Friday, May 31, 2013

Mantra... repeat after me...

I am more than a number, I am more than a number, I am more than a number...

sadly the second part of that phrase is - should we be doing a reality check -  I am also a mass of flesh composed of undeveloped muscle and fat!

Even my toe muscles are atrophied which is why I have bad balance!
(Who knew toes even HAD muscles?)

As part of my journey toward wellness, retirement, and the Camino, I've begun working with a personal trainer and a physical therapist - a team that apparently really appreciates a challenge!

We have 10 months to get my body ready to walk 500 miles - and to establish a baseline - I've been subjected to a number of instruments for measuring muscle mass, BMI, weight, pressure, tensile strength etc - - all of which have only reinforced how much I HATE numbers.

Suffice it say, I'm not where I should be... but 'the team' is in place to get me going in the right direction.

I'm on my way back - to both myself and the Camino!

This is NOT where I'll be by the time April rolls around... 
because, dammit, 
I really AM more than a set of numbers.

From my lips to Gods ear!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Be brave!

My favorite quote from "Call the Midwife' .

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Clear the decks!

Legionnaires disease,
bodies disappearing over balconies 
never to be recovered,
loss of power
resulting in sanitary conditions 
equivalent to those in Victorian England
being run aground,
overturning and sinking,
and now -
a fire.

Someone explain to me 
anyone would pay money 
for a cruise
as a vacation??

Like signing up for a trail ride
with the 
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!

Monday, May 27, 2013

If I only had a brain.

Yeah, he could have used one too...
but I was thinking more of some of the parents we see in the ER.

Parents who are adamant about protecting their Constitutional right 
to own a gun 
but, in the process, 
don't do a damn thing about protecting their child's 
right to live!

If you're a convicted felon 
and you have so many people out to get you 
that you have to sleep with a cocked revolver 
under your pillow, 
maybe you should give a thought
 to whether it's safe enough 
for your toddler 
to come visit.

And, if she does, 
then maybe, 
just maybe,  
you shouldn't leave her alone
in the apartment 
while you go out
"to get food from the Chinaman"!

On the other end of the spectrum...

if you're a police officer - 
with both a work issued revolver 
and 'weapons for fun' - 
didn't you have to take classes on gun safety? 

Don't you know the laws about your responsibility 
for keeping your firearms out of the reach of kids?
Frankly, I'm not sure which one of you I feel less sorry for...
for your dead children, I feel all kinds of sorry.

I'm one of those old hippie parents who never let their boys play with guns.

It worked for one...

the other one chewed his PB&J sandwich into the shape of a gun, 
at the age of 2, 
and was hooked from that point on.

Every stick, rock, found metal object etc could be turned into a weapon... 
it's no coincidence that the military is his chosen field!

I get that people are different.
I get that many adults who have the right to own a firearm
can do so responsibly.

But in the past 3 weeks,
we've had 8 kids whose lives have been forever changed
(and, for 3 of them, lost!)
because the adults in their lives
were careless.
If you're going to be a gun owner - 
and you have children - 
I have two words for you...


Oh, okay,
I admit it, 
I have
two other words too -

'nuff said.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Attention all parents:

If I ruled the world -

you would NOT be able to use punctuation in your child's name 
if you didn't know the proper term 
for the punctuation mark itself!

 This - ' - is not "an upside down comma"; 
it's an apostrophe 
and it has no earthly business 
in a child's name 
unless its denoting the possessive.

In the same vein, 
naming your child -
 U'banuff -
  when clearly he wasn't
because you went on to have 5 more just like him! -
would be anuff to get you arrested for child abuse - 
all your bench warrants for fraud, burglary
and traffic violations 

I would gladly institute a 'naming law' similar to Sweden's
in which
"First names shall not be approved by the state if they can cause offense 
or can be supposed to cause discomfort 
for the one using it, 
or names which for some obvious reason 
are not suitable as a first name".

And the fact that I feel this way 
goes against every ACLU card carrying bone in my body!

I think it was "Steveydon" - 
as in "Steveydonegotmepregnant" - 
that pushed me over the edge!

Oh yes she did -
and it ain't right!
ps: I DID try to hang on to my 
vacation-and-I'm-retiring-in-10-months-so-your-crap-don't-bother-me-glow - 
but some cases can suck the very glow 
right out of you!

Friday, May 24, 2013


sometimes, I want the lie.
Buffy: Does it get easier?
Giles: What do you want me to say?
Buffy: Lie to me. 

Giles: Yes, it’s terribly simple.
The good guys are always stalwart and true, 
the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns 
or black hats, 
and we always defeat them and save the day.
No one ever dies, 
and everybody lives happily ever after.

Buffy: Liar.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baby E...

the real reason for the weekend trip.

No, it wasn't to see 'Air Java'... although the antics of a lab are always fascinating.

Nor was it to discover I DO like tulips - just not the 'regular ' kind... 
make mine 'parrot'!

These looked like my favorite 'sherbet' on a stem!

It was to 'shower' these folks
with love and loot!

And to remind myself
that even in the midst of life altering circumstances
in MY life,
people I love are having life altering events 
within their own lives as well.

Children to raise,
babies to be born,
relationships in crisis,
health scares,
struggles with addiction, 
personal sojourns,

Funny though 
how even when you're convinced 
your relatives fill up several cars of the crazy train
all by themselves,
there's always room for one more!

It was a terrific weekend!

Here's what I love about my family - 

the differences in height,
skin tones  
and the fact
that not one of them
 is 'normal'!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A gorgeous weekend - filled with 'the arts'

My recent trip 'up north' was a terrific reminder that, 
in some communities,
 the visual arts are not only supported 
but celebrated.
 Evanston was hosting a street festival downtown 
devoted to the arts programs in all their school - 
whole blocks closed off -
and projects proudly displayed.
The area teeming with children and their families
all oohing and ahhing over their creations.

Here are some of my favorites!
the Totems -
created from paper-mache milk bottles,

tribal masks,
 and terrific colorful villages - 
made from paint chip strips.
(An idea I intend to copy soon for myself!)

Between the sun, a lake breeze 
and catching up with some of the littles 
I see far too infrequently,
it was a wonderful day.

After a family dinner with even more people I love

some of us had a big decision to make...
choices, choices...

Guess which way they went?

 a lotus blossom, 
symbolizing life, death and rebirth
 and a memorial for his cousin, Mark.
His birth and death years will be added 
at a later date.
No, I didn't get one.
I'm saving mine for after the Camino -
and then I'll get a scallop shell on my foot,
reminding me to walk 'the way' in faith.

I was just there to document their adventures,
lend moral support
and protect them from the troll in the waiting room
smoking a huge joint...
OK, so the guy was really eating beef jerky...
first glances can be deceiving 
and they were nervous.

All was well.
Despite some folks surprise that
'a mom' had gone ahead 
and gotten inked!