Tuesday, April 15, 2014

After a dreadful year, my health seems to be turning around

Good feeling day for an introvert. Playing on the internet. Reading in the recliner. I've been steadily losing weight since Halloween. I had a stroke (second one in the year 2013) but two positive inexplicable changes came about (as a result??). I had my 1/4 vision back after two years. And my abnormal food cravings were gone - I have ordinary food cravings that come and go, but ordinary enough that I'm at a weight lower than in years.

I've been swimming at least three times a week ... which is essential because I'm not very mobile otherwise. Because of the strokes, I can't take NSAIDs such as Aleve any more and I miss that a lot. Coffee seems to help.  I'm hoping in weight loss and increasing exercise.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Skype with family

Skype is wonderful. 
Here's a screen grab of my son teaching Heersa to make mouth noises.








And while I'm showing off grandchildren, here's Seth dying on stage.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Wishing for less pain

OWWWWWW!
Today the issue is sciatica pain. I plan to eat eggs and grits but it hurts too much to get out of bed to make it. I just took a 3 Aleves and I'll try again in 20 minutes. Karen will be picking me up to go swimming. What I eat and how I exercise are so important because I'll continue to be in pain if I remain overweight and weak. Remaining in pain keeps me from fulfilling a few wishes.

I don't wish for a lot. I'd like to have a dog. I'd like to be able to home school my granddaughter if they are unhappy with the public school.

I called the woman who offered to be my sponsor. I thought I'd let her know my time slot was free. I think she was surprised I called at all. It was uncomfortable to do.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Journaling

It's been a great week. I've stuck to my food plan, kept up with my novena on Dorothy Day, prayed for others, done some swimming, kept up with NaNoMo much better than I thought. Haven't had the urge to watch tv or movies.

I asked a stranger to sponsor me in the 90 day OA program. That wasn't too bright. A sponsor is someone who has what you want and you do what they did. I realize I don't know what she has. And she doesn't seem willing to tell me ("we'll discuss your food plan first.") She vetoed some of my foods and I accepted that veto because sugar is an ingredient. But she also vetoed fruits canned with fruit juice  ("processed") and homemade hummus ("I don't do mixtures." "But you eat salad").  Now I don't know if I want what she has ... since I'm not yet aware of what she has. I am a food addict and can't recover by myself. I have illusions and delusions.

As I was wondering "How do I know what's right? Who will tell me?" I realized that I can pray for the answer.





Sunday, October 27, 2013

NaNo, NaNo

November is National Novel writing month, NaNo for short. It's sort of a social network event for people who prefer to be alone. The challenge is to write a novel with 50,000 words or more. There are participants who have been doing this for years. You win if you meet the word goal. Since I almost have never exceed 400 words in a day, I don't expect to win. But it's worth the effort.

In order to churn out the words, I'll have to forego TV, movies, and Facebook. I should have OD'd on those things for a while.

I'll be making an effort to attend Aquacare aerobics, on-line twelve-step meetings (good enough for DFW is good enough for me), a few church services, thanksgiving dinner, acupuncture, and maybe some Skype with my granddaughter.

My grandson flipped my mattress and my son changed my bedding so I'm off to a fresh start.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Writing

After a long blank, I got a writing idea. The idea came to me in the way comedians get their jokes ... from irritation. I found myself uncomfortable with people commenting on pictures of sunsets with statements such as 'When you see this, how can you not believe in God?'  The urge to write comes with my irritation and my puzzlement over my own irritation. I believe in God and I enjoy sunsets, so why am I bothered?

I wrote my first response longhand (to keep me away from the computer). After I revise, I'll post it here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A week of daily prayers

A pattern for prayer
Who God is
What I need from God
Intercessions
Thanks to God

Monday
Dear Father. You are my Helper, my Friend, my Shelter, my Healer.
Be my strength today as I do the few things I hope to do.
Give me abstinence from unhealthy behavior.
Grant me pleasure in healthy activity.
May Sherry feel your loving arms around her in her distress.
Protect Lynn and her household from the nearby fires.
Help my son weather his financial storms.
Keep his family safe in their travels.
Thank you for the shelter you have given my family.
Thank you for the beauty you have provided in music.
Thank you for the greenery of where I live.
Thank you for making yourself known.

Tuesday
Dear Father. You are the Creator of all, the Lover of all, the Healer of all.
I lean on your patience and your love.
I need your strength today.
I pray for those in your community of belief.
Give them wisdom and comfort.
Grant Sherry acceptance, grant Lynne protection, help my son with his finances.
Thank you for the love you have given us.
Thank you for the beauty of the earth.
Thank you for wisdom.

Wednesday
Dear Lord of my life. You are my Defender. You are my Guide. You are my Protector.
I live in your patience. I draw strength in your guidance.
Help me to grow stronger day by day.
Please help my son find comfort in your will.
Help our leaders find non-violent solutions.
Comfort Sherry, protect those in danger in the fires, give the brethren wisdom.
Thank you for the gift of gratitude for my son.
Thank you for the morning.
Thank you for medicines.

Thursday
Dear Lord and Teacher. You are my patient Teacher.  You are always near.
I love to be in your presence.
Please let me know how I depend on you. Help me draw energy from your love.
Help my son.
Hear our prayers for peace.
Comfort the sorrowful.
Thank you for the community of those that love you and seek your will.
Thank you for nourishment and wakefulness.

Friday
Dear Creator and Lover of Creation. You are the unknown who reveals yourself to us.
Let me know you. Let me be with you.
Be with Ben and help his patients in Uganda. Help him find the supplies and tools he needs.
Please help my son be in peace.
Comfort Sherry.
Thank you for the progress in calming the California fires.
Thank you for my prescriptions.

Saturday
Dear originator of Life. You are the source of all our movement, reproduction, energy, growth...
Let me move and demonstrate your energy. Help me to heal.
Help Seth please, and give his doctors wisdom and knowledge.
Help his parents help him.
Give my son financial security.
Comfort Sherry.
Thank you for the loveliness of this temperate weather.
Thank you for the comfort of home.








Friday, August 16, 2013

days in the life

This is a week of my recent life. 

I promise not to post this sort of stuff again in the near future.


Friday
I've been binge-watching a TV show again. The first 11 episodes of the season were OK but the last 20 minutes of The Killing were almost unbearable. Curiosity led me to follow my investment ... If you're considering doing the same, skip the lat 20 minutes which are silly and boring.

So while that was going on, I neglected self-care and household upkeep. Now it's that time when I try to motivate myself to do all the things I regularly resolve to do ... over and over.
I did some good swimming yesterday (vigorous) and can hope to repeat that today. I don't have pool access tomorrow or Sunday, so I'll need it.  The A/c is on today which mainly produces a feeling of cold clamminess. It's 90 humid degrees outside. Last week we had a respite featuring back to school weather. I guess I'll get to the pool as first priority since thunderstorms are in the forecast and the pool is closed when there's thunder.
Yesterday I bought beef to go with my leftover ratatouille and pasta (the last of several day's worth). But I couldn't finish it. I really don't think I like beef any more. And I may have had my ration of ratatouille for the year.
.... more to follow ...
Sat.
Next day. I didn't do anything as it turns out. I started in on a new tv show. So here we are today with a new stickie

blood sugar 250
internet distraction messed up writing
before lunch b.s. 300 (really need to get metformin today.
still on track but very very slow
I'm pleased that I took out the trash (some moaning and groaning)
I'm pleased that I got out to Greenbranch and got some groceries.
I went to the pharmacy and when I got home I found I still didn't have Metformin. I'll have to call and hope to get it tomorrow.
Then I'll call it a day, much better than yesterday, and watch netflix.

My dream for the future is that I can go up and down the stairs four times a day: Three times for the dog I dream of getting, and once for a trip to the pool.  
............................................
Sunday
No, I don't want to go to church today.  Last week's experience was too unpleasant. I have to say I really admire those who are so faithful. They can see the same problems that I do, but they are so much more tolerant.
And I'm balking about my own list. It's a fine list, but it's a list, which feels so oppressive. I'd rather sit around and compose lists all day, rather than follow them. The list is not very demanding.

The name of the salad is caprese. Pronounced in an Italian way.
---------------------------------------------
Monday
Off to a staggering start this morning. Got hung up on facebook. Lots of interesting items re: cookie cutter christianity, humor, new friend requests from me for friends of friends, funny stuff, peace, peace, peace ...
I'm procrastinating from a shower.
I'd really like to go back to bed. It's afternoon. Trash has got to go out.... I checked my bank account and paid my credit card bill the minimum. Usually I pay much more than the minimum, but finances this month seem pretty tight. I felt more and more like staying home, partly because I wanted to avoid going out and buying something to eat ... I 'd really like to adhere to my committed food plan today. Every morning I submit my food plan and recently that has been more and more a fleeting fantasy.  My food plan is a tool I have to keep from eating compulsively. Compulsive mean unplanned. My first meal today wasn't until the smoothy after noon. Going out this afternoon would make buying (spending money on) an unplanned sandwich a temptation I want to avoid.

I did take a shower and then took some more Ultram for the pain in my thighs and read an essay by Jonathan Franzen.  It was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. It was about his father and Alzheimer. A topic I've written myself but without the detail, depth and breadth. It was writing that I could only wish I could do, if I only had many more years to hone the skill, practice the discipline.

I could feel guilty for the trash piled up by my front door and for the undone exercise that would be beneficial if done. But reading the essay by Franzen felt like completely worthwhile activity. Perhaps I'll be inspired to take out the trash later and "core exercises" are still on the sticky.

I tried to listen online to the sermon I missed this weekend. I could not finish. Like the week before, the pastor read aloud from a book for a large portion of the sermon. This is not good. I called up a close friend and, in a sense, we committed we would not flee, but try to find a way to do what we could to help our pastor and our community.
....................................................
 Tuesday 
This is Bowser. By the time I'm ready to adopt a dog, she'll be gone. But I have her picture for inspiration. She's a lovely dog.
Last night, I had an idea for writing but this morning it's evaporated.  All I can remember was that it seemed like a good idea. This morning I'm circling the drain with a lack of purpose.

Add to this printing out articles.

Not a good day. Couldn't come up with anything to write, didn't go swimming, couldn't finish lunch ....


 Wednesday Seems like yesterday was a pretty depressed day. And the best thing for depression is exercise ... which I have been avoiding for several days. The weather today is condusive to lifting a mood, sunny and cooler.  As I write this I'm feeling more optimistic. Later... took out the trash, swam, went to Greenbriar farms. brought groceries upstairs ... much improvement over yesterday! But my appetite's still pretty poor. I can't complain about that though. I didn't do any writing today.
   While at the pool I took part in a few conversations.  It seems that we had competing agendas, to "out-sick" each other. One person would describe their health problems (or their pet's or relative's) and people would listen sympathetically until they could hear something that they could hook on to with their own story. Then focus would switch to the new story teller until a new hook was found. Part of the game was to sound realistically sympathetic right up until it was your turn to be telling the sick story. There were plenty of sick stories to offer because nobody at that pool was there to show off their athletic prowess or physical fitness. We were there because we were in physical trouble, preparing for joint replacement, recovery from difficult to diagnose complaints,  burning calories, striving for muscle tone, straightening up, sucking it in ... There was a fine balance between fitting in and being special.
...................
Thursday Reading a good essay by Jonathan Frazen makes my brain feel healthy.
This morning, I compose essays on sciatica and pain. Actually I haven't, but It would probably a good idea. Tho what can one say but owee ow ow?If it were a good essay, who would want to read it? Pain is eomthing that you can't really remember. Then when you're in pain you don't remember it it not bein present. Well, it is connected to the brain.
..........................
Friday
 I bought a taco salad throughthe drive thru yesterday. It was awful. I'm pretty sure taco salads were better 20 some years ago.
I had a lot of pain yesterday and am demanding a lot less of myself today. I took 2 oxycodones this morning and feel much better physically and mentally. I'm not going swimming, mostly because I don't think I would drive safely. I'm enjoying my sunny living room.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Indoor Experiencing Perfect Weather

July was too hot. Even with the air conditioners blowing, one in the east window, one in the west, I could feel the heat in my bones and in my gut.  I didn't go out.  I hung around and avoided anything that would create heat.  It was too hot to cook.
   But for the last several days the air is crisp and cool. The cicadas and the crickets make pleasant noise outdoors. I can hear them through the open windows.  Warblers and jays make songs, sound rare enough to be appreciated. Unlike the saturation of spring. Like clear refrigerated water.

Apology to Tim

When we were young, you made it clear that you were attracted to me. You asked me out on dates, you tried to be where I was, you told friends and teachers that you were interested in me. I gave you no attention. I ignored you. I avoided you. I quit music lessons with a teacher who wanted to encourage our relationship.

Friends told me that you were miserable. They told me of a time you were sitting in a tree in tears because I'd preferred to be out of town with my family. I wanted to be at the ski slopes, not because I loved skiing, but because that's where the "cool" kids were. You didn't ski, and probably couldn't afford it. Even though we had similar interests, I was unaware of that. I was unaware of you. I paid no attention to who you were. I had no good reason for this at all. I had no reasons that I can think of. Perhaps I didn't have respect for anyone who respected me. I am sorry that I was so self-centered and so oblivious to how smart you were, how musical, how kind you were. These were all qualities that I valued then, I certainly value them now.

Now I regret my behavior. I'm sorry I caused you sorrow. I'm sorry I didn't appreciate your good qualities. Even more, I regret missing out the opportunity of having a relationship with you. I have missed having you as a long-time friend and wish I'd forged and maintained a connection with you for all these years. I certainly appreciate who you are today. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chichester Psalms

I first heard Chichester Psalms at a SUNY Potsdam concert where they also performed something by Norman Dello Joio . I turned to my friend Micky and said "Why isn't this guy famous?" and she said "He IS." I got to sing it years later and I'm listening to it right now. 
http://www.milkenarchive.org/works/view/683#/videos/view/145
www.milkenarchive.orgWest Side Story meets the Book of Psalms in Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms for chorus and orchestra. Sample tracks, video, and historical notes. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The art of being retired.

Here am I at last. I now can do whatever I want, be whoever I choose to be. I retired on April 1.  I immediately set out to get sick in any way I could - diverticulosis, stroke number five, and my back as bad as it's been in years.  So whatever I wanted was sleep, sleep, sleep.  I slept and watched a lot of movies and binge watched a lot of TV - cable shows mostly that I was able to find online after some searching.

But gradually I started to wake up and now I'm working on acquiring the habits I want to have in my retirement.  One is exercise - which I do at Aquacare, a physical therapy heated pool.  It is closed whenever there is lightening which is unfortunate with the weather we've had recently (thank you, CO2). Along with that is writing. I'm using some writing exercise books that I bought a few years ago and am only just now putting to use. After getting those two in my consciouness, I've added a daily period of decluttering (just started, not yet a habit). Exercise had to be a prerequisite because physical pain made writing and decluttering quite difficult.

PS This afternoon I was reading http://www.brainpickings.org ... a great resource on writing ... and it seems that many writers put exercise (including swimming) into their daily routines. Good to know!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Growing old is not for sissies

video
video
Soon I'll be 65. I've retired recently. I was pretty much forced to by my (lack of) health. Arthritis flare up, gastrointestinal stuff followed closely by stroke number five (still unknown source of blood clot). The hospital stay after the stroke was so uncomfortable that my back is now giving me enough discomfort for me to be bedridden. If I were more comfortable, I'd be delighted to be retired. So when I'm back on my feet, I will be.  My income is very small, but I'm comfortable, and I have health insurance which eats up more than my pension.

For the first time in several years, I've got two rooms, a complete kitchen and a bathroom big enough to dance in. The videos show off my paintings by my grandmother, Eric Dennard, and my son. My son stays every other weekend along with my grandson ... so delightful.

Another Look Alike

It's been too long, and there's a lot of catching up to do. Least important in catching up is another look alike post. I've recently binged on "Homeland" and right from episode one, I've decided that Damien Lewis should portray David Foster Wallace in the biographical movie.  Lewis is a fine actor and has a similar mouth, chin and facial expressions
.