Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I kinda feel guilty to be in my 50's

Where I work by day, there are two young people who are very, very ill. One has autoimmune kidney failure. One had surgery for a brain tumor today.

These are YOUNG people under 30. They are fighting for their very lives.

I also know someone who fought for their life in their early 30s. The strength she gained, once recovered, supports her to today, where she is now healthy again.

All I can do for them is pray, really. Send good vibes. Wish for them recovery and who knows - maybe they can be healthy too. It might take a while - but I hope, I pray, they are healthy again as soon as they can be.

Looking at their struggle, its hard to be over fifty and have some problems, but nothing like this. NOTHING like this.

It gives me pause, in these shorter days, with less light from the sun to keep me balanced. We're going to try to do some things for these two young men, hopefully help them in some small way. So, if I concentrate on the giving, and less on the receiving, this holiday season just might be worth the paper it's printed on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What's happening to America?

Someone on another board asked that question - it hit me right between the eyes.

It is really odd living in America right now. So many stories flying about, conspiracy theories, somewhere between this and that is the truth, and we won't even know when it slaps us across the face.

We'll just be dumbfounded.

Like we are right now. Like we have been.

Those of us that didn't vote for the current adminstration are just hoping (I guess I am hoping we survive the rest of GWB's term...).

But what then? another election left to vote for the lesser of two weevils? It usually is. It was last time.

What's happening to America? A lot of fear, a lot of shaking of heads. Just hoping more excuses for martial law don't crop up. And also hoping that in the meanwhile, those who would destroy us (before we do it ourselves) don't hit. And hoping that the current hurricane Ophelia is not severe. Nor the next earthquake. Nor the next crop of tornadoes. Blizzard. Heatwave.

We already have drought in the north. Flooding in the south.

And all through it an inexorable feeling that everything is spinning out of control.

Sorry.... not too confident tonight.

Friday, September 09, 2005

After the Aftermath

We have a country in crisis. People are displaced, dead or defiant. Other people are trying to figure out how best to help. Other people are spending a lot of time spinning the media to wind their way.

The real estate records for the city of New Orleans are wet in a basement.

Whole towns and cities in Mississippi are just ... gone.

The gulf coast is a shambles beyond comprehension.

And yet, the glib and the powerful are spinning... and spinning.

Thousands of people were herded to the Superdome, where there were no great stores of water and food awaiting them.

It reminded me of the civil defense shelters of my youth. They always had these barrels of emergency water, emergency food, and supplies. You knew where they were by the CD sign. In those days we feared a nuclear attack. This disaster called Katrina affected an area the size a nuclear bomb would affect. But where were the emergency supplies?

If GWB declared a state of emergency, FEMA had the go ahead to mobilize on Sunday. Where were they? What did they wait for? Volunteers were halted for clearance. Turned back, told to wait. For what? They didn't get the request for help? They got the request for help the second GWB declared the state of emergency!

FEMA as gatekeeper is a failure. Ordinary citizens stared at their television sets agape, horrified, donating money, donating miles, wondering how more they could help. People flew their planes, helicopters, drove miles and miles to help. But FEMA needed confirmation there was a problem? Was anyone from FEMA on the ground in the center of things to make an assessment? It sure doesn't sound like it.

Now, I look at this and wonder - what about hurricane Ophelia? The next earthquake in California? The next volcano eruption in the northwest? Will we finally be ready to respond then? And with what resources? Over 50 billion for this horrific disaster alone. And, where is that money coming from? What part of the budget has that slush fund?

I think the time of being horrified has just begun.

What do I want to see?

I want to see the president impeached. The buck stops right there.

I want to see our foreign issues closed so we have resources here at home for such catastrophes.

I want FEMA taken out from the Homeland Security department and put back the way it was. Revamped. Reorganized. Reinstituted as an actual functional organization that has a little respect for the local authorities.

As one more voice in the wilderness, that is what I want.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I am speechless, so I will just post links.

Meanwhile, fiddling while Rome burns:

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Food Fight

Often anymore, when I go into any food service facility, I peer at the menu with a jaundiced eye. The phrase that rolls around in my head is 'the restaurants are trying to kill us!!'

So last Thursday I went out to dinner with some friends. True, I am more conscious about this now that I am on a doctor supervised eating plan. But still, I examined the menu finding this platter, that meal deal, this special. What I ended up eating was a stuffed taco, with steak and chihuahua cheese. It was VERY good. I was quit
e satisfied. Also had a diet cola with it. The others I ate with all had platters and meal deals.

Here is the thing. No one at that table is thin. Some are in better shape than me, but no one is thin.

So, I had my one taco, ate it as slowly as I could, and still was done quite before everyone else. i did have some chips and salsa, but it was quite evident, I was done. And it felt very, very weird. I didn't have the rice, beans, etc., mostly because they had ordered an appetizer platter and I had a couple small taquitos off of that before my stuffed taco.

I surprised myself by not having
Flan, which is God's gift to egg custard. But, it was odd - I had enough.

Rare, for me. I find that thankfully, that is happening more and more. Of course yesterday at a City picnic, I ate TOTALLY WRONG. Today I am not much better. But, less sugar today may help the situation.

The restaurants where with every entree you get soup, and/or salad, a basket of bread, an entree the size of Montana, with sides of potato or other veggies, and a dessert is what is standard in a lot of restaurants. Salads are HUGE. NO ONE needs that much salad.

The soup and salad alone from the above dinner would be enough for anyone. It really would. But we are so used to seeing it on menus we accept it as the normal thing to do. Then when you break out of that mold, and try to make their menu fit into a plan, it can work, but it feels odd, it looks odd, and doesn't seem to compute. Unless you really keep a handle on it.

Whether it is appropriate or not to make this VERY personal, maybe I should post this here...

When you have this much weight to lose, any accountability can help. And I can't say I have been totally faithful, either. Some sugar free things are totally too much fat - and vice versa. Sugar and fat free things are rare, but they're out there. So, that's what I am bringing into the house. I figure, it HAS to make a difference from what I was bringing in before.

Also have been trying to eat more veggies, that's where my plan really falls down. But I surprised myself last week by constructing a very tasty veggie bowl for myself, (am NOT saying the SAL__ word - it's such a turnoff I can't even think about it). So, I will have to do that again, since it was soo good.

The other thing I have to start buying is low fat cheese. This is going to be a difficult thing. Being the cheese hound that I am, I LOVE CHEESE. Good for my calcium requirements. Not so good for the OTHER requirements!

Of course. restaurants do not serve low fat cheese, sugar free ice cream bars - so again, this is what I have to put in my home larder so I don't do as MUCH damage. This is war, and I need all the arsenal I can get.

When I get unsure of my servings, I try to look at my hand. It is the best portable reference anyone has. If a serving of meat, or nuts, wouild fit in or is the size of the palm of my hand, then that is the right size. It makes a kind of universal sense. Our hands, designed to measure out our food. What a concept. Maybe it's just a mental trick I play with myself, but I use so many of those anyway, one more won't matter.

Good luck, everyone, and wish me luck too!

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