Tuesday, August 23, 2016

RIP Winnie Bannigan - Thank you podiatrist Bruce Bruskoff - Poem: Thank you Dr B

Winnie gave me this philodendron when she moved out of Moreland Towers. It's weeping now since Winnie died this morning of cancer.

Winnie in hospice at her sister Tony's house in Glenside.

Her niece Michelle, an RN, called me.  Michelle had called me yesterday and said Winnie was holding her own.

I guess that was a warning.

I visited her a couple of times at her sister's house in Glenside, PA, where they held hospice.

Michelle said the hospice workers from Abington hospital were terrific. She was never left alone for one second. Read more about her on my blog. Here's another blog entry from her last home at Moreland Towers.

Z blog knows all.

Scott drove me to the podiatrist for my 1 pm appt. Got there early to fill out paperwork. Bruce Bruskoff and his staff are courteous, efficient, kind and have an X-Ray machine there. You simply hobble over in plastic booties.

I have anudder appt in four weeks. You should read what's on the bottom of the appt sheet... it's a big sheet, not a tiny card.

We enjoyed serving you and hope to bring you Happy, Healthy Feet.

I compare everything to how we make people feel in New Directions. Oh, I hope Char checked the phones today. 

 What a chair! Like a dental chair. Hello Dr Joe!
 Plastic foot.

 This little piggy .... actually it's a stress fracture. My sister Ellen, a superb researcher sent me a Mayo Clinic link. Who has time to look?

 Tiny crack on leftmost bone.... little toe.
 Dr B.... I forgot I had my close-up button on. Brain befuddled by foot pain.
 Dr B cut my nails and this woman polished them. People w diabetes should get em professionally cut. 

26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet.); 33 joints; more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments (Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones and ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.).

My great friends Freda and Bernie Samuels recommended Bruskoff to me. Look! I finally spelled Bruskoff right.

Finished off the last of the fresh tomato soup for now. Lots more tomatoes awaiting. Scott or me might try making our own tomato sauce for our homemade pizzas.

My daughter and kidney donor Sarah Deming got her first story published in the NY Times. Read it here.

Good comments, you can read on the upper right of the story.

Many folks say boxing is a brutal sport. It doesn't have to be, though. There are mismatched boxers and sometimes the referee doesn't call the game soon enuf.

Many of the kids at Atlas Boxing Gym learn self-esteem for the first time in their lives.

Scott said Sports taught him self esteem.

In his neighborhood, he was put down bc he was a Jew and short and had big ears. Softball, street hockey and other sports made him feel good about himself.

Have brewed breakfast blend coffee and will go to my upstairs computer to finish - hopefully - my Intelligencer story on Aging.

I called Mildred C - view yesterday's blog - and told her I wouldn't be swimming in her pool anymore due to my Boot.

Me blog isn't complete w/o a poem. Hold on. It's 7:33 pm now. Poem done at 7:51 pm.

Rem Murphy from my writing group said he'd put my foot on his Prayer List.

Thank you so much, Rem!


They all wear blue in the office
Every single doctor, nurse, aide,
secretary, certified X-Ray technician
and the walls, too,
are blue.

I am small, not even five feet,
and my left foot throbs with pain
The questionaire asks to describe
the pain, check it off

Stabbing throbbing tingling.

I am that soldier in the
Afghan, whose foot has been
shattered by an explostive
I lie in the mud, sobbing
softly, heaving, foot's
still attached, take it
off for godssakes
I can't stand the pain.

Doctor Doolittle, make me well! Poem: Swimming with Mildred - To My Friends at Symphony Manor

At 12 noon today Scott and I will drive to my new podiatrist.... Bruce something... recommended by Freda and Bernie.

Hope is in the air.

Yesterday was the third time I worked at my new gig at the Symphony Manor where I run a group called Now and Then. Coincidentally, my late father started The Now and Then Shop in New Hope. It's where I met - and finally divorced - my late husband Mike.

Someone at SM asked me why I divorced him.

B/c he was mean to me, I said.

Image result for symphony manor feastervilleu

So yesterday I set out for SM. My direx clearly say, Turn Right on Terwood and continue to Welsh.

What do I do?

Turn Left on Terwood and keep looking for Welsh Road.

Could my mind be befuddled from foot pain?

Whatever, I arrive there on time.

My group really likes me. Wrote a poem for them. Had a woman read it aloud and then I read it aloud making sure everyone could hear it.

This one Polish guy is crazy about me. Every time he sees me, he asks, Are you Polish?

No, I say, I'm Jewish but I love you anyway.

Told him I had a Polish BF

Image result for simon baniewicz   What a character Simon was!

Took me five yrs to remember how to spell his name and then I asked him to leave.

One of the things we talked about at my group yesterday was feet.

I make em think!  What's a foot doctor called, I asked. Some knew, some didn't. Look, you don't talk about something for a while and you can't remember.

I hobbled around and joked, Dyou feel sorry for me?  They laffed.

This morning I was emailing my friend Ed and I couldn't remember the name of Atul Gawande, the surgeon and writer for the New Yawker.

I told him I wanted to be a doctor when I was in the fourth grade. You'll be a good doctor, Ruth, said Mrs Hess, my teacher at Mercer Elementary. She moved that year to Scarsdale, NY. White haired, like I am now.

Chilly outside today. Ate my b'fast on the front step. Suddenly a female hummingbird came to the feeder which Scott had just filled with fresh sugar water.

She remembered us from last year. Can't post a picture as the last time I did so - 10 minutes ago - I had to write the post all over again.

Click here for fascinating info on the hummers.

Am writing an article on Aging for the Intell. Nearly done but I need permish to write about Mildred. Finally tracked her down to the swimming pool at her high-rise apartment bldg, which now has children.

Mildred is in our Upper Moreland Book Club. Nearby every day she meets with her friends at the pool and either swims or chats.


She grows tomatoes on the
balcony of the high-rise
just like my Walter did

We sat with her wonderful
friends in small chairs
or lounge chairs that
rested our over-65 feet

Come on in, Ruth, said
Elizabeth, who was clinging
to a "noodle" her legs
finely lined like
strands of tender

At least she has a
husband, I thought
I'd surprised myself
thinking of Walter
"the disappeared" as
I drove up, tears
stinging my eyes

Going slowly down
the watery staircase
legs acclimating
to the cold, I
watched Elizabeth
watching me
and took the plunge.

Walter and I poolside a couple of years ago before he disappeared.


Is it my imagination or is this
a palace meant for kings and queens?

We all were once young,
We loved, we laughed, we danced
we swam in the ocean at the

Now it's time to rest. To relax
to sit in an automatic wheelchair
it looks fun! I'd like to try
it sometime.

Monday is the day I visit. I drive
from Willow Grove, once the place
of the great amusement park, where
we screamed on the roller coasters
and ate pink cotton candy smooth
as whispers of love

Today is a new day, a gift from
The Almighty. We remember the past
and give thanks for the remaining
days of our lives. We all have
meaning and purpose. Hallelujah!

And now.... off to my upstairs computer to work on the Aging story.

Remember, we leave at 12 noon for the new doc.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Writer's Group - Linda - Rem - Beatriz - and moi with my Airstream story - Ode to a Painful Foot

Image result for matthew arnold We stretched out in B's condo and talked about many things.

Including Matthew Arnold, whose Dover Beach0 is one of my favorite poems. Very short. And set to music by Samuel Barber.

Found a recording of this most melancholy of songs by Dietrich Fischer D


Let's see if it works. I'd like YOU to hear it. If not click here.

The left is my bad foot. My sister Ellen was sposed to bring me a cane but she's always late, so I had to hobble out of the house, wearing my big fat diabetes sox. Then Beatriz gave me one of her two canes. It's definitely helpful. I'll use it on Monday when I go run a group at SM.


Ah, lovely five-toed nymph
who bounds within forest green
which god is angry at you
bringing down the most
horrid pain, wanting to
hear you scream?

Scream I shall never
though foot tries to
escape itself, tiny arrows
plunking the upper, the
lower, the inner

See that yonder stream ahead
where Narcissus met his doom?
I circle around it, fancying
the cool waters and dancing
fishes drowning out my pain. 

Linda's short story GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER is ready to submit to Twisted Sister.

At the last minute, Martha wrote and said she wasn't feeling well after having a great b'fast at the Hatboro Dish, one of my fave Hatboro 'diner' type foods.

B/c I had taken so much Tylenol for my bad foot I told the group I might doze off when they read.

Sure enuf, that's just what I did when Rem was reading "CHAPTER 45 .... I GOT STONED AND I MISSED IT."

The above is a song Rem likes as recorded by Jim Stafford.

Dyou miss getting stoned? Oh, you still have a toke or two a week?

Rem shared a lot of his knowledge of literature. He's got a master's in English from Temple, I believe.

Lotsa good lines in the story. Our hero and his friend smoked so much weed they locked their keys in the car. Oh, we can walk, they said. Lansdale is not too far away from Roslyn. Two hours tops.

It was already 1 am.  Got worse as they walked as it began to sleet. Remarkably, they got home by 4 am.

His continuing saga is always funny, but this was really hilarious.0

There's a religious website PGM.org in Chicago. His late wife Valerie was mentally ill and very talented and the two of them wrote a segment that was broadcast in 2002.

We all listened to it through B's speakers. The radio station had been in biz some 38 years and this was the first time they addressed mental illness.

Actors spoke the parts. The website doesn't work.

Image result for love in the time of cholera movie  Rem was discussing the magical realism films - made from novels - of the 80s and 90s from South American writers such as Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I'm gonna check out the film he mentioned. My library website, tho, is blocked due to an 'insecure' connection.

Well, I AM a bit insecure with my bad foot.

He gave us a copy of Matthew Arnold's Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse.  What a title!

Ever heard of poet Anthony Hecht? Me neither. But he wrote a poem he wanted us to read. Hecht lived from 1923-2004.

All I can say is I hope Tony Hecht had a better death than those in Unshackled.

Death is also a frequent - and laffable - topic in a film I just finished on Netflix.

Image result for tallulah film  Ellen Page, who starred in "JUNO" played a woman who stole a child. In a way she had to do it.

I only had 45 minutes to begin my short story Tales we Told on the Airstream, tentative title.

  A station wagon is toting it along. This is in my neighborhood.

A year or so ago, a psychiatrist was disgraced by fondling his young patients.

I wrote a story about it called Seven Lean Years.

Twisted Sister said they loved it. Thank you so much, Ursula.

Read it here.

Image result for clinton correctional facility   When I was working on the story I called the prison and asked what color uniforms they wore.

I recently went on their website. They've been having a bit of trouble there, but you know what?

Let's not worry about it.

We all thanked Beatriz for hosting us.

And gave her

a big hug goodbye!   Cute haircut, B.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Red Couch - Postcard for Scott - Poem: The Cheese Omelet of Jackson Pollock

Next-door boyfriend Scott got my thank-you postcard yesterday. Took two days to get next door.

You're all familiar with my red couch - there's two of em - from Gamburg's in Hatboro, PA.

Many a therapy client has sat there.

I mentioned the Red Couch when I was talking to fellow therapist Judy D last night who lives in Niwot, CO, where all the women wear dangling earrings and have cats.

Oh, she said, when Hunter died he was on his red couch and fell off. His daughter found him dead on the floor.

What? I said. Hunter died?

She'd never told me.

This is what happens in long-distance relationships.

And this is what happens with the aging foot

Truthfully?  It feels like it's gonna explode. The left foot. Very painful to walk on. Will have to write an Ode to Painful Foot.

My daughter Sarah told me to read a book on hemorrhoids by a crime fiction writer. It was to teach me how to write about pain and have others feel your pain.

Well, just imagine your own foot is filled with tiny pebbles that will explode in 20 minutes, which is when you're gonna stand up.

Every morning I slip into my newly painted kitchen.

Yesterday - which, by the bye - is the single most recorded song - I sat at upstairs computer 'submitting' to Bella Online.

Gave me the opportunity to write a couple of new non-fictions and a poem about Inspector Morse and Nilla Wafers.

Thing is, I did not know that yesterday was the deadline for the Autumn issue.

My tush was killing me, even tho it has its own insulating material made with adipose tissue.


Pollock's okay
but I much prefer
staring at my
omelet and making
of it a thing of

I will not burden you by
saying what the co-chair
of my master's program
said. All modern art
is psychotic.

Look at the translucent
zucchin! Shining like
the crescent moon.

Or the scissors-cut-up
baby spinach stiched inside
like a patchwork quilt

Nearing the finish
the baby bella shrooms
twinge like a cochlear

The phone rings now
I pretend not to hear it
the last taste in my
mouth is the flavor
of your kiss.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"David in Love" published - Dr Verghese is guest speaker - Poem: Back Porch Roofers -

Image result for police officer I was shocked when Haggard and Halloo wrote to tell me they were publishing David in Love. They reject most of my work.

"Very good," they said and gave me the publishing date. Yesterday.

Read the story here.

One guy named Wally Ballew comments on it saying I don't normally read stories like this but was hooked.

Got the idea from my former client JP who has a love-hate relationship with a girl. Takes place in Bristol PA where I used to work so I know the territory a bit.

Last night I got a phone call from a woman who wants to come to ND. She would not stop talking. She said we have a daytime meeting in Norristown, which we don't have, and I wanted to tell her it's in Willow Grove.

STOP TALKING I said loudly.

My back porch roofers were here on this 91-plus day.

Bob Walmsley gave me a choice of shingle colors and I chose Red.

Postcard for Grace. Had to call my mom to confirm her birthday date - August 16 - and that she's 6. Double click to view.

I'm very sensitive about skin color. I think there's only one dark-skinned child here. But then we do live in a segregated society despite the 1954 Brown v Board of Education of TOPEKA.

Image result for brown v board  Wonderful photos if you goggle B v B.

Dr Cherian Verghese was our guest speaker last nite. He talked about the difficulty of treating bipolar depression. Seroquel and Latuda are good drugs if they work for you. 

A new placebo study will test out an intravenous Ketamine-like solution.

I recommended the test to my friend Ed, who painted my bedroom pink and my hall aqua.

He talked about the liver metabolizing most of our drugs. Are genomic tests helpful, someone asked.

No, he said. I agree, having known people who took the test but the meds were worthless.

Here's some Rio pictures I never posted. Simone Biles and teammate Aly Raisman. 

This is from a documentary. These are taken from the TV in my bedroom

BTW one false move on this laptop and everything is ruined. Due to my keypad.

Was going back n forth on the channels. The RIO commercials were outstanding.

Gonna do two things now. Take an enteric coated aspirin for my bad foot and gonna write a poem for FB.

It's 8 03 am now.

It's 8 14 now.


I'm told that if you drive down south
down in slavery land, you can see the
crushed remains of slave shacks
rotting wood the termites got to
and rooves where the crows fly
right in

I'm a lucky white woman
got a problem or two
like this damn bad foot
that keeps me hobbling

Today Bob and his roofers
came out to the house
them insurance people
told me I gotta get a
new back porch roof

Don't tell me what to do
motherfuckers, but I does
it anyway or they's not
gonna insure me no more

Nice men. Sweating. Drinking
water they keep in my freezer.
One guy's got purple Gatorade
like the athlete's drink.

I buy them some watermelon
four red hunks as I finish
up The Red Pony on my audio

It poured last night in the
wee wee hours. Ever heard the
rain coming down on a new
back porch roof?

And a red roof at that.
Ain't like no sound you
ever done heard.