Ongoing Care

As I was cleaning today, I ran across an envelope that I was about to toss. I opened it up (it was addressed to me) and the first page was The Caregiver Bill of Rights. Rights that I was supposed to hold to as best I could while caring for mom. While reading it over, I realized my caregiving isn’t over. I alluded to this in The Long Goodbye, but damn it! I am still taking care of mom at the cost of my own life. I leave Alaska in a bit over a month and, in a small way, I’m glad. I have a ton of crap to go thru once I get to the states, but at least it is crap I’ve already sorted once. Stuff I can decide to sell or keep or recycle into something else (like the sweatshirts made for mom and dad with handprints from the grandkids. Jake doesn’t want them and suggested garbage.). As much as I love and need to be here, I’m so sick of waiting for things to happen or opening up a closet and discovering I hadn’t emptied it yet. I am going to do that next week. Just empty closets and take stuff somewhere. I’ve been doing it slowly cuz there is such a clothing glut in the few stores we have. I have cookbooks I’m taking in and the most frustrating part is storing it to haul off! (I do not like clutter and piles for this and piles for that makes me want to just walk away! Note: That is an ELO song from ‘Xanadu’. Fun musical! Gene Kelly, ONJ, and some random dude that apparently roller skated in from somewhere.) I need to make some more cash before I leave in October. I am sure it will show up from somewhere. It is obviously NOT going to be made this fall from selling these things.

The lake is gorgeous this month. In between raindrops, it is frequently calm and often glassy. I haven’t seen the bulls lately. But, it is still moose season for a few more days. I wish the guys would just bed down in my yard and hide out! Others are scared of the critters, but if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. (Generally!) I had to laugh last week. The neighbor’s dogs ran to the lake edge barking like crazy. I figured there was a moose around and walked down with my camera. A cow was on my side, not very close, but I got her photo. The dogs continued barking and two of them were wagging their tails. I think they wanted to play! There are still loon, I hear them often and I just looked up to see a flotilla of mallards paddling past. Last night, I was out on the water and spied three golden eye. (Oh, I just noticed there is a single out there on the water! Poor baby. He doesn’t fit with the others, but there is probably safety in numbers. Picture is of golden eye diving-) 



Speaking of mom and this incredible place, when her ashes were put in the lake after the sale, no one took photos and the single picture I thought I took, didn’t take. It is sunny at the moment, Jake isn’t due to be here til after one … I saw her briefly at a party we were both at, but otherwise I have not seen her since the sale. She called to say she needed her folding tables. Tables that when she left were covered in things that needed put away. Which I did. There is still a lot to tidy, but I’ll do it when the drive is getting dug up. (yes, it might really happen the end of this week!!!) BUT, the lake has been beautiful, so I am going to wait for someone to visit, do ashes again, and have the person take photos of the experience. (Hoping the whomever will visit when it is daylight, not raining, and the lake is calm!) I won’t do it when Jake is here, she’s too busy. (she has arrived and gone again. She’ll see me probably around the 24th when we take the rest of mum’s ashes down the inlet) I’d do the photos myself, but the swirl of ashes will look better from up high. Or at least, I was told it looked interesting when it was done the first time.

I keep wandering off into bunny trails in this post! And I completely forgot to mention my busy Sunday or that I made the scrumptious halibut! (I am sure you are all waiting on tenterhooks to find out what I did.—Tenterhooks sound extremely uncomfortable!) Sunday I did sell some rolling carts that were stashed in the rig. (They take up a lot of room, I needed to move the carts and so, and I put them in the vehicle!) After church, I dashed off to the store, met a gal and then TnT in the parking lot and chatted, high tailed it to my next engagement, realizing I was not going to have time to put gas in the Pacifica, and got to the church anniversary in time to miss most of the service. (yup, after church, another church had an anniversary party at 2pm.) I sat with some stellar older folks and the majority of us left around the same time to attend a retirement party at 5pm. Where I sat with some of the same people (Jake was at this one, she sat elsewhere)! I love the people in this area! I learned ‘Poor man’s lobster’ is a delicious old fashioned way to cook halibut (since I didn’t have any clean forks, I used chopsticks to dip it in a butter that definitely needed flavoring), the icing on the cake I sampled (I like tasting how different people bake!) was ridiculous, and the donuts had WAY too sweet toppings on heavy rings. The desserts were very pretty, though!

These last two pictures are ones The Craftsman took. He went to a car show this weekend with over 600 cars and found a 56 T Bird to match the 56 Mercury. How cool is that? A turquoise T Bird!!!!

I have been thankful to thread many golden pearls on my string of memories the last couple of days. I’m going to need them to roll in my fingers when things are less bright.

Lost Day

The nights are getting shorter and once again mom lost a day. I spent most of it reading. Because July 31 is Harry Potter’s birthday-


Between you and me, Mr. Potter is a lame character. I may get blasted for this and I probably said this last year, but really, he only exists for the others to play off of. He almost never manages to do anything on his own. His friends help him constantly. Information is discovered from Expandable ears and sneaky listening, Hermione is always there to drop things she has learned, Professor Snape (who is one of my favorite characters) often has to hit him over the head with information before he ‘gets’ it, and rarely does he do anything on his own. I’m not even sure the series is as brilliant as it is reported to be. (This is one of my favorite stories about the Potter series.) Little Bear was in grade school and we were listening to an audio book. The characters looking for a necklace. They could not find it and finally Little Bear asked me to stop the cassette (yeah, it was that long ago!) Then, he asked if they’d read ‘The Order of the Phoenix’. Because if they had, they’d find the necklace right off. Eventually, the item was found. Exactly where Little Bear said it was. I have always enjoyed the first three books. The last one isn’t too bad. The others annoy me. Needless to say, on July 31, I will always read ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone.’ (I’ll read ‘Chamber’ and ‘Azkaban’ and then I’ll decide if I want to do ‘Hallows’ again or not.)

Tuesday was a lovely day. As you can see by the photo, I went out in the kayak to read. I was surprised at one point. I set my foot on the material of the craft and the plastic was hot!!!!

But, let me start before that. Earlier, mom had an appointment. Unfortunately, I use her appointment cards as book marks and the one I’d been using was not for today. It was for a day in July, but it wasn’t for today. So, I was an hour late. Thankfully, the person after us came an hour early and we basically switched places. (I was pretty mad at myself, but realized mistakes are easy to make. I was so glad it was fixed quickly!) On the way home, I had hoped to get lunch. It was almost noon and mom opted to not stop at DQ. This was frustrating cuz my phone has been acting up and I wanted to stop and find out why. (the phone place is next door to DQ) Mom said she didn’t feel good, but she wanted me to stop at a store.

At the store, mom got out with me. I asked her what she was doing and she said she wanted some things. I was a bit annoyed, but we went in and I got the item she wanted me to get and she got some high carb foods. I was appalled at the contents of her cart. Cherries and nectarines and some other whole fruit, 6 giant muffins, cream of wheat and oatmeal, and cinnamon raisin bread. By that time, it was later, so I wondered if she wanted lunch now. Nope, her blood sugar was a bit high. I had glucose tablets and we drove home.

Once home, I did what I always do. I got out of the car, let the dog out of the house, and put mom’s meds back on the counter. (once she needed them and I had brought the groceries in first, she wasn’t very happy. I need to take her meds each time we visit the doctor. The doctor may not look at them, but I have to bring them anyway.) Mom comes in and tells me some help would have been nice. She had gotten all three bags out of the back of the car and closed the hatch. I bit my tongue.

Later, I decided to go out on the lake. On my way out, I went upstairs and noticed mom had eaten one half of a muffin. I had a quarter of the remaining bit (I was feeling punky and didn’t want to go on the lake if I was low) and it was absolutely delicious! I was so relieved to get on the water. It was warm and the slight breeze was lovely. (I may have said that!) I read and noticed something nasty smelling in the woods and moved my kayak to a different spot of grasses and read some more. I was feeling odd and saw it was almost 5, so I paddled back to the ‘dock’ and toiled up the hill. When I checked my blood it was low. I decided to have dinner early. I opted to have a muffin with the chicken instead of several glucose tablets and chicken (I was too dizzy to cook veggies). Mom, bless her heart, had finished off the one she’d halved earlier, plus one more. She also decided to eat dinner. Potato salad and her chicken and I decided to leave at that point.

I ate and was reading and fell asleep! When I woke it was close to 10 (yeah, I messed up this sleep pattern for today!!!). I went up to see if mom had taken her 8 pm shot. Her glucose at dinner was almost 500 and I couldn’t read the writing in her meds notebook. She was sleeping, I woke her, and went outside to put new tags on the car and hike down to the lake to turn the kayak over. (It looks like it is going to rain!) I came in and mom was in the kitchen in her jammie bottoms and a sports bra, getting ready to take her Humalog. She was in a rush to get dressed and eat breakfast. She’d fed the dog and asked if I’d gotten the paper. She completely lost another day. When I told her it was just after 10 on Tuesday, she was absolutely miffed at me for waking her up (she was sitting up on the edge of the couch and looked like she might topple onto the floor. In addition, her glucose was over 500 at this point).

On the positive side, Obi didn’t mind getting fed 4 hours after his last meal! Also, mom isn’t feeling any pain at the moment. (She has been vacillating from zero pain to feeling a pain of about 7 in an hour.) So, maybe today’s changes made in her pump will be enough for now. Her daily dose was increased another 20% and the bolus dose increased another 10%. (PLUS, the doctor showed me how to read the printouts for her pain pump.) I’m also glad I had that nap, it may be a long night keeping an eye on her.