About Life, the Universe and Everything
October 7, 2005
Today is my first (who is also my second) husband's 47th birthday. It's hard to believe the man is almost 50. He was 17 when we met. We have been divorced for 9 years. We will not press on into a discussion as to why worthless information such as the date of the birthday of a man who wants to forget I exist is even still in my head... or the phone number I had when I was growing up or my middle school locker combination (couldn't remember the high school locker combination when I was in high school) or every address I've had over the past 38 years or my grandmother's phone number (has not existed for 10 years) or my father's CB license number (30 years down on that one). In other words, David, call your father and tell the man happy birthday... from you, not from me. Also find out if he has heard from Joshua because the kid moved himself and his family to Colorado on Monday, promising to call with an address and phone number when they arrived at the house of their friends. No word yet and I have a feeling my kid just went off the radar.
Went through dental insurance hell this week and after about 97 hours on the phone, I finally have an appointment for Delena at a place that is not a complete hatchet shop.
No final word on the refinancing yet. As far as we know, the ball is totally out of our court and the broker is waiting fro the OK to order documents. Then we can schedule a signing and be done with it for 2 years.
Today is total and complete housecleaning day and I am again reminded of how much easier it is to clean when I have someone here to talk to me while I do it. Of course, I am currently the only human on the mountain top, so I doubt that is forthcoming.
Nap or clean, nap or clean...
I love coins that choose "nap."
Talk to you next week,
October 4, 2005
Admittedly, I was a little bit disappointed that we did not receive any refinance news yesterday. Although there was no direct info, I was asked to fax a copy of Eric's award letter for his VA disability (I never did find it, although I did manage to pull up a scanned copy of it, print it out and fax it) and the new lender phoned to verify that our phone number was correct. I am going to take those as little promises that the process is underway and flowing as it should even if I don't see any direct results. (How's that for arrogant? I can't stop slowing down on the faith and trust just because I don't see every little move. Sometimes, you've just got to let go and let the kite fly). Yesterday felt good. I did very little, but napped a bit to make up for the very little sleep I got the night before. I still ended up crashing on the couch around 9pm. Eric was in the spa at the time and says he came in and had a full conversation with me about the fire (the one in the wood stove), but I don't remember any of it. In fact, I woke up at almost 6am and realized that the puppy had also slept through the night! This is his first time to do so and now that I know it won't kill him, I am officially moving back upstairs to sleeping in my own bed for the first time since the night of September 6th, almost a full month of puppy duty. That guy better love me best for all I've done for him! I also got him to drink a good bit of milk out of a saucer today (I threw in some puppy chow bits, but he ignored those), so with any luck, the transition off of the bottle has begun. I wonder if I should take some chow over to the girls in the hole later in the week. I've only had kittens before, never puppies and I was surprised at how different they are. He has become quite a little scamperer and very, very fast. Eric is warming up to him (he was not excited about having a dog inflicted on him without being asked) and if I can keep him in the good dog frame, we should be OK. Delena brought in Baby (the girl puppy from the hole that she has decided to adopt) and the two of them (JoBu and Baby) played together and cuddled. The girls only go in the hole to sleep now and otherwise, hang out around the hole on the surface. In two weeks, I hope we have homes for all of them. Belle only really goes over to feed them now, so I guess she's also transitioning them to independence. I have to tell you, it was glorious to sleep through the night, even if it was ragged, couch sleep. Tonight should be amazing. Aahhhh. Never, ever underestimate the need for good sleep. I am now completely convinced that it is responsible for a lot of problems in life; not enough sleep and not enough good sleep.
I made it through the entire last season of "Judging Amy" finally and managed to miss the very last episode. I read the recaps, but it bugs me to not know if Maxine said yes to Ignacio's proposal and I would love to see the moment where Amy opens the door to Bruce. Now I am back to the first season again, but I did see one of my favorite Maxine moments yesterday. Maxine is smoking a cigarette and raking leaves and here comes that little shit, Lauren with "You're going to die," "One in four deaths occur as a result of smoking." "You're old." Maxine, having humored her for a bit finally says, "Lauren, your opinions are not nearly as fascinating as you think they are." heh heh heh
I am fighting the dental insurance battle. As it turns out, our kids DO qualify for Medi-Cal even though Eric makes good money. Go figure. The problem is that none of the El Dorado County dentists want the dregs in their office, so they don't take Medi-Cal or else don't take it for major procedures (like the two root canals she needs). Crap. The only one who does is one that is, well, not particularly well thought of in the community. I checked into Delta Dental and Blue Cross. Blue Cross has a $1000 limit per year and that won't cover 2 root canals. Delta will only enroll me in an HMO of which our dentist is not a part. It looks as though what I am going to have to do (which ironically ends up being the cheapest) is have the substandard dentist do the pulpotomy parts (and I have been warned to make sure they do NOT continue on with the crown work) and then take her back to the regular dentist to have the crowns put on. I'll have to do a LOT of protection spellwork around her for the procedures and pray for the best. The little boys can have their cleanings and any needed repairs done and then I'll pay for dental insurance for myself and Eric. Wish me luck. Some of you will remember my gut-clenching reaction to any dental experiences. Ack
I am so excited about the dumbest thing. My aquarium looks great. It started to get a bit of a yellow cast to the water and the gravel looked slightly icky, so I bought 4 little albino catfish who promptly went to work cleaning. It was like paying $8 for someone to clean my aquarium until they die. I also used my little siphon aquarium vacuum to suck some of the gunk out of the rocks and drain out about half the water, then replaced it with clean water. Eric took apart the pump and gave it a good maintenance session and now, a week or so later, the water is perfectly clear and it looks great. I still have a few hundred too many guppies because they are passive fish (passifish) and won't eat their young and just keep on having babies. Eric wants to flush some, but I'm screaming "ecosystem" and letting the fish work it out. Since all of these fish basically came from 3-4 OG (Original Guppies), they're not of the sturdiest gene pool. As I said before, these are undoubtedly some of the most big-eared, banjo-pickinest guppies ever. Anyone want some fish?
I can't believe how cold it is. I've had a fire going in the wood stove all morning ,stepped outside and snap! It is doggoned chilly. I feel a nap coming on, got some catching up to do. The house is OK, but needs a spit polish done. Got loads of laundry to fold. It's setting up to be a good day.
Hope you're having one too!
October 3, 2005
A couple of weeks ago, CMT had a special on "The Top 100 Best Duets." I don't watch CMT. In fact, despite an intense love for country music, I don't think I have ever had it on, but this time, as I was surfing by, some video or another caught my eye, along about #49 or so, I think it was, and I was hooked for the duration. The last 10 were done in concert rather than in video format. I actually teared up at a few places, thinking of how much I was enjoying watching it.
Of course, that quickly lead me to the ol' Kazaa Lite program to do some downloading. Roy Orbison and k.d. lang doing "Crying," James Taylor doing "Bartender's Blues," James Taylor and Allison Krauss doing, "How's the World Treating You?" Trisha Yearwood and Aaron Neville doing, "I Fall to Pieces," Brad Paisley and Allison Krauss doing, "Whiskey Lullaby," Allison Krauss and Shenandoah doing, "Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart," Faith Hill and Tim McGraw doing, "Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me," Vince Gill and Dolly Parton doing, "I Will Always Love you," Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow doing, "Picture," Al Green and Lyle Lovett doing, "Funny How Time Slips Away..." Wow. Just so much good stuff. The only one I can't seem to get is "Walkaway Joe," by Trisha Yearwood. I know there are tons others I missed, but I was able to get a lot.
In the context of the presentation, one of the songs listed was, "September When It Comes" by Johnny and Roseanne Cash. Roseanne Cash spoke about asking her father (at the behest of her husband) to do the song with her, realizing it was a very potent and applicable song for them. Johnny Cash, rather than saying, "OK, honey," said, "Well, I'll have to read the lyrics first." :) As it turned out, he did the song with her, it was a stark and poignant memorial to the Cash family and he ended up dying the following September. I get goosebumps just thinking of it.
When in past columns, I have mentioned the menopausal symptoms I was feeling for a long while (they seem to have backed off for the time being for reasons unknown), I have often had women write to me asking about why symptoms would manifest so early. That reminded me that a lot of women don't know about the nature of menopause and how it progresses.
Most women will begin to have "perimenopausal" symptoms in their late thirties to early forties, easily 10 years or more before the actual cessation of menstruation. I tend to disagree with the term "perimenopause" because it actually is menopause... nothing "peri" (which means "around") about it. Menopause is a process that we ease into over a lot of time.
Some women have all of the symptoms, some have a few and others have none. Like every other reproductive process, it is highly individualized. The symptoms include (but are not limited to):
Night Restlessness and Insomnia
Very Noticeable Hair Loss
Sudden Physiological Resistance to Weight Loss
Irregular Periods (odd intervals, very heavy or scant)
Forgetfulness, Short Term Memory Faults
Increased Frequency of Urinary Tract Infections and Yeast Infections (due to the change in vaginal climate)
Of course, any of us may have any of those symptoms incidentally and all of them may also be attributed to other maladies (as they usually are since menopause is not the first diagnosis that pops into the minds of most physicians or patients), if you are experiencing several of these and you are 35 or older, menopause has to be considered as a possibility. That doesn't mean you have to rush to your OB/GYN for heavy duty hormone replacement therapy. You might first want to try an over-the-counter supplement such as Estroven or Remifemin. I have used both with good results. Also natural progesterone cream, often from wild yam extract, which is a cream you rub on your inner wrist, works quite well. Increasing the amount of lean protein you eat to at least 16 oz a day and greatly decreasing or eliminating refined sugar products, white flour and gluten products will also help immensely. As with most problems, exercise and increased water intake will also go a long way to alleviating symptoms. Women who tend to internalize their feelings, frustrations and anger and likewise, woman who rant and rage and bitch regularly, spending an inordinate time focusing on their own unhappiness, tend to have more pronounced symptoms than those who work through their feelings in a healthy, productive fashion. (This is almost invariable) Definitely a motivation to do all you have to do to learn to relax and create peace within your world, learning to honor your feelings and make pro-active change in your life to create a peaceful and harmonious life prior to this time. In the midst of menopausal change, learning techniques such as yoga, tai-chi, energy medicine, bio-feedback, journaling and meditation are all very helpful in achieving these goals.
The most important thing to remember is that menopause is not a disease or a health crisis. It is a natural process and heralds the emergence into a time of our greatest wisdom and empowerment when our energies are no longer channeled toward nurturing and mothering. This is when our bodies by design tell us to turn our attention toward ourselves, to attend to the changes we need to make in our lives (both our environments, our actions, our nutrition and our inner changes) to create a life that completely supports the wisdom and life experience we have cultivated over our years of life and to honor our experiences as women moving into the next phase of our lives.
We are given so much information about puberty, about birthing and mothering, about marriage and career. Because our society reviles, rejects and fears the aging process, this vital and empowering transition is too often ignored and put behind a veil of secrecy and shame, discussed in hushed tones and met with a groan of dismay when mentioned. In today's world, women seldom continue to birth babies until their menses stops, devoting their entire adult life to mothering and grandmothering. Now, we have a whole life that comes after our children (regardless of what kind of "children" - human babies, four-footed-friends, career efforts) are well on their own. This is part of embracing that life, putting on the purple shirt and red hat and living this impactive and exciting part of life to its fullest.
If you were wondering how menopause changes a woman emotionally, we tend to get a "don't give a shit attitude." A good example of this was when Cybil Shepard appeared on a talk show and wore a beautiful red cape, confessing she'd done so because she had not had time to do her hair. The host encouraged her to show her hair anyway and "yikes!"
Absolutely true story. Evidently, the short term memory loss extended to her not having a clue where a hair brush was located either. That does not to say that menopause should be feared, but really, use your powers for good instead of evil, you know? Menopause does indeed make you bold. I read once, "The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity." I would challenge that (or annex it) by saying, "The spontaneity of maturity and its rewards surpass anything we could possibly have dreamt of in youth."
We are waiting for the results of Friday's appraisal and after that, we wait for a signing date and all is well. Of course, there are always glitches that can come up out of the blue, but overall, we have jumped all of the obvious hurdles. I'm thinking positive and waiting for this to work its way through in the Goddess' time.
Where has the morning gone? Here it is time for my nappy nap.
September 30, 2005
The week has felt like running an obstacle course. Every day brings a new set of jumps and ducks and sideswipes, but overall, I'm still standing.
I have another appraisal today between 1-2pm. We don't know exactly why the other one didn't feel she could give us a good value, but the guy who owns this company seems to think he can get us right where we need to be. Other than faxing a copy of Eric's VA check to the broker when it comes tomorrow, our part is finished until the signing of the paper mountain. With any luck, this will all be finished in a couple of weeks and we can settle into a workable budget and a little financial breathing. We found out last night that the loan she has locked in for us will lower our monthly payments by around $400. I can definitely live with that. It will be a lovely harvest.
I am so disinclined to clean like mad for this appraisal. The house is still fairly clean from the last major cleaning, but there are a few things I need to handle before she comes. Fortunately, that is still three hours away, so I've got some space.
Space and not to much to say, it seems. I've found myself remarkably at a loss for words lately. The world does not seem any more dull or less vibrant than it used to. The mountain is still glorious and finally the leaves are starting to turn (photos coming soon). JoBu is getting big, but his sisters are about 1/3 again bigger than he is. They can now come out of the hole and wander the woods on their own. Of course, that freaks me out a bit, but I am trying to leave Nature to itself. The girls are VERY cuddly and receptive to human attention, for which I am very grateful. There are two blacks with white accents and two that have Dalmation-type markings. All four are smooth haired and very sweet. JoBu still has a little bald nub for a tail tip where he nursed off his little white tip back when he could reach his butt. I hope it grows back! He's eating every 4-5 hours now, which makes my life considerably easier. I feed him around 10 or so, sleep on the couch, get up around 2-3, feed him again, then go up to my bed for a couple of hours.
Great. One of the cats condescended to leave a poop mountain in Delena's room. The only other time in about 2 months that we've had a cat mess in the house was the LAST time we had an appraisal. I was doing a final check noticed she was pulling into the driveway and found the pile. It was most pungent. Flush, open windows, spray Neutra-air, pray. Today, at least it was hours in advance (although, ironically, it was at the exact same time of day that the last appraiser was pulling into the driveway). I opened windows, sprayed some of the nice Aromatherapy "Ambiance" room freshener - orange and lemongrass - and now it smells like a cat shit a huge pile of baby aspirin. Got to scrub the tub, vacuum, do a final straighten and I'm good to go. That's what, an hour or so?
I should make cookies, shouldn't I? I'm thinking chocolate chip cookies with pecan chips. Lots of cookies.
Yeah, that's it.
See you later.
WELL, I was just getting ready to post that when Ms Appraiser called to tell me that she's running about an hour EARLY, so I dropped everything and started cleaning like mad. There are still some things I would have liked to have done, but eh, what will be will be. So... wish me luck!
Oh and for an interesting tidbit. I learned that no matter how much you do not want to go downstairs to get the Windex and no matter how much alcohol you think is in Listerine, you cannot clean a giant closet mirror with it. Evidently, there is sufficient sugar to make a wicked sticky mess. As I looked at it, I, in desperation, channeled the Eye on Soaps staff who I know personally, bringing them by astral travel to my house to help me out with the mirror thing. Carolyn said, "What, you haven't cleaned this mirror since you moved in here, have you?" Kathy said, "Hey, we could just take off the mirrored doors and... oh, crammed with kids' toys inside, not good. Wow. Got any Diet Coke?" Kate said, "Katrina, why are you worried about such things? Here..." and she handed me a cup of warm, fragrant herb tea and some really, really lovely scones. Sherry said, "I don't know, I think it looks fine, sort of like putting vaseline on a camera lens for a gauzy effect." Dianna suggested I get a nice, soft, diaphanous purple drape and put over it so that it looked all misty and cool (but I didn't have one). Sage said, "What?" and passed me a joint. (I took it) Kelly said, "Pfft" and went downstairs and got the Windex and started cleaning.
So where IS
that appraisal lady?