Instant Everything

Yup, all my fears were for naught. I’m going with instant everything. (do you know how many things in existence that are instant??? Least favorite, potatoes. Mashed potatoes need to made from real tubers. But, I digress!)

Thursday was awful, in many ways. (I’m still looking at it with dismay!) After I changed mum, I took her to the eye doctor. She was being all busy and slamming things around, she even put in her new teeth. I am pretty sure she would not have gone anywhere if the choice would have been hers. (Ignoring doctor visits is not a choice for her.) Once there, she was feeling quite well again. Although, her fitting started to leak. He prescribed new glasses. (she better live a lot longer, she’s getting lots of new things to help her with day to day life!) However, mum wasn’t too thrilled with the choices, nor was I. Glasses styles are now veering towards the cat eye or 70’s look again. I think that is silly. If I like a pair of glasses, I should be able to get the ones I want. Not ones that are in style! So, she did not get any yet. In a few weeks, the office will have new choices and she’ll go back in and look those over. After that, mum went shopping.

I waited in the car for almost an hour and she finally came out in a snit. Without any bags. It appears she wasn’t able to write a check and her credit card was denied. I couldn’t get much out of her, but went in and got her purchases. (They had been put aside because mom said her daughter would be in to get them.) Almost 70 dollars and most of it was just stuff. Lights for her garden and a sewing pattern for doll clothes and other junk she does not need. She was so mad, I get this, I’d have been mad, too! She hates depending on me to do things for her.

Anyway, the nurse arrived before mum finished lunch and I was able to chat with her about my fears. The gal is new and moved up to AK to fill in for 13 weeks from somewhere in the south. She said she had gone hiking and loved it. We reminded her to be very careful and take a firearm. Bears in spring have been known to kill. She was surprised at our insistence and said we were scaring her. Good! She did say, after she got in her car to leave, she saw a momma bear and two cubs in the road.

I talked to her about mum’s tummy. In pancreatic cancer (and in other illnesses) a health issue called Ascites can develop. This is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen from somewhere. Anyway, the nurse looked her over and said, for now, she looks good. She did say, that could change in a week. The hardness is there, but don’t worry and keep an eye on it. (My FIL had that happen a couple of times and needed ‘drained’. It was horrible. I do not want to have mum go thru that!) So, I was incredibly relieved to find out my worries were just that, a bunch of mountains made of mole hills. As if I need to add more troubles to a world who hands them out on a regular basis!

What do you do when you worry? I was so thankful after the nurse visited, I went out and got ice cream and read a book!

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Friday morning, I woke mum again at 430 am. And needed to change another fitting. This time, I went straight back to sleep! (I was really very tired from yesterday.)

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Fearful

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I’ve always been afraid. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s followed me for a while, but this morning, my fear is for mum. It is just after 5 am here in AK. I really don’t have any reason to call anyone about my fears, The Craftsman is just getting up and a call at this time of the day would discombobulate the routine (unless it was important), and really, it isn’t. It is just fearful. Or I am. So, I am going to write. (aren’t you all just lucky as leprechauns on a cereal box?)

I was allowed to change another one of mom’s fittings, she had changed one about 11 pm. I wasn’t going to ask if she needed help, but finally, I had to. There is only so long I can watch her do something before I have to ask. She asked me because she remembered the nurse last week had asked to see a photo of mum’s wound. (I must say, I prefer having pictures of sunsets or clouds or birds on my cell!)

I got mum and all the things I need for the procedure sorted and noticed something odd. I did change her fitting once recently, this time there were differences. Mum’s tummy is tighter. She said she didn’t have any wrinkles anymore and was thankful. Yet, I also noticed her tummy is hard. Now, a hard tummy is nice. (I’d love a firm stomach that spreads from one side to the other). Mum’s is disturbing. Especially because the last week or more she’s had a great deal of nausea and pain associated with the abdomen. ,

I suppose she could be gaining weight. She does eat all the time. Many things which would take me quite a while to eat (I bought her orange cinnamon bread on Tuesday. I had a couple of slices and decided it was too much like fruitcake. I saw, when I was in the kitchen, it is almost gone.). Thus, maybe she is getting fatter from eating so much. I’m not entirely convinced of this.

When I was rubbing around the stoma to remove the glue, she didn’t seem to feel it. Often, she hurts and wants to throw up. This time, she prattled on and didn’t seem to feel anything. Until I touched the side where the main tumor was. That seemed to hurt. When she was sorted, she did ask for another pain pill. She’s used her pain pump all the times she is supposed to in a day, in addition to pain and nausea pills.

I did make an appointment with her radiologist. He had asked to see her in 2-3 months. As Cee (the lovely receptionist) said, the middle of next month would be about two and if mom felt she wanted to come in earlier, they’d make it happen. Perhaps they’ll discover she is regenerating. In every X-Man movie regeneration looks entirely painful and makes me want to be ill! Then, all my fears would remain as groundless as instant coffee.

 

Water Cat Nips

“Praised be my Lord, for our sister water.” St. Francis of Assissi

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In the book by Natalie Babbit, The Search for Delicious, water is hailed as the tastiest thing in the kingdom. (this is a very good read aloud. Not long, but full of thoughtful lessons and fun adventures) In the course of my staying with mum, I’m entirely aware of the need and desire for fresh, clean water. Songs are dedicated to water, Jesus is known as the Living Water, and there are many inventions created for water purification. Our world is mostly water, our bodies are mostly water, and water is life.

One thing you need to do as a pet owner is make sure water is available. Most of us leave out dishes of water, but today you can do so much more than that! There are gravity containers you can fill a couple of times of week with water, there are clever filtered water fountains available, or you can leave a tap on. (this last isn’t really practical as it wastes water, but cats don’t seem to mind)

Moses and Maxwell like using the dish, Kila was one of those cats who preferred his water from the source. We finally purchased one of those gravity water bottles with the bead in the tip for him. He loved it and you always knew when he was getting a drink. You could hear the little bead move as he lapped and the gurgle of the water in the bottle. It sure made it easier than turning on the water in the laundry room sink til he was sated! I do remember, he did use the dish when I filled it with ice cubes. Although, that may have been cuz he liked to ‘chase’ the ice with his paw and the sound of melting ice seemed to intrigue him. He was definitely an odd cat!

Lemon Drops

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Look past the crumbs to see the cookie. Watch the donut not the hole (one of my favorite kid songs!). Cute, trite, Pollyanna phrases (note: I absolutely LOVE the book ‘Pollyanna’!!!!!!!) which people brush off like dust on a counter. I had a pretty good week and weekend with many lemons or holes and crumbs. Thankfully, I could look past those horrid bits to see the better things. You know, if all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops? (did you sing it????) However, in order to share properly, you’ll get them both in equal measure!

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One of the sweetest things that happened was thru Podman and Chirp (his wife). They sent me a package with letters and a little angel figure holding cards of scripture. The angel has a tilted halo. Not a single crumb in that experience, it was entirely chocolate chip. (I find many blogging interactions full of good things. I’m so fortunate!)  Earlier in the week, I discovered I needed to fill out more paperwork so mum could have her pump refilled without traveling too far. I was really grateful I was in town when I got the phone call from the big city doctor. They were checking up on things and said they’d not gotten one of those papers that says they can share information with someone else. (it is a shorter name, I can’t remember it!) So, I went to the town dr office and found out I needed to sign a bunch of papers. I’m also very glad I have a Power of Attorney.

Mum got her new teeth. She hasn’t worn them much and her speaking is more legible when she does. However, she did manage to get them stuck on Friday night. She was all upset because she’d need to wait til Monday to get them unstuck. She had removed the bottom teeth and the top ones refused to budge. Thankfully, there is an internet. I found ideas on how to loosen stuck dentures and she actually used them. I also had my EMT friend at my fingertips and she’d have helped me with the problem if needed. And if those didn’t work, I know people with dentures who could give advice. It wasn’t worth a run to the Emergency Room, nor did we need to wait til Monday. Less than an hour later, she got them loose. I also had to purchase another box of fittings this week. I was allowed to change one. At 5 AM. Sometimes I wish those things wouldn’t need taken care of at the last minute or in the wee hours of sleep time.

I had a chance to visit with some good friends from the north. This family reminds me of a passel of border collies. Fun, friendly, hardworking, and full of energy. I’d love for my youngest and their oldest to meet. However, Little Bear is more feline in nature than collie. I saw them twice. We visited a short bit on Saturday and then I sat with the mom in our car while the others took their dog, Xena, for a walk on the beach. Mom was really sick with a cold. (Hoping I don’t ‘get’ it!) Saturday was an over and back sort of visit- they were staying about 30 miles away. Sunday, was one of those A,B,C days where I ended up at J and then S before getting back to B.

Monday was more than annoying. Mum has not been feeling very good the last week. She’s been in a great deal of pain, more so than usual. (She told me her ‘thingie’ hurt. I knew she was a female, so was pretty sure it wasn’t THAT ‘thingie’, but I finally got her to admit it was the abdominal tumor.) She has also been having more nausea. The latter was horrible since I didn’t know she was almost out of nausea meds and it was Friday before I was told this. (I really need to be more up on things!) She had some other nausea meds, but they made her feel sick. (irony?) Anyway, I called her doctor office and had to leave messages since they are closed on Fridays. I was pretty sure I’d be able to pick the prescriptions up after the weekend. So, Monday I called and found out they had not gotten the message. The assistant, knowing how far away we live, suggested I wait and come in after the script were ready. She called me back at 330 to say they were done. I wasn’t sure what to do as the office closed at 430. I talked to mom and opted to wait until Tuesday. Which I did. (I waited all day to do errands, only to have to wait til the next day!) Mum felt really well on Tuesday, but didn’t get the things done she felt she wanted to. She also wanted to stay home. (hooray! I really wanted to be alone. She might have, too.) Mum’s wellness is truly hour by hour. She did, I think, finally finish the second sock she was working on. She’s been knitting a pair of socks for weeks now. The first one went fairly fast. The second one she keeps saying something is wrong with the yarn and needles. She finally said her hands were sore, so I’m pretty sure that might be the actual problem. (as well as not being able to remember exactly how to do things.)

I had a couple of meals out—or in my car. One was good, but incredibly messy. The Jr bacon cheeseburger was very good and only slightly messy! Mum is planting seeds. I am pretty sure those nasturtium seeds are supposed to be inside the peat pots, but she feels she’s better at gardening than I am. (which is true, usually)

I did get to house elf twice, so that was more than grand. As I left on Monday, Sir SSC drove in. Completely fortuitous. I had not seen or talked to him in ages, so I turned around and went back to ask a couple of questions. I really needed to learn how to use the shower wand in the master bath. (I got totally soaked while cleaning and ended up needing to strip to my skin and change clothes. I was so glad I’d left some extra undies at the house!) Anyway, the two of us crowded in the shower and I was shown how, with a simple twist of the wrist, to make the wand come to life. I enjoy being taught how to do things!!!

I talked to Strider for a long time on Tuesday, too. I do love that kid. He told me, at one point, how thankful he was that I was his mom. He said a great deal more, it was such a grand conversation. We can talk and talk and communicate. His dad is much more difficult to discuss things with, for both of us! Also texted with my longtime friend, Sir E, and found, further down the Peninsula, power was lost due to a storm. Later, as I came home from a brief walk around 745 pm, our wind picked up. The tall trees started clattering against each other and I hurried to mum’s. I felt a bit like Dorothy listening to things fall around me and watching the evergreens dip and sway! (I also had a wet foot from where I had gotten snow in my boot. Our lake is not very close to thawing yet, in spite of the mallard pair who pop into the yard now and then. A lot of deep old snow.)

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The oddest thing I’ve run into? My cell phone is 5 minutes different than the time shown on my laptop and IPad. No matter, at least I have time!

Litter

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In the aftermath of Earth Day and the loss of snow, I’m reminded of one of my least favorite things in the whole world. Litter. All across the internet I saw videos and pictures and stories of machines and people and projects dedicated to removing trash from places it shouldn’t be. I wondered, if so many people don’t like litter, why is there so much? In my early years, PBS was almost the only place a kid could watch kid shows. Even the boys, when they were little, had PBS as their main tv hangout. So many times the focus would be on litter and trash and recycling. And yet, the problem is worse as time marches on!

I’ve always been aware of tossed garbage. I think I was in 3rd grade when I went on my very first litter patrol with a group. (As I look back, I’m astonished by the memory, all of us kids and not much supervision!) I remember walking up a hill above the school with a huge group. Other kids ran off past the ditches to collect obscure finds. Older ones came back with tires and I recall, a bra. (I remember being so embarrassed! I was a girl and these boys found ‘girl’ underwear!) The most decisive moment in my life of being green happened when I was in the Youth Conservation Corps.

I was in High School on the Kenai Peninsula. Summer jobs were babysitting or working around fish. Mum didn’t want me in a cannery yet (ages of kids working back then weren’t quite as controlled as it is today.) and somehow I got a job with the YCC working in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. I had more fun than I could have ever imagined (I might have written about some of those experiences here before somewhere) and learned a great deal. Lessons of life that stuck hard in the malleable brain of my adolescence. The abhorrence of litter was one of those.

We made trails through the woods, we hauled canoes overland to lakes we paddled across to get to more trails, and we cleaned up after people. We spent weeks in one area refurbishing a campsite that had buildings. I had stayed there in 6th grade and we were back to modernize and tidy it up once more. One weekend a church group had rented it out. One of the guys with us was excited about this, it was his church group and he was looking forward to having them see what he had been doing all summer. We got back to the site after they left and were appalled. All of us were. It was an absolute pigsty. I’ll never forget the anger my friend felt for his thoughtless friends. (It think it was then I realized church didn’t mean someone was necessarily a good person.) We worked hard to clean up after that organization’s visit. Another life changing day was before a major holiday. It was probably the 4th of July. We picked up so much trash on a popular trail we made jokes about the beer cans and diapers. It was horrible. Then, after the incursion of the people, we went back and found more garbage. Nasty.

My boys, being in Scouting, learned to leave no trace. But, as with the church groups, having them wear a uniform of an organization who is supposed to care for the environment doesn’t always mean they will. Thankfully, the people who lead my sons did care and helped hone the skills I forced upon them. In the world of life with me, trash was never improperly discarded. Not even a gum wrapper. We lived in a camping area on the Oregon coast and they boys thrived out there. (I recall once asking my youngest if he ever felt bad cuz we never went anywhere or did anything like Disneyland. He looked at me incredulously and replied, ‘Mom, we lived in a vacation!’) One of our favorite swimming holes we always knew to avoid at certain times of the year, because of the trash left behind and the day we found human feces, toilet paper, and partially burned almost everything on the river bank near one a fishing spot was never to be forgotten. Strider cleaned up a bank site for part of his Eagle project. His group found everything from fishing line to submerged televisions.

I never toss away plastic bottle rings without cutting them apart, I am glad when I see plastic grocery sacks being banned (as handy as those things are, they don’t belong in trees), and I pick up garbage when I find it. It is interesting that sea glass takes decades to turn from trash into treasure, it fascinates me when people discover new ways to use garbage, and I appreciate recycling. It angers me that recycling (at least here on the Kenai) is not as good as it sounds. If I separate my trash and toss it in the proper bin, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be recycled. Often, I was told by an attendant, if a plastic bag full of shredded paper is tossed in with the paper that usually contaminates the whole batch. If the attendant doesn’t remove the bag and discard it, the person collecting the material will, more than likely, deep six the whole mess. There isn’t much money in recycling. Which is sad, we spend a lot as we make messes across our world. You’d think cleaning it up would be easier.

Declaration?

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I’ve been thinking about the American Declaration of Independence. Not as it pertains to the United States, but as it pertains to friendship. In the book ‘Ben and Me’, this is the entire reason the thing is written. It was not a declaration of freedom and war, but a treatise from a mouse to a man. Written by Robert Lawson (Disney made a short movie based on this book, but left out where Ben and Amos travel to France), this is a favorite book about the inventions and experiences by Ben Franklin and his mouse friend, Amos. (NOTE: I love this author!!!!!)  Anyway, in the book, Amos gets very put out with Ben and writes up an extensive step by step explanation of why. Amos being the injured party and Ben being the Powers that Be. One of the other big names from the early days of the Revolution stops by (I think he was whining) and asks if Ben has any idea on how they could state their desires to England. Ben is flustered by the trouble he’s having with his mouse friend and starts to read the document. It is hailed with cries of delight and, eventually, Ben apologises magnanimously, then asks Amos if he might copy it out and change a few things. Amos accepts the apology, agrees, and their friendship was put back on track.

In a relationship, people ebb and flow. They might spend years being bosom buddies as youth and when they become adults, they drift apart. This is life. Hurtful, at times, and it can be incredibly sad. Yet, change is necessary and important in order to thrive. I’ve been thinking of many of my friendships over the last few years. I’ve had strong friends who are now good friends, I’ve made excellent friends who have become friends, and I’ve rekindled friendships and created new ones. It is a beautiful part of growing up. Something we should never stop doing.

It’s not a good idea to hoard those relationships. That isn’t fair. Friends should be allowed to live on their own. For me, they are not my own personal toys to make me feel good when I want them. There is an aged cliché about if you love something set it free, if it comes back it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. Well, my friends are not ‘mine’, they are themselves. I don’t want to pass them to a thrift store, but when they start to fray, it is better to put friendships aside gently instead of keeping it around til it is a shadow of what it once was. It is even better to see if the problems can be ironed out, as Ben and Amos did, but life isn’t a storybook. I have one friendship that was broken for 23 years. I will never do that again. It hurt too much to carry anger around that long. Some friendships cannot be repaired once torn asunder, those hurt a great deal and I wonder where and how those people are.

Yet, we shouldn’t linger in the memories of past friendships, we need to appreciate them, and move on. (only to haul them out again at reunions, where everything is once again fair game!)  This is the hardest thing for me to do. I want to keep people close. I don’t have a lot of solid friends and when I do find one, I tend to cling. I often cling to the point of gouging out steps and ruining it, someday I hope to learn better! (I hope I am not a parasite like an ivy, enhancing til death do us partIvy is soo pretty and absolutely invasive and horrible!) Because of this, many of the people in my compass, I hold loosely. I know they’ll move on and I don’t want to get too tangled in their worlds. Yup, I am a difficult friend. Sort of like the Push Me-Pull You from Dr. Doolittle’s adventures (another super fun series to read!).

I was looking at the declaration as pertaining to my marriage. A friendship on a larger scale. It is a bit absolute, but it helps me put things into a sort of perspective. However, I’m not as brave as Amos. If I write it out, I won’t share it! (yikes!) Thankfully, I’m not an injured party (or maltreated mouse). Yet, I admit, the words are interesting to play with. What do you think? (You would definitely have to word your own ‘Facts’ to fit your own life!!! Sometimes, I read over some the colonists wrote and get annoyed. I’m sure my own would be just as nose crinkling to others.) It is definitely an unusual step to take. Or not.

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Good Bye Cat Nips

‘No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.’ Leo Dworken

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One of the craziest things happened last weekend. It has taken me this long to get ready to post it on here. I finally did on FB, I had to wait til the youngest told the oldest. When the older son moved to the East Coast, he and his then wife could take the ferret and not their cat. (The cat she chose on purpose for my son. She was always choosing things for Strider) So, we ended up with Kilala (Key lah lah). Moses did not like this new addition and vehemently opposed any sort of friendly overtures we tried to get them to make. Maxwell didn’t like Kila much, either. Kila used to chase him all over the place. Especially when he exited the cat box! Nor was Kila very smart. Seriously, when God handed out brains to cats, Kila must have been in the cat mint.

Needless to say, last Sunday, Bear petted Kila, who was sleeping on his bed. He left the room for about 30 minutes and came back to find the door blocked by Kila’s body. There was no blood, quite a bit of saliva, and no strong hint of health issues. Yes, Kila was overweight. He ate food like it was going to vanish in the next few seconds. (probably because he was raised with a ferret and the ferret would eat everything as fast as possible) We ended up feeding them at different times. Kila, Bear said, also had breathing trouble. But, so does our oldest cat, Maxwell. Every year we worry it will be Max’s last. (But, he was a barn cat and barn cats are pretty tough!) Kila lived in Little Bears’s incredibly untidy room (he’d clean weekly, but with cat and kid…it was a dubious endeavor!) played with almost everything he could find, a caged box off of Little Bear’s window was made so Kila could ‘go outside’, and Kila was rarely unwatched if he did actually get outdoors. A few times he escaped, but we always got him back fairly quickly. Kila was 9 years old. Moses and Max, who go outside all the time are 17 and 18 (I think).

We will miss this furkid and I’ll continue to add him in my Cat Nips. Hoping he had some help as he crossed the rainbow bridge or he might still be wandering around!

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Mercy

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Podman texted me today he was praying for my mother and for myself. I told him it was hard to know what to pray for. He responded with ‘Mercy’. I wish for this in all the ways it is meant.

Mum was worn out from her Friday and Saturday. I did not wake her at 4 am, I did not get up to make sure she had breakfast, I did not go upstairs til it was close to time to leave for church. She looked like hell and said she really didn’t want to go today. She was super sweaty hot and freezing at the same time. She had to change her fitting and looked worse than usual. She had managed to get up and do for herself, but it was harder this morning. She said I could go, I didn’t. I have things I need and want to do on Monday. I wanted to elf and I was going to speak to a banker about a credit card and just do a few Kris things.

Mom slept all morning and then got busy this afternoon again. She did walk out earlier to get her paper (she must have worn her jammies.) and tried to walk out on the main pipeline when it got a bit warmer. (She didn’t tell me about either of those things. But, it isn’t important to tell me things. As a caregiver, I’m pretty useless now. I’m a caretaker, as in I take care of the house and appointments.) She made dinner. It was horrible. She has a lot of fish in the freezer that is freezer burned and it is so nasty. I didn’t want to cook it. I could not throw it away, mom wouldn’t let me. Mom’s stomach is stronger than mine…well, mom doesn’t have most of her intestine, so maybe it is that which is stronger! She also made little biscuits from some low fat bisquick I had purchased (she prefers the real stuff and I, the latter) for a fruit scone thing. (I don’t when she bought the frozen fruit. I don’t think it was in the freezer since before I showed up in 2016!)

I asked, as I always do when confronted with frozen fruit, if it had sugar in it. She then told me this. ‘I don’t buy things with sugar in it, I know you like candy. If it isn’t enough, you can have some candy.’ She said this in such a snide voice. I told her I did like candy and hadn’t eaten any today. She then told me that was good, I shouldn’t eat anything like that. After which I told her I had errands to do in town on Monday and was she going to go with me. She said yes.

I know she thinks I drink too much diet soda. I do buy kit kats when I can. I have eaten many of her chocolate kisses. I do not eat her cinnamon rolls or sugared cereal or whatever else she buys that isn’t a carb I feel is one I need. I know I eat too much and she ingests more than I do. She tells me often how fat my sister and I are and that she’s still too fat, even though she’s wearing her smaller clothes. (good thing she doesn’t throw anything away!) I am not eating breakfast, I try not to eat things she buys, except for at dinner and a piece of bread with some meat and maybe small crackers at lunch. She hurts me so much.

I told her I should probably get my ticket south, since she is managing so well on her own. She knows I won’t be gone but a week or two at the most. She has me wrapped around her hand, worse than she did when we were kids. As a kid, I could run off with friends and, as a teen, I had boyfriends who would rescue me from my home all the time. She doesn’t say she sick, unless it does something for her.  At the moment, she’s not sick. She’s fine again, she hurts and whimpers, but by golly, she is going to beat down this cancer once more and me in the process.

I know she is taking things out on me because I’ve been in her house too long. She hates having to share her world with someone not of her choosing. She wants to hold the reins of everything (even if they are held badly). She loads the dishwasher half assed and remembers how things are done, but can’t quite do them like she used to. However, that isn’t her fault. It is the modern bad grain of yarn, knitting needles, the soap used for dishwasher pods isn’t as good (if things are not clean in the dishwasher) as it used to be, and the reasons go on. She talked to the people who wanted to adopt her dog today. She told them she was doing great and she was not going to give up Obi. They are glad she’s getting well.

She used to be so busy. In early 2016, she was still teaching. She was volunteering and managing her life in that ‘used to’ mode. She reminds me of how lazy her kids are. I am not sure what she did when she was my age. I know she’d already beaten colon cancer, she was working full time in schools, sewing, taking projects in to kids for craft time, I’m not sure if she was in the Juvenile center as a teacher or if she was subbing in the schools, she was in theatre either onstage or elsewhere, she played in her church and I don’t’ know when she started playing in two churches. Quite honestly, I didn’t talk to her very often because she was never home. Dad was, I talked to him a lot before he died. I know after he died, in 2006 or so, she managed a day care while she was flying to ANC a couple of times a week for radiation for breast cancer. She’d fly up in the morning and work in the afternoon.

One of mom’s friends told me that perhaps she was resting so much now because her body finally had a chance to do so! I know I sleep a lot. Between blogging and reading and sleeping, those are my escapes lately. I’m so thankful I had that great weekend a bit ago. The joy in people around me who message and text and email. Those are the gems to hold onto in the darkness of mom. The mom who will not give mercy, because I don’t need it. I watched a video, (I can’t find it again, I may have mentioned this before) there was a phrase saying God is a babysitter on the phone. It was incredibly visual. He’s too busy for anything in my life, I get this. Most everyone is! Besides, I don’t know what I need and if I can’t figure it out, why should I get it?!? Especially mercy.

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The Dark Side–so to speak!

I watch mom and feel helpless. She is slowly melting into nothing and pretends she is fine. So, I’m going to her side. Sort of. I’m going to push her to movement and doing things as best I can. I’ve been with her almost exclusively for the last couple of days. I managed to leave briefly on Friday about 7pm for an hour or so, but for the most part, where I go, she goes also.

Thursday was a bad day. (I may have mentioned this…)She managed to burn herself at lunch and then put a brace on her hand so the nurse wouldn’t see it. (she wears it often, I’m hoping the burn is ok. It didn’t look bad, but she keeps wearing the brace.) I wasn’t told til much later. Her striving for normalcy was so frustrating, I decided then I wasn’t going to deal with pretend anymore. At least, for the time being. I’m not going to protect her. I’m not going to get her up in the middle of the night (this might be hard to do….) and only give her help when she asks. (she doesn’t) Every single medical professional has said to wait. I’m tired of waiting. If she thinks she is well, so be it. I’m going to follow her call and act like she really is ok. (it is sort of pretend, but more like calling her bluff. We’ll see how she does.) She said I shouldn’t push her. My response was if she felt she was fine, she should act like she is.

Friday, she had a friend visit. I often speak to the lovely lady, I like to think she’s my friend. However, I know mom resents my having friendships she has had longer. (she doesn’t say it, but she insinuates it!) So, I stayed in my dungeon while the friend was here. Then, as soon as she left, I chivvied mom into leaving the house to go shopping. I did not want to take her to Walmart, but I did and she was there an hour. She missed her hockey game, but I didn’t care. She needs to realise that in order to live, she has to do it herself. She spent an hour in there, said she was going in and out, but I knew that wouldn’t happen. (I did ask if she wanted someone to walk with her, she refused.) After, I had to stop at the library (I’ve been in books since Friday….and it is Saturday at 8 pm. Oh dear, I might run out of reading material!) and pick up the first of two books I already had, it was on reserve. I stopped at the bank, mom wanted to know why. I’m not quite ready for her to regain control of her finances. I told her I had to put a couple of checks in. We got back by 6 pm and I let her put away all the groceries she purchased. (She bought a LOT of junk.) She was panting and whimpering, but insisted she was quite ok. She didn’t sleep well and I did wake her up at 4 am. (that was before I made my choice to let her be)

We had a discussion about driving. She really really really does not like she’s not allowed to do that anymore. None of her medical persons want her to drive. I’ve been told, if I leave, to take the keys or park the car elsewhere. I’m not quite ready for her to be that mad at me! But, the roads are drying out and she’s looking forward to walking. She wants to regain her strength and if a melted candle can, so be it. Just talking about doing something isn’t going to do it.

Saturday, I wanted to drop some stuff at the dump. I don’t usually do recycling at the same time. There is too much. Mum, however, decided we should do all of it. I insisted she go with me and she insisted we take the dog. (so I rearranged the car of recycles to make room) Once there, she helped unload things and tossed heavy bags of trash into the bin. She was really panting, but said she was used to being the dump person and it wasn’t fair to make me do it by myself.

The beach was packed today, it was really warm out! Above 50, I think. Mum was bundled up in a sweatshirt, down jacket, and toddled around. (to hear her tell her friends about her walk is funny. But, I also posted on FB how ‘great’ she was doing) We didn’t stay there very long and she was exhausted. I stopped to get gas and mum was shocked at the prices. (She’s upset about how much things are costing and she’s worried she won’t have enough to do other things) On the way home, we discovered the swans were back.

There is a creek between two lakes (a large one and a smaller one) and the swans show up on the edges before the ice melts completely and they find a secluded spot to nest. This year was the first year I’ve seen them IN the creek since High School and there were two pair. (mum said she’s seen swan on the creek right near the culvert, but she did amend she’d not seen two pair before.) It was exciting to see these giant lovely creatures. I’m pretty sure they are Trumpeter swan, Tundra swan usually hang out in large groups and generally stop in the river flats area before heading further north.

Anyway, the road over the creek has a guard rail. I cannot step over it. Mum decided she was well enough to not only get out to take photos (hers are not quite as good as mine), she climbed over the rail. I was terrified she’d fall, but of course she didn’t. (I have and learned to go around!) She forgets the spot on the road is a curve and a lot of traffic drives past very quickly, I’m glad no one found her in the road! We were minutes from home and once back, she was tired. I don’t know if she took a nap, I did! (but I’m always tired and she often reminds me that she has more stamina than her kids.)

Anyway, I didn’t get to leave to elf or anything I wanted to do. So, seeing the swans was pretty grand. Tomorrow is Sunday and church. She’s often too tired to attend, I’m going to make sure she does. She did say a bit ago, when she took her 8 pm shot, that she hurt. I reminded her if she hurt, that meant she wasn’t fine. She seemed disgruntled by the observation.

Cleaning Up Cat Nips

The domestic cat seems to have greater confidence in itself than in anyone else. ~Lawrence N. Johnson

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I am not a person who likes too much debris around me. (I am sure others may laugh if they read this, however, if it needs cleaned, I’ll generally clean it!) I am not a neat freak, but I am fond of mostly tidy. Cats, I’ve noticed, don’t really seem to care what their abode is like. As long as there is a place to sleep or sit in relative comfort, they will be ok. (However, warm clothes from the dryer and boxes do seem to be favorite locations.)

I had cleaned up the living room one day. For some reason it was more of a mess than usual and in a frenzy of tidy, I managed to get things looking fairly presentable again. Because our family has a lot of movies, Little Bear was documenting what we had with paper and clip board. I knew it was going to be used later, so I let it be on the floor. Since it was the only thing ‘left’, Moses decided it was a platform for his protest of a lack of proper seating arrangements. After I took his picture and sat down on the couch, he moved to my lap. Probably his entire plan in the first place!