Giving thanks…

Mid-morning last Thursday I tested positive for COVID.

Immediately, my healthcare system (Legacy) kicked into gear with amazing results.

A nurse called to talk about treatment.

I opted for the drug Paxlovid from Pfizer.

Next was a call from a pharmacist from the hospital.

We had a lengthy interview to review the side effects.

Then, he placed the prescription at the only drugstore near me that had the medicine.

Within minutes, the drugstore called to tell me the drug was ready for pick up.

My friend picked it up and I started treatment right away.

If you have ever worked with the medical system in the US, you know that it is generally slow with lots of waiting around. Not this time, not with COVID.

Happy news….my symptoms improved within 24 hours. I took three pills twice daily for five days.

The only side effect was a bitter taste in my mouth. Eating fresh fruit helped. It reminded me that my late Husband experienced a bitter taste after chemotherapy. Chilled, canned fruit in heavy syrup, something he would never have eaten before cancer, alleviated the yucky taste.

Today, I feel so much better and am planning to resume my normal activities.

Thank you Legacy Healthcare!

Thank you to the scientists who developed the tests, vaccinations and treatments.

Thus ends my COVID story.

Except…

Our job as a nation is to continue to send COVID tests, vaccinations and treatments to nations not as fortunate as we are.

Ruling the roost

Who’s not allowed on the back of my creme colored couch?

Continue reading “Ruling the roost”

Wednesday morning

Hello,

I am coming up for air.

Too much going on.

Continue reading “Wednesday morning”

Springtime in Portland

So pretty to look at!

I love seeing all of the trees, plants and flowers starting to bloom.

However, this is why I generally stay indoors with my windows closed.

This is why I take an antihistamine daily. It helps but I still feel terrible at times.

New carpet

Adding more pain this year is my new carpet.

After the installation almost a month ago, I still find tiny bits of fabric everywhere.

There also is a fine layer of dust everywhere.

I am cleaning everyday and know that “this too shall pass” but feel really drained.

Argh!

Adding more insults, I washed two Helly Hansen jackets so that I could put them away for the summer. The upshot was that there is now a fine scattering of lint (?) all over the jackets and, worse, all over my washing machine. I believe that the lining on one of the jackets may have disintegrated.

I have run the rinse cycle several times, wiped out the drum with paper towels and a sheet from a lint remover.

Thinking that the problem was resolved I washed some clothes only to have them covered in this fine lint.

Short of buying a new wardrobe and a new washing machine, I shall have to keep a lint remover with me at all times.

Truly small problems in light of the world today.

Time for a cup of tea and then soldier on!

A friend

Mindslaughter

“The true criticism of Neville Chamberlain is that he could not really imagine a man like Hitler or a party like the Nazis. “He’s  a good fellow and ’twill all be well,” whatever may be said of it as theology, it is a parochial and limited attitude when it comes to foreign politics. It is not only on the left—and, of course many on the left are exempt—that one finds this inability to grasp the totalist mentality imaginatively. The notion that people who raise the alarm about Hitler in the 1930s were being immoderate and unreasonable was found in the Times and at All Souls, in all the blinkered and complacent crannies of the Establishment. The concept of a quite different set of motivations, based on a different political psychology, was absent.”   

From the fascinating book Reflections on a Ravaged Century by Robert Conquest.  pg 12, Mind slaughter section.

Then again, George Bush had his Chamberlain moment when he met Putin and declared that “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

So sad that Bush did not read the intelligence reports on his desk.

“Robert Conquest is the acclaimed author of many works of history, biography, criticism, translation, fiction, and poetry. He was educated at Winchester and at Magdalen College, Oxford, and has held various academic posts at the London School of Economics, Columbia University, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center, among others.  Currently, he is Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.” * From the book jacket.

*He died in 2015.

There are other books and articles by and about Conquest that I am anxious to read. He is known as a scholar on Russia epecially Stalin. It would be interesting to hear his views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Other books include The Harvest of Sorrow and The Great Terror.

Loneliness

“The quality of an individual’s life can really only be measured by that person. It is very easy to assume that living with illness becomes a burden, yet the elderly often accept their physical limitations, a price worth paying for living longer. Loneliness, many tell us, is a far harder burden than ill health, and this is a sadness hidden in plain sight, a modern epidemic.”. p302, With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix.

A “sadness hidden in plain sight”

I tend to self-isolate.

Routines, chores, work, often fill my days but are a poor substitute for human contact..

I blame my lifestyle somewhat on the pandemic.

I also blame my nature. I am an introvert.

Reading, writing and drawing make me happy.

I feel out of sorts if I don’t make time for these solitary activities.

I like my own company. **

The Golden Mean Meets the Checklist

Yet, I do like and need people. I love talking and sharing ideas and experiences.

I know that I operate better when I have a routine and a system.

Left to my own devices, I will grab a book rather than call a friend for a walk.

So to help me connect more, I compiled a checklist of easy “people activities”, virtual and in-person.

Easy Ways to Connect

  1. Visit the reading room at the library. I can read in solitude with others. Passive, but I am with people!
  2. Attend events at my church, adult center, library, gym.
  3. Participate in local VILLAGES* activities (TED talks, no-guilt book club, happy hour, walking groups).
  4. Call friends for walking dates.
  5. Schedule video chats with friends.
  6. ZOOM with my Fab Four friends every week
  7. Participate in classes and events at the Adult Center, Parks & Rec, local colleges, the art museum
  8. Invite friends for dinner, tea or happy hour.
  9. Connect more with my wonderful WordPress buddies, that means you!

Of course, in addition to myself, I must think of and respond to the needs of others especially lonely elders. Fortunately, that task is made easier by the many service, religious, and government organizations that provide a framework for interacting with seniors.

“How  we deal with the most vulnerable members of our society is a true test of our values. Having accepted their contribution to the public good during their working lives, how should we support these weary elders? How do we enable them to experience satisfaction and self-worth, not in return for making a contribution, but simply for being their unique selves?” p303, With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix.

*Villages or the Village Movement which supports seniors aging in place.

**Today as I write this, there are workers in my home going in and out of the front door and up and down the stairs. My house is in disarray. They are installing new carpet on two levels of the house. Long overdue! No solitude today or tomorrow!

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva, http://www.pexels.com. I chose it because I like the idea of the woman opening her door with a welcoming smile.

Glad I made the effort…

I forced myself to go for a walk in the cold drizzle.

This was my reward.

It’s hard to go outside when the weather is cold and rain is falling.

I always feel better when I do…both mentally and physically.

Always gotta make the effort.

My little tree

For the past several weeks, I have taken a few minutes, now and then throughout my day, to observe the little tree outside my window. 

At the beginning there were only bare limbs jutting out from the small trunk. 

Then tiny buds appeared, followed by tiny leaves.It is still mostly barren with little buds still appearing.

I have to look carefully and slowly to see the changes that have occurred in the past day or so.

I don’t want it to blossom. 

I don’t want to contemplate that cycle of rebirth and death. 

I want it to stay as it is today with tiny green leaves and mostly bare limbs, full of promise.

A little spirit

A true story.

A five-year old girl grabbed her Dad’s whiskey and tried to gulp it down like the cowboys do in the westerns.

Furious, her Dad yelled, “Don’t spit it out! Swallow it!”

With tears in her eyes, she choked it down, gagging and crying.

Not a nice Dad in my opinion.

The little girl is now a grown woman with grown sons of her own.

She is a great mother.

Her Dad was always tough with his three children.

He was still alive when she told me this story. More than once I witnessed him being mean to his children and grandchildren.

I was not intimidated by him and found the presence of mind not to respond when he tried to bait me.

But when he was mean to my children, I put on my boxing gloves.

I stood up and went over to my children. I took them each by the hand.

I ignored the old man.

I spoke loudly and firmly to my little boys. I told them that he was a bully and that they should ignore him.

Having said that, I glared at the old man. He said nothing.

Even to this day my grown sons will laugh about the time Mom “took on this old man”.

It was a departure from everything I had been taught about treating my elders with respect.

Years later, thinking about his behavior still makes me angry.

My friend never had a good relationship with her father.

She is a wonderful artist and a really kind person.