So How’s it Going, Jen?

Quick update for those who’ve followed the saga all spring: I’m doing great.  By which I mean:

  • Medicated, normal life works fine.  Housework, errands, school, etc., all that is no problem.
  • Planned workout (you know how plans go) of a 2-mile walk daily seems about right.  
  • With that kind of schedule, I’m good Mon – Sat, and really need Sundays off.  “Off” as in go to Mass, do the social thing for a bit, then come home and read a book or write a novel or something.  Lie around and physically catch up on the week.
  • If I up the intensity earlier in the week, I don’t make it to Sunday.  Hopefully over time I can add more exercise, but for the moment, what I’m doing is the max sustainable. 

Which doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes jiggle the schedule, and borrow from one day to put more into another.  That works, as long as I pay up in a timely fashion.

So all you who have prayed, thank you very much.  Couldn’t be happier with the results thus far.

Just showed up here and you’re looking for my writing?  Check the blorg.

 

Cat Photos & Other Reputable Pursuits

A kitten found us, which means we can finally use the internet properly.

I persist, of course, in my incorrigible habit of crowding perfectly good bandwidth with religion, public policy, and other punditry.  My hope is that by wielding the cat as a feline shield, the internet police will be stymied in their efforts to purify the web of non-cat bloggers.

Like the Internet Except in 3-D

1. My screen porch.  YouTube viewing has plummeted now that we have our hyperactive dancing cat.

2. Midlands Homeschool Convention.  Of interest to southeasterners.  Huge regional event, piles of top notch speakers, and also me.  Catholic writers guild will have a table, and there’ll be a rocking “Look at the Book” display of Catholic textbooks & materials from all the major players, hosted by Catholic homeschoolers in SC.  Also free stuff and some drawings for prizes. The teepee in the corner, dear parents, is for your children.  You sit on the chairs.  July 24-26.

3. Catholic Writers Conference. Following week up in Chicago, smart people will be turning out at the writers’ wonderland that is the combination Catholic Writers Conference & Catholic Marketing Network’s trade show.  This is the place where all the publishers and vendors of Catholic trinkets (games, art, music, etc) turn out so the Catholic book & gift shops can stock up for the season.  Most interesting bit is seeing what famous internet Catholics look like when rendered in 3-D.

(I will be rendered in 2D for that one.  Visit the Liguori booth if you go, and you can see my book.  The me-traveling-to-Chicago part is not quite back on the program.)

Since last I wrote, Patheos has been fixing things, which means you have to go here to get the July archives.

June still copies and pastes nicely:

 

Enjoy!

Return of the Organizational Skills

My ability to make lists and keep a calendar is back in full force.  Wow.  I knew my brain had been working on partial-capacity for a long while, but it’s dramatic to experience the return.

Saw Dr. M early in the week.  He says come back in a year unless something crazy happens.  No reason at this time to think there is something other than mystery-model IST, but of course if bizarre scary nasty symptoms emerge, then we’ll realize we were mistakenly optimistic.  So far so good, and since I live in the present, “how things are now” is stretched out indefinitely in my imagination.  I like that.

Trying to keep the schedule pared down during self-rehab, and also in light of the boy starting high school this fall and me teaching two new-to-me courses.  (The one, French 1, I’ve taught before but not this particular course.)  Have some work to do to get all the materials together for that.  Re: High School, I came to my senses and enrolled the boy in Kolbe’s Online courses, which means I can stay on top of the homework-doing, but not actually be required to master the Greek classics myself in quite the same way it would take otherwise.

That’s all I can think of to report right now.  Everything’s good.  Busy, but not crazy busy, and my brain works again.  CAWOG’s pretty pleasant these days.  (It was never that bad, actually. Dramatic, but not bad.)

***

The catalog of blorging since last I updated here:

Three articles on the topic I hate to write about, but that keeps coming up:

Still Better.

The update ten days into the beta-blocker experiment is: Wow.  Normal Life.  I like this.

It’s getting hard to know how it’s going because I’m losing my sense of the before & after.  I’d estimate, though, that I’m operating at about 80-90% of what I’d imagine is “normal”.  A little tired, but nothing like the silly-tired even from this winter pre-catastrophic-turn-for-worse.

I’m happy.  Follow-up w/ Dr. M mid-month.

The working theory on the dx is inappropriate sinus tachycardia, and if wikipedia seems a little vague, it’s because that’s how it is.  If you google around there’s a variety of theorizing, some of which sorta matches up with my experience, some of which does not.

No particular notion of causes or effects in my case: Thyroid has been once again cleared of all charges, I don’t have any symptoms of an adrenal-secreting tumor (other than this one thing) but I suppose that’ll have to be ruled out definitively, and apparently if it were a problem with the sinus node itself, it probably would not respond to beta blockers so well.

Curiously, since the semi-dx, we’ve gotten two different reports of guys who had something quite like this.  So it’s a thing.  A semi-secret thing.

***

Now digging my way out of the backlog.  Discovered a suitcase under the girls’ bunkbed last night that still hadn’t been unpacked from the March for Life.  Oops.  Little things.  But now I know where that missing raincoat was.

Nobel Prize? Check.

First the backstory, from my post-pulmonology report last Friday, which some of you have already seen on FB:

 . . .  A pulmonary stress test is actually kinda fun. Until you hit your anaerobic threshold. But then they stop. So, fun.

Why fun? Because you have no clues.  Especially after they take your glasses away.  No real feedback on how hard you are going, so no depressing awareness of how hard you are breathing at pitifully minimal efforts.  And hard exercise does feel good.  Also, they ramp you up fast – just a minute at each level, so it’s over pretty quickly.

. . . Dr. M thinks it’s probably tachycardia of unknown origin, maybe caused by the special kind of hyperthyroid that doesn’t show up on the initial screen for thyroid stuff and for which I have none of the symptoms other than tachycardia. 

He also vaguely mentioned “stress”, which people always feel compelled to mention.  Funny story: A good friend in passing made reference to the “scare” I’d had this spring.  And though I don’t quibble with word choice in casual conversation (because: casual conversation, don’t put deep meaning into offhand comments) . . . I was thinking to myself: I wasn’t scared.  It doesn’t count as a “scare” if you aren’t scared.

To clarify: the prospect of dying is intimidating, because that is well known for its unpleasantness.  And I’m a total whiner about unpleasantness, so long painful illnesses, no thank you.  But actual death — the part that comes after the unpleasant part? Sure, I have a healthy concern for the state of my soul, no presumption there.  But I’m also aware that it’s not like I’m suddenly going to get amazingly holy when I turn 85, either.  Pray for the gift of final perseverance, do your best to report for duty at holiness-school each morning, not much else for it.

But I always find it comical when someone (as was not the case in this comment, I don’t think, it was just a random word, not a deep thought) gives me the emotional pat on the back because surely I’m so anxious about xyz situation, and I’m thinking . . . you get anxious about this stuff, but I don’t.  Weirdly, no one ever reassures me about the things that do make me anxious.

Continuing with the pulmonology update:

 . . . We ruled out weird variant asthma pretty roundly. Lung function better after exercise than before. Hard not to like that. Hereby excused from the evil dreaded methocholine test. Victory.

. . . More or less ruled out structural heart things, because O2 sats never dived, which they will if you have, say, a valve problem that occurs under load.

. . .  So the new experiment is to try a beta-blocker to bring down the heart rate, see if that works and thus allows me to do normal things (like: exercise!), without dropping the BP so low I do abnormal things (like: faint!). As experiments go, I’m good with this one, because prescription = $3.38 at Walgreens. I’d spend a full four bucks on this if it came to it.

Drug in question is propranolol, picked because you can take it selectively (such as before exercise) rather than all the time.  Little pink pill.

So I got home from Mass today, tired tired.  Not super-bad tired, but not perky.  I don’t do perky very much lately.  Took pink pill at noon, ate lunch.  1pm decided it was time to do a test and see if this thing worked.  Spouse asked me how I felt.

“My head feels a little funny, but that could be whatever.”

“What do you mean, it feels funny?”

“Like I want a beer and a coffee.”

“So it could just be Sunday afternoon?”

“Exactly.”

Took my pulse before I went out, and it was bobbling around in the “normal” zone, 70’s-80’s, which is about as good as it ever gets.  Walked down the street to the track at the school.  Walked a mile and some.

Yeah. A mile and some.

No super fast, but not slow either.  Wasn’t tired.  Not at all.  Not short of breath.  Chatted with a lady about her puppy towards the end of that mile.

Made myself come home so I didn’t give myself some @#$%^& injury from over-doing it.    Back home again by 1:30, so I was in that normal walking-speed range, which I would not normally consider a fitness-y pace by any stretch of the imagination, but I figured for someone who last took a walk in late January, start easy.  HR stayed below 120 the whole time.  Not out of breath.  At all.

–> In contrast, Friday afternoon on the treadmill, after two minutes of walking, one minute at 1.0 mph and one minute at 2.0 mph, my heart rate was at 126 and I was already feeling like I was exerting myself.

So then, sit-ups.

I check in with the spouse when I come in (not winded, at all, or tired, or anything), and then since I’m restless but determined not to do anything really stupid, I decide I’ll sneak back to the bedroom and do some sit-ups.

[This is my favorite exercise because there are only muscles involved.  So I can do them without injuring things.  All the other exercises involve tendons and nerves and who-knows-what, and I'm constantly on the brink of pulverizing something.  I have good muscles but bad everything else. Sit-ups I can do.  I love sit-ups.]

So all spring the routine goes like this:

  1. Lay down flat on back, wait for pulse to come down to the low eighty’s.
  2. Do a set of ten, or maybe even twenty if I’m feeling crazy.  Be totally winded.
  3. Wait a minute or two for HR to come back down.
  4. Do another set.
  5. Wait another minute.
  6. Another set.

So it takes like 10 or 15 minutes to do 110 sit-ups, because otherwise I’d explode.

Except today: Wonder drug.  I go back there.  Do fifty, pause for ten seconds because: muscle burn.  30 more, another ten-second break, then finish.  Done.  In a few minutes.  Done.  Not tired.  Not winded.  At all.  At all.

Just wow.  That was a good benchmark for better-living-through-chemistry analysis, because unlike going for a walk, I had a really clear idea of how much effort was involved in doing sit-ups because I could actually do them all spring, with the modified approach.

The pre-pill / post-pill difference was kind of like the difference in effort between walking up the side of a mountain with a 60lb pack on your back versus walking down the sidewalk with no pack, except that in reality, if you are fit, walking up the side of a mountain with a 60lb pack on your back is not that hard.  You’d never get anywhere if you had to stop every thirty seconds for a minute break.

***

So yeah.  Nobel prize for James W. Black, earned.  And a big shiny star for Dr. Maybe.  I’ve got to find out what kind of beer he drinks.  Or scotch?  Scotch.

Update: What is wrong with people?

The answer to, “How’s it going, Jen?” remains, “Pretty well, thanks!”  I resurrected the Nine Annoying Things Novena over at the blorg last week, and the pray-ers did well.  Hence today’s story:

So I go see Dr. Maybe yesterday, and they did the dreaded Six Minute Walk.  And here is the very, very, What is wrong with people? situation: I did almost as well as predicted.

Seriously?  Is this really all they expect out of pleasantly-plump 40-somethings?  You’re kidding me.

You do the walk with a pulse oximeter, which means you can cheat and watch your heart rate.  This is handy if you are the kind of person who knows at about what heart rate the gasping kicks in (see archives below for the secret), and thus you can maximize your distance by walking right at that special speed where you’re coughing a bit and your head feels like you just tossed back two glasses of champagne on an empty stomach, but hey, you aren’t going to faint, and even though death feels like the perfect next step, you can do it for six minutes.  Or at least, you can do it that long if a stern nurse in pink scrubs gives you a face like she’ll spank you if you quit early.

It appears the pulmonologists aren’t big believers in pedestrian transportation.

***

Anyhow, I like the new guy, whose brain jumps around so much I finally pulled out a notebook and made a list of all the tests and appointments he was rattling off, because I had a feeling one or two might get lost in the shuffle if no one wrote them down, stat.

Ruled out again this morning — for good, this time? — pulmonary embolisms.  Sent away three vials of blood — I’m not sure he’s quite to the point of looking for tropical diseases (I’ve never been to the tropics), but he’s almost there.  More interesting tests coming along soon, looking for weird variants on regular asthma and exercise-induced asthma, and also he’s going to see if he can get my heart rate up high enough (on a treadmill, not with those evil chemicals) that the O2 levels drop, or something else interesting happens that gives us a clue.

We’re having real problems with finding clues.  The trouble we’re having is that I’m dreadfully healthy for someone who’s sucking wind and coughing while ambling at grocery-store pace, minus the cart.

***

Blorging over the past couple weeks, for those who don’t subscribe:

May 7, 2014 Religion is about Reality – and so is the Black Mass  In which someone in the combox accuses me of “shooting off my mouth”.  What exactly is a blog for, if not that?

May 6, 2014 It’s Not Friendship if it Can’t Withstand Disagreement Because I have the coolest friends.  Yes I do.

May 5, 2014 What I Write, Why I Write, How I Write . . . #mywritingprocess  This is the truth, but I’m going to reveal more details at CWG later this month.

May 5, 2014 Tell Me About Your Favorite Homeschooling Conference @CatholicMom.com  Listen, if you know about a good homeschooling conference, go over the link in this post and leave a comment.  I can’t believe no one did this, even after I bumped the CMom post to two different conference-hosts that I knew about.  Sheesh.

May 5, 2014 Inside the Glamorous World of Religion Blogging – Parody for the 5th Blorgiversary, featuring a video of me making everyone else seem as glamorous as Jen Fulwiler.

May 3, 2014 Guns in Church: The Divide Boils Down to Subsidiarity – I don’t much write about gun stuff.  But when the Archbishop of Gunlandia does something to tick off all his redneck parishioners, someone has to get out some catechism quotes, right?  FYI – post includes a link to my A/C article where I say there, concisely, what I’ve said here, verbosely: This is a topic on which Catholics of good will can disagree, and catechists need to leave their agendas at home.

May 2, 2014 Pomp without Vanity: A True Story from a Parish Photo Directory – My kid is as cool as Fr. Longenecker, and much, much prettier.

May 1, 2014 Fun Stuff: Beautification Claws From the Case Files of DragonEye, PI – Free short story. Catholic dragon.

May 1, 2014 Tried and True Ways to Eliminate People With Disabilities #BADD2014 – Review of what I blogged for BADD here last year.  Because it’s still true.  Quit trying to kill the people who bother you.

April 30, 2014 Something Fun: Armored Combat League World Championship May 1 – 3 – Because I have the coolest friends.  Have I mentioned that?

April 30, 2014 Just Say No to Needy Busybodies

April 29, 2014 Heart Rate Training for Fitness in Chronic Illness – This is actually a useful post.  It’s how I managed to nearly pass the 6-minute walk, despite being seriously seriously not well.  And if I’d taken the walk two days earlier, I would’ve aced it out of sheer racing-preparation common sense.

April 29, 2014 Mid-Easter Evangelization: Time for an Egg Hunt! – Link to my column at NE, which got picked up as a reprint by at least one parish bulletin.  I can die happy now.  I have succeeded as a Catholic writer.

April 28, 2014 Trusting God When Life Isn’t Easy – Link to Pauline Media’s brand new, free, digital magazine.  I wrote one of the articles in it.

April 28, 2014 Midlands Homeschool Convention – Last Day for Discounted Registration – Your one and only chance to see me speak in 2014.  Turn out.  It’s going to be cool.

April 28, 2014 Classroom Management for Catechists – Spanish Edition for Fall 2014 – I do a happy dance.

April 26, 2014 Why is Obedience a Virtue?

April 25, 2014 Real Life Prayer Gardening  A picture of the dog who keeps my prayer life going.  And my garden.

April 24, 2014 A Deadly Faith – Gospel Reflection @CatholicMom.com – I had forgotten all about writing this, but then I read it, and it was really good.  Surprisingly good.  Follow this to get the link to the CMom piece, and yes pastors, you may run it as a reprint in your bulletin next time Holy Week comes around.  Or whenever.

April 23, 2014 Divine Mercy Sunday – What’s it all about??  – Relevant every day at 3pm.  Or other times you have 7 minutes to spare and your prayer life needs a little something.

Click to read my blog at Patheos

Very Up.

I’ve been doing amazingly fantabulously well over the past week or so.  Thank you everyone who has prayed.  Not cured, but enjoying a particularly good run of things.  Got a little bit of gardening done, trimmed smallish limbs and branches, drove a couple places, and slept like a normal person, neither more nor less.  I’m happy.

Went in for preliminary lung-function tests with pulmonologist #2, appointment to follow on a date TBD.  This round was much shorter — exhausting and left me with a mild headache-type thing, but nowhere close to the Pulmonology Circle of Hell.  I like this guy already.  (He’s the one that will, in theory, either dx or rule out exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension.)

***

You know who I like as a patron? Rafael Cordero.  Don’t let the nickname scare you, he’s a cool guy.  I want to learn more about him.

***

In blorging since last I wrote, and I see it’s been a while:

Happy Easter, everyone!

Up-ish Again. Yay!

Spent about a week feeling way, way worse.  As in: Light-headed verging on headache-y if a sat upright.  At all.  So I watched movies, because writing flat on your back is not so fun.  Interestingly (disturbingly?) the one thing I didn’t do was pray any better.  But SuperHusband & I did do some contingency pre-planning, and discuss funeral music, because, well, we’re picky about music.  Last night I pointed him to the Dies Irae, and he was alarmed no one had ever played it in church before. Makes you feel cheated.  I’ve never heard it myself, I just look at in the hymnal and know that I love it.

So whichever one of us dies first, the other one gets to hear good funeral music live, and the early-departer gets the remote version.  (Or, if we’re bad . . . let’s not think about that.  I know there’s suffering in purgatory, but our Lord wouldn’t stoop so low as to open The Gather and . . . we’re not talking about that now.  I’m going with those lines about pleading for mercy.)

So my kids have this weird notion that the way one faces serious illness is to give your spouse dating advice and watch movies all day.

And then I started feeling better again.  I won’t say I feel *normal* sitting upright, but at least I feel normal enough that I keep doing it, because: More interesting.

And definitely not feeling all funeral-planny this week, so that’s good.

Follow-up appt with cardiologist next week, in which we figure out where I should go next.

***

I started back writing stuff, and if you don’t subscribe to the blorg, you can periodically check the archives and click on the interesting stuff.  I’m trying to use titles that more or less tell you what the post is about.  Here you go, I think this is all the interesting bits since last I posted here:

  • March 28, 2014 Students Angry at Catholic School for Teaching Catholic Faith – UPDATED  News item out of Charlotte, NC, w/ prayer request for you to pray for Bishop Jugis, and also I rant a little.
  • March 28, 2014 Do the Ends Justify the Means? Blog catechism class, because some of my readers were unclear on how double-effect and don’t-do-evil-that-good-may-come-of-it work.  Also, now my all time favorite intro to theology book can be purchased on Amazon — that is, there were six copies, used, when earlier I wrote.  They might all be sold now.
  • March 27, 2014 How Can the Spirtually Flabby Be Helped? Link to my New Evangelizers column.  I was irritated by the people who say, “Lent is So Easy! Quit Whining!”, so I wrote about how they could quite whining about the whiners (me), and make themselves useful around their parish.
  • March 27, 2014 How’s that Religious Freedom Thing Working Out These Days? The Constitution.  I’m partial to it.  Blame my upbringing.  Interesting weird arguments going on in the combox.  Someone brought Rastafarians into it, as people will.
  • March 26, 2014 What Makes a Catholic Book Catholic?  Link to my column at the CWG.  Because the day before I said I really really liked Funeral Kings (movie), and I do like it, and you should be briefly scandalized by that that assertion, but I have reasons.  But no, it’s not Catholic  — at least, not the kind of Catholic that gets a CWG Seal of Approval.
  • March 25, 2014 St. Dismas Day, and a Movie to go with: Funeral Kings  More f-bombs in that movie than I think I have ever heard anywhere anytime, and that’s saying something.  And yet weirdly, it’s a good movie, in it’s way.
  • March 23, 2014 On Evangelization: Even People Like You are Missionary Material  Reprint from a few years ago, column from Amazing Catechists that coincided with the day’s Gospel, which was the Samaritan woman at the well.  You may remember it’s the one where we see how she evangelized despite herself.
  • March 21, 2014 Radio Silence = Please Pray  See.  I was sick.  Sick-Er.  Proof.

***

That’s all I know.  Some real life friends and I were thinking we ought to pick a reputable Servant of God (a “venerable”) who’s angling for a promotion to be our next invoked-saint.  Any suggestions?  Favorites?

psst . . . Jen . . . quit mixin’ up your holy-people terms.  “Servant of God” is the step before “Venerable.”  See more here, Thank You, Wikipedia!

Novenas! And other updates.

Larry asked for another novena.  Far be it from me to deny him.  I see the feast of the Annunciation is just around the corner, what perfect timing.  If you’re inclined to pray the for-serious way, EWTN has an annunciation novena here, and the US Bishops have one here (PDF).  I’m grateful for even the tiniest thing offered up, though, so please do not scruple.

I see that the bishop’s have titled theirs, “A Heart Open to God’s Will.” Chuckle chuckle.  I love being Catholic.  We have the punniest spirituality going.

Edited to Add: Please keep Larry D.’s intentions in mind this week.  His family’s going through the wringer.

***

So how’s it going, Jen?  After being silly tired all week, I had a great Saturday daytime.  It turns out the SuperHusband sometimes gets this weird not-quite-right head thing when he’s on a really intense hike in the mountains.  It’s not dizziness, and it’s not lightheadedness like you’re going to faint.  You might say ‘fuzzy-headed’, except that you can think clearly.  But you would be inclined to use one of those words.  Anyway, I did a pile of laundry and cleaning stuff up, paced so that I didn’t cough once, not once.  It turns out that if you persist for enough hours, this unnamed phenomenon turns into a headache.

And then later the shortness of breath was back on the slightest exertion.  Fatigue, huh?  I’m fascinated by all this.  It’s like race training at a microscopic scale.

***

Busy blorging week. A handful of linky-link posts, and a couple serious columns:

  • I really wasn’t trolling for Atheists when I wrote about free will and suffering, but I guess the title doomed me. Second in the suffering series, and the combox discussion is, well, enlightening.  I shut it down because I was tired of moderating and it was starting to degenerate.  I so did not mean to provoke that conversation.  Cringe.
  • Paging Dorian Speed . . . Christian Leblanc wrote a very good, helpful, encouraging column at Patheos in reponse to a struggling catechist.  I ranted and raved.  But every time I think, “Yeah, I was too mean,” I go back and re-read my post, and I think, “Yeah, that needed to be said.”  But I feel for the poor guy who wrote the letter.  I get the frustration.  I do. I really do.

Elsewhere, maybe I was nicer?  At AmazingCatechists.com, a post with thoughts on changing your course to meet the needs of your students.  Don’t hate me because I had smart kids this year, it works both ways.

(What are the Apologetics for Kids students doing while I’m on sick leave? Watching Steve Ray videos, of course.  Footprints of God.  Google it.  You want the whole collection. They are great for kids and grown-ups both.)

And at CatholicMom.com today, I’m the Gospel-reflector.  Once again, my spirituality could be summed up as, “Just like St. Peter, Before Pentecost Edition.”

Happy Sunday!

Post Heart-Cath Update

For those who didn’t see the FB & blorg updates, procedure went fine.  Once the sedative-drip started working, it was fascinating, really.  I had a view of the physician’s display screen, and I totally want the video.  Wow. Also, re: sedatives, I begin to understand why prescription drug abuse is such a problem.  Nurse said I had a smile on my face the whole time.*

DX: Healthiest sick person you know.  Everything was all clear on the heart-cath, with is consistent with the, “I feel perfectly normal as long as I sit here blorging,” symptoms I’m having.  It’s a bit awkward trying to feed the cath through someone’s heart while they fold laundry or potter in the garden.

–> Clarification for all the kind people who’ve told me, upon hearing the results, “I’m glad you’re okay!”.  I know what you mean. I’m glad this test came back normal.  Lots of problems we didn’t find and that I’ve got no interest in having.  (I’m not interested in having the problem I do have, either.)  But I assure you, I am not okay.

Here’s a link with lots of curse words I don’t approve of, that explains the situation.  It’s hilarious and totally true, so we’ll make allowances.  You can thank Julie Davis at Happy Catholic for enlightening you, and I’ll take full credit for partially-corrupting you, since it’s not like she’s making me share the link.

Next step is probably a referral to someone who deals with bizarre cases.  So you just keep praying for that Dx, and/or that miracle, and/or CAWOG, whatever suits.

Meanwhile, thank you to Theresa for the flowers that came today.  I’m pretty sure I know which Theresa it was, but just in case I thank the wrong one in person, I thank you, the other Theresa who really sent the flowers, as well.

How’s it going, Jen?  I’m super tired.  Not taking most phone calls, a bit behind on e-mail, and trying to get through the this-n-that on the to do list.  If I owe you something, may I remind you that praying for patience is rarely a short-term winning strategy?  I’d say my fortitude’s running at about 5%.  But I’m so grateful for that blorging gig, because having something to do that is easy and pleasant and people seem to like is really nice.

 

 

*I’m generally a happy, sociable person, so this is not atypical.  But feeling happy and sociable when it’s noon, there’s a teeny tiny plumbing snake in my arteries, and I haven’t had coffee or breakfast . . . that’s not my usual.  The coffee is the clincher.