Friday, February 24, 2023

Catching up a Bit After That Depressing Rant (AND now Blogger is messing up the Fonts! Why????)

 AND now Blogger is messing up the Fonts! Why????

1. Mardi Gras Dinner Party

 A few weeks ago I was informed by a neighbor, Wendy, our favorite fag hag, and I use the term lovingly, that there is a "new" gay guy in town. Well, new since COVID practically ended any large social gatherings where established resident could meet newbies. Remember our town has a population of only about 450 residents and one gets to know many, if not on a personal level, then by site or reputation.

Wendy met him through their mutual involvement in the NM Gay Men's Chorus and he has apparently been involved in Opera in some way for years. Anyhow, Wendy said that W.R. was having a Mardi Gras dinner party and she volunteered me to make the King Cake and jambalaya! Last year I swore I would not be making King Cake again, but as Grandma used to say, "You don't know nothing yet!"

The actual colors were better than the photo and the plastic cup was to keep the plastic wrap from messing up the frosting. So my King Cake was not as elegant as it could have been,

So I somewhat reluctantly made a King Cake and jambalaya for the dinner party of someone who I'd never met. W.R. had invited a total of eight guests: Leon and me, Wendy and her husband, two other men who were somehow involved in opera or singing and two women who were friends of his who arrived with a cute little barking dog.

Both W.R. and one of the men were in the habit of talking as though they were projecting their voices to the very back row of the second balcony. The guest in particular was excruciatingly loud. I am not exaggerating. His husband was almost as loud. Probably in order to be heard over his husband's habitually deafening voice. W.R. and the two men dominated the conversation most of the evening and with the little dog barking, other guests having to occasionally shout trying to get a word in, and the woman yelling at her dog to stop barking, the decibel level in the room was off the charts. It was literally PAINFULL. I couldn't wait to leave.

I will say the food was excellent. W.R. is somewhat of a professional cook and he prepared turkey with andouille dressing, mini beef Wellingtons, green beans, sweet potatoes. My jambalaya was made with chicken, andouille and shrimp. W.R. is currently on a very strict diet so was not able to eat anything. The eight guests sat at the festively decorated table while W.R. stood in the kitchen encouraging guests to eat more.

We stayed for what seemed like an endless two and a half hours. Everyone left at about the same time and no one offered to help with the clean-up. I am hoping that W.R. will not try to "be my friend" for several reasons that I will sum up by saying he has some strange quirks and personal issues and I don't wish to be a therapist.

2. Miscellaneous

A few photos etc.

Made Cornetti recently - not easy
It's the Italian Version of Croissants

Pizza and Sausage Bread

View from Our Town

The BIG Snow of 2023

Another View - Jemez Mountains

Hoochaneesta Blvd - Our Main Street

The Rio Grande
One Corner of Dystopia


Thursday, February 23, 2023

I'm Kind of a Mess

I wrote the following about a week ago when I was really a mess. Looking at it now, I guess it was understandable that I was an emotional wreck. Leon is doing quite well now and I am back to a reasonable equilibrium. 

  I don't know where these emotions are coming from, but I'm experiencing what feels like a hellish mixture of sadness, anger, resentment, impatience, dread, anxiety, grief, boredom, isolation, exhaustion and just fucking crappy.

This comes on the heel of hubby Leon's long anticipated ablation (for atrial fibrillation) which took place on the 15th of February.

    "Heart ablation surgery is a serious medical procedure to treat atrial fibrillation. A catheter is inserted into a vein in the groin and an electrode goes through the vein to the heart.  It uses small burns or freezes to cause some scarring on the inside of the heart to help break up the electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats. This can help the heart maintain a normal heart rhythm and reduce the risk of stroke."

    Of course the heart surgeon, a week or so before the procedure, had to recite the obligatory list of things that could possibly go wrong, including death. Leon was understandably nervous, as was I. My role, as the loving spouse, was to remain positive, strong, supportive and all that. I was there while the medical staff hooked him up with IVs and ports and electrodes and wires. It was all I could do to hold back tears, but I think Leon caught me once when he glanced up. I am not one who hides emotions easily.

(I'm not even going to talk about the feelings we both had about the outrageous hospital quote and the insurance co-pay, believe me. I won't even go THERE and Leon has excellent health insurance. Really?)

    I held his hand until they wheeled him into the OR. Later he reported that he relaxed once he observed how professional and efficient and dedicated the OR staff carried on. Not knowing any better, I remained a bit shook up.

    The procedure took about three hours and then he had to lie on his back for three hours before he could sit up and have some food. I was there when he came out of the OR. The nurse brought in his lunch and then took him for a walk around the nurses station. Afterwards he was given all the discharge papers, instructions and allowed to go home. He has to be out of work for a week. 

   He says that he is feeling physically better now. And that he just didn't realize how the A-Fib was draining his energy, even while doing lots of physical work as a Park Ranger out in the wilderness.

    As for me, I think the pent-up stress and emotional restraint I maintained is now coming into its own. I am, in normal times, an emotional smorgasbord with existential tendencies. Right now, just more intense. 

    Like everyone else, we've lived through the social isolation of COVID. I've been trying to recover from a bad knee since August of 2021. "complex tear of the body and posterior horn of the medial meniscus…displaced meniscal tissue into the medial gutter…complex tear of the body of the lateral meniscus…full thickness cartilage loss over the central weight bearing aspect of the medial condyle and medial tibial plateau…cartilage defects…small cartilage fissures;"

    It has been an up and down journey with physical therapy, cortisone injections and home exercises. The orthopedic doc says at some point I may require a knee replacement - not the kind of vacation I've been  dreaming of.

    And for a little added stress, we are splitting the cost of Leon's mother's Assisted Living expenses with his brother and sister. And paying for a lot of incidentals that she says she cannot live without. She should be on Medicaid but that's another story. 

    And as you all know, the cost of everything has gone UP. I was never one to worry about money as I have never believed in purchasing anything I cannot pay for (except perhaps a house or auto - but I am always eager to pay off a loan before it's due). Being frugal has paid off and we have lived not wanting for necessities and having a few niceties to boot. But now I am beginning to worry some.

    I'll be 75 next month and the I imagine a future with ME in a nursing home and Leon having to foot the bill. These are the facts of life and I am doing my best to keep that perspective...but I do see our savings dwindling and with them any chance of that trip or vacation that we've fantasized about.

    Living in New Mexico (and I've called it the Land of Entrapment many times) is sometimes pleasant, sometimes enjoyable, sometimes wacky, sometimes scary, sometimes boring, sometimes suffocating. Probably like anywhere else I might live. But it is so far from family and friends from our past life. Leon has a job, a job he likes, but he can't even think of retiring until I'm 79. 

    I'm not sure what shape I'll be in at 79 or 80, if I'm even still around by then.

    These are the thoughts I ruminate about. The emotions I carry.




Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Some of My Favorite Photos - Part Four:

 Here is a mix of photos, many have been posted on the Blog before. No particular theme, but our beloved Benni appears in several of these.


Benni with that Expression of "What's going on?"

Ropes on the Dock - Provincetown

Pismo Beach California

Pismo - Or is it the Moon?


My Peach Tree

Chicks in the Window - Provincetown

No Place Like Provincetown

Juniper New Mexico

Lake "You Fish On Your Side I Fish On MY Side Nobody Fishes In The Middle", Massachusetts


White Party Provincetown

Puppy Benni

Peony Farm Connecticut


“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” Shakespeare


George Washington Bridge

Everywhere - Anywhere, New Mexcio

White Party Provincetown

Probably Closer to "The Real Me" Than Anything



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