Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Tuesday midday things

* I opened a couple of the packages (and my cards) last night:

- Thank you for the Sunshine Family booklet! A few came with the set I bought but not that one, and that's one I kind of remember having as a kid, because I remember my mom helping me make a baby bed out of a strawberry basket like the booklet directs.

- And I got two Moominous (!) presents (photos to come later, maybe, when I have a bit more time).

First, from a friend in the UK, a bag and book of two short stories that Oxfam did as a fundraising thing (centered around the story about the Invisible Girl).

Second, from a friend in California, a little "rotary candle holder" (hard to explain but: this is that thing, you often see them at Christmas, where there is a little horizontal "windmill" of sorts mounted on a pivot over a candle, and the heat from the candle makes it turn) This one has Moomin characters (I have one for Christmas with angels and a decal of the Holy Family behind where the candle goes). But the Moomin one I could have out all winter, and I think I will set it up with my other candles.

And another friend - in Ohio- sent me the promised signed-to-me Louise Penny novel and it delights me to have a book she signed (she has become one of my favorite authors and is perhaps my favorite living author).

I also opened the Sanrio crate. Even though these are spendier than the Doki Doki crate, they have quality items. This one had a very sweet Hello-Kitty-as-a-snowman pillow (about the size of my Clawhauser) that amusingly came packed in a vacuum sealed bag, so it was all flat when I took it out (and I was like "What on earth is this?") but it puffed back up when the bag was opened. And a really nice mug, with a pleasing shape and weight to it (perfect for hot cocoa, I think). And a pair of cute socks. And a scarf with Little Twin Stars on it, though I'm not sure....it might be a little juvenile for me to wear and also I have many nicer scarves I've knit....so I may see if I can find someone who loves Little Twin Stars and pass it along to them.

I also opened my "thank you" parcel from LeekFish - I didn't expect this at all, but she did it because I had sent her a small gift off her Amazon wishlist. A couple of nice big prints, one of Pinkie Pie (I think it is) with a strawberry soda, and a really super cute one (my favorite of the three) of Dr. Whooves, and one of Vaporeon (one of the water pokemon). And a Cutie Mark Crusaders sticker. And a couple of buttons....

I still have the Doki Doki crate and the Gachapon crates to open, that's for this evening.

* Unfortunately, cocoa from my nice new mug may be either a rare, or a not-until-later thing; I am once again trying to reduce (as I said on Twitter: it seems unfair - eat reasonably and exercise for 11 1/2 months, take 15 days off of watching your diet, and bam, you're five pounds heavier than last year).

I'm trying to do the simplest diet for me: basically - eat lots of vegetables, because they are high in nutrients I need and low in calories, and eat smaller amounts of fruit, lean meat, cheese, eggs, and grains. And largely cut out sugary things. But I always go overboard the first day or two with the EAT ALL THE CABBAGE! sort of things and this morning my digestion kinda went "nuh-uh, we're not having any of that" so lunch today was a small carton of yogurt and a little fruit and (I confess) a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie (because I didn't eat all that MUCH fruit and was afraid of being *starving* before dinnertime).

(And no: I can't really do non-sugar sweeteners; all the synthetic ones make me ill in some specific way, and stevia is only good on a limited subset of things (mostly fruit or other, strongly-flavored things, and cocoa made with stevia is kind of nasty. So it's easier for me to just go *almost* cold turkey on sweets and do things like sub a serving of fruit in the place of "dessert" or have a cup of herbal tea to finish off dinner)

One thing I do find: seltzer water (the kind that is lightly flavored but has no added sweetener) is kind of a boon when you're trying to reduce; it's not "just plain water" but it doesn't seem to alter anything in terms of what you're taking in. Right now Bubly cherry flavor is the one I'm drinking.

* Midday today was spent delivering Meals on Wheels. The woman I used to lead Youth Group with was my partner on it, so I knew her, and she drove, being more familiar than I am with the south side of town (where most of our people lived). We delivered to seven people - a few just came to the door, took it, and thanked us. A couple asked us in for a minute to talk and I know people get lonely, so we did. (It's not like that Subaru ad, where the person delivering has time to sit down and play dominoes with the person they're delivering to, and you take to different people pretty much every time, so there's not that "relationship" there. Maybe in some localities it's more like the Subaru commercial, I don't know).

One person was VERY slow getting to the door - we waited like six or seven minutes, and I was on the point of calling the RSVP service (the group that runs Meals on Wheels here) because we were told if someone didn't answer the door, they needed to know. (I presume they call the EMTs or whoever). I was nervous because the last time I did this, the person I worked with told me about HER first time delivering - she couldn't get someone to come to the door, and when she peeked in a window, she saw him lying on the floor. (I *think* the end of the story was happier than it might have been, IIRC - he was a diabetic who had passed out from lack of glucose, and the EMTs were able to revive him when they got there). But still, it would give a person a turn to have to deal with that.

And yeah, I suppose one important service Meals on Wheels serves for people who are really isolated: it's a once-almost-every-day welfare check on people who might have no one looking in on them. (Then again: two of the people we visited had home-health people in either doing a blood-draw or checking their vitals, something like that. Home health seems to be a great thing; I know of people who have been able to stay in their homes pretty much ONLY because of home health visits and I suspect it's cheaper for someone to live in their home, but have a nurse or something come once every couple days, than for them to go to a nursing home, and for most people, it's probably a lot nicer, too)

Also, even though people love to malign the Internet these days, I can also see how it could be an anti-isolation device for people: I know people who Skype regularly with their kids or grandkids, or who have a whole network of people they "talk" with regularly. And hopefully in the future, "virtual visiting" or "virtual tourism" will get even better and more immersive. I think it would be wonderful, for example, to be able to take a virtual-reality type tour of places I'd like to see, but don't have the time/money/energy to go to: Hadrian's Wall, or scuba diving in a coral reef, or riding a burro to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (I am actually probably too heavy for that; I remember years ago I think they said there was a 200 pound limit for you plus all your gear, and kitted out for a day in the Canyon, I'd weigh more than that).

And not even for older people who might be confined to their house: I cherish that I have a small group of what I call "mutuals" on Twitter (people I follow that follow me back) that I can communicate with - I've gotten advice from them in the past, or traded jokes, or commiserated, or just shot the bull when I'm bored. Being a slightly-weird person with slightly-weird interests and a weird schedule who lives in what really is a small town, sometimes socializing is hard, and I often feel like have more of a "tribe" among my "Invisible Internet Friends" than I do among the real people I interact with daily....

* This was linked on ITFF, and I'm leaving it here, largely for myself (when I have time and want some "slow TV" - It's the Great Knit Off, from Denmark. (It has English subtitles).

Man, we need a channel that does stuff like this in the States. I doubt we'll get it, though:

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