Friday, March 30, 2007

crackheads in the garden

After yesterday's rose post, a couple of folks asked why there have been crackheads with weedeaters in the garden. It made me laugh out loud, because why would a reasonably sane couple allow crackheads with power tools access to the beloved garden they've worked on for 15 years?

The fault lies in this perpetually soft heart. If I manage to toughen up for a minute and deny one at the front door, Mike scurries out the back and runs him down, offering a day's work, just to help, you know. As far as how they find us, one of the guys who works for me insists there's some kind of a transmitter hidden on the house and the shop luring them in. We do seem to get more than our share.

So that's why: they come to the door looking for work, always with a desperate story, always with the promise that they learned gardening at grandma's knee, can tell a rose from a weed, a stand of lilies from the poke that runs rampant in the spring, can see the red plastic tape delineating things to be saved from things to be whacked. I have lost countless roses, that irreplaceable stand of pink tiger lilies, peonies, viburnum, great big old lavender and rosemary plants, a rose of sharon and three clematis.

Each year I swear never again. The last crackhead of the last year cut a huge living branch off the ailing river birch, leaving the dried out dead branch I wanted removed still dangerously looming overhead. Not this year, absolutely not, and that's the story. Gotta run, someone's knocking at the front door.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

addicted

I can't stay away. I fight it, give in, drag myself away. It's on my mind all the time, can't get it out of my head, even dream about it. When I wake up, I resolve to leave it alone, but I get my coffee and hit it again. Can't. Quit. Help!

Here it is, my new drug: SkyAuction.com. But be careful! Cruises for $1, China for $300. Of course there's a service fee, but hell, a week in Tahiti for $1 + $195? I'll take it. My lust is for those "Auctions Closing Soon." It's like crack for travelers. I can't resist. This is not a paid announcement, it's the desperate raving of one who's hopelessly out of control.

just when it seems

the suspicions of the last 5-6 years have been a paranoid dream, more info about the real purpose for replacing US Attorneys from a DOJ insider. The message as I am hearing it? The renegade thugs and criminals currently occupying the offices of the US government want to control the outcome of elections to the point that the American people have no voice.

first rose

of the year, the lusciously named Souvenir de la Malmaison. It's covering my bedroom window and full of blooms. Intertwines with the fetching Jaune d'Esprez, a gorgeous yellow that never quite opens fully for some reason. Nevertheless, he smells divine and looks luscious with the French beauty. This is the first really good year for this lovely pink confection; she's taken a long time to get established, but is now running wild with canes 10' long.

Sadly, she's running wild over the tragic remnants of a 10 year stand of pink tiger lilies, whacked down by a crackhead with a weedeater. Same crackhead murdered my cutting of a glorious old red rose sent to me by a Louisiana woman. The combination would have been magnificent. Fucking crackheads.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

artificially sweet

Sugar's out for me, it's my heroin, my cocaine. So how to sweeten the occasional thing which needs sweetening? Sweet-N-Low, besides having a stupid name (hate that "N" in the middle) is nasty.

Equal sweetens fine for cold things, but it's got a scary reputation and affected me badly when I first used it (dizziness, headaches). Here's a scary, really paranoid rant on aspartame.

So then there's Splenda, that modified backward sugar which the body can't absorb. That alone is a little frightening. Here's another paranoid rant on sucralose.

What do you use, if anything? If you're opposed to the artificials, why? Do worries about low calorie eating today override concern about alzheimers or brain tumors down the road? Are there any safe alternatives?

everything you ever wanted to know

about why your food (and mine) never looks like the photos in the magazine. Sigh. A talented food photographer tells all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

mysterious creepy things


The two tiny sprigs of stolen ivy I planted on the north side of the house grew into an immense and frightening mass of green in only five years. Light from the north windows vanished and the center of the house was always gloomy. There are roses also growing on that north side, and they were struggling, strangled as they were by the thuggish, clinging ivy.

It didn't even quit, this monstrous stuff, when it reached the top of the chimney. Part headed west and slithered into the attic vent where the leafless albino vines wrapped around the rafters, burrowed beneath the insulation. Most of the remainder went airborne, waving about in mid-air like Medusa's snakes, while a single less adventurous branch headed east to mount an attack on the golden honeylocust. I swear I could hear it sometimes at night, whispering along the bricks.

I hate thuggish things, plants that know no boundaries, respect nothing, advance with too much vigor, pushing aside less vital, more delicate green things. We got out the ladders, rakes, clippers, gloves, saws. I tucked my fear of heights in my back pocket and crept up the ladder to rip the tendrils from the brick, yank it out of the attic, off the poor, ailing honeylocust.


A massive wall of ivy was the last to come down. It was all in one piece and when we succeeded in loosening its grip on the chimney it came down to reveal (of course) still more vines and also something horrid, something nesty, creepy, filled with fuzz and gloves.

Whatever the hell lived here, it stole all of my garden gloves and tucked them into this nest thing, this huge nest thing stuffed about 10' up from the ground in the bend of the chimney. I counted 12 pair of those brown wear-them-out, throw-them-away garden gloves. I remembered that last year I'd lost a package of them. Apparently not. Some kind of thief, some creature. Don't think it's birds. Do you think it could be rats? Squirrels? Don't like it. Creepy. Gone now, but still creepy, because now it's homeless.

19 more days

Getting away is critical to recovery from sugar addiction, dontcha think? Nineteen more days before this. Yay.

Monday, March 26, 2007

@#%&&*(@#


This is so maddening.. My grade school and junior high years were deeply affected by watching the violent images of the Vietnam War on the 6:00 news. It disgusts me that we are banned from seeing the bodies of US soldiers coming home from the Middle East. Avoiding those images makes it easier to deny the real impact of this faraway war on folks just like us. And from Time we get why US schools should teach the Bible while the rest of the world gets a cover related to the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Insane.

health care?

Democratic presidential candidates discussed health care this weekend. Although I've read elsewhere that John Edwards had a seemingly workable plan, Taylor Marsh believes Hillary Clinton nailed it. Consensus is that Barack Obama, who admitted to being unprepared, should have been paying attention to this issue.

Do you have health care? Need it? We pay $720 a month, down from $798 last year. It was the need for health care that kept me working in child welfare long after my business had really taken off. There was no way to get my ailing husband insured, ever, by anyone, and +100 pounds, I'd have had a hell of a time getting insurance myself. Once I found out I could pay it myself as a vested employee, it took five joyful minutes to write up my letter of resignation.

Is this an issue for you? Have you ever been denied? cancelled? faced massive unexpected medical bills while uninsured? I think it's terribly important to provide better access to health care for everyone, but my thoughts on this could be skewed by my husband's serious illnesses. What do you think?

deaf betty shakes it off after her bath

I love this dog. Both of them, madly, but this little deaf girl. Oh my.




And Part II, post bath, wherein I continue to speak to the deaf dog. Crazy. I'm like a brand new mom only it's not wearing off.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

flowers

Lilacs on the kitchen counter.


Tulips in the entryway.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

death on pittsburg

Please note: this post includes a graphic description of child abuse in paragraphs 2-4.

Several years ago when I was still doing child abuse investigations and Mike was trying to die on me, I arrived home late after a particularly difficult day spent watching a tortured baby succumb to her injuries.

She was a tiny, ethereal thing only four months old, an amalgam of palest cream and red and deep purple, the combination of her fair and perfect skin and her hideous injuries. She lay in the pediatric ICU absolutely still, incapable of movement as the result of a fractured skull and a massive intracranial bleed. The unrelenting pressure in her head would have been enough to kill her, but she had a ruptured liver and fractures, a battered doll-sized human being.

She died at 4:30 that Friday afternoon. Her wounds were uncountable and included tiny pearl-like toes nearly bitten in two, contusions and bruises covering almost every inch of her tiny body and, of course, the catastrophic internal injuries. Her mother had been "unable to revive her this time" ~ a direct quote I will never forget, implying as it does that there had been many other times.

It was the boyfriend who killed her "out of boredom" ~ another monstrous statement which I have tried and failed to extricate from my memory. His nightly antics with this fragile infant included throwing her across the room, swinging her around his head by one foot, one arm, biting her feet, toes, fingers, ears, suffocating her and reviving her, over and over and over. The inhuman being who gave birth to this infant had found the baby unconscious several times upon arriving home from work. A cold water bath had previously revived the little girl and for the sake of a twisted love ~ of the man, not the child ~ she remained silent.

This was running around in my head, one of the most revolting episodes of child murder I ever encountered, when I pulled up and parked in my driveway at the end of what was a hideous day. Exiting my car, I noticed a pair of downy woodpeckers at the feeder. They were clearly companions, feeding each other suet and seeds, and I immediately decided they were in love which took my thoughts to my love, Michael, sick in bed and not getting better.

He and I have a history of comparing ourselves to birds: the mourning doves nesting on the windowsill one year, beautiful birds who mate for life, caring for one another with such solicitude, reminding us of ourselves. The swans at the lake across town ~ another pair, mating for life, constant companions, obviously devoted to each other. So these small black and white birds hanging out together, feeding each other, fluttering about and notably enjoying life made me think of us in happier times, when our life seemed enchanted, when happiness was a constant and joy a permanent resident in our home.

The birds took off as I approached the front door and I turned to watch their swooping low flight across Pittsburg Avenue. What a stunning thing, to be able to fly, and these two were graceful and lovely, virtually dancing through the air. One swung especially low and POW was smashed by a passing car. The car sped on and the companion bird fluttered to the street, standing by the still body on the concrete making a soft chirring sound, nudging his felled companion with his head.

Having had a close up of this disaster, I found myself sobbing so hard I could barely breathe. I flew up the walk, the stairs and into the house to tell Mike about the bird, to ask him to go and see if there was any hope for the stricken creature in the street. I could not do it, could not look at that small feathered body, and he could not either, being too sick and weak on that day to even get out of bed.

I wept and prayed and raged at God and demanded to know how shit like this can happen. Yes, the birds, but even more so, the two of us. How can two people be so completely happy, so joyously content, doing good work, living a charmed life and POW out of nowhere comes the speeding car of devastating illness, laying one low and breaking the heart of the other.

This is the eternal question, I suppose, but the universality of it in no way diminished my own heartbreak nor my own fury over the unfairness of it all. All illness is unfair and I'm not one to whine about it as a rule, but watching the love of my life dying every day was intolerable. It was more than I could bear and I don't know yet how he survived or how I got through it. I don't know how people do these things and I will whack the next person who says "God doesn't give us more than we can handle," because I know that He's confused me with some strong bitch, some backbone-of-steel disciplined rigid unemotional wench who can handle this sort of thing because I can't. I can not.

And yet Mike did survive and he thrives and I survived too. That is a gift and I am entirely grateful for it. At the end of another day spent in a good life with my soul mate, I give only a passing thought to those years of illness which are almost beginning to seem like ancient history. There's laughter in this house again, much love and that extravagant joy that sweeps in out of nowhere and lifts up my heart.

I am standing on the restored floor of a life I once thought was completely solid and unbreakable. It's easy to think that when things are so perfect and there's so much love and passion and kindness and affection. The floor is good and strong again, but it has been broken through and will never be 100% and I will never quite relax into this life and this love as I once did.

I don't think of the future much and I have moments when I think "how many more years do we have?" It's sad and it's life and it's okay. We're not guaranteed anything, I know that. We had a spectacular 10 years of heaven and some folks never get any heaven on earth. But then spring comes and the world feels so fresh and new and I imagine for just a moment that we are back in those first innocent years of our life together and I can actually feel my heart expand, physically feel it. I love this man. I love this life. We have this day, just like everyone else and I am grateful for it.

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tertiary syphylis

or severe, undiagnosed mental illness is the only explanation I can come up with for the vitriolic rants of Michael Savage. What an asshat. He pretty much hates everyone but white men. His rant on the Barbara Boxer clip below, loud-mouthed, foul-tempered women, gay marriage and homosexuality at Media Matters.

And so, you're looking at it from the point of view of the enemy. He sees a country obsessed with a man marrying a man? That's what they're arguing over?

And then he sees loud-mouthed, foul-tempered women in high places bossing men around. Foul-mouthed, foul-tempered women in high places bossing men around.

Now, I want you to pull up the Barbara Boxer clip from yesterday where she says, "You're not in power anymore. That was OK when you were -- you're not in power anymore. I'm in power."

Do you have that little clip ready, to show you what I mean by a foul-mouthed, foul-tempered woman in power? Let me know when you have that, I know I pulled it out of the hat. I'm giving you one example. Foul-mouthed, foul-tempered women.

Friday, March 23, 2007

valuable things

From Peace Pilgrim's Steps Toward Inner Peace:

After a wonderful sojourn in the wilderness, I walked again along the streets of a city which was my home awhile. It is 1:00 p.m. Hundreds of neatly-dressed human beings with pale or painted faces are hurrying in rather orderly lines to and from their places of employment.

. . . On both sides of us as we walk are displayed the things which we can buy if we are willing to stay in the orderly lines, day after day, year after year. Some of the things are more or less useful, many are utter trash - some have a claim to beauty, many are garishly ugly. Thousands of things are displayed - and yet the most valuable things are missing. Freedom is not displayed, nor health, nor happiness, nor peace of mind. To obtain these, my friends, you too may need to escape from the orderly lines and risk being looked upon disdainfully.


Peace Pilgrim was a woman who walked 25,000 miles on a quest for peace. She accepted no money, ate only when someone fed her or she could find food in the wild, slept outside unless offered a bed. She began her walks for peace in the era of the Korean war and McCarthyism. She remained committed to spiritual growth and love until her death in 1981.

I am decluttering my little cottage this weekend. Too much stuff has appeared since this was last accomplished. Paper, clothes, intriguing little treasures, gifts, irresistibles from auctions: even from behind closed doors of closets and cabinets, I feel the presence of these things like sand in my shoes and the awareness is a weight I want lifted. I'm thinking of rolling up the rugs, yanking the slipcovers off the sofa. It's time to move from flannel sheets to linen, to cull the books, the bottles of perfume, the canned foods we'll never eat (where did that stewed okra come from?), to thin the collections, remove, get rid of, throw away, donate, get it gone.

If not for a wish for marital harmony, I'd get it all gone, this lifetime collection of antiques and treasures which used to feed my soul. Funny how that changes. I still love my old things, I just find that I want way less of them. I am past ready to release the collections and the obsessive urge that created them. Off to work.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

i love barbara boxer

Here she jumps on the wholly repulsive Senator James Inhofe, from my very own great state. "You're not making the rules anymore." Oooooh, snap! Go Barbara!!


three beautiful things

At Three Beautiful Things, Clare writes "Every day I want to record three things that have given me pleasure."

Maybe because I'm feeling remarkably cheerful today, I think that's a great idea, so here are three beautiful things from my life on Wednesday:

Taking a different route on the dogtrot yesterday, we encountered a redbud, a saucer magnolia and a pear tree, a trio of different sizes, all in full bloom, all in close proximity. The deep purple of the redbud, the creamy white and lavender of the magnolia and the white of the pear were so, so pretty together.

Deaf Betty escaped the area where we were throwing balls for the dogs. She ran like a streak for a bicyclist and was prevented from snagging him by a low wall at the edge of the park. The sight of this trim white dog running at top speed across the emerald green grass was truly beautiful. What a little athlete she is, and a rascal. And how ridiculous is the fact that I raced after her shouting her name. Deaf Betty.

Mike came in post-shower to show me his new muscles. They're popping out all over in response to the workout routines he started first of the year. I am envious of his testosterone level, but so grateful that my precious husband, who was so near death five years ago, is feeling fit and frisky and happy.

Knowing how I am, I doubt I'll do this every day, but it is really uplifting to reflect on what's right with the world.

cooking

I've noticed when I don't take the time to cook whole meals ~ just gather up some abstinent edibles and throw them down ~ that my eating gets a little sloppy. Vegetable consumption trails off to nearly nothing, actually. That's the primary indicator. Maybe it's the combination of the busy-ness that leads to not cooking and a more snacky approach to eating that makes me feel I've not really had a meal. Saying it here so I'll pay attention, as this is the busiest day of my work week.

It's overcast and a little muggy here. Trees are blooming everywhere, all of the perennials are coming up. I have got to get those lilies ordered today. So much to do and just yesterday I was writing about simplicity.

On a very happy note, I missed stepping on this creature on the front steps this morning. The fact that I did not squash this gigantic fluid-filled revoltingly slimy thing with my bare feet makes this a grand day no matter what else happens.

when do we get someone loyal to us?

A House committee released documents Monday that showed hundreds of instances in which a White House official who was previously an oil industry lobbyist edited government climate reports to play up uncertainty of a human role in global warming or play down evidence of such a role. . . .

Mr. Cooney said his past work opposing restrictions on heat-trapping gases for the oil industry had had no bearing on his actions once he joined the White House. “When I came to the White House,” he testified, “my sole loyalties were to the president and his administration.”


Emphasis is mine. When do we ~ regular folks ~ get someone loyal to us? Why would this jackass lie about climate change when he has to live here too? From Common Dreams.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

stunning arrogance

It boggles the mind to think that the criminals populating the Bush administration believe the American people are so stupid that we don't know the difference between testimony with a transcript and testimony without. It is insulting. Tony Snow asks what's to be gained by recording testimony of those involved in the firing of the US attorneys courtesy of Huffington Post.

Oh good grief, I guess I need to quit reading the day's political news or I'll never get home. Tony Snow on the the 18 days of missing emails in the materials delivered to Congress in the US Attorney scandal, courtesy of TPM Muckraker.

vacation? beaches?

When I started writing here last summer, part of my stated intent was to find a way to simplify my life. That seems to be a critical piece of keeping the food addiction at bay: I cannot work 14 hour days and remain abstinent and clean. This awareness comes only after many, many years of going beyond the call of duty, doing too much, never quitting, always going the extra mile, always striving to be the best at the task before me.

T.i.r.e.d. Tired. Too much, a couple of lifetimes worth of work crammed into half of one. Sick of it. So I reduced the size of my business by 1/2, then by 1/2 again. While this creates some "oh shit!" moments, it's also created a lot more free time, provided a significant reduction in daily stress, and pushed my work day back to about 5-6 hours most days.

Last November I was bullied into getting on a plane for the first time in 20 years and found that a 10 mg valium will take me all the way to Mexico without anxiety. That newfound freedom coupled with the positive effect it had on Mike led us to the decision to take off for a week every two months.

I've said all that to get here: We've been to Mazatlan and will go back in November; we went to Florida first of February; first part of April, we're heading to south Padre Island. We're looking for another beach for June and maybe an Alaska cruise in August.

Have any of y'all done the Alaska thing? And where are the beaches for summer that aren't 120 degrees? I know we can't go south that time of year, but I'm curious about the northwest and northeast coasts. I've been to Maine, to Massachusetts, to beaches in NJ and New York, but it's been 40 years. Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone familiar with Great Lakes summertime vacation spots? I'm looking for a travel reviews this morning. Where do you go to relax?

clean elections?

The impossibility of a true democracy in a country where corporate money drives campaigns has been much on my mind lately. I was delighted to find this website, Public Campaign. It's a grassroots movement to push public funding of elections, eliminating the present system in which high dollar donors and corporations own public officials by the time they take office.

It's under consideration in congress right now, details here. There are some videos here which explain the need for and the purpose behind publicly funded campaigns.

If you're of a mind to do something that might help save our democracy, consider calling the Senate at 202-224-3121 and the House at 202-225-3121 and ask your reps to support these bills.

impeachment as an act of patriotism

Richard Behan writes on the need to impeach the band of thugs and criminals in the White House.

If we are not honest, if we excuse the criminality of the Bush Administration through indifference to it, then we become accomplices. In doing so we accept the damage done to the American ideals of freedom, democracy, peace, justice, and honesty in government. And if we opt for appeasement now, we jeopardize those ideals in the future. Nothing could be less patriotic than failing to face, accept, and act on the truth we have learned.

Monday, March 19, 2007

surgery

My father waits for the surgeon propped on pillows in a hospital bed. He looks frail in that ridiculous cotton gown, but the blue of the thing sets off his silver hair and every nurse who peeks in tells him he looks handsome and he does. He smiles at me and asks over and over if he's in Dodge City at the hospital where his sister died forty years ago. The nurse comes to take him away and I kiss the top of his head, clasp his hand in my own, whisper I love you Daddy.

I look into his eyes and see a ring of blue around them. The golden-flecked chestnut eyes I've looked at all my life, the ones I see in the mirror every day, have changed. They are nearly black, ringed in blue. It's startling, this black and blue, and disconcerting.

Those eyes have seen so much and now they're dark and closed somehow. I think maybe they're turning black and opaque to keep the memories in, like keeping the drapes closed on a winter day to hold the warm inside. A lifetime is stored behind those eyes in a brain that shrinks infinitesimally every day.

Each lost cell takes away another moment. But where do they go, these memories? How can the richness of his extraordinary life just vanish? Do the memories evaporate into the empty space where his frontal lobe used to be? Released from the wrecked cells of his brain, do they fly back out his eyes in the same way they got in? I wonder if these dark drapes covering my father's eyes will keep him with us a little longer. Him. Who he is, my daddy. Not the shell he will become.

I pray for God's will to be done with my father. And while I'm at it, I tell Him that dying with some measure of dignity, some remnant of self would be a generous gift to this precious man, to us. Please and thank you God. Please.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

my hero

is Dr. Nora Volkow, a researcher specializing in addiction studies. In a recent Newsweek article , Dr. Volkow discusses advances in addiction treatment and discusses the big ones ~ alcohol and drugs ~ but likening those dependencies on those chemicals to food addiction.

"We all think we can control our actions," she said. "But why does one person have such intense cravings that they experience a loss of control, while another person can overpower those desires? I wanted to understand the brain mechanism that makes people lose control."

Dr. Volkow's research suggests that high levels of dopamine receptors in the brain provide a kind of immunity to addiction, while low levels of the receptors make an individual more vulnerable. Especially interesting to me, given the blossoming of my eating disorder after the tragedy of my mother's disappearance, is Dr. Volkow's suggestion that extreme stress and tragedy increase susceptibility to addiction, even when the substance had been used for some time with little or no difficulty.

I am thrilled to see serious attention given to addictions, especially when food is included. I am knocking down my own demons one at a time ~ drugs, alcohol, food ~ and it's comforting to know that I may not just be weak-willed or rife with character flaws. The fact that my plagues have come fast on the heels of one another lends credence to the idea of there being something different in the way I'm wired.

All is well today (I think I said that today already, but why not repeat it). As the Big Book says, happy, joyous and free and it's really not possible to improve on that. Hope y'all are as well.

how cute is he?

Almost worth watching TV for. David Bromstad. Sweet.

support our troops

David Michael Green's excellent analysis of patriotism and this administration's bogus support of the troops at Common Dreams.

". . . Of course, that could never happen here. Not now. Surely our young (and, in this war, not so young) soldiers are never called upon to fight in the interests of elites, interests so nefarious that they would have to be hidden under stacks of lies concerning national security threats, and behind a barrage of patriotic platitudes. Surely America’s bravest are never treated as expendable cannon fodder by leaders who could care less about their welfare. Surely they’re not trotted off the war like so many Iranian children, clutching a plastic key to heaven in one hand, and a fairytale of how much they’re truly valued in the other. . . .

"Major General Smedley Butler (who knew firsthand whereof he spoke, having served, by his own assessment, as a high-ranked military lackey doing the dirty work for corporate robber-barons in Latin America) nailed it when he said, 'War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.'"

Bringing them home is the best support we can give the troops. It is the greatest act of patriotism to get them out of this disaster.

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validation

Caught a few minutes of HBO's new series Addiction (thanks Tater). Got a little goose-bumpy listening to one of the researchers liken the state of addiction to that of having no brakes on a vehicle. Goosebumpy because I have thought of my many addictions in those very terms for years now. I saw it in my youth with the dope, that others would stop while I continued hell for leather. It was the same with drinking, but worse. The researcher discussed the disconnect between the "go" part of the addict's brain and the "stop." That, too, is something I've felt without knowing the physiology behind it. No matter how desperately I want it to, my stop brain cannot win out over go. It is, as one drunk described it, torture.

In this most recent struggle with food, with my sugar addiction, I know absolutely that I am missing something others have, the stopping factor, the ability to quit when on a run. I don't know what "too rich" means, and being full means nothing when I have my drug in hand. I go until it's gone, just as I did with liquor, just as I did with drugs. Unchecked, I am a future Discovery Health episode of The 800 Pound Woman. That's what no brakes means for me. It really is no brakes. That being said, 11 pounds are gone since my last surrender. And the other blessing, the great joy of just giving up is that I feel peaceful and happy and clean. Getting the sweet, crystalline drug out of my system is such a relief. Yay. Getting closer to that -125 I loved so much last summer.

garrison keillor-coulter?

Is Garrison Keillor channeling Ann Coulter in his stereotyping of gay men?

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men — sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That’s for the kids. It’s their show.

In the context of the Salon article, he's blabbing about himself and speaker fees, that sort of thing. And in the quote, he's actually describing the stereotypical gay man, not saying "this is gay life." I know he's trying to be funny, that's what he does. Bad timing, I think, coming fast on the heels of Pace and Coulter and all of the other insensensitive and hateful jackasses we've heard from the last weeks.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

what to do, part II

First, a huge thank you to those who were willing to read my rant of two days ago and especially to those of you who shared your wisdom and experience. It is such an odd thing to get all of that through a computer, but you each helped me in this very painful struggle to come to a decision about these little boys and I am very grateful.

In reading your posts and re-reading my original rant, praying some, examining my motives (always unpleasant to really take a look at what drives me), I have arrived at this: I am so angry with the stepdaughter for her failure to be the kind of parent I think she should be, that I've not been willing to look at her as I would a friend. I am also angry with her real family because of their inaction. Lots of money has been spent to help, but there's been no consistency of attention here.

I've always been a little smug about the fact that I'm not one of those who will make a vicious verbal attack on a family member, then turn around and smile sweetly at a friend who commits the same act. That is, however, what I've done with Hannah. I don't verbally assault her, but I think of her in only critical terms. I don't bother to look at her strengths, yet I would with a friend, even a stranger. This is basic social work intervention and, in my resentment and selfishness, I've not bothered to consider her as a human being, a young mother ill equipped to function in this world, doing the best she can.

When I wrote this in December, I'd recognized my own tremendous good fortune after a day spent helping a struggling employee:

I am mindful of those who have so little and I say a prayer for all of the struggling people of the world. I say a prayer, too, that I will be a cheerful giver when the next opportunity presents itself. I know it will come, it always does. I will do what I can.

I tell myself this is different because we have helped Hannah and helped her and helped her. And we have, by writing checks and writing checks and writing checks. But I think the help required is of a different kind. Money, of course, but also a sustaining and kind presence, an encourager. I am still not sure where helping crosses the line to enabling. Maybe it has already, but that debate is always influenced by the little ones.

More help is obviously required here. I realized that I can set aside my anger with Hannah, use the resentment prayer on her (thank you AA for that gem) and develop a plan to improve the lives of the boys in her care. The truth is that no matter how poor the parent, children most of the time want to be at home, even in terrible cases of abuse.

This is not abuse, it's neglect. Neglect is, of course, especially insidious in the emotional damage it does to kids. They are often plagued throughout life by insecurity, feelings that they are unworthy, unlovable. I don't want that for these little boys and maybe it wouldn't happen, but the thing that makes me crazy is this substandard life they're living. I want them to feel that they're worth attention, effort and sacrifice.

They are worth all of those things and more, so I'm going to help. The biggest frustration for me has been just watching these people, this family of mine, the ones blood-related to Hannah, as they fail to act. Hannah's situation seems intractible, so nothing is done. Her younger son needs help, everyone knows it, but nothing is done. Years have gone by as I've watched them hope the situation will improve, put it out of their minds, pray it will get better without intervention. I have held back because she's my stepdaughter and I came late to the party with her daddy, acquiring the girls when they were 14 and 16 and not marrying him until 2000.

Well fuck it. They just need to get out of my way. I have felt like a wound up jack-in-the-box with no one willing to turn my crank. Writing that post the other day, listening to all of you, really working on this thing has led me to the point I've turned my own crank, escaped the confines of my little tin box. I am out of the box, unleashed, through with being so tightly controlled, holding my tongue, offering advice only when asked: I'm taking over, if only for a while. If my plan works to resolve some of basic issues in the family, Hannah may be empowered to do better.

This is what I do, I help people get on their feet. I made a career of it and I have a new client, a new family to work with. I have watched everyone sweep this under the rug, have sat by while they dick around and ultimately do nothing. I'm not blaming them; they're frustrated and don't know how to help. I do and it feels incredibly freeing to just get going.

The first thing I've done is arrange for a landline phone to be installed at their house so we can talk to the kids every day. It's annoying to have only a cell phone ~ which she may or may not answer ~ with a number that changes constantly due to bills unpaid. This phone is set up, permanent, paid for. The listings are in both boys' names so their friends will be able to find them if they need to. They can have the normal childhood experience of talking on the phone, having relatives call, being able to call their friends. It doesn't seem important until it's not there, but the lack of a telephone is isolating.

Once I got past that simple resolution to the frustrating inability to get in touch with the kids, I got on a roll. We're having them spend the day and night with us Sunday. I will take over getting the little one to his appointments for the ADHD evaluation he so desperately needs. I've accepted that she cannot or will not do this and it must be done and quickly. The older baby's dental appointment has been rescheduled and we'll get him there and pay for his retainer.

I've told Mike when we take them home Monday, we'll be going with cleaning equipment, quarters for laundry, scented candles. We are going to clean up her house. He said "how do you know it's dirty?" So innocent, my husband. I said "her car's broken, she has no money, she won't call you back, the boys have missed school, she's missed work, she won't answer the phone, she's missing the boys' appointments. Do you think she's home cleaning house?"

I've called the best car guy I know to get her car fixed. It's not drivable right now and the stress of that is overwhelming for her. It's not going to get fixed when she makes $100 a week, so we will do that because it has to be done. I know nothing about kids' sports but they did play soccer last year and liked it. They were in Tai-Kwon-Do and liked it. We'll get them set up again.

We put the older child into Sylvan when his kindergarten teacher said he couldn't read (never mind the ridiculous way reading was being taught). He is now a whiz and has had no further trouble with school, he's a star student and that's a real source of pride for him. We'll look at doing the same for the little one.

Those are all great things for the kids. So here's the one I choked on until I looked at the rough and ugly patch of heart where I keep Hannah: she needs an evaluation for depression. Everything about her indicates that she's depressed, there's a long family history of depression, it's painfully obvious that she's in trouble. That ugly jagged piece of heart where I keep her wants to blame her and criticize. Just writing that makes me cry because it's the truth and who the hell am I to feel that way about her? I have had everything, every opportunity, every blessing. Some shit too, but who has a life without some of that? Hannah did have a good childhood, but she got messed up in junior high and has never recovered. She has lived in the shadow of her older sister's brilliance and success and perfect life and that has to be hard.

Today I am praying to keep an open and soft heart for Hannah, to help her as I'd help a stranger or one of my employees or the folks I used to work with in child welfare. I remember specifically praying to keep an open mind and a teachable spirit when working with some of my most difficult clients then and it works. So I'll do the same today with this stepdaughter and I believe that approaching her with love will help. I know it will help me because I feel a great sense of relief already.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

angry?

I am, absolutely. Enraged, provoked, furious, indignant. Angry, so angry. Paul Waldman eloquently speaks to the anger of America's progressives.

twenty cents a year

The lives of two hundred million people could be dramatically improved for twenty cents a year. That's forty million bucks. $40,000,000. The United States is presently borrowing $3 billion every day to cover our operating shortfall, made worse by an immoral and illegal war and stupid tax cuts that have benefitted the ultra rich at the expense of everyone else. That's $3,000,000,000. $40 million is 1/75th of our daily debt. Morgan Stanley's CEO took home a $40,000,000 bonus last year. Can we find $.20 a year to treat a debilitating and painful disease? Even to treat just the kids, that's probably only $20 million. Twenty cents a day. Can the wealthy countries of the world spare it?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

what to do?

Do you feel as if you have a purpose in life? Have you accomplished that purpose or are you working toward it? Are you adrift, conflicted?

I've been thinking about the purpose of a life after attending the two year old grandson's birthday celebration. The older stepdaughter's house was filled with children and their parents. It was lovely. He is a very fortunate baby to have the parents he has. The other two grandsons were there as well, witnessing the vast affluence of their cousin and his great good fortune in having not only two parents, but parents who care, who are present, who put him first, love him madly, who interact with him. The two older boys are not so fortunate, not even close. Their deprived lives are constantly in my thoughts. What to do?

I don't know what to do. I'm not a mother, never wanted to be. I have great respect for moms, I admire that kind of strength, devotion, selflessness. I never, ever, not once wanted to have a child. When I tried to get tied off at 18, the doctor squeezed my knee and said "don't worry, honey, you'll meet someone and he'll change your mind." Bastard.

But back to it: I just don't want kids. I worked with kids for years, I love them in small doses. I adore being around them, especially when they go home with someone else. I am not wired for children. But I love these two boys, so the battle becomes this: do I do what's right for these children? or do I continue to do what's right for me?

We had custody of them for a month a few years ago, then gained guardianship when they were allowed to return home. They have the most marginal of lives, but there is no abuse. The younger stepdaughter is plagued by financial insecurity, primarily due to the fact that she just doesn't want to work. Worse, though, is the emotional neglect and abandonment and that is what troubles me. These sweet little boys are bringing themselves up in a home with a mother who can think only of her own needs, who just wants them to go away and be quiet.

Take them back? I can hardly bear the thought and it's nothing to do with them, these babies. I just can't bear the thought of having the responsibility of two little lives, every day, all day. I nearly lost my mind that month we had them. I was working full time, running my business full time, taking them to school, picking up at daycare, ensuring they're fed, cared for, homework done, attending to them as they should be attended to. I see what they need, I know what they need, but I don't think I am the person to provide it.

Therein lies my guilt and shame. There is no one else. The other grandmother is toxic, drug addicted, useless. The aunt has her precious two-year-old and another on the way. Who else can do this? Who can give these deserving children what they should have, what they need? I think about it and all I can do is cry because I ache for them and I am not willing to give up my life. I should; people do it all the time, but I just can't. What to do? This is such a struggle for me.

misdirection

Political scandals are lurking behind every bush on capitol hill, but I can't get the war out of my mind. We know we were lied to and intentionally misled into Iraq. So how can that not be top priority with this new Congress? How can they even talk about anything else? I am disappointed, to say the least. Impeach Gonzales, he deserves it. Fire every callous ass who had a hand in Walter Reed. But Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Every day, another dead American soldier is sacrificed on this altar of lies.

To honor Alex’s memory, he has been crisscrossing the country, from Capitol Hill to Crawford, Texas, pulling a flag-draped coffin. He calls it his public mourning: “I want the caskets coming home to be very public. The government doesn’t want you to see them.” . . .

As we part, Carlos shows me the latest recruiting letter sent to his son Brian. It contains a fake red, white and blue credit card with Brian’s name on it. It says: “This is not a credit card. It is money in the bank.” An earlier letter promises him a bonus of up to $20,000. “What can you do with $20,000? A new car? Pay off credit cards? Help your family? ... Remember the decisions you are making right now will have a huge impact on how the rest of your life turns out.” Which is exactly why Carlos prays his surviving son will not join up.

Meanwhile, around the corner, each name read represents a once living, breathing, complex human being whose life was snuffed out as a result of this four-year-old war. Alongside the named dead are living people, like Carlos, following their consciences, making connections, building a movement, each day bringing the end of the war one day closer.


That's from Truthdig's "Exploding Into Action", the story of Carlos Arredondo, a father who lost his son in Iraq.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

how do we stop this insanity?

There must be a way. This is criminal: The Army is Ordering Injured Troops to Iraq from Salon.

"As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

clean, clean, clean

One week clean and it feels incredible. Why do I forget the way this feels? No craziness, no craving, just peace and quiet inside. It's delicious.

If you're a praying person, please send one out for my almost-90-year-old Daddy. He's having a fairly minor surgery in the morning, but it's still scaring his baby girl.

Wishing you all a fabulous Monday.

scalped

Fucking hair people. Do they get teensy little earplugs in hair school? Or do they gouge out their eardrums with sharp little scissors as a rite of initiation into the first salon? "It's very fine, but very thick, curly and it really shrinks. Whatever you're thinking in terms of length, add an inch." Repeat. Repeat. Fruitlessly repeat.

When I see my father before surgery in the a.m., he'll think he's got the boy he always wanted.

boys

After the tomboy girls of the neighborhood whipped the pants off the shitty little neighborhood boys in a baseball game 42 years ago, the sorest loser of the shitty little neighbor boys put a half dead still kicking frog down the back of my tight-waisted sweatshirt. This child is operating on my father in the morning. Can it be? Getting grown, getting old. It's so very, very strange.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

this could be worth watching

My anti-television stance is fairly widely known. This American Life, however, from the magnificent Ira Glass, might be worth watching. Starts March 22 on Showtime. (Now, what the heck is Showtime, and where does it come from?)

Stephen Colbert on "don't ask, don't tell"

It takes a comedian to point out the absurdity of this military policy. Stephen Colbert does it exceptionally well.

Friday, March 09, 2007

clean

When I'm dithering about trying to eat one way and another, I never remember how good it feels to just give up and eat clean. All is calm inside, peaceful, no hunger, no obsession, no craving.

It's a lazy rainy day in Tulsa. I'm going to open the windows, prop up in bed with a puppy, have coffee and watch spring sweep in. Feels like heaven. What are your plans for today?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

oh let's elect this clown

Just when I think I've had all the hypocrisy I can stand, here comes this cheating yahoo. It's rare that I am speechless but this nailed me.

laugh or cry

pink

The combination of reading the post which inspired the reflection on forgiveness in my first post today, and the freedom that comes with (yet another, yes, but it takes what it takes) surrender, takes me here:

Happy clouds courtesy of this amazing woman.

forgiveness

This morning's quote comes from a painful, touching, hopeful post by Tater. This kindred spirit I've never met writes about wounded childhood, forgiveness and survival. It's an amazing post.

Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it. Mason Cooley

For many years I thought to forgive a wrong, to let go of a resentment was to let The Other off the hook. I hung on to my wounds, kept them raw; I nurtured them, fed them massive quantities of alcohol and food and men and money. They were ravenous, these resentments, bottomless pits of need, unending, growing, taking over my life. The more I fed them, the more they needed. They were badges of victimhood, justification for every wrong I ever did to another. "If they hadn't, I wouldn't have . . ." and so the poison flowed out to consume all around me.

Letting The Others off the hook freed me in the most profound way. The process of releasing all of that anger and resentment, justified or not, let me shut the door on a past which continues to be a part of me, but no longer controls me.

I refuse to give another second, another minute, to the wrongs of others. To let go is to free myself from those chains and skip away, shouting out the ultimate "fuck you" to the world: freedom. I am at liberty, cut loose from the binding of anger, with a light spirit and the ability to look forward. What a blessing. What a miracle. Thank you Tater, for the reminder.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

breakup


I've given up my man. I can't hang with him anymore. Feels like a drug, this man of mine. I have tried to just taste a little of him, just some, now and then, but I can't resist. If I have him, I use him up, scoop him up, feel like I want to eat him up. He's so divine, sometimes I just sniff him. Addictive.

It's great for a while, as long as I have him well in hand. Then comes the day he stays behind in Florida, in Mazatlan. One of the dogs carries him off from the bedside table. Then the frenzy and the craving comes and I'm strung out, drove up, needing my man Burt. Needing him. Burt. Luscious, lemony Burt. Meant for my gardener cuticles, but turned to good use on my lips. His scent, his feel, his creaminess. He's perfect in every way, but I am done with him.

I've been hooked on lip stuff for years now. Without it, my mouth felt dry, uncomfortable, oddly noticeable, making me conscious of my lips in a strange way. I've been clean for almost 10 days and it's amazing. After the first few days of feeling dry, I have a regular mouth again. If I could have kept track of this lemony man, I would have, but I kept losing him in the house. Message from the universe. Burt is crack for my lips. I love him, but I'm done.

quote for the day

"Sugar, the gateway drug." As Tony says, that is all. Well no, that's not all. (Can she ever shut up? No. Never.) It's a great day, smells like spring, looks like spring, the trees are budding, magnolia around the corner in full bloom. It is a beautiful, glorious, wonderful, magnificent day to be alive. I believe it's in part because I have accepted (again) the quote for the day. Hope you're all having a fully alive, magnificent, great-to-be-in-your-skin kind day. Five weeks 'til the beach.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

delicious, delicious, delicious

This is absolutely tasty in the best possible way. Love it when a crazy wingnut's sordid past is exposed. In this case, it's the very proper looking Matt Sanchez, the newest wingnut golden boy. Matt has been a very, very bad boy in his life. What fun!! Read it and rejoice at Joe.My.God.

food addiction, one more time

This has always been an elusive thing, but these days, thanks to the internet, it's available online if you know what to look for. It's a slightly modified version of OA's classic Greysheet, the original foundation of physical recovery in Overeaters Anonymous. It is low carb, grain and sugar free. Is it healthy? Its critics would say no, but for real food addicts, it can mean freedom from the addiction and thus of bingeing and crazy eating.

Here's a version of the Cambridge Greysheet, along with one addict's experience with food addiction, and Kay Sheppard's food addict recovery plan.

All of these plans have one thing in common: the elimination of sugar. At some point in the late '80s, the HOW plan started adding a serving or two of grains. My longest period of abstinence in OA ~ several years ~ was the result of a surrender to eating the original Greysheet. No sugar, no grains. There is an indescribable and unbelievable-'til-you're-in-it freedom in getting clean from the foods my body can't ever seem to tolerate.

The M&M Diet I wrote about last summer was one of my continual efforts (at a shrink's urging) to include sugar in my daily life in an effort to somehow moderate that drug and control its effects on my body.

It is sad and ironic and it seems so wasteful that 25 years after my first awareness of the absolute freedom that comes from eating this way, I am still debating, considering, looking at and trying other options. If that is not classic evidence of addiction, I don't know what it is. Anything but giving up the drug. Anything.

the power of disapproval

To think that our collective voices can impact corporate support of a vicious hating sow like Ann Coulter is inspiring. Read it and rejoice.

pam

Your prayers seemed to work. She had her best day since starting this ordeal a week ago. Thank you, thank you. Keep it up?

Monday, March 05, 2007

am i the last one in the world to know

about this thing called Second Life? is it as pathetic as it sounds? Would my time be better spent making the real life I have a good one? I am old, so am likely missing the appeal here.

bad girl

I was a good little Lutheran girl until I wasn't. When I went bad, I went very, very bad. The first time I stole something in 7th grade, it was as if flashing lights, alarms and shrieking whistles went off in my head. I felt sick to my stomach, light headed, dizzy. It was wrong and I knew it and my heart and soul were hollering at me to quit it! back off! get the hell out of there!

My bad girl brain overrode the better part of me and I continued to shoplift and so much more. The next time I did it ~ picking up a little mascara and some eyeshadow ~ a light flashed, an alarm went off. Not as long, not as loud. I felt a little queasy but I persevered. I persisted in this behavior until I could, at last, do anything, anytime, to anyone with no sense of guilt, no response from my heart or soul or that good little girl I buried under bad acts.

That this coincided with the beginning of my drug use is no surprise. Just as I wanted to be a bad girl, I wanted to be a little hippie doper, a "freak" in the parlance of the day. I was so attracted to the dark side of life, to danger and excitement and living on the edge. I still am, but today I can keep it in check. Back then, I was 12 years old with a hole in my soul where my mother used to be and I filled it up with anything I could find that would temporarily make the ache of loss go away. There were no limits to how far I'd go to distract from that pain, to escape my self, my life.

Fast forward 11 years to the day I walked into an AA meeting. I was a woman of stone, hard, unsmiling, impenetrable. I threw off waves of anger and hostility and hate though, like lava throws off heat. When that good little Lutheran girl got covered up with bad acts and drugs and alcohol and food, I turned into something else entirely. I was not brought up to be that vicious-tongued angry hateful woman, but in filling the emptiness inside of me with all of the wrong things, I corrupted and derailed the life I was meant to lead. I started burying the real me at 12 and it took years of exposure to spiritual principles before there was even a crack in the facade.

I am grateful that it was a facade. I am grateful that I had a foundation of decency to go back to. When I finally took that last drink on December 5, 1982, I surrendered my whole life, my beliefs, everything that had taken me to that point of hopelessness and I became willing to consider another way. Tater said that we use whatever it takes to get us through and that sometimes it takes the dope or the alcohol or the food to survive. If I can only survive, there is hope and, for me, just living to the age of 25 was quite an accomplishment.

Everywhere I look these days I am reminded that 12 steps changed my life and that the result we're promised in the 12th step is a spiritual awakening. It's not a religious conversion, it is a transforming spirituality that changes me from the inside out. I am reminded of this as I've spent the last week talking an old friend who is in the depths of narcotics addiction. She is such a creative, talented, wonderful woman and I love her so much. She was clean for years until she had emergency surgery and tried to manage the pain afterward with Lortab. She's been off and running now for two years, is feeling hopeless and suicidal. I have seen her when she's lit up with the spirituality that comes from the steps and I see her now at the point of death. I want the light. She does too. If you are a praying person, please send one out for Pam.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

i am disconnected

Not feeling at home in my skin or connected to my physical self. This post from Beula touched me. ". . . We drove home the next day in a snowstorm and most of the good body work was undone, but not what I had learned. I for the most part do not own my body, I just flog if from spot to spot. I live in my head. I have chronic neck and shoulder pain and tightness, "my burden mantle." I do not want to live anymore like this. I am ready to shed my burden mantle." Me too.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

how to wake a deaf dog

Oh dear. The tiny travel camera has a movie feature. Here's my sweet puppy on her napping pillow. I may be out of control.

Friday, March 02, 2007

and the best news of the day is

this bit of news on the scummy Bill O'Reilly from ePluribus Media. That has turned a gloomy morning into a joy-filled afternoon. Yay!

quick! hide the brains, the fat girls and the ethnics upstairs!

Second page of this NYT article is the one that just kills me. Importing "slender women" to recruit new members for a sorority?

A few days after the interviews, national representatives took over the house to hold a recruiting event. They asked most members to stay upstairs in their rooms. To welcome freshmen downstairs, they assembled a team that included several of the women eventually asked to stay in the sorority, along with some slender women invited from the sorority’s chapter at Indiana University, Ms. Holloway said.

“They had these unassuming freshman girls downstairs with these plastic women from Indiana University, and 25 of my sisters hiding upstairs,” she said. “It was so fake, so completely dehumanized. I said, ‘This calls for a little joke.’ ”

Ms. Holloway put on a wig and some John Lennon rose-colored glasses, burst through the front door and skipped around singing, “Ooooh! Delta Zeta!” and other chants.

The face of one of the national representatives, she recalled, “was like I’d run over her puppy with my car.”

and the bad news is

This clown hired to replace the fired head of Walter Reed. Possibly even worse than his predecessor. Reading this article at AmericaBlog, one has to wonder why the outraged (Republican) senator and his wife didn't notify the press? Make this public? If Rep. Bill Young and his wife, Beverly, "stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustration," did they just toddle off to their happy little lives and forget about these people?

In 2004, Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustration. Young said he voiced concerns to commanders over troubling incidents he witnessed but was rebuffed or ignored. "When Bev or I would bring problems to the attention of authorities of Walter Reed, we were made to feel very uncomfortable," said Young, who began visiting the wounded recuperating at other facilities.

Beverly Young said she complained to Kiley several times. She once visited a soldier who was lying in urine on his mattress pad in the hospital. When a nurse ignored her, Young said, "I went flying down to Kevin Kiley's office again, and got nowhere. He has skirted this stuff for five years and blamed everyone else."


I'm still in need of coffee, but this just makes me furious. Oh yeah, 2004, Republican representative. That makes sense.

nothing changes

When Mike and I started shacking up, I remember clearly the day he said "living together shouldn't create any extra work for you at all. We'll do everything together." How sweet. And what a big fat lie. It wasn't intentional, really. Things just kind of drifted that way.

And it seems they drift that way for most women in relationship with men. I would say it's another reason to be gay, but friend Leslie reports that Angela is a lazy girl so maybe it's just relationships in general.

My happy marriage is greatly dependent upon the services of Miss Cenovia. Guess I'm still in a strangling mood: were it not for the housekeeper, this skinny no house cleaning boy might well be dead. No coffee yet today. Does it show?

Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

shut up!

It appears the administration's fix for the Walter Reed mess is to silence the soldiers. Simple, cheap, effective. At least it would have been, but this cat's already out of the bag and squalling. I am heartened by the press sticking with this one.

further evidence that life is not fair

Mike started working out with me almost daily in January. This is the best thing that could happen for his health. He carried a cute little tummy around that he hated and I loved and which is a really bad thing, according to cardiac doctors and endocrinologists.

That's the background. Here's the unfair part: he has lost 16 @#$@#% pounds without even trying. When I said that to him, he said "Not trying? what are you talking about, I've been working out every day! I do weights and walk on the treadmill!"

He's right, of course, but so do I. Only I do 2-3x the cardio and the same weights. I don't eat sugar, I watch what I eat, I write it all down and every day pass on something I'd love to eat but know I should not. He eats anything at all, in any quantity, whatever he wants and thinks not at all about food. He is older than I am, his metabolism should be slower. The inequities go on and on. Sigh.

I work in the shop every day moving furniture, packing, shipping, unloading trucks. Working. He rises around 9:00 and has a cup of coffee, then settles in for a little read or some morning television. Around 11:30 we both walk the dogs and throw balls for them. He generally crouches at one end of the playground and we throw them back and forth. If there are balls to be retrieved, I go after them.

We have lunch. I go back to work. He takes a little nap. Around 2:30 or so, he strolls down to the shop to see what's going on. Maybe polishes something, takes a look at the new arrivals. At 4:30, we both go home, walk the dogs, throw the balls, same routine as noon.

He has lost 16 pounds. I have lost a few. At the same time I am thrilled and happy and grateful, because I've been wishing he'd take a more proactive approach to his health, I want to strangle him. Strangle. Him.