Here Comes Beryl

If you know me, you know I don’t like Big Storms.  Really, really don’t like them.

Tropical Storm Beryl had reached Hurricane status at one point, category 4, but it was projected to hit Mexico just below the Texas border.   Now, however, it was downgraded to tropical storm status, but will be moving into open water over the Gulf and it has taken a turn aiming almost right at Houston.   I’m hoping it remains a tropical storm.

Thankfully, my new phone is able to log in to both this Web site and, so if shit gets real I will have access to post updates.   AND I recently bought two power banks, each of which will charge my phone at least 2 or 3 times each.  Since I don’t use the phone too much, I expect I will be fine even if power does go out for a day or two.

Frankly, I am more concerned about trees falling on the trailer, but there’s nothing I can do about that now, I suppose.

Spoiled by Prime? I think not!

I woke early in spite of having a gummy at 8:30 last night and being in bed at 10:00.  It was an uncomfortable sleep; the kind where I know I was asleep, but only just barely.  I woke just around 3:00a.m. and within 10 minutes felt a nap was in order.  That will come this afternoon, surely.

One of the first posts I saw on Facebook when I opened it was from a local online friend.  He’s been through a lot of crap and in recent days is recovering from the horrible storm we had a month or so ago.  The place he lived had significant damage and he is now in the process of securing a different sort of abode.  That, of course, is entirely his own story to share, but I was struck by one section of his post: (I have edited it down for brevity and relevance.)

I am spoiled by Amazon prime. As I plan the  [work ahead], I order with deliveries the next day. The [supplies and materials] were all ordered and delivered overnight. Correction. I ordered the [supplies] this morning and they were delivered this afternoon.
The Amazon warehouse system is a marvel to behold. For an older human with no vehicle, the ability to purchase most non-food items without leaving the home, having it the next day, is absolutely fabulous. I can have a car or I can have what I need, I just can’t do both. How to survive on a micro budget.
I feel this, on several levels.
I’m not going to go heavily into the arguments about modern shopping, Big Box vs. Mom & Pop, online or in-person, self-checkout vs. full cashier service, etc., etc.  Those arguments are, in my opinion, a waste of time and rarely convince those who make other choices.
I will say here that I was blocked on Facebook by someone who posted about the evils of using self-checkout.  I commented I almost always use self-checkout and gave my reasons.  My comment was clear in the use of “I” statements; i.e., my experiences, my reasons, and not a bit about what others should do.  That person was highly offended and took it as a personal and deliberate insult.  Fuck that noise.  I have no need to coddle people so invested in minor details of living, especially the details of someone else’s personal life.
For an older person with limited funds and limited mobility access to physically go places, certain services have become an essential part of my existence — things like Amazon Prime, Instacart (for groceries), DoorDash (for restaurant food delivery), or Lyft/Uber (for rides to or from places), and several other similar services.
Yes, these services do cost money.  It would cost even more money if I had a car and all of its related expenses — car note, insurance, gas, tires, oil, maintenance, parking fees to go certain places.   When it comes to groceries, I have the choice to walk to and from Kroger (not advisable at my age and condition, and in this Texas heat), OR use Lyft/Uber to get there, OR use Kroger’s delivery service (which is silly because they just call Instacart anyway), OR  can use Instacart.  There is a slight upcharge when using Instacart, but it is less than if I used Lyft to get there since hiring a ride to get to Kroger would be around $25.00 for round trip, probably more when I add in a tip.  Even including a tip for Instacart shoppers, it’s still less money, in my opinion.  Plus, by using Instacart, I’m not roaming the aisles wearing myself out and resisting impulse purchases.
Similar for Amazon Prime.  Besides the online entertainment options and other benefits, using Amazon Prime to get what I need saves me time, money, and energy that I would expend by going to a physical store.
At my age, it is obvious that shopping is not the same as when I was a kid. Some people want to make it a political statement or argue environmental impact or plead for workers, etc.  I can’t change the world or make grand statements about other people’s habits.   I do what I do in the way I do because it reduces stress.
And I absolutely don’t think I am “spoiled” by how things work these days.  Without such access, I would be very dependent on others to take me here and there, or do other things for me.  I am very resistant to the idea of becoming dependent on others for my regular daily needs.  And there are others who earn their money by providing these services.  The so-called gig-economy, staffed by gig workers, is here to stay.
Like I said, I can’t comment on how others choose to manage their lives. I have to do what works best for me, first.

About my brother

Okay, so I briefly mentioned my brother’s health issues.  Scott went in on June 6 for a routine hernia repair surgery, and came out with several cognitive issues.  His son is attempting to gain guardianship of some sort, but it is all expensive.   My sisters have created a GoFundMe to help offset some of the initial costs involved.  If you know my brother and want to help, this is where to help.

Scott’s son Daniel has made a couple trips to Phoenix.  Scott recognized him last weekend at the rehab hospital, but after Scott was moved to the long-term care home, he didn’t recognize Daniel today.  I’m not sure if that is a permanent loss of memory of his son or just part of the adjusting, where he may remember his son one day but not another.  I am very unfamiliar with how this sort of mental decline manifests, but it is troubling to me to know that the brother I’ve known all my life isn’t “there” any more.  His face is the same, his body is there, but his mind is not the same.

And while his son is getting a handle on the logistics for his care, I am discovering how very much I Do Not Want to end up in a similar situation.  And that’s putting me in a weird state of mind.  I know my body isn’t what it used to be, and age is definitely showing.  But my mind still feels sharp, I interact with people online, I do crosswords daily to keep my mind sharp, I walk when I can.   I need to pull out my little hand weights and exercise bands and start using them, as well as doing various dance steps and walking when the weather allows.

Getting Myself In Order

Thanks to my family’s current issues, I seriously need to dig out and dust off my little hand weights/dumbbells and wipe down my stretchy exercise bands.

The issue, in short, is that my brother went in for routine one-day surgery to fix some hernias, and he didn’t come out of the anesthesia well.  He was confused, aggressive, and combative, and had to be sedated a while until he calmed down.  He is still confused, and later today will be moved from the rehab facility to a new home-care setting.  He will not live on his own again.

I need to work on staying healthy and strong, as well as maintaining balance so minimize the risk of falls.  It sucks being reminded I am aging and if I don’t get my shit together I could just as easily end up like my father and my brother.  My father had a stroke and lived in an adult foster home for 7 years, mostly in a wheelchair, although his mind was mostly intact.  My brother has  severe cognitive issues and falls often so he’s not allowed to walk on his own; his bed and wheelchair both have alarms to alert the nursing staff that he’s not where he is meant to be.

I don’t ever want to end like that.  So, it is on me to get serious about basic exercise and mobility.  I might not be able to control mental decline or dementia, but I can try.

What a world, what a world

I hope this is working.  I’ve been locked out of this Web site nearly a month and couldn’t get back in.  I finally figured how to come in the back door and create a login place for myself.

It’s been a rough month or so, and I’ll be dealing with that here over time.  For now I’m just glad to be back in and able to post what I want.  I might even use this theme over on the Knitivity Web site as well, as it appears to work better.  We shall see…

Still A Bit Unwell

Ever since last Sunday, I’ve had gut issue.  Sunday night and much of Monday I was puking with some regularity.  Then whatever bug it was descended to my lower guy, providing interesting races to the toilet.  ‘Nuff said.

Monday I have to get a blood draw to check my kidney function before a CT Scan on Friday.  I had a regular annual follow-up scan a few weeks ago and they had questions.  Not sure what they saw, or thought they saw, but there were questions concerning a “soft tissue mass” in my upper abdomen, so they’re going in with contrast dye to see if they can figure it out.  And then a couple weeks after that I have to do a colonoscopy.  And between the scan and the ‘scopy I have to see the urologist for my annual visit there.  Oh joy, eh?

So I have doctor visits every week the next three weeks, which upsets me because they have large co-pays and they will take time out of my days when I should be tweaking the Web sites and dyeing yarn and making money.   I don’t need that much stress in my life.

And, I realize I will be 70 on my next birthday.  I don’t have a lot of birthdays left.  I don’t want to work until I die,  I want to have some time when I am confident my bills will be paid, I’ll have a place to live and food to eat, and access to things to actually DO.  There’s fairly little to do here, unless I want to visit yet another copy-cat strip mall and spend money I don’t have on things I don’t need.  I would much rather live closer into town with easy bus access to museums, life theater, and other activities in town. I supposed without a major benefactor to leave me a significant trust fund, I suppose I will likely die without doing any of that.

I’m not being morbid or maudlin, just recognizing that the sum of my life isn’t what I would have hope it could have been. Few people will miss me, and even fewer will notice I’m gone, when the time comes.  I’m mostly okay with that, since my whole life has been just that way.

But enough of that for now.  I need to get my crap together for a fairly early night so I can be well-rested for tomorrow, a work day for me.   Yarns to dye and sell, you know.

Better Today…?

After a night of trying to nap on the couch, waking every hour or so to eject whatever was in my stomach, I finally settled into a semi-comfortable position and slept almost 3 hours.  Whatever was blocking my lower system managed to unblock itself and I got some blessed relief.   And (for now, anyway), no urge to vomit with every cough or sneeze.

I’m still going to stick close to the house today (no long walk) just to ensure I don’t need the toilet on short notice. I can start reskeining the yarns and get things ready to ship later in the week.  I just need to go slowly and use caution with whatever I do today.



I am sick.

As if I needed more crap to worry about.  Shortly after supper last night, I got really bad pains in my abdomen, up below the diaphragm.  It felt like everything was swelling.

Long story short, I’ve only slept in fits and starts, interspersed with vomiting nothing much but fluid.  And I’ve not pooped since yesterday.  If I don’t get relief by tomorrow morning I’ll call the clinic.  In the meantime, it is all I can do to just sit here and moan.  And puke.  And look at random YouTube videos.  It hurts in my abdomen to get up for very long, and working the yarns does not feel like it will get done on time.