24 January 2021

Sometime in 2019, we cleared stuff out of the spare room, jammed a sofa and love seat in it (and really had to jam them both to get them through the door), covered them with blankets, and declared it to be Max's bedroom. He needed a space of his own, away from Buddah, and it took approximately 1.4378 minutes for him to accept the offering and to take his first nap stretch out on the back on the loveseat.

Eventually he decided that the back of the sofa was the best spot, because he had a better view of the hallway and of Buddah if he was on his way in. That didn't happen often, though. Buddah seemed to understand that the room was not his, and the few times he ventured in he took the furniture on the opposite side of the room. With only a few rare occasions, it was the neutral zone.

Max loved that room so much that it made the hassle of getting the stuff that had been in it--a treadmill, for one--out and the furniture in totally worth it. It was a comfortable, safe space, and in his last month he rarely ventured out.

This week, it was time to take the sofa and love seat out. I found them both to be uncomfortable (but I and also picky) and I was honestly tired of peeking into that room, expecting to see a sleeping kitty on the back of the sofa. The blankets were long gone, and I'd sprayed them both with Kids & Pets in November so they didn't smell anymore; where once I thought we'd have to trash them, they seemed good enough to give away.

We pushed them out--it was a hell of a lot easier than getting them in, for some reason--and put them outside, on the driveway. I put a notice up on Facebook on a local page, offering them up, and within an hour someone texted, wanting them.

I didn't really care who took them or why they wanted them, for resale or personal use, it didn't matter. But this person...a teenager about to move into his first apartment, who had literally nothing to put in it. It made me wish I'd had more to give the kid, but mostly, it suddenly mattered that Max's treasured sofa and loveseat were going to someone who really needed them.

The room is no longer Max's bedroom, and I somehow managed to easily make the switch in my head. It's now the bike room, with one on the trainer and one hanging on the wall, with room on the floor for another if I ever have a reason to bring another into the house. 

I filled his space with a Dammit Machine.

I can hear his exasperated little sigh from here.

About St. Baldrick' looks like they're going to have some in-person shavings, but unlike previous years, they'll schedule appointments. So, it won't be the party atmosphere and the bar might not even be open (and they reserve the right to change the date) so now I'm waiting to see when the appointments open up, and I'll snag one.

But. BUT.

Michelle DKM has made an offer for my fundraising goal. If I hit $2000, she's going to cut her hair--cut, not shave--and donate it to Locks of Love (or another hair-collecting group, not sure.)

So it's a two-fer. I shave, she cuts, everyone wins.

I realize I'm fundraising for two things at the same time, but...these are the only ones for this year. Both benefit children's cancer research; one involves my embarrassment for a few weeks, one involves sweat and effort for a month. And the donations are tax deductible.

I've been excited and relieved to see so many friends online are already getting their COVID vaccinations...and a little jealous. At the rate CA is going, I won't get one until mid to late summer, and that's the group with health issues. Gotta admit, I was disheartened to realize it could take that long, and I'm not really counting on the distribution to improve unless Pfizer and Moderna ramp up production and the government figures out exactly how to get it into peoples' arms. 

Right now it's such a shit show that it feels like I'm stuck at home for a lot longer, and it's getting to be a bit much even for an introvert.

I hope that with a new administration some major improvement is coming, but I'm not holding my breath.

17 January 2021

'Tis the time of year when I start contemplating what events I want to participate in. I'm registered for the 3 Day but the timing of that means there's a 99% chance I won't go. 

This year I think my focus will be on children's cancer charities. 

In September I'm doing the Great Cycle Challenge again. Same goal, 300 miles in 30 days.

This is a for-sure thing because it's done virtually so I don't need to worry about it being canceled because of COVID (though I seriously hope we're all vaccinated by then and life will be mostly normal...)

300 miles is my bare minimum goal; I did it last year so barring injuries or illness there's no reason I can't do it again. And if I get close before the end of the month, I can bump it up.

Also on tap is St. Baldrick's. This will be year 8, but there's a significant chance that it will be a virtual event, so I'll likely self fund this one (donations will not be turned away, though!)

The date on it is tentative, but they're hoping for in-person options...I'm not holding my breath because the odds of enough people being vaccinated are low, though I still hope the numbers go way down before then.

Other than that...we're really just wanting enough normalcy that we can do something for our anniversary this year. The plan was Disneyland but with the changes they're making I'm not counting on that either. It might be seriously packed for a long time after they reopen, and I'm just not interested in a packed park.

We'll figure something out. There are other fun places to go.


15 January 2021

January is half over and I have ridden a grand total of zero miles.

Ya…it has not been a great start to a new year. I am just now feeling better, but I’m also 99% sure I have an ulcer, which isn’t helping anything. The pain from that is not too bad during the day, but I wake up every night after roughly 4 hours feeling like I’ve been stabbed with a hot poker. The pain goes away if I get food into my stomach, so I’ve been taking a snack to the bedroom at night, and when I wake up, I eat.

It works.

And yes, I know I need to see a doctor. I’ve been putting it off because, ew, doctor-office-cooties, and also…my brain settles on the worst case scenarios and it has decided that if I go, I will leave that appointment with 72 different types of cancer and an unwanted mutant puppy.

I’m giving it through the weekend, and then yes, I will see him.

+ + +

For a lot of the time I was feeling like crap, I also did not feel like working. Or reading. Or doing much of anything. I was pretty sure that the day I dove into a good book and then pounded out several pages on the next Wick book (yes, it goes on without Max, but I suspect it will still be his book, because…Max) that I was on the upswing.

What I still haven’t done, though, is ride. But I think today will be the day, if not heading outside, I’ll get a slow start inside. The bike is up on the trainer, ready to go—I checked the tires last night and made sure the TV was signed into Netflix—I just need to get my ass on it.

+ + +

He was a cinnamon donut freak, too...
Something stupid but also kinda major… I ate cinnamon toast last night.

I haven’t been able to bear the idea of it since Max died. Every time I thought about it, the memory of him jumping onto my lap and eating it from the other side slapped at me, and I just couldn’t. He was a little freak where cinnamon was concerned, and the last time I’d had it was towards the end for him; as much as it had to hurt to get up on the loveseat and then make his was across the arm of it, onto the footrest of the recliner, and then my lap, he could not resist.

And yes, I let him take bites. I would have given him anything at that point.

I honestly thought I would gag on it and could have gone the rest of my life without it, but… yeah.

The Spouse Thingy has been the same way with chicken salad. He hadn’t been able to open a can of chicken because that was his thing with the cats…he got the chicken and they got the water with little bits of meaty goodness floating in it. Buddah got to lick the mayo spoon.

I don’t think he’s had any since Buddah died, but this morning I noted there was a chicken and mayo-smeared bowl in the kitchen sink.

It made me happy.

And also a little annoyed because the dishwasher is RIGHT THERE.

+ + +

All right.

Off my asterisk to actually do things other than drooling while watching TV.

I have lottery tickets to buy.


2 January 2021

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, per se, but I did set some goals, and one of them was to start the year with a bike ride. Long or short, it didn't matter; I wanted to set the tone of the year by whittling away at my mileage goals, and hit at least the same number of miles I did last January.

The first time...and the sickest I have ever been
You might remember that I have a history of colitis, and it raises its ugly head at the least opportune times (and if you remember this, you might also recall that Max tried so very hard to guard me when it hit, even growling at the Spouse Thingy to keep away from me.) reared its ugly head again right after Christmas and I've been battling it since. It's not as bad as it was the first time (which led me to the epiphany of why some people just want to die, which helps with some empathy there) and certainly not super horrible, but I am so many levels of uncomfortable and nauseated that it's keeping me from doing things I want to do.

Getting on a bike yesterday, even inside, seemed like a bad idea and one I would regret. So I watched reruns of Doctor Who, leading up to the New Year's special, and did a whole lot of nothing.

I thought I was on the upswing last night and would be on that bike today (inside, because I am delicate and it is raining) but Thumper's Raging Intestines (I still think that should be a rage rock band name) decided I would not sleep anywhere near what one might call well, and that the first hour of my day after finally getting up would be spent nauseated as hell.

Still...I don't feel nearly as sick as I did July 2012, when I missed the Avon breast cancer walk because I was laying in a tight ball in bed, feeling sorry for anyone who'd ever felt anywhere near that bad. This time I can remain upright (though I've taken a few naps because that's how I deal with not feeling well) and I have an appetite, but no energy to prepare food so I've been eating a lot of crap.

No energy to work, either. Or to start on clearing things from Max's bedroom, because it's about to become a Dammit Machine room, and y'all know how much he would have liked that. [insert evil laughter]

My view will be the same, absent cat barf...
Only one Dammit Machine this time. I'm taking it over for my bike, and hanging a couple of my lesser used bikes on the wall, because why the hell not? I'm still so glad we turned that into a space for Max when we did, and it will be a royal pain in the asterisk to get the sofa and love seat out of there again, but I'm not one for major shrines and it's already time to change it.

Also...the sofa stinks. The love seat stinks. Max dribbled a lot in the last few months through no fault of his own, so we're just getting rid of them. They can be cleaned, sure, but...hopefully we can donate them or give them away.

So. Maybe tomorrow I can ride. I want to say I feel better right now, but I thought the same thing about this time yesterday and it went to chit. So.

I did get up this morning to donuts on the counter and dinner already cooking in the Crock Pot, which meant I didn't have to go to the store today, and the Spouse Thingy didn't even know I'd had such a crap night.

Fingers crossed that next week is better. Spouse Thingy gets his 2nd COVID vaccine, so even if I feel better, he might not...not even going to make real plans.