Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stop Tieing Your Doctors Hands

Friday the 12th was not the most fun day of my life but it could have been one of the more important ones. At 6:30 AM, I reported to Tuscon Medical Center and shortly thereafter found myself on a table with a BP cuff on my left arm and an IV in my right arm.

No funny stuff here folks, and no fanciful descriptions either. In 10 seconds I had tied one on and was out like a light, blissfully unaware of most of the embarrassing portion of my long overdue Colonoscopy.

I promised Chica I wouldn't describe the procedure. An easy promise to keep since I was so out of it that by the time I came to, I didn't realize that my bottom was still exposed to one doctor-male, 2 techs-female, a nurse-male, and a student nurse also male. In fact, that only occurred to me a few minutes ago.

It took about 40 minutes. There was no pain. Because of the way I react to anesthesia, once I got home, I slept from mid morning until 4 o'clock, woke and had a small snack, and slept another two hours.

This is not to say the entire process was a snap. Uh uh. I actually had to begin on Wednesday with a 10 oz bottle of magnesium citrate, a foul fizzy stuff and a "low residue" diet. Thursday was miserable. They give you a bottle of dreadful tasting stuff which must be consumed 8 0z at a time, every 15 minutes until it's all gone. It's a very big bottle. Besides that, you are on a liquid diet and must consume an additional 80 ounces of clear fluids during the day. I do not recommend low sodium chicken broth,use the real stuff! And one piece of advice you must follow comes from Frank Kaiser's funny site, Suddenly Senior . He quotes one of his readers; "Never ever trust a fart!"

Luckily, I was able to spend the day and night at Chica's house to be a bit more comfortable and have a more accommodating plumbing arrangement than the motor home affords. But don't let that stop you. A couple of friends went through this same thing last year in their rigs and survived it equally well. All that's necessary is an empty black water tank, a ready supply of TP, and a few good DVDs, (preferably not mysteries you haven't seen before.)But this is the hardest part of the test. Once that's over, its pretty much a breeze (or a draft I suppose).

I'm here to tell you to stop putting it off and get it done. I've been urged to have one for years but managed to avoid it until now all because I thought it would be so humiliating. I am one of the lucky ones, nary a polyp was to be found. How much more humiliating it would have been to find I had colon cancer that might have been treated much earlier. I feel better tonight knowing I've gotten away with yet another procrastination. But now that it's done, I'm embarrassed that I didn't do it years ago. Now I'm good to go for another 5 years or so. pun intended.

See ya down the road,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ties to Friends in High Places

This came in this morning.

How do you feel about forwards? You know, those ubiquitous things that come over the ether highway . Ties to friends we haven't seen in ages but certainly like to remember. Okay, yes, absolutely, they can be annoying, time consuming, impersonal, and irritating... or are they?

There are people who are able to resist every attempt to get them to open a forwarded message but most are finally brought to their knees one day by an enticing subject line and that's all it takes. Usually, we find a wry bit of humor written in the 1700s by Ben Franklin (who may have stolen it from the Bible), which was adapted by Mark Twain, and is now attributed to Jay Leno. Whatever, we laugh even if it's a groaner and think of at least one person who would get a kick out of it.

How many times have we pleaded with folks to not fill up our "in" boxes with forwards and then wondered how come we never hear from Aunt Matilda? Or worse yet, when Dad ceases and desists from constant jokes, you find one you know he'll love and simply send it along to him. (I've been guilty of that so many times I no longer ask folks not to send forwards.)

As The Geezerguy and I have traveled around for almost six years, we've been lucky enough to be friended (can you tell I'm now on Facebook?) by many people whose blogs we follow and who occasionally send a real email~one with words they've written themselves~ to us. Usually, however, we just get a funny, inspirational, or visual reminder of these brief encounters. Often we have to work to put a face to the name but so what? It's nice to know they wanted to remember us and have us remember them.

Jim and I are storytellers and so is our friend Father O. He tells stories but calls them homilies (a much friendlier term than sermons). Once in awhile, Jim and I will share a smile when he adapts an internet joke or forward to use in his Sunday morning lesson. Not because he does it, but sometimes because we've used the same one ourselves. Occasionally, we realize that we've even shared the same message although ours are more often set in the Old West,

while Father's reflect his African heritage or talk about "my friend".

Those who really hate forwards use the argument that if God wanted to send us a message he wouldn't put it on the Internet and tell us to pass it along to 7 people in 7 minutes in order to be blessed in 7 days. But my question is- why not? Not that many of us take the time to sit on a stormy beach without any food concessions to listen to a Man preach or to watch a guy pull boatloads of fish out of the water these days like Peter did.

Okay, maybe the 7 people in 7 minutes and 7 days is a bit much. But I think if Jesus were to return today he'd come back as a Computer Guru (pun intended because I didn't feel right calling my Lord a computer geek). He would recognize that this age has altogether too many technological "miracles" to let him be noticed for what was a big deal 2000 years ago.

Okay, maybe we don't have instant wine on the market but there's instant soup, instant coffee, and Kool Aid-just add water. My sister's new kidney last March, may have been a miracle in an earlier time too. So Jesus would be causing miracles we can't even imagine these days.

But I'll bet He'd use the Internet too. I think He'd be happy to have a way to tell us more of what He wanted to say than what was passed down by a few good inspired men writing the Gospels. His priests, bishops, cardinals and the Pope (apostles all) would quickly take His words and forward them to both his disciples (us) and those who hadn't heard the message yet. Perhaps there wouldn't be quite so much debate about what He meant if everyone got the same message with a click of the enter button.

And if we passed his forwards along to 7 people in 7 minutes who knows what blessings might occur in 7 days? After all, His Father managed to create an entire world in 7 days and he didn't even have a laptop! (Of course, He knew it was coming.)

See ya down the road,

Loose Ties

Well, in case you didn't notice, my February blog was tied with a slip knot. In fact, I just realized I never even formally entered the Blog Roll. That was a wise decision since we had so much going on last week.

We spent a week traipsing all over Tucson at the many locations of the Gem Shows, spending many thousands of dollars (not ours) on merchandise for the six gift shops my #3 son and #2 daughter-in-law (DIL2) furnish in California.

During the eight days, the entire family got into the act. The Geezer and I have worked with Buttercup and Commodore doing some of this before in California. We had an idea what to look for and were able to compare prices and spot newer items as we wandered. Then we could point the two who were actually working to those tables.

Chica, Sage Words, and Lone Duck were all new to it and their excitement and awe at the millions of pounds of crystals, onyx, malachite,coral, and other specimens helped to re-enthuse those of us who have worked with the merchandise for years.

Buttercup, of course, made all the decisions, but she enjoyed hearing all the "Wow! Oh my God! Look at that! Holy Moly! and O Man, You gotta see this!"

After all, if the family can get that excited so can her customers.

I managed to keep my personal expenditure under $50.00, mostly because the girls kept buying me presents. Chica spent a little bit more but managed to get ALL of her Christmas shopping for her mostly female family, finished by February 5th! Both of us had a blast, however, accompanying Buttercup and helping her spend her five figure gift shop budget. Its a pretty heady feeling spending someone else's money, believe me!

Walking on gravel much of the time took a toll on everyone's feet, Chica's back, and my hip. Schlepping hundreds of pounds of rocks and minerals from venue to truck or car pretty much eliminated Lone Duck's need for a gym and reminded him that 40 really can feel OLD! Less than optimum fair food did a job on The Commodore's fussy stomach. Then he got so ill with some type of apparently contagious bug going around, the airline would not allow him to fly home and he had to be treated for a couple more days.

Buttercup and Commodore were both working from 8 AM to 6PM or later and then spending more time entering the day's purchases in their spreadsheet during the evening. Still, we all managed to have a great time visiting with family some of us have not seen in two years or more. My thanks to Chica and Sage who, once again, moved over and let us all crowd into their home for several days.

(Thanks to Carl Brenders for this wonderful family picture entitled Den Mother)

The West Coast Cumberlands were finally able to fly home this morning and I really miss them already. But at least we know we'll...

See them down the road,


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ties to an Earlier Time

One thing my three daughters-in-law and my sister would probably agree with me about is that I have very little fashion sense. Mostly, I don't care too much and rather like the term eclecticism. Unfortunately, all those things that look so great on other eclectic women somehow don't always work on me. When I throw a great scarf over my shoulder it always slips and i never know what to do with it when it keeps dropping in my way. If I combine two unexpected colors or prints they look just as awful as everyone told me they would when I was a girl. If I do decide I like a popular style, it's not until it is on the clearance rack and therefore I'm the only one wearing it once I finally put it on. So instead of being eclectic and fashion forward, I tend to be frumpy at worst and eccentric at best. (I don't really mind the eccentric part as much) It's my dream to have Stacy and Kelly and the What Not To Wear crew ambush me for a makeover.

However, I do know what I don't like. Some of it has unfortunately found it's way onto my body because of other people's opinions and I somehow (hee hee) don't have those pictures in my computer. On the assurance of my best friend that it was absolutely perfect, I once bought a floor length orange,gold, and black paisley long sleeved dress to wear to see Yule Brenner in the revival of the King and I. Luckily my brother who had told me to bring something to NYC to wear to the play, forgot to buy the tickets. (it was used twice as a Halloween costume before being turned into a stuffed animal). I wore a floor length multi-striped crocheted shawl, with a long patch work skirt, and white peasant blouse on the advice of my sister's best friend when we went to see Scrabblebuff in her college review. After the performance, SC asked me what in the heck I was wearing.

But there is one thing I never wore when it was originally trendy.
In fact, I never owned a tie dye shirt until 2007 when it was one of my work shirts at Cosmic Cavern in Arkansas. We all had one and we all wore them only on the last day of our work week.

I really wasn't into the whole Flower Power and Hippy generation since I was already busy loving my own family and having babies and not having time for all the other "interesting" experiences of the late 60s and 70s.

I confess ,however, that one of my children did wear something that looked exactly like this. There is no way any of you can get me to tell you which one it was because he would be furious and his brothers would never let him hear the end of it!

Funny thing is, I taught Girl Scouts how to do Tie Dye in two different decades but I always gave the t-shirt I produced to whichever girl didn't make it to the meeting. I love the idea of tie dyeing but I'm still not ready for psychedelic colors. I just never got around to making one in less vibrant hues. Here's a good book on how to do it if you are game enough to try it.

In my Mom's generation, women rarely had to contend with the dilemma of whether to toss out expensive clothing that was out of fashion or hang onto it just in case. Brought up in a make over, make new, or make do era Mom would shorten or lengthen a skirt, take it to the tailor, or embellish it to make a new look. Life expectancies were shorter and rarely did one see a fashion from forty years ago return as we do today. Not only that, but the word Retro had not been coined then either.

Mom never fell for the trends of the day and had no trouble telling my sister and I which ones she'd prefer we avoid. But I was rather boringly conservative even as a teenage so we had very rare dust ups over clothing. Mom had really wonderful taste and had grown up wearing current and fashionable frocks. I think she'd like some of what is available today and would probably more in the know than I am. But I don't think she'd be crazy about Tie Dye in it's newest incarnation any more than she was during it's first.

I think she might let me get away with this one however. It's comfortable and cool and feminine. In fact, Mom might wear it herself to work or to a casual event. So I think I'll try to find one like it and think about Mom when I wear it. If she could be here today I know where we could find these skirts.

Oh yeah, I didn't mention the Geezer guy in this one yet, did I? While I didn't know him as a teenager, I am 100% certain he never wore a tie dye shirt either. But he also had to wear one at Cosmic Cavern once a week, (although he managed to have a different clean shirt as often as possible on the last day of his week.)

But I did find something for him too, just in case we ever go back to a place like Coffeyville, Kansas where it gets pretty cold at night. He might balk when he sees it though, what do you think?
See ya down the road,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tie-ing it All Together

So here's the thing. I'm planning on continuing with the blog challange during February but tonight I'm really bushed. We've been doing the Tucson Gem Show for a couple of days and there are so many wonderful things to see.

Walking all day, however, takes an energy level, I just don't have any more . So I'm going to try to pay homage to both the theme of the month and the day in one fell swoop.

I typed in Ground Hog with Tie .
Guess if you can think it you can Google it!

Oh and better get those shovels waxed!

See ya down the road,

Monday, February 1, 2010

TIES? I Don't Believe It!

I was not going to do this NaBloPoMo. Absolutely not going to because I have way too much to do this month getting ready to leave for Utah in March. So I had a private celebration while we were at the restaurant last night and toasted myself for having made it through January with (are you ready for this?) a prickly pair margarita!

We went to a Tucson steak house called Pinnacle Peak. All but Commodore and Buttercup had been there before, so we knew what to expect. The Commodore, however, was clueless as usual, when I presented all the men with the ugliest ties the thrift shop had to offer -that suited their personalities' and insisted they wear them despite the shirts they had on.

He's in the red plaid shirt asking "Why?".

Once we had ordered and were happily catching up on things we were rudely interrupted by loud bells and horns and a guy with a huge pair of sheers!

Our magician saw his elephants disappear before his very eyes!

The biggest football fan in the house lost all the balls on his tie.

LoneDuck actually had only a lone mallard remaining on his tie when the butcher was finished!

And The Geezer was busy protecting that 12 inch beard! Hack off the ugly sunflowers but leave the beard alone! The next time we go there we'll see if we can find the ties amidst the thousands on the walls.

I took all these pictures and then we came home so I could use our old time portrait for my last blog of the month.

That's when I discovered the theme for February was TIES! What is this. some kind of great cosmic joke??????????

See ya down the road-tomorrow,