Tuesday, October 03, 2017

In Which I Dust Off Some Cerebral Bric-A-Brac And Wax Philosophically Amish

Kind of a mixed bag today as I pull together several bits of Cerebral Bric-a-Brac. Have you a moment? A snack or beverage? Let's on, then.

~*~Alphabet Medicine. Despite following Doctors' Orders strictly and religiously, my followup labs last week were...disappointing and scary. My Vitamin D had dropped back to previous concerning levels, joined this time by Vitamin B12, a lab ordered not just by my Superhero Neurologist Dr. B, but also by my new PCP, Dr. Rebecca. I had suspected the Vitamin D issue since the old symptoms had been making a dreadful comeback, but was hoping I was merely tired or stressed out. But as they marched on, worsening and flattening me by noon each day, I started getting truly afraid. The lab confirmation was pretty much a formality. So I'm back to megadosing, then will double my D from 2K to 4K daily. Apparently some people need more Vitamin D to keep their levels up. And the B12 supplementation will help my memory issues. "You need to stop being so hard on yourself, too," Dr. Rebecca said. "And you have got to mitigate your stress." Sigh. This is now the third doctor to tell me these things as if they were Easy.  I keep thinking of Sartre.

~*~Hirsute Irony. One of my more upsetting symptoms is that my hair is falling out. Longtime Dear Readers here know how much this pains me; I am probably the single most vain individual in the world (not named Kar--shian). Most days, the only human who sees me is Rick, and he wouldn't care if I stayed in my jammies, uncombed hair, and no makeup all damn day. I do not, however, EVER do this unless I am gravely ill. Longtime Dear Readers also know my struggles with Cat Hair Overmuch, as in my two ungrateful rescue cats produce enough cat hair to create, independently, several other small cats a day. Why is there not a way for me to marry these Two Problems into One Solution? Would I, though, actually wear a Cat Hair Wig of orange marmalade and grey tortoiseshell? (It would really be the epitome of Recycling, though.)

~*~Language Cringes. Rick was reading some forum postings on the Nextdoor app, where he keeps in touch with news about the lake community. He asked me to look at a few. This proved to be a mistake, as I immediately began to focus not on the content of the messages, but on the dire grammar, mechanics, and usage of so, so many of them. Honestly, they were painful to try to read (especially since a significant number of their authors had not heard of Punctuation). One woman was lamenting that she was concerned about a local farmer being singled out as "an escape goat until it was proven that it was his farm that was the problem." Another poster was irritated about something in the bylaws being sneaked past him, and who knows what would "be the next thing coming down the pipe." After those two butchered idioms, I gave up. That was no way to mitigate my stress.

~*~Simple Pleasures. I've written here many times before about our community-wide garage sales down at the lake. September's weather was perfect, for a change, and my brother, niece, and I enjoyed visiting with each other--and our customers/neighbors--while all sorts of people picked over and bought some of our stuff. We had very few Amish customers this time; the men were lured away by a big steam engine exhibition at a nearby fairground, but their wives were out to buy some household goods. And yes, we did give out a few Victoria's Secret bags to some Amish matrons for their purchases, which were always met with much appreciation and German commentary between them, sotto voce. But far and away, my favourite customer had to be this one because of the figure she made, clutching her very, very iconoclastic purchase. Careful not to reveal her face, I quietly and unobtrusively took her photo from a distance. It is charming, I think you'll agree.

Image property of Nance Donnelly/deptofnance.blogspot.com

That crayon bank was a steal at 50 cents; the set of cereal bowls (Corelle, maybe?) went for maybe two bucks.  She was happy, in her calm, barely smiling, Amish sort of way.  I hope she gave it to her little boy or girl, and that the child was excited and clapped his or her hands in joy.  They would have had to be as surprised about that enormous purple crayon as I was when I took her money for it.  Honestly, it made my day.  It made my brother's day as well, and I know we'll talk about it every time we have garage sales from now on.

As I find myself stuck in The Slow Lane once again for a little while, struggling for that elusive Wellness, I'm striving for those Simple Pleasures and Small Gains--the Low-Cost Joys in a sort of Garage Sale Life.  (With cat hair, of course; always, with cat hair.)

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  1. Having a fluctuating D-level myself, I'll sit in that boat with you. Fortunately, my levels do not dip as badly as they used to; when I start getting a little depressed, for no reason, I know I need to up my D dosage.
    As for the idioms, I've experienced an 'escape goat'. It's no fun, at all, having to chase down a silly goat that prefers to be a free range critter instead of a happily confined critter.
    As far as what 'comes down the pipe' - in my experience - nothing good comes down a pipe; outside of a food manufacturing facility.
    Wishing you a calm, strengthening Autumn, full of wellness and quietness of spirit...

    1. Denise--Oh, thank you for sharing that! It's so good to know that it's not Just Me! And yes, the depression symptom is almost worse than the pain. That was part of the fear for me. Thank you so much!

      I had ZERO IDEA that D levels would fluctuate like that, or that some people would need more than others, etc. It simply never occurred to me. I'm not a big person, vis a vis height or weight, so I figured the doctor had calculated my dosage and that would be it, period. End of episode. And I apologize if you had mentioned it to me previously and I forgot. B12 deficiency, you know. :-(

      I am not a fan of goats in general, be they free or otherwise. And who says, in normal conversation, "As soon as the hot water comes down the pipe, start filling the kettle"? Stuff comes OUT OF pipes. Duh. If only people would think once in a while, you know?

      Thank you for the well wishes. I wish you the same, truly.

  2. I would love to live near the Amish. I would have loved it, too, if you had asked the Amish woman what she was going to do with the purple crayon. Do you think the women you gave the Victoria Secret bags to had a clue what that store sells, or were they just grateful to get a bag for their purchases?

    These are not easy times to reduce our stress levels. I'm so sorry your health is suffering.

    1. Jean--Thank you for your kind words of sympathy. I am trying every day not to internalize so much of the overarching negativity out there, but it is difficult.

      The Amish community near us at the lake are quite personable and friendly, but still a closed society. The men do all sorts of terrific work in our development, and the family stand sells such great produce so cheaply. They also sell eggs, honey, maple syrup, home canned items, baked goods, and the odd fancy work and soap. Every now and then, the patriarch sells gorgeous cedar porch furniture--Adirondack style chairs, swings, gliders, etc. The family are pleasant and friendly, but they don't offer anything by way of initiating conversation.

      The women love the bags because they are pretty, first of all, and because they are sturdy and useful. And I'm fairly certain they are aware of what that store sells, as I said to joared, below.

  3. Hope your body system will soon be functioning as it should. What a curse — reading grammar instead of content! No wonder your stress levels need lowering. Glad the Amish lady was able to find that crayon and other items to stash in the flashy pink bag. I wonder if they will ever learn the bag’s significance, or maybe the women already know!

    1. joared--Thank you. I can--and usually do--read for content, but when the MUGS (mechanics, usage, grammar, spelling) are so offensive and impossible that it overwhelms me, or when there is a glaring idiomatic error like that, it becomes distracting. Thirty years of grading student writing is hard to slide out of when writing like that activates the old response.

      I think some of the women are aware of Victoria's Secret and their wares. The little Amish stand right outside the gate of the lake community sells handmade soaps sometimes, and one of the scents is Lovespell. That's a VS perfume, I've discovered, so they probably bought it at someone's garage sale and used it to scent some of their soaps!

  4. Let's see... I agree that other people are hell, and understand your worry about your Vit D issues. It's just weird. I don't personally relate to your need to get dressed up each day, but I'll defend your right to do it to my dying day. I can only hope that the escaped goat goes down the pipe eventually! The pic of the Amish woman with the crayon is priceless. It makes my day.

    1. Ally Bean--You're not Vain, my dear. You've not succumbed to that Deadly Sin. Good for you!

      Glad you enjoy the picture as much as I enjoyed the scenario. Even the Plain People need something jazzy now and then, apparently.

  5. So sorry you didn't get all good news at the dr's office. I take a B12 vitamin every day because apparently I had none in my human form. Go figure.

    But I guess you could say for ALL INTENSIVE PURPOSES (awe, how cute) that in the grand scheme of things, at least these are things that can be treated. (Sorry, I had to throw in two of my pet peeve language issues there.)

    If you decide you want to go the wig route, I have a blog friend who regularly posts about the inexpensive wigs she buys, etc. I can put you in touch with her if you like.

    Hang in there. Try to just concentrate on the purple crayon days. :-)

    1. Bridget--We share those linguistic pet peeves.

      Oh, to be sure: in the Grand Scheme, I am still quite fortunate, especially in light of the horrific events of these past hours, that my concerns/condition is unremarkable and benign and not something vast and irrevocable. I certainly get that.

      But after a year of this, I am terribly discouraged to find myself back at Square One. And I think I will allow myself that.

      Thanks for the offer of the source for real wigs. Hopefully, it won't come to that, but if it does, I'll let you know. Here's to racking up lots of Purple Crayon Days.

  6. So sorry to hear of your Vitamin D issues (again). Geeze. Hoping things will get to the right level and stay there for you.

    Escape goats. What ridiculous fun. My nephew does have a couple of goats and sometimes they are escape goats. Also love Bridget's All Intensive Purposes. No wonder the idiot is in the White House....

    1. Vera--Thank you; I am too.

      I have a decided bias against goats, despite reading articles recently wherein I've learned of all the good work they are doing to clean up median strips and roadsides and even vineyards in an environmentally neutral way. I'm happy that they are providing such a wonderfully green service, but one goat long ago in my childhood ruined it for all the rest. I prefer cows.

      Have a lovely vacation (even though you are...Camping ;-> ).

  7. Ugh, health problems are the worst, as we have discussed. You can have everything, but if you don't have your health, it's all for nothing. I am so, so, sorry that you have suffered a setback. I wish you a speedy path to normal Vitamin D levels. My hair situation has never fully recovered from when I got my thyroid removed, and my hairstylist bemoans my thin hair every time I go there, as it used to be a heck of a lot thicker. I feel your pain, Nance.

    I have a young child, so I hear malapropisms all the time. It's fairly hilarious, although if it was coming from an adult, I am sure I wouldn't find it so amusing.

    Working this new job sucks, I have no time to pay attention to anything but putting out immediate fires. How do people do it? And the even sadder part is that I am only working 30 hours a week. But it feels like I am there all the time anyway.

    1. Gina--Thank you, dearest. I've been missing you, Most Worthy WWF Opponent, and hoped that all was well at home with the family. Knowing that Back To School can be chaotic even without starting a new job, I figured I'd wait and see awhile before sending you a message. It's nice to see you surface here.

      My mother used to fuss about my thick hair all the time when she was combing it out and twisting it into braids. Later, I used to be astonished at how many curlers/perm rods it took to get its stick-straight tendencies overcome. Now, I'm just sad, thinking of how it used to be and mourning its former abundance and glory. Even though we never got along, I loved my hair!

      You're right, of course, that I need an Attitude Adjustment regarding the idioms I read/hear butchered all the time. After all, no one appointed me The Language Police. It would help me mitigate my stress, that's for sure. Kids are the best when they experiment with language.

      Thirty hours a week is plenty--almost full-time, and with a young family such as yours, it's a lot. I still look back at my early years teaching with two boys and Rick working and wonder "Who in the hell was that woman who packed stuff for two kids, got the kids up and dressed, drove them to the babysitter, taught the whole damn day, then picked them up and went home to make dinner and do all the Mom Stuff before grading papers, etc. and falling into bed?" And that is repeated over and over again in our world by moms who are single, married, living without adequate resources, and under worse circumstances than I ever had to do it. It is truly astonishing.

      I'm hopeful that you will find a Balance You Can Live With or be able to find another job that is more suitable. It's no fun to feel like you are meeting yourself coming and going with nothing in between. XO

  8. I’m so sorry your body is being a bitch to you - and I sure hope the mega doses bring you back to a happier place. The world is crazy enough without having to deal with it from a place of personal pain.

    I LOVE THE PURPLE CRAYON!! Purple is my new favorite color - I even got a purple band for my new Fitbit (which is also a current favorite thing - it makes me get up every hour. During the day - my bladder does the honors at night.).

    I know you don’t like to post pictures of yourself, but you ever do decide to start wearing a cat hair wig, I shall insist on a picture.

    Finally, the other day one of my Facebook friends was complaining that her daughter was never “aloud to talk in school.” Sigh.

    1. Bug--Thank you. It's true: we all need our Strength in Times Like These. My body needs to Step Up!

      I am not a fan of purple at all, but St. Patsy is. It is her favourite colour as well, and she chose a purple cover for her iPad. I went through a purple phase in my teens, and my wedding colours were purples, but now...not a fan. More for you!

      Oh god. I hate "aloud" as permission almost as much as "lightening" for the celestial electricity. Drives me crazy. WE ALREADY HAVE WORDS FOR THESE THINGS--ALLOWED and LIGHTNING. Geeze.

  9. It is a good thing that you are not on Facebook. I adore Facebook, because I like to see what friends and family are up to, but the price to be paid is all of the memes with spelling and grammar errors. It's exhausting, and enough to make a perfectly healthy person need B12 and D.

    I'm so very sorry that your D levels are still crashing. I have a friend who has a problem where her body no longer absorbs potassium, no matter how much she takes, which is of course very dangerous. Why the hell does this kind of crap happen to people?

    1. J@jj.com--Oh, I know it's a good thing I'm not on Facebook. For so, so very many reasons, among which are the ones you mentioned, that it is crowded with memes and that those annoyances are made further annoying by tragic grammar/spelling errors. It is a Circle Of My Personal Hell. That and the idea of all of that "feed" nonsense whereby it flows endlessly and relentlessly and you cannot possibly stop it and much of it is just Personal Blurting.


      Thank you for your sympathy. It is terribly disheartening and depressing, the latter being a Side Effect of low D levels. I just want all this to be Over.

      *It is So Very Nice to see you back again. Welcome!


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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