This is too good not to share. Kristie, commenting on Ken's "Living the life in Saint-
Aignan" reported the following............a perfect description of our peculiar current dependence/addiction......
I'm glad your family is no longer in harm's way, and don't want to downplay the dangers of extreme weather, but I laughed a lot yesterday reading this on facebook, "As Hurricane Irene batters the East Coast, federal disaster officials have warned that Internet outages could force people to interact with other people and neighbors for the first time in years. Residents are bracing themselves for the horror of awkward silences & unwanted eye contact. FEMA has advised: “Be prepared. Write down possible topics to talk about in advance. Sports, the weather. Remember, a conversation is basically a series of Facebook updates strung together.”
The big day is here.......the Lottery drawing for the Erma Bombeck books has been completed. I must confess that the cats were not totally effective at the job so I did use the Random Number Picker and here are the lucky Winners:
Blissed Out Grandma
Anonymous - (Ida)
Now, if you really want the book you must be willing to email me your addresses. (I know yours, Ida. )
email@example.com (the first character is a lower case "L")
Congratulations to the lucky winners and I do hope you enjoy dear old Erma.
And so ends another breath-taking episode in the melodrama of "It's Always Something".
Thank you all for participating so enthusiastically......I really wish I had a book for each of you.
Now, I am going back to bed.....believe it or not I woke up at 5 AM with the urgent need to pee, let Baskin out and, as long as I was up, to rush these results to you.
It just occurred to me that, at some point, I had better close down the sale of lottery tickets for my old Erma Bombeck books.....so after midnight tonite, Wednesday, August 24 no more applicants please....it's no use begging.....I am preparing the tuna-scented scraps of paper with all the names and will put Gussie and Winnie to work tomorrow to choose the 3 lucky winners. As soon as I know, I will make the big pronouncement.
By the way, to Linda, who worried excessively that my commenter, "Anonymous" might win the drawing......worry not, my dear.....I happen to have inside informtion that "anonymous" is actually my dear friend, "Ida" who is having some problem getting Google to recognize her.
Incidentally.....to the potential winners....be advised that I will be sending the books at Book Rate so there is no telling what month or year they may arrive in your mail box....I have had to curtail my lavish sending of stuff via the USPS since their rates became astronomical. Be assured though that the book will be in the mail.
The only other bit of fluff I have for you is the decision I have made to NOT get my knee replaced at this time. Yes, yes......I hear you all some booing and some applauding.....nothing is ever simple, you know
I have several sound reasons for what appears to be a cowardly decision. When I discussed this with my guru Cardiologist he suggested that I carefully evaluate how much of my general discomfort (misery) can be blamed on my knee and that proved to be a brilliant idea. See, the thing is, without getting too much into the whiny, poor-me department, I hurt in a number of places.........my mended Femur still reminds me that it was once broken in 3 places, both my hip joints are defiled with arthritis and a number of my lower (and a few middle and upper) vertebrae also are in the clutches of same, so when I say "Ouch" I am talking not just to my knee but to a number of other individual members of the team. I figured it out that the knee pain is only about 20% of the package and that helped me decide that it wasn't worth surgery right now. Also, my glutes (the gluteus maximux muscles in the cheeks of your fanny, for those who don't talk abs, pecs and glutes.) have become a quivering mass of jello from neglect and could not possibly get me thru the physical therapy until I can refurbish them with some exercises (which I started two weeks ago).
And, it isn't as though I have given up my only chance at knee replacement. The surgeon and his staff eagerly await my next phone call wherein I yell, "Uncle" and beg for a fix. And, since he has just performed the magic on a 95 year-old I have a few years of leeway left. Meanwhile I am dutifully doing my series of exercises and hoping I can get in shape if I decide to proceed later. They have already been a bit helpful and I am not yelling "ouch" nearly as much as I was.
So, all in all, everything is OK. (Oops....italics all of sudden and I can't seem to make them go away) I am not sorry I went through the process ............I really feel better for having taken some action and if it got me back to doing my exercises it will have been worth it for sure.
That's all f-f-f-folks for today. Tune in tomorrow for the lucky winners.
And to my beloved cousin, Loni, who really knows how to grab my attention ......as soon as I figure out the shelf life of my Blueberry Breakfast Bread I will consider another lottery.
If it appears that I don't know where I am, I must tell you that you are absolutely right. And not just about whether or not I should try out for a new knee......Yesterday and today I wrote 2 different blogs trying to elucidate a particular situation and neither is publishable.....I still haven't got it right. I will no doubt try again later, but meanwhile I just had an idea of something I could write about without any debate or dithering around.
If you are a faithful reader you will remember something I blogged about a few weeks ago, and if you aren't I guess it is unkind of me not to remind everyone that I went to the half-off-books website recently and ordered a few Erma Bombeck books for old-times sake. Re-reading them has not necessarily made me a better blogger or even a better person, but fortunately it has also not discouraged me from ever blogging again as I feared it might. However, here I am with three more books that I cannot possibly cram into any bookcase and I just had the brilliant thought of giving them away. But not to the Goodwill.
Is there anyone out there who would enjoy perusing an old copy of a book by the female Blogger's Idol, Erma Bombeck.? If so let's make a big deal out of it and have a lottery. Now, I am well aware that the last lottery I held in which I offered some ancient issues of the Saturday Evening Post was very badly executed. As I recall, I gave them to the first person who commented that they wanted them .......completely unfair.....I was young and innocent, blogwise, at the time and didn't know any better. So, this time, should anyone want this strange offering, I will write each of your names on a torn scrap of paper, dab them all liberally with tuna fish, blindfold Winnie or Gussie and have them fish three entries out of a basket at random and with no cheating whatsoever.
Providing no one cares to comment or bid I will just have to give them to the Goodwill and if fewer than 3 of you show any interest, then someone in the 1 or 2 of you who do respond will get more than one prize. Hmmmm.....this is turning out like that old W.C. Field's joke about the first prize being a week in Philadelphia and the 2nd prize being 2 weeks in Philadelphia....or something like that.
That just about does me in for today........now I have to go in and bake a Blueberry Fruit Bread. "Why do you have to do that", you may ask, and I will respond like the Sarcastic Bastard Blogger person does and say, "Because I damn well feel like it !" ....or something like that.
The real title of this should be something like....."A Million Thanks"....directed, of course, to all you beloved people who leaped into the fray to cheer me on or warn me NOT to) in my struggle to reach a decision about doing a knee replacement.
The situation is turning somewhat into a farce whereupon I discuss my concerns with someone and make a decision to go forward, then wake up the next morning and stagger out of bed beating myself about the forehead and ears with my cane shrieking, "No, no, no.......I can't, I can't".
I figure I have until a week from Thursday to finally nail it down since that is the date of my first appointment at the Red Cross to stockpile the first pint of my blood for the occasion.
However, in reading and rereading your wonderful comments of support and encouragement I realized that I hadn't made it clear to you what the real basis of my doubts and fears was. I have no shudders or quivers regarding the actual surgery. Hell, they can do whatever they damned please to my bod as long as I am not there, or, if I am forced to be there, as long as they have saturated me with some stuff that makes me feel nothing while floating comfortably above the operating table. Before I did my research on the procedure i thought that they had to saw off the ends of both your thigh bone and your leg bone, insert the prongs of some intricate metal device into both bones and bolt them into place with all sorts of hardware. Even that prospect did not upset me.
Then I learned that the real process does not require such carpentry as sawing and hammering.........apparently a couple of properly shaped metal caps are simply glued onto the ends of your various leg bones, said caps being lined with fake plastic cartilege etc. and hinged into position neatly and there you go, dancing the Turkey Trot down the corridor with the medical staff pirouetting and following you like in a Woody Allen movie. Almost something to look forward to.
No, my cowardice and fears, such as they are not the usual ones about pain and mutilation......that stuff I can handle with no trouble.....they are for later that day or perhaps the next day when all the dregs of that wonderful joy juice they pumped into me have dissipated and two falsely cheery faces are falsely grinning at me over the bed sides. I see them making beckoning gestures, folding down the bedrails and trying to tempt me into taking a walk down the hall with them NOW.........migawd.... before the paraphernalia glued to my leg bones has even had a chance to set much less settle in ......and refusing to take my shrieks of "NO" for an answer. I cringe in shame as I envision the non-existent muscles of my body betraying me and dissolving me into a spaghetti-like pile of limbs on the shiny linoleum floor, requiring 3 or 4 strong male nurses and several technicians to raise my bulk up and drape me unceremoniously back onto the waiting walker......where the 2 physical terrorists await me eagerly.
Now, you must understand that I have not actually enacted this scene yet in any of my various trips to the hospital......I usually docilely obey and find myself staggering down corridors aghast at the very idea but too weak to protest. And up to now there have always been enough strands of muscle fiber to do the job.....but that was when I was only 79 or even 83. I have no confidence that those so called muscle fibers are still able to rise to the taskand the lack thereof concerns me mightily.
I have been very lazy recently resulting in a lot of loss of muscle tone. To fail at the serious job of rehab is where my uneasiness lies. And I am not really being unrealistic. I know the importance of exerting every muscle for 30 or 40 minutes at least 2 times a day to regain strength and control during the weeks following such surgery and I have some doubts about whether I can manage it. I keep peering down into the depths of my being to check out my reserves and see nothing there but the empty bottom of the bucket. Sigh. I am having trouble dredging up even a bit of enthusiasm.
And then there are the moments when I think I may be able to do it after all........I can hardly wait to see how this all comes out.
This may hurt you more than it does me.........if I have managed to fool you into believing that I have some "answers" to the mystery of Life or anything else, well......shame on you. Gullible, that's what you are. And I am all of the awful adjectives that get flung onto a Con person which slide off of his or her slick, slippery surface.. Sorry about that, but you enter Blogville at your own risk you know and read and believe at your own peril. There probably should be one of those "Abandon hope".....signs over the doorway or some such warning......and it seems to me that I HAVE warned you in the past that I am no guru nor am I really Pollyanna..........At this very moment, I am more like Shit-for-Brains cross bred to the Cowardly Lion.
I have just passed control to the sniveling wretch who occupies the other half of this hellish duplex known as "LO" and she has come up with a number of very meaningful arguments about why I shouldn't have knee replacement surgery. Yes, at this moment in time I am waffling, I am reconsidering, I am copping out. I have fallen out of the ranks of "mench" and am roiling about in the gutter with the fallen Shlubs and Nebbishes of the world. Tomorrow I will go to my Cardiologist and friend wearing a paper bag over my head to hide my shame and calmly discuss my options with him. I think I may have simply overestimated my abilities and fooled even my own Self......duh. Talk about gullible......
We will have to wait and see where this whole melodrama ends up......I I do believe I have enough time to change my mind 6 more times and back again before actually checking in. Meanwhile I will continue to have conversations with all of my various joints and arthritic members and will try to ascertain whether I am really up for this bit or not.
The major question right now is......if I chicken out, do I have to return all those good wishes and words of high praise you have heaped on me? I mean.....are they like wedding presents or can I keep them anyway?
Now, before I utter a single word I must apologize in advance for ruffling even a single feather of my adored bloggers. I know that many of you spend hours ruminating about how you can dress up and fancify the look of your Blog Page. It happens that I do not understand this overwhelming need to embellish but, hey, that's just me. If your blog is mostly words my thought is that they should be somewhat legible.....call me crazy.....
I applaud creativity wherever it pops up. In fact I consider it to be a great life force next to Peasant Bread, Baba Ganouj and Chocolate. Ok.... Having said that I will go on to the main premise here.
Dammit, can we just be a bit more considerate of those of us who have to spend much of our time groping around for things? (no pornographic meaning intended, I swear). There should be an Unwritten Law somewhere that words are required to be in Black on White or, at the very least, on Pale Beige. For some reason, even white on black is not really nifty. I seem to remember from one of my classes in Graphic Design that Yellow on Black is the most readable for signs of great import like "Caution....Road Ends Here- 1000 Foot Drop Begins", "Danger -Curves Impossible to Navigate Except by Tricycle" and "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here". However, for something that goes on for paragraphs even that combination is not recommended.
I am not asking for pity here, folks......just common sense. I know you don't even think about it when you conquer the eye charts with 20/20but choosing to print your words in black but on a solid red or maybe brown background you are kind of defeating your purpose at communicating with the fuzzy sighted of the world.
I must admit that I have actually had to give up trying to read some of my favorite blogs because they are illegible to me. Sob. And even some which simply have a pattern under the type can be precursors of a migraine. For instance, how would you like to try to read, say "War and Peace", if a child had spilled cherry Koolaid over the pages and also festooned every one of them with scribbles of multi- colored crayon? (Perhaps I exaggerate a mite, but that was for effect.) My message here, dear ones, is.......whenever possible...
After days of doing the eeeny, meeeny thing and pulling petals off of daisies with Yesses" and "Nos"and tossing coins and muttering, "Heads I do it, tails I don't" I am sick of the whole undecided bit and have made my appointment for a replacement part. Now I plan to try to forget about it till September 21 when I will probably/possibly /maybe show up at the hospital for knee surgery.
That's all I have to report right now.......there will undoubtedly be More Later.
Get ready for a bunch of, "Omigawd, what have I done?"
Back in the Good Old Days my headline for today was a wonderful song recorded by Benny Goodman ( I think)....I don't expect anyone else to remember it (or to remember Benny Goodman for that matter......you poor deprived souls) but it doesn't really matter....it simply describes the waffling condition of my brain at the moment........To Replace the damned Knee or Not to Replace the Knee.........that is the question.
Actually I am almost 98% decided to do the deed......I am sure it will make the rest of my life much easier and more pleasant..........only 2 or 3 things deter me........one is that I cringe at the thought of the Physical Terrorists who get to own and torture me for weeks, nay months, afterward; another is the the 5am Hospital Vampire Lady who wakes you every morning for the 3 weeks demanding your blooood; and I guess the other thing is the fact that I must consider the faint possibility that I will expire at some point before I have really gotten my full and complete money's worth out of the appliance and the experience.....ooooh, I would hate that!
Anyway, I will make my final decision probably tomorrow, but in the meantime I must thank all of you for your touching and dear encouragements and comments. You really have helped me a lot, in particular the one sort of negative comment in which "imqtipi" warned me about her mother's unfortunate experience. I am so sorry that her Mom had a bad time of it, but her email to me reminded me of a very important fact and reinforced my own conviction of how crucial the Physical Therapy is to one's recovery from any of these processes. Her Mom apparently had little tolerance for pain and agony and consequently did not force herself to honor and perform the therapeutic maneuvers diligently. Consequently, she never really recovered.
Because so many of you have mentioned your own knee and/or hip problems and the possibility of needing a replacement at some point I feel it behooves me to stress how utterly important it is that you surrender yourself to that bit of suffering for a short time rather than be left with an unnecessary long term disability.
Anyone who has had any kind of surgery knows that, rather than letting you languish in your hospital bed, (hmmm....those 2 terms are in total contradiction to each other.......languish....hospital bed.....ha) the sadists who run things make you get up and walk the day of the surgery or at least the very next day and show no mercy. But it IS for your own good no matter how awful it feels and how much you think you are going to die and how much you enjoy thinking about what you will do to those people once you get your strength back. I verbally resisted every effort the therapists made to rehab me after my broken hip in 2010, but fortunately, my single brain cell of good sense forced me to exert myself to the fullest despite the pain and discomfort and weakness etc. and I know that is why I had such a great recovery. I still hear stories of people much younger than I am who are still in wheel chairs for their lifetime because they could not or would not suck it up and do the damned exercises because they hurt.
Forgive me for lecturing like somebody's Mother, but this is so important I decided I wanted to blog about it. And I do NOT mean to talk you out of any of these procedures but rather to encourage you to be brave and go for it. I just want you to hear my voice echoing in your ears while you are lurching down the halls groaning to NOT give up or give in.....it'll all be well worth it a few months down the line and, actually for the rest of your life. I swear. And you will be so grateful to the therapists and SO proud of yourselves.
Now let's see if can put my money where my mouth is........
Maverick of a weird, but wonderful family. Have managed to stay alive for an astounding 86+ years kept alive by a passionate interest in many things and a sense of humor.
Have led 2 or 3 separate lives,the first 40 years as a starving artist, ceramist, and graphic designer. At age 40 a matchbook cover that said "Be A Computer Programmer" inspired me to go back to school and emerge as a binary fanatic. Loved my work, had a wonderful 20 year career as programmer and trouble shooter. At the same time I had the chance to meet, befriend and marry Jazz Cornetist Pete Daily,an idol of my youth, whom I had worshipped in my young life. Lost him to cancer after 11 wonderful (and sometimes awful) years. Retired in 1989 and had 20 years of fantastic travel adventures all over the world. Now I crochet afghans, tend my garden, my 3 cats, the neighborhood birds and squirrels, a flock of voracious hummingbirds and assorted wildlife like possums and raccoon families who come nightly to my Porch Buffet. A great life, and it ain't over yet !....(after all, I have just discovered Blogging....)