Monday, May 1, 2017

Story A Day May 2017, story 1


I am participating in the Story a Day May writing challenge :)

Today's rough draft is inspired by today's writing prompt

Sunday, 11am
Funerals always make me feel my age.

I leaned on my cane coming home from the funeral. My darling daughter got took me home and got me settled before going on to her own home. First I thanked my lucky stars to have family that cared more about me than the cost of my upkeep, then I started to open my mail. Most of it was junk, of course. Out of habit, I put aside anything brightly colored that Birdie might want for her collages. It was her funeral today. I left the papers aside. I couldn't bring myself to toss them - not yet. There was just one more envelope to open. I checked the return address three times, I was so shocked - it was from Birdie! Did she mail something right before she died?

I have never opened an envelope so slowly in my entire life. You would have thought I was afraid a monster might fall out of it. Or a ghost.

It was one of birdie's collaged postcards. I was sure she hadn't shown it to me the last time I saw her. I thought about calling my daughter - maybe I was seeing things? I certainly wasn't going to call the so-called "nursing" staff, even if I was seeing things. But, I also wasn't going to drag my daughter back across town because I'd gone soft in the head. If it was my imagination, at least I was still creative enough to invent a really gorgeous postcard. Well, the postcard from the dead wasn't going to read itself.
Reading glasses cleaned on settled on my nose, I turned the card. After an eternal moment, I opened my eyes and read. "I'm not dead. Meet me Tuesday night at 8 behind the dungeon."

"If you're really alive," I told the postcard, "I am going to kill you."

Tuesday, 8PM, behind the community Physical Therapy room.

I can't believe I'm actually standing here, waiting for a dead woman to come explain herself. Or waiting to find out that I really have gone off my rocker. Or waiting here to scare the bejeezus out of someone else sneaking around. You'd be surprised at how well old people can sneak. It's a survival skill around here. I must have been at least as nervous as I was angry - as soon as I heard steps, I changed my grip on my cane, ready to smack someone.

Birdie said, "I knew you didn't really need that cane."

"I won't, if you explain yourself Right. Now."

Birdie's wrinkled face split into a grin. "Don't beat me up now that I'm finally free!"

My jaw dropped. I lowered my cane. Holy shit. The old bitch really was alive. I babbled as we embraced, so glad to have my friend still, and so angry to have had to mourn her. Relief won, so I didn't strangle her.

"Okay," I said, holding her hands, "What the hell?"

"I'm free! My rotten kids can stop bitching about how much I'm draining their inheritance, the nannies here can stop treating me like a crazy person, and I can do whatever I like."

I blinked. Her kids really were terrible. I'd stay with her when they visited, partly for moral support and partly so she wasn't the only one to hear the terrible things they said. Lately they'd been hinting that Birdie was in mental decline, and needed to make of them her power of attorney. It was just a ploy to get at her money, of course, but try telling the staff here that. No one is going to believe an old lady.

She must have seen comprehension finally dawn on me. "Yup. I'm out. I've cashed out all of my investments, put it all in accounts under my maiden name. I'm going to have a very good time on my children's inheritance."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Sodium Survey 20170319

Only a quick update today; I've been sick. The worst is past, thankfully, and I'm taking it easy while I recuperate.

I met my goal very well all last week, and totally blew it today. I didn't realize until after I'd put them in the oven that the pork-chops had been injected with salt water - raising the sodium content significantly. If you read your meat labels carefully, you'll find that almost all of your poultry is treated the same way, and some of your other meats as well. It's not a problem for most folks, but super annoying for me. I'll be more assiduous in reading labels going forward.

Monday, March 13, 2017

What is my fashion style?

Reading and responding to this excellent blog post got me thinking about my own personal style, and how I want to dress to bellydance. With that in the back of my mind, I read this article, which kicked the beauty-standard underpinning right out from under my fashion thinking.

Metaphorically, I'm on my butt watching the grains of my fashion and dance style fall around me while (a lot of) the cultural chaff blows away. To torture the metaphor further, it will take a while to mill and knead and bake all this into clothes/costumes that feed my soul; I'm sure it will be delicious :)

As a start, here's a list of things I love wearing:
long, flowing, twirly skirts
sleeveless or 3/4 sleeves
sparkle
purple
butterflies
natural fibers
minimal elastic in the waistband
V- and scoop-necks, including low with supportive bras
body-skimming
bare-foot sandals
minimal to no shoes
Pretty and/or dramatic scarves
hair ornaments
high/low tops and skirts/dresses
well made
pockets!
versatile


Whatever I end up doing with this, I'm sure it'll be fun :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Sodium Survey, weeks 8, 9, and 10

Days tracked: 2/19/17 to 3/11/17*
Daily goal: less than 2000 mg sodium per day
Days goal met: ALL!

A while back I posted the first full-week Sunday Sodium Survey. Eating low sodium is clearly good for my health. Aside from the long term benefits for me**, my blood pressure is lower than it's ever been, and I'm not retaining water. I am so much not retaining water that I haven't needed to take my diuretic recently. I will do my level best to maintain this low sodium intake for the rest of my life.

I am getting resigned to eating low sodium. It would be a filthy lie to say that I don't miss the salt; I miss it all the time. It's possible that most folks would feel differently after 8 weeks eating low sodium. It wouldn't be the first time that I'm atypical :) But it may well be proof that Irony is an important part of the structure of the universe - all of my go-to comfort foods are salty/savory. Most of what I like to cook is improved with a good sprinkle of salt. Hell - when I'm eating enough fruits and vegetables, I don't much care for eating other sweets. However, I am a forward-thinking hedonist. I will live longer and live better eating low sodium, so I will keep doing it. I will also work on hating it less, and maybe even enjoying it :)

Going forward I'll keep posting the Sunday Sodium Survey, but instead of counting weeks I'll just use the date. The weekly check in has been remarkably helpful, but counting the weeks is becoming a chore, so away it goes :)

Have a great week, however you choose to eat!

*oops - fell out of the posting habit for a couple weeks. I'm back now :)

**While I need to keep my sodium intake down, not everyone does. My body is particularly sensitive to salt. Even if you are salt sensitive, reducing your salt intake isn't a moral imperative - you do you and we'll celebrate being our own selves :)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sunday Sodium Survey, Week 7

Days tracked: 2/12/17 to 2/18/17
Daily goal: less than 2000 mg sodium per day
Days goal met: ALL!

I don't have a whole lot to share about eating low sodium; definitely nothing new. I'm doing really well at it, despite it being a huge pain. It's very much easier when there's low sodium meals prepared ahead of time. I'm still very frustrated about it, and I still miss the salt fiercely.

To counter balance the un-fun, here's some snapshots of things that make me happy :)

I started with this crocheted flower pattern, added a pin and hairclip back, and beads for the flower center.

It came out rather well.

This crocheted shamrock will also end up as a hair clip.


With the cord leftover from the shamrock, I made a short bit of this lovely garland as another random hair decoration.

My big craft finish recently is this hat.  It's inspired by The Pussyhat Project patterns. I knit it in the round, because I find that relaxing.


I'm seeing some themes to these photos. I've taken other pictures, but padding my cpap headgear just doesn't look as cute as these projects :)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Sodium Survey, Week Six

Days tracked: 2/5/17 to 2/11/17
Daily goal: less than 2000 mg sodium per day
Days goal met: 6 out of 7

After 6 weeks of eating low sodium, I can definitely say that I still hate it. This stinks on ice. I can also say I'm doing amazingly well with this, especially given how much of a challenge this is.

For my whole life, I've been easy to feed. I wasn't picky as a child. I'm usually the easiest person to please when a group is eating out or choosing pizza toppings. I like being easy to feed. Now I'm the most challenging person to feed, and I resent it.

Let me emphasize - everyone around me has been wonderfully supportive. My frustration is entirely with myself.

On the more positive side, when I can prepare food ahead it's easier to eat. Even when I don't, I'm getting better at thinking of things to cook. I'm not thrilled with my options, but I'm getting used to them - more resigned than anything else, but that's still a kind of progress.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Sunday Sodium Survey, Week Five

Days tracked: 1/29/17 to 2/4/17
Daily goal: less than 2000 mg sodium per day
Days goal met: All of them!

Just a quick check in, a bit late. This weekend was rough emotionally - nothing terrible, just an unfortunate confluence of monthly hormones and unhelpful brain chemistry. I did a whole lot of therapeutic knitting :)

How was your weekend?