February 2022 in Review

It’s hard to believe February’s over, probably because I spent most of the latter half of it in poor mental health. Heh. I’m okay, just feeling the effects of a few health-related issues. Beyond that, not much happening here. To continue last month’s family stuff, Ambrose got his ship date (mid-June), and Laurence finally did get to perform in the musical at school. That’s about it for February!

Reading and Watching
It was another good book month, with seven finished, only two that fell into the “meh” category, and none that I disliked! It wasn’t hard to pick a favorite this month – The Second Blind Son was a book I treasured all the way through. I definitely need to read more by Amy Harmon.

Despite reading the same number of books this month – including more pages and more audio than January – there was actually a big chunk of February where I just didn’t read much at all. Instead, I took to binge-watching various true crime (and related) shows: Catching Killers (okay), Inventing Anna (ugh), and Wild Crime (pretty good). Toward the end of the month, my friend Alia convinced me to watch Love is Blind with her, so I binged my way through that one as well, heh. I can’t deny a bizarre enjoyment of crappy dating reality shows! The one thing I didn’t watch this month? The Olympics! I thought I would, but except for in 2018 (when my grandmother had just passed away and I was grieving), I’ve never been big into the winter Olympics, not like the summer ones. I just never got around to watching them this time. My favorite thing I watched all month, though, was the first episode of Season 15 of Murdoch Mysteries. It only released on the last day of the month, and I’ve been looking forward to it for months!

I got a few more goals completed this month: mistflower bed planted, our first bug hotel put up in the yard, scratched another five books off my priorities list, and began to learn a bit more about digital editing.

We had more projects than expected this month. First, the paperwork to get our solar panels done finally came through, so contractors came to install them on the house. We’re still waiting for tree-trimmers and for the local energy company to wire the panels into the grid, but soon we’ll be on green energy! We also put together the mistflower bed a few weeks early. The big unexpected project was replacing the toilet in the main house bathroom. Last Saturday, it very suddenly began to leak sewage from underneath it. EEK! The old connection to the drain had corroded away, so we had to remove the old toilet, clean out and replace the connections, and put on a new toilet (as the old one was too corroded and rusted out to be connected securely). Thankfully, Jason was able to do that so we didn’t have to call someone out and wait until they had time for us!

Health and Fitness
This month was a bit less medical-heavy, mostly because I was waiting on availability from specialists. I did see my dietitian, rheumatologist (PA), and endocrinologist this month. The good news is that my rheumatology labs showed my inflammation is down to a certain degree, and on a scale from 0-100, the progression of my RA is at 25 (the high end of the “low” category). The bad news is that the endocrinologist is still awful – I need to find a new one – and my rheum PA was equally awful. Oh well. I also took a two-day at-home sleep study this month, because either I’ve developed sleep apnea, or I have an obstruction that’s causing issues with my sleep. No results yet, but hopefully soon. I do see an ENT in a week or so (March looks to be a bit more medical-heavy) so he’ll be able to look for obstructions.

(hikes of February, all but one very early in the month)

Unfortunately, as I said at the beginning of this post, my mental health has not been well. There are a lot of factors mixing together to cause depression: trying to reconcile myself to this diagnosis and the lack of mobility; the general pain brought on by the new RA medication as my body adjusts; the lack of exercise on days when my pain and mobility are low; sleep quality and quantity issues; poorer than normal diet stemming from depression and sleep issues…etc. I still haven’t found the energy to call around looking for therapists. Sigh. So I didn’t eat as well as I’d’ve liked, or exercised as much, or been out hiking with my friends as often, etc.

Quarantine Diaries
For the first time, I had a direct covid scare. (Though to be honest, I was never particularly worried.) Some friends and I hiked early in the month, and afterwards, we found out that one friend had tested positive for covid through a routine work screening. She felt terrible that she may have exposed us, but also a little confused because she hadn’t been around anyone (at all). None of us were worried. We were all vaccinated and we’d been outdoors. She took three more covid tests through different facilities and they all came back negative, so we think it was a false positive anyway. The other three of us just wore masks around people for ten days. None of us ever had any symptoms or positive tests, except that first one my friend had through the work screening.

Favorite Photos
As usual with depression-heavy, stay-inside months, I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I’d like in Feb. Here are the few best-ofs.

Top, left to right: Ambrose dressed up for the musical (full story in my highlights below); Atticus training to become my adventure cat; hiker silhouetted on craters at McKinney Falls State Park. Bottom, left to right: McKinney Falls, upper falls; sunset; kitty siblings

Highlights of February
Bright spots in a dark month:

  • Angus and Gherkin simultaneously laying out on their backs, legs spread, with bellies up asking for pets (Gherkin never does this, so she’s learning from her brother, who does this all the time!)
  • After Laurence’s musical, when we were out in the lobby to hang out with the cast, some guy from the audience came up to Ambrose to tell him “great job,” thinking Ambrose was part of the cast because of his outrageous outfit. We got a kick out of that one!
  • discovering (practically, because I already knew intellectually) how much better RAW file format is
  • Headwaters Sanctuary walk/hike with friends, followed by a delicious dinner at Mr Juicy
  • meeting another agender person in real life for the first time
  • everything about Galentine’s Day!
  • the gulf fritillaries returned to my garden! (above pic)
  • training Atticus to be my Adventure Cat
  • the kittens letting Stephanie pet them profusely for the first time; especially Angus, who not only came to investigate her without toy incentive for the first time ever, but offered his belly to rub!
  • exploring a new-to-me nursery in town and getting my first bug hotel, plus some wildflower seed packets, and petting the nursery kitties!
  • this hilarious conversation I had with Jason about Gherkin’s inability to Loaf properly
  • a new Boston fern to hang in our dining room –>
  • prepping our taxes to file in March, with a good refund coming to pay off some debts

Coming up in March
Birthday month! Not only mine, which was yesterday, but eight birthdays in my family take place this month: mine, my stepmom, two brothers-in-law, both mother- and father-in-law, my son’s, and a sister-in-law. Three of those are all on the same day! Three others are all back to back in a row. It’s a fun month, heh. There’s also spring break and a bajillion medical appointments and procedures to look forward to. It’s going to be a busy one! Yay?


About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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