Going Around in Cycles

My next cycle of chemo starts next Wednesday (at 8:40 ye gods, o’clock in the morning, no less). So, between now and then, I have to wash clothes, go to the grocery store and probably Wal-Mart to lay in supplies. I would also like to go to knitting group Tuesday, but I’m playing it by ear. I have no energy, and all I want to do is sleep.

A downside to living here at Carillon is that I am living under the tyranny of other people’s schedules, which I wasn’t so much at my previous digs in the duplex. Meals here are served during a specific time period, and if you don’t do what you need to do to get your food (have it delivered, go down and get it or sit in the dining room and eat it) during that time period, then you’re on your own. You have a food allowance that comes out every month whether you use it or not (easily one, but maybe two meals a day if you work it right). Also, starting April 1st, there will be a $3 delivery charge for having someone bring it up to you.

I got spoiled living on my own. I was used to eating when my body told me to. Here, lunch is 11:00 to 1:00, which is too early. Supper is 4:30-6:00, which works better for me. But until they can fully staff both dining rooms, my ability to go downstairs to get supper in our dining room here will stop when the remodel of Windsong’s dining facility is finished. (Windsong is a separate building a long city block away.) Once Windsong’s dining facility is up and running again, lunch will be served here where I am, but dinner will be served over there. There have already been one or two days when I can barely make it to the refrigerator and back, never mind walk the length of two football fields (there and back) out of doors. I can already tell I’m not bouncing all the way back to normal between cycles, and that’s going to get incrementally worse with each cycle as the toxicity of the chemo drugs wears me down.

I had a care plan meeting about mom yesterday, and I asked about a bill I got for tablet prednisone that she was given in February (first I’d heard about it until I got the bill for it). I know she’s on prednisolone eye drops because of her corneal transplants and she did call last month to ask me the name of her eye doctor, so that’s what I thought it was for until I saw it was tablets. According to the social worker, they were giving it to her because of gout (?!?!?!). I am well aware of her medical condition and she has never been diagnosed with gout before. Turns out the doctor she has now saw her last month and they did lab tests and her uric acid levels were very high (upper limit was 2 something and her levels were 8 something). Apparently, according to her new doctor, hyperuricemia equals gout, and somehow the (now healed) pressure sore she had on her heel was supposed to have been due to gout (it wasn’t) and that’s why they gave her a short course of prednisone. Have they done any more lab test to see if her uric acid levels have come down? No. . . .

This is concerning, not because she now has the questionable diagnosis of “gout,” but because of the event back last July that precipitated this whole chain of events, when CK and I went to her house and found her unconscious and unarousable on the bed. She was dehydrated because she hadn’t been drinking enough water and had gone into kidney failure. Granted, her kidneys are nearly 98 years old, but it doesn’t help that she doesn’t drink nearly enough water because she doesn’t want to have to get up and go to the bathroom. But having to hoist herself up out of her beloved lift chair and walk maybe 10 feet to go potty is eminently preferable to having dialysis catheters surgically implanted in a vein and artery, and being taken in the wheelchair van to a dialysis center three times a week to spend three or four hours lying flat on the bed getting dialysis because you’ve gone into chronic kidney failure. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper, too. Also, there is a form of delirium that is caused by the buildup of toxins in the body as the result of kidney failure. I saw that in the hospital last July. It’s damn scary, if you’ll pardon my Anglo-Saxon. She was so out of it they had to use soft restraints on her and put a security camera on her to keep her from trying to get out of bed, pull her lines off, take her gown off and wander around. Worsening kidney function can also induce or worsen dementia. Granted, she’s nearly 98, her body is wearing out, and some decline in function is to be expected, but she’s also my mother, and I’d just as soon neither of us have to go through another hospitalization like that again, thank you very much.

In the knitting news, ongoing projects are still ongoing.

The hexagon blanket is still hexed. I’ve frogged it yet again and backed off to cogitate on it. I think I may have it sussed now, so will try again. (Attempt #4?) (A few of my collection of knitting bowls.)(There’s at least one by every chair.)

This video, ya’ll. This video is entirely too cool! It has a quiet, solo piano sound track. It’s also 10 hours long, so you could play this on your big screen TV, turn the sound off, and it’d be like having an aquarium. I think I’m going to go get it on my 55-inch TV, turn the sound off and listen to Soma FM’s Drone Zone on my Kindle Fire tablet, and knit. Sit. Breathe. Knit.

A Little Spontenaiety, and 4, and . . . .

On a whim, and a very small one at that, shortly after I posted yesterday’s post, I packed up and went to the Market Street on Indiana and 50th, on a Saturday, and there was a Goodwill Truck in the parking lot! So, yay! I offloaded donations, Goodwill made out like a bandit, and I was a happy camper. I was limited to three grocery bags, because that’s all I can carry free-hand, and my car trunk and back seat were so loaded down with Goodwill donations, there was no place to put my little fold-up wagon to take anything more than that back up to the apt.

I was proud of myself. Little bag of baby carrots, bag of cored apple sections, two bunches of green onions, container of cantaloupe chunks, and a small bottle of the best Ranch dressing ever, Litehouse Homestyle Ranch which is thick enough to either dip or dress. Got some mixed nuts, two big bottles of peach juice, some broiled chicken wings, fried okra, some lunch meat, couple loafs of their great specialty bread. And for “tea,” I had half the fried okra, a dinner plate with a small handful of carrots, five little green onions, a handful of apple sections, a couple of chunks of cantalope, and a little sauce dish of Ranch to dip. A DIY salad. Yum! (The green onions were peppery and good!)

Maybe later today I’ll load up the drawer bin units in my wagon and take them down to my car and try for another run on Monday because my spontaneous Saturday grocery run was listless and I forgot a few things as a result. Crystal Light for one thing. I’m getting to the middle of this cycle where I’m starting to bounce back from the chemo and get some energy back.

Once I get the empty bin drawer units out of the way, that will only leave the two boxes. It will open the place up more and leave me with one last push to get everything unpacked. In the meantime, I might tackle the tchotchke shelves, which only need sorting and arranging artfully to display the collection of Chinese cloisonne mom and I have accumulated over the years, as well as some treasured pieces of blue and white, my teacup collection and what have you.

In the meantime, I’ve been listening to a traditional jazz band called Tuba Skinny (just go to YouTube and search for “Tuba Skinny”) It has a lineup of clarinet, cornet, trombone, a singer who plays the bass drum she sits on, two acoustic guitars or guitar and banjo, percussion of washboard and cymbals, and a for-real Sousaphone style tuba. They play early jazz from the Roaring Twenties, the jazz that gave the Jazz Age it’s name. It was the heyday of F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway in Paris. What was left of the Lost Generation, the generation that had survived WWI, kicked up their heels and partied hearty for a whole decade. This is the musical setting for the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves stories of P. G. Wodehouse that have been so exquisitely portrayed by the young Hugh Laurie as Bertie and Stephen Fry as the inimitable Jeeves in the BBC dramatizations. The print stories are now in the public domain and can be acquired for free from Project Gutenberg, or from your preferred purveyor of digital content for free or really cheap. The 1920’s were the dawn of the modern era. Our modern world has its roots there.

If you haven’t figured out by now I have pretty catholic (2) tastes in music — in fact, I’ve rarely met a musical genre I haven’t liked — yep. My first exposure to this music was in my childhood and TV’s — which happened to coincide. This would have been in the mid 1950’s. One of our two local TV stations broadcast old movie cartoons from the early 1930s through the early 1950s. They were cheap, readily available and were “socially acceptable” content for that awkward part of the afternoon between the kids getting home from school and dad getting home from work, that 3:30-5:30 pm time slot when mom needed the kids out of her hair while she was cooking supper and getting it on the table by 6 pm. The assumption was that kids and cartoons were a “natural.” What nobody seemed to have realized at the time was that these cartoons were aimed at adults, the demographic that bought movie tickets and took their girls and wives out to the movies in the evening for a short, a news real, a cartoon and a feature film. They had a level of sophistication and assumed a common cultural context that gave them meat and depth, wit and sparkle. And the ones from the early thirties (the Harmon-Ising “Merrie Melodies“) frequently were themed around popular tunes of the day, and they were in this “Trad Jazz” style. This was the golden age of the animated cartoon — Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes and the later Merrie Melodies, vintage Fleischer Popeye the Sailor, Woody Woodpecker and Tom and Jerry. As an uncritical child, I took them in at face value, and as I rewatched them over the years, I would grow into them, bringing my increasing knowledge of historical context, life in general, and experience to bear, and “get” more and more of the gags that had gone over my head as a child.

Anyway, grooving to Tuba Skinny makes me smile, and I need all the smiles I can get. Feel free to get you some, too.

Flaked and Sneeted

It was supposed to snow last night. Didn’t. Waited until I was out driving around today to flake in a rather desultory fashion, with a little sneet thrown in for flinching. Wasn’t cold enough for it to stick, thankfully, but it was cold enough — in the high 20’s F/-2+C all day. It was that wet-shock cold like stepping out of a long hot shower into air-conditioning set at “large men in suits and ties.”

Monday, I got a copy of my PET scan. Yep. Quite a little tumor burden you’ve got there, toots. No wonder I’m so tired all the time. Tuesday, I washed two loads of clothes, worked out a way to start a semicircular shawl without using a garter tab (it uses Turkish cast on)(there’s advanced-knitter knitting and then there’s knitting-geek knitting . . .), finished blocking shawl #3 and blocked shawl #4,

and put away the folding banquet table, blocking tiles, felt pad, steam iron, etc. (Did you know there are channels on YouTube that have like 7-8 hours’ worth of all different kinds of very nice music? God, I love rechargeable Bluetooth earbuds!)

I saw the cardiologist this morning. He used to have office space actually in the hospital; you had to park in the hospital parking garage and then make this “better pack a lunch and take a map and compass” hike to get to his office. He has new office space across the street now which is at ground level and has a parking lot right beside the building, which is such a relief. We fist bumped, touched bases and I got a hug out of the deal. He has a great “bedside manner” for any doctor, never mind a cardiologist.

I had to check mail and mail mom’s PEO dues before I went to the cardiologist, and wasn’t forethoughtful, so after I made my Walmart run, I had to come all the way up to the apt to get my wagon, go all the way back down to the car to load it up, and haul my goodies all the way back up. Sigh.

This afternoon, one of the movers brought the containers to pack my books, so I have that to do. (I haven’t gotten the keys yet. Haven’t moved anything yet. Haven’t packed anything yet.) Changed out of my good top and put on a well-worn fleece tunic top after I got home (which I don’t care if I dribble spinach dip on) which helped to thaw me out. The electricity was flickering on and off earlier this afternoon (I’d be willing to bet that pickups and telephone poles figured into it somehow), but they seem to have sorted that out. There are some navy beans that have been calling my name all afternoon and I put off heating them up because of the electricity shenanigans, but here directly, I’ll go see what they want. There’s some wild rice with mushrooms in there, too. Also a pair of tuna salad sandwiches. I may make another travel mug’s worth of hot tea and do some serious noshing.

I have this thing where I make tuna salad sandwiches, wrap them in cling wrap, and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight before I eat them. (I’m on the spectrum. Quirks come with the territory. Some are backed by sense or logic; some, like that one, spring forth fully formed like Athena from my neurodiverse little noggin.)(A logical quirk is if I’m making a lunch meat sandwich with cheese, I always put the cheese on first and put the rest of the cheese away before I even get into the lunch meat. If I get into the meat first, then I’m handling cheese, part of which is going back in the package, with meat juice on my fingers. It’s called hygiene.)

The packers are coming tomorrow to pack the dishes. I’ll be packing books tomorrow, too. Hopefully I’ll get my keys tomorrow and I can start moving things over. I’ve got four days to pull this whole move thing off and I really need to stick the landing.

Things be fixin’ to get busy . . . .

Hanging On Til Friday

We went to the Spine Institute Tuesday. Apparently, Mom’s MRI showed a disk protrusion between her second and third lumbar vertebrae (L2-L3) which was pinching the nerve and the pain specialist thinks that is the cause of her pain. (At age 96, she is not a surgical candidate.) So, on the 9th, which is Friday week, she will have a nerve block to that nerve under sedation. I’m hoping this is the spot and she gets good pain relief. I’m also hoping that she is a candidate for a TENS unit, because nerve blocks are only temporary. Her pain will recur and require another session of sedation and a nerve injection.

In the knitting knews, I mentioned I got some Malabrigo Worsted in the colorway “Indigo,” all of which is now caked up.

I have no self discipline apparently, because my resolve not to start a new shawl until I finish one of the four I’m working on lasted about two days. I’ve since written a pattern, put about a day’s work into it, frogged it, re-written the pattern, and restarted it.

This was the original pattern and, as you can see, I got pretty far along on it. But I didn’t like the way the increases were working. The middle and bottom “rays” were starting to curve downward, and ça ne se fait pas. So I frogged that sucker and recaked the yarn, dropped back and punted.

The new pattern keeps the Turkish cast on (as tricky and fiddly as it is, I prefer it to using a garter tab) as well as the sl1 wyif, k1 edging, but instead of the lattice lace, I used more of a “ladder” lace worked over 5 stitches (RS: p2tog, yo, k1, yo, p2tog; WS: k2, p1, k2.) The lattice lace is worked over 4 stitches and I don’t like 4’s. This “ladder” lace is worked over 5 stitches. It is the center part of a “ray” that is worked over 9 stitches.

I like 3’s and 9’s a lot better than I like 4’s. (I’m on the spectrum; I’m allowed to be quirky.)

I haven’t decided whether I’ll put the band of stockinette stitch at intervals or not. I’m calling this shawl “Smuggler’s Moon” — smugglers like the dark of the moon, preferring to carry out their clandestine activities when the lack of moonlight makes them more difficult to spot.

The Malabrigo Worsted is a single-ply yarn, and it is a dream to work with. I’ll be interested to see how it blocks up. I’m trying to shoehorn a felt pressing mat into the budget to use for blocking things knitted with acrylic yarn. The acrylic items I’ve blocked before (baby clothes) were small and I could use an ironing board with them, but for large items like shawls, I’m going to need my banquet table, which is hard plastic, and I need a felt pressing pad to put over it to protect it from the heat.

This afternoon, my friend KC and I are going over to Mom’s and spend the afternoon chatting with her and knitting. My mom is pretty much housebound as she can’t drive because there’s no way she could get her walker in and out of the car by herself, and being on her feet exacerbates her pain. She’s ok as long as she’s sitting, reclining, or lying flat, but when she gets up and walks about, her pain really kicks in. She’s not into reading. She doesn’t watch anything on TV but sports or game shows (she has trouble following dialog because of her hearing loss), and bless her, she’s bored silly. So my friend and I are going over to keep her company for the afternoon.

I usually get my bread in boules rather than the usual square loaves, and boule slices are hemicircular and much wider than slices from a square loaf. They wouldn’t fit in the toaster I had, so I got this long-slot toaster for Christmas.

The loaf these slices came from were smaller than the standard bakery loaf. A bit of toaster overkill . . . This toast and some chicken salad became a delightful sandwich for last night’s supper.

Not Off To A Good Start

Yesterday, a small minority of delusional/irrational/irresponsible idiots acted out in my nation’s capital and embarrassed and dishonored this country that I and other members of my family have proudly served.  They also brought dishonor on the flag of my native state in the process.  I neither support nor condone their actions and consider their behavior  beneath contempt.  That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

I made Julekuler again this year, the little knitted Xmas balls.  I pulled the pattern graphs up on one monitor and used a sticky note to keep my place, so I could catch up on some of the channels I follow on YouTube on the other monitor.   By the way, if you’re into colorwork and want to take a bash at these little Xmas balls, you can download the pattern and charts for free here.   Arne & Carlos have also put out a whole book of patterns for bigger Julekuler.

Santa visited my house this year and got me a new lo-o-o-ng toaster.  I kept the short one, though, for when I want to toast square slices of bread to make sandwiches. (I never toast more than two slices, and toasting them in the long toaster is overkill and not energy efficient.)  I have mounted a small plug strip with its own fuse to the underside of my cabinet to accommodate all these electrical appliances.  The plug strip is the only thing plugged into that outlet.  The microwave is plugged into a different outlet on the adjacent wall. I guess I’m going to have to get more of that avocado green cotton yarn and knit a cover for the long toaster now.

Saw this.  It was spot on.

I had so much fun earlier in the week.  At about 6:30 Sunday evening, I ran some hot water at the sink to thaw out the sweet/sour sauce for my spring rolls and there was no hot water!  I checked the water heater and the little light that’s supposed to be on and blinking when the pilot light is lit, wasn’t.  Sunday night, woke up in the middle of the night, reached for the light switch on my bedside light.  No light.   Fortunately, I keep a little flashlight in my night table drawer just in case.  I checked the ceiling fixture and my outage was in the bulb and not in the electricity. Did what I had woken up to do, then pitter-patted barefoot to the utility room to get another light bulb. The plumber was able to work me in Monday morning and came to look over the water heater and relight the pilot light on it. There seemed to be no overt reason the pilot light went out and the water heater wasn’t that old (2016).  By then, I was running late for rehab.  Went to brush my teeth and my electric toothbrush wouldn’t work.  Changed the batteries, and it still wouldn’t work.  Had to brush my teeth manually. (!)    After I got back from rehab, I futzed with my toothbrush and finally got it to work.  Must have been a gremlin loose in the house.  It seems to have moved on, thankfully.  I think I know where it went.

This is why knitters should always keep a crochet hook handy even if they don’t crochet.  (You can click on the pix to enlarge it.) Instead of frogging the whole shebang back about three inches just to fix one stitch, I dropped that stitch off the needle, frogged it back to the mistake, and used the crochet hook to pick it back up again.

That’s the infinity wrap I’m working on. It’s also a case in point for the value of pausing every so often to check over your work so you can catch a mistake sooner than I caught that one.

I’ve knitted 18 inches’ worth and still haven’t used up the first ball of yarn yet.  Once I do, I’ll know for sure if I’m going to have to get another skein of yarn, but I don’t think I will.  I’ve already got six skeins total, which should be enough.  Yarn chicken on a grand scale.  It’s long enough now I’ve had to roll the bottom up and pin it with a large stitch holder to keep it from flopping all over my lap.

Weatherwise, we’re looking down the barrel of  a winter storm.That’s snow in the forecast for Sunday, and lows in the teens through Tuesday.  The humidity is supposed to be 91%, but not in my house it isn’t.  Not with my heater coming on every 20 minutes.  When I go to get up from my computer desk, if I don’t remember to take my ear buds out before I take the lap robe off my lap, I get some DIY electroshock treatments from the static electricity.  Gets your attention, I can tell you.

I only read 142 books last year, and only one so far this year.  I need to get on the ball.

I’ll leave you with this:

Thinky Thoughts and Bowls

“The great secret that all old people share,” wrote Doris Lessing, “is that you really don’t change in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.”

I love that quote.  It’s spot on.

I paired the Bluetooth earbuds with my iPhone and I’ve been listening to the Suburbs of Goa channel of the SomaFM internet radio station all evening.  (SomaFM has so much music in one place! I love it so much!)  Energized by the music, I folded unmentionables and other assorted laundry, put the dressing in the oven to cook, read blogs at the computer, worked a puzzle at Jigsaw Planet, all with my iPhone on charge in the bedroom and me wandering all over the house with music in my ears.  No dangling earbud wires to catch on stuff, no need to make sure I have a pocket or pouch to carry my phone.  Joy electric.  I have a set of cordless infrared headphones for the TV, but infrared is line of sight only, and the moment you get out of sight, you get an earful of white noise.   As inexpensive as these Bluetooth earbuds are, maybe Santa will bring me a pair for the TV for Crimmers.

Sunday night’s supper was the end of the chili casserole.  Good to the last elbow.  Monday, I went to the cabinet to get a bowl for some cereal and guess what.  The cupboard was bare.  Fortunately, the dishwasher wasn’t, and had finished its cycle some hours ago.

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’ve started in on the cornbread dressing, chicken breast meat, and cranberry sauce that are standing in for the “leftovers” I didn’t get to have because we ate Thanksgiving dinner at friends’.  I’m having them now.   So good.

Speaking of bowls, I have bowls of knitting scattered all over the house . . . Guess that means I have my knitting mojo back.

Two bowls by the computer.

A second iPouch with earbud pocket in progress and a bowl of yarn for Christmas balls (Julekuler).

The large rectangular shawl in the big basket with the reader’s shrug stalled at the start of the lower sleeve decreases.

Comfort Food

There’s a chili casserole I make with Wolf Brand Chili with Beans (2 cans), pasta (typically either elbow macaroni or spaghetti), half a white onion chopped, a small can of sliced black olives and a small can of Del Monte mixed vegetables.  When I eat a bowl of it, I sprinkle Sargento Mexican 4 Cheeses on top and zot it in the microwave.

I mention it because, as you may have guessed, I just made one. The hardest part of making it is boiling the pasta.  The rest is mostly just opening cans — and chopping up half a white onion.  It’s kinda like Frito Pie only with pasta.  I mention it also because its a tasty, hearty, fast (and cheap) one-dish meal.  You can put this casserole together in about 20 minutes and feed six off it if some of them are children and/or you practice portion control.  You don’t have to bake it; everything in it is already as cooked as it needs to be.  Just sprinkle cheese on it and heat it up in the microwave.

I cooked a whole package of elbow macaroni but only used about half of it in the casserole.  (I’ll eat the remaining pasta with some undiluted Progresso Beef Pot Roast  soup on top — I can get two meals out of one can of soup that way.)  If you use spaghetti, you need to break the sticks of spaghetti into thirds before you boil it.

This is what I call a “template dish” — you don’t have to use the exact ingredients I use.  Just whatever brand of canned chili is available (with or without beans), and cheese of choice.  You can make it with or without the vegetables.  You could use lasagna noodles and layer it like lasagna with mozzarelli, or make it with bow tie pasta or rotini.  You could throw in chopped bell peppers or jalapeños, use green onions as well as or instead of white onions, or use pearl onions.  You could top it with Asiago cheese, or sharp cheddar.  Instead of putting the cheese on top, you could dice some Velveta cheese and mix it in.

If you’re a single person or there’s just the two of you, that’s why some lunch meat comes in plastic containers that are too good to throw away.  It’s also why God gave us freezers.  Moi?  I am my father’s daughter.  I’ll eat it for lunch and supper until it’s gone, and relish every bowl of it.

 

 

 

Happy Happy, Sad Sad

Mom and I had a good Thanksgiving dinner with our friends J&SH.  SH cooked and his wife JH chatted with us and the other couple (she was a knitter) who were their guests.  I admit to being apprehensive about taking my mask off to eat.  As I’ve said, I’m in so many risk groups for COVID19 that it’s not funny, and these were people who were not in our immediate family group.  It’s always a risk.

The upside of eating Thanksgiving at somebody else’s house is that you don’t have to cook or clean up after.  The downside is no leftovers! — which in this case is a real bummer.  SH is a fabulous cook.  His turkey was so moist and flavorful and he makes the kind of dressing that has sausage in, which is a more northerly tradition (MN) than the down-south cornbread dressing I’m used to.  But, hey, I’m an equal opportunity eater, and it was ‘licious.  (He put real cream in the mixer and whupped it to put on our punkin’ pie!)

I spent Wednesday (TG eve) in serious hygge mode, snuggled in bed catching up on episodes of a YouTube knitting channel that I follow, and knitting some wash cloths with cotton thread to use as a bread and butter gift for our host and hostess.  (This was money well spent!) Whenever they invite us over for dinner, I always take S&JH a little handmade something because they are both such special people.

I juggled the budget this month and bought Bluetooth earbuds instead of ebooks (I’m currently rereading the Harry Potter books this month) and Wednesday was the first opportunity I had to try them out.  No More Wars!*  I got the kind with the little conical rubber things that go into your ear hole as those stay in my ear better than the durn Apple ones that came with the iPhone.  They paired to my Kindle Fire on the first try.  These have enough range that I could go into the kitchen for snacks and to make another pot of tea and still hear what I was listening to, and what’s more, they will go up to 8 hours on a single charge, which is great.  I was one happy camper.  Now that I think about it, my TV has Bluetooth.   I’d have to unpair them from my tablet to get them to pair with the TV, but I could binge a lot of watching in 8 hours . . . . Hmmmm.

I am at the stage in my tooth implant odyssey where an impression is made of both upper and lower teeth, from which the crown for the implant will be made.  (The stage after that is where they stick the crown down onto the peg that was implanted in my jaw, and I go on my merry way.) That appointment was scheduled three months ago, when I had my last appointment to check up on the status of the healing of the bone graft around the post, and was supposed to take place on November 5th.  About a week before that, the dentist’s receptionist called and rescheduled it for the 17th because he was going to be “out of town.”  Then the second week of November, it got rescheduled to the 24th.  Then it got rescheduled to December 3rd.

So, Fridays are a busy day for my mom.  She goes to the beauty saloon at like ye gods! o’clock in the morning to get her weekly wash, set and style, then goes grocery shopping for the week.  I am not an early riser, which was why I was only about half awake when she called me at 8:30 yesterday morning to tell me that she was looking through the obituaries in the daily paper and saw one for my dentist!  Apparently, he died this past Monday (23rd) of COVID19.  So now, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

About two years ago, he relocated his practice to way out in the yuppyburbs (129th Street) in the southwest portion of town and was sharing office space with another dentist.  At the time I wondered if he wasn’t gradually phasing out his practice (he was 76).  I’ll be calling his office Monday — probably along with all his other patients — w0ndering just what’s going to happen now.  I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it ever since mom told me about it.  I’ve been going to him for probably ten or twelve years now and I really liked him.  So sad.

*wars -- Texan for that electrical cord that connects the earbuds to each other and to the electronic device.

Baking in My Dreams

So, Tuesday, mom and I had talked about what to do for Thanksgiving since it’s just the two of us, and I was going to suck it up and clean my house and cook the dinner and have mom over, and then Friday, she tells me we’ve been invited to a friend’s house. . .  But, in the meantime, at cardiac rehab on Wednesday, I only did 40 minutes on the treadmill before I caved because I knew I was going to Wal-Mart afterward and would have to hike over to the “non-grocery” side, nearly to the garden dept,  for a new shower head (see below) and pick up some teethpaste en route.

Whilst at Wal-mart, I got a frozen turkey breast (frozen so solid you could have shot it out of a cannon!) and had to ask two different stockers where the heck they’d hidden their cranberry sauce (neither of whom knew).  (Now that I mention it, I don’t think one of them was real sure which end was up . . .)  There are apparently two schools of thought on where to stock cranberry sauce.  Some stores stock it with the vegetables (???) and some stock it where it’s supposed to be — with the fruit.  (cranBERRY sauce– duh!)  After wandering all over half the store, I finally found one little box of cans of Ocean Spray jellied stuck way up on the top shelf above the canned pineapple where you couldn’t have found it with GPS and a homing beacon.  (sniffs in annoyance)

Anyway, neatly threaded into Tuesday’s conversation about what we were going to do for Thanksgiving, was one of those oh-and-by-the-way’s — her shower head was not spraying properly, would I come look at it?  (We have hard water here in the flatlands, which is not surprising as there is a sizeable chunk of limestone between us and the aquifer.)  (The combining form for “water” is “aqua-“, n’est-ce pas? So why does “aquifer” have an “i”?!?) The problem with her shower head was that since it was probably old enough to vote, it had become calcified beyond the power of CLR to revive it.  What it put out was more of a half-hearted rivulet than a spray.

So, when I went to cardiac rehab on Friday, I had an adjustable crescent wrench, Teflon tape and a new shower head in the car seat by my purse.  (Why, yes, I am a Toolbelt Diva.)  I stopped off chez mom on my way home, and it was only a matter of moments before she had a new shower head in her shower. (Don’t I wish a lot more of the world’s problems could be solved with an adjustable crescent wrench and Teflon tape. . .)

I couldn’t stand it.  I cast on for an infinity scarf like I was talking about.

Anyway, what with all the treadmill time (40-45 minutes a pop) I’ve put in during cardiac rehab sessions (not to mention 10-15 minute wind sprints on the top and bottom bicycle), and Wednesday’s  Wal-Mart Invitational 10K Grocery Shop, when my alarm rousted me out at 9 o’clock this morning, it was plain by the way I felt that I wasn’t done sleeping yet.  After a brief breakfast in bed (some of my morning meds must be taken with food), I rolled over and sounded* like a sperm whale going for squid.  I surfaced to breathe at about noon, again at about 3 pm, and again at about 6 pm, and when I surfaced at a little after 9 pm, I knew I was done sleeping.

But there was this dream I had just before I woke up.  I was in a kind of farmhouse kitchen, at this big beautiful antique farmhouse kitchen table making pastry dough.  I was wearing a bib apron made from cotton feed sacking and the long-sleeved t-shirt I had on had the sleeves pushed up past my elbows.  I took the dough out of the big crockery bowl and plopped it directly onto the table, with sprinkled flour and everything, and began to work it.  I rolled it into a “worm” with my hands and used a roller to roll the “worm” out flat into a rectangle  about a foot wide and about 2 feet long.  I thoroughly dusted the surface of the dough with a mixture of coarse-ground brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, finely chopped nuts, and minced raisins.  Then I began to roll one of the long edges in toward the center.  I went round to the other side of the table and rolled the other long edge in toward the center.  I grabbed the ends, lifted the whole shebang off the table and plopped it onto a large greased baking sheet (one of those heavy duty kind about an inch deep with a rolled rim), pinched the ends and guillotined it into two-inch sections with a pastry knife.  I covered it with a cotton tea towel and let it rise.  Once it had risen, I spooned jam made from pureed cherries down the center trough and put it in a hot oven to cook.  I have never seen nor heard of sweet rolls made this way, but they were delicious!

*sound, verbto dive down suddenly used of a fish or whale.  (This is the 7th of 7 separate dictionary definitions of the word "sound".  Any wonder why English is such a booger for a non-native to learn? )