Various Updates, Helpfully Illustrated with Possibly Artistic Photos

So, things. Things have happened, and are happening, and sometimes some of you ask after them, which means other of you have thought of asking but haven’t because you don’t want to ask. So I’ll give you a few updates.

Firstly, this isn’t me anymore.

Moi at Paulina Peak.
Moi at Paulina Peak.

I haven’t had one of those things in my right hand since early August. Many of you have wondered about that, because I haven’t said. Despite various stressors, and being off Chantix for ages, I haven’t had a one since the first day of our Mount St. Helens trip. Haven’t even stood downwind of the smokers, sniffing longingly – the stuff smells awful. Do I miss it? Certain of its aspects, certainly. I miss the mellowing of my mood, and I miss the irresistible urge to head outside for a few minutes every hour or so. But that’s about it. I get the occasional urge out of nowhere, from habit I suppose, but it’s gone in a flash and I’m back to being a non-smoker. I figure if my mother’s hospitalization didn’t push me over the edge, I’m probably safe enough for the moment.

Speaking of mother, she’s now settled in to a group home. They think this will be temporary, until she clears from the ECT, and then she’ll be off on her own again. Possibly. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know she’d like it, but I’d rather her be in a place where she’s got expert caregivers watching her. We’ll see how it goes, but at least she’s getting better for now.

This seems to be a routine, now, in the winter. Mom goes a bit wonky. A relative dies – this time, it was my uncle, the one who aspired to become a pirate and got himself committed to a secure facility for his trouble. I didn’t know him well, and for the last several years he’d been lost in his disease, but he was a classic.


Of course, this means I’ll be watching the phone with a suspicious eye next winter, waiting to see who it is this time. I suppose it wouldn’t do any good to put a moratorium on le mort for a few years. Gah.

This is the second January in a row during which I’ve been struck with an overwhelming urge to flee from the world and bury myself in turn-of-the-century detective literature. Last year, I read about five million novels, including an inordinate amount of Agatha Christie; this year, I watched the entire runs of both Poirot and Miss Marple on the telly. That turns out to be a good way to sate that desire, as I can fiddle with photos. Nearly everything has been picked through and organized. Quite nice. I’ve branched off into other British detective shows, and shall probably have a thing or two to say about them soon.

However, fun as this can be, I’m beginning to think it’s a symptom of SAD. It’s been difficult to muster the motivation for much of anything, everything I write feels like it’s fallen with a dull thud, social activities are far more taxing than I can manage… all of which seem to be symptoms of something.

Black clawing at gray, Seattle winter.
Black clawing at gray,
Seattle winter.

Then February comes, and I come bouncing back. Crusades at work (if you see one mobile carrier sprint past the others rather suddenly in customer and employee satisfaction, well, that’s us and it means the uprising was wildly successful). Blogging’s not a chore, but a pleasure again. And I would have been up and doing this weekend instead of lying abed alternately reading Sundays with the Christianists and dozing off, but I was suffering from acute feline paralysis. Yes, pretty much all weekend. I’ve barely been able to escape to pee and fetch food. I’m not sure why, but le chat noir sans merci has decided to be a snuggle bunny, and it’s disturbing.

Weathervane, Timberline, Mount Hood.
Weathervane, Timberline, Mount Hood.

So, it’s been a stroll in the dark for a while, but not that dark, and there’s light, and the possibility of the good drugs if such become necessary, and there’s always been enough light to prevent unfortunate incidents on reefs and sundry coastlines. So that’s all to the good.

Lighthouse, Oregon Coast.
Lighthouse on Yaquina Head, Oregon Coast.

And hey, I’ll even be able to address my inbox soon. Thank you, those of you who have been so very patient.

I’ve completed quite a bit of research and have more underway. Soon, there should be some wonderfully meaty geology posts. Mostly volcanic. And that’s hawt. Ah-ha-ha-ha.

Thank you, my darlings, for always being lights in dark places. Hopefully, you’ll be enjoying some bright and beautiful things yourselves. I shall do my utmost to provide.

Various Updates, Helpfully Illustrated with Possibly Artistic Photos
The Bolingbrook Babbler:  The unbelievable truth is now at

7 thoughts on “Various Updates, Helpfully Illustrated with Possibly Artistic Photos

  1. 1

    Thanks for the update, Dana, it’s good to hear how things are turning out okay, many of which it would be rude and prying to ask to know. (And as usual the promise of more geology posts is welcome awesome.)

  2. 7

    Congrats on the 1st item; condolences and hugs for the 3rd and 2nd. What is it with winter, anyway? I love it, but there do seem to be some negative aspects.

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