Counting Down to Touchdown

Between Avdi’s additional new work gig, and the kids’ imminent arrival, it’s crunch time, which means getting creative and time-effective with transportation.  Accordingly, I had my first Lyft ride today from Avdi’s to my apartment.  Now I can keep medical appointments.

Today after watering the garden, I weeded some more, and harvested lots of peas.  Avdi and Jess were preoccupied with  reorganizing the house for the kids’ moving in, plus working, so he set me up with Lyft on his account, and now I’m back “home”.

Something tells me soon I’ll be looking back fondly at this brief period of R&R in my life, before all hell broke loose!  But it will be a fine and worthwhile hell, I’m sure.

Set to Broil

This is my first summer in STL, which apparently starts in May, stays in the 9os until fall, with ongoing air quality alerts, and high humidity.  Who needs Florida!  The only thing missing is daily monsoons, ‘gators, and hurricanes.  Instead we have periodic flash-flooding, armadillos, and tornado warnings.  And huge creepy rabbits.  We even have similar fascists.  Retire to sunny MO!  You’ll never freeze to death.

Don’t mind me, I’m just adapting, i.e., sitting in my air-conditioned apartment with ceiling fans (or at Avdi’s, depending).

Yesterday for erev at A’s, in addition to challah, I made an elaborate Asian stir-fry with tofu, HB eggs, peanuts, snow/snap peas from the garden, long beans and several other veggies, ginger root, sesame seeds, soy sauce, fresh herbs, and Asian yellow curry beef sauce, served over jasmine rice.

Just an aside…I’ve had to cancel/postpone several routine preventive medical procedures due to lack of transportation.  Now I’m in that same boat that used to just be other poor oldsters.  It’s a weird place to be.  I spent years schlepping my parents to specialists all week, in my own car.  In order to do that, I had to give up my job, home, and own healthcare in MD and move back to NJ.  As I’ve said many times elsewhere, I would never expect my own child to do that for me, and I mean it.  It’s just a fact of life for many people, whose ranks I’ve joined.  One more necessity I don’t take for granted.  I feel very fortunate just to be able to live near my son, who works very hard to pay his family’s expenses, and helps me out in so many unexpected ways.




Prickly Pear

At Avdi’s, I got up early while it was still not a furnace out, watered the veg garden, and weeded it.  More like liberated it from its weedy bondage.  Percy got his big salad.  Then I went back to being a zombie on drugs.  Later, Avdi and I went grocery shopping, and he dropped me off at my apartment, where I promptly fell asleep.  I feel a little dazed, not all there.   I didn’t even take more photos, just this one of the prickly pear blooming, which I find amazing.

Armadillo Roadkill

Today I saw my first armadillo here and it was roadkill.  Right on Watson Road, where even humans fear to tread.  I couldn’t believe my eyes (or nose).  Sorry, too ghastly for photos.  Other places have normal roadkill like deer or skunk; here we have armadillos!

On top of my zombie meds, I now have two different vaccinations in my arm (ouch).  Slowly but surely I’m checking off the medical backlog.

Apparently it’s in the 90s in May here.  I dread to see what it’s like in actual summer!

I walked to Avdi’s this afternoon, so now we have photos of actual living things.

B&B#2: New Friends and Flowers

Yesterday Avdi had an impromptu Beer and Badminton, and a nice little group of friends spent the afternoon.  I was a little drugged on my new med, but I still managed to enjoy hanging out with familiar and new friends.  Even K joined us, and set up the new B&B website/newsletter.  I was happy to see a couple of Monarchs fluttering around the milkweed.  Plus some new exciting flowers are in bloom.

Later, A and I watched one of our episodes, then he drove me home.  Or is it!

Cherokee Street

Later…Avdi decided we needed to get out of the house, so we walked around Cherokee street in STL.  What a fascinating, diverse ethnic neighborhood.  One section is like a Little Mexico, with actual Mexican food being prepared outside under canopies.  Little kids were selling their art out on the sidewalk.  There were iconic bars, a craft beer and wine shop, many old-fashioned barber shops, bakeries (especially Mexican), art studios, a Black indie bookstore, dispensaries, the smell of weed wafting everywhere, paraphernalia shops, eateries, musicians playing outside, you name it.  The highlight was The Fortune Teller Bar, a well-known destination in STL, where we had excellent crafted drinks in their unique space.  It was a very pleasant and needed break.

Later, we drove both cars over to Jess’s, who’s getting back from Paris tonight and will need her car.  (Earlier, Avdi let me try driving his car, in case I need to at some point.  No life forms were harmed.)  Then we drove back, and Avdi left to pick her up at the airport and go see friends.  I’ll stay over (with K) another night.  I actually feel too exhausted to work!



This new med has some unpleasant side effects, which I won’t go into in detail!  I barely slept all night, and feel like a zombie.  I’m still anxious about things I have little control over, like getting myself to appointments, and not becoming dependent, but also too groggy to motivate, or operate machinery.

This morning I managed to water the garden, give the spinach a haircut and sort it, and pick peas, but that’s about it so far.  Sometimes I forget it’s OK to observe Shabbat (in this case Shavuot as well) and give it a rest.  I feel like I always have to be accomplishing something, or I’m just taking up space.

This must be one of those two paths diverging moments in a life.  Part of you feels like resigning yourself to reality and fatalism; the other part wants to resist and fight to retain your self-worth and purpose.  One half is anxious and fearful of new challenges, the other knows it’s essential to embrace them in order to keep living.  Some people just give up and die inside at this point.  Others refuse to give in.  I’m trying to be the latter, but some days it’s harder than others.

Or maybe it’s just the meds talking!  I haven’t reached the side effect of suicide yet, so that’s something!

Vegetating does have its appeal sometimes, though.  Here’s an illustration:



The Festival of Cheesecake

Happy Shavuot, the festival of cheesecake, probably the most interesting feature of this holiday.

I spent all morning at my new PCP, partly just ironing out some initial business issues with the insurance, but also getting my first routine exam here.  I was able to get a prescription for my anxiety and depression, and just need to set up some other preventive appointments.  The side effects from this new med are…interesting.  A polite term for weird!

When I was finally done with the doctor and then the pharmacy–some unfinished business there, too–I drove to Avdi’s to catch up on Shabbat (also, as it happens, Shavuot) preps.  I arrived at the same time Kashti got home from his final day of middle school.  I baked challah as usual, and made an Italian dinner featuring lots of fresh herbs and lettuces from the garden.  Avdi’s friend Amy, whose birthday it was, joined us for dinner and, you guessed it, birthday cheesecake.  I enjoyed getting to know her.  And eating cheesecake.

Here are some random shots around the house and yard.  Now I’m going to bed.



L42 Terraforming Station (Near Saturn)

Avdi got back safely last night.  K. uncharacteristically went to bed very early, still not feeling well.

In the morning, Avdi gave him a COVID test, fortunately negative.  K. surprised me by opting to go to school.  Soon after, I drove to my apartment, but not before doing my morning garden rounds, eyed the whole time by the big rabbit mowing the lawn.  He didn’t even get out of the way!  Look at those beady eyes.  Something unnatural about rabbits.

(Actually, all the birds and critters here are starting to get used to me, and hang around.  Of course I always talk to them.)

Now I’m just catching up on apt. stuff.  Tomorrow I’ll drive myself (!) to my first PCP doctor visit in STL, just down the road, then back to Avdi’s to do Shabbat preps, etc, etc.  Probably spend the night.

I made sure to take some photos at Avdi’s before I drove here, so I’d have something to show.

Here’s the early morning veg garden, and my pot of okra seedlings:

Here’s some basil blooming, and some of the masses of native milkweed that grow like weeds here:

Here’s the jungle “zen trail”,  and some very happy prickly pear cactus getting ready to bloom:

And lots of natives and perennials/annuals blooming:


Not much exciting at my apt, although my hydroponic herbs are outgrowing their space again and need to be potted.  Sometimes I feel like my apt is like an artificial domed terraforming station in space, and Avdi’s is like visiting earth if you’ve never been before.  (“Don’t look up!”)  It’s why I can relate to Prax in The Expanse.  All he wanted to do was raise his kid and manage the hydroponics on Ganymede station, until it all got shattered.  His life was changed forever, having to adapt to a harsh new reality, but he came out stronger in the end, with the help of new friends.

Well, herbs to pot, puttering to do…