He’s 34!

20170731_005450-1 July 31. A day held in history for more than a quarter of a century as Harry Potter’s birthday. I enjoyed the Potter world. My favorite books were the first 3 and the last one.

Often there were discrepancies that bothered me, I still read them!  I recall listening to the ‘HBP’ with the boys and Bear (he was really young) saying, “the locket they can’t find is in the Black’s house, they found it when they were cleaning during ‘Phoenix’. They should go back and read that book again.” Thankfully, Harry finally remembered this in ‘Hallows’. Harry was not my favorite character, Ron and Professor Snape were. However, Ron wasn’t the hero, Snape was the villain,  and the books were about Harry. I read the last book this last weekend. The wedding showed me nothing is new under the sun (remember when the soldiers crashed the wedding in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’??).  And, yes, I had tears in my eyes while reading the scene where Professor Snape’s Patronus was revealed. More than once, I read the pages where Harry finally defeats Voldemort. I admit, in spite of the short comings of these books, Rowling really was rather brilliant.

Anyone who liked these might enjoy the series ‘Young Wizards.’ By Diane Duane. Fun stuff–although, The Craftsman calls these books written before (and after) the Potter stories, ‘those books about the eco-wizards’. My whole family enjoyed the absolutely AMAZING series by David Eddings “The Belgaraid”  Those books are beyond brilliance, they are real life in a fantasy world. There are so many great stories out there about wizards and magic. You just need to find them, so have fun and ‘READ!’

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Wagons

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The last 24 hours I’ve fallen completely off the wagon. I had spring rolls and then an entire KitKat. Oh, and the last of the ice cream, about a cup and a half. I’m so tired of doctors (Gary, you don’t count. You are in Australia, I am sure doctors there are different than those in Alaska!).

We went to Anchorage yesterday to see an oncologist surgeon. Mum was so tired she needed a wheel chair to take her a few hundred feet to his office. She is short of breath and is now  a whopping 108 pounds. We were waiting in his office and mum was visibly worn. Until her nice looking young doctor showed up. He commented on her being so well and I stepped in. I told him she was on stage because she liked him. Startled, he looked at her again and I hope believed me. Her cat scans showed nothing bad, but the nice man ordered a biopsy of the lump he hopes is scar tissue. I do like this doctor, but answers are not forthcoming. I felt bad for him when mum said if anyone could fix her, he could.

Mum ate lightly at lunch and even less at dinner. Her glucose ran high, anyway. She’s had a lot of nausea and pain. The gal who took her blood the last time the health nurses visited called me on her free time and said the pain could be because she ran out of a med and was off it for a week. She also told me mum’s tumor marker was down to 1,000.  All good things. Today? The nurse for mum’s person who takes care of her Diabetes called. Because mum’s HA1c was up to 9.9, I was told to drop her carb intake and not give her one of her other meds for some other reason. I need to bring her in on Monday for a blood draw. The nurse in charge of the biopsy place called mum. She was a bit difficult before she finally consented to talk to me. She heard how high mum’s sugars have been (over the last 14 days between 70-576. This morning? They were over 600 and her meter couldn’t read them) and was seriously upset. Thankfully, mum is having this biopsy done with a local and they won’t need to be concerned with anesthesia. However, the nurse was going to talk to the dr who ordered the test and ask if the high sugars should be a concern or not.

I love nurses.

At the moment, mum is resting. Her waste bag leaked everywhere, it is mostly liquid and she is dehydrated. I’m supposed to make sure she drinks lots of water, which she does. She’s tired and fell this morning, after her glucose dropped to somewhere in the 300’s.

My sister also called me today. She couldn’t get a hold of mum. When I told her we’d gone to Anchorage, she asked how we got there and I told her. She responded, ‘Good, I’m glad you had a way up there. I would have had to take time off work and {my daughter} wouldn’t have done her homeschooling and getting mum in the truck would have been a hassle. I would have done it, though. I’d have loved to get out of work.’ I told her not to worry about it, it was done and mum was resting and I’d call her if anything changed. She said great and proceeded to tell me about the rest of her day/week and that trips to Anchorage really take it out of mum.

I’m tired, too- I think I’m going to post this and take a nap. After I fold the stuff in the dryer. The things I had to wash after the waste bag leaked all over clothes and towels and bed.

We had sun, really!

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We had sunshine last week. I was in the basement for most  of the days, trying to make sure mum wasn’t being bothered by knowing her child was around. However, when it was time to mow, I did the job. I knew the neighbors were gone and mum was feeling sort of puny. She was planning on going to bed early. I knew that wouldn’t happen, but I also knew she’d not pay attention to the lake if she was resting on the couch. So, I took the chance given and went out on the lake in one of my men’s button up shirts and a pair of shorts. I absolutely MUST get a pair of string bikini bottoms if I am going to do this many more times. Trying to skin out of a tight pair of shorts in a kayak is not an easy task!!!

It was lovely paddling around on the still water. I ‘parked’ the kayak on the far edge of the lake, knowing I’d float lightly hither and  yon. It didn’t matter. I had my book, the ducks were ignoring me (for the most part), and it was delicious being bare out on the water. Until it got closer to 1015 pm. This photo was from quarter til and it was starting to get chilly, but not too bad. Then, the sun sank into the trees and I decided to finish the last two chapters of my book inside!!! It was a lovely interlude while I had it!

Uncertainty

IMG_5233 - Copy (2) Tides are an integral part of my life. They tell us many things and share a wisdom I desperately need. They tell me life is uncertain and it will always continue. Tides change the beaches, the bluffs on the inlet, and their power is seen in every season.

Mum keeps changing. Every hour it seems there are differences. Today, I am scared of tomorrow. Not for me, for mum. She does not want to stop living. She wants to see Trump impeached, she wants to go watch a Seattle Mariners game in Seattle, and she has a bazillion projects to complete. I have kicked about mum’s stubbornness, but I’m afraid her body is going to give out before she does.

Today, mum is not the person she was on Friday. Friday, we went out for dinner and she was cheerful and chatty. This weekend mum weighed herself and saw, by her scales, she was 102. She was 113 the Friday before, at one of her doctor’s appointments. She keeps saying something is wrong. Her skin feels yucky. I would lay odds she is dehydrated. She is drinking and drinking (water liquid). She is eating still. Not much, but she is eating. Her glucose was in the 500’s again this morning, but she had NOT eaten anything since a her bedtime snack. (it wasn’t a scary snack)

Her nurse is coming today. For the last time. They really are dropping her from their case load. The nurse is going to draw blood and we’ll see if Karen can convince mum to go to the ER. Lord knows, I can’t. Because tomorrow she sees a doctor in ANC and that 180 mile one way trip is already set in mum’s head.

I could be wrong. Mum might be ok in a week or two. I hope so. Even if I get mad at her, I do not want her to die. For true.

A common belief. Or not!

Every geographic area has proverbs or ‘old wives tales’ to help remind people when to do or not do things. The Farmer’s Almanac is an excellent source to find these. Most of them seem pretty far out, but many people still follow them, and a few are actually true. A blogger I follow,  Jack, posted some he found and I had to dive into more!

Weather and seasons make up a huge number of tales. I love crickets and often keep one in my house during the summer when I am in the states (the Lower 48, or the rest of the US). Crickets not only bring good luck, but you can do a ridiculous amount of math to find out the temperature of where the cricket is. This works in both C and F. I must admit, I tend to look at the thermometer. Those adorable wooly bears do have some correlation to the winter, usually the one preceding the find of the caterpillar and not the one arriving.

Sex is another giant arsenal of crazy ideas, what a surprise! In addition to the ones mentioned in the video, the type of underclothing a man wears does not necessarily mean conception will occur. Boxers or briefs or commando is a choice, conception is a chance. However, if the man does tend to prefer warm baths, it is probably likely his sperm count will be low. Sperm don’t survive well in heated temps.

In times past, it was also the believed that a person who took a man’s genitals in their mouth would lose their teeth. YIKES!

Then, there are all those cute ones we were told as kids. Eating bread crusts does not encourage the growth of curls. Coffee will not inhibit growth. Drinking warm milk does make you sleepy, swallowed chewing gum will not remain in your stomach for 7 years, and all those seeds you may have inadvertently ingested? You won’t end up with trees or watermelons growing in your tummy. You can freeze your hair if you go outside in cold temps, you probably will not catch cold from it. Although, if you do get sick, chicken soup is good for you.

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Alaska has some I’ve grown up with, many of those revolve around a plant we call fire weed. It is thought you can measure the amount of the next season’s snow by how tall the fire weed is. (Last summer the plant was really tall and we got a pretty good dumping of snow. This summer, the fire weed is between 3-barely 6 feet, and most of that on the shorter end of the stalk). When fire weed starts to bloom, the fish start coming in and when the last blooms fade, the main season is about over. When the fire weed tops (goes to seed), winter is 6 weeks away (or first frosts). Termination dust is what Alaskans call the first dusting of snow on the mountains and it means summer is just about over. Northern lights are often thought to be spirits of dead/hunted animals or spirits of the dead crossing over to the other side. The superstition that if a bear chases a woman and she bares her breasts, the bear will leave her alone is parallel to this proverb, if you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance!

Old beliefs are great fun, heeding them is entirely up to you.

Point of View-

In an odd move, The Craftsman sent me a text today. It was supposed to be romantic, but it made me laugh. I talked to him later, explained my giggling, and he realized what he’d done. Let me ‘splain. The text was from Song of Songs and was about hiding doves near a cliff and that the voice was pleasant and the dove is lovely. The dove, in this verse, probably refers to one of King Solomon’s wives. It was a very surprising sweet move by The Craftsman, but there is always another point of view……..

When I read the first line, I wondered what kind of hunting game the dad was playing with the kid. Bear frequently shoots pigeons when he works for local farmers and then has the birds for dinner. Doves are protected, but much easier to spell than pigeon for an unfamiliar texter. Doves also abound in the area of Oregon I normally live in (see photo below). As I read on, I realized what the words were and laughed out loud. I’m still smiling!  In our family, there is a history with a singular male dove. It was not a positive relationship.

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Romeo. Mum adopted Romeo when birds became taboo for classrooms. About a bazillion years back. Time went on and we wondered how long the bird would live. My sister researched doves and found this particular one, a ring neck dove, would live for decades in captivity. The two of us were not impressed. I felt sorry for this bird, because with mum getting so sick, she neglected it. It was an awful care. It lived in a tiny cage and made messes and cooed and cooed and cooed and drove the rest of us nuts… Did I say it cooed? My poor dad tried to kill it twice. Actually, he painted twice and forgot to open the windows. Romeo survived. Dad died about 10 years ago. Romeo lived on. You could never call without hearing that bird in the background. Like a steady drip, the gentle coos reverberated in the ear, blocking the canal with echoing song. Everyone who talked to mum had this bird in the background, cooing. My boys often dreamed of doing it in. An ear worm driven in firmly by an almost 24 hour bird. If it heard you awake, it woke, too. And cooed.

These last years, my sister and I tried to convince mum to give Romeo away. She wouldn’t do it. Then, mum got sick and her lungs were destroyed by the chemo. The blessed physician in charge of breathing (whatever the name is!), found out mum had a bird and suggested she find a home for it before she returned to hers. It appears the bird dander could, and probably would, cause her lungs more harm. I was on the phone in minutes and my sister posted the bird on an online site. Before the day was over, Romeo had someone interested in him. My sister promptly collected the bird and all the do dads to keep him content and met the party at an approved location. The new bird owner wanted to pay my sister and, in horror, she told the nice couple WE should pay them! When my sister texted the transaction was complete, I remember hopping in joy! That damn dove was gone and I am sure my dad grinned from above, as well. I know the boys were glad!

 

No Sweat

'I joined a gym today and had my first vigorous workout. I thought I was sweating but I think it was my body crying.'

I just figured out why I hate to exercise. I detest sweating and turning red. According to my interpretation of the seasonal color thing, red is a good color for me. Unless it is skin tone. Then, I tend to resemble a washed red delicious, one of the most nasty apples on the face of the earth! When washed, the waxy coating is all blotchy and it feels gicky and you pass it over for something else, like chocolate covered pretzels. Oddly, I like the taste of a light sheen of sweat (sweet and salty is my favorite combination!) but a rank perspiring body is nose crinkling. For this Aquarius, clean is a good aphrodisiac.

It is bizarre that in order to look better, I need to exercise and not look good at all! (NOTE: some people do look great while exercising. I am not one of them!) In the course of things, I honestly think between the less carbs (I did not eat all those fries at dinner the other night, I think I left two or three… and I ate quite a few of my neighbor’s veggies) and the small amount of moving I am doing, I think I may have lost some weight. I’m not entirely sure, though. It is probably a figment of my food deprived imagination. A dream I’ve had in all the sleep I am indulging in! I am going to avoid scales in order to preserve the illusion.

Eating is a security blanket sort of thing. Ice cream and Kit Kats and Jr Mints are my kryptonite. Except lately, I’m not even wanting those. I might have one ‘bar’ of a Kit Kat or a couple of Jr Mints in a day. Ice cream isn’t even interesting anymore. Sweets aren’t that big of a deal. Bread is. The fresh, hot scent of garlic breadsticks sitting in the passenger seat on the way home is more than tempting!

Other delectable things are also tempting. However, with mum getting more aware of life, she’s monitoring the use of her car. I need to make sure to account for the time I’m gone and where I am and who I am with. I’m back to being almost 17 again. Which is probably why I’m being invisible in the basement! Although, to be fair, I don’t want to get to back to that weight. 98 pounds is pretty small and I’d have to lose almost the amount of mum’s age to get there! (Phew, I am a chunky girl!) She does want me to take care of the yard pretty soon, and that will be my exercise tonight. Actually, what she said was that she needs to do some yard work and she’ll have to wait until she feels a bit stronger, unless I get to it first. I was seriously hoping the kid next door would do the mowing part, but it appears the neighbors are gone. Bother and piffle!

Changes

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Nothing is permanent, not even tattoos. I’ve been pretty angry the last week. I’ve been more alone than I’ve ever been. It is interesting  how avoiding social media makes people forget you. It doesn’t matter. Nothing does. I have a huge streak of apathy running thru me lately. I’m angry with God. I’m tired of everything. I do a lot of sleeping. Probably making up for the months I didn’t get much at all. I think I’ve been spending about 18 hours of my 24 with my eyes closed or asleep the last whiles.

Mum, on paper, is doing better than anyone ever expected. In reality, she continues to be tired and sleeps a lot and hasn’t got the energy to participate in activities. She says she’ll do things and at the last minute, opts out of them. I get frustrated with people who tell me to have more faith, to be stronger, and myself when I realise no one can help me. I am not sure what will happen from day to day or hour to hour. I want mom to be at peace and she won’t take that option. I feel like a terrible child because I want that peace when she appears to be getting better. She is not the person she was, she does not  have the life quality she used to, and she takes it out on her kids. I found out this week, her home health nurses are dropping her from their case load. I get this, she has managed to regain and the changes she has had are not debilitating. It just crushed me to realise she is in my boat completely now. Her oncologist’s office called me and her next appointment is in September. She doesn’t have an appointment with her diabetes professional set up. I HATE this. I am encouraged to keep doing what I have been.

Well, lately, I’ve been in the basement in between errands out. In the dark, sleeping away the hours of existing. So, be it. If I am not back, it is because there is nothing to say. I’m surprised I’ve even typed this. Yes, the apathy is strong in this one! lol

We’ll see

WIN_20170717_034517 I joined a couple of groups for this today. I hope they help me learn more from people who are inside this. I have a couple of very special friends who have walked the cancer road, but I can’t keep bothering them. I have learned a lot from this little booklet and anticipate learning more. Today, I have to contact people to come out and tell mum she might need more time to get well. That she might  not be 100% by September. Tuesday is that scan. I don’t know what that will hold. Hoping it is nothing. But, in this book I read pancreatic cancers can show up in many places. The lungs and the peritoneum (thin wall lining the cavity of the abdomen) are a couple of them. The places getting scanned…

This is a big deal. For me to want to talk to people about this particular cancer. Mum has had so many kinds and I have accepted it. Cancer is like one of those gifts that gets passed around all the time. It happens in our family. You just deal with it and hope the fire gets beat down one more time. She may win out again. She’s done it before. But, I don’t know. Only time will tell.

And if I am getting tired, I know she is, as well.

Update: What to do

13112801_10206294731387507_4158854135838448984_o It appears the problem is mum. After I gave  her the 15 units this morning, I checked twice more by noon and it dropped down to a moderate level. She slept all morning. But, the rhubarb cake she made is now half gone and her glucose is back up to 414. I gave her 12 units again. However, am not sure it will be enough. She had two helpings of noodles and beef, a serving of her cake with whipped topping, and her nutrition drink she is supposed to have. She did say this evening, ‘it is lethal, but it is sooo good.’ !!!!!!!!

I also noticed there were empty food boxes in the cupboard (snack crackers) and the snacks in the containers on the counters are half gone. I know I have not eaten much up there. I’m really trying to lose weight and am cutting my food intake vastly. No change yet, but I am sleeping a lot—I should exercise, but I am sooo tired inside! I do feel better otherwise, though. Well, not when my own glucose drops, thank goodness for glucose tablets!!

Silly Kris!