My Novels

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

You just know

 Sometimes your life had a turning point. In retrospect as you age, you realize where it all went wrong. 

In my life, when I had the chance to escape, I didn't because I thought family was important.  But that is not true: Your life is yours alone. You will never get that chance again and I suggest you take it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Magic Carpet Ride

Progress! "They Walk These Hills" finished! It is about 10,000 words, involving a vanlifer who wanders into a haunted campground. Had this idea a long time watching Youtubers. But now what? Do I publish via my Amazon platform, or submit to publishers of weird fiction? No decision yet.

In personal news: went to my GP for regular wellness yearly checkup. No word on blood work yet, but hoping it all turns out okay. Ya know, that cholesterol baseline of 150 is so they can get everyone on statins. I have refused those in the past, since my level is just barely over 200. It has been consistently at that level since I was 48, and I'm 71, yeah, not taking statins to destroy my liver (which then entails more meds). I wish I didn't have to take a few prescriptions, but at least only two are essential. And have been on those for 20 years.

I did mention assisted living to the GP and he shook his head, nixing that idea. I guess they consider that surrendering, giving up or something. My last GP (for 40 years) always said that he was very careful about making a judgment of "disability" because it was discouraging and caused the wrong attitude. Not sure about that.

At any rate, I used the bike machine for 4 1/2 miles this morning. I still have osteoarthritis problems, just have to be careful not to overdo. Not sure what I will do about the exterior/yard problems but may hire better lawn care that will handle the grass as well as shrub trimming, limb trimb, etc. A lot of lawn care people don't want to include that in their services. Sigh.

What else? Again, I find myself trying to discern the line between patience and impatience. Once I stop fretting about issues, like yard care, etc. I tend to fall into a pattern of ignoring it all. And when I'm writing, I really don't care about the exterior. I could be in a prison cell as long as I have pencil and paper. (Realized this eons ago as a writer.) Not sure if that is a good thing, or not. But let's call it my magic carpet ride...

That is it for now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

How the patience resolution is working...or not

 I think there is a thin line between patience and procrastination...and unfortunately, it's difficult for me sometimes to discern that.

I mean, occasionally I get too ambitious...thinking I MUST get something accomplished, when in fact, it is not urgent. For example, I have a garage that is partly stacked up with leftover material from home improvement projects. I can't do any of the cleanup myself; it would destroy my back. So why worry since there is still plenty of space in there, and no rush in getting it cleaned. This is a project that can wait till late spring or summer, since it will be warm and will include whoever I hire to take a load of stuff to the county dump.

Then there's my walk-in closet. I keep the clothes updated, discarding those that are no longer useful. But the higher shelves have stuff that need to go: an old printer, a box of electronics I no longer use; varius and sundry objects that just got shoved there due to being no longer needed. I cannot climb and lift overhead, or risk a fall from a utility ladder. That should be done prior to the garage, since some of it can be put out there. And it will need to be done by anyone I hire to do an organizing, cleaning of my overall house. Which I keep putting off, due to procrastination. I have never had my house cleaned by anyone, and pride myself on keeping a clean, tidy house. The idea of strangers going through stuff is not appealing, but the time has some due to my physical limitations. Sigh.

Just the act of writing this down has somewhat cleared my confusion, so I can determine what is first.

On the other hand, I can't abide a messy environment, and at some point, I am going to have to screen and settle on a regular inside cleaning person who can come at least once a month. That is a daunting task, and as a senior, I dread it. Not a monetary issue, more of a trust issue. I don't trust easily.

However, at present, I am working on a new writing project: writing fiction again! That is a big plus. I have been unable to sit at my desk for prolonged writing sessions, but discovered a wireless keyboard allows me to write on my large tablet with keyboard in lap while I sit comfortably on the sofa. I am about 5,000 words into a new ghost story, and don't want to quit until I have the rough draft down. That is the good news.

The bad news is that I have started having a hip issue, which I thought had improved. In fact, after the initial flareup back in December when I had to see an orthopedic doc for MRI and bone density scan and was told I have no fractures, but that my bones are fragile, that nothing can be done...I had improved. So much so that I got back on my exercise bike and was fine as long as I only did 3 or 4 miles every other day. Then I pushed it to 5 miles, and the flareup happened. Now I'm limping around with hip/buttock pain...not even sure the bike caused it. Actually the pain started when I simply moved my leg flat in BED! Argh. Trying to take it easy now, hobbling around like a cripple...which apparently I am now an arthritic cripple.

I have an appointment with my GP for regular checkup next Monday and going to discuss seeing a rheumatologist who might be able to help me manage my condition. However, from research, I'm not optimistic on any treatment. Biologics are too expensive, as well as having seriously bad side effects. Old age ain't for sissies, folks.

I'm sitting here looking out at my backyard, dreading a line of thunderstorms coming tonight and tomorrow. Possibly even tornados. I have been through a cat-5 tornado and a hail storm that caused lots of damage to my property a few years ago. It has left an indible mark on my mindset: why bother to do expensive maintanence when boom, it's all for naught when the next storms wipe it out. Tired of all this, and at times, just wish I could go to assisted living -- as long as I had privacy and space to write when I wish to. Indecision.

But these are decisions I alone can make, and I've rehashed it all ad infinitum with family. Lots of advice, but in the end, still up to me.

And that is where I am in my life right now. I did get my eyes checked, and stronger glasses. That helped. I still have to see my dentist sometimes soon too. Keep putting it off, since I am not having a pressing issue.

Life goes on until it doesn't. Maybe I should go with the flow and see what happens next, without planning. Plans rarely go well for me anyway. Or as I say: Things can always get worse, and usually do for me.

A bit of positivity: I did get my taxes done. 

And that is it for now, though maybe I can make regular updates now that I found a way to write comfortably.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

New Year's Resolution: PATIENCE!

Not exactly the very first day of the year, but better late than never, I suppose.

Yes, I really need to practice patience. Especially in light of the fact that two orthopedic doctors have told me my bones are fragile, that I can get a fracture easy (though I've had several falls and no breaks); that I must not do certain things, such as heavy lifting, yard work, etc. At 71, not sure what I expected: but hey, I'm alive! 

I had a bad year, lots of back deterioration and pain -- that apparently cannot be addressed. It's as if no one dares speak of pain relief anymore; it's just to be endured. Alrighty then.

I was referred to a rheumatologist who simply manages conditions like I have: herniated discs in back, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, etc. But not sure I'll see one, because some of the actual treatments (biologics, steroids, etc are worse than the condition). I will discuss it with my GP in about a month on my regular six month checkup for medication refills. Sigh.

I have felt that I should be preparing for assisted living, and I am to some extent. But not sure when, because I still have Muffin to care for; she is 11 now and has her own arthritis problems -- which she gets better care for than myself. I suppose the alternative is to keep hiring yard care (though with more tasks than previously such as trimming hedges, etc that I had been doing). And try to find house cleaning at least on a monthly basis. I can still do basic stuff, but others are getting too difficult for my back. And not just back, but knees, feet, etc. I can do it, but then suffer for weeks. Not worth it anymore.

I have slowly managed to get to the point I can use my exercise bike every other day for four miles. Had to stay off for a couple weeks, due to back strain/pain. It helps for a little while, as long as I don't overdo it. 

Back to patience: when it comes to hiring help, I'm learning you just have to be patient. Something you would normally jump up and do yourself, you have to wait, wait, wait for hired help to arrive and take care of. I spent so much of my marriage waiting for hubby, who was in LE, and then dashing any normal expectations of timely arrival...have a difficult time now with waiting! Alas, I can see that this is going to be my life for the remainder of time here...and elsewhere. It is hard to slow down, be more deliberate and careful in daily activities. As the saying goes: Old age ain't for sissies.

What else: Muffin is doing quite well on glucosamine/chronditin and an occasional doggie aspirin. So that is good. And I won't have as much maintenance outside this spring, nothing like having the back porch rebuilt. Mainly the garage needs to cleaned out, and my walk-in closet also. I will hire someone to do that, because I cannot be climbing, dragging and carrying heavy items. Maybe when the city has spring cleanup, since we can put stuff on the curb for free pickup. (A nice perk of city living here.)

I really don't write much any more; have found no way to be comfortable for long sessions in front of a screen. Right now I'm using a laptop with tray over my lap. I can manage this position, but it is not sufficient for editing/publishing. I have three novels finished, but other than a few edits, just can't do the work of publishing. May never again. And that is okay...I miss it, yes, but then again, I'm not as sharp as I used to be. Sometimes you need to know when to quit; I see far too many seniors doing things they aren't able to master any longer. That is sad. I believe in knowing your limitations, and that is one of the greatest lessons you learn as you age. Keep pushing it and you will pay -- one way or the other!

With that said, everyone ages at a their own pace. What is good for me might not be good for you. But self-knowledge in older years is important, probably the most important and crucial. For one who never let any grass grow under me, always taking care of tasks, writing, is not easy to take it easy. On the other hand, doing things that end up causing me painful misery (sometimes even a couple days in bed) have to be curtailed. 

Back to New Year's resolutions: Patience, deliberate diligence about when and what I do; slow down, there's nothing on fire. And if something doesn't get done right NOW, there is always later. Sigh.

Maybe I'll write a progress report in a month or so, see if I am able to abide by these new rules?

 Over & out for now.