RV Arrogance


I’m not sure if this is an actual term, but there is a definite level of RV Arrogance in our KanVan RV.  It appears that Mitch is the Captain, and I am the ..Er….Hmmm… passenger of the Captain.

As I am writing this, we have traveled from Buffalo to Asheville, Alpharetta, and Alabama to Mississippi to Louisiana to Texas, and I think I have clocked 4-5 hours behind the wheel. Not even enough to get a KanVan license if there were one to achieve.

RV Arrogance
I AM NOT A FAN OF MY SEATBELT

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES

The Captain-husband oversees OUTSIDE and some of that stuff I don’t want to do anyway. I am in charge of laundry, cooking, cleaning, obsessing about the new dirt on the floors, yelling, “take off your shoes, this is our house!”, walking and feeding Daniel.

He oversees navigation, and I question, “How much longer?”

I am non-negotiable on restaurants that I won’t step foot in, and he is in charge of noting that I am a pain in the ass when it comes to food.

Mitch thinks he is in command when we leave in the morning, but I am passive-aggressively in charge of that.

GO BILLS!

The TV is all his, and all he really wants is to watch the Bills game while traveling; I am content with my Ipad and Netflix, etc.

It has been noted that I pack too many clothes, but in my never humble opinion, he packed too little.

Every time I see a laundromat I want to do the wash, and he tells me that he has nothing dirty! Really?

I wash, vacuum, and clean the floors, and as I said he “forgets” to remove his shoes. Maybe that is his passive-aggressive reply to my morning routine? Hmmm?

Thank you TipJunkie.com

You see, we are in some ways the perfect combination, but getting to the finish line is tricky.

Mitch is neat and organized, and I am not!  I sanitize everything (and this was before Covid!), and well, let’s just say he doesn’t!  So, the finished product is clean, organized RV, but the journey is often filled with: “Hang up your coat!” (him to me) and “Did you wash your hands, floor, shoes, clean the shower after use ??” (me to him)

And yet, we are having a great time. Meeting new people, visiting the country.
We cook dinners at RV-Home more than going out, and we both agree this is good. We facetime with Jessica, Alex, Carly, and our grandchildren, and both feel blessed for this technology.

RV ARROGANCE
STILL WORKING ON CENTERING THE PHONE- :0)

Mitch talks with everyone, and I am usually waiting for the long conversations to end so we can move on. (He is way more social than me in these settings)

IS THAT A PLANE RIGHT BESIDE OUR RV!

After reading my blogs, you may understand that I have a “let’s say” fear of toxins. Imagine this, Mitch and I are driving along a deserted road – minding our own business in the middle of who knows where! (well, mitch always knows where) and who comes up to our side?

A Plane who “MAY” have crop dusted right next to us! And please don’t tell me that I breathed in crop dust! I am trying to ignore that.    Yes, I tried to hold my breath but then just said, “screw it!” while I videoed the magical display – How many times do you get to drive parallel to a plane?

IS THAT A BIRD? IS IT A PLANE?

He enjoys sitting in the lawn chair and looking at the view while I do YOGA poses so I can maintain what little workout opportunity I have.  He tells me to sit and ponder, and I, like a toddler, can’t sit still. As my friends often refer to me, Busy Busy Busy.  

BAAAA

Our first Harvest Host visit on this trip was a Sheep Farm.  My choice! We were the only visitors at HD Farm in Eastaboga (yes, a real town) Alabama …  The owners, Henry and Paula were terrific! The sheep are not the “ba ba black sheep have you any wool?”– No, these sheep have no wool but a lot of BAAA’s – these are the sheep you eat! Well, not me – I don’t eat meat but Mitch does!  And he bought a lot of chops and devoured them!
The sheep Baa’d to us, and Daniel and I reassured them that I am vegetarian- No Worries, dear sheep! They still Baa’d.

BAAAA

The first two weeks of our trip were great, but then the unexpected happened. Next week I will give “the rest of the story.” 

Man (Woman) makes plans

My newly released book Raising Jess A Story of Hope is a powerful memoir of one family’s survival when faced with adversity. Written with compassion, honesty, and humor, it tells of a family changed forever by the birth of a child with a disability and the courageous decision to choose hope.

“Couldn’t Put it Down! Raising Jess is an amazing book! I started it at 9 pm and stayed up all night to finish it in one sitting. Vickie Rubin’s writing is masterful! Highly recommend!” – Mike S.

Is this book for you? Click on the reviews

In My Shoes

I hate to fly. It scares me. The last time I was on a plane was 632 days ago. Flying during Covid adds to the stress. It’s possible that I love the RV because I don’t need to get on a plane. But sometimes you must down the alcohol (which you can’t do on Southwest anymore – so I need to pregame!) and enter the aircraft right foot first. I was headed to the In My Shoes event!

WHY FLY?

I was asked to be the Keynote speaker for an organization named JAFCO. OK, it wasn’t completely random that they asked me. I am not famous and receiving calls through my agent. 

JAFCO honored my cousin, Dr. Lisa Sirota, for her pro bono medical work with children receiving services from this life-changing organization. I can write a book about Lisa, so suffice it to say that there isn’t another person like her in the universe. She is a compassionate, brilliant pediatrician and human! Everyone needs a Dr. Lisa in their world.

IN MY SHOES
Dr. Lisa Sirota Accepting the Welcome to Holland Award (Lisa is far right)

Lisa suggested to the planning committee that they include me in the In My Shoes event. The luncheon was to benefit the Children’s ABILITY Center, which is a unique respite location. Many families of children with disabilities signed up for the stellar ceremony. I have walked in the Shoes of the families and they have walked In My Shoes.

Lisa called me in the early summer and said that she suggested that I speak at the event. I had not heard anything by Labor Day and was a bit relieved (Sorry, Lisa) because now I didn’t have to fly to Florida. But then I received an email asking me to be the Keynote Speaker. I immediately said yes and then began my freak-out. Now I had to step My SHOES on the plane! My daughter Carly volunteered to go with me and return to her childhood role as my flying nanny.

“I Don’t Want to Fly on a Broken plane.”

I have not flown since February 2020, 632 days. The non-stop flight to Florida was half-full and on time. Carly and I found our seats and prepared for take-off. The plane left the gate and started moving towards the runway. I did all my superstitious routines and was as ready as I could be to fly. Suddenly, Carly says to me, “Mom, we are back at the gate!” WHAT?

The flight attendant said that there was a problem with the brakes, and they needed to call maintenance. 

They kept updating us that Maintenance is almost here; they are working on it. It shouldn’t be too long now… I got up to use the bathroom and the flight attendant at the back of the plane, gave a firm “You can’t come back here!” 

Within moments there was an announcement that sounded to my anxious ears – No Smoking – No Vaping- Federal Regulations -Stop- OMG- We Are Doomed! I doubt that’s what they said, but something like that. Carly looked at me and said, “I don’t want to fly on a Broken plane.” That’s all I needed to hear!

I went to the front of the plane and asked the flight attendant about other flights, and at the exact moment, the staff member who checked us in appeared at the door. She said, “Come with me” – “Are you from NY? I can hear it in your voice.” She was from NY too. And so, we bonded over our NY accents. She told me a flight at the next gate was leaving in a few minutes with only two seats left.

IS THAT WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU?

ON YOUR MARK GET SET GO!

I was instructed to go back on the plane, get Carly, and do not say a word. If anyone else hears, there will be chaos. Carly and I quickly exited the plane, ran to the next gate. Yes, we were the two people who got all the looks when entering the new flight at the last minute. 

The good news is we made it (since I am writing this blog- you already knew that).  The original flight was eventually canceled and had we not jumped ship? plane? We would not have arrived in time for the speech.

IN MY SHOES

The JAFCO In My Shoes event was spectacular. My cousin Lisa received her Welcome to Holland Award and introduced me to the large crowd. There were many families of children with disabilities in the vast audience. I wanted to make sure that they received my message” You will be OK, you will survive, there is help and HOPE.

IIN MY Shoes
Speaking at the podium – JAFCO – In My Shoes Event

Survival of our Family

My dad and Carly were in the room, as were other family members. I got up to the podium and started to speak about our daughter Jessica and how Respite helped our family. I believe RESPITE  made a difference in the survival of our family – jess who required total care was able to successfully live at home until age 25. And we didn’t have anything like JAFCO’s Children’s ability center! The supports for entire families provided by this center and organization is life-changing for parents

Respite for us meant that Mitch and I were able to provide typical experiences to our two younger children. Yes, we felt guilty that we were doing activities as a family without jess – taking a break…But it’s bigger than that – we have other children and they also needed some respite, the whole family is engaged.

I was immensely honored to speak for Jafco – They give so much to the community.

IN MY SHOES
HAD TO WEAR PINK SHOES FOR IN MY SHOES EVENT!

Giving every child a place to belong

JAFCO provides a full continuum of high-quality services including foster care, adoption, family preservation, mentoring, independent living, and developmental disability programs.

As I started to speak the crowd became still, and they listened, they laughed with me. I am incredibly grateful to my cousin and JAFCO for trusting that I could pull this off! And Yes, we still had to fly home……

632 Days

 I boarded a flight 632 days ago to mourn my Mother. So much has happened since that pre-Covid date. We missed my mom at the JAFCO event and hoped that she somehow knew we were there and thinking of her.

DEAR Cherished BLOG READERS,

I am taking a month off from blog writing so that I can focus on promoting the book. I have a real publicist! And they know I hate to fly and will still work with me! If you haven’t checked out the book Raising jess – click here.

With Gratitude, 

Vickie

Meet KanVan -Rolling with the Rubin’s

The day we received our truck camper, I wrote a blog called Camper Envy and Size Matters.  We were owners for less than one day, and already I was lusting for the RV -TV, bathroom, and shower.

https://www.rvtravel.com/campingmemes940/
NOT THIS!!!!!

The truck camper introduced us to this way of life for less than one year, four exciting trips. We (more me) knew we needed to move on if we ( more I ) would travel long distances. We loved our little Northstar truck camper and became extremely Covid-Creative (hmm, should I add that word to the Urban Dictionary? Is it already there?) But Mitch and I decided to say goodbye to the camper and hello to indoor plumbing! Meet KanVan our new RV Winnebago EKKO.

Continue reading “Meet KanVan -Rolling with the Rubin’s”

Acceptance

I met a girl- at my age, can I still say girl? Her daughter’s name is Jessica and also has disabilities.  My new friend is a writer.  Yes, I  met my author Doppelgänger, we look nothing alike, but are so similar, as are our families. Her name is Cathy Shields, and she moved me with her essay about Acceptance. 

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Our  Most Bizarre Car Story

It’s coming up on our 42nd anniversary! Do you remember last year? We have gone through many cars, but one car stands out as the Most Bizarre Car Story.

Mitch and I  met at the University of Miami (the Florida one).  I was in the lobby of our dorm with my roommate Tami, when a friend I knew from Long Island introduced me to a  long-haired dude named Mitch from Buffalo.  Tami and I said a quick “Hi” and fled to the elevator.

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Can I Interest You in Some WATER?

Drinking enough WATER has become a full-time job. Who knew how hard it would be to keep up with the recommended daily intake?

As per Mayo Clinic and other sources, the recommended amounts are:

· About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men

· About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

When I read the statistics above, I decided to buy a giant jug on amazon – little did I know, it was a men’s jug – not that they advertised it as such, but the container was 128 oz. 

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Never Forget 1 5 9 3 6 0

Gail and I are connected; her people know my people. And we keep finding more links – Through our 6 degrees of separation, I have kept up with Gail’s story. Several weeks ago, I received a text from a friend about an unbelievable occurrence that happened to Gail. I think this is one you will Never Forget.

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Happy 90 1/2, Dad


It was Dad’s first time flying without Mom. First time flying since the virus. Dad told me he felt like an old man. Happy 90 1/2 Birthday, Dad!

Before I could say, “You’re not old!” Even though I sometimes feel old at 63, Dad went on to explain. As soon as he got on the line for security at the airport, the young guard asked him if he had any metal parts in his body. Dad proudly said, “No.” The security officer looked him over and then explained to Dad what he meant by metal parts in the body. As if Dad didn’t understand the question rather than the security person not understanding the answer. After Dad explained that he did have metal parts again, the security guard “yes’d” him and still put him through the x-ray machine for Tin Men.

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Raising Jess: A Story of Hope

Four years in the making, my Memoir Raising Jess a Story of Hope is finally available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble . Thank you to everyone for all the love, hope, support, and encouragement. Especially my (late) mother, who told/nagged/motivated me to write a book for 20 years.

WHERE CAN I GET THE BOOK

Currently, the book is available in paperback ($16.95) and hardcover ($31.95) on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I will resend links when the E-Book is ready on Amazon, Barnes, Google play, and Itunes.

Continue reading “Raising Jess: A Story of Hope”

ALONE

Mitch and I watch a show ALONE,  together. Yes, that is a confusing sentence.  What I mean is that Mitch and I are together, and we watch the History channel series, ALONE

We started the series during COVID.  We both enjoy the show, enjoy watching it together, and talking about the episodes.  Mitch will frequently turn to me and say, “I Love that you like this show! But why do you like it?”  It’s a fair question.

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Dear Noa, A Nana Lesson about Special Needs and Love

Dear Noa, This is a lesson about Special Needs and Love.

You were born in September of 2019 before we knew that a Pandemic was looming just around the bend. What a strange time to be an infant.  It took a long time for you to meet Aunty Jess. Aunty Jess is different from anybody you have encountered.

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My Award-Winning Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Each year, before Covid, in the small resort town of Ellicottville, NY, a Texas Chili Party rounded out the summer festivities. Every participant brought their award-worthy chili creation. You may think Texas Chili includes a lot of meat, and for the most part, it does. But I am a vegetarian and decided to enter the contest with a Vegetarian Chili. 

It was a risk, but what the heck? What is the worst that could happen?

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Finding my Niche – Who Am I?

I am 63 ½ years old. However, this is not a confession; I have admitted my age many times. It is a fact that I am cool with (Now, I sound my age), especially when considering the alternative. 

The blog, which I started writing in March 2020, created many learning opportunities. This is a teacher’s excellent way of saying; I knew nothing and had A LOT to learn. I have acquired many new tricks. Dissimilar to an older dog, because I think the new stuff is sinking in but do not ask me to sit and stay, that’s a skill that will always elude me. 

GUS DOESN’T LIKE TO SIT AND STAY EITHER!

I KNOW ENOUGH TO KNOW…

There are so many components to writing Vickie’s Views blog. And I now know enough to overwhelm me with how much I DON’T KNOW! First of all, I am struggling with figuring out my Niche or specialization.

For my purposes, a Niche answers the question: What is your Blog about? Why am I even thinking Niche? Because YOAST (another new word) says, I need one. Who am I? Gee, I hope my Niche is not “complaining!  

Finding my Niche - Who Am I?
I AM still TRYING TO FIGURE OUT MY NICHE!

While I am at it, I have also learned SEO – yep, that stands for Search Engine Optimization. My blog website has an emoji guide that ranges from, “You really suck” to “YAY! You figured it out!” As an overachiever or a person obsessed with green smiley emojis, I fiddle around with all the SEO suggestions. Satisfaction is achieved when I receive the silly green smiley emoji that basically says, “Good job, Vickie.”

SIGH…..
THANK YOU LITTLE GREEN SMILEY FACES!

REASON FOR JUMPING OUT OF BED

Writing gives me a great reason to jump out of bed before 6 AM each morning. I call it my work, although there is no money, and at this point, I have spent more than I hope to recoup.

But then something started happening. People, besides my immediate family, started to read the blog. And I am not paying anyone to read!

Does Anyone Have a Spare Niche?

Readers motivate me to keep writing. Yet, If I continue to write, I need to learn about maintaining a website, managing three-plus social media accounts, and Pinterest (or is Pinterest considered another social media account?). SEO and ABCDE and all other new acronyms. Alt Text for photos, keywords, long keywords, google trends, constant contact stats, google analytics. AND MY NICHE!

Finding my Niche - Who Am I?

My son, Alex, who went to school for this, probably thinks, yeah, so what? Or perhaps he’s thinking, “ that’s all you know?” 

TOP FLOOR, PLEASE!

But as in life, this is a process. I need to be patient, not a high-ranking skill of mine. Raising Jess, my book is coming out very soon, and I will need to create my elevator speech. So, if we happen to be in an elevator together and you ask me what my book is about, I will be able to tell you enough to capture your interest before the elevator door opens on the next floor.  Right now, my elevator speech starts on the ground and ends at the top of the empire state building. And then we may need to walk around the viewing area a bit until I finish. So, I need to work on shortening that a bit.

What I do know is that at 63 years old, I am learning a new industry. Enrolling in online seminars and reading other blogs, and gathering too much information. I am an old dog learning new tricks.

Finding my Niche - Who Am I?
MY FUR NEICE DIXIE IS 15 YEARS YOUNG!

When my Mom was first diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, which ultimately led to full-blown Alzheimer’s, the doctor said, “ it’s important to keep learning something new.”  That advice resonated with newly retired me, and the result, if you got this far in the post is Vickie’s Views.

I still do not have a niche, but I am working on it…all suggestions welcome…

JOIN LIST FOR DETAILS ABOUT NEW BOOK RELEASE

JOIN LIST FOR DETAILS ABOUT NEW BOOK RELEASE

Three Glorious Moments-at the Baseball Field

Back in the last century, in the 1990s, we spent our days at Lou Gehrig Baseball Little League. Coach Mitch, also known as husband and dad, was our son Alex’s Coach for 11 years. Our adventures started in T-Ball when Alex was five. It is now 2021, and yesterday we celebrated Three Glorious Moments at the baseball field.

In hindsight, I remember those days fondly. I loved taking Jess and Carly to watch Alex play and Mitch coach. I say I loved it, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. Getting myself and Jessica and her equipment anywhere on time was always a struggle. I was (am) abysmal with time management and organization, and well, you get the picture. Just can’t seem to get the timing right. Admittedly, I always blamed Jess (sorry, Jess), but when Jess moved into her own home, my time mismanagement sadly remained.

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No More Masks? I Have Four-Questions????

My sister-in-law was the first to text me about the new CDC guidelines “Did you hear that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks?” How did No More Masks miss my vigilant Covid news antenna? And now what?

First Off- Are We as a Community Really OK with No Masks?

I think it will be harder for me to stop using the mask than it was to start using it. It’s all happening too fast! For example, our state received guidance this week about attending baseball games with face covering, and only a day or two later, I can walk into the market bare-faced? I was just started embracing the new normal

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Three Generational Views of the New Normal

Who are You? View One

“Who are You?” looks keep happening to me.  I think my hair color must be confusing folks to the point of blank stares after I greet them hello in my masked Covid costume.  Some of the looks belong to people I have known for over thirty years!  Three views of the New Normal from a 60-something-year-old, an 18-month old and a 90-year old.

New Normal View 1

I was walking in Wegman’s the other day. Mask and sunglasses rounded off my shopping attire. I moved aside for a lady before we collided.  At the same time, I ran into a person who did not recognize me.  “It’s Vickie Rubin!”  “Oh, hi,” she says in reply.  Meanwhile, the lady I almost ran into screams from the next aisle, “Vickie Rubin!   It’s Ray!”

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Taking the Risk to Tell A Funny Story

 I am taking the risk to tell a Funny Story from last year. I wrote this unpublished blog in April 2020.  My unsalaried volunteer editor, Mitch, said, “Don’t post it! – you will sound like the dishwasher is your biggest problem.”  I just wanted to tell, what I thought, was a funny story. But my opinionated editor won, and  I let the blog sit for a WHOLE YEAR!

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Why Did We say “Goodbye Truck Camper” and What’s Next?

Mitch researched online for three months.  We knew about Truck Campers, but we bought you sight unseen with zero truck camping experience. And now it is time to say Goodbye, Truck Camper – and Hello to What’s Next.

We were together for a total of 24 days on four occasions. We traveled as far as Arkansas and Florida and many places in between.  If it were not for Covid, I would not have given you a second glance.  But there you were, our transport to Florida without flying!

Why We Said Goodbye Truck Camper

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How Buffalo Vickie turned into Florida Vickie after Getting Vaccinated

Mitch and I drove to Florida the last week of February 2021; our destination was Key Largo. No camper this time, just the truck, us, and our Italian Greyhound, Daniel. This visit would be our third year in Key Largo. We rent the same beautiful house each year. But, 2021 would be slightly different, and I am ready to publicly reveal the changes when Buffalo Vickie (germaphobe) turned into Florida Vickie after getting vaccinated.

How Buffalo Vickie turned into Florida Vickie after Getting Vaccinated
Daniel meeting a new friend.
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Tell me the Good Stuff from the Past Twelve Months

Please, I want to hear good news. I want to know that this year was not a series of Covid-Horror and despair. I want to hear the Really Good Stuff. And so I asked. And guess what? People responded. Unbeknownst to me, the year had an intriguing twist. There were valuable insights from the era of Covid.


My husband and I had positive Covid tests in December. That is just one of the positives that we discovered. And yes, we were the careful ones. The annoying friends that wouldn’t see anybody no matter what! Our arrogance convinced us that we would beat the awful virus at its game if we abided by OUR rules. Result: Virus 2 points – Vickie and Mitch – 0 points.

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Unbelievable Timing

I had an unbelievable experience today, and I attribute my luck to good timing and an overturned glass. Let me explain.

I don’t know the origins of the overturned glass but will give you the quick superstition.  If something goes missing, you must immediately find a glass, turn it upside down, and your item will reappear.  I don’t know if I have enough glasses for all the items that go missing! Anyway, it’s a simple strategy so why not?

Unbelievable Timing - Turn over a glass to find missing items- Luck- Good Timing
Do you want to find lost items? Turn over a glass and look again!
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The Strength of Book Club Friendship

The original article about the late Dr. Linda Brodsky was published in 2014; the blog below is the 2021 update. This story illuminates the strength of friendship found in our monthly book club meetings.

About 15 years ago, I met with a respected, locally, nationally, and internationally physician, and we started talking about books.  She said to me, “One day I’m going to start a book club and I hope you will join.”   

You Call This Light Reading?

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Counting the Days of Covid Captivity

Thank you Buffalo News OP-ED for publishing my newest article 🙂 Counting the Days of Covid Captivity.

 

Counting the Days of Covid Captivity- Daniel the Therapy Dog
Daniel our Therapy Dog was a Volunteer at Oishei Children’s Hospital
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My Love/Hate Bond with our RoboVac

I purchased a RoboVac in 2019. Our grandson, Griffin, was three years old and terrified of her. The dogs were dubious whenever the Vac was searching for dirt. I have a love/hate relationship with our RoboVac, and I am not afraid to admit it!

Our RoboVac and I met in August 2019, I was so thrilled that I wrote an online review:

Portions of Review:
I hesitated to purchase a RoboVac, but I saw the price, ratings, and awards and decided to take a leap of faith! I am on day 2 of OCD vacuuming and loving every minute. My 3-year old grandson named her “Cleany,” as was recommended by another customer to help alleviate toddler fear. My Hungarian Vizsla dog is still questioning Cleany’s existence and purpose in our home. My Italian Greyhound dog has less interest in Cleany but is a bit weary – Hey, if it wasn’t for their shedding, I may not have needed her! I am thoroughly satisfied with this product. Again, I am only on day 2!

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84 Days After Covid-19- My Long-Haul Symptom

Can you say Hypogeusia? This new vocabulary word is my Covid-19, Long-Haul symptom. On day 84 since the Covid-19 Diagnosis, I still have a lingering souvenir.

I cannot spell it without looking it up again and again. I couldn’t ask Siri because I couldn’t pronounce it, either. The correct pronunciation is HYPO-GOO- SIA.

The definition is a reduced ability to taste things, and I fall into this long-haul category.

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