Saturday, December 31, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Celebrating Friendship & Love

New Year's Eve...2006 Harry and I went to dinner with old, old friends and we were home by 9 PM. Daughter Honey is out partying and Son Brian decided to stay home and clean. (I just got up and toppled a bowl of cat food. It's a tiny room filled with cat toys, bowls of food and water, kitty litter and human electronic detritus.) There were events Harry and I could have gone to, but nothing personal that drew us, and that matters to me.
For a couple of years, we went to a our friend Rocco's for dinner very often, but slowly that deteriorated into ugly cliques and discomfort. After I got sick in August and we stopped going, the group forgot about us. Those kind of friends are acquaintances, people who are friendly when you see them. Like work friends.
I sound bitter to myself and I wish that were not so. When relationships click, you know it. I knew those people were not my friends. They posed for me, invited me to their parties, and we liked each other. But that's not enough for a friendship. From that group, Joalice and Barry became my friends and for that, I'm thankful. I don't meet my kind of people often.
I don't see my friends often enough, don't call enough, don't make enough effort. I hang in the house too much, don't feel like talking. Tomorrow, New Year's Day, I'm going to a concert, probably by myself. If I'd thought it through, I could have stopped out to see Theresa; she lives nearby. But I'm relatively satisfied I'm intending to carry through on my own. For many years, I've watched concerts come and go wishing I'd been there. Harry wasn't interested so I retreated to the sofa. In order to catapult me from my shell, I needed an incentive like a salary or more information about Lupus, which I feared would kill me. Otherwise, my car keys stayed in my handbag.
No wonder Brian decided to stay home and clean. Thank God Honey goes to parties. I guess I'd need intravenous Paxil or a lobotomy. I have no idea what "normal" is, whether how I feel is it; or if I'm an example of genetics gone down the tube. I'll never know because the people I cherish are just like me.
So here's to Nancy; Susan; Theresa; Joalice; Cousin Jerry; my brother Bruce; Harry; and my wonderful children Honey and Brian. I've probably left out somebody who I love dearly; just say it's the Lupus and it probably is anyway. Meanwhile, it's 2006 and I hear, but can't see the fireworks. (That's another thing I love but never make the effort to see. And the Mummers--in Philly, we have a great New Year's parade with string bands and they're wonderful.)
2006. Honestly, when I was a kid, I couldn't believe I'd live to see the new millennium. Being in my fifties looked then like a very old age. Of course now I feel terrific though middle-aged and wiser. And more tolerant...of the noisemakers and people yelling at them just outside my window. Sometimes life is humorous.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Candy Christmas

Today was after-Christmas shopping again, this time at Target, for three hours. Target had a wonderful selection of all kinds of gifts, decorations for inside and outside the house, and "stuff". Cousin Jerry and I inspected everything, especially the plastic containers because we were each looking for a certain size. I bought two Christmassy bath rugs; a book light; candy--great for a cheating diabetic--a bathtub scrubby and a container for it; and a microwave dish topper. Anything else I forget so it won't count. I also spent lots of time considering other things, which is also lots of fun.
Before entering the world of Target, Jerry and I ate breakfast (at about 1:30 PM--we're both late risers) at the Pancake House, whose correct name I forget. They had pumpkin pancakes and tons of coffee so my day was made. When we got home, Harry had leftover Antipasto for me which was perfect. Then I ate the candy, which probably wasn't a good idea, but I enjoyed it. My A1C was 6.0 reported yesterday, but my cholesterols aren't all perfect, so my thoughts do turn to leaving the candy alone...maybe. I pray for it.
Jerry just laughs at my candy habit, probably because he's still puffing on cigarettes. He rents a car every other weekend but kept it this week. On the way back to my house, he stopped at every newspaper box because instead of having it delivered daily, he goes to a box on his street but today he forgot. Each one was empty, so we stopped at WaWa and they didn't have any either, so Jerry walked in the rain back to one we'd passed rather than pull out making a U-turn on the so-so busy street. He found a newspaper while I sat inside the car reading my book. I always carry a book because I've got a phobia about being bored and I don't volunteer to walk in inclement weather.
Tomorrow, Harry and I will be picking Jerry up at the car rental agency in Center City and going to Honey's for brunch. I don't think I was this busy before I retired or maybe it was just that when I went in to work, I relaxed with coffee and breakfast over the New York Times for two hours. Now, my weekend is busy and next week is filled with activities too. I have to think about this; my life is being danced away in a whirlwind of places to go and people to see. Is this what I want? When do I paint? What about matting? I don't think I want time to be "Of the essence." Or feel as though "Time is Money." God forbid! That's total bullshit. I want Savannah in the Spring; relaxation and the leisurely exploration of life. So I'll have to reconsider my time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

All I really want to do right now is grab a beer and vegetate in front of the television. It's almost news and snooze time on TV so I'll probably read the newspaper and maybe drink my beer. For the last two days, I've zipped around looking for a little dwarf pine tree and discounted Santa bathroom rugs, and found neither. In desperation, I finally bought myself relatively expensive earrings with tiny diamond specks in them. That might not have been a good idea since I usually lose at least one of the pair if not both within two years, if not one week. Yesterday or the day before, I received the earrings I ordered from Home Shopping and they're now in their bag on the floor of the car ready to be returned. I don't wear necklaces, and rarely bracelets or rings, but whenever I go out, I have two pairs of earrings strung through my ear lobes. I love big bold interesting earrings, and I'd ordered one pair with cubic zirconium and one plain, but thick and heavy. The big ones arrived damaged and the gold earrings with the CZs were too delicate. I would have broken those cutie pies in two wearings. I do love CZs though. When they're gone, I don't have to grieve the way I did when I lost my grandmother's diamond ring for five years. And they're pretty.
I bought today's earrings at Boscov's, at Franklin Mills, in Philly. I forgot my coupons because I left the house almost in the middle of the night, and we were preoccupied with Bubba. We left our house about nine A.M. to meet with two social workers and Bubba. She's not doing well and at 84, there's danger in ignoring her condition. The social worker from the state agency was late but when she got there, she was efficient and very helpful. She quickly understood Bubba's situation and worked with Bubba and us to get the most care available.
As always, I changed the kitty litter and played with Pumpkin who reassured me he's still a bruiser and I shouldn't pet his belly. He wandered out the door when one of the social workers came in and raised a ruckus in the hallway demanding to be allowed in again. Only Bubba and Harry, both badly hard-of-hearing, didn't hear Pumpkin. I'm sure the rest of the apartment house thought a cat was being tortured.
Bubba has been eating only cereal so after the meeting was finished, we were sent off in search of corn flakes. On the way to the corn flake house, we made a stop at Boscov's and that's how I happened to purchase the earrings. In addition, we had lunch and I had my first milk shake in approximately ten years. Peanut butter. Yum! I had a peanut butter milkshake and barbeque. What could be better? (I always ask that, but I'm just an uncurable foodie.)
While I've been typing this, the word came through that the agency has already granted Bubba some help that will start tomorrow. I'm expecting a gradual change for the better. In the meantime, it's time for a beer.

Monday, December 26, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Our Family Gathering

If anyone reading this knows about the "feeds", would you explain them to me? Subscribing to a feed? I can't get it.
I feel frustrated when I can't fathom something like "feeds" or how to properly address an email to my lupus group. I tried to send Seasons Greetings, I think, four times only to have them go unpublished because I couldn't figure out what the group's owner was directing me to do and she couldn't imagine that I didn't understand. What is it with people? Why do people think you "should" know what they are trying to say, or what they mean? When people talk with me, they hear how well I speak and they assume I can do anything. Well, no, I can't. My doctors do it and so do the detail-oriented folks at that lupus group. (I'm annoyed with them. They freak at colored backgrounds! I never knew the 'box' was so small.)
The other day I finally received my neuropsychological evaluation and it seems the PhD. was so impressed with my verbal intelligence, he couldn't imagine there was anything wrong with me cognitively. I want to know how many people forget how their spigots work, what their neighborhoods or people they just met look like. Do other people lose jewelry as quickly as pens or phone numbers? I do. I put things down, learn names and information and then they're gone, and it feels like I'm staring at white walls for six months or forever. I have great recall until it's gone. I do have a very good mind, but it comes and goes. Recently, it's been working better, probably because I'm not working at something other than painting. That's a gift, I know.
My daughter Honey says to not worry; we influence events negatively when we worry about them. My family was here today celebrating Chanukah. I baked some peanut butter chocolate chip muffins--which I quickly stored in the freezer after dinner, giving no one any to take home. And I helped Honey bake a terrific very dense chocolate cake from scratch, of course. Honey comes earlier now and we spend hours baking, sharing the narrow kitchen space with Harry while he cooks.
Jerry and I played Soduku for a while, then later Brian and Jerry finished it. Soduku is the first math game I've ever liked and that's great for me because it's a brain game and they're helpful supposedly in avoiding Alzheimer's etc. For me, a math game is absorbing in a way nothing else is. Maybe that's because it uses a different part of the brain.
It's been a fun day. I smell good--I put on my coconut body butter after my shower this afternoon. I (barely) fit into my smaller size jeans. And I had a great time with my family.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Celebrating Our Holidays

Christmas Day and Chanukah...It's been a relaxing day. I haven't been painting recently, just matting and getting ready to frame, reading and doing whatever I feel like. Today, I slept beside Autumn Kitten till after twelve, until I smelled the fried potatoes and spinach and cheese omelet Harry had waiting for me. Harry made Lamb Chops, couscous, and sauteed brocollini for dinner, with wine. We ate by candlelight. It's been a very nice day, but Harry does cook most days. Tomorrow, he'll be cooking for Chanukah when our family will be here. Today, Honey is in New York doing the Schvitz with her friends, and Brian is in very South Jersey with Christina at her parent's house.
I'm looking forward to the possibility that Brian might someday soon commit to his four year relationship with Christina and we can spend Christmas eating lasange too. (I'm prepared to reciprocate. And the Jewish Passover is big fun!) I miss my Christmases that don't seem too long ago with my Dad's best friend Uncle Otto and his family, decorating the Christmas tree, and the next day with our whole family in Havertown having a good time with my cousins. Our family of course has shrunk, with the older generation dying off and the young people moving away. My brother called from Port Orford, Oregon today. His house is there and he lives in LA during the winter, teaching (and dining on the cornicopia that is the City of Angels.) With sixty mile per hour winds and driving rain, I'd rather not share Christmas with Bruce in Port Orford. It's a wonderful seaside town in the Spring and Summer, but winter there is for ducks.
This week is the in-betweener when people shop for bargains and get drunk with their friends. I can't get drunk anymore but I do want to shop for left-over Christmas cat toys, bathroom rugs, and maybe cards. Being retired, I don't need any more dresses, shoes, or coats. And if I can keep losing weight, every five pounds I'll have another wordrobe. I love the Christmas lights and decorations; I wish they could stay up for the whole winter. But after next week, the winter starts in earnest. I have to make a decision about whether to attend a tea in North Jersey, order frames, and get on with the rest of my life.

0 Want to Comment?

Uh Oh! Santa Forgot To Get Dressed Again!

It's late and I still want to read in bed; Harry worries about me getting enough sleep. We've been downstairs watching "The Forty-Year Old Virgin"; boy, was that dumb! Harry liked it; I kept picking up my book to read and a funny scene would come on. Then it got stupid again; I'd open the book, and something was cute so the book was closed. But the end was great by my standards. The whole cast sang, "Aquarius" and "Let the Sun Shine In". I still haven't grown out of the seventies, and musicals featuring old hippie songs and dancing are forgiven all their lousy lines and casting. (King Kong should have sung a duet with Anne on top of the Empire State Building. "When somebody loves you....")
I understand that animal/human bond. This room is stinking again; my kittens have just knocked my clothes from the top of the hamper onto the hall floor where they're jumping to and from them while I watch through the steam of poop. I suppose my interest in escaping this bedroom is understood. But it's Christmas Eve! I forgot! Santa is flying overhead dropping down sooty chimneys bringing beautifully wrapped toys and clothes to kids who's parents have been running up huge credit card bills buying those gaily wrapped packages. I wonder if I turn off the big light in here and leave on just the little Christmas lights, will Santa notice? Will he wave to the kitties as they poop yet again in their favorite box?
Santa's probably in Europe right now; it's about 5 AM there, still dark and so late that even the insomniacs have nodded off. I wonder how European newspapers characterize W's speeches and behavior. Lately, I've been hearing the news on television--I don't watch it--and I can't understand why the newsreaders aren't laughing or crying. And the New York Times reports the government's activities as though things are normal, but they're not. The new president of Bolivia, I believe, called W an imperialist. He may have said "terrorist", but I'm not sure; that may have been only the famous author who recently won a Pulitzer. They're both right in my opinion. I think W was celebrating Hanukkah, eating Latkes, and I guess tomorrow they'll eat Christmas goose. I don't believe "What goes around, comes around." I think the rich get richer; they cheat and steal and get away with it, leaving their ill-gotten gains to their children. Old rotten men send kids to war so the old men can steal oil, minerals, diamonds, spices, etc. or gain power for themselves. It's the rare person who gives a shit about anybody else, believing the monster will never come to his door. And maybe that's true...and maybe not. I wish I could be loving and see the good in others. I wish we all could.

Friday, December 23, 2005

2 Want to Comment?


Today was fun--out with Cousin Jerry for the afternoon and then an evening spent with good friends. Who could ask for more? And last night, there was a surprise when we arrived home from King Kong--known to Jaynee as "A Woman and Her Large Rabid Pet Gorilla--A Love Story". Like a cherry on top, the Anne/Kong love story was finished off with my neuropsych evaluation in the doorway. Jefferson found me to be super intelligent with no cognitive damage, but too nutty to work perhaps. I have to read it again because Jerry thought the "too nutty" was iffy. I question whether everybody doesn't recognize faces and forgets words the way I do. Maybe so. It seemed Jeff blamed everything on Lupus. Whatever.
Yesterday and today were mostly errand days; I got my hair cut yesterday probably for the last time at Barbarella's in the Italian Market. I had never been to a funky beauty shop before and Barbarella's and Amy, the owner were so much fun. But Amy is going home to Kansas in January and I have to go back to my friend Susan who opened a beauty shop in the summer. Honey had dragged me to Amy when I was terribly sick and my hair resembled a mop. Amy bartered hair cuts and color for a portrait which I brought her yesterday. I did a really cute one that's been on here before but maybe I'll put it on again today. After Amy, I drove over to Gloucester, NJ, to pick up my black velvet evening gown that had been made for me last year and supposedly had been adjusted so that it didn't fall below my belly button when I danced. (It turned out Mistress Dee had removed the offending elastic from the waist and had done nothing else. The skirt is a rag and the top has never been lined or repaired. It's a rag too. I'm very disappointed. It will probably stay in the bag till I forget about it and eventually discover it covered with dust under the bed. That's $150 down the toilet.)
Today, Jerry and I zipped all over Northeast Philly stopping at Famous Deli--Jerry's a careful diabetic but he stocks up on deli meats every two weeks. And I cleaned Pumpkin's kitty litter at Bubba Freda's. I'm surprised at how much I don't mind cleaning kitty litter and suspect it's some kind of poop fetish related to oil paints and early childhood. It's nice to be older and not care about whatever it is.
Our friends insisted on treating us to dinner tonight. I don't know what to say about that except I wish I'd brought them more than a plant. (And I wished I'd prevailed on Harry to invited them here for the Jewish holidays.)
It's been a busy two days and we'll be out early tomorrow too, then everything will quiet down for Christmas. Then it's back out again. I wish I remembered what was coming up, but I haven't any idea. If I can keep on track and get to see my friends and schedule some special events, I'm content. But I do really wish that dress had been as promised. I loved it even when it was falling down and the top had the kind of stitches I make. Now it's just a rag.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

First We're Miss Americas, Then We Grow Old & Grow Beards

I may not be able to write this if Autumn claws her way up my legs again. I already have completely pock-marked bloody legs thanks to her. I don't think I can stand anymore even though I adore my kitten. She's gazing up at Moon chowing down on her food; he must have put on ten pounds since she got here. Just to eat her food is important for him; his food is exactly the same but it's not in the same bowl or on top of the computer mouse table, therefore his food is inferior and he must eat hers.
Autumn spent half this evening snoozing in my arms on the sofa. Forget books; she thinks they're some kind of weird toy and doesn't understand why they don't move or do something entertaining. She loves the television and computer screens and all her toys. Autumn sometimes carries a stuffed animal as big as she is around in her teeth. But she's a real baby--timid, needing Mommy. I know what breeders say about purebred cats, "You know what you're getting. You can expect a certain personality." No you can't. Moon is totally outgoing and self-reliant and Autumn is people-oriented and fearful. She's not going to be happy staying with Moon for two or three weeks while we travel with only our children popping in every other day. At least, I don't think she would. It's true they're not big talkers but we'll see how the personality thing works as time goes by.
I spent most of this afternoon with Pumpkin and Bubba Freda. After Bubba's falls last week, she can't change the kitty litter or Pumpkin's water so I promised to come do it and I have been. I bought the kind of kitty litter box my guys prefer and Pumpkin seems to like it too. Pumpkin talks, not quite as much as Siamese cats I've met, but he usually comments on everything he sees or desires. Harry and I still worry about the possibility of Pumpkin vacationing or even living here. He was a terror just for Moon and Autumn is a REAL scaredy cat. Well, we really will have to see what happens as time goes by. Meanwhile, I'll drive up to Bubba's and clean out the poop with a smile on my face and a song on my lips. (As long as the shit isn't on my lips.)
Bubba Freda isn't looking good; she's going to be 85 soon and she doesn't get enough help. Even with lots of people coming to assist her, nothing is enough. She's tired; she hurts; she isn't interested in much--certainly not eating or going out. Her teeth remain in the glass; her immaculate environment isn't any longer; wild hair and a mustache adorn her. Even Harry told me about her beard; now I have to bring a shaver. I'll be going in to talk to the folks that send out services for frail old people if I can remember to get them on the phone tomorrow. Harry tried but Bubba Freda drowned him out saying she was well and could care for herself. I've seen people do that before and die for it. This is a problem, more than a challenge--the new word for corporate suits and optimistic therapists. I hope I can convince Bubba Freda to find dignity somewhere else and shut up when the social worker is there so I can get her more services.
We're the only industrialized nation who has no free health care and the only ones who treat our sickest citizens so horribly. We aren't allowed to die while living is an impossible chore every day. (I don't mean Bubba Freda should commit suicide. There just aren't enough services to keep her rolling. Whatever she gets has to be fought for tooth and nail.) This is a very mean-spirited nation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Boston Francers Lose

My poor cousin Chuck in Boston just wrote to me that his wife passed away in her sleep a year ago. We haven't visited Boston in a few years and I wish we had; I feel terrible. Chuck, really Charles--he hasn't used the name Chuck since he grew up--used to visit us in Philly; he's my age and I think his wife Marilyn was a couple of years younger. I understand to a thirty-year-old, at fifty-eight, we're ancient, but we don't feel over the hill, just middle-aged and ready to enjoy life. Marilyn was a lovely young woman still grieving over the loss of their daughter; she never had a chance. She didn't even get to see their son get married this year. I'm so sorry for her, Chuck, and their son. They've been through too much.
A whole branch of my family lives in the Boston area; they used to come down here to Philly in dribs and drabs for Passover or to Atlantic City in the summer. They're exactly like our Philly Warshaws, but the older generation is a little softer. A couple of cousins have tattoos; another does research in the Artic when he isn't teaching school. They appear to be as wacky as we are. The Boston family is a few years younger in general than the Phillies so we still have the older generation to savor. We fell in love with them all over our last two visits.
Brian hopefully will go up to Boston with us this spring, and I hope we'll get to meet Chuck's son and new daughter-in-law. I'm going to miss Marilyn. I miss her now and I'm just so sorry. Truly, I'm sitting here shocked and upset. I'm just getting to an age where my generation is dying, but I'm not inured to it; I can't accept it easily.

Monday, December 19, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Matting Becomes Fun...Almost

My friend Nancy, 5 x 8 1/2", multi-media, 12/05
I finished the matting for my recent pieces and I've ordered $95. worth of mattes I don't need. Why ever did I think I was going to use fourteen different colors of 36 x 42" mattes for paintings 5 1/2 x 8" at the largest and mostly 4 x 6"; and I'm only matting about four. Great shopping. I'll have mattes in my will and my kids can throw them out when I die along with all my inherited cut glass and beautiful sets of dishes.
At this minute, my kittens are having fun pooping in their most popular litter within my smellivision. The little one is really doing it up, sitting half in and half out, scraping at the top-sides inside of the box with her little needle-nails. She was snoozing/purring on my chest tonight while I was meditating and doing the same this morning while I was sleeping. And it's almost time to sleep again.
Time is easier now that I don't have a job outside of my painting. I love being able to matte or work on my website or paint. All my favorite activities are my work now; even cleaning the kitty litter--oh, my that stinks!--is fun--(especially when I sit near it to work on the computer).
I didn't get to read the Philly Inquirer well today because Autumn Kitten was laying on it. I was trying to encourage her to eat so I wouldn't move her. She gets to eat from some of my favorite hand made dishes too. I have hard cat food in dishes all over the house for their convenience. (I love these little animals.)
Another thing I've done is organize the cabinets--even while my little guys are climbing inside. This little room wouldn't have papers strewn all over the rug if the kittens would stop knocking everything to the floor. But they're cats and that's what felines do. They're currently downstairs and in the basement patrolling, but they'll be upstairs later when I'm going in to bed, challenging my slippery entrance into my bedroom. The little one jumps through, above my foot, and in the wee hours, I can be found bent over trying to tempt her out from under my bed with a dangly necklace.
Autumn Kitten was eying my sparkly paint this evening when I was matting. I was cradling her, painting on the matte at the same time. I managed to do a good job anyway. I messed up one matte, over-painting it, but the others are perfect. Usually, I mat a year's worth of work at one time, working at it for weeks. This time was easy and reasonable. I don't know why I used to feel I had to matte almost everything. Not now. I like leaving a lot of paintings in my drawing book. And it's good I'm painting small because my digital camera went bad.
A number of mechanical things went bad recently, just when I can't afford to repair them. But I will, and eventually, I'll get back to Port Orford and California too. Some events I know will happen--like Autumn slipping into my bedroom and travelling back out West. Living and dying, arguing and being sorry. But right now, I'm not sorry, not tired, just content.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Angry Artist Cleans Kitty Litter!

Today was fine except that my husband hurt my feelings and I'm very angry. It was a busy day; my biggest job was to go up to Bubba Freda's, put out a new kitty litter box I'd just bought and throw out the old one. I spent time petting Pumpkin too, who nuzzled me and licked my face. On the way home, Harry accused me of being profligate with our money etc, etc. Is that a male thing? Are men raised to believe women are interested in wasting money? I haven't spoken to him since this afternoon. Honey visited--(Harry make French Onion Soup and Spinach Salad for dinner.) She wisely kept out of our argument but knows he gets abusive. He is still complaining about my getting his mother a cat, whom she adores. Too much work for him. (He buys the food and kitty litter.)
I'm enraged now, so it's probably time to meditate.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Nude Models and Kitty Litter

Busy day today, or so it seems right now. I've been vacuuming the first and second floors because we have (old) friends coming over tonight. I cleaned out the very stinky kitty litter in this room and vacuumed all the errant kitty mess that had escaped. I do clean it frequently because the two babies love using this box. Why? I don't know, but it's like kitty pooping hotel. They like to eat in here too. You'd think the smell would cut their appetites, but no, this is the snacking room.
As of yesterday evening, they were running around together having a good old leonine night. I've heard them during the night but hadn't seen them in action; it felt good. I can see them getting along. This afternoon though, Bubba Freda called and asked me if I'd come take care of Pumpkin, the cat terror of the Polis'. (Not really; Honey's cats are really "it".) But Pumpkin scared the crap out of Moon Kitten and Autumn Kitten is already timid. If I had any thoughts of bringing Pumpkin back to my house, I thought again. I'm just going up to Bubba Freda's a lot this week to make everything right for her and Pumpkin. It's easier that way.
Tonight, we have our oldest friends visiting. We're going to go somewhere to eat southern food and then they'll come back here, probably to see the new kitten. For a long time we hardly saw them; we were involved with other people. It's always difficult when you socialize with a big group; eventually some of the people become abhorrent in your eyes and seeing the group sours. That's what happened to me. I'm hoping I remember to get together a movie trip inviting the folks I like and work something out so I can continue to see them. The old saying, "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" comes to mind.
My interests changed completely after my illness and I can't work up any charge in my previous activities with my old models. It's the medications and I need them so I simply have to forgo my mild voyeurism and scene drawing. Honestly, I can't be bothered.
Oops! Time to finish vacuuming and forget about nude models.

Friday, December 16, 2005

1 Want to Comment?


I didn't finish the newspapers today. I miss not knowing about what's going on in the world at large and in Philly in particular. I heard about the FBI wiretapping anybody at will, and following peace activists the way they did in the 1970s. No real surprise somehow. With W and his cohorts--I'm sorry the man is not that stupid; he's not being fooled)--it will get worse. Tomorrow night, there's supposed to be a drown-out while W is giving his speech. We're going to be in Bucks County with old friends but if anybody is honking or yelling, I'll be yelling too. (I'm not going out in an empty street and screaming; I'll get arrested. The cops have nothing better to do in the burbs.)
Meanwhile, I'm planning so many activities for January, I hope I remember them. I want to do everything so I hope I remember at least some of them. I'm back into my ACTION mode, hoping I don't take on more than I can handle and also that soooooooomebody reminds me. Usually, nobody does and life just goes on until I realize everything I've missed. Today, I finally ordered $100 worth of mattes, now that their price has crept up to $4.00 for the cheapest, crappiest brand. Of course, in the old days, before I became sort of man-icky, I used to order maybe ten at a time. I guess in years to come, I'll be buying kitty litter in hundred pound bags and storing the bags in the garden..buried. Or maybe the drugs will keep me in line.
Speaking of drugs, I probably mentioned my hair started falling out by the fistful so I spent a morning on here researching my two newest medications and found they both bestow that side-effect, rarely, but it happens. I immediately stopped the Mysoline, which was for my tremor. Better shaky hands than a bald head. And I called the shrink--(which every lupie with half a brain should have because prednisone crosses the blood-brain barrier and lupus itself can make you crazy)--who prescribes the other hair dissolver--Lamictal. In the end, he cut the dosage and hopefully, my hair will get the message.
We Americans are so freaked by psychotherapy and all that stuff and it's so self-destructive. No, I didn't want to go to a psychiatrist but I finally realized my regular doctors were prescribing medications which had all these psychological side-effects and the docs themselves didn't know anything about the side-effects. That was in addition to what they didn't know about Central Nervous System Lupus, which is mostly everything. At least the shrink knows about what prednisone and lupus can do to your head and that's quite a relief when you think you're going nuts. Or having seizures, or can't wake up in the morning, or work anymore.
It's almost 11:30 PM and I borrowed some good books from the Philly library. I can still read. I couldn't for a while and had to build back up to normal books.. Now, I've even ordered The March by Doctorow. Sounds like the brain is working better that way at least. So, off to bed and my book.
The mixed-media painting is um, Poor Self Image.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Bubba Freda Is Pushed Out the Hospital Doors In Her Nightgown

My mother-in-law is frail now; I'm glad I knew her when she was tall, big-boned, and could walk outside in below zero weather in only a shift dress and flip-flops. She was a dynamo. Harry thanks me all the time when I help her, but I miss my own mother and I'm glad to help Harry's. She took herself to the hospital this morning because she couldn't get out of bed; she didn't want to wake us. Freda had fallen twice a couple of days ago, so she thought perhaps she broke a bone or two. It turned out well; no bones were broken and she was ready to return home after a few hours. We stopped at Freda's apartment and I put together an whole outfit and then we drove to Holy Redeemer Hospital's emergency room where Freda still was. No sooner had I asked where Freda was than a young man came zooming out the double doors with Freeda in a wheelchair. Her bathrobe was safety-pinned together and she had on knitted footsies. I protested saying I wanted to get her dressed because it was freezing cold outside, but Holy Redeemer was finished with Freda and she had to leave, ready or not. Luckily the car was right outside, so with only her coat over her nightclothes, we hustled her into the car and home. Once there, I took care of Pumpkin cat who Freda worried hadn't had his breakfast. At about twenty pounds, Pumpkin hasn't missed many meals and he definitely wasn't leaving the kitchen until this one was ready.
Harry complains his brother doesn't help him with Freda, and I keep telling Harry his brother can't really hear about anybody else and does Harry really want his brother hanging around? Also, Bubba Freda is almost 85, so how much time does she have left? She had heart surgery again last year and has heart failure. The government drives Harry crazy with their forms on Freda's behalf and Rite Aid does the rest when he tries to get her medicine. Then she forgets, takes the wrong ones, or calls five times asking the same thing. Luckily, she now calls my cell phone and I don't get annoyed. I can't imagine any older person keeping track of everything necessary for Medicare, Blue Cross or whatever medical plan the person has, in addition to paying bills and dealing with all the scams that come over the wires every day trying to ensnare old people. It's a tough world in a very mean-spirited country.
The mixed-media painting is the Angry Chicken which I thought was appropriate today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Painting and Spooning Out Babyfood

Rev. G.'s portrait
My keyboard is kind-of loaded with Gerber's baby food chicken for the kittens. Hers is loaded with ground-up kitten vitamins because she has a cold. Harry and I already knocked ourselves out getting an antibiotic into her. That was after the vet's visit. Twenty-five years ago, Anise, my cat, sneezed for sixteen years and it didn't occur to me to take her to the vet. 'Course Autumn sneezes twice and I make the call.
I've been painting the last couple of days. I have a few pieces to put on here when they're all dry, maybe tomorrow. And I have to start matting. I have to order about fifteen or so mattes, then later, frames. That's coming. I used to have little samples in all the colors so I could decide what color to make the new mattes. But this year I used them all as backing because I realized the backs didn't show and I could save money. I'm always interested in cutting costs. Art hardly pays but the supplies are mind-boggling expensive. I framed a ton of work for the last show and I think I sold one but forgot to bring it to the buyer and collect the money --yet--if she's still around. Sometimes I switch the frames, but usually I frame only the pieces I like then I'm reluctant to take them off. I still have a couple left but I may not have any Plexiglas. That's knock-em-dead expensive too.
On the other front, I called the Academy regarding the paintings of the kids who've been murdered. Apparently, there are other professional artists involved and they want only oils which I really didn't want to do, but will. I'm sooooooooo slow; the Academy will think I died. I hope I can do at least one portrait for them. I know it means a lot to the parents because I've done that kind of portrait before but not for a program like this. People like my portraits; nobody ever didn't, but I like my watercolor/pastels better. They're looser and I especially like the new funny ones that don't look like the people. Kind of my own caricatures. But those wouldn't do for grief-stricken parents.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

1 Want to Comment?


Depression raises its ugly head. I had an appointment with the Physician's Asst. for my rheumatologist and the neuropsychologist from Jeff called her back with a thumbnail sketch of my evaluation. Apparently, he said I was completely normal cognitively and my memory problems and such were because I'm a nervous wreck. The P.A. thought that was dandy. I didn't. Four years ago that same neuropsych dept. told me I had some kind of dementia and my tests were pretty awful. Now, when I literally can't remember faces for five minutes, and my memory is shot full of holes, I'm fine. If the report is inane and my doctors take it seriously, I'll dump them. But they won't; I believe I have good docs now who know me and can make their own evaluation.
However, the P.A. is a terrific lady but I can't stand to see her as a medical person. She was the person who wanted to send me home in a suicidal depression and today she told me my flares were not related to lupus. She can argue with my neurologist, who says they are. I believe they're a remnant of the damage done by lupus.
I'm just raging and depressed because I guess I feel somehow misjudged. Not only that, I can't stop the underlining. When I feel I can't control every area of my life, I get depressed.
I guess I'll just have to go kill a kid so I can do his portrait. lol

Monday, December 12, 2005

2 Want to Comment?

Looking for Ways to Make a Difference

An earlier Painterjayne is typing; mornings are coming too late and days too short. Today, when I awoke my sweet kitten was beside me purring so I spent a hour just loving her. Last night, I read a good mystery far into the wee hours; reading in bed is one of my favorite activities. I read during commercials when I watch TV too, only that's always the book I'm currently carrying in my handbag. Retirement does that for a being; you get to do what you want. I was painting all day--well, as much of the day as I was awake. I've got about five pieces going and once they're done, I want to begin matting. That's always a big job especially when as always, I've put it off for a year. I owe artwork to people who've paid for them and there are paintings I want to hang for myself. Since August, I've switched from erotica back to Funny Fine Art which I never expected. I wonder what's next; I'll have to see.
The Pa. Academy, my Alma Mater, is running a special program to honor the children who've been murdered in Philly by Academy folks doing portraits of the children. I'm thinking of volunteering. I can do that, especially if they wouldn't mind watercolor/pastels. I'd like doing them better. I'll email the program for more info.
And I read today that Saturday, during W's speech, there will be a Noise-In. We'll be out for the evening with friends and then zipping in to another friend's Christmas party. I never listen to any of those speeches by politicians but I would have loved to make noise during W's. I'm really sorry the US isn't a member of the World Court. It might have been possible for him and his cohorts to eventually have been brought up on war criminal charges. Well, if there's noise in Bucks County around nine o'clock, I'll be blowing my horn and yelling too. And tomorrow I'll look into the Academy's program.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Laying on the Side of the Highway in India

Sunday afternoon...I read five days of newspapers. I missed a lot because I couldn't read every section; it was just too much; I skipped the travel and food sections. I actually didn't see nearly everything and I wish I could have. Too much happens in the world and it's only in this era that we have the opportunity to be aware quickly of news in faraway places. Here as in most countries especially in the Third World, our news is skewed, but given enough information and intelligence, we can have some understanding of what's happening. Pretty neat. I got to read about the new highways in India; how the well-to-do there are buying multiple cars for their wives and children; and what's current in China, Nigeria, and a couple of other places I forget. I'm happy; it's like fantasy reading. What happens to me is real; folks buying motorcycles in Mumbai is Star Wars. But I like it; I guess it's one of my hobbies.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

0 Want to Comment?


Tonight was my friend Mary's party and it was fun. Mary and I worked together in a tiny cubicle for about four years, going out to lunch every Thursday for those years. We were way too close, schmushed together like ice cream on a steak sandwich. Apart, we were nice women, but gradually over time we annoyed the hell out of each other. Mary has higher standards than God and she tries to live up to them; my ideals are a little over mediocre. She was slowly driven crazy and I felt as though I was sitting next to my mother, only worse. My mom was an idealist, but not a perfectionist. Anyway, the years have passed and especially now that I've escaped from that job, I miss Mary and I appreciate all I learned from her. Mary grew up working in her Dad's diners in Central Pennsylvania and Chicago. Small friendly talk comes naturally to her as well as a livable attitude about work. Mary is the oldest in a large family with parents who still go home to Greece in the Winter. Mary is very liberal in the best way, yet practical. When I was physically attacked at work by another woman, Mary's good advice was to sit at my desk and tell everyone who asked that I was fine. She said that would quiet the talk about me, which was that either I made up the assault or that I shouldn't have reported it. It was that kind of office; regardless of what happened, the in-crowd offender was always right, and some of the in-crowd were really emotionally disturbed folks.
I had never been pushed and verbally assaulted on the job and was shaken; I couldn't believe Mary's advice would work, but it did. As time went by, I kept very much to myself, didn't get involved in office politics or gossip, and never went to their parties. I realized I couldn't speak their language and needed to keep my angry, opinionated, free-spirit self to myself. That tactic worked well and the people I liked, liked me. Yeah, I couldn't stand some of the humans I saw, and I am glad to have been released.
This evening was sweet; Mary's cooking is out of this world;a few of my favorite people from my old job were there and I enjoyed seeing them. I've been freed and I'm living my life.

Friday, December 09, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

Crying For Sanity and Peace on Earth

Today the light came on in this little room. It seems to turn itself on whenever something is happening involving our family including the animals. Sometimes it blinks in response to my questions too and oftentimes it doesn't go on for months. But Cousin Jerry was coming to take me to lunch today so it was on. After we'd gone to lunch and errands even though he wanted to be on his way, I dragged Jerry up here suspecting the light was a message from his mother. So Jerry suffered the kitty litter stink in here to do the communication thing.
I hesitate to tell this lest you think I'm a nut, but what the hell, I am. I believe our dead relatives and friends communicate with us in dreams, or maybe, just maybe it's all in our heads. Yes, I can see that's possible because we knew them so well and can use them to influence ourselves. However, I did see a ghost. For the second time, an angel came to me in a dream. I was pretty nervous around her--my knees were shaking some--but that didn't stop me from observing and asking her questions one of which was whether there was other sentient life in the universe. She showed me what I believe was a metaphor--which of course the whole dream could have been--with humans as slaves and at least sometimes food. I wanted to know what I could do to help change that future and she responded with (telepathic) feelings that lit my light bulb. I don't know how this will turn out but I contemplate additional activity. I don't know whether whatever it is will arrive at my doorstep or I'll have to seek it out but I'd like to add my voice to so many others crying for sanity and peace on earth.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

0 Want to Comment?

A Day With Nancy

Today was special; I picked my friend Nancy up and drove into Center City. We bopped around; I found bargains at the Avenue and didn't find a SEPTA calendar for my LA brother. It felt so good to be in town, and not hard to do it. I had hoped for that, once I stopped working in town. In fact, being downtown today was way better than it used to be worrying that I was out shopping on work-time. Nancy and I were on Womentime. We would have tripped more lights fantastic if the stores hadn't shut down at 7PM. Here it is, almost Christmas; aren't people out there buying everything in sight? Guess not. Nancy and I love beer so we dined at a nice pub who brewed their own beer and after trying three, I found one I liked. Nancy tells me there's an English creamy ale I'd like. I, of course, immediately noted the name in my current book so I could request it. I'm a big fan of Guinness Stout and grateful I'm not an alcoholic, which I could have been, so I can continue to imbibe. I'm currently stocked with Pumpkin Beer in the fridge as well as white wine which I also like, in addition to a number of whiskeys. It wasn't the beer though that made today fun; the cold weather that was still reasonable with the sun shining down helped and being with Nancy is always the best. Nancy and I stopped at daughter Honey's before we started home; Nancy hadn't seen the changes Honey'd made to her house. Nancy wishes she had a daughter like Honey and I don't know how Harry and I raised such a wonderful daughter. We were very lucky and maybe we were a good combination. I just don't know but I'm very happy.
I'm exhausted but it's a good tiredness. Harry's downstairs watching DooOpp, and I'm listening; it's beautiful to me. The kittens are zooming around; Autumn kitten up and down my legs at forty miles per hour. It's almost time for a relaxing bath and a book, then bed. Tomorrow is snow and Cousin Jerry. I could forgo the snow, but not Jerry. Family and friends make life worth living.
That's not Nancy up there, but she'd approve.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

0 Want to Comment?
The shopper speaks! Harry and I blew through the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey--our Mall-hitting a number of pricey stores buying expensive stuff we could live without if we didn't revel in luxury like everybody else. From that Mall, we proceeded to a strip mall in an even higher rent district for special coffee and whatever else our little hearts desired. Then, just a little further down the overcrowded highway, we did some heavy shopping at Whole Foods. Whew! Hard work, so it's time for Chinese food. Then more shopping. I found a green beret and goofy scarf to compliment Brian's old duck feather jacket.
I was cold today in my "car coat" with matching orange and brown hat, scarf, and gloves. Note: I still looked middle-aged and chubby, in addition to out-of-style and goofy. The green beret and scarf will look amusing too. Yes, it's better to be able to venture out-of-doors without fear of being blown up or shot at. To be able to visit stores stocked with every kind of product and be able to afford them, is a pleasure. No, I can't afford everything, especially now. And I want only that which suits my taste; I never care what's 'in'. But still, I'm just as much a consumer as the rest of us buyers here in the good old US of A. Yep, the destitute of the world are right when they say all we care about are things. Our hobby is shopping. Mine too. While I think decorator curtains are wasteful, someone else might look at my three kitty litters as ridiculous. Or my very old curtains as yucky.
I'm never going to turn over one quarter of my money to a good cause and eat tuna fish for dinner for the rest of my life. That's probably the right thing to do; people are starving, and genocide is being committed. I believe there's an answer for me that I will "grow" into. Halevi.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

1 Want to Comment?

Politicians 101

Jimmy Carter was on The Late Show last night and he mentioned the Democrats won the presidential election in 2000. I always believed the Republicans had staged a coup d' etat, that it was the first one in our short history, and possibly the beginning of one-party rule. With the gerrymandering the Republicans have managed, the skewed courts, and criminalized crucial elections, they've attempted to "legally" stay in office indefinitely. The big cities have to fend for themselves because folks like W have written us off as crime-ridden citadels of liberal Jews and/or blacks...who don't vote Republican. I think that's the reason New Orleans went down, and in the Gulf region. Poor whites, although they often vote for people like W, aren't counted either. The truth, as I see it, is that politicians have always cared only for themselves. They're there to line their pockets and gain power over other people--really their own lives, but that's another story--and they dole out contracts and gifts to only those people who can help them grab more.
When I had a regular job--the kind that pays the mortgage--I got an education. I worked with low-level politicians. I didn't see the graft, just favors bestowed by lackeys in hopes of some power dripping off onto them. Jobs and promotions were doled out to politician's children, sisters, nephews, brothers, never with any requirement of qualifications. Oh, and their pay was actually sliced from a very needy program for children. Meritocracy--think the kind that actually runs nations-- was laughable with all the supervisor's children qualifying for jobs. (I don't want to give specifics because these folks think nothing of going after anyone who tattles on them threatening legal punishment. It's happened to me; I'm really not being paranoid.) I'll tell that story another time. The money wasted, when it was supposed to be used for children, bothered me, especially when there was almost never work for those people to do. I liked many of the people; I can't help the rage that boils inside me seeping out when I see injustice.
There's a saying about accepting what you cannot change and I certainly can't touch our twisted human nature. All I can do is complain and live my life. Tomorrow is another day; more cole slaw and a trip outside. Time to put the kittens and myself to bed. G'night.
Oh, the picture was a commissioned portrait, not me.

Monday, December 05, 2005

0 Want to Comment?


Our government here in the US is insane. Didn't they ever hear of prioritizing; making To Do lists; saving your ass? Do the politicians really think if some twenty-three year old Muslim kid who can hardly read but who believes poisoning the water in New York, or planting a bomb on the subway will transport him immediately to heaven with seventy gorgeous virgins surrounding him, and a cash bonus for his very poor parents.....Well, what are those air-conditioned garbage trucks in Atlanta (or wherever) going to do to protect us and them? Our legislators were the first ones out of the buildings like rats in a fire in 9/11 when they thought the planes were coming for them. Secretaries be damned. Just like the nobles in the Middle Ages who fled to their gated country estates leaving the riff-raff to cope with the plague. Gee, sounds like Southern Florida and LA. I doubt third-world politicians are alone in their fat Swiss numbered accounts. Our politicians and corporate executives are the thieving-est, sleaziest humanoids who've managed to somehow escape from being called back to Hell.
Coming out of denial for a few minutes is certainly aggravating. People have always been the same, and the world has forever been dangerous. But now instead of being raped and chopped up by Attila's warriors, or maybe some miserable crusaders, we can be still be cut into pieces in Africa, blown up everywhere else, and shot here. That's in addition to either being downtrodden, sent to fight and die in Iraq or maybe Durfur. And we can still get down to living like animals if the electricity goes out here. Yet we allow George Bush to send kids to senseless deaths in the sand; destroy our social programs; put the kibosh on national health care; and commit negligent homicide during a national emergency. Our educational system is in tatters; rich people would never send their children to public schools. Why are we tolerating this? It was better in the 70s and we put out Lyndon Johnson. I don't understand; it's insanity.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

6 Want to Comment?

Philly Winter Birthday

Congratulations to my on-line friend Jean, on her new baby boy. Jean is the only person who answers my blog and I never know if she finds my messages back to her. A baby is a big deal, so she at least deserves a mention. Way to go Jean!
I'm happily sitting in my disheveled computer room; the kitten is playing at my feet and Moon kitten is inspecting or something. It's quiet and I'm grateful. Maybe life will begin to gradually get back to normal. This was my birthday weekend and the winter has begun. Walking down our icy cement steps this evening to go to dinner sucked; being in the North most of the time from November through March is living in an undefrosted freezer. Immediately after the hurricane damage is swept away and the electricity comes back on, I'd like to leave for Florida, land of wall-to-wall malls. We have a lot of great family there otherwise my feet would never walk on that filled in swamp.
Philly is a great city, not overlarge, but big enough and close enough to New York to be desirable. We have great mayor who used to be a nasty cheatin' guy, and a bunch of old politicos right out of 1955. The 1970s--they were the real 1960s--never hit South Philly or the Polish and Irish folks near the river. Those neighborhoods and the 50s are mostly where our lawmakers hail from, except for the Philly Afro-American politicians who don't have fond memories of that period. Maybe getting one's head bashed by a cop for sitting on the porch wasn't fun.
I hated the 50s because I was a kid and wasn't allowed my own thoughts, feelings, or shoes without laces. The 60s weren't so hot either; I was married with Honey, but all I did was fight with Harry and get my hair done. I also used to paint all night and send Honey out to play during the day. But the 70s were my time to shine. I won a full-paid scholarship to the Pa. Academy of Fine Arts and loved the place; I started the rest of my life. My real life. The best part. My memory is I think sifting out the bad stuff, but that's the good part of either: lupus, dementia, or growing older. I don't care; I'm happier and don't have a choice anyway.
So this was my birthday weekend and I spent it with my family. It's trite to say how much I love them but I do. And I feel blessed because I truly am. I had a very good time.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

1 Want to Comment?

Moon & Autumn Celebrate My Birthday Right Now

The kittens are finally playing. Today is my birthday and I think that's my present. When I meditated this evening, I saw cats lovingly playing. It was hard to believe but later, Moon Kitten came up and licked Autumn Kitten and it's been pretty okay since then. And she sits in Harry's lap, not mine, after all the time I've spent alone with her in this stinky room. Earlier today, at the Vet's office, she wanted to be in Harry's lap. I should have known then--Daddy's girl. First, he had Daddy's boy, now my little red girl too. Oh, well, that's life. At least I can leave the door open now.
I've got a lesion on my tongue; it's been hurting since maybe yesterday or the day before. I researched tongue lesions on here and discovered at least two kinds that are caused by lupus. What a surprise; all my physical problems come from lupus and even my emotional ups and downs become mountains and valleys. If I can get out of bed early enough tomorrow, it's possible I could get to the doctor and be told it's nothing, which it probably is. It hurts though, not much, but enough to worry me.
I stopped taking Provigil to wake up; it did the job but I felt mildly high all the time. That might be okay for a few hours but all week; I didn't feel like myself. It's the Painterjayne pharmacy over here. My friend came for Thanksgiving, had a backache, and was rescued by what was on the shelf. Everything's on the shelf. My kids laugh, but it works and I don't overdo it. Although I might be with the newish stuff for my hand tremor. My hands were shaking enough to make using the cursor or putting on earrings difficult, so one of my docs prescribed a drug that was so potent, I took it in the evening and the next day I was still in a fog. He wanted me to take the med three times a day. The fog wore off but I haven't increased the dosage. I just can't tell if my hands shake anymore. Either I got so used to the tremor, or they aren't. I held my cousin Jerry's hand today for him to check and he said "No", and Harry said the same yesterday. So maybe it's working.
Jerry and Harry took me out for a birthday lunch in Manyunk today; cousin Jerry and I usually go out to lunch together every week. We were meeting in town when I was working at a "job-job", but especially now during the holiday shopping frenzy, we're staying more or less in the neighborhood. It's my birthday week, so Sunday I celebrate with the kids. This wasn't an important birthday; the fifties are kind of blah, in between still young and getting old. I expect myself to work through my sixties and early seventies, assuming I can, then, after that, I can choose television all day if I want. That's if the world and the U.S. still exist and everything here is functioning.
Moon is up here cleaning Autumn and she's typing. I think it's time to go.