July 2021 in Review

So. July. It was an interesting month in the Gignacery. 1) Four birthdays, including one in my direct household. 2) We added three car accidents on top of the one from June, and had to replace both our cars. 3) I spent four days in the hospital for colitis with sepsis, and after I got home, I re-broke my toe (it is still not healed). 4) I canceled my small intestine biopsy because it’s not good to have surgery on the digestive system a week after finishing an antibiotic course for a massive digestive system infection. 5) Laurence began driver’s ed, but can’t actually start the driving portion until after he gets his permit, and the earliest appointment available was the end of September. 6) Covid began resurging in SATX, though thankfully this has yet to directly affect my family. 7) We got the one kitten with FeLV to Austin, but the other three are still living in Jason’s bedroom, and new guidelines mean that the vets won’t spay/neuter for 5-6 months for anyone other than a shelter, which we are not. Every shelter is full, so we’re stuck with the kittens for now, and we can’t rescue the new litter as planned. They’ll have to be TNR babies, and this makes me sad.

Can August be boring, please?

Reading and Watching
I finished four books this month, three of them on audio. It was the first time I’d really wanted to listen to audio in awhile now, and I had some much-anticipated books come in. In order, I read Down to Earth, The Box in the Woods, The Night Hawks, and Bridge of Souls. Definitely the best of these was The Night Hawks. I loved the return to north Norfolk, and to Ruth Galloway’s world.

Now, in the second half of the month, I hardly read a thing, because Olympics! There were so many good moments: Ashleigh Johnson’s amazing work as the women’s waterpolo goalie; Ahmed Hafnaoui from Tunisia blasting ahead to win the men’s 400m freestyle (especially since 1) he’s an actual Tunisian, not an American with a Tunisian grandfather, and 2) he didn’t expect it and his reaction was beyond priceless!); the reaction of Tatjana Schoenmaker of South African when she realized she not only won gold in the 200 breastroke, she’d broken the world record too; all the new mixed relay events (medley relay in swimming, triathlon, etc); and Simone Biles showing the world that mental health is every bit as important as physical health.

It was a watch-heavy money, as beyond the Olympics, I watched Sophie: Murder in West Cork, Home Before Dark (season 1 and all of 2 that’s out so far), and Raya and the Last Dragon. I guess TV kinda becomes critical when you’re literally on bedrest for weeks.

Goals
I’ve basically given up on goals this year, but in July, I just happened to complete one really big one: I gave up coffee. At first, it wasn’t voluntary. They won’t even give you ice chips in the ER until they’ve done all their tests and made sure you don’t need emergency surgery! Not that I wanted coffee while under those circumstances (though I really wanted water, or at least ice chips!). It wasn’t until the next day that got the caffeine withdrawal headache, and not until the day after that that I actually began craving coffee specifically. On my second day in the hospital, I was offered coffee, but I declined. I knew this was my chance. I was on painkillers (which helped slightly with the headache) and they were giving me unsweetened iced tea with lemon, which also took the edge off. I stayed strong when, on the morning of the third day, they brought coffee with my breakfast. And I stayed strong when I came home to several jugs of iced coffee in my fridge. For a few days, I drank that iced-tea-with-lemon to help with the headaches, but eventually I stopped that too, mostly because I don’t like tea. In any case, today is Day 24 since I quit. I did have an iced coffee on Thursday evening this week, because I was really craving the taste, but that’s it since July 9th!

Health
Um, as I landed myself in the hospital for four days with colitis and sepsis, came home and re-broke my toe, and generally was unable to exercise or do anything for most of the month, my health is not great. I did just start trying to do a little bit of walking/hiking again, though I’ve been told to take it REALLY easy for a few months as my body recovers from sepsis. It’s very easy to relapse, and I definitely don’t want to do that.

Favorite photos
I realized this month just how little variety there is in my photos when I’m stuck inside all the time. It’s cats, kittens, and various creatures living in my garden. Other than the trip to the hospital, I didn’t leave my house until the 27th. Each time, I found so many fun things to photograph, even if I didn’t actually get to take that many photos. So I really have tons and tons of the same photo this month, which made picking favorites very difficult! As always, these photos were taken by me and aren’t always good photography, just my favorite pics of the month.

Clockwise from top left: pipevine swallowtail on zinnias; I was trying to take a photo of our house, when Laurence walked out with the recycling and made this face at me; Gherkin got all puffy with her little stubby tail, ha!; liriope blooming

Clockwise from top left: a photo of two of my favorite words: prestidigitation and crépuscule; Ambrose in his monocle on his birthday; vitex blooms at the library; perfect Gavroche yawn timing (ha!)

Highlights of July
It was a dark month. Hospital, injury, multiple car accidents. Oy. So it was hard to track the good moments. There were lots of little things with the kittens as they made more progress into becoming fully domesticated babies. And of course, Olympic moments because I love the Olympics. Beyond that:

  • hummingbirds and butterflies and grasshoppers and dragonflies and all the beautiful things flocking to our garden!
  • Reaper and Ghost both making biscuits!
  • flowers from my hiking gals in the hospital
  • the last of my Way of Kings kickstarter swag arrived!
  • getting our first electric car
  • my friend Melanie got married! Sadly due to the medical issues, I couldn’t be there, but it was lovely to see the photos and to see her so happy!
  • saw my cousin Byron and his family, spending an afternoon with them on the Riverwalk
  • Ambrose turned 19, and got both a cane and a monocle for his birthday, ha!
  • while I’d rather not have had to buy a new car, it’s awesome to own a pretty car with a cool color for the first time ever!
  • J got a work bonus for some extra stuff he’s done recently, which has been really helpful with all the extra car/vet/medical bills this summer

Coming up in August
More Olympics, though without the frantic pace of the first week when most of the events I watch are crammed in together. Hopefully a slow return to weekly hikes – I’ve signed up for a few – and other than that, please let the month be as boring and uneventful as possible! I’d love to find homes for these kittens, too!!!

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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