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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Get Out, 2017!

Just this afternoon I was thinking, "I've lost the need to write." But here I am. Much of the time I'm overwhelmed and unsure these days. Plenty of other people broadcast what I'm thinking, so why add to the buzz? What do I even think of it all anymore? I don't even know. Because I don't trust anything I hear to be true, I'm unsure. I think and wonder and hypothesize in my head, and there's no summation, no conclusions. Every day it's more awfulness. This is what 11 months of Cheeto von Tweeto and the corrupt Fascist Congress, religious insanity of all ilks, and crazy ass killings have brought.

2017 was a brutal year. On the round heels of 2016's deathapalooza we get a load of crazy people in power all together. We take a deep breath and go on. No time to grieve anything anymore. Carry on with your PTSD self. Yes, those are naked pix of the President's wife. Move along. Yes, groceries have drastically risen in price. Take it or leave it. Yes, if you depend on the Social Security that you paid into for decades, or any social service, you may be screwed pretty soon. Look at this cat meme!

This is not a world for the tender or weak. But it is a place for the pissy and indignant, and I am those even at the best of times. (Has there even been a 'best of times'? agh, another topic for another day...) There must never come a day when nobody argues their point, but I worry that we've become too stupid and lazy to care to have a point. It's easier to be told what to think than to think for yourself. It's also easier to just morph from feeling to feeling, because nobody will challenge your feelings. If you're weak there's no encouragement to get strong. There are drugs to remove those annoying thoughts that may flutter by. Just take this pill and none of it will bother you. And we'll make a profit.

Lately I've read a few articles about "the end of Capitalism". It seems like the end of something. An end is also a beginning.

May 2018 bring us justice, truth, peace, kindness, open minds and hearts, and make them our values.
Get the hell out, 2017 and don't let the door hit you where nature split you.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Photos from Bratt

Greg Worden took photos of downtown in last night's first snowfall.

a pocket park in the center of town.

Main Street.
And Terry Martin caught the covered bridge just down the road from here, tonight.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Saturday, December 9, 2017

So Here It Is... Merry Christmas

Boy, the past few months beat me down. I had nothing but rants and bad news so I kept it all on Fecebook. It's hard to type anyway, easier to just click a 'share' button.

But it's snowing, and it's Christmastime. Amid a lot of cursing, I put the tree up and got the lights on yesterday. This year we put tin foil on the wall behind it, as my Father did. Though he'd cut a skyline out of construction paper and run it around the crown molding, too. And put lights and garland everywhere. Got the garland part going, but not the lights or skyline. This is the most I've decorated in years. Maybe the skyline and lights will happen next year.

Tomorrow, friends will trek through the snow to trim the tree and eat comfort food. I made Irish cream last week, so that's ready. We'll feast and laugh and tell each other what we think, like all the other years. There's a real comfort in traditions and knowing what to expect. Each of us has been through the mill in 2017. Time to air grievances.

Next I need to decide on whether the fruits and nuts soaking in whiskey will end up mincemeat pie or fruitcake. Were that all of life was made of such quandaries!

For the next weeks I'm going to spend more time staring at my tree and talking to people. My energy will go toward keeping my spirits up so I can keep others' spirits up, too. We've been bottom-dwelling for too long, an easy thing to do with the state of things.

I hope, however and whatever you celebrate, that it gladdens your heart and lightens what load you carry. May a thousand good things shower on you every day, now and in the new year.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Class, Caste, Crass and Classlessness

It's so damn clear that this country is an oligarchy leaning toward fascism that I don't know how peep can still be blind to it. I just saw a post (oh when the hell will I just quit Fecebook?) about some US soldier who royally fucked up and is going to do life for desertion. He'd been held and tortured by the Taliban for 5 years. Then some asshat on the newsfeed goes off about him being a Libtard's idol. Then I see a Cheeto Von Tweeto report and some Dem is yelling that this is all the fault of the Bernie supporters. It's getting to the point that I don't care what happens anymore. People are just so rotten and stupid (I find they often go together) that it would be less than Darwinian for this to go on. Our ignorance and stupidity will bury us.

With hindsight, I see where and how the dumbing down and instilled mean-ness was programmed into our US culture. Greed started it. Greed feeds it. The oligarchs get rich by our hate, ignorance and pettiness. Encouraged from every angle, socially engineered. Turn the lower classes against each other so they don't unite and take down the despots. It's nothing new, this douchebaggery raises its head every so often. And we all divvy up bits of cherrypicked religiousity and/or "patriotism" so we feel self-righteous about being scum of the Earth, too. Quite a heady brew from Hell.

We have a hateful, halfwit, crude game show host in the White House.
Violence is the everyday norm now.
Our Congress is literally selling us out and making us pay to be sold.
We've only seen the beginning.

Just be aware. This is happening.

Monday, October 2, 2017

When Summer's Gone, Where Will We Be?

Well, it's been 8+ months of Cheeto Von Tweeto's reign and seems like years. Summer is finally over, and this month has literally been shit so far. My upstairs neighbor clogged the toilet last night, then left the flush handle down so water was running, and didn't notice (til I shrieked at the rain coming down into my kitchen) that she'd flooded the place. It was bleach city in here today.  Did she apologize? I haven't seen her, have you?

Then of course last night and today happened. It's only the 2nd of October, 2017. We have 40 more months of Trump's America to try to live through.

I can't go into particulars because I'm trying to get through the PTSD of the last 24 hours and you've all heard it. I'm angry, sad, disgusted. And I keep coming back to why is this happening? Why is the US the hotbed of hotheads? Other countries have lax gun laws and they don't shoot each other to hell. Other countries have strict gun laws and people still get shot or killed. Why is this happening? Why the hatred? And why do We lead the world like this?


If Tom Petty isn't officially dead by now, he will be by the time you read this. Of The Wilburys, only Dylan and Jeff Lynne remain among the breathing. RIP

Please calm down, October. I can't keep up.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

You've Gotta Pick Up Every Stitch

Here we are in that long exhale called September.

People make a big deal of Spring being lovey time. Not for me. This is it. There's something about this time of year, September to November, that makes me love. Love love love. It's intoxicating, it's full of life, it's like being young again.

The thinning of the veil invigorates me. It used to scare me, now I revel in it. This year I'm thinking about why being in a ghost's presence isn't as scary as say, the movie "The Haunting" (the original, not the remake). Though none of the ghosts I've encountered has been physical or threatening, just weird. I mean, that it even happens is weird. But you sort of get used to it with familiarity. And I'm sure now that those I've seen and those I've felt or heard are different things. Feeling and hearing go together, for me. Seeing is, I think, a partial time slip. Seeing doesn't much rattle me at all anymore, which surprised me when I realized it. On the other hand, to this day when I hear a chair dragging overhead my shoulders rise. But a creepy movie- or in today's case, a few episodes of "One Step Beyond"- can freak me right out. I have to go outside or call someone to get unspooked. And I love it.

It's harvest time, and friends and neighbors are kindly sharing. I traded peach preserves for tomatoes yesterday. Tomato butties make me happy.

With Game of Thrones nights over, we go back to Game Nights. This Friday we resume, Paul's game choice and Chris' belated birthday celebration. I'm making lasagna and getting a Carvel cake. We'll have a few drinks and play. I think it's important to be goofy in these direly distressing days.

This year more than other years, I'm noticing the subtle daily light change. It's softer, more relaxed. In the morning it glimmers on the plastic cover of my keyboard. I even love that.

Adapting to what my hands can do now, I'm teaching myself to draw and sew again. Typing is a chore, but it's teaching me patience and to relax. There's no need to hurry, I've stopped giving a rat's ass what anyone thinks or expects from me. It'll all get done when I get to it.

And life goes on. I hope you're well and happy. Get some fun.

Monday, August 14, 2017


I can't get past what happened this weekend and the fact that Nazis are thriving in our country. This is a dystopian novel we're living in. But while we're still able to access fun memories, entertainment and fiction, that's where you'll find me. We must hold onto, and recall to ourselves, the good stuff in life.

Last night Aunt Nancy (of the Ashram and Muffinpants family fame) and I had eats and got ready to watch Game of Thrones with Paul. We talked about what risky fun we had as little kids because our parents were busy and not keeping us wrapped in cotton batting. Sledding and biking were our top dangerous activities, and also such happy memories, despite injuries. Nancy told how she once tobogganed home down an unused road in the pitch dark, which was joyful and terrifying in a way only a 9 year-old could appreciate. And then I told her about Twiss Hill.

When I was a toddler, we lived in a small town in upstate NY. Our house was up on a hill with a lazy slope to a dirt road. Across the road were some houses, spaced widely apart. It dropped off pretty sharply there, and the houses were built into the side of the hill. Old Man Twiss (must be somehow related to Stevil) had a big parcel of land around his house right across the road from us. Every January he trudged down his hill creating a curving path. It began by the back of his garage, with a steep drop, and wound around a couple pine trees before hitting the cleared hillside. When he was done he went home and waited a day. Then he scooted down that path on a saucer, packing the snow and creating a sled run. For the finishing touch, he'd run his hose out and water down the whole thing. It was solid ice. A luge run of several hundred feet. I only remember doing it once. But that memory!

Billy and me. The Flexible Flyer. He's 10 or 11, I'm about 2, but tall. Old Man Twiss didn't stop me (which feeds the theory that he did this every year hoping to thin the herd- the run ended on Old Route 17, a highway), so Billy sat with his feet on the steering bar and I climbed in and sat between his legs. I grabbed his legs to hang on for dear life and off we went. I'm pretty sure I screamed the whole way, a crazy laughing shreik. Sandy snow hit us in the face, we were going too fast to see anything but the run, and it was suddenly over as we slowed on the salted slush along the side of the highway. Sheer joy.

Hold onto the crazy laughing moments. They're what makes the rest worth doing.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Forgive Me Bloggers, For I Have Wind

It's been almost 4 MONTHS since I have blogged. How did that happen?!!

Well, first I have ongoing hand issues. Typing with 3 fingers is a bother. My friend Sharon gifted me with a Dragon system, but I've yet to conquer it. There will be no medical correction of the hand issues and it's long and boring to explain. So there's that. Then I was feeling like I had nothing left to say. How much can you go over the same shit that's on everybody's mind when you've said it a hundred times? I'm active on Fecebook, which keeps me in touch with family and friends, and whatever news of the day goes on. It saves a lot of typing.

But there's also been events and projects taking my time and energy. The happiest by far has been the filming of the Herman movie, which is, despite catastrophes, in production at last!

Andy Slade (producer and director), with his crew, drove across the country interviewing all the characters who knew and worked with Herman. When we filmed here in my little apartment, it was an all day affair and exhausting as well as magickal. I hadn't seen him since 1991; he's not the skinny kid with a great mop of hair anymore. It was joy to be with him. We're hoping this will be done and released next year, and maybe will make it to Netflix. Fingers crossed. Those on FB can follow its progress here:
Horrible Herman's Warlock Shop Film

Beest has had health problems that for now seem managed.
Billy has also been up and down, and is now going through withdrawal from Lyrica. The down side is the nerve jumps. The upside is he's lost the edema and his blood sugar has steadied. Everything we take has effects. He wants to cut down the number of drugs he takes, as he thinks most do little to nothing anymore and he's spending some $700 a month on scripts. It doesn't look like he'll be moving here. His depression is lifting slowly, but his body is falling apart faster. It's hard to clean out a house you've lived in for 23 years, especially doing it with no help. But he's also stubborn about accepting help. The last time he dumped the motorcycle, in December, he broke his ankle. Refusing to go to the Dr about it, he walked on it for 7 months before it was x-rayed. That, in a nutshell, is my brother.

In 2 months I'll have been in this new abode for a year. I really like it here. The view from my windows is lovely in every season, and I'm looking forward to the Fall with cooler, drier weather (I hope).

Greg Lake's autobio finally published this Summer. Bittersweet and classy, it's quite a read.  

Aside from all that, we're in the penultimate year of the Game of Thrones tv series, and Sunday nights mean gatherings of friends here to eat, drink and yell at the screen. It'll be sad when it's over, but we still have 2 more books to go...

The state of the world is abysmal. Cheeto Von Tweeto is no saner than King Joffrey. The 'Small Folk' suffer, as ever. Be kind, find humor, stay sturdy and full of hope.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

this way

my hands are shit. i type w the middle, ring finger and pinkie of my left hand now. index is toast. when the nerve shoots i can't capitalize so here we are, not typing much. thank you for your concern, lawless.

nothing else has changed. the cheeto in charge is still on full flaming asshole to everyone but the rich. there are no words, and i couldn't type them all anyway.

still have not gotten appts w a neurologist nor an ortho. i see the auxilliary dermo in nh on weds.

beest will be on the ear smear forever. she has regained weight and sleeps a lot. i worry. she has lumps. the vet will eval her on friday.

billy carries on, bought an epiphone, got the housed resided, is struggling with all the drugs and conditions he has going on. the idea to move here is floating round again.

i really am liking the solitude here.
we got a spring snow and the guy who shovels a path for his dog didn't bother this time. it's bright today. the sky's that blue you only see this time of year or in old paint by numbers.

happy spring, be well.

sit down, life, we gotta talk

life, we've known each other as long as i can remember. i expected by now you'd have grown up some and straightened this shit out, but frankly i'm disappointed.

yes, i know it's not all your fault. it's time passings', and genes', and a descending order of culprits' faults as well. but life, you're the eldest, and should know better.

seriously, if you keep going down this path, you'll live to regret it. get your shit together.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The February Summer

All the snow we had since December and January has melted down. The maze walls that lined our pathways are small white ridges, speckled brown. Looks like a crumbcake around here.

For the last weeks temps rose bizarrely, from almost-reasonable 50'sF to the quite strange mid-70'sF. February, Vermont, 70'sF. That's just not right. By Billy in NJ, it's been close to 80'. Those denying Climate Change, please get your heads out your asses. Shit is real and here already.

I'm in this unsettled position over this. Winter is my less painy time, and so this warmth sucks. On the other hand, no snow means no worrying about anyone outside doing whatever they would that could result in heart attacks or accidents. But this is February, the harsh month, the month of death anniversaries and unrelenting freezing middle fingers from Mother Nature. That's what it's always been, until the last 2 years. Now the maple syrup army clamour to tap and collect in a hurry, just in case this is their one shot at the period of warm days and cool nights when the sap runs, the one that usually happens about a month from now. Now the ski industry uses a helluva lot of water making snow. And manmade snow just isn't the same, we all know it. Now there are blooms popping out, south of us. In February.

The Hair is proving to be just as nuts as we thought. Who knows where this runaway carnival ride will go.

Trump Bans the Free Press 

Beest is getting hyperthyroid stuff in her ears every day. She couldn't tolerate the food. But she's taking this well, and someday maybe perhaps, we'll remove the bubble on her poor wee head.

My hands are both crappy now, but at least in different ways. And I need to stop typing.

I hope your February has treated you kindly.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Winter Is Here

There are two weathers that inspire me to cook Burn You Twice Chili. When it's very hot and when it's very cold. It's very cold. I have achieved Winterfullness. Yesterday we had a foot or more of snow (at this point who counts), today is very windy. It whips around the courtyard in a whiteout whirlwind, disappearing the world from my windows. Then it drops, and I expect to see the White Walkers

lined up by the recycling bins. This may be The Year of the Bugged Out Eyes. I am a Snowflake. Winter Is Here.

HildeBeest Underfoot must learn that she will get run over if she's in the way. Today's  "ROWrrr!" wasn't the loudest ever, but she took off and is now throwing me shade and filthy looks from the bedroom. That tail she doesn't watch gets it every time. It was already broken when she came here. Still, no fur on the floor, so it wasn't very bad. She'll come out when she's hungry.

Today I had a short but deep chat with a friend, and we noticed how events look a lot like Gotterdammerung, and how The Hair is very Loki-ish. There's been a lot of phone time lately. A long-lost cousin we didn't know existed found us on the Ancestry DNA matches. This is the daughter of my Aunt Ruth, dead 4 years before I was born. Aunt Ruth didn't marry- it was 1954, she was 23, her lover was married. She came from wealth and social position via her adopted parents, and they sent her to Denver to give birth, and dispose of the baby before she could return home to Rochester. Which she did. A year later on Xmas Eve, she ran her car into a tree there, killing herself and 2 passengers. She was 24, a sorority girl college graduate. She taught PE. She was a perky blond, had been overprotected, and never had a chance to balance out because she died too young. We only found out her whereabouts in 1995, after my mother had spent 60 years wondering what had happened to her.

Ruth's daughter, Mary, grew up in a family that would never pass muster to adopt nowadays. She went to 12 grammar schools, lived in several southern states, and left them at 17 to marry the guy she's still with, in Oklahoma. They've done very well, and have a huge family and a great big house in a tiny town of 39. They're happy. I've spent almost 5 hours on the phone with her this week. She is definitely a Hendrickson.

Another of the cousins, a Ron who lives an hour from Billy in NJ, has also been in touch, sending photos of extended family. The Hendricksons rarely had less than 10 children each, and 8 or 9 would make it to adulthood and beget away. My DNA cousin matches go on for 250+ pages, at 50 people a page. Ron's gr-gr-grandfather was my great-grandfather. His grandmother lived to an old age and told family stories we never heard in our branch. I'm looking forward to sharing with these new peep! It takes a Hendrickson to understand a Hendrickson. lol

This Winter is reminding me of  Winters when I was small. The snow is heaped high, and now being seated, is up to my shoulders when I push by. Today the sky is such a pure blue and the snow so white it makes your eyes hurt. Time to have some chili that'll clear my sinuses.
This Snowflake is resolved to resistance.
Winter Is Here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

It Can Happen Here

Things are scary over here in the US. We have a crazy person in the White House and he's appointing awful rat bastards to important jobs that can affect us all. He's treading all over rights and people, and ignoring or sidestepping the Constitution. This is really happening, and I'm nearly as horrified on the inside as Rosemary when she screams that. On the outside I'm an old fat white bitch in a wheelchair with one raised eyebrow.

Yes, it can happen here. The question is, what should we be doing right now?

And to chase some nerves off, and bring back a smile- via CarrieBoo:


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just Holy Shit

Well. Here we are, countless Executive (un-democratic) Orders later. I want to shove every single thing the Neocons made a huge deal about in Obama's 8 years down their throats and then cram everything Trump has already done behind it. It's getting hard to tolerate my Trump voter friends, as they show their ignorance 24/7. One, a guy I've known, laughed, and grieved with for years, claimed they were wearing vagina hats at the DC Women's March, and said, "is this what our nation's come to?" I lol'd and explained the reality- they were pink hats with  cat ears- "pussy hats, get it?" Then I said I guess he didn't watch it, in hopes of driving home the point that he believes what he hears and wants to hear. I'm afraid I've lost that friend.

These are heavy damn times. Today a friend came over to watch a dvd set of the '76-'77 year of Saturday Night Live I just bought. The originals, the Not Ready For Prime Time Players. What happens? the DVD player dies. A micro of the macro. Nothing can be counted as safe or sure now. We have a dangerous, flippant businessman in the White House. Though I still can't seem to accept that in my brain, it's true. The Donald, that sonofabitchbastard NYC 70s real estate chiseler, is in The Chair. Jesus H. Christ we're fucked.

Thank you, DNC. I hate you more than ever.

I have no ideas. In the past I've found that when you get past the place of no ideas, good ideas and actions happen. But you can't hurry the place of no ideas being over, it just has to happen on its own. So here I am, in the no idea place. I hate waiting. 

It's also frustrating to understand the ignorance of the righties. I was raised a Republican, my Uncle knew Barry Goldwater and my Nana was called "the Republican BattleAxe" by the Brooklyn Eagle. The Republican party was different then. For a bit on Nana, here:
I Miss Nana
The left isn't left anymore and the right is beyond right now.
Maybe I won't live to see the pendulum make it back to where I like it, gently swaying from one side to the other, with reasonable people recognising not everyone is just like them, and they're not perfect anyway...
This is another fine mess.

Friday, January 20, 2017

D-Day 2017

The Donald becomes President today. I can't watch it. As a former New Yorker, I can hardly believe it. Here's a good summation of the whole dreadful thing:
Today in Proto-fascism

I'm taking my new Shirley Jackson book and retiring for the day.
Work for justice, keep your eyes on the prize.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Feelin' Alright (uh huh)

Taking a cue from Geo., and being determined to get over this funk I've been in with the avalanche of bad that was 2016, I'm looking for the sunny side. So I'm actively making myself happy. Which means that I've carefully sliced and caramelized an onion and deglazed the pan with red wine. This produces an aroma that soothes me. It's why I always wanted to work the saute station.

Beest was at the vet today to get the bubble on her head taken off. But behold, she has hyperthyroidism. So no anaesthesia til that's under control because her heart rate is too high. To get that fixed she goes on an expensive new diet, though it's cheaper thru him than via Amazon. With the diet she won't need meds.
He clipped her nails (she bit him), he cleaned her ears (she bit him), he gave her an antibiotic shot (they had her wrassled by then). Good thing he's used to being bit, too.
In 45 days we'll see if the thyroid is normal, then deal with the bubble on her head. It isn't too awful. He said she may become a sweet cat once the thyroid is controlled. I'll believe that when I see it.

I left Fecebook. Maybe forever. We'll see. I'm already happier without it.

Other good things;
I must, somehow, have these

I love this!

And thanks, Obama, really. Thank you. A small bit of justice keeps hope alive. Maybe the trend of rewarding liars and punishing truthtellers is ending.

It's a picturesque Vermont Winter. Dark trees against the white ground and a sky the color of old linen trousers. Beest sleeps on my bed.  All is well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dig It Up and Bury It

I gotta get something off my chest and hopefully soon afterward I can get back to the funny.

In 1989 I went to my first arthritis specialist. He told me to stop running and recommended drugs. My GP prescribed Meclomen, and for a few years I carried on as usual except for not running. But I began piling on weight, and was yo-yo dieting. Then Ian left NYC and I didn't have insurance anymore. When I moved to Vermont in '95 I literally couldn't afford to eat, so I slimmed down, and between the physical labor I did and slimming down, I was ok for a few more years.

In 2004 I was told I'd need a Total Hip Replacement. But, the surgeon said, nobody would do it til I was around 60 years old because of the need to replace the replacement every 12-15 years. No insurance company, even Medicaid, would ok it, she said.  I was then 45. After several-too-many cortisone shots in that hip, she said there was nothing more she could do for me. I then went to 3 other surgeons, 2 local and 1 an hour and a half away, in the next 2 years. The one that was hardest to get to was the only one who showed an interest. Not having a car and nobody to depend on for transit, that idea fell through. So no THR. He has since moved away.

In 2007 I could no longer work, and quit.  Thus began my disability. By the end of that year I could get around on a walker, but doing housework, shopping, laundry... that was all very difficult. The pain was still new then, and frightening. My doc gave me opioids- oxycodone and Fentanyl- and Cymbalta for the nerve pain. Now I was a zombie as well as a gimp. That went on for 4 years. I quit the Cymbalta first, and a few months later went cold turkey off the opioids. It's nearly 6 years since I quit prescription painkillers. I've gotten used to pain, and just deal with it now. I'd rather have the pain and keep my brain. Or what's left of it.

But conditions untreated tend to grow worse, and now I'm in a wheelchair most of the time. I've put on a lot of weight due to inactivity over the last 12 years, which doesn't help at all.

I can't help but recognize that had I gotten that THR 10 years ago I'd still be working. I'd also be a union member, as that place unionized 5 years after I left. And I'd worked so hard organizing for the last 2 years I was working there. It's the salt in the wound, really.

As whatever it is that I have keeps adding new features, I have to keep reinventing myself. Until some doc recognizes what's up with me and knows what to do, I can expect nothing getting better. So when I see my GP (last appointment was cancelled due to a head cold) I'll ask for a referral to Dr. Ditri, mega-brain over at Dartmouth's annex in Keene, NH. He's a physiatrist (a fairly new field that looks at the whole body's systems), and diagnosed me once in 2006. Maybe he'll know what the hell is happening to me now.

So, that's what's been eating at me for the last year or so. What is, what could have been if insurance companies didn't control our healthcare, and what may be.

Now I hope I can lighten up.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Clusterdoc in 2017

It's now officially ridiculous.

Healthcare in the US seems to be what I hear Brits say they fear. Months to get an appointment, denial of healthcare, stressful, demeaning and fairly insane.

Last July, my GP recommended I see a dermo to look at the mole on my nose, recently inherited from my mother. First it had to be a dr that accepts Medicare- not as easy at it sounds. Then the moving threats, deaths, real move, and holidays happened. I was finally scheduled to see this Dr. Rebecca Jones today, 6 months later. In the meanwhile, mysterious blisters had been breaking out on my hand and arm (the right, with the thumb that's now on strike) which I thought she ought to see. I told them I need accessibility, they assured me they were accessible, they have a ramp. So I went thru the maze of getting funding for help to get there, Gal Friday rearranged her schedule, and all was set.

Today I got up after little sleep, showered, got ready, planned how to get out of here and back via wheelchair (and walker if the path was too steep), etc. A lot of aforethought has to happen when you're on wheels. Gal Friday helps me out to her car, we drive downtown, park in the patient parking, transfer, push and pull over the ice humps, down the broken sidewalk to the far side of the office entrance. There, the ramp starts in mud. It's a rickety wooden-slat ramp, with one handrail on the building side and nothing on the open-drop-to-the-sidewalk side. Up we go, to a small wooden platform, too small to turn any wheelchair around on. The wide door opens out. And there's a cement block, around which is a 2" gap between it and where the wooden platform surrounds it. Just wide enough to swallow any wheel. But that's nothing compared to when we got the door open and saw a step up. Yes, a step. About 6" high, with no handgrips, no way to turn a wheelchair to even face it, and obviously not accessible by any stretch of any imagination.

Gal Friday went in and told them we couldn't get in. An office flunkie came out to the door, chewing gum open-mouthed, stood there a minute, didn't apologize when I told her I was told it was accessible, shrugged her shoulders, said the snowplow had hit the ramp, and we left, backing carefully backwards down the ramp. I got a sliver in my arm from the one handrail. We came home. No dermo was seen today.

About 3 hours later I was in the bathroom when the phone rang. I came to the desk to play the message. It was Dr. Jones' office, saying they understood I "had a problem with the ramp". If I wanted, I could make an appointment with her at her Whately, Massachusetts office- some hour's drive away- where "there is no ramp". Wow. Just wow.

So if you ever hear bullshit about what great quality healthcare we have in the US, remember this story. We have for-profit healthcare, and it sucks.