Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricanes Everywhere

Public Hurricane

The hurricane blew through the Jersey shore pretty much like a typically bad storm. Nothing compared to the horrors elsewhere in the state and in other places. No power for two days, a pain, but nothing tragic. About a half a foot of water in the basement, but that cleared up as soon as the power kicked on the sump pump. My Infamous Roof leaked, my plaster is peeling in the living room and sunroom ceilings again and I have a call into yet ANOTHER roofer (#7) to figure out where the problem is. Phone service is still out, they said that should be fixed by Friday.

Because of changed plans, it developed I was alone when the storm started to hit Saturday night. After some back and forth, I decided to take my friend Christine up on her offer to stay over with them, mostly for the company. I figured if I stayed home alone I would be both nervous and feeling sorry for myself. So I packed up Bella and my kabillion medications and hightailed it three miles away. Came home Sunday morning, creeping down the street I felt like Scarlett in Gone With the Wind waiting to see if Tara was still standing after the Yankees had been through. Tara was still standing! I said yay, Bella said yay and we settled in to keeping ourselves entertained without power. I had my industrial sized flashlight at the ready (also handy as a potential weapon to brain any villains), my Kindle and lots of tea to sustain me and the electricity came back on Monday morning. All in all not too bad in comparison with others.

My neighbors, the Fuckwits, had the benefit of a generator. Why, one might ask, would a pair of able-bodied, 30-somethings need a generator? Why, to keep their beer cold, why else?!?! The generator was so loud it was like have a jet engine relentlessly blasting in my back yard for over 24 hours. I was ready to pound my head against the wall by the time the power came on.

Personal Hurricane

It started, as it always does, with pain that got worse and worse. And I, as I always do, ignored it. The pain in my leg was like someone had taken it and twisted it as though they were wringing out a mop. And then it puffed up like the Michelin man. And then it got harder and harder to walk. Until, finally, I really could not walk at all, I could only do a crab-like shuffle while gripping furniture and molding for dear life.

After weeks of this building up, it finally occurred to me that I needed a course of IV steroids. Bless his heart, my neurologist ordered it without question. I felt better almost immediately after the first infusion. Of course, because nothing is ever easy, my IV infiltrated overnight. When I flushed it this morning the saline collected in a little puff beneath my skin instead of flowing into my vein. So now I have to have a new IV put in and keep my fingers crossed it will last for one more day.

After three days of IV Solumedrol, I will feel better AND I will be a sleep deprived raving lunatic. What a trade off.

I have my new book to help correct my viewpoint. Unfortunately, I can’t find it because Bella knocked it under my bed (yes, things falling off my bed then fly mysteriously horizontally, so it eventually takes a broom and multiple exclamations of “So THAT’S where that was!!”, to find something that slipped off an hour ago. The book is called Alphatudes and it is all about being grateful for all the shitty things that happen in your life. I mean, accepting with grace that life isn’t perfect. My friends, which is why I adore them, say “PHOOEY!! If there was ever a time to feel sorry for yourself, this is it.” Oh baby, I AM ALL OVER THAT. So I am working a crazed balancing act of self-pity and counting my blessings. It is fun, angst and sanctimony at the same time. It is like having my cake and eating it too.

Breaking News: IV and Roof

The nurse was able to get here this morning and get a good line going. Fingers crossed it lasts until the morning. Second infusion down, mania at Eleven.

The roofer, taking in my falling down ceilings, my power wheelchair, my walker and my IV, was practically in tears and wringing his hands in sorrow after evaluating my roof for about an hour. It will, predictably, cost a fortune to repair. A FORTUNE. A brand new roof that I paid $7000 for just seven years ago and have invested thousands more in fruitless repairs. The original roofers botched the job so badly the whole front has to be ripped off. THE. WHOLE. FRONT. OF. THE. HOUSE. That horrible sound you hear through your window? That’s me, wailing. I think I will be able to stop in a few hours.

Sigh. Alphatudes-shmalfaphatudes, where’s the vodka.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Message to My Children

Our family is going through a lot of changes these days. Especially with me being sick and with life being so unpredictable, I was inspired to write a list of lessons I have learned over the years that I would like to impart to them.

Dear Kids,

Things I have learned (often the hard way) and things I want you to know:

• Be kind to yourself. Not indulge yourself, but love yourself the way you deserve to be loved. Don’t be hard on yourself if you make a mistake, just learn from it. Find what you love as your life’s work. You deserve to be happy. Work hard at what you love, but take time to keep balance in your life.

• Be kind to others. Treat them the way you would like to be treated. Smile, hold a door, give someone a ride, let someone in in traffic, overlook it when someone is acting like a jerk. Don’t hold people to impossible standards that they can’t meet, appreciate their humanness. Give back. That kindness will come back to you, over and over. That is how you will be a good example for your own children.

• Don’t let little things bother you. It’s not worth the energy. And if it is a big thing, take a deep breath, walk away, cool off and go back to deal with it when you feel more calm. Things always work out one way or another. Don’t waste your time being angry unless it is over injustice or moral wrong. Anger takes a terrible toll on your soul.

• Be grateful for what you have. Don’t look at other people and think they maybe have it better than you. I guarantee they don’t. There is an old saying: “If you put your troubles in a pile with ten other people, you would take yours back.” You never know what kind of burden someone is carrying. Another good reason to be kind.

• Stay close to your siblings. Work at it. Time goes by so fast. You are the only family you have, cherish that. Enjoy each other. Ignore petty things. Remember what good people you are.

• Tell your children about your family, all the funny and fun stories you can remember. Focus on the good, but don’t ignore the bad. Learn from the bad that people are human and need to be forgiven.

• Have faith in a spiritual power. In hard times, that is where you will find strength and hope.

• Laugh. Look at the funny side of things. Keep a sense of humor.

• Remember that life is very short and you only get one go at it. So make sure if you are investing yourself and your emotions in something that it is worth your while.

• Know that you were always loved, from the minute you were known, before you were even born. You may not have gotten the perfection you deserved, but that overwhelming love was always there. It can give you solace when you need it most, so hold onto it. You will never be alone, that spirit of care and affection is always with you. Nothing can end it, not even death.

In a nutshell:

Love. Laugh. Whine (a little). Nourish yourself. Do these things, you will be happy and you will make the world a better place.

Lots of love,

My children, 1989  Fireman's Park, Ocean Grove, NJ

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Days

Summer days with my grandchildren.

Cousins having a fun dinner at The Circus.

Madailein practicing her future occupation of simply looking gorgeous.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pray for Peace

On the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, we owe it to our children to pray for peace, that such a calamity will never be visited on any human beings ever again.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

I offer prayers for our soldiers all over the world who are fighting against tyranny and evil. I pray for the families of those who will not be coming home.

To lose even a single soldier is overwhelmingly tragic, but I pray their sacrifices will not be tainted by giving in to vengeance. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

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