Friday, February 28, 2014

GOT MILK?

"It's time to milk the cow" is what I always announce when milk needs to be purchased from the store.  I have to admit my household consumes a lot of milk.  In fact, we love milk!  I say "we", but it's actually me who consumes large quantities of moo juice. 

Earlier this week upon picking up my youngest son from work I made my usual announcement thinking we'd just stop at a convenience store on the way home.  I have the "I buy, you fly" policy so he knew he'd be expected to go in the store, but wouldn't have to spend his own money.  What ensued from Point A to Point B was a 30 minute dissertation about me drinking too much milk.  I graciously listened and simply asked him as we pulled into the store parking lot, "So what's the bottom line?  Am I supposed to stop drinking so much milk?"  My theory is that he just didn't feel like going into the store because the answer to my question was a quick "no" as I parked the car. He did come back with a Milky Way as a peace offering, so I guess his whole dissertation was a moot point, but one in which he was willing to concede his defeat. 

Before any of you start typing out a response telling me that large amounts of dairy might not be good for me, let me move on to the rest of the story.  I have a vitamin D deficiency.  For the last 9 months I take huge quantities of prescribed vitamin D, but my numbers never improve when I have blood tests done every 3 months.  I remain hopeful, but in the meantime it's time to milk the cow!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

MY SLICE OF LIFE

My slice of life!
Monday I had a child support court date. Although this saga has been an ongoing one for almost 3 decades, fortunately, I haven't had to attend a court date in many, many years.  You see, when my children were young their father felt he had no financial or moral obligation to them after we got divorced.  Many times I tried to reason with him by telling him any unpaid child support wasn't a debt that simply vanished like the proverbial rabbit in the magician's hat and I also tried countless times to encourage him to have a relationship with his children. Both pleas fell on deaf ears!  Due solely to his bad choices he learned the hard way and now he pays back child support on a debt that was at one time over $70,000.  The current balance is just over $14,000, so I'm sure he finally sees the light of day, but the real damage he did goes far deeper than what can be seen in dollars and cents.  The real damage can be measured by his two sons (both in their 30's) who refer to him not as their father, but as "the sperm donor".  

This snippet wasn't intended to be about him or the debt he incurred during his deadbeat era, but rather about the large cesspool in which many divorced parents drown...the child support system.  I was truly amazed at how unprepared the hearing officer was regarding the information in each case presented.  The judge was clearly annoyed at her, but bureaucracy seems to always have so much red tape that prevents one hand from ever knowing what the other is doing. Nothing runs smoothly or quickly and it's the children who ultimately suffer!  

As I left the courtroom, I breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing that my days struggling to stay afloat in that system were all, but over.  My children are grown and no longer have to hear me tell them that delayed gratification builds character each time they had to wait to get something they wanted. I worked hard throughout their childhood and provided for all their needs.  It was their wants that sometimes suffered due to lack of funds, but I'm sure they're stronger, more understanding men for having gone through that.  

As I watched my ex walk across the parking lot I tried to remember why I ever loved him and what I ever saw in him. All I saw now as I took one last look at him was a cold, bitter middle-aged man and truthfully, what I saw didn't appeal to me on any level. As I sat there and reveled in my indifference, all of a sudden it made sense to me why it felt good to tell the judge I had no objection to him having his driver's license reinstated.  Harboring no ill will or resentment towards him gave me a sudden rush of good feelings, but not for him...they were for me. I was proud of myself for rising above and moving forward. It felt so liberating knowing I really was on the other side looking back and not the over way around.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

THE KNIFE OF FLU'S REGRET

This week's Words For Wednesday are: incarcerate, phlegm, damp, groan, knife and blessing.
 

A flummoxed state of being
A blessing in disguise
A fevered mind thinks of freeing
A vision from its tear stained eyes.

In a darkened room
Loudly from within
I groan from gloom, I moan with doom
The questions now begin.

To be or not to be
Incarcerate or flee
To be or not to be
Influenza vexes me.

Phlegm soaked tissues; swollen glands
A body damp with fevered sweat
Needs the tender care of loving hands
To pacify the knife of flu’s regret.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MARKETING GENIUS OR TASTELESS TWIT?

Anyone familiar with youtube knows they come accompanied with an annoying commercial at the beginning of each video.  The viewer has the option to skip the ad after a just a few seconds. For quite awhile whenever I'd view any youtube video, I always get the same advertisement.  After skipping it many times, I finally watched it.  OMG!  WTF! Were the advertisement gods trying to tell me something? Is this stuff for real?  And if so, I know what I'm buying everyone for Christmas next year!

  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

PENICILLIN FOR YOUR SOUL

Taken from Under The Porch Light's Words For Wednesday:
 
Words for Wednesday’  is a once a week writing prompt that has carried over from ‘thefeatherednest’.  The prompt could be a selection of words,  a photo,  an idea or a couple of sentences you can use to start a piece of flash fiction.  Write a poem or a story using as much or as little of the prompt as you please or offer us something entirely different as a prompt.  There are no deadlines, no rules...just a bit of good clean fun.  Put your creation in comments here or let us know if you are posting on your own blog.   Please let me know if you want to be listed in the sidebar as a participant.
 
Today’s prompt is:
actual
spontaneous
remedy
fanciful
mesmerized
cranium
 
OR
 
listen
glisten
christen
moisten
hasten
penicillin
 
I chose "listen, glisten, christen, moisten, hasten and penicillin" and wrote the following short poem using those words:
 

Can you hear your inner song?

It beckons you to sing along

Painted with love’s brightest ray

A glisten-streaked joyful day

 

A song to christen your doubtful heart

With eternal hope and fearless starts

Moisten the most barren land

With seeds to sow and gentle hand

 

Hasten now my wounded child

That inner song will make you smile

It may sound like rock and roll

Penicillin for your soul.
 
I love reading the various responses posted on Under The Porch Light.  The creativity that flows forth is simply amazing!  Thank you, Delores for allowing me to participate!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TO POT OR NOT: THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA DEBATE

When I disclosed my various health issues in THE BEAST WITHIN ME or when I revealed my angst regarding the pain I experience in THE TRUTH IS A VIRUS , I should have taken those opportunities to start a discussion regarding medical marijuana. As they always say..."better late than never!"

Twenty states now have laws making the use of medicinal marijuana legal as long as it's prescribed by a licensed physician. Unfortunately I don't live in any of those states so I can't try it out unless I do it illegally at the present time.  At my age, risky behavior has lost its appeal. Florida and a few other states have medical marijuana amendments on their November 2014 ballots.  Since I reside in Florida, I thought it's time to become better informed.  I've read many articles about all the studies and research done regarding medical marijuana and its uses, but I think I need more than that.  I need the personal touch of having an actual discussion/debate to be able to better weigh its possible benefits.  

I know the opposition still regards marijuana as nothing more than gateway drug and sees it as having no real value to treat any medical condition, but from what I've read lately the majority of the medical community considers medical marijuana as a viable option to treat many health problems. Perhaps, after going down the road of trying various types of narcotic pain killers, having several surgeries and trying alternative methods of pain management (massage therapy, aquatic therapy, internal and external neurostimulators and chiropractors) to help ease my chronic pain and to help improve the quality of my life by making it easier for me to function, I'm more than ready to try something I can benefit from for the long haul! 

Yes, medical marijuana is becoming a hot topic, but I know many people are hesitant to discuss it and whether it should be legal or not, but let's face it, the times they are a changing! For those of you who aren't afraid to speak out, I'd really like to read your opinions on the subject both pro and con.  Do you know anyone who lives in a state where medical marijuana is legal and benefits from its use?  If so, what's the medical condition that it's used to treat?  And if you had one of the many conditions medical marijuana is supposed to help, would you consider using it as a viable treatment rather than taking a man made pharmaceutical with potential harmful side effects or subjecting yourself to repeated surgeries that don't help?  Is medical marijuana just a stoner's ultimate pipe dream or should I look into this treatment if it becomes legal?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SPRING IS ON ITS WAY!


February’s frost still blankets
An otherwise warm Southern ground
But today like a welcomed telegram
The robins noisily arrived on their long trek home
Bringing a message of instant hope
Singing songs of spring and how to cope.
Brilliant red breasts speckled the landscape
But like a zipper, quickly shut
Flash!
They are gone...
 

Monday, February 10, 2014

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?




Old Glory has seen better days!
I live in a neighborhood where the neighborly thing to do is to steal from your neighbors.  Oh, I guess it can't be called stealing if you borrow something from someone and the person that loaned the item dies.  Proper etiquette in those instances dictates that by default the item becomes yours and thus the item never has to be returned. And does taking the morning paper count as stealing?  Isn't possession 9/10's of the law?
My favorite tree...it has
character
 and refuses to die.
I live in a neighborhood where the standard practice is to display being a proud American by waving old Glory until she is battered and tattered into submission.  Maybe this is the South's subversive way of showing where their true allegiance lies.  To be honest I've never seen one Confederate flag displayed in such a disrespectful manner or a ROLL TIDE banner.

I live in a neighborhood where my neighbor has had the same pitiful diseased tree for more than 30 years.  My kids are all in their 30's now and that diseased tree was used to climb in when they were young.  Perhaps the homeowner is a tree hugger, but I doubt it since they had Romney-Ryan signs all over the front yard long after the last presidential election. Uh! Oh! Did I really accuse a republican not being being a tree hugger? Shame on me!

Take note of the flag
and the cross
 

I live in a neighborhood where Christmas lights are put up on the outside of homes long before Thanksgiving and left there long after the New Year.  Sometimes a person is even bold enough to leave them there all year long.  I love that kind of Christmas spirit and in honor of it, I decided to leave my Christmas tree up (an artificial one, of course) all year long.  I think the art of laziness should really be explored more deeply.

I live in a neighborhood where the religious zealots who come door to door obviously don't know what NO SOLICITORS means. I guess they don't consider what they're doing is trying to sell religion or maybe it's as simple as being just plain stupid. I always want to direct them 2 doors down to the house with the flashing cross on the outside.  They definitely want God to notice them!  Me? I just tell them I'm Jewish or Muslim and that gets them moving along fast enough. 
At least there's no car
up on
blocks and
dogs sleeping underneath

I live in a neighborhood where many people believe mowing the grass is an option.  It seems the going trend is grow it all summer and let the winter kill the over growth and weeds. Those people who take that approach to mowing usually have discarded tires in the front yard and other unsightly junk decorating their yard.  I must admit it makes me want to have a dump truck full of fresh manure delivered and dumped in my front yard in the dead of summer when it's close to 100 degrees.  The only problem with doing that is I'm afraid everyone in the neighborhood would either steal my shit or beat the shit out of me!  

I guess it's drop one AC
out the
window and
 install another.

No, I don't steal from my neighbors (honestly, I can't see anything worth stealing).  I don't have a tattered American flag.  I don't have a diseased tree.  I don't have Christmas lights or religious artifacts.  My yard is mowed.  The trash is put where it's supposed to go...in the trashcan.  Let's face it!  I simply don't belong! I guess it's time for me to get new neighbors!  Wouldn't you like to be my neighbor?

Monday, February 03, 2014

WHEN THE LAUGHTER STOPS

I really don't get it!  When a celebrity dies from a drug overdose (the list is a very long one) or does something totally outrageous (that list is a very long one, as well), the person is glorified by the press or they become instant comedic material.  Everyone who knows the person makes heartfelt comments regarding the person and their behavior while the rest of us sit back, act surprised and claim how much we'll miss the person or we scratch our heads and we claim we don't understand why some people act so recklessly when they have so much going for them.  They we have a good laugh at their expense. The answer to the puzzle regarding other people's erratic behavior is that too few of us really understand the nature of the beasts named Addiction and Mental Illness and too many of us downplay and ignore their destructive powers until something dreadful happens.

One of my biggest problems regarding drug abuse and mental illness is the lack of positive involvement a person gets from others.  I'm not saying we need to take all the responsibility for people with serious problems, but we need to at least share in some of it.  We need to be strong, stay strong and do our part to help stop people from pissing their lives away needlessly. We need to step up when these people aren't strong enough to step up for themselves. We can make a difference in someone else's life, but that difference can only be made through perseverance and being armed with the right tools to do so.

My problem is also with the press who doesn't use each celebrities' demise as a vehicle to show others especially the young and impressionable how and when to get help.  There is no shame in reaching out and asking for help.  The shame is in not doing it.  So many of us find a celebrities' antics as being nothing more than a joke (hello Justin Bieber, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Britney Speers, Paris Hilton and many others) when in reality their behavior is a loud cry for help.  I know denial is a strong thing, BUT come on, drugs really do kill people and mental illness crushes people's lives.  Drugs not only take the lives of the rich and famous (except Keith Richards who will probably live forever), but they claim the lives of everyday, non-celebrity people, also.  Mental illness effects an estimated one out of every four people.  I know we can't physically force a person stop using drugs unless we lock that person up or be compliant in taking the proper medications to treat a mental illness, but we can do interventions and sometimes those interventions work.  I guess my point is that there is help out there and that maybe those people in dire need of help, just need to be reminded they aren't alone and that there is and can be life without drugs or the stigma of having a mental illness. 

Sometimes all a person needs is a little compassion. Sometimes all a person needs is a little understanding.  Sometimes all a person needs is a little love.  Sometimes they need to be confronted over and over again until they do something about their problem before their problem does something about them.  What they don't need is to be enabled.  They don't need a bunch of mixed signals from their family and friends.  They need consistency and stability.  They need positive influences and reinforcement. And if they're famous, they don't need the press to glorify their actions or their deaths when what they should be doing is stepping up and being a spokesperson.  Others may be less talented or wealthy then what they are, but their lives are just as important. Everyone is worth saving. Addiction and mental illness may not be a conscious choice anyone makes, but not seeking help for either one is.  We all need to remember that and do whatever we can to make a difference and not be part of the problem.