Same song, different verse

I’ve written this over and over. It is probably boring, but you can skip to the last parts where it gets interesting again.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

I was reading a book and ran across a sentence about how hard it was to do something so easy. It was walking. When you walk you take a step, but you must take another step or you will be off balance. The only way to keep balanced is to keep going. As I was thinking about this, I realized even baby steps don’t work when you are a grown up. You can’t take those properly, you stumble when you get off stride. You need proper footwear, supporting and strong. (I recall being on a rugged hiking trail with some tourists. One of the women in a group ahead of me was having a hard time. She also was wearing 3 inch heels) When you exercise and ‘step’ you set your pace when you walk normally. You don’t figure your steps when you are in an area of uncertain ground or clutter. You find a clear space and measure there. As you walk, your handy dandy step counter takes into consideration the terrain you cover and does the math for you. (I don’t have a contraption or app to do this, so if my explanation is inaccurate, I’ll fix it when told. I’m good at fixing most things!)

From what I’ve discovered, I’m out of sync. I’m weak and whiney and bitchy and I can never ever ever be what anyone wants me to be. I don’t know what I am supposed to be. Mom is always right or bigger or better. I’m never good enough for her or my spouse or anyone around me. I feel guilty when I can’t be the person people expect me to be. On the few pancreatic cancer caretaking sites I’ve visited, I feel guilty. Others, in the span of weeks, lose loved ones. I’m often told mom will be ok. When she visits the doctor I feel guilty because the person she portrays is not the one I live with. I often think people don’t believe me if I am able to tell them anything. I try to avoid people and when I’m asked ‘how are you doing?’ I side step the question or mention I’m doing as well as can be expected.

Which is stupid.  I should be quite well. Mom is apparently not as sick as I think she is, I have all the time in the world to read, I am in the most beautiful place in the entire universe when I’m not in the basement, I often leave the house to do errands or other things, I get texts or messages from people every day, my spouse texts me almost every night to say he loves me and to wish me a good night, I read great blogs, I have internet access that is not dial up, I have absolutely everything I need to be content in my position.

What is wrong with me? Why am I so unable to give to people what they need or want? (I don’t expect an answer, I don’t think there is one! Unless it is 42….but, I digress.) I need to keep my mouth closed, each time I open it I say something wrong or harsh or unfair. It is easier to talk to strangers I’ll never see again, I don’t have to be careful I’ll step on a set of toes. I see different friends live their lives and am jealous. Which is absolutely ridiculous. As a Shadow Girl, I’ve always watched other people. There should be no reason why this last year is any different. I’ve said I need to join the parade, it isn’t logical. I’m a backstage sort. (The ones who do things in the dark and get yelled at when props are misplaced.)

I sense the darkness nearby and am annoyed. It is so much fun to find good in things, blessings, and joy. I have counted them up in my days and written them down. Oddly, they don’t seem to change me. I guess I’m too depressing to allow those wonderful bursts of light to really matter. Slipping into the shadows when one is a shadow is pretty easy. It is crazy how dozens of positive messages can be negated by one off struck seemingly negative hammer blow. Absolutely knocks the feet out from under me.

It is amazing how many lights are out there, though. Different persons send me encouragement and make me laugh at random texts (Kel who was shooting flies with his salt gun and being frustrated about not hitting them!). Books to read with great thoughts mingled in with the fantasy (and even unused gift cards used as book markers! I’m going to take that to the library with the book as soon as I get to town again. I am sure someone might be missing it.). Pints of ice cream, tender chicken breasts, and twizzlers.

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In other news, we got a call from the genetic DNA testing person. The woman was disappointed because she was certain sure they’d find a mutation in mom’s genetic make-up which would give them an opening to find a way to halt the cancer. They are sending us another vial for a sample to archive. They’d like to keep mom’s blood on record for the future. Science is ever changing and discoveries are made almost daily. Someday, it is hoped, the scientists can find a way to stop or cure or otherwise inhibit this sort of cancerous activity in someone else. I like that sort of legacy. Information is a tremendous power to hold. I was also told (I didn’t take complete  notes, she said she’d send hers and I’d much rather have her notes than mine!) I’m in a 23% risk for cancers. (Not bad at all). She also mentioned (I laughed) that mammograms in younger breasts don’t always give accurate information. Because of their ‘density’ an MRI mammogram is sometimes recommended. I told her I’d had regular ones, ultra sound ones, and MRI. In my last normal mammogram in 2016 I was told (off the record, by the tech) my breasts looked great. (she was looking at the imaging, but I had to agree. Absolutely fascinating to see all the veins and then the awful glaring square clip which was inserted because of something the doctors didn’t like. She didn’t see why that was put in, I don’t either. It was incredibly traumatic and sometimes it aches. I was told that is in my imagination by doctors, but there are times it does hurt.) Anyway, I’m pretty sure my next one will be even easier to do as the ‘density’ appears to be on the wane.

Mum’s pain pump meds were increased again. Her health nurse visited and was surprised mom’s having the carpal tunnel surgery and mom wanted to know why she’d be surprised. (I left the room!) Mom’s been telling fish stories from my biological dad (literally, it was one of his favorite things to do, besides dance.). She also doesn’t know the more testing we’re looking at is for cognitive purposes. She’ll probably refuse. (her option)

I’m hoping to talk to a counselour from Hospice for myself, we’ll see if I can finagle some time to get over to her. I’m also hoping to see a movie this next week, to house elf for a bit, and I did get out in the kayak last night. (why does it seem colder on an overcast evening in May than on a sunny late afternoon in an icy September?) Spotted one of our polygamous Golden Eyes. He had 5 females around him!!!!! Of course they flew off as soon as I got the camera out.

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photo from end of last May

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Memorial Cat Nips

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~ The Wonder Years

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Moses was sitting nicely by Wilson (the bear), until the photo was being taken. (of course)

Memorial Day is a day to remember here in the US. Many people don’t pay much attention to the reasons behind it, but I do. I understand the loss of a military loved one and the ache and frustration left behind. One of Strider’s favorite Staff Sgts was killed by an IED during an investigation of a building. His wife and kids had to leave the base where they were living and go on without him. I’m so thankful my son came home, so many didn’t. There are many platitudes and phrases about the glory of our fallen. These men and women ARE heroes. Yet, it is not wonderful, it hurts deep inside. The bones of our nation ache from the crippling agonies caused by war. I weep each time I hear the song ‘Taps’, knowing so many will nevermore greet the morn.  I pray no one will ever forget these sons and daughters who are gone and what bitter reasons took them from their productive lives in our world.

When I read over those who have fallen in different blogs or enews letters, my eyes overflow with sorrow for what is gone, for pride in who those people were, and I will always remember.

Sunshine and….

Where to start? Well, I ended my last post with the blessings of people who help, so I’ll begin there. Remember Dan? He said he’d have people at the property at 10 am. So, a large grey Ford showed up just before 10 in the morning and a man got out. I didn’t recognize him. (I was so embarrassed. It was Justin, the man who has helped me with information and even taken photos for me. I’ve never seen him without his work clothes and silvery black hard hat.) Soon after Dan showed up. Justin brought a sturdy shovel, a bag of hardware bits from Home Depot, and knew exactly what to do. Dan amused me. (and then annoyed me, cuz he left his paper coffee cup, but I digress!) He brought a small garden like shovel, kept calling everyone buddy, was more talk than action. Apparently, he is the manager of the construction company. Not sure I understand, cuz Justin is the head honcho of the guys working and you can sure tell! Anyway, Dan called in a couple other guys, both who are familiar with the road and the black phone line that crossed the ditch they made. However, most of the work was done by Justin. (see photo? The first one is the area where the pipe was put and the second is from Saturday.) Because the work being done was so far from the house, I was in the house and texted Dan each time Justin did something to let him know if phone was working or not. I truly did appreciate these guys-

When they left, I went to the post (I picked up a book I had ordered!!!!!!!!!) After lunch, I opted to move around the pallets on the tires in the lake. Over the summers I’ve been home, I staple plastic over the slats inside the pallets, add floating dock foam stuff, and add more plastic. Last fall, some stupid little creature had gotten in where there wasn’t plastic and chewed a divot in one section. This mess left popcorn looking bits in the water and the ducks, because they eat anything, needed protected. (you are not supposed to feed them bread anymore, I reckon plastic foam is probably worse!) While I was down by the lake, I heard Obi barking and then a man’s voice. I raced (about killed myself) back up the hill to the house and found one of the phone companies was here to fix mom’s line. I showed the nice young man where Peak had fixed it (Justin) and he said he’s update the trouble ticket for the other phone company when they come out on Tuesday afternoon. (you see, mom has a very old landline. VERY old. When I arrived in 2014, the main phone company was going to drop their internet access for their customers. I didn’t mind. It took more than ages to get anything! However, mom didn’t jump on the wagon early enough and so we had to go with Dish for internet. Not too bad, but frustrating. Our neighbor across the way has high speed GCI internet and we didn’t qualify for one of the ‘nodes’. We weren’t the only ones out here in that predicament, but still annoying! Meanwhile, the first phone company—ACS—was in charge of her actual phone bill. The other company, GCI, was in charge of her unused cell phone. She has it, I think, because it was the in thing. Anyway, in December 2016, I finally merged the two bills and GCI was who we paid for the landline and the cell phone service. BUT, ACS is still in charge of the lines going to the house!!!!!)

Mom was pretty tired most of the day and didn’t do much. Except take less pain meds. I went back down to the lake and finished my project as far as I could. (I was a tad annoyed when the stapler unexpectedly opened and dropped some of the staples in the lake!) I was really put out by the ducks, though. They are supposed to eat water things and bugs. I had thought leeches were on their diet, too. But, right where they had been hanging out I found two this size. It looked like they had legs, but when I scooped one out to toss on shore (I had on plastic gloves) my glove was covered by baby leeches! (I looked up symbolism of leeches…they are supposed to show strength and healing and all I felt was ewww!) While mom slept a bit, I tidied up the pile of brush in the center of the ‘yard’. It has been an eyesore for years, but mom said it was fuel for her chimenera. Most of it was ancient birch. (rotted clean thru) I did find a duck feather near where I was cleaning up debris to add to my shrine basket. It is starting to look very pretty! (The first photo is the leech, the second is a feather clump I found today in the lake, I didn’t wade out to get it!)

Sunday, mom decided she was determined to go to church. She said she hurt, but not too much. We got off on the wrong foot because mom was pretty sure the bare earth where the construction had been would be full of fireweed this year. I disagreed because the fireweed is already around 6 inches high and blooms in late July. I decided to hit a couple of stores while she was in church. Which I did. I picked up two packs of nasturtiums (they cost as much as the two organic singles I purchased the other day!) and then I was on my way to get cinder blocks when I got turned around in an abandoned parking lot. It was so cool, as I back tracked, I found 4 tires tossed into the woods. I grabbed one and might get another when I go back next week. (I wanted tires to put the pallets on. I hope to move one pallet away from my kayak launching area. The ducks might use that to hang out on instead…..maybe) I got my cinder blocks and a stair bit I used as the top of one of my crude benches. I will need to get some rectangle paving stones to make it a smidge taller for comfortable seating for short persons. I even went to the end of the church service. I was very pleased. It was a good afternoon.

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picture taken at 8 pm. 

Until I came inside after making level places, moving blocks to the lakeshore and setting up benches in various places. Mom was outside and said she had to get things done. The plants she’s planted have the root ball far above the top of the soil line, but she says she knows what she’s doing. (I’ll replant them later) She dropped a clay pot on the ground and I think cut herself. She didn’t want me to do anything, so I came inside. And went to sleep and woke to what I am sure was an incredibly low glucose. When I checked it was 59, but I was sweaty and my legs were heavy and I couldn’t move them and I was so scared! Disoriented and unsure of where I was, I knew I needed to get up to make dinner and get something for me and it was awful. I prayed for strength, it was a relief when it arrived. After I got my blood sorted and dinner done, I went back outside and sat on my new bench in the sunshine. I even put the kayak down by the water. When it got colder (the sun went behind some clouds that only got darker as the night went on!) about 8pm, I sat on my second bench next to the house. (It is amazing how handy a pair of cinder blocks and a board are!) I texted several more friends and two of them carried on long text conversations with me. (textersation???)

I’ve been thinking of others and wondering how worthwhile I am as a friend. I have so little energy to give others, I often wonder if I can have more than a ‘drive by’ sort of relationship with anyone. Ah well, it gives me something to ponder when I’m not reading or sleeping!

I’m going to pull a technique from a couple of the other blogs I follow and ask a question. So, what do you think of leeches and do you have them in your area? Or do your feelings about the creatures stem from Hollywood and ‘Stand by Me’?

Shoulder Work

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It was one of those weeks where I had two pints in two days. Of ice cream. The first pint I had on Thursday when I found out mom will have carpal tunnel surgery. It will be on June 29. After the nurse visited, I also learned she is concerned about mom’s cognitive faculties. It may be the drugs or it may be more cancer. Which might mean testing. Which means I cannot leave her yet.

Mum’s been sleepy and in pain. So, she’s decided to remove her drugs all by herself. She is halving her nausea meds and not taking the pain ones as often. She is still doing the bolus for her pain pump, but not as much. She’s really not liking how it makes her feel. She’d rather hurt and be sick.  Although, I did notice tonight she said her pain was at a 5. (And she said she didn’t do anything to make it hurt so much!)

I had the second pint on Friday. After I ended up driving 40 miles one way to get a prescription that didn’t matter (that was the first thing that happened. No, the first thing was the morning headache that I finally got rid of by 2pm). The script for the cool Freestyle Libre seemed to be getting hung up somewhere between the doctor and the pharmacy, so I drove to the office to get it. When I returned to the pharmacy, the nice lady there (who used to be a home health employee-end of life sort of help) discovered Medicare isn’t covering it just yet. The pharmacy will keep it on file cuz it should be getting approved sometime in June. Probably. I ended up getting my errands done and tried to call mom to tell her I’d be a bit late. I couldn’t get thru, so just drove home. I found out when I arrived that the phone line was cut by the construction folks. So, after having some of the much needed chicken I had purchased, I decided to make phone calls with a spoon in my second pint. I first called the company who was doing the work on the road. That lady told me to contact my phone company. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a help line for them in the last phone bill. In teeny tiny print at the bottom of the first page of the bill I saw a customer service number (NOT a 1-800) and called it. After getting routed around, I was led to Hugh. A super sweet helpful youngest responsible child in his own family.

He was a shoulder. (There are so many of them in our world!) He wrote up the trouble ticket to make sure it would be addressed as soon as possible and gave me much encouragement and yes, I whined to a total stranger! (Thank you so much, Hugh!)  I was and still am in awe for the kindnesses given to me by souls who have walked the path I am on. After we ended our conversation, I listened to a message from Dan. Dan is from the company doing the work on the road and when he found out about the mishap, he jumped on it. He said he’d make sure there would be people here by 10 am. Between Hugh and Dan, mom’s phone will be restored ASAP! (I was a bit surprised because Dan had the gal who talked to me first look up my number. I didn’t realise how easy that would be to find someone, but it was ok.)

Podman, Kel, The Captain, TnT, Strider, and several others texted me encouraging messages today. I even got a couple of texts from The Craftsman, who was really busy doing housework. In spite of wanting to be held as I cry myself out, I have people all around me holding me up with their words. Early this year, I recall dripping tears as a friend gently clasped the lapels of my shirt. As precious as that was, it was a rare moment in time.  I know I need to be strong enough to let others encourage me in different ways.

I am blessed by my love affair with letters and sentences. I can see how they are helping light up my darkness and giving me strength. The phrases from those who care create a base which will not crumble. Even if I do, I know they support me. I am an incredibly fortunate person who is often lonely, scared, trying so hard to be brave and wants cuddled and touched by hands. A person who needs to remember the net of words around her are those hands. And a strong light in the clouds.

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Snuggly Cat Nips

There is something about the presence of a cat… that seems to take the bite out of being alone. ~Louis J. Camuti

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mum and mittens on may 17

Mittens is mom’s cat. I’ll get a very insistent visit around the time the kitter normally gets a wet food snack, but for the most part, I’m less than interesting. Mittens is good for mom, even if Mittens does tend to bite a bit too hard when you ‘bother’ her too much. I’m very glad mum is home and able to have her fur kidz. Obi sometimes chases the cat, the cat always wins. I’m not impressed with the clawing up the underneath part of the mattress. Mum doesn’t seem too upset. The cat did it to the old mattress, too.

Mittens loves to snuggle with mom. She also has a tendency to pat the kindle and most kindles are a touch screen…which often will mess up mom’s games. Oddly, mum doesn’t read on her kindle. Which is probably just fine according to the cat!

Trains and Snipes

The last two weeks have been an out of control train and I’m not allowed to do anything but watch the driver. She’s going to kill herself. I hope I can jump off before she derails.

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This last week she has not wanted to do much of anything. Recall we got the results from her radiologist saying she was ‘good to do all manner of things, including a trip outside (to the states…the rest of the states in the lower 48 of the United States).’ From my point of view, she’s not really able to do much at all. She didn’t want her good friend to visit last Friday or Saturday. She didn’t go to church on Sunday. She stumbles often, but doesn’t fall (or at least, she hasn’t told me if she has). One day, I did find her on the floor. She said she was playing with her dog. (Plausible and probable as Obi was right next to her, but she has tripped over him before.) I heard crashing noises one night and jumped from my bed, to see what was the matter. (sheesh, I sound like I need to run to the window and throw up the sash!). Anyway, I heard her in the kitchen and she said she was trying to get a beverage bottle from the cupboard and the bottles fell out. She didn’t have anything to say as to why I heard a thud from the living room area of my ceiling. She has done a touch of weeding (I’m afraid she’ll fall into her big rosebush, but she wants to do it and it is outside and good for her) and sleeps and sleeps in a moment’s notice. (She says it is her age and that she stayed up to watch the latest Royal Wedding, which should not have continued to make her sleepy into this week…maybe) Today, we went to her pain doctor again. The doctor upped the doses. I think the one she has all the time was increased 20% and what she gets in a bolus boost was increased by another 10%, Mum was pretty out of it at the office. Even though she pretended, I think her doctor noticed mom falling asleep while waiting for the doctor to calibrate the machine. (Mom is really hurting a great deal. I wish I could make it go away.) When we were done, it was after noon (I really need to carry food with me) and mom didn’t want lunch yet. She wanted to get her new glasses first, so we did. I had assumed (silly me) we would eat in the store when we got to the place, but nope. Mom wanted her lunch in the car. So, I didn’t get anything til we got home after 130. (at dinner I mentioned I wasn’t that hungry cuz I had eaten a late lunch. Mom reminded me she ate late, too, because she didn’t eat all her lunch in the car. She had part of her sandwich in the house and didn’t finish her shake..where I ate too much and got sick from all the fats. Yuck) She’s not eating as much as she used to. Not really. She has most of her meals, but not all of them.  (I took this photo of her on the 21st)

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The part that makes me the most nervous is mom’s 8 pm alarm went off and I usually wait to see if she does it before reminding her. I heard her about 830 in the kitchen, so figured she was ‘ok’. About 915 I heard her say she and Obi were going on a walk about. I dashed to the stairs (it had rained and it was chilly and even if it was daylight, I wanted to make sure of what she was doing) and found out she was going to get her paper. I reminded her the paper hadn’t arrived today and I had looked 3 different times and we’d see if one would arrive in the morning. Well, it turns out she didn’t realise it was still night time. She thought it was morning. I understand this can happen in Alaska with long daylight hours, but it was still scary. She took her morning Lantus shot of 16 instead of the evening one of 4 units. She took several units of Humalog to cover her blood sugar and then ate breakfast. (we had eaten dinner at 6pm) So, her body had her dose of Humalog from her dinner she had eaten at 6 and then more for her ‘breakfast’ a couple of hours later. Thankfully she didn’t take the meds in her daily pills box. Which, I notice has only pills in it for Wednesday. Which she should have taken at the time of her real Wednesday breakfast. I wish she’d let me monitor things. She says I don’t need to do that, I’ve done it enough and she’s quite able to do things herself. (she needs to change a fitting and is sitting watching tv and reading like everything is perfectly perfect)

As for me, I finally got myself some CBD oil. I researched it and realized it would be a whole lot less stressful for my body to take than some of the prescribed meds. Like the one for neuropathy that reads (and I know, side effects cover anything that may have ever happened to people taking the drug) it may cause irritability (was told not to take it if that happened…I’m already irritable!!!) or depression (ummmm, I don’t want to do that again!) or tummy aches and headaches (like I want to add to the ones I keep getting) or blurred vision (hello? I need new glasses and when my glucose goes wonky, but vision blurs anyway!). So, I picked a tiny bottle of drops up and have started with a smidge and we’ll go from there.

I’m pretty sure I won’t get any sleep tonight, though, or get a less tension filled evening. Because I was told to keep an eye on mom by the health nurse I called after hours. I was also told to bring her insulin to my room, so she couldn’t take it. (closing the door after the horse is gone, I reckon) I didn’t do that, but I did go up and have her check her blood. Which she did quite calmly. The really cool CGM called the Freestyle Libre is not available yet. It appears the pharmacist didn’t hear back from the doctor or the doctor didn’t hear from the pharmacists. Thankfully, they remembered me at the pharmacy and resent it to the office. I wish we had it, I would find it much easier to press a remote over her arm to check her blood than have her do it on her own. (I JUST went up to see if she needed help with getting a bottle of ensure open for her lowering blood sugar and she got mad at me and said ‘I suppose you should, because I’m a baby now.’ She then opted to finish her shake from lunch.)

beautiful blooming blossom blur

Photo by Leigh Patrick on Pexels.com

In Oregon, the sod in the yard wasn’t put back like I thought and are now pillars of dried out grass and dirt. I suggested planting wildflowers in the (at least 24 foot long) bit of bare dirt in the yard, but it wasn’t met with much enthusiasm. I’d push for it if I was there! Imagine, a long 3 foot wide strip of wild flowers blooming in straight line down the almost middle of a verdant green lawn. It brings smiles to the soul. I do think they are rather fortunate I’m a million miles away and can’t go and buy seeds for the empty space. Strider is finding more interesting house things with being a home owner. It appears his water systems are all messed up (hoping this stops with the kid on the East Coast. I cringe when I hear the words ‘septic system’). On the great side, he got some of the sunstones he mined cut and they are beautiful!!!! (I keep reminding him his mom would love one of his ‘costume’ stones, but I guess I will need to wait. The expensive cut gems are more than I want, but I’d love one of the ones he is polishing and putting into his own jewelry. The cut stones he’ll sell after getting them appraised.) Up north I’m reading old favorites and seeing and talking and texting people from near and far. I continue to be incredibly tired and am thinking about more things than I make time to blog. I am not even too interested in getting out the kayak. The work of hauling it down to the lake and getting in and out of it are a tad daunting at the moment. Thankfully, it’s been cold and windy! The absolute most awesome thing was identifying a bird I’ve been wondering about since 2014. It is often heard when it is dark and I don’t have the technology to identify a bird by a call. I finally spotted it today. It was a dark fast moving speck high in the sky. I was able to get the binoculars on it and mark the shape. From there, I used mom’s silhouette bird book and on my ipad started looking up birds of that dimension and their sounds. Eventually, I stumbled upon the correct avian. It was a snipe. I’d been hunting for it for years and had no idea! (please click on the link. LOTS of awesome information!)

I am more-

Today I had the opportunity to hang out with an old friend while his jeep was being worked on. This morning, I opted to forgo that chance to visit because I felt mom might need someone at the house. (she didn’t most of the day) Because I was staying around, I also decided to continue taking photos of what is happening on our road.

I have other blogs and one of them is for my family and friends who are unaware of what I write Around the Korner. (I am fairly certain most of them would have more than kittens. Kittens are fairly easy to share with others. What these friends and family would bestow on the world would be worse.) At any rate, in the strictly G news blog, I’ve been sharing some interesting construction being done. A new pipeline is going in near the house and it is fascinating to watch. I have met a few of the workers, some are able to answer questions, and some even let me know when things might be happening so I can take photos. The work is being done for 8 miles, not much of it is around our driveway. Today, there was lots being done (it will also go into Monday), so I was glad I stayed home.

I popped in and out of the house from about noon to 530 pm and took almost 50 pictures. Mom made a comment she’d like to go down and take photos for my uncle. It was raining most of the day (I was glad when it stopped. It was one of those gentle rains that don’t get you wet all at once! Thank goodness for dryers.). I mentioned he could look at the blog and she said she’d like to put the photos in a calendar. (she hasn’t made anyone a calendar since 2015. She’s planned to make them, has bought the blanks to do so, and there they sit in the basement.)

The last time I came in, mom made me so mad. She asked if I knew everyone yet. I told her no, I only knew a few of the workers because they keep an eye on the ‘civilian lady who wanders past with a camera’. Then, she asked if I had sat in any of the trucks or machines. WTF!!!! I looked at her and emphatically said, NO. And then, I asked why would I do such a thing. That these guys are busy and sitting in one of their vehicles is probably illegal. (I’m still annoyed!) She brushed off my words and I decided to tell her about how neat it was to watch the pipe being laid in its final resting place. (thinking it over, I think mom was jealous I was outside talking to people and she wasn’t. I’m so glad I didn’t go with my friend. Mom would have made me feel really guilty about doing that.)

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June sunrise

 

So, you can see I had one of those see saw sort of afternoons. Popping into WordPress, the sun came out in a glory of color and light. A kindred spirit and soul friend, Rhapsody, had this great idea a while back. She thought to celebrate someone each Friday. She chose me to start off her project. ME!

 

Rhapsody is also in a place similar to mine. She is a joy filled woman, ready to praise and encourage at a moment’s notice. I’m always humbled and taught by her words when she is able to share them (her internet is about as frustrating as mine!). More than often her posts speak to me in my darkness or frustration and I star them in my emails as they come through. She, too, has left where she lived to go back to where she grew up to care for her mom. We are both nature people. We both enjoy rocks. There are so many similarities between us, it is almost eerie. I’m not entirely sure how our paths crossed, or where they reconnected in this time after knowing each other in a different lifeline. It doesn’t really matter. I am blessed by my connection with this amazing woman and honored she feels the same about me.

I mentioned how I’d created a type of ‘shrine’ for her one day. Every now and then, I add to it. I put bits with it I think it needs. There is now a blaze of red dried foliage in with the purple dried flowers. Around the base of the container are the rocks with dried rose petals. (they were white petals, they dried to an old ivory) It is lovely to know my thoughts for her are zipping out of my basement and across the ocean to her world. I also think of others when I look at the place I created for Rhapsody. Taking care of parents is something I’ve learned doesn’t just happen to a few of us. Many of us are in this position and we all need each other to uplift and remind. Remind us we are not alone. Remind us we are being the best person we can be. Remind us that no matter what sort of dance we are a part of, the song will always go on in some form or another, whether we are moving or not.

Thank you so much, Rhapsody, for being an allegro measure in my life and helping me to become more.

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Imaginary World

I must be living in a world of pure imagination. (I didn’t coin that phrase, it is from one of my favorite musical movies ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’) I’m not surrounded by chocolate, but the illusions of my mind and mom’s. Let me splain.

Monday mum had appointments. At the first one mum was prescribed this most awesome invention I’ve only paid a smidge of attention to. It is called a Freestyle Libre (Little Bear said that was absolutely redundant and was disgusted with the lack of imagination…see, there it is again!) and is a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) beyond any I’ve used or seen before. The patient wears a small patch on their arm. This patch can get wet and can be worn for 10 days and is covered by Medicare! What does it do? It allows for unlimited glucose testing which happens when you pass the remote over the patch. (I so want one of these!!!!! But, The Craftsman has picked up while I was gone, many boxes of strips for my own meter. So, I’ll wait til those are gone before asking a physician to prescribe this for me.) The bad part is the technology. You download the information to your PC and print out the results of I can’t recall how many at a time. Mum’s not turned on her laptop for months. She’s just not got the energy. Of course mom said she’d do it, but guess who will get to??? (insert eye roll) We wandered around a bit til her next appointment and had lunch at DQ. She wore her new teeth and had trouble eating (I am hoping she’ll get used to the teeth, I reckon it will take a while.). She gave her dog the remainder of her hamburger when we got home. Anyway, we got to the radiologist and he ordered a cat scan for Wednesday. Mom was her normal optimistic cheerful self til we got in the car to go home. Then, she needed pain and nausea meds and wasn’t feeling very good.

Tuesday, I had an appointment. Which showed I am over in my thyroid, so not to take the half pill with my usual dose on Sunday (I take one every day and then one and a half on Sunday). I’m over in B12, but not a problem. And otherwise, I just need rest. My weepy red eyes have no infection, they just look terrible. The excessive discharge I often have I was told is normal, but the gal I saw suggested a fix. She said to use diluted white vinegar and wipe it around the vulva with my finger when I wash. (she also said it would feel good. I’m game!) Someone else later suggested I try CBD to help relieve tension. I know the oil works on SSC’s cat, so I’m seriously thinking it might be a good idea! I did tons of mom errands and got her new CGM ordered (Medicare may pay for it, but they are very picky as to how the prescription looks!) and found out her house is paid off and visited with a lawyer about said house and land as property with the will and got her a new paper box to put on the other side of the road (maybe the newspaper will end up in it!) and still had time left in my day. I drove around looking for someone who didn’t have many customers to see if I could get a haircut. I finally found one. I felt terribly guilty about doing it. I should have been doing something else for anyone else. I was also nervous. I, for the very first time in my entire life, had color applied to my thinning strands. A tinge of purple. When finished, I realized why I continued to use the shabby chic home method of styling. A new tat would have been around the same price and last longer! But, it was done. No one who has seen me has noticed. Not even mom. I have! I had 9 inches removed. I probably should not have washed it for a few days (I waited over 24 hours). I think it is more reddish now. Sad Kris….

Wednesday arrived. I woke mom at four am as usual and she told me she needed more bags when we went to her appointments. Not fittings. She woke and slept and I had told her I wanted to leave at 930 in the morning and we were late cuz she had fallen to sleep again and she was cranky. Til we got to the office, where she was cheerful and feeling incredibly well and pissed at me cuz I mentioned how awesome it was she felt good now we were out and about. (she hates when someone notices she might have a weakness) We got her pain pump meds bumped up again. The doctor is pretty sure the pain pump will eventually be able to control most of the pain. Then Dr. K looked at her right hand. She’d had carpal tunnel surgery on it ages ago and it looks like she’ll need it again. We go back next Wednesday to see for sure. The time between the two appointments was lengthy. Mum bought dog food and some tea because she said it made her feel better (the packet has 20 bags in it, the packet I bought a while ago still has 15. But, she said she needs to drink it cuz my uncle says he does), the pouches for her waste, and then we went go get plants, even if it was raining (Doesn’t she look a bit like Yoda???).

The scan went fast, which is normal, and the results were there quickly. The doctor sat with us in his waiting room. He said mom’s 4 tumors are only marginally larger and she doesn’t need to come back for 2, 3, or 4 months. They are growing slowly and she should be able to travel or do whatever she wants. He saw no problem with her being left alone if I wanted to leave her. (note: he doesn’t live with her, but that is where my delusions step in. I must be imagining all the things I see in her. Maybe) When I talked to mom about going to Homer or her sister’s in MN, she said later. She’s in a great deal of pain still. But, she’s glad she has time to get things done, she’s got too much to do. (whatever!)

I talked to one of her friends about mom’s appointments and was told mom reminds her of a balloon losing air. Each time she talks to mom, mum sounds weaker and less coherent. Other friends are hoping I can leave anyway. She’s a roller coaster. I really hate going fast, high places make me nervous, and I’m an absolute chicken when it comes to almost everything. Shadow Girls need to remain in the shadows to be most effective.

So, as my dance continues, I’ve gotten to another hold in the score and motion is paused. Next Thursday we find out if her dominant hand will have surgery. Which means I will need to stay til she can function comfortably again…or maybe they’d put her in a rehab place.(Probably not, the therapists usually come to her.) Not being able to use her right hand will mean she can’t give shots or change her fittings properly. If they can’t do anything for her painful useless fingers, I’m not sure what will happen. I’m just waiting til the orchestra starts the music again. I often suggest I’ll leave her alone for 24 hours and this time I am really seriously serious about it. (I’ll need to clean up the basement til it looks like I don’t live down here. She gets a bit annoyed when she comes downstairs and can’t find her things. And she’ll HATE I have to take her car to leave. And she’ll want to know where I am and what I’m doing. I detest being a 17 year old who is in her early 50’s…and who wants to visit a chocolate factory and play in a candy garden.)

Mother’s Day Cat Nips

I count it as a certainty that in paradise, everyone naps.’ Tom Hodgkinson

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On Sunday we were told 85% of the gifts mom’s get on mom’s day are things she doesn’t want. What she wants is a love and hugs, a day off and rest. I absolutely get this. I find it amusing that when and if I get back to my family, I’ll spend the entire week cleaning and baking and watching movies each night (I am thinking I’ll finally get to watch all the new Marvel movies and the Star Wars ones!). I will be experiencing a different sort of rest. (I’ll probably go to the dentist and the eye doctor, too)

The photo above is probably one of my very favorite cat pictures. It always makes me laugh. Maxwell T. Silverstone is at the pinnacle of absolute rest on top of the lawnmower bag in the sunshine. Little Bear took this photo. I had reminded him he was supposed to mow the lawn and he came back in the house and said it wasn’t possible. I gave him that ‘mom look’ and then he showed me the picture he’d taken. I had to agree. No one should ever disturb someone that relaxed! (he did get to it later in the day, when the sun moved and so did the cat)

Bless us all as we rest!

On Sunday

All over, these last few weeks, there have been signs promoting Mother’s Day reservations. Between you and me, I’ve had a lot of reservations about Mother’s Day. I wasn’t wrong. (the message in a pansy flower is to be of good cheer, have a clear mind, and a calm spirit. Perfect for this tumultuous day!)

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First, mum had a catastrophe before midnight. She spilled an ensure drink because she would not ask me to help her open it. That stuff is the most nasty sticky goo in the world. (Ok, one of them!) Her pain pump remote was in the middle of a puddle of vanilla stuff. I opted to help assist her anyway, but when it came time to open another drink, she did it herself. (Because she’s quite able to do things by herself.) After she wiped everything down with a wet paper towel and left, I went over it again with a cleaning wipe to cut the sugar residue. It was disgusting. I cannot imagine drinking that stuff! I mentioned she was one stubborn woman and she replied her girls were that way, too. (I beg to differ. If I was as stubborn as she was, she’d be in a care facility! I just have an over developed sense of duty!)

I stayed up late to shower, so was awake when it was 4 am for mom to get up. I waited til 415. I went in the room, she thought she’d already gotten up and I know she hadn’t. I let out Obi and then went back to her room where she was not up yet. I turned on the light, thinking she might not be ok. (she was) She staggered around the house, didn’t want to use her cane (she hasn’t used it much lately, it isn’t necessary. Although, I did notice she stumbled in the yard the other day and caught herself on the giant bird feeder contraption). I had to lead her to her chair and give her meds and help her with the bottled beverage she was drinking. I was seriously concerned. I shouldn’t have been.

In the morning, mom woke at 730. Convinced she’d slept all night without medication (I forgot to write down the 415 am meds) and feeling great. She took a shower and got pissy with me because I had noted she’d not had anything since 4. (she forgot to write down anything for 8:00 and insisted she had) Anyway, she was ready for church and so was I. Except, well…..I had on this super cute wraparound skirt and top and decided I better go to the bathroom before we left. I started to adjust the skirt and realized a whole section had fallen down! (This was like most wraparound skirts, it fastened with a button and a tie.) It appeared the button had fallen off! (I was so thankful that happened at home and not exiting the car, which I had done already that morning, or at church!) So, I had to do a quick change. Which meant mom wanted to know if I was ready to leave, because it was getting late. (She had told me earlier she was going to church whether I wanted to go or not.) On the way in, she mentioned she had tried on an outfit that was still too big. (I was startled. She’s barely 114 pounds. She must have a lot of clothes stashed away.) She said it would keep til next spring. Church was ok. We never sit near each other and the pastor’s sermon seemed to talk to me. Literally. She was talking about how she had to stay with her mom for 18 months before mom died and was the sole caregiver. (She may have looked at me often because I am in a similar boat. She thinks I don’t let my sister help enough. She has no idea. So many people tell me I need to let Jake step up to the plate. She’d break the plate in the process.)

My sisters family were planning on visiting for about an hour or so this weekend. Jake was going to bring dessert. They were to arrive around one on Sunday. Since we went to church, they were going to be here at one thirty. They finally arrived around two. They brought a yummy dessert and didn’t’ stay long. GBee has a gig this evening (he’s a musician and has had gigs all weekend). But, while they were here, he brushed Mittens (who became a puddle on his lap) and my sister and I were guilted into moving something in the yard. Mom’s got this piece of furniture that is freaking awkward and heavy. It is a metal glider she always puts it in the same place not facing the lake. Mom asked if GBee would move it out for her. She then said she and Pippi (the granddaughter) moved it before and she’d do it herself if she needed to. (I was about ready to bite something!) She mentioned she’d have her friend do it if we didn’t want to. (she has turned down visits from this friend four different times in the last couple of weeks) Since GBee had the cat, Jake and I did the job. I am also supposed to get the hoses out and her other yard furniture. (I think it is a bit too cold yet for hoses, but she’ll probably do it anyway.) She has also told me she’ll get the kayak out for me.

Earlier, two other things happened. One was funny, the other was not. Jake had to use my bathroom (mum’s is pretty icky). She came upstairs and told me the can on the washcloth on the top of the toilet seat was not aerosol spray. I said it was, sort of. I like to use a pink gel like shaving cream when I shave, I remove it from the shower to dry off after I use it. Jake thought it was a flower scented spritz. Yup, you guessed it. Silly string over walls and counters. The bad thing was something mum thought would be nice. Years ago, she loaned GBee almost 4 grand to get their house. She gave them the IOU today because she was sure they’d never get around to paying her and to just think of it as part of their inheritance. Jake was stressed like licorice when you pull it just before it breaks, because there was no way they could pay it back. I told her to calm down and not to worry about it. But, talk about having the gift horse bite hard. Sheesh.

In other mom day sort of news. I tried to edit the picture I had taken to make mom look better. (She’s really pale, even when she’s not in the light. Her face is droopy from Bell’s Palsy which happened ages past.) Both boys called me and talked for ages. Strider is not going to make it to Oregon this year (he has discovered home owning has costs he’d not realized), the guys have a super busy line up for the rest of May, and I’m wondering if June might not be a better time to go back. (But, it will depend on Monday’s doctor visits. Although, she really is doing well today. Maybe the DNA results can find her something to cure her.) GBee changed a light bulb for me and the neighbors are sucking water from the lake for their greenhouse and yard. I might not need to move my tires and pallets because the water will end up elsewhere and leave them fairly dry! One of the best parts? I looked my skirt over and it appears it does have the button Just an odd experience!!

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