Today 29Dec2022: The Last Thursday in 2022 and on PTO

Today, Thursday, I was going earlier in the morning with me writing the blog before 7:30 and having a breakfast of ham and banana plus liberal coffee freshly made by French Press. I did my stretches and rode Susie’s bike for five minutes. My legs got tired, which surprised me. The lifts I did for Susie on Wednesday were more impactful than I realized. I got dressed and found I was tired, which was unexpected.

I forgot to take any photos today, sorry.

I had a Physical Therapy appointment at 11:45. I stopped by the post office and mailed Cat her Christmas present to her NYC address. I shared my copy of Lamp Black with her, so she knows what it is. Now running close to the time, I drove with some efficiency.

The road is closed by police and emergency equipment. I had to drive through a local neighborhood of McMansions–we are adjacent to the golf course with the expensive houses surrounding the course. I arrive only five minutes late and meet with Colin.

He diagnoses a leg weakness and agrees with my assessment that we are just under 50% of the best I could be. The pain is no longer harsh in my right leg, but now less and centralized in my back. Stretching, going very slowly, and light exercise should remove the rest of the issues. Four more sessions are booked. Colin is happy with my progress.

I have chili at Bethany Public House–not far from where I get PT. The food is better this time, and I have a diet Pepsi (no beer when headed to see Susie). I rush as Michelle and Cat Smith will meet me at the hummingbird house to see Susie. The incident with the emergency equipment is still blocking Bethany Road. I retrace and reverse my track, and the backup of vehicles is now massive in the other direction, but I make good time as, apparently, few cars are leaving the area. I am soon on 26 to 217 with the usual slowing for a workday. I am on Paid Time Off for Thursday and Friday.

I arrive at Susie’s place without any more issues. I park in the additional parking slot to allow Michelle to easily park. Susie is in her recliner in the shared living room. Jennifer moves Susie to her wheelchair, and we move to the social room to meet with Cat and Michelle. While waiting, we call Leta, Susie’s mother, and Susie and she have a good talk on my iPhone using FaceTime.

Michelle and Cat visit and Susie is thrilled to have visitors. We talk for a while, and Cat and Michelle give Susie some plants, an Orchid (Susie’s fav), and an amaryllis bulb that is already starting to grow. Susie has one from my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Martin that is almost ready to flower. Susie loves flowers, and the two bulbs should follow each other, perfectly timed.

Susie is fatigued from yesterday’s trip to the movies and soon is forcing herself to stay awake. We bring the joyful visit to an end, and Susie goes to get some rest; Jennifer (the live-in nurse aide) takes over as we leave. It is essential to leave quickly as Susie gets sad when her visitors leave. Jennifer steps in and asks Susie questions to distract her as we leave.

Aside: Susie had a rough night and got little sleep. I was not called in, but it is why I am always ready to take a call or travel to the hummingbird house. I limit my night activities and travels so I can easily and quickly come to Susie if she panics.

I head home, stop by the local Safeway, and buy groceries, including the supplies to make a huge batch of Goan Vindaloo Pork from scratch. This is a recipe from the American Test Kitchen (sorry, this one is behind a pay-for requirement), but I have the physical book. The recipe is not complicated, except my blender is too old school (more designed to make drinks and break ice cubes than grind spice to paste), and I cannot make a paste out of the herbs. So the sauce has a few rough parts, literally, and the flavors are a bit muted–but still have two hours; I have a decent huge pot of Vindaloo. Next time I will use the food processors (somewhere in the pantry) and increase the spices a bit.

I cook basmati rice from India in the usual manner to go with it. I had a few bowls. I pack the rest in the glassware from Gene and Glenda in the frig. I have a pile of dirty dishes. Except for the large pans, I managed to put everything in the dishwasher and run it.

While I cook and clean and eat, I watch the newest Dr. Strange movie–I really like this one. It is a good mix of goofy action and hard emotional choices, and despite it being over-the-top with special effects and action scenes, it seems to properly dispel disbelief for me. I recommend Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PG-13 2022 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2h 6m). 

I am reading and enjoying the book Nameless Serenade (The Commissario Ricciardi Mysteries), which is nine in the series. I recommend the series as it checks my list for crime-mystery novels: Set in the past (1930-40), set in an exotic place (Italy), includes some supernatural (the inspector is haunted), has repeating secondary characters that are lovable or fun, makes me laugh, and has emotional depth. Lastly, you don’t have to start with the first one as each book stands on its own, but it would be better to start with the first one–it is delicious. Recommended. I read them on my Kindle as I can increase the font, and the books are hard to find in bookstores and libraries. 

I went online and spent my Christmas gift on a unique book that only the kind gift of Leta would let me buy. I ordered the reprinting of the 800+ page Exporter’s Encyclopedia 1927 on Amazon–it will be reprinted from a scan in India, bound in leather, and shipped here. I searched the Internet, and only the reprinting was available. While most people would not want to know every last import regulation in the world in 1927 (and I have the 1918 version, an original copy), that is a treasure trove for a writer like me. I can use it to build real shipping scenarios for the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu and for any writing I want to do set in the 1920s. Yes, I have the original 1920 archaeological reports on Stone Henge. I have a copy of the summary of science produced in 1925 by Scientific America. I have a catalog from Sears from that time. Thanks, Leta, for the perfect present.

I also purchased some stamps for my collection. There is nothing interesting to share unless you collect stamps; other than that, I bought the proof of USA 164 for a discounted price in an auction (the auctions are wholesale pricing and require some knowledge to avoid buying poor stuff at high prices). There is only one known regular USA 164, and the sale was over 1/3 million dollars for it (a recent deal)–here is the best information (repeating from a few blogs ago): Swedish Tiger 164. The proof can be expensive, but I got to fill that slot in my album for not much cash, which is excellent.

Aside: With the collapse, as I was expecting, of cryptocurrencies, the prices of old USA stamps have also slid. The Cryptos (those folks who use and support these instruments) bought investment-grade USA stamps at high prices (at least, I think it was them). From what I could detect, some of the values of the so-called stable cryptocurrencies were in hard assets, which I suspect included USA investment-grade stamps (coin prices were high for the same reason). For the valuation to be straightforward, often a certificate or slab (a plastic container that held the stamp with a rating of its quality) would prove the basics for the stamp. I stayed away from this market as it was high and running straight-up like cryptocurrencies, which now appear to be failing. Returning to my purchases, that proof went cheap (it did not have a certificate, but proofs are easy to value and understand). My latest auction successes were all at 50% market value or better–yup, some money is missing from the market. Also, the really crazy folks that put 401K money into their collections (!?) appear to be missing as the stock market is down more than 20%. There is less cash out there. I buy the stamps at good prices for those missing spots in my album.

I got up and ordered a solo board game, 414 BC Siege of Syracuse, after seeing a review of it. A short solo game sounds interesting. I purchased, not on Amazon, from a game seller on Board Game Geek for less than the Amazon price, including the extra for shipping. This is from a series and a favorite game designer, and various versions exist. I am excited to try it.

I had trouble sleeping and finally slept at about 2ish.

Thanks for reading.

Allegiance Senior Care

Adult Foster Care Home

9925 SW 82nd. Ave.

Portland, Oregon 97223

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