twigs and feathers

Now I’m back in my place having returned from the nether-region of things that are hidden from most US citizens that was life in skilled nursing.

Some combination of boredom, necessity, a low-key birthday and simple need led me down the path of prime day shopping. As much as I hate Jeff Bezos, I was naughty. Store shopping I dislike, but online, it becomes a more interesting research project and egg-hunting game.

Some of my purchases were very adult and responsible, stuff like a bathmat, socks and vacuum filters. Some were health-related, like bars to stick to the bathroom tiles to help me transfer to the tub, and a weighted blanket which is supposed to be good for night terrors etc. Others were work-related. I had forced my old laptops to last on and on, in some sort of rejection of the short lifecycle of most hardware these days, but finally faced up to the fact that my newest laptop came from 2014 and was thus pretty technically unpresentable if I wish to be taken seriously in the tech worlds as we approach a time when meetups might happen in person again. The years after 2000 sort of blur together for me, so 2014 didn’t seem that far back until I counted. So far, I love it. And it’s not a Mac. I refuse to submit to the Mac empire. An iPhone is enough. My new laptop made a lot of sense just now with such a good deal.

A couple of purchases have been revolutionary: a personal blender about the volume of a pint glass which I’ve used every morning since it arrived. My favorite combination so far has been 1 box of protein milk (latte flavor bought in bulk, which has the caffeine equivalent of 1 cup of coffee) + 1 pouch of instant oatmeal (also bought in bulk) + 1 banana. Then I just turn it upside down to unscrew after blending and drink it along with my vitamins. I barely even want lunch after that.

The cat was not spared: I am trying a self-cleaning litterbox that got fantastic reviews, it’s now ready for her return next week. This might be my most dubious thing but we’ll see how it goes. The more pleasant my environment is for visitors with less need of attention that I might forget to give, the better.

The other thing that has really impressed me is the Rocketbook. I got both a structured planner and a more open-ended legal pad that can really help me track everything I need and want to do while creating less waste paper. I can take all the Zoom meeting notes I need to, then send them to the cloud to memorialize and erase them when I’ve finished with the info. We’ll see how long I stick with the planner, but as someone who needs all the organizational help she can get, I think it’s really helping me out so far, also for tracking all the meds I need to take now that I’m managing that program alone. As soon as I build the habit of using it, it can help me build so many other good habits.

Probably the less responsible deals I couldn’t resist involved outdoorsy equipment: small waterproof long-distance walkie-talkies that can also be charged via USB cable (via my fold-up solar panels of course) in case of a solar flare which wipes out the grid or for communication on adventures out of cell range, and a titanium French press for camping with the best deal I’ve yet seen on one. Those instant coffee packets can be so yucky that I started bringing tea instead. It will be nice to be able to have good coffee at a campsite.

I also took care of some holiday shopping. I’ve been really fortunate in terms of having friends willing to visit me although I live in a part of Portland that is not very proximate to many of them. In fact, earlier this week I had 4 different kinds of soup people had brought in my refrigerator, none of which could be frozen, so I even needed to give some away. It’s been fun to focus on building some of my friendships more these days even if it takes a lot of bandwidth – life just feels better.

I can tell that helping me out is wearing at this point for my ex, M. Though she’s been incredibly supportive and helpful it’s not always healthy for either of us. I’m trying to rely more on other friends, but the reality is that most of my friends external to our relationship are at work during the week with partners or families to tend in the evenings, and having recently moved to this area I don’t know many of my neighbors yet. Fortunately my recovery time is short compared to last time, and I live on a bus line so do have some ways to get around somewhat independently. Overall I have a ton of gratitude to be housed while so many in Portland aren’t, and to feel supported by friends with meals and visits. Modern medicine may be what I’m most grateful for on a daily basis.

But I just can’t wait to be able to take myself into nature again. When I get out of the house these days it’s for errands or doctor appointments, so the nature I get is what I see out the window on the way.