Morning mourning

Hello and good morning. World, how are you? Today is September 9, 2022, and you made it to see another day. The last few weeks of this Coachella Valley summer have been quiet, for Hubby and me. Mostly, we have stayed inside, close to the air conditioner and fans. The heat and humidity make being outside uncomfortable. However, cooler weather and rain are in the forecast for this part of Southern California. News reports indicate that here in Palm Desert, we may get a whole inch of rain! Although it will be welcome, we are in the midst of a super draught, some areas are bracing for it and the threats of floods. Also, right now, Hemet is on fire so please rain, hurry! Nothing is ever perfect, right? At this moment, it is 2:02 AM and 90 degrees F humidity is 46%. You can feel it.

Do you see that? 80% chance of showers!!! Really, though, I have been disappointed before by Apple Weather…

Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II passed away, peacefully at the age of 96. The world is mourning. For me and many others, we knew no world without a Queen of England, until yesterday. My sincerest condolences to the to all that are mourning this morning. In the last 24 hours, I have learned more about her and have seen photos that I and millions have never seen as she was a very private person. She had a quite a smile, that is for sure.

This song feels like today.

In the past few weeks, the big cheese has maintained his hold on the media. Will he ever go away? Maybe with all the coverage of the death of the Queen, he can quietly slip into a media free blackhole? Also, in the news was President Biden, bestowing a gift on a majority of Americans, he forgave up to 20k in student loans. This is a good thing people, really. I have mentioned that I too was a college student, I never graduated, with loans to pay. 20k would have paid off my debt back then. My loans were all paid off in a matter of six years and not because I am financially savvy. In 1998, 6 months after I had finished surgical technology at a vocational college in Glendale, CA, I received my first statement indicating that I could start paying my debt or defer it due to hardship. Well, I deferred and deferred till the bank took matters into their own hands and claimed my entire 4k plus tax rebate in 2000 and again every two years till my debt was paid off in 2006. I never worked as a CST, ever. I scrubbed in for one pterygium removal, did the set up and as soon as the Doctor made the first incision into that patients eyeball, I fainted. Another one of my “not-so-shiny” moments in my life. Anyhow, if my debt had been paid off, it would have been a gift. it would have meant that I could have caught up on bills and had more money back then. Being in debt and knowing that the IRS can retrieve the debt at any time is a burden that is too heavy for many. I know, I have been there. I wrote a short story, just after that first time I paid H and R Block $300 to get a rapid refund, only to get a certified letter the following week indicating that I was not going to be getting a refund and that it would be paying my student loan. The short story was titled, Death, by peanut butter sandwich. It was a short story detailing one hour in the life of a single mother, saddled with debt and loneliness. She had been told her whole life that peanut butter could kill her since it made her throat and tongue itchy and her eyes and nose run. She writes out a letter to her kids and ex-husband, then makes a peanut butter sandwich. She enjoyed it and all it’s gooey goodness only to realize after reliving moments in her life as her throat became itchy and her tongue blistered, that she would not perish but had a story to write. I will have to find that one somewhere and post it. The story came to me because I too had a brief moment of “my kids would be better off without me…” knowing that I had a decent life insurance policy that I was purchasing through a payroll deduction. So, please, for all of you boohooing because you too worked hard and paid off your loans, please stop and look at the bigger picture, American citizens will have more money to spend on goods and services instead of student debt. Think of all the lives to be saved with this one act that Biden did. This act will save lives in more ways than any one person can think of. In my opinion, a win-win, for all.

Jenny sits in front of the portable AC to keep cool.

Our pets are all doing so much better. Tacobelle’s fur is growing back, and Jenny is not limping. Oh, I did get ringworm and am happy to report that the two spots are clearing up. Tacobelle likes to rub my temples with the side of her head, and she also likes to sleep, curled up in the small of my back when I sleep at night. So, I got ring worm on my temple and one just near my scar. We are healing nicely…laughing. Again, where do I go to get hair ball medication for humans?

As I have mentioned, in many and most posts, I had a laminectomy in 2019. L-4 and L-5 were removed after an MRI confirmed that I was experiencing the effects of Cauda Equina Syndrome. During the end of summer, when our area starts experiencing high temperatures along with humidity, my body always has the same reaction, pain and swelling. I thought I could get ahead of it by working out daily, fat chance. The past two weeks have been the most painful I have experienced in the last two years. One of the conditions that I experience is urine and fecal retention. I am not doctor or scientist but what I have observed is that my muscles spasm, and do not let go until my body is relaxed. No number of laxatives, fluids and yada yada has helped. I know that I can take gabapentin as it is supposed to ease spasms, but I still refuse. The only thing that has helped is regular exercise and doing things that make me happy so that my whole body is relaxed. So lately, I have been sitting in my easy chair with my feet up sketching pictures, medicating, and going through SD cards and looking at past photos that I have taken. Some pics are from photo shoots, and some are from our Sunday drives around the Coachella Valley.

This was my first- time visiting Joshua Tree National Park in 2015.
This was at a wedding in 2019.
2016 and my first time seeing the Grand Canyon.

The photos above are a few of the ones that I have selected and placed in a folder to print. There are many of my grandchildren and kids and the pets. There are thousands of photos that were taken from the passenger seat during our road trips.

Looking at all of these photos was the perfect distraction from the pain signals my body has been sending out. I have about forty SD cards full of memories and such. I have revisited weddings and birthday parties, beaches and concerts. I picked out the SD card shown below. The photos on this disc have photos of Hubby playing with the Ghosts of Kelso, a practice photo shoot of my friend Angel and the first photo shoot that I did with model Analiesse. When I shot the photos, I had hopes of using them for my portfolio. I guess I still could. Anyhow, I have used these shoots for practice in editing and learning how to navigate Photo Shop. I pull out this card every now and then to see if it speaks to me. Well, it whispered and then shouted. So, I found a few photos that piqued my interest and tried to recreate them by making sketches of them. Here are the photos along with their interpretations.

This is one of three shots that look similar. I took parts from each of those photos to create the sketch. Modeling is my friend Angel in my backyard in 2017.

The cooler weather of Season is coming soon, and I am looking forward to finishing a few of the paintings that I had started at the beginning summer. Also, I am looking forward to taking more road trips around the valley. We took a short trip to Palm Springs a few days ago and although we were in an air-conditioned car, you could still feel the heat from the sun coming through the roof of the car and the windows. I was miserable. We did drive by the Marilyn Monroe exhibit, and I noticed cement blocks brightly painted. I asked Hubby to stop.

The graffiti park is located across from the Marilyn Monroe statue. If it weren’t 100 degrees at that moment, I might have walked over to it with Hubby and taken a few photos. Instead, I used zoom on my camera and snapped away.

Time to get on with on with my day. I just stepped outside and was surprised by the cool morning air and overhead clouds. I just checked Apple weather and it appears the 107-degree high that was predicted will not be happening…Goody, goody!!!! Getting excited as I have ideas to try out during the storm, you know, like taking a few photos or video.

I started this post around 2 AM this morning and since then our chances of rain have increased!

Thank you, dear reader, wherever in the world you may be, for visiting. May you have a peaceful day and arrive to wherever you may be going, do get there safely. Hugs to you and you and especially.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanooki says:

    Ah I have several SD cards holding tons of photos too! It’s good to check old photos that takes old days❤️ I still haven’t set on my foot to Joshua Tree but heard it’s so beautiful! Thank you, your post reminded me of checking up the bucket list😍💕✨

    Happy Friday and weekend, hope you get rain☔️🌂🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M. Lee Keena says:

      Yes, it is a good idea to check them. A few of the cards were damaged 😩

      Hope you make it to Joshua Tree someday. It really is quite beautiful.

      We got rain🌧 😁 and we are expecting more today! Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tanooki says:

        Woo that’s great! Hopefully the temperature is also nice and cool(er than ordinal valley climate👍)

        You too, have a wonderful weekend!❤️

        Liked by 2 people

  2. terrie gura says:

    I’ve been so concerned about your weather. It’s tough to get so much rain when the ground is too dry to receive it. Hope the weekend wasn’t rough for you guys.

    Love your sketches, and I thought it funny that your SD cards fit PERFECTLY in that little pill keeper!

    Something occurred to me that might help Jenny keep her cool. We took Nilla to a dog bar last weekend; it was an off-leash place for dogs to romp and run and their “parents” to enjoy a drink or two. I saw lots of dogs standing in the water bowl, and one of the trainers there said it’s how dogs cool themselves. Their feet take in the cool of the water and it helps them regulate their overall body temperature. I had never heard that before!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M. Lee Keena says:

      Our area actually did okay. The news only reported a few street closures. It sure was nice to have the rain, hoping for a bit more.

      A dog bar? How fun for Nilla, getting to socialize at the water bowl with other doggies 🙂 Jenny would love that! I have never heard that about dogs cooling themselves by standing in water. Jenny is a little standoffish around water, unless it is at the beach. We bought her a pool a few years ago and she did not like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. terrie gura says:

        Aw, Nilla is the same about water. She actually did not enjoy the dog bar. Most of the other pooches were young and VERY lively. She kept looking for a door out of there, so we chugged our beers and left. A few years ago, she would have loved it, but she’s almost 14 and apparently doesn’t feel like babysitting. 😉


      2. M. Lee Keena says:

        I’m with Nilla! Sometimes I too do not like to be out with people and noises. Give me a nice, quiet park or comfy spot at home, any day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. rkrontheroad says:

    Thanks for sharing your student loan story. I know many people who have struggled to pay theirs. The drawings are great – I like the California Stars one best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M. Lee Keena says:

      Hi Ruth, I used to be embarrassed because I never finished college and had that loan. Now I know that I am not alone as I received a few private messages about others that struggled and made it through. Thank you for the compliment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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