It was a busy start to the year.
We took Opa in to have her eyes checked. She just seemed to be having a harder time seeing. The veterinary ophthalmologist concurred. He could see some blood in the eye he’d operated on. He said “I suspect this is high blood pressure. May I check it?” A tech took her in back. When Opa returned, Dr. Meredith said “Normally a dog here has elevated blood pressure due to a foreign environment, so I’ll accept a reading of about 160 as the high end of normal. Her reading returned as 190-200.” He continued by asking “Is she on any incontinence medications?” Indeed she was, on Proin / phenylpropanolamine. He had us discontinue that and recheck her pressure at her regular vet 48 hours later. It was down to 100. Great! And there was an estrogen-derivative alternative for the incontinence. Long story short: The compounding pharmacy shipped a similarly-named but very different chemotherapy medication but we caught the error.
Meanwhile, Officer Wes’ infectious disease consultant recommended considering surgery for the recurring sinus infections. His ENT agreed. Surgery was January 16.
Before that, though, Deputy and Chris came through town and we got to see them.
We also had sonograms of Daddy Barry’s legs, which were swelling intermittently, causing pain. The doctor recommended getting rid of the faulty outer peripheral veins via Clarivein technology. This would force the leg circulation to use the deeper veins. We did some research and the results were promising.
Our condo complex was termite tented. We took refuge at a nearby hotel.
And we had Dion, Farrah, Frank & Chuck, Harv & Michael, John & Kent, Patrick & JT, Roadkill & Kevin over for my birthday. This year’s coconut cake was from Twigg’s Bakery, and it was light, tasty and yummy. The same month, Daddy Barry had intense flu-like symptoms – particularly an early fever of 104 -- that got him treated in the emergency room.
We were shocked when Harv died of a heart attack in May.
The other biggie in May was we flew to Texas and helped my dad re-do the house while my mom was on vacation. Here’s a short video of the project Charlotte's Surprise, and a before / after shot of the kitchen part:
In June, Daddy Barry and slave frank went on separate quests. Daddy Barry rode on our new (to us) Harley to Tucson via Palm Springs, visiting friends Skip and Mary. slave frank went on a 14-day find-yourself type quest in the mountains of Colorado. Here is Daddy Barry heading out, looking particularly handsome.
In July the big thing was the condo association had the entire complex painted, including some extensive wood replacement. It took a month. We had Melissa over for lunch, and Roadkill and Kevin for brunch. The Cuilty’s hosted a lovely 4th of July gathering at their handsome home. Then poor Farrah had septicemia. I got a sinus infection. In mid-July we each worked at The Leather Realm within San Diego LGBTQ Pride. Daddy Barry did security. slave frank did setup and ambassador. And both helped me with a “Things That Pinch” presentation.
Daddy Barry and I rode with the San Diego Cruisers motorcycle club on a short bike run up the coast via Soledad Mountain, La Jolla / Torrey Pines, 101; stopping for lunch at Swami's in Encinitas. We had coffee with the new leader of FetishMen SanDiego to give him some tips for communicating better. And as the month wound down, I gave slave frank his first ride on Bruno.
In August we had a Settlers of Catan game day with Farrah, Kim and Melissa. We also went to Aunt Sonia’s stellar 65th birthday shindig, complete with mariachis. slave frank and Chuck treated us to a day at Del Mar races in a booth they had won in a silent auction. I got invited to present on a leather mastery/slaver topic at SouthPlains LeatherFest in March. Our vet noticed some high numbers on Opa’s periodic bloodwork, which resulted in learning she had high blood pressure. One medicine for it worked but seemed to make her a bit clumsy (enalapril), but the second medicine (amlodipine) worked well. Her blood pressure came down to normal. The biggie though was perhaps Daddy Barry’s weekend birthday party with Farrah & Kim; frank & Chuck; Melissa; Roadkill & Kevin; John & Kent; Dion; Michael Martinez & Tom Ruiz. Lovely. frank and Chuck also treated us to a sweet birthday dinner at Kaiserhof Restaurant on Daddy Barry’s actual birthday later that week.
Then things really sped up and slowed down. dog arrived the last Sunday of August for a two-week work trip with extensive opportunities to spend time with the rest of the leather family. Daddy Barry hosted a family dinner Tuesday. Wednesday I helped Daddy Barry prepare for his long-awaited trip to Delta, a men’s leather run back east. Thursday he flew out. Saturday the remaining family gathered at the monthly Cigars and Boots social. Then I took the leatherslaves to a FetishMen SanDiego men’s party. We had a really good time. They both spent the night, frank’s first overnight. The next day I did a 5th Step with my sponsor. On Monday, Labor Day, the slaves came over and helped deep clean the condo. We ate dinner, then headed to a local dungeon where slave frank practiced his beautiful rope skills on dog. Daddy Barry returned from Delta the next day – sick, sick, sick. “Kamp Krud” we called it, though he thought it most likely came from all the people hacking on the plane as he flew east. I got in a leather family dinner for dog, hosted by Chuck and frank at their handsome home, before getting sick myself. Short version: Daddy Barry and I were both sick the rest of September. In both of us it went from a virus/cold, to a sinus infection, to lung breathing challenges (asthma/bronchitis) from the sinus infection. Rounds of antibiotics and prednisone, combined with plenty of rest, ultimately did the trick. As we felt better, we had September Tea at Farrah & Kim’s with Melissa. And I had a nice lunch with Tom. Daddy Barry’s Palm Springs friend Skip spent the weekend.
But the big news was on the bobby/dog front. he was slated to be in town for two weeks. But he has been living in Florida, where he grew up, the last 9 years. We’ve gotten to see him about twice a year ever since, and keep in contact. But I digress. Hurricane Irma hit Florida hard near the end of that two-week period. he extended his stay another week, returning the day after power went back on at his house. As always, he was not looking forward to returning to Florida, where he lived alone. And, as always, we were sorry to see dog go. he had only left San Diego years ago when the great recession of 2008 happened and the real estate market tanked, resulting in his Florida home going unrented for over a year. he tried his hardest, but couldn’t financially sustain both the house there and a pricey California apartment as well. So he moved back into his house, retaining his San Diego-based job, telecommuting. A practical solution. But lonely. And we missed him terribly. About a year ago I’d tasked him with looking into what it would take to move back and the short version was he was presently priced out of the expensive San Diego market.
After dog flew back to Florida, Daddy Barry and I talked with dog about the state of the “dog house”. It had gotten hurricane whipped so the landscaping was torn up, but the house was otherwise standing and not flooded. Still, he didn’t want to be there. In our evening walk with Opa, Daddy Barry raised a possibility: Since we both love dog, and we want him here, and we also know that at some point in time Daddy Barry and I need to move to a more-accessible unit (we’re on a second floor with stairs, no elevator) as Daddy Barry in particular ages (he’s 14 years older): What about us selling our place, dog selling his place, and all three of us going in on a new place that fits all three of us? I thought that was a generous and fantastic idea. We called dog. he almost cried he was so touched.
Over the course of the next week he said yes. he spoke with his mom, who has lived alone for quite some time and she understood his loneliness and supported his decision.
Next up: Logistics. he would need to have the house painted inside and out. And he’d like us to fly out and meet his family so that they know he’s going somewhere he’s loved. We lined that trip up for about a month later.
In the meantime, we made lunch for Kelly & Bob & Doriam. We attended the FetishMen SanDiego potluck at a beautiful Hillcrest venue. We made dinner for Farrah and Kim + Lisa/Louie to tell them about moving within town. Daddy Barry had a second date with Pete, so I nicknamed him RePete. We went to a great hook pull.
And I ordered a new computer to handle the massive music work that I do. We already had one with 16Gb of RAM, which is a lot. But it couldn’t accept any more RAM. So we ordered one with 32Gb, expandable up to 64Gb. First off, the display was stunning. Stunning. So crystal clear. Amazing. But when we tried to migrate the computer files from the old one to the new one using Laplink’s PC Mover program, as recommended by Microsoft for Windows 10, there were issues. ISSUES. By example, previously Daddy Barry could log in without a password. Once migrated to the new machine – it demanded a password. Even though we didn’t have one. So he was locked out. That took hours of technical support from the PC Mover folk to resolve. Then hours to configure his setup once I could log him in. Then as I worked on the machine to make my 2017 music, I noticed it, too, had challenges handling the massive music files; meaning it could also stutter. Not good. But as I’m working along I need to reboot the computer to see if that will address a certain slowness it has downloading an update to Microsoft Photos. When I reboot, the computer makes a loud honk as it powers back up. Daddy Barry was cooking in the kitchen and asked “What was that?” I told him ”The new computer, Sir.” I re-powered the computer. Same loud honk. Uh oh. Sure enough, in short order the hard drive fails to find the operating system. Long tech support with Dell. The resolution was to reinstall the operating system. I hadn’t backed up after the fixes that I’d done. Mistake on my part. I own that. So we go through the process of preparing the computers for Laplink’s PC Mover program again. Part of the answer previously was to get both computers on the same release of Windows, to Windows 10 Fall Creators Edition. So I do that. Takes hours. Etc. Run PC Mover on the old computer. Takes hours. Run PC Mover on the new computer. Takes hours. Then when it migrates the files – same issue where it demanded a password for Daddy Barry’s login. We were ready to call it. We called Dell and initiated a return, which was fine since all these issues happened in the first 30 days.
Meanwhile, Daddy Barry went to Palm Springs for Palm Springs Leather Pride. He returned to take in a day of class, then we headed on to Cocoa Florida to help dog get the doghouse ready to sell. We talked finances. Daddy Barry put in a new sink and plumbing with multiple trips to Lowe’s; dog treated us to his favorite breakfast place, Muddy’s Diner; we chose paint colors for the house; Cyndi came so we could meet her; and we met the family at Euro Café. We chose a Realtor.
Right before the trip, however, we realized that Opa seemed suddenly blind. We took her to the veterinary ophthalmologist and learned there was a scratch on her cornea. The good news: It would heal. Slowly, but heal nonetheless. In the meantime, she needed lots of extra TLC for things like getting down the block to do her business. frank and Chuck looked after her while we were gone and made lunch for us when we returned. We were oh so thankful when, after 5 trips to the ophthalmologist, her vision started returning. You could see it in her step and bounce. It was obvious her world was opening back up.
We took in the movie Tom of Finland with Chuck & frank.
Daddy Barry got sick. Ultimately we got a sputum culture that showed strep. In the meantime he was really having difficulty breathing. His oxygen saturation was just 91%. Aggressive intervention got it to 98% the next day and avoided a stay in the hospital.
Then I started getting some sinus muck. Didn’t go to the doctor at first, as it appeared yellow/viral. But on Saturday, of course, it turned green. On Sunday I had a temperature of…
Yup. 105. Daddy Barry insisted we hit the emergency room right away. They got it down with Tylenol and fluids. Also shot me with Rocephin and gave me what became a 21-day regimen of oral antibiotics.
The antibiotics zapped the source of the fever within two days.
Meanwhile, we watched The Vietnam War. Daddy Barry had served in Vietnam. It was an informative, infuriating, sad and healing look at the war.
We got to spend Thanksgiving with the Cuilty family again. Lovely.
Which brings us to December. The annual music production. Getting it out the door. Cigars & Boots. Feeding Herbie & Mollie while John & Kent were back east. The Leather Fetish Ball, this time at The Brass Rail. dog’s house having an open house – and receiving multiple offers. A beautiful holiday gathering of friends at Chuck & frank’s. Bosch dishwasher recall. Lots of doctor and pharmacy items. Time with John. Christmas Eve Day brunch at Dan U’s. Seeing family in Fort Worth. Normally Daddy Barry would come, but he was sick. And a fun House of AndOr Kinky New Year’s Eve party.
As always, may this find you happy & well.