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I'm feeling crappy, my body hurts, and I woke up to horrible chills and fever at 5 a.m.  Chills @ that time of the morning are just assholes.

Now, down to brass tacks, read this post, Five Books That Changed My Life, and rec it up if you see the plethora of wisdom in it that I do.  

And whatever you do, stay away from body chills that early in the day.  To quote a standup comedian who imparted this wonderful slice of wisdom on me, 'When you wake up in the morning and it's still dark out, it's last night."  

Now, please go read the post I've suggested and let me lurk.  Thank you.

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The point is she's dead.  Those of you who know me know I'm speaking of my mother, who died February 17, 2012.  Those of you who know me and that I've connected with are aware that this was a long, difficult process.  My mother and I weren't close and my family's dysfunction was on a level so extreme, in its own unique and uniquely passive aggressive way, that if the exquisite pain it's caused were any worse, I would probably be toxic right now.

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I'm in it right now.  

But, I'm peeking out to say thank you.  To an anonymous lovely who decided I might benefit from a lifetime subscription to dKos.  "Happy Holidays Dreaming of Better Days!  We met in Pittsburgh at the NN, and you enriched my life with your words and presence." they wrote in my donotreply notification.

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I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  I'm writing this as a favor for a friend.

She needs a break badly is interested in taking an extended camping vacation either here in the U.S. or abroad.  She's looking for someplace fun, relaxing, and beautiful that includes anything and everything that goes with camping and 'outdoorsy' interests and is open to yurts as well for about $5,000.00 or under.  

I don't know anything about this kind of thing because I'm like a fish out of water when it comes to 'outdoorsy' fun.  But I know some of you love it or may have friends who do and might be able to help my friend out with some great suggestions.  

Thanks in advance.  Your input is appreciated.

Update:  You've overwhelmed my friend with your kindness and generosity.  She's going to begin researching all of your incredible suggestions this evening!   Grateful thanks to all.  :0)

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:04 AM PDT

"I'm Done." (Updated)

by Dreaming of Better Days

"You're done are you?  Why?  Why would you cede the field the to guys who want to eliminate Medicare?"

As I was typing my response to this person, an effort which took 20 minutes, several others tried to tell this person to just leave my comment be.  But the commenter was persistent.  He/she just kept pressing, their responses getting more and more impatient and biting.  The final one being:

Okay, well then what does it [the word done] mean
in this context?  And why are you speaking for someone more than capable of speaking for herself?

Being I had responded to this person's original comment and then redirected them to it in response to their biting critique above, I replied to them a second time in a rather graceless fashion, for me:

I took the time answer you.  Twice.  Yes, I am more than capable of speaking for myself.  I wanted to take the time to be clear, which I believe I was.  And no response from you?  After all the pressing and questions?  No snappy retort?

They responded more politely with this, three hours later after I'd already logged off:

"Well, it's hard to respond in any meaningful way to your very real crisis in a blog comment.  I'm sorry, but I just was at a loss for words.  I sincerely appreciate the fact that you shared your story with me, however."

To which I replied:

Understood.  That said, it shouldn't be a stretch to see how hard it is to respond to someone who clearly has no idea just how harshly and severely these policies that our politicians are bartering away as though it's an endless supply of other people's money at the crap tables in Vegas are affecting some of us.  

It's not just politics and keeping Dems in the White House and in the majority in the Senate and House to some of us.

You might want to consider that the next time you feel the need to verbally press someone in a public forum about why they've thrown their hands up in disgust and thrown in the towel when it comes to self-professed political leaders who are literally killing some of their constituents, concession by concession.

Namaste.

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I’ve been unable to write this until now - two years and one day after the fact.  Yesterday was the second anniversary of my father’s death and, even though this much time has passed, I was still uncertain how it was going to flow.  What I can report is that while I am still adjusting to my new normal, it doesn’t seem as imposing and harsh, somehow, as it has even as recently as six months ago.

I’ve wanted to write this thread since he passed.  I just couldn’t/wouldn’t allow the words to rise to the surface.  I’ve still got horribly mixed feelings about him; I’m still angry with him some of the time.  Not as often as I was, but still . . . and it’s more pronounced by the fact that so many memories of my life that include him are not all that good.  Throughout my life, he could be a handful, oftentimes not in a positive way.

The end came about so fast and hard that parts of it are surreal to me.  My younger son and I went to see him in August of 2008 and, although he was as good and healthy as he could be given his known health issues, I somehow knew that it would be the last time I’d see him the way I knew him.  I was so certain of that fact that I documented it here, two months prior to the visit.

Five months later, he was admitted into the hospital.  Thirteen days after that, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Four months and seven days later, he died.

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Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:07 AM PDT

In Remembrance of J

by Dreaming of Better Days

This is a repost of diary I published on April 2, 2007 - a tribute to friend who died four years ago today.  I've tweaked it a bit and smoothed out some of the rough spots.

J, this one's for you.

I met her in the 6th grade.  I was quiet, self-conscious, awkward and introverted.  Painfully aware of the changes my body had begun going through and finding nearly all of them appalling and mortifying.  I had to work hard to appear outwardly friendly.

She was my polar opposite.  She was comfortable in her own skin and completely at ease with people.  She had a quick wit and a winning smile.  We became fast friends.

In the next six years, we were practically inseparable, sharing secrets about boys and life, sorrows and fears, shits and giggles.  We became the best of friends and thought we would be our entire lives. But right around graduation, she found a new best friend to take my place.  Her new friend listened to her problems much more intently than I ever could and understood and eased her pain much better than I ever did.  Her new friend was also much more fun that I was.  Her new friend made her laugh and smoothed out the extremely rough edges of her life in ways no other friend could. From that point on, she lived her life from the inside of a bottle and from that point on, I lost my best friend.

Four years ago today she died, and I miss the friend I used to have.

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Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:47 PM PDT

Lost in the Details

by Dreaming of Better Days

I awoke today a woman on a mission.  I wanted to go to the Post Office to mail a friend, musically like-minded, some music from a section of time in my past.

The memories these songs evoke bring a smile and take me back in time to a younger me.  A stronger, bolder me.  A me more open to compromise, wildly in love, certain of my future, defiant toward the unkindness of a life that seemed to behave as capriciously as the cancer now growing in the blood that flows through my veins.  A me who sometimes challenged fate.

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I went to Georgia at the beginning of the month to visit someone dear.  I met her when she was 12 and she tickled my heart in ways she probably still isn't aware of.  Blue eyed and blonde with porcelain skin and a smile as sweet as a cherub's, along with a mischievous sparkle in her eye that made me smile and remember . . .

We'd become fast friends since our initial meeting and she sealed the deal, two years later, when she came to stay with us for a weekend just after I'd married her brother and I found her trying on every stitch of clothing in my closet, never having asked me . . . I was so shocked and taken aback by what I thought then to be her brazen disregard that I wanted to spit nails and, at the same time, couldn't help but smile at the wide-eyed delight she took in carefully choosing the feel and line of the clothing she was trying on and modeling for no one other than herself.

She's the ex's sister and she'll be my sister-in-law and friend until my body gives out, I suspect.

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I'm sure this thread is going to upset quite a few.  That's a shame, but not my problem.  I'm sure some will come out swinging and want to troll-rate me unto oblivion.  That's a shame, but also not my problem. I'm also sure many will comment emotionally before reading through the diary in its entirety, without reading or watching the links.  I was hoping that wouldn't happen, but it did.

I think for myself and do not post comments or diaries lightly.  Ever.

President Obama isn't a god.  He's not omniscient and he's not above making mistakes.  That said, I'm not going to applaud every decision he makes.  I vote and voted for him in fact, and I pay my taxes.  At my age, I've earned the right to not agree with every decision the people I elect make.  I've earned the right to challenge them when they make decisions I'm not in favor of and may affect me negatively, and the right to let them know why.  Even with his title of President, he is still just a man.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I give him the respect he deserves for the weight and responsibility of the job he's chosen to take upon himself and was given.  But I will not applaud him across the board.  It keeps him honest and it keeps me honest.

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Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 01:46 PM PST

It Is What It Is

by Dreaming of Better Days

It's suppose to be about caring.  The recommended list reflects a lot and it's telling.

People are dying because they cannot afford to stay alive.  That's the long and short of it.

I don't care who blogs for money.  Few out there reading this would turn down hard money to blog for a living, myself included.

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I borrowed the title from a part of a line of dialogue from an edited version of a TV show on a Showtime sampler. I don't watch much TV. I could get into all the reasons why, but the Reader's Digest version is that I find most of the shows shallow, self-serving, and mean-spirited. I have enough of this kind of thing in my real life. It seems masochistic to me to watch it for entertainment.

Make me good, God.  The thing that sticks with me about this request is that it puts the entire responsibility on someone/something other than me. And while I could use the leg up, if this is truly what I want, I have to do some of it on my own. I have to want to be good. If not good, then at least better than I am currently. Make me good, God.

It's not coming easy with this whole health care insurance debacle.  I'm not feeling all that forgiving.  The fact of the matter is that I see the insurance companies as gluttonous vultures.  No more, no less.

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