My dear Joon...

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shireling
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:51 am

I own a key. It opens the door to my home. And in my home, I have food, clothing, all the comforts I could possibly wish. I have a bed. It's old. The mattress should be replaced, that is according to those whose business it is to sell mattresses. But I have sheets that fit it, I wash them routinely. I work hard, as hard as I can, and come the afternoon, I seek refuge under the covers, falling asleep. My little family has me, and only me, against the world, and I don't understand why some people do what they do.

Today, we went out, the Honey and me. To walk in the mall, pay bills, buy peanut butter and jelly - just stuff. The ladies who clean our home came; we met them in the parking lot. We talked and laughed as they worked. Sandy had a procedure to go through, and was declared okay - finally. After scaring her half to death, and charging her two thousand dollars for the privilege of crushing her between two plates of Plexiglas before sending her for an ultrasound. And we laughed, because we're the same age, Sandy and me, because we can't do anything else. As much as I despise this saying, It is what it is, that's precisely what it is. I paid Pat and her, and we'll see them again next month.

Tuesdays are the days when Duane and I go out for Chinese food. And as I walked to the car, I saw something on Girlfriend's bumper. It was red, and it wasn't there earlier. Within an hour, someone had come over to my car and smeared blood on it. It wasn't a lot. You could clearly see that a thumb was involved in the application. And I knew, I just knew, don't ask me how, that a girl had done it. And it wasn't taken from her nose.

If you're a woman, who has ever had to use a public restroom, you've seen it. Used tampons tossed on the floor, the sink, used as brushes to paint toilet seats or smirch the character of others; sometimes the letters are especially thick, and the gore flows down the stall walls, like in a horror movie. Duane never saw it. He walked past it, it was there while I was fetching a wipe from the glove box to wash it away, but he didn't notice. I didn't want to call attention to it; I didn't know if she might be watching. I didn't want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me upset. Wipe in hand, I removed the offending liquid, got into the car and we drove away.

Years ago, I was at an amusement park up north. This was very long ago, because those public lavatories had attendants on duty. Elderly black women, dressed in nurse white, sitting on folding chairs at the entrance. They would walk in, every ten minutes or so, to check the empty stalls, and take care of whatever the previous tenant had not. I overheard some tsking, and I stayed put while one of the ladies spoke to another. It seemed that she had found another careless act perpetrated on the hapless porcelain, and muttered as she worked
These girls don't know what a pride it is to have such power. God's power to womin. Jus' throwin' that gift 'round like it was nothin' - jus' nothin'. Ought'a be ashamed.


I remember thinking that those things died when I grew up. That I had done the stupid things, found them to be stupid and thought that was it. It would never happen again. I'd done it all, at least some of it, and figured now nobody ever had to do it again. I toilet papered houses, smoked weed, drank while underage, played with candles and dripped wax on furniture, stole beer and booze; I even smoked cigarettes, and was never able to get past the third puff - yuck, makes me shudder to this day. But I was never gross. My mother, for all her faults, instilled in me that every woman had periods - even the Virgin Mary. And that I was to leave the restroom better than I found it, because what if She needed it? What if She had to go, right after you, and you didn't flush?

I should mention that Girlfriend has had other indignities bestowed upon her. Soil, from just off the stoop, rubbed into her hood and trunk lid, the rough little stones ground into her finish; cigarettes put out on the same and tossed on the ground at her tires; women's panties tossed behind her front wheels; handfuls of that same dirt, packed like clay, into the door handles, magic-marker drawings of penises and a series of key-scars. I've ignored them all. I've cleaned them all. I've kept much of this to myself. But this. I just don't. I just can't...


sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:06 pm

I was really looking forward to going out today.

I had four things I wanted to do, and I really wanted a companion. I'd decided that I was going to buy perishables for the Lenten Food-Drive. I know it sounds oxymoronish, but this is for the pantry that Saint Francis supports. And the Franciscans decided (they consulted, mind you, and came up with this :) ), that instead of feeding our faces over Lent, that we would provide food for the barrels just inside the lobby. I have a budget for it, and I know what I want - which is boxed mac'n cheese, with cheese whiz that you just cut open and squeeze onto the cooked pasta. I like those because your milk and margarine can then be spent on cereal and toast, and not the powdered mac.

Other stuff is canned ravioli, spaghetti, chicken - a whole chicken, cooked in the can - stews, some soups (I like the ones with the pull tabs.) And then I think, what about diapers? And pet food? You can't buy those with food stamps. You can't get soap or toothpaste or shampoo, toilet paper, Kleenex. We had a delivery from a some sort of glorified food pantry once, back when Duane lost his job. I remember the girls who carried in the box. Very smartly dressed, manicured, coiferred - I remembered thinking that they had probably been sentenced to community service. Anyway, there was a big bag of rapidly thawing frozen cherries, three boxes of heavily sugared cereal (not the name brands either), a long loaf of white bread that I immediately consigned to the ducks around the corner, and a few other odds and ends, like lima beans and beets. Fortunately, Duane got his first disability check the following morning, and we never had to ask for help again. Not even a jar of peanut butter, or one of those bricks of cheese, whose ingredients had never been acquainted with a cow, or even bag of rice, in the whole shipment. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but, well, they could have saved the trip.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Kelly was ill, so I'm home. That shopping would have been good. It'd have been nice to have an extra pair of hands, but I'm going to do this on my own tomorrow. The other thing was getting Girlfriend the spa treatment at the local car wash, lunch with Kelly, and then shopping for my shirts. But, those can wait. If Ms. Toyota doesn't know what she's missing, it won't hurt her. And I can wait on the clothes. I still need a coat when I go out, so who's the wiser?

*sigh* The dishwasher must be done by now. Later, joons.


sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:59 pm

I just got through the 53rd anniversary of Susan Castka's death. From the 9th thru the 11th of February every year, I remember my best friend. Up above my head, I have two dolls, perched on a broad shelf. They're both from the original American Doll & Toy Company that evolved into Mattel. They sit on a beautiful wooden Victorian-style couch, with a brocaded seat. One is Suzy the Snoozie, in her original clothes; the other is Hedda-Get-Bedda. These aren't my dolls, but this is how they arrived when I bought them.

Image Image

Suzie, of course, is my Susan, and Hedda is me. I don't have three faces you can turn with a pompom, but I did have the measles. With every year, I get older while she stays eternally ten. The Suzie Doll has those lovely curled bangs; so did Susan. She wore her hair in a high pony tail, those pale gold bangs cresting over blue eyes.

A gun killed her. A .38 caliber handgun. That sounds incredibly quaint these days; it might as well have been a flintlock. One of my last positions on the job for ESC, was in a special needs classroom. And we had a lock down, a shelter in place, no drill, the real thing, just after 10 AM. This guy who lived across the street from the elementary school, had gotten into a kerfuffle with his neighbor. One of them was drinking, and I'm pretty sure it was the guy with the grenade launcher, who had the six pack for breakfast. Anyway, the kids were noisy, as kids are, and we were only told to stay in the classroom and lock the door.

Now, the door to this particular classroom had the lock on the hall side. We could be locked in, but we could not let ourselves out. And, unlike the other rooms, the door opened inward. Anybody pushing against it could come right in. So, the teacher and I sought items to barricade the opening. Her desk was one, but it was rather flimsy, the kind of adult version of what the kids had. No drawers, no weight to it at all. Besides that, there was a two-shelf bookcase on wheels. It, too, was rather light, and if you could lock the wheels - which you couldn't - anybody charging the door could tip it over. So, we fed the kids lunch, and since it was a room for developmentally-delayed students, we had a bathroom and a nice assortment of bribes, including juice boxes and individual serving pouches of snack. We'd thought about games, but we were supposed to stay quiet, to avoid the bad guy's notice. If he had been in the school, we, my joons, should not have met. Keeping a whole herd of any kind of kid, let alone the autistic variety shushed, is simply not possible. It was the longest four hours of my life. Anyway, the drunk with his souvenir from WWII, was soon contained, and we were allowed recess.

It's important that you know, that you may not be among the first to know when there's a problem. Or whether or not, the room you're in can be secured. But, I can say with conviction, that you will definitely be the last to know when it's over. The culprit's processing at the county jail - or their trip to the coroner - will be long past completed, while you and your charges continue to cower in ignorance.

There's been another school shooting. But isn't it wonderful that everybody had all that training in Florida? One of the best high schools in the nation, from what I've heard. They all lined up, hands over their heads, single-filed out past the dead and dying to the parking lot. Wonderful, just wonderful that they paid attention to their safety program, because thanks to our illustrious Congress, they're going to need to do it again. And again. And so will their children, and grandchildren. Not to mention the Malls, and stores, and libraries; day cares and hair salons, fast food restaurants and hospitals, all scattered in and around the hundreds of thousands of institutes of learning, whose dreadful day of doom has yet to dawn.

I can't find it now, but there was a cartoon that I saw not long after Columbine. It had all the Founding Fathers standing around Thomas Jefferson, with Ben Franklin leaning over his shoulder, and whispering
"Make sure, Tom, to write 'a well regulated militia'. Otherwise every jackass will think he has the right to own a musket."
Or a grenade launcher.

It's a false dialectic. I need to correct this, the arguments for the 2cd Amendment are a false dialectic. And they didn't used to be. When it was written, a foreign power quartered in neighborhoods and individual homes, by law. The 'federal government' was that of George III. The nonsense that I've heard spewed over this, including quotes from the Founding Fathers without regard to their context, has kept this going. And it's not that people, adults mainly, haven't tried to inject sanity and balance into the discourse, but unless they have the means (money) to get politicians to hearken, forget it.

Columbine should never have happened. But it did, and the fact that it was the first but not the last of these mass shootings, has led to the experiences like the one I just shared. That was in 2008, and I'm now convinced that it was the last straw. The years of unmitigated grief over the meaningless loss of a friend, the deaths of people I did not know but loved and admired, being cut down in their prime, and these children, before Sandy Hook and after - all of that, kept beating on the door of my health until it shattered.

But in these kids from Stoneman Douglas High, I see a spirit which cannot be so easily blown off. They're angry, Congress; they are speaking truth to bullshit, and they are coming for you. And I pity the ones who chose to barricade themselves on the wrong side of history.


done,
sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:25 pm

Firstly, we are all crabby. The Honey is feeling angry, and thinks that maybe he needs his Haldol back up to a whole instead of a half tablet, Amy is in season :roll: ; it's not even March, how in the name of all that's holy is she in heat again? I just got done sweeping up all the fur from last time. She's been nipping at my toes. If you're not a tom cat, she wants nothing to do with you and if you get in her way, there are teeth. There should be circle in Dante's Inferno for veterinary surgeons who leave bits behind. Oh, and there's me.

I've been fighting off the flu all winter (I got the shot, thank you), and mostly all I've had to put up with are a few sniffles, some achies and chills. Today it's intestinal; wildebeest are thundering and fertilizing the plains. If I can get a day off - just stay inside and vegetate - that usually fixes me. Today is one of those days, and we're not going anywhere, so I should be fine in time to see the Michael - I hope.

Well, last Sunday, the Secular Franciscans went into the Sacristy to say the Crown Rosary before the brand-new San Damiano Cross. This is what it looks like.

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Well, sort of. I only saw it the once, and they did take the time and trouble to put the nails through the wrists and ankles (which is anatomically/historically accurate, unlike this one) The corpus (body) is 3D, and he's about six feet tall. It's very beautiful, and nice to look at.

After the rosary, there was a Ritual of the Stones - we all got a stone and it's another focal point. It makes me think of those dolls they have high school students carry around? You're supposed to be conscious of and challenged by the stone. You're supposed to carry around the stone, be aware of It's needs, I guess - they lost me on this one. I mean, it's a rock. I tried to google this ritual, and I found fantasy novels and some game uses, nothing of a spiritual nature, like this is meant to be. For me, I see stones as the foundation of the planet. Brother Marcel got me one because my rollator was three rows back and I couldn't get it brought to me, Anyway, I did return it to the bowl from whence it came because I do have one of these already. It's a piece of tourmaline that was made into a pendant, wrapped in silver wire with a tiny silver goddess hanging from it. There were already bits of this crystal in the bowl, and I thought, blessed or not, I like mine better.

Anyway, after the stone ritual, I was welcomed as a GFF (good friend of Francis), and they gave me a huge framed print of Nicolás Francés Lives of the Virgin and Saint Francis. The print is of one corner of a 14th Century altarpiece, and it depicts the meeting of the Saint and Sultan. As you can see...

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...it's got it's problems. I mean I was delighted to get it, because this story is why I'm there, and this really did happen. He and Br. Illuminoto crossed no man's land during the cease fire, and got beat up by the Malik-el-Kamil's guards. But he kept saying, "Sultan", so they brought him into the great man's presence. You can hardly blame the Muslims for being upset. The Sultan had offered peace terms times five, and they were all rejected, even though it meant that the Muslims would leave the Christian holy sites to the Christians. No, that's not good enough - you guys have to leave, period! Pack up and get out. Well, they weren't going to do that. Anyway, Arab hospitality is legendary and Francis and his fellow friar got well taken care of. But I found this print I love very much, and this is what we have in the frame now

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Bought it three days ago, and it's here. It's by Brother Robert Lentz, and worth every penny. The original print, the Nicolás Francés, was at the Peace Museum, but after the remodel, the picture was returned. And it's because it's not in keeping with the spirit of the place. Francis is dragged by his belt before the Islamic ruler, by a tiny black demon with African features? I mean, really? But it is from the Middle-Ages, and it shows a combination of racism and bigotry that nopenopenope, nope. So, we've got this lovely new original by Br. Lentz, hanging in the living room, and it's the first thing you see when you come in. I still have the Nicolás Francés, tucked behind the new one. It's a terrific frame, holds this new 16 x 20 print handsomely, and I get goosebumps every time I look at it.

Oh, and I got my Nana Pole pendant :D *squee*! A nun in Suffolk, England painted the icon, and I've emailed her for permission (albeit, belated) and to ask what she would like in payment for stealing her artistry. Well, I did! To be fair, I thought it was older, but once I saw the modern icons that are being painted by the folks at Trinity, I thought that maybe one of them had done it. I don't have a picture to show you either. It's a domino, with the photo attached and coated to protect it. Here's an example of St. Veronica, holding the face cloth of Jesus, and my piece is very like this, with my martyred very great-grandma holding the five wounds of Christ.

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Father Peter Newsam from Sacred Heart, set me straight, and now I wait for Sister Petra Clare's reply. It's awkward, yeah, I know. It's also after 10 AM and I had done nothing for myself, so later.



sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:47 am

I've heard back from Sister Petra :D . This is my email, followed by her reply

Dear Sr. Petra Clare,

Thanks to Fr. Peter Newsam, I have this email address and I hope to get in touch with you. The story is that over Christmas, my husband and I purchased DNA kits. There were some surprises, such as 17% Scandinavian, and he then decided to trace back his family on his father's side. My mother-in-law had done quite a bit of the work on her family, but we knew almost nothing about Dad.

Duane discovered that he's one of the 16 times great-grandsons of Blessed Margaret Pole, through her daughter Ursula. We're both members of the Baha'i Faith, and I've spent the past three years in the company of Secular Franciscans, having seen Pope Francis's desire to include Muslims as part of the Ecumenical Movement. Baha'i's relationship to Islam is the same as Christianity to Judaism, and I've found a wonderful additional family in the St. Leonard Fraternity. I work now as their Infirmarian, and have GFF after my name, which stands for 'good friend of Francis.'

As for Bl. Margaret Pole, I've been a Ricardian since my twenties, and I about fainted when Duane told me she was family. Which makes her mine too, through marriage, and I have had a pendant made using your beautiful icon of her. It is just for me, and the lady who made it, uses old recycled dominoes to attach the pictures to. I didn't think, because of it's style, that it was modern, and now I'm wearing it! What made me think that it may have a living artist attached to it, is the Trinity Store. We just purchased Br. Robert Lentz's print of Saint Francis and the Sultan Malik-el-Kamil, and his style made me think that it was his. But Fr. Newsam told me it was yours and gave me this address. So, apologies for having had the piece made without your knowledge, but it is quite lovely and I think you would be pleased with how it turned out.

Can I reimburse you for the use of this image that you made? Thank you so much for creating it!

warmly,
Sara


And this was my inbox today :)

Dear Sara,

I am delighted you have found the icon and are using it in your pendant. There is no cost - just have a Mass said for me by the Franciscans. When an icon goes it takes it's own journey, and now it is part of your path!
May you be blessed,

In Christ,
Sister Petra Clare



She will get her Mass just as soon as I can manage it. What a sweetheart!


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:03 am

I saw my doctor on Friday.

God, I hate going there. We have so many appointments - mainly for Duane - that it's hard to keep the couple I've got straight. Apparently, you have to show up so many times a year if your AIC is over 7. Mine is. It's 7.4, so every three months, it's such a crock. It was better when I just went for a problem. Stuff like fevers, or pain of an unknown origin, a broken bone, a shattered tooth, feeling lousy and not being able to make it stop, you know, life. So now, it's prevention - at least that's what the powers that be call it - but all I can see is that it's preventing me from doing what I find essential for my own best care and sanity. Which may include, but is not limited to, a nap, a movie, a book, some Shakespeare, a craft of some sort, some unavoidable home chore, and/or jigsaw puzzles.

She thinks that it's her that I want to change for another doctor, but she's not listening. I don't want to have to see her unless I'm suffering. And four visits a year is supposed to prevent that, I guess. Anyway, we agree to disagree, and I'm getting handicapped plates for Girlfriend.

This is the month to do the annual registration, and the plates are coming in the mail. This means that I won't be able to use my placard anymore, but I like that I won't have to remember to hang it up every time I park. I'm one of the dozen or so people on the planet who doesn't drive with it on the rearview mirror - which it clearly states you're not supposed to do! So, pulling into most spaces usually means that I get the eye until I take it out from behind the visor and hang it up. I also fasted and gave up four tubes of blood the following day; one was for TSH (it's a thyroid thing), one for the AIC, another was for Hepatitis C (I'm at the tail-end of the Boomers, though mentally I'm a Gen-Xer, and because I'm chronologically the former, I must have damaged my liver during my randy, ill-spent youth :roll:), and the last was a lipids/metabolic panel. So I'm done until June. Oh, and I lost 7 pounds. Take that, Dear Leader.

My hair and nails are growing like crazy. I only have two pairs of shoes that I can wear when I'm a week out from the podiatrist's office. One is the white sneakers I got from said foot place and my Birkenstocks. That second pair has taken such a beating; I've gorilla glued the cork on these things to within an inch of their lives. They are also my only nod to the lifestyle I've denied myself for the past six decades, unless you include the mullet. I told Missy "Be bold! Go as short as you can!" and she did. The back is long enough to pony tail, at this point, but the front, top and sides are so short that no self-respecting pixie would be caught dead without a hat. Or a bag. But, you know the saying, the cure for a bad haircut is two weeks. I should be so lucky.

I can't remember if I mentioned the clothes shopping. I have seven new blouses. It's been too cold to wear them, but they are here, thanks to Kelly. And I've also been into jewelry - God help me. I've bought one pendant (Nana Pole's) and nine brooches. I don't like bracelets at all, and the only rings I have are my wedding band, my Baha'i ring, and a pinky ring, with nine stars encircling it. I do have eight pairs of earrings - four square garnet studs and four white resin roses - and I rarely wear them, but enough of that.

Speaking of appearance, age and all that, I absolutely despise being mistaken for a racist, Dreamer-hating, kid-loathing hag. I'm just 63, that's all. I got physically older. You live long enough, it's bound to happen. But my mind and heart have not changed. And like the people who earned those descriptions, in the first sentence of this paragraph, that's the way they've tended all their lives. Sometimes they were turned around, sometimes they weren't. I can't remember a time when I didn't think like I do now. For instance, it drives me crazy when the Dreamers are referred to as 'undocumented'. Not anymore they're not! Each and every one that signed up is documented! We know who they are, what they've been up to, what they've become, and they're wonderful. Why not just make them citizens? Just a blanket "DO IT". Why not? From what I've seen, they deserve it more than some who claim the privilege as a birthright. They are worthy. Ye gods! Anyway...

I'm so tired. I got up to wash clothes and the dryer is broken. And our cemetery payment is late - not because of me, but it's somewhere out there. If it doesn't get home by the 11th, we're dead-beats. I've never been late with a payment, and when I look at the checkbook, it's the only thing that hasn't cleared. It was sent on the 26th of February...

I just called about the check and we're broker now than we were last night :D ! It cleared! :yay: Oh, thank the Maker! *phew* I was so scared. Now, if the dryer will just start working.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:26 pm

I'm waiting for the final brooch.

It's a grasshopper. A little gold male with a face reminiscent of Jiminy Cricket. There was this one species where I grew up that had a flat countenance - sort of katydidish - and that's what this one reminds me of. I bought three insects - a praying mantis, a cicada and this hopper. They all have rhinestones, which I don't really like, and that they all could have been made by the same manufacturer, which I do. But, the pin is on the underside of each, so the critters look like they're sitting in a natural way. In fact they all look real, except for the gems, and that's why I love them.

It's the only thing I miss about not having grandchildren. I miss taking them outside, getting down on the ground, and looking up at the sky. I could actually feel the earth move, and had to grab the grass so that I didn't fly off. I hunted bugs, put them in jars and watch them for a day. That's what you do when your mom won't let you have a pet. Lightening bugs were the best, or fireflies for you literary types. But there was something truly awesome to me about the mantis.

The first time I saw one, somebody had brought one of those big brown cocoons to class. It looked like a hush puppy, skewered on a branch, and nobody had any idea what it was. It wasn't at all like now, when you could google it. We didn't know where to look in my 6th grade class, so it was kept on a shelf in the back of the room, and after months of waiting, it hatched.

I can still remember the hubbub. The jar was on Mrs. Black's desk, and everybody was bobbing around it. One whole side of the cocoon had collapsed, and the container was full of these itty, bitty ant-sized creatures with stick bodies, triangle noggins and huge eyes. Now, they make me think of Elijah Wood - they were just that adorable. Everybody that wanted some were given some, and I got one in an empty pill bottle. We didn't know then that they would eat each other, if there wasn't any other food around. We also didn't know that the whole reason why there were so many was because only one of them might grow up to have babies of it's own, because so many other bugs love them for lunch. And, in addition, they were born fatherless because Mom ate him after sex. Some things are better left to the entomologists to explain. Anyway, on the way home, I realized that I had nothing to feed this tiny baby, and I turned it loose on my mother's bleeding heart plant. I hope it lived to have babies, and every time I see one, I hope it's the 1,500 times great-grand child of my original.

I've had a few bigger ones since. The most alien-lookin' things, like they're ships unto themselves. Graceful, loaded with charm and deadly, like Helen Mirren. They are the cats of the bug world, and If you don't believe me, just watch them lick their long clawed arms and run them over their isosceles heads. Sometimes that's how they hunt. Their prey gets lulled into this false sense of security while they groom themselves, and snap - you're what's for dinner. I became a bit of an expert on these few bugs. The mantis brooch is female; it's pink gold - I kid you not - and it's got an ovipositor. The gold/green/rhinestone grasshopper, that I'm waiting for, has a rounded bum - so it's a boy. Grasshoppers mate like Space Shuttles on 747s. The males are smaller, and they ride on the females back during coitus. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw Endeavour on the back of one of those Boeing jets. The cicada is silver with iridescent wings, and has nothing but the clasp underneath. Anyway, I like to think it's a lady, in memory of Mabel, my Fairy-God Cicada.

That's why I bought all of these. I miss being a kid. I miss my boyhood. I had the best time playing Army, and baseball, and climbing trees; riding my bike to Woolworth's in the summer, and exploring the woods behind the house. Stealing tomatoes from the garden and jumping into the pool to rinse off all the salt and juice when Bev and I were done eating them. I feel sorry for kids these days. I don't think they have a fraction of the fun we did. We'd never heard of wearing helmets to do anything or of anybody wanting to hurt us. Where I live now, the grass is lush, a deep forest green and absolutely nothing can live in it. I can't remember the last time I saw a grasshopper. Now I can pin these on my clothes, and they'll look just like they're perched there.

There's a lot to be said about childhood; it's a pity it's so short. It's an even greater pity that many children in this world never get to have one.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:44 pm

Food...

What is it about food that is driving a wedge between my cat and me? Yesterday was awful. She would not eat the whitefish/tuna pate. Twice I ran a finger over the top of it and then over Amy's lips. She licked it off, and left the kitchen, and each time I headed down the hall, Amy was right there. But I'm just as stubborn, up to a point. By 4 o'clock I broke and sprinkled kibble and a few chicken treats over the pate. She ate around it.

So this morning, I put a fresh one in her bowl, mashed it with a fork and tossed a tablespoon of kibble on top. Now she can't eat kibble without a smidgeling of the fish paste. I don't know where this came from, but I thank Saint Gertie of Nivelles for it. My girl is nibbling, and she wasn't this time yesterday. If the 'canned' food keeps her from getting Type II, then I'm game.

Speaking of which, we're not fasting. The Fast for us means having lunch and then breaking it after sunset. I can't do that with mine; I have to have a couple of snacks in addition. But the Honey can, and he does. Besides that, we're not eating out the whole 19 days. I've added buns to the brats and fish, chips and hush puppies in place of those two lunches a week. I say the whole 19, but when Michael comes on Sunday, he'll want Wendy's so that's our one time.

I'll admit it's been hard. I've had a much more spiritual life among the Franciscans, only because there's more to do with them. The Baha'i community, right now, centers around the Feast and the one monthly Devotion. Otherwise, everyday, I'm cleaning pill bottles, gathering plastic bags and keeping track of my Infirmarian responsibilities. I'm not very keen on the plastic bags; I've had more of them this month than in the previous six, and I'm getting frustrated with that.

The bags are cut into strips, tied end to end and crocheted into mats, about 3' x 6' . They're given to the homeless to keep them off the ground when they sleep. Some people are even looking around for more colorful ones to make the mats more cheerful. How depressing is that? The pill bottles I get. Pharma sends these big cardboard vats of pills to Africa; we send the cleaned bottles to Africa so patients can have their own prescriptions filled. But I'm sick of bandaid solutions with homelessness.

That it's better than nothing is no excuse. I have a key, in fact I have two keys. And those keys are admission to a treasure. With those keys, I open a door to a kitchen full of food, rooms of warmth and comfort, closets and drawers of clothes, baths of soap and running water, toilets, books and music, entertainments and meditation, all with the turn of a wrist. I have all to myself a room that adjoins a bathroom. If I added a small fridge and a microwave, it could be an apartment. Why is it so hard to do this? Why are we so tight-assed when it comes to our fellow men and women living on the street? Oh I know it's a perversion of Christian values; I've known that for years. I've heard some of the most 'enlightened' individuals clucking their tongues about the homeless, how they must be 'choosing' to live that way *head in hands*. I hate my limitations, but at least I have enough of my faculties remaining to know how wrong this is. You can't get the addict off, or the alcoholic, by demanding sobriety first. We've been doing that for so long, and we don't need to do it harder or smarter - it doesn't work. You need an address to get most things; care and attention should not be a privilege doled out to whomever we arbitrarily declare deserving. Everybody deserves a key to their own home, be it ever so humble.
No one deserves a palace, and nobody should have to settle for a mat of plastic bags out in the open. There's got to be more I can do.

It's getting late, and here I am pontificating in my pajamas :paperbag: .


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:45 am

I've stopped by Saint Francis and have a Mass scheduled for Sister Petra Clare.

It'll be on April 12th at 8:30 AM. It's a weekday because they won't schedule these for Sundays. I would like to have had a date connected with Nana Pole, but that's just me. The receptionist suggested a card, but I don't have an address for Sister Clare. And then I thought of these amazing E-cards I have, and I sent her one of those, with all the information about the Mass.

I realized later that I didn't use Catholic language in my reply. I forgot to say 'celebrate' and a couple of others, but to have said the celebration of the Mass for you will be...would have been more appropriate. But I don't think she would mind; it's just me wanting to be the most correct.

The Honey has gone as far as he wants to with his family tree. He didn't tell me that he'd paid extra for that until last night, the little booger. He had paid an additional $111.00, and when it came up for renewal, he canceled it. But we both think it was worth it. There are so many relatives that are googleable! We won't be able to watch any more historical dramas without checking out how his relations are portrayed. Actually, the last time we saw Nana Pole as a character was in Wolf Hall, based on the books about Thomas Cromwell by Hilary Mantel, only we didn't know then that she was family.

It's amazing to me how fragile everything is. We are all just one bad migration, or war, or plague, accident or night without ships passing in the night, from never living at all. I find myself thinking sometimes now about It's a Wonderful Life, and how I always hated that movie :lol: . Yeah, if George Bailey hadn't been born, all of these terrible things would have ensued, because he wasn't there to stop them, I get it. And I thought, there was nobody else to take up the slack? For instance, couldn't another kid have saved Harry when he fell through the ice? But now I realize that you never know what your destiny is. Like Peter Wang.

Peter Wang was 15. His line ended in a hallway at Stoneman Douglas High School, because he was alive long enough to hold open a door so others could escape. It's that kind of thing, the mystery of who we are and why we are here, what our purpose is, that I find myself meditating on. He didn't have to do that; he could have saved himself, but then, maybe he couldn't, because he was that kind of person, and to do otherwise, was contrary to his nature. It took millions of years to create Peter Wang, and a fraction of a second to wipe him from history. Now he belongs to ages which is what Edwin McMasters Stanton, Lincoln's War Secretary, said at the great man's deathbed. George Bernard Shaw has Joan of Arc in her trial as having said, "There's more to life than not being stone-dead".

At that point, she might still have thought of escaping the stake, but no one knows what their own end shall be. In The Tempest, Shakespeare has Miranda say

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't! (5.1.182-184)


From the Writings of Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words, Persian #40, comes this. I want to end this here
O My Servant! Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.



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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:23 pm

We got our handicapped plates on the car.

About ten days ago, I bought them at the DMV, and had to get a temporary tag to put in the back window. Last year's expired this month, and after seeing Mel's, I thought it was a good idea. The placard should be taken down when driving; Mel, maybe three other people on the planet and me, are the only ones who do. I could never see around it, not well anyway. And over time, the hook thingy starts to tear because of all that movement. So, I ask, I get a prescription - which I don't need it turns out because I have the placard - and after forking out just shy of 66 bucks, I wait for the plates.

They came a few days ago and I got Girlfriend into the shop for some routine TLC (oil & filter change, in this case.) We brought her there today for that; they were nice enough to put the plates on for me, too. Then I hear that the battery is approaching kaput.

Back in November of 2012, the original battery conked out on me, and I bought a new one. It had a three year guarantee, and we're just a wee bit over five with it, so I didn't mind the change. They are so nice to us there. The service receptionist hunted down a coupon for us, and Girlfriend has got a brand-spankin' new one with a seven year warranty :D . The battery is in, the plates are on, and the placard is cut up into pieces. I can't use it anymore for times that I travel with someone else, that's the trade off with the plates. But, I'm too tired to get riled up about that now...

Except to say that I'm still disabled in whatever vehicle I'm in. I'm still better off having my driver park close, and I wish that people would realize that the man in the wheelchair symbol doesn't always mean there's a wheelchair involved! Or a man! In fact, one of my friends, who uses one, wheelchair that it, has said more than once, that the chair makes it possible to get her out and about. She's disabled without it - duh! And then you've got the crew who thinks that the spaces are only for the driver, and not the passenger :roll: . I'm still waiting for the property manager to straighten out my sign, pound it farther into the ground and stick another bolt into the bottom of it. It could always be worse, but I'm not in any kind of contest. I just want what I need, crazy as that sounds.

I broke down on ebay again. I've got an Our Lady of Grace statue coming. She's 6-1/2" tall, including the base, and she is very nontraditional, which is why I wanted her. I also bought a twelve-star halo for her. Which is very traditional, but I love the meaning of it.

Image

She's smiling, and dancing, and makes me think of Mona Mahmudnizhad. Mona was an Iranian Baha'i teenager, 16-years-old, who was executed by the Revolutionary Government on July 18, 1983. It turns out that she and her father were arrested the day after Duane and I got married, October 23rd, 1982. Her dad was put to death in March of '83. She is called The Angel of Shiraz, arrested for teaching children. Yeah, I know. Baha'i kids were forbidden to attend school - they still are - so she, her mother, another teenager and other women were teaching the younger, and they were arrested. When the women were taken in the dead of night to the gallows, she asked if she could be the last, wanting to pray for strength for the prisoners who proceeded her. There's a line in Doug Cameron's song, "Mona with the Children...all around the world, I see you dancing..." There are martyrs in my Faith who danced to their deaths, and when I think of Mona, that's how I see her. It's unbelievable, the things that people do, the hate, for no reason.

It's so very very very sad. I'm praying for those. I avoid them - there's no words that they will listen to - but, all the same, I can pray for them. One time, a Persian man, who was working in the McDonald's where we were having lunch, saw my Baha'i ring, and asked me to find another religion. But, there was also a Domino's pizza man, also from Iran, who noticed The Greatest Name on our wall, and told me that he loves Baha'is. So, it balances out; always take pizza.

Anyway, I promise that when my last buy comes and I can give my feedback, I am taking both sites out of Bookmarks; I'm still waiting to give feedback on a brooch from Etsy, which I've had for days now, but I can't until the fifteenth. I don't know, that's how the seller arranged it. But I have to stop buying, now that I said I would, I can. I really should be down-sizing as it is.

About the halo, in The Book of Revelation, "...and there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars..." I believe that the woman is Islam, about to birth to The Bab, the Herald of the Baha'i Faith, and the Fulfillment of the Islamic Revelation. The twelve stars are the Twelve Imams, the Chosen Guardians of Islam, so I don't see her as a person at all, though she may make me think of some, like Mona. For me, the Book of Revelation is all about the Islamic Dispensation, and that for all intents and purposes, the Bible has been fulfilled - in my humble opinion. And I'm hungry.

It's time for supper. Tootles :) .

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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:35 pm

The halo isn't coming.

That's okay. I've been having a rethink and I got worried that I might not be able to attach it without hurting the statue. So, I got in touch and got an Our Lady of Garabandal statue. And two days later, I get a box with said Lady (who does come with a halo, with holes drilled in her head to attach it), a handful of holy cards, scapulars, relic medals, and booklets about this particular Apparition.

Okay, I'm into this instead of getting my money back, but it's really pretty cool. I don't know much about it, except that it was all over the place in the Sixties. Four Spanish children - all girls - are visited by the Archangel Michael. Now, Michael is one of the Voices that came to Joan of Arc, and He comes twice. The second time He says that the Virgin Mary will come to see them. And She does.

I do remember that the girls were given a rough time. They would have these ecstatic falls, and people thought they might be epileptic. Their description of the Lady, was a composite of other Apparitions. Like Our Lady of Mount Carmel (the Virgin holding a Baby, which is what the children saw); of Grace (wearing the 'crown' or halo, of twelve stars, with a sky blue cloak; that's the same blue colored sash as the of Fatima, but with turned out of Grace hands); of the Miraculous Medal (which is Grace, only with a brown scapula dangling from Her right wrist); and of Guadalupe (wearing a cream-colored gown with large embroidered flowers, outlined in pink.) Her brown hair is straight, falling to the shoulders, Her dark eyes are wide open, and Her pink lips are slightly pursed, because the action taken by this Lady, is to kiss various items, and imbue them with miraculous power. And just below Her waist, is the sweetest little baby bump (Grace, again, and as the Being appears in The Book of Revelation.)

Image

Every time I look at Her, I see something else. The children were given prophetic messages, and signs, and miracles, like those of Fatima, They also repeated the Fatima warnings.

They were loved by the people, but the Church, as is its wont, was skeptical. Well, you can hardly blame them. The place is peopled with souls who gave up everything, they don't even get a whisper from Jesus, and these kids get the full ecstatic treatment. You'd be right if you thought there might be some jealousy. But to their credit, the Vatican didn't insist that the girls all become nuns (like Bernadette), and all of them got married.

Do I think they saw the Archangel and the Virgin? Sure. Sure I do.

Then how come I'm not Catholic? Because I think, and this is just me, that these Beings only appear to those who need it. Did these girls need it? I don't know. But there are people who are better, more spiritual, more compassionate, because this Apparition touched them in a way that nothing else could. They saw, and experienced things that moved them and they became creatures of holiness. Not everybody; some became even more antagonistic, or proud as a result - which is a real test to everybody who knows them. But it's a good thing, I think, for most.

Today my little Lady of Grace came. She's beautiful, and just like Her picture. She's dancing near my right hand, squashing a green snake beneath Her heels. What's nice is that I plan to mail Easter cards to everybody on my Infirmarian list, and I can give them each a card, or medal or scapular - I have just enough.

I'm so tired right now. I want to write more but it'll be better later.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:49 am

We have Ancestry Family Tree Building until July, and then we'll be done with it.

I can't get over Duane's side. He's got all of these Royal Houses - no Lancasterians when it comes to parents, grands, and great-grands, thank God, but they're cousins, so they are in there. He's even got Richard Rich! You know, the guy who perjured himself at Thomas More's trial? One no-good·nik! Oy Gevalt! (I'm learning Yiddish for my 3% Ashkenazi bits :D .)

Speaking of my Family Tree...

It's more like a twig. The Honey used his account for me, me being in his tree and all, and we cannot get past my paternal great grand-parents, and my maternal grand-pa's father. But now that I've had another look, it's the great-grand father, whose name was Martin, that brought my grandpa Anton and his brother here to avoid King Peter's army. It all just comes to a screeching halt after that. Papa Martin went back to Slovenia, and left his boys here to work in the coal mines of Smock. What we do know is tied to all their immigrations, and we have the dates of when each one arrived at Ellis Island. Each and every one that came through there, including Papa Martin because he did set foot on American soil, has documentation that includes place of birth, and travel itinerary. I said we were all peasants on my side, but I didn't know that meant I wouldn't learn anything past the mid-19th Century. Good thing I married well, I guess.

"Hey, Honey? Maybe there's a peerage somewhere in there?"

All kidding aside, it's sobering, now that I've slept on it, that my kin might be orphans. That's a lot of orphans, I'll admit, but if the records were lost or destroyed - after all, who knows what Tito or Peter, for that matter, considered important beyond his own ego - they might well be. 'Abdul-Baha said that the Balkans would always be troubled (I'm paraphrasing here), but who knew He'd be so right, so soon...


wistfully,
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:41 am

I went back over the Ancestry Family Tree, and there is no further information that's available for my side.

But there are websites for Szekelys, which was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. My paternal great-grandfather was named Jan, and the Szekelys, at least according to Wikipedia, are

...(Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈseːkɛj]), sometimes also referred to as Szeklers (Hungarian: székelyek, Romanian: Secui, German: Szekler, Latin: Siculi), ... a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land in Romania. A significant population descending from the Székelys of Bukovina lives in Tolna and Baranya counties in Hungary and in certain districts of Vojvodina, Serbia. In 1952, the former province of Mureș, Romania (with the highest concentration of Székely population), was legally designated as the Hungarian Autonomous Region. It was superseded in 1960 by the Mureș-Hungarian Autonomous Region, itself divided in 1968 into three non-autonomous counties, Harghita, Covasna and Mureș.

In the Middle Ages, the Székelys, along with the Transylvanian Saxons, played a key role in the defense of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Ottomans in their posture as guards of the eastern border. With the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, Transylvania (including the Székely Land) became part of Romania, and the Székely population was a target of Romanianization efforts. In post-Cold War Romania, where the Székelys form roughly half of the ethnic Hungarian population, members of the group have been among the most vocal of Hungarians seeking an autonomous Hungarian region in Transylvania. They were estimated to number about 860,000 in the 1970s and are officially recognized as a distinct minority group by the Romanian government.

Today's Székely Land roughly corresponds to the Romanian counties of Harghita, Covasna and central and eastern Mureș. Based on the official 2011 Romanian census, 1,227,623 ethnic Hungarians live in Romania, mostly in the region of Transylvania, making 19.6% of the population of this region. Of these, 609,033 (according to the 2011 Romanian Census) live in the counties of Harghita, Covasna and Mureș, which taken together have a Hungarian majority (58%). The Hungarians in Székely Land therefore account for half (49.41%) of the Hungarians in Romania. When given the choice on the 2011 Romanian census between ethnically identifying as Székely or as Hungarian, the overwhelming majority of the Székelys chose the latter – only 532 persons declared themselves as ethnic Székely.


So, what I think I'll do is email all of them with what I have and see what they have to tell me.

Today is Naw-Ruz :yay: ! Happy New Year! The Honey and I are going out to lunch today, and then to Feast. Have a wonderful first day of Spring, and I'm right with you, sweeping the snow off the car.


:)
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:26 pm

Saint Francis of Assisi
Next World, Heaven
Abha Kingdom

Signore,

I do hope you are well, progressing through the Worlds of God. I'm not sure where to begin. There's never been a time before now that I considered speaking to you, and now that I have, I don't know what to say. But, be assured that I am worried and wouldn't dream of bothering you otherwise.

It's about your spiritual children. I've known the Franciscans, of all varieties, going on four years, and I love them very much. They are kind, and considerate, compassionate, but also a little bit...blind. I was going to say, not in the conventional sense of not being able to see physically, but there is that too - come to think of it.

For instance, there were three disabled members present at a Reflection Meeting yesterday - one of them severely so. Two of us made sure that this last person had help with refreshments, the restroom, etc. Even with the best of intentions, there were spills, and slight burns from the hot soup and coffee (the soup was served in a cup with ice cubes, but even that didn't work as well as we'd hoped.) It was all I could do not to scream, and tear my hair, when one of those present complained that they have trouble seeing Christ in others.

HEY! HELLO! DOWN AT THE END OF THE TABLE, WEARING THE MEATBALL SOUP AND COFFEE STAINS, DUH! LOOKS KINDA CHRIST-LIKE TO ME! JUST BECAUSE A COUPLE OF US HAVE TAKEN UP STATIONS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN'T SHARE THE LOAD! JIMMINEY CHRISTMAS, FOLKS!

I'm sorry, Signore, but I just get so annoyed when Christianity is being touted all about the personal. The individual's relationship with God is more than that - you know it is. And the guilt that I see, not that I want to load more on, is so unnecessary. I didn't keep the papers from yesterday; I wanted to start a small fire with them. It was going over faults, that's all I saw. Not what good was achieved, I mean you see it, you know there is, but it was all about what they didn't do. They didn't pray this morning, why? Because they were taking care of their spouse. Or calling one of their kids, to check up on a sick grandchild. Or seeing to the needs of a beloved pet. And that's not prayer?

Did you think it was worship when you cared for the lepers? Maybe not, back in the day, but that counts. Doing stuff for others is prayer. Not to do instead of, all the time, but God, imho, knows what's in the heart. I wish I could talk to you, Signore. I get so frustrated with them. Only Malik-el-Kamil and you, were the only sane people in the 13th Century, and these people are still there, spiritually-speaking. It's not that hard. Suffering I get, I get suffering. Physically-speaking, I understand, through my own limitations. But you're not supposed to be the cause of it, are you? Are we supposed to make ourselves miserable, because we were just cut off and we want a house to fall on the driver of that black SUV? Is it really so terrible that we can't see Jesus in the face of that smug creep? I just went through that this morning, that's why I'm asking.

I'm still ticked off, and I probably will be tomorrow morning, too. But I figure that God will forgive me, and I'll try to do better. As long as I'm breathing, there's always tomorrow. You know Michael M. died last week. He was the first Franciscan I ever met, well after Ann, and the nicest, sweetest guy. He was so very sick; I selfishly didn't go to see him, because I wanted to remember him the way he was. I've got a card all ready to go to his daughter in tomorrow's mail...

Tell me what to do. Should I just keep my mouth shut, and let them kvetch? At the end of the day, I guess I'm the only one who really knows what to do. You know, I wouldn't, I'm just saying, be opposed to a visit from you - say in a dream? Maybe? I don't even have to remember it, if you could help me with this, and I could at least benefit from the lesson. And I wouldn't mind if His Majesty, the Sultan, had an idea or three, if you'd like to include him.

Well, I guess I've taken up enough of your time. Thanks for listening, Signore. If you think of anything, would you let me know? I'd appreciate it.


with love,
your friend,
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:40 am

I did see Saint Francis.

Nothing stayed with me in as far as how he looks; I just know I saw him. There's no real conversation that I recall, and it was just him that appeared, but I feel completely at peace. The message was don't fret over them; leave them to themselves, listen but don't advise, and pray for them often. Okay. That works for me...

Tomorrow is the Honey's birthday. 67. We're both more than twice the age we were when we met - which is weird. It's hard sometimes to figure out where all the time went. I bought him an Enya CD, and it's supposed to get here sometime during the day. I also bought him a chocolate Easter bunny that's mainly ears. It's already gone. I found the box on the kitchen counter, waiting for me to break it down.

I wanted to go to Mr. Michael's viewing this evening, but I slept through it. Because of Duane's birthday, I'm not going to the funeral tomorrow, but I did want to see his daughter and say goodbye.

I've been having a tough time with the tremor lately. The other day, at lunch, I was really glad for the arms on the dining room chairs, so that I didn't topple to the floor. I've been getting enough sleep. This afternoon, I thought I'd stay awake by finishing up the laundry, but as soon as it was done, I just collapsed. I figured I be up again by five to go to the funeral home (it was 2:30 when I fell asleep), and I was, but the next thing I knew, it was going on 8 PM. And we're at that odd time of the year when morning and evening light are about the same, so it takes a bit to orient yourself as to whether the sun is coming up or just going down. Viewing ended at 7 PM, and now is vigil, which is what the miners did for my Grandpa Anton back in Smock. I'm thinking about going out before the funeral begins at 10:30 tomorrow morning - maybe around 9:30; I really meant to go this afternoon. Things have been rushed, that's what the funeral director told me, because we're in Holy Week. The family didn't want to wait until after Easter, and I can't blame them.

My father-in-law died the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and we had the funeral that Friday after. One of my mother-in-laws friends invited all of us over for turkey dinner, when Michael was 5; she lived alone and loved to cook, so this was great as far as she was concerned. I will never forget this oyster-stuffing soup she made. It was supposed to be dressing for the bird, but she'd added too much stock. It was a mistake, but boy it was good! I still remember it; it was the one and only time I ever had oysters.

I've come to the conclusion that I don't want this 'whatever-it-is' to be cured. It actually allows me to take care of myself. I can say to Duane, now, because of the tremor, that I need time, and he's fine with it. For years, I'd been telling family and friends that I can't do this anymore, 'this' being running around and doing everything that's expected of me just because I'm here with an LPN license. I had the terrible misfortune of overhearing my mother-in-law complaining about how selfish I was. I was refusing to replace Lloyd's Canadian cane with my left arm. I did it once - taking him walking and it hurt my shoulder and elbow so much, that I would not do it again. If he wanted to go out, I'd be happy to accompany him, but he had placed all of his weight on me, and I said no, not without his appliance.

Why do people do that? He's wasn't the only one. I was on private duty and I ran into the same thing with a woman who wanted to use me instead of her cane. Each time I tried to adjust my arm so that it didn't hurt, she'd scream at me that I wasn't stiff enough, and would jerk my arm downward. It was a freaking nightmare. We wandered all over her trailer, from one end to the other, from room to room, using me instead of her perfectly good mobility agent. I even offered to adjust it for her, if that was the problem. She told me to shut up. Eight hours later, the shift was over and she didn't want me to come back; I could have wept for joy. Ever since, my arm has always been sore, especially when it's about to rain - just like my knees. I don't think it was Lloyd's idea to do that, I think it was Helen's. He never said anything one way or the other, but not her. Anyway, I'm content with my cane and it'd be a cold day in hell when I ever did that to anybody.

Well, I've digressed again. My eyes are closing on their own.


sara
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