Coffee heat rising

Happy New Year! I think…

Cheers! It is cold on this New Year’s Day. It is raining. It is a day to hide in front of the idiot box and binge on old Cadfael shows.

Well. Okay.

It’s not really that cold: about 43 degrees on the back porch. Arizonans consider that akin to 30 below. But I suppose normal people have a different perspective on things.

That will put the eefus on the fireworks displays this year. Which is too bad. On the major firecracker-banging holidays, every resort, municipality, and public park shoots sparkly rockets into the sky, which makes for a really neat display — especially if you can get yourself into a high-rise or climb up the side of North Mountain, Camelback Mountain, or South Mountain.

But…it will also put the eefus, with any luck, on the ninnies who go out and shoot their guns at the stratosphere, and the idiots who stock up on the fireworks that by state law are legal to buy in the city but by city law illegal to set off here and who then roam up and down the alleys blasting the neighbors. They use the alleys as their firing grounds because they figure they can get out of there long before the cops show up…and they’re right. It’s 30 to 40 minutes before the police answer a 911 call here, if they bother to answer it at all.

Sooooo…you wonder why some of us wild-eyed liberals are in the “out of my dead hands” set? You take care of yourself here in the Wild West, or you don’t get taken care of. 😀 What a place!

Rain: not good when you have a sick dog. Cassie the Corgi is having an unusually difficult day. Just now she’s inert. She lays on her dog mat beside the computer, which is stuffed with old bed pillows and so not consistent in…puffiness. This padding inconsistency causes her to sink into an arroyo, which she can’t pull herself out of. So I have to lift her up and set her on her feet beside the dog bed, which gives her a coughing fit.

{sigh} I really need to put this dog down. But can’t bring myself to do it. Every time I work up enough courage to do her in, she has a “good” day: almost but not quite back to normal. Well. Far from it, but at least she doesn’t appear to be suffering on those “nearly normal” days, and she’s sort of up for ambling out to the back yard between depositing puddles and mounds on the floor. Poor beast.

News comes from NextDoor: missing autistic child. A seventeen-year-old, out in the rain and cold and unable even to tell anyone who he is or where he belongs. Two minutes later: Kid found. Thank heavens for small favors, hm?

Accomplished today…what? Uhm…

Well…I polished my toenails. That’s something. I guess.

They look pretty nice. Lots better color than the last paint job.

No dog walk: too cold, too wet.

Wouldn’t go into a grocery or drug store on a bet. Nothing done in the re-provisioning department.

Clean house? Too dark.

Wash clothes? Done.

Pick up wet dog mats? Continuous.

Write? Not so much.

All of these things failing. I guess I’d better get up and iron the clothes and table linens. And so, away…

Happy New Year!



Another day, another year

Lordie, it’s 2009.

Who would have expected such a thing? When I was a little kid back in the Cretaceous period, I used to wonder if I would still be alive in the year 2000, when I would (after all) have reached the decrepit old age of 55. I felt a little surprised when I made it that far.

To have doddered on almost ten years beyond that has something of the unreal about it.

Now I enter the age that my mother was when she died, murdered by the tobacco pushers and further victimized by incompetent and uncaring doctors. Ever since her death, I have wondered, just like that little kid back in the ’50s, if I would outlive her or if I would go at the same age. Irrational, no doubt: but apparently so many people think along those weirdly magical lines that some actually do die—or contrive to die—at the same age or under the same circumstances as a deceased loved one.

The days in which we ritually celebrate the passing of another year—especially birthdays and New Year’s Eve—feel vaguely unpleasant to me. More than vaguely: distinctly. I enjoy living and don’t like being reminded of how few years remain. Nor do I like being reminded of how many years of my life and hers my mother missed—an entire lifetime of years: my son’s. These things do not make me feel like celebrating. To the contrary.

catrinas2Hallowe’en—la dia de los muertos—when the dead and death itself are celebrated, seems less sad and far less depressing to me. It springs from a deeper impulse, a more thoughtful and meaningful way of celebrating the passage of time and life than drinking, dancing, and setting off fireworks because another year of our existence has gone down.

Speaking of fireworks, someone in the neighborhood has a great fondness for them. They set them off at the drop of every hat, and an excuse like the Fourth of July or New Year’s Day brings on an hour-long frenzy of whistling, squealing, banging, and flashing. Fireworks are illegal in Arizona. That means the folks are smuggling them across the border. I think Pretty Daughter‘s middle-school-aged children are among the celebrants, and that makes me cringe. As you get older, you get more cautious—or possibly you get old because you are the cautious type. A kid in my junior high school in San Francisco was blinded when he set off a cherry bomb in a tin can. Ever since then I’ve imagined that people who let their children play with fireworks are working hard to improve the gene pool.

Well, in the gene department I have a shot at living to old age. Though my mother and both her parents died young, my father lived to 84 despite lifelong smoking and drinking habits; my great-grandmother and great-aunt, Christian Scientists who neither smoked nor drank, both made it to 94. I’m no teetotaller, and it’s clear now that my openness tovisiting doctors isn’t a lot safer today than it was in the 1800s when Christian Science’s aversion for the crude medical practice of the time made sterling sense. But one can hope.

There are several things we all can do to help ensure we live out the years allotted to us:
Eat well
Exercise daily
Drink minimally
Drive carefully
Never smoke
Keep active mentally and socially

Coincidentally, most of these are frugal habits, too. Think of that: frugality adds years to your life!
Live long and prosper.