Guys, I’m officially an empty-nester. A new phase of life has begun, and it all happened so fast after the slow, slow, SLOW drain of the last few pandemic years. I knew it would go quickly, considering my kids were so close together in age, but then the pandemic hit, and it took longer than expected for Morrigan to leave the nest, and then Ambrose stuck around until he was nearly 20, only to leave mere months before Laurence went off to college. Of course there will be returns home for breaks, etc, especially for my youngest who is just starting school, but for the most part, it’ll just be Jason and me at home.
Reading and Watching
August was the first month in awhile where I felt a lot more like reading, and I finished six books. I don’t see this ending for awhile, especially with RIP officially starting!
On screen, Laurence and I re-watched our way through Downton Abbey, and one night Jason I put on a movie that we’d heard such good things about, only we ended up loathing it. A Star is Born. How did that win so much acclaim?? It’s nothing but a load of walking red flags, glorifying mental illness and a gaslit woman’s pointless sacrifices. Gag me. Toward the end of the month, I tried to watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbings Missouri with Laurence, but after four horribly gory moments, I decided the movie wasn’t for me. Well done, from the half hour I saw, just not a movie for me!
We got a few things done this month – removed the cat wall (though we still need to repair and repaint the walls), and built the pathway from our deck into the yard. Then, of course, there is all the construction going on outside our fence, which continues to be an issue (though at least they did fix the fence now!). For the most part, though, our month was busy with non-house stuff so this was minimal in August.
I am a ball of pain. Every tendon, every bone. Migraines, possible bursitis, lymphedema in my foot, sciatica, swollen/painful tongue. My doc is sending me in for an MRI of my hips/lower back and referring me to a new set of specialists for physical therapy and the lymphedema. Meanwhile, I’m starting a new med that might hopefully give me some relief soon, and we’re double-checking some labs that point to very low levels of B12 and B9 (folate) in my system (could be the cause of the sore tongue, or that might be the sudden onset of thrush, which I also got diagnosed with this month!). In any case, it’s generally been hard to think about anything health-related (like exercise), as so much is moment-to-moment attempts not to feel like I’m about to die these days. I do hope they figure out what’s going on soon, because I’ll be honest, I’ve started to wonder if I have bone cancer, or swelling on my brainstem like my grandpa had, or some other disease that’s going to off me before they find it.
The best news of the month was that Tillie finally got adopted! We visited her early in the month –> , and we were so happy to see that the following weekend, she was adopted. She was the last kitten left from the litter of five born on 3/31 – Shai, Hulud, Tipsy (now Mojito), Penny, and Tillie. All five have been adopted, their mom has been TNRed, and all is well! We also turned in Lilo and Stitch mid-August for surgery and to go up for adoption. Stitch was adopted within a couple days, as we expected. Lilo showed up on the for-adoption page on the 27th, and hopefully will get adopted soon. We are foster-free until sometime mid-September. We needed a break, and took that time to get yearly vet appointments done on our permanent residents. We’ll also convert the now-empty boys’ bedroom into a foster room before we bring another litter home.
As always, these are photos taken by me and aren’t always the best photos, just my favorites for the month.
Top: One of many photos I love from Ambrose’s town day with us; I know I already have the larger version of this one above, but my heart melts at Tillie’s look of adoration as she sits in Jason’s arms; Angus’s whole personality wrapped up in one photo, ha!
Bottom: Rosé at sunset; portentous; much-needed rain
Highlights of August
Tucked into all the busyness this month were all these little bright spots:
- the intersection of my interests in cats and spooky stuff to culminate in an ad from FB one day for “Tasty Human” Temptations cat treats, ha! –>
- all the time spent with Ambrose
- playing 5-Second Rule with the fam, always good for a laugh
- checking out a newly-opened coffee shop with a friend
- snuggling with Tillie, though I’d prefer her to be adopted already **and about a week later, she got adopted!!!!!!! Yay!!!!
- dinnertime board games
- sudden influx of rain!
- finding out where Ambrose will be stationed after tech school (Osan Air Base in Korea!)
- Junior Bake Off coming to Netflix (well, one of seven seasons at least (season 6))
- the potential for student loan forgiveness, which (if it goes through) will cut the loans we’ve been paying on for 12-16 years to under $5k, a godsend! Our next payment has also been pushed out again until mid-June, so we can focus on other debts while this one is interest-free
- the White House twitter feed calling out all the republican politicians complaining about loan forgiveness by announcing how much each of them received in PPP loan forgiveness (spoiler: it’s hella more than the $10-$20k student loan plan!)
- new bat journal from Archer & Olive! –>
- RIP being announced a few days early! I don’t know why this always makes me so happy but it really does!
Coming up in September
I mentioned in my last monthly review post, it’s now going to be time for Jason and I to learn to live together without kids, which will be very new to us. This month will also be a very big shift for me, personally. First, it’ll be the first time I haven’t been a stay-at-home mom since October 2005. Second, it’ll be the first actual return to quiet days that I’ve had since March 6, 2020 (pre-pandemic). Even this past year, while Laurence has been at in-person school, Ambrose was mostly home full time. Prior to the pandemic, the school year was set by a routine that gave me about six hours of time to myself each time, time to organize and clean and exercise and take care of family/house/myself. It’s been 2.5 years since I’ve had that time in more than brief snatches, and everything – house, family, organization, health, mental health, etc – has slowly deteriorated. Jason, I know, will be so glad to be back into the office routine (he focuses better in office), and I will also be so very happy to have time to regroup. Eventually, I will look into getting a job and such, but for now, I’ll be focusing on getting myself and my environment back to where we were pre-pandemic. I can’t wait!