Wednesday, August 20, 2014

June 6, 2011, the date of my last post, so much has happened since then, where do I begin? We defeated Amendment 26 that year and Phil Bryant was elected governor and once again Mississippi's electorate proved itself schizoid. Progressives won big by defeating the Personhood Amendment, then gave the Republican the governorship. And he was the co-sponsor of the Personhood Amendment! How does that happen? The Voter ID amendment was passed, wish we'd had as much opposition to that as we did Personhood. In 2011, October, I think it was, we started a FB group for Left Leaners and began having frequent lunches together.  Also that year, I acquired an orphan kitty from Benji's doorstep and named her Scat.
AND I qualified for Medicare!

In 2012, Mike and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in December, Ricky and Mary Ann celebrated their 25th the week before, and I acquired my 3rd kitty Pete in October.
I broke my wrist and had it repaired with a pin in surgery. Benji moved in here in July and took a job with JPS, then quit it 6 weeks later. In April, Mike was hospitalized for acute kidney failure and ischemic colitis. Thankfully, he recovered. In December, he had what I believed to be another stroke, and was admitted again to St. Dominic's, but the doctors could not pinpoint any new damage to his brain and after a few days of rest, he was released. In November, we re-elected Obama for a second term. I attended my first JJH dinner and got to meet Congressman John Lewis. I participated in a couple of demonstrations at the Capitol, one was The War on Women protest, and the other was the reunion of the Occupy group formed in 2011.The Left Leaner group grew to almost a thousand members.

2013 was a rough year. It started with my being sick for 2 months with Whooping Cough. The biggest change was quitting church. With my vocal chords scarred from all the coughing, singing for more than 5 minutes without coughing was impossible. Attending church without participating in the choir holds no appeal for me whatsoever. And I learned to enjoy sleeping late on Sundays. I went into a depressed slump, Caregiver's Burnout, I guess, when my energy bottomed out and my osteoarthritis began bothering me like never before, especially my hips and knees. I began massage therapy every 2 weeks, very relaxing and soothing to my achy places, but they still ache, especially when the weather changes to cooler and wetter. In May, Mike was readmitted to the hospital with  MRSA, a type of staph infection that can be fatal. How many close encounters with the Grim Reaper can this man have?  In August, I attended a Civil Rights Demonstration at the Capitol, and in August, we demonstrated for Medicaid expansion. The Left Leaner group grew to 2000.

And that brings us to 2014. Thank goodness for FB Timeline or I wouldn't remember all these details. To be continued.....

Monday, June 06, 2011

Today I'm dressed in a muumuu, a roomy old dress I've owned for years and still enjoy. I go thru spells of resisting its comfort. "Women who wear muumuus have given up on trying to keep their slender figure." I used to hear that from women who still fought it; I've said it myself during times when I so wanted to regain the slimness I enjoyed in my youth. Today I'm quite comfortable with the way my 64 year old body looks.

In 2008, I took Adderall and lost 35 pounds. Within the last couple of years, I've regained most of it. What can I say? I enjoy eating, healthy food, junk food, any food. My appetite is more predominant than my will to exercise. I wish those preferences were the other way around, but they are what they are. The amphetamine I took is the only thing that has ever reversed it, and my doctor refuses to prescribe it again, convinced I was using it more for weight loss than ADD. It did seem to be more effective in curbing my appetite than in helping my concentration. And I did seem to be more energetic and enjoyed exercise more.

I did not realize then what I've learned recently that using Adderall as a diet pill reached epidemic proportions in 2008, mostly among much younger women who wanted to go from a size 8 to a size 4. No wonder doctors grew super-cautious about handing out the Rx, but I was a 61 year old grandmother! My oldest grandson was taking the drug for his ADHD, and I heard him and his parents talk about how he was never hungry.  To me, it sounded like a miracle drug.

I even suspected that he inherited his predisposition for ADHD from me. I've had symptoms of attention deficit disorder since long before it was identified as a medical condition. None of my teachers in school thought I performed to my potential. The nice ones labelled me an underachiever; the not-so-nice ones called me lazy. So passing the screening test for the condition was a breeze. I answered all the questions honestly and was diagnosed with ADD. The prescription was issued with blood pressure monitored closely and monthly doctor visits required. And the weight came off, about 3 or 4 lbs monthly, a safe pace, and when I got back into size 8 jeans for the first time in 20 years, I was ecstatic. 

Without the amphetamine, however, the appetite returned. Thankfully, it's taken longer to put the excess weight back on than to take it off. But it's baaaaack! And today I've chosen to camouflage it with yards of tropical fabric. Once again, Gramma loooooooooves her muumuu!

3 hrs. later. I wore the muumuu to Kroger and a nice looking old hippy with a gray ponytail told me he loved the dress I was wearing. "It looks very cool and comfortable," he said. I thanked him.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Mike just left to 1) fill the gas tank in the Dodge, 2) deposit a rent check, 3) pick up prescriptions at CVS, and 4) go to The Club at St. D for his work-out, and 5) get lunch at the nearby Subway. I'm at home with my feet propped up on the ottoman, the TV off, the AC on, and dogs asleep. That may not sound unusual in your house, but it's been 2 years, 5 months, and 13 days since I could do this. I have soooooo looked forward to this day.

I've been extremely nervous about turning the car keys over to him since his 12/21/08 accident, which severely damaged the vision in his left eye, affected his reflexes and coordination, and did further damage to a brain already injured by a 2004 stroke. But he has worked hard with physical therapy and occupational therapy to regain some of the functionality he lost. After he passed a vision test by his ophthalmologist and a thorough 4 hour driving test by Methodist Rehab, however, I realized my days as his chauffeur and personal assistant were coming to an end. His neuro-psychologist doesn't think his alcoholism will return because the part of his brain which houses cravings and habits of that sort was knocked out by his fall.

So he's on the road again, behind the wheel of a vehicle that could kill him and others if not driven safely. After the evaluation at Methodist Rehab, I had to ride with him for two weeks to make sure he was doing everything safely. What a test of faith that was! We encountered two situations that were potentially dangerous. I worried about his ability to merge into traffic on the left, but he turned his body around to check oncoming traffic with both eyes. Very good, I thought and sighed with relief. Then, in making a right turn one day, he swung too wide and was totally unaware of a woman coming from the opposite direction turning left, also swinging too wide. I shrieked, he jammed on the brakes, so did she, they narrowly missed a collision, and he admitted he had not seen her. Since then, he has been very careful to look in all directions before turning and doesn't take nearly so wide a turn. He still has trouble judging distances between the front of his car and whatever is in front of him, but he errs on the side of caution.

I cannot describe how free I feel having an uninterrupted day to do what I want to do and not having to worry about accommodating him. Please pray that he drives safely and does not injure himself or others. He is a licensed driver with insurance and a fierce will to be as independent as possible. And I'm all for it.

We've come a long way, Baby!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So the Man in the Moon was bragging last night about how much bigger he was than he normally is. Somehow this sounds familiar. I really couldn't tell much difference, could you? Big, bright, and beautiful in a cloudless sky, but no magic, at least, not in my little corner of the world.

I got a call from my neighbor at 8:31 demanding to know why Obama is going to war with Libya. He leans right in his politics and I lean left, so needless to say, we have had heated exchanges about who's smart and who's dumb. He keeps asking me to name 5 things Bush did wrong and I've given him a long list of mistakes Bush made. Yesterday he told me to write them down. Since he's the one who keeps forgetting, I told him to write them down, not a form of neighborliness I would recommend, but somehow we have maintained a friendship that has many twists and turns.

Just proves what G.K. Chesterton said: We make our friends, we make our enemies, but God makes our next door neighbor. Maybe for some higher purpose, I was planted in the house next door to this fundamentalist Pentecostal Republican. I thought it was to drag him kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Now I'm beginning to think I should just leave him where he is to evolve in his own good time. Or not.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It is so incredibly peaceful at Benji's house, I'm wishing again that I could stay longer. Seeing my hometown come alive in the springtime sparks a rebirth in me that softens and opens my heart to the possibilities of beauty and love and growth. I may drive the Trace going home to prolong my enjoyment of Spring's greening.

My 6 year old grandson is playing a gardening video game in the next room. Listening to him make up the dialogue as he plays does this grandmother's heart as much good as the blooming of the daffodils and Japanese Magnolia outside the picture window. His speech delay is slowly, but surely, correcting itself. He initiates strings of sentences that I can finally understand, so I can lay that worry to rest. He says he's ready for Gramma to go home, so I'll pack my bag after lunch and take off. He loves having his daddy to himself, and I try not to interfere with that while I'm here. At least, my presence doesn't distress him like it once did, more progress for which I am very grateful.

I made hot dogs for mine and Benji's lunch. Pip will only eat the buns and only when he decides he's hungry. He's still a very picky eater. Last night, he asked me for crackers. I offered peanut butter, then cheese to go with his crackers. "No cheese, no peanut butter, just crackers, Gramma!" he told me very plainly. Today he's had a cup of dry Trix. At least, those are made of whole grains now with more fiber and vitamins and nutrients than they used to have.

Yesterday I had fine Southern Cuisine at Ms. Ruth's in Verona, and the day before I stopped at Lake Tiak-O'Khata for another buffet lunch loaded with similar fare.  I rarely pass up an opportunity to enjoy old-timey home cooking when it's someone else's. It's about time to pack my bag and hit the road.

Wonder what tonight's Supermoon will bring?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Uh-oh, I missed a day of blogging, Saturday, but I was busier than usual, and it was a very enjoyable busy. First, I made a French toast breakfast with bacon and eggs for everyone, including the dogs. Then I went with friend Jackie to the Bodacious Broads brunch. After that, I got nails done, and then my friend Lucy came over for our regular  Saturday night tête à tête. That didn't leave a lot of computer time.

I missed church again, but knew it would be useless to try to sing, and going to church without being able to sing just doesn't much appeal to me. I can stay at home and do the rest of it. I'm feeling better and believe this bug has surely run it's course almost, but when I start talking, I start coughing and get very hoarse, very quickly, so I'll just let the old vocal chords rest a little longer.

I'm loving the cooler weather we've had lately. The trees are stepping out timidly, slowly, one at a time, in their latest fall fashion, lots of gold and orange and cranberry red. They look stunning against the clear blue sky.

Friday, November 05, 2010

My nightly routine has been disrupted. Keith Olbermann was suspended from MSNBC for making political contributions, seems it was a serious infraction for their political talk show hosts. Now I'm torn between Plan A: sign the petition to bring him back, boycott the network, and finding some other programs to watch; or Plan B: sign the petition, watch the MSNBC shows and wait for the whole thing to work itself out. I've decided to go with Plan B. Saturday and Sunday nights aren't nearly as much fun without Chris, Ed, Keith, Rachel and Lawrence. "Hello, my name is Cathy and I am a political talk show junkie."

It's been a wild week for those of us thrive on the excitement of politics. I'm sick of the winners gloating about what "The American People have spoken" with their wins. Benji made one of the best statements I've read yet about their bloviating:

The American People didn't care about any of it. The percentage of people who turned out (and who always turn out) for midterms was abysmally low. I am so tired of people talking about The American People as if every person who could move or get to a wheelchair went to vote on Tuesday. They didn't. It was a small cult turn out, and your cult is a little bit more committed than our cult. That doesn't in any sense give you the right to dictate anything.

So not only am I an addict, I also belong to a cult. Lord, have mercy!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

One of the things I enjoy so much about Facebook is that it has connected me with some brilliant people I, otherwise, would never have known. It isn't difficult to tell, by the remarks they make on a mutual friend's post, that this is someone with whom I would be compatible. If I were single and looking for another partner, I'd definitely want to use FB for initial stages of getting acquainted.

The lunch we had yesterday at The Cherokee was most enjoyable. I split a pizza with a new friend and met several others for the first time in person. Only 4 of the original 8 were there with 6 new people, so we had a total of 10. Our waiter was the same as last week - Coach. His picture is in the dictionary with curmudgeon.

I skipped choir rehearsal again last night, but what good is a soprano with no voice? I've had some sort of respiratory bug, all throat and lungs for two weeks, now it's moving into my head. Last week it felt like the flu and it may have been - chills, fever, body aches, head aches, coughing, etc. Now it's moved to my sinuses. If this is not all cleared out by Monday, I'll go to the doctor. He can't tell me, "It has to run its course."

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Now that election day is over, and the Republicans are back in charge of the House of Representatives, it will be interesting to see how far their heated rhetoric gets them in producing meaningful change that benefits the country. If the public says JOBS are their #1 concern, exactly what is it they plan to do to put all the unemployed back to work? As much as I would like to see the unemployment in this country go down, I'm not expecting quick results. Tax breaks for the wealthy do not produce more jobs. It's time to bust that myth and let it die.

Rather than lunching with the Water Lilies today, I'm commiserating with some left leaning buddies at The Cherokee. We met for the first time last Wednesday and decided that together we might be able to decompress best with simpatico spirits following what promised to be a disappointing election day for us. I'm hoping we start a regular lunch bunch.

All is not doom and gloom today. Sarah Palin is on thin ice with establishment Republicans. Good. The Republicans now own this miserable economy along with Obama and the Dems. Good. Their failure to make significant progress within the next two years bodes well for Obama's re-election. Good. And Blue Dog Democrats have learned our Democratic patience is exhausted. Good.

Now, for some good ole-timey comfort food at the Cherokee.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I normally like to ease into the day; I wake up in stages, each cup of coffee brings a brighter level of consciousness, and by the 3rd one I'm almost ready to face the world. Sometimes my Facebook friends, who are never more than just a click away, start the old adrenaline rush much sooner than I prefer. Today was such a day, Election Day.

Today my FB friends greeted me with everything from rosy optimism to sheer unadulterated panic. Some are gloating already with the prospect of Nancy Pelosi losing her job as Speaker of the House. Some are explaining how divided leadership is good for the country. Others are dreading a takeover by wild-eyed, ignorant Tea Partiers. One man wants Democrats to maintain control so Armageddon will get here sooner. My friend Jackie posted this video, The Best is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra and Jon Secada, so cheerful, it gave my spirits a much needed boost. 

Okay, my 4th cup of Joe calls. Time to shuck the fun stuff and get down to business. Let's vote, Dems!