Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Beginning Thoughts on Death From Drug Addiction

Recently a famous and heralded actor died from a heroin overdose. Several days later this news is still blaring from my television; and the internet is buzzing about it. Social media was on fire for a day or two with the usual rants. Some saying what a shame; others saying oh well another dope fiend gone. That type of thing. It sturck me how little has changed about the way people perceive drug addiction. That is the shame. Especially in a country that is known for it's so-called "war on drugs". A war that accomplished little except putting many relatively harmless people in jail for years; while leaving the real perpatrators free to roam and prey on our youth and other vunerable people.

The death from drugs of an accomplished person who had everything and more to live for, may help change attitudes. Possibly some day people will see addiction as a disease. Hopefully, one day the desparation of a heroin addcit will be seen for what it really is....Maybe, at some point hospitals, doctors, elected officials, and everyone will understand that the addict had a predisposition to a terrible, terrible disease. That when the disease took it's grip on that person, they were in need of help. Their choice, be it alcohol or heroin, or prescription drugs, may have been almost accidental.  But the choice isn't anything they can escape without medical and psychological help.

In the mean time, people will continue to die unnecesarily.. Our children, our neighbors, our friends. Some of the best and the brightest. Many just ordinary people who are loved.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snowy Winter Blues

It's snowy and frigid here where I am making my new life. Sometimes I really miss the warm/hot climate where I lived in the plural family. Even if it got cold it never lasted long. I miss the heat. And I miss the little boy who stole my heart.

“If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart. I'll stay there forever.” 

I said almost those exact words to him once. I am inside  your heart and you are inside mine. He would ask me to repeat it on occasion. I hope, I really, really hope, he remembers that. I hope they haven't contaminated his feelings for me. His brother was older by a few years and we weren't as close; his baby sister was not much more than newborn. He however was two years old and just learning to talk and do the things little boys do, when I moved there. He was and I'm sure is a sweetheart. I don't know why he loved me so, but he did, and his company kept me strong when I needed to be strong. He saved me from wallowing in my depression. He was my only joy during those days. One or two friends helped, but that little boy loved me, wrinkled and bald. And I am just so sorry I never said goodbye.

I am battling winter depression, this I know. But I think this year it's at it's worst. The weather isn't co-operating, and I'm spending a great deal of time alone and doing nothing. I'm not motivated to paint or write. I have a hard enough time starting a simple chore. I have my kids and my grandkids and my sisters; but I don't have one friend that lives nearby. No one to laugh with, have some wine and watch a stupid television show with. No one to shop with, or complain to. I babysit. That is what I do now. Then I go home or send them home, and collapse.

They are my joy now, my beautiful grandchildren. That should be enough I know. But I worry about them, for them and pray they will be fine. They love me and look forward to seeing me. They greet me with open arms and kisses. But I can't fully enjoy it because I am so worried about them. And I'm so depressed about just about everything.  I hope I will be in their hearts forever, because they will be in mine.

I wish I could snap out of this.

Maybe when the sun comes out and melts the snow.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Reason for The Season

Every year it seems the debate over "Merry Christmas" seems to grow and grow. Do we say Merry Christmas to everyone? Should Merry Christmas be written or said in various situations. Doesn't Happy Holidays make so much more sense? After all not everyone celebrates Christmas. .... and so on and so forth.

When I used to send many Christmas cards I made a point of having a "Merry Christmas" one for some; a religious one for others, like an angel, or baby Jesus, or the Wise Men; and a generic Happy Holidays for those who were Jewish or didn't celebrate Christmas for whatever reason. Ridiculous you say. I agree, now. Merry Christmas was always my favorite; the religious card I felt was a good reminder of the reason for the season; and the Holiday card made me feel better, somehow. Again, silly and ridiculous.

The point I want to make is, Happy Hannuka is fine with me. I don't celebrate that holiday, but I am aware of it and have no problem with children being taught about Hannukah in school. The same goes for Kwanza. But everyone except the most religious Christians seem to have a problem with children being taught about Christmas. Let's put snowmen around the school walls and so forth and call it a day. Let's not.

Town Squares may have a Christmas tree and a Mennorah and Kwanza candles now-a-days. However, put out a creche and watch the rumble. Seriously? This offends you? You're ridiculous. I am the biggest believer in separation of Church and State but reminding folks that this is a religious holiday for some does not offend me in the slightest.

There are all kinds of reasons to revel in the saying of Merry Christmas. There are very few, and mostly narrow minded reasons to ban it.

Growing  up in suburban New York City, none of this was an issue; but then slowly things changed. Also growing up where I did and raising my family there, I have always been surrounded by people of all faiths and races. Do you go out of your way to say Merry Christmas to a co-worker who you know full well does not celebrate the holiday? No. If that person happened to be Jewish a Happy Hannuka works during that time. Matter of fact some of the best Christmas decorations could be found in the homes and offices of my Jewish co-workers and friends. Any excuse would do:  an inter faith marriage being only one of those.

You see, the reason for this season is not just the birth of Christ, or commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire, nor the honoring of the African American culture; and not the annual observance of Ramadan. The real reason for the season in love. 

So I wish all of you a very Happy, Merry, and Holy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vanity, where are my teeth?

Did I mention my tooth loss issue? I really don't even like talking about it because it makes me feel stupid and a bunch of other things including angry.

I never liked dentists. Sorry. Just never did. But I've had extensive work done over the years. Lots of crowns and so forth. Right before I started on that journey of mine I had several root canals and crowns. I spent a ton of money. You could probably say that most of my teeth had root canals etc. And my teeth looked pretty good. This was necessary because I had been avoiding the dentist after having kids.

A year after moving across the country, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Bi-lateral breast cancer stage 2 to be precise. After a double mastectomy I had chemo, a reconstruction, and then started a therapy of after meds. That medicine it turns out is very hard on some people. Everyone, a little different.  I was avoiding the dentist again.

I started losing my teeth! Well the first one you couldn't see really. But as time went on another, then another. Turns out I wasn't losing my teeth I was losing crowns because the bone and the part of tooth that holds the crown was becoming bad. This is a rare side effect of the medication. A more common one is hair thinning. After a couple of years that happened too. :(  They say that will reverse when medication stops (I have another year and several months to go).  But back to my teeth.

After moving again I vowed to find a dentist I could tolerate. I finally did, and voila~ I am now the proud owner of dentures (uppers to be precise). Yuck. However this wasn't an easy process. It required extensive oral surgery, done in a hospital because of my lymphedema in both arms.

Yes, there are wonderful things in the world of medicine that save many lives afflicted by cancer. The down side is you will never be the same and the treatment takes its toll. The upside is you are ALIVE. So I'm not complaining here. But jeesh, my teeth? I never would have thought this would happen. It was a traumatic experience and I'm ashamed to say that it turns out I am a very vain person apparently. But I am alive. :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I am trying out Gray/Grey

I wish the color gray/grey didn't have two spellings because I can never decide which to use and don't know if there is a difference. At any rate, I seem to be trying out gray hair. Sigh. I've been coloring my hair since I noticed that the little bit of gray I had wasn't so little anymore. Yes, a long time. I've bleached it; highlighted it; covered it; and since moving in with my former hubby basically just colored it to cover the gray and lighten it a bit. I loved being blond so I try to move in that direction.

Why did I stop highlights etc you ask? Well dear friends who are interested in polygamy, my sisterwives at the time didn't have as much income as I had and could not afford to go to a stylist on a regular basis. I was encouraged to do as they did and make do with inexpensive home coloring. What can I say? I'm a jerk sometimes.

Anyway, my sister has been helping me color it now that I'm truly poor; and she's been doing a good job. But she's very busy; works two jobs and is newly married. I always feel like I'm imposing. So now I'm overdue. Very overdue, as in a couple of inches of gray blending in to the dull blondish rest of the head..Everytime I think about going to the store to buy color something stops me. I don't know what.

I've always looked younger than my age. I've seen photos of myself at 45, 50 and so forth and it's true. I always looked at least 5-10 years younger. Then I got sick. Before long, I started looking my age except for the lack of gray hair.

So there you have it. I'm old. We all get old I just didn't think it would happen to me so quickly. My how time flies....and not just when you are having fun.

Something tells me I will give this up, this trying to be gray thing, because gray seems to look best on women who wear a lot of makeup. I don't have the energy nor inclination for that I'm afraid. We'll see.

Oh, did I mention that boob I was in a plural marriage with keeps trying to contact me? I'll leave that for another post.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The rest of the year.........

Summer's almost over. That bothers me, I never feel that it's long enough - like a kid who doesn't want to go back to school, I mourn the end of summer. There are a few things I like about autumn/fall. The leaves turning beautiful colors. Crisp but not totally cold air. The smell of a school all cleaned up, polished and ready for its students. Indian summer....when and if we have one. That's about it. Otherwise, you can keep it.

Keep Halloween please; as well as that other fall holiday, Thanksgiving. Halloween because after the kids in your life are 9 years old it's just a bother. Make that 7. Thanksgiving because while I love the food spread associated with it. What's the point really? No one that I know has ever been truly thankful. They just say they are. And then there's the fact that fall leads to winter very rapidly. Humbug.

The madness of Christmas. The cold, frigid temperatures. The SNOW! The ice. Black ice. Gray unsightly days. The dreaded month of February. When I was raising children I always wondered why, oh why, give the kids a whole week off from school when it's miserable outside? Oh yeah, you can take them skiing; or if you really want to blow money you can drag them away from the bad weather to some paradise island. Fun? Maybe if you're lucky. But If I'm going to paradise young children are not who I want to bring with me. Much as I love my grandkids I am pretty sure I don't want to take them either. Tweens and teens? Good gracious, I'm not that crazy. Staying home and being miserable until spring actually sounds better.

Easter. The holiest holiday in the Christian calendar, has always been iffy for me. Honestly. Even when as a youngster, while I enjoyed the dressing up in new Easter outfits, and the family dinner with cousins and aunts and uncles, the purpose of this holiday always was a blur for me. More so than Christmas even. Is it a holy day? Are we meditating on the death and resurection of Christ; or has the Easter bunny left me enough chocolate to last a lifetime? At various stages of my life I immersed myself in to the holy part of it. Holy Thursday; Good Friday visiting what seemed like a kazillion churches with my mother; Holy Saturday Easter Vigil; and the the Easter Bunny, the bonnet, the shiny shoes, chocolate and ham. All mixed together like a hodgepodge of life. Serious yet festive. Borderline morose and the silliness of hunting for plastic Easter eggs. Just a strange holiday if you ask me. And god forbid it rains and all that festivity is spoiled. The truly one thing nice about spring is it's not cold anymore and the flowers start to bloom. That's it. Oh, and summer is on its way.

Beloved summer. Warm, hot, sticky, lazy summer. The smell of suntan lotion and salt water just never loses its appeal to me. Sand in my hair, down my bathing suit, and stuck to my feet is not at all bothersome. It's just a reminder of how nice it is outside; how little work one is expected to get done; and that this will last almost 3 months. Even chlorine smells good to me, clean in a way nothing else is clean. Long days when the sun doesn't go down until after 9 pm and when it starts its journey people stop in awe. Summer's holiday, July 4th, is passable. It's a do what you find fun kind of a day. People. No people. Beach. No beach. Barbeque. No barbeque. Fireworks or not. Truthfully, I could go on and on and on about the virtues of summer.......and now it's almost over.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Musings

I am not going to complain today! That is my new mantra. I hope it helps.

My little garden~ Outside my kitchen door I have use of a small part of the yard. There is a small, very small, little slate area and then grass. The landlord said I could do whatever I want back there. So..I made a pot garden! lol Pots with plants on either side of the door. I have lavender, Italian parsley, chives, rosemary and mint on one side. On the other just 2 tomato plants and 1 eggplant. I fret over them every day and water when necessary. No weeding!!! That is the plus side to a pot garden. The downside is ...the plants don't get to big. One tomato plant has just 3 tomatos growing on it, the other has 7! And of course I have no clue as to why one is doing so much better than the's almost like having children.

The beach! ~ I go to the ocean at least once a week. The bay area not so much which is odd because it's easier to get to...I don't know what I would do without the beach.

I have two sisters who haven't spoken in a while because of some rift which they aren't sure they remember. Last weekend I managed to get them together..yay me.

I see my grandchildren almost every day these days. It's lovely.

Years ago I started a Gratitude Journal. It may be something I try again. Haven't had time for painting because of the little ones, but I might be able to start some freelance web writing again. We shall see.

Happy Summer!