Thursday, June 2, 2011's JUNE?

They say when you get older, time goes by faster.  OY!!   It's true.  Now, let's see....twelve months in a year;  four months' indolence - isn't that a quarter of  a year?  Or is it a third....hmmm...three fours are twelve, yes?  So it's a third?  I'll go with that.  ((Darn teachers were right, I should've tried harder in elementary  math -- one year my parents gave me a new chess set for getting a D in math!  It wasn't an F!)

So what happened in May, anything?  Well!  Lay-deez and gentle-mens, May was so chock-full that I should've blogged every day.  SO I need to make up for it now, and I will.  I still have to futz some with my pictures, and this may take some days, so (as I am SO fond of saying) BEAR WITH ME!!

Here's what you'll see here over the next few days:

1.  As BAD as December, January, February and March were, and April just a slight improvement, May was all-around spectacular.  I still have vestiges of the #)#**&@ tremor, but am Adjusting the Medication and (hopefully) beating it.

2.  May included our 25th Wedding Anniversary (!).  Or...29th year together if you count our four years of Shackin' Up before traditional Her Old Man and His Old Lady -- we hippies did that, you know.  And there WILL be a whole blog about it, because while we generally go camping in a canvas wedge tent with no floor, and while we have dine on our anniversary at Taco Bell (hey hey hey here....we both LIKE Taco Bell and I still have TWO eyeball straws from there so shut up) -- this year Mr. Dearling took me to CELEBRATE our Silver Anniversary in style.  We spent a week at....ready?  Remember the wedge tent with no floor?  We spent a week at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!!

Of course I took pictures.  It was perfect;  there was not one moment that we did not enjoyIt's required to "dress for dinner" so with one exception, we DID though it were 1890.  We had such fun - and being elegantly dressed reminded us that we were NOT at home and no matter how great the temptation, plate-licking was not allowed.  (See "hippies", above.)

3.  May also included my blogiversary, but being on May 11 we were still portraying 120-year-old visitors, (dare I say?) I forgot.  So I'll mention that too.  And I have a Resolution to try to pick it up now that I seem to be largely recovered (that thumping you hear is me pounding vigorously on anything resembling wood).

I'm back to work, mostly -- and a good thing, too, because we're getting ENORMOUS tour groups at the Museum -- all the kids from all over the state who cancelled because they couldn't pair it with their usual tours of the Capitol.  (We've had a protest or two, you might've seen references.)  It's still very wonky here in Wisconsin;  for petessakes.  Recall Walker ("Stalker"  "Hawker" &C &C).  Ain't going all political here - suffice it to say I love living in Madison, Wisconsin.

There's no more ice around, the weather is mild, my beloved lilac bush had flowers this year, the peonies are covered with buds (and their attending Caretaking Ants) and our backyard looks like....well, the Amazon comes to mind.

We've had the delight of attending a lovely wedding of friends, we're looking forward to a granddaughter's high school graduation, and it's very pleasant, being summer.  We have some living history events planned, and my assignment (should I choose to go) is my upcoming high school reunion in September. 

Ready for this?  It's our FIFTIETH HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!  I may go just to see who's still alive!! this space.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Semantic Point --

I awoke this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, and apparently buried at sea.  My first thought?   Hope they took pictures before they "buried him at sea", or sent some DNA to CSI or wossname.

But I have a wee problem-o.  How do I feel about the whole thing?  OK, let me be clear about this:  I think he was like Hitler -- hateful, odious, no redeeming value.  He finally got what was coming to him, because I remember as clear as though it was yesterday (and it's been ten years!) how I felt when I heard the reports on the car radio on September 11, 2001, and how I felt as I watched all day on television and cried for the brothers and sisters who had died, and cried for everyone who loved all those people.  At that moment, We Americans became related -- no "six degrees of separation";  they were OUR family members.

So please read carefully, because I am relieved that such a hateful man is dead.  BUT!!  The phrases I'm hearing on television this morning:  "People all around the world are celebrating the death...."  "The news was met with delight at Ground Zero...."    "Retribution",   "Revenge" - "Joyous atmosphere...."

I'm relieved that he's gone, I hear the news with relief that a chapter has closed (and some trepidation, of course, because clearly it's not a total solution).  But there's something that jars in the reporting and it occurs to me that certain words should never be joined.  For example, "celebrate", "delight", "joyful" paired with "war" or "death".  He's gone.  GOOD!  But you know, I'm not going to raise a glass, dance in the streets or express joy.  Relief?  Yes.  Unbridled delight?  nawwww.

From the mouths of the babes:  Mr. Dearling tells me that one of his 4th grade students on tour at the museum asked him why we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  And when I think about it, (the CW)  I first think of the hundreds of photos taken by Matthew Brady of young men lying dead on the battlefields.  I'm sorry, I can't entirely separate that image from the realization that every one of those men (or boys) was, at one time, a swaddled infant being smiled upon by his Mama or his Meemaw (or even, perhaps, his mammy).

So let's COMMEMORATE today.  Commemorate the fact that the most Evil, Hateful, Baneful Demon of our time is no longer walking this earth.   I will commemorate his death, and I feel proud of the Navy SEALS who apparently succeeded in this.  But gee, guys - I really can't celebrate  death.

NOTE:  they just mentioned that he was "buried at sea" within the required 24 hours (same as Jews - there must be burial "before the sun sets" - which is interpreted as "within 24 hours"). 

Boy - these are heavy times for Emotionally-charged Aging Jewish Bubbes.....the high of watching our little William marry that lovelly girl in England, the plunging relieved/bummer that Bin Laden's gone.  Good thing Mr. Dearling keeps a good supply of tissues at hand.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It was the Worst of Times, it was the Best of Times....

"WRONG";  definition - bad; wonky; BIG mistake; erroneous; boo-boo; uh-oh; aw sh**; bigsigh.  And periodically you hear tell of something...something - that embodies all of those definitions, a tangible, physical, really-o truly-o thing that is the "wrong-ness".  This thing is not something I ever would have thought of, conceived of, no matter how hard I tried.  No, this thing was mentioned to me blithely on the telephone by my Lovely Daughter.  We were talking about programs on teevee;  we share an enjoyment of food shows, cooking shows.  We share a real taste (no pun intended...snerk) for the whole eating thing  So what was this mentioned item?

DISCLAIMER:  if you're not sitting down, do so -- if you have a dicey ticker, if you're prone to the vapours, go look at the pictures on Cute Overload for a few minutes....  Here goes:

Bacon-Wrapped MATZOH BALLS.

I am allowing you a few minutes to roll that around amongst your marbles.  See what I mean?  "That's just WRONG".  And you know, some things that appear wrong actually, surprisingly, wind up being quite nice.  THIS?    uh-huhn.  It ain't happenin'.

That's the worst...."evar".  Other bad stuff?  A new "reality" show about a woman who makes a hefty living as some sort of maternity counselor.  Rents herself out to pregnant, hugely-wealthy New York pregnant mothers.  One woman hired her to assemble a group of "talents"? to select a name for her baby.   The trailer showed a woman who was lining up the hair and makeup staff for when she comes out of Delivery.  SAY WOT????

That's enough of the negative.  Now for the  BEST!  The Decorah Eagle.  NOTE:  my link thingies might not be working.  If they aren't, PUNT.  You won't be sorry. 

Prepare for rant. 

This whole innerwebs thingie, the 'Net, sometimes simply called "on line".  As an entity it strikes me as the perfect "Little Girl with the Little Curl", quoted to me so often in my early childhood.  For those of you who are either   a) well-behaved little girls;  or) boys, naughty or nice, I repeat the wholeof the verse here.  Imagine it in a sort of sing-song-y voice:

"Once there was a little girl / who had a little curl / right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good - and she was bad, she was horrid!"  I am edified to know that I was NEVER just naughty or cross as a wee girlie - I was HORRID!

Back to the internet at hand.   We all know about the Potential Evils of the Internet;  frankly, I'm just as glad that my children grew up and moved out BEFORE the Day of the Insidious Pervasive SCREEN.  On the other hand, I believe (as I may have said before) that I think World Peace can be achieved through the Internet.  Sample conversation in home somewhere in world, April 18, 2020: 

Husband:  "pack my Fierce Weaponry, Wife, I'm going off to war.
Wife:  "where?"
Husband:  "why?"
Wife:  ""do you always answer questions with another question?"
Husband:  "do I?"

{period of quiet follows as each Ponders}

Husband:  "we're fighting with the country of EastNorth Wherewickton.  South."
Wife:  NO YOU ARE NOT!!  (she turns away from her laptop and points both eyes and a grim mouth in his direction.)  He sags a little (going off to war has been popular for some centuries.  Eons, even.)

Wife continues:  "As a matter of fact, Mr. Smartypants Warrior, I am FB friends with 300 women in EastNorth Wherewickton, South AND North.  We all chat every day,  we are trading Nifty Hints about Child-Rearing and there's an active game of "Does your husband ever........??"   Furthermore, we just started a Recipe Exchange, and if you think I'm going to let you and the guys go attacking and breaking the recipe chain YOU HAVE ANOTHER THINK COMING, MISTER!"

See?  End of war.  It's in the future.  In the meantime, however, there are other opportunities which are now commonplace, but which (another of my pet sayings) wasn't even in science fiction books when I was a girl.  Limitless free knitting patterns.  INSTANT information on almost anything that might pique the curiosity.  Pictures and films from everywhere, of everything -- including the aforementoned  Iowa Eagle cam .  Me?  I relish the opportunity to sit at the edge of the nest and watch at all hours of the day and night.    I've watched for a part of every day since first seeing the eagles on my evening news show.

So on the one hand, somewhere in this world there are bacon-wrapped matzoh balls {pfeh! ptooey!} and elsewhere in the world is the ability to sit 80 feet up in an eyrie and watch the unimposing eaglets as they grow into birds like their parents.  Not something one has access to every day.

I am pleased to observe that I seem to be crawling out from the Blarg - although I do find I have to sort of build back up.  So far so good, the medication is controlling the tremors.  I'm scheduled to seee the neurologist again next week (I'm thinking I should keep scheduing regular appointments on the off-chance I may someday need a neorologist again -- she's something like the Great and Wonderful Oz).

So hopefully I will soon be completely returned to knitting and bloggng and working --  and I have some very exciting plans coming up that are pretty assured of being a Genuine Experience!

So - I'm going to watch the end of my teevee show with the madman who calls himself "an extreme fisherman" to see if he's going to have his legs ripped off by a gargantuan fish with two-foot teeth and a cranky disposition.  All's I can say is, "better him than me."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Things I've Learned....

...from watching teevee for roughly twelve hours a day, for roughly four months.

1.  That much teevee is against the Geneva Convention.  For something intended to be "entertainment", I suggest something like thumbscrews.  Brenks' Bridle.  THE RACK!!

2.  The New York SPCA officers have full police capabilities.  Which means that they can go to rescue a dog and arrest the wretched MFers who mistreated the dog.

3.  Houston has a lot of fighting cocks (eeeewww, they clip their crops and spurs to put razor-sharp long spurs on);  they also have a problem with pit bull dog fights.  BOTH are totally illegal - the Texas animal cops don't have police powers but they DO have a very intimate (so to speak) relationship with the local constabulary.  I have a streak that takes delicious satisfaction in watching the arrests of the MFers -- they're usually arrested right after the Civil Court hearing where their animals are legally transferred to the SPCA.  (I also like it when the MFers come to court to get their animals back, I mean THAT's cheeky!  "Yes, your honor, I was starving him because I only have a pony saddle and I wanted to ride him...."  OOOOHyeah.

4.  There are a LOT of starving horses in the Houston area - also goats, pigs, various fowl, miniature horses and an unending supply of dogs and cats.

5.  Animal HOARDING is a real problem everywhere, apparently  - and I've concluded that...
I AM AN ANIMAL HOARDER!  Well, ok, so I only have two cats.  But you know, I'm sort of a Theoretical Animal Hoarder.  (The truth is, as Mr. Dearling pointed out, if I bought ANYTHING in here -- kitty, puppy, boa constrictor --  Mistress Evangeline would dine upon them.  Her tolerance of Lilliane, all these years later, has remained terse.)  ...which reminds me, I have to go open the bedroom door...Lilli was put there in time-out for attacking Evi....seems she learning BAD behavior!

NOTE:  I AM aware that all the animal cop shows are showing the bad stuff...lovely healthy animals wouldn't make very good teevee.  I know the people in Houston are not meaner to their animals than anywhere else.  Probably.

Let's see - I have diagnosed myself with everything for which there are advertised medications available.  I quit wrriting them down to "ask my doctor for" after about 40.  Not only is there medication for depression - there are adjunct pills in case the ones you're using aren't enough.  WTH???    Of course, everything advertised causes moggles and rooblets and extra hair and hair loss and thoughts of suicide and murderous wrath and an incomprehensible desire to eat human brains.  No, wait - that's zombies, only four or nine medications list that one.

I've also been watching stuff like "First 48" in which real genuine scofflaws are apprehended for a huge variety of crimes, almost 99% of which are drug-related murders.  The idea is, the first three days after a Dreadful Crime is the best time to wrap it up.  Sometimes it takes more than a couple months, but that's ok, the nefarious and unruly are ultimately caught.

Then there's "House", which is an amazing fantasy - people come in to the hospital and Dr. House and his team perform elebenty-six tests, many of which are invasive or unpleasant, but eventually the diagnosis is made, the patient healed and all's right with the world.  Of course this all takes days and days -- and do they EV ER use the "i" word?  (Yes, "insurance") -- I think my favorite was the one where a beautiful mulatto girl was brought in with dreadful symptoms by her handsome white husband.  They were TRULY in love, a match made in heaven, only it turned out the match WAS made in heaven -- for some reason a DNA test was run (I think the husband was prepared to donate ALL his organs to save his cherished wife).  AND GUESS WOT???  Yup, they were half-siblings.  Seems White Papa had been "helping out in the garden" of his Black Neighbor.  OY VEY!!

OK, enough of the crappy news and on to something better:  namely ME, I'm better.  and tomorrow will be a red-letter day.  I get to vote (and I'd get three different disguises and vote again if I could) AND...readly for this?  My Neurology appointment (made in February) is tomorrow!!!  So far, the first muscle relaxer I got helps enough but I'm hoping for something that works a little better.  But (speaking with crossed fingers) I am gradually climbing out of the Abyss of No Knitting, No Writing &c &c and so forth.

By the way, to any and all who commented, THANK YOU!  I could say "I was so warmed...." or something.  The truth?  OK, I had a decent Ugly Cry over it all.   There isn't a cure or treatment equal to that.  Consider youselves hugged by a 4'11" woman with a case of hiccup-y cryin'.

Monday, March 28, 2011

**tick tick tick** Is this thing on?

Hmmm...maybe I really AM part bear;  all the other ursine members of the family are emerging now too!

PRIMO:  heart-deep thanks for all the lovely thoughts, prayers and nice greetings.  My current status is as follows (imagine doctor raising eyebrows and shrugging).  I've had blood tests for everything under the sun and CAN report that I do not have beri-beri or Lymes' or Mongol Trots or anything else that could be determined.  I had the alimentary x-ray deal which revealed nothing unusual.  NOTE:  My stomach is weird anyway - most people's stomachs like horizontally;  mine is sort of vertical.  Say WOT??

I also did have the heart ultrasound.   I found it intriguing, watching my heart on the monitor.  Fortunately that was fine too - the technician said, when I arrived, that it would be "just like the ultrasounds I'd had when I was pregnant".  I explained that - in the days when I was pregnant they just candled us like eggs - holding a candle behind of us.

In the meantime, I did begin to feel better.  Wouldn't you know it?  My appetite was the first thing back, so any weight I might have lost didn't stay away long.  I'm taking some prozac-oid stuff which seems to have worked on what might have been my depression -- remember, "better living through chemistry". 

HOWEVER!  My perpetual benign tremor (a slight shaking of my hands, slightly worse if I'm very tired) took advantage of my Blarg and became anything BUT benign.  I refer to it as "Jazz Hands".... it had become a veritable palsy.  Stop for a moment and think about the myriad little things you do all day that require fine-motor control.   (Eating soup;  writing with a pencil, typing (!) knitting -- imagine trying to put a nice line of tooth glue in the dentures!!)

I found myself feeling better - but literally physically inCAPABL:E of doing any of those things.  No writing with a pencil?  There goes taking notes, jotting down story ideas, marking passages in  a book - highlighting!  No knitting?  That's just foul, but I couldn't even manage garter stitch with #15 needles.
No TYPING?  Oy vey iz mere!!  Serious palsy effectively removes the possibility of typing.  (No chats, no Facebook -- no BLOG....blarg!)

To tell the truth I found it a real embarrassment too, and was happiest at occasions where I could keep my hands in my pockets or tucked into my armpits.  "Why Dale-Harriet, don't you think you should perhaps see a Neorologist?"  Matter o' fact YES!  In fact, in mid-February I called, and GOT an appointment in Neurology.  April 5th.  Having pretty much spent 2.5 months on the couch, the thought of making it a solid four months on the couch about did me in. 

So I emailed the doctor requesting a prescription for muscle relaxers.  She phoned one in and I got them -- and get this:  IT WORKS!  Mostly.  Generally.  Basically.  I'm still keeping that appointment, but I'm gradually relearning how to blog and knit and jot down notes. 

I will, ere long, set out to describe the effect of 14 hours' daily of Animal Planet;  what I have learned from Criminal Minds and the various CSIs -- and what I think of the Miami Housewives. (And Orange County wives and so on.) 

I went to the Knit-In last Saturday, and signed up and paid for a class in "beginning Victorian Knitting", which I was pretty pumped for.  I stayed for the morning session but did NOT go back after lunch, because even with the medication, lace-weight yarn and "0" needles just weren't working - however, the syllabus, samples of some eight yarns and the information on deciphering Victorian patterns are sufficient that I feel as though I got my two sous' worth.

Soooo -- after four months of downright Inability - I believe I'm on the mend.  I'm gradually getting back to work -- imagine this scenario:  there I am, with my mandatory pointing-tool (a mouse-shaped laser pointer I purloined from the cats) and jazz hands!  MIght shorten the tour, being as I'd be pointing at everything, up to and including my own shoes....  So I haven't actually been to work since the end of November either.

So at least I can finally enjoy some of my daily chazerai (Yiddish, look it up) and will report next on The Effects of Modern TeeVee on the temporarily-disabled Yenta.  Oh, and again, THANKS -- unless you've been in my position (and I earnestly hope you NEVER are!) you can only imagine what your little notes have meant to me.  Suffice it to say -- just thinking about it makes me all over verklempt!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


....otherwise "01-11-11".  That has to be historical.  Only thing that'll be better will be in November, right?  Because that'll be "11-11-11".  Now THAT is cool.

On the "me" front - still battling the Blarg.  Able to stay awake for a few hours at a time.  Sleeping great - but I still feel like my old "me" is lying around somewhere.  I still am hoping that some combination of things will stir the Old Me into coming home.

This afternoon I'm going to talk to someone who might have some answers - and some insights.

I'm also going out for lunch shortly.  I'll order something Mr. Dearling likes so we can share it!

PS:  Evangeline....and Mr Dearling....are taking CAPITAL care of me, and Lilliane is helping too.  At the end of this I'll report on what effect 10 hours a day of "Law and Order" and "CSI" has on the human brain.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Blarg, phase two

OK, so I went to the doctor again today.  Now - my own doctor is on vacation (if anyone ever deserves a vacation it's a good and thoughtful doctor) so I saw one of her partners.  I like my doctor a lot.  I like her partner even more.....

Turns out she's young, very friendly, and shares a whole bunch o' Points of Commonality with us: 
1.  She's an MOT  (Jewish....we refer to one another informally as "members of the tribe");
2.  She's a transplanted New Yorker - in fact, grew up on Long Island (as did Mr. Dearling);
3.  Her husband is a goy (non-Jew...NOT a derogatory term;  Mr. Dearling is also goyesha)
4.  We have some friends in common!

So I enjoyed visiting with her.  But we weren't there for tea - in fact, Mr. Dearling had a list.  So we went over everything, she took notes, ordered a couple more tests (*blood tests...see below) and changed out a  couple of prescriptions.  I've said it before - I'll say it again:  I'm a believer in Better Living Through Chemistry.  In this case....from my lips to God's ears.

So we'll see what the next couple of days hold - hopefully some improvement because as much as I love "CSI" (the original one) I'm beginning to tire of it, as I watch it all day.  This is still a Heckuva Major Drag.


*Blood Tests:  I have perfectly lovely large vein s in my elbows (I may have mentioned that before, too tired to go back and look - apologies, if so).  And I have no qualms, fears, problems about blood draws.  At least not by normal phlebotomists in lab coats.  Long capes, sparkling teeth - not so sure.

Insult to Injury...

Well, here I am again - STILL in the doldrums.  Not feeling much better.  ANY better.  Plus...I seem to be coming down with a cold.  Sneezing my head off.  Coughing some (repaired by honey-filled cough drops, though - at least).

Going back to doctor today - my own is off for a couple of weeks, so a different one.  Not sure what on earth the outcome will be...but let me tell you, I am entirely and thoroughly worn out, fed up, disgusted, bored and tired of The View from The Couch.

Still too weary to hold up a book;  nothing in the head to write, and I've probably knitted 75 stitches since -- oh -- December 2 or so.  (I can say that pretty precisely - I have a scarf on the needles that's 25 stitches wide.)

Having sat up long enough to write this, I'm plumb worn out and will take to my chaise for a nap.

I'll try to report back after the visit to La Medecine....