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?

2021/01/05

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.

2020/12/04

Morning

Da Goddess @ 14:33

The other morning I set about on my walk, dressed as warmly as I dared against the chill. Yes, the chill. My jacket zipped up tight and scarf wrapped close around my throat.

The kittens greeted me with pitiful pleas for food and water, which I set up in the shelter of the laundry room. As they tucked into their breakfast, I made my way out the gate and down the lane. The breeze was light, but carried with it the promise of a bone deep cold. It happens.

Stepping out on the main road, out of the protection of the trees that line our quaint country lane, I was made aware of that promised chill. I took a deep breath and moved briskly on my chosen route. All was quiet. Temporarily. Within a minute, the sky filled with a giant flock of crows and their calls soon drown out everything else.

I continued my walk, crossed the busier, more hectic, and more essential road that leads my neighbors to and from work and errands. Around the corner and up the hill I walked, grateful for the morning, the breath in my lungs, the sureness of my feet, and even the sounds of the glorious birds on their way to wherever it is they go for the day. They soon passed and I heard a surprised yip. Looking to my right, there was a startled coyote. Loping a small circle in a neighbor’s yard, he seemed to be weighing his options. In a moment of resolution, he sprinted across the street in front of me and into the fallow fields. When he’d made it to the end of the first field, he turned to look at me, slowed to a sassy trot, and made his way to the next farm.

I had to smile. We two alone had shared that encounter, both satisfied with walking away none the worse for it.

Up ahead I could hear the early chorus of frogs in the creek bed. They never fail to cheer me. No matter how close I get, they keep up their song, knowing they’re safely hidden from view.

At this point, my book is open so I can read as I walk. A collection of short stories by authors known and unknown. I’m getting perilously close to the end and find myself speeding along in spite of the fact that I don’t wish to ever run out of stories. They’re all heartbreaking in their own right and I consider tracking down other volumes in this series.

Before I know it, I’ve reached the point where my path turns back on itself and I head for home. I’m beginning to feel a little too warm for my jacket (despite it still being in the mid-fifties) and shrug it off before tying it around my waist. I leave my scarf where it is because I know it’ll help wick away any sweat that may begin to form.

I pass the creek again and say a silent farewell to the frogs and look in the distance to see if the coyote might be lingering nearby. I’d like to see him once more before I’m out of range. Alas, he’s nowhere in sight. What can you do? I pray he’s found a good place to hunker down for a long nap.

I cross the big street in between sets of cars. From north, they have lights on, but from the south they don’t seem to bother. It’s one of those things you notice after a while. It’s been almost two years of this and I’m always surprised by new details that emerge while I’m out.

Before long, I’m back at my lane. I stop to check the mail, gather what’s there, grab one of our garbage bins, and make my way up the little hill that leads me home. At the gate, I punch in the code. The gate shudders briefly and then starts its journey along the track. I step over the track and the outside world fades away.

I’m home. Another walk completed. Another group of memories settling into my head and heart. The kittens thread themselves between my legs, the goats bleat for their morning meal, and my legs threaten to stage an all out revolt against the climb up the twelve steps up the stairs to my door.

Just think! Two years ago, I could barely make it up this staircase without holding on to the railing. Two years ago, I would practically cry out in pain after one trip up! I still have pain and there are days I don’t trust my legs to hold up this body on that simple task. The difference now is that I have fewer days like that than I did when first I moved in. My muscles have relearned some of their essential functions and I’m more willing to test them every chance I get.

Once inside, I hang up my jacket and scarf, say hello to my sweet ginger companion, wash my hands, and begin the process of checking my blood glucose level, setting out my medications, filling my water mug, and getting on with my day.

Again, two years ago, this would have seemed impossible. And again, there are days when it is. But I’ve managed to make it happen, slowly but surely. The magic of this place, this particular home, has made me believe it would…be. That I would be. That I could.

Mornings never used to be my favorite time of day unless I was just getting off work or just heading home after a night out with friends. I’ve come to treasure the quiet and the beauty of the just-waking world. Once I’ve borne witness to this magnificence, once I’ve fed my body and soul, once I’ve medicated myself toward better health, once I’ve completed my chores, I can nap with my head full of images for my dreams.

Morning has broken

Morning has broken

2020/11/03

Life Amongst the Ruins

Da Goddess @ 00:32

That title means nothing. Not a damn thing. I just really liked how it sounded in my head.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. It does kind of feel like my life is in ruins, which is ridiculous since I’m finally getting all my medical shit taken care of (work comp notwithstanding) and I’m feeling better than I have in a while. It’s more that I feel overwhelmed by a lot of what’s happening.

Diabetes: check
Blood pressure: check
Cholesterol: check
Mammogram: yeah, a whole other can of worms
Podiatry: if you have diabetes, podiatry becomes a “thing”
Ophthalmology: upcoming

Like I said, a lot of stuff happening at once. My mammogram was scheduled, rescheduled, and finally happened. Before I even left the building, I was called back to talk to the radiologist. She called my doc and got the okay to do a diagnostic mammo because of what she saw on the screening one. Within the space of an hour, I was screened, diagnostic’d, scheduled for an ultrasound, and scheduled for a biopsy (“better to schedule it and then cancel if it’s not needed than to need it and have to wait,” they said). See? A lot of shit at once.

Oddly enough, I’m okay with all of the shit coming down around my ears. This is what happens when you don’t have access to healthcare for an extended period of time. It’s just a lot to take in all of a sudden. My head is just now slowing the spin, this dizziness is starting to ease up, and I’m happy with how everything is being handled. Go figure.

In other news, Fletch doesn’t care much for the kittens. It’s weird, because he talks to them and will flop onto his back, enticing them to come closer, but they’ve become too wary since he hisses at them and seems to prefer hanging out with the dogs. (I don’t think he truly prefers the dogs; I honestly think it’s more a case of the devil he knows.) Still, I have high hopes for him to eventually be the elder statesman of the feline kingdom here. I’d like to see him rule with a benevolent paw and embrace these youngsters for the lovely creatures they are.

I may be wanting the impossible. I’m probably wanting the impossible. I’m totally expecting too much from a fuzzy being who’s been living the good life of an only cat for (probably) too many years.

At least I can count on the drama of the animals to keep me distracted from worrying about my health issues. That’s a good thing and I’ll take it any day of the week.

Lily finds her light

2020/10/19

Just Call Me Wilford

Da Goddess @ 02:04

After getting all my lab results from my brand new primary care physician (it’s been so so so many years since I had one), it’s been determined that I have full-blown diabeetus, just like Mr. Brimley.

In fact, chances are, I’ve had it for years.

Now, armed with my glucometer, lancets, and test strips, I can monitor exactly how rotten I feel at various times throughout the day.

Imagine my dismay when my pre-breakfast, post-walk reading was 431. Worse, my pre-dinner glucose was so high I only got “high” as my reading, meaning it was over 600. Not anywhere close to anything adjacent to the neighborhood of “yikes, that’s not great.” It does, however, explain why I feel like shit most of the time.

I’ve had three doses of metformin thus far. Two of atorvastatin. Two of lisinopril. I’ve turned down cookies from the neighbors in the main house. I walked my ass off despite severe lower back pain (I almost fell three times in the course of one walk, which is why I always carry my phone). I was busy all day long with various chores and playtime with the dogs, goats, kittens, and Fletchy*. My reading should have been lower. I’m praying for better results by the end of the week or I’m calling the doc.

Since I was an educator for new diabetics at Children’s back in the day, I have a good amount of knowledge on hand. What I don’t have experience with is the metformin and the other meds. I know it’ll likely take at least a week before I start to see my numbers come down, but I don’t like having to wait. I want instantaneous results! (I am well aware it doesn’t work like that.)

So, this is where I am now. Diabetic and impatient. But also hopeful. And grateful. Who knows how much longer I’d have had if I’d not been diagnosed and treated.

* Fletch is now an ambassador for cats who are adjusting to life amongst other animals. He even laid down for Badger, the youngest and most rambunctious of the dogs. When he met Zelda, the gorgeous gray kitty, she’d hissed up a storm and jumped from the second story porch we have. She was fine after the landing and was reacting to the dogs, not my sweet boy. Later, Fletch hissed and yowled a bit when they again met again, holding a grudge. It’ll take time for him to realize she was just afraid of the situation and not him.

2020/10/07

Oh, Bee-have!

Da Goddess @ 10:59

A couple weeks ago, my friend was playing with a band and it was livestreamed. I went down to the main house and sat on the porch so I could have a steady signal.

It was so nice to see him get to perform again and to be part of a live music crowd (so weird to say that about something happening online).

It was hot, but not unpleasantly so. I think I would have braved even hotter or even worse conditions for the sake of the music. And then it happened.

Two bees started to get a little too close. I carefully swatted them away. Repeatedly. They seemed to take the hint and disappeared. Only to sneak up on me and go in for the sting.

Both stings were hellaciously painful. I’ve never experienced that kind of pain from a sting in my life. They brought tears to my eyes! The only upside was knowing their efforts to bring on the pain meant their deaths and reprieve from further attacks.

Now, the last time I was stung (2003), I ended up with a mild allergic reaction and cellulitis. I worried about both this time. I doubled up on the Benadryl and cleaned both sites thoroughly (gritting my teeth the entire time). I made poultices for them with baking soda — no meat tenderizer in my pantry — and hoped for the best.

I’m still here. No ill effects beyond severe itching and some swelling. Woo hoo! (I take my wins any way I can.)

I’ve been extra cautious about the bees still hovering about. You never know what the tipping point is with allergies. 9 went from being VERY allergic to having mild response to being more reactive to mildly so dozens of times throughout my life, so caution is warranted.

We’ll see what happens the next time.

Until then, the closest I want to come to bees is eating honey, thankyouverymuch.

2020/09/06

Another Shitty Day in Paradise

Da Goddess @ 12:20

It was 106° by 10:00 this morning. At noon, 111°F. We’re not done watching the mercury rise. Blech.

Yesterday, during peak heatwave, our power went out. For a couple hours. 114°+. I woke up drenched and congested and absolutely miserable. Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t happen again.

I soaked my feet and legs in the pool during the outage. I did the same thing this morning. It was so hot so early, I just gave into the cool water. I’d dunk my whole body in right now, however, I would 1. have to put on a bathing suit, which requires effort and movement, and 2. would require me to walk downstairs and to the pool, and 3. would require me having to walk upstairs after AND change clothes again. To that, I say NO FUCKING WAY, JOSE & JUANITA! This is a perfect example of why I need to be very wealthy. If I had oodles of giant stacks of cash, I’d pay someone to change me and to carry me to the pool. I would. Absolutely.

2020/07/27

Teach Your Children Well

Da Goddess @ 09:47

I have friends who are teachers. One pair, married and both have been teaching from home, while also having two kids engaged in distance learning. They’ve struggled to keep up with their own kids’ lessons as much as any other parents because they’re striving to provide their “other families” with fresh curriculum, attention, reinforcement of lessons, & sometimes even coordinating food for these kids.

The teachers I know are committed to helping another generation LEARN & build successful skills that will last them a lifetime. They’ve struggled to keep up with growing class sizes and shrinking resources. Some don’t even have enough textbooks for a classroom of 30, let alone enough books for five more periods of classes of the same size.

Now, here we are: the president wants to push everyone back to school. How are teachers supposed to enforce distancing and masks and handwashing in packed classrooms with kids who are often soft (read: resistant) on basic hygiene? Seriously, these are often kids who are lucky if they have enough clean clothes for three days a week and shower about as often.

And what about those textbooks that must be shared? There’s no way to get two kids to a book and still be maintaining proper distancing. Nor is it possible to disinfect the books in any way that would be helpful.

Our children and our teachers have struggled long before distance learning became a “thing” due to the pandemic. Now? We’re putting them in harm’s way because the president wants to make it look like we’re winning the battle against coronavirus when we’re clearly not yet there? How? Why?

After reading Dave Grohl’s piec. In the Atlantic, I gotta tell you, I’m even more worried about what this will do to our kids, our teachers, school staff, and to the families who will be put on the frontlines of this viral battlefield.

Please call, email, and write actual letters to your representatives to urge them to postpone this insanity for at least another six months. Let’s protect our children and our families, our school systems, and our communities until we know for certain that it’s safe for them to return.

2020/04/29

Quarantine Quick Picks

Da Goddess @ 16:50

I’m working on a big booklist for you, but it’s going slow due to the fact I’m caught up in some incredible reading! Yes, only top shelf recommendations for you fine folks.

So, while I’m working on that, let me give you a couple of quick picks to brighten up your quarantine!

1. After Life – on Netflix. Ricky Gervais is, well, brilliant in both seasons 1 & 2 of this series. Six episodes, 30 minutes each…this is a heartfelt and occasionally heartbreaking series you can watch again and again. Wry, crass, bittersweet, and full of heart. Don’t second guess yourself — or me — and just watch it.

2. No Tomorrow – Netflix again. One season of a lovely little series. There’s just so much to like about the characters and the storyline. I won’t say more beyond: just watch!

3. Finally, I give you the most important recommendation of all:Cottonelle toilet paper. Listen, I’m very picky about my toilet paper. As someone with inflammatory bowel disease, let me tell you how important the right toilet paper is! After years of trial and error, I’d settled on the Kirkland (Costco) brand because it was the only TP my sore butt could handle. Then came the day I couldn’t get to Costco and had to rely on Walmart’s Great Value version. It’s the one with the blue packaging (the red isn’t worth it). And then, coronavirus hit and I had to make do with whatever my sister could get for me. That’s how Cottonelle came into my life. O!M!G! People, this is a one-ply toilet paper. ONE-PLY! So much better than most two-ply papers. And it feels like heaven. That’s right! I said it feels like heaven. And I mean that. My poor tush has personally thanked me repeatedly. It’s soft, but not too soft. It’s strong, but not in a rough way. It’s like nothing I’ve ever used before! Cottonelle, I will use every platform available to tell the world how great your toilet paper is and all I ask is for you to always make it because, otherwise, I’ll shed tears forevermore!!! Yes, three exclamation points!!! That’s how much I love you, Cottonelle!!!

Why is this so important to me? Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, food poisoning, and/or whatever has you on the pot for any length of time, you need a T.P. to clean your very sensitive and frequently raw hiney. The poo can do a real number on your skin and you want something strong, but gentle. Believe you me! After the dead legs, the pain of sitting on the toilet, the cramping, gas, and the enzymes/proteins in your stool that can make you look like a res-assed baboon, repetitive wiping can tear up that fragile skin. Be kind to what’s behind…you. I usually have to add baby wipes to help clean because whether you say papier toilette, papel higiénico, papur toiled, giấy vệ sinh, туалетний папір, tuvalet kağıdı,toalettpapper, karatasi ya choo, letër higjienike, komuneko papera, paper de vàter, carta igienica, toaletni papir, necesejo-papero, tualettpaber, tisyu, vessapaperi, húskepapier, papel de baño, Klopapier, chartí ygeías, papye twalèt, wahila, WC-papír, salernispappír, páipéar leithris, papier toaletowy, aainsarhcakkuu, pepa wharepaku, kertas tanda, taratasy fidiovan, tualetinis popierius, hwajangji, impapuro zo mu musarani, kradeasabangkon, kertas jamban (Javanese, my favorite), or akwụkwọ mposi, toilet paper occasionally needs a bit of help back there.

And that’s it for today’s recommendations. Two shows to watch and the best toilet paper here on earth and also probably in heaven.

Note: I was not paid for my recommendation of Cottonelle, but I’m open to working with them if they need someone.

2020/04/24

Medical Advice Advice

Da Goddess @ 07:12

I don’t know who needs to hear this (I’m lying because I know everyone needs to hear this), but take medical advice ONLY from people who have been to medical and/or nursing school and who have passed rigorous testing and received a license to practice.

DON’T INGEST OR INJECT BLEACH, FFS!

This message brought to you by the committee who wants you to live.

P.S. I’ll give it a go if trump goes first and lives to tell the tale…without any medical intervention.

If you need a handy reminder of this advice, please have a listen to Mr Nick Harvey.

2020/04/21

Better to Laugh

Da Goddess @ 23:55

My frustration level has peaked. I have so many things I’d like to do, so many people I’d like to see, and many places I’d like to visit. Since none of that’s possible, it comes down to lots of tweeting, reading, TV, and movies.

Of course, now is exactly when shit hits the fan. My landlords have moved off the property and out of state. I have missed them a great deal when they drove up to Oregon to be with family. I miss their daughter’s little voice and adorable giggles. I miss hearing the baby fuss and then coo. It’s just so weird without them here.

And I now have to set up my own internet and cable. That was one of my favorite things about renting here: those were included in the rent. Now, they’re reducing my rent to make up for not providing it. But I’d rather just keep it the way it’s always been. I’m THAT horrified by having to figure it out for myself. When manlord was down to pack up the house, I got him to extend the service until they have someone move into the main house. Except, here’s the thing, internet works and cable doesn’t. I’m watching Netflix until they get it figured out.

And I’m reading a lot. Right now, my favorite site is McSweeney’s because I end up laughing for hours. Current favorite article is Frasier & Niles Tell Their Dad to Stay Home. Go read. You’ll like it.

Ta for now. I have to go look for ants. I had three extremely tiny ones show up earlier and I’m obsessed with killing any others that may exist.

2020/03/26

Must Watch: Alternatives, Part 1

Da Goddess @ 09:06

I’ve found myself seeking out shows that aren’t available via regular TV channels in the U.S.

First up: Portrait Artist of the Year. This is a fantastic British production. You can find the entire current season on the YouTubes. Here’s a link to the first episode. It’s really a wonderful program. All but the final episode for this show are available through the account I’ve linked to.

Also on the tubes of you, The Great Pottery Throw Down. Listen, you don’t need to be a potter to enjoy this show. The artistic value of the craft is exceedingly entertaining and you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for how cups, plates, teapots, vases, etc., are made. There are three seasons available and I’ll get you started with season one, episode one. I think you’ll find yourself yelling at the contestants when they take crazy chances with their designs, when they forget an important step, and/or when they don’t manage their time well. You’ll also yell at the judges when they send home someone who, while they missed the mark on this one challenge, has shown such amazing work throughout the season. It’s truly a delightful show. And don’t worry about the crying judge. It happens frequently enough that you’ll simply accept it by the time you get through a few episodes.

I can only find the most recent season of Master of Photography on YouTube. I watched an early season a couple years ago on Ovation or some other channel I no longer have access to. Anyhow, this is a very good program in that it offers great lessons on composition and the value of critiques from experts. There are some interesting images and equally interesting photographers. It’s given me a lot of inspiration and motivation for future projects, but mostly I just enjoy picking out the contestants’ missed shots/opportunities. I do a fair amount of commentary throughout each episode.

On Netflix, check out Blown Away. It’s all about glassblowing and it’s fascinating! There’s one season. Episodes are only about a half hour, so you can get through them quickly. I would have liked longer episodes, but you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Or you do. But it’s totally worth your time.

I’ll post more shows next week. These should keep you busy until then.

Bonus: Upright. An Australian show that’s funny, beautiful, touching, and so many other super superlatives. It’s brilliant! IMTV has it available to those of us who live in the States. You’ll have to create an account to watch (when you get to the options of NA or EUR, choose NA (North America, natch). If you can’t watch every episode free of charge, let me know. I’ll see if I can find you another option.

Now, go get busy watching TV and forget about our current situation. We won’t always have a pandemic to justify our viewing habits, so make the most of the NOW of it.

2020/03/19

How Y’all Doin’?

Da Goddess @ 22:58

First things first: how are you? Are you and your family healthy and safe? Have you been able to fend off the ennui? Are you reading? Listening to music and/or podcasts? Are you watching TV and/or movies?

How are you passing the time?

Secondly, have you checked in with family and neighbors? Are you a helper?

Thirdly, have you been able to avoid or minimize exposure to the 24/7 news coverage?

Fourthly, what’s up with you these days? Anything new?

Fifthly, are you washing hands? Are you using soap and water and washing for a minimum of 20 seconds? I’d prefer 30 seconds, but blah blah blah. Are you really, truly, honestly washing your goddamn hands? Please let this be your reality. Hand sanitizer pales in comparison to handwashing with soap and water.

Sixthly, my trip to see my daughter and her hubby is on hold. As it should be.

Other than that, life is pretty much the same. I have books, TV, movies, puzzles, games, and the cat. I also have a neighbor who just got a donkey (another got a horse not long before that) and I’m determined to find out where the donkey lives. I’m mostly of the mind that the donkey was brought in as protection against the very busy coyotes we have in our area. They’re quite active. I’ve seen them out on my morning walks — one street over, at first, then right at our gate — and my landlord has seen them in our yard. They’re well-fed and in good shape, but they got that way because of the abundance of available chow. Chickens (so many chickens here), cats, dogs, bunnies (oh my God, do we have buns!), and squirrels. Who knows what else. So, now the donkey. I love hearing the braying! It’s a nice change of pace.

There you go. My pandemic post. I hope you’re all safe.

2020/03/12

Baggage

Da Goddess @ 14:32

Any recommendations on luggage? Nothing expensive, just durable and easy to maneuver for a gimpy old broad. It has to have good wheels and it would be a major bonus if it could fit in an overhead compartment.

Yes, for the first time in a decade, I’m getting on a plane. I’m going away. Not for long, but for long enough. And I’m going to see my daughter and son-in-law. And their cats. In a beautiful locale. Yay!

So, yeah. I need a decent, inexpensive but easily wheeled about suitcase. I mean, just because you have baggage doesn’t mean it can’t be functional and maybe even pleasant.

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