Tree gone

And I missed it. My mom took pictures, though, which helped. She said it was really quite awesome how they did it. Still wish I’d been able to see it. The dogs apparently had no clue what was going on and finally when Liana figured it out, she was standing at the door alert, muscles contracted and wanted to bark. Haha. She’s so cute. The stumps are still there and we haven’t paid them yet (I went out and counted: 12 rings) so it’s not over yet. I am sad at my view and lack of shade now, though I’m glad given the threat of it falling onto the neighbor’s and our house, plus the damage the squirrels have caused using it as a highway to the roofs. How am I supposed to feed the birdies now? I guess I can be like a few houses down and do the ones that connect to the deck, even if we’re technically not supposed to according to the HOA.

Sigh.

My mom had to go to the NIH last week because her eyes are so bad and untreatable with conventional treatments. Heredity is the reason for it, and so they’ll do experimental genome therapy. Better than nothing. Apparently the doctor said that if her other eye starts doing the same thing, he’ll take away her driving privileges. It’s that bad. She said she plans on not driving anymore after so many years and I’m like, what??? I mean, I understand the medical concerns, but then what? Who’s going to drive her around? Every time I say I’m going to buy a house a move out into it, she gets upset and says things like, you can’t leave with Gable still alive. She gets like that every time I say I’m going to stop living with her. What do you want me to do, mom? Be your caretaker forever? If you want me to start a family or do anything normal, I have to leave. I WANT to leave. This is exactly why I kept telling her to find someone. Someone who can love and take care of her. At this rate, how can she take care of my grandparents? I toyed with the idea of just using the money from selling my house to just pool into a larger home, but that’s not the point. I don’t want to be held down forever. I WANT to be able to live on my own and not be accountable to anything. Why is it that I have been unable to procure my own freedom my entire 3 decades on this earth? In the USA?

I keep blaming my housing situation as part of the reason my relationship failed even though I know that really it just wouldn’t ever work out, because I do believe it’s true. I’ve refused to even entertain the thought of looking again until I next year when I’m supposed to be selling my house because I need my own place to do that. I’m still keeping up with real estate in the hopes something affordable will come by. They do. I’m just not free to make that move. It’s part selfish, but how can you hold me to this? I care tremendously for my mom, of course, but when am I supposed to be able to live life as I want it? To have my house as I want it set up. Not with my mom, not with my brother tagging along, not all set up so that my sister can benefit from it. What is my destiny? To be a crutch for everyone?

Rant rant rant.

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Pimple Week

Guh. It’s that time again when the tiniest bit of nothingness will give me a pimple. Painful, big and red. Admittedly I don’t take care of my face like I should, but during this part of the month, I do. The last few cycles have given me some crazy ones, though. I guess I can thank my ex for that. Figures.

I’m fat again, but given my diet the last few weeks…I’m not surprised in the least. Also, I have not been exercising. Like at all. Because after dinner it has been family time. Seriously. I did some stretching and floor exercises last night, though and I already feel better…it’s like exercising is sticking a spigot into me and draining out excess salt and fat.

I got myself a new camera for the beach. A Canon Powershot SX730 point and shoot. The DSLR is great and I love the quality it outputs, but dang it, it’s big and clunky and we don’t have a telephoto lens which would be super expensive. This is to replace my old 230 Powershot which I LOVED and served me well, but just got old and slow. This camera is a little bigger and chunkier than the old one, but I’m not complaining because it’s easy for my hand to grip, not to mention more room for goodies inside the camera. The major reason I bought it, though, is that it has 40x optical zoom–perfect to capture images from the deck of the beach house and not having to go down to the sand.

Of course that means I had to take a billion pictures. Bwahaha.

Here is a series of pictures testing out the optical zoom. It has digital zoom too, but I don’t typically like to use that.

Then here are a bunch of squirrel pictures. I caught it stealing my flowers and eating them. Now I know why we’re not getting bees and birds. Just thought they were dying.

Then of course my boy. Flash and no flash.

 

 

Doggone it

I forgot to cut my nails and it’s Tuesday again! I can’t just go cut them now because working dentistry and fresh cut nails don’t go together. Guh. Will have to do after work.

Speaking of after work, I am taking care of a cat for my friend while she is away. Sat through yesterday was fine, but starting today I’m a little concerned because I won’t be able to get there until late. Today and tomorrow will be fine, but Thursday…………….

Things to do before beach trip: make Gable’s vet appointment and be prepared for another chunk of money lost, pack things, get items from other house (which I straight up forgot in my exhausted state). Reef-safe sunscreen: check! Expensive stuff, let me tell you. Hope that I still fit in my swim-stuff.

I spent Sunday and especially yesterday walking around like a zombie owing to muscle pain, but I found my eclipse glasses! At Walmart! Aaaand I’m glad I dragged my mom with me because we found sunglasses to go to the beach with! I’d forgotten all about it since I broke my old ones. It’s got to be genetic, too, this inability of mine to mop up lactic acid buildup in my muscles. Debilitating! And these days it’s not the second day for the most pain, it’s the third. That is my new standard for someone coming out of youth. I learned that from my patient. Quads and hands, mostly. The sunburn is unnoticeable unless I’m leaning up against something.

Did you know that squirrels are interested in laser pointers too and will follow them? Also, I think my cat allergy is getting worse. It didn’t bother me the first day or two, but I’ve progressively shown more signs of it the more I time I spend with the kitty. Who is adorable btw.

Why don’t I ever sleep well when I have to go to work? At least this weekend will be longer. Must make vet appointment this week.

In other news I bought a cheap semi-rigid endoscope from Amazon. MWAHAHAHA. It works really well when I fed it into the interior areas of my car, but it has trouble focusing well in some instances. Also it doesn’t fit in my ear. Darn. I don’t expect much given how cheap it was, but the lack of focus is a little disappointing and leaves you wanting. However it will be useful for finding items in little places, plain old curiosity, seeing things behind my neck, or even magnifying small text. Too bad my phone is too high tech for it. What limits are there for something like this? HAHAHA. Did you know that a closeup of your auricle is weird? They’re strangely pitted. Mine has some sort of large pit/scab on it.

 

Snapshot000000

I can look at the far reaches of his mouth with this! Quality isn’t too bad, yeah?

Snapshot000002

Yes, this is the inside of my left nostril. VERY COOL. 

 

 

 

Sunday!

Came back from a Saturday of marathon yardwork with a killer sunburn! Woohoo!

When I came down I was immediately overwhelmed by what a disaster it all had become. Weed-choked beds and weeds galore. The mulch I worked hard on last year? Completely overrun. The plan was to take advantage of this one beautiful Saturday that wasn’t raining to try and at least get the grass killing down because the fence doesn’t rely on heat and sun. And glorious is truly was: gorgeous high of 83 with a moderate breeze and just enough clouds. So I started by commandeering the lawnmower to do it right this time by cutting the grass down as far as it would go before laying down the mulch and landscaping fabric for maximum heat damage. That lawnmower is awesome! Except that the batteries last a total of 10 minutes or so, less if the grass is really thick. Very frustrating. Good thing I don’t plan on owning the house longer than the beginning of next year, because a riding lawnmower would be necessary, and subsequently the dreaded gasoline. The lawn being all weeds didn’t make me feel too terribly bad because if you looked around the neighborhood very few lawns survived this year, but the unkempt factor was annoying. Whatever. I set to work right away (traffic had been so bad it took me forever to start and I had planned on starting earlier before the sun got too high), rolling out landscaping fabric, lofty goals in mind. Ran out, so I made the mulch/fabric/pin run. A guy looked at my items and said to me, “heck of a job for a Saturday,” and I was like, “it’s a nice day.” Same guy smiled knowingly and pityingly at me during checkout. 19 bags later I went back out to finish landscape-fabric-ing and uh oh, the sun was getting bad. But it was OK! Because I didn’t have much of a choice! And there was a breeze!

The difference between this year and last year’s workings

Guhhhhhhhhhhh. The weeds are choking out a tomato plant

By the time I got to spreading the first load of mulch, I was already done for and the expansiveness of the yard hit me hard. Not only did I have but 1/4 of the mulch I actually needed, I could tell my strength was fading and fast. Extremely hot and tired, I came stumbled in around 3pm (I started at 10:30am) and while downing my 2nd Vita Coco stolen from the fridge (water wasn’t anywhere near cutting it), and told my brother in law that I really and truly needed them to buy mulch and spread it for me before the side I prepped turned into the other side. Then I made my way tiredly out to my car, not caring what the heck I was wearing or how I smelled, to buy the second load. This time pushing the cart full of mulch bags was much harder and much less fun. While waiting for my turn at checkout, a couple behind me asked me what case my phone was in. I turned slowly, Ganado-style, and slowly reached for my phone which took 2 tries (I usually stick my phone in the left back and my wallet in the right back), and showed them. He asked if I could sit on my phone without breaking it and I joked that I’ve been sitting on it and we all laughed. The whole time I was frantically hoping in my head that they wouldn’t think I was drunk, possibly having a stroke, but not drunk. Then it was my turn to checkout. Driving home slowly, I unloaded 2 loads, smaller ones because I knew I was quickly fading and still had to spread it. Took some time to put my rocks down around the drainage thing, and frustratingly realized in my addled state that of all the rocks to choose from I chose the one size that would slide willingly into the drain. Figures. I might as well be drunk, holy crap.

Only one more load left (5 bags) I went into the house because I thought I was going to die and needed to rest for a little. Grabbed a new Vita Coco, and went over to my dog’s bed to just lie down for a quickie. I felt my eyes close as my butt hit the ground and as I lay back, Gable barked hard at me before coming to lick my face–something he never does, ever. I could feel Liana lay down on my other side and he wouldn’t stop licking me until I sat up. Right then and there I was revived. I had a surge of energy. It was powerful, having my dogs attentive to my health like that. From 2 dogs that I suspect are ailing from old people stuff. Gable just the other night and morning was displaying more dementia-like symptoms. Liana, I think is intermittently incontinent. I told him that I only have one more and I need to do it so we can go home because otherwise I would crash and never make it back. Like the little engine that could, I kept saying to myself, you can do it. 5 more bags. That’s it. Let’s do this. When it was over, I summoned the last of my strength to take the last wagon-walk back and then grabbed my stuff (slowly) to leave. Talked to my brother in law for a bit and then left. Made it home, finally, and took my long awaited shower ( I knew if I had taken it there I’d never want to drive back). That’s when my next task came: go take care of friend’s cat.

Thankfully, my family called me then to ask what to have for dinner because I hadn’t even thought of food. See, in this instance I am very glad to have someone take care of stuff like dinner and dishes for me. It occurred to me I hadn’t even eaten all day long.

Then we found out about my sunburn. Ouch. Spray sunscreen is great except for on your back. Lotion FTW there. Geez. I hadn’t worn a tank top in years and BOOM there you go. These days I’m so much more comfortable with shorts and tank tops, all thanks to the IPL and possibly old age. Haha. So exhausted, I went to bed around 9pm and ended up on my phone with my brain in full alert mode for an hour. Of course.

Woke up exactly the same time I wake up every day and I could feel my body was going to me unhappy. Ouchies. Not NEARLY as bad as Old Rag, though. I am so proud of myself and glad that my physical state has not deteriorated like that again. Phew! It’s tired and achy, but I can walk and put on my underpants. Definitely could lose some fat, however…

Sunday! A good day to veg out! Or do crafty stuff!

I think I need to clean my room…

I hopped onto bed and picked up my laptop + lap desk like I always do. Something tickles my legs and I think it might be the tag on the lap desk, so I pay it no mind. All of the sudden I see a black thing scurry away from me and it dawns on me that it’s a bug. A fraction of a second of glancing at it positively identifies an arachnid. Cue the alarm bells in my head and subsequent leap to safety. Spider’s location is noted and I go into the bathroom, searching for a container of any kind. I find my used Renuzit Pearl Scents container with used and diminished spheres, empty as much of it into the trash can as possible and race back in, praying that it is where I left it. It IS. YESSS. Clamp container over foe and then realize that I’ve got nothing to slide under it. Good thing my room is a mess but also small. I find a random envelope (it has to have some strength to it) and slide it in slowly. Spider freaks out, but is held at bay by the oily fragrance of melted pearl spheres. I don’t know if they can smell or not, but DANG I’d have passed out stuck in that much scent. As I was searching for paper I realized my folly at not cleaning the container out better, but it did have the side effect of creating a scent/physical cage ring. Of course, with spider safely under container, I try to take pictures of the poor thing and find that indeed it is terrified of the liquefied gel pearls. Then it’s a trip to the deck where it can, in the words of The Shredder: “Go. Play. Have fun.” I put the paper on the ground, and lift up the container. Spider about freaks out and instead of wandering off, tries to make itself small in the middle of the ring of liquid fragrance. So I help and put it into a plant pot.

I am not a bug killer unless it is a fly, a gnat or a mosquito. If it’s bigger than a mosquito/fly then I will try my best to “save” it by relocating it to the outdoors. Technically I might be dooming the critters, but its better than being a floor pancake. As much as I try to be friendly to them, I can’t deny the heebie jeebies that are written into my genome. My body has been on high alert, hypersensitive to airflow for the last 10 minutes. Logically, though, it was a hunter-type spider so no webs and since house spiders typically are loners, no real threat of multiple ones. At least it was a jumper spider. Those things are crazy scary.

Man…I can tell you spider stories. I remember very vividly being bitten by a light brown/tan-ish almost pink/purple/gray one back in the house I grew up in. It was in the raised bed where we usually grew carrots. I can’t remember what season it was, but there were dead leaves and such in it, so I was just trying to help clean things out. It was morning on a weekend, and everyone was inside. I just loved being outdoors so there I was. I think my mom was supposed to come out, but hadn’t made it yet. Anyways, it must have just rained because things were moist. I put  my hands in and picked up a bunch of the dead leaves, carrying it to the kudzu jungle we had. It was cold and wet but I could care less because I loved dirt and getting my hands dirty. I reach in for the second round and OUCH something gets me with a good amount of force. Sharp and with oomph behind it. Alarm bells in the head and I retreat. My hand is dirty so it’s hard to tell what happened, but it immediate swelling and aching meant bite, so I look into the pile and see said spider. It was BIG, man. Hunter type too. It was the exact color of the leaves and debris, no way I would have spotted it on my own. In fact, more than likely it was sleeping or hiding lying in wait and I disturbed it. It was a substantial spider…all broad a plate-like…I wonder if I can find a similar picture of it. I ran inside and cleaned off my hands, making visible the distinct bite marks of a spider and the sudden onslaught of pain. I didn’t want to tell my mom because 1) I was supposed to have waited for her and 2) she had repeatedly told me that I needed to wear garden gloves while doing yard work, and I’d shrugged it off. Then I went back outside, found some garden gloves and continued back over to clean it out, but by then the spider was gone and I couldn’t show anyone even if I wanted to. I think I was 10ish.

Another spider adventure was in Kilmarnock in the dental clinic. That thing was absolutely MASSIVE and by then I was in my 20s. I’d seen it before in a basket and had almost reached down to throw it away because it looked like trash, but I suddenly grew lazy and decided to let someone else deal with it. Good decision or spiritual guidance or whatever because later we saw it crawling around and let me tell you how big this thing was…longest legs I ever saw on a spider in real life and when I rescued it in a Cavicide container I could SEE THE HAIRS ON ITS BACK AND HEAD. And all its eyes too. It was too big to clamp the container over either, so I had to guide it in with a high speed suction tip. After that, it occurred to me that it was the same brown thing I’d seen in that basket, so I went to look and OMG I WAS RIGHT. The brown thing was gone. I guess I’d woken it up when I removed the basket stacked over the one it was sleeping in.

I feel like there is one more major spider adventure, but I forget now and I’m sleepy too. I’ve rescued many an arachnid in my life. I’m rather proud of it and will continue to do.

Now, though, I have to live with this ultra strong fragrance stain I left on my blanket.

So after some internet searching, I’m leaning towards either Hobo Spider or Woodlouse Hunter for the 10 year old bite.

Woodlouse Hunter Spider

Hobo Spider

And I am QUITE certain now that I’m looking at pictures, that the one in Kilmarnock was a Huntsman Spider. Those long legs bring back the memory of it sleeping folded up in the baskets.

This picture looks almost exactly like what I remember

Wow. Reading about these guys, it’s amazing how much “bigger” they all seemed at the time of seeing them in person. GUUUUH I am so ITCHY and paranoid looking through all of these spider pictures!

It’s the little things

I was super proud of my parking yesterday. Usually I tap the little barrier and move up but yesterday I didn’t tap at all and managed to not touch it by millimeters. Whoo! Also my tires are cool even though the drag and poor mileage are a big step down. On the plus side they’re grippy! And rain is nothing. 

On my way home the juxtaposition of the blue sky and threatening clouds obscuring the sun was really very awesome and I just had to snap some pics of them. Gorgeous.

Here pictures of my dogs last night. The boy was barking because he had to go out and she immediately rolled back over once she noticed I had my camera out. Haha!

Hot Water!!!

WE HAVE HOT WATER!!! And not only do we have hot water, but it’s a quick hot and HOT even though it’s set lower than the last heater! They ran into unexpected problems (of course…like anything else in this house…) and what should have taken 2 hours took 4. It’s kind of nice to know that I’m not the only one who has that problem any time I do any DIY fixes on this property. Despite a bit of a language barrier, he seems to be a very friendly and reasonable person. The new heater has a slimmer profile which is fantastic for the tiny space down there and he replaced the old turn knob shutoff with a lever one. MUCH better. He recommends that we replace the whole water shutoff for the house because it didn’t work so he had to turn the water off at the curb. Darn old things. But he can cut us another deal for that and replace it with the lever too. Won’t take nearly as long as the water heater. I didn’t want to ask him to do other things yet because I wanted to see how he dealt with what we have here and to me and so far, it seems very decent. He showed me the leak on the back of the water heater that had been there for a long time and again you could tell how he felt about the old unit. The new one has not only the blinking light indicator but a gas overflow portion safety feature. I’ll give it a little bit of time before I write a review, but I feel good about it. I mean…if on a lower temperature setting the new one is already faster, hotter or as hot as the old one…how efficient could it have been?

When I walked the dogs yesterday, I decided to look at all of these issues in a different light: yes, it is unfortunate and downright scary how much has been piling on us all at the exact same time, but once they’re dealt with, only good can come with them, right? We’re just blessed to have the resources to handle them amongst the 3 of us. I mean, I will definitely miss the tree in the back, but with it gone I can finally clean and stain the deck floor and we will have much less of a mold/algae issue moving forward (there are downsides too, but everyone else has been dealing with that), plus the added bonus of no more leaves and pollen to sweep every year.  The new water heater? 8 year warranty and the possibility of a reliable plumber. My tires? I like them quite a bit. Only time will tell on that one since the last one didn’t last very long. The dogs? …. uh. Don’t know about that one.

Speaking of dogs, though…and speaking of looking at things a different light to help deal with them…a brand new problem arose last night (funny, isn’t it….???). Around 2am, I could not sleep very well and I awoke to hear Gable wandering around. I get up to take him outside because usually that’s what he wants. He follows me and goes outside to pee which is normal. When it was time for him to come in, it’s like he didn’t see the open door, but would go to the window, back to smell a yard bag, repeating that several times before I called his name to come in. He comes in and moves to go upstairs (I think that he just smelled an animal), but then turns around, looks outside then smells the bike and repeats that. I let him out again and he goes to poop and repeats the strange behavior despite the open door. I’m really worried now and I have to guide him up the steps which he seemed confused about. At the foyer, he turns to go back downstairs but I tell him to go up again. Then he just stands there looking around and tell him to go upstairs. He goes and I call him into my room where he lays down but still wild-eyed and looking everywhere. I sit with him a bit and put a blanket on him and pet him and stuff. He finally calms down and my heart sinks. It’s got to be dementia. My thoughts stray to carbon monoxide given the water heater, but I feel perfectly fine and Liana is fine too.

From one thing to the next. I have enough dementia patients to know how it progresses…oh baby boy. Just hang on until the beach, I beg you.