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Waste Over Wisdom

  

   It perplexes me when I hear on the news that the huge college bash “block party” was pretty much held in control with a number of arrests and fines. This fete of civilitywas brought about by having more police using other than the town’s usual local forces but by incorporating a number of forces, paid for by state grants and funds. Hmm.  Now I can guess their residents are glad as the parties past have required armored vehicles and such to bring about order. Now I don’t want anyone being injured or even at risk of such. However a few things come to mind.

   College is basically about acquiring more knowledge and learning how to use that knowledge.  For years we have heard that colleges are seeking the best and the brightest- hence the college applications and requirements to get in as well as looking for diversity and being well rounded as people. SO with that in mind, would it be asking too much to think maybe ,just maybe there young “adults” also possess the control and wisdom to not be so out of control that they need disrupt a community? Could they be counted on to be safe…to monitor themselves and others with them?

   Now I am not saying that this is something new…college “kids” blowing off steam.  But with so many years of being able to do this without being so dangerous as to require law enforcement to monitor the happenings, why must it be taken to such an extreme? Yeah, everyone knows about Spring Break in southern beach towns where the alcohol flows along with sun and “fun”…and as we come to know not surprisingly that there are any number of crimes, some violent, that occur. I guess I do understand these kids wanting to let their hair down. Back in the day, we wanted to as well. And of course for as long as there have been humans ,there have been those injured , killed even by poor judgement. I suppose it should be expected that when people set out knowingly to be “blitzed” that their behavior leads to costs to others, foolish behavior.

   I guess then the question is why party time, release behavior need be something involving loss of control. That seems to be the goal of people participating in these types of events. I know they have had to be disciplined and responsible in order to accomplish academic goals. I know they have to work hard to afford it ( Well some people do.). I know relationships change and living in situations they never had to live in before with relative strangers often all add to different stresses. Money management and doing their own laundry and cleaning is a new thing for some of these people.  But if these are our best and brightest, don’t they understand that some level of control is needed just because it’s a requirement in being alive- and staying alive? Is that asking too much?

   As a resident of this state and in a time when so much is not possible fiscal budgets , projects are cut due to lack of funds. But we must create enough of a fund for this? I think not. I think if the behavior is that awry then maybe it’s time to call it a day for such a tradition. I’m all for fun. And I am not objecting to use of alcohol- but I feel that going beyond one’s tolerance or self control is probably an unreasonable rite of passage. We don’t even know the number of poor choices, disease, pregnancies, rapes that occur at these events. But if there is one , that is one too many. it is not okay to use alcohol use as an excuse for acts of rape. It is not okay to shrug at a youth becoming infected with a venereal disease that may cost them their life. With behavior being more lax during these intoxications then chances are such safety precautions are left at the wayside during these blow outs.

   For generations people have wondered what the key is to teaching that a true release can be a celebration being a positive release. It can be going where someone is so much worse off to make a difference for them that they will realize how minimal their problems and pressures are compared with survival issues, shelter issues, food crisises.

   There are so many ways to release other than getting out of one’s mind using substances. There are acts of beauty, art and music and athletics.  This is something that falls on adults. As much as we want to point at tv,Hollywood leading the onus of normal, it is in our choices our young look towards. SO we need provide positive examples. And perhaps instead of providing extra safe guards we could raise the bar to better expectations. No I don’t think that is unreasonable. I don’t think anything gets to excuse a human being from having to be aware of life (his or hers and others lives). There has to be a reasonable level of expectation. It should not have to be policed to the extent of reinforced police.

   I suppose what I find unreasonable is the acts of destruction endangering themselves and others. I strongly am opposed to violence using alcohol as an excuse. See the same people paying the taxes that provide for grants that go to education so you can be employed into the careers of your choosing are also paying for the protection that your choice of acting incompetent cause. That is not fair or right. Seems to me that there has to be a better way. Maybe I do not have the answers or suggestions that would improve this but does that mean we should stop looking. Not everyone will respond to a more positive environment, options allowing for other choices- but some will. I’d sooner see my money used on that. Perhaps it will be valuable enough to make a long term impression on someone’s heart.

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WIsh it was bats in the belfrey

AH, home ownership…not for the faint of heart in a home built in 1886 or thereabouts. What is better than hearing critters walk across your ceiling in the springtime? I remember a similar experience when I lived in a different home in the woods. I remember hearing the rolling of nuts down the rafters after dark and eventually even in daytime. I remember they were in the walls there. I remember hearing what seemed liked one became sounding like more than one. I don’t remember the resolution. We have an interesting situation as we live in a town fronted by a semi-busy road and backed by acres of woods. Add to that a river about 3 blocks from here- leaves a lot of possibilities.
Now interestingly enough, what do greyhounds do confronted with the sounds of these pests? Ours chose various modes of raising the bark and charge alarm. This involved mild Chewbacca type crying to loud sharp barking to rooing to fierce protective barking. Now my husband had to be up for 5 AM as he leaves for work early when possible to drive truck…the Big Rig type. Yes so initially we had not heard what the dogs were hearing and were flabbergasted at the every3 to 5 minute routine (not to mention the springboard affect of the bed bouncing as 3 of them lift off of the bed and one on the floor as they all bark and bang into one another (because initially only one seems to know what they’re barking at. The rest were just providing support.) Marvelous thing this pet mentality. Of course eventually my husband locates the cause of the commotion. WHile that made him feel better to know why they were so wound up, I had already given one of them Benadryl as she was actually trembling a bit. This leads me to suspect an oppatamapus- otherwise known as an opossum. ( I rarely get that name right unless it’s written in front of me. And I was a country small town girl.) Of course squirrels like to come in and have their young this time of year. Hurray!! SO if a squirrel there’s likely a nest in our home. WHile these make for marvelous children’s stories about sweet mammals and their families learning life lessons, it is most disturbing to hear the scratching. The walking is not something I am a fan of, but the scratching is eerie and highly annoying when trying to sleep. This is amplified by it apparently being highly annoying to 4 greyhounds. I find this amazing given the oldest dog loves to sleep with her head propped next to the speaker which Kenny leaves on the volume setting for people who need to feel the sound. Drives me crazy as I pointed out that her hearing need not have any help getting worse given she is more catlike in her behavior than canine to begin with.
SO I look it up on the internet and after reading all that is involved in trying to take care of this yourself, the last thing in most articles were to call a professional as it will likely cost as much if not more and may not be as good as what the pros will do. SO I let my husband know. Now Kenny is like so many men in that he likes to take care of what he can himself rather than pay someone. I have pointed out in the past how the cost of someone else doing it frees up his time and reduces the stress of repairs- not as much cussing or banged up fingers and no ideas for tearing out walls and remodel from the pros unless needed for whatever task. lol He would never see himself as Tim the Toolman Taylor from tv and he is usually very good at what he’s doing. It just is quicker and less of a project for someone else to take it on. However I have tried not to suggest this as it seems to hurt his feelings. Course how I suggest it may have something to do with it as my filter being gone has left me be a tad blunt from time to time. I called and let my husband know the general stuff I read on the internet. I even found the local recommended wildlife control specialist in the area. Now I wanted my husband to read what the I-net says on it as it would give him more information to decide whether to hire someone. Of course he wants to have the people come out and tell him what to do to handle it. This cracks me up inside to the point of nearly tears trying not to let him hear my response. That’s kind of like going to a surgeon and asking him to relay to you what you need to know to remove your own appendix. Okay maybe more like going to a hairdresser and asking her what hairdo you should have and how to do it. oy. Now he wanted me to calls and inquire this and also get a price of what it would cost- sight unseen mind you. I tell him the ballpark figure given in what I read which is a span of about $250 dollars to $500. Now to me, that’s probably as accurate as they would give having not seen the situation yet. After he repeats himself again, he finally says what he’s been avoiding…the he will call and take care of setting an appointment for when he is home tomorrow. Thank you God. Meanwhile whatever is in there has gone out for the day or is sleeping like my dogs this morning.
I think what lies ahead could be an experience I want my seatbelt on for so I think the wise thing to do is join the dogs if I can inch my way to a space on the bed. I have found the reasons why we have been told to let sleeping dogs lie. ( well I always heard , “Let sleeping dogs lay.” but I feel that may be poor English. ANyway. The birds are hollering as loudly as they can now. The sun is the brightest it’s been for about a week. This also should prove challenging and I may resort to just doing my exercises. Now that will likely add to my feeling the need to nap. It also should be about the time the dogs wake up to eat and play. Great day! I will make it so…thinking sunny thoughts…and smiling all the way.

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Treading as fast as I can

 

   One of the measures of how things are going is probably my contact with others, be it in writing, in person, or through face to face contact. Psychologists use that  when talking with someone about their depression. So I guess it is tied up with mood, coping, reaction. In the past I would withdraw and my self-talk was less than helpful. I learned early to become my worst critic. One would think it was tied up to wanting to reach some level of perfection. Mine was more that while I wanted to do what I was doing right, I also wanted to be able to not be drawn out in a negative way.

I don’t remember it being spoken, other than the occasional, “What are you moping around for? Well whatever it is , it won’t get any better that way.”  Yet there was basically an attitude or an understanding that if something was your problem, it didn’t mean it was something that needed to bring the whole family down. Looking at it now, I wonder if it came out of living with dad’s drinking and mom’s anxiety, yet their ever push to keep us on our feet and to still drink life’s honey. Oh believe me they had their problems. There was fighting. And in my adulthood (I don’t know how this escaped me earlier) I found out my brother, the oldest, really got set down in the middle way too many times. Add to that the conflict of a simple loving church upbringing that really was written in our hearts and basically we saw lived out in our parents and relatives. But from my perspective while there was turmoil, some years really harsh, we were expected to go about our lives as though this was irrelevant to our lives and not our business. Of course we all coped in different ways. My brother withdrew into the world of books and sciences, music. He briefly went into wrestling in high school. I don’t know the why behind that and I have no clue how he did- I remember going to a match but just remember glimpses of seeing the concentration in my brother’s eyes. My sister found release in looking through magazines and the pretty things around us all. She’s always been a gorgeous redhead with beautifully waves and texture. And I dove into sports, current events, being outspoken to my mom mostly (SOrry Mom. I am close to certain I am the one who used up your brain and left you with Parkinson’s.)I loved animals and drove mom and my sister crazy with bringing home strays or some of the salamanders indoors. I was pretty much a tomboy but in my teens reached the level of opposing factors in my personality. I wanted to excel in sports but saw the value in the rebellion  going on in the 60s, early 70s. This all played into how we escaped the pain of the conflicts between our parents. This was embraced by our parents. The last thing they wanted was to add our opinions. Although I think my mom would have my brother to understand her “side” or things. My brother had gone through SO much in his lifetime that I wonder to this day how he has come through as well as he has.

Anyway, in nursing school I may have hit the height of my angst. My father died when I was in seventh grade. My mother did a really great job raising us alone in a time when most women remarried (She was 48 years old.) While I wasn’t in trouble in terms of Hallmark channel move trouble. I was however a handful. I pushed the boundaries and I am sure while mom was feeling the empty nest, she also had to have times of relaxation at my not being right there. I would later find release from life’s stresses in writing, in music, in painting. Nothing I shared much with anyone because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I was not the kind of person to hold onto the past too tightly- but clearly parts of it were tucked closely under the carpet.

Oddly enough there were a number of red flags waving throughout my life- even in my youth of the physical struggles ahead. But none were seen significantly and not in conjunction with one another. As far back as I can remember , I heard my mom telling me that I was throwing out my right foot when I walked and that my toes tended to toe in. The intensity of this varied. Back then most of anything unusual  with gait was treated with Ortho shoes- heavy clunky unsightly shoes. But mine were suede and while hot and unpopular, they felt soft and I liked that. At around 7 yrs old I struggled with anorexia and had a terrible “nervous stomach”.  Then a bit further down the road, there were a couple of incidences when I was swimming that suddenly I became exhausted and had to be rescued. These weren’t things I wanted much to be made of because it was important to me to be seen as physically strong and good at athletics. Once revealed though not much was made of it. I got scolded for going beyond my limits- for overdoing and not giving myself a rest in between play. I don’t recall the age I was. I think I may have been in jr high or in high school when I had sprained my ankle. It wasn’t getting better and became more painful than a sprained ankle should have been. Spent a long time using a cane- months. Had steroid injections in the joint- quite painful in and of themselves. In high school had times it was very difficult to see clearly when overheated. Later would have times when it was difficult to read with out magnifiers with my glasses and often at those times was wavy mosaic type vision and just not clear- which later I understood as doubling. I always thought doubling would be 2 completely separate sights of equal intensity. I would have episodes of exhaustion out of the blue- not fatigue but the exhaustion that my body was gonna lie down wherever I was. There were times (lengths of times – months) when I would be particularly clumsy. I would trip over my own feet. I would drop things a lot. And a symptom I had hidden from all- the ladies in the school office were the only ones who had a glimpse. In high school there were times I just would completely forget what my schedule was, where I was to be on that day. I would have to go to the office to find out my schedule. They would look it up for me- giving me the raised eyebrow when I returned again and again. Eventually they would print out my schedule for me- but I would lose track of those too. School came easy enough, if I paid some attention and did my homework- until trigonometry. That was where I dug in my feet. My teacher was a doctorate in mathematics who had taught my brother. My brother was a genius. There was no way I was going to understand a thing he said and the comparison to his work would crush me- so I just let it go and rarely tried at all. This “rebellion” hurt only me. Oddly was given another teacher the next year and with just a little effort of paying attention and doing my homework, aced the course. There were times I would “brain jam” as to where the room I was trying to go to was. A couple of times while driving the car, when meaning to brake at a stop sign I would think put your foot on the brake and would thud my foot down but miss the brake. This was terrifying and felt certain I would not be able to drive- so I shared this with no one. All little things on their own as I saw it. No one ever heard them all and now I wonder if they weren’t signs of what was happening physically in my brain. Now that I think of it, I doubt I ever shared this with any of my doctors in completeness- or even partially.

SO is it that my energy drops that low that when I “crash” I go into a type of cocoon and shut down as far as communication or conversation? Or is it just my way of coping with the overwhelmed feelings at that time? Is it that I hate for these changes I experience to be noticed by those who know me? My speech and coordination go away in the manner I know them during such times. I slur and stammer and experience word find problems during such times which occur at random and definitely when I am stressed, nervous, and often on the phone. I am not certain what exactly leads me to react this way and suspect it may be a combination of things. I imagine that a lifetime of trying to appear as nothing is wrong plays into it. Perhaps the downward spiral, is not how I want to be remembered.  There are times as I look back when I would insist that I was not told something or did not say something because it was wiped from my memory until out of the blue, months or years later it would flash in front of me. This is a hateful experience both embarrassing and often with a profound shame that I experience when I think of how I am perceived by the people involved. It has been important to me to live a life of integrity. I have fallen short in my own choices. That is not something I am proud of but do accept the responsibility. But when it is that my brain has done this without my choosing, it is embarrassing, provoking both shame and anger. Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for forgiveness for the choices I have made that hurt someone and for those things I have said or done that came from the illness and how it has affected me.

Ha! This has been like one of those meetings, “hi…my name is Bette Mae…and I have MS… It’s been minutes since my last symptom. The way this has affected my life are so numerous, it may be easier and quicker to name the ways it hasn’t…I’ll have to return to that when I come up with one…”

SO for those who feel shunned away it is not you, not anything you say or do. It is me. I beg your forgiveness for how this has hurt or angered or troubled you. Going forward I can say I will try to do better, but I am not certain how well I will keep that promise. I can make that promise consciously and can keep improving consciously but where this disease takes over, I cannot make that promise…as I am unaware of it happening at the time it is. I try to improve my awareness, my cognitive functioning. This disease however has as its focus to take my control over it all from me. I will not give up. I haven’t given up when these things happen. It may be a conflict that will leave me in the dust- but I will not go quietly. I will paddle as fast as I can.

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THAT discussion

   Every once in a while listening to the plans and yearnings of the young are eye opening for us It’s how we connect with what they are comfortable sharing … or so uncomfortable or unsure of emotions with in a relationship.  try to mostly listen. If I have something relevant then I share. It’s the flip side of what I am now certain my children felt as minors in our household. They endured the many varied discussions about those topics that were uncomfortable.

I know my family worries because in our town we have no one who are really close friends and supports. They aren’t people likely to be able to step up to help us if we both begin to have issues, for frequent socialization. This is a town of shrinking population whose finances are on average below middleclass or barely middleclass. The terrain where we are is quite hillside. This adds some risk for walking with that being a tad unstable as the ms progresses. It is quite inconvenient for my family who live about 40 minutes away to pick me up, take me to my appointments of about that same distance, bring me back and drive that 40 minutes home again- it’s pretty much most of the day affair. I am frustrated. I do understand their point with that. SO I miss more doctor’s appointments than I should.. My husband ,however has become the immovable force who sees all that the positives (as well as some I don’t really seem like his firm logic. He has gone as far to tell me if I were to move he would stay here regardless where I relocated, regardless of the job opportunities. Blows my mind.

   SO when this subject is touched on, it goes best in my husband’s absence. My younger daughter is a nurse who looks at it all from a health standpoint, particularly for me. SHe has seen the little slides that go under the radar/ by most of the others close to me. I can’t even calmly discuss it with him as he gets furious, having planned years of updating and repairing this house.  I am at a loss and really do not know what to be done about any of it. So meanwhile I listen to her points and I try to help her see some of the issues we face but it is as equally difficult to explain to her his point in staying here.

It’s funny to try to conceive of needs down the road. It ought to seem natural at this time of life with a disabling chronic progressive disease. AS always my mind is of two very different directions. There is the part of me who wants to stay out in the country. There is the practical side of me who wants to be in easy access to the various places of necessity to maintain independence as best as possible. Good Lord! I can talk myself into and out of nearly everything. This is also not a helpful trait in this case.

   Of course I must confess that as an adult I have moved about every few years. While being a bit rough on the kids, now that they aren’t at home ,wouldn’t this be the time for such moving? How I wish I still could work as a nurse. This would allow my husband tobe less concerned with his  having to worry about work needs. And I keep returning to this in frustration. This is a pointless point to revisit as it just doesn’t appear it will happen.

Between the pain and exhaustion, I am definitely fighting to hold my ground. It is a fight which leaves me defeated at times. Other times I feel it is not insurmountable. Having slept 2 hours last night battling restless leg syndrome and agonizing pain in my spine has left me at a disadvantage today. Some days are just uphill… parts of days are uphill. Right now that is where I am operating from it pays to break it down. It may turn out to be all day , for days, or weeks even- but there is no point reading into it as such. Believe the best, decide that you will handle whatever is coming, and work through as best I can. That’s all that’s left to us at this point. There are those who may see that as too resigned, but I have watched so many yo-yoing on the bandwagon of all is possible and I WILL make it all happen – and the inevitable lows of the crashing hard. I cannot base my happiness on the state of my functioning at the moment. I won’t do it. Life is too precious and far too much is wasted by those who believe they are shortchanged and locking themselves into their habits and medications, movements be totally dependent on getting out of pain as most possible. Okay for now it is time to move along with the day before addressing my other blogs. I really must apologize for any detachment or disconnection felt in this post. For those who have been through this…it is operating from behind my eyes… a day late and a dollar short.

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Greyhound bath day

 

Yep it’s pretty much always done in one day. That way no one feels singled out…instead they all do. You can see it in their faces. After the first one comes out looking like, “Well THAT was not what I was expecting to happen.” the rest look around a tad confused …something’s happening here. WHat it is ain’t exactly clear.. lol After the second dog who takes the after bath so much more actively running around the house rolling on everything as she tries to rub her scent back on. Meanwhile the first one bathed rests on our pillows- on our bed. Now I did towel dry and used the hair drier (on low) but as with all dogs, there is always more wet spots once they are washed. Kenny decided to film the antics of the quest to smell like she did with the other dog which brings an immediate end to the silly antics. She is now sleeping on the couch or appearing to do so as her eyes are squeezed tightly shut.

Now the other two are not dumb. Well, they try. Katie has “hid” herself under the shelf in all of the maybe 6 or 8 inch clearance, feeling cleverly blending in (White dog with brown brindle patches) with the deep red rug and blue pillow nearby. Well she is in an awkward place to be brought out from… but the hidden part needs work.  The big black male (90 some pounds) first sought refuge in the crate in the bedroom- actually quite wise as getting a 90 lb anything through those doors that is resisting would not be easily done. Now however he figures he better just come out  and is lying on the huge pillow by Katie. He seems resigned that his turn will come eventually so he may as well man up.  This is a back breaking process for us so it’s break time. And it appears my huisband and I are trying to outlast the other on this break thing. lol

Saw one of my grandpuppies last night as my younger daughter stopped by with her for a few minutes. She had just been to the groomer- the dog). I point that out because some days that looks like a pretty relaxing thing to do.(lol) Imagine the groomers surprise if I showed up in her place!! Well Sadie Girl is the beautiful white dog pictured in my blog This Life’s Grace.. She is believed to be part shepherd part husky or malamute or some sort of cold weather dog with a shorter snout than a shepherd- thick double coat. Eyeliner eyes. Just gorgeous. She smelled so nice and after 20 minutes of brushing before and after bathing, she was not shedding. She had a pretty pink silk scarf on and gave me the best “Gramma, it’s you!!! I love you I miss you! You love me. You miss me.” I must lick you extensively.” And bundles herself to fit on my lap- well she thinks she’s fitting. After her and “her mom” lived here a year, I miss her terribly, my dogs do as well and she does when she visits- but loves to run in our yard which is bigger and fenced in. ANyway- I miss my daughter of course. Some great memories of our time together here.

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This house or that?

 

Does it matter which house? Does it matter which neighborhood? Psychologists say that effect is huge- as great as genetics. But as an adult, disabled, in the autumn of my days- ha!! Ok maybe the coming of winter has already made itself known.

My husband has done so much on this house to make it more usable with my limitations. He tries to do those things he sees as necessities. He is driven to insanity by my incessant “Hey! There’s something I may be able to do!” Of course I obviously as I say it am realizing the unlikelihood, the obstacles…and sometimes I feel the greatest one is sitting next to me, bot wanting to bother with such an effort. It would mean to change his world. As he put it , he wants to come home from work, enjoy a walk with the dogs, sit down have his beer and hang with me in our home. Why is there something inside me pushing for more…not for more things, not for fancy vacations. What else do I see out there? I see so much to see, to do, to make a difference. I see a change, is that unusual for someone who cannot change the condition which has made itself at home? Or is this part of the reason for so many anti you name it meds? I am a nurse. Iwas a nurse. I know better but there are times when it feels like I am being told to hush up and be a good handicapped person…quiet, do what you can to help without any risk, get used to this condition. Too bad you’re getting older too. But you are so suck it up, be content with whatever is in between those 4 walls .

   It doesn’t matter where you live because you are the one making the money.It can’t be done. Whatever you’re thinking , it can’t so stop thinking. Here this is what you should do to keep yourself busy.. It’s a good cause. You can make some calls. You know, the ones we all hate to make.

I listen to the aspirations of others and I tell them to go for it. Don’t hold back. Don’t hold yourself back- there are enough others to do that. Soar. You were born for that piece of poetry in life- yours. Be that poetry.

 

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