No TV for me!

Just got back from a totally relaxing week on the Oregon coast, south of Yachats, north of Heceta Head Lighthouse. I did absolutely nothing. I was totally unproductive. I vegged big time. I lay around in my pajamas and ate cereal for dinner, in the living room, watching bunnies out the front window and ever-watchful bald eagles from the back window. The eagles starved and the bunnies were totally oblivious.

I didn’t watch a clock. I took naps. I didn’t follow rules. I did, however, floss and took my vitamins. I ate whatever I wanted; got up when I felt like it; dressed when I felt like it (some days, never). I became civilized occasionally and dressed appropriately and blended in with other tourists in the quaint Old Town villages of Newport, Waldport, and Florence. I stopped at every wayside along Highway 101 from Lincoln City down to Florence, enjoyed the ocean and all her majesty from as many viewpoints as I could find.

I spent a wonderful full ten days with no phone, no tv, and lots of books. So, I was a little startled as I drove home and all that was on the radio were news items about Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Gale Storm, Billy Mays, and Ed McMahon. All dead. O my. Of all of these deaths, the one that bothered me the most was Gale Storm. She was one of my mother’s favorites. Perky, saucy, funny. Her death was lost amongst all the hype that went with particularly Michael Jackson, but Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon as well. All the loss, turmoil, pain, ups, downs, eccentricities, foibles.

Of all the things I didn’t have on my vacation – the television was the least missed. It brought to point for me that there really is nothing worthwhile on television that enhances my life in the tiniest way. I came home refreshed and revitalized – something that television just does not do for me.



Yard Sale or Bust

I had my very first yard sale this last weekend. Suffice to say, it was a bust. So I’m making up a list of How to Have a Yard Sale:

1. Advertise! Toot your horn! Make sure the whole area knows that YOU are having absolutely a must see yard sale right in your own neighborhood. And put your ad in TWO days before, not one. Sign up on Craig’s List – and update your ad every morning under a different email account so it’s always towards the top of the list.

2. Signs. Signs are a must. About twenty signs on every intersection you can think of.

3. BIG PRINT. The sign must be readable from a car a block away as it is driving towards the sign at 30 miles per hour; if your sign is too small or too lightly written, and your drive by car has to slow down to read it, or even stop to read it, other cars get antsy and honk at you until you just say hell with it and drive on to the next sign that MAYBE you can read this time.

4. Print your address – don’t just say “yard sale that-away” with an arrow. Quite often the wind blows the sign and it ends up pointing a totally different direction, like down.

5. Anchor your sign. I didn’t have near enough signs and one of them kept falling over repeatedly until I braced it against a light pole. I worried about my sign incessantly until I thought I’d have to put a “stupid” sign on my forehead.

6. Balloons. Mark your territory and show the whole street that you are having a party!

7. Tell all your friends to stop by. Give them a schedule and have them just park their car at pre-appointed times. They don’t even have to get out. For some reason, a parked car at a yard sale begets other cars. Whenever one stopped, several stopped.

8. Have a tarp for every table and then you just cover them at night and hope nobody helps themselves to freebies in the middle of the night.

9. Don’t have a yard sale when something big might be going on like graduations from all the high schools in your area but they are celebrating downtown and aren’t even going to drive by any time soon to just happen upon your poorly advertised yard sale.

10. It is so true that what is one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. You think that little sole Tupperware lid all by itself is ready for the garbage and some old lady pounces on it because she has been missing hers since the last church picnic.

I’m going to read this list and check it twice and try this whole thing again in a month. O my God what a lot of work.



Kidney Update #2

Here's my sad soppy saga. I am starting to go through tests to get on a transplant list. (no cancer wanted - if I have cancer, they'll just throw me away). Anyway - went to see the kidney doctor today (saw the dentist last Thursday and this last Monday for what can only be described as roto rooter of the gums, with anesthesia and nitrous). So I'm already kind of whacked out of shape.

Then the doc tells me that my kidneys are functioning at ten percent of normal. Ten Percent. yeesh. I feel ok, really. The kidneys are shutting down but not telling the rest of my body - so my brain thinks I'm doing just fine thank you very much. But one of the things the kidneys do is "talk" to the bone marrow who talks to the blood who toils and turns out red blood cells - and the kidneys aren't talking, so I'm really low on blood. I'm getting what's called an EPO shot, once a week for three weeks and then once a month - if that doesn't work - it's a blood transfusion.

Are your eyes falling out of your head yet?

So - he said to watch for these symptoms: fatigue, feeling out of breath crossing the street, going up the stairs; itching skin; nausea; dry heaves; and anorexia (I wish). Well, as he starts clicking these things off, I'm still insisting I "feel FINE" but it's flashing through my mind - last night's itchy leg episode that about drove me insane; yesterday morning I didn't even want to brush my teeth because my gums still hurt and just the thought was making me feel like throwing up - and lately I don't just throw up - I do it repeatedly several times and then go into the dry heaves for several bouts; and I've started taking the elevator to get from the 15th floor to the 16th floor; and last night I gave Mechanic Man half of my hamburger - and no fries. I'm thinking, Jeanie you are so out of shape and need to diet and exercise. But Doc said that wasn't my problem. I have kidney disease related anemia. It's my uncommunicative kidneys again. Those silent buggers.

I went to Riverfront Square and then to Rite Aid over lunch. I was panting the entire way and just pooped by the time I got back. And I've noticed this before when I've gone to the Riverfront to get my hair cut - I'd start back and think, o boy, if someone would just carry me, it would be sheer bliss.

I'm beginning to think I'm SICK.

I’m still insisting I feel fine. I’m still trying to think positive thoughts and not dwell on this. I’m still trying to tell myself I’m not in denial. It’s a quandary. If I think about it, I’ll get worse. I’ll get worse if I don’t think about it. If I think positive thoughts, my kidneys just might go completely gonzo on me and turn out their lights because I’ve got my head in the sand. If I think negative thoughts, like, you’re-going-to-be-on-dialysis-for-the-REST-of-your-life (this is a litany I heard my mother sing to Dad for seven years until he finally pulled the plug on himself), then I’ll be on dialysis that much sooner. They’ll never find a donor kidney for me. I’ll have a permanent tube in my stomach or my arm, depending on what type of dialysis. What about sex? Bikini’s? (well, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bikini – but what IF?) Slinky dresses? The too-sexy-for-my-jeans look?