Monday, October 25, 2021

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I just marked the two year anniversary of moving into my sweet little condo.  Best decision I ever made, as the neighborhood is full of wonderful people that enjoy each others' company and house sit when someone goes away.  I have built-in dog sitters, and they have an animal sitter and plant watered in me as well.  It's miraculous that I found such a perfect community, completely by chance.


I love that the weather is cooling and I can run my gas fireplace, judiciously, for some warmth both visual and physical.  As you can see here, I'm watching a movie on my computer because I couldn't get the damn t.v. to upload it!  I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to technology.  I'm better at it than, say, my 89 year old father, but I still find myself relying on the kids to get my tech problems solved.  64 years of age, and I started using computers at 30, strictly for work.  What do I know?  Only that it frustrates the hell out of me when I can't solve a problem.  I am also frustrated no end when my dad calls asking me a question that we have gone over time and time again.  He uses a PC, I a Mac.  I don't speak PC.  I can't help him.  He's written four books using his computer and he still can't remember how to save a document if someone doesn't walk him through it.  And he has no filing system, so can never find anything!

On the medical front, turns out I have arthritis in my cervical spine.  "WTF?!" I shouted when I got off the phone with the doc.  "This is not my beautiful life!"  I have a physical therapy appointment in a couple of days.  If that doesn't help, then they'll do an MRI.  Why?  I don't know.  Once step at a time.

My Zoom church gathering today of 9 people (it's an extra curricular thing) focused on the topic of what is essential in our lives.  What I shared is that just taking care of myself is THE essential thing.  Like a building that needs major maintenance after decades of use, my body is rife with ailments that require diligent and timely mitigation efforts.  It's a bloody full time job.  I don't like it, but it's what I've got to deal with, so I deal.

It still feels odd to me to say "my church."  I've never been a fan of organized religion, and I don't believe in the Christian theology.  I feel I need to explain that I've joined our local Unitarian gang, er, church.  My need arose during the pandemic lockdown, where I was coping with the death of two significant people in my life, and my own health problems.  I was looking for a caring compassionate ear(s) and a community of people who did the work to build a more loving, inclusive and compassionate world.  So I started going to Zoom services; participating in additional on-line UU groups; meeting others, many of whom I really enjoyed talking with.  The Dali Lama has said that you can be any religion or no religion to get a benefit from Buddhist teachings and meditation.  I feel the same way about the Unitarian church.  The diversity of the membership, in terms of thought and belief, is vast.  Racial diversity of our particular area is not so vast, and is reflected in our church.  LGBTQ folks are well represented in the leadership and the congregation.  

I feel well supported and truly appreciated by the people I've been through this church.  They put their money where their mouth is.  They are generous with their time and attentions.  They are thoughtful, and practice loving kindness both to themselves and to the community.  There is no need to identify as a particular religious belief or dogma (theology).  We are practicing becoming our best selves and offering that best self to the world.  

And, that, my friends, is how this agnostic/atheist joined a spiritual community.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Pain is Real

I watched the show about the Sackler family and the rise of OxyContin.  Those greedy bastards.  Really no different from many of the big corporations, except that this corporation was directly and knowingly killing people.  The other negative outcome is that, up until this new drug, pain management was not treated seriously and many people suffered needlessly.  



This photograph is from a trip I took a month ago to a tiny town called Pine Junction, southwest of Denver. It's about a two hour drive for me and I went to visit with someone I knew in high school but haven't seen in 45 years!  We had a great time together; ate lunch, drove around the mountains and I fed her horses the entire bag of carrots I brought along.  Someday will go on a trail ride, but I had a sore neck and am completely out of shape so I didn't feel as if it were a good time for riding on the back of a large animal.

The drive back really did a number on my neck, and I've not been well since.  Doc gave me muscle relaxers and pain pills, and they put me to sleep just fine.  As for pain management?  Not so good.  I've tried massage and acupuncture but didn't get any relief.  Going back to doc in a couple of days for a follow up.  I need an X-ray as well, just to make sure there's nothing going on in my cervical spine.  How I wish for effective pain relief.  But now the powers that be in the medical field are once again shy about prescribing meds that might really help.

So, that is the medical report, boys and girls, and those who identify as non-binary. Speaking of which, do. you find it difficult to keep up with the latest language to identify people?  I finally looked up "BIPOC" because I started hearing it and reading it a LOT.  Black/Indigenous/People of Color.  There you have it, and you're welcome.  Now, I remember when my late husband continued to use the identifier "Oriental" for people of Asian ancestry, and it did make me cringe.  And, I want to use language that is respectful.  Latinx is another one that stumped me until I looked it up.  Latin-X is the correct pronunciation, I believe.  The world is changing, and I want to keep up, and I hope no one judges me if I get it wrong every now and then.  We all need a little kindness.

Next time I post, I'll share my story about "joining" our local Unitarian Universalist church.  Me? Church?  Hell yeah.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Back in the saddle again?

Greetings.  I've been away from this space for a very long time. It was the pandemic and life was stagnant to say the least.  A waiting game, a 'just get through itj" daily grind.  I felt I had nothing of note to share, and I grew weary of reading all blogs.

I'm dipping my toe in to see if the water is pleasant and calls me back in.  I don't know.  I do know the blog world went along just fine without me.  I never did have an audience that could equal that of other blogs I read.  My guess is that my posts were just not that compelling or interesting to others.  That was okay for many years, and then, for reasons still murky to me, I began to resent it.  Then I decided to leave a platform that made me feel angry.  

I do enjoy re-reading my old posts -- it's been such a great journal, or diary, for me.  Such ups and downs.  This is the way of life.  If you strive for lasting equilibrium, you will be sorely disappointed.  It's taken me decades to deeply understand this.

I am still ensconced in my sweet little condo in my 55+ neighborhood. Two years now.  Close to a record for me.  The ladies here form quite a close knit support network.  During the lockdown, we would gather outside on someone's lawn, weather permitting, and check in with each other and share some good belly laughs.  I love being around older single women who are very content with their live and their status.  Lots of jokes about the joys of not having husbands!  One of us, in addition to me, identify as queer, but we feel the same way and enjoy the freedom of being on our own.  Since my last spouse was a man, that's what I stick with with this group.  I may be short changing these people, but I know that Colorado is a lot more conservative than California, so I watch my step until I get to really know someone deeply.


I recently took up watercolor painting after a 40 year hiatus.  Mostly to have a pleasant way to spend some hours. I went to the art supply store near my house and a knowledgable young woman, who paints watercolor herself, helped me pick out the basis supplies.  She seemed genuinely delighted that I was going to start painting again.  It bolstered my desire.  And so, now I play some music, sometimes Reggae, sometimes Rock or piano solos and Bach, and sit down to paint.  I forgot how much I enjoyed the process and the unfolding of a painting.

And so it goes, friends.  Always unfolding.

Surly Bonds

My dad slipped the surly bonds of earth on January 13.  He'd had a massive stroke on the ninth and doctors were clear he was not going t...