Fifty shades of gaiety

This sign greeted me upon wakening this morning.

Hello again. Today, I turn the magical number 50 and join the ranks of so many wonderful friends and bloggers who already have their AARP cards. (And special shout out to Anne Marie, a fellow blogger I am fortunate enough to also call friend, who gave me the best birthday shout out ever!)

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I have a chronic disease and several health issues, and they have been in overdrive since January of 2021, giving me barely a days reprieve from their onslaught. This is why my posts have been few and far between. Dealing with my health issues has been the sole focus of my life lately, and although I allow myself the occasional rant about how hard it gets, I try to stay positive and not complain as much as possible. But its been especially hard this time around, and I am finding it hard to stay positive, so I’ve chosen to avoif posting for fear my blog would become a “woe is me” whine fest.

But, despite all my ongoing health issues and the accompanying risks, and after a LOT of debate and discussion, I said Fuck it and we headed to my favorite place on earth, Provincetown, MA, for my birthday. My hubby Jeffrey rented the condo above my the condo owned by my BF and his hubby, we loaded up the car with clothes and dogs (and a small pharmacy worth of med and supplies,) and headed to the Cape on Friday for 10 days. Although I cannot enjoy the food and drink I normally would while I’m here, I could still enjoy being in my favorite place, the fresh cape air, the company pf my BF, and 10 days away from the hell-that-is-my-job. It is my hope that being here will be recuperative. So we arrived Friday and have settled in nicely to our fabulous Condo. I haven’t been able to leave the condo itself, so far, but we have are on the second floor and the living room glass double doors open up to a gorgeous deck, so I have been able to enjoy the sun, fresh air, people watching, and sights and sounds of the town from the condo.

There’s a table and chairs to the left. Umbrella blocks the gate gap so the dogs can go out onto the deck.

I had to miss a planned dinner out last night at a favorite local restaurant (would have been my first since the Pandemic hit) as I was not feeling well enough to go, but we joined the BF and another couple (mutual friends) downstairs in their condo afterwards, where I was surprised by fabulous birthday decorations and a delicious homemade gluten free birthday cake, baked by the BF’s hubby (an amazing cook and baker by skill if not by trade) I was able to enjoy a small piece of. All 6 of us have been fully vaccinated for awhile, so it was first visit sans mask in over a year. What a treat.

The sign in the BF’s Condo
All the balloons had superhero symbols
My super delicious birthday cake.

Honestly, it is hard to be hear and not be able to go on our usual walk-abouts, enjoy the local cuisine, or share cocktails with everyone, but I am trying to focus on the fact that I was well enough to get here (It’s a 5 hour drive from home) that my issue are manageable enough that I can still visit with friends and that we were able to secure such a lovely space to stay in.

Turning 50 means a lot to me. The biggest pro is that, as of today, I am exactly 5 years from retirement. Woohoo. Next, I am grateful I have survived this long, despite all my health issues and, even with the recent 5 month span of constant attacks, I’m still here, fighting and struggling to get better every day. I have a good job (I hate it, BUT it pays well and provides the critical health benefits and paid time off I need) a modest but nice home, good friends, and a family made up of two amazing dogs and a husband who is my real life super-hero, caretaker, partner, cheerleader, bastion of support and encouragement, and the love of my life. My life (health issues aside) is better than I ever could have imagined, as I came from a very impoverished childhood, but managed to meet up with a great life partner, and together we worked hard to do more, be more, have more, and experience more than I ever dreamed possible. Yes, my health sucks the big one, BUT my life would be so much harder without access to the healthcare and benefits I have, and a job that allowed me the time I need to seek treatment and recover as needed throughout the past 23 years. So while I resent my genetic lot in life, I am still able to appreciate how fortunate I am n so many other ways.

So here’s to 50. Here’s to my life, my fortune, my friends, and my family. Here’s to another year closer to retirement, another day to improve my health, another birthday filled with love, and another year of adventure and fun.

Also, a winning lottery ticket wouldn’t spoil my day in the least.

The price of powder room purgation.

I spent a good part of the day scrubbing down our master bathroom, cleaning it corner to corner, top to bottom, hitting every nook and cranny. Although the bathroom now sparkles and shines like a showroom model (Magic Eraser is a miracle worker,) I am now paying the price of all that bending, squatting, standing, stretching, and scouring…

Good thing I have Cosmos to medicate with.

Sassy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday I had an appointment at 10:30am for a Bone Scan to get a closer look at some inflammation in my pelvic bone that showed up on a previous CT Scan. I couldn’t find my script for it, (I’m honestly not sure if they even gave me one at the time it was scheduled) so, in an abundance of caution, I called in the morning to confirm the date and time, and if I needed a copy of my script. The imaging staff person confirmed it was yesterday at 10:30, I should arrive by 10:15, and my script would have been faxed over at the time of the scheduling, so I was all set. My plan was to work until 9:30 am I(‘m still wfh full time,) then head to the Bone Scan. Since I’d never had one, and had no idea what I was in for, Jeffrey wanted to take me.

At around 8:30am, I got hit with another case of my recurring severe chill attacks, (and I mean severe – uncontrolled shaking, teeth chattering, and shivering) and had to hightail it to my bedroom, where I buried myself under three blankets, one electric, with the mattress pad heater on and a small heater running.

While I was in the throws of that….I heard Harvey make the most awful high-pitched caterwauling sound I have ever heard. Jeffrey came running in the room with an unconscious, wailing Harvey, shouting “he’s having a seizure!” Jeffrey had been letting him outside, when Harvey suddenly froze mid-step and just fell over, completely unmoving. We placed him on the bed and I surrounded him with my arms, petting him and telling him I was there (sobbing the whole time and begging him to be ok) while Jeffrey called the vet. His seizure lasted about 3 minutes, then he opened his eyes and was shaking but but seemed totally responsive. I continued to pet and cuddle and reassure him he was safe. I also realized he had lost control of his bowels. It was terrifying. Jeffrey was able to get him a vet appointment at 11:00am. We decided he would drop me off at the imaging center, then take Harvey to the vet from there. I hated that I couldn’t be with them both at the vet’s, but I did not want to have to reschedule the bone scan.

To my severe consternation, they had no record of my appointment. After the staff checked several lists and on line calendars, she assured me I was not scheduled for a scan that day. Remaining remarkable calm, I explained I had called that morning and confirmed the date and time, but she couldn’t verify who I would have talked to. I calmly stepped to the back of the room and sent a message through my patient portal to my doctor, stating I was at the imaging center, but they had no record of a scan being ordered. I then called the office and requested I get a call from my doctor or nurse or scheduling assistant ASAP regarding this issue. The scheduling assistant called me back and confirmed she had faxed the script the same day for a scan scheduled for yesterday at 10:30. She even had a a fax receipt confirmation sheet showing it had been received. She re-faxed everything over to the imaging center. I waited patiently while the imaging staff called several people and discussed it in hushed tones. I KNEW it was not going to be good news. Turns out, for no reason anyone could figure out, the scheduling folks at the imaging center had scheduled my for the same and time next week, on Monday the 26th. They tried to fit me in to schedule me yesterday, but I have to get an injection of a substance which must be pre-ordered, and they did not have any of the substance available for my scan yesterday (since they weren’t expecting me) and couldn’t do it.

The imaging staff person was extremely apologetic and, despite my anger and frustration (made worse that I had to charge time from work for this, that I missed out being with Jeffrey and Harvey at the vet for no reason, and that I was now stuck there until Jeffrey and Harvey were done at the vet’s,) I did not take it out on her in any way. I stayed calm and polite and thanked her for her help. She thanked me back for being so understanding. (I mean, it wasn’t her fault, there was noting to be done about it, and getting angry would have accomplished nothing other than making her feel bad for someone else’s mistake.)

When I asked if I could remain in the waiting room until my ride arrived, she said that patients weren’t allowed to stay in the waiting room beyond their appointment times.

That’s when I broke and started tearing up. I said I understood, didn’t want to get her in trouble, and didn’t mean to dump my personal stuff on her, but that my dog had had a seizure just before we left for my appointment, my husband had dropped me off before taking him to the vet, and I had no idea how long they’d be. The staff person was very kind, spoke with the other staff on duty, then quietly agreed to let me stay, sitting in the far corner by myself, and if anyone asked, they’d say I was waiting for a call from my doctor for script info.

I was ether about 2.5 hours before Jeffrey picked me up.

Back in the car, I took Harvey from his car seat and paced him in my lap. He seemed totally fine and completely back to normal.After what he’d been through, I decided he deserved to ride home on my lap. (And I really needed to hold him.) The vet checked Harvey for any signs of lingering damage or issues, but said by all accounts he seemed perfectly healthy. He then took blood to run several tests that would take a while for the results, so he sent Jeffrey and Harvey home to wait. Once home, we would not let Harvey out of our sight, anxious for the call from the vet. Which arrived about an hour after we got home.

The vet could find nothing wrong with Harvey, or any indications there was anything wrong or anything going on in his blood work. The verdict: this may have been a one-off, unknown cause, and we should just watch him and contact the vet immediately if he had another one or began behaving differently in any way. A bit of a relief, but obviously worried about what caused it and if it will happen again. We all spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the couch together, recovering from the drama and stress of the day, grateful that we were all home together, safe and sound once again.

My little buddy, pooped out from the day.

I do NOT need another day like this any time soon, thank you very much.

The Hostess with the Leastest

It’s been a crappy couple of weeks, hence the lack of posting, but I’ll share one unfortunate well-intentioned night that went all wrong. Perhaps it will bring you pleasure where it only brought me pain.

We recently entertained a guest in our home, maskless, for the first time post full vaccination. (other than the “Boys in our Bubble” BF & Hubby.) For long time readers, you’ll be familiar with my knitting buddy Dave, who used to come over regularly, pre-pandemic, 2-3 times a month, for dinner and knitting. What started as knitting lessons from a friendly acquaintance blossomed into a friendship, and now the knitting, while enjoyable, is just a holdover pretense to get together regularly (although we do still knit…well, he knits…I tangle yarn on the end of a set of needles for 2 hours.)

As I’m still building my strength and energy, we decided our “reunion visit” would be dinner only – I need to get to bed at a decent hour to function at work the next day (which will be true for the next 1856 days – but who’s counting?) To keep it simple, we purchased Swordfish and veggies skewers and bacon wrapped scallions for dinner, which were easy and quick to cook. I whipped up a marinade in which to baste the skewers, and let them sit soaking in the fridge for the day.

A quick freshen up clean-through after work, and we were ready for our guest.

Or so we thought.

Dave arrived and was greeted with massive puppy love. (As you can imagine, the dogs grew attached to Dave during his previously frequent visits and were quite happy to see him again, as were we.) He was very happy to see them again (maybe happier to see them than to see us?) and once that barrage of licks and whining was over, we did our first hugs in 13 months, then fired up the grill on the patio and the broiler in the kitchen stove and set to cooking. We had planned to enjoy the patio and porch, but inclement weather spoiled our plans, so we just grilled out and ate in. (Thanks to a grilling area housed under a covered pavilion.)

Upon serving dinner, we discovered the swordfish was a bit under-cooked (our first time under-cooking food, ever, to my recollection – I was horrified!) So, I had to gather up the fish and sauté it in some EVOO on the stove to finish cooking it through.

After dinner, Dave headed into kitchen to prepare the homemade yogurt and berries dessert he made/brought, when he stepped in a “little surprise” puddle one of the puppies left. (As vaguely referenced earlier, it had been raining all day and the pups are very resistant to going outside, let alone staying out long enough to do their business.) Just what a host wants to hear. After cleaning up and insisting he accept a pair of clean socks to wear (he was just going to hang barefoot, which would have been fine, but for the principle of the thing) we settled into enjoy dessert and finish our visit.

It was only minutes after Dave left when I realized the third and most heinous of the trespasses against our guest: I had never offered him a second cocktail, so caught up in the conversation and secretly obsessing over the two prior “oopses” of the evening, I inadvertently caused a third one.

Needless to say, it is quite obvious I have lost what little hosting skills I once had. We will be closing off the house to all future entrances by non-residents and keeping to ourselves until we die.

Just stuff

It was a long week, rife with work stress and a small backtrack, health-wise, but Friday morning brought relief from both challenges, as I felt great and had the day off. I brought Mogo in for  an 8am “30 day courtesy check-up”, during which they checked all his diagnostics, topped off his fluids, and gave him a complimentary car wash, all before checking in with me to see if I had any questions or concerns about how he drives and operates. (I had none. I love driving Mogo!) On my way out, another customer waiting in the lounge complemented my DC superhero mask. (I get complimented on it, and my Spo-made marvel mask, quite often.)

Super cool mask, eh?

Once home, I took advantage of my well-being and finished setting up the patio and cleaning off the outdoor furniture, in anticipation of nice weather this weekend.

This is where I will spend the bulk of my summer.

My energy levels are still low, so that took a lot out of me, and I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the day, reading digital comics on my iPad and lounging with the dogs.

Saturday was errand day, and I was still feeling pretty darn good, so Jeffrey and I headed out early. First stop: pick up my new contacts and glasses.

New glasses.
New contacts (ha ha)

My prescription changed a bit and what a difference wearing the new contacts and glasses. (especially at the same time*smirk*)

Then it was on to Lowe’s for some grass seed, flower feed and a hand cultivator, and finally, a stop at Fresh Food Market for some fresh fish for dinner. We were please to find bacon wrapped scallops, swordfish steak and vegetable skewers, and tuna steaks.

This was my biggest excursion out and about since March 2020. We are both fully vaccinated (two shots + well beyond 15 days from second shot) but still double masked, got in and out of all stores as quickly as possible, and used hand-sanitizer once we were back in the car. No wavering on our vigilance, friends.

Back home, I enjoyed a small lunch of 6 delicious broiled bacon wrapped scallops with garlic and butter. I also leaned how to use (and not use – it’s possible one of the wood skewers aught fire) my oven broiler (and where it actually is, incidentally. Not in the bottom, as I erroneously assumed, but along the top, which is quite obvious when you take a peek inside.)

The, begrudgingly, we spent some time in the yard raking up soil along the retaining wall, around a couple rock beds, and in a few other select spots, where we then planted scads of wild-flower seeds, covered with soil and flower food , and watered. This is probably not the best (or right) way to plant flowers (I am so not investing the time to grow them in small pots and transplant them,) and we don’t know if this will yield anything, but I am by no means a “gardening” type person, so it was the best I was going to do and the most effort I was willing to make to try to get a little more color and plant variety in our backyard. While I enjoy being outside, I don’t like working outside. I hate the dirt and sweat and heat and bugs, and prefer to sit under shade, sipping a beverage and enjoying the fresh air and sun from afar. Aside from keeping the lawn mowed and relatively free of debris, this is the most effort we’ve made to do yard work, to date.

After planting the flower seeds, we covered our yard with grass seed. We need to bring our lawn back after it was torn up last summer during various projects (new fence installation and septic repair.) It is supposed to rain today, so we really wanted to get the seeding done before it rained, to take advantage of it.

Enjoying a moment of relaxation in our rocking lounger after all our seeding. The black hump is Harvey, who supervised the whole operation..

I finished up the day doing a few odd tasks about the house, then we prepped the grill for dinner, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. Upon opening our seafood purchases, I discovered I did not actually get two of the non-marinated swordfish/veggie skewers which we had ordered and had been looking forward to. Instead, we got two tuna steak/veggie skewers in some kind of marinade, which I could not eat, since I didn’t know what the marinade was, and could not risk getting glutened. Huge bummer, and lesson learned – always verify I am actually getting what I ordered. Sigh. Jeffrey grilled and ate the skewers (which were too spicy for is taste) and I grilled a small tuna steak. Good, but not what I was looking forward to. The side of delicious grilled asparagus helped a little. It was great to be outside enjoying our patio and grill, and the fabulous weather, none the less.

We ended the evening with cocktails and some TV, and a little emotional breakdown (see yesterday’s post.) It is not uncommon for me to get emotional upon exiting a “bad health spell.” There is always a huge sense of relief and gratefulness upon a return to normal, and after such a great day following a bad 3 months, it was no wonder a it took so little to get the waterworks flowing. But it was a good emotional purge and I slept soundly last night, husband and dogs at my side, relieved that all was well in my/our world, once again, at least for now.


I’ve spent the better part of the last hour sobbing.

Because I watched a stupid 30 minute sitcom, during which a girlfriend chastised her boyfriend for always putting her needs first.

And it hit close to home, because my husband, Jeffrey, is the epitome of selflessness. He has given up so much for me. Lost out on so much for me. My health has ruined holidays, birthdays, vacations, you name it, so many times. And he has never once laid an ounce of guilt on me…never once complained…never once shown a moment of anger, regret, or disappointment.

For 23+ years, he has stood by my side, supported me, comforted me, spent endless days and nights in hospitals at my bedside, dealt with so many health issues not his own, said yes to every desire I’ve ever had, and treated me like royalty, waiting on me hand and foot, even when I didn’t need him to.

For over 23 years.

Without the slightest hint of regret.

I don’t deserve him. And I will never do enough to repay him or show him my gratitude. And that’s why I’m sobbing. Because he deserves so much better and more than me.

But he doesn’t agree.

And I can’t imagine a life without him.

And I am SO fucking lucky.

And I know it.

Easter Parade (of Images)

Now THIS is an Easter Bunny I could…ahem…get behind.

An Easter present from the BF.

The bunny I crocheted as a gift for my Mom.

Fun deviled egg Easter idea on the left…my Mom’s attempt to make them on the right…NAILED IT!

Favorite Easter post on Facebook today!

April Fooled

Yup, they got us. We thought it was spring. We thought we could put out the patio furniture, dust off the grill, and start washing our Bermuda shorts.

But nope…


…this happened!

And because THAT happened, THIS happened…

Yup, if you can’t beat ‘em (the evil winter-won’t-go-away snow gods) then join ‘em!

And this lovely batch of strawberry Daiquiris by the fire accompanied a fantastic meal of Egg Roll appetizers (with Duck Sauce and Hot Mustard)

and a Hawaiian Luau Sweet and Sour Chicken and Rice with Pineapple that cooked all day in the crock pot.

This picture does NOT do it justice! The chicken was pull-apart tender!

All gluten free.

All delicious.

So suck it, April snowstorm! It’ll take more than that to knock the sass out of this Sassybear!

P.S. The snow didn’t seem to bother the pups or disrupt their routine at all.

Umm…someone got rear ended!