End of Week 299 – Sadness, but with a difference…

Hummingbird

Diet and exercise are happening. Not sure if they are helping yet, but I’ve been to the gym 3 times this week which is not bad considering how much medical travel is required.  We are 6 weeks into 2018 and I can’t remember a sadder, darker beginning to a year.

It started with the loss of my cousin Linda (mentioned in an earlier post).  That actually happened December 29th, but I consider anything after Christmas as part of the following year.  Then a man with whom I worked passed away in January.  Then another man, one with whom I worked closely and actually supervised, passed away last Thursday. This passing hit me particularly hard because he died of complications associated with Multiple Myeloma, the same disease that took my mother.

Just about the same time, we heard the news about the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, FL.  Students and teachers lost – 17 in all.  Others injured.  We are still experiencing the fallout from this event.  In some ways this shooting was just like all the others – most of us feeling powerless; politicians sending “thoughts and prayers”; the inevitable reheating of the gun control and mental health debates; blazing social media.  All that has happened before.

But miraculously, wondrously, it didn’t end there this time.

This shooting is different.  It is different because these victims refused to take this quietly.  They refused to retire into the background and simply accept everyone’s good wishes.  The survivors, the parents, the teachers’ families – THEY GOT MAD!  Parents appeared on the news networks, grabbed the microphone, and yelled at the politicians (even directly at SCROTUS).  Surviving students are making their opinions known through the news, holding rallies, making future protest plans.  This time the idiots in Washington DC are going to know what the victims want.  The GOP is saying it is not right to discuss the politics this soon after a shooting.  Really??  Tell that to the protesting students in Parkland.  Tell that to the parents expressing their anguish on the news.  If it’s time for them, IT’S TIME FOR YOU!!

Been a busy week for SCROTUS.  There was the school shooting; then there was the announcement of the indictment of 13 Russians in Mueller’s investigation – charged with election interference.  First, SCROTUS claimed that the indictments vindicated him and his campaign because the 30 page document did not mention the campaign or any collusion.  I guess SCROTUS thought this ended the investigation.  WRONG!  Mueller is just getting started.  But that reaction was predictable.

What wasn’t expected was SCROTUS using the Florida shooting to undermine the FBI, saying they missed signs and clues about the shooter because they were too busy trying to prove his collusion with the Russians.  Using the shooting for his own political gain is despicable.  The man is a monster.  This cannot be overemphasized.

Until next week…..

Advertisements

End of Week 298 –

20170218_173128

This is a shot of my back yard.  Every once in a while deer will drop in for a meal.  I love it because I can see them from where I sit to write.  In fact, this picture was taken through my dining room window.

Seems most of my time now is taken up by my husband’s medical needs; mostly due to transportation.  He’s not an invalid, or someone who has to have 24 hour care, or anything like that.  It’s just that he’s dealing with so many different places, and they all say “have someone drive you”.  Frankly, it irritates him.  Getting him started on dialysis followed by 2 weeks in the hospital.  Now dialysis 3 times a week, reconnecting with the surgeon to fix his fistula, and an upcoming appointment to be evaluated for kidney transplant.  And I have to be available to chauffeur him to all these places.  This is retirement for me.  I guess it’s good that I no longer have the concerns of an office.

I’ve dropped about 5 pounds.  Being home makes it easier to eat less.  This surprises me.  I honestly thought it would be the opposite.  I’m going to the gym as much as I can, but I’ve had to put my personal sessions on temporary hold because of an unpredictable schedule with all the medical places.  Ultimately, I want to be sure I can take care of my husband so I can be sure he hangs around for a long time!

In my last post (which I just published – where was my mind last week??) I mentioned a memo that originated from US Senate republicans on the Intelligence Committee (specifically Nunes).  It was released to the public despite the objections from SCROTUS’ handpicked FBI director.  I also mentioned that the republicans on the committee refused to declassify a memo written by the Democrats.  It appears that memo was sent to SCROTUS so he can decide whether to release it.  I still have not stopped laughing at that.

This has to do with FISA warrants.  It stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  I’m no expert, but apparently there are rules to follow in getting warrants associated with this Act.  The GOP memo alleges the Dems violated those rules in getting FISA warrants.  Some of what it said has already been proven false, and even the GOP-led FBI warned that the memo has significant material omissions.  In other words, the GOP senators cherry-picked the information they would release.

Now SCROTUS has returned the Dems’ memo to them saying he will not release it because it contains classified information.  That did not seem to bother him when he considered the GOP memo.  He said the Dems need to return the memo to him “in proper form”.  To quote Rep. Adam Schiff (D – CA), the hypocrisy of the situation grabs you by the throat.

What it boils down to is SCROTUS and the GOP are hiding something.  Just what are they covering up?  We may never know.

I’m watching the Olympics.  I prefer the summer games, but these are fun too.  I enjoyed the opening ceremony and loved seeing the two Koreas marching in together.  It may not lead to anything else, but for now it is inspirational.  I just don’t think the leader of NK is going to be willing to do anything that makes him seem less powerful, but we’ll see.  His sister certainly looks defiant – not very friendly.

Until next week….

End of Week 297 – Good Riddance to January…

MindAndHeart

(I can’t believe I didn’t hit “publish” on this one!! This is last week’s.)

Seldom have I been happier to see a month go.  January was full of cold, rain, snow, and medical emergencies.  I spent it going to the hospital instead of the gym, and now I feel like I’m starting all over in my workouts.  However, my husband is home and feeling much better so I’m hoping this week will have a few more trips to the gym.  I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to eat better now that I’m away from the food at the hospital.

Today the Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.  The game will be played in Minnesota (in a dome of course).  Kickoff is around 6:30 and the only reason I’m glad is because my son, his fiancée, and her son will be here to watch, and maybe one of my son’s friends.  I ignore football for the most part, but am very glad to see the end of the season.  I’m counting the days to baseball spring training.

The big political news this week was a memo.  A memo by Senator Nunes (R – CA) (SCROTUS sycophant) that had to be declassified by the Senate in order to be released on SCROTUS’ authority.  Nunes wrote it and serves on the Intelligence Committee.  The importance of its contents depends on whom you ask, but I think how this is being handled is more important than what the memo actually says.

First, the FBI and the DOJ both objected to declassification and release.  In fact, the loudest objection came from the FBI Director, who was HANDPICKED by SCROTUS. He stated there are material omissions in the memo’s information.  Then the release was authorized anyway, at which point TwitterLand lit up with SCROTUS claiming it completely vindicates him in the Russia probe.

The Democratic members of the committee drafted a rebuttal that explained what was missing, but we still don’t know what that is because the GOP members will not agree to declassify the rebuttal so it can be released.  It boils down to the GOP telling the country what they want us to hear, and then deliberately keeping us from hearing the whole story.  And it’s really obvious.  I mean, they aren’t even trying to hide what they are doing!  It’s like the GOP Senators are the muscle men for a dictator!

Quick mention of SCROTUS and his first State of the Union Address.  It was full of lies, and most of the time only half the audience was standing and applauding, as expected.  Standard for SCROTUS.  What struck me was how SCROTUS looked while speaking.  I do not like being “talked down to”.  SCROTUS “talked down his nose” at everyone the whole time, and between talking points he grinned while looking down his nose and placing what can only be described as a smirk on his face.  Later he claimed the largest audience of any State of the Union in history.  Not true.  You can read about that from news sources.

The game is on.  Guess I’ll join the family.

Until next week….

End of Week 296 – What Day Is It?

20160614_080241

Ok, it’s another picture that I just like.  Been a rough 2 weeks, so I’m treating myself.

Today my husband has been in the hospital for a week with that infection I mentioned in my last post.  I actually ended up having to call 911 for him last weekend.  We now know what it is.  We still are not sure how he got it.  It is an infection of the lower digestive system called C. Diff.  The bad news is that if it is not treated the consequences can be dire, especially for older people.  The good news is C. Diff. is bacterial, so it can be treated with antibiotics.  His white cell count is back to normal, so I suspect he can come home once his symptoms subside.  The question is, how long will that take?  He is discouraged and frightened. Good thing I retired.  I can take care of the home front, go to the hospital, and not have to worry about what is happening at the office.

The disadvantage to all this is that I’ve made it to the gym only once since all this started. I do some walking at the hospital, but not nearly enough.  I had dropped about 4 pounds, but it is slowly coming back, despite my watching what I eat.  I’ve always needed exercise to lose.

Of course, it has been difficult to follow the news while dealing with these health issues, but I’ve seen enough to know SCROTUS is up to his old tricks.  He always is.  He has now done an about-face on DACA, saying he would be open to giving the Dreamers a path to citizenship.  Before you start thinking this is a change of position, you should realize this “concession” comes at a price.  SCROTUS wants much tighter border security (which is ok) and at least 25 billion for his border wall (which is NOT ok).  The wall would be a complete waste of money.  Historically, the success of physical border fortification is questionable at best, but especially in these modern times.  SCROTUS needs to read up on Hitler’s Atlantic Wall of 1944.  Hitler tried to fortify the northern French border to prevent an invasion from across the English Channel and into places like Normandy.  It wasn’t a continuous, one-piece wall.  But it was a series of physical fortifications using small towns, bunkers, etc. all along the coast.  Plus, Hitler had an army.  As people are fond of saying these days, “Yeah…how’d that work out for you?”

The Atlantic Wall didn’t do much to stop D-Day and that was during WWII.  If SCROTUS builds his wall, it may stop a few individuals for a short time, but it will not even slow modern-day drug runners.  There are just too many ways around that type of barrier.  Air, sea, technology – all give the advantage to those trying to get themselves or some product in the US.

Also, do you remember when SCROTUS was campaigning and he promised to build a wall?  That was not all he promised.  He also promised, many times, that MEXICO would pay for building it.  Now he wants the US taxpayers to spend 25 billion for it.  Basically, SCROTUS is holding the Dreamers for ransom.  I want to hear how he plans to collect from Mexico.  Not some indirect plan where Mexico ends up paying tariffs and other stuff.  That won’t work – Mexico will just trade elsewhere, and will charge us more for other things.  If he cannot get Mexico to pay for it directly, I think we should raise a stink.

The other big SCROTUS news was his trip to Switzerland to talk to other filthy rich business people (mostly men).  Was I the only one who noticed his speech was basically a rehash of one he made earlier in the year?  Some of it was verbatim, like the part “America first does not mean America alone” and the part about putting Americans first just like other leaders should put their citizens first.  He spoke very slowly.  I guess that’s how he stays on script.

The news said he was applauded.  Of course he was – they were all rich business people.  Oh well, at least he got an adoration fix.

Until next week….

End of Week 294 – Figuring Things Out…

ForestScape

No special reason for today’s picture.  I just like it.  That’s reason enough right now.

I am using my food journal.  I am back at the gym.  My training sessions are now Fridays at 8am.  I’m hoping that all this will help me start losing weight and moving better as a beginning to my 5K project.  I also would like to look a lot better by July 1st, which is my niece’s wedding in Virginia.  Maybe with a couple of nice goals I will be able to finally make some progress.  I got on the scale and am up to 285, which I HATE!  But maybe that will turn around if I can stick to this plan.  I am not following any special eating pattern except to not have any more holiday goodies in the house, try to not snack between meals, veggies for lunch, lots of water, and watch portions.  Oh – and of course record what I eat!

As promised, we had a taste of Spring last week.  Yesterday Winter came back, and today it’s much colder.  However, the warmer weather melted the snow and while it’s cold today, it’s not very windy.  I can handle cold if it’s not windy.  My backyard feeders are full.  The usual assortment of doves, chickadees, wrens, house finches, goldfinches, titmice, and of course my downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, have arrived to partake.  Yesterday there were also blue jays.  This morning I saw a couple of robins.  Do robins migrate?  The last few years we have seen robins year-round.  I’ll have to look that up.

I need to start writing, but my mind is taken up with worry for my husband.  He just started kidney dialysis and has become quite ill.  We don’t know if it is a reaction to something used in the dialysis or perhaps he has caught the stomach bug that is going around.  It has him very discouraged, and I think he is scared.  When he gets scared he acts angry – I think it is a “man thing”.

Last week a lot went on politically, but nothing overshadowed a single statement by SCROTUS.  It was reported that during an important meeting on immigration (attended by one democrat and a bunch of republicans) SCROTUS asked why we let so many people from “sh**hole countries” like Haiti and certain countries in Africa in the US.  He said we should get more people from places “like Norway”.  SCROTUS has denied using  “language” – he did not specify what the language was – but I don’t think anyone believes him.  I know I don’t.  The report of this statement has had predictable reaction worldwide.  We have a flat-out racist man occupying the White House.  Those from the insulted countries are mostly dark-skinned while people from Norway are mostly light-skinned.  I hope no one is surprised that SCROTUS feels this way.  He’s pretty much demonstrated it all along.

My personal opinion is that most people living in Norway are not interested in coming here to live.

Until next week….

End of Week 293 – My new world….

Linda2017

This week’s picture is my cousin, Linda.  She passed away December 29th, and her funeral is today (Saturday) in Dallas.  She has been on my mind, of course.  The world is a better place because she was in it, and its light is slightly dimmed with her passing.

This is the end of my first week of retirement.  I still don’t know what “typical” retirement will feel like since New Years was Monday and then we had a snow storm, and then we started dialysis, and then we took down our Christmas decorations, and over all of this loomed what happened to Linda.  However, maybe this is typical retirement – one is around to see and hear and do what used to go on while one was at work, whatever that happens to be.

Right after the snow came another polar vortex.  Our temps are not reaching 20.  The snow is not melting.  Driving is still treacherous.  Hard to believe, but it is supposed to get to the 50s by the end of next week!  I don’t care how cold it is Monday, I am going to the gym that morning.  I have not been at all this week, but that is because of things like snow storms and the beginning of my husband’s dialysis sessions.  But Monday is supposed to be at least tolerable, and I plan to work out and talk to Will about finding a new time for my weekly session.  Now that I’m retired I don’t think 7am will cut it; 8am would be good.  I don’t want it to be too late since I don’t want to eat breakfast until afterward.

This will be the official beginning of my 5K project with the goal of being able to walk 5K by the end of 2018.  I know the first thing I’ll have to do is keep a food journal, so I ordered exactly that.  I also know it will be like starting all over again after having a week off, but I’ve done this before.  I can do it again.

The big news this week politically was the release of a book called “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, formerly of the SCROTUS White House.  This is supposed to be a non-fiction work full of tell-all details regarding the first year of this so-called administration.  I have not yet seen the book, but those who have read it say it paints SCROTUS in a most unfavorable light.

So, naturally, SCROTUS has taken to Twitter and spoken to the press saying Mr. Wolff is a liar and the book is total fiction.  Personally, I take whatever SCROTUS says and believe the opposite, or discount what he says entirely.  Not sure if I will buy the book or not.  I was amused to hear that SCROTUS sent Wolff a cease and desist letter to keep the book from being released – so they made sure the book was released a few days early! LOL!

Besides the book, SCROTUS may be irritated by the fact that North and South Korea seem to be heading toward constructive talks without the benefit of SCROTUS or the USA participating.  This will definitely make it more difficult for SCROTUS to start a war with NK.  Of course, he always has the middle east to mess with.

Until next week….

End of Week 292 – Changes. More Than Expected…

HummingbirdSmallActs

I had a difficult time deciding which picture to display on this post.  Today is December 30 and seldom have I been in a time of more transition.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 85th birthday.  I miss her terribly, and was having my usual hard time with the day when I found out one of our cousins – one with whom we are all close – passed away the same day.  Linda was our family historian and a community activist.  Everything she did benefited someone else.  This was not expected, and we are all in shock.

However, yesterday was also my last day at work.  Although I was dealing with remembering mom, I was not yet aware of Linda’s passing and was managing to stay fairly cheerful as people wished me well on my retirement.  Then, at the very end of the day, my son walks into the office with roses for me, and insists on walking me out!  He actually  made my coworkers cry (at least one of them).  I have a wonderful son!

More transition – here we are at the end of the year.  Tomorrow is New Years Eve.  I am looking forward to spending it with my husband, at home, watching Twilight Zone on SYFY, eating cheese and crackers with cold cuts.  This is our tradition; neither of us is into crowds and noise and partying.  We will be cozy and warm and enjoying the peace and quiet.

And so I chose a picture I’ve used before, one that has always represented my mother to me, and one that I now realize perfectly describes how my cousin Linda lived.  I believe what it says. Maybe now I will have time for “small acts.”

There isn’t much happening politically due to the holidays.  I did read about something that made me laugh.  Supposedly, the reelection committee for SCROTUS and the RNC have launched a fund-raiser that opens with a survey.  The question asks what the taker thinks of SCROTUS’ performance as president so far.  The story I read said the response choices were something like fantastic, very good, good, and “other”.  Their point was that there are no negative terms included in the choices.  “Other” can mean anything.  There is a place for comments, but you have to give a LOT of personal information, including contact information.  I have not seen this solicitation personally, but I hope I get the chance to confirm the description.

Until next week….