Friday, February 27, 2015
"Mom? Why do you always wear dresses? I mean like every day?"
"I have a couple of pairs of emergency jeans."
"Right, but you almost never wear those. Don't you have any other pants?"
"Why not? It's weird."
"Dresses are easy. You only have to put on one thing instead of finding a bunch of things that match. And they're pretty."
"So what I'm hearing is, you're lazy?"
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Guys. This is me. In a magazine. What? I know. My story about switching over to raw-food-vegan eating is in this month's issue of Prevention Magazine. I won't tell you how long it took for the hair and makeup people to make me look "natural." My kitchen? It will never be this clean again. I had a great time and the Prevention people were all super nice. Most importantly, I get to share that turning around your health by changing what you put in your face is not only possible, it's not that hard.
Thanks for checking it out. Now go have a carrot.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
After her husband passed away, I was lucky enough to inherit my neighbor, Miss Trudy. An elderly lady with no relatives, Miss Trudy now lived on her own, scooting around on crutches through her Craftsman bungalow. She had bad knees that would sometimes give out and couldn’t support her weight going up and down stairs. When she left the house, it had to be in a wheelchair.
It had been years since Miss Trudy could drive, so I volunteered to take her to her appointments. Once a week or so, I would let myself in to the back door of her place and call out her name until she answered back. I would help her get dressed, and check to make sure she had all of her essentials tucked into one of the Christmas gift bags she liked to use as a purse.
Miss Trudy would walk slowly down the backdoor ramp to my station wagon sitting in her driveway. I got very good at heaving her wheelchair into the back of the car and slamming the rear door down quickly before the chair could slip back out. She would ease into the passenger seat, and off we’d go, as she said, “like a turd of herdles.”
Her mind was still sharp. A former scientist, she was a quick thinker. Her brain was being betrayed by her broken down body and myriad medical issues. We drove all over the valley going to doctor’s appointments and shopping missions and we talked. Even after knowing Miss Trudy for a couple of years she would still surprise me with sentences that started with, “Back when I lived in Alaska…” or “That time I was at a conference in Helsinki…” Before she met her husband, she had purchased the house she still lived in. A young, unmarried woman buying a house on her own in the 1960s was out of the norm, but she was special like that.
She watched General Hospital every day in her big chair. She gave me updates about the goings on of the characters of Port Charles. “That guy is the other fella’s boyfriend. They’re having a big discussion about whether or not to have a threesome.”
She spent holidays at our place as an honorary member of the family. We eventually moved off of Miss Trudy’s street, a few blocks away to a new house, but we kept up our routines as she became less and less mobile. She had the papers drawn up to make me her durable power of attorney for health care.
Late one night our phone rang. It was Miss Trudy. Her knees had both given out and she had fallen. She had crawled to the phone to call us. We called 911 and went to her house. She had fallen backward and hit her head. When the guys from the fire department showed up, she complained about what bad timing it was that she was looking like such a mess with all of the cute men in her house.
I rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital. She was lucky to have no serious injuries but if she went home, it would just be a matter of time before she fell again and the narrow hallways in her hundred-year-old home would not accommodate a wheelchair. She was sent to a rehab facility for observation and physical therapy. She was now too nervous to walk on her own with the crutches or a walker. She stayed in bed all day except when the PT took her down the hall to work with small hand weights.
Miss Trudy hated the rehab. She developed bed sores and a staph infection. She would not be allowed to leave until she had healed. Her mind started slipping. Sometimes I would ask her a question and she would just repeat whatever had just been said on the TV. She would call in the middle of the night and ask me to take her home. She stopped eating. I explained to her that if she didn’t start eating, we would think she was giving up. She complained of having nowhere to go and nothing to look forward to. I was worried about how many days she had left.
I started touring assisted living facilities. I fell in love with the first one I saw. It had music playing and a dog walking around. There were high school kids there playing cards with some of the residents. It was bright and didn’t have “that smell.” I liked the idea that if she moved here, she wouldn’t have to be alone all the time anymore. She could have more company than me and General Hospital.
Staying in the rehab, she was becoming frail. She barely spoke above a whisper. I told her about the place I had found for her. I explained about the dog and the nice gardens, the games and the movie nights. She knew she couldn’t go home, but she was wary about moving anywhere else. I urged the rehab to release her as soon as possible.
At last, she had healed enough to leave. We had moved some of her things from the house into her apartment, including her big chair. She required a medical transport to bring her to her new home. As she was wheeled into the lobby, she looked around taking it all in. They brought her up the elevator to her room, a plaque with her name engraved on it was already on the door. With the help of two medical assistants she eased into the big chair. “Well all right,” she whispered to me, “tell me again about the gardens.”
This post is a part of 1,000 Speak for Compassion, Speaking for Good on February 20, 2015
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Today I will do my civic duty. I report to the courthouse at 8:00am to spend the day being "Juror 1967." I will come prepared with a book, a computer, a cell phone, and an enormous coffee. I will dress comfortably and keep my expectations low. It actually might not be so bad to sit in a room and be forced to sit still. By that I mean, it will be great to sit in a room and be forced to sit still. I will report back with anything interesting that is not classified information.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
As I understand it, Lent, the period between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday, is a time of spiritual renewal. This renewal is traditionally practiced by making a new commitment in the areas of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.
I've decided that this year, my fasting will be in the area of internet use. I don't mean email and computer writing work, I mean reading click bait "articles" with titles like, "Which Celebrities Have a Twin?" and "Iggy Azalea's Favorite Sandwich Recipe." I have a trunk-load of books waiting to be read, and a sink full of breakfast dishes waiting for me to wash and I am reading "14 Things You Didn't Know About Selena Gomez." I am guilty of wasting chunks of my life.
I like social media. I get my news from the internet. I'm not cutting it out, but rather carefully curating my hours. I'm fasting from the internet junk food. I trust you guys will tell me if I'm missing out on something important, like if Bono breaks his other arm or something.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
"Look, Mom. This thing is faster than you can even see. When I fling it like this it's invisible to the human eye. The human eye, Mom. See you can't even see it. You're a human and like you can't see it right? You can try and throw it, Mom but it only becomes invisible if you throw it real good. Watch me. Watch me, Mom."
Monday, February 16, 2015
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
"Did you have any dreams last night, Mom?"
"Yeah. I had one where I was in Japan and I was trying to get a plane ticket home but I was wearing roller skates and I kept falling down."
"Why didn't you just take the skates off?'
"That would have been a smart thing to do. I wish I could have changed that."
"Yeah, you know when I'm dreaming something, Mom? I just go with the flow."
Labels: sleep tight
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
I have been talking about taking piano lessons for the past five years since we inherited our piano. Finally, last week, I had a piano lesson for the first time since I was twelve. I found out that I kind of remember-ish how to read music. I sort of remember-ish how to do scales.
The teacher has me working out of a "Returning to the Piano" book. It is kind of a refresher that ramps you up slowly from the easy stuff to the harder stuff. I ordered some other books too. I want to learn to play my favorite song, Alison by Elvis Costello. I looked at it today. It might take awhile to nail this one. It has a lot of sharps. I kind of remember-ish sharps.
Labels: The Happy
Monday, February 2, 2015
"Mom? Who do you think is the most dangerous man in the world?"
"Wow. I have to think about that one. Why? Who do you think is the most dangerous man in the world?"
"Why is that?"
"Because I can do this." Does a kick in the air and throws himself over the back of the couch.
"That is impressive."
"Yeah. And dangerous... I do it even better when I'm not sick."