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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday Stealing-For Those Who Celebrate Christmas #2

For those who celebrate Christmas #2

Bev, at Sunday Stealing, has another page of Christmas questions to answer.

Happy Holidays. 

Star or Angel?

Usually Father Christmas type Santa, couldn’t find it so went with the star.

White Lights or Colored Lights?


Blinking Lights or Still Lights?


When do you open your gifts?

😂 Christmas Day. 90% of the gifts weren’t wrapped. I just couldn’t do it. The Baker’s Cyst behind my knee and sprained ligaments, and my back pain were too much. I did fold them neatly so they would fit in boxes, but I never got to boxing them until Christmas morning. My wife and I set up a system. I got a tote for each of us and put the folded items for each. We used the lids to block and told the kids to watch tv. I’d toss her an item, she put it in a box. We had 4 boxes we used for the gifts. When we had 2 gifts boxed for each kid we gave them to them and they opened them. Rinse and repeat until all gifts are handed out. It was better than just passing out unwrapped gifts. We opened the wrapped gifts from my sister and my daughter last. A lot less mess.

Do you buy gifts for your pet?

Not always. 

Be honest: What's the worst gift you've ever gotten?

A box of toiletries and cleaning supplies. It was a lean year that year and it was the only gift I received that year. It was with gifts from the kids from a community group.

Have you ever traveled for the holiday?

Yes. Before my step grandmother and aunts passed away, Christmas was at their house, so I drove my family IL to WI. 

Did you see Santa as a child?

I don’t remember, but there is photographic proof:

Can you name all the reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph. 

Have you ever gone caroling?

Once I may have joined some friends who were caroling, but I didn’t actually sing.

Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?

Yes! I took my kids to see the lights my wife and I saw earlier in the week.

Have you ever left Santa cookies?

We usually do, but this year I guess we forgot. Too much last minute stuff going on. Apps didn’t get prepped ahead, no baking done.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Yes. Living in the Midwest there’s a good chance of it.

Have you ever made a gingerbread house from scratch? From a kit?

I bought a kit the 2 previous years but we never made them.

Be honest: Do you think the season is too commercial?


Imagine you were going to create the quintessential holiday soundtrack -- which song(s) absolutely must be included?

Pass for now. May come back to this.

What are your Christmas pet peeves?

Bad manners on the road and in stores.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday Stealing-For those who celebrate Christmas #1

December 20, 2020

Welcome to Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first - Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!



For those who celebrate Christmas #1

Taken from Pinterest

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
This year it will be getting to see my daughter and give her hugs. She came home for Thanksgiving, but it was a short visit. Christmas will be much longer due to new rules from IDPH and the agency that runs the group homes. I am dreading how long the visit will be because of all the arguing and fighting at the end of the Thanksgiving visit. I will be playing the role of referee.

Do you send out Christmas cards and if so how many do you send?
No. Two years ago I joined a Facebook group that  sends cards. I got about 40, sent about 50. I get no cards from family. I got my card from my insurance agent and one of my attorneys this year. That will probably be the only ones I get. My wife has gotten 2 cards from family. It’s interesting, the half-ashed way they include me and my kids on the address of the cards. Ms (my wife’s name), Ms & Family. It’s like they don’t remember my name, they just put “Ms”, no name, and the fact that we are Mrs’s. I find it incredibly rude.

Be honest: holiday newsletters. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
I don’t recall receiving any once I moved out of my parent’s home. The ones we received when I was a kid were kind of made fun of because the relatives that sent them never had contact with us the entire year. When my kids were little I did newsletters a few times. They were very wordy...not unlike my blog posts. I stopped doing them because, for me, for my family, I consider them a waste of time. At a family gathering I overheard derogatory comments about newsletters and they made fun of them. I was done with them after that. Why spend the time if it’s just made a joke?

Be honest: photo cards. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Not really a fan of photo cards, but loose photos inside the card are fine.

How soon do you start shopping?
Whenever I see a deal on something I know a family member will love.

Real or fake tree?
A real tree is enjoyable because of the smell, but the cleanup is always very time consuming and usually kills a vacuum cleaner. The other reason we don’t do real is because they have become incredibly expensive. We do fake.

When do you put up your tree?
Whenever my wife is up to doing it. My son will bring everything down from the attic, but my wife sets it up. Last year it was Christmas Eve. This year, probably the same. I injured my left knee getting off the MRI table when I had my annual checkup. I have a Popliteal Bursitus or Baker’s Cyst behind my knee. It’s ridiculously painful. Knee and ankle are swollen. Feels like a constant, very painful charley horse down the outside of my calf. I was given steroids and told what to take for pain and inflammation. I may be going back to my PCP this week. He said to come back in 2 weeks, sooner if it’s not getting better.

When do you take down your tree?
Early January.

Describe your typical tree (size, decorations, type)
I believe our pre-lit tree is 7 feet. It’s very tapered. Not wide near the bottom, because we don’t have the space for a wide tree. Decorations are ornaments I’ve collected over the years, and my Mom’s decorations. We only use some of my Mom’s, just in case the cats knock the tree down. We also put gold and white bows all over the tree.. 

What do you top your tree with?
We have an old looking Santa, more like Father Christmas, that we top our tree with.

Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?
We did the first year at this house. We have a huge spruce (-?) tree in our front yard that we put lights on. Even bought a pole to hang the lights high on the tree. We don’t have an outdoor outlet in the front of the house, so that’s an issue. 

Is there a wreath hanging on your door?
There will be.

Do you hang up stockings?
Yes, but they haven’t gone up yet. We have stocking hangers that spell “PEACE” that we hang on the entertainment center ledge. Yes, they are filled. Candy and non-candy items. This year will include funky/cool face masks.

Your favorite Christmas Movie(s)
It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street (the original), Christmas in Connecticut, A Christmas Carol (the original with Alister Sims), Jingle All The Way, Christmas With the Kranks.

Be honest: A Christmas movie you hate
Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.

Favorite Christmas Song(s)
I really enjoy the Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas CD.  

Be honest: If I hear this/these Christmas songs again I will throw up...

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. Also, anything Mariah Carey. I don’t care for her.

Give or Receive?

I really enjoy selecting and buying the perfect gift to give. I pay attention all year long and when I notice something a family member likes, I make a mental note of it.

Eggnog or Mulled Cider?
Spiked Egg Nog. Never had Mulled Cider. 

Ham or Turkey?
Neither. Prime Rib. Christmas Day is the only day we have it. We do Turkey for Thanksgiving, and Ham, Hoppin John (Emeril Lagasse’s recipe, and smothered greens for New Year’s. 

Merry Christmas!

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Day 273, 274 of Sheltering In

Friday, Saturday. My knee pain has been terrible. The knee brace came late Saturday afternoon. Finding it difficult to find something to wear that is not tapered at the knee down to the ankle. Jeans are out. I thought a pair of sweatpants joggers would be ok. Nope. The only thing that doesn’t taper are my track pants. My wife had them in the laundry she took to her Dad’s to wash. Even wearing a sock feels like it’s strangulating my ankle. I stayed home by myself because I knew the long car ride would be uncomfortable, then finding a comfortable position at her Dad’s would have been an issue.

Something is up with my daughter. It’s either boredom causing depression because there is still no tv to watch. No Dish Network or cable. Staff did get a DVD player hooked up on the first floor, but was unable to connect one to the tv on the 2nd floor. Or it’s depression caused by her being told that if she can’t return to work by the date of her previous dr note she will be terminated. Her doctor gave her a new note saying she can’t return to work until June. (Could he know something we don’t ?) She was told she would need to re-apply when she is able to return to work. Her manager said they would love to have her back. 🤷đŸģ‍♀️ It could be general holiday depression, or all of the above.

I’m finding this knee pain making me super irritable. I now see where my wife gets her irritability.  

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Day 272 of Sheltering In

Thursday. Before ordering the new gas range I looked up what the problem could be, researched prices. Over $200-? Better off buying new. It came this morning at 10am. My brother-in-law came shortly after the truck left to pick up the old one. We had to go get a new connector, so I picked up a new gas line. Thinking back, I hadn’t replaced it the last 2 used gas ranges I bought, so good idea to buy a new one. Went back to Lowe’s, bought the gas line kit and a can of pipe compound. My wife tried to loosen the old gas line off the gas pipe coming up through the floor but couldn’t do it. My leg has been screaming all day, so no chance of me getting down on the floor to try it. Besides, 2 bad shoulders. I will give it a shot first thing in the morning. If we can’t get it, my wife can call our neighbor. He actually replaced the pipe coming up through the floor when he helped installed the Jenn Air gas range I’m replacing. My brother-in-law is not handy. I had to teach him how to install cabinetry in the dining room, so having him try to loosen a pipe fitting would not be a good idea.

Before our trip to Lowe’s, we stopped at the Jewel to pick up frozen pizzas, thinking we’d try the new oven. That didn’t work out, so we finally got to use the toaster oven I got last year. Fits a 12” pizza perfectly and makes a great pizza. Why haven’t we used it before? Wife preferred the oven. 

My leg is terrible today. I asked my wife where her knee braces were from her TKR’s, but she thinks she tossed them. Our doctor told me to see if she had one of them for me to use, or Ace Bandage. Ace Bandage isn’t working out. I’ve tried. I ordered a knee brace  from Amazon. Should get it Friday or Saturday. I can’t wait to try it.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Days 263-271 of Sheltering In

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. It has been quite awhile, a lot going on. Lots of appointments and running around.

Wednesday MRI appointment. Had the same tech I had 3 years ago who does not know how to find a vein for an IV so she just tries to jam it in down to China. This time she also exploded the contrast all over my arm, then poured alcohol all over my arm. Nuf said about that part. When I got off the MRI table my left knee went out, causing my leg to buckle. I thought nothing of it until I started having pain. By Sunday night the pain was nearly childbirth level. I called my Insurance’s 24 hour nurse hotline past midnight. She was telling me to go to the ER. The hospital that takes my insurance is gang banger central. The only way you want to go to the hospital after dark is via ambulance. No thank you. Monday I got into my PCP. Posterior Bursitis. Small, probably won’t need it drained. Went home with instructions and 3 rx’s. Monday it was like I had a bad charley horse nonstop. Tuesday I met with the doctor for the MRI. He said tumor is exactly the same size as last time. Great news! After we picked up a CBD lotion. $50 for a pump lotion. I have to say at first I hated it. Smells like Vick’s Vapo Rub. But I put I on before bed, I was able to sleep through the night with my regular meds, and did not have pain in the morning. 

Our gas range oven stopped working Monday. It had progressively lower temperatures. Before my appointment Tuesday I researched online for a new one. As I am doing that a mail message flashes and I thought it said credit limit increase. I went to my emails, yup, got increased. So then I had the ability to actually go buy a stove. Lowe’s is next to our pharmacy, so we stopped. Turned out the 1 stainless steel one was sold, won’t be in stock until February. So I went the cheap route, I bought the white. 🤷đŸģ‍♀️ What could I do? I couldn’t wait til February. The dishwasher is white, so 2 appliances will match. 🤷đŸģ‍♀️ It’s being delivered Thursday. My brother-in-law will take the old one to the scrapyard. (Lowe’s charges to take away your old one.)

Can I please not have to watch the Santa Clause trilogy anymore this week? Add to that Home Alone and Home Alone 2. đŸ¤ĻđŸģ

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Days 258-262 of Sheltering In

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Geez! It’s all a blur. Family not getting along. Let’s just leave it at that.

Saturday was my wife’s birthday. Her gift didn’t show up until Monday even though I paid extra for expedited delivery. It’s not worth my time to try to get that refunded because the place I ordered from is across the pond. I wouldn’t even know what time to contact them. The trip to my father-in-law’s to celebrate her birthday was canceled because his wife had to go to the hospital via ambulance. She tested negative for COVID-19 and was told it’s probably pneumonia. She returned to work on Sunday. She is a hairdresser. We celebrated at home. I got 2 bundtlettes from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Sunday I spent over 3 hours cutting my daughter’s hair with my Flowbee. (Did you hear? George Clooney cuts his own hair with a Flowbee He was interviewed on some show and he mentioned it, then did a demo!) It’s never taken that long to cut my son’s, or my own hair. My daughter’s hair was shoulder length and super thick. I had to use my hair cutting scissors and cut off about 4 inches. Now she has collar length hair, layered. Looks cute. She was happy. That was the end of haircuts for Sunday. Mine and Josh’s will need to wait and I’ll do our another day.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

Days 251-257 of Sheltering In

Thursday (Thanksgiving), Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Thankfully there were no cooking accidents this year on Thanksgiving. We ate later than planned, but it wasn’t too bad.

We stayed in Black Friday. Saturday was laundry at my father-in-law’s. Ate pizza and played cards. Thankfully he did not serve his nasty wife’s leftovers. My brother-in-law said the turkey was so dry it could have burst into flames. Thank goodness for Aurelio’s. Yes, I typed it correctly. His wife is nasty. She was the one at our wedding where every photo she was in she had RBF.

The honeymoon is over. My daughter is telling my son what to do and isn’t keeping up with her promise. It’s not like I expected anything different. It’s just really hard on me. Calgon...take me away. I wish! I’ve spent way too many days not leaving the house. I did get out Monday to pick up prescriptions and get gas. Woo hoo!

I need to make a decision on the Pilot. I think I’m basically going to get screwed and call the scrap car place to come get it. I’ll get...maybe $75. It’s not right. The tires are practically new (but not the right size for the Buick, the Buick tires, which I need to replace, are much larger), the body is in good shape and it starts and runs really great. The leather interior is in great shape. It’s got a new battery (free warranty replacement), and I just bought a battery for the Buick (different size). It was preventative. The battery was 5 years old, so it could have gone any time. The issue with the car is either the power steering pump about $350, or the rack and pinion steering $the same, or a bit more than the Pilot is worth to fix it. I need to cancel the insurance Thursday. I won’t sell it privately because of the liability. The rear axle repair could fail if someone were to drive it more often or further than my wife was driving it. Because of the steering problem I can’t even take it to the scrap car place, so if they have to come get it and tow it, you get less money. I could part it out and get more $, but that would be a big hassle, not to mention not safe these days to sell items online, etc. I don’t know why, but letting go of the Pilot is harder and more emotional than letting go of any of my previous cars. It’s the first car I’ve ever put over 200,000 miles on from buying it new. My wife wants me to replace it, but with the current economy, I’m not sure I could get a car loan at a reasonable rate. My previous loan on the Odyssey was from my credit card company, and they are probably the best place to start. I just really don’t want a car payment again. Especially now when my electric bill is so incredibly high. My brother-in-law had mentioned a few months ago about giving my wife his car, because he wanted to replace it. Since the extra unemployment stopped, he’s changed his mind. My father-in-law got his truck back from his youngest. He shouldn’t be driving anymore. My wife getting the truck to use may be a possibility, but it’s not my place to ask. Getting along with 1 car in a city with no public transportation isn’t easy.

This week was to be a week of doctor appointments, including my annual MRI, but I screwed up again. I forgot I had to schedule it at the hospital. This year again I thought the MRI was at the center. Nope. My MRI is scheduled for next Wednesday. I still need to reschedule the doctor appointment. Thankfully I had scheduled the neurologist just before Christmas, so no need to reschedule. I had an appointment with a new doctor to replace the 1 that doesn’t take my new insurance. I dislike him more that the old doctor so Thursday and or Friday I will be doctor shopping. I should shop for my son too. He had his every 3 month appointment while I was scheduling my MRI. My wife sat in on the phone appointment and he was incredibly rude to her. 

I spent an entire day on the phone with my insurance trying to find out why I’m getting billed for my PT visits. There should be $0 due after both insurances pay. Of course the state takes their time paying. I talked to a very nice woman at my insurance company. She called the PT place’s collection department and explained to them it may take 3 months to fully process a bill, but I will in fact owe nothing. I also called again opt out of their medication review. My pharmacist and all my doctors review my medications, so why? I thought I had done it in October, but the other rep I spoke with explained that they have a 3rd party also calling. The actual insurance company did stop calling. Some days I would get as many as 5 calls and 2 texts. Calling me on the weekend, and 8am this past Sunday. đŸ¤Ŧ The rep told me it’s difficult to get the 3rd party to stop calling, but she would make the request. She told me what number the insurance calls from and told me I could block all these 3rd party calls. I did that after I finished the call. I should see a lot less calls. Probably won’t make much of a difference since the calls regarding my student loan (I never had one) and my expired car warranty (it’s not expired) are increasing from numbers in my area code. I’m sure with all the politicians talking about student loan relief that the scammers are doubling their efforts to scam as much as they can before whatever student loan relief goes through.

I did something I probably should have done years ago. That is, look up the actual dates my parents died. It is amazing the information you can find on the internet. Turns out I was a couple days off on my Mom, 1 day on my Dad. My Dad will have been gone 30 years this Saturday, which is also my wife’s birthday. My Mom has been gone 36 years. I knew my Dad’s was coming up because I’ve been in a funk and in general I’ve been a hot mess.

Thursday I have to call the new Asst Director  to schedule my daughter’s Covid-19 test. She has to get tested (and be negative) before she can go back to her group home. Hopefully I will reach her as quickly as I did when I made arrangements with her for the home visit.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Day 247-250 of Sheltering In

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Monday my wife and I picked up the last few items needed for Thanksgiving. I had my son stay home because he needed some alone time, and my wife and I needed time together. Usually we would go out to lunch, but with the pandemic, we only do takeout. We picked something up for the 3 of us after grocery shopping. This sheltering in place makes it difficult at times to keep the peace. 

Tuesday was the big day! My son and I picked up my daughter from her group home and she insisted I take her Christmas shopping. (Twist my arm!) She bought gifts and I helped her pick out a a good pair of winter boots.

My goodness did we need hugs! 248 days without hugs! Funny thing was, we waited until after we got home from Christmas shopping. 

After the hug I took some vitamins and my temperature and had a nap before dinner. I was up late and got up early, so I needed it. I’ve got a stuffy nose, LOTS of sneezing, and no other symptoms. 

Wednesday it was time to prep for thanksgiving. This is not new for me. I’ve been cooking for Thanksgiving most years, other than a couple at my in-laws. We stopped that after my father-in-law’s wife’s family were incredibly rude to us one year. That was the end of that. First, they started eating before all of us got there, then they wouldn’t pass the food to our end of the table. They would not talk to us, even though we tried to engage them in conversation. It was uncomfortable, and not something I will put myself or my family through again. I don’t know if it was homophobia, or maybe they are just asshats all the time. My point being, this isn’t our first rodeo. I’ve cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal, probably all but a handful of years. I use a Nesco Roaster Oven for the turkey and the sides are cooked in the oven. I have made it on the gas grill with smoker boxes a couple of years, but it’s a lot more work, and a lot of in and out of the house, which is hard on my back.

As I peck this out on my phone, I’ve checked my temperature and it’s normal. I think this is a cold. My daughter had a cold just before her visit. I think the vitamins are really kickin this cold’s butt cuz by late afternoon Wednesday I had stopped sneezing and my nose wasn’t stuffy.

So Wednesday I chopped celery and onions and cut celery for the veggie tray. And yes, I gloved up and wore a mask as I prepped the food. Cuz I’m a weirdo like that and didn’t want to be sneezing uncovered while I was cooking. I also baked an Apple Pie and I ended up baking 2 Pumpkin Pies because I didn’t have a 2nd deep dish pie dish. I had a 2nd one, but I think it may have gotten broken last year. No big deal, I have (2) 9” Pyrex Pie dishes, so it worked out. Dinner was leftovers. Turkey is taking a cold water bath. Put it in the fridge Sunday, but it wasn’t thawed by Wednesday night.  Backup plan is turkey bath. Lol! We want to eat by 3pm at the latest. Hopefully 2pm. We’ll see, but definitely not last year’s after 7pm because of the turkey baster explosion. Glass baster exploded and got scalding hot drippings all over my front, chest to thighs. Cleaning up and tending to my burns really delayed the meal. Fortunately everything healed with no issues.

My wife told the kids they had to be up at 10am and they weren’t to “bother” me. We’ll see how that goes. I still have to make my Mom’s stuffing. My wife is making her Mom’s stuffing. (I don’t care for her stuffing. It has breakfast sausage in it.)  My son wanted Cauliflower Mock Mac n Cheese, but I didn’t buy cauliflower, so that can’t happen. I’ll be making a Broccoli Rice Casserole, Thanksgiving day, or Black Friday. My son loves that, so we’re good. I told my wife that my son is to make the Corn Pudding. He made it last year with a little help from his sister, so why not take advantage of the help cooking, right? No mashed potatoes, I haven’t been able to crack the code on my Mom’s. It’s not difficult, but when I make it, it’s just not quite right. Baked sweet potatoes will go in with the turkey, but will go with leftovers for Black Friday, or Saturday. I may, or may not make my popovers. They are always a big hit since I only make them for holidays. My wife will make roasted Brussels sprouts either Thanksgiving day, or Black Friday.

Who’s going Black Friday shopping? Not us. I’ve been taking advantage of the all week Black Friday sales, and the start of Walmart’s online deals at the beginning of the month. I scored a super deal on a television. My wife wants us to take the new one and give my daughter the one from the master bedroom. We can always replace it next Christmas with a larger one. We have no idea where her tv will go in her apartment, so to start out, smaller is probably better. It’s 36”, so it’s not like it’s tiny, but the new one is larger.

Wishing all my blog pals a happy thanksgiving. đŸĻƒ 

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Stealing-Thanksgiving Questions

Hi! Your host is Bev 2 Sykes of the blog "Funny the World". . Welcome to Sunday Stealing. This 3 feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal 4 all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise 5 to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and 6 intelligent questions. Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. What did you do for Thanksgiving when you were a kid? Every year we went to Grandma’s house. She was Italian, so no matter the holiday, we always started out with green salad, olive salad from Groppi’s, spaghetti, meatballs, Italian sausage. Then came the usual Thanksgiving eats. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes. My Mom was the only one out of her 3 sisters, and stepmom, who prepared them, and they were the best. The year she passed away was very hard because at every holiday thereafter several people would bring up my Mom’s mashed potatoes. Seemed like every time I went near Grandma’s basement kitchen, someone would bring it up and I would either slink away back to the kiddie table (cuz I was stuck there into my 20’s), or I’d race up the stairs hoping to run fast enough to not be pulled into the conversation. There was also pumpkin pie with Cool Whip, and store bought apple pie that one of my aunt’s who couldn’t cook brought. On Black Friday my Mom prepared our Thanksgiving meal. The turkey was cooked in the Nesco Roaster Oven (just as I cook mine every year), stuffing, green bean casserole, baked sweet potatoes with butter (no marshmallows for my family), homemade crustless pumpkin pie with Cool Whip and homemade apple pie.

2 .What’s your favorite family tradition? We used to decorate for Christmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving. On Black Friday we would shop for Christmas. The past few years, really since my car accident, we have been lucky to get the tree up and decorated before Christmas Eve. You never realize how much of an important part of the equation you are, until you can’t do those things any longer. The first Thanksgiving after my accident, then the next year I had back surgery, so all the holiday stuff was done by my wife with some help from my kids. The year after my surgery I resumed my holiday duties, but I plan everything so I can prep ahead of time, or cook the sides the day before. I try to get my kids to help, but it’s hard when I want things done a certain way, I’m stuck in my ways, and sometimes no matter how hard I try to encourage, instruct, etc., I  just get frustrated and take things back to do myself. I need to work on that. I don’t Black Friday shop anymore. It’s gotten too scary. I’m talking about before this year’s pandemic. I try to shop throughout the year, usually starting October at the latest. I usually do some shopping on Cyber Monday. This year I did online shop/curbside pickup some of Walmart’s early Black Friday sale that started November 4th.

3. What’s your favorite way to give back and help others?  I try to find ways throughout the year. Ever since my daughter moved into a group home my ways to give back have to do with doing things for her and her housemates. When the pandemic stretched into May and June I shopped DollarTree and filled a laundry basket full of crafting supplies, snacks, and drinks and dropped it off at the group home my daughter lives in. Since then I have done that a few more times. I threw a pizza party for them for Halloween because the group home planned nothing. I bought frozen deep dish pizza, snacks, and drinks. I’ve also replaced housemates cookbooks, and purchased special shampoo for a housemate with a scalp condition because staff wasn’t moving to get it for her. I always say when I win the lottery one of the first things I want to do is set up a foundation that would help people living in group homes get new clothes, shoes, etc. It is disheartening to hear that many in group homes that are a part of the agency that runs the one my daughter lives in, have no family involvement, no one to make sure they have even the basics. 

4. Name one person who can make you laugh, even months later. Why? My wife. We crack each other up all the time.

5. What is the funniest thing you remember about a Thanksgiving past? That would be the year the oven died in my current house. I still cook the turkey in a Nesco Roaster, so it didn’t affect the cooking of the bird. However, the stuffing, green bean casserole and pies went in the oven. I had to improvise and ended up moving those items outside to my gas grill. The pumpkin pie was in a glass Pyrex pie dish, everything else was in foil pans. When I went to take the pumpkin pie out of the grill, with my oven mitts on (thank goodness), the Pyrex pie dish exploded. It was about 40-45° degrees outside, so when it came out of the grill the drastic temperature change cause the dish to explode. I made a 2nd pie on Black Friday so we could get our pumpkin pie fix. The rest of the family thought it was hilarious that I had to use the grill and it got even more hilarious when the dish exploded. Not me. I was on the verge of tears because my Thanksgiving Plan was then missing the pumpkin pie. đŸ¤ĻđŸģI forgot about last year! The brand new glass turkey baster I bought exploded scalding hot turkey broth all down my front. Chest, abdomen, and below. I tore off my track pants (it was just my immediate family, thank goodness)  and my wife threw my ice water at me, while my kids were told to get me ice packs. I sat in my undies for a bit as we picked up glass bits and I iced and poured more ice water on my burns. (It hurt like a #$&@!). Everyone was laughing nervously, not knowing what to do. My kids were asking why I tore my track pants off. I was afraid the scalding hot broth would cause the track pants to stick to my burns because they were a polyester blend. Fortunately I got them off fast enough. I was wearing a cotton T-shirt, so I wasn’t concerned about my upper body. After a bit my wife got me a clean change of clothes. Last week while I was grocery shopping I saw a stainless steel turkey baster and snagged one before they were sold out. Is anyone seeing a theme here about me, Thanksgiving, and glass?

6. Do you have any unusual traditions, rituals or habits around Thanksgiving? I ALWAYS make my Mom’s stuffing (ok, dressing, I have never stuffed a turkey), however I changed it up slightly by adding chopped roasted chestnuts. Some years chestnuts are hard to find, others they are too expensive. And some years I want it exactly how my Mom made it. My kids like both. This year my wife wants to make her Mom’s stuffing which uses breakfast sausage. I am not a fan of sausage stuffing, so we are making both.

7. What time do you eat your Thanksgiving meal? We try for around 2pm. Last year, because of the turkey baster explosion, we didn’t eat until almost 7pm. 

8. Name one ancestor that you think about on Thanksgiving and tell us why. My Mom. Every holiday I think of her. She cooked EVERYTHING from scratch herself for the holidays, the day after because we always spent the actual holidays at grandma’s. I was 23 years old when my Mom passed away. No matter the holiday I always include her recipes. Usually I add something new. Last year we added Cauliflower Mock Mac n cheese, Popovers, Corn Pudding (I gave my son the recipe and he prepared it), Cranberry Fluff Dessert.

9. Is there a family heirloom at the Thanksgiving table? What its story? Not unless you count the Nesco Roaster Oven.

10. What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving Day? That it’s just my immediate family. Just me, my wife, and my kids. Thanksgiving at grandma’s was ok, but in my late teens and before my Mom passed away I found out more details on how grandma was a step monster. I found out how when my Mom was born, her Mom passed away giving birth to her. When her dad married the woman I knew as grandma she didn’t want my Mom and her 3 sisters. My Mom was adopted. I never met her wonderful adoptive Mom and Dad. Her other 3 sisters were put in orphanages. Those things explained a lot about how my Mom, Dad, myself, and my sister were treated throughout the years.

11. What is something that was done for you this year that makes you grateful this Thanksgiving? I will have to think on this and will come back to reply.

12. What foods do you usually have for Thanksgiving? Turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn pudding, popovers, roasted Brussels sprouts, crustless pumpkin pie (gotta cut carbs somewhere, and no one misses the crust). with Cool Whip, apple pie, Cranberry Fluff. I do the sweet potatoes, Cauliflower Mock Mac n Cheese on Black Friday. Everything is homemade. I can’t recall how long it’s been since I made mashed potatoes. I think I made them my 2nd Thanksgiving at my current house. We moved in November, so that year was not the extravaganza Thanksgiving has become. I used my KitchenAid Mixer. I couldn’t quite replicate the way my Mom’s mashed potatoes tasted, but I had the texture right.

 13. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were little? When I was little, Thanksgiving day was always at grandma’s. I made a turkey at my first apartment, but the oven was so small I had to cut the turkey up and cook 1/2 on Black Friday. That first Thanksgiving I spent alone. After that I went back home to cook Thanksgiving for my Dad. Every Thanksgiving after he passed away I cooked my Thanksgiving meal wherever I lived, and when I started my family I always made the meal at home for my immediate family.

14. If you could share Thanksgiving dinner today with one person in history who would it be? Why? (Note: it can be a relative) Since it CAN be a relative, I choose my parents. I don’t think there would be anyone outside of family that I would choose. I think it would be so wonderful to have my parents, my kids, and my wife to share Thanksgiving meal with.

15. What is one wish you have for the next generation as they begin to establish their own Thanksgiving traditions. “Not just one wish. A whole hatful.” (What movie is that a line from?) I would wish them a peaceful world, with all the issues we are currently dealing with resolved. The pandemic would be a thing of the very distant past; people would be healthy and back to work, able to provide for their families’, living in their homes without fear of losing them; much progress will have been made to stop and reverse global warming (as much as possible); the economy would be thriving; our leaders...local, state, the nation, the world, would concern themselves with the PEOPLE they serve, the environment, and NOT the many ways they can line their and their cronies pockets’. 

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Days 242-246 of Sheltering In

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Tuesday was my orthopedic appointment for my shoulders. The PA asked how I felt PT was going. (Hadn’t gone in over a month due to having to reschedule my appointment because my son and I were quarantining because my wife’s friend is an asshat and exposed us to the coronavirus.) I told the PA it helped tremendously with my L shoulder, nearly 100% range of motion. My R shoulder needs a lot more PT. She wrote an order for PT. I’ll be lucky to get started again before Christmas, because it takes so long to process referrals, and the holidays. I also have more doctor appointments in December. I have my 2 year checkup on my tumor. I’m very nervous. My memory is getting worse. It could be all the stress I am under, or a combination of both. I’m hoping for stress and praying there is no change in the tumor.

All week long I got triple the number of calls from my daughter. She was going on and on about her room bring packed up at the group home and the stuff they threw away. Thursday my daughter just kept ruminating on it to me. She got me so worked up that I started to draft an email to the new Director and Asst Director. I kept it as a draft and had a cocktail or three to calm myself. My daughter really carries on about things!

Friday morning I decided to leave the email draft alone. I decided not to pursue replacement of the food I had bought for my daughter (see previous post). I also decided for the rest to see how things played out. It was the right thing to do. I called the Asst Director, as requested, to discuss the Thanksgiving home visit. I got the details on how long, when to get the Covid-19 test and I was told to call the Asst Director on 12/03 about scheduling. She promised to somehow squeeze my daughter into the schedule. Since I had her on the phone, I asked about my daughter’s guitar and the other items that my daughter doesn’t know the whereabouts of because they packed them up and whisked them away. I was told the team lead would get the items and I should coordinate a time on Tuesday. I was told I could take those items, but warned they may have bedbugs. They didn’t have bedbugs when they were in my daughter’s room, but I will still take precautions. 

Later in the day the team lead called to tell me the van driver from Monday tested positive for the coronavirus. I immediately called my daughter and told her she needed to be diligent about wearing a mask when around her housemates.

Saturday was laundry day at my father in law’s. Yes, my new to me washer and dryer are still in my garage and my old broken appliances are still in the basement. I just don’t want to go there. Color me extremely frustrated. My wife did laundry, we had lunch and played cards. Shortly after we got home and had dinner my daughter did her nightly FaceTime call. I asked if she heard about the van driver. Turns out none of the housemates were told. I also found out that this was a non-issue because no one left the house on Monday, so they weren’t taken by van to day program. So that was good news.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Monday, November 16, 2020

Day 240, 241 of Sheltering In

Sunday, Monday. Sunday I stayed home and watched QVC In the Kitchen With David. I did not buy anything. I don’t care for it when they are mostly hawking food. That’s not to say I’ve never ordered food. Last month I ordered something my wife loved sharing with her Mom. I’m hoping it’s a big hit. It will arrive in time for Christmas.

Sunday night was a sh*t show at my daughter’s group home. Maria is livid, as is my wife and I. Because maintenance is supposed to come Tuesday to treat for bedbugs, they basically packed up everyone’s things, not labeling them. They threw away a brand new Rubbermaid tote filled with brand new hangers that I bought my daughter. She retrieved it and hid it so when I pick her up for the holiday we can take it to my house. My daughter also had 2 footlockers filled with canned goods-soups, sparkling water, some other items. NOTHING was out of date, nor was there evidence of bedbugs or mice droppings. I’m sure the bag of food went into the team lead’s car. They also bagged my daughter’s guitar and put it in the basement where the floor is wet and damp. Again, no bedbugs or mice droppings. My daughter is missing the portable DVD player and movies I bought or borrowed from my collection. My daughter also had a large lockbox where she stores her valuables and things important to her, like her engagement ring (caught her! She had been calling it a Promise ring.) If all these don’t turn up I will help my daughter advocate to get those items returned to her or replaced. The thing that really chaps my hide is that my daughter was praised on Saturday for how neat, clean, and organized her room was. Then Sunday staff came in and trashed it.

They even cleared out kitchen cabinets of canned goods, threw away good food from the fridge and freezer, including a bag of apples I brought my daughter. My daughter complained that she was just going to get an Apple and staff took one out and threw it to her, but still took the bag of apples to the trash cans, more likely her car.

There was no evidence of bedbugs on the 2nd floor, only 1 bedroom on the 1st floor had them. One of the housemates in that room has had multiple short home visits (which are not allowed, but for her they let her), and she looks like Pig-Pen from the Peanuts cartoons. I’d bet money she’s been bringing them back to the group home.

My wife and I believe my daughter and her housemates rights were violated by them going through their rooms, bagging items, not labeling the bags, and throwing out perfectly good items. Other housemates complained they also had perfectly good items thrown in the trash and were also upset. One lady who had her cookbook collection thrown out for no reason a year ago, had the cookbooks she collected since then. I had given her several so she at least had a few to help her plan meals. She loves cookbooks. (I will ask my daughter to find out what was trashed and will go to Goodwill to try to replace a couple. They are usually $1.99 each. It’s not bad enough that these ladies have not been able to go anywhere other than day program. No trips for takeout, no shopping trips, no dates, but then they have to have what little personal space they have violated. My daughter was very upset, her voice breaking when she said to me, “ room looks like when I first moved in. They even took the paintings you gave me off the walls.” I wanted to cry, but I kept it together while I was in the phone with her. She’s really upset that her guitar might be water damaged or broken. I wanted to get it from her and take it back to my house when we did a quick stop to pick up a check my daughter needed me to deposit, but they wouldn’t let her get it to give to me.

Can’t we ever catch a break from all this aggravation and drama? I’ve really been trying to try to not focus on this stuff, but it’s hard not to. Especially when my daughter is going to want me to buy her some canned goods and sparkling water. I don’t have the money to do it. With the holidays my food budget is stretched as far as it can go. My wife, the kids, and myself all have lists of what sides and desserts they want. I can’t get the ingredients for all of them, so I’ll compare the lists and most likely buy the ingredients for the items most everyone wants. I hate this. I promised myself since the pandemic began we would not go to our local food pantry. We do qualify, but I’m sure there are people who are having trouble feeding their families. We’re doing ok, but I just can’t afford the added expense this month and next of buying stuff for my daughter while she is still in the group home. When she moves into her apartment I’m sure I will have to find a way to help her get set up with food.

I had my opthamalogist appointment today. They dilated the heck out if my eyes (4 drops in each eye) and took lots of photos of my eyes. The dr told me my eyes are very healthy, no signs of damage due diabetes, see you next year. My eyes are almost back to normal. Thank goodness I talked my wife into driving me. I could not have done it with my eyes dilated and all those drops blurring my vision.

Tomorrow is my orthopedic dr appointment. That will be about 5, maybe 10 minutes of face time with the PA.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Days 235-239 of Sheltering In

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Tuesday the basement work did not get done. Hoping for this coming Tuesday. Monday I have an ophthalmologist appointment, so I need a driver because of having my eyes dilated. If it weren’t for that, the basement may have been able to be started Monday. My brother in law is supposed to help. The quarantine for my son and I is completed. We are well, except for me getting violently ill on Wednesday. Started with abdominal pain, so I thought it was the start of an IBS episode. I took the appropriate medication after lunch. About 2 hours later a wave of nausea hit me and I had to grab a nearby trash can because I knew I would not make it to the bathroom. I lost everything I ate that day, was exhausted from being ill and ended up falling asleep. I waited til around 7pm and had some broth and plain toast. After that I was fine. It was strange.

Thursday my daughter got word about the new apartments. Final walk through was to be Friday, depending on how it went, my daughter could be in her new digs before Christmas. I’m hoping COVID-19 doesn’t delay her move. 

Friday my wife and I went to Goodwill and Ross. My wife wanted to go to Goodwill to get Corningware casserole dishes for my daughter. 😂 I told her I took care of that last year. I’d go to Goodwill once a week or so and picked up Corningware for us and for my daughter. I even got her a set of Temptations canisters for flour, sugar, etc. Perfect condition, all the pieces were there. My daughter had wanted my Mom’s MCM stainless canisters, but I still use them. I’d been checking Etsy for pieces of a set, but never ordered any. She’s all set for Canisters and Corningware. My wife was a bit bummed out, but I told her we’d go to Goodwill anyway and see what they had. I was looking for a twin headboard, because someone thought it would be ok to toss 1/2 the bunk bed to the curb instead of leaving it where I stored it. Gah! Now I have a mattress and frame but no headboard. We ended up doing Christmas shopping there and at Ross. We are done Christmas shopping now, except for stocking stuffers and for each other. Sunday if the thrift store is open I may check there for a headboard. That’s where I got the frame and they had quite a bit of headboards. I can’t do my usual stay at home Sunday because I have to drop off meds and totes to my daughter. The first floor has bedbugs again and they are making everyone bag their clothing and put it in the damp, wet basement on the floor. My daughter was freaking out. To appease her I told her we would drop off totes to put the bags in. My brother-in-law is a Ross junkie. He loves that store. He wants to buy my daughter dinnerware or flatware, or both. Not sure, but anything helps.

When we finished at Ross my daughter called. One of her elderly housemates on the first floor passed away in her sleep. The girl she shared her room with found her. She was more of an acquaintance of my daughter’s, she was upset, but not inconsolable. It’s affecting the ladies on the first floor more so, because they interacted with her every day. She hadn’t called earlier because they made her go to day program because they pulled extra counselors to meet with her and her housemates.

The agency that runs the group homes keeps changing the rules on home visits. It was 14 days, then 5, now it’s more than 14 days. If she goes home the week of thanksgiving, her first day counted is thanksgiving. We planned on having her with us for thanksgiving, Christmas, my son’s birthday, and NYE. It will be 2 visits, just need to figure out the dates. If the apartment move happens before Christmas, plans will change. My wife wants us to do Christmas at my daughter’s if she’s moved in by then.

Lola’s Diner cc. 2008-2020

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Days 230-234 of Sheltering In Days 4-8 of Quarantine

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. It has been boring as all get out. I finished 2 books, and I’m near finishing a 3rd. (Ask me how I’m doing on Billy Idol’s memoir.) I’m not. I read a bit and decided to go for some mystery and other stuff.

I’m watching Wynonna Earp on Netflix. It was recommended to me by my ex-friend. She recommended it because it apparently has a lesbian relationship running through it. I’m into Season 2, Episode 1 and so far the previous episode had a kiss, that’s it. No dating, relationship, or sexy time. What it does have is a heck of a lot of gratuitous blood and gore. No worries, I don’t watch it until my son goes to bed. But I’m not into gratuitous blood and gore, nor violence. I’m wondering how far I’m going to have to endure this before a lesbian relationship is on screen. This series has 3 seasons on Netflix and I swear there is a 4th, but I’m going to have to hunt down where that is. The thing is, the main storyline is, weird. I’m talking supernatural weird. (By the way, why is it that so many books in the mystery genre involve the supernatural? I belong to 2 Kindle email book sources that have free Kindle books, or they are priced from $0.99-$2.99. Nearly every mystery, even the murder mysteries, and young adult fiction involve supernatural storylines.) Getting back to the movie, Wynonna, leather wearing, butch looking twenty-something, obviously a descendant of Wyatt Earp. His “special” pistol has been handed down to her and she is tasked with the responsibility of going in search of these “demons” that she apparently “let out of the triangle”. She works for a quasi-FBI/CIA person that gets leads on these “demons”. Each of the “demons” have their own eccentricities. One is a Jack the Ripper of sorts who seeks out a particular type of woman. He fancies himself to be a surgeon (he is not), and he performs “experimental” surgeries on them to “fix” them, but he never does. The series has yet to reveal what he seeks to “fix”, however, the surgeries are without anesthesia and involve considerable blood and gore. Wynonna uses Wyatt Earp’s special pistol (with magical powers) to permanently kill “demons”. Or send them back to the triangle. Not clear on that. While I have the series on, I read, that way I can take my attention from the blood and gore whilst I wait for the lesbian storyline.

So that is how I’ve spent my time in quarantine. That...and online shopping. Don’t judge me, I’m buying things I need and for my daughter’s upcoming move into an apartment. I’ve gotten really great deals, haven’t actually spent very much. Snagged an 11/04 online only Walmart deal. They got a great scam going. Sale starts at 7pm with very limited stock of some items. They run out by 7:05pm and tell you to come back at 7:30pm. I pounced at 7:30pm and got what I sought, checked out and I was told that I could pick it up this week. Today actually. 🤷đŸģ‍♀️ I got what I went for. My wife was happy. Last night I decided to check Old Navy online again. I was frustrated because when I surfed last week they seemed to have only loungewear...jogger sweatpants. I already have those. I was looking for a pair of chinos, which I eventually found after really searching. They had a 30% off/50% off sale and I had rewards points that got me another almost $6 off. I didn’t go crazy...I found a pair of jeans. The only jeans I have now are skinny jeans which really aggravate my knees. I’ve been living in loungewear and track suits this entire pandemic, until I found a pair of navy chinos in a stack of folded laundry that fit great. Awesome! The blue chinos I had been wearing are a size too large and are so old that the seat of the pants had worn so thin that the fabric is tearing. That smaller pair came in handy because I was able to order the proper size. I also got 2 Christmas gifts on clearance. So I got 2 gifts, a pair of chinos and a pair of jeans for less than the regular price of the jeans. Not bad. I went digging in an old email account and found a bunch of gift card codes for a website I used to do reviews for. Guess what? I never used some of the codes. That site also had merch for 50% off and I also had rewards points to use. I ended up getting over $200 of merchandise for $6. I still have more gift card codes, but decided to just place the one order. I’ll be looking again another day. 

Before picking up the Walmart item I stopped at Pep Boy’s to have the battery I pre-ordered (but selected pay in store, thank goodness). They think women are really dumb. Nowhere on the webpage does it mention they charge extra for some installations. $157 to install a battery in the Buick ‘because the battery is under the rear passenger seat, you know Mam’. Yes, actually I do know. I research everything before I buy or have something repaired. I watched a YouTube video of a guy replacing the battery in the same car I have. I had enough of their disrespecting my car knowledge and trying to rip me off and I told them to cancel the order and walked out. I asked my wife to call our mechanic as I drove home (Apple first). When I got home he was on the phone with her and she passed me the phone. I told him what I was looking for and asked what he sells for the Buick (I had to replace the battery on the Odyssey before I sold it, just got the least expensive battery for that.) Told him I wanted the highest cranking amps and longest warranty battery that he could get for the Buick. He said he could do the top tier battery with a longer warranty for $50 less than Pep Boy’s, and he’ll only charge me $50 for installation. Awesome deal. I have an appointment Thursday to have it installed. I don’t “need” a battery right now, I’m being proactive. The battery I have now is 5 years old (2016 Buick “born” in 2015). I also need tires because the tires are dry rotted, and also 5 years old with at least 1 split in a sidewall. I’m working on figuring how to pay for new tires. Since the last time I bought tires in 2018 for the Pilot, the prices have doubled. After the battery is done we have to see when we can have the Pilot looked at. Serious steering issues. It’s either the power steering pump (not that expensive) or the rack and pinion (super expensive). If it’s the rack and pinion, the cost will be at or above the Pilot’s value. If it’s the pump we’ll have it done and take it to CarMax and get an offer, then shop around and see what we’d get in a trade-in. If nothing fits our budget we’ll sell it to CarMax. If it’s the other, we will have to call a junkyard (they will offer $100-$200 and tow it away.) đŸ˜ĢđŸ˜ĸ😭 I will be crushed. I loved that Pilot. I have a new love now, the Buick, but my wife took over the Pilot and she loves it. I’m not looking forward to having car payments, but it’s hard to get by on 1 car with all the appointments we have. Living in an area with no public transportation either makes for scheduling headaches, or, buy a car for my wife. If it’s worst case, I told my wife we have to move quickly because the tags expire on the Pilot at the end of this month. We can set aside the money we spend on car insurance over the winter months and try to wait until the Spring to buy. Buying in Winter is not the best thing anyway, and this way we will have something put away to put as a down payment. 

Washer and dryer are still in the garage. I’ve been told that work will begin on the basement Tuesday. 🤞

So back to Wynonna Earp and the “Iron Goddess”Kindle book I got for free.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday Stealing-More Random Questions

November 8, 2020

Welcome to Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first - Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!



Stolen from Random Question generator



1. What’s something no one wants to hear but everyone should

This year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and probably NYE you can’t have, or go to a big gathering due to Covid-19. Nobody wants to hear it. Everyone has Covid-19 mitigation exhaustion.

2. What’s the most annoying animal you’ve ever encountered?

My cats, actually all 3. 1-male is like that photo that’s making the rounds of obnoxious things cats do. He must get in the bathroom with you. Must do a drive-by, or figure 8 around my legs. He also MUST be touching you. I move around at night a lot because of chronic pain, so it’s a pain when I’m having to push him away. 2-female MUST be petted until she decides you are done petting her. If you stop, she slaps her paw on your arm, or wherever and does it repeatedly until you start petting again and won’t stop until she decides she’s had enough, or I tell her no. Repeatedly. 3-female MUST have head foot rubs. She wants it so bad that you don’t have to do anything. She does all the work, rubbing her head under 1 of your feet. Won’t stop until she’s ready to stop, or I move my foot away.

3. How much does language affect our thinking?
I’m not sure I understand the question. I would think that for someone who speaks/understands more than 1 language, it would affect their thinking all the time, having to translate in their head the language of the person talking to them. As someone who speaks/understands 1 language, with an infinitesimal amount of high school Spanish, language doesn’t affect my thinking at all.

4. Do you prefer to watch movies in the theater or in the comfort of your home?
I prefer watching at home. I can watch it in my pj’s, have my preferred beverage (without 1,000% Mark-up), have my food or my preferred take-out (without 1,000% Mark-up and their food could be nasty). I can stop the movie for bathroom breaks, runs to the fridge, then start it do I don’t miss anything. I can move around, change seats, lie down, whatever I need to in an effort to be as comfortable as possible.

5. What topic could you spend hours talking about?

Just about anything. I am starved for conversation. Usually always because I have no friends. Especially since Tuesday. A dumbash friend of my wife’s knew Sunday she had COVID-19 symptoms, yet took no precautions, didn’t tell us until she called Monday saying she tested positive. My son and I went there Sunday to drop off a food bank box of food. My son and I got tested Thursday, no results yet, so we have been quarantining on the 2nd floor, with my wife being on the 1st floor since she was not with us, thus not exposed. We’re doing ok. Some mild symptoms. This could just be a cold or flu. Our doctor instructed us to every day take 100mg of Zinc (order on Amazon. Nowhere local has any. We got the caplets because the lozenges are nasty tasting), 1,000mg Vitamin C 3 times a day, 10,000IU Vitamin D. 

6. If you could run away from it all and start fresh somewhere new, would you?
If I say yes, is that bad?

7. What’s the most polarizing question you could ask a group of friends?
Who did you vote for? Everyone will have that answer. Something just as polarizing? How much do you weigh?

8. Do movies have the same power as books to change the world?
Movies. Probably only because more people see movies than read books.

9. What would you rate 10/10 ?
The Kung Pao Chicken I made last month. Had it from the Chinese takeout by my house 2 weeks ago. Mine was better. Mine was like the last really good stuff I got from takeout. 

10. What are you really good at, but kind of embarrassed that you are good at it?
I'm pretty good at having pain and complaining about it.

11. Who do you go out of your way to be nice to?
I’m pretty much nice to everyone. I wave people on at 4-way stops or wave thank you. I’ve been talking to people at the grocery store. Mostly pleasantries, sometimes about products. Wait...that is not me! Where is me?

12. What problems will technology solve in the next 5 years? What problems will it create?
Hopefully technology will find ways to mitigate or reverse climate change. 

13. What from the present will withstand the test of time?
Hopefully, lessons learned. 

14. What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical?
“Pretty Woman”, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. Any “Airplane” movie. A Woody Allen movie-“Annie Hall”, “Sleeper”. “Scenes From a Mall”.

15. What is something common from your childhood that will seem strange to future generations?
Rotary telephones, answering machines with cassette tapes to record messages, roof-top television antennas, a percolator, 8-track tapes, black and white television, Tang, Fresca, Tab, Jello 123, TV dinners with foil trays, not cardboard.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Day 228, 229 of Sheltering In/Day 2, 3 of Quarantine

Tuesday, Wednesday. Tuesday my son and I had televisits with our doctor. He sent orders for COVID-19 tests to the same hospital I went to at the beginning of the pandemic (that turned out to be bronchitis, not COVID-19). Tried Tuesday and Wednesday to schedule tests, but the hospital could not find our orders amongst over 150 faxes for COVID-19 testing. I called my insurance and they told me to go online to schedule at CVS (no openings within 100 mile radius for 3 days, which is how far they schedule. They gave me the number for an urgent care in OP. I scheduled us for Saturday. 

Wednesday my doctor’s office called after 3pm, actually my daughter’s pal, a customer from her work, got us in at 4pm that day at a new test site on the first floor of where our doctor’s office is. I called to cancel the Saturday appointments as soon as I finished that call. Got the less uncomfortable test. The short swab. Definitely more comfortable than the longer swab. We left home early, surveyed (from the car) the new apartment buildings that my daughter is supposed to get into. It’s behind the medical building. Then parked where we were directed to park. No time for my son to ruminate about the test. Thank goodness! Temperature check in the car, then followed the tester into the vestibule where the testing was done. We had to go separately, which started to freak my son out, but I explained the procedure and got him calmed down. Both of us were exhausted when we got home. At this point I don’t think we will test positive. I think we may have a garden variety flu, one not covered by the flu shot we each got. Most bothersome symptom for both of us are headaches, sore throat for my son, scratchy throat for me, raspy voice. And we’re tired. I’m praying this is the extent of it and we test negative. We were told we’d get the results Monday, but I’m thinking maybe Friday, or over the weekend.

The isolating part and exhaustion are annoying. We are very fortunate that if this is Covid-19, it’s mild. I really think we’ll test negative. Since my son and I were exposed at the same time we watch movies in the master bedroom and my son gets our meals while my wife is in another room with the door closed. Technically, if one of us is positive we could have given it to my wife, but she’s fine. All 3 of us are doing a vitamin regimen our doctor prescribed. My wife is taking it just in case.

My son and I avoided local channels so we didn’t see any election stuff. We watched Christmas movies. It’s hard to find something appropriate that my son would be interested in. Christmas movies are neutral, so that’s what we’ll stick to. We’ve got plenty to choose from on the streaming services we have. My son doesn’t like not being able to go shopping! He’s always my assistant. For some unknown reason we really stocked up last week, so we have enough food and supplies for the next 10-14+/- days.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Monday, November 2, 2020

Day 226, 227 of Sheltering In/Day 1 of Quarantine

Sunday, Monday. Sunday I picked up a car full of boxes of food from a Food Depository event Sunday. Initially decided not to go, then went 1/2 hour before it ended. I was only picking up 1 box for my family. They still had 3/4 of a semi trailer full of boxes, at least 8 pallets of boxes they were loading back in the semi trailer, and about 5 pallets they were working on passing out. The pallets of food boxes were stacked 6 feet high. I don’t know at what point they started doing it, but they’d ask each car if they could fill it with boxes and ask the driver to share it with people they know who are in need or struggling. Being the good person that I am, I told them to go ahead. (My Buick had totes and a couple of boxes, so there wasn’t a lot of room.) I ended up with 6 boxes. On my way home I called my wife and asked her to call her friends and family to see who would be interested. We’re talking 1 income families. I started at her friend who lives near us and my son delivered 2 boxes into her house, then we went to the group home anticipating dropping off 1 for each floor, but my daughter said they could only take 1. We split the remainder with my father-in-law and brother-in law. I felt really good about helping them all out. I know her friend comes up short every month because she spends a lot on prescriptions. Also, the group home sometimes comes up short too because some staff use the food stamps fraudulently, for themselves. My father-in-law is retired and my brother-in-law is a school bus driver for districts still doing at home learning. The trip to help bus people escaping the fires in Oregon was cancelled, so he has not worked.

So, no good deed goes unpunished, right? My wife got a text when we were getting ready to leave her Dad’s, and all the color drained from her face. Her friend that we delivered food to was letting us know she tested positive for COVID-19. This is the same friend who is a denier and has gone to family gatherings, dining in at restaurants (that are currently not supposed to allow dining in), and has had lots of photos on Facebook of her at these events, not wearing a mask. My son and I wore masks when we delivered the food boxes, but her friend didn’t wear a mask. I expect my Orthopaedic doctor who I have an appointment with Tuesday will cancel. They don’t take any chances, which I appreciate. I don’t appreciate her friend’s cavalier attitude. Now my son and I can’t leave the house for 14 days. At least that’s what I found out on the CDC’s website. I will also call our family doctor Tuesday and see if he wants to send orders to the hospital for us to get tested (drive-thru testing) and find out what the protocol is when you are exposed to someone who tests positive. This will be my 2nd test. The first was negative and ended up being bronchitis.

I am not a happy camper right now. My son hasn’t said anything, but I can tell by looking at him that he’s freaking out. 

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Sunday Stealing-Random Questions

Welcome to Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first - Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!



Stolen from Kwizgiver




1. What has been your favorite part of the year so far.
I don’t know that I have a favorite part. If I had to pick, it would be that my daughter is handling more of her personal business (doctor appointments, medication refills), and advocating for herself. So in a way she is growing up more (she’s 27, but because of her illness she’s been more like 14), but there are still some areas where she hasn’t matured. But I’m very happy she has made so much progress this year.

2. Have you started Christmas shopping?
I shop for Christmas whenever I see a deal on something a family member would really like.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Yes. It’s always been very neat and I’ve always gotten left handed compliments. That is, I’m left handed and they can’t believe I have such neat handwriting. Weird. Also, I’ve noticed, particularly when I make lists, that my handwriting is looking a lot like my Mom’s. Even though she’s been gone 36 years, I still have her handwritten recipes and can see the resemblance.

4. Song you could hear over and over and over again.
I’m sure there are many. Especially since I have my SiriusXM radio tuned to 70’s-90’s and Pop 2k. I always skip over any new stuff, unless it’s something by an artist from the 70’s-90’s. Then I’ll have a listen.

5. A favorite quote.
I don’t know that I have one, or any for that matter.

6. Last dream you remember.
I haven’t had any dreams in a long time.

7. Most expensive object you want to buy right now.
It’s sad, but I’m seriously thinking about trading in my Pilot. It’s a 2006, and I’m about to have the power steering repaired for the 3rd time, and my wife barely drives it. We could be a 1 car family because neither of us work, however, that vehicle is my wife’s freedom. I get it. We have no public transportation out here, so a car is necessary and it can be maddening trying to coordinate appointments, errands, etc. 

8. Describe your eldest family member.
My father-in-law. (I don’t count anyone as family on my side, other than my younger sister. They are homophobic. They rebuffed my efforts to maintain contact before my gay wedding, then they didn’t attend, after I spent a lot to be at the family reunion where we were ignored when we weren’t being gawked at.) He beat cancer, but he’s having cognitive issues. The in-law’s that take him to his doctor appointments refuse to acknowledge it, and therefore refuse to address it with his doctors. It’s really wrong, because he could be receiving treatment that could help slow the progression. My wife acknowledges it, but can’t get the rest of her siblings to.

9. What has your weather been like?
It’s been perfect fall weather. About 45°-60°.

10. Do you enjoy your job?
I’m retired, basically. I’m ecstatic to no longer be working in a homophobic environment where I was screamed at and called disgusting on the daily. I kept to myself, so I don’t understand why I was treated so badly, other than the fact that they wanted me gone. Well I am gone from there now and they can KMA! I was treated poorly at other jobs, but nothing as soul crushing as that one.

11. What is your favorite everyday item?
Three way tie...My iPhone, my television, and the streaming services I use. 

12. Are you currently obsessed with any TV show?
My shows are either on hiatus due to the pandemic, they ended, or were canceled. Some of them I haven’t been able to determine their current fate. I loved Ozarks, and I thought there was to be 1 more season, but I’ve seen some articles say it’s been canceled. It was soooo good. Also, Schitt’s Creek. I think they ended. Which is sad since they had so many noms, and wins at the award shows this year. I think they were finally getting noticed.  

13. Book you’d like to read before the year ends.
I’ve got a gazillion books on my Kindle. I’ve been reading Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself “ memoir for a couple of years. I’ve finally gotten back to reading it. He’s a fascinating guy. 

14. Describe Kindness.
Does it need description? It’s treating people the way they should be treated regardless of their gender, orientation, age, profession, religion, income level, health, or politics. I could go on, but that’s a good list.

15. Describe your favorite candy in great detail.
I don’t know that I have a single favorite. There used to be a handmade toffee store in L town. I’m not sure it exists anymore. It was so buttery and delicious. Nothing compares to it.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

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