Sick

Standard

I am that kind of sick that can barely get out of bed and have alternated sleep with coughing my brains out pretty much all day. I am ready to go into stasis while my body/immune system mops up the rest of this. I hope I’m better tomorrow, but I really can’t say for sure how I will feel.

Feels like the flu I had on the way home from Hawaii a few years ago. Sans (so far) the vomiting. Yay? I have been queasy feeling all day, which has made eating interesting. I’m battling So.Hungry. with Gonna.Barf. if I eat that. So, yeah. English muffins are really good. Without anything on them.

If I ever recover, I’m not hanging out with any more sick people.

I have slept the day away

Standard

But I am not miraculously healed.  Come on, body, FIGHT!  I suppose it is fighting, but it is not winning fast enough for the rest of me.

I was so cold yesterday (because my house is at 62, probably), so this morning, when I couldn’t sleep, I went to the gym around 6:30am and swam in the therapy pool for an hour.  The therapy pool is the super warm one – think warm bath water temperature.  It was so relaxing I almost fell asleep.  Which would probably have been bad, since there are no lifeguards on duty and were no other people in that pool at the time.  I did have the floaty barbells, which might have saved me if I’d held onto them in my sleep.  Best not to imagine this course.  The walk to the locker room was too far and the cold once again started to seep into my bones, so I stopped at the hot tub (even WARMER) and sat in there for a few minutes.  I’m dreaming of it again now, because my throat and head really hurt and I bet the warmth would feel wonderful.  I can’t quite convince myself that it’s worth getting into the car and driving over there, however, so I will probably just go back to bed.

I made it to my meeting with time to spare, and because of the snow that fell last night some of the speakers were running late (the guy whose commute was 2 hours and 40 minutes and who finished an entire audiobook on the way to the meeting wins), AND they’d planned for 30 minutes of networking (i.e. chat with your neighbors and make friends), so we didn’t really get started until after 10am. By which time my nose was full again and my head. It’s really hard to be social and/or charming (or responsive, really) when you can’t breathe. Things finally got rolling and the presenters were interesting and their material was definitely worth having shown up for. I even managed to talk to my neighbors a bit before it was over. Bleh. I called my supervisor from my car, “Hi, I made it to my meeting and have likely infected everyone there, but I can no longer breathe properly, so I’m going to go home now.” She was very properly, “Yikes, ew, don’t come in, anything we can do for you, feel better!”

Yes. I love my bed. And when it’s sunny in the afternoon, the sun comes right in my bedroom window and makes napping such a wonderful thing. I absorbed ALL the warmth. Maybe I made some vitamin D, too. This is good, because I had the last of my Vitamin D gummy vitamins today.

Obviously, I did not go in to give blood. They wouldn’t want it. It is riddled with germs.

And I skipped water aerobics tonight.

I did have a grilled cheese sandwich, though.

Piper Doe, an origin tale

Standard

Piper Doe does not like to be alone.  She thumps.  She honks.  She communicates her Distress.  [I’m re-reading “Secret Scribbled Notebooks,” which references “The Little Prince,” and it talks about how taming an animal makes it need you.  Piper NEEDS.]  I held her last night while I tried to read “Saga” (commix!!!) and watch “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” (season 2).  [Realizing that this multitasking thing is ridiculous and you can’t really enjoy ANYTHING.  Especially when the rabbit NEEDS you, and is all about the bun petting.]

She is a sleek, black, shiny, beautiful creature with a few stray white hairs sprinkled liberally through her coat.  Whether these are an effect of genetics or age, I do not know.  She is darkness, but in spirit, light.

“How old is she?”  Everyone wants to know.  It is the question most asked at her Bunwarming.  And the answer is that we do not know.  Adult.  The shelter people did not know or would not say or could not be bothered to look up the information in their records (assuming such records exist).  The vet will probably not be able to say much about this either. Older than 1 year is what they said about Oatmeal. Which, really, is not much to go on. She is Piper.  She is a DOE.  And whatever else you can determine from the WYSIWYG observations you may make.  She was not the first rabbit I looked at.

The bunny shelter is a happy/sad place.  Happy, because whenever I go I know I’m going to meet somebun, but sad, too, because there are so many unwanted buns.  How can you NOT want a bun?  Several buns?  It is perplexing.  When we visited the last time (for Uther’s adoption), they said they had about 300 bunnies for adoption.  I would guess that this time there were at least 100 (and a whole upstairs area as well for new/incoming buns).  How do you ever choose from so many?  I have never actually experienced choice paralysis when it comes to rabbits, but I can imagine that others might find it difficult or impossible.  The difficulty is leaving any of them behind when you see how small the cages are and smell the smells that come from housing so many rabbits in such tight quarters.  They deserve better lives than this.  You can’t just release them into the wild, though.  Oh no.  Because they are TAME rabbits.  And they need us.

I walk around the rooms of caged buns and I greet them.  Some of them stretch themselves out full length to investigate me.  It’s feeding time and they’re all a little bite-y because fingers *could* be food and they don’t know.  Some bite harder than others, expressing some irritation and impatience for the delay. Where IS my breakfast? Some seem practically wild. Others snooze. Some hide in their litter boxes or make themselves as small as possible. I am.not.here.

One of them looks a little bit like Uther – more lop-eared, though, and bigger. I open his cage and take him out, carrying him around for awhile to see if I like his heft and whether or not he’ll tolerate being held. This isn’t a deal-breaker. Most of my rabbits have BARELY tolerated being held. They have been fine with being Near, and have accepted many pettings and much affection – but, on the ground. If you look at things from their point of view (being prey animals who could be carried off by predators, winged ones, even), this makes a lot of sense. The Uther-like bun is relatively tolerant of me. He might be a good choice. I decide to look a little further.

A couple are in with their large lop buck whose name is something ridiculous that escapes me now. Lump? They are speed dating to find a companion bun. Lump doesn’t like the other buns. And the other buns keep Trying Things. When Lump expresses his displeasure, Lisa, the shelter owner, comes over and shows his people how to give him whatfor. This involves scruffing him and stretching him out. He finds this humiliating and is sullen and withdrawn for the rest of his dates. They decide to go with the first bun (a cute and fluffy harlequin that I’ve been eyeing on the off-chance that they change their minds), and I decide not to let Lisa anywhere near my buns.

I get to know a gray bun next. He is squirrelly and won’t hold still. I’m afraid if I loosen my grip he’ll try to fly. My rabbit Powder was exactly like this – he would rather soar and land wherever than be held. It was TORTURE. This bun is ok, but he is not the bun for me.

I rub some more noses and receive some more nibbles. There are several bun couples that they want to adopt out together and I briefly consider one of those. They seem very sweet, but they aren’t litter trained and there’s urine pooling in their cage under their feet. Every time they jump up to say hello, they splash a little on me. I would like to get to know them better – they are friendly! – but I don’t want to bathe in pee to do it. Sorry, buns.

Piper is a cage that is level with my face. She is a bun of Darkness. She is calm and seems to love all the attention I’m giving her. Petting can go on FOREVER, yes, please. It takes a few attempts to catch her – she doesn’t want to be picked up either – but once I do, she settles into my arms and tolerates me admirably! I carry her around for awhile. She is lovely, but she is also a DOE and my experiences with does have been not so great. They can be very territorial and will defend that territory TO THE DEATH! With many growls and bites and lunges. But… There’s a better chance that Oatmeal will bond with a doe than with another buck (assuming Oatmeal can accept ANY other bunnies). I revisit the Uther-like bunny, but ultimately decide to go with Piper.

“This one,” I say to the bunny shelter staff. And Piper Doe comes home with me.

Your doodly whatsit will not scroll

Standard

Jesus Christ, WP, fix your shit.

Everyone around me is – again- obsessed with weight loss. It is both infuriating and motivating and I have a lot of EMOTIONS about it. I am despondent and furious and determined all at the same time. And I HATE it. I wish that I didn’t care. I wish that no one HAD to care. I wish that I didn’t love peanut butter *quite* as much as I do. Probably that would make everything easier.

We have this Wellness committee at work and their current project is a weight loss challenge through the local fitness center (the one I happen to belong to). A bunch of my coworkers joined. Which means that every time I go into the break room to fill my water bottle, someone is talking about how much weight they’ve lost or how GOOD or BAD they’ve been, or they’re bemoaning the presence of the leftover pastries from the Senior Coffee. And I am thinking, “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.”

I am a little envious of the successes, because I was one of them a few years ago and I kept being surprised and astonished by that success AND the fact that people – mostly strangers to me – noticed. Actually, that was a little creepy sometimes, depending on who was doing the commenting. And the whole time, I felt like actually talking about it would somehow jinx it. A common question I got was, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” And if people said, “You look AMAZING,” I wondered how bad I’d looked before. BAD. REALLY BAD. The thing that worked was logging everything exhaustively – basically calorie counting – in an app, which takes time and effort and diligence. And after several years of doing that I was SO.DONE. But not doing it and eating whatever the hell I want whenever I want was a good way to gain some of it back. Which is, of course, disheartening. And the strangers are mostly silent now – having witnessed my FAILURE. Except for that swimming instructor who keeps trying to give me her old bathing suit. “What size are you?” Let’s not talk about that, shall we?

So, after getting upset again with my lack of progress in this particular endeavor (which, I honestly haven’t been giving the old college try except to exercise like a fiend – this is great, except you don’t lose weight if you promptly consume all the calories you’ve lost!), and upset because other people ARE succeeding, I had a talk with myself about how I could easily fix all of this angst by making an actual effort and doing what I did before. Presumably it will work again and I can stop bellyaching about all of this and feel HAPPY for others who are, likewise, doing well. Envy, you are irritating – go away.

Also, biking season? Right around the corner. Yay.

* * *
Back in November there was another fitness challenge at work that involved setting 3 fitness goals and maintaining them for 3 months. Mine were to exercise 60 minutes a day (no problem, since I usually do that anyway), stretch for 15 minutes a day (I have a harder time doing this because I would rather spend the energy burning more calories, but my body is cranky and sore a lot because I DON’T stretch enough), and add 60 minutes of weight training to my week (mostly focusing on upper body since I get a lot of lower body exercise in the pool and on the elliptical trainer, and to address the upper body weakness I’ve experienced since I fractured my elbow a couple years ago – it has taken a hit and whatever I’ve been doing to compensate has been causing my shoulder to hurt).

I’ve kept up with all of those goals since November, and am happy to report that my shoulder is much better. I’d been thinking of seeing a physical therapist to work on the elbow/shoulder problem exclusively, but I seem to have figured it out on my own. During this time I also read about MAT (muscle activation technique) which uses muscle stimulation to remind your muscles how to move and interact – this can be useful for people who have suffered injuries and whose bodies have found other ways to compensate which aren’t efficient. There’s a trainer/PT who does this at the facility (my gym has a couple of locations that are convenient to me) in town, whom I may contact in the future if the problem persists.

* * *
Why is everyone so old?

Oberon has been talking about foot pain recently and has diagnosed himself with plantar faciitis. My mom had a terrible experience with this when she flew out to visit me in Baltimore. I made her walk everywhere (I didn’t have a car), and at one point she was shouting out to the world that her daughter was abusing her. I have now had several experiences with it myself, so I know that it can be very painful.

Pain is a weird thing, though. People’s thresholds are very different and you can never really crawl inside of someone else’s head/body and feel what they are feeling. You have to rely on their reports of those experiences. When I had my Jone’s fracture, the people at the hospital couldn’t believe I was walking on it. It hurt a lot, but there were ways to move it so that I could still put some weight on it. I think we get accustomed to carrying some kinds of pain and after awhile they are just “normal.”

I’m still getting some little twinges from my thumb after the bathroom incident in January. DOOM. It’s much better than it was, though. I’d really like to keep my skeleton (and other bits) intact if at all possible.

There’s nothing good on the internet today

Standard

Or maybe there is, but I’m home sick and I want it delivered to my doorstep rather than having to go out to find it.  Scratch that.  I want to care less about what’s on the internet and more about other things.  The internet is EATING MY LIFE.  There.  Head cold.  But I think I may be beating it.  I have expunged some truly horrible goo from my system.  It is good to be home.

I went to work yesterday even though I felt awful.  The thought was maybe I would feel less awful, but I was wrong.  It was however lunch date with my bosses day – they took me out for my 10 year anniversary.  At the last minute someone invited the director (or maybe he’d always been invited and I just didn’t know?).  And when I asked if an hour was long enough to complete our errand of hunger someone said, “Well, it’s lunch and a meeting…”  All of this made me nervous for some reason – like, are they going to feed me and then fire me and when we get back am I going to have to clean out my desk and be escorted from the premises?  My thoughts go to interesting places sometimes.  I think some of my experiences have made me paranoid.  Anyway.  There was conversation, there was food, I am still employed.  I can’t say that I enjoyed it as much as I might have simply because ALL of my thoughts made me nervous, but I did save half my omelet to take home and I supplemented it with some additional spinach (for dinner) and I enjoyed the heck out of it once I’d reheated it.  Happy anniversary, Me!

* * *

The Flow hive launched earlier this week – Sunday.  My friend Ticia brought it to my attention.  These guys in Australia have been working on a new frame design that enables you to drain honey out of the frames without having to remove them from the hive or use an extractor.  If the frames actually work as advertised (and after watching their video and reading their promotional materials, I am pretty confident that they will), then there won’t be as much need to disturb one’s bees (except for regular health inspections), and beekeepers using the frames won’t need as much equipment (because you can empty them out as they fill up).

I’m really excited about trying them out – this whole beekeeping hobby is a huge experiment for me, so I figure why not, I don’t have anything to lose by turning my bees into guinea pigs.  We’ll be getting a few of the frames as well as one of their modified supers (the box to hold the frames) at the end of the summer.  If I’d been a little faster on the draw, I could have picked a “perk” (Indiegogo’s terminology) that shipped a bit earlier.  The initial response to the Flow hive was VERY positive – they were looking to start up with $70K, and they were well over a million when I last checked.  Ok, well over TWO million now.  Wow.  Check ‘em out.

We won’t have the equipment until late August/September, so I don’t know how much luck we’ll have testing them this year, but I’m still enthusiastic about the prospect.  I’ve been debating whether or not to send an email to my bee club and mention the Flow hive – it’s likely someone has already heard about it.  Last night I got confirmation of this when I received our club’s monthly newsletter, where one of the contributors said he’s skeptical about the whole thing.  Once I saw how they worked, I was much less skeptical.  I find it interesting that this person – who has been very willing to experiment with other beekeeping methods (he tried to double queen his hive a couple years ago) – is so reluctant to embrace this possible innovation.

* * *

In other news…  I’m just going to start a new post because this stupid screen won’t scroll when I need it to.

Pregnancy

Standard

NO.  NOT ME.

I dreamt the other night that my mother was pregnant.  She is 69.  Which is rather too old for that sort of nonsense.  But the dream was so vivid that I was pretty sure we’d had a discussion about it and that I had discovered that she was DELIGHTED to be with child.  But really, clueless, because she hadn’t done anything to prepare for said child (beyond the delight) – like consulting a obstetrician.  She also didn’t look pregnant to me.  I asked her a lot of probing questions and determined that she needed to see a doctor – either an obstetrician or a psychiatrist, and maybe both – so we could sort out what was really going on.  When I woke up I was distraught.  My mother is nuts!  Or she’s going to be in the Guinness World Records.  I tabled the idea while I got ready for work.  A few hours later I was sure it was all JUST A DREAM.

This sort of thing has happened before – the very lucid dreaming – but I still find it rather fascinating that you can believe in something so strongly one moment (this must be REAL!) and then a short time later, you are equally convinced that it is false.

I did talk to her about her “pregnancy” a few days later.  She isn’t.  And she’s 68 NOT 69 (her denial still echoes)!!!

Where I wonder

Standard

if my presenter is going to show up.  My usual presenter, the woman I’ve been working with for the past couple of years, found a new job.  Because we had scheduled a bunch of things in advance, she left that information with her supervisor so that substitutes could be found for the times/dates/topics we’d set.  It worries me when people aren’t in contact, so I always send reminders.  I haven’t heard anything back from the substitute speaker.  Which worries me.  Especially since she hasn’t been out to our facility before.

* * *

if my rabbit is ok.  I adopted a new rabbit friend a week ago.  Her name is Piper Doe Ravenclaw.  Mostly she’s great.  But I’m not doing so well getting her on Our Feeding Schedule.  Her GI tract seems to lock up every other day over something.  I think it’s because she wasn’t exposed to many fresh greens/vegetables in her previous situation.  She devours – with great enthusiasm – anything I put out for her, but then suffers GI TRAUMA overnight and when I give her her rabbit pellets in the morning, she has no appetite and won’t move.  It’s DISTRESSING.  I have to take her out and massage her belly and force-feed her the rabbit gruel (Oxbow’s Critical Care) leftover from Uther’s own convalescence and it makes both of us rather cross.  Today, she was NOT HAVING IT and she escaped several times and honked at me when I caught her.  Honking is a new one on me.  I don’t want to make her FEARFUL of me, but there’s not much I can do about it.  I don’t know her (or her digestive tract) well enough to say that she’ll probably feel better on her own in a few hours, so I can’t leave her until I’ve stuffed her full of some sustenance.  She was drinking again (even if she wasn’t talking to me) when I left for work this morning, so I think she’ll survive the day.

This interferes with my schedule as well, since I have to make sure she’s ok before I go about my day.  I am so appreciating Oatmeal right now, who is fine with whatever and however much I feed him.  I guess I’ll have to cut back on the fresh stuff until Piper’s system catches up.  If I could get her to eat hay (she loves to throw it everywhere and sit in it, but I haven’t seen her actually eat it), that would help a lot.  FIBER.  Is good for bunnies, too.

I still miss Uther like crazy.  My memorial to him is to periodically comment on his photos.  It’s hard to believe he is gone and is not going to hop out of a box (THAT’S where he’s been hiding all this time!) to come and greet me.  A few days after he’d passed away (and after I’d taken him to be cremated), I came home and there was this bun-shaped movement/reflection from the glass patio doors, which made me wonder if he’d been dancing across the kitchen one last time to let me know that he was happy and whole and without pain once again.  I hope.  If anybun deserves an afterlife rich with does and lazy flops in the sunshine, it is him.

This does not prevent me from posting gratuitous photos of Piper Doe’s buntocks on the FB.  Who does not love fluffy ‘tocks?

* * *

if I should bother updating the links on the teen site, which I maintain.  Because we have changed catalog interfaces several times in the past few years and its just getting irritating at this point.  I don’t have time to do anything new, because I’m constantly fixing the stuff that they broke with the last updates to catalog/content management systems.  Ok, as of this afternoon, no, no more.  I am just deleting them.