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Last night, we met up with Scott’s sister and her family at the restaurant where our nephew works. Scott and I left early with the intention of getting there by 6:30 so we could be sure that I would get my food in time to eat it. As it turned out, traffic was bad enough that it was 6:45 before we got there. The restaurant does a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai food, none of it very well, IMO. (It’s probably mostly that it’s wildly varying levels of Americanized so that it’s not easy to guess what one’s going to get. Also, there’s a lot of peanuts and peanut sauce floating around. I’m only mildly allergic, but it still makes me nervous.)

We traded Christmas presents for the girls. Scott and I gave our niece a game that she wanted, and Scott’s sister and her family gave Cordelia some clothes and a CD. Our nephew wanted something hugely expensive from Russia, and that’s still somewhere in shipping limbo. He’s seventeen, and it’s coming as a shock to him that, when he asked for one expensive thing, everybody went in on it and didn’t give him anything else. His mother commented that it’s a lesson that he needed to learn.

I woke with a headache today, but I could tell that it would go away once I had some caffeine. Headaches seem to be the price I pay for sleeping later than I usually would, and caffeine making them go away leads me to think that they’re withdrawal related.

I’ve got potatoes in the Instant Pot now. They’ll be edible in a about forty minutes (twelve minutes cooking, twenty to thirty minutes for slow pressure release). I’m going to tell Scott not to buy Green Giant potatoes again. He’ll promptly forget, but two of the potatoes were actually broken nearly in half and going really nasty along the break. They’d obviously been broken for a very long time. It just wasn’t something that could be seen without pulling them out of the bag.

I hope to do sweet potatoes and chicken (separately) in the Instant Pot later today, but I may not get to them if I’m too tired.

Today’s to do list is relatively short but challenging.

Call Aetna for pre-approval of next week’s appointment.

Find and mail the forms to get medical records forwarded to where they need to go.

Print forms for Sunday’s appointment and start filling them out.

Call our new prescription insurer and ask for replacement cards to be sent.

Call the folks who did my cancer related genetic testing and ask what on earth is going on with the insurance billing.

Dig through and answer my email.
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Cordelia bought two t-shirts yesterday, one Totoro related and the other a Winnie-the-Pooh quote. Scott tells me that they were kind of pricey, but they fit, and she loves them, so…

We need to go grocery shopping, but figuring out when is difficult. I’m not sure it’s going to be possible today because Scott and Cordelia both have late afternoon dental appointments. I don’t think we’ll get home until after 6:00, and then Scott will need to shower.

Scott won’t necessarily be home in time to drive me and Cordelia to the dentist for her appointment which is at 4:15. It’s possible he could be, but I can’t count on it. She and I will need to leave at 3:15 to catch the bus or call for a cab then instead. I need to check to see if the buses are running on the usual schedule today or if they’re on a holiday schedule. It’s just a little bit above freezing, so the weather isn’t horrific, temperature-wise.

Scott’s mother is planning to have Cordelia and her fifteen year old cousin come up tomorrow to decorate gingerbread. Neither girl is hugely enthusiastic, but gingerbread is a family Christmas tradition. I expect it will last two or three more years. Usually, it happens before Christmas, but the timing didn’t work out this year.
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Scott decided to make a pumpkin pie even though his mother had told us that we didn’t need to bring anything at all because she had plenty of dessert stuff. Because of that, we didn’t end up starting up to Scott’s parents’ place until about 1:30 yesterday. Scott picked up Cordelia’s friend about 11:30 so that the girls could have more time together.

I think it’s just as well we were running late. Both Scott’s mother and I were drooping by the time we’d had dessert. I didn’t manage to sleep until my normal bedtime anyway because of all the stuff going on in the house and because I kept thinking that I’d just do one more thing.

I finally managed to call my grandmother. She was glad to hear from me, but she sounded really tired. I’m not sure that she had really registered that it had been a year and a half since I last called (I did try during that time and leave messages).

I didn’t end up calling anyone else yesterday, and no one called me. It’s sad that my family is like that.

Scott’s making waffles. I think I’m going back to bed after I have one. I’m really, really tired, and today’s my best bet for catching up on sleep. He’ll work tomorrow, and then we’ll spend a few days visiting my parents. I generally don’t sleep on strange beds.

Both recipients have now commented on the stories I wrote for Yuletide. That’s a relief. I’ve had three comments on each story and a handful of kudos which is about what I expected.

Scott’s parents gave me three CDs. Scott and Cordelia gave me two books and some DVDS (two Disney and season one of The Librarians). Amazon accidentally sent Scott two copies of one of the books and told him he could keep the second copy for free because it was a $5 paperback.

So, anyone want a copy of Jayne Castle’s Illusion Town? It’s an SF-ish romance set on another planet where most people have psychic powers.
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Cordelia got home a lot later yesterday than I had hoped, so she only had about half an hour to shower and change before we needed to be out the door. This was complicated by the fact that her dress had needed washing and was supposed to be dried flat. That wasn’t something that could be completed in the three and a half hours we had. We used our hair dryer on it for a while (on the cool setting), and we had it tumbling in the dryer with no heat for a while. It still wasn’t dry when Cordelia put it on.

I was a little uncertain about how the Christmas Eve service would be because the Green Wood church has a reputation for non-traditional music which isn’t something I want for Christmas Eve. As it turned out, all of the songs were familiar, and all of those sung by the entire congregation were traditionally arranged. Well, mostly. They skipped a verse of Angels We Have Heard On High, the one that would normally come second that starts 'Shepherds why this jubilee?' and people started singing it anyway, half the congregation doing that and half the verse printed in the program. But, really, with that song, it’s the chorus that’s the fun part to sing.

The sermon wasn’t all that long, and it made me cry. The minister told a story that just kind of gut punched me. It was a candle light service, so we all had candles stuck into CDs (to keep the dripping wax from burning our hands. We lit them at the very end, passing the light from person to person through the congregation.

We ended up sitting in the very back, so we couldn’t see much. There was a big pillar right in front of us that entirely blocked our view of the altar area. But there weren’t very many seats available when we got there, so we were lucky to get seats at all. The parking lot was full, so Scott and his father had to take the car and park it a block or two away. I’m glad we only took one car.

We picked up pizza from Cottage Inn right after the service. I’d ordered it several hours in advance because I thought they might be very busy yesterday evening. Scott’s parents brought a gluten free cake that Scott’s mother said was kind of Boston cream pie-ish. The family tradition is to sing happy birthday to Jesus.

I had trouble getting to sleep and ended up having to take an Ativan.

I got three Yuletide stories, all three about Jenkins from The Librarians. That’s riches. I’m a little sad about my other four requests, but— Three fics! Jenkins!. Yea! The recipients for my main fic and for the treat I wrote haven’t commented yet, but it’s still very early. I have my fingers crossed that they’ll like the stories. The treat is something that I rather think is vastly recognizable as being mine, but it’s in a fandom I’ve never written before, so probably no one will spot it.
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I got no phone calls made yesterday. I just couldn’t face them. Not at all. I feel terrible about that because they’re all things for Cordelia that are fairly urgent. I also couldn’t face wrapping presents, so all of Scott’s things are in gift bags. He can wrap Cordelia’s presents today while she’s out.

Cordelia had three friends over last night. They claimed they were going to watch a movie, but there was a lot of shrieking (happy), running around, and giggling. Just based on listening to them, I’d have thought that the girls were several years younger. I think they watched about the first ten minutes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier over the course of four hours.

Cordelia has convinced one of her friends to watch Avatar: the Last Airbender and has promised, in return, to watch Jane the Virgin. Cordelia is several episodes in. This is not something I’ve watched or likely would have chosen to watch, but I’m getting bits and pieces. It’s good at what it does, but what it does is not something that appeals to me in a TV show as a general thing. I need SF/fantasy elements most of the time, not always, but most of the time. Soap opera type stuff kind of stresses me out.

I tried to nap yesterday because I was exhausted, but Scott’s mother texted me about every half an hour with another question about Christmas plans. I probably should have asked her to wait. I wonder whether, if I’d managed to catch up on sleep, I’d have been able to make those phone calls.

I did some writing last night, all on House of Sulfur and Mercury. I worked on two different bits that are widely separated in the timeline. The first is difficult because I don’t know where it’s going. The second is difficult because I’ve figured out where it’s going and don’t like it. It makes perfect sense for the characters, but I think it would be a tragic ending for the POV character. He doesn’t think so, but I do. I’ve been waiting to finish one or the other section before sharing them with anyone, but I may need to ask my first reader/cheerleader to take a look.

I wanted to try to write a Yuletide treat, but I haven’t been able to focus enough to start anything. There are somewhere between ten and twenty prompts that I could write pretty easily, but I’m not likely to finish anything by the deadline, so it’s hard to start. There’s also one fandom I’d like to write but where none of the requests fit the two ideas I have in my head. I’m a little afraid, too, that both stories would end up novel length if I’m extremely careful.
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Scott is kind of flipping out over the idea of having his parents here on Christmas Eve because he wants the house to be clean. I care considerably less about that right now. I think we have a dozen things that his parents would agree are more urgent/important. Also, our cleaning lady comes today, and that will help a good bit. I will do some putting away of junk today because that’s part of my normal Thursday.

I need to figure out a good way to clean the dress I usually wear to the Christmas Eve service. I didn’t wear it last year, and it’s covered with dust because I kind of dumped it two years ago and then forgot about it. I think it’s machine washable but needs to drip dry, so I should deal with that today.

I have between two and four phone calls to make today (three of them are on the same subject, and if the first works out, I won’t need the other two. If the second works out, I won’t need the third). I need to send at least two emails, one to my mother and one to the mother of Cordelia’s best friend.

I want a nap and a shower, and I have two things I’d like to cook. I just don’t want to cook before the cleaning lady comes because she fasts on Thursdays. Dates wrapped in turkey bacon have a strong odor, and Chex mix, while less potent odor-wise, is still noticeable hours later.

Scott’s mother vetoed pretty much everything Scott and I offered to bring for Christmas dinner. She’s making mashed potatoes, so she doesn’t want sweet potatoes (I’d rather go the other way). She’s making chicken and noodles which is a family tradition for Scott’s family, so rice and bread would be superfluous. She’s making broccoli and doesn’t think that a second green vegetable would be desirable given how small the group is. A green salad might be okay, but she gave me the impression that she didn’t really think anyone would eat it.

That pretty much leaves desserts. We had been suggesting things that we could make without a lot of time/effort. Scott’s thinking he’ll make a pie, but he was unhappy with the apple pies he made for Thanksgiving. He was unable to cover them because he was using pre-made, gluten free crusts. He’d hoped that he could use one to cover the other, but they were completely rigid. At this point, he’s thinking pumpkin pie. I don’t really care much for that, but… Eh. Whatever. I can’t eat key lime pie at all, and his mother won’t touch anything containing nuts, so pecan is out.

There aren’t a lot of options for uncovered pies that will appeal more widely than pumpkin. At least none of us hate that. I’m just not sure that Scott realizes that pumpkin pie normally contains dairy which his father can’t have. I expect that substitutions are possible; I just don’t know what they are.

And I’m not even going to address the can of worms that is how to sweeten stuff. Scott’s father has diabetes, so they normally cook with Truvia which makes me hellishly sick. At big family gatherings, there’s generally more than one dessert. I don’t expect there to be here.
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I figured out how to salvage part of the section I wrote that didn’t work. I’ve got one other bit to finish that goes before it, and I think I’ll need a section to come after. I just have no firm idea of what that follow up needs to be yet.

I’m actively looking for a beta reader for a Yuletide treat that I’ve finished. The Yuletide beta spreadsheet lists three people who’re willing to beta the fandom. One is me. One is someone I won’t ever ask for a beta again. Not ever. The last person is someone I know is currently very, very busy. I’ll ask them, but I’m not holding my breath. Still, it’s a treat, so the posting deadline has a lot more wiggle room. If it has to be, it could be a NYR story instead.

Counting the two unfinished sections I mentioned above, I currently have eleven projects that I very firmly want to go on with. Right at the moment, I’m doing a lot of flitting. Two are unstarted Yuletide treats. One, also unstarted, is for a Yuletide fandom but doesn’t, I think, fit any of the requests for that canon. I’m also not sure that I can make that idea fit in a short story. Three of the other possibilities are chapters of long WIP.

One WiP is stalled because I have to decide what the various rooms in a house would look like which means making some world building decisions about who furnished the place and how the furnishings were acquired. There are two people who might have chosen the furnishings, and I can think of four or five different sources, all of which have world building implications and an impact on how the place would look. It’s a relatively minor thing, but I’m stuck on it because I realized that my original vision didn’t fit either of the characters who might have put the place together.

We got the tree decorated yesterday. I didn’t actually hang any ornaments. I was just too tired, and my hands hurt too much. Also, there’s really not room for more than one person next to the tree, not given how the living room is currently configured. Cordelia and her friend put most of the ornaments on with Scott pointing out bare spots and reaching around them to hang a few things himself.

The girls wanted to watch The Flash while decorating, so we did. Cordelia’s friend is watching season 1 for the first time. Cordelia’s friend is trying to pressure Cordelia into watching Arrow, but Cordelia doesn’t want to because she doesn’t like the level of violence there. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out.

I got a lot of stuff at the library yesterday. Basically, a bunch of things with long wait lists all came in at once. Cordelia thinks I should manage my holds better, but I don’t really see what I could have done to prevent this except never put a hold on something with a long waitlist or that’s waiting to be catalogued. At any rate, I’ve got twice as many CDs as usual, more DVDs and books, and not very much time to listen, watch, or read this week.

I slept poorly last night and ended up awake after Scott got up at 5:00, so I’m expecting to try to nap soon. I’m going to take medication that might help. I think that the problem was 80% anxiety with pain from my hands and temperature regulation issues making up the balance. I really should have gotten up and taken Ativan when I realized that I hadn’t taken it before bedtime. I just very much want to be able to deal with this crap without medication, you know? But my neck and shoulders are so tight that they out and out hurt. I’m not going to manage to sleep unless I can get them to relax.
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My radiation oncology appointment yesterday went well. I got there about 45 minutes early and expected to have a leisurely time filling out my paperwork and reading some of the books I’d brought with me. Instead, they took my vitals and took me back right away. I was out of there by the time of my actual scheduled appointment. I need to remember that they do this because it’s happened both times I’ve gone back for check ups.

The main takeaway there is that I need to keep massaging my breast because the lymphedema is still an issue. I knew that, but I was mostly ignoring it because it rarely hurts.

I walked over to the cancer center afterwards to ask about my genetic testing data. I talked to something like four different people before I got someone who could help. Nobody seemed to understand what I was after until I’d explained two or three times. The nurse who finally helped me told me that I will have to call the testing company in order to get what I want because the testing company doesn’t actually give them that information. Which seems really ridiculous for a cancer center that’s supposed to be at the forefront of research. She gave me a copy of everything that the testing company gave them, but I think it’s exactly what they sent me through the patient portal.

I got home to find a FedEx package on our porch. It contained the two nightgowns I’d ordered and not gotten. I’d be wondering if I’d actually ordered the purple pants if the packing slip with them hadn’t clearly said that it was supposed to be a two pack of nightgowns. I have no idea why they sent this when they said they wouldn’t/couldn’t. I’m glad to get them. I’m assuming they were shipped overnight after I complained yesterday because, if they were sent before that, it’s… well, it’s beyond weird.

I let Scott mail the pants back because they were the wrong size. Since he had to go to the post office anyway, he mailed a package we’d planned to hold onto until January.

I was up later than I wanted to be last night due to reflux. I have no clue what caused that. No, that’s not true. I’m 95% sure that it was anxiety/stress. I had applesauce, almonds, and vanilla ice cream for dinner, and those are all things that are hugely safe for me as far as reflux goes. I ended up writing on my phone for about an hour before I risked lying down again. I started a new story, so it wasn’t progress on any of my WIP. If I finish the new story, it would be the first time I’ve written a Yuletide treat, so I’m kind of looking at it sideways and wondering.

I got word from the folks organizing the recount volunteers that there’s a training session tomorrow evening and that the recount might start as early as Friday. I foresee a shitload of Ativan in my future, and I’m pretty sure that anxiety over this is what caused last night’s reflux. I don’t actually expect the recount to make a difference, but it’s the sort of thing that needs doing anyway. I’m just glad that the training session for our county is here in town. I have to email the coordinator to let him know that I’ll be there. Scott might or might not be available to give me a ride, but a cab is possible (I don’t think the bus goes out there, but I haven’t checked the address yet. I just know the bus doesn’t go very far out Jackson Rd).

The training session will be inconvenient from a family point of view because Scott and Cordelia were assuming we’d find a way to fit in tonight’s Arrow episode tomorrow before Legends of Tomorrow airs. I don’t see it happening when Scott won’t be available until after 6:00 and I’ll be gone from at least 5:30 to 8:00 (and that assumes that transportation is rapid and available immediately).

I’m on the email notification list for FDA recalls, and I’ve seen two in the last week for packages missing allergen information about crab cakes containing seafood. On the one hand, it’s good to have allergen information required for everything. On the other hand, is there actually anyone buying crab cakes on the assumption that they don’t contain seafood?

Scott and Cordelia have decided that we will put up the Christmas tree this coming Sunday. That means that I need to make fudge and some cookies between now and then. I told Cordelia there’d probably only be time for fudge and chocolate chip bars. She said that was fine. I want to do the sort of Christmas baking I’ve done in the past, but I’m not sure there’s a point. Scott’s mother is GF. Scott’s father has type 2 diabetes, and my blood sugar is borderline.

I emailed Scott’s mother to suggest that they come down here for Christmas Eve and then we go up there on Christmas Day. There are four Methodist churches around town that have services that might be possible and that I think Scott’s parents wouldn’t find uncomfortable. (There’s an AME church about three blocks away, but I think that Scott’s parents would be hugely uncomfortable and that taking Trump voters to a black church would be utterly icky. Not to mention that I feel like white people going uninvited into a black space is, in general, intrusive and rude.) We could also drive up to Brighton after dinner for a service. Scott’s parents know people there, and it’s not far for us and is on their way home.

Scott may or may not have to work on Christmas Eve. Some years, the plant runs. Some years, it doesn’t. We won’t know until right before. I like the idea of doing things down here because it means that, if Scott’s home by 4:00, we could do a 5:00 or 5:30 service with dinner after. The options for later services locally are more limited. There’s a 7:30 and an 11:00 at the campus Methodist church. 11:00 is more feasible now than it was when Cordelia was waking up at 5:00 on Christmas mornings, but it’s still not attractive for a number of logistical reasons. Scott’s parents would have an hour drive to get home after, and Scott and I would still have to do the last minute preparations for the next day.
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The gathering at Scott’s sister’s house was fairly laid back. Sadly, something I ate gave me reflux. I’m kind of suspicious of the sweet potatoes because they tasted odd. Everything else I ate was utterly bland— bread, turkey, mashed potatoes (which we made), fruit salad, pecan pie. None of those should have been a problem, and I didn’t overeat.

Scott’s sister’s house was chilly enough that I actually noticed it. I think she keeps the house down around 60F even when the family’s at home.

Cordelia, as I expected, was quite ready to go home as soon as we’d had dessert. Scott would have liked to stay later, I think, to play more games, but I was really drooping, both headachy and exhausted.

There wasn’t much discussion of politics. I think Scott’s sister’s father-in-law knew he was outnumbered. He drives a school bus, and a lot of our dinner discussion at the table we shared (there were two tables of six people each) centered on the logistics of getting kids to different schools under different circumstances. That was, fortunately, a pretty neutral topic. We also talked a bit about what different kinds of high schools can offer. One of the non-family guests mourned the fact that, as far as he could tell, wood shop isn’t a thing any more. He has the impression that the classes that used to lead to skilled trades jobs are just gone.

Scott and several other people played Sentinels of the Multiverse before dinner. I didn’t because they were playing in the basement. I wasn’t convinced that unnecessary up and down of stairs was going to do good things for my Achille’s tendon (which is, sadly, still hurting today).

Writing on my phone turned out not to work because, for some reason, the 'make document accessible offline' thing didn’t work the way it has in the past. I couldn’t open documents. I couldn’t access email, either, which ought to have been possibly through use of my dataplan even when I didn’t have wifi access. I could still read LJ and DW, but nobody was posting, so that didn’t fill much time.

I want to bake today, but we don’t have anything that I’m physically capable of baking. Either we lack ingredients, or trying to make whatever it is would leave me unable to do things like eat dinner later on.

I ordered some things from Amazon last night because they were suddenly much, much cheaper than they had been. Now, I’m looking at Scott’s wishlist and Cordelia’s wishlist and trying to decide what to buy. If I get books, I want to get them from Book Bound rather than from Amazon. That means a phone call, however, so I’ll probably put that off for a while. If I was just ordering for one or the other, I’d email the order in, but I need to pay in advance for the stuff for Scott and arrange it so that Cordelia can pick up the stuff for Scott and Scott can pick up the stuff for Cordelia. Also, doing it by phone lets the folks at the store look up how long it’s likely to take for them to get copies of things they don’t currently have. With a month until Christmas, I have more wiggle room than I did when I ordered things for Scott’s birthday in February a week before I needed them.

I’m trying to find all of the issues of Archaeology and Discover that are floating around the house. Cordelia’s teachers said that they might find both useful, and I know I’m not going to read them at this point. I’ve got nearly two years of unread back issues of both. I’ve gotten all of what’s upstairs together, but I think the cleaning lady put some in the basement, so I need to check that.

I just volunteered to be a citizen observer for the recount that the Green Party has requested in Michigan. I’m a bit concerned that I’ll have issues with anxiety over doing it (getting there, being out and around other people, being responsible), and I’m a lot concerned that transportation will be a problem, but I’m free when most people are working.
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I spent a lot of time sleeping yesterday, and I suspect I will again today. My digestive system is still being obnoxious which is pretty frustrating, too.

It’s frustrating because there are things we should have gotten done and didn’t. I’m not sure what we’ll do about the leaves because it rained really, really heavily in the early part of this morning (like around 5 a.m.). We can put wet leaves in the compost bin for pick up, but the bin will be harder to move. The bin is one of those things with two wheels where one tilts it and either pushes or pulls, and I almost couldn’t get it to move last week when it was stuffed with dry leaves.

Christmas this year is going to be weird. Scott’s sister has decided to take her family to Seattle to visit Scott’s brother and his family over winter break, and she’s normally the one who hosts the big Christmas gathering. I can understand her reasoning— She’s figuring that this is the last chance for a family vacation before her son finishes high school in June. It’s already really hard to get him to show up for family things.

Scott’s sister says she tried to tell their mother her intentions but that their mother didn’t want to hear it and so didn’t understand. The only time Scott’s sister hasn’t been with her parents at Christmas is the year she spent in South Africa on a journalism internship, and her children have never spent a Christmas away from their grandparents (their father’s parents and sister come to the Christmas gathering at their house every year).

At any rate, we normally spend Christmas Eve at Scott’s parents’ place and Christmas Day at Scott’s sister’s place. Scott’s sister lives closer than Scott’s parents do. I really don’t want to drive up and back twice in two days, but I also really don’t want to spend the night there (which I’m sure Scott’s parents will suggest). Cordelia will be the only child there, and five people aren’t enough for a game of Telestrations, especially given that I don’t want to play.

Scott and Cordelia went out last night and got Cordelia a coat. I don’t think Scott was pleased by how much it cost, but with luck, she’ll be able to wear it for years. She’s likely near her full growth at this point, so I don’t think she’ll grow out of it. She also needs dress shoes before the orchestra concert in December (last year she borrowed mine, but her feet have grown), but none of us felt that looking for those was urgent enough to do it last night.

The current plan for today is for Scott to get groceries while I shower and run the dishwasher. Then we’ll go to the the library. I need to get bread going, too. I’d rather have Scott buy some, but I don’t think he will at this point.

Cordelia’s class is going to a high ropes course tomorrow, so I’m going to have to get up with her to braid her hair. We’ll see if I can go back to sleep after that (or if I need to).
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I forgot to mention— Scott and the girls took the tree down on New Year’s Eve. We haven’t moved the table and exercise bike back in yet. I think Scott just didn’t want to deal with it. He did comment that he likes having a twelve year old daughter because she can do so much more of the work. He had Cordelia and her friend carry all of the decorations to storage in the basement.

Scott made my try to nap yesterday because I was almost nodding off during the afternoon. Napping is always challenging because I don’t tend to schedule my eating and drinking in such a way as to make that work well. I may try to nap today, anyway, because I only got about five hours of sleep last night. I was physically uncomfortable no matter what I did, and my dreams irritated me. The final straw that got me out of bed was feeling twice like I was getting very mild electric shocks to my right leg. That was very weird and not conducive to sleeping.

I’m still trying to get myself to start writing something, anything. A couple of people have suggested exchanges, but none of those I’ve looked at have particularly appealed to me. I think the problem is that, while I do know some big, popular fandoms, I don’t actually care enough about any of them to want to write for them. I’ve been looking at things and saying, "Well, I could do that, but I don’t care whether or I do or not."

My mother just emailed to say that she’d like to come visit tomorrow. That’s the last time when she could visit and still get to spend time with Cordelia. My step-father won’t be coming because their dog, Mel, is pretty old now and not doing very well. Someone needs to stay in Lawton with her. It’s been three or four years since I last saw my step-father, but if I can only see one of them, I’d rather see my mother. I have no idea what on earth we’ll find to do. I can’t really walk around, and, while I know my mother would happily take Cordelia out without me, I’m not sure Cordelia will be enthusiastic (or accepting) about the idea of a museum visit or shopping trip. I suppose I should look online to see if anything is happening tomorrow that might be interesting.
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From what Scott says, he either lost or ignored the email in which I linked him to my Amazon wishlist, so he searched for and found the wishlist that I keep completely empty 99% of the time. I hadn’t marked it 'private' because it was empty most of the time (I’ve done that now. Barn door and horses and all that). Scott just happened to find it during one of the 15-30 minute periods when there was something there. I only moved things through there because nobody would order online less than ten days before Christmas.

Scott complained yesterday that all I had on my wishlist was CDs. My actual wishlist had 31 items, and only 7 of them were CDs. I suppose I should be glad he didn’t buy from the list of someone else with my name. There are 431 results for a search on my name. 1/2 to 2/3 of them are obviously not me, but the others…

Scott’s parents, also, did not buy from my wishlist. They gave me four shirts, none of which resemble things I might actually want to wear. Three of the four have short sleeves, and I do not need more short sleeved shirts. I already have three or four times as many as I actually wear. I could use (and put on my wishlist) long sleeved shirts. This one, however, is a button front shirt, and I’ve pretty much never tried on a button front shirt that didn’t gap on me. Maybe this one is big enough not to. I suppose I can hope. (I haven’t tried these on because I couldn’t face putting on a shirt while I was still itching. Maybe tomorrow.)

I don’t know. Maybe Scott’s mother got confused by the fact that, right after my surgery, I only had four short sleeved shirts that were easy enough to get on and off that I was willing to wear them. Now that I think about it, the fact that they’re all a size too big might support that. But why she would buy me what I needed in September (and not after!) in December, I really have no idea.

Two of the shirts come from Walmart. One comes from Kohl’s. I can’t figure out where the fourth one comes from. It has a tag, but that tag doesn’t give a store name. Unfortunately, that one is the one I’m pretty sure isn’t opaque and so would most like to exchange. I have no idea if we can return/exchange any of them without a receipt, but getting to a Walmart would be a fairly major undertaking.

I actually did enjoy having a laid back day yesterday. I watched some Leverage, and I sampled a lot of music on YouTube. I talked to one of my sisters, my mother, and my father. Mom was difficult because her cell phone wouldn’t let me actually talk to her at first. I tried her three times (she left me a voicemail after the first time, urging me to try again), but eventually she had to call me. I left messages with my brother and my other sister. I couldn’t get through to my grandmother— I got an automated message saying that, due to trouble on the line, they couldn’t connect me. I will try that call again later today.

Scott and Cordelia got home about 9:30 last night. Cordelia immediately started pulling books off her shelves to get rid of. I kept back about 25% of her discards because they’re things from my childhood or because they’re actually my own copies that I pulled off my shelves because I thought she might like them. We still have a box and a half to donate to her school library. I considered making her keep the extremely nice editions she had of The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables, but I don’t think she’s likely to read either even if they were on her shelves.

Scott and I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special before we went to bed. Scott loved the special. I, well, I think I mostly followed the plot. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention.

I’m thinking to send Scott to the local pet supply store today to buy a gift card for the woman who took him to the ER with the kidney stone. She stayed with him for four hours which was really and truly above and beyond. I tried to buy a gift card online, but in spite of being a big chain, they don’t sell anything at all online. I couldn’t even confirm that they sell gift cards at all. I’m just assuming they must.

Cordelia has gift cards for Barnes & Noble and Target (the B&N card is from her birthday in May. She lost it for a while and then found it a couple of days ago). She wants to spend them today, and Scott said he’d take her. I’m not sure he thought that through. I suspect the stores will be packed. It’s not just the day after Christmas— It’s a Saturday, too.

I don’t know when we’ll see my parents. My mother said they’re only just starting the renovations they planned to do last week. The stuff they needed wasn’t delivered when it was supposed to be. They’re giving the renovations priority over coming to this side of the state to see us. I wish I was surprised.

I woke this morning with a migraine. I’m pretty sure that it’s the result of not being able to let go and sleep last night. I couldn’t get comfortable, physically, and I couldn’t stop what-iffing about how I could have gotten Scott to buy me things I actually wanted. Buying them for myself isn’t the same, and the things on my wishlist were mostly things I’m very unlikely to buy for myself.
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I ended up making cheese spread after all, but I also ended up staying home. I was itchy and cranky and kind of hostile. I thought that the itchiness gave me an excuse not to risk being nasty to people I love.

Cordelia seems to have belatedly realized that she didn’t get me anything, so she paid Scott for one of the CDs he bought me so that it could be from her instead of from him.

I don’t think— I really, really hope! —that either Scott or Cordelia realized I was unhappy about anything beyond feeling physically not great. It’s been a rotten year for all three of us, and I really don’t want them carrying that. It wouldn’t help anything at all.

Dinner tonight will probably be more mediocre Chinese food. I know that they’re open, starting at 5:00, because I checked their holiday hours yesterday to see if I could order from them then. The other option that I’m pretty sure is available is pizza, maybe not my first choice pizza place but some pizza place around here must be delivering today. And maybe Jimmy John’s is open if I want to go that way. It’s not exciting, but it will work.

My next step is to dig up some lunch. Then I’ll start calling relatives to wish them a merry Christmas. I probably should have called my grandmother earlier. She gets pretty tired as the day goes on, so calling in the morning is better, and it’s almost 2:30.
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My itching is less today, so I think it is a reaction to that laundry detergent. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s sufficiently less to make me willing to go to the family gathering. I just can’t tell— I’m also tired and cranky and kind of sad, and that doesn’t help me evaluate anything.

I ordered Chinese food last night from a nearby place that does delivery. I haven’t ordered from them in about eleven years because the food isn’t great. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. I thought trying them again made sense, given the long time since I last tried it. A lot of things could have changed in the intervening years. Sadly, the food was still mediocre. The wonton soup had a completely flavorless broth. I think I’d have to work at making broth that flavorless. I also had sesame chicken and a spring roll.

Scott and Cordelia got home about an hour before I expected them to. I had some of Cordelia’s presents on the living room floor, waiting to be wrapped, and I hadn’t even started the bacon wrapped dates. The timing worked out because Cordelia was able to help me by handing me the dates.

Scott and Cordelia finished off my leftover Chinese food.

This morning, I got up first. I didn’t want to wait to take my morning medications, and I didn’t think it was as important for me to wait for everyone else this year as it was when Cordelia was younger.

Scott was thrilled by his presents. Cordelia complained that the book Scott bought for her is the fourth book in a series from which she owns no other volumes. Scott didn’t think to check. It’s not as big a deal as it could be because all of the books on her wishlist are things she’s already read, but they’re all things she wants to reread, and she won’t do it unless she can start from book one.

Scott got me some John Denver CDs (he says he thought he’d bought something else, too, but that, looking at his records, apparently he didn’t). I like John Denver, but these were not on my wishlist and so not things I really wanted. I put them on my private shopping list about a week ago as things that I might like that were cheap enough (all less than $6) that they’d be great for filling out an Amazon order that was almost to the free shipping level. I will buy myself things that cost less than $10 but generally not things that cost more.

Cordelia didn’t give me anything. She can’t shop without help, so that’s kind of on Scott, but Cordelia didn’t prompt him or think to do something simple like make me a card. I’m actually quite hurt by this, but I don’t feel like I can say anything at all about it.

I suspect that all of this normally wouldn’t be a big deal, and I’d shrug it off, but today, I just want to cry. I very specifically made a list of about twenty five things that I really, really wanted and would never buy for myself. There’s only about a 50-50 chance that Scott’s parents even looked at it, and they’re the only other people who give me Christmas presents. The odds are excellent that they bought me something really terrible while they were on one of their vacations this year.

[personal profile] kyrielle sent me a very nice package with some tea and vanilla scented goat’s milk soap. That was really nice. Thanks so much, [personal profile] kyrielle!

I ought to be making cheese spread. That will take me about forty five minutes, and I don’t want to deal with it. Oh, looking into the kitchen— It will take longer. The space I need is covered with dirty dishes. That’s harder. Usually, I cut up the cheese in advance so that I can do the whole thing a lot faster, but I didn’t this year. I’m tempted not to bother, but we bought $20 worth of cheese for it, and we’re bringing hardly anything to the gathering this year. But we’re also running about two hours late already, so I don’t know.
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I have a theory about the itching. I really hope I’m right because, if I am, it’s fixable. It may not be fixable in time, though. Basically, Scott bought a different laundry detergent than we normally do. He bought one with scent and dye. Normally we stick to versions that are unscented and without dye. I have no idea why he changed this time. Probably this one was extremely inexpensive. At any rate, we’ve been washing clothes with that for a couple of weeks now. I’m not wearing shirts during the day, but I have been wearing nightgowns at night and pressing damp washcloths to my breast for 20-60 minutes at a time three times a day. My suspicion is that the healing skin on my breast is more sensitive to the extra crap in the detergent than the rest of my skin is. So, normally, this change wouldn’t really matter. It’s just bad timing. (Which is good because Scott bought a huge container of the scented stuff. It’s supposed to be good for 170 loads of laundry.)

Right now, I’ve got all of my nightgowns and all of the washcloths in the wash with unscented, dye free detergent. I’m wearing a shirt (the cleaning lady is here for the next two hours. I may end up shutting myself in the bedroom so that I can take the shirt off) that I haven’t worn recently enough for it to have been washed in the scented detergent. I’m hoping that this helps. My fear is that it won’t help soon enough to make tomorrow bearable.

Still, it would be spectacular if this proved to be a solution. I’m hoping so very hard that it is. Right now, I’m trying to convince myself that the shirt I’m wearing itches less than the other things I’ve worn recently. I don’t know that it’s true, but I want it to be.

And it would be nice if this was the solution because the radiation oncology people have apparently decided that they’re not going to call me back. I’m kind of peeved about that since this is a genuine issue.

I ended up sending Scott and Cordelia off without me. Wearing a shirt for the two and a half hours the cleaning lady is here will be a lot more bearable than trying to do it for seven or eight hours. At least with the cleaning lady, I can get away with rubbing to ease the itch and reaching under my shirt to apply hydrocortisone or aloe.

I made porridge yesterday. Cordelia helped. She didn’t want to, but I made her, and once we got started, she was fine with it. That, unfortunately, was enough to wipe me out, so I haven’t done the other necessary cooking yet. I will do the bacon wrapped dates after our cleaning lady goes home. I was hoping to have Cordelia help, but that would have required doing them either first thing this morning or some time last night. Last night, I was fried, and this morning, Scott was using the whole table for wrapping presents.

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get to much else until Scott and Cordelia come back. I might try filling stockings since I’m used to doing that while exhausted, but tradition says that should be done at a point when Cordelia’s in her room for the night. Negotiating that will be interesting since she’s been staying up until midnight pretty consistently this week. Scott and I are not, for some reason, interested in waiting to start wrapping presents and filling stockings until after she’s asleep. Our house is pretty tiny and only a single floor (plus a basement). Cordelia can’t get ready for bed without seeing the entire living room, kitchen, and dining room.

I promised Scott I’d search for a missing present. The gift for our local niece is nowhere to be found, and Scott can’t remember where he put it. He got very cranky about the whole thing and started digging through boxes of stuff that I could have told him were too old to contain the present and getting very cranky and me and Cordelia for the fact that we have stuff that we have left in the living room.

I’m pretty definitely cat waxing today. I’ve been going through the entire text document of people’s Yuletide requests and deleting things that are for fandoms I don’t know or can’t write. I don’t know that I will ever write anything for any of the prompts that I am keeping, but who knows? Stranger things have happened. The document is in order by participant pseudonym, and I’m almost through the M’s.

I also poked at bit at [community profile] fandom_stocking, but I got overwhelmed. I saw one prompt that interested me, but the person had asked for no angst, and I don’t think I can do that right at the moment. Maybe in a couple of days. Of course, 'angst' is one of those terms that means different things to different people. My definition may not be their definition. I tend to assume that 'angst' covers just about all bad-things-happen-to-people-I-like stories, and I know that’s not universal.
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Scott is not working tomorrow. That means I actually have to decide whether or not I’m up to 8-10 hours away from home, without opportunity to put anything on my skin during that time. The radiation oncology people have not gotten back to me today, and, given the time now, I don’t expect they will at all which is fairly frustrating.

The usual way of things is for us to head up there some time between noon and 2:00. There’s generally game playing, and in the years when there’s snow, the kids sled. Well Cordelia often doesn’t because she wants to put on her dressy clothes before leaving home so as not have to mess with changing at her grandparents’ house.

There’s pizza for dinner, carryout, which is complicated incredibly by the various dietary restrictions and preferences. There are nine of us, and five of us have dietary restrictions that affect what we can have. Scott’s the only one for whom it’s potentially lethal, but we all have reason to be careful.

After the pizza (there may or may not be a salad, too), we have a birthday cake, complete with singing happy birthday to baby Jesus. Then the kids open a present apiece and empty the stockings their grandparents put together for them (these are normal knee socks, so they don’t hold as much as a traditional Christmas stocking).

Finally, we go to church. Where we go depends on timing. The main things are that we want to be home by 9:00 if it’s remotely possible and that it be a Methodist church. We have an hour long drive to get home. The reason for the deadline is that Scott and I still have 2-4 hours worth of stuff to do, depending on what’s been done in advance. For this year, nothing’s been done in advance. I don’t know where Scott’s been putting the presents for Cordelia (or if they’ve arrived or not. He’s been complaining that Amazon Prime isn’t getting Amazon to ship when they should and that things he needs have not yet arrived).

Going to church leaves me pretty wrecked due to the agoraphobia. I need to remember to take an Ativan and see if that helps at all. Maybe, if it does, I won’t end up crashing at 11 tomorrow night with a headache and leaving Scott with all of that work to do alone.
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Cordelia’s dental appointment went well, but we spent $30 on cab fare. I’ve got to get back to being able to take the bus for things like that. I finally remembered to ask Cordelia if she’s the one who’s been using my Gel-cam (extra strong fluoride gel for after brushing and flossing. I use it to decrease pain from sensitivity), and she said she had been. That’s not a terrible thing, but it’s a lot more expensive than the fluoride rinse she had been using. Gel-cam is about $20 for a tube, and one tube, used once a day, lasts about three months. The hygienist gave her a sample of another fluoride rinse, but Cordelia ended up hating it.

I spent most of Cordelia’s appointment fairly uncomfortable. It reached a point where all I wanted to do was to massage my breast in hopes of easing the itching.

Naturally, the radiation oncology folks called our home number while Cordelia and I were out. I called back immediately, but the person I needed to talk to wasn’t there. One of the nurses sent me a message asking me to take pictures of my skin in the affected areas and to send those to her. Unfortunately, the patient portal aborts uploads if they take more than twenty seconds, so I wasn’t able to do that then.

About 5:00, the resident called and gave me her email address, so I sent five pictures. I don’t think they’re going to tell her anything. The skin looks great. It’s just that it itches horribly. She seemed confused by that and told me that I shouldn’t be getting itching this long after treatment. No one has gotten back to me today so far.

But, you know, a lot of the stuff I found online about burns says that itching isn’t rare several weeks after the burn starts to heal. My last radiation treatment was 21 November. That’s not all that long ago. I didn’t find any sites that I recognized as clearly authoritative and trustworthy, but enough different sites said it that I think there’s something in it. (I look first for .gov and .edu sites and then for sites from organizations I recognize as having a good reputation. The best I found was a University of Maryland page talking about itching in pediatric burn patients.)

I didn’t end up getting anything done yesterday but the dental appointment. Cordelia doesn’t want to help me out today, but I think I’m going to have to insist. She’s perfectly capable of taking turns with me to stir the rice porridge, for example, and she needs to practice wrapping presents. I’m not great at that last myself, so maybe, if we work together, she’ll feel less intimidated by the prospect. I also want her to help with the bacon wrapped dates by handing me dates one at a time. That way, we won’t have to throw out the leftover dates due to raw bacon contamination.

I don’t think we’re actually going to have anything at all to put in our stockings this year. Scott hasn’t done that shopping, and I don’t see it happening tonight or tomorrow. We have three little bags of chocolates which will come out to about eight each and is so little that I’m not sure it’s worth putting them in the stockings. Scott always way underestimates how big the stockings are and overestimates what’s in each bag of candy he buys. That’s why I’m usually in charge of deciding how much candy to buy.

Scott’s kidney stone still hasn’t passed. His primary care doctor wants him to see a urologist, but, given the timing, I think the stone pretty much has to pass before he’s likely to get an appointment. I don’t know how far out urologists schedule, but the next week and a half is pretty much a write off for any sort of appointment. Also, getting an appointment relies on Scott having time to call to set one up in between 9:00 and 4:30 today.

Scott says that right now it’s pressure more than pain, but I’m concerned because he was pretty sure that the dratted thing was sitting midway between his kidney and his bladder last night and not moving. That seems like a really, really bad place for it to take up residence.

I want to buy a gift card for the friend who took Scott to the ER and then stayed with him. Right now, I’m leaning toward some sort of pet supply thing. I know the family owns three large dogs and is fostering a fourth, smaller dog. If I knew what sort of places she and her husband liked to eat, I’d go for a card for that, but this will, at least, be useful.

I’m also trying to decide what to get the woman who brought us dinner every Monday for a month. I know that she likes camping and hiking and the outdoors in general, but I don’t know where she prefers to buy supplies. There are a couple of stores around here that sell that sort of thing, and I don’t know if she has a preference. I may end up with REI simply because that’s the easier of the two to buy a card from online.

We still haven’t told Scott’s family that I might not make it to some parts (or all) of the Christmas celebrations. Scott’s parents know that I really can’t bear wearing anything on my upper body right now, but I don’t know that they’ve connected that to the notion that going to church with them would not be something I’d want to do. I think it’s incomprehensible to them in the same way that me not wanting to go to church in general because of agoraphobia is incomprehensible.
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I’m still dithering about Christmas Eve and Christmas. The difficulty is that, unlike Thanksgiving, I know that I could probably do it. I’d be uncomfortable, but I’m not sure it would be worse than that. I’m not even sure I’d be more comfortable at home; I just wouldn’t have to pretend I was comfortable. On the other hand, getting things back to normal would be really nice. I just don’t know.

I also have to decide whether we’re getting to Cordelia’s dental appointment today by cab or by bus. Cab is most likely, but it’s an awful lot more expensive. My guess is that we’ll pay upwards of $12 each way for a cab while the bus is $0.75 each way (I ride free. Cordelia pays half fare). But I haven’t taken a bus since March. No, I take that back. I did it once during the first week of radiation. And taking the bus means dealing with a fairly steep hill, downhill on the way there and uphill on the return trip. It also means walking about four blocks between the bus stop and the dentist. On the up side, if we take the bus, we can stop for bubble tea, but I don’t know if I can do all of that walking. I’m going to have to eventually, but I don’t know if today is the time. It’s relatively warm out, so there’s that.

I’m also trying to figure out what to do about my socks. All of my knee socks now slide down my legs and end up bunched under the arches of my feet when I walk around. I like knee socks. They work really well with my pants which are just a trifle too short. I have tried sock glue, but my skin doesn’t like it at all, so I’m not sure there is a good solution.

Scott had to go to work early this morning. We weren’t thrilled about that, but I’m hoping that he won’t have to do it any other day this week. Of course, it’s entirely possible they’ll ask him to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Christmas and try to convince us that those hours are part of Christmas Eve.

I didn’t actually get anything done yesterday, so I need to do some work today. I think I’ve got enough time this morning to make the Christmas porridge. It might be better, though, to wait until after the appointment— I’ve got an hour and a half before we need to call the cab or leave for the bus stop, and the porridge takes slightly more than an hour. I’d have to put it in the fridge quite hot or leave it on the stove, cooling, for three hours. Neither of those sound appealing. I guess I’ll settle for doing the dishes and putting away laundry. Maybe I should try to wrap some presents. I just loathe wrapping things, so it’s hard to get myself motivated.
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I have found another sort of trivial thing that will make me stop reading a book even when everything else seems more or less okay— I started a book last night, and a character turned up a couple of chapters in who was named Harold Hill. He was a politician, but he was an incompetent one, one who couldn’t read people or improvise or persuade. And I couldn’t. It’s possible the author has never heard of The Music Man, but the book came out in 2013. Google existed. And the author is 70 and from the US. I guess I feel there are certain names that shouldn’t be used unless there’s some layer of acknowledgment or connection with the other folks who’ve had that name.

Cordelia told me yesterday that she wanted to pay for the present I’d bought for her to give to her father. This is a first. She was a little appalled to learn that it was $14, but she had twice that in her purse and got another $20 in back allowance later in the day, so I don’t think it was a terrible burden. But I wouldn’t have asked her for the money. I think it’s a good thing that she wants to pay, but I wouldn’t have demanded it. She said if feels too much like stealing to give a gift that she didn’t pay for. Somehow, I don’t think that will apply to birthday gifts for friends, but who knows?

Cordelia’s friend arrived for tree decorating promptly at 3:00 yesterday. Scott didn’t get home until about twenty minutes later, but we had the tree put together and ready to decorate by 3:30. I didn’t end up doing much but eating a couple of cookies. (Scott bought a lot of cookies, enough that we sent our guest home with a pretty good sized tub of them. I think he was feeling guilty about the fact that neither of us baked anything.) I almost forgot about the little box of candy shaped ornaments I bought last January and have been keeping tucked away in a corner on my bookshelf, but I remembered right as Scott was getting ready to call the tree done.

I tried to find some good Christmas music to play, but I deleted most of what I had earlier this year when I was running out of space on my laptop and hadn’t gotten around to reimporting it. Our CD shelf in the study is currently inaccessible because of the stuff we had to move out of the living room in order to put the tree up. We listened to the Phineas and Ferb Christmas album, and that went over well, but everything else I tried (mostly YouTube) didn’t appeal. Scott found, somewhere or another, a version of The Twelve Days of Christmas that included the notes that the true love wrote in response to the gifts. That was fairly funny.

I considered trying to go to the library with Scott and Cordelia after Cordelia’s friend went home, but I really wanted to get that shirt off so that the itching would drop back to tolerable levels. I’m really not sure what to do about the itching. I do wonder if I should stop using the Domeboro soaks. They kind of help and kind of make things worse.

Talking to a friend yesterday reminded me of the animated version of Rikki Tikki Tavi, and I found it on YouTube and ended up rewatching it. That show gave me a very anthropomorphized image of mongoose. I have it on VHS somewhere around here, but I don’t know that it will still play.

I’m still debating what to do about the family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. At this point, I’m thinking that Christmas Eve might be too hard. It’s a longer drive, and I would have to dress up because of the going to church part which means I wouldn’t be able to take breaks to go and put aloe or lotion on my breast. The only dressy thing I own is a relatively tight dress that I’d have to take off entirely if I wanted to apply lotion. Christmas Day is a lot more laid back, and I can wear whatever I want to. It’s also only half as long a drive and a lot more flexible about how early we go and how long we stay.

Scott and Cordelia have both said that they’re okay with whatever decision I make. I haven’t talked to Scott’s mother or sister about it. I just haven’t wanted to deal with it. I also feel like it matters more what Scott and Cordelia think. I don’t think I’d enjoy Christmas Day alone. It wouldn’t be terrible, but I’m used to it as a day that I spend with other people, even if I spend most of it listening to my SIL’s MIL who talks non-stop. No one else will sit and listen to her. Scott tends to spend the whole day, apart from dinner, playing board games with whoever is interested. It’s one of the few occasions when he gets to do that. Cordelia tends to try to play some specific games that she knows she likes (she won’t try new ones without a lot of persuasion). The fact that her cousins aren’t as interested in spending time with her as they used to be makes it harder. (And it’s actually worse in the years when Scott’s brother and his family come because the local cousin who’s a bit older than Cordelia is has bonded strongly with the cousin from Seattle who’s a bit younger than Cordelia, and they tend to exclude her. Cordelia says she doesn’t mind, but I wonder.)

I think I’m going to give first priority, cooking wise, to the Christmas porridge and the bacon wrapped dates as opposed to the cookies I’d like to make. The porridge is necessary. I don’t know what we’d eat Christmas morning without it, and we’ve had it every year since Cordelia was old enough to eat it. The bacon wrapped dates are less urgent, but I only make them once a year, and everybody enjoys them. Given the way the year has been for us, everyone will understand if I don’t make them, but they’re pretty easy, and I can do pretty much everything while sitting. If I time it right, I can even get Scott to put them in the oven and take them back out again.

I’m pretty tired today. I slept badly last night. I might try napping. Except that I need to do dishes and laundry. Maybe I can get Cordelia to do the laundry part of things…
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Both Scott and I forgot the grocery pick up last night. I remembered at a little bit after 11:00 as I was brushing my teeth. Given that the store closed at 11:00, this was not a useful time to remember. I expect I’d have slept a lot better if I’d forgotten entirely.

Scott just got back from picking up the groceries. They assured him that they stored all of the perishables properly over night. Given that everything in the order is very, very cold, I’m guessing that they stuck all of the bags in a refrigerator for the duration. The store called us, about 9:00 this morning, to see what had happened. I’m a little peeved because they didn’t use my cell phone even though I specified that as our contact number. I’m also not sure why they didn’t call us last night at 10:00 given that our pick up window was 9:00-10:00 and their posted hours have them open until 11:00.

Our internet is stable enough right now for things like email and loading webpages, but we can’t stream video or music and haven’t been able to since around 10:00 last night. Basically, when we try, the play stops every ten to twenty seconds and buffers for five to thirty seconds. Scott wanted to show me a couple of short videos last night, both under five minutes long. Each of them took ten to fifteen minutes to finish playing. Last night, we thought it was his new laptop (which he got up and working yesterday after work), but my laptop is doing it, too. Cordelia hasn’t said anything, so I don’t know if she’s having trouble.

The current plan is for Scott to shower and then get out the door as fast as he can to catch a showing of The Force Awakens. He has to be be back here by 3:00 because that’s when Cordelia’s friend will arrive to help decorate our tree. We’ll have two hours to do that before her father picks her up again. As it’s not a large tree, an hour to an hour and a half is generally adequate. I think we take more time putting the tree together and getting the lights and other strand decorations on than we do putting everything else on.

I’m going to take one of my remaining hydrocodone at about 2:00 in hopes that that will make wearing a shirt for the time I need to more bearable. After that, I’ll have two left. I want to reserve one for Tuesday afternoon when Cordelia has a dentist appointment. We’ll be out of the house for nearly three hours, and that’s going to be hard if I’m itching horrifically the whole time.

I’m going to email my parents to see if they’re in Michigan yet. My mother’s cell phone doesn’t work reliably, but she’s reluctant to replace it. My step-father doesn’t turn his cell phone on unless he’s expecting a call or wants to make one. They don’t have a landline at the Lawton house yet. I find the combination of these three facts pretty frustrating. I suppose I could call my brother and ask him. He lives close to Lawton, so he’d know if they’ve arrived. I think I’ll call him and email them.

My primary care doctor said that she’s willing to renew my prescriptions that need it without me seeing her first. I saw her last in May or June, and it’s not like I haven’t been seeing doctors in between. I asked her to wait until January to renew the Singulair because we just picked up the last thirty day supply yesterday. If she renews it now, I will only get eleven months out of the prescription instead of twelve. I told her that I would let her know when I needed that (which is really, really easy to do through the patient portal) so that she wouldn’t have to try to remember. I asked her to renew the levothyroxine now because that will run out January 2nd. She just emailed me to say that she sent both prescriptions in. I’m not entirely pleased but whatever. It’s not a major thing.

I slept about seven hours straight through last night. I was surprised when I woke at 8:00 because I usually set my alarm for 5:00 on days when Scott doesn’t set his. That’s so I get up at the right time to take my thyroid medicine. Last night, I was so upset over the grocery thing that I set the wrong alarm, one set for considerably later in the morning. So I got up at 8:00 and took my thyroid medicine then came back to bed and counted minutes until I could get up and have coffee. I tried to go back to sleep, but I was fairly uncomfortable. I just thought it was better than getting out of bed and staring groggily at my laptop while I counted minutes.

I just have to figure out— The patient portal lists me as owing UHS about $3.50 and that as being 60-90 days past due. UHS won’t let me pay that through the patient portal (other parts of the university health system do allow and even encourage this) and hasn’t sent me a bill. I’m not at all sure what they expect me to do. It’s sheer chance that I even know about it, given the lack of a bill. There’s nothing on the UHS website about how to pay bills. That seems like it ought to be there somewhere.

October 2017

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