one of the days – I decided to go up and grab her for a few nights. We didn’t plan or do anything special, like usual, but instead just enjoyed having company and a change of scenery to clear our thoughts for a couple of days. She actually brought a bunch of her crafting supplies with her this time, so she worked on that stuff while I worked on redoing the zip ties on all my PC wiring, after replacing my old keyboard with a new mechanical one that I recently picked up.

We considered going for a drive to see if we could spot any abandoned houses on the country roads around here, but it’s too easy to just get comfy in the living room and watch TV all day long, so that’s what we ended up mostly doing. I took her home yesterday, but in my books today didn’t really count. I mean, the Daytona 500 was today (don’t get me started… heh) so I didn’t plan for anything other than that… so tomorrow will be my first “back to business” days as far as I’m concerned.

I started work on some things around the house that I want to continue, so the first couple of days of the week will be for kicking around the house and doing that sort of thing. I’m gonna save my in-town running for the middle of the week, when I’ll probably also try to make myself stop by the doctor’s office to schedule that appointment that I’ve continued to put off. Oh, and the steroid injection… I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve been in a better mood due to having some company, but I do think that I’m noticing some improvement. Not huge… but noticeable. I don’t want to jinx myself though, and I’m certainly not saying anything definitive based on a few days of “maybe slightly better.”

180 Minutes

As usual, knowing that I have things that I want to do today, my brain decided to screw my sleep last night. πŸ˜’πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Strangely enough, even after getting only three hours of sleep this morning, I actually woke up without much pain and feeling pretty good. πŸ˜§πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Perhaps it was a positive product of not being in pain when I went toΒ sleep as well… and the early rising was likely due to my subconscious thoughts being all “BLARGHARRGGH STUFF TO DO TOMORROW ARGGHHBLAHH” thanks to the plans floating around in my head.

I’m not mad though… I mean, there’s not much I can do about it anyway. 🀨 I’m not even feeling stressed, so I don’t know why my brain decided to cut my sleep short, but I’m actually glad that it did. Because, first,Β I plan to spend all of this morning and some of the afternoon just being lazy, while also working on some bills – and second, it should work wonders for getting me on the right schedule for my upcoming appointment with my neck doctor. β˜ΊπŸ‘πŸ» I’m sure I’d feel differently if I hadn’t been gifted this inexplicable yet reasonably good mood upon opening my eyes.

While I’ve been sitting here at the laptop, I used the time to download several different RTL-SDR programs for use with the NESDR SMArt USB tuner that arrived the other day. πŸ€“ I’m still amazed that it, along with a handful of antennas, only sets a buyer back twenty-five bucks shipped. 😯 The build on this thing feels solid, too… with them having spent the extra money to put these things into brushed aluminumΒ housingsΒ rather than using cheap plastic. The drivers installed without issue when I plugged it up to the laptop, so as soon as I’ve got an hour or so of uninterrupted time ahead of me I’m gonna start figuring out what all she can do. 😎

Now, if I was smart I would use this extra “awake time” to stop by my doctor’s office and make an appointment regarding my thyroid. But, at least for today, I’m not claiming to be smart. πŸ˜” I’m already planning to stop by and see Mom and Dad late in the afternoon, and I don’t really wanna drop the “unknown” of scheduling an appointment to find out what’s wrong. πŸ€• I know, making an appointment todayΒ wouldn’t mean I’d be seen any sooner than in a couple of weeks, but I’d rather just not plop it in with today’s events – especially when I’m feeling better than average at the moment. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Okay, I better get my ass off of here and get busy chilling. (And bills. Don’t forget the bills. 😏)

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.

Catching Up (More Later?)

Okay, I’ll put some effort into this entry. Things have been rough lately. Cassi and her family moved to a new apartment, and I was asked to help out where I could – and that’s all I could do, help out where I could. But basically what you had was a rag tag crew of broken people, trying to move an entire apartment’s worth of stuff as quickly as possible. 😬 I didn’t do much more than move boxes from the basement, up the stairs, and into the kitchen (what feels like 100 times) and then I did help Cassi with the actual packing of her room and taking those boxes downstairs too. πŸ˜₯ So even though what I was doing was mostly lifting dead weight, which doesn’t kill my neck and shoulder when done in moderation – of course I’m still dying today just due to the scale of what we were trying to do. (I wasn’t there for unloading day, handled by Cassi, Athena, and Athena’s new d00d.)

But anyway, I’ve done enough bitching on Twitter. We did have some other help for the bigger items, so everything that needed to get done got done. Of course we all wish we didn’t have to kill ourselves like we did, but it had to be done. One good thing though is that I’m pretty sure I’m still going to feel horrible by the time I get my MRI done tomorrow. Yes, thankfully it seems the scan has been approved – although now I’m remembering that I have a voice mail on my phone from the risk management company associated with my claim, so I can’t guarantee anything until I check that later. 😠 But the extra pain that I’ve been having, the random seizing that my neck is doing, the “different” noises it makes – I’m just really concerned that something is going bad in there. And I’m torn, because I want them to tell me that yes, it’s worse, and that it’s not just a coincidence… but of course I don’t want it to be something so bad that they start talking about another surgery. 😳

Oh, and in order to not stress Z out while they were getting ready to move, I decided to be cat-sitter again. 😺 I had her for several days, which was long enough this time for her to really start taking to me. No more hiding when I’d go down to the basement to see her – which was probably due in part to the liberal sharing of catnip and the regular “paper wad flipping” sessions. 😊 It’s nice to see that she hasn’t lost her excitement for that game.

So with all of that out of the way, after I get done with my MRI on Wednesday and hopefully get over to Aunt Sharon’s sometime today to help with her computer – then my life can maybe start going back to its normal boring-ness for a few days, and I can put my new vacuum together to see how she works… and do my laundry… and dishes… and bills… and continue packing away “get rid of” stuff… etc… 😏 I’m sure I’ll still pop up to Cassi’s a couple times in the near future to help her unpack things here and there, but thank God all of the ass-busting work has been done.

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 yearΒ 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. πŸ˜ƒ 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. πŸ™‚ 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 8:00Β am, I didn’t get it until I woke up aroundΒ 1:00Β pm, where I learned that “we’re gonna eat” at noon. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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. 😟

Cash Grab

In the interest of psychological self-preservation, I’ve steered clear of reading too much Twitter or watching too much political news today. 🀨 That’s probably something I should consider doing permanently… instead of trying to always stay up to date on the latest breaking news, maybe I should take a couple days’ break between absorbing all of the awfulness. πŸ€” I’m sure I’d end up hearing about it if anything urgent actually happened, but the rest of it should be easy enough to consume in summary form for the previous couple of days. πŸ€“ Meh… it’s a thought anyway…

I was blessed to receive a “catch up” sleep last night. I think I ended up crashing around 5:00am, and didn’t wake up until 3:00pm… so despite my schedule getting a little screwed up due to the sleep schedule adjustment, waking up feeling rested and without much pain was a godsend. – so I can overlook the inconvenience it’ll probably cause.

I got another small surprise in the mail today. While I’m normally not a fan of bands/artists re-releasing their albums with “bonus tracks” after everyone has already bought the original… because I liked nearly every single track on Skillet’s album Unleashed, I went ahead and gritted my teefs and clicked the “buy” button when they announced that they were releasing Unleashed Beyond – which has five brand new tracks and two remixes of songs already on the original disc. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€˜πŸ» I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m 90% sure that I’m gonna like the new stuff.

So yeah… honestly even though it’s the early evening, I really feel like my day is only just getting started – and right now my mind is clear, I’ve not set any obligations for myself, so hopefully it’ll just be a mix of lazy, doing a little of this and that, and trying to keep it from ending up crappy for whatever reason. I felt a twinge of maybe wanting to take some photos again, so maybe I’ll look about and see what types of new features and photo slideshow software packages are out there these days.