Friday, November 30, 2012

A Day in the Life

Saw the heart doc this morning.  My cholesterol number is way down after starting the medication.  My blood pressure was way up since I took myself off the blood pressure med on Monday.  It was making me cough, and making me dizzy.  He prescribed something else.  When I described  my dizziness he said he did not think it was from the blood pressure meds, but possibly an allergy, an inner ear something.  I see my ENT in a couple of weeks, and depending on what he says, I'll go see an allergist.  I'm still very phlegmy, and am sure I have develped some allergies I've never had before.

Went to the Gallery Cafe for breakfast afterwards.  It's such a comfortable place, with good food.  But the coffee is bad.  Still I like it, and one of the owners, Russell Kuecker, is a good artist.  Hence the name.

Then a stop at Home Depot to pick up some organic potting soil.  A young man helped me load it into my car.  He was clearly running around like crazy, very busy, and I had to wait a few minutes for his help.  I asked him how much he made working there.  He said, $7.60 an hour. Disgraceful.  He was glad to have a job, and we agreed on the need for more education -- best in the computer or health care fields -- and I gave him a tip.  He was very very appreciative.  I tip big down here in Florida.  The job situation is so bad, really awful.

Off to Target to get a rebate on stuff I purchased yesterday.  Had the wrong coupon yesterday; found the right one today, and they retroactively gave me the discount.  8 bucks.  But hey, 8 dollars is 8 dollars.  Paid for a bag of potting soil.

Another stop at Staples to get a lapdesk.  They didn't have it, so came home and ordered it online.

Next to Anastasia Cat Clinic to get FrontlinePlus for Camilla.  She is allergic to Revolution.  They didn't have the Royal Canin hypoallergenic food she eats, so had to go to St. John's Vet Clinic pet shop to get it.  Saw they have a $19 a day "playcare" for doggies.  Good to know if I have to be off somewhere for the day; Bindi would love it.

On the way home stopped at a yard sale and bought a couple of sweet little things.  Another yard sale in the neighborhood resulted in me sitting on a milk crate going thru 30+ year old needlework magazines.  They were playing vinyl lps on an old turntable, country music stuff, and I found I was remembering all the words!  Tennessee Ernie Ford!  "Sixteen tons, and whataya get?  Another day older and deeper in debt."
Listened to the complaint by another yard sale customer about how people steal the pecans that fall from her tree.  And advised the yard sale producer on what to do with the pristine still in the box porcelain dolls that she inherited from her grandmother.  Craig's List, hello!  She has a gorgeous small hutch for $75, but I have nowhere to put it.  Ack.

Dumped the therapist I had started seeing.  Yesterday's session was the second time, and she just doesn't have much of a clue.  That's the second one I've tried down here.  This place is DESPERATE for another LGBT therapist.  There is only one out open/out LGBT counselor here, and since I run into her in social situations, I don't want to become her client.  I think I need to hang out my shingle again.  I did have business cards made already.  Personal Growth Consultant.  On the plus side, I became even more clear that I need to spend half the year in California.  Making it happen is as yet unclear to me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Full Moon

Went to our beautiful senior center today to hear David Nolan, city historian extraordinaire, talk about his adventures since the 1970s discovering the history of Saint Augustine, and his frequently futile attempts to preserve parts of the city that were ultimately demolished.  90% of the original historic buildings of Saint Augustine have been destroyed.  And now the government is covering the historic coquina sea wall with modern concrete slabs.    He said it hurts him every time he drives by the construction site.

He's a great speaker, and so passionate about his life's calling

Went for a late breakfast at Athena's, only to realize I had forgotten my wallet at home.  But I had 20 bucks stashed in my car, so was able to cover the bill.

Turns out the cough I have and the dizziness is from the high blood pressure meds I am taking.  Benazopril.  Finally read the side effects.  My internist has just been filling me with antibiotics, ordered a chest xray, and wanted me to take steroids, and threatened to put me on iv antibiotics;  she didn't even look at my list of meds or suggest that the cough could be from the blood pressure med.  Crap.  I see the heart doctor on Friday, who prescribed this drug, and I will ask him to change it.  Stopped taking it on Monday.

Went to a lovely arts & crafts festival in town last Saturday.  Such good good art.  The man who paints marshes had delicious work, and was such a nice guy.  Saw my first "tuxedo" standard poodle, named Newman.  He was a grand dog.  And of course, one of my favorite t-shirts:  make art not war.

Ack, Google chrome is frustrating me.  Maybe my computer is too old to optimize its benefits.  Like uploading these photos to my blog. Why are they so small?!

Helped my friend Julia assemble an outdoor propane fueled heater, to put beside their inground pool.  The pool water itself is heated, but the air temp is often too cold now for her, hence the heater.  We got it together, but it wouldn't light.  Haven't heard still if she got it to work.

My bro T. came over and helped me clean my front porch.  It is so nice now, but have to repair the fountain before it will work again.  Hung the hand carved wood cattle head.  Awesome.

CamillaCat is doing much better about using the litter box.  Kitten is wrestling with her right now in the cat bed they often share.  Love my four pawed children.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Anti- antibiotics

Uck.  Went to the doc for a followup today.  I like her, but all she does is prescribe antibiotics.  Still have a cough and phlegm.  She said my lungs did not sound good, so sent me for a chest xray. And a new prescription for antibiotics, which don't seem to be working.  And maybe some steroids, I haven't picked up the scripts yet.    She said, "this is my last try.  You may need to go on IV antibiotics."  What?!??!  I've got to find some naturopathic/homeopathic/alternative medicine doc.  I did ask her to recommend an allergist.  I need to find out what I am allergic to, what is causing this respiratory distress that I had last winter, and seem to be developing this winter.  It's not unusal for folks to develop allergies when they move from one region to another.  And in Florida the blooming season is all year long; there's always something exuding pollen.  In the Northeast US,  the winters would freeze long enough to put every flora and fauna into domancy.  Not here.  Pffffttttt.

Went to lunch at Theo's.  Came home, took a bit of a nap, then went to the new Starving Artist gallery where my bros Tom and Jim have their paintings and glasswork.  It's a lovely gallery with work by local artists.

Saw a new therapist yesterday.  I seem to be a "lifer," someone who needs the therapeutic relationship with a counselor to get through.  I've just been struggling so much lately.  This new woman was slightly annoying, but she does EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing --, and hypnotherapy.)  Somehow, in our first meeting, she asked me how she came across to me.  Then she said "I've never asked that of any client."  Are you kidding me??  She also had a very limp handshake.  And when she walked, she seemed to be in pain.  She wore shoes that were pointed and had a heel.  They were clearly uncomfortable to her.  She also assumed that everyone at the Thanksgiving dinner I was invited to would be gay; even tho that is not the case.  She said in an overly-chirpy excited way, Maybe your friends will invite someone you will connect with, or some such. Cause I had told  her I was lonely for intimacy (altho not necessarily sexual.) I found that terribly presumptuous.  She was clearly not comfortable in her own body, even though she claims to be an "expert" in PTSD.  I'll see her a few times and see where it goes;  at least Medicare pays for it/her.  She was not my first choice.  I think she even called me "sweetheart," when we first met.  That's kind of inappropriate, don't  u think?

Am reading "Life Interrupted," by Spauling Gray.  Are any of you familiar with his work?  The most famous is likely "Swimming to Cambodia," about the filming of the movie "The Killing Fields."  Brilliant.  I have always adored his work, felt very connected to his perceptions.  He killed himself in 2002, I think.  Jumped off the Staten Island ferry and drowned.  Had a history of depression, and survived a horrific automobile accident in Ireland which compromised his physical and mental abilities.  I've always thought that folks who commit suicide are deeply courageous.

Saturday, November 17

Went to The Present Moment for dinner last night and had the most delicious "raw" vegan lasagna.  The texture was not exactly great, but the flavor was so so good.  With arugula salad.  Raw isn't exactly raw raw, but they do not cook anything above 160 degrees.  Yummy food.  I heard a rumor that they weren't doing that well.  I will be so upset if they have to close.

This morning I took Bindi to the Wags & Whiskers dog wash/nail clipping at their facility.  It's a rescue organization that does amazing work with cats and dogs, and they recently moved into a building after years of relying on volunteers to house the animals until adoption.  I was so disappointed to find that the place was dirty and smelled strongly of shit.  I could barely stay inside.  There were no windows open, the air conditioning was not working, and I didn't want to sit on nor touch anything in the lobby.  I asked a volunteer if she could open some windows cause it was hot inside and smelled badly.  When I went outside the woman who does the nail clipping asked me to send an email to W & W about my experience.  She said she had been telling "them" that the smell was unacceptable but to no avail.  I did that.  I told them I wanted to volunteer but could not in a place that was gross.  I said it nicely, tho.  I did say that I would like to continue to foster kittens and puppies, once in a while.

Bindi was not dried well, so I put her in the car, put on her t-shirt, and left her there to dry and warm up while I attended the Flagler College staff/student/faculty arts and crafts sale.  Wow.  What talent.  I had such a good time, and bought a couple of inexpensive but so interesting things.  When I got back to the car, Bindi was shivering and still damp, so we began our drive home.  Stopped at 233 King Street gallery on the way back because they are only open on the weekends, and saw some more really great art and had a good talk with one of the co-owners.

As I write this, I'm figuring out how to upload photos from my phone to my PC via Google +.  I'm so proud of myself for plugging through this.

But, alas, this uploading of photos is not going well, so will post without.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Such a lovely morning at the beach with J.  We managed to get into the water a bit even tho the water was cold.  It was just so nice sitting in the sun.  I so love the winters here in the south.  Stopped at Home Depot and Target on the way home; much nicer doing errands with friends.

Bindi and I went to Daytona yesterday to visit some friends.  O. had not met Bindi before and of course wanted a dog just like her.  She wins everyone's hearts with her affection and good behavior.  We walked down the boardwalk at Daytona Beach, actually a "cement" walk now, and the smiles on the faces of people noticing Bindi were such a treat.  One woman just stopped and immediately started petting her without asking, then apologized.  She had had a chi/beagle mix and clearly recognized her own pup in Bindi.  I love my dog.  Still disappointed in my sister for not accommodating her.

Been ailing all week with a sinus infection;  started off with a nagging cough I could not control with Robitussin, or tea with honey and lemon, or cough drops.  S. suggested Nyquil and that did the trick.  Went to the doc who put me on antibiotics again.  Hope that will stave off the bronchitis that I got 3-4 times last winter.  Never had these problems in CT.  Apparently, it's not uncommon for people in the north who move here to get these conditions.  Different flora, and a continuous growing season.  Had to blow off art class, and reading to the kids this week.  Must remember to get Scooby Doo books for Desmond, who requested same.

Watching "Animall Odd Couples."  Cross-species relationships.  Deer and dog.  Coyote and lion.  Blind horse and goat.  If you don't know Temple Grandin, you should.  Brilliant professor of animal emotions.  Bindi and Calhoun were such playmates, until Calhoun made friends with Pickels, the cat next door.

I am glad Obama was reelected.  Romney would have been too cold and harsh.  Defund PBS and Planned Parenthood?  No, absolutely not.  Obama understands the hierarchy of capitalism, the reality that the rich need the poor to be rich.  He's not perfect, by any calculation.  We need more than two candidates.  But I think the country realized that fixing what's wrong will take a long time. Even Romney could not have fixed it easily.  And, in any case, Obama supports the rights of LGBT people and women.  That alone was enough to vote for him.  And FL finally decided that Obama had won.  Oh Florida . . .

Did I tell you I found a wedding gown for $5?  I had this idea to dress as Emma from "Corpse Bride" for Halloween, but did not get invited to a costume party.  But I have the dress.  I've always had a fascination with wedding gowns, for their extravagance, elegance, theatricality, romance.  I am deeply romantic in feeling, while being profoundly cynical in reality.  I so want a witness to my life, but am not at all confident about finding same.


Amusing exchange with my psychiatrist last week:

Me:  I have no intimacy.  Not sexual, just someone to share with.  I have no energy, no motivation; I'm not suicidal.  I just don't care.

Shrink:  Energy and apathy.

Pause . . .

Me:  Ebony and ivory.

Shrink:  All I can think of is "you're depraved on account of  you're deprived."

Me:  That's fucking true!!

Shrink:  We need Officer Krupke.

Me:  I want you to be my therapist.

Shrink:  All we would do is tell jokes!  But perhaps that would be just right . . .


I'm like those babies who die for lack of love and touch.


Seed pod on a palm at J and T's garden.

A lunch of beans and rice and wine at Urban Back 40 Cafe, in my neighborhood.  So yummy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Repeat Myself

"Do I repeat myself?  Very well then, I repeat myself."  -- Walt Whitman

Many believe he was probably gay.  But the point is, if I have repeated myself in previous posts, deal with it.  Who the hell can remember what she did yesterday?!

Camilla, my 18 year old cat, who has had a years-long condition that compels her to poop outside the box, has been pooing inside the box for the past couple of days.  I can only attribute it to my own experience of having had a pretty good week.  An animal communicator said that Camilla picks up on my negativity.  If that is true, then she is reacting to my feeling more positively about things.

Dropped by to see S, J, and E today, after my massage.  E. is 87 years old or so, and I always give her a long hug when I see her.  She just melts into my arms, and says she could purr.  I think she cries a bit, as her eyes were moist after today's hug.  It is so important to be touched.  And the older one gets, it seems the less we get touched. Uck. Should be the other way around.  We know that infants die without touch.

Look at these two.  Kitten, aka Calhoun, was outside all last night as he didn't come in by the time I went to bed.  So I kept him inside today to rest.  I don't like leaving my cats out all night.  I sleep better when I know all three are safely inside, including the dog.  Calhoun and Kitten have been close since the beginning, and I love to see them snuggle.

My massage therapist gave me two long hugs today as well.  She is not afraid to hug closely.  So many people are.  Why hug if it is not body meshing into body?  It is all about connection, after all.  I've always thought, that if everyone could get a shoulder rub (or hug) every morning, there would be no war.  Tension is the universal enemy.

J. stopped by to say hello.  Haven't seen her for a long time.  Must get down to Daytona to see her and her partner.  She likes Bindi, and Kitten.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Art Class Redux

If I don't write something every night, it slips away.

At art class today, it became apparent that I was surrounded by Republicans.  I said outloud, "Am I the only Democrat here?"  One vague response.  I guess I was/am.  Oy.  I kept my mouth shut.  I like these people, but it was already clear to me long before this that I wouldn't become close friends with any of them.  I'm there to learn the art and craft of oil painting, and if we put religion, sex, and politics on the sideboard, I'll be able to learn my lessons.

The weather is glorious again.  Cool in the mornings and evenings, and warm during the day, no humidity.  Perfect weather.  If only it could be year-round.  So many flowers are in bloom in my yard:  poinciana, coral vine, fire spike, thyrallis, plumbago, rose, datura, hibiscus.  Ocean temp is still 80 degrees F.

Well, it's official.  I have metabolic syndrome:  diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.  Was put on yet another drug for the cholesterol.  I'm just slightly over normal for all three conditions, but still.  Doc said this was the "Bermuda triangle" of health risks.  I guess I could croak at any time of a stroke or heart attack.  The worst would be to survive a stroke.  He didn't comment on my weight, but stressed the absolute importance of exercise.  I don't know if I will be able to do it.  I might die young-ish.

Misty has to have some dental work on Friday.  Been giving her antibiotics for the past week in prep for whatever they will do.  I've been remiss on flea/tick meds for all the critters; must take care of that tomorrow.

Made plans to go see the munchkins in December.  Miss those guys.  Got a very inexpensive fare for the off-holiday dates, even though it might not be best for their family schedule.  Airfares have increased, and the whole process of travelling has become a pain.  Hopefully travelling not at high peak will make the trip easier.

I've made some headway on throwing away "paper."  You know, those sheets of hardcopy information that somehow pile up all over the place.  T. has been working on the yard and it looks so nice; my collection of plants is impressive.  The fig tree, given to me a few months ago by my neighbor, an offshoot of her big tree, is replanted in the ground and doing oh so well.  Want to get some dwarf citrus trees for the spring.

Had an idea to rent a small place on the beach for a month next summer.  Although it would still be hot, being by the beach is much cooler.  A stay-cation.  Still want to get my butt out to California again.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Art Class

Today was the first oil painting class since my instructor returned from cooler climes up north.  I had forgotten to bring a canvas, so borrowed a piece of masonite board, primed, from a sister student.  I had never painted on masonite, and what a difference.  The paint glided on much more easily, so now I will make a trip to Home Depot, purchase a sheet of masonite and have them cut it up into 18 x 24 boards.

It was quite fun to be at the class today; someone had brought cheese, crackers, wine, and yummy muffins, and I felt I painted well.  We're working on a Florida landscape, with water, trees, sky, birds.  The weather has broken yet again after a couple of weeks of high humidity and heat, so I may be able to paint on the front porch.  I still cannot get myself to paint in my studio out back.

Bindi came with, and everyone likes her so much.  She is generally considered to be a very well behaved dog, and she got quite a few treats from the refreshments table, and many pets from the dog lovers.  Patrick, the instructor, even gave her a bit of egg from his sandwich.  He has a dog named Dirk.

Took all three cats to the cat vet yesterday, for a grand total fee of over $500.  Camilla, 18, and Misty, 14, both had good blood test reports, and the baby, Calhoun, got updates on his vaccinations.  He was quite tired after we returned, so kept him inside the rest of the day.  Turns out the black "mold" under his chin is in fact feline acne, probably caused by his suckling on polyester fleece blankets.  So I will have to ditch the polyester, and try to find some other kind of nappy fabric of cotton that he can suckle on.  Doc gave me some aloe to treat the mess under his chin.  Misty has lost several teeth, and needs some dental work, but otherwise fine.  We are doing a titer to establish Camilla's antibody status; she may not need any more vaccines.  Vet said she and the staff are talking about how best to use me as a volunteer.

Went to the thrift store next door, and bought two very tall, narrow vintage windows with bevelled glass that I've had my eye on for several weeks.  I paid a bit more than I wanted, but much less than they were marked.  Don't know what I will do with them, but just wanted them.

Have had a couple of really wonderful swims in the ocean recently.  The sea temp is still 82 degrees F. and so clean and clear, much more so than in the height of the summer.  I'm still having a very hard time with the heat and humidity; it depresses me.  But when I can get myself to the beach, it is a relief.  Salt water cures every ailment.

J, R, and I went to a regional theater performance of "Big River," the adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a musical at the Limelight Theater in town.  It was a terribly uneven performance, but some of the actors, some of the music/singing, and some of the staging was delightful.  It was good to go out and do something different.  R. said she had done quite a bit of acting herself years ago;  as had I.  I could tell she still craves it.  As do I.  I may see if the Limelight needs some volunteers.

I still have not filed my 2011 taxes.  I know I frustrate my accountant.  I am just so disorganized with my paperwork that I can't keep accurate track of my expenses.  I can only estimate.  Uck.  Instead of getting better, it seems to get worse each year.  Any ideas on how to keep track of everything?  The only thing I can think of is to keep a daily log of what I spend; that seems like so much work.  The administrative work of living is something I have no interest in.  I barely can pay my bills on time. 

See the heart doc on Friday.  I have been diagnosed with "thickening" of the heart wall.  So many of my physical conditions could be alleviated by losing weight, but for someone who hates exercise, that is a tall order.  I eat pretty well, have conquered my sugar addiction, but, alas, the damage has been done.  Without exercise, diet will not alone solve the problem.

Have had nightmares the past two nights.  Last night, I was supposed to meet a ship for a trip to Africa, but I lost my luggage, and when I hired a cabbie to take me to the ship terminal, he lost my carry on, and I had no passport, wallet, or anything that I needed.  I think I decided to just bag the trip.  Or it was decided for me.

Want to see "Frankenweenie" by Tim Burton.  About a dog of course.  Am looking for a wedding gown for a Halloween costume.