Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Talking to My Angel

This is called "Talking to My Angel," by Melissa Etheridge. I changed a wording where it is supposed to say "under the mid-west sky" to "under Virginia skies" because I'm from Virginia.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Spider's Web Like Tinsel

Pandemic Journal Day 136

I can't let a tornado in Botetourt County go by unremarked.

We did not see the tornado, though apparently it was just over the ridge. We went riding around immediately after hearing about it, though. We think it formed near the intersection of Haymakertown Road and Lee Lane and ten followed the Catawba Creek, mostly as a funnel cloud, but perhaps touching down.

The National Weather Service is supposed to be investigating today to confirm touchdown.

The alert went off on my phone while I was in the middle of watching a Melissa Etheridge concert online that I'd paid $10 to see. About the time the alert went off, my PC screen froze, but I was able to refresh it and continue watching. I wasn't getting up from that unless I absolutely had to and we don't, as a rule, have tornadoes here. 

My husband left my side and went prowling around the house to see if he could see anything. He reported rotation in the clouds towards my father's house, which is about where we think the tornado began. Photos began pouring in on social media and my friends Cathy and Teresa both say they felt the tornado and/or heard it.

The tornado apparently came through around 6:40 or so, and we hopped in the car at 7 p.m. and drove around to see if we could find its path. Nothing was visible from the road aside from the one spot at the aforementioned location, whether there were some downed tree limbs. That's why we think it formed around there.

As for the pandemic, we continue to have zero leadership at the federal level. Governor Northam has done a good job trying to keep things in hand in Virginia, but I'm not sure how you deal with so many stupid people and manage a pandemic all at the same time. Everyday there are utterly appalling videos of people who should know better having temper tantrums over wearing masks. You'd think they were all two years old and have never heard the concept of community and protecting others, the way they act. I would be embarrassed. The sad thing is, they think they are in the right and this is all some kind of hoax. A big world-wide hoax, I guess. Must be the best damn hoax ever, is all I can say.

More than 153,000 US citizens have died from this virus. I'm pretty sure a lot of them did not have to die and would not have died if we'd had appropriate leadership to begin with. But we did not.

Last night I started getting a sore throat and that continues into today. My neck glands are a little swollen. I also have a bit of a headache. The headache could be weather-related since we have a tropical depression/hurricane coming up the coast.

I was out a lot last week - I drove my mother-in-law to get her car, I picked up groceries Monday and last night (I do the online thing, I don't go in the store), I had to see the orthopedic doctor, I went to the chiropractor. I probably picked up something somewhere down the line even though I use a lot of Purell and wash my hands at every sink I see. I am not concerned it is Covid-45. I suppose it could be, but most likely it is either an allergy (my husband kept rolling down the car windows because they kept fogging up Saturday night when we were looking for the tornado's path and everyone had mowed their yard), or I picked up one of the many other little viruses that I frequently get.

In other words, it doesn't feel like an out-of-the-ordinary illness for me, although I am quite tired and more than a little depressed.  Time will tell.

The children are supposed to start back to school this month, some homeschooling completely, some going back two days a week, some doing a mix of both online and in-class learning. My niece is headed off to Radford University.  Hopefully she will be safe there and wear her mask and do the things she needs to do take care of herself.

My husband came in this morning fussing because yesterday he'd seen a woman and a child in a silver vehicle stopped a long the side of the road at the pasture field. He did not say anything to them - he should have - and for some strange reason he assumed they were picking up trash (nobody picks up trash, why would he assume that?). At any rate, he came back up ranting and raving because apparently the woman and child had decided to fly a kite and the string was wrapped around the power line and power pole and the kite is in the pasture field. Because of the way the string is wrapped around the power line, he is afraid to touch it. The kite is a hazard to the cows.

What a stupid thing to do.

Then he went to Walmart. Apparently the stores are still having trouble keeping stock; we can't find Clean Shower anywhere, not even online. I like using that to help keep the shower clean. I've considered a mix of water and vinegar but I'm afraid the vinegar will eat the finish off the shower head and the grab bars, all of which are covered with some kind of dark bronze. The Lime-Away has already eaten the color out of the water drain cover and I'd just as soon not mess up the other items.

He stopped by a body repair shop to let them look at a dent in the car. The car has several dents, including one acquired last night on the way home from a grocery store pickup. He slowed but the deer hit into the side of the car. The repair estimate for all the dents is a lot. I think I'll just drive a dented car.

The political divisions in this country are strong, deep, and sick. I read a post on the "Botetourt Conservatives" Facebook group page that was sickening. (They have it open to the public, it is very full of hate. I'd be ashamed to belong to that group.) This one guy advocated separating the country into two nations, and anyone who wasn't a Conservative who wanted to stay in the real America (i.e., the Conservative one), "socalists will loose the right to vote here and be disarmed." [sic] So, in other words, fascism. Pin a yellow star on me now, you backwards-thinking pimple on the ass of a mule, and I'll kick you right in your nut sack so hard your penis will pop out your nose.

I think I need to stay off that page but it is aggravating because I see people I thought otherwise knew better on it and not a single one pointed out to this nut case that he was advocating the same thing Germany did prior to World War II. Their silence implies compliance and agreement.

That's not to say I don't see stupidity on "the left" because I do. I do, however, point out when they overreach. I also am not active in any groups and especially not in any local groups. My father thinks I'm a flaming liberal just because I believe in a social safety net and equal rights for women. But that just makes me a moderate. We have no real left in this country. What used to be center is now considered left, that's how fascist we've become.

Maybe they'll wake up one day, when one of #45's paramilitary stomps on their mommas' faces or something, I don't know.

I'm getting off topic, I was talking about the pandemic, although the pandemic has been made political so it's hard to separate the two. A public health issue shouldn't be political. We should be gracious enough to take care of one another.

I guess that is too much to ask.

For those who need to know (and someone must because I felt very led to do this):

Fascism: a totalitarian governmental system led by a dictator and emphasizing aggressive nationalism, militarism, and often racism.

Socialism: a theory or system of social organization in which the means of production and distribution of goods are owned and controlled collectively or by the government

Democracy: government in which supreme power is exercised directly by the people or by their elected agents.

Democrat: an advocate of democracy

Capitalism: an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned.

Just for fun: if the governments/states owns the roads, and you transport your privately made goods over those roads (distribution), is it capitalism or socialism?

Think about it.

Take your time.

*Webster's Dictionary. Everybody ought to own a hard copy.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing

1. Name 5 people you admire and why.

A. My husband, because he is courageous, kind, fair, and loving (and he's mine).
     My brother, because he is steadfast, honorable, and decent (and he's the best brother ever).
     Hillary Clinton, because she is intelligent, humorous, and steadfast. She has put up with more shit than any person should have and still manages to get up every day. (And she should have been president. I can guarantee we wouldn't have the shit-show we have now if she had been.)
     Oprah Winfrey, who managed to overcome a traumatic upbringing and move on to entertain and enlighten millions.
     Diane Sawyer, who has been a great journalist and role model.
2. When was the last time you did something adventurous?

A. I went to the doctor Wednesday. Leaving the house anymore is a dangerous journey into the unknown.

3. You felt you got older when my mother passed away.

4. What one thing that could happen today would make you extremely happy?

A. A vaccine for the coronavirus.

5. An experience you don’t want to go through again.

A. Having my husband disabled from surgery and unable to walk. I'd also not like to have him run a body part through farm machinery again.

6. One decision you made that changed your life completely.

A. I left a job at a law firm.

7. How do you participate in saving the earth?

A. I recycle, we farm and spent $$$$$ fencing the cattle out of the stream and pond. This required drilling a well, purchasing a generator, running miles of water line, etc. to keep them watered at troughs. That was the biggest thing we have done, was fencing the cattle out of the tributaries. It was a very big project and a very big deal. We won a conservation award for it.

8. A gift you would like to get on your next birthday?

A. Just a chocolate cake would be fine.

9. Things you miss about your childhood?

A. Not much. I miss being smaller in size.

10. The greatest invention?

A. Agriculture.

11. Your favorite super hero.

A. Wonder Woman, although I also like Supergirl and Stargirl, currently closing out its first season on the CW, has been pretty interesting. It's kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (also a favorite superhero), but not. And I can't forget Xena: Warrior Princess.

12. Your views about veganism.

A. I don't have any. To each her own.

13. If you could be anything else in the world, what would you be?

A. A sequoia tree.

14. How did you parents meet?

A. Catching nightcrawlers under the mulberry tree in my grandparents backyard.

15. Your morning routine.

A. I get up, make a cup of tea, and stupidly read the news. I need to stop doing that because these days that's a guaranteed way to either become incredibly anxious, pissed, or depressed.

I encourage you to visit other participants in Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Saturday 9: Moonlighting

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it

1) Moonlighting was an award-winning comedy-drama that ran from 1985 to 1989. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan?

A. I've heard of it but I don't believe I ever watched it. In 1985, we could only get two channels and Moonlighting was on the one we could not receive.

2) The series revolved around The Blue Moon Detective Agency in Los Angeles. There have been countless TV shows and movies about detectives and their cases, yet Crazy Sam doesn't know anyone who has ever hired a private investigator. How about you? Have you ever had anything or anyone investigated?

A. I worked for a law firm that sometimes hired private investigators for litigation cases, particularly divorces and work-related injuries where someone claimed disability but there was suspicion the person was not actually disabled. I always felt like those cases were a bit dishonest - just because someone is having a good day and decides to mow the yard doesn't mean that tomorrow she didn't spend the next day in bed paying for it.

3) The agency was named Blue Moon because one of the owners, Maddie Hayes, was a model known as The Blue Moon Girl, famous for promoting Blue Moon Shampoo. If we were to rename their detective agency based on the shampoo you most recently used, what would it be called?

A. Free and Gentle Detective Agency.

4) Cybill Shepherd played Maddie Hayes. Cybill believes we can all find romance many times and said she considers the concept of one true love as "dramatic treacle." Do you agree?

A. I think love comes in many forms, and it evolves as one ages. You can love the same person a million different ways. Or a million different people in one way.

5) David Addison was played by Bruce Willis. At the beginning of his career he couldn't support himself as a actor and held down part-time jobs as a security guard, shuttle bus driver and bartender. How many different occupations have you had?

A. Farm daughter, babysitter, file clerk, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, journalist, freelance writer, adjunct teacher, wife. Not necessarily in that order. 

6) The Moonlighting theme was co-written and performed by Al Jarreau. While in college, Al planned on being a career counselor. Yet once he began performing with a jazz trio, he knew that music was where his heart was. Tell us about a time you found joy from an unexpected source.

A. I have been surprised at how much I enjoy digital photography.

7) Moonlighting was created by Glenn Gordon Caron. ABC gave him the opportunity based on his work on Remington Steele and Taxi. Of these three shows -- Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Taxi -- which would you prefer to binge watch?

A. I've never seen any of them, but I will go with Remington Steele.
8) In 1985, the year Moonlighting premiered, Coca Cola introduced The New Coke. It was not successful and disappeared from store shelves quickly. What's the most recent beverage you drank?

A. Does tea count? If not, then it would have been a root beer at least a year ago or longer.

9) Random question  -- Each day, do you put more time into improving your mind or your appearance?

A. I read all the time, newspapers from everywhere, so I would guess my mind. My efforts at my appearance have become nonexistent, aside from clothing. I don't go anywhere and when I do I have on a mask, so there isn't much point in putting on loads of make-up. 

I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Agony of De-Feet

I'll never be your beast of burden
I've walked for miles, my feet are hurting
All I want is you to make love to me
                            -- The Rolling Stones

I have had problems with my feet since I was born. I am flat-footed, more or less, and I pronate badly. When I was younger, I wore those corrective Mary Janes that supposedly helped something, but as I have aged, gained weight, and tried to increase my walking habits, I find I have more foot problems than ever.

Last September, we went on vacation. The shower in the condo had a tiled floor that was walking on pebbles. By the time we came home, I had a case of plantar fasciitis in my left foot.

I did stretches, etc., but my husband was undergoing ankle fusion surgery in late November, and I was more interested in preparing the house for him than I was in taking care of myself.

In February, I mentioned the pain in my foot to my primary care doctor. She gave me exercises, which I did, and the plantar fasciitis pain throughout the arch went away, but it seemed to center directly in my heel.

It feels like I am stepping on a railroad spike when I step down. It hurts more in the afternoons, after I've been up a while.

I continued the exercises and ice but it wasn't helping. Since it seemed, in fact, to be growing worse, I saw an orthopedic doctor at Carilion Wednesday. I was there for two hours. The result? Yep, you have some pain in your foot, here's a squishier heel cup that might help more than the one you bought online. Sorry, we don't do steroid shots for this kind of thing anymore. If you want, I can refer you to the "foot pain" people, they like to do surgery.

Surgery? He had me ready to bolt out of the office (well, hop and limp fast) as soon as that word came out of his mouth. After my gallbladder surgery and the subsequent hell I have been through with that, I've decided I'd rather die than have another surgery. I mean come on. Surgery?

He took an x-ray and said I had a heel spur but he thought the problem was little "stalagmites" on the bone. I guess that's some kind of bone degeneration, maybe? Nothing's turned up in my chart yet to let me know. Actually, my visit with him isn't even in my chart. It's like it never happened. (Maybe they won't bill me. Ha.)

After that unhelpful visit, I decided to change up my exercises. I will go to mild, passive-resistance stretches instead of things like the runners stretch (up against the wall, foot back, really stretching calf muscle), which is what I had been doing. I also have decided to use KT Tape and yesterday I asked my chiropractor to use her therapeutic ultrasound on my foot. I have a personal use ultrasound machine here at home, and when I am having a non-tape day, I will use the ultrasound on it here.

We seem to have entered a phase in medicine where if you're sick, too bad. You're going to have to figure out how to deal with it yourself. Someone told me today he had cancelled a planned shoulder surgery because he had to quarantine for 14 days prior and have two negative Covid-45 tests, one within three days of the surgery, before he could get the surgery. So he cancelled it until "this stuff is all over and there's a vaccine or whatever." That was his decision, and I understand both sides. But still, something is wrong somewhere.

Our health care needs overhauled in more ways than one. Everyone likes to brag about how great our healthcare system is, but I don't see it. All I see is a method of taking money from people that is foolproof, because everyone has an illness at some point.

Here's to walking, hopefully pain free.