Thanksgiving’s Theme Music

Welcome to Thanksgiving in America. It’s not the shiny spectacle that we strive to create in the United States. In a lot of ways, today is like flipping back through history pages, and seeing an ugly time, and wondering, how did those people get through that?

Yes, Thanksgiving is a holiday, innit? My holiday vibe is a bit subdued today. I tried being upbeat, but, yes, I’m a little weary. A little pandemic’d out. A little elections exhausted, blended with hues of a little tarnished life syndrome. Gosh, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be, was it? No, not for this snowflake. As an average white American male, we’re not supposed to know shit like this. That’s for other people. Guess I have a tiny inkling about what those others endured.

Not really. No abusive parents. No food insecurities. No wondering if anyone, police or otherwise, are going to shoot me. No worrying about paying the rent or getting a job, or so much other shit that’s heaped on people through the sperm lottery. (Should the sperm lottery be called a spottery? It seems spotty, doesn’t it, hit and miss, about who has what.)

I don’t have COVID-19. I’m aging and male, so I cope with some enlarged prostate, some BHP. (I think that’s the proper letter combos.) I broke an arm in July, leaving me to rehab that arm, hand, wrist, and shoulder. (Yeah, it continues to improve…I think…) I have a lifelong pre-existing condition, hypertension, that I deal with. I’m a hopeful novelist, so I have all the angst, hope, and collective feelings associated with that.

Compiling the bottom line, I have a lot to be thankful for. Yet the blues have me today.

As it’s a holiday, I’m indulging myself with a blues favorite. Yes, it’s a repeat song, from a few years ago. Nothing like the blues to lift you, right?

Here’s Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble with “Cold Shot”. It’s a video of a live performing, as I wish he was, back when I was young.

Happy holidays. Yeah, and wear a mask, please. Time to go get some coffee cake and coffee. My wife made the coffee cake last night for today. Yeah, life’s not so bad here. Cheers

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Cold Shot (Live From Austin, TX) – YouTube

Friday’s Free-Ranging

  1. Some people still believe COVID-19 is a hoax. Even as they’re hospitalized and intubated, they can’t believe they have COVID-19, according to nurses in several states, because COVID-19 is a hoax. Surreal.
  2. But it’s getting real. For many people, it doesn’t become real until a family member, close friend, or celebrity has it. Well, read the news. Another Pentagon official is positive, and another U.S. senator. Actor Ben Platt was positive. Do a net search and you’ll discover more. NFL teams are experiencing it at an increasing tempo. The Vegas Raiders have at least eight defensive starters on the COVID-19 list. The Steelers have several, while several others passed the protocol and can practice and play again. The Denver Broncos announced, no more fans in the stands after this Sunday. The NFL said that all teams must use intense COVID-19 protocols. That includes masks, distancing, limiting occupancy, and using Zoom for meetings.
  3. The fatality rate and positivity rates are both climbing. A NYTimes article points out that there’s not a single U.S. state or territory where COVID-19 is declining. We now experience over two hundred thousand new case a day, and it’s increasing fast. More governors are ordering mandatory masks, shutting down activities, and limiting gatherings. Except, in South Dakota, of course, home of Sturgis. Although they’re facing the nation’s highest positivity rate and fatality rate, and has become one of the nation’s most intense COVID-19 hotspots, the governor still dismisses taking any actions.
  4. And superspreader events still take place across the nation. As a for instance tale, there was a wedding in Ohio on October 31st. Of eighty-three guests, half are now positive for COVID-19, including the bride and groom. Three of their grandparents tested positive, with two grandparents ending up in the ER. Yeah, I understand that you want a special day for your wedding. It’s a celebration, but c’mon, man, have some sense. They did try, providing masks and hand sanitizer liquid, but as the bride was walking down the aisle, she realized nobody was wearing a mask.
  5. Meanwhile, out in hard-hit El Paso, they’re trying to find workers for the many temporary morgues that they’ve set up. They were using convicts for the job.
  6. Writing continues to entertain and satisfy me, so hurrah for me, right? Yeah, that’s my little ray of sunshine.
  7. Some days, I just cannot write fast enough. A scene takes maybe a minute to enter my head and bloom. Dialogue, setting, action, characters, it’s all there. It takes twenty to thirty minutes to type up such scenes, trying to get all the moments right.
  8. Getting the moments right means finding the words. I often just hammer it out, then return, correcting pacing and tenses, adding and refining details, and aligning the arc. That’s about the only way to put it.
  9. Thanksgiving in the United States is coming upon us, and we’re preparing. It’ll be the two of us at home, a huge break from the last several years. Good friends have been including us in their celebration. It’s always a good time. There will be a Zoom Thanksgiving cocktail party this year. It’s better than nothing, right?
  10. For food, we’re doing an early Sunday morning Trader Joe’s raid. Many options were investigated before deciding on this path. TJ’s ‘vulnerable shoppers’ time begins at 8 AM. We plan to be there by 8:15 with our list in hand.
  11. Contemplating our plans fires Thanksgiving memories. I was in Basic Training in 1974. Fortunately, my Uncle and his family lived nearby. I was authorized to go spend Thanksgiving with them, and watched the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions play. For Wright-Patt in Ohio, in ’75, we drove home and visited with family. When I was serving unaccompanied in the Philippines in 1976, my co-workers invited me to their house, and I had a great time. Paying it back, my wife and I often included single or unaccompanied personnel in our T-day celebrations.
  12. Memories stack up by bases and countries: Onizuka in California, Kadena on Okinawa, Rhein-Main in Germany, Osan in Korea, Randolph in Texas. When we were stationed at Shaw AFB in South Carolina in 1985, we headed north three hundred miles to my wife’s family in WV. A few hundred more miles, and we were at my mother’s place in Pittsburgh, PA. When I retired and we lived in Half Moon Bay, we joined in large Friendsgiving celebrations, just as we’ve mostly done here in Ashland.
  13. All of these places and years are memorable, though; all of them. They were different places, different people, and different experiences, but all enriched my existence.
  14. Need more coffee, as it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Have four scenes circling in my head. Time for them to land on a page. Have a better one, and please wear a mask.

Saturday Strings

Haven’t mentioned a few things (skunk, arm, Fitbit) in a while. Being egocentric, I thought I would today.

  1. Oh, the skunk. She (my wife is certain it’s a female) has gained the upper hand on we puny humans. She thumps the board aside (I keep it there so I know she’s coming and going) and does her business.
  2. Last night, however, came turmoil under the house. Thump, thump, at first, rousing me from my television viewing. My wife had retired to bed. The cats were slumbering in preparation for their three A.M. rounds. I was watching “The Expanse” (the UN has just declared war on Mars and the Roci is heading to Io). The thump was singular and distant at first, causing me a “WTF, did-I-really-hear-something” pause. The show was stopped and I listened, counting cats (two were with me) when I did. Yep, the thumps repeated, more numerous and louder. Pushing the cat off my lap (he was listening, too), I leaped up, checked on the third cat (Papi, sleeping in the living room), and traced the sound. Finding its general area, I began thumping around in retaliation.
  3. The thumping underfoot increased in volume and frequency. My wife called, “Are you hearing this, too?” Uh, yeah. The sounds from beneath gravitated toward the front. Grabbing the flashlight, I turned on the front lights and headed outside.
  4. I arrived just in time to see the skunk exit the crawl space and bolt down the sidewalk, down the driveway, and across the street. Its perfume filled the air.
  5. Returning inside, I learned, we’ve been gassed. I reported my findings to my wife. The smell was mostly gone this morning, probably aided when the furnace kicked on and circulated the air. (The garage, though…you can spoon it out like Jello in there.) (Skunk Jello; that’s a thought.) As to what happened…it’s another of nature’s mysteries. I put the board back up this morning.
  6. My broken arm’s recovery continues. Rotation, flexibility, strength, and dexterity improves by day. I can now use ten pound weights to restore my arm and shoulder strength. I try twelves, but my wrist barks with sharp pains, so I cease. It’ll come. Persistence and perseverance. Raising my arm over my head (to put on a shirt, for example) taxes my shoulder. Yeah, working on it.
  7. Can’t do any pushups or chair-dips with my arm/wrist, though. Well, I can do modified pushups, where I’m on my knees. I can plank, and that’s up to three minutes a night.
  8. Meanwhile, Fitbit has congratulated me on hitting my distance goals every day for seventy-eight continuous days. My daily average is twelve miles a day. Although that pleases me, it comes with caveats. I only seriously walk outside three or four days a week, heading up the hills around my house, typically for one to three miles. Most of my daily stuff is derived from running around the house or jogging in place. I have several routes in the house, doing figure eights around the dining and living rooms. I’d like to walk outside more, but darkness comes early, and it’s wet and chilly, and I’m essentially a cream puff. I’ve considered walking in the morning or early afternoon, but that interferes with writing and housework. Priorities, don’t you know.

That’s all that’s fit to print. The cats (Boo, Tucker, and Papi) are all healthy and doing well. Tucker has said no to going outside, which is fine by me. Boo likes to go out in the morning and evening to do his business, but those turns are getting shorter quick. He resorted to the litter box last night. (Um, yea?) Papi, though, is a youngblood, and must roam the night. As its cold, his outside visits are getting shorter, but then, he’s bored, and wants to go out (or have me stay up and play with him, which ain’t gonna happen). Can’t wait till he matures enough to stay inside more.

Hope your life is going well. Take care.

Cheers

Seven Things Saturday

  1. We were out walking and encountered a rafter of wild turkeys. We have a few rafters in Ashland. We rarely come across them on our end of town. Encountering these smart birds is usually entertaining. Most rafters are eleven to seventeen birds in our area.
  2. This rafter was checking out the electric bikes available for rent. I imagined the turkeys were saying, “Hey, I’m tired of walking. Let’s rent some bikes.” Another replied, “I don’t see why not. I don’t see rule against turkeys anywhere on the rules.” “Cool. Does anyone have a phone? We need to use an app.” None did, ending their idea before it started.
  3. I recommend a show called “Staged” if you can watch it. It’s David Tennant and Michael Sheen as themselves. In theory, they’re rehearsing a play online during the COVID-19 lockdown. What we see are two experienced, celebrated adult film and television stars coping with the situation. The remaining cast is excellent, as are guest stars like Adrian Lester, Judi Dench, and Samuel L. Jackson. We caught it on Hulu. Sadly, there are but six episodes. My wife wants to watch it again. Good fun.
  4. My friends are circulating an email speculating how dinosaurs reproduced. It’s entertaining stuff to read. Ever imagine how big a dinosaur’s anus must be? Well, I immediately thought of the blue whale. If you watch “QI”, you know exactly why.
  5. That’s one of many emails being circulated by the same group of friends, my beer-drinking bodies. Emails about Osiris-Rex landing on Bennu and grabbing a soil sample also flew, along with the usual stuff about local politics, humor, and super-conductivity being achieved at room temperature.
  6. Active COVID-19 are increasing around the world. The US set a new daily high with 83,000 plus. Mortality is down, but hospitalizations are on the rise again. Please wear a mask and practice distancing. I know it’s hard but you’ll be happier in the end. Don’t believe me; check out recent pieces about the Stockdale Syndrome (“Have faith but face reality”).
  7. Had blood drawn as part of the annual process. Glyco-Hemoglobin A1C and Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. All looked although sodium remains stubbornly high. Good news, right?
  8. I may have driven the skunk away. It’s a bittersweet thing and still early days. First, I propped a board against the vent so that if the skunk left, I’d know. Second, I shook the house with Led Zeppelin II. Third, I then installed a boom box on max volume in the crawl space and played it for hours. We’ll see.

Yes, I know that was eight, contrary to the post title. Just call it a bonus.

Med Frustrations

Okay, gotta vent. This is one of those first world blues rants, the kind that deal with technology, systems, and customer service taken for granted that ends up failing and pissing me off.

I’m on two medical prescriptions these days. One is for my enlarged prostate and was prescribed for me when I experienced problems in peckerville in 2019. It’s all benign and is working well enough now.

The other prescription is for high-blood pressure. That was discovered as a result of my peckerville issues. I’d been borderline high pressure throughout my life but it was suddenly over two hundred thirty.

Changes were made in diet and exercise, and the prescription, Amlodipine, begun. I was always getting thirty day prescriptions. I shifted that to ninety day for convenience, and then, concurrent with COVID-19, I started using a mail service to refill my prescriptions back in February or so.

This was being done through Express Scripts. I set my meds up for auto-refill. All was going well. I was satisfied.

But, last week, I noticed I was down to nine Amlodipine pills. I hadn’t heard from Express Scripts. That surprised me. I went into my email and did a search to verify that I hadn’t received something from them. Nope. I logged into my account.

Finding the Amlodipine prescription, I noted that it wouldn’t be automatically refilled until 10/23. Well, that was too late. I put it in the cart and ordered it. Done and done. Went to my email. A confirmation email had been received. Wonderful. The system was working.

But…

Everyone expected the but. But what happened, I’m sure people are wondering, to set off the rant?

But, I didn’t hear anything else.

Days passed. I logged back into my online Express Scripts account after not receiving further emails. I checked my recent orders and shipments. Why, there are no recent orders and shipments. I searched via the order number they provided me. That order wasn’t found. I searched via the invoice number provided. Nothing.

WTH? I’d copied it from the email and pasted it in.

The email also had a ‘click here for order status’ button. I clicked it.

It took me to the login page, where I went through the same thing as before.

WTF?

I did this several times, re-reading the email and tracing steps, trying to understand what went wrong. I couldn’t. I’m sure this wasn’t good for my blood pressure.

I reached out to them via an email and explained my issue.

That was Wednesday evening. I heard from them today, Friday. One was an email. Call us. Two was a phone call. ANONYMOUS.

I didn’t answer that call; I don’t talk to ANONYMOUS in this day of scams where everyone and their dog is trying to con me, asking for donations, or pleading for political contributions. Their message: call us.

I called them. They claimed that the order put in was for my other medication. That was ordered the 18th. It’d been canceled because it was an overfill. By the way, my Amlodipine isn’t on auto-refill. Do I want to put it on auto-refill?

Seriously.

I don’t think this exchange did my blood pressure any good.

My response: how did my Amlodipine go from auto-refill to non-auto if it wasn’t the one that I ordered the other day?

Two, if I ordered a prescription, whether it was overfill or not, why didn’t I receive an email notifying me that it’d been canceled? Didn’t they think there was a reason I was ordering it? Isn’t it just good customer service to notify a customer when an order is canceled?

Three, if I ordered it on the 18th, why did I have an email from them that I received on the 17th telling me that they were working the order?

Four, if the Amlodipine wasn’t on auto-refill and they don’t show me or anyone else changing it, how was the order previously automatically refilled? Was that just magic?

They didn’t have answers for any of these things.

Perhaps I did push a wrong button on the 17th when I was processing online. Given their system, I find it doubtful. The product must be selected. Then, it’s right there in front of my face. Perhaps I had a brain fart and shifted from thinking Amlodipine to the other one, Tamsulosin. I’m not infallible.

And, yeah, given time differences of one or two hours, I suppose I can accept the idea that the order I put in at ten PM on the 17th showed up as being received on the 18th. That doesn’t explain the rest, especially the lack of an email telling me that the order had been canceled.

And that sucks.

Fortunately, I have an excellent local pharmacy. I shifted from them mostly because of the whole COVID-19 thing. Getting my meds through the mail with auto-refills took a few things off my place, thereby reducing stress, and eliminated the need to leave the house to get refills.

I called that pharmacy today for a short term refill. They were understanding. They would need to call my doc for the prescription, but no problem, they would do that. They’re so nice, I feel bad about abandoning them.

Then I called my doc’s office to provide a heads-up that they would receive a request, and why.

Well, the rant is done. I don’t feel any better after ranting. Too many loose ends. It’s gonna take a while to get over it. Meanwhile, my trust in Express Scripts has dropped significantly. There are just too many open questions about what happened for me to have complete trust. It’ll take time, probably years, for them to earn that. That’s what happens when a trust is breached.

Thanks for reading. Hope you’re having a better one. Please wear your masks.

Cheers

Closure

First, a commercial interlude. I’ve been watching Hulu late at night, streaming Fargo. Interesting commercials come on, then. One of them is about Peyronie’s Disease. In the commercial, men are holding up carrots, bananas, and cucumbers. The fruit and vegetables look straight, but the men then turn them to reveal sharp curves. A voiceover says something like, “Does your erection have an unusual curve or bump that it didn’t use to have? Your erections shouldn’t hurt.”

It’s eye-opening.

I never thought about what my erection looked like. Naturally, this commercial made me wonder. Also, my erections never hurt. It’s scary, though. Nothing is safe.

The things I learn from commercials. Maybe I should watch less television. (Sure, that’s the answer.) I pulled out my computer (did you think I was going to put another noun there?) and googled PD to confirm it existed.

It does.

Okay, on to the main event.

I’m a Do-It-Yourselfer.

I’m not a very good one.

Whether it’s writing a computer program or a novel, fixing a car or a wall, painting a house or building a computer — which are things I’ve done — I usually achieve decent results, but it’s a messy process.

I have a few reasons that I think is behind all this.

  1. I’m self taught, but I’m not a very good teacher.
  2. I’m an impatient person.
  3. Whenever I asked for help as a child, Mom told me, “Figure it out.” Like most moms, she thought I was smarter and more capable than I really am. I started believing her.

I was painting our kitchen when I broke my arm in July. Painting the kitchen can be violent, can’t it? What transpired is that our kitchen window is five feet wide and four feet tall. The window looks over the front proch.

A blind was installed for privacy, light, and all that. The blind is one of those that can be pulled up by a cord on one end, or let down by a different cord on the other end. I think the official name is something screwy, like two-way blinds. I don’t know. Look it up.

The thing is, when I re-installed the blinds with my wife’s help after painting the kitchen, one end didn’t get correctly placed in the bracket. Whenever you pulled the cord to raise and lower the blind on that end, the blind bent down. That irritated me. Thus, “I will fix!” I decided.

Climbing onto the counter, I removed the blind and discovered that the brackets weren’t properly aligned. Easy fix, yah? Off I went for the appropriate screw driver to loosen and adjust the brackets. Except, I couldn’t turn the damn screws. They…WOULD…NOT…TURN. But I’d reinstalled the brackets. If I screwed them in, I should be strong enough to screw them out.

Damn it. With rising irritation, I turned to jump down off the counter to get a better tool. When I did, I caught my foot on the counter, setting into motion the awkward crash that broke the bones in my arm and twisted my hand up against my arm, sandwiching it between arm and body.

After that it was pain, hospital, splint, recovering, therapy…

Here we are, three months later. That damn blind was still down. It was driving me crazy.

My wife and I had talked about asking someone to put it up or hiring someone. Neither had happened. She was out yesterday, socially responsibly visiting friends (masks-distance-outside on a private deck). I walked into the kitchen and saw that big window and the brackets where the blind should be installed.

Time to fix it, I decided.

First, a pep talk.

One, I had to be careful. If I fell and hurt myself, I should just face up to it and end my life, because my wife would probably end it for me.

Two, I had to be careful, because I didn’t want to get hurt. I was nervous, which didn’t help, because…what if I fell? I’d never live it down. (I imagined going to the Emergency Room. “You again?” they would exclaim. “What did you do THIS time?” It’s weird that I imagined that. I’ve only been there once in the fifteen years that we’ve lived here.)

So, I told myself, BE CAREFUL. Take your time. Stay in the moment. FOCUS, fool.

I did. The brackets were adjusted and the blind reinstalled. It took about fifteen minutes.

I showed it to my wife when she returned home.

“How did you do that?” she asked.

“Just put on my splint, got the tools, climbed up there and did it.”

“Did you use a chair to get up and down?”

“Of course. I’m a professional.”

“Were you nervous?”

I smiled. “What do you think?”

It was very satisfying to fix the blind. I believe they call it closure.

An Abundance of Caution

  1. In headline news, COVID-19 has mostly been impersonal. There are always anecdotal stories. Some of those are about non-believers who turned out to be carriers or were involved in a superspreader event. They now regret calling the novel coronavirus a hoax and not taking action, as family members and friends actually sickened and died, just as they were warned, or, they experienced serious health problems themselves. That’s what it sometimes takes to open people’s eyes.
  2. Herd immunity was given another boost via the Barrington Project. Interesting idea but when you look at the numbers involved and the impact, it’s a scary idea. Pursue herd immunity and you’ll endure higher hospitalizations, packed ICUs, and higher death rates. In theory, your economy will be better and life will be more ‘normal’.
  3. Want to talk about Sweden? Go ahead. I’ve already checked them out. Their mortality rate is fifth highest in the world, behind Spain, the US, UK, and Italy.
  4. States, of course, are interested in herd immunity, especially those states where COVID-19 is already surging. This includes Idaho and South Dakota. South Dakota was home to several superspreader events and took little to no actions. Now COVID-19 is raging across the state.
  5. Florida, naturally, is also interested in herd immunity. They’re embracing that science after defying all other science.
  6. Meanwhile, we’ve had a few big names contract COVID-19 and die. Now more people in the rich, powerful, and famous circles are testing positive. We’ve already had Donald Trump, his wife, son Barron, and twenty-five other people (or more – I quit counting) associated with a WH event. This doesn’t include the Secret Service agents protecting the POTUS and family; they don’t tell how many of them get sick. But today brings news that Kamala Harris is canceling some events because an aide and another associated with her campaign tested positive. So did Alabama coach Nick Saban, along with Atlanta Falcons staff.
  7. Several U.S. Senators and a few mayors have tested positive. The senators usually make news because they’re Republican and refuse to either notify others, quarantine, or wear a mask. I guess a few of them require their loved ones and family to contract the illness and suffer before they’ll be more serious about it.
  8. The Atlanta Falcons news comes on top of other NFL COVID-19 news. Cam Newton, Patriots QB, has ended his COVID-19 quarantine. The Tenn. Titans won their first game back after being off for sixteen days due to dozens testing positive in the Titans org.
  9. “An abundance of caution” is the NFL’s new tagline this year. Whenever something COVID-19 related is announced, the the press release usually has the phrase “an abundance of caution” in it. That includes two stories today. One that the Falcons have closed their facility after at least one, but maybe four, have tested positive. Two, Odell Beckham, Jr, a Cleveland Browns wide receiver, was sent home with an unspecified illness “out of an abundance of caution”.
  10. COVID-19 is havoc on the NFL’s schedule, of course. After creating and promoting Thursday Night Football, there’s no Thursday Night Football this week. That game was moved to Sunday. Meanwhile, we did have the standard Monday Night Football, along with Tuesday Night Football this week. They’re also talking about adding an eighteenth week to the regular season.
  11. One of the big headlines today is that Europe’s surge of daily new cases are now higher than the United States. The UK and EU are talking lockdown again. Some are speculating this is the second wave. Out of an abundance of caution, we’re stocking up on food and supplies, continuing to wear our masks, and social-distance. Of course, we have that privilege. Too sadly, there are many in society who don’t.

Friday Fragments

  1. People tell me how skinny I’ve become. Interesting, because I weigh just seven pounds less than two years ago. What I’ve pieced together, based on history and what doctors told me, is that my prostrate gland had become severely enlarged. It blocked my bladder, eventually causing a medical emergency because I couldn’t void myself. My little old one- hundred ml bladder had eleven hundred ml of piss in it, according to the staff when I arrived that morning in the ER. According to my doc when he recounted it later, I was grossly distended. So, no, it wasn’t weight; I was full of piss. Once that was all relieved, and my prostate has shrunk some, my organs are no longer displaced, and no longer have an abdomen that sticks out like a car bumper.
  2. You can read about my 2019 troubles in Peckerville here.
  3. My prostate/bladder experience reaffirmed the need to not look at everyone through the same lenses. They may look overweight, but it could be something else completely.
  4. I’m also looking at my food differently. I used to consider sugars, fat, and content whenever I made a food selection. We’ve moved sharply toward organic and natural food in the past fifteen years. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) last year. I’m on meds for it. I now check sodium content in food and keep it down. I’m staggered by how much sodium is used in modern processed food. It’s eye opening, and not in a good way. The Trader Joe’s foods that I used to enjoy are completely unacceptable.
  5. Speaking of looking at things differently, the neighbor’s cat was almost done in by a car the other day, right before my eyes. Mimi, a gorgeous little grey and white kitty, was sitting on the curb across the street. A pedestrian was chatting with her. He later said, though, another cat was distracting Mimi. A car came rushing up the street. Mimi decided then to cross.
  6. Cats don’t view the world as we do. They have a harder time discerning a car forty feet away, traveling at a speed of thirty miles per hour, coming at them.
  7. The car brakes to a halt with a sharp screech of tires. Mimi appears safe. She streaks home. All are concerned. I knock on the neighbor’s door and tell her what happened and where Mimi went. I haven’t seen Mimi or neighbor since. It worries me, but I think if something bad happened, my neighbor would come and tell me. That’s how she is.
  8. We were out shopping Tuesday. Had to renew the car registration in Medford, so we thought we’d shop and gas up the car at the same time. All went well but I realized, I don’t really miss people during this pandemic/stay-at-home era. I miss my routines. Yes, I miss having beers with friends or going dancing, and traveling, but it’s not about missing the people as much as doing things other than what I’m doing. I’ve always known I’m not a social person. I don’t know how much of this to assign to what, personality wise. In other words, how much is due to my genetic makeup, and how much of it is a socialization thingy?
  9. We’re seriously processing moving out of state, probably heading east. Well, come on, we live in Oregon; we can’t go south to California. Going north to Washington has been addressed, but it doesn’t seem feasible.
  10. Looking at house photos online to fill in an idea of what housing would be like, I’m fascinated by the difference in home décor between the Pacific northwest, and Ohio/Pennsylvania, where we’re looking. We’ve always been aware of the differences in clothing fashion between different parts of the country. There are also usually differences attributable to age and economic straits. And, visiting family, yes, I’ve also noticed it when I visit their homes. So much viewing, I suppose, has driven the disparity more deeply into me.
  11. The other thing is about how housing styles have changed through the decades. Back in the forties, fifties, and sixties, (I don’t know about other decades, because I don’t see houses from other times), homes seemed to mostly form follow function. Small box houses. Little character is evidenced outside. The yards are large, the rooms are small, especially bathrooms.
  12. Later, though, the houses grow more and more about exterior style. While the boxes were efficient but less attractive, the newer houses become more inefficient in their interiors, with lots of wasted space or strange spaces. Yards are smaller, though all of the yards on the listings I check are larger than the yards out here. I have several friends who are retired or practicing architects. I’d love to talk to them about evolving house designs. One was on the forefront of tiny houses and sustainable living, so I really want to get her take.
  13. We have three firm rules for our new place, wherever we settle. One, no mortgages. Paying in cash limits our choices (we don’t want to sink all of our cash into a house, right?), but we don’t want a mortgage. Two, no HOAs. They’ve burned us twice; never again. I think they’re one of the more ridiculous modern contrivances. Three, we need a little space. We just don’t like living on top of other people. When we first move back, we will be renting, of course. We’ve done this before. Although we haven’t moved in fourteen years, I was in the military for twenty years, as was my father before me. I’ve moved a lot during my lifetime.
  14. I’m pretty convinced we need to move. Not looking forward to it, but… But years of smoky summers and droughts, water restrictions, and wildfires have worn us down. Sad, because Ashland, Oregon, and the region are beautiful and wonderful in multiple ways. The negatives, though, have just added up. Given the trends of the previous ten years and the forecasts and models, we only see it getting worse.

Have a good day. Wear your masks, please. Be safe. Cheers

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