Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shooting yourself in the foot

Gone clothes shopping lately? I do not mean at the top of the line stores, I mean the mid-range, average Joe kinda place.

The stores display racks and racks of clothes made from material that comes from the chemical industry. Women in China, who work for pennies a day, make the garments. Who benefits from the millions of dollars shoddy workmanship and low labor costs produce?

When did the American people decide to screw themselves? When did the greed take over? By buying these products, we kill another American business or three.

How much money do you save when you have to replace the item four times a year?

I need to open a store, Just for Grandma. American workers using American materials, would make the clothes. Some designer would consider whether bending over would cause the garment to tear or bind your stomach so you cannot breath. Armed with this information he/she would produce clothing we would want.

Monday, November 17, 2014

That time of year

For many reasons, this time of year ranks as my least favorite. I find myself wanting to burrow into the covers and come out sometime in March.

Friends run around giddy with shopping and planning special meals and treats. They actually enjoy getting out when the temperature drops to the 30s and those feather-like snowflakes drift from the skies (although here it looks more like someone cut open a feather pillow in front of a powerful fan).

The stress of procrastination never changes year to year for me. If anything, it intensifies. I want to give friends and family perfect gifts but I do not enjoy walking the aisles of Wallyworld with bunches of irritable, snarling people with their crying children who desperately need a nap. I sympathize with the tired, grouchy workers who have been asked one time too many where in the store the super Jedi fighter jet rests. I understand how the worker feels when the customer has a hissy fit because the desired object sold out the first hour. I understand, but I do not want any part of the resulting flurry of abuse sure to follow the announcement.

I miss you, Dude.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sanity left me standing in the middle of the road

Yesterday, I tried to convince myself of my worthlessness. I almost did, too. Instead, I cried for a pathetic, 66-year-old who does not know why she lives. The "D" word enters my mind more often.

The episode yesterday began with a phone call to go eat out. I said no. The snow and single digit temperature helped determine my answer. After I hung up the phone, the doubt, loathing and fear began. I felt guilt because I said no. I wondered if I would ever get another invitation. Instead of burrowing into the covers and taking a nap, I worked myself into a soggy mess.

I know I need help and hope I can find me in the process.

 This waiting a month for a face-to-face visit with, yes, a helper,  and oh, here try these pills, seems inexcusable in our country. But that scenario plays out across the U.S. far too often. Cases of mental illness far outnumber psychiatrists. Doctors throw pills at patients while trying to keep up with more than they can help.

In two weeks, with some help, I will try to find me.

Miss you, Dude.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tangled in the net

I spent some time reading about internet neutrality. No matter the outcome, the little man, or woman, suffers. After reading several articles over a few days, I am thinking my provider already throttles me. I have found my internet speed compares to molasses outdoors on a cold day. It flows a bit, then sticks for awhile. My frustration level grows in proportion to the sticking. The problem plagues not only my Kindle but the desktop, too. However, I am stubborn as a cranky old mule that does not want to go to the other pasture. I will not pay more and more for speed. I am likely to quit the service.

The company I employ once had all my business. I asked a simple question and no one seemed to know the answer. Since this billion dollar business could not answer a simple question, I quit the service that failed me. Surprise, I do not miss the service as much as I once thought I would.

My new fancy desktop may cause me to pull my hair out. The keyboard looks and acts like the old one, the rest not so much. I think I killed an element that controlls photos. I cannot seem to find it no matter where I look. I restarted the computer without any success. I set up Cloud and Dropbox, but the simplest tasks stump me. Too many bells and whistles and not enough simple. I cannot upload a photo of my new artwork on the walls nor Momo's triumphant conquering of the second level of the cat tree.

So it goes, another night in paradise.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Some stream of consciousness for a Monday

Remember dedications on the radio? The next tune goes out to the ducktailed dude in the Dodge, and Sandy in Sandieland. An ambitious music lover could sell that idea with a modern twist on Facebook, thanks to YouTube or other music sites.

Those public service posts of a dog or cat covered in snow and freezing makes me sick.

I wonder if Dap requires skill.

A World War II veteran riding one of the grocery store's electric carts cornered Connie and me on the cookie aisle. We stood for an hour listening to his tales of not only the war, but everything else he had done in his life. Loneliness caused him to tell us his life history.

The big freeze looms and as soon as the weatherman announces the change, folks flock to the grocery store as if tomorrow is the BIG ONE.

 I missed "Almost Famous" as a movie, but I know it well as a soundtrack.

Shawcross makes defending look like one of those ultimate fights. Time to shuck him.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Various viruses and old age finally took my computer. I bought her not too long after I retired. I knew her like a mother knows her child. For the most part, she did what I asked of her and if not, the blame usually fell on me. After taking her to the most expensive doctor in town and spending $200 for his best voodoo, she finally refused to run anymore.

I asked my best friend's spouse to hunt down the best my money could buy. The only instructions I gave him: I want a Dell.

After a week of comparing, he decided on my new girl and brought her home and installed wire A to point X for me. She purrs like a kitten wrapped in a warm blanket. However, her do-dads, gizmos and whatsits make me feel like what I am, a 66-year-old out of sync woman.

I love free apps even if most come with strings. Try such and such free for a year, then pay with your first-borne son. I am onto those games, and resist the old marketing trick usually. 

I took an introductory tour of my new girl while the Seahawks beat the Giants. Under the hood, she tantalizes with all sorts of fancy Hemi stuff. I could use her for years and not learn all her secrets. Typing this blog reveals one irritation about the keyboard. The caps lock key sits too close to the action, which often requires revision of entire sentences. I do like the keyboard better on the new Dell compared to the Kindle. The Kindle wants to correct everything you type; it wants to write for you. One of these days, I think I will give you an example.

Chuck, remember how Beth paid you to give me a private lesson on the Mac or whatever program the newspaper used at the time? I could use some Chuck about now. 

Laters. Miss you, Dude.

Not so far apart

I listen to a young woman who also happens to vacuum for me. She tells me what her world entails; I listen and learn. Her world lies far apart from mine, yet not so far apart.

I shall call her helper for identity purposes.

Helper attends Amarillo College and takes the basics. She plans a life in veterinary medicine as a tech because the job pays well. She suffers from several physical conditions, but like many people, she does not take her medicine like she should.

Her mother supports various family members and her education allows this. Her brother, a couple of years older than helper, lives in a schizophrenic world. His intelligence mixed with an illegal lifestyle causes problems for him and his family. A just turned teen rounds out the family. He sees older brother with the fancy car and money and wants that lifestyle and more.

Helper tells me her grandfather led the gangster life before finding Jesus at 40. Now her grandfather pastors a church and reminds helper about the wrong way to live. Helpers dad, who has nine children, looks forward to his release from prison. He thinks about moving up north somewhere.

Helper's closest friend and cousin hustles young females. The cousin recently cut her hair into a mohawk/mullet and combined with the leather jacket she wears, desperately seeks to impress.

Sometimes I doubt the truthfulness of Helper's conversations because what she says about her life exists only in fiction for me.

Why does a teenager tell me about her life? To shock? I seldom comment. What draws her back to my house when she cannot seem to keep a job? I know the $20 I give her is no prize.

Life throws curveballs all the time.

Friday, November 7, 2014


A major meltdown visited me this week. Should I blame the new meds? Did I hold off the massive implosion for such a long time that when I could no longer take anymore, my mind went haywire?

My best friend interrupted her routine to come give me a hug and sit with me. I got another PM on FB that cheered me. Thank you for caring.

I cried for the first time in years. The tears seemed to fall without emotion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What are friends?

Yesterday I learned a lesson most people learn early in life: unless you exhibit cheerfulness and a willingness to help others and their problems, they do not want to hear about yours. Mental illness still carries a stigma that no one wants to be associated with.

In my case, I am still me, but I carry a cloud of darkness that moves over me without warning. One day I am cheerful, the next day I think I would be better off dead. I reach out to "friends" who have an agenda of their own. They do not hear the pain in my voice and knowing I seek professional help, they do not realize they are one of the main sources of healing. I need friends who are willing to stick by me in good and bad times. Unfortunately, those people are few and far between.

I wonder if I deserve this treatment because I have hurt them along the way, therefore making it my fault that I am being ignored when I need it most?

Today I have decided to dig a hole and pull it in after me. I have asked God for help. I have sought medical help. Nothing appears to help.

Somewhere within me the tears lie, but because I have tried to be strong so long, they refuse to fall. The pressure builds and builds and one day soon I will fly completely apart.

In the meantime, putting one foot in front of the other, is the best I can do.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

on my mind

Suddenly, or over a period of weeks, I cannot be sure, my attention to my meds falls all over the map. I neglect Tyvaso the most, though I began to take two pills of sildenafil long ago, the Tyvaso joined the I will take it if convenient club.

The oxygen is problematic, too. I am having no luck getting the tanks to work like they should. Let me tell you, walking through the store without o 2 takes a devastating toll on the body.

I awoke at 2 a.m. The day will drag, even with naps.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Yes, but now what

I saw the doctor. After filling out a million pages of I wills and I will nots, the doc himself called me back to his swanky office with a quick stop at the scales. The doc rebuked me for touching the mechanisms as we continued to his office. He told me to sit, I asked where, and he told me.

A beat up keyboard and a screen were the only objects on the desk. He starts banging on the keyboard right after he put a bracelet-style blood pressure cuff on my wrist, talking the whole time and so fast, I missed about half of what he said.

His accent will not be a problem, probably because I will see his assistant more than him. I told him I will need to put on my ears and he ask if I wore hearing aids. I said no, it takes my ears some time to tune into accents and gave lung doc as an example. He chuckled and said he would have to try to slow down.

He gave me 14 pills of a new med, and I think he said to cut them in half. I hope that is what he said, 'cause that is what I plan to do. My next appointment is the first of December. I can fill prescriptions only when I have appointments.

I realize what I write makes some people uncomfortable. I am sorry. I do not need sympathy, I need friends. I am hoping that what I write about will not turn you away, but if it does, then our purpose together is complete. But that is another blog topic.

I miss you, dude.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

negative, but the truth

Oh boy, I thought, today I can lie around and feel sorry for myself. I will not answer the phone, no matter who calls.

Nothing remotely occurred like I thought. Brother brought the iron table and chairs from mom's house. The House could sell anytime. I talked to Connie who has a nasty bug. And called to wish mom a happy birthday again.

Since I do not seem to contribute much, I wonder why anyone cares. I spend much of my waking time wishing someone cared. From what my PHriends say, they care. Somehow I cannot convince myself. Former co-workers tell me they care. I do not believe that either.

I do not want to be miserable anymore.

Miss you, dude.

Monday, October 27, 2014

How to have an anxiety attack

I like to surprise people anonymously with little gifts or something I know will make their day. I do not like to venture away from home. So I create a problem for myself -- how do I get the surprise to the suprisee? Sometimes a relative of the surprisee can help out. But nine times out of 10, the idea only causes my anxiety meter to rise past the safe limits. Then the whole surprise idea collapses on itself and I must fret over another method to accomplish what I had intended to be fun and mysterious.

I sometimes agree to do something (for my own good). The closer the time nears for me to act, the more I start looking for excuses to back out. Anxiety rises more than before. When I try to explain why I cannot go do so-and-so, most people believe me. You can hear the disbelief in their voices and see it on their faces. How do you explain to someone my unease when I leave the safety of my house?

I want to have friends and have fun, but most people do not understand. When asked what I am feeling or how you can help, I am unable to tell you. Yet I am lonely.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Let's try this again

OK, I do not know how long this time will last, but with your blessing, here I go.

I have wasted a lot of time sleeping or lying down. Knowing my life could be only minutes longer, I should try my best to enjoy the rest of my time.

To that end, I discovered a need to have what I consider art on my walls. Art, being personal, can mean one thing to me and a bunch of garbage to someone else. I "met" a couple of artists on FB and after some negotiation, I picked up three works for my apartment.

The disparity in styles says this represents me. Two of the works evoke American folk style. Lots of color and do-dads. They have an air of family portraits from the 1600s, yet a modern twist. The vivid colors come from the paint. (You know, I find myself forgetting words more and more. The file cabinet of my brain rusts.) Ah yes, I remember now -- acrylics. Oh yes, the portraits are of cats.

The other piece is pencil, I think. The Marvel comic-type drawing shows a woman with a large hammer. This heroine bears the name Harley Quinn. Harley's size makes the lighting crucial to see the detail. I think the situation calls for one of those museum lights. She has the gold nameplate at the bottom of her frame.

I am talking with a photography artist I know on another piece. I love to buy art from people I know.

· · ·

Somehow yesterday, Pogo locked himself in a lower kitchen cabinet. Sometime after Momo's nap, he wandered into the kitchen. We hear a meow and Momo walks over to the cabinet door, stands on his hind legs (no easy feat for my pudgy one), grabs the top of the door with his claws and walks backward, thus opening the door. Pogo gave Momo a look and ran out of the kitchen. Momo stood there a second or two, then moseyed over to the food dish. Rescue work is hard, you know.

Miss you, dude.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Life's lessons

Life seems extra hard around my birthday. Always.

This year I made my best friend mad. At the last second, I could not make myself go do errands and eat out.  She asked something like, you want to go. I said to be honest, no. Knowing I hurt her feelings makes me feel guilty. Then I trash myself. My heart hurts. I want to isolate myself totally. I cannot hurt anyone or get hurt. I want to cry, but I have no tears to shed. Grey tints the day so no sunshine can penetrate.

I am past the birthday gloom and into the cough your lungs out through your chest phase. Now the unwashed dishes, stained with cheese and pasta parmesan sauce line the countertops and fill the sink. Bits of dried pasta turn brown and cements itself to the sink. At the very bottom in the metal drain stopper, slices and shreds of cat food send salvos of sensory stink bombs of their own.

The floor offers a variety of obstacles to make walking barefoot uncomfortable at the least. Because Momo does not hold his head over the bowl when he chews, bits of hard food escape. Pretty soon the small chunks are far from their origin. Pogo takes a bite from his bowl, puts it on the floor and then chows down. If you ever need some glue, borrow some of Pogo's moist food. You can always spray the repair with perfume later.

A grey-brown film of dust covers every surface. Water spots and runs mar the view from the big windows.

Chunks of plaster above the bathtub continue to fall near, and probably in, the drain. One of my boys covers his business so enthusiastically all the litter ends up in a big pile at one corner of the box with the pile oozing onto the floor. The old man exhibits his own peculiarities.


I am not much of a gambler, but I took the bait this time. This gamble comes in two parts. The first part went well. I wagered on someone I had never met to do what they promised. After some minor glitches, the deal went well. I rejoiced.

The other person turned out the opposite. I upheld my end of the bargain. They did not.

I never know if a gamble will work,  but sometimes you must try. I am not sorry I tried.

Hey Dude, I miss you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


The dark waves build on the fringes of my mind.

I made plans to go to the store and eat out. When I woke up this morning the waves lapped at the positive me. The doubts rise and rise to the point of suffocation. One more heavy wave and I will wash away.

Is it always about me? Am I selfish and self-centered? Am I wrong to say I cannot go? Does every kind act toward me need repayment? What if I want to help people and do the right thing but I am paralyzed with what? Dread? Fear? Laziness? Selfishness?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The world is a mess, and I am a mess in it

I am such an insecure person, I would rather pay someone twice than get into an argument about whether I already paid. Some people like to argue, but not me.

I know I am not so important that I am the focus of your world. Since I feel the same about myself, that must mean no one thinks I am important. If I don't care for myself, how can anyone else?

Do I need help or am I just fine? How did I manage to live for years without these thoughts and now they scream accusations when I am least prepared to defend myself.

I do not want to live this way. Help me.

How's this for rationalizing?

The days fill themselves with premium chocolate ice cream bars, nuts, and crackers. Bits of food, thanks to Pogo, make walking barefoot an unpleasant adventure. Dust, like a brown shroud, drapes across the furniture. The boys' box does get attention, though the used grocery bags stack up near the box. I am sure the odor permeates the apartment, but I cannot smell much of anything. A benefit, I could say, from the years of smoking.

Television holds no power over me these days. Sitting in my chair and watching the clouds, big and puffy like those I remember from childhood, change patterns as they move across the sky. Occasionally a jet adds an exclamation.

The boys, along with a dozen or so flies, go in and out of the sliding glass door. The flies spreading the word among themselves that this place offers a flies' smorgasbord, the boys to make sure I am still sitting here.

No serious amount of energy  expended by me could get home back in shape in one day. Chipping away the chores does not work. The house seems to get dirtier faster than I can clean. Wonder why? If I completed two chores a day, and then did not mess with the recently cleaned object/room/floor, a clean house would appear in a few months. Not the way cleaning works.

Today's forecast calls for overcast skies, rain, and sleep. Oh well, the dirty house does not plan a trip to Cleanville, anytime soon.


Friday, September 5, 2014


I need to make a trip to wallyworld. I am craving a specific flavor of ice cream bar and wallyworld carries them. Also I need ciabatta rolls.

A major stumbling block stands in the way. The inner 4-year-old throws a hissy fit. I will not go to the store. If I can hide for the weekend, I will go to the store and take my computer to catmandu.

I formerly bargained with myself with eventual satisfactory results. The chores, or whatever, were accomplished. Now I make bargains with myself, knowing it won't happen. I am sliding the wrong way, it seems.

How can I expect anyone to understand me and what I do when even I don't know?

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Why do I procrastinate? I know the chore, talk, etc., must be done. So I punish myself by feeling guilty that I do not have the energy or desire to get it done. I think it is a power thing with my parents, still. I am proving to myself that I am in control now. The control scares me. What if my decision fails? I've shown I am incapable.

The black cloud takes its sweet time moving across the sky of my psyche.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Life's lessons learned

The worker bees painted the brick and wood on the outside of my apartment yesterday. I understand deadlines and the need for efficiency, but why can't the guys put things back where they found them? At least the men picked up the trash.

I woke up with a cough, which could mean bronchitis. But maybe not.

Jayla usually comes to vacuum on Tuesdays. I called her at the last minute to change the time for her to come. Then the plans that prompted the change fell through. I decided to go to bed and left a note and her money in a sealed envelope and taped it to the door.

Lying there, my conscience began to holler about how unfair to Jayla to let her drive all the way over here. So I called her and told her I would double her pay next week, and that I felt terrible.

I opened the door to retrieve the envelope with the money and note. Someone had taken it.

Thus my day tanked. Not so much because I lost the money, but because I trust people.

We shall see how today goes.

Strange as it may seem, I opened the door this morning and the unopened envelope was on the ground just outside the screen door. I looked there yesterday and it was not there. Today it was. Hmmmm.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The necessaries

Today I hope to accomplish lots of household type chores, though most of them involve leaving the apartment. No. 1 on the list -- my computer. Poor old lady acquired the imminent virus, so I am taking her to catmandu for a cure, I hope. If the cost of fixing her exceeds her worth, I may consider trading her in for a newer model.

The cupboards look like that nursery rhyme, so that warrants a trip to the grocery. The price of meat makes me consider vegetarianism. I also need to drop by the bank.

The list does not go on forever but my body will feel it by the end of the day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

An all purpose store

If I am not doing much living, I might as well die. Before you panic and call the authorities, I do not think dying provides the proper solution. I mean I am doing a poor job of using the living time I am alloted, and I wish to work on this living thing.

I should put as much effort into activities as I do sleep. Or at least keep the apartment clean. I admit I own OCD tendencies. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. I also tend to procrastinate, so messiness builds its dam with cracks. The pressure continues until an OCD episode washes me away.

I spend a considerable amount of time looking for a purpose. The task seems unreachable. I cannot go to the local purpose store, compare choices and decide I will take that one.
Purpose usually does not knock on your door asking for your attention.

Purpose requires effort, hard work, devotion. Most adults find their purpose last before their hair turns grey.


Friday, August 29, 2014

A tail of two kitties

Listen my children to a story about how one cat became two.

Though not quite in the cat lady category, I do love cats about as much as I do Wonderful (get crackin') pistachios. One of my FB friends posted a painting of R2D2 she had done. I am not much of a robot fan, but I hoped she could transfer that style into a painting of a cat.

Despite her surgery she said she could do that for me. I did not expect the painting for awhile but was delighted when she said her husband mailed it and it should arrive Wednesday.

Wednesday came without a painting. The artist called the P.O. to track the package. Officials said they stamped the package, but they did not show it had left the facility.

We waited a couple of days. In the meantime, the friend painted a totally different kitty.

Around the time she mailed the new kitty, the original kitty arrived.

Today, the two kitties share space of honor beside the new kitty tree

Raking the Muck

So, I am writing.

I have not gone anywhere or done anything but sleep for the past week.

One day this week, the air conditioner air vent decided to leak -- again. Half my inventory of electronic gear got wet, including my phone and computer. The Incredible Hulk moved the desk away from the impending peril. Mind you the weight of the desk far exceeds the limit set by Doc.

With all the moving around, I unplugged the router briefly. I then could not get the router to work. The bossy little message kept asking for a password.

I went into journalism because I cannot do math is one of those inside jokes. Do not misunderstand, some journalists excel at math. I am not one of them. Experts say to make passwords that you will remember. Have separate passwords for each device, and do not write them down anywhere. Use random letters, numbers and symbols. You know how many passwords I use on a daily basis? Websites you visit sporadically pose the real problem. How many oddball passwords can this journalist remember six months after submitting them?

I had no idea what password I picked, and only days passed since I chose it. I tried a couple with no luck. The situation meant I would have to call for help.

A woman named Kath answered my call. After about 20 minutes of try this, the machines meshed again. Crisis diverted, stress resumes normal level, definitely time for a nap.

In the next exciting installment of "Muckraking or My Life as I See It," read "A Tale of Two Kitties."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Safe 'que

I went to a barbecue yesterday. Although 14 people came to eat and talk, I handled the situation well. Of course, everyone there shares a giant portion of my heart.

We attacked the food like a swarm of locusts annihilating a wheat field, yet when I left, 14 more people could have feasted on the leftovers.

The children and the dog behaved themselves and the godsons talked and laughed. Papaw and Corey manned the grill. I furnished Blue Bell ice cream and waffle cones. Mamaw made her famous macaroni salad. One godson made potato salad and his significant other did beans.

Going to a gathering ranks high on my stress meter. Noise makes me uncomfortable and after so much of it, I flee. I managed a couple of hours before leaving.

Momo made his way on and up the cat tree today. I got photos, just like a proud mom when her son takes his first step. He looked around, and kinda went humph, what is all the excitement about this, and promptly jumped down.

I think I hear a nap calling.


Friday, August 22, 2014


Like pet dander triggers allergy attacks, several conditions seem to bring on attacks of depression.

Today, I arose at 3:45, visited the loo, fed the boys, made coffee, and prepared my Tyvaso for the day. Grand prix auto, with a nighttime muffled roar, kept me awake until the coffee did its job.

When the phone rang at 7:25, I knew the day would challenge my stamina. My friend plans a barbecue tomorrow for their children and families. I volunteered my chopping abilities. I dressed, changed o2 tanks, and hit the road by 8.

I chopped celery, cubed cheese, and minced onions that the store had minced, but we not fine enough. We also went to the grocery to get buns and drinks. Before the grocery store visit, we picked up the grandsons and took them to her house.

The car door blew into my shoulder, and my tank pulverized my shin.

Back to triggers. When I find myself exhausted, I begin making excuses. The minute I walked inside, I began thinking of reasons I could not go tomorrow. Then an argument ensued. Guilt bubbles to the surface. Then the dark clouds begin to roll my way.

So overdoing physically triggers my depression.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Words, words

Funny how a word here or there, a completely innocent word, can push me closer to the darkness. I stick my feelers out to help and get them rapped for caring. You see my feelers are super sensitive and almost always get a little bruised.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuckered out

I am worn out. Maybe running around Target thinking my o2 was on caused me to feel this way. Plus a trip to the grocery store (o2 was turned on) and then I had two sets of visitors this morning. I know abled bodied folks think nothing of these activities, but this PH'er is pooped.

My upstairs neighbor thinks the action on his Grand Theft Auto needs the highest volume setting to be any fun. The best time to play coincides with my bedtime. He also seems to think my back yard resembles a big, green trash can, but that story can hold for another time. Despite the the grand prix of car chases in my bedroom, I fell asleep.

I slept soundly until I could no longer breath. Seems Pogo grew weary waiting for breakfast, so he turned off my c-pap. That action got him breakfast, all right.

The black angry cloud which hovers over me at times, waits just beyond my determination to keep it away. I feel it will catch up with me tomorrow.

I have slowly cleaned out my FB friends. The main trims were those who never post anything, even a like, on my page. Others were not interested in friendship really, but numbers. I'm done for awhile. If I have to perform this operation too many more times, I might be better off quitting FB rather than making everyone mad or making them enemies.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

out with the old

I have energy today. Maybe sleeping all day yesterday has something to do with it. So I start the day with coffee and dishwashing. I toss the petrified chicken strip and chisel the food from the microwave. Every time I take a step I am reminded sweeping should be the next chore to face.

I have decided to change the way I store everything in the kitchen. I also plan to shuck all but two or three cookbooks. I want the cookbooks to go to good homes or I would put them outside with a note that says FREE take one.

Though I am not moving, I am downsizing. I've held onto things I don't use. Time to remedy that. Perhaps while clearing out stuff, I can clear out my head.

I rid myself of all the clothes and shoes I did not wear. I no longer own a dress. I am now in the process of cleaning dresser drawers. Most of the drawers do not hold clothes but rather mementos and obsolete technology.

Once I have finished these projects, I probably will be at a loss for time occupiers. By then, the skies will be grey more and the chill will keep me anchored to the bed.

Therefore, I must stop the lollygagging, and get on while the getting goes.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Another beginning

Yes, I would love to go ____with you, I say a week before the planned event. The first day after making plans, I think I can do this. By the day before the date, I am thinking of excuses to offer why I cannot go. Each day seems to get darker until nothing can pry me out of my apartment. I feel guilty, but even the guilt and imagined shame fail to get me to go.

Then here comes the guilt of offering to do something for someone and failing to keep my word. How can I expect friends to forgive me? How can I expect them to ever believe me or even continue to be my friend? What is in me that I cannot see that keeps them calling or talking to me? Some do give up; how can I blame them?

Tears pool just beyond my eyes. The dam of determination holds the liquid pain in check. I know if the dam bursts, the flood will drown me.

I once received a letter from someone who had walked the path I am walking. I put the letter away. A time came that I believed I needed to rid my life of the negative. The letter was among the material things I tossed. For a year or so, I believed what I had done was right and necessary. Now I would give up most anything to have that letter back.

Should you push yourself to endure the pain? Does facing it help you find relief or does it wear you down to the point of giving up?

Where are you, Dude?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What's on my mind

I spent the greater part of my life looking for love. Friends tell me I am loved. I do not believe them.

How do I really know I am depressed? What if I am pretending so I can get sympathy?

I miss you, Dude. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

When you're strange

Photo: Happy Birthday Robert Bloch!!!!

Photo via Weird Tales Magazine

You may be watching television or staring out the window. Without warning, a tsunami of guilt washes over you. You feel bad that you did not live up to expectations -- your's and others'. 

Your home offers familiarity, which comforts you. At home, you do not have to ... anything. If you do not go out, you do not have to face others and their judgmental eyes. You do not have to pretend you feel great and love your life.

Feelings of hopelessness pervade every minute of every day. To banish these thoughts, you sleep and sleep and sleep. You have no energy, not even to cook. Crackers, nuts and ice cream bars are mainstays of your diet. 

Everyone else has lives; you are worthless. 

Just one person can make a difference. Could it be you?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just add some joy

Thousands of people live with mental illness all day, every day.

Remember Monk, the OCD former detective and private eye, who made that particular mental illness funny and almost glamorous? Viewers loved to laugh at him because of his obsessive ways, which, by the way, also helped him solve some cases.

Listen to random conversations and chances are bipolar disorder will come up. The condition seems to be more common lately. Not sure if more doctors diagnose this disorder or more people have it.

Those with bipolar disease are hard to live with. One minute they seem fine, the next minute something snaps and they are having a hissy fit throwing furniture and punches. Medication helps, but many patients say they do not like the way the drugs make them feel.

People often misunderstand depression. Though sadness and depression differ, many people do not know the distinction. A well-meaning friend once told me to go find some joy. If only the solution were that easy. 

Depression lurks behind the curtains and inside closets. Turn your back and it catches you, closes its arms around you, and you find yourself unable to breathe. 

Then doubt and guilt crawl out of their hiding places to torment you incessantly. Doubt will demand you question your every move. Once you believe what doubt puts in front of you, guilt takes over. Everything you do, you doubt, then castigate yourself for your actions or inaction. 

Sleep becomes the retreat for the overwhelming weight of sadness, guilt and doubt. Asleep, the volume of accusations falls to barely a whisper, and relief comes. 

Depressed people can be great actors. Meet them on the street and they exude joy and happiness. Inside, they want to run. 

So how do you help a depressed person? Be a friend. Offer understanding if the depressed person cannot go to the movies as planned. Don't say you know how the depressed person feels, because you do not. Call or Facebook every now and then to let them know you care.

I know being a friend to someone who has depression sucks. If you want to run the other way, that is OK. 

I miss you so much, Dude.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I am sitting here with my third cup of coffee, already considering a nap. I am sleepy. I have medicines scheduled in a couple of hours, yet I wonder if I could put them off fot a few hours.

In all my 65 years I have never eaten corned beef and cabbage. So Ms. Cook here, who has not had many successful forays into the kitchen lately, will put the beef, onions, potatoes, and spices into a large pan and simmer. Then Cindy O'Leary will celebrate the holiday in style.

I used to know my way around the kitchen pretty well. Not Top Chef well, but good enough for the journalists I worked with. Sometime in the past 10 years or so, my cooking skills tanked. Scrambling eggs can be hit or miss. The whole cooking thing would be easier if I knew what I wanted to eat. I buy items at the store thinking I will make so and so. Or, I have not had such and such for such a long time, I will get that. Once the ingredients are at home in the cabinets, I forget the reason I bought them or I and mentally kick myself. How could I possibly think I would make beef bourguignon?

I will admit cooking this way has one advantage. I have lost about 10 pounds the past year. Apples and peanut butter are stables in my diet. Doc should be happy.

Off for the nap.

Laters, Dude.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Giving it another try

Well, here I am again. Rust covers my writer's brain and my fingers find it hard to find the proper keys.

Physically, my body holds together pretty well. The extra oxygen when I am out and about helps, and hauling extra tanks around  might even count as weight training. I avoided the hospital for more than a year. Only one little problem intrudes into my seemingly good life.

Every time I jump up and turn sharply to the right or left, I lose my balance and spend the next few seconds trying to remain upright. Once I caught myself against the sliding glass doors. Another time I staggered like a drunk at closing time and finally fell/sat on the chair. Dr. Cindy here figures the problem might be an inner ear infection. Or maybe another one of those glorious conditions that happens to those who are closer to death than first grade.

That part of me that controls the rest of me, fails to measure up. I want to curl into a ball the size of a pea and hide in the corner behind the table beside the couch.

With PH, one gets a "weighty" chest. Pressure like an elephant sitting on you. Mentally I feel that elephant in my head and cannot see beyond the gray shadows. On those days, I take my medicines and sleep. When I wake again, I take more medicines and sleep some more.

Those days the world ignores me and carries on as worlds do. I feel guilty. I feel I do not live up to a standard that my parents, teachers, friends, etc., expect of me. I never measure up, least of all to myself.

Sometimes I am so not myself that even my best friend questions my actions. We were standing in the bill pay line at the grocery story. My friend had several bills and money orders to purchase. The line grew long and waiters were mostly men. My friend and I discussed what she was going to feed her family for supper. I turned to the man behind me and asked him what he was having for supper. At first, he was stunned, then he said, "Chicken," and laughed. It seems in my old age, I talk to strangers, something I
would never do when I was younger. I guess I figure I can get away with crazy old lady.

Most days, I do not go outside. I want to be left alone but at the same time I want someone to notice.

I find my mind wandering. Positive thoughts going out to a CFers having a hard time.

Later, Dude.