2021/01/21

2021 – Day 21

Da Goddess @ 00:14

Anti-climactic. That’s the word. Not anti-climatic. That’s not even a word.

I say this as I shake my head over a story on US News & World Report on the inauguration.

I was reading away and stumbled as I came upon the word. I corrected it in my head and continued on. But I kept coming back to it. It really bothered me. It bothered me so much, I began to question if I had it wrong. I mean, I’m not a journalist with a job at a big news source. I had to look up the word just to satisfy my curiosity.

I was relieved to find I was right. If I’d been wrong, okay, fine. But it would have led to my questioning myself on so many words of which I’ve always been certain of the spelling. I’m relieved because this meant my brain hasn’t completely shut off during the pandemic. Trust when I say it feels like that’s the case most days.

I sincerely hope the reporter goes back to correct her mistake. In case she does, I’ve saved a screenshot of it because – well, just cuz.

No such word

The offending word is there in the second paragraph. My phone isn’t fancy enough to be able to circle or highlight anything.

2021/01/19

2021 – Day 19

Da Goddess @ 13:38

I took a long walk this morning. I went a route I’ve never taken before and was rewarded for my effort. I was greeted by a funny little hummingbird, a roadrunner, a massive bluejay, and the largest hawk I’ve ever seen in my life!

I have no idea how far I walked. I only know I was lost-ish. Thought I could figure out how to get to my main road by going well around it from a different direction. Wrong. And I didn’t even care. I simply turned back and went the way I came.

Glad I got out early because the wind has picked up quite a bit. I’ve had to change into heavier pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt. And a sweater. Plus, I’m curled up with a blanket. I’ve also closed all the windows and I hope they remain closed with these blustery conditions. They have a habit of working their way open. Old buildings and old windows, amirite?

The updated forecast says we may get rain. I’ll believe it when I see it. It did, however, smell like rain this morning. But the skies were blue and full of wispy clouds. At least now there’s some gray overhead. Still, I don’t believe it’ll rain. It would only rain if I decided to head to the store and do my grocery shopping that’s two weeks behind. Ha! I’ll wait until tomorrow. Maybe.

I was hoping to include a picture of the trees being whipped around by the winds, but the moment I had that thought, the wind stopped playing nice. So all you get is the screencap of the updated forecast. Boo! BOOOOO! The trees were looking rather spectacular and utterly windswept. Especially against the darker sky. Oh well.

If I could think of a way to make a gif, I would include one of the caution tape that rings part of the yard where there’s an attempt to get the grass to grow in once more. The tape is doing a funny little dance and I’m amused.

Update @ 14:36 – there are actual raindrops. Most are coming in sideways as the wind blows hard from the east.

Two awful low res pics of one of the palms being blown about. First pic is a little wind. Second is a bit more wind. And screw what the forecast page said, cuz it’s been off all day. My landlord’s uncle is wrapped up in a down jacket and is wearing a wool cap and gloves! I can tell you from the wind pushing itself in between all the gaps in the windows that it’s nowhere near the “current temp of 62°”. I’m guessing we’re more like 56-58° with the wind chill, if even that. Winds between 35-60mph, with gusts to 80mph.

Update 2 15:01 – Fuck! Someone better talk me out of bringing the kittens inside. They’re miserable! Rightfully so. It’s beastly out there. But, they’ve yet to be vaccinated or wormed and I can’t take the chance with Fletch. I can’t. But my heart is breaking in a thousand ways knowing how miserable they are outside. I just gave Lily a cuddle when I went out to secure a couple things on the patio/porch. She whimpered in my arms. I almost broke down right then and there. This is torture! I convinced her to snuggle close to Bandit though as he’s decided to camp out up here for some reason. I love that dog, love that he loves me and Fletch, but he is lacking some old fashioned common sense, he is. And now he’s curled up with two kittens upstairs when they all should be tucked away inside their home. I may call their owner before I end up with the three of them in here with the two of us.

Update 3 15:38 – it’s stupid cold out there without a coat or hat. But I went out to try to talk the dog and the kittens into staying in the laundry room. The kitties have fresh water and food, there are clothes from their owners on the dryer for them to burrow into, and there are two rugs for Bandito to lie on. It’s sheltered. It’s a lot warmer than being outside. And I got the door propped “just so” in case they need to go out for a potty break. But noooo! They want to hang out with me. With us. And I can’t risk it with my fuzznugget. I wish I could. I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t. I just can’t. That’s why I tried to show them how lovely it would be for them in the laundry room! Gah! They’re killing me. God grant me the strength to do the right thing for my furry little monster. I won’t look outside again. I won’t. I won’t even glance at the door when I hear them scratching and meowing and snuffling about. I won’t. I’ll be strong. I’ll be strong I’ll be strong I’ll be strong I’ll be strong I’ll be strong. I will. I may need to medicate my way through it, but I’ll be strong.

P.S. This would be one of those nights when Pooh should NOT let the strange noise in. Guarantee it won’t be Tigger.

2021/01/17

2021 – Day 17 Bad News + TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 00:01

My sis has the covid. I wish I could have it for her. I’m the one who has fuck-all to do. She’s the who holds it all together. She handles everything with Mom. She’s the one who gets shit done. And now she’s sidelined by this fucking virus.

My fingers are crossed in hopes that she recovers quickly. Honestly, she’s the last person in the world I’d have expected to get it because she’s so vigilant about handwashing and sanitizing. However, she’s also the one who is out and about, trying to keep the water from sinking the ship.

If you have a spare moment, please say a prayer for her. Thanks.

P.S.

Single line contour drawing of my big sister

This was my attempt to draw a quick sketch of my big sister — though I’m not sure why I gave her short hair. Her hair is currently long and gorgeous these days. No color or highlights, just natural. It’s my favorite hairstyle she’s ever sported. I don’t know why I’m going on about the hair; it just feels like it’s important to acknowledge the beauty of her locks for some reason, even though I bollocksed it up in the sketch.

Carry on.

2021/01/16

2021 – Day 16 TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 01:58

Each night as I head to bed, I turn off the lights in the living room and key my phone to bring up a blank note page so the light from it gets me to the bedroom without me tripping over anything (like the cat). If you don’t move your finger across the screen, it goes out fairly quickly, so I’ve taken to scribbling away with my thumb. Well, that got me thinking about the single line contour drawings I used to do in my art classes as a warm-up exercise. Now, I challenge myself to complete at least one quick little character every few days.

Below is one that wasn’t meant to resemble anyone known to me. I rather like this guy. He has no name yet. Feel free to suggest one or ten.

I’ll post more in the future, I think. I’m having a lot of fun with this and it’s sort of opened my mind to a more creative headspace.

Single line contour drawing

Basic technique used: a single line (I’ve been using my left thumb), while looking at the drawing or without. If using a reference subject (person, photo, fruit, etc.), try drawing looking at the subject only. Then try another while glancing back and forth from subject to your drawing. After you do this several times, you’ll discover your blind drawings improve a great deal as you become more confident in your ability to control your hand/drawing tool.

I’ve been doing this on my phone and in a sketch pad. I’m amassing quite a collection of doodles. It’s fun and it’s a really wonderful way to engage your brain in something other than television. It’s a bit of art therapy.

A bit of advice: Don’t judge your drawings. They’re not meant to be the Mona Lisa or Venus on the Half-Shell. They’re just a way to let your brain have a bit of a rest.

Another tip: if you’re using a reference subject, try to get your paper or phone or whatever you’re using as close to the same level and angle of the subject. By not moving your head up and down so much, your brain and hand better translate what you see to what you capture in your drawing. There’s less distortion in the translation, if you will.

Reminder: don’t judge your efforts! Just let go and have a little fun!

2021/01/15

2021 – Day 15A TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 01:48

There may or may not be a 15B. Only a good night’s sleep will tell. Until then, here’s the awful sky I have to look at night after night.

Just another sunset

Just another sunset

2021/01/13

2021 – Day 13

Da Goddess @ 20:45

I’ve had the same phone for about 18 months or so and haven’t been able to get online with it unless I used WiFi. It’s been the bane of my existence since the moment I got it.

I’ve tried everything to get it to work properly. I’ve spent hours on the phone with tech support trying to get it to work.

Today, I got a notice saying my autopay for my account was cancelled (my prepaid card was below the necessary balance) and I couldn’t get to the bank before it closed so I could top up the card. If the bank would switch my ATM card to also be a debit card, everything would be fine. Ugh. So many “ifs”.

I called in to speak with customer service to see how many days I had before my service would end and was told I had until midnight. I asked if there was any possible way to get an extra day grace period. After speaking to two different people, I was given a three day extension. The supervisor did some magic something or other to my account and guess what happened after that? Bingo bango! I suddenly have an honest to God network connection!

If I lose that connection after I get autopay set up again, I will lose my shit big time.

Also, my front door and lock are now working again. Ha! I say my front door. I have just the one entrance/exit to the house. Unless you count windows. Which I don’t. Mostly because I live in a second storey unit. Mostly. And also because I don’t make a habit of entering or exiting places via windows.

Back to the door sitch: I could lock it easily from the inside. If I went anywhere, I would have a tough time locking the damn thing. Especially on hot days. It also wouldn’t stay closed when it wasn’t locked. Thus, I took to putting the porch chair in front of the door just to keep Fletch kitty from pushing it open and escaping. Plus, I really didn’t want a house full of flies and wasps, which is always a possibility here in my little rural haven.

I finally asked the landlord’s uncle if he could take a look at it since he’s here converting the garage into a studio apartment. He fixed it! And now I’m happy to not have to struggle with the lock just to go downstairs and do laundry or to walk down to the mailbox.

For a day during which I did very little physically, so very much got taken care of. As my therapist would say, I’ve knocked some obstacles to happiness off the list. On to the next item!

2021/01/12

2021 – Day 12

Da Goddess @ 22:48

More like “Night 12” because I’m all over the place right now. I meant to post yesterday and I couldn’t keep a signal to save my life.

Well, to make up for that, please go watch this. My heart is now full.

The kittens are kind of like Odie. Especially Tiger Lily. Cats. So fucking funny.

2021/01/09

2021 – Day 9

Da Goddess @ 12:27

So, back to the eye appointment.

Turns out I have to have a separate appointment for the optometrist. I can’t get in until almost the end of February. Ugh. I need new glasses now. My eyes are crossed and foggy and aching and I have to wait? Oy vey!

But that’s nothing compared to what happened with the ophthalmologist.

Remember me saying I didn’t like the puff of air to test ocular pressure? They don’t do that anymore at this office. Noooo. Nope. They give you numbing eye drops and then stick this penlike thing ON YOUR EYEBALLS to test ocular pressure. What the fuck is wrong with these people? Who the fuck came up with this means of torture? I wanna know! I wanna do horrible things to them and curse them for eternity!

Since I’m a big goddamn baby, I wussed out. I tried. Yes, yes. I tried, gentle reader I tried to let them touch my eyeballs. But I couldn’t do it. I was practically in tears by the end of it. All I could see was this thing coming at my eyes and I would flinch and squirm and turn my head. I tried to hold my eyes open. No luck. I tried summoning every ounce of willpower from the deepest part of my soul. All to no avail. I. Just. Couldn’t. Do. It.

And so my appointment was incomplete on that count. I got through everything else they threw at me. I did it with aplomb. With elan. I. Did. It. But I couldn’t do that one thing.

At the end of the appointment, while waiting for transportation, this lovely woman walked in. She was built like me. Traditionally built, if you will. She had on the greatest pair of plaid leggings, awesome knee-high boots, a black mid-thigh length sweater, and she was sporting the most glorious red-magenta-ish hair. I don’t even know if there’s a name for that particular color; I only know that it was spectacular! As I got up to leave, I tapped her arm and complimented the hair and the outfit. I stopped short of giving her my number and asking her to be my bestest friend. Just barely. Just. I’m kicking myself now because, frankly, we’d totally be besties for life. I know it with all my heart. And I missed that opportunity. I was still too rattled from the eyeball trauma, thankyouverymuch.

Yeah, I’m an idiot. Through and through. An absolute git.

One positive note: while waiting for my appointment, I was seated outside and was reading a book. A man stopped to ask me about it.

“Is that any good?” He queried.

“Oh, yes! It’s my third time reading it.” I replied.

“That sounds intriguing! Who’s the author?”

Well, friends, the author is Hannah Tinti. The book is The Good Thief. It’s reminiscent of writings by Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe. It’s beyond a wonderful adventure; it’s just amazing! I urge you all to pick up a copy and lose yourself in it.

Anywhoodles, the man went in for his appointment of torture and I wrote him a note with the information about the book, tucking it under the windshield wipers of his car. I also wrote another note and gave it to the gal behind the reception desk. I really hate for anyone to miss out on something so wonderful. And that includes you lovelies. So go get a copy!

If you like The Good Thief, also check out Last Smile in Sunder City and the follow up book Dead Man in a Ditch, both by Luke Arnold.

2021/01/08

2021 – Day 8

Da Goddess @ 10:58

My God, the pain! My right shoulder and neck feel as though they’ve become one gigantic slow-turning knot. Just when you think it’s reached maximum intensity, a new level appears and makes me want to scream, then vomit, then scream again, then vomit, then rip the heavens from the sky, stomp on them, turn them into a bitter and rancid wine, and then cry whilst vomiting. Then, I want to vomit some more, scream louder and longer, gnash my teeth, rage against Hell, turn Hell inside out, make Satan beg for mercy, and then destroy everything and everyone who stands between me and relief. And then I just want some relief. Even if it’s only for a few moments. I want the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to strike up the most terrifying sounds, to beat angrily, to blast the bagpipes as loudly as humanly and inhumanly possible. I want the earth to shake, to tremble, to rumble mightily and to cause fear to well up into and spill over from the hearts of even the bravest among us. Because anything…anything…ANYTHING is better than this.

And how all y’all doing? Anything new to report?

2021/01/07

2021 – Day 7

Da Goddess @ 02:07

Dad would’ve turned 90 today.

I miss him terribly at times. Other times, I’m grateful he’s out of pain and not witnessing the insanity of the past year. Hell, the past 24 hours have been crazy enough and likely would have caused him to have a stroke or a heart attack or something.

I think about my dad so often, it’s almost as if he’s still here. There are many things that bring him to mind, but mostly I feel as though he’s just down the road a few miles, sitting in his favorite chair, watching races or car auctions, or maybe picking tangerines from his tree.

There’s something comforting in feeling his presence. I know he’s gone, yet I feel him near, guiding me, reminding me to keep on keepin’ on.

Miss you, Dad! Happy birthday!

2021/01/05

2021 – Day 5

Da Goddess @ 04:07

In a few hours I’ll need to be wide awake and sitting in a chair at the ophthalmologist’s office. The big appointment to get a baseline for my diabetic eyes. I’m just hoping I can get some sleep before then because it really does me no good to go in with exhausted eyeballs now, does it?

The two least favorite parts of the exam will be the dilation of my pupils and that fun whooshing puff of air. Let us recall how eye phobic I am, m’kay? I’m the person who required several hospital employees to hold me down when I needed to have my eyes checked for corneal abrasions after a chile verde accident. As soon as the doc said he needed to put some dye in my eyes (while he was holding a cardboard sleeve containing said dye, which must touch the actual surface of the eye), I suggested him — nay, WARNED him — he was going to need assistance. He didn’t believe me. When he was sufficiently convinced I wasn’t going to be able to keep still or keep my eyes open, he called for backup. I suggested he listen better to his patients when it comes to such things.

Anyhow, I hate everything that has to do with my eyes, except getting new glasses. I know I’m due for them as my right eye is completely put of focus with my current lenses. I can’t wait to have new glasses and I can’t wait to get new frames. I hate the ones I have. I’ve pretty much hated them from the start. The former boyfriend talked me into wire frames. Once they were on me for more than a day, I remembered how much I hate them. They bend too easily. The stretch out too easily. You can’t pop them up onto your head for a moment while you’re using your camera or blowing your nose without the nose pads and nose arms getting all tangled up in your hair. So, yeah. No. I’m not doing wire frames again. Ever. Nor will I ever let some man decide what my personal style should be (at least not unless he’s showering me with bills in large denominations).

So that’s the bulk of my day sorted. If I can tolerate being outside after the appointment, I’ll go have a look at the new unit being built in the garage. It’s going to be a studio apartment. My landlord’s uncle and his crew are handling the construction. From the little I’ve been able to see at a distance, it’s going to be rather nice.

I’m going to attempt sleep once more. Fingers crossed!

P.S. Remind me to tell you the story about the big tabby I met. And about the rambunctious dogs.

2021/01/03

2021 – Day 3

Da Goddess @ 06:44

Still here? Good. That means we’ve both survived the first two days of 2021. Every day without a toe tag is a win.

I went to bed at 2200hrs Friday night, got up around 0500 to feed the cat, went back to bed and slept until almost 1000. I know I woke a few times during the night, but I was able to conk out again right away. I remember zero dreams. I rarely sleep that well for that long. Even when exhausted. Whatever juju made it happen I’m taking as a good sign for this year. I then had a very lazy Saturday because my whole being just hurt and didn’t want to function properly. So I slept a little more off and on. I had to postpone grocery shopping with my sister. I’m running low on a great many things, but I was that wiped out.

It ended up being a good call because I found myself in the bathroom with alarming frequency (alarming for anyone without inflammatory bowel disease), often just barely making it. This is one of those things that can upend your entire day or weekend or week or even month/s. This is also why I’ve learned to honor my body when it decides to kinda shut down. It doesn’t always mean a flare up of my gut, though it does tend to follow that pattern.

TMI? Too bad, so sad. This is life. I mean, we all have our stuff. This is just one more thing in the shit heap I get to call mine. No pun intended. I’ve stopped counting all the health issues because, frankly, it’s depressing. Thank God for therapy! And antidepressants. And distractions. But, despite all that, i have those days when I find myself starting to tick everything up on an imaginary list and it gets to me. That’s when I do everything in my power to switch off the brain and go for nonsensical distractions. It works. Mostly.

I ALWAYS say “mostly” that way. It’s the law.

One of the distractions I use is searching for my favorite body powder, which Walmart has stopped carrying. I’ve entered my old lady body powder phase. Actually, I got there last year. So, I find this fantastic inexpensive ($1.98!!!) powder that smells heavenly, right? I always bought as many packages as they had in stock. I’m glad I did since I can’t get it at Walmart any longer. Except I’m almost out. And that link to the company selling it? Their price just went up again. That’s the actual company distributing the product. Je suis très déçu. Almost as disappointed as I am by Secret no longer making my deodorant (I have three more on hand before I have to decide which route to take next).

But back to the powder. I use it liberally on my decolletage and on the inside of my elbows at night. Those are areas that tend to get a little sweaty and I like the lavender as it’s naturally calming (I’ve also come to like the tropical breeze scent or whatever it’s called…and I’m sad Walmart never carried the rose version because I would have bought the hell out of that!), thus making it the perfect powder for me. I was ready to plonk down $3.95 when it was on sale on Belcam’s site, but decided rent was more important than body powder. Just barely. And only because I have a cat to care for.

Sigh.

It’s just not fair! Why can’t Walmart carry the powder again? It’s my favorite and I’ve found it’s the only product on the market that still has talc in it. Corn starch has replaced talc in almost every powder product on the market because of the slight chance that talc MIGHT be linked to ovarian cancer. There’s no definitive proof of the link between the two, but almost every company has opted to make the switch. (BTW, corn starch, while very good at absorbing perspiration, can cause yeast growth, which is the last thing most of us sweaty folk need.)

Look, I’ve come to the realization that I can be high maintenance when it comes to personal care products. I’m not at all ashamed of this. I’m rather particular about what I use on my body because I have found using poor substitutes cause me all sorts of problems that I then have to spend more time and money on to fix. Yeah, I’ve learned the hard way and I no longer have the bandwidth to deal with MORE problems. I stick with what works until I have no choice but to change. Like I’ll have to do when my deodorant stash is depleted. I’ll very likely end up going with a spray because standard deodorant sticks tear at my skin and the gel kind are super ticky-tacky, which makes me sweat more. The smooth solid (soft solid/conditioning solid as this specific type of deodorant has been labeled in the past) has been the only type I can use for more than 20 years. The only way to get it now is to buy Secret’s “clinical strength” formulation and it’s priced well beyond my budget. Walmart has had their version and it’s fairly spendy as well. Plus, it’s rarely in stock…if they’re even still making it.

Look at this nonsense! Even when I try to distract myself from the things that stress me, I’m still fucking stressing! My brain seems to get stuck in that pattern. Is it any wonder I’m back with a therapist?

Before anyone takes that last sentence the wrong way, I need the therapy and I like therapy. I particularly like my new therapist. She’s fantastic. For me, therapy helps untangle the mess, helps me to get my brain back on task, and I’m better at problem solving when I’m in therapy. It’s not that I can’t manage without it — I can. I’m just happier and less frazzled with it. Between chronic pain, my 3 million other health issues, the isolation with the pandemic, and all the major changes in my life the past couple years, I get overwhelmed, my brain is overloaded, and I find I can tackle most problems on my own. Honestly, I think everyone should have therapy. It’s incredibly beneficial in a multitude of ways. But, the key to good outcomes is having the right therapist. The wrong one can really cause more problems.

Shit. I meant to do just a quick post and head back to bed and I’m over 1,000 words. Definitely too much for one day.

Happy January 3, friends! Ta for now.

2021/01/01

2021 – Day 1

Da Goddess @ 11:39

And how shall we begin the new year?

Let’s see:

Couldn’t sleep, so I played a word game all night while the cat slept on my head. I have fang marks imprinted on my forehead today.

Decided to go for a walk after I fed my cat and the kittens. Two plus miles?? I’m paying for it now (although I’ve been up and down the stairs a bunch of times, which always adds another layer of fun). But all’s good.

After prepping fresh veggies for my snacks this weekend, I took the leftovers down to the goats. We’ll see what they do with them. They’re finicky, which I thought was against goat law. I don’t even know with these two.

I’ve watched the dogs go crazy and chase each other (and the poor kittens) around the yard, take a dip in the pool, get muddy again, and then roll in poo. I’d have thought they’d worn themselves out after playing with the goats earlier (hilarious!), but Bristol has been extra wound up lately and can’t seem to sit still for long. Bandit just follows her lead.

I was going to do laundry at some point today, but have decided to wait a day or three. I have enough clean everything to last me a long while, so it’s better to be kind when I’ve overdone the walk (after several days off).

My next project us to go through email and unsubscribe from every newsletter I never bother reading any longer. I’ve done this a bit over the past few months and am ready to go full scorched earth on the damn things. I just don’t care about the majority of it.

That’s it for my first day. What are you up to?

2020/12/25

Merry Christmas, Friends

Da Goddess @ 00:09

May your day be everything you’d hoped for, or something close to it. If you’re on your own today, I get that it can be lonely and frustrating, irritating and crazy-making. But, many of us are in the same boat and I think it’s safe to say whoever you’re missing is likely missing you just as much. If possible, give them a call or send them an email, tweet, or message them on Facebook – if that’s your thing. Reach out and let them know they’re in your thoughts.

Go out for a walk today if the weather permits. Hell, even if the weather doesn’t! Just be safe and smart about it.

Make up a plate of comfort food and eat until you’ve had your fill.

Let this be the one day you indulge your appetites and make it a party. Yes, you CAN have a party of one. Use this as a means of practicing for when we all reenter society at some unspecified date in the (hopefully) near future.

Be kind to yourself today. Be kind to others you may encounter. Mask up. Stay safe. And remember how sweet life will be when we’re able to join those we love most and celebrate together. Hold out for that day, BUT don’t forget to find simple joys now, too.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

If you feel overwhelmed by the day/season/life in general, please dial 800-273-8255 and someone will be there to help you.

On the 12th Day of Christmas…

Da Goddess @ 00:01

…I bring you John Berry. That voice. This song. It just doesn’t get any better.

(more…)

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