2014/08/12

Oh, Robin! Life Ain’t Easy and We Will Miss You

Da Goddess @ 02:39

Even if you think it is, you don’t know what’s going on inside them that they haven’t shared with you.

From one of my Facebook posts:

One of the greatetst gifts ever given to me was a friend I found while waiting in line to see Craig Ferguson. Each day she reminds me she understands what I’m going through, reminds me that it’s okay to cry, and reminds me that she’s there if I need her. I do the same for her for all the same reasons.

While sitting on a bench, before being herded into pre-show line, I’d reached into my purse and grabbed a lemon drop. I turned to her and offered her some. I told her I had almost said, “have a sweetie?” Right away she got the reference (Saving Grace, 2000) and we were fast friends. I knew I should have just said it because it was instinct that told me she was a kindred spirit.

Her grace and her love of life are not diminished because of her illness. In fact, I think her illness makes her shine ever brighter. She’s my hero.

We all need friends like that. We all need each other. While love can’t cure depression or addiction, it goes a long way to helping people realize they are not alone.

Living with chronic pain sucks. Whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain. It sucks. It sucks the life out of you. It eats away at your heart and your head. It hurts those around you. Depression is a common cohort with chronic pain. You fight it. And fighting that kind of battle every single day wears you down. (I almost said, “wears you the fuck down”, but didn’t want to offend anyone.) That’s the truth, though. And having good people in your bunker, fighting alongside you is one of the best tools in your arsenal.

No one gets through this world alone. I think we forget that all too often. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends when you hurt. You never know…they may be going through the same thing and may be emboldened enough by your admission to open up and release some of their own burdens. In a way, just by being honest with someone you could end up saving two lives: yours and theirs

True story. My friend, my new, dear friend. She has no idea how much I admire her. She’s one of my heroes. Her life is difficult. Her illness is greatly debilitating. And yet, I’ve never known her any other way and I found her to be one of the liveliest and loveliest people on the planet. She shines. She SHINES! She is one of those people blessed with the gift of love that simply pours out of her.

Had it not been for Craig Ferguson, we’d never have met and my life would be poorer. But we did meet and because of her, I laugh when I feel like crying, cry when I really need to, and spend an awful lot of time thanking God and Craig for bringing this amazing woman into my life.

She sent me a message earlier tonight thanking me for making her load lighter. I wanted to weep. It’s she who lightens my load. Truly, she does.

I have other friends like her. You know who you are. I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to write about her as we ponder the death of Robin Williams and why it strikes so deeply for us. Perhaps it’s because you could always sense a sadness in him, even as he laughed. Perhaps it’s because we understand the depth of the pain he felt. Wanting to take your life is something I understand. Not been there recently, but I have been there. An attempt was made many, many, MANY years ago. Now? Now I try to surround myself with people who aren’t afraid of me and my ever-lovin’ mo-fo’ing pain. (I try not to talk about it non-stop, but they know and they support me.) Life is short, but it’s also too long to hang on to those who have no time to say an occasional prayer for you or who can send you good vibes.

My wish, for everyone, is that they have at least one friend who is there to remind them that they are loved. It’s not a cure for pain. It’s not a cure for depression. It’s not a cure for addiction. But it might just be the one thing that makes someone stop and think long enough to keep them from taking their own life.

Many people say (regarding Robin’s death), “oh, another addict died because he took his own life. A celebrity. And people will make a big deal about it because of his celebrity. They’ll cry like they knew him.” And that’s true. But here’s the thing, for some of us, Robin Williams was a part of our lives for more than 30 years. He made us forget our problems at times. He was the reason we sat in front of a TV with our families way back when. He drew parents and children together. United them in laughter. He was a part of our lives, doing what others failed to do. So his loss does leave us feeling like there’s a hole in our hearts. It’s okay for us to mourn him, just as we mourn anyone else. Not because he was a celebrity, but because he stood for something precious to us.

Robin, thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the tears. You were such a part of our lives for so many years, it’s as if you were part of our families. It hurts us that you’re gone. But we all hope you’ve found peace now. THANK YOU, Robin Williams. Thank you. You’ll always be in my memory as a man who had the world by the balls. I’m just sorry your hand cramped up.

Robin Williams RIP

2014/08/08

I Hope He Washes His Hands

Da Goddess @ 19:04

Anthony Weiner is opening a restaurant in New York.

I…can’t…it’s just…It’s NOT a hot dog joint. There are no footlong anythings on the menu. And, it supposedly is to help people gain culinary and hospitality skills. Well, good. Except, it’s him. I can’t even with this man. How can we trust him to keep his hands to himself? Or, er…how can we trust him to NOT keep his hands on himself and also to not molest those seeking his assistance? Let’s just hope he’s only administrative (although, I question any organization that wants to have anything to do with him at all).

I played around with the jokes for a bit, but I simply cannot imagine anyone ever taking him seriously ever again and the jokes just keep rolling through my head.

I. must. resist.

Okay, you have the fodder. Make your own jokes. Thanks.

It’s International Cat Day!

Da Goddess @ 16:51

Not that we don’t celebrate cats each and every day here, but it’s nice to know other people celebrate, too.

International Cat Day is a thing, people. C’mon, do your part to make nice with the pussies of the world!

International Cat Day model Celia

2014/08/05

Sea of Poppies

Da Goddess @ 19:44

The sea of poppies at the Tower of London is stunning.

The FugGirls also have a slide show of the Tower of London.

What a beautiful tribute to the lives of those lost in war. The magnitude of the ocean of red is breath-taking and heartbreaking. Paul Cummins, the artist who came up with the idea, and Tom Piper, the stage designer who made sure it all worked out properly, did a beautiful job with this memorial. I honestly don’t know of any other memorial this amazing.

There were also one million poppies dropped as part of the World War I centenary remembrance ceremony.

One hundred years. We do not forget.

2014/08/03

Rollercoaster

Da Goddess @ 22:05

Life is like a rollercoaster these days. I start feeling a little better, steadier, and back off the meds a bit. And then the pain creeps back in. It’s frustrating. So I slowly add back in a med at a time, limiting them so I know which helps more than the others.

It’s a tough endeavor to break the pain cycle and do it effectively. And do it so it doesn’t fall off quickly, setting off on the cycle all over again. I really don’t know how to make it stick at this point.

Granted, I’m not in tears 100% of the time right now. That’s GOOD. But there’s a huge uptick in pain to the point where it’s threatening to cause, at the very least, welling up.

Heat packs. Ice packs. Meds. Up and walking. Then back to the big comfy couch or the recliner. That’s the pattern at this point.

I’ve slept a lot over the last 10 days. The sleep isn’t always very restful and the dreams are weird. That’s the nature of pain. I just go with what feels best and hope more of it will increase my odds of healing me enough to take me to a level of pain I can live with.

So that’s where I am right now. If you need me, you’ll likely find me on the sofa or in my chair, heat or ice pack in place, meds on board. It’s not exciting or glamorous, but it’s what I got to work with.

2014/07/30

It Makes Me Happy

Da Goddess @ 00:09

If we’re going to have to listen to Pharrell’s song “Happy” all the live-long day, please let it be because of this video. It’s the best!

Until someone comes up with something better, this is the only version I like. (Only valid entry that could possibly beat this one would have to include: Queen Elizabeth, Prince George, Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh), Prince Harry, Prince Wills and his lovely wife Dutchess Kate, adorable prancing puppies, frolicking foals, cavoriting kittens, maybe an albino hedgehog or two, and possibly Harry’s goat. They’d all have to be dancing, singing, playing, etc.

So, really, until any of you can make the above happen, I’m sticking with the nursing home version because it’s made of awesome genius.

2014/07/28

My Life as a Slug

Da Goddess @ 20:48

So here I sit, for last — gah, I gotta do math? (I’ll show you!), however many days. My back has been miserable. MISERABLE. But I’m slowly getting back to feeling better. Not normal. Just. Better.

The meds are doing what they’re supposed to do. It still hurts, but not as much. Each day is a tiny bit better than the last. However, there are some crazy fun (NOT!) side effects. Side effects like constipation. Side effects like swelling in my legs and feet. Side effects like constipation. Oh, I already mentioned that? It’s that bad. If I take anything, anything at all, I chase it with stool softeners. Doesn’t matter what it is, it could be Benadryl, I will still take stool softeners with it. Because it’s like there’s a boulder in my gut. I keep waiting for my own mini-ressurection. I mean, I remember this from when I had surgery years ago. The dachshund, the “broken” toilet bowl, the barking. (I tried finding that post but it’s gone, gone, gone in the lost archives, I guess.)

Anyhow, it’s not fun, this constipation thing. It is, however, somewhat exciting because each time I go to the bathroom it’s a bit like playing Wheel of Fortune.

I’ll let you just think on that for a bit. No need for graphic details from me.

Basically, my lack of movement (actual physical movement) is contributing to my other lack of movement. All that comes down to my back and the medications and my general feeling of noooooooooooooooooooo! It’s just how life goes sometimes.

While I started off with a full head of steam for this post, it’s quickly dwindled to a mere trickle as I wandered off to find my dachshund poop post. I’m easily distracted these days. I don’t remember where I was headed other than to complain how crappy (or not) life is at the moment. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m stopped up. I’m cranky. Blah blah blah.

P.S. I had to laugh last night as I watched a show and one of the people kept saying her mother had “installed a love of cooking in me.” At least twice I yelled at the screen, “it’s INSTILLED! INSTILLED! INSTILLED!” but the woman didn’t seem to hear me. I have lots of time to ponder such things at length and it’s not as fun as it sounds.

2014/07/23

After All This Time

Da Goddess @ 18:36

I am alive and, well, not kicking, but definitely close to screaming. It’s been a bitch of a day, a bitch of a week, a bitch of a month. But things are looking up.

Got meds straightened out. Got adjuster drama straightened out. Got new meds for pain that’s not controlled by regular meds. And I got myself some circus peanuts to help ease the pain and frustration of all the bullshit I’ve been dealing with lately. Circus peanuts work wonders. As do Bullseyes (caramel and cream candies).

Also had to send more documentation for LD’s enlistment to his recruiter. Oy vey. So much to do. And it’s now done. I’m toast.

Now that all is done, I’m going to lie down and hope for some good rest.

2014/07/22

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Da Goddess @ 03:12

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Happy Birthday, Prince Cuddlecakes Snuggywuggums Squishycheeks

Da Goddess @ 02:37

Prince George is officially a year old today and I am absolutely taken with him. He’s exactly what the world needs in these times of celebrity babies with outrageous names and entitled parents. The darling prince’s parents are — yes, famous, clearly taking their roles as parents seriously and have managed to, despite being some of the most high-profile people in the world, keep his exposure to world at large (in other words, paparazzi and most prying eyes) at a minimum.

I have no doubt this cute tot will grow up to be well-adjusted and down-to-earth because his parents seem to want that for themselves and for him. I think they’re doing a great job of it so far.

Anyhow, because I love Prince George and because I love Queen Elizabeth (seriously, this woman seems like she’d be an absolute stitch to have tea with…like the perfect granny), I figured I’d link to one of my favorite slideshows comparing the two. All you have to do is slide the little widget on the right side of the photo to reveal Great Gran’s photo. Enjoy!

Happy birthday, you adorable boy! May all your princely wishes come true (especially the wish to be let down and run, and the wish to TOUCH EVERYTHING right this very second).

2014/07/15

Finally, the Hummingbirds

Da Goddess @ 02:44

Yes, I did promise long ago to post these photos after the birds had gone (thereby ensuring I wasn’t jinxing their ability to do so). As you know, one baby hummer didn’t make it. The other, though, did. The nest has been empty for a couple weeks. Mom is gone, too. I’m sure she’s around somewhere, it’s just not…here.

Anyhow, without further ado, the nest.

We’ll start with the first fuzzy shot because it’s mom and the babies and it’s feeding time. It sucks, but it serves a purpose.

The fuzzy one

Of course, we have to see where the nest is. It’s on the leg of the carport. It’s about 6 feet up, which is hard to see from the ground (and why I missed it the first time), but was at the perfect height for us to spy on from the den window.

Just an idea of where the nest is

And now we see (with some clarity) what all the fuss is about.

more baby hummingbirds in their nest

Birds in nest

yes this would be another shot of baby hummingbirds in their nest

baby hummingbirds in their comfy nest

Birds. Because that’s what this is all about. That and my not-so-excellent spy skills. Seriously, shooting through the blinds is hard, y’all.

doing my best to act like a spy and shoot through the blinds

Birdies in the nest

mom is protecting the nest

baby hummers with notes

baby hummingbirds with their mom

The babies are getting bigger

And here is the shot from just below the nest. I actually went outside to get this one and got yelled at by the neighbor. She was afraid I was going to disrupt the birds’ lives with my big ol’ camera, my big ol’ lens, and my big ol’ self. First, the birds didn’t see me, I don’t think. Second, mom wasn’t around. Third, it wasn’t like I was trying to touch them (I wasn’t; I wouldn’t). Fourth, the “glare” the neighbor was (supposedly) worried about was non-existent (from the lens, but in full stink-eye mode from BEHIND the camera). Fifth, she made more noise and was more intrusive with her yammering than I was with my camera and my quiet self. Some people just have to be in charge of everything, I guess. Too bad she wasn’t around to save the one bird from its “help, I’m being eaten by a stray cat” fate.

Hummingbird babies in nest

While I had intended to include a photo of the lone survivor, I decided against it. It makes me too sad to look at that shot and see just the one, all alone in the nest. Yes, I understand that nature has its own rules and part of letting nature take its course means sometimes bad things happen and I shouldn’t get all upset about it. BUT I CAN’T HELP IT! So, it turns out one of my own weird rules is to go with my gut and not post an image that makes me sad and blah blah blah.

Was it worth your wait? Probably not. But, really, it kind of was just to see a nest of baby hummingbirds, right?

2014/07/12

Caught in a Trap

Da Goddess @ 22:08

Every once in a while, I go into the spare bedroom to grab clothes or put clothes away. Fletch follows me in. Celia is not allowed in there. Fletch is pretty easy to extract. Celia is not. So I do everything possible to keep her out of that room.

While Mojo was here a few weeks ago, we had gone into the spare room and Fletch had followed us. As we were getting ready to leave, Fletch had basically set up camp in a corner where I couldn’t reach him, and from where he chose not to respond when I called him. So Mojo and I walked out of the room and closed the door on him, with me fully intending to go back in a few minutes to let him out. Well, we got to fixing lunch and talking and then began to play games and it wasn’t until probably two hours later that I remembered he was in there. No fuss or anything from him to remind me. Noooo, that would have been too easy! So I go in and expect to see him sitting by the door, giving me the look of disgust for leaving him in there, and I see him, instead, atop the tallest dresser, lounging as if this were the best damn thing he ever thought of. I pick him up and coo my most sincere apologies to him and he really just couldn’t care less. (Although, to be fair, he did give me a couple of little kisses.) Horrifying “locked in a bedroom for hours” ordeal over. You’d figure he’d be wary of the room. Ha!

This morning, just before King Arthur went out, he’d gone back into the room for something, not checking to see who was behind him and not closing the door as he walked into the room. (I know nothing of this at the time, just filling in the audience as a good narrator should.) King Arthur leaves for his lunch meeting with his investment counselor. I’m doing laundry. I get caught up in a show. I eat some lunch, awaiting King Arthur’s return from his lunch, and I wonder where my Fletch could be. I see Celia, but no Fletch. I call for him, look around to see where he might be hiding. Nothing. I hear no distress cry or scratching, so I figure he’s just napping and “vants to be alone” a la Garbo.

Couple hours later, King Arthur returns home and I’m still puttering around the house. No sign yet of the Fletch monster. Finally, after much discussion, it’s determined that he simply has to be in the back room (or perhaps, in the closet in our bedroom, which is another story for another time) and I head back there, open the door, and there he is! King Arthur’s insistent that he’s not been back there for anything. I know I haven’t. And we’re pretty certain Fletch hasn’t learned to open doors quite yet. Turns out, that, yes, King Arthur HAD been back there before he left the house. Ay yi yi! This is about the time I start planning signage for the door along the lines of: “Check for cat before entering room. Shut door before he enters.” “Check for cat before leaving room!” “Check for cat! Always check for cat!”

Once again, Fletch made it out of there sans trauma. In fact, I’m pretty sure he thought it was simply independent play time in the special Fletch playroom.

Silly cat.

Since then, we’ve been playing with bubbles, which he LOVES! He catches the between his paws. He bites at them. He stomps them with his furry little paws. And then he looks up at me, expectantly, awaiting more. Always more. More. More. More. Please, more bubbles! More. Please! I like bubbles!

Best damn 25 cents I even spent at a yard sale.

Maybe the next one will have signs for the bedroom door.

2014/07/03

Ah, Yes. The Detective

Da Goddess @ 17:24

I dunno about you, but I love detective shows. Always have, always will. The quirkier, the better. The only way detective shows can be even more awesome is if they star an older version of who we’d like ourselves to be. Or who could be someone we know. Like Quincy. Or Matlock. Or even better: Jessica Fletcher.

The best TV detectives are humble, have a sense of humor, are ethically sound (and still somehow occasionally struggle with those ethics when the evidence is at odds with their gut and/or their heart), smart, sometimes cranky, and loveable because they always want what’s best for us.

There are any number of shows I could point to, but Murder She Wrote occupies a special place in my heart because she was a woman and a great role model. Like Miss Marple before her (also once portrayed by Angela Lansbury), she was sharp and focused, but also deeply keen to understand the why behind the crime. She paid great attention to those around her, listening carefully, extracting information from the tiniest of clues because that was the only way to solve the mystery. In short, both gave weight to human nature and the study of their fellow man. They each proved there were advantages to being female: the greatest of which is people are often more willing to talk with you. There’s nothing wrong with appearing gentler, kinder, a bit softer. Those are the very traits that often unarm the ne’er-do-wells of the story. What more could a young girl want from a role model?

For me, it was a lovely moment to realize that being a girl meant I could do more and be more than just serve as a secondary character in a story. Jessica Fletcher gave voice to my longing to be the hero, to be if not the smartest in the room to know when to rely on the input of others and save the day. Finding other people who worship at the altar of JB Fletcher? Icing on the cake.

2014/06/30

LD in Da House!

Da Goddess @ 13:43

Little Dude has arrived! He’s currently on the sofa with Celia in his lap. She picked him back at the shelter and I somehow think she’s only put up with me and with King Arthur in hopes that LD would soon return.

This week we have to finish up paperwork for his recruiter. Yep, you read that right: his recruiter. USMC. He’s doing an early enlistment deal with delayed entry so he can finish his last year in high school. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this. At all. He’s my baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaby booooooy! I just…can’t…with this. Sigh.

Since he got here this morning, we’ve made three stops, had lunch, played with cats, and are watching movies because, well, that’s what we do.

Anyhow, that’s what’s going on here today.

2014/06/27

We All Thought the World of Him – Tony Gwynn

Da Goddess @ 03:00

When I heard the news the other morning that Tony Gwynn had died, it felt like a little piece of all the goodness in the world was lost. Tony was truly one of the Good Guys. He was a talented ball player, that much everyone knows. But what they may not know is his amazing attitude wasn’t just for show; the man was simply a good-hearted man on and off the field. Instead of ending up in the newspaper embroiled in some scandal or for bad behavior, stories about him usually involved his kindness and generosity within his community.

At one point in my life, I lived practically around the corner and down the street from him. His home wasn’t surrounded by ten-foot-tall privacy walls or guarded by beefy security guys. No, he and his family were just another family in the neighborhood. My mom’s best friend at the time actually was one of his neighbors and she often remarked what a nice guy he was. No pretense. No “please don’t come over here, I’m famous…and therefore too busy to deal with you.” He’d wave. He’d offer to help you take your trash cans up your drive.

While other teammates were getting all sorts of press for refusing autographs unless you paid them or for swearing up a storm or throwing a temper tantrum (on field, off field, at nightclubs, at stores) or getting arrested for domestic violence, disturbing the peace, drunk driving, or drugs, Tony was smiling and laughing and doing things that made the world a better place. He remembered names; always took time to acknowledge friends, neighbors, fans, strangers; spent time helping a kid throw a ball properly; leading by example to teach others about the rewards of hard work and loyalty.

One of the best pieces I’ve read about Tony Gwynn was over on Deadspin by David Johnson. If you need a feel-good story for your day, this is the one. It also serves as a great reminder to each and every single one of us that being a decent human being isn’t just a concept, it’s something we should all endeavor to achieve.

Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn. Hope you got a comfy seat in the dugout!

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