Mindless Musings & Mutterings

I have had a bunch of ideas going through my head about potential blog posts, but none of them wanted to flesh themselves out to be a full post, so I’m just gonna throw stuff out there and let it land where it may.

Now that the 4th of July celebrations are over here in the US, there’s no real need to complain about that ‘one neighbor’ who feels the necessity to put off fireworks in their own back yard. This year, it was all about the noise – the booms and crashes – and not so much about lighting up the sky. For safety regulations, I appreciated that decision. However, they had apparently bought enough to be able to set them off on Saturday night, Sunday afternoon and evening (two rounds) and Monday evening. While I try to be tolerable that the idea of fireworks is how some people wish to celebrate, three consecutive evenings was a bit much.

I’ve never been a prude about language and swear/cuss words. Trust me, if I want to, I can swear like a college-edjumacated drunken sailor! The one word I will not tolerate is the one where a female is called a c*nt. At no time do I find it appropriate to label someone with that word, no matter who that someone is. I quietly deleted someone from my social media for doing exactly that. I do not want to be associated with anyone who considers that appropriate. Likewise, I’m finding that I’m becoming more intolerable of people who drop “F” bombs simply because they can. It is a word I seldom use, even when I’m swearing about something, and to hear it come out several times in different forms within the same sentence just really turns me off! Again, I’m starting to choose to not associate much with those kinds of people these days. To me, it just seems to be overkill!

We’ve made it through our second heat wave now, and since it’s early July, I’m anticipating that it may not be the last one. I have made the temporary move to bring my laptop to a usable space in my living room where I have a window air conditioner. I have chosen not to go outside on those days unless absolutely necessary. I think I’m faring even worse with the humidity as I age, since I now can have a sweating episode while sitting in an air-conditioned room!

I’m “officially” on Medicare! Honestly, that was such a fiasco to get there! I had to make one small change, since my Medicare Advantage plan assigned me to a doctor and my current one also accepts this coverage. I can change in-network doctors pretty easily, so I’m giving my current practice one more chance because I’ve been scheduled with a newer staff member I haven’t seen yet. I refuse to return to the one who is always 30 or more minutes late and too slow to get past reviewing lab results to discuss anything more. I will be seeing this new person for what is called a “Wellness Check”. I’m not sure what that means, but I hope it means I get a chance to talk about other issues that Keith either ignored or had no time to discuss with me. I’m giving the practice one more chance because they have all of my records, from my previous PCP as well as the 5 years I’ve been going there, and I hate to start with someplace totally new. However, I accepted having to do that while I was on the Medicare hamster wheel, so it doesn’t bring up any anxiety anymore.

I haven’t spent much time in my kitchen this summer, again, because there is no air-conditioning in the back of my apartment. I did, however, try out one hack I’d learned. I have a friend who makes the most gorgeously brown turkeys for the holidays, and my skins never get like hers. She told me her trick was to make sure the skin was dry, and then rub the entire skin with olive oil. (She also has a convection oven which, I’m sure, helps.) I did that with a small turkey breast in my toaster oven on a cooler day, and although it didn’t have to cook as long as a huge whole turkey, it did brown the skin enough to make it enjoyable to eat. I love the skin when it’s brown and crispy, so that was a nice treat!

I was thinking the other day about an older neighbor back when my (ex and now deceased) husband and I lived in the other half of the double home. I was in my mid-30s and while I never asked, I know she was at least in her 70s. I remember thinking often, while living there, that I wondered what she did to fill her days. She did not drive and I never saw visitors coming or going from her side of the front porch. Occasionally, when weather was cooperative, she would come out and sit in the rocker on her porch for 30 minutes or so, but otherwise, you never saw her nor heard a sound. Like I said, I used to wonder what she did all day – and now, I look at myself and ask myself what I did all day! My energy level, even though I’ve gotten my iron and Vitamin D levels back up to where they should be, continues to be less and less. I putter almost every day, and I’ve been doing some of the ‘oddest’ jobs around my house that I normally never think of as needing done, but bigger projects can sometimes take several starts and stops before being completed. Again, it might be because it’s hot in most parts of my apartment and I need to have cool-off breaks more often, but I’m not certain. Meanwhile, my ‘puttering’ includes things like cleaning the glass on all pictures and wall items that have glass throughout the apartment, giving what few stuffed animals I still have (I’m down to three, not counting my Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls) a ‘bath’ by using carpet cleaner on their fur, etc. Weird things that I don’t usually ever think about doing (and which obviously needed done!).

The test will be next week, when my bestie, Joanne, and I are headed to our beloved Lancaster County, PA for a day trip. Usually we leave around 9 AM and it’s mid-afternoon when we return, which means my energy is spent for the day. This time we’re actually leaving at 7 AM (works for me since I’m such an early riser!) and will wander our way through our favorite places and then try someplace new for lunch. Lancaster County is becoming ‘ripe’ with produce, and I’m planning to get some fresh fruits to make a fresh fruit salad. I made one last year (of fruits from my local grocery store) and I enjoyed the heck out of it! I’m also looking to see which of our foodie-shopping places might have cup cheese. Cup cheese is definitely a Lancaster County item, and people either hate it or love it! (Google it if you’ve never heard of it!) Cup cheese was always in my grandma’s fridge and was a treat when she gave us some! I actually looked at having some shipped by the only place in Lancaster County that makes it, but the shipping costs were pretty outlandish, what with having to keep it cold and all. I could drive to and from Lancaster County twice and the gasoline wouldn’t cost as much as those shipping costs!

Meanwhile, my life consists mostly of some puttering around the house and/or working in pieces on bigger projects, listening to music online and reading. I’ll continue to travel vicariously through my amazing friend, Prin (aka Marnette) and count down the days until I get to visit my brother again in early September. And, of course, I’ll continue to read some amazing blogs here, even if I don’t write much on my own.

So, how are YOU keeping busy?

Under the Weather

As a long-time sufferer of chronic sinusitis, you will seldom see me without a tissue in my hand or very nearby. Clothing with pockets has those pockets also stuffed with tissues, sometimes in various shades of use. Boxes of tissues are one of those things I keep in stock, purchasing more when the count gets down to four or less boxes.

Usually, it’s a runny nose, an inconvenience more than anything. A variety of over-the-counter products and nasal sprays, plus ibuprofen, keep it in check as needed. It’s one of those things I deal with, like a trick knee that sometimes goes out.

But about 10 days ago, what seemingly started out as another simple runny nose ended up being not one, but two, sinus infections. I’d made plans for an overnight stay to see a concert in an area about 1-1/2 hours away. I got to the location where I was staying, but just didn’t feel up to going to the concert (it was free, which made the decision a little easier). I did stay overnight, and stopped to visit a friend the next morning, coughing from the drainage in between blowing my nose. I came home, suffered through the night, and got in to see the doctor the next day.

Since I moved here 2 years ago, this is the first time this medical practice has dealt with one of my respiratory distress problems. My previous doctor always prescribed 500 mg of Amoxocillin 3 times a day, and that always worked. The fact that I had a low-grade fever accompanying the infections made my doctor choose to put me on the same medication, but at 875 mg twice a day. I didn’t care. I just wanted relief.

To make a long story short, the higher dosage of antibiotic created some serious issues with nausea. This is a common side-effect, but one I’d never had at the lower dosage. For days, I suffered through the nausea, had no energy, no appetite, and could only doze on and off as the phlegm would quickly gather in my throat and tickle it with the need to cough. Sleeping upright in the recliner didn’t help much. I was constantly drinking water to try and quiet the tickle.

I finally figured out yesterday that I could cut the antibiotic pills in half, and have started taking 1/2 a pill four times a day. That’s helped a little. Meanwhile, the constant runny nose is much better, as is the drainage to my throat. However, my head still feels incredibly full and somewhat like a bowling ball stuck between my shoulders. I was going to make some homemade chicken noodle soup and got chicken out to thaw, then didn’t have the energy to made the soup so just plain-baked the chicken so it wouldn’t go bad. I now add chicken to the nibbling I do, which has been mostly crackers (open package and eat, no real energy involved).

This, my readers, is why I’ve been absent from my blog. Not only have I not had the energy to write, but except for occasionally walking down one flight of interior steps to check my mail, I haven’t left my place in seven days (today will be day eight). In fact, this is the longest I’ve sat at my computer in one setting!

So please forgive me if you don’t see much from me for a little while longer. This is the first time in six years I’ve had something respiratory take me “down for the count” so I guess I was due. I miss the exercise to my brain that writing a blog takes, but anything more than just sharing the status quo would be forced.

Rest assured, I have no plans to stop blogging any time soon…