Thursday, February 13, 2020

OMG A Real Doctor? I'm in SHOCK!

I think I finally found a good doctor! I'm hesitant to say anything in case he was just on his best behavior for the first appointment or I jinks it by by expressing my shock and joy.

This is the doctor I've been trying to see for years and just recently subjected myself to his new nurse practitioner or the orange-coned oxymoron. Because I "established care" with her, I can see him! What a game they play! But I went along with it and very apprehensively, made an appointment to see him. I was ready to be disappointed, expecting the worst yet hoping for a good outcome. Or at least a tolerable experience.

He was friendly, considerate, patient, incredibly knowledgeable, and a really, really, really good listener. He did not stink! He asked good questions, had wonderful insight, and then when I asked him about prices instead of telling me it wasn't his job to know prices like the oxymoron did, he actually knew prices! Then he looked at my chart which you'd think would be a given for any health care provider. He asked if I had recent labs. I actually brought copies of my recent labs to the oxymoron appointment, but she never even bothered to ask even with my "thyroid problems" marked on my intake paperwork. What an idiot! The doctor didn't push any procedures or drugs, but asked about them and was very respectful when I said, "Nope, can't do that." or "No way in hell will I ever do that again!" I have heard from others he opposes pharmaceuticals and will opt for any other kind of treatment first.

Wow! Pinch me I must be dreaming!

And unlike the oxymoron's nurse, the doctor's nurse didn't stink! She was also friendly and wonderful.

I still can't believe this...but I am hopeful!

Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Scentsy

Scentsy is an air freshener product line featuring scented candles, oils, diffusers and other items of questionable toxic stink. Unlike ScentAir who's mission is to poison people in public spaces, Scentsy's goal is to poison everyone's private space. Their catch is preying on the unemployed and poverty-stricken by getting the unenlightened and mentally ill to host parties and/or sell their products at fairs and festivals for some extra pocket money. It's become very popular and just the presence of one booth contaminates the whole area making these recreational opportunities impossible for anyone with MCS. This was my experience all last summer. Every where I went there were Scentsy salespeople looking cheap and haggard trying to get me to give them money.

So...I paint rocks and now belong to about a dozen rock groups. Many months ago I painted a Harry Potter-themed rock for a new Harry Potter-themed rock trading post. I spent a long time on the rock and I admit, I chose a relatively unusual subject: Winky, the drunken elf. I can't remember what book she is from - maybe number 5?


When I got to the trading post, there were very few rocks and a whole lot of painted shells that looked like they were done by five year olds. Oh, how sweet! OK, call me a rock snob, but I'm not trading a rock I spent four hours painting for a shell that had been fingerpainted. Yes, I am working on my New Year's resolution to be more generous, but it's a work in progress. I was warned by others and I have found first hand some trading posts are created by parents with children so they can get free "toys" for their kids. This is fine if you want to spend hours and hours painting rocks and give them away. I'm not Santa Claus. I'm not interested. So I held on to Winky thinking at some point an opportunity would present itself and she would find a good home.

Not too long ago a young woman posted on one of the rock groups that she was a Harry Potter fan who once owned a Harry Potter-themed rock. When she would have a panic attack she would hold the rock and it made her feel calm. For some very odd reason she kept the rock outside (?) and someone recently stole it. She was heartbroken. She begged the group for a Harry Potter rock so she could use it for therapy.

Her story was an incredibly long tear-jerker, three times as long as my very short synopsis, on and on about how sad she was. Everyone sent their condolences and wished her well with lots of gushing sympathy. I was skeptical. Her story was excessively heart-wrenching, felt manipulative, and keeping a rock one cherishes outside doesn't even make sense. But I thought Winky would be perfect for her and if she really needs such a rock to get her through the day, she might be the perfect recipient.

I posted a comment on her post without giving too much information. Sent it. Then I thought maybe I should check to see who she is and find out if her story might have some glimmer of truth or if she's a scam artist scamming for free art. It's amazing the information you can find out about a person on Facebook.

I don't know if she's a scam artist, but she is a Scentsy salesperson! Oops. That screams stupid, but the thought of my Winky in a smelly house made me sick to my stomach. Just looking at the Scentsy website makes me nauseous. Needless to say, I was really disappointed. OK, maybe even angry at a society that allows toxic stink to pollute the environment. I considered, Oh, just give it to her! But then I imagined having to meet her and smell the toxic stench rising from her clothes. I couldn't. I have principles even if those principles make me in to a raving bitch at times. Smelling Scentsy products inflames my brain and makes me really irritable anyway. It wouldn't surprise me if Scentsy is the cause of her panic attacks.

I deleted my comment to her. Stinky people and people who promote and spread stink will never get anything from me if I can help it. I'll hold onto Winky for the next opportunity for generosity.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

GMO OMG (movie review)

Image result for gmo omg


I love a clever title! This 2013 movie is about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) narrated and directed by Jeremy Seifert with facts about how they are used, why they are used, and the ramifications of eating foods grown with GMOs.

He has three of the cutest kids in the universe and he opens the film explaining his unconditional love and desire to keep his children healthy and safe. The movie proceeds with street interviews as evidence no one in society knows what a GMO is and how most of the population eats what they want when they want without question trusting our food is safe. 

He presents some good facts like which American crops are grown with GMOs. One fact that disturbed me but also gave me great hope was how so many countries have actually banned GMOs. It's the USA chemical corporations, like the ever evil Monsanto, that are the ones poisoning us with GMOs and trying to push them into other countries. And the US government does nothing but support them. Anyone who is chemically sensitive knows this, but it was good to be reminded. Can I move to Europe now???

He interviews conventional farmers and their brainwashed ideology on the desperate situation of feeding the world's population. He interviews organic food activists and finally scientists and their research studies on the ramifications of GMOs. Other than the rats with the giant cancerous tumors, he barely mentions associated health issues, but he does say most of the research is done by the chemical companies who purport all is safe so no one really knows anything. (Allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, and even autism are linked to GMOs.) I'm surprised he didn't discuss that health condition where it is thought the GMO spores that infect non-GMO crops are also embedding themselves into human skin causing all kinds of problems...that would make a really good horror movie plot!

My problem with the movie is it has absolutely no passion. I never got the feeling he believed what he was saying nor if there is a crisis. His facts are laden with cartoons that negate the seriousness of the situation. His interviews are bland and questions uninteresting. He never challenges anyone. He talks about the GMOs in the foods we eat and how bad they are for us, but he continues throughout the movie feeding his children junk food as he interviews them on how good it tastes. He teases them about not going to McDonalds and feeds them ice cream. Or he lectures them as they eat on the dangers of what they are eating and as little kids they respond with, "It's so good". Is it just me or is it really bad parenting to be contradictory and confusing? I did like the goggles he creates for his kids to wear to identify GMOs, but again, it's just a joke. At times I enjoyed the humor especially seeing these little babies holding protest signs that said "GMOs" but the humor was usually misplaced, lacked meaning, and only for entertainment. They eat meal after meal of processed, conventional junk as he and his wife talk about how hard it would be to give up these foods. It's really difficult to take him seriously if he can't be bothered to stop his children, who he claims to love with all his heart, from eating the GMO-poisoned food. This lack of passion doesn't live up to the OMG in the title.

I think what might have had more of an impact is if he showed his family actually giving up GMO foods, addressing how difficult this step is in our fast-food culture, adjustments one must make, foods that are safe and edible, and hopefully, by the end of the movie can say if he can do it, anyone can. Instead his message is: GMO's are bad...no one knows this, but even if people know it it doesn't matter and no one really needs to care. 

I find this really irresponsible.

It gets one star for cute kids. Maybe another star for excellent title.





Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019: Review and Resolution


Oh, another year flying by. Again. It seems like just yesterday I was writing the post for last year!

GOOD THINGS:

Rock Painting - I discovered rock painting last spring at a special event at my local library. Why haven't I ever thought of painting on a rock? I paint everything else!  Most rock painters are amateurs so I fit right in. We paint, hide, find, share. I visit parks and places I've never seen in hopes of discovering hidden rocks.  I even enjoy searching for the perfect unpainted rock which now gives ocean visits a whole new meaning.  I started my own community trading post, but it was quickly discouraged by all the raiding and thefts. People are horrible.

Nearly every community has their own rock painting group and by joining them online I have gained a whole population of new friends. Some of the groups are very friendly, kind and welcoming; Others not so much which I find a little strange since these rocks are called "kindness rocks". Most of the groups are very rule-oriented and censorship runs rampant. This is good to keep the peace, but art censorship has always been a thorn in my side. However, there are the subversive groups for bad behaving rocks where anything goes: paintings of giant penises, naked women in precarious poses, cartoons with ample bosoms, Snow White smoking her bong, lots of pot references, Santa holding a machine gun, devils and demons, satanic worship, and politics. LOL! I was drawn to this group because other groups banned my political rocks. Instead of calling us "rockies" on this site we are called "stoners". LOL! The membership rule members agree to is if you are offended, keep scrolling. Sometimes I get tired of all the drug references, but the quality of art is worth it. These subversive groups have incredibly talented members and the paintings are jaw-dropping if not very intimidating.

What I really like about rock painting is the paints are cheap so they have less chemicals and are less toxic, and the painting space is small. It's one of those rare non-toxic forms of recreation.









Glass-on-Glass Mosaics - I continued from the beginning of the year through the summer doing mosaics, but moved the enterprise from my living room out into my garage when the weather warmed up. I got really tired of glass shards all over my house. I ran out of small, practice frames and expanded into the big window frames. I love them. Once fall weather made the garage an ice box I stopped. I also ran out of glue and got tired of finger infections. Next summer when the weather improves I may start again. Maybe. I've acquired new (free) frames. I like that it is fairly non-toxic with the exception of the sealants and glues, but I'm not sure I want to dabble in such an expensive and dangerous creative outlet. My closets are filled with mosaics. I either need to figure out how to sell them or stop.






Weight Loss - I've lost fifteen lbs. which in my life experience is a bit of a miracle. All my old clothes once again fit me. As long as I stick to my version of the AIP diet and practice portion control to keep my colon working, I hope to maintain the weight or lose more. We'll see. This may just be wishful thinking.

Garage/Yard Sales and Freebies - I love them. Our local thrift store was putting boxes of freebies outside for anyone to take. That was fun. I got all kinds of excellent junk!  They eventually stopped doing it, unfortunately. There didn't seem to be many yard sales this year. I had one of my own but only to support my neighbor's sale so I didn't have much junk and it wasn't very lucrative.

Blog - I haven't been writing much on the blog, but I still enjoy it as therapy. Sometimes I just read my old posts for entertainment!

DIY Construction - I painted house trim and the garage. Hooray!

Employment - Work has never been more consistent. Money is good. Security is better.

Friends - I appreciate the fragrance-free friends who keep me sane in-person or through email.

Christmas Cards - First time in a LONG TIME I sent Christmas cards. Normally I don't even think about it until a couple days before Christmas and by then it's too late. I was inspired by the generosity of a new friend and in response a portrait I did of her.



I loved the background so much which represented Heaven and I had to do another painting of just the pattern. At the last minute I realized Christmas was around the corner so I added Christmas motifs. Voila! Christmas cards were born! But then I realize I don't have that many friends so I'm not sure if it was a practical idea, but I experienced the pros and cons of printing art so that was an education experience. I feel really proud I was organized enough this year to get cards done! Then I received some! Hooray!



Activism - There haven't been as many protests this year, but they are so enjoyable when like-minded people gather. Painting protest signs and patriotic parasols is incredibly entertaining. Sharing them with others inspires so much joy and laughter it's definitely worth all the energy and effort. My new umbrellas:



Cinnamon-Flavored Dental Floss!!! OMG! I've been using plain, un-waxed, un-flavored dental floss for years. It's non-toxic, but it's painfully sharp and boring. This year I got a free, brand new box of cinnamon-flavored waxed dental floss. OMG! I can't wait to floss my teeth everyday, every meal! It's the little things that make life great....

MIDDLE GROUND STUFF:

Health Care - The oxymoron. I managed to avoid most health care for the last year and a half with the exception of a bad acupuncture experience and one more horrible new practitioner to add to my very lengthy list of useless providers. Such a huge savings in money and peace of mind to avoid health non-care. That's not to say my body isn't falling apart. Body parts are still not working, pain still happens, and chemical sensitivity still persists. I'm just trying not to waste so much energy on the worry since health care is such a failure anyway. The amount of money and time I've expended in hopes of finding answers is offensive. It's my goal to avoid future waste.

The Date - First date in about fifteen years. He was nice, but he was a man's man: controlling, incapable of listening, and had Trumptard leanings. The date was adequate and it was fun to babble non-stop as I get out so infrequently. He told me I was a good conversationalist and getting out made me feel like a "normal" person again. Being reclusive and isolated takes a toll on one's soul, but dating is just toxic and dangerous. He suggested another date so I don't think I screwed it up too badly, but then after our post-date email exchanges of political disagreements, he never contacted me again. Although I might have enjoyed continuing the debate just for the fun of it, I got the impression he didn't like that I disagreed with him on any level for any reason. I was thankful he disappeared and I did not attempt to contact him again. Dating is too much hassle. I like being "self-partnered."

Art Judging - Not sure how I feel about this. I was the art judge for our local fair. It was fun to look at art; to cognitively use my brain to assess the level of quality. There was a wide variety of artists from professional to amateur. It was definitely interesting. They requested I write lots of comments, but I don't know if they realized comments take time. I had no idea it would take so long. The building superintendent drove me insane with her incessant cackle while I was trying to think. She failed to close the building so there were people wandering in and out, looking and asking questions which was inappropriate, distracting, and SMELLY. She also expected me to give blue ribbons regardless of quality but as a form of therapy. Fair management treated their volunteers like garbage. On the time sheet there is a choice of being paid or donating your pay to the fair. I had planned to volunteer, but I got so pissed off on how I was treated I marked on my time sheet to be paid. They never paid me.

Fair Entries - I entered some painted rocks and a mosaic in our country fair. It was fun, but since I was the judge I couldn't compete in many of the categories. Oh well.

Art Sales - I courageously (!) attempted to sell some of my painted rocks. They were displayed in two art galleries for the holiday season and at a Christmas bazaar for one day. Then I got really brave and joined a painted rock auction site where ten of my rocks were posted online for people to look at and bid on for a week. That was frightening. It was painful. I received a lot of compliments, but no sales. I was happy for it to be over after a stressful week of hyperventilating. Although it was interesting and educational, it made me question why I was wasting so much time and money creating the rocks if no one thinks they are good enough to buy. It was discouraging. Granted, my prices were really high to compensate for the gallery commissions. Then I reminded myself painting rocks is my entertainment. It keeps me sane with little else to do living in the middle of no where.

Thanksgiving Turkey - It was the first time in twenty years I cooked and ate a turkey. It was fine. Nothing exciting. Very expensive, but those leftover turkey sandwiches were outstanding.

BAD THINGS:

The Presidunce Trump - The creepy, corrupt, illiterate, immature, unprofessional, incredibly ignorant, sexist, misogynistic, racist rapist who is still in the White House inciting division and violence among Americans. He doesn't belong there. I pray 2020 brings us more hope and a leader who children can once again see as a role model, but I'm not holding my breath. A majority of Americans are stupid. Most of them don't understand politics. Even some of my friends who don't vote will get glassy-eyed when I try to talk to them. "I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ANY OF IT!" That's hard to argue with especially when they aren't capable of understanding and not interested in trying. Or "I like Trump because he says stupid things." Oh for god's sake...it's not the job of a president to entertain the ignorant! Stupidity is an epidemic. That's a fact. And the presidunce has rallied the brain dead to his side...like zombies they follow him without any regard for the state of the country.

Aging and Health - Aging is a bitch. For anyone out there who doesn't know this, I am confirming it. I keep complaining, Why was I never warned?, but the truth is I was. How does one respond to an elderly aunt who says, "Oh, you don't want to get old. It's horrible." I remember my young, immortal self thinking, Well! What's my choice? I don't want to die young either! So I persist in life and often wonder why I'm bothering. My new life resolution is to avoid health care and if I die, I die. We'll see. I still don't want to die...but it's inevitable.

People - They are so constantly disappointing. My New Year's Resolution to find new friends is over. Thank god. I tried! I really did. In the past year the people I thought had friendship potential consisted of someone who constantly badgered me in hopes of getting free rocks, someone who tried to blackmail me for free rocks, someone who decided because I didn't knit I wasn't worth her time, someone who thinks understanding politics is a waste of time, someone who hoards pets, and someone who talks to Jesus and plans to marry him. That last person I actually like. She is teaching me patience and challenges my tolerance when she lectures me on bogus claims of her misinterpretations of Christianity or on how NOT chosen I am because Jesus doesn't talk to me. Sometimes I have to take a step back. People are strange and I'm sure they think I'm just as strange.

Rat Infestation - Rathole was invested with rats this year. The local hardware store had to rip out all its ceilings. Every business had bait stations lining the outside of their buildings. AND...The rats moved into my crawlspace. Nothing would kill them. Everyone complained. Then I found super-duper rat poison called "Just One Bite" and it kills them the first night they snack. Dead in three days. Most poisons don't take effect for 10-14 days. Not this one. Dead. And horribly expensive! I had to travel to a distant location to get it and when I bought it I had to give them my name and address. Hmmm...Why? I asked. In case my neighbors or neighbor's pets start dying, they'll know who to suspect. Scary. But supposed the neighbors' cats eat some poisoned rats? That wouldn't be my fault. My idiot neighbors have told me they want their cats wandering the neighborhood hunting for recreation [and crapping in my garden]. Stupid, irresponsible, bad pet owners. I worried, but seriously, I didn't have a choice. Rats are noisy and destructive. Better dead than not dead. It was quiet for two weeks and then I had new rats move in! Dead, again, in three days! The winter war has been horrible this year, but I am armed!

Vampire Rat Painted Rock Talisman to Keep Rats Away
(I find inspiration in strange places. LOL!)
Davenport Death - This was so horrible I don't even like talking about it. I had my couch my whole adult life. It was part of my history, my soul, and it moved with me no less than fifteen times. It was in immaculate condition, however, it was creating dust probably due to cheap foam that was used the last time I had it reupholstered so I knew it was time to have it redone. That's not possible with the treatments on fabrics so I opted to give it away. No one wanted it. There is no way I could take it to the dump and throw it in a garbage bin. That would give me a nervous breakdown - like killing a loved one. So I donated it to the local thrift store which supports a Christian church. They sold it the first day and I was so thrilled it would get new owners who would love it. The new owners waited too long to pick it up, a homeless guy slept on it and set it on fire! I saw it the next day smoldering and gutted. I was horrified and angry. My life couch deserved a better end.

Traffic Ticket - First one in, oh, thirty years! It wasn't a reflection of my bad driving but a clear indication of how OLD I'm getting...I didn't pay my license tabs. I thought I did. I wrote down I did, but somehow messed up the online payment process (probably) or just forgot to get it done after I wrote "Paid" on my accounting ledger. As I say below under "BAD THINGS", aging is a bitch and this is evidence. But then I had the opportunity to mitigate the ticket by writing a letter to the judge. Oh good lord! I wrote a whole manuscript begging for mercy. What was my defense? Aging is a bitch. After I submitted it I thought, Oh god! The judge will probably charge me more for taking up so much of his time. I was given two options: 1) pay only $100 of the $231 fine and have it on my record which will increase my insurance costs OR 2) pay the whole $231 fine and have it deferred off my record if I can avoid doing anything stupid for the next six months. It seems like bribery if I have to pay more to have it removed off my record and my brother did the same thing not too long ago and he was only charged $30.00...bribery and sexism with a whole lot of classism thrown in for good measure. Hmmm...Our justice system is crap.

SUMMARY: It's been a busy year. It was a good year entertained with awesome art projects. I think the fewer doctor's appointments I have, the happier I am, and the fewer weird people encounters, the more content I am. I'll keep that in mind going forward.


NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:

To be more kind and generous. Write more blog posts. Stay away from doctors. Downsize. VOTE 2020!


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Super Size Me 2 - Holy Chicken!

I recently watched Super Size Me 2 - Holy Chicken!, the latest documentary by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. If you haven't seen the first Super Size Me, you are missing out on one of the best movies about the king of junk food: McDonald's. This latest movie is about the ever-popular and grossly overestimated health claims of fast food chicken, highest seller of all fast food meals.

Spurlock goes through the steps of opening a fast-food chicken restaurant. Yeah, I know. Right there I was contemplatively suspicious. Would it be a restaurant promoting optimal healthy options? Or is there a catch? There has to be a catch. He exposes just what happens during the process, total transparency of the system, the sleaze of the "Big Chicken" industry, and the ramifications of all this control over American farmers. Spurlock isn't addressing what we already know as evils of factory farming, he's challenging the claims that chicken is the healthier option and the lies of the food industry as it sells and manipulates us.

It's brilliant, hilarious, educational, and disturbing. Excellent documentary. Since chicken is one of the few food options I still have left, I'm not ready to give it up...like everyone else in the movie! His restaurant had lines out and around the block and investors wanted to make it into a chain. No one is ready to give up chicken. However, I know which chicken brands create misery for me so I stick with the brands that don't and hope to God they aren't poisoning me too badly nor creating unacceptable guilt. I am now aware of how bought I am by labeling and packaging as my choices are determined by how well they can bullshit me into believing their lies. I ALWAYS opt for the free-range, organic -fed, no-hormones-added, cage-free, NATURAL chicken. The more build-up on the label, the happier I am. What a sap I am! This movie sure does remind one how little control we have over our food.

Here is the trailer:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Reconnection

Rock painting has provided so much entertainment in the past few months. It's an activity that keeps on giving...

Case in point: I'm lurking on one of the rock groups from a neighboring town and I see a familiar yet unusual name. Is that my friend from elementary school? The one who moved out of state at the same time I moved far away after my mother died and we lost contact with each other? IT WAS! Wow.


We met at a park for some rock searching/hiding and shared memories we had of our childhood together. It always amazes me the memories others have of my past, most of which I have forgotten, and the things I remember for which they have no recall. This is someone from my previous life which is rare. We didn't go to the same school, but our mothers were friends which makes it even more special. It felt like finding a long lost sister. What amazed me is we went through life with much of the same experiences, we have similar hobbies, and we both drive tiny cars! So fun to reconnect. This is how kindness rocks work!

I did request she be fragrance free, and of course, she forgot. However, right away she was cognizant of it. She quickly apologized and warned she put lotion on earlier that morning. I think it had dissipated by afternoon and couldn't smell it, but I don't need to smell it to react. We were outside in the fresh air so although my throat became dry and scratchy, it was tolerable. I appreciated her awareness.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

'Tis the Season

The mother of a friend of mine just died a couple months ago. She is beside herself with grief. Another friend lost her mother a couple years ago. They constantly make references to their losses. It's Christmas, the favorite holiday of one of the mothers. My friend is displaying her mother's Christmas decorations which causes her to mourn the holidays. My other friend dwells on the fact that her mother is not here to share it with her. Same with a third friend who's mother died a few years ago. It's a family holiday, after all. It must be hard to have a mother all your life and then to lose her.  My generation is at that age when parents are dying. This is a fact of life. No human is immortal.

I keep wondering about this...I lost my mother a life time ago and never a day goes by when I don't think about her. I wonder which is worse? Not growing up with a mother, a role model, a person who you know loves you unconditionally and their absence leaves a big hole in your life so you feel insecure and scared all the time? Mothers are usually the cornerstone of holiday celebrations. Mine was never there which could be why I have never put so much emphasis on Christmas. Or Easter. Or Thanksgiving. Or Mother's Day. MCS doesn't help, of course, as family gatherings mean stinky people, but even when I did participate in holiday celebrations, the most important person was always missing. But I wonder about this... is it worse to spend your whole life with a mother and then lose her, lose her constant support, lose her steadfast presence?  This is the person who always knows just what to get you for Christmas.

When I was young, death happened and then it was quickly swept under the rug. No one talked about it. It was taboo to share feelings, display emotions, or talk about the deceased. If the subject inappropriately came up in conversation, the dead was placed on a pedestal and honored with fictional perfection. If they aren't real, grief was unwarranted. Grief was shameful and hidden.


It's hard for me to understand all this grief my friends feel and freely express. I wonder if they think I might understand because of my loss. They have no concept I think it's weird and I keep wondering why they can't get over it. They were so lucky to have mothers for every life milestone always there for advice and support. Their mourning feels like bragging and at times their self-centered, inconsiderate constant wallowing makes me feel irate. I don't know why they aren't focusing on celebrating this wonderful relationship they once had.  They were so lucky. It was such a gift. Of course, if they constantly talked about how lucky they were, that would drive me INSANE. I'm just not good with mother talk of any kind. 

I'd like to think empathetic listening is what friends are for which is why I smile, nod, email supportive anecdotes and encouraging suggestions. There is no way I can say anything as these friendships are tenuous at best. I'm expected to be the good friend although rarely do I get support or understanding from any of these women. As I'm writing this I get ANOTHER email from ANOTHER friend whining about her dead mother's Christmas tree. It's constant between November and January. I find during the holidays I appreciate and prefer the company of women who didn't like their mothers.

Yes, I know this makes me sound bizarrely sociopathic. Perhaps sociopathy is a product of childhood grief? I know grief contributes to genetic mutations that cause chemical sensitivity, so I can safely assume it's probably caused some personality disorders. I know they are grieving and, based on my experience, it'll last them a lifetime. It definitely changes the concept of Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS...anyway.


Well, that was in the holiday spirit, eh? I am trying to write more blog posts as my New Year's Resolution. I'm thinking now maybe I shouldn't. LOL!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Oxymoron vs. The Patient Patient

I decided to check a local medical clinic to see if the doctor was taking new patients. It's the only one in my area I haven't heard bad things about and the only one who has never taken new patients. I'd really like to find a physician sort of close in case of serious illness or injury that would prevent me from traveling to a not-so-local doctor. Not that I have any doctor currently. Not that I really want any doctor now. I'd much rather never in my life see another provider of HEALTH CARE, a phrase which is an oxymoron.

The doctor is still not taking new patients, but they have adopted a new nurse practitioner who is. Hmm...OK, maybe I can establish care and just put them on hold unless something bad happens? And then pray nothing bad happens. They tell me I have to have an appointment every two years to maintain my patient status.

I have zero confidence in nurse practitioners. I had one tell me I was dying. I had another ignorantly blame a health issue on something minor only to end up in a hospital. Another who thought removing a body part to be the best remedy. I know for a fact they are incompetent and know nothing. I just want to establish care in case of an emergency. For lack of options, this is it and I'll take my chances only if I can't get somewhere else. I kept chanting, Don't expect competence or you'll be disappointed.

But the nurse practitioner (who will be referred to as the OXYMORON going forward) isn't qualified. (HA!) She's trying to become qualified and trying to get a contract with my insurance company. When will this happen? The office knows nothing. The receptionist tells me to check back in two weeks when she comes back from vacation. What? So the clinic closes down for the receptionist's vacation? I doubt it. Still, I ventured forth, kind and smiling with no intention of rocking the boat, and hoping to appear compliant, understanding, and patient. Or patient-like. Is that where the word comes from? Patients are called patients because they are forced to be patient when dealing with dipshit doctors who are incompetently practicing and pretending they know something? Hmmm....I've never made that connection before!

I contact them at two weeks exactly.  The OXYMORON is now taking patients and next week is available. OK! Don't forget to bring your co-pay. Ummm, no, I don't have a co-pay. Oh, yes, you do! Oh, no I don't. I'm failing at compliance already. I'm just not good with the medical establishment. Ever.

I go home and get on my insurance website. They don't have my new OXYMORON on their list. So how can she be one of their providers if she isn't on the list to select? I call the insurance company. After an hour of waiting I hang up. I wait a day later and try again and this time only wait for forty-five minutes. I try again. Yes, OXYMORON is on the list just not on the computer because the doctor's office has failed so miserably at managing their account. They sign me up with her as my primary care provider which means I get freebies. No co-pay. All this fighting with the front desk and arming myself with information because the front office doesn't know anything is a hassle. And I haven't even seen the OXYMORON yet! This is disturbing. I know it's a clue to run, but I don't. Be patient patient!

The OXYMORON's nurse smells like a French whore. Strike one.

The OXYMORON doesn't do compounding prescriptions. She doesn't know how. Strike two.

The OXYMORON doesn't seem to know what pericardial effusion is and tells me if I have it I should go to the hospital immediately.  Strike three. (I confess here I did not tell her it's a common Hashimoto's symptom. I was trying to be compliant and avoid letting her know her patient patient probably knows more than she does.)


The OXYMORON blames the weather for one of my health issues. What a moron. (At strike three anyone with common sense might have walked out but I am determined to be a patient patient.)

The OXYMORON blames another symptom on a health condition, but can't explain the logistics since I don't have any other symptoms.

The OXYMORON fails miserably at understanding another health issue and fails at giving basic advice. Online information is more helpful.

The OXYMORON doesn't even listen to my heart and after I leave she has to come out to get me and finish the basic procedure.

The OXYMORON doesn't even suggest labs. Really? I marked right on the intake form "underactive thyroid". So odd.

The OXYMORON hugs me. I draw the line there.

I followed this appointment up with a visit to the pharmacist. The pharmacist knows and gives more information than the OXYMORON.

I hope I never have to see the OXYMORON again. Ever.

A recent article stated these incompetent, waste of time and money OXYMORONS can make up to $100,000 a year and their job requires no previous experience! What an atrocity our health-uncare system is!!




Monday, November 25, 2019

Death by Dog

We have a pet epidemic in the United States as I've summarize in previous posts. I surmise this is due to the epidemic of mentally ill who find unconditional love from animals they keep as prisoners for their own sick, self-centered needs. They anthropomorphize these animals believing they are devoted children, friends or even lovers dressing them in clothes and sleeping with them in their beds.

Unfortunately, pets are considered property and laws don't fully protect them against bad owners nor protect them against this kind of abuse and neglect. Obviously, I am opposed to pet ownership. It's human entitlement that believes this is appropriate let alone sane. (For the record, I oppose zoos as well.)

Many MCSers own pets. I can only assume they don't have allergies or respiratory dysfunction that often comes with chemical sensitivity. Or they do and would rather be miserable and complain incessantly than take care of themselves. We are all different in our "multiple systems affected", but it still seems irrational to me for anyone with chemical sensitivity to willfully dabble in de-worming, de-fleaing, or any number of treatments that might involve chemicals. 

They feed their pets with cheap, toxic, chemical-laded pet food made in China. I have rarely in my life met anyone who feeds their pets raw meats as every dog and cat should eat for optimal digestion and health. Instead pet foods supplemented with fake nutrients and gluten is good enough which shows a total lack of pet-ownership responsibility. So many dogs end up with gluten sensitivities. This seems in opposition to a chemically sensitive lifestyle and I'm in constantly surprised when I hear about pet-owning MCSers. 

An article I recently read added to my anti-pet arsenal:  


A man died from “multi-organ failure” after being licked by his dog. 

Good god! You can read this article HERE  

In summary, the article states a man was licked by his pet and contracted Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacteria found in the saliva of cats and dogs. He began feeling sick with flu-like symptoms. After a few days red spots and bruising developed all over his body (see article for photos) before he was admitted to the hospital where he was diagnosed with kidney failure, sepsis and gangrene! His family eventually had him taken off life support and he died. 

How many times have I seen my friends kiss their dogs or cats right on their mouths? Or they let their dogs lick all over their faces. BLAH! How many times have these animals walked up to me and tried to lick my hand before I realize it. And the bad pet owners just excuse this bad behavior as being friendly. Clearly it's fucking life threatening!

It's so incredibly gross and makes me want to vomit. 



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Thanksgiving Turkey

Today is November 20th. It's a week before Thanksgiving and today I am making Thanksgiving dinner. Why so early? Because I can. I have not eaten a Thanksgiving dinner for about twenty years. I don't think I've ever made a Thanksgiving dinner in my adult life. I made many of them as a child growing up in a large family, but never as an adult. I gave up on celebratory gatherings even before MCS due to the abundance of second hand smoke in the homes of my relatives that forced me to stand outside in the rain during holiday meals. Not fun or joyous. After I became ultra sensitive to chemicals and stink, holiday gatherings became off-limits. I'd like to say by that time I was used to no holidays, but truthfully, I resent stinky assholes who are so thoughtless they don't give a shit about anyone else.

Besides the isolation that denies me holiday celebrations, one person buying a gigantic turkey let alone making an enormous meal is not usually cost effective. Turkeys are huge! It's a lot of meat for one person! Besides all the trimmings that go with it. In my search for MCS friends I've always thought if I found others like me we could gather in support, but that's never happened. And I've never owned a huge roasting pan.



Until now! I acquired a free roasting pan a couple months ago. I think it's aluminum which is toxic and is thought to contribute to Alzheimer's. Shit. I'm doomed. But what about all those aluminum pans in my childhood? I'm already doomed. I did some research and read as long as you don't use the pan all the time, like everyday, there is no worry. Yes, I realize this is probably some marketing bull-shit hoping to sell more aluminum pans. Manufacturer's still make them and people still buy them. Oh well. Determined to eat a home-cooked turkey, I'm throwing all caution to the wind and living dangerously.

So I waited until turkeys were being sold at my local co-op. This is a once a year phenomenon right before Thanksgiving. These birds are organically-fed, no GMOs or antibiotics, and free-ranging. I didn't have any confidence this was a good idea. They are expensive and in high demand. Would there be any left by the time I got to the store? Would they be too expensive?

Hooray! There they are...frozen solid...just a couple left. One was $79.00. Whoa. Another was $59.00. Good god. I nearly gave up and as I've done in previous years began walking away from the freezer case muttering, "Chickens are good enough for Thanksgiving dinner." Then I spied a small, ten pound turkey in the refrigerator case (not frozen) across the aisle with my name on it and a price tag of $31.00. I hesitated. Even that is expensive. I justified it with, "I can spend this money once every twenty years!" and bought it. I imagined lots of leftovers to justify the expense. I also bought a loaf of gluten-free bread and a head of lettuce for some leftover turkey sandwiches.


It's a beauty!


So the temperature indicated it was done, but I go to remove one of the drumsticks and it's dark pink and kind of bloody. WTF?? I stuck it in for another 30 minutes and the pink went away but the dark meat is kind of rubbery. Eeewww. The wings were not removable. Does it need to be baked longer? How the hell would I know? So I stuck it in the oven for an extra hour. (Thank you to my very patient friend who I harassed all day begging for guidance.) The taste was OK, nothing special. I mashed some sweet potatoes and smothered it with cauliflower soup/gravy. It was OK.

But what about the leftovers? It's all about the leftovers. I waited patiently for the next meal hoping this very expensive experiment would pay off. Gluten-free bread, turkey, avocado, red onion, lettuce held together with lots of mayo. OMG! It was heavenly.


I savored every bite and then I made a second sandwich. OK, that's bad but the bread slices are tiny about the size of my palm. I miss sandwiches so much. I think that is the worst thing about this AIP grain-free diet. No bread means no sandwiches.

The summary of my Thanksgiving turkey experiment: "Chickens are good enough for Thanksgiving dinner." OR "Next year I'll just buy some turkey slices and gluten-free bread, and call it good."


HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING!


FINAL CONCLUSION: After four days I was absolutely sick of turkey and froze the remainder. I don't know if thawed cook turkey is edible so we'll see. I ended up with twelve servings but I can't remember if that included the original meal so maybe thirteen. Not bad. That's about $2.50 per serving so financially it was worth it. Those sandwiches were heavenly, however, my colon doesn't like lettuce. Oops. That's OK. Once every twenty years is a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

UPDATE: OK. Sixteen servings including the spectacular turkey vegetable soup/casserole I made with frozen turkey. And you shouldn't leave the turkey on the counter to cool too long and don't wait too long to eat the leftovers or you will get food poisoning. Leftover turkey is life-threatening. Jeez. That is the challenge - gorging on the leftovers before they are poisonous. There are a lot of leftovers. Yet I survived.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The County Fair

I love old-fashioned county fairs. Ours is tiny with no fancy commercially-scented buildings or toxic anything. Lots of natural air mixed with the farm-fresh scent of cow shit. If one takes their time, seeing the whole thing every booth and barn takes about thirty minutes. It's definitely small.

The art building is often nearly empty every year which is disturbing. I have in the past entered artworks, but truthfully, I don't like being judged as if I'm in grade school. This year I dabbled in two new art forms: glass-on-glass mosaics and painted rocks. I like displaying them for fun. I didn't realize one could enter the fair under a Q category and not get judged.

Due to my ignorance of the process, I thought I'd get clever and volunteer at the fair. I offered to be an art judge. This way I could enter and not be judged! Then I discovered painted rocks aren't considered art, they are "hobbies" so I ended up being judged anyway. My one mosaic I entered was a challenge to hang, but it did end up in the art building and not judged.



Judging was fairly non-toxic since it takes place the day before the fair. I checked to see if the building superintendent wore perfumes or if there was another judge. I realized they had no idea what I was talking about so I prepared myself with an escape route just in case.

No one is supposed to be in the building while the judge is judging, but people were milling about, looking, talking. At one point I kept passing a table and smelling something not-so-good. Finally I took a closer look and someone laid an opened bag of moth balls on it. Eeeww! I definitely have a keen nose for chemicals! I threw it in the garbage and placed plastic over it. Near the end of my tenure, the superintendent invited a herd of children to help her post the ribbons and the stench of toxic stink permeated the air. I couldn't wait to get out of there and survived with only migraines and nausea.

Still, it was a very interesting learning experience. I'd like to do it again only next time I'll request the building is closed during judging.

And I also won blue and purple ribbons for my painted rocks!


Summer Projects

I didn't have many summer projects this year, but I think that is really good since most of the summer it either rained or I was exhausted. I think it rained at least once a week which makes it really difficult to get outside painting done!

In the past two years I painted my house which I admit was crazy...and exhausting. However, as I was informed, I saved about $10,000 doing it myself. Hooray!

This year I had to do the house trim on the dormers which I completed early in the summer and paint the garage. I prepped and cleaned it last year but was just too exhausted to get it done then. Once again I armed myself  with gloves, overalls, goggles, and a respirator which can be very hot and uncomfortable in warm weather, but necessary.



So beautiful. Unfortunately with our wet summer and now that the fall thunderstorms have begun, I didn't get to the back. I'll save it for next year. No one looks at the back anyway, it was done in indestructible oil-based paint, and it has no damage so it can wait. It also needs new fascia boards so that's also on my list for next year.

Saving the Apple Tree

I can't believe the summer has come and gone already!

Last year, I realized too late my apple tree had some kind of disease. The limbs were literally rotting before my eyes. Raccoons would climb it and fall out of the tree because the limbs would break. I was in a panic, but figured if I couldn't fix it, I'd have to remove the whole tree. I read this was my fault. The year before I doused it with rabbit manure tea too early in the spring and with all the rain and damp created a nesting area for bad bacteria. Oh well. Live and learn. I'll never do that again!

I went to the local organic gardening center and asked what to do. They gave me a recipe to treat the tree and add nutrients, expensive nutrients. I bought Neem Oil, Fish Fertilizer, and Sea Crop to mix and spray on the tree once a month all winter. That Sea Crop is made from ocean minerals and at $40 per quart it's GOLD! The Neem Oil is nearly as expensive. I also sprayed the cherry and Italian prune trees just to be safe. I was really afraid the disease would spread as it normally does through fallen leaves and spores.

Then a friend of mine told me to paint a mixture of baking soda and molasses on the trunk and affected limbs. She didn't know why, but I assumed molasses is high in iron and baking soda neutralizes fungi and viruses. I worried rodents, raccoons or opossums might want to eat the bark. Later I was told deer LOVE molasses and are attracted by the smell. Do you blame them?? Thankfully I have a five foot fence around my yard so at least the deer weren't tempted to nibble.


I'm not sure which of the above remedies worked, but the apples are much better than last year. Bigger, hardly any blemishes or bugs, but fewer which is better anyway since the weight of too many apples is hard on the limbs. Bigger and fewer is usually from good nutrients. And so tasty!


The bark and limbs seem to be healing. I keep wondering if it's my imagination, but then I remembered I took photos last year to share with my friend.  Is it my imagination?

Last fall:


This fall:


Are the welts closing up? And the trunk seems to be healing:


It seems to suck up all the molasses as it doesn't sit on the surface, well, either than or the critters are licking it off!

Unfortunately, it didn't seem to do anything for the cherry tree which has gotten worse and I think the nutrients were too much for the Italian prune which only produced four prunes this year (one of them was hanging over my fence...the postman stole it...grrrr!) compared to 2500 prunes last year.

I'm going to invest in some more supplies and continue to treat the apple and cherry trees this winter and pray this disease doesn't get to the Italian prune. So happy to be able to save the apple tree.