Because Why Not?

So, round about the time my sister was finishing up her stay in the hospital and transitioning home, the magnesium supplement I've been taking for a while now reformulated.

I didn't think anything about it. People reformulate all the time and it's just kind of like, "Okay?" Mostly a justification to charge more, honestly.

Regardless, I dismissed it and continued to take said supplement.

A few days later, I developed a rash on my neck.

I thought shingles because stress and awfulness.

But people who've had shingles said I wasn't in enough pain for it to be shingles. And I won't diminish their experiences, but my little bout with chicken pox as a child was minor and unremarkable (I had six whole pox and they didn't really itch.) so maybe I just do shingles weird?

But said rash didn't clear up and didn't clear up and yesterday I finally had the chance to go to the urgent care.

And they believe firmly it's an allergy.

So I spent most of yesterday wracking my brain to figure out what might have changed. Last night, as I was getting ready to take my after dinner pills (because I'm old now and have pills for different times of day), I spied the magnesium bottle and thought, "Hm."

One quick google later and did you know you can be allergic to some of the different kinds of magnesium and it causes a rash?

Apparently this time, the reformulation was actually a change.

So yeah. I won't be taking that anymore. And I'm going to go magnesium free for a month or so just to give my body time to recuperate before I poke around for another supplement. And even then, I'm going to make sure it's as close to the original I'd taken for years with no issues before diving in.


Pedro Lives!

I know you were all waiting on tenterhooks (and wow, didn't that just send me down a strange etymological worm hole. Highly recommend googling if you're unaware.) to know if my sourdough starter was going to survive its misadventure by teen.

Well, as I said previously, I fed the bottom little bit and crossed my fingers. 

And it seemed to quite happily grow and bubble.


I've been giving it a good feed every 24 hours to make sure we're truly good, but I believe I'll be ready and able to bake again when next I have the time and inclination.

I will also be putting some sort of sign over the oven controls when using the oven for a warm resting place to hopefully avoid another mishap.

Pedro lives!

(Yes, my starter is named Pedro. Because he makes pan.)



Today, I was feeling a little motivated in the morning (a big win of late), so I dragged my sourdough starter out of the fridge and gave it a feed, thinking I'd give 100% whole wheat another go. (The last experiment, which was the 2nd, turned out almost great, so I'm pleased and thinking I'm on the right path with it.)

Since I seem to attract drafts no matter where I life, I stuck the starter in the oven with the light on so it had a still and warm place to grow.

Everyone knows the light isn't on unless I'm doing this.

Or so I thought.

I came downstairs from my few minutes with eldest's therapist after his session to find the oven pre-heating.

And my starter cooked.

After a near-hysterical meltdown (because my sister gave me that starter) and some time to collect myself, I judged that the very bottom of it might be salvageable.

So I stuck that in a bowl and fed it and we'll see.

I washed the usual jar (baked on starter is surprisingly hard to get off without a good bit of soaking) and tonight I'll transfer over some of the afternoon fed starter to the jar, give it another feed, and see again in the morning if we still have life or if it's just time to start over.

The teenager has been quiet and reserved since this afternoon. I think hubby may have called to explain that his initial response of, "I'm sorry but it's not a big deal." was not the way to go.


I'm not sure I know how to do this.

I had begun to get an inkling of how much I chatted with my sister while she was in the hospital, because she was sleeping often and didn't reply right away when I texted.

But now I keep reaching for my phone to text and...she's not there.

She'll never be there.

And as complicated as it can be with a sister -- because I'm not going to lie and say it was sunshine and roses every day of our lives, it wasn't -- I miss her. I miss her more than I miss mom.

This is horrible.

And hard.


For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

I'm not sure if it means anything that Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday shared a date this year, but I do know my sister went home to Jesus yesterday and she was loved.

Rest in peace, sweet sister. Hug mama. And all your babies who never saw this side of heaven.


Insert Maniacal Laughter Here

This is going to be scattered and ridiculous. Much like my brain these days. You've been warned.

Well, sometime over last weekend, sister took a rather dramatic dip and now spends the bulk of her time sleeping. In all, this is good, but I do wish Jesus would hurry up and take her home. Now more than ever. She is clearly uncomfortable, even in sleep, and Dad and I are both not sure what to do about that. When she's conscious, we encourage more pain meds, but what do you do when she's asleep? 

Beyond that, I got a random wild hair the other day (and it had been coming and going for a while, but I guess my impulse control is shot to heck right now) to buy organic, stone ground wheat from a small farm. So none of the bad fertilizers and such and back to good grain and yadda yadda. And so last week - week before? I have no concept of time - I gave sourdough a whirl with the new flour and hahahahaha. I did not read up on just how different this acts.

So today, we finally made it through all of the very, very dense first effort and I am trying again - now with much more hydration! - and we'll see what we see.

I might have over hydrated it now? I don't know.

A friend said, "Why not just use a tiny bit of the organic and mix with your regular bread flour" and like...that defeats the whole point? The brain goal for down the road is to buy wheat berries and grind them at home as needed. But yeah, I'm glad right now that I went this intermediate route first because I'm not sure I have it in me to keep going. Healthier is good, but not when it means life is miserable trying to make it work.

Youngest is loving my preoccupation and general inability to do anything because it means his school has been slapdash at best lately. We spent a whole day last week building lego. And I can make a case for motor skills and engineering and so forth if I cared to. The reality is, he's not going to fall behind. It's going to be fine. But yeah, I feel the mom guilt.

Eldest is trucking along with his, which is good. And I am even managing to stay on top of making sure he's doing well (vs phoning it in). So gold star?

Last week, rather than being in Hawaii (which was originally scheduled before everything with my sister went sideways), hubby was home at his boss's insistence. I appreciated that. But he was still in the office every day for 14 hour days. And really at the end of it all, I have realized I am incredibly spoiled and like having him at home. I don't know how we could go back to a full time in the office job at this point. Thankfully it doesn't seem like that's anywhere on the horizon, but yeah. It'd suck.

There was more to say when I started this but it's gone now. So probably super interesting. Or not.

Most likely not.


It just never gets better

We're now in the throes of dealing with Hospice and getting things set up to bring sister home to Dad's for as long as she has left. No one will say how long that is - and really it's hard to tell. Could be days. Could be months.

Her kidneys and liver are all failing - but how rapidly will that go? Jury's out.

And of course she's herself, and unhappy with any of our proposed suggestions for where to put the hospital bed and set her up. I want to say when you're the one dying, you get to choose, but at the same time, it has to work and still allow life to carry on.

Which is why she's not coming to my house. I feel guilt about it, but I can't make the boys be as quiet as she'd need, nor can I promise that I'd have the kind of time to help her as I know she wants. We're working out nursing care, but it's not the same as a family member. I know this. And yet.

So really, it seems like a family member dying can't take place without some kind of guilt. I know I did everything there was to do for Mom - but it wasn't as much as she wanted - and so there's guilt. And so it'll be the same for sister.


This is not me trying to make her dying about me, btw, because it isn't. It's just that this is all hard. Everything is hard. And there are no perfect answers.