social distance diaries: days 204-210

in which we go to all the doctors…

Day 204, Monday

Was in a meeting where folks were discussing their recent increase in meetings… meanwhile, I have three meeting-free days this month, excluding two days for an online conference. None of those include the two new committees I am now a part of, and none are related to the move to remote. If I was working on-campus, I would still be attending the same number of meetings.

Day 205, Tuesday

I took a look at my schedule and realized I had nothing pressing until after lunch, so I grabbed my ballot and headed to the elections office to drop it off. My vote is in. I hope some good comes of it.

Day 206, Wednesday

Off to the ob-gyn for my yearly wellness exam. She also thinks my arm pain is a knot in my muscle rather than something internal, but I’m still waiting on an approval for the MRI…

Day 207, Thursday

And off to the doctor again for my yearly physical. My OBG and GP are a husband/wife pair and both were open about their views on the current administration’s response to COVID and their personal bout with the virus. Both caught it, along with one their kids. His case was worse (he developed pneumonia and fainted several times), but his wife and daughter developed tremors after recovering. It sounded frightening but weirdly reassuring. Like I too might have a chance… Still, he told me, “keep doing what you’re doing if you haven’t caught it.”

Day 208, Friday

Back to the grind… I blocked out a few hours for a pressing project, but it still wasn’t enough. Spent the night reading so I could away from the screens.

My BF reached the let-my-girlfriend-give-me-an-undercut stage of not being a fool in a pandemic. It was my first time using clippers but it went well!

Day 209, Saturday

Mild migraine rolled in with the storm clouds, but managed to head it off with a low dose of advil. I started laying off the advil after I noticed it was making me retain water in a concerning way, but it’s one of the only pain killers that works for me with some success. Managed to get a few hours of writing in before it wore off, but no rebound headache yet fingers crossed

I used to have regular dessert dates on the weekends, just quick trips to a local bakery for treats and coffee, but those stopped at the start of the pandemic. Today, I took a chance and stopped at one of my old haunts for a small cake for myself and cheesecake for the boy. There were two people eating inside but they left shortly after I arrived, and it took less than 15 minutes, so the risk felt less dire than my recent trips to the doctor.

It was delicious.

Day 210, Sunday

Alternated between writing, cleaning, and paying bills/checking my budget. Decent amount of energy too. Days like today me feel almost normal, which is kind of sad if I think about it too closely.

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social distance diaries: days 183-189

the one where things get weird

Day 183, Monday

Straight to the vet at 8am. I couldn’t sleep and know a migraine is starting as a result, but my anxiety was way too high and the weather is too variable at the moment.

Kitty is ok and received another shot of steroids to help with her inflamation, but I hate the thought of her having to take steroids for the foreseeable future. I hope this is a seasonal thing that resolve… I’ve tried everything, but can’t determine what the irritant might be. Having so many issues with scents and chemicals myself, my home is generally free of common irritants. All I can think is that there might be mold? It started after my other cat died and a part of me also wonders if she reacted to the cleaning that she received.

Anyhow, what I do know is that going to the vet when I can barely walk and it’s raining is a BAD combination. I ass-planted when I stepped on a slick walk and now my right side is bruised and achy. Luckily, I didn’t hit my head and I fell on the cushiony part of my side, so it’s just a bruised bum.

Day 184, Tuesday

For reasons I had to bring two of my mom’s cats to my place for the day. One was generally grumpy and the other mildly concerned… returning them to their carriers was an ORDEAL and resulted in my BF lifting the couch while I hobble-chased with a towel.

Day 185, Wednesday

I’m really feeling Monday’s fall and the cat toting of the last two days (they chonky). My back is not pleased, but my ankle is getting back to normal.

Anywho, got my flu shot and had a followup with the cardiologist and ortho. My heart is fine, just a “sinus tachycardia” caused by stimulation (probably hormones or diet). Nothing to worry about at least. I’m glad I have a cause, because I’m tired of people telling me to a) relax or b) that I need to breathe. FFS I practice yoga on a regular basis and have low blood pressure, I’m already too relaxed.

Ankle is healing as well. I should be able to start taking short walks soon without the brace. I’ve been making good use of my exercise bands to strengthen the ligament.

Day 186, Thursday

Started getting a migraine. Meetings are even worse when your head is pounding and you just want to sleep.

Day 187, Friday

Quick morning writing session and the draft is just about done…

Day 188, Saturday

YES! The rewrite/dev edit is complete! It feels like such a triumph after all the everything that’s been happening. There were times when I doubted that I would ever have the energy to write again, but slow and steady brought me back to this. I’m going to take the rest of the month to read up on craft, plan my next round of edits, and work on some practice query materials.

Day 189, Sunday

And like that, I learned that at least one of the terrible sounds coming through my wall is the sound of my neighbor’s punching bag. GAH.
They’re not the worst neighbors I’ve ever had, but they have no sense of what it means to live in an apartment or an old building where every thump resonates through the wall. I usually ignore it, but my SHELVES were shaking and all my frames were rattling. I sent a text letting them know, even though I hate making contact. (again, I’ve had REALLY bad neighbors)
By the sound, I suspected a kickboxing workout. Nope. Just a home gym setup in a too tiny apartment with a shared wall. 😦 I skip workouts that involve jumps just to avoid being that neighbor. No such awareness on their part.
Things are being slammed even as I write this.

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social distance diaries: days 106-112

you know the drill… wear your mask.

Day 106, Monday

Kitty is still adjusting to being a single cat. Another weird, sleepless night where she kept calling for me.

Despite the tiredness, I was in the mood to dance. Spent an hour playing Just Dance and got a proper sweat session. I’m too anxious to run for fear of hurting myself and ending up in urgent care (wouldn’t be the first time), so my workouts have been limited to walks, yoga (when I can focus), and lately resistance band circuits. Dancing is a nice change.

Spent $75 on summer dresses to enhance the sans pants life. I’m tired of wearing the same three t-shirt dresses I’ve been wearing for three years.

Day 107, Tuesday

A quick morning laundry session as I struggle to find the best way to limit laundry time… it’s tough when you have to borrow your partner’s laundry machine because you don’t have your own and don’t want to risk the laundromat.

Learned that one of my aunt’s had a stroke last night. We’re not particularly close, but it’s still troubling to learn of a third person that I know having an attack in as many weeks.

Day 108, Wednesday

Learned my aunt’s stroke is COVID related and she’s been moved into a special unit for recovery. My uncle and cousins have to get tested. We’re not particularly close, but I hope they recover. Unfortunately, they’re the sort of people that were having house parties with more than the county-recommended 10 guests or less. They all probably got it at a Father’s Day party. Not surprising.

More troubling for me, my sister needs to get tested after one of her coworkers tested positive. She lives with my dad and her mom, both of whom are in vulnerable categories. I’m trying to remain calm and hope she didn’t have contact with that person.

Had to teach my mom how to use Zoom so she can meet with her doctor next week. Some of her chronic issues have been causing some concern. I hope it turns out to be nothing.

Day 109, Thursday

Planning meetings for future reopening of the university. I’m not going to stop working from home any time soon, but I’m part of the review committee to ensure a safe return for students and staff when we start to reopen.

My cat has been acting odd. Vet was closed by the time I called, so I’m going to have to call Friday morning and hope that they’re open. Otherwise, it’s going to be a complicated weekend… I really don’t need more complications.

Day 110, Friday

Took the cat to the vet and he couldn’t find anything obviously wrong with her. Gave her b12 and a steroid in case it’s inflammation or arthritis. Also gave her some fluids in case of dehydration and said to return on Monday if she doesn’t change.

Went to the cardiologist for myself in the afternoon… had an echocardiogram and stress test done (the tech asked “do you ever have chest pain?” while doing the echo, so there’s that… but the stress test was fine.). Sent home with a 24 hour Holter monitor.

Day 111, Saturday

Kitty is not eating much, though the b12 should’ve opened her appetite. I suspect she has a hairball again (there was a big one about two months ago). I have to monitor and see what happens this weekend. I am so tired of being worried about everyone lately.

Day 112, Sunday

Late to bed = late to rise. All the noise was hard to handle and I had a migraine that made it even harder to fall asleep. Finally, rolled out of bed around 9, which meant a late start for everything… A less productive weekend than I wanted, but I managed to have a few pomodoro editing sessions.

If my neighbors actions during the weekend is any indication, we’re in this pandemic for the long haul…

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social distance diaries: days 57 – 63

social distance diaries

Day 57, Monday

Meetings all day.

Felt two lumps one my male cat. I hadn’t noticed these before, they’re in a spot that is hard to feel and I probably thought it was the edge of his elbow if I felt it before. I already had a visit set for Wednesday to update their shots, but now I have an added worry. I’m hoping it’s not cancer. I don’t want to go through that again.

Day 58, Tuesday

The best day for groceries is Tuesday. Shelves are stocked and if I stick to my preferred store, I don’t have to go through the stress of an over-crowded store (*cough* Aldi and Walmart) while trying to shop for two households.

My car is suffering from lack of attention. Tire pressure was down and my oil must be pitch by now…

Worried about my dad. My sister (same dad only) has been having some on-again-off-again boyfriend coming over. The kind that doesn’t believe covid is real and refuses to wear a mask. Real gem. She’s also 55 years old, so there’s no pass for youthful ignorance. She just doesn’t care about her parents, both of whom are chronically ill. I just hope they don’t bring contagion into the house, for my dad’s sake as well as her mom, who is a nice lady and doesn’t deserve to be put at risk after having heart surgery less than two months ago.

Day 59, Wednesday

Vet day. Did a contact-less drop-off (or as contact-less as you can get when handing off pets and signing forms outside the office. I got a call in the afternoon that they’re both going to need a dental cleaning (I knew this was coming — they stinky), and the mass on boy cat is going to need to be removed. I’m still praying for a benign lump and not a cancerous mass. Today would’ve been my old cat’s birthday and it’s a little too much to think about another loss.

Ironically, I got my stimulus check today. I planned to donate part of it and save the rest, but it’s looking like there won’t be any saving. I’m probably going to donate to Feeding America, but I’m also looking into animal charities.

Day 60, Thursday

Boy kitty had the smaller lump lanced yesterday. He wasn’t feeling great and spent the night hiding under my bed; I spent the night waking up to check on him. Everyone is deeply tired.

Sent a flurry of emails trying to convince my colleagues to run for open positions on the library and university committees. No one wants more meetings, but it’s part of the job, so someone’s gotta do it (I’m on the nominations committee, it’s not some random passion for committees on my part).

Day 61, Friday

Concerned about boy kitty. He keeps hiding under the bed and I haven’t seen him use the litter box since the previous night.

Worked on annual reviews for my department, lots of email, and scheduling meetings for next week.

Plastered the cracks I discovered on my bedroom wall. No paint, but I’m not really fussed about it at the moment.

Crossed some animals.

Day 62, Saturday

Boy kitty is in a better mood, though I’m worried about what his mood will be after the surgery. He’s been struggling with balance since the biopsy and not eating or drinking much.

More things I did not need: a giant nail in my tire.

Day 63, Sunday

Finished a solid chapter. Spent about 3 hours revising and made good progress. Still slow, but that’s just how it goes for now.

First round of laundry complete.

Frustrated with my weird hippie neighbors. The smell of their weed keeps filtering into my place and it 1) smells awful, 2) triggers my migraines and makes me insanely nauseous. Fun.

Most of Miami is coming out of lockdown tomorrow, but I will remain working from home, likely through the Fall semester. I’m definitely not complaining. I’m not eager to be out in public more than absolutely necessary. My body doesn’t need anything else to fight.

I keep meaning to record a video update, but for now, you can hear my dulcet tones on the podcast:
Episode 32: The Princess Bride
Minisode 32.5

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life: October – month in review

month-in-review-january

Guys, I’m in a rut. Been feeling burned out and uninspired. I need to figure out some things and move forward, but it’s taken a toll on my creativity and mood.

A few good things to keep me grounded:

I received a new tarot deck, which was a lovely surprise.

I bought new shoes (They’re burgundy tieks and I filmed the unboxing).

I discovered Lune Innate‘s Reiki ASMR videos (these have been invaluable recently).

I upgraded my point-and-shoot situation for an upcoming adventure.

There were some lovely, spontaneous dates.

On the other hand…

My low-buy was a bust. With the holidays coming up, I need to remind myself to stick to my budget.

 

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life: May – month in review

may-review

Finished the draft! “Red Dragon” will rest while I review Project 2 and revisit Project 1.

Went to Orlando for a conference, made sure to stop by Harry Potter land.

Went off the [budget] rails (see Orlando, Harry Potter adventure).

Read some very good books, and some ok audiobooks *video review coming in June*

Visited a local animal sanctuary and saw all the creatures I love.

diagon alley universal orlando dragon

peacock and peahen

No video this week because LIFE.

video: writing | Camp NaNo, starting a new novel, and planning for writers

How I plot, my current planning process, and a quick overview of the HB90 planner designed by author Sarra Cannon.

 

MENTIONED

life: Feb-Mar month in review

Month in review - Feb - Mar.png

 

I plotted my next writing project, and adopted a new method to take control of the middle before it becomes messy (one of my greatest issues as a writer).

Sent out my first batch of queries. And received my first batch of rejections. It’s a learning experience and I received valuable feedback. (ta!)

I’m still working the #ootd tag and maintained a steady stream of posts @lifeingminor despite less than ideal lighting conditions. Such is the curse of the early morning riser.

Received some disappointing news – I have a confirmed cyst (actually, I have more than one, but only one is concerning). Had an MRI and await results.

My #projectpan is going strong – I measured my Kosas and Besame lipsticks and have seen some real progress. Meanwhile, my eye shadows are starting to show a dip and I’ve been playing with various eye looks for daytime.

Went to Knoxville for a conference. The city was lovely and the food was great. Fun times (and too many impulse buys).

life: January – month in review

Month in review January.png

I started a cash budget and managed to stick to it. I also learned that I needed to be more realistic and budget for expenses beyond groceries and outings. The result is a much better sense of where my money is going.

I was insanely busy! Between work commitments, writing goals, working out, and making time for blogging, podcasting, and going out, it’s a miracle I had any time to myself.

I read. A lot. Mostly because all my library books came in at the same time and I had a review to write.

I started documenting my outfits in an effort to get a better sense of my closet and find new ways to pair my clothes. Follow me @lifeingminor (this is the most curated I will ever be)

I started wearing eye shadow again. There is something my skin does not like, but I think I’m closer to finding the culprit after nearly a year without eye product.

How was your January? 

If you want to learn more about any of these projects/goals/etc. and how I manage them, let me know.