So… 2021

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Here we are. A week into 2021. I hope the holiday season went well for you and your family and friends.

I don’t like talking about politics in this blog, but I’ll be honest – I’m still gobsmacked by the news and video that came out of the US yesterday. That’s not the kind of stuff one expects from the “leader of the free world”. It doesn’t matter who or which party did what and when. What happened yesterday was awful and those responsible for it should be prosecuted.

Yesterday’s events reminded me that I need to step back from the news. I got to bed a little after 3AM because I was glued to my computer screen, watching the (extremely boring) feed of the Electoral College certification. Why? Because part of me was still feeling ill from what had happened earlier in the day, part of me needed to see it officially finished, and part of me was certain that something else was going to happen. The later it got, the worse I felt (which is what happens when I stay up too late), and I didn’t do myself any favours by staring at the screen for hours after J went to bed.

So… I will be taking some steps to back away from some aspects of the news and embrace the little bubble I enjoy at home.

But I have to be careful about how much I do that, too. I went to the clinic the other day for an appointment and then picked up some groceries on the way home and even though it was very quiet out, I was quite uneasy driving and bring out – particularly in the store. Nothing bad at all happened. Things were just more difficult than they were a while ago. That’s got me a little worried that with all these video and phone appointments and not being able to go anywhere, I’m slipping a bit. That would be a real letdown too, because before all of the lockdowns started happening, I had big plans to go visit friends and family. Now I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it when things start opening up again (whenever that may be).

I’m still doing my best to keep my mind and hands occupied during the day. I still have a bunch of projects on the go, and I’m actually getting some done, too. J and I are playing computer games and watching shows together, which is fun and a good distraction from other things. I’m expecting to get a letter shortly that will give me a surgery date; once the surgery is done and healed up, I will be able to get outside and enjoy moving around quite a bit more.

I’ve made a lot of progress with the whole coffee thing. J’s been a huge help with that, and while I still need to wait for it to cool down a bit before I can drink it, it doesn’t make me want to gag anymore. And I’m only adding two of those Sugar Twin packets to it. No milk and none of those fancy flavoured creamers. I’ve done some more observing and while I thought for a bit that it helped get me going in the morning, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. No matter.

Tomorrow, FA is swinging by for a quick visit and to exchange baggies of electronic parts. We’re both working on things and are at the point where she has parts I need and I have some she needs. Don’t worry – no reason to call the COVID cops on us – we’re going to stay outside and a good distance apart.

This time of year can be difficult for people even when things are quiet and there aren’t restrictions placed on where we can go. Please remember that if you’re having a difficult time that there are people out there who want to help you and want you to feel better. Don’t be afraid to visit or contact a hospital or crisis line if you need to, and if you’re asking yourself whether you need to, then you probably should.

If you are in Canada, you can call or visit:

– Your local hospital

– Canadian Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566

– Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868

If you are in the United States, you can call or visit:

– Your local hospital

– National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

If you live in another region, visit your local hospital. You may also find help at the International Association for Suicide Prevention Crisis Centre List at http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

There may also be other helpful information and links on the Resources page.

You are not alone. You deserve to feel better, you are worth it, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Stay safe.

I Feel Busy But I’m Not Sure If I Actually Am

Song: “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

The last while has been interesting. I think I’ve been keeping pretty busy but I don’t have a lot to show for it. A couple of my projects are waiting for parts or consumables, which is a little more difficult now because the covid rules have us locked down pretty tight, and I’ve been having more trouble than usual motivating myself to start on something and then maintain focus once I’ve started. But there’s a lot going on, so my mind has been dancing all over the place I think.

I was also in a bit of a down for a while there, too. A friend of the family passed away, J’s job is coming to an end in two days, one of my uncles was back in the hospital with an infection and another had another tumour. The surgery I had back in September has undone itself so I need to get yet _another_ scan and _another_ surgery. My right hand isn’t working quite properly but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m still getting used to it after the elbow surgery, if I’m sleeping on it wrong, if it’s just going to take a while to get back to normal, or if there’s something else going on. A buddy of mine’s kid ran away from home a little while ago and is now spending most of his time high. I’m getting really tired of being fat. I’m really tired of people who think that wearing a mask is tantamount to to slavery. People who know me would agree that I’m a hermit, but even a hermit needs to get out and stretch their legs and say hi to people once in a while. And it doesn’t help that it gets dark at 4PM now, either.

But there’ve been good things, too. Both of my uncles are out of the hospital, and the one who had the tumour had it successfully lasered away so he’s already been back out at his cottage hunting with his daughter. I know I mentioned J’s job in the previous paragraph, but with all of the work she’s done lately and the ridiculousness that’s been happening there over the last while, I’m going to be very happy when it’s all done and she doesn’t need to worry about email or getting a text from someone asking her for help or to do something that’s not her job but she’ll do it anyway because nobody else can/will help and she’s a better person than I am.

I’m worried about what comes next but at the same time I’m kind of excited. J and I get along very well at home so that’s not a concern, but she’s concerned about what her next steps should be and there’s not much I can do for her except be here and be a sounding board.

Speaking of the hermit thing, I’m a little concerned about almost everyone I know because of how the lockdown is affecting things. I feel bad for the restaurants, stores, coffee shops, and other social places like concert halls and museums – once all this stuff is done and over with, the commercial and social landscape is going to look a lot different around here. But it’s not just the stores. My parents are climbing the walls at their house because they usually hang out with friends and go for walks and wander around stores. My mother-in-law can’t hang out with her quilt group or visit people. FA and DM can’t play any of their sports or enjoy their get-togethers with friends for brunch. J’s aunt can’t hang out with her friends or just go to a book store and wander around (which is something J really enjoys too). It’s just crappy all around, but it’ll get better.

I miss my friends, too. FA and DM, DA, WG… lots of folks out there I’d like to be able to visit with.

It also sucks that FA and I can’t hang out in person to shoot the breeze, eat burritos, and work on projects (and play with her dog). We’ve talked about setting up a video chat to hammer some project things out, and that would be good, but there’s nothing quite like arguing across a table covered in parts you can just pick up and wave in the air for emphasis. 🙂

Which reminds me… I had a phone appointment with the liver specialist a week or two ago. My liver is enlarged and its numbers aren’t quite right so my GP referred me (which I think is great). So since this was basically the introductory office visit (but over the phone), she asked me a bunch of questions about my habits and what was going on. Do I take drugs? Only the ones I’m prescribed. Do I smoke? Nope. Do I drink alcohol? Nope. Then: do I drink coffee.

Coffee? Merciful Neptune, no – that stuff’s disgusting!

I was feeling good about having another reason to not drink coffee when the doctor said that she wanted me to start drinking between one and three cups a day; apparently there is some correlation between drinking coffee and a reduction in liver damage from several causes.

The next day I had a phone appointment with my dietician. I asked her if there was anything that had the benefits of coffee but wasn’t disgusting. When I told her why I was asking, she said, “What? Seriously?”

A couple of days later, I had a phone appointment with Dr C. She asked me what was new (she’s a big proponent of making sure your body is ok along with your mind) and when I told her that I was supposed to start drinking coffee, she said, “What? Seriously?”

I spoke to my mom on the phone. When the liver and coffee stuff came up, she said, “What? Seriously?”

So yeah… J has been helping me get used to the stuff – I don’t like it because I don’t like hot drinks and I don’t like the taste of coffee at all – and we’re making some progress. I’m up to two cups a day now and I’m making progress and don’t feel like gagging while I’m drinking it now. Or not as bad, anyway. I need to let it cool down a bit before I can drink it, too. But there are some good things to me getting used to drinking some coffee during the day: there’s the whole liver thing, it also seems to help me finish rebooting faster in the mornings, and if I actually get to the point where I can tolerate it then there will be many more places where I can get free drinks. I was always the designated driver when I went to bars with friends, and coffee was always free but I had to pay for pop. Which is dumb. But there are coffee urns everywhere, so if I’m ever thirsty I can just stop in at a car dealership or a store or an accountant’s office or a faculty lounge at a university (one of the benefits of being old).

Otherwise, J and I have been watching more episodes of Bob’s Burgers (which is a hoot) and we’ve been playing Neverwinter online together. I think we spend more time talking and making fun of stuff than we do playing, but I think that’s part of what makes it so fun to hang around with her.

Anyway, this post has already gone on for a lot longer than I’d originally intended. I should try to get back into the habit of writing smaller posts more often than an enormous one every few weeks.

Stay safe.

I Haven’t Ran That Much In YEARS

Song: “Skyliner” by Charlie Barnet

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Today was pretty fun. FA had an appointment in our part of town and DM was at work, so I got to do something I’ve never done before: dog sit!

I was a little nervous beforehand – our house is not what you’d call dog-proof, and I’m not even sure how to dog-proof some things, but J and I moved around and tidied up what we figured was some common sense stuff and I would be supervising the pup the entire time so we weren’t too worried.

FA stopped by with the dog and a brief hello, then hopped back in her car and zipped off to her appointment. I felt a little bad for the pup because she stood staring at the door her person had just left from.

But then I got out the treats and everything was fine. I showed her around the house and then we sat for a while in the living room. J and I bought a toy for her yesterday and when I gave it to her she didn’t quite get it until I made it squeak, then she was all over it and it lasted about 14 seconds before she’d already started pulling it apart and I took it away. Then we sat and talked for a little bit and she plopped down and leaned against me while I gave her scritches.

Then we went outside. I kept her on her long leash at first because while our yard is fenced, I’m not sure if it’s dog-escape-proof. Our yard isn’t large but we went over every last square millimeter of it, sniffing away at all kinds of stuff, only pausing in that to jump up and give chase to a squirrel.

Then I got her attention with a fake chew bone (it had peanut butter in it) and I spent time scritching her ears again while she played with that. By this point I was feeling more comfortable about taking off her leash because just crinkling the treat bag slightly would get her attention instantly and she’d trot back over to me and give me puppy dog eyes.

Who’s a good doggy? My goodness, who’s a good doggy?

Picture of dog sitting on the grass, giving me puppy dog eyes for a treat.

I AM. NOW HAND THE TREATS OVER AND NOBODY GETS HURT.

Then – for reasons that escape me right now – I thought it would be a great idea to play chase-catch-wrestle, so there I went, running around the yard like a maniac, waving my arms and making whooping sounds. Any neighbours or people walking by probably think I’ve lost my mind – with the fence, they wouldn’t be able to see the dog – only my head and arms waving as I ran back and forth around the yard. She was good at keeping up, and I think she enjoyed it because her tail was wagging pretty good. Then I’d heave myself down to the ground and (gently) wrestle with her for a minute or two, but she mostly just rolled over to get belly rubs, for which I was happy to oblige.

Filled up a little container with water and she drank a bit, then we ran around the yard some more. And some more. And then some more. It was good fun, and I haven’t ran that much or that fast in a loooong time. FA and DM have been working on some commands, so I figured I’d see if we could try that, too. “High-five” ended up with me getting knocked on my butt by two paws in my face, but she’s getting pretty great at “sit”.

And what fun is looking after someone’s pet (or child, for that matter) if you can’t spoil it? I was splitting the treats in half but we still went through quite a few of them, but it was for a good reason – we practiced catching treats out of the air. She let the first couple of them bounce off her head but then she started to get the hang of it.

I’d had several plans for activities but they kind of all went out the window when she seemed to enjoy scampering around outside. And after what seemed like only half an hour, J and FA showed up at the same time and the three (four) of us had a good little chat outside. We showed off the tricks we worked on, ran around a little bit more, then FA and I took the pup on a short walk around the block before they got into their car and headed out.

It was fun! I’ve never done that before, but I’d be happy to do it again sometime. I’m going to be sore tomorrow but hey – a bit of exercise for an old fat guy isn’t a bad thing, right? I also really appreciated DM and FA trusting me with their dog, and J (as always) was fantastic with boosting my confidence and helping me prepare for a little furry guest.

There’s other stuff going on too, but it will have to wait for another post – I just looked at the time and I REALLY need to get to bed.

Stay safe.

To My American Friends

Today is going to be a strange day. I hope you and your family and friends all get to where you need to be safely, and you can spend your evening comfortable at home doing something that makes you happy.

Stay safe.

I Hate Halloween

Well… it’s that time of year again. We usually don’t get many trick-or-treaters on good years, and this isn’t shaping up to be a particularly good year so I think both J and I will be hiding in the basement with the lights off this time.

I feel bad for the kids who are going to miss out because of all the stuff going on, but I will be a happy man if everything’s done by 7PM and the streets are quiet.

Stay safe.

A Nice Long Weekend

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

This has been a good weekend so far. J has today and tomorrow off, and it’s been great to just hang out, relax, and get some things done around the house.

One of the things that’s been on our list for a while is the outdoor light above the front door. It’s got a little brain in it so that it turns on at night, but only runs at half brightness until it detects motion, at which point it goes to full brightness for a while. Well, a couple of months ago we noticed that it was doing this weird flickering thing so we turned it off. Not a big deal in the summer, but as it’s getting dark by 7PM now, having an outdoor light would be good. We did some online window shopping but didn’t find anything we liked, so we took the lamp down, ripped the guts out of it, and then put it back up as a regular lamp that we turn on/off with a switch. Might get one of those extra screw-in light detectors and see if it can turn on automatically again but at least we’re not in a big hurry to find something now. So that’s another item off the list.

With the days getting shorter and some of the other things going on, I’ve been feeling a little down lately. Had an appointment with Dr C on Thursday and it was one of the more difficult ones I’ve had in a while. Sometimes it’s easy to talk to her, while other times it feels like every word is snarled in a bunch of tree roots and I only have a butter knife to cut them free with. Four and a half years in, though, the sessions are still very important and I’m lucky to have Dr C as my therapist.

J and I decided to see if there were any new computer games we could play together and we ended up trying Neverwinter. It’s certainly not new, but it’s new to us. I think we’re both enjoying it, although it’s a little confusing in places (particularly when trying to figure out where you’re supposed to go). We’ve played Neverwinter Nights and NWN 2, so the fantasy-style game isn’t new. I think the most fun part of the game is when we talk about and mock the bad guys, particularly the big nasty looking ones who howl and take forever to fall over after you beat them.

We’re still watching Bob’s Burgers, too. I’ve been finding it getting funnier as the show goes on. We’re on season four but there hasn’t been much of a lull yet, although the first season was a little rough. There’ve been a lot of places where we’ve had to pause and rewind a couple of times because we were laughing so hard.

Otherwise, there isn’t a huge amount of stuff going on right now. This coming weekend J and I will be going into her work to sort out a bunch of stuff and load up our little truck to haul stuff to a couple of charities and recycling depots. If I remember correctly, the following week is going to be another appointmentpalooza. So I’ll enjoy the quiet calm we have going on right now.

Stay safe.

Accomplishment, Friends, Food, And Fun

Song: “In The Navy” by The Village People

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

I’ve been neglectful about my posts for a while now. That doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening, though. The last week or so has been pretty interesting.

First things first. The trip to FA’s place that I mentioned in my previous post went very well. No panic, no clawing at the doors trying to get home… it was great! There was a bit more traffic than I would’ve preferred but that’s kind of my own fault – I went there during the lunch rush hour and came home during the afternoon rush hour. But it was okay.

On the way there, I picked up burritos for FA, DM, and myself (which is a first for me and it was very nice to be able to return the favour), and stopped in at a pet store where I went right to the counter and said something along the lines of, “my friend has a new dog, I won’t see it all that often but I want to be best friends with it.” The cashier said she knew just the thing and showed me two different products, I picked the one that looked the tastiest (and had the best name) and got out on the road. Like I said, the roads were busier than I’d hoped but the drive was fine, I didn’t get lost, and I didn’t make a wrong turn and end up eaten by a giant lobster monster.

Had a great time there, too! Beautiful weather made eating outside very pleasant, and the three of us had a really good conversation. Plus, the treats seemed to go over well with DM and FA’s new dog. She already seems a lot more comfortable there and was wagging her tail a lot. FA and I spent a bunch of time geeking out over some electronics stuff and an old ship’s wheel that she has in her garage (don’t ask – it’ll take too long to explain and I’ll probably end up confusing myself), and talking about all kinds of stuff. Then the three (four) of us went to pick up the mail and they let me walk the dog on the way back. I’ve been around a lot of dogs over the years, but that was the first time in my life I’ve ever actually held a leash with a dog at the other end. So simple but pretty neat!

The drive home went well too – again, no wrong turns, and there was no cloying panic getting in the way. I got home with no problem. Pooped, but no problem. Aaaaand… driving out to FA and DM’s place by myself is one of the items on my list of things I REALLY wanted to accomplish this year! And I did it, woohoo!

So in addition to it being a fun day, it was also pretty big for me!

Then, on Monday, J and I both went over there again for a fancy little Thanksgiving visit and meal. The food was delicious – very nicely seasoned beef, dumplings, gravy, and yet another form of cabbage that I not only was able to eat, but quite enjoyed… and dessert was a lovely lemon and chocolate cake. The conversation was good as always, the weather cooperated again (which at this time of year is quite a gamble), and J and I had a fantastic time. Having friends like FA and DM is wonderful thing. They’re good people who are a pleasure to be around, we never seem to run out of things to talk about, they’re able to look past my many and wide-ranging faults, and they make reeeeally good food (which is not necessary to be a good friend but I’m happy to take advantage of it).

We also spent time playing with their dog, which was pretty great. She seemed even more comfortable than when I’d been there a few days prior, and I think the treats I picked up worked some magic because I not only got more wet dog nose in my face, but she was comfortable enough around me to lay down and let me keep petting her while she zonked out for a short while:

Petting a relaxed dogThe four of us humans all grabbed some treats and then called out her name to see how good she’s getting at responding. I think she’s getting pretty good at it but it’s entirely possible that she was playing us and just getting the treats. Still, I think all of us (humans and canine) enjoyed the exercise.

She’s also apparently quite the escape when DM and FA are out, so FA and I set up a little camera to keep an eye on her and see what she does while they’re away for more than a few minutes. Should be interesting to see what she gets up to!

It was another good day and J and I both really enjoyed ourselves. So many things worked out and it was fantastic to hang out and just shoot the breeze on a beautiful fall day (and eat good food (and play with the dog)) with friends.

As for J and I, we’ve been getting back into watching some shows. After finishing The Good Place (and being sad about its ending) we’ve been watching Bob’s Burgers. The first season was a little rough but since then it’s been really good. It’s clever, funny, and pretty uncomfortable at times (kind of in a Napoleon Dynamite way), and once in a while something happens or there’s a joke that makes J and/or me laugh pretty hard. Here’s an example:

As for the rest of this week, there’s not a whole lot going on. Work is still frustrating for J so hopefully things will be calm there, and hey – tomorrow’s already Thursday. I’m not sure how the weather is supposed to go but there are a few things I’m hoping to do out in the garage before it gets all damp and miserable. We’ll see what happens.

Stay safe.

Some Ups And Downs But Doing Alright

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: some

Ghosts: few

Fall is certainly here. It’s been below freezing at night once or twice now, the leaves have all turned, and it seems like most of the geese have already been overhead on their way south. I’m not looking forward to winter but I suppose the closer winter gets, the closer spring gets too.

It’s been a little more difficult than usual to get myself started in the mornings. I wake up, finish rebooting (as FA would say), and then I pretty much just want to go back to bed. I’m not particularly tired – in fact, I’ve been doing pretty well with sticking to the new sleep schedule – but it’s hard to build up some steam to get going on something. It’s a normal swing and not something to worry about but yeah… it’s tough to start working on something.

The bad part about that is that being idle isn’t healthy for me, so I’ve been doing my best to force myself to start in on something and spend at least five minutes doing it. If I can do that, often what happens is I start to get interested, and if I’m interested it’s a lot easier to concentrate and continue doing whatever hobby/task/etc that I’m doing.

Along with that, I’ve had the feeling that something is terribly wrong. No matter what I try, I can’t put my finger on what’s causing it. It varies in intensity but has been following me around like a little dark cloud for the last week or two. I’ve checked in with everyone, checked around the house, and have gone back through dozens of conversations and nothing seems to be the trigger.

I’ve also had a few nightmares (life jackets mostly, some tent) lately, and more of them than usual have sent me out to to the light in the living room to fight with myself to calm down. I don’t know what I’m doing differently – could be related to my mood or the shortening of the days or whatever. At least I’m able to get back to bed and I’m not losing too many hours to nightmares right now.

Had a Dr W appointment today. We talked a lot about my nightmares and how I feel that something’s wrong, and Dr W mentioned that a lot more people that usual are having trouble with mental health issues because of everything going on nowadays. Virus, politics, climate, economy, protests… all kinds of things are putting more pressure on people and making it more difficult for them to go about their regular routine. He didn’t have any answers for me aside from making sure I use the tools I’ve learned, keep in touch with him, Dr C, and my family and friends, and keep busy. We talked about medication for a while too, and we decided together that I’d lower my quetiapine another 25mg, so I’m down to 100mg of that per day. Not bad, considering I think I was at 700 when I first got out of the hospital. As always, Dr W said that if I’m having problems I can call him anytime, which I really appreciate.

As J’s job winds down, it seems to be getting sillier and sillier. I think one of the other supervisors she works with is having a lot of trouble with the whole situation, as she’s rarely making any decisions and the decisions she makes are increasingly erratic. J has been putting in a lot of work trying to keep things running smoothly and then this other supervisor just suddenly decides to ignore what’s been decided and documented and go her own way, without so much as an explanation or warning. I can see J getting frustrated and angry but she’s doing an amazing job of staying classy and professional. I’m really proud of her but I’m also worried about her, too. I wish I could go into her work and point and yell at that other supervisor, but I’m starting to think she’s having trouble keeping things together and talking to a professional would help more than someone yelling at her. Buuuut… she’s making my sweetie sad and I REALLY don’t like it when my sweetie’s sad. So I’ll just sit here and if J wants anything I will do my best to help.

Tomorrow I am getting together with FA for another geek-out session. The big difference this time, though, is that I will be driving over there by myself. J and I went over a week or so ago and hung out with DM, FA, and their new dog (who is such a sweetheart). I drove there and back and it was fine, so I think going there myself will go alright. I don’t need to worry about whether I make a wrong turn or miss a particular street – I’m familiar enough with landmarks in the area that I’ll be able to recognize it if I make a mistake and be able to turn around or change my route or otherwise correct things. Last time I checked the map, it did not look like this:

Old map with sea monsters as a map to FA's house

Public Domain + scribbles by Mark

FA and DM are also right up there on the list of people I trust and J will be at home, so that’s a lot of stuff off my mind right there. Plus, their dog is very calm and not jumpy and/or bitey (did I mention she’s a sweetheart?)

So… I’m not feeling my best right now but I’ve got a lot of good stuff going on. Tomorrow should be fun and interesting, and hey – I may get to play with a dog!

Stay safe.

Post-Nightmare Panic Attack In Progress

Headphones on and Undertones playing really loud. It’s 4:15AM. Fan on to cool me down and forthe sensation.

Nightmares suck. Panic attacks REALLY suck. Nighmtares AND panic attacks REALLY REALLY suck.

Grown adult, cowering in th elight of the living room while every cell in my body screams. I want to punch through the wall and go run down the strret and never tstop. I want to curl into a ball that gets smaller and smaller until I feel better.

I am almost unaware of whats’ going on outside my skin but every sound that makes it through the music makes me twitch. I just ne

Fucki t, I’m taking some PRNs. That’s what htey’re for.

Stay safe.

Home Alone

Song: “I’m Running After You” by Major Hoople’s Boarding House

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

J had some furniture to deliver so she headed out yesterday afternoon and is staying with her parents this weekend. So I’ve got the house to myself.

Some great news first – J stopped at my folks’ place to drop off a chair and visit for a bit and she heard that my uncle who has a lump on his liver got the results from a scan and it’s just in that one spot! He’s been through a lot already and he’s a really good guy, so I’m very happy about that!

Other great news – FA and DM got approved to adopt a rescue dog and she arrived yesterday! They’ve been talking about getting a pup for years and I know they’re going to be fantastic puppy parents. I’m so happy for them! From the sound of it, the dog is already doing a good job of training them to get what it wants. 🙂

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting more unpredictable so I took advantage of the clear, warm air and light breeze and stained most of the deck. I’ve been meaning to do that for years now, and the original treatment is worn and the wood is starting to weather in places. It went really well… aside from the hour plus that it took me to stir the goop at the bottom of the can back into the stain. I don’t think one of those paint stirrers that go on a drill would’ve been much help – it was like hard margarine at the bottom and I had to scrape it up layer by layer. It was fine, though, since it was so nice I just sat on the deck steps and watched the wildlife go about its business in the yard while I slowly scraped and stirred.

Geez, that was a long paragraph. Anyway, the little paint sprayer we just bought seems to do the trick quite nicely and the majority of the wood is protected now. Depending on the weather I want to get back out and finish it up soon.

With J being away, I’m having a little more trouble with ghosts than I have lately. There are lots of folks outside doing things, too, so that often catches my attention (in a bad way). Not a huge problem, though.

Otherwise, I’ve been keeping myself busy with my usual puttering kind of stuff and watching some movies. Nothing too fancy, but that’s how I like things right now. I’ve got water boiling on the stove to make some perogies for supper and I think this evening will be pretty quiet-ish too.

Stay safe.