New Year, New Crap.

Oh my, it’s been a while since my last post!

First things first: the new year has started off kinda roughly. My dad brought home a cold from work and we all ended up getting it. It hit my mom especially hard and it’s been a rough couple of weeks. When she gets sick, it affects her equilibrium/sense of balance (I’m thinking because a lot of that is regulated in the inner ear and when an ear, nose, and throat infection like a cold or flu attacks, my guess is that the vestibular system in the inner ear is affected and the area of her brain that is supposed to process that is having problems due to the damage that Alzheimer’s has done). Last week she was barely able to stand (with my dad having to physically hold her up and balance her). This week she’s been able to stand a little better with assistance from my dad, but can only walk small distances with assistance. We haven’t had her try walking around the living room with assistance yet. I don’t know if she’s starting to experience another decline or if this is just connected to the cold/flu and its effects on her vestibular system. Luckily, she’s been able to hold down food and drink when we give her those. We’ve also been giving her Theraflu at least once a day as well as plenty of other fluids. Today was a little better in terms of her mood. We had her sitting in the La-Z-Boy and she was in a good mood and stayed awake most of the day. My dad had gotten some potato salad this morning (we had run out of pads that we use to line her seating areas because she can’t really walk to the bathroom right now; we’ve been standing her up in the living room and cleaning her on-site a couple of times a day…he went to the store to pick those up and he also got some sub sandwiches, potato salad, and a cake), so I decided to try and feed her a bowl of potato salad when she wasn’t wanting to eat the bread from her sandwich. She ate the whole bowl of potato salad (it was pretty good, too: it’s got a mustard based dressing with sweet pickle relish and hard boiled egg in it). I could tell from the look on her face that she loved it. I think we’ve finally got a system going of where we have her sitting and resting (chair during the day, laying on the couch at night with a footrest up to support her feet), and it’s just touch and go at the moment.

As for me, this cold has been almost entirely in my throat. I actually lost my voice for part of last week. I knew things were starting to go south when I was watching WWE Monday Night RAW last week and I couldn’t say “Whoo!” during Charlotte Flair’s entrance (her dad is the legendary Ric Flair and his catchphrase “Whoo!” has crossed over into her career, so I like to shout it when she makes her entrance; it’s also traditional for fans to shout the phrase when a wrestler performs a knife-edge chop, which was a signature move of Ric Flair’s where the attacker basically slaps their opponent on the chest with the back edge of their hand, on an opponent). The following morning my voice was completely gone. It took about two days for the majority of my speaking voice to come back. I can now speak just fine, but my throat still seems to have phlegm in it and the coughing keeps irritating it. I’ve been trying to keep it at bay by drinking plenty of water and letting an occasional cough drop dissolve in my mouth.

Okay, enough about the crap that’s been affecting us.

Christmas was uneventful for us, although our neighbors got into a fight with someone on Christmas morning. The same neighbor ended up bringing over dinner for us, just because. We ended up having turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and corn that day and he brought over dessert a little later (what seemed to be a brownie or chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and chocolate and toffee crumbles). I posted about my presents over on Instagram, but I’ll give a recap here of what I ended up getting (most of these were from my dad):

  • A Galileo thermometer and barometer set (the thermometer works via a principle described by Galileo where a set of weights indicating different temperatures floating in a sealed glass tube filled with water rises and falls as the density of the water changes with the temperature; the barometer uses colored water and rises and falls within a spout with changes in atmospheric pressure)
  • A couple of pairs of Sushi Socks (socks that look like pieces or rolls of sushi when rolled up)
  • A vegetable peeler shaped like an orange monkey whose arms are held up and holding the peeler blade
  • Two coffee mugs: one with the Wonder Woman logo, the other featuring a picture of the late painter and TV personality Bob Ross and one of his most famous quotes (“We don’t make mistakes. We have happy accidents.”) and when hot liquid (like coffee or water) is poured into it, a landscape painting like one he would have painted appears in the background.
  • A whole bunch of yarn lovingly sent to me by my best friend and her mom from up in Georgia. I still haven’t quite figured out what to do with all of it yet. The sickness we’ve all been dealing with has kinda knocked me out of crafting for the last few weeks. Luckily, I was sent several skeins in the perfect shade of Hufflepuff gold, so I can imagine some sort of Hufflepuff-themed scarf or shawl may be on the horizon, once I can get a decent amount of black yarn to go with it. (In case you didn’t see it in my Instagram bio, my Hogwarts house according to Wizarding World is Hufflepuff.)

A few days after Christmas, I also got to see my brother and my nieces (my sister-in-law got him an offset smoker as a Christmas gift and we held onto it while they and the girls and my nephew — her sister’s son — spent Christmas on vacation in North Carolina, so he came by to visit us and pick up his present). R. is definitely a threenager (a three year old with the mood and broodiness of a teenager), and The Bambina was all sorts of squirrelly. I even got to hold her for a little bit. She was moving and twirling around in my arms, so I just kept turning her as she kept moving. (She has a walker at home and basically zooms around the house like a human Roomba when she’s in it. She’s got a lot of energy.)

We got Disney+ last month, and one of the first things I started watching on there was The Mandalorian. It’s so good, and not just because of Baby Yoda (although Baby Yoda is pretty awesome). I have not seen The Rise of Skywalker yet, so please don’t spoil me on it! We don’t really do the whole “going to the movie theater” thing, so we’re waiting for it to become available for streaming (which, based on the past movies, will likely be sometime in March), and then we’ll likely end up getting it on Vudu.

Finally, an update on my reading. I haven’t added any physical books to my collection since my last post (although I am waiting for Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the sequel to Children of Blood and Bone, to show up at my local Walmart, even though it was released last month). I finished Children of Blood and Bone a couple of days after Christmas and started The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’m a little under 100 pages into that one, but it’s starting to pick up for me. As for The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, I’ve decided to take a break from that one and start another ebook that I just recently obtained: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, which was the last book she published in her lifetime (released a little over a month before her December 2016 death). And by “recently obtained”, I mean I got it on sale this morning because I had enough credit left over from my last gift card to get it for $1.99…it had been jumping out at me for a couple of days. I figured I’d have a little fun, and Carrie seemed like such an interesting person to be around in her lifetime (and even had a sense of humor in death, as she apparently requested to have her ashes placed in an urn shaped like an antidepressant pill), so why not?

Also added to the ebook collection, a couple of…😱…sci-fi novels! Specifically: Dune by Frank Herbert (which I’d been getting recommendations from everywhere to read it) and is only the fifth ebook I’ve spent full price on (nearly $10, but I think it was worth every penny), the other four being the three Tribe novels and Slaughterhouse-Five; and Foundation by Isaac Asimov (which was on sale for about $3). I’ve never read his novels, but I am familiar with I, Robot and have seen the movie Bicentennial Man (based on a couple of different works by Asimov) multiple times.

That was a lot to fit into one post! I hope you readers are all doing well.