It’s a beautiful, sunny and unseasonably warm day. I should be outside working. Instead, I have a migraine, and that bright sunlight feels like a knife in my eyes, even with my best sunglasses. So I’m inside, and I’m going to try to muster enough brain to write a blog post or two. It is what it is.
I’ve been out running around like a maniac, and spending money like a drunken sailor. It’s why posting has been light. However, it’s in a good cause-getting as ready as I can for CW II/Boogaloo/Mad Max/whatever it’s going to be. There is still a long list of things I feel we need to accomplish or add to, but this is like eating an elephant-you have to do it a bite at a time.
A lot of my time has been eaten up trying to catch up from a long period where I was unable to do much more than keep the grass mowed. Trimming and cutting trees, working on the landscaping and that sort of thing takes a lot when you’re out of shape, and I am out of shape, so the going is slow. Complicating matters, as well as adding the list of health issues, the docs now say I have “idiopathic peripheral nephropathy”. That means something-and they don’t know what-is damaging my peripheral nerves. That damage results in several sensations, including tingling, numbness, a burning sensation and pain, ranging from a dull ache to OMG I just stepped on a gutter spike. They have me on a med for it that does help, but it also screws with my memory. Yay. Still, I’m back on my feet for a few hours per day and am slowly working through the backlog. I’ve got a couple of young men in the very extended family I plan on hiring to help with some of it, just as soon as they are out of school.
I’ll see a neuro-muscular specialist in August (Thank you Wuflu for the delays in getting healthcare) and I hope he can work out a treatment plan that will further improve things. I am suspicious of the &*$# statin drug another doc has me on for high cholesterol. My cholesterol is high, outside of the normal range, but for me it’s genetic. Testing shows that I have the genes that make me tend toward it, and both my parents had it. Recent research is uncovering a disturbing side effect from statins-nerve damage. So there may be a choice to be made there.
Getting old sucks, but it sucks less than all the alternatives. Now if we can just get medical science to stop making it worse.
Besides the landscaping, some larger projects that require a lot of physical exertion, such a security camera system, are on hold until either I am in better condition or can figure out ways to install them that are less physically demanding. Crawling around in the attic stringing a few hundred feet of cable is more or less out of the question at the moment.
However, small projects, such as a driveway alarm, are within my abilities. Dig a post hole, put in the post and mount the head unit. Set up the receiver. Know every time someone pulls into the driveway because they’re lost and need to turn around. Yeah, that happens frequently.
For the time being, food and fuel prices seem to be stable. I don’t expect that to last for long, as there are increasing reports of supply line stress. Shelves are still distressingly thin, although the stores are doing their best to make the gaps appear minimal. Spot shortages continue, sometimes of big things like cleaning products (While at the local Wally World, I had a lady volunteer to me how thrilled she was that they had some. Her grocery store had been out for weeks.) and small things like Mrs. Freeholder’s preferred liquid bleach.
Because of this situation, we have taken to buying both what we can find (as in not our preferred brand of liquid bleach) and buying things we used in much larger quantities (4 large bottles of ketchup rather than 1 or 2). I am also trying to lay aside some supplies of things that we don’t currently use much of, but that may be needed in the future, such as medical supplies and certain hardware items.
Houses are still in short supply. Those that come on the market command top dollar, even the ones that aren’t move in ready. Serious fixer-uppers move slower, but still faster than I have ever seen. Building lots and unimproved land are also in high demand. I’m guessing when this bubble pops there is going to be a lot of wailing from a lot of recent home buyers as they quickly sink under water. My advice, if you’re determined to buy, is to buy a property you have no plans of selling any time soon and buy much less than you can afford. Then if you go under water, you won’t be hurt as much. You won’t have to take a loss selling and you can still afford your payments as long as you’re working.
Speaking of housing, I’ve seen several more instances of people living in RVs next to a house. I really believe this to be a leading-edge indicator of problems on the way.
It seems that vehicles are selling well. I’ve mentioned that Mrs. Freeholder retires soon, and we recently bought her “the last car I’ll ever buy”, lol. I have no doubt she’ll have another before this life is finished with us. She’s now the proud owner of a new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. That gives her the creature comforts she’s missed and gives me another capable 4WD vehicle. We have one, but a spare is never a bad thing. And I like this one far more than I liked the previous Cherokee.
While we were at the stealership, there were at least 5 other sales being closed at the same time. Just guessing here, but I’m betting that in a year or so there are going to be a lot of bargains in the late model used car market.
Schools are back in session with most systems and kids in classrooms 100% of the time. I’m hearing from both Mrs. Freeholder and other sources that all kids, all ages, all abilities, have fallen badly behind in the last year plus. Standardized test scores are probably going to tank.
Restaurants and drive-thrus continue to do good business. Perhaps folks are tired of eating their own cooking. At least one local spot that had closed is open under new ownership. I haven’t checked the place out yet, but plan on it soon.
I mentioned that our weather was sunny and unseasonably warm. That’s going to be the trend for the next few days. All the rain of the last year or two has dried up for the time being. I’m going to get the outdoor sprinkler system set up in case it doesn’t rain in the next week. If pollen season will cooperate, I may be pressure washing this weekend or next week (or both).
There have been numerous shootings the last couple of months in nearby metro areas. Charlotte, Greensboro and the RTP area seem to be experiencing a serious increase in this sort of crime. It’s a good time to stay out of the big cities, I think.
One final thing-I’ve been seeing a lot more posts on forums mentioning things like The Fourth Turning and other cyclical prediction systems. Some people, at least, are starting to see/believe that there are cracks in the system, and they’re looking for guidance. Should you run across one of these folks, do what you can to point them to a good path. Remember, what goes around comes around.