Where’s The Year Gone?

A fellow blogger and I have wondered, where’s the year gone? I know, that’s not an unusual question in any year. Where’s the time gone, in general, is a diabolical puzzle. Just yesterday, I was twenty-two, something like that. I could eat what I wanted, now I wanted. Snorted doughnuts for mid-morning snacks. Partied until two AM, then went to work at seven. Ate three cheeseburgers at a sitting. Now I’m on Medicare.

A note on the Medicare. I wouldn’t have joined if not forced into it. I retired from the military. Had Tricare. Can’t elaborate on which Tricare. There are two thousand known variations of Tricare. Others are constantly being found by health professionals in computer systems. To stay on Tricare, once I ‘turned’* 65, as I did at the beginning of July, I had to join Medicare Parts A & B. Where I was paying nothing except co-pay a year ago, I was required to start paying $25 a month for my Tricare. Now I’m required to pay about $117 a month for Medicare Part B (A is free) to keep my Tricare. It’s a different form of Tricare, though. I’ll figure it out later.

Part of the year was spent on determining which Medicare parts I required. That included timing. You can’t just join Medicare at any time, you know. You have windows. You miss your window, you wait for the next window. For me, though, missing the window meant that I’d also lose my Tricare. That covers my wife, too. It’s becoming more necessary as we’ve moved toward being the oldest people on the planet. Other parts of the year were spent on questions about masking, COVID-19 vaccinations, variants, and shopping hours. But those were side ventures. Most of my time was spent wondering what I was going to eat.

In additional to a pantry and a refrigerator/freezer combo, we have a small garden. Tomatoes, squash, green peppers, kale, lettuce. It’s been a hard gardening year. Drought, you know. Hot sun, too. We covered plants up. They still weren’t happy with the heat, suggesting, let’s move to somewhere cooler, like hell.

We also have a chest freezer and additional food supplies in the guest room closet. It seems like I’m always wondering, what do we have to eat? What can I eat now? I can bore you to death with all the food we have on hand. I’m always thinking about more. It’s a joint decision that’s made. My wife and I have to agree on what to eat. That usually involves a discussion of what food is on hand. Then, if we don’t immediately have the answer (“Do we have any brown rice left?” “Go fish.”), one of us must leave our chairs and books or computers, go to the supply sources and determine if we have the needed ingredient.

After we decide, okay, we can make this, we discuss who will make what. “I made dinner last night.” “We had pizza. You got it from the pizza place.” “Still counts.”

A large part of the forces driving our discussion and my angst is that we just can’t go out and get what we want. One, restaurants have reduced hours or shut down. Two, which store will have what we need? How much do we trust them and their clientele to be COVID-19 safe? Is getting Ben & Jerry Ice Cream really worth the risk.

Yes, I say, masking up, and driving there.

What we want isn’t always in stores. If this pandemic has shown nothing else to me, it’s shown how completely dependent I am on our systems to provide me with food to buy. Whether it’s organic or processed, cooked in a restaurant or baked in a bakery, I want others doing it for me. This embarrasses part of me. That part says that I should be more self-reliant. More independent. I can fix computers but I can’t hunt meat. Or won’t.

The other part of me says shut up if you want me to go out and get a snack. Which I might do. Thinking about food has made me hungry, and there’s still a little bit of July to kill.

Where’s my mask?

*That expression of ‘turning’ an age always embellishes my brain with an image of me on a baking tray and someone using a giant spatula to flip me over.


Unfloofgivable (floofinition) – 1. An animal that can’t be given away.

In use: “They called the puppy, part of a litter of rescued orphans, Smuckers, a name given by their youngest boy. He was supposed to be fostered, but Smuckers turned out to be unfloofgivable, remaining with the family for his life.”

2. An action or behavior toward an animal that can’t be accepted or tolerated.

In use: “As the Internet reveals videos of despicable treatment of animals, more activities once accepted as routine or normal, such as puppy mills, are now being blasted as unfloofgivable.”

3. Action by a human, especially a pet owner, deemed unacceptable by a pet.

In use: “The cat wanted bacon and wasn’t given any, unfloofgivable to her. In retaliation, she walked about, jumping up onto floofboten counters, knocking things off, nipping at ankles when people passed, and loudly meowing in complaint.”

Saturday’s Theme Music

Thunderstorms passed through yesterday. A spritz of rain, some threatening rumbling, a bite of wind, done. Checked on new fires caused by lightning strikes. Nothing new found yet.

Today is Saturday, July 31, 2021, the final day of July, 2021. The year is half gone. Up in the northern hemi, daylight grows less. Heat still remains, though. And drought, out here in the American west.

Sunrise cometh at 6:02 AM. Sunset is at 8:31 PM. With more thunderstorms expected, our high is projected to top out at 95 degrees F.

A Mötley Crüe song pesters me today, leftovers from a walk the other evening. Caught up in my stride, enjoying a cool breeze, absorbed in writing in my head, I went further than planned. Suddenly, oh, it’s twenty minutes until sunset and you’re three miles from home. Turn about and start walking, dude. I kicked up my pace and did so, time to get home. Which led to home sweet home. Which invited in “Home Sweet Home” from 1985. This rock ballad features plenty of guitars, a touch of wistful piano, and strong vocals that range from soft, reflective humming to belting out, “Home sweet home”. The video depicts the rock and roll circus that so many of us think of when pondering the expression, ‘hard rock concert’. These bois were mos def into the glam.

Stay positive, test negative, wear mask as necessary, and get the vax. Wearing a mask seems like it has become more necessary once again. Case levels have leaped to April’s levels. Might even overtake those levels. Not surprising for here. Jackson County is a Trump stronghold. They eschew masking and vaxxing. My little town holds to both but it’s a destination spot for others. Tourism, you know? Interesting enough, we had to run an errand yesterday, sevenish PM. The vacant streets and empty parking spaces belied it being a Friday night. Were people voluntarily home, sick, or in isolation?

Here’s the music. Cheers


Lollapafloofza (floofinition) – Four day private festival of animals, for animals.

In use: “Cats and dogs often disappear for a day or two during Lollapafloofza, worrying pet owners, but they generally safely return, leaving the owners to wonder where their pets have been.”

The Fireplace Dream

My wife and I were visiting one of my sisters and her family. Partially completed, their house was made mostly of cinder blocks. I was looking down into it from behind and above. They didn’t have heat. They had a fireplace. Shifting perspective, my wife and I told them, “We have rocks that will heat your house. We’ll put them in your fireplace.” They were skeptical but we told them, “You’ll see.”

The fireplace rock seemed like a piece of broken cinderblock. It put out heat, though, lots of heat. My sister’s fireplace was back toward the house’s rear, away from the bedrooms. Because of that, most of the house wasn’t heated. They’ll all gone to bed, sleeping in one room to stay warm. For some reason, we had to keep the existence of the heating rock secret. Never understood that. But my wife and I managed to find another place to safely place it in my sister’s house, and then moved it without anyone knowing.

When my sister and her family got up, we showed/told them what we’d done. They were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to heat our own place. My wife and I laughed at that. “No, we have many fireplaces and each of them has a rock.”

I then took my sister and her family around, showing her our places. All were brick, with large yards. Sis knew of one or two, but I showed her five or six. I was letting others use these places. My wife didn’t know of some of these places, either, which made me laugh as I went about showing all the places. Some were hidden to others. I kept revealing more as we went around, opening doors to more, almost as if I was recalling them as I came across them. We then went about confirming that we did have ‘fire rocks’ in each of our places.

Friday’s Theme Music

Today is Friday, July, 2021’s, final Friday offering, the fifth Friday of the month. July 30.

It’s a humid morning. 76 F at 7:30 AM. Sky of indiscriminate color. Maybe off-white. Tinged faint yellow. Little of this from smoke, little of that from clouds. Nothing blue. Just a long flat plain.

Sunrise — or daylight — began at 6:02 AM. Sunset will be 8:32. Anticipated highs will be like yesterday, touching 97 to 100, depending on small variations caused by geography. We were at 100 but other friends reported only 98.

Went with ZZ Top this morning for my theme music. “La Grange”. 1973. Dusty Hill – the bassist passed away so they’re on my mind. I first experienced ZZ Top in high school art class. Thanks to Scott M for bringing them in. Tres Hombres. Went out and bought that album as soon as possible. Introduced my wife to it. “Jesus Left Chicago”. “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers”. You know it. Maybe you don’t. Good album.

Anyone else having WordPress issues? I find that the toolbar for the blocks disappear. I can see it over on top on the left. Select a block. Gone. Oh, fun. Those features on that toolbar aren’t available once it disappears. Say, bold. Italics. Even the keystroke commands fail. For that matter, just selecting and highlighting a block is impossible. WordPress says, “Nope. Not gonna do it.” Not for all posts. Just for some. Here and there. Enough to make you ask your computer, “WTF, WordPress.” Enough for you to glower and grit and think, “Surely there’s something better out there.” Oh, but the inertia to search for a new one isn’t there. They know this, I think. Depend on it. I can hear their sinister little voices dripping with contempt. “They won’t leave. They’ll just post snide little comments and give us low ratings. But they’ll stay.” Snort. Snicker. I work around, using Word to type and format everything, then cut and paste. Anyone else having these issues? Or should I take it personally?

Stay positive. Test negative. Hope you can. D variant is striking even if you’re vaxxed. Difference is that less vaccinated head to the hospital. Fewer die. So wear a mask as needed. Looks like it’s needed again. And get the vax. Every little bit will help.

Here’s the music. Cheers


Well, no avoiding it. Get it done. That had become her new motto. She had gotten it done for her husband. Children. Work. Now it was time for her to get it done for herself.

This, if anything, proved that she could not wait. COVID-19 had interrupted. Age was interrupting. Nature. No doubt. “Get it done.”

Coffee was first sipped. Comfort drink. And for fortitude. Then she pulled up Excel. Opened BucketList.exl. Found ZZ Top. She’d always wanted to see them. Her husband had seen them three times before dying. So when they’d been scheduled for the Britt Festival this year, she’d jumped all over it. Get it done.

Now the bassist was dead. Dusty Hill. Original. Sure ZZ Top would go on. But. Like Cream. She’d hoped to see them but Cream only had Clapton left. At least she’d seen the Beatles. Stones. Pink Floyd. Jethro Tull. Heart. Journey. Foreigner. All thanks to her husband. Get it done. Because time didn’t wait. She’d missed on The Who. Had put it off. Then. Moon was dead.

She would still go to the ZZ Top concert. Wouldn’t be the same. Just like with the Temptations. They’d done all the music but not with the members she’d known growing up.

It had not been the same.

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