Farewell to NaBloPoMo–again

“Blogging Is Pure Vanity” ~ Unknown

But isn’t it fun.

Source: Finest Quotes


All the narrow prejudices

I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.  ~  Lord Byron

Source: etravelphotos.com

The sense God promised a monkey

This is the letter I would send to my insurance company if I thought it would do any good:

Dear Insurance Company:

This letter is to inform you that I am saving you money.

Several years ago, when I couldn’t raise my left arm, you paid for–to verify, please check your records–the following: 3 office visits to orthopedist; 1 X-ray of shoulder; 5 weeks of physical therapy; 1 MRI of shoulder; 2 office visits to neurologist; 1 MRI of neck; 1 MRI of brachial plexus; 2 readings of first MRI; 2 sets of nerve conduction tests.

When all the aforementioned produced neither diagnosis nor cure, you did not have to pay for surgery the orthopedist wanted to do to see check for bursitis in the shoulder. You did not pay for it because I did not agree to surgery. The orthopedist had already told me there was no bursitis, and I didn’t relish a fishing expedition. I went home with one nonfunctional arm and just tolerated it.

Then one day a few months later, just on a whim, I said to the massage therapist I’d seen a few times for general otherstuff, “Would you look at my left arm?” and he ran his hand over it and said, “Oh, yeah, the humerus is pushed too far up in the socket.” He pushed it back down. I gave him a check for much less than you paid the orthopedist, and went home swinging my arm around like a windmill.

Some time later, when something in one of my fingers popped and pain in the palm ensued, I went directly to the massage therapist. Before I had finished describing the problem, he said, “That’s blah blah blah blah. Give me your hand.” I left with a functioning hand. The next week, I said, “What about that right foot?” I walked out without a limp.

This week he said, “I think I can make long-term changes in compression in your spine (and everything connected to it) so these problems won’t recur.” I was pleased.

Now, insurance company, this is where you come in–or, rather, don‘t come in. Because I paid, and pay, the massage therapist out of pocket. You don’t recognize he exists.

I could have saved you the cost of X-rays, MRIs, office visits to specialists, physical therapy, and, If I’d been really dumb, surgery and pharmaceuticals, because I consulted someone who knew what was wrong and how to fix it. His equipment comprises a table, a brain, two hands, and the knowledge and skill to use them effectively.

I do not expect your gratitude, nor do I expect any concern for my physical well-being.

I write because I want you to know that I’m doing my best to improve both my physical health and your bottom line.

If you had the sense God promised a monkey, you would do the same.


Postscript: I’ve since learned there’s another side to the insurance/massage therapist issue. I asked my current massage therapist, who is both brilliant and a saint, whether she would like to be part of the traditional medical community.

She said that would make sense, because then doctors could refer patients who need therapists’ services, particularly therapists who specialize.

But, she said, schools would have to “step up” and guarantee that all graduates had been educated according to the same high standards and that were highly qualified. The Texas Department of Health would have to be involved in licensing. The Texas legislature would have to take action. The insurance industry would have to agree. So the process would take a long time.

In other words, she said it won’t happen in her lifetime.

So. I apologize to the insurance company for implying it doesn’t have the sense God promised a monkey.

But I still want it to know that massage therapy did for $45.00 what traditional medicine didn’t do for a good deal more.


So what? (Solution to problem appears at the end.)


After twenty-four consecutive days of blogging, I allowed Day 25 to go postless.

I will not try to excuse the lapse.

I will, however, explain that just as I was ready to begin posting, my laptop slipped off the wireless network and refused to respond to multiple resettings of both the adapter and the router. The little box on the screen claimed the settings saved on the laptop didn’t match those of the network.

For the next little while, we engaged in vigorous dispute. If computers could speak, it would translate to something like this:

Me: Do too.

Box: Do not.

Me: Do too.

Box: Do not.

And so on until nearly midnight. By that time, I was tired and not about to start over at the desktop upstairs. I powered down and went to bed.

The last thing I saw before the screen fell dark was poor, faithful Norton, his little black and gray bars frantically scan-scan-scanning, trying to update security over a connection that no longer existed. I told him over and over to cancel, but he ignored my pleas. Norton is a perfectionist. He can’t tolerate failure.

I don’t like to fail either. Never have.  In fact, I used to be a human Norton, processing, processing, processing, never secure.

Several years ago, however, while reading one of the many self-help books perfectionism required, I came across the following sentence: “The cup is already broken.”

That was a revelation. Nothing is perfect; it wasn’t, isn’t, won’t be perfect.

I adopted the idea. Sometimes I remember to act on it. I relax; do what I can as best I can; stop running as fast as I can to stay in the same place; stop trying to do the impossible. I accept the perfection of imperfection.

Now, this brings us back to NaBloPoMo.

On September 1, I promised myself that I would post every day this month. For twenty-four days, I did that. Some days I managed only a quotation, but I did what I set out to do.

Until Day 25, when I failed.

In light of that failure, I consider my options.

Do I blush, close my laptop, and steal away, never to return?

Do I follow the example of the Texas Legislature when it misses a deadline, and pretend it’s still yesterday?

Nope. I say, “The cup is already broken.”

I missed one day. The month is not November, and blog posting is not brain surgery.

I messed up.

So what?

PS   The solution, if anyone is interested: The wireless button on the front of the laptop was turned off. My husband discovered that after an hour or so of performing Saturday-afternoon tech support. I didn’t know there was a wireless button. I regret putting my husband to all that unnecessary trouble. I will make amends.

But aside from that, so what?

Busy stringing beads

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten, –happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.”  ~  Brenda Ueland

Too busy stringing beads to blog.

Source:  Quotable Quotes on Writers and Writing

Cats and ethics

I reached the top of the stairs this morning just as Ernest came barreling out of the bathroom. He saw me, halted, stared at me with startled green eyes, glanced over his shoulder, and skedaddled.

Suspecting something was afoot, I peered around the corner. William stood on the ledge beside the sink. He was leaning down, inspecting something.

Turning on the light and advancing, I found he was examining an earring that I had left lying with three others on the shelf below the mirror. I have no idea what he planned to do with the earring. I didn’t ask. I just picked him up and set him on the floor and then returned all the earrings to the jewel box.

At first I assumed William was the perpetrator and Ernest the lookout.

Then it occurred to me that Ernest might have stolen the earring and, when he heard me coming, dropped it and run, leaving William holding the bag. Since last spring, when they first teamed up together, Ernest has always been the bad actor. William has played the role of observer and, we believe, idea man.

Ernest’s body, in addition, is lean and muscular, designed for cat burglary. For the longest time, William was mostly tail and tummy. His legs and tiny tapered feet hardly supported him. He couldn’t pull up onto the top shelf of the pagoda, and instead of jumping onto the bed, he walked up the kitty stairs. Watching him struggle up human stairs was almost painful. We were so worried that last month we consulted our veterinarian. She pointed out that he was still a teenager.

Sure enough, not long after, he entered a growth spurt and came out on the other side with long legs and chassis. He now moves in a more cat-like fashion. That’s obvious from this morning’s escapade.

Something else is obvious as well.

Hearing the sound of a human footstep, Ernest ran. He knew he was engaged in criminal activity, and he got the heck out of there.

William, however, under the same circumstances, had no idea that his actions were wrong. He didn’t try to escape or evade arrest, nor did he show remorse. In fact, his reaction to the episode was one great big, “So what?”

It’s clear that on the journey toward moral maturity, William has a way to go.