Jo’s Weekly Questions – March 2023
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

Jo’s Weekly Questions – March 2023

Jo over at Dreamwidth put together a list of daily questions for 2023 again  😀 Here’s my answers to March questions.

1 – World Compliment day: Do you think there is still a place in the modern world for unsolicited compliments?

Sure! Why wouldn’t there be?

2 – World Book Day: What are you reading at the moment or what have you just finished reading?

The most recent book I finished is Network Effect by Martha Wells. I loved it! I’ve enjoyed all the Murderbot stories I’ve read, but this one is my favorite because it’s novel length and so things had time to breathe and I could spend more time with Murderbot and its comrades. Network Effect left me hungry for more Murderbot novels! So sad I’d already read all that’s come out so far.

I’m currently reading Kultti by Camilla Läckberg & Henrik Fexeus. I’ve also started on The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware but I’m not sure I’ll finish it.

3 – What if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs day? This is a fun one, what do you think our furry companions would be doing if they could open the cans themselves?

Our Beagle would have eaten herself sick. She had no stopping sense! Continue reading Jo’s Weekly Questions – March 2023

The Friday Five for March 17, 2023
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

The Friday Five for March 17, 2023

Answers to today’s questions at thefridayfive@livejournal

1. Will you be doing anything special for St. Patrick’s Day or is it just another day for you?

I’ve no idea what or when that is, so just another day!

2. What is your ancestry and do you do anything special to celebrate it?

I’m Finnish. That’s as far as I care. I know my Mom’s father’s family was of Russian origin but I’m not sure how many generations back because I’m pretty sure even he was born in (Russian ruled) Finland, but I don’t know more details about that and I don’t think my Mom knows either. Mom’s father died in the early 1960s, a decade before I was born and adopted by my Mom and Dad. It just never factors into anything.

I don’t know or care anything about my biological family’s origins.

3. If you found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, how much of it would you spend on play and how much would you tuck away for another rainy day?

I wouldn’t spend for play as such, but I’d be forced to use for every day living because having savings/investments/property means one isn’t entitled to the benefits that I am currently entitled to most of the months of the year – benefits that help me to pay things like electricity bill, my medications and doctors’ bills. I’d only get the unemployment or sick leave allowance, and those are too small to even completely cover my rent and food for a month. So I’d put as much as possible to savings, but be forced to also use it for simply surviving.

4. Have you ever traveled to the home of your ancestors, providing you don’t already live there?

I live here. We did visit Moscow in 1984 when I was ten, but it was just a tourist thing – didn’t have anything to do with family origins. It just never factors into anything, like I said.

5. Have there been any surprises in your family tree?

Nobody in my family has done any genealogy research on our family as far as we know. But what I do know, no surprises. But we don’t keep in touch a lot/at all so maybe someone has and we just don’t know about it. Nobody on our side of the family cares.

Friday 5 for March 10: Looking like a snack
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

Friday 5 for March 10: Looking like a snack

Answers to last Friday’s question at 🙂 

1. What do you usually reach for when you need just a little bite?

Usually chocolate if I want something sweet. If I want an actual food, a drinkable yoghurt.

2. How frequently do you visit convenience stores?

I guess my closest grocery store is technically a convenience store because it has somewhat limited selections and sells no clothes etc. but still has plenty of choice in food brands etc.? It’s a very common type of shop here, part of a supermarket chain called K-Supermarket – the next biggest type is the hypermarket which also sells garden stuff, small(ish) electric appliances, clothing, some books, cosmetics etc. in addition to food stuffs. But all the shops here which sell groceries sell the same brands, even if they have just a tiny selection basics.

I go shopping in my local store 1-3 times a weeks; it’s my main shop. Then there’s another shop of this same type and size but by S Group called S-Market, that I also go regularly to because some products are a little bit cheaper there and the fresh bakery breads selection there is different from my local shop and currently better. This shop is located in the city center and I usually go there when I also go to the library. But I try to shop a lot in my local store so that it stays and isn’t closed because then there won’t be any stores close by and probably also the other serviced in the building will get eventually closed down (post office, the chemist, restaurant etc.). Both shops have a nice fresh fish and meat counter, but in the S-Market it’s a lot bigger with also things like cheese and grilled chicken and fruit and vegetable salads. I love this because for a while there fresh fish and meat counters were non-existent except in the very big hypermarkets and even then, often not very good. But they seem to be making a return so I guess I’m not the only one who missed them!

I go the huge hypermarkets only about 3-4 times a year these days because I don’t have a car and so have to take the bus and the whole trip always takes 2 hours minimum or 3 hours depending on which hypermarket I go to, even though the actual shopping itself usually takes only 20 mins. The bus trip each way take so much time that I don’t want to do it often – when I go to a hypermarket, I’m always after some particular product my local shop doesn’t have or, after several rarely bought products (flour, cleaning stuff) my local shop does have but it’ll be a little bit cheaper to buy all of them from the hypermarket than my local shop. Back when I had a car, I generally shopped in a hypermarket once a week. Hypermarkets are usually a little cheaper than the supermarkets but reaching them can take a long time if you don’t have a car or don’t live right beside them. But if they are conveniently located or you have a car, they are the best place to shop at for the prices and the selection.

3. What’s your favorite chip?

Potato chip? Either the classic Taffel Sips The Original (flavoured only with salt) or Taffel Sips Broadway (sourcream & onion). Depends on the day.

4. What’s your favorite candy bar?

Fazerina by Fazer and/or Fazermint by Fazer. I can’t decide! I buy both of them as much, I think. I also love Pätkis, also by Fazer, almost as much as Fazerina and Fazermint.

5. What are some hard candies you especially like?

I’m not huge fan of hard candy and almost never buy it… but I LOVE Monpensiers Fruit Drops. I don’t think I’ve seen these fruit drops being sold anywhere but in tax-free in airports and on the Helsinki/Stockholm and Turku/Stockholm cruise ships. Before COVID-19 I used to ask my Mom to get them for me sometimes when she and her SO went on the 24 hour cruise to Stockholm. They used to do that 5-6 times a year so he could buy his topacco on the ship because it’s a lot cheaper there than in shops here in Finland. So I’d ask Mom to get me certain chocolates, chocolate liquor for baking and these fruit drops sometimes for me.

Health Update – February 2023
Categories Blog Health Personal

Health Update – February 2023

Good news and bad news!

– had my yearly routine control for Crohn’s Disease in the hospital last week

– my calpro (faecal calprotectin) is somewhat elevated, so looks like I have inflammation in the bowel. But my symptoms have been stable for a couple of years now (better than ever before). No change in medication is deemed warranted right now, but it’s coming up on 3 years since my last coloscopy. So a new coloscopy is scheduled for September/October. Not yay, but needs must.

– iron levels are bad again. They’re giving me another iron infusion, a bigger dose this time, on next Monday. I got the first one last March, in May the ferritin was 80 and now it was low again, only 23. I can’t take iron tablets anymore; I’ve been taking them practically 20 years for about 10 months every year, and my ferritin kept lowering. The iron tablets as well as the liquid version also started to cause worse diarrhea. It took a few years of me pushing and talking about the low ferritin and my symptoms but finally last year and now, I didn’t even have to ask for a iron infusion – it was offered to me! This is good!

– learned that much more research has been done in the recent years in much more IBD patients because IBD is becoming so common, and that the danger of colon cancer in Crohn’s Disease patients isn’t as high as previously thought. Only two times more likely than in a healthy individual of same age. And actually the chances of doctors catching it quickly are much better because of the regular colonoscopies people with Crohn’s Disease have to go through. He said that the chances of me dying from colon cancer is practically zero because everything suspicious seen in a colonoscopy is biopsied and removed so cancer won’t have a chance to develop and spread. The doctor said that if I die from colon cancer, it’ll be because they the doctors and the hospital have royally fucked up. So that was new information!

– in bad news, my right inner thigh started to hurt on Sunday :/ It’s been “feeling” for about a year, but not actually hurting until now. The bad thing is that the pain is exactly like my Mom described her pain before she underwent the hip replacement surgery a few years ago. Good thing is, there’s a chance that it’s Crohn’s Disease related – apparently, often the big joints in the lower extremities can start to hurt when there’s active inflammation which I have right now. I had a bad bout of Crohn’s symptoms on Monday, the day after the thigh started to hurt. Anyway, if it is related to Crohn’s, it’s my understanding that there’s no physical damage on the joint? And that proper medication for the Crohn’s Disease can make it go away. Or that it might just go away on its own – I think I saw somewhere that it might go away in six weeks if it’s Crohn’s related?

But. I’m obese. And being obese is a risk factor for actual hip arthritis. Age is as well, but I’m only turning 49 this year and it’s my understanding that’s quite young? I also have Diabetes and autoimmune disease which are both risk factors so who knows why. I haven’t yet contacted health care about this – I want to get the iron infusion done first, which is on Monday. I also want to see if it hurts all the time, and what activities make it worse and if any make it better. Because they are going to ask about that anyway. But my inner front right thigh has been hurting all the time since Sunday, most of the time I can walk normally but more or less in pain. Sometimes after sleeping, I limp a little for a bit because the pain is so bad. Ibuprofen helps, but doesn’t remove the pain completely. Only time it doesn’t hurt is when I’m sitting on my couch, and in some positions on the bed after a while. I’ve started to do the exercises I found online for hip arthritis.

This is again just what has been happening the last 14 years – whenever things settle down, or even have gotten better, some fucking new health problem crops up. My body is really just rotting away, isn’t it? If this thigh thing turns out to be not related to Crohn’s Disease and is permanent – I just might throw a tantrum like a two year old….

Also, got my 5th COVID-19 vaccine last week – the bivalent one! 😀 

The Friday Five for 24 February 2023: “You’ve Got Mail!” Edition
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

The Friday Five for 24 February 2023: “You’ve Got Mail!” Edition

Today’s questions at thefridayfive@DW

1. What’s the last thing you got in the mail?

The letter on Monday from the hospital detailing the time for the iron infusion next week, and the approximate date I need to go get routine Crohn’s Disease blood work done in May.

I don’t get much mail anymore – most bills and official letters come via electronic mail or electronic bills. I rarely subscribe to magazines because I usually can’t afford it/rather use the money for something else. I used to often subscribe/get a gift subscription to a certain computer magazine but its contents were “redesigned” and “renewed” right into stuff that didn’t interest me (game reviews, camera usage tutorials etc.). So once that magazine was unexisting as far as I’m concerned, I usually only get bills and official letters and occupational and union magazines and most of those have gone mostly or all online now.

In addition, I have a “no ads and no free distribution leaflets/magazines” label on my mailbox to stop junk mail. So I can go an entire week with only “wow! such-empty” for my mailbox 😀

2. What’s the last thing you sent in the mail?

I can’t remember! I used to have to send unemployment and social benefits application forms monthly but that was more than a decade ago; now I almost never have to send anything in the mail anymore – everything’s done online. The last time I sent anything in the mail was probably five years or more ago.

3. How many unread emails are in your inbox right now?

I have four e-mails in active use. My real name e-mail which I use for all real life official things (online orders, library, bank, social benefits etc.) currently has 4 unread e-mails. My fandom one has technically 1 unread e-mail but it’s one I sent myself from the mobile Tumblr app – a link to a Tumblr post with links to Sansan fanfics so I can check them out on my laptop – so, in reality there’s 0 unread e-mails on that account. And my webmaster e-mail and Oded Fehr fanfic archive e-mail both have 0 undread.

I usually clear my inboxes as the e-mails come in, or within a an hour or two. Except when I’m sleeping, and even after that, it’s usually quick work.

4. What is your most recent text message about?

The library sent an automated text that one of the books I had put on hold is ready to be picked up.

5. Do you have a favorite postage stamp design?

Nope. I don’t even know what the current ones are. I don’t buy stamps anymore because I never need them. On the extremely rare occasion I do, the letter or package is always too heavy for regular stamps so that I have to go to the post office to get the correct weight and postage amount needed and they print the postage stamp so it’s been a boring computer printout for ages now for me.

I have seen some Star Trek stamps around, and I like those, but I’m not sure whether they are/were real or just fannish mockups.