15 October 2006

14th October.

I hate crows. This year, I only saw two. They, for once, didn't seem very interested in me.

I still hate crows.

13 October 2006

I think Indian Summer may be over. (Why do we call it Indian Summer?) Tonight it is predicted that a Canadian Cold Front (their caps, not mine-I prefer Siberian Express:) is headed down South. Bundle up.

Of course, I still have not got around to making that winter coat to covers my aging and chilled knees. By the time I suck up the courage to cut into the hideously expensive fabrics (water repellent for the outer, thick warm fleece for the inner) it may be summer again-WHOOPS, Too Hot For Sewing Fleece!

Cold, I'll still love it. The leaves-oh my goodness, I'd forgot that leaves REALLY do get that colour!

I love this time of year. I play Vivaldi's Autumn section of the Four Seasons on the car player; glorying in the colours as I go down the winding roads to work, and back up the same winding roads to home. The dog and I have been taking longer walks; Gator's never seen a real Autumn. I think he likes it. The smells are different from Summer smells.

'Course, this cooler (MUCH) weather will put a bit of a crimp in my line drying habit I was hoping to get into.

I found this great little tabletop washing machine. It uses less than a third of the water and detergent, and uses absolutely NO ELECTRICITY! I'm hoping to order it very soon, and the spin dryer, too. The spin dryer spins out so much water dress blouses come out ready to wear-after ironing, I should think. The spin dryer does use a little electricity to generate centrifigal motion.

But what, me worry? Well, heck no-I happen to have a drying rack!

Altogether getting set up for home laundry will cost me under two hundred dollars, and then I'll be free of the Laundromat, and free of using a whopping lot of water, soap, and power.

With the extra added bonus of the 'machines' not being used, mold pits from a flea market or thrift store-UGH, I had NO idea!

If you are interested in this green and elegantly inexpensive method of avoiding the dreaded 'sniff test', stay on the blog, I'll order this pair just as soon as I find out why my paycheck this period is a large three digits short:)

Ya know, I used to be middle class, really, I even drove a used Mercedes Benz in Central America. (Not that I was all that impressed-OK, it ran really, really well. I just was bothered by how damn impressed everyone was with the thing. Call me a reverse elitist, I love my KIA!)

But I have been thinking for some time that a war is going on against the middle class. Since I've been out of it, I observe from a distance in my genteel poverty.

But still, how come my company shorted my pay check??

I had plans-phone bill, car insurance, groceries, winter shoes...

And a Wonder Washer, OK?

08 October 2006

I've been looking at Boxer blogs-Dogs With Blogs. I had to come away, because I realized looking at the pictures and podcasts reminded me of the puppies, which reminded me of Crusty, and of Fox.

It's bittersweet to feel again. Crusty really hurt Fox and me; I really miss Fox. But for a while I've been so apathetic I thought I'd stopped feeling.

I must have been sick for a while-oops, sorry, nutritionally deficient-but the last few symptoms put it all together for everyone (loss of balance; mental vagueness; profound depression-which someone who has known me practically forever kept saying he wasn't buying into; and another one I can't recall...oh right, no appetite). It helps that a medical journal published an article on riboflavin poisoning-looking at the effects of a deficiency is what made everyone say "Well, DUH!" They ruled out MS when I responded so quickly to treatment. Did I give thanks yet for BC/BS?

I'm not going to feel great for a while, but I do feel less aprehensive about the future. I was feeling rather frail there for a longer period than I'd realized, and had begun thinking about retirement/nursing homes-hey! I'm fifty, not that old especially in this lifetime, and to think I was losing my manual dexterity, flexibility, and physical strength to the point that I was afraid to think about a two story home was quite upsetting. I really didn't have the energy to think about building a home with a loft, much less contemplate the required dragging of my ancient self up the stairs four or five times a day.

Another signal something was REALLY wrong was that I was losing track of time. The anniversary of the divorce came and went and I'd completely forgot. I was walking around in a fog, and only recalled and celebrated the 9th of September as my dad's birthday.

Some may say that is a sign of my having moved on-it's not; for me the double celebration is a fantastic thing and you can trust me 100% that I do not grieve on that day so much as celebrate with my whole heart. But I really didn't remember the divorce for a few days, and my apathy toward it was the first step toward getting help. Sounds odd, I know, but the fact is that apathy is one of my bigger signals that something is seriously wrong, always has been.

SOOOOOOO, I tire easily, but less easily than last week. I know this because last weekend all I could manage was ironing a blouse for work. This weekend I've managed to tidy the house some, flea bathe the dog, and treat the house for fleas-where the hell did they come from?

I spent HOURS downloading nutritional information. Ask me, I've got the cream of all the crops sown by the best sites.

My concentration will eventually be restored to it's former total focus-I know my boss will be glad for that:)

My short term memory is coming back-I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of three things I really needed to accomplish this weekend. I told myself to get up and write them down but I fell back to sleep worrying that if I did get up to find a pen and paper to write the thoughts down, I would have forgot the three things in the effort to get up to find a pen and paper.

The three things were still in my conscious when I awoke this morning. And I accomplished the three things.


Crusty thought he'd sentenced me to a lifetime of food insecurity, poverty, and fear. He did so because I vociferiously objected to his lifestyle, which included Central and South American prostitutes, and mental cruety not only to me, but most importantly to Fox. What he did has taken an unspeakable toll on Fox and me. I believe the day will come when Crusty answers for what he did to my family.

What he did was wrong. He made it worse when he tried to destroy any witness of his calculated cruelty to Fox, to me; when he tried to render me meaningless, invisible, and hated by my son.

In a couple of weeks it will St Jude's again, the anniversary of the day I went for my first of three HIV tests. I'll light a candle.

In a few days, I will have been blogging for one year. I'll light a candle

I'll remember:)

07 October 2006

Crusty used to justify not being compassionate by saying "Survival of the fittest..." Lately the memory of him saying those words have an even more chilling effect on me than before.

I have recently been told that I suffer from chronic undernutrition, and that it may be some six to eight months before my energy, strength, general good health, return. The prognosis is fairly good-as long as I go strctly by the plan they've laid out for me, I should be alright, and then they will do some tests to determine if the prolonged semi-starvation has permenantly damaged any majour organs.

One of my medical advisors told me privately they would have found it sooner if they were accustomed to seeing it here in the U.S. and he seemed embarrassed. They've all been faintly apologetic about all the missed diagnosis-"Oh, it's stress" "Oh it's a fungus you picked up in Gautemala" "Oh it is eczema/psoriasis/atopic dermatitis..."

Right. All the while I'm quietly starving to death before their eyes-knowing I am going hungry because I HAVE TOLD THEM AS MUCH WHEN CHASTISED FOR MISSING APPOINTMENTS because I hadn't insurance or money to pay out of pocket.

Not that I am terribly angry with them, I heard the little voice at the back of my head saying things like "Scurvey" and "Malnutrition." I ignored it because I knew I couldn't do anything about it.

Now I have a 'lesion' on my right shin that makes me think of leprosy (although it looks NOTHING like); I am experiencing some mental vagueness, as in I can't recall something from one minute to the next without either having written it down before it fluttered out of my brain or following a checklist-which explains why I literally forgot to eat after a point; my teeth-ahhh, now I understand why the most dedicated home dental plan was not effective, and I got to the point I was afraid to floss because when I did, my teeth would break; and finally, you mean those wasted looking arms and hips are NOT looking that way because I am fifty and on a low sodium diet??

At which point one of the medical advisors informed me that 'low sodium diet' does NOT mean a no-food diet, and that I should have availed myself of one of the food basket charity groups...

Right now my body and brain are acting about eighty years old. Well, not exactly, I've been on the 'refeeding programme' for a few days, and I am feeling a bit sharper. But the day I caved and went for help, I looked, felt and tested about eighty.


The good news is the lesion is already beginning to heal, they expect the skin problems to clear up in a couple of months; mental faculties will likewise return sharp as ever, they think; and OH MY GOSH, I may be able to live in a atwo story house after all!

01 October 2006

I think I have too many passwords. I'm not all that worried someone of a criminal bent would be remotely interested in stealing my identity, so why do I have all these complex passwords? It just seems a little over done. Besides, I have to write down all of the passwords and what account the password grants me access to-and post the list next to the CPU-welcome Mr. Burglar, here is how to really finish me off...

I've been thinking about changing the way I use the Internet; I've been considering what I want out of life compared to what I have in life; I've been working on making some changes.

For one thing, I seem to have lost my sense of humour. I want to get it back. I know how, too. So, BOOM BOOM, off goes the computer after I get the blog written, email read, candles lit, and the research I need done. (Today I researched laundry centers-one piece washer dryers. I'll be going with the one that has the separate compartments)

I'm more fun to be around after I've read a good hard copy book. All respect to www.gutenbergproject.org but Dumas and Hugo were meant to be savored by candle or sunlight, not the eerie glow of AdobeReader. Even if I've printed it off on the home printer (which I haven't been able to do since last September, when money got REALLY tight, and ink got REALLY expensive) hard copy beats out the screen window any day.

Also, I'm going to try again to quit smoking. Hey, it could happen! I even dreamt about it last night; one of my youngest co-worker enlisting the others to help him gently pry my fingers from around the flip-top pack...

I'm ready for fall, and nearly ready for winter, and I will not let another Sunday go by without crocheting on my afghan. I am going to use my time more wisely, both here at the shack and at work.

The dog and I are walking longer, farther, at a more brisk pace-we both are better for it.

I'm standing up a bit straighter, too. Feeling a bit better, and having less trouble blocking out 'negative thoughts' that try to steal my courage.

Happy Autumn to you all-now, get out there and enjoy it!
These are the Jewish High Holy Days, or Days of Awe. I'm trying to observe them as diligently as I do Advent and Lent. My dad's third wife was an amazing woman who happened to be Jewish, she inspired all of us to learn more about Judaism; the more we learned, the sibs and me, the more we felt drawn toward observance. My sister even converted, and kept a Kosher house-she taught me to as well.

Today I Googled The Book of Life expecting to find all kinds of information available. To my surprise no Jewish links came up.

I do not know why I'm surprised. Twenty-one years ago, just before he died, my dad told me what was coming and revival of the pogroms was on the list of things he talked about.

He also said airplane travel would become more dangerous-he was emphatic that I not try to renew training to earn my private pilot license. He said the corridor I planned to fly would become "too dangerous within ten years" and he was right. Ten years after he died planes began crashing with increasing frequency-in the very flight corridor I hoped to fly.

I miss flying. We had a couple of planes when I was growing up, and I miss them both. I learned to fly in the Cessna 150, and was looking forward to permission to fly the 172. Too bad my dad's business partner Alex belly flopped it before I could.

But more than anything about those days, I miss my dad's advice. I need it more than ever now.

Pop wasn't especially religious, but he was faithful. So he never talked about Armageddon, or End Times, or even Y2K. He just put two and two together and then passed it on to me.

I guess what made it so very profound to me is that since 1970, I'd been thinking along the same lines, and like Dad, without any real religious overtones. But faithfully. Oh yes, faithfully.

God promised us our freedom-even if it meant standing by and watching us do one or many acts of incomprehensible evil. This has always explained the seemingly inexplicable to me. I do not believe God sends any person to life to die of murder, war, poverty...I believe His angels are with both victim and perp, comforting and advising one on the best way to escape, survive, cope; and the other that this action is grievious and that the perp should turn back from it. The whisper heard is a matter of choice-freedom. This is the greatest gift God bestows.

(Oh Frank, how I wish I could have got that across to you before you died in such agony over the way your Cindy was murdered! My failure haunts me; did you open your heart to God's comfort or do you wander lost in the fog?)

The Lord told our forbearers that he would leave us to our own devices should we turn away from Him and His divine assistance. I have to say that I truly have come to believe these are the times he sent Jesus to warn us would come if we didn't turn back.

So, during these High Holy Days, I have been examining my life, all of it, not just the past year. I want to live. To live is to Hope, and I will not give up Hope for me or for anyone else. I want to be sealed into The Book of Life. Although I know people I'd prefer not to have to socialize with in Heaven, I am glad to feel ashamed that for a brief moment I begrudged Crusty his God given right to God's mercy.

So Crusty, if you are reading this-should you somehow manage to earn God's mercy and you see me coming on the streets of Heaven, cross the street. I don't hope you go to Hell, but not even if Hell freezes over do I ever want to have to see you again.

OK, that said, I am thinking about what items of modern life I can not live without-antibiotic ointment, fabric band-aids, deoderant...Because the Crustys are legion, and they made this horrific and miserable imitation of life. (That they also want to hedge their bets is another blog entry)

And things are going to get worse before they get better. I think the 1929 crash is going to look like nothing compared to what is coming.

I don't want to think about these things, I want to think about how beautiful autumn is up here, and how I am have some little spark of interest going on a couple of things, and how to improve my work, and personal life...