See This Symbol? Respect It

Okay, going out on a limb and admitting . . . yes, I have parked in a handicap spot before when I was pressed for time and just needed to get in and out of a store. Bad me, but I didn’t really feel that bad about the act. Now that I’m temporarily disabled and have had to

live in a world not meant for disabled people: ”Shame on me!”d9-6_LG

I got my cas

t off today. A week early. Thank you God. I asked the nurse how much that thing weighed. Ten pounds. No wonder when I weighed myself I thought Holy cow, I’ve been sitting around eating too much for the past two weeks. My trainer is going to kill me. (Yes, I still have been sitting around eating too much, but I think only 5 pounds worth, not 10.)

I still can’t put weight on my foot for another week, so I’ll have to use my roller cart for a while longer. Being without the use of my left leg has opened my eyes to the challenges faced by a handicap person. My husband took me to the grocery store yesterday and I used that electric cart. While it was handy and convenient, I couldn’t reach the plastic bags for produce and I couldn’t reach produce on the high shelves. I couldn’t reach any food on the higher shelves. I almost wiped out the flour bags when I backed into them and knocked two on the floor. I could hardly reach over and get them.

Over the weekend, my husband took me to see The Blind Side and I sat in the handicap section of the movie theater. We had to get there early to make sure I got a spot where I could keep my leg up. People sat in our row who were not handicap and when the movie was going to start in 10 minutes, two women and a man in a wheelchair came. There was only one seat left. The three people on my left just stared blankly. One of the women asked–”Are you handicap?” They muttered, “No.” And they didn’t move. Jerks. The people on our right kindly moved to regular seating and left the two women and the man in the wheelchair have that space.

Today I went to the DMV and got a temporary Handicap Parking sticker. The clerk next to the one who helped me had a cast on her leg. She’d just gotten off her roller and into an air boot and fiberglass cast. She and I commiserated how difficult it is getting around at places where there are no ramps, and there are steps only. I got the temp permit, and as I went to leave the DMV, I realized, there is no automatic door. For me to open a door on my rolling cart is next to impossible. The woman in the cast came and helped me.

The bottom line is: I have gained an entirely new respect for those with disabilities. I know I’ll get better and be able to walk again and not give thought about parking closer to the entrance, sitting in a handicap section, or having a door automatically open for me. But for those who have no choice, and must deal with this daily, you have my apology for ever taking a handicap spot in a “hurry.”

It will never happen again.

Good-Bye All My Children

It was the summer of 1970, I was 12. Flipping channels on the old Zenith, I stumbled across a show that caught my adolescent attention. It was juicy with gossip, pretty characters, and mystery. Suddenly, Dark Shadows, my all time favorite drama, had competition.

The show in question was All My Children–a soap opera.

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I couldn’t watch the show regularly when I was in school, but vacation days or summer breaks, I caught right back up with the characters–it seemed like not a lot had really happened anyway. Then the invention of VHS came and I began to tape the show, sche

dule my lunch around it when I worked. I got married, had babies. Ask my daughters and they’ll remember eating in the high chair watching All My Children. They never got into it like I did.

When I moved to Idaho, I noticed one of the FM channels in my car picked up ABC, so if I wasn’t home in time to watch the show, I could listen to it in the car. When the Soap station was added to cable, happy days. I could watch it in the evenings if I’d missed the show during the day. Up until last year, I even taped the show when I was on vacation.

All My Children captured my attention for 38 years. Then last year . . . I stopped watching. It didn’t happen suddenly. I’d miss a day or two. Then a few days. And I found I just didn’t care and if I watched, I did, if not, no big deal. How had this happened? I think I just grew out of the show or the show grew stupid. All my favorite characters have been long gone. I know Erica is still around and I have total respect for Susan Lucci. But I’m tired of watching and wondering how many face lifts she’s had. She does look fabulous, but I wish I could have watched Erica age.

All My Children launched the careers of some actors/actresses popular today: Misha Barton, Mark Consuelos, Kim Delaney, John Duhamel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lauren Holly, Eva LaRue, Kathleen Noone, Sydney Penny, Kelly Ripa, Christian Slater, Laura San Giacomo.

I kind of mourn the loss of a show that I stuck with for so long, but on the other hand, it was time to say good-bye. I’m older and don’t want to be reminded I’m older because it’s only me and Erica left that have been around since the beginning.

Foot Update

Surgery went well. I’m in a cast managing to get around. Can’t wait to get this hunk of plaster off.

Was it the drugs, or did my anesthesiologist tell me he read my blog post-surgery?

Go Broncos

I never followed football until the last five years or so. I’m a baseball person. People used to tell me baseball was boring. I used to say football was boring. Now I’m kind of a convert thanks to the Boise State Broncos. Dare I say it . . . watching them in action makes bas

eball seem really boring.

I hope the Broncos go to a bowl game like they did with the Fiesta Bowl. I don’t understand how it all works and who picks what team to play. I think if you’ve won 10 and lost 0 like we have . . . that should count for something big.

Last night I heard speculation in the news about a BSU bowl game in Glendale, Arizona. It’s 78 degrees and sunny there today. Oh my. I so want to go there if BSU makes it to a bowl game! Today’s weather in Boise is 50 and windy with a wind chill that will be too cold for me.

My Left Foot

Today when you walk to the fridge, the restroom, or to get the newspaper, think of how fortunate you are that you’re able to stand on your own two feet and get to where you need to go. Tomorrow I’ll be heading into the O.R. for surgery on my left foot and I dread the morning with a passion. I had this same surgery on my right foot over a year ago and I have put off doing so on my left. It’s not even a surgery that will make me feel fabulous afterwards. It’s one that’s necessary if I don’t want further complications, yet the end result leaves me with another problem. Flat feet. To say I’m not thrilled about this is putting it mildly.

I’ll be wearing a cast for three weeks and rolling around on a stupid roll-about or laying in bed, then I get that thing off and move to crutches for a few weeks. Then when I’m real lucky, I’ll go to physical therapy.

Not sure when I’ll be updating the blog. I’ll do my best to check in when I can. Until then, I’m going to keep a positive outlook. And pray.

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My Molly Dog

Here’s a sweet picture of a fourteen year old girl who’s been a faithful and loving friend. She’s hanging in here, still chasing squirrels. But she’s going blind and she’s all but deaf. We still love her dearly.

Molly In Leaves

Ho Ho Ho . . . Please Don’t Snow Contest

Yes, I know . . . asking it not to snow in Idaho isn’t likely. However, maybe it won’t snow in November since I’ll have to be on crutches. (More later about this one!) In any case, in honor of winter’s approach, I’m giving away a copy of my anthology called Upo

n A Midnight Clear. I have a short story in this one along with Jude Deveraux, Linda Howard, Margaret Allison and Mariah Stewart.

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I’m also giving away a classic Christmas movie to get you ready for December. A Christmas Story!

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I saw this movie as part of a double feature with Cannery Row back in 1983. Such a cute movie!

To enter, write about the most memorable gift you received for Christmas or a holiday you celebrate that meant the most to you.

I’ll pick a random winner on December 1, 2009.

Fall Into October Contest Winner Picked

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Cocoa Puff the Yorkie picked the winner of the Fall Into October Contes

t . . . by a nose. I took the entries and numbered them, and dropped the papers on the carpet in a large radius, and picked the one my dog went to first. (I know it’s not scientific, but it worked!) There were many entries and when I tossed them into the air, they kind of spread–so I had more than the papers shown in the photo with Cocoa.

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their thoughts about fall! Now as we head for Thanksgiving, I’ll be posting a new contest to end December 1 . . . a kick off to WINTER and Christmas.

Fall Idaho Sunrise

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My husband took this photo of our backyard at sunrise this morning. It doesn’t do the colors justice. The brush of orange only stayed for less than a minute as the clouds skirted swiftly in the sky. Not sure if you can see it or not, but there’s probably 50 ducks on the pond. We usually get a lot who winter here, and at times, there are close to 100 in the backyard.

And That’s The Way It Was

Recently, my mom gave me an old mailer she’d received with recipes in it. The address is to “Occupant” at 927 W. 30th in the greater L.A. area . . . that was where I lived as a little girl. Why she kept it all these years I don’t know, but it’s pretty fun to look through the helpful hits, recipes and coupons.

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It got me to thinking about how grocery shopping has changed over the years. I’m not a fan of going–not sure why, maybe because I don’t like taking the time. But I love to cook and prep a big meal. I went to the market (a word associated with California whenever I’ve used it in place of grocery) with my mom as a little girl. Things I remember . . .

In the produce section, there were no plastic bags. I hate the ones they have now. They are micro-paper thin and I can never get them open. Drives me nuts. Back in the day, all that the consumer had to use was brown bags. They came in a few sizes. They were in slots beneath the vegetables and fruit. My mom, produce in her left hand, would grab a bag with her right and snap it open to dump the peaches in or whatever she was buying. Mostly, she weighed her items to see how much she was getting.

When I got bored shopping, my mom would give me and my sister a penny. This was a big deal. A penny bought a gumball.

By the gumball machines was a test tube machine where people brought in tubes from their televisions. If we were lucky after buying the gumballs, we could watch as some housewife or man insert a tube to see if it would light up or whatever it did. Why this was fascinating, don’t ask me now.

In the check out line, it was never asked if we wanted paper or plastic. Everything was packed in a brown paper bag. The checker would ask my mom if she wanted the tops on or off her carrots. She’d say on–so at home, we’d take the tops with a little bottom of the carrot and put it in water. Don’t ask me why.

There was no safety packaging on anything. You’d open it up and get right to whatever you’d bought. Aspirin, peanut butter.

But the best part of going to the market was waiting to see how many Blue Chip Stamps we could get with our order. If you aren’t familiar with them, Blue Chip stamps came in two denominations. At home, you had a book and you filled the pages with the stamps. When you had enough books filled, you got to go to the Blue Chip stamp store and redeem them. A really cool redemption was TV trays . . . that maybe your mom would let you eat in the living room and have a Swanson meal–only if you were good and it was a special occasion.

So I’m thinking the reason I may not like going grocery shopping anymore is all the fun is gone. There aren’t any Blue Chip stamps, gumballs are like .50, and the plastic bags won’t open when I need them to.

Times have changed . . . Do you remember anything from your childhood that has changed and you have fond memories of the good old days?