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mnhtnbb's Journal
mnhtnbb's Journal
November 5, 2022

I was born in Manhattan

while my parents were living in White Plains in the early '50's. We moved to Chatham, NJ when I was 3 and I have considered it 'home' my whole life. It was a beautiful area with big yards, trees, a pond that was converted to a swim club where I hung out in the summer. Never needed to go to camp. I was on the swim team, diving team, and learned to play tennis on clay courts. We'd take the train into the city (NY) regularly to shop, go to a play, attend a concert when Leonard Bernstein was the conductor. I took ballet and piano lessons during the school year. By the time I was in middle school (5th grade) I was allowed to walk or ride my bike to school if it wasn't snowing or raining. I loved it.

When I was 14, my father retired (at 55) and we moved to Southern California. My parents were from California --my dad was born there--and had come to NYC in 1947 when my dad's company transferred him there. He had bought land in the '30's (after his father died) in north San Diego county and dreamt of retiring to raise lemons and oranges. I hated it. No friends. My parents wouldn't let me ride my bike and I went to school 20 miles away, first a private school for 2 years and then the public high school in La Jolla because my mom arranged an inter district transfer based on the connection she had with the Girls' Vice Principal: they had taught school together during the Depression in the San Joaquin Valley . I couldn't wait to get out of there when I went to UCLA for college.

Stayed in the LA area, living in Westwood or Santa Monica or the Valley through grad school, first marriage, divorce, second marriage. My second husband and I moved with our almost 2 year old in 1988 to St Joseph, MO. Never looked back. Moved to Lincoln, NE in 1994--with by then a second son-- and stayed until we moved to Chapel Hill, NC in 2000. I've been in the Triangle area ever since: 17 years in Chapel Hill, 3 years in downtown Raleigh, and coming up 2 years in Durham in January.

I still consider myself a native of NYC and Chatham as "home". I loved where I grew up, was happy to leave California, never felt at home in MO or NE, and will always be a damn Yankee transplant here in NC. But I am content here. Both sons live near me. I expect to go feet first out of this house. No more moving for me!

November 4, 2022

This was supposed to be my 30,000th post

until I mindlessly responded to someone--in response to me--on a Lounge thread a little while ago. As soon as I hit post, I realized what I'd done. But deleting the post (which I did) doesn't undo the count! So I guess this will be post 30,001.

I'd noticed that I was approaching 30,000 about a week ago and decided I would mark the occasion with a trip down Memory Lane.

I joined DU May 7, 2005, but I'd been lurking on the site for some time as it was the Shrub years (as Molly Ivins would say). I actually met Molly--sat next to her at a Jefferson/Jackson dinner one year when we lived in Nebraska--but that was before DU. Like so many others here, I was devastated by Gore's "loss" in 2000, thanks to the intervention of the Supremes. When Howard Dean burst on the scene as a candidate running for the 2004 Democratic nomination for POTUS, I was a big supporter. Huge fan. I even picked up one of his staff members at the airport for an event in Chapel Hill. It was through the DFA website that I noticed people talking about DU and found my way here.

In 2005, after Bushie boy was "re-elected", my husband and I started looking for an escape hatch, a place we could use then-- but get to quickly--if the country deteriorated to the point where we didn't want to be here any more. Our oldest son had graduated high school in 2004, and our youngest would graduate HS in 2008. We settled on Panama, and went through the whole process to the point we each had permanent resident visas stamped in our passports by 2006. Then the construction of the development in Panama stalled due to labor and legal problems and our house in Chapel Hill burned down in 2007. The furniture that was in storage to be shipped to Panama became the "house in a box" that I had delivered to the house we rented in Chapel Hill while we sorted out and negotiated with the insurance company, trying to decide what to do. What a nightmare that was! Despite having replacement cost coverage, the insurance company tried to buy us off with a payment that would only cover 2/3 of our mortgage! The bank that held the mortgage--which had just been sold--wouldn't even acknowledge phone calls or letters from our attorney! It was only after filing a complaint with the Democratic controlled North Carolina Commissioner of Banks that I suddenly received a phone call from a Sr. VP at the bank to discuss the mortgage payoff. We had to hire a public adjuster--and give him 15%-- to help us negotiate a better settlement from the insurance company so that we could finally pay the balance on the mortgage, and for six months we were making payments on the mortgage for a burned down house. What a mess.

Then, in 2008, Barack Obama won! He even won in North Carolina! That changed our minds. After everything we'd been through, the opportunity arose for us to get our money back on the Panama house (which was then almost complete), and we took it. We thought that the country was turning around and we wouldn't have to worry about getting out.

Huh. In 2015 I began to be concerned once again. Having given up on Panama, and with my husband likely in the early stages of Lewy Body Dementia, we began to plan, once again, for his retirement and us having a place outside the country. I convinced him to go look at Bonaire--which is Dutch--and where friends we had known from the days when we lived in Missouri now lived. Because it's Dutch, it has medically assisted suicide available for residents. If my husband really had LBD and didn't want to ride it to the end, Bonaire would be a reasonable place--with a wonderful tropical climate--to have a second home. We could sell the house we had custom built in 2010 on the land where our house had burned down in 2007 and have enough for a condo on Bonaire and either a condo in Chapel Hill or an apartment. It seemed like a viable plan. We went to Bonaire, made an offer on a place, flew home, had our offer accepted and then my husband backed out. Thank goodness nothing was yet in writing. It had been a verbal offer. I thought we were going to be sued by the owners in the Netherlands. But the sister of our friends on Bonaire made an offer on the condo and we were off the hook!

By 2016 when it was looking like the orange one would get the Republican nomination, I told my husband we really needed to get off the mainland if he won. By this time, he wouldn't consider moving abroad. What about Hawaii? Liberal, remote, few guns...well, he agreed we could go look if the orange one won. The day after the election I told my husband I was scheduling our look see trip for December, was that ok? He refused to go. Not going to move. Not going to give up his practice. And no, there was nothing wrong with him, even though I was observing numerous symptoms in him consistent with LBD. But, LBD symptoms come and go, which is one reason it is so hard to diagnose. One day a person will seem completely normal. The next day the person is having memory problems, hallucinations, executive function issues...and on and on. He was being followed by a neurologist with a national and international reputation in the field at UNC. For almost a year I was in therapy trying to figure out how to live with my psychiatrist/psychoanalyst husband who was in extreme denial about his possible disease and refusing to talk about it, close his practice, consider financial and legal implications, or make plans for the future. It was impossible. I was angry all the time. In September 2017, he got the probable LBD diagnosis, fired his neurologist and started dosing himself (with the help of our primary care doc who would give him whatever he asked for) with salbutamol (an asthma medication) because he'd read an article in Science magazine about a study in Norway which found a decreased incidence of Parkinson's Disease (which was not his diagnosis) in people on salbutamol. (SCIENCE 1 September 2017 Vol 337 p 869-70) Despite the warning in the article that off label usage of salbutamol to lessen or forestall Parkinson's symptoms could be dangerous and was not recommended, he was determined this would be his cure. It all went downhill very quickly from there.

I left him--after 32 years of marriage--in November 2017. A year later, in December 2018, the day after his 76th birthday, he put a shotgun to his head and blew his brains out.

From November 2017 until January 2021, I moved five times. Due to Covid, I bought a house under construction in April 2020 and planned to leave the downtown high rise apartment I loved because I felt like I was playing Russian roulette every time I got on the elevator. In June 2020 I had to put my beloved Snowy--who had been my constant companion since 2009--to sleep. I moved in to my new house on January 6, 2021, the day of the attack on the Capitol. Didn't know about it until the next day when the cable company came to connect me.

With the exception of the few years after we moved into the new house in Chapel Hill in 2011 (that replaced the one that burned down) until 2014 when my husband started showing strange symptoms that were eventually diagnosed as probable Lewy Body Dementia, my personal life has been one of loss and grief, anxiety, anger, and sadness against a national political nightmare, watching the slow slide of our democratic republic into an authoritarian oligarchy. Through all of it, DU has been here. Political conversation with like minded folks, emotional support, Valentine hearts, cat videos, Photography Contests, Sunday LOL cats...DU is a unique place. Thank you--all of you--for being here.

And here I am, 30,000 posts later, still on DU but still fearing what the hell is happening in our country. I voted early, in person, here in NC eight days ago. I can't watch the news. I can't listen to the pundits. I don't want to believe the polls. I have to believe that women are going to turn out in record numbers to vote for Democrats and that the 20-somethings will finally show up next Tuesday and vote for Democrats.

Please, please, encourage everyone you can to go vote Democratic all up and down the ballot and let's kick the MAGAT Christofascist Republicans into oblivion.

November 4, 2022

4 today

Wordle 503 4/6


For fun, here's an ocean photo I took at the beach just after sunrise a couple of weeks ago when I was there.

November 3, 2022

Wordle 502 "Spoiler Thread""

Wordle 502 4/6


October 31, 2022

Hold good thoughts,please,

that my application to adopt a rescue dog currently in foster will be approved.

It's been over two years since I had the vet come to my apartment to put my dear Snowy to sleep. I have missed her so much. Mostly I would tell myself I didn't want another dog, but in the last few months I've found myself looking on Petfinder and checking local shelters online.

This morning I filled out the application for Penny and just called my former vet to alert them the rescue group would be calling them first. The group only has email contact, so I won't know until they contact me if Penny is even still available!

I can see Penny in my house.

October 31, 2022

Wordle 499 ***Spoiler Thread***

Wordle 499 4/6



October 28, 2022

Wordle 496 ***Spoiler Thread***

Wordle 496 4/6


October 27, 2022

Wordle 495 *** Spoiler Thread***

Wordle 495 3/6


October 24, 2022

I Roed my vote today at early in person

voting at one of the most Democratic counties in NC (Durham). The early voting site was PACKED with voters. Had to wait in line.

I lived in another County for the 2018 and 2020 General Elections, so I have no historic basis for comparison, BUT, one of the poll workers told me she'd never seen it like this in her experience.

They hand out unique stickers in Durham County
"No Bull, I Voted". Here I am, sporting my sticker!

Go Roe your vote!

October 19, 2022

The Gull Chorus Line--and a few of its Stars!

The gulls follow the shrimp boats just off shore and this afternoon hundreds of them in several large groups were resting at the water's edge, during low tide, along the beach. These shots were taken of one large group that was right in front of the house where I'm staying.

A few shots to tell the story.

Curtain up!

Get in line!

Take five!


I'm coming, I'm coming!

Adjusting the feathers on my costume

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NYC
Home country: USA
Current location: Durham, NC
Member since: Sat May 7, 2005, 11:13 PM
Number of posts: 31,604
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