#598 – Holiday Wishes


This is late, I know, but I hope everyone that celebrates Christmas had a good one today. No matter what you celebrate this winter, I wish you prosperity, good cheer, and peace.

I’ll write more tomorrow. Today was a good day, but I’m exhausted and my head and back are killing me, and I want to go lie down.




So today is the Fourth of July which is a really big holiday here in America in which we celebrate our forefathers’ desire for separation of church and state by spending our children’s inheritance and setting it on fire to hear the boom. This day is usually marked by rampant patriotism, copious amounts of alcohol (usually beer) and food, sales galore, and parties everywhere. It is that last item that I wish to have you focus on, as it’s what I’m going to be discussing here today, and I’d prefer that we were both on the same page, as it were.

People that have known me for a while know I’m not a big party person. I prefer small gatherings to larger ones, because larger groups are louder and it’s harder to work my way into conversation with many than it is for me to work my way into a smaller crowd.

But today, I not only went to a party where there were easily 20 people, but I was looking forward to it, and had a great time. I wasn’t anxious about the day, I didn’t feel left out like I tend to do in larger groups, and there were lots of people there that I knew as well as people I’d never met before. I socialized, I watched a game I’d never heard of called Timeline – interesting premise, you have cards that each represent an event at some point in history, and using a seed card, your job is to guess where in the timeline your cards will fall; the game starts out easy but gets more and more difficult as the timespans between cards narrows significantly – and I ate some great food. I got a chance to visit a while with many of my friends and the only reason I think we left when we did was because my wife wasn’t feeling very well, and both of us were quite tired. (I got up this morning about quarter of five to go to the restroom and suddenly felt very dizzy and lightheaded. I went to check my blood sugar and it was perfectly normal, so I checked my blood pressure on a whim and got back a reading of 99/63. I woke my wife to let her know what was going on and took it again a few minutes later, and this time it was 86/54. I normally have high blood pressure that’s controlled using six different medications, so something this low was alarming for me. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with dehydration and given a bag of saline for my trouble. Neither one of us managed to get back to sleep before the party.)

We said our farewells and excused ourselves, and headed home for a nap and to prepare for an evening of ignoring everyone that was illegally lighting fireworks in city limits.

Back to Basics


After I posted my most recent post, which was over two weeks ago, I subconsciously decided that I was going to take the holidays off and enjoy myself. There were some rough times, especially on Christmas Day, and some anxious times, most notably the day after Christmas, but I managed to get through without too much conflict in the house.

Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to take a look at what direction my life is going.

Physically, my health is deteriorating very, very slowly. My fasting blood sugars are as high as 148, my blood pressure is randomly creeping northwards of 170/105, and I weigh more now than I ever have. I can’t blame that on the holidays, though, this has been a trend over the past several weeks. The blame rests squarely on my diet and lack of exercise. I haven’t eaten like I should, partially because we’ve been very lean in the budget and eating well is more expensive than eating poorly. We’re taking steps to fix that, however, and now that we’re caught back up on the bills we should have slightly more wiggle room from week to week. I’ve resolved to get back out there and exercise more than I have been, and to remember to be easy on myself – it’s been months since I was walking regularly.

I’ve removed two items from my checklist that don’t have to be done every day, getting it back to the version that I’ve been most successful at adhering to. And with the holidays behind us, and Monday starting a new week, it’s as good a time as any to recommit to taking care of myself rather than just coasting through life like I have been of late.

So, expect to see more of my ramblings as 2016 progresses. Here’s to improvement this year over last.

Note: regular readers of this blog will note that I posted something last year eschewing New Year’s resolutions, and may conclude that this recommitment of mine passes for a resolution. I wouldn’t say that since I’m not declaring any specific goals – I just plan on 2016 being better than 2015 was, and at the end of the year I want there to be some notable headway in improving my life and my situation. There’s still time to figure out what I want to do in the months ahead. But getting back on my checklist will likely be the starting point for it all, so that’s where I’m starting.

NaBloPoMo Day 26: Just Another Typical Thursday


I wrote yesterday about the things that I’m thankful for. That’s because for all intents and purposes, this is just like any other Thursday at our house. My wife is still working, I’m still doing a radio show. We had leftovers for lunch and will be having leftovers for dinner. In fact, the only two things that make today different than any other Thursday is that my wife is working 10am-7pm instead of 2pm-11pm, and she’ll be doing a radio show just after mine. Oh, and there’s been a call to my mother and will be one to my daughter and my wife’s side of the family when my wife gets home from work.

Our big Thanksgiving dinner is going to have to wait until another time.

But that’s okay with me. Holidays tend to stress me out because despite everyone having the day off to do whatever they want, tradition holds that we spend it with family and prepare a tremendous feast of a meal to celebrate. The only stress that we’re going to experience today outside of the usual Thursday stress is the hurried programming of a second radio show tonight. We’re going to be able to counter that with the fun and shenanigans that usually happen during our joint radio show on Saturdays once my solo show is off the air. There’s also the logistics of cooking a turkey with sides in our galley kitchen. There’s precious little countertop space and it’s not very conducive to getting a big elegant spread on the table.

I’m perfectly content to push that stress off to another day.

It’s not like I don’t like big holiday meals; I do, and I especially love making sandwiches out of the leftover turkey. But given how this week started, I’m content to not have a crazy day piled on to the way I was feeling earlier in the week.

So, for my readers in the United States, happy Thanksgiving, and for my readers in other countries, um … happy Thursday. Nothing says you can’t have a turkey dinner tonight too if you want, except that it’s kind of past dinnertime in Europe, so that basically leaves North and South America with enough time to work that turkey in. If you hurry. And if you like turkey. It’s okay to not have to like turkey.

I forgot where I was going with this. I appear to be rambling. I guess I’ll just wrap this up, then.

Holiday Bonus and Other Musings


This morning I awoke at 8:00, did my vitals, took my meds, and rousted my wonderful wife out of bed to indulge me for breakfast. We went for bagels. Then we came home and took a nap.

And didn’t wake back up until 12:30.

Such is the bonus of it being a holiday at my wife’s workplace, because of Independence Day on Saturday.

At some point this morning, I started having a panic attack. I don’t even remember what started it or when it was – that’s becoming more and more prevalent. I can’t remember the trigger, I think it was because we were planning to entertain later in the day and I was nervous about how the visit would go. (It wasn’t panic due to the visitor, who follows this blog, but rather the whole concept of opening our doors and being sociable.)

Before I could even start to think about it, my wife was Johnny-on-the-spot with our new weapon.

“What do you see?” she began. And like clockwork, by the time we got to the last question of the five, my panic had subsided and I was actually starting to be excited about the visit.

The visit went well, though it started to head in a direction that I couldn’t really contribute to the conversation. (The subject of fiber arts came up and while I am capable of both knitting and weaving, I tend to let my wife dominate those conversations, since she’s far more advanced in knitting, crochet, spinning, and dyeing than I am.) We even took the show on the road, grabbing a snack and then heading to the local library to see another friend (my wife’s matron of honor works as a librarian there).

When our visit ended after a nice, long time, I started in on those items on my checklist that aren’t so time-sensitive.

And then the crack outside rang like a bell.

This is a time of year that I tend to dislike, not because I’m not patriotic, but because loud noises trigger my PTSD (even though it’s not combat-related, I’m easily startled sometimes) and every Tom, Dick, and Harry has plunked down a sizable chunk of money in equal parts fireworks and beer. The two rarely are a good combination, as tomorrow night my neighbors will celebrate by lighting small explosives at random intervals throughout much of the night. It won’t surprise me in the least if the last firework goes off after midnight tomorrow.

It’s also not a favorite of our beloved cat, who really gets antsy during this time of year, and it’s all we can do to keep her calmed down during the worst of it. When the one single firecracker went off earlier tonight, the kitten jumped. I can’t imagine what it will be like for her tomorrow with everything going off all in one evening. Then again, I can imagine. I go through it too.

If I know to expect fireworks, it’s not so bad. Going to see a municipal display is fine with me, except for the part where I have to fight the crowds. I even raised money one year for my historical non-profit to put on a 20 minute long professional fireworks show, complete with custom made ground effects and shells representing our organization. I sat practically underneath them and loved the whole show.

But those random bangs and pops that go on outside my door while I’m safely inside always startle and surprise me, and while I don’t jump like the cat does, my breath always catches in my throat for just an instant every time.

Tomorrow’s going to be a long day for me. In addition to the fireworks, it’s a show night, and being “on” for three hours straight is going to be tiring.

On the plus side, it looks like we’ll be playing an online version of Cards Against Humanity during the show, so we’ll have that to distract us.

This post has been rather stream-of-consciousness. Not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of journaling is done in this manner, and as much as this is a public blog, it’s also where I go to write what’s on my mind. Some days, it’s thought-provoking. Other days, you get this mish-mash of thoughts and expressions.

I never promised I was a good writer. Just an honest one.