2021/05/02

2021 – Day 122: Kalo Pascha – Christos Anesti!

Da Goddess @ 00:01

CHRISTOS ANESTI! Christ is risen! Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death.

Christos Anesti!

Kalo Pascha to one and all. May the sun shine upon us and warm us for today and always. May Christ’s death and resurrection save us all.

For the first time in many many years, I’m actually sharing a home with another Orthodox Christian. I shall knock on his door in a moment and celebrate this gift.

2021/02/10

2021 – Day 41

Da Goddess @ 06:04

Getting your medical information from a political source is like getting groceries from a guy living in his van down by the river.

Sure, you’ll get something; but is it a safe something, though?

Keep researching. Keep reading. But, also be mindful of the source. When it comes to coronavirus, make sure your sources are using current data from medical resources. Anything else is not going to reflect our situation and the needs that must be addressed at this time.

I’m still tip-tapping away. My internet connection is intermittent and fleeting at best. I will post more soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy this:

I heard this song while being transported to physical therapy and dug it. I’m not much of a big Christian music fan, but a good song is a good song is a good song. This is catchy and it’s simply a great bit of music.

2021/02/08

2021 – Day 39b

Da Goddess @ 05:44

There’s a post from yesterday (which I couldn’t publish due to connectivity issues) on another device I can’t access at the moment. In that post, I mention I’m working on something about the coronavirus and basic health concerns. It ties in with the discussion happening in the comments from this post.

As someone who spent a lot of money and time on education to become a registered nurse, and who spent a great deal of time continuing my education in the pursuit of practicing the best care possible (I still do this even though I’m no longer licensed because I want to stay informed and I like to learn), I value the wisdom that comes from those who are on the forefront of medical care — through research and clinical practice — and I have to take care to approach new information with an open mind free of personal or political bias. To be frank, disease doesn’t give a flying fuck what party you belong to or who you vote for. Disease just happens. And we fight disease with science, with fact, and with the knowledge that addresses the disease. Politics may decide funding and dissemination of information to the public, but the actual fight against the disease isn’t political for medical professionals on the frontline. It can’t afford to be.

Anyhow, I have thoughts. So many thoughts. About Covid and healthcare in general. About how information is spread. About how people want to believe in practices other than that based on scientific and medical facts. I’m all for complementary medicine — homeopathy and holistic approaches — when they’re used in conjunction with that of conventional medicine. Together, that’s where the best stuff happens. I have a few too many friends who rely on homeopathic remedies and/or supplements as their own personal shields against disease and who then are surprised when they discover they’re ill.

Basically, my thoughts cover all of this and more and it’s coming. I just want to say it right.

So, please feel free to join the conversation in this other post and I can address topics of concern directly.

My goal isn’t to make anyone feel bad, but to open minds and hope that logic and common sense win out over what feels to be self-interest (even when it’s not intended as such).

I love you all and value our conversations, whether here on the blog or via email or text or phone calls. So, don’t be afraid to join in. I won’t bite. I promise. It’s not hygienic and it’s difficult to do while masked.

2021/02/01

2021 – Day 32

Da Goddess @ 16:25

I see the folly in my new title system. It’s not a flaw, just a folly. I’m going to have to keep count of the days…as in today is number 32 of 365. This may get confusing. This will get confusing.

I’m ready for the challenge. Possibly.

P.S. I hate the new Chrome tab layout.

2021/01/29

2021 – Day 29

Da Goddess @ 02:03

I’m still (mentally) on Day 28, but it’s officially the 29th, so blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Health update: first, my sister seems to think she’ll be “better” on Sunday, as if Covid is predictable. I’ve told her to not worry about the timeline as it’s arbitrary and the most important thing is for her to just get healthy again. My friend who had it over the summer is still struggling with respiratory symptoms (diminished lung capacity is the biggest problem) and everyone seems to recover differently from this virus. What tends to be true for the majority of people who’ve been infected is that it takes a while to feel like yourself again.

More than anything, I really just want my sister to feel better. I want her to be as fully recovered as possible so that she can get back to doing the things she wants to do. I know it’s difficult for her to accept such a passive role at the moment, but it’s the best course for her.

I have found I really really really miss our Saturday outings to the grocery store. I miss her giving me the rundown on Mom and her various health problems. I miss just being able to hear her voice and spending those few minutes in the car with her. Our relationship has had its share of speedbumps over the years, but since Dad’s death and then Covid, well, it’s meant we’ve found a new rhythm for interacting that’s been quite lovely. Go figure — it only took a parent’s death and a pandemic for us to hit the right notes of sisterhood!

But again, as much as I miss her and our time together, I just want her healthy. She’s had enough bullshit in terms of health problems the past few years. She really doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does. And I mean NOBODY.

Secondly, Mom’s finally been given some meds to relieve her intractable pain. It’s been emotional torture to hear her physical pain over the phone. I mean, it killed me to not be able to do anything to help her and to know her fucking doctor wasn’t going to give her anything more than Extra Strength Tylenol for the pain that was making her weep all day and all night for over a month. Well, enter Lil Sis and yet another trip to urgent care for help. Mom was finally put on steroids and a low, temporary dose of Percocet. Halle-fucking-lujah! I’ve now had several calls with Mom where she was able to actively participate in the conversation. There are no tears. There’s no distress in her voice. She has actual relief from the pain!

I can’t stress enough how important pain management is. Even if it’s just temporary relief, breaking the pain cycle for any length of time is HUGE when you’re dealing with chronic pain or even an extremely acute flare-up. Mom has relief for now. The pain isn’t completely gone, but it’s been reduced to something livable. Mom’s physical distress is no longer psychic distress as well. Especially in older patients, especially when they’re isolated (as we’ve all been for waaaay too long [but necessarily]). There’s a level of emotional pain that comes with unaddressed physical pain (as I’ve said in my previous post and many others before it) that only becomes more debilitating with loneliness and age and loss of autonomy. To have a doctor refuse to address the problem is a slap in the face and is cruel beyond reason. People don’t let animals suffer like that! At least now Mom is feeling better and, hopefully, this flare-up can just become a distant memory for a good long while.

Thirdly, I had my three months follow up to my diabetes diagnosis. And cholesterol problem. And…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. My labs were fantastic and my doctor declared me his most improved patient for the quarter. I went from extreme danger zone heart disease-wise to “this is what I call healthy and normal” range. My blood glucose levels are more in line with what they should be (there’s still room for improvement) and the doc was impressed with my reduction of my A1C. I went from “so far out of range to somewhere close to acceptable” according to him and that’s good enough for me for the moment. No changes in meds. No changes in anything else, although I asked again for an appointment with a nutritionist. I know that’ll do me a world of good.

I also got referrals to physical therapy for my neck and back (work comp won’t approve/cover it, but MediCal will) and to dermatology for multiple skin concerns. First and foremost, the two areas on my nose that are suspiciously awful from time to time. One lesion has finally stopped scabbing over (never did anything to it to make it get scabby in the first place) and the other has become the current problem. I know 100% that this is the result of unfettered access to copious amounts of warm California sun exposure in my youth. The endless sunburns. The endless exposure without sunscreen (remember when you bought Coppertone because it was a suntan lotion and not a sunscreen?). The years and years of carefree days spent browning like a holiday turkey or ham. Yep. It’s finally caught up with me. I knew it would. And the time is now. I’ll let you know how this plays out.

So, despite the need for referrals, my health has taken a turn for the better. In three months, I managed to undo however many years of unchecked nasty cholesterol and diabetes and am hanging out in a much better health neighborhood. I’m proud of myself. I wish I could say my glucose numbers were better, but that’s a necessary gradual change. Still, I’m regularly under 200 and that’s a major accomplishment for someone who started out over 400! I’m no longer drinking two gallons (+) a day. I’m not feeling the need to sleep all the time (or at least now it’s because I’m tired for other reasons). I don’t feel like I would rather curl up and die. I have real, actual days of not wanting to nap! This is a big deal for me. The last several years were awful and I didn’t know why. Then, BAM! The truth of the matter was made painfully evident via lab work. Now, I’m like a real person again. I’m thrilled!

I don’t know how I managed to ramble on for so long. I guess there’s just that moment between semi-awake and total sleep where the brain can somehow form complete thoughts and demand to let them out. Lucky you! And now you know more about me than you did yesterday, probably more than you ever wanted to know (and I didn’t even get into the embarrassing stuff). But there it is.

Now it’s time to crawl into bed. The Dick Van Dyke Show will wait. I’m going to take full advantage of the sound of rain on the roof to get in some quality zzzzzzzzzs. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a quick phone snap of the late afternoon sky before the storm came in. Sheesh! SoCal has such awful, ugly skies, right? XOXO

Before the storm

2021/01/25

2021- Day 25

Da Goddess @ 20:12

It’s been raining most of the evening and we’ve also had thunder, lightning, and my porch is covered with hail. It’s wonderfully thick and crunchy. Yes, I had to go out to check on it. Inside, I knew it was hailing, but I had no idea what kind of hail it was, hence the checking on it portion of this story. Barley. About the size of barley. Maybe a little bigger.

It was windy, too. Most of the day was exceedingly windy. The branches left on trees after last week’s winds did their best to find their fallen friends today. Last week, our jacaranda lost a huge limb. I did my best to clean up the debris, used an electric saw to do the heavy lifting, so to speak. I had to give up when I got the largest and thickest part of the branch cut into three sections. My neck, back, and brain couldn’t take much more of the jiggle joggle beating that comes with sawing something that big and that dense. I’ll be back at it tomorrow now that there’s even more to tackle. I have no idea what to do about the broken limbs still stuck in the tree though. I mean, obviously, I’ll have to wait for them to come down on their own, but I’ll have to keep watch on them while I’m working to clear the debris on the ground. Not exactly the ideal situation, is it?

This is what jacaranda wood looks like when you cut into it.

It’s really lovely when a storm like this comes through. I like having an excuse to curl up and do nothing. Fletch likes it, too.

Earlier, in between the various waves of rain, I put out some catnip for the kittens. They were already feeling frisky, but I thought it would be fun to see what would transpire with nip thrown into the equation. Let me tell you: it was hysterical! They were having such a good time attacking each other and then rolling around on the porch. They’d get into little offensive strikes from a supine position, wriggle or roll their way closer, slap tails, bat paws, ears back and flat, a little grumble, and then someone would decide to leap up and launch themself at the other. It was so entertaining! I could’ve watched for hours.

I guess it’s time to think about getting out another blanket. At 20:00 hours, it’s 45° and only going to get colder. Because this is an old building with old windows, I have a slight breeze at all times. There’s only so much you can do to combat the chill. The individual heating/AC units in the bedroom and living room are fine, but I can’t take a lot of heat from them. I layer clothing and do fairly well with that, however, the added cold air means I need something more effective. So that’s where I’m off to now: blanket city*!

Stay safe out there, my friends!

* Now I want to watch Community and imagine myself in Troy and Abed’s blanket fort. Maybe also the pillow fort, but less so because of the whole war thing.

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.

2021/01/12

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.

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…)

2020/12/24

11th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

Another song capable of reducing me to tears — and not just this year! I love it so much.

P.S. if anyone wants to buy me (and themselves) something fantastic for Christmas, Tim Minchin’s new album is out and it’s call Apart Together. It’s beautiful, haunting, fun, and a strangely perfect soundtrack for 2020. Though the songs were written before this year, somehow Tim captured the aching loneliness, the absolute insanity, and the deep longing for connection that have become even more pronounced during our extended isolation of this pandemic. I guess it’s true that whatever we’re feeling now is just a magnification of what we normally experience. Anyhow, Walmart and Target have an incredible price on the album and I think you should buy many, many copies of it and share it with a whole bunch of people.

2020/12/23

10th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Justin Hines is a regular here at Christmas and I’ll never apologize for that.

2020/12/22

9th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

This song could’ve been written specifically for 2020. I began crying the moment it started to play. It has been quite a year, hasn’t it? Where do we go from here and how do we get there? The only thing I know is we go forward and the old rule of “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together” applies to us now more than ever. Next year at this time, I want to be with the people I love, the people who make me feel whole, and I want that for all of you, too. So, let’s do the hard work the right way and get back on track. In the meantime, here’s Queen.

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