I win!

My husband has the capacity to sit and stare at the television for several hours a day. In the evening he prefers if I sit and stare at it as well to ‘keep him company’. Considering that we spend 24/7 with each other I don’t understand this.

Over a period of time I downgraded cable television from “everything on offer’ to basic cable to cable internet only but superfast speed to, just recently when my husband quit working,  basic internet speed. And it still costs me $95 a month.

We’ve had Netflix for close to 20 years, from back when it was mailed DVD’s. Over the years we have added BritBox and Acorn. Then Hulu to substitute for live television that we used to get via cable.

Last year Hulu prices became insane and they stopped carrying our local news channels. I switched to Youtube TV so my husband could watch the local news and World News tonight with David Muir.  Since his illness in January he started watching tv during the day and we needed local channels for that (because, you know, Let’s Make a Deal and The Price is Right is essential television viewing.)

Youtube TV was $15 a month less than Hulu Live plus it had our local channels. Yes we lost Disney and ESPN – boo-hoo, who cares, never watched them. Just this week Youtube TV increased its prices and I’d had enough. Spending $75 a month just to watch the news? I don’t think so.

Now we have Peacock TV and Paramount+ for a monthly total of $16. My husband has live tv but only CBS and NBC. ABC is only available via Hulu Live. Good-bye David Muir. (And I think one of the game shows, I’m not sure, I don’t care!)

All the ways my husband can rot his brain: Hulu-No Ads ($14.99), Netflix ($15.49), Britbox ($6.99), Acorn ($6.99), Peacock TV ($6.00), Paramount+ ($9.99), PBS Passport ($60 a year for a PBS membership), I get Apple TV for free from my mobile phone provider and then there is the Roku Channel that comes free with the device.  Oh, I almost forgot – Prime Video as part of my Amazon membership.

That my friends is a boatload of crap.  How much of any of this do I avail myself of? Pretty much none of it.  If we didn’t have a television I wouldn’t miss it. If, by some chance, I actually wanted to passively sit and stare at a screen I could use my computer.  As a matter of fact when I DO want to watch something I watch on my computer because my husband and I have different notions of what constitutes entertainment.

He always says “I’ll watch whatever you want” My response is “You don’t like what I do and you just fall asleep” He says “A nap is always good” sure a nap just before bed. And why should he not be able to watch what he wants?  He has no interests or hobbies or anything to occupy his time. Let him watch what he wants, I say. Me? I don’t really give a rat’s ass. Plus – I have options.

To make up for him losing David Muir, I discovered I could give him a gift subscription to the New York Times, free, from my digital Times subscription. He is happy with that. He reads it on his iPad.

Hallelujah!

Idle Thoughts

4:20am – I’ve been awake since 1:30a and up and about since 2:30-ish. Took care of some paperwork, had breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee. I would kill for a cigarette but we’ve quit again; I don’t really see the point, not at our age – like I told my doctor recently, “I’m 76 and I wasn’t planning on living forever.”

My entire left side is crap, common wisdom would suggest it should be my right side since I am right-handed and therefore my right side is considered my dominant side. But Nooo – not me. Everything that goes wrong in/on my body does so on my left side.  My left shoulder hurts, my left arm and elbow and wrist joint hurt, my left hip and my lower back, on the left side hurts…

I’m back sharing a bed and bedroom with my husband and the expensive mattress we bought 2 years ago is one of the causes of my aches – the mattress suits him and his comfort – it is hard as a block of concrete. I prefer a hybrid medium firm with the top layer being gel foam – Ahh, such a nice comfy mattress. Husband prefers a block of concrete covered with something just a tiny bit soft.

You know what’s the interesting thing – about a year and a half ago I began sleeping in my ‘office’ which also functioned as a guest room and had a single bed in it.  Mostly because of my husband’s snoring and other assorted sleep noises – I finally decided the only chance I had of getting a decent night’s sleep was to sleep in another room – with the door closed. They can hear my husband snore and snort in Cleveland!  Plus the new mattress was killing me.

Here’s the interesting thing – the night my husband had his seizure I had decided to sleep in the the master bedroom with him. Why? He hadn’t been feeling well and something just nagged at me so THAT night I decided,just for that night, to stay close.  If I hadn’t made that decision I would have been sleeping in another room with the door closed, as I usually did,  and never heard him; never known he had a seizure; never even checked on him till hours later when I got up for the day.

If I hadn’t changed my sleeping habits that one night I wonder what my situation would be today? That will always nag at me just a teeny tiny bit – I could be free right now – maybe.

Despite my crazy sleep schedule I am finally sleeping a bit more – I think I have no choice I’ve been falling asleep literally standing up – so I’m feeling a bit more rested. I’m still  brain dead by mid-afternoon but everyday I seem to have a bit more energy. Yes, I still walk into rooms intent on doing something and then can’t remember what – And no that is NOT a usual thing for me – a lot of me is falling apart but my brain is still in quite good shape. Physical fatigue is getting under control but mental fatigue is still with me. I’m not sure how one alleviates mental fatigue.

It’s now 5:15am and I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open – might be time for a little nap as soon as I get my husband set up in his recliner. He got up about 4:30am – he’s had his meds and his breakfast. He can safely navigate around the apartment now, which has taken a lot of the pressure off me but this morning he’s seems a bit more wobbly, I might just wait until he gets all his stuff moved across the room. Being a man, he thinks he can safely maneuver a trip across the room using a cane, carrying a cup of coffee and a book with only one good hand. Experience has shown that is not going to happen.

I should have gone back to bad when I had the chance, my eyes may be at half staff but my brain is in overdrive…I know that if I go back to bed now I will just flip and flop and by the afternoon I will be stumbling over my own feet and will probably wind up taking a nap, whether I want to or not,  which means when it’s time to go to bed for the night I won’t be sleepy and this crazy sleep cycle will just keep rolling on…

Miscellaneous Mishegoss

~~ I got curious about how people ‘remember’. I retrieve memories visually.  I suspect most people do – how else can you retrieve a memory? I really don’t want to go down the path of researching memory. If I want to remember something I simply picture it in mind – like the other morning – I was in the shower and couldn’t remember if I had washed my hair – I don’t always do things in the same order – so I stood with my eyes closed and re-ran, like a tape, my whole shower from the beginning and righty-ho I saw myself with the shampoo bottle in my hand.  So how would you remember something like that?

~~ I mentioned the Ghirardelli Dark chocolate and raspberry squares that I have become addicted to  – my keyboard is now coated in chocolate. I’ve gone through 2 bags of these in a little over a week – granted there are only 10 little squares to a bag…

~~ I hate laptops – I don’t know how anyone works on them – I use a mouse because I can’t figure out how to get anything accomplished without one – how do you right click on a trackpad? And then – if you even just ever so slightly brush against the trackpad you can delete everything you just typed or the screen automatically moves or something weird comes whooshing in from the sides. I hate that damn thing and yet – My first Apple computer was a 15 inch MacBook Pro  – that was like 18 years ago – I didn’t move on to an iMAC till maybe 10 years ago. I should be able to use a laptop easily and yet I can’t – Did I forget or had I never really mastered the damn thing? At any rate – I now hate laptops.

I’ve got so many Apple devices stashed in the closet – I should schlep them down to the Apple store and trade them in for store credit and upgrade my phone…I also have cords (I almost typed “chords” – ha-ha-homophone error!) that I have never used and don’t even know what they are for, only that they work with an Apple.

We have a plastic storage box filled with all kinds of computer accessories that probably go back to when we had Windows computers, also a variety of surge protectors . Oh boy do we have a lot of those! And dead mice – the computer kind not the cute furry kind. Oh and remotes – we have lots and lots of remotes – Comcast never wants them back – I can’t wait for June when the condo sponsors a ‘Get Rid of Your Junk” day – can’t come soon enough for me.

~~ My usual bad typing is totally horrendous today – any word with more than 2 syllables has had a typing error – I know I am spelling the words correctly because I am spelling them in my head and typing them like a dyslectic drunk…

~~ Things are getting a little bit back to normal around here – the husband is getting around better, walking without imminent danger of falling over –  takes a lot of the pressure off me – of course even before the seizure he was wobbly – so normal is a relative thing.

~~ I’ve got to wrap this up and disconnect the keyboard and wash it! It is making me twitchy seeing it this dirty and I think my fingers are sticking to it! Ewww.

Oh and a pretty picture from yesterday morning –

Pensées du jour

I’m a bit tired of fighting with frying pans. You know that brand of cookware I mentioned, Hexclad, well, dear reader I bought them.  On the website and on Amazon 3 saute pans with lids are $399. But  while reading (even more) reviews I discovered that Costco also sells them. Popping over to Costco’s website I discovered they had – On Sale – a 7 piece set for $349. Now who could resist that, not me obviously.

I don’t buy shoes, purses, clothes, jewelry, we don’t eat out, we don’t drink – hell, a little indulgence to make an onerous task easier I can justify that.

While hardly a pollyanna, and far from being one of those positivity people, I often can see the upside to the downside.  My husband’s recent lengthy hospital stay, with me at the hospital 10 to 14 hours a day, certainly upset our self-defined schedules. Or rather my husband’s schedules that I had to follow because even tho I was always the one doing the work he had set the schedule.

Such as – laundry on Monday and Friday morning. Several times I did the laundry in the afternoon and he got all twitchy about it. He had no hand in doing the laundry why would be care when it gets done? Yet – he did care. It bothered him when I changed the schedule. Same goes for vacuuming, grocery shopping, changing bed linens, washing dishes – the list goes on. He never did any of these things – why did he care so much when they got done? I asked him, he said he doesn’t know, it just does.

Those schedules are all trashed now. Being at the hospital for so many hours, things got done when I had ‘early’ days; some things didn’t get done for weeks; dishes stayed in the sink overnight – I just didn’t have the energy or the time for arbitrary schedules.

Since he’s been home – I still don’t have the energy and the schedules have been tossed.

Meds and exercises on schedule? Of course. Laundry? No.  Everything gets done but – when it needs to be done; when I feel like it. And my own crazy obsessive habits? Some of them have bitten the dust too. I would never leave dishes in the sink or the drainboard overnight – not even a spoon. Now? Who cares. Not me…

What a wonderful upside to a dreadful downside!

 

I’m so excited!

When my husband became ill at the beginning of the year and I was totally overwhelmed with caring for him and having no family or support system here our daughter brought up that perhaps we should think about moving closer to her. I mentioned that I had been looking at CCRC’s here and she suggested looking in Vermont near her.

Then she brought up the possibility of she and her husband buying a house with an in-law suite. I LOVED that idea. We talked about the financing and that is not a problem since my husband and I could put down a substantial down payment and pay half the monthly mortgage amount or close to.

She and her husband own a home but it is way out there and the commute is a killer and they really want to move closer to Burlington.  We all like this idea – it’s a win-win for everyone plus of course having a built-in babysitter (me!)

With my husband’s diagnosis still in flux the whole project was put on hold. Well, my husband’s MRI came back with nothing to worry about so I immediately texted our daughter that if she still wants to do the house thing, health-wise it’s a go for us.

So the search is on! It’s gonna take a while but it seems we will be moving! Yay!

Granted Vermont is not my first choice of a place to live but Paris is out of the question and needs must. At our ages and health challenges we need some sort of support system. Since our daughter offered we would be fools not to take them up on it. I may be a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.

I’m so excited!

Just rattling on…

~ Roy had an interesting post today. That’s all I have to say about that, I commented on it.

~ Friday, in the New York Times, they have a section called “Love Letters” and in that section is “Tiny Love Stories”, reader submissions in 100 words or less. I sent one in today. If they publish it I will let you know (Hoo-boy will I let you know LOL)

While I was ‘filing’ that piece on my computer (Documents → Essays) I found some good stuff I had written. One piece is in my blog archives (‘The Ordinary is Extraordinary’) another is not and should I want to publish it I would have to amend it because I have changed my viewpoint a bit on the subject of photography. Nice to know I am capable of changing my views.

Also this one, which I really like. (Hey, if I don’t like my own stuff who will?)

~ I have in my head to write some poetry but it is not coalescing. I’m still brain dead from this past month and only just barely getting over being so physically tired that I am in more danger of falling over than my husband.

~ There are about 4 people who read this blog and I keep wondering if I should attempt to recruit more readers. If only in the hope they would comment and I could have some conversations – I like conversations. But then I think – why? I need more blogs to read myself – it’s a not too much of an investment of time and can be amusing and informative. Aside from my few regular reads I haven’t stumbled over anything interesting enough to follow or bookmark. I think that says more about me than the blogs available.

~ For lack of anything better I think I’ll go do some laundry..

What I’ve Learned

To put it simply – Don’t sweat the small stuff. To put it more elegantly – Grant others and myself, Grace.

Should you not be religiously inclined it also means mercy and pardon. It also means “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency”.  I like this explanation best “To me, grace is both a noun and a verb—a feeling and an action. It can be interchanged with giving someone: a chance, time, the ability to make mistakes without punishment, and forgiveness.”  (Source)

This may be the hardest part of extending Grace –  “Showing grace to others is about showing kindness even when they don’t deserve it.” (9 Ways to extend Grace to Others.)

Giving someone Grace is to extend unconditional forgiveness.

I have written about forgiveness, , a concept I don’t quite understand. I understand what it is to forgive a monetary debt – the debt is wiped out – the person owes nothing. To forgive a hurt – well, that is something else. Someone acted in a certain negative way towards you, you were harmed.  That person is responsible for their actions, you have no control over another’s actions therefore you cannot forgive their actions or the results thereof. The only person you can forgive is yourself for your actions.

While my husband was in the hospital I blew my top at several people. I was angry at the lies I was told, the ineptitude of the doctors and I more than once made a scene the way only an overtired, worried Italian girl from the Bronx can.

After several days at the nursing home I came to being able to extend Grace. I did it without forethought. It just came over me and became how I was. Perhaps it was The Universe extending Grace to me.

That’s where ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ comes in. I couldn’t get angry over what I could not control. I saw – really saw – how hard people were working, doing much with little. I felt such warmth towards these people. It calmed me. I could not be angry or upset with them.

This may sound strange to you who know me as a grumpy old lady, hot-tempered, cynical, an angry old lady (or even the angry young woman I was). I shall continue to get ‘hot under the collar’ about the state of the world and its injustices and stupidity but I don’t think I will extend that towards the people and things that happen in MY life every day. Nor do I think I will be beating myself up for being a flawed human being.  All I can ask of myself and others is to try and do better.

             ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

The Universe at work  – Yesterday I saw in my stats that someone had been scrolling around my blog and one of the posts they read was from 2019 when I wrote about taking care of husband after he had fractured his leg – ‘8 days after surgery, 6th day at home – What I have learned”– reading it reminded me that my current situation is not my first rodeo and I will cope, I will survive and it will get better. The Universe sending me comfort and encouragement. Thank you, I needed that.