Monday, April 20, 2015

Mass Murder

Yes, that was what derailed my plans yesterday and today.

I was going to do my minimal cleaning yesterday and then watch alllllll the Sunday news shows.  I watch them all.  I talk back to the TV.  I tweet.

But I never got to it.  Because there were tiny sugar ants in the kitchen.  So instead there was intense cleaning and.......murder.
I mixed sugar and borax and put it out in strategic places.  I checked periodically to trace their route.  I put out more sugar and borax.

Today I cleaned everything on the counter and nearby cabinets.

Many ants were murdered.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Boston, Even Stronger Than You Knew

Today is the first #OneBostonDay
And it's going to be the first of many.  Because Bostonians don't let other people define them.  On April 15, 2013 two assholes tried to make it their day.  Joker and Speedbump (I will not give them even that little respect by naming them) tried to make it their day.  All about their view of the world.  But we shut down the City and found them in four days.  And then except for the trial we forgot about them.  Because they aren't going to define us or that day.  Instead, Bostonians did what we do....we chose our own identity.  We chose to define it our way.  We focused on the victims and those who helped.  And plenty helped.  Of course there were Boston's 1st Responders; Fire, Police, EMT all the dedicated professionals you would guess.  And then there were Bostonians.  Other runners, spectators, people who were nearby.  People who didn't panic, didn't flee (and if you did run, that's ok, it's ok to have a sense of self preservation) but stayed and helped.  And people kept helping in the days and months after.  Raising funds to help those affected deal with their loss and by and large just supporting them.

Joker disposed of Speedbump and thanks to the judicial system, Joker is going away for a long time, or a quick walk to a big electric chair.  Who cares?

Boston meanwhile has instituted #OneBostonDay.
"On this day, we remember and reflect.  We greet our neighbors.  We lend a hand.  We reach out, give back, and go above and beyond.  We epitomize the spirit of the city we love."

We will honor those lost and those grieving.
We won't forget.
 But, like the man said
"It's our fuckin' city!"

Monday, April 06, 2015

Two Posts In One Day???

I can't help it.  I scored and I have to brag somewhere.  Of course, I also proved to myself once again that I am a clown and it has nothing to do with Pomalyst.

First, I had to go to Walmart to get a Dutch Oven.  I want to make a boiled dinner and I don't want to use the stock pot.  It was warm here and I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to walk.  I figured if I got tired, I could take the trolley home.  Or, more likely if I over purchased, I could take the trolley home.  So the trolley that picks up at Walmart arrives every hour on the hour.  Except 7pm.  2pm?  no problem.  5pm?  No problem.  Every hour except 7pm.  Now I have been caught standing at the bus stop before and it was a few months ago, so it was dark.  It's not a HUGE problem, there is cab service in Staunton.  I have the numbers pre-programmed.  But planning would be better, right?

So I walk up, it's two miles.  I didn't particularly rush.  And I was there in about 30 minutes.  Yeah, I am no four minute miler....but's not too bad.

I have a list, Kleenex - not heavy.  Dutch oven - not heavy because I wasn't spending oodles of money on it.  Shower curtain liner - not heavy.  Then I take a turn up the Easter Candy aisle.  So, I have explained my love of Hershey-ettes before in this blog.  Hershey-ettes are better than M&Ms, but harder to get.  M&Ms won the marketing war.  But they are usually around for holidays.  At Easter they are "Bunny Ears" and they are all white.  They are usually with the Reese's Ears that are all orange.  I think they get passed up because people don't get it.  Reese's, thanks to the movie ET are universally recognized.  But you have to be a little *cough* more mature to remember Hershey-ettes as a common candy.  So that's fine with me because I walked up the aisle and literally scored 48 bunny ears of Hershey-ettes at 50% off!!!!!  WooHoo!
So, why am I a clown?  I walked outside at just 6:55pm.  Yeah, 48 Hershey-ette Bunny Ears in my string bag and a two mile walk home.  How?  How did I time this so badly once again???

Life Is Good!

I know I drop off the internet (unless you are on FaceBook or Twitter with me).  Sometimes a blog post is just more than I can contemplate.  Funny thing is, I am still composing them in my head at the same rate I always was.

I am in my fifth or sixth month of Pomalyst.  I'd have to go back and look.  I causes severe mental confusion and agitation.  I know there are times Tommy and Frankie have to tell me to "Ma! Stop! You are upsetting me.".  I take is every night for fourteen nights and then spend the rest of the month coming out of it.  As usual I made all kinds of assumptions based on the first month.  I only make myself crazy.  Of course the symptoms cleared up quickly the first month, I was on the lowest dose possible and there was no build up in my system.  So it takes longer each month to get back to normal.  And they have have doubled  my dose, which is still only half what the average patient takes.  But Thalidomide and I have never been friends - Pomalyst is the latest generation of Thalidomide.  Next was Thalomid, but that was before my adventure started.  Then Revlimid and we all remember what fun I had with that in the summer and fall of 2010!

And now it's Pomalyst.  Which is seventy times more powerful than Revlimid.....I was told by a very proud and happy Dr. Miller.  Pardon me if I am not so enthused.

But it's working according to the wonderful Dr. Miller, so on we go!

I try to start on the 1st of the month and plan everything for the last week of the month.  Sometimes life cooperates.  For the fourteen days I stay with Tommy in Staunton.  Which compared to Craigsville is fabulous.  Seriously, there is a little trolley system that gets me around town.  I am fairly independent, something that drove me crazy in Craigsville.  I can walk to the library, several stores, the post office.  And it's a college town and I like the vibe.

The other 23 hours I sleep.  Haha!  Just kidding, it's not that bad.  But the other day, after being asleep seventeen hours, Tom felt the need to tap on the bedroom door and make sure I answered.  That's why he's my favorite caregiver.  No smothering there!

So what happens the other two weeks?  Well in March I had dinner with my goddaughter Debbie, shopping with my friend Kathy, visited my mother and set up my new storage (I have stuff all over Massachusetts!) in a convenient area.  Saw some other friends and had lots of laughs.  Spent time with my son Frank. of all......two days and one night with my grandson, Frankie, Jr.  He is the most beautiful baby ever.  I could have just sat there gazing at him.  Of course, he is wild like his father, so there was no sitting.  There was hide-n-seek and singing and dancing and playing with trucks and blocks until Grandma Di was almost conked out on the floor.  But when he laughs, everything is worth it.  He's learned to almost say "please".  It comes out "peas" and when I hear it, there is nothing I wouldn't give him.  But like I said he is his father's son and he can be imperious.  I shouldn't laugh, it's gonna get us all in trouble later.  I was cutting a banana and putting two small pieces at a time on his plate.  His mother had mentioned that sometimes he stuffed too much in his mouth and made a gagging sound.  Well, no, I wasn't going to deal with that.  Anyway, at one point I didn't put the new pieces of banana on the plate fast enough and he tapped the plate with one finger like the royalty he knows he his.  And I doubled over laughing.  "Yes, Your Highness!"

So I fit in as many things as I could and scooted back to Staunton by 4pm on the 1st.  You take Pomalyst at night, so I was ok.

My cousin is getting married in May and it is perfectly timed for me - May 30th!  Ha!  The best I will be all month.

I've learned not to pile too much into that time.  I set two things that must be done during my "up time".  Then things that if I get to them, I get to them.  It's much less depressing than when I was trying to cram ten things into those few days.

But overall, life is good.  I know I am better off than zillions of other people.  I am grateful everyday.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The United States Constitution Means The Freedom To.....

and the freedom NOT to.

Could someone explain to President Obama, who purports to be a Constitutional scholar, that mandatory voting would be unconstitutional.

Never mind pointless and stupid.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

4 Miles!

I walked four miles today.  I am so psyched!  It's even more exciting since I am in the middle of my 3rd round of Pomalyst.  I started last week and tonight will be the 7th pill of 14.  The first two rounds were 1mg each evening; but this month was doubled to 2 mg.  But some part of me must be getting used to it.  Less shaking, less panic, more energy.  It's still not a cake walk.  There is still insomnia and *cough* intestinal distress.  But I'm grateful for any good news.

Now let's see what this doubling does to my numbers.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

History's "Sons Of Liberty"

To be fair, I have only watched the first of the three part series.  However, based on this first episode I must say....."History"?....not so much.

Very disappointing historical content.

That said, it's well filmed and acted. If it were an outright "drama", I would gave it many stars.

A few years ago " The History Channel" dropped "Channel" from it's name.  I would suggest they dropped the wrong word.

As I said, I have watched the first episode.  I had recorded all three episodes with plans to "binge watch".  But now I have decided to pace myself.  The third episode purports to deal with the Battle of Bunker Hill". Breath in.  Breath out.
 Just for a frame of reference, this is John Singleton Copley's 1772 portrait of Sam Adams.  Not much resemblance.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 1945 Raid at Cabanatuan

Seventy years ago today LtCol Henry Mucci of the US Army Rangers led a force of Rangers and Alamo Scouts in the largest and most successful rescue of American prisoners of war in American military history.

The Japanese held approximately 500 prisoners of war at Cabanatuan Prisoner Camp in the Philippines toward the end of World War Two.  These prisoners were largely made up of Bataan Death March survivors.  Men barely alive.  Allied/American intelligence knew that as our forces were successfully moving through the Pacific, the Japanese captors were killing POWs.

The rescue force of 133 US Army soldiers was vastly outnumbered.  Not just those Japanese soldiers in and running the camp, but very close by was a Japanese Infantry Battalion with approximately 1,000 soldiers.

So not only did Mucci's men need to get into the camp, overwhelm the 200 or so strong Japanese captors, rescue the POWs and escape; they also had to keep the camp down the road, from sweeping in and re-enforcing the camp guards.  That's where Filipino guerrilla Captains Juan Pajota & Eduardo Joson and their forces came into play.

Pajota and Joson with their force of approximately 270 Filipino soldiers coordinated a roadblock at the Cabu River Bridge.  This attack decimated the Japanese Battalion and took that pressure off of Mucci's forces.  It still wasn't easy, but it gave the Americans a real chance of success.

LtCol Mucci had handpicked Captain Bob Prince to plan the raid.  They had to go 35 miles behind enemy lines and they had to pull it off before Japanese to slaughter the remaining prisoners & deserting the camp ahead of McArthur's arrival on Luzon.  Prince's plan, featuring Army Rangers belly crawling across a large flat, open area right up to the camp landed him in the Army Ranger Hall of Fame!
The result - a great, great success!  This pic is the liberated prisoners.  Mucci & Prince lost only two men in the raid, which is astonishing as well.  I guess for today "BostonMaggie" can say - "Rangers Lead The Way"!