Sunday, January 22, 2023

Waffle Housing and spoiling the dog.


They're what dogs crave!

To get y'all caught up on the weather around here; it was cold, then balmy, then WARM, the cool, and now it's cold and rainy.

I figured you'd want to know.  It's still nothing like winter, and the daffodils continue to push upward and develop bloomy buddies.  We'll see how they do.  They keep coming back, and have done for many years (they were here long before I bought the house) so I suppose they're used to some meteorologic shenanigans and will survive this year too.

Today is for sure just the sort of day made for staying in and lounging.  So of course we didn't.

First item of biz was breakfast.  Sunday is (I believe) the only day of the week that the LOML eats breakfast - every other day there's nothing consumed until after 11 a.m.  The intermittent fasting thing has resulted in about a 25-pound weight loss for him so far, so there's something to that eating plan for sure. 

We drove past a place we know was going to be packed at 10 on a Sunday morning (it was), then we were headed to Panera when I joked that maybe we should just head up to the Waffle House the next town north.  A joke, because I normally won't go there because the weekend host is kind of creepy and that ruins part of the WH experience.  Well, friends, the LOML took me up on it.

There was no host.  Has WH done away with them?  Where's Tom working now?

Nevertheless and once again, in the 100% success string, I had a good meal there. Hashbrowns scattered/smothered/covered and topped = delicious.  Can recommend. Honestly have never had a bad meal at a WH.

Then we made a trip up to the airport to grab some stuff from the hangar, rode around snooping at unfamiliar neighborhoods (so far not tempted to move), then hit up the Tractor Supply for a hitch mount thingie and some dog treats.

Walked out of the TSC with the 5 dollar part and and a receipt for 80 bucks.  That's a LOT of dog treats.

While I'd sit here and read 'Spare' the rest of this afternoon, the LOML has ideas about moving the reno project forward with some indoor organization work to get tools and random stuff out of the way so the flooring can go in (date yet to be determined).  I suppose I shall go along with it.  He DID buy me breakfast.

Tiff out.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

The heat is on (and on, and on)


Not ours, but the general idea
Right now it is 27 degrees F outside, which is less than zero in C, and that's COLD, folks.

The fountain in the front garden has been turned off and emptied.  I know not from whence the birds now drink.

The cars will be wet with melted frost in an hour, after the sun gets to 'em (it's not even arisen yet, such its antipathy toward early Sunday mornings).

It is supposed to reach the mid 50s F today.

How's a person supposed to know how to dress? And for that matter, how's a heating system to know when to kick on to fill the gap between what it's like outside and what it's supposed to be like inside?  Answer: by starting up every 45 seconds or so and ticking the heat up a teeny bit, but just a teeny bit, so that the subsequent immediate drop in indoor temps initiates another round of combustion and aeration (or whatever).

It is now 28 degrees outside. Sun came up, is what the taskbar on my computer tells me.  This is  a lie, as where I am it's not scheduled to occur until 7:21, and it's 7:14 as I write this. Nonetheless, Nature's heating cycle will begin anew.

Once it gets to 'sometime' this afternoon, we plan to take the dog to a local park and have a bit of an explore. Only about 25 more degrees to gain before it's reasonable to attempt.


Thursday, December 01, 2022

The one that wasn't (and we are glad)


Before the...'thing' happened

Recently, I underwent a procedure familiar to all breast cancer survivors, The Yearly Mammogram.

But not just ANY mammogram, oh no.  The 'screening' ones most women only ever have are simple affairs by comparison, with only a couple of shots ('vertical' and 'horizontal,' if you will) to check for any suspicious entities.  The ones we lucky survivors gets are so so so much more, with top and bottom and sideways and slantways and rounds and rounds of them, focusing on iffy areas until the radiologist on duty is satisfied (or not) with what they're seeing and can release you, either to the wild or with an order for follow-up work.

I got the order for the follow-up work.

Specifically, a biopsy.

In the boob that didn't previously have the cancer in it.

You might imagine how very worrisome this is, and you'd be halfway there.  

Thankfully, I'm good at ignoring unpleasant things, so was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with our little nuclear family and have a chance to relax a bit, relying on the radiologist's statement that she was ordering the biopsy out of an abundance of caution, but still there was a whiff of terror wafting around if I allowed it to. 

Plus, needles and lidocaine were to be involved, which I am not a huge fan of, or really even a fan at all.

At last, today was the day, and as I drove to the the appointment WAY THE HECK OVER THE OTHER SIDE OF RALEIGH the thought of 'oh God, what if it's THAT again?' was very hard to ignore. What if the big C has popped up on the other side?  What will I  do? The brain was working a tiny bit overtime as I headed west on 98 then south on 50.  Of course I missed the turn into the parking lot, but I never don't.

One there, stripped from the waist up and begowned and with my belongings in a lovely plastic bag, I sat in the 'gowned waiting room' (no, really), with 5 other women all similarly attired and toting their possessions too.  We all knew what we were there for, and all of it had to do with boobs.  Sisterhood carries some heavy burdens, far outweighing a sack of clothing.

My turn came, I sat in a remarkably comfy chair that the tech wheeled me around on like I was Captain Pike until I was within boob-smashing range of the Little Plates (the better to see you with!).  She had warm hands, which is a nice touch (ha!), and got Old Gal in position to take some pictures of the suspect area.  Then another couple of shots.  Then she went and fetched the radiologist, who was going to perform the numbing and cutting and biopsy-ing acc'd to the prophecy and Good Medical Practice.

After the introduction to the doc and me gawping at her absolutely glorious head of hair, skintight pants, and totally awesome boots (listen, the lewk made an impression!), she and the tech had a confab over the images, probably discussing where to stick me with the numbing to best effect before cutting me open and doing the deed.

But no.

The tech pulled the gown up over my nakedness, spun me around ('beep boop!') as the doc was saying 'Good news! The spot the radiologist saw last week isn't visible on the pictures we just took and must have resolved itself in the week.  There's no need to do a biopsy and you can go.'

 It is at that point I lost 10 pounds of anxiety and floated out of that building, after getting dressed, of course.  The day was more beautiful that I remembered, the people more lovely, the birds gifted me with a 'congratulations!' poop on my windshield, all was right with the world.

I took the long way home to avoid a meeting I probably could have made it to at work, because I Simply Did Not Feel Like It.  Not sorry about that, would recommend an amble home after getting great news.

So, this was the one that wasn't.  No new scar, no wait for the biopsy results, no worrying about what happens next because it's already happened.


Tiff out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Duolingo gets me


Our guide and hero

 A couple of months ago my Mom and I were having our regular Monday night chat on the phone and she said that she was going to learn Spanish this year using Duolingo.

Y'all, my Mom is in her upper '80s and is sharper than me, so I figured I needed to do that too.

We were chatting about how 4 p.m. is just a weird time of day - too soon really to start dinner prep at our stages of life, late enough in the day that it's not right for a nap, just one of those 'what do  I do NOW?' kind of times in a day that needs a something to anchor it to the clock.

Learning Spanish, for now, is that something.

Most days I get on the app and do a few minutes of learning, at least enough to get my 10xp and meet my 'goal' that I in fact did not set up but I'm kind of competitive so, yeah.  

It's fun, with cute cartoony characters and lots of positive reinforcement and also, many learning modalities in employ.  See it, translate it, hear it, write it down, engage in 'chats,' etc. I do get caught up from time to time thinking I know what's expected of me and do a translate instead of a 'write it down' and then have to re-do that to 'pass' to the next level, so mild humiliation isn't out of the deck of learning strategies.

Did I mention it's free?  Check it out if you need a way to re-plasticize part of your brain. 

And if you decide to learn Hawai'ian, more power to ya.


Had the yearly mammo yesterday.  It took forever.

No evidence of anything scary.

I'll take it.


Tiff out.

Friday, November 11, 2022

A sure-fire diet plan (not really)


Me, just now.  I grew a beard for warmth.  Should I keep it?

Ever since I was, ever, I do attract viruses.

All KINDS of them!  When I was in high school I had a cold and the flu at the same time (and my period too), for example, and laid on the big brown couch in the family room, half sensate, watching game shows and napping through the soaps.  And not eating, like hardly at all.  My stomach could not HANDLE food; just thinking about it made me run for the bucket.  I went on the ginger ale and water diet for a week because of it, and because of THAT, I lost a noticeable amount of weight which at the time I might have thought was a good tradeoff. I'm different now.

Some things don't change, it's apparent, at least as far as me and virii.

I had COVID earlier this year, and it too settled in my stomach with largely the same overall effect.  Can't recall what other symptoms there were; the GI aspect really took over to the point that I just kept a barf bucket with me wherever I went. Dry heaves became a particular specialty that I wish I could get paid for, such was there vigorous nature.

My abs were very fit by the time the 'rona moved out, let's just say. (And no, I would NOT like to be paid to perform the heaving.  My nose and eyes run and the noises that are made are truly primeval).

Since then, my stomach has been HUGELY touchy, which isn't great as it was very prone to being a bad actor in times of stress, which for someone with anxiety is like from 8am to 10pm every day.  Sleep is a gift. 

So, anyhow, at the beginning of this week a lil' flu virus entered the chat and headed straight to my belly.  Of course it did.  Biff got it first; it took up residence in his lungs.  I would have traded him, but he hates barfing and isn't as good at it as I am, so I took the hit. As if there was ever a choice.  

Ah, the low-grade fever, the bone aches, the hot flashes, the river of snot that flows if you bend over, the impending sense of doom when you just know it's going to be 'heave-ho' but can't pinpoint just when...a truly reprehensible state of affairs.

Good job, virus.

I'm on day 5 now, and while evidence of healing is present, we're still not back to 100% yet and I still do not go anywhere without my bucket.  It's not worth it, even yet.

My pants are fitting better though, so there's that.

Y'all stay safe out there - we're nowhere near out of the woods, RSV is getting a foot in the door, and this winter's going to be a corker.

Tiff out.

PS - get vaccinated.  If I'd been quicker to schedule my flu shot I'm sure I would be better by now.  I regret procrastinating. 

PPS - it might also be a cold, IDK.  Whatever it is, I'm not a fan.