A MOVIE LOVER’S FAVORITES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PANDEMIC #13: Babette’s Feast

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A Movie Lover’s Favorites to help you through the pandemic #13: Babette’s Feast (1987). This movie won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. If you like cooking shows you’ll love this lyrical movie. It contains one of my favorite cinematic lines: “An Artist is never poor. “ Slowly sip a good glass of wine and enjoy.image-25-e1476259222357

A MOVIE LOVER’S FAVORITES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PANDEMIC #10: Shaft

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A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #10: Shaft (1971). I saw it with my family when I was eleven. What was Dad thinking? (We all had a great time.) The movie has one of the best opening sequences ever filmed and was wildly innovation its day. Theme from Shaft won Isaac Hays a well deserved Oscar. The movie is a standout of the Blaxploitation movement. It’s a little dated, but who cares? “Who is the man who would risk his life for his brother man” still resonates. Watch it on Pay-per-view and feel the groove.

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Frugality Gone Too Far (implementing small updates)

Early this year I realized I’d let my natural frugality go too far, and I needed to replace more than a dozen items in my house. I replaced a pocket calculator that had numbers I could barely see, a light bulb that was too dim, all of the old pillows on my couch, and numerous other old or worn items. None of the new items were expensive. I doubt I spent $200.00 total. But the numerous small home improvements made my life easier by removing small irritants. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but I now feel more relaxed at home. Sometimes it’s good to take stock of our daily habits and environment and assess room for improvement. Small changes can have a big impact.money-79657__480

For New Tech Challenges, Hire a Millennial

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When overwhelmed by tech problems, I hire a millennial. Instead of trying to install my back-up hard drive, I employed a friend’s grandson to do it for me. When I couldn’t master the basics of Instagram, I paid my thirty-year-old hairdresser for her time and assistance. I was born when Eisenhower was president. I’m very comfortable with computers and use a handful of programs continuously throughout my workday. But I’m often challenged when I have to learn the mechanics of a new program or app. Hiring a millennial for assistance is a nice way to get some extra cash into the hands of a young person, and they always know how to help.

ENJOYING THE HOLIDAYS WHILE CHRONICALLY Ill

Readers, I stumbled across this unpublished article I wrote about the holidays. I know it’s  late in the season for this post, but I’d thought I’d share anyway in the hopes that a reader finds something in it helpful.

My guiding principles during the holidays are simplify, prepare, and prioritize. When we live with chronic illness the holidays can be especially stressful, but that stress can be reduced if we’re thoughtful about how we manage our time and energy.

I love a beautifully wrapped gift as much as the next person. But during the holidays, with multiple presents to prepare, I roll my gifts in tissue paper, put them in a gift bag, and call it a day. As long as the gifts look festive, no one cares if they’re wrapped or bagged. This helps me conserve my energy.

I begin my shopping in October. During the year I gather numerous presents that I’ve saved for the holidays. I take stock of my gift stash, assess who still needs a gift, and search the Internet for ideas. I pop into my favorite bargain store in October to stock up on inexpensive gift bags and boxes, and buy more than I’ll require, so I’ll be prepared for the unexpected. If I need to visit a mall during the holidays, I go as soon as the stores open, and I’m usually able to avoid the worst of the holiday crush and find a parking space.

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If someone is too ill to shop in stores, there’s no shame in doing all of the holiday shopping on the Internet. The first year after Christopher Reeve’s riding accident, which left him a quadriplegic in 1995, he and his wife, Dana, did all of their holiday shopping through catalogs. (This was before people shopped on line.) No one would have blamed them if they’d skipped giving gifts that year. But they found a way to holiday shop, working around the actor’s extreme limitations. We can figure out how to work within our limitations too.

Many people like to make homemade gifts or bake during the holidays. I’m usually not up for a bake-a-thon, but still want some of my gifts to have a personal touch. I scout the weekly ads at my local markets and buy bulk candy when it’s on sale. Then I’ll purchase as much as ten pounds of a treat like chocolate covered almonds, and give them in holiday boxes or tins. These gifts are great for the office or an unexpected party.

None of my loved ones ever goes without a holiday gift from me. But I simplify the process as much as possible by preparing early, and being organized. I let go of small touches so I can save my energy for what’s important, which staying as healthy as possible while having happy times with my friends and family.

SIMPLE TIPS:

Make a plan

Shop early

Cut corners where possible

On-line shopping is your best friend

Buying store bought food is OK

 

 

 

Life as Charades: Sounds Like . . .

My hearing is fine, but the way my brain processes sound is not. I have an auditory processing disorder. I clearly hear things that I shouldn’t, like the small beeping noise in the far corner of a room. Except I hear the beeping as if I’m wearing headphones with the volume on high. I call this my supersonic dog hearing.

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Under certain other circumstances, I don’t hear things other people can hear well. I can’t hear anything but cacophony, for example, if two people are talking at once. When I don’t understand what’s being said, I try to figure out what the sounds I’m hearing are like. It’s as if I’m in a perpetual game of charades, but with indistinguishable vocals. Sometime this method works, and I can figure out what someone said. Other times I have to admit that because of the background noise or multiple speakers, I can’t hear, and I have to ask people to repeat themselves. I feel bad about doing this, but in order to live in the world, sometimes I have to request tolerance and kindness from others. This is simply life. I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted it.

The Growler


I have a special fondness for the meanest dog in my apartment building. She’s a little gray thing and looks like a shaved Shih Tzu. However, she growls if I get near her. If I find myself on the elevator with this dog and her owners, I make a point to stand far away from them. At first her owners seemed embarrassed by her behavior. They assured me they were trying to socialize her. I’ve learned over time that this dog was found wandering alone in a canyon, starving. I’ve told her owners how much I admire them for adopting her. Dogs that snarl and growl are often euthanized in shelters because they’re considered unadoptable. I feel sad about the Growler’s previous life, but happy that two loving people took her in. It’s not her fault she was neglected and learned to fear people. I know, despite her growling, that she’s still a good dog. pet-2530265__480

 

Adaptive Solution 2

When I lived in Boston in my thirties, I had a colleague who suffered from intermittent sinus infections. In warmer months, she would recover from these illnesses by going to Cape Cod and lying on a beach. She explained that she knew she wouldn’t be able to work and would need to spend her days resting. She told me she might as well rest in a beautiful place instead of at home, staring at her own four walls. She would sleep and read on the beach until she felt better. She was a social worker like me and seemed to be able to handle the expense of weeklong hotel stays. I thought this was a great idea, and I may someday try it myself.

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