Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Though I am unsure why, a couple of the youngin's from the paper want to go to lunch with me and Boopie. The mere fact they want to have lunch with us makes my day. They exude life, talent, joy, youth, intelligence. I look forward to Friday.

The Spain-Portugal match would have delighted you. Torres still not up to par, but Villa shining like you predicted. Ronaldo failed to inspire or much of anything else. The officiating stinks, even to the point of FIFA considering goal-line technology. I envision sensors like those that hockey employs.

I do not know what I would do without K. She offers a perspective of you I need. Without her, my imagination would carry me to places hiding monsters I cannot control. If I dwell there, I lose.

Heard from the brothers and the musician. Their messages tell me much about their characters. I realize a mere breeze could tear the gossamer links we have, but I continue to be grateful.

I miss you, dude.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day in the life

I had a long day yesterday. My as yet unmet counselor's husband called on Sunday to say she had to have emergency surgery. So rather than sit in the apartment all day, I went with Connie and her three grandsons.

Through a variety of circumstances, she could not take them to her house, and they could not stay at their house, either. We made a cat food run to Wallyworld. We visited a park with a climbing wall and play equipment. We stopped at a dollar store to get snacks. Yummm. Cheetos and Swedish Fish for breakfast. Then we met Drew, his sig O and two girls plus a little friend at a park that has a splash pad. After about an hour there, we loaded up and headed to Drew's house for snowcones.

The day sounds pretty innocuous, but getting in and out of the car with o2 and purse, then helping a barely 3-year-old in and out of his carseat takes a toll. I wiped out when I got home.

Having eaten nothing but crap all day, I had some sort of attack. I had an intense pain, not pressure. Like extra bad indigestion, sort of. I wondered if it were my heart. I lay down until it subsided, then ate something, took my meds and went to bed.
* * *
Somehow I feel totally disconnected today. Maybe I have hidden so much my PHriends give up on me. Or forget me. Or think I am off my rocker. Or simply think I no longer care. I guess I want to break out the pity party paraphernalia.

I miss your understanding, dude.


Monday, June 28, 2010


Brandon steps on the edge of eternity.

Brandon spent the past year in a hospital in Kentucky, never quite getting well enough to leave. His heart and lungs fail him. Finally, he rallied enough to go to Cleveland. The docs put a hole in his heart, hoping to save him. Brandon is 30. He is witty and ornery.

Communication with him fell off drastically over the year, at a time when he needed us the most. He had little access to a computer, so his support system was snatched from him. The PHolks talked about him, and we sent messages for a time. Gradually our lives shifted to other matters. We still wondered about him, but not as often, and no one seemed to know anything new. Keeper of information Colleen kept the one link to Brandon. We will know.

Chat with Brando zinged. Momma Hen would fuss, Brando would pick and then she would send him to the corner. Great fun.

Brandon and I shared the love of food. We joked about the Big Texan and the 72-ounce steak. He was ecstatic when Famous Dave's came to Amarillo. Now we could talk about the various dishes there. I am glad he got to eat a $50 steak.
* * *
What a chore this grieving. The emotion, pain, uncertainty. I am blessed with the presence of others who share the hurt. Each helps the other bear the burden. Thanks.

I think of you often, dude.


Sunday, June 27, 2010


The thing with facades, you never know what lies behind. Fine-grained walnut, solid and mellow with a patina of years. Red tinges of crumbling brick mingling with dingy yellowed paint. An aging tin building, pockmarked with bullet holes and creeping death called rust.

Most of us put on some sort of disguise. For a variety of reasons, we fear baring the vulnerability of our true selves to many, if any. Most of us join the masquerade unconsciously after a time, our fronts always in place. The danger lies in forgetting or losing ourselves.

The people who seek to penetrate the walls around us deserve the reward of an honest view. But most of all, we deserve an honest view of ourselves.

Peace, dude.


Spoon fed

I shared the Spoon Theory with my godson's wife. She suffers from interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia and an assortment of other symptoms. She later posted the link on FB, so I think she found the concept apt.
* * *
Hiding: Staying in the apartment and not socializing face to face.

Hiding: Going online but invisible to everyone.

Hiding: Allowing fear(?), hurt(?), imagination(?), to cripple me.

Hiding: Not living.

Hiding: Safe.

Hiding: Cowardly.
* * *
A year ago yesterday, you fretted.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Way to go

My world shifts under my feet. Life moves and grows and, as unsettled as the changes leave me, only two choices present themselves. I choose to continue.

I never claim change as a pal. Change leans toward incidiousness -- creeping in under the veneer. I wake up to find a whole new picture. Some changes hit full face. Some come out of nowhere, some you see coming  from a great distance. Coping and adjusting, coping and adjusting. No one gets a guarantee.

Throw in the human element. Some people drift in and out of our lives. Nelda from fifth grade. She shaved her legs. David from college. He kept us all laughing and died from AIDS. Major from work. He soon departed for bigger and better places. He is Washington correspondent for Fox.

Other people hang around a bit. Marty, Karen, Vivian. Then inevitable change scatters us.

Some friends go through most of our life changes with us. They stand beside us or behind us or ahead of us to make sure we continue on the path. They share the heartaches and joys with us. They grow to be as much a part of us as fingers or hair.

People line our paths so we too can help them. When you fail to reach out to someone you know needs a hand or kind word, you fail yourself most of all. You lose an opportunity of a lifetime every time.
* * *
WC: Spain looking good. Torres still off his game. Portugal, Brazil, The Netherlands. Hmmm.
* * *
Dude, I appreciate where you came from and those who shaped your life. I am grateful for the opportunity.


Friday, June 25, 2010


The word machine broke this morning.

I miss you; I cared.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Have a heart, doc

I had the rare opportunity of fussing at a doctor yesterday. My heart doc told me he discovered he had diabetes. We talked about how his office overbooks and that that could not be good for his health. He said he works at making the waits shorter.

And what a contrast to Connie's visit the day before. She walked in, saw the crowd, went to the window and made a new appointment. When I walked in, four people sat in the waiting room. My wait this time -- 15 minutes. And heart doc actually asked if I had questions. We talked about the options for heart caths.

He explained that my lungs reflect my COPD, stretched. And the way the lungs lie in the chest, if he went in through the neck a nick in the lung might happen. That would mean a collapsed lung. For people with PH, that represents big trouble.

I had expressed interest in the neck entrance because with the femoral artery entrance, the patient must lie flat for at least an hour. Not easy.

The scheduler and I hashed out a date for the RHC. The first available opening, July 1. I had to be home that day. The next available time I would not have been the first cath of the day. I want to go first. So July 7 wins the lottery.
* * *
The Americans pulled it off despite such lousy officiating. I can just imagine how excited you would be. We actually won the group, over England. We proved our scrappiness.
* * *
I have an appointment Monday with a counselor.
* * *

Dude, I miss you so much right now.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Action-packed drama

I gave the heart doc's nurse a hard time yesterday. When she called to say he wanted to see me and could I come today, I said hmmm, when does the U.S. play? She did not have a clue. People do not know what they miss.

Futbol features aspects of most other, more popular sports -- running, passing, blood, arguments, tackling, cussing, penalties, hugs, celebrations, bad calls, no calls, yelling by the coach or manager, rituals, superstitions, fanatic fans.

Futbol aficionadoes resemble Raiders fans. World Cup means pull out the face paint, flags, signs, scarves and in South Africa, the vuvuzela. To me, the horns when blown constantly by 40,000 people sound like a stadium of angry bees. Our celebrations in the stands fall far short. Futbol lovers dance with fervor and sing in unison at the top of their collective voice.

Lest we forget, drama. The pitch offers some of the best acting in the world. Oww, oww, oww. Trips, gouges and sometimes blood. You almost can confuse soccer with swimming because of the number of dives in a match. The players pull shirts, hold, elbow, push and shove.

Players themselves reflect their inner qualities with body art, shoes from sponsoring companies, and most of all, hair. Bald abounds as does long with headband, dreads, and Beckham spiked. If they had to make a living by carrying a tune, forget it.

Give me futbol any day.
* * *
I dread my visit to the heart doc today. Not so much the reasons for going as the wait when I get there. The waiting time can run from one to three hours in a packed waiting room that often spills out into the hall. I will go prepared today. A book and a bottle of water. I will probably see the doc all of five minutes if I am lucky. While this irritates me to no end, my heart doc ranks as one of the top ones in the city.
* * *
Bittersweet. That's my mood today, dude.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wasted days and wasted nights

I need an at-home day today. This do a day's worth of chores, which might mean sweeping and catbox, then rest a day, gets me nowhere.
My apartment complex sags with age and disrepair. Dried foliage, the occasional cigarette butt and dirt driven by the north wind, enter under the front door. The complex allows pets. Most of the residents remember this complex when it was new. Two things in its favor.
* * *
Today I imagine myself crawling around on the floor trying to find all the pieces of a shattered crystal flute. I am bound to miss some pieces, but I keep trying because maybe, just maybe, I will have enough to reassemble it. I find foreign bits. Their addition changes the shape of my destroyed glass.

I fear after I put the pieces together, I will not have an iridescent vessel but an ugly, but cleverly cute, mug. Can I live with the mug? Can the pieces be separated? No. Because some of the tinest particles cling to the mavericks.
* * *
Does it ever end, dude?


Monday, June 21, 2010

What, me worry?

I am new to chronic illness, relatively speaking. Until I got the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension five years ago, my life included no illnesses to speak of. Oh, I had the usual mumps, measles (both kinds, the big tough kind at 6 months old) and chicken pox. I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out when I was 6ish. But most of my adult life I have bragged about my health.

The summer of 2005 changed my life. Work, as always, presented deadlines and stressors. The heat of August wiped me out. I could not take more than 10 steps without gasping. I attributed my condition to smoking and weight. I finally went to my PCP when my feet were so swollen I could not get them in my shoes.

My PCP, bless his heart, is a good guy, but a PCP nonetheless. He diagnosed COPD but he noticed on an X-ray the right side of my heart was enlarged. Thus a referral to who now serves as my heart doc. Heart doc did an echo and stress test. He told me the pressures in my pulmonary artery had to come down and I had to quit smoking or I would need a heart-lung transplant and that wasn't going to happen.  Heart doc referred me to lung doc, who saved my life.

Doc performed a battery of tests to confirm the PH diagnosis. He eliminated many conditions and prescribed treatments for others. I took another 8 months to quit smoking. The COPD medications worked and I got Tracleer and went about my life again. Sometime along the way, doc added Revatio, two diuretics, etc., etc.

Now my PH shows signs of worsening. We shall see. Round Two coming up.

At the beginning of my PH trip, I read lots of inaccurate information. Scared the poo out of me. Though medicine progresses, PH remains a rare disease with no cure. Death or transplant.

To read more about PH, check out the link. The PHriends saved my sanity.

Drini and Ali stopped in Amarillo for a late lunch on their way to California and the PH conference. We met at a Thai restaurant. I enjoyed meeting my PHriends. Drini and I are rather quiet, so that left Ali to carry the conversation. I confess awkwardness turned up and I feel badly it hung around. Sorry, ladies.
* * *
The WC still surprises. The brackets for the beginning knockout rounds slowly start filling in with some interesting sides coming through. Hmm.
* * *
I find myself wanting to hide again. That sucks but is safe.
* * *
I am telling you, dude.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welcome to my world

Keeping healthy becomes my latest occupation. Walking the tightrope between the old me and the new me, with a net, thank goodness. You see, in my mind, I am young yet. However, the container for my essence comes with nicks and scrapes collected for years. Now it begins to weaken and shriek. Mind over body? Sometimes, maybe, but not now.

The latest round in this push-pull between my mind and body features a cough (bronchitis), swelling, SOB and some chest pain. Diuretics rid my feet, ankles and legs of the extra baggage, but I got up no fewer than three times in the night with ankle cramps. I gulped orange juice, water and Diet DP to hydrate a depleted body. Such a balancing act with less and less room for error.

The salt shaker and I had to end a 40-some-odd-year relationship. It took awhile to shake the habit, but now I find most restaurant food too salty and use sea salt sparingly at home. Because of a monkey named tobacco, I lost nearly all sense of smell and much sense of taste. Oh yes, and nearly half my lung function.
* * *
Happy Father's Day, daddy.
* * *
Death does not win any beauty prizes.
* * *
I remember still, dude.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Symphony of symptoms

Today my body recognizes its age. Course the 'roids and antibiotics do their part to remind me of every ache. The stomach chimes in now. Welcome to the choir. I hope you are not the mezzo-soprano.

Doc decided I needed more chemical help. He gave me samples of the abx and I already had the prednisone. The nurse drew blood to check liver enzymes (a monthly ritual because of a med I take for PH) and to check my BNP (a peptide in the blood, indicates the severity of heart failure). He also did not charge me for an office visit. I took in a scribbled note of things to ask. He checked the list before I left. I got the referral, or rather doc will get me one. Oh yes, and doc decided I need another right heart cath. He will confer with my heart doc and let me know. He mentioned other newer drugs are available since I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2005. And, of course, he could not let me leave without reminding me I need to exercise.

Someone told me the severity of symptoms played more of a role in health than numbers. I agree.
* * *
The WC, well, all sorts of unexpecteds. The ref robbed the USA. As with all sports, officials can do a great job or suck. Officiating should play a small part in a game, not the decider. You play on. Bad refs go along with shots off the post or own goals. Put the energy of anger to work for you, not against.

One expert and former player said Italy deceives. The side uses these first matches to kinda warm up. When the knockout round begins, the Italians will maul other teams. I am not so sure about that. Surprises so far, the smaller, lesser-known countries that do not have many EPL players. The team loaded with talent, England, exhibits lack of cohesion.
* * *
One of these days I will kick Pogo across the room. Before you shout cat abuse, let me explain. We employ a routine in the mornings, no matter what time I get up, generally about 3. After visiting the loo, one or all three of us, we head for the kitchen. I refill Satchmo's crunchy dish. I open a can for Pogo, put some in his dish, then start my coffee. You notice who wins this round? Can you say loudmeowfs? Coffee cup in hand, I prepare to leave the kitchen, but not before giving Pogo more food.

I check emails and Facebook. Pogo and Satchmo take off for short naps. I begin writing for the day. Then another shot of caffeine beckons. My foot touches the tile in the kitchen and instantly Pogo winds around my feet, runs ahead of me and then stops in my path. I guess he thinks I cannot see him, even though he tells me constantly he starves. This time I get my coffee before Pogo gets more food.

The point? The throwing on the brakes at the last minute. One of these days, half asleep, I will hurt Pogo, me, or both of us.
* * *
The slights by some people hurt deeply. I so wanted to help, too. Did I get what I wanted? Yes. So I should move on, right? I still cling to what I can. I guess I am afraid. Fear can be as lethal as a knife.
* * *

Dude, you know.


Friday, June 18, 2010


Today I am at a loss for words. They lodge somewhere in my brain; I catch glimpses of them occasionally. I beg, I threaten, I cajole.

My day promises challenges. First a visit with doc. My cough, though still around, has lost intensity. I hate to waste his time if I recover on my own. I am going to ask for a referral, though.

I am meeting former colleagues for lunch. Once there I will be OK, I think. But the thought makes me anxious somehow. The way a crowded room can close in on me sometimes.
* * *
I miss you, dude.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fear factor

A thread on FB goes something like this: Seeing fans bundled up in the stands surprised me. I did not realize it got cold in South Africa.

I am amused but it also reminds me how Texans fight the "everyone rides a horse to work" misconception. The images of South Africa that most of us project in our minds are dusty, hot, fly-infested villages with half-naked children looking forlorn.

South Africa, like every country on Earth, boasts modern cities -- all metal and glass rising to the heavens. South Africa also shares life-sapping, spirit-sucking poverty with every country on Earth.

Once the world's eye leaves the country, the mundane will resume. The growing unrest. The two or three or four factions harboring hate and suspicion.

The fear but also the determination to forge a united South Africa. World Cup can act as the salve for a wounded collective soul or at least the example and inspiration for all to consider.

The matches themselves have at best been mediocre so far. Probably because of the hair. Messi, Torres, Ronaldo and others changed 'dos. Sheesh guys! Makes it real hard to follow you on the pitch when you look alike.
* * *
I am thankful for:

Friends Each in his own way nourishes my being.

Enough I have food, shelter, medical insurance, a good doctor.

Animals Whether cat or dog, they offer unconditional love.

Reason My mind works, though sometimes too well.
* * *
Hey, dude.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blue on blue

I find myself so blue right now for all kinds of reasons. Did I place more value on a relationship than it held? Do I expect too much? I feel my way through the dark in a room with no exit. A huge weight hangs over my head. I sense it; at times it presses so close I can almost touch it. I stress but cannot quite put my finger on the reasons. Or maybe I can and that poses the problem. I do not want to admit what causes this and the appropriate solution.

One of the first times I talked to you I was blue. We started the conversation, but you had to have your meds from CVS. You told me how long it would take and you would hurry. Soon you popped up and asked if I were still there. I talked and talked and even though you did not know me well then, you told me things that helped me start out of the funk. You convinced me of things I could not convince myself of.

I need you now.

What is sick enough?

Yesterday I had energy. I dusted the living room, swept up the bug bodies by the front door and scooped the litterbox. I also delivered some flour to Connie so she could cook a roast for us. She convinced me to hold off on the dishes or any other chore that breathes down my neck like a giant silent gorilla.

A nurse from the insurance company called me yesterday to ask his usual questions. When I had a coughing fit three times during the interview, he put off the questions and said he would be calling my doc. Not too much later, one of doc's nurses called to ask what was going on. She asked a bazillion questions, told me she would relay the information to doc. Less than an hour later, she called back. Doc wants me on the cancellations list.

He will ask me about the SOB. This SOB differs from pneumonia SOB. This is out of condition SOB. This is moving right along and bam SOB. Some chest pressure. This cough I have does not happen unless I am up moving. No rattle or wheeze when I am sitting. My feet, ankles and lower legs swell. Pogo scratched me, and after the bleeding ceased, the wound seeped fluid for a couple of hours.

Connie fusses at me for disparaging my health. I guess I worry I am not sick enough to bother doc. If I am sick, sure, call him. But am I really sick? Or just kinda sick? Do I imagine I am sick? Will the symptoms go away on their own? Or with time and Tylenol?

Sadness still shadows me. The monster lies under the bed ready to sneak out when I am unaware. If I could call this fellow by name, would he relent? Are others lined up behind him to continue this campaign?
* * *
OK, dude, I can do this.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stormy whether

A friend called yesterday and after talking awhile, she cried. She said she has lost control of her life. Another friend moves further ahead on the road I am traveling. Another faces change. Another faces new health woes. I could continue in this vein ad nauseam.

A storm brews overhead and I try to hunker down. Am I selfish? Am I a coward?
* * *

I remain grateful for friends, both new and old, who stand by me. I can only hope I am that friend to them. Thanks, K. You showed up just when I needed you.
* * *
New Zealand and Slovakia prepare to enter the stadium. The players twitch like children who need to potty, hopping from one foot to the other. The children by their sides frozen to their spots, not moving.

"They don't do fear." I like it!

The Kiwi hair wins the prize for this match.
* * *
To those who read my ramblings, special good, good, good, good vibrations to you today.
* * *
You have a special place in my heart.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Hard times

I spent today trying to keep my mind busy. I did not want to fall into a pool of self-pity. After today, the pendulum begins its journey the other way. I am powerless to halt its swing and momentum hastens the inevitable.

I am not ready to give up yet. I hope my body quits altogether before my mind and memory do -- they contain something most precious for me. Irreplaceable.

I am not sure what to make of the present situation, not that I can do anything about it anyway.

Dude, not a day goes by that I do not think of you.

I just reread "Aubade." I had not read it since we talked about it. I had no idea at the time what you meant, but now I certainly do. We touched on it again right before you died, though not in the context of the poem. You were so conflicted and so am I. I guess we spend most of our lives conflicted.


June 14 changed my life

RIP, dude.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tick, tick, tick

My mind finds no peace. My thoughts flit like a hummingbird milking a trumpet vine.

Sometimes I wish I did not empathize so much. For by caring, I leave myself open for the hurts. Many of the wounds are self-inflicted.

If I had a different personality, I might tell you it hurts when you ignore me. I would confess that I allow silly slights, real or imagined, to eat at me. I deduce somehow the fault lies with me. My heart says untrue, my mind continues to accuse.

Yesterday I made it through on autopilot. Many days I employ that switch. Somehow that seems such a waste. Trompe l'oeil of  life. A masquerade. Pussyfooting.
* * *
I often run out of spoons before I even get out of bed.
* * *
I will miss you as long as I breathe, dude.


Saturday, June 12, 2010


Time did no favors for Tom Petty.

Glad the Blackhawks' made Chicago happy since it does not appear any other teams will do so anytime soon.

Boston may be out of luck, too.

The World Cup lead-in on ESPN is a thing of beauty -- the commercials imaginative and fun. The WC draws a huge audience from all over. Truly a universal sport. So far, South Africa's goal dance reigns supreme. South Africa should be proud.

The games themselves seem a bit like a teen at his first dance. Awkward and nervous.

With a few exceptions, when you meet someone, you do not know if the relationship will be anything more than hello.

Pavlov would have figured out his theory twice as fast if he had had a cat and a can opener.

Even though the magnitude of the event outweighs that of the Exxon Valdez in 1989, does the Gulf explosion and disaster get more attention because of its proximity to populated areas? After the Valdez, the U.S. continued on its quest to find oil anywhere at any cost. Apparently greed drives the country more than life itself. We failed to heed those people warning of disaster and what ifs and took the easy way out. Now we have to pay in more than one way. Eventually, if we want to continue our independence, we will have to find alternative fuels. If we had taken the hard route in '89, perhaps we would now be well along the road.

A house of cards eventually crumbles.

You take steps to straighten out your life. You have my support!

Yay, you got that new job. Here's to less stress and more fun.

Does guilt and gladness share more than a "g?"

Are more people developing unusual or rare diseases? Is awareness by both doctor and patient better?

Talking to old friends salves the soul. I need to do that more often.
* * *
I wish I had some Eight O'Clock Coffee to drink in your honor. Miss you, dude.


Friday, June 11, 2010

A little piece of my mind

The saga of Season continues. An upstairs neighbor, or so the rumor goes, turned her in to Animal Control, which sent an inspector to her apartment. Season received a summons because her cats do not have rabies shots. She appeared in court. According to her friend John, the judge fined her $900. Since Season could not pay, she sits in jail. She has about nine more days to serve. The sad thing about this whole espisode: Season cannot afford shots for her cats. Potentially she could go to jail again. Season's situation is sad.
* * *
What would I do without Connie? I certainly do not want to find out. We paid some bills, went to the dollar store, ate lunch and bought groceries. I needed human contact and to leave my apartment. Like a dose of super antibiotics, the outing lifted my spirits. Her back still hurts, so I did a couple of the bills. I love it when I can reciprocate.
* * *
I wish I were rich. I would indulge myself in ways I am not able to now. For selfish reasons (because I would get the joy), I would love to send a birdhouse recycled from unusual objects to Kim. I saw some online she would love, but they fall way beyond my price range.

I would send season tickets to all the sports in his hometown to one particular fan. I would fund publication of a book for another. I would give my musician friends all the exposure they want to earn a living and enjoy their endeavors.

But what I most want to give cannot be bought and is not mine to give. I would offer sunshine for warmth and healing, clouds for shade, rain for renewal, a breeze to blow away sadness. I would give them friends and solitude. Peace of mind and challenges.
* * *
South Africa and Mexico kick off WC action this morning. We will be watching.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Creepy old lady

Weepin', sleepin' and hide. Familiar allies in my battle. I say allies, maybe the enemy instead? Either way, I manage to hold them at arm's length only so long before they win. Yesterday they won.

When I get that much sleep, I do remember dreaming. Not the dream itself, just snippets. The mind's intricacies fascinate me. What makes us individuals somehow resides in the mind. Yeah, yeah, neurons, etc. I cannot wrap what thought processes I have around that concept.

Connie bailed me out yesterday. She called, asked how I was. I said fine. She said OK, now tell me how you really are. At the point she called, my mind was not in a good place. Not suicidal, but thinking how death could be a relief.

In my early adult years, I remember a PSA about the elderly and depression. I apparently filed those images in my mind's archive. Just now, they fell out of the folder and landed in my consciousness. Once you get mired in the mental muck, you need help getting out. If only I would follow my own advice.

If you have no expectations, disappointment does not look for you.
* * *
Just call me the bug killer. I had the whole gang coming in and out of the gaps under my doors and windows. Well, I got a bottle of borax at the dollar store, sprinkled some where I noticed the most critters and voila! non ici!!
* * *
Cheers, dude.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pacifiers for the soul

Monday marks another anniversary. On June 14, you came to PH chat. Our mutual friend, Mason, had died. I sent you a short inbox message. You answered. Life grew richer.

I still do not understand. Maybe understanding will remain elusive. That does not change the thankfulness.

Some babies and toddlers become attached to objects because that toy or blanket represents comfort. After a time, the child cannot sleep without it. The toddler takes his comfort with him everywhere. Trips outside with the family dog. Spiderman heroing. In the chair while watching that silly panda. Comfort always there -- until the day it finally disintegrates.

I, too, admit to comfort objects. They sit closeby if the need arises. Knowing they are near offers comfort in itself.

Two employee of the month awards somehow validate my career. That and a dusty set of clippings and memories of the people I met. I got an interview with the only person to quit a job at Pantex because the bishop said basically no good Catholic would work for a bomb factory. I got to travel to places I would not otherwise get to see. I met talented chefs and journalists. I worked with dedicated people. We remain friends.

Over the years, I discarded some things I wish I had not. A letter from my dad. Letters from Birt. Pictures. Though they remain in my memory somewhere, it gets harder and harder to see them. I had a purpose at the time for tossing these objects. That reason fades with the memory.
* * *
World Cup starts Friday. I cannot wait. Wall-to-wall soccer for two weeks. After my immersion in the EPL and Europa and Champs League and La Liga (ha), I will probably know players on most of the teams. South Korea, doubtful. Argentina, yes. All the injuries! Maybe the managers play the Ferguson game. One of the more interesting games pits the U.S. and England. Saturday, so early in the matches.
* * *
You hoped for March, I hoped for June. We both lost. I miss you, dude.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Carmen Sandiego, where are you?

A lack of cat food sent me to Wallyworld yesterday morning early. Early, as in 5 a.m., makes WW bearable. The experience itself pays dividends.

The cat food sits not too far from the entrance. Once there, I discovered a 20-cent per can discount. Pogo goes through many mini-cans a month. I bought two cases. Hard to pass up such a bargain. To top off that good news, the manufacturer changed the formula -- smaller bites and more gravy. If you share your home with a cat, you know about gravy.

I asked one of the men stocking a question about the location of a certain item. He was helpful and friendly and had no idea what I had asked. Between us we figured out a sort of sign language/common word communication.

I wandered around a bit not really looking for anything in particular. Note: WW must think every woman in Amarillo needs a bra. I thought the store devoted an unusual amount of space to them. I skipped the kitchen area altogether. I am a confessed gadget lover.

I quickly gave up the tour, took my bargain and headed home to some hungry cats.
* * *
Thanks for the kind words. I hope I return the favor.

Life twists and turns in ways we cannot predict. Though worrying and wondering do no good, we take them on daily. What in our nature or wiring or whatever makes us ponder?
* * *
Each anniversary marked with tears.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Thanks, guys

What do you do when your blog will not work? Start a new blog elsewhere.

If you had one more day to live, what would you want to do or say?

I would want to tell each of the many PHers who boost me when I am down just how much she means to me. Each encouraging word keeps me going. The examples you all set put me to shame. I have no reason to cry and complain. Each of you is special.

I would want to feel the cool spring breeze caress my cheek one more time. The smell and feel of a gentle, warm rain. I would like to sit in a comfortable chair with a blanket and cat and watch half-dollar size snowflakes gently float to rest with their brethren. I would want to lie on grass in the shade on a summer’s day and listen for small airplanes overhead. I would want to walk outside in the fall and see glorious colors and smell someone’s fireplace burning.

I would want to hear a child full of joy and laughter as he runs to see me.

I would like to tell my best friend how much she has meant to me over the years. No words suffice, though I try often.

Online friends this past year – what a wonderful, caring group.

Old friends, those who took the time to check on me, thanks. Friends, those of you who included me, thanks.

Live today.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tidal wave

Hello, sadness my old friend, I've come to talk to you again ....

I seem to make messes quite unintentionally. I just should keep my cybermouth shut. Period.

Other relationships move in positive directions. I enjoy these small exchanges of repartee. I hope eventually this expands.

Am I sad because I isolate, or do I isolate because I am sad?

Believing the best in everyone gets me into trouble. Take the yard man. I paid him before he finished the yard. The yard sits half finished. I suspect he decided to party instead.

I bet a certain someone would express shock to learn I actually defended them -- not once, but twice.

I wonder if I canonize you? I question this over and over knowing a good answer does not exist. I do know you were special. I know you pretended with some people.

All these questions haunt me still. The great enigma of you.  You gotta love it. You know what? The desire for a mystery itself says more than your words. Or speaks louder, maybe.

Do I have a right to mourn you so? Because I do. Days go by, I remember something you said, some comment about shit sports. I grin.

Then like a tsunami the sadness and grief overcome me. Like today. I cannot think about you without tears falling. I miss you...


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Net gain

Today I got the internet, email and FB back. I was without almost 48 hours to the minute. When the technician came to fix my neighbor's phone, he undid mine. Today a very helpful technician got mine fixed in a matter of 10 minutes because he was smart enough to listen to what I had to say about what the problem was. He was polite, too.
* * *
I learned a lesson today. You can depend on some people and not on others. You would think after 60 some odd years I would know this. I always give everyone the benefit of a doubt. Next time, I hope I take this into account, then I will not be disappointed.
* * *
Miss you, dude.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Free opinions

Pogo fusses at me this morning. He walks by and mutters. Mmmmrrr. MMMMRRRRR. I suspect popping the top on a can of grilled chicken will quell the yells. He marches off toward the bedroom, so I gain a few minutes reprieve. I near the bottom of my first cup of coffee for the day. Pogo will beat me to the kitchen though I am closer by several steps.
* * *
My young CF friend puts on an emo show every day on FB. He pops up every now and then on FB chat. He makes interesting conversation.
* * *
I am not a give 'em hell kinda person. Though I need the bosentan, I could not yell at the insurance representative on the phone. If and when the situation works out does not worry me.
* * *
Thanks for the FB message, dude. Friends of all stripes add zest to our lives, wisdom or no. I am fortunate. Counting blessings makes me more thankful.
* * *
Pushing an agenda on the masses. Nothing new there except the methods gain sophistication. Someone posts something as true. Well, sorta. The lemmings of the world pass this partial truth along but over time it morphs into more and more fiction and less and less fact.

We need the Woodwards and Bernsteins. We need someone to hold a mirror up to show us our true faces.

Somewhere along the way, the Hursts gained a toe hole. Remember the Maine? Mr. Hurst had his own dirty little war.

How can one person shoulder the blame for something totally out of his control? Remember we inherit problems as well as make them. I am tired of fingerpointing and blame. That does not solve problems. If one idea does not work, try another. At least try something.

In June 2008, President Bush urged an end to the ban on offshore drilling; in July, he lifted that ban. Almost two years later to the day, we face a disaster. Do not say I told you so. Tell me how to fix it.
* * *
Hey, dude.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sickness blues

Found out earlier the drug company holds my bosentan shipment hostage because the computer says I have no insurance.

Mind you, I called the insurance company twice before the web site said coverage ended. Both times the women assured me, no break in coverage, no change in coverage, no problem. A mere change in status from COBRA to disability insurance. An extention for another 11 months. Well apparently the change takes awhile to get from one computer to another. And even with all the precautions I took to make sure there would not be a problem, there was a problem.

I understand why the drug company would not want to ship a $6,000 medicine just on my say so that I do indeed have insurance. A doctor's visit likely was not paid for either.

I have enough bosentan for two more days. The insurance company rep said she would put a rush on the fix. We will see which one wins.

Time machine

The time draws near when the desk drawer needs a thorough cleanout. My computer sits atop this former library table. Pull the drawer out, press a button and the front of the drawer flattens. Inside the rather shallow drawer a place for an ink bottle and pencils or pens. And a mini-shelf.

My desk drawer serves as my catchall space. Open the drawer and you will find a prism in the shape of an octagon. It should hang in a window that gets sun and make rainbows. Kittens sent it packing to the drawer.

A tiny snowglobe sits in one corner of the drawer. A miniature Reno forever in a shower of mineral water and glitter.

An empty matchbook from the Holiday Inn in Strasbourg. No close cover before striking in French. Guess the French rule in the smart department.

A trio of former marine life -- a couple of The Littlest Mermaid shells and a counch which fits into my hand. The intricate swirls, the almost glass feel.

Two expired passports. Hard evidence of memories.

Some registration papers for Wu. Wu was a beautiful lilacpoint Siamese baby and an Okie. I drove to another state to get Wu.

Then in all its glory sits a pile of papers. Envelopes with addresses I mean to put in the computer. Sheets of paper with my Afrikaan lessons on them. They need a home in the computer as well. An extra copy of proof of automobile insurance.

Sitting to the right of the computer, a table holds a basket stuffed with file folders. I learned to keep documents, bills and written notes about phone calls. That practice served me well more than once.
* * *
I am not sure I get it. I am not business minded. Not everyone sports a cutthroat vibe, thank goodness. I try hard to do what I say I will because I know how I rely on the word of others. I do need to learn not to overdo. As much as I want to help, I should leave the things I know nothing of to someone who does. I always can offer an ear and honest feedback.
* * *
I wonder what you think of all this? As someone astutely pointed out to me, we cannot pretend to know. I can suppose based on the you I knew. I can compare notes with others and form a concensus. I would love to talk to the one person who knew you best. The enigma which surrounds you would clear up a bit, I think. I am not cheeky enough, though, to ask.

I do know I miss you terribly still. The loss weighs heavy on my heart.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Go ask Alice

One of my FB friends insists she needs to look like one of her cartoons. She oozes talent and brains. Fright wig red seems to lure many young folks. Just a generational thing, I think. Alice, here, represents one of my friend's tamer creations. Ah, youth.
* * *
Because of an insurance snafu, yesterday I paid full price for a couple of prescription refills. What costs $14 for the two with insurance costs $77 without. So I get to spend time on the phone this morning fixing this mess.

Competency of the masses declines. People no longer know how to make change. Forget spelling. I saw many a wedding form for the newspaper with atrocious spelling. By teachers! If our teachers cannot spell, we indeed face ruin.

I guess I join a chorus of distinguished naysayers. Did not the ancients lament the ways of youth?
* * *
I friended a young cystic on FB. He lives in the UK. His status updates frighten me. He smokes, he parties, he cannot blow. Duh. Denial. Dude. The teen angst combined with a demanding disease equals a recipe for disaster. I am not sure I can handle that. Even from afar and impersonal.
* * *
Sometimes I do not want to be my own advocate. I miss the help a partner extends. I crave something I will never have. I so know where you were coming from.