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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chemo is Forever

I’m done with chemo, but it’s not done with me. It’s been almost three years since I finished chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer. But the effects linger on.

I don’t really mind the hair thing. Before chemo my hair was fine and straight.  Now it is extra fine and a little wavy. That’s good. It is also very thin which is not so good but it is livable.

What really irritates me is the lasting effect of Taxol on my taste buds. My sense of taste has never got back to where it was.  The worst part is that there are some days when everything tastes bitter – all day.  Bitter breakfast cereal is a bummer. Some days everything is pretty bland. What I don’t understand is why this comes and goes. 

Obviously this is not truly a problem; it is just an irritation that I want to rant about today.  I’ve been cancer free for three years so I can’t complain, but it does bug me so I kvetch a little.

End of rant.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grow Up!!!

That’s my response to Trump protesters.

Setting fires and breaking things won’t change anything.  You don’t like Trump as president?  Throwing a tantrum isn’t the answer.  Do something positive.

Make a plan.
Take civic responsibility.
Be attentive to government.
Write reasoned and rational letters to your legislators.
Get involved in or establish a reasoned and rational political movement.

Remember the old slogan from the ‘60’s?
If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Changes in Latitude; Changes in Attitude (Love ya Jimmy Buffett)

I’ve lived in the North most of my life: Chicago area at 41 55’ N or Twin Cities at 44 56’ N where the winters were cold and nights were long.  My favorite day of the year was the Winter Solstice because it meant that we’d begin getting more daylight again.  I’d watch the weather almanac to see just how much more sunlight we’d be getting each day.

So now I’m in Vero Beach, Florida “Where the Tropics Begin” (local motto) at 27 38’ N, just a little over 1,000 miles south of my northern former homes. That’s a significant change in latitude.

The first few years were great, but the last two summers have been HOT HOT HOT with a capital Hot.  My attitude is different here.  Hooray for the Autumnal Equinox!  Less sunlight each day means that temperatures will begin going down. Here it is: late September and we’re still hitting 90 degrees every day. C’mon November!  I’d never survive in Phoenix or Las Vegas.

I know that by mid-December I’ll be tired of the long nights; but for now I’m cheering for Autumn.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One Down – One to Go

Thank goodness that the primary elections are over. In my area we had a huge number of people running for everything from US Senate to State Legislature to local School Board.

Everyday our mailbox was crammed with campaign flyers. Full color. Glossy Paper. So large that they barely fit the mailbox.  Not to mention the lawn signs.

What’s amazing is the thousands of dollars some people spent trying to get a part time job that pays $35K per year.

Public Service?  Yeah, right!

How about public payroll?

How about the huge retirement benefits of public office here in Florida? That’s my bet.

I’m not looking forward to the next level of campaigning.

Dark Skinned People – Are We Coming Full Circle?

When I was a kid, dark skinned people were commonly called “colored”, officially called Negro.  Over time the term changed to African American, then to Black and most recently to “People of Color”.

How long before “People of Color” gets shortened back to just “colored”?

It will be interesting to see the next stage of this terminology.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Stormy Weather

Why do I find storms to be so stimulating?  I’m not talking major storms. I’ve never experiences a tornado and I hope I never do; but I’ve been in two category 1 hurricanes and I don’t want to see anything any stronger than that.

But I love the standard garden variety storms.  Lightning, thunder, rain – sometimes heavy- and wind gusts. 

For some reason they make me feel more alive.  I get to experience a power far beyond our puny human efforts control our world. It puts things in perspective.  I feel that I’m part of the natural world not just our man made society.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Glad it's over

These days, I’m relieved when the holiday season is over.  That’s quite a change from the past.

In my working days, I truly relished the holiday season.  Christmas shopping was fun and we’d go all out on gifts and wrapping.   The days off from work were savored.  New Years day meant the end of the fun and heading back into the usual workday grind.

Retirement put a different face on it.

Christmas on the boat meant scaled down celebrations because we had no space for a Christmas tree; nor did we have space to store frivolous gifts that we might have given one another in previous years.

Now that we’re back living on land, we find that holiday season has taken on yet another character – for many reasons.  A small condo means that we can’t have a huge 12-foot Christmas tree.  In fact, a real tree is very impractical.  Living on retirement income after the recession means that the gift budget is tight so we can’t indulge in the excesses of the past.

We did have a great holiday season.  We were able to roast a turkey again for Thanksgiving.  We did have a very pretty artificial Christmas tree decorated with the ornaments that had been in storage while we were cruising.  It was fun unwrapping them after so many years.  And we exchanged gifts as usual and revived our old tradition of a whole ham for Christmas dinner.

But since every day is a day off, the sense of “specialness” (I know that’s not a real word) was just not the same.  Maybe we should have made a point of participating in more holiday events.  We’ll give that a try next year.

As it is, I’m just glad to be rid of the holiday advertising and hype and junk mail from every store in town.  Glad to get back to normal, whatever that is.
Happy New Year!