The Lusty Month of May…or is it?

It’s May, the rhododendron are blooming, along with every other flower that thinks it’s time to appear–iris, azalea, tulip trees, cherry trees, and so on. We somehow have bypassed spring and gone pretty much straight into fall-summer. It’s been rainy rainy rainy…and hovers around 50-55-ish when it does. But we’ve also had sunny days at 75. Oh well, it could be worse, it could be snowing.

We are still gaming two nights a week, He and I. Except that his Star Wars game got blown up by one of the players who was much more interested in breaking the game than in role-playing. The stress and unhappiness all around was sufficient that Beloved just said, “I’m done.”. Now we play another man’s game…ha-ha! Our friend is now running a D&D version 5 game. I am a male dwarf named “Thorin (nickname “Thor”) Warhammer; Beloved is a human female named Mara. We have a kobold (think lizard person) rogue and an elf (? I think) fighter. We are currently guarding a wagon caravan across country and recently killed a young black dragon. Incidentally, my weapon, a warhammer, is named “Meow-meow”. <snicker>

Our Friday night game continues, with some new people. We had a Paladin for a couple of sessions, but the player has moved back to the Bay area; if he returns to Eureka, so will the paladin to our table. We’ve also had an (old/former) player move back to town and pick up where he had left off. We’re all 16th level now, which is getting towards god-like. My arcane wizard has a handful of amazing spells and can do all sorts of fun stuff that she’s picked up as we leveled. Of course, everyone else has also added abilities, so we are, as the saying goes, fairly bad ass.

In real life, it’s been almost as exciting. I went to the ER on Saturday the 5th of this month after having every “serious, call your doctor” reaction to the new shingles shot that I had gotten on Friday. TL:DR is that I am filing a grievance complaint against the doctor who (was supposed to) took care of me. Rude, dismissive, arrogant…and those are their good qualities. I ended up spending the weekend in bed–thank the gods for hospital beds; it’s like sitting in a gloriously royal recliner. I have my water bottle and spectacles and various technology within arm’s reach. I spent a lot of time playing the “Lost Lands” hidden picture games.

PSA: if you have a Kindle with Internet connection (like my Fire), you are part of the “Amazon Underground” and can get a bunch of games for free–and not just the games but the FULL version of the games without buying it and not having to shell out money for in-game purchases. So instead of getting just enough of the game to get interesting and then having to buy it, you can play the ENTIRE game! Artifex Mundi makes some pretty good Hidden Picture games, and I am working my way through the 5-6 “Lost Lands”, which is by another company that I can’t remember the name right now. You can keyword search by “lost lands”. This is will hold true for other genres of games as well.

Of course the shot reaction also caused a fibro flare, so…most of last week was lost to trying to stay pain-free as much as possible. Which meant that I did not monitor Beloved’s health as closely as I should have. He ended up in the ER on Tuesday night with fever, chills, killing headache, body aches…full onset infection. Three litres of saline, IV pain meds and major IV antibiotic–and 6 hours in the treatment room later, he was sent home with new scripts which were filled Wednesday morning. He’s feeling WAY better now, but will continue to take it easy until next week, having already canceled Friday night’s game. He eats when he’s hungry, sleeps when he’s tired. And while this is not much different from any other normal day, the sleeping portion is a bit greater as his body heals. (You only heal when you’re asleep. Now you know.)

That’s been our excitement recently. Generally, life is pretty smooth. I did get a call last week from my lawyer’s office. I’m getting a new lawyer because KC has been called to that Big Courtroom in the Sky. Yes, my lawyer died. I’m starting to feel a little worried; my first lawyer (divorce) was disbarred. Now my Social Security Disability lawyer has died. I hope it’s not something about me, haha. I’m also STILL working on getting that venous ablation; dropped paperwork has stopped the process and there it sat until I FINALLY ran down where it had dropped. Hopefully, sometime before my surgeon dies (remember, he was told he was going to die this time last year? Still kicking, last I heard.), I will get that done. Can’t have both legs done at once because of the limit for how much anesthetic they can use in one day (even though it’s a topical, not vascular version). So one at a time it shall be.

I’m also going for an MRI on the thoracic portion of my spine. There’s new pain, down deep and an x-ray didn’t show anything to worry about. But we didn’t see the stalactites and stalagmites in my neck until that MRI…

Current medication now includes an increase in the dosage of my Vicodin, since a 5mg tablet lasts about 4-5 hours. Taking 10 mgs at the same time of day means 2-3 hours more of pain relief, so that’s a help. The MMJ is still a miracle, still making a HUGE difference for me. I’m still getting a good night sleep most nights, instead of rarely and I’m still only taking 3 prescribed medications (Vicodin, Omeprazole (Prilosec) and Duloxetine (Cymbalta)).

AND JOY OF JOYS!! I have had my evaluation and I get to go back into the pool next Monday!!! Just getting that bitch Gravity off my back–literally–helps. And if I can do some moving around (walking, arm exercises, etc), maybe I can get the body into a slightly better shape which can only help. I will swim the hour after Beloved has his pool therapy. While we will each have to wait an hour for the other, it means a single trip out of the house, twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays.

And now for something completely different. I have gotten an Instant Pot, and yes, it’s every wonderful thing you’ve ever heard about it. I can make spaghetti from start to finish in about 20 minutes. (And by finish, I mean dish it out of the pot and eat it. I don’t even have to drain the noodles!) I can make pulled pork in less than an hour. I can make steamed sweet potatoes in about 30 minutes. I bought the 3 quart version, which lets me make small amounts. *Someone* thinks we should get the 6 quart (more of the standard family size) since most of the recipes online are for that size–but we’d have more leftovers than we’d know what to do with and my freezer is only so big. (And often full of Ben&Jerry’s ice cream, but remember, we’ve got our priorities!)

Did I tell you that I FINALLY got the ramp for my wheelchair so that I don’t have to bounce in and out of the house over the threshold? I did, and it’s wonderful. It also helps Beloved pull in the cart we use to bring groceries in. Most ingenious engineering: three pieces of hard rubber that lock together to form the ramp. Since we’re not going to bolt them into the concrete, we just keep an eye on the joints and kick them back together if they look like they want to come loose.

I’m doing a lot of reading these days–mostly books that are in the public domain, which means OLD books. Still doing jigsaw puzzles, 630 pieces at a time. I can do one in about a day, if I spend big chunks of the day doing it. That’s not something new for me; I used to do 500 piece puzzles the old fashioned way, by hand on a table…and could do them in about that same amount of time. Frankly, doing it on the computer is MUCH neater and doesn’t take up the table that we would be eating on. Still watching movies and shows on Netflix…Monty Python’s Flying Circus (the series) is on and I can watch 3 or 4 of the episodes before needing to find something else to do.

So we are owned by a cat. No, I don’t “have” a cat, we aren’t allowed pets. But a neighborhood cat has decided that we are a part of her world. This is the cat that I rescued off the fence early last year.

A year older and a little bit wiser, she came to the back door one of the warm days, when we had the glass door open. She mewed at the screen and we let her in. She RAN to Beloved and began rubbing and loving on him, putting her paws up on his knee and giving him love bites. The bitch! That’s MY Puppy! He has never had a cat do that to him, so he was astonished at how much she was loving on him–and ignoring me, the cat lover. Oh, she lets me pet her and she will come over to me–but it’s obvious that she really LOVES him. She’s a talker and a purr-er. She likes to roll on our kitchen carpet and on the new threshold carpet which has a lot of texture (gotten to help clean off the wheelchair tires so I can stop tracking mud in when I come home.). We shut the bedrooms and bathroom doors, to keep her in the main living area. (I’m not going to try to have to get her out from under his bed. Not happening.) I’ll give her a bowl of water, but we are NOT feeding her. She can come to us for love but not sustenance! She also discovered the lamb skin rug I have–I’ve mentioned it before. And now she and I are going to rumble to see who owns it. She rolls and rolls on it, tries nibbling on the fur although I fuss at her about that. Oh the cuteness when she does it! And when she’s ready, she just walks out the door and back to wherever she lives. It’s nice to have the chance to pet and love on da kitty; it’s good for our health.

There’s another cat, this one more feral and male, who also wants to rub on the door because She has…but he will not come into the house. He did let me pet him, but he feels thinner than she does. With the fear and the thinness, I suspect he’s not anyone’s pet, but she’s in too good a shape (and with sufficient weight) to be on her own. She’s also way too friendly. Especially with SOME men. Actually, I would be willing to bet that it’s the man of the house who is her favorite at home. The lady of the house may feed and water her, probably pets her…but she loves the man. That seems to be where she expects the best reception to her presence.

One of those summer-like days, about 2 weeks ago, we had some time between things to do and went out to the beach. I even got out and put my feet in the sand for the first time in a long time. We also watched humpback whales migrating up our shore, just beyond the waves–which means fairly close in to shore. Must have been a pod of them; we’d see the pfffffttt of spray and then watch the dark body slide back down into the water. I think we saw between 6-8 of them. Very exciting for us! (Very “just a day’s work” for the whales. Which only goes to show that one creature’s routine is amazing to other creatures. Even among humans!)

We have managed to catch a break on medical costs. Long long story shorter, Beloved presented paperwork to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the county that indicated while disabled, he is still trying to work. His parents pay him $40/month to provide tech support. Well under the limits, but larger than the qualifying amount of just $1 per month. So instead of the “spin down”, or “share of cost” for MediCal (Medicaid), he now pays a premium for a “zero share of cost” card and the state picks up his Medicare Part B payment. He has no co-pays on his meds, which saves us about $50 per month and if he needs care beyond his own doctor that Medicare won’t cover, MediCal will. It’s a good thing for us and we’re happy to have gotten it. Every little bit helps!

Most of our time is spent at home, being at the computer or ingesting media (movies or books) or playing games. We are trying to eat at home more often simply because it’s expensive to eat out. It has meant getting the Instant Pot and also buying things that are easy to fix for those days when I am not up to standing and cooking the usual gourmet meal. Beloved found some decent frozen hamburger patties in the Costco freezer and we have been having them at least twice a week. He also gets premade raviolis that just take 3 minutes in boiling water to be ready. (We’ve had them with sausage and we’ve had them with lobster. Om nom nom.) Sausages are another staple–and we have organic instant potatoes, also from Costco with those, so “bangers and mash” is on our menu regularly. Easy to make: water, little butter, little milk and the pouch. One pouch ostensibly makes 8 servings. I guess if you’re midgets or hate mashed potatoes. He and I can pretty well finish off just one in a meal–or maybe have some leftovers for lunch the next day. Make at least two if you’re having company. They reheat very easily in the microwave. They are very worth buying–and easy to turn into cheesey bacon mashed potatoes with the addition of cheese and bacon. Or any other mashed potato recipe you have. They have a really good taste them–a lot like the Idaho potato flakes, except that they are organic.
Here’s what they look like:

 

I have rearranged the living room furniture with an eye towards being able to be in bed and still able to speak to guests. That puts my bed on the back wall, next to the patio door, and looking towards the kitchen. His comfy chair is at the foot of my bed, with his desk (on wheels) in front of him. Across the room is my desk, the cabinet I keep my stuff in, my (old desk but now company) chair and the table with the printer on it along that wall. It has opened up the room and we can actually have people over without sitting in each other’s laps. His desk is large enough that if we cleared it off, we could play table games on it–and perhaps someday soon, we shall. I still need to get into the spare bedroom and doing the various things in there I want to–finish sorting out clothes and boxes of shtuff, trying to get rid of things that I don’t wear, use or want. No point in having them if all I’m doing is storing them. That will mean some boxes to my kids, as there are things I have that I either want them to have, or they would want it if they knew I had it. I also have some things for the grands, pending parental approval. Fortunately, none of that is pressing for getting done.

Speaking of the grands, my daughter’s two girls have their birthdays at Memorial day. Hard to think that the Evil Genius is going to be 8 already; Little Sister is just 3 years younger. Time flies. Oh how it flies! Froggy will be 7 in October and his little sister will is 3, with her birthday also in this month. How can this be, when I am still only 29? HAHAHAHA. Seriously, I’ll be 57 and I’m totally okay with that–as it’s better than the alternative. Besides, I always thought I’d die before I turned 21, so any amount of time beyond that is extra, as far as I’m concerned. Death doesn’t scare me. I’ve seen things worse than death, and frankly, with my levels of pain…death has often seemed to be a release. “Suicidal ideation” is just a part of my life. As long as I’ve got my love to keep me warm and tell me silly jokes, I’ll hang around. If only to see how this all turns out. But when it’s time to go, I’ll go without a fuss. No matter what, if anything, is beyond. Living right now, doing the best I can right now, that’s all I can be sure of. That’s all I can be concerned about and with.

We’re still loving Eureka, still glad we moved here, still miss everyone we left back in VA and still wondering when you all are moving out here to be with us!

Off to do other things, back to you all sometime. Maybe months, maybe not. Hang in there and eat dessert first, life is uncertain!

Namaste, peace and love to you all.

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