Germination…

I can’t say anything on FB, I just won’t. There are too many people there! However, I am a tad disgruntled. After sharing the post about the Coronavirus earlier, I am really hoping for common sense to prevail. Germination is apparent from the yard to our human bodies in many places. (photos from free photos on WP)

It turns out an active member in our church was in contact with the person who is now in a local hospital.. she was just taken to the hospital with breathing problems Tuesday night. The pastor of our church took her in after already being in contact with her. Her family was here just a few days ago and are now scattered in different parts of the state. The nearby casino with the infected employee has cancelled everything from movies to gambling to buffets to their extensive hotel. Here in town, luncheons and gatherings have been either cancelled or moved to other times. Yet, the Oregon State Basketball tournament for this division, taking place less than 20 miles from the casino, is still being held.

Stores are being emptied of certain items and we JUST got over the city water issue. I’m not sure if I mentioned that before…Due to the flooding in this area, the town ended up with bacteria in the water supply. The city hall office put notices up everywhere for people to use bottled water or to boil before using. Then, they had to call a much used store to stop selling fountain sodas. As the Craftsman said, ‘There is no law against stupidity.” That lasted more than a week. It ended last Friday, when the city had their banquet to bestow honors on citizens of the year, which was very well attended. The person who was brought in this evening had a huge surprise birthday party for a friend on Feb 23. Dozens of us went.

I imagine the PNW area is going to explode with new growth….and with the advent of spring, coffing with be rampant. Allergies and tiny bugs all enjoying new habitats. I’m still of the mind to stay inside this fenced yard and house walls!

 

Achilles and Angels

I recently thought about how each of us probably has an Achilles heel. A place we are vulnerable and a spot that gets us every time. Granted, we don’t get killed from this place of weakness (I hope!), but it exists and generally isn’t good. Then, today, while waiting for a friend, I started a short story in an erotic anthology. (this is a fairly good anthology series. I enjoy a short that is fairly well written and makes one think. There are some typos, a few bobbles here and there, and the editing isn’t as good as I’d like. I think those come within the territory of ebooks in this age) This story, it made me think. And so, you are getting a post about Achilles and Angels.

The story is titled ‘Bringing Angels to Life’ by Chloe Thurlow. A little bit like ‘My Fair Lady’, but not exactly. (oddly, until typing those words, I had not even noticed how similar it was in genre to that classic musical or even the story of ‘Pygmalion!) The story is about a man who sees a woman and awakens her, the author litters the short with pithy sentences that I ended up highlighting (I wonder if that is why my iPad went from full to 14% in just a few hours???).  Thinking about my own Achilles heel of being responsible, of doing for those around me and not as often myself, these phrases showed me places I need awakened. This will be a long post. Bear with me!!!!

This first quoted started my words winnowing, ‘What is life for, but to be lived?’  Mum made me aware of this and in the last months, I’ve forgotten it a bit. She always planned or said she would do something and it never was done. I have wanted to do things this year, they generally are pushed off because of responsible.

Was I living life? Or was I like the hands on the clock, just going through the motions?’ ME in Oregon or taking care of mom. I didn’t want to come back to the house today, because I am doing the same things over and over. (granted, as I work by myself or with others, I am making a bit of progress) ‘I wasn’t sure if chances came or chances were something you made happen yourself.’ Exactly true. In my Achilles heel, do I wait for chances or do I reach out and grasp them? ‘You only fail when you stop trying, stop believing. I was waiting for something to happen without realizing I was waiting. It was like I was dreaming of winning the lottery, but neither had the ticket or the intention of buying one.’ OUCH!!! I look at where I am with The Craftsman, dream of where my life could be, and do not do a thing besides what I’m expected to do. (I have had affairs. They have taught me more about myself than 30 years of marriage. Odd!)  One of my friends is changing his life, I’m so proud of him. I need to not just follow his example, but strike out onto my own path of change.

I laughed at this next quote I found. It was so me. Except I don’t look for new shoes, I look for books. The main character is wondering what she wants to do and glances down. ‘Some new shoes, I thought, that’s what I need.’ I highlighted it because it is so easy to find important things one needs that are useful for our daily life, but not what our soul needs.

The tired working woman character meets the Angel Maker after work and he says, ‘Come.’ She ‘realised I had been waiting as if on a cliff edge and just needed a push.’ When we are bent on one pattern, it takes something major to move you out of that rut. I have many places that trip me up. I don’t have a very good self-image. Mom didn’t encourage me much, my spouse doesn’t, and I absolutely crave being told I look nice or am pretty (I know, women are supposed to be beyond that. We are supposed to be lauded for our brains or achievements. I figure I can start with pretty and go from there!). The Angel maker tells the female character, ‘you are more interesting than you think you are.’ When I’m told this, I am flabbergasted. I often excuse the person saying it because they don’t know me in ‘real every day life.’ He then tells the woman, ‘You are here because you want to be.’ She’s not so sure. ‘You are crossing a bridge that is burning behind you as you go, he said. You don’t want to go back into the flames, the what’s the word, the ashes. And you are afraid to go forward. Is true?’ I nodded, ‘Yes.’ ‘I learn in this life, we do not regret the things we do, only what we wanted to do and never did.’   Powerful thought provoking words, those.

The secret of life is to discover what you are good at, then do it, whatever it is.’ I’m not sure what I’m good at. I do like to make others happy. I should not do it at the expense of myself. I need to be the chocolate chip cookie maker and not the doormat. (I was sad last fall when I went back to Oregon and learned the guys sort of weaned themselves off of sweet baked goods. Now what do I do?) ‘I had been waiting for something to happen. I had grown used to waiting, and you grow tired of waiting.’ Actually, that isn’t exactly true for me. Sometimes I get tired of waiting (most of my blog posts the last couple of years! Or getting the pipes dug up—there is a tractor in the drive as I type!), generally I carry books to help me during waits. Escape into another world is a good way to make time vanish.

In her transformation, he begins by sexually loving her. I liked how these scenes were written. It wasn’t graphic, it was beautiful. He accepted her for what she was, saw her desirability in her work environment and her clothes, removed her from the former and removed the latter—not because they were offensive, but as a part of who she was– dressed her in those same things the next day, then took her to buy new clothing and be guided into the woman she should have been.  He accepted her and guided her. (I’d probably do anything for a person who accepted me for myself.) ‘He made me feel wanted, beautiful, special.’ ‘I looked sexy but, more than sexy, I looked in the warm yellow light almost beautiful, and more than that, I looked happy, and thought those things go together like a matching handbag, shoes, and gloves.’ He pretends to be startled by the transformation and she laughs. He notes, ‘There is nothing sexier than a beautiful girl laughing.’ (NOTE: I had no idea sexual intimacy could be fun until I experienced it! I am a great flirt and giggle often while doing that, but laughing and giggling during sex? Blasphemy!) This last quote, I have experienced. KK told this to me years ago and it is a card I pull out every now and then. ‘If you think you’re beautiful, and special, if you lift your chin and hold your back straight, you are a desirable woman.’ ‘Remember at all times, and never forget it: you are a lady, not a tart.’ Then, the Angel Maker reminds her to ‘Never complain, never explain, and never apologise. Some famous lady said that, it’s good advice.’

As in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ ‘When you wear beautiful things, you do feel beautiful.’ I wore black sparkly tights today and my split jean skirt with a favorite flannel top that has a black velvety collar.  Warm and I felt it was pretty. (It was pouring rain today. When I texted The Craftsman that it was raining cats and dogs and I thought a St. Bernard landed in the lake, he responded with ‘A St Bernard?’ I should have just stuck to basic raining! Lol) Since I was meeting one friend for lunch and hoping to see another and shopping, I wanted to feel good and I did. This story I started, it helped me realise I need to wake up and shake off the clinging arrow in my foot.

I don’t need to keep waiting for something, I need to do. Whether I go back to school or move to Alaska or what, staying inside the house cooking and cleaning isn’t all I was created for. Taking care of mom won’t last forever. (I hope!)  I’m good at being responsible, somewhere there must be a different shoe for this Achilles heel of mine.

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.)

Watching and wanting….

(video from YouTube)

Streisand’s Dolly and I have a lot in common. OK, her pipes are incredible and my clothes are not nearly as awesome, but this song is very much where I feel I am now. The passing by part. I want so much to join in and be a part of life! Mum is so sick, I know she can’t do as much as she wants to or as much as she used to. I know my life in Oregon was preparing me for taking care of her by keeping me within my own four walls.

I don’t like it! It frustrates me!I want to go and taste Saturday’s high life..I want to get some life back into my life….I want to raise the roof and carry on, before the parade passes by!

I am so fortunate for the people I know who share their experiences with me. My youngest calls to tell me about movies he’s’ seen and sends me emails with pictures, my eldest calls me (wait, he hasn’t called in AGES!) he texts to tell me about his friend’s new baby and to send a photo of rocks and spiders he’s found, other friends tell me about movies and series they are watching, or work they are doing (one of my friends is an EMT, another goes on trips to sell pet accessories). I get messaged about plans to ‘seduce a bartender’ and emails about vacations overseas. I follow blogs and see what others are doing on Facebook. Dates or parties or hikes, things I can only imagine or plan for others. (I am a VERY good party planner!)

In Oregon, I can sometimes ask The Craftsman to take me out to dinner (often the kid goes with us and we end up at Dairy Queen or somewhere similar), I go for walks by myself at night (tiny town, totally safe!), I’ll sometimes go to movies alone, I exist and read and watch others. Here, in Alaska, I do have friends who take me away from where I am every so often and I am entirely grateful!  Plus, there is my library card and books. The written word has always been my escape, it is a haven.

I was given an idea about something I want to do something this weekend. I’m not going to think too much about it, hopes and dreams are pointless! I gave up on those sorts of things years ago. It seems as if those times when I want to do something, life gets in the way.

For example, tonight. I was sleeping and woke at 255 AM to noises over the monitor in mum’s room. I was going to let it slide. I couldn’t. I went upstairs and checked on her. She looked like she was going to change her fitting by herself. I’m not sure, though, she did have her bed set up for me to assist her. It didn’t take too long, I’m getting adept at tearing off depends and wiping feces away from flesh and sticking glue and mesh onto skin. I did the last one almost a week ago. It would make more sense to just change it once a week, instead of waiting for it to create a mess. Mum’s not ever done it that way before. Which ends up being my reality.

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For anyone who is curious, let me walk you through a ‘clean’ change! First you need to get to the location by getting rid of the underwear or depends. Once you get to the body, you can take steps to remove the fitting. The mesh is often sticky and needs a solvent wipe to remove it. After it is off the skin, the area must be cleaned thoroughly. (I use wet wipes). It needs dried before an adhesive prep pad is used around the stoma (hole in  abdomen) where the fitting will go. The fitting is removed from the wrapper and the sturdy plastic backing is taken off. The backing covers the heavy plastic round part and the mesh, which also has a backing on it. That darker plastic part is pliable and is where a sticky paste is spread (you do NOT want that on your skin!). Carefully, the backing on the mesh webbing is peeled off, it is in two sections. I usually tear off the top half and place it on mum’s body and then peel off the bottom section. The mesh is incredibly sticky and once it is compromised, you need to start over. After making sure the goo on the heavy plastic part is pressed down and the mesh is tidy, I snap on the waste bag.  She then affixes a clip to the bottom. When I was emptying the bags for her, I preferred using the ones with Velcro. Mum doesn’t like those. Whatever she is more comfortable with is what she uses. I hope this sort of gives you an idea of what I do anywhere from several times a week to a 4 or 5 times a month in this new reality I exist in.

Catch Up.

Much has happened since my last post. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I’ll catch you up and then, I’ll catch up with you!

We went north on Tuesday to get mum radiated. (Mum and I went up with a good friend from mum’s church) The clinic is a really pretty building with an info screen about the physicians who worked there. I was a tad annoyed to discover there was only ONE female doctor on staff. Although, she was in the breast health category.  As I sat there gazing hither and yon, I noticed a reflection. I tried to get a photo, but it did not turn out. It was a sign in the parking lot. The reflected words were backwards and read, ‘Do Not Enter.’ I thought it was rather prophetic, but was easily distracted by a magazine next to me. THAT was highlighting the new Black Panther movie!!!! Mum left with a nurse, our friend and I went to lunch, returning to pick her up. It was rather anticlimactic. She didn’t glow and she was hungry. So, we fed her. God bless The Village Inn!!!

The next day had lots of good moments. I forgot how to make the hotel shower work and had a bit of a bath (haven’t had one of those in years!). Then, as I was basking in the warm water, I remembered and ended with a short shower rinse. I purchased some stunning healing stone earrings (learned malachite is toxic!!!). We visited some friends who had moved to the big city, mum bought some expensive cinnamon bread (it is really good), then we went to mum’s appointment and learned she is gaining some weight back! (112 again!)

The doctor came in and we learned some not so good news. Her doctor was matter of fact and as he talked, someone knocked on the door. It was another doctor mum knew really well. (She really does know everyone) They told us the PET scan didn’t show any other visible cancers growing. However, they determined mum was not a candidate for surgery as she is too frail. They wanted her to do radiation.  Palliative, not curative. They are certain more cancer cells are hiding and will show eventually. She was told she had survived longer than many and she still had a good chance to live quite a while yet. I learned a great deal, there are truly some amazing physicians in the world!

Mum was mad. She really just wants it to all go away and be completely well again. She hasn’t been well in many years, so am sort of curious as to how far back mum wants to go to be well. I know I can see changes every day. On Tuesday, I noticed her jeans were dirty. I had wanted to wash them, but couldn’t find them. She said she got them from her stack of clean clothes. Her sweater had food on it. She had not showered or washed her hair in a very long time. (Granted, the drain was messed up again, but I had washed several loads of laundry and myself on Monday with the drains only flooding after all those had been done and it was almost midnight) Mum has always been well-dressed and used to wear a different color for every day of the week when she taught. Mum often sounds good. It is the not good times which make my heart ache so much. I hate she is a walking time bomb and only He knows when the clock is going to be done ticking.

So, that is mum. As for me, I have absolutely AMAZING friends, purchased a yummy Thai dish when I got home, bought strawberries, and a new skirt. Granted, I have not worn skirts much this last year, but oh…I do love them!!!!!! Almost as much as strawberries. (Gracious, I post a lot of  me eating food photos. You would think I was on FB!!! I wasn’t going to share this one, I thought it might be too much…..what do you think?)

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Beauty

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It was much easier to do errands before we moved back to mom’s house. An hour in town meant, a bit more than an hour. Out here, it is so lovely, but an hour worth of errands has at least 45 min driving time added in. So, I need to hurry and make sure I am back pronto. It was also easier finding folk to stay with mom. She hates me calling people to sit with her, but I hate leaving her alone. Today she is in so much pain and sleeping a great deal. I am really needing groceries. There are some things she likes, which I am out of. Oh, I will manage, but I will have to get them before too long.

And then, I want to go see a movie. I really really really really want to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’. My son was a key character in HS and since our school was low budget, I created his costume. I helped create many of the costumes. We had so much fun! His leggings were from ebay and so was his vest set (I made everything else). His gold sparkly coat was so cool, he asked for a silver one for prom (that one was made properly, not for stage!). His hat candle was battery operated and  if we could make it shine, we did! It was definitely a memorable experience.

 I’ve been thinking  a great deal about this story. Belle or Beauty (depending upon the version you read) wanted something more. She was the responsible one in the family and she was incredibly duty minded, even as she dreamed. I don’t have a whole lot of dreams in my life, but I am fairly responsible. Actually, I don’t hope for much at all! But it is ok. Even if I won’t get to wear the new clothes I spent 4 dollars on (big spender!!) to wear when I see ‘Beauty and the Beast’,  or get the chance to buy groceries and test strips in the next day or two, or even if I am unable to figure out where to put window washer stuff in mom’s car (she has a VERY confusing car!!!), it is ok. Mom is still alive, I have books, and the birds have returned. One of my favorite lines from ‘Beauty’ (Robin McKinley-she wrote a GREAT many versions of similar stories and Beauty is only one of them.) is when Beauty finds birdseed and asks of the magic to bring her some birds. Well, in this fortress, they have returned! 

Window

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I do not like high places. I am terrified of them. Yet, there has been a scene meandering thru my brain when I try to settle for sleep. It has popped into my head during night and during naps and it is very graphic. It is during the day and I am wearing pale pink lingerie. I have my hands on the window and I am pressed up against it. It is in a hotel room. I do not know what is outside, I am too distracted by the man behind me. He licks the skin under the criss crossed straps of my lace teddy making me whimper. His hands caress my heated skin, slipping between my legs where they slide in the wanton moisture. His voice makes me tingle with desire. There is the sound of a zipper behind me. I feel wetness being painted on the flesh of my ass with his cock.

And there the damn thing stops!!!  Ridiculous, yes?

Sorrow

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Taken in February, this photo shows mom knitting a chemo hat. She has knitted a LOT of hats for people who visit the Katmai oncology clinic. However, she is ‘out of yarn’ (she has lots left, but not enough to do whatever she is trying to do. She has more in the basement of her house and we’ll get that when we go back there this weekend) and is working on other things. Unfortunately, the other things use finer yarn and much smaller needles. She can’t do it. She can’t see very well, she has trouble holding the needles, and she can’t make sense of the instructions. It makes my heart break to watch her. She comes up with excuses as to why she is having trouble. She got mad when I told her she should relax and let it go, I said her body was sick and those projects were harder for her now. She doesn’t see she is not able to do this. She used to, so she should now.

 Yet, if her nurses or doctors ask how her mental health is, she is fine. Of course, she says this for her physical state, too. It doesn’t help mom took a pain killer today (she is trying not to take those, they make her waste time and she sleeps) and it is also impairing her abilities. She has trouble seeing to read, she has trouble writing, to do crosswords (she still reads and does puzzles, it is just harder), she can’t grasp things well (which is why I help her out so much with medical needs), and she gets mad when the things she CAN do are normal things. Because, she can use the bathroom by herself. She can eat by herself. She does make choices as to when to take certain pills and she can turn off her oxygen machine. She dresses and undresses alone. She pushes herself to be well and manages to prove that for an hour or two at a time.

But, my heart aches watching her. 

Fast

 

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Things you do over and over take time. Dishes, sweeping, washing clothes, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, brushing teeth, washing hair, dressing and undressing, eating..it is incredible how much of our life is spent doing things that need repetition. Thankfully, most of them don’t really take very long at all. I need a shower. Again. Mom is napping, do I wash dishes or shower? One is where I can answer the door and one is not (although, there IS a window looking out onto the porch next to the bathtub!!!). I reckon I’ll just take a fast one and not do all the extra showery things! Cya!!!