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Three Good Things

Photo by Ben Dutton on Unsplash

1. No oxygen treatment today!!
2. Sweet fresh green grapes
3. Just finishing the newest installment of a book set in Seattle.

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TMI Tuesday: Sept 3, 2019

1. When you’re old, would you rather die before or after your significant other?  It would depend on the situation. How old, how sick or well, where I was living. I know emotionally I tend to be stronger than most men I’ve been with.

2. Would you rather live at the top of a tall apartment building, in your favorite city, or at the top of a mountain? This is easy. I have a dream of living in a condo in the middle of downtown Seattle, near the Seahawk’s stadium, by whatever name they will be calling it by then. I already have the condo mentally decorated and a list of place I want to go to.

3. Would you rather have to sew all your clothes or grow your own food? Sew my clothes. If anyone had to depend on me growing food to eat, they would starve.

4. Would you rather have your debt forgiven or have guaranteed good health for a decade? Debt forgiven… then maybe I’d have enough money to buy good health. I actually had good health for a decade; no doctors, no drugs. It doesn’t mean much when it ends. Now I’m back on a handful of medications and seeing way too many doctors.

5. Would you rather take a bubble bath with your boss or fuck your neighbor? If I ever find a neighbor I’d want to fuck, that’s the direction I’d go in.

Bonus: Bonus: Would you rather have the details of your financial life or your love life be made public?  Oh, my love life… I would hope it would be much more tantalizing. But that’s probably just in my own imagination.

Mom’s Carrot Bundt Cake

This is my mom’s carrot bundt cake and it’s delicious. She use to grate the carrots by hand. These days I use a food processor.

1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
5 tablespoons hot water
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1-1/2 cups grated raw carrots
1 cup chopped pecans
3 egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease well, then flour 10-inch bundt pan.

2. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, cream oil and sugar until well mixed. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in hot water.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices, then beat into egg mixture.

4. Stir in grated carrots into batter, then add the chopped pecans.

5. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form, then fold into batter.

6. Turn into prepared bundt pan and bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on rack.

7. Dust cake with powdered sugar, if desired. Cut into wedges to serve. Cake keeps well when wrapped and refrigerated.

My World

The physical therapist has been “encouraging” me to walk more (but don’t overdo it) and to “go sit outside and get some sunshine and fresh air”.

So I did my little walk around the inside of my house… through the kitchen, into the dining room and back down the hall to my desk again.

After a short rest, I grabbed a small book and walked out to the deck and sat in the fresh air and read for a bit.

And then I just “observed” my world around me. It’s not a very big world… just the street in front of my house in my neighborhood.

There are high stratus clouds and lower cumulus clouds that look like they are trying collect moisture to turn into rain. In between there is a pale blue sky.

There isn’t much of a breeze and the clouds look like they are standing still. The birds are all silent.

The bulldozer across the street that has been making noise all morning is now quiet. There are no cars driving by. The only sound is two airplanes high up in the sky.

Our neighbors on both sides are gone off on a last of summer vacation. The neighbors across the street who are only here on vacation, are now here on vacation.

No visitors or delivers for us today, the first time all week. With all of the nurses, therapists and aides who come every week, I’m starting to get peopled out. It’s nice to have a free day. No therapy of any kind, including no oxygen therapy on my leg.

It feels like a vacation for me too.

Guns

I was in the hospital when the mass shootings in El Paso, Gilroy and Dayton happened. This is a post I wrote after the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and I’ve reposted it every time there is another mass shooting. It makes me sick that I have to repost it each time.

Guns

I wrote this in response to comments on a friend’s post in regards to owning a gun to protect family. I thought I’d post it here. I am not a gun owner and I have no desire to be one. I also have no desire to restrict legal gun owners from having one of their own. But I wonder how many who do have guns have thought about these things?

Okay, I’ve been thinking about this all night, and let me share my thoughts about this. While it’s admirable that people would want to protect their families in this kind of situation, but what is the likelihood that you could or would… and let me tell you why I wonder this.

People who have never been in this situation forget some very tangible and intangible things when it comes to fear… the five senses.

First is sight. You are in a dark theater, maybe with your family on each side of you. You have a bright picture on a large screen in front. If someone with an assault rifle comes in from the back and starts shooting, the bright flashes from the shots are most likely going to disorient you about where he actually is. Also your first thoughts will be for your children, second thoughts will be for where the shooter is.

Now sound… the level of the sound volume of the movie is very loud and at first will muffle the sound of the gun shots. Even when this happens in another venue… school, mall, whatever, it takes most people a few minutes to realize what is happening because they are not use to hearing these kind of sounds.

Touch… most likely, if you are in a movie, you are eating popcorn and drinking a soda and your hands will slick from that… add in the fear and adrenaline factors, and your hands are going to be cold and clammy and your reaction time slowed down because of it, if and when you able to get your gun in your hand.

Taste. Fear tends to cause your stomach to churn which causes bile to move up from your stomach into your mouth and taste buds, which in turn makes you queasy, and this will slow your reaction time and reflexes even further.

Smell.. this is the one that no one thinks about. Fear often causes people to lose control of the muscles of their bladder and bowels which causes people to literally piss or shit in their pants. Say 10% of the audience does that, the stench in the theater will be overwhelming very quickly. This will cause more fear, and the desire to get out of their very quickly, which is what gets most people killed the quickest.. from standing up and running.

Now suppose at least two other people have the same idea you have.. they have a gun, they want to protect their families too, if they are even thinking clearly at that point. One is behind you and one is in front you. You all now react, without thinking and stand up, the one guy behind you slightly before you do. Focusing on the shooter, you don’t focus on the other man, and you shoot, shooting him in the back, while your children watch. What makes you think the three of you can get off one shot at a time against someone who can get off multiple shots in seconds, especially when you can’t see him in the dark and are being blinded by the flash of his multiple shots? Unless you are trained as a sharpshooter, it would be dumb luck at best.

Now say the guy in front of you tries to get a shot off but is hit by several shots from the original shooter just as the guy in front of your pulls his trigger. Now he has lost control of his own aim and gun and it’s pointed down at your child huddling on the floor as the bullet leaves the chamber. You’ve not saved anyone, in fact helped to kill two people right there, including your own child.

Guns do not magically protect anyone.

Having one will not protect you, especially if the original shooter has a much bigger and more powerful weapon.

Also, remember.. as a sane, rational person, you are not starting out your day thinking about killing someone. The shooter is and has probably been thinking of nothing else for days. He knows what he is going to do and how you are probably going to react. He goes in with those expectations in mind.

If you do own a gun, how much training have you had with it? How often do you go to the gun range to practice? I’m quite sure no matter how much you do, it’s still not anywhere what the original shooter has done. Why? Because you have other things to think about and to do. He has a sole purpose and that is to kill as many people as quickly as he can. Your single shot pistol can only do so much and from just a certain distance. His automatic weapon can do a whole lot more. Even if you walked around with a similar gun, would you be able to react fast enough to make a difference?

Please consider all of this before you buy a gun and think it’s the answer to all of your problems. This is true life, reality, and it’s not like in the movies. You could end up creating more problems than you solve.

Self Acceptance

I’ve lost 60 pounds in the past month. Most of it was water weight, but it still made an impact on the scale and it also made on my body.

My abdomen is flatter and my tummy is softer and smaller, not big and hard like it was last month. My face is thinner and my feet and legs are smaller, although now covered with wrinkled skin.

I “feel” smaller than I was before and I am. But to most people I am still fat. Most people won’t be able to see the change in me because to them I am and I always will be fat. No matter how much I weighed, I was always described as “too fat”, or “needs to lose some weight”. Even when I weighed 120 pounds. “Just lose 15 more pounds and you will be PERFECT!” But perfect never came.

I’m not losing weight now because I want to, not because I want to be perfect, not because I want to wear certain clothes, not because I want a “beach body”. Losing weight has not helped my damaged leg and my arthritic knees like so many have insisted it would. But I now have a heart problem that I never had before and I am losing weight to help that.

But at this point, I’m quite happy with my body. It’s not a size 2, but it is a size 2x, which is down from a 5x. But mostly because I can finally breathe again and not be short of breath due to fluid in my lungs. My feet don’t feel like stuffed sausages where the skin was so tight it felt like it was going to rip apart any minute.

I may always have to deal with being on a water pill and worrying how much sodium everything I eat has in it. The AFib may never go away. I will never look like a runway model and I’m finally okay with that. This is who I am and I know that makes a lot of people uncomfortable and feel the need to “fix” me. But that’s their problem not mine.

A Long Month

It’s nearly September and this is the first time I’ve blogged in August this year. On July 31st, just before midnight, I was rushed to the hospital ER with a high temp, shortness of breath and my heart in AFib. When it was established that I had a massive infection somewhere and fluid in my lungs as well as adema, I was admitted to the ICU. I spent 9 days in the hospital, six of them in ICU. I’ve been home now for just about two weeks and I feel so tired, more than tired, exhausted. I’ve barely had any energy to read, much less write.

But I’m slowly making progress… finally off of the antibiotics, still on heart meds, blood thinners and a water pill that makes me have to pee every hour, including all night.

The most frustrating part of all of this is, are the many things we take for granted that we can no longer do. Lying in bed in the ICU, all I wanted to do was sit in a chair. When I was finally allowed to do that, nothing felt better than putting my feet flat down on the floor. And then came the craving for a shower, which I couldn’t do alone. I still need help to take a shower, which means it has to be planned ahead.

After that, all I wanted to do was to get back online. Since almost all of my online work happens on a desktop, I was gifted with a laptop to make it easier for me to do so from the hospital. That’s when I discovered I had no energy to type. I could only do enough to let my friends know where I was.

So now, I feel like an entire month has been wasted. Being sick is such a huge waste of time. But I’ve been told it could take me three more months to recover. That doesn’t make me happy.

Action and Attitude

Your actions affect your attitude and your attitude drives your actions. It can indeed be powerful to get your actions and your attitude working consistently in the same direction.

A small positive action can often make a big positive difference in your outlook on life. Even something quick and simple can shift your momentum.

In the same way, a small positive shift in your attitude can encourage you to take action when you previously were not inclined to do so. Just a brief empowering thought can get you moving forward.

So if you cannot quite bring yourself to take action, at the very least you can convince yourself to carry a more positive attitude. After all, thinking does not require any physical effort at all, and before long that positive attitude will surely lead you to take action.

Or, if you find yourself resisting a positive attitude, at the very least you can take some small beneficial action. And you’ll be amazed at how soon that will lead to a more positive attitude.

Whether it’s through your actions or through your attitude, there’s always a way to introduce a more affirmative perspective into your life. Stay focused on the positive possibilities, and life will continue to grow more richly rewarding.

~ Ralph Marston