The December List – 2021

It’s a week into the new year and I’ve already left 2021 far behind. December was fine. Parts of it were lovely, even, but I’m still not wanting to rehash. BUT, because I’m a sucker for consistency, here’s the recap…

1) I’m currently ON HOLD with my daughter’s insurance company. This is obviously not part of December, since it’s January 6 today, but it pretty much sums up 2021. After 38 minutes on hold, I was connected to an agent, and I’m on hold again (and have been for 23 minutes) as the agent calls the billing department for the urgent care center we went to that said my daughter’s insurance didn’t exist, which made me have to therefore pay $155 out-of-pocket for her Covid test, which we waited three hours for (this is three hours AFTER her scheduled appointment time).

In December, I finally after three months of multiple (when I say multiple, I mean 40+) calls, got my insurance company to pay $4K for two MRIs that were supposed to be covered.

If I never have to call an insurance company again this year, it will be a good year.

2) After being super disappointed and embarrassed by the “Sex and The City” sequel (I got through one episode, with lots of fast forwarding), I stumbled upon the best show I’ve seen in years, “Fleabag.” It’s so smart and funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.

The main character reminded me of (her expressions? her mannerisms?) my BF who I thought was going to be a BFF, so watching this character that reminded me of her bummed me out and made me super nostalgic, which… I’m not sure if that made me like the show any more or any less, but that aside, if you haven’t seen it, it’s on Amazon and there are only two seasons, but they are perfect.

3) I had my reconstruction surgery at the beginning of the month. It went well and I am so relieved it’s over. I can’t exercise for three more weeks, which makes me panic a little (flashbacks to all the champagne, cookies, charcuterie and sourdough toast I inhaled over the holidays) but at least it’s something to look forward to (and the fact that I am looking forward to it is saying something).

The pain was surprising. In some ways it hurt more than the mastectomy. I took a lot of pain meds, more than I wanted to because I do not do well on them. Per the husband, once when I took my muscle relaxants, I almost fainted. All I remember is feeling dizzy and calling or texting him to come help me while I waited by the kitchen sink. And the next thing I remember is being on the couch and him saying I almost passed out twice.

Recovery overall was easier this time, though. I find myself thinking I am ready to do certain things (like vacuum and laundry) when I’m not supposed to. Three. More. Weeks! And yes, I am very excited about vacuuming. The girls try (well, one of them does. The other one doesn’t even pretend to), but sadly, their efforts are not up to my standards.

4) Confession. I went up a bra size and I’m not mad about it. I give you this TMI public service announcement because it’s your body and you do what you want. Remember that.

Am I worried that at 80 years old, I will look crazy because my boobs look 30 years old but the rest of my body does not? My answer is that I will be happy to make it to 80 years old.

5) I posted this book review already to social media, but here it is again for The List.

It’s the season for cozy fireside reading. Wrote the review below for a book-buying class assignment and wanted to share with you. If you’re looking for a new mystery series, here you go.

Contrary to that popular saying about cover and books, I DO judge books by their covers and I found this one while browsing the shelves of the library. The playful font on the spine caught my eye, the cover ultimately sealing the deal. The story reflects the cover’s mood – an armchair murder mystery with a “fun” storyline that’s not too dark or gruesome. Set in Jack the Ripper’s London, the main detective is a quirky, rude individual and his antics keep the story light, adding bursts of humor between grim details. Of course he has a sidekick, a smart, young woman who is under his guardianship (another mystery) after becoming orphaned. The author does a nice job of describing the reality of London life during that time and uses accurate vernacular, saying pianoforte, for example, instead of piano, so there are definitely historical fiction elements here as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

6) I finished “The Midnight Library” in November, but forgot to write about it in last month’s list, since I was so focused on all things Hawaii.

It had an intriguing hook at the beginning, leaving the reader wondering what was to become of the main character. Without giving too much away, the bulk of the book centered on stories of “what ifs.” The story was different and interesting. I enjoyed!

7) Obi is FINALLY beginning to feel like part of the family and I am finally starting to love him as well (reality, people). He looks small here, but he is a big boy, at an estimated 75 pounds.

Also, my insurance call just ended. Per my phone, I was on the call for 1:59:32 minutes. I had to go over another issue regarding the other daughter’s insurance policy, so that discussion ate up a good chunk of time. The agent was refreshingly competent. And she felt my pain. The call ended with her saying something close to – “Please Heavenly Father Lord Jesus be with this family and let these issues be resolved, Amen.” Amen, indeed.

8) Speaking of Obi, the BEST mishap happened this month. I’d let him in the backyard one afternoon and was wondering why he’d been out there so long (he usually asks to come in after 20 minutes tops). I went out to check on him and found the back gate open. Horrors!

I rushed out front in my bathrobe and looked up and down the street and did not see him. Then dialed the local police office. NOTE: I was only a couple days into surgery recovery and not up for running around the neighborhood or jumping in the car to find him.
Me: Blah, blah, blah, dog escaped, blah, blah.
Lady on Phone: What type of dog, did you say?
Me: English Cream Retriever, which is basically a white Golden Retriever.
Lady on Phone: Oh, yeah, he’s at….. (proceeds to give me an address two doors down from us)

I rushed to the address and my neighbor who moved in over the summer was standing outside waiting. She said Obi was in her backyard and could he please stay a little longer because he was tiring out her St Bernard puppy. YES. PLEASE.

Since then, he’s been over there often (they have two dogs, per the pic, but the puppy is the main one that needs tiring out). If the girls aren’t around, the neighbors pick Obi up and drop him off afterwards, since I can’t walk him yet (three more weeks!).

9) We enjoyed a nice, quiet Christmas. My Dad and his wife were supposed to spend the holidays with us, but several factors altered their plans, so it was just the four of us on Christmas morning.

This is the first year that the girls stopped believing in Santa (thank you, Jesus), but we don’t ever say it out loud, because as my girlfriend Kara once told me, “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive” and that’s the thought we subscribe to also. So Santa did come, and filled Obi’s stocking, too.

10) We went to one holiday party, my book group gathering, with significant others in tow. Brittany laid out the most festive table and prepared the most delicious short rib dinner. It was a great time. And I just remembered that I forgot to wish her a Happy Birthday at the end of December – Happy Birthday!

11) I didn’t do much puzzling last month and therefore didn’t do much Podcast listening, but I did get through this one. The title sums it up well. It was….good enough. Moral of the story: “some people are good at conning” and “don’t get conned.”

12) I don’t even have a 12th. I am tired. We’re all so tired. And have been tired for so long. I’m blaming part of my fatigue on surgery. I know it’s been three weeks, and I *feel* fine. But my brain isn’t functioning properly and my usual get-up-and-go (that I do have for at least a couple hours every day) is not there.

Like I said, I’m ready to leave 2021 behind, regardless of all the good memories it contains. And so I wish you all a Happy New Year. May 2022 be all the things.

6 thoughts on “The December List – 2021

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