Thursday, January 31, 2013

When Ghosts go Away

I just listened to "MacArthur's Park."

So many years this song made me cry. Absolutely, I understood, "Someone left the cake out if the rain...I don't know if I can take it, it took no long to bake it and I'll never have that recipe again. Oh no"
Oh, yeah.
I still like this oldie. Somehow, it is nostalgic, no longer painful. I have no idea when or how that happened. I am glad, though.

It is a dated song,as it should be.
It haunted me for years.
The haunt is gone.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nothing Special. Just A Nice Day

The grandkids and I ran some errands, took  their uncle some food Saturday after he had a minor surgery on Friday and was told to stay home and relax.On our way back, eldest grannddaughter asked if we could find an empty parking lot for her to practice driving for a little while.  We checked out two, and one was barricaded. The second was full of cars. She was disappointed.

"Just think,Gramma." she said. "Next year you won't have to take me back and forth so much. You'll be free."

I laughed. Some of my best times are when we go back and forth to her ensemble practice,  tennis matches, go to functions at school together.  Somehow, kids  talk more in a car. At their house or even at mine, we are usually doing something else and there's not much conversation.

I like conversation, I am widely known for this trait.

Her little sister sighed. It will be so long before she's in high school and driving, she said. Four years. Well, yeah. It's about 1/4 of her lifetime away. For me, it's no time at all. About 1/20th of my life. Her life is ascending. Mine is more or less gibbous.

(We have a gibbous moon tonight. A fine sight. Nothing wrong with a beautiful, golden gibbous moon.)

I am enjoying these kids so much.  As I age, I enjoy children and teenagers more and more. They are so fresh, often so witty and funny. They can be kind and sweet.

We stopped at a favorite  Mexican restaurant for food, and the eldest ate an amazing amount.  She is  a lovely girl, so active her arms and legs are rock hard. I have noticed usually she is careful about what she packs for lunch--turkey on whole grain, bell pepper strips, maybe some trail mix and fruit.

This was a splurge day.  Nothing special.  Just a few happy hours with people I love.

It can get fancier, and does. It doesn't get better.

Laughter and fun with people we love is just the best.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

There are jungles, then the Internet.

I have never been many places in this beautiful world. I would like to. That means physically going there for the experience I want.

Computer excellence is a desire I probably never will fulfill. The bar changes so often. Some of you are adept. and honey, some of it is about age, but not all. Not all minds are computer oriented. Never have been. Never will be. Some of these persons will create great things.

Going to foreign lands means exposure to danger. So does the extended use of a computer. I  work with feral, homeless people. I deal with children. All of this is volunteer. Certainly, anything on my computer is voluntary as well.

Diseases from the children can be a concern as we age. So can illness in the uninsured. Okay/

But I use my computer every day andexpect peace. And this is where I have been attacked again and again. I think I am careful. But I am technolexic. I am fooled. So far I've won, I'm not stupid.
I  have a year's contract with Enbay Recovery. best money I ever spent.

They save my lunch, readjust my fonts, clean the viruses. yeah. I have security, too.

I am not afraid on the streets. I am afraid on the computer.

I understand the streets.

The computer is dangerous. I guess I like it. Otherwise I wouldn't blog.

I had an email problem tonight and went on the internet and called a number that seemed legitimate. It was a scam. I recognized it and exited. I went to my security force. I'm so tired of this.

A way to keep out of trouble

usually, I make sure I eat a good breakfast before heading out to the local soup kitchen.

I have been volunteering there for several months. I am learning the faces, and more slowly, the names that go with them.

It is towards the end of the month, and a drippy, cold 47 degrees. I figure this will be a high volume day, and start tossing water bottles into the bags mostly school children have packed in bags the Saturday before.

Here, we have a need for disposable plastic bags. We give them to the hungry. Some of the hungry are homeless, but not all. We make no discrimination. College kids, at the end of their grants or scholarships, sometimes come to eke out survival till finals.

Others have shelter and transport, but can't eat without us. We get food--some fresh, some canned, some bread,eggs, and some fruits--from Walmart MWF.Target and other stores pitch in on Tuesday-Thursday.

If we have food leftover, we have two farms the leftovers go to. We get free pork and chickens in return.

I say we. I control nothing, except the weekkend packs I feel and dispense to the homeless.

I like most folks. I like these. I am sorry for the disabilities that don't let them live more fully, but I am glad I can dispense food and water for them to survive until Monday.

Every so often, someone settles down and qualifies for a subsidized apartment. They have graduated. They come back often to eat. But they are getting on with their lives. I love that. Maintaing an apartment, even subsidized, is a long way from living in a culvert. Yes. People do that. I've met them.

I love doing this work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trying to Live True without Assumptions.

Is it texting, do you think?

I have never seen so many arguments based on points of view people THINK they are arguing with the other, but they aren't.

Gun control is the most direct, but even that has so many issues and side effects and lifestyles. I understand there are people on the east coast who can't understand why a rancher an hour or more away from a police officer might need a gun to kill a rattlesnake, a skunk making off with the eggs, a bobcat making off with a chicken. They might not even understand why.

At the same time, I can understand people in rural areas snarling back, "Don't you even see us?" and then there are the other issues. It is never straightdforward anymore.

Abortion. One argues north-south, the other east-west. Neither gets it they aren't arguing the same argument. they aren't.


Climate control.


Water conservation.

It is all cacaphony anymore.

So many with a stand to take.

We don't get much news. We get a lot of opinions, a lot of gossip. It is hard to find news.

I am a Christian. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Can't tell you why, always, but I do. So you presume I believe in heaven and hell. Nope. Pretty much don't.
You think I believe Christians are the only ones going to the aforesaid doubtful heaven or hell. Nope, I don't. See, like everything else, there are all flavors.

I am frustrated because I can't stand for anything any more without folks who know nothing about me putting me in a demographic and assuming how I think or feel or vote. So usually, I keep silent more and more. And that feels like cowardice.

But I can act. I can walk my walk. I can do what I can when I can.

I've always been a talker. Maybe it is time to shut up and just do.

What do you think?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ccomfort foods for mental and physical health

Sooooo, what are your comfort foods? Have some summer ones and winter ones, and then I have "please mom fix this" foods I don't have to cook myself. Mine are simple. If it is complicated, I don't get to lie down, drink my juice, read a chapter and take a nap.

I love tomato soup. maybe made with milk. And grilled cheese sandwiches. Hot tea with sugar and milk and fresh chocolate chip and pecan cookies still warm from the oven. (and someone else has to make them.)

So. Hot weather comfort food, cold weather comfort food, comfort food we make ourselves and something someone else has to make for it to be a comfort.

I love pinto beans, but navy beans cooked in chicken broth with garlic and strips of ham are comfort food. Pintos are, well, more hearty. Cornbread healthy or sick is comfort food.

I've learned any idiot can make a wonderful homemade soup so I make lots of them. Someone else can make them. I don't care. They are comfort. they soothe my scratchy throat and warm my belly.

I love a Mexican soup using fideo, and I've never made it as good as some friends, so can you please make it and bring me oh, say, at least a quart? With fresh corn tortillas?

The one time I caught an A-flu virus, I begged my then husband to make me a poached egg on milktoast. With canned pears. I ate about half of it. And I was comforted.

His eyebrows are not the only ones that go up at this confession.

I hate chicken noodle soup. I am comforted by chicken-rice, with maybe some chopped green chile and ontion flakes with cumin?

I don't like mac and cheese, but I love potato soup with ham and cheese, or just plain mashed potatoes, no gravy.

I try to ignore the bread, but oh, sometimes hot tea and a slice of warm parmesan garlic bread slathered with butter makes me happy even when my nose runs.

Jello. red jello in cubes. with a sugar cookie. Cuties. I love those tangerines.A fullgrain bread with hot tea and a slather of favorite jam or jelly.

This is ;my list, and I know it doesn't fit most folks, but I bet it sends you scurrying in your mind for your comfort foods. Stock up. It's going to be a long winter.

Comfort food is one of life's most important happy survival products.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The doctor was wrong. Thank goodness

In 1996, I saw a rheumatologist who diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis. He prescribed a low dose of methotrexate. I tried it for three weeks, felt constantly nauseous, and discontinued. I declined to try anything else after researching a bit. I was really bummed, but an uncle also had a diseased joint supposedly from RA, so I figured it was heredity. I worried my sons would get it.

A few years later, I actually stepped up regular exercise, improved my diet, lost some weight. Several doctors have accepted that diagnosis and over the years, pointed to this symptom or that as evidence of it.

I even have a mild kidney condition thought to have been caused by it.

My family physician insisted that after 16 years, I should see another specialist. Since I really respect my doctor, I went. Not happy. I went.

Bloodwork is much better today. She also ordered x-rays of my hands and feet. She studied these. When I went back, she said she had no idea who I saw or what was going on in 1996--but I didn't have rheumatoid arthritis. I don't have it. I never have had it.

For 16 years, I accepted that diagnosis. I really did get the diagnosis. I'm sure she wonders a bit.

Now, I do have a pretty good case of osteoarthritis, and I hurt more or less constantly, but I can get around pretty well. With new knees, I can walk a couple of miles now.

And I wonder, what in the world would I have ingested over the past 16 years if I hadn't been so stubborn? Would the drugs have made me really sick? I don't have an autoimmune disease, except for some allergies.


It just occurred to me today, maybe I CAN be an organ donor now. I'll check it out.

This turned out so well.

After 33 years, I was hospitalized three times in 2011, twice for knees, for a total of 10 days. I hope it will be another 10 years at least before I go back, despite some wonderful medical care. My body keeps giving me dirty little surprises every once in a while. Now, however, I have a fairly big medical problem I don't have to worry about. Just two doctors. Three prescriptions, really.

I'd like to keep it that way.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Imagine a thousand miles or so.

It is after 7 am in Northern Texas. It is January, not so
long past the winter solstice.

assume there are clouds.

Only a few months from now, there will be sunlight. You in the east, the northeast. You are used to dark, dreary days with only a few hours of sun. Those in the northwest the same, I have always lived here.

So many of you have as well.

Imagine yourself where I am. just imagine.

The politics may be comfortable.

Just imagine. Not in other skins.

Just imagine only where the sun shines differently.

I give thanks.

It may not be a worm, in her ear, but Malaguena is in her heart forever.

My granddaughter is a gifted French horn player. She also practices a lot. She has been a freshman in high school this year.

In the olden days, bands practiced, starting in the summer at 6 am and going till 8, when the heat started. They marched. They played. Every week, we got a different halftime show. There was no UIL. I was in orchestra, so I don't know, but I bet bands worked then as hard as they do now.

It has changed. There is competition. There are Standards. I recently saw a video of the Texas all-state winners this year. It was magnificent. Amazing.

But I am not writing about that except--since competition is the key, the marching band performed, and played, the same music over and over for four months.


My granddaughter doesn't know it yet, but she will never forget that music, nor her part of the tune. It is embedded.

I once spent four months as a teenager playing Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik". My spelling may not be perfect. I can no longer finger the notes. I remember the bow strokes. And I jump to attention every time,50-some years later, when I hear it again.
There is a certain exhileration. Joy in the music. Remembering the actual feeling that I helped that sound to be made.

I hear business-minded idiots saying that music doesn't matter, that we should just pay for readin' writin' arithmetic. Actually, that no longer fits state standards, thank goodness.

I recently went to a band concert where half was the directer talking. She said music expands the brain, the intellect, and she pointed out, of the 10 best students in America recently, 7 had band credentials. The other three had orchestra.

I don't know where that leaves voice students. Anyway.

My granddaughter will carry this music with her lifelong. She doesn't know it yet.
It will enrichen her life and broaden her parameters.

I know. It did so with me. My instrument was the violin. I practiced at home in the early years. I had forgiving and hopeful parents.

I listen to Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony". I listen to Handel's "Messiah", and I remember both playing it and singing it.

I remember being part of the music.
My granddaughter will, too.