Thursday, May 28, 2020

May. For a bit longer.

What day is it? They go by so quickly lately, I don't know. First, I retired, and not long after, a pandemic happened, and we've put some plans on hold, and that is not helping me with the time thing. Good thing I have my trusty phone.  Thursday! Jueves. AND there are three days left in May. Monday will be June. 

Another thing: evidently, I'm practicing my old lady forgetfulness. Am I asking about something you've already told me? My attention seems to be off. 

Are we seeing Bob anytime soon? Will we get to travel out to North Dakota this year? Any travel? How about dental cleanings? Bob is holding up well, we miss him, and are so sorry about all this. He does have everything else he needs, does have some human contact. All the other stuff is trivial, but would be nice to know. Since we don't have kids, I am totally out of touch with how the seniors these days are coping with--a multitude of changes and problems.

Our county turned yellow on--Friday? Lost track of that, too. On my way to and from Mom's yesterday, I saw a dreadful number of cars parked outside of Community Aid. There is no way there can be any social distancing there, and the idea of trying on clothes right now seems very wrong. We must remain more careful than that.  I am grateful to be able to visit Mom, and honestly, it is pretty much the only exercise my car is getting. 

That said, I got my car inspected in record time this morning, Since it hasn't been out much, there was nothing to see, here. It was a strange experience; no waiting room, very quiet. I would usually sit waiting for this to be done, so it seemed strange to have to drop it off. Of course, I understand, they can't have many people around, with such a small space, and certainly cannot be opening up a restroom. That will be a stumbling block for a long time. I was the only customer there, even after their parts store opened. 

I have just finished a book called Fall on Your Knees, by Anne-Marie MacDonald, a family saga covering four generations, starting in Nova Scotia. It's both excellent and horribly sad. My next read must be something lighter. Also, I've watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey on my tablet. It's good, though sometimes a bit melodramatic. That's okay, that's entertainment. 

Somehow, I thought I'd burn through books during retirement, but that has not been true. Somehow, days and days shoot by me. I get distracted by news, oh, awful news, as well as silly things. There's so much of everything. And distraction is my special talent. And help! I'm playing lightning round, and I can't get off!

There is a fear that I will someday be like those elderly people Mike and I saw years ago on the day cruise in Port William Sound, who sat below deck, missing all the scenery and asking, when's lunch? When's dinner? Okay, so the weather was bad and cloudy, but still, we saw puffins, and buoy #9 with all the seal lions lounging about. It's a memory. And we'll make more memories, I know. I am going to be wide awake and I will know what day it is.

Look at that, it's already 5pm, and I've rabbited on for eight paragraphs. 

So, whatchupto?



Friday, May 1, 2020

Rabbit, Rabbit, May Edition




Good moring, and happy May to you! After so much rain, we have been gifted with a lovely day--a bit overcast, perhaps, but a nice temperature for being out and about.

Here in Pennsylvania, our COVID-19 restrictions are still in place for at least a couple more weeks, and after that, it will take quite awhile to get back to normal, if that is to happen in the next few months.  It will be interesting , to say the least.

One thing about this quarantine time I love is seeing all the pictures that prove we humans have been soiling our own living space. Dolphins in Venice, a smog free Los Angeles, visible mountains in India. Wouldn't it be a beautiful thing to make this happen all the time?

Until we are able to get together again for good times, enjoy the sun, when it happens, read a good book, watch movies, play games, meditate, cook, or whatever. May you enjoy the day, in your own way. I am going to post a shortie review of my last read,  start writing a letter, and open a new book, and then fart around.

Whatchaupto?
(I should vacuum. Don't wanna)


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Marching Back

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Now that I'm no longer working, there really isn't an excuse to not check in here, now and again.

So here we are, continuing to live in interesting times. This chapter is called Pandemic. Schools abruptly closed, along with bars and restaurants and some nonessential businesses, such as theatres, gyms, and malls. Our lives are more affected than anyone expected they would be a short time ago.

Enough about that, we're saturated with COVID-19 news.

A few days back, Mom and I had some fun rambling around The Old Sled Works antique shop and museum. One of the displays is the time clock used by the sled works employees, back in the day. It's a fascinating relic--


I do not have any idea how it works, but it has steam punk chic. That was a very nice day, in every way.

Another day, we visited a craft store, where we gathered stuff to assemble wreaths (I got sticker shock over the price of the ready-made ones). So, here is what mine looked like after I finished:

Looking at this picture, I realize that the wind skewed stuff somewhat.

We met another couple for dinner last night, an outing we'd had planned for awhile, and were afraid we were being scuflaws, at first. It had just been announced by the governor that eat in dining options were ordered closed at midnight. As usual, there were no more than ten people in this place at one time, and we had a very enjoyable visit.

I'm going to end this belated missive here. It's getting late, and as usual, I marvel at how quickly the days pass, lately.

Whatchaupto?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

November Rambling






Late November, 2019.  It's cold, and I'm sitting here, rambling at my leisure. I'm feeling well these days, not as anxious or paranoid as I've been. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I googled a symptom. I seem to be sleeping better, too, though I also seem to want to sleep later. I have an echo dot in another room, with the alarm set, but it is such a pleasing tone that I don't mind hearing it for awhile. It would probably be best to choose something more jarring, but that would not be a pleasant start to the day.

My older sister is staying with Mom, recuperating from hip replacement surgery, and I hope she gets her energy and mobility back as soon as possible. I'm surprised she was discharged so soon. Also, my sister-in-law, who had a dreadful falling accident, is recovering from a complicated shoulder surgery, and I wish her speedy improvement, as well. 

Yesterday, after getting home from my short Saturday shift at work, I joined Mike over at Bob's (ever thankful that we persuaded him to move in just down the road) to see Mike's cousin/Bob's nephew, who was in town. That was a very nice visit, and reminded me of how swiftly time passes. The last time I saw John was at a family wedding, when his kids were too young to bring along. They are now in their thirties. Geez.

Oh, we all age, I know, and it is a privilege to still be here. I am truly thankful, and amazed that we are so close to being retired. My last day will be in early January--I couldn't go out right at the end of December, since one of my coworkers is already doing that, and it would be too much at once. So, I'll stay on just a week or so more, until things settle down. 

And no, I'm not afraid of boredom. There will always be things to do. As Kurt Vonnegut said, we are here to fart around, which is something we can all enjoy doing, in our own idioms, of course.

Exhibit A of farting around: it took me a good twenty minutes to properly download and transfer a library epub book to my Nook.  Didn't this used to be easier, or did I forget how to do it? Probably the latter. When I get faster at that, there will be more things to spend time figuring out. I should be going over my Scrabble list words right now, since we will be playing in about an hour.

OH! Newsflash: I beat Mike last week. This is a rare happening, and it happened on his birthday. It felt rude, very rude. Later, as we were getting out of the car to go into one of his favorite restaurants for his birthday night, he realized that his gel seat cushion had exploded all over his sport coat and a bit got on his pants, too. He took it surprisingly well, just left the jacket in the car and moped himself up in the restroom. We had a delicious dinner, a great malbec, and it was a happy ending for the sport jacket, too--it cleaned up perfectly.

That's the end of this farting around rambling episode.

Whatchaupto?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

October



Did I skip over September and land in October already? Yes. Yes, I did, just as I was getting used to dating everything 9-

So, here we are at 10-5. Rabbit, rabbit, a happy lucky October to everyone!

It's a lovely day here in Central PA, though shockingly cool. Mike left Thursday night for State College for his annual get together with old friends, Mom and her BFF are enjoying the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, and I didn't work or have any plans. It's been quiet. I did run a couple errands and donated a box of stuff. Baby steps--lots of unused whatsits around here.

It's been a couple decades since I've been to State College, and listening to Mike's recent reports, it's evident that it's a different place than the one I remember. For one thing, we weren't online back then. The internet has changed absolutely everything.  According to its website, Pattee Library is now equipped with wifi and a bring-your- own-device study area, and--there are plans for a Starbucks somewhere, as well.

I should be reading my current novel or Time Magazine, or catching up on Moth stories, or just walking outside, enjoying the day. Instead, I find myself drawn online, browsing the awful news. What will be will be, whether I read about it or not. It's a train wreck I can't help but gawk at--which is a poor analogy for me, since I always (cowardly) look away from those types of scenes. But anyway--so many articles, such as Trump is High on His Own Supply, by Jeet Heer, and NPR catch my attention, over and over. The internet and social media have kept me addicted.
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Wait--I haven't mentioned vacation. It was beautiful, and I didn't really post many pictures. We have hit the same beach for years now, but had especially nice weather and an almost seaweed-free experience this year. Not that seaweed would ever keep me from the glorious ocean.


That's another picture of me, Mom will recognize the skirt


This is one view of the beach, as we walk through an outdoor lobby.





The beach was simply mesmerizing, the most relaxing place to simply be. The pools are popular, and nice, but nothing is quite the same as the ocean. Oddly, there is never any competition for lounge chairs in the sand. So, go flop! Listen to the waves---

~~~

It was grand, and then we came home, and I had to be grateful for all the lovely experiences that make life rich. Even with the news. And the shootings, and schools that experience lock downs or cancellations because of scary people. Problems.

While enjoying Live from Here, a radio show, I heard a rendition of something new to me--Laurie Anderson's Only an Expert--and I liked it immediately. I looked it up on YouTube and--the video was a barrage of really awful stuff: the news, the worst of it. Good recording, though, if you just listen.

Tomorrow is Sunday, another day without work. And sunshine. I'll suck it up, and hope you do, too.


Whatchaupto?












Sunday, August 4, 2019

August Greetings

Good morning! Has it really been three months since I filled this space with my ramblings?

For me, summer is usually uneventful--if I'm lucky.  These past few summers, for me, have had their fretful moments. July has been particularly stressful. This time, the insanity at work, the heat, and my native anxiety came together and gave me a solid punch (panic attacks).   After a quick trip to the doctor, I'm back on a baby dose of Lexapro, and it seems to be helping quite a bit. Many thanks to my mother for being there for me!

Did I forget to put a Rabbit, rabbit! In this post? Yep. So, four days late, happy lucky August, everyone!

In June, we flew out to Minneapolis for the annual Magic Collector's Convention (we go every other year), and got to see the nieces and walk around beautiful parks and eat ice cream.

There is not much else to report... we have not been to a pool or park since then. No picnics, either. However, September will be full of those things; we go on vacation soon, and we have friends who have invited us to a September gathering out in Annville, which I will enjoy very much. Tonight, we have a book group gathering, also. It'll almost feel like a reunion, the way everyone seems to go their separate ways during the summer.

Everything will be different next year, I know. At work, I have made no announcement yet that I intend to leave at the end of the year. Hopefully, things will get better for everyone soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
On such a lovely weekend, it seems bizarre to hear the dreadful news of another shooting at another Walmart. A massacre. What's going on?  Sometimes, I fear anther civil war. One of our group reads was a novel called American War, by Omar El Akkad, a novel that envisions a split over the use of fossil fuels. Now, I'm afraid, there seems to be this rift over immigration--a sad irony in the land of immigrants.

Wait--there's been another shooting in Dayton, Ohio overnight?

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Tomorrow is my birthday. My coworkers are so sweet...there are so few of us...they are bringing food and trying to make my life's anniversary as nice as possible. It's nice not to have to pack a lunch, and have stuff to graze on all day, as we can. Mike and I will go out to dinner tomorrow night, and that will be fun, too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night's movie was Free Solo, the documentary about Alex Honnold's quest to climb El Capitan in Yosemite--without a rope or any means of support. Any false move could have ended his life. Even though I knew this ended happily, I had a hard time watching it. Alex finished in three hours, 56 minutes. Same time it took my to run that first marathon. Alex had to think of his every step, every grip. Impossible to imagine.

Okay, over and out for now....so, whatchaupto?



Saturday, April 20, 2019

'Round and 'round...

It's that time of year again. And, this year, Easter falls on my third chemoversary.  ( I know that's not a real word, but it works.) There aren't many pictures, and I accidently lost a couple, but this is the one I saved from three months out of chemo, when I'd finally finished all those radiation treatments.

My finish line picture:

Those three months did wonders for my hair! It almost looked intentional.



Over these past three years, I've had my panics and anxieties, and am happy to say that things are getting calmer inside my noggin. Yes, there's a fine line between being vigilant and being a paranoid hypochondriac. Little by little, I'm exhaling.




Here's to seeing the world through rosier lenses. (Artwork: Lisa Buckridge)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gracious me, I haven't blogged in an age--which in this case means the beginning of the year. Since then, I got to visit Lowell, MA with my sister and mother, which was a rare treat. Yes, it was still very much winter, but we got to see Lara, Emily, Deva, and Digory. We toured a museum and ate well--including Indian, Greek, and Asian places. Lara's congregation is full of wonderfully nice people.

In June, Mike and I will fly to Minneapolis, MN for the magic convention, which I am very much looking forward to. This convention is going to be a busy and exceptionally interesting one, so it remains to be seen how much of Minneapolis we'll see. We've already decided that next year, we'll take the train out to Minnesota, this time with Bob, Mike's dad. It will be a much easier way for him to travel, and he'd be delighted to see the family. Our time will be more open-ended next year, too.

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What a beautiful day! Everything is all green and blooming outside, an iconic spring day.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Twenty years. Some of the students traumatized that day have children of their own, now. Since then, school shootings have happened again and again. Spring heralds new life. Let's do more than hope for a brighter future--I hope we Americans can agree on a more sane way to be. And let's survive this current nightmare by choosing better.

Have a wonderful holiday, however you spend it!

Whatchaupto?