Tuesday, January 31, 2023

my blog community

I don't follow a lot of blogs.  Most of the bloggers I started out reading when I began my own blog on AOL Journals quit long ago, and Facebook ended many of them.  I know I've found myself blogging less often since I discovered Facebook; I used to blog practically every day.  

If I notice someone has a list of blogger friends on their own site, I'll check some of those out and keep the ones that interest me.  Most of my original blogging friends are gone, but we are still friends on Facebook, so I didn't really lose them.  Over these past twenty years I've followed women who have lost their husbands, but have been able to climb out of the "valley of the shadow of death" and learn how to live their lives in a different way, make new friends, and finding out they are stronger than they thought, while always remembering and honoring that loved one who passed on.

I've seen ladies who blogged almost to the end of their cancer journeys, and I still remember them whether they lived or died.  I've learned from my blogging friends that physical and mental pain is everywhere, and that death leaves nobody behind.  I've "seen" many people unexpectedly die the day after I read their last entry.

For the last several weeks, one of my blog friends has had a sick husband who refused to go to the doctor when he wasn't getting any better.  He seemed to be failing, getting weaker every day, and I fretted about this and prayed for them when I woke up in the night, although I don't really know them; but we women can feel the pain of other women, knowing we could be, or possibly have been, in the same situation. 

Patrick Phillips, in his blog this morning, addressed an article saying that the "good old days" of blogging, where people actually had a nice little community, were past.  If you could see all the comments on my friend's blog entries about her husband these past several days, you would know there are many little communities centered around blogs.  Even big communities, in some cases, like a blogger living in Hawaii who gets an unbelievable number of comments.

I believe these communities are good for our mental health.  We are all different kinds of people, but if we want to vent about something, we can do it.  Religious, non-religious, rich and poor... we can say our piece without somebody fighting with us, and still get along.  Sometimes we need to express our pain and know somebody is listening, and it helps keep us sane.  

Long live the bloggers!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Artificial Intelligence

Anita, a blogger I follow, put on her blog a poem written by ChatGPT.  I had no idea what that was, but after reading the poem I googled "chatgpt" and hurried over, since I'm the type who simply has to open Pandora's box.  Anita's blog post is HERE, by the way.

I signed up for the site and asked the first question I could think of:  "I have writer's gap. How can I get back to writing songs?"

In the first place, I used the wrong word; it should have been writer's block; writer's gap is a different thing. However, this Artificial Intelligence Being was smart enough to know what I meant. I was going to copy and paste it all on here for your consideration; however, it didn't come out right on my blog, so I did a screenshot and used a photo of it. The problem with that is, the writing is so small, you probably can't read it without making it larger.

Anyhow, the answers were great, and I'm in awe of this new development.  The problem about it is that it gleans all its info from the Internet, so there can be wrong answers.  

Meanwhile, I'll be trying to stump this invisible thing.  I'll let Cliff ask questions about how to fix tractors and see what we find out.

I have to get out of this chair and do something now; we have a nephew coming over to visit after while.  

Oh, here's an article about AI, if you want to learn more.

Friday, January 27, 2023

medicines and stuff

What I love most about CSI: Las Vegas in the many drone shots swooping down over the city.  I've always had a little crush on William Peterson, too, but I guess I won't be seeing him any time soon.  They had the old players come back for the first season, which is the only thing that made me watch the admittedly mediocre show.  But now, I can't leave because of those shots of Vegas from the skies.

Cliff and I changed our Medicare Advantage plans from United Health Care to Humana this year; the guy that helps us decide which plan is best told us Humana has a card that works like a debit card that's good for $1,000 for hearing, glasses, or dentists that are on the plan.  It's gone pretty smoothly so far; I work with my plan on the computer, but Cliff isn't computer-wise and doesn't care to do that, which is fine.  

For the past few days, though, he's been getting calls from Humana, voicemails telling him to call them.  Today I told him I'd listen to the voicemail, get the phone number, and call them for him, although I hate to have to use the phone for things like this; it never works out well for me.

I first called the number and got a recording saying it was Humana Centerwell (the pharmacy).  A recorded message said that Clifford had to be the one to call; then it gave me some questions that had to be answered yes or no, and again, they had to talk to HIM.  After not getting a real person to talk to, trying again, and being told I couldn't do this or that, I was already started down the road that leads to a bad day... and then came the clincher:  they ended up telling me they had a deal for us for Internet and Directv.    

I hung up and said, "This is why I hate to deal with this sort of stuff!"

But then I decided to give myself a little pep talk out loud.  "Okay, I'll get online and get a different number for the pharmacy and call them.  I have all the time in the world; dinner is made, because there's lots of hamburger soup left from yesterday and soup gets better every day.  I will adjust my attitude.  There's no reason for me to be concerned about this, because I trust Jesus!"

For some reason Cliff laughed, but at least I was content.

I called the pharmacy and got a very nice lady who asked what the calls to Cliff's phone had been about; I told her we really didn't know... all I knew was that they wanted me to have a free "help-I've-fallen-and-can't-get-up" device (I already have one) and they wanted me to get DirecTv.  

She found Cliff's account and found everything in order; they'd been waiting for all the doctors to change his prescriptions to Humana, but that's all done now and she had no idea what the calls to him were about.

It must have been some sort of scam, but if so, I can't imagine what they could have gotten out of it.  I'm certainly not going back to DirecTv; $1,200 a year is way too much to pay for 100 channels we never watch!  Cliff still struggles to find what he wants to watch when I'm not around, but I love streaming services.  We have four of them right now:  PBS, which we have because of a $5 monthly pledge; Prime, which goes with our Amazon Prime membership; Hulu, which is $14.99 monthly; and Paramount, which we got half-price for $45 for a year.  I think we'll get rid of Hulu for awhile next month and go back to Netflix.  That's what's so great about streaming services.  You aren't forced to keep them for a year or two, like DirecTv.

You'd be surprised at all the stuff we watch on PBS.  Last night I found a documentary about Patsy Cline that we both enjoyed; they have lots of documentary programs.  We watch the British who-done-its, too.  

Anyway, Cliff will be getting get his meds in a timely manner, I talked myself out of ruining a day, and all's well with the world.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Our new mattress

I won't be sleeping in my own bedroom any more.  We bought a new mattress for our queen-sized bed, and I'm in love with it.

The old mattress on our bed was not comfortable to me, and I had mentioned getting a new mattress to Cliff, but he insisted we didn't need one, even though his side of it was definitely worn out.  He's a big man, you know, which puts a lot of pressure on his side of the bed.

We've probably had at least four mattresses during our married life; when we were young with no aches and pains, we could have slept on the floor and never worried much about which mattress we'd buy, as long as it didn't cost much  

Nowadays Cliff suffers from arthritis in his right shoulder and his left hip, and he's always been a side sleeper.  So he sleeps on his right side until his shoulder wakes him up, then turns to his left side until his hip bothers him.

I decided to do some research.  My public library card allows me to check out Consumer Reports online, so I studied what they found to be the best mattresses. 

I concentrated on the top four, thinking I'd get the cheapest one.  But after reading more, I was drawn to the Casper Hybrid.  The favored Avocado Green, all foam, can't be put on box springs, and I didn't want to be forced to get a new kind of bed and frame after buying a very expensive mattress.  The Casper is foam, but also has springs, and can be laid on box springs or not.

The mattress arrived eight days ago from Amazon; the price, including taxes, was $1,434.27, which scared me.  What if we hated it?  By the way, the good Lord must have been looking out for me, because today on Amazon the same mattress is $1695, not counting the tax!  Believe me, our household savings account is rather depleted right now.

And it's worth every penny to me!  It is so comfortable, I can't believe it.  Cliff likes it fine, but he doesn't seem to be as crazy about it as I am.  When he gets in or out of bed, I don't even feel it on my side.  I sleep better and wake up more rested than I have in years.  I still get up three or four times a night for my aging bladder, but I go right back to sleep.  I've never been more happy with a purchase I've made.

And to think it came all rolled up in a box.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Yesterday we went to Blue Springs to go shopping, mainly because I like Aldi.  It was raining, but I'm neither sugar nor salt, so I don't melt in the rain.  It was actually a nice rainfall, and I imagine there was at least an inch; I asked a local farmer on Facebook if he knew the total, but haven't heard back from him yet.  

Aldi had grapes for a decent price, and they always have fruits and vegetables that are worth the money.  I buy Aldi bacon when I'm there; it has more fat than most bacon, but I save bacon grease for gravy and seasoning, so that's fine.  You can buy bacon grease at Walmart, but it's $6.87 for 14 ounces.  I also got a pound of butter for $3.98 and a dozen eggs for (ouch) $4.72.  We use as many eggs as any average person who cooks, I suppose.  I wonder if the price will ever go back to what it was before bird flu.  I like buying my eggs at Aldi because they are fresher and larger than eggs anyplace else.  And really, as Cliff and I were talking about, what we pay for eggs won't break the bank.  I just wish they'd quit raising the price of Miracle Whip and mayonnaise.  

Back to Aldi:  I was ready to check out when I pushed my cart past the open freezer case when I noticed big frozen turkeys piled up in end of the case, and thought, "Who is going to buy a big turkey this time of year?  Most people are sick of turkey."

Then I happened to notice a sign below those turkeys:  16 to 18 pound turkeys, 49 cents a pound."

If those grocery carts had brakes like a car, you would have heard my brakes squealing.  I came out of Aldi with a TWENTY POUND turkey that cost $10, which made my day.  I can make a lot of things with left-over turkey.  I freeze the cooked turkey in various amounts and get a dozen or more meals from it.  I'll wait a while, though.  I used to boil turkeys whole if it was just for us; it's done in an hour and a half that way, and not so much mess.  However, Cliff never gets tired of roast turkey with all the trimmings, so I'll probably spend the extra time and money to cook it in the oven in March or April, then freeze most of that goodness within 24 hours.  Turkey Gumbo, turkey Jambalaya, turkey salad sandwiches, turkey gumbo, turkey enchiladas, turkey  pot pies....

One good thing about shopping in the rain yesterday, there weren't so many people out and about.  City people don't like to get their hair wet, while my hair, being curly, looks better wet.  Not so much  lately, since it's far too long.  I have an appointment for next Tuesday.

Good grief, look at all the words I've written, just talking about Aldi.  

We also went to Walmart to get a handful of things Aldi doesn't have.  My pet peeve for today is that nobody has Chili Cheese Fritos in stock!  We only buy them when I want to make taco salad, but I had to get the regular Fritos, which isn't nearly as good.

Another pet peeve:  Amazon is dropping all the good benefits they used to have, one by one.  Cliff and I used Alexa mostly to ask for a single song, one we're craving to hear at the time.  Some months back, they decided not to allow us to ask for just one song.  If I asked for Coat of Many Colors, they'd just give me a whole stream of Dolly Parton and other singers, and maybe not even play the song we really wanted.  I finally found out why:  The only way they'll play one requested song now is if you pay $10 a month.  I was going to just leave things alone, but then realized I'd be cutting off my nose to spite my face, so I gave them their money.  I probably wouldn't have done it except that Cliff really enjoys asking for whatever song tickles his fancy. so it was for both of us.  

Today I got an email saying that as of February 20, Amazon will no longer have Amazon Smile.  I loved knowing they was giving money to my favorite charities.  They say they'd rather find one charity to give to so it will make a bigger impact.  I admit, my charities didn't receive a lot, but I liked knowing every time I shopped, Amazon gave my charity a few pennies.  In all the years since they started giving (2013), my charity has only received $56.61 from me.  But look at what all US charities have received from everybody!  

I'm sure Amazon will raise their yearly price AGAIN at the end of the year, too.

So there you have it:  The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

About the news

I have a schedule in my head about how to spend the early part of the day.  I didn't plan a schedule, but that seems to be how things worked out.  First, I feed the dog and cats so they will leave me alone.  Gabe insists he get fed once he comes in from his morning potty break, and Blue makes noises by somehow climbing on the roof of this trailer house to get from the front porch to the back, where I feed the cats.  If I ignore him, he'll climb to the roof and come back to the front porch... and so on.  It would be easy for him to just walk around the house on the sidewalk, but he wants to make sure he gets the attention around here.  So yes, feeding the pets is my first job, quickly done.

Next, my Bible reading for the day.  The only reason I do it early is because if I put it off until later, it often doesn't get done.  It only takes about 20 minutes; when I'm done, I scan over what I've just read and pick out a five-letter word to use as a starting word for Wordle.  Lots of people use the same word, but I live dangerously; it's more exciting to see how well a new word works.

Next, I make my first cup of tea, although for the last few days, I've been able to drink two cups of coffee instead of tea:  What a blessing THAT is!  Coffee wakes me up much better than tea.  I still drink tea at other times of the day.

Next I take a quick look at CNN to see if we've been invaded by China or Russia yet.  I hear people say, "I don't watch the news," but that seems like putting your head in the sand.  Just because I don't know something doesn't mean it didn't happen; I admit it's depressing, which is why I don't read very deeply.  I read a headline and perhaps a paragraph of what I see, to get the general idea.  Right now the right wing folks apparently think that Biden's classified documents discovery means Trump's classified documents events are just fine.   

Today I learned that China's navy is much larger than ours and the largest Navy almost always wins.  Then I found out forty-some Ukrainians were killed by a Russian cruise missile that hit an apartment complex over the weekend, but at least the warm winter in Europe kept Putin from rejoicing that people are suffering from his idea of "turning off the gas".  In California, six people were killed in a cartel-style execution.  Oh, and "a recession is coming."

Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, it's obvious that the world is going to end.  If nothing else, we'll kill one another.

Fire and Ice


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

   I read all that news in about five minute's time; I could go on, but I am done thinking about all that.

   That, of course, is why people stop watching the news.  What I try to do is get my mind back in my own little world and see if I can do any good here.  I think about the garden I hope to plant come spring; I laugh at my pets, I think about what I'm going to cook for our meals.  I can communicate with my husband easily now, and we talk about our opinions (which aren't always the same, by the way, but I don't argue).  This morning I'm remembering that Cliff gets to see his better-than-usual Social Security money tomorrow!  I saw mine last week, but I get less than half the amount he does, so I'm excited:  His money is my money!   

He's going to have something to say about that last sentence when he wakes up and reads my blog, but he knows it's true.

Last Sunday the Methodist preacher, at the beginning of the church service, asks first if we have any joys to share; then he asks if we have concerns.  Usually someone has a joy or two... grandchildren graduating, or new great-grandbabies; last Sunday all we heard was silence.  The preacher smiled and said, "Well, I guess we'll go on to concerns."

So I responded, "It isn't that I don't have any joys; it's just that I have so many, we'd be here all day!"

That's because when I think of joys I think of things like having my husband still with me, or the way the dog and cat make me laugh with their antics.  I celebrate the simple things!  My pets went on a walk in the pasture with me yesterday.  Temperatures were in the 50's and a cold front is coming, so I am so very happy to have been in the great outdoors with a very brisk wind in my face, sun shining brightly.  I am thankful I can still walk at all.

Yes, I know the world is in a mess.  But here in my little world, all is right.  So far, this old age stuff isn't so bad.


Monday, January 16, 2023

Looking at pictures

I've been looking at old pictures this morning.  On this date in 2006, I was watching Natalie and Monica, my daughters girls, before and after school.  I've always found trains and train-tracks interesting; I even love hearing the sound of trains running by the back of this place that I call home.  So that afternoon after school, the girls and I went to the railroad tracks to see what we could find.

  Walking up and down on the track, we found some interesting (and troublesome) prizes.

As noisy as an approaching train is, I would have thought any coyote would be scared away before he was stricken by a train; but then I recalled all the people who have died who were in a big hurry and thought they could "beat the train".

There were things that made one wonder if the track was even safe.

Really, does this look safe to you?

And what did these big springs fall off of?

Our main goal that day was to smash pennies on the track; I think we recovered three of them out of the dozen or so we put down; one for each of us.  I still have mine!  You place pennies on the track, and if you're lucky, you'll find some after the train runs over them.

All in all, we had a successful afternoon at the track, and lived to tell the tale.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

And in doing this blog entry, I enjoyed it all over again.

With that, I'll leave you with a bonus picture from 1924.  My mom wrote on this picture. The tall man in back is my Grandfather Stevens, who died with cancer years before I was born (I think 1938). My dear grandma is next to him, and Aunt Ruby, their first child, is beside her. My mother is directly in front of grandpa, and the boys are Carl, Paul, and Leo. I'm not sure, but I think that's the outhouse in the background.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday Stealing


1. What is your favorite accent?  I love all accents.  The sexiest accent, though, is from Julio Iglesias; he's Spanish.  

2. What is your favorite animal?  I can't choose just one, although if I could only have one, I suppose it would be a dog.  I have four I like a lot:  Jersey  cows, cats, dogs, and chickens.

3. What is your favorite band?  I'm not really a band person; words in a song are important to me.  If we're going to count singing group bands, I'll choose the Eagles.

4. What is your favorite childhood book?  At what age?  My first favorite book was probably Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes; Second would be Little Black Sambo; Then the Bobbsey Twins books; next, Little House on the Prairie, which I discovered in the fifth grade.    

5. What is your favorite color?  the blue of the sky and the greens of trees and pastures.  Also, all the colors of sunrises and sunsets.

6. What is your favorite drink?  Coffee, which I have recently started drinking again.  For a long time my  stomach couldn't handle it, but for the last week or so, it isn't hurting me!  I limit it to two cups in the morning.  If it starts bothering me again, I'll stop drinking it, but right now it's heavenly.

7. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Ben and Jerry's  Cherry Garcia

8. What is your favorite place on the planet?  Right here, in my part of Missouri.

9. What is your favorite sandwich?  Tenderloin sandwich

10. What is your favorite swear word?  The closest I  get to a swear word is "oh crap".

11. What is your favorite thing to wear?  At home, pajama pants and sweatshirt in winter, or shorts and T-shirt in summer.  I like loose, comfortable clothes.  If I leave home, I wear a bra and shoes with jeans and whatever top I choose;  otherwise, not.  At my age, comfort is everything.

12. What is your favorite food to eat on a rainy day?  I'm not even going to try and pick a favorite food.  My favorite foods number in the hundreds.

13. What is your favorite food to eat on a sunny day?  What does the weather have to do with what I eat?

14. What is your favorite number?  I've always said seven, because I was born on the seventh day  of the seventh month.  Truthfully, though, I have no favorite number.

15. What is your favorite snack?  Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips, but I very seldom have them because I can't stop eating them until the whole bag is empty and then my stomach is upset for two days.  Yes, I'm a glutton.

Thanks to Bev Sykes, who brings us Sunday Stealing on a regular basis.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

What a difference a day makes!

It turns out the lady who initially set up Cliff's cochlear implant is not his regular audiologist; Kristen, the one who met us on our first visit to St. Luke's before the day of surgery, is our regular person to see.  She had a meeting she had to attend before, and that's why we had her that day.

Cliff is really happy now!  Kristen spent a lot of time getting everything set for the way it will probably stay, with perhaps minor changes if necessary.  Our next visit will be February 1.  People now sound like real people talking instead of cartoon characters.  He was having problem with the "S" sound whistling in his ear, and that's corrected now.  He is understanding a LOT better now.  What a wonderful world we live in!      

Any of his family and friends should now be able to have a conversation with him, either on the phone or face to face.  Once we get someone smart enough to help us, he'll be able to pair the cochlear with the television, his phone, etc.  Granddaughter Natalie came over and got the app working on his phone, and she'll likely have to pay us another visit to pair things for him.  She brought her kids over with her, too, and still got the job done.  So we got to see great-grandkids in the deal.

When I took my very brief walk Tuesday I snapped a picture of my walking buddies.

I can tell it's cold outside:  Blue-the-cat has been in the house since 5 A.M., only going out twice to eat, drink, or do his business; then he is right back at the door, wanting back in.

Blue loves belly rubs.  He'll gladly turn over for scratches any old time.

That's all I have!  I'm making chili today.  See ya!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Not bad weather

We've had three days of sunshine, and warm weather for January; tomorrow will be the same, only cloudy, and then we'll get back to highs in the 30's.  I'll take it.  The boys (Blue and Gabe) headed off with me for a walk in the pasture.  They were frisky and playful, ready to run and play.  I was winded by the time I got to the green cathedral, which wasn't green of course, so I came on back.  I have had quite a busy day, and had already ridden the recumbent bike.  Yesterday I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  Today we had leftover meatloaf and potatoes, and I cooked some cabbage for our vegetable.  Tomorrow we'll have meatloaf sandwiches and some of the potato salad I made three days ago.  We're still only having two meals a day. 

Then I paid for our last propane, wrote a letter to my sister, and vacuumed.  We are never rid of those Asian ladybugs.  If the sun shines on a window for awhile, they come out of the cracks.  

Cliff goes back to the audiologist tomorrow, and it sounds like there will be quite a few trips before we're done.  Last week the appointment was at 2 PM, and tomorrow it's at 3 PM.  I guess they think we like driving home at rush hour.  How much fun can two people have?  If only they'd give us a morning appointment, we could eat at Joe's Kansas City afterward.  We've not eaten there for years. 

Hey, I can have a conversation with my husband now!  He still says "what?" quite a bit, but it'll get better.  He's talked on his cell phone with it on speaker, and didn't have much trouble.  Eventually he'll use bluetooth to talk on the phone and listen to television if he wants to.

It's time for me to go to bed.  Goodnight all, and sweet dreams.


Thursday, January 05, 2023


Yesterday was the day for Cliff to start hearing again.  Most of the professionals we've met with up to this time had cautioned Cliff not to worry about how silly people's voices sound at first with a cochlear implant.  They told him it takes a lot of time to get used to new hearing.  So we were both a little nervous about what would take place, and how long it might take him to get back to decent hearing levels.

Imagine Cliff's surprise when he could hear as soon as the doctor activated it and turned it on!  He told us we sounded like Donald Duck, but he could hear what the doctor and I were saying to him, and that's before she even spent an hour or so getting it tuned up properly for him.

Here's what he looks like with his new stuff.  It's a whole different thing than a hearing aid.  It doesn't just "help" you hear better, it IS your hearing, once you get it.  

We'll go back in a week so the doctor can make sure he's doing things right, and it sounds like we'll be making more trips through the underbelly of Kansas City, but it's definitely worth a few trips. 

Here's the doctor, explaining all the bells and whistles that go with Cliff's new "ear".  Shortly before we were ready to leave, I asked her, "How does it feel, helping God do miracles like this?"

Obviously it feels pretty good, because I could see I had made her sort of emotional with my question.  She explained that when she was young, she had some sort of project that had to do with helping in a school for the deaf.  After she heard about cochlear implants, from that time on, she set out to make that her line of work... helping people to hear!  And now, she told us, "This is what I do, all I do, every day.  I love it."

I don't know how much our cost will be for this.  All I've done was submit Cliff's Medicare card and later pay $25 for our part of a couple of payments.  But whatever the cost, it's going to be worth it.

Now the suffering is going to be mine:  Cliff turns the TV down so far I can't even hear it, and he talks so quietly, he may as well be whispering, because I can't tell what he's saying.  I probably could use hearing aids, but I have enough trouble keeping my glasses comfortable without putting them on ears that  have a thingamajiggie on top of them.


Monday, January 02, 2023

2022 was a decent year

I can't complain about much of anything that happened last year.  Inflation was a bit of a problem, but  we got through the year solvent.  That's all I've ever hoped for in money matters.  My garden gave me much joy, in spite of a drought that ruined some of my crops.  I loved getting out there at sunup with my dog and cat, watching their silly capers and chasing one another as I planted tiny seeds, spread the soaker hose along a thirsty row, or pulled weeds.

We had any kind of food we wanted and ate well... too well, no doubt.  Cliff went completely deaf, but we're hoping the cochlear implant will remedy that situation; He will get it activated day after tomorrow and start re-learning to hear.  I think we're both wondering if it will overcome his roaring tinnitus!

We've still not had flu, colds, or Covid.  I have come to terms with wintertime and very seldom have winter depression; that may be because I still take Lexapro.  I've thought about getting off it gradually in the spring, with my doctor's approval, but I feel so much better since I've been taking it, I hate to quit.  I probably should try, though.  I could start taking if again if I felt I needed to. 

Cliff's cousin who was at a nursing home near her son has died, and the funeral is Friday, down in the Ozarks.  We have planned to go, but when I realize that most of the family in that area doesn't believe in vaccines, and that Covid seems to be passed around continually from one to another, it rather worries me... not for myself so much, but for Cliff, with  his asthma.  For myself, I wouldn't mind wearing a mask, but Cliff has a bit of trouble breathing with masks.  Also, he's still going to be deaf to some extent, even though the cochlear implant will be activated; the doctors talk like it will be a long time before he will understand what he's hearing.  He sure won't be able to converse this Friday.


Around home, we are both content.  We tend to fall asleep a lot when we're sitting down, but who cares?  One thing Covid did for us was to teach us to be content at home.  Cliff always has been, but now I'm as much a stick-in-the-mud as he is.  

Today we intend to buy the Honda we've leased for almost three years; in my mind, I call it our Covid car because we leased it at the start of the pandemic without ever going to see a dealer.  We'll make the purchase online, and that'll be that.  This will be the first vehicle we ever bought without borrowing the money to purchase it.  It isn't perfect for us:  Cliff has a little trouble getting in the car, but once he's in it, he can drive all day, and 36 miles to the gallon is a big selling point for our Honda Accord.

As for this new year, 2023, I can only hope it's as good to us as 2022 has been.  At our ages, that's a lot to ask, I suppose, but maybe our luck will hold.  All I've ever wanted was to have enough; so far we've had that.

We are blessed.