Getting Back to Normal

I’m sitting here this morning, listening to a Bobwhite outside my bedroom window. Oh, how I enjoy the bird sounds of Spring! Of course, I enjoy birds and listening to their conversations all year round!

In my last post (I think) I mentioned CNN anchor, Jake Tapper, also a novelist who was asked about writing, “Where do you find the time?” To this he replied, “I write every day. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. If you write 15 minutes a day for a week it adds up. Wherever I was I had a laptop and I worked on the book when I had free time. From April through August 2020 I had no commute. I worked from home. That was two hours I would normally have spent driving and parking. The 15 minutes a day rule really works, even if it turns out to be garbage, it takes you somewhere.” I paraphrased in my last post but this time I got the exact quote. Ever since I saw that interview, I have been trying to write for 15 minutes a day! That hasn’t worked out well now, has it? I’ve been trying to write this post all week!

I feel like things are slowly getting back to normal, somewhat anyway. Dad and I are fully vaccinated now. We have enjoyed lunch out several times and I got my hair cut at the salon. I’m so happy to not have that damn ponytail at the back of my head!

It’s pretty exhausting, getting back to our pre-pandemic routine. We just aren’t used to it after staying at home for so long. Sure, we went out for groceries now and then but that wasn’t often. And for the first 215 days of the pandemic, we never went anywhere! What I couldn’t find online and have shipped, my son or a friend would pick up for us. But, we got tired of staying home!

I’ve had appointments with a lymphedema therapist for the past few weeks. That’s exhausting enough, but it wasn’t half as exhausting as jumping through a couple dozen hoops and filling out about half a thousand forms to get financial aid because my insurance wouldn’t pay for it! I don’t have lymphedema, but it could very well turn into lymphedema if left untreated. The therapy is helping; it’s a gentle massage that helps move extra fluid from an area that is swollen. There’s much talking during this massage and it’s so relaxing that I wish she’d be quiet so I can go to sleep! I’ll keep going each week as long as my financial aid will allow.

After my appointment last week, Dad and I went to a Mexican restaurant for a very late lunch because we were starving to death. We were so tired because we’re not used to the long drives (country living, y’all – everything’s so far away) but our stomachs were conversing and planning a take-over! We stopped at a Mexican restaurant that we had eaten at many times before the pandemic. It wasn’t our favorite place but it sure as hell isn’t even on the list NOW. The food wasn’t that great and my refried beans were nearly WHITE! I’ve been eating at Mexican restaurants for many, many years and have never been served nearly WHITE refried beans! (Refried beans are typically made with pinto beans and they are not white!) I tasted their beans and they tasted like they should have but the color was off so I didn’t eat any more of them. Dad and I both got sick that evening, so something wasn’t right about their food! This week, we went to another old fave, Ruby Tuesday, and we weren’t very impressed with them either. The food was really good but there were flies everywhere and I knew why when I went to the Ladies Room. It smelled like pure sewage in there! The server told us they had a sewage problem. (No shit, Sherlock!) Seems to me, that if a food establishment is having sewage problems then they shouldn’t be open to the public, because after all, they are preparing food and people are there to enjoy a meal…not smell sewage!

2 weeks ago, I had a procedure done on my toe. Toe NAIL, I should say. Some of the nail had to be removed (and killed off) because of ingrown nail problems. I’m telling you, the shots in my toe were painful as fuck! It took 4 shots to numb my poor little BIG toe! After the procedure, I felt no more pain and haven’t since. I’m glad it’s over but it would have been nice to get it done months ago. Dad and I have avoided going to the doctor since March 2020. Thankfully, at our clinic they require masks and do a temp check on each person as they enter the door.

Saturday, we decided it was high time to get back to our pre-pandemic Saturday routine! We shopped for produce (and Dad’s wine) and hit the Dollar Tree. Afterward, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Chico! We went about 2 weeks ago, and had a nice experience. They are very committed to keeping their patrons not only happy, but safe from Covid-19. There’s hand sanitizer as you enter, the tables are sanitized before people are being seated, paper menus are used, and you are asked to wear a mask until your drinks arrive at your table. I’m pleased with the tables/seating arrangements as they were never crowded together before and it’s no different now. I don’t feel someone’s breath on my neck and I don’t have to worry about someone bumping into me as I raise the fork to my mouth! It’s a very comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. We didn’t get sick after eating there, and there were no flies and no stink!

So, there’s my 15 minutes+ and I hope it’s not garbage! I’ll be busy for the next month or so getting ready for family to come. I have to clean and declutter – and it takes me a long time because of my mobility issues and pain. I may or may not have time for 15 minutes a day but I’ll sure try!

Until next time,

Aunt Debbie

The Ex-Files – An 80mph Show

Many moons ago, CP and I lived out in the country not too far from the town I grew up in. We were supposed to buy that house, owned by his uncle, but that’s another blog post.

We had been in town one evening, getting groceries. My grandmother was with us. She lived in the trailer behind the house. My daughter, just 2 at the time was strapped into her car seat, next to my grandmother in the back seat.

It was later in the evening, around 7pm or so. It was summer, so it was still light out. CP was driving. I always let him drive because he made me feel like a shitty driver, always nagging at me. I could pull into a parking lot and drive across an empty parking spot and he would be sure to tell me what could have happened had there been a car there. One time, being sick to death of his bullshit, I replied, “No shit. I wouldn’t have been able to drive over the spot if there had been a car there!” I mean, really? What the fuck? Another time, I made a left-hand turn and slightly clipped the right lane of the road I was turning onto. There were no cars on that road or anywhere else. CP had to tell me what would have happened if there had been a car there. I told him, “Do I really look so stupid that I would have turned like that if there HAD BEEN a car there?” But I digress. My point is that I let him drive because I didn’t want to hear his continual criticism.

So, we’re driving home that night after shopping in town. CP was driving normal speeds in town but when we hit the country roads he wasn’t going 55mph, the posted speed limit. He wasn’t going 45mph. He wasn’t even going 35mph! I was exhausted after grocery shopping, taking care of my daughter, the cleaning, the yard, cooking, laundry and every damn thing else and I just wanted to get home. I kept asking myself, Why the fuck is he going 25mph? I kept looking at the speedometer, thinking I was misreading it. I wasn’t. He was really going that slow. I was getting more and more freakin’ aggravated! I just wanted to get home, unload the groceries and put them away, bathe my daughter and get her to bed, finish folding laundry and putting it away…all without his help, of course. It was always ‘without his help.’ I asked CP, “Why are you going so slow?” His response was something about the nice summer drive in the country…yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn’t give a fuck about that at this point because I was tired and still had shit to do.

I told him, “That’s all good and a nice thought but I have a lot of things to do when we get home and I’m really tired.” Did he speed up? Nope. After what seemed like forever, I finally snapped and said, “Good God, you drive like an old lady!” I guess he didn’t like being criticized for his driving so what did he do? He hit the accelerator and kicked the speed up to 35…45…55…I thought to myself, it’s about damn time. But he didn’t stop at 55. His speed went up to 65, then 70. What a fucking crybaby, I thought. Then at his top speed, he was going 80mph, slowing only to make the required turns to get us home. I was gripping the door handle for dear life. My Granny’s eyes got huge and she was hanging on as well. My daughter, thankfully, had no clue. Thank God for seatbelts and car seats.

When we got home, I was pissed. I felt like cutting his fucking throat with a jagged knife. He was in one of his moods now, in his mind obviously my fault. He said absolutely nothing, most likely because he knew I had a fucking temper; he had seen it before. I quickly put all the fridge and freezer foods away, leaving the rest until later. CP was fumbling around the house and then got ready for bed. I got my daughter to bed, no bath. I was exhausted…emotionally and physically.

I wanted to lay into CP so badly, but I knew it was a fruitless effort because inevitably, it was always my fault. Even though I expressed nicely that I just wanted to get home because I was tired. He ignored what I wanted, as usual. I made a comment he didn’t like, so it was all my fault.

Eventually, we had a discussion…about a lot of things. His 80mph show of masculinity was not one of them. He wanted to talk about my 1962 Cougar, sitting idle on the property. It had sat idle for years; first at the house in town and now on the property at the country house. His uncle wanted to show the property but wanted the old cars removed.

The discussion turned to the fact that MY car had been sitting for 6 months while I was left without my own transportation. The car needed ONE part, for the carburetor I believe, and my grandmother paid for that. CP installed the part, after weeks of the car being out of order. Finally, I thought I would have my wheels back but…NO. CP wanted to fucking paint the parts under the hood so they wouldn’t rust!! Weeks and weeks pass, and now 6 months later I was still without wheels. I told him, “I think you like the fact that I’m stuck at home with no transportation. I think you like knowing that I can’t go anywhere without you taking me.” He said that wasn’t the case, but I knew better. He didn’t know that I was NOT home as he thought I was a couple times a week, thanks to friends and family. I’m thankful we didn’t have cell phones back then with GPS, because you bet your ass he would have been tracking me!

Honestly, thinking back about all the shit this man put me through, I’m surprised I didn’t eventually snap and cut his throat. I’m not a bad person, but I sure understand why women kill their husbands or boyfriends! A woman can only take so much! Emotional and mental abuse is just as bad if not worse than physical abuse. One time I told him, “Sometimes, I wish you’d just hit me because at least I then I could defend myself.” But he knew better than that…

My Empathic Heart Is In Pain

I’m having a difficult time connecting with friends I once connected with, or so I thought. Looks like their sense of what is right and what is wrong has been highly compromised by their support of Donald Trump.

Normally, I accept differences of opinion but this goes far beyond a difference of opinion. This is more about a person’s moral compass. This about another side that was tucked away; away from others, away from me. I’m seeing a side of people I never knew before.

I have to remove myself from these people, these friends, because they’re tearing my heart out. Their racist remarks make me think ill of them. Their lack of compassion towards others breaks my heart. Their willful ignorance of the facts and touting “fake news” because the mighty orange one said so makes me want to scream. Their sources of information come from websites/articles not even written by professional journalists and they seek only sources that agree with what they already believe to be true.

These friends, some I have known most of my life and others maybe a decade or more (or less) think the Muslim women in Congress should “go back to where they came from” and they totally disregard that these women are AMERICAN CITIZENS! A person’s religion or skin color does NOT make them unAmerican.

There are those who believe every government conspiracy that comes across their Facebook feed in a meme without any fact-checking. And I don’t mean fact-checking on fly-by-night websites either! To research the truth, one must go to multiple sources and use critical thinking skills. Oh, wait. Some folks aren’t capable of critical thinking! They take what they are fed. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the government, OUR government, is always truthful and transparent. However, just because you don’t understand how something happened doesn’t automatically shout cover-up!

Some friends believe that immigrants shouldn’t be helped. I know we can’t help them all, but the pure hatred some show and speak towards those fleeing from violence and oppression is terrifying to me. How can my friends be so hateful? And what about those affected by the hurricane in the Bahamas? Is there a reason why they shouldn’t be helped? They have nothing and we have everything!!

My empathic heart is in dreadful pain. It’s exhausted. I’m exhausted. I can’t bear to listen to or read another hateful word. So, I shall close myself off from those who cause me this pain. It’s bad enough to hear hatefulness spewing from a man who is supposed to represent this country. That man does not represent me.

grayscale photo of woman covering her mouth using her hands

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Dry Spell

I’ve been searching my brain for days, trying to come up with something to write about. I guess it happens to everyone, but I wish it wouldn’t happen to me. I’m not even sure where this post will lead; I suppose we’ll find out together.

My pain level has been pretty high this past couple of days. I suppose that’s why I’m struggling with my writing. Chronic pain causes exhaustion, lack of concentration, and a total lack of desire to do anything, It takes everything in me to shake off that kind of depression. It’s difficult to do but when something you were looking forward to gets ripped right out from under you, it’s even harder. You wonder, “Why the fuck do I even try.”

Next week, I’m getting Gel One injections in my knees. I’m hoping this particular type will help more than the last, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m not too anxious about the shots since I went through this 6 months ago. I know what to expect now and I know it’s not painful; it’s mostly just pressure in the knees and a little uncomfortable.

I am looking forward to seeing my sister, my daughter and my grandson very soon! I wish I could cook like I use to. I would love to cook up a feast for them! The house could use a good deep cleaning….but I can’t do that either. The grandson is nearly 4 years old now. I haven’t seen him since he was less than 2 years old! I’m pretty sure that if my furbabies knew about this visit and could offer their two cents, they would say, “Noooooo! Don’t let them come!” I’m also sure they will make themselves scarce during the visit! They’re just not used to little people with loud voices!

Dad had a coughing fit tonight and just about scared the daylights out of me. He was eating tootsie rolls and I always warn him to be careful. Chewy candy, in general, produces too much saliva. Anyway, I thought I was going to have to do the Heimlich Maneuver, but he caught his breath and coughed it out. Thank goodness. That man scares the hell out of me sometimes. He will be 81 in February.

It’s nearly 1 a.m. as I type this. I should go to bed but I’m half-ass watching this LMN movie about a crazy guy stalking the neighbor woman whom he apparently knew in the past. She knows him from somewhere but can’t put her finger on it. It will all come out in the wash! These movies are so predictable and seriously if you’ve seen one it’s a safe bet that you’ll see another and another with the same plot with different actors!

Well, my eyes are getting heavy and I keep hitting the wrong keys. I must be tired. I hope my pain level is lower tomorrow because I have some errands to run. Dad and I usually have lunch out on Saturdays too. It would be nice to be able to enjoy some time away from home without too much pain….but, that’s my life. I do what I can, when I can.