Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thai Thanksgiving, hoarders, and fantasies, oh my

We ended up breaking the "rules" for Thanksgiving.  All the kids live close by and had the day off.  Magnum and I had the day off.  Nobody had plans.  Come on over, we said.  They came over.

I had  no turkey, no fixin's.  We had Thai takeout.  I'm thankful for Khon Thai Restaurant for being open on Thanksgiving.  Different Thanksgiving experience, but all good.

And we did get in a bit of a hike.  By the time we'd managed to gather, it was a little late in the day, but we snuck in a short hike before darkness and cold. I worked on Friday, had today off, and will work tomorrow.  Today was beautiful and Magnum and I did a bit more hiking, longer than Thanksgiving's.

yes, it's me
yes, I'm smiling

Plenty of others were out enjoying the trails, but really, we didn't need to mask up much. Plenty of social distance to be had for most of the way.  I just was feeling rather apocalyptic at picture time.

Speaking of feasts, we currently have a certified hoarder at our rehab facility.  It's weird and a little creepy.  He orders bunches of food, but doesn't eat it all.  Just stashes the food and - more importantly it seems - the dishes, glassware, utensils, etc.  His room isn't that big.  Why does he do this?  

We've taken to bringing him things in disposable containers, which stresses him out.  I can't imagine what his house looks (and smells?) like.

Speaking of strange activity, I went on facebook earlier out of boredom.  A friend showed results of googling [his name] and "fantasy outfit".  Why?  I dunno, that's what goes on over at facebook.  

Like a lemming, I tried it, with no intention of posting results to facebook.  My results weren't anything special, but then I thought, what if I just google [my name] and "fantasy", forget about the outfit.  Let's see what google thinks my fantasy is.

Here's my top hit:

Oh sheesh, yeah that's right. I share my maiden name with a known white supremist terrorist.  

Let it be known that this is NOT my fantasy.  

What does google think your fantasy is?

Thursday, November 26, 2020

lunchtime, pilgrims

 Happy Thanksgiving, 'merica!  

It's a quiet one around here.  A few weeks ago, my boss asked us to rank the five upcoming holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year's eve, New Year's day) in order of importance for wanting the day off.  Old people need care every day, so someone's gotta work the holidays.  

I ranked Thanksgiving first, so I'm off today, and we're not planning anything.  Our county went into stricter COVID-19 guidelines this week, and when Chaco and Wolfgang were over a couple of weekends ago, we decided we wouldn't gather since the family is made up of  four separate households, one including college kids.  Seems like the responsible thing to do.

So while it doesn't feel like Thanksgivings of the past - Turkey trot in the morning, then family fun and food at the sister-in-law's - I'll try to make the most of it.  It's a pretty and sunny day, and I'm thinking I'm due for some nature time.

And there's still  much to be thankful for.

I'm thankful I have a job from which to request the day off. And I'm thankful for the good people working today.  Yesterday, some of us were reminiscing about pre-pandemic days.  Someone mentioned missing salad bars.  Who would've predicted a whole conversation about missing salad bars a year ago?  Will salad bars become relics that today's children will never experience?

I'm thankful for my and my family's health. While we're not getting together, we had a little extended family zoom with Magnum's side last weekend.  Easy and no pondering what to wear.  I'm now doing twice weekly COVID testing for work, and am remaining negative.  Remember when being negative was a bad thing?

I'm thankful for the IRS.  Who says that??  Earlier this week, we got a check from the IRS.  Seems suspicious, right?  They explained that they found an error in our tax return, explained what the error was and from which line item of our return.  The legit check they sent included interest from the time we paid our taxes.  What??

I'm thankful for diversion.  We started watching The Queen's Gambit on Netflix.  Just one episode in, and I did fall asleep for a bit, but it looks to be well done so far.  I've also been watching A Teacher on Hulu which is a series of (I think) seven episodes depicting the development and fallout from a sexual relationship between a female high school English teacher and one of her male students.  I think it's well written and acted, and it's appropriately creepy.  It's not a romantic situation.

I'm thankful for getting old, sorta.  Had another one of those birthday things this week...  Guess it beats the alternative.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Linking up with Mama Kat for the prompt:
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: thankful.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

run for the donut

Magnum and I did a thing today, a charity run.  It's named the Turkey Donut 5K.  "What is a turkey donut?", you ask.  So did I.  Here ya go:

I have no idea the origin of the name, but the local running club hosts it every year the Saturday before Thanksgiving for a fundraiser for the local food bank.  It's a predict run, meaning that the winner is NOT the fastest runner, but rather the runner who can  most accurately predict his/her finishing time.  For obvious reasons, no watches are allowed during the run.

I ended up 25 seconds faster than I predicted, which I thought was pretty darn close, but NO.  I ended up coming in 18th out of 103 with my guess.  The winner was less than 2 seconds off.

Well, at leat I made the top twenty.  Magnum, who doesn't usually do these kinds of things, came in about 4 minutes faster than he predicted.  So while he wasn't anywhere near the winner's circle, he learned he can run faster than he thought he could.  His prediction put him at 91st place

So it was a good time for a good cause.  They kept us pretty well spaced apart and actually had runners take off in two different directions to further separate us.  Gone are the days of mass starts and elbowing for position *SIGH*.  In fact, I felt pretty alone for much of the run and worried I might go off course like I did during that last event, but nope.

We raised over $1,700 for the cause, despite a pandemic, so woohoo for turkey donuts!

I did manage to win a $25 gift card for a local restaurant in the post-run raffle.  Sadly, our county is going to stricter COVID-19 lockdown restrictions next week.  I'm not much for visiting restaurants these days anyway.  

Remember the carefree days of going to a restaurant with a naked face?  Anywhere outside your house with a naked face?  I think covered faces are going to be with us for a while.  In the meantime, I came across this infographic:


Probably true for Colorado. 

New Hampshire?  Care to weigh in?

Friday, November 20, 2020

when the dog bites, when the bee stings

This week, I lost one glove, one earring, and one sock.  I'm annoyed when I lose one component of a pair.  I would honestly rather have lost the pair of gloves, the pair of earrings, and the pair of socks.  Then I wouldn't have those solo reminders of their uselessness... as they remind me of my carelessness?

BUT I'm not going to whine.  Even with a pandemic in the air (literally), there are always good things happening.  Here are a few of my most recent favorite things:

  • The weather's been lovely.  Not to bore with small talk about the weather or anything, but really, after we got hit with a foot and a half of snow and subsequent cabin fever in October, November's been so kind.  A fellow bicycle commuter refers to it as "Goldilocks weather" because it's just right - after that massive dump of snow put a handle on our wildfires.

  • I'm enjoying my job, and I'm happy with the idea of taking on the lead position.  After getting over the initial queasiness of working with the frail and infirm, I find I get a kick out of the residents and enjoy making their days a little more comfortable, and I enjoy the lot of young coworkers.  Really, if someone would've told me a few months ago that I would be happy to rinse off some dude's dentures (or do other tasks involving old people who don't like wearing clothes, etc.) so he can eat his chicken, I would've said they were talking about someone else.

  • Our new fiber optic internet installation was quick and easy.  Honestly, I haven't noticed much of a difference because I don't really need Gig speed, but it's  nice to know it's there.  No issues so far.  It's only been three days...

  • I got a new vacuum cleaner this week, speaking of boring small talk.  But really, omg, it's life changing.  Y'all know we have two dogs and a cat.  It's a constant battle with the fur, and I was losing.  Chaco linked me up with the new pet vacuum cleaner her recently got and oh my god. Seriously, after the piles of fur I've since sucked up, how do our dogs still have fur on their bodies?

  • Hulu, Netflix, and Kindle are making it easy to stay entertained while social distancing.  

  • I'm remaining positive about staying negative.  With the increase in COVID cases in our state as well as others, our facility has increased required testing to twice a week for staff.  It's nice to know skills acquired as a kid are still useful in real life.

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
4. Share a list of some of your most recent favorite things.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

speed and critters

We're scheduled to undergo a transition of power today.  I'm hoping it goes super smoothly, unlike some *ahem*. 

We're changing internet providers today, so I thought I'd stop by and fluff up the blog in case it all goes belly up.  Our city has begun offering one gig of broadband internet.  That's 1000 Megabits/sec for us old folks!

Our neighborhood was one of the first to have it available back in August, but we had a contract with ¢om¢ast, so waited.  The time has come.

Honestly, I doubt I'll even notice much difference for my usage.  Gamers love it, but I'm not in that crowd.  Magnum will probably appreciate it for downloading CAD files while working from home.  Workers laid the fiber outside yesterday, and the indoor hookup will happen later today.

As per usual these days, we had to affirm that we have not recently tested positive for COVID, have no symptoms of COVID, haven't travelled out of state recently, etc. etc. Ugh, it's gonna be a long winter, I think.  Might as well have Gigabyte speed internet.

Speaking of long winters and apocalypses, we finished up watching season one of To the Lake on Netflix.  

Two thumbs up!  It's left wide open for another season, which I would watch.  But stories like that can drag on for too long and run out of material IMHO, e.g. The Walking Dead.

Speaking of home comforts, here's a little pet parade.  We have our two pooches and cat, and Chaco stopped by on Sunday with his doggo.  The dogs make a mad threesome while the cat hangs out in and trashes my office in protest.

Look how obediently they hang on my every word

Of course not, actually.  I just happened to have treats in my hands.  

And yesterday, Meego sent me an update on Drax, his Euromastyx.  Look how purdy!

He'd just finished shedding and was posing for a fresh pic.  It reminds me of those selfies people strangely post from their bathrooms (note the poop).  Anyway, Drax is looking good and much bigger than when I last saw him in person/reptile.  The pandemic has treated him well.

That's the main excitement from my neck of the woods.  Fur and scales.  

Stay safe, everyone.  I hope to visit from the Gigabyte side soon.

Friday, November 13, 2020

put a band-aid on it

I was procrastinating on being productive while over at Pinterest this morning and came across this "mental health challenge".

Firstly, I think the title is misleading.  Is it encouraging us to challenge our mental health?  I don't think so.  I started looking at some of these challenges and realized they all sound fun.  How many can I do in ONE day??

It's a day off from work for me today after a weird week, COVID taking center stage.  

I mentioned one of my coworkers just returned from a bout of COVID.  I wouldn't have known but for the fact that she herself told me she'd had it.  At first I thought it was strange that no one told us that a person in our department was positive, but then, we're all required to test weekly anyway.

I asked a couple of other coworkers if they knew "Elle" had just returned from the land of COVID.  They, too, were a bit shocked to learn of it, and I realized I probably violated HIPAA.  But hey, it's all among friends, right?  Our boss has been out all week too, saying she was exposed and self-quarantining.  She's working from home, and I honestly wonder if she also tested positive.  

Additionally this week, we received information packets regarding signing up for next year's employee benefits, and we had a resident test positive - resulting in heavy precautionary procedures - and subsequently test negative. I picked my benefits info up from the office and was also given a pocket-sized dispenser of hand sanitizer and a small case of band-aids - gifts from HR.

I returned with my packet and freebies, to which another coworker snarked, "Oh hey, thanks for working the COVID hall!  Here are four band-aids!"  

HA!  Ya think we'd at least get a t-shirt.

Anyways, I'm going to challenge my mental health and do some 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 17, 19, 23 and maybe some 13, and 18.  

What are you doing for fun on this Friday the 13th of 2020?

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:

3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: fun.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

a vacation to COVID and happy bath day

My coworker today was back after fighting off the COVID.  I didn't even know she had it, I thought she went away for a few days of fun.  Turns out she did.  And she got COVID.  

Bummer of a vacation.

But she's back and seemed none the worse for wear.  She said she had a fever, terrible headaches and body aches, and lost her sense of smell and taste.  No coughing or breathing troubles.  Weird thing that COVID.

This makes her the second person in our department, that I know of, to come down with it.  I've lost count of the number of times I've been tested (all negative).  My nostrils and inner bowels of my skull hardly care anymore.

In more uplifting news, those wildfires?  They're pretty much squelched.  I mean, they're still burning, but well contained.  We got another good dumping of snow earlier this week, and the reports are "minimal fire activity and smoldering".  So there's that.  I've really been feeling like getting away for some nature time lately.  It's starting to get cold and sloppy in the boonies, but I won't complain.

One of the residents at work today told me she'd just had a bath.  She hadn't had one in several years, only quick showers.  She explained that her incontinence makes baths impractical, but I think we've got a new bath system now that allows constant fresh water. What a treat for her!

Honestly, I don't remember the last time I had a bath, but at least I know I have the option.  This particular woman has lived in our facility since she broke her neck years ago.  I didn't know until today how she'd ended up in her condition.  We don't ask, but sometimes the residents will offer information. Her mind is sharp, and she is an articulate woman, but her body - not so much.

She has special forks and spoons that we shove into her claw-like hands, and she is then able to feed herself.  It used to make me uncomfortable to bring her food and do the fork/spoon shoving bit, but I've realized that I now look forward to talking with her.

And today, we celebrate a bath.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

running lost and thankful it's a UTI?

 I ran a 5K this morning.  A real organized event with other people at the same place at the same time.  The local running club I joined just before COVID shutdown happened has these "tortoise and hare" races once a month from October thru April.  

Other regularly scheduled events over the summer were run "virtually".  Pay a registration fee, go run a certain distance using an app, upload the "race", get a shirt or whatever.  Yeah, no.  The fun for me (and most participants) is the running and racing with others. Today's 5K was the first in a long time.

In short, for tortoise and hare races, runners start at different time intervals based on predicted pace.  Slower runners start ahead of faster ones with the fastest people starting last, trying to catch the people ahead.  

I ended up passing everyone in front of me and leading for the final mile.  This was a blessing and a curse because I was unfamiliar with the course/area and veered off course at the start of the homestretch.  I still finished first, but ran farther than I needed to.  So there I was coming into the finish at right angle to the actual course.  Not embarrassing at all!

Note that I did not run the fastest, I just passed the tortoises in front of me while keeping the hares behind me at bay.  It was actually quite fun despite my fumbled finish.  It was just nice to participate in a group event.  There were rules requiring masks and keeping people from gathering, but it was certainly better than nuthin'.

The park where the race was held wasn't far from home, so I jogged to and from.  As I was returning home, I got a text from a girl at work.  Could I finish out her shift for her?  I was looking forward to a shower and potato time, but I figured she wasn't feeling well or she wouldn't have asked.  Fine, I would only be there for about three hours.

After a shower and food, I went in, hoping she didn't have any COVID symptoms.  Our workplace has put strict rules in place, keeping staff away for even the mildest of symptoms.  We are already short staffed because of a few people with cold symptoms that likely just have colds.

I went in and learned that the girl I was replacing was suffering with a UTI, thank goodness.  No, wait, UTIs suck!  

But hey, it's not COVID. Another small victory.

Friday, November 6, 2020

to the wolves

Welp, I guess it's happening.  A little sooner and more "formal" than I'd expected.

So my job at the care facility - the one I found after COVID took most of my other job away - has been going nicely.  I actually like it better than the previous job at the hospital plus the commute is way shorter. I've mentioned how a lot of the rest of our team is young.  Mostly young adults, and a few are still in high school.  Oh, the drama

I was a bit surprised at how young some were, but they are actually great with the residents.  In hindsight, I think that hiring such a young crew is partly by design.  I think the old people like having these "kids" around.

So that's what I walked into a couple of months ago.  There are a two other older ladies like myself, but the majority are quite young. Last week, our boss lady posted a notice for a Team Lead position, and for anyone interested to contact her.

I, for one, wasn't interested.  I still tute a few hours each week and didn't want additional hours. Coworker "Anna" told me she was gonna go for it, and I don't know about anyone else.  Earlier this week, I asked Anna if anything was happening with it.

"She said she's waiting to see who all is interested, and then she'll conduct interviews", Anna replied.  She quietly added, "I think she's waiting for you".

I told Anna about my disinterest and not wanting additional hours. She would be a good choice for the position.

A couple days went by, then I got a text from boss lady:  Are you interested in the lead position?

Again, the tuting... additonal hours... blah, blah, blah

"I"d consider not increasing your number of workdays", she volleyed.

Oh.  Well.  That changes things.

In short, looks like I will be the den mother I was starting to feel like anyway with just a few hours additional each week.  Except it's an actual position.  I only mentioned it to Anna, so she would learn from me before it's official and not from someone else.


Boss lady said she had me in mind from the get go, mentioning my "calm demeanor" and my "maturity" as well as prior experience.

Translation:  I'm old and don't do drama.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

candy anyone?

Happy November!  It's the end of the week at the end of the month.  I'm tallying.

First of all, our Halloween numbers summarize as follows:

Groups - one
Total Trick or Treaters - two

Okay, so  now what am I gonna do with my big bag of Costco candy?  We weren't sure what to expect, what with a pandemic and all.  Plus, this is our first Halloween in this house/neighborhood/town.  We had no baseline.

I did mildly better with my Inktober numbers than with dishing out Halloween treats:  20/31

My final submissions:

I felt a bit like my "Crawl" tortoise at the end, but really, it was another fun Inktober.

This past work week was a tough one in that four residents passed away within 24 hours.  Even for an old folks home, that's high.  It's a somber thing to see bodies wheeled out, respectfully draped.  I will miss each of them and their easy going, upbeat personalities despite their final struggles.