Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson in Concert

Yes, that's what I'm missing at the Wharf on the beach Aug. 6th! Now, putting extreme self pity aside,

Very dark chocolate bars with ground up coffee beans in them have become my self comfort, my woogie. Yum.

Recovery going a bit rocky. Have decided the dogs will never be "straightened" up - poor things. Added another special diet for the one who returned from the kennel with bloody diarreah.

Mother is getting around some, but this has knocked the soup out of her. Leg swelling a lot, but I think partially due to the four Whopper diet she won't give up. Tonight I'm adding meatloaf for her to the dog buffet repertoire. Thank God the boyfriend has found someone else to chauffer him about.

I finally had it this morning - she was going on about my son who had passed away, about this one and that one not treating him right (according to her book) and I finally got up and said, well, I think Rod would be very sad to know that you are still harboring such resentment and bitterness after twenty some years, when he was such a forgiving accepting person. "He loved you so much, I'm sure he feels very hurt when he hears you talking like that." Well THAT turned into, from her, "I'm so sorry I hurt YOUR feelings." Yeh, mother, my fault again. Aaaaaaargggghhhhhhh.

I'm still trying to get my bearings - coming here is so hard. I haven't been able to make myself go to the cemetery yet. When I get myself emotionally geared to go, I will take fresh flowers to lay there because if I take silk ones, she will remove them and replace them with what she wants there, as soon as she can walk. Ahhh, life. Life and Death. And the times in between.

Time to leave Safeway WIFI and go back to duties. Mercy, it is cold here - 60 centigrade - people in winter coats - I didn't have enough sense to bring a pair of jeans and trying to find a pair of women's jeans here in super long legs is a futile effort. I have tendonitis in left forearm and my sweatshirt is impossible to get on - I tried this a.m., it's a bit small, and couldn't get it on with bad arm. I refuse to wear my mother's clothes. Did that way too many years in high school and when a poor, single, divorced mom to make ends meet. Beige and blue with pink flowers will never grace this body again.

Odd, how when we are with parents, we never really leave that role of "child" even when we are cast in role of caregiver. I think it is worse for daughters than for sons - maybe not, maybe just in different ways.

Well, returning to "the house." Later - - - -

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday 1:26 PM Central Standard Time year 2009

Wooo hooooooo what a ride!

Surgery went well - doc and nurses say she's doing great, but she's says not. On my way to hospital via WIFI stop at Safeway to check email, so I will check in person. I think she'll have plenty of company this afternoon so I'll fix her hair, put on a bit of makeup for her and then hopefully escape the scapegoating.

Dogs adjusting - they won't eat their four course meals and one howled until 2 a.m. last night. I don't dare tell her - because she'll be out hailing a taxi with the catheter trailing behind her. I think he'll adjust - he ate this a.m. so that's a good sign.

Another day I will have the dog duties under control and then the next day she'll probably be coming coming home.

I had no idea that she had disintegrated so bad mentally from my twice weekly phone calls to her. Mean and bitter and dwelling on everything negative and if it doesn't exist, she'll invent it. Perhaps its been the pain. The doc said the area where the plastic wore off the metal in the replacement was inflammed. However four hours a day of cooking chicken, rice, roast beef,turkey, boiling eggs, scrambling eggs for dogs is a lot of work as is wiping dog butts after they poop - I never heard of that - and waking up all night to make sure they are covered with blankets -

Well, this is a welcome to the phase of life many of my friends already function in - taking care of difficult elderlies. Hopefully as recovery progresses I will have a few more years grace.

My sis will arrive the 6th of August for some much needed relief - and perhaps mother will be enough on her way to recovery some sunshine will be able to peek through all those dark clouds. She will not in any way consider psych meds - and currently is refusing her therapy in hospital - so I think I need to check some resources if this continues. Hahahahah, like psych meds for myself!

She does have some wonderful friends who manage to remain friends - I have enjoyed them very much.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Escaped for a while

This is my "lair" of late - yes, Starbucks and Safe-way! And buying lots of vegetables and fruit. At least now my mother is off her Whopper diet. Right now she is home grinding up a roast for the dogs because it is too hard to chew all the meat up for them. Ok...grind away mama, can I borrow the truck for an hour?

Checking my bank account, blog - and EVAH so grateful for all your comments, dear friends, they were like a flash of sanity in this pan of goulash here!

Tomorrow surgery should happen if the hospital has remembered to order the parts. Dear God, I hope they remember to sterilize them. My sister used to work in that hospital and she knows. The up side is, I will have the truck and relative freedom for a few days while she's in the hospital, as the chicken, roast, and turkey will all be pre-ground for the dogs and she won't be wanting me to sit with her hour after hour while she talks non-stop with the TV on max volume.

Weather gorgeous. Flowers so love cool nights. Had to back off the long walks for a couple of days, I had jarred my back from circling the park to the point of pain. Also aware emotions play a big part in pain.

Been cleaning though - when one gets older eyesight dims I thought, so I have been cleaning black handprints, stove grease, etc., etc., until this morning she plopped down on the kitchen chair and started criticising the "streaks" left from the cleaning by the knob on the stove. Grrrrr. The silverware drawer was one inch deep in dog hair, aaack. But that may be because they are spoon fed and the hair was attached to the spoons. Naughty me - they are going to eat like doggies while she is in the hospital. One of them is going to the kennel because she was telling me how to break up dog fights. (She's had broken fingers, bites, a broken knee cap from separating fighting dogs.) I told her, I was NOT, under any circumstances going to separate fighting dogs - if spraying water on them didn't work, then she'd better buy me a dog size taser before going to hospital because diving into dog fights is not an option. Pouting. Then deciding to take the grouchy older dog to the vet for kenneling.

I enjoy Zoe, the one I call Cleopatra. She is insane for my lip gloss - so when I put on makeup, she sits beside me and fishes around through my makeup bag for the gloss and I weaken and give her a tiny wee bit on her little doggie lip, and then she gives me a kiss. So she is a pure delight - I would take her home in a minute if "H" wouldn't divorce me over it.

Well, if one can see the comedy in this, its funny. At least mother does have some modicum of self care going on (after the dogs) and I am learning to practice positive thinking and at least practice setting boundaries although that has never been something I could ever win with her.

Some of it is cute - the boyfriend - she is wanting me to order her sandals, getting out of the old lady sneaker thing, and then to paint her toenails - its a very weird romance, but then I've had a few weird romances myself. And its nice to see her focused on something besides dogs and the imperfections of her yard, house, neighbors, friends, family, etc.

It still leaves me thinking what in the heck we will do with her when she can't take care of herself? Also leaves me thinking about better ways to interact with my own girls and hopefully try not to drive them wacko.

In the meantime, I can't wait to get home to Florida, humidity - it keeps the wrinkles plumped out, family, my dear independent cats, friends...and hours on the internet - and like an alcoholic desperate to stay sober, I am taking one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.

Love ya'll!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

From Wyoming

Quick Post. The hospital "forgot to order the part" for surgery (although its been scheduled for six weeks, so surgery was postponed to the 24th.

I'm taking lots of walks for sanity's sake. Lots of negativity, wow! Well, one day at a time as they say.

Lots of manipulation - like "cut (dog's) pnut butter bedtime sandwich into two pieces or he won't eat it." Me - "Really! When did he learn to count?"

"You'll take my friend to his physical therapy appointments, won't you?" Me - "No, I will take care of you and dogs, hauling your friends around is asking too much." Her - bawling, sniffling, "after I've done for you...." and more.

Found she's been living off of Whopper Jrs. Two a day. Buys four at a time, refrigerates them, and heats them in microwave, but cooks full blown dinners - chicken, hamburger, rice, scrambled eggs, pnut butter sandwiches, assorted veggie snacks for dogs.

Sooooo - thus, many breaks for long walks, as I walk up the street I mutter a lot.

I'm at Safeway (grocery store) taking advantage of WiFi. And escaping. A starbucks iced coffee giving me some comfort of home.

Its very hot in the afternoons, but mornings are cool and it hasn't been so hot I can't sleep so that's good.

Miss bloggins, computer researching, and playing and my Florida family something pitiful!

Posting this from the Wifi station at Safeway grocery store - clandestine and all of course - I am now going on assigned errand of picking up diet root beer and heading back to an alternate reality.

Till later - maybe during surgery the hospital will have wifi in waiting room and I can visit ya'll - suppose?

Monday, July 13, 2009


Woo - tired. Trying to tie up loose ends before leaving, while squeezing in birthday specialness for "H", getting family to seminar Sunday afternoon, and then taking my turn at hostessing art gathering Sunday night.

Back to packing today and more attempting to tie up loose ends.

Trying to get medicine - I forget - there is a term for "what if" didn't have it....will look for it, then trying in trying $ on calcium and woke up barely able to walk because of muscle cramps, so hunting down a good absorbable calcium product....but just too tired to move anymore today. Going to try to get around a visit ya'll tonight. I don't know if the visit with my mother had with surgeon today was good or bad - she is not answering her telephone. May be angry with me for blowing the 3-5 scam. I assume she's ok - if I can't reach her tomorrow will call the neighbor or my nephew who lives in her basement.

Did have a wonderful time yesterday with family & friends. Been sleeping crazy again - 2 hours here, up wandering about, a couple more hours asleep and back up again. My soul prefers 8 hours of sleep - 10 pm to 6 am...not this wierd stuff. I think that's what is making me so tired. While dozing in the chair I gave "H" and grandson permission to eat over a 1/4 of the birthday cake before everyone got here. But then it WAS his cake! I think he and grandson even put in candles etc., I felt so bad for missing it! And they felt bad I jumped on them for eating it - oi, I think they did ask me...I was just in a sleepy fog. Trying to up load a video of art party - but internet not cooperating - I went a lower level in speed - can't log onto Coyote's blog - I cut back our cable and 24 channels which is our basic service is not very many channels I am finding out.

Oh, just checked weather report to figure out what to pack - eeee, 47-54 Centigrade with 40 mph winds expected this week - think I better add something substantial to the shorts and tank tops. Like a fur coat.

Wanted just two hours on beach today - to take away exhaustion. But it rained - and rained - and rained some more!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Puppet onna string...............

This is me - bag under arm - glasses - loping along the beach. (I've been told I really don't walk, I "lope.") Actually this is the avatar I painted for our collaborative painting at the beach - I obviously wasn't in the mood to paint. She is supposed to be a gray heron.

I've been so busy preparing to go to Wyoming for my mother's surgery - the circumstances keep jumping this way and that way - and I hate last minute stuff but I feel like a marionette being pulled by strings I have little control over. Anyway by Wednesday I should be on the plane, understandbly nervous about this for several reasons. I have felt like crap - that's blunt I know, this last week. Still not all the way back.

As I told my sister, anticipation is the worst of anything.

Yesterday my mother called to tell me she had a heart attack but was cleared for surgery, but what the doctor may have seen as heart damage could also be a breast. My first panic reaction was that if the doc didn't know the difference, I would cancel surgery ASAP. But what I did was call the doctor. Everything looks good for surgery - he said sometime in the far distant past there had been an "event" in the left side of the heart but her heart was working pretty well, a bit of blood flow not quite as it should be in lower base of heart, but the rest was pretty good.

So, while I had him on the phone, I ask what was the deal she was telling me about now for the last two years that they had told her she only had "three to five" years to live, and that two of those years had past since the doc's office had told her that. A silence ensued and then, did I hear laughter in the voice, the doc's PA said that they had never said that, and if that's all she had left, well, they could say the end would NOT be from a cardiac event, that she was actually in very good health. Busted! So when I told her she could stop worrying because there had been a misunderstanding and they had never told her that, she said "YOU didn't TELL them I told you that, did you? Well, yes, I, uh, thought it could potentially be a significant matter but aren't you happy because you do not have to worry about dying very soon now. I have a sixth sense to know when she is jerking my strings and I was right. Oh boy.

Will probably be a bad blogger for a while, at least until I get settled in there - and then after the surgery, I figure the nights will be long. I already have developed a habit of roaming about at night sorting paperwork, drinking coffee, checking to see what's on TV.

I've convinced myself I need to focus more and watch TV less AND save money for silly things like food, so I have cut back to 24 channels plus a few add ons - no more 70 channels. Grandson came to stay a few days and is in major shock. "H" hasn't come home to the bad news yet, haha. That means no more "Sci Fi" channel or "SyFy" as they have renamed it, for me. Egad. Will there be withdrawal?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Last Weekend at Fort Pickens - the Leonissi

I run around with a pretty good looking bunch of ladies, huh? Ya, yah I need to get older friends so I will look younger! Actualy loss of body plumping fat has not been good in some ways. Still got cleavage though, LOL! We had a wonderful time at our 24 hour paintathon - I love these women. My turn for a painting party next week, Sunday night. Think I will paint tonight - haven't left the house today - what a treat - although I might have to make quick run to Walmart for lemons for water...and exercise, haha.

A joke started that we had our gathering in St. Agata, Italy - rumors spread - haha, and we wondered if anyone thought anything about such white sand in Italy - - ready to come swim in the Gulf Coast, anyone?

One of ours baked some of the most beautiful and delicioius gluten free desserts you would ever want to see or taste. We had healthy food - all Leonissi are fabulous cooks! Whoever thought I have would such a delight - spent so many years raising children - church, instense jobs, family, never took time to invest in friendships much - to my loss. But am redeeming the time now!

4th of July 2009

I've had the TV on too much the last few days - something I wasn't going to do. Whatever need I had by my voyeurism into the entertainment world's coverage of Michael Jackson's death has been filled apparently as I am tuned back to the real world. Or is it? I have heard a few vague reports that California is bankrupt and the government will be absorbing that burden in addition to the badly run financial institutions and auto makers mistakes. My understanding is that the U.S. government is broke - borrowing and/or printing money to continue functioning. So how do we bail out California, an economy which I recently read is equivalent to 1/7 of the WORLD's economy?

I mean, if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would almost think that Michael Jackson had been killed to cover up the disaster of the California situation and subsequent moves of government to straighten them out. To keep us shut up - we will start howling if we truly could see how serious a mess our country is in. How crazy would that sound - yet, we sit in front of the TV - at least I do trying to analyze the Jackson family dynamics while California symbolically slips into the Pacific.

There are dire predictions for America stating that the economic ramifications of California's mess will hit us this month. Unofficial unemployment counts are up to 13%! Our health care bill - well who has heard the details? I for one would like to know what I'm looking at! But I can't find any specifics, only conjectures and proposals and statements that the "details" will be worked out later. One reference I looked at stated that Americans could be looking at as much as $600 billion more dollars in taxes. So those who are lucky enough to still have jobs when this is passed will shoulder the costs? Why can't we vote on the bill when completed complete with details - what's the hurry? There are so many questions and so few answers.

The war, at least one of them is ending, so what are we going to do with our soldiers coming home to 13% unemployment? Many will have incredible medical needs - our health care system (which is evolving into something where only the very wealthy can afford good care) is tumbling like a twin tower. The injuries from this war are worse than any before, can we properly take care of returning soldiers? Where's the news on that?

As we go into the "4th" to celebrate our country's independence, we are looking at a country that has evolved into an entity far from what our forefathers envisioned, and fought for and died for. We no longer get any "real news" from the press. Truthfully Michael Jackson's death, Farrah Fawcett's death, and 90% of everything soaking up the airwaves is not going to affect my quality of life, not really, but what is not being reported on the matters I wonder about will most likely affect my quality of life.

I agree the medical system needs overhauled, but when we have huge greed driven mega corporations, including and especially the pharmaceutical companies I don't see the outcomes being much different - we keep shouldering heavier tax burdens as ordinary citizens, while services and goods become more substandard, where our retirement savings can be and has been stolen and we're just supposed to keep smiling. We accept thousands of immigrants with open arms (if unofficially) and our own citizens' homeless and jobless status increases. The number of people who beg in our streets in our town has exploded.

And it's not one man's fault as people who can't remember the last few decades of U.S. history complain about "the mess Obama has got us in." This kind of stuff doesn't happen overnight.

Feeding my family, keeping a roof over my head, adequate medical care when I need it, power to get to the store and doctors, a job if I can work - these things I need. I can live without the TV, our house has enough books to read for the next 50 years at which time it won't matter anyway. These things affect my life.

I wonder, is this a wake up call to Americans on this fourth of July? A wakeup to a country that has lost its identity or will we just keep sliding away into a dream of what once was? What will happen to our children and grandchildren?

If the prediction of $600 billion in new taxes and double taxing those of us who do have health care come true, then we can truly know that politicians will say anything to get into office and we can't believe a word!

We go into this independence holiday with way too many questions unanswered.

In the meantime, if I had a grill, I would grill some hotdogs. OD'ing on hot dogs sounds like a good short term solution to the part of my mind that is still messed up. I can make a chocolate cake with orange frosting and potatoe salad. But what would I do with it? Naw I would just eat it all. "H" will be working - I will be alone. Maybe I will just clean up the house and go to the beach and try not to is only Friday and I've tried to "do business" but "business" is closed down for tomorrow's holiday. I forget not being in the 9-5 world anymore.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Thrilled to Death

Thriller - Michael Jackson's life and death. After watching some of his videos without sound I am convinced that MJ's art came out of a re-enactment of his childhood as imaged through his mind. No wonder some of it seems creepy. Yet like so many, he made art of his inner torments.

I would rather he be surrounded by angels than demons - but perhaps like Elvis or Cobain, or Heath Ledger - the demons are what took him down. I'm sad, sad because children aren't protected, because sometimes they are used like objects in one manner or another. Sad because many of their lives are cut short, many don't have childhoods - only work, or war, or misery.

I don't know what he did - if accusations are true or if accusations are lies, time will play out the effects of his life. I'm only sad because no one protected him. Later, I think his friends tried to protect him, but he was flying away too far to touch anymore.

Maybe those who dance in his memory are doing their own dance to extinguish the demons, I don't know. Maybe they dance to say they understand. Maybe we all dance to the lies and the pain, dance to extinguish the pain. It doesn't work long term - but in the meantime, we dance.

Art in my head envisions a world of broadcasters with their mouths taped shut with surgical tape, taped for silence, and a coffin on a hill, awaiting its time to be lowered - and finally, for rest.