Monday, April 29, 2024

That's a Wrap on April Recap

Sup y'all!  The month of April was quite the whirlwind yet also seemed to drag a bit in parts.  Mother Nature was off her mood levelers or something because you never knew if you were getting snow, 80 degrees and blinding sunshine, hail, tornadoes, gale force wind and the threat of rain pretty much all month.  I suppose I'm somewhat grateful for the warning about the impending tornado we were supposed to get early in the month as it lit a fire under my butt to get the space under the stairs available for retreat.  This forced me to quickly move the stuff from the pantry shelves I'd procrastinated switching to the Brimnes IKEA pantries.  When I saw the auxiliary shelf was now clear, I could start the task of moving stuff from the back shelves to that shelf where things would be more accessible and when the back shelves were open I could begin the task of moving Mom's stuff from under the stairs higher up to the back shelves.  (You follow all of that?! 😜)  Having those tasks done allowed me to start going through boxes that never made it upstairs after last March's reno.  You know what I found?  A box from July 2022's reno!!  So yeah, while the basement isn't sparkling clean yet, one projected weather event set off a positive chain reaction to deal with things that my grief addled brain couldn't conceive of starting on my own.

Speaking of which, we're heading into month nine.  Her stone finally came in right after Easter which was a relief.  Nothing ever really feels settled until that bittersweet memorial is in its permanent place.  Then you look at it and say "okay Mom, joke's over."  The worst part?  I can't even visit her grave in peace... she passed right across the street.  The way we have to approach the cemetery is the same way we took every day to visit her and my fight or flight kicks in just as it did then.  I have to close my eyes as we approach and look the other way out the window inside so I don't see it.  If I do see it, have you ever seen The Crow?  (The original...the only one that should've ever been made given a man gave his life for the movie.)  This scene where Eric "gifts" Top Dollar all of the pain that Shelley went through before she died?   I see that with Mom... every time I see where it ended.  It is exactly like that.  I can't stop it.  I can't control it.  It just comes like a jackal ripping at every fiber of me to remind me of her suffering and she was the last person who deserved to go out like that.  But there it is, like a demonic shadow just over my shoulder when all I want to do is visit with her and grandma in peace.  People claim it will go away with time but it hasn't.  The only thing that has changed is my ability to not go into an external break in front of the Mr over it and usually wait until he's asleep to let it out.  So watch that clip (but stop it at 2:46 before he hits the ground) to get an idea of the mental anguish because it's literally a carbon copy of the flashes of PTSD but with Mom.  (Just in case anyone was fooled into thinking my humor or snarky posts meant I was "better.")  So April has been a whirlwind of progress, processing and lots of tears and attacks to attempt to breathe my way through.

It's also been about the Mr attempting to get his varicose veins taken care of.  That whole ordeal began just as Mom's time was coming to an end.  He started with the ablation and then it was a wait and see for a few months to see if his veins shrunk enough to hopefully qualify for sclerotherapy.  They seemed to so he went ahead with it and after a month found out they needed stronger stuff because the baseline didn't work.  He goes back next month to see if everything took which is nerve wracking until he gets the all clear.  By the end of the month, I was getting an evaluation of my own from his doctor.  I've always had poor circulation in my legs, heaviness that isn't just my weight, itching by the ankles and over the past few years, a disturbing pattern of discoloration by the ankles and tops of feet.  A quick search showed I needed to get it taken care of ASAP so I made the appointment.  What a year to decide to go with the high deductible plan.  🙄  But we just reached our deductible so now it should be just copays.

Despite keeping up with most of the new to us weight loss plan we started in February, I lost nothing for a month.  I pulled back on some habits because there was just too much going on and it got very frustrating.  I have been doing everything I can to get my legs better so I can incorporate more movement into my day but on paper, I should've been losing 1-2 lbs per week.  It starts to make you think of drastic measures.  Last week, I lost a rogue 4 lbs and Saturday another pound so I guess just in the nick of time I lost 5 lbs for the month.  I got my protein back up as well as water so who knows if that was direct correlation or not.

Needless to say I am begging May to play nice and give us a respite from the madness.  (Too vein stuff is set up towards the end of the month as well as the new diagnosis I told you about last week.)  I'm hoping I can capitalize on a bit of motivation but I know some other stuff that may be a stress fest is on the horizon so I need to find a way to balance and prioritize my mental health.  Not to mention oh, you know, needing to decide what to do with the stairs, rip out old balusters and install new ones, scrape, stain and rehang the handrail to the basement, paint and caulk the baseboards, put up new patio fence slats, rip out old bathroom floor (that inspired Mom to do hers the same) and install new as well as a new toilet.  You know...easy stuff that isn't even a part of the aforementioned stress fest.  I should be (more) insane by the Fall! ðŸĪŠ

How was your April?

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Friday, April 26, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #17  Come here.  

A little closer.


It's Fridaaaaaaaay!!!!

Wee doggies!  

Okay, that's way too much excitement given we've got nothing warranting that much excitement planned for the weekend but still, some weeks just be that way?  You feel me?  

Now it's time to feel:

Benefits of Spinach: 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More of This Superfood  (We love it and throw it in whenever we can.  Don't forget to give it a wash!)

8 Great Lower-Body Exercises for People With Knee Pain  (Good stuff because no one wants to make knee pain any worse!)

A Quick ‘Fart Walk’ Might Be Just What You Need to End Your Day  (Pssht, in this house any time of day is the right time of day for quackin ducks.  I wonder why we don't have visitors?)

Not Sure What to Talk About in Therapy? 12 Things to Consider  (Good points to remember.  I'll be starting my quest to find someone I match up with later this year.)

Can I Use My RMDs to Transfer Money Into My Roth IRA?  (Ugh, why is retirement so hard and confusing?!)

The film fans who refuse to surrender to streaming: ‘One day you’ll barter bread for our DVDs’  (It's true.  We've got over 300 DVD's and buying the digital copy means you don't own it!)

'The Crow' soundtrack turns 30: Looking back on the album that defined an era  (Truly one of the best soundtracks.  I'll never forget seeing it several times in the theater.  I was obsessed with the movie and Brandon.)

15 Facts About ‘Twister’  (One of our favorite movies and quote it incessantly.  It was out when we were married and we saw the marquee for it in Waikiki.  I wish I'd taken a pic)

Miss a post this week?  Catch up below!

I'm aiming for an equal amount productivity and shenanigans if I can find a balance between the two.  I'm hoping to get some stuff arranged and where it needs to be to take some stress off.  Why does it seem like the quest for having a clean, tidy home from top to bottom is never going to happen.  Instagram lies.  (Which is why you're here...I make you feel better about the messes in your home.  You're welcome!)

Any plans for the weekend as we wrap up the month?

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hump Day Poll: May Flowers

What flowers are popping up in your garden?

I didn't do any last year but I might like to get some perennials established this year like phlox out front and maybe a purple rose if I can find one for Mom.  Not quite sure out back but hoping for some good ideas from you guys!

(Also, there's a post coming tomorrow so swing back by)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I must have stared at this page for 20 minutes trying to formulate how to put into words what I'm feeling.  Trying to make sense of how I went into a vein doctor's appointment for what was supposed to be a routine ultrasound with an expected diagnosis and came out with not just that but a 'bonus.'   I should start by saying it's not the big C.  I guess I'll give you background on why I went to the leg doc in the first place. When I was a kid, my dad's mom was always pale as could be and had horrible spider veins.  She wasn't heavy or anything but she was a nurse so long shifts on her feet.  I always hoped I wouldn't suffer the same fate but I knew the vascular system was probably at least pre-disposed.  Mom gained weight after having me but couldn't seem to lose it.  She had many tests done but no cause could be found that they were willing to treat.  After that, she developed lymphedema but was not diagnosed until it had gotten severe.  Back when she was diagnosed, it was a relatively unheard of disease and certainly never talked about that I'd ever heard.  People are just treated like "well, you're fat" and it's not until it morphs into something disfiguring that they bother to look any deeper.  You know, when it's too late?

This disease essentially stole my mother from me.  Yes, we were close but the things we could do together were limited because she got to the point it was incredibly hard to move.  Those mother daughter shopping trips you may take for granted with your mom?  Couldn't do them.  The ones we could do were always having to make sure a place to sit was available and her disease was always a constant companion.  As a tween, you're already self conscious enough but I knew Mom's condition brought even more when we were out together.  It's not that I was embarrassed to be out there with her, but sometimes her condition brought stares and that just made me want to fight everyone because they weren't seeing her.  They just saw a super morbidly obese woman and made their own assumptions about who she was and how she got to that weight.  Even when she got weight loss surgery back in the late 90's, it did afford her about a 150 lb. weight loss however, the lymphedema made it so there was little difference in her 'tree trunk legs.'  She had better mobility but still not great in the grand scheme of a normal life.  She kept about half the weight off over the years but that effing disease was relentless.  She had weeping legs at times which one doctor 20 years ago told her meant she could never have surgery for knee replacement because her skin would never heal because of the fluid.  (The small bit of looking this up the past week shows that yes, risk of infection appears to be higher than someone without it however it was not necessarily impossible as her old doctor led her to believe which infuriates me.  It depends on stage, the doctor, and the patients adherence to very strict post surgery instructions.)  Their attempt at treatment back then was doctors showing how to wrap her legs in bandages which took two people at home to do as she wasn't able to bend as far as she needed on her own and as soon as any fluid relief was achieved, that went away within three hours of the bandages coming off.  Family attempted to do it as often as they could but with no real relief, it wasn't worth it to her to continue if nothing was going to help.  There were leg pump sleeves but they were $9k and not covered by insurance then despite very obvious need.  I watched this chronic, incurable disease chip at her until she passed.  The searing hatred I had for it and what it essentially took from both of us, her- her mobility and to some degree quality of life despite finding a way to still live a very fulfilling life socially and me- the simple pleasure of mother daughter activities most people take for granted.

So when the vein doctor I went to said (without knowing my family history) "you also have lymphedema", I lost my shit.  Yes, I knew I had one leg a little larger than the other for many years but the fact that I have a discernable leg shape, in my head, told me that it was just a possibility but all of these years of exercise likely kept it at bay.  Apparently not.  All I could hear was how my life was about to change.  After the vein surgery, she wants me to start physical therapy to get and learn how to do lymphatic massage.  She said she was going to order a leg pump (supposedly covered by insurance- it'd better be because I'm not paying thousands of dollars for this thing) and I would need to do it an hour a day.  (We'll see. Some stuff I'm reading in my research tells me that is overkill for the stage I assume I am and could actually cause new problems.)  I would need to wear those hot, horrid compression socks I've used on and off over the years every day to keep it from progressing.  It was like having dodgeballs lobbed at your face as you sob.  I told the Mr I was finally being punished for everything I've done to my body.  She said there's a genetic disposition which plays a part but she was hopeful.  This was 'not your mother's disease' and how she does lectures all the time to PCP's to show the before and after of the treatment which shocks all of them because they keep doling out the same lazy advice my mom was given decades ago.  Advice that she clung to thinking she had no other options and assumed that insurance's stance on treatment hadn't changed in that time.  Then I was just friggin' angry that none of her two doctors over the past 20 years bothered to say "hey, let's revisit this to see if there are any new options for you."  Knowing what I know now about the vein insufficiency, ablation could've likely helped her.  I can already hear her saying "I can't with the fluid in my legs" but the needle is no bigger than the cortisone shots she got on occasion for her knees.  I stopped telling her about the new advances we would hear about including this Kevlar injection the Mr read great things on about 10 years ago for her bone on bone knees because there was just always a reason why it wouldn't work.  I should've pushed harder.


We went home and I sat there spaced out and bawling intermittently.  The time constraints already on the coming weeks, the incessant reminders popping up in my email of the things I already can't keep up with in attempts to lose weight, heal my feet, attempt to get out of mental ruts, etc and the thought of saying I need another 90 minutes a day (according to the vein doctor) to hook up to a machine and massage myself was too much for my brain to process.  Of course, more weight loss was recommended and said it can only help.  No shit, Sherlock.  I haven't exactly sat on my ass since the end of January and the results have been minimal.  I feel like my entire life is about maintaining this old hooptie of a body held together by duct tape, caulk and rust.  The mental toll this has taken given my deep personal hatred of what this disease did to Mom and now, potentially me, is nothing less than leveling.  Again. 

The more time I have to sit with it and knowing how easy it was for me to get a supposedly free pump ticked me off given Mom didn't have that available to her.  Thinking of how her veins were likely blown as well and how easy this process is now to fix vein insufficiency compared to 22 years ago the first time the Mr had it done and it was a hospital procedure complete with twilight meds and Frankenhose that cost $400.  Now it's an outpatient procedure done in less than 30 minutes with nothing bigger than a needle hole which she could've easily tolerated.  I'm more angry about her not being given the same opportunities I am.  It's like when some new breakthrough hits the market after your loved one who passed could've benefitted from it.  So there is also some, I don't know, survivor's guilt that this will be easy for me to manage in comparison. 

All I can say is thank God for the Mr.  I don't know how I would even be standing after this between Mom's passing, and now my chronic health problems.  Gosh, remember when I just wanted to lose weight to be like, thin and shit?  🙄  I'd like those days back please.

I don't need LE advice from anyone who has it right now, please.  I'm not there.  This diagnosis is more mental than anything else because of the lifelong torment that dogged Mom and secondarily, me.  Nothing really changes for me except adhering to getting in more movement but I can't put into words what it's done to my headspace.  I need a friggin' break from everything.  I feel like I'm not being given time to heal from anything before the next thing comes busting down the door.  Are we actually in purgatory?  Because it's kind of feeling like that the past few years.  I've done some research.  I'm putting some shockwave into the mix as I've seen a few studies about the positive effects it can have.  I will get into the right mindset about it but that isn't right now.  Right now I just need to process and regroup.

Thanks for listening.

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Monday, April 22, 2024

Low Key and Unexpected Emotions Weekend Recap

How do, all?  Did you have a nice weekend?  It was decent in these parts down from blazing hot (for us) earlier in the week.  We even waited Thursday night until after dinner to walk because when it's over 75, no thank you on the flop sweat.  Saturday the Mr was kind enough to weed out front since things were getting out of control.  We went to grab lunch and then a walk near the water and enjoyed the spring colors and flowers.  

It was a cooler day around 60 but the wind was blowing pretty fierce.  I feel like I'm going to have to invest in a sun hat soon.  The sun is always blazing just over my sunglasses line and blinding me.  Is this how it happens?  Is this how getting old happens?  One day you're prank calling the local pizza place during a sleepover and the next minute you're ordering sunhats and listing your newest diagnoses across the miles?!  Of course it would have to have a string so it doesn't blow away since we're becoming a wind tunnel so I should be playing mahjong and eating ambrosia salad with polyester slacks on in no time.  I got some work stuff done and we went up and chilled out until we conked out.

Sunday was pretty chill as well, I got some work done after oatmeal for breakfast.  I got a message from my cousin with a link to my paternal grandparents house that is being listed for sale.  I told her I'd always thought if it ever came up for sale, I wouldn't mind buying it.  It's on almost an acre and after grandpa died in 2020, she FINALLY got the kitchen and front room remodel she's been begging grandpa for for 40 years.  I was glad she was finally able to get at least 3 years with what he'd denied her.  I sent the link to the Mr and he said it was really tempting and if I really wanted to, we'd move on it especially since the price is about $100K under what we assumed it would be.  As we talked, and I talked about the good memories I had there when I was little (as well as my childhood dog being buried there), then the emotional baggage started popping up.  When dad divorced us, essentially his entire family divorced me as well.  My grandpa always treated me like *I* did something to him and as I saw the Christmases of my early youth, I also felt the disgust he seemed to have for me and the constant pissiness.  If he'd died when I was young, this would be easy but he's the reason we never went to visit because seeing her meant dealing with him.  How would I be able to sleep in their bedroom?  It's not like I have recent memories there but the front room looks EXACTLY the same down to the faux brick applied with black grout in the 70's.  In addition to needing to rip that out, we'd need to replace 60 year old insulation too and who knows what we might uncover once we start ripping things out.  He was not known for his attention to fixing things so I can only assume things were ignored and/or jerry rigged.  Part of me really wants to get it and the other part fears I'd immediately regret it and we both feel like that side of the family would think they had license to drop by whenever they wanted to.  Lots of emotions I wasn't ready for.

We went down to get in our workout.  One mile Walk Away the Pounds then LIIFT4 Back and Bi's.  It really killed my left shoulder.  I had to spend quite a bit of time rolling my shoulder against the cement wall.  It wasn't just the rotator cuff muscles but also the parts of the front of the arm as well as the lats just under the armpit so there is a whole capsule that needs to be seriously rolled out.  Once doesn't do it because there is so much dysfunction there.  In thinking back, I think it initially started when I fell the first day of vacation last year because I instinctively put both arms out to not faceplant.  While my shins got it quite horribly, I never thought about my arms/shoulders.  A couple of months later, we went through everything with Mom and I started sleeping with my arms crossed over my heart in addition to being on my side so everything just locked up and I've been fighting it for 4 months.  The chiro really wants me to go to PT for it but I have some other things I need get in check before I can commit to that so I have to look up crap on YouTube.  

In addition to that, I just got another diagnosis that came out of the blue so swing back by tomorrow for that. this what getting old is just getting diagnoses flung at you?  😒   I don't know that we got the stuff done that I thought we would because work stuff got in my face more than I would've liked so I guess I need to make a to do list so we're not totally screwed this weekend.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, April 19, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #16

Happy Friday y'all!  I hope the week hasn't beat you up too much and you're ready to get out and enjoy the weekend!   It was a busy week full of appointments.  My usual twice a week chiro appointments which is nice (though I wish I had faster results with pain relief) and I also got a 'bonus' appointment of having my leg veins evaluated by the Mr's doctor.  My dad's side has notoriously crappy veins and the past few years I've been noticing some disturbing changes in the ankle/foot area so it was time to do the deed.  Essentially I knew it was just going to be ultrasounds and the results of it but I also knew from the Mr's initial session that it wouldn't be easy as he almost fainted during his.  (But he also didn't eat breakfast sooo.)   Well, I got it done and it wasn't bad as far as the scans are concerned.  I did receive a mentally devastating diagnosis in addition to having to have the vein stuff done so I need to do a little processing and I'm sure I'll do a post on it soon after I stop randomly crying.

Now let's get to:

How Much Caffeine Is in My Tea?  (Good stuff to know!)

How to Decompress Your Spine to Reduce Back Ache and Pain  (If you have access to your joists in your basement or something, you can use those to do the dead hangs.  Hurts so good!)

3 Steps to Workout Motivation  (It can be hard to come by sometimes)

5 Foods To Help You Sleep (I'll take all the friggin help I can get but if these don't work, the tryptophan supps I take on occasion actually work over melatonin and even antihistamines for me.)

15 Gorgeous Deck and Patio Ideas You Can DIY  (In case your outdoor space needs a little zhuzh.)

We've got a crapload of stuff to get done this weekend that has gotten to the back burner when it absolutely should not have.  So I guess we activate whirling dervish mode and hope for the best!  Why do I do this to myself?? 😑

What are you whirling into this weekend?

(I challenge just one other person in addition to my hubs and bestie to answer!  
Y'all keep telling me this isn't an audience of two but...)

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Delivery Driver laughs and Weekend Recap

Howdy do, all!  We're back to Monday.  I hope you guys had an awesome weekend and are rarin' to go for the new week.  (I can't remember the last time I was rarin' to do anything but I digress.)  I hope all of you late tax folk remember today is the day to get everything submitted!  (We're the people getting it over with at the beginning of February.)

I had to share this 'warning' from the Amazon delivery person that made us crack up:

TOO funny and I encourage more tomfoolery from this person because who couldn't use a random smile when opening your Mrs Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning?

Saturday we had mediocre eats which always sets the tone.  We tried to go to the historic district for our walk but it was way too crowded and there was construction going on so that was a bust.  I told the Mr to drive to my grandpa's cemetery not too far away and we could make a loop of it.  (It's been a LONG time since I've done that.)  We showed grandpa (a car guy) the new ride then got on our way.  The sun was hot even though the wind was blowing.  When we made it back to his stepdaughters grave, I noticed it, along with her dad's headstones, were being swallowed whole by grass.  I was ticked.  "Perpetual care" my ass.  I got the clippers we keep in the car and got to work.  Both graves looked like the top pic below:

The bottom is what her grave looked like when I was done.  I didn't have enough full charge to get his but might in the future.  Those clippers are awesome and really went above and beyond.  I did order some grave stone cleaner since I saw my great grandma's stone has that black crap creeping in on it and I don't want it to get out of hand.  When we were done, I'd burned 700 calories so that's good.  I'd pay for it later but I'm used to it.  Didn't really do much after but I did get to do a fun, grief soaked panic attack with ugly crying for two hours.  I guess I should've started the workout button!

Sunday I made brunch for the first time in forever.  Then we went in the basement and tried to tackle some of that.  Again...there's progress but it just doesn't feel like enough which probably had a lot more to do with the heap that is the craft table that never got used for it's intended purpose but any progress is good progress.  The Mr hung up some baskets that I didn't need from the previous shelf configuration but I didn't want to get rid of so now they are installed under our laundry center we built back in 2019 holding random stuff in one and laundry supplies in the other.  We got the curtains that go over the shelves washed and re-hung.  I found a box that I thought was living room stuff but turns out to be nightstand stuff from July 2022!  It has stuff I have no idea where it goes but don't want to throw out either so I condensed stuff as much as I could and got three smaller boxes unloaded and a lot of the stuff under the right side of the table gone through so at least ONE stool could go back where it belonged.  The Mr donated our old Bissel since we don't have carpeted floors anymore which made me sad but it needed to be done.  We got a portable one that will hopefully clean the couch in between wrestling the slipcovers off and he did the stairs going up.   The friggin' battery died again in my car and I have a chiro appointment today so the Mr got a free battery since it was on it's last month under warranty.  I came up to take a break and my friend called and we gabbed for 90 minutes which was nice.  But then it was 6:30pm and I didn't have it in me for a workout given how crappy my legs felt so I didn't have a choice.  Then it was chill time and that was that.  I miss exciting weekends.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, April 12, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #15

The weekend is finally upon us!  I don't know about y'all but this week was L-O-N-G around here.  The Mr ordered eclipse glasses like 6 months ago but I had a chiro appointment close to the same time.  So he drove me over and we watched it out with the staff not far behind us too.  Not like it got dark or anything but it was still neat to experience together since it's the last one of our lifetimes.  I managed to get into the basement here and there and get a couple of things organized which felt good.  I had other things that took my attention away from it but it'd be nice to see a little more progress on that.

Now let's progress into:

Are You an Over-Apologizer? 5 Steps to Curb the Habit  (I probably say sorry more than most words.)

The Right Way to Use Lubes for Sex  (If menopause is now or in your near future, pay attention.)

The Business of … Death  (Definitely isn't your grandma's funeral)

The Best Botanical Gardens in the US  (We can vouch for a few but looks like a trip back to Chicago is in order.)

I'd like to make maybe a little more of a dent in the basement but that will be a Sunday job because there's a few little things to get hung and test out.  I would like to get out of the house a bit too because we sat on our bootays all last weekend except for our walk.  

What's YOUR boo-tay doing this weekend?

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Monday, April 8, 2024

Bittersweet Milestone Weekend Recap

Hello there!  Back to Monday.  Is it Groundhog Day?

Last week I was able to get some more stuff somewhat organized in the basement.  The goal since Mom passed was to get her stuff up off the floor even though they were in bins in case Lord forbid we ever had a water issue.  It's awfully hard to give up two full shelves of space you already didn't have to stuff you will never use.  Two of the totes are full of fabric totes!  When I say the woman had a lot of totes, I mean there were over 75 of them in her closet because she sold for Thirty One.  She saw, she bought, she sold, she bought more at a discount.  I know at some point I'm going to have to thin them down but that's a future me project if space becomes a bigger issue.  It really sucks to feel like you made so much progress but visually it looks like none because of how much crap we STILL have from last years reno still in piles.  I truly can't take it and am overwhelmed as to where to start.  There is a HUGE construction bag of towels, shirts or something down there that I have to go through.  The craft table is stacked to the hilt and I can't even right now.  Very frustrating.  On top of that I'm dealing with a delightful rash and I find myself looking skyward saying "can You not, please?" and He responds with letting the cut brioche bun from my turkey burger bounce into water in a pan soaking which was my only attempt at happiness that Friday.


Saturday we didn't do a whole lot.  The Mr was still coming down from his stress of the week so we got lunch and attempted to watch the Johnny Depp trial on Court TV.  His slow manner of speaking was driving me up a damn wall as I've heard plenty of recordings of him able to speak in a normal cadence but chooses not to when in public for some reason.  For as much as I wanted to hear the dirt, I was also going insane so we both agreed it was nap time.  We then packed up flowers and headed to Mom's grave.  Her sib told me a few days earlier her headstone was in (and I'd already given them the heads up the outlines for it had been spray painted so I knew it was going in soon.)  I couldn't tell if they liked it or not as they said they needed to stand further away.  (There are four pictures of her on it in bronze.)  The stone has a texture but they also kind of make indentations and stuff as well so if the sun hits it a certain way, it can look a little odd.  I'm on it with her and a bird had freshly shat on my face.  I hope that doesn't mean Mom disapproves.  Luckily the Mr had some napkins and wipes so we got that taken care of and I put flowers in her new vase and removed her temporary marker from Grandma's vase and put grandma's new pansies in there with a small plaque with her picture.  (The assholes decided all decor had to be in a vase and threw away the flag we had there for 5 years that I had just replaced only two months earlier.  I was not a happy girl.)  This has a stake that goes into the vase and hangs so it should be good.  (I also sealed it with spray mod podge to make it waterproof.)   All of you who have had the agonizing weight of waiting for the permanent stone to go in, know this is a bittersweet milestone.  I guess I got my crying out when her sib sent me a pic of it because seeing it in person I was more focused on trying to decide if I was going to have to go around with the cemetery again or not but the Mr said he thought it was good.  They should've made it more clear that there would be some 'texturing' but of course they sell you with a stone inside that has had the most perfect of conditions, retouched, airbrushed, etc and don't offer those options to you.  I'm not saying it looks bad, just that some areas are a little darker than I would've liked and know that isn't how they looked on the proof I went round and round with the manager on.  In the end, the Mr said that Mom always mentioned how much she loved that she had the flag with Grandma's picture on it that I provided since she passed.  She said it made her feel like she was better able to talk to her having the picture.  He said he thinks she'd want that for us too.  To have pictures of her with the people she loved with a big smile on her face and doing things she loved.  I agree but if another bird shits directly on my face, I'm going to take it that she's not happy.  We came home and pretty much chilled the rest of the night while the Mr got laundry going.  

Sunday we watched a little tube then got down into the basement to try to get things straightened up a little more.  I got some winter and paddling clothes into space bags and put them into bins that would replace the spot Mom's stuff originally was under the stairs.  I put them on the wheeled furniture movers I got and put some anti-vibration pads I already had on them so the bins wouldn't move around.  I used my label maker to get stuff clearly marked and while we did have a lot of things where they needed to be, all I could see was how much is still to go through.  We're trying to get a PT bar up and have to wait until today to get it drilled in since the lack of a stud there was being a poop head.  Then before we knew it, it was time for our strength session.  It had to be legs because the Mr has what we hope will be his final vein appointment this week and he'll be unable to do those workouts for 2 weeks following.  I know that'll mean today shall be a fun one for me but I'm hoping the chiro can help me out with that at my appointment later today.   Then it was time for dinner and chillin' later.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, April 5, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #14

Happy first Friday of April everyone!  I don't know about you but Mother Nature is PO'd in our parts.  We've had everything from tornadoes to hail to rain to sun to rainbows.  I'm not going to say that stupid cliche about "if you don't like (ANY state's) weather, just wait 10 minutes."   I wish we were in Vermont right now because Stowe just got a helluva dump over there!  Le sigh.  The one good thing about preparing for doomsday is I needed to clean a spot under the stairs for us to ride out a twister so I actually got the stuff off of the shelf in front of the stairs into the pantries that were assembled, you know, at Christmas?  To be fair, I was hoping the funky smell that comes free with pandemic era IKEA would dissipate but nay...not even 6 boxes of baking soda each could tame it.  The next day I moved stuff from the back shelves to the newly cleared one so we wouldn't have to go as far for crock pots, bakeware, casserole stuff, etc.  That was a big win.  I'm hoping to be able to get some more arranged down there but we're waiting on some wheeled furniture movers for some bins under the stairs today.  I figure if we need to get under the stairs again, we're going to wheel some bins out and both sit down to be safe.  

I'm sure the Mr is glad to see this week end.  He was mandated to work in office every single day and the peopley peopleness of a bunch of mooks who all like to hear themselves talk along with Benny Hill level incompetence was more than he could bear on the daily.

Now let's bear:

5 Common Pieces Of Sleep Advice You Should Actually Ignore  (Interesting especially since I hear most of these in everything I look up to get some zzz's.)

This $0 Little Luxury Instantly Transforms Meal Prep  (Cute idea if you loathe meal prep the way I do.)

Feeling Biceps Pain After a Workout? Can't Straighten Your Arm? Here's Why  (This is me every single time I do LIIFT4 after a break.  A month or so ago it was an entire week!)

Why Some People Have More 'Food Noise' and How to Quiet It  (Most days I'm fine then sometimes I'm thinking about the next meal as I finish the current one.)

8-hour time-restricted eating linked to a 91% higher risk of cardiovascular death  (Wow, anyone doing intermittent fasting should give this a read!)

Here's Why You Won't Find a Green Pepper in a Bell Pepper Multi-Pack  (Huh...never really thought about that but yep, ain't no green in there!)

6 Signs That You're Stuck in a Negative Narrative  (I think when you order this book for yourself like I did, you kind of already know.)

5 Signs You're Dealing With A Toxic Parent As An Adult and How To Cope  (There's nothing more hurtful coming from someone who is supposed to accept you as-is seeing as they helped create you and all.)

How to Realistically Save for Retirement  (We need all of the help we can get.)

No idea on stuff for the weekend.  I'd like to go through and rearrange some stuff in the basement to get a jump on things but that isn't what I want my whole weekend to look like so we'll see.  Some grocery pickups are also on tap and trying to stretch out the gams consistently.

Anything cookin' on your end this weekend?

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Another "Holiday of Firsts" in the Books Weekend Recap


I know, I didn't do a weekend update again but it was just a somewhat crappy one and I didn't have it in me to do one Sunday night.  I think I've mentioned it before that when I get overwhelmed, I have dreams about tornados.  Well, I had two and since I wasn't taking action to acknowledge them, on Thursday my body said "fine...maybe you'll pay attention to a room spinning panic attack!"  It sucked bad and I had to hold onto the shower before my chiro appointment and I had to have the Mr drive me.  I made a list of the things swirling in my head at any random time and I was able to name 24 off the top of my head.  Some small, some large, some unfinished projects from last year that feel like they'll never get done.    It did help to write those things down and acknowledge the things weighing on me.

Friday, I started doing a bit of cleaning.  I am someone already overwhelmed on a good day.  Throw grief, other things on top of it and random crap and I just want to pull the covers over my head.  I feel like I'm failing every day.  One project seems to have a ripple effect to others.  "These things need a home...well, their new home would be here but these things need cleaned out/rearranged before those can go there and these things require me to be on my feet for a long time which then blow out my legs and I need them to do workouts."  On top of that is about 3-4 bins of Mom's stuff that I have to find permanent homes for in a space that had NO ROOM for someone else's extra stuff.  I'm not trying to be an ass but anyone who has been through a parent's death knows what I mean.  It all feels like problems that will never be solved.  I wanted to at least have a table to eat on when we had our pithy little Easter lunch/dinner so I got to work on that and in the kitchen.  Nowhere near where I would've liked it to be but good enough for us.  I worked until my legs waved the white flag.  The Mr helped in the kitchen.  When I say it's been months, I mean the Sleigh Rides sign was still over our fireplace and neither of us cared enough to say "maybe that should come down?"  The most I made was my cheeseball because everything else was just mac and cheese or open something and heat.  

We did our Easter on Saturday so we'd have an extra day to work it off.  I had zero weight loss but I also wasn't surprised about it because I did the shockwave the night before and my legs were swollen the next day from it.  Note to self, no shockwave the day before weigh in.  Sigh. I did share my brain swirl list with the Mr and he thanked me for sharing it with him and it was helpful to know it was more than the blanket assumption of grief.  Oh no sir, I have room for multiple modalities of self torture!   We ate way more sweets than we should have as we do every year to the point of wanting to yarf.  We went on a walk at the old park with inclines and stuff.  I wanted to take my new OrthoFeet shoes for a spin.  I really think Brooks did something to their base sole that totally screwed up my feet.  When I put on old Echelon 8's from Saucony's, the heel drop was MUCH less and initially felt better so I went to get some.  Of course they don't have my size in the old version so I went to get the new version and saw they turned the Echelon 9's into a ROCKER shoe which is what initially screwed up my feet to begin with!  (Many shoes are going this route which SUCKS!)  The OrthoFeet are the closest looking to flat soled shoes I can find.  It pulls on my calves but I need to elongate them and I can't be over padding my feet like so many people do.  They got a little more comfy the more I walked but still had the usual pain the rest of the night.  So hopefully with more walks, the gams will get used to them.  I also got a slant board.  I used to use one when I did PT back in 2016 so I made a crude one for home that I use after workouts.  But I thought if I could use one that had adjustable notches, I could work up to the maximum dorsiflexion on my ankles to stretch out the calves.  Definitely something I need to keep up with for life.  Then we got sucked into the Peacock series Apples Never Fall.

Sunday we didn't even utter 'happy Easter' to each other that I can recall.  The neighbors were in rare form on both sides of us and I yelled I needed to GTF out of the house.   We drove to my old elementary school (while it still stands) and talked about a lot of heavy, not fun stuff for a while.  Then when we came home we did LIIFT 4 Legs which really took its toll on me the next day.  Yeesh!  Then we had dinner and later went up to head bob to some Autopsy shows because that's how we roll.  

Yesterday was no picnic either.  Some family stuff that just makes me feel sad and like life blows off another limb and tells me to swim yet again.  (One of those things you don't realize how it affects you until it does and suddenly the nails you worked so hard to grow back out are gone.)  Then I ended up getting my time wrong for my chiro appointment and they called me 15 minutes after the time and I had to haul ass down the street.  He didn't even notice but he seems glad I got the slant board and he got a good pop out of my ankle.  He said he can feel the muscle a bit better too so I just need the pain to back off and get everything all evened out...some year.  I can tell you the day after leg day that yesterday wasn't it!

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything for the holiday?

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