Thoughtful Thursday – September Playlist

I’ve come to the conclusion that music is absolutely, positively essential to this Spoonie’s morning routine. I skip the tunes and I’m dragging around like a half-dead-out-of-the-water Scyphozoa. Yep, gotta have the tunes. Here’s what I’m listening to on September mornings.

September 2022 Playlist

Something Wild ~ Lindsey Stirling
Passionate Kisses ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter
Happy ~ Pharrell Williams
Uneasy Rider ~ Charlie Daniels Band
Knock Three Times ~ Tony Orlando & Dawn
Human ~ The Killers
Wild Thing ~ The Troggs
The Little Old Lady from Pasadena ~ Jan and Dean
Time After Time ~ Cyndi Lauper
See You in September ~ The Happenings
September ~ Earth, Wind and Fire
September ~ The Shins
Changes in Latitudes ~ Jimmy Buffet
Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
Wake Me Up When September Comes ~ Green Day
Moonlight Feels Right ~ Starbuck

So, let’s fire up a player and get goin’. If you’d like, you can listen on Spotify here.

Til next time ~Thank you for the music ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – a life under construction

Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is “under construction” and I must admit, I’m not one to take pictures of construction much. It is seldom appropriate to photograph road construction between rants and building construction is generally driven right by without stopping to investigate, so I found myself somewhat stymied, until I realized that, heck, my WHOLE LIFE is under construction, or maybe re-construction, but you get the point.

piece of a hailstone from my living room

On August 27, 2021 a catastrophic hail storm hit Rapid City, SD. For 20 minutes fist sized hail stones pummeled our lives. The financial loss was significant but paled in comparison to loss of our entire way of life. It became clear that we could no longer live full-time RVing and that massive rebuilding was required. So, we repaired what we could, sold what we could, wrote off the rest and started to reconstruct our lives.

Pitching machine under construction in Kunshan, China

We turned the page and began a new adventure. A few years ago “adventure” meant traveling overseas to work with factories while the sporting goods lines we developed were under construction.

Family of Canadian Geese at our lake

These days it’s all about those mundane adventures. Sitting on the deck and watching the goslings grow oh so fast.

Farmers Market Booty

or scoring pirate booty at our local farmer’s market, fresh, beautiful bargains.

Asian Grocery

Or reminiscing about our travels while exploring the Asian Grocery store in our new home town. Ahhh pineapple cake, how I have missed you my old friend.

Fanell Scudder Exhibit

Checking out the art at our local library. Here an exhibit of Fanell Scudder an 83-year-old local resident.

My boys

Of course, there are also family bonds under construction. Here one exhausted wanderer with son and two of the grandsons. For fifteen years they’ve seen me no more than twice a year and yet we take to each other like the geese to water. I do adore my boys.

Moonset

And, as always, I watch the moon.

This post inspired by
Terri’s Sunday Stills – Under Construction
and Marsha’s PPAC # 61

Til next time ~Would you like to have an adventure now or would you like to finish your tea first? ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Dog Days of Summer

from my polyvore collection

The breeze this morning bears a certain something. A phantom caress as I lift my face into it and breathe in the faintest lick of coolness. A sigh comes unbidden at the first hint of Autumn. As nature prepares to run her flame-colored tongue over all this green and fresh, I pause in anticipation; sensing the tingle of excitement the precedes the nuclear explosion of color that is Fall.

I seem to lose a bit of myself in summer, routines go to pot, fatigue runs amok, outing plans are lackadaisical at best and all sense of purpose seems lost in an endless litany of “what’s for dinner?”

The “ber” months may well be the most scrumptious of all, but to get there, I must slog my way through the sticky final vestiges of Summer. Those final dog days that can leave even the most resilient Spoonie exhausted and frumpy. Hair has wilted refusing to do anything other than frizz, shorts and light tee shirts have long since lost their appeal, cosmetics are comprised of nothing more than sunscreen and even a bentonite clay mask cannot restore any semblance of vigor to my lackluster complexion.

And so it is time to rest, to dream, to plan. To re-establish the structure that supports our lives. Time to plan fall outings, and winter holidays; to dig through my recipes for soups and savory muffins. Time to dream of pumpkin spice and contemplate the world over a steaming latte. Time to breathe in and pause in anticipation … Winter is Coming.

Til next time ~ Keep Calm – Fall is coming ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – The Sounds of Summer

I’ve been thinking about Summer quite a lot. Deep summer is a tough time for most Spoonies. Pain and fatigue run roughshod over my days, crushing the heart and soul. Summer is equal parts bitter and sweet, there are farmers markets on cooler mornings, swimming pool for exercise, and I must say I’ve never been so grateful for central air ;-). I can’t change the weather or the heat but I can change the way I react to it. I can choose to let the fatigue wash over me, let myself slow down and breathe in the essence of Summer. I can write and craft and lift my spirits rather than letting maudlin anxiety over things I cannot change control my day. Today I will listen and appreciate the

Sounds of Summer

The discordant buzz of cicadas
as they begin their mating songs

the vibration of wind singing
across the rim of my sun hat

the whine of a distant trimmer
a quantum of electromagnetic flux on the breeze

The sounds of summer
stir heavily through the sultry air

No industrious activity as the world
lies in lethargic somnambulance

Too hot to move
too moist to breathe

Til next time ~drink iced coffee ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Coping with Residual COVID

Bleeding Tooth Mushroom

It has been over a month since COVID-19 descended upon my Castle Serenity. The virus itself was mild and over quickly. But, my lungs didn’t clear fully so it was on to a round of steroids and then, of course, the pursuant oral thrush. ARGHHHH!!! Stupid Covid! Now, I seem to have developed Long-haul COVID. I’m still dealing with fatigue, headaches, cough, loss of sense of smell, brain fog and anxiety. I mean seriously? Anxiety from a virus? What’s up with that like I didn’t have enough anxiety issues?

Now here’s the question, how much of this is long-covid and how much is just my wacky immune disease? How much is just summer weather? I have no idea and frankly it doesn’t matter. I have appointments scheduled discuss the most distressing of the residual effects of brain fog, anxiety and my missing sense of smell with my PCP. In the meantime, I’m using more “lists” for anything I need to remember. Although, by the time I pick up a pen, the thought is already gone. Still if I can get it to the paper I stand a pretty good chance of remembering it. And hopefully, within a few months all will be right again.

That’s it for this rant til next time remember:
The grass is always greener over the septic tank ~Erma Bombeck
~Peace ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 1

On Tuesday July 5, 2022, I tested positive for COVID. Herein is my attempt at documenting the process for a 65 year old spoonie with multiple chronic autoimmune diseases.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling excessively fatigued. Since Superhubs tested positive for COVID on Friday, on the advice of my Nurse, I tested myself with the quick at-home COVID test. WOW! The positive line popped up in like 10 seconds. I let the test sit as instructed for 15 minutes and, sure enough it’s positive. My symptoms include:

  • Fever – only 98.5 on my at-home thermometer but since I normally run no more than 97, that’s a fever. Plus I DO NOT run fevers, like ever. The last time was, well when I had the stupid Delta Variant in 2021. OK so apparently I do run fevers, just not much and not often.
  • Chills – wow, seriously, we have a heat advisory going on, my home thermostat reads 75 indoors and I’m shivering? Are you kidding me?
  • Congestion – I can’t breath through my nose at all, I’m constantly blowing and sniffing and sneezing … oh my.
  • Cough – Deep, racking, productive cough; painful but not busting capillaries
  • Body aches – holy moly every single muscle and joint in my entire body hurts
  • Headache – pounding, throbbing tight band around the skull, Aleve helps, acetaminophen is pretty much useless
  • Fatigue/exhaustion – by afternoon, I can barely move

I decided that somebody on my medical team should know about this so I put in a call to my Pulmonologist. Got a prompt response from my Nurse, and was offered Paxlovid and steroids. I declined both for the time being. I am moving air fine, my peak-flows are over 300 (400 is “good” for me). I have reservations about drugs that are “investigational” and only authorized for the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) from the FDA. Nobody really knows about the drug interactions and, folks, I take a LOT of routine medications. As for the steroids, I have to be a lot sicker than I am before I’m willing to put myself through Prednisone Purgatory. I was advised to stay in, don’t leave the house unless it’s to go to the emergency room and be mindful of my breathing. If it gets worse, get my hiney in to the ER.

Superhubs is on day 5 of COVID, improving slowly. Symptoms have begun to lessen, except for Blood Glucose readings which are annoyingly high, not panic time but put in a call to his diabetes specialist.

So that’s it for today, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Til next time ~Stay safe, Stay sanitized ~JP

Friday Flashback – I left early

Image by Kohji Asakawa from Pixabay

“I came, I saw, I left early”

~ Every Spoonie I’ve ever known at a “function”

The “Holiday” is nearly upon us, time to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm of inevitable sensory overload. We’ll be staying in as usual it’s too peopley out there!

Counting Flowers on the Wall ~Nancy Sinatra

Inspired by Fandango’s Flashback Friday and originally posted 7/1/2020 in response to Linda’s One Liner Wednesday.

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – a Penny Saved

photo from Pexels

“My Mom can squeeze a nickel ’til the buffalo farts.” ~My son 1986 age 7

I read a little blurb this week about grocery prices. According to the article Americans have seen an increase in grocery prices of over 11% in the past 12 months with more increases on the way. I get this news in JUNE, the month when produce starts to be abundant and … yummy. OK, I don’t want to get off on a rant here but really Social Security received the highest Cost of Living Adjustment in the past 40 years in January of this year. A 5.9% increase doesn’t even begin to cover the actual rise in costs. Medicare premiums alone rose 14.5%, add another 11% to groceries and a general consumer price index for all urban consumers of 8.3% (I’m not even going to mention gas prices) and you’re starting to see some financially strapped seniors. ** OK, OK JP, calm down back away from the soapbox ** Uhumm pardon me a moment while I recollect myself and untwist my knickers … grumble grumble *&^%$#@#$!&^

OK that’s better, on the brighter side, increases in interest rates have improved our portfolio some. There is ALWAYS a bright side, just gotta dig deep sometimes. So what are y’all doing to combat inflation?

Here are a few of the things we’ve done this week to “use it up, wear it out, make it last, or do without.”

* We participated in a neighborhood cookout. Our HOA paid for the hot dogs, plates and utensils as part of our social activities fund, we all brought a side dish to share. A couple of folks brought corn hole boards and I must say a fabulous time was had by all.

* We eliminated one grocery shopping trip from our weekly routine.

* We enjoyed two vegetarian meals at home.

* I returned an item for refund that should have been an HSA item and repurchased it through said HSA, dratted scanner glitches.

* I refused to accept a prescription that I specifically told the pharmacy NOT to fill as I get it through mail order much less costly.

* I reworked our meal plan, grocery list, and grocery budget for July. Better.

So that’s my rant for this week. I think I’ll go take a nerve pill and have a bit of a lie down.

Til next time ~Keep Calm and drink decaf, like homemade, from a reusable mug ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Use It Up – Music to my ears

Lessons learned from the Great Depression, via my Grandmother’s kitchen plaque “Use it up, wear it out, make it last, do without.” For the near future, I’ll be focusing on these four strategies. Starting at the beginning “use it up.” OK this is kind of a no-brainer, use all the ketchup, DON’T let leftovers rot in the back of the fridge, utilize that prepper pantry etc. etc. But when I dug a little deeper, I found a lot of assets I am under-utilizing. One of those is my library. We have a wonderful library here in our little town. Many, many resources both on-line and brick and mortar. I recently had an epiphany about just how important music is to me. It sets the tone for my day, times my workouts, inspires me, soothes me; it can pump me up or lull me to sleep. While we were living in South Dakota, I played background music all day, everyday, on the sound system in our RV. Castle Serenity has no such system and I do not feel inclined to spend the money to purchase a new one, soooo I mostly use my phone. I have a wonderful little resource from my library called Freegal which allows me to download 5 songs per week from the library for free. The same library also offers digital albums to borrow rather like e-books. I have a fairly impressive collection of CD’s that I’ve ripped to my backup drive so all, in all I’ve got LOTS of music available. Now, how to utilize it.

I use a little off-line music player (since they did away with googleplay ;-p) called musicolet, works great and, oh yeah it’s FREE. I curate a new playlist for my mornings every month and I’m adding new playlists for evenings and workouts. Here is my “Morning Activities” play list for June:

Beautiful Day – Joshua Radin
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Mine – Taylor Swift
Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce
59th Street Bridge Song – Harpers Bizarre
Super Trooper – ABBA
Bubbly – Colbie Caillat
Come a Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans
Hands – Jewel
Firework – Katy Perry
Gypsy – Fleetwood Mac
I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack

There you have it, how I’ve stopped buying music (download or hard copy) by “using up” what I have. If you utilize Spotify, you can also find this playlist here. Next week I’ll touch on the more obvious use for Libraries: reading.

Til next time ~Stay Safe and Be Kind to each other ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – May Activities

from my polyvore collection

I am finally starting to feel a little more like myself an so there’s a flurry of activity here at Castle Serenity. I have finally admitted that after 2:30 pm I might just as well pack it in and do crafts or something else not strenuous as the afternoon fatigue bogey zaps me. I had this idea to get myself a surprise box subscription. One of my grandpuppies gets a bark box, the daughter gets a human bark box from FabFitFun and it seemed like a really cool idea. BUT, the thing is I’m not at all sure I’m willing to spend $20 – $75 per month on “stuff” no matter how cool the “stuff” is. I mean, really, I have enough “stuff” more than enough truth be told. So, I have began curating my own activities box where I pick a theme and toss stuff in from my craft stash, my “I’m gonna use this someday” stash and other various “stuff” that I want/need to use up. My challenge is to find something to do with all the items in the box by the end of the month. A peek at May’s activity box:

May color focus – Turquoise/Teal thanks to Terri’s Sunday Stills color challenge for this inspiration.

Floral rubber stamp
coloring pages, flowers and swirls
dream box from mint tin craft, lots of stickers and “Legend of the Dreambox” card
Self love card
“I am Beautiful” sigil card
Mountable photo print
misc. small scrapbook papers
lots of ephemera for journaling
culinary – dried thyme
breathwork exercise card
hair product samples
May treat – Candied Hibiscus Flowers
MP3 album Llewellyn – Moon Spells, several other MP3 songs courtesy of my local library via Freegal
E-books – The Vintage Housekeeper’s Circle by Alison May — from my Kindle Collection

So those are the goodies I’m working with this month. I’ll be working on my reading list, playlist, menu plans, outings and nature based activities soon. So what are your big plans for May? Do you post regular monthly activities? If so leave me a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Til next time ~May your spoons be plentiful ~JP