Dear Ma, Thanks for the air conditioner!

a rose for Ma

a rose for Ma

We’re enduring a very humid heat wave.  Ugh.  I left Arizona eons ago and hate heat!  The humidity is an unwelcome bonus.

But Mom gave me a fabulous air conditioner for my 50th birthday some years ago.  The a/c saved my sanity then and now.  Probably saved Big Mister’s sanity because it saved mine.  If you get my drift.

Thanks, Ma!

magic food finger

Our blue-eyed BuddyBoop, whose name has migrated to such sobriquets as Ooper and OopityBoopity, is a wee bit cross-eyed.  He stands by his full food bowl and looks up at Big beseechingly and often mewls once quietly:  “Oh Monkey-Boy, I’m still a starving kitten and the food bowl is empty.”

Big has learned to stir the food with his Magic Food Finger.  OopityBoopity indicates his gratitude and has a snack out of the newly-filled bowl.

If the Magic Food Finger is not employed in the evenings, the 15-pounder jumps on me as I sleep and then stands on me.   The pain of focused pounds per square inch exerted by four cat paws cannot be underestimated.

BuddyBoop the Marshmallow

BuddyBoop the Marshmallow

lawyers, guns, and music

Friday afternoon, Big Mister arrives home from work, tired both because he worked hard all week and because he is fighting this season’s Weird I Want to Lie Down Right Now Cold.

Right about then, I got a surge of inspiration to go back to the art table, which would make it twice in one day–unheard of!   Of course, had to change clothes because I always get paint on myself.  Stopped by the laundry nook and–no. no. no!–there was water on the floor around the washer and near the hot water heater.

Well, hell, right now I’m not the most flexible tool in the crayon box, so did an unfocused Eddie Izzard dance–go to the art table there or clear up the mess and further investigate here.  Boing-boing.   Rats-buttocks, will have to stay with the watery-doom mess.

{Aggggghhh, I have a tiny window to give myself the gift of art and I have to do this?!  (Yes, self-centered, thankyouverymuch!)}

Kind of moaning to Big about the water–he had only been home 10 minutes and was sitting finally–how unfair!  He sat for a few more minutes, no doubt grumbling inside his head as would be correct, then came over to the wetness, sighed, and said he was going to need music for this.

From the CD player came Warren Zevon, a singer/songwriter (plus conductor!) with a macabre bent I became familiar with in the late 1970s, with songs like Werewolves of London and titles stranger still.  He would have understood Edward Gorey well, maybe collected his art.

Just that morning, I had paused with my coffee, wondering if I should go turn on a CD and see what would happen, if I’d have room for Baroque chorale along with the computer and coffee-sipping.  Nope.  Move along, nothing to see here.  14 months removed from my music….

After I’d done basic cleanup, Big did the heavy lifting to get the machine torqued out of its tiny corner to sit on the back porch.  We figured to let the water show itself from either the washer or water heater, so I returned to my starting place and fiddled with Art.   Big once more got to sit down.

Suddenly, I looked up at Big where, eyes round with surprise, he was grinning at me:  in time to the music, I had, unknowingly, been dancing in my chair, arms waving, maybe singing along!  Long astonished gaze.  Promptly burst into tears of relief so great that only a release like a champagne cork improperly removed would do.

Warren Zevon, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” from his 1978 album, “Excitable Boy.”  The refrain is:

I’m an innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between a rock and a hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Oh yea, I’m down on my luck
Oh yea, I’m down on my luck
Oh baby, I’m down on my luck
I’m so far down, I don’t think I’ll ever get up
If it weren’t for bad luck
Oh if it weren’t for bad luck
I wouldn’t have no luck at all

Maybe I’ve graduated to the fancy crayon box with the built-in sharpener?!

thankfulness

Most of this year has been a big ole, limb-tearin’ bear.  I would not be where I am in my recovery if not for you who have joined me along a lengthy, unknown, and often very sad, road.

Thank you.

Tomorrow morning, Big Mister and I are taking the camper to our favorite out-of-the-way park for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I get to go on vacation!!!

our favorite camp site looks right over the bluff to this view. with all our storms right now, the waters should be roiling!

what a nice day!

I’d forgotten what it feels like to be not tied up in out-of-proportion, unexplainable anxiety!  Today was a really good day!   I even drove myself to the library!

I also did mosaics for an hour and worked in the garden for an hour!   What a great day!

That is all.  >:-D

thank you, Word Press, for returning my comment notifications

That is all:  thank you!

(And bonus:  I don’t have to click that dang box and get inundated with emails!  Yaaaaay!)

the eyes may have it, but the feet loved it!

I got a haircut today to spiff up the stylin’ blue and purple.  Then, the lovely young woman asked if I’d had a pedicure there at the beauty school.  No, I haven’t ever had a pedicure.

We chose pale green with pink “accent toes.”  Which cracks me up at how little I know about girly-girl stuff.  After the best treatment of my feet ever, plus the paint, she gave me disposable flip-flops to wear home!  hahahahhaha!

Looking at my pale green toenails, I suddenly remembered that not only do I HAVE a favorite color, it is celadon green.  Thank you brain!

choices, fallback positions, and faith

Recently, I’ve been faced smack-on with having to pursue one option or another.  Time to reflect on that idea, the idea of choice.

What to choose and how to make the decision?

My choices have been an either/or, but not both.  What would I choose and how to make the decision?

I found the answer to “how” by remembering a theory of successful negotiation–always always always have a bottom line, a position beyond which you do not progress.   Stand there quietly in that confident knowing.

The “what” came immediately because of the how, but this does not assume that it was easy.  So, “how” comes first.

The how is:  we have to know what we want, the shape of a path, even if we don’t fully know the path.  Choosing causes the path to veer and wind toward a goal, perhaps, or just allows a peaceful stance, one of acceptance of choices made.

Fallbacks

A fallback position, the choice I could make if other options don’t seem to be working or presenting themselves, sounds like a good idea.   In theory.  In reality, adding an option that we don’t really want just adds tension and does not allow for acceptance.   So, no, I don’t want a fallback position because I don’t want to give up on paving my path with the choices I am interested in.

Having a fallback position presents too many options and causes paralysis.  Have to choose, to narrow down, to whittle away the swirling fog of confusion and plant my feet firmly somewhere.  Anywhere.  To do as my landscape design instructor kept hammering into us:  “Get in the boat.  Stay in the boat.”  (By which he meant, choose a theme/intent and stick with it.) More

a happy realization

You know how sometimes we get locked into feeling as if we don’t have enough choices?  I figured out that we can go:

left

other left

right

other right

Lots of choices there!

sunday sorrow

Watching lives being dismantled, to be re-assembled in new forms, tears my knowing to shreds.  Mom is in the rehab place and BJ, her roommate of 30+ years prepares to leave their home since Mom will not be returning.

To see that house disheveled with evidence of packing and lightening the load rips out the roots I had established there, unknowingly.

The story of this house begins in the 1930s at the purchase of these unimproved, timbered 10 acres by Mom’s family.  It continues to 1981, when Mom and BJ left Arizona to move to these 10 acres and make a home there.   I was a part of that even though I had finished college and was contemplating staying in Tucson for grad school.   Somehow, the power of time had the three of us moving north, although I would be continuing to Alaska.

We drove in caravan:  Mom’s VW camper van, BJ’s truck pulling a small mobile home, and a large rented truck.  I wasn’t particularly present for the trip or maybe I was inexperienced enough in road trips that I didn’t know how stressful the trip was.   Lots of vignettes from that time, especially the getting separated in one strange town.  No cell phones at that time.  The winds that would punish each vehicle and strain each driver’s ability to stay on the road.

The arrival to see a vegetation-blocked entry to the property.  The clearing of space.  The hauling water.  A couple of weeks after arriving with them, I flew to Alaska and found home unexpectedly as I left the plane door and hesitated on the jet stairs.  Looking at those snow-capped mountains and the ocean.  Feeling the 40-degree October weather and wondering how I was going to survive the cold.  But also knowing in my bones that I was home.

Visiting Mom and BJ frequently and seeing, and helping with, the homesteading of those 10 acres.  Hauling stumps out of the ground, chaining them to the truck bumper, and then riding the damn things to the dumping ground.  Going home to Alaska and feeling bemused that my mother was homesteading and I wasn’t — and here I was in Alaska, where it’s expected!

Mom designed the house, by hand, on graph paper.  She considered the sun and shade and the correct angling of the house, and where the gardens should be.  Within 5 years of arriving on that overgrown land, the house was built.  There I visited until this February. I know that house almost as well as any dwelling of mine.  I knew where the cling wrap was and how to find the spare light bulbs.

After I got laid off in February 2010, I was able to visit Mom much more frequently since I wasn’t spent from giving my energies to an employer.  The year of school got in the way a fair bit:  I commuted on awful freeways and was always beaten up and tired.  Once I recovered from that, I got to see Mom almost once a week, for which I am grateful.

Mom will move this week to a new place that is an hour, plus two hideous freeways, north of me.  She will be within a few minutes of my sister and her family so at least she can have visitors.  I need to stay away from germy places until I have an immune system again.

On Sunday, yesterday, Big drove me to Mom’s house so I could say goodbye to BJ.  She and I have shared plenty over many years, including one Arizona mountain camping trip where my 65-lb dog got bitten by a rattlesnake and we had to carry him out of the remote area where we’d been hiking.   My neck still hurts.  Maybe that’s where all the neck problems started, with a semi-conscious dog draped around my neck.  My memory tells me it took us 5 days to get out of there, but that is nonsense; it only felt like 5 days.  Pretty sure it was only one long day.

The house has lost its life:  boxes in the great room ready to be loaded into BJ’s truck for the trek back to Arizona, where she will get a motor home so she can tootle around, birding and otherwise being her naturalist self.  Seeing those hollow places in the bookshelves.

Mom’s things where they were sitting when she was hauled to the hospital by ambulance.  For the last time.  We all had hoped so much that she could live out her life in her home, but it was not to be.

Deciding that since the house was going to be people-less later this week, I should take the valuables.  Oh dear.  Wrapping up Mom’s silver, the silver she and Dad had bought eons ago….  Wrapping a small reclining naked lady sculpture, remembering it back 40 or more years.   Packing the computer was easier, no emotions imbued in those electronics.

Looking around at the house, really trying to see beyond the gloss of familiarity in order to choose the valuables to safe-keep.  I left the china and good glass.

Finally sobbing my heart out at the dismantled lives, at the between time, before the lives are rebuilt into new shapes.  Sobbing for myself, for the loss of a place that has had my roots for 30 years.   I did not have roots until Alaska and I severed those in 1998, the phantom feelings of that amputation rising and pushing to the fore, the memories of dismantling my life well-lived, with adventures and with love.

Now, four bags of Mom’s belongings here in my house that will be re-united with her other belongings when it’s time.  Mom has already made an inventory of the house and her belongings, and has indicated which kid gets what.  That must be killing my sister, the one who hated it when Mom and I would joke about wanting this or that after the other’s death.  We’d phrase it as:  “Put my sticker on that!”  One time, Mom said she wanted her sticker on my Isuzu Trooper!   And now my sister is in charge of all of this.

I remain a bystander, a never-expected circumstance.  I have had to say no to helping with Mom’s huge transition in order to concentrate on one thing only–regaining my health so that I might have a future.  I have chosen and it is not easy.

This morning, Monday, started difficultly:  as I was responding to Calpurrnia’s order for morning tuna, I stepped on something soft.  Figured it was a worn out catnip mousie.  But from the vantage of my height, it looked wrong.  I picked it up, soft and light; it was a hummingbird.  Just a few days ago I was looking out my recuperation room window and saw a pair of hummingbirds darting around the few new yellow trumpet blossoms on the forsythia.  Another pair of lives dismantled and it is stabbing me with the pain of lost possibility and loneliness.

 

 

 

I have a big behind!

My blogging friend Nadbugs commented on my last post, where I wrote a rather bald statement of past and present pain, and the sources thereof.  I don’t want her intuitive observations to be buried in the comments section.  Herewith:

I see this as a companion post to your exciting one about Italy. There it’s about you stepping into your “done-ness.” I am happy for you. And this one is about the background — which makes the “done-ness” ripe and full. I like what a friend of mine said recently about yin and yang: If it’s got a big front, it’s bound to have a big back. Back: Get thee behind. Now: Front and center. Forward! Yay.

I can only add:   She is correct:  I have room in the Now because I have made room for what I want.

Thank you, Bean, for coming along with me on my journey through this life.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I want health CARE; I don’t want health INSURANCE!

Repeat this over and over.  Understand what that really means.

Insurance is gambling and the house always has the edge.  You know that, yes?

Here’s the definition of insurance (Merriam-Webster.com):  “coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss [emphasis added] by a specified contingency or peril.”

Where in that definition does the word except appear?

What do you think of your medical person having to get permission to treat you certain ways so they’ll get paid?

Insurance companies have regular ole folks as employees, pleasant, loving, middle-class.   So, don’t take this personally–I know you’re fine folks there in the middle and bottom ranks.

The policymakers, on the other hand, are the ones in my sights right now.   I’m pretty sure you all are friends with the former Enron leaders and the Lehman Brothers.  And you may not be the 1 Percenters, but you are probably way the hell removed from the life of a 99 Percenter.

I have to admire the chutzpah of the insurance industry–they have so much extra dough-age that they can buy million-dollar naming rights to sports stadiums.   Where did that capital come from?  Even after the ginormous executive bonuses are paid?  After they finish handing out lavish gifts to our elected policymakers (=lobbying)?

It comes from your premiums that you paid with the expectation that you would have help paying medical bills because you entered into a contract with those folks who said they’d indemnify you against loss (but did you read the pages of fine print?).

I try to do the math, but it never comes out right:  I could pay insurer $400 a month as a premium, for the “safety” of being “insured,” but their policy is to have a yearly deductible, the amount I have to kick in before they’ll honor their contract, and in this case that deductible can be $5000.  Per year.  Add it up!  That’s $416 per month you’d have to pay out of pocket, in addition to the $400 per month premium.

Raise your hand if that math is absurd in your household budgeting!

I don’t want insurance.  I’m willing to accept the risks of living, O Foolish and Strange Me.  Since auto insurance is required by law in my state, the state is mandating that I gamble and that I enter into a contract where I don’t have a snowball’s chance of winning.

Thank you to the many medical practitioners who work with me on reduced fees for cash payment.  Remember, it’s easier on them, and much less expensive, to process a cash payment than to play the insurance game.

I like the health care I choose to receive.  It’s a direct relationship–thanks for cleaning my teeth!  There is no peculiar third-party complicating my wish to have my teeth taken care of.

Do we all understand that there are no guarantees with life and especially no guarantees of well-being just because you’re paying a premium?  That makes it a two-way street.  We must demand health care, not health insurance.

Do you hear the messages of fear being broadcast?  Please don’t be afraid; it’s just life and we all have to die of something (well, except my brother, EternalMan, and my husband who is sure he’ll be living forever; but that is just those two!).

I want health care.  I don’t want health insurance.    Stop telling me that I’m doomed if I don’t have health insurance.  What a load of crap fear-mongering!!  (See chutzpah, above.)

Mr. Obama, you gave me such hope there at the ending of the GDumbya Reign of Terror.  But then I heard that the health reform mandated purchase of health insurance.  Hey!  Should the government really be allowed to bypass my democratic process and force me to shell out or fine me if I don’t?!    Why, oh why, did the insurance industry play the central role in the so-called reform of our health care system?  (Hint:  lobbyists.)

The 99 Percenters might think of looking at this issue.   Folks with medical insurance are struggling financially with the costs of having medical care–see above paragraph with math question.   If you are un-insured, be sure to ask your providers for a cash-paying discount.  I even found a lab that will charge only 60% of the costs of tests if I pay that 60% in full in 30 days.

Our medical practitioners are working hard to help us save money and still get health care.  This means, for instance, that my physician’s assistant (PA) does research after her 10-hour days.  The list goes on of the kindness of our practitioners who got into the work NOT to work with insurance companies, but to do good and help people.  Go figure.  And–go thank them right now!

Some of you readers have been with me for a while, so another diatribe won’t surprise you.  What surprises me, is how long it has taken me to address the amorality of the health insurance industry, against which I have been railing  for YEARS.

Off to bake cookies again.  Cheap and tasty therapy!

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What part of the 99 Percenters?

I have followed the growth of the entity of protesters, the 99%, the Occupy [fill in city, port, street] Movement.  The growing presence of people willing to gather under a banner of Let’s All Share makes me watch the movement a little more closely.

The one coherent mission I have been able to get from the Occupy Movement is their request that the Supreme Court reverse its decision declaring Corporations akin to individuals, Corporate Personhood.  (And that’s a weird constructed-word; it’s good education for those who are bound to separate the women from the men into a less-worthy pile just by dint of gender.  But, man, let’s lighten up a little.  I digress.)

The rest of the Movement seems like so much noise to me.  I keep thinking I could add my name to the ranks of the active 99 Percenters, but I cannot because I can’t make out their message.  Peace, love, and beansprouts is great, but I can stay home and practice those things.

I think about the chants about unshared wealth–and they seem to be talking about greenbacks, which are just pretty paper not backed by gold; Oh, no wonder they’re not called goldbacks!

But I can’t join them because of the wealth I feel in my own existence that has nothing to do with currency.   Especially here in the US, we are wealthy beyond understanding for other parts of the world.  Our democratic system still limps along, allowing any one of us to speak up and not get shot dead.

Oh, this has been bothering me since President Kennedy in 1963, so can I just ask:  How many sharing, caring folks have been killers of speakers who tell their truth?  Or have presidents in their gunsights?  In what part of our culture have they built a reality that says it’s OK to kill a president they don’t agree with?  What kind of person does that?   Is that person able to see beyond today?   What is a possible political affiliation of those willing killers?

That aside is wrapped up in my appreciation of where and how I live.  Wealthy with love and peace, roof over my head, enough to eat.  Cooperation and sharing.  Sheesh.  Where were some folks in kindergarten?

A new bother relates to the howling of the 99 Percenters who want other folks to share their monetary riches:  Who is crowding the parking lots at the giant shopping malls?   Who are the folks who are willing to be rude and actually violent in order to score a thing?

I’m pretty sure most of those 99 Percenters, the protesters themselves, are not the folks circling parking lots at those shiny come-hither malls, but I’m not completely sure.

I feel ill when I see those driving-room-only mall parking lots.  I thought a bunch of us were more limited financially than the evidence there suggests.     I assume not a one of those shoppers is in financial difficulties and does not spend any time complaining about how much they don’t have.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

BOATLIFT – An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

 

 

My Mom passed this along….

This is a story of everyday heroes.  Spread the word.  People can and do come together to help one another.

BOATLIFT (HD Version) – An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience – YouTube.

P.S. Thanks again, Universe!

Somewhere I made a note about having a wall of bookcases in the living room.  Have shopped around a fair bit since we want wood, please no more pressboard, we were going to have to wait (=$$) for said wooden bookcases.

Except…  there propped up against the wall of the old Weyerhaueser home (=estate), was a wall-sized wooden bookcase with a FREE sign on it.

I am priming it now.  >:-D

Thank you.

2 Sept update:  hahahahahaha! just before the Big Mister fell asleep, he asked if the bookcase would fit through the front door!!
No!! hahahahahahhahaa!

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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