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August 31st, 2023 — 5:23pm

Slightly better night, slightly better day. Thank goodness. We had gentle, drippy rain from the wee hours all the way till evening. Windows open, house full of fresh damp air. Luscious.

Chloe recorded Farmer Boy for me and once again she’s letting me share with you! I got it all uploaded and tagged and podcasted yesterday and today. Go here and scroll down: I love Chloe’s sweet voice, and it’s one of my favorite Little House books. <3

Online appointment this morning with my cardiologist, Dr. Kahn, just to check in with her. I asked her if she thought the horrible metallic taste in my mouth and my craving for salty and sour things were related to the massive dose of potassium I take every day. She did a little research and said yes, that’s what it is. There’s nothing to be done about it but at least I feel less crazy knowing there’s a reason. She says if I just can’t resist the salty things and they make me puffy I can take my big diuretic more often. Everyone is trying to keep me as comfortable as possible. She said I’m always in her heart — awww!

And then another online appointment with my GP this evening to get his referral for another round of in-home physical therapy. Quick and easy.

I started a new book, Happy Place, by Emily Henry. Excellent so far and enjoying it a lot.

Oh and I made a big pot of Spanish rice (or is it Mexican rice?) to go with the big pot of black beans I made yesterday. Toast rice lightly in butter, add minced onions, garlic, cumin, chili pepper, pinch of cayenne, pinch of salt, cook till onion is soft, add minced tomato, a bit of tomato paste, and chicken broth, and simmer till done.

There’s something magical about flavorful beans and rice with cheese and sour cream and lime juice. I could eat it every day forever, either as-is or added to more chicken broth to make an easy soup.

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August 30th, 2023 — 6:11pm

Tired. All the anxiety dreams. A really fun recurring nightmare I have is one in which I forget to give my new mailing address to a credit card so I never get the bills and the interest racks up astronomically. Which, yeah, I pay everything online so that’s not even possible but ok brain you go right ahead and torture me anyway.

At least I felt ok enough to sit in the living room with Dave most of the day. I found a new-to-us ambulance show on the iPlayer that amused us for some hours!

Played lots of Zelda, collecting Korok seeds.

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August 29th, 2023 — 6:34pm

So tired

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August 28th, 2023 — 8:16pm

Rough night. Super tired. Lay in bed and played Zelda TotK all day. And watched old episodes of Tasting History.

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August 27th, 2023 — 8:17pm

Happy birthday to me! I did not ever expect to make it to 54. My goodness.

Nice quiet day. My family is trained to send birthday greetings to me via text instead of phone call. Good job, family :)

Not super exhausted; not feeling as good as yesterday but ok enough. I made some lemon pie filling for a lemony treat. I don’t like the crust part of pie and I spotted this egg-free recipe and thought I’d give it a try. Turned out great! I made a half batch and made it less sweet and more lemony of course. My version:

Lemon Icebox Pie Filling: one 8 oz brick of cream cheese at room temperature (I left it out overnight), beaten until soft and fluffy. Then beat in 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 c fresh lemon juice, a tiny pinch of salt and a drop of vanilla. Chill and eat like pudding! Or double this recipe and pour it into a graham cracker crust before chilling it if that’s how you roll.

Played a lot of Zelda. Unlocked the final sky tower, found another geoglyph, did those two photo quests for the guy in the Gerudo stable, and made my way across the desert to Gerudo town. I hate to say it, but Tears of the Kingdom has taken Wind Waker’s place as my Favorite Zelda Game. I didn’t think that was possible.

Lunch was a little pot of soup made from the last of my beans and rice. I should make new batches of both soon; that was a really easy way to create fresh nutritious soup in five minutes whenever I wanted.

Dinner is three homegrown zucchini sautéed in olive oil and butter, with cottage cheese on the side.

Watching some back episodes of Tasting History while I eat, then it will be time for audiobook and bed.

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August 26th, 2023 — 7:30pm

I slept well and felt good today. I actually felt good. Clear-headed, not exhausted, cheerful. It was amazing! I enjoyed every minute of it.

Let’s see… I dealt with some stuff I’d been putting off. Filled in a form, unpacked several boxed of meds, moved Things off the bed, got rid of some clutter. Fed and watered the garden. Did the washing up and put the clean dishes away after they’d dried. Refrigerated all but two bottles of ginger ale to slow the fermentation. Then I made stuffed peppers using a recipe I hadn’t tried before and they were amazingly good. Pretty much this recipe with the following changes:

1) cut the peppers the other direction so they’re easier to stuff and have no holes
2) less meat, more onions and garlic (I scaled the recipe down to 2/3 and used just 1/2 lb sausage meat, close to a whole medium onion, and three cloves of garlic)
3) add some smoked paprika
4) pre-roast peppers a bit longer (they should be nearly done)
5) cook rice mixture a bit longer

Then I played some Zelda and unlocked the Gerudo canyon sky tower and found the stable. Cleaned about 50 boxes out of the stable for the stable guy and got some photo-taking quests, which I’ll try tomorrow. I also want to find some heat-protection armor.

Then it was outside for my nudie shade-bath, with an ice-cold bottle of sparkling water, the hose to mist myself on this 90° afternoon, and my audiobook. I think I was out there for more than two hours.

Now I’m in bed with potatoes and a different audiobook. It was an excellent day. So glad there’s still a chance of an excellent day popping up at random every now and then :)

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August 25th, 2023 — 5:47pm

Tired. Always so tired. So much fatigue. But I managed to start a new batch of ginger ale in eight little bottles, and a quart of sauerkraut with apple. All fermenting now. Sauerkraut needs to sit for about 17 days but the ginger ale will be ready to go into the fridge in 2-3 days.

Thunderstorms in the middle of the night and five minutes of real rain!

Ate five cherry tomatoes from my garden this morning :)

It’s Owen’s fourth birthday. Happy birthday, my big handsome stupid orange boy. Meow.

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August 24th, 2023 — 8:19pm

Tired. Got labs done though.

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August 23rd, 2023 — 6:06pm

Felt pretty ok this morning despite bad night sweats. Sigh. Had a nice time caring for my garden in the morning sun. It’s great having a bucket to sit on while I disturb the little weeds and fluff up the mulch. A few of my cherry tomatoes have turned orange and there are several more baby zucchini. Not sure why the cucumber stopped flowering. Does it need more food or less food? More water or less water? WHO CAN TELL?

Finished reading a truly terrible thriller. Omg it was awful. The funny thing is that I requested it from the library without realizing I’d read it before, which only became apparent when I entered it into goodreads. I gave it one star the first time I read it a couple years ago, but since I couldn’t remember anything about it I decided to give it another chance. I was right the first time. Ha!

Got super tired around lunchtime and gave up and went to bed. Played Zelda for hours, started a much better book that I’ve been looking forward to, ate a quesadilla.

Dave ordered me a bedside table, the sort of hospital-ish kind that you can raise or lower or rotate over the bed and it arrived today. I’ve been keeping my bedside stuff (chargers, meds, lamp, water, etc.) on a chair but now I have a proper table, and I am thrilled!!

Should eat something more but I’m tired and have run out of leftovers. Peanut butter to the rescue.

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August 22nd, 2023 — 7:25pm

I cooked that beautiful zucchini with onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. The zucchini was so delicious I fished about half of it out of the pan and ate it plain! It was tender and juicy and actually sweet! And then I mixed everything with jarred marinara sauce and made pasta to eat it on. I ate many little bowls all day.

Nurse Adam changed jobs so my new palliative care nurse, Karla, came over so we could get acquainted. Very pleasant.

I played some Zelda and unlocked a couple shrines and a tower, and found a stable and a big glyph. Looking for the eye now.

7:30pm and I’m so sleepy! But also very thirsty dammit. I’ll be up peeing all night again, grr.

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August 21st, 2023 — 7:02pm

Slept late. Took metolazone because I started to feel puffy yesterday and I wanted to take it before suffering for a couple days! Averaging 5 days between doses. Cut a few inches off my hair because it was bothering me. Still enough to ponytail and get it off my neck. Bath, hair wash. Big fatigue today but I beat the TotK Colgera boss on the very first try, thanks to an incredibly helpful YouTube video. Now the Rito village is sunny again and I have a bird sprit guy who will travel with me and blow wind when I need him to!

Now I’ll go back to exploration; unlocking shrines, towers, and stables; and doing side-quests. I’m headed for the stable in the Hebra mountains but stopped for the day in the middle of exploring a cave en route. I LOVE how you can save the game anywhere and how easy it is to just pause.

Watching The Martian with Dave. I don’t think I’ve seen it since Henry and I went to see it at the cinema. They did a darn good job on the screenplay. Impressive. We hope they will do as well with Project Hail Mary but the temptation for them to make Rocky Hollywood-cute may be a Problem.

Now Henry is here to do a few heavy-lifting 2-man chores with Dave, lovely boy. I’m sending him home with two pints of mini-dills, a tub of the cabbage + apple sauerkraut that turned out AMAZING, a pint of pickled pearl onions and jalapeños, half the big bag of miso paste I bought a while back (more than I can ever use), several pounds of carrots (I asked Dave to buy me some carrots and he came home with a 6-lb bag lol), a packet of PH test strips so he can test his own pickles, and the cutting board that Dave made for Freyja’s second birthday. He lasered the word CHOP! on both sides because that’s what she shouts when she helps Henry chop vegetables. She’s only two and she loves to help in the kitchen. She has a little chopper and now she has her own cutting board :)

Oh and I harvested my first zucchini, my third cucumber, and a little handful of strawberries this morning! Two pics below if you drag to the side.

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August 20th, 2023 — 9:39pm

Wild fires up in Washington mean yellow air here. Yuck.

Played so much Zelda! Ready for my first Boss Fight. Wish me luck!

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August 19th, 2023 — 7:08pm

A pleasant day. Didn’t feel as amazingly well as yesterday but pretty good nonetheless. Made Spanish rice that turned out perfectly, which went well with the perfect beans I cooked yesterday — soft and tender and creamy but still holding their shape. So good! I ate little bowlfuls all day with cheese and plenty of lime juice.

Fed my garden its fancy new food in the morning and sat out there in the afternoon as usual. Some of the cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen and look slightly yellow, and there are two cucumbers that will be big enough soon, and a fine healthy zucchini to pick in a few days! Lots of tiny zucchinis starting, too. Tomorrow morning I really need to tear some strips of cloth to tie things to their supports.

Played Zelda TotK for hours today! Finally started the main quest chain (after just exploring the world for the last three months) and am currently hopping from platform to platform with the world’s most annoying bird kid. Unlocked and solved the shrine up there which will help a lot if I need to leave and buy more arrows or something. I wasted a lot of arrows in the cave, burning thorns unnecessarily. Silly me. It’s such an amazingly fun game and it feels like I’ve still only scratched the surface after playing for more than 55 hours!

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August 18th, 2023 — 1:16pm

Finally! I feel good today! It is actually a Good Day at long last! I slept fairly well but the best thing is that after I was up for a while at 6 taking my meds and stuff I went back to sleep till nearly 9, probably a whole extra REM cycle. I don’t feel exhausted and muddled! My mind is clear! I am cheerful! So refreshing.

Instead of spending most of the day lying in bed I am UP and hanging out in the living room and doing things in the kitchen so Dave and I have had lots of chatting time. My sweetie-pie *hearteyes* I miss him when I’m too exhausted to be near People.

I love my homemade kefir so much. It’s so sour! I actually made a second small smoothie after my usual smoothie this morning because I craved MORE TANG. I also started a little pot of black beans so I can make spanish rice and beans for dinner (with lots of lime juice and tomatoes for TANG), and I ate a homemade pickle and a bowl of homemade three-bean salad (extra vinegar) for lunch. I think I’ll have some of my homemade ginger ale when I get my outdoor time later. Oh yeah we’re back to normal lovely summer weather. High of 82° today, and sunny enough to make shade for me to sit in.

I’ve been reading the Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey. I remember being a bit underwhelmed by the first book but it was good enough to keep going and I’m glad I did because they get better and better. I’ve been reading the more recent books a bit out of order, depending on which ones the library sends first, but it doesn’t matter. I just checked goodreads and it looks like I missed #6, which is great! An extra book!I’m reading #9 now, The Cutting Place, and then there’s still #10 which was published this year, and there’s also a stand-alone novel which is bound to be just as good, The Killing Kind.

Oo looks like she has written a few YA mysteries too. I’ll give those a try, might as well, and maybe I can recommend them to Em eventually.

Dave brought home a container of mini-cucumbers for me to pickle so I started three pints of dills. I’ll try a 10-day cold ferment for half-sours this time, inspired by this video that Henry sent me this morning:


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August 17th, 2023 — 6:15pm

A nice average day. I watered my garden in the morning and doled out a saucepan of Grass Soup Fertilizer to each pot. I let this batch steep in its covered bucket for over a week in the ridiculous heatwave and wow was it stinky! Anything that smells like that has gotta be good for plants :D

I harvested a double handful of chard and ate it for lunch, drenched in lemon juice, and then I had a bowl of seriously lemony tabbouleh. My craving for lemon and other sour things is unstoppable and irresistible. Lucky I have a fridge full of lemons and really tart homemade kefir and pickles and such.

Not as hot today, only 90°, so I was able to leave my windows open YAY but I couldn’t go outdoors because it was overcast all day and I didn’t want a cloudburn. Maybe tomorrow will be both cool enough and sunny enough for my outdoor time in the afternoon.

I spent many hours today reading and listening to my very good audiobook, and I filled an empty ink cartridge with the copper-colored ink that I bought a while back and wrote a letter to a friend. That’s about it for today.

I am wondering if giving in to my lemon/sour craving is helping my stomach. Or maybe it’s better today because of metolazone yesterday.

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August 16th, 2023 — 5:51pm

Better day. Got better sleep and I took my mega-diuretic so I feel less puffy and I can eat more than two bites of food. And my mouth doesn’t taste so foul.

Did some cooking first thing so I’d have something to eat when the afternoon crash hit. Orange juice and brown sugar glazed carrots — so good, and not too sweet. And I used my leftover mashed taters to make a double batch of fish cakes. Then I made my breakfast smoothie and went back to bed to read and nap all afternoon. So much reading, so much napping.

It’s still over a hundred degrees outside but I miss my afternoon fresh air time so much that I braved the heat and went outside at 4:30. My body was comfy enough if I kept misting myself all over with the hose, but the hot hot air was bothersome to breathe. I managed to stay out for an hour, though.

My garden loves the heat! I swear everything grew several inches over the last couple of days. I have lots of tiny green cherry tomatoes, enough chard to harvest for a meal tomorrow, a sunflower that’s starting to bloom, and I think I saw a zucchini that is growing properly instead of dying at 3 inches from not being pollinated. I’ll water tomorrow morning and get a better look.

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August 15th, 2023 — 2:30pm

So tired.

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August 14th, 2023 — 7:23pm

Heat wave. 107° outside though comfy inside, thanks to our good AC. Crazy fatigue all day. Lay in bed and did nothing.

Homemade ginger ale is finished and totally amazing! Super fizzy, extra-gingery, not too sweet. I rock. Seven-day process. Two days to ferment the water kefir, then five days of a secondary fermentation after mixing water kefir with ginger/sugar mixture.

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August 13th, 2023 — 7:22pm

A bit of insomnia last night but felt normal-tired today, so that was good. It was forecast to be a real scorcher today, 102°, so I sat out in the garden in the morning while it was still only 80° or so. There is ONE female zucchini blossom getting ready to open! I hope one of the 20 male blossoms will open at the right time.

We kept the shades down and the windows closed all day to keep the heat out. Dave likes to set to AC to 75° but that’s a bit cold for me, so while he’s been gone out and about today I’ve had it at 78° which is much better. God I hope the evening air gets cooler soon so I can open my bedroom windows at least!!

My stomach didn’t hurt today, yay! I scraped up enough energy to make flour tortillas per my nephew John’s recipe and they turned out great. Just need more salt next time. Hungry now, gotta find some dinner.

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August 12th, 2023 — 5:49pm

Such a nice day I’m having. Pretty good sleep last night despite my first severe night sweats in a while — soaked through a bath towel, ugh. But then I slept late, till 8 I think, and woke up feeling well-rested for a change. Went to Safeway first thing for pearl onions, a couple jalapeños, some tomatoes, and some lemon sorbet. Safeway is a slightly longer drive than our local Fred Meyer’s, but Safeway always has a blue space close to the door for me to park in and they always have plenty of electric carts for me to ride on while I shop.

When I got home I made my breakfast smoothie which was so good! I finally got my homemade kefir factory going at a good rate so I can ferment a jar for two days in the cupboard and then chill it in the fridge overnight, so with the addition of frozen strawberries and pineapple it’s thick and frosty. Yum yum yum. My stomach didn’t hurt at all today. Those good kefir microbes? Or just that I drained off all the damn fluid over the last couple days?

Then I sat at the dining table and peeled pearl onions forever, seeded and sliced the jalapeños, and started fermenting two pints, one for Henry and one for Dave. A half-tablespoon of salt per pint gave me a 2.5% brine, by weight, including water to top off the jar.

We had some nasty-ass old tomatoes in the fridge so I peeled and seeded them and got them started simmering on the ultra-low burner to make tomato paste.

Let’s see, I played some Zelda, ate one of my fridge burritos from the other day, read my book. Then in the afternoon it was Outdoors Time! My daily Outdoors Time went from a chore to a pleasant necessity very quickly. I have such a comfy set-up out here (I’m still outside as I write this). It’s a real scorcher today so I have the hose nozzle set to “mist” and I mist myself all over when I start to feel too warm.

Maybe I’ll make a quesadilla with pepperjack and tomatoes for dinner, with a cone of lemon sorbet afterwards and popcorn for my bedtime snack. (I’ve been making popcorn at bedtime lately)

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