Sunday, December 30, 2012

The circle

The milestones of life flash by like Burma Shave signs. Babies do not notice the benchmarks but the older folks begin to notice when they get a license to drive, graduate from high school, then college, a marriage, a job, sometimes children of one's own.

Somewhere along the line, life takes a 180 degree turn. Employers no longer want one, children move on to a life of their own and one loses a partner. And yes, one loses the right to drive.

To renew my license this year, I had to appear in person. I filled out the paperwork as accurately as I could. One of the questions asked if I had ever blacked out. Since I have had syncope a couple of times, I said yes.  The state sent me a new license and some forms for the doctor to fill out. The doctor wrote that I only faint after I have moved around a bunch but I probably would not sitting or driving a car. The paperwork went off and I forgot about the whole thing.

I got a letter in the mail this week saying the state plans to revoke my license as of Jan. 27. I can appeal if I file a letter within 20 days of the date of the letter. I found a form online to fill out to seek an appeal. At the end, the form asks if I have a lawyer. Uh oh.

No I do not have a lawyer. I cannot help but think that no one wins unless one has a lawyer.

I hate to give up my freedom. I do not drive often, but I do appreciate the ability to go to the store when I need to or drive through the burger joint for a burger if I want one. I do not like that I will have to depend on, and be a burden to, others to live a reasonably normal life.

So, after a certain age, people begin to regress. Losing a driver license marks another of those milestones. The losses continue until one dies.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

When you are old

To use one of the many chiches, getting old is not for sissies. Sometime during the past year, I got old. Yesterday I fell in front of a local store. Fortunately, I did not suffer any major damage, just a few bruises and scrapes. My friend and a younger woman passerby helped me up.

Seems like overnight I went from someone with a relatively active life, friends, job, etc., to someone who finds herself sleeping to fill the long empty days. I am learning firsthand what life means for the elderly.

The first few months of retirement (I will call it that, though that decision attached itself to me rather than the other way around), I made friends on the net, organized my apartment, you know, all the chores put off because of a regular person life.

My disease got the upper hand a couple of times and I found myself learning about nursing shifts and vampires who want blood in the dark of night.

My friends continue much in the same vein as always while I drop off the living truck as it hits a bump.

Food, one of my great passions, no longer excites me. I can spend two or three minutes staring into the cabinets and refrigerator without finding anything I want to eat. The freezer door barely closes and the cabinets hold numerous choices. So I bought frozen dinners. Ugh! I barely ate half of a chicken and noodle dish before deciding that move failed.

Oh yeah, and all this spare time gives me the opportunity to relive my mistakes and replace them with what-ifs. Not good. Not good at all.

I am cold most of the time. The thermometer outside reads 76 degrees. Inside I am dragging around a lap blanket.

Sometime in the past couple of years, my internal clock decided 3 a.m. was the best hour for waking. 3 a.m. and I watch TV on mute and use my hot coffee cup to warm my cold hands. I insert naps around my Tyvaso treatments.

Dude, I do miss you especially.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another anniversary

I sense I overstayed my welcome. In fact, I probably misread the whole situation from the beginning. I do that sometimes. No matter. You know what "they" say, water under the bridge, etc., etc.

A couple of days ago, I spent a couple of hours paring my FB friends list. I cut more than 200 people I friended and with whom I never interacted. I plan to give the remaining friends some time. I cannot say I felt lighter or relieved after the culling, but I no longer have so many memes in my feed. I have lost many friends the past almost four years. When more than half your friends have chronic illnesses, you learn to deal in your own way with another death.

I have little to say.

Later, dude.

Another year

I am missing you.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just an average Joe

A couple of friends and I decided to try the latest and third in a series of  "Joe" restaurants. We went early on Friday for lunch.

The first Joe offers Italian and fine dining, the second one Mexican.

The owners transformed the latest Joe from a wide open, cement and steel facility, which formerly housed a Mexican restaurant. The transformation fell short. Much like the new eatery's menu, the decor seems a hodgepodge, none of which goes together.

All of us selected a BLT with fries. Of the other items on the menu, I only remember a hamburger. A table of six red hat ladies (minus the red hats) behind us ordered salads. Two portly men at the table beside us ordered some sort of appetizer and then had burgers and fries.

To its credit, this Joe's service rated high. The waitress came by just the right amount of times. We ran out of ketchup, which means no one checked the condiments at the tables before opening, but the staff brought us a new bottle with a smile.

The BLT ranked as average or below. Nothing special there. Nor with the fries. How hard can it be to cut their own rather than use frozen ones?

Bottom line: this is an average Joe restaurant and not one that you say to yourself, "Oh gosh, let's go there for lunch."

This Joe lacks a signature like the other two. Hopefully the owners will work out a more cohesive menu and find a way to warm up the atmosphere.

* * *

We recently tried a new Italian restaurant in a space that used to house a oriental eatery. The food and atmosphere reminded me of an Italian restaurant downtown. Pizza crust dipping bread and marinara sauce came before the meal. The shrimp fettuccine probably had been frozen and as a consequence was watery. This restaurant earned another chance sometime, but does not fall into the "must go there" category.


Miss you dude.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The pact

A couple of  guests moved in, one a few months ago, the other not long ago.

When I noticed the first one, I mentally called a truce. If she would leave me alone, I would do likewise. We lived amicably. We would see each other occasionally and I reinforced the terms of our truce.

The next stranger sashayed in through an open door. He hung about until he grew bold enough to enter. He crept around orienting himself and then disappeared. I offered him a clear path out the door, he declined. I then offered him the same pact as I did her.

Everyone lived by the terms of the agreement until yesterday when I caught her drinking water from a spill in the middle of the kitchen floor. She had broken our truce. I promised she could live here if she remained unseen. In return, I would not banish her.

Should I give her (and as a consequence him) another chance or should I declare war?

Miss you, Dude.


Friday, September 28, 2012


One day becomes another. The routine, what little prevails, bores to the point of numbness. Nothingness rules the day. Sameness becomes comfort. I am alive in the world but not a participant.

Lying in bed I hear the neighbor. She raises her voice to castigate her granddaughter, who at 10 believes she can do as she chooses. Something "over there" lures the girl. Threats fly; excuses fill the air.

Inside, the television silently relays the same sports news in a 30-minute loop interrupted at times by Judge Judy or  Wheel of Fortune.

The cats offer diversions in 10-minute increments, the rest of the day they sleep on my crumpled sheets.

A half-empty bottle of Dr Pepper stands along side a bottle of water on the bedside table.

I sit in my chair alone with my thoughts at the witching hour. No hero prepares to rescue me.

Sometimes the scent of the rose carries such power you believe you can hold it in your hand. Memories  much the same. But life, like the infinite tide, flays the detritus leaving the vulnerable and exposed.

I miss you, Dude.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pardon me

Warning: Writer stepping on soapbox.

One of those age old sayings goes: always wear clean underwear in case you are involved in an accident. Romney did not follow that warning.

Sure the candidate thought he talked privately to a room full of rich folks just like him, the old boy network, if you will.   Rather than debate the ethics of the recording, I want to write about my viewpoint of the issue.

To me, this incident speaks volumes about the candidate's character. Whether he compromised his ethics to tell the audience what they wanted to hear or whether he believes what he said, the speech was reprehensible.

Two points: 1) Say what you mean not what you know others want to hear. 2) Keep your mouth shut if you do not want what you say repeated.

I want to see real plans, not a general statement which has no blueprints.

The end.

Later, Dude.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's been a long time

A fine line exists between managing my two diseases/conditions and falling prey to them.

Some days I feel OK, other days I do not. On the not so good days, I lie down and sleep most of the day. On good days I overdo to make up for doing nothing the day before.

I can feel my body sliding over to the lie down phase more often and that tends to tilt the balance in favor of the diseases/conditions. I feel myself giving in. The more I give in, the worse I feel more of the time.

The home health agency finally discharged me after nine months. So my health lands squarely in my lap.

I am SOB much more lately. I am not sure exactly why although I have a good idea.

The objective now needs to be getting my head into the game.

I, like your friends, miss you, Dude.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 5

Day 5 of the Great Drip begins. I may go sit in the office this morning to learn about management's  problems. I can tolerate my drip better if I know a flood inundates someone else's apartment. 

Miss you Dude.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

What a day

The air conditioner drip morphed into Niagara Falls so I called the office and got the A team to come look. Their diagnosis The move unleashed all sorts of crud into the air, which puts me on the edge of another lung infection. I expect the worst.

Laters, Dude.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Such is life

First an electric company snafu, now a water woe: another leak in the apartment main. I have not taken a tally, but I would bet this makes the 10th or so time this year with no water. Oh and did I mention the humidity causes my refrigerated central air conditioner to freeze and melt?  To combat the melt cycle, two pans from the kitchen catch the drips from around the air intake thingy. Night before last I ran the air conditioner all night and both drip pans ran over. Thus a carpet mess, too.

The humidity means I have a hard time breathing. I put off chores except the most critical ones. So now the apartment looks like I do not care about my environment.

I went to renew my driver's license this morning. (Every 12 years you have to appear in person, otherwise I do it online.) I arrived at the DPS building at 7:45. The line consisted of about 30 or so people. Since I am a people watcher, the time went by quickly. I got to share with the worker about PH. I got to fill out three additional pages of paperwork -- one for PH, one for COPD and one because I had pneumonia. I also had my vision checked. Thank goodness I got new glasses. The young man took my picture without my glasses, I paid him a fee and I was outta there. The whole process took about two hours.

I made a pot of stew, cleaned the bathroom as best I could without water, and swept the kitchen. Now if I just had some water, I could wash the dishes. Yes, I am short of breath but sometimes the mess overrules SOB.

After the first week of EPL, I am in third place. "Average," the name of the competitor to make head to head weeks possible, got second. Joe, who won last year, was tops this week. Hopefully J can take average's place this week.

Missing you Dude.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In the dark

Last night the skies dumped a payload over my apartment. The electricity went off about 7:40. Fortunately my POC was mostly charged. Of course, my CPAP had no power. I slept fitfully and finally got up around 2:40. The power came back on as I contemplated trying to find my power cord for my Tyvaso in the dark, mixing today's brew and then going to my car to do my first treatment of the day.

I am thankful for the rain but feel like poop today so I am headed back to bed.

Have a great day.

Laters Dude.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Another season of EPL begins today. I miss you Dude.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Help needed

My muscles and joints shout at me and have done so for awhile. At first, Doc thought the pain came from the statin I took. I switched drugs. More pain. Still believing the pain came from the statin, Doc put me on another drug but told me to wean myself off the higher dose of the depression drug first. The lower dose of the depression med might end the dizziness, which also bothers me lately.

I have not yet started the statin but have been off the higher dose of depression med for about two weeks. At first I believed pulling weeds brought on this bout of muscle and joint aches. I did nothing for two days. Aches there still. Basically, this eliminates statins and weeds. Dizziness no longer seems an issue.

I did wake up with a sense of dread however. Do I need more depression med? I will wait to see.

Any of you guys know the answer?

Later Dude.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reflections on the games

I spent many hours watching the Olympics. In my previous life, I read about the games but only caught the highlights.

I want to know more about the gold medal winners from the smaller countries like the Dominican Republic. Yes, that country won a gold medal in track and field. I want to know more about the events most Americans know nothing about, such as race walking. I want to know about the countries that participate but have never won.

When did slapping hands after every point start? Or striking poses after winning? When did diving begin and I do not mean from a platform? The refs, for the most part, let the athletes play. Observers know when one player falls down the offender throws his hands in the air as if to say "Not me. I did nothing."

Though I am unsure about the validity of dressage as a sport, I love to watch the horses prance, particularly when they move diagonally across the arena. I am reminded of this guy in cartoons.

Other countries look up to the United States. The players imitate our sports heroes. I think America should use that influence to better relations with all countries. We should be gracious winners. Yes, we won a gazillion medals but we should extend a hug or handshake to the losers who tried their best to knock off the giant. How many of the opposing athletes knew before they mounted the balance beam they would not win? Yet these countries, large and small, continue to send athletes to the games on the chance of an upset and a little PR.

I enjoyed watching the outdoor events because historic London served as a backdrop. I remember seeing in person many of the sites the runners passed. I would love to visit the city again and see some of the  additions since the 1980s.

What will we remember about this Olympics? The Blade Runner? The Chinese hurdler? The relay runner with the broken leg? The U.S. Women's Soccer Team? Michael Phelps with his bat wing arms winning more gold?

How does a winning college basketball coach feel about coaching pro players who basically kill the opposition without direction? How do the players feel about the coach and his strategy?

How do the Olympics fit into our sports obsessed society? What do you think, Dude?


Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic efforts

I got out of bed like someone who runs every morning and likes it. I accomplished a task list that would stun a professional. Not bragging you understand, but I cleaned the bathroom, swept the kitchen, washed the dishes, changed the linens on the bed, and showered all before 9 a.m. Not bad.

I had a hot date with my friend to pay bills, buy groceries and, oh yes, eat. She picked me up about 10:30.  After a couple of trips to a couple of places and several other stops, she helped me carry groceries and cat litter into the apartment about 4:30.

A pinched nerve causes her much pain right now, so I did the legwork today. I went into the various businesses to pay her bills.

I cannot say with certainty I will be able to get out of bed tomorrow, but at least I do not have plans if that proves the case.

Mexico and Brasil play for the Olympics gold medal in soccer tomorrow. Watching soccer should count for some exercise, right? After all, I have to get out of the bed and walk to the living room. The guys play so hard for 90 minutes, I am sure watching them will count toward exercise, right?

The new EPL season begins a week from tomorrow. Would you consider dumping Lamps? I will not.

Laters, Dude.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hello there

Day before yesterday when I had no interwebs, I wanted to write. I had all sorts of ideas. Today not so much.

Pogo invented a new cover-up method: air scratch, something like air guitar.

Something I learned about the internet: it fuels isolation but also opens the door to another world.

Pulling weeds fulfills an urge to dig in the dirt plus offers token exercise.

Missing you all the more Dude.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

While I remember

I am addicted to roasted almonds. The nut's profile reads like a who's who of nutrition. If that were not reason enough, the flavor and crispness make them a good substitute for chips.

My addictions do not end with almonds. I could gorge on Rainier cherries, red grapes and fresh salmon.

Just like a smart child, Pogo knows where I hid the treats. Now, every time I walk into the kitchen Pogo breaks his neck trying to beat me to the cabinet. And just like a child, if I do not bring out the treat bag, he cries and all but throws himself on the floor in a fit. Like many parents I give in so I can have peace. Call me Pavlov.

The drought drove a bumper crop of insects into the cooler homes. I charted water bugs, roaches, sugar ants and some funky bug that reminds me of Dale Earnhardt Jr. The war wages on. I made a deal with the spiders: I will not squash you flat if you will not bite me. So far the accord holds.

My rescue rose hangs on by its thorns. Of course a week without water did nothing to help its health.

Yesterday I pulled weeds, the day before I cruised the aisles of Wallyworld. Today I do not want to do anything and most likely will not.

Laters, Dude.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I had a dream

House gremlins did their dirty work while I slept. The party in the kitchen spilled over into the living room and bathroom. Looks like my boys did nothing to stop the fun and actually participated themselves. Now they sleep and I face a day's worth of chores.

Morpheus' gift clung to me after I woke. Former colleagues, the newspaper and the Tea Room, and some guilt. A former boss looks for evidence of a chicken in our purses. Much anxiety as the boss presses for "the truth." I pass the test but lose my purse. C comes to the rescue.

I feel the presence of someone or something as it tries to convey a message. Even Momo, his eyes as big as saucers, notices and keeps staring at the living room from a perch in the bedroom. Like smoke rising in front of a fan, the feeling dissipates. 

Strength, love and peace, Dude.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tools of the trade

Denial: what a useful tool of the mind. Like rose-colored glasses, I slap denial on to shield myself from the harsh glare of reality.

Doc tells me my body fights two major enemies, either of which will win in the end. I am responsible for the COPD.  I do not know the cause of the pulmonary hypertension.

Denial: I could do such and such if not for the heavy air, the heat, wind (choose appropriate word for the day).

Wanna come to my pity party? All of us use this tool at times despite its despised reputation.

I am familiar with what if as well. I paint over the worst of the scars with suppositions. What if I had not blah blah blahed? You get the picture.

Tools serve their purpose as long as I do not use them as a permanent crutch.

Later Dude.

Monday, July 23, 2012

On my mind

Our country offers opportunity and freedom. Applied by a sane loving person, everyone benefits. This freedom, which many of us take for granted, covers all. Even those for whatever reason decide to kill as many fellow humans as possible. Arming ourselves to the teeth will not prevent innocent people from dying anymore than taking away the guns. The lid has been off that Pandora's box for too long.

We instead need to change our collective mindset. We control our immediate environment, so we need  awareness, then action.

I wish the media would resist labeling their coverage of such events with catch phrases which cheapen the lives of the dead. Yes, learning about the killer and the hows and whys fit right in with our gossipy society. We care more about the details of a movie star's divorce than the children "in that other part of town" who grow up alone and starving.

Are our lives so miserable and mundane that murder no longer makes a dent in our collective psyche? Nowadays only the "massacres" grab the media's attention. What about the woman who died at the hands of her spouse? Why don't we care about her? What about the families that have to grieve their mother, sister, cousin? Even victims of "massacres" fall by the wayside with the next horrific occurrence.

At first, the losses sear our hearts with grief and a determination to change. Then we build memorials so we will not forget. We drag out the dead to mourn on anniversaries. The years pass and those who remember the events firsthand start to die. The younger ones remember the carnage as they do the past, with hazy pictures.

The cycle continues.

Later Dude.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Everyone who wants to eat, raise your paw.
A former radio/record player cabinet.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Etc., etc.

After almost two full days of sleep, I am ready to clean something -- anything. Crumbs and cat food litter the kitchen floor. In the bathroom, litter litters. The trash threatens to morph into a science project and the sheets  ... well, you get the idea. I am afraid the rescue rose may slip into the irretrievable zone.

If I let myself, I could use writing as an excuse for avoiding the work. Then food followed by a nap will take the reins. The longer I put off the chores, the harder I make cleaning.

I managed cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and gathered the trash. I stripped the bed, so now I need to put fresh linens on before I can nap. That will happen soon. The old body moans and creaks like a haunted house.

Laters Dude.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yes, it is all about me

I see situations from the inside out. How I feel about myself plays a major role in my actions and reactions. I have a hard time living. So much so that I spent hours sleeping rather than facing my day-to-day existence. I  virtually isolated myself.

I visited chat recently for the first time in a long time. I reached out to those whom I thought would understand my situation better than anyone. The one who reached out was timid and lonely.

After the initial hellos, the conversation continued. I contributed, but what I said was incorrect and I was corrected. A lull in the conversation ensued. I took the silence personally. From inside out, the lack of conversation told me I was intruding and not wanted.  I said as much and left.

One of the chatters immediately castigated me in a FB PM. The chatter told me I had been rude and many, many things were not about me.

I agree, I was rude. I guess I had expected something different from the group that had been such a part of my life at one time. I expected them to be mind readers: since I was there for the first time in a long time, I needed attention.

I do not like me. Why should anyone else?

Later, Dude.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Take notice

Have you ever noticed that a newscast video never seems to last as long as the reader's script? Why cannot the one shooting video for a story get several minutes extra so the editor will not have to show the same little girl walking into the school three times? I would rather see the reader reading rather than repeating video.

Have you ever noticed when you are stuck in neutral no one wants to give you a push?

Later Dude.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hide & sleep

I know dealing with a depressed person can be a downer. Many do not know what to do, so they stay away and do nothing. Others believe a depressed person can "get over it" if they try hard enough.

Depression combines guilt with low self-esteem. Depressed people have lost the ability to see the picture clearly.

Depressed people often think if they hide and sleep the pain will go away. You find yourself sliding into a hole and you cannot see daylight any longer. You need a hand to get out, but you believe no one wants to help. Your pain grows.

Depressed people can act right up there with Meryl Streep. See them at the store smiling and teasing. Happy! Happy! And a big lie.

Many depressed people quit seeking help. Why bother? No one understands. People who are happy are much easier to like.

A sense of frustration dogs depressed people. Why do they feel this way and no one else does? Why do others not recognize a depressed person needs some help, not abandonment? One tiny gesture might make a difference.

Laters, Dude.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I grew weary of this life
And wary of my death.
Since this I simply can't abide,
I opt for sleeper sofa suicide.

Sleeper sofa suicide
Just lay my body down.
Sleeper sofa suicide
I end up under ground.

I’d been to the purpose shop,
But could not find my size.
So I lay myself down this mornin'
For some sleeper sofa suicide.

Sleeper sofa suicide
Just lay your body down.
Sleeper sofa suicide
I end up under ground.

Sleeper sofa suicide
Just lay your body down.
Sleeper sofa suicide
I end up under ground.

Laters Dude.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Enough already

I have started writing this post a half dozen times over the past couple of weeks. I get a sentence or two down and walk away. Below I offer a couple of the efforts.

June 18:
Write your own. Yep! I offer some thoughts below, you can fill in the details or not.

Empathy the enemy.

Check out the shocking video.

Where did all the leaders go?

June 23:
Does the Geek Squad only hire those who look the part too? Could a cute guy sue for discrimination?

The nurse told me today my lungs were trashy.

June 24:
The past couple of days the sadness moved in, seeping under the doors and saturating the air I breathe. The moroseness wraps around me threatening to smother me.

I called Doc's office around 4 yesterday and left word on the nurse's line that the home health nurse noted crackles in my left lung and, oh yes, I think I need my med for depression adjusted. I asked if I could be worked in today if he wants to see me, or does he want to wait until my August appointment. 

  Pogo makes lemonade.

 Miss you Dude. Laters.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I do not seem to fit anywhere anymore. I am not pointing the finger of blame because the main finger should indicate I am the most to blame.

Later. Dude.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another goodbye

I met him in pulmonary rehab: one man with a great sense of humor and a bunch of women. We teased him about his harem.

I would pull into the parking lot of the hospital and know he beat me to class because his shiny red pickup sat in the handicap space. Sometimes I would overtake him before he got to the classroom; his lungs refused to allow him to move quickly.

As the rehab sessions progressed, so did he. No one tried any harder than he did. With his harem rooting him on, he worked on upper body strength at first. Gradually he improved enough to do some treadmill. 

When the cardio rehab folks decided on a weight loss challenge, several of us joined in. He worked on losing weight, too.

He was proud of his family and loved Texas Tech. Those who did not know him, missed someone special.

Rest in peace Mitch.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I wonder

Chester A. Arthur vampire hunter. Not the same verve as Abe, huh? More than 100 years after his death, he earns a spot in current culture. I wonder if the president would laugh or shake his head in dismay.

I wonder if thousands of years from now someone will stumble upon this blog and use it as an artifact in the study of mankind in the 21st century.

I wonder why someone would want to remake really bad movies. Has Hollywood lost its imagination? Have all the ideas been used?

I wonder if cherries and pistachios make the perfect snack?

I wonder if cockroaches adapted to their environment over the milleniums or if they were built that way.

I wonder why people who live in your town and go hungry are less important than people who starve in another country.

I wonder why a church will spend an enormous amount of money making their building over when the money could feed hungry children for years. No child asks to be born into a home with no food, shelter, clothing or love. "Yeah, give me parents who want a baby as an accessory or as another $20 a month in food stamps. I will raise myself, see what you get then."

If money equals power, I wonder what love equals?

If you do not accept either choice, what then?

If you do not like the way your life flows, make changes.

I miss you, Dude.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Go get it!

Momo fetches his carrot in a game he taught me how to play.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Why do I shut down when adversity strikes? I do not think dealing with a situation should present such a.drastic reaction. I am sure sleep resolves nothing but if I am sleeping, I do not have to face the situation and make a decision or take action.

My car decided to spring a leak in the fuel line Sunday. I called the mechanic yesterday. He says do not drive the car. I drove it a couple of times before calling the mechanic. So now I have to call a tow company to have the car taken in. The mechanic said he has been busy, so I will be without a car for a few more days.

Later, Dude.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Real life

Real life makes writing a blog post daily hard. Unless you make up events, readers get pretty tired of reading about scooping the cat box and washing dishes. Writers get pretty tired of that as well. For us sickies, writing about the ever present doctor's appointment or test grows wearisome.

On days such as this, Pogo and Momo illustrate what we all do best. Later, Dude.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Doctor, doctor

The weight of sadness built so slowly at first I did not notice. A need for transplant here; loss of a home there.

At first I could offer an ear and sympathy without a thought. Gradually listening took over my life. From the time I got up until the time I went to bed I immersed myself in the stories. Lost in the details of other people's heartaches, I did not notice the load grow heavier and heavier until the day I realized one more bit of grief would crush me.

Slowly now I begin to salve the wounds. I hope for a short convalescence.

Missing you, Dude.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Hooray!! My energy and motivation returned at the same time. When you basically do nothing for a couple of weeks, the chores stack up at a frightening rate. I started with the cosmetic tasks: trash, dishes and bathroom. The stack of papers on my desk stands next in line. Then changing the bed linens and a trip to the cat food store and dollar store looms.

Well, the day did not line up according to the plan. I got all the garbage emptied. My mower guy did the yard. I did get those papers either filed or shredded. The end.

Salmon for supper: super!!

Later, Dude.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I have so many pictures in my mind of what my apartment and yard could look like if my body could do its part.

The dresses at left gained popularity in the 1960s. On two news programs today, the anchors wore variations of this dress.

Gray skies and a cool wind mark this Memorial Day weekend much like the holiday in the past. The Junior League used to sponsor a three-day festival over Memorial Day. Various charities operated booths at the event. Up and coming musicians played the three stages. Funfest had areas set aside for children. Funfest brought success and rain. Invariably precipitation visited the event at least one of the days but participants did not seem to mind.

Momo just escaped onto the patio and before I could grab him, he snagged baby bird that had apparently fallen on the porch. I grabbed a paper towel and ran after Momo who had taken the bird to the living room, Pogo in hot pursuit. I took the baby and  put it in the grass away from the door. I do not know if it lived. Now I know why that adult bird kept yelling and looking at the patio this morning.

I overdid yesterday and now I am waiting to do my next Tyvaso treatment before I head back to bed for my first nap of the day. 

Later, Dude.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You don't need a weatherman ...

One of my local TV stations offers an early morning program featuring a newswoman and a weatherman. The weatherman does a great job with the weather, but he lacks skills as a interviewer/chitchatter. Each time I watched the show the weatherman reminded me of someone but I could not figure out who. I finally decided the weatherman has many traits of Stan Laurel (See link above.) 

My boys love the vacuum box. Like a child with a tent, the boys take nap time in the shelter. After awhile the newness wears off, and I set the box upright near the door. Momo wanted in the box. He stood on his hind legs and his front paws barely reached the top of the box. He tried and tried to pull the box over. When that did not work, he hopped on the cat tree and tried to pull the box over again. This procedure only partially succeeded; the box got stuck at an angle between the tree and the old vacuum. He walked around the box and looked at it from all sides. He tried to pull the box on over, but it would not go. He climbed back on the tree and pulled. The box moved some more. He jumped off the tree and finally the box fell. He went inside for a few minutes, then walked away, satisfied he beat the box today.

 My shedding of hair continues. *sigh*

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

'Til I gain control

Doc says I left wheeze and crackle behind, for awhile anyway. He said I really need a statin-drug, so I am going to try one-half a 5 mg tablet of Crestor on MWF. He said if my muscles and joints start to ache again, to quit. He gave me enough samples to last until my next appointment. In turn I gave him extra meds I had to help those who need some help. He gave one of them to the man in the next room.

The nurse did not make me weigh today. She did do the blood pressure and pulse ox. The o2 finally reached 91 after I sat and talked a bit. The heart rate was near 100. The other doctor in the office took off as well as the scheduler, so I got full attention from the nurse. All in all a good visit. I go back in August.

A junk food binge like no other plagues me. I went crazy at the store with sweets. Now I plan a fast food expedition. My apartment sits near a junk food crossroads: less than five minutes to any place offering fare for any hankering. Want a Route 44 from Sonic? No problem? Taco Tuesday? Touche. Pizza? Plenty of possibilities. Most of the time I can ignore the come hither messages of the billboards. Not the past week. How long after taking prednisone does your body think it needs extra fuel?  Which brings this song to mind:

I will conclude this now so I can beat the intolerant heat of high 90s.

Miss you, Dude. Laters.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Small post

I bought some bulbs to plant during my marathon shopping expedition today at Wallyworld. All the bedding plants looked like an inexperienced worker forgot to water them. Others failed the wind test, the flowers limp and torn. I bought food, too, including way too many sweets and not nearly enough of the healthy stuff. Chocolate rates as healthy, right? Celery crunches as do cookies? Does chocolate make the choice of cookies any less devastating?

Chelsea won the Champs League, Dude!!


Friday, May 18, 2012


I thought about you and soccer today. Maybe because Euro play will kick off soon.

I began to love soccer by tagging along with my godsons when they learned to play at age 4. I learned much more than the average person knows about the rules and finer points of play. I love to watch a match between teams that play with finesse. Barcelona comes to mind. Thanks for the introduction.

Your love of soccer developed because of the numbers. You did not know much of the heart but you could pick the players. Eventually, you got attached.

Funny how the world works. I still miss getting up early to watch a match.

Laters, Dude.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I slept almost 24 hours. During the night, I had dreams of rejection by former colleagues.

Yesterday the apartment owner ordered a worker to cut down my tree. I felt as if he had ordered the execution of a friend. I blew a gasket. I called the manager and let all the anger and frustration blast him. Every little problem about the apartment came out of me like projectile vomit. I told him I had lived in this apartment since 1999 and had called twice to fix something. I always pay my rent on time and never give him any trouble. I told him I tried to make my yard livable and nice and am rewarded by removing my tree.

I hung up and began to stew. I called again, apologized and the tirade began anew.

I finally cooled down after I decided to take an extra Xanax. I would love to move into a small house behind a larger house.

I miss you, Dude.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This or that?

Another EPL season gone. I think the guys did not participate as fully as they should have. I almost beat the fantasy league champion. He nosed me out the final week.

I grow weary of all the cross-promotion on TV. The sports channels now share the greedy, big business plan with the major networks.

I worry about our country. Do we really want four or five companies controlling every aspect of our lives? Greed does not usually lead to philanthropy.

Google the question "Why does God let us suffer?" Responses line the screen, but none offers reasons which seem logical to me. One choice was because God wants us to like him. You like God because he lets you lie in a bed, eaten alive with cancer and in so much pain you want to die? To contrast this life with heaven? I do not know the answer; I am not sure anyone does.

I am addicted to dry roasted peanuts. My ankles look good, so bring on the nuts.

I am amazed how quickly grass grows after a rainfall.

 The boys appreciate the smells and sights of spring more than say winter.

I love you all. I miss you, Dude.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just me

Using others as a standard, I have no life. I leave my apartment once a week, maybe. I do little around the apartment. I do not watch TV, other than shows which loop during the day. I do not feel sorry for myself, just stating facts.

Last weekend of EPL, Dude. I miss you.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I wonder who creates categories for statistics. For instance, the number of playoff home games lost in the afternoon. I mean really, who cares? Does a book exist with all this information? Who spends time compiling this stuff? If you wager on sporting events, then perhaps some of the details might help you with your bet.

I took some time away from FB. Sickness kept me away for a few days,  then the elements conspired to kill my phone/internet service.

Later, Dude.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I understand why you might get fed up with me. I get fed up with myself. I want friends but I make being friends with me mighty hard. You who put up with this kind of abuse surprise me. I am thankful and know I am a lucky person.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Dadgummit, why are my emotions a train wreck every time I get sick?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RIP baby bird

After about 12 hours on the ground, the baby bird died. I suspect a neighborhood cat found an easy snack. I knew when I first saw the fledgling it did not have a chance. I watched mom and dad bird feed their baby; they did not abandon it all through the day. The pair of sparrows still worked as I closed the shade for the night.

I want to cry.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The birdwoman of Ridgecrest

The teenager came to mow today for the first time. He made eye contact, was polite and did a wonderful job. The teen vacuumer told me yesterday she would stay and do a couple of extra jobs. She vacuumed, including the baseboards. She also cleaned the front door, taking the glass out of the lower portion of the door. She cleaned under the crisper and the lower shelves in the refrigerator that are so hard for me to do. I am blessed to  have these two in my life.

Dr. House brought another male with him to feed today along with a couple of females. The mowing means I can observe the birds feeding habits a bit better. Today one of the birds used its feet to scratch up a cloud of seeds. It walked a bit farther and did the scratching again.

 I saw a sparrow hover like a harrier, its wings knocking the seeds from the stalks of grass.  I noticed nosy young birds hopping on the patio with my cats a few inches away (but behind glass).

Sparrows squabble. A spot on the fence becomes one upmanship. They squawk and fuss most of the time. They pick on each other like a couple of  brothers in the back seat of a car. The female shakes her booty and the male puffs up like a pompous politician. They do their little fence top tango. Afterward, they fly away in opposite directions.

I am losing the battle. I have been for weeks. I thought giving into my obsession would curb the cravings. I got one day's relief before I lost control again. I tried some of the best; some I had not enjoyed for awhile, thinking this move will fix the problem. Sad to say nope.

My stomach begins to burn in that familiar way. I stretch and twist, hoping to ease the discomfort. Yet my irresistible urge for satisfaction begins to overshadow all. I head for the kitchen where I hid the evidence of my yearning. There in the cabinet behind the bread and instant coffee it waits. Finally I give in, knowing the satisfaction of the moment will give way to guilt and pain.

The cacao bean got me again.

Boy, Dude.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some more just me

Here you see my baking cabinet. Just enough room for what you see. The space continues on the left, but containers get lost in the corners where I cannot reach. I also manage to wound myself reaching into those dark spaces. Yes, you do see salt on two of those shelves. I use the umbrella girl salt to clean my iron skillet or if a recipe calls for salt. On the bottom shelf sits a sea salt grinder. Sometimes I allow myself a half-turn.

I took everything out of the cabinets I cleaned today, wiped the shelves down with an antibacterial soap and water solution (I had no bleach and refused to go get some). I tossed outdated spices and sorted the foods so I can find them more easily. I also did four drawers.

I also swept the kitchen floor and did a mountain of dishes.

Then I took a three-hour nap. I hope to clean the refrigerator tomorrow.

But you do not really care about all this, do you? I bet you are bored to tears.

Recognition for the writer, whether blogger or Pulitzer winner, hangs in the background as an impetus for toiling over a single word. You hope someone reads what you wrote and identifies with the emotion you try to describe. You want someone to pat you on the back and tell you job well done. Your brain struggles to find ways to touch others.

At times, inspiration comes from the desperation of loneliness. Experiences tint the atmosphere of what we write. Our imaginations allow us to be mini gods in control of our own worlds.

Anywho, Dude. I miss you.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

While I am thinking about it

Everywhere I went today, people seemed on the edge. Either tempers flew or airheaditis prevailed.  The day featured backtracking and near misses. I needed to get out, but I should have stayed in.

I also ran into some long distance snags which resulted in my frustration and anger. I fumed about the business I had no luck dealing with. I finally decided to cancel the order and try another tact. Never mind that the whole mess caused me to miss a deadline. One I wanted badly to meet.

Spring means hairball season, a twice a year delight. The sound of hacking in the middle of the night means getting up and tracking down the cat and/or vomit, hoping you do not step in the mess before spotting it.

I bought a new mop and broom today. If the new instruments of cleaning do not make a difference in the amount of missed debris on the floors, then I guess my next step should be the eye doctor. Not five minutes after I sweep and mop the kitchen, my bare feet tell me I missed some bit of kibble. Just for five minutes I wish I could rest from work and then relish my trip to get a bottle of water.

I discovered tortillas. Oh, I met them often at Taco Bell, but my love affair grew after I brought a package home. Throw a bit of whatever lines the shelves of the 'fridge onto a tortilla, add cheese and picante and nuke for a few seconds. Heaven explodes in the mouth.

I am exploring the wonderful world of cheese. Varieties I have seen but not tasted get their chance in my shopping basket. After tasting the cheese in a sandwich or tortilla, I turn to the cookbook to examine further options. I do not possess a world class palate, but I love to try new foods at least once.

I also bought some wildflower seeds that love sun and some marigold seeds. Now I have to figure out how to plant the wildflowers so the lawn mower will not decapitate them every week. I may need to invest in more pots. Smallish pots would mean I could do most of the work sitting inside and then move the pots to the patio.

I have a cute little interloper in the gang of sparrows that hangs out on my fence. This little guy seems braver than his pals or maybe foolhardy fits better. He stands out in the crowd on the fence. Even with my poor eyesight, I recognize him by his red head and chest when he arrives. Dr. House (finch) resides somewhere close by. Mrs. House stops in for a nibble or two and sometimes Dr. House feeds her. I suspect a family nearby. Dr. House bravely pecks around on the ground long after the warning cry goes out among the sparrows. Dr. House jumps off the fence first or sips water from the pie plate first. Then the other birds swoop in and run the little fellow off. I spotted a robust robin the other morning. What a beauty!

Time for some relaxing.

Miss you, Dude.


Monday, April 16, 2012


The clean laundry sits in two baskets right where C placed them when he brought them in. The dirty dishes, stacked neatly, beg to be washed. When I walk into the kitchen, I am reminded the floor needs attention.

I spent yesterday alternately between the bathroom and the couch. Not real sure why. I did not feel especially bad, just my body getting rid of all the crap I had eaten in the past few days. Now, I admit, I am much more comfortable. Hopefully reason takes over now. Not the most fun way to spend a Sunday, I can assure you.

I hear the couch calling my name.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Coming clean

Have you noticed that drawers and shelves manage to overflow when you are not looking? Seemingly overnight my desk drawer ate all the pens and that tack I put in there for safe keeping evaporated.

Organizing takes minimal energy, unless you take on the closet where all the oddball paraphernalia of your life eventually ends up. Then you face the keep it or toss it conundrum. The minute the item hits the Dumpster you find a use for it.

My boys love to help me by exploring the far reaches of a closet where they might find an ancient bug which died a year ago. Momo exits the dark space covered with dust, spider webs and other evidence of his exploration. Pogo uses his paw to help sort by pushing items he considers not worth saving onto the floor. Other objects he tests for their functionality as toys.

Pogo's favorite closet contains towels, tissue and soap. He finds the stack of towels soft and comfy for a respite from all the hard work.

Cleaning takes motivation, but also fuel. Pogo knocks back a couple of cans before beginning, then a nap soon follows. Then maybe one more can before work begins.

I, too, need energy to clean, so I cook a bit of breakfast. Then I need a rest as well, so cleaning takes a backseat for awhile and maybe a day or two.

At my age, I can wear my gown all day and no one cares. And if my drawers are not clean, so what!!

Later, Dude.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Listen to the voice!

I often mention that "still small voice" or the gut feeling I get about some things. Sometimes I pay attention or perhaps I should say recognize the message and at other times I either do not pay attention or decide the message unimportant.

The most recent incident started Monday morning. I had a specific gift I wanted to send someone. I did some online shopping and rejected one firm because of its size and chose another. The warning bells rang, but I rationalized away the message with reasoning of my own. Besides only the one store had that perfect gift.

The store could not deliver the gift on time, but could deliver a day later, so I sent off my order into cyberspace. I received an email confirmation and a number.

The voice fairly shouted this afternoon, so I called the store. A person took my information, the confirmation number and said she would get back to me. I fear the gift will not arrive until at least Monday now. Oh yeah, I checked my bank account and the store does not appear in the list of debits. Bottom line: I should have listened to my still small voice. Now I am upset.

Pogo took over my spot when I got up to get another cup of coffee. Wonder who rules my house?

Tomorrow the weather guys predict a gale, so my friend C and I got out today to do some errands and get groceries. Since the trip was spur of the moment, I did not have the usual detailed list. Plus nothing sounds good right now although I have no trouble eating everything I think might be what I want.

I got tortillas, beans, avocados, lunch meat, potatoes, tomatoes and a bunch of cheese of different kinds. Eating should prove interesting at least.

I did more today than I have done in quite awhile. Tomorrow I may pay.

Miss you, Dude.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Try a little kindness

To whom it may concern:

A great many people in my circle endure some kind of  hardship. Those people who count their blessings, who know there are others who suffer more than they do, live lives worth emulating. Selfish describes most of us at times. The people who break outside their pain to offer a kind word to others find their pain diminishes for a  time.

When you start to whine about your health or husband or other burdens you bear, remember someone, maybe the person next to you in the grocery line, has many more problems than you do. Learn to let go of your anguish. By helping someone else, you start a ripple effect, the results of which you may not see. Ways exist to help others without spending a dime. The list below offers some ideas. Make a list of your own.
  1. Do not like leftovers? Share your excess with the neighbor who gets in late from work.
  2. Pick up the trash someone tossed rather than walking over it.
  3. Offer to check the mail for a disabled person in your apartment complex.
  4. Volunteer to read to someone who has trouble seeing.
  5. Help an older person or someone with limited funds apply for help with medicines.
Live each day as though you will die tomorrow. Do not wait to perform an act of kindness, it might not get done.

Love and miss you, Dude.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


My man in brown apparently abandoned my route for another. The new man could not find my apartment. I waited all day for the delivery of my Tracleer. Someone from UPS called after delivery hours to get directions to my apartment. I will let you conclude what you will from this.

I plan to get outside some today and clean off the patio and maybe plant some flowers.

OK, I have had enough for awhile. I am sure you would agree.

Later, Dude.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A new hole

I sleep a ridiculous amount of time -- a morning nap, an afternoon nap and then the overnight nap. I do this without help from the medicine chest. I realize the COPD and PH contribute more than their share. Somewhere in the back of my brain, a bell rings in alarm. That much sleep cannot be good for me in many ways.

So today, rather than take an afternoon nap, I went to the grocery and the UPS store. I bought drinks and ice cream on sale.  I shipped two nebs back to Accredo. I stopped by the apartment office to see if I will have water in my backyard this summer.

Now I am tired.

Hey, Dude. I miss you.


Sunday, April 8, 2012


Two thousand years seems forever. Four billion even more forever. I am a mere blink.

I never imagined the real retirement. I easily fell into the safety net of my apartment. Days go by and I see no one. My little world offers security.

Occasionally the gang of little girls rings my doorbell to tattle-tale on each other. And, of course, the man in brown rings my doorbell about twice a month. My friend calls me almost daily, so contact exists. But I find for the most part this interaction fills my quota.

I am thankful for what wisdom I have. I do not believe I am one of P.T. Barnum's folks like so many seem. Then again, I did not avoid a fatal flaw or two of my own.

I have time now. What am I doing?

Later, Dude.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

One leads to another

I said no today. I had an invitation to go to the grocery, but I simply did not want to get dressed. I seldom say no. Today I did. Now I worry that I hurt my friend's feelings. Will she be mad at me? Will she quit trying to make an effort to work me into her busy life?

I do not really want my vacuumer to come tomorrow, either. I hate to discourage her, but I am not into cleaning for the cleaner and my apartment needs the cleaning.

Someone close to my heart sent me some beautiful tulips today. What a wonderful surprise. Especially today when I am feeling a bit down.

Not much into it today, Dude.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mini editorial

I notice a rash of what I call "the sky is falling" emails and postings on FB. I got an email today with lots of pictures of "our military doing good" with a scattering of Jesus and prayerful emoticons. The email charges the ACLU filed suit to end prayer in the military.

In these type of postings and emails, not a bit of attribution. If the ACLU filed suit, in this computer world, anyone can find records of such lawsuits. Several web sites track down rumors and urban legends. The ACLU and military prayer email in one form or another has been around since 2006.

Disinformation can be deadly. See link for definition

Having such open communications as we do today has both advantages and disadvantages. Just because you read something on FB does not make it true. I grow frightened about the number of people who cannot think for themselves.

Later, Dude.

The little things

Lately I have had a pretty negative opinion of the world at large. The latest incident in a long line involves FB and those sick baby pictures. One of my friends, whom I do not know that well, posted one of those photos. I pointed out that the picture was a fraud. This particular friend replied basically "so what, it raises awareness." One of my longtime friends replied this way.

"I really wish people would check out the real stories behind the pictures being posted of the burned baby and the little girl needing a heart transplant. First of all, Facebook will never ever ever donate money to anything no matter how many times it gets passed around. Secondly, the burned baby picture is very outdated. Thirdly, the little girl needing the heart transplant died in 2008. Please check before clicking the Share button!!"

Then yesterday my world view shifted a bit. I put out a call on FB to see if I could find some teenager wanting to earn a small amount of money to mow my small yard. A woman I worked with at the paper said her husband would do it.

Despite temperatures in the low 40s and rain the day before, her husband showed up to mow with his grandson in tow. The whole yard took him a long while. He had to stop and rest frequently. After he finished, he sat on the edge of his car's trunk and we chatted for a bit.

This man lives his faith. He was born without a sternum. He had polio twice. He told me the doctors did not expect him to live. A surgery when he was 5 gave him a sternum fashioned from a rib. Yet he is alive today with a wife of many years and several grandchildren.

I offered him a small amount of money for mowing. He refused to take it. He told me helping others is a way to repay what he received. I told him I would pay it forward. I was blessed. I also got a wonderful hug from his grandson.

Good people live in this world, too. I need to work harder to find them; I need to work harder to live that way.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Neither black nor white

Today put on a gray coat. The temperature fell in sympathy. So my mood joined the wake. So did Pogo in his own style.
Later, Dude.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The cop was cute

Technology often gets the best of me. Software I want to use may not be the "it" brand for my operating system. So I upload what I want. My security system performs its function and tells me this program will eat my computer in two bytes. So the war begins.

I got conned into updating my Yahoo Chat quite by accident. Now I have no contacts, no archive and no chat. Who says computers will not take over the world leaving us mere humans in the dust?

Today I am determined to do a couple of errands. Pogo had to sustain himself on lunch meat and chicken tenders since Saturday. He will eat only so much people food before he rebels. An unhappy Pogo makes for an unhappy me, mainly because his vocal disdain can be relentless.

A quick update then I am hitting the couch for a couple of hours. Went to ATM, dollar store, Petsmart, UPS store twice, got a ticket for an expired inspection sticker for the car, and the grocery store. Then I carried four cases and a 10-pound bag of cat food into the house along with 24 pounds of cat litter (in two containers), smaller items from both stores, and the remainder of the water from a previous trip.

The other chores can wait; I am pooped.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I need an energy star me

Every day I wake up with a limited amount of energy. Some days the energy allows me to cook and wash dishes. Other days my allotment lets me get dressed and shop. Energy does not carry over from one day to the next, so deciding how much energy I have and how to spend it becomes an essential part of my routine in the morning, much like coffee.

No matter how much energy I have to spend, certain tasks must be done daily, i.e., the cat box. I can skip everything else if errands demand action. However, if I wait too long to start the errands, then pretty much nothing gets done.

Today my teen vacuumer did her thing. While she worked, I did the dishes. Now I am not so sure the errand I planned to accomplish will happen today. In fact, I am sure it will not.

Later, Dude.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Girls, girls, girls

Yesterday afternoon my doorbell rang. On the other side of the door stood a group of girls. The spokeswoman informed me Chris sat on my car. Now, I know what to do if a group of boys shows up at my door with that kind of information (they would not), but girls are another story, so I was in uncharted territory.

Chris, it seems, lives next door. She of the hissy fits. I began by asking why she sat on my car. She shrugged. Then one of the other girls tells me if you sit on the hood of a car it might catch fire. Hmmm. I "knew" one of the girls -- some months ago, she sold me some ribbon she no doubt bought for half the amount I paid. I turned to her. She gave me the "oh, not me, I did nothing" look.

I asked Chris her age. I told her the other day when she had a screaming fit she acted like a 3-year-old. She told me her grandmother was the one screaming. I said no, I heard every word and she acted like a baby.

I told the girls sitting on the back of my car would be OK, which immediately sent them elsewhere. Girls and their drama. P.S. I coughed the whole time I talked to the girls. A cracker crumb went down the wrong pipe right before the doorbell rang. I think the girls wondered about that.

My best friend hurt my feelings yesterday. She did not know she hurt them. Reflecting on the words she said leads me to the conclusion that I am oversensitive. Best I jump in a hole for awhile.

I miss so much, Dude.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

And another thing

Random thoughts for a random day:

  • Which should I do first: drink my second cup of coffee or wash my hair?
  •  I should take pictures before and after the yard gets a haircut.
  • Pogo does not know if the bag contains nuts or kitty treats, but he recognizes a particular size bag with similar packaging. Pistachios would disappoint him.
  • I grow weary of FB memes. Google the term; I had to.
  • I wonder what Congress does. Seems to me nada, when you get right down to it.
  • No one in his right mind would want the office of president of the United States.
  • More often than not, I want to crawl into a hole and hide.
  • The older I get, the less I like most people.
  • I wonder who wrote the book of love.
  • Harley, the dog next door, barks at himself.
  • Feeling like crap grows old.
  • Another day.
Later, Dude.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I got it done

The odyssey of Cindy and the soup begins. I decided soup tasted better to me than anything I had gorged on the past couple of weeks. So even though the temperatures may hit the upper 80s today, soup headlines the menu.

I overdid the grocery shopping. Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards put mine to shame, so off to the grocery I go. Did I choose the neighborhood store? Oh no. I picked Wallyworld. You know, gargantuan Wallyworld. After more than an hour, I began to load the trunk of the car. I got all thousand bags (OK, I exaggerate) loaded. But what to do about the case of water? Fortunately a young man and his family were heading in and I asked him to load the water. His mind must have been miles away because his wife had to translate the request.

I did not have the luxury of a nice young man at home to help with the bags. By now I have zero energy. I burned up half an hour carrying and resting between trips. I toted the water a few bottles at a time.

Putting away the groceries took time as well; however, I am proud to say the ice cream did not melt nor the lettuce wilt. I did. A four-hour nap remedied that situation.

Time to peel potatoes and carrots.

Later, Dude.

Monday, March 26, 2012


A FB friend announced she chooses life over medicine's side effects. She plans to stop her meds and live life and leave the rest up to God.  By doing this, does she dare God to intercede?

I know medicines carry many side effects that make our lives miserable. Some folks suffer more side effects than others. I got my diagnosis almost seven years ago but I remember vividly how I felt at the time. 

I would take the elevator from the third floor to the first floor and walk outside to smoke a cigarette. Then take the elevator back to the third floor and walk into the newsroom. I had to stop by the mailboxes and lean on the table to catch my breath. 

By the time I walked from a parking space into the grocery store I had to lean on the potato display to catch my breath. Several shoppers stopped to ask if I were all right and one of the store's managers brought me a chair to sit on. I thought I was dying.

My feet and ankles swelled to the point I could not put on my tennis shoes (the largest, most flexible shoe I owned). 

I quit smoking with the help of my heart doctor, whom I had to see because of the smoking. He introduced me to Doc, who got the COPD under control with medicines. These meds list a whole menu of side effects. My body adapted to the meds without many, if any, of the bad guys coming along.

Doc got the COPD under control then began a series of tests to determine why I still exhibited so many symptoms. PH decided to come along for the ride. Doc told me a "cure" for PH will not happen anytime soon. So, more medicines with their own set of side effects.

Again my body adapts to the meds. Oh, I am not saying I do not have side effects. This disease progresses, so staying alive means adding more meds and more side effects. Sure, I have less energy. Sure, I am constipated.  Sure, I cannot do everything I would like to in one day. But I remember how I was a few short years ago. I choose to keep trying. Rather than testing God (strictly my opinion), I am thankful that I live in an era in which God gave researchers the ability to develop meds that keep me here longer.

Today I plan to go by a friend's house to pick up some books. I have tried to get these books for almost a month. Side effects prevented the visit. Today I think I can make it. I would love to add a trip to the grocery store. Maybe or maybe not. If not, I will sit in my chair and watch nature in action.

This life is mine with all its joys and complications. Others have to chose their own path and what proves right for them.

Later, Dude.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What do you do?

Birthdays of friends who have died turn awkward on Facebook.

I usually write something like "I miss you." Others write about heaven and partying with those who have passed from this world. Then some just write happy birthday with exclamation points.

The latter comment makes me wonder if the writer knows this friend died a year or more ago. Not any of the ways to mark a birthday necessarily fall on the etiquette no-no list. I know I should not let paltry issues bother me and I am working on it.
I ran errands with C today. I sat in the car at City Hall. Then got out to shoot this pink lady. All the trees put on their most glamorous outfits at the same time this year. I hope another freeze before May does not strip them of their finery.

About a gillion of those tiny flying pests hover over my tall grass and weeds like bees over trumpet vines. I observe them, but cannot tell what they do or why. I wonder what kind of life cycle they have?

I stepped on my glasses the other morning. The specs had been on the bedside table when I went to sleep. Sometime during the night, they ended up on the floor. I stepped on them when I got out of bed. The left earpiece broke off the main part. I have taped it back so I can wear them. However, the frame sits crooked on my face now. I really need new glasses and an eye examine anyway.

Well, Dude, another day.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

I shun shopping

Unlike many of my female friends, I do not like to shop. Except for food, I would rather be shot than shop. Since I no longer work, I own a couple of outfits for public outings. Even those begin to 1) lose their style and 2) wear out, so I start to look for something new when I am at a place that sells clothes.

Seventy-five pounds ago, I shopped at one of the "big girl" stores. It offers quality clothing that lasts more than a washing or two. Since the big weight loss, I have not found "the go to store" yet.

Clothing made overseas and sold at discounters lasts for maybe a couple of washings before the garment fades and begins to come apart. Often the fit does not, or the sleeves might be askew.

I found a web site which offers a roundup of the companies which make their products in the USA. Only one drawback to clothing shopping. I am not sure what size I wear. Sizes vary according to the company. Generally the more you pay for a shirt, the larger the size.

My knee still hurts. I am going to put it to bed now.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Latest visit with Doc

Yesterday I went for my regular appointment with Doc. The parking lot for the building, which houses about 10 family physicians and another dozen or so specialists, was crammed full. I ended up parking in the far parking lot and walking the whole way to the building. The doctors pay a retiree to pick up and deliver patients to the door in a golf cart. The day was gorgeous, though cool and the wind always blows on the hill where the building sits. I did not want to wait for the cart, I was running late. I got a bit SOB before I got there.

Doc shares an office with an endocrinologist. The waiting room was pretty full, though I got right in. I visited with Doc and then he had me do the second half of the PFT thing and a six-minute walk. I hate it when he springs the 6MW on me, but I managed to do about the same as the last one. Doc came out into the hall carrying a collapsible stool in case I needed to rest. I always start the walk tearing up the carpet, but peter out at the end. The tech told me I need to pace myself, something I am not good at. At the end of six minutes, my calves were tired and burning, but my lungs seemed good.

Then I had blood work drawn. I went in fasting so Doc could check my cholesterol. I took a statin drug for about six years and the muscles in my arms shouted at me continually, so Doc discontinued the meds. He wanted to know if my triglycerides hit the ceiling without the med. I will learn the results today.

Would you ask your Doc if something was wrong with him if he did not act like he usually does? I did. I think I surprised him. He told me I read people well.

I might sleep the whole day away. The skies indicate it prefers that choice.

Thinking of my friends who continue to face health obstacles.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Good day

Today begins with overcast skies and a slight breeze. The temperature allows me to open the door. The boys take the opportunity to catalog the spring aromas and wildlife that makes stops in my yard. The yard continues to grow uncontrollably. Yesterday an army of flying bugs hovered over the tall grass. The lone tree, believing the weeds that think spring arrived, sports a delicate green shawl of leaf buds.

The peacefulness of a Sunday morning lulls me with its charm. I am filled with joy -- I am alive and happy.

I include an effort to photograph the flying bugs with no luck. The other shot shows an unhappy Pogo who has to remain indoors. He would love to get closer to those fascinating smells and bits of dried grass blowing across the patio. Who knows, he might capture a vicious fly or maybe a bird.

I miss you still my friend.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy holiday

I slept almost 12 hours last night. I think pooped fits me well. Wednesday Boopie and I ate our lunch, finally. Third time we tried to get together. Thursday I ate lunch with C and K. Yesterday I grocery shopped and ate lunch with C. My body tells me enough!

However, my kitchen showed the results of three days of neglect. So I swept, mopped, cleaned the windows, washed the dishes and the curtains (by hand).

I also swept and mopped the bathroom, and did the cat box thing. Of course, both boys had to put their marks on my handiwork. Otherwise, the photos show them doing their usual supportive actions.
I plan to prepare meatloaf and mashed potatoes (about as Irish as I can get) before the day ends. The ground meat has about reached its limits of refrigerator time.

I opt for a nap instead. One more day will not hurt the meat and I did peel and cut up potatoes and carrots. Tomorrow's cooking made easy.

Happy St. Paddy's Day, Dude.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ah, come on, cooperate

I am not ready to give in yet. My body keeps throwing obstacles in the way. I no longer can do more than one or two tiny chores a day. I feel lazy and worthless. The apartment gets dustier and the carpet looks like a vacuum has not touched its pile.

Today I did the dishes and went to lunch with Boopie. I enjoyed the visit and the food. I had plans of hitting the grocery store after lunch. I found myself stepping into my apartment, taking my clothes off and doing nothing.

Where did my energy go? I know pneumonia and two weeks of bronchitis take the umph out of me. My mind says yes and my body refuses to budge. I try to maintain patience, but sometimes it eludes me. I can be thankful that some energy will return, however long it takes. Some people will never have that.

Signing off for now.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

No. 700

This post has the potential, but finding the words to mark the occasion taxes the brain.

Perhaps I should thank all those folks who have stuck with me through mundane and boring. Thanks, folks! Oh, and let's not forget the supporting cast -- thanks Pogo and Momo.

Thanks, Dude.


Sunday thoughts

The next time I see the little girl from next door, I will compliment her on the hissy fit she threw Saturday. She screamed, she yelled, she threatened, she pounded on the closet door, she carried on for at least 20 minutes. I heard her say, "Let me out of this closet." I heard her mom use the "call the police" card. I heard the girl say "you let me before." The girl finally left the apartment.

I do not think the girl goes to school, although an older man regularly picks her up most days. The mom seldom leaves the apartment. 

Who says I cannot have Mississippi Mud Cake for breakfast? 

Lying on your back and trying to swish your tail from side to side is not easy. 

I hate sleeping all night and realizing I forgot to plug the o2 into the CPAP. 

My wounded knee itches. 

I may need to take a prenap, nap.

Some people use any current event as an example of their interpretation of God and his laws.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What now?

I never planned to retire. Oh, I put aside a minimal amount of money in what started out as a profit sharing plan and eventually became a 401k. That kind of retire I did do.

I mean the kind of retire in which you must fill your days. I did not even imagine retirement much. I think, as a young reporter, I imagined a retirement of sleeping, followed by changing my body clock back to its natural cadence. When I started traveling with my job, I imagined going places I wanted to go.

I am not that confidence-filled retiree however. I would love to travel. My health ranks as the No. 1 hindrance to those ideas followed closely by anxiety attacks.

I know when my body finally gets over this latest episode, I will view the world differently. Right now the sun battles the wind and the air suffocates rather than rejuvenates.

Cats really do sleep all day. I guess me being at home makes it hard for them to hide their formerly secret life.

I wonder why the word bloat evokes thoughts of a whale?

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Enough already

My respite from FB ended last night.

I needed some time to whip my body and head into shape. Well actually, more like try to heal my body with some help from pharmacology. Since the hospital released me, I have taken two week's worth of abx and steroids. My body refuses to cooperate. The case worker at the hospital told me I would need about six months to recover from the pneumonia. I am finally beginning to believe that estimate.

Early this morning, I jumped up from my computer chair to take a dish to the kitchen. One problem, my push-off foot was asleep. When I put weight on it, my ankle buckled and I landed on the hard floor on the opposite knee.

My knee now resembles one of those knee pads that girls wear who play volleyball. I am beginning to think maybe I should have stayed in bed today.

I think I deserve a nap.

Later, Dude.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A new day

I spent the weekend eating. Eating and figuring out my new electronic devices. Both endeavors proved rewarding, depending on how one looks at them.

My new little Canon basic digital camera does everything but name the movie it can record. I think the necessary wires to upload the next great movie-maker's gem came with the package. So watch this space for some new humdingers from that comic duo Pogo and Momo.

I figured out the basics of the camera by pushing buttons, just what the manual says not to do. (Yes, I found the booklet in the box. I thought it was an advertisement.) No harm, no foul. I will review the CD sometime when I have the urgency to take artsy photos, though I will never achieve the level of the youngin's'.

I sailed though learning about the satellite. The setup on the system matches TiVo in many ways, so the knowledge came back after I jogged my memory. I am recording a couple of shows just to see if I remember how to do that. I can watch prime time in the morning now if I want.

Now the eating part: I scarfed the better part (OK, the whole thing) of two bags of Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies, several bowls of ice cream, and three bowls of homemade veggie soup. I gained 2 pounds and my body spasms with a junk food  fix. Oh yeah, I forgot to mentioned the potato chips and the bean burritos with sour cream. Remarkably, my ankles did not balloon into cankles. I bet my poor body wishes I would behave myself.

Thinking of you as always, Dude. Special thoughts to your family.


Saturday, March 3, 2012


The kitty on top is Pogo. He is sitting on the side table by my chair.

In the photo below, Momo does not look too happy, but I think I disturbed his nap time. At the very top of the shot, you can see Pogo's nose. Haha!!

Getting a camera today was a real trip. I am too tired, however, to detail the hassles right now.

Later, Dude.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Trivial pursuit

Nothing changes my world like moving furniture. Removing an object as large as a side table changes the whole feel of a room. The weight of a room shifts depending on the size of the piece or its purpose.

More than a year ago, I moved the bedroom to the living room and the bedroom with the sliding glass door became my living room. My comfortable chair and ottoman sit in front of the door so I can watch the yard along with my boys. I had plans of reading.

I still cannot sit still long enough to do any reading. I tried the Abraham Lincoln assassination book by Bill O'Reilly, which my brother gave me for Christmas or my birthday, I forget which. I love history and Lincoln and the Civil War (War Between the States for some) always have fascinated me. I have a photo of a tintype of a relative who served.

The book reads like a cross between a dry history lecture and some wannabe mystery writer's first effort. Several pages into the book, I found myself bored to tears. I would like to try Stephen King's book, "11/22/63." I suspect comparing the books would be foolhardy, but a task I would savor. Look for an update the next time I venture to B&N.

I know I have written a tale that might be a bit hard to follow, but bear with me.

Since reading and I are not speaking, I decided to dump cable since they charge about the same amount as dish folks with fewer channels to choose from. I get some of the channels that have some good series. Yes!! BBC America.

The old bedroom-new living room offered a better outlet for the cable from the satellite. Therefore, I moved the TV and the antique table it rested on into the bedroom.

Ugh, an ugly bare spot sprouted up where the table and TV were.

If I felt better, and I know I should not rush my health, you would find me moving furniture in both rooms. The new living room has lost its simplicity, so I need to pare something. And try to fix the inequities in the new bedroom. Got it?

Later, Dude.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yes, I am sick

I phoned Doc's office this morning and described my symptoms to his nurse. I told her I knew sickness would overtake me by Saturday. She called me back within five minutes or so and said for me to come to his office NOW.

Doc gave me two breathing treatments, ordered X-rays and the output part of the PFT. He also noted I was dehydrated again. He brought me a glass of water and a Sprite and told me to drink them. He then handed me three prescriptions. I asked if I were sick. Yes, even after all that, I doubted my judgment. He said yes, I had bronchitis.

During a rundown of the meds I take, he asked me about anxiety. I told him I had had to take three pills recently. He told me for someone who had to deal with two major diseases, I was one of his most upbeat and happy patients. He said I should expect some anxiety and not worry about extra pills.

I had DirectTV installed today. One tiny problem. The guy had to set a pole in concrete and attach the dish to the pole. Well, Joe (his real name) hails from Houston. He failed to take into account the wind, plus he had to buy the wrong kind of concrete (the only kind the store offered) and to get it to set, you need to wait 24 hours -- he did not.

When I got back from Doc's I decided to watch some of my new channels. I kept getting an error message. So I did what Joe told me to do, I called him. Back he comes (out of uniform). He pulls the pole out of the concrete, mixes and pours additional concrete into the hole, takes the satellite off the pole and says see ya tomorrow.

I hope this works. The wind is supposed to howl at 40-60mph tomorrow. Joe also mentioned something about cutting the pole down a bunch, so it does not wobble as much. If I were a betting woman, I would lay odds on the cut the pole outcome.

Pogo and Momo hate strangers. They had a fine time today.

Well, Dude, you would not believe who guides the Sox this season. Or some of the other changes so far. The season will be an interesting one. I would love your take on it.


Daily struggles

I struggle with my health, both physical and mental. I teeter on the edge of another bronchial infection. The four walls close in on me. I lost all patience some time ago. The boys read me like a book and Pogo especially hovers like a mother hen.

I quit FB for awhile. Until I can get a grip on myself and my life, I will stay away. I will miss some of the people but I also will avoid others.

I still miss you, Dude.