Tag Archive: Comments on life


Below the little dots in the middle of the page is what I wrote before, I’m gonna leave it. Today as I wake I’m tired and achy and still anxious. I don’t see how I’m going to go on this trip as things are going so slowly. I did get my new tires, finally!  There was so much confusion on the process, they arrived, they didn’t arrive, they arrive…  well maybe not. It seems Costco lost my tires (or they were swiped?) and so had to send a different set. I dragged my housemate up at a very early hour to have them mounted only to find out the tires were missing in action. Anyway they are on my RV now. Hope I like them; they do look nice.  Of course since I changed something in the delicate and queasy ability of my RV to track the road, that will be a fight again…<sigh>

The Door Panel: for now the tires are inflated with nitrogen exactly as stated.

The Door Panel: for now the tires are inflated with nitrogen exactly as stated. 55 Front, 80 rear.

Still waiting for that silly bit of lace to finish the curtain lining….  see below. Monday the RV goes to my mechanic, Bruce’s Auto, I hope he can do a lot, if not most of the things on my list as it’s beginning to look like other things just won’t get done. I’ve already shortened the length of my trip as well…..  ok, so I’m leaving it open. I SO WISH I could have found an affordable upgrade to my ride and “home” ..  I was dreaming of smooth power, ease of driving, a bathroom with a shower that is all contained, an awning, a quieter motor, a cooler interior, a vehicle that stays in its lane, a happier me, happier dogs….   not to be. Not without giving up too much of my funds and facing the unknown with approaching zero resources.

My phone updated to the new Marshmallow system….  it burns my fingers when I use it. Verizon jacked up my monthly bill by about $27 or so a month, all for the pleasure of rapid battery draining and burnt fingers. I have a grandfathered unlimited plan but Verizon still found a way to mess with those of us that have hung on to a bit less wallet draining or data limiting plan than they currently offer. I will have to tack on another $25 a month to be able to use it to post on the Internet as a hot spot while I travel and another $5 if I need to call out of country.  Ok, what else can I complain about. Ordered a new diamond cutting blade for my ring saw which I need to finish the fused glass dogs that I hope to take with me on this trip. I was cut by a flying piece of exploding glass in my glass class…  I’m fine but it was scary.   I’ve yet to have time or inclination to begin another CP (colored pencil) drawing, and I’m supposed to give one away to my breed club for the raffle…  that may not happen….  ergo the fused glass dogs as substitute.

And don’t even start with troubles with my beloved animal companions. I finally broke down and ordered a vibration e-collar…    Will post later on results and who I wind up taking with me.

I’ve been struggling to understand automobile bluetooth radios….  don’t like the one the audio shop offered to sell and install..  the buttons are so tiny I couldn’t use them even if they were close enough to use and the readout cannot be seen in daylight….   combine that with my burning cell phone and big bills and hopefully I’ll be able to talk hands free and listen to audiobooks, and internet music….  If it happens?  I also could use a new laptop but I can see I’ve reached that age where technology is moving faster than I can understand. Please send me a newer RV all nicely equipped and ready to go!!!

I think the lace may show up today. Will wash my hair and take the dogs out to  play, then back to work.

 

This is the Post I didn’t Get Posted
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Time is moving at a fast pace. From Halloween to the middle of January, time was marked with migraines with aura accompanied by heartbeats that would occur so fast, a days worth of them fit into a few hours leaving the remainder of the day floating in a strange region of distortion.  Now there is much to do, I’m pushing hard, like a race; sometimes exhilarated, other times fearful.

I’m shocked that’s it’s been 9 … 10 days… and the curtains are still lying neatly folded in the living room. After a search I re-found the video with the technique to attach the lining….  here it is:  RV Stuff – Keeping RV Cool in Summer Heat Project   Thank you Wander Dano for posting this! Of course I’d forgotten this video the day I scurried to Michaels for supplies. What a good camper I was carefully measuring the lining and testing the fabric glue; yep the solarizing material glues nicely to itself; however it does not glue to the curtains! Instead it soaks through the curtain material and leaves stains! Ok I got that off and attempted at random: straight pins, nope, makes big holes: riveting tool, I’ll just say no: safety pins … hummmm  just couldn’t get those lined up right with the pleats, hole punch to put something in the liner to hang it… no, no. no. . I came up with all kinds of ideas using ribbon, duck tape, velcro, taking the mess up to Lee’s for her to do the sewing….    I’m terrible at sewing. I’m sure I could learn but I’ve reached saturation, at least for the moment.   Many many thanks to Jacqueline for your insight and great ideas, you were right on btw! 

Failed attempt to get the lining on. Now waiting for the binding lace.

Failed attempt to get the lining on. Now waiting for the binding lace.

After rewatching the video I ordered 1.5 inch lace which I will glue onto the lining and then hang it into the curtain hooks and train the pleats (just like the video says) with paperclips and clothespins. Tried to pick up this simple item in Santa Barbara, but there are no functioning fabric stores remaining in our city. I went to Art From Scrap and found some fun tiny little containers which I will use for my K9 Nose Work students as soon as they are ready for the  challenge. Meanwhile I was hit with an outbreak of Thoracic Outlet pain (I’m not fooled by that anymore…  it’s not a heart attack stealing sharp angry from my chest and mid back down into my fingers which paralyze… days earlier it was my foot feeling like it was broken at the instep, then up into my ankle. I don’t know what’s wrong with my body, I’m used to it so I ignore it as much as possible. Intense pain occurs randomly to my shoulders, thoracic vertebrae, ribs, hips, knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, feet….  so it’s not everywhere…  oh and my eyes and ears and breathing. It’s background, like visual snow which I also am plagued with, body static. I do get very scared at times. I miss the ones who are gone that I loved…  some dead, some alive but gone. I not only found great joy in knowing them, but I relied on them. I meet women that tell me how brave I am…  let me tell you I am in no way brave…  stubborn, yes, brave… ha! Brave means you have to put on a tough face and take it….  I’m not capable of that. I type complaints to my new besty and to my amazement she graciously types back encouragements and never reproach or the adamation  to be brave.  If you find yourself suffering don’t fall for that nonsense.  Do something about it. My rule is to do 3 things to help myself feel better at any given time. If it doesn’t work it’s off the list and find something else to try. By experimentation I’ve found things that might help, it isn’t necessarily the obvious. Then I ignore it, sorta. I’m not going into details, you wouldn’t want to know.  As my mother will say about me, “I’m glad I’m not you.,” and my favorite, “I don’t’ have any suggestions for you.”  I don’t mind being me though, actually it’s perfect and although I suffer I’m happy being me.

Darn that silly sewing lace is not here yet. Wed morning brand new tires at Costco! They say it will take 2 hours to install them and since my vehicle is big I need to be there very early, radio next, then my mechanic.

I’m very tired, have been waking about 6 am but there’s so much to do. …  tomorrow will work on the fused glass dogs I’m making and get them into the kiln at glass class.

Something to sing next time you’re on a mountain herding Livestock!
Vallåtar från gammelboning (Swedish kulning)

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I read an article about how loneliness kills and I’d wanted to write a post about this as I’ve experienced much personal loss myself and was intrigued by the current studies … rather than restate what I read I’ve copied some of the article. . .  the affliction is incredibly painful, people don’t like to think about it; it’s one of those ailments considered self-induced and therefore not worth talking about.

Never mind that almost all illness can be considered self-induced (especially if you talk to enough different healing practitioners or researchers) or a result of genetic tendencies or childhood experiences; loneliness has no medical cure, nothing in a bottle at least till now.

Judith Shulevitz, writes in the New Republic:  Just as we once knew that infectious diseases killed, but didn’t know that germs spread them, we’ve known intuitively that loneliness hastens death, but haven’t been able to explain how. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. A partial list of the physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people.

. . .  Loneliness, she said is the want of intimacy.. .
. . .  Loneliness “is not synonymous with being alone, nor does being with others guarantee protection from feelings of loneliness,” writes John Cacioppo, the leading psychologist on the subject. . . . The lonely get sicker than the non-lonely because they don’t have social support.

Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. A partial list of the physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people.

In a survey published by the AARP in 2010, slightly more than one out of three adults 45 and over reported being chronically lonely. A decade earlier, only one out of five said that. With baby-boomers reaching retirement age at a rate of 10,000 a day, the number of lonely Americans will surely spike.

Loneliness is made as well as given, and at a very early age. Deprive us of the attention of a loving, reliable parent, and, if nothing happens to make up for that lack, we’ll tend toward loneliness for the rest of our lives. Not only that, but our loneliness will probably make us moody, self-doubting, angry, pessimistic, shy, and hypersensitive to criticism.

Cole can imagine giving people medications to treat loneliness . . .  These could be betablockers, which reduce the physical effects of stress; anti-inflammatory medicine; or even Tylenol.  Since physical and emotional pain overlap, it turns out that Tylenol can reduce the pain of heartbreak.

” Boomers, who grew up using drugs recreationally, have become a generation that lives almost full time in the Valley of the Dolls: bombarded by direct-to-consumer ads, they are happy to self-medicate, and their cost-conscious H.M.O.’s are happy to substitute antidepressants for expensive talk therapy, prescriptions for repeated doctor visits.

. . . drug use has soared. Americans routinely take pills for high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and they also routinely take pills to sleep, pills to focus, pills to chill and pills to perk up, pills for more sex and pills for less stress. Mr. Critser notes that “the average number of prescriptions per person, annually, in 1993 was seven,” but had risen to 11. . . .

So what’s the issue? I notice Tylenol (amphetamine) has emphasized the risk overdosing on their labels…. isn’t it isolation that creates loneliness!  There’s a lot of talk about depression, its also chronic and widespread yet it’s become almost fashionable to be depressed and taking a designer pill to improve mood or some other home-brewed concoction gambling, sex, fast cars, …  you get the idea. Loneliness has not been shown to be improved by antidepressants or the pursuit of thrills. Loneliness is not helped by talking about it either as what happens is stigmatization as if the lonely must be flawed and incapable of social functions, the blame is put on the one who suffers, sometimes with pity but oftentimes with a little sigh of relief that it’s not you…  at least not yet.   Now, didn’t they used to do this with “women’s troubles”….  hysterical, they called it, it’s not real it’s imaginary. Why this pressing need to deny the basic foundations of modern lifestyle?

Isolation causes loneliness; living alone after loved ones have died or left, no children maybe at all, or none nearby or maybe estranged, no family or families that disconnect, married couples that divorce, long time friends that drop away,  compound with encroaching years illness, death, loss of memories, neighbors that don’t like each other or maybe don’t even know each other . . . the days of an open door, borrowing a cup of sugar, stopping by to watch a movie or play a game of cards is rapidly being eradicated from many people’s lives.  In many communities companionship still exists, however in many more it’s rapidly disappearing.

So, no problem now there’s a pill…  good old Tyneol to the rescue! But really!!!! Is the cure, then for loneliness a pill?  What about another PERSON???? Companionship, an intimate caring and inclusion, a wanting to know and be known, a friendly hug, a hand to hold, reaching out and being joyful in doing so. . . .  No?

Okay, then I say we put a person in a bottle and label it,”take one pill once a day or as needed” Problem solved.

Lois Mahalia- Original “GoodBye”

My best friend died the day before yesterday. He was 47 years old and had a liver transplant having been diagnosed with a rare disease Primary sclerosing cholangitis sometime around 1994-5. Forgive me if I don’t remember the exact date; he and I were classmates at the University of California in Santa Barbara studying geography at one of the best geography campus in the country. We took all the earth system science classes before climate change hit the news ways. Forrest was brilliant, acing the complicated interweaving of our planet’s physical systems. His shortcoming was computers, but everything else melded together in perfect symmetry—he’d explain things to me, we studied together. Turned out he had a crush on me. We’d lope across campus at a quick pace to cover the distance between classes. It was there, right at the bike crossing when he told me about the diagnosis: PSC, but he made me say the whole name.

I got hit by a bicycle and bruised my arm and nicked my ankle.

Forrest was hit by something much worse.

The treatment for PSC is liver transplant.

Years passed with the diagnoses locking down. Lots of drugs and hospitals all of which Forrest hated. He sickened turned yellow, actually orange, bloated, weak, was often in pain, could barely eat, yet he’d smile, he’d laugh, he’d get out the telescope to study the sky. He was a geographer to the core. He never missed listening to Car Talk or watching an episode of Jeopardy. He had a child that loved dinosaurs. He moved to North Fork to be near his son and lived his life. He got sicker, and sicker and sicker. The medical social system was cruel. He had to fight for everything and Forrest is not a fighter, he was made of love and curiosity. They make you wait when you need a liver transplant until you’re almost dead before your turn is approved for the surgery. Forrest almost died on the table, we didn’t think he’d survive but he did.

He did!!! We were overjoyed! But recovery was difficult, Forrest needed frequent aftercare treatment, he needed a lot of pills….pills he didn’t want to take. He developed severe depression.  In a man who was inherently cheerful and full of life this was a shock. It was bio-chemical but it changed Forrest. They treated the depression and it helped but he wasn’t the same, he started to worry and fret about things. He started to over-do, he was everyone’s fix it guy, especially if it was mechanical. His collection of cars were like living creatures to him–each with their own soul, their complicated history that he cherished.

He finally found love, he was missing this for a very long time…romantic love.

A few years ago I was ready to purchase the 6 acres that Forrest lived on in North Fork. We decided to share the place. I wanted land and a home, Forrest wanted to remain where he was in an aging double wide on a gorgeous parcel. He’d help me build a house and he’d pay me rent. I made the seller / landlady a good offer, she laughed at me, demanding an inflated price which she never got (her final sale years later was lower than my offer.)  Lots of bad things happened, she drove Forrest off his home, she showed us how evil lurks waiting for expression, her devilment was the death of her husband, it unleashed a raging greed. Forrest had to leave and that drove him nearly crazy, he went to live with his girlfriend but was forced to give away too many of his precious cars and other vehicles and equipment. Honestly the place was a mess; Forrest had lost his neat gene, it  dissolved with toxic accumulation of ongoing medications and treatments. The place could have been cleaned up with some help. Believe me, I know how hard it is to do everything yourself, on your own.

Forrest and me looking at property for me to buy

Then finally things started to really improve, Forrest was able to buy a plot of land with the help of his folks. Forrest could not work a traditional money earning job, nor pursue a vocation, nor utilize his brilliant mind because of the enormous cost of medical treatments…it was necessary that he remain on funded aide to pay those bills. He dreamed of doing his masters, maybe more but it didn’t happen. Getting the land was an anxiety ridden tortuous process but he preserved. The land was inexpensive as it needed extensive clean up. He toiled, he labored, he joined work parties and shared, he did everything for others in the hopes they’d do a little for him. He’s the collective, cooperative, potluck, home-grown local music and drum circle bonfires with friends type. Honest, sincere, he meditates in silence; yes, sometimes moody and sensitive. He’s a go-getter…. oh I keep forgetting to say “was” Forrest will always be alive to me.

Forrest really hears a person when they speak, he asks questions rather than dictating what another thinks, he weighs things before giving an idea and his ideas tend to be brilliant or at least in line with a persons true self. There is laughter and goodness. He pays attention and uses his brain, his shortcomings revolve on his internal processes. I’ve seen him get bogged down working himself into an endless loop with a problem that requires a solution he doesn’t like.

So once he obtained his property something wonderful happened. Forrest became Forrest again, there was ground under his feet. Something to give him pride and confidence. This happened recently; he showed me how he cleaned up the parcels…two of them together making a 5 acre spread right in the center of California in North Fork. He had everything to live for, things were smoothing out with his girl friend, the future was looking bright. The last conversation he and I will ever have, he told me that I too needed to get property, it made all the difference, it gave him happiness and he was sure it was what I needed too. Working on your own place, building what you want, what you need.

Not yesterday, but the day before he planted roses on his land, he worked hard in the sun. It’s hot in North Fork this time of year; there was a lot of hard labor to be done. He came home to take a nap, woke around 8 o’clock feeling dizzy, then he lost consciousness. His girlfriend performed CPR heroically until the medics arrived; she was there with him, she said it was a peaceful death.

There are scores of us in shock, maybe hundreds, Forrest was well loved.

He got to see the LT, he liked it. I expected him to be around to continue to read my blog, to continue to share his rants, his joys, his discoveries, to continue to listen when I felt lost, to be the one who knows all about me and who understands. His girlfriend’s home is crowded, her family have gathered ’round, friends are pouring in support. I am alone. I miss Forrest and it’s only the beginning.

Only one more thing, Forrest and I had a falling out. there was a long time when we didn’t talk every week or every other week.  It only ended recently, I was sad about it, but now I know it was practice, it gave me practice for the long haul ahead.

Yes these walls are made of Straw Bale!

In his youth

He kept that look all his life. . . it would turn into a smile 🙂

One has to be grateful for someone coming along and offering a tow up an otherwise impossible climb. . . . in this case it’s to a better life pummeled by my departed Aunt Hermione Greene on my father’s side and still alive 96-year-old Great Uncle Norman Levan on my mother’s side. Where I was had scanty future poking through. Being part way up the grade has its own deathly perils. My work on the B&B is at a standstill. I feel longing for all my intended guests, oh how I want to welcome you and your pets as your hostess. The plan was to settle in the Sierra Foothills near Yosemite with open arms for guests and traveling pets, appreciative of the arts, nature and cooperative living . Yes I have a business plan, everything’s in place except my main backer, Dr. Norman Levan, my beloved great uncle has closed the door to his response. I do not know why. I am left wondering what went wrong. Silence here is not golden. I have a long list of guesses but, in truth, it must be my path. It must be meant to be excruciating, as most of my life has been rift with half-ways, broken promises and lack of support. After all my father’s wife managed to wrest my father’s estate away; I received a gift from my Aunt Hermione at the very time the market crashed; my jobs/careers have been at the wrong place at the wrong time…victim to crumbling economy, corrupt bosses and petty jealousies. I’ve battled lifelong post traumatic stress for no choice of my own, a difficult body with a list of ailments that might have left me bound to a wheelchair or worse. . . in awhile you can read bits of my memoir as I prepare to post on my new blog. It’s not a particularly good piece of writing, in fact its terrible but after my father’s death I was compelled to voice the person here inside these ponderous and beatific days of life.

Meanwhile back to the climb. The K9 Nose Work instructor course is coming along, will soon begin another year-long certification in animal behavior, the dogs are doing fine, bored with my busy schedule but healthy so that part is making progress. My printmaking skills continue to improve, difficult but making progress. The LT is being pampered with its new camera and some insulation for the summer.  Where I’m mired is the B&B and the place to teach my classes. It’s the only area where I had to rely on outside support. Am trying to recoup and have decided to spend my backup funds on a home sans the B&B if I find one that will work in a way in which I can still make a suitable living…. i.e training/breeding/ boarding dogs and in time offering animal mediation services. (There will have to be room for art/printmaking studio as well!)  It will leave my pockets empty so everything else had better snap into place or I’ll be tumbling back down that hill awfully fast!

Yes, of course, one, can go sideways.

Wishing the rest of you on the slope safe and strong journey!

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