Thursday, March 31, 2011

Play ball!

In hindsight, yesterday gains marks for its unusualness. Some interesting emails, a phone call.

I hate myself when I wallow in the muck of self-pity. The days all I do involves food or sleep. The days the apartment falls into ruin and I kick the mess aside on the way to the refrigerator. I hate the accusing looks from Pogo and Momo when they try to find a clean spot in the box to do their business. I cannot bear to look in the mirror because I might catch a glimpse of what I have become.

On those days, nothing satisfies, nothing soothes, nothing ...

Little things nag at me on those days. The what ifs. What if my medicine does not come before I go out to lunch and I miss it? What if I run out of money before I die?  What if ...

I wish you could turn off worry as easily as a light. On the other hand, I master the art of denial. I am not sick. I will worry about money later. Que sera sera. Neither attitude bodes well.

Hey, Dude. Today begins another baseball season. Guess what? The Sox battle the Rangers to kick off the season. You would have loved it. From what I have read, the Sox look pretty good this season. We shall see.

Missing you, Dude.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's nothing cold as ashes

I yearn for days I do not feel useless, yet I have no desire to "fix" the situation. Days go by and the door never opens.

I wonder how many folks would notice I was gone if I deactivated my FB account. I am tottering on the edge of doing that or defriending about 50 percent of the "friends." I think a time out may offer the best solution. I do not interact with many of the "friends." Just my core, the ones I have "known" for several years.

I do have some new friends who mean the world to me. I guess that is the case in real life, too.

I just know I am unhappy, that I control that happiness and the solution is up to me.

Dude, I miss you.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Motherless child

I am all alone in a sea of people. I am the one who created this isolationist world. Sometimes I hate the loneliness. Yes, real people sit behind screens somewhere and "talk." I do not even do that anymore.

I am overwhelmed, so I coast.

Au revoir.

Later Dude.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dull, dull, dull

I chose to sleep yesterday and, for the most part, that happened. Oh I got up to eat and do meds. I envisioned Pogo napping with me. He had other ideas. Not even Momo wanted to snuggle. He never does though.

I did sweep and clean the bathroom before all that sleep. And cooked pork chops and accompaniments.

Did I mention I hate change? The new browser sucks. I really do not care for flashy. Three or four scrolls on a page drives me nuts. My brain was wired to find information at a certain location on my home page. Not any more. Call me me Dino.

Dude, tonight will rock.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dutiful entry

I did the doctor thing on Thursday.

The lung doc sent me for a bone scan; the nurses drew the monthly blood. His staff treated me like I am family. Doc seemed a bit rushed. He told me to cut the number of Tyvaso treatments if the sides continue.

Then on to heart doc. I expected to sit for the usual hour before I see him. I was in right on time. The waiting room was not full to overflowing. Heart doc decided to do an echo. The tech, who has done all my echos, explained what we were seeing for the whole exam. Fascinating stuff.

The bottom line: the mean pulmonary pressure went from 80 to 41. The Tyvaso works and works well.

So now that the numbers prove what I knew all along, how do I expend all this newfound energy?

Well yesterday I had lunch with Boopie and the Youngin'. Before going, we had agreed that this probably would be our last lunch. We ate Mexican food and chatted. Boopie talked about Social Security and food stamps. The Youngin' talked about his computer, his dream and the Wildcats.

Just before we left the restaurant, we agreed that we could afford once a month lunches. We need each other.

Afterward, I went to the post office to pick up some medicine, did a few minor chores and took a nap.

I probably would have slept on into the night had not my brother called. He wondered if I had a copy of a DVD that my uncle made of some 16mm film. Lots of us as children with the cousins at my grandparents' house. He plans to burn me a copy and I should get it in about a week.

The apartment calls. Vacuum me. I need my face washed. I want outside. Then the yard cusses at me for letting it go so long. I have never had the stamina to cut the weeds or rake.

However, I think I will sacrifice today to the couch gods. Some quality time with the older feline.

Well Dude, this weekend starts the official fund-raising for your fund. Your family, especially your mom, has worked so hard. B and your Chicago friends will come together to party for you. How ironic is that?  I wonder how many other friends wonder where you are, why they have not heard from you. I am thankful I met you in the time of life you were.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A tale of a girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had no self-esteem. The girl does not remember many happy times in her life, just the nagging and correcting. "Stand up straight." "Did you use deodorant? You stink."

One of her first memories involves a spanking. Another, being yelled at for jumping on the bed.

Because she felt she was ugly, she did not have boyfriends. One or two boys, outcasts themselves, quickly drifted into and out of her life.

This girl was intelligent but coasted through school. She got by without studying and made good marks. She still was a social misfit.

College unleashed a new girl. Cutting classes to drink coffee with a set of friends the parents would frown on, just because she could. Trying alcohol and tobacco. Rebellion which snowballed on itself. A marriage quickly turned sour.

The lonliness and fright overpowering her, she returned to her hometown and started over.

The next few years brought people in and out of her circle. Only a few stuck around for any length of time,  and they were on the road to perdition.

The girl was "raised in the church." She measured her childhood teachings by the realities of the world. She found them inadequate. So a journey began to find meaning and answers to the whys. Sometimes the girl dabbled, sometimes she immersed herself. Nowhere did she find answers or meaning. Oh, she thought she had many times. After the euphoria of self-congratulations wore off, she was left with nothing.

She developed a facade for the public. Her real self hidden. For many years, the facade stood in place, solid, unbroken.

Then the questions returned, the yearning.

To be continued.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More observations

People are crazy.

Greedy bastards abound.

A sucker still is born every minute.

Medium eggs are the new large.

I have recipes calling for ingredients no longer made.

Today's pound cake weighs about 12 ounces.

Get a life! OK, can you tell me where?

I am for whirled peas.

If you want to learn about someone, watch how they interact with animals.

First instincts almost always are right.

:-) Dude.


Today I will bake a strawberry cake. The recipe's popularity waned toward the end of the century, but was a staple at church picnics, etc., for years. The cake today honors the birthday of my godson's wife. At least one cat I know liked this cake.

Yesterday, I cleaned out the cabinet where I store the dishes. I tossed an old skillet and made room for my new stock pot. I also cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer. Though productive, I spent lots of time restoring out of place objects to their proper home where I would then find something else that needed doing. I hate cleaning like that beause the evidence of the hard work does not show.

Today started out tired. I see a nap in my future and it may be sooner rather than later. All these messy drawers and cabinets call to me like the sirens did to Odysseus. We shall see how long I can resist.

White chocolate apricot bread makes great toast.

I feel the most comfortable with a pared down visual field. Less clutter means more peace of mind.

Not really sure.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why not?

I tried two or three times. Not happening today.

Later, Dude.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The uneasiness clings to me like the odor of skunk on a dog. Something in the air creeps around the periphery of my consciousness. I sense ... what? Not evil, though I believe a connection exists. Not guilt, though that hangs out too. A conscience that whispers constantly. A sense of failure, of falling short, not measuring up to others or even myself.

As Gomer would say, surprise, surprise

Nothing in life surprises me much anymore. Maybe because I took the jaded journalist thing to heart. I always have skepticism readily available. The paradox in this:  I believe for the best from people. Sometimes I get burned. Sometimes two or three times. I take that knowledge with me but often ignore what I should not.

Do people display their tortured souls because they are indeed tortured? Do they convince themselves they are tortured or play a role so long they lose their real selves to ones they have created? The internet, though a great tool, also can cause great deceptions or out-and-out scams. Yet the gullible get sucked in every day.

We process every moment differently than our friends. A typed sentence might not convey the same message to all, partly because we put our own emphasis on the words. We wanted to hear the words this way when the speaker meant something entirely different. Our experiences color remarks with no clues to their true meaning.

Why write a public blog? Validation. Self-centeredness. Looking for answers; looking for questions.

When you stir the pot, you never know what will come to the surface.

I feel a nap coming on.

Miss you, Dude.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dry hole

I am amazed by the number of distractions I can find when I have nothing to write. Picking hair off the cushion of my desk chair. Seeing who scored the latest goal. Another diet DP, a potty break. Funny how that list goes on and on, yet squeezing a word or two out of my brain takes so much effort.

I am so glad the docs agree on a diagnosis for K, and, as she says, a plan. She tells me the Revatio seems to be doing its job. Yay!!

OK, enough dwadling, tomorrow an extra paragraph.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Today I did not want to go out, and I did not. I probably should have, but I made the decision not to and I am trying hard not to second-guess that choice.

My feet swell like a bullfrog courting a sexy female. Perhaps that can of chili with cheese and crushed Tostitos has something to do with the fat feet, you think? Seems my hunger monster appears regularly the past couple of days. Perhaps if I chose a healthier fare, I would not crave junk.

Later, Dude.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sweet & bitter

Pogo lies on the windowsill, uttering little threats to the birds that twitter obliviously. Occasionally his tail provides a beat for the springtime symphony. Momo sleeps on the kitchen cabinet, his chin resting on the window ledge. The pre-dinner snack sent him off to compose his own score in dreamland.

My two former colleagues got canned this week.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Innocent pain?

Today I wanted to brighten someone's special day, so I sent flowers. I did not consider all the ramifications of such a gift at such a time. Though the receiver appreciated the thought, the flowers brought to the surface memories. The one whose memory flowers evoke no longer can send flowers.

That I hurt unintentionally makes no difference. I tried to ease pain and ended up inflicting more.

Your big do is 10 days away, Dude.


Take a hint politicians

I am so sick of the us vs. them spell that politics has fallen under. I am not totally stupid. I realize this has been the norm for years and years. But now the Democrats and Republicans are like little kids on the playground yelling insults at each other and pointing fingers of blame. All this blather seems a diversion from what neither party wants us to know. Unfortunately, people have forgotten how to think for themselves. They see something on the net and think, "Wow, it must be true." People can  be manipulated easier today than ever.

Enough said.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Groundhog Day

I am in my head again today.

C. asked if I would like to go with her to see her rheumy, 120 miles away. I would enjoy visiting with her all day, which a trip like that would mean.

I do not want to go, however. I have argued and argued with myself. I make a decision, then question my motives. In other words, I worry. Even with someone like C, whom I have known for more than 50 years. I am miserable.

Today I need to hide.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blinded by the light

The feeling unsettles me. I cannot put my finger on what nags at me. I sit on the edge of sadness and do not know why. The unease rests just out of my sight but I feel its presence and know it could show itself anytime. The threat makes me want to curl up in a ball under a blanket. Sleep, however brief, substitutes for reality. Awareness takes a nap, too.

I feel somehow a loss of control. Maybe control always has been an illusion. We pretend to make decisions. We throw on our fantasy cloaks and proceed to act out our lives. My world and your world resemble each other. What about people we never meet? Do these lives somehow affect us and we never gain awareness? Is not meeting someone as important as meeting someone?

You (this is a general you, not a specific you) fail to give me your undivided attention. You are not a juggler but you think you are. Your mouth tells me one thing and your actions another. Which to believe? Is it time to cut off the offender?

My shell turns against me. Like sirens of the night, aches and pains murmur even when I sleep.

All in good time, I suppose.

Missing you, Dude.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best laid plans

I planned to rest all day, but somehow that has yet to happen. I lay down for maybe 30 minutes. Then I had a call from ms. lasix. I got diverted to FB, then the internet.

How people view me goes through my mind almost constantly. I worry that people think I am nuts. Who knows, maybe I am.

Later, Dude.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Meat and greet

Boopie, the Youngin', Ralphie's Dad and I went to lunch at the Stockyards Cafe today. I enjoyed visiting with Ralphie's Dad. I had not seen him since I got laid off. Married life agrees with him. Ralphie, however, does not like the wife and I hear tell the feeling is mutual. How can you not like this face?

After a brief stop at home, I shopped for cat food, went to the drugstore and bank and picked up a few fresh veggies and some bread . I love the artisan, whole grain breads. I am all set for the weekend and should not have to go anywhere. My body tells me I have overdone two days in a row, so tomorrow definitely will be a PH pj day.

Time to take some Tylenol and put this body down.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What would Jesus give up for Lent?

So, I did another foolish thing today. I cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. I also fixed beans with ham and onion and made cornbread with cheddar cheese. I know I need to try to portion out the work throughout the week, but then the jobs seem to go on forever. I will admit the vacuuming about did me in today.

After I finished cleaning, I ate a bowl of beans and three pieces of cornbread. Then I did a treatment and took a shower. By the time I was squeeky clean, I had great difficulty catching my breath. Almost like pre-meds PH. I still have a bit of a cough from the bronchitis, so maybe that was part of the reason for the SOB. I also used several cleaning products and dusted. That angers my COPD. I plan to mention all the above to Doc at our next appointment at the end of the month. I also plan to mention that the last Tyvaso treatment of the day seems to leave me SOB as well. The SOB seems to built up over the day. Energy burst after the first treatment of day, OK after the second. The third sends me to a chair for a few minutes. The fourth one generally sends me to bed at least for an hour if not for the night.

I worry some because I have not heard from J in awhile. But then J has a life, something I forget about most folks. K remains in the hospital. Add a cold to the list of ailments.

Lunch tomorrow with Boopie and the Youngin'. Another former colleague will join us this time. Ralphie's Daddy fits right in. We are eating at the stockyards. The restaurant there offers great chicken-fried steak or just about any cut of beef you could want. Hearty, comfort food that cattlemen appreciate.

After my day today, I am sure I will not do much tomorrow after I pick up a few groceries and a couple of prescriptions. Oh yes, and cat food. I have noticed the last batch of cat food I got did not quite fill up the can as it once did. Ugh, even cat food falls victim to higher prices for less product.

Seventeen days until the fund-raiser, Dude.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I still do not have anything to say. I hope this changes.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday savoir faire

I arrived at Wally World before 8 this morning. I got some exercise by walking most of the aisles even if I did not need anything in the housewares department, for instance. The late-night stockers had finished most of their work and the crowds had not yet built up.

I finally made the meatloaf I have been avoiding all week. One more day and the hamburger would have been pretty yucky. Right now, the aroma of Italian spices fills the air.

Well, the meatloaf hit the spot along with the baked potato, carrots, steamed squash and onions. That put me in a coma for a couple of hours.

My what an exciting life I lead.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

If I said you have a beautiful body ....

Listening to this oldie, I am reminded of Jimmy Buffet.

Good thing the antibiotic finishes up tomorrow. My mouth has got that uh oh, thrush on the way feel.

Later, Dude.

Friday, March 4, 2011

12 points short of a pica

One of my PH buddies did me a huge favor and sent me something that will help smooth my transition to Medicare. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life. I wish there were a way to repay the favors.

Workmen continue to do various tasks in the apartment next door and the fumes come to visit me. I lay under my CPAP most of the day after I got back from lunch.

Season and John will no longer live in this complex after the 31st. Season had a hissy fit with the management. She hoarded. You name it, she had it. She is 12 points short of a pica. (A little journalist humor there.) John let her move in with him, which broke his lease. I wonder what will happen to them because neither one has anything.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The days of whine and moroses

Unless something drastically changes, we did not have much of a winter. A couple of minor snows and a handful of days with extreme temperatures. Great you say? Well, sorta.

Since we avoided prolonged below zero days, the natural rhythm of nature was interrupted. In the short run, great; in the long run, more bugs, for starters. Nature does have a way of balancing out.

I did my stint today to find a Medicare Medical advantage plan. I called the receptionist at Doc's office to ask her if she knew of any problems with company X (which was at the top of my picks). She told me about the difficulties and that the group of docs decided not to accept this company's medicare plans.

Whew. Close one. I asked if she knew anything about any of the others that my state says I can choose since I live in this county. I believe the government handout says the state allows only certain companies to sell in our state and specifically in my county. She mentioned a couple she has seen recently in the office.

One sounds pretty good. I talked to a rep, who did not pressure me. She asked about heart failure and I explained to her about PH. She said her sister and nephew had died from PH. The rest of the family undergoes gene tests. Small world, huh? I believe the company resides in Maryland.

The woman got my address to send me the info about the company's three plans. This seems like a good fit.

So progress. Yay! The worry about change gets me every time. I do not do change well at all. Of course, once I am forced to change and the honeymoon phase ends, I fall back into the comfort zone.

I glance around my apartment and wonder where I went wrong. None of my furniture matches, though I have a couple of nice pieces. The others are in the shabby but not chic category. I use a footlocker with 1960s black and white contact paper on the top as a coffee table. I painted it black enamel and the hinges and corner decorations gold. Inside, the original blue print remains, a bit fragile and torn in places.

I bought a bentwood rocker (dark wood, cane seat and back) in the late 1970s. No one sits in it -- ever. I have a library table with a hinged, drop leaf front. The veneer shows the ill treatment the desk received years before I retrieved it from a friend's garage.

The point of the previous paragraphs? To show that while I worked hard and loyally for more than 30 years, I have little to show. I have a tiny nestegg. Hopefully we both will run out about the same time.

Miss you, Dude.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy 175th Texas!

The High Court today said even crazy folks filled with vitriol can spew their hate. Essentially the justices said offensive speech is not grounds to restrict it.

As a former journalist, I am glad the Supreme Court ruled the way it did despite what I personally think about the fanatical zealots who are so hate filled. If we ban one group, word, thought or discourse, we will open the box which cannot be shut. Freedoms errode one tiny ruling at a time.

The court also struck at blow at a giant that wanted to be considered a person when certain information was requested by the government. This ruling makes me happy as well.

I try not to get involved in too much of the world anymore. I worry enough as it is.

K. get out of there soon!!! Worry, worry, worry ....

Party time nears, Dude.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sometimes I feel like a ...

Well, semi-relief on one front at least. My mom's heart doc thinks her heart squeezes too tight and then fails to relax. He has put her on digoxin and boosted her diuretics. He did not seem to think she has PH. He also took her off warfarin for a week, then she will start back on a lower dose to see if that helps with her nose bleeds.

As for me, I have an unproductive chest cough and muscle aches. I think (and hope) I got to it soon enough this time. Doc gave me 500 mg of cefuroxime twice a day and a medrol dose pack. I also hit the mucinex. These added drugs have caused stomach upset so I am taking liquid maalox and tylenol. Oh yes, and I have had some leg and foot cramps, so throw in some potassium. Geeze, the daily dosing approaches a full-time job.

Sometimes I wonder why life plays out like it does. Why some never seem burdened and others have  constant hard times.

Later, Dude.