9-28-2016 Drink Beer Day!

Today it’s really overcast- and I resent it because I figure clouds should give me some RAIN darnit! The trees are beginning to color, and I will be able to go outside again, and tell you what might be blooming. Willow did explain to me the noise I keep hearing outside- it’s acorns falling on the roof of the trailer- tac, tac…,tac, tac….tac. I’d been wondering what the cats were doing to make that noise!

The good news is that Monday I went to the Doctor and am supposed to be OK on the Lyme disease front. I had my month of antibiotics, and 3 weeks is supposed to do it, so I’ll be watching like a hawk for any signs of relapse, but in theory it’s over. I suppose the bad news is that just because I have antibodies doesn’t mean I couldn’t get it again, but considering that a tick can carry ten or more diseases (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, Relapsing fever, Colorado tick fever, Babesiosis…) one should always be vigilant against them anyway. (I thought I was!)
At this point I am still not what I’d considered recovered. While I am not in pain (huzzah!), can walk around, drive, read, and work at the computer, in all honesty I cannot stay on my feet for more than 10 minutes, I still need naps, I still have more brain fog than I’m comfortable dealing with, and the Bell’s Palsy has still not gone away.
My plan is to have both my eyes checked and my teeth checked as soon as it does. While I can close my right eyelid, it’s very loose, and the contact is liable to slide off center or out, so I haven’t been wearing it. Also dental hygiene has been difficult since I can’t open my mouth well. (Heck, eating has been hard- any bite of food has to be no bigger than a centimeter to fit them in my mouth!)  I also still have the “everything tastes off” problem. I haven’t put on any of the weight I lost- but I’m not losing any more. I don’t know if that was not being able to eat, or another symptom. I sure don’t mind, except that I have three skirts that need their waistbands taken in- which I hesitate to do until I am sure that the weight will stay off.
Iphoto-on-2016-09-28-at-16-15‘m not thrilled with circulating this image, but figured you’d want to see how I’m coming.  This is me trying to smile. Still only half a smile on the mouth, still no movement in the eyebrow, which means my eyelid is hidden, still no movement of the cheek- where most smiling is done. Oh I want to smile again! The last couple of days my lower lip (on both sides) has been tingling and I am telling myself that this may mean that something is happening. I hope so.
I assumed that the Bell’s would be resolved by now and have scheduled my first podcast in two months for tonight. I’m concerned because I still whuffle on ps, fs, and  other letters that involve “blowing air out”. Wish me luck.
I am very happy to be off the anti-biotics for one major reason of convenience: I no longer have to avoid milk/calcium rich foods for 8 hours a day. It makes eating a LOT easier! I can have cheese, or take my vitamins with milk. That’s a huge relief!

Yes, my remark about wanting rain means that we still have no water  (a few inches last time we checked, but not enough to turn the pump on). We continue to buy water 20 gallons at a time from Monadnock- very grateful that it’s available.  We use paper plates when we can, wash what dishes we can’t help soiling, and flush with the wash water. And sometimes just because it needs flushing. I wonder if perhaps the enhanced olfactory sense that is so annoying with the bathrooms isn’t a blessing when it reduces the impact of the not tasting symptom or side effect. I do stop to smell my food, which helps. With the bathrooms we have taken to leaving the windows open, and the doors shut (since it’s gotten colder), which can result in hopping on one foot outside an empty necessary, if we forget to call or knock and see if it’s really occupied. It’s amazing how the social cues that we get used to can work against us when we need to change them.
Speaking of the euphemism, we have now had the “squatty potty” for a week and are quite pleased with it. Your experience may be otherwise, but I haven’t found it as odd as I’d worried, and have only tripped over it once. And I’m tripping over a lot of things since I’m so tired most of the time. In case you were thinking about getting one- I’d say go for it. (I just keep thinking they should have something for the people who have the raised toilet seats because they can’t stand up from the normal ones- something to help them raise their legs would be good, but the old weak people probably really have problems and positional help would be better than more drugs!)

Last week it occurred to Willow that Kat could get her hair washed (and her roots dyed) at a hair salon. Research indicated that this could be accomplished for I think it was $45, so they did. I have continued with sponge baths, and SO look forward to being able to shower again.

Wednesdays are our big “internet” nights- Willow has a role playing game over the internet, and I have been doing my podcast for the last couple of years. But the internet kept going off, and none of us could get to the internet Thursday morning, so we called TDS, and they sent a guy out that afternoon. Mr Gaudette knows our house and how weird it is, but he spent hours working on it from their office- during which time our phones would stop working. Willow was out at Avi’s and I tried to contact her, and it’s disturbing to have no phone. Then he came, and first said that the modem was in the wrong jack, but he kept working with it until about 7, until it was finally working again. Except that now the phone by my computer doesn’t allow me to pick up calls and I have to go to the front hall. On the other hand, he left behind a “tracer” so I’ll ask him about it when he comes back for it.
It’s really amazing how quickly we can get used to new technologies. It’s hard to remember life before cell phones, the internet, computers in everyone’s houses, ebooks, microwaves, a lot of the foods we expect to find in the store. I still remember the first time I had a yogurt (it was prune yogurt, warm, and I wasn’t impressed) which was also the first time I tried Fresca. (I wonder if that’s still around?) We are not surprised to find star fruit, kiwi fruit, coconuts or avocados in our produce section. How about the bags of salad greens? The assortment of mushrooms, and sprouts?  I have to say that the low price of meats these days makes me very suspicious about factory farms- it shouldn’t be that inexpensive to raise pigs, chickens and cattle. That may not sound like technology- but I’m sure tech is involved in it. We’ve dumped our tapes for CDs, I have probably a thousand VHS tapes I’m going to need to find a way to transfer to DVD- but will the blue ray make those obsolete as well? Could I have imagined having a copier in my own home? Or that a phone might also be a camera and connect to the computer? These are fairly recent developments. I know I’m an old lady who played with hula hoops and watched black and white TV when I was a kid, but when you’re watching old movies (if you do), don’t you wonder sometimes why they don’t use their mobile phones to call and check in? I do, then remember they didn’t have them.

I’ve continued reading Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher mysteries. I have read several more this week, and continue to recommend them. I also did watch the first season of the television series, which takes inspiration from the books, but (as one would expect) goes off in a different direction. I think the thing I like best about these mysteries is their complexity. There are generally more than two issues being dealt with at the same time, dozens of well drawn characters, and it’s very well researched. In the book of short stories she describes how she writes them- she does research on some fascinating detail about the period until the story leaps out at her, and even there she is not only doing one topic.  One book (Ruddy Gore) combined the Chinese silk trade, Spiritualism and the theatre, specifically Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. In contrast, the TV show simplifies the plots to make them fit into the available time (I assume), combining characters, and losing the complexity that makes these books special. Then on top of it, they change characters for no reason except to make it more like standard patterns. WHY do they think it’s better to have all the shows the same?! The happily married Inspector Robinson has been made single with “sexual tension” between the female lead and the closest thing to a male. Then they added an ongoing story about a crime from her past and a dead sister- I think because ongoing rather than episodic shows are big now. Feh. I’ll except trimming for time, but change to make a series more like every other show seems foolish!  This week I read Urn Burial to Queen of the Flowers. Willow is reading them now, so I’ll have someone with whom to discuss them. There seem to be five more.
These mysteries have been helpful keeping me from going mad. I am caught in a combination of fatigue induced boredom, and frantic ambition to get up and DO something! I have made a couple of dinners- or at least major contributions to them- (I can peel and chop vegetables while sitting).  We’ve started trying to clean out the refrigerator- sadly I think the last time we did that was just before leaving for Pennsic. There have been some disturbing discoveries in there, and my “food is sacred and should not be wasted” sense has been badly battered. It is very strange to be so wound up- a little like hyperactivity- and at the same time so unable to move. Or open bottles and jars. Thank goodness for John. Frankly, when I made the first apple pie of the season, while I made the crust and peeled, John had to use the corer/slicer gadget- because that requires standing up and pushing down on the apples. It feels strange.
When chopping I have been watching the first season of Man from UNCLE that Mark loaned me. While I loved it as a kid, as an adult I find it intensely frustrating. Because it was intended to be “camp”, they are overly fond of bad puns, and they also keep showing the enemies their faces to frustrate them in what I consider a stupid and risky way. Both sides constantly leave unconscious enemies behind, when a “double tap” would prevent so many repeat attacks. They have NO concept of how to secure a crime scene. (How this must look to real law enforcement people I can only imagine since all I know about it comes from NCIS and other shows.) Still, I do enjoy watching the very young stars, and the fashions. When I was a kid I can’t remember if I bought or only wanted to buy the Thrush rifle (it shined an image of a thrush on the target before they had laser pointers, and god help us, it had a picture of a thrush on the stock!), but I saw them leaving not only dead agents but their equipment behind and wander off to do who knows what. I was disappointed- I thought they spoke into their pens, but in season one, at least they spoke into packs of cigarettes. I’d totally forgotten that.
I’ve also long thought that the reason characters like Ilya and Spock were popular was that they tended to look at their womanizing co-stars with a sort of pitying disgust, which turned them into more of a challenge, or maybe made them safer fantasy objects for the just barely pubescent girls swooning over them. But in several episodes the girls seem to prefer the Russian brand. I never thought Solo was that good looking anyway.

Some of our household DID actually watch at least part of the presidential debate. Willow wisely decided she didn’t have the emotional energy to invest. Kat and I both thought “it’s my duty as a voter to be informed”. She says she only made it 10 minutes before she was to angry to deal with it anymore. I couldn’t find a good streaming site at first- but I watched to the end. Like Kat, it made my stomach upset- and John, who was in the room with me trying to not listen also got an upset stomach. It’s hard to listen to and not feel as though you’re caught in something you can’t control. I am convinced that neither of their supporters will feel any differently after watching the debate. It’s depressing. We should have better candidates. Whoever wins, there are going to be major changes in the upcoming years.

So, progress is being made- slowly.
Until next week,
Tchipakkan

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
Albert Einstein

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