Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, December 5, 2016

good intentions

I did get all washy, clothed and outside, to find that the little hatch thing on the back of the car, sort of like a trunk/boot, had been unlatched and that wee light had drained the battery.  It was dark, I was cold and hungry and it was so stupid that I laughed myself all the way upstairs.  There I looked on-line for anyplace nearby that would deliver food, groceries or fast food, did not care.

I found a pizza place that would deliver.  They did.  I over-tipped.  The food was bad, like horrible, like inedible.   

I ordered a deluxe supreme taco pizza and could only eat the lettuce and some of the crust edge.  The garlic bread was salvaged by cutting off the soaked part and the rest of the roll and the marinara were wonderful.  The chicken wings were stone cold, barely unfrozen and I ate them anyway.  I am not ordering pizza from them again, but I might stop in for a big place of spaghetti except for the fact that I can easily make that and it is fabulous.  So, goodbye pizza place.  It sure was a good idea.

By morning I knew I had to do something proactive and get over that first-world problem of crappy delivery food.  I did not have food in the house because I have been feeling so awful for such a long time and, all these days later I have barely improved the food thing here.  Being out is so exhausting and my doc(s) are still trying to diagnose my extreme lethargy and chest pain.  Tumors have been ruled out, as has cancer and lots of other icky things. 

Keeping in mind that one of the zillions of things about which I know nothing, medically speaking, I have this notion that my adrenal system is depleted.  Thank you very much, Dr. Google.  Whatever it is, I have to pull up my BGPs and get on with everything.

My daughter helped me visit a couple of possible places to rent that do not have out of code (building code) construction, mold and an inadequate heating system.  To of them were perfect (even allowing cats and small dogs) but they were all too expensive.  This wee village is between several large metropolitan areas and decent rentals are difficult to find.  Yet another 1stWorld problem.

I have a new battery in the car and am figuring how to pay to do some major repairs or sell it for scrap and find another used car.  But, the darn thing is running well enough to get me to the holiday party for the place I work/volunteer.  There was some amazing local youth music.  A jazz band from the high school, as well as four members of the same school's choir group.  The band played standards and the choir did holiday songs, including my only favorite xmas song, Mary Did You Know.  The first time I heard that on the car radio I had to pull over to listen.  It is a beautiful and emotional song and I love it.  When the young women came around to each of the tables to ask for requests, to be sung right there, we asked for a repeat of that song, as did the table next to us.

A very nice buffet followed, there were two free drinks, wine or beer or fancy bottled water, and everyone received a fifty dollar gift certificate to our store.  I got one last year, but left it behind on the table and am taking very good care of this year's certificate.  There is always something in that sweet thrift shop that I want to buy; a tea towel or handkerchiefs for myself, lovely things for things and there are quirky things that the grandsons and I can take apart or make into something.

We had our first snowfall yesterday.  It drifted down all through the day and it looks like there is a couple of inches out there.  It is not too cold, so the snow is heavy with moisture and I am so grateful that the landlord does not trust any of us to not mess up the property and he does the shoveling and other lawn care.  So, totally yay about that.

I do have a quandary.  My daughter is in her final semester of school and is also working at a lab in her field.  It is difficult because they are working her in a lab that does ceramic work, something she is yet to learn at school.  She told me yesterday that they are so backed up that there is no one with time to train her, so they are showing her what to do and then leaving her to it.  She says that her dental appliances look fine, but that she is positive that none of them are good enough to go into the mouth of any hapless patient. 

The little thing is that she has not asked me to help by watching the boys or helping her around her house.  Since I live only a mile from her now, that is easily accomplished, but she is not asking for help.  I usually just jump in and offer, but I did not this time.  Frankly, getting up at four in the morning is not nearly as much fun as you might think it to be for an old babe like me.

She knows that I am always available when my son-in-law travels, but we are stuck now, her not asking, me not offering.  I am hoping that when I am feeling better that I will be able to surprise them with offers to take the boys for weekends and after school.  We'll see.

It feels selfish to not be there most days, at least to help with cooking.  I just cannot do it right now, so I get to be selfish for a while longer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Too much information coming. Leave now and finds something wonderful to do might be the best advice I have ever given.

It is too cold in here, but I am afraid of having too high a utility bill.
I have due library book and an overdue DVD, prescriptions on their final day of hold until they are restocked and getting dressed and leaving the house seems an impossible task.
I have few groceries in the house, microwave popcorn, two cans of soup and lots of condiments and shopping, even whilst I am out feels exhausting.
Last night I rearranged stair-top nook, the upstairs bedrooms, moving beds, bookcases, tables and carpets because I have been having nightmares and was just plain weary of facing another one.


I have a nice menu of mental issues.
PTSD
Depression
Anxiety
Food addiction


Only my closest friends know about any of this. The rest of the world thinks that I have it all together, perhaps not even a care in the world. Work, volunteer gigs, family and other mandatory social events are sometimes...not always...difficult, feel burdensome and scarily vulnerable.

I live in a self-forged stronghold where strength often cannot be found. I manage as best I can, fail when I cannot manage and retreat when failure becomes too much.

I am properly medicated and have excellent medical and mental health care support. I take my drugs, try to eat well, exercise, meditate and spend as much time outdoors as I can stand. My close friends and a few family members might not always understand, but they try to support me as best they are able. It is a gift that I do not take lightly.

I am blessed with an amazing life, one that I earned, tear by tear, pain by pain and loss by loss and I am grateful.

I guess the point of finally revealing this is that I recently saw someone who I suspect is pretty much like me, struggles like me and does the best she can with what she has to work with.

I recognized her immediately, as one of 'us', as soon as she was having trouble. Those moments passed too quickly for me to offer any understanding or help, either or both of which might not have been welcome, but when you experience difficulties of any kind, and you are even a half-way decent person, one of your impulses is to reach out to another person who seems to be having some manner or other of difficulty of his/her own.

And, I guess the larger point is to remember, to hold dear to your heart and not judge or dismiss another person, situation or circumstance that you may observe.

Love the people who deserve your hate, disgust or dismissal. Help when you can, hold back when you must. Be nice, like excruciatingly nice, loving and wonderful to yourself so that you are full of everything that you need, if only to be the best person you can, but also to be there for other people.
You cannot produce or provide anything from any empty self, place, well of universal consciousness or higher source you many embrace. Just saying.

Anyway, it is late afternoon.  The library will close soon; the pharmacy a bit later.  But, I am hungry and need the meds in a few days, and am not all that fond of library fines, although that happens pretty much every week.  One recent week was nearly ten dollars.  Shudder.  So, I will soon wash my face, take a flying brush at my teeth, get dressed and go out and do all the things that need doing today. 

At the least I will gnaw away at that list, which also includes stopping at the bank, hauling some stuff to the basement, maybe throwing a load of laundry in the tub and dragging some shelving up to my bedroom where I decided during last nights/early morning flurry of reorganization that the newly organized space is perfect for all of my sewing equipment and stuff.  That bedroom is huge.  I have had living rooms smaller than that.  Besides the shelving is that lightweight plastic stuff.

If you do not hear from me again...ever...it is because I ran away from home.  Such as it is.  Erp.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Oh no!

Lions and tigers and snow plows.

It has begun, the southern drift of the tundra.  I reluctantly woke for breakfast with my friends and had to drag myself through enough hygiene to not repulse anyone, looked out the front window and did not see snow.  Yay.  Like, seriously, Yay!  Then I wonky knee walked to the lower landing and saw the white stuff on the grass.  It had not yet melted, as it had done on the street and porch.  It has not actually made it that far as of now.  The grass is vainly trying to get rid of the stuff.  Not much success.

This brief visit was easily removed and melted from the car windows, but it is not long before that process becomes a major job.  I cannot find my tarps and will have to fetch some from my favorite hardware store.  That store and the Farm & Fleet in another town are my bestest places to shop.  I tolerate grocery and artsy fartsy shopping, abhor shopping for clothing and an only mildly averse to shopping for house stuff.  I cannot be alone in that feeling.

So, off to find out if my friend's cat will leave her under-the-bed nest and come out to meet me.  Then the hardware store for a tarp and all sorts of things for which I have absolutely no use but cannot resist buying.  Last time I was there I bought a power drill and a pack of bits.  I am so weak.

There better not be any new snow on the car.  Just saying.

Friday, November 18, 2016

November

you crazy old babe.  Seriously.

This month has brought insanely wonderful weather.  There was one night when, had it not quickly cooled, I would have been wishing the air conditioner was still installed.

Until today, or I guess tomorrow, it was too warm to wear a sweater, much less a coat of any weight.  It has been wonderful and you know how it goes, you get all settled in and put all of winter's glories out of your mind.  At least I did.  I could have gone without really cold temperatures until the inevitable transformation of the upper Midwest into a fair approximation of the Tundra.

This may be the actual first winter that I do not enjoy with my usual joy.  I am guessing that I will like shoveling the lighter snowfalls.  I am happy to scatter ice melt so that I can walk to my car without going ass over teakettle.  I will be glad to haul out the tarps to cover the car so that I can, almost always, just lift the snow to the side of the car.

I am prepared with my favorite windshield ice melt spray and I have a wee can of the stuff you can squirt into the car's keyhole and around the frozen-over doors.

I think that does not sound like an expectation of hating winter, but all of that cold and wet stays on the roads with stunning stubbornness.  I have never had a winter accident.  I did have a summer accident when I was five decades younger, but in my defense, it was crappy brakes (of which I had no notion) that did not slow me enough to prevent bumping into the car ahead of me whilst on the highway on my way to work.  Man, just a few more inches of brake performance would have meant no scratched bumpers, just a rapid heartbeat for a while and a more cautious drive downtown.

But, it is going to happen, all that cold, wet, ice and window scraping, so, you know what that means...big girl panty time.

Other than that, even though I have not been around to share, my health is improving.  The heart stents (3), bone-on-bone arthritis in my knees and one hip and how much healthier I am with all the rehab, exercising and getting back to eating well.  There is a darkly cloud, a wee one, moving in, but with how well all the rest has gone, I am not going to fret before fretting seems like a good idea.

Family is doing just dandy.  The grandsons are still brilliant and the son-in-law is still cool and groovy.  I tried to get tickets to a big concert with his favorite band, but that is pretty much an exercise in heart break.  With computers, the seats are sold in a whirlwind of bytes and bills/money.  My daughter warned me that it would be an adventure trying to buy tickets and she was right.  If I want to find some with a re-seller I will have to find someone to buy one of my kidneys.  Maybe both.

It would have been a nice holiday present for him.  My daughter and the monkey brothers are more accepting of my giving gifts, but aside from buying him a year's worth of his favorite socks for work, he always tells me that all he wants is that I wrangle the boys once in a while.  Frankly, that is more of a present for me than it is for him, but try to convince him?  Cannot be done.

I usually get around that by giving the two big people a joint gift card so that they can go out to dinner and a club and an overnight someplace without children.  They can spend the card on anything they want, but they cannot not spend it.  Works for me.

I have been trying{yeah, I know, there is doing and not doing, but no trying...blah...blah...blah}to get out of the house more often, mostly at the behest of my therapist.  Last month she gave me an assignment, I get one each month, that I had to leave my house every day for at least two minutes.

You know how it is with habits and how difficult they can be to break.  Quitting smoking was nothing compared to this whole going outside every day. 

I have everything I need inside.  I am surrounded by books, music and who can forget the whiskey.  With my meds, alcohol is not a good idea save for very special occasions, but it is nice to know that it is here.  What I have been doing is rocking on the porch, yes, I do use a rocking chair, and reading.  It is more than two minutes, but not exactly what she would like me to do.

I am trying...yes...to do more through the senior center here, and to that end I had lunch over there today.  The food was nice, healthy and even tasty.  I sat at a table with strangers, which is pretty much everyone because I do not leave the house except to volunteer a day or two each week.  Lordy.

It is all kind of, not depressing or anything, just things I would prefer to not do.  Even though I know that all of this nonsense is for my own good and I am going to give it all the effort it needs.

Next week I am cat sitting for a friend.  They have a family Thanksgiving planned, and almost decided to not attend.  A week and a half ago their cat, a marvelous ginger marmalade, could not stand up, walk, eat or anything.  Once she became ill they took time from work so that they could take care of her.  Not to everyone's taste, but I admire people who take their responsibility for their pets that seriously.  They still do not know what it was, but with the help of IV fluids and force feeding (which is way less fun than you might think) she can now stay on her feet, wobbles only a little, more like staggering, and is eating on her own.  I think she healed herself so that no one would wrap her tightly in a towel and force a syringe full of gunky stuff down her throat.

I know I would.

I have months of mostly pointless and self-absorbed things to share, but another time.  Since I got my Fitbit thing I am more dedicated to getting enough sleep.  Practically obsessed with it, and regular bedtimes and wake-ups are part of good sleep hygiene.  Rats.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Little League is wonderful and the pauses in action are opportunities to look around and find whatever it is you need to find right now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

it is all right if you just slide that stuff down the stairs

No, we can't do that.

Why not?

Our company wants us to carry everything.

But, all this stuff is going down from an upper flat and up to an upper flat.

Sorry, we might damage something.

Well, that is what I did when I brought this (unknown purpose cabinet thing, but I use it to hold most of my instruments) home from work (thrift shop), and it is just fine.

You carried this up here?

No, I pushed it from the bottom, up step by step.

Really?

Sure.  I brought up that cabinet, too (indicating stunningly heavy...for me...thing in which I store, amongst other things, my big girl panties).

Well, we have got to get you a shirt.

{little giggle from me}

Yeah.  One woman and no truck.

Best moment of the entire move.

The cabinet, with instruments.  I think the only thing missing is the guitar.

The cat-like thing at the upper left is a stained glass cat lamp.  The container on the upper right holds drum sticks and other tall stuff.





Thursday, March 10, 2016

uh-oh

Seems as though the cardiac nurse, with whom I have a history, is more offended by me than I am upset by feeling not heard during our first phone and in-person contacts.

Yesterday was cardio rehab again.  We sit and chat outside the rehab room until they let us in.  That nurse arrived to open the door and she talked and laughed with everyone except me.  Four patients and a husband were greeted and chatted up.  Me, not so much, in fact, she never made eye contact with me and studiously ignored me the entire session. 

My lesson from this is to stop trying to have a conversation where I can explain myself and ask questions.  Kind of sad, as I thought that gently moving into interacting with the folk in my life was an improvement to being passive and simply agreeing with whatever someone else tells me.  I want,desperately, to believe that she was invested in sharing what she feels is the proper information and that my questions to clarify some things seemed like I was challenging her.  I really think that is what happened.  Anyway, I have no intention of trying to mend our professional relationship

So there is that. 

I do not think this would have bothered me so much had not I been grieving so much from the death of my ex.  I hate feeling this vulnerable and unable to take any kind of control over what happens to me. 

My daughter and I went out for lunch today, to, not celebrate, but at least sort of acknowledge her birthday.  I bought her some funny socks from the little store attached to the vegetarian restaurant where we ate.  We talked a bit about her father/my ex and we shared that each of us had gone on-line to find information about how to manage our grief.  She to look for information for people who's parent had been estranged from them, and me to search out help for people experiencing the death of an ex-spouse.  We both found that this grieving will most likely take a year, perhaps more.

I can believe that, as I am not yet able to begin to sort out all of the feelings I am having.  It is clear that each of us is mourning his death, but maybe more importantly the loss of opportunities to have been able to reconnect or some damn thing.

Well, anyway, I am off to find some Ella Fitzgerald and some upbeat jazz for my exercise-focal MP3 player, for when I exercise.  The fitness club I joined (free Silver Sneakers membership, via my insurance) had cable television screen attached to the treadmills.  Maybe I will watch some whilst I finish my 10,000 steps for the day.  That total is not easy to reach, and I am missing it by so much each day.  I wish the process would let you do the maximum over two days.  Then I would be over.  Yay.