#Deucember – Day 10 – Why I Didn’t Like Knives Out

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Warning:  This post contains a slight spoiler that probably isn’t a spoiler anymore since the movie has been out for a month now, but I’m posting this little disclaimer anyway.  If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know anything about it beyond the trailers, stop reading now.

Something you should know about me:  I HATE throwing up.  I mean, I guess no one really likes to throw up, but I seriously hate it.  In addition, one of the recent trends I’ve noticed in film and television is that for some reason when anyone throws up, it has to be SHOWN.  Not that someone getting “that look” and starting to heave and then running down the hall doesn’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen.  Not that those particular noises behind a closed door doesn’t tell you exactly what’s going on.  No.  We HAVE to see the person bent over and vegetable soup or whatever the props department uses exploding out of their mouths and pseudo vomit on their lips or in their hair or whatever.  It’s gross and disgusting and I hate it.  There, I said it.

So you can imagine my disappointment when, all excited to see this movie and enthralled by the entire cast, and just DYING to hear Daniel Craig do another Southern accent (if you haven’t seen Logan Lucky, you are seriously missing out), I am treated to an entire fucking movie based on the quirk of one character (not Craig) throwing up on cue.  Yuck.  YuckYuckYuck.  Seriously, it ruined the entire thing for me.  I just couldn’t enjoy the movie very much after that first reveal.  Why couldn’t she have farted or something instead?

I managed to get through the entire thing, including the, ahem, explosive, ending.  But I wasn’t much interested in who really dunnit by then, and I honestly didn’t care what happened to any of the characters.  I just wanted my stomach to settle and get out of the theater.

And that, for this die-hard movie lover, was really sad.

#Deucember – Day 9 – For the Solstice

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Breathless

Dead branch fingers reach
In supplication,
Adoration framing Her round fullness
In the silverpale sky;
The clouds try to cover Her,
Fly before Her, but
Reflected radiance chases
Them away until
They sweep ’round Her,
Circling the orb with
Crystalline prisms of shattered rainbow light.

This night is hushed
Thin blanket of snow
Sprinkles silence with each unduplicated flake,
Winter’s kiss falls softly,
The percussion of bare limbs
Makes muted rhythm behind
The melody of wind.

The world waits under this
Silver perfection, paused in
One eternal instant,
Open and awake within the
Quiet winter somnolence:
She knows
Hibernation is not dreaming,
Meditation is not sleeping,
And stillness is the Center of every dance…

Tonight the dancing meets the pause,
A holy pas de deux
Whirling snow rising upon the soft, cold winter wind
Hanging for that illuminated second,
Weightless in the crisping air,
Until She breathes once more;
The stillness cracks,
And we dance again
Around the axis of the world.

#Deucember – Day 7 – Another Day

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I’ve fallen behind on Deucembering already.  I had to work two solid 12-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday nights, and the rest of time I was sleeping or trying to sleep, so that took a bite out of writing time and I had a list today and I tried to get through most of it.  It’s now just after midnight into another day, but I managed to get most of my list done, which makes me happy.  I actually did my laundry AND put it away today, something that almost never happens.  Usually the clean laundry just gets worn out of the basket and then tossed on the floor until the basket is empty and is usually by the next wash day.

I got a letter done to my aunt in NC, that I have owed her for a while.  I also went through photos and pulled out some things to send to my younger cousins.

I cut the batting for two quilts that need to get done.  I’ve got some social things going on over the next couple of days but hopefully I can get at least one of them sandwiched and ready to quilt.

While I was going through photos, I found a few of a friend and her daughter from a long-ago get-together.  I wrote a quick card and will pop them in the mail to her tomorrow.

And now, I have to make up my bed before I can get it because I washed my sheets, etc. as well.  Making up a bed inside a tent is a challenge, but the reward at the end of the struggle is Clean Sheets!

And then I shall read until I fall asleep.

#Deucember – Day 5 – Best Laid Plans

Thursday, the day after my road trip to Pueblo, I had so many plans. I was going to get so much done.  I had my post here, a letter to my aunt that I’ve needed to write for a while and I was going to buckle down and get some quilting things done.  I have 2 items I need to finish for gifts, so I need to get myself in gear if they’re going to be done in time. Fortunately, they can be given locally and not mailed, but still.

I got up and decided to eat breakfast and while I did that, I watched one episode of The Man in the High Castle, which I have started to follow on Prime.  It’s pretty good, I have to say, and more than a little scary.  But after I watched it, and finished my breakfast, I just felt overall completely lethargic.  No energy, just really tired.  In the past, I might have gone ahead and forced myself to do the things I had planned, but over the last few years of working my weird shift, I have learned to listen to my body.  So, I thought, no, if I feel this lethargic at 9 am, then maybe I should just go back to bed. Well, I took my own advice and the next thing I knew it was about 4:30 in the afternoon!  I NEVER sleep that long!  And, getting up, I realized I was STILL feeling tired, which was not usual.  I didn’t have a fever or anything, just kind of draggy and blah.  So, back to bed.  I got up later and had dinner, sat with my roommate and watched a little bit of Christmas stuff, but I was back in bed by midnight and slept till nearly 7 am on Friday.

During the day, I had a little bit of a grumbly tummy, and it hit me that I might have had a touch of the norovirus, aka “stomach flu.”  Which would make total sense about feeling yukky and low energy.  And also, sleeping it off was probably the perfect thing to do, so suddenly, I didn’t feel so guilty about not getting things done.  Sometimes, the best laid plans have to be put aside for a better plan.

Next week–quilting!

# Deucember – Day 3 – Unexpected

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I’m not much of a neighbor person.  I kind of like to know who lives around me, but if you’re not keeping me awake when I’m trying to sleep or making me nauseated with strange odors coming out of your place or having domestic violence arguments where everyone can hear them, it’s fine if you don’t go out of your way to meet me.  I have no idea who lives in the apartment next to me.  I know they watch TV at the wee hours of the weekend mornings because I can hear it while I’m working (and thankful that I’m working and not trying to sleep), and I know they smoke pot (even though it’s a non-smoking building – pot or otherwise).  But I’ve never actually seen them coming or going or even glimpsed them through their terrace door when I’ve been in the pool or hot tub.  Mystery person.

On the other side, next to roomie’s room, is a lovely young lady from (I think) Australia.  I met her in the summer when sometimes she would sit out in the pool area with her lap top.  We’ve exchanged pleasantries but that’s about it.  As far as I can tell, she’s completely quiet.

Tonight, after getting a few things done that were on my list, I decided to sit in the hot tub for a bit.  I honestly feel so blessed to live in a place where the pool and hot tub are open year round.  I had thought about going out when it was really snowy, but these days, the fear of falling on the ice is real, so I waited.  It was nice today, in the 60’s and most of the snow/ice had melted around the pool area so I chanced it.  After I sat in the hot tub, sipped a little wine (plastic glass), and stretched, I decided to take a couple of laps around the pool.  I mean, it’s not really swimming, but I dog paddle and side stroke around the perimeter.  I was taking my last round and going to get in the hot tub before heading for a shower, when I heard the door open and as I climbed up the pool stairs, someone said, “I like your style!”  As I got back into the pool, I saw a young woman in the corner.  She was indicating my glass of wine.

I slid back into the heat and agreed it was nice to be able to take advantage of the facilities.  I wasn’t sure if she wanted to have a conversation, some people don’t, but then we just started talking.  She’s a second year resident at the VA Hospital across the street, as well as a couple of other hospitals in the complex.  I mentioned doing medical transcription and the conversation took off from there.  We talked about hot springs and hot water, and hiking, and local trails,and parks, and vaccines, and hospital life and graveyard shifts, and traveling and all kinds of things.  She was just a very, very lovely young woman.  I pointed out our place, just about 30 feet away from the hot tub.  She was on the 2nd floor with a balcony.

As we both got up to leave, I told her if she ever wanted company to feel free to visit.  I’m from the South and my roommate is Italian.  She would never be without interesting conversation and she’d certainly never go hungry!

What a nice way to end the day.

#Deucember – Day 2 – Plasma

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It’s about 5:20 a.m. here and I just got done with work.  It’s officially my Saturday.  And in about an hour, I’ll drive a couple of miles and park myself on a contoured couch, where, after waiting in line and getting screened for blood pressure, temperature, hematocrit and serum protein, someone will swab my antecubital fossa with iodine and then insert a rather large needle into a vein and I’ll be hooked up to a machine for about an hour while I donate about a liter of plasma.  I’ll be in a large room with about 16 of these couches in a “bay” with 3 bays in the room.  Since this will be my first donation this week, I’ll receive $32, deposited on a debit card.  My next donation, probably on Saturday morning, will garner me $45.

There are a lot of jokes and comments made about people who donate plasma.  Usually they imply that people who do that are poor, somewhat derelict and probably more than a little dirty.  Well, that’s just wrong.  When you realize just how many donations of plasma ONE person with a primary immunodeficiency disease (PID) needs, then it makes sense that plasma companies would have to pay for it.

Here are the rules: You can donate plasma twice in a 7-day period, but those donations must be at least 48 hours apart.  So, in an ideal world, I could donate 104 times a year.  That’s me, one person.  A person with PID needs the equivalent of 1300 donations a year to get their medication that’s made with plasma, so more than TEN people would have to donate twice a week for a year to make that happen.  And of course, life intervenes.  You get a cold, you can’t donate.  You get a tattoo, you can’t donate.  If your BP is too high, or your serum protein is too low, you can’t donate.  So it takes a LOT of people all over the country to give plasma to make these medications.  And that doesn’t take into account the plasma used in hospitals and ambulances and other places for just “regular” medical emergencies, surgeries and replenishing folks.

I consider donating plasma a second job.  It does take some time out of my week to do it.  And the money I’ve received for donating has helped me get my grandson through high school.  It helped buy groceries and pay for football camp.  It let us go to the movies and have popcorn instead of waiting for the Netflix version.  It put gas in the car and helped pay for some of my quilting and helped me build up some savings.  I have absolutely no shame about donating plasma and getting paid for it, and the people who show up to do it on the regular shouldn’t be the butt of jokes, because they are truly saving lives.

Thank you for listening to (or reading) my TED talk.