Friday Frittering

It’s me, so I’m going to whine first

  1. Arm continues improving. Strength, mobility, and flexibility in my fingers is returning. Improvement has been accelerating. Hoorah. Return to the doc in ten days.
  2. Fiction writing is sloooowww. Did nine thousand words in fifteen days. That should’ve been done in less than five days, easy. Such a whiner, right? Yes, it’s my nature. I let it out, and then affirm, but, hey, you’re writing. It’s something. Be an optimist, not a pessimist.
  3. By nature, I’m a pessimist and an optimist. I complain and release it, then address it to overcome it. Mostly. It’s all a sliding spectrum with moving targets every day. The thing I’ve recognized in myself is that while I go dark, I also return to the light.
  4. I enjoy eavesdropping on my wife’s exercise class. An in-person Family Y class in origins, it went to Zoom after social distancing went live in Ashland, Oregon. Mary is the instructor. She began the class in 1975. Held Mon-Wed-Fri mornings, it’s very popular. Going online has allowed people who moved away to come back and re-fire friendships. Attendees from D.C., Portland, Idaho, Florida, and California are now regulars…again. Such a positive thing, a testament to community and friendship.
  5. A beautiful night favored the area last night, wonderful for meteor spotting, except…cat. Two of the felines often accompany me as I go into the yard and check the sky. The house panther, though, kept winding around my legs and talking. Made it hard to move and focus, especially while craning my head back. I love my cats but sometimes, they’re a little much.
  6. The ginger boy (Papi, aka Meep) apparently had a misadventure yesterday evening. Gone for hours, he returned subdued and disheveled. I checked for wounds and found none. He, a young cat who usually prowls the night, stayed in last night. All night.
  7. Love this political ad. “Enough is Enough is Enough!” Vote Proud.

So, got my coffee, baby. Time to write like crazy at least one…more…time.

Friday Fry-up

  1. Don’t recall any dreams from last night. Odd. Frees up about an hour of time spent thinking about my dreams. Has my dream reservoir gone dry?
  2. Went out on a shopping expedition yesterday, Albertsons and Bi-Mart. Our prey was cat food and fresh fruits and veggies. All saved one was masked up, although several wore their masks with their noses exposed. Do you not get it, man? Yes, I know, there’s psychology, perceptions, fears, and lies at work there. Just ask Herman Caine. Sorry, cheap shot. Ask Rep. Gohmert (Crazy-TX) instead. He’s the latest flag-bearer for the nonsense brigade.
  3. Florida friends tell us that people there don’t act like there’s a pandemic going on except to put on masks to enter stores, because the stores require them. Then I read an article about a study that said, yes, as expected, young adults and teens are working and clubbing, then going home and infecting more vulnerable people. It’s trending up everywhere.
  4. Going to have social-distancing brunch outside at friends’ house this AM. Just the two couples will be present. I’m ambivalent about it. Like them, but do we need the risk? I am resentful, too, as my wife (with perceived mocking tone) said to friend on phone, “Oh, he’s not doing anything.” Hello? Writing? WTF. She then said, “Oh, don’t tell me I’m interfering with your schedule.” I’m sounding bitter, so I’ll stop.
  5. Okay, I am bitter.
  6. Our fire warnings were raised to extreme today. Humidity has dropped to 15% and we’ve had several days of triple digit highs. We’re in a mild trough today, with an overnight low of 58 and a forecast high of 94 for today. Worrisome as dozens of wildfires are already burning.
  7. Stay safe, everyone. Wear masks and distance.
  8. Gonna get some coffee now and try to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Cleaned up, shaved, cats fed, I sought the next things: what’d I need now? Coffee, water, a trip to the beach, my arm mended, the rona virus ended, a cold bevvie with my friends, a publishing contract…

“Dial it back, laddie,” I decreed. “Talkin’ ’bout here and now.” My mind reiterated my needs, building on them…

Such contemplation about what I need often collapses into what I want. Got air. I needed food and water. We can expand it into the hierarchy of needs., of course, but I’m addressing basics.

Yeah, it was too much for too early. Retreating from myself, I made coffee and breakfast, and invited the Stones in to perform “You Can’t Always Get What You Want“.

Saturday’s Snippings

  1. John Muir and Margaret Sanger. These two are the latest to be addressed for their racism. In Sanger’s case, it’s more nuanced, regards eugenics, and is too much for my sprawled one-handed pecking for much detail here. I do recommend research. Muir, though, was an outright racist. We learn that people can be visionary and flawed. His damage to our society is deep. It’s sad and disheartening to learn these things. But they must be learned, and we need to be cognizant of the damage inflicted, and, yeah, make changes.
  2. Making changes like acknowledging past racism and its impact and then trying to fix it is just like the stages of grief, isn’t it? It’ll take a while to work through it. I can hear replies, how much longer must it take?
  3. Lovely to feel my arm healing. Strength is returning, range of movement is expanding, and the circle of pain is shrinking. Go back next week. The plan (if all is well) is to replace the splint with a short cast.
  4. Realizing that next week is August. July passed through with a sonic boom.
  5. I love the John Cheever quote I found this morning (posted elsewhere on the blog). It speaks strongly to my own writing drive. I always think, there’s more to our lives and reality than what we know. I’m agnostic about gods, and indeed enjoy tucking them into my tales, but I pursue the impression that we’ve only skimmed the surface of being. Writing helps me explore that essence.
  6. Drank a fantastic cup of coffee this morning. Right temp, flavor, and richness. A wow cup. Which made me immediately want to experience it again. Comparing it to drinking wine and beer, and eating food, and achieving things, I appreciated again the blend needed to brew something memorable that’s greater than its parts. Once, I’ve had it, I want more of the same. Not an epiphany, but a lesson learned one more time.
  7. Speaking of one more time, got a refresher cuppa coffee (yeah, it’s not the same, but it’ll do). Time to write like crazy…at least one. More. Time.

Thursday Trifles

  1. Yes, I’m watching what’s happening 280 miles up the road in Portland and the Feds in there under Trump’s orders. Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I’m proud of Portland’s citizens and Oregonians pushing back. Bottom line for Trump: I believe it’s another ego play for him, but I also think he’s trying to energize his campaign and drive headlines away from the mounting COVID-19 deaths. I also think it’s a poor strategy for him. We’ll know in November.
  2. Went shopping at Trader Joe’s and Costco today during elderly hours. All were masked and polite but the stores were pretty lean with customers on this warm summer Thursday. Yeah, I’m not complaining. Our bills startled me: $142 and $195, all food and staples. Then again, that’s most of the groc shop for the month. We’re saving half our monthly income because we don’t go anywhere. Small blessings, right? I’ll take them.
  3. We’ve reached our summer temps. A gentle rhythm has begun. Temps stat in the low nineties and slowly rise to 100, then drop to the low nineties again; repeat. This goes on for five to seven days. It cools to high fifties to seventy at night. We throw the windows and doors open, chill the house overnight, then seal the house the next morning. The office is the warmest room, so we run a small fan in there. We’ve yet to run the air con, knock wood.
  4. Our house floofs are loving the weather. Sleep all day in a comfy place, come in for dinner, then patrol the darkness, kibbling through the night.
  5. Unfortunately, with the summer weather come lightning strikes in the mountains and wildfires. We get smoky air and worries. Ten fires were covered in the news. We  have organizations and well-trained people to deal with it, for which I’m grateful. We stay concerned about them and their health and safety. Talk about some brave, essential people. I put them on that list.
  6. Got my coffee. You know what that means. One-handed typing is slow going, but I think my muses are flourishing with the slowdown. I’m enjoying the slow train, too, and how my pace lets more unfold. Okay, onward: I’m going to go write like crazy, at least one more time, but slowly.

Had a rona moment, calling today Tuesday when it’s Saturday. I mean, Thunesday. Whatever.

Simple Sunday Stuff

  1. Went off script today. Bounced with spouse to store in early A.M. Decided thereafter, screw it, movie. Who doesn’t love Sunday Afternoon at the Movies? Streaming options came through: Palm Springs on Hulu offered an afternoon respite from the daily drone.
  2. Next four months with COVID-19, political campaigns, protests, riots, Feds abducting protesters, and POTUS insanity and lies (along with his administration’s lies, and well, most of the right wing’s offerings) will be a trial. Add to that a heat wave, and now, wildfires (the Badger Fire). My soul is getting stretched pretty thin.
  3. On the COVID lines, cases in my state and county (Oregon, Jackson) are on the rise. No worries; to save our small businesses. the local Chamber of Commerce convinced the town to close some streets and parking so al fresco dining can be expanded. I’ve not checked it out — and won’t — but observers are saying, no masks and no distancing there. Yes, businesses and officials are lip syncing the requirements but enforcement seems to amount to some brief tsk, tsk. Not reassuring.
  4. Had a follow up with my doc. Arm (xrays) looks good but remains in a sling. His wife is friends with my wife and related a brief tale. “I was with Glen when the ER doctor called. They said they had a broken arm. Glen told them they could set it. They replied, no, I’m not touching this. We’re sending you film. Glen took a look and said, I’m on my way. Glen called it quite deformed.”
  5. Six more weeks and my arm will be free again.
  6. I have my writing, though, but limited to one-handed typing. Writing with pen didn’t work as the splinted arm/hand combo failed to keep the notebook from sliding around. I also have time and coffee. Guess I’ll try to write like crazy, at least once more.

Monday Minutiae


  1. Yeah, one hand ops suck. Challenges: opening yogurt containers, cat food tins and baggies, along with opening most screw-lid jars, buttons on shirts and shorts, and peeling bananas. Teeth work well for some reqs (like peeling bananas). Smaller food tins and yogurt cups are easier to open. Those child-resistant push-to-open med bottles are easiest to open; just put them upside down on a thick towel, apply pressure, and turn.
  2. The broken bones officialese: transverse fracture of distal radius metaphysis with volar displacement and angulation; oblique mildly-displaced fracture of distal ulna metaphysis. All I know is that no bones were supporting my hand, and it hurt.
  3. Curiously, my orthro surgeon sent me a four-page health questionnaire in the mail. They’re part of the same computerized system that provides the rest of my healthcare. Ran out of space in the part about injuries, illnesses, and hospital visits, and I only covered my adult years.
  4. Changed clothes today, first change since ‘the incident’. Did it by myself, earning a brief spousal admonishment. If I’d put as much thought and control in what I was doing when I had my accident, it probably would’ve been avoided.
  5. Drank coffee today, no meds since last P.M., and wrote one thousand words. Perhaps my coffee and writing connection is stronger than I credited it. One-handed typing is hard on my upper shoulders.
  6. Defended Christians today. I know some, and I’m related to some, and trust, love, and respect these people. Their politics happen to be like mine. Agewise, some are younger, but most are older. Just as I don’t accept that all police are uncaring killers, all scientists are unmitigated geniuses, or all politicians are unprincipled liars, there is no need (nor any good from it) to making empty and baseless declarations regarding ‘all’. Yes, that does present me with some problems with Trump supporters, and why/how (whow) they support him. I seriously believe they do some heavy lying to themselves and rationalizing, and suspect mental illness and emotional problems. I’m not being charitable to them with that broad statement, but given Trump’s behavior, failures, constant lying, and broken promises, I haven’t heard intelligent reasoning for their unwavering support except that they are white, privileged, racists.

That is all. Cheers

Sundry Sunday

  1. Typing with one hand is a challenge. Fortunately, my right hand is dominant, and it’s okay. Also fortunately, this isn’t permanent. Tedious process, though. Seven hundred words a day is my current limit. Meanwhile, the muses are running amuck with story ideas. I considered (and haven’t discarded) the idea of writing with a pen in a notebook. Anything to keep the tales moving, hey?
  2. Haven’t been drinking coffee. First, wanted to rest and sleep. Second, read to avoid caffeine to promote healing broken bones. So, no coffee, no alcohol, and no chocolate. Had dropped the latter from my diet after I discovered what it does to my prostate. Thinking about drinking coffee tomorrow, as I’m weaning myself off the Percocet. Only had one Perc today, three yesterday. Four are prescribed.
  3. My walking has declined. Been spending most of my time abed. Reached eight thousand steps for the last three days, ten thousand on the last two. I have a long way to go.
  4. Poor spouse. She’s doing such a terrific job, doing everything, and complaining. This is my fifth trauma in our fifty years together (boyfriend and hubby). In order, cut off tip of my toe, mono, broken neck, dislocated wrist, and this. She should’ve vetted me better. In fairness, I had mono when stationed in the Philippines, and she wasn’t with me. One trauma a decade average; is that normal?
  5. The cats on that first night and morning were so sweet. I usually feed them. With daybreak, I asked my wife to do that, but the cats refused to go and eat. She brought the food in to them. Nope; they weren’t eating. Wasn’t till I got up a few hours later that they ate. Number one and two cat continued to stay with me through the day. Their loyalty and concern flatters me.
  6. I feel for the rest of America, enduring a heat wave. Our temps are brushing ninety in Ashland, quite bearable, as night temps fall into the mid-fifties.

Wednesday: Four Things

  1. The weather continues to provide talking points. The temperature been as up and down as a roller coaster this year, and often plays the contrarian. Today’s high on July first, when we normally anticipate nineties and beyond, will be seventy-seven. Not that we’re complaining; just commenting. It’ll be a good day to paint some more walls once I’ve finished my writing.
  2. My annual urology follow up went well yesterday. Peed fine, no issues. All this was initiated by some trouble in peckerville traced to enlarge prostate in previous years. No follow up actions required. I’ve tried to become more mindful as I’ve matured. Now I’m being more mindful in my peeing. Of course, my mind must riff on the old Caddy Shack Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) meme: “Be the ball.” I’m trying to be the pee.
  3. I think one of the reasons for my success with peeing was decreasing my sodium levels. I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure (230/130) during my pecker issues. I’d noticed my sodium was a little high on my blood work (141 mmol/L), so I began checking out sodium levels of whatever I was eating. Definitely an OMG experience. Can’t believe the amount of sodium in processed foods, condiments, salad dressings, and the like. The sodium in canned soup was at surreal levels. So was anything with cheese and any sauces. After reading and verifying it on my blood test results, I recognized that I also needed to increase my potassium levels. Learning that magnesium can draw sodium out, I also increased my magnesium levels (hello, bananas!). The other thing that I’d learned affecting my enlarged prostate gland was chocolate. When I ate more than a little chocolate, my stream diminished. So, chocolate was severely curtailed. Another negative influencer is gluten. Controlling my gluten intake and monitoring it, I verified to my own mind that gluten causes me to bloat and swell. The final element was increasing my water to help flush sodium out. Amazing how it’s all interconnected. I appreciate having the net to help me learn, and sites like WebMD.
  4. Cautious Independence Day planning is afoot. Friends have a tradition of consuming root beer floats while watching the fireworks from their deck. They like us; we like root beer floats, so we’ve become part of their tradition. Looks like we’ll do it again this year, while social distancing, just three couples. There will be floats, but not fireworks.

Got my coffee. Ready to write, but the first requirement will be to update the bible for The Constant, which is the current novel-in-progress. Then I’ll write like crazy, at least one more time.

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