For Paula’s February Love Me where we’re posting something we’re loving every day of February. Today I’m loving upbeat music. Specifically my “Bright and Perky” playlist and the song, “Brighter than the Sun” by Colbie Caillat.
Also for First Line Lyric Thursday, I’m selecting a line from a song and using it as the first line of a poem. This week’s entry is from “Brighter than the Sun” see the video after the poem. Chosen line: “Who am I to tell Fate where it’s supposed to go?”
Who am I to tell Fate where it’s supposed to go? To foreswear love’s right to bloom and grow? A heart that was broken when Fate intervened does not question the underlying need to mend all that was battered and torn to bind the bruised, haggard soul forlorn with empty heart and wearied soul you found me then and brought me home more joy found than we ever hoped to know who am I to tell Fate where it’s supposed to go?
Greetings fellow Spoonies, not Spoonies, and various other sentient beings (yeah waaaay too much SciFi around here). February is the month of love and Paula’s got the February Love Me Challenge going which is awesome. Today I’m loving my RV lifestyle.
Living full time (and by that I mean 24/7/365) in an RV can be a challenge. It’s also a lot of fun. In 2019 we made the decision to “come off the road” which simply put means we sold our motorhome and replaced it with a small 5th wheel which stays at the RV park year round. The membership park to which we belong offers a moving service, as well as both long and short term storage for the times we’re off site. Now we take vacations (well not so much this past year … stupid pandemic).
So here we are still “livin the dream.” The views and openess of Hart Ranch RV resort are awesome. You don’t get this kind of views in a house, well not one we can afford anyway. This week we’ve worked hard and overcome several challenges. The temperatures have been below zero farenheit for over a week and we are living in an RV none of which are designed for long term use. The inside stays pleasantly warm with our propane furnace, electric faux fireplace and a couple of tiny space heaters.
We lost running water sometime last week. Keeping fresh water running in arctic temps is difficult at best, so when the line freezes we disconnect the hose, bring it in to thaw and run on fresh water tanks until things begin to thaw. Generally, our heated water hose keeps us going as long as we stay somewhere near or above zero. Yesterday, our reserve tanks ran almost dry, so we bundled up, hooked up the hose and refilled the tanks. The next problem is the “black tank” yep, that’s the sewage holding tank. We drain twice a week and the problem in these temps is to keep the drain hose and the valves from freezing. To that end we have a small outdoor space heater (milkhouse heater) under the RV skirts which warms the underbelly enough to keep the drain hose running.
All of this requires outdoor work. A friend who spent 6 months working in antarctica told us it took an hour to don 25 pounds of clothes and gear, to go outside for 20 minutes and another hour to get out of said gear and was worth every minute of prep spent. So, we spend 20 minutes donning 15+ pounds of layered clothing and proceed outside to do 30 minutes of work. As Spoonies, we are acutely aware of the dangers presented by hypothermia, we stay out for 5-10 minutes then come inside, warm up, and go back out to finish. Wind chills are particularly dangerous. Extreme cold can exacerbate symptoms of autoimmune disease and both of us have neuropathy in feet and hands. Even clearing a path to the car can take waaaaay longer than expected. But … we adapt (we are Borg, we will adapt, yeah OK definitely too much SciFi).
So there you have it, a day in the life of two almost cryogenically frozen Spoonie SoDaks (South Dakotans).
Til next time ~bundle up, stay warm, stay safe ~JP
Greetings fellow Spoonies, retirees, and various other persons of interesting titles. It’s been a wacky couple of weeks here at Chez Spoons. The weather finally turned cold, with a vengence. Thursday, it was 62f when we went into town. Today’s high was 6f. No that’s not a typo, it’s a 52 degree shift in daily high temps. The north wind blew through here Thursday night, bringing biting cold. Please don’t even ask me about tonight’s projected lows (brrrrr). Alright enough whining about the weather JP, get on with it.
I was preparing to write a post for Paula’s February Love Me challenge about how much I love having a meal plan and how it helps keep me sane, er ah … save me spoons, and figured I’d combine posts (no I am not lazy, the politically correct term is ‘spoon deficient’). Like a lot of Spoonies I have days, a LOT of days (OK most days) when I’m lucky to get in a shower and thinking about what to make for dinner just can’t penetrate the dull grey haze that is brain fog. “JP, what the heck is the big deal about meal plans?”
Well, mostly, they help me save my spoons (energy) for more important things, like figuring out how to adjust the water flow on my shower so the spray doesn’t sting my hyper-sensitive skin, or whether or not I actually swallowed that pain pill, little things like that. Here’s what menu planning does for me:
Helps me save my “brain spoons” you know those spoons related to brain fog and general forgetfulness (I am NOT old enough for senior moments, I swear).
Saves my normal “energy” spoons, every meal in my arsenal is less than 30 minutes hands on and most are “on the table” 30 minutes or less.
Saves me spoons when shopping. I know what I’m having so I know what I need to pick up. I also keep a “master” grocery list that I just check off when I’ve used the last of a staple (all of you stop wadding up those papers to throw at me, put down that rotten tomato). I grant you that’s a little hyper-organized but I really can’t help it (yes I also sort my pills for the week into multiple marked containers) it’s an OCD thing.
It saves me the weird looks when I innocently ask “what’s for dinner honey?” Instead I can ask “What day is it?” and get an actual answer.
OK, now you know why, next up is how? Personally, we follow a basic “theme” dinner menu. Monday – Burgers, Tuesday – Tofu, Wednesday – Fish/chicken, Thursday – Bangers (sausages), Friday — Fish, Saturday — Casserole, Sunday — Chili. The side dishes may change depending on produce availability and our ability to grocery shop but I know what I’m working with and that’s just fine. Doesn’t that get boring? No, but we’re that kind of people who can happily eat the same foods every week and I’m a pretty darned good “pantry cook.”
So there you have it. The web is loaded with great “low spoons” meals and meal plans for just about any diet you could follow. Save your spoons for the important stuff. I’m off to do … something … wait a second, what the heck is the car key doing in the refrigerator?
I find that when I accept my circumstances, feelings, pains, health, finances as they are right now, a subtle alchemy of spirit occurs. I stop fighting and start seeing all the blessings I do have, my vibration changes, I relax, and I once again tap into the positive energy of the universe. Then, my T-Rex eats your sparkly vampire.
I was, back then, rather limpy, friends just called me “gimpy” I kept on hiking all the same til I could no longer bear the pain these days I look forward to all the hikes and trails yet to come all the things that I’ve longed to do now that I have knees made of titanium
Week two of retirement went by quickly, too quickly. We did more tinkering with the winterizing of the RV and got things set up mostly the way we want. A cold snap heading this way. Big events for this week were Drs. LOTS of doctors. Superhubs had his annual SCID (Spinal Cord Injury and Disease) check up. This is a grueling, exhausting, day long evaluation of his current condition and the progression of his Multiple Sclerosis with all it’s myriad symptoms. We left home shortly before 6:00 am and got home shortly after 4:00 pm. About 2 hours is drive time but the remaining 8 hours are spent at the clinic, Ultra sounds, blood work, and meetings with every known doctor, therapist, and specialist. Whew! It was a mostly good news kind of day. The good news is that he’s not lost much in the way of functionality which means he’s recovered nearly all of what he lost from 2019’s brain surgeries and strokes. The kind of “bad” news is that while he has very little in the way of MS relapses or exacerbations, he does have secondary progressive MS, which is a fancy way of saying he’s not going to get any better and now it’s just a matter of deal with the old damage. He was diagnosed back in 1999 and actually had the disease for years prior to that (based on lesion age) so for somebody with a 20+ year history of MS, he’s doing really well and I’m thrilled with the progress he’s made. There comes a time in every spoonie’s life when “no further deterioration” is excellent news. He has lost a bit more cognitive function but nothing drastic or inappropriate for his age. So we’ll continue to work on cognitive aids, physical therapy exercises for that right side (partial paralysis from strokes) and enjoy life!
The next day, I headed off for my much anticipated (and dreaded) cardiac MRI. The weather held good and the short drive to the radiology clinic was nice. It’s not a painful or invasive procedure but it is somewhat extensive and it involves a full 90 minutes “in the tube.” I spoke with the sedation nurse last week and was given permission to “self sedate” (aka pop half a valium) before the procedure. IV in; no problem, questionaire complete; no problem, cardiac stent; no problem, total knee replacements; no problem, interocular lenses; no problem, eye stents …. oh wait, you have what?!? Which ones? Huh? Although I do not believe I have any metal in my eyes from the drain/stent procedure to reduce my eye pressures (glaucoma), there are a couple that involve tiny amounts of titanium. Long story short, could not get a confirmation of the absence of any metal in the implants so, they sent me home and rescheduled for next week. Huh … well OK then.
That was enough drama for me for one week, so I spent the rest of it trying to establish a new schedule.
Home means so many things to so many people. For me it has never been a place but a feeling. To quote Dory “I look at you … and I’m home.” This is the first time in many years I have stayed in one place for this long (over a year). RVers say “Home is where we park it” for me home is anywhere my love and I are together, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Winnebago in Colorado, home is not a place, it is not walls or land, home is truly where my heart is. Je t’aime mon coeur.
Here are a few places I’ve called home.
Looking out the window of our Winnebago, Bayfield, Colorado
Just down the street Hart Ranch, Rapid City, South Dakota
“The Remarkables” as seen from our window in Queenstown, NZ
Heading “home” to Zion — Springdale, Utah
“Even as I wander I’m keeping you in sight you’re a candle in the window on a cold, dark Winter’s night”
I can’t fight this feeling any more ~REO Speedwagon
Til next time ~Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Sanitized ~JP