days worth celebrating

Pretty much every one knows by now that this week was a landmark week with National Siblings Day and National Pets Day. We know this, of course thanks to social media and all of the I-really-don’t-like-these-national-whatever-days-but-here-is-a-picture-of-my-punk-brother-and-brat-sister-and-me-and-my-cat-and-my-dog-and-my-hedgehog. Thanks social media friends, even if you really don’t care abouhonoring those life-long cradle to grave relationships that are the ones you share with brothers and sisters or celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the globe. Yeah, we see your feigned indifference and we are not buying it. Not at all.

You care about those people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way.

Your cat, on the other hand, probably doesn’t care. She probably doesn’t even care about National Grilled Cheese Day, which is today.. She would care if I were to make this grilled cheese sandwich. WE ALL WOULD CARE! Alas, my darling husband is on a strict diet right now and I am joining him in solidarity and because I could stand to lose a few myself. 

Meanwhile, this picture posted on social media in celebration of days worth celebrating is truly the best and the one, for me, most worth celebrating.

Although I fear I might never be able to forgive their parents for allowing them to grow up so fast.

Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.

~ Margaret Mead

keeping balance

Mom is sick. Mom is unable to take care of herself.

Thank goodness for my sister whose strength enables her to do that which I am not sure that I can. She’s taking care of Mom.

Point A to Point B is never a straight line, not while living this ride that is life. Yup, here I am letting go; letting go of so much. In my time now. In my own way.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving
~ Albert Einstein

homework helper

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, known as West Allegheny Junior High School, I found myself drawing a lot of maps. At least it seemed that way because Mr. Campbell, the geography teacher, always assigned a drawing of each and every country we studied in our classroom tour of Europe. For me, map assignments were easy. I aced maps. I was so good, as a junior high aged kid, that I imagined that I would grow up to be a cartographer – a great cartographer. It would have been really cool, except for the math part. Dammit math!

But forty some years later, my map drawing skills come in handy as I assist my eight grader with his research project.

Just the map, Mom.

Best part was saying Phuket and snickering like a junior high boy.

That’s not how you say it, Mom!

living with the greatest evil

Saint Augustine once said, The greatest evil is physical pain, and all I can say right now is preach on good saint!

I like to imagine that I can handle pain. I mean I have birthed babies with no pain meds on board. I road a bike from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back the next day with my right arm in a cast. I’ve run my fair share of half marathons. Come on, surely I am capable to handle a little pain and survive.

But time, spondylosis, and osteoarthritis is telling me otherwise. Forget an exhilarating 5K run to start the day. The same goes for a slow walk around the park just around the corner from The Big Top. Reach for that salad bowl on the top shelf or bend down to tie my shoes guarantees the constant throbbing to amp up to knives stabbing the spinal column, hips and knees. The 20-30 commute to work just might kill you were it not for the salvation of the heated seat in that fun-sized Dory-car. The pain of swollen fingers,, hands, wrists and elbow promises that sleep will be interrupted numerous times through the night…or day for this night shift nurse. Yes, I tell my ortho doctor, I do take THAT much Naprosyn daily – my stomach is fine, for now. Late at night, as I attempt to console a baby born addicted to opiates because of mother’s addiction, I find myself having a better understanding sometimes what that mother must have been living with and trying to erase with prescription and illicit medicating. I’m still Team Baby, but as my back, neck, shoulder and elbow scream in protest while I hold their baby in comfort from their own withdrawal pain, I can imagine wanting to do just about anything to make this pain stop.

I’m working on it with the help of my ortho and pain specialist doctors; but this chronic suffering did not come about overnight so I imagine that relief or adjusting to a new normal that I can live with, work with and play with will take time too. I tell myself that. I tell myself that a lot – every day, every week.

Today though, today was not a good day because that chronic pain is peaking with no relief. I might have ugly cried at least three times – driving home from work this morning, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep this morning and waking up just an hour or so after falling asleep to that same pain. Days like today, and last night at work can be much too much sometimes.

But hurray for a new ball cap representing the fact that I am just a Steeltown girl and that, in spite of the pain, I woke up like this.

You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and…you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way. ~ Elizabeth Taylor

snowflakes, snow days and winter is coming

Somedays can be so hard…like today. Chronic pain, persistent anger that simmers at a low boil and long awaited and prayed-for winter storms take their toll…and today it was just that.

Expressing frustrations socially can help except in this time of political incorrectness; which is basically code for a hall pass for bullying anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Still today was a day where I spoke my mind, because I have a mind dammit and as long as it is my social space and the First Amendment remains, I’m going to express myself. It feels good. It’s even better to bask in the warmth of the like-minded in my own circle. In church we used to refer to it as encouragement. Of course, not everyone I know thinks like me. That’s okay. Most can just agree to disagree because it’s the mature thing to do. Others just walk away, mute, unfollow, scroll past or just ignore – equally mature. I respect these choices. I honor them. I give thanks for each and everyone in my circles who do this. You all are amazing! Mad love and respect for you all because we regularly exchange ideas and challenge one another.

It’s all fine until that one person you know stops by to troll. YES, troll! We all know that one person…or two or maybe more. The ones who have nothing to say when you get that promotion at work, or your kid does something great, or when you wreck your car, or when you are lonely or afraid. But express an opinion that differs from theirs and THEY ARE THERE!

Hey there trolls. How the hell are you? Let’s talk. Engage. Trade ideas. Brag about our kids and grandkids.

Trolls respond as trolls do with shrill screeching, yelling and name-calling.

I’m a snowflake?

Okay fine, I am a snowflake.

You think that will hurt me? Oh bitch please. I have been called much worse…in fact one of you actually was one of those who called me much worse back in the day. I forgave you then. You were just a punky kid then. Today you are an adult, an adult armed with the idea that this Republican administration gives you a pass to insult and name call anyone who does not agree with your opinions, your beliefs, your politics or the Administration that you voted for. Now who is the snowflake, really?

But go ahead, if it makes you feel better about yourself, your opinions, your politics, call me a snowflake.

I’m a snowflake…one tiny snowflake alone, so delicate, so fragile, so ethereal. No wonder you feel so brave with your trolling. And yet, let a billion of them come together through the majestic force of nature, they can screw up a whole city…highways, airports, businesses and schools.

Winter is coming my friends.

So is a snow day.

Get ready.