Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Here it is New Year's Eve and I am sitting here alone, Tess has already gone to bed, but she requested if I am up when the ball drops,that I wake her. I told her I would record it and she could pretend it was happening whenever she watched it. Then she became insistent that I wake her if I am up. I was not planing on watching the ball drop. Enough balls drop daily in my life.

Tess had some x-rays done this week. They were hard on her but her primary doctor wanted them so we did that.

Back in October, I was in a minor fender bender. Well, not exactly my fender, his... yes. He hit me as I was driving by the post office. He was exiting it. My car ran and I was in no hurry to get it repaired, so I waited a couple of months to take it to the body shop. Last week it was raining like hell and the window(on the side that was hit) would not stay up, I was more or less forced to take it in.

The body shop gave me a loaner car #1. Nice of them. Really, it was. I have ins. that would have covered the rental of a nice new car but the loaner car #1 was convenient. I am into convenient. They did put in a new battery.

First time I go to use the car, it has a dead battery. NO problem. I called them, they came out immediately and jumped it. Started right up. Good to go.

A few days later I wanted to go to the store. You guessed it. DEAD. I used Ace's truck to run my errands and life went on without a glitch.

Monday morning, the day Tess had the x-rays scheduled, I called the body shop to let them know the battery died again. They bring me Loaner #2. A low rider type car with shiny rims and those small tires, smells like a Las Vegas circa 1990- when they allowed smoking in the casinos. Every time I get into that car I wonder how I smoked for as long as I did. I am sure my car smelled like Loaner # 2. The guy who brought it out to me said it was his personal car. Personal ashtray. The top speed you should drive in the ashtray is about 20MPH. Ace told me 35MPH was too fast.

After nearly two weeks away from the gym I was finally able to go back. I really missed the workouts and was happy to be able to go again. I love this gym and the people who work there are so much fun.

In the past I have joined gyms and then never wanted to go. I think it was usually around this time of year too. The busy years when gyms just seemed to never fit my schedule or I never had the desire to go workout or both. A lot of my friends are members of various gyms and my BFF, Tia, is a health nut so I am surrounded label readers. That is what I call them, the ones who watch every carb they ingest. They block the store isles reading the backs of potato chip bags.

I went to Costco today. Trust me, I would never go there on a day before a holiday if it wasn't 100% necessary. Tess needed me to pick up a medication she could not wait until Friday for. Sheesh. The lines were insane. The guy in front of me bought a new HP computer and a lot of other office supplies. His bill was about $1100. and he pulls out this brown paper lunch bag and proceeds to pull out a wad of money. All small bills. OMG. I busted up laughing. My chicken tenders just about thawed. That whole deal took about 20 minutes to complete. The checker and he kept passing this one poor $5 dollar bill back and forth. He refused to take his change too. Weird.

Back to my week. I have been reading Spiritual Liberation by Michael Bernard Beckwith which has inspired me to jot down a few things that I would like to affirm for myself in 2009. I made a short list of feelings I would like to experience more and just a general way of life I would like to embrace.

I live my life feeling.....

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

I have done less this holiday season than I have ever done. I put up Christmas themed kitchen towels that have a little holly on them. I put a beautiful lit white ceramic Christmas tree up that Tess can see from bed. Her BFF gave it to her over 30 years ago. I liked how the lights reflected off of the silhouette of the two dancing women.

Now, if I owned these dogs things would have been decorated a little more.

Better than those dogs decorating for us was the surprise that Max and his wife snuck in and set up in the back yard while we slept. Max made the tree top decoration. He also made gigantic ones to hang in the huge pepper tree all year long. He is going to hang them next week and then I will post another picture.

We always get together as a family on Christmas Eve. When Max and Ace were little their dad would take them skiing the week after Christmas leaving on Christmas day so Christmas Eve as my time with my sons has kind of stuck. I am sure it will change when grandchildren enter the picture. Everyone has more or less been flexible with the holiday celebrations and dinners.

So last night, we had Lasagna, salad, ravioli and some great sparkling pear cider. There was a wonderful tray of goodies. Since I haven't been eating goodies in two months, I will tell you although I thoroughly enjoyed the few I indulged in, well, they made me a little sick. My tummy totally rejected it. They sent the tray of goodies home with us but it will be slowly picked at and only until the new year begins. Diet time again. I learned my lesson last night.

I got a magic bullet. The one for food. LOL I wanted one and now smoothies are going to be a snap.

Great fun was had by all and we were home and in bed by 9 PM. I cannot ever remember being in bed on Christmas Eve before 2AM.

Today I put on my red night gown and will stay in in all day. I may watch TV or just climb back in bed and take a nice nap.

I wish all of you a beautiful and safe day. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pure Joy Doggie Style

I love this video. I have watched it everyday for nearly a week. Somehow I just know what that dog is feeling. I guess maybe if you are where it is snowing and cold you might be sick of it. I, on the other hand, only spent one Christmas in NY and it was beautiful to have all the snow covered trees to enjoy. I never grew tired of watching the wildlife running through the snow. I was fortunate my mom lived in the country off a dirt road where wildlife was abundant. I know this dog is bursting with happiness.

Johnny Angel

My dog stays pretty close to me. He is a beautiful black lab, Johnny. He will be 13 tomorrow.
We taught him some hand signs when he was younger and now that he can't hear anymore he still is able to tell when I want him to go out or when his dinner is ready. Johnny has always just instinctively known that when someone drops something he is to pick it up. I cannot remember specifically training him to do so but I know he was rewarded for all good behaviors so maybe it has to do with all the positive reinforcements. Once in a great while he will see Tess drop her cane and get up and retrieve it for her.
What used to be really great was if the remote control fell off the bed on a cold night and I would hear his little licence jingle as he got up to find it. He is showing his age, he no longer wakes up when something hits the floor.
When he was an adolescent dog he learned to turn off the lights from a wall switch. That trick always impressed everyone.

Mostly he is just our dear sweet Johnny. He is extremely patient, well behaved, and loyal. Not only is he is tolerant of other dogs but he single handily taught granddog how to be a good girl. Granddog came along when Johnny was 4 and he rode herd on her letting he know what was expected dog behavior around our house. As you can see, that could not have been easy for Johnny. She is a really active dog. She is very different from Johnny. She is so food driven, she would turn herself inside out trying to get to a treat. Johnny will have none of it.

Tess tells me that whenever I leave the house to run an errand he howls and kind of whimpers. He is mostly an indoor dog but when I am gone he waits outside for me or lays on the inside of the door. I wonder if other dogs do this? I wonder what he does when we are both gone? I bet he howls. LOL This is starting to feel like an attachment disorder.
Johnny is a great dog, he tolerates us just fine. I imagine he wishes we would have taken him for more walks, but then, I wish I would have taken him for more walks. I bet we both would be getting around a little better now if I had.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Uncredited Google Images - meme

I snagged this from Against the Grain. Please feel free to snag it from me.
Type the answer to the following questions into Google Image, then pick from the first page.

Age at my next birthday:

Place I'd like to travel:

Place I've been: Mexico Pyramids

Favorite Food:

Place I was born: Pueblo, Colorado

Place I live: OC

Name of past pet:

Best friend’s nickname:

My first name:

First Job:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Noise of My Neighborhood

Sunday mornings are just like every other morning for me. I have very little structure in my life. Sometimes it seems like I do the bare minimum just to keep going. I rarely do ‘busy work’ (whatever that is). There’s just no need for me to race anymore to get many things done. I don’t fret too much over the little stuff.

For the most part, everything I attend to is within three miles of my home, but most things are just a block or two away.I have for the most part lived in big cities but I have never lived in the center of a big city before. Emphasis on center.

I gas up my car an average of every five weeks, it isn’t a hybrid, and by today’s standards it’s not exactly fuel efficient. I own it and it gets me where I need to go. There are plenty of gas stations nearby, some with car washes and convenience stores attached.

I have an office in my home that I can work out of and a friend has an office less than a block away that I can use if need be. I don’t require much to work efficiently and comfortably.

I reside nearly smack dab in the heart of my city, I live in what is called 'The Colony'. My house was built in 1911. There is a lot of activity in my neighborhood everyday. Saturdays are the quietest unless there is a carnival or Civil war enactment happening that weekend. Those cannons go off all day long that special weekend. Johnny and Oh Well eventually get used to the loudness of it but it does disturb their all day napping.

I hear sirens everyday. There are a lot of wrecks up on the main street and quite a few car chases. I am only reminded of the country when I hear gunshots. We don't have any deer or pheasants here so it is never good news. Police helicopters invade my much sought after silence at the most inopportune times. The hospital is less than a mile up the street. Dozens of doctor’s offices in close proximity too.

I can ride my bike to Walmart(not a superstore) if I need to buy something small. The pet store is in the same parking lot. I will not be riding my bike and backpacking 8 pounds of cat food again, at least not until I have worked up to it or get a bigger basket on my bike.

The huge Catholic Church(big heartbeat of the community) across the street has at least 15 different services a week. I am pretty sure half of the services are in Spanish and half in English, oh and one in Vietnamese. I hear the church bells ringing all day long, only I don’t notice them often any more as they have blended into the sounds of my city. I wish they were on the hour so they made sense to my non-Catholic self but they ring at weird times. Parking space on my block on Sundays is a hot ticket. My car stays put on Sundays.

I ride my bike on the church parking lot because if they aren't having a service then it is a safe convenient place that I have deemed my personal track. I can ride for at least 30 minutes without worrying about any cars. Ace helped me put new tires on my bike yesterday so I can start riding my bike again. Remember I want to loose 50 pounds in six months. Ace lives on the other side of the alley and over one house. Sweet having grown son so close.

The church also has a food bank open daily throughout the week. Now that place is interesting. On Thursdays, they give out vegetables and fruits and anyone can go. You don't have to be needy to go on Thursday. I have been over there several times and am impressed with how much they give to everyone. I will blog about this another time. I know most of the people that work there and I keep a watchful eye on it at night.

My gym, Curves shares the same parking lot as my preferred "big" grocery store, just up the street, along with the local Chinese and Japanese fast food franchises. Pizza parlors, cleaners, hair salon and drugstore. UPS too.

There are three Starbucks within a mile of my front door. I choose not to spend my money latte’ing it up and besides what I brew, is a little better. Juice It Up, Juiced Up, etc. are galore. I drink Mona Vie so no Juice places for me.

Just within a mile of my front door, there are all of the following burger places: Mac Donald’s, Jack n the Box, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr. and the neighborhood Varsity Burger. The high school is less than a block from my back door. If I am in the mood for Mexican food I have at least 8 different taco joints to choose from.

In the same parking lot as the local steak house (been there about 30-40 years) is a huge Asian Market. They have the best veggies, as well as a huge variety of mushrooms and tropical fruits. There are two full live lobster tanks. Five Asian restaurants are scattered throughout the same parking lot. My favorites are the Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I go to eat at off times or get it to go mostly because they are so crowded besides it’s more convenient for me.

Don’t get me going on the donut shops. I have only been to one of them and then only one time. Donuts aren’t my thing anymore. However, I would eat them if they were lying around. Tess calls them her depression food. I don’t buy them anymore.

Two major freeways within 2 miles. Thankfully, I cannot hear the traffic from them. One time I lived backed up to a freeway. OMG was that ever filthy, smoggy, and even nosier than now. I am glad I have to drive at least three blocks if I want to get on the freeway.

Nearer to home, if I could not see it from my kitchen window I would not believe it, stands a Military Academy. It backs right up the next to the church and is complete with all the little uniformed boys marching daily on the field. It used to be the orphanage back in the day. Fabulous architecture.

Some of the cadets live there during the school year and still make use of the old dormitories from the orphanage. Sometimes when I go walking in the evening one of the young boys will wave to me through an open window. He has a sad lonely look, I always smile and wave excitedly at him, he smiles sweetly. I used to threaten Ace with this place…what was wrong with me? It's hard for me to think I would have ever threatened such a thing. He was a handful though.

City Hall, fire department, police station complete with helicopter pad, public library, community, senior and youth centers and at least 5 public parks are all within walking distance. We have farmer’s market once a week in the downtown section. I think it may just be a summer to fall thing. Gas Co., Electric Co., and phone co. all next to each other too. All the cell and mobile phone companies are there too. I pay my utilities online so it really doesn’t make any difference to me how close they are. There are two post offices nearby. Did I mention the local museum? Right there too. Train station? Yep. I hear the whistle at night.

There is an abundance of financial institutions within a stone’s throw. Believe it or not, I have to drive to my bank. One of my banks was taken over last month so I can soon go to the bank in the Curves parking lot. This made me happy, it was good news.

Nearly every weekend, one of my neighbors has some sort of a party. Tess sits out on the back porch and has enjoyed the sounds of many a live band. Mariachi type bands mostly playing festive upbeat music. Lot’s of laughter fills the air. It is really kind of neat. I like it when people are enjoying themselves.

One morning I looked out my back window and saw this. I knew we were in for a celebration that would last well into the night. Sure nuff, they partied all day and a little longer. At first I thought CaptnDyke had landed and was coming for a visit.

Just like a cherry on top of the sundae, my day just wouldn't be complete if every night at 9:30 I didn't hear the fireworks from the local amusement park...the good part is if I want to I watch them from my back yard I can.

Oh yeah, there are 7 lesbians that I know of on my block. Not much drama either.

Every time I hear Neil Diamond sing Beautiful Noise I am reminded to appreciate all the city sounds of my city and living here fits me right now. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

What's it like where you live?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Be Here Now

C 1980 I took Tess to a sold out lecture to hear Ram Dass speak about such things as harmony, love and life. He wrote the book, Be Here Now. That night was the beginning of Tess and my life together.

A couple of nights ago, there was an unusual amount of fear, sadness and pain hovering around in my house. The air was heavy.

Tess is having a lot more doctor’s appointments and they are very difficult for us to accomplish. Just getting ready for any appointment requires more physical exertion than Tess has. She is for the most part housebound. Getting her to and from the appointments causes a lot of wear and tear on both of us. The day after even a simple blood test is cause for increased pain. We are close to needing medical transport assistance. Believe me; I will use them when the time comes.

Anyway, it was the evening of a ‘doctor day’. As I looked over at Tess, I could see the pain in her eyes and the sadness in her face. Her mouth began to quiver and I just told her to come let me hold her. When you have been emotionally intimate with someone for over 25 years, you know when she cannot endure much more and I knew she could not take much more.

I told her I wanted her be safe in my arms and that I would meet her in bed. She could be vulnerable and let go of some of the fear she has been feeling. I would take care of her and she could feel protected.

I let Johnny out for a final yard call, closed up the house and I still beat Tess into the bedroom. As I waited for her, I was flooded with memories. We have been through so much in the past few years. I smiled. Meeting Tess in bed brought back wonderful memories. There was nowhere else in the world I would rather be that in bed with Tess even though, now all we mostly do is sleep there. There was always such love and safety in our bed.

She looked all hunched over as she sat on the side of the bed. My heart hurt for her, I could feel her sadness. I crawled across the bed and wrapped my arms and legs around her placing my head on her shoulder. She let go of a huge sob, and then another. “Oh, Rose, What is going to happen to me?” It was all I could do to keep my own tears in check. I knew her question was rhetorical, and I held her tightly and whispered softly, “Be here now.” Her body heaved and she cried hard, I could tell they were old tears. Those tears were long overdue and for the longest time, there was no need for either of us to speak. We held silently to the present we were completely absorbed by the NOW.

I found this after I wrote today. I cried my eyes out while I watched it. Just sharin'