Lots of people in the Tucson area have been praying to get a real monsoon storm with lots of rain to fill the underwater aquifer and help restore the Santa Catalina Mountains from the Big Horn Fire damage of last year. The mountains were a dull grey brown from the burned vegetation. They looked shrunken and sad.
But then last Friday they got prolonged hammering of rain over the afternoon and evening (we got 1.03″ in fifteen minutes) and “BOOM” they sprung back to their lush beautiful self.
So God heard the outcry of the desert dwellers and said ‘hold my beer!” and it was fabulous and scary.
Areas of Tucson got hit with heavy rain and super strong winds, and there was even a land spout tornado spotted and photographed. Along with this was some wind damage. Hubby and I remarked that we can water plants, run the sprinkler and the yard will struggle, but one – just one – big monsoon rain will change the dull, dry, brown color to me and God’s favorite color – green.
I caught video of the storm just as it hit us, and it was a deluge. This is looking from my back porch.
We’ve had a teenage girl living with us for five days. I can honestly say it is a different world!
First of all she is the kind of teenager you want every teen to be like. She is kind, interested, funny, and respectful. She is affectionate and she figures out the dynamics of living with us and being with us. This is amazing since we are her great Aunt and great Uncle, so our age difference is considerable.
She has confidence in herself and yet she has a charming shyness that her uncle and I adore, and want to protect. She challenges without being rude or disrespectful. What I truly appreciate about her is her lack of interest in being a Kardashian which is so typical of most girls her age (13). She would rather smell like horses than perfume. I have to get on her case a bit to brush her hair or get a shower. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t sloppy or dirty. She just doesn’t think about it.
She has goals, and plenty of interests, and during the various trips we’ve taken during her visits with us, she has put her best into learning and discovering each destination. For example this year seeing her reactions to things she encountered in Tucson visitor staples like the Flandrau Planetarium, Pima Air and Space Museum, Titan Missile Historic Site and Sabino Canyon Recreation Area shows she is open to learn. Rather than showing boredom with these locations, she absorbed the knowledge available.
She visits us for about a week at the end of each school year. This is our 4th year hosting her and I love that she still wants to hang out with us. It may not last much longer. So we are taking advantage of the opportunities.
So… I just gave her a bowl of homemade whipped cream and a bottle of chocolate syrup! What can I say, she deserves it and earned it. We got hugs and so did she.
Any one else have mask avoidance syndrome? You know those feelings you have when you want to go to somewhere, any activity you rarely avoid, but your first thought is “Yuck, I will have to wear my mask!” Or that incredible relief when you yank off the mask when you leave a building.
Hubby and I went to a “welcome home” celebration for the University of Arizona Women’s basketball team when they returned from playing in the national championship game. It was held outside at the football stadium and about 1000 socially distanced, fans were there. I didn’t mind the warm temps or the speeches. I hated wearing that mask.
My cardiologist’s nurse said in most cases, the mask keeps a sick person from spreading the virus, but the best way to avoid catching it is hand washing. Wash your hands all the time. If you wear gloves you wash your hands anyway and change the gloves after every use.
I think it’s interesting we have had no flu season.
When the number of cases was on the rise, just saying “herd immunity” out loud you got accused of wanting people dead. I read recently that “the goal of Covid precautions is to reach stable “herd immunity” so now what?
In 2020 co-morbidity was the name of the game. The number of dead, the percentage in all age groups stayed at a stable level from previous years. Old people, people with pre-existing conditions and cancers all had the same number of death rates. The Covid cases and deaths weren’t in addition to the other causes but in place of those causes. If you look at the causes of deaths the numbers of cancer, heart disease, stroke, accidents, etc., went down. Instead these were listed as co-morbidity with Covid.
What we need to learn is this…If you are sick, stay home, socially distance and wear a mask to protect others if you must go out; wash your hands often and well. The Japanese do this readily. You will see individuals of all ages in masks, going about their business. It is a country where the work/school culture is you don’t call in sick. Compound fracture, heart attack, open bleeding wound, giving birth – ok – go to the hospital. Cold or flu, wear your mask and show up.
I’m a huge fan of The Walton’s. It shows a much simpler time of home, family and faith many humans now days still crave. They talk about the good old days with longing.
There are many things about those times that drove human improvement. People worked hard because there was no government assistance, the women tended the inside house and the children, the men worked outside the home in jobs or farming and kept up the outside house and buildings. Families who were in need, in most cases, were helped by their community. Most homes had cellars/sheds where fruits and vegetables were “put up” for the lean times. Many were like my grandparents who had gardens, raised chickens and lambs, and hunted and fished to help feed their families, and supplemented income by bartering goods and services. Children were taught respect for other people and their property. Social activity in the communities were centered around the churches along with purpose driven gatherings like a quilting bee, sewing circles and barn raisings. Most folks didn’t travel much, and the community was the focus.
However, there were some not so great things. Schools were adequate, but in rural areas not easily accessible so education was for those with means. Education, especially higher education, was for men. Domestic violence and child abuse were common, with no advocates for those victims. The abusers received no penalty since their wives and children were essentially property. Slavery in the form of adoption was also commonplace where a young boy or girl was adopted for the primary purpose of servitude on farms and in households. Sexual abuse was impossible to prosecute except under extreme situations, and rather than dealing with family incest, abuses were suppressed and kept quiet, racial prejudice was rampant as was the oppression of women. A white man would have sex with a black woman but would not ride on a bus with her.
So, there are elements of that time I agree are desirable and I would love to see happening again. However, just as much of it I am grateful that humans are actively fighting to eliminate.
I’ve been released! Essentially this means my two weeks of post-op recuperation requiring me to stay house bound is over. On Wednesday 2 December I was sprung. I can tell you it was wonderful. It was the first time I had driven further that the local grocer a couple of miles away. I actually drove into real Tucson traffic and it was a trip!
This surgery is one of those negative check marks when looking at hiring an older individual. We are considered a feeble risk and we will drive up the cost of premiums in the company insurance policy. No matter that we are doing our best to be healthy, we are loyal and give our best. I’ve lost weight, am eating carefully, and sleeping better that I have in a while, yet I’m seen as a risk to the millennials in charge. To the company we create issues in their minds.
This is what it feels like to be profiled. It has nothing to do with who I am, who I really am as a human. It has to do with perception. To the new college graduates and the millennials in charge I am the age of parents or grandparents and we are useful only for telling stories about the past and keeping traditions going. We make them uncomfortable.
Well I have a few stories to tell.
How about the first time I did speed at a concert that was also my first laser light show-Steve Miller and left there to go to Jekyll and Hyde’s, a gay bar for dancing.
Or the time I was at the Boston Concert and kept dropping the ball of hashish from the pipe bowl every time I tried to light it.
What about my friends and I hitchhiking up and down Speedway Blvd in Tucson on a Saturday night, leaving my car at Pinecrest Center?
Or the time my buddie Eddie gave me a gram of coke for my birthday, and in gratitude I shared the lid of weed I had.
I got memories for you!
Experience is what teaches lessons – all of the lessons – good and bad.
I have years of administrative office experience. I worked for doctors, realtors, insurance brokers, scientists, retail buyers…you get my idea. With plenty to offer and the time to offer it, why doesn’t that equal a desire for these skills?
Want more? I throw a good party, I’ll keep a confidence, and I’ll be there for happy hour. I can talk about football or laboratory sterile technique. I can kill it at karaoke too!
Now back to my writing. My female lead is about to get busted by her son coming back from a hot date with her new man.
I follow several Instagram pages with families that are mixed race. Some because of the parents races, some because of adoption, some because of marriage. The uniform message seems to be they are strong in their trials.
One couple, she’s black and he’s white with multirace children all adopted deals daily with bigotry and judgemental ignorant humans. These people are great parents and their children lack nothing. Another couple she’s white and he’s black are doing an exceptional job in raising three beautiful blended children and her son from her first marriage. I can’t believe how many humans want to accuse her of favoring him over her other children and vice-versa.
Another couple I follow on YouTube are both black and are raising their white adopted son. That child is one of the happiest kids I’ve seen. They are now pregnant with twin girls from adopted embryos. Who cares what race those babies are, they will be loved and treasured by their parents.
Humanity is having to fight a big fight right now against racism, misogyny, Covid-19, religious intolerance, and every day struggles to survive in this world. Its hard to pay bills, buy food and necessities, gas, and keep the lights on when you can’t work full time. Hubby and I are trying to find ways to make $$ spread. At our age options are limited.
I’m proud of these families that face the struggles with love and creativity. My daughter, a single parent, does this hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly while raising an adopted child of a different race on the autism spectrum. He is well loved, well fed, and so wonderful. But its not easy.
So let’s talk about what we can do to support others in this life. Let’s be tolerant, and not accept humans that bully, abuse, and strike out in ignorance.
The discovery of the medical condition that led to my right carotid endarterectomy surgery still exists in my body. But I can adapt and adjust, to arrest it’s progress and hopefully change the status going forward. I joyfully say I am at the end of post surgery two weeks of being careful and taking it easy and tomorrow I can get back into life…full speed.
At the bottom of this post are shots of my incision over the course of two weeks.
As a self professed ocean lover 💙 when I saw the Mediterranean Diet it made sense. Since its time to adjust my eating style and exercise efforts, pretending to be living in Greece or Italy while I do it makes perfect sense. 🏃♀️🚶♀️🚴♀️
So here are the diet deets, with the adjustments based on my medical needs.
The foundation of this plan is exercise, daily whether ten minutes or an hour, just move.
The next level is plant based. Fruits and vegetables – lots of them raw or cooked. I have a sweet tooth so snacking on fruit is starting to feed that. I especially love grapes, apples, mango and pineapple. We have a dehydrator, and so have started making our own dried snacks. Another good snacking item are nuts. I especially love almonds. However due to my Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) it is necessary that I avoid salt. Not completely, I can use some in cooking, but reducing it, so no salted nuts. I’m incorporating beans, legumes, couscous, Quinoa, and bran into my cooking. I am changing out butter for extra virgin olive oil and it works quite well.
The next level is where I get my protein – and my focus is fish, chicken, turkey and not much super lean meat. Again the CAD recommends no meat like beef and pork. I also add some dairy like eggs and fat free cottage cheese. I check every thing for cholesterol, fat, and sodium numbers.
The top level is what I call my treats like alcohol, baked goods, etc. Those are extremely limited in consumption for me.
So now I start watching for changes in my systems, and I have already noticed some. I feel different. My scar is healing but has a ways to go, and my energy is improving. As I get familiar with some recipes I will share those with you.
I am following the works of Dr. Kim Foster and Dr. Amy Riolo for guidance and information.
An exciting side note, I am doing a wedding dress alteration! It such a wonderful thing to know I can do something I love like sewing and actually get paid. How cool is that?!?!
Hey gang! Here’s the news – Hubby spent the night on the side of the road, dry camping in our wee trailer, Daisy.
Buddy’s wife brought him back home where buddy grabbed a few hours of sleep, then left before dawn for the two hour trip to the Willcox AZ area. The guys met up, went out to the field and got their limit! I’m quite proud. They were set up to meet at NAPA auto in Willcox to get the truck fixed and are heading home. HALLELUJAH!!
I’m feeling pretty well, not getting quite so tired. No sign of the A-Fib so the medication is working. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house – you know being normal – breathing fresh air, hearing the neighbor’s kids and barking dogs.
My neighbors have been so wonderful, checking on me and reassuring me I can call them “anytime” if I need anything. I am blessed.
So that’s the latest for me. I hope and pray that this sparse Thanksgiving season will be the end of a spell of disconnection and separation for us humans.
Here is a gift of love to bless you as we enter this holiday season. I grew up singing the soprano and alto parts of this beautiful acappella version of Number 6:24-26
Ok, I am not young, chronologically, I admit it. I don’t want to accept it yet there are things going on that remind me I’m not under warranty anymore. I’m paying out of pocket for repairs, and I’m at the nickel and dime stage.
The things that drive my interest, passions and dreams look different. Creativity weighs heavily on me now. Every day I want to touch that creativity in myself – it’s where I find the youth in my heart. When I think “Ooo, I would love to do that,” then the desire is tempered with “really? at my age?”
I would like nothing better than to sell everything, clear out and get a wonderful fixer-upper Victorian by the ocean or next to a mountain lake and open a B&B. But then I think about my hubby with his bad knees and back. He has no business working on fixing a place. He should be fishing.
How long would I realistically have to do this and make a living? Supplementing my social security income with a successful venture doesn’t happen quickly. This is a goal for a younger couple.
So rather than my sewing be making fabric accents for my dream B&B, or my writing be composing promotional pieces…well you understand.
One of the biggest issues for people my age is finding part time work. It doesn’t matter what “company policy” is, age discrimination is real. The thirty somethings don’t understand or want to fill their companies with people they feel can’t put in the time and effort needed. I’ve been looking, especially work from home opportunities which I’m told there is a glut of them. Uh, nope. But I will keep looking.
I will continue doing my creative thing, not giving in to the worlds attitude. Sure I would love to be thirty again. So I will be thirty in my mind. Still singing, sewing, writing, blogging, voice-over.
We’ve heard and seen all the reactions to the septic that has been 2020.
Disney is going to crap, small business are losing ground, an election year where many worry if President Trump is re-elected the human opposition to his election will erupt in violent, destructive protest. Well – I have no interest in politics. I look at the candidates and party web sites and decide which one I am most aligned with, no one side fully aligns with my concerns.
We’ve all been told that masks and social distancing will help stall the spread of Covid-19, that Covid is fake, or that masks have no effect, that only the very sick or babies will be at risk of death and the rest of us will get a cold and get over it. If the sign says wear a mask I wear one, I wash my hands a lot, and only hug certain people.
I have to have a serious surgery in a couple of weeks which gives me great concern. Disney layed off my son along with thousands of others, I’m still hunting for clerical/writing work from home opportunities and auditioning for VO jobs, Christmas is coming and the purse is full of moths.
Yet there is this:
Osiris rex made a hugely successful mission to asteroid Bennu, effectively touched down and gathered a more
than adequate sample of stardust. As a University of Arizona project I was inordinately proud, and as a space geek I actually had the date marked on my phone calendar so I didn’t miss it. Yay NASA.
Another great thing this year is my nephew got married and it was a perfect time with family in the mountains of central Arizona. A destination site where we all stayed in log cabin style lodging, surrounded by tall pines and aspens, next to a lake. Can I just say the little kids had a great time running around, fishing, and eating their fill. The wedding itself was incredibly romantic, the bride beautiful, the groom handsome.
Another nephew’s business is growing, soundly. He has also been able to turn that success into an even better success with three franchises! I’m so proud of how his hard work is paying off for him. He is a good man, and a good husband and father. This immense improvement in his business is due directly to his conscientious and strategic hard work, and the more than fair treatment of his employees and clients.
My grandson is doing well in kindergarten – his autism is now on the academic radar. His teachers are doing wonderfully with developing his learning and classroom skills while helping him make good decisions, his therapies are done at school so the success he has reflects well on his perception of the learning environment.
It also has relieved some of my daughter’s stress, also good for both of them.
I have also made a good friend, something I’ve really wanted. She is a fun person, a cool chick, and we have so much in common. Also our husbands get on well. I’m so glad to have my girl Kathy.
My mother used to say –
“Life’s too short to be in a bad mood for very long”
and “Speak what you want to come to pass.”
So that is what I will leave with you. I would love to hear the good you’ve had in this year.