9-9-2016 Happy Zinnia Week!

To be honest, I’m using Zinnia Week rather than a daily holiday because I’m still not quite back on schedule with the letters, and I’m missing flowers- only a few brave ones are making it through the drought. I’ve felt so sorry for the garden, it’s so dry, and no ability to water it.The stock came back last week, both the pink and white, although they’re passing now. One purple morning glory bloomed today- down near the ground. I should update my “view down the road” picture, because we are seeing the first turning of the leaves, but I’ve misplaced my camera.

I haven’t done a lot this past week- except recover I suppose. It’s slow enough, and non-linear, so it’s really hard for me to notice the improvements. I’m hoping when the girls get back, they’ll be able to point some out. A neighbor, Marcy, heard that our well was dry (I think that’s from John chatting to folks when they walk by with their dogs), and has generously filled up our 5 gallon water containers, and also let me shower at her house. Wonderful! We were so disappointed when  Tropical Storm Hermine, who had flooded all the way up the coast, didn’t rain on us. OK, we got a light shower or two- it left tree shadows on the road, so that’s not any accumulation.
Sadly, if you remember one of the symptoms is hypersensitive senses? Even when we flush (with buckets) as often as we dare, the whole house still smells like a privy to me. When it doesn’t smell of compost.  Sigh. And, (“joy of joys”) I have a new symptom: my taste has gone flooey. A few days ago I tried to eat some frozen yogurt, and it tasted like the spoon. To a greater or lesser extent, just about everything I eat now tastes slightly metallic and ammoniacal (like ammonia). Happily, I was chatting with a friend and he suggests that this symptom is not the Lyme, but one of the drugs that I got for the Bells. He has it, from a drug they give him for his heart. The good news is, it wears off in about 6 months.
I worry a little about my getting enough to eat and drink, especially since things don’t taste good. I have to work at it, and the non-milk periods as well as the taste make it more difficult. I also still am avoiding things that require biting and chewing. I will be interested to see what’s happening to my weight next time I go to the doctors.
OK, how am I doing otherwise? Still weak, but not as. I can walk a little farther, and sit up a bit longer before I have to sit or lie down again. I’m still napping- usually three hours in the afternoons as well as 10 hours sleep at night. I figure sleep is good for me. I can check my email (and am slowly weeding through the backlog- back until we went to Pennsic, about 20 a day), and messages on fb. I keep finding important messages I really should have answered right away that are two or three weeks old.  One was a request for the graphics for the banner we’d paid for for EMAPPD, I tried doing it, but wrote Kat to ask a question about photoshop, and she did it for me, so I could send it in. Oops. Writing up the description of last month reminded me that I’m not in pain, and that’s a really good thing. I have aches- especially my right side where (I think) I popped a rib years ago. It’s been a constant possible ache when I lean while working for 20 years, and now, probably because my abdominal muscles have gone lax, aches all the time. But that’s so much that it was, I’m pleased.  That does make it difficult for me to lean over- for example to look at what’s in the back of the refrigerator, but I can at least walk that far. I am fascinated to notice that while I can remember being in pain, and my emotional responses to it- frustration that remedies that were supposed to work didn’t, feeling alone, hopeless, scared… I don’t actually remember the pain itself. And I’m very grateful for that.
I am discouraged to see no improvement in the Bell’s Palsy- no movement at all in my mouth or cheek. I’d expected improvement by now, it’s been three weeks. My eyes both water a lot, which often makes reading difficult, especially on the computer, and gives me a constant runny nose. I’ve learned to be really careful with making sure I haven’t missed food on the off side of my mouth- I really can’t tell by feel, and it’s disturbing to find residue of a meal hours later. I can’t concentrate as well as I normally do, but have improved enough that I can now read fiction. (below) This is an improvement from the week before (in August) where I could just manage to watch movies. Also, now I can sit up. Last week if I lay on the couch I was stuck there until John pulled me up. I felt like a beetle on it’s back waving all my legs in the air. Now I can get up myself.

We missed Harpers last weekend (and New Hampshire Pagan Pride Day today). Kat thought she had someone coming to pick up the Gold Key garb on Thursday, but they didn’t make it, so Friday was a stressful day of trying to get someone else to come for it. When Willow got home from babysitting she loaded it up and took it over (luckily the site is only an hour away). An hour after that Jeanne arrived to get it. I thought she was picking it up on the way, but she’d made a special trip. I took blatant advantage and had a lovely chat with her before she headed back. Really, why don’t people use phones? Messaging misses so often! They could have just called here, and I’d have told them that the girls had already taken it. I am NOT on the computer all the time. I know some people get messages through their phones, and have them on all the time, but everyone doesn’t. You’d think it fails often enough that people would try actually calling. Perhaps it’s because so many people have answering machines, voice mail and caller ID (and don’t answer their phones) that people thing messaging is better. I haven’t found it to be so. Ah well. The Gold Key got there, and A’isha brought it back, so that’s good. I keep wondering if I should try to go to events, and just sit and talk with people. After all, I’m not contagious. I’m not sure I have that much energy yet.
Saturday Willow babysat again, got water on the way home, made dinner, made fiesta rice to leave for us to eat, and washed all the dishes. She was so tired I wanted to make her stop, but how? This is why we decided to send the girls up to Maine for the week, they so needed a time without stresses. The goal was to eat, sleep, draw, eat, draw, swim- maybe, sleep, etc. Given that Willow doesn’t know how to rest, an agenda is a good idea. They left in the morning, and I think they’ve been keeping to that agenda. We should see them tonight. I hope the rest helps.
After they left Mark came over. He’d gotten a copy of the Noir classic DOA  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.O.A._(1950_film) and we watched it. I like Noir films, and this one was a great one, but I dozed off a couple of times, so he left the DVD and I re watched the bits I missed later. I’m afraid my afternoon naps are not entirely intentional.
Shortly after he left, Steve arrived. After I’d talked myself pretty tired, we watched Olivier’s Hamlet, then ate. He’d brought us a brace of rotisserie chickens, one John and I ate later. We’d thought the girls were leaving Monday morning, so he brought two. One of the things that’s supposed to be good for me is bone broth, so as we finished each chicken I boiled up the bones and had the broth as a lovely drink at dinner time (when I’m not allowed milk products).
He came up again on Wednesday, and took me out to do errands. We did a couple of loads of laundry, and had drinks at the nearby Subway, where it’s air conditioned. Timed it perfectly and got back just as the loads finished. Then we went to Market Basket for bread and produce (John and I were running low), and got milk at Fitch’s. By that time I’d missed my deadline for having the Fiesta Chicken for dinner (cheese in it), so we picked up some Chinese food at China Star and had that. Steve introduced me to shrimp with Lobster Sauce (which he says is made with pork these days). I had to cut the pieces of chicken in the sweet and sour up in order to eat them, It’s still hard to open my mouth wide, and they’ve started using chicken fingers instead of smaller pieces for that dish.  Had the leftovers for “non-dairy” meals later.
Monday, Labor Day, A’isha and Tamyris came by, dropped off the clean Gold Key garb, and will be washing the stuff that was used. Mostly A’isha was here to suck all the CTCW stuff off my computer so that the other people (who’ll be taking over things I used to do) will have access to my terribly disorganized notes. We’re still missing anything from the first four years- from the previous computer crash, and I have to admit that my organization skills do not show up at all when it comes to the computer.
I will say in my defense, that no one taught me how to use a computer. I think somewhere along the line someone is supposed to tell you- this is how you organize your computer- this is how and where you store this kind of file, and you put other ones here. This is a problem that permeates our culture. We stress motivation, but no amount of motivation is going to help when you haven’t been taught how to do whatever it is.
At any rate, I feel very sorry for them trying to extricate good information from my files.
This Thursday I was able to sit up and follow the whole Planning Committee meeting, which I couldn’t do last time around. I am very reassured that everything is being handled, and still a bit frustrated as I want to join in at my usual level, but know I can’t. And I don’t know yet what level I’ll be able to handle when November comes. Learn the lessons, Accept the help. Sigh.

Steve showed me a book he’d bought- The Book of English Magic  He’d ordered it from England and different pages were pale- guess they hadn’t been inked properly. He discovered that it would cost him $55 to send the $60 book back. Sad. He offered it to me, and I’m thrilled (it was on my wish-list), but not ready to read non-fiction yet.
Thursday I really felt better. I was able to sort the laundry we’d done the day before. (John dried it here.) and Mark came by with the first season of Man from UNCLE, and we watched 3 episodes. Still fun after all these years. He also took me over to refill our water jugs at Monadnock Springs, and reminded me of the copy of Miss Fisher’s mysteries he’d loaned me. I’m pretty sure he bought it used, because every time I’ve opened it, it redolent of tobacco smoke, which had made me resist picking it up. But Friday morning, having been reminded, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. The writing is wonderful. The plot intricate, the characters fully realized. When I was done with Cocaine Blues, I re-watched the movie version he’d recommended earlier. I now know why I’d avoided it. The film version gutted the story, combining characters, and leaving out important plot twists. I am happily reading the next book in the series, but don’t know if I’ll invite the aggravation that comes with watching a poorly made film version again.
I also got in a movie that’s been on my Netflix queue a long time: When the Sun was God. It’s a wonderful 2003 Polish film, based on an 1876 novel, Stara baśń, by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski. It is also known as The Ancient Tale: When The Sun Was God. Thank goodness it had subtitles. The costuming and sets were a dark ages reinactors’ dream! At least I couldn’t spot any mistakes- except for putting horns on the Vendel helm of the Viking jarl (I think so people could tell who he was when his face was covered). While I’d be suspicious of research taking from a 19th c. novel, I don’t have the expertise in Dark Ages Polish history to check it. Love to know if it was accurate, but meanwhile it was a good story. (not sure why they’d call it a fairy tale) I can recommend it, and if I can get a copy- will be able to lend it.
I’ve pretty much stopped watching the Great British Bakeoff. I love the way they run it. The balance of the challenges between the “signature” bakes, and technical challenges is good. I am now convinced that while I am a GOOD, I am not a GREAT baker. I’d love to learn the little differences in oven temperatures and time that would make the difference, but I’m telling you, with my taste gone off, I am not in the mood. Also, while Netflix had one season in order, on you tube they are all jumbled up, and it’s hard to watch them in order so you can follow the progress of each of the bakers. Ah well.

I got the first bill- the E Room visit where they diagnosed the Bells Palsy was over $3K, discounted to $2K. I really need to buckle down and do the paperwork for bigger discounts. If I’m lucky I can get it down to where the donations will cover what “relief” doesn’t.

Not having a TV I am unable to tell, is it really true that the main news is NOT covering the protest at Pine Ridge?

That’s it for now. Pretty much caught up. That feels good.