Insomnia has always been something I've had to deal with. Waking in the middle of the night has become such a frequent habit for me that I've come to think of myself as a natural segmented-sleeper.
Often I'll put head to pillow by 10:00 PM or so, wake fully after about three or four hours, then spend another hour or two working at the keyboard or surfing the Internet before falling asleep again. With two alarms set, one for 5:00 AM and the second for 6:00 AM, to ensure I'm awake enough to start the coffee and wake up the wife and help her so she can be at work on time, I'm hard-pressed to get the seven or eight hours of sleep I need. Especially if my “insomnia break” lasts longer than two hours, as it frequently does.
If I eat too much too close to bedtime, my insomnia will be accompanied by a touch of indigestion. That's why the “Antacid” tablets are on the table near my bed. Chewing a few will sometimes help me fall asleep again.
And during the allergy season these insomnia episodes are often accompanied by purely evil sinus woes. Hence the allergy pills are kept close, too.
These over-the-counter medicines don't always put me back to sleep, but sometimes they do.
Yesterday I received a text message from the Grand Knight of my Knights of Columbus Council here in San Antonio, TX. He told me about a temporary situation our Council is facing and asked me, as one of his officers, for my help. Of course, I told him I'd be happy to help.
This morning I found the above image sent to me by a brother Knight in the Philippines. It's the cover of a publication from his District pertaining to their mid-year organizational meeting. God willing, I'll be meeting some of my brother Knights of the Visayas Jurisdiction later this year when I'm in Cebu City.
Whether I'm here in South Texas, or 8,500 miles away in the Philippines, I'll be connected to and working with my brother Knights. It is comforting to know that.
Over all the years (decades) that I've been playing chess I've belonged to a number of chess clubs. As primarily a Correspondence Chess (CC) player, I welcomed the time long ago when we changed the method of sending our moves to each other by post cards sent over postal mail, to using server-based Internet chess clubs.
lichess.org is the server-based Chess Club where I play all my CC games now. And today I started another game there, opening with my White pawn to the Queen's four square.
This screen shot of my opening move is the second and final entry of this week's #SevenTwoProject
... is to remain quiet and let the world roll on by. This is one of those days. And I'll probably have many days like this for the next several weeks, for as long as the cedar fever season lasts. My reaction to the mountain cedar pollen coupled with side effects of the medicine I take to blunt that reaction lowers my mental state and my attitude to sub-optimal levels. Given the fact that my grip on reality is not all that tight even at the best of times, making it through cedar fever season safely is especially challenging.
Focusing on the moment at hand, restricting my activities to those I KNOW I can handle, being patient with myself, etc., all these little life skills will be important for me to hold onto and practice diligently. And, of course, I'll keep reminding myself that I've made it through other cedar fever seasons, and I'll make it through this one, too.
I remember quite clearly what my little granddaughter said on that summer day so long ago in Peru, Indiana. The sound of her little girl voice is still in my ears when she exclaimed, in wonder and delight at seeing, up close and personal, her first non-white child.
No, it wasn't an offensive statement at all, and no one took it that way. But in these ridiculously hyper-sensitive times, some might. So I won't repeat her comment here. But I'm sure her Mother and Father (he seen standing next to this swing in this photo) remember it.
This morning's good progress in cleaning out and throwing away things I no longer need and choose not to schlep with me any longer ( I WAS able to haul out two more bags of stuff before the trash men came, thank you very much) was brought to a halt when I opened the boxes and bins full of old photographs. There's no way I can discard all of them. Some bring back memories too precious to loose. But I'm going to have to get rid of most of them.
Posting this photo of a very young Stasha and her Dad watching from the side as a little boy joins her on the swing satisfies ½ of the #SevenTwoProject for this week.
No, these aren't my cats. I've been cat-sitting for a neighbor while she's gone on holiday vacation.
After two weeks of my going over to her place to feed and water her cats (I think she's got a total of 5 or 6, a couple of adults and several kittens, I'm not sure the total number) some of them are getting over their shyness and sneak out to watch as I put out fresh food, clean the cat litter box, etc.
The two here are coming out into the hallway after I turned out the lights and was preparing to leave.
This is photograph number two of my #SevenTwoProject and completes the first week's obligatory pictures.
As this first day of 2020 begins it finds me quietly working in my home office. January's paper planner pages have replaced December's in the binder, and a record of my daily activities has begun.
The posting of this snapshot starts a new project. (You all know I love my projects, right?) As I turn 72 y/o this month, we'll call this my Seven – Two project. Each week of this year (a block of seven days) I'll try to post two pictures to Roscoe's Journal and I may occasionally share them elsewhere. These will be snapshots taken by me, or pictures taken of me, or something I dredge up from one of my archives scattered hither and yon. We'll see what I come up with. It could be fun.
Hope you all have a happy 2020, and may you enjoy your projects, too.
... and less than a week to go until New Years Day. This seems like an appropriate time to share a few thoughts about the year soon to end and the one about to start.
Health-wise I have my sixth primary care doctor in the six years I've been enrolled in the US medicare system. I have not been displeased with any of my previous doctors, nor have they been displeased with me. The changes mostly came from insurance company and medical group realignments. For a 71 year old man I'm in acceptably good health, and I'm thankful for that. Routine lab work done every six moths or so with the followup doctor appointments allow me to keep a close enough watch on my physical condition.
A new eye doctor this past summer gave me the most thorough eye exam I've ever had, and gave me a diagnosis I've never had: compound cataracts in both eyes. They're not quite bad enough to require surgery that my insurance will pay for, but they're headed in that direction. The best corrective lenses I can be prescribed only give me 20/40 vision. When I can no longer be corrected to better than 20/50 I'll qualify for eye surgery. The doctor expects degeneration to that point will be very gradual. But it's still something we'll need to monitor on a yearly basis. The doctor chuckled when he said, “You know, you'll never have 18-year-old eyes again.”
Hopefully 2020 will see a major change in my living situation. S and I are planning a summer vacation to the Philippines which may well be extended to a permanent move. Getting the logistics worked out for that is challenging. Complicating this is the very recent news that the Philippines may be changing the visa requirements for US citizens entering their country. It still isn't clear if, what, and when those changes will be made, but I'm following that news very closely.
All things considered I feel good about my 2019 and I'm looking forward to my 2020 with joyful expectation.
09:30 on Christmas morning finds things quiet in the house.
My main chores of the day are already accomplished. I've done my cat-sitting duty for the next door neighbor while she's on vacation (made sure water and cat food are set out, cleaned the cat litter). And I've loaded Sylvia's PM pill boxes for another week.
This afternoon I'll be taking Sylvia out to see a movie. Hope we enjoy Jumanji: The Next Level as much as we did Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle when we saw it at the theater. I suspect we will. Lots of light-hearted laughter, good for the soul.
Waking early, I texted the next door neighbor lady to wish her a happy vacation and to verify the cat sitting I'll be doing for her while she's gone. She has a number of inside cats (4 or 5? I'm not sure) and I'll be checking on them every 2 days or so, cleaning the litter box, and putting out fresh food and water. She'll be gone a little over two weeks, so no big deal.
I took S out to brunch at one of our favorite restaurants and have just sent her out to get her nails done for Christmas. That's always a big deal for her, getting the nails done. Seems rather silly to me, and needlessly expensive, but it makes her happy. So...
And I spent nearly an hour out in the front yard with the leaf blower. Every week the city empties my big organics bin and I'm thinking it may take a month or so for them to haul away those leaves. Then I'll start on the back yard leaves. And then it will be time to start mowing the grass on a regular basis. Yardwork. Boo!
Now I'm relaxing in front of the TV, watching my woeful Dallas Cowboys trying to lose another football game.