Bipolar Nana Sun, 27 Apr 2014 01:05:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This Blog Has Been Tampered With Sun, 27 Apr 2014 00:29:23 +0000 I’ve been having a great deal of spam and other things going on with this web site. I’m sorry  for the problems, and will make it my priority to get in touch with WordPress next week. The email that is linked to this blog is only sending me one notification a day for the last three days.  Because of the problems and my technical limitations, I’m going to ask WordPress to expedite helping me, as this has been going on for months. I’m confident that these problems will be resolved soon, as WordPress is a great company!


Thanks for coming by. I hope you check back soon. I will be announcing my plans for other projects, in the near future ,on this website ,as soon as the problems have been dealt with.


There will be changes made to make it easier to communicate with me, and I with you! That’s the really rewarding part of blogging! To share and care for each other, while we strive to crush the stigma of mental illness.


Thanks for your patience!


Peace of Mind & Love to You!,


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STEROID SADNESS Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:30:55 +0000 I’ve got only one more day of steroid treatment. In pill form. I still have to use an inhaler. My GP is monitoring me. I have to take two puffs, twice a day, with a new inhaler, which has a higher dose of steroid than my “as needed” one. It hasn’t been this bad since 1992, when my daughter and I had an apartment right around the corner from where I’m presently living, but the steroids do take away the deep wheezing and desperate breathing. What’s one more drug. Between steroids, thyroid pills, and all my psych meds, I’m having a ball! I was one of those people you had to beg to take an aspirin. Now I keep a bottle on my night stand.

There’s so much fauna and flora, here, I have friends that are in constant battle against allergens, and living at the edge of the Pacific keeps things damp. I’ve battled pneumonia twice in my life. Had to spend a month in bed and celebrated my 13th birthday with mustard plaster on my chest. The kids in the neighborhood felt sorry for me. They pooled their allowance money and bought me a bouquet of red roses and a box of Whitman’s chocolates. I remember them standing around my bed as I read the big card they all signed. They made me feel missed and loved.

Steroids are known to do strange things. For one, I’ll be sitting down and all of a sudden, their side effects just take me by surprise… my body is still, but my insides feel like they’re scrambling all over the place. I can’t really explain it, but it’s quite disturbing. It comes and goes. Haven’t felt it yet today. And then there are fits of anger. Actually, little spurts. I just throw things, but carefully. And no dishes anymore.

A few days ago, my husband called me from the grocery store, asking if there was anything else I wanted for dinner. The scrambling inside feeling came over me, along with the realization that it was time for my afternoon dose of a steroid pill, and I just threw the phone down and told him I didn’t want to think about food and what he needed to pick up at the store. Poor guy. My daughter asked me, “Don’t they make you crabby?” Oh yes, but at least I can breathe through my nose!

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JUST LIVE Fri, 21 Feb 2014 02:11:01 +0000 My father will be turning 96 in a few weeks. After living with us for almost three years, in 2009, he moved up north to his final residence, spending his days, in a 24/7 assisted living building, at a VA home, which is around a three hour drive from where I live.

We talk every day. He calls me from a phone in the hall. They have no private phones. It’s pretty bare bones there. I can’t get him a computer or even show him things online on my laptop when we visit except photos because only certain staff members have online access. At times, my father gets so bored, it almost drives him mad. Today, he shared some sad news. News that happens quite a bit, in the ward that he’s on. A, man, two doors down from his room passed away. In the morning. In his bed.

“You know, honey, you get to live as long as I have, and all your friends on the outside are gone. And just when I get to know this guy, and establish a real friendship, he dies. I just can’t believe it. I just talked to him yesterday, and now he’s gone.”

I spent the next hour grabbing words that would help him. All I could do was let him know that I understand. That I have friends who have died. With no warning. That I can probably count my closest living friends on one hand.

Death is something that a lot of people with mental health issues think of every day. Those with mental illness and those who are friends and loved ones. Hearing of the passing of someone I may not have known very well, or for a long time, can still be something that brings me to my knees. It’s just that way, for me. I don’t need to describe any further how it feels. Or how we process it. It’s one of the great (and hardest to accept) mysteries of the human experience.

I’m grateful that lately, when the thought of death comes,( pretty much on a daily basis) I’m able to let it sit before me for a moment so I can acknowledge it, then it moves on. Sometimes by itself, or with a little help from a power greater than myself.

Acceptance is usually the tool I use to control my sometimes desperate fear of death. In an ironic way, acceptance keeps me from slipping back into psychosis, which hasn’t come around for almost four and a half years.

My husband and I have lost a lot of friends and some family members, all in a span of a couple of years. It hurts. I grieve, and I accept. And somehow, I keep hanging on.

Peace of Mind & Love to You,

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I PREFER HARDWOOD Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:45:21 +0000 I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to just stream out what’s going on. Asthma back with a vengeance.
Steroids, in pill and inhaler form. I’m scared that it’s never going to go into remission. My GP said that when we find a new place, it shouldn’t have carpet. So there’s one more no-no on the list when I’m checking out a potential new place to live. I really prefer hardwood floors anyway. I like to see the dust, and sweep it away, rather than reminding myself that it’s time to get out the vacuum and make noise.

I’m also really sensitive to noise. It’s probably from all the loud music at all the concerts I had to attend, when I was working in the business. I couldn’t go out and take breaks, and I hated wearing earplugs, so I’m paying for it now.

I managed to clear out and dust my bedroom closet but there’s a growing number of boxes of things I want to take with me when we move. It’s awfully difficult to decide what to let go of and what to hang on to, but I’ve got to get rid of half of it. It’s just too much! I don’t live in a condo, I live in a warehouse!! That’s because we don’t have a garage. And the storage space we rent is jam packed already.

This chronic asthma is keeping me homebound. My daughter is dealing with her own asthma demons as well. Her ribs are sore, from coughing from bronchitis, so she’s bummed out about not taking her bi-weekly spin class. It gets me down, because there’s so much to do, and I can only do one or two things a day. Also, my insomnia is unmanageable, even with two meds that usually work. Perhaps it’s because tax time’s coming around, and we’ve got to get Obamacare going, which is ridiculously difficult to understand, and I just want to crawl under the covers and wait until it all goes away. And I’ve got a deadline for an essay I’m doing for an online mag.

It’s only been four and a half years since I got sober from alcohol, and having been diagnosed with Bipolar1, anxiety, and agoraphobia at 50, at times, I get pretty down on myself for what I call “the lost years”. I’ve had a lot of experience with alcohol, even before I starting drinking, and I don’t feel it’s out of place to give some “strong suggestions” on this matter. My higher power is telling me to go ahead and do it. So here goes, my dear ones.

For someone who is on powerful psych meds AND thinks (or knows) they have a drinking problem, try experimenting.


Cutting back, tapering off, or quitting altogether, or not quitting. YOUR choice. You’re the captain of your own ship, but mine kept sinking over and over until I surrendered and put the “plug in the jug”, as the twelve steppers say. And, yes, I did get sober with the help of AA and some pretty incredible people at my meetings. Movie stars, rock stars, comedians, writers, nurses, teachers, mothers, fathers, homeless, black, white, yellow, red, brown, whoever from wherever, and whatever, it doesn’t matter. They all come together to learn how to stay sober, one day at a time. And guess what? Many, and I mean MANY of them are mentally challenged as well!! And they get and STAY sober one day at a time!

I have so many friends from those rooms, those meetings, who have a mental health issue as well as substance abuse problems. They are in those rooms. It’s no big deal!!

I also belong to a 12 step program called DRA (DUAL RECOVERY ANONYMOUS). IT’S MY LIFESAVER!!! IT ADRESSES BOTH SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. Someone from my AA group saw me at two weekly meetings, and invited me to come to a DRA meeting. She’s now my sponsor of over three years. God, it’s such a feeling!! Walking into a room and just being my Bipolar, anxiety ridden, agoraphobic, alcoholic self, and not having to explain!!!!!!! We’re an extended family. It’s my lifeline. They’re my people! If you tell them you haven’t taken a shower in four or five days, they give you that knowing smile. Been there. Me, too. Done that this week, too….

I’m only speaking from my own experience. My decision to get sober was made as I was lying on a bed in the emergency room for seven hours on October 18, 2009, after my husband came home from being on the road, and found me lying on the floor, upstairs, in and out of consciousness. The next day, I got my ass to a meeting. I haven’t looked back since. That was my last breakdown and the last time I touched a drop of alcohol. FOUR YEARS, FOUR MONTHS, AND SIX DAYS. A miracle. MY MIRACLE!!! AND GUESS WHAT, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR VERY OWN MIRACLE, TOO! BUT YOU’VE GOT TO DO A FEW THINGS FIRST. YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO!

Since October 19, 2009, I let go of the crutch that didn’t prevent me from falling and hurting myself, again and again. Over the years, I’ve hit a lot of bottoms. I’d get some time under my belt, then I’d blow it. But the longest I’ve ever gone without alcohol was two and a half years. And I wasn’t really sober. I did it out of spite. Wrong reason. Then, I was back out there for another ten years. And since I didn’t have a diagnosis yet, I was crazy. Plain crazy. Mad. Out of my mind because my mind was an awful place to be.

Now, I get through life on life’s terms (sorry for the cliche), and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Yes, Dorothy (or Don) there IS fun after admitting that one drink is too much, and that one drink can lead you to hospitals and even jails, or institutions. It isn’t fun. It’s just a slow way to the inevitable destruction of your body, mind, heart and the wreckage of your soul.

Alcohol abuse has been in my family for generations. Mental illness and alcoholism not only do a number on the person who deals with it, but the family suffers as well. In my opinion, even more. My children would have had a much different childhood had their parents not succumbed to the bottle at such a young age.

Sobriety? It’s tough, but it can be done. Staying sober? Hard but simple. I’m proof. Do you want it enough now? Or do you want to wait until you’re fifty, like me, to be diagnosed with a mental illness and kill yourself, a little every day, by taking meds AND abusing alcohol? Do you want to wait another nine years, after diagnosis, to keep getting the same results by taking both powerful psych meds AND drinking?

I’m getting a bit tired of reading on the internet about young people who go out and get drunk, while they take some pretty heavy duty meds. It’s Russian Roulette, my friend. If you want to stop such foolish behavior, then just go out and get help. Actually, you don’t have to go out, just pick up the phone and call a hotline. I’ve posted some below. Yes it’s hard, but you can do it. And you don’t have to do it alone! And eventually you’re going to love the way you will look and feel. Eventually you will learn to enjoy life without something that’s poison for your body, because that’s what it is for an alcoholic. Poison, plain and simple.

I’m lucky that things have worked out and my daughters are proud of me and demonstrate their love in many ways. But I worked and continue to work hard for my sobriety. I’m even staying sober while going through litigation I can’t talk about now, but certainly will when it’s over.

Look, we all have battles in this life, but if you reach out for help, for substance abuse help or any mental health challenge, things will change, for the better!

My husband? He’s a trooper. As time goes by, it just gets better. He really is my rock. So, I guess that’s why I still go on writing about my experiences. The problem is, I need to structure my days, by the hours.. I spend too much time online, “strongly suggesting”. But I want to share my lessons and my hope for you. And it DOES FEEL GOOD TO CONNECT AND GIVE EACH OTHER HOPE.

I’ve got to get ready for my phone session with my psychiatrist. He’s a good guy.


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BOXING UP MY LIFE Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:02:21 +0000 February begins another month of a debilitating depression that has pretty much put me in such a rut, my life is quite limited in terms of what I can and cannot do, and what I want and don’t want to do. It’s a minute by minute, footstep by footstep, walk through each day. I’m dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety. It comes from a court case that’s been dragging on for almost ten months, and will hopefully be done by the end of March. For almost a whole year, my life has been a series of stops and starts, as far as anxiety goes, and I’ve become quite OCD, as well.

After my diagnosis, in 2000, I spent four and a half years in and out of court, trying to get Social Security Disability. It really was a harrowing experience. They recorded the depositions of both myself and my psychiatrist. When it came time for me, I began to have a panic attack, and they had to stop recording, which made it even worse. And it was all for naught. A truly miserable experience.

My heart goes out to anyone who has to battle the courts to receive disability benefits. It’s an awful struggle, and to anyone who has filed a claim and is going through such a hassle, I wish you all the best and hope you win!!

I feel it’s not good to hold back the negatives. By expressing them, it tends to clear up the clutter in my mind, and helps me to accept what I can’t change, get going on what I can change, and be grateful for what I have. I also think I’m doing alright with acceptance. Accepting that when it’s a dark period, it will pass, because the one constant is change. It’s what I count on. Change. Dark and light – ebb and flow.

In order to ward off psychosis, which thankfully hasn’t come around to visit in many years, I’ve learned to express myself in what I feel are more effective ways, with my family, friends, and even people I meet in public places. We all have times when we feel that we’re not noticed, appreciated, or really loved. Life isn’t a popularity contest, and now that I’ve been around a few years, I don’t spin out about it.

After spending a lot of time alone, and online, I’ve realized that I’m pretty naive in some ways. When I’m not out and about, I forget how cruel life can be, and how I need to pay more attention to being aware of things not always being what they seem. I still have a tendency to think like a child. And I’m not talking about being childlike, which, to me, is a good thing.

Just recently, I’ve come to realize that I must work to create more effective boundaries, and keep watch over myself so I don’t get too far away from my own program of care. I can’t change the world, but I can change myself.

I have friends who pass no judgement on me, especially with my mental issues. And my support group. I can’t sing their praises enough! And I have found people here, in this mental health community who have been very kind to me. And I want to thank them for communicating with me, being who they are and doing what they do, to bring about positive changes for those affected by mental illness.

Being home day in and day out is isolating and sometimes it’s very lonely. But it all depends on my attitude. If I can just break the day down, and just do one or two things, it’s o.k.. I don’t know when I’ll be out of this phase. Hopefully, by spring.

I’ve got work to do. I’ve got to sort through everything I own, look at it, figure out if I truly need it, and if not, discard or give it away. That’s been hanging over my head (because I don’t want to do it!) for months, but I’ve finally put a big dent in it and it feels good. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s become a necessary thing for me to do, if I’m going to bring about a sense of balance in my life. And I’ve got to travel lighter!

Right now, some of my family members are going through many changes, which I can’t share here. But we are all doing what we can to hold each other up and get through our issues. You do what you can and keep going.

I haven’t suffered all these years, and come this far, to want to check out, which in my case, means, sitting on the sideline and drowning in my sorrow. I feel sorrow every day. But I’m so grateful I can feel it. Because that makes me human. That makes me connect. I’ve got people who love me and I need to love them back. I know, without a doubt, that I’ve got a choice.

Today, I choose love. Today, I choose life, however difficult and heart breaking it might be. Breaking it down, just to one day.

So, I’ll be grateful, in some measure, because I don’t know how I keep coming back; to be willing to show up one more day. I truly believe there is a power greater than myself. I’m just a drop of water in the sea.

I bought a chandelier, painted my furniture white, bought new white covers for my sofa. And dammit, I’m going to put that chandelier up, sit at my table with a cup of tea, look around at my new digs, and tell myself I’m doing alright, in my shabby chicness.

Once the legal issue I’m dealing with has sorted itself out, I’ll be more at peace. It’s not the end of the world.

I’ll just roll with it.

Peace of Mind & Love,

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RAIN, DON’T GO AWAY Sun, 02 Feb 2014 22:06:10 +0000 For the first time in months, it’s been raining. It just stopped about an hour ago. I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on in the sky. Is the weather really being manipulated? All I know is that where I live, we really need rain.

It’s been years since I remember a drought, but there’s one I remember in the 80′s that was pretty surreal. We were only allowed a certain amount of gallons every day, and it really got me to thinking about how precious water is. I can’t help but think about water a lot during my waking hours, as I take quite a bit of medication these days. When my mason jar by my bed isn’t full, I rush to the kitchen to fill it.

As a kid, I’d was either swimming in water, bathing in water, or drinking water, without a thought as to what might be in it. Now, I’m totally OCD with water. Even bottled water is something that makes me nervous. There are certain types of plastic that emit gases that are supposedly so harmful, some say they can cause cancer.

Water is life. And in order to sustain life, we need water. What’s life going to be like for my grandkid in the next twenty years? I get kind of freaked out.

The rain. I love it. I love the sound, the feeling of it on my hair and skin. The smell of the ground and the flora after a good rain. All the beautiful things that come from the earth because of it.

I think I’d better go for a walk later. The ocean is only a ten minute walk from me. Here I am thinking about water and I haven’t even gone to the beach in six weeks.

Agoraphobia has got me so bad, I don’t even want to walk out the door and enjoy what’s outside. It’s sad, but it will pass. I’ll go out again.

I remember the feeling of running outside in the summer, stretching my little arms out, lifting my head and opening up my mouth to catch a drink of water.

Water is life. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to rain again.

Peace of Mind & Love to You..


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2nd Time in 1 Day Mon, 27 Jan 2014 20:08:24 +0000 I’ve only published 48 posts here, and I don’t think I’ve posted more than once in a day.

I’m probably drawn back to the screen because I’m having an almost out of body experience right now. I’m so uncomfortable and exhausted being sick, and I have to listen to the new next door neighbor get settled in their master bedroom, which is only inches from my own. Every bang against the wall makes my heart jump.

I’ve had it up to here (as I’ve said quite a few times by now) with living in a place that feels more like a cage than a home. It was only supposed to be six months, but it’s turned into 5 years (next month). I guess that’s what I get for not wanting to go back to Ventura county until I found a place to live, and since my grandchild asked so sweetly “Nana, can we get this one?”, what else could I do, but sign on the dotted line. My grown children would never have taken this place. They like their privacy and that’s something you don’t get here. At least not in this part of town. The only great thing about living here is the ten minute walk to the beach, which is glorious. But I can’t remember the last time I did that. Very sad.

I knew I’d want to move after a year. But what’s a year? Twelve months. And now, I’m paying for staying with my health, which is going down the tubes so fast, I don’t know if I’m ever going to get it back. I really think there is damage that can’t be repaired. My anxious mind is doing overtime.

I’m looking up at the previous paragraphs, and notice that they’ve all have started with the word “I”. That’s not good. I think that means that I’m really not doing too well.

I’m (there I go again!) just sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So, it’s time to think of the good things. Things that make me smile. It’s difficult to do, when you’re feeling lousy, but the mind can help one recover, just as much as medicine, and sometimes it’s the best remedy!

O. K. So, the next thing to do, is get out of bed, sponge bathe, dress, and get to the doctor’s, right? So simple…


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Aftermath of An Attack Mon, 27 Jan 2014 17:28:27 +0000 I have not been well for almost ten days. If you read my blog post, “Hotel Whatever”, I pointed out that I was at a hotel in the L.A. area, and couldn’t do much of anything, except have lunch with a good friend, because I have an upper respiratory mess going on. So, except for a three hour luncheon with my friend, I spent five days in bed in a hotel with my laptop to keep me from climbing the walls.

Today, it’s getting worse. Antibiotics failed. Prescription cough syrup only goes so far, and I had a horrible asthma attack about an hour and a half ago. If I use my inhaler too much, it can exacerbate the problem, so I held off on using it this morning, as I struggled to breathe.

My immune system is almost non-existent. Anyone who has severe asthma will understand how frightening it is to be in the throes of a full-on, brutal attack. Every breath is a struggle. You feel as if someone is sitting on your chest. You can hardly talk, and when you do, the terrible wheezing comes out which scares you even more.

Most people who have asthma are aware that an asthma attack can be fatal. That factor alone sent me into a mild panic. I drank almost three cups of black coffee to open up my bronchial tubes, so I’m really amped up right now. My body is exhausted but my brain is swimming in caffeine.

Today, as I was reading about asthma, I noticed an ad for a medication that states (at the top,not below in print you’d need a telescope to see) all the great things it does for your asthma, but it also warns that taking the medication can lead to death.

It’s awful. Just as I wouldn’t wish a mental illness on anyone, I wouldn’t wish asthma either

Off to the doc’s at 1:00PM.

Monday, Monday.

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HOTEL WHATEVER Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:10:32 +0000 5TH day at Hampton Inn and Suites. A large room. Very comfortable. King size bed. A bathroom that isn’t moldy, which is a real luxury to me.

I had plans to see a few close friends while I’m here. Do a bit of shopping, maybe get my hair colored. I DID get together with ONE of my closest friends, and had a great three hour gab lunch at a fabulous deli. It was packed and noisy and I felt like I was in New York again. I could eat good deli food every day!

But I got slammed with my yearly bout of winter bronchitis, which means bed rest, unless I want it to slide into pneumonia, which it’s done twice before. I was born with a lousy immune system. Asthma’s back, so back to steroids for relief when I can barely breathe and I’m wheezing all over the place,especially when I wake up. God, I hate it. Then add my thyroid and psych meds and I’ve got a whole little black bag full of stuff. And I’m only 63! If I live another ten or (God forbid) 20 years, I’ll spend half my day preparing my daily doses and popping pills, which will leave me only a bit of time for 60′s reruns and my sleep hypnosis video. I’m trying not to slide into pneumonia, but I’m DEFINITELY sliding into the “Third Act”, as some call it. Yes, as The Beatles said, “Life is very short..”. And according to statistics (and my psychiatrist) a real long life is probably not in the cards for me. So maybe that’s why I haven’t “met” many in this community who are my age. A few, but not many. If you’re a senior, don’t be shy, we welcome all ages! Get in touch with me!!

As someone whose been around a few years, it really is a good idea to try to find what works in helping to “manage” a mental illness. Then there can be a little room for a few good times and maybe even a little joy, or, dare I say, Fun!

I haven’t used the time I’ve had alone in this hotel, while my husband is working, to finish the second draft of my manuscript. It’s a real mess. No, I’m using my sickness (physical) as an excuse to indulge in escapism, while my husband has been in rehearsals, 2 gigs, and is now at Sunset Sound, finishing up the last half of an album. I was hoping to get over to the studio, to hang out, but I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

I’ve had to take care of my husband because he’s in need of a lot of good healthy food and rest, but he’s got so much going on, it’s near to impossible for either of us to keep up. One things spills into another. My husband has had a tough year, health-wise. He was diagnosed with vertigo last spring, took two trips to the emergency room, had a Cat Scan and an MRI, but nothing serious showed up. He did physical therapy to get the “crystals” in his middle ear back in place. It didn’t help much. They still don’t know what’s wrong. No tumors, nothing to pinpoint. He’s taking meds for stress and sleep, which are helping. Diet and a couple of meds and supplements is all he’s doing. But he still gets dizzy in the late afternoon and it really does a number on his energy level. He’s borderline hypoglycemic, so he’s cut way down on sweets.

No day is ever the same in our world. But what’s the big deal? For me, I never know what’s going to come my way. Bipolar 1? Generalized Anxiety? Agoraphobia? Of course not!

As soon as we get home tomorrow afternoon, my husband’s got three students and another regular gig at the Hyatt. I’ll be driving home, and the rental car is comfortable, so I hope he can get a couple of hours sleep. And we’re finally going to break down and get a new, bigger car. That’s why most older people drive big cars. They need to feel as comfortable as possible. Like they’re in their living room. Lazy boy should team up with Ford, or Chevy, or Toyota. Maybe they have already. I’m just really out of touch with that kind of stuff.

The project my husband’s working on is with three top of the line, renowned jazz musicians, and there’s going to be a tour coming up sooner than later. Quincy Jones was at the club on Monday. He’s good friends with the piano player from Toyko. This guy is a monster player, and they’re all working their bums off, but having a good time, because the music they’re making is real good. My husband wrote three songs for this album. A lot a jazz instrumentals can be boring to those who aren’t diehard fans. Some people, including one of my old friends from high school just don’t “get it”. I totally understand. Many people don’t. It’s not for everyone. And I don’t care for some of it, either. I have a lot of friends whose spouses are jazz musicians and they hate jazz. And that’s o.k.

Another time, I’ll write about my love of music. I’m all over the place with what I like! Pretty eclectic. As long as it’s Good! And I keep up. I like a lot of indie stuff! Even some hip-hop.

I do like the stuff my husband does. And you’d be surprised to know that a lot of musicians rarely listen to music in their off hours. They’re too busy making it, teaching it, writing it. And when they can, they need to get away from it for a while. They usually have other things that they like. Hobbies. My husband likes golf, and zoning out to to old 60′s and 70′s reruns. Speaking of golf, he met someone at the club in Hollywood who’s CEO of some big company and he’s going to be in our neck of the woods, to play two of the best courses around next week. His wife is doing something else, so my husband gets be a guest at a course that’s a golfers’ dream. Every so often, these kinds of perks come up for him. And he really does deserve it. We’re not rich, but where we live, the rich aren’t really snobs. A good many of them share their good fortune with others. They especially appreciate artists and musicians, who, for the most part, have to work REALLY hard to pay the rent, and all the other things that go with daily life.

I haven’t worked since 1996, and I only received a “partially favorable judgement” by the court, when I filed a claim. That means, they acknowledge that I’m mentally ill and unable to hold down a job, but denied me social security disability benefits. I have to practically be out on the street before I could qualify for SSI, which isn’t enough for anyone to have even the basic necessities if they’re disabled. And I also got diagnosed two years too late. My SS coverage ran out two years after my last job, and my diagnosis wasn’t until 2000. Four and a half years of litigation,for nothing. MY 1991 5150 record at Sylmar Hospital was lost in the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. That would have provided a little more leverage. And my psychiatrist cost me $600.00 to show up in court for me. He testified that, from my history, in his opinion, I exhibited bipolar symptoms since at LEAST 1989. No luck. So I know how tough it is out there. It really sucks. AND IT’S NOT FAIR. AND THAT’S WHY I HAVE THIS BLOG.

So my husband is the sole supporter, and we have no health insurance, until we sign up for Obamacare. And I hear it’s pretty hard to figure out what to chose from.

My husband puts the TV on most of the day, to block out all the noise from outside. I tell him to put on headphones, but he rarely complies. I can’t stand commercials. They tear through my ears like a runaway train. It’s awful. So when I’m near the TV, I always make sure I’ve got the remote close, because it’s just unbearable. Like nails on a chalkboard!

That’s a trigger for my anxiety. Commercials. But also, the touring that’s going to be happening when this album comes out. Japan and Europe, for sure. I want to go back to Japan. We’ve got friends there and I haven’t seen them since 2007. I miss the culture, the graciousness of the Japanese people, the Buddhist temples, going out with my friends and staying out late in tiny, backstreet clubs that stay open all night. The Bullet Train. And the Tube in London. I guess I’m ready for a change. The money is going to be good, and my husband needs to play with musicians of his caliber because that’s what he’s done all of his professional life. In our area, there is much love of music but there are maybe three players (including hubby) who are seasoned pros and play at his level. They do regular local gigs and “casuals”, which is musician-speak for weddings, private parties. They pay pretty well. And once a month there’s a Sunday Jam at a local hotel, where everyone, young or old, amateur or pro, gets up to play or sing. It’s beautiful fun. But it really is time for him to get back on the road. It’s just something he has to do.

With my husband being off the road for almost five years (except for some dates in St. Petersburg, Russia, and some other weekenders) and taking the direction of teaching instead, he’s looking forward to touring. There is nothing like a live audience. Musicians NEED an audience. That’s where the magic is. In the interaction with the audience. The gigs went more than well. The place was packed and the crowd went nuts. That’s good. Everyone is happy. But my husband is exhausted. Like anything, as we get older, we tire more easily. As I’ve said before, music is made for listening. I get a big kick out of watching my husband perform because he’s really animated onstage. I guess that’s why so many people ask him to play on their records and tour with them. I’ll pull out some of my road trip stories one of these days. But I’m selfish, and I will wangle my way into at least going to Japan and London (and probably Italy). I adore London. Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, was a month every year, three years in a row. I had a ball. Even though I was so spaced out on Lithium and Klonopine that I had to go down the stairs with both feet on each step and my hands trembled terribly, I had a love affair with London.

This has been a ridiculous ramble, but I guess it’s my way of getting my mind off depressing things that have happened recently that I haven’t yet processed.

You understand. You’re the only ones I can count on to understand. Or at least listen. Thanks for your time. I hope you have a good day and night.

Peace of Mind and Love,

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A NEW DOG IN TOWN Sat, 18 Jan 2014 01:51:59 +0000 There’s a new dog in town. Actually, the new dog shares a common wall with me. I don’t remember if I mentioned that there are thirty units in our complex. We have townhouses, studios, as well as one and two bedroom flats.

I will be short with this post, because I have to pack for the 360 mile drive to L.A. My husband is recording and gigging in Hollywood, and we’re staying for six nights, in Agoura, where we used to live.

Where was I? Oh, yes..the new dog. The new dog and I haven’t met yet. My husband describes him as a big, chunky, white lab. He has a very hearty bark. I’ve heard it all day long, as his mom & dad move in. They also have a baby. And that baby has great lungs. The dog’s barking and the baby’s crying, as I write. I can just imagine the evenings around here. The sounds coming through the walls, especially as I try to wind down in my bedroom. I wonder if the new dog’s barking is bugging the pit bull yet. I’m glad I can go downstairs without crossing the threshold of their respective abodes.

Before I sign off, I want to acknowledge that I’m at the end of my rope with all the dogs here, in this space that has too many people, as well as too many dogs! If you read one of my previous blogs about Chamber, the pit bull, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

As my fear of being accosted on the concrete staircase leading to my front door escalates, and our new “other side of the wall” neighbor, whose name my husband forgets, gets used to his new surroundings, I’m very happy to be driving 360 miles to L.A. tomorrow. We’ll be staying in a hotel that feels like a second home to me, near our former residence in Ventura county. AND THERE WILL BE NO BIG DOGS FOR ME TO FREAK OUT ABOUT!

I’LL STATE AGAIN..I love all animals, but I need a vacation from canines. Six days will be just fine.

But my little Sammie? My precious cha-weiner? My heart is breaking for having to leave her with a friend!

So, I guess I’m Happy/Sad right now. Bipolar 1. Generalized Anxiety. Agoraphobia. What more can I say?

Thank God for my mood stabilizer and my anxiety meds!

Peace of Mind & Love to You,


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