Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shiner Bock

My neighbor asked this morning if I would like to water my yard using her hose. She said she would be gone for a couple of hours. The whole yard got a drink and most of it revived. Hopefully the men can get the pipes fixed on Monday.

I bent down to unplug my portable concentrator and hit my eye on the table. The eye swelled nearly shut almost instantly and began to turn purple. Leave it to me to do such a klutzy thing. I need to do the vampire thing on Monday. If the eye gets bad, you reckon lung doc can fix it?

That about says it all about my day. Oh yes, they hired Juergen Klinsmann. I would love to hear what you had to say about him.

Later, Dude.

Summer sounds

The cricket choir crooned in the day; the soloist sawed, the soprano scatted. As daybreak neared, the tempo increased to a frenzy. Then a hush fell on humid air as the chorus began to depart until a lone cricket sang in the sunrise.

Tweeners on skateboards sail by on the sidewalks shouting and racing the summer.

Sparrow subteens soar onto the fence, scouting for seed and singing their success. Soon one by one, a crowd gathers. They swoop onto the railing below. Then full of bravado, they hop onto the ground. The others join the brave ones until a change in the wind sends them all flying.

The neighbor mows and edges her lawn, the best one in the complex. The other neighbor talks loudly under my window; her son interjecting when he can.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I have been on the go all week. I am tired. I need a couch day. Tomorrow will not be that day, nor Saturday. By Sunday, I will not be able to move, forced couch day.

They fired Bradley today, Dude. Haha!!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Denial elephant

Some days I question if I am really sick. I wonder if I make my condition worse in my mind than the reality. I thought I defeated the denial elephant (borrowing a phrase from you, Dude) long ago. Or does denial allow us to live on a daily basis with a disease for which no cure exists?

I sometimes question the time I spend on the couch doing nothing. Am I lazy?

My finger joints hurt. Growing older or more problems related to the PH? Same with the muscle aches.

I am a good little patient.  I do not bother Doc with this silly symptom syndrome. That put me into the hospital for 10 days.

Lots of people are worse off than I am, so maybe I am not that sick.

Yes, I am sick, but I am doing OK for right now.

Later, Dude.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What I learned today

I ate an heirloom tomato tonight on my ham sandwich. Despite its ugly, not ripe yet look, the flavor knocked me out. I remember that wonderful flavor which most hybrid tomatoes lack.

The one I savored looked much like the tomato in the center, only greener.

I also have enjoyed the fresh squash and purple onion.

Some parts of the city got a bit of moisture this afternoon. Here the sky darkened, but refused to release its bounty. The temperature did drop into the mid-70s briefly, but now rises again.

Pogo and I sat in my chair in the bedroom. He purred awhile, slobbered some and then began a lengthy bath. I stroked his head, ears and chin. I began to brush aside the hair on his leg to the darker hair underneath. He zoned out. He must have seen my finger out of the corner of his eye. I am not sure what he thought, but he kicked me solidly in the chest and sprung out of my lap. Maybe he thought snake? I am thinking a new bruise will appear tomorrow.

Ten little birdies lined the fence this afternoon. Most were youngsters or small, anyway. My fence features a horizontal board about halfway down. The birds would flutter down to that board. It was as if they were leery about landing on the ground where the seeds were, so they played "dare you" until one would get brave enough to go for the seeds. Then another would join the first one, and another. If one of the birds flew away from the top of the fence, the alarm sounds; the bird flee. I know part of the fear remains the heighth of the grass, far taller than the sparrows standing on the ground. I am sure the scents of the neighbor's cats linger too.

Not long until EPL, Dude. I hope we play.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Morning melodies

I am learning to enjoy this condition termed retirement. Doing my own thing blesses me. I can spend an hour watching the birds preen and court. The rays of the early morning sun fall on the sparrow at just the right angle to see the dust go flying as he spreads his wings.

A vocal sparrow sends a message and Momo answers meow for chirp. Pogo lies on his side, the door runner his pillow. His nostrils flutter like a race horse's do when it rounds the back stretch neck-and-neck with its challengers.

When my body fails me, I lie on the couch and put together recipes in my head. When I finally arrive at something that sounds good and for which I have the ingredients, I put thoughts into action. This morning for breakfast I had chicken salad made from boiled chicken, a few walnuts, leftover crushed pineapple and mayo. I made just enough for one sandwich. Home cooking cannot be beat.

The weeds, at least the thistles, are like the wicked witch of the west when she was watered, slowly shriveling. Must be that poison. Sorry, K, I had no choice. The weeds came back as fast as I cut them down. Now if only I could get the yard mowed.

The couch will be the place to be this afternoon.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

To market, to market

Thunk! I hit the wall today.

Connie came about 7:30 and we went to the farmer's market. A small crowd of older folks milled about the dozen or so vendors. I bought tomatoes from Kansas, squash and purple onions. A cheesemaker from Hardesty, Okla., offered curds and hard cheese. I hope to buy some cheese next time.

With some additions from the freezer, I made pasta primavera for lunch. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch.

I went out almost every day this week or worked in the yard or house. I am bushed. Connie sprayed poison on  the weeds. The yard still grows wild; maybe it will be cut tomorrow, or not. I am going to rest.

An Aussie has the Tour title this year, Dude. From what I read, the race was a good one.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surfin' on the couch

Yesterday I worked in the house. I vacuumed two rooms, did scads of dishes, swept and mopped the bathroom and refreshed the cat box, swept the kitchen and took out the trash.

I managed to remain awake long enough to drop into chat for a bit. Visiting with the gang lifted my spirits as usual.
 I hope the lawn gets a trim today. If an alligator should wander near my yard, he would indeed need an elephant to navigate the jungle.

The weeds I pulled late last week are beginning to return. *Warning! Warning! Warning! K, I am going to mention the p word.* I will bring in the Clint Eastwood of the gardening world as soon as the yard gets a haircut.

Chocolate cake for breakfast? Why not? Oh yes and meatloaf, carrots and squash casserole.

Looks like today may turn into a couch day. I feel pretty well, just tired and not overly tired at that. Life these days revolves around pacing -- trying not to overdo. Certain chores require daily attention, others can wait. I need to learn to back off rather than trying to do it all in one day. One of these days I may learn.

Miss you Dude.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Messy not Messi

Five hours. I had better get whatever chore I am doing done by the alloted time. Once the energy leaves I am useless for the rest of the day.

Today I chose to cook. I made a meatloaf. I added a small potato cut into tiny cubes. I have a whole chicken slowly simmering. Later I will use some of it for chicken fettucine and some for sandwiches. Of course, Pogo will get his share.

I baked a yellow cake mix and used butter, dark chocolate cocoa, chopped walnuts, melted butter and sweetened condensed milk as a sort of sauce.

I steamed some squash with onions and placed them in a buttered casserole. I whisked an egg with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, poured it over the squash, added a couple of generous handsful of grated cheddar cheese and topped the mixture with crumbled Ritz crackers.

I bought a can of lychee and now I am looking for a recipe.

Ding, ding. The last of the five hours ended and now I am ready for couch time.

Tomorrow I will use part of my five hours to clean the mess I made in the kitchen today.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The great escape

This morning early I decided to cut more weeds. I could walk without too much pain when I got up, so make hay before the sun shines. (I took a small liberty with the adage.)

Momo and Pogo watched the slaughter of all those notorious pairs (thistle and bindweed) from behind the screen door and yelled at me to let them come join me. They promised to help, be good, etc.

I can drift off to another world when I cut weeds and I must have traveled light years away this morning. My back was to the door when I realized the fussing had ceased and probably a good while ago. I glance over my shoulder and see Momo moseying across the patio, stopping to take a sniff at every little bit of debris.

"Momo," I yell, "what are you doing? Get in that house." Of course, he chose to ignore me, so I had to get up from the ground, wait for my legs to work again and then open the screen wider and say again, "Get in that house. Bad boy!"

I shut the screen door and went to the kitchen to do Tyvaso. When I went back to the bedroom, the screen door was open again and Momo AND Pogo were sniffing the bag of weeds on the patio. I told them to get in the house. Momo, who by now knows I mean business, went back into the house. Pogo on the other hand, continued to sniff, so I brought him inside.

I shut the glass door and put on the lock.

Momo sits moaning and tries to open the door. Maybe Houdini would be a better moniker for him.

Thistle and bindweed have a symbiotic relationship. Go to the base of the thistle to find the main root of the bindweed. I guess the thorns protect the bindweed. Thistles stand tall with huge tap roots; bindweeds start new offshoots via underground runners. Bindweed must be the Boston Strangler of the weed world. Nothing survives its ruthlessness, except its buddy thistle. The killer even attacked the bird spa, wrapping itself tightly around all four legs.

This gardening thing is fun, Dude.


Friday, July 15, 2011

I fall to pieces

Not a single part of my body does not hurt. My fingers acquired a marked stiffness followed shortly by my shoulders, hips and knees. Awk!!

The muscles in my arms, back and legs hurt to the point Tylenol will not touch the pain. Relief for maybe 30 minutes and then the Marquis de Sade takes over again. Of course today begins the weekend. No doc without the ER. I refuse!!

I did a load of work in the house today, thinking the effort might work out the soreness. The chores mounted up quickly when I spent time in the yard. So I did more than I should have and now I hurt some more.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tweet, tweet

I was about an hour late with the birdseed this morning. By the time I grabbed the container, the whole flock lined the fence, just like a scene from "The Birds."

I spent a couple of hours cutting weeds and blasting them with the spray bottle. I did not make much progress. The watering spurred the growth of weeds and grass. Now the yard needs a trim. Then the cycle will begin again.

Hey Dude. The U.S. women reached the finals. The officiating has been atrocious. At times the match today was more like Fight Club than futbol. We meet the Japanese on Sunday. They have played surprisingly well. The match should be a good one. We can hope for neutral officiating.

My body still hurts. I probably should give the doc a call. One more day, then maybe.

Well, enough said for today.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cat days of summer

I woke up later than usual, probably because I overextended myself yesterday. I did errand running with Connie though I did not buy or need anything. I enjoy visiting with her.

After I had been up about four hours, I starting aching and my joints began to get stiff. Plus *blush, blush* my hinney hurts from sitting on the concrete while cutting and vinegaring weeds.

So I took a Tylenol (unusual in the morning) and returned to bed. Now, at 4:22 p.m., I am thinking about bed again. Chalk this one up to worthless. Even the kitty boys sack out.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of walks and weeds

Have you noticed being in the hospital allows certain situations which would never happen in your home? I would never entertain a married male friend in a nightgown, yet when I was hospitalized, that occurred.

I cringe at the thought of walking to the mailbox in a nightgown and robe. In the hospital, I strolled around the eighth floor in sleepwear.

I think having a gorgeous yard is a pipedream. I need to chop dozens of weeds off at the ground and apply vinegar or salt. For the bind weed, I need to deny them light by chopping them to the ground until they give up or put down black plastic. Then the grass gets no sun.  I thought about poison, and in fact bought some. Stupid on my part because no way my lungs could or should be around a product that warns you to cover up as well as possible from head to toe.

I will continue to water and hope for the best. At least birds and boys are happy.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Foodie heaven

I love my mornings. After I get the initial Tyvaso out of the way and feed the boys a couple of times, I sit in my chair with a cup of coffee and let my mind flit about.

Some thoughts like butterflies light briefly and then flutter away. Others I want to write about, but once I get to the computer, they evaporate.

The peacefulness begins the day. Then the birds stir. The males broadcast messages to the world, puffing up and strutting along the top of the fence. I know now the meaning of cock robin. The grass grows tall and the birds hop about looking for the birdseed I have tossed. Only their heads show when they land.

These birds have their own ideas about the spa. They choose to drink rather than splash.

Yesterday, Connie and I explored a grocery in the barrio. While much of the store has similar products to the one near my apartment, the one in the barrio offers many specialty items.

The meat case displayed rabbit and goat alongside the usual shrimp and steak. Oxtail and calf fries shared space with roast and sausages. The groceries here serve hot meals and salads. Red picnic tables with rolls of paper towels atop them grace the eating area in the barrio. The bakery features pan dulce (see photo).

After buying some peanuts from a girl earning money to go to a tournament in Odessa, we headed to a meat market. Harold's opened its doors in 1963. Walking in the door, the first thing I noticed was the aroma. Barbecue. The wooden floors, the dim lighting. The fresh ground beef, the arm roasts as large as platters. Efficient workers taking care of customer orders, wrapping choices in butcher paper.

Candy imported from Mexico sits side by side with Snickers and M&Ms The cashier told us about her new boyfriend and how good he treats her.

The farmers market opened this week. In another week or two, I will make an early morning trip there. I am a foodie at heart.

Later Dude.

P.S. I weep for the English language and other archaic practices going down the tube.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Soapbox 2

I am pretty darn tired of all the trash talking that passes for politics these days. The two major parties of this country spend more time and energy digging up dirt on their opponents than doing the jobs they were elected to do.

Some folks on FB believe the rumors that recycle themselves every six months or so. The crafty political machine works much the same way. Shout loud enough and commentary soon seems like the truth. Thus masses of folks believe so and so actually was spawn by a space alien and his henchmen cover up the truth.

The masses go day to day barely hanging on above the abyss of homelessness and hunger. They want a better life, so they vote for the man or woman who says he or she can change the pattern.

Knee-jerk reaction often backfires. When one jumps to conclusions or speaks before having all the facts in hand, disaster usually happens. We cannot take it back.

*She steps down off the soapbox*

Gosh Dude, I sure miss you.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If you need a friend...

...I am sailing right behind ...

Today I am thankful; thankful for:


my health;



Pogo and Satchmo;

and most of all, those who care.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I wonder if cats speak a language that correlates with ours? For instance, "Do not bite the hand that feeds you."

I am pretty tired of aching all the time. Most seems like muscle, but some joints hurt, too.

Bleakness grows tiresome as well.

I spent five hours cleaning this morning. Several chores I wanted to do did not get done. Maybe tomorrow, though maybe not.

Many sighs.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rainbow sisterhood

Ten. Ten Little Indians. Ten friends. Ten women.

Ten who draw me like magnets attract metal. Ten who offer comfort, caring, criticism and craziness. Ten who overflow with empathy. Ten whom I have never met yet ten who are vital. A sisterhood of o2. An exclusive club none wanted to join. Bound by no ordinary ties, yet like thousands of other women.

Ten shore up my sanity when it appears I will crumble. Ten willing to help even when they suffer themselves.

To the ten: thanks from the bottom of my heart. I will never be able to repay your gifts to me.

Later, Dude.