Hello all you Ratskeppers old and new

Might as well reintroduce myself

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Hello all you Ratskeppers old and new

#1  Postby Agrippina » May 01, 2021 8:43 am

Hello all.

It's been a long time I've been away, so I thought a reintroduction might be appropriate. Some of you have me as a friend on Facebook so you know what's been happening, and the ups and downs of my life, which are actually boring, to me as well as the people who have to tolerate my whining about it.

I thought I'd come back here to chat about how much I'm hating this Covid-thing that's kept me away from the grandkids with only the odd socially-distant visit over more than a year now.

More news on what's happening - and has been happening since I left a bit of a while ago. But first just to say hello, and I'm back, if you'll have me.

I think I should change my avatar seeing the disaster that ended GOT made it a little inappropriate I suppose. Maybe a picture of the virus I hate so much.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#2  Postby Blip » May 01, 2021 9:05 am

Great to see you back here, Aggie. Welcome home!
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#3  Postby Spearthrower » May 01, 2021 9:23 am

Agrippina wrote:Hello all.

*snip*




Awww Aggie!

You made my day by posting - so happy to see you! :)
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#4  Postby Agrippina » May 01, 2021 12:08 pm

OMG I see I still have a pretty high post count. Although I don't chatter so much anymore. Keeping a low profile between the politics and police brutality in the US, and the horror that is she who must not be named in the UK, a virus that won't go away, too many things to fight about but now my fighting days are over.

Thank you both of you for the warm welcome. I don't remember when I last posted here, possibly when we were arranging the wonderful trip to the mountains where I finally got to meet Dries in the flesh and other Ratskeppers who shared what I think is possibly my last road trip holiday. Was that 2018? I think that was it, a good few years.

In the meantime we moved back to the city to take over the care of my autistic son who lost his home when his dad died and that's a long story. We've been back for a little less than three years. I'm happy having the grandkids near, and when the covid fear is over, I have to see more of them because they're a better cure for depression than the drugs that make me forgetful and sleepy.

I'm sure I don't need to talk about covid fatigue, and the loneliness of lockdown. At least I have an argumentative autistic middle-aged man living in the garden cottage to keep me on my feet, and who picks me up when I trip over them, smashing up my face into the bricks. Old age isn't fun - but the alternative is worse they tell me. I'm back dipping my toes in - it is nice to be welcomed back, and I have to admit I've missed this place.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#5  Postby felltoearth » May 01, 2021 3:23 pm

Amazing and lovely to see you’re back here.

I haven’t looked at my post count in a long long time.

*look at post count*

Oh, wow!
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#6  Postby hackenslash » May 01, 2021 3:27 pm

Iiiiiiiivyyyyyyy!

Hello, my love. I just arrived back here as well. Super-lovely to see you.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#7  Postby Spearthrower » May 01, 2021 5:46 pm

Agrippina wrote:
In the meantime we moved back to the city to take over the care of my autistic son who lost his home when his dad died and that's a long story. We've been back for a little less than three years. I'm happy having the grandkids near, and when the covid fear is over, I have to see more of them because they're a better cure for depression than the drugs that make me forgetful and sleepy.

I'm sure I don't need to talk about covid fatigue, and the loneliness of lockdown. At least I have an argumentative autistic middle-aged man living in the garden cottage to keep me on my feet, and who picks me up when I trip over them, smashing up my face into the bricks. Old age isn't fun - but the alternative is worse they tell me. I'm back dipping my toes in - it is nice to be welcomed back, and I have to admit I've missed this place.



One of the inadequacies of online written communication is the inability to show that you're interested without having anything productive to actually write in reply... so this is my awkward attempt at writing a sentence to do just that.

/hugs
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#8  Postby Ironclad » May 01, 2021 9:09 pm

Hello again! :)
You’ve been gone around a year maybe. I hope that you have been well.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#9  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » May 01, 2021 9:20 pm

Missed having you around. I miss having women contributing here at all. :lol:
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#10  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 5:18 am

hackenslash wrote:Iiiiiiiivyyyyyyy!

Hello, my love. I just arrived back here as well. Super-lovely to see you.


Oh Hack! I missed you. How are you doing? :hug:
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#11  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 5:19 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Agrippina wrote:
In the meantime we moved back to the city to take over the care of my autistic son who lost his home when his dad died and that's a long story. We've been back for a little less than three years. I'm happy having the grandkids near, and when the covid fear is over, I have to see more of them because they're a better cure for depression than the drugs that make me forgetful and sleepy.

I'm sure I don't need to talk about covid fatigue, and the loneliness of lockdown. At least I have an argumentative autistic middle-aged man living in the garden cottage to keep me on my feet, and who picks me up when I trip over them, smashing up my face into the bricks. Old age isn't fun - but the alternative is worse they tell me. I'm back dipping my toes in - it is nice to be welcomed back, and I have to admit I've missed this place.



One of the inadequacies of online written communication is the inability to show that you're interested without having anything productive to actually write in reply... so this is my awkward attempt at writing a sentence to do just that.

/hugs


:hug: I didn't realise how much I missed all of you until I did this. Damn and now my eyes are wet again. :doh:
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#12  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 6:02 am

Ironclad wrote:Hello again! :)
You’ve been gone around a year maybe. I hope that you have been well.


I'm not going to complain. It's been tough. Not just covid, but having to come to terms with my guilt about not doing something to avoid the hell my boy has been through because I denied it when his headmaster told me to get him tested for autism when he was 10. I said "he's just like me, he'll manage. He's cleverer than I am and if I could manage, he'll do better." Except he didn't, and then for five years he lived with losing everything, while his dad finally took responsibility for him after a major breakdown, but then died, leaving his home to a heartless witch who told my boy she didn't care if he lived under a bridge with his dog.

I uprooted us from our comfort zone in the mountains and finally took responsibility for my stupidity when I was in my 40s, and ought to have known better. Now I live with the consequences. Yes, he's "just like me" complete with autism, generalised anxiety disorder, ADD, and OCD, except he has a few added demons to deal with and I've spent two years beating myself up for my ignorance when I should've been helping him navigate the world of apartheid, bigotry towards the neuro-diverse, and his complex way of identifying himself. I had to isolate myself before covid made it worse, and several breakdowns, paranoia, self-hatred, then a psychotic episode, brought on by my losing a lot of money we can't afford to lose, and ending a "friendship" with someone who fed my own demons, finally I'm at peace with myself. He's wonderful. We protect each other from the world, spend hours every day talking about whatever the interest of the day is, sometimes it sounds like arguing but it's not, it's love. I thought coming home to a place that "got" me in the past would at least give me somewhere I can visit friends who I've known since 2009.

We also got another two dogs to replace the one he wouldn't let go of because autistic people find it hard to just allow the vet to do that. They are wonderful companions for him, and just like us, they don't do well with strangers. But they love us, and enjoy nothing more than snuggling the afternoons away with Eddie and me on my bed. It's a bit crowded but it's lovely.

So yes, I'm finally doing a lot better than I was even a month ago. I had a birthday, got my hair fixed up after a year of wild growth, spent the day with my kids and theirs, which was like a dose of healing. A month later I'm still feeling positive.

Over the last two years I've researched my family tree which was fascinating. I found out that there's not a drop of English in me, (sad because I adore Britain and its history), and that I have Indonesia, Mauritian, Tanzanian, Angolan, Indian and Khoi genes. An interesting mix, but annoying to older sisters who insist they were descended from Jewish people. Nope, the only Jewish person in the ancestry converted to Protestantism in the 1600s, so my dad was wrong. But it makes me an African, even though the Danish genes gave me blue eyes and blond hair. This kept me busy for about 18 months and when I'm inclined to write, I work on a book I want to put together in print for the grandkids to be able to show to their grandkids one day.

So I'm back and feeling welcomed. Thank you, also in advance to anyone else who comes this way to read what I've been doing.

I'm also a loud about neuro-diverity, and my learning of psychology helped me understand the diagnosis. I help my grandkids understand why I find parties hard, why my son won't leave his dogs or the house to socialise with strangers, and why I'm the weird granny who doesn't like dressing up to impress people who keep telling me I talk too much, and should "think positive thoughts" and give way too much information about myself. My older sisters and their kids avoid me in case I let on to the racists that they're essentially descended from the objects of their bigotry,

So there it is. I won't fight with anyone about the things I'm interested in, there are only so many spoons I can use every day, and I'm not wasting them on fights on the internet.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#13  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 6:18 am

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:Missed having you around. I miss having women contributing here at all. :lol:


Thank you Rachel. It was already pretty male-dominated when I went away. I'll give it my best shot, but be aware I'll fall apart if I get into too-heated an argument but I'm here with a mother, and grandmother's point of view. OMG those grandkids. I now have four of them, and another that doesn't belong to me but who calls me granny even though his mother is only my daughter-in-law's sister. His father died leaving her homeless and broke. She moved in with her mother, with the boy, so I think of him as one of mine. The youngest of the others is two and a bit, and perfectly wonderful. She adores "Gwampa" - he makes her laugh while the older children practice archery, and she isn't fussy about food - I can feed this one, she'll at least try whatever food is given to her. I think there's a little bias because she looks like me. The others are approaching high school age now, 'tweenagers I think they call them. So talented. The eldest boy is so clever, it's like having a conversation with an adult, and he has beautiful manners. His brother is determined to be a palaeontologist (I really must learn how to spell that word). He is obsessed with dinosaurs, knows all the names and can talk for hours on the subject. Hmmm! I wonder where he gets that? Both the boys are also gifted artists, the dinosaur aficionado can draw any dinosaur off the cuff in great detail (he's about to turn 8) and I suspect he's autistic too. The older granddaughter is lovely. She's sweet, but strong-willed and simply won't do anything she doesn't want to do. She's an athlete of note, very competitive, and on her report it says that her general knowledge is "outstanding". My babies, not so much babies anymore, but they are my medicine for when I'm down. Love them to bits.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#14  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 6:39 am

Just reading through my "your posts" threads, I see we've lost a few people while I've been away. My condolences to the people who loved them, too many names to mention individually, and I'm not able to say more than I'm sorry for their loss but such is life. I've had a few people I've known slip away in the past three years. Sadly we have to make space for the new life that's taking over our world. We've run our course, contributed where we can, hurt a few people (sometimes more than a few) but we are mere flawed humans and sometimes don't really mean to hurt when we do. All I can say with my experience of more than 70 years around the sun is that we have to be pragmatic and accept that we won't come out of this alive, so if we have any honour and decency, we do the best we can, accepting that we also won't love everyone we meet, especially when we look at the people we do love and wonder why they have positive feelings for the people we don't "get" or like. So to all of you who've lost friends while I've been gone, I am truly sorry for your loss. Death is hard to accept when it comes into your life. You do eventually recover, and go on without the loved one. They may be gone from the world but they'll live with you in your "heart" for as long as you live.. Then you'll live on in the lives of the people you leave behind but eventually you're merely a name on a family tree, as I've sadly found out when I've tried to show my mother to my grandkids in videos and photos, she's really just a name to them, to me, she's "mom" especially when I hear myself saying the things she used to say.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#15  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » May 02, 2021 6:49 am

One nephew turned 4 a week ago. The other will be 2 in early July. I haven't seen Mr. 4 in over a year and it's killing me but he still talks about me to his parents and grandparents. It makes me excited for once I've got my vaccine and I can hug and kiss him. Mr. Almost 2 is dramatic and challenging and does not like change so visiting him when he was at my mother's house was a disaster. When he saw me he melted down so hard he couldn't even eat his snack. Their parents are forgoing all disease transmission reduction measures so my mom and stepdad have cut all physical contact until they've both got their second doses of the vaccine.

I have now acquired a GIGANTIC plush stegosaurus for the 4yo's birthday. I hope to be fully vaccinated and able to give it to him in person in the next couple weeks. All my peers are getting vaccinated and I'm opting for the Astrazeneca jab. Just waiting for that text....
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#16  Postby Hermit » May 02, 2021 7:04 am

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:I have now acquired a GIGANTIC plush stegosaurus for the 4yo's birthday. I hope to be fully vaccinated and able to give it to him in person in the next couple weeks. All my peers are getting vaccinated and I'm opting for the Astrazeneca jab. Just waiting for that text....

Word of caution. From what I have read it appears that immunity is not as good as it can get until around two weeks after your second shot.

And, Agrippina, I hope you'll enjoy interacting with at least some of those of us who are still posting here.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#17  Postby Animavore » May 02, 2021 7:27 am

Hi, Aggi. That trip to South Africa is still on my mind.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#18  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 10:24 am

Hermit wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:I have now acquired a GIGANTIC plush stegosaurus for the 4yo's birthday. I hope to be fully vaccinated and able to give it to him in person in the next couple weeks. All my peers are getting vaccinated and I'm opting for the Astrazeneca jab. Just waiting for that text....

Word of caution. From what I have read it appears that immunity is not as good as it can get until around two weeks after your second shot.


We're registered for vaccination, but have to wait another 3 weeks at least because we had the flu jab last week. We're getting the J&J vaccine, which is only one dose. I would imagine it will take a couple of weeks to give immunity, but I'll be masking anyway, and sanitising my hands, now I'm used to doing it.


And, Agrippina, I hope you'll enjoy interacting with at least some of those of us who are still posting here.

I'm sure I will. I always enjoyed the friendships I made here. It was just that I was beginning to crash mentally, and I needed a break, and then several breaks from online interaction, during which I completely removed everything I had, photos, the works. I just wanted to be erased. I'm still fragile but I'm lucky to be living with someone who completely gets it, so I can be myself and between my two guys they pick me up when I fall. Also my drugs are helping. And I don't care about addiction. At my age peace and calmness is what I need not the stress of trying to wean myself off addictive substances.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#19  Postby Agrippina » May 02, 2021 10:29 am

Animavore wrote:Hi, Aggi. That trip to South Africa is still on my mind.


Wasn't it lovely? I really enjoyed meeting you and the campfire evenings, the outings to the mountains and tourist spots. It was odd that having lived so close, I'd never been there before. That last night's dinner, watching you enjoying how inexpensive your money made it, was pleasing to watch. I hope you enjoyed the game park. I'm sure it was impressive getting up close to the wildlife. Adco is a wonderful host. He and Charmaine always make you feel completely comfortable just being yourself, and having fun. We once spent a week with them at the coast, which was also unforgettable. Lots of lovely memories of that trip with them too.
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Re: Hello all you Ratskeepers old and new

#20  Postby hackenslash » May 02, 2021 10:47 am

Agrippina wrote:Oh Hack! I missed you. How are you doing? :hug:


Still in the game, for a given definition of 'in'.

I've missed you too. :hug:
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