Category Archives: Health



We’re told to eat boldly colored veggies, but the modest mushroom is packed with vitamins and low in calories. Well, until you do things with it, that is. My kids used to dunk fresh ones in vats of Ranch dressing. My mom sautéed several types together and served them over a salad of wilted greens. I have a fabulous recipe for mushrooms baked in a casserole with butter and breadcrumbs and Italian seasonings. One of my favorite sandwiches is the Portobello mushroom served like a burger with all the toppings. Mushrooms: clever little vehicles to take you to Butter Town.


The Daily Prompt: Mushroom




I don’t usually express gratitude publicly. I’m grateful for sumatriptan, which usually knocks out a migraine, but I can’t thank a pill—I should thank a scientist. I’d have to research that, find out who first discovered Imitrex back when. A team of scientists? Who knows. I’m glad it’s generic now, wish I could get more than nine pills per month though, since I get more than nine migraines per month. I could, if I went outside insurance, but who can afford that? Anyway, I am grateful for sumatriptan. My NaNoWriMo wordcount is derailed however due to last night’s pain.


The Daily Prompt: Gratitude

BOGO, Baby

You know you’re old when…

You get excited about the drugstore’s BOGO sale on vitamins and supplements. Used to be that BOGO’s got my attention when they were about cute shooze or yummy cupcakes or lacy lingerie or sparkly doodads, but how far we’ve come from all that nonsense.

A friend recommended the lipo-flavonoid supplement for my inner ear issues, and I found the CVS equivalent on BOGO day. I also found zinc, which was recommended for the same issue, and turmeric pills, for achies. A while back, I bought a vat of turmeric spice, on the advice of other friends, with the intention of adding some to all my foods, but it made everything inedible. I like my food to be yummy ~ it’s one of the last few pleasures I have, besides reading. I sound just like my father! Hey, how about that New York Times, greatest paper on earth, eh? (Inside joke, that no one gets but me.)

I made a lovely omelet: eggs, perfectly beaten; shredded cheese; veggies, etc. Sprinkled in salt, pepper, a tsp. of turmeric. Cooked it all up perfectly. It looked beautiful… and it was totally awful, not edible. I tossed the entire thing in the trash. Anyone need a giant bottle of turmeric? Come ‘n’ get it! Anyway, now I have it in pill form, hurrah.

My kitchen counter definitely looks like grandma central, which doesn’t bother me at all. I find myself embracing my elderliness, rather than fighting it. Why fight? Stressful, not to mention expensive. Besides, being old is the perfect excuse for not doing anything. I’m old, I’m tired, I’m staying home. Who can argue with that?


The Daily Prompt: Edible

In Which I Force Myself to Pay Attention

Some days I get down in the grumps and wonder why X keeps happening. Depending on the day/month/year, X could be any number of things. Which is why we’re using X…

I remember once thinking that I was really unlucky with tires and got way more flats than other people. Maybe there was something weird about the way I drove, like I was a nail magnet or something? When I mentioned that to the tire guy, he said, oh, everyone thinks they’re unluckier than normal about their tires. That was pretty funny. I haven’t had a flat since (now I will since I wrote this).

There are days I think I’m in horrible pain all the time, like this morning (when I was in horrible pain from a migraine with stabby neck throbs and nausea), but that’s not true. It just seems true when I’m suffering… and then when I’m not, I forget to notice. Why? Because though I have chronic pain, it’s actually normal for me not to be in horrible pain ~ there’s a difference, and it’s important to acknowledge this. I need to notice the times I feel OK, like now, and remember them.

I’ve said I’m a magnet for certain types of people, but I’ve noticed others saying the same thing. You know the types we mean ~ the drama royals, the narcissists, the nutcases. If you’re not one of these, and even if you are, you’ve surely encountered them. After a few instances, we announce, “I must be a magnet for them!” Well, no. But our interactions with the “types” are so much more vivid than our interactions with ordinary folks that we focus our attention on the types. Hence we decide we’re a magnet. If I force myself to recall more interactions, it turns out that I’ve had many more with ordinary people than with the types. They just aren’t as memorable.

At the risk of sounding a little bit woo, I need to focus my attention more on things that bring me pleasure (writing, good health, organizing plans, etc.) and less on things that make me unhappy (flat tires, horrible pain, the “types,” etc.) It’s just common sense.

Next up: crystals and aromatherapy.


The Daily Prompt: Magnet

No Off Switch

I create best in silence and it’s easy enough to turn off the sound on all my devices. OK, maybe not the meowful one, but at least he goes into snooze mode frequently. ^..^ When I’m feeling especially creative, sometimes I even drive without music on. Weird, I know! But I absorb so much inspiration from my surroundings that even a bit more data can overwhelm me and paradoxically cause a creativity halt. I’m constantly bombarded with new ideas, almost all of which will turn out to be meh-sauce, but still… ya never know until you explore one a little.



The one noise I can’t turn off though is the ringing in my head. Twenty/four/seven my left ear vibrates with tinnitus and there’s nothing I can do about it. Incurable. Occasionally both ears are affected. I’m used to this, since it’s been going on for years, but the sound does interfere with writing now. Some days I simply can’t do much creative writing at all and have to be content with reading and/or watching movies. Not that this is so terrible. Love reading! Love movies!

If I get super excited by a new writing idea and think it’s the best thing ever, which hasn’t occurred in quite a while, the tinnitus volume appears to automagically dip by itself and I can focus 100%. Part of the problem may be that I remember getting excited by writing ideas in the past, and they mostly turned out to be nothing, so it’s difficult to summon up that kind of enthusiasm again.


The Daily Post: Volume

Infused Water

Back in the day, my mom sometimes cut up a lemon and put it in water, no big deal. There wasn’t even a name for it. We didn’t call it lemon water or anything but water. Jump forward several decades and sticking stuff in water has become a culty fad. Which I have assiduously avoided because I hate leaping into the latest nuttery. But! I need to drink more water. I’m terrible at staying hydrated, which may contribute to my migraine problems, especially during the night. And, let’s face it, water is boring.

So, I cut up a lime and stuck it in a pitcher of water. Then I tossed in some mint and sliced cucumber ~ OMG IS THIS EVER YUMMY! I’m going to take a thing of it on my hike today. Yes, I am going on a hike. A friend is dragging me out of the house and into the wilds of Crystal Cove. I hope there are no bears or snakes. I’ll take my camera to document my demise.

Whatever happens, I’ll have my infused water.


The Inescapable Sadness of Spring

I’ve always been a fall girl. Because Halloween.  And pumpkins. And the crisp, apple-fresh start of a new school year. Yes, I’m one of those weirdos who liked school best of all environments. It’s where I shone brightest.

Spring brings sadness. After the end-of-winter conflicting emotions surrounding Valentine’s Day and my ex-anniversary, comes my father’s death day, his birthday, my mother’s death day (today), my birthday, Mother’s Day, and finally my mother’s birthday June 3rd.  At least there’s a happy day following on June 8th ~ Gatsby’s birthday.

I didn’t used to think of my birthday as a sad event, but I do now. A bunch of relationship issues happened then, plus I’m old. Yeah, yeah, but I feel old. I think I must have arthritis now.

However, there is this…


Sleep Is Good

Sleeping kitty


Now there’s a newsflash, right? Hang on, here’s a new study to confirm it, which we need because (as the article notes), many of us have become arrogant about sleep. It’s a thing to announce proudly how you need less sleep than a normal person cuz you are just so rad evolved.

I confess I’ve done this.

But it’s a delusion (probably a sleep-deprived one). Eventually you are forced to acknowlege biology. Oh, biology! So pesky!

You do better, in all ways, when you get the right amount of sleep. Maybe it’s 8 hours, or 9 or 7, but it isn’t 4. When I was younger, nothing interfered with my sleep, and I usually need 6-7 hours. But within the last 5 years I’ve noticed that stress messes with my sleep in a significant way. This is new. And annoying. For a while, I thought it didn’t matter. Look at me ~ I’m so awesome I don’t need to sleep, wheeeeee! /crash/

This week, I’m unstressed and have “caught up” on sleep. I feel much better and have been writing a lot more, too. I’ve even gone to the gym on schedule.  I am certain that my memory has improved, just as the study says. Apparently, toxins are washed away during sleep (brain toxins? gross) and new synapses form.

And by disrupting specific phases of sleep, the research group showed deep or slow-wave sleep was necessary for memory formation.

During this stage, the brain was “replaying” the activity from earlier in the day.

Prof Wen-Biao Gan, from New York University, told the BBC: “Finding out sleep promotes new connections between neurons is new, nobody knew this before.

Cool. I need a lot of accessible memory to write the way I want to, which lately is a hybrid sort of stream of consciousness poetic fiction. Don’t worry, I clean that up and make it readable.

On the other hand, too much sleep can trigger a migraine…

The Tsunami

I’ve been stressed lately. Things pile up; you know how it is. There are good things too, but even so. I don’t do well with any stress. I like none, zero, nada. Stress makes me worry about more stress. It’s a spiral, a rabbit hole I dive down quickly. And I eat the cake.

I had the tsunami dream a few nights ago for the first time in years. It shocked me. I had assumed all the water/drowning dreams were gone forever. I was high up in an office building, with some other women (I don’t remember if I knew them), and my cat. I saw out the window that the water got sucked out of a pool first, which was different from past tsunami dreams, and of course silly. I was very worried about the kitty. We were right near the ocean, like always.

Asbestos Dust said once that dreams don’t mean anything, and I think that’s right. I don’t think anything really means anything, not even thoughts. We were talking about that the other night at writing group, how thoughts are just the output of a bodily organ and you would do well not to feel too tied to them. Detach and you’ll feel better. You don’t feel tied in the same sense to the output of your liver or kidneys, right? You are not your thoughts. If someone  insults your beliefs then, they aren’t really insulting you. Maybe this is what makes us (retired) flame warriors a little different from the norm. We just don’t really care, right? I don’t anyway. It also helps with writing.

As soon as I write something, I almost don’t care about it anymore. I can take any criticism. It’s nice to hear positive remarks; and of course it’s great to sell something. But negative feedback doesn’t bother me. I think this is why I had fun as a Usenet flamer too (except for the colossal waste of time, which I admit now became a significant issue) ~ while I posted I was in character, and when something was “out there” it was part of a story, more or less, and separate from me (whatever that is). So no insults touched me. The other veterans were relatively the same, I think. New peeps were horrified by this, natch. And you couldn’t explain it to them.

Anyway. Yesterday would have been my father’s 83rd birthday. Today’s the 5th anniversary of my mother’s death. At the end of the month I’ll be 52. That seems so old. My daughters are both in their 20s now.

I’m still trying to write a bunch and do all the things I want to do. But I’m tired.

Vague New Year

I have no resolutions or plans, which apparently isn’t at all radical, fresh, or interesting this year, but rather mundane. Peeps don’t seem to be plannin’. We’re tired. We figure, well 2012 sucked, so we’ll just see how this thing goes. Can’t be much worse, right? And it’s already been raining, so there’s that.

I’ve checked my first poast of 2012, which also was free of resolutions, but had plans and ideas and goals, and seemed generally full of energy and optimism. Bah.

Yesterday I hadn’t much energy ~ I dusted but never vacuumed, forex. The vacuum is slumped against the wall this morning, mocking me. Maybe I’ll do it before work. Is 8AM too early to vacuum? I ate a healthy salad, but today it’s doubtful I’ll eat healthy. There’s a writing critique meeting tonight at a diner, and that kinda means pie for dinner. You know how it is.

Speaking of that group, our leader is out of commission, so I am in charge. Yes, it is true. I have the briefcase and the codes. Don’t mess with me.

I have no expectations of getting published or having a romance anytime soon, or ever.

My father has deteriorated further and no longer knows who I am.

So 2013. Whatever.