Rebel in the Rye with Salinger

I have basically nothing to say other than I’m getting old. I  am retired more or less. My husband is retired so I am retired. I worked at some shit jobs (minimum wage or a little more) since leaving the Beverage Company so it was easy to leave the working life behind.

Since I am retired and nearing the dreaded age of 65…  But aren’t all birthdays dreaded after a certain peak? Then the down hill spiral ? This is what I have learned in my old dotage. Any age is worth living and worth looking back on as a good year. Any age is a good age.

And since I feel I have little to draw on when I try to find something entertaining to write, rather than not writing I will just draw upon life as a has been. A throw away. A dried up old prune. An invisible woman of a certain age. Body betraying me old hag.

It should be fun!

First of all, when one is retired one has to look and be with their spouse ALL THE TIME. This makes me want to run away. Sometimes. It’s as if I need more and more alone time and he needs less.

I blame him for keeping me away from the things I like, no love to do and that is not correct. It’s me. He is the easy target to shoot at and aim all my frustrations. Beginning this blog again is a good start. One foot in front of the other.

Now 14 years after I began this blog of the same name on AOL I will pick up again. I have little need for anyone to comment or acknowledge my superior writing. In that respect I shall become like J.D. Salinger and join him as being a recluse. Oh how delicious that sounds. I will explore what makes me happy and then follow my heart. Even ifs it doing something as silly as cutting out pictures and creating collages. Or baking bread, making a cake, inventing new and wondrous ways to make soups! Finding a new hobby. I just want to stop feeling like I am fading away and waiting for the Angel of Death to find me.

Another purpose. I will not go silently. After all I am a big mouthed look at us hear us heed us BABY BOOMER.

More to come. Expect rants about our government. I deplore DT #45. He is the worst of the worst. Expect to explore the National Parks with me as I have a Senior Pass or a Golden Pass and have already used it once. Expect to hear me lament about my drug addicted daughter and wring my hands. Expect to go with me while I travel to my favorite places….again for I have well documented in those 14 years many of those places. Expect book reports good and bad. As I age I have changed my reading habits. If I do not like a book I do not feel compelled to finish it. Usually 50 pages or so does it for me. Expect my opinions about the world and my little part in it. Go along with me as I struggle to find a way to make this little piece of the world I live in a better place.

That should keep us busy for awhile.

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Woe is Me

Could it get any worse? This most definitely could be a Country Western song (i show my age by including the Western part. Back in the day the only acceptable Country was Willie. How times have changed. Country isn’t even real Country Western. But that is another story for another time).

My song would start with a drive home from Florida hoping to feel the comfort and ease of a familiar landscape. To anticipate the feel of love from an extended family. To breath air that was not fraught with humidity and the smell of burning human waste. Another story for another time. The fragrant air of the Bluegrass. I was so happy that even the dread that weighed heavily on my husbands shoulders could not wipe the smile off my face. Nor the confused stirring of our dog Sissy who once in the car always thought she was headed to the Dog Park. After several hours of scanning unfamiliar landscape and whimpering in anguish she settled down into a jumpy nap dream state.

Arrived to a house in total disarray. Yard unkempt, food on the walls, occupants under the influence of illicit drugs though denying in a slurry staggering half eyed way.

A letter from the IRS awaited among the six week pile up. I owe $9600.

The air conditioner is on the blink and upon inspection needs to be replaced. 8 to 10 grand.

The battery on the car dies.

My daughter is addicted to this scum bucket boyfriend and meth.

My hubs is ready to call it quits. I did not sign up for this, he laments.

And I? I wait until the last possible moment to contact the IRS, which I must within three days and beg for mercy.

Additionally I am locked out of my stock account, the culprit who got me in this mess, and the fact that I am the worst spendthrift ever born.

I shed a few tears yesterday morning watching a segment on a Sunday show that featured a family who had lost a child to brain cancer at a very young age.

So I know it could be worse. A lot worse.

And so I begin with a telephone call and prehaps reenter the job market at least for a little while.

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The root of the root

I recently began corresponding with a lady in a nursing home. Actually I send a slew of Christmas cards to her home to the Activity Director and asked her to pass them out to anyone she considered deserving in one way of another.

That is how I met Linda. She wrote me back a thank you note with a bit of information about herself and asked the same of me. I was much taken with her age, which is in the early 50’s. She is obviously disabled and obese.  I have send her several cards and a few letters but I must have gone a little over board with the last letter. I described the road trip my husband and I took in March on the way to pick up my step daughter for spring break. We visited Muscle Shoals and I described visiting the FAME recording studio and how much history was encased there.  The names of the fantastic and famous who recorded some of the best music of the times recorded there! Late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Soul music, rhythm and blues, funk. My favorite Duane Allman recording with Wilson Pickett there was like magic to me. The land of 1,000 dances was recorded in this small town in this even smaller studio. I must have played that album over 10 thousand times. So many that it turned gray on my turntable.

We also went to the home of WC Handy and met the most delightful curator, a name that was foreign to me, she invited us back for the celebration of WC’s legacy that summer and she would take us out to dinner. It is so tempting! This woman thoroughly amazed me with her knowledge and eloquence.

Then we went on the Shiloh to visit the battle field of a deadly two day battle in 1882 between the north and the south. The grounds are huge and the committee which oversees the park says that they have invested in all most all the fields that were included in the battle. It was an early spring March morning when we visited, our third time, and the majesty and the holiness of the area remains and profoundly becomes more like a living breathing entity each time I visit.

I told all this to Linda and Saturday I receive a letter from her that I sure can write and she enjoyed the four pages of my history but she will get right to the point

Am I Saved?

Am I?

I doubt it. I fight every day not to allow the vile bitterness that brews inside of me to spew forth and blindside some poor soul who comes across my path. On the way home Saturday I counted four times that I was pissed off, annoyed, agitated to the point that I wanted to flip a bird or respond with a tone of voice that let that person know I was not pleased.

I think about saving myself by leaving mu husband. He who knows me so well but drinks too much and is the source, the root of the root, of my vileness. My unhappiness.

Yet without him would I be more unhappy?

Am I saved? Am I saved? I will have to think long and hard because I doubt it.

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From dusk to dawn and beyond

I have stayed up and pulled an all nighter before. Usually with the aid of drugs and involved partying and alcohol. By the time my head hit the pillow Monday night I had been up and awake for about 42 hours! I was on the verge of hallucinating and my mind was extra sharp all on its own. Sort of like the time I lasted six days on the cleansing diet thing of lemon water and vegetable broth.

Sissy, who is no longer Sissy in my mind but Honey Bear or Pooh Bear, came down with the dreaded but typically unavoidable kennel cough. I spend time at the emergency vet Sunday morning and sent home with cough pills and instructions to take her into the bathroom and give her a sauna AKA breathing treatment.

She and I spent all night in the bathroom. The small trailer sized bathroom. Around three AM I dragged myself out to the shed and found the yoga mat. Yes that yoga mat, my birthday present from last year that I have only used for emergencies such as this.

She was miserable and since I am new to all this dog business, I would guess she was in distress. But she managed to catch a few ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’s between coughing spasms that ended with a gagging and up chuck of a glob of phlegm which she usually managed to swallow but sometimes not. I was also in distress.

Finally I emerged from the bathroom and we relocated to the couch in the living room. She continued to cough, gag,upchuck for hours. She was lethargic, not eating nor drinking any water. I stayed by her side all day rubbing her back and massaging her neck and trying to comfort her.

The emergency vet, who I called early Monday morning told me that it would take a few days for her to get better and that I should get some rest.

She did get better – Tuesday. Monday night my husband took over the dog watch but refused to give a sauna because he can not take the heat and was convinced I was going to develop mold that we would never be able to get rid of!!

I was too edgy to go to bed so I stayed up and watched the most pathetic NCAA game ever (because I wanted the Zags to beat the hell out of UNC b/c of the UK game the week before where one of the referee’s definitely was bias).

She had several coughing fits during the night that woke me up but come Tuesday she was out of the woods.

The thoughts I entertained all night Sunday and Monday were varied and at times astonishing. I tried to remember things – like my dog Terra from 1976-77. I realized that Sissy Honey Pooh Bear reminds me a lot of her. There was an abundance memories  I revisited during those long endless hours between dusk and dawn. It was comforting to me that I could reach back 40 years and have some vivid memories, like snap shots, of a very surreal time in my life.

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Sissy has the Sizzle

We were planning to go into Tampa to the Bark in the Park walk this morning put on by the Humane society and find a rescue dog. But upon closer examination it was a fund raiser and by all indications there were not going to be dogs to adopt at the event.

So we received directions from Larry on how to find the Polk Co. Dog Shelter close to the city dump right past the race way. Not a single one of these landmarks made any sense to me. Its a handy cap when you are not from the area and hardly anything about Polk County makes any sense….but I will not get into that.

We followed his directions and found ourselves at the location and were greeted by the chorus of a hundred barking dogs. I immediately began to tear up. I almost just stayed in the car and let Joe look for a rescue and just bring the animal to me but that would have been unfair to him.

I wanted to pick the first dog in. A small black mutt. A second animal was a small thing, curled up in a ball and looked up at me with something that combined sorrow and terror. That is when the tears began to push behind my eyeballs.

For the record, I find myself tearing up very easily the older I get. It was not all that hard to get me to cry before I became an old crone, a bleached blonde harpie, but it is so bad now that I cry at commercials, people pushing shopping carts on the street, dogs running happily unaccompanied thru intersections, babies, rainbows, stories about dogs reunited with their soldier trainers, anything that smacks of emotional outreach and I am their target.

The next dog was a sorry looking character with one of those lamp shades around her head. I moved on.

She was the fourth one, a black lab mix who was standing up and barking HELLO PICK ME!

The man who was aiding the families who were there came over and open the cage, removed the animal and leashed her. “Listen to the reception she will get as she walks by”. As if on cue the caged animals all began to call to her in boisterous cheerful encouragement  to be the best she could be and hopefully she would find a forever family.

Well, Sizzle was more interested in all the smells that were everywhere in the small paved back area of the shelter. Then into the cage for a play time period of which she took full advantage of relieving  herself and then taking a big old dump.

She smelled all up and down the cage area (at least 25 feet long and five feet wide) and finally focused on Joe who got down on one knee to rub her around the neck and ask her if she wanted to come home with us.

I stood next to him and she stood up and put her paws on my chest.

That was all it took. I was not convinced that we made the right choice as she is slightly fat and obviously just had babies, she is short and kind of ugly. Just perfect I suppose.

All the other dogs started to look good….buyers remorse….and I wanted to take many of them with me. So many curled up and despondent it was tearing at my heart that they were so sad either separated from their owners by what ever reasons, they were nursing their own hurts in the only way they knew and that was to act disinterested to the people, the prancing dogs as they were escorted to the back area and the near hysterical bay of all the other dogs.

But Sizzle is ours, Joe renamed her Sissy because Sizzle is just dumb and is not her name anyway. She was a stray picked up a few days before St. Pat’s day and was on view since the 20th.

After she is neutered she is ours. Our lives will never be the same again. For the better.

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Lanai Blues

I love this web site/blog site because I can write about my husband with great impunity!

Yesterday I began to clean the outside patio which is screened in and referred to as a Lanai in Florida. Usually attached to the house/trailer lanai is treated as a storage area1 Everything from our bikes and hammock (a great buy but we never use) and other odds and ends.

Yesterday as I prepared to scrub the screens Jo Jo comes out to help and removed the plastic windows. I am very alarmed but decide to hold my tongue thinking I could figure out how to put back up.

WRONG!

I am sitting here at the computer at the library to try and unravel the total mess we have made at home. I figured how they go back on but not how they sandwich behind each other.

Jo Jo is dangerous with a screwdriver and twice as deadly with anything that requires a sense of logic.

Lord help me.

(I would have numbered them and noted how they were  removed so I could do the exact reverse putting them back in.)

What a world.

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MoW

Last night my daughter called and was very upset, distraught and bordering on enraged. I am 800 miles away, she is 36, and I had to take a pill to calm down and sleep last night.

Now I am not a pill popper but what ever this was (when my Mom was dying I acquired a small stash of nerve pills from a friend) it has obviously bled over into my non-sleeping day and actually has altered my mood.

Heightened my mood actually. I do not feel at all depressed as I have since the death of my Mom and the election results of November. I feel invigorated and on top of the world. I at first blamed it on the coffee I consumed this morning as giving me a rush. A diligence to get things done today. But I always drink coffee and I always just think about nothing.

Today was different. I jumped out of bed and struggled with trying to get Direct TV on the tablet and failed. Frustrating but not defeating. I have been made aware some one in my family is messing with my account which in an odd outside the box way of thinking is good. I think I know who and it quite be the source of my daughters anger last night. Someone (boyfriend) able to sneak into her phone,

Then I raced off to the Post office and mailed off a book. The last book of Amy Krouse Rothenthal to my sister. I told her yesterday I was going to send her aa copy and by golly I did it. No procrastination which is my usual MO.

I am at the library banging away on one of the public computers b/c we are now retired and I hate to spend all that money on a router just so we can watch net-flicks on our TV. Let him watch it on his tablet!!

And I signed up  as a Meals on Wheels  volunteer.

Sometimes good things come in a small white pill.

Bad things come with the crash.

Off to finish my TO DO list.

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