Monthly Archives: April 2014


I’m 43 today. I feel like a mess. My lower back is killing me. I blame our horrible mattress. We’ll get a new one when the pickup truck gets its new battery.

I have concluded (for the umpteenth time) that I MUST have a regular Yoga practice. That’s got to be the thing that will fix my misalignments. I know I’m meant to be healthy!

The other conclusion is that nutrition should come before a lot of things on my “gotta do list.” Cook healthy meals first, blog second.

I’m 43 and time is running out.

I’m in the Wells Library basement, sitting on a bench across from this:


A Pillar on High

I’m feeling like someone who is sitting atop a 50 foot pillar. The pillar sways in the wind, threatening to fling me into the empty oblivion. I cling to it desperately.

But what good is it to be perched here so high? I can see you, but when I shout to start a conversation, you don’t hear. You go about your important business, and I can only watch with envious eyes.

Perhaps I can summon the courage to loosen my grip, and see what happens.


Working with Words

  1. Ideas rolling in and out like the tide.
  2. We are just here as observers, but we insist on participating.
  3. Pain can’t hide under the bush with you.
  4. Pain is assertive, not aggressive.
  5. Iron is heavy and full. It brings something to us.
  6. I felt like a genius last night. Today I am dull, flat, and pale.
  7. This is an exercise that seeks to exercise itself. Or exorcise?
  8. I’m wanting more than I can handle.
  9. I grab and drop these things as would a pecking chicken.
  10. Is there a forever in my soul?
  11. Is this life bottomless?
  12. I’m alert now.
  13. Juxtapositions are just that.
  14. We are better off not making sense.
  15. Logic’s handles are slippery with wasted spittle.
  16. I am bear, rabbit, cat, goat, dog, sloth, snail, and both kinds of buffalo.
  17. Your lips are thin because you talk too much.Your ears are narrow from not listening.
  18. The planets are lining up. Which one is yours?3 Planets

Little Cammie

We have a chihuahua named Cammie. She turned 13 this year.

Cammie on the Oakland A’s blankie

Cammie is perfect. She never does anything wrong. She has her own chair in the living room, and she sleeps in her own special spot at the head of the bed on some pillows between the mattress and the wall. When Cammie runs through the kitchen the sound of her claws on the linoleum is like tap dancing. She’s just the cutest thing in the world!

Cammie was diagnosed with diabetes about a year and a half ago. She gets insulin shots twice a day. She doesn’t mind the shots at all, probably because she gets a treat before and after each one.

Two weeks ago, Cammie had two seizures. We took a guess that the seizures were caused by low blood sugar, so we gave her some corn syrup to bring her back up to normal. Suspecting that her insulin dosage was too high, we took her to the vet and the doctor confirmed that this was the case. We brought her home and began administering the lower dose. Things seemed okay until one day we came home to find that Cammie wasn’t quite right . She usually barks happily when she hears us outside the  front door. That day she was trying to bark, but all that came out was a tiny squeak. We gave her some corn syrup and called the vets office to find out what we should do for her.

Around this time, Cammie was becoming more and more finicky about her food. There were mornings when she just refused to eat. It didn’t seem like a good idea to give her insulin if she wasn’t eating, so we went back to the vet. This  time the doctor felt a tumor in her belly area. They did an ultrasound and found that the  tumor was quite large and covered a good portion of her liver. The ultrasound also showed a bladder stone.

Glamorous Cammie

The doctor explained  our options for treatment. He could remove part of her liver and get rid of most of the tumor. This would be a major surgery for her, and she might not survive it. It also would cost $2,500 to $3,000 dollars. The other option would be to do nothing and expect the tumor to be the thing that ends her life. We decided that the surgery would be too much for her and too expensive for us.

So we brought Cammie home again and she has surprised us so far. Her insulin dosage was reduced again, so it’s okay to give it to her even if she doesn’t eat. Some mornings she just doesn’t feel like eating, but she’ll take something later in the day. She had a few days of constipation, but that seems to have resolved itself. Her energy level is good on most days. Sometimes she runs around and plays with her little sister Sadie. You’d think she was a young pup.

The doctor said she may start to go down hill in two to six months. If she is suffering we will have to put her down. We’ll be very sad when she’s gone, but for now we’ll just enjoy every day we have with her.

Cammie is a great dog. She always makes us smile.

Drying off after a bath

Progress Delayed

I was sitting at a workstation in the Library Information Commons here at IUB, writing a post for my much neglected A Learning Experience blog.
I noticed a rather strange guy approaching one of the nearby computers. I thought he was strange because he didn’t look like an undergraduate student (most users of the Information Commons are undergrads), and there was just something about the way he was dressed, and the way he moved. When I see someone like this guy, I always think Aspergers Syndrome. That’s my go-to diagnosis.

So the computer the guy was trying to use wasn’t working. He got up and moved over to the cluster of machines where I was sitting. That’s when I smelled him. The odor was oiniony (if that’s a word). It was strong. It overwhelmed! I thought for a moment that I could tolerate it, but I could not. I saved my post as a draft and fled.

And that’s the story of my progress delayed.


Food Ruiners

Years ago, when I was in graduate school for dance, I was sitting in the dance studio between classes and eating Jello. One of the undergraduate students sat down next to me and said , “Do you know you’re eating horses hooves?”  I can’t remember what my response was, but I hope I said something like, “Mmm, I love’s me some horses hooves!”

Illustration of bowl of red gelatin

Something similar happened today. I was at my desk, enjoying my lunch of fish, vegetables, and brown rice with quinoa. A colleague sat down at the desk facing mine to use the shared computer that lives there.

He said, ‘”Something smells good.”

I said, “It’s fish.”

He asked what kind of fish it was and I told him I thought it was tilapia.

He said, “That’s a fish without too many heavy metals in it.”  I smiled and indicated that that’s a good thing, but I wondered why he had to ruin my meal by reminding me that a lot of the foods we eat are contaminated with industrial toxins. He then proceeded to mention something about the talapia’s digestive system. Apparently it’s a complicated one that allows for more junk to accumulate in the fish’s body.

Illustration of 5 fish on a line


If you want people to avoid having conversations with you, I recommend you emulate the behaviors of the people I just mentioned.

Kind readers, if you have a cause that you care about, please bring it up at an appropriate time. Don’t be a food ruiner.

By the way, I don’t think they make gelatin from animal products anymore.

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