Happy Thanksgiving

 Dad and sister came over to join us for Thanksgiving today. So a slightly smaller than usual gathering as the in-laws didn't come. I don't know that anyone was super upset by that (other than maybe my sister-in-law who complains about mother-in-law's cooking.)

We had porchetta, because none of us like turkey and I've been in the mood to cook something a little more fun. Everyone except eldest liked it (he's picky. In his own words he doesn't like "fancy meat") Insert a few eyerolls here. But whatever.

Dad and Sis were here by 9:30 so we started the day with waffles and vanilla sauce, a family favorite.

Late lunch was the pork with mashed potatoes and the brussels and other veg that were cooked under the pork while it roasted. Simple-ish. But so yummy.

We started the first season of The Mandalorian over so sister could see it. She enjoyed it well enough but isn't dying to have Disney+ to be able to finish it. Which is fine.

I took a picture of me and sister and Dad and tried not to remark to myself too many times that this could well be the last Thanksgiving with either of them. Dad's doing well enough, but he's not young. Sister could make it to this time next year, but it seems unlikely and, if she does, she likely won't be up for hanging out at a meal.

Miracles happen and so forth, so there's no given, but it did cast a pall.

I'm now almost to the point that I think I can squeeze down a piece of pie as my supper and call it a day.


Writing a letter

 I got an email from my congressman this morning crowing about how he and others had strong armed the GSA into letting Biden begin his transition and how this was what was good for America and basically a big patting of himself on the back coupled with some demonizing of anyone not a Democrat, but mostly taking another chance to sling poop at Trump and anyone who might possibly be associated with an R.

I don't love Trump. I never have. I don't mind stating that for the record.

But by God he's a damn sight better than Hillary would have been. And Biden? He's going to be hell for the 3-6 months they give him before they 25th amendment him and usher in Harris and her shit show.

So I did the little I could do. I wrote him a letter. 

It's a small enough thing. And it probably makes no actual difference, as I'm sure it's read by a staffer who laughs into his sleeve and then deletes it. But it's all I can do.

And I'm going to keep doing it.

I'm going to keep reminding him of these things:

  • He wasn't elected to write self-congratulatory letters and pal around with his cronies mocking "the other side"
  • No side -- not a single one -- has a mandate right now.
  • As such, he and his cronies are going to need to remember that even though he won the election, he's going to need to remember that though he represents me and people like me, his interests are not ours.
  • And that he, along with everyone in Congress, needs to sit down and figure out how to work together. Because the US is teetering on the edge of an abyss and all he's done so far is work to push it over faster.
I know he doesn't care. But I'm going to reply to every one his emails going forward. Because I don't know what else to do.


This, That, and the Other

 A little Sunday random to clear out the brain.

  • I mentioned to a Canadian friend the other day that the fam was going to watch a movie with friends last night and got an earful about Covid. I realize it's a thing. I realize it's serious. I also realize that a) I'm pretty sure I had it in February and b) we're taking reasonable precautions such as not licking each other, breathing in each other's faces, and washing our hands. They're healthy. We're healthy. So. Anyway, I'm just so over this and ready to find the days when people could be trusted not to be complete morons (or to bear the brunt of their bad choices without griping that the government should have somehow saved them.)
  • I don't understand how anyone can not see how student loan forgiveness punishes the lower and lower-middle classes while giving more advantage to middle and upper middle folks. The people who didn't go to college because they couldn't afford it and knew saddling themselves with massive debt was a bad plan just get bent over to pay for the ones who said f-it and wrote checks with their ego their body was never going to be able to cash. It's not about fair. It's about freaking personal responsibility. (As in, you took out the loan, you're on the hook for it. What's magical about school debt? What about all the people who got bent over by balloon payments on mortgages? Where's their government bailout? It's the same general thing: they spent money they didn't have and were never going to earn on a house they couldn't afford. House payments are still qualified as "done to improve their life" just like school loans. They could have bought an affordable house or waited and saved. Just like people could have gone to an affordable college or waited and saved.) Also, where does this magical money come from? Do people understand that the government can't just print more money and not screw the whole country? (Obviously teh answer is no, but one wonders why all these people with college loans have so little actual education.)
  • We need to groom the Sleepy Pup. It's on my never ending to-do list but as it's a two person job, I have to wait for the husband to be available and, well, that's akin to waiting for Godot.
  • Every time I think of Godot I smile and remember the girl in my college (ha) oral interp class who did a scene from same and pronounced it "God-ot" the whole time. It was uncomfortably embarrassing.
  • Normally I'm a hard and fast "not until after Thanksgiving" girl when it comes to Christmas decorations. I find myself ready now though. And I've been ready for a week or so. I think it's the general feeling of "f it" that I have when it comes to just about anything anymore this year.
  • Cautiously optimistic news about the sister's cancer - but the Eeyore in me says not to get my hopes up until she's been done with chemo for 6 weeks and the numbers still look good. Because the numbers looked like they were improving last year during treatment, too, and we see what that got us. (Bupkis. It got us exactly bupkis.)
  • We have tentatively scheduled a jaunt down to Williamsburg in December so as to see the in-laws (since we're not seeing them for Thanksgiving or Christmas b/c despite item the first, we are actually being smart about people numbers and exposure etc. Add in that sister is coming for both and her compromised immune system doesn't need a hoard.) With Der Kommissar's current tightening of things, we're now trying to decide if we carry on like the wayward son of old or if we punt to some as yet undetermined time in the future. I'd like to vote for never, given they're the in-laws and seeing them always goes badly, but, well, they did make the husband, so there's that.


A bit of a hike

 We don't have a ton of homeschooling friends these days -- most of those with whom we'd gotten close have moved off (yay for the military) and so we're basically down to one set of friends that we try to make sure we see once or twice a month.

The mom and I are always a little amused that our kids (and us moms) are as good friends as we are, because they really are kind of the polar Sleepy family. They are staunch athiests. They are vegan. They might not be pro-socialism, but they definitely voted for Harris/Biden (because let's be real, Biden was never the front of that ticket) and are just generally on the liberal end of anything you can conjure up.

And yet? We have the best conversations when we're out walking/hiking/letting the kids be crazy. And don't really disagree all that much in terms of what the US needs - it's more about how to get there.

Anyway, we met them today at a Civil War park near us that I'd never even heard of, let alone visited. It was a fun set of trails that we wandered. We stopped to read a few of the signs - the elder boys found them interesting, the younger set were less impressed, but that's fine. There was mud. And puddles. And everyone had fun and we had a makeshift picnic and life was good.

It was a lovely day around here today, so I'm glad we carried on to do something outside. Even though her kids both have fall allergy coughs. And I've got the sniffles. And neither of us were fussed about any of those being Covid, and it was nice, for ten seconds (okay, two hours) to pretend that we were just going about life as usual.

And hey, a bonus bit of exercise.

So there's something happy to break up the general malaise around these parts.


Staving off the crazy - or trying to

 One of the things I have been working to be more consistent about these days (because stress relief is a much needed thing) is my elliptical time. I'm pretty well firmly in the five mornings a week camp now and while I wish there were endorphins and weight loss associated with all this exercise, it does do two things for me.

1) It helps some with the stress. I definitely sleep better on days I exercise.


2) It gives me an excuse to watch some TV. 

Of course, this is a mixed bag, because I don't really know what I want to watch and we're limited to Netflix and Prime (and Disney+ but I haven't put that on my phone yet so it's kind of a no unless I get unlazy.) And Netflix is kind of a loss as far as I can tell these days.


We did add CBS all access to our Prime. And this unlocked all the old seasons of the The Amazing Race.

You know what's fun and mindless to watch while you work out? That's right. Random people traveling the world and arguing with each other. At least it is to me.

So far I've made it through season 1, 2, and 3. And I've started season 4. We didn't start watching until season 10, so these are all new to me -- I guess we'll find out if re-watching things I've already seen continues to be interesting. 

I only let myself watch while on the elliptical, so that also adds a little motivation to get on the dumb thing when I don't want to, because I do want to see what happens next. Even if I don't want to sweat.

Anyway, it's win-win for me and highly recommended.


Leaves, Trees, and Madness

 Today we had some tree cleanup done by the tree guy who comes by now and again. We'd had some broken branches that never fell, a dead tree, some branches on a different tree that were on the roof of the garage.

In all, good cleanup that needed to be done. And, bonus, it helped more of the leaves give up the ghost so we can blow them into piles and bag them up. The boys are enjoying doing that this year, which is lovely. I only have to suggest that it's time to do more and off they go. It helps, I imagine, that we're paying them.

I spend entirely too much time clenching my fists and/or shaking them at the sky these days. I just want to remind people that Al Gore got his 38 days, legal challenges, recounts, etc. It seems only right that Trump get his shot as well.

And I might well haul off and slug anyone who next uses the word "mandate" - because no matter who wins this stupidity, there's no mandate on the table. It's time for the government to suck it up and start acting like adults -- on both sides of the aisle -- and learn to work together.



Struggling to be positive

 Tomorrow. Y'all. I don't think I fully understood the idea of existential dread until this year.

I'd like to just skip ahead a bit (Brother Maynard) to maybe, say, January. I figure maybe some of whatever massive kerfuffle gets kicked off when polls close tomorrow might be sort of over by then.

My sister's at the midpoint of her chemo. They'll do another PET scan this week? Maybe next week. Soon. I am struggling to believe that it's actually possible that the scan will show that the cancer is getting battled back. I know it's theoretically possible. I also know that her journey so far has been on the low side of any statistic ranges they give.

Youngest. Reading. Ugh.

I frankly don't know what to do. I mean I have some ideas from a friend who's a reading specialist. So we'll try those. But again. Struggling to believe they're going to do any good.

Eldest is a tween. Nearly a teen. And his attitude is definitely testing his limits. Or my limits. Or maybe everyone's. And I'm struggling to believe it's going to get better. I know, again in theory, it absolutely will. Whether or not we live through it is, I guess, a question.


I know there's no point in borrowing trouble. I know this. 

I just can't seem to help myself.