Well, I’ve Got The Extra Hour

Body’s tired and feeling a little beat up, but my brain isn’t ready to go to sleep I guess. It’s a little after 2am on Sunday morning… πŸ€” Oh, wait a minute… πŸ˜… no it’s not. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Just looked down at my phone to see the exact time – and hooray for “fall back” tonight, eh? Still being awake at 1am doesn’t feel nearly as bad as still being awake at 2am. 😏 Heh… it’s just that typical thing that happens after vacation. In this case the vacation came to me, but you know what I mean – you get the nice distraction from reality for a while, then when vacation is over and things have to go back to normal, it just takes a little while to adjust. 😟

It’s silly, but because I don’t generally do a heck of a lot with my time… I mean, when it comes to going out and doing things… so when Gen was here, even if I wasn’t necessarily part of all of the plans for the day, I still felt like I was “doing something” with my day. πŸ™‚Β It’s just been a while since I’ve had to coordinate a few of my days with anyone else, whether that coordinating involved me doing something or involved me avoiding it instead. πŸ˜… Granted, my lack of “doing stuff” is usually because I’m either hurting or wanting to avoid hurting… but with the right company, I don’t mind it quite as much for a couple of days. But yeah, Sunday… Monday… πŸ€” they’ll probably be a couple of “nothing” days so I can regenerate from the visit and get my thoughts back on track when it comes to the stuff I want or need to do. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

On Friday she woke up early to do something with friends in Logan, but then once she got back here we went out and picked up Bri and Bryson to go in town for a bit. Stopped off at Walmart, and as we were all checking out (and this happens more than you’d think) the cashier lady mistook me for Bryson’s dad. 😁 I was standing behind the cart, entertaining him so he wouldn’t fuss until we left, but when I moved to the front of the line to pay for my stuff – he started crying… and cashier lady said “Aww, see he wants his daddy.” 😏 I just played along, joking that she was right and that Bryson wasn’t a mama’s boy. It actually caught me off guard this time though, ‘cuz I wasn’t shaved, and I’m pretty sure I was lookin’ my actual age… 😊 but it’s still amusing.

That evening Gen made plans to meet with Toni, Matt, and Anna for dinner, but I just didn’t have the oomph for it… and that was before I found out Wendi and her Matt were there as well. 😯 I kinda felt bad for dipping out, but I just didn’t have that couple hours of “social” in me that late. (I did appreciate her bringing a cheeseburger and fries home for me right before midnight though.)Β Despite needing to get up stupid early the next day, she wasn’t sleepy yet due to all the socializing so we squeezed in another episode of Doctor Who before she hit the sack. πŸ€“πŸ“ΊπŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈ That made four episodes since she got here – which should be enough to either hook her, or to know that it’s not her kinda thing. 😏 I always try to convert people.

Saturday morning… she was up and out shortly after the crack of dawn, on her way to some horseback riding near Moonville with a friend, and not only did I not wake up when she left – but I didn’t even fully wake up until noon. 😐 There’s a chatty cat that comes to visit (outside) and tries to play on my emotions as it’s getting colder around here, so I agreed with her suggestion of making a little “kitty house” out of a big ol’Β Rubbermaid tub from the basement – so that was my mini-project for the afternoon. Time was starting to get tight though, so rather than fussing with the mailboxes or the bags of gravel, we decided to go out and visit Dad for a bit before it started to get dark. πŸ™‚ OutsideKitty had vanished by then though, but that’s good… gives me a little more time to finish up the tub and find some suitable soft stuff to use as the base for when I put it out on the back porch for him. πŸ˜ΊπŸ™„

Dad seemed like he felt better today. Like half the people I know though, he’s been fighting a shitty cough and “bleh” feeling, but it’s either starting to get better or our visit was just a nice distraction from thinking about it. 😁 Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there too long, ‘cuz I had to get Genesee up to Columbus (to Chad and Shannon’s place) and try to get back home before it was dark dark. 😳 Sounds like an “old person thing” but I just prefer to not drive at night with these “backup pair of a backup pair” glasses that I’m currently stuck with. πŸ˜• I can cheat during the daytime with my Rx shades that are one prescription “more current” at least.

But yeah, as quickly as she arrived, she’s now up there and will be heading home in a few hours. 😟 (So glad that Chad can help with getting her to the airport at 4am today. Oy.) She was busy nearly the entire time she was in town, not including the house downtime for watching Doctor Who, looking at old pics/vids, etc… but I definitely envy the way she was able to tackle her self-imposed schedule. 😊 I suppose it’s easier when it’s stuff that a person actually wants to do… but she can wake up and be out the door, ready to go, in minutes – while I need an hour just to wake up enough to decide that I’m about ready to wake up. πŸ˜‹Β (Actually, it’s more about letting the morning meds kick in, so I can at least partially function like a human being…) But it was nice to see that even with the limited time here, she still managed to do most of the stuff that she planned.

Weather Complications

Gen’s trip to Ohio ended up being a bit of an adventure. ✈️ The original plan had her taking off from NJ, landing in NC with a half-hour to catch her connecting flight, and then onto Columbus. But for whatever reason, their plane landed in Charlotte only a couple of minutes before the connecting flight took off… so anyone that was continuing to Ohio missed their flight. πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜•πŸ˜ πŸ˜ πŸ˜πŸ˜ŸΒ πŸ›« American Airlines obviously knew they screwed up, and had everyone quickly booked on the next flight out to Columbus, but the result was that she ended up getting here about an hour and a half later than anticipated.

It was almost 4pm by the time we were leaving the airport, and that’s when the flag placement ceremony was supposed to beginΒ – so we didn’t even really try to hurry, assuming that we were just gonna miss it. (And that was the main reason that she was coming to visit.) But as we were heading to Lancaster, she was texting with Toni (who was already there) and we learned that the crappy weather and other “opening remarks” type stuff had kept everyone inside one of the buildings at the fairgrounds πŸ˜―πŸ€”πŸ˜ƒ and that we’d possibly be able to make it in time for the flag placement after all.

The first couple of flags had already been handed out by the time we were pulling in, but it worked out so that they called Dad’s name just as we had parked and joined everyone standing there. πŸ™‚πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Couldn’t have cut it any closer. 😎 They go alphabetically, so that meant there was still plenty of time before Uncle Rick, Grandpa Shepherd, and Genesee’s dad’s names were called. Any other year that would have been great, but this year… whoothe weather, man. πŸ˜―πŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈπŸ’¨πŸ˜£

Ominous dark clouds, half drizzle, half sleet, freezing winds gusting so hard that people were struggling to hold their flags… it was just awful. 😟 (They had a huge eagle on hand as well, and he wasn’t too thrilled about things either.) πŸ¦… And as much as I’d have liked for Dad to have been able to go… at least when we were talking about it in the daysΒ prior… I’m glad that he decided not to. With the flight delays, getting there late, mother nature going crazy, and him not feeling that great over the past few days anyway – he definitely made the right choice. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Other years that I’ve gone, loads of people would sit in the stands, listening to the names, ranks, wars, etc as they waited for their person’s name to be called. But there was no sitting this time. The bleachers were cold and wet, so everyone just huddled together… enduring the weather until they could place their flag and then flee to their car. πŸš™πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈ I don’t blame anyone… it was just unfortunate that this year’s event didn’t have the same “feel” as previous years because of all that other crap. πŸ˜•

We did end up going back through there the next day though, when the weather was much nicer, to see how many flags were displayed – and to pay the proper respect to the whole thing that none of us were really able to give the day before. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ§πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ§πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ We did take a handful of pictures on the actual placement day, and boy do they not convey what the experience was actually like. 😏 (But of course once everything was overΒ the weather calmed down considerably.) We’re still fortunate to have made it though, since this is the first year that we had flags for Dad and Gen’s dad – so it would have sucked if we weren’t able to place them ourselves.

Okay, it’s been a busy couple days, so I’ll follow up soon with an entry covering anything else worth mentioning from Gen’s stay.Β I didn’t even do half as much as her… but I’m out of juice. πŸ™„πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Mini-Vacation Visitor

Disregarding how the entry below this one probably sounds, things haven’t been that bad around here lately. The way that all of my “shit” usually finds a way to land on my schedule all around the same time, this time it’s the opposite – and I’ve found myself with a chunk of time where I’ve got no doctor appointments, no WC stuff to work on, no immediate need for attorney communications, none of my few friends needing anything from me, etc. πŸ™‚ I’m glad it worked out that way, because Genesee is gonna be in town for a few days starting tomorrow and it’ll be nice to not have to work around any other obligations while she’s here.

The weather isn’t looking ideal for it, but she’s visiting so she can attend the Freedom’s Never Free ceremony tomorrow at the fairgrounds. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ In past years I’ve gone with Toni and her family since they had a flag to place in remembrance of Uncle Rick’s service as well as one for Grandpa Shepherd. But this year, Genesee ordered a flag for her dad, and helped me get one to place for / with my dad as well. 😊 It’s a very inclusive thing… for any branch of the military, it doesn’t matter if the person is alive or has passed, and I think they even said that flags can be ordered and placed for “first responders” like firefighters, police, EMTs, etc.

Hopefully the weather will be tolerable enough that Dad will want to go, but the alternate plan is that me and Gen will still go, take some video, place the flags, and then go visit with him afterwards. And once the flags are purchased, they stay with the organization and are used again in each of the following years’ ceremonies. It’s amazing how many flags are added each year, and I think that even for the folks who don’t care to think about / talk about their service time, it still must be a nice feeling to get some recognition for what they did – even if multiple decades have passed since then.

(Especially for Vietnam vets, considering the reaction from the public that many of them got upon returning home… something that I didn’t truly understand the awful extent of until a handful of years ago.)

But she’ll be in Ohio until Sunday, and we’ve got a couple of small plans for things that we want to do, and then she’s got plans with other Ohio friends as well, but all of it will have to be played by ear due to the weather and the relatively short amount of time she’ll be around compared to her other visits. 😯⏰ But it’s nice that this visit is for something good, and not because of someone passing away, or because I’m recovering from a surgery and need babysitting or whatever. 😏

And I’m a little jealous that she’s getting to fly here and back home. I’ve been watching so many different airline / pilot themed YouTube channels lately… (Mentour Pilot, Captain Joe, VasAviation ATC, 74 Gear, CargoSpotter, etc.) giving myself the itch to take a cheap day-flight down to Florida and back or something, basically just a joyride… but between those videos and having not been on a plane since Jim and I went to Kansas years ago… hopefully she gets a window seat so she can use ReLive to record the path of her flight. πŸ€“Β (Not sure how it’ll handle the speed / altitude as it tries to plot the path on its animated map.)

So today I’m just taking it easy. Not gonna even do any light work around here, ‘cuz a lot of times it doesn’t take much for me to unintentionally screw up my neck, shoulder, or knee to various degrees. πŸ˜• It’s only a few days, so I wanna do what I can to make sure I’m good and can keep up with whatever we end up doing. In fact, she’s actually gonna help me dump the small bags of gravel out by the mailbox, as well as help me take the old mailbox off the post and get the new one installed. πŸ™‚ I could probably manage both of those things by myself eventually, but since she offered… I guess I’ll take the help. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I gotta get better at that. Accepting help. Because I’m at the point now, more than ever, where I actually do need help with a lot of things… and more often than I’m currently willing to admit to others and even myself. 😟 Stupid pride. 😏

Unexpectedly Chill Day

My earlier post from today was actually written last night and just scheduled to post this morning… because I was sleeping in, comfortably in my big ol’ recliner. 😊 I’ve had it for quite a while now, so it is starting to lose some of its poof, but it’s still almost perfect for sleeping in. Gawd… what an “old person” thing to say and admit to, but hey, if it works it works, right? 😏

And for better or worse, after that decent night of sleep and then waking up and getting moving around… I had one of those rare days where I didn’t feel compelled to do a damn thing. I often mentally paint myself into a corner, planning this or that, then being frustrated if I can’t or don’t get to it – but today was just a nice nothin’ type of day. (It’s amazing what a difference “not waking up in pain” can mean for any given day.)

I’m sure I’ll grab my phone this evening and catch up on messages and such, but for the most part I’ve just been trying to absorb some non-twitchy type news, and looking up various other random shit on the laptop. πŸ€“πŸ’» Local news, weather stuff, SpaceX stuff, concerts over the next few months, looking up apartments out of curiosity, getting caught in the YouTube rabbit hole of course… just random fluff like that.

Every now and then I check all the mapping sites to see if there have been any updates, and I noticed that Google Earth’s imagery of Millersport sure makes it look like they filled in their public pool with dirt – with a large building or house being built right next to it. 😧 Might have to see if I can get a closer look in person. It’s sad though… I mean, I didn’t go there a lot as a kid, but I remember that it was one of the few things that could bring out what seemed like half of the town on those hot hot days. And that’s saying something, considering the two beaches that Buckeye Lake still had at that time. (Not only is “Sandy Beach” not a beach anymore, but they un-island’d the island that was right off the shore there. Weird.)

I hope the weather for this weekend is close to how it was today. Yeah, it’s not like I spent much time out in it… but it’s nice to open the doors again to let the breeze blow some stink out of the house, without sweating balls a half hour later. For today, I’ve been quite fine just watching the pretty sky and clouds blow past, either from out of my living room window or via one of the many security cameras that let me peek at various angles around the house.Β  β˜οΈΒ Β πŸŒžΒ Β πŸ“ΉπŸ§

The day did have some purpose though. Back’s definitely feeling better than yesterday, didn’t wanna accidentally blow all my energy trying to do something today that can wait until next week, plus I’ve got an early doctor appointment tomorrow that I had forgotten about… so today just felt like the right day to take it a little more easy than usual. πŸ™‚ Oops, there I go again… worrying about justifying it to myself or whatever. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Heh… change takes time… and that’s okay.

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

Gap

I know it’s been a good chunk of time since my last entry, but I’m not even gonna bother going back to catch up on what I’ve already written… because honestly not a whole hell of a lot has been different, so I don’t have that much to write about. We’ve had a couple decent snow storms, and a couple days where the temps were in the negativesΒ in the morning, so that’s managed to keep me at home just as much as my normal anxiety issues usually do. 😏

One out of the ordinary thing… I did take a trip to ‘Da Boat with Bri for two nights last week. 😊 We’ve talked about it for months, and have had it in the planning stages for the past several weeks – so we were relieved to have pulled it off, considering that both of us have any number of things that could have popped up to wreck the plan. 😳 Last time she was down there with me was years ago when Dezzy also came along, and they couldn’t even get onto the boat back then.

So of course that’s why we were really looking forward to this trip, since she could see and do everything along with me this time. We took a bunch of outfits and props and shit, just in case we decided to do baby belly photos, but it was too easy to just be lazy in the room or going up to the boat to have fun… so very few pics were actually taken, and that was absolutely fine with us. πŸ˜‹ Our luck would come and go, but it was good enough at times that I could actively see the gambling bug taking hold of her brain right before my very eyes. πŸ˜… Heh… it wasn’t really like that, but she did have a good time and played enough to where she developed favorite machines and everything.

This past week or so has been nice… not having any appointments, not forcing myself to worry about any responsibility stuff. 😐 Heh… that sounds bad. I just mean that I let myself take a break from all of the adulting for a while, although I’m picking back up where I left off here in a bit. (Catching up on the bills that have been stacking up in the mean time) Oh… I do have another “since our last episode” story that I almost forgot about. It’ll be coming up a bit later, if I manage to get through all the bills this evening…

But this trip… I dunno… the more that I think about my medical stuff, the more that I want to do stuff with my friends while I still can. πŸ€’ I have no reason to think that I won’t be able to do things for years to come – but just in case, ya know? Even Dad, a while back, reiterated that point to me a few times… that I need to stop worrying so much, and sometimes just do the fun thing while not worrying about anything else. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Sorting

Genesee’s spring visit here got cut short, so she’s making up for it on this trip. She got to Ohio early last week and plans to stay through my birthday. She’ll be visiting this person and that person, but she’s using here as a “home base” for most of her stay.

That was the plan from quite a while ago actually, with her helping me go through all of the tubs of Batina family stuff. For both my grandparents and my aunt, when they passed away I ended up saving way too many of their things that were important or keepsakes to them but hold no meaning to anyone else. As much as I want to save all of those things, it only makes sense to narrow it all down to something manageable.

Cards that they had received from decades back, candles, keychains, weird little nick knacks, photos of their friends, photos of me… where each one seemed to have at least one duplicate of random size… heh… and then of course there were receipts and manuals galore… and you might ask, “Why did you save that stuff in the first place?” Well, if they had stuff stored or marked as something important, I assumed it was all important. But just knowing that they saved it made me feel like I had to save it.

So that’s where Gen comes in. Without assistance I don’t think I’d be able to get rid of any of that stuff… so she and I sat a couple nights and went through most of the tubs and boxes and finally got it to where I’m keeping only the stuff that needs to be kept. There’s still some more things to go through, but I’m betting that by time she leaves to head home we’ll have taken care of all of it. Plus it’s nice that it means we’re stopping and looking at each thing before deciding its fate, which I think they would be happy about.