Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chickie poo, no blood, and beyond

Ah wants one, ah wants one baaaaaad. There is a plethora of little chicks for sale here. I see them everywhere on people, sort of like the tiny dog thing with movie stars. Oh they are so cuddly, so cute, and chickens make quite good pets I hear. However, I think all of our meowies might become werecats should I bring a chick home. Sigh!

Hubby is sick of doing litter boxes and me being down - he would probably freak out and head to Alaska if he had to rake up chickie poo in addition, do ya think?

Tomorrow I go for a transfusion. Doc's office called me freaking out - they had just received my bloodwork results. The red cell count was half of what it should be. I told them weeks ago I needed something, way too tired then!

Some signs of anemia:
Pale Skin
Paler Gums
Sensitive mouth (I can't eat my usual hot stuff!)
Wierd cravings - (mine: ice, more ice, string cheese, carbonated green tea, and Coke)
Heart flutterings
More exhaustion
dizziness (no duh)

I'm not too bummed - I will feel better. (Although I wanted to spend my last two free days on the beach getting brown.) I will take a couple of the books I'm reading, string cheese, a Coke and sit in a plushy recliner with all the people getting chemo, have my car valet parked, be served lunch, and then I will FEEL BETTER! Just in time to go back to work. The back just keeps feeling better - hattigrace thanks for telling me about this - I love ya!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday afternoon bummin' around

Little boy and I put Bob Marley in the CD player and we cruised the water areas and went down to the beach to the Crab Shack. I treated him to snow crab legs and I had an oyster po'boy. He played on the playground but the breeze turned chilly and so we headed home. It was wonderful after two years in winterland. There is a joke about Wyoming having two seasons - winter and next winter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Eclectic Post

Sushi makes life worth living. This sushi-preparer wanted money for the photo I took which is a reason I am not a bold photographer although I see dozens of wonderful faces to take photos of.

This sushi in progress in fresh indeed - most of the fish, shrimp, etc., comes right out of the water, into the boat, which goes to the dock, which then is unloaded into the sushi place!

Just an update on life in Florida - the weather is 80 degrees, no wind, lawns are finally green, spring flowers breathtaking, sigh, perfect in other words as far as weather goes. Next September I may be singing a different tune.

My back appears to have made it over some kind of "hump" so to speak - no pain during treatment yesterday - I usually get up from the table and as the weight settles back down the nerves start screaming - well, no screaming! I cried and the assistant thought it was pain - I said, "No, no, no, I'm just estatic -that's all!"

The relief continued until I tried to give Ms. Meowi her meds - she spit them out with much squalling and squaking. I began to clean it up and found little white half dissolved pills spit all over the floor. No wonder she's not getting better. So I thought, "OK, ol' girl, its a war of the wits here!" So I put tuna juice on it and put it in again! She started gagging up foamy stuff and running all over the house, and I didn't know so much white foamy stuff could be in one kitty. She ran and sprinkled foaming spit all over trying to get rid of her pill and I ran after her and swooped her up without thinking. I locked her in the bathroom to foam away where it was easier to clean up, and came out to the kitchen for paper towels. I made a reach and POW! Electrical shocks shot through my back and down my legs - uh, oh, I forgot and not only ran but but picked up a 15 pound kitty (weight lifting is restricted to 5 pounds for next 4 weeks) and was back down on the couch again crying like a dumb baby. Scared I had undone a grueling week of work and pain to get to the place of no pain I had during the day. This morning is better.

The next news -- I got the job - talked to the boss some about the back and though I have experience in everything under the sun, I have no experience with Quick Books so he said we'll try it - and I said, ok, test run! Hubby is mad at me about the cat and about me hurting myself and afraid I'll mess up the early Social Security. If all goes well, I will be ahead financially - darn - I've paid into it all my life, and will still pay into it, I've checked with three different SS agents, covered my bases.

And, I find myself being fearful - duh! Scared I can't do it mentally and/or physically. Yeh, yeh, I know its dumb - and I have to shake out of it. Just made me realize how hard these last two years were on me mentally and physically....well, we'll see. Monday is the start date. The ironing board disappeared when I was gone, along with my sewing machine - I better find them and get busy getting my work clothes in shape. It's a very casual place which is delightful.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Doctor Daze

Today Psycho and Ms. Meowi went to the vet. True to form Psycho's problem was/is mental. Honest - while Ms. Meowi chatted with everyone and purred her way through an exam, Psycho was standing on his hind feet facing a corner of the vet's office with his paws up in the air on the wall - of course he just had his temperature taken, but seeing a cat standing on his hind feet in a corner was sort of odd even then. (Psycho is the kitty investigating the wind chime.)

Ms. Meowi charmed everyone in sight, which is her talent and inclination.

We found out that we need a minimum of 4-5 litter boxes for 3 cats. Holy cow! A small jar of "Cat Attractant" (that makes cats WANT to go in the litter box, not right next to it! - We'll see) costs $18.00. Now, adding up the "Attractant" and the litter costs, what are we going to use for gas money?

Then, on the way home, my old boss called and asked me to come in and discuss filling a position at his place of business. I scrambled into a business suit and swallowed some Aleve thinking that after my afternoon treatment, I might not be able to walk upright without a cane into his business, then what would he think!

THEN, ran to doctor for treatment, and a miracle occurred and I was not in awful pain during the treatment. I had to struggle to my feet and getting out to the car was slow and difficult, but it was in the "I can handle this range" - not awful. Have I crossed a marker into less pain? Yay? I hope, I hope. Weekends off from treatment!

THEN, to the interview, with my back brace which was laced so tight it was pushing my cleavage up under my chin. It was also pulling my pants up two inches too short. My hair is way overdo for a cut - I was not at my best. Had a nice discussion for an hour, also explained I would need some time for treatment - we negotiated, but did not finalize anything. We'll see. He has one more interview to go. I'm beginning to enjoy being home - uh, the time that I have spent at home anyway. I'm just getting to the point I'm not exhausted to the point of collapse from the last position.

Since my daughter is a nurse, I cajolled her into medicating Ms. Meowi - Psycho has his own anti-pee-pee-onna-nurse-uniform pills.

In the meantime, hubby called to tell me little grandson had asked him to pray with him to receive Christ. Initiated by little grandson - awwwwww. So I stopped at our favorite ice cream store and bought his little heart something he had been drooling for and asking about for a long time - an ICE CREAM CAKE! We had a short celebration. It was yummy.

Now, to lay down for a bit.......

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

May Lose a Few Days -

I started the treatments to my back yesterday. They are exhausting as I have to drive at least a two hours and then spend an hour or more there with some significant pain during the treatment, leaving me worth nothing afterward but pain.

However I had a wonderful clear morning (before treatment) this a.m. and walked for 1.5 hours - no pain! I still have faith they will work.

I find pain very interesting - I have tried all kinds of ways to handle it - from being slowly ate away to find myself unpleasant on all counts, to lying down and floating into it and asking it questions, (like "What is your purpose here, Pain?") to concentrating on it and feeling it on every level, resisting and crying, trying to separate the physical cause from the result in the brain ok, all this sounds like pain makes you crazy doesn't it - or does it sound very uh - Zen - philosophical - ???? I am such a chicken, such a chicken, a real wimp, I fear.

Hopefully tomorrah I will get on to everyone's blog......if not, please know I think about you and will catch up...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Foray into Sumi-e

My grandson came home from school with an elegant black Japanese letter for "Friend" painted on rice paper. Okay, that was a go ahead to break out the Sumi-e brushes, ink stick, watercolors, grinding stone and we experimented with Sumi-e.

I wanted to learn because I want to "free" up my artwork. I'm struggling because I want to put on thick blobs of wild color - and stroke and stroke - the art of Sumi-e is in THE (one) stroke....not to capture a "picture" but the essence of what you see. I found it a bit frustrating in that it is discipline. Hmmm, freedom in discipline? Maybe. Anyway, the frog is my work, the volcano is my grandson's work.

I've been having fun - "The Idiot" has sucked me in big time. I've been having trouble reading anything, but this huge novel with long Russian names has pulled me in! I love it - the forward warned that "The Idiot" was really the perfect man...but perhaps not, we will see as we go. He is a man, however, who says what he sees and thinks, he will not lie. He is also compassionate and too fair for an adult's way of acting. I've always wanted to read Dostoevsky. A year before I left for Wyoming I started buying a classic a month to read and didn't read any of them, left them here. Maybe I will have catch-up time now.

A contentment is drifting into my soul - how many of us are so uptight and tense because we don't do what makes us happy? We wait and wait for "Someday Isle" and then we never sail there and why are we here on earth - to enjoy, at last part of this tenure, I'm sure.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Gray Day

Feeling better, still have a ways to go. I think I need to find a new primary physician. I still haven't seen this one - he's been prescribing via messages from his nurse or office girl and my conversations - I can see him the 19th. Surely there is a doctor in town that can see a patient when the patient is ill, instead of well, other than the walk-in clinic at which they are too busy to even gather all your symptoms.

Thought I'd send ya'll a photo of azaleas, azaleas that are blooming in profusion all over our town. I have nothing blooming, sigh - it all died from neglect when I was gone - well, there are a few blooms beginning on the orange tree. Our sprinkler system is in as I may have mentioned, but it looks like a million moles have tunneled our yard, making dirt/sand mountains and valleys everywhere. I will have to assail the heavens with prayer so this project gets finished - wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels are a no-no for me right now. Just getting the pipes in and water to flow does not mean its done. The overflow of sand into the house is amazing.

I bought home Kentucky Fried Chicken last night, and the Psycho cat was quite offended that his dinner consisted of cat food rather than the KFC, was trying to cover the cat food with the tracked in sand to show his disdain of our choice of food for him! Pretty bad when your cat thinks he can cover something with the dirt on the floor.

So cloudy, so blue & gray. But that's ok. It's at least around 69 degrees. I can almost feel the struggle of summer as it seizes upon the extra warmth and minutes of light.

Well, going to confirm time to begin back treatments Monday, go take a shower, and vacuum up the sand, lest the cat never find his food, or worse yet, thinks he can potty in it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Feeling sorry for myself as I am so sick I am housebound, I began to look for a picture to depict my misery. I ran across this website

It is about 25 million people dying in a generation, even a shorter span than a generation. It is about war when people need medicine. It is about suffering that I will never know.

In November I was supposed to travel to South Africa with some friends with the goal of seeing this crisis first hand and coming back to the U.S. with a message. I backed out because my health has been so crappy. I backed out and it makes me feel really bad about it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Draggin' my tail behind me

Draggin' - as in dragging my body around - led to a search of an illustrative photo to describe my lack of energy. I strayed on to this site where there is a nice page with dragon art and the origins of dragon myth, and Buddhist Dragons, which tied in with my growing interest in the art of Sumi-ei - and you are saying, where in the heck is she going? Well, seems to me there is nothing draggin' about Dragons. I hope you find the below link (and I really hope you FIND the dragon page - I could't link it for some reason) as fascinating as I have - for me its sort of unknown "dragon lore" and a dragon is anything but draggin.

My personal feeling on mythical creatures is that somewhere in time existed a creature, and coupled with man's imagination - we have come up with many creatures we can't explain or prove. I think in the Christian Bible, the Dragon may just have been known as Leviathan. I digress...back to the day....oh, and by the way, doesn't this guy look like a cute puppy or kitty? Or have I lost it?

Against every crying out piece of my body, I gathered up all the pieces and my cane and dragged all the pieces to the attorney's office today. We wrote a letter firing the old attorney who won't call me back. I feel good about this guy - already, within five hours, I find that Monday I can start the back treatments - Monday because tomorrow is too soon. I have bronchitis, have had for two and one-half weeks, and I shouldn't let it go until one has a handicap of breathing air, sore ribs from coughing, fever, and general overwhelming lassitude. One reason I waited too long was being too tight to even pay co-pays. Yah, some of you with no insurance are crying out "SISSY!" Also I haven't found an antibiotic yet that doesn't make me sick in my guts. So, I'm to the point, I don't care - just help me breathe and quit coughing.

In the meantime, the sprinkler system is in and sprinkling where it should sprinkle. I want to put in plants - today was yummy - 70 degrees, the water is still and magical, the palms softly rustling in the breezes, and all the lawns and grasses are turning green. The trees that lose their leaves (not all do here) in the winter are budded, waxy camellias, and the ever present bright profusions of azaeleas everywhere. It took mostly neighbor and some hubby 3 and 1/2 days to put it in - give or take. Whataneighbor!

Dragon info from - sorry I could not get the link to this page with all the neat pictures to come up - so I'm adding an excerpt which is copywrited but I think I'm ok with the author's link plainly referenced.

DRAGON MYTHOLOGY. A mythological animal of Chinese origin, and a member of the NAGA (Sanskrit) family of serpentine creatures who protect Buddhism. Japan's dragon lore comes predominantly from China. Images of the reptilian dragon are found throughout Asia, and the pictorial form most widely recognized today was already prevalent in Chinese ink paintings in the Tang period (9th century AD). The mortal enemy of the dragon is the Phoenix, as well as the bird-man creature known as Karura. In contrast to Western mythology, Asian dragons are rarely depicted as malevolent. Although fearsome and powerful, dragons are equally considered just, benevolent, and the bringers of wealth and good fortune. The dragon is also considered a shape shifter who can assume human form and mate with people.

Dragons figure importantly in folk beliefs throughout Asia, and are dressed heavily in Buddhist garb. In India, the birthplace of Buddhism around 500 BC, pre-Buddhist snake or serpentine-like creatures known as the NAGA were incorporated early on into Buddhist mythology. Described as "water spirits with human shapes wearing a crown of serpents on their heads" or as "snake-like beings resembling clouds," the NAGA are among the eight classes of deities who worship and protect the Historical Buddha. Even before the Historical Buddha (Siddhartha, Guatama) attained enlightenment, the Naga King Mucilinda (Sanskrit) is said to have protected Siddhartha from wind and rain for seven days. This motif is found often in Buddhist art from India, represented by images of the Buddha sitting beneath Mucilinda's hood and coils. (Above paragraph adapted from book by M.W. De Visser.)

In China, however, dragon lore existed independently for centuries before the introduction of Buddhism. Bronze and jade pieces from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th - 9th centuries BC) depict dragon-like creatures. By at least the 2nd century BC, images of the dragon are found painted frequently on tomb walls to dispel evil. Buddhism was introduced to China sometime in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. By the 9th century AD, the Chinese had incorporated the dragon into Buddhist thought and iconography as a protector of the various Buddha and the Buddhist law. These traditions were adopted by the Japanese (Buddhism did not arrive in Japan until the mid-6th century AD). In both China and Japan, the character for "dragon" (see orange-colored ideogram at top of page) is used often in temple names, and dragon carvings adorn many temple structures. Most Japanese Zen temples, moreover, have a dragon painted on the ceiling of their assembly halls. See below photos.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Just for Fun

Another "Blue Plate Special #1" Oil and Digital

Pit Bull Source - Fence on the left

Hurry grass! This was once partially our yard, looking over to the pit bull neighbor's house. Now the pine tree is gone - toppled by a hurricane and cut in pieces and hauled away chunk by chunk. The palms are now five feet high, but dey' grass - it gone. I guess today "project restoration" begins with installation of a sprinkler system. I was left out of these plans, but hey they sound ok to me....will save me running and running about the yard moving hoses. We had a battle of control over where the hoses would lay or what sprinklers to use. I would set them to cover the yard, not the brick nor the street and then they would be moved, so I would have to re-set. No more. Neighbor is contributing supervision and labor, so I know it will be a near perfect job because he will do the major share, and since he's a male, hubby will listen to him. Next, I sneak the fertilizer on the remaining sprigs under the cover of dark so I won't get in trouble because fertilizer makes it grow - ersatz - then it has to be mowed.

Pit Bull puppy still escaping next door - this pic looks over that house, which has also lost its yard by now. Little guy digs out of the back yard and knows cats live here - usually peacefully sunning themselves on the porch. Now, one on one, a cat can totally do a dog in, especially a puppy. But Psycho, the kitty who stays outdoors the most, has no front claws and does not know yet what damage his back claws can do - he talks a good fight, but, face it, he runs. Ms. Meowi goes outside to sun supervised until she is sure of where she lives. She has sabers for claws. However, the puppy is very aggressive for a pup and I am afraid the kitties will be hurt. Which is not fair, because it is THEIR yard (space) the puppy is intruding into. Neighbors seem to be getting fed up with a pit bull running the neighborhood as we shall see what happens.

Off today to see if a local attorney will step in for the Wyoming attorney who will not return my phone calls, so I can get my auto insurance company to fork over some money to care for my back. Also I need to get into a doctor, a clinic, or something . With an HMO - that'll be tricky on a Friday. Even without an HMO that is tricky on a Friday. Where is that policy outline? Maybe a walk-in clinic is covered. My allergy cough has progressed and from experience I can tell I have bronchitis and need antibiotics to get over the hump. Sitting here at the computer with chills and just wanting to climb back to bed.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Saving Calories or Just fooling Myself?

Diet Sodas good for you? This would be my dream come true. But there is no way that any marketing plan can convince me that aspartame is a nutrient. Or that it doesn't affect your brain cells. I've tried diet Coke with Splenda. Too sweet.

I've always tried to save a few calories here and there - and have become accustomed to the taste of diet Coke and like it. On the other hand, my husband who hates diet coke, becomes easily addicted to the regular. Then he quits and loses lots of weight - the Cad. My mother quit eating sugar and lost 30 pounds. I rarely eat sugar, so that leaves the only thing I can give up - FOOD. Anyway, does this make the following article a crock? Does the following explain my weight gain over the last ten years? Hmmmmm. "Food" for thought -

Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?
Overweight Risk Soars 41% With Each Daily Can of Diet Soft Drink
Daniel J. DeNoon WebMD Medical News
Reviewed by
Charlotte Grayson Mathis, MD
June 13, 2005 -- People who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they gain weight, a new study shows.
The findings come from eight years of data collected by Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. Fowler reported the data at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.
"What didn't surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity," Fowler tells WebMD. "What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher."
In fact, when the researchers took a closer look at their data, they found that nearly all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas.
"There was a 41% increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day," Fowler says.
More Diet Drinks, More Weight Gain
Fowler's team looked at seven to eight years of data on 1,550 Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white Americans aged 25 to 64. Of the 622 study participants who were of normal weight at the beginning of the study, about a third became overweight or obese.
For regular soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:
26% for up to 1/2 can each day
30.4% for 1/2 to one can each day
32.8% for 1 to 2 cans each day
47.2% for more than 2 cans each day.
For diet soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:
36.5% for up to 1/2 can each day
37.5% for 1/2 to one can each day
54.5% for 1 to 2 cans each day
57.1% for more than 2 cans each day.
For each can of diet soft drink consumed each day, a person's risk of obesity went up 41%.
Diet Soda No Smoking Gun
Fowler is quick to note that a study of this kind does not prove that diet soda causes obesity. More likely, she says, it shows that something linked to diet soda drinking is also linked to obesity.
"One possible part of the explanation is that people who see they are beginning to gain weight may be more likely to switch from regular to diet soda," Fowler suggests. "But despite their switching, their weight may continue to grow for other reasons. So diet soft-drink use is a marker for overweight and obesity."
Why? Nutrition expert Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, puts it in a nutshell.
"You have to look at what's on your plate, not just what's in your glass," Bonci tells WebMD.
People often mistake diet drinks for diets, says Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and nutrition consultant to college and professional sports teams and to the Pittsburgh Ballet.
"A lot of people say, 'I am drinking a diet soft drink because that is better for me. But soft drinks by themselves are not the root of America's obesity problem," she says. "You can't go into a fast-food restaurant and say, 'Oh, it's OK because I had diet soda.' If you don't do anything else but switch to a diet soft drink, you are not going to lose weight."
The Mad Hatter Theory
"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly."I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more.""You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "It's very easy to take more than nothing." Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
There is actually a way that diet drinks could contribute to weight gain, Fowler suggests.
She remembers being struck by the scene in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in which Alice is offended because she is offered tea but is given none -- even though she hadn't asked for tea in the first place. So she helps herself to tea and bread and butter.
That may be just what happens when we offer our bodies the sweet taste of diet drinks, but give them no calories. Fowler points to a recent study in which feeding artificial sweeteners to rat pups made them crave more calories than animals fed real sugar.
"If you offer your body something that tastes like a lot of calories, but it isn't there, your body is alerted to the possibility that there is something there and it will search for the calories promised but not delivered," Fowler says.
Perhaps, Bonci says, our bodies are smarter than we think.
"People think they can just fool the body. But maybe the body isn't fooled," she says. "If you are not giving your body those calories you promised it, maybe your body will retaliate by wanting more calories. Some soft drink studies do suggest that diet drinks stimulate appetite."

Last week I watched the movie, Super Size Me. That is something that will scare you away from McDonalds forever. Maybe junk food forever.

I just watched an ad on TV from one of the restaurants in town, offering finer food in smaller quantities at more reasonable prices. Now, that's a concept I like. Going to a restaurant and finding a huge mound of food on my plate is not my idea of a happy dining experience. I have to pack at least half of it home in a box, and then it sits in the refrig until it thrown out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Indian cooking, the beach, and the anniversary

Okay, this is eclectic for sure - but all has to do with the beach - except the curry. I have a weakness for Southern Living - I have magazines stashed in hiding places. So, tonight trying one of the recipes - and had to make my own garam masala to complete the recipe. That necessitated digging through the spices to find the ingredients. Another example of this pack rat obsession that overtakes this house - an entire cupboard and one drawer dedicated entirely to spices. (More packed and coming from Wyoming - I found that if I bought them from Farmers Bros., I could have 6 times as much in a huge bottle for the same cost as a small bottle! When I make green chili it takes a whole small bottle of cumin!) Well two hours later it 'tis and I burned half the dinner - well, all but the turnip greens. The chicken was overcooked, but it would take some convincing that it would have been good even NOT overcooked. Lost my touch, I have.
The next photo is where we dined for our anniversary. I had to pay for my extra order of veggies myself, but hey, what the heck - I did get flowers AND a shrimp-kebob. Lots of years he didn't remember or didn't care if he did. So, what do ya expect for 36 years? Just think, if he had remembered, we could have had a potential of 72 kebob sticks. Wow.
Next we have one of the high rises that are taking over the beach since the storm. They are doing a lovely job of landscaping, but, sob, ya can't see the beach unless you rent a condo. This does remind me a bit of "Miami Vice." Does anyone remember that TV series? When we came to Florida, we expected it to look like the backgrounds in Miami Vice. Hahahahah, wrong part of Florida. Till now.
The next photo is a shot of the bridge as we go down to the beach. I always loved this bridge and the view. A large marina and a restaurant sit underneath on the water and that is a good place to be when the sunset is marvelous.
The last photo is a shot of the burnt vegetation from the hurricane, (No, I did not try to make curry out of it) but the sinking sun coupled with the black undergrowth didn't show the burnt part too well.


Yesterday - got the down comforter back from the cleaners where little boy's cat, Psycho, went beserk and peed it. Needed cleaned anyway.

Picked little guy up from staying after school - Montesorri has cool stuff - enjoyed the landscaping and visiting classrooms.

We stopped at the Japanese Sushi Bar because he was ravenous, and it was close by. The waiter told me what we'd eat - interesting, he said "raw fish not good for you." Well, whatever he picked out was exquisite and little boy dug in too. We are getting good at chopsticks.

After leaving restaurant and very attentive Japanese waiter, little boy makes a remark - "He was not appropriate was he, Nan?" "He paid too much attention to us." "Observant little chap," I thought. I'm easy going and was willing to try anything new, but little boy picked up on the fact that we were not getting what we went in for and had a too hovering waiter, but we couldn't remember the name of previous sushi order anyway. Also thrown in with the sushi and miso soup was a lesson that the waiter gave us in the Japanese names for the sushi.

Then, indulged in Starbucks - Iced Chai AND chocolate covered coffee beans. And a "birthday cake" flavored ice cream cone for little boy. Worried about money lasting after such indulgences. But I LOVE spoiling the grandkids - I LOVE them knowing that they are my universe - (well, I have other things - but this is different - blind, dazzling love that they are the MOST special of all I have to do.) Four Dinners posted about his grandparents' love giving him light in his life. Hey, I would trade a convertible buzzing up and down the beach to a condo for ice cream/trips to visit/internet subscriptions, etc., etc., for the grandkids any time, any day. Yah!

Griped about sore lungs, etc. to blogger friends. Thank you guys. I noticed that this is the only safe place to gripe. Thank you again.

Shredded grocery sack full of papers. One more bag to go.

Put together marinade for chicken - Indian dish - cilantro, yogurt, garlic, red curry powder, grated lemon rind - to ready chicken for cooking for tonight. Ah, food can be art too. Will have to pick up sesame seeds to complete recipe when I go out to fax insurance to chiropractor. Hattigrace showed me that much can be accomplished with the burning disc syndrom by propping oneself on a stool.

Searched for movie, "Inconvenient Truth" to put in DVD player before bedtime. Found husband had switched out that movie during "purchases of 4 for $20.00" (our anniversary splurge) for a Jodie Foster movie - grrrrrrr - well, I've got Samuel Jackson, he can have pointy faced Foster, who cares.

This morning, have a concern over insurance. Oldest calls and granddaughter has some rare inflammation of the tendons and muscles between the ribs. Poor little thing has been in pain ten days - but she had a thorough going over by the doc yesterday. Daughter doesn't have time to listen. It's ok. Inflammation close to the heart is scary. She is focused. I will blog. And pray for my girl. When she gets better, I will drive over and we will paint.

Now, going for a shower, and am going to think of my son's painting above, which I like to look at and imagine I am standing on the rocks looking into the serenity of the scene - it calms me, it centers me. Peace.

Gee, I could be back at the County, high pressure, then going home to quiet, fairly organized, apartment all by myself...sleeping well, with no thunderous snoring in my ears, with the lonesome wind howling, the freezing cold coming through the walls, the missing underwears ............nooooooooooooooooooo - I turn off the computer now and face the chaos. With quiet joy.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Pain, pain, pain and more pain. I moved wrong yesterday afternoon and a burst of fire went through my back, hip, and into my groin, down my leg into my foot and - stayed. Like one of those grating people that "drop" in - and stay the whole day, determining to take control of you. Took a pain pill, then another. Then my lungs started burning and my nose ran. But finally things settled to a slow burn and was able to sleep.

I fear - being in a public place and having this happen and not being able to sit down, walk away, or move - then what.

This morning I woke up better, but decided that in pain there is always learning to be done. So, what is it this time? With a very dirty house swimmnig about me, a multiple-cat litter box, a flower bed converted to weeds, clothes to go to the mission to be given away, endless hours in the chair at the computer trying to finish a mountain of paperwork and start a portfolio website, a grandson who needs to learn to eat something besides highly processed foods. I need to cook. I can easily dissolve into a nervous wreck full of self-pity. Empathy? Yes, all you broken disc, back pain sufferers! I understand now.

Called "Molly Maids" and a few others - they will vacumn and dust if you pick up the rest. Won't work. Oh, I need organizers, window washers, toilet scrubbers - bathtub cleaners, yard men, power washing experts, a mover to take boxes to the storage, cat maintenance specialists - that could eat up an unemployment check IF one could find someone to do the service!

Patience? Who has time for patience when there are mountains of tasks waiting?

Charity? How can you get involved in the community, church, service to fellow man when you can't even walk?

Wan Beauty? Nope, I even look like a chronic pain patient, messy hair, swollen eyes, yellow circles underneath. Why don't they just gracefully sink in and become dark rimmed? Pale, very pale. White lips. Oh, shouldn't they look bruised and slightly plumply purple? I am loosing weight. Let's see, today is the 5th, only 14 more days until I can see the doctor for a referral. Reminder, call insurance, see if they will approve the back treatments.

Forgiveness? That my family can happily move through this mound of dirt and clutter and not care that I can't even have friends over, it's so bad? Yeh, maybe this one. I got impatient with my mother as I watched her frustration mount because she's getting too old to do a lot of tasks that she needs done, its bad when you can hardly find someone to help even for pay - I feel my family's tempers rising as they get irritated upon being asked to clean up some cat barf - pick up the clothes off the floor -

I laugh - my grandson wants to go to Walmart for groceries with me - that is because he has it all figured out - he can put me in one of those drive yourself around carts and sit in my lap and do the driving. My imagination runs wild thinking about that adventure!

Well, another day - one task allowed before the pain takes over - what shall it be?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Black Snake Moan

Today went to the opposite end of town to drop my grandson off for a play time with a friend and rather than drive an extra hour, I puttered around, bought some new sheets and a comforter (half price - yeh!) as I was tired of sleeping on a bare mattress. I don't know how old the sheets on our bed were, but I think it would have taken Polident or Super Glue to keep them on the mattress.

Also went to see Black Snake Moan. Ok, it figures, I then came home and read the reviews. Most of them say the movie stinks. Well, number one, I love Samuel Jackson. Then, in my opinion, the movie was not as far off as the reviewers say it is. Perhaps it is the uncomfortable subject matter that makes the reviewers squirm and want to make fun of the movie as not to confront their own demons.

Ricci plays a rather pitiful, but appealing extremely promiscuous young woman, spurred on in her self-destructive behavior by post traumatic flashbacks of being abused as a child. She ends up at the side of the road, beaten to a bloody pulp, and rescued by Jackson's character who is wrestling with his own demon: anger at losing his wife to a younger brother. Jackson finds her and, for a while, chains her to the radiator in his house. (See the movie, you'll see why.) I wouldn't recommend this as any kind of therapy, but give the movie a break considering the place, time, and mindset of the characters. He gives her medicine, cleans her up, tenderly spurns the only gift she knows how to give. He also learns that each person has to live the life they choose. The preacher of the church gets involved with the girl and Jackson. Jackson is also courting a woman his own age and the courtship is adorable.

In between are some wise words about why there are blues spoken by a great blues man, Son House, and Jackson sings and picks some pretty passable blues himself! Ricci sings a rendition of a classic Sunday school song that breaks your heart as her darkness is overcome by unconditional love and care from Jackson.

About 3/4 through the movie, you begin to fear a horrible ending. But I will say no more other than to say - I think - against what the reviews say, that the movie shows what love is supposed to be - giving and healing one another.
And, can't help it, even old, balding, with lots of gold teeth and limping, Jackson is still one delicious man.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sad Day in the South

Yesterday, I let my youngest talk me into driving over the bay to a town close to Enterprise, Alabama. We were going to get our ears stapled for weight loss. An important thing to risk our lives for, huh? We watched TV and as the sun peeked its shiny face through the clouds, we thought, "Ok, we have a break in the weather," and we hit the road, unwisely not calling my oldest daughter to see what it was like on her end. I noticed it was hard to keep the car on the road. My oldest daughter called after we had been on the road a while, warning us of tornados. We were then getting an every 20 minute report from friends by phone of bad storms overtaking us. As we crossed a big beautiful expanse of water, the water looked wild and brown, and the brown melted into the brown sky. Having lived in Iowa once where the sky would turn brown and one could watch the tornados fly through the sky, I thought "Uh, oh, this is not good." The radio said if it hit on the bridge, to get out of the car. Yeh, right. Then, as we entered town, my oldest daughter called again, and said that a tornado was spotted (in the air, thank God) and would be on the very street we were driving on. Of course, once those things are in the air, they do have a likelihood of hitting the ground and who knows what else. We tuned in the radio and it was advising taking shelter immediately. Youngest daughter breaks out the Zanax, gulps some down and offers me some. "No thanks, I need to have my wits about me, and if I go, I want to take pictures in focus." (Actually I was afraid it would relax my bladder.) Despite her fear, she giggles. Panic stricken, and having had way too much diet coke on the way over, I drove into a service station. My cousin called to chat. In panic (and desperation for a restroom) I tell her I'll call her back and hang up on her. Then, we were told that they did not have a bathroom. Ooops! Wrong place to take shelter. Back into the car and back on danger road, with older daughter hysterically calling ever 5 minutes. We made it to the ear stapling shop and bathroom, soaking wet from the horizontally driven rain. A man in the shop told us that he was on the edge of one of the tornados which caught his car and spun him like a carnival ride. He thought he was going to be lifted and that would be it.
Stapling completed, we went to visit my daughter and learned that the tornado that touched down in Enterprise, killed eight students at the high school. This morning the newscasters were there with cameras showing the devastation. It was so terribly sad. As parents, if we had a choice, we would much rather die than see our children go too soon. These tragedies can't be explained ever. They just are. It could have been us. Even sitting in our home, we could have been in as much danger. We had a tornado hit our home in 2000 and cause $30,000 worth of damage. Youngest daughter was there alone. We never know when. (Sorry, Blogger would not allow paragraphs today).