Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Holiday Potpourri

Ho Ho Ho!

This is my version of a Christmas letter to those of you who follow us here at the Bellbottom Blog.

First of all, I hope you are all doing well this season.

It has been a little hectic around here.  Hopefully things will calm down a bit.

After being sidetracked with politics followed by my Dad’s health setbacks, I wasn’t sure if I could write the kind of stuff I like to.  I was afraid it would seem too light, frivolous.

Actually, I haven’t really had a problem being snarky on Twitter.  The quick jab is still there.  It is just trying to write something longer that has been a challenge.

For example, I wrote this on Dec. 19 in response to a question about what was going on:  Eagles picked up gun nuts and dropped them over the fiscal cliff. #TwitterHeadlineNews .

Maybe it is just the folks I follow, but it seems two or three stories take hold and that is the conversation for the day.

Now, on Dec. 12 there was a concert for the victims of the hurricane.  It was a great concert. And watching it on Twitter was a blast.

The Rolling Stones. The Who. Paul McCartney. Billy Joel.  Fantastic.

There were a lot of age jokes. Not by me. All of the people I named rocked hard that night. Might have been peer pressure.

I did get into a little Twitspat (if that isn’t a word it should be) over the merits of Pink Floyd.  I have never understood the appeal.  NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.  And I was around for their heyday.  Dark Side Of The Moon is a steaming pile of overblown, pretentious crap.  Don’t even ask me about The Wall.

That was Dec. 12.  Dec. 14 was a different matter.  The school shooting happened and after a short time, the usual arguments flared up with a little more heat than usual.

You know, too many guns vs. not enough guns.  The state of mental health care. Parenting shortfalls.

I am not going over this ground again here.

Too much has been said and not much will change.

I did say in response to the thought that if a teacher had a gun things would have been different:  Most of these gun people would soil themselves in a showdown with an armed assailant. Reality is way different than the movies. (Dec. 15)

As I am writing this, the end of the world is supposed to be happening.  That would be helpful since I am not quite sure how to end this post.  But it is 23 minutes after midnight, so someone will have to come up with a new date for the end of the world.

Ah, I just remembered something I wanted to mention.  One of the loyal followers of this blog is moving from California to Texas. During Christmas week, no less. I can’t say who because I didn’t get permission to mention it from that person first.

When I first heard it, it seemed logical.  I mean the Mayans have let us down but we all know California is going to fall into the ocean some day, so why not move?

Texas has a lot of problems.  Falling into the Gulf of Mexico is not one of them.

The follower seemed a little anxious as anyone would be when faced with moving to a new place.

On the plus side, Texas is the home of some great country music artists.  Willie, Waylon and the boys.  Jerry Jeff Walker.  Austin City Limits on PBS.

Some incredibly beautiful scenery.

Tons of friendly people.


This follower is moving for the best of reasons. To be with the one she loves.  It is a Hallmark movie and we here at the Blog wish her well.

To all of you who have followed us, Merry Christmas!

And as always,





A Hospital And A Family: Update

After some guesswork and a change in medication, my Dad is doing much better.

The official diagnosis is Parkinsons Disease.

You know the one Ali and Michael J. Fox have.  Except his is not the constant shaking version.  The muscles become rigid. A form of dementia occurs.

There is no cure for it.

Just a week or so ago, he wasn’t eating any of the food they brought him at the hospital.  My wife found out there was a menu that we could order from for him. So we switched from mystery meatloaf to simple sandwiches, fruit and drinks that he prefers.  He started eating everything at every meal.

With his improved appetite, he seems to be a little more interested in doing the physical therapy that comes along with the recovery process.  Yesterday, he stood for 4 minutes with token assistance.  That is  nothing short of miraculous considering his health when he was brought there.

BUT, and this is the big hitch, he has different levels of reality now. (I know. Most of us do.) He has the people who come into his room. If they are family, he still knows us.  If they are nurses, most of them are, in his mind, related to a neighbor my parents had years ago.

When the TV is on, he catches the dumb things people say and calls them on it.  So that is good.

The other reality appears when he looks through the large plate glass window at the end of his room. When he looks at that he sees turkeys, horses, women, an old part of town that is miles from where he is.

The truly odd part of that is he will say these unusual things in the same cadence and vernacular as he does the rational things.

One minute he is there, the next ….

Starting Monday his therapy sessions will be doubled. Hopefully, good things will come of that.

We haven’t told him what he has.  The focus is just on the small improvements.

I wanted to thank those of you who sent good thoughts his way.  They have worked so keep sending them if you would.



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