Monday, May 31, 2010

OHIO, CEMETERIES, FOREST, GAS, CHOPS

I went to southern Ohio today with my mother and sister. We visited various cemeteries, found a life-sized Jesus, got lost in a forest, almost ran out of gas, played with my twin grand babies, and returned home. I'm exhausted. I was going to tell you a funny story about how I took a picture of myself and the life-sized Jesus with me giving a thumbs-up signal and then when we were in the Wayne National Forest, discovered that we were running on empty and me, feeling guilty that I took the picture in the first place, deleted it as I prayed that we could make it to a gas station before running out of gas completely and being stranded in the forest with our 90-year-old mother. However my son thought this was so ridiculous, that he has totally busted my chops about it. So...I decided not to tell you about it.

:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

LOVE, GRIEF, KIDS, FOREVER...

Got into town this evening. Found all to be well. Spent some time with my sister and mother, which was appropriate. It's a bittersweet entrance. My daughter-in-law's father passed away. His funeral is tomorrow. That's the third father in about a year and half that my children and their spouses have buried and helped each other grieve through. Watching someone else grieve can open up one's own wounds a bit, especially if they are still relatively fresh. As a mother, I am pleased to watch my children and children-in-law rally around their own to comfort and uplift.

I say Bravo and Cheers to the next generation! Take the torch and run with it. I stand all amazed.

Holly...you are loved...and so is your father...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

MIGRAINES, TOES, SATURDAYS

This morning, very early in the morning, I awoke with a raging, thumper of a headache. As I fumbled out of bed to get the migraine medication, I hit my foot and broke my pinky toe. Let me repeat that. I broke my toe as I was getting medicine for a migraine.

Saturday is a special day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WAREHOUSE, DEATH THREATS, TINK, KEYS

I had to go to Homedepotlowes, or some gigantic warehouse of weird tools, to get a copy of a key made. I truly loathe going in those places. They're a little creepy. I'm totally out of my comfort zone. It smells funny. Dozens and dozens of people all know things that I don't and there are things I'll never relate to. I don't know or understand the differences in toilets. Although, the older I get, the higher I like them. That's about how far I wish to take it. The whole experience is quite discomfiting.

Anyway, the first blue vested individual I saw, I waved at frantically and asked (while waving my 8 lb key chain around with Daffy Duck on it...mature, right?), "S'cuse me....s'cuse me, sir?....SIR?....yes. Where can I copy one of these...AND NATURALLY, AT THAT POINT I COULDN'T RETRIEVE THE WORD FOR "KEY". So...there I was, standing in the doorway of Homedepotlowes waving Daffy around, pointing at shiny, dangling things, with a deer-in-the-headlight-look and I may have even inadvertently spit at this point. He stares at me (open mouthed) and points toward "Hardware". That's a scary name. It sounds like chain mail or something equally medieval.

Anyway, I stand at the key making desk and there is a button to push for service. I push the button and immediately hear, "Associate needed at hardware counter". Great. So far, reasonably well. Two seconds pass. I hear, "Would an associate please report to the hardware counter". Yikes. No foolin' around here. Two second later, "Associate needed immediately at hardware counter!". Okay.... Two seconds, "There is an idiot standing at the hardware counter. Fix it!" Did I imagine that? Two seconds,"Blood will run if the bonehead at the hardware counter continues standing there any longer". Two seconds, "Hide your wives and children because if you know what's good for them, you'll get your arse to the hardware counter!"

That's when a chirpy, friendly salesperson showed up, pressed the button, and helped me make my Tinkerbell house key.

I told you those places were creepy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GANZFELD EFFECT, PING PONG BALLS, TIME OFF, TROUBLE

I attempted to initiate something called a "ganzfeld effect" yesterday. What it does essentially is block out incoming sensory signals to the brain and the brain is left to "fill in the gaps" with whatever it can. It almost induces a kind of waking dream state. The brain's encephalogram (EEG, or electrical recording of its activity) changes during this so-called "effect".

So, to do this, I followed the directions. Yes. There are directions for the do-it-yourselfers out there like moi. I halved ping pong balls and put them over my eyes to eliminate all vision. The point is to keep the eyes open and only see white. Much like the explorers in the North Pole who got lost and experienced snow blindness or "white outs". They had no vision input, so their vision cortex filled in the gaps. I'm so intrigued by this idea. It is what is experienced by some people with macular degeneration. Anyway, I placed the halved ping pong balls on my eyes. Bye bye visual stimuli.

Next, I put on my ear phones and turned up the volume so I couldn't hear anything else. The doors and windows were shut and I separated the dogs so there wouldn't be any barking. The sound I was hearing was recorded rainfall, which, when played loudly, sounds like static...lots and lots of static.

This next point is where I may have screwed up. I should have laid down on the bed with the temperature at the exact same as my skin temp. I didn't. I continued to rock in my chair. But, given my neural wiring, I chose to rock because that's how I numb-out. There are some out there who may understand that. What laying quiet does for some people, rocking does for me. I'm wired differently.

Anyway, the "rain" is pre-recorded to last for 30 minutes. Perfect. I sat there, seeing white, hearing nothing but "static" for 30 minutes. It was very interesting. I couldn't do it for more than 20 minutes, however. That's about how long I lasted. It's very challenging to quiet one's mind. Interesting, stupid and weird things popped up. I've learned and practiced transcendental meditation (TM) long enough to know that those thoughts are significant but they need to just float away. But they were odd! Snippets of theme songs, familiar faces, a lingering and powerful dream, etc. Also, towards the end of the 20 minutes, I needed to blink to make sure my eyes were open, which is an odd experience.

Anyway, I'm going to try it again today. Oh yea...time off for me can be had for better or worse. I've discovered the empiricist side of myself...and the jury's out on if that's a good thing or not...

Further updates forthcoming...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

ME AND MY SISTER-GO FISH!

This is an actual conversation I had over the phone with my sister in Ohio.

STEPHANIE: Two of my fish died. *heavy sigh*

ME: Nope. That's not supposed to happen.

STEPHANIE: I know. They were beautiful.

ME: They're not supposed to die.

STEPHANIE: I know! I work really hard at my aquarium.

ME: I KNOW! I've seen it. It's beautiful.

STEPHANIE: I found them floating this morning.

ME: NO! They can get sick, but they can't die. They're never supposed to die.

STEPHANIE: What?

ME: I mean it. If you forget to feed them, the worst that can happen is that they stop growing OR get sick. They are NOT supposed to die. If you found dead, floating fish, you need to call support and have them replace them right away. That is bull crap!!!

STEPHANIE: *silence...then* What the eff is wrong with you!?! I am talking about the aquarium in my living room, Debbie. I'm in the real world now. Are you talking about Fishville? Step away from your computer! Would you get a life!!!

ME: ----- i have a life. Your fish are stupid anyway.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

STATUE OF LIBERTY, DMV, BAD HAIR

I think we all pretty much know the Statue of Liberty's inscription. It's the poem by Emma Lazarus. It reads:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

If you add, "bad hair", then everyone could be found at the DMV today.

It's 3 hours of my life I'll never get back.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CAREGIVERS-YOU ARE LOVED-LOVE YOURSELVES

I'm doing a literature review on caregiver burden, particularly caregivers of dementia patients. They have a tough time of it. They typically have to say goodbye to their loved ones in degrees. It's difficult, to say the least. Here's the deal. If you have to become a caregiver, here are some bullet points:

* Do NOT allow yourself to become socially isolated. That's a huge NO NO. Nothing but trouble comes from this. You can get high blood pressure and it can lead to other bad things. Get out or have people over who will understand. MINGLE!!! Stay in touch with the world and have something to contribute to conversations.

*Tell your physician that your are a caregiver of a dementia patient (or a cancer patient-about the same thing in terms of what the research is saying). If they are worth their salt, they will know to watch for certain depressive symptoms and even perform certain blood work to assess your immune function. If they don't, get a new physician.

*There are lots of support groups out there. Get into one. For real. What you are experiencing is, tragically, similar to what others are experiencing. You are not alone.

*Find a spiritual connection or a house of faith to source comfort from. Go to church, or temple, or mosque. GO GO GO. Connect with your spiritual essence.

*Meditate/pray each day.

Read the "Caregivers' Bill of Rights" listed below everyday. And please know that you are loved and treasured beyond measure.

by Jo Horne
Author of Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One

I have the right:
To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will enable me to take better care of my loved one.

I have the right:
To seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.

I have the right:
To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things for myself.

I have the right:
To get angry, be depressed and express other difficult emotions occasionally.

I have the right:
To reject any attempt by my loved one (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger or depression.

I have the right:
To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance from my loved one for as long as I offer these qualities in return.

I have the right:
To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it sometimes takes to meet the needs of my loved one.

I have the right:
To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.

I have the right:
To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"YOU SAY MORE THAN YOU KNOW"...my new book...YAY

My new book arrived today. I'll have to take it to Ohio because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Eliot will want to read it so we can discuss it. And then, he'll perform off-the-cuff skits about it...right there, right then, he'll fall head-on into some obtuse discussion of the book, which will tangent off into the theatre of the weird....gotta love Eli....

The book is entitled, "You Say More Than You Think" by Janine Driver. She was a federal agent for many years with the ATF and learned (nay, was GIFTED in) *hehe* reading peoples' nonverbals. She is the founder and president of the Body Language Institute in Washington D.C. I saw her interviewed on a show and she was pretty interesting. So I bought her book. I'm that easy. Please, if I'm ever published, let me find thousands of "me's" out there....I'll sell off the shelf in no time.

This isn't a "he did *this* so he must mean *that*" type of book. Its subtitle is, "A 7-Day Plan For Using the New Body Language To Get What You Want". Now...I don't want anything in particular, except to be done with this literature review, but I do want to understand what she knows....cause I want to know EVERYTHING!!! Because when I grow up, I want to DO EVERYTHING.

okay...I'm going back to my paper now...but don't try to get anything over on me...cause I'll KNOW....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

RED VELVET CAKE, MY NEIGHBORS, MY SON, DOGS & MISSIONARIES

End of the week observations:

Why is red velvet cake so good? Why!!! It's a reddish chocolate cake with white cream cheese icing. It's celestial in flavor. And I'm now hooked. Help me.

My son, Eli, left me a message about how he was spending his lunch hour in a book store and he found a book that reminded him of me. He noted the author and the title of the book and called me to tell me what it is. He said, "It's right up your alley". He left this message on my voice mail. I considered this a great gift. Here was my son, in the middle of his busy day, thinking of me and what books would appeal to me. That's like a mother's day and Christmas gift all rolled into one. He doesn't even have to purchase it...just thinking that way is enough...

I know several of my neighbors now and it's a good feeling. It motivates me to get extra food and water in the event of a catastrophe, but that's cool. At least we're making friends.

My dogs are getting cuter and cuter. The baby girl pup sits and listens to me by cocking her head from side to side, like she's trying to understand. Buddha just stares straight ahead. They sit very close together when they're hoping to score from food from the kitchen and occasionally Tink, the little girl, will reach over and gift Buddha a peck on the side of the face. Yea...it's pretty cute.

One of our missionaries here looks like Alexander (my grandson) all grown up and I must appear creepy because I can't stop staring at him and smiling at him all the time. Must. Get. A. Grip.

That's all this weekend....

Friday, May 14, 2010

DATE NIGHT: THE MOVIE AND THE ACTUAL DATE (GOTTA LOVE REDUNDANCY SOMETIMES)

So, tonight the hubs is taking me out. I get to choose the restaurant and the movie. This is my belated Mother's Day gift. WOO HOO.

Last weekend we couldn't do it on Saturday evening and on Sunday, we had the missionaries over to call THEIR moms, which was delightful, by the way.

So...I'm thinking the movie will be "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. And the restaurant will be Lucille's, which is a southern BBQ place with good, comfort foods on their menu. Emmy recommended it. They have old-fashioned banana pudding. Puhleese....

They also have cheesy grits. Hello!!! There's also home-style meatloaf (can't wait for THAT!), bread pudding, southern-fried chicken (ooo ooo, I can hear the cholesterol rising!), fried green tomatoes, and iron skillet BBQ beans.

In other news, Buddha has made an impressive recovery. I "wanded" him. Yes. I'm now carrying a "wand". I'm studying vibrational and energy medicine and this thing is IMPRESSIVE!!!! In 12 hours, Buddha's skin eruptions were vanished (they had been there for weeks!). His legs are working great-he runs up and down steps. So...another entry for that little dealy...

Have a great Friday and Saturday nite!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

QUAKES, CLOUDS, CALIFORNIA

There is a site, quakeprediction.com, that maintains that a big one (somewhere between 7.2 and 8.2, averaging 7.7) is due anytime in southern California before May 16th. Today, the site posted pics of "earthquake clouds" over L.A. I drove to Anaheim today and it was a remarkably clear day for SoCal, so the clouds were quite pretty.

It's odd. People speak about "earthquake weather". I worked with a girl for years who, when we would walk, would look around occasionally and say, "Yea, this is earthquake weather today" and mean every word of it. It was typically more humid than normal (this was in the desert) with a lot of heat coming off the ground.

Well...we'll see. In the event of "the big one", I'll be contacting Eli in Ohio to let him know how we are. He'll be responsible for disseminating information to the rest of the family...'cause he has nothing else to do OR worry about. Eli...you're welcome....
The photo above is a pic of the "earthquake clouds" that occurred 2 days before the 6.8 earthquake in China. Hmmmmmmm

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ERMA, TOOTHPASTE, BUBBY, GARCIA

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread
that bound us all together. -- Erma Bombeck
A friend shared this on Facebook. Isn't it perfect? I miss Erma. I treasure those years we all passed each other in the hallways, shared jokes at the dinner table, separated the two that were fighting-either the boys or the girls (sometimes they would mix it up, but not too often), singing together in the car, doing the "Bubby" dance, quoting movie lines, rejoicing in each other's talents, and soothing each other's defeats.

And I get to watch it all happen again as my kids build their own. Mr. Garcia was pretty correct. "What a long, strange trip it's been". I would add funny and tender.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A MIDLICK DIED

Midlick.

I know. It sounds like something from Middle Earth. Or perhaps a cartoon character. Maybe an herb. Whatever it MAY sound like, it sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

A Midlick, is one of a number of children from the Midlick family that my bro and I played with during our childhood in Ohio. They were mostly boys (one pretty girl sneaked in there) and their names all started with the same initial, so when we begin to call their names, starting with the oldest, it became a kind of trance-inducing mantra. "JIM-mee, JON-nee, JO-ee, JEF-fee" over and over. One of them would show up. Or any combination. They were fun too. They could run fast, jump high, take dares, go anywhere, and eat anything. They were the bravest people we ever met. And there were so many of them. They were all very very close in age. I think they were all, I don't know, maybe 20 minutes apart...age wise.

Mom called and one of them had died. Joey. My personal favorite. He was my favorite because 1. He looked exactly like Danny Kaye, whom I adored, and 2. He had no problem just hanging out and not doing hideously physical things. He was willing to just walk and talk and ponder and this was important to a fat kid like me who got winded stepping over paper money. He was just so fun! He smiled very very easily. This is a trait he continued through adulthood, because his smile is mentioned in his obituary.

Joey was a Midlick.

Midlick (noun): A friend. One who smiles easily and who is willing to ponder important truths with another.

Friday, May 7, 2010

MOTHERS, WISDOM-MEMORIZE

From my friend, Nancy's, blog...this is pure wisdom...

"she taught you right from wrong. she brought you soup when you were sick. she kissed it and made it better. she read you your favorite bedtime story - 7,000 times. she wore the macaroni necklace you made. she hugged you when you cried, she hugged you when you laughed. she hugged you.

it's that time of year - mother's day - and the radio and t.v. ads are out in full force, but you know what? none of them ever say she climbed the corporate ladder.

wonder why not."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

PLANES, PEARLS AND FARM EQUIPMENT

I just got off the phone with my mother (age 90) and learned the most hysterical fact about her. I have no idea how THIS golden nugget escaped attention all these years, but we laughed so hard together, her throat started aching and we were both coughing. Good times...

Apparently, during her marriage to "Stevie" (before my Dad), who was a pilot, they had a plane. On occasion, Stevie would take Mom flying over southern Ohio on the weekends. Nice...

Anyway, one afternoon, he flew her over her brother, Jim McCoy's, spread. Mother wanted her JimmieBoy to know that it was HER in that plane over their property so she did the only thing a clear-thinking woman could do. She threw her necklace, a double strand of pearls, out of the plane and onto his property!!! HER PEARLS!!!!

It turns out that Jim never discovered the pearls or that Mom and Stevie were the obnoxious sounding, low-flying airplane in the sky that afternoon.

Mother and I tried to figure out what happened to the pearls. She surmised that they probably landed in a nearby corn field, probably dangling from a stalk of corn, and "some old farmer walking through his field found them". He would have little to no explanation on why pearls were hanging from his corn, with no evidence of anyone having been there. He would hang the pearls on the steering column in his truck or tractor and his wife would find them there. She would accusingly ask him where he got those dangblasted pearls that are in his dangblasted truck. He would say, "I found them in the corn field, honey". Of course, she would not believe him...who would? And then, after the scandal of her leaving him and the ensuing divorce, the other farmers would mockingly ask him if he was planting another crop of pearl corn....

Ahhhhh....my mom....she continues to surprise me.....especially when I thought I knew EVERYTHING about her!

Wendy, Wendy, Wendy....


Monday, May 3, 2010

NOTARIES, BAIT, "BIG HOUSE", UNICORNS.

I had to use a notary today. A notary is, in these parts anyway, a rare and mystical creature. You have to hide for many hours using special "notary bait". Notary bait involves going to four different locations to find the elusive minx called a notary, a full tank of gas, sitting in a hot car with the sun beating down on you, an obligatory trip to a book store to kill some time, which in turn costs you more money, and finally breaking down and eating some lunch in your car, which you purchased through a drive-thru because you didn't want to risk going home where's it cool and comfy and you would lose your motivation to come BACK OUT IN THE HEAT. Anyway, this bait lures the notaries out so you can catch them. Once you have caught them, by notary-mythic-legendary-law, they must perform your notary task, and then you have to let them go. You can't keep a notary. Even if you promise to feed them and care for them, you must always let them go. If you don't let them go, and you try to force them to stay with you forever and ever, you can do what's called, "hard time" in the "big house". No one ever has fun there. And if you DO have fun there, you're what's considered a, "psychopath"...or else a prison guard.

There you go kids. That concludes this chapter of MooMoo's big day in the Forest of Notary Return. And no...they don't fart glitter. You're confusing them with unicorns.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

MIDDLE EARTH, PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE, RED NAILS

Last night I dreamt I was breastfeeding a baby. Yea...I know, right? Why, you may ask, am I spelling "dreamt" like I live in Middle Earth. The answer, I kinda live in Middle Earth.

As I was driving back from La Jolla on Saturday afternoon, the vistas that arose as I drove up the 15 were ridiculously pretty. It occurred to me that they resembled something out of the Hobbit movies. I thought, "Cryin' out loud, I live outside Middle Earth". Cool. Let's just hope I don't get those feet. Yeesh...

Oh, and the baby thing? Beats me.

____________________________________________________

I attend church with a lady who is so passive-aggressive, she actually makes me laugh. She's quite attractive and appears to be well liked, especially by the youth. I don't understand her hostility towards me. I hope she never knows how much I'm NOT bothered by her, but instead, am rather intrigued by her comments. She says them so only I hear (which is nice of her) and she does this crazy, up and down thing with her eyes when she says something. It's hysterical. Today, her comment/insult was particularly entertaining. Let me set up the picture. I was wearing a dress with an empire waist (gray) with little studs built into the neck line), a raspberry silk skirt with a balloon hem, black cardigan, and black short leggings underneath. I was also wearing a pair of strappy sandals. We walked into Relief Society (the women's group) and she points to me in a vague up and down motion and says, "How do you just DO that". I assumed she meant my clothes. So I just smiled at her and stayed silent (my favorite response) and waited for what was next. Sure enough, she elucidated me with the following, "Those nails. How do you get away with wearing that color? I could never do that!" I was wearing bright red nail polish. Really. That was my crime du jour. I guess the Whore of Babylon wasn't using that particular polish the day I happened upon it and chose it at the salon. Anyway, she looked at me for an explanation and I just smiled and said, "I just do it, that's all". This is my mother's standard response to the countless times she has been asked that same question regarding (typically), her jewelry, "How do you get away with that"? So...I suppose now it's mine, though for what, I'm not certain-goodness knows it not for jewelry...

_________________________________________________



All right, that's all I've got. Not much, I know. But Sundays are a day of rest and therefore...passive aggressive was the dramatic high point of the day, as well as the comedic. Ciao!