Last got a haircut on January 3rd. Yowza.
Because I bleach the everloving crap out of my hair, sometimes the unavoidable small amount of sacrificial breakage serves as a cut... "a chemical cut," as we jokingly call it. This means that if I bleach my hair at home during long stretches, I can sometimes put off a haircut a bit. (I'm not saying this is optimal, but it has bought me time in the lean times and the busy times.)
But with the lockdown in place, and my hair rapidly approaching "meth-using love-child of Guy Fieri and 1985 Richard Marx" status, I decided to whip out Ye Olde Clippers and take matters into my own hands. (I have done this before, but never after 3 months of growth.)
Holy moley, I am a new woman. I kept the top Fieri/Marxy, but the sides are clipped to a nice 1/2" and YAY.
Easter Zoom Calls / Parent Update
In other news: Today is Easter and we did a Zoom visit with Matt's family and then my family. Guiding Matt's family through using Zoom was similar to this, but once everyone finally got on it was fun. We yapped for about 45 mins before we said goodbye and then chatted with my family. We had my parents in one window Zooming in fron their home in north Jersey, and my brother's family of five in their window, from their dining room about 25 minutes away from my folks, also in north Jersey. My mom didn't understand why we weren't all able to be physically together, and kept asking where we all were. She kept saying, "Well I know you're all so busy," as if she thought we couldn't get together because we just didn't feel like freeing up our schedules. At one point she also didn't recognize the grandkids... but that's kind of understandable-ish because she only sees them maybe twice a year, and the two girls (ages 16 and 23) look different every time we see them (hair color/length changes, typical weight fluctuations, new glasses, etc.). Mom also kept asking where Matt and I were, because she had assumed we were having a big Easter dinner with Matt's family. I assured her we were in my kitchen alone. But again, her not recognizing my kitchen is also sort of understandable: Mom has been to my house maybe twice since I bought my house in '07... so how could she realistically recognize my kitchen? I can't let myself stress about it.
What's ultimately important is that she and my dad are safe up in NJ at their home in the sticks, and they have neighbors and folks offering to go to the store for them (which my dad rejects because wants to get out of the house). As much as I bitch that they live on the moon, it has given them some insulation which is comforting.
Their isolation, and now the lack of the home health-care companion I had coming a few days a week to keep Mom engaged and stuff, means Mom's just pretty much sleeping much of the day because she's bored and understimulated. I asked my dad if hecould suggest maybe they watch a movie together, and he said, "Well, our tastes don't line up." I jokingly/not-jokingly said, "I suppose being flexible for 100 minutes and watching something maybe Mom might like... that's probably asking too much, I guess...?" He just shrugged.
It's so weird. Maybe it's because gender dynamics have changed between our generations, and maybe my mom believes that it's her job and duty just to go along with whatever my dad wants... and instead of asking to watch a movie or the news together, it's better for her just to go sit in her room alone with her TV blaring, and for my dad to sit in the TV room with his TV blaring. *shrug*
But when all you have is each other, and understimulation is only going to make her decline WAY faster, wouldn't you wanna watch a stupid movie or even friggin' Tiger King and just BS about it? Dementia or not, she can watch a movie.
I also get that Dad is her sole care provider right now, and watching his wife decline decline decline and then ask the same questions 27 times in a row has got to be exhausting... so maybe he welcomes the time off and the peace. But since she's honestly out of her room maybe 2 hours a day total (that's to eat and grab a smoke), it seems like it shouldn't be too much of an ask.
I know I'm making a lot of assumptions on his part, which isn't fair. So I should probably knock that off and change the subject.
In slightly other news, for the last few years he's been getting REALLY wound up over little stupid things. Part of it is our Jersey snark of always having to have some snitty comeback to small stuff, but it started becoming his default behavior, and we've been really worried. His anxiety has been through the roof, and made waaaaaaay worse since his various hospitalizations this year since my Mom's been so bad since October or so. We all kinda think his first two hospitalizations have been physical manifestations of his anxiety. So the hospital doctors increased his xanax frequency from "as needed" to 3x daily (a low dose each time, but still). Sometimes it'd make him groggy, but it definitely did take his anxious edge off. But I didn't like the grog-- you could see it in his eyes.
His regular doctor (who is awesome) did a regular med-check at the end of March via a telemedicine visit and said he was concerned about my almost 80-year-old dad taking so much xanax, and would prefer he not build a tolerance, and would prefer dad use it as a rescue medication for legit panic attacks, and not as the way he copes with his wife. Instead, he put him on Zoloft (sertraline). At first I was concerned... but after a week, HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD he's a new fucking guy. He's handling lockdown great, he's chipper, he feels good, he's got more energy, he's got more patience, he doesn't get overwhelmed, he doesn't get out of breath, and he doesn't feel 'medicated' like he was feeling with the daytime xanax... so it's a definite home run. It's like I have my old dad back from 25 years ago. Yaaaaaay!
Fancy Easter Dinner
The food we have eaten today: Buttered toast made from some bread I made last week that is still delicious (ate that at 1:30pm), a few strips of bacon (ate that at 2:30), and then some home-made french fries at 8:30pm as a snack. Only the finest Easter meal.
We have not ordered any takeout whatsoever during this lockdown. I know I should support my local businesses, but I just can't trust that these small businesses have kitchens designed for social distancing, and enough PPE to last long shifts. I'd rather just buy gift cards from them online and this way nobody has to be in danger on my account. (I am not judging anyone who orders takeout. Please don't @ me.)
With that, it's been fun getting back to our "home economics" roots and planning meals, going to the store once every 10 days or so, buying only what we planned, and making everything here, and then making good things from the leftovers. We will probably have to go to the store this week since we are low on some staples, but if it needs to wait, we will not starve. We haven't dug into the soups in the pantry or anything. (Now that I've written that, maybe I will stay home.)
Because of Burning Man prep over the years, I had a few boxes of N-95 masks. I donated the sealed boxes and the healthcare workers were VERY grateful. I had an opened box with only a few masks in it, so I kept that and sent my parents two masks, and kept two for me and Matt, and gave two to my mailman (along with some PVC gloves and a small thing of hand sanitizer I had) after I heard our post office didn't have PPE.
But even with that, my dear BFF Patty is making gorgeous masks that follow one of the CDC designs, and even comes with replaceable filters and a moldable nose-piece and adjustable ear-loops. They're wonderful. So if anyone needs masks, she charges $10/mask (that comes with a bunch of filters and great instructions and are beautifully made in fun-printed fabrics) plus shipping. They are worth every dime. I've been buying them for friends and family when I hear they are mask-less. She has adult and child sizes. So if you need masks, lemme know and I'd be happy to ship you some as a gift.
In the last bit of thing:
Is there a way to back-date entries, kinda like how LJ used to do? I get that this might be anti-OPW ethos, but I feel bad for dumping 73 years' worth of bloggy thoughts into one long entry, when maybe I could spread them out with a carefully-used backdate option. (Or maybe I could just plan my writing better.)