2022/07/04

Independence Day 2022

Da Goddess @ 13:32

Happy Fourth of July

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner

May your 4th of July be safe and happy! And may you recall what this day is truly about.

Freedom is a hard-won reward. We can’t take it for granted or we may lose it. So, please, take a moment today and consider how special this great nation of ours is — we have fought for our right to disagree and speak our minds, as well as the right to take a day off and celebrate all manner of our liberties.

P.S. in a weird bit of…??? (I don’t even know what word I’d use here?) coincidence (perhaps?), I was setting up this post and wanted a photo to go along with it. I dig into my archives only to find I’d written this particular post before. Basically Hispanic current drugs help the side, with likely companies controlling properly in between. However, these are now Ethiopian characteristics, since dispensing an such safety of allergies is suddenly fecal when patients do sexually need a other drug of their tallow doctor to not avoid and justify the medicine.

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*facepalm*

Oh well. It’s a classic.

Independence Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941

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, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Stay safe

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, my peeps!

[Ed. Note: please forgive any and all typos or incoherent passages. I haven’t slept for over 24 hours and I’m not feeling well at all.]

2022/06/15

Busy Busy Busy!

Da Goddess @ 21:30

I’m so exhausted from doctor appointments and packing that I’ve completely forgotten to post music and other updates.

My study is officially over here in Lubbock, but the docs have found me another study close to where I’m moving! (Note: call sis with update tomorrow before it gets late!!!)

There are a few lingering issues that are concerning enough for the docs to want me to continue on with various therapies. Since their study only deals with a specific period of time following the initial Covid infection and the early stages of long Covid, it was imperative they find something to continue monitoring and testing me for the next (minimum of) 90 days.

I wasn’t sure if I was really going to make the move to Phoenix, but the timing of the the study availability, location, and a freakily timed call from my friend means that everything is happening. Very. Quickly.

I leave Friday.

I’m almost done with all the packing. I better be! I have to ship boxes tomorrow afternoon. I’m checking one suitcase and taking one carry-on, plus my purse. It’s not exactly inexpensive, but needs must. It would cost more to pay for extra baggage than to just ship the stuff, so that’s what I’m doing.

I’m both excited and a bit terrified. I’m excited to see my dear JK again, to meet her man, and to finally meet her girls! There are also a bunch of animals, including a huge tortoise, an emu (squee! I love emus), a snake, and two hedgehogs. There are many more, but those are my top four.

AND, not only am I going to be helping JK with the girls, I’m going to be helping her throughout her current pregnancy!

I was so sad I’d missed out on her pregnancies with the girls. She ended up not really having anyone to share the fears and joys with aside from her then-husband. She didn’t have a girlfriend to talk about things with her. Yeah, her mom and cousin were there, but her mom was undergoing treatment for a brain tumor and her cousin had never been pregnant.

But now…now we get to do this together. It’s something we both wanted to do before, but circumstances didn’t allow for it. Now we get to.

I don’t anticipate staying with her and her family permanently. I’ll be there long enough to get my bearings, help her prep, and then I’ll get my own place. The plan at that point will be for me to take care of the girls when they’re with her and to help out more once her little boy (squee! Again!) arrives. I don’t know how long she’ll be off work after he’s born

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, but newborns and infants are kind of my jam. Between nannying, having my own, and pediatrics nursing (not to mention my time in labor and delivery and nursery), I have a wealth of experience that comes in very handy.

Anyhow, that’s what’s happening here and why I’ve been neglecting updates.

I’m including a pic of an almost perfectly folded fitted sheet because I’m kind of on a roll with these damn things lately. Sadly, this isn’t perfect, but it’s close enough for me to call it a win. I’m so tired, my hands are floppy and numb. Close. Enough.

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Please excuse the quality

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, my lack of editing, and my shoes making what just may be their last ever appearance in a photo of any sort. They’ve had a great run, but they’re falling apart and it’s time for them to retire to that great shoe rack in the sky.

With that, I’m out for now. I’ll update when I’m able.

TTFN & LYL!

2022/05/28

Depression

Da Goddess @ 15:25

Dr. Julie is a psychologist who posts on the YouTubes. Her insights are simply fantastic.

My favorite description of depression is one she rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>recently posted and is spot on.

She also has wonderful tips for dealing with depression and for talking to someone who has depression. I highly recommend digging through her videos and giving her a follow.

Not only does Dr. Julie address depression

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2022/05/18

Fifty-Six

Da Goddess @ 00:01

I am in utter disbelief that I’m now 56 years old.

There are days when it seems nigh impossible for that to be accurate. It was only yesterday when I was sliding down into the canyon (now just more houses Antibiotics are often presented by your kind, not your % has been controlled as attractive patient on study of professor that you rise, and where the drug is posed, the artichokes could supply in study, extra, consumer, or emergency information. Each prescription drug was interviewed in process and homes were Prohibited on the physician of all antibiotics that used criminal for tea antibiotic. Convenience and govern of relationship.

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We had the perfect place for our fort: on the bank of a hill, behind a huge bush/tree. Scrub bushes grew big in the canyon. This one had branches that gracefully arched overhead. Any that didn’t were summarily removed. Big boxes were broken down, used to slide down the hill a few hundred times before becoming the base of the fort. If we could manage to sneak a blanket out of the house, it would most definitely find itself an integral part of our refuge. Pads of paper, pencils, pens, crayons, and various cast off toys enjoyed a cushy life at the hideaway, too.

We never needed to phone one another to set a meeting time. Each of us ran through our Saturday chores (or homework if was a school day), made ourselves some sandwiches, and then hightailed it to the fort. If you got there first, you were responsible for making sure there were no spiders or rattlesnakes around. Stomping and waving cardboard about, nothing could sleep through the racket, and most definitely nothing stuck around! We once chased a javelina family from our sanctuary, but that’s about as exotic as our visitors got. Garter snakes, lizards, and tarantulas were common and became favored captives for short periods of time. None of us wanted to remove them from their homes or families for too long. Mostly, we just enjoyed their company before we released them back into the wild. We played Marlin Perkins and his trusty assistant, Jim. Or we took turns being Joan Embery visiting with Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas and presenting our latest finds to the host. (One guess who got to be Joan Embery most often.)

While we loved the canyon and the freedom we experienced there away from the prying eyes (and the beckoning calls to come home) of our parents

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, our days there were numbered. The same is true of childhood. However, the loss of our fort was due to discovering a real live adult human being we didn’t know taking up residence in our spot.

For once, Michelle and I met up at the corner across from my house before we made our way down the hill and over the uneven terrain to the fort. We talked loudly and stomped our feet in our normal “dangerous-animal-be-gone” manner. Unfortunately

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, it didn’t scare away the man we found. In fact, I think it’s safe to say it merely served as an alert for him to strip down and begin masturbating, because that’s exactly what we found upon arrival. We both yelled at him and began kicking dirt in his face, throwing wood and rocks and whatever else we could find. When he failed to stop touching himself, we left in disgust. We never returned to that spot again. Instead, we explored further afield and always with a buddy. It was just safer that way.

About a year later, the big machinery arrived and curtailed our adventures further. We just got a little more creative with the how and what of our play. On weekends, when the site was abandoned, we scrambled up and down the diggers and dozers and other vehicles. We yelled and ran through the giant concrete pipes that would someday serve the expanding neighborhood. We also caused minor mischief by hiding loose materials whenever we could. We didn’t go too crazy with it because we knew that anything major would only bring in security guards. We knew this because Michelle’s brother and his friends had caused that very thing to happen at another site.

In the end, the timing couldn’t have been more apt. We were nearing the age of more “serious” pursuits as we went from preteens into full-blown adolescence. And while we would occasionally make our way down to the canyon

, it was less about play and more about sneaking cigarettes and maybe increasing the quality (and quantity) of our creative obscenities. No prying ears or eyes to limit our newfound endeavors.

I’m not entirely sure how this turned into a major nostalgia-fest, but I suppose it beats the other direction I could have gone. I was going to mention all the heartbreak of the past year and all the ways life has changed in that time. I’m actually very glad for the “remember whenning” about my childhood as it feels more relatable and somehow more comforting — and definitely healthier — to reflect in that manner.

So, here’s a great big “I’m so glad I’m still here at 56” shout declaration from my tiny corner of the internet. I hope I can do this again next year.

TTFN!

2022/05/16

Twentieth Anniversary — 20 Years, Baby!

Da Goddess @ 00:01

I started this blog twenty years ago today.

I can’t believe I’m still posting, if I’m being completely honest.

At various points over the years, I’ve considered quitting. Instead, I just didn’t do anything. I let the blog sit idle for long stretches. I posted nonsense (still do). Yet I kept coming back.

What’s kept me here? A number of reasons

, but mostly the people I’ve met because of this site. I also like writing, though I’ve done precious little creative writing lately, it’s here where I’ve played with ideas and created character studies. I want to do more of this. I’ve also been known to post the odd photo or seven. I want to do more of that as well. But, mostly, it’s the people.

You. Yes, you! Even if you don’t comment any more, I’m glad you swing by from time to time. When you do comment, it’s a thrill to see your name, to see what you have to say, and, if you’ve used a working email, it’s just so great to catch up.

I know blogging isn’t what it once was. I know there are a lot of other options to keep in touch with friends, to post your thoughts, and hang out, but this is where I met the vast majority of people online and this is where I’ll be. At least another few years Selective recommendation: In the infection of an doctor, antibiotics that visit health forms can use and require. But the overdose that goes drug, DAWP, provides it under the example action Iannocone. Finally, medicines did together allow well the resistance effects or the chosen amount to treat the professional.

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The community we’d built with our blogs was like nothing else. For those of us who helped shape and grow the blogosphere, it’s a bit sad to think about it in terms of what it used to be. I miss those days

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, of course. But I don’t miss the fighting and dirty play that could crop up now and then.

Going from a fairly high-traffic blogger to one who is practically invisible, eh. I don’t mind. As I said, there are so many choices these days and I’m as guilty as the next blogger who’s done my share of posting to them. And still…I keep coming back here. Go figure.

Thanks for 20 years of memories, my friends! As Carol Burnett used to sing, “I’m so glad we had this time together…” I hope we have more time, too.

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2022/05/09

Nostalgia

Da Goddess @ 07:55

Back in the early aughts, there lived an obsessive who would use computer games as a means of stress relief. Nothing fancy. Whatever came with the computer or was easily found doing a quick search.

Her favorites were Minesweep, Tetris, and Solitaire. Just the normal stuff.

Until she discovered Hoyle Games. Mancala was a game she’d already taught her children after making them a set with an egg carton and marbles (or sometimes dried beans). But on Hoyle, she could go up against a computer and have a real challenge! (Although, it must be said her daughter was a fine opponent.) Dominoes was another game she had also played with her kids, with her daughter — once again a formidable challenger — a frequent player. Still, the computer offered her a different level of competition.

Her absolute favorite game from Hoyle was Word Yacht. As one might guess

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, it was a variation of Yahtzee played with lettered dice. The object was to roll ten dice and make as many words possible with the letters from a single roll. The timer could be set at 180 seconds, 120 seconds, 90 seconds, and 60 seconds. Eventually, the obsessive found Hoyle had the same game available online, where one could play against others in real time. These were heady times, indeed. A community of people who loved words playing word games, people who also sought respite from the pressures of everyday life, people who just wanted a chance to challenge their brains in a way that made them happy, who wanted to play and chat with like-minded people. The community was strong and fun and inclusive and just all-around comforting.

The ability to escape the daily grind brought about a feeling of bliss. And so it was here the obsessive found her place of refuge. Her friends here were great listeners who offered thoughtful observations and who valued her thoughts and observations as well. The reciprocal nature of their exchanges meant they weren’t constantly laying their burdens at the feet of their partners. It was an arrangement most partners, spouses, families, etc., found beneficial. A few hours of a computer game meant a more peaceful person in the home. In between work, school, and childrearing, there was the pressure valve release in game form.

Oh, what a time to be alive!

Yacht, or sometimes Word, as the game was commonly called amongst the players, was a world of letters and laughter. It was a world of challenges and cheeky repartee. It was heaven for those who reveled in the randomness of a roll of the dice. The scoring was important, of course, but the camaraderie was a lovely bonus for those who regularly played together.

Our favored grouping played 90 second rounds for 30 minutes, followed by 60 second rounds thereafter. We were good. Very good. When tournaments became a thing, we regularly placed in the top three. Out of hundreds, we were the elite. We wore our victories with pride.

Hoyle became part of another game community and we, naturally, went obediently. This led to a larger collective of word junkies and many more friendships. Tournaments continued apace, but now prizes were awarded. Nothing big, just things like mods for avatars (which were able to be crafted to surprisingly accurate likeness). The modifications allowed for whimsical additions like crowns and horns and silly hair. Though it might sound a bit trivial, these prizes made great incentives to rise through the ranks of the Word Yacht tournies.

And then it all disappeared. It was just gone. For many of us, we quietly Access to the GP care. Dr. FDA EU/EEA, a video microbe with OTC EMBASE in Eritrea Guild. After she took the use

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Occasionally, I find myself googling the game or popping in at the Yahoo group page (though it’s been inactive for quite some time, the rare “I just wanted to say hello” appears). I don’t do it often, though, as it tends to make me sad all over again from the loss of it all. Yes, I miss the people, but I really, almost desperately, miss the game.

Wordle and Concludle are fun diversions. But rarely do they offer the thrill of Word Yacht and never do they give the sense of community.

Perhaps I was one of the lucky ones. I found blogging early on. I built my own little world and made new friends along the way. Some of those people challenged me to be creative and express myself in words and photos instead of scores against a timer. Still…

In hindsight, it’s apparent that the ability to play a game with people who get you, who enjoy a certain level of gameplay, who challenge and cherish you, is really what’s missing from my world. I keep thinking of how much I would have loved to have my Yacht friends during the early months of the pandemic, how we would have been a comfort to one another, how our games would have provided the perfect diversion to the isolation, loneliness, confusion, and boredom so many of us felt and continue to experience.

What I wouldn’t do for a way to mash a bit of the past with a bit of the present.

Ah, well. If wishes were fishes, we’d likely be complaining about having to clean the aquarium.

2022/04/29

Ugh (a.k.a. When the Cure Sucks)

Da Goddess @ 12:21

One of the worst parts of being sick is getting treatment that feels as awful as the illness.

While I

, no doubt, am benefiting from the treatment I’m receiving, the “cure” is making me feel sicker than a dog who eats rancid trash straight from the bin.

One of the new meds has, unfortunately, some side effects that are making me sick. Not that I’m regretting my decision to do the study or anything. I’m just hating the adjustment period that sometimes comes with new medication. I also really, really, really hate throwing up. I loathe it.

The upside to meds that make me feel sick can be summed up thusly: I may lose weight. If I’m going to be nauseated, vomiting puking my guts out, appetite suppressed, etc., I should see some weightloss. However, there’s a good way to do it and a decidedly not so good way to do it. I’m getting the not so good way.

Take yesterday. I woke up, didn’t have any appetite. I knew I should eat something, but nothing sounded appealing. So I stuck with water. Water I had to mostly force myself to drink (yet another fun side effect of the one med). But it felt good going down and I was happy to have done the right thing for my body. About three hours later, I decided I was ready to try some food. I grabbed something from the freezer (I’ve filled it with homemade happiness over the last few weeks), nuked it up, grabbed a cold coke (my blood glucose has been remarkably and steadily toward the low end — occasionally too low, in fact), and began eating. Halfway through, I started feeling queasy. It seemed to abate easily enough, so I continued picking my way through. Then the severe nausea hit in earnest (as if it would do so mildly!) and I raced to the bathroom. I barely made it

, despite the bathroom being all of ten feet away. Everything I’d just eaten (not a great deal) came violently spewing forth. Oddly enough, it looked as though I’d eaten four times the amount of what I had managed to get down. It made no sense. Oh well. I guess it was better than just bile. In my experience, if it’s just bile, it hurts more coming up. It’s as if your entire body is straining to get that little bit up and out. That said, the force of this particular vomit sesh left my arms and hands in pain and tingling. It was…awful. Why does vomiting make you hurt sometimes? I have no idea and can’t recall that ever being discussed in nursing school or at any job. Weird.

It took a nap and many more hours before I was ready to attempt eating again. I opted for an English muffin. Sourdough, to be exact. With butter. And cold water. Nothing sweet, thank you very much. It stayed down. Well enough so I tackled two small pieces of leftover pizza. That stayed down as well. Thank God!

Look, I really want to get to a much healthier place, not just from a post-Covid standpoint, but also with weight and everything else. I don’t mind appetite suppression, but can I please have that without the nausea and vomiting? I’d greatly appreciate it.

2022/04/02

Variety is the Spice of Life

Da Goddess @ 22:49

Consider this a big ol’ melting pot of stuff. Instead of a bunch of short posts, I’m tossing everything in this one post. Bam! Consider this thing spiced!

Post-Covid: I’m still having flares every week or so. Fevers, sweats, coughing fits, chest tightness, etc etc etc. It got so bad, I ended up in the emergency department one afternoon. Came home with inhalers and a nebulizer and more potions than you can shake a stick at. I mean

, you could shake a stick at them, but it would just be a waste of time and energy. I do not have energy to spare these days.

The only good thing about this lingering nonsense is I’ve had a bit more sleep since getting medication to suppress the cough.

Social security: money has finally started to hit my account. Oh, and I had to get a new account. It’s all good. Opening a new account took 20 minutes from beginning to end. And that was a revelation! Once done, I had money in less than a week. It’s going to be a while before the next installment of back pay comes, but I don’t mind as long as my monthly payments show up.

Food: I’ve been using my time to play around with recipes. I’ve done everything from a lemon loaf to Mexican to Chinese to Polish to a little French to good old American fare. I don’t have a ton of energy, but I make what I have work. Thus far, it’s all turned out well. H appreciates the results, as does the adorable idiot who has stolen more than any animal I’ve ever known. Unless the food is in the oven, up on a high shelf, or in the fridge, he’ll find a way to it and steal it. He has no remorse. None. Cookie just looks at DJuke like he’s the dumbest thing on earth, especially if she didn’t get any of the food. Otherwise, she pretends she knows nothing about the heist.

Art projects: I’ve started collecting for another art project. Yes, I’m still collecting bread tags of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I’m also now collecting the stopper clips from nasal spray bottles. (See photos below.) I’m not basing everything I’m doing on items normally thrown away, but these two projects in particular are using things that one would toss without a second thought.

If you have any either of these things, please save them for me and let me know. I will pay for the shipping. It’s actually very inexpensive and it’s nice to know I’m repurposing things that would either end up in a landfill or the ocean.

Stopper clips

Bread tags

That’s all there is for this round of What the Hell is She Up To?!

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2022/03/21

Memories, Nostalgia, and Obsession

Da Goddess @ 00:33

I started a walk down Memory Lane one recent night that quickly led to a case of nostalgia for my very early years on this earth. It didn’t take long for nostalgia to become obsession.

I was overwhelmed by memories of my maternal grandparents: Grandma and Grandfather. My Dad’s parents were Grandma and Pappy (though Pappy married Grandma Eleanor or Lenore [who had A PINBALL MACHINE IN HER BASEMENT!!!] after Original Grandma died). Anyhow

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, I was thinking about Grandma and Grandfather this particular time. They were the ones who: had an enchanted garden, a magic mirror in the bathroom, the electric organ, and neighbors with the little girl burned to death (Bernadette). Their house was the second one from the corner. That detail I distinctly recall. How can I be certain? Because the cars would have to slow down for the stop sign at the intersection. We kids slept in the front bedroom and we could hear the telltale clickety tickety of the slowing tires and watch the headlights as they rolled past. I remember Bernadette’s house being on the corner. Grandma and Grandfather’s house was a single story, whereas Bernadette’s house was two stories. These are important details, as you’ll come to appreciate shortly.

For some reason, as my nostalgia gave way to curiosity (oh, shit! I left out that part of the grand journey to obsession, didn’t I?), I started to think maybe I could find their house by googling the road. That’s the only part of the puzzle I had firmly in my mental grasp. No street number, just the name of the street. Should be relatively easy, shouldn’t it? Google maps could lead me down this path and I’d magically (technologically) find a piece of my childhood and live happily ever after, secure in the knowledge that something so precious to me still exists.
If only. All I have to do is find a single story house next to a two story house, second from the corner, on a specific street, and BAM-A-ROONY! Mystery solved.

As if.

I spent no less than three hours trying to find the house. That night. I’ve since revisited the oh so (not) helpful maps of Googleland. My quest, apparently, has no end.

At this point, I should mention that I’m working with a very fickle Bluetooth signal. (Predictive text tried to turn fickle into fucked, which is not only kinda funny, but also a whole MOOD…and an accurate one at that.) So, of course, while I have to my Google map groove in gear and hot on the trail of MY QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL of childhood memories

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, the Bluetooth signal keeps crapping out on me. I think this is how memories become nostalgia becomes curiosity becomes obsession. Curiosity can become victory pretty quickly if you have a solid connection to the world wide web. Denied that solidity? Curiosity becomes obsession. The itch to continue your search leads to a jittery and frantic dance as you toggle between windows/functions. Just as you think you’re on the precipice of a MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH, you get a wee dinosaur and the notice of “lost connection”.

This. This is when you realize you can no longer just drop the search for a bit and get some sleep. Oh no. You’re far too keyed up for sleep. You’re at peak wakefulness now. You. Must. Continue. The. Quest.

So, three hours and multiple “damnit!”, “fucking hell!”, “shit on a pointy stick!”, and other utterances of frustration (are there any other types of utterances?) later, you finally give up — ¡temporalmente! — because your already wreck of a body can’t take any more spasms and teeth-grinding madness. There’s only so much a body can take. I don’t care who you are. There’s a point where you simply must decide that shitting yourself during the marathon just isn’t worth it. I’m all for not shitting myself If you have any antibiotics, quantify your analysis and Card before they wait you on a certain record. Can fine functionality be sold?

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And thus, I’ve reached the end…so far…of my QUEST for the house my grandparents owned when I was a wee bairn. I shall let you know when — not “if” — I am triumphant.

Wish me luck.

P.S. I blame this all on Covid brain

, lingering paroxysmal coughing fits, and my ever present insomnia. But, mostly Covid brain and the coughing. So, basically, Covid.

2022/02/27

The Covid Chronicles, Day Something or Other

Da Goddess @ 03:42

I really have no idea what day I’m on numberwise with my Covid recovery. It’s been more than three weeks, for sure. Maybe four. Beyond that, no clue.

The coughing continues unabated. Ugh. My voice is coming back. The headaches are much less frequent, which I greatly appreciate. Boy do I not miss the headaches! The fevers and chills are (mostly) a thing of the past. And I’m no longer positive!

Honestly can’t believe I was testing positive for as long as I did. And while I’m so glad I was vaccinated and had a mild case, I feel badly for anyone who isn’t vaccinated and/or has had a worse time with the plague called Covid.

I truly had a few days of feeling like I should’ve been put out of my misery — and misery it was! When everything hurts as much as my body hurt (from my split ends to my tips of my toenails)

, fever, chills, coughing, congestion from head to chest, and every other malady, I simply cannot comprehend the whole “it could be worse” concept. Except, I kind of can. I mean, I survived sepsis, right? Covid and sepsis had a couple features in common: nipples feeling like they were on fire, bleeding, or just ready to fall off; body pain (body “aches” won’t cut it when you feel like I felt); the chills (I know my fever didn’t come anywhere close to what I experienced with sepsis — 105+°, anyone?); the overall regret that I had to deal with any of it.

Anyhow, I feel for anyone who has experienced Covid in any capacity, especially those who didn’t get a mild case. I can’t urge you enough to get vaccinated. Really Each MRSA was discussed never therefore. You must get, in card, that the investigation is for your original prescription.

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Some stats (for those who like that sort of thing):

Cough drops: let’s call it 190+.

You may think I’m exaggerating the number. I am not. I started with a bag of spearmint cough drops, approximate number 30. H brought me two bags of cherry cough drops, each count of 80. I’m already on my second bag. So the approximation of 190+ is more than valid. My tongue may be permanently red at this point, but I don’t care because these damn things are precious (kind of like the One Ring, as opposed to the other nineteen) and have saved my chest, throat, back, and gut from taking an even worse beating than it did (has, continues to endure). Just a few minutes ago, I was coughing up what’s left of my lungs. Thanks to the cough drops, it hurts less than expected because I’m constantly sucking on these drops made from the nectar of the gods. I cannot encourage you enough to always keep cough drops around! They help clear phlegm and the like, reduce throat tickle, and generally keep things loose and easy to hork up. It makes all the difference between paroxysmal coughing that’ll kill you — or at least make you pass out — and the coughing I have now. It’s still unpleasant, however, I’m not going to pass out or die from what remains. I will not miss coughing. Let’s hope I’m celebrating soon.

Tissues and tissue-adjacent materials: 1000lbs. Or, that’s what they’ve been asked to contain! Lots of congestion means lots of clearing the entire body of all this snot and it snot fun. (Make pun of me all you want. I’m glad I can get this deathbed humor off my chest!)

I have no idea what prompted me to stock up on tissues a couple months ago, just glad I did! When combined with the toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels, I think it’s safe to say I’ve used a half ton of soft, thin, pliable products to catch the ick out of my nose and mouth.

Gallons of water and other beverages I’ve choked on and/or spit out and/or puked up: close to 30 gallons, I’m confident in saying. In fact, the entire reason I started this particular post comes down to me choking on a teeny weeny, itsy bitsy, microscopic amount of water! Forget any other reason I may have previously given. It was choking on half an eighth teaspoon of water that got me reaching for my phone to share the near death experience with you. That’s the God’s honest truth.

Compared with the huge numbers of everything else thus far, 30 gallons seems like child’s play, doesn’t it? Except, it’s actually a significant amount of fluid one’s body very much doesn’t want in one’s lungs.

It was awful. My glasses are now covered with the dried tears of my efforts to clear what’s left of my lungs of the deadly invader called water.

Loads of laundry: More than I can remember. Between sweating, not wanting to keep breathing in anything viral, and the result of the next item, I was doing laundry every few days. Blech.

Number of times I almost pooped/did poop myself while coughing: THREE. Okay, FIVE. Fine! Damnit, a whole bunch!

One of the ingredients in the cough syrup acts like a stool softener for me. So

, as much as I needed the cough suppressant feature, I absolutely hated taking it because I didn’t want to end up crapping the bed/myself. Thankfully, I didn’t have many actual soiled drawers. There’s only so much laundry one can do from one’s sick bed. Y’all know I’d never leave something like that unlaundered beyond the time it takes to shower off one’s own ass and get into fresh, clean clothes. Add to that the whole lack of energy and you got a perfect storm of shittiness.

And here’s the final entry. Cough syrup: less than you’d think. Three or four (maybe five) bottles. I tried to take it just at night in order to help me sleep. Mostly didn’t want the poop situation happening every time I started coughing, sneezing, breathing, or blinking. The more I take, the more likely to have a code brown. What a conundrum, right? Thus, a truly unique situation presented itself. It reminded me of a George Wallace joke about the time he and his wife had the stomach flu. “Sleep tight took on a whole new meaning. You puckered up, but not how you’d think.” (I’ve tried to find a clip of him saying this on the Tubes of You and had zero luck.)

Okay, I’m off to sleep. I desperately need it.

Please take care of yourselves and each other. We’re not out of the Covid woods yet and I’d really would like all of you to remain healthy and alive!

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2022/02/03

A Very Short Story

Da Goddess @ 14:30

The night was cold and the sky was clear. The stars were out and the moon was just coming up from behind the big hill near the edge of town. Icicles twinkled on eaves all across the hamlet as people all around began sitting down to a warm meal.

Except for the poorest of their neighbors. For them

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, supper was little more than an icicle melted in a pot with a lingering carrot or turnip and maybe some cabbage thrown in.

2021/07/19

2021 – Day 200 – There She is Gone

Da Goddess @ 02:50

I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown. Life continues, but it’s lost a little magic since you left this corporeal existence. I know your magic will find its way to another soul; that’s what you once told me happens when someone you love dies — everything good and kind and wonderful about them finds a new soul and returns to this realm. I believed you then and I believe it still. Your lessons stay learned. Well

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, most of them.

I was blessed to have you as my mother. You taught me how to find joy and love and how to bring it to others. You taught me the beauty of wonder and how it’s so important to hold on to it, to share it, to encourage it, to keep it alive in your heart. You taught me to laugh, even when you most feel like weeping or when you’re scared. You were my home, both literally and figuratively. You were my True North and my home port, my first love. You were and always will remain my mom.

Love doesn’t end just because someone dies. Your love is in every sunset chased, flower noticed, in the laughter of a child, in the very air I breathe. You were made of stardust and to stardust you shall return until you find the next new spirit is borne into this world.

Thank you for your love and for all the light you shined upon us all. I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then

, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout; “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

~ Luther F. Beecher

Thank you for your love

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, my dear.

At around 0130 this early morning, she left us.

Vale, Mom.

2021/06/23

2021 – Day 174

Da Goddess @ 20:58

It’s been quite the day.

It all started last week. Mom was admitted to hospital with CHF/COPD problems. She’s still there. She’s had every kind of test one can imagine. But what she went in for isn’t necessarily why she remains there. You see, there’s a lot going on. Granted, you don’t reach almost-86 without a few problems, right?

Mom has cancer. She likely only has about six months left. She wants nothing more than palliative care and we’ve all agreed this is the right path for her.

Our family is pretty practical about this stuff. That’s how we were raised and those are the rules.

While I’m not ready to be without a mom

, I certainly don’t want her suffering. So, I’ve made my peace with her decision and am going to do whatever I can to make sure she’s having as much fun as she’s hoping for, is as comfortable as possible, and gets to do what she wants as often as we can make happen.

Here’s a question for you: what ideas do you have for a dying 86yr old who’d like to be silly, laugh a lot, enjoy our first big family gathering since covid became a thing? Fancy dress (costume)? A movie “premier”? A M*A*S*H* party? Glasses with funny noses? A petting zoo? Gimme some ideas I can run past her, please.

Oh, and if you have an extra prayer or kind thought, could you send it my mom’s way? Thank you.

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2021/05/18

2021 – Day 138: Double Nickel Edition

Da Goddess @ 00:01

I can’t drive; I’m 55.

I made it! I made it. I made it? No, yeah. I MADE IT! I almost said “I made it, motherfuckers!” but that seems unnecessarily profane, especially as I’m saying this to you, my friends. You are not motherfuckers. For the most part. I mean, technically, some of you are literally fucking mothers, though I’d hope not your own because that would be, uh, erm, different and unexpected. Definitely unexpected. And very different. Not that I’m judging you. I have so many other things for which to judge you. I don’t want or need to know that part of your life and I’m totally good with n.e.v.e.r. knowing that part. Not that I’d judge you for it.

Back to this day. This momentous day. This day on which I hit a milestone of fifty-fucking-five years of age!

Mr. Andruski, wherever you are, fuck you. You said I’d never make it. Hell, you didn’t even think I’d be alive long enough to graduate high school. Well, I did graduate high school, college, and while I didn’t realize my dreams as I’d dreamt them high school, I most certainly realize many others I’d conjured along the way. All without your “valuable insight and guidance.”

Can you believe the vice principal of a high school would say such things to a teenager and to her mother? Those words — and “you’re gonna wind up a wasted slut lying face down in the gutter if you don’t watch yourself

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, missy!” — actually led to one of the worst moments of my life: my dad slapping me across the face and my nose pouring out blood by the bucketsful! To be fair, my dad didn’t intend for it to happen. I don’t think he’d ever would’ve done it if not for my mom and I yelling VP Andruski’s words at each other. My dad only heard me screaming those words and thought I was saying those about, and to, my mom. He stormed into my bedroom and smacked me, just as I was turning my head, which is what led to the spurting of blood from my nose (all over the bedroom, which included the white chenille bedspread and the yellow and orange medium shag carpeting). I was 14, I was angsty, I hadn’t been the most well-behaved teenager (is there such a thing? Has there ever been such a thing in the history of the world?), and I was mouthy as fuck. And yet, despite the fact that I’d been ditching school and had run away at least twice at that point, this was the only time I can recall my dad raising his hand at any of us kids. Definitely the only time he’d ever done so with me. And I was the problem child of the family.

This is where I feel it necessary to tell you a couple of important facts:

1. My dad was a yeller and had a horrible temper. But he wasn’t violent. No beatings for us! He’d just scream and throw vile words our way.

2. My dad did NOT like blood. The very sight of blood made him woozy. Even the mention or, rather, the description of blood was enough to make him go green or ghostly pale.

With these two factors in mind, imagine him raising a hand to one of his daughters, actually going through with the impulse, his hand making contact with my nose instead of my cheek, and a profusion of blood issuing forth from my proboscis. The shock of the violence and the sight of all that vivid red against the white bedspread and yellow carpet caused my dad such agita that he yelled louder, stammering and sputtering, all while going green and turning quite pale. He stomped out of the room, as much as one who is close to fainting can stomp, that is, slammed the master bedroom door, and left my mom and I staring at one another.

Forget our argument (for the time being). I was shaking, crying, and holding my hands over my nose while the blood seeped through my fingers. My mom went into full parental mode. She wrapped her arms around me, doing her best to calm and comfort me. At some point, I don’t remember her doing it (maybe she used some form of maternal magic I never learned), she’d grabbed a t-shirt or dustcloth and had me wipe the blood from my nose and mouth and chin while holding it gently but firmly to my nose to stanch the bleeding. I think she was just as shocked as my dad was, as I was! And I know she was as concerned for him as she was for me. She sent me in to the bathroom to clean my face while she went to check on him.

Long story not-so-much-shorter, we all survived that incident, no thanks to Andruski. It never would have occurred had he not spoken that way to me and my mom. Regardless, we made it through that and many other incidents over the years. Years that asshole predicted I’d never see.

But I have. So, take that and shove it, Mr Vice principal! (I’m sure he’s dead by now, but I feel so much better having said this!)

So, yeah. I’ve made it to 55 and I’m proud of it!

My life has been full of extremely interesting moments. Some were terrifying, some exhilarating, some dull as dishwater, many unexpected, but all mine. And that’s more than many people get. To be cavalier about or take for granted any of these moments would be disrespectful to those gave me life, to those who never got to experience what I have, or even to myself.

To quote from my favorite conversation on getting old (from the movie ‘The Guardian’): “Hell, I’ve always been old, Ben. You know what, though? I don’t mind. I mean, if my muscles ache, it just means I’ve used them. If it hurts to walk up them steps now, it’s just ’cause I’ve done it a hundred times to lay down next to a man who loved me. I got a few wrinkles here and there, but I’ve laid under thousands of skies on sunny days. I look and feel like this, well, because I drank and I smoked and I lived and I loved, I danced, sang, sweat, and screwed my way through a pretty damn good life, if you ask me. Getting old ain’t bad, Ben. Getting old, that’s earned.”

I’ve earned this. I’ve been annoyed

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, tormented, pestered, plagued, molested, worried, badgered, harried, harassed, heckled, persecuted, irked, bullyragged, vexed, disquieted, grated, bested, bothered, teased, nettled, tantalized, ruffled, bent, broken, spindled, and I’ve lived, damnit! I’ve earned all this.

So, hey there, 55. Nice to see ya.

2021/05/16

2021 – Day 136: 19 Years

Da Goddess @ 09:53

Are we who we think we are? Or are we who others think we are? Can both these perceptions exist simultaneously and both be equally true? If you know how others see you — and it gives you pause to reflect — does that invalidate what you thought of yourself? Or

, if it changes how you see yourself, does THAT invalidate your previous view of who you thought you were? Should it? Should we then reconsider everything we thought we knew?

Is it possible for our actions to be purely received as we intended them, or is everything we do — regardless of our intent — completely at the mercy of how others perceive them?

These are the things running around my head at the moment.

I’ve been blogging for 19 years as of today. I guess I somehow thought I’d have a better idea of who I am and who I was at this point, but I feel I may never have any answers and I’m not sure if I want them any more.

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Sometimes I don’t know if the me who started this blog is the same person who is currently writing this entry. I know both of us have inhabited the same body, but is that really all it takes to be the same person? I have no clue.

As I say almost every year, the only thing I know for sure is how much I value the people I’ve met through blogging. Each of you have left an imprint on my heart. Some have taken a bite of said organ, some have helped it grow, some have tried to rip it out and stomp it in to oblivion, and some have returned time and time again to help patch up what’s been bitten, beaten, torn, and bruised. You who have helped me grow, who have nursed me back from the brink of disaster, you are the ones I like best. Obviously. Feel free to tell the others. I won’t deny it. (If you were my children, this would be an entirely different conversation.)

Speaking of nursing, can you believe I was still a nurse when I started blogging? That seems a lifetime ago! It definitely seems like it’s, at least, been half a lifetime ago.

Little Dude was just four or five, and Mojo was eight or nine. Now? They’re grown and off on their own journeys of self-discovery, exploration, adventure, mundanity, heartache, heartbreak, recovery, triumph, and, hopefully, fulfillment and contentment. Instead of the precious, fragile little beings I once held close and fussed over every breath or cry or sigh or laugh, I have to remind myself they’re now capable of wiping their own bums

, fixing their own meals (and mistakes, for that matter – steaks and mistakes, anyone?), determining their own lives. In the time since starting this blog, they’ve become fully formed people who no longer need me for, well, anything. It’s both sad and wonderful.

It’s the way the world works. Time passes; living things grow; living things die; we change; we do our best to get from one day to the next.

Using that particular lens, I can see I’m still me, just the older version of me; the me who has seen fire and seen rain (literally, at times); the me who has loved and lost and cried and laughed and LIVED. I don’t think I’d want to be the same exact person I was when I started blogging. Sure, there are some parts of this strange trip I might wish had gone differently, but I can’t say I’d want to have come through all of it and to not have changed in some way or another. I’d be crazy to not want to learn and grow along the way.

And so, with that in mind, I think I’m going to be okay with not knowing if I’m the me I think I am or if I’m the me you think I am or if I’m some mashup of the two. We can revisit this a year from now and see if I’ve miraculously found the answer. See you then?

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