Yeah, yeah, I know

I took another hiatus, after I had promised my hiatus was over.  There are two reasons:  1) I was trying to get back up, which has appeared harder than originally anticipated, and 2) I have been pretty busy with living life, so busy living it I haven’t had much time to write about it.

I’m working on it, though, and have a bunch of unfinished posts that will be up soon.  Stay tuned.


Seen today at the hospital

  • A t-shirt on a 65-year-old woman with a cane that said “Stop Checking Me Out!”
  • A feathered mullet, combined with big earrings and a necklace, circa 1983.  On a woman just a few years older than I.
  • My bone density results.  Above-average, by the way.  You all already knew I was dense, didn’t you?
  • A toy dropped on the floor by a toddler, which I promptly picked up and handed to his mother, who couldn’t reach it.
  • Three Hare Krishnas.  Who knew we had those here?
  • Two officers from the Department of Corrections.  Most of my doctors are at the large teaching hospital downtown, an urban center not quite as bad as Cook County on ER, but closer to it than you’d find in the suburbs.  This is where they bring the sick prisoners, apparently.
  • Chick-Fil-A waffle fries.  With Chick-Fil-A barbecue sauce.
  • Blood pressure monitor reading 101/66.  Sweet.
  • This view pictured below, out of the waiting room window.  Click here to see what each one is.  I’ll leave it to her to tell us all the different architectural styles.

  • Sick people.  Lots of sick people who were really sick.  People in pain, people who were struggling.  I really felt for them.  But they also inspired me.  Some of them had the biggest smiles on their faces, and were laughing and joking with the nurses.  I was rarely laughing or joking when I felt bad, and I even got grumpy about a few things today.  Seeing those people looking so bad but having such great attitudes was a good reality check.
Posted in Health. 8 Comments »

Hugs not drugs


The difference between getting off steroids and hormones, and being off steroids and hormones:

Exhibit A: May 19, 2008, hospital parking lot, free valet parking stand, 11:12 a.m.

Parking attendant (PA) #1: Hello, ma’am, how are you today?

Mo: Late.

PA #2: Howdy, ma’am, nice day, isn’t it?

Mo: (clenching teeth) I’m late.

PA #1: Which car is yours ma’am?

Mo: The Audi.  You know, with the same symbol as on the car key I just gave you?

PA #2: We’ll be glad to take care of it for you, ma’am. 

PA #1: You have a pleasant day.

Mo: (grunts, and walks into building, wiping tears)

Exhibit B: May 29, 2008, same hospital parking lot and valet parking stand, 11:54 a.m.

Mo: (walks out of building and hands ticket to parking attendants)

PA #1:  Hmm, let’s see if we have this car.

PA #2:  That’s the Audi, right?

PA #1: Yeah.  Didn’t we sell that one?

Mo: (grinning) Uh-oh.

PA #2: Yeah, it just got off the auction block.  Got a pretty good price, too.

Mo: (still grinning) Oh, no.

PA #1: Oh, wait, is that it right there?

PA #2: That is it!  We pulled it up just for you.

Mo: Whew!  I got lucky!  Another five minutes and it would’ve been gone, huh?  And you two would be off on some nice vacation.

PA #1: Yes, we would.  You made it just in time.

PA #2: You have a pleasant day, ma’am.

Mo: You, too.  (gets into car, still grinning)

Thai one on


Food allergies can be difficult to navigate, but try eating in a restaurant, where you don’t know what they put in things.  Asking the server to ask the chef provides no guarantees, despite all good intentions on the part of staff.  It’s still a guessing game at times.

Those of you who, like me, try to keep a gluten-free diet when and where you can, or especially those who must stay gluten-free at all times, you’d be wise to eat more Thai food.  I’m lucky that I love Asian food, and those magnificent people from Thailand who decide to come here and open restaurants to prepare food for us make me feel even luckier. 

My usual joint has a whole gluten-free section in its menu.  They may not know me well enough to love me, yet, but it sure feels like it. 

Today, I cheated on them and went to my second-favorite place for lunch.  They had a Noodle Specials menu, which included, to my delight, “Cellophane noodles — healthier than wheat!”  I ordered them, complete with the necessary chopsticks, and was not disappointed upon tasting the perfectly-prepared noodles in yummy, gooey sauce that were EXTRA healthy, just for me.


Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, added-sugar-free breakfast tart:

Rice cake

Spread with peanut butter

Topped with sliced strawberries.

People always comment on how hard it must be to eat such a restrictive diet plan.  I don’t find it hard at all.  I like being forced to be creative in finding tasty, healthy things to eat.  Without having certain limitations, I never would have found some of the great combinations I’ve come up with.  I promise to share my ideas, if you promise to give me some more.

It’s just a number

How old are you?  How old do you feel?

Yesterday, on a plane, I met Sally.  I don’t normally talk to people on planes, only because when you’re sitting next to a stranger for hours on end and don’t want to continue talking, you can get trapped.  On my way to Florida yesterday, Sally struck up a conversation with me about ten minutes before we were about to land.  She was very nice, and I am not rude, so we talked for the last few minutes of the flight.

Sally was headed to Nashville to see her boyfriend.  She was so excited, because she was going to spend ten whole days with him.  She lives in Virginia, and he lives in Nashville, and their long-distance relationship requires them to commute.  Then she said, in the conspiratorial way of a typical teenager, “ok, I just HAVE to tell you this.”

When she was 17 years old, Sally was lying out on Virginia Beach with friends.  A nice 19-year-old boy came over to her and struck up a conversation.  He was a Navy pilot, they fell in love, and dated for some time.  But when he got transferred, they broke up.

They each went on to do other things and be with other people.  Two years ago, however, they got back in touch, and realized the love was still there.  Their lifestyles don’t permit either one to move to be closer to the other, so they have to settle for seeing each other when and where they can.  Sally just went to Nashville last month, but she could not have been more animated or excited to be seeing him again if she were still 17.

Sally is now 81 years old.  She reconnected with her first love 62 years after their first relationship ended.  At 79, after marrying, having children and grandchildren, and losing a husband to cancer, Sally fell in love all over again and is happier than most people I know.  I’m sure she reached a point, perhaps several times in those first 79 years, where she thought her best years were behind her, and her future would lie simply in watching the sunset of her life.

Your chronological age is just a number.  The best years AREN’T behind you.  At least, they don’t have to be.  Don’t look back on the number of years you’ve lived and regret what you have done, or especially what you haven’t.  If you look in the right places, and keep an open mind, the future will always hold the promise of new adventures, and opportunity for even greater happiness than you’ve seen yet.

Healing water

It’s raining this morning.  Long, slow, steady rain.  I don’t mind.  Rain brings water.

Water is life.  We all know that.  In science fiction movies, finding water on Mars or other planets is the first indicator of life.  Our bodies are made up of 50% 80% 63% 98% some large percentage of water.  We can live for more than a week without food, but only a few days without water.  It helps our organs function, lubricates our joints, keeps our brain cells working . . . and hey, even tap water protects our teeth, thanks to added fluoride.

For many people, myself included, water has other healing properties, obtained by being in or near it as much as possible.  I consider myself a good steward of the environment in almost all ways — except I take a warm bath in my claw-footed tub every night before going to bed.  Too much water usage, I know, but I can’t afford the hot tub just yet, and there is something so comforting, so soothing about being immersed up to my shoulders in warmth.

Being near water is also healing to me, whether it be nearly still:


Or just crashing into the sand as gentle, salty waves.

This weekend, I will be generously taken in by loved ones to celebrate a milestone birthday on that very same beach, above, on the gulf coast of Florida.  My accommodations are not only right on the beach, but include a pool as well.  I’m not one to enjoy lying out in the sun doing nothing for hours on end, but I don’t have to.  I’ll be swimming, floating, dancing in that water.  

Find yourself some water.  Get in it, near it, or at least drink more of it.  It’s good for you.