Moving to a New Site…….NOW!!

I wasn't expecting to move so suddenly, but on my last post  I wasn't able to include a photo or graphic and, after reading a few other blogs, realized that others were having the same problem.  When there was no response from a help message by this morning (and they are usually very prompt)……I knew they'd moved on to something bigger and better………and I would likely run into more problems as time goes on.  In any case, I hope I've gotten the hang of the new host and will be able to carry on, though I do hate to leave all of my "stuff" here at Blog-City, my blog home since April '06………or have it dissolve into the ether.  I was able to download all of my entries so I have a journal of the last few years, but it was nice to have it all together online.  Oh, well!!

In any case, you can now find me at …… on the link and it should take you right there!  Please be patient with me and, if you have problems, let me know. I'll try to figure it all out as soon as possible. 

Thank you to all who have followed regularly (the faithful few!).  I hope you will do the same on the new site. The easiest thing to do is to "subscribe via email", which you can do in the right column of the new blog.  Once done, you will then receive an email each time there is a new entry, making it easy to keep current.  When you receive an update, I hope it will remind you to let me know what is happening with you…….either by email or by comment (at bottom of each entry). It's always good to hear from you.

So, adios to Blog-City……..see you on blogspot!!

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September Moves On…..


Yes, the Vegas wedding took place and I was settled in to watch.  It was a riot….and Elvis did perform the ceremony.  The bride looked beautiful in a lovely dress and blue suede shoes/sandals!!  The honored guests and mother-of-the-bride (my friend, Linda…escorted by her two sons) bopped in to "All Shook Up", and the bride entered to "Can't Help Falling in Love", all sung by Elvis.  The vows made reference to "love me tender". as well as "hunka, hunka, burning love"…….so you can get the gist of the service.  It was definitely different but everyone looked like they were having a great time……and they will always have a story to tell.  I'm eager to get details from Linda.

Not a lot else has happened this week as I've found it difficult to be very productive.  So, I've gone with the flow of being laid back.  Wednesday night was the meditation class I'd signed up for a couple of weeks ago.  I enjoyed it and came home with full intentions of giving it a try, which I did yesterday……and totally forgot about it today.  Like so many other things, it's a matter of making it part of your routine……and I don't have that part down yet!!

Yesterday, I went to the beach and it was wonderful……only about 7 cars in the parking lot when I arrived and many fewer people on the beach than only a few days earlier.  The ocean was unusually placid, with only very small waves breaking on shore……but it was perfect for just lying back and floating.  The temperature was perfect and it was totally relaxing.

I haven't been so lazy as to miss my morning walk.  Over my months of walking, I've gotten to know a few of the regular dog walkers.  Cleo (a little frou-frou pooch, whose owner is Rhoda) will now wait for me to get to her if she sees me coming in the distance.  Another neighbor walks two large dogs, one of which is a pit bull with a metal muzzle, which was a little unsettling until I learned that he and his sister were found in a dumpster behind Lowes.  They had been so frightened or abused that they wouldn't move.  His owner volunteers at the Humane Association and said it took a long time just to get them to move and then eventually to begin to trust people again.  I think he fell in love with him over the time he worked with him there. He is supposed to be very mellow at home but aggressive to other dogs, thus the muzzle.  He is a beautiful dog but his story is heartbreaking…….why would anyone get an animal if they're going to treat them badly??

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Labor Day Weekend

 Visit from Misty, Caroline & Abbie

Click on photo to go to slide show 

It's Sunday and I'm relaxing after a very nice visit from my second and third cousins, Misty (the Mom), Caroline and Abbie.  They arrived on Friday around 1PM.  I figured we'd go to the beach on Saturday so I didn't have anything in stone for Friday afternoon.  It worked out perfectly as Misty wanted to go to Tanger Outlet Mall for some shopping.  I passed on that and had a few hours to finish dinner details. The girls are very sweet and well behaved, though a study in perpetual motion.  Misty pretty much makes them toe the line so they know how to behave around adults. It was fun to see them again and get to know Misty a bit better. 

On Saturday they all joined me for my walk, which I cut to one lap of the circle.  We ran into several of the regulars with dogs and the girls really enjoyed that.  We then went to Jarvis Creek Park for alligator spotting…….with no luck!  We did see one as we were leaving my development, lying in a bunker on the golf course, but you can see them much closer at Jarvis Creek.  We did see lots of turtles and birds, so all was not lost.  After a bite to eat we spent about 2 hours at the beach.  I think I enjoyed it as much as they did and am going to try to make it back a few times this month before it gets too cool.  You forget how good it feels to take that shower after getting just the right amount of sun…….and being battered around a bit by the salty surf!  I wish I'd done it early, when it was so hot….it would have felt great. 

Last night I took them out to dinner, not to impose too much vegetarian food on them.  Misty then spent about an hour getting them all packed for an early departure.  They were on their way to Florida for a Disney cruise and the girls were really excited.  They had to be out by around 4:30AM so it was an early night for them.  I got up to see them off….and to make sure there were no kitty stowaways (or escapees).  Needless to say, I went straight back to bed but only mizzled around until getting up around 8AM.  Soooo, it's been a slow day.  My walk did happen but it was around 11AM before I could muster the energy.  Even so, it's nice to be able to do it comfortably at that time of day.  Other than that, I've done loads to towels, sheets, dishes, etc…….nothing too strenuous!

My only other event of the day is to attend a wedding in Vegas tonight……online!!  One of my Living Liberally friend's daughter is getting married at a chapel there and we can see the whole thing online as it happens.  In fact, to determine whether or not it really works, I've already viewed one real-time wedding, which was very nicely done.  In some way, there is supposed to be an Elvis impersonator involved so I'm eager to see that!! I'm not sure whether he's actually going to do the wedding or the after celebrations….will let you know.  At the moment I'm staking out the lobby of the chapel (where there is a camera) to see if I can catch the wedding party as they arrive, since I don't have energy to get off the couch anyway!

Updates:  Things went well with my kitties during the visit.  The kids were told that Mama Mia didn't like people or kitties (which is true!) and should be left alonewee.  They didn't want to test that…..and I'm glad.  Chloe was not to be seen at all.  At one point, she was under my chest of drawers, which I didn't think was even possible!  And sweet, sociable Gabby really wanted to be out, but could only handle the attention in small doses.  He would run away and if that didn't work he, too, resorted to hiding when necessary.  It really wasn't too much of a problem as the girls were pretty well occupied with other things.  It worked out well.

I'm happy to report that as of today, my mother is feeling better.  In fact, she undertook cleaning out her bedroom closet today, which is highly unusual.  She sounded pleased with herself and the results, which is what I was hoping would happen once she actually got around to doing it.  I think part of her physical problem may have been that her doctor cut her Advair dosage in hopes of relieving the soreness in her mouth and throat.  By yesterday, she was gasping when we talked.  I asked her to go back to the higher dosage last night, and today she sounded much better.  I'm sure she could not have done what she did today without it…….and I hope she will continue to feel better.  A special thanks to all those who sent words of moral support…… really helped and I do appreciate it.

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September's Here……How Can That Be??

 Perhaps there is hope for us!

The trip to NC went well, going up on Saturday and returning late Monday.  It was a busy time as we got my mother settled in and took care of as many things (groceries, mail, etc.) as we could in the time I was there.  Several if my mother's neighbors, as well as  my cousin and his wife (Bill & Betty) from the Charlotte area, stopped in for visits.  So, it felt like we did a lot and saw a lot of people in a short amount of time. 

I felt I needed to get back in time to prepare for house guests arriving on Friday.  My cousin Dennis's daughter and her two little girls are coming by on their way to a Disney Cruise in Florida.  In the two days I've been home, my mother hasn't sounded at all well……although she did sound a little better when I talked to her at the end of the day today.  She's complaining of her head "feeling funny", being worn out and the neuropathy in her feet and legs being painful……and she sounds very weak.  So, it is likely that I'll be going back the first of next week if she hasn't improved by the time Misty and her girls leave.  Of course, my first thought was that I took her home too soon, even though it was when she wanted to go.  Everything wears her out and I should have been sure she had regained her strength after a week of appointments.  With her health as fragile as it is, it's hard for me to think of her being there alone, yet I can't make her do differently.  It's stressful for me, but it must be frightening for her at times.  Things are rapidly becoming overwhelming and I hope she will realize that she might feel better being here with me….I can be of more help to her, her doctors are here and the medical care is far superior to anything near her.  I hope she can come to that conclusion before anything happens that would put her at the mercy of the system there.

Anyway, Tuesday was spent doing laundry, floors, changing beds, and an overall cleaning.  Today I finished the cleaning and shopped for groceries. Tomorrow I'll cook and recoup.  Misty and her girls will arrive around noon on Friday, so not much time left.

Our hot weather has broken a bit and my morning walks have been wonderful……mid-70s at 9AM as opposed to 82+ at 8:15!!  Fall can be our best weather and I'm hoping that's the case this year.  Speaking of fall, it's hard to believe that we're now into September.  Am hoping the pace of this month will slow a bit as the last three months always fly by……..and we'll be in another year (and soon thereafter a year older!!).  

Rant Revisited: Well, I'll bet there were a lot of grumpy Tea Partiers when they realized they had arrived at Glenn Beck's Mormon prayer meeting….and wouldn't be able to vent as they had hoped!!  My mother gets very basic cable so I only saw what was covered on ABC on Sunday morning, which was enough for me. 


The good news is that combat soldiers are out of Iraq, and I hope that peace will reign and they can form some type of government that will hold them all together. If it does, there will me more reunions like the one here……..and those with spouses, children, parents, and all loved ones. This one is actually of a guy returning from his tour of Afghanistan, but the joy must be the same for them all……at least I hope so.

Direct talks have begun with Israel and the Palestinians…and who knows what will happen there.  At least President Obama has made the move, rather than ignoring the situation as was previously done.  He certainly isn't shying away from gnarly issues and has accomplished more than he's been given credit (ie. health care)….and with very little cooperation.  I do hope he/they can figure out the economy problems before elections.  If the economy is better, voters should more easily recognize the other things that have been accomplished…….I hope!

Ever the optimist!!







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A Busy Week….and then Glenn Beck!


Tuesday, August 24: It's 8:30AM and dark as can be.  I got up at my usual time for my walk, but it has since turned very dark and begun to rain heavily.  As you know, we need the rain and have gotten a good bit over the last week, which will certainly help the greenery.  So, I'm sitting here leisurely enjoying my coffee and contemplating my day…….without the usual rush to get out before the heat sets in. 

This is the week for my mother's appointments. She saw her eye doctor yesterday (went well) and will have other appointments on Wednesday and Friday.  Her blood sugar level has come down since taking the medication, but it is still high and she hasn't changed her eating habits…….so I'd be surprised if it's in a good range. We'll know on Friday.

Other than that, it's been a quiet week.  Sharon and I went out to lunch on Saturday……we always have a good time.  On Sunday, Mama and I went out for a little shopping and yesterday we perused Sam's to stock up on essentials……first time I'd been there in ages, but I was out of everything so it was a good excuse to go.

There was some excitement one night this week  A storm was passing through, with lots of rain, wind and lightening.  Something happened, probably a power serge as all electrical circuits seemed to be okay, and the security system started to beep…loudly!  Since it isn't activated, I had no idea how to shut it off.  I tried everything and finally called the company.  It was then necessary to find the control box, remove the battery and unplug it…..involving ladders, screw drivers, etc.  Try getting to sleep after all that!! 

Friday, August 27:  The week has been busy and gone quickly.  On Wednesday I went to an enjoyable seminar based on the Eat, Pray, Love novel and movie.  I'd hoped we could see the movie beforehand because it had been some time since I read the book, my mother likes Julia Roberts, and I was eager to see Italy and India again (and probably Bali, also)!   However, we didn't make it, but I still enjoyed the seminar and signed up for a one day meditation class in September.  The guy who did the class is also doing other related classes, which I'd like to attend but think I'll be able to make some and not others…..but they're on the calendar.

My mother's appointments went as well as could be expected, with the final doctor (today) increasing her diabetic medication.  Numbers were down but not enough so, hopefully, the increase in meds should do the trick.  With that done, we're now packed and ready to take her back tomorrow.  I'd put it off until early in the week except I have company coming on Friday and need a little "transition" time.

I hadn't heard from Eileen in a while and had become concerned when an email arrived saying that she'd just spent 10 days in the hospital.  She had a serious infection, which was bad enough, but then had negative reactions to some of the meds given in the hospital.  It sounded like quite an ordeal and I was glad to hear that she's home and doing much better.  I'm sending good wishes and thoughts her way.

Rant:  Finally, I'm dismayed and disgusted at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally tomorrow at the Lincoln Memorial, on the 47th anniversary and in the location of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech.  I think these people (Beck and those like him) are vile, poisonous, and divisive, doing grave damage to our country, pandering to be lowest human elements – fear, prejudices, greed, lying/misinformation, and such.  I don't even know what else to say!!  To be honest, I've only learned about it over the last few days as I NEVER watch Fox News, and I guess that's just as well…….not enough time to get too worked up over it.

As my own one person protest, I'm including three items:

  • I Have a Dream speech (click here) , for those of us who prefer to be united and uplifted.  It's only 5 minutes long and well worth it….. it's nice to hear Dr.King's perfect enunciation and lilting Southern accent (at least to me).
  • A Huffington Post article, MLK Was a Social Justice Christian (click here) , which would surely irk the "real" Christians – the Glenn Beck-types – those people who "know" what is right for everyone and have determined that the rest of us, in some way, dishonor our country by not marching in lockstep with them.
  • Finally, What Do I Think of Glenn Beck (click here) , which sums him up better than I can.  I'm glad I'll be on the road tomorrow and not able to see any of it.  I'll watch it on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert!!

Ahhhhh……I feel much better!!


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Wabi Sabi: Making Peace with Imperfection


It's been very busy since my last post, beginning with my trip to NC to pick up my mother.  Getting her packed up and out of the house, with the cats, is always a major challenge, sometimes handled better than others.  This time worked well and we were out in record time with everyone still in good humor.  Taking the trip through the week rather than the weekend was also a good idea, making the drive much easier.

The weekend was spent getting acclimated to the new order and recovering from the trip.  Monday morning was my mother's blood work.  While waiting for her, I ran across a nice, concise article: Wabi Sabi: Making Peace with Imperfection (click here to read), which seemed to sum up where I am in life.  It is a philosophy of Japanese origin which "came to mean an approach to life and art that is in harmony with nature, one that values the handmade and rustic, and recognizes the impermanence of life. It encourages us to be respectful of age, both in things and in ourselves, and it counsels us to be content with what we have rather than always striving for more."  To me that means appreciating what you have and being content with your life, in whatever stage that may be.  It also embodies an acceptance of those things that will never be, or never be again, which is certainly an awareness many people my age begin to experience. In any case, it is something I thought worth sharing and I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.

My mother and I went out for an impromptu breakfast after her blood work and then Peggy, a former work colleague, and I got together for lunch.  While I wasn't really into the meal, due to already having a large breakfast, it was good to catch up with Peggy.  While I was out, Mama resumed taking up her clothes, which I can tell is going to be a long term project!  On Tuesday, she continued her sewing (at the kitchen table) and I cooked for guests arriving on Wednesday. It was a pleasant (though tiring) day with both of us doing our own thing and still being able to share the time and experience.  It proved to be a longer and more full day than anticipated as Rita called around 9:30AM saying that she was on her way to a doctor's appointment out my way and would like to stop in on her way home.  I had "planned" to start cooking early and get it over with, but that was a pleasant change of plans.  She stayed for about an hour and it was great to see her. Now that I'm not working, I hope she will do it more often.  It was well after lunch before I really got into the cooking, which ended around 7PM…….a nice, fulfilling day.

Jim and Anthony, from the DC area, arrived around 3PM on Wednesday and we had a great visit.  They are such easy company, making themselves at home, being easily pleased and appreciative of any kindness.  AND, they seemed to love my food. Jim is vegetarian and it was good to make a vegetarian meal for someone other than myself (we did have a beef stew in case Anthony was not vegetarian).  I made a tried-and-true roasted vegetable enchilada casserole and an "experimental" guinoa salad, as well as a hearty green salad.  Both went back for seconds, which really pleased the cook!  Desserts were a peach crisp and a blueberry tart, also well received.  The conversation was lively and a good time seem to be had by all. They also brought the lovely roses shown above, which was icing on the cake.  As they were on their way to Florida, they left this morning after a leisurely, chatty breakfast……..a nice visit.  I think Mama partied too hard, staying up well past her bedtime.  She got up for breakfast and then headed back to bed, where she is at this moment…..1:40PM!!

Have been meaning to mention my newest gadget, a super-duper pedometer sent to me by Allan.  It keeps track of steps, miles, aerobic steps, calories burned, etc., all of which can be downloaded to my computer.  It seems that the healthy objective is to walk 10,000 steps per day.  I thought "no problem" since I walk 2.5 miles per day……..well, NOT!!  I was grossly disappointed to see that after my walk I had only made between 5000-6000 steps!  Not to worry……I can easily make 11,000-12,000 steps whenever I do my walk.  If I neglect my walk, I fall woefully short.  So, it is a good motivator, though the scales still have not budged!!

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On the Road Again…….

Saturday, August 7: Mother Nature finally provided a little relief.  A thunderstorm swept through in the middle of the night and brought some rain, how much I don't know.  This morning was cooler (high 70s), making my walk much more tolerable.  It was fresh, crisp and a little less humid.  Taking advantage of the slow rise of the temperature, I came home and did my floors as soon as I finished breakfast.  The other part of the motivation was to get it done rather than dread it all day.  Now I can shower up and prepare myself for a night out with the ladies……might even do a manicure and pedicure!!

Tuesday, August 10:  My evening out was fine, though cut a bit short.  Elaine had something wrong with her eye….it kept watering and she looked miserable.  We kept suggesting we cut it short so she could get home and find some relief.  Finally around 9PM she could take it no more and home we went.  

Monday was also a social day.  Plans were already established with Janeen (former colleague from work) for dinner, when Rita emailed and suggested we get together for coffee that afternoon.  Our plans fell through last time and I did want to see her as we had not gotten together since our trips to Chicago (they were there at the same time we were).  So, I did both…….it was a totally enjoyable day as I really like both ladies and it was fun to catch up.

Sunday and today were lazy days with nothing planned.  It seems like the time since taking my mother home has been very busy, with getting the tires and refinancing sorted out.  There was some place to go or someone to meet with almost every day.  So, it's been nice to have a little down time, especially since I'm going to NC to pick her up tomorrow for three appointments over the next two weeks.  She's also bringing more clothes to alter, so we'll be kept busy.  She seems to be pretty disgruntled lately so, if that continues,  I'll be looking for any diversion!!  She's sounding overwhelmed by all that needs to be done around her house.  There is a long list of things, most of which are too much for her to tackle and things I have no clue about either.  As it is, on this trip up I'm already scheduled to sort her phone/lifeline system, her vacuum cleaner and something else!!  I'm not really sure what she expects me to do…….I've offered to help her start going through closets, sorting things out, reorganizing, etc. – but she isn't interested in that!!   I really wish she would sell the house……and I guess that means move in with me, as I know she won't consider an assisted living facility.  It's difficult to be of help to her from this distance and I keep resisting the suggestions that I come up long term to help her.  In an effort to "plant some seeds", I've written two of her doctor's and asked if they will initiate a conversation with her about the drawbacks and dangers of living on her own.  She pays no attention to me, but I'm hoping if they suggest she make some decisions while there are still viable options, that she will begin to face reality.  I'm concerned that she's going to stay there until she has another fall or something else happens that will restrict her to a nursing home forever, which is not what either of us wants.  Anyway, we are unable to discuss it rationally or constructively, so I'm hoping the doctors might introduce it in a way that will allow us to have a reasonable conversation…….ever the optimist!!  I know it isn't easy for her and I wish (for both of us) that there was an easy answer, but I certainly can't see it.

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