Memories

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Ever since my mom died, I have said that nothing could ever come close to being as awful as losing someone to suicide.

It wasn’t meant to be a fucking challenge.

I was wrong. Watching someone you love being devoured by the vile evil that is dementia/Alzheimers gives losing someone to suicide a run for its money. In a way, it is just as bad. Each is life-alteringly destructive in its own way. It is awful living with the knowledge that my mom chose to leave us behind, but watching my beloved aunt leave us this way is devestating.

My aunt Virginia has been my rock for a long time. She kind of stepped into the role of surrogate mother over the years. I lived with her and my uncle Ron twice, for about 6-8 years total. Though we at times drove each other crazy, I loved both of them fiercely, and know they loved me too. Virginia has always been able to help me through tough times–she was one of the first people I would call when I needed a shoulder to cry on. She was also one of the first I would call with good news. It was her I was most homesick for when I lived in Illinois, and it was her that didn’t hesitate to tell me, when I called frantic because I wanted to come back to Iowa but had nowhere to live, “of course you do, you know you can always come home”. Those words, which may seem fairly innocuous to most, still make me cry as I type them today. You see, since my mom died, I’ve never really felt like I had that–a home base. I’d hear people say they were going home for the holidays and I’d feel a hollow ache in my heart because I didn’t have that. Don’t get me wrong, I had places to go and loved ones to celebrate with and holidays were good…but I still missed having that sense of going home. In that one sentence, Virginia filled that hollow space once and for all…until fucking dementia came along.

Over the past few years, I have watched as this vile disease has eroded away the amazing woman I love so much. Her sense of humor, her wit, her kindness, her life stories, her silliness–bit by bit it is being stolen away. She can no longer enjoy her favorite movies because they confuse her. She forgets names and places and favorite things. She has trouble doing some of the simplest things. She can’t remember who is alive and who isn’t-except my uncle Ron, she almost always remembers he’s gone and misses him desperately. She often becomes angry and lashes out cruelly, even violently, at anyone and everyone–something so out of character it is beyond devastating to behold. She is often paranoid and convinced that she’s going to be killed or that she has killed. She strings together words that make no sense.

But

Sometimes she returns to us. We get glimpses of the humorous, silly, smart-ass woman we love. The gleam returns to her eye, and for just a little while we have her back. In those moments, we laugh with her again like we always have. And sometimes, we cry with her as she mourns. We live in the moment, whatever it may be, because she is in that moment with us. Until she isn’t. And that is what is the kindest cruelty of this fucked up bastard disease. Those moments where you get them back, only to have them yanked away again to that dark place where you can’t reach them. You’re grateful for those moments, live for them, but they are cruel because they make the bad times hurt even more.

I miss my aunt so much. And it hurts to see her slipping away. But I will be there every chance I get, waiting for those moments. And holding her hand in the darkness.

Fuck you dementia

RIP Uncle Ron

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Cancer sucks. Yesterday it stole another amazing person from the world–my uncle, Ronald May. Uncle Ron was funny and helpful and loyal and kind and good and ridiculous and generous and he liked watching racing and he loved trains and he was great with cars and he loved his family and we all loved him. He used to walk around the house singing obnoxious little ditties cheerfully and rather horribly, delightfully doing a little jig or ending with a big flourish just to make my aunt laugh or roll her eyes in exasperation at his antics. He and I once drove her crazy by repeatedly bursting into song every time the word ‘sign’ was mentioned on the entire drive to and from Tennessee, doing our very own howling rendition of the song “Signs” over and over until Virginia nearly throttled us. He never once yelled at me for always pestering him when something went wrong on my many cursed piece of crap cars. Time after time after time, I’d call him up and utter the famous “Oh Uncle Ronald” in a distinct sing-song way that signaled I was calling to bather him AGAIN. And he always did what he could. He would patiently check and see what was wrong and either fix it or tell me what I needed to do…every single time. Considering the number of cars I’ve had that went to crap over the years, the man was my patron saint of cars. But he was also fiercely loyal and generous and…well, he was just an amazing man. I have so many stories, moments that I hold in my heart, moments of laughter and tears and happiness and even times he drove me crazy. He wasn’t perfect, but he was one of the best men I’ve ever known, and I’m going to miss him. And cancer can just fuck all the way off.

I’m Fairly Certain September Tried To Kill Me…

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September was not my month, to put it mildly. On September 13th, I was walking Sephi, stepped in a hole, fell with all my (rather considerable) weight on my knee replacement knee, then continued forward onto my hand, then my cheek hit the sidewalk. It was all very graceful and delightfully painful and terrifically, horrifyingly embarrassing and I was pathetically grateful there were no witnesses that I am aware of. Sephi was super sweet and kept circling around me and whining and giving me kisses and was just very concerned about the whole situation. Luckily I had my phone with me (it is completely irrelevant that the only reason I started consistently remembering to take my phone is because I started listening to audio books during Sephi’s walkies!) and was able to get Robby to come take Sephi home and my cuz Jaime came and took my sorry self to the ER to make sure I didn’t wreck the new knee or anything (thanks to my awesome cuz!!!). After a check over and x-rays and such, was told I just sprained the knee and my ankle on my good leg (cause of course I did). So I hobbled my ass home. That weekend, I got sick with the creeping crud. For anyone who knows me or has read this blog, the creeping crud is my long-time nemesis. I used to get this, like, allergy/asthma/bronchitis/sinus/misery making crap pretty much every fall and spring, and sometimes randomly in the winter or summer too, just for fun. It is uniquely my creeping crud. No one has EVER caught it from me, nor have doctors ever seemed to agree on what, precisely, it is. I have dubbed it the creeping crud and, since it is mine, that’s what it shall be. Anywho, then the creeping crud apparently morphed into a bit of pneumonia. Got that cleared up with some antibiotics, but the creeping crud wasn’t ready to quit annoying me yet, so I was still having issues with my asthma and coughing and such the last week in September. Then, on the last days of the month, I started to feel worse. As October started, I felt worse and worse. Finally went to the ER on the 3rd and found out I’d caught Covid, because of course I did. Added bonus? Due to the fact that I was already sick when I caught it, I was much sicker than I probably would have been otherwise. Yay. I was told I was extremely lucky I had gotten the vaccine as it was most likely the only reason I didn’t end up in the hospital. I did end up getting the antibodies treatment, having to monitor my oxygen level annoyingly frequently, and being unbelievingly, completely, utterly, miserably, sick for what felt like forever. I seriously have no memory of ever feeling that awful at any other time in my life. I’m so lucky for my amazing bff/cuz Robby, who came over pretty much every day to check on me and make sure I ate something and he took Sephi for walkies–he was a life saver!! And my sis and my bffs Caron and Tom continually texted or messaged or called to check on me pretty much every day, which was super sweet and a nice pick me up on those miserable days! Covid did leave me with some long haul issues with asthma and coughing, but at least I no longer feel like a truck hit me, so there’s that.

In other news, my dog’s still as adorable as ever, my back’s now bullying me daily, my car had to go to the doctor, my Christmas village might have to wage war with Caron’s village cause her village has cool stuff mine wants, and I’m actually sewing a crap ton of Christmas presents this year! Like, we’re talking a LOT of them–I’ve already done most of the work on over 50! And yesterday I hand sewed and fixed a hat and a pair of socks–I’m like Martha fucking Stewart or some shit!

Randomosity:

Laters

My Brain Is Rather Bursting To Blog

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I feel it only fair to warn you that this may be a very bizarre blog. My brain is all kinds of full of random thoughts that apparently want to escape the dark confines of the cranial prison they currently reside in. In other words, buckle up kiddies, this could be one very bumpy ride.

I was watching a documentary the other day about a group of Syrian citizens who were fighting against Isis by reporting their atrocities to the world. They record the executions and the food shortages and the child soldiers, and they do this even though they will be executed if they are caught. Many of them have had to flee their homeland due to being identified, moving from one ‘safe house’ to another, from one country to another. They continue showing the world the atrocities even as their family members or friends are found and killed as retaliation for their actions against these terrorists. These brave men are risking everything, have given up everything, to show the world what is happening to the innocent citizens of Syria. They are constantly at risk of being located by Isis and murdered. I truly admired their bravery and determination to fight. So when the documentary showed German citizens staging a protest against immigrants and refugees and chanting for them to be deported, I was absolutely appalled. Deport them?? Really? It would be kinder to just shoot them, since deporting them would be a guaranteed death sentence. It made me think about how people all over the world are all anti-immigration and, as usual, I got all kinds of disgusted. How can people be so cold and uncaring? Especially in America? We are literally a country made up of immigrants! How on earth can people now say we don’t want immigrants here?? It is mind-boggling to me how people can see what is happening to innocent civilians under Isis, but refuse to help them. Or see the desperate situations of so many others around the world. Sometimes, I truly don’t understand humans…and sometimes, I just don’t like them all that much.

My Sephi Rae turned one at the end of August! She is still very much a pup, but she is pretty much done growing I think. She is so adorable and sweet and silly and smart and cuddly and funny and cute and she’s a total mini moose and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I sleep so much better since I got her, even if she is a total bed hog. She makes me smile every day and snuggling up with her on the couch is kinda my favorite thing.

I can’t believe summer’s over already. The Minnesota trip was beyond awesome and the Garth Brooks concert was amazing. Went to the park with Robby and Sephi a few times and let Sephi play in her pool a few times too. Anytime she’s in water, Sephi’s happy, so I tried to make that happen as often as I could, though I feel bad it didn’t happen more often. The river is too high to take her now, but hopefully it goes down enough to let her swim at least once more before it gets too cold. Can’t lie though, totally looking forward to thermals and hoodies and all that!

Dementia and Alzheimer’s and cancer can fuck all the way off. They creep in like some kind of vile ninjas, slowly, silently, insidiously invading loved ones and stealing bits and pieces of them away, gradually at first, so you barely notice anything is amiss. Then, suddenly, they spring from the darkness all at once, ramping up their attacks to devastating levels. All the while, you can do nothing but hold tightly to your loved one, trying desperately to hold their rapidly disintegrating self together, knowing you’re not enough, but refusing to let go. Often, cancer can be beaten back by medicine, medicine that is itself a necessary attack on your loved one. The others? They always win. We will inevitably lose our loved one to the hungry jaws of the memory monsters. I fucking hate them.

I’m reading a book about folks that have, through choice or circumstances, become modern day nomads. They live in vans or trailers or RVs or whatever and they travel from place to place for work and what not. On one hand, sounds kind of neat–no rent, see lots of cool stuff, traveling is cool, etc. On the other hand, and this is a biggie, I LOVE MY STUFF! My books, my movies, my oddities, my yard stuff, MY BOOKS, my dolls, my old suitcases, my snarky tees collection, my books, etc. My one bedroom apartment barely has room for my stuff (books), where the hell would I put all that in a van?!? I mean, some of these folks have storage spaces they rent by the year, but that would kinda defeat the purpose in my opinion. I mean, maybe if it was one of those bigger, fancy RVs with all the hidey hole storage spaces….maybe. I have an awful lot of books. And my Christmas ornaments don’t fit on my tree now, they definitely wouldn’t fit on a smaller tree! Yeah, don’t see it working out for me.

Randomosity:

I have a lot of magnets on my fridge and I still want more, which is probably weird. I’ve never actually seen a rat ‘in the wild’, which is probably good considering my reaction to mice and bats. Rat-hunting dogs are rather small…probably so they can go where the rats are? EEWW! I definitely do NOT want to teach Sephi to catch rats–that is totally awful! In case you’re wondering, I’m watching a VICE news thing about rat hunters in New York. Well, Sephi is whining to go outside, so I better go. TTFN!

Peace Out Scouts!

Mickenzie

Here I GO Again On My Blog…

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Sorry it’s been so long, I totally suck, I’m fired from blogging, blah blah blah.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to introduce y’all to the one and only Persephone Rae Guccilatte Marchelle Novella (Sephi or Sephi Rae most of the time)! I adopted her from a rescue in Missouri the weekend before Halloween–she was 7 weeks old when I brought her home. She is smart and silly and lovable and sweet and goofy and, currently, obnoxious as hell. She just started her official training today to learn manners since right now she is pretty much a mini moose-zilla (fuck off spell check, that is totally the only word to describe her), mowing down everyone with her enthusiastic adoration/attention whoring. She is my emotional support dog and she has truly brought so much light and life into my world, I don’t know what I’d do without her.

The day I brought Sephi home
Here she is around Christmas time
“Paint me like one of your French girls”
Here she is a couple weeks ago at her favorite perch, leaning on the arm of the couch and keeping watch out the window.

So I had a super exciting thing happen in my usually not exciting life! I am constantly entering the giveaways on Goodreads–I mean, c’mon, it’s free books people! I never win, of course, but I enter the giveaways anyway. Call me an optimist or maybe an idiot, whatever. Anyway, when I saw that they were doing giveaways for the Bloggess’ new book, I entered them every chance I got. AND I ACTUALLY FRICKING WON!!!!!!! I won Jenny Lawson’s new book Broken!!!!! I not only finally won a book, I won my favorite author’s book!! And it actually already came in the mail and I’m almost done reading it and it’s amazing and EVERYONE ON THE PLANET SHOULD READ HER BOOKS!!

Next week I’m going in for a new procedure and I have to admit I’m a bit nervous. See, I have this issue with my lower back where it basically kinda aches all the time, especially if I stand too long or sit still too long or walk too much or, you know, live. Then, sometimes, just for kicks, my lower back just loses its fucking mind and completely freaks out and hurts so bad that breathing is painful and it goes on for a day or two days or up to a week and it sucks utterly. I have been trying trigger point shots and different meds and such but nothing really helps except the couple times it was so bad I actually went to the ER and they gave me, like morphine or something, but that’s not exactly something I want to do every time my back tries to kill me. So my pain clinic and my doc recommended I get an epidural…you know, the big ol’ spine area shot the give ladies when they’re in labor?!?! Yeah, it’s like that, except apparently it’s not the same medicine…but it’s still a needle IN MY SPINAL AREA! Now, I am totally not someone who has an issue with needles. I have absolutely no issue with needles 99.9% of the time. It’s just, well, IT’S MY SPINE! I will of course do it, it’s just a teensy weensy bit nerve wracking. Cause it’s my spine.

Randomosity:

I would TOTALLY attend a duck fashion show and it would be ah-mazing, because the ducks are waddling around in little dresses and hats and that is a level of adorable that would make my whole year. It’s a little disturbing how excited I was to discover that Discovery+ has EVERY SINGLE episode of Toddlers and Tiaras. I know most folks ranted and raved about how awful that show was, but obviously people watched it since it lasted so many seasons. I’m just being honest about the fact that it is a guilty pleasure of mine. I find it beyond entertaining–it’s like Rupaul’s Drag Race in miniature…only not. Also, if folks were fair, there were a lot of kids who honestly loved getting all made up like a princess and doing the pageants, and some of the parents weren’t crazy or pushy or any of that. Granted, most of the parents they showed were bat-shit, since they make much more entertaining TV, but not all of the parents were that way. Admittedly, I find the whack-jobs beyond entertaining, even when I find their behavior utterly reprehensible, if for no other reason than I can sit and scornfully mock and belittle them while feeling delightfully superior, which is probably wrong and such, but it is totally true. That’s one of the best parts of watching many of my favorite shows actually–Cops, Intervention, Hoarders, Beyond Scared Straight, Toddlers and Tiaras, etc. I mean, how do you not feel better about yourself and your life choices while watching someone insist the drugs a cop found in their underwear aren’t theirs or when someone’s home is so stuffed with crap that a shovel is needed just to unearth the floor? Okay, maybe if you’re a really good person, you wouldn’t sit there feeling all better about yourself, but I’m okay with the fact that I’m a rather snarky, judgmental bitch. I came up with a new word recently, well I think it’s new anyway. I noticed a fella had installed a hook and eye latch to hold his trucks tailgate in place and I thought to myself that he must have been very impressed with his own redneckery, but spellcheck isn’t telling me it isn’t a word so apparently I totally did not invent it. Which makes sense because it seemed like a word that should already exist since it was a super fun word and very appropriate. I should really go pick up Sephi’s poo while she’s sleeping cause then it’s easier to go outside without her wanting to come out too, which I totally do not want her to do since she is super unhelpful in poo pickup. It would be neat if I had a service monkey to pick up the poo for me. Oh! And the monkey could ride around on Sephi’s back and play fetch with her (if she ever figures out that she has to let go of the toy she wants you to throw in order for you to throw the darn thing) and they could be BFFs and my pup would totally NOT eat my monkey because she’s going to be well-trained by then, and it would be AWESOME.

Peace Out, Girl Scouts!

Suicidal Spiders And Other Annoyances

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So, I’m pretty sure a cult of suicidal spiders has moved into my apartment.  See, I always make it a point to periodically announce “if I don’t see you, I don’t squish you spiders!” throughout my apartment, giving spiders plenty of warning about how things work around here.  I feel this is incredibly thoughtful of me, considering spiders give me the heebie-jeebies.  However, they also devour bugs, which I also loathe, so they have that going for them whereas most bugs are just creepy little icky things that just need to go away.  Which means I don’t really WANT to kill spiders…but…well, they were warned darn it.  The past week has been particularly spidery and it is becoming exceedingly annoying.  I have had to squash 3 spiders in my bathroom and 2 in my bedroom!  Seriously y’all, I think I have some sort of suicide spider cult on my hands!  I mean, I have clearly warned them–repeatedly and in an increasingly shrill shriek–what will happen if they cross my path!  yet they continue to prance right on out into the open, heading straight for me and, ultimately, their demise.  And every stinking time I am forced to squish one of these kamikaze spiders, I stand there waving the instrument of squish and hollering, “Damn it, I said if I don’t see you I don’t squish you!” at the stupid thing.  As thought this will somehow make him see the error of his ways.  Like he’ll suddenly stop, smack his tiny spider forehead (do spiders even have a forehead?) and say, “Oh!  You’re quite right!  I am dreadfully sorry, it simply slipped my mind!  Won’t happen again!” before turning and politely getting the hell out of my apartment.  Somehow, don’t picture that happening.

I start my self quarantine tomorrow.  For the next 2 weeks, I am totally going to hermit myself off from the world as much as possible.  Absolutely no unnecessary trips to the store, no visits with friends, no polite chatting with the oh-so-friendly neighbor—nothing.  If I do have to go to the store for some unavoidable reason, I will don the gloves and mask ensemble.  In other words, I will actually do all the stuff they have been suggesting we all do anyway that I have only sorta done.  All so I can go see the niece and sister and the Steve.  Since my niece has a weaker immune system, she is in the high risk category for Covid (which I am as well, I just don’t worry about me so much).  I refuse to take any chances with her health, so I am going into social lock down for the 2 weeks proceeding my visit to do my best to ensure I don’t do anything to inadvertently endanger her.

I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that they are starting to reopen stores and such.  On the one hand, yay for shopping!  On the other hand, the number of cases is increasing every day.  People are all kinds of eager to holler about their rights and how this is ‘Merica and no one can keep them from their freedom to shop and whatnot.  I totally get the folks who are out of work wanting to reopen so they get their jobs back, but the folks hollering loudest aren’t those folks–nope, they’re the douche canoes that just don’t like being told they can’t do something.  Kind of like when you tell a toddler he can’t touch a hot stove and then that becomes that which he most wants in the whole world.  And I really don’t get warm fuzzy feelings when they start talking about how it’s mostly ‘just people with pre-existing conditions’ that are hardest hit, that are dying.  First off, that’s not entirely accurate as there are tons of instances where someone was perfectly healthy before contracting Covid and they still died from it.  Secondly, folks should take a minute and think about the people that fall into that category.  It isn’t just frail old people in nursing homes.  It’s me.  It’s my 12-year-old niece.  My friend’s 11-year-old son.  My bff/cousin Robby.  My little cousin who was born premature.  The list of people I love who fall into that category is long, and I’m willing to bet it is for most folks if they actually think about it.  Guess we’ll just have to go with the flow for now and see how everything goes.

Randomosity:

I was watching some videos of actual 911 calls and I decided it is a really good thing I never tried to do that job.  I have little to no patience for stupidity, nor could I pretend to have sympathy for someone who just slaughtered their family/lover/friend/etc.  One video in particular left me absolutely bewildered.  A man called 911 when he somehow drove himself into a lake.  He was still in the sinking vehicle when he dialed 911.  He told the lady where he was and what had happened and when she asked what kind of car it was he answered’ “a brand new Cadillac”…that’s right kiddies, he went to the trouble to point out that his rapidly sinking vehicle was brand new.  He and the dispatcher went back and forth a bit and the call abruptly cut off.  The man was found dead in his fully submerged SUV.  The dispatcher was reprimanded because she never told him to exit the vehicle.  *stunned silence*  Y’all, if you are in a vehicle that goes into a lake, why the hell would you need someone to TELL YOU to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE GD CAR?!?!?!?  Seriously?!?  NO one would need to tell me this.  I would definitely be able to figure that one out all on my own.  Shit, I would of been scrambling out Duke boy style as soon as the car hit the water!  No way in hell would I be waiting in there for someone to TELL me to get out!

My buddy Desi has decided that from now on, anytime I tell her a story, she’s going to record me.  Apparently, she is convinced my weirdo story telling would be amusing to people on the internet.  I personally think people would find me beyond whackado and rather obnoxious.  But what do I know, people find it amusing to watch grown folk pee on themselves on purpose so there’s that.

I hope I get to plant my flowers today.  And make hamburger surprises!  If I do, I will post pics and the recipe for surprises (one of my fave foods ever).

Laters Gators!

Another Blog! Already!

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It’s totally crazy cakes, right?  Two blogs in the same month?  Just nutty!  Even weirder, I don’t really have anything in particular to blog about.  I guess I could grouch about the fact that I still haven’t received my COVID-19 stimulus check.  Starting to think my bad luck fairy has decided to rear her ugly, evil-assed head to somehow screw things up once again.  I have no choice but to wait and see if the darn thing ever appears, since I have no control over it at all.  Siiiiiigh.

I have three appointments this week, aside from my usual PT and counseling.  I will be seeing my foot doctor, my pain clinic, and the balance therapist.  I still find it a bit amusing and slightly disconcerting that my balance sucks enough that they decided I need specialized testing to pinpoint the issue or issues causing the problem.  I mean, I’ve always had sucky balance and issues with vertigo, and the whole stupid foot/leg thing has just made it even worse.  But I didn’t think it was THAT bad.  Okay. maybe I did know it was pretty bad, but I just figured it is what it is, right?  Anywho, I managed to get all three appointments scheduled on the same day, since they’re all in the same clinic.  Three appointments all in one trip!

Randomosity:

The documentary I’m watching has these titles/descriptions throughout, basically simplistic introductions to each item of discussion.  I’m fine with that….except that they frickin’ misspelled YACHT.  YACHT, y’all.  They spelled it YATCH!  Good grief.

I really need to get a little garbage can to put next to my little work area/kitchen table.  Ooh, and blackout curtains for my living room windows so I can watch TV from my work area without the giant glare.

A huge thanks to T and J for being amazing!!

Peace out, trout!

 

This May Be A New Record Folks!

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This may actually be the longest I’ve gone without blogging y’all.  Pretty sure I annihilated my previous slacker record entirely! Not even sure I can do an adequate catch up summary, though I will at least attempt a super condensed version of events since I’m considerate like that.

Okay, here goes: on disability now, in my own adorable little apartment, have an equally adorable non-shitty vehicle, still in physical therapy for my still stupid leg/foot, etc etc etc. So yeah, that about sums it up I guess.

So, now that we are all caught up, let’s move on to current events.  Corona. Covid 19. Social distancing. It’s nuts out there, and here in Iowa, things are decidedly extra stupid.  Our governor adamantly refuses to do the whole official state lock down thing, stating that the folks here in Iowa are doing a great job of being cautious and smart about things all on our own without any lock down.  Then she decided that, maybe, just maybe, certain counties should be sternly told to, like, seriously be extra careful and stuff.  Now our number of cases is steadily climbing, Linn county has refrigerated trucks on standby as mobile morgues due to the fact that they are predicting the death toll will soon begin to exceed anything they can handle.  And still our goobernor still claims we are doing just dandy here in the great state of Iowa.  Yep, we Iowans are doing an excellent job of be careful and cautious and all that!  Well, kinda…sorta…maybe.  Except the folks taking the whole damn family up into Walmart and every other store they possibly can.  I admit, I have gone into the store with one or two others once or twice when we each had shopping to do for our individual households–I am not perfect.  However, I have no one to do my shopping for me, so I have to go out and, for the most part, I go by myself to get whatever I need or whatever my aunt and uncle need (I’m trying to get them to stay home as much as possible since they are both very high risk).  But whole families just meandering through Walmart for shits and giggles is a whole different thing.  Or the folks who have removed the caution tape to allow their children to play on the playground with other random children (at least in the places where there is caution tape–some playgrounds are just wide open).  Or the folks having barbecues with their buddies.  Just yesterday, my friend saw several entire families at the store in Cedar Rapids, I saw at least three fairly large get-togethers going on at various houses here in town.  And the orange idiot is encouraging folks to ignore the social distancing idea in favor of opening everything back up again, and since a mind-boggling number of folks around here are die hard fans of the orange idiot, that is totally going to encourage the idiots to keep idioting.  Thankfully, the liquor store here in town is an essential business and will be open throughout everything because, priorities! But we are doing an excellent job of being cautious here in Iowa!

Enough about that stuff, onto non-plague babbling!

I have a brand new laptop!  I was approved to receive one through Vocational Rehabilitation and it arrived right on my doorstep Saturday.  It is totally nifty and fancy and now I have no excuse to avoid writing, which is awesome…and slightly terrifying.  I have struggled with this a lot.  I love writing.  But I am so sure that I’m not good enough at it that I just stopped writing.  I worry that everything I write is just rambling, crappy, stupid, ridiculous crap.  But now, I have to squash that shit.  I have to basically learn to tell that annoying negative fucker hollering nasty things at me in my brain to cram it.  That little bastard is an amazingly persistent fucker, and he just loves to make me doubt myself and my writing.  So, I have decided I will head-on tackle him on the writing shit, and ninja fight him in therapy on the self-hatred shit.  Eventually, I will kick the entire living shit out of him and such.  Until then, I will simply have to learn to tune him out or whatever I need to do in order to get back to writing.  So there.  Take that, annoying fuckface in my head!

Randomosity:

I’ve kinda become a crazy bird lady.  I set up bird feeders outside my window, right where I can watch the birdies come chow down while I work on my laptop or whatever.  I guess I’m sort of a stalker…I’m like a bird creeper or something.  Odd.

Having allergies and asthma during this whole Covid-19 thing is both annoying as fuck and kind of hilarious.  I can clear an aisle at Walmart with one cough, which is far more amusing than it should be.  But, it does get super annoying to have everyone look at you like you’re typhoid Mary or something.  I think I need to start wearing a sign that says something like, “it’s not covid, I’m allergic to the planet” or some such thing.

I’ve started doing puzzles.  A lot of puzzles.  Like, a whole lot of puzzles.  Usually they’re 1000 piece puzzles, of all different sorts of things.  I’ve done scenery puzzles and painting puzzles and puzzles of various collections (movie posters, cereal boxes over the years, old toys, etc) and bunches of others.  Basically, any puzzle I found at Goodwill or Stuff Etc. that seemed nifty, I bought it.  I’ve done, like, 30 puzzles in the last 2 months.

My kitchen table has become my ‘work’ table.  I do my puzzles there, work on my laptop there, work on my sewing there, etc.  I love having the space to do this stuff!  I’ve started making some progress on my mission to learn to sew!  I’ve made two face masks–the first one my sis and I did together via Skype, the second one I did all by my lonesome!  That’s right kiddies, I totally sewed a legit thing all by myself!  And over the last couple weeks I baked banana bread and cooked eggs on the actual stove!  I’m practically Suzy motherfuckin’ homemaker y’all!

I miss my girl time with Caron and Dany.

And I’m sooooooo bummed out that my visit from Carrie, Elise, and Chloe has been postponed not once, but twice!  They were totally coming to visit me and my adorable apartment and the fam here in Iowa and twice now those plans were destroyed.  First by a snowstorm, now by a frickin’ plague.  Siiigh.

I got a letter in the mail from Chloe and the very next week, Elise sent me a card!  They are hanging up in my apartment and they made my whole month.  Particularly the note from Elise, which is hung above my sink where I see it several times each day.  It was, and is, a beautiful and touching little note and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy every time I look at it.  Big thanks to my amazing nieces for being, well, amazing!

Todaloo, Kangaroo!

So I’m A Murderer And I May Be Having A Nervous Breakdown

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Just to clarify, I’m not having a nervous breakdown because I’m a murderer.  Not to say that being a murderer isn’t traumatic and such, just not, you know, nervous breakdown kind of traumatic. Especially since I’m fairly certain that it was more of an involuntary manslaughter really…except it was mouseslaughter, and spellcheck can go to hell because if manslaughter is a word, than mouseslaughter should be one too!  Anyway, I think Zeke may have been suicidal.

In my last post, I told y’all about Zeke, the mouse that was stalking me and hanging out in my bathroom and bedroom.  I had set several traps for him of all sorts, though I kept telling him to go in the no-kill trap–regaling him with tales of how great the field near my house would be for him once I released him into its awesomeness.  I was beginning to think he was some super ninja mouse or something, since he kept appearing in places that required him to go over or alongside a trap, yet he was still just strutting around like he owned the place.  So I was starting to think Zeke was a mother fuckin’ ninja mouse.  He was all like, “Yeah right lady, like I’m gonna fall for your bullshit traps.”  Then yesterday, my aunt says she saw a mouse dropping in the kitchen.  So my uncle asked for one of the traps he had given me so he could put one in the kitchen.  I went to get it, and lo and behold, Zeke had met his end in the trap.  I immediately started shrieking, “I murdered him!  He’s dead!” and “Get him out! Get him out!  Gethimoutgethimoutgethimout!” while doing the freaked out, flailing about dance. My uncle was laughing so hard he couldn’t stand.  At that point, my voice may have gotten even shriller.  “Oh my god this isn’t funny!  He’s dead and I’m a murderer and there is a frickin’ mouse corpse in my room and you need to GET HIM OUT!”  As my uncle kept laughing and my aunt was making unhelpful comments about getting so upset over a mouse, I kept up my harpy-like shrieking and my spastic freaked out dance.  Finally, my uncle got his laughter under control and managed to remove Zeke’s remains from my room.  Leaving me alone with my guilt and unanswered questions.  Why did he run into that trap?  He’d run past it who knows how many times, and then he gets smooshed in it.  And why did he go for one of the murder traps instead of the no-kill trap?  It’s like he didn’t even want to go frolic in the field!  Maybe he was suicidal or something.  Who knows with mice.

Last week I had a bit of a nervous breakdown.  I’m going to be honest here and say that I am pretty much constantly on the brink of a freak out or breakdown.  See, the way things are for me right now leaves me feeling hopeless and helpless and depressed and anxious and frustrated and lonely and worthless and overwhelmed and useless and bothersome and angry and pathetic and empty and broken and brittle.  I just feel buried in the rubble of my life.  So it doesn’t take much to send me spiralling down.  Last week, it was a relative being unkind and getting pissed off at me over the stupidest shit and then other family members got involved and I just kinda lost it.  I called my friend Tom and pretty much had a complete meltdown.  I sobbed and ranted and sobbed some more, yelling at him when he said he understood because no one understands!  And I yelled how much I just wanted to be done, and then I sobbed some more.  The reality is that, sometimes, I just have to let myself stop.  Stop being strong.  Stop pretending everything is fine.  Stop fighting the battle against the part of my brain that hates me, the part that would end me if I’d let it.  Stop hiding the horrific pain that is eating me alive.  I screamed that I wanted to die, and I do.  Then I screamed that I hate that I can never do anything about it, that I can’t kill myself.  Not because I’m scared or anything–I’m not.  I can’t kill myself because I can’t forget how it felt to be the one left behind, to feel the emptiness and pain.  No matter how my brain tries to convince me that no one would care if I died, I know it’s bullshit.  I know there are people who love and care for me, people who would inherit this pain I so wish I could escape.  So, instead of listening to that rotten shit my brain tells me, I allow myself to have a breakdown.  I hate the idea of being weak or vulnerable and will fight it as long as possible.  Unfortunately, these freak outs are happening more and more often as I feel less and less control over my life.  I hate it…but I know that i will have my freak out and then I will suck it up and keep going.  My screaming and yelling and sobbing will be followed by laughter and life will go on.

Actual conversation with Robby when I got lost going to pick him up:

Me: I think I’m lost…shit I am definitely lost…pretty sure

Robby: Well, where are you?  How did you get lost, I gave you directions.

Me: All I heard was to go down Ford Street and keep going and then I think I stopped listening.  And I don’t know where I am!  If I knew that, I wouldn’t be calling you!

Him: I’m not sure how much help I can be if I don’t know where you are.  Any signs?

Me:  Hmm…nope, no signs.

Him: Well what do you see?  Anything helpful?

Me: Um…fields?  A Barn?  Everything looks the same cause I’m in the damn country!  But I turned around and am heading back toward town now.

Him:  Yeah, welcome to Iowa.  Ok, you’re turned around…good.  Now look for (insert random street number cause I’ve already forgotten it)

Me: Ok. Oh yay, a street sign. Oh. Yeah, I’m not even telling you that street number.

Him: Seriously, what was it?

Me: (insert much larger number than the previous one since I have also forgotten that one but totally remember it was not even close)

Him: How the heck did you get that far out there??

Me: Um, I followed your directions remember?

Him: I told you to turn on that street, not drive into the middle of nowhere

Me: Yeah, but you know how well I listen and I totally heard the part about heading out on Ford…and then I apparently missed the rest of it

Him: Obviously

Me: Hey, it’s not like you’ve never met me. You know how well I pay attention! So really, it’s almost your fault I’m lost. Oh! I think I see the sign. Maybe. And I think I might blog this conversation.

Him: Okay. When you see it, you’re going to turn east.

Me:…what the shit? Did you just direction me?

Him: Well, if you’re going to blog this, I should sound all specific and technical

Me: I don’t speak directions! Right or left, bucko, none of this east shit.

Him: Are you there yet?

Me: Yes, and you’re lucky I can only turn that way

And then there were giant potholes he forgot to warn me about, and deer chillin near the road, and apparently my windshield is breathing.

Randomosity:

 

Actual comment I heard on a documentary this week: (man explaining why they think marrying first cousins is a good thing) Think about it, you already know their family and everyone is happier!

I love seeing my little cousins–they are hilariously awesome little shits and I adore them!

I’m relatively certain I would suck at living outside…especially since the planet wants to kill me and I don’t deal well with being cold…or hot…and I hate bugs.

Peace out, trout!

I Finally Have Stuff To Write About Y’all

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So, yeah, I haven’t written a blog in about a zillion years.  Why?  Cause my life isn’t exactly riveting nowadays.  I mean, who wants to read blog after blog full of edge of your seat stuff like “Stayed home all day once again” or “Went to a doctors appointment, then came home. Again.”  Not exactly the kind of thrilling entertainment most folks are gonna be excited by.  Not that my newest updates are super exciting but, compared to the usual snooze-fest, it’s damn near astounding.

First though, quick general update: still not able to work, still waiting for disability determination, still utterly bereft of feline/canine companionship, still living with my aunt and uncle, still striving for hermit status, etc etc etc.

Okay, so that’s out of the way. Onto my first tidbit of yay news! I GOT MY LICENSE BACK!!!! I can officially drive myself to my own darn appointments now and I can go to the store whenever I want and I can go visit the small number of folks that I actually want to visit and I can go have coffee with my former advisor before she retires and I can just drive around the state park when I start to feel trapped and stir crazy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being at home, but more so when it’s MY home…by myself…in solitude.  It’s a little bit of freedom and control coming back into my life and I am beyond grateful that my doctor finally cleared me to drive and Tom is getting Betsey up and going and Ronald and Virginia don’t have to be my drivers anymore (though I will be eternally grateful for the fact that they willingly carted me to the many, many doctors appointments and grocery store runs and such for the last 16 months or so)!  I picked Betsey up from the mechanic place today, so hopefully she’ll be good to go now.  The poor ol’ girl sat in the driveway that whole time, so she needed a bit of TLC (jumped the battery, added fuel stabilizer, added antifreeze, got her unstuck from the ice that tried to keep her in pace, sorta fixed her side mirror, had to replace 2 brake lines, and will be replacing her windshield washer fluid receptacle and her cracked windshield and her window roller-upper thingy and her serpentine belt and hopefully, last but not least, fix her AC).  What can I say, she a cantankerous old lady.

Next tidbit of news is a bit less yay-worthy, but whatever.  I have to have surgery on my thumb next month.  Apparently, trigger thumb is really a thing and, lucky me, I have it.  Tried the whole big shot in my thumb joint bit, and it worked…for a couple months.  Then it wore off and now my dumb thumb is all crabby and hateful.  So I agreed to get the surgery, which I’m having done on the 19th of April.  It feels like a really long time to have to deal with this annoyingly displeased thumb and its constant unpleasantness, but it is what it is.  Oh, and I also agreed to getting the surgery done with just a local anesthetic (boo yeah, spelled that right on the first try!), which means I’ll be all kinds of conscious throughout the procedure.  On one hand, I’m totally psyched because, well, I’m sick like that.  I thought watching them stitch my thumb was awesome, so this should be way cooler.  The only thing that worries me is that I have to sit still through the whole darn thing.  Now, knowing myself as I do, this may prove damn near impossible.  For one, I’ll totally be trying to see what they’re doing, craning and wiggling and straining to get a better view.  Then there’s the fact that, as a general rule, I’m a fidgety, twitchy, itchy mess at the best of times, and get progressively worse the harder I try to be still.  So hopefully I don’t move at the wrong time and permanently fuck my shit up.

I have my disability determination doctor visit the day before my surgery.  I had my final hearing way back in August.  I must admit, if I had the option to say ‘fuck it’ and just go back to work, I probably would.  I hate this.  I hate having to admit that I can’t adult without help, that my body simply will not do what I want it to.  I hate that my mantra of ‘suck it up buttercup’ doesn’t work well enough anymore.  I hate that I’m 42 years old and my body has betrayed me.  I hate that my friend has to pay my bills while I wait for this stupid disability determination because I can’t just go back to work.  I hate that I now have ANOTHER damn health issue that makes everything that much harder.  Most of all, I hate that I feel so utterly powerless.

Apparently, the whole DVT blood clot and its ensuing delights left me with more than the super sexy scars on my leg.  I now get to add something called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome to my list of health issues.  Basically, it means that a bunch of the little nerves in my foot and lower leg are now just worthless lumps of stupid.  I have several areas on my foot that have little to no feeling, my foot can no longer regulate temperature so my toes are always freezing, I have to actually concentrate in order to make my foot land the right way while walking (which is completely bizarre), I have a super hot swagger (okay, it’s a limp, but swagger sounds way cooler), swelling, pain, etc.  And best of all, it’s is almost guaranteed that all this delightfulness is permanent! yay

Last tidbit for y’all!  I’m not sure how many folks remember my encounter with the bat in my apartment many, many years ago, but I’ll give a quick summation.  I had a bat get into my apartment while I was home alone one night.  I spotted it and, of course, shrieked and hid under my blanket.  Then I laid there, berating myself for being such a chicken shit.  I reminded myself about all the factoids I learned from documentaries on Discovery (like I said, this was a long time ago).  So I convince myself that when the bat lands on my blanket, which he totally will, I will quickly throw the blanket over him, grab that bundle of bat filled blanket gingerly, and chuck the whole thing right out the front door (free blanket for my sketchy neighbors!) and all will be right with the world.  Yeah.  Not exactly what happened.  Instead, the bat landed on the blanket and I totally LOST MY SHIT–shrieking and flailing at the blanket like a demented toddler trapped in their suddenly carnivorous blanket fort.  I ended up falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion at some point later that night, firmly tucked under my blanket from head to toe.  When I told my landlord and my boyfriend about the incident, they not only couldn’t find the damn bat, they started looking at me like I was making it up or something.  Come on, if I was making it up, wouldn’t I have made myself sound just a tiny bit less like a total wuss???  Sorry for the trip down memory lane, but it is a bit relevant to this story.  So the other night I was in our kitchen and thought I saw a mouse.  Dismissed it because it was just a quick movement out of the corner of my eye.  Figured I was just seeing things or whatever.  Yeah, not so much.  Later that night, I’m in  my bathroom, minding y own business while doing my business, and in runs a frickin’ mouse.  Want to take a wild guess how calmly I reacted to my nocturnal invader??  Yeah, about like you’d think.  There was a lot of screeching and flailing about, which is exceedingly awkward while perched on a toilet.  Needless to say, I finished my business and got outta there in record time.  Trouble is, my room is right next to the bathroom, so I was just certain the little fiend would follow me.  Sure enough, my heart beat had barely returned to normal when that little bastard went tearing through my room.  After more shrieking and flailing about, I started trying to reason with the little beast.  I was all “Look here mouse, you have to go away.  If you stay here, bad things will happen.” And then it ran right along the clothes hanging in my closet! Y’all, I really freaked then.  Leave it to me to be stalked by a crackhead mouse who apparently has no interest in food, just running around randomly, freaking me out.  So the next day I headed to Walmart to gets some traps.  Now, in case you have forgotten, I am a complete bleeding heart.  Therefore, I wanted the sort of traps that let you catch the vile beastie without killing it.  Helpful hint folks: do not ask for no kill mouse traps at a store in a town filled with country folk.  They will look at you like you are some kind of dim-witted freak.  So I was forced to buy the murdery sort of traps instead, which makes me feel decidedly not warm and fuzzy.  But it was in my room, and that is simply not acceptable.  So now I wait, torn between hoping I catch the little fucker and dreading it.  Preferably, he just left the house right back out wherever he came from.  But he really doesn’t seem that bright.  Sigh.

Randomosity:

I saw a guy at the grocery store a couple weeks ago wearing a big cowboy hat and a big old belt buckle…and velcro shoes.

I’m so excited my buddy Krystal is back!  Can’t wait to go visit, now that I have the ability.

This guy I always called purple truck guy died recently and it got me thinking…I wonder what moniker folks would give me?

I’ve read 66 books so far this year.

I’m sad that I missed my chance to take part in the prison book club.

My 11 yr old niece will get a stamp on her passport this week.  I’ve never even had a passport lol!  I hope they have an awesome trip!

I wish Netflix wasn’t so judgy about how long you binge out on a show, bugging you about whether you’re still watching.  I just wanna be like, yes I’m still here so leave me alone and stop making me acknowledge my wasted life, Netflix, you bastard!

Tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day!

That’s all for now kiddies!

Peace out!