My Fitbit Is (Probably) The Reason I’m An Absentee Blogger

Do you know what November is? If you guessed National Blog Posting Month, you are correct! If you think I mentioned NaBloPoMo because I plan to take part in the event, you are incorrect. I know damn well that there’s not a chance in hell I’ll get around to posting something every damn day this, or any other, month. As much as I like the idea of getting back to regular posting, my Fitbit gets angry with me when I sit at my computer. That said, my Fitbit is out of commission right now, so it has no control over me at the moment. I’m blogging tonight, and it has no say in the matter.

So what happened to the bossy device mentioned above? Last Monday, while at the gym, the wristband let go when I was wiping my sweat off of it. I’m lazy as shit lost without it. It’s under warranty, which is fantastic, but the strap I need is out of stock and won’t be available for a few weeks. I was even willing to say, “screw the warranty” and pay for one out of pocket (with money I don’t have) in a brick and mortar store so that I’d get it sooner, but all the places I know of that sell them are are out of stock too! Ugh! I know… #firstworldproblems . Whatever! 

You know what else my Fitbit doesn’t like me doing? Reading books! Since the thing has been off my wrist, I read an entire 900 page book.  It took me months to read my last book which was much shorter.

You might be wondering why the hell I’m so eager to get the damn thing back on my wrist if I’m back to (and enjoying) doing the things I used to do. The reason is simple. I’m thin and healthy again because its gentle reminders are the only thing that keeps me from spending too much time on my arse. I do not want to go back to who I was before my Fitbit.

 

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What to Do?

Before going to bed last night, I was asked by a friend what I would be doing today. My answer was, “I have absolutely no idea.” It’s now mid-afternoon, and I still have no idea what I’m going to be doing today.

As I type, I’m sitting at my desk sipping on my third cup of Kirkland green tea. I’d rather be drinking coffee, but I’ve been drinking WAY too much of the stuff lately. I love coffee, but it doesn’t love me. My body is screaming at me to detoxify. So, tea it is.

A friend emailed me (while I was writing that last paragraph) to ask if I wanted to go to the community garden to weed with her for half an hour this evening. As badly as I want to do something, I don’t want to do that. I didn’t even want to dash out into my own garden at lunch time to pick an onion, because it’s fall—translation, it’s freaking freezing.  Am I the only person on the planet who intensely dislikes this season? How many days until spring? Anyway…

Back to the not knowing what I’m going to do today. The one thing I want to do today, I cannot do, because there’s a piece of information I need to know before I can start, and the person who was placed in charge of the document containing that information, lost it. OMG! Talk about timing! An email notification about this very thing just popped up. For $12.49 the government will provide a copy of the lost document. But you know what? Before that can happen, a meeting must be called, and 5 people need to show up to authorize the $12.49 expense. [Expletive redacted]! I guess that settles it. The one thing I wanted to do today won’t be getting done today.

It’s time for a fourth cup of tea…

 

Photos and Commentary From A Rainy Day On The Road With My Dad

Holy long blog title, eh? Sorry, but I can’t be bothered to shorten it. Besides, it pretty accurately describes what this post is about, so I’m keeping it.

Yesterday, I had another appointment with my ophthalmologist at St. Martha’s Hospital, in Antigonish, regarding my latest eye drama.  As is always the case for my eye appointments, Dad was my chauffeur. I brought along my iPad (because I do not own a smartphone) to entertain myself while on the road. I used to take my DSLR along for this purpose, but my eyes are so bad right now, it’s difficult to use it. Oh, well… it’s temporary. I hope.

Our trip did not begin (or end) in Port Hawkesbury, but that’s where I began (and finished) snapping photos, so that’s where today’s play by play of our journey will begin (and end). You can follow along using the map below, if you wish.


For as long as I have known my father (45 years) he has never been able to go anywhere without stopping somewhere along the way to work. Yesterday’s trip to my ophthalmologist was no exception. Dad’s first pitstop was to fix a dryer in an apartment building.

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My view of the parking lot behind the Port Hawkesbury Fire Department from the parking lot of the apartment building where my dad stopped to fix a dryer.

The second stop Dad made was to drop off a (repaired) microwave at a furniture and appliance store in Port Hastings.

Reflection of window signage at the furniture and appliance store, and a truck on the highway.

The street and gas bar in front of the furniture and appliance shop. Yes, gas is $1.182/litre, thanks to hurricanes south of the boarder.

In the roundabout to leave the island.

Almost off the island.

While crossing the causeway, I missed an opportunity to photograph a trailer load of (what we assumed was) confiscated pumpkins. I didn’t see the enormous mound of orange sitting at the weigh station until long after my father had pointed it out to me.  Ugh! Stupid eyes!

For nearly half an hour after crossing the causeway, there was nothing interesting to photograph outside.  Somewhere near Linwood, I began taking selfies.

Makeup mirror selfie.

We started seeing “stuff” again as we approached Antigonish.

Badass clouds over Central Supplies.

Leaving the TransCanada at exit 33, Antigonish.

At this point we were only 5 minutes away from our destination, but… we were more than two hours early, because my father always insists that we leave home at some ridiculous time just in case there happens to be some sort of traffic delay. To the surprise of nobody other than my father, there were no delays. We needed to find something to do to kill time. Dad thought it would be a good opportunity to pay a visit to the insurance broker and raise the value of a policy on one of his rental properties. I stayed in the car and took selfies.

“OMG, I’m so bored” car selfie.

After the insurance business was settled, we met my aunt (Dad’s sister-in-law) at a deli on Main Street for tea. I took a few snaps from my seat at the table.

Guitar in the corner.

Through the window.

Also through the window.

Before leaving the place, I excused myself from the table to go to the washroom. When I returned, my aunt and my father were waiting by the door talking to a woman I did not know. I gather that when I was in the washroom, she had been introduced to my dad and was told about the family connection, because when I returned, she asked if I was related too. Dad filled her in. The next thing she wanted to know was my age. After telling her how old I am, her reaction was, “SHUT UP! NO YOU AREN’T! You’re joking right?” After the others had confirmed that I had told the truth,  she said, “you must have some pretty good genes then!”

After saying our goodbyes at the deli, Dad and I made our way to the hospital for my eye exam. I was certain that we’d be waiting there for hours, on account of it being so late in the afternoon, but that wasn’t the case. The doctor was only running 50 minutes behind. While it seemed as if everyone else in the place was bitching and complaining about having to wait so long, I was thanking my lucky stars that I’d out of there so soon.

My doctor’s office.

When I sat in the examination chair, I asked the doctor how long it would be before I could expect my vitreous detachment symptoms—the giant floaters—to disappear. The answer was complicated. I’ll try and simplify for you. It’s a brain thing. The longer I focus on my floaters, the longer I will see them. He said it normally takes 2-3 months for most to become blind to it. However, because I can’t see out of my right eye—thanks to my cataract—it’s likely going to take longer than that. Having the ability to see with my right eye would go a long way to help divert my attention from the floater in the left one. Aside from that, I learned that nothing has changed in my eye since I saw the doctor a week ago. I will be examined again in 3 weeks.

As usual, I left the hospital not being able to focus on a freaking thing. I kept my eyes shut for most of the drive home to keep myself from getting sick.  I can’t begin to explain what it was like when Dad stopped at Atlantic Superstore in Port Hawkesbury and I opened my messed up eyes.  I couldn’t decipher anything through the pelting rain. I snapped a photo, then closed my eyes again until we made it the rest of the way home.

Final stop on the way home—grocery store takeout.


For, Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. “Day Seventeen: A Map as Your Muse”

 

How Old Is Too Old To Be Playing With Animal Face Filters?

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was too self-conscious to share a single photo of myself anywhere on the web. My, how things have changed! I’d now go so far as to say that I might have become a little too selfie-obsessed.

I began cautiously dipping my toe into the selfie waters on Facebook. Then, after a crap tonne of positive reinforcement this Spring, I dove headfirst into selfie posting on other social media platforms. About a month ago, my selfie behaviour sunk to a new level of insanity when I discovered animal face filters on Instagram. I mean, really… how could it not? Who doesn’t look cuter with fuzzy ears and a sweet little nose?

 

Any other forty-something koala bears (or kittens, or bunnies, or puppies) out there?


For, Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. “Day Sixteen: Mine Your Own Material”

I Suck At Finding Everyday Inspiration

I’m failing spectacularly at Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. The twentieth, and final, writing prompt arrived in my inbox yesterday. I’ve only gotten as far as day 14. Of course, truth be told, I never really made it to day 14, because I skipped right over day 12 and, on at least 3 other occasions, I chose to substitute the assignment with whatever the hell I felt like doing at the time.

My plan for today’s post was to pick up where I left off, and tackle day 15. Unfortunately, I can’t really do that. Why? Because, one of the assignments that I decided to ignore in favour of doing my own thing was to ask my readers what I should write about in the future. Today’s assignment—Take a Cue From your Reader—is about using those suggestions. Oops!

It seems that the staff at WordPress must have anticipated that some people would be in the same boat as me, because they generously offered an alternative assignment for day 15.

If you don’t have any reader-submitted ideas to choose from, not to worry: head to the resource page for an alternate assignment. We’ve compiled five inspirational quotes — with sample prompts if you need them — to get you writing.

[yawn] I’ll pass on those suggestions too.

So, now what? Well… I’ve decided to stay somewhat in the sprit of taking a cue from my readers by kinda/sorta answering some of the questions I’ve been getting since my last post, when I abruptly quit writing because I was having eye troubles that scared me shitless. In case you missed that post, this is where I left off.

It’s 9:06 pm. I’m seeing a massive floater in my “good eye”. It’s scaring the crap out of me because of my history with my other eye. I’m signing off on this blog post now, because I’m kinda terrified right now and blogging is the last thing I want to be doing.

I went to bed relatively early that night because I had a feeling the following day was going to be an eventful one. It was. By 9:05 am I already had calls in to my ophthalmologist and my optometrist. My ophthalmologist wasn’t in his office, and my optometrist was fully booked and knew that he’d only have to send me to an ophthalmologist after seeing me anyway, so arrangements were made between both offices for me to meet my ophthalmologist—the one I’ve been going to since I was 12—at a tiny hospital way off the beaten track that afternoon.

When I arrived, I shared with my doctor how worried I was, and I thanked him for seeing me. He replied by telling me that the symptoms I had described over the phone were reason for concern and that he absolutely wouldn’t have not seen me that day.

As soon as he looked in my eye with his magnifying thingy, he said, “Yup. Okay.” Then he had me shift my gaze in another direction and said, “uh-huh.” He wouldn’t give me the verdict until he was finished his exam though. He’s annoying funny like that.

Anyway… what he discovered is that the vitreous has detached from my optic nerve.  It’s still detaching from other areas of my eye. While this is in progress, I will monitored, and it was suggested that I abstain from the type of exercise I enjoy most to prevent “anything we don’t want to happen” from happening while this is occurring.

While we were discussing my diagnosis, I told the doctor that I had made the decision in the morning that I will not be driving for as long as my vision remains this obscured. After hearing that, he told me that he will attempt to get my cataract surgery (in the other eye) done sooner. He expects that the visual annoyances in my “good eye” will stick around for a while, but said that eventually the vitreous will settle and the gigantic floater I’m seeing will no longer be there. That’s really everything that I know about what’s going on with my eyes at this point.


For, Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. “Day Fifteen: Take a Cue from Your Reader”

Tuesday Events

At 8:15 am I was awakened by the mellow reverberations of the harp alarm on my iPad. When I rolled over to dismiss it, I spotted a instant message notification on my locked screen.  It was a short and sweet, good morning and I hope I’m not waking you, sort of message that had been delivered at 5:04 am, by the last person I chatted with before falling asleep. It put a smile on my sleepy face.

At 8:45 am I finally dragged my lazy arse out of bed, staggered to the bathroom to do “bathroom stuff”, weighed myself, made my bed, then headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. A friendly word of advice… always weigh yourself between “bathroom stuff” and eating your first meal of the day.

After finishing breakfast, at 9:20 am, I made my way back to the bathroom. I removed the blue nail polish from my toes, showered, let the cat drink water droplets off my hair, towelled myself off, applied moisturizer, cut my toenails and pushed back my cuticles, got dressed, blow-dried my hair, then folded and put away the laundry that had been hanging to dry overnight.

At 10:35 am I checked my email to see what today’s WordPress Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration prompt is. It’s “Recreate a Single Day”. Easy peasy, I’ve got this one.

I put on a pot of coffee at 10:42 am, then went into my office to check Facebook. I poured my first cup at 11:00 am. It’s now 11:53 am and I’m nearly finished cup number two.

It’s 12:06 pm. I’m sooooooo hungry, but if I eat lunch now, I won’t make it until supper without having to eat again. Perhaps, I’ll grab a handful of walnuts? Yes, I’ll go do that right now. And I’ll refill my coffee cup while I’m at it.

I have spent the last 38 minutes trying, and failing, to not think about food. It’s currently 12:44 pm, and I think might be late enough for me to have lunch. I’m going to reheat the pasta and tomato sauce (from my own tomatoes) left over from last night, and I’m going melt a massive chunk of aged cheddar on top of it because I need some protein for this afternoon’s workout (and also because cheese is my favourite food in the entire world and I really, really want some right now).

It’s 1:34pm. I’m going to start getting ready for the gym now. I plan on leaving here wearing my very short spandex shorts, rather than changing at the gym, despite the fact it’s much too cold (16 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit) to be wearing summer clothes outdoors. Fun fact: I do not know how to spell Celsius or Fahrenheit. My attempts at spelling both words were so dreadful that my spell checker thingy couldn’t come up with suggestions for me. I had to ask Siri for help.

I arrived at the gym at 2:19 pm. As I had expected, it was too cold to wear my skimpy workout clothes outside, but it was definitely too warm inside to wear anything else. This rapid change is weather seriously sucks. Speaking of the changing weather, the members who took the summer off from the gym are back now. That includes the children who arrive off the school bus. Note to self… I really have to make a point of getting there as early in the afternoon as possible, because I have no patients whatsoever for the high school kids who use equipment as a place to sit, talk, and check their phones. 

I got back home from the gym at 4:19 pm, exactly two hours after I had arrived there. Before entering the house, I decided to pop in the greenhouse to water my plants. What a frigging mess in there. There was a windstorm yesterday, and it never occurred to me to shut the door. Empty water bottles were strewn everywhere, and the floor was covered with cherry tomatoes that had blown in from outside. I was squishing them with every step I took. When I got the greenhouse tidied, I came back in, grabbed a few bowls, went back outside picked another metric tonne of ripe tomatoes for sauce, and for tomorrow’s “garden stew”, a few beans, broad beans, and an onion.

At 4:43 pm, I checked my work email. There were two messages in my inbox and they were both shitty news. I’m choosing not to share the details. I will tell you though, that in both cases, I was being informed that something I had hoped would happen will not be happening.

At 5:01 pm, I got out of my gym clothes, washed up, put on my pyjamas and ate supper—a meal that, thank heavens, my Mom had prepared for me while I was at the gym.

After supper, I sat on the sofa sipping cranberry tea and reading Tumblr posts until 7:05 pm.

At 7:06 pm, I cleaned the cat’s litter box.

At 7:07 pm, the cat dirtied his litter box, and I cleaned it again.

It’s now 7:14 pm and I’m about to go paint my toe nails. I think I’m going to go with Revlon’s Bold Sangria. It seems appropriate for this colder weather we’ve been having.

It’s 9:06 pm. I’m seeing a massive floater in my “good eye”. It’s scaring the crap out of me because of my history with my other eye. I’m signing off on this blog post now, because I’m kinda terrified right now and blogging is the last thing I want to be doing.


For, Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. “Day Fourteen: Recreate a Single Day”

If We Were Having Coffee Right Now…

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that, last night, I had my first cup(s) of coffee in 5 days. A friend came to visit, so I brewed a pot. The two of us sat at the table and sipped on the stuff while we chatted away. When the pot was emptied, I brewed another. We polished that one off too. As you can imagine, we were both pretty wired. After my friend went home, we ended up chatting online until sometime after 4am—even then, neither one of us was the least bit sleepy. According to my Fitbit, I had 1 hour, 5 minutes of shuteye last night. That is why I’m drinking coffee right now.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that I’m behind in this Writing: Finding Every Day Inspiration  thing I’m doing. My excuse is that I’m spending all my “free time” hanging out with my friends instead. I can’t remember how many days behind I am. All I know for sure is that it’s more than one day. Anyway. I decided to skip day 10 and move on to day 11. I may go back and revisit that “assignment” later. Or not.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that I’m inundated with tomatoes from my garden. Like, I’m talking enough to make a batch of sauce every single day.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that I recieved an unprecedented number of compliments on my appearance this week. I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t letting them go to my head.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that my uncle—an uncle who sent me a Facebook request about a year ago and has been in regular communication with me ever since that day—figured out that I’m his sister’s child last night. I knew who he was from day one. I never imagined for a moment that he didn’t know who I was. After we had a good laugh about his revelation, he messaged my mom to ask her if I have any other siblings he doesn’t know about (yes, a brother). He then enquired as to when she and my father got together (they were married in 1970, and are still together to this day). My mom’s side of the family is super close, as I’m sure you can tell—not!

If we were having coffee right now… This is where I’d turn things over to you. What’s going on in your world?


For, Writing: Finding Every Day Inspiration. “Day Eleven: A Cup of Coffee”

To Write, or to Nap?

Through a bizarre series of right place, right time coincidences, I’ve recently found myself falling assbackwards into unlikely friendships, and juggling a full social calendar. Nobody is more surprised by this turn of events than I am. I have a well established reputation as a homebody.

Last evening, I got to sit around a kitchen table drinking, sharing stories, and busting out in belly laughs with new and old friends.  At the stroke of midnight, our host gave the last two survivors—me and an old high school acquaintance—the boot so that she could go to bed. The other evicted guest escorted me home to my door. A short time later, after he had made it back to his own home, we continued the evening’s festivities on Facebook Messenger. Evenings like this are pretty common for me these days. They are fun, but they sure are exhausting when you’re not used to them.

I’ve always been puzzled as to why bloggers often quit blogging just when they, as the saying goes, get a life. Why on earth would someone stop writing just when they’ve tapped into a fresh source of “good material”? Now that my life has suddenly gotten a whole lot more interesting, I’m beginning to wonder if all those people who have abandoned their blogs did so simply because they chose to nap instead of write. I know I could definitely use a nap right now.


For, Writing: Finding Every Day Inspiration. “Day Nine: Writing and Not Writing”

Holiday Drivel

It’s nearly dinner time, and I’m still in my pyjama pants. If that’s not bad enough, I’m parked at my desk chowing down on a ginormous bowl of popcorn. Ugh… I need to get my act together. This is a holiday! I’ve wasted the entire day so far. That ends right now!

Earlier today, I was invited over to a friend’s house for an evening gathering. Despite having no energy whatsoever, I’ve decided that I’m definitely going—right after I can convince myself to put on some pants. I’ve also decided that, since this is our last hurrah of the summer, I’m leaving the car home, and taking instead, the bottle of wine that’s been chilling in the fridge for the last month. Perhaps eating popcorn right before dinner and “resting” all day wasn’t such a bad idea after all?

Okay, I really need to get off this chair. Dinner isn’t going to cook itself, and pants aren’t going to magically find their way on  my body. Oh, one more thing! I need to go on a hunt for a flashlight for the walk home. It gets pretty dark here in the middle of nowhere.


If you’re wondering if I’ve given up on WordPress’ “Finding Everyday Inspiration” course, the answer is no. I just really hated the prompts for yesterday and today, so I did my own thing. I’ll get back to the suggested prompts as soon as they stop being stupid. Besides, I’ve already done the assignments in Writing 101. It’s a recycled course. I realized that a few days in.