Saturday, September 5, 2009


For a week I'll be so far from civilization that I'll have no internet, cell phone, TV, or even a newspaper. Might be therapeutic.

In any case, I'll not be able to respond to any comments, so don't take it personally. On the other hand, it'll be a troll's playground.


  1. It sounds wonderful Dr S!

    A while back, I purposely insulated myself from all news and it was so peaceful. I noticed a difference in my body.

    Like a moth to flame..I am drawn into the news programs or reading it... but most of it is upsetting. I think getting saturated with it day can pull one down physically and emotionally. But have time for recreate within yourself by being care free and enjoying the more life giving relaxations, hobbies,nature, relationships, faith, etc., and even work if it's rewarding..are healthier activities in the long term.

    I think it's important to be up on the news... but give me a choice of a week away or the same old, same old and I'm gone!

    Have a great time! :)

  2. Lucky you. Enjoy! and take care of yourself.

    Why -cato rather than -cado? Did I miss a pun?

  3. SeaSpray,

    Glad to see you back. Did Frank tell you that I have been saving the links you asked for?

    Inre. Bush talking to God, Remember? Now that Sid is away perhaps you would care to check them out

    Here they are again:

    George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq'

    President told Palestinians God also talked to him about Middle East peace

    The Guardian, Friday 7 October 2005

    George Bush believes he is on a mission from God, according to the politician Nabil Shaath. P

    George Bush believes he is on a mission from God, according to the politician Nabil Shaath. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/AP
    George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month.

    Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

    Mr Bush went on: "And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it."

    See full story at the link

    In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.

    In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

    “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

    Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

    “This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.

    See full story at the link


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi Eugene -thanks for the welcome back. I know..I've been MIA for awhile. :)

    I am interested in checking out your recommendations and discussing your comments. I am too mellow and tired now and although I took the weekend off... am now planning and getting ready for mom's memorial in a couple of weeks.

    You may recall she passed away 6 mos ago and family together now, I'm not sick any more and so finally doing this.

    So I may delay in answering..but I will look at these sights and respond and I will try to do it this week.

  6. I was eager to hear what Syd thought of the President's address on health care tonight. Well, to be truthful, I was just as much interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on the behavior of the Republicans, too.

    But Seaspray, Sili, Eugene, and Frank are enough for my purposes until Syd returns.

    So . . . what did you guys think about the speech and the reaction?

  7. Leigh,
    Where to begin? I was glad to see that several republican screaming points were firmly laid to rest.

    No benefits for undocumented aliens, you can keep the coverage you have, you can keep your present doctor, no more coverage denial for "preexisting conditions' (such as being alive)- no more loss of coverage for innocent errors or medical transcription errors. If you lose your job, you can still get health care. (No Frank, visits to emergency rooms are not health care). You will no longer be thrown into the street or reduced to beggary for paying you medical bills.

    And, no death panels - not even the highly profitable bonus driven, 40% return on investment, death panels we have today. That is what deranged Rep. Wilson ($240,000) in donations from "Health care" execs.

    Assuredly, these shibboleths will rise again like zombies, because the essence of what is laughingly called republican policy these days has become the "Big Lie." Just repeat the lie over and over, and it becomes truth.

    Somebody noted recently, that in a country of 300 million, there are going to be a lot of stupid people. I would add to that statement by saying: stupid racist people, who cannot bear the idea that the "Permanent Republican Majority" lost to a man of partial black ancestry; and, that there are also a lot of vicious ideologues to goad them into spittle spattering frenzy - Frank for instance - who lately, like republicans of every stripe, seems barely able to restrain himself from shrieking "NIGERNIGGERNIGGER" when referring to the president; managing only to choke out "MooLotToe." Sorry to put the 'N' word into print, but that's the level these people are coming from.

    Understand Leigh, that most of these attitudes are legacy from the Civil War and the old Confederacy. That war is still with us. Understanding the war is key to comprehending why white southerners hate Obama so much. Their attitudes toward black people are the product of the plantation system - the poor whites didn't dare attack the rich growers who kept them poor and ignorant. They could only express their rage at the people more helpless than they were - black slaves. The feelings persist to this day because they are not based in reason, but emotion, that does not know time. I note that Rep. Wilson is from S.C. the place where the treason began. This is also where Clinton was threatened with assassination - if he went there.

    It is truly said that: It is not possible to reason with feelings that did not arise from reason.

    More later.


  8. I was also glad to see the President shoot down the Big Lies, and name them for what they are. That Death Panel BS was just the last straw; the poor Republican senator from Georgia who put the end-of-life consultation provision in probably feels like no good deed goes unpunished. How pitiful to be one of the few persons of integrity left in what once was the GOP.

    I think it's also telling that the most rabid response has coalesced around the contentious issue of medical care for illegal aliens. That's the place their racism can have free reign; they get to hate on the black president while simultaneously hating on the brown poor people. It's the bigot's two-fer. Add in all us libruls they're also pissing off, and it's the redneck trifecta.

    Hell, they're so busy trying to make sure that brown people don't see a doctor that they're perfectly okay with white cracker brethren not getting to see one, either. Not to mention the wads of money we're throwing away delivering last-ditch care through emergency rooms that could much more rationally be delivered through clinics. These people just have no common sense at all.

    But what is far worse, to me, is their lack of morals. All these folks are here, the vast majority of them working hard though illegally. If they get hurt, if their children get sick, are the Republicans seriously telling us that we should just turn our backs? I guess they are; though how they square that with the Biblical command to treat the sojourner who resides among you no differently than the natives born among you, I really can't imagine.

    But I agree with you, Eugene, that most of this comes back to racism. And that's why we saw that fine scion of Southern aristocracy, Joe Wilson, heckling the elected president of the United States as he addressed the Congress and the Nation. Wilson was just playing to the base in a bit of shameless political theater.

    That backfired on the stupid SOB's in a truly heartwarming way, however. Wilson's Democratic challenger has received over $400K in one day through ActBlue donations.

    Seems like a whole bunch of people didn't like it when their president was disrespected on the national teevee.

  9. $500,000 as of tonight Leigh. Wilson went on You Tube begging for donations today - I'll be sending a contribution to ActBlue.

    Inre: "the Biblical command to treat the sojourner who resides among you no differently than the natives born among you, I really can't imagine."

    Not to worry, some big-stick crypto-racist Christianist will no doubt explain to us how the biblical teaching doesn't apply.

    The malevolent genius of the plantation system and its descendant, Jim Crow, consists of its ability to activate white racists into supporting positions directly opposed to their own economic interests.

    Thus we have the spectacle of unemployed, uninsured white people raging against a plan that would make their own lives greatly better.

    Keep in mind these were the people, who having no slaves, were willing to give their lives to protect the financial interests of the slave holding class that beggared them.

    Over a hundred years have gone by, and they still don't get the joke; they never will either.


  10. Seaspray, I just now really read your comment (I'd only skimmed before) and I see that you've been laboring under some heavy burdens. I hope that your mother's memorial service will be a blessed time of remembrance, laughter, tears, solace, and most of all, a celebration of her life and all she means to you.

    I lost my mother thirty-two years ago, but in all the days that have since passed, our love for each other has never died.

    Many years ago, I read of the Jewish custom of a special mourning prayer called the Kaddish, and I have adopted the practice. I think I clipped this version from "Ask Ann Landers", but it's originally from the Hebrew Union Prayer Book of 1895:

    "I remember you in this solemn hour, my dear mother. I remember the days when you dwelled on Earth, and your tender love watched over me like a guardian angel. You are gone from me, but the bond which unites our souls can never be severed; your image lives within my heart. May the merciful Father reward you for the faithfulness and kindness you have ever shown me; may he lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and grant you eternal peace. Amen"

  11. Dear Leigh,

    Thank you so very much for your kind words and well wishes.

    And thank you for sharing that Jewish prayer.

    I want you to know that I am going to read that prayer at the end of my eulogy. It will be the last thing I say... followed by "I love you Mommy."

    People will not expect me to say "mommy" as most don't know that I called her mommy the last few years of her life..every once in awhile.

    The reason is that when I was 14 she gave me to her brother and his wide because she couldn't afford to keep me. then when she did get back on her feet..she gave me a choice to go with her or stay with them. I opted to stay with them because it was a better home and family life and it really was the best thing for me.

    i was initially angry with her for sending me away... but then came to love being with my aunt and uncle. But we also grew apart and my aunt thought of me as her daughter and definitely crowded mom out. It was a complicated relationship and she would say we were oil and water. But we loved each other very much. was only these last few years where her anger at my aunt came out, i never realized how we caused her to feel back then. i was a teenager... and to aunt was my aunt and my mother was my mother.

    so... a few years ago..out of the blue...when I was saying good bye to her.. I said "i love you Mommy."

    Well.. her eyes lit up and she got the biggest grin on her face. i did it to remind her that she was always my mommy. so..periodically..I'd call her mommy..even these last months in the nursing home.

    I wish I had realized how hurt she had been all these years... but at least I was able to reinforce my love for her this way.

    Evin in the nursing home... someone asked my name and I was all set to say Pat..when she interjected..rather forcefully.."Patty!" i realized then that patty was symbolic of me being her little girl and when I came up here.. I changed my name to Pat.

    I think in that moment in the nursing home...she was re-staking her claim on me by calling me Patty.

    I'm sorry for getting sappy... but just wanted you to know how much this Jewish prayer has impacted me and will be the perfect ending. :)

    When I get to this point "You are gone from me, but the bond which unites our souls can never be severed"... I cry. maybe between now and then I will master controlling my tears.

    The prayer is *perfect*!

    Have a beautiful weekend.

    Sea :)

  12. Eugene.. I am tempted to answer a bit.. but we both know it will end up being a gazillion words and I do want to look at your references 1st.

    May you all have a beautiful and fun weekend! :)

  13. SeaSpray, I too missed the hurt you are feeling and I will speak good words in my heart for you.

    Here is a link to a translation of the Kaddish prayer:


  14. After years of murder, arson and acid attacks against pro-choice people and abortion clinics, I read today about the shootings of Jim Pouillon, and Michael Fuoss, both anti-abortion activists.

    The motivation seems unclear, it may or may not be political, but should it be political, there is that in me that prompts me to say - as I have heard so many times from the anti-abortion side - "I don't approve of such actions, but I understand the feelings."

    I say that with as much sincere sanctimony as the people who encourage violence and murder by publishing the names and addresses of designated targets for murder, and then wash their hands of the blood they incited.

    I don't 'approve', so my hands are clean!

    I'll add, Anybody can get a gun!


    "It goes around, and it comes around."

    I understand the feelings you see!


  15. My dear Patty, I am honored by your story; how glad I am that this heartfelt prayer, given to us through a generous faith tradition that declares "Love is as strong as death", continues to bind human hearts together in shared joy and sorrow across time. I too cried for your mother, and for mine, today.

    I encourage you also to look at Eugene's references. The Jewish way of mourning has much of spiritual discipline to recommend it, along with periods of reflection followed by reintegration into the faith community, where your memories and sorrows are shared by those who come along side to help. Mourning is most difficult when you must try to shape it for yourself, often with no cultural markers to help you know when the crushing misery might begin to lift.

    I've tried it both ways, on my own and in community, and I think it's wiser to reach out to those who can help you. In a susprisingly short time, you can then begin to give back, weaving the bonds of affection and safety that can provide a harbour for the more newly bereaved. In my family, we now say we're "good at death"; in the more than thirty years since that first catastrophic blow, the loss of my young mother, we have come to grips with the end of life and have learned to embrace its blessings also, especially the reconciliation, the chance to throw away old sorrows and remake our relationships in the more perfect pattern God intended for us.

    I am so glad you were able to have time with your mother, to mend the rifts, salve the hurts, and restore the vocabularly of the relationship between Patty and her Mommy.

    I'm glad, too, that you came to recognize the great sacrifice she made for your welfare, and how honorably she kept up her part of the bargain -- watching over you tenderly in a place she made for you that was not her own, deliberately putting herself in the background so that you could benefit from a more stable home.

    This is not perhaps the usual way a loving mother proceeds, but it does sound as if it has the hallmarks of great devotion and self-sacrifice.

    At any rate, for you and yours, I offer this additional piece of the prayer:

    "May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.
    He who makes peace in his high holy places, may he bring peace upon us, and upon all Israel; and say Amen."

  16. Eugene and Leigh..I am very moved by your comments.

    Thank you for the additional prayer Leigh. You have provided me with a beautiful closure to my eulogy. It is so perfect and I feel as though I have been given a gift. :)

    Eugene -thank you for providing that link. I am going there now to check it out.

    I'd like to know more about Jewish Tradition and grieving. Sounds like it is filled with wisdom.

    "good at death".. I guess that happens after awhile if we learn the lessons we are supposed to. I am a born encourager as well as teaching/guiding and nurturing. i hope when I finally get through this grieving process I will have learned what I am supposed to and better equipped to help where needed. Right now..I feel that I am failing this lesson miserably.

    Death and dying is a concept that people want to avoid...even to the point of avoiding life insurance discussions. People feel like if they talk about these will be death producing.. or they don't want to make others uncomfortable... whereas in is life producing because if we communicate better regarding death..we will have peace of mind because things that need to be said will hopefully be said and are then freer to move on.

    I am very glad for some things said and when I apologized for some things... Mom said she made mistakes too. she never said that before.

    I think one of the most difficult things is that I missed that she was beginning to fail last summer and other than her sloth like walking..I did not see it.. or process it anyway. In all fairness..i was stented with a very uncomfortable ureteral stent last summer and so didn't see her much and son and husband took her shopping, etc.

    But then for the next 6 weeks after the stent removal..I still didn't put the signs together.

    *I*should*have*seen*her*decline* and it wasn't til the last few days that I was beginning to see and yet i *still* thought that if we just do this or that... she'll be okay. Well she wasn't okay and she wouldn't have been okay.

    I worked with the emergency room (registration) and saw the problems the elderly population has and I worked with LifeLine along with that job the last 5 years and was a frequent flier to various nursing home and assisted living facilities as well as visiting elderly clients in their home and had to asses them sometimes if I thought they were a danger to themselves living alone. It was rare..but there were a few clients that never should've been living alone. did I miss these things? I did see some things independent of each other but never put it all together. And Frankly... I really still can't believe I missed it. But it was what it was.

    And my mother never indicated anything was wrong. Either she didn't know or she lived in quiet desperation...afraid to reach out to me... or didn't know how to.

    if anyone has any insight on how to make peace with quote Frasier (love that show) "I'm listening."

    I have done something good for myself. I am seeing a grief counselor..actually a psychologist who is helping me through this. I feel like I have known her my entire life. the bond was instant and so profound.. a perfect fit ..I almost wondered if she was an angel. ;)

    Thank you again. :)

    P.S. called me Patty. Thoughtfully sweet of you. :)

  17. Sea, don't beat yourself up for not evaluating your mother's condition as you could have a stranger's. We lost my dear aunt last year; her daughter, who is like a sister to me, is a geriatric nurse (many of us are; we're in the nursing home business). So we were able to keep my aunt at home, which most people can't do because you can't get nurses, whereas we've bred and raised them.

    But even with all those years of experience to draw on, my cousin still needed me there to provide more objectivity. Her head knew that our dear one was in the process of dying, but her heart could not accept it. Thus . . . when to stop dialysis? Up the pain meds? Go to liquids only? I didn't make these decisions, I only provided a safe place to discuss them, and a gentle counsel to help her concentrate on her mother's comfort and not her imminent loss.

    This is our trust and our business, Pat, and even so, we dropped some balls. I eventually had to strongly urge upping the pain meds, for example; I hesitated too long on that, I could have given my aunt three or four more comfortable days.

    If I'm understanding you right, your big fear is that your mother knew what was happening and was alone and afraid because she couldn't talk to you about it.

    I don't think that was the way of it. You and she had opened up to each other more than ever before, you had worked through some difficult issues. If she had known she was leaving you, I believe she would have talked about that and seized the opportunity to tie up any remaining loose ends, or at least to have had a moment of shared joy that all was well between you.

    But in my experience, most people don't know they're dying unless they've had a lot of experience in watching the process. Please bear that in mind.

    And trust to the relationship that had been restored between you. You've got a short span of time here on earth to remember her and honor her memory before you see her again, and I assure you, the joy of that reunion will not be marred by any recriminations or thoughts of what might have been left undone. She's well, happy, and whole, you needn't worry about her any more. You'll have eternity to make all right in any case!

  18. Someone once said "Brevity is the soul of Wit"...
    Jeez, is this the kind of crap Sid puts up with daily?? No wonder he's so ja-ja-ja jaded and bitter...
    If you can't say what you need to say in under 54 words, shut the eff up, I mean do some editing...


  19. Frankie, the grownups are here talking about grownup stuff.

    I realize it's over your head. You just run along and play outside. Maybe later we'll have ice cream if you're a good boy and don't bother us now, okay?

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  21. Dear Leigh -Thank you so much for all the kind and insightful things you have said to me. And again.. thank you for that fabulous prayer that is just so perfect for what I want to say.

    I will come back to copy everything you have written to refer to in the future too.

    I greatly appreciate you and Eugene taking the time to be supportive.

    Eugene..I bookmarked that youtube and appreciated hearing the prayer. It causes me to want to learn it in Hebrew. Very interesting.

    And it warms my heart that despite political differences... you and Eugene reached out in compassion. I would gladly do the same for you...and you too Frank. :)

    I am sorry you had to go through all that you did with your aunt. I am sorry for your loss too.

    She was blessed to have you both looking after her and to be able to die at home with family in familiar surroundings.

    It is weird how we can see things so clearly but when it's personal... things become clouded. you'd think the opposite would be true because you want the absolute best. Maybe it is a form of denial.. not wanting to accept the inevitable loss. ?

    You always know losing a loved one will hurt but you can't really know until you go through it.

    I'll get politically minded next week when I get past this. :)

  22. Hi Frank - I knew you'd show me your warm side. Thank you. ;)

    You are right about brevity. I have often said that brevity with words isn't my strong suit and that I need to work on it. I'll take your constructive criticism under advisement.

    Yeah... I guess this wasn't exactly the troll playground Dr S thought he might come back to... possibly worse? Sappy and all. :)

    Frank... you can pretend to be prickly as a cactus all you want... but I'' bet you're an old softy in real life. :)

  23. "Seed, Syd, Sid" was hiding out with JB surgeon at a far-away hideout near Sierra City, CA...the famous Sardine Lake "Resort". (in quotes as it has mice in the log cabins, no cell, no TV, no phone, no nothing but incredible 8,000 altitude and bears in garbage cans)
    Sid accomodated nicely, had no withdrawal symptoms (fortunately) and actually "enjoyed it". He had a couple outbursts against RWS folks, and made some good points, but my thrust was to convince him that agitation over "stuff out of his control" was just life-shortening. Whether or not it took, is questionable at this point and this blog site will tell.
    I apologize to the bloggers...many of whom we discussed with respect in name: Sea Spray, Frank, Anonymous, Leigh, Sili and for those whom I have were there with spirit.
    To "first strike" the folks who wonder...Sid is married, as am I...both over 39 years, and we took great pains to wear wedding rings, not touch, and say "my wife" a whole lot in the lodge dining room. But it was fun to be "two guys" in a cabin in modern times...and watch the eyes of those looking at the 6footer with the little guy at the corner table.
    I have come to Sardine Lake for 39 years with wife and kids, but this year, Jeannie said, "Take Sid, he needs a break".
    OK...for all of you. Sid is BACK and you can contribute to his life, but please, don't ever think you can change minds, fix America or do much other than use electricity and pound keys.
    As I told Sid, "Remember what my dad told me at age 85.. Just look at all this as entertainment."
    Sayonara to the Sid have, indeed, found a WONDERFUL person to look up to.
    Dr. John Baldwin.."JB" from MASH

  24. Hi JB -What a great comment and thanks for the update!

    "Just look at all this as entertainment." I like that. :)

    I've been avoiding most politics this week and it does alleviate some stress... which I guess comes from the frustration of feeling alarmed, aggravated and powerless to effect any change..which of course isn't true..but does feel that way.

    I don't know where the other bloggers are from.. but I'm an east coast girl and I think it's amazing that because of technology that you guys on the west coast... up on a mountain top in some secluded cabin without modern technology were discussing us..and me probably the farthest away.

    It used to be that unless a more public figure..we only affected our little corner of the world and now we can affect the four corners of the world. Intriguing!

    I saw McCain on Jimmy Kimmel last night and he was discussing his twitter. he was telling how he twittered about a trip he took with his son in the Grand Canyon and then when he went over seas...some king (I think) brought his vacation up because he read about it on twitter. what a small world now. then McCain brought up the Iranians twittering about what was happening to then during the uprising.

    Your vacation sounds like it was wonderful..especially the getting away from it all part.

    My husband and friend went camping and to cabins together years ago and no one ever would've thought twice about it. I wonder if that is because our society has changed so much since the late 70s or if it is an east coast/west coast difference?


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