The next few days were a bit more stressful than absolutely necessary, thanks to the fact that my main laptop finally finished dying. Given that that is the only computer I have with any horsepower, I was left without any way to process the photos I'd taken for Mary! As it turns out, however, my dad happened to have a good portion of the bits I needed to pull together a new, better desktop, and was willing to just flat out give them to me. Bonus points for awesome dads!
Unfortunately, the entire house, save for myself, ended up staying horribly sick for the next week. Just nasty awful creepy crud. Of course, once Eden finally started to recover, my own immune system decided to give up the fight and let the little bugs lay me out too. Honestly, other than the times where I absoultely had to drag myself into school, I spent at least a week straight in bed.
Which unfortunately meant that Valentine's was a bit of a bust, at least with regard to couple-type activities. Eden spent the day in the kitchen, making incredibly cute (and tasty!) cookies, and then headed out for the evening with Cassie to hang out and knit at the bar.
On the 16th, the next phase of my apparent new allergy to technology hit - the network storage device that I had picked up specifically to back up photos and other critical (to me) information spontaneously decided to stop working after only 3 weeks. Not cool man, that's just not cool. Cassie, however, was, when we went to drop her off for work that day - just absolutely dapper in her cold weather gear - had to get a quick snap.
On the 19th we stepped out to celebrate Heather's birthday, an associate we originally met through the Saturday market that's become quite a good friend. Somehow we just don't usually get a chance to hang out with all of our market friends between market seasons, and this was a really nice change from that habit.
On the 20th, I actually felt pretty decent for the first time in days, not needing to cringe away from the light at every turn, so I decided to take advantage of the moment and volunteered to help my father-in-law, Jon, collect some concrete for a wall that he's building in the backyard. Unfortunately, the people that he had arranged to get the rubble from had left the gate locked and left for the day, so the trip was more or less a waste, save for a bit of time to chat and the opportunity to visit with some goats and bunnies that were near the place.
Snow came to Portland again on the 24th, while we were housesitting for JJ again. While we really don't make any money at it, effectively, thanks to commutes to take care of our own beasts and meals for the duration, housesitting has proven to be an awfully cheap series of micro-vacations, and we have a lot of fun. Being snowed in (momentarily) at JJs certainly wasn't any kind of a hardship, by any stretch of the imagination.
The next day started a heck of a trial, though I didn't know it at the time. Mega migraine, that overlapped my A&P midterm at the start (horrible for grades and concentration), and just stayed with me and kept on building and building over the next two days, without any break. I finally had to tap out on Sunday, and ask my dad for help in arranging some kind of pain relief. I had called the VA in desperation, since technically I was in the system, but still waiting on an initial consult, but the best they could tell me was that all they could recommend was going to the ER and hoping that things would be covered retroactively. Not something I was willing to do, as there is no way that I could cover the thousands of potential dollars that might have incurred in bills. Thankfully, I was able to get a prescription for Torridol, pain reliever, and nausea relief with the doctor on call relatively quickly, which is a darn good thing. I had started the day at about an 8 on the pain scale, and peaked at about 9.5 while waiting the endless 30 minutes it took to get the prescription filled. Pain levels stayed fairly epic for the next week or so, but managed to stay just within bearable though careful hoarding of meds. Not the best way to end the month, but the intake appointment with the VA was due in a bit over a week, giving me at least something to hold on to as a bit of hope for the future.