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   "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home." - Edith Sitwell     
Recent posts

It's the small comforts that do the soul good

 "Thank you for covering me with your robe, Mama." "I am blissed."   I love our squishy hound. Hershey brightens my days (unless he's barking into Angus' ears and being a general pain in the ass). He's fully asleep now, soft hound nose twitching as he snores.

When Medical Professionals Drop the Ball

  I ran out of Lyrica. It wasn't intentional. I called in for a refill two weeks beforehand. Two weeks , dear readers. I've spoken to the pharmacy and my doctor's office numerous times. Both are busy pointing fingers at each other. The medicine aids with nerve damage post-surgery. That isn't my issue; the rest of my body woes are. Yes, the sciatic nerve damage is exploding with pain. But the other things are starting to add up, especially the peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other areas and body functions including digestion, urination and circulation. - MAYO CLINIC Every nerve in your peripheral system has a specific function, so symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected. Every nerve in my peripheral system has told me to fuck off.  Wait. Maybe just a few? Do

Buttery Artichokes

Artichokes, so misunderstood... "These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual "food" out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead."   - Miss Piggy Ah, the humble artichoke, that quiet and unassuming thistle that shoppers often pass by because they haven't a clue about how to cook it. There are varied recipes out there, some requiring more effort than others.   What is an artichoke?   It's a vegetable with arching, deeply lobed, silvery leaves. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm (3–6 in) diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple.  The yummy portions of the buds are, according to Wikipedia , "primarily the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the heart; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the cho

A Tribute to Two Dads

The anniversary of my Dad's death hit me hard this year. I don't know why.  No, I do. I'm depressed. So very fucking depressed. Not the boo-hoo kill myself kind of depression. No, this is the kind where I want to sob into a pillow, or dog flank, or Jeff's neck. I avoided Dad's hoarded tool bench and organized tool box. I didn't let my eyes rest on his remaining clothing. I stayed out of the basement as best I could. I avoided all things Dad  ...except for his jacket.  It's a warm thing with a softy fleece lining.  It has a hood. It feels like I'm wrapped in his embrace. I can't even count the number of times I went outside late at night, sat down for a cigarette, and pulled that hood up so I could have a good cry. I'm torn between denial and acceptance. This is why I hate December and January. We lost several dogs during those months. I have spent most of this year's December freaking out in fear of Jeff or Mum dying. Or one of our dogs. In m

Dog Bliss: A Toasty Warm Chair

I put a heating pad under a fleece blanket on my office chair. It's usually placed flat on the back, a welcome treat for a painful lumbar area. Hershey was the only one to "get it", pressing his back against it when it was on. (The pad automatically turns off after a while.)  He didn't notice the positioning at first. The chair was just a soft spot for proper bone-chewing. And then it warmed to the point where he could feel it.  Zoie hopped up to harass him (ie grab the bone and run away). She soon discovered the warmth. Now both dogs are curled up with eyes closed and satisfied expressions on their faces. This is a moment of dog bliss.

Merry Christmas

 T H E T O T I N - W H E E L E R F A M I L Y   W I S H E S Y O U  A       M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S     ─ ─ ─ ─ & ─ ─ ─ ─        H A P P Y N E W Y E A R       M A Y Y O U R D A Y S B E F I L L E D   W I T H L O V E , L A U G H T E R , & H E A L T H  


  "I have pooped in the yard and now I will eat croutons." Her mastery of the Queen's English gives me pause. Didn't I shut down the computer? Why would anyone on BBC News make that proclamation?  I mean, it's plausible to hear that during Parliamentary coverage but we haven't bothered to pay attention since John Bercow left.    Never listened to the House of Commons bicker? It's loads more entertaining than our own sawdust and sneer sessions here in the US.       What was I going to say? No matter. I'm sure it was something dull. Might as well get off my ass and pat her on her head. Good poop, Zoie! I don't have the heart to tell her that we don't have croutons. 


I suspect Zoie raided my desk top while nobody was looking. My empty cough drop bag was pushed into a corner. There was some effort put in to get my destroyed (by Zoie!) CPaP mask. But it was the search history that truly gave her away. I don't know what liuipucccccccccccccccccccccccccccik is supposed to be. It's not something I would type. Could have been Jeff doing it, maybe? Google Translate seems to think it is Hawaiian. I'm not so sure:  Google's suggestion. Liuipu, or LEW-ee-poo, has a odd ring to it. It also changes when we add the "c", becoming lee-way-puck.  That all goes out the window once when adding more than one "c". Each is pronounced "see" followed by "eye" and "kay".  Google insists that the "cik" bit is Latvian, and loosely means "how much".  It could be pronounced "seek" and "tsik" depending on whatever language Google throws at me.  I'm halfway tempted to m

Chocolate Donut Dogmageddon

I had my COVID booster on Monday. I've spent the last two days stumbling and listing like a drunken sailor. I'm confused, lethargic. Thoughts and words seemed pushed through molasses. It's my immune system. My autoimmune system? Whatever. It knocks me on my ass. Jeff goes to the shop on Wednesdays. Huzzah! I get to spend an evening doing anything I want. What I wanted to do most was sleep.  The dogs are usually good for me. Except for tonight. Oh. My. God. They. Would. Not. Shut. Up. If my mother's demon wasn't setting them off, it was Piper barking at nothing. Ruff... BOWOWOWOW! AYEH EH EH EEEEEH BOWWOW WOW YAP YAP BOW WOW WOW! I wanted to skin them and turn their fur into mittens for orphans.  Despite being a target-rich environment, I lacked anything to throw at them. My screams of "SHIT THE FUCK UP!" mingled with their cacophony. They'd quiet down and exhaustion took my mind from me. This repetitive cycle lasted an hour. And then, Dog mageddon . I

Clonazepam Chronicles

  Clonazepam is my prescribed go-to for sleep. When it hits, it hits hard. I can't operate heavy machinery, like the ice-maker or toilet flush handle. There isn't any euphoria. It just this woah-no-balance-how-long-has-this-wall-been-here? feeling. I don't have much coordination. A few scant hours had passed since I took last night's clonazepam.I was in a deep sleep when Jeff began to nudge me. "You alarm is going off (it wasn't) and the dogs want Breakfast Biscuit." I moved to the edge of the bed (the world sloshed along with me). There wasn't any indication of an alarm.or other noise on my phone. It took me three tries to stand up from bed. I toppled on the landing ( How did I get down here? ) and staggered into the bathroom and found the toilet. I think I feel asleep for a few minutes. All I remember is hitting the floor. Back to the bedroom I go! "Hey, let the dogs out. I'm too wobbly," I said. "I'm wobbly, too," he cou