Tuesday Things

Hi all!! I’m headed to the big Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN today to try and get some answers on a weird angioedema issue that I’ve had for years but has recently become pretty bothersome. Prayers, good juju, happy thoughts are all appreciated!

Knitting: I’m still working on my pretty yellow gift socks. School days, sports practices and games, and a decent bedtime have all conspired to keep me about 45 rows away from the finish. Hopefully this week as I already have yarn waiting on the swift for the next pair.

Reading: I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird over this last week. I picked it up *ages* ago for a writing class that I never finished and I’m finding so much life inspiration in it. And a few chuckles. I’m definitely going to have to find more of her writing because I’m enjoying it immensely. Also read: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center and The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger. I wasn’t overly impressed with either of them enough to recommend them.

Watching: I watched Chapelle’s Sticks and Stones special. I had a lot of thoughts and then I found this great review that said everything I would have said but more eloquently but I managed to save the link wrong so…It’s not always funny. It’s often uncomfortable. I definitely think it’s worth watching.

Making: Lists. Plans. Dreams. Goals. And then bed. It just feels so good when I make the bed every morning I don’t know WHY I get out of the habit. (Do you have one of those habits that really doesn’t take any time at all, feels so good when you do it and still always find yourself slipping out of the habit of it?!?)

So that’s me! What are you reading, making, watching lately? Anything good to share?

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  • Hi Kate,
    Too funny—I’m reading Bird by Bird too! I LOVE her honesty and humour (the story of her son and the fucking keys was hilarious and 100% relatable) and so much of what she says is not only instructive for writing, but also for life in general.

    I’ve been trying to keep all the balls in the air—course, memoir, election, activist group, kale-processing, cookie baking, keeping food in the house and cooking it, not forgetting to pick up my child from cross country practice—and in the evenings I just want escape. I did manage to get one sock done for my daughter’s BF (while watching Star Trek Next Generation with my 14-year-old) and on the weekend I washed the floor (it’s been months, and no, I’m not exaggerating); both those things feel like huge accomplishments.

    Sending you best wishes and a hug—may all go well at the clinic, Kate.

    • I love that we are both reading that at the same time! It’s one of the first books where I’ve gone and gotten a pen to make annotations. I then had to add “We need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here…” to our letterboard because I found it so inspiring.

      And wow do you have a few balls in the air!! I can see why you just need an escape at the end of the day. Congrats on the floor – it’s so satisfying when that’s done!!

      TNG is my favorite. I’ve had a crush on Patrick Stewart that only gets fiercer with age. And I’m sure I’ve told you before, but Jesse and I used to watch in syndication when we were first married. We even registered for the full DVD set when we got married and were so disappointed to not get it (back before the days of streaming)!!

      Speaking of kale processing, I was reading about making kale pucks on this homesteading blog I LOVE (I follow her instagram too, she’s amazing!!) Here’s a link if you’re interested. It’s toward the end of the post.

      Finally, I appreciate the wishes and the hug. So much.

  • I loved Bird by Bird when I read it ages (by which I mean decades, good Lord) ago. You and Marian are making me want to pick it up again. Along those lines, I am reading Vivian Gornick’s The Situation and the Story because it was recommended…somewhere…and I put it on my “to read” shelf in the public library and recently discovered it there and put a hold on it. Not far enough to say anything about it yet. I love Lamott’s essays, but not her fiction. I devoured Operating Instructions shortly after the birth of my children (found it in the hospital gift shop), and Traveling Mercies is also a favorite. I’m not as fond of her more recent offerings.

    I have been doling out as slowly as I can episodes of Fleabag, thanks to you. I only have one left! Wah! I have grown to love her. She reminds me of a student I had my very first year of teaching (decades ago, good Lord!). Smart and funny and irreverent and wounded. Flawed (aren’t we all?), but good at the core. Thank you for recommending her. Because sometimes it’s the small things–like an episode at the end of a long day in the first weeks of the school year–that get you through.

    And I actually made something last week! Or almost made. Still need to hem it. A curtain. Easiest project ever, but hey–it was something. It felt good to bust out the sewing machine. We had rain this weekend for the first time in quite a while, and I’m looking forward to the inside season and making the kinds of things one makes on rainy days. I almost always make the bed. I’m cranky with myself when I don’t.

    Sending you good wishes for your appointment today. Of course I had to google angioedema. I am glad it is not worse than I feared, but still it does not sound fun. On the first day of school I had a UTI, and plugged up ear, and a migraine–all minor, but boy was I miserable. Bodies that aren’t working quite right just get to be tiresome and they bring you down. Hoping you get some answers and some relief.

    Was so happy to see a post from you this morning. Had a long conversation with Cane last night about the state of the world that left me feeling sad and hopeless and scared about the future, and it is so nice to be reminded to keep living in today. I really appreciate what you do here.

    • Oh, Rita! Your first day back at school sounds absolutely awful! I’m so sorry you had to start out the year like that! I hope it’s been much better (and continues to be) every day since!

      I’m going to add your two Lamott recommendations to my TBR pile! Thank you. And I’m glad you’re enjoying Fleabag. It’s definitely not a show I would recommend to everyone, but I absolutely loved her too.

      I appreciate your good wishes. The edema isn’t horrible – especially when it’s a lip or an eyelid, but I’ve ended up in the ER a few times this year with throat or uvula swelling which is terrifying. I’m hoping they’ll be able to suggest a medicine (or other change) to serve as a prophylactic because what we’ve tried so far hasn’t worked and prednisone, while effective at bringing down the swelling once it’s triggered, is really hard on my body/mental health.

      YAY!!! on the curtain!! The idea of a rainy day sewing project just sounds lovely! I think making things is a real balm against the feeling sad and hopeless and scared.

      Which brings me finally to your last comment. Thank you. I am so sad that we’re living in a time that is so really, really dark but I’m really glad we can support each other and remind each other of the good. Thanks for being a part of that for me.

      • Swelling throat or uvula does sound terrifying, and prednisone is terrible. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that.

        All the more reason to make a little sunshine in our tiny corners of the internet for as long as we can.

  • Hi! I want to join in on the virtual group hug 🤗 on your colorful corner of the Internet Universe too!!

    I also had to google angioedema. Odd, I think that the inflammation seems to move around. I know the feeling of swelling in my throat which is more than bothersome, it’s scary at first…then becomes terrifying.

    I had an itchy rash that went completely through out my entire body in a twelve hour period. I was at university and all that I could think to do is soak in a hot bath tub thinking that whatever was on me would be washed away. That’s actually a bad idea. Heat makes the matter worse. I went to the infirmary at university the next day and was told that I’m allergic to basil. Yes, basil; that delicious, healthy, herb that Italians love to use to cook and chefs love to dress to make the meal look prettier for a bit of color.

    I had the throat episode years later while having dinner out at a wonderful Italian restaurant with my parents. I was eating manicotti and was saying how delicious it is, although I was having trouble breathing as my tongue and throat started swelling. My mom told me to stop eating because it might have basil in it. I hadn’t thought of that!! I just kept eating…because…well…it was so delicious! Mom ask the server to ask the chef if there was any basil in the manicotti. YES, there was!! Yikes.

    Then there was also a wonderful pizza place that I loved, but same… basil was in the sauce! So I learned to ask; and not only ask…but tell the server that, well, basil… I’m allergic!

    The servers look at me and say “What?” I guess that I am the only human allergic to basil.

    So I’m thinking of you… that you get an answer that you can live with, other then emergency rooms and prednisone.

    Long story, but maybe it is something simple… like an allergic reaction… like basil. Good that you are researching it to take care of yourself and your family!

    I finished both my audiobooks which turned out to be perfect for the easy light listening that I was in need of doing. The All the Single Ladies was actually more current than I thought it would be and very much relative to trials in my phase of life. So, I laughed and enjoyed for several days with my tiny Yorkie. The Ellen audiobook was not so current. I learned it was done in 2011… and no longer very relevant for me. I did enjoy it and had some smiles. Perhaps my expectations were just too high.

    I too started washing the 1000 sq feet of tile floors, including emptying furniture, so I could re-arrange my entire home! Great deep cleaning, great to cry through grief and burn off anxiety energy. Floors done, but a lot is unsettled yet. Maybe another week project in progress. I have been tossing out, making choices on all my possessions… on my sewing machine that I have had for forty years as a wedding gift from my mother-in-law… I keep looking at. I don’t use it much anymore, but…. (Rita, maybe… it’s still a keeper?!?)

    Take care girls!

    • Hi TD!! I’m all for hugs!!

      And how scary with the basil!!! It’s weird what the body can be allergic too! My issue isn’t an allergy but it’s similar and I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that!!

      Glad to hear you enjoyed your audiobooks! It sounds like you are getting lots done in the way of cleaning!! I bet that feels fantastic!

      • Well, I guess that an easy to deal with allergy like basil isn’t something to consider. Hopefully the clinic will provide other possibilities for you to consider.

        It will definitely feel fantastic when the project is completed!! Currently, it feels like unorganized chaos…

        Watching: News 2020 Democratic primary debate from my cell phone. When I was your age, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined THAT as a possibility!

        Anyone else watching tonight?

  • I’m hoping that this comment reaches you after you’ve received good news from the Mayo Clinic. I’m sorry to read about your health issues.

    I’ve read about Chapelle’s Sticks and Stones special but you’re the first person who I *know* who has watched it. I’ll put it on my list to watch, uncomfortable or not. Must stay current.

    As for bad habits… the one that I cannot explain why I don’t do it more often is… scour the kitchen sink then dry it with a dishtowel so that the sink in shiny clean with no hard water spots and looks picture perfect. I love that stainless steel sheen yet I often can’t be bothered to do the task completely– clean with water spots is just not the same.