Saturday, August 30, 2014

Four days of photos

Meh, I seem to have dried up on the blog. 

Last four days of phone photos as a stand-in,

Wednesday morning

Wednesday afternoon, Sam & I got a deal on these from a Garage Sale group and managed to get them loaded in and then upstairs on our own. 

Pike's Peak after a thunderstorm yesterday evening


Our companion that wandered past while Deanna and I waited on dinner

Dinner!

wandering around in the dark in Manitou

Boo came out of Deana's room this morning throwing around her bra trying to get treats. 

after he exhausted lingerie . . .

he started on outerwear

Backyard in the morning light

wandering about this morning:






While having lunch with Mom and Dad, this hummingbird joined us. I was surprised I could get her with my phone.










Friday, August 22, 2014

More Idiocy from the DEA, and it's personal this time.

Sigh. 

This.isIdiocy.

Once it takes effect, I will have to schedule and pay for a doctor's visit each time to get a refill prescription for the only medication that can touch my hip pain. I've been fortunate that this summer's pain has been markedly lower than in the winter and spring when I was shelling through them with a refill a month, but I don't know that this winter won't bring a return of the increased pain levels. 

There's nothing better than telling someone who's in pain that they now have to make an appointment (and nothing may even be available right away), drive to the doctor's, sit in the waiting room and office (in pain), pay for the visit, just to get a refill on an ongoing issue. 

I remember crying on the phone in the aftermath of my hysterectomy surgery, when I was bedridden on a catheter, in agony,  and out of the pain meds prescribed upon release from the hospital (Oxycodone) when the nurse told me that medication could not be refilled unless I made an appointment and came in to get a refill. Luckily, Vicodin was available to be called in instead and it worked. No more.

And my case is nothing compared to the millions who live with must worse chronic pain every day.

A DEA Crackdown That's Going to Hurt Those in Pain

Because there will be no more refills, DEA’s proposal means at least 300 million office visits per year (figuring that most chronic pain prescriptions are refillable twice). Nowadays, one just doesn’t walk in and out of a doc’s office. Most pain doctors are so busy that appointments must be made months in advance, and appointment, travel and waiting easily burn half a day. That’s 150 million worker days lost. Based upon average annual wages, employers will pay (and you and I will shoulder) about $13 billion in wages for doctor-visit induced absenteeism. And the office visits will add another $20 billion in cost, payable through the patient’s insurance or someone else’s taxes. . . . 

Given the problem of polypharmacy, it’s charitable to assume that the DEA’s proposal may prevent half those deaths. Are 3,000 unprevented deaths pretty high overhead for pain relief? Well, consider NSAIDs. About 16,000 people who use these medications for arthritis alone die each year, due to the drugs’ propensity to enhance internal bleeding. It would seem from this that DEA would save a lot more lives if it made ibuprofen harder to get, so that those with pain would have to switch to hydrocodone or oxycodone.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

My favorite thing Sammi plays on the old piano downstairs, with its lilting sounds filtering up to the loft.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ALS Millions from Ice Buckets

In the past week, the Ice Bucket Challenge has swept through the ranks.

Bob was challenged





Sam got roped in by Jason.

The Southwestern Soccer team called out Nick ahead of Bob, who in turn got the entire football team on board and called out the President of Southwestern University, Dr. Edward Burger. as well as Dean Munt and the entire SU Cheer Team.





(you can just spot Nick behind Dr. Burger in the suit)

Drs. Burger and Munt accepted the challenge the following day:  









Of course, the backlash is inevitable. Lots of cynics decry the "look at me!" boast of the challenge and the fact that most people aren't donating as well as doing it. 

Except, and here's the really strange but fantastic part, it's working like gangbusters.



I'm kind of the mind that the cynics who suggest posting these challenges is stupid and self-aggrandizing take a look at what else gets posted on social media. It's ALL self-aggrandizement. At least this fun, harmless thing has somehow, rather inexplicably, actually worked to raise over $20 million and counting for a degenerative disease that has no cure because there isn't enough money to put into research. 
Monday, August 18, 2014

August Family/Photo Update

Not the greatest past two days here.

How does one manage to throw out one's back just stretching?

I spent all of yesterday prone on the heating pad hardly able to move my head any direction and knocking back Vicodin like candy. 

This morning, I was able to move again, although a bit stiff. But I had to take my computer in to work to try and get the blue screen of death problem solved.

After wiping the OS (goodbye Photoshop . . .  still weeping), which took FOUR HOURS at the office while I waited, the blue screen popped right back up on us, so I'd wasted the entire day and ended up taking the damn thing back to Best Buy where it will take THREE WEEKS to get back. 

It's not even a year old. But, hey, it's still under warranty, right? Ugh.

August cannot be over soon enough.

In the good news column, Nick is doing well in camp. They changed his number without asking, which was pretty crappy, but he managed to finagle #55, which was the first jersey he ever wore (Junior Seau). 

(then)


(now)



(the team helping freshman move into their dorms)




In Bob news, he just finished filming for a music video that has its big debut next month, complete with a Cast and Crew Q&A


And he spent part of Sunday at the hospital visiting with Malachi, who is fighting a spinal infection that's paralyzed his lower half and stuck him in the hospital on his birthday. 



And Sam started classes today and is really looking forward to the semester. Today was art history and drawing, tomorrow ceramics! But no pictures to share for her. The girl goes to Oregon for two weeks and doesn't take a single photo. On that front, I'm a failure. (Nick doesn't take any, either, but the SU Football photos suffice.)

The only thing I seem to have snapped was a cookie cake she'd already cut into on her return.


Oh, and some more weird art at DIA when I picked her up at midnight:



Friday evening photos of the new fire pit, margaritas, and nachos with Amber:



And there's always the sunrise, even in August.

video



Monday, August 11, 2014

God Abandons Antony . . . and Robin Williams


Thinking on the death of Robin Williams this evening, grateful for the laughter, saddened by the knowledge that depression won the final round, and this poem keeps flitting to the surface of my thoughts.


When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
as is right for you who proved worthy of this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
listen—your final delectation—to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

~"God Abandons Antony", C.P. Cavafy, translation by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard

From my childhood memories of Happy Days, and then Mork and Mindy, I owned the suspenders and the lunch box and a notebook with his goofy grin on it. I was a teenager who ate up Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poet's Society as gospel. I raised my children with him as the Genie's voice in Aladdin, as Mrs. Doubtfire, and Jumanji. He was Osric in the Hamlet I showed hundreds of times to so many students.

He was just . . . always there.

And, as always, whenever a death is too soon, too unexpected, without a lingering illness or very old age, the shock of his passing stings just enough to stir the sadness for a while.

I'd prefer to remember the laughter tonight, and always.






And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest


Sunday, August 10, 2014

8/10/14 August Moon and Morning

Moonrise from the window, 8/9/14


Moonset this morning and, thanks to heavier cloud cover than expected, just about didn't get out of the house to get anything at all.


So we went on to the dog park for sunrise






Moon disappointment made up for by the hawk who had taken up position along the path, nearest the hen house in someone's back yard. The chickens were squawking away and she just sat their, rotating her head around, fluffing herself in the morning sun, taunting them.