Saturday, August 13, 2022

 It is fairly easy to predict Trumpettes reacting poorly to their dear leader's current unenviable position. One woman in Arizona proudly proclaimed that Trump has never lied in his life. The hot Arizona sun has fried eggs, why not eggs and brains? The most despicable aspect of the Trumpettes' accusations is that many have specifically vilified Judge Reinhardt and Merrick Garland because both men are Jewish. In their thinking (can it even be called that?), their shared religious faith means there is a Jewish cabal trying to destroy American life and ideals. Then Fox amplifies those disgusting sentiments by broadcasting a doctored photo of Reinhardt trying to link him with Ghislaine Maxwell (also Jewish) and by doing that link the cabal with Jeffrey Epstein (also Jewish).

One of the more important aspects of being a nation of laws is that all defendants can be represented in court. Did Trump have documents that should not have been in his possession after 1/20/21 despite repeated requests and subpoenas for those documents? I would say based on what was revealed this week that is undeniably true.  Trumpettes have various responses ranging from "well he declassified them" to "they were all planted". First of all, when you cannot even agree on the defense you probably should at least confer before making wild statements. Second, declassifying documents does not happen simply by waving a wand nor can certain documents related to national security and weaponry ever (that is never) be declassified. No one needs to plant evidence when the Incredible Bulk freely admitted to having them.

Trump may never get closer to wearing orange than his hair or his skin, but if you still think he is your savior, you need help.

Monday, August 1, 2022

 When celebrities die I usually shrug my shoulders but a death yesterday hit a little harder. Sure, everyone dies but Bill Russell transcended simply being a sports star. The following praise says it better than I ever could:

And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill's uncompromising, dignified and always constructive commitment to principle. That would be one last, and lasting, win for our beloved #6."



Another recent death revealed Trump values more than any of us could expect. Trump buried his first wife, Ivana, at his golf course in Bedminster, NJ. Was it because he loved her so sincerely? Unlikely, right? Turns out NJ does not tax cemeteries at all--no property tax, no sales tax, ....

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Beauty is for the Birds (plus CAUTIONARY TALE)

 The quilt is complete, bound and rinsed. Given all the false starts and U-turns I made while working on this, it surprises me that it turned out as well as it did. I do like it though like Joanne in Massachusetts the gold background would not usually be my first choice. Since the manufacture of cotton cloth for quilting, or any other purpose, is harsh on the environment, I try not to buy new fabric when I have something that might be useful.

The photo was taken in what is our multi-purpose room--quilts, fabric, television, ironing supplies, etc. This is one of the two places in the new/old house that still has the exposed barn rafters and this space was part of the haymow.  There is a very large trapdoor with huge hinges that opens so that the hay could be moved from the lower level to storage and back again back in the stable days.

Now for the cautionary tale. This is for everyone but specifically for women of a certain age. My husband and I have watched while both friends and relatives died, some from cancers of various kinds and some from other problems such as coronary issues. We always swore that if we were stricken by some terminal problem we would simply up stakes and go to Italy. Of course that might still be possible but it's the sentiment more than the fact that drove our thinking. My friend Willis died of stage 4 cervical cancer but before she died her oncologist insisted that she have a hip replacement. She fought for a while but finally gave in because the doctor was so insistent. After all the pain and expense she died about ten days later, in more pain that she needed to be in.

My sister died of stage 4 lung cancer. The last three months of her life were spent in NOVA Medical Center near DC because one of her tumors pressed on her spine and paralyzed her legs. So she was clearly not going to make old bones but various doctors at the hospital used her to defray their children's private school fees or something. In those last three months she was told she couldn't have painkillers because they didn't want her to become addicted. Still, they insisted that she "tote that barge and lift that bale", forcing her to do weight lifting that ultimately broke her arm and broke her hip, which they then insisted she needed surgery to repair so that she could go home. Two days after the hip replacement they kicked her out of the hospital as she had become hypercalcemic because of the cancer and three days after that she died, once again after hideous pain and equally hideous medical bills. Clearly they couldn't beat the dead horse any more.

Those are only two of the tales I have personally witnessed but they should be enough to make anyone think twice about entering into the medical/industrial grasp if they can avoid it. So when my ongoing health issues started I was already predisposed to mistrust treatment that went beyond what I thought was necessary or correct. But I did go to the doctor as anyone would who has lost so much weight without trying. But besides my mistrust I was cautious, plus I didn't think the medical group I was using was of top quality, not just in the medical side but the administrative side as well. Case in point, right before my last annual physical the medical group (Main Line Health), sent a system wide email asking everyone to review their personal information as they were going through a system upgrade. I was astonished to see that I was described as an Asian lesbian on my personal history. Now there isn't anything wrong with being an Asian lesbian but I am an Irish/German heterosexual married for more than 50 years with 3 children. To this date, 8 months later, no one has admitted to altering my biography. If at this point you wonder why I stayed with the group, after switching doctors three times in five years I didn't want to go through the hassle of getting all of my health information changed yet again to a different office.

So in January I saw my primary care doc who told me she wanted me to see a GI doc. The blood test done routinely showed damage to my kidneys for the first time and she told me to stop taking any NSAIDs but that was all she said. No other advice at all other than the referral. I was reasonably confident that I did not have colon cancer as none of my colonoscopies or FIT tests showed anything but normal readings, but I  figured an office visit was a simple start.  The GI doc was angry, abrasive, and condescending. When I told her that my previous GI doc told me in no uncertain terms that my next colonoscopy would have to be done with a pediatric scope because he had nearly impaled my intestine due to an abnormally long transverse colon that took some very odd turns. He described it as the most terrifying moment in his medical career, honesty that is unusual but greatly appreciated. The new GI doc scorned this doctor and scorned the pediatric scope advice. She flat out told me she would not follow my request but that additionally I would never know if she did because I would be fully sedated. Then I told her that I had serious issues with most anesthesia that in past surgeries had nearly killed me through malignant hypertension and tachycardia. I asked if she could return to the older protocol of the Versed and she refused. So I left her office and refused further treatment from her.

I informed my primary care doc of my decision about her friend but I never heard back. In fact, I have never heard from my primary care doc again despite phone calls and messages through the health portal. That was in March because the primary care doctor had described my problem as routine, as in no rush, so March was the first appointment possible for a "routine" intake. Of course after losing a quarter of my body weight prior to the January visit and then 7 more pounds by the March visit I certainly thought my issue was far more urgent than routine. Stuck in limbo with no clear path forward I was still healthy enough to maintain some of my normal activities but I was also still losing weight and feeling crappy at least 50% of the time. Still no response from the doc until her assistant asked me through the portal if I would take another FIT test. I told her that I had done 4 FIT tests in just under 5 years and asked how often this needed to be done, given that all the readings indicated no problems, completely normal readings. She took 18 days to answer. In the meantime I had bumped into a neighbor whose prior career had been spent as a nutrition specialist at Penn Medical center in the transplant unit. She might be 80 years old but she is still as sharp as a tack and clearly educated in her field. She, along with the rest of the neighbors, has watched as I became thinner and thinner so she asked me two questions: Do you have an ulcer? and What supplements do you take? This was one of those lightbulb moments. My neighbor told me to stop taking the vitamin B tablets immediately, vitamin B that had been recommended by a doctor after I had some nerve issues. Turns out B is discouraged for ulcer patients as it is highly acidic. But I had never considered my supplements as any problem and certainly my primary care doc and the GI doc had my medical chart showing the ulcer and the supplements without saying a thing. 

So I thought if B was bad, what about the others? Serendipitously, I read an article in The Guardian about a British fellow who was hospitalized in dire straits because of vitamin D. The description of his symptoms pretty much were the same as mine though far more severe. Everything from the nausea, the weight loss, the mental confusion,  and the kidney damage etc. were all problems I had. Vitamin D had also been recommended to me by a physician because I don't drink milk and I no longer spend much time in the sun having had more than six skin cancer surgeries, none for melanoma but still a danger signal.

Once again, both the primary and the GI docs had my chart but either did not read them or just ignored the information. I stopped all of the supplements at that point which was about a month ago. I asked my primary care through the portal why she had not given me any warnings. Still no response except that this week on Monday a phone message from some underling in the office promising that they have not forgotten me and that I would get a call from the office manager the next day. You know how truthful that promise was.

While you may not have a bad doctor and you may not have an ulcer, you still are in danger of similar complications. I don't know about you but when my doctors tell me to take B or D or anything OTC they usually just say the letter. The pills and capsules from CVS and others are far bigger than anyone recommends. In my case, the D alone is about 3 times more than the normal dose recommended for a woman my age which is a huge issue of which you might be unaware. Off all supplements now, I feel a little better. However I now have irreparable kidney damage which will never heal. I hope it doesn't get worse.

I am glad I finished my newest project. If nothing else it is a bright spot, literally, in what has been a very bad year. I am metaphorically going to Italy.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

 I completed the quilting on the new project this morning and pulled most of the basting threads out. I did not trim it, nor did I remove any of the blue marking so it is far from finished but here is a picture:


The flash washed out some of the intensity of the gold fabric so it loses some of its impact. The flash also obscures the dense quilting in the center of the NY Beauty blocks. I am calling this Beauty is for the Birds. The upper right corner has the state bird of NY, both male and female eastern blue birds, plus a ladybug that is the state insect. Those are more frequently seen in the warmer months so the other birds I put on are ones that are more commonly seen in NY in cooler weather, both male and female cardinals, a black capped chickadee on the left side, and a Northern junco on the bottom. The butterflies are just for fun except the darkest one is sort of a blue imperial. The male cardinal is eyeing a fat green caterpillar, one of his favorite foods. The thistle in the lower right is just for fun as well because I like making those 3D flowers.

Friday, July 22, 2022

 Although I have quoted this line from e.e. cummings before in reference to GW Bush, it applies just as well to Trump.

"how do you like your blue eyed boy mr. death"

I am sure there are Trumpettes out there who still worship at the altar of fat that was the 45th President, but their devotion needs serious examination and analysis. Last night Trump's gross behavior and idiotic persona were on full display.Even his adult children who were in DC on January 6 tried to get him to cease, desist, acknowledge but he was not interested. None of us can know the inside of someone else's mind nor can we base our behavior on our surmises, but if you still support the monster within the corpulent  pustule, you might want to examine your own mind.

On a lighter note, I will finish the new project soon. There will be pics.

Monday, July 18, 2022

 So many mindless politicians seem to be jumping on the "You can't do that!" But what they really mean is that they don't approve of a number of ideas that most Americans seem to grasp far better than their elected representatives. Of course there will always be the brain dead who believe that their own particular brand of religion is what God intended which never fails to amaze me. If you follow that idea to its logical (illogical) conclusion, then you would have to conclude that monotheism doesn't exist, that we worship multiple gods with multiple visions. It isn't just a schism between different religions since even within American Christianity adherents point fingers at other Christians and make disparaging remarks about the other guy's god. My Texas Southern Baptist grandmother loathed my Roman Catholic mother, treated her as though she were a devil worshipper and there are other more dangerous ideas now.

Even if you don't think these various statements are not about religion, ultimately the words and the phrasing show that that's the derivation.  From abortion to gay marriage, from interracial marriage to contraception, the Ted Cruz/Clarence Thomas factions may claim that the Constitution supports their particular views but at bottom those ideas show up in various religious guises throughout history. While it seems unlikely that Cruz and Thomas actually believe in the other's God with Thomas being RC and Cruz being some kind of Protestant (I know Cruz's wife is Seventh Day Adventist but I don't know if there is a name for what he is), they are happy to throw the Golden Rule away in order to rule. The sophistry of their arguments often makes pretzels look like straight lines.

I never thought we would lose the Civil War in 2022 but we have. Woe is me, woe is my country. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

 Kristi Noem, bless her heart, has achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making Sarah Palin look very smart.