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.