Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Sports Are Back - A Snippet

He's totally absorbed.  Starting with the Tour de France early in the morning, through the talking heads who finally have something to talk about, to basketball and football all evening and through most of the night.  

I've read novels.  I've written Get Out The Vote postcards.  I've crocheted a gigantic round afghan, along with several dozen baby hats.  I've spent too much time playing Candy Crush Saga.  I've written letters instead of emails.  

I'm next to him on Douglas, without my hearing aids.  My mind is elsewhere, except when his hand reaches out for mine, or his sharp inhale begs for my attention.  

I'm with him and I'm without him.  

Before Pandemica, I'd have spent the days with friends, doing the things TBG doesn't do.  During Pandemica,  my options are more limited.

I'm really glad that TBG can go to his happy places with just a flick of the remote. Really, I am.  Any return to even a semblance of normal life is welcome.  

But, I miss him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Happy Anniversary

Eight years ago, we were all together.   

G'ma and Auntie M, uncles from Maryland and Colorado. Most of the girl cousins.  Play group and high school, Marin and Bloomington, people who might never have met were sharing stories long into the night.

All the stories had the same theme - these are two of the nicest people we've ever known. They are sometimes silly and sometimes ornery but mostly they lead with love, killing with kindness as they move through the world, making it a better place for everyone they touch.

I can look out at the backyard and see it clearly, as if the chairs and the people were still there. I see Big Bob and TBG sharing hopes and dreams over cigars.  I see SIR's sister accepting kudos for bringing you together and I hear G'ma asking where she was.... and surmising that it must be a wedding because there was a bride.

Yes, she knew you, Little Cuter.  She knew the most important thing about the two of you - that you are surrounded by love, a love that is open and boundless and judgment free.  There's always room for a hug, for a smile, for kindness, for inclusion.  

It was the loveliest wedding we ever threw.  You two are my favorite married children. 

Happy Anniversary!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We've lost too many this year, although I seem to say that more frequently as the years go on. 

I"ve spent the weekend trying not to cry.  I refuse to allow thoughts of this Senate replacing her to creep into my grief.  They don't deserve a place at this table.  

In keeping with the tradition of bringing sweets to the mourners, a reminder of happy times past and those to come, I'm sharing a sweet memory from two years ago:

As she grows up, FlapJilly's reading more grown up books.  I Dissent. the picture book biography of RBG, is part of her permanent night time roster.  We've talked about strength and power and being in charge, whether you are a superhero or a Supreme Court Justice.  She knows that she can grow up and be one, too.

That's the background to the joy Little Cuter felt when, on an adventure to Barnes and Opal last Saturday, her daughter took off, flying across the store.  She caught up with her at an end cap.  

Look, Mama, Look!  It's ROOF!!

How lucky is my granddaughter, and all the other granddaughters in the world, to have had Roof to admire, to inspire,  to love.

May her memory be a blessing...... not only in remembrance, but in living as she would, fighting the good fights, carrying on with determination and a smile in the face of unfathomable obstacles.

Rest in power, Madame Justice.

Friday, September 18, 2020


Yes, my generic for Crestor statin will still be covered by my insurance in 2021..

No, it will no longer be a Tier 1 (read $0 co-pay) drug.  It will now cost $10 a month.

No one seems to know why, not Rose at WellCare, not Amy at the doctor's office, not TBG watching sports talking heads.  

TBG did remind me that we can afford $120 a year to keep me healthy; we both took a moment to recognize the privilege.  

But I am a frugal sort, and the notion of spending money when it isn't necessary bothers me.  Yet I remember how long it took to get my cholesterol under control, and I'm reluctant to change ships when this one is sailing along quite nicely, thank you very much.

I feel as though the universe is conspiring against me.  

In an effort to take control of the situation, I am changing prescriptions to a similar generic (this one for Lipitor) and will have blood work drawn on December 2nd.  

I'll let the facts decide for me, not the insurance company.  If the faux Lipitor doesn't work, I'll go back to what did work and smile at the universe.  Some things are just not worth getting in a tizzy over.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Rage Against the Machine

Turns out, I'm depressed.  And that makes me happy.

I spent the morning with my soon-to-be-leaving-for-Cali doctor, the woman who was supposed to usher me into old age.  I started with her PA, who weighed me and escorted me to the exam room where she took my blood pressure.

I fully expected it to be very high.  It always goes up a little in the doctor's office.

It was 128/78.

A little bit high, but nothing to worry about.  I laughed and wondered if I should just go right home.

When the doctor walked through the door, I opened my arms for a virtual hug; she promised that she felt the love as she asked me how I was doing. 

I told her that I was trying hard not to cry.  That I'd been trying hard since March.  That I hadn't hugged my grandkids since January and that no one thought it was a good idea for us to travel to see one another, or risk infecting one another.  We talked about extended families and Covid exposure and young families with kids.  We talked about the doctors who would take over my care, and I settled on the only one who sent a "thank you for trusting your patients to me" email in response to her referrals.  

Then we moved on to my blood pressure.  We took it with my machine on my left arm - 140/90.  We took it with my arm on the table instead of in my lap.  It was higher.  We tried it on my right arm; higher still.

She decided it was the machine.  The office device is the gold standard.  My device should go on a shelf in my bathroom, never to bother me again.

It was reminiscent of G'ma and her advice when there was an unfamiliar noise in the car:  turn up the radio.   Still hear it?  Turn it up louder.

And yet there she was, telling me Don't take your blood pressure.

She suggested upping the dosage of my Sertraline, the anti-depressant I've been taking, at the same dosage, since I was 50.  It unfurls the knot n my chest, the one that has been sitting there like a lump of clay for a long time.... certainly through the pandemic.....the one that my friendly physician decided was causing my constant headaches and my angst.  

My blood pressure is fine.  The machine says so.  I'm depressed, and that's to be expected.  The doctor and I agree.  These are troublous times and I am troubled.  Meditation and its lowering effect on my bp is a good thing to continue, but we're going to tweak the dosage just a touch, for just a while.

I'm to hand on to my smaller pills; they will come in handy when I try to go back to a lower dose once the world returns to normal.  For now, I'm to jump up to the next level, and prepare to feel a whole lot better.

I left with a big smile on my face. I don't have another condition.  I don't have to add another pill to my container.  I don't have to consider a whole new set of worries.  My body is fine. My mind is a mess.

I'm depressed, and that's good news.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Six years before the start of Pandemica, I began to experiment with meditation.  I was surprised by the power it had, for the longer-than-just-sitting-there effect it had, for the fact that I could calm not only my mental but my physical being.

And then I stopped.  The teacher moved closer but at a less convenient time.  Life got in the way.  I gave it up.

And now I'm faced with adding one more medication to my pillbox; I see the doctor as you drink your coffee, or think about lunch..  With that in mind, I asked Dr. Google for help and she sent me to Deepak Chopra and Oprah's 21 Day Meditation course.... which, unfortunately for me, has ended.

Plunging further into the interwebs, I discovered that there are many ways to access the verbiage.  I don't know if the original course had video, but my eyes were closed so it wouldn't have mattered at all.  I clicked on the first one and settled back into my chair.

It was familiar and strange.  It was impossible and soothing and frustrating and peaceful.  The whole notion of letting thoughts float across your mind without judgement or notice, the letting go, the breathing helps a lot but it's a practice, not an event.

By the time he rang the gentle bell, my shoulders were comfortably out of my ears, my soul was lying comfortably in my self, and my blood pressure was down 12 points.

I'm bringing that piece of data with me to the consultation. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


There are two, or maybe four, hurricanes bearing down on the United States right now.  There have been so many hurricanes this year that I can't keep up, and I'm not the only one.  They are running out of names... and there are still two more months to go before the season ends.

The west coast is on fire, and the smoke is causing beautiful sunsets in Washington, D.C.

Big Cuter can't open his windows or go outside.  Without air conditioning (remember Mark Twain's coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco?), with the temperatures unusually high, he's sleeping with ice packs and fans.  

Our President is holding indoor, un-masked, un-distanced rallies, even as Bob Woodward's tapes show that he knows Covid is both airborne and a lot more dangerous than the usual flu.

And then, as the facts on the ground were explained to him, once again, in one and two syllable words, the President of the United States smirked the way a spoiled brat 14 year old might smirk when he knows the headmaster can't expel him because his Daddy's name is on the Administration Building, and he enjoyed that smirk for a good long time before coming out with this pearl of wisdom: science doesn't know.

Well of course science doesn't know... that's the whole point of science.  But science does know some things, and if you don't want to believe in science then take a look at the skies in the west and the hurricanes in the east and tell me we're not experiencing an unusual set of circumstances.  

Science doesn't know.  So says the very stable genius who, I fear, may well be re-elected in November.

Am I having a moment?  Are the narrowing polls still comfortably Biden tilting?  I'd have to watch the news to find out, and the news is making my blood pressure cause for concern.  I asked the doctor if I could wait until November 4th when, if Biden won, I was sure my numbers would return to their usual 120/80.  

Nope.  I'm going in on Wednesday morning, bringing my home monitoring device for a calibration check. 

Donald Trump may not think science knows, but I trust the science behind my machine, and my doctor's education, and the science that says if I wear a mask and everyone in the office wears a mask and I'm not there for any longer than I have to be, I should be just fine..... or as fine as I can be with that man in the White House, denigrating science in front of scientists.... and any schoolchildren who might be listening.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Humiliation in Service of Sloth

 I have no oomph. I have no thoughts.  I owe you a post, though.

Therefore, I submit the following, humiliating myself in service of my unwillingness to think. 

Have a wonderful week, denizens.  Try not to think.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Happy BIrthday, Christina-Taylor

You'd be 19 today.  

No doubt you'd be taller than I am.  

No doubt you'd be doing my little errands because taking care of others was embedded in your soul.  

You'd be excited to vote in your first Presidential Election.  I see you registering 1st time voters who become incapable of refusing your entreaties, because you are still a force of nature.

I see you treasuring FlapJilly and Giblet as your own little faux niece and nephew, because, in your life,  there were never too many people to love.

I ran across a picture of you standing, arms akimbo, staring me down for some long-forgotten reason, at the Reid Park Zoo, on the group tour when you charmed the entire Cornell Club of Southern Arizona with your questions and your enthusiasm.  I laughed through the tears that appeared out of nowhere.  You were a presence, kiddo, an honest to God presence.

I carry you with me, in my heart, every day.  You encourage me and annoy me and laugh at me and you're never far when I need you.  I miss you every day.

(and, it's 9/11, which, for me, somehow, takes second place)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The News

Big Cuter (and others) are pissed at Bob Woodward for keeping the information DJT revealed a secret until his book was published, but I don't think that would have made a difference.  Those who love him will continue to look at the bright side, those of us on the other side are not surprised.

But hearing it in his own voice...... I screamed at the tv, and I haven't done that in a looooong time.  

Of course, I haven't let DJT's voice into my house for a long time, either.  

Is anyone surprised at Woodward's revelations?  I would like to meet that person.  It seems to me that today, as in every day since I can remember, the news is preaching to the choir.

I'm so tired of my silo.

I want us all to get on the same page - this can be conquered if we are smart.

I have to believe that.  I'll go mad if I let my mind wander to the wilderness of pandemic forever, Trump reelected, schools and teams and mah jongg games on permanent hiatus after a brief flurry of openings followed quickly by Covid-closings. 

It's simple science.  It hasn't changed since the 14th century.  I don't understand why it is so controversial....  and then I scroll through Facebook and find someone asking if anyone knows anyone who died from HIV/AIDS or COVID and going on to declare that it's all made up by the lamestream media.

There are real humans who believe that hospitals are receiving thousands of extra dollars per Covid patient and so the numbers are vastly inflated...... while they ignore the refrigerated trucks serving as temporary morgues outside the coroners' office.  

I'm so angry right now.  It's not a helpful anger.  It's not a useful feeling. It's wormed its way into the corners of my brain and even typing to you isn't clearing it out.  

I'm listening to a webinar from Cornell on voter suppression.  That's not helping, either.

I'm going to get back on the phone with my son.  I'm going to stop listening to the news.  I'm going to make a yummy dinner from the limited number of supplies in the kitchen.  I'm going to crochet something soft and pretty.  And I'm going to eat an ice cream sundae, with Haagen Dazs and roasted walnuts and bananas and the remains of the last sorry looking peach in the fruit drawer.\

I hope that helps.  

I'll let you know.