Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Breathe deep, then sneeze

That's about a day's worth.
It's the most wonderful (not) time of the year, which is nearly (I hope) almost over.  That's right, once again it's pollen season in the Old North State, during which time we  long to fling open windows and gulp in great lungfuls of fresh Springtime air, but are often thwarted in such attempts by the sheer load of plant sex in the air that devolves inhalation into powerful coughing fits.

We really didn't have a winter this year, it almost never got cold enough to put on a jacket.  The trees don't know when to attempt procreation, so have been flinging out their romance for what seems like an extended period this year.  Then we'll have a freeze, REALLY putting a chill on matters, and a day later it will be 80F and it's knees-out season again.

I keep the windows open when it gets above 65F or so, and a glass of water is at the ready to combat the throat tickle that comes from breathing unfiltered air.  No complaints here - I heard it SNOWED in Maine the other day, and that's just too cruel.

---

So, there was this little basketball game last night.  NCAA finals or something (*wink*).  UNC won - it was a pretty big deal.  Both the kids were at the Dean Dome watching on the jumbotron, along with 10,000 other folks, and I've heard it was quite the event.  Franklin Street, which is on the north edge of campus, was totally swamped right after the game; which is fine because the cops blocked it off in case of a good outcome for our guys.

I did not watch the game.  My heart isn't strong enough for all that stress!

So, yes.  It's been a good year in sportsing my 'my' teams.  UNC men's bball champs, WFHS state football champs, and JMU's team did pretty well on the gridiron in 2016 as well.

No, I didn't watch the football games either.  I'm the kind of person who reads the end of a book before I ought to, too, so there's another thing you can call me 'freak' about.  Surprises and me just don't get along all that well.

---

Well, it appears as though the work truck has leaked out all its electricity, so I'm off to pick up Biff, who just got the thing inspected (!).

Fingers crossed this isn't a $500 repair...we just spent twice that to get it up to code!

Tiff out.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ow, my aching...

Fire. Cracker.
My job requires a lot of sitting.  And staring at a computer screen.  And typing, data mining, researching, blah blah blah.

Oh, I KNOW how lucky I am, so don't make a habit of complaining.

But Lord have mercy I just took a lap or two around the house, then grabbed on to the rim of the kitchen sink and LEEEEEANED forward, stretching backward, and someone shot off a string of those little cracking fireworks right outside my kitchen window.

Oh wait, that was my BACK.

There was much movement of synovial fluid, friends, and I feel taller now.

---

Speaking of synovial fluid...

It's been while since the initial injury that resulted in my slicing off a little bit of my left middle finger right at the base of the fingernail.  It's probably been about a year since I sacrificed a little of myself to the kitchen gods, so the boo-boo healed with just a little defect in the skin because old people heal slowly.

Then, a few months ago, something popped up right in that spot - a swelling, a bleb, and a 'something' that concerned me, so I brought it up with my doc, who said 'it's nothing to be concerned about it just a mucoid cyst.' Better than a sarcoma, thought I, and so went home to research what the HECK a mucoid cyst is.

Turns out, when I went all Master Chef on my finger I cut deeply enough to nick the bursa around the top finger joint, allowing synovial fluid to LEAK OUT, causing the blebbiness.

Then, because I messed with it a a little, it started to hurt, so I did what any reasonable person would do, I pricked it with a pin and POPPED IT.

What came out was a little bit gross, like jelly that's really slick and sticky.  The stuff that lubricates our joints - the precious synovial fluid!!  So gross, so fascinating!  So...yellow?  Ew.

I put a pressure dressing on it and was good for about a month until I banged it on something, and it swelled again, I popped it again, and same deal - oozy synovial goo, only  this time...clear.

Apparently I missed the memo about getting your fluids changed every 40 years or so. Did anybody else know this needs to be done?

The doc said it might go away on its own, it might not.  It might always be with me, a little portal into, well, me.

And that's what happens when you get under my skin.  Goo happens.

Tiff out.

PS - mucoid cysts are apparently really common in folks with osteoarthritis.  Apparently the bones develop spurs that grind away at the bursal lining, and leaky leaky things happen.  How truly dreadful.

PPS - 'The Mucoid Cyst' is my new superhero name.  Guess what my superpower is??

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Watching the storm roll in

The tide is turning.

Rolling inward this time.

IN.

In to the swirl and business, the tumult, the crowd, the chatter.

It needs to be borne, there's no force to conquer the wave.

The edge of the rip tide that's most comfortable to paddle in is swept away.

Instead, a boisterous party surrounds, where friends abound,

Who dazzle and frazzle and exhaust with their love.

It's a weird place to be at for a few hours.

But then the crouch of all the ocean behind the haunch of waves calls

It's time to go, RIGHT NOW, to go hunker on your sand bar

Safe and alone until the next tide hits.

Like breathing, but the out fits better, a sigh not a suck.

Tumble in, breathe out.
--

Putting words down...Tiff out.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm watching you

I don't subscribe to his channel
But I do know who he is...
I'm old enough to remember home movies.  On FILM.  I remember home movie night, when at the end of the film after the free end 'flapped' it's way on to the receiving reel, the screen would show up bright white from the  projector bulb and all the kids would get up and dance in the light like we were on stage.

Every. Time.

Then, home movies became all about capturing those special moments on videotape, and Lord how we were freed from the tedium of having to get the Kodak moments not only filmed, but developed and processed!  Instant gratification was to be had, and it was fantastic.  But, sadly, no light to dance in.  No imagination to spend, all we had was the reality of what had just been shot.

But still - that gratification was sweet, at least for the one time we ever watched the tapes before setting them on a shelf to collect dust.

Nowadays, everyone has smart phones and GoPros and social media AND, if you're really ambitious, a YouTube channel, where lots and lots of other people can watch your home movies!

I'm proud to say that I have only subscribed to 22 YT channels so far.  Is that a lot, or not that many?  I don't Pin or Snap or Insta or Etsy or Lularoe or anything like that as a huge time suck, so have turned to YT to fill my inner void.

There are a few food bloggers in my list.  OK, more than a few food bloggers.  This should surprise nobody.  There are some comedy channels, Buzzfeed in a couple of different flavors, a history one, a couple of gardening ones, a couple that never post but I keep around because memories of good times past, and a re-enacting one that I love because it's so dang calming and educational.  Almost every single one is offering up a teachable moment, it just now has occurred to me.  22 channels and not ONE that's pure drivel, though I was tempted by the 'Russian dash cam' feed a while back.  I figured I could dole those out like after-dinner mints once done with a binge watch, just to clear the head.

If  I have an evening at home with no family around and not much to do, I'll likely be on YT scrolling through the video feeds.  And, if the progress bars on the 'watched' videos are any indication, I get bored about 6 minutes into almost any of them and click away to explore something else.  I like my videos snappy!!  (Tip: video tours of Tiny Houses are almost always really quick if you only have a few minutes to waste.)  No shame - even in those brief spans of time I've learned enough that I can tell you the best time to plant courgettes (Allotment Diary) or how to make isomalt stained glass windows (Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio), or the best way to install a closure that lays flat (too many channels to count - look it up).  I know the best place to get all sorts of exotic Asian foods either on the street or in your kitchen (Foodranger, Mark Wiens, Soukyoung Longest) and why Beauty Blenders are the best (Grav3yard Girl).  I'm aware of how to make an earthen oven (James Townsend and Son), that sometimes you deserve a drink (Mamrie Hart), and political musical comedy is still worth it (Randy Rainbow).  I could go on, but you get the idea.

All of it utterly useless, admittedly (except for the earthen oven thing, obviously).  Completely harmless.

Just like me. ;)

Tiff out.

PS - tell me I'm not the only one with a subscription list 20+ long, please?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How to blow a bonus

Let's just see how many page hits THAT title gets, shall we?  Then dive right in...

This year is the first year in a few years that I was fortunate enough to receive a work bonus.  Listen,  I know how lucky I am to have the job I do, and never EVER forget to be grateful for it, even when occasionally complaining about it, but the bonus is a really nice garnish on an already full plate and sometimes garnish is tasty and useful.
GARNISH!!!

Garnish.

What a weird word.

When the bonus (all that parsley!) showed up in my bank account, I felt rich, as one might expect.  The account had bulked up to something I consider impressive and to an amount that most financial advisors say you should have in your account as liquidity in case of emergency.  Yep, for a moment I flirted with the '6 months of pay' cash level when the accounts were all totaled up.  Giddyup, hiyo, we're on our way to fancy-town!

Naturally, this state of affairs couldn't last.  I live in America, after all, and HAD TO SPEND IT!

Now, before you start to sweat and fret about how nuts  I went with all those monies, it should be noted that I had made plans for that money before even getting it, so I didn't go all willy-nilly and Amazonian cray in this heady new Scrooge McDuck-like fiduciary space.  Nope, I'm not THAT out-of-kilter, though I have every right to be because AMERICA.  :)

See, Thing 1 drives (or, rather, drove) a very old car that was leaking fluids with abandon and wasn't all that reliable anymore.  Overheating, sensors going, you know how it is.  Repairs are costly.

So  I bought a (reasonably priced) car.  With cash.  Because, bonuses are meant to be shared.

Now he drives a much newer, safer, more reliable (I hope) vehicle and Thing 1 is immensely grateful for this development.  He will pay me for the insurance coverage, and potentially start making payments to purchase the car from me in time.  Winning!

Then, because bonuses are meant to be shared, I shared some with Biff so he can finally go ahead with his flight instructor career and get out of the remodeling biz (for the most part).  Customer service can be exhausting, and he wasn't living his dream by renovating bathrooms, so BOOM, bonus further shared.  And bonus...gone.

I have no complaints.  Next year, though, I'm booking travel with any bonus I might get.  That's also a good way to share a bonus, by taking the fam someplace far away (like  Canada!) to experience life outside our little corner of the world.

Dreaming big here.  Canada.  I might just be crazy.

Tiff out.