“Here among the thirty thousand days of a long life, a single day stands still.” ~ Donald Hall

“Silent Dawn” by Walter Launt Palmer (1919, oil on canvas)

A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future.  ~ Leonard Bernstein

Frozen Afternoon on Indian Lake, by L. Liwag

Cold and grey here today, this after temperatures in the high 50’s yesterday. All fleeting feelings of spring fever have evaporated. 

Big loss for the Democrats yesterday in the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Senator Kennedy’s seat. We were spanked. Hard. 

Of course, everyone is commenting that this win by a virtually-unknown Republican is a clear indication that the country’s support for President Obama is waning fast and that the mid-term elections could be a toss-up. 

A few reminders: The mid-term elections are almost always a toss-up when a new party takes office. There is no stopping that trend, which results from the incredible impatience of the American voter. That’s right—impatience. 

Might I just suggest that since President Obama has been in office just one short year, those of us who are complaining might want to exercise a bit more of that commodity that is so lacking. One year. No, all the change hasn’t happened. Get real. Did we really expect it all to happen in the first year? And yes, people are afraid of the healthcare bill, mostly because it has been labeled as a giant tax increase, the death of Medicare, a deficit buster. Excuse me, the majority of Americans polled said that they wanted healthcare reform. 

Now that the hard work is under way, people are backing off, saying that they never agreed to higher taxes. Ya da ya da ya da. Tax and spend Democrats. Ya da ya da ya da. Look, Corey and I are already in a fairly high tax bracket, not because we are rich, because if we were rich, we would have all of those wonderful loopholes to keep us from being in a high tax bracket. But I would pay a bit more in taxes if it meant real healthcare reform, available healthcare for anyone who needs it. 

Personally, I have always favored a flat tax: Everyone pays the same percentage, no deductions, no loopholes. If everyone paid the same flat rate, we could get rid of much of the IRS (save a whopping amount there), and the system would be fair. Just imagine if everyone who pays taxes paid a flat 10 percent. For us, that would be a huge savings. For the budget, it would mean an incredible influx of cash from the wealthier sector, you know, those really wealthy people who, in the end, pay about 6 percent. 

Ah. I can dream, can’t I? 

“Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other” ~ Erma Bombeck

Lita looking decidedly unglamorous while freezing at Indian Lake

Yes, I am disappointed in President Obama in some ways, but at the same time, I remind myself that it’s only been a year. Given the eight years that W. had to run this country in the ground, I think that we can allow the POTUS a bit more time to try to enact his proposed changes. I can be more patient, and so can you. 

So the stars are coming out for Haiti. Telethons. Glitz, million-dollar donations. I say, let them. It makes them feel useful, and many of those who are on the forefront are known for their charitable giving anyway. 

I didn’t watch the Golden Globes because those ceremonies bore the crap out of me. However, I will admit to watching the after shows in which the fashion police bash the people who appeared on the red carpet. Apparently, ruffles are big this year. Some women looked like they were going to the junior prom in a dress made by their mom. I’m sorry but peach colored ruffles? Yuck. 

Of course, I can sit here in my flannels and holiday socks and say such things because I do not walk red carpets. No one is shoving cameras at me and asking me inane questions. Personally, I’d rather sit here like the lump that I am than have to endure that kind of mob mentality: Ryan Seacrest leering at Mariah Carey’s over-exposed chest yet again. (When is that woman going to realize that she is not 20; her shoulders are really wide, which is not diminished by her humongous globes, and she just looks baaaaa-d in the clothes that she chooses?) 

But I digress . . . 

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedures is everything and outcomes are nothing.” ~ Thomas Sowell

Corey in his shades, what else?

Didn’t post yesterday because I was busy sorting through more forms from my doctor, trying to figure out which ones were ready to send to more prescription companies. Managed to get another four packages ready to send, one of which is for my Cymbalta. I just have three left to do, and those are for headache medications. My headache doctor, who isn’t nearly as nice as my back doctor, wouldn’t sign until he had seen me again (even though I just saw him). Luckily, I have already scheduled an appointment for February. 

I also found out today that my hearing for my Social Security benefits may take up to a year to schedule because of the backlog. Luckily, I don’t really have to do anything for that except sign papers and wait. The company representing me does all the hard work. I just show up when/if they finally schedule me. Supposedly the judge hearing these things actually looks at the paperwork and speaks to the person applying to assess validity. 

However, this drawn-out process really makes me wonder how those who supposedly con the system to go on disability ever manage to do so. There seem to be checks and balances at every single turn. But perhaps the checks and balances have been instituted in recent years because of the number of people who have managed to con the system. Who knows. Just more waiting, something I do in my sleep. 

“In its early stages, insomnia is almost an oasis in which those who have to think or suffer darkly take refuge.” ~ Colette

Close-up of Brett at Indian Lake

Speaking of sleep, I fell asleep around 6 a.m., only to wake up about an hour later to take Brett to school, which means that I didn’t really bed down until 7:30. This is getting to be ridiculous. Who does this? I mean, besides people who work the night shift. I don’t work the night shift, and I still don’t sleep at night. I don’t really remember what I dreamt last night, but I have this horrible feeling that Paris Hilton(?) was in it, and that’s just too depressing because it’s a waste of perfectly good dream space. 

Normally Corey takes Brett to school, and I pick him up, but I knew from listening to Corey’s breathing that he didn’t fall asleep until after 5, and he was asleep when Brett came into the room, so there was no point in awaking him when I wasn’t really sound asleep yet. That’s how insomnia is: Either you are fully awake, or you sleep in fits and starts, or the least sound will break your sleep, or all three. Bah. 

Brett has had a bad few days, and I’m not sure as to why. He had seemed to be adjusting to his new medicine, so I don’t know if this is just a hiccup or what. I’m hoping that’s what it is because he only has half a year left to graduate. I would hate for him to crash and miss a lot of school again. 

Anyway, my birthday is coming up this weekend. Have I mentioned that I hate birthdays? I really do, always have. I really don’t know that we’ll be doing anything, maybe a movie. There are a couple that I would like to see. We’ll just have to see how it goes. And then next week I’m having a caudal done on my back for some intra-spine cortisone. Love my life. 

No really, I do love my life, just hate the individual pieces in it sometimes. 

As for the not sleeping, well I imagine that sometime in the next year that, too, will resolve itself. Thankfully, it does not require a form or a signature to do so. Until then, I will try to appreciate the dawns that creep into my bedroom, moving my sight from darkness to pale light: 

It’s at night, when perhaps we should be dreaming, that the mind is most clear, that we are most able to hold all our life in the palm of our skull.  I don’t know if anyone has ever pointed out that great attraction of insomnia before, but it is so; the night seems to release a little more of our vast backward inheritance of instincts and feelings; as with the dawn, a little honey is allowed to ooze between the lips of the sandwich, a little of the stuff of dreams to drip into the waking mind. ~ Brian W. Aldiss 

More pictures from Ohio trip. More later. Peace.  

Music by Enya, “Stars and Midnight Blue” (Don’t know why I don’t think of her when I cannot sleep) . . . 



The Second Room

The maple that trembles in front of our window
Is like another room we enter
Only when falling asleep and near
Dreams, when it’s difficult to know
What distinguishes the soul and the body, and the night.
Then we become little by little this foliage
That endlessly whispers and perhaps travels
With our sleep which it takes in and leads right
To where roots plunge, the very depths,
Where the top of small branches wanders under the wind.
We sleep, the tree keeps watch, it listens to the words
The dark tree of dreams murmurs as it sleeps.

~ Jacques Réda “The Second Room” from Return to Calm (found on Crashingly Beautiful)




10 thoughts on ““Here among the thirty thousand days of a long life, a single day stands still.” ~ Donald Hall

    1. Maureen,
      Thank you for your good wishes. It’s only 12:05 a.m. here, so I have 24 hours to see how this year’s birthday turns out . . .

  1. I know now that I’m in my 30’s I should be more attentive to the world around me and those who rule it, but…i…just…can’t.

    As for the sleep, that I can relate to. I used to be almost narcoleptic. I could sleep anywhere, anytime. Now? Forget it, I’m lucky if I can get to bed by 3am. And that’s with me piggybacking that pretty little butterfly. I haven’t slept soundly without help in 3 1/2 years. I don’t know what happened. I’d blame it on my over analyzing, neurotic ways, but lets be honest…I’ve been mental for years. It just happened over night, like breasts, one day there’s nothing and the next…BOOM!

    I do hope you start to feel better, sleep better, breathe easier soon.

    And the pictures…adorable!

    1. I, too, used to be able to sleep at the drop of a hat: I used to curl up in a chair in my in-laws’ house (former) and go to sleep while everyone in the family was talking. I once fell asleep at Madison Square Gardens at a basketball game (boring). God I long for those days of easy sleep, but like you, I think too much, overanalyze, fret, obsess, whatever. As for being mental, mine all started when I first got my period: hello mood swings, an just kept getting worse as the years passed. But you know what? I’ve accepcted the fact that I’m different, a little off-kilter, and it makes me me.

  2. Hi Lita,
    I can almost feel your frustration. You are genuine, yet you are being made to jump through loops due to those who are not.
    I was listening to one of the radio journalists here this morning as they reported about the loss of the Democrat seat and thought the same as you. It is one year and although progress by the President has not been as swift as expected, he has generated a lot of discussion and debate. Hopefully, the Health Care situation there will be sorted and you too, will adopt a universal health system (as is in place here). It’s not perfect but hey, what is? At least every citizen can attend the A&E and not be issued with a bill as they leave. The waiting lists for surgery can be long but Prue was scheduled almost immediately, which was pleasing. Medication is subsidised for those on social security and pensioners and even then, if they cannot afford the meds, they can go to the local hospital and receive them free of charge.
    I hope that Brett’s health picks up too. Great photos and choice of music!

    1. Maureen,
      The political situation is so dismaying mostly because everyone seems to have believed that things would change right away. Bush had eight years to drag this country into two wars, fatten Wall Street to the point of explosion, and pare back on services to communities, schools, and people. You cannot fix that right away. But the truth is that if I think about it too much it starts to get to me, one of the reasons I don’t write about politics nearly as much as I used to.

      I’m worried about Brett, but I’ll give it some time. As always, thanks.

  3. Lita – Feel your pain on the Social Security Disability issue. It took us 2 years to get Joe approved. First round – they claimed he wasn’t sick enough. Excuse me???? He lost one half of a lung, was comatose for 30 days, had MRSA but that didn’t qualify as “sick enough”. I remember going down to the Social Security building ( while he was still in a coma) to start the process. As I was waiting in the “intake officer’s ” cubicle, I was listening to the man next to me explain to the other “intake officer” that he could not work because “he get’s angry when I’m told what to do then I cannot deal with people, especially bosses”. I wanted do go over and punch him! Shut up and pull your pants up and get a damn job man!This was what I was thinking!

    It’s a long wretched process. Joe was finally approved but not until he went through an endless string of seeing “specialists’ that would confirm his illness. Lung docs, heart docs, regular docs, even docs with chicken pox! ( I’m being a smart ass on that last one).

    I hope you get approved. I’ll be rooting for you!

    1. Sarah,
      The good thing is that I don’t have to do the legwork. My insurance carrier is doing it for me. At this point, it’s just a lot of paperwork going back and forth.

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