Thursday, June 30, 2011

What have I learned so far from my big fall?

I've been trying to think about what it means to be injured -- not horribly injured, as in paralyzed or blinded, but definitely sidelined. If I were a sports player, I would be benched. I'm having to type with my left pointer finger. Not so great. I also find that my concentration is limited, and my memory is pitiful. I have left things behind, forgotten words and names, and I feel pretty cranky in general. So maybe I've learned nothing yet. I'm taking in the fact that I have a great many friends who are concerned. I appreciate so much the ones who have been able to bring me food when I couldn't get out, and run me on errands when I couldn't drive. I can only barely drive yet.
I have a feeling there is a lesson still to be revealed. If you have been injured I'd like to hear from you. What have you learned, if anything?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Enough?

During the Vietnam War the people of the US put enough pressure on Congress to lower the voting age to 18 because young men were being drafted at 18, fighting, dying for our country at 18. I know the drinking age was 18 in some states as well. I don't know if that was nationwide.
The voting age remained. The draft was abolished in favor of an all volunteer military. But during the Vietnam War, it was rare for people to do more than one tour. Now they do three or four. Our volunteer military goes way above and beyond the call of duty IMHO. But that is not my subject today.
Age is. We are an aging population in the US. I had many friends who went to the war I protested. I worked for the US Army Recruiting Main Station before I became a protester, so I witnessed literally hundreds of young men going off to war.
One thing that never occurred to me to protest was the age limits for holding office. This morning I read an article on this topic. John Seery is proposing an amendment to the US Constitution to lower the age requirements. I agree with him. Read his article and see what you think.

Friday, June 24, 2011

down ... temporarily out

like humpty i took a great fall. yesterday at weiden & kennedy, missed the last step, went down hard on left knee and right hand. hand so hard that i broke my elbow. now typing one-fingered with left hand. don't expect a lot of words for awhile! i'm in a cast.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Intention of my work

Today I am completing an application to further my work as a playwright. I haven't written a lot about my playwriting here on this blog. When I started here I thought I would. I thought I might even put up scenes from plays here. So far, no. I thought I might put up poems, and I did put up a few, then I learned that posting poems on one's blog was considered "publishing" them and I stopped. Good grief. I was looking for feedback on fledging poems, but that was my naivete. Now that I know, I won't be posting poems here until after they have been published elsewhere. After I have already sent them out into the world. Scenes from plays can always be reworked. Playwriting is a whole 'nother ballgame.
Anyway, the app asks, as one possibility, for a person to describe her intention of her work. Today I think I might choose that option. So, I am here to explore with you or in front of you, that intention. And then, I'd love to hear from you what YOUR intention is about your own work, any piece of your work. Whatever you are working on in your life. Put it out there. For example, for a long time I worked in the field of disability. I was an examiner for Social Security. Then an analyst for that insurance company, then a supervisor, then a manager. Then I left to become a person who represented Social Security claimants at their hearings before Administrative Law Judges for their disability benefits. I was good at it. Because my intention in that job was for a win-win-win. I felt that what I did benefited not only the claimants by obtaining their benefits for them, but the insurance company by reducing their payout, as well as Social Security by assuring that only the people with genuine claims were being represented. I should add a 4th win, because of course, my company also got paid. I loved that job. That's the one I retired from.
My intention for my work as a playwright is similar. I want my characters to overcome their obstacles, my plays to have the proper structure so my audience feels the satisfaction from a story well told. Above all, I want my audience to be entertained. Not necessarily happy, but moved in some way, changed from the time they entered the venue.
How about you? How do you get satisfaction from your work? Does intention help you?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Supreme Court Rules for Wal-Mart against 1.5 million women today

The Justices ruled 5.4 to throw out a discrimination suit against Wal-Mart today brought by almost 1.5 million female employees of Wal-Mart who alleged that the employer discriminated against them because they were women. Didn't pay equal wages for equal work, didn't promote them the same as men, and so on. Same old same old. Case is thrown out. I have this to say about that: we would not have to sue for equal wages, or sex discrimination if we were equal citizens under the law. Women are do not have equal rights in this country. We never have had. We have yet to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
We have tried. We have come THIS close. We could still do it. We are THREE STATES away from passing the ERA. Still. I know, it seemed like we lost back in 1978, and many of us gave up hope, and the whole Women's Rights movement pretty much fizzled out at that point. There are still feminists, even Second Wave feminists. Now Third Wave feminists. But there is now legal interpretation that shows we can still pass the ERA itself if three more states will ratify it. We need to put life into the movement once again. For this we need new blood. We need our BROTHERS, we need our ALLIES, we need everyone who is willing for women to have equal rights to stand up and be counted.
Please go to and read up on this issue. See what you can do, and then take some small (or large or ANY size) action. Be a hero for women's rights. Do you have equal rights in your state? Are you a feminist? What does the word feminist mean to you?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day: My Dad

I was a daddy's girl, but I called him Dad. Many of my earliest memories are of my Dad. He took me with him to the woods, fishing, "hunting" although he never killed anything in front of me after the turtle incident when I was two. We were fishing and he caught a turtle and killed it. I freaked. He fished and hunted for our protein, but I was not having turtle, even at two, believe me. I was 4 or 5 before I figured out that the squirrel and rabbit we ate was the same as the ones running around outside. (duh). I stopped eating them then. I never ate deer. I think he only brought it home once and that was only part of one that he was sharing with a relative. Anyway, after the turtle, he did target practice when we went out, but mostly when we went tramping around the woods he was teaching me how to be quiet, how to identify plants (poison ivy, edibles), how to find my way back home, how to track animals. He also taught me how to shoot when I was about 6, and made me a sawed off .22 when I was 7 -- the year he died of a heart attack.
When I was 4, Dad taught me to read and tell time. Reading was the greatest gift, and he had infinite patience. I sat on his lap going "what's that word, Dad?" and "what's that word?" until I knew all the words. Then he, Mom and I sat and read together every evening until bedtime. Dad always tucked me in and sang to me as long as I can remember, until he died. He also used to ask me if I would always be daddy's little girl and if I would always sit on his lap. I would say yes, and he would say "even when you're 14?" And I would say yes. We never had the chance to test that promise.
Dad wanted a boy, but he got me. There had been a boy before me, but he died before he was a full 24 hours old. So, he had to make do with a girl. I would never have guessed that I was second choice. Not when I was little. If he had lived until I was a teen, things would probably have got tense. He didn't, so I continued to idolize him.
Dad has been gone a very long time now. I still miss him. I have come to see that he had his flaws, as we all do. I think he did his best to save me from my mom and that's why he took me with him to the woods, to his work when he could. I wonder whether he was happy with my mom, or whether he stayed with her for the sake of me and my sister (she was still a toddler when he died). Whatever the reason, I'm glad he was there to the end. My heart broke the day he died. I prayed on my knees every night for two years to be taken so I could be with him. That didn't happen, obviously.
Here's to you, Dad. You were the best. If reincarnaton does exist, I hope to see you in the next life.

Wedding Day: Fiona and Kaspa

Congratulations to the bride and groom, may you be happy together forever. Here is the small stone I wrote for the couple:

Purple hearts of the redbud tree weep raindrops of happiness onto white roses who hold their petals as if for the bride's bouquet.

As I look out my window today in Portland, Oregon the weather has changed once again back to rain for a couple of days. My Eastern Redbud sits in front of my door, its beautiful purple heart-shaped leaves bright against a background of many shades of green. Under it is a rose bush with stark white roses. Today, the purple leaves are drip drip dripping with rain, and drops are glistening all along the branches as well. Yesterday the sun was shining through the leaves, making them deep red -- another gorgeous sight, today it is rain and I choose to see the drops as tears of happiness for the bride. They do seem happy and have gathered so many people to celebrate with them, asked people to write these small stones for their wedding. To share in their joy. Brilliant! Ask for what we want, share our joy. These are concepts to be taken up and employed in all our lives, people. Better than wedding cake!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Knowledge is Power

When I was in my late teens I thought I knew so much. I had already experienced quite a lot of life: love, marriage, childbirth and was living the life of a battered wife of an alcoholic. I was biding my time until I turned 21 and could escape (in Missouri you had to have your parent's permission to divorce if you were under 21 and I didn't have it). I hadn't graduated high school, but I was self educated. I read everything, carrying my paperback dictionary with me on the bus to work, looking up every word I didn't know as I read my way through Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. After the Greeks I moved on to other philosophers, other readings. At 21 I finally asked a librarian for a list of the classics and read authors by the armload. Complete works of Dickens, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and so on. Wish I had been pointed to women authors earlier, but picked those up in the 70s.
When I went back to school, university at age 29, I tested out of the entire first year of college and all English requirements, all Fine Arts. 30 semester hours total. After I finally finished my university degree many years later, and wrote my master's thesis and had it accepted, I did think I knew quite a lot.
Those words engraved over the side door of my high school "Knowledge is Power" stayed with me. I know that my vocabulary, my ability to learn quickly, my excellent memory in my younger years, my insatiable thirst for information -- all have combined to help in move ahead in the world. I was able to provide for my family because of those things.
I could have been a factory worker like my mom with a tenth grade education, but I fought hard to move past that. I was kicked out of high school for being pregnant. My teenage husband was insanely jealous and when my (female) teacher at night school drove me home one night, he thought I hadn't gone because I didn't walk out the front door of the school(and he had come to check up on me.) So I was beaten and had to drop out.
Now that I'm older and actually think about things, I find that I don't know as much as I thought I did. So much of what seemed so clear now seems so fluid. So amorphous. Yesterday I wrote about the meaning of love, and not being sure that I do understand the meaning of love. Lately I've been thinking about what I believe about life. All my life I have believed in reincarnation. I mean ALL my life. When I was a very young child I remembered, remembered clearly my past lives. I would tell my mom about "before." I would say to her, "don't you remember Mama, when I was the Mom and you were the little girl?" and so on. I got into trouble for this belief at Sunday School until finally Mom told me to stop talking about these things at Sunday School, stop telling these stories. She tried to convince me they were dreams. They were not dreams. They were memories.
I also experienced deja vu ALL the effing time. It happened so often I couldn't believe other people weren't experiencing it too. It never happens to me any more. Why is that? And why did it happen so often when I was a child? What is that about? Why do I suddenly sound like Andy Rooney? Good lord.
So, if I believe in reincarnation, what else does that mean? I thought that made me a Buddhist. I have told people for years that I believe in the Goddess. I have had dreams about the Goddess, in which she comes to me and tells me I will never be alone, and so on. But I don't actually believe there is some Goddess somewhere in the sky or outer space somewhere protecting me. It's more that I believe we are all one. Like all the same energy connected molecules, and we will all just come back and come back over and over. Like that. But is there a higher power?
Will we always be people? Why would we be? When I say "we" are all connected, I mean that everything in the universe is connected, everything that is made of the same energy is connected. We could as easily be a cloud or a raindrop or a star or a piece of bugshit. Right? All the same. So why the memories?
What about Karma? Why do we have minds and memories and morals? This is too much to puzzle over in one day, particularly with a migraine. Ha ha! Threw you with that one, eh? Yes. This is one of those headache days in which I cannot take meds because I can take them only twice in a 7 day period. Two more days before I can take meds again. So, I am writing to take my mind off the pain. Now I will rest.
Please, if you have thoughts on these topics that you are willing to share, I'm interested.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Understanding the Meaning of Love

Today I worked at one of my part time jobs. This one has some built in downtime and we are to bring a quiet activity. I brought a book, and I brought an essay to work on. I thought I would try to write an essay for a contest. I didn't think I would win it, this is one that attracts literally thousands of entrants. I thought it would be good practice for me, and because it has a big prize ($3,000) and lots of competition, I would try my best. Then I pulled it out, and looked at the title. "When did you first understand the meaning of love?"
I used up all my first bit of downtime thinking about that question. Not making notes or working on a mind map. Just thinking. Back to work. Next downtime. Had to re-read the question. So, when DID I first understand the meaning of love? Well, what IS the meaning of love? I didn't have access to anything except my own brain at the time, so I pondered. I thought about my first experience of love and assumed that must have been my parents. The problem is I don't think my mom actually loved me. So forget that. My dad loved me. But my dad died when I was seven years old. Did I understand the meaning of love by then? I don't think so, because at that time I think I believed my mom loved me. Although it wasn't long until I understood that she did not.
So then I thought about my own children and how I love them and when I loved them and I just feel like such a bad mother myself that I couldn't think what to write about that. I thought about people I have professed to love and all I can do is wonder: do I understand the meaning of love? I know what unconditional love is when I am on the receiving end: my cat gives it to me. My babies gave it to me until they had been hurt enough times not to trust people any more, to be wary of giving love without condition. I didn't abuse my kids, I don't mean that. But I yelled at them, I withheld love from them, I ignored them when I could have been loving and kind. They felt hurt, ignored, unloved.
And what's the use of thinking about people I've been "in love" with? It was never unconditional, it always changed.
So, what is love anyway? When I say I love someone what do I mean? I love my daughter probably more than anyone in the world. Today that means I would do anything in the world for her. I would die for her. And yet she is also the person I have caused the most hurt. I can't change that, but I would if I could. I love my grandchildren, my sister, my son, my friends, even my mom.
When I say I love you, it means something. I'm not always sure what. I think we've established that it doesn't mean I'll always live near you. For some of the people I love it does mean that I will do anything for you, give you anything I have. Those are a precious few. For everyone else, I'm still exploring the meaning of love. I'm open to discussion.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Overcoming our personal history

Yesterday I went to see a one-woman show by Brenda Phillips called No More Pity Party Blues. Brenda has a gorgeous voice and is a wonderful entertainer. (She is also an artist, and her "tickets" were take home cards of her art. Bonus!) Her material flowed through stories from her life, covering the first time she was "in love" in second grade through being sexually abused by "play uncles" through real loves in her adult life, to today. She shows how she has come to take responsibility for her own self, her own part in her happiness. Along the way there was wonderful singing of the blues and gospel that had the audience moving, clapping, and vocalizing along. Next time she brings this show out to play, be sure to go. I'll let you know as soon as I hear about it. This was a short notice kind of thing, Brenda will be bringing it back.
I too have been working on my own personal history, as I recently wrote about. We all have things we have to overcome. Some are worse than others. For me I find that some of the things that might be considered the most horrendous to others are not the ones that were hanging me up. Or maybe not the first step. My most recent non-fiction piece that I wrote about was about being molested by a friend of my mom's. Not losing my virginity at the age of 12, or being married at 15, or being a battered wife, or when I was raped, or the things that I consider much worse that I won't even mention here. But that molestation was what changed me from the innocent babe that I was, to the person I was to become. I began taking the steps to take charge of my own life, began making my own bad decisions that led to many of those bad things that happened later in my life.
At this stage in my life the big decisions all have to do with forgiveness. Brenda talked about that yesterday. Forgiving oneself. I find it relatively easy to go back and forgive my 12 year old self for the decisions I made, but I still stick at the decisions I made at 21 and older. Intellectually I can say that I did the best I could at the time. When I knew better I did better. My heart twists and turns when I try to forgive those decisions that resulted in pain for my children. I'm still working on forgiveness.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Deep Thinking

My friend Jenny is spending an entire year doing things she has never done and blogging about it. This has led to some deep thinking -- on MY part. Today her entry is about a friend of hers who is moving away, and Jenny thinks about what it is like for the person left behind. I am a person who has moved so many times I can't remember how many, and until today I don't remember giving a thought to how the people I left behind were feeling. Maybe I did. But I don't remember it. I do remember wondering why they would be angry at me, why they wouldn't be happy for me.
From the time I started reading books at age 4, and knew there were other places to be, I wanted to go to those places. And I didn't just want to see them, I wanted to live there. I wanted to live in faraway places. But in lots of places. Also, I love houses. Apparently, all houses. So, I always wanted to move. I like decorating, I like redecorating. I'm forever seeing another place I want to live in. Once I was away from home (at 15), I started changing houses. Once I was free to move out of town, I did. My second marriage was to a military man. After I divorced him, I was even freer to move around. I started in Missouri, but I've lived in Alaska, Texas, Kansas, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and in Oregon.
I've traveled to every state but Delaware and Rhode Island, and to 20 countries on 4 continents. I have friends in many places, friends I see fairly often. Two of my dearest friends live in other countries. I have as many close friends in NYC as I do in Portland.
Maybe. Maybe I feel that close to them because traveling is such a part of my nature. Maybe they don't feel that close to me. Maybe they only feel that close to people who ARE that close, literally. If I can't be there to wrap my arms around them, hold them when they need it, bring them something to read, make a pot of soup, am I really the friend I think I am? Or am I all just talk? Nice warm cozy words that no one can cuddle up to when pain is real and what they really want is a warm body, not a virtual hand.
These are the thoughts I am having today. I have no plans to move today or any time in the future. I'm happy in my 250 square feet. But if I ever do move again, I will have a different attitude about leaving people behind.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I support women's plays and new work in theatre.

I'm hoping you'll join me in sending money to support this new play:
Mara Lathrop is a brilliant playwright who has won awards with her work, and like all playwrights -- but especially women -- struggles to get her work produced. She has raised some money already and is currently raising more specifically to compensate the artists in this production.
I've written here before how I've irritated local theatre companies with my emails addressing the inequity of women's plays in their lineups. I won't go into that again right now. I will say that there is a recent article in the New York Times about the dearth of women's plays being produced in New York. So, even if I weren't a playwright myself, if I were just an audience member -- which I also am -- I would support women's plays. As a playwright though, I also feel compelled to support NEW work. If I don't advocate for new work and ask others to do so, how can I hope to get my own work produced? What if all we ever watched were things we know we like already?
It's beginning to seem that way in movies, isn't it? Everything is a sequel or a prequel to something we already know and love. How safe is that? Come on people! Get risky! Dare to taste something new, see something you might not like, take a chance. A movie is less than ten bucks. So you waste a couple of hours. You can actually get up out of your seat and go home and waste your time in front of the televison. Or, get this: you can read a book.
At the theater, seeing a live play you might want to wait for intermission, or in one of those new-fangled plays where you have to sit through the entire 90 minutes, you'll have to watch the whole thing -- or not! People actually do get up and walk out if they are offended or bored, you can do that. But look at it like an adventure! Be the explorer of your posse. Choose something from your local rag or online calendar that has a title or synopsis that piques your interest, call and make reservations, or buy your online tix, and show up.
Or if that's too bold, just donate a few bucks to Mara's Garden of Monsters. Please.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You think you have it bad?

Sometimes we feel really down, life can be really unfair. Then we look around just a little and sure enough, someone has it worse. One of my dear friend's husband is battling a relapse of throat cancer when the first battle was scarcely over. The treatment is dreadful, and the odds aren't great. They have twin boys who just turned 14. But wait -- they're not the ones I mean. No, it's their friends who were similar. The mom is fine, the dad just lost his battle with cancer a little over a month ago. They also have two boys, one 16, the other 10. The 16 year old was shot in the chest on Sunday in an accident. He's in critical care, has lost a lung. Now it's just Mom and the younger brother praying for all they're worth not to become half a family. Prayer circles have been formed, people are donating blood in his name.

Still, if we look around further, there are others even worse off. People suffering alone with no one to care or notice. If you are alone, maybe you can notice or care about someone today who needs your notice. Sometimes that is all we can do. And sometimes that is enough.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writing on Wednesday

On Twitter, people use hashtags (the number sign) and words together to create categories that can be searched. On Wednesdays, there is #WriterWednesday or just #WW. People sometimes report what they're writing, where they've been published, or share their favorite authors, blogs, books, all kinds of writing. This is a good way to learn about what is new in the publishing world. New authors to follow, new writers to learn from. I love reading tips from other writers, even if I've heard them before or read them before, it is good to be refreshed. All writers love to read about writing, especially when we aren't writing at the moment.
Today I worked at one of my part-time jobs, which entailed taking two buses on the way, walking a mile after the second bus, working for two hours, then hitching a ride for that mile, and taking two more buses back home. The first bus of the day was 35 minutes late because the Rose Fleet arrived downtown and the bridges were up. So, I spent all that time just standing looking down the street and checking my watch. After a certain amount of time I knew I was going to have to walk that mile. Not happy, me. Not that I can't use the exercise. I was looking forward to having the time to get lunch and go over my script for work. It all worked out okay. I had a cold wrap and still had time to go over the script anyway. Plus I got some exercise.
Walking gave me time to finish up the non-fiction piece I worked on the past two days. When I got home this evening, I went over it again, reading it aloud and made the changes I had made in my head earlier. Then I found three journals to which to submit it, and did so. Now I have something to tweet about. And that's my #WW. You?

Monday, June 6, 2011


After spending my writing time for the past two days on a piece in which I felt many things, one of them shame, even though I was blameless, the feeling is up there for me today. And along comes Representative Weiner of NY, standing up in front of a crowd of press and accepting responsibility for his admittedly "dumb" actions and feeling the shame of it all. He had some tears, and he squirmed, but he stood up and answered all the questions they threw at him. I thought he would read his statement and leave, but he didn't. He said he would now take their questions, and he took them all. He answered them all, over and over again. He denied nothing. He said that he had initially denied sending the picture and tweeting because he was embarrassed and he knew he had done a dumb thing and he didn't want to get caught. He told lie after lie. And now he was finally telling the truth and he felt horrible, and it was no one's fault but his own. He refused to blame it on alcohol, or anything that could be counseled away, anything but his own lack of judgment.
I don't know the man. As I watched him, I felt as if I did. I felt as if I were feeling the shame, the sadness, the surreal-ness of all those reporters asking those questions. He found the inner strength -- I think -- in the truth. By not having to come up with another lie, by telling the truth, he was able to stand there and continue to answer their questions.
May he continue telling the truth and learn from this. May we all learn a lesson today from watching a man face his shame head on and beat it back with the light of truth.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mining the past

For the past 22 years I've been writing about an incident in my life that happened when I was 12 years old. It wasn't the most horrible thing that ever happened to me by any means. I've often wondered why do I keep writing about it, why does it stick in my mind, drawing me back the way a lost tooth draws a tongue to the hole in the gum. I wrote 600 pages in 1989 in 6 weeks at a mountain retreat. Since that time I've reworked that material, written short stories, plays, poems from that mass of material, sometimes going back to the same incident, sometimes not -- but that incident is the spark. I think I have finally found the reason why. That was the pivotal moment, the incident that forever changed the journey I was on, switched my track. I made a momentous decision because of that incident, one I thought was a grownup decision, and I suppose it was, but was to set me off on a rocky course for many, many years. I'm writing a creative nonfiction piece about it now called "Losing My Place." I hope this one puts it to rest.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Taking Care of our Bodies

I'm reposting a quote here that I got from a friend's blog this morning. It's a quote from Buddha: “To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
I don't get enough exercise. I always intend to, but instead I spend my time writing. That's what I have always wanted to do my entire life -- have enough time to write as much as I want. Now I have the time, that is what I am doing with my time when my time is free. My other habits are good for my body: I don't drink or smoke or eat things that are bad for me. My diet is excellent. I drink enough water, I don't eat sugar or fat. I'm a vegetarian and I eat lots of vegetables and fruit. High fiber content, low processed food, no trans fats. I laugh a lot, I try to get enough sleep, and I surround myself with loving people.
I do garden, so I get SOME exercise, and I walk some. I like to walk, I like to swim, I just don't discipline myself to do it daily as I have done in the past.
How do you take care of your body in order to keep your mind strong and clear? Or do you? And if not, is your mind strong and clear anyway?

Friday, June 3, 2011


I've had headaches for as long as I've been an adult. And I've had migraine headaches as least since I was in my mid-30s. At first I had them a couple of times a year. Later they became worse and worse, lasting longer, once I had one for 16 days. After that someone told me I could go to the ER and get something for my headache. Well, back then you could. I started going to the ER and getting a shot of demerol. That was about 3 or 4 times a year. My doctor told me what to ask for, it was demerol and an anti-nausea med. I don't remember the dosages. But by the time I was 55 the headaches were more frequent, and I was having to go to the ER for chest pain way more often that I was for migraines. I was a mess. Finally everything came to a climax: I had a heart "event" after 3 hospitalizations in a month, then a hotel house call for a migraine (I was working and on the road), an allergic reaction to Plavix, and heart failure. I retired. After 18 months of cardiac rehab, I began to get my health back, but the migraines have persisted. So ...
I'm always searching for a cure for migraines. I've found some things that helped a bit. I located my food triggers and eliminated them from my diet: all corn products, nitrites and nitrates, aspartame, sucralose, too much soy. And I became a vegetarian and recently I gave up sugar/sweets as well. I don't drink coffee. I drink plenty of water. I take Co Q 10, and magnesium tablets. I tried feverfew, ginger, butterbur. None of those helped. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. I learned biofeedback and it sometimes helps. I take Topamax which probably prevents me from having 15 to 20 headaches instead of 8 to 10 a month. It may also decrease the severity. I can't take most of the migraine meds because they give me chest pain. I'm stuck with butalbital and phenergan, which I can take only twice in a week in order to avoid rebound headaches. Oh yes, I'm allergic to aspirin and ibuprophen as well (see Plavix above, severe allergies to meds).
So, now someone has recommended Dermamag oil, which is magnesium oil that you apply to your skin and supposedly is absorbed and has less effect on your digestive system, but is helpful re migraines. It is expensive. But I am about to try to find some locally and apply it. If you have tried this, I would very much appreciate hearing from you. If you don't wish to leave a comment, please contact me via twitter @dehelen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Off for a Wilde Night

I'm off to be inspired by that old standby: Oscar Wilde. What a man he must have been. So witty, so bright, and so arrogant to allow himself to end up in jail, beaten and broken. He died way too early because of that. But why wouldn't he believe that he would win over such injustice? Anyone might feel the same.
Tonight I will see The Importance of Being Earnest filmed in HD live on Broadway starring Brian Bedford as Lady Bracknell. My daughter and grandson will accompany me and I expect to have a lot of fun. Any time that happens, my muse wakes up and sparkles, shakes her wand in my face and I come alive in all sorts of ways.
Have a splendid evening and night all! And BTW, I'm grateful to Third Rail Rep company for bringing this entertainment to Portland.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blogging For LGBT Families 2011

As a lesbian mom, I just want to say I support LGBT families and always have. I'm a gramma now, and proud of my grandchildren as I am of their parents.

Here's a shout out to my friends who have LGBT families, and here's to all of you I don't know! All best,
Sandra de Helen


Kaspa & Fiona have taken over my blog for today, because they need our help.

They are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world through writing. They are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of June.

For their fantasy wedding present, they are asking people across the world to write them a ‘small stone’ and post it on their blogs or on Facebook or Twitter.

A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more about small stones here.

If you’re willing to help, we’d love you to do things:

1) Re-post this blog on your own blog any time before June the 18th and give your readers a chance to hear about what we’re doing. You can simply copy and paste the text, or you can find the html here.

2) Write us a small stone on our wedding day whilst we’re saying our vows and eating cake, post it on your blog, and send it to us.

You can find out more about our project at our website, Wedding Small Stones, and you can also read our blog at A River of Stones.

We also have a July challenge coming soon, when we’ll be challenging you to notice one thing every day during July and write it down.

Thank you for listening, and we hope we’ll be returning from our honeymoon to an inbox crammed with small stones, including yours.

Kaspa & Fiona