Don’t believe the hype

We live down the street from what used to be an old folk’s home (assisted living, independent, nursing care) and last year the business was sold. The new owners are turning it into a 55+ community so only independent living. They are about 80% occupied and most of the people needing care have been moved out. The thing that hasn’t changed is the near constant calls to the fire department to come lift someone, check on the facility when a defibrillator is activated, fire, and god knows what. Our fire department is the first responder so the EMTs show up riding on a rig with sirens right past our house. The weekends are the worst. Last Saturday there were at least 4 calls, maybe 5.

We’ve started a game that has us guessing the emergency code (published on our city’s emergency website). We are so often right. If the fire truck is blaring sirens and speeding, it’s a heart problem. If they are cruising without sirens and not that quickly, someone has fallen and can’t get up.

We won’t be moving down the street when we are 55+ or older. I’m not going somewhere that advertises itself as vibrant when I’m presented with the facts there is a hot mess at the end of the street. The other retirement community in the neighborhood has zero fire trucks rolling through the neighborhood. I’m not sure how that works. Do they have a deal that includes no sirens or if it is just SO much better run? That community has a larger footprint and does include assisted living and nursing care. My point is they have a large population of sicker residents and emergency vehicles aren’t crowding the gate.

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Relaxing, we are

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You blink and it is gone

April just flew past.

We went to Easton, MD in the early part of the month. I went to Phoenix in the middle of the month and we are about to head to FL in a few days. This is the most travel we’ve done in years. I wonder why.

We also replaced our porch rug. The old one was terribly faded and we went with a different pattern, but the same colors. Two more years of committing to that color palette is OK with me.

And, that’s a pretty good sum of what happened in April.

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Marching right outta here

Man, March has been windy as hell and today there were tornado warnings all over the area. I ended up sitting in a stairwell at work for what seemed like forever but was probably more like 45 minutes.

The better-half and I are going to take a very quick trip tomorrow afternoon through Saturday late afternoon to the eastern shore of Maryland. No good reason other than we haven’t done something like that in forever.

Then in mid-April, I’m flying to Phoenix for a conference. That’s a little nervous making, but I’ll mask up and do my best. In very early May we’re both getting on an airplane and headed south for a handful of days in the Keys. Never been and looking forward to it.

I know there’s another variant out there so I’m also aware that all these plans could get screwed, but I really hope they don’t.

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Line in the Sand

I never considered that I needed to say this. But, to be clear, who knew there were so many idiots in the world.

I am A-fucking-OK with trans people.
I am A-OK with people who have a different sexual orientation than I do.
I am A-OK with people of color.
I am A-OK with people who need a few extra minutes to express their opinion.
I am A-OK with people who need to be seen. I see you.

I wasn’t always like this. But, the older I get, the more I realize giving others the benefit of their viewpoint/lifestyle/sexual orientation/way of being is COMMON DECENCY.

That’s it. It’s not hard. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s opinion, but you have to give it grace. Even those assholes who would heckle a president during a state of the union speech. Seriously, ladies, where the fuck were you raised? But, cool, you had the opportunity to express yourself. That’s what living in America is all about. You can be an asshole and that’s OK.

In case that last paragraph undid anything for anyone. Please let me state, the following is a MUCH stronger opinion:

I am A-fucking-OK with trans people.
I am A-OK with people who have a different sexual orientation than I do.
I am A-OK with people of color.
I am A-OK with people who need a few extra minutes to express their opinion.
I am A-OK with people who need to be seen. I see you.

And, trans people get the A-fucking bit because Texas.

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Over the Moon

Five or six years ago, I came across some wallpaper I really liked and I don’t like wallpaper. Our first house had late 1960s/early 1970s wallpaper that we had to take down. It was horrible. I don’t like wallpaper.

We finally bit the bullet and contracted to have our downstairs, stairwell and upstairs hallway painted. We have an open concept so all that color flowed together and was a neutral with way too much yellow in it.

You can see the yellow in the wall and the painter's sample.


Our friend and painting contractor came over and we picked colors for the walls and trim. I showed her that photo of the wallpaper. She got as excited as I was and we decided to go for it in our small TV room.

The TV room has an exterior brick wall (the room was once a porch). We decided to whitewash the brick so that all of the colors in the brick didn’t conflict with the new geometric paint design. The painting crew was here last week and they painted all the things. The TV room came out fabulously.

The after photo - so cool.

Brick wall, amazing paint job.

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Sneaking in under the wire

We decided to move our trip to Florida to early May. I’m disappointed, but thankful we can move the trip without too much trouble.

I was talking to a member of my team today and she and I laughed at the thought that we’ve only just finished one month this year. I know time has been wibbly wobbly, but this year seems long and not at the same time. I dunno.

The good news about February is that we’re having some interior painting done at the end of the month. Taking the shabby out of our lives.

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Oh January

Omicron is running rampant. I looked at the NY Times COVID map yesterday and nearly every state is brick red or purple. That’s not good. We made plans back in the summer to go to Key West at the end of January/beginning of February and I’m very pessimistic about our chances.

We are finally getting rid of the Christmas decorations around here. I’ve been slowly putting things away, but the tree goes today and we’re taking down the lights on the garage. The garage wasn’t going to be any sooner since we had snow a couple of days ago. Now that it is mostly gone we can wrap this thing up.

I’m helping my parents next Friday; she’s having knee surgery so I’ve stopped contact with the world. We went to the grocery store on Wednesday and now we’re done until after next Friday. I’m very lucky to be able to say and do something like this. My next scheduled day back in the office is the 19th. After that, I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing as far as heading back into the building. My set-up at home works just fine as it did for the last year and a half?, two years?, decade?

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Christmas Time Was Here

On the whole, our Christmas was very nice. We spent time with what I will call the cool kids on the better-half side of the family. It was a smaller gathering than usual because of COVID and the passage of time. It’s natural that such a large family would splinter and do their own things once grand-kids start having kids. COVID loomed large not just because of the new variant, but because there are some people who are anti-vax. So those nuts were not invited. I am totally fine with the host’s decision on that. The world is full of angsty madness right now and I do not need to be trapped in a house arguing with people who will never hear the voice of science and reason. To be fair, there are old arguments going as well that I give zero fucks about. Let it go, people. Protect your mental health.

We also saw my family for Christmas breakfast and then at our house for dinner. We had a good time all around and I was happy a friend of ours could join us for dinner. She brought mac and cheese and it was pretty darn good. Friends with mac and cheese? Thumbs up all the way.

We celebrated Boxing Day by napping (him) and finishing a book (me). Then we watched the new Matrix movie. We both enjoyed and I reflected on how we watched Wonder Woman last year on Christmas and it wasn’t as much fun as the Matrix movie this year. I guess you can’t have everything all at once? But, you can have popcorn and beer on the couch while watching thousands of bullets barely kill anyone. In the opening segment of the movie, we commented about no one got to be a better shot in the last 20 years of the Matrix universe.

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Coming into the home stretch

I don’t know what burned out feels like, but I may be close to it. Instead of blaming the never ending pandemic, being back in the office full-time while worrying about area COVID numbers, managing a team that is mostly remote and figuring out how to continue doing the impossible, maybe I should just blame this feeling on not sleeping well for the last week. One night the FitBit just said it couldn’t even calculate a sleep score for me because there was so little sleep. Dang.

I know this will pass because I occasionally go through these periods of little sleep. Of course, it would likely help if it weren’t in the 70s with humidity so high our towels don’t quite dry in the mid-December time period. I think my body and my brain are confused. Climate change is real. Trust science.

We are having a small gathering tonight, only five of us. We’ll be running the air filter and perhaps crack the door to the porch. Four of us have been boosted and I’m not sure about the fifth. It’s been a lot this year for all of us. So it is nice to head into the end of this year by hanging out together.

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