Saturday, July 29, 2006

I am a product of modern civilization.
I returned yesterday from a nine day exile at the Castle. Q drove me home Herself and re-provisioned my larder. King Gary wanted to come along but the Niece and Nephew and the Royal dog needed him to remain with them to provide for their specific and expensive tastes.

The chamber I slept in had at least 6 machines that flashed red, green, blue and white lights all night long. During the day all the machines in the place played a cacophony of sounds. There were analog and digital phones ringing and talking. ("Pick up. It's me. Can you hear? It's the phone.") There was a Blackberry and two cell phones and a pager. All made different noises. Plus the dryer buzzer and the Royal dog alerting the troops of imminent danger to the household.

Five hours on the silent floor or nine days at the reverberating Castle. Which would I choose? The place with air conditioning.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dan's azalea is dead.
In 1990 I sprinkled a couple handfuls of his "cremains" under the vivid pink flowering bush I planted outside the family room window. The rest were shipped to the family burial grounds at Prairie HIll. His mother wanted him in the ground between his father and her. He would have made a face at that but I honored her wishes. Just kept the smallest amount of him planted close for whimsey.

I never expected that bush to die. It is six feet from a PJM Rhododendron planted by Q about that time. If you stood Dan up where the azalea bush was planted and knocked him over on his side his head would be in the rhododendron. That dang plant is flourishing.

Sedum will fill in the azalea area once the dead bush is gone. I can only hope Dan's ashes shifted somehow and are nourishing the PJM. Maybe his spirit stood up and was knocked over onto the nearby bush. But it is more likely Mother Maybelle got to St.Peter and learned I had separated her son at death.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I had a good day Friday. A nice fellow delivered my monthly groceries and I got all the perishables stowed away. He placed the rest of the $200. order on a bench in the breezeway. I've always enjoyed cooking but because my health is declining am trying to eat prepared food. One advantage is you don't have to open a dozen shrink wrapped packages.
I keep all manner of implements in my kitchen to force open sealed packages. A vise to open bottles. A box cutter to cut through plastic. Wrenches and jar holders and grippers. My kitchen looks like a garage.
I scrambled eggs enough for three breakfasts to alternate with oatmeal for the weekend. I foot mopped the floor by the sink that kept sticking to my feet. In the past this would have indicated a need to mop but lately pushing a wet rag around puts off that chore for awhile.
My highlight was reading the blogs and working the AARP jigsaw puzzle. A friend from high school called to share several stories about calamities that happened to people we know. My dear neighbor Archie schmoozed with me on the front porch about the drought. I arranged my medications for allergies and restless leg syndrome, pleased that a three month supply was stockpiled.
So when I went to the breezeway to pull out a box of caramel popcorn to munch on I was surprised to find myself down on the rough brick floor and unable to get up. Five hours later I was rescued. (See www.queenmediocretiaof for the made for t.v. description.) But other than the fall it was a good day.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Gypsy Curse.
When my last husband lost his job he was three months from tenure. He was recovered from Hodgkins Disease but they said they were cutting back. When the president of the company's son (age 21) took over Dan's job (Dan was 47) I got mad. Dan tried to prove discrimination but that never got off the ground. So it was necessary for me to focus my anger on his company by what is now known in our family as the Gypsy Curse.
Within a short time his immediate boss fell over by the copy machine dead. We went to his wake.
The company went into bankruptcy.
The president died.
That was enough for me. I never inquired as to the 21 year old replacement. I was too appalled at the results of my own power.
My son married a woman after a brief internet pretend relationship. A few months later I got a call.
'Mom I need you to do that Gypsy Curse thing."
"That's just our family joke."
"Just do it."
I couldn't but I did go with him to get his divorce and she wouldn't look me in the eye.

My Apple Cube has I Tunes and my daughter fixed a playlist for me of songs at hand. I'm getting pretty tired of the Chicago score although Cellophane is a favorite. I don't hear many songs nowadays that I want to hear again. When I was a teenager I listened to Tony Bennett sing Boulevard of Broken Dreams until my mother's eyes crossed. Next was Mario Lanza and Be My Love. Meatloaf surprised me with I will do Anything For You (But I Won't Do That). It wasn't until I heard some reviewer criticizing Michael Boulton that I realized what these fellows all had in common. They strained at their high notes. But it was music to my ears.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Writing doesn't come easy to me. Even silly stuff takes me hours of thinking and editing to make it bearable. Someone has always done it better and funnier. Although I graduated with a B.J. I knew I would never work in journalism. I was not at all curious and preferred not to seek out the truth. So I opted for the next best thing to a career in the fifties and married an investigative reporter.

For $85 a week he searched out political crime in the Illinois state capitol. For $5 more we moved to Albuquerque where he reported on murders and rapes. And then on to Houston for another $5 to write about the space program.
Two children were born and raised without access to medical insurance.

But this is about me. Once I wrote a satirical piece and showed it to him. His eyes swept over the page and he placed it down without comment. Oops we're back to him. Well, while we are here let me say he was born with a black cloud over his head that never left. I was born happy. I never noticed his black cloud even when it was raining on my parade. Fortunately he found an even happier girl and once I figured it out, I came back to St. Louis and became a Social Worker. He eventually died. Watch for future post on " The Gypsy Curse."

Friday, July 07, 2006

I've been looking for blogs written by post polio survivors and out of 8000 google hits come up with none so far. I'm about half through the list. I have read several blogs who refer to a post-polio parent or acquaintance. This caused me to veer off into their archives and before I knew it I felt like a neighbor: they wrote so compellingly. And I had to comment back to them as neighbors must.
This has occupied much of my time and kept me from writing here. In other words blurking has kept me from blogging.
But from now on I will blog more and blurk less.
I carry the fear of producing a site like Adult Acne where the owner never posts even though she has a darling dog named Rickey to photograph and volumes of entertaining stories to tell. Her site is now dead to me but an example to all.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Word to lurker: Initials are not vulgar to me. Slang is. West coast people know this. Midwest women must be taught this by their husbands.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I opened this blog thinking I needed a blog myself to comment on the well written blogs I was reading. After I did that I noticed VISITORS to the site. So amazing. Could my daughter have gone there 18 times to see what I was writing? She denies this. But she is the one who wrote the following funny and entirely authentic entry on her own site. So you know what she is capable of.

"In Which We Almost Kill the Queen Mother"

The Queen Mother, you will be surprised to hear, contracted polio when she was 13. This was after the iron lung but before the polio vaccine. The polio affected her legs until college, and it affected her arms permanently. She has one good opposable hand on one arm and one good bendable elbow on another, and she soldiers on. She creates cunning patent-pending assistive devices and adapts to any setback. (I just think it is so handy she had polio just to be a good role model for me when I got MS. Always thinking ahead.)

Anyway, she always joked the reduced ability in her arms made her compensate by developing uncanny strength in her legs. We called her "Mighty Leg" in my youth. She is much like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, all powerful legs and scrawny arms.

At any rate, we were in the car a few days ago and I hopped in to a fast food place, leaving her in the car. I came out five minutes later and was puzzled when I unlocked the door. "Huh," I thought, "I thought I left that unlocked."

Mom looked at me panting. "A gentle reminder," she said, "when you leave babies, dogs and mothers in the car in the 90 degree heat, CRACK A WINDOW."

She explained that when the guy parked next to us unlocked his car door with his remote keyless entry, it locked the car doors on our car. So she was trapped, she said.

She continued, "I was considering drinking my own urine."
"Ooo. Sorry." I said.
"I might have chewed off my foot, but I couldn't see what good that would do."

Then we began to speculate how she would have gotten out if the car had not been locked, since she can't operate the seat belt. I still think she could have kicked out the windshield with the Mighty Legs. Of course, then she would have just had her legs stuck in the windshield, but there would have been air.