I’ve spent way too much time thinking about, talking about, reading about, or ranting about bad things. It’s Thanksgiving, and the truth is that I have a lot to be thankful for. And sometimes it’s useful to stop and remind ourselves of the good things in our lives.
I’m thankful for:
- my smart, sweet, sexy, long-suffering husband
- people who help other people
- people who don’t sweat the small stuff
- my wonderful, crazy, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
- people who love
- radio and wireless technologies
- kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
- portable music players
- all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and must be the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me
Thank you, each and every one. And whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it!
Not all of the differences are so obviously stark, but I think that they must cringe at things I say and do at least as often as I am dismayed by some of the things they say and do. And I continue to be amazed that we get along as well as we do.
Those of us who do get along, that is… Read More…
I was raised by a racist jerk.
My dad is such a stereotype that people didn’t always believe me when I described him. To this day he regularly throws around the n-word, refers to the latino men who work on his crews as “wetbacks” and “spicks,” refers to any eastern asian-looking person as a “gook” or a “chink,” and so on. He will go on and on about all of the bad qualities he believes each of those groups share, if you let him. It is simply toxic to talk to him. The fact that he also speaks with a pronounced Oklahoma drawl, and that his conversation is peppered with words and phrases people associate with the south is just icing on the redneck cake.
My dad is the kind of racist that is almost too easy to spot. Guys like him make it very easy for the rest of us to pat ourselves on the backs and congratulate ourselves on being more enlightened. Because compared to him we clearly are.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t racist… Read More…
It started a couple of Fridays ago when one of my big toes swelled up with gout. For the next eight days, every morning I woke up with a different toe on one of the feet swollen. The worse was one night when the pain woke me in the middle of the night, and I needed to go to the bathroom, but when I tried to stand up, I nearly collapsed. I literally crawled part of the way to the bathroom. I eventually hobbled downstairs where my cane was, but even with the cane the thought of going back upstairs was too daunting. So I put a heating pad on my feet and sat in the recliner until my husband woke up.
Most of the days that week I worked from home. When I did go in, I had to use the cane to get around, and since the temperatures outside were 10-15 degrees colder than usual for this time of year, and since cold tends to make gout worse, it wasn’t fun. The next week was better. Several mornings my feet were feeling close enough to normal that I almost left the cane at home. By the end of the day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I was really glad that I had taken it with me, because one joint was slightly swollen and in pain by the end of the day.
Thursday was the first evening I didn’t actually need the cane at the end of the day.
Friday was the only day I worked from home last week, and it was the first day that I felt like myself again. Usually on my work from home day, when I break for lunch, I start some soup cooking, and while it’s heating up, I’ll do a little housework. Unload and load the dishwasher, put away laundry, or some other task like that. It’s a nice way to stay away from the computer for a little bit and not think about work, right? But during all of my days working from home the previous week, I just didn’t have the energy. I didn’t have much energy for writing, either. I got writing done, but not at the rate I had been the previous couple of weeks.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but it really felt weird and wonderful that day not to have at least one of my feet in pain. And it was the first day that I wanted to do housework. I didn’t just want to do it, I enjoyed doing it. Being about to move, to stand, the walk around without constantly bracing for how much the next step was going to hurt was almost enough to make me giddy.
So for the last few days I’ve been really grateful for the simple act of being able to walk without pain.
Then a couple of nurses turned off the monitors, removed the respirator tubes, and turned off the rest of the machines.
I held Ray’s hand, and said “Good-bye.”
I’d been crying off and on for hours—days, technically (though I’d only slept a couple hours out of the last few days, so it felt like one really long, horrible day).
I don’t remember if I cried again. My last chronologically-in-order memory is taking hold of his hand that one last time. My memories for the next few months are just fragments—bits and pieces of time scattered through a fog of bewilderment.
He promised me he would stay with me for the rest of his life. And he did.
Last year had a similar schedule, so I made an effort on those weekend days that we didn’t have anything planned to me extra productive. And it worked out. I exceeded the goal by about 8500 words. I didn’t reach the end of the story, but I got of writing in.
This year, the first being on a Saturday (and with us having no conflicts), I was at 6,595 words by the end of the first weekend. That’s nearly double the number of words number you’d have at the average words per day necessary to hit the target of 50,000, so I felt that was a good start. I only got a few hundred in on the next day, but Tuesday through Thursday, I exceeded the daily goal each time.
Friday evening was when the gout and hay fever had both taken a significant turn for the worst. I wound up taking a long nap after finishing my work day, and was in a bad head space after, so hardly got any writing done.
Then the weekend was full, and as mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was battling pain in my foot all weekend, so I my productivity continued to suffer.
But, Monday night I managed to exceed the daily goal a little bit, and last night (as you can see in the graphic) I blew past it by more than a thousand words.
So, I’m still on track to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. Even though I have a few days with very little writing time available.
Still, I feel good. Wish me luck!
I’ve experienced this enough that I know the drill. I make an effort to drink about twice as much water over the course of the day as usual. In the evening, I elevate it and put a heating pad on it for a while. I get out a pair of my extra long fuzzy socks and wear those to keep my feet and ankles warm. About two-thirds of the time, doing this entire routine for a few days prevents a full-fledged gout attack hitting.
This time? Well… Read More…