Getting Through the Prep Work

My brother and sister and I met last night to work on the planning for the funeral. We picked music and readings and started asking cousins to play the various parts. We have one reader but still need one more. We have three pall bearers but still need three more. We have offers out for the remaining parts and are just waiting to hear back.

Jen and I were a little late getting out of the house. I called my father to let him know we’d be late for the planned suit fitting and he said he was tired and asked if we could reschedule to tomorrow, which is now today. I put in for a couple of hours at the end of the day so that we can head over earlier. Jen is off today so it should all work out. That still gives us the weekend to replace anything we bought that doesn’t fit him. We’re still in good shape.

I’ve been really hungry the last couple of days. My meals have gotten significantly larger and I’ve had more between meal snacks. I have to assume it’s an emotional thing. The good news is that yesterday I had actual food with every meal. I had protein supplements along with each meal, but that was just to make sure I hit my goal. Eggs for breakfast and chicken for lunch and dinner. I also had peanuts as snacks instead of protein bars. It wasn’t a lot of snack-level protein intake, but it felt pretty good to do it that way.

No music last night. Not sure if tonight will be any different. I am 2/5 of the way through Star Trek Picard season 1 episode 6 though. I’m more than 25% of the way through the two season rewatch with season three kicking off in six days. Probably not going to make it unless I do an alarmingly intense binge over the weekend. Of course The Mandalorian season three kicks off on March 1st. Can I follow the two season Picard rewatch with a 2+ season Mandalorian rewatch by 3/1? (2+ seasons due to the two episodes where The Mandalorian hijacked The Book of Boba Fett, right?)

Right then. Time to start getting ready for work. Talk to you later. Parents, tell your kids you love them. Kids, tell your parents you love them.

Sunday Morning

It’s 7:13am on a Sunday morning in January. What’s going on?

Tons. I’m going to have a busy day, I think.

My exercise is done for the day, as well as over 60% of my calorie goal. Nice. I am going to visit my father today and take him to visit my mother. I’m not going to have a ton of time to spend visiting though. I have to work today. I have a ton of paperwork to do that should have been done over the last week but got pushed aside due to some super hot customer issues. I’ll get as much of it done today as possible and get to the rest of it tomorrow. I’ll have it all done on time, but it’s going to make today suck a little.

What about the new cat? She started under the bed. We took one of the little covered cat bed/house things we got for Patches last year and put it into the bedroom. We also brought the cat tree we got for the cellar remodel and put that in the bedroom too. We sat in the room with her for a while but eventually just left her alone. Jen snuck back in to check on her and found her sitting in the cat bed/house. She called to me to come and see and when I called back the cat got spooked and ran into the bathroom and hid under the vanity. Sorry, kitty. She stayed there for hours, even when we left her alone again.

When we started getting ready for bed she was in the bed/house thing again. She stayed there the whole time. We thought that was an improvement. Around 2:30am Jen got up for something and managed to coax her out. She was purring like a porche and rubbing against our legs and just being super friendly. We got her to jump up onto the bed so we could pet the crap out of her. She seemed to love it. When we tried to lay down though she jumped off and tried to hide behind the cat tree. After a minute or so she ran out of the room and down the hall. I found her in the other bathroom crouching behind the door. When I moved the door a little she ran back to the bedroom and went back into the bed/house.

While she was walking around in the middle of the night, Jen was able to show her where the food and water and litter box are. We had all of it in the bedroom because we wanted them close so she could find them if she needed them. I am a little worried because I don’t see any signs that she’s eaten anything yet. We had dry food and lots of treats and we put them out for her, but I also went to a pet store to buy some toys (Patches didn’t really go for cat toys so we didn’t have any) and some wet food. I am going to put some of the wet food out this morning and see if she goes for it. We were told that she had surgery on Friday (she was spayed) so she might not have an appetite as she recovers. I just want to give her all the options we can though.

What else is going on? Music. Have I played the guitar at all this weekend? No, no I haven’t. Asshole. I am starting to think about recording ideas for RPM, even if I haven’t had a single musical thought. I am considering going with two amps at a time again. I have my Fender Deluxe Reverb here so that amp is going to be used like crazy. I might bring out my Fender Bassbreaker 18/30 and use it and the Deluxe Reverb together through the AB/Y splitter. It’s going to be pretty loud down here if I go this route, so I might try it to start with and then change my mind. The amps will be in a corner of the cellar that is as far away from the living room as I can get, and it’s reasonably far away from Jen’s office so hopefully it will be okay. If I bother her at all though, I’ll turn off the 18/30 and just go with the Deluxe. I have a speaker soak for the Deluxe so I can turn up the volume knob without getting obscenely loud. As for the guitar I want to use, it will be the Les Paul Standard again. I freakin’ adore that guitar. I will wait until either next weekend or the actual start of February before I put new strings on the guitar, but I really need to play at least a little bit every day to try and get my fingers into something that resembles playing shape.

Okay, I think that’s the gist of today. It’s time to start waking up for real and get something to eat. Happy Sunday, folks!

Photo Fun

So the photo a day challenge thing was super easy to do during the Disney World vacation. Now that we’re home I’m finding it tough. I’m still up to date, but we’ve gone from wonderful Disney views to shit like this:


Oh well.

I saw both of my parents today. It was rough. My father has been sick with a cold since leaving the hospital so we haven’t been able to bring him to see my mother. During that time my mother also tested positive for Covid, so it’s been a consistent kick in the scrotum. Today I was able to bring my father to the nursing home to see my mother. It was heartbreaking. My father was desperate to see her, but when we got there she was completely unresponsive. I was able to feed her some of her lunch, and my father held her hand, but she wasn’t really there, if you know what I mean. Over all I think the trip did help my father’s state of mind, a little at least. It was worth it even if it was hard to bare.

To pile on, the kids are gone. Harry drove back to school today. Bellana goes back to school tomorrow, but she is staying at her Dad’s tonight. Sad faces all around. Sure we had them for two full weeks during vacation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want more time. Greed is good, as Gordon Gecko once said. Did I get that name right? Michael Douglas in Wall Street, right? Whatever.

Further bad news, my vacation is over tomorrow and I have to go back to work. Also, I have an ass load if work that has to be done with a deadline on Tuesday. Yippee! Way to plan that one out, fat boy.

On an unrelated positive note, The Last of Us series will premier on HBO tonight. A new zombie(adjacent?) show, just in time for the end of The Walking Dead. I’m looking forward to having the shit scared out of me.

Wardrobe Reboot

My exercise is done for the morning. I only faux ran for 30 minutes. Just giving my old and tired legs a break. I have so much to do today. It’s raining again so raking leaves is pretty much out of the equation until tomorrow. My primary goal for the morning is to reboot my wardrobe. I’m thinking two pairs of jeans, two collared shirts, two t-shirts, and a pair of khakis. That should get me through the wake and the funeral this weekend, and four work days in the office between now and the end of the year.

I need to take a shower before I do any of this but I made the mistake last night of trying to rewatch the last four episode arc of Andor (one way out!) and I still have about 15 minutes left to go so I really can’t stop watching at the best part, right?

I want to make short visits to both parents today too. That’s the second most important thing. After that, it’s spend time with the love of my life, who is attending a virtual conference today. Dinner and a movie tonight, maybe? That will help me avoid feeling sad about the rest of the universe. For a while at least.

And that’s the state of the world right now.

We Didn’t Win

The bad news is we didn’t win 1.2 billion dollars in the Powerball lottery last night. The good news is no one else did either. I guess we just have to wait until Saturday for all of our financial fantasies to start coming true. That’s fine with me.

I weighed in yesterday morning, as usual for Wednesdays. I said I was going to weigh in on Friday (tomorrow) as well, as usually for the 4th of each month. Why then did I weigh in today as well?

Jen has this really cool Bluetooth enabled scale. She steps on the scale and it sends the result to an app on her iPhone, which then calculates a bunch of values including BMI, and then updates the Apple Health app. When all of this surgical fun started I had to buy a second scale because the groovy Bluetooth scale didn’t read anything above 350 pounds and I was over 450. I bought a scale that went up to 500 and I’ve used it ever since. Yesterday after I stepped on my scale, Jen asked me why I am not using the groovy Bluetooth scale. I didn’t have an answer.

Last night before bed I setup the app on my iPhone and used Jen’s scale for the first time. It told me I was up 0.8 pounds. Nope. No thank you. This morning when I woke up I stepped on the scale right away, which is how I do things on Wednesdays. It had me down 0.4 from my official weigh in yesterday. That’s better. From this point on, I am using the groovy Bluetooth scale. Tomorrow I will step on the scale again to celebrate the monthiversary and I will use that number to update my spreadsheet. Today’s number will not go on the spreadsheet. Today’s number is unofficial. This is the way. I have spoken.

While doing my morning trotting in place today I finished the forth and final Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, Die Another Day. It’s not awful, but it did feel a little too… Austin Powers-ish for comfort. The good news is, the next movie in line is Casino Royale, and that’s the single best non-Sean Connery Bond movie that exists. I’ll start that one at some point tonight and hopefully finish it in the morning. The Daniel Craig era is imminent.

My father is in the hospital. He went to the ER yesterday and was admitted last night. I don’t have any news. I’m seriously worried about him even though the rational part of me knows he’s going to be fine. My brother and sister were with him yesterday and will be with him today. If he’s still in the hospital tomorrow I’ll take over. I just let my boss know that I might need to be out. I should be all set. Now I just need some news, and I need to stop worrying.

For now though, back to work with you!

55 Years

Today is my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary. On this day in the summer of love, 1967, those two crazy kids got hitched. They are not currently living in the same facility. Dad is in an assisted living place in Billerica and Mom is in a nursing facility in Andover. It’s devastating. Any time I visit Mom I try to call Dad so they can connect a little, but my Mother mostly doesn’t get what’s going on and it fails. Dad was insistent that he see her today, rightly so, and my brother is taking him. My brother saw Mom yesterday and it sounds like it was a pretty rough day for her. The fear is that the same thing will happen today and it will some how make things worse for both parents. When I try to pretend I am an optimist, I try to envision something in Mom’s head snapping into focus when she sees Dad. Fingers crossed. Really hoping something like that happens. Seriously.

Anyway, 55 years is a huge number. Do me a favor and take a second to wish my folks a happy anniversary. Maybe some happy vibes from the electronic universe will help them connect today. Wouldn’t that be great?

I’m Pretty Sore Today

Yesterday was a tough one physically mostly, but also mentally.

I am not going into a lot of detail here, but the back story is this. Last September my parents moved from their house in Tewksbury to an assisted living space in Billerica. Over the course of the next eight months my mother’s dementia grew steadily worse to the point where she was getting up in the middle of the night and falling down. On May 9th she had a fall and was taken to Lowell General Hospital. The assisted living space said they could no longer handle assisting her living so the hospital started working toward finding a new place for her. She was moved into a nursing facility in Andover and she’s living there now. That means that my parents, who are days away from their 55th wedding anniversary, are no longer able to live together. It’s crushing to say the least. My father was still in the same room at the assisted living place, but that room was in the memory care unit, which he does not require. So yesterday we moved him to a new room, one that is not in the locked down memory unit.

We had movers pick up a piece of furniture at the house in Tewksbury and take it to Billerica. They then moved everything from the memory wing in the basement to Dad’s new room on the first floor, then they took some of mom’s things back to Tewksbury. I bounced from place to place with them and helped out a little. Mostly just by punching in the door lock codes getting in and out of the memory wing.

After the movers were done (huge, huge thanks to them) I went back to Dad’s new room and helped unpack. My sister and my two nephews were there too. We had everything wrapped up by about 2:00 with one glaring exception. Dad sleeps on a rented hospital bed. The company that rents the bed handles moving it from place to place. They initially said they would be there to move the bed at 2:09. Then 2:48. Then 3:30. I had to leave before they got there. I’ll tell you why right now.

We had broken for lunch at around noon. Dad went to the cafe, My sister and the kids went to Wendy’s, and I stayed in the room waiting for maintenance to fix something in the bathroom and switch on the Cable TV. I started eating my little four ounce of chicken lunch but kept getting interrupted. In the end it took me about two hours to get through it and I spent a lot of time taking a bite, then unpacking something for a few minutes, then going back for another bite. I don’t know if my bites were too big, or if it was something to do with being active mid-meal, but I found myself getting pretty nauseous. I pushed through it, but I was feeling pretty bad.

Later, during the time we were done with everything but the waiting for the bed I started feeling sicker. I think it was due to lack of protein? Maybe? Lack of food? Something? I only had a protein shake for breakfast so I hadn’t eaten much. I was just feeling sick to my stomach again and weak and I was getting on toward being nervous about driving. I had to leave and go get something to eat. Once I was home with food in me I felt better. I feel bad about bailing, but at least now I have another couple of food experiences to keep an eye on.

So stomach wise, things are good today. Thankfully. Dad wise, he’s in his new place. He’s miserable about being separated from Mom, but otherwise he seemed okay yesterday. It’s possible he was just putting on a brave face for two of his kids and two of his grandkids, but he did seem okay. Here’s hoping he still feels okay today.

The hang up for me, personally, at this point is pain. I more or less was on my feet yesterday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. It was rough for Mr. Out of Shape here. Sure, I have a lot more energy and stuff since losing 100 pounds in the last seven months (WOOHOO!), but I am still really fat and out of shape and that was a lot of work yesterday.

Then to make things work, I still did my 30 minutes of walking. It was after dinner when I was all settled and feeling better. Jen and I were in the living room watching the tube and I got up and started walking. My Activity App credited me for 18 minutes of exercise during the day, but I have a streak of doing 30 minute walks going (I don’t actually remember when the streak started so I can’t tell you how long it’s lasted) and I didn’t want to ruin it. So I started walking. 30 minutes later I was a mess, but happy. Today I got up as usual and did another 30 minutes before work and now my legs are going to fall off. Poof, no legs. Figuratively at least.

Here’s hoping the pain lessens as the day goes on, but we will have to see.

Ouch, babie. Ouch.

Another Request for Happy Thoughts

I think this is the third time in two weeks that I have had to ask for this, but if you’re finding you have some cosmic positivity lying around that you can spare, could you send some my mother’s way today? She’s in the hospital right now. This one isn’t directly related to the last two trips, but maybe it is. I don’t know.

I’m a little late to the happy thoughts request this time. She got to the hospital while I was on the road to work and it sounds like they are already prepping her for discharge. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong this time, which is great, but it’s still really scary. Every little bit helps, right?

Thanks, internet people. It’s appreciated.

Looking Ahead

It’s the end of my lunch break on Friday. I’m looking ahead to the weekend. What’s going on?

We have a problem in our kitchen and someone is coming over to take a look and maybe give an estimate. We will all be masked and distanced and I really hate having people invade our Covid bubble but what can you do. After that I am going to bring some groceries over to my parents. Again, masks and distance. Outside of that?

One song needs rhythm guitars. 11 songs need lead guitars. One song is ready for vocals. At least six songs do not exist and need to start existing.

Other than that? I heard snow could be a thing this weekend. I choose to ignore that as even the slightest possibility. No thank you. The yard was covered with snow when I left the house yesterday morning. By the time I got home it was all gone. All of it. This morning I saw the temperature reach 60 degrees. It’s now 37 and dropping like a stone. Cold in February sucks, but it’s better than cold and snow. No snow. Pretty please with sugar on top.

Oh yeah, one other insignificant thing. The Walking Dead comes back on Sunday night. To paraphrase Adam Sandler (actually, more like steal a lyric from Adam Sandler), Zombies for me. Zombies for you. Like to kill zombies in an old brown shoe.

I am so ready for some weekend right now. So ready.

To Do List Complete After All

I had three things I wanted to accomplish today and a couple that would be nice to do. I thought I was going to be left with just one of the main three finished, but here we are with all three effectively done.

I wanted to go to my doctor’s not-appointment this morning. I did that. I wanted to get my haircut, and I wanted make a short visit to my parents. I wussed on the haircut and never even called to make an appointment. Jen came to the rescue and did it! I think this is the third or fourth time since the pandemic started and I am always left feeling incredibly thankful that she would take on such a horrifying job. Thank you, my love! It looks great! As for my parents, the excuse for the visit was grocery shopping. Just a thing or two that I could bring them. Well, the stuff they asked for wasn’t available anywhere we could find so I was shit out of luck. I talked to them this afternoon and they said to come over anyway. I told them I could only stay for a few covid-safe minutes and they said that was fine. So I got to make a short visit anyway, even without an excuse!

The other things on the would be nice list were car music, which was a big no (tomorrow though?), bringing in the Poland Springs water delivery, which hasn’t been done yet because they delivered just before I left for my parents, and after I got back it was hair cut time. The bottles are outside, I’ll get them shortly. The only other thing left is to cook dinner, which I am going to do right now.