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.

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Out the kitchen window


At this time of year, the sun sets through the leaves and branches of a giant oak tree that lives on the lot south/west of us.  This just happens to be the view out the kitchen window that we get of that phenomenon in the autumn times, and can be quite a spectacle.  

Just mind the gap(s), because that sun will smite your eyeballs if it's not peeking picturesquely though the foliage.  So, no doing dishes around normal dinnertime if you want to preserve your peepers.


As it happens, today is another beautiful day in the neighborhood, and because I got done with work a bit early, I decided to take a Walk With Wern.  Normally, this is something that the LOML does, but it was seriously too gorgeous to NOT do the WWW.  

Wern agreed.

We started with a bit of a ride around town, because I had some thought about exploring one of the small parks downtown (this one), but it's too close to where folks are going to do their early voting (VOTE!!!!) and parking wasn't great as a result.

I do love to see a crowd of folks doing their civic duty, but that is a tangent.

We wound up driving up to the town cemetery, which is nice and peaceful most of the time, as you can imagine.  I like cemeteries, and our town has a great one.  It's where I will be, or the corporeal remains of me will be, when my time comes to be stored conveniently for friends and family to come visit.  Naturally, we parked next to 'our' columbarium to wave hello at the Final Resting Place before Wern had a sniff-round of the place.

He sniffed the Barhams and the Sherrons and the Holdings and all the nearby graves of persons for whom roads are named in this town.  It's very historic, my future neighborhood.  And beautiful, with tall trees and gently sloping land around family plots that are well tended to.  There's an enormous pin oak that has dropped a ton of leaves that smelled quite lovely to the canine, and certain boxwoods that needed to be watered by him, so it was a busy time in the graveyard.  

Oddly busy, too, with visitors.  One fellow pulled up right as we did to visit someone in the columbarium area (there are several of them nestled in their own little neighborhood) and we had a quick chat because he called Wern beautiful and that deserves at least a couple of minutes of small talk.  He asked me who I'd lost that I was coming to visit, and in true awkward me form said 'oh, nobody yet, but that's where I'm going to be when the time comes' and did not EVEN ask him who he was there to visit, because I lose my mind in social situations and forget how being polite works.

Another visitor pulled up to the other side of the cemetery, and stood quietly near the final resting place of someone who I hope passed after a long, good life.  Just...stood.  I didn't get close enough to hear if he was talking to the dearly departed; it looked more like a personal communion, without the wine and baguette.

There were workers there too, out at the back, tending to the grounds, making sure things were tidy and safe and clean.  That makes me feel good about our future home, that it is maintained by both the town and people who have a connection to the ones who can no longer tend to themselves.

Once Wern's sniffer was full we of course came back home, wherein he has spent the last hour knocked out on the couch from the sheer thrill of the graveyard ramble.

I think we'll do it again tomorrow.

Tiff out.