Sad Saturday

*In The Early Morning RainIMG_0430

It’s 12:33 in the morning and I’m eating Froot Loops, with some mini Shredded Wheat and a bunch of blueberries tossed in that lack flavor. The rest of the family is doing a volunteer ambulance run and while they are helping people I know the roads are slick, black ice lurks sneakily in the dark.

I have felt totally listless all day and night. I lack energy and for the past seven years of having Fibromyalgia, this chronic pain-in-the-ass illness, I feel my whole body and mind stuck in a ditch, in neutral, spinning my wheels, going nowhere. I stay in my light, colorful, flowered patterned pajamas all day, I don’t even have the energy to change much less go out. My nose is stuffy, I ache all over, I am a floppy “Raggedy Ann” doll without her cheerful smile.  I feel older than the old person I am. There is no energy within me. None. The word “lethargic” sums it up well.

Who am I and who am I not?  Or, are the physical limitations and limited time having energy really getting to me? Of course, this horrid, freezing cold winter never helps me, it makes everything worse. Every year I start the same sob story about wanting to move to Florida or California, maybe even Arizona. I say it every year but we are still here in a very COLD town on the East Coast. I don’t fit in but at 57, that is the very least of my problems. The divider here is youth and money, lots of money. I lack both.

I need to go to sleep soon, my eyes are just about closing, my tummy is full with children’s cereal and sugary milk to slurp from the light green ceramic bowl.  I love these bowls, I have them in all different colors, they make me happy each time I use one. I take a few delicately pale pistachio nuts from a bag that is already open. Food is very important to our family, especially to me. It is imperative that we like our dinners especially on Sundays.

While my husband is unemployed, we deny our pleasure of going out to eat except for special occasions. Generally we eat scrambled eggs with cheese, and toast, my home-made pea and lentil soups, with a loaf of French bread, my husband’s eggplant parmigiano, chicken in the slow-cooker, lots of pasta, salads. We will go out only once to say good-bye to our son, heading back to college. I am not good at good-byes. It’s easier for me to leave than to be left. It’s one thing I can’t change, I’ve tried. Now, I accept it and my family accepts it too.

I’m humming the tune that is in my mind, the one that is the title of this essay. It is soothing to me, I’ll try to attach it here for you. Good night everybody. Thanks for sticking with me on this cold, dreary night, while the rain pelts down on the windows.

Photo credit: LAF 2014

 

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“Cutthroat Kitchen” (Food Cop and TV Cop)

English: Alton Brown speaking at the Google Ca...

English: Alton Brown speaking at the Google Campus in Mountain View, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since the New Year I have literally been focusing on the good in my life, trying to single out the positive and not making a big fuss of what is negative. Trying to see Life in a new light. Many of us fight with this each and every day, it is our attitude that makes us the person we are. I was doing well, checking in with myself hour to hour, truly. Bad news was coming at me but I reasoned, bad news comes to everybody, it comes, you get used to it, you adjust.

That said, I came across a cooking show that I had never seen before and started watching it with my husband for mere entertainment. What a mistake! The name of this show is “Cutthroat Kitchen” with (ugh) Alton Brown. Sorry, that’s only my opinion. This guy shows up EVERYWHERE and I have seen too much of him. He’s sarcastic and biting and I just don’t want that in my life. His “brand” visibility is “Over-branded?” I’m sure there must be some real public relations word for it( overexposed maybe?) Not sure if that is even a word, but you get my drift. When I see his face on the television set, I don’t smile and say “Oh look it’s that cute Alton Brown!” I sigh and say, “Oh God, not him again and prepare for his sarcastic remarks.” Then I change the channel.

The latest show he is involved with which now I have watched many episodes to give it MORE than a fair chance is some show named Cutthroat Kitchen. You would think that with this title I would have been forewarned that it was not for me but no, I gave it a chance. Not once, many times. I am a glutton for punishment. It’s just my opinion but I hated this show.You would have thought the word “Cutthroat” in the title might have clued me in but I didn’t want to be swayed, also I’m a complete, gullible idiot.

It’s mean-spirited, nasty, underhanded and nothing I want to see promoted on television, especially with that nasty, sarcastic Alton Brown. Isn’t there enough bad stuff in the world already? Do we have to have more? Listen, I watched, as did my husband, and of course judged it. Then, I turned it off. It particularly lost its appeal when one arrogant competitor made another arrogant competitor ( if you haven’t picked up on it, they are all arrogant, like an Alton Brown characteristic demolition derby)  duck taped a potato masher to another contestant’s arm and made them cook. Believe me, I wish I was making this up, but even I could not think that creatively or maliciously.

The objective is that each contestant is given money from Alton and they can use it to spitefully sabotage their components so that they will lose. (Nice concept, right?) The person who bought the sabotage will (YAY) most hopefully win. Ha! It doesn’t always work out that way. There are no manners in THIS game, no “sorry, man” or good luck, Bonnie” Nothing. For every aging ex-bully on the block? This show is for you, you will love it. Guaranteed.

I paid my dues, I watched this awful show. I will NOT be watching it again. Ever. Tell Alton to retire ( or just yank him off television) somewhere with a Food Magazine and tell him, nicely, to keep his mouth shut. Have him design a handy, dandy little toaster oven or better yet, a grill. Now, how hard could that be? Have him “retire” and pay him a small amount for residuals. That’s all I ask, truly.

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The New Rude

noon8march8962

noon8march8962 (Photo credit: marymactavish)

It’s 2013, and you are an aging Baby Boomer just like me. Mazel Tov. I bet you are so proud. Our music was sublime, our culture was magnificent and yes, it still lives on playing on our iPods and even nostalgic rock ( or nausea rock as my husband calls it) on radio stations and in elevators. We loved peace and each other and now? We are probably unemployed and sulking or depressed. Sorry, I can’t lie and I don’t want to exaggerate either but basically if you were laid off in the last year or two and are an aging baby boomer, luck and time is NOT on your side. My husband and I and our friends are living through it now.

It stings. Because as much as we were popular “way back when” we are the antithesis of that now. We are old, used up. most probably depressed and the last people to be called in for an interview. Don’t believe me? Just ask. Not only are we not called in for interviews, if we are lucky enough to get an interview, there are new rules: rudeness. I worked in Human Resources for over twenty years and I have never seen what I am seeing now which is NOTHING.  There is no follow-up, no “Thanks for interviewing but we have hired someone better qualified” there’s not even a rejection letter. No one even tries to help you or does courtesy interviews, no one lends a helping hand, they just ignore you. People are smug and ill-mannered. Welcome to the unemployment line: it’s where it’s at.

Why are people being so rude? I guess they feel they don’t have to be polite because the alarming mass of people who want jobs, any job. In their mind, why bother with respect and manners, never mind a phone call to follow-up, that sure as hell ain’t happening. Don’t even THINK about it, because you won’t get it. When I think way back to all the acknowledgement letters we sent out for people just to tell them we did receive their résumé it’s amazing. After that we called and sent letters to tell candidates of their status or rejection. We did the best we could. Now? They don’t even try because they know that people are desperate for a job and that is just plain sad. And cruel.

Manners seem to have gone the way with the older generation, yes, us and our parents who we probably take care of along with our children. You wonder why so many of us are anxious? The Sandwich Generation has a lot on our minds, our parent or parents, our children (college age, younger or older) ourselves, health wise and job wise and that we are now old. Old. How did we get here, we ask ourselves? When did we become them?

Sure, we still listen to the same music: James Taylor, Carole King, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young (God forbid Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young would do the honor of a real reunion concert but SOMEONE won’t do it)  Thank God for those who will: Paul McCartney and Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel. Apparently, they understand us and indulge us. Thank you, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel for the Reunion Tour, it was one of the best nights of my life. Growing old is hard, we miss the past and we’re scared of the future, thanks for sticking with us. I know the chances of another reunion tour are slight but we will keep hoping….here’s to you!

The photographs are the owners of the photographers.
Thanks to my friend Bruce, for the title.

Haiku Heights: Time

Piercing angel souls,

1 in 3 Teens

1 in 3 Teens (Photo credit: Taylor Dawn Fortune)

Secrets unravel in time

Death, by lethal lie.

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Deep lines etched, gray lips

English: Elderly Woman Knitting

English: Elderly Woman Knitting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lowered eyes, dull blue, trembling

kiss of years, past gone.

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Free Write Friday- Kellie Elmore

#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt
Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured ...

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured in dance: an early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They tell me it was a memory I never had, but of course, I am not convinced they are telling me the truth. I am so sure I remember reaching my long, skinny fingers and stroking the soft texture of the speckled leaves on the ground. Wasn’t it just yesterday that the leaves had been vibrant dancers in, yellow, red and orange, pirouetting for us from the upper limbs of the trees, beckoning us to admire them? Our group of friends sat on the dry ground in a circle and we clapped our hands heartily for their lovely show and whistled our love and appreciation. What a lovely dance they put on for us! We talked about it at dinner at the Inn, all of us feeling so lucky to have seen the beauty of art and nature coexisting. We felt blessed.

When we awoke the next morning, after inhaling strong cups of coffee and eating our sugar dusted, apple-cider doughnuts, we headed back eagerly for the early show of the dancing leaves yet something felt different to everyone. We all felt unsettled, out-of-place. It seemed that overnight, all the glorious leaves had slid to the floor, wet, subdued, stepped on, laying on the ground, curled up and crumpled, dead, on a pile of the old, worn, rusty bridge that should have been torn down forty years ago. The bridge had no use anymore except for photographic opportunities, no cars could travel on it, people felt unsteady walking on it. It was unsafe.

You and I, darling, had danced beneath those breathtaking leaves, we waltzed over and over again but you said you could NOT remember that. Well, I remembered it, with perfect clarity of young love, breathtaking beauty, birds sweetly chirping their melodious songs, and our picnic lunch. We waltzed underneath the bright sun, many years ago. I don’t know why you don’t remember it because it is so clear in my mind and SO IMPORTANT. I don’t understand, it meant so much to us then. Please try to remember, at least something, of that magical day, for me, sweetheart, for me. You look blankly at me or am I looking blankly at you? I don’t remember much of anything at all anymore. I was young once, that I know but weren’t you too?

Carry on Tuesday: Time will pass and seasons will come and go.

Trixie-a rescued kennel dog

Trixie-a rescued kennel dog (Photo credit: waycooldogs)

The Time In Between

How would you feel if you woke up one ordinary sunny morning and realized that you were now old? No, really, old. It wasn’t from a horror film or a nightmare but it was just realizing what you were seeing up close, really seeing in the mirror. It happened to me, from one night to the next and I was absolutely horrified. That couldn’t be me, could it? Really? Getting older is something I talk about with friends, in the abstract, I talk to people around the same age that I am or family members, but not seriously. Sure we all have some gentle fears for the future and the unknown but we can all relate to it. Any fears we have go away with our yoga class and deep breathing exercises.  Until the day, that one different day, months later, when you are not able to breathe and my heart felt pain all the time and those thoughts become wilder and it truly is alarming. My husband, Gary, called 911 and the ambulance came eventually. Oh, how I didn’t want that, all that fanfare, stretchers and backboards and people taking my pulse and giving me oxygen with the whole street outside, I hated it but I knew there was no choice, so I closed my eyes and with my wicked sense of humor, pretended to be dead.

When the doctor finally came in to see me in the Emergency Room and told me that my heart was perfect and that I had experienced a panic attack, I couldn’t decide if I was relieved or embarrassed at the diagnosis. All they did was hook me up to some oxygen and some sort of sedative and soon I was sleeping. When the doctor ( he looked about 14 ) said I was okay to leave he gave me a prescription for anxiety medication, little orange pills for when I felt this way again, which was probable,”for people your age” the young intern said cheerfully. He said “probable” not “possible” and “for people my age.” What the hell was that supposed to mean? Even though I was groggy, I hated him just for that.

It made me think alright, I guess I couldn’t deny any longer the little things that were happening to me. Like that I  had no hearing at all from my left ear, that my muscles had atrophied so much that when I walked up a flight of stairs I wheezed and clung to the stair rail and that when Bootsie, our dog passed we didn’t replace her and we had been such dog lovers because dogs became too much trouble for us.

Gary started sleeping next door in the “extra bedroom” because of his snoring and sleep apnea and after a while, I got over the loneliness and I really didn’t mind having a room all to myself. I  just stopped caring and this was easier for both of us. Time was whizzing by, seasons came and they left but the routines remained the same, it’s not as if they were traveling the world or doing exciting things, truly they were JUST the things we did every single day.

Wasn’t I just young? Wasn’t that just yesterday? First, playing on the street corners with my friends, then high school and college. Growing up to be independent and living on my own. Getting married and having the two joys of my life, our son and daughter, then they left us too. It all went in a circle but it kept spinning over and over again.I wore jeans and sneakers in college and I still wear them except now I need orthotics in my shoes. My pants are from the “mom” section and my daughter, when she comes to visit with me, rolls her eyes up in disgust.

Time passes, seasons come and go, people die and babies are born, things are fair and yes, unfair and we have no choice but to hang on for dear life. We need to choose to either fight fiercely for the ride or just give in. Today, Gary and I are going to the animal shelter, we have talked about it; we want to adopt a dog again, hopefully not a dog that needs to run around a lot but a dog that needs love, just like us. We will continue to live and fight, get out of bed and walk that dog, together, for however long we have. We’ll name her Trixie.

Haiku Heights – Snow

Sepia Snowflakes, Arizona

Sepia Snowflakes, Arizona (Photo credit: cobalt123)

Dancing its way down

Snowflakes!

Snowflakes! (Photo credit: nutmeg66)

Spiraling in frosty turns

Catch flakes, tilt back, laugh.

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Mud, slush, freezing rain

Shoes are wet, mind is weary

Sunlight, my savior. (alternate ending: get me out of here)

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Big, puffy, snow flakes

Etchings in blue, red, yellow

Capturing the art.

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The mountains of white

glimpsing the silver, ice tips

the igloo of love.

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Snow is for children

Romps and sleds, hot chocolate

Marshmallow dreams.

Haiku Heights-Wish

IN MEMORY OF THE CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND STAFF OF NEWTOWN, CT.

candles

candles (Photo credit: rogerglenn)

Trembling hands, shooting

Children cowering, crying

I pray for time, peace.

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Life, untangling

taut, rope fraying, neon bright

Seen by only one.

*****

I bounce in freedom

Gold coins fall into my hands

Independent me.

*****

Young lovers twisted

shiny, sparkling, delighted

Old age settles in.

Growing Old Together

Growing Old Together (Photo credit: ∞ SaraiRachel ∞)

*****

Sparkling green eyes flirt

my head tossed back with laughter

Looking back in time.

Help Needed: For Fibro And Chronic Pain Sufferers 2012

icy storm

icy storm (Photo credit: Vilseskogen)

I’ve often thought about placing a classified ad to get responses from people about what are the best climates for someone who has Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. I live in the Northeast so I know that the freezing cold weather just knocks me out, like a painful gust of wind on a fragile old lady. I feel like that old lady at times, more often than not, I need to hold on to something or someone because when the weather is terribly cold, I am in pain. I will not live in this cold country for the rest of my life, I don’t want to do that but I have said that for years.

It started to snow in October which seems crazy and the winters are longer. We need to stay here until my little one (18 years old) finishes college. Where would we go after that? I have no idea; suggestions are welcome, the only requirement is WARMTH. Moving is a daunting task, especially with an elderly mother, my sister and her family near-by and two children here. Moving FOR people is NOT a good idea, but it is a consideration. The only compromise I can think of is to be “snow birds” but you must need a lot of money for that.

WANTED: 2 BR APT. in Warm climate

Needed: Warmth (Desparately)

Needed: Near Sand and Water

Highly Preferred: Low Humidity

Close to teaching Hospital

Close to Public Transportation/Airport

Do you think that’s asking too much? That’s what I am going for, in my fantasy. My bones ache in the cold weather, I shudder with pain like an injured yellow bird flapping her broken wing. I want to be close to nature, to take walks all year round and to give myself a break. Just need money, my husband to agree, and the courage to move away from family. That’s the toughest one of all.

Plinky Prompt: Skydiving: Would you do it?

  • Falling in the Sky
  • Seriously?
    Skydive Skåne I am a 55 (soon to be 56) year old woman with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder, I have an Auto-Immune disease and if I even look at my wrist or ankle the wrong way, it breaks. The answer is LOL, no I would not do it. I have a hard enough time making it through the day as it is. But, I admit it is a funny thought to imagine.
    When I was young I considered doing it but I never followed through. It wasn’t a very serious thought. I regret many things but this is not one of them. My son went skydiving when he was 18, I just about had a heart attack until he was safe on the ground. I hope my daughter doesn’t copy him but I am afraid she will….maybe she will have more sense?