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on your journey, i will bless you...

...and you will be a blessing

Is life even worth living if I'm never going to be pain-free again?
stiff shoulders
Last Memorial Day weekend, my sister and I watched Dirty Dancing because we’d just watched an awful new remake that left us with a new appreciation for the original. This year, we did the same thing with Little Women. We both watched the new PBS miniseries, and while I liked some things about it (it was less Jo-centric and more focused on all four sisters), on the whole, I was unimpressed. They made a lot of bad decisions with Amy, and Laurie’s crying scene made my sister laugh so hard she was almost crying, too.

I started dog-and-house-sitting for the T-S’s during Memorial Day weekend, and I finish up on Sunday. (They went to Missouri by way of Boston.) Their house is nice, and they live pretty close to me. They don’t have a TV, but I’m not addicted to TV like my roommate and don’t miss it too much. (I think my roommate and I are both happy to get a break from each other.) I’ve done a lot of crocheting and reading. It was fun at first, but at some point, the novelty wore off and I got tired everything. (But I am impressed with myself for still brushing my teeth for two minutes every morning this week!)

I’m tired of having to wake up early to walk one dog and let the other one out. I’m tired of them never giving me any space when I’m home. They are constantly crowding around me, bumping into me, getting in my way, and Harley is the perfect height to bump into my sore knee when he gets too close. They both come running every time I even set foot in the kitchen, and they beg and stare at me for every. single. bite. I eat. I’m tired of having to search for everything in the kitchen, and I still haven’t found their salt and pepper shakers. I brought over some juice, soda, and a few other cold groceries, but there is exactly one square inch of free space in the overcrowded refrigerator, and I have to struggle to get anything in or out. Backing out of the driveway isn’t easy, either. My right knee, hand, and pinky are still sore from when I crashed my bike, and I am SO tired of that. They’re now all covered in scabs and new pink skin, surrounded by orange bruises (yes, orange) the exact same shade as Donald Trump’s face. They throb at night and hurt every time I move them, and the one on my hand is at the perfect spot to hurt whenever I use a computer mouse.

I haven’t gone bike-riding since my crash just over a week ago. The good news about house-sitting is that walking Harley provides a new opportunity for daily movement that’s much gentler on my sore body.

Final movement log for MayCollapse )

Movin' and groovin' (and collapsing) for the month of May
dozing off
In a random effort make my life less monotonous, I'm working on a series of different monthly goals. In April, I wrote down every dream I could remember. In May, I'm trying to be more active. I haven't hit my goal of working out in the morning even one morning so far, but I have been standing/stretching/walking more at work. My creaky knee is already less creaky, but plantar fasciitis is kicking in, too. I used to really get this a lot when I worked retail, and it's as bad as I remembered. By the end of May 4 (see below), my feet were on fire!

This comes at kinda an odd time at my job. Some changes are coming, and my coworkers and one of our clients are holding off on a lot of things until the changes happen. This means that for a lot of days recently, work has been slow and I haven't a whole lot to do -- which is really rare at my job, where thing are usually insanely fast-paced. I've been doing more work in the bindery department, where I have to stand up more. But since my most annoying coworker left, I actually mostly enjoy working in that department. (When he was there, it was hard to even walk through that area without getting a big eyeful of his ass.) We haven't hired anyone to replace him yet.

Movement Journal: May 1-10Collapse )

Dreams for the end of April 2018
dropped jaw
This month I've been writing down every dream that I can remember, and looking back, I can't help noticing a theme of revisiting past places and people. There were three involving my high school, and several were set in my mom's house, Grandma's old house, or elsewhere in my hometown. I'm not going to speculate on what that might mean.

Morning of April 23: I was walking down C-Street in my hometown (the street I lived on in Smallpartment), carrying a little plastic kiddie pool and some pool toys that looked like fish. I got to my old apartment building and set it up in that woodsy corner of the parking lot near B-Street. It was for Abram to play in, but I can't remember whether he was already there or if someone was bringing him. I didn't go into Smallpartment, but in my dream, I still had a key and somehow knew it was vacant. I thought about going in and taking some of the stuff I'd left behind when I moved out (in real life, I left the drying rack; in the dream, I'd left a bunch of random stuff) but I didn't want the managers to catch me at it.

Morning of April 24: I was on a trip in China with Mom and Dad (and possibly some other family members). The roads there were awful; we had to cross a lot of narrow, twisty bridges with no guard-rails. There were also a lot of stray dogs and cats; I somehow got to my current car, which was parked somewhere, pulled out the box of dog biscuits that I keep in there, and started feeding them to the strays. Many of them were suffering/injured too, and I yelled at my parents that they should never have brought me here.

Then the dream changed, and I was at Mom's old house, getting ready to leave for my old high school. I was running late but didn't care. I sprayed some wrinkle release on my uniform and put it in the dryer and told myself to be sure to wear my Star of David necklace. I could remember buying it at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, so I knew that I'd already graduated from high school and moved on with my life, but I don't think anybody else did. Mom was cooking me something for breakfast.

Morning of April 26: Despite only about five hours of sleep, I remember bits and pieces of a few different dreams. In one, I was watching a trailer for a movie with Elle Fanning, where she was on a boat in the middle of the ocean, fighting off a giant octopus. The octopus was very phallic-looking, and it disturbed me. In another dream, I was at a shopping mall, and a rescue group was there with dogs in kennels, trying to convince me to adopt one. Then I was at Grandma's old house with her. I think I was trying to leave for my old high school, but strange people kept showing up, and it confused me. I knew Grandma knew way more relatives, neighbors, etc. than I did, but I didn't think there could be so many.

Morning of April 28: I was at some sort of special hospital that had a combination of doctors and dentists. I was there for both a dental cleaning and a pap smear (one after the other, not simultaneously). What a nightmare!!!

Morning of April 29: The only thing I can remember about my dream was that the country song "Life's a Dance" was in it.

Morning of April 30: One dream involved the cast of Roseanne. I think I was eating at a Dairy Queen with Roseanne, Jackie, Darlene, and maybe a few other characters. Then the dream changed, and I was at Mom's house with her. She was lying on the couch in the living room, complaining that her hip hurt and asking me to rub it for her. I asked why it hurt and she screamed, "Because I don't have much longer left to live!" Adam was on the computer meanwhile, ignoring both of us. I had written a bitchy note to Mom and wanted to grab it before she read it, but I couldn't remember where I'd left it.

And that's a wrap for April! Now looking forward to May, and hopefully, a little more movement!

Rebecca's Recap of April 20-Chai
happy smile
The first weekend of April was also the end of Passover. To break the fast, Sara and I went out for pancakes at iHop. That weekend was dead-of-winter cold, despite the recently warm weekdays. That turned out to be the pattern for April, and it got old fast. For almost the entire month, it was sunny and mild Monday-Friday, then cold or rainy or both on Saturday and Sunday.


But I refused to stay cooped up indoors. So one weekend, I hauled my plarn to a little resale event at the animal shelter – and on the way there, I locked my keys in my car at McDonald’s, had to walk home for the spare, and arrived late. Ugh. Another weekend, I went to the damn dentist – and on the way back, I started chewing my tongue (which was completely numb from the novocaine), wondering what the hell huge foreign object the dentist had left in my mouth. Ugh! I really shredded my poor innocent tongue, which was sore for days!

This weekend, we finally had some good weather, so Sara and I went to the International Food Festival; we'd never been to this event before because the Jewish Food Festival usually happens this weekend, but that event was cancelled this year, and I guess the Muslim community (who put on the mostly-Middle-Eastern "International" Food Festival) saw an opening. I had brisket and coleslaw, Sara had a kebab and curry, and everyone enjoyed the sunshine. I hadn't realized how many Muslims there are in L-city.

I also did some work on our lanai this weekend. My blackberry plant is putting out new shoots and green berries for the third year in a row (!!!), and encouraged by this, I decided to try my hand at some other things. I planted several cucumber seedlings and one tomato plant that I bought at my local garden center, and some onions that I found sprouting in my vegetable drawer. (I despise tomatoes, but Sara likes them, and the plant was on sale. She has yet to say anything nice about all the work I did on the lanai.) I have such a bad track record with plants, but if I can get just one edible thing out of this, I'll consider it a success. I also pruned back a big wild thornbush that had been taking up way too much room on the lanai.

But probably the BEST news for April is that my most annyoing coworker C--- has decided to work somewhere else. He was gone for all of last week, and to celebrate, I came home from temple on Friday and made brownies! I really could not be happier to see the last of him, and of his butt crack that he showed every single time he bent over or leaned forward. He was such an obnoxious, know-it-all mansplainer and gossiper. A------ has been way more bearable now that she doesn't have him to talk trash with her.

I finished two more books in April, one adult (Tell the Wolves I'm Home) and one kids (Little House in the Highlands), and they were both really good!

Dreams for the third week of April 2018
raised eyebrows
Morning of April 20: Sara and I were living in our first college apartment (I have dreams set there fairly regularly). It was my birthday, and she was waking me up, telling me she had a present for me. I went into the living room, and she'd gotten me a new bike, but it was the exact same model as the perfectly good bike that I already had. I tried to act happy about it, but I wasn't really, and I was very confused about where she could've been hiding it. I think she had a cake for me, too. Our apartment was very hot.

Morning of April 18: I remember bits and pieces from a few different dreams. In one much too literal dream, I woke up, checked my phone, and saw that I'd forgotten to plug it in overnight, so now the battery was almost dead. I pulled up my fanfiction and saw that two drabble series I'd been reviewing had both posted new chapters even though they were already marked as complete, which really annoyed me. In another, I was watching Sara play Super Mario World (the old SNES version that we grew up on); she was on the dolphin level, and I asked her if it was her favorite. Another dream had something to do with a Christianized Passover seder; I think I was reading an article about them, and it made me gag.

Morning of April 17: I was at my high school graduation, sitting between Kate and Amanda, my two friends in high school. We were at the auditorium venue in my hometown where my graduation was actually held, and it looked about the same as I remembered. There were teachers sitting among my class, every few seats, to make sure we behaved. One of the teachers that I actually liked, Coach Jeff, had suddenly died just before graduation, and the speaker was giving a speech about him (how much he'd loved teaching and stuff like that). This kept switching with a different scene of me backstage before the ceremony, typing up this speech on a laptop. It was weird because I haven't seen any of the kids I went to high school with in years, but several of them were there in my dream. It makes me wonder whose dreams I'm showing up in.

Morning of April 16: Sara and I were in our hometown, driving to Uncle John and Aunt Connie's house; they had no idea that we were coming (they thought we were still in L-city), so I hoped they wouldn't mind. We met Athena there, and the three of us left on a vacation for London. Sometimes Athena had Abram with her, but my mind must've kept forgetting about him, because he kept coming and going. In London, we found our hotel, and then Sara and Athena wanted to visit the Cloisters. (In my dream, the Cloisters were in London, not Manhattan.) They didn't want me to come and suggested I find somewhere else to go. I wandered around London feeling hurt.

Morning of April 15: I had bought a handgun and left it lying out on the computer table. When I saw it there, I quickly grabbed it and hid it in my closet. Sara hadn't wanted me to get a gun, and I don't think she knew about it.

Dreams for the second week of April 2018
downcast eyes
Morning of April 12: I was in my room (which resembled my current room), getting ready to leave for a college class, but I couldn’t find the right textbook. I thought about how I would be graduating soon and wondered if my life would be different after graduation. Then the dream changed, and I was at Grandma’s old house, getting ready to leave for my old high school. I was running late and stressing out. I told myself to lock up (nobody else was home) and to remember to put her spare key back in the hiding place in the garage. Then I remembered that I was leaving for Catholic school and put on my Star of David necklace. I’ve had this dream before.

Morning of April 10: Sara and I were taking the cats to the vet, which was in our hometown, down the street from Mom’s house. I was annoyed and wanted to leave; I think I was missing something on TV.

Morning of April 9: Sara and I were in Grandma’s old car with her; we were supposed to be driving around to different cemeteries where old relatives were buried, but every time we tried to go to one, the car in front of us would get a flat tire. This happened a few times.

Morning of April 8: I was driving but had forgotten whether a yellow line meant two-way or one-way traffic. I think I had forgotten some other basic stuff, too.

Dreams for the first week of April 2018
dozing off
Morning of April 7: I was at my mom's house, about to eat dinner; I believe she had cooked roast beef. She was making some comment about how she didn't like how I was wearing my hair and thought I should change it. She also asked what the phrase "name and claim it" meant, and I told her that Sara could explain it better.

Morning of April 6: Sara and I were at a waterpark (pretty sure it was Blue Bayou). There was a long line to get in, and when we finally got to the tickets booth, I realized I'd forgotten my purse in the car, so Sara paid my admission. Inside, we saw a family taking pictures and overheard them say that they'd just adopted a new kid (as in, earlier that same day) and wanted to take her to a waterpark first thing. (It didn't seem weird in the dream.) After a while, I realized that I'd not only left my purse in the car but had left it sitting on the seat for anyone in the parking lot to see, and it would probably get stolen.

Morning of April 5: I was asleep when Sara woke me up to tell me that some celebrity had done something really cool… but she couldn't actually tell me what it was, which pissed me off. She showed me a video of Richard Gere (I think?), who had somehow found a NeoNazi group and performed a seder for them, which magically destroyed their prejudices. What he was doing didn't look like a seder at all to me, but more like the pre-Communion ritual done at a Catholic Mass. Then the dream changed, and I was at my old college, late for a poetry class because I couldn't remember what building it was in. The campus looked very different than I remembered. I have this dream fairly regularly.

Morning of April 4: I was living in a townhouse, similar to the one we're living in now, although I don't think it was the same. I came downstairs and Sable was there, floating in the air near the ceiling. He looked asleep, but I could tell he was scared and possibly in pain. There were also waterstains on the ceiling in a pattern that struck me as demonic. Something was happening outside – Christmas carolers, I think. Dreams about Sable are rough.

Morning of April 3: I was taking care of this little black baby boy for foster care. He was so cute, and he loved bike rides, so I attached a baby-seat to my back and we rode to the mall. On the way there, I heard a strange noise, looked behind me, and saw that he had outgrown the seat and part of it had broken off. He grew so fast that by the time we left the mall, he was a surly preteen, and when I bought him frozen yogurt (the mall had a store similar to Yogurt Mountain), he didn't even say thank you.

Morning of April 2: Sara had gotten some sort of job delivering food; I think she also cooked said food, but I'm not sure. She had a mobile credit card reader that she took with her on deliveries; the receipt printer had jammed, and I fixed it for her. I think this dream was set in our hometown.

As the sky fell in and the stormclouds poured the world away outside...
happy smile
It poured down rain all day today, but I still went for a walk between work and Shabbat services. I've been keeping this up pretty well since the weather warmed up. Today's walk in the rain was so beautiful. There were so many blooming flowers everywhere and the views across the valley. I loved seeing the rivers rivers running in the gutters, occassionally dammed up by piles of leaves. I loved the squirrels run from tree to tree and the mist hanging around the dark tree trunks.

But despite my umbrella, I got pretty damp from the shoulders down and wound up having to walk back to temple early and got there in time for the oneg, which I usually skip, but I did get some chocolate matzoh bread out of it. Passover ended this evening, and I actually kept the bread-fast for it this year, which I'd never done before! Over the course of the holiday, I ate matzoh with butter, peanut butter, cream cheese, salsa (yuck), garlic, cinnamon sugar, plain, and mixed into my burrito bowl at Chipotle. I'm planning to break the fast with pancakes tomorrow morning, and I am looking forward to it!

P.S. Since I'm always linking back to old journal entries now, here's a throwback to another walk in the rain. (I knew this post was somewhere, but it took me forever to dig it up.) Also, this Shirley Temple song seemed appropriate.

Heh, look at she tries to pick the wrong fake flower at 0:49.

Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?
worried eyes
Athena and Abram are in our hometown, on a trip down from Colorado. It's almost been enough to make me regret moving away from that place. Athena said that she might try to fly back out of L-city so she could see us, but it likely won't happen. It's depressing to think that everbody in L-town, probably including my useless brothers, is getting to see them, but we aren't. But then I wonder why Athena would want to see us; Abram is eighteen months old now and takes up more space, and I know our crappy little townhouse would be cramped if they'd stayed here with us. She's probably more comfortable hanging out with her friends who have kids, and unlike me, Athena has never been short on friends. She and my mom went out to lunch together at one point during her visit; she says that she gets along better with Mom because the two of them don't have any "baggage," which is probably true. It's always felt really obvious to my sister and me that Mom would've rather had Athena for a daughter than either of us. I hope it feels just as obvious to Mom that I liked spending time with Grandma better than her. This is another one of those times when I wish I didn't know how much my mom never wanted a third child. (Courtesy of Aunt Carolyn and her big mouth. Although even if she hadn't told me the story, I think Mom's resentment would've been obvious. When I was a kid, all I had to do was walk into a room for her to start screaming.)

Much against my better judgement, I mailed my mom a note telling her how much it hurt my feelings when she crumpled up the dried flower that I got at Grandma's funeral. I fully expected her to respond with guilt money, because paying off her guilt has always been her thing, but to my complete astonishment, she responded with an "I'm sorry" card with no money in it. I was so surprised that I actually held it out and shook it, to make sure I hadn't missed the money. Maybe she is starting to get a clue, but I don't think Mom and I are coming back from this one, and I think I inherited enough of her bitchiness to give her the same thing she gave my Grandma.

March came in like a lion... and went out like a lion!
pursed lips
I adult'ed pretty hard in March. I went to a big vending event with my plarn, and I renewed my lease for another year. (I think I will actually be at one address for three years!!! The last time I'd lived at one address for three years... it was 2011. Shehekianu.) There was a visit from my mom, an oil change and tire rotation on my car (I like to go for a walk while I wait, so I was holding out for warm weather on this), and two visits to the damn dentist. I've been taking magnesium supplements before I go, which helps me relax a little, but I still have a lot of phobia to get over. I don't know whether my mouth or my wallet hurts worse afterwards! UGH.

I also went to part of the local March For Our Lives event downtown and attended the first home seder that I've gone to since I moved to this state! One woman did invite me to their home seder last year, but I had to decline (I'm pretty sure her husband would not have appreciated having me), but that was the only other invitation that I've ever gotten here. This just goes to show you the difference between big and small temples. At the congregation in my hometown, a family invited me to their seder every year. Anyway, this year, the T-S's were nice enough to invite me to the seder at their house; it ran later than I would've liked, but it was fun. He's a college professor and invited the entire campus Hillel, and it was cool seeing so many young Jews. Plus they made the most delicious spicy kugel with carrots and sweet potatoes!

I wanted to watch The Ten Commandments on TV this year, and I did see a little bit of it, but my roommate has a habit of turning off the TV while I'm sitting there watching it and putting on one of her precious Oscar movies instead. She also loses her damn mind whenever I watch my favorite news program in silence, but I have to listen to her screaming at the contestants on Wheel of Fortune. ("SHUT UP, PAT SAJACK! YOU'RE SO STUPID!" Oy.)

I did mostly well on the sleeping front this month. I still wake up most nights but usually get back to sleep quickly.