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23 September 2022

Where is everyone 3-point update [More:]
1. I am doing alright. Busy at work, trying to do more social things, glad it's autumn, my favourite season in the forest, fungi time.

2. I think it's more than likely I'll need medication for high blood pressure. I don't smoke, don't drink, eat a plant-based diet, I'm fairly active, I do yoga, walk a lot and don't have a lot of stress in my life, yet still my BP is off the scale. I need to sort this out. I have a GP appointment next Friday. If it means I have to take a tablet every day for the rest of my life, then fine, then I'll do it.

3. I have a trip abroad coming up next month, my first in nearly 3 years, visiting friends I've missed very much. I feel I've grown old in those three years.

So how is everyone else doing?
1. I just drove 6 hours round trip to obtain an IKEA sofa bed that we have been waiting to be in stock for 9 months. I had forgotten how sucky it is to drive in cities -- let alone Boston. But it was relatively uneventful drive and I started listening to a new-to-me podcast, Smartless, and I enjoyed it.

2. After nearly a year of waiting, a large painting my spouse created has been framed. I pick it up -- and some other art -- on Tuesday. My spouse painted it a year before she and I met, and it has been on a canvas that has slowly been racking. It will be nice to see it on the wall above the above-mentioned sofa.

3. We will be going to upstate NY (Athens/Hudson) in a few weeks for a week-long 20th anniversary get-away, and I have been busy planing that. Even made a dinner reservation at a nice place in Hudson. While we are in the area we will be able to attend Rhinebeck, AKA the New York Sheep & Wool Festival. Me for the first time. Spouse and MiL are really looking forward to that.

3b. We will be hosting a few people for the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival next weekend, so the timing is perfect for #1 and #2 above. Will be seeing one friend whom we met through elizard a few years back, and meeting another online fiber friend for the first time IRL.

3c. We are well set-up for visitors ;)

Senyar, Good luck with the GP appt. Sending vibes. And have a great trip! Did you hear we have a new sofa bed? :P In case you want to go leaf peeping in Vermont.
posted by terrapin 23 September | 15:16
1: I have thrown myself back into biking. I haven't done much for many years but for the last six months I have been riding 15 to 25 miles a day 7 days a week and some days up to 60. I feel physically better than I have in long time. Emotionally I am lost.

The first 4 months after Rosemary's death I was so occupied with the business of death and estates I had little time to really feel anything at all. One estate cascades in the second and third estates and the second rolls into the third. I finally just stopped dealing with it.

Rosemary's best friend since age five came and spent a few days and that was freeing. I have put everything away and other than my cats and my bike I have given time to nothing. With some time to hear myself, I miss my partner in a way I could never have imagined.

I hear about some famous person's death and I find myself thinking 'well he got 24 years more than my wife' or 'she got 16' and 'she got 10 more years'. It's stupid and pointless thinking but it is where my mind goes.

To borrow from the very recently dead Hilary Mantel:

"We are bad at mourning our dead. We donít make time or space for grief. The world tugs us along, back into its harsh rhythm before we are ready for it, and for the pain of loss doctors can prescribe a pill."

I will mourn in the way I need to. I will not be rushed. I am willing to walk away from everything but the cats who rely on me. I will have time for this whatever it costs.

2: The indoor cats are doing well. Casper is still my constant observer. Nora Lou Who still thinks with her tummy and Possum is still the kitten he will likely always be.

The ferals are well too. Rocky stills stares at me with his mouth hanging open and seeing me pet Ginger has him intrigued. He thinks he might like that. Someday. Maybe.

Ginger is much calmer than he was in his youth but still a goofy orange guy. He like his pets and pats and no longer gets so excited he barfs. He wants to be one of the indoor gang and maybe soon he will be ready to make that decision.

Pan just goes on. She really looks old now and she is stone deaf. I worry about her. She is the most independent being I have ever encountered. I am still struggling with whether or not I should trap her and bring her in. I don't want to make her miserable but I don't want to have her die alone somewhere. To quote myself from a letter to one of you bunnies:

"I have in my life watched a number of animals and a number of humans die. Including my wife. There is a moment when something leaves their eyes. It is the most terrible thing but I think it is important to witness. Someone should be there touching you to say I have seen you and will carry you with me until it is my turn to die. No living creature should die alone."

Still a hard decision.

3: Not long before she died Rosemary got a new Honda Civic. She really loved it. Because of the situation with Covid and supply chains she had the choice of black, black, or black. In parking lots it was hard to find because so many cars are black right now. Turns out there has been a paint supply issue and for a while black was just the most available paint.

The first international trip we took after we met we would sit out on the patio in the evening and Geckos would come up and sit on the walls to get the heat as the Sun went down. So Geckos kind of became our theme. To distinguish her car from other black cars I found two reflective Geckos to add to back of the car.

I was dreading to have to remove them to sell it. I just could not face that. Happily my 22 year old nephew is in need of a car and is coming to visit and buy it and I will not have to remove them.

4: Sorry to be such a bummer.
posted by arse_hat 23 September | 22:16
Oh, and Senyar, thanks for the post. I have been contemplating doing a TPS post for about 2 weeks but it just seemed to downbeat to start with my own. I wish all of you well.
posted by arse_hat 23 September | 23:52
No apologies needed, arse_hat. *hugs*
posted by terrapin 24 September | 11:07
1. I spent Friday at the Common Ground Country Fair, was very tired and happy when I came home.

2. I spent Saturday at the Common Ground Country Fair, was very tired and happy when I came home.

3. I spent Sunday at the Common Ground Country Fair, was very tired and happy when I came home.
posted by JanetLand 26 September | 10:45
Arse_hat, you are not a downer. Take all the time you need to grieve... Hilary Mantel is right, we are far too rushed to properly grieve, and then we are told "time's up" and we should "get over it". So wrong, wrong, wrong.

Senyar, have a wonderful trip!

1. For the first time in my life, I am enjoying dinner with friends, meet-ups with friends, visiting places with friends (and my Mr. G). I've always been a homebody, especially thinking I "had" to be home by 5, dinner by 6. Now I'm meeting friends after work, and bringing friends to places I used to vacation alone. After a particularly busy week, the introvert in me needed space!

2. On the other hand, I've been working six days a week because we are so short handed, and I don't want to. The money is nice, but see # 1! I want to DO things!!

3. It's been a revelation that I am actually in the best place I've ever been in my life. Not necessarily location, but far fewer stress inducers (except work), and a much calmer outlook. With age comes wisdom, and perhaps a lot less f***s to give. Now of course, I wait for the other shoe to drop. It can't be this simple for long, right?
posted by redvixen 27 September | 17:33
1. So Jon and I are up here in Atlanta/Marietta from St Pete Beach, refugees from hurricane Ian. I can totally relate, redvixen, on several levels. My hermit self has been wanting to venture out more. Even in small ways, like throwing on some clothes and coming downstairs for some hotel breakfast. Jon's still sleeping, and for once I'm bringing him coffee (and some smuggled pastries from the buffet).

2. I've also been trying for less stress, a more relaxed approach to life, since retiring from teaching this year, but life's had other ideas. First Jon's in the hospital for 68 days with heart then respiratory failure (so grateful to have him back), now a monster hurricane, first to hit Tampa Bay in a hundred years, naturally. Universe doesn't seem to want us to live in Florida. Other shoe indeed.

3. Later today we plan to eat oysters. There's a local restaurant with an "oyster happy hour." We can't drink anymore, but we can eat oysters.

(hugs arse hat, safe fun travels senyar!)
posted by Pips 29 September | 09:57
1. As anticipated, I've been prescribed medication for high blood pressure. When I picked it up today at the pharmacy I was utterly dismayed to see that I am now prohibited from eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice. Grapefruit is probably my favourite fruit, and a treat for me is a tin of grapefruit segments, cold from the fridge. I have quite a few tins in the pantry which will now have to go into the food bank collection bin at the supermarket.

2. The very dry summer and clay soil in this area has resulted in the ground under my flat shrinking, which has led to cracks in the internal walls. There's a very large tree in my upstairs neighbour's garden which has contributed to this, leading to subsidence. It's not serious, and it happened about 15 years ago, when we ended up with jagged cracks in the outside of the building. The insurance sorted it all out, and they're on to it this time too. Last time I was freaking out thinking the place was going to collapse, but of course it was never in danger of that. So this time round I am much more sanguine and it doesn't appear to be as bad, I think because of the remedial work done last time, when wall ties were put in the cavity walls. But I think this time the foundations might need to be underpinned. I'll leave it to the experts to decide that.

3. Changes are afoot at work, where the disastrous changes brought in several years ago are being reversed. We had a meeting with our Transformation Director the other day (who looked as if she'd only been out of school a year or two). Although she couldn't (or wouldn't, more likely) give us any clues about what's likely to happen for the 30-odd of us who are 'legacy' staff from the old system, it looks as if we are in danger (again) of being laid off some time next year.
posted by Senyar 30 September | 12:04
1. I'm running every other day. It's hard to explain to people who don't do endurance sports what the fun is in all that. But I plainly feel better. On my run around the medieval city centre I kept up with a student age woman. So not bad for a 54 yr old geezer.

2. it's nice when your parents live a long life. My mother is 88 yrs old. She has Parkinson. A very slow moving form of it. It's an incredibly slow car crash: she's getting crushed to death, inexorably, one millimeter at a time.
Recently she's become incontinent. She's a dignified old lady. And I know she detests the loss of dignity that comes with incontinence.
It's death by a thousand cuts. It's like the frog being boiled....
When you care about someone you view things from their perspective. And the perspective of being very very old is just literally hopeless.

3. heating cost are exploding here in NL. And DE too probably. Challenging times.

3b. on a more cheerful note: I discovered the podcast The Rest is History. Most of them are a joy. Based on this one I got the 2013 biography of d'Annunzio. Link.
I'm reading it together with a university friend.
A horrible person but in interesting life to read about.
posted by jouke 30 September | 13:23
d'Annunzio that is. Not my university friend.
posted by jouke 30 September | 13:35
So sorry to hear about your mum, jouke. I know you will make sure she has the best of care.
posted by Senyar 04 October | 10:21
Tx Senyar.
I hope it works out ok with your work. Sounds like a difficult dynamic to say the least.
posted by jouke 05 October | 13:00
arse_hat, there's absolutely no need to apologise. Ever.

1. Continuing to be happily married, truly madly deeply etc.

2. Work is still progressing slowly on the house renovation. Three more rooms to go and we're finished. The plan of renovating then selling for profit is waning a bit, as we have no idea how we could replace what we now have. Looking forward to the day we don't have to think about what we need to do and buy for the house next.

3. Work is. Well, I'm not sure. It's over two years since I had what I considered to be my life's work ripped away and I haven't found anything to replace it. What I have now keeps a roof over our heads etc, but I feel nothing for it. Thinking about leaving the industry I love forever and looking elsewhere.

3b. My mother is in pretty much the exact same situation as jouke's. My sister and I spoke with the doctor last week about Mum's advanced health directive to find out whether we are getting close to one of the conditions that would enact the directive's instructions to minimise interference with nature (no resuscitation, no surgery, no antibiotics, just feeding and pain management even if that would hasten death). Not there yet, but it's on the horizon.

posted by dg 23 October | 23:48
Teddy the porcupine does not want to share his corn with you. || Cats I tells ya.