Archive for February, 2009

Lupus Advocacy Day March 3

February 27, 2009

The Lupus Foundation of America is going to the Capitol to urge Congress to fund research for lupus. We have not had a new FDA approved drug in 50 years!!!! Half a century! How old were you 50 years ago? Were you even born yet? How SAD is that for those of us with this devastating disease?

Please help us from the comfort of home. All you have to do is use your lap top. Click here to learn how.

Thank you….and please….pass the word…

Economic Crash Hits Home

February 26, 2009

Sooner or later the reality of it all had to hit. Like millions of Americans, we lost most of our retirement money in the stock market crash. We thought it had been safe in our 401K.  Even so we figured, hoped, like millions of Americans, that it would rebound. We did not panic, even though my husband is 64 years old.   We still hope so.

And our home, like mostly everyone else’s, is not worth what we paid for it four years ago. Ok, well fine, we don’t want to sell it anyway. We love our cozy little place out in the middle of nowhere, PA. We look forward to our grandkids’ visits out to the country, where we can take them fishing, have sleepouts on the screened porch, catch lightening bugs, that kind of thing.

However recently just before the crash, my husband, primary wage earner, left a very well paying, secure job, to take one closer to home, and me. And that has turned out to be a disaster. Long story short, the company restructured and let go the man who hired him.  Then the other day Alph comes home and tells me there are strong rumors, from good sources.  that the place is going to fold.  Yes, I know, a rumor is just that,  a rumor. But based upon what my husband sees of the management of the place, which he was hired to fix, the rumor seems highly credible.

With no money to draw on from our 401K  or any home equity, we are one paycheck away from no house, no security, no golden years. Luckily, he has already networked with a previous boss who is also a personal friend, and  has consulting work lined up with him for sometime next year which should turn into a full time job.

But still…  one paycheck away from public assistance.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  Not at our age. I grieve for the lost, false sense of economic security. Ignorance was bliss.

Psychscribe Quote # 55

February 22, 2009

GLORIA STEINEM:

If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?

I’ll Be Back Soon

February 21, 2009

Dear Friends,

I’m sorry  I vanished with no explanation after my last post.  It was in no way related to the subject matter, though I can see how anyone might think so. I got a lot of comments and didn’t reply to any of them. Rude on my part, so sorry! I’ve been processing all your thoughtful insights, support, and ways of looking at it, and will be replying in the next week or so. I so appreciate that everyone took the time to respond and will respond back to every one of of you.

In my outer world, I’m immersed in preparing for a craft show next weekend where I will for the first time  be showing and hopefully selling my jewelry. I don’t expect to make a lot of money on such a thing, but it is an art to me so it would be like exhibiting my paintings for sale. Also fun is that I will be doing it with my sister, who does fabric collage art – also showing it for the first time. I have enlisted my beautiful daughter to come out and model for me, so it will be a fun family weekend as well.

Anyway, I did want to check in and let you know I’m alive and well!

Hugs to all and talk to you soon,

Psych

I Have “mild lupus IF AT ALL????”

February 17, 2009

I am stymied… I had to get a new rheumatologist (Harvard and Yale educated) for my lupus because I moved two hours from my former doctor of four years. I went to a new one very highly recommended by a dear, very intelligent friend  who is a doctor.

When I went to see him he had all my records, which he read,  but said he wanted to do his own work up  “to see if you even have lupus”. This meant a blood draw of 12 vials and a referral to a neurologist and pulmonologist. I was to call him after the blood work came in. 

I called in yesterday for the results.  The nurse checked w/him on the blood work and the reply was that the only thing of concern was my cholesterol which is off the charts and to speak to my primary about medication.
So that was IT..like the discussion was over..so i said…well, what about the lupus and a treatment plan for it and the prednisone, meds, etc?

So she went  off for quite some time to ask him  and came back and said  “the dr. said there were very minor changes and that you have very mild lupus, if that.” So I said well what about all this pain? And she replied, “Well I don’t know but that’s very good news. You know I think he just doesn’t want to say you don’t have it outright yet at this point. He wants you to decrease your prednisone from 15 mg to 10.”  Then he wants me to come in and discuss things once I see the neurologist and the pulmonologist!!!!

I know I should be happy  but.. then what IS all this weakness and pain and flares when I get an infection????????????  And what caused my stroke if I have a mild case of lupus?  

I read my previous doctor’s records which indicated I was an atypical case and had not responded to lupus medications. We had always discussed this fact. But he had never said what I found in the record, this hypothesis  that it was possibly somatization – that DREAD word meaning psychologically based symptoms-  but that he rejected that because of the history of  stroke.

So now I’m afraid I have the “hysterical woman” label even though I have these terrible symptoms and history…. Or, maybe I have something else even worse…

Your  objective thoughts.. please?

Ever Happen to You?

February 16, 2009

alien_faulty-gps

Commentary: I wonder how many hits mapquest has lost as a result of the GPS…Then again, I used to sometimes get poor directions from Mapquest as well….

“Interview” with Career Criminal

February 15, 2009

 

I was just watching a news story about a police officer who was killed by a “career criminal”. 

Now there’s something for the perpetrator to be proud of.  A murder to add to his resume.

Come with me to an interview with a career criminal composite. We’re having coffee at a Mac Donald’s in a really scary part of town.

“So what do you do for a living, Bob?”

“i’m a career criminal.”

“Could you tell us a bit about your job?”

“Yeah. I  sell drugs. Steal and kill and stuff like that.”

“What kind of compensation can a good career criminal hope to make?” 

“Well, the drugs are always good for a few hundred, even a grand some nights.  Or you can always get some cash  from someone walkin’ down the street.  It depends on the victim. You have to be good at targeting your mark. If you’re lucky, you can make hundreds in just one night. If you screw up and the mark has no cash, there’s always the payoff of the thrill kill.”

“Thrill kill?”

“Yeah, you know, like, you kill the mark anyway because you’re pissed off and just want to at least get a rush from that. Cops are better though.” 

“How so?”

“Cause they think they’re so above us, and are always sticking their noses into our business. I mean everyone has to make a living, right? I need a roof over my head and food on my table just like anyone else.

“Well…it must be dangerous?”

“Some. ” (He flexes his muscles a bit, clearly proud.) “But not if you’re tough, and you’re good. A lot of so called career criminals are just criminal wannabe’s. They’re amateurs. They don’t stay on the street, or anywhere else, very long.”

“Does your mother know what you do for a living?”

“Well, she knows I’ve done time but she also knows I was wrongfully  convicted.  I mean, otherwise why would they allow us conjugal visits?”

“Conjugal vists?????”

“Yeah, man it ain’t so bad at all. In our state, we have the right to get a trailer one weekend a month for our booty call.”

“Have you ever thought of going straight, getting a…real job?”

“Hey lady, you ever see where I grew up?  Did ya think I was gonna be a banker, or a lawyer? I”m doin’ just what my daddy did..”  

“You could go back to school…”

“And make what? Ten, fifteen bucks an hour when I get out? Who could live on that?” He looks at me like I”m a complete jackass and stomps out, like a bull ready to charge.

I walk fast, trying not to run, and get into my upscale car, locking all the doors. I feel scared, confused, angry, and also strangely sad for him.  For the blankness in his eyes and the danger in his soul. 

I zoom home to my cozy little house in the burbs, and thank God our sons were born into the life we’ve been able to offer them.

Soul Sketching

February 13, 2009

 

This wonderful collaboration grew  from my two friends at Cafe Crem,  Susan Cornelis and Kevin Moore.  There’s so much more to discover about their talent:

Artist: Susan Cornelis

 Website: Imagine with Art

Art Blog: Susan’s Art and Sketchbook Blog

Composer and Musician: Kev Moore

Blog: GOODABOOM.COM

Blog: Cafe Crem

Matchmakers Making Big Bucks on Wall Street

February 12, 2009

Today I found this article published by Reuters….

People are writing checks  for $30,000 -$50,000 up front to find a perfect mate. These appear to be primarily men, who in the stress of their jobs during this economic turmoil would rather come home to the comfort and soothing of a good wife than date around as in past glory days.

So while Wall Street is crashing, matchmaking is smashing. One matchmaker said that she’s recently had a 30 year old write her a $30,00. check up front “without batting an eyelid.”  Another matchmaker said she  recently spent a week at a luxury hotel in New York interviewing  20 women for a client who wanted to meet a graduate of the same Ivy League university he attended.  The client paid more than $50,000. for the search.

Two thoughts occur to me.

1. I went into the wrong profession in terms of income.  

2. Can you imagine how many hungry kids that money could feed around the globe? Is it just me, or is this decadent?

Make New Friends But…

February 12, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.”  

I’m finding I don’t agree with that old saying.  Some of my old friends have disappointed me terribly in regard to my health issues. No support at all.  Not even polite questions about how I’m doing.  If I mention I’ve been having a hard time, they respond as if I mention the weather has really been getting to me. Yet my blog friends are here for me all the time, express genuine concern, and check in with me to see if I’m OK when I’ve been quiet for a while. 

So for me, new friends are the gold ones. Thank you, each and every one of you.

Cool New Blog in the ‘Sphere

February 11, 2009

 

 

I would like to introduce the brand new blog of my friend Viv:  Zen and the Art of  Tightrope Walking.

She’s a  wise and witty writer, a wicked poet, and a sincere and cool soul searcher. Check it out!

In Case You Haven’t Seen this Yet

February 10, 2009

Nice to know our soldiers can maintain a sense of humor!

We’re Pregnant!

February 9, 2009

Ok, I know its customary for the mom and dad these days to say “we’re pregnant”, but I just have to tell you that my daughter is pregnant with my first grandchild, and it sure feels like WE’RE pregnant..(.actually just like her wedding felt like “our wedding”.)  We are just so close. She wants me in the delivery room and everything. I am just so honored about that. And even more honored that her husband wants me there.

No, he really does.

 She just got back from the doctor’s. We knew it of course from the home pregnancy test and other obvious signs, but it was nice to have him confirm that she’s healthy and they got to hear the heartbeat. She’s two months, due September 25th. 

Woohoowoohoowoohoo!!!!!!  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

She thinks she already looks pregnant, especially in her stomach. I don’t want to rain on her parade, she’s so excited, but truthfully, shhhh…here is what she still looks like:

Psychscribe Quote #54

February 9, 2009

 

“I am not a has-been. I am a will be.” Lauren Bacall

 

Earlier photo:


Coming to America

February 8, 2009

For my friend Sanityfound,  because she really is coming to america!

 

COMING TO AMERICA

Far
We’ve been travelling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Home, don’t it seem so far away
Oh, we’re travelling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we’ll say our grace
Freedom’s light burning warm
Freedom’s light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America

They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country ’tis of thee
(Today)
Sweet land of liberty
(today)
Of thee I sing
(today)
Of thee I sing
(today)

(today)

(today)

(today

1.5 – 2 million Americans have a form of lupus

February 7, 2009

Do you even know what lupus is ? You should. It can kill you or a loved one. 

If I Had My Life to Live Over

February 7, 2009

 

This is a well known column by Erma Bombeck, a very popular writer who was syndicated back in the days before the internet and died in 1996.. (Yes children, there once was a world without it when people couldn’t live without their paper newspapers!) 

Anyway, I thought I’d post it for anyone in younger generations, or other countries, who missed it. Its quite wonderful, I think. Hope you will too. Its called “If I Had My Life to Live Over”.  She writes:

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love yous”..  more “I’m sorrys”…  but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it…and never give it back.

by Erma Bombeck 

About Erma from Wikipedia: “Erma Louise Bombeck (February 211927 – April 221996), born Erma Fiste, was an Americanhumorist who achieved great popularity for hernewspaper column that described suburban home life humorously from the mid-1960s until the late ’90s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became best-sellers.

From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife with broad, and sometimes eloquent, humor. By the 1970s, her witty columns were read, twice weekly, by thirty million readers of 900 newspapers of theU.S. and Canada.”

Black History Month

February 6, 2009

For anyone who lives in a cave and doesn’t know it, this is Black History Month. I thought I would offer a nice link to historical milestones in black history:

http://www.history.com/minisites/blackhistory

There were many heroes in this long journey, but my favorite has always been Rosa Parks, who damned well refused to sit in the back of the bus!

To My Everlasting Shame

February 6, 2009

I did not stay at my father’s bedside, to be with  him until he passed. There he was, right upstairs in the bedroom, while I hid like a coward downstairs and out of sight. We knew it would be that night. The doctors had called the family in and said so. 

All his brothers and sisters, the aunts and uncles I grew up with,  had been pretty much staying at my parents’ house for those last weeks.  The pasta pots were always boiling. They brought Italian bread and provolone cheese and sweet salami with big green olives. Most importantly,  they brought the black humor which is our family trademark , especially during our darkest hours.  It sustained us and carried us.

And yet, there was an age regression that took place for me. At age 32, they were still the grown ups and I was like a child again. That’s just how the dynamics morphed. When it was soon to be time, my favorite aunt had a talk with me and asked me if I really wanted to watch my father die. She explained to me, 32 going on 8, that dying was not like in the movies. It was quite a frightening thing to see.  She encouraged me to have my quiet time alone with him, now in a coma, and say my good-bye. I did so. Then I walked out of the room and all his siblings and my mother went in and the door was firmly closed.

And so he died with his wife, brothers and sisters all around and me nowhere in sight. They later said it was an awful thing. Blood and God knows what everywhere. Even his brothers were shaken by it. It was not something I should have had to see, they told me. As if they had protected me from something.

But not long after, I realized it was my own father’s awful thing. I should have been there. I allowed myself to be shielded by my beloved and well meaning aunt with childlike trust.  I should have been there. I was not a child. I was not, in truth, protected or shielded. I was written out of the last line of the last page of his life.  No, we wrote me out. 

And I am so ashamed, sorry, and regretful… What if my father knew or sensed I wasn’t there, right through the invisible walls of his coma? My shame is this: that I, his oldest and most responsible child, should have  accompanied him on the final stage of his journey. I should have been there. 

No tidy ending to this post. I should have been there.  

(This post was inspired by a poem by Cordie entitled:  If I had it to do all again)

The Measure of Grief

February 5, 2009

 

 

THE MEASURE OF GRIEF

 

Twenty-five years ago today my father died.  

Even in my dreamless sleep I knew it.

 

I stumble out of bed  

where is my husband?

 

I want to hug him    

hug him so tightly

but he is gone

gone to work  

to work his ass off.

 

Gone.

 

I worry about his heart.

 

I want to hug my father  

(who worked his ass off).

I want to hug him  

hug him so tightly

 

but he is gone  

 

gone to rest    

to rest in peace.

 

I’d rather he were here, God forgive  me.

Yes.  I would rip him right out of paradise  if I could

to have him back here with the whole family

loving    living   YES , even suffering

but right alongside us where   think he belongs.

 

A quarter of a century.

One-fourth of a whole.

A quarter coin is so small really.  

 

A hole the size of a quarter 

is still in my heart  

big enough to kill me.

 

by Psychscribe ©2009

Do You Think She Needs Counseling?

February 3, 2009

women_creepy-collagen

Art,Writers,Photos,Musicians

February 2, 2009

 

cafe-crem

I really must break the best kept “secret” on the web. If you have any creative spark, juice, electricity – professional or just yearnings, please do check out Cafe Crem. This is an online, international  cafe of the kindest, most wonderful people who encourage all efforts at all stages of artistic development.

The sense of generous, artistic community is truly a gift.  It was created, and continues to be developed by Miki, an awesome artist, and Kev, her partner, an awesome musician and writer.  Miki is French, Kevin is English, and they both live together in Spain.

There are different “rooms” in the cafe depending on your interest.  There is the recently opened “Cafe Literati”( for the writers)  the “Cafe L’Arte”  (the Art  Gallery)  “Ca’ Puccini”(the Music Studio) and “The Mini Bar”( for teens and kids). 

I love it there. Hope you will too.

Psychscribe Quote #53

February 1, 2009

Photo © Jupiter Images 2008

“Do not be afraid to use what talents you possess, for how silent the woods would be if no birds sang except those which sang the best.” Henry Van Dyke