Story 05Mar2022: More Usual Day

Another night with sleep, and I did roll-over and went back to sleep when I woke at 5:30ish with the sunrise. My working hours time to get started is 5:30 in the summer. I like to get up in time to chat with folks working for Nike in India who are having a late dinner, usually at that time. But now I am on leave, so I stick to getting more sleep when it comes and trying to focus on staying well enough to keep going through chemotherapy.

Today I am proud to say today was a bit boring and typical. I started the day reading emails and seeing some war news. I keep with the self-care and limit my exposure to the war; darkness is not what I need to survive, even when it is accurate and important.

In my writing, I am noticing more autocorrections to the wrong words. I must carefully check that this overly helpful feature does not hash up my sentences. It appears that Apple or Grammarly have made some updates that are aggressively replacing words.

I was dressed and ready about 12:15 with the blog published about an hour after I finished it as I forgot to post it on FaceBook and sent an email.

I was feeling a bit off, so I drove the wrong way to get to Forest Grove and had lunch at Old Chicago Pizza (OC). They have a very tall ceiling at OC, so the air movement seems OK, and folks wear masks when they come in and leave. The staff is carefully masked.

The menu has been reduced, and my strombolis are not on the menu, so I ordered a calzone instead with a side salad and a box for 1/2 of the calzone. It is too big for lunch unless you want a calzone coma later. The calzone is nothing to be excited about; it is a standard pizza joint style, with the pepperoni being perfectly cut and thin and industrial. But the peppers and onions are fresh, and the olives, while from a can, are plentiful. The salad is a work of art with almond slices, freshly made, almost too cold to eat, and the blue cheese dressing familiar but good. OC salad is what brings me back. I love pizza-styled food with a great cold salad. I donated $2 to Special Olympics on my bill and get a free dessert next time.

The drive to the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A, was longer from the OC and used Cornell Road. This is a more urban street with lots of traffic and nights. Air Volvo was unhappy when a car in front of us suddenly slowed down for another vehicle that selected to abruptly brake and make a right turn. The trolley bells and even a blinking red image of a car rear-end on the dashboard pointed out that I needed to brake. I did, and the other vehicle also sped up, and Air Volvo calmed down.

After reaching the facility and getting checked in, I found Susie asleep in her bed. Her roommate let me know that Susie had just laid down and had been in the wheelchair all morning since 7AM. So I was later than usual, 2:30ish, and shift change was already completed at the nursing home.

As is our usual practice, I called Susan’s mother, Leta, on FaceTime, and they chatted for longer today. I checked with the nurse what was Susie’s vitals while they talked. They are the same as the last. Susie’s blood pressure is always low but stable at about 100/60. She is not having any more discomfort from stomach issues.

Susie had trouble with some words today. We then repeated all the words, and she was able to get them after a second try. “Hummingbird” was perfect on the third try. We then started on “Moses supposes his toes are roses” saying as practice. I then found the Singing in the Rain video, and Susie and I sang along: Moses Song.

After that, I found the other videos of the song and dance routines from Singing in the Rain. We did sing along with Good Morning as it is hard to resist not singing along with that routine. Of course, I have no idea how many times I have seen this movie (we have the DVD). If the war or just life is getting to you, I strongly recommend getting a copy of this movie and watching it often.

We did some rock videos after this for Susie to sing along to. She was tired, and we did not finish Stair Way to Heaven, the extended version (not sure anyone finishes it). I left her with a few kisses on my mask. I always have a mask and gloves so that she can hold my hands for a long time (chemo can leak from my hands if held for a longer time).

From there, I drove Whole Foods, again on Cornell Road, and went grocery shopping. I have not done this in six months. I usually order online, but today I wanted to get the exercise of doing this and pick out my own stuff. I managed to fill the cart and enjoyed over $280 bill when I was done. I buy meat at Whole Foods as it seems better and not much more expensive than the other chain grocery store, and this always gives me a higher bill. I did regret that the cheap butter was sold out. I use unsalted and apparently do many of my fellow Oregonians, leaving me to enjoy higher-priced and supposedly higher quality butter.

I brought the bounty back to the Volvo Cave. Corwin made dinner with some of the new purchases, and he used North African red sauce lemony olive that did not go with the cheese stuffed pasta. Corwin baked, on my suggestion, the mild Italian sausages from Whole Foods. That really worked. So a nice dinner and some lessons for Corwin on cooking: Don’t mix strong flavors.

I spent most of the night creating a new character for our Dungeons and Dragons Sunday game. It took a few hours as I was out of practice, and the 5E Monk class was new to me. I also had to find the rules for Drunken Master. My new character, Vlad, is overly fascinated with brewing, and his secret desire is to return to the Brewer Guild with the perfect brew, but there are rivals everywhere seeking to stop me. So, effectively, I am a Belgium Brewing monk.

I finished the next book in the Old Man’s War series. It was another page-turner. I was reading as fast as I could while my Kindle kept warning that it needed to be charged. I managed to finish the book before the Kindle shutdown. Although I thought the first book was good, the second book was fantastic: The Ghost Brigades.

I ordered a physical book, yes I did, The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840, as part of my continued exploration of the history of the USA. It is time to learn the history from folks no longer trying to force a narrative that justifies the past. I just want to know the truth.

I slept after that and woke with the sunrise.


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