August 2nd, 2021

Venus

And then, a month and a half later...

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time getting back into the swing of reading and posting. I guess the doseage for my anti-depressants just isn't quite high enough to cope with the fallout of long-term COVID-isolation depression on top of the ongoing chemical depression? I can't seem to quite escape this funk, and my follow-through has been lousy for more than a year now. :(

So, there's been a lot of "enduring." Waiting to be able to make plans of any kind, and to travel around more freely. Waiting even to get out of the house for anything other than exercise and errands! Waiting for an end to this Covidternity...

We'd been wanting to go north to visit my family, and found that daunting because of unknowns Covid side-effects like, Will rest stops be open? and Will gas stations let us use their bathrooms? No, really--that used to be mainly about my small bladder, but now that HalfshellHusband takes diuretics twice a day, it's paramount. Sometimes he has to use the bathroom every 10-20 minutes once those meds have kicked in. :O

I got some helpful answers from friends who had recently traveled out on the highways, so we took a very sudden 10-day vacation in early July. It was SO good to finally be able to leave town (first time in 17 months) and see people! My family is mostly doing well, though my Mom is having some mobility issues. Her back and hips are sore, so she walks hunched over and limps when the pain is really bad. I think it's sometimes hard for her to even get around her house, which is really sad. She fell on her hip years ago, and had PT afterwards... but the PT created pain in her OTHER hip. So, all of that not only left her in a bad situation, it also made her leery of consulting the doctor about any other pain issues. :(

She's still very sharp at 95, but I worry about losing her if those frustrations wear her down. :(

My siblings are doing pretty well, and the cooler weather was nice. We were a week late for the really intense heat in the Pacific NW, and also missed some scorching days back home as well, which I always appreciate. Not nearly enough of them, though-- the forecast has been for 97-105o heat for most of the last 3 weeks and most of the weeks ahead too. A blip of 93 tomorrow, but that's about it. I hate this climate SO much. :O

I DID have some unexpected luck early last week. There were some hazy clouds, which are almost unheard of here in the summer. Sometimes that makes no difference, and it gets just as hot. But on Monday, the temperature went up to 80 at the expected time, and then stayed there for several hours. I took a chance and went out riding, and it was the nicest ride I'd had in a month (since the last day of unexpected partial cloudiness). It was 82 when I finished, and so refreshing. Tuesday, it got up to 84 and then "stuck" there for awhile. But the wisps of clouds shifted almost as soon as I went outside, so after a great first half hour, it was a slog and about 89 when I finished.

Wednesday had more hazy clouds, and I was SO hopeful! After my morning meeting finished at 11:00, I stepped outside to see how hot it actually felt and discovered that it smelled like smoke outside. And that I could see smoke drifting down to ground level. UGGGGHHH. There was a forest fire to the Northeast that we weren't aware of, and the wind had shifted the smoke in our direction. Really unexpected, and the smoke only lasted a day, but the fire is really close to Paradise, which was destroyed a few years ago, and the people in that area have been through so much already. :(

It was slightly cooler Saturday, thanks to a little breeze, so I did some yard work after I finished riding. I hadn't done any weeding for over a month, thanks to 100-degree temps every weekend and/or being out of town, so it was good to make a dent there. I DID spend several hours in the last few weeks cleaning up fallen cherry-plums (from the backyard tree that is supposed to be non-fruiting), because I discovered that was what was making our yard so attractive to raccoons! Two hours of cleanup on one Friday, and a whole new batch of plums a week later that I cleaned up again. I never cared about raccoon visitors until they ate through some of our solar water-heating panels for the pool and cost us $1200. :(

I've been doing quite a bit of reading over the months, and we're watching some interesting TV series. We're really enjoying The Expanse, and looking forward to the final seasons of Lucifer and Bosch. Looking forward to seeing them, anyway--not to having any of those series end!

I was disappointed all over again when I finished watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in the garage before vacation. That was such a great series, and I so wish it hadn't been cancelled. And one of the things I liked most about it was the thoughtful, melancholy feeling so many of the episodes evoked. Not at all what you expect from the genre, and it just made the show all the more interesting. Now I'm watching Castle out there, and since we only have the first 2 seasons on DVD, I need to start digging through our home library soon. I wish we had something new and interesting to dive into, but my only options are rewatching something I've already seen. Why can't I get our Wifi signal to reach the garage so I can stream Netflix out there?!?

In conclusion, I hope all of you have been happier and more energetic than I've been feeling, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed toward climbing out of these doldrums...