Friday, November 29, 2019

TGIF

The Mr. Rogers movie, and Mr. Rogers himself, is getting big buzz.  I think it's due in part to how uncivilized our public discourse has become -- we long for kindness and for someone who cares about his fellow man.  Truth be told, when I was a child, I didn't like the show.  I found him rather too solicitous...a trait I wasn't used to seeing in adults.  He kind of creeped me out.  One wonders why my young mind skewed that way, but it did.  When I watch clips of the show now, I see a little of that, but I also see a very gentle and considerate man.  He did great things for racial equality, hosting the first regular black character in the form of Mr. Clemens, a police officer.  The gentleman was also a brilliant tenor, and sang often on the show.

I also remember Mr. Rogers' testimony before congress when the funding of PBS was in doubt.  Eloquent, urgent, and compassionate.  So, I celebrate that his values are being held before the public spotlight once again, and that people are reminded of the importance of treating one another with good will and dignity.  I don't think I'll see the movie, however, as the few clips I've seen of Tom Hanks (playing him brilliantly) just brings back all that slow sweet sugary goodness that rubs me the wrong way.

What's the matter with me?!

This week was eventful in that we had a major snow storm that dumped two feet in two days.  The most snow my kids have seen since moving here two years ago.  Oh, and I suffered two slips on the ice.  I went down hard each time, two days in a row, and now I am admittedly sore all over, from ankle to shoulders.  Turning over in bed last night I noticed that even my torso hurt.  Thanks to the recommendation by friends, I have ordered some modern urban crampons to strap to my shoes. They haven't come yet, and so, this morning I did not take out the recycling because when I looked at the driveway I saw too many ice patches, despite having salt sprinkled there last night.  My poor old body just can't take another fall.  My neighbor Ann said the lady across the street fell in her driveway two years ago and broke her hip.  No thanks.

I put the tree up earlier than I usually do, mostly because we were snowed in and I needed an activity.


The second day of the snow my grand kids and daughter came over to cuddle by the fire and watch Disney movies.  So, two good consequences of the snow.

The plows came through mid-afternoon, after my daughter's car got stuck in my driveway.  She shoveled it out so she could pull all the way in, and then decided to shovel the rest (bless her heart).  I did a bit of shoveling earlier, to clear the driveway before her arrival, and I was a miserable failure.  I took tips from internet on how to shovel -- take a top layer off first, in a big snow, and work your way down.  Much easier on the back.  But still not easy.  I may invest in an electric snow shovel, which works well if you don't let the snow pile up too much.  So you shovel a couple of times instead of once, but it is supposed to be worlds easier and keeps the driveway clear so you can get out if you need to.  So much to learn, including keeping a well stocked pantry and not letting the supply of necessities run low at any point during the winter.


It's a learning curve, and I'm learning.

Thanksgiving was a lovely interlude in the week.  My kids hosted, and their only guests were me and my daughter's father, my first ex-husband.   We all had a great time.  Kevin brought a delicious treat:  pecan stuffed dates wrapped in bacon.  Wow. A party in my mouth.  He's always been a good cook. 

After dinner we watched ET, which I haven't seen since it was released in the early 1980s.  I had forgotten so much of it.  It was more tragic than I remembered, but it all came out right in the end.

I experienced a wee bit of sadness at this, my first holiday post break-up, but I observed it, had my feelings about it, and moved on.  I'm experiencing resilience.

Now if my aching body could bounce back so quickly, I'd be in excellent shape!


"The tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides 
in the human heart." from the novel Bless Me Ultima.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday Musings

Colorado is a very beautiful state, that goes without saying.  The skies are particularly beautiful and obviously can be enjoyed no matter what part of the state you are in.  Here on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, there are spectacular sunrises and sunsets which seems to last a long time compared to being on the coast.  I was curious about this apparent phenomena and I searched for verification of it and could find none.  So perhaps it is just me.

Here's a view of a typical sunrise from the back of my house.


That's looking southeast.  If I leave my blinds just slightly open at night, I'm awakened by a rich rosy glow which always gets me up so I can see it fully.

At the end of the day yesterday I drove southwest into Boulder to have dinner with friends.  The sky was spectacular the entire drive (one hour) between 4 and 5 o'clock.  I wish there had been a good place to pull over and get some sky photos, but there isn't, and so I took a shot out the car window.


We're expecting a good amount of snow tonight and tomorrow, so on my way home this morning I stopped and stocked up.  I also bought a snow shovel at the grocery store.  Even though the HOA clears snow in the neighborhood, they often don't get around to it until there's quite a build up.  I've learned from neighbors that it's best to shovel your driveway before it gets too deep, in order to avoid driving on the snow and compacting it into sheets of ice.  I'll also be able to shovel a pathway for Lucy to go out and do her 'business.'

I attended a Friendsgiving celebration on Saturday night that was attended by about twenty of my daughter's friends.  It was fun, albeit noisy, and there were plenty of children running around outside in the chill -- without coats!  Such amazing internal heaters they have.  There was another woman there who attended with her kids and grand kids, and we exchanged information so that we could meet for walks and whatnot.  She's from Atlanta and visits her kids several times a year.  I am discovering that Fort Collins is populated with people from all over the United States.  It's rare that I have met a native here.  Someone also mentioned the Newcomer's Club, so I have gone on-line and signed up for that.  All kinds of interest groups from wine tasting to book clubs to hiking and field trips.  I'm looking forward to meeting like-minded folks and establishing some friendships.

I am adjusting to my new life and this move has kick started my engines.  I am defying gravity.

Friday, November 22, 2019

TGIF

Tammi Brown and Bob Reid are singers I have known for decades. I sang with Bob briefly when I was just out of high school. We had a trio with another fellow named Chris Piper. Don't know whatever happend to him. Bob went on to work for arts programs for elementary schools in the Monterey Bay area and made several cds singing with those schoolchildren.

He was also a good friend with Pete Seeger and spent summers on the east coast in music workshops with him. Bob dropped off my map for quite some time, but last year I found in again on Facebook and he is now singing with Judi Yeager, mostly house concerts and small venues. This is a beautiful and familiar song to many:
Lastly, my friends, let me introduce you to Tammi Brown. A million years ago when I was partnered with Lynn, Tammi and Lynn worked together at the university. Tammi was already an accomplished singer but still trying to break in to the music industry. She had been recording at a state of the art studio north of San Francisco. When Lynn and I had our commitment ceremony (remember those quaint vestiges of marriage inequality?) Tammi sang at our ceremony. Tammi is now experiencing great success, performing frequently at Yoshi's. Her range is wide: gospel, popular and jazz.
It fills me with joy to see how her gift has grown over the decades.

There it, folks. My musical friends. Thanks to Robin over at New Dharma Bums for getting me started on the nostalgic musical journey. Hope your Friday is a good one, and your weekend even better.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Musings

I was contacted by an old friend just today.  She and her then husband gave me a safe place to stay when I left my first husband with my toddler in tow.  This is was two days before the Loma Prieta earthquake back in 1989.  We met in child birth class and were instantly drawn to one another.  Our children were born just weeks apart (mine was early, hers was very, very late).  I was 30, she was 40.  She was remarkable in that, at age 40 she  had her first child and she had more energy than I did.  I marveled even more when she had her second child five years later.

After several years, we drifted apart but reconnected many many years later when I moved into a house in her new neighborhood.  It was a brief reconnect, as my then wife was rude to her and everyone was also still working and very busy.  So I was delighted to hear from her today, and it turns out she is still singing (has been for about ten years or so).  I'm embedding the Youtube video of the trio she is with.  Their mission is wonderful: to uplift, inspire and connect.  The Trio was born in the aftermath of the 2016 elections.  I was going to save this video for a Friday music post, but it's so much fun, I can't wait.  It's long, and contains many songs.  If you have the time, it's really worth watching and listening to it all. "Sisters of the Heart" was especially uplifting for me.




(This video disappeared but I've reinserted it. If it goes away again, apologies) A great way to start the week, me thinks. Especially since I've had a wild weekend filled with asthma and coughing. I was in the ER on Saturday night for a few hours because of asthma, and I woke up my poor kids to take me in. My daughter and taken an - uh - sleeping aide so my son-in-law drove me. He was very sweet and brushed aside my apologies. The ER 'experience' was a very good one, however, and they took good care of me, gave me IV prednisone and sent me off with a prescription for more. I'm feeling better, somewhat, this morning, though the asthma is still there and my throat is very raw and sore. Maybe this is a cold. I don't know. I'm planning on going to yoga this morning if I'm feeling up to it. Fingers crossed. I was well enough last night to have the family over for a full-on dinner of roasted chicken, mashes potatoes (with gravy!), asparagus and butternut squash. I had all day to work on it slowly, so I wasn't exhausted, having prepped everything well in advance. It was a hearty meal with my favorite people on the planet.

Let's not forget that this week plans on being another bombshell of testimony in the President's impeachment inquiry. I am riveted. I will be watching for Sonland on Wednesday in particular. Let's hope he doesn't make the mistake of lying to Congress. That has not worked out well for the other seven men associated with Trump.

Friday, November 15, 2019

TGIF

Another Friday, more music! Here's a video by my friend Lynn Zanetta. Lynn and I went to high school together, and reconnected about eight years ago. I was surprised to learn that she has quite the musical talent, as a song writer, musician and singer.

She played a lot locally in her small town of Downieville CA. I went with her to a concert in Sacramento and she was singing along in the audience. The person on stage marveled at her voice and wanted to know who she was. I've been to a couple of her house concerts as well. She's a lovely and loving person and I wish I had more opportunities to sing with her.

Nancy Northrup is another friend whose musical career really took off shortly after I met her. We thought we might sing together, but I didn't pass muster with her. I was out of practice, and not really good with improvisation and harmony, which is what she was looking for. So, she went on to team up with others and has had three cds produced by John Beland, famed Nashville studio musician who was also a part of the Flying Burrito Brothers.

 Next week:  Tammi Brown and Bob Reid, two more friends with actual music careers!

Have a great weekend, filled with music!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wordless Wednesday (almost)


I couldn't let this pass: two months ago today I drove out of my home town on my way to Colorado and my new life.  Sad, yes.  Regrets?  Absolutely not.  It's worked out gloriously.  Now, let's get on with our day.

Wordless Wednesday


Friday, November 8, 2019

TGIF

It's Friday, and it's Bonnie Raitt's 70th birthday.  I'm listening to a marathon of her music, of course.  Speaking of music, Robin and Roger over on New Dharma Bums are going to be posting music on Fridays for the foreseeable future.

Music keeps me afloat and it always has.  Especially in these times.  My tastes are all over the place, including some grunge, punk and metal on rare occasions.  I also very much enjoyed the Ken Burn's series on Country Music.  His series on Jazz was phenomenal.




Angel from Montgomery was one of my favorite songs to sing back in the day when I was performing. My high school friend Laurie Hofer (now Romero) used to sing this one hanging out in a classroom and school, and  people would stop by and be amazed.  Laurie still has a professional career.  I used to think I did, but folks, it is hard work and requires dedication.  I didn't have it.

I did take a class at the local junior college after I retired.  I thought I'd try my pipes out again and took a Jazz and Pop vocals class.  It was great fun, and we had a piano and bass to accompany us and our final exam was performing at a local restaurant/bar.  What a kick!  But like I said, it's work.

I have several friends who have gone on to have long lasting careers in music, and it's taken quite some time (decades) to develop a following.  You've got to live it, breathe it, want it, no matter what.  I'm in awe of their talent and dedication.  There are so many talented people out there, I can understand why artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga had to develop a shtick in order to get the attention.

Here's Laurie burning it up:


I'll post videos of the others I have known who have music careers, next week. Robin has started something here.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of music.

Friday, November 1, 2019

TGIF

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  I've had Type 1 for 27 years now and I can't even tell you how many times I've pricked my finger to do a blood test; how many times I've injected insulin into my belly, my thighs, my upper arms.  Sometimes the purple round bruises on my belly are like quarter-sized polka dots all over the skin.

Since moving to Colorado, one of my main tasks is to get my University medical insurance switched to a plan that will cover me outside of California.  Once that happens, I need to connect with a doctor pronto to ensure I continue to receive my insulin and other diabetic medical supplies.  I cannot have a lapse in care, as it is life or death.  My biggest nightmare is that I'll run out of insulin and not have a valid prescription.  It's worrisome.  I also experience the same kind of worry when I contemplate natural disasters: if I ever need to evacuate, or if pharmacies are shut down and I'm low on insulin, I am perilously close to serious illness or death.  One of the solutions to the problem is to stockpile the drug, but that's impossible to do if you use your monthly supply completely (which I do).

What all of this amounts to is that I am tethered to this drug to keep me alive.  I keep abreast of the latest technologies and medical procedures that will 'cure' diabetes.  So far, most everything is experimental and not covered by insurance.  What I/we really need is a cure.  Meanwhile, I do the best I can and I wait.

I say proudly that I had just one mini Snickers bar last night!  I spent Halloween with my daughter and grand daughter, handing out candy to the goblins, princesses, mice, Ninja warriors and even a giant Panda.  Dylan and their dog Gracie kept watch for more trick or treaters:


We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas, intermittently, and stopped when good friends arrived with their toddler son to spend some time.  I didn't even get to see my grand son, as his dad took him to a friend's neighborhood.  When I left at 8 p.m. they still weren't back.  I trust a good time was had by all.  I was so happy to spend the evening with the people I love the most.  It's always fun to experience these winter holidays through the eyes of a child.

I'll leave you with two quotes by author Robert Brault....

“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.” 

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” 


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