Butthole. For Reals.

 

 

When it’s 95 degrees at 7pm, a gal is justified in being less-than-herself. That’s where I find myself as I write this.

 

I had wanted to tell you about some of my summer experiences. I’m hoping heat prostration doesn’t keep me from my task. First up, I visited Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa…

 

 

It was pretty fabulous. That hour wait to get in wasn’t anything to write home about, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re the shit, and they surely are.

 

 

I also saw Miss Angie Dickinson at an event. To say I never knew how fabulous she was/is, well, that’s an understatement. The woman rules, y’all. Seriously.

 

 

And then there was The. French. Laundry. I can’t even begin to write about this meal, as it was the most mind-blowing dinner I’ve ever had. I know I’m speaking in absolutes here, but it’s true. I’ve had amazing food in my life, and I expect to have more. This was incomparable. Truly. I’m not sure it will be matched.  I haven’t fully processed that, either. For the record, Mister and I have tried for a few years to get a rezzie to this joint. It finally worked out.

 

 

Did it cost us? Oh, yeah. Big time. Was it worth it? Yes. Bigger time. (Were we our usual dorky selves? Do I really need to answer that? ) Let me tell you this – I would not hesitate to do it again. It was that magnificent.

 

 

There was also the yard project, which needs some T-L-C, as the goddamn sun is baking the hell out of it. Mister and I will work on that this weekend, though, and we’ll hope for the best. Well, I’ll hope for the best. I think Mister just believes. My inner cynic doesn’t always allow that.

 

Oh! And I had surgery. I’m still under doctor’s orders, but feeling pretty much like myself. So I’m grateful for that. The no-getting-in-the-pool part sucks, as, you know, a hundred and eleven-ty and all. But I know that this, too, shall pass. And I’ll be healthier for it. (See – Mister’s belief is catching.)

 

 

And while I was recovering from my surgery (and dealing with the heat), I watched some telly. What I finished was the third season of “Grace and Frankie.” (Loved the last episode so much. And – you have to be really good to take a photo of the screen and get both characters with their eyes closed. I’m just sayin’.) Then I started “Luther.” I had wanted to watch this for some time, so it was overdue. The first episode hooked me, so now I’m in it. Good living, don’t you know.

 

 

My summer has also taken me to Napa for the first time (not the last, I hope), Park City, Utah, where I was eaten alive by bugs – no lie, Boston, my old stomping ground, and home. I’ve been lucky to get around a bit. And even luckier to have a place to return. Not everyone has that, you know – a home. Mine is filled with love. And a ghost. I embrace it all.

 

Speaking of Miss Harmon, she asserted herself a couple of months ago. Mister said something or other about how her ghost had not been around for a while. I told him she’d popped up a few weeks prior and relayed the following tale. I was entering the front parlor, and the glass door that closes off that room was open, but not fully (it was away from the wall). I found that odd, and proceeded to close it. Or at least I tried. The door stopped about a foot and a half from the wall. As it’s clear glass, I could see there was nothing blocking the path. I leaned into it, putting my full weight behind it, and still nothing happened. That’s when I said, “Damn it, Miss Harmon! If you want to hide some place, pick a better spot than behind a glass door!” Immediately, the door opened fully and that was that. I think she just needed some acknowledgement. She got it and we all moved on.

 

There’s a few weeks of summer left, folks. Sure – school for the kids has resumed (mostly), and vacations have primarily come and gone. Personally, I’ve got some projects coming up, as well as ongoing commitments and responsibilities. That’s life. For most of us. We’re doing alright, really. Remembering that kind of helps to trigger a smile here and there. Compassion is activated, too. For me, I know that I got to live another summer. Not even one is guaranteed, so I’ll take it. Even if the next few weeks are as hot as Satan’s Butthole, I’ll take it. I may not like it, but I’ll take it.

Laying Low

 

 

As I told you a few days ago, I had some surgery. I’m doing just fine, thank you, and I expect to keep feeling better every day. I’m following doctor’s orders, as well as thinking good thoughts. As I write this, I’m very nearly chipper, I tell you.

 

But the day of the surgery wasn’t fun. Pre-surgery details were okay, mind you, but after I woke from the procedure, I didn’t feel too peppy. This is to be expected, I suppose, given the meds one receives during surgery. But I was surprised how long the danged stuff stuck around in my system. (I also threw up in the car on the way home, and I super didn’t like that. I’m guessing Mister didn’t, either.) I slept on and off all day, then through the night. I was a little nauseous that evening, for a spell, but it passed and I’ve been pretty good ever since.

 

I’m the type of gal who will go for a hike when I feel good, which is ordinarily okay. But right now I’m trying to remind myself to lay low for a while, so that my body can recover. It’s tricky. But I know it’s for the best. At least that’s what I’m being told by professionals and non-professionals alike. (I’m looking at you, Mister.)

 

For everyone who checked in on me – I thank you. Your sweet wishes were not only appreciated, but they also cradled my soul. A gal can’t ask for much more than that.

Uh-Oh…

 

 

I may be getting Mister’s summer cold. It would work out this way, now that he’s coming out of it.

 

Have you ever noticed how each of us has our own way of being ill? I’m not talking about dread diseases here. That’s something else entirely. I’m talking about the stupid germs that seem to be floating around all the danged time. Such as the common cold virus. When Mister gets something, his head is clogged. I know this because I witness what he goes through, constantly struggling to breathe and clear his sinuses. I don’t know what sorts of discomfort he endures, as I’m not him. He doesn’t appear to be too happy when he’s ill. I can tell you that. And I feel for the guy during those bouts.

 

But that’s Mister. When those same pesky germs invade my personal space, they tend to go straight to my throat. A tell-tale tickle announces itself and I can usually count on actual pain to arrive in a matter of hours. If I do experience clogged sinuses, that tends to arrive as my body starts winning the battle with the germs. That part annoys me, sure, but at least it isn’t painful. The throat stuff? Not cool, man. Not cool.

 

So as I type this, I’m doting on my throat, trying to ward off whatever is leading me to believe I’m about to succumb to illness. And dang it – it’s just not working.

 

I think you know I blame Mister for this. Entirely. But then, he blames a co-worker for being the outbreak dude and getting him sick in the first place. Fair enough.

Hump Day

 

 

I don’t always think about Wednesdays as being the middle of the work week. But once in a while, the thought crosses my mind. And on those occasions, I understand why some folks need to get through and over Hump Day.

 

Depending on one’s life and schedule, weekends can be a blessing. For me, the weekend means hanging out with Mister. Which I love. The weekend also means cooking (and eating) good food. Maybe seeing loved ones. Maybe just chilling the hell out.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that weekends may be a curse for some folks. Maybe there’s ugliness in a relationship and the weekend brings too much time with someone. Or maybe there’s a double-shift on Saturday and the very thought of punching that clock is draining. If you’ve never felt the dread that accompanies painful situations – be they professional or personal – consider yourself blessed. We are not all on the same schedule, nor are we all wearing the same shoes. A whole lot of souls do not look forward to certain days of the week.

 

Today, in the middle of the work week, I happen to feel blessed. I’m healthy and loved. I have work to occupy my hands and creative endeavors to occupy my spirit. Today I will tick this Hump Day off the calendar, moving me 24 hours closer to Friday and to whatever the weekend provides. I’m already excited.

Hemo-What Now?

 

 

Yesterday I took the train to a local hospital to donate platelets. I’ve done this before and it’s a fascinating process. Unlike blood donations, the platelet donation process takes a couple of hours. Basically, one arm is hooked up to an IV and blood flows to a machine. Said machine extracts platelets from the blood, then returns the blood to either the second arm (also hooked up to an IV) or to the same arm. I’ve experienced both machines and much prefer the 2-arm variety, as the 1-arm machine produces an incredibly odd sensation, due to the blood flowing back and forth through that needle. It’s freaky, I tell ya.

 

Anyhoo – after taking iron supplements for weeks and avoiding aspirin for the last few days, I felt ready. And when my blood was tested (to make sure I was fit to donate), I showed a stellar platelet count (whatever that means). However, my hemoglobin was a tad too low and I was told I couldn’t donate until the level was up. Bummer. So I got back on the train and headed home.

 

I was disappointed to be unable to donate platelets yesterday. And not just because I wanted to do something good. I was also disappointed because I’d geared myself up for the process. I was ready to be hooked up to a machine for a couple of hours. I was ready for the warming blanket (which is needed because when one’s platelet-free blood is returned to the body, it’s much cooler than when it left). I was ready to watch whatever movie they had on hand at the donation center. I was ready.

 

Oh well. There are valid reasons for checking one’s health and levels when donating blood or platelets. Not only does the donor need to be healthy for her sake, but the platelets need to be healthy for the sake of future recipients. For reals.

 

I was told I can try again in about a week. We’ll see. The chick who drew my blood for testing did a real number on my arm. I may not recover in a week. But I’ll recover eventually and I’ll do what I can. Stupid hemoglobin.

Spider Bite Update

 

Well – it’s been 2 weeks and 2 days, 10 days of antibiotics and more anti-itch cream than I can quantify, and my spider bite has almost healed…

 

 

I know it’s hard to tell from the photo, but the bite is much, much better. And its ugly appearance now is proof positive I did the right thing in going to the doctor. Yes, it’s still unseemly. Yes, it’s still discolored. But it’s also healing. And healing am be good, y’all.

 

Also – spider deaths are now occurring at the new pad. Just last night Mister offed a big, furry specimen that was headed right for me in the kitchen. I mean really.

 

So – if you find yourself with a spider bite, please take care. Other than itching (and pus-filled, expanding purple skin), I had no indication I was in trouble. I’m just grateful Baker Jen warned me a while back to beware of spider bites. It was her voice in my head that made me investigate. And I’m so glad I did.

Love

 

 

I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone, but here goes: I love myself. I do. I love the way I try in life. I love that I create. I love that I love, for cry-eye!

 

But none of that means I think I’m without flaws. Oh, Lordy, no! I am well aware of shortcomings, mis-steps and general fucked-up-ed-ness. And yet my awareness of those things does nothing to lessen my love for myself. If anything, my imperfections only serve to endear me to me. For I care for me – actively. My joy, my health, my willingness to grow and change – those things are my responsibility. I carry them – gladly.

 

That being said – ahem – there are some parts of me that I’m none too fond of. One of those items is my tendency to lodge stress in my body. I mean really. When I’m feeling stress (and who isn’t), it settles somewhere in my person. And it isn’t predictable, either. Some stresses prefer my back. Some make themselves at home in my neck. And then there’s the latest Occupy Mikki stress encampment: my jaw. That’s right. I have now begun clenching my jaw in my sleep, and my jaw is hurting like a mutha. Yawning hurts. Chewing hurts. It sucks, I tell ya.

 

Anyhoo – I’ve seen my doctor and my dentist and now I’m on a course of anti-inflammatories. I am also doing some physical therapy exercises to strengthen and re-train my jaw to friggin’ relax.

 

I’m hopeful. I really am. Because I want to be healthy. Because I’m willing to do the work. Because I love me – screw-ups and all.

Another Baby Step

 

 

Yesterday morning I took the last of a particular supplement prescribed during my unhealthy period a while back. I gotta tell ya – I did a little dance when I took that pill. For me, that final dose represents wellness, and I embrace wellness.

 

Recently I listened to a couple of chicks talk about their health. While one gal is dealing with actual issues, their conversation seemed to focus on losing weight and cleanses. If you’d seen these girls, you’d have wondered (as I did) how they could possibly improve upon their beautiful selves. Honestly – both girls were gorgeous and lovely with darling figures. They also happened to be quite a bit younger than I, and when I realized that, I sort of understood. I don’t hold it against them or anything. Life isn’t a race. They get to figure themselves out in their own time. In their own way. For all I know, those girls could travel along life’s path, forever placing appearance at the top of their priority list. And that would be okay, as they get to choose. And hey – I’m certainly not the boss of them. All that being said, I did feel for them, as they seemed a little too wrapped-up in appearance.

 

Please don’t think I am without ego, as I certainly am not. Like most folks, I want to look cute. I want to feel attractive. And I want those things for me. But I have learned to value my health. I have learned to appreciate being able to move and to get around. For me, taking that last health supplement was a big deal. And I’m fairly glowing because of it. I’m still on one other supplement for a while, but that will eventually end, too. I won’t be doing any cleanses any time soon, either. Regardless of how others perceive me, I’m doing alright. I feel great and I’m able to kick the ass of my workout sessions. Win-win, yo.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture, especially when it’s made up entirely of baby steps. My recovery has seemed like that at times. But as I look over my shoulder at where I was, I can now see just how much distance I’ve covered. Man – do I feel good.

Praying It Forward

 

 

These are healing flags given to me by a dear friend. She made them and gifted them when I was ill. I hung them in the bathroom, where I saw their beauty every day. Each time I looked at them, I thought about being loved. And I thought about how much love can heal. How much love can soothe. And I thought about my friend, taking the time to make such a gift. It all added up to my feeling glow-y and hopeful. And that was good.

 

Once I had healed and was well, I removed the flags, carefully folded them and put them away. I wanted to keep them, as they meant so much to me during those hard months of illness. And I wanted to have them on standby, in case I needed a boost in the future. So they were placed in my desk, safe and ready to serve.

 

This week I found out a young friend is unwell and in hospital. As she’s out of state, a care package has been assembled by many L.A. folks who know and adore her. When I thought about what I might add, I knew – without hesitation – that my healing flags should be included. While it is entirely up to my young friend as to how she receives those flags, they are given with the same intent as their maker. They’re imbued with love, with hope, with respect and joy. I give them from my heart and I give them without expectation.

 

It’s funny. I had thought I would keep those flags forever. But now I know that paying it forward is the right choice. In fact, it feels more like Praying it Forward than anything else. And for my young friend, I do indeed pray for her sweet soul and her health.

 

Amen.

And Now You Know

 

 

The other day I was at the gyno for my yearly visit. This is just something we gals have to do, and it’s good for us. I add that last bit because I know a couple of chicks who haven’t been to the lady-business-doctor for years, and y’all, that ain’t right. We alone are responsible for taking care of ourselves and ignoring that responsibility can be downright tragic. So to all my gal pals, I say this: get your coochie and your boobies to the doctor already! End of sermon.

 

So I was at the office. I have to tell you – I go to what may be the best women’s care facility in Los Angeles. And most of the patients – myself included – are just regular folks. The rest of the patients, however, fall into the category of supermodel. It isn’t that I’ve recognized actual faces or anything. It’s just that when a 6-foot, drop-dead-gorgeous chick is in the vicinity, you can safely assume she’s better known than most of us will ever be. And while the majority of beautiful girls are probably also beautiful on the inside, every now and then you encounter an entitled, narcissistic jerk. One such chick walked into the office when I was there, shortly after my arrival. She lazily approached the reception desk and in slow valley-speak said, “Um. I have to be on the west side at 3:30, so I need this appointment to only take an hour. Can you make sure that happens?” The receptionist gently told her the appointment could take longer, since this was her first time at the office and there would be multiple patient in-take forms to submit. The receptionist then said something about the issue of the chick being late. In response to that last bit, the slow-speaking chick said, “Um. My appointment was at 2 and I’m only a couple of minutes late, so that shouldn’t be an issue.” It was 2:22, y’all. The receptionist pointed that out, but the chick was non-apologetic. She pretty much insisted the receptionist accommodate her. I heard the receptionist sigh and the chick sat down and started talking loudly on her cell phone. Did I mention there are signs all around the office requesting all cell phone calls be taken in the hallway? No? The chick certainly didn’t seem to notice the signs.

 

My appointment wasn’t scheduled until 2:45. I had gotten there a bit early and thought I had time to read a magazine. But there must have been a cancellation or something, because just as the super-model’s phone conversation began, a nurse called my name. I smiled as I walked back because I knew there was no way that chick was getting out in time for her west side engagement. I mean, don’t mess with the receptionists. They’re the friggin’ gate-keepers, for cry-eye.

 

Anyhoo… I happen to adore my gynecologist. She’s very straight-laced and utterly professional. I trust her and respect her. She’s far more proper than I, and our demeanors could not be more different. So I guess I was a bit surprised that as the examination ended, I received the greatest compliment I’ve gotten in ages. The doctor looked at me and said, “You have a lovely uterus.” I told her I’d be sharing that comment with absolutely everyone I know.

 

And now you know.