Tuesday, December 18, 2007

pictures and cookies






An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly.

-- Author:Gene Perret

I have been amiss. I promised to post pictures from my 2 week hiatus with my grand baby at Thanksgiving. Here it is almost Christmas! I don't know where my time goes. Yes..that is I, the Bubbie, reading to the baby.
I had a wonderful time even with the upper respiratory crud that was so lovingly shared with me.
Camryn will be two in a few short days. She continues to be a wonderful Christmas present, and watching my daughter with her fills me with tremendous pride...she's a wonderful mommy.
My son and his wife will be arriving tomorrow and will be here for Christmas. Their baby is due in May. I love being a Bubbie!
Before closing this post I'll share my recipe for mint meringue cookies, so you might be able to whip up a batch before Christmas. I learned this one from my mother in law. It's a must-make for my hubby and kids.
You will need:
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups of sugar
a few grains of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
optional green or red food coloring
bag of chocolate chips
parchment paper
cookie sheets
use a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl for the egg whites
all utensils must be very clean and dry
separate eggs while cold but whip egg whites at room temperature
best results are with low humidity (a rarity in Florida)
preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat egg whites with salt and tartar till they hold soft peaks
Add sugar gradually while continuing to whip
also add the extracts and food coloring
fold in the chips
Drop meringues on parchment covered cookie sheets
put them in the oven
leave temp on oven for a few minutes (maybe 3-5)
turn oven off and leave cookies in overnight
Don't open the door to peek!!
store in a airtight container lined with waxed paper
Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bubbie MIBW




Bubbie has been MIBW (Missing In Blog World)


Thank you to all who have been concerned.


I am OK, it's just been an adjustment period. I could be officially considered mal-adjusted or worse.


The nightmare that was delivered by the tiny ovaries of ethnic hamsters is over. I have been officially declared intolerant of Interferon 1-a. Unofficially it has been well known for the last 3 months.


But...I'm taking it one day at a time and with the Holidays approaching at the speed of light I am looking forward to the New Year, a time to take a deep breath, sigh relief, and get on with the show.


I have been given one month to detox from the rebiff and then to render my decision on my future treatment . (Insert dramatic southern bell accent) The options are all so very wonderful...how ever will I decide?


The decision has been put on a virtual shelf. I am busy wrapping presents, baking cookies (today's batch will be pheffeneusse and mint meringues)


Happy Holidays to you all!


In the mean time, this is a new video that was sent to me by my local MS group.



Monday, December 3, 2007

Some Days You Just Wanna Puke


Curious isn't it? A culture that made a ceremony out of purging? This is from National Geographic.
This vessel found in NW Hondouras is believed to have been used by the Mayan to drink an herbal concoction that induced vomiting and therefore facilitated communing with dead ancestors.
Although I have never communed with my dead ancestor's as the result of puking my brains out, I have on occaision communed with someone or things "out there" before I reached critical mass and puked. At that point and for some time after, you don't want to talk to the dead, you are wishing you could join them quicky to end the earthly misery you have self inflicted.
Well those days are long gone for the Bubbie, but I still feel the need to purge. Not the physical things in my surroundings like in Spring Cleaning, it's the clutter in my head and the toxins I feel building up in my body that are in my scope. Looking at my medicine bag, the one I used as my carry-on for vacation I noticed how incredibly large it was. All drugs and the associated accoutrement's! Pills, syringes, cotton balls, alcohol wipes, catheters...I have become a virtual druggie. I have become dependent on meds, and meds for side effects of the aforementioned meds and so on and so on. Isn't that nuts? Much of my time is spent in counting, reordering, and drugstore runs.
So..do I feel better for it? Would I be worse without it?
I don't know, but I have been home 5 days and I have yet to gather my poop in a group. I know...vacations can do that, MS can do that, but I feel toxic. Something has to go.
Rebiff and I are on our second trial. I don't know why anyone with an educated mind (or half a one for that matter) would think that doing the same thing as before would produce different results is beyond me. It's also beyond me that I went along with it.
I have titrated up to the full 44mcg dose 3 times a week and I have surrendered 3 sleepless nights and 4 days to the side effects.
Sluggish? Mind fog? The idea of detoxing and starting anew is appealing...but where do you go from here? What are our viable choices when interferons don't agree?
I respect those who have chosen the new road on monoclonal antibodies, it just isn't something I feel comfortable in doing. I never felt comfortable with interferon either, but here I am.
I think I wanna puke.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm Baaaaack !


The Bubbie is back.
We spent two weeks with my daughter in Virginia Beach.
I miss her and the baby already. I promise to bore you with pictures as soon as I get the time to download and go through the hundreds of pics and video I took of my grandbaby.
I'm busy unpacking suitcases, doing laundry, going through the mountainous pile of mail.
I'm making a list. I need groceries, dog food, meds refilled, phone calls to return....
We had a great time in spite of the disease exchange I took part in with my little booger-nosed baby. Everyone else just had a benign, although quite miserable head cold, while I decided to be more dramatic and engage in a high fever for several days. A trip to a doc-in-a-box had them puzzled as to the source of my fever. I tested negative for flu, strep, chest exray was clear (nasty smoker that I am, that was good news), but urine sample was suspicious. A script for Bactrim either worked, or I was already finished with this drama anyway...who knows. So, go in with Upper Respiratory Infection and come out with a UTI...go figure.
I cooked a turkey and lots of veggies, even a pumpkin and cherry pie. It was a very nice Thanksgiving.
My daughter took me to The A.R.E. for one afternoon. For me that is a "must" when in Virginia Beach. We took in a lecture and an excercise in telepathy and I spent some time in the research library. A good friend of her's works there and led me to a ton of interesting material that I will share with you in a future post.
My puppy is whimpering for my attention. I missed the furry varmint. My birds had two eggs hatch before I left and I now have 2 new babies almost ready to fly. One large vanda orchid is ready to bloom and needs my attention. I don't believe it rained here while I was gone. Groceries to buy...where the hell is my list? I should be back to my "normal" in a day or two.
And..oh! I almost forgot my laundry in the wash!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thanks

Thanksgiving often reminds me of elementary school days, making construction paper turkey's by tracing out outstretched palms, coloring cartoon pictures of Pilgrims wearing funny hats and big buckles on their shoes. I can honestly say I had never given much thought to the lives of those Pilgrims , their arduous journey to America and the hardships they must have endured. We can only imagine, considering we freak out when the electricity goes out, our cell phones can't get a signal or when gasoline tops $3 a gallon. Even if we were cast on Extreme Survivor, there would still be cameramen and medics a few feet away.





I'm counting my blessings and preparing to fly to my daughter's home for the holiday.



In preparation for this Thanksgiving Day, I have listed my lineage with my ancestors back to the Mayflower. Most of the research was done by a cousin of mine (I met online). I find history to be fascinating. I was very surprised to hear that I was a descendant of one of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Weren't they religious? pious? saintly? My relatives? Dig deeper...



According to Wikipedia: John Howland (c. 15991673) was one of the settlers who travelled from England to North America on the Mayflower and helped found the Plymouth Colony.

Howland was born in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England. At the age of twenty-one, he was employed by John Carver, a Puritan minister who joined with William Bradford in bringing his congregation from Leiden, Netherlands to the New World. Howland, formally considered a servant, was in fact Carver's assistant in managing the migration.
Although he had arrived on the Mayflower as a servant to the Carver family, Howland was a young man determined to make his mark in the new world, arriving as neither a "stranger", nor a "saint" as the
Pilgrims termed themselves. The arduous voyage very nearly ended his life as he was thrown overboard, due to turbulent seas, but managed to grab a topsail halyard that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard.



Figures...he was a servant lol.

Figures...he was not a saint lol

And THANKFULLY he WAS hauled back aboard!



Besides Bubbie there are many other notable descendants of John Howland. Franklin D.Roosevelt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush

( You can pick your nose, but you can't pick your relative's)





So for all you genealogy fans the tree looks like this:


John Howland who married Elizabeth Tilley
Desire Howland who married John Gorham
Shubael Gorham who married Puella Hussey
Deborah Gorham who married Beriah Fitch
Eunice Fitch who married Benjamin Barnard
Lucinda Barnard who married Barachiah Macy
Jonathan Macy who married Hannah Pierce
Mary Macy who married Jabish Luellen
Jonathan Macy Luellen who married Rebecca Margaret Current
Mary Elizabeth Luellen who married William Andrew Symons

Walter Scott Symons who married Helen Vivian Cubby
Leonard Luellen Symons...and
ME

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Through The Looking Glass


And for my next trick, let me pull out yet another weird, who'd-a-thunk-it, MS symptom out of my err......OK, let's say HAT.
We're driving down the road (thankfully I was a passenger) when I notice what appears to be a large wet spot of the windshield in front of the drivers side. The sun must be hitting it strangely, it's so bright. It's not raining. Did a large seabird just pee on us? As my glance turns, so does the shimmery spot. So it's not some unidentified sparking water on the windshield, it's me. ??
I rub my eyes...still there. I close my eyes...still there. Did I eat strange mushrooms at lunch? Now I feel dizzy. I get home and head for bed. Open my eyes....still there. Go to sleep and the next day I'm ...ahhh, normal.
Headaches have been a normal part of my existence lately. I'm never surprised by them, but this was strange. Since then the bright shimmery looking glass has been in my field of vision off and on, along with what looks like heat waves coming up from hot asphalt on a summer day. When walking into a dark room, I sometimes see tiny spots of lights that trail through the dark abyss. My childish imagination calls them little Tinkerbell's or fairy lights. Cool...nothing to be alarmed about. But, hey...I do take a lot of drugs and who knows. I made a note to tell my neuro when I saw him.
Since I already blurted out all of the above weird symptoms to the doc and he didn't look like he was preparing to send me to an asylum, I decided to let another secret out when he asked if I had noticed any other "perceptual" problems.
( Now I just knew my reservation was going to be sealed for the 12th floor psych ward.)
"Well, now that you mention it, sometimes I feel very tall." I paused and then added, "Expansive", like THAT was going to make it sound better...
( I swear to you, I don't do mushrooms)
He didn't seem to be alarmed, only curious. Hmmmm. He said that it is more common in people with certain types of epilepsy.
Yes....curiouser and curiouser.
I had just recently completed a bout with steroids, so he decided to let this ride. He knew I needed to see my neuro-opthomologist in a few weeks, and he would let her check on all things visual.
See you in 6 weeks....
Headaches and weird visuals began again and right on time for my visit with my neuro-opthomologist yesterday. After her very thorough exam of my visual field, she had me look again at the flip book that has pages of mosaics with numbers hidden in them. Well, the numbers aren't really hidden, it's just that you can't find them if you have lost the ability to differentiate between the colored globules. The findings were that my left eye was worse at this then it was six months ago.
Then came the blinding light of the slit lamp. She took her time examining my extremely dilated eyes (it did look like I was trippin') and then explained to me that I was having "ocular migraines". She could call my neuro and decide if I should have another round of Solu or maybe I could let it slide if some steroid type eye drops would help. It was the look on my contorted face when she mentioned another round of Solu that led her to let me off the hook with drops. I had to promise to be back in two weeks or to call if things worsened.
Well, I have the eye drops, and I have pain meds, and I have my dark glasses, so no need to change my plans for the rest of the month. I'm going to visit my daughter, son in law and grand baby for the last two weeks of November. (*insert sound of Bubbie making "raspberries" to all things and person's neuro)
A little Google search brought me to some interesting websites concerning Ocular migraines and what some call the "ALICE IN WONDERLAND SYNDROME". No, I'm not making this up. Cleveland Clinic neurologist Mary Ann Mays says, "Many of the descriptions conjured for Lewis Carroll’s stories were based on classic migraine experiences. Only a person who had experienced these phenomena would be able to describe them."
Auras typically last 5 to 20 minutes and involve symptoms such as
vertigo (motion sickness or dizziness), imbalance, confusion or numbness;
but most auras consist of visual disturbances such as partial vision loss, the appearance of "special effects" and distortion of objects. Sometimes the visual effects can be dramatic, says Dr. Mays—flashing lights, complex color patterns and shapes (e.g., triangles and dots), and floaters (the perception that some tiny foreign object is floating across the eye). An individual might also
see shimmering or zig zag lines in the peripheral vision and blurriness in central vision.Ocular migraine can produce various degrees of vision loss or obstruction.
Some patients, says Dr. Mays, report blind spots or "holes," referring to
missing sections in the normal visual field, or they may experience a shade of
black or gray over the visual field. Some people compare the visual phenomena of ocular migraine to the patterns produced by an old television with faulty reception, says Dr. Mays.
"Others say it’s like looking through watery glass."
Yup, that's it...a watery sparkling looking glass!

Charles S. Yanofsky,
M.D.
wrote: "As
an aside, visual auras have been a topic of fascination for
neurologists for
a very long time. Visual episodes were noted in antiquity. More
recently the
famous neurologist-author Oliver Sacks has written extensively
about them.
Lewis Carroll, author of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, suffered from migraine
and
unusual visual distortions, heralding his headaches still known today as the
"Alice in Wonderland syndrome". Undoubtedly these visions were employed in
his
writings. He might never have been the creative person he was if not for
his
migrainous visions. Undoubtedly migrainous visual phenomena are behind
the
miraculous apparitions in Macbeth, and Ezekiel’s brilliant visions in
the Bible,
and, very likely a good number of other religious hallucinations.
We owe it all
to migraine. To be fair, some of these visionaries had good
imaginations, some
had other disorders causing visual distortions and
hallucinations
such as
schizophrenia, but some undoubtedly were migraneurs."

And Here I thought they were just all on drugs.

Monday, November 5, 2007

SUDDENLY IT'S CHRISTMAS !



Ms. Cheese and I, and probably many of you are on the same page this week. If you have watched any television, or Heaven forbid been out shopping you have been put on notice.
The Season is upon us!
Holy crap Batman, I still have a large bowl of Halloween candy left over! I don't want to think about Christmas yet! Cleaning house, dragging the aged tree and ornaments out of the attic, sending cards, baking all those "special" treats, buying presents! And the lists! What to buy that's thoughtful and special for each one on your list, instead of those last minute generic point of purchase display gifts near the check-out at MalWart.
Why do we put ourselves through this? EVEN THE MOST PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY FIT AMONG US BECOME STRESSED OUT.
What does this have to do with "Career Moves"?
That's the title of the album ,(showing my age again) CD release by Loudon Wainwright that includes the song, "SUDDENLY IT'S CHRISTMAS". I have yet to figure out how to play a song on the blog that isn't on UTUBE, so I have posted the lyrics. If you'd like to hear it try this link:


SUDDENLY IT'S CHRISTMAS





Loudon Wainwright III





Suddenly it's Christmas,Right after Hallowe'en.


Forget about Thanksgiving;It's just a buffet in between.


There's lights and tinsel in the windows;


They're stocking up the shelves;


Santa's slaving at the North Pole

In his sweatshop full of elves.





There's got to be a build-up

To the day that Christ was born:


The halls are decked with pumpkins


And the ears of Indian corn.


Dragging through the falling leaves


In a one-horse open sleigh,


Suddenly it's Christmas,Seven weeks before the day.





Suddenly it's Christmas,The longest holiday.


When they say "Season's Greetings"They mean just what they say:


It's a season,


it's a marathon,


Retail eternity.


It's not over till it's over


And you throw away the tree.





Outside it's positively balmy,


In the air nary a nip;


Suddenly it's Christmas,


Unbuttoned and unzipped.


Yes, they're working overtime,


Santa's little runts;


Christmas comes but once a year


And goes on for two months.





Christmas carols in December


And November, too;


It's no wonder we're depressed


When the whole thing is through.


Finally it's January;


Let's sing "Auld Lang Syne";


But here comes another heartache,


Shaped like a Valentine.





Suddenly it's Christmas,


The longest holiday.


The season is upon us;


A pox, it won't go away.


It's a season,


it's a marathon,


Retail eternity.


It's not over till it's over


And you throw away the tree.





No, it's not over till it's over


And you throw away the tree;


It's still not over till it's over


And you throw away the tree.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Are You Happy Now?

Enough about Santa...it's too early! This is my Favorite Halloween Song.

Richard Shindell is one of my favorite singer/songwriters and this song always makes me smile.

I've seen him sing this and others live on a few occaisions. It's always a great treat.

Miracle on Bubbie's Street / Secret MS Santa


It seems I have been tagged by Sherry at Word Salads. The meme is to write the 10 things you would want from your Secret MS Santa without regard to cost. (Permission to go wild)

Considering it's not yet Halloween and we have been conditioned to already think of Santa Clause :



  1. Shorten the Christmas Season. - I went to MalWart last week for Halloween candy and was inundated with all things Christmas! One entire huge area was already designated to overwhelm me with the fact that Christmas lasts 3 freakin months! It's a marathon.

  2. A summer home in a cool elevation. - This summer in south Florida nearly did me in. The heat and the oppressive humidity was literally paralyzing.

  3. A personal secretary.- One that must have accounting and legal experience. My bills need to go out on time, a dozen different pills need to be ordered from the mail order pharmacy in a schedule that I have yet to figure out, insurance claims need to be kept up with and follow ups made to make sure everyone is paid, social security, medicare, taxes, and my personal calender all need to be maintained.

  4. Personal Training Sessions with Cesar, the Dog Whisperer.- That just needs no explanation. If you have ever met the furry monster you know, he's the pack leader.

  5. A Tank.- One like Donald Southerland drove as "OddBall" in the war movie who's name escapes my MS mind. (negative waves, Moriarty) I need one to navigate (run over) traffic on US 41 in South Florida in season. Snow birds can't drive!

  6. A Therapist. - a hypnotist, shaman, voodoo priest, whatever it takes to erase the negative memories and connotations I have with Christmas' past.

  7. Another Therapist.- Specifically, my massage therapist, Chuck. I used to see him once a week and it was joyous! Shiatsu, Acupressure, Neuromuscular, Energy work,soothing music, aromatherapy and candles. Alas, BCBS found reason not to pay him. I want him back!

  8. A Powder Blue Convertible T-Bird. - Now we're getting to the fun stuff. Of course the tank is a necessity, but the t-bird will be the luxury.

  9. Maids.- The maid service I had for my birthday on a regular basis. Whoopie!

  10. A Wonderful Holiday spent with friends and family

You thought I might forget, but NO! I tag Merelyme, Sharon, and our new friend Callie. Let's see your lists.



Friday, October 26, 2007

Woman to Woman?




I haven't had much to say. Bubbie's world has been pretty uneventful. Nothing terribly amusing, nor any flaring upsets. Not much to talk about until I picked up a little book sized glossy magazine the other day.




I felt compelled to share this with you, dear blog readers. It came free in one of the local rags. It's a local publication called Woman To Woman. On the cover is a photo of a local female doctor. She's a gynecologist but looks like an over 50 model. She appears to be a contemporary southern belle as if she could have been a Miss Georgia or Alabama a few decades ago.




The print below her picture says "Giving Women Something to Talk About". Hmmmm? Woman's issues? Maybe reproductive rights, preventative medicine, ways to lower stress, tips for women in the work place?




WRONG!


The table of contents looked unlikely to be promising. It was divided into departments. There was :





  • Beauty (of course)


  • Beauty By Design (looking less interesting)


  • Health (OK! Hopefully some substance)


  • Home ( of course...domestic Deva's)


  • Life (possibly interesting)


So I begin to peruse, and naturally I am not surprised that the articles are just camouflaged advertisements. In the Beauty department we have an article (ad) that asks if you are feeling inexplicably drab this fall. Well, are you? Maybe you need therapy - color therapy! If your locks look less than brilliant you need hair color!



This is followed by an article (ad) for Non-surgical body sculpting. Did you know that it is now possible to selectively sculpt your bulging belly, love handles, double chins and saddlebags with somethings called mesotherapy, lipotherapy and cold lasers?



Does your makeup need a makeover? You have to know the new colors.



Do you not know what style is best for you? There are two women in town that have made a business of coming to your home, rummaging through your closets, and deciding exactly what is right for you. Then they will shop for you and basically dress you for work and play and then you too can have the confidence you lacked because now you are assuredly "In-Style".



Well now, you might have the right hair color, makeup and clothes and still there's something amiss. It's your Boobs! An ad, ooops, no an article on a no visible scar technique of Breast Augmentation. Meet the doctor and see the before and after pics of the now happy women with their bigger perkier boobs.



Now that you have the exciting hair color, the right makeup, wardrobe and new boobs life must be peachy. Oh no...the truth is you're not a kid and the signs of aging are apparent despite the fact that people are now looking at you boobs more than your face. Next article...an Aesthetic-Specialist (guessing not an MD) is offering you a way to reveal your beauty with wrinkle reduction, botox, chemical peels, injectable wrinkle fillers, anti-aging supplements and more! This is followed by several more articles(ads) for whiter teeth and permanent makeup (so you can wake up looking gorgeous).



I'm halfway through the little magazine now. I'm on page 40. Surely there must be something of substance here somewhere. So far all I have seen are negative messages about self image. I'm really not surprised.Not only are we told we have to fight the natural aging process to always look young, in order to be "happy" you have to be made-up, dressed and surgically augmented in an attempt to fit some "ideal". Is Gloria Steinham dead? Didn't we come a long way baby?



Finally. Page 41!



The pretty good doctor from the cover promises to give women "something to talk about"!



OMG!



It says: "With the skill of a surgeon and the gentleness of a woman's touch, Dr.(Southern Belle) is transforming women's lives through feminine rejuvenation surgery."



Now I'm in total disbelief! Shock! With artsy botanical photographs ala Georgia O'Keeffe, the article (ad) describes how women's lives were changed with her skill of creating .......



Have you guessed?



Have you ever heard of this before? Has Bubbie been the only one who hasn't heard that this is now what we should be concerned about? After hair, makeup,clothing, boobs, wrinkles, age spots, and a perfect smile we need the goodly doctor's services for her specialty...sitting down?



She creates: "Designer" Vagina's!



WTH? I read on. A case study...a 52 year old divorced woman found herself ready to face the dating scene again. Her age and the fact that she bore two children changed her body. She had anxiety over having sex again. She felt old and worn out "down there" and was extremely self conscious about opening herself up to the intimacy of sex. She struggled with this feminine issue ( I had no idea this was an issue )that she felt she would simply have to live with because it was something she simply couldn't discuss.



A 43 year old woman and her boyfriend were playfully watching the Playboy channel. (sure) Afterwards she had to ask herself, "Why don't I look like that?" ( I swear, I am taking this right from the pages) Her external folds were elongated and excessive and after having Labiaplasty she felt younger and more confident with a brand new look.



I don't know what to say...hasn't today's woman had enough negative messages about striving to some unattainable standard of beauty to be happy. Anorexic runway models bodies with big unnatural boobs, Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Nefertiti's makeup and now Porn star's "coochies"! Designer Vaginas?????? I'm being told that that is what we need to boost our self esteem!



Not only can the pretty doctor modify the aesthetics of your labia with labiaplasty, she can tighten your vaginal muscles with Vaginalplasty, give you G-spot enhancement using injectable fillers or give you a Hymenorrhaphy. Yes, you can become a virgin once again, lest your old world groom- to -be mark you with a scarlet letter.



Is this just something new to my area of the country? How long has this "service" been in demand? A 5 second Google search assured me that this is nothing new.



The rest of the magazine awaits...I don't know that I can take it. There are more articles(ads) for diets, exercise programs with personal trainers, a how-to article (Not an ad!) for making the perfect holiday wreath for your front door and then, how to ask for and get a raise. I'm guessing that it depends on the boss, and how much of the aforementioned advice and services you have used.



I'm not amused. I'm feeling very sad for our young girls, children and grandchildren. Will they all need makeovers to be happy? Must they strive for some strange standard of perfection from their heads to their toes and now their vagina's?



Is this a "REAL" problem? Living with chronic health conditions can be a cause of stress and Lord knows their are bigger problems we face in this world we live in. I think that if my biggest problem was the aesthetics of my vagina it indeed would be a wonderful world.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Clean House



"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." - Gertrude Stein


I am grateful! Well, I am grateful for many, many things. Life, Love, Family,Friends, Health,Wealth, Land, Sky, Air, Puppy Dogs, Flowers, all of that. But for this particular week in time I am grateful for a sparkly clean house!


My quote is about voicing gratitude, but I can't picture Gertrude scrubbing toilets.


I have never been a person who could ever be even remotely confused with a Domestic Goddess. I grew up watching 50's sit coms and was repulsed by Donna Reed in her apron and pearls. (Don't get me started on the Cleavers)

And it's always been my motto that a clean house was a sign of a wasted life. There's just so many things that take precedence over scrubbing grout.

Then there's that Creative Mind theory... what would being a slave to my domicile do to my reputation as an artsy fartsy type? And now there's the difficulty of pushing a mop back and forth without falling on my face into the Mr.Clean.


But still, there's something about the feeling of walking into your own home and everything is CLEAN. Things sparkle that I had forgotten were sparkly. I have a beautiful view now out of my sliding glass doors, not to mention there's nothing sticking to the bottom of my bare feet.


Before you panic, I didn't lose my mind in a steroidal rage and begin a cleaning frenzy. That could never happen. It was a birthday present! My daughter contacted a service that sent two Professional Cleaning Women to my home for FOUR hours!

An amazing present from a very loving a thoughtful daughter. I am grateful!


"Cleaning House" also makes me think of purging, getting rid of things that no longer serve you. Sometimes we can become overwhelmed when our lives become literally or figuratively cluttered. I am distracted easily these days, whether it be from my meds or my disease, and having things organized and clutter free provided a relief to me that I would have never expected. I'm on a roll now. I've gone through my closets, dressers and pantry's and have culled everything that does not serve me now. I am no longer saving things that might fit if I lost a few inches here or there, or shoes that went fabulously with one dress but kill your feet and that one dress has been gone long ago.


It's a fabulous feeling, and all without the pruney fingers and sore back! Maids! An incredible invention. Eat your heart out Donna Reed!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Acceptance



I the July/August Issue of Neurology Now there was an article about Richard Cohen. Cohen was diagnosed in 1973 at the age of 25 with Multiple Sclerosis. At the time he had just landed a great job working with ABC news as an associate producer at the time of the Watergate hearings.
MS was not a mysterious disease for him to come to grips with. His mother and father both had Multiple Sclerosis.



“I don't deny that I have the illness, he says. I did for a while, and I think everybody does. But you come face to face with the symptoms soon enough. You'd be really out of touch with reality if you tried to play that game.”
“Still, what I denied then and what I deny now is the inevitability, the certainty of possible outcomes. I know I deteriorate because it's a progressive disease, but I'm not going to make assumptions about wheelchairs and not being able to go up steps and not being able to work-things like that, Cohen says.”




I read the article. I put it aside. Something intrigued me about it and at the same time I was bothered by it. I encourage you to follow the link and read it if you already haven’t.

It’s obvious that this man has had his share of health problems from having Multiple Sclerosis and has overcome many obstacles. He has also survived two bouts of colon cancer.
He also has a very supportive and successful celebrity wife, Meredith Vierra. Cohen too has enjoyed a successful career despite his health challenges.

So, I’m not proud, but honestly I have to say that if ANYTHING could make life with MS easier it would be an abundance of financial resources.


Yes, he continues to write and work and that is noble and impressive. He works because he has a passion about his work, not because he needs his income for survival. Unlike many of us the celebrity profile MS spokespeople don't have to worry about health care, insurance, paying the mortgage and being able to purchase your medications.


(Ok, pissyness aside now…I’m showing my internal dialogue that needs work: Feeling helpless about financial resources.)

He talks about a “healthy” denial…..Denying the inevitability and the certainty of possible outcomes with a progressive disease. I guess that’s as good as any Live In The Moment Philosophy. Can you really ever put that credo to task? Aren’t the inevitability's always peaking around the corners in the nooks and crannies of our lesioned minds?



The article goes on:" In the end, Cohen proves that a healthy sense of denial, no matter what the prognosis, is one way to face adversity. (Sorry, Sigmund).”



So, aren’t we talking about acceptance here? Once through all the other stages of grief we come to a place of acceptance. THEN WHAT???




Kublar Ross wrote those stages of grief for the dying. We aren’t dying! It’s a chronic progressive disease. We get to stick around and deal with the continued punches. So we accepted IT. Every day we work through a new or recurring problem and again we do the stages and work toward Acceptance. It is what it is.


Now What?


Well someone answered my question. He too read the article about Mr. Cohen and wrote a response to the editor. It made sense to me.
Patrick Jones wrote that “for people whose losses are not terminal or even immediately terminal, they often reach the Acceptance stage and then enter depression because they are at a loss at how to proceed.”


See there’s the rub that was bothering me…it was the “now what?”


He added two additional stages of grief :
#6 Integration.
#7 Co-creation



I’ve been giving these two steps a lot of thought lately. Not coincidentally it being my 50th year on the planet.
So after



  • DENIAL (This isn't happening to moi!)


  • ANGER (Why moi)


  • BARGAINING (What If...)


  • DEPRESSION (Whatever...)


  • ACCEPTANCE (OH well...*blush* speech..."For this award I'd like to thank my producers...)

Patrick Jones adds:




  • INTEGRATION (The challenge of meshing your new decreased abilities and capacities with who you are.


  • CO-CREATION (Contribute and follow your passions and create a new path for yourself)




Apologies to Mr. Jones. I paraphrased my own interpretations based on my spiritual or lack of spiritual beliefs. Nevertheless I found much to think about. I'm working on INTEGRATION. I know my disability from MS is not who I am. I learned awhile back that I also am not what I did. I enjoyed and profited from my work as an artist/designer and I used to define myself by it.



Obviously we have to try to move past the fact that this and that keeps happening with our MS and decide what we can do, want to do, and do it. (sometime I feel like I need to do things whle I am able)


So, I can still paint, I just have new limitations...but I can still enjoy the process. Which brings me to CO-CREATION. Following my passions regardless of preconceived notions on what the end result should be. I really don't know what else I would do that has value to me.



If I don't post as often it will be because I am conserving my time and attempting to schedule myself into my life as I now know it. If I don't I surely will fall into stagnation and back to depression.

Friday, October 12, 2007

tech support

(my amaryllis last spring)
I delete so many emails a day that friends forward on to me. Some I've seen many times before, some I immediately recognize as hoaxes, and some are just so stupid I have to laugh. I'm sure I've seen this one before, but I kept it, and thought I would pass it on.




INSTALLING LOVE



Tech Support: Yes, how can I help you?



Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?



Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?



Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready.

What do I do first?



Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?



Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now.

Is it okay to install Love while they are running?



Tech Support: What programs are running ?



Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.



Tech Support: No problem. Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ?



Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?



Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.



Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?



Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.



Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error - Program not run on external components " What should I do?



Tech Support: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run
on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.




Customer: So, what should I do?



Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.



Customer: Okay, done.



Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.



Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?



Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.



Customer: Thank you, God.



God/Tech Support: You're Welcome, Anytime.



More quiz fun

Woke up too early to get moving and face the day. What to do? Read blogs! Ms.Cheese found that she is a "Fall" season. The season's really mean nothing much to me in Florida except that we just might have a drop in the humidity here soon. It IS fall afterall, and I'm still waiting to be able to go outside without melting. I've been waiting to replace the flowers in my window boxes with petunias, but it will have to wait, these temps would have them wilted and fried before they had a chance to flourish.

Then looking at the list of quizzes, I couldn't resist finding out what color my brain was. The MRI's are all Black and White. LOL. Green doesn't sound like a healthy color for an internal organ, but it is coincidently my favorite color.


You Belong in Spring
Optimistic, lively, and almost always happy with the world...You can truly appreciate the blooming nature of spring.Whether you're planting flowers or dyeing Easter eggs, spring is definitely your season!
http://www.blogthings.com/whatseasonareyouquiz/">What Season Are You?





Your Brain is Green
Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).
http://www.blogthings.com/whatcolorisyourbrainquiz/">What Color Is Your Brain?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Loudon Wainwright performs Dead Skunk at Rockpalast Germany



This is for the Kiddies. My little granddaughter loves to sing. She sings to me on the phone. I have to listen carefully to decipher whether it's the "ABC" song or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

It occurred to me that her momma and her Uncle (my son and daughter) never sang nursery rhymes unless of course their daddy and I made some verse modifications of our own. They sang funny folk songs from some of our favorite and some obscure singer songwriters.

If you are not familiar with Loudon Wainwrite lll, you may remember him from the movie "MASH", he was the troubadour that sang the "Suicide is Painless" opening song. If not and you are from the "other" generation, you might know him as Rufus Wainwrite's dad.

So this is a ditty that my kids should remember, especially on long car rides, (I don't think we messed them up too bad..lol) and one to teach the grand baby. Now let me hear you sing it out!

You'll be cursing me when you find yourself humming this at work later in the day.....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

SEVEN



I've been tagged!


Ms. Cheese tagged with with this meme, "7 Random Things About Me". My very first meme! Be gentle with me.

I must remind her that 7 is NOT my number...LOL. OK. Here goes..prepare to be amazed and amused.


1. I was born within a few days of the launch of the Russian satellite, SPUTNIK. The anniversary of that launch was 50 years ago! My father thought it amusing to call me his little sputnik for long after it ceased to be cute.



2. Some people have seasonal disorders. I have directional disorder. Let me explain. I appear to be extremely sensitive to the directions, i.e. North/South/East/West. This was not well apparent until after years of being teased by my children about "Mom's space" and "Mom's chair". It was then realised that Mom's chair, easel, work space, bed, reading chair, always share the same direction. I am most at ease facing the South East. I have no idea what that means...


3. I was an exemplary student. Only once was I disciplined in High School. That incident was for pushing the envelope between good taste and freedom of speech in school newspaper's morning radio show. For music to accompany the announcement of the engagement of two teachers who had been hot and heavy for the past semester, I choose a selection from John Hartford's, Aeroplane: Hey Babe Ya Wanna Boogie, Boogie Woogie Woogie With Me. (complete with sound effects) It was soooo worth it.

4. For several years I worked for the circus. That would be THE CIRCUS, you know, 3 rings and all... (there's obviously more to this story than will fit in this list.)

5. I have a fear of clowns. (see number 4)

6. Dark waters. My darkest fear. Although a fair to excellent swimmer I'm sure I would drown if I found myself plunged into any depth of water at night. A shrink could have a field day with that one.

7. In my teens, I sang with a band that played opening week at Disney world's Land of Tomorrow space aged looking diner. The platform rose up from the lower levels and magically appeared in a poof of smoke on stage. We were so cool. And no, I never became a company owned Mouseketeer. I had too many ideas of my own and the bad girl image wasn't gonna fly back then.

    HAPPY NOW? Lets see, to whom shall I pass this on ?
    Bubbie tags Merlyme, MDHVMPA or whatever he calls himself (when he gets back from seeing the mouse), and Ann.
    Have fun!

Friday, October 5, 2007

BULL

I like cows.
They are beautiful creatures. You have to love those eyes. I lived in the country once where we had cows in the pasture. I looked forward to the early quiet mornings when the sun was gently rising, the mist and dew were still heavy on the ground and the animals were begining to stir. That was the perfect time. The cows came to the fence line to greet me and I would breathe in what seemed to be a harmony of sights and sounds and smells (yes they smell) of all that was right in the world.

I have a soft spot for cows (maybe something of a reverence from a previous life) but that is not why I choose not to eat them.

I have been dairy free for most of my life, and have abstained from eating meat for several decades, but my choice was not because of those big brown eyes. Personally I think that cow's milk is for baby cows, not designed for baby or adult humans to consume. And the dead flesh from the butchered carcass....well we are higher on the food chain. Go for it if you like it.

I have eaten meat. I recall the satisfaction from ingesting a well prepared fillet, roast, or juicy hamburger at a barbecue. My problem is with the sustainability of agra-business and factory farming.

Feeding the world's population with protein that requires more deforested lands and water per pound of marketable food rather than replantable vegetable sources of protein is just not a viable and sustainable practice. Then we have the wastes that are produced by these methane belching creatures, and the seas of fecal matter. I won't even go into the practice of mistreating the creatures and feeding them artificial hormones for faster growth and the culled remains of their diseased relatives that have led to other serious health problems in the consumer population. I could go on with links and facts and figures but I'm not an activist on this issue. If it resonates with you, you'll do your own research.

So what brought me to write about cows of all things this morning?
Yes...yet another theory claiming to be the cause of Multiple Sclerosis. I just know that at least 2 or 3 of my friends and acquaintances will have read or heard about this and will be calling me to change my diet!

Here it is:

Antibody cross-reactivity between myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein and the milk protein butyrophilin in multiple sclerosis by Johannes Guggenmos in the January 1, 2004 issue of the Journal of Immunology found evidence that multiple sclerosis is caused from the consumption of cow’s milk – by causing attacks by the immune system through a process known as molecular mimicry.
The author who posted this article who goes by Penn continues : " Within 10 years of diagnosis, half of the victims of MS are wheel-chair bound, bed-ridden, or dead – unless they are fortunate enough to change their diet. With a healthy diet the risk of getting worse over the next 35 years is less than 5% "

Bubbie says :"BULL CRAP!"
I have eaten a clean vegetarian, mostly organic diet for most of my adult life. High in essential fatty acids, devoid or artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. Swank has nothing on me. And I have Multiple Sclerosis.
We'll see what Penn has to say about that.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Waiting for a Miracle



I'm thinking this blog post should come with a warming lable.

WARNING: WATCHING OR LISTENING TO IMBEDDED VIDEO OR READING THE PROCEEDING BLOGGERY MAY CAUSE BLUE MOODS, UNCONTROLLABLE BINGES, HYSTERIA AND OTHER UNACCEPTABLE SOCIAL BEHAVIORS. READ AT OWN RISK.

That said maybe I should rename this post to BUBBIE. THE DARK SIDE

I've been humming this tune all morning, so I found it on UTUBE so you can share in Mr.Cohen's genious for the divinely depressing.

I don't usually write like this. It's uncomfortable. It makes me squirm. It's too revealing. My kids read this. I don't like to sound like I'm whining, moaning or otherwise being what I consider distasteful and annoying. This is the World Wide Web we're on...what am I thinking?
But hey! This is cheaper than seeing a shrink, so here goes:



An able bodied, well meaning friend of mine introduced me to a woman she knows who also has MS. The woman contacted me and was very nice. She wanted to pick me up and take me with her to a local support group meeting today. I had originally agreed. She drives, with hand controls and gets around in her motorized scooter. I was impressed. She has secondary progressive MS, told me she doesn't have pain, just lack of mobility.
I chickened out. Yup. I called her this morning and told her (no lie) that I had a miserable headache and needed to stay home and medicate. So, I didn't lie, I did feel like a monumental piece of fecal matter this morning. I don't feel that much better now. But, honestly, that was just sooo convenient.
I went once last year to a different local "support"meeting. One of the drug reps spoke, along with a local neuro and a salesman for handicap aides. He had a dizzying array of expensive lift aides, safety bars, scooters, bathtub safety items and more. It was catered with Chick-Fil-A and snacks...nothing for a veggie eater but a few carrot sticks. The drug rep threw out gaudy over sized t-shirts to the ones in the group that answered her little quiz questions relating to her little presentation. (Positive reinforcement for actually staying awake) I watched as members of the group reminded me of those overzealous children in 4th grade as they raised and waved their hands to be noticed for the teacher to call on them for the correct answer. A couple of the "regulars" noticed me as a newby and engaged me in conversation about our doctors and treatments and how long we've had MS. A sweet older woman (gotta watch who I call old now...I think I'm there) was in a red scooter with a little wicker basket attached to the handlebars. The basket was decorated with bright silk flowers next to the prominent shiny chrome horn who's rubber ball she would squeeze to make that ooga ogga noise as she passed threw the crowd on her way to the parking lot.
Lets say I wasted no time leaving. Once in the car and out on the road I fought a strong urge to stop at a pub. I made it home and vowed not to do that again.
Why you ask? Maybe it's me, maybe I'm more non compliant than most, but that was freaking depressing! I don't want to be a member of THAT club!
Please accept my most sincere and humble apologies if I've offended any readers at any level of disability. It is not my intention. My intention is to maybe help someone else along with myself work through and identify with this feeling. Depression can spiral from this vantage point.
I don't want to be a member of this club.
I see the abled...the people I worked with and for prior to MS and friends that work other jobs. They are busy with their workweek and projects now, and who's weekends are filled with the stuff of home life and housework.
The disabled...for myself: At home I manage to keep food in the house and prepare a few meals,take care of the dog and birds.The most numerous weekly events include doctors appointments, labs, pharmacies, grocery stores and frequent naps. I attempt to keep the house from being condemned by the Board of Health. I just can't bring myself to make those once a month meetings an event to add to my boring calender and actually look forward to it.
What I saw was people identifying with their disease, the same way my identity used to be heavily defined by my profession. What I also saw were people my age and older who all needed the medical accessories the salesman was hawking, and have all been or are still on the accepted MS therapy medical protocols. Now that's depressing.
My sincere apologies again, if you weren't already depressed and reading this sent you there.
It's a sort of Limbo Land or maybe a self ensnared Purgatory I feel I'm in.
Am I waiting to feel better and resume my old life? I'm not that naive.
Am I waiting for some miraculous medicine to cure this disease, close the book on this chapter and burn the book? NO.
But still I feel like I'm waiting.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Clouds



Clouds are the one thing that Florida has that I have always found to be exceptional.
The list of the unacceptable would take more than a blog, but I could begin with bugs, lizards, gators, snakes, humongous mosquitoes, every shade of pink stucco homes all the same side by side for miles and miles on end. Ahh, and then there's the humidity. 97 degrees may or may not be tolerable, but when the humidity is the same percent it is only fit for the creatures named above.
Oh! And that giant mouse that took over the entire central state! Lets not go there today....
So, back to clouds and idleness...
I took this picture at Lake Apopka a couple of weeks ago. A little weekend trip that was curtailed by the snarky hairy beast that I brought with me. He loves to travel and ride in the car. He just isn't welcome anywhere we go. The darling pekenese/tibetan spaniel knows nothing of dharma. He wants to viciously attack anyone who remotely threatens my personal space. And to him my space is limitless.
So, back to clouds...
I have had my fill of idleness. I'm tired of all this idleness.
For those of you that don't know I'm still in recovery from my last giant MS flare in August that left me with 13 new shiny hyper intensities. Yup lesions.
I've been switched from Copaxone to Rebiff.
Yes...remember the Chinese Hamster Ovaries... I inject them now 3 times a week, and my body does not seem to be joyful about it.
I have ALL of the listed ill side effects and I have nothing to do but accept my idleness. With a head that seems to constantly pound I cannot even make an attempt at any philosophical or profound conclusions. I just sit an admire the clouds.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Very First Picture

Posted by Picasa
NO! That's not an image of mine!
(you were thinking that her brain MRI is very messed up?)
It's actually a picture of my Daughter in Law's Uterus.
LOL!
She'll probably hate this...but it's so cool! She knows I love her, and that I'm excited and just a little crazy sometimes. They didn't have all this cool imaging stuff when I had babies.
So this is the beginnings of the newest member of our family. Just a little peanut of yet undetermined gender. Bubbie believes it's a little boy. I started crocheting in baby blue before she even knew she was preggo.
I added a countdown to the big day at the bottom of the blog along with my Grandaughter's age.
I'll be a Double Bubbie next Spring!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !

Today's Blog is dedicated to the youngest of Bubbie's Young'uns.
He is 26 today.
(26 on the 26th)
Happy Birthday to You!
Love you and miss you...We'll celebrate when you visit next week.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Only Ten?

(Dare to Slack poster ripped from http://www.despair.com/viewall.html )



While not feeling very creative and nothing coming to mind to blog about we have this courtesy of MSshad at Living with Mutt and Jeff:



Ten on Tuesday - 10 Things You Keep Putting Off:





Organizing my studio

Get new painting projects started and stick with them

Balance my checkbook

Clean out the mystery Tupperware contents from my refrigerator

Give the monster pooch a bath


Organize my pantry


Weed through clothing and drop at Goodwill


Weed through bookcases and donate volumes to Goodwill


Organise photographs that have been lying in wait


Clean the bird cage







Wait! Only 10? Trust me...I could go on...




Procrastination has been more and more of a problem for me since MS. Lack of motivation could be misinterpreted as a sign of depression. I feel like it's more of a lack of energy, therefore I have to choose my priorities on which task is of more importance. So, what is more important? Hmmm? Well, when you have gotten so far behind on what needs to get done, and yet want to save energy to enjoy what you want to do instead, it can be a tough a call.




So:




*My studio is a mess




*I have yet to prep my next painting project




*My checkbook is hopeless




*There are very scary things in my refrigerator




*The dog smells like, well...a dog




*Sell and use by dates obviously mean nothing to me




*I have nothing to wear, yet my drawers and closet are full




* I have more books than bookcases




*I hope I remember who the pictures are of when I get around to filing them




*the hell with the birds




Maybe it just gets overwhelming sometimes. If I can just maintain equilibrium, stay just a hair below critical mass it will all be OK.




I found this interesting essay on Structured Procrastination written by John Perry in 1995.




I find it oddly comforting that I am not alone and that there will always be things that need to be done.




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