Friday, August 10, 2018


Everyday I wake up to smoky skies and a blood red sunrise.  I've ordered special breathing masks to wear on my walks with the dogs, but they haven't arrived yet.  Authorities are saying that these fires are bound to rage on for weeks to come.  Everyone who is my neighbor is a high risk person -- being that high-risk includes just being over 65 years of age.  We're sticking close to home and limiting our time out of doors.

Tomorrow, however, we drive 2 hours into the mountains to meet up with my daughter and her family.  They are camping with friends and drove in from Colorado.  Just a day visit, as they are headed home, but I am so happy that I'm going to be able to hold my grand babies for a few hours.  I miss them all the time.  I miss my daughter.  Thank goodness for the telephone and video phone apps so we can talk whenever we want.  Because, yeah, I miss the hell out of them.

In two weeks I'm going into the hospital for an outpatient procedure to look into my heart.  Sounds weird, huh?  People do it all the time.  It's called an Angiogram and I'm doing it because my stress test shows a small blockage.  It might be responsible for my heart's strange electrical activity, or it may not.  Once they get in there, they may decide to put in a stent to open up the area.  I've had a similar procedure done, decades ago, when the doc thought maybe I had a brain aneurysm.  The lead up to the exam was much worse than the procedure itself.  It doesn't hurt to have a catheter roaming around your arteries.  And they numb the area where they insert it (groin).  And you're in a nice little fog of anesthesia.

A little unnerving but I'm treating myself to facials, pedicures and hair cut/color.  Pampering myself is making me very happy.  I didn't used to thrill to this kind of thing, but the older I become the more I enjoy the indulgence.   It centers me and calms me.  Makes me feel a little more youthful

Which, of course, helps me feel healthy, even though I'm not 100 percent.  I've lived with Type I Diabetes since my mid-thirties, and asthma all my life.  I've had health challenges aplenty.  Physical and mental. I've overcome them all, or at least learned how to live with them.  I've learned that taking good care of myself is essential.

And sometimes, I fall off the wagon and am not so good at taking care of myself.  Doesn't this happen to us all?  Then, you have this clarity, usually brought on by something critical, like my heart, that snaps you out of your apathy.  Thank goodness for a strong sense of survival.  That's what I've got.

I want many years ahead of love, laughter, crude jokes and bad language.  Many more musical concerts to experience, books to read, movies to watch, meals to enjoy.  Dreams to dream.  Walks with the dogs, holding hands with my hubs.  There's just so much to do.

Don't you feel it?

Friday, August 3, 2018


Have you ever heard of a 'chemical stress test' for the heart?  I had one this morning at the hospital in Sacramento.  They are checking out my heart to make sure that my current issues are not related to some kind of blockage.  Doc ordered the chemical test as opposed to the treadmill.  I was treated well, fully briefed on the procedure (it's pretty complex with several steps and caveats), set up in the PET scan room, hooked up with IV and heart monitors and then shoved through a tube with my arms above my head for about 30 minutes.  Despite my fears about what my physical reactions might be, I got through it with relative ease.  When they put the chemical in that would stress my heart, I became warm, felt pretty jacked up and developed a moderate headache.  

My days of snorting cocaine came to mind....the late 1970s were a tad careless and wild.  

I also used self-hypnosis to keep me calm and take my mind away from my body's sensations and the sounds in the lab.  I imagined I was in my old hammock under the sycamore trees, feeling the breezes blow across my face and listening to bird song.  It allowed time to sail by and I was actually a little surprised when the test came to an end.

Now, of course, I have to wait to find out the results.  During the procedure, I did hear some comments between the techs and the nurses which indicated that they were -- I don't know the right word -- impressed by the wacky electrical activity they were seeing.  I imagine that if a blockage had been found they would have admitted me to the hospital then and there.  Then again...mistakes  have been known to happen.

In happier news, my grandson turned seven years old yesterday.  We had a nice chat on Facetime and he was devouring jelly beans the entire time.  I reminded him that I was there in the room with everybody when he was born.  He knows the whole story: he was born in the bathtub, he was blue when he came out, and he had a cone shaped head.  He thinks it's all very funny.  He popped another jelly bean into his gob and laughed loudly.

This photo was taken a couple of years ago, in my beloved Brazilian hammock that hung in my front yard.  I left it for the buyer of the house since we don't have anywhere to hang it.  Sigh.  I spent many, many happy hours in that hammock.

Northern California continues to burn and our skies are pretty smoky.  The morning sun today was a bright red/orange fireball straight out of a science fiction movie.    The Carr fire near Redding has caused 6 deaths, including 2 fire fighters.  Something like 1300 structures (mostly residences) have been destroyed.  So, I'm not going to complain about a little smoke.  

My husband took this photo when we were driving east on I-80 into Sacramento at 7:00 a.m.  for the stress test.

There are many other fires currently in California.  This is just one.  The phrase often heard is, "this is the new normal."

Maybe next summer we hop a ship and spend a month at sea.  Somewhere, anywhere.  I'll take a stack of novels to read.  

If you'd like to join us, give me a holler.  The more the merrier.  You'd like to get away, wouldn't  you?

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Musings

Weird.  Some things never change.

I had a friend, back in the Dark Ages, when we were 19 & 20 years old.  I thought she was cool, fun, funny and smart.  I had a girl crush on her.  We really had a moment where it felt as though we were falling in love.  We didn't speak about it, of course, until it was all over and too late.

Then she moved in with my ex-boyfriend.  I was jealous.  I said some very rude and cruel things to her.  They were experiencing their love (not to last long, of course, as he moved from best friend to best friend) and he shared some of our 'greatest hits' in the pain department with her.  She decided I was a terrible person and she told me so.  My behavior contributed to this. The friendship was over.  It broke my heart, truly.  I could care less about him at this point, but I wanted my friendship with her.  I wanted our friendship long after she broke it off in a cruel and blunt way.

We had and continue to have a few mutual friends.  They love her to death.  I can understand. 

I've had some interactions with her in the intervening decades, and each time I felt dismissed.  Utterly small.  I can't talk with her candidly about it because I know she'd shoot me down and call me names, perhaps, "Snowflake."  I have to accept that, for whatever reasons, she just really does not like me.  At all.  That's a bitter pill.  I wish I didn't feel so drawn to her.  I have no reason to feel drawn to her -- we have not been compatriots for four bloody decades!!  What is this thing I'm feeling?

I so wish that, way back then, I could have handled the whole thing much differently.  If I could take back my bad behavior, and all that.  I was a seriously insecure person, and did not take rejection (real or perceived) at all well.  Each romantic break-up caused me to behave badly and to debase myself shamelessly.  I hurt people and caused them pain and confusion.  If only I could have risen above it all and been self-contained and mature.  But I did not have it in me at that tender age.  I regret that.

I have recently experienced, again, a small little dismissal by her majesty, and I'm really pissed off that I'm pissed off.  Enough already.  I donated to a project of hers last year, a kind of peace offering on my part.  And because I believed in her project.  Still, she rejects me.

Okay. Okay!  I get it!  I have it in me, now, to be above it all (at least publicly).  I'm going to disengage and remind myself that this is nothing new, but I can move past it and don't have to react like I did 40 years ago.  I've moved along.  I've grown up.

So why does it still bite?

Friday, July 27, 2018


Earlier today I watched a video by Lisa Nichols, author and motivational speaker, about not letting anyone 'dim your light.' It was brilliant. Empowering and exciting. Then, this afternoon, by chance, I found this TEDx talk by Connie Schultz, who has a very interesting story to tell, if you have the time. It was worth the time for me. I have been pondering of late what my life in the next 20 or 30 years might look like. Sparked, perhaps, by Jane Condon's quote on Facebook from a poem by Mary Oliver:
My response on Facebook was more than lazy, and I still feel that way. I'm not feeling terribly motivated or inspired these days. Not about my life, or the life of, yes, I'm going to say it, our country. I am sitting in the deep bowl of the doldrums. So these videos today have lit a tiny flame inside of me. Not that the essential question has been answered, but still, a tiny flame. I'll leave you with Connie and another video by a trans woman, Paula, that just may inspire you as well. Thank you, sisters, for the little push. I need it.

Friday, July 20, 2018


Maybe I'm a little depressed.  Or just moody.  Or melancholy.  Jaded.  Apathetic.  Exhausted.  How about you?

"A Little Bit Of Everything"
by Dawes

With his back against the San Francisco traffic
On the bridge's side that faces towards the jail
Setting out to join a demographic
He hoists his first leg up over the rail

A phone call's made, police cars show up quickly
The sergeant slams his passenger door
He says, "Hey son why don't you talk through this with me?
Just tell me what you're doing it for."

"Oh, it's a little bit of everything
It's the mountains, it's the fog
It's the news at six o'clock
It's the death of my first dog."

"It's the angels up above me
It's the song that they don't sing
It's a little bit of everything."

There's an older man who stands in a buffet line,
He is smiling and he's holding out his plate,
And the further he looks back into his timeline
That hard road always led him to today,

Making up for when his bright future had left him
Making up for the fact his only son is gone,
And letting everything out once, his server asks him
"Have you figured out yet, what it is you want?"

I want a little bit of everything
The biscuits and the beans
Whatever helps me to forget about
The things that brought me to my knees

So pile on those mashed potatoes
And an extra chicken wing
I'm having a little bit of everything

Somewhere a pretty girl is writing invitations
To a wedding she has scheduled for the fall
Her man says, "Baby, can I make an observation?
You don't seem to be having any fun at all."

She said, "You just worry about your groomsmen and your shirt-size
And rest assured that this is making me feel good."
I think that love is so much easier than you realize
If you can give yourself to someone, then you should

'Cause it's a little bit of everything
The way you joke, the way you ache,
It is getting up before you,
So I could watch you as you wake.

So on that day in late September,
It's not some stupid little ring,
I'm getting a little bit of everything.

Oh, it's a little bit of everything
It's the matador and the bull
It's the suggested daily dosage
It's the red moon when it's full.

All these psychics and these doctors
They're alright and they're all wrong,
It's like trying to make out every word
When they should simply hum along

It's not some message written in the dark
Or some truth that no one's seen
It's a little bit of everything