Saturday, January 13, 2018

Alexa and Alzheimer's

We all know that I've become undun, or you wouldn't be here.  So it should not be a surprise to any of us that I've become insane as well

You've all heard of Alexa.   And if, by chance, you haven't watched this hilarious skit on Saturday Night Live, watch it now.

The problem is, I think I'm worse than the "silver" people they portray in the skit.

Yes, I've forgotten Alexa's name from time to time.  When I've had her set an alarm for me I've forgotten the word "snooze" and tried to use the words "rest" or "wait" or "sleep."   I've consistently messed up my request for podcasts, tune-in, or audible; but still I find her very useful - especially to reduce strain on my dry eyes.   I use her to read my books to me.  I listen to her cable news instead of watching it.   I have taken to using her music feature by creating many complicated playlists, and - when I wake up during the night - I always ask her what time it is.  (Now, I know you're thinking, "Why can't she just look at a clock?" But, sadly, she can't look at a clock because her eyes are blurry from the gel drops used at night and sleeping goggles placed on top of them.)

Considering all of this, is it any surprise to you that I made the following two mistakes?

  1. When attempting to call the dog inside, I reached my head outside of the door and called, "Alexa!"
     2. When attempting to ask Alexa a question, I yelled out, "Jesus?" 

Do you see anything odd about these two incidents?

Honestly, now tell me. . . .  Do you??????


Monday, January 8, 2018

Would the Word Obsessive Possibly Apply?

Do you know how they claim that you have mastered a foreign language when you start thinking in it?  I'm a master, folks. I'm thinking in poetrese.  Thoughts are coming forth from me in perfect rhyme and meter.

What's worse, I have compiled five collections of children's Christian poetry in the last two months and am working on five more.

Disclaimer:  Once I realized how easy it is to self-publish on Amazon, I returned to my old compilations of children's poetry and realized that I had three entire manuscripts which had been turned down by multiple publishers all set and ready to go.  A bit of formatting, creating a cover, and pushing the "Publish" button was all I needed to do.  That easy.

But once I got going I couldn't stop.  I knew I had at least another 200 or so poems which I had written in all those years that I worked for the church. They just needed to be tucked into their special poetry niches (a.k.a. the right manuscript) and Voila!   God's Love in a Limerick!

And there's a niche for you!

Of course I've had to go back and author a few more to round out the collections, and here's where we enter the obsessive phase.  See, my eyes do not let me look at my netbook as often as I would like.  Nor does my fatigued body allow me to sit upright for 24 hours a day.  

And so I am left thinking in poetrese.  It's torture, really.

But go ahead and check out my author page on Amazon:

Friday, December 29, 2017

They Call them Christmas Cookies

Yes, they call them Christmas Cookies.

Just for the record. . . .This day is the 29th of December.

Ponzi's birthday.

So, in all probability, the cookies were not for me, but I slept through the friend's visit in a deeeeeeeeeep sleep like Snow White without a prince to wake her up. Surrounded instead by Dopey. . . and Doc. .  . and Sleepy.

At any rate, let us return to those cookies and their cinnamon dots - in the center of their stars, the edges of their tree limbs, the toes of their stockings.  Awakening memories of long ago, and what should have been yesterday.

When was the last time I baked Christmas cookies? Allowed them to be made in messy fashion in my kitchen?  Allowed flour on my nose and counter-top? Allowed their happiness to enter my heart?  Their message to enter my life?

When was the last time I felt joy?

Why do I demand a spotless holiday?  An unblemished season?  A tabletop tree with only matching ornaments?  Why does it hurt my eyes to gaze on things out of place?   My very being to exist among dog hair, crumpled pillows, and used coffee mugs?

Shout to the world that Christ became incarnate for us.  Do you know that people?  And I can only imagine that he came into this world in what we would now call not the most hygienic of circumstances.  Would I allow sheep and cows to share my living space?  A feeding trough to take the place of my child's cradle? Visiting kings to see the inevitable dung and straw thrown adrift?

The scriptures say that Mary pondered.  She didn't sweep, and disinfect, do laundry, or swear under her breath when she was the only one who emptied the dishwasher.  She held that tiny baby to her breast; treasuring those things and keeping them in her heart.   Only God knows how hard I prayed for more joy. . . .more acceptance. . .more endurance. . . .less anxiety . . . .during this holiday season.   And this very morning I almost gave up on it all - thanking God for Xanax instead.

And then came the Christmas cookies. . .

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Chemo Infusion Center on Ugly Sweater Day

Only me.

This could only happen to me.

Perhaps this is to remind me how lucky I am to have diseases that are chronic, not fatal.   Perhaps it is to at last get me in the Christmas spirit.

Bah Humbug!

All I wanted when I walked in the door was to crawl into a ball and let the benedryl, steroids, and Rituxan drip slowly into me.   To get a pillow and blanket or two from the warmer and hide myself in soulful silence: Meditations on headphones, audio books, and haunting Celtic carols on an iPod. You know, songs like In the Bleak Midwinter.

Instead, here I am in the middle of Cancer Christmas.  Headband horns, Christmas bells, and snowman leggings.  Light-up Rudolph noses and gift-wrap "bow"es.  Santa hats and reindeer mats.  Chemo drips and recipe tips.

 I even got a free lunch.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tell Me God, Do You Crochet?

While driving home from a dentist appointment yesterday - the umpteenth dentist appointment this year, mind you - I began to sneeze.  And as I sneezed, I thought, "Oh Lord, not again!" This is the fourth time this year I've had to get a crown removed in order to rid my mouth of the decay which has crept uninvited underneath the crown.  It is also the second in these aforementioned four times in which I have left the dentists' office sneezing and blowing my nose.

But enough about my sinuses.  Which just happen to be low and desperately in need of a sinus lift; for if I had a sinus lift or two the roots of my teeth would not nestle around them and I perhaps could be a candidate for implants. At the very least I wouldn't walk around with cold symptoms for days after having dental work done.  But enough about my lifts and my implants.

Keep in mind that all of these dental problems are due to the lack of saliva production from Sjogren's Syndrome.  But enough about my spit.

In order to round out my story, I suppose I need to tell you that I was also driving in pain; for my right shoulder has been shouting out in some sort of protest for almost a year, but now it has reach its climax - uniting with my carpal tunnel syndrome to cause me to be in utter agony.   This shoulder, MRI'd last spring and read by two radiologists, seems to have a myriad of things wrong with it:  tendonitis, bursititis, encapsulititis, synovitis, impingement syndrome, and bone spurs. Take your pick.  And this same shoulder has been sent on its way by an orthopedists, neurologist, and rheumatologist (although the rheumatologist gave me an ineffective cortisone shot just one week ago.)  But enough about the the nuts and bolts that loosely keep my together.

Point is. . .  I was thinking about one of my favorite lines in the Psalms which - in my quest to be ever-grateful and oh-so-positive - I try to recite as one of my mantras at least once a day:

I praise you
for I am wonderfully made.

Now that very same Psalm also contains the words which you see up in that graphic at the beginning of this post:  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."  I absolutely love the imagery there.  Think about it:  No nuts and bolts there, but a vision of God patiently knitting away and tenderly placing me in my mother's womb before I was born. Incredible.

But on my way home, between low-sinus sneezes, I started to think about this.   Are we sure God didn't drop a stitch or two during the creation process?  Of me.  I'm thinking solely of me here.

Perhaps he got distracted for a moment or two.

Perhaps the angels were throwing a party and he had to tell them to shush down.

Perhaps two of his disciples were having a tiff.

Perhaps St. Peter needed help deciphering God's writing in the Naughty and Nice book.

But I think that the most likely reason of all is that God perhaps gets bored and crochets some of us.  That's it!  He crocheted me and then placed me in my mother's womb (for we all know I'm somewhat undun!)

But still . . . 

I praise you
for I am wonderfully made!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What Can a Klondike Bar Do for You?

Can one eat a Klondike bar for breakfast?  Especially if it's a chocolate chip mint one?

In all my years of raising children in this house I could count on one hand the number of times I have had Klondike bars residing in my freezer.  But for some strange reason I purchased them yesterday.

Perhaps I had a premonition.

A premonition that my sweet, loving, exceedingly brilliant, grain-free cat would disappear and not come home again.  The cat who naps with me every afternoon and sleeps with me every night.  The one who brought chip, or dale, into my bedroom while I was sleeping.

The very one who has sent me into a horrible panic attack at his loss.

I need a Klondike bar for comfort, for reassurance, for satisfaction.

So, from now on, the question will not be "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" but "What can a Klondike bar do for you?"

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cheese Steaks and Pork Roll


That's what we Jersey Girls say.

Drip Dry and I went to a wedding yesterday in Asbury Park.  I guess you might call it a destination wedding because whenever we travel to "The Shore" we get off the parkway at exit 25, of course.  So imagine our excitement in exiting the parkway at exit 102.
I believe I had only been to Asbury Park once before in my life.  I don't remember why, but it had nothing to do with Bruce Springsteen, and certainly had nothing to do with a wedding but, of course, this trip did.  And boy did they Jersey it up.

A flute of champagne up arrival. A lovely (and brief) wedding ceremony in a beautiful room.  A quick sprint into the cocktail hour to nab one of the few cocktail tables with a chair for me to sit it.  

And then it began.  The food. 

Cheese steak, waffle fries, perogies, kielbasa, short rib sliders, grilled cheese, penne, filet, shrimp, crab, canoli, fried dough, cupcake, and ice cream; all topped off with the best of all Jersey inventions - pork roll and cheese sandwiches to go!




You gotta love New Jersey!