Monday, February 1, 2021

But I've Got an Excuse

 Thought for the day: Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer. [Dan Brown]

Hi-ya. Well, crap. What the hell happened to January? Didn't it just start? How could it be gone already?

Sorry about that. I've all but disappeared from the blogosphere over the past year, but I thought I could at least come up with something once a month. I mean, that isn't too much to ask, is it? 

Evi-damned-dently, it is. 

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that we're all trapped in a rather bizarre time warp. Maybe you've noticed it, too? Each day drags by on leaden feet, possibly an indication that there's been a shift in the time-space continuum, causing each day to surpass what used to be its usual 24-hour allotment. Yet, paradoxically, the weeks and months slip through our fingers faster than a greased pig's leg on a hot summer day. 

Or perhaps not. Maybe it's just me. Okay, fine. Sounds like the title of an article in an old True Confessions magazine, but here is it: Trapped in a Time Warp. That's my excuse. You buying it?

Oh well, that's the only excuse I've got for letting January get away from me without posting some kind of update. No promises, but I'll try to do better. So how are you guys doing?

Me? I'm doing okay. Matter of fact, I've kinda been doing the... impossible. When I look back at the number of seemingly impossible things I've tackled in the past six months, it boggles my mind. There's still a loooong way to go, (I'm afraid my dear husband was a bit of a hoarder... pack rat... junk collector... archivist.... whatever you choose to call it) but I've gotta say, dismantling Mike's main amateur radio operating position last week... clearly a daunting I can't do that endeavor... was one of my biggest victories to date. His Emergency Communications Central Extravaganza was based at a massive computer desk, and every square inch of it was covered with multiple stacks of radios, power supplies and converters, amplifiers, antenna tuners, laptops, mikes, keys, and a host of other equipment, all interconnected with a baffling maze of cables and power lines. The rear of the desk held four (Count 'em... four!) power strips, and various cords snaked all over the place, all screwed or otherwise clamped in place. Stuff plugged in here and there, cables fed through holes drilled throughout the desk, and to make things interesting, there was also some nifty homebrew stuff that he built to fit his needs. (It helps to figure out what something is before attempting to take it apart, especially when dealing with high voltage.) Anyhow, suffice it to say, it was all very complex... but I did it! Then I had to get that big-assed desk out of the house. OY. Not just BIG, but also very HEAVY. Had to dismantle some shelves and remove a door, but by golly, I got that son of a gun out the door. I still have to finish removing 25 coaxial cables that were feeding his station. They're now cut off about six inches below the ceiling, and they have to be pulled out to the exterior of the house, so I can fill the hole. (A task that'll have to be repeated at several other spots around the house. yippee) But ya know what? I've got a plan, and I think I can implement it. No, I know I can. Who knew? I had no idea I was so... capable.

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. [Henry Ford]



My friends and kids kinda think I'm a bad-ass, too. 


(shhhh) Feels kinda good.


I don't particularly like having to do so many things by myself, but it's reassuring to know that I can. There are things I'll definitely need help with, but they can wait. Sure, it'd be nice to get our five towers and bazillion antennas down now, but they can wait. I may sometimes forget I'm such an old broad, but I don't think I'm ready to climb to the top of any towers to dismantle antennas. Not impossible... just not smart. Best wait until the pandemic is under control and invite some young hams over to lend a hand. If they take 'em down, they can have 'em. Win-win, right?


So what else has been happening? My wonderful daughter Sunshine fell at work on December 17. It was a freak accident in which she not only dislocated her right ankle, but she also fractured it in three places.  Poor thing. She was whisked away in an ambulance, and after a considerable wait... alone, of course, because of the surge in Covid cases... an orthopedic surgeon finally addressed the dislocation. Then they put her in a temporary cast and... sent her home! She had to wait two whole weeks before getting surgery. Extensive surgery, too, because there were lots of bone fragments floating around in there... and now she has more metal holding her ankle together than I ever would've  believed possible. All in all, it's been a painful ordeal for her, but she's been a real trooper. I'd say she's a bona fide bad-ass, too. We've got our fingers crossed that she gets upgraded to a boot when she goes to the doc later this week.

I used to read a lot. I mean... a LOT. Now? Not so much. Took me a while, but I figured out howcum. I used to do most of my reading in the evenings while Mike watched TV. But now, for the first time in my life, I'm in charge of the remote control. HA! It's funny how much more interesting the tube can be when you're the one doing the choosing. Plus... I've got several streaming services now, too, so I've been indulging in some binge watching. How cool! In addition to binge-watching shows like This is Us and Outlander, my other new hobby is buying stuff from Amazon. All kinds of stuff. One of my latest acquisitions is a stud finder. What a great idea!  I haven't taken it out for a test run yet, but I have high hopes for it. Using a simple handheld gadget would be soooo much easier than having to sign up on some stupid online dating site... 

I used to write, too. Not any more. My PC died shortly after Mike did, and that's where my manuscript lies. I do have it stored on a backup hard drive, so all is not lost, but I haven't made any attempts at replacing the PC yet. For now, I'm relegated to this, my old laptop. It'll do for now. Good enough for checking email and making a brief foray into Facebook from time to time. 




Ugh... Facebook. A very brief foray is more than enough.There's way too much negativity for me on there these days. 








But working on this laptop is a little rough on my old eyes. (sigh) I wish they were as young as I am... 

You wouldn't believe how many hours I've been working on this post. Ridiculous. But I'm about done. It's been kinda nice sitting on my butt this long. It gave my back a bit of a break from the heavy-lifting I did yesterday, so it's all good. I can get back at it tomorrow. Gotta stay busy. Busy, busy. busy.

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between. [Sylvia Plath]

I choose active...

Before I go,  I'm gonna share a video. This song has been running rampant through my mind all day...  care to join me?


                                     Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

63 comments:

  1. Very sorry about your daughter's ankle. That does sound very painful.
    Glad you untangled the maze and got rid of the desk.
    Maybe a large tablet would be better than a PC for your eyes? Then you could enlarge an area you need to read.
    Stud finder - funny!

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    1. Thanks all the way around. You could be right about using a tablet rather than a PC. One of my sons wants me to get a new laptop in lieu of a PC, but I'm not sure. I really miss using my PC in my office "cave" with its over-sized monitor, etc., but as time goes by, I'm not even sure if I need to get back to writing or not. If not, I might as well just stick with what I've got. Time will tell. :)

      Glad ya liked the stud finder shtick. I know my sense of humor is kinda off the wall...

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  2. Goodness I am quite in a muddle here in Tucson, January has gone by much to fast. I have been housebound for about four years and now with covid another year, I don't go anywhere. The kids will not let me leave the house. Tucson is a hot spot of covid we live so close to the border.
    I am trying to be active also !
    Nice to read a blog post from you.
    cheers xx

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    1. Muddle... that's a good way to put it. Time seems to be so screwed up, one day blends into the next and keeping a "schedule" has little meaning... or necessity. Totally weird. I feel for you and all of the others who are housebound around the world. This mess can't end too soon for me... or anybody else.

      Thanks. It's really nice to hear from you. Cheers back atcha. XX

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  3. You do know all that shortwave radio stuff is worth some $ right? I do ebay for the pawn shop I work at and decent shortwave equipment, esp. working can go for big money. Just thought you should know if you didn't. I was a good reader last year, but some years I just have no interest, which is not good for a writer! I'm glad you're enjoying some new shows and doing stuff you weren't sure you could :)

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    1. Oh yeah, our ham equipment is worth a lot of $$$. I know that, and I'll probably sell or donate most of it. I haven't decided yet if I want to keep my station or not. Might be time to get rid of all of it. I know my kids wouldn't know what to do with it if I die. Um, I mean, when... it's not like I expect to hang around forever. HA

      Thanks. I genuinely feel like I'm becoming "reacquainted" with myself, and it's kinda nice. For the first time in my entire life, I'm in charge of what I do, and when and how I do it. Quite an adjustment!

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  4. Oh, Stevie Nicks, oh Susan Swederski, two kick ass women who take things on, no matter the difficulty. I am sure your daughter is in the same class.

    This is how my days go. When I get up in the morning, I think about what I’ll have for dinner. I then wait for inspiration. I am into walking around my house. I have made a path for myself and one around is 114 steps. I do that in intervals and have gotten up to 7000 steps going around in a circle. It doesn’t get more exciting than that.

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    1. Sorry, I spelled your name wrong and didn’t notice it till after I published. I guess I went around one too many circles today.

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    2. I'd say you've more than earned your kick-ass designation, too, lady. Then again, it kinda comes with the territory, dontcha think? I mean, men may be physically stronger, but women are blessed with superior inner strength and resiliency. Ergo... kick-assiness!

      My best gal pal here walks around in circles in her house, too, but I don't think she's made it up to 7000 steps at one time. Maybe you guys should twirl a baton or sing at the top of your lungs while you're walking to make things more interesting. :)

      Take care, sweet lady.

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    3. I don’t do it all at one time either. I do around 1000 steps or so, stop to rest and maybe eat a doughnut, and repeat the same during the day.

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    4. Ah HA! Well, now you're talking. If doughnuts were on the line, I just might take up walking in circles around the house, too... :)

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    5. Arleen, I wish we could do relay races together, as I continuously walk laps around our small apartment when it's too cold and icy to go outside. I also stop for snacks in our kitchen/charging station. My husband just looks at me like I'm nuts. In the meantime, Susan is busy dismantling and hauling huge equipment around her house, and could probably take us both!

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    6. HA! Take you on? In Scrabble, maybe... (Although I used to be pretty good at arm wrestling... HA)

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  5. Hey - glad you surfaced and are doing darn good. You haven't electrocuted yourself with coax, connections, etc - I'd say big thumbs up there. I will say - no heights please without someone around to hold a ladder or at least pretend they are keeping track of you on a tower. That project can wait.
    You are bad ass and a hoot. The power of the remote control "my precious"...glad you are joining the rest of us bingers. It's fun.

    You are awesome. Always glad to read a post and have a chuckle. And root for you. Also - fast healing for your daughter - yowza. Sending good thoughts her way.

    Cheers my friend! Keep kicking butt or sit on it too and rest.

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    1. Hey, girl! How's it going?

      HA Yeah, my kids are pretty happy I haven't electrocuted myself yet, too. As for heights, my gal pal made me promise to call her before I climb any ladders or tackle any dangerous jobs. Then I have to call her when I'm done. (I dunno what the heck she'd do if I forgot to call her back... call the police?) But I am verrrrry careful. Honest. Other than a bunch of bruises and an occasional sore back, I haven't had any mishaps. (Knock on wood.)

      OMG, yes! I LOVE being able to binge watch favorite and new-to-me shows without having to watch any stupid commercials!

      Cheers back atcha! I hope you get to visit your dad real soon.

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  6. I haven't listened to that song in years. Thanks for the memory trip!

    As for reading, that's so funny. I mostly read while Ali (the remote control queen) picks what's on TV. The difference is, I wouldn't know where to start with the array of equipment we have. I don't even know how to switch the darned thing on!

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    1. You're welcome. I LOVE that song. :)

      HA! See? That's part of their nefarious plot to stay in charge... if we don't know how to manage the equipment, the remote control kings and queens of the world can continue to rule unabated. (And WE can do more reading...)

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  7. It seems to me that you are indeed sailing through the changes - turbulent as some of them of are.
    I am not surprised that your daughter is a feisty survivor. I wonder (not) where she got it from - and hope that her recovery is quick and complete.
    It is lovely to see another post from you, and I am super impressed and unsurprised at your achievements. Hugs from afar dear friend.

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    1. Well, I dunno about the "sailing" part, but at least I'm moving, eh? Beats waiting on the dock while twiddling my thumbs and waiting for someone to come rescue me. (Although, some days, it's mighty tempting...)

      My daughter is, indeed, a feisty gal with lots of spunk. She's got a great sense of whimsy, too... she even has streamers in the handlebars of her scooter. And a basket! All she needs is a bell so she can drive her husband nuts...

      Hugs back at you, sweet lady. Take care.

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  8. Bizarre time warp? Yes! I have days that zip by faster than I can blink and nights that stretch on seemingly forever. 2020 took three years to pass, then January flew in and out again like busy bee. I'm now into the birthday card season, five this month, five next month and on until November.
    I'm glad to hear you managed to get that oversized desk out, but 4 power boards and 25 coaxial cables?? Was he running the entire country from his study??
    Good idea about the antennas though, let the young ones do the climbing and dismantling. You've climbed enough mountains lately.
    So sorry to hear about your daughter's ankle, it sounds extremely painful.
    Stay safe, stay well.

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    1. Yes! You nailed it, my dear! That's exactly how time has been behaving. Glad I'm not the only one who's noticed it... :)

      Well, he wasn't running the entire country, but we've both been involved in a wide range of emergency communications. Being the diligent sort that he was, he wanted to be assured that we were self-sufficient and able to handle any communications emergency that arose. He was like the original belts-and-suspenders guy.

      Yeah, I like that... I reckon I have been kinda climbing mountains of late... :) Thanks for putting it that way.

      You stay safe, too, kiddo. This stupid pandemic can't last forever...

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  9. Hi Susan, great to see you posting again! We really are stuck in a time warp just now, and a bad one at that. Glad to hear that you have been so busy and tackled impossible tasks! Sorry about your daughter, that sounds like a very nasty accident, poor girl! Stay safe and well! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Hi-ya, Valerie! It's feels kinda great to be back. :)

      Ah, ha! So yet another is aware of this weird time warp holding us captive. Too bad we can't manipulate it better, so we can prolong the good stuff and fast forward through the bad.

      Thanks for your kind words. You take care. Hugs back atcha.

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  10. Hi Susan - wonderful song ... which (being relatively non-musical) hadn't hit my brain registers ... it's just so lovely ... and one I'd love to have wandering around my brain all day.

    Re your daughter - Sunshine - brilliantly positive name ... be it real or nickname ... I do hope her ankle heals without too much hassle now and in the years to come.

    Re things to do - lots ... but I'm very slow ... equally I do get out ... and wander along the seafront and into the town to shop a bit ... staying safe.

    I am reading a bit more, but must stop the stupid tube watch and news - I can get that via the radio ... not the ham sort! I'll be glad when more light appears - yes it is getting lighter and the winter hasn't been too bad ... so I take the good and carry on.

    You're doing really well - gosh Mike's equipment must be hair-raising - if tackled incorrectly! Those radio hams will be so pleased to have the techie bits ... but clambering up ladders isn't the best ... my uncle aged 95 + 364 days clambered up one - thankfully his favourite daughter was there ... but too late he was on his way to heaven!

    I have my letter for my jab - but must wait til they get a centre in the town or surrounds ... I'm not dashing via public transport half way round Sussex to be pricked! Equally when a centre opens I'll be there ...

    Stay safe and great you're settling in to keeping occupied and no doubt amusing family and friends with antics ... all the best - and lovely to have the post - cheers are due I think - Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      I'm glad you liked that song, and even gladder you weren't already familiar with it. It's one of my favorites, and it was an honor to introduce it to you.

      HA... no Sunshine isn't her real name. It's just a description of her personality. (Her "real" name is Sarah.)

      It's good to hear you're still able to get out and about some. My forays away from the house are pretty much limited to the grocery store, but that beats not getting out at all.

      Not luck getting the vaccination here yet. I've been "eligible" for some time, but there simply isn't enough to go around yet, so I'll just bide my time. It'll happen soon enough, I suppose.

      Well, you take care of yourself, dear lady. It's always good to hear from you. A big hearty "Cheers!" right back at you!

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  11. You're doing a fantastic job at being a bad-ass.

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  12. You are so awesome! And it sounds to me like being a bad ass runs in your family. :)

    Just please, please be careful and don't hurt yourself, don't overdo it. We need you around here. :)

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    1. HA Thanks. Yeah, my daughter is a real chip off the ol' blockette...

      I'm being careful. I promise. And it appears I've spent most of a second day in a row sitting on my tush with the laptop on my lap. So no danger of injuries today!

      Take care, and be safe.

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  13. So good to see your post and to know you are getting so much done. Congrats on a big job well done ! We can really do most anything we set our minds to. Nothing is impossible. Hang in there and keep on going. Progress is always moving forward, one step at a time.

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    1. Thanks, sweet lady. You're right. We really CAN do a lot more than we think we can, but I suspect I may have benefited from some divine intervention, too. I still can't believe I dismantled all of the equipment by myself.

      Take care.

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  14. Well, I'm sitting up straighter, near ready to salute. Really. I'm certainly impressed ... and would bet Mike is, as well. (Is that an"Atta girl!" I hear?) I'd be inclined to leave everything to the other 'hams'; glad that's still a resource. Prayers lifted for your Sunshine. Can't wait to hear what's next up your sleeve!

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    1. Not sure if Mike would be "impressed" or ticked off at me for making so many changes around here, and for discarding so many of his years and years worth of "treasures." But I think he'd understand. I've got to simply things for the kids' sake. They don't need to deal with all our crap when I shuffle off to meet him. :)

      Thank you. I'm kinda looking forward to seeing what's next, too. It's all up to me, a realization that's both terrifying and exhilarating. Take care.

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  15. During the most trying times of life our inner strength and resources miraculously kick in, surprising us with what we are able to accomplish. Keeping busy is the best remedy for physical and mental salvation.
    I've been thinking about you and was delighted to see this positive and informative update. Please update us as often as possible (probably easier said than done)
    Take care...and Big Hugs

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    1. I think you're right about inner strength kicking in when we need it. Most of us never have a reason to push ourselves to the limit, but when the need arises, it can lead to some surprising self-discovery. I also think you're right about keeping busy. Thankfully, I have NO lack of things to do. :)

      Thanks for the good thoughts. I'll try to post more often. You take care, too. A Big Hug right back atcha.

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  16. Bad Ass Swiderski has a ring to it :-) Sorry that Sunshine took a knock, hope all her new metalwork settles in pleasantly. Sending love to you and yours and a whoop for your achievements xx

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    1. HA! Yeah, Bad Ass Swiderski does sound kinda cool... Maybe I should adopt it as a pen name if I ever get back to writing...

      Thanks, kiddo. Sending lotsa love to you, too. Take care.

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  17. -How come it's February, wasn't it only just August?
    -The last year has gone by so slowly
    -The last year has gone by so quickly
    -All of the above are true

    Sorry to hear about your daughter's accident. I hope she recovers fully and quickly!
    The Amazon delivery guy knocked on our door the other day to see if everything was alright as my wife hadn't ordered anything for two days!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s hopelessly habit-forming Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. HA! Your wife sounds like me. If I keep it up, Amazon is gonna assign me my own personal truck and driver...

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  18. Yes, you do have an excuse. But you are so right, time is going so fast and yet somehow the days seem to drag. I assume I'll wake up in the spring, after the hibernation period. My brain is in hibernation my body is suffering for it. :)

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    1. Yep, my... your... our... conception of time is pretty wack-a-doodle-doo right now. I dunno if that's a bad thing or a good thing. Maybe it's just a... thing. Take care, kiddo. I'll give you a call in a little bit.

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  19. Stud finder. LOL :)
    I think you're a bad-ass, too.
    Sorry to learn about your daughter. Sending prayers for both of you.

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    1. Glad ya appreciate the stud finder schtick. I actually used it this morning so I could hang a really cool picture of a steampunk cat in a gas mask. I recently painted and redecorated the main bathroom, and the new pic, mounted in a really cool wooden frame, is now hanging above the toilet. :)

      Thanks. Take care.

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  20. Susan, I am so proud of you! I am just a few months ahead of you on this journey, and I agree, sometimes the sense of self-sufficiency is a victory. I've cleaned gutters (although I'm a few inches too short to do a good job with any ladder I should climb), transplanted bushes, reset things I never knew about and everything in between. It took me a while to be able to read, but I can now, although I find myself turning on the TV for the company. My hardest task coming up is going to be to sell my husband's 25' sailboat. I dread it, but know it has to be done. Please know you are in my thoughts regularly. Onward is the only way. And thank you for the music...that was a trip down memory lane.

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    1. Thanks, Liza. I'm proud of you, too. And absolutely, this sense of self-sufficiency feels like a huuuuuge victory. Good for you cleaning the gutters! The guy next door came over and helped me get the leaves off of our roof... and I paid him in cookies. HA

      Yeah, it's gonna be hard selling his boat. It was the same for me selling Mike's vehicles... especially his Challenger, because that was his "dream car." But we do what we have to do, and the more we do, the easier it gets.

      Take care. If you ever need me, I'm just an email away. :)

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  21. So many of us have been feeling the same way, and we don't even have grief to deal with. Every day blends into the next and things we used to love just aren't that appealing anymore. It's like Groundhog Day over and over again. Very proud of you for blogging even once a month! Every word is a victory. Hugs.

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    1. Cathy!!! I haven't heard from you on Blogger in AGES! I thought you were only active on FB these days. Good to hear from you. :)

      Yeah, there is a certain sameness to every day, which can be both maddening and reassuring. Following some kind of routine makes it easier for me to put one foot in front of the other, and thankfully, I've got an endless supply of jobs to keep me moving.

      Take care. Hugs back atcha.

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  22. That stinks about your daughter's ankle. Hopefully it heals up, and at least with no travel she doesn't have to worry about setting off metal detectors lol

    Being able to prove to yourself that you can do things is great indeed. Binging away is fine too. Great when you can control the remote.

    I wish I was stuck in a better time loop though. haha

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    1. Thanks. Well, I heard from my daughter a little while ago, and the doc did put her in a boot today, so hopefully, she'll find it a little easier to get around now. And yeah... she'll never be able to saunter nonchalantly past a metal detector again.

      Good point. It'd be nice if we could choose a time loop from some kinda cosmic menu...

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  23. Sorry about your daughter. So many of us are feeling like this nowadays.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, the whole world seems to be mired in some kind of a parallel surreal existence.

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  24. As I have read by others, my life is like the movie Ground Hog Day. Same thing over and over.

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    1. That's a good way to describe it. It DOES feel a bit like the movie.

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  25. Sending love, friend Susan. https://youtu.be/X93BwCxCj98

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    1. Sending lots of love right back atcha... and congratulations, too! I heard you retired recently! That's fabulous... time for some rest for the weary, eh? Take care of yourself, sweetie.

      Nice video wishes. Thanks. Peace back atcha.

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  26. Hi Susan, You continue to amaze me! I keep hearing the Mission Impossible theme song playing, as you were dismantling Mike's amateur radio. I can't believe how much you've accomplished no matter how daunting the task. I'm sorry Sunshine has been through such a traumatic ordeal, and hope she feels better soon. I know you need your trusted sidekick with you to fight truth, justice and clutter!

    Julie xo

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    1. Hi-ya, Julie! Well, I dunno if the Mission Impossible theme was playing while I was doing the actual dismantling, but I'm pretty sure it was blaring in my brain before I got started. :)

      HA. Yeah, I definitely miss my sidekick. The doctor put her in a boot yesterday, so I'm hoping her increased mobility will enable her to visit regularly again. Maybe...

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  27. I like that video. There's an undeniable emotional chemistry between those two people that is captivating to me. The song is really good too. Congrats on getting the desk and equipment out, and yes, to you climb and get it, you get to keep it! I'm sure that will work out well! I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she gets her boot and heals perfectly. Injuries are no fun.

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    1. Yeah, there's something about that song that really resonates with me. And I'm definitely doing better, because I can now sing the part about "I built my world around you" without tearing up.

      Thanks. Being upgraded to a boot has improved my daughter's situation dramatically. She still has a long way to go, but things are looking rosier now.

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  28. I like that video. Injuries are not good, hope your daughter heals fast.

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    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed that video. So do I. :)

      Thanks. She's working on it. :)

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  29. Sorry to read about your daughters injuries, sending healing wishes.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks. I appreciate it. Thank goodness, she's making good progress.

      All the best to you, too.

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