Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Not your friend

Have you noticed how companies make any dealings with them as hard for the consumer as possible under the guise of helpful?

For instance, I receive dozens of mailings from insurance companies a month. All the companies tell you how you can save money and get outstanding coverage for next to nothing because you are a member of ____. I saw a new message on one of the pleas today. The message went something like this, "Opt out of these crappy advertisements by visiting www.fullofcrap.com." I thought I could put this almost daily headache to rest by simply clicking a couple of times. Basically, you get to the site and it instructs you to fill out a form, print it out, and send it to blah, blah company.

Another good guy ploy involves rebates and extras. Rather than take the rebate off the top, consumers must jump through a couple of hoops and the feat must fit certain parameters. The company "gives" you a service free for three months. Then the features automatically ends, right? Nope, the customers has to initiate the process to end the service. The company hopes we forget to end the service for at least a couple of months, if not longer.

Some companies operate on the formula that automatic drafts from a bank account keep customers coming back. The customer must take action to end the relationship. Odds favor just letting it go rather than taking the time and fuss to end the practice.

Sheesh, Dude.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A shadow of its former self

I quit spending so much time on FB.

When I first joined the social site, I enjoyed reading what pressed on the minds of my friends. In its infancy, FB offered beyond the next turn entertainment and connectedness. A group of friends played one of the games together and we often ran into each other on the farm.

I enjoyed catching up with friends I had not seen since high school. I found many former colleagues who had gone on from Amarillo to long careers in journalism along with a couple of kids and a dog or cat or two.

Gradually the mood on FB changed. Rather than our own words, platitudes fill the spaces. Political statements come after Dalai Lama quotes, which come after testimonials for deities, which comes after Florence + the Machine. Mix in a bit of news from various sources and the site becomes impersonal -- all of us hiding behind these postings of who we would like to be.

I have changed as well. I am stuck in neutral. Gonna be windy today. Can't go outside. Gonna be cold. Stay inside. Rancid describes daytime TV.

Time to make some changes. Taking the first step soon.

Miss you much, Dude.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Update (for what it is worth)

I thought I was pretty well back to normal. Wrong. A trip across town wore me out. I slept for 12 hours after that. I am so tired of sitting around the house all day. FB no longer means much to me. I stopped posting and with the exception of a couple of people, no one seemed to notice. I am ready to head back to bed, which I probably will do after I take my morning meds.

The home health nurse decided I would benefit from more visits. I am now addicted to pistachios. I ate almost half a bag right after I got them.

I hope this apathy dissipates soon.

Miss you, Dude.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


The home health nurse just left. She plans to call Doc because I am tight on the side with the pneumonia and wheezing on the other side. I have done two breathing treatments today, one before she saw me. I do not feel good.

Later, Dude.

Monday, February 13, 2012

99 and 44/100% pure

If God wanted us to be rich, we would be rich. The Bible does not say, "I want you to prosper and I am sending an evangelist to show you how." I think God could do it on his own. Do you really think someone who personally takes a salary of more than $100,000 a year qualifies them as someone to act as intermediary?

The Bible says to tithe. I do not think it says to send your money to these evangelists, who, along with their minions, will take gigantic salaries and then help the poor? Why not tithe directly to the poor? You buy blankets and distribute them to the homeless that hang out under the interstate bridges. You visit the elderly woman two doors down. She never has visitors.

Getting directly involved brings a prosperity of the soul or essence or whatever you want to call it. Joy becomes our reward, which cannot be matched monetarily. More than one way to be wealthy exists. If you look around,  you will find someone who has less than you. What about all the starving babies in the United States? Why do we send money to an overseas organization, when children here need help?

Just an idea, folks. What say you?

The end.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The gray day matches my emotional state. Neediness oozes from my pores. Nothing pleases and I question myself. I wonder if my brain tells me it works, and to me it does, but reality reflects a truth the brain does not  perceive.

The number of CFers and PHers dying this past couple of weeks staggers me. One of my friends who lived in Midland, not that far from here, died sometime in early January. I did not learn of her death until a couple of days ago.

I could use some of your wisdom and humor right now Dude.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Of mice and men

I prepared another giant stir fry this morning. I did the onions and mushroom separately so I can add some of this mixture to the spaghetti sauce I will make later in the week. I like Newman's Own, but the salt content sends me to the homemade variety. We shall see about the cost as well. I found a couple of good recipes for sauce.

I did not finish this, obviously. So I will share with you some thoughts about various topics. Nothing fails the "should I use it" test.

A South African friend (I am lucky enough to have six), just posted on FB a picture of an elephant half-standing with about a third (vertically) of its face missing. The caption said, "This is what poaching looks like." At first the photo stunned, then shocked, then angered me. The desperateness of people, the state of the world causes me much pain. Just like most stories, two sides exist. Did the ones who killed the elephant for its tusks desperately need the money or are they simply savages in a dog-eat-dog country? Why do we as a nation ignore Africa yet meddle in the Middle East? We cannot solve our own problems, why do we try to fix messes elsewhere?

In the same vein, I fear us, the citizens of this country. The leaders of our country fail to compromise or think of the common good. The rhetoric flies during election years. Electioneering corrupts into half-truths or out and out lies. Voters seem to pick a candidate, not on what he says, which you wonder if you can believe anyway, but by which party he or she belongs to. Then nonvoters and voters alike start the misinformation campaign for the next lucky president.

I have a hard time with folks who insist their way is the only way. These folks base their opinions on one source. What if that source's campaign lies in propaganda?

2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3:  ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect
Our candidates, our leaders, our government would not do that? Do you know with certainty? Do we hate admitting we are wrong? Why do we continue down the path when we know we will meet what we feared?

I will step away from the soapbox for now.

Miss you, Dude.


Monday, February 6, 2012

One of those days

I went crazy yesterday with the salty foods. Today my ankles are tiny, the least swollen since the hospital stint. Go figure.

The Pats lost in the last second. Sorry, Dude. I fell to third in EPL. Not the best weekend in sports.

Today the wind blows and what the air holds makes me hurt and gasp. Back to the couch and the CPAP.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Bad times and bad health hit many of my friends lately. Reactions to life-saving meds, dire diagnoses, family woes, friends face obstacles I do not. I am thankful and blessed.

Excess energy carries me along. Dishes, sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, this charged woman can handle all. Maybe what I see, or even imagine, sparks my body into action.

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I plan to make some guacamole and some queso.

My mom called to tell me 15 seventh-grade girls from her church came and cleaned for 2.5 hours. The girls rotated her mattress, changed the bedding, vacuumed everything, including the two couches, trimmed and cleaned her flower beds and raked the leaves in mom's backyard. One girl went to the grocery. The girls worked gratis. The sponsor left her name and number in case mom would like to hire the girls. What a wonderful community project and what a learning experience for the girls.

Sending out special vibes for my friend who faces a surgery and an unsure diagnosis. Love goes to another friend who also faces an unknown diagnosis. I know the waiting eats at us all.

Prayers for a PHriend who gets no relief from pain. I am thankful I am not on that roller coaster. I hope the docs find the right combination of meds and can treat the underlying cause.

Comfort for a friend whose diagnosis falls into the dire category. Facing a hard road without a guarantee taxes the whole body, mind and soul.

Thankful for friends who send hugs, love ya's and positive thoughts my way when I am in need. For a special friend, who could easily abandoned me. She cares no matter how stupid with my health I am.

I am thankful for you, your family and friends, Dude.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pondering on a Saturday

Some days the words stick between the mind and keyboard.. Some days the expression of myself in writing flows. Today                             .
"If your theology doesn't help you love people who don't share your theology, you need to get a new theology.~ Via Matt, via JesusOfNaz316 on Twitter
Some messages pierce you to the core. Some land nearby and wait patiently until you notice.

The urge to clean sits on my shoulder squawking incessantly -- a measure of recuperation. This bout of sickness I learned a tittle about my body: it indicates the time to quit and rest.

The chill wind blows. The weather guy says 40s or lower 50s for the upcoming week. After 60s and 70s, what a shock, like a bowl of ice water thrown in ones face. I predict more couch time with kitties and blankets, with a sprinkling of cleaning and eating.

This me first business, though making sense, battles my innateness.

A friend often shares in her blog what makes her thankful. I am thankful for:

  • My health; I know many who experience more bad days than good. 
  • My conscience; some possess none. 
  • My friends who are not afraid to point out my wrong thinking and gently put me back on the right path. 
  • My former co-workers who continue to communicate with me. 
  • My home and enough food to share. 
  • My ability to pay it forward when I see the need.

This one is for you, Dude -- Go Pats!!!!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Neglect of an old friend

I pushed writing to the back burner. My social calendar does not brim over with entries, rather I ping with energy I lost the past three months.

Cooking sparks my interest now. I fear my love will wane much like the exercise passion. Eating healthy takes effort and planning. OCD takes hold and before long, I burn out.

The bread pudding with the Kahlua sauce ranks with Mississippi mud cake as one of my best concoctions. I took a recipe from the SPS economists' cookbook and improvised a bit. I added about 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. I used the cookbook sauce recipe as a base and added Kahlua instead of bourbon. I am thinking melted chocolate pieces for the next pudding with Craisins and almonds. Not sure about the sauce for this version.
Sayonara, stress
I spend time reconnecting with many of my FB friends. Touching base with more than 600 folks can take a huge hunk of my day. I try to post something to all, just so they know I have not forgotten them and I care. I did learn over this hiatus from health that some folks, for whatever reason, I do not mix well with.  These people espouse their beliefs, whether they know that or not, that border on fanatical. I find intolerance hard to handle. The narrow-mindedness only causes me stress.
Holding a grudge is like letting someone live rent free in your head. ~Anonymous
So I am beginning to dispose of some stressors in my life.
Another facet
I also want to plan a better system for cleaning. Some chores require daily attention; others not so often. I need to allot myself down time as well.

Sometimes I forget I am a 63-year-old woman with two life-threatening diseases/conditions. I suppose, since I fail the know your own body test, I am my own worst enemy. Am I too old to reform? Change, though I often pretend otherwise, means growth and sometimes pain. When a person fails to grow, something dies -- a spark that stirs the soul.

I miss you, Dude.