Some Thoughts on Global Warming

There are people who realize that the Earth cannot be static, and must be either cooling or warming – glaciers must melt or freeze, they can’t exist in some suspended time bubble. The question is actually is it a normal cycle, or is it human caused (dubbed “anthropogenic” by the notorious person who failed his introductory science class – Al Gore. Who, just incidentally, has made more money than Croesus and Midas, combined, on selling this pig in a poke to the world).

Studying archaeology (where did those farms melting out of the ice in Sweden, Norway, and Greenland *come from* if the planet has never been this warm before?); geology; and several other pursuits over the years (I was doing dendrochronology before dendrochronology was cool ) I’d have to put my whole stack of tokens on “cyclical”.

Now, you might find a lot of people willing to mau mau me into silence, but until and unless they go through every archaeological site, every set of lake sediment, every run of tree ring dates, and *prove* it with something other than screams and cowbells, I won’t be convinced.


Life Happens When You’re On Your Way To Something Else

I’ve been trying to write.  Stories, not this blog.  And Life happened.  As usual.  A minor thing.  Performed in a doctor’s office.  But it’s knocked me flat on my keester, so to speak.

It’s amazing how a bit of physical discomfort can just totally ruin a person’s concentration.

And I have a new ‘catch phrase’ for something I’d rather not do.  I used to say, “I’d rather have a root canal.”  Now I would say, “I’d rather have a uterine biopsy.”  With heartfelt passion.  But more people would still understand the root canal.  And those who don’t understand “uterine biopsy” – consider yourself very, very lucky.

TMI?  Sorry.  But sometimes knowing Latin is not altogether a blessing.  Hearing your doctor mutter, while reading an ultrasound report, “Tiny os.  Hmmmmm” is not in the least reassuring.  Then having hims ask his nurse to “get the lacrimal probe” is downright nerve wracking.

It’ll be at least a week until I hear the results.  Meanwhile, OUCH!


My Worst Memory of Winter

My worst memory of winter is of -25F, 20mph winds.

I had to go pick up something I’d ordered from a store on the other side of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St Paul) after dark. I couldn’t get all the ice off my windshield, so I thought I’d do it when I got to the store, and the heater had had a chance to melt it.

I had a nice, wool coat. With a bit of a ‘nap’. And the snow was still coming down, so I was covered in snow when I got behind the wheel.

When I got to the shopping mall, I got out of the car – stretched as far across the hood as I could to reach the windshield — **AND FROZE TO THE CAR**!! Prone! Stretched out across the hood like somebody had told me to put my face down on it! I ended up having to squiggle out of the coat – still frozen to the hood – and then yank it off the car. There was beige fuzz stuck to that car for a week!

Mind, I lived alone. There were no cell phones. I was in a shopping mall parking lot in a driving snow storm. I thought I was going to die, stuck to my car!

*Now*, I think it’s hysterically funny. I did at the time, too – once I got my coat off the car hood. But I admit to a few moments of, “Oh, Lord! I didn’t want to die *this* way!” No panic, though. I don’t panic

The Five-and-One Journey to Fitness

In addition to searching for my characters, I’m also attempting to recover some health.

These last three years have been horrible for me, in terms of my health, and I’m putting all that behind me.  The operations are over, I’m well into recovery, and now I’m working on nutrition and fitness.

The Five-and-One program, and my coaches Leslie and Jim Grady, are the way I’m doing it.

So far, since November 15, 2013, I’ve lost about 23 pounds (I’m certain it’s actually more than that, but I’m only supposed to weigh myself on Friday mornings, so this is going off a few days ago 🙂 ).

The question I always get is, “Isn’t that *hard*?”  Well, no, to be honest.  I’ve only really been hungry once, and that was my fault when I lost track of time and waited far too long to eat anything.  It does work on small meals, low carbs, and nutrition spread throughout the day.  Works for me, and quite well.

I don’t feel “restricted”.  I’m on this journey by choice.  I can choose to go on a side-trip any time I want.  But I know, if I do, it will take about two weeks to get right back to the exact same place I’m at right now.  To be honest, none of the treats from birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve have been worth taking that side trip, to me.  My husband and our kids can have whatever they want in the house.  I just choose not to eat any of it 🙂  I’m in control.  I really like that, as a matter of fact 🙂

The thing that makes the whole journey work with writing is that, from 24 hours after I started, my blood sugars have been totally normal.  I’ve discontinued, completely, the insulin I had been injecting once a day.  The upshot is that, instead of being half crazed from high blood sugars (and, yes, it was obvious that’s what was going on.  I’ve heard from friends!) my mind is clear.

So my brain cells are working, I’m calling to my characters, and I have my health under a lot better control.  It’s being a great trip, so far!

The Alien Takes Over

Every winter, it seems, my system succumbs to The Alien – a cold that settles in my chest and refuses to budge.  This is in spite of flu shots, massive quantities of vitamin C, and washing my hands enough to leave them permanently chapped.

Along with taking my voice, and giving me a cough like a Victorian consumptive (a description a dear friend said years and years ago and which is so apt I’ve remembered it ever since.  Thank you, SJK!), my brain doesn’t really want to function.

So my quest to find my long-lost characters, and lure them back to communion with me, is on hold.  Again.  While I make noises like a pump organ with a ruptured bellows.

At least the dog doesn’t bark at the funny noises emanating from my chest.

And I begin to call to the characters scattered to the winds…

Years ago, I had the most marvelous friends living in my head.  Characters who lived out their lives and stories, and let me watch and be part of them.  I wrote a few novels, mapped out a great many more, and all in all enjoyed my dear friends immensely.

My husband was very understanding of my secret life of the mind.  Our children were indifferent, since most of it went on when they weren’t around or were otherwise engaged in homework or sleeping.

And then I did a terrible thing.  My parents moved near us so I could help take care of my mother, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  It was a stressful time.  My mother was within a few weeks of being 80 years older than our daughter.  I loved my parents deeply, and it’s a safe bet to say, being the child of their later years, that I was closer to them than my brothers, who had left home and started families decades earlier.

But, still, there were times I needed two of me.  My mother’s physical health deteriorated, she was stricken with Parkinson’s dementia (similar to Alzheimer’s, but with a few hard to manage quirks thrown in:  invisible friends; hallucinations [“take this turtleneck sweater off of me!”  “Mom, you’re not wearing a turtleneck sweater.  Here, feel your neck.  Is there a turtleneck sweater?” “No, there’s no turtleneck sweater.  But TAKE THIS TURTLENECK SWEATER OFF OF ME!”]; and horrible changes in her personality.  When she was getting aspiration pneumonia every few days from not being able to swallow her food properly, my father and I made the decision to move them to an assisted living facility.  But I was still on-call, for all sorts of appointments, when one or the other of them was transported to the hospital, and other crises.

The upshot was that I made a decision, without thinking it all the way through.  I was stressed, as I said, and mourning the loss of person there physically but no longer the mother I’d known and loved, and feeling desperate.

I committed a form of murder.  Not my parents, not my husband, not our children!  But I killed my characters.  I forced them out into the void, friendless, voiceless, alone in the dark.  I leaned against the door of my mind and shut my heart against their wailing.  Slowly their voices died away, and all was silent.

My interior dialog was all-but nonexistent.  I did my best to be everything that wife, mother and daughter should be.

Mom passed away in 2003.  Dad joined her on Christmas Eve, 2010.

And then I realized the aching void in my head.  The characters I had murdered.  I MISSED them!

I’d written three murder mysteries, back in the days before my parents moved near us.  All had the same husband and wife sleuth team, and the same general background, but the setting of each changed.  They were good.  I had several editors at publishing houses express interest, and I was optimistic.  They lived and breathed and had their being in my head, and it was wonderful.

It’s been ten years.  I’m older, a lot more precarious in my own health, and the children are in college.  I’m trying to lure my characters back to me.  The mysteries are long since lost, several laptops wiped and sold, and the portable memory tossed in the trash.

But, knowing they once existed, and knowing how intimately I was acquainted with my friends, I’m hoping to lure them back.  I’m hoping they were hiding, all these years, and not dead.