A Weight Loss Problem

It is a problem for me, because I do not have that many pounds, and I need them all;). plus-minus one is fine, but losing more is not good. I used to tell Boris that I lose weight after arguing with him, but we do not argue fr more than a year now:).

Here is last week’s sequence of events. My microwave broke on Sunday, and it was on the manufacturer warranty. That meant that I could have it fixed for free, but the repair was complex, and they had to order parts, so I was without the microwave for the whole week.

Then, I had a tooth extraction on Wednesday, and the dentist told me that I could not eat nuts for two weeks. Well, he mentioned other foods as well, but nuts are my single concern. I eat a lot of them, and they are my primary source of protein. He said – not even on the other side because the small parts can get to the wound. Also, I could not eat the bread crust.

Then, the first-floor painting started, and it included the kitchen. I could not get there for extended periods. Even making coffee had become a juggling act since I had to take everything upstairs.
When the painters left on Thursday, they asked whether it’s OK if they leave all the coverings on. I said – yes, but I didn’t realize that it meant everything in the kitchen as well πŸ™‚

Or, and also – I m packing, or at least trying:), so sometimes I do not have time to eat:).
This morning, it came to minus 3.5 pounds in four days, so I am pretty much at my weight after my horrible 2014 surgery, And I need to stop today before it gets worse. I hope that taking my co-worker out for lunch today will help πŸ™‚

Move Progress

The painting of my current house is finally done! It took almost three days, and that was just one floor. Now I am scared to think how long my new house’s painting might take, mainly because the windows need to be sanded and painted, too.

The folks whom I hired did a great job, and they were also very careful with everything. I paid them a little over what they’ve asked because their bid was pretty low, yet they went above and beyond. I might hire them to paint my new house if they agree to travel that far and agree on the price.

That’s how everything looks now:

Also, look like we found an apartment for my mom. Vlad looked at three apartments on Friday and sent me the videos from the leasing agency. All of us, Vlad, Igor, and I, loved the one which seemed to be the furthest away from me. First, I thought that that’s a deal-breaker, but when I looked closely at the map, I realized that it is very close to the CTA, within walking distance to the local grocery store, and after all, not that far from my place.

Then I went to mom, showed her the videos, and spent almost two hours convincing her :). I explained that being closer to me (one of these apartments) will bring her further from the grocery store and further away from the CTA, and the surroundings will not be so nice. I am positive that we made the right choice for her, and I hope that she will realize it later. If my new place were at her new location, I would like it even more πŸ™‚

One and a half items crossed off the list:)

Vaccination News

Now it really feels like mass vaccination. Igor got J&J on Thursday (as a journalist, through a charity event), so now only Vlad and Dylon need their second shots; everybody else is vaccinated. At least 1/3 of my co-workers are vaccinated as well.

Like everybody else, Illios is in the race between vaccines and new virus variances, but vaccines definitely work! During one of the recent press conferences, Dr. Ezike said that out of 1,800 people currently in the hospitals with COVID-19, only 72 were vaccinated. On the other hand, there are more new cases in the city’s parts with the highest vaccination rates, which tells that people are letting their guards down.

I hope that we are going to win this race, I certainly do!

As an eextra bonus – here is Igor’s article about vaccination in Austin.


That’s how my house looks today:

The painters whom I hired to paint my first floor started today. So far, whatever they’ve done looks fantastic. Before I took all the things off the walls, I didn’t even realize how many holes are there!
Last week, I asked the handyman who did several things in my house before whether he could make my bathroom ceiling presentable and ready for painting. What he did is nothing less than a miracle. If I only knew this gentleman earlier, my house would look tons nicer! But at least now, I know whom to call when I have all these little things which need to be fixed.

The only problem I have today is that the painters asked whether it’s OK with me that they would leave all the covering till tomorrow. I said – yes, but I didn’t realize that everything in my kitchen is nicely packed :). In order to take out a plate or a cup, or a piece of dried fruit, or to put anything into the dishwasher- for all of that, I have to tear off the covering. I will need to put everything back tomorrow πŸ™‚

Another bad thing is that it’s raining, and I could not go for a bike ride. I spent all they in the smaller office on the second floor, juggling my two computers and haveing one monitor instead of three :). And not being able to make coffee in the middle of the day πŸ™‚


On top of what’s expected, like packing, trying to get rid of the stuff I do not need, and painting, I am also doing one more implant. 

I should have started it in November, but then I thought I was too busy with the book and work. As a result, I am doing it now, when I am even busier!

Today, I went for a tooth extraction. Since the dentist had to restore a part of the bone that deteriorated, I have to wait for four months till the implant. 

Although that is not my first implant, I did the previous ones with another surgeon. I liked this new dentist the moment he started talking to me during the initial consultation. So nice and kind! Not only he explained to me what should be done and why, but he also followed all his actions with verbal explanations of what he is doing at that very moment.

As you would expect, he gave me the paper with all my dos and don’ts for after the surgery. There was his cell number at the top of the page, and he told me to call him directly if anything. But what really shocked me was that he called me at 8 PM today to check whether I am feeling OK. Not the nurse, but the doctor himself… I do not think that ever happened to me!

Move Updates

Here is a brief summary of where I am in my Big Move process.

For my new place.Β 

  • My loan is conditionally approved
  • The appraisal happened
  • Both current owners and I signed a resell form
  • I purchased condominium insurance for my new place
  • The closing is scheduled for April 28, although I am still trying to close earlier.

For my current place.

  • I thought that I packed the first floor last week, but I was wrong. There were still many dark corners. Now I am completely done with the dining room, the living room, and with my and Boris’s desks.
  • The painting is scheduled for Thursday, which I guess means that it will continue on Friday.
  • I still need to pack the stuff from the hallway before painting.
  • And probably to put away at least some of the things which are in the kitchen.
  • I asked the same person who fixed my under the sink cabinet whether he will fix the ceiling in the half-bathroom without completely redoing it, and he came and performed a miracle. The thing is that I know that the leakage there happened fifteen years ago, and I didn’t care back then to make it look nice. I knew there was no need to redo this ceiling, and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t get to know this guy earlier! My house could look tons nicer for a very moderate price. 
  • I packed all my Christmas cookies tins! I will be backing in the new place and sending cookies all over the world again!

Other things

  • While sorting the papers on my desk and in the file cabinet, I found a document which my loan officer asked for, and I could not find it!
  • Also, one medical record, which somehow didn’t make it into the electronic format, and my family doctor asked me about it for years.
  • My microwave stopped working! Just when I needed it most! Yea, it turned out it was still under the manufacturer’s warranty, and it was relatively fast to go through the LG system, but the parts won’t be delivered till Friday :(. Yes, I remember how to cook without a microwave :). 

On this bright note – back to packing!

Local Elections

On Saturday, I voted in Palatine local elections for the last time. When I move, I will find other democratic groups, and I will be able to go canvassing to the swing states. But I had so many years with Greater Palatine Area Democrats that I will miss all the NWSOA people a lot!

Today is the actual election day, and thee results are not in yet. I am so hopeful that there will be a change πŸ™‚

School Uniforms In The Soviet Union

The other day, mom forwarded to me a video she received from one of her Russian friends. The video was nostalgic in a horrible way. 

The background song declared that the best time in Russian/Soviet history was the 1970s, and the singer wanted to travel in time to get to that moment in history. 

The video featured the girls in the school uniforms with huge bows in their hair, young pioneers in red ties, old-fashioned ice cream, and lots of old propaganda pieces. All together looked pretty horrific, so when mo asked me how I liked it, I had to tell her the truth. Then she would go: well, these girls in uniforms with huge bows weren’t they cute?

I asked her: mom, do you remember the deal with these uniforms?? Most girls hated it because they were out of style or just plain ugly. But there was something else. Can you imagine that we had to wear the same dress for months without washing?!

Yes, you would always get only one dress for the school year. It was made of brown wool so that the dirt won’t be visible. But then, you were not supposed to wash a woolen dress because you would ruin it; you were supposed to take it to the dry cleaners, which would take at least a week. Now that I am thinking about t, t is possible that sometimes we would wash the dress at home, but then t would also be very infrequently.

What I remember clearly is how I was refreshing the dress every Sunday.

First, there was a white collar and white cuffs, which I saw on Sunday evening, and then rip off at the end of the week to hand-wash and iron and sometimes even starch.

We always had pieces of old cotton linen in the house to use for steaming the clothes. I would take one of these pieces, wet it, place it over each underarm part of my dress, and press with a hot iron. This procedure would help to eliminate the smell of sweat. I would also steam the back of the dress, which was always wrinkled from sitting.

Later, the cuffs were dismissed, and the collars were most often made with synthetic lace, so caring for them became easier. When I was in high school, they finally let the aprons go (before that, there was a black apron for every day and a white apron for occasions). 

I forgot all about that underarm business until I saw that video!

My beautiful picture

My historical posts are being published in random order. Please refer to the page Hettie’s timeline to find where exactly each post belongs, and what was before and after.


On Monday, my vaccination group (1C) finally became eligible in Illinois, which meant that I could start to participate in these endless waiting rooms on the Cook County Health Care department. Starting from last Sunday, I already did three of them, and each time with no luck.  

I heard from other people how they would spend hours on the phone or online trying to find an appointment. And I started to think that having everything that’s going on in my life, I will have to wait until the vaccine becomes more available – I have no time for than hunt.

On Thursday, I received yet another text alert about the release of appointments and was ready to start trying again when I decided to check my personal email. I do not have much time for that during the workday, not like I am not allowed, but I do not have time. For some reason, I looked at it that very moment (and it was April Fool, mind you:)) and I saw a Palatine Township newsletter. There could be absolutely nothing urgent, but for some reason, I opened it. 

The first paragraph read:

April 3 Vaccination available for seniors (65+)

and their caregivers (55+)

While the first part was no news, the second part was, and I could not believe my eyes. There was a phone number to call, and I did. There was no wait, and there was a person, a human being, who answered. I sheepishly started to ask whether that’s true and whether the caregivers indeed are eligible. She asked for my date of birth and said – yes. She put down all my information and said that the vaccination center would call me and please pick up the calls and check my emails.

Twenty minutes later, my phone rang, and another human being was on the line to verify my information. 

I said that I do not want to cut the line, and I am not a full-time caregiver, but the lady said: yes, but you do take care of your mom! Of course, we want you to be vaccinated along with your mom! She told me where I need to go -a senior center on the North Shore, and she added that they do not know which vaccine it is going to be; it will be delivered that morning. But if I would need a second dose, she added, they would schedule it as well.

It all happened so fast! That was the end of my workday on Thursday, and when I came home, I found a consent form in my Inbox. And then it was Friday, and then – today. Everything was organized exceptionally well; there was no wait, the flow was smooth. However, the best part was that when I arrived, they told me that I would get Johnson & Johnson!!! I thought that it would be great, but not that many chances, and it happened! As my mom said, those who are above us realized how little spare time I have!Β 

Our athorities ask us not to post selfies with vaccination cards anymore amidst the fraud concerns, so here comes a picture of the goodie bag I got in the senior center πŸ™‚