Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Lied. Never Say Never.

Unintentionally, of course.  You see, I didn’t mean to, but I spoke wrote before I knew I had this particular, weighty (ahem!) problem.  Some would say I ought to have known beforehand, but I've had other business on my mind,  dontcha know...Anyway.

There is a disturbance in the FORCE! (Sorry, wrong metaphor.) I found out the hard way that I cannot read the LOTR books. My hands and fingers are too weak to hold the hard cover volume for any length of time. 

The problem may be due to the cancer, causing weakness in joints and muscles.  It might also be the arthritis which I have in both hands. The fingertips become numb on occasion. I can no longer tell if the pain in the hands - like the pain in the legs - is due to the cancer nowadays, or still the arthritis.

I’ve tried reading with the book propped on my chest, but the weight and size are too clumsy and the book slips out of my mostly useless thumbs. The thought that reading the entire trilogy would have to take place sitting at desk or table, instead of snuggled up in bed, was more than I could take.

So, I did what I said I “would never do” I hunted down and purchased the entire trilogy in one volume. It turns out to be a Kindle Edition with surprisingly good reviews. 

I’ve proof-read the first 3 chapters and compared each edition. Though the script of the Elves is very small, so far, so good. The Kindle version is the authorized Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co. edition.  Total cost was $9.00, delivered in less than 2 minutes, and I am a happy camper.  Now to continue the annual read that is certainly going to take my mind off being a shut-in most of the time this winter. 

Just shows to go ya; never say never. 

I am amazed.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Essence of My Education Today

PHILOTIMO:  Love of Honor.

The Greek Secret.

A lot to process and work through, especially since I am not Greek. I think it's worth the time, study, and meditation.  What say you?

I am amazed.

Inventive Caturday

What a great Holiday Gift Idea!


Friday, November 28, 2014

I Remember These Things

First a note to readers: If a paragraph makes no sense in any post, please be advised that Blogger did (and does) re-arrange words in an arbitrary manner.  Usually in a sentence where an image has been inserted.  I don’t know why this matters, I just know it’s true.  I didn’t realize this was happening until I was proofing a few posts online recently. From now on, after posting, I will re-read it online and attempt to correct what Blogger has messed with. Sorry for any inconvenience to your brain.

I Remember These Things.

I remember the time before Black Friday. It was a 4-day weekend usually spent visiting friends and family all the while eating more turkey than you would in the next 11 months.

I remember when there was NO sunday shopping. (In NOLA,  grocery stores were open, liquor was available 24/7 and pharmacies were open. However, back then they sold only pharmaceuticals - no toys, groceries, or any non-health related items.)

I remember when you couldn’t find products from certain manufacturers at competitive prices, no matter how hard you tried,  more than a few cents either way. I speak of price fixing by companies like Panasonic and Sony, which was finally addressed in the late 1970s. Though they were hit with huge fines the end result is that consumers lost out, as usual. 

I can remember walking into a store looking for an item and if you didn’t see what you needed, there was always more in the “back” stock room and employees knew where to find it.  It was called service back then...

I remember great customer service and care, even being on a first name basis with sales staff.  Not anymore.

If retailers wonder why the internet has taken over as King and Queen of retail, they can look at themselves, their greed, treatment of employees, and lack of care for the customer base. People eventually get tired of being treated badly or abused. Really, they do. Then they vote with their feet and wallets.

For the most part, we went elsewhere. When you get better service from a small online retailer than a big name store you’ve been shopping for years, it’s time to move on. No customer service or support to speak of? Why wait in long lines to get a problem fixed? Go elsewhere. All fixed usually with a few clicks in minutes or with a quick email.  At least that’s my experience.

A far cry from the older model of holiday shopping.

I am still amazed.


Support Courage Campaign Institute - Shop Amazon

This only just arrived via email and since I do a lot of shopping at Amazon I think it's a great idea to help support the CCI. A worthwhile, progressive organization.

I don't give to charities much anymore. I give to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and The Ali Forney Centers and they are the only ones to get any cash. I find most others too wasteful for my taste.

Before I hear the Amazon complaints I'll just say that I shop with Amazon, not only for the prices and service, but because there are no viable brick and mortar stores within 50 miles of where I live and I will not shop at Wal*Mart.  There are other fave go-to-spots for specific items on the Interwebs, but in general Amazon covers the other bases.

Shopping local is my first priority, even if the price is a bit higher, but driving 50 or 80 miles to Malls is out of the question.  If I find it at Amazon (I'm already a Prime Member for books & movies) and two-day shipping is free, that's where I'll get what I need.

So, if you're not in the mood to hassle the long drive, or brave the crazies at the Malls, check out Amazon for just about anything and everything (I've learned this over the years) and get it within 3 to 5 days - 2-day free shipping if you're a Prime member. Make sure your purchase is eligible for the donation.

Here's the email:

Courage Campaign
Dear Friend,
At Courage, we hope that you support and shop at small businesses. But if you're planning to use for your holiday purchases and beyond, please use AmazonSmile -- a program that allows small, non-profit organizations LIKE COURAGE CAMPAIGN to raise money from Amazon purchases.
At no cost to you, Amazon will donate a .5% of the price to Courage Campaign for every eligible purchase you make! So why not get some of your holiday shopping done WHILE supporting a good cause?
Want to make it easy to use our AmazonSmile link in the future? Bookmark this link and save it as ‘Amazon.’ It's a simple and automatic way to support Courage Campaign every time you shop at Amazon.
With your purchases, you'll be helping Courage continue to fight for progressive values, equality, justice, and accountability for politicians and corporations, while training and organizing activists to change their communities.
Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!
Paul, along with Annie, Eddie, Laura, Lindsay, Michael, Scottie, and Tim (the Courage team)
Courage Campaign fights for a more progressive California and country. We are an online community powered by more than 900,000 members. The Courage Campaign Institute is the educational arm of the Courage Campaign family of organizations. Our mission is to defend and extend human rights through innovative leadership development, training, strategic research, and public education.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Full Of … Surprises

It’s cold, raining, raw, getting colder - chance of snow/sleet/freezing rain tonight into tomorrow and I am one exhausted Big Cat!


1. Heavy rains began overnight waking me shortly after midnight.  I’ve been awake ever since. The high winds and rain have continued all day.

2. There’s a new Hematologist on my case at the center as of today. He seems more familiar with it than even the oncologists on staff.

3. Labs showed the hemoglobin numbers to be in the basement again so two units of blood were ordered - for today.  

4. With the holiday tomorrow infusion had to be done right away. Couldn’t wait, but I had to. It can take hours to type and cross match for my infusions and today was no exception.

5. Eight hours in the infusion chair alternately waiting for the blood product to arrive or being infused.

6. Arrived home to find a message from the new Hematologist asking that I call Friday to schedule an consult with him.  Seems he has an idea for a new form of treatment. Oh yes, something new. If I have the transportation, that is.

So there you have it. I had a grand list of errands to run today - thinking that the Lab results would be just fine and no transfusions necessary.  I felt fine and looked good, too.  That’s what everyone said.

So, no dry cleaners, grocery shopping, credit union (for quick cash), no quiet lunch at a nice little restaurant, and no new flannel shirts. We did manage to get to the pharmacy to pick up the waiting scripts, but that was it for the entire day.

Now I am exhausted, sore, with swollen, painful legs and nothing in my stomach all day but a bag of gold fish, a bagel, lots of ice water, and 2 cups of coffee. Jeffrey made a stop to pick up some prepared fried chicken for my supper.  Turns out the chicken is inedible. Dry and tasteless.  A cold turkey sandwich is on the menu tonight - if I have the energy to make it.

I don’t know what is the more uncomfortable; the suppressed anger, the sore butt and fatigue from the infusion chair, the wasted day, or the fact that it will be next week before I get out to try again.

With the winter weather slowly creeping into the area, those outings will be much reduced or non-existent in the weeks leading up to the end of year holidays. And once again I’ll be a prisoner in my own apartment.

The one bit of really good news came from Linda today. She got the all clear from the Irish doctors and she’s coming home tomorrow.  We are all very relieved by this news. It certainly ends the day on a high note.

I am amazed


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Scots, Shorter Turkey Day, & Shopping UK

Finished the ebook “How the Scots Invented the Modern World” and highly recommend it for history buffs and Anglophiles for a quick and easy, insightful read. I am sure Ur-Spo would enjoy it. And maybe even Ron at (Retired in Delaware) since he's into genealogy and family histories. In fact, anyone who enjoys the historic connections between the Britons and the Americans will learn a great deal that we didn’t read about in our history books. 

The Scottish Enlightenment, the brutal, horrific Highland Clearances, the great thinkers and doers, the proud and wide-spread Philosophy of Scottish Educational System. Absolutely fascinating. It was probably a quick read because so many real life characters were written in a way that made their historic deeds and past lives before - and during - the diaspora that much more interesting. I  hope that makes sense.

I am now on to LOTR which ought to take me well into December and away from anything and everything unpleasant. Since these are real wood-pulp books, they’ll be more of a chore to lug to and from medical appointments, but we’ll get it done.

Special Alert: Today I am in a quandary and I need help.  No matter how much I clear out the one, single closet in this apartment, there is always more to find. I came upon two more large tubs today containing items that must be identified, sorted, cleaned (if usable) thrown away (if not) and that may just be the one thing a shopper at the Thrift store is looking for. I don’t know where it is all coming from and half is unrecognizable. Now Back to Regular Blogging.

I am not looking forward to Thanksgiving. Never really liked the holiday as a kid - too much family mishugass ending in arguments and creating bad feelings
too close to the real holidays.  We weren’t a sports kind of family, so verbally beating up on relatives was the order of the day. As a kid I remember that after helping clean up the kitchen my refuge was the  bedroom where I would listen to music or read for the duration. I was never missed.

Only as a gay adult in a “stable” relationship did I begin relating to the holiday. My house became the go-to place for wayward gays and lesbians with no other place to go. From NYC and NJ, to the Delaware shore. Over the years it became a tradition.  The first year there were 5 waifs; over the years the numbers fluctuated from 5 to 11 and it was all good fun. I usually did the cooking - others brought side dishes or desserts - and everyone else cleaned up.  We'd listen to music, dance and/or watch movies on the teevee machine. Spanning the eras from Vinyl to CD; VHS to DVDs.  Very relaxing times. That life, all those people are long gone. It’s a day like any other, albeit a quieter one and I don’t miss the work and fuss one tiny bit. 

It has been over a month since I ordered the “V” shape pillow from the company in the UK.  It has now been 26 days since I received word that the package had been ‘dispatched’ but to this date, the package has not yet arrived. 

The reply to my request of “Hey! What Gives” returned a familiar excuse to us Americans - “it’s the busiest time of year for the Royal Mail as it is absolutely swamped, so please be patient and give it another 3 to 5 days.”  Well, what else can I do?  They have my money and the damned thing is somewhere between the UK and the US, probably in a small steam powered boat chugging it's way across the Atlantic.  Hhrumph!

I think I’ll partake of one of those Scottish imports that must get old to be respectfully enjoyed.  A bit of single malt Scotch Whisky.  But, that’s for much later…

I am amazed.

Facial Comparison

It is to Laugh!
This comment at the last Throwback Thursday posed the following question:

(sorry about the small text, it's a screen grab, after all.)

Summer of 2014.  With friends Sasha and Jeffrey.

Summer in 1970s. With friend Ted.

I don't know that it's changed much over the years. It has stayed with me to some degree all these years.  I still open my trap too wide when I laugh.  I guess I just have to let it out before I burst. But hey, it is what it is.

So, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, thanks for asking.

Yep!  I'm still amazed, too.

Monday, November 24, 2014

That’s Why It’s Unseasonably Warm!

(It is currently 72' F on November 24th!)
Tequila shelves.

The long-planned visit to Dos Locos finally happened, though it’s hard to  believe.  Nicole picked me up on her way to work around 2:45 yesterday. She was as excited as I was. It was a good time, wonderful to chat with the Locosguys - who are in great shape and looking svelte for their upcoming holiday trip to beaches of Mexico. Owning a successful business in a beach resort means you seldom get to see your own beach, so I am cheering them on.  I think I may have convinced them to turn off the cell phones, but time will tell. They leave on Saturday.

Super conversations with the staff; the Golden Margaritas (two) went down easily. Being football Sunday there were a lot of customers to come by and say “hello” and ply me with drinks. Truth must be told, Joe (a Locosguy) didn’t force upon me a shot of a new Tequila from Patron which is made the old fashioned way (whatever that is) and I have to say it was the smoothest alcoholic beverage ever to pass my lips. Smooth and it didn’t knock me for a loop, either.

With Jeffrey.
After their shifts, Jeffery joined me - along with Frankie, Juan, Nicole, and Bahram for the second margarita. To my great relief, neither Jeffrey nor Nicole had shared personal information about my illness, current healthcare or their places in it.  Leaving that one of those not-to-discuss topics for the afternoon. 

As Joe knew I wouldn’t be staying long, the old Mother in him decided that I needed supper.  So, as he ordered my take-out (a Duck Quesadilla, with melted Monterey Jack and crumbled Bleu Cheese drizzled with pepper jam), Darryl (the other Locosguy) arrived and promptly ordered another round of shots of yet another new Tequila called Maestro Dobel, known as a ‘sipping tequila’ and it certainly was that.  

Finished the second margarita as my supper arrived so Jeffrey brought me home and saw me up the stairs.  (Did pretty well considering the drinks and balance issues). By this time it was 5:30 and I was more weak than I realized. Probably due to all the excitement and the tequila. Supper went into the refrigerator, Jeffrey took his leave, and I took a nap. Supper was warmed up about 2 hours later and was oh so good. 

Yes, I’m in pain again today, but my jaws hurt far more from the constant laughter, than my joints from the swelling.  A great time that was made more so by sharing it with some truly terriffic people with a very sick sensahumah.

Didn’t get melancholy following this visit. I know I’ll probably never work there again, but it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the company and good graces of everyone I know there, however long that lasts.  It’s nice to know people still remember, miss, and care about me. Even nicer that Joe and Darryl keep them updated as they can.

I am amazed.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Ring. That Time of Year, Again.

Every year at this time (usually earlier, hospital got in the way) I read The Lord of the Rings, again. I have done so since 1971 when the trilogy was still riding high with young people and in colleges around the world. 

It began innocently enough: like most others who had read the books, there was this feeling that we missed so much on first read that we had to read it again.  And, of course, that was very, very true. In fact, each year when I read the trilogy I find some new bit of text I could swear wasn’t there before - yet I am reading from the same old hard cover books I’ve had since 1974.

I do love the films and watch them from time to time, (all hail Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens!) but there is something about submerging oneself in Tolkien’s written text and imagination and allowing it to wash over you that transcends the visual.  

So colour me Elvish as I spotted this story at the BBC about the social impact of the trilogy beginning in the 1960s.  It’s well worth the read and brings back a lot of memories from my early days in the anti-war movement and the gay rights movement. 

Truth be told - - I had a "Frodo Lives!" tee-shirt in 1969.

From the BBC:
Hobbits and hippies: Tolkien and the countercultureIt was a time of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Not to mention protest against the Vietnam War and marches for civil rights and the women’s movement. Who would think a figurehead for this social upheaval would be a tweedy Christian philologist at Oxford? But during the 1960s, a time of accelerating social change driven in part by 42 million Baby Boomers coming of age, Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings became  required reading for the nascent counterculture, devoured simultaneously by students, artists, writers, rock bands and other agents of cultural change. The slogans ‘Frodo Lives’ and ‘Gandalf for President’ festooned subway stations worldwide as graffiti.
Middle Earth, JRR Tolkien’s meticulously detailed and mythic alternate universe, was created against the backdrop of two world wars.  As a professor at Oxford , Tolkien taught Anglo-Saxon, Old Icelandic and medieval Welsh and translated Beowulf, which inspired his later monsters. His fantasy vision, and his sense of evil looming over the good life, was shaped by his devout Catholicism and his experience serving in World War I, in which he lost all but one of his close friends.  “The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to northern France after the Battle of the Somme," he wrote in a 1960 letter. Frodo and Sam struggling to reach Mordor is a cracked mirror reflection of the young soldiers caught in the blasted landscape and slaughter of trench warfare on the Western Front.

For decades, fans have been obsessed with Tolkien’s Great War of the Ring, with its wizards and magicians, the legions of hobbits, dwarves, elves, orcs, giants, ents, the dragon Smaug guarding his treasure and the threatening Dark Lord. They were popular initially but sales of The Hobbit (published in 1937) and The Lord of the Rings (beginning in 1954) exploded in the mid-1960s, driven by a young generation charmed by Tolkien’s imaginative abundance, the splendour of his tales from a pre-Christian time and his obsessive cataloguing of the history, language and geography of his invented world. But deeper than this, certain aspects of Tolkien’s worldview matched the perspective of hippies, anti-war protestors, civil rights marchers and others seeking to change the established order. In fact, the values articulated by Tolkien were ideally suited for the 1960s counterculture movements. Today we'd think of Tolkien’s work as being aligned with the geek set of Comic-Con, but it was once closer to the Woodstock crowd.

Go and read the rest of it HERE.

Note: Even if these are available as ebooks, I wouldn't buy them. The thought of all the typos and other misspellings would haunt me for whatever time I have left on this earth.  So, there! My old Hard Covers are it for the next couple of weeks.

I am amazed


Just another Caturday...


More later.

Friday, November 21, 2014

From Pain Comes Pizza.

Being a shut in today and that’s OK, especially after such a rough and restless night. Leg and ankle swelling made getting into a comfortable position a physical challenge. I sat up most of the night reading; falling asleep whenever I could.

As it now stands, Ireland is going to be hosting friend Linda another week. The results of the original biopsy proved inconclusive so she had to endure another one, having to wait for these results until early next week.  How the results could be inconclusive she says she can’t understand because the chunk of flesh they took out of her was quite large.

Anyway, she’s stuck.  Be that as it may, she told me this morning that flight reservations are made for next Thursday (our puny Thanksgiving - and what it’s become - means nothing to the Irish) so she is planning to come home no matter what the results of the latest biopsy reveal.  One can tell, even by the written words, that she is one pissed off Irish Lass and most folks would be wantin’ to stay out of her way these next few days.  

Jeffrey just checked in to see if I was in need and if I felt up to meeting him for an after-shift cocktail today. I nixed the cocktail idea but asked if he would deliver a small pizza after work from my fave place. He said it wouldn’t be a problem. We’ll try to meet up for a festive cocktail later in the weekend, if possible.

A fresh pizza - delivered! That’s great! I have no beer, but a shot of Jameson’s might be in order. With the swollen legs, pain and weakness, I couldn’t prepare a hot meal for myself tonight, anyway. I am pretty tired of cold turkey sandwiches, of you get my drift.

A nice reward for putting up with the pain. Pain meds following the pizza should put me down for the rest of the night and I’ll be on my feet (literally) tomorrow morning.

I am amazed.

Into The Woods - Trailer.

It's taken a long time to get this play to the screen.

Anticipation: Sondheim, Rob Marshall, Musical Score.

Apprehension: Disney Studios.

Unuf said.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Blood, Jettison of Shorts & Touchdown of Kilts.

One Style of Modern Utility Kilt
Unfortunately, Labs results yesterday told me I needed to be infused. The hemoglobin was down a full point - below the cut off point for my own safety. 

One unit was ordered and the port remained accessed for convenience. An appointment for blood was quickly set up for this morning at 9 am.

Nicole offered to do the honors, even if it is her day off. In return I promised a bit of winter shopping and a stop for lunch at the restaurant of her choice. She giggle and said she’d like nothing more than a burger on the beach if the weather was warmer and the winds weren’t so strong. We settled for something a little less uncomfortable - and indoors.

While I was somewhat disappointed in the outcome of the tests, the up side is that I went 2 weeks without requiring new blood. That and the fact that the platelets remain in high numbers as do the neutrophil count give me hope.   Slowly, but surely…

Patience, please! 

The infusion went well, though a little slower than usual, but I was still ready for lunch about 1 pm. And I was HUNGRY!!!  Enuf said.  

The afternoon flew by after lunch as Nicole and I traipsed around the area scouting out shopping venues for special items she wants to get her grandparents and friends. We had a good time and when we were finally done, I was pretty beat and ready for the drive home - and bed. 

I will be in bed in a few minutes and I’m sure she’ll be the same when she gets home shortly. She’s off the rest of the day, no new homework to contend with until Monday.  Her last class is tomorrow morning so I can assume she is in “chill” mode for the weekend.

Casual Tartans with sporrans.
Following 2 days of outings this week I am ready for shut-in mode, if for no other reason than to address the edema in the ankles and calves.  They are quite large after being on my feet for so long. The Kilt with soft loose cotton socks helps alleviate the itching and redness. I even bought a pair of those Eddie Bauer men’s thin lounging light-weight flannel pants, but they’re still too annoying on the front of the shins and calves.  

So, shorts or kilts are the items to remember for daily dress.  I’ve been receiving many compliments on the kilts this past week or two. So, I have a new attitude towards kilts vs. shorts.  Shorts big and baggie and not comfortable even after their washing and drying yesterday. But none of that is true with a kilt,  so as not to cause additional injury or more pain the kilt wins hands (pants!) down.

I’m totally hooked on kilts now. And…I don’t look half bad wearing one,
Similar Style to my old black one. I love it.
either. I am partial to the utility kilts due to their rugged design, heavy duty fabric, double stitching, and the over all comfortable feel. The "drop" is usually between 22" and 24" and depends on how you wear it at the waist. I'm pretty comfortable with either length, but am more used to the older 24" drop.

So, there you have it.

If you’d like more information on a small reputable company with great prices and the best shipping and customer service, just send me an email message and I’ll get the info off to you.  Or, if you’d like, I can post the info here and you can take it from there on your own. 

I am amazed.

Wildlife in the Snow. Rare!

And very very stoopid!

A Bear in Buffalo, New York caught doing what the non-hibernating side of the species do during a snowstorm that will eventually  dump 9 inches of lake-effect snow on the area.

***Courtesy of the Daily Mail, UK. Seems readers of the paper would love nothing more than for this nightmare to fall upon them.  Careful what you wish for.

You can’t make this up.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ear-worms, Errands, & Early Winter

This is what I woke up humming this morning. I must say I could play this score all day and not tire of it.  The brilliant Michael Ball & Il Divo - what’s not to love?  Yes, in case you didn’t already know, I am an incurable romantic.  So shoot me!

Jeffrey picked me up early and we set out in the (suddenly) frigid cold weather.  What happened?  Yesterday it was in the 50s and today we’re shivering in the 28’ F range with 20 mph winds!  And…I cannot wear long trousers because of the leg rash. All my summer shorts are in the laundry Jeffrey was taking home to wash for me and the only sweats I have are way too big for me nowadays. Three of me could fit in them. Not a great look, if you get my drift.

So guess who wore a kilt again today? The more I wear them, the more I love them. I wore the Scottish Wool one - and yes, with underwear - along with a tee-shirt under a long sleeve sport shirt and covered all with a hoodie. When he picked me up, Jeffrey thought I was nuts since he was bundled like an Eskimo or a frozen Elf.  Take your pick.

With lists in hand, we were off!

I had sets of house keys made for Jeffrey and Nicole, so they can get in if I’m not up to opening the door, for any reason. I also shopped for a small electric space heater for the bathroom. There is no vent in there for the central heat and the thermostat died in the old heater that's 10 years old. Bought that, too.

With winter making its early debut, Jeffrey wanted to look for flannel sport shirts.  We stopped at Eddie Bauer, Bass, and Dickies.  Finally found one he liked, a handsome plaid and well made; I probably should have followed his lead, but thought I’ll hold off a bit and see how the money goes. 

Hit the pharmacy for a refilled script that has done wonders for an annoying dry cough I’ve had since the hospital. The cough is almost gone completely. Grocery shopping was next then we headed for a few hot coffees and breakfast.

Happily, the wool kilt kept my torso and lower body warm. Because of the strong winds the only thing to get cold (now stop with the evil minds!) was my nose. The old Twig & Berries were fine, thank you. The hoodie kept my head and ears toasty and the feet weren't bothered at all.

Walked in the door around noon to a strange “chirp” sound that Jeffrey recognized immediately.  I was clueless until we walked into the bedroom.  The chirp was emanating from the smoke alarm, (which I thought was electrical since I had never changed a battery in the years I’ve been here) so Jeffrey asked for a 9V battery and hunted down the battery location inside the device.  Thank the Goddess he was here because I  could not have climbed a ladder to search for the hidden pocket. 

It took him a few minutes of huffing and cursing, following wires, setting off the test alert a few times, to zero in on the exact location. Let’s just say the battery compartment is well hidden. The battery power is only used if the electrical power goes off and it functions silently. How would I have known of the battery’s existence?  I wouldn’t. But FIVE years? That's some long-lasting battery.

He grabbed the laundry bag, the last of the house plants, and the new set of keys.  Then he gave me a hug and headed for home.

After putting everything away, I got into bed and took a short nap. Woke up a while ago with leg and back pain, had a quick sandwich for supper and took a pain med. I am tired, so I think I’ll snuggle into bed and read a few hours until I fall asleep.

Another day of adventure and misadventures; and tomorrow begins with Labs at the Center. Not sure I can stand being out of the house two days in a row.

I am amazed.


Monday, November 17, 2014

ABBA, Answers, & Baba Ganoush

Greeted the day with little pain and no dizziness. Drank 2 large glasses of orange juice while brewing a coffee. Feeling pretty good today.

The song swirling around in my brain when I awoke this morning was “Take A Chance On Me” once a not-so-big hit by ABBA. Fortunately, the song was included on the one CD I have of the group, so as soon as the sun  came up and I was sure not to disturb anyone, I played the thing just to get it out of my head.

Called the Center today with important questions for the doctors. The nurses in Triage helped me out a lot explaining some of the reactions I am experiencing and can expect for a while, as the body works up to its “new normal”. Then I talked with the doctors.  I took a lot of notes. I had to. As I re-read them they sounded more complicated than they actually are. Common sense stuff, really.  

So now I kind of know what to expect. The reason most of this information wasn’t given upon release is that people react differently in similar circumstances and it is easier to focus on an individual after the fact when they experience specific symptoms. At least that’s what they told me. In other words if it didn’t happen to you it’s not relevant to your situation. So there!

The bottom line is:
Recovery will take a long time.
Expect mild to severe pain at any time.
Take medications on schedule daily.
Get plenty of rest.
Be aware of minor physical & mental changes.
Be aware of internal bleeding.
Watch for external bruising, skin discoloration, and rashes.
Pushing the body to heal quicker can cause a relapse.
Sleep whenever possible.
Do not drive a vehicle until you know you can.
Drink plenty of water.
Eat when hungry. Force-feeding is not good for the body.
Eat what gives most pleasure, on Neutropenic diet.
Eat plenty of cooked fruit and vegetables.

Now, that’s a lot to be conscious of on a daily basis.

The truth be told, if it wasn’t for those three taking care of me from day one out of hospital, I wouldn’t be here now. It really is that simple. And to think that Linda already had an over all plan of care before I even got home is mind-blowing. She’s a very insightful woman.

On a funny note, I contacted the Funeral Home to set up an appointment to discuss my “wants and wishes” regarding a funeral. The person answering the phone couldn’t be bothered and told me to complete the survey/questionnaire at their website. I suppose those close to death or their family members don’t need personal, customer service when a few questions answered online can whip out the perfect service for their needs. Maybe I’ll answer the questions at a later date, right now I can’t stop shaking my head and laughing. 

To brighten my day I just received an email from my Visa Card company offering to turn my miles into gift cards.  Ten thousand points equals a $100 gift card. I think I will choose an Amazon card and spend it on myself since I’ve bought a lot of ebooks lately and there are a few other items I would like to order, not the least of which is proper kilt hose, or socks. With the temperatures dropping and the inability to wear long trousers (due to the leg rash), I think I’ll need a little help keeping warm this winter. Though my legs seldom get cold, my body has changed and ain’t what it used to me. 

I’ll keep - and add to - those points in the off chance that I can use the air miles for an upcoming holiday somewhere away from here.  Hey!  One can dream, can one?

Going to ask Jeffrey to take me grocery shopping tomorrow. I’ve suddenly got a craving for Baba Ganoush. I need a healthy snack to munch on while on the computer or reading. Now if I can find enough energy to prepare it, all will be well. I will use store-bought Tahini, no energy to make my own.

ABBA has been playing in an endless loop in the background all day.  Aaarrrrrggggghhhhh !!!

I am amazed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Healing, History, and Helpful Advice

Having taken a painkiller with the evening meds after supper last night, I brushed my teeth and settled into bed. Started a new e-book on the history of Scotland and got taken away for a few hours before feeling the desperate need for sleep.  Just what I hoped for, anyway. Slept like a baby, too. 

“How the Scots Invented the Modern World” is a surprisingly quick read and - for what it is - extremely easy to follow. I thought that after reading all the Civil War, American Political History stuff, it was time to take a crack at the other side of the pond. I’ve watched the multi-episode BBC series on the subject, but this is quite different.  

I received a poignant letter from a blogger buddy turned friend today, offering much wise advice regarding my physical and emotional healing and allowing time to let it happen. His words ring true, indeed. I need to follow them and think only about myself right now. Listen to my body and not try to rush the recovery process.  I don’t have to force myself to be productive so quickly after what I’ve been through. Feel vindicated in my attitude after reading and digesting his letter. Most of all, there is no reason to feel “antsy” about anything. I must learn how to rest. Now, I have help.

Unfortunately, my new V shaped pillow did not arrive in yesterday’s post.  Well, they gave a 4-day delivery window, after all. I just need to find more patience, is all. Will someone please send me a whole lot of patience - - - and hurry!

It’s great to be able to text Linda in Ireland. We had a half hour chat while she rode the train from Belfast back to Dublin yesterday. As it stands now, she is supposed to receive her test results tomorrow (Monday) so we’ll know the good or not so good news.  If she comes back this week, or not. She truly believes it’s really nothing, but it’s the not-knowing that’s driving everyone crazy.

Just a reminder; I cannot navigate the strairs unless someone is physically present in case I lose my center of balance. That’s why I must be a shut-in most of the time.  As I’m learning, not necessarily a bad thing. This also means that I cannot yet drive myself anywhere, either. The center of balance and motion thing again, I guess. I will know more when I talk with the doctor this week. 

Nicole was supposed to pick me up on the way to Dos Locos this afternoon where I hoped to spend an hour or two, but as I got out of the shower I felt a wave of achy pain and some dizziness, and made it to the bed without taking a fall. So I sent a text telling her I’m OK and we’ll do it another time. 

Got hungry a little while ago so I made it to the kitchen for a bit of cheese and crackers and a fruit cup. I’m feeling better…but it’s back to bed now.

And so it goes.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

An Antsy Shut-in Kind of Weekend

This weekend marks 2 weeks out of hospital, and my, how the time does fly!!! And today I am antsy.

No personal post on Friday. Mostly hung out in bed, reading or sleeping. Ate very little, didn’t feel hungry. Just tired without energy, so being a shut-in wasn’t a bad thing. 

This feels very strange. I pretty much slept from 2:30pm Friday until 1:30am today. Woke up feeling fine, without any appetite to speak of, though I ate cereal and had a coffee followed by a bagel with cream cheese and preserves. 

This is the second or third time I’ve experienced this kind of episode since leaving hospital and I think it’s time to ask the doctors about it.  Which I will do on Monday. Meanwhile, this sleeping/napping 12 to 16 hours a day is taking a big chunk out of that “borrowed time” I’m living on right about now. 

Will try to get someone to take me out tomorrow morning - maybe even have breakfast - just to get out and about for a while. Enough to tire me out from actually exerting myself, if you get my drift.I am not going to get any stronger, or prettier just sitting around like Joe Egg and I need to build my strength and stamina.

Found 2 listings for small apartments at Craigslist and put through calls to both of them.  It is the weekend, after all, so I may not hear anything, but then again. 

Some people tell me I ought to relax and watch TV or a movie, but I am not interested in being in a passive mode right now. I can’t sit still for that kind of “entertainment” nowadays. I’ve watched a few YT music videos but that’s the extent of my viewing pleasure.

I’m antsy and need to be engaged in something.  But, what? I think I need an anxiety medication about now.

And so it goes.


Star Wars Caturday

More later.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Kinks: Give Up The Complicated Life

As I play shut in again today, waiting for my V-shaped Pillow from the UK,  as well as another small package from UTKilts to arrive today, I remember this song as one of the best of the Kinks. You can listen to the video and read the tongue-in-cheek lyrics below.

"Complicated Life"

Well I woke this morning with a pain in my neck,
A pain in my heart and a pain in my chest,
I went to the doctor and the good doctor said,
You gotta slow down your life or you're gonna be dead,
Cut out the struggle and strife,
It only complicates your life.

Well I cut down women, I cut out booze,
I stopped ironing my shirts, cleaning my shoes,
I stopped going to work, stopped reading the news,
I sit and twiddle my thumbs cos I got nothing to do,
Minimal exercise,
To help uncomplicate my life,
Gotta stand and face it life is so complicated,
Ladi dah di dahdah, ladi dah di dah dah,
You gotta get away from the complicated life, son,
Life is overrated, life is complicated,
Must alleviate this complicated life.

Cut out the struggle and strife,
It's such a complicated life.

Like old Mother Hubbard
I got nothin' in the cupboard,
Got no dinner and I got no supper,
Holes in my shoes, I got holes in my socks,
I can't go to work cos I can't get a job,
The bills are rising sky high,
It's such a complicated life,
Gotta stand and face it,
Life is so complicated.
Ladi dah di dahdah, ladi dah di dah dah
Gotta get away from the complicated life, son,
Life is overrated, life is complicated,
Must alleviate this complicated life.

Gotta get away from the complicated life, son,
Gotta get away from the complicated life.

And so it goes.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best Laid Plans & Encouraging Results

Neutrophil. My Friend.

Thanks to that tried and true old saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and the ability of the Center Staff to seemingly work major miracles, everything was compacted and accomplished in this single day. When the reality hit that I had no transportation to doctor’s appointments tomorrow afternoon, mountains were moved.

Fortunately for me, a new patient was kind enough to switch days and times so all my Lab Work and other appointments could happen this morning within a few hours of each other rather than spread out through tomorrow.  

Nicole was a gem; just sat with homework spread out and did what needed to be ready for class tomorrow. Between Labs and waiting for results we sat and chatted in the lounge. When the results were announced I was whisked off to the doctor’s office for a check of vitals, review of the results, and a consult pertaining to care over the next 4 weeks. 

Turns out there is no bad news to report. My blood count is still on the rise - hemoglobin, platelets are up, even neutrophil count nudging at the normal range. The only negative is the white cell count which remains low, causing the weakness, quick fatigue and shortness of breath.  Which is something I don’t understand since Neutrophils are about 50% white cells. Still, I’ll take the rest and hope the white cells will eventually come along for the ride.

I am elated that I need not be infused this week. No blood product necessary. Maybe someday I’ll be able to go two or three weeks without infusions so I can take a mini-vacation away from everything here. Hey! It's something to look forward to...

Four drugs were discontinued, replaced by 4 others so a stop at the pharmacy to drop off the new scripts was on the gay agenda. I was tiring out and we were both getting hungry so a hardy breakfast was the next and last stop before heading back to town to deliver me to my second story prison. 

Nicki will pick up the new drugs tomorrow and drop them off on her way to work at Dos Locos in the afternoon.  Still the number of scripts on my list is smaller than it’s ever been.  That alone gives me hope. 

I am shocked and amazed by even this small change for the better. I am not going to get too excited yet. I don’t want to be shot down mid-flight again anytime soon. Slow and steady and the blessing of having the supportive folks around me to allow that to happen.

It’s been a long and exciting day and I am just about to pack it in, take my evening meds, slide under the covers and read until I fall asleep. Tomorrow is another shut in day and I'll not mind a bit.

I am amazed.

Throwback Thursday:Any Weekend 1970s

Old Friends:
For a small corps of us weekend meant busting out and heading for a museum, the Cloisters, Central Park concerts, or just roaming the Village hunting out new eating spots, or getting some sun. Pretty much the only time we wanted to leave the Village - because of tourists.

My oldest and dearest friend, Ted. Met in 1964 at the World's Fair became roommates in college, enjoyed each other's company.  Made each other laugh and knew more about one another than we ever cared to admit. Ultimately worked with Pan Am Airlines until they fell apart.  This caused an emotional meltdown from which he never recovered. He died in a group home in 1990.

Friends Sandy (slightly out of frame) and Bob taking a walk and getting some Spring sun on the Morton Street Pier following a Sunday Brunch at the Ramrod on West Street. The place where I had my first Rum Bloody - Bloody Mary made with dark rum instead of tasteless, cheap vodka. Great food, great friends with bikes, skates, and pretty people on the pier. Both are gone. Deaths are too gruesome to relate here.

These guys and those fun times are sorely missed, but remembered with great fondness.

An so it goes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No Boring Shut-in Here

Flowers from Dos Locos at Hospital.
Up early again and made coffee - French Press - to warm myself up and begin the day on an up note. Actually made two big mugs to begin the day. Listened to the Pet Shop Boys video (posted earlier) to keep my mood elevated and plunged into the day. 

Ordered 2 prescription refills which will be picked up tomorrow when Nicole takes me for Lab work at the Cancer Center in the morning. She has the day off; with Linda still in Ireland she offered to fill in for the task.  Nice of her. I hated to impose because she’s going to school, and works at 2 restaurants to make ends meet.  Very little free time for herself.  I am humbled by her generosity. 

Spent some time clearing and reorganizing the closet. It was like a black bag Liquidation Sale! Turns out I was very much a Carisack collector (Havisack, too) - had them in all shapes and sizes and from every possible manufacturer. As my needs and gizmos changed, so did the size and shape of the Carisack. 

Ordered another new cap from Amazon. A gray version of the black Irish cabbie cap I’ve had for a while. I like the texture and lightness as well as how it looks with any kind of outfit - dressed up or dressed down. 

Made an appointment to meet with the local funeral director to choose the kind of service, if any, I want for my funeral. Since I am going to be cremated anyway, I don’t think I need anything fancy in which to be laid out.  If anything at all.  I know nothing about this stuff, so will fill in the details when I learn more.  I don’t even think there’s any reason for a viewing. 

Since I am not allowed fresh lettuce or tomatoes, a proper “dressed” Roast Beef Po-Boy is out of the question.  Still I can make the gravy, toast the baguette and slather it with mayo and pickles - at least making it into a modified Po-Boy, or French Dip.  That will be for supper tonight.  Chips would be nice, but I have none. Bother.

I decided to kick the Gillette and Schick shaving systems. When I found that 8 replacement blades were priced at $25.00 I vowed to find another way.  Since I shave my head as well, I wanted something with multiple blades at a reasonable cost.  And I found HARRY’S!  Great prices, good reviews, and free shipping. I ordered a starter kit which ought to be here in a week. Cost of replacement blades is half that of the other name brands. Abount $1.80 per blade.

Since I am no longer allowed to have house plants because of the mold spores causing infections, Jeffrey will be taking them home to care for them in his new place, which has a bright enclosed porch. I would have hated to throw them away, since I raised them from 6” $5.00 pots over the past 5 years and they’ve gotten very large and happy here. I hope they grow well for him, too.

Well, well, well.  Isn’t that precious?  I just received an email containing a somewhat long patient satisfaction survey from the Beebe Medical Center.  I think afternoon and part of the evening will be well spent, after all.

I am amazed.

PSB: Hold On!

From their 2012 album "Elysium"

As I've mentioned before I almost always wake up with a song running around in my head. It usually drives me nuts until I find the recording and play it through. Don't know why. This is the tune I woke up with sloshing around in my head this morning. Although I like the song and what it means, a lot, I have no idea why it made a home for itself in my head last night.  But it did.

Another shut-in day, but I am slowly sorting through the most confusing paper work encountered so far.  I fear it will only get worse as the Repubs get their hands on things very soon.

Oh well, think positive thoughts, eh?

And so it goes.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Epic Dream of My Life, or Something Like It.

 I guess this is what being a shut-in is all about. What an afternoon/night.  I must have dreamed the epic of all dreams during that time.  And it was in the most vivid colour, too. Stand aside Mr. DeMille! I Take Large Steps.

I swear I could almost smell popcorn. 

The locations ranged from Florida’s Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Amsterdam, unidentifiable beaches everywhere, London, New York City (most intense), Toronto, even a desert-type landscape with oak trees instead of palms, and La Jolla. And featured just about everyone I have ever known in my life - long term, or nameless acquaintances - and I performed the most amazing feats that I’ve never done in real life. And I performed them well. 

I woke twice to pee and drink some water. When I returned to bed the dream continued where it left off.  Oddly enough, there were few appearances by family members, which I suppose means something, I don’t know what. 

There were large chunks of reality in there, too. Episodes of rejection and times I was abandoned. It was interesting to watch myself from afar as I pulled myself together and moved on, or hid myself in shame before finding the strength and foothold to move on.

There was a lot of flying involved. Made difficult at times by the other people in a given episode trying to keep me down, in my place, as it were. Sometimes it was hard to break free.

I seemed to be on a search, or quest of some kind and everywhere I went I found something “important” that was stuffed into a carisack as sort of a piece of the overall puzzle.  

It’s now 1:30 AM and I am pretty dreamed out. The dream ended quietly with me living in one of those new tiny houses in a vast open field somewhere in no-man’s land. I was surrounded by the collection of “things” found along the way. Though people would drive by and wave as I sat on the tiny porch of the tiny house, I was alone, but completely at peace. 

Camera pulls back to a wide shot of the house in the middle of a vast, brownish-gold plain, a narrow dirt road a few yards from the house. There is no evidence of a car of my own. The only bright colors are those of the house. Sound of wind in the background. Fade to black.

I had no narcotics beforehand. I was tired and sleepy after lunch and decided a nap would be a good thing.  Little did I know…

Thought I’d write about it before it all fades away and I have only snippets to taunt me.  I mean, I doubt a dream like this one is likely to come to me again.

I am amazed. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Uncooperative Blogger

It’s seems as though Blogger has been hitting my drug stash lately.  My posts are not being published when I send them, but languishing somewhere in the  digital ether for Blogger’s own convenience. I didn't post on Sunday.

For a while now the comments of certain bloggers have not been deposited in my email box, but stored directly in the Blogger Folder, making it a chore to discover, moderate, and post all relevant comments from all readers. 

Sorry for any chronological confusion this may have caused. I may try “timing” or scheduling posts for a while. Also, if this craziness continues I may turn off moderation and let the chips fall where they may. 

The few SPAM messages that get through are hardly worth the effort. Most of the stoopid comments are posted  anonymously and refer to the BP oil spill, the Katrina Aftermath (which I wouldn’t let go of) or aimed at my political views.  I wanted to spare readers the poorly written comments from the “friends of Jesus”, but I don’t think it’s worth it anymore.

There’s gonna be some changes made!  Just to reiterate; I didn’t post anything on Sunday…so confusing.

Anyway.  Today is Monday and I am feeling a little better than yesterday. A shut-in all day, I received texts from the UK and Ireland checking in and checking up on me.

It was also a day for receiving personal notes and letters from concerned readers and friends.  Most thoughtful and thought-provoking, indeed. It was somewhat surprising to learn that those folks cared about me. 

So, I spent the day doing research and hunting down info that a layman could understand on certain topics that have always held an interest for me.  Then when my head was about to explode I would lie down and read something for fun, have a bite to eat, or nap. (I enjoyed the remaining half of the crab quesadilla leftover from Saturday evening) 

The good Dr. Spo came through with my Halloween reading, which was quite positive considering, more than I expected and most welcome.  By sheer coincidence, one of the cards in his reading turned out to be the card of the day for today. 

All in all, Sunday was a good day to be a shut-in.

I feel more energetic today, but then I’m not doing much of anything either. Very little pain to speak of so far, balance seems better, so I’m just following the routine. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get someone to take me out for a short time - maybe a short walk on the boardwalk, or just around the block here - start small.

I am amazed.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Backward Glance...

Last week at this time I was setting foot in the apartment for the first time in 5
weeks. It was a bizarre experience, I must say.

Looking back, I don’t think I’ve made the progress I hoped to make, but in some areas greater strides than I thought possible. I still tire easily, only have a slight increase in appetite, find it hard to stand and cook a full meal, still deal with occasional severe pain in legs and back, and tend to sleep sounder - and longer - than I did while in hospital.

On the other hand I’ve been out and about more. Walking without assistance, tending to my personal needs, eating better - if not more, and most of all - listening to my body instead of plowing ahead and over-exerting myself.Yes, I have learned something from this medical crisis.

I check the apartment/studio ads almost daily, but nothing has come up in my price range or in the selected area I could live. That’s depressing at times. But, it is what it is.

Spent a few hours at Dos Locos today, as well. The staff was disappointed that I couldn’t make a show of it on Friday so they contrived a sneaky-pete way to get me there early. Without going into details, at Linda’s request I put on a dress tartan kilt, sporran, the works, was picked up and spent 2 hours chatting with old customers and staff. The kilt certainly brought a smile to a lot of faces. Linda’s included.

Lots of picture taking and FB posts, folks kept trying to buy me drinks (no way!) - what I really wanted was a Rusty Nail, but seems a Mexican Restaurant doesn’t stock Drambuie.  Linda delivered me home (with my Crab Quesadila in tow) as she left for the airport for the flight to Ireland. 

It was great fun and lifted my spirits as so many people stopped by to give hugs and kisses and well wishes. It was also the third day of the first 7 being out and about with positive results.  Of course, I was tired and ready for a nap when I got home, but that is to be expected only one week on…

I hope to be around come St. Patrick’s weekend. I have plans to order a Wallace red tartan kilt, with all the trimmings in Miss Linda’s honour.  Wallace being her clan tartan, anyway. I won’t be ordering it too soon. I’ve lost way too much weight and I don’t think I could get it in this size right now without special order.  I’ll wait til the new year and see how much meat I put on these old bones, then surprise her at the annual celebration at the restaurant followed by an Irish Whiskey at Stoney Lonen (Rehoboth’s traditional Irish pub) after work.

I’ve run out of reading material and just happened to find that more books in the PERN series have been  published as e-books since Anne McCaffrey’s death. Seems she welcomed her son into her PERN sandbox before she passed away, and he took up the challenge of writing in it on her behalf. Anyway, I’ve downloaded 3 that should keep my waking hours busy for a week or so. 

I’m ready for bed now and whatever awaits me on Sunday - being a shut-in all day should be an interesting experience.

Still, I am amazed.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Biblical Caturday

Back by popular demand...mine!

More later

Friday, November 7, 2014

Queen of Swords

Drew this as the card of the day and while I’ve drawn her many times over the years, her true meaning just slapped me in the head. I’ve just come to recognize my own Queen of Swords.  It’s Linda! She is everything described and no matter where she appears in a reading she is always true to her nature.

Interesting this, because I just learned that Linda must return to Ireland this weekend.  This time for a health check of her own. The mammogram performed on her last visit (she keeps her Irish health insurance since the cost of similar American coverage is prohibitive) has shown a couple of anomalies. She wanted to wait a few weeks until things settled down with the restaurant and with my situation, but her wee mother put her tiny foot down, so her flight leaves Saturday evening. 

She’ll  have the series of tests on Monday with results returned the Monday following, so barring any immediate health issue, she should be back in the States on or about the 20th. of November. 

She’s worried about me getting the healthcare I need. I have labs again next Thursday 13, November,  followed by an office visit with the Oncologist on Friday the 14th. 

I insisted that with the daily progress I’m making, I ought to be able to drive myself both days; they’re a week away after all. 

I think all will be well by then, but convincing a stubborn Irish Lass (yes, she takes after her Mum!) will take some doing.  Still, it is what it is and I’ve had more personal care than I ever thought possible over these past weeks, so whatever…I’ve been blessed.

After all that said and done, the afternoon at DL has been postponed for today. I’ve become weaker throughout the day with the pain increasing in my legs and back, as well.  Some other time will have to do. I don’t want to over-reach or push myself only to end up with a relapse and another hospital stay.

I am not ready for that again.

I am amazed.


The Post-Election Blues

Seems everybody’s got ‘em.  My mailbox has been crammed with whiney, sniveling messages from Liberal and Democratic groups about this being the end of the world now that the obstructionist Stoopids are back in control.

Two things here:

1.  It will take them less than the next 2 years to fuck up everything that has been good and positive for the country.

2.  Where were these pundits and consultants when Nate Silver warned of this happening as early as a year ago?  (click image to embiggen!)  No one chose to believe him, though his record speaks for itself.  He’s not an “I told you so” kind of guy.  He just does what he does best - numbers - and the powers that be chose to ignore him.  And, at their (our) own peril. 

Ah, and number 3:  Get ready for another war. One doesn’t need to watch TV to see that’s high on their agenda.

When I saw the crowds at the polls on election day I was alternately happy and worried; an off-year election after all and we didn’t have too much brewing in the pot this time.  I wasn’t surprised at the outcome. 

OK, Here’s the deal.  This election disaster is over.  Flush the fucking Pity-Potty and move on.  After a half century of activism I am most tired of saying this, but there is more work to do than ever. And, it is in our own party. It’s time to get fearless and fierce with those applying for elected office. 

If we don’t. If we choose to let it go and let others do it, well, we’re going to have to live in the world THEY decide we should live in.

Do you want that?  Think hard.  If not, then get your ass, head, and mouth motivated and move on. There is little time before the 2016 con-game bullshit begins to hit the fan.

If you’re miserable you have yourself to blame, if you’re into that sort of thing. So, STFU!!! Cut out the crying, whining, and hand-wringing - IT’S OVER - - FOR NOW!

Help me down off this soapbox.

More later.


Day Six: Homefront

Rain, Strain, and Transfusion…Mostly

Rain and mild temperatures for a November day made me tired and lethargic.
Perhaps due to the rain and high humidity the pain in the ankles, legs, and hips got my attention. Hated to do it, going outdoors, being infused and all that, but relief was definitely required.

Linda dropped me off at the Center and ran a few errands; The transfusion went smoothly and quickly. 2 hours later after picking up the prescriptions she delivered me home and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Five minutes later there was a to-do list that kept me occupied for the rest of the afternoon. Yes, instead of lying around doing my best imitation of a slug, I chose to be at least a little productive. The hours flew by and that was a good thing.

Spending as much time in bed (reading or sleeping) as I do, it was suggested that I find a “V shaped bed pillow” to keep me propped up without getting a stiff neck or causing more damage to my spine. 

Didn’t find any listings here in the states - the “wedge” seems to be the hot item here - but they’re popular in the UK, so I went hunting there. There were listings-o-plenty from Marks & Spencer and Dunelm Mills, to small stores specializing only in sleep and rest aids. M & S and Dunelm were out of stock (I said they were popular!) and I was getting disappointed until I came across a Google listing for Slumberdown at

Surprisingly good prices, too. Checked availability and shipping status - in stock, delivery in about 10 days - then placed the order.   This completed the items on the to-do list, I was feeling smug and hungry.

There is a tentative plan to get me to Dos Locos tomorrow afternoon for a late lunch/early supper. The idea is for someone to pick me up here around 2:30, enjoy a nice meal with the gang, then Jeffrey will deliver me home when he gets off at 4:30 - hopefully after we share an after-shift cocktail together, that is.

Sounds like a plan to me and something to look forward to just before the holiday weekend when I’ll  again revert to shut-in for 3 days. After the progress made this week, I won’t mind it one bit.

I am amazed.

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