What’s up?

My mood.

The sky.

Treetops.

The ceiling.

Me. I get out of bed in the morning with only the usual amount of good natured complaining about the necessity of the existence of 5:30am.

My creativity level.

The temperature, intermittently.

The level of anticipation of what is going to happen at work now that they have hired a manager for the new application support team.

My level of post-op healing. If anyone has ever had a better recovery, I can’t even imagine. I feel great, am losing weight, walking a lot, enjoying my time with 13, and have nary a surgical complaint. My surgeon wishes he could have me talk to his other patients because I am apparently the poster child of doing great after surgery, and had a realistic idea about what having surgery feels like.

My weight is down, which means it is a net up.

So what about lifestyle changes?

Yeah. Getting used to how to eat is a challenge, but it’s supposed to be. It’s weird to only be able to eat a few bites before being full. It’s weird not being able to guzzle 16 ounces of water at a time. Not bad, just different. I have to make sure I always have water with me, and something small to eat. Compared to most people, I am breezing through it, and have only run into one food that disagrees with me vehemently. No more ham for a while. I’m getting enough fluid and protein, and have a normal level of energy. Maybe a little more than before surgery. My skin looks great, probably because of all the water. I still can’t do much in the way of abdominal-focused exercise, but the surgeon says I can do whatever I want as long as I stop if it hurts.

It’s really odd to never be hungry. Apparently that will wear off.

It hasn’t really been hard to go out to pubs with 13. I thought it might be. He has beer, I have water or iced tea. He has pub food, I have nothing or maybe some soup. I smell his beer and don’t miss not having one myself much. It would probably take me 3 hours to drink a pint at this point. I can start eating fairly normal food now, so I would guess I’ll generally find something appropriate on any menu. 13 is not a big eater, so we can split things.

Stats? Isn’t that like asking me my age? Oh, right. I have no trouble telling anyone that I’m 54. Maybe because it always results in “but I thought you were in your early 40’s” and it satisfies my vanity. Anyway. Yeah. I’m losing weight. Over 38 pounds since Thanksgiving, 18 pounds since my surgery on 6/4. My face looks a lot thinner, and only my really old jeans still fit.

Things are good!

Father’s Day

Mother, mother

There’s too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There’s far too many of you dying

You know we’ve got to find a way

To bring some lovin’ here today

–Marvin Gaye

While I have had the gift of not one but two fathers in my life, and still have the world’s best stepfather to look out for me, today I can’t help thinking about other people.

The fathers and mothers who have been separated from their children by our own government or by some other regime’s political or military hell storms. Children forever damaged without any reason but dogma. Religious, social or political whims. To meet a warped  agenda put in place by the ruling class to appease the biases of their followers. Or to attract new followers.

I think of all of the parents who have lost their children to prison or substance abuse. The children who have been abandoned either physically or emotionally by their addicted parents.

I think of the parents of children who have been killed in our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Or the children who lose their parents to that same violence. To the parents of the children guilty of perpetrating those monstrosities.

I think of the parents of military men and women who lose their children in the defense of our country of of their own countries. Or the children who lose their fathers and mothers to that same violence.

Or, the parents and children who lose their loved ones as victims of those same wars.

We are–all of us–children, parents, or both. We all lose people we love in some way. Today, I think of all of my friends and family who have lost either parents or children.

I’m saying this badly, I know. But right now, when babies are being taken away from their mothers who are just trying to cross a border into a better life, when a father was so devastated by the loss of his children that he ended his own life…it’s hard to celebrate a Hallmark holiday.

At the park today, I walked and watched all the happy fathers teaching their kids how to ride bikes. The happy kids yelling “watch me, Daddy” while they did handstands. The tired dads carrying their hot, cranky babies back to the car. It was all wonderful to see. Safe, happy people. Taking care of their families. Making memories.

And it could become an entirely different life in the blink of an eye.

Be good to each other.

Be kind to people who have less than you do.

Show empathy to people who’ve suffered losses.

There is a phrase that’s been mocked. It has become something of a joke. But in times like these, I think of what Rodney King said during the riots sparked by the lack of justice in his court case against the officers who’d beaten him: “..can we all get along? Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”

Can we? Can we all get along? Can we stop killing each other? Can we stop making life worse for each other? There are enough inevitable reasons for sorrow in life without inflicting more of it in the name of, ultimately, having more stuff. Can we work on making things better instead of making poor people’s lives worse?

We should celebrate every day that we have each other, because life is short and fragile. Those of us who have people do love need to make sure they know it.

Now.

Not just on their designated calendar day.

Still. It *is* Father’s Day, so I can’t forget to mention the stepfather I am lucky enough to still have in my life. It isn’t all gloom and doom. We have people here and now who we love!

Larry is the tough guy from Burns who cries at weddings. Who always made sure I had a working flashlight in my car in case of emergencies. Who has been wonderful to my mother, and to both me and my brother. Who has traveled the whole world. Who loves to talk about marijuana growing with my friends even though he doesn’t smoke it himself. Who love the Ducks.  Who makes sure the sprinkler system is perfect. Who talks to cats, and misses his two cats terribly. Who makes sure that I have a safe car to drive. Who loves his family.

We love him back.

Little L wants you to have a Bloody Mary

 

Love is a many splendored thing

You know what? I really want to give you a hockey puck.

–13

Expressions of love are a very personal thing. Some people use flowery language to express their admiration.  Some creative types paint their love, or put it into a song. Giving gifts as a token of esteem is also common–just ask the people at See’s Candy or Hallmark. Or Tiffany. Other people demonstrate love with acts of service like cleaning out the trash bins or taking out the recycling. Cooking is a classic way to show affection. Some people prefer demonstrating love in a more physical way.

Get your minds out of the gutter, people–I’m talking about kissing or hugging.

And yes, the things all of you filthy-minded people thought of also count.

I’ll have to cross-reference that book about Love Languages and maybe check with one of my Minnesota relatives, as hockey pucks have never been part of my experience of the languages of love. Perhaps it is more traditional in the Minnesota lake regions, like canoeing or gathering wild rice.

While a hockey puck may not be a token of love that I have previous experience with, it still made me tear up. Yes, I know that everything makes me cry. Still. I think it is romantic in a very personal and quirky way that my hockey loving guy put a hockey puck under my pillow. I think it’s even more romantic that it’s not a new one. It’s been used. It has some dings in it. It’s like us. It’s not new and shiny, it’s been around and it’s still here.

He also wants to teach me about the things he loves.  Important things like how to ice skate like a hockey player, and how to cross-check without being caught. (I’m not sure he knows that he’s teaching me  how to cross-check yet. He may think I need to know things like how not to fall before letting me have a hockey stick. He is romantic, but also very practical and safety focused.)

If someone takes the time to draw me a diagram of a soccer field and a hockey rink and tell me what the players do and how the two games are similar and different,  it isn’t nerdy–it’s love.

OK, OK. It’s nerdy. Maybe even very nerdy. I like nerdy. It’s also love though.

He may have some work to do on getting me to love soccer…he’s trying though. He enlisted the help of a random stranger in a tap house a few weeks ago. The other day he made me fill out a World Cup bracket. Now he wants us to print out our brackets and put them on the fridge. I threatened to draw little hearts on them. This morning he woke me up and said “I have great news–some random soccer teams you have never heard of are playing tomorrow at 6am!” (I have paraphrased slightly)

I smiled at him and went back to sleep. I still don’t care about soccer, but I will be happy to learn about it if it makes him happy. I will not be getting out of bed to watch though. There are any number of things I will do at 6am, but watching soccer is not one of them. Not even as a token of love.

He also does things like tell the cat how awesome it is to have a girlfriend with a great ass. How can you not love someone who extols your virtues to your cat?

Playing up to my vanity is never a bad idea.

Oh, and the World Cup brackets?

I picked Nigeria to win, and I have no idea if that was a good pick.