I have been craving, craving, cigarettes lately. The act of smoking to be more precise. The ritual: the beautiful, silver lighter. The ash of the cigar. The scotch.
It suddenly occurred to me in this order:
I grew up in a smoking household. Until I left for college, dad smoked. Mom did not. But dad did. I never remember the house smelling of smoke. I think dad was careful and mom was fastidious about keeping a clean home. Also, I was a kid and not really focused on these things. So maybe the house did smell smokey, but I very, very much doubt it. I don't even remember full ashtrays. I think my mom must have driven herself to distraction keeping those things empty.
I smoked briefly during college. And by "college" I mean, that period of years where I was studiously dropping out, as opposed to attending classes. So for maybe three years (?) I was an occasional to intermittent smoker. Then I started dating someone with an auto-immune disorder and I stopped overnight. So clearly I was either a) never addicted or b) able to go cold-turkey because I had a good reason/person to quit for.
It has been 20 years since I've smoked. And by the way, I'm a very good girl: no pot in this body, it was never my thing. Always too scared of addiction, oddly, since I was smoking cigarettes. But welcome to my quirky brain.
But suddenly, over the last few months I've been thinking about smoking all the time. The middle of the day, late at night: I want to light up. I have no idea why. I don't like the way cigarettes smell and I'm especially not down with cancer or emphysema. So why the sudden ignition of desire?
I wonder if growing up in a smoking house--even so many years ago, has semi-hard-wired me to crave nicotine? I have no idea, but I've been wondering lately.
Perusing a Japanese office supply site, I came across the category "extinction equipments." That seemed pretty dire, I couldn't figure out what it could be for? When bodies are found post-earthquake? Maybe some bags for them...or...what? I don't know? Lye?
Turns out it was a fun mis-translation for "fire extinguisher." Much prefer Extinction Equipments: more poetic.
How peculiar it is, that as I feel my life is increasingly fraying, I'm busy building first-aid kits, blow-out kits and get-home bags. On a micro-scale I can apparently create order. Are these the seeds for a larger push toward chaos-abatement? One hopes.
I'm taking fist-fulls of miscellaneous pens to work where they'll be used, and am looking at just trying to use the few I actually like--more, and order refills for those. Of course, there was a cock-up: I ordered a lovely pen to use as my 'main pen' (and what the hell is that, by the way, and why does the idea of a main pen make me feel better?) & was so, sew, excited when the box arrived, with refills naturally. I unpacked the box, but alas--no pen. So I looked through the wrapping--and there was my pen. They must have harvested it before it was fully grown, because it looks like a toothpick holder. For real. It's so, sew, tiny. But I do have plenty of refills for it & it now lives in my tiny clutch wallet. A nice pen, pity it will never have a chance to grow up.
And then, the boo boo kit. I got a couple cheap-o Johnson & Johnson band-aid kits and beefed them up. Added more band-aids, some blister band-aids, some pain-killers, alcohol wipes, sunscreen lotion--the the basics to get one through a nasty paper-cut when away from home. Simple things. I should probably add a tiny couple of packs of burn gel. All things that are easy to use, easy to replace. Things I've wished I've had in the past--though luckily work has often had a similar first aid kit. This is just a traveling version. I like these little sandwich-sized J&J plastic kits. They're pocket-sized and fairly rigid plastic, so things won't get accidentally crushed/punctured in the container. Not water-proof, but I just keep mine in a zip-lock bag with some ace bandage wrap. Fun times.
And the blow-out kit. I was recently unhappy to learn that my range doesn't have a SOP for a gunshot wound scenario. Or rather, the SOP is call 911 (of course!) and then stand-by, because someone might sue if we get involved. Huh? I was then told that if I wanted to take on the potential for litigation I was welcome to, but it would "all be on you." Hmm. I felt pretty shitty about that. I know I'd have to try something, rather than watch someone bleed out in front of me. It's called "first aid" for god's sake, not "I'm an expert field-medic guaranteed to save your life." Just first-aid to help until someone equipped and qualified arrives.
I realized I'd better have a damn blow-out kit for myself if no one else: if I get shot at work, I can at least try to render first-aid to me! But the culture of Do Nothing is extremely disappointing. I can't tell if it's the real SOP there, or just this particular manager's POV, or just her attempt to get me to shut up. Chances are if I was anyone else, it would have been a better & more thoughtful answer. Nevertheless, I now have a tiny blow-out kit that goes with me to any range, especially outdoor ones---since they're more isolated.
I know that "no good deed goes unpunished" but honestly--if you do nothing, how do you live with yourself? What if it was someone you loved who was surrounded by able-bodied people who just stood by? It makes me crazy to think about it--& I've seen this happen plenty of times: crowd gathers, stares, does nothing. I know the business has to protect itself, but I wonder if I'm really working with such callous people, or if I just got the expedient brush-off response? So hard to tell.
Bud's got an inoperable adrenal tumor that his aorta runs right through. He's being treated with chemical chemo & so far has responded well, there's been some shrinkage to the tumor. Vet is hoping to get him on a low dose maintenance schedule to keep the tumor small and relieve some of the pressure on other organs.
So far he seems happy and like his old self, but he has slowed down a lot. Bud's 13 & I've known for a while now that he's in his final stretch. I love him dearly, and therefore won't put him through unnecessary discomfort/sickness. If he continues to tolerate the lower dosage & it helps: great. If not, I'd just as soon take him off meds and let him live out however long he has. At his age, (with or without meds) it could be a year or longer, or not. Impossible to tell. At least with our animals, we have the option of humane euthanasia when the pain and illness of living outweighs the happiness and comfort of simple being.
Happy that he's responded well to the meds so far, but it's sad to see this great old boy slowing down. He's such a wonderful guy. I hope we have a lot more time left together. He's my boy.
I had no idea that this is how okra grows & it is really cool! When the okra gets really big, if you don't pick it in time in bows the slender stem over. Never had any break--but do try to get to them before they get dramatic.
Toms! Next year I will stake them with round wire supports so the stems have more room to drape and receive better support. My first garden and I'm learning as I go. It is super fun!
Hot peppers! Delicious and gorgeous. Look at these little beauties! These grow kind of like my green beans should have--except the beans decided not to cooperate.