December 13, 2018

High Seas - Sunday Kind Of Love / We Go Together - DMG 4000 - 1960




This is the High Seas, on of my Uncle Adrian's bands. He is back row, second from the right, my Uncle Bill is far right (handsome dudes, right?) My Aunt Anita's brother John is back row, second from the left. Funny, both Uncle Adrian and John were called Sonny by their families. I saw the other Sonny (John) at Uncle Adrian's funeral. He kept telling me how beautiful my mom was (over and over and over)! He must have had a heavy duty crush on her "back in the day"!

My dad took these photos for them in our living room.

The band started out as Little Al and the Uniques. Then just the Uniques. When they started touring with Jan and Dean, they got a new manager who wanted them to change their name. They became the High Seas. Uncle Bill joined the army and left the group.

Uncle Bill continued to play guitar and he had a voice like Elvis. He sang all the old Elvis songs when ever we were around.



December 07, 2018

C'mon 2019!

Hi all.

Missed your blogs and comments and wondering what's been going on with you all. Will try to catch up on blogs soon.

Therapy is doing the job, only half a bubble off now!

Camp Fire was crazy scary. Can't believe the devastation and so many lives lost.

Air was bad but better than Carr Fire.

Two of The Guy's aunts lost their homes and everything else in the Camp Fire. Lots of friends and friends of friends are homeless but community is rising strong.

We lost two uncles in November. The Guy's uncle died on Veteran's Day. My uncle passed last week.

Saw incredible cousins and aunties and had our heart tanks filled up. Nothing like family misbehaving with cousins to make one feel young again!

My uncle was in a band in the late '50's and early '60's. His band opened for the first Jan & Dean Tour. He also sang back-up for Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. His voice was incredible.

The folk's house on the river is on the market. (Phew, that was a lot of work, but it shines!)
















Almost tempted to live there ourselves. The folks owned it for over 42 years.

So life moves on, but, to be honest. 2018 was a bit of a shit-show and can't wait for 2019!


October 16, 2018

New Day

First day back in therapy.

Best cry I've had in years.

Felt like my brain had been scooped out of my skull but Patty says there's hope! I'm choosing to believe her.

Another fire on Sunday on the ridge in front of us. Fire out but tired of front row seats to such destruction.

Dad's house is almost ready for market.

Three rooms in my house are back to normal, only partly instead of mostly storage units!

Going to see my daughter and family in Massachusetts in November.

Seven sentences and I am ready for a nap (nap=code word for hiding under the covers).




September 28, 2018

Just a hint of what's beneath...







GOP rush to fill SCOTUS vacancy may not be about Roe. Check the docket for cases regarding pharmaceutical, energy, financial corporations. Roe is again being used as a shield so we can't see what is going on behind it. (or maybe not!)

p.s. Anyone else need a drink?

September 19, 2018

My Oh My!

Dad's house in Redding closed escrow last week.

The couple that bought it lost everything in the CARR Fire.

Title recorded, funds transferred and sis and I (Trustees) wrote checks for brother and selves.

October 1st, the Guy and I will be paying off our mortgage...oh man!

It sounds so good saying it, how good will it feel doing it?

Thank you, Mom and Dad! You can't know how much this means to us.


Can't wait to sign the payoff check to mortgage company...

Sincerely but no longer yours,
The Guy and Toni

 

September 18, 2018

Quote of the Day

Heard of Spike Dolomite Ward? She is a total political guard dog!

Loved this little goody from her post today:

"We need an investigation into the Trump administration to find out if any of them have any ties to America."


Lyn

Remember my friend Lyn. She had knee surgery sometime in the spring, or winter; time is all running together like one big hammer! She also flew her Harley off Buckhorn Summit several years back.

She lives in the mountains. She was supposed to evacuate but has three cats and two very large, very old dogs so she stayed put. She's also a die-hard, don't-screw-with-me gal from the Bronx and absolutely does not scare easy. My god, I just love her.

Her cell reception is uber questionable up in them thar hills, so we have been out of communication; worried, but assured that Lyn can and will take care.

Finally talked with her yesterday. She confirmed she was at her house; she and fur-babies doing well in spite of smoke thicker than pea soup (cough-cough-cough).

While walking the dogs she discovered a man sleeping in his truck. When she approached him, and I can imagine she walked up, rapped on the window and shouted, "What the hell, man?"

Turns out he is a firefighter. He was sleeping in his truck because the roads were closed due to fire. Hotels are full anyway, so it wouldn't have helped if he came to town. So he spends his 24 hour break in his pickup truck, then goes back to fight fire for 24 hours.

In true Lyn fashion, she said, "Oh hell no!"

He has been staying at her house. Sleeping in a real bed, eating solid organic, healthy meals, getting showers, fur-baby love and true appreciation.



See why I love her? Heroes take care of heroes!


Saw Mt. Shasta again last night. Fires still burning but containment is growing.

September 17, 2018

A MONTH!!!

What the hell?

A month has passed since I've posted, though, full-disclosure, I have lurked in the wee hours of some mornings.

Oxygen, or the lack thereof, has a lot to do with my absence. The air quality has been atrocious. Some days we couldn't see the house at the end of the cul-de-sac. Today there is a bear walking down one of our main streets and people are reporting mountain lions, bears and bob cats walking through their yards. We are discovering pets who survived, walking out of the ashes.

Two new fires got way out of control, even shut down Interstate 5 a couple of times. The detours are winding mountain roads and ended up with multiple traffic accidents or semi-trucks stuck in too sharp a curve, blocking roads for hours.

Today the skies are blue if one looks up or to the south. Was outside early this morning and north is still sucky BUT yesterday we actually saw a gray profile of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen for the first time in six weeks.

I am so proud of our community. Talk about spirit! People are taking care of the fire fighters, first responders, families who have lost their homes and the animals.

Discovered a couple of people who would sneak into their evacuated neighborhoods, check on neighbors homes, feed their neighbor's chickens. One guy (our contractor) actually ran out of feed for his neighbor's chickens, called animal control and asked for them to bring them some food! So our Animal Control person loaded up her truck with chicken feed and delivered, behind evacuation lines!

Same guy (I call him A-A-Ron) discovered a Meth-head standing in the front yard, checking out his house. He turned the gun in his pocket so the handle could be seen and warned the trespasser to stay away from his house and neighbors' homes. He then said, "I would probably shoot a looter or trespasser, which would be bad because this is an evacuated area. A body laying on the lawn probably wouldn't be discovered for at least 3 or 4 days, what was left of it in 100+ degree weather and all the hungry wild animals."  Suprisingly, none of the houses in his area were looted!

Dad's house in Redding has sold. Working on the house on the river.

Called my old therapist, who calls me a kick-ass warrior, to tell her that even Kick-Ass Warriors need tune-ups now and then. She's on an extended vacation but I think I'll be mentally okay (being a K-A-Warrior and all) for two more weeks.

In the meantime, I'm headed for Sedona. Going to sit in nature, energize my spirit, check out some art and, just maybe, find a beautiful Iolite pendant to bring home with me.




August 15, 2018

Blue Sky

Air quality is 78 this morning. The sky is blue, BLUE!

There are a couple of clouds and they are white, WHITE!

If you don't look to the west you would think it's a normal summer day.

Carr Fire containment is somewhere is 67 percent!

Fresh air is a good thing!

But even better than fresh air?

Firefighters, First Responders, Police Department, Utility Employees! Still kicking ash all over the west.


August 14, 2018

Album of 45's

My folks always had a huge collection of LP's. Nat King Cole, Johnny Coltrane, Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Frankie Lane, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis.  The list goes on and on. We listened to lots of music in the last couple of months with Dad.

When we moved him to Redding we discovered an album of old 45's! Elvis, Ritchie Valens, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, The Four Seasons, The High Seas.

My parents were Cool!

No breathing today...again!

Air quality was 336 this morning even though last night at midnight it actually dropped to 78. Drop was probably due to high winds; good for air, not so good for fires.

A contractor is going in to the folks house on the river. We're having the interior painted, the old carpet pulled and new flooring installed.

I'm still working on painting kitchen cabinets; then on to bathroom cabinets.

Sunday, The Guy and I went in and packed and packed more 'stuff' to clear the garage so that we can move the little bit of furniture left in the house into garage. Then we pulled down all the drapes, drapery rods, nails in walls and the last shelf in the house. Funny how bright and open a house is without heavy window coverings! Mom and Dad had all the drapes custom made for maximum warmth and privacy. Man, they were heavy!

Did well, with only three or four complete melt downs. Weird how grief just jumps up and slaps you!

Working on a couple of press releases for a radio interview show that I do research for. Two really interesting guest coming up. One is teacher of the year who just happens to be a music director and the conductor/director of our local symphony; both incredibly interesting men. Meeting with the show host and music director on Thursday. Really looking forward to it though, to be honest, I'd rather stay in bed and read a good book or maybe just pretend to read a good book!

Weird how much alone time a grieving introvert needs to recharge the batteries. Where is that frickin' little energizer bunny when he's needed?


August 10, 2018

Breathing

Breathing has become an extreme sport in Redding.

This is a middle of the day photo, though the sun is a big red ball in the sky.

August 10

My middle child is 47 today!

He is a really good man. Qualities that come to mind when I think of him are integrity, courage, gentleness, loving, intelligent, successful, happy and tall (he is 6' 5.5").

But he is 47!

My oldest is 49 and youngest is 45.

Time to tell strangers that they are children from The Guy's first marriage! Not the truth but what the hell! I'm way too young to have 'old' kids!

August 09, 2018

On The Lighter Side

The evening of our evacuation, many vehicles needed gas to leave the area. People were cutting each other off, intimidating little cars with larger vehicles. It was totally insane.

My great-granddaughter is a powerhouse of self-confidence.

She was sitting in the back seat of her daddy's truck while they waited patiently for their turn at the pumps knowing they had to empty truck and get back to my house and help us. Just as they were ready to pull in a smaller car squeaked in to their space.

Four year old Miss B leans towards the jerk and yells out the window, "Don't make me get out of this truck!"


Hmm

Sold Dad's new house today, well, at least, accepted an offer on it.

A married couple, 85 and 90, lost their home in the Carr fire. Beautiful home in the foothills near Old Shasta. They've had to stay in two area hotels since evacuation. Lost everything.

Escrows are not closing in the area until the Carr fire is 100% contained because insurance companies are refusing to grant policies. Our granddaughter has a stack of escrows on her desk that were ready to close the second day of our evacuation but insurance companies pulled the coverage on them all. Thank goodness she works for escrow company and not a real estate agent. She'll still get paid but lots of real estate agents tightening their belts this month (and maybe more).

Full asking price, cash offer, and asked to include all furnishing. They'll be renting it until escrow closes. They move in tomorrow!

Tomorrow!!!

Weird saying good-bye to the house as I signed the offer and handed over the keys. Dad was only in it for two months but it was a powerful two months. Incredibly emotional memories in almost every square inch.

Incredible isn't it, that there is so much 'business of death'? Bankers, notaries, more bankers, brokerage firms, real estate, mortuary, cemetery, Veterans Administration, Social Security, etc.

Eek!

Being made Trustee is not necessarily a good thing! Unless, maybe, one can make an appointment with the universe for occasional hours to just grieve!

Fire Update: 47% Contained. Air quality still unhealthy. Lots of people wearing masks, not enough children wearing masks. Red eyes, coughs and sneezes are everywhere. Many of the evacuations are being lifted and re-population going on. Hotels still full from Sacramento to Yreka. Lots and lots of pets being found and rescued. Community coming together and feeding the firefighters, helping each other out. Looters not being tolerated so everyone watching out for each other's homes. (Lots of CCW's in area, we are a Red County in a Blue State, so many potential looters pissing in their pants!).


#Redding Strong





August 06, 2018

One Of The Lucky Ones

Thursday, July 27, the Carr fire headed for town, nearly burning French Gulch, having destroyed a marina (and boats) and campground at Whiskeytown Lake, decimated hundreds of homes in the towns of Old Shasta and Keswick.  The smoke and ash were other-worldy, turning the outside to sepia. Ash and embers were falling all over our house. Large ash that would explode into 20 or 30 small ashes when they landed.

We received a reverse-911 mandatory evacuation call about an hour before a 143 mph fire tornado hit our neighborhood. We were prepared, had things stacked by front door, just in case (but we really never imagined the flames would jump the river). I left to be with granddaughters, their parents were out of town for an Ironman Triathlon in Ohio. The Guy and our grandson finished loading and left just as tornado hit. As they drove away from the house, the entire hill across from our house erupted in giant flames.

Our house is standing. Most in neighborhood are not. It looks and smells like a war zone. The houses that weren't burned to the ground had huge trees uprooted, roofs torn off, windows shattered. 

It was a crazy time. Air quality was and is often 220+, evening reaching as high as 335. Our grandson and his little family were evacuated from 4 different locations. We, my sister, and granddaughters only had to evacuate from different locations 3 times (once not because of fire but lack of electricity in 113 degree weather).

We (granddaughters (14 and 17), grandson, his wife and 4 year old daughter, my sister, the Guy and I and six dogs, ended up camping out in my folks house in Red Bluff on the bank of the Sacramento River 35 miles south of our home. Air quality still fluctuating between unhealthy to hazardous.

Evacuations were lifted for all but The Guy and me. The neighborhood was deemed unsafe but luckily our homes were being guarded by Redding Police and National Guard.

After a week, The Guy and I bailed. We headed for San Francisco to be with his sister. Fresh Air! Nice!

Better still, we attended the Electric Light Orchestra concert in Oakland. OMG, incredible. One of The Guys all-time favorite bands. If ELO is touring near you, see them. You won't regret it.

We spent two more days walking and driving through San Francisco. Fell in love with the Mission District all over again (p.s. don't bother with the Haight district. It is so gentrified that it is actually boring!).

The day before we came home, we received notice there was a 'soft lift' on mandatory evacuation. We could return to our house with ID. Our grandson had our address on his license so he Facetimed a walk through with us. House was totally fine, even the houseplants survived the 100+ degree heat without the relief of air conditioning.

We returned home Saturday night, looking forward to being home but not to cleaning out the rotting food. Surprise! Our grandson had cleaned out and dumped all the waste.

We were unsure of bringing stuff back in the first night; the fire had taken a turn on Saturday and was reported heading back towards town but the firefighters held the line. We finally brought computer and photos back in last night.

We have seen firefighters and equipment from almost every state in the union, even as far away as New Jersey and New York. There are 7 deaths and over a thousand homes destroyed, another half of that with heavy damage. Immense outpouring of gratitude to all the firefighters and first responders.

There is a huge banner over I-5 for the crews at work:

 "Thank you for Kicking Ash"


July 26, 2018

Never, Ever

Never, ever make this statement:

"What Next?"

or

"It can't get any worse!"

The universe will take it as a challenge!

Carr Fire headed our way! Air Quality warnings: Dangerous!

Over 2200 families evacuated so far. The fire has actually created a couple of 'fire tornadoes' which drop down and start the fire. One dropped on Oakbottom Marina and destroyed at least 40 sailboats and ski boats.

Ash and embers raining down on us. The air has a sepia tone to it, weird to look outside.

Also, the firefighters are wearing their heavy protective gear, working in steep areas in 108+ degree temps.

Please, send healing energy to Keswick, Old Shasta, surrounding areas and our firefighters.


Packing up photos and a couple of items of Mom's and Dad's just in case the fire jumps the river.

Also swearing a lot! Some praying, too, but really, lots of swearing!


July 23, 2018

Thank You, Friends

Riesling-free post this morning!

Thank you all for your support and caring. I've tried to respond to each individually but fingers get locked up with emotions. Then I decide I should take another nap.

I promise I will be back soon and try to catch up on everyone's posts. In the meantime, I thought I would share a post about Dad from 2008, simply entitled My Dad.

"My dad, Tom, is one of the funniest men I know, not counting my sons, John and Adam.

Dad's sayings started off pretty low key when I was really young.  I am the oldest of three, but whenever he was asked how many kids he had, Dad would always answer, "4! There's Toni, Michael, Sherree and Nahme!"

He shared with every one what a scamp his fourth child was. "Every time I ask the kids who was responsible for mischief around the house the answer is always,"Nah ME!" When I see that child, he is going to be in a heap of trouble!"

There were all the usual sayings, "Because I'm the Dad, that's why!" and "If Bobby jumped off a bridge would you jump to?" "Don't make me come in there!" but he had some pretty original stuff too. You've heard the expressions, "You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink" and "Buy them books and buy them books and all they do is read the covers"?  Well, Dad has his own twist to them.

He can often be heard exclaiming, "You can take a horse to water but all he does is chew the covers."  or "Buy them books and buy them books but all they do is drink the water!"  or "You can lead a horse to water but all he does is read the books." And variations there of!

When I was 14, Dad and Mom purchased a brand new station wagon, beautiful light blue, dark blue two-tone. When our shiny blue car was about 6 weeks old, we decided to pack it up for an excursion to Mexico.  My mom, sister and I took a quick trip to the mall to pick up a couple of last-minute items.

While driving through the parking lot, a woman  in a big car ran a stop sign when she turned to her back seat to tell her two little boys to stop fighting. We were right in front of her when she turned forward. Slamming on her brakes she punched the accelerator instead and slammed into our front passenger door, where I was sitting, then in slow motion her car and our car started a slide sideways. She turned around to see if her boys were okay, turned back around and saw that she was going to hit us again! She tried to hit her brakes and (again) hit the accelerator.  Her car slammed into our rear passenger door where my sister was sitting.  Our brand new station wagon had a crushed in front door and a crushed in back door.

After the whole ordeal, we made it back home before my dad got home from work. Mom had parked the car in the garage, she hadn't called my dad about the accident. She felt overwhelmingly guilty about wrecking the car, even though it wasn't her fault.

So, that evening, my dad is dropped off by his buddy (carpool) and lifts the garage door and comes in right past the car. (He usually comes in the front door so we were all freaked!) He walks in the family room door, takes off his boots, sits at the dining room table to read the paper and talk with Mom as she cooks dinner.

After about 3 or 4 minutes he pauses from reading, puts the newspaper down and walks back into the garage; he just realized what he had seen in his peripheral vision. He walks over to the car and stares at it, remember, he had seen all of us so he knew we were all okay.

He walks back into the house, sits at the table, picks the newspaper back up and tells Mom, "Gee, Irene, if you had wanted an accordian you should have asked for an accordian!"

We had a pool when I was growing up, right next to it was a Mamosa tree. Pretty tree if its in someone else's yard, just a junk tree if it's growing adjacent to your pool. It was definitely not a friend of our pool filter. Mamosas are also famous for their incredibly fast growth. Mom loved the tree;  Dad hated it.

Every two or three years, my dad and my brother would be sitting in the family room watching  college football or shooting pool. Mom would be checking fridge and pantry while putting together a grocery list. With list in hand she would head out to the car. The moment she backed out of the garage, Mike and Dad would leap out the back door, grab the saws stashed in the bushes and start sawing down the Mamosa. In the one to two hours that Mom was gone, they would chop the tree down and cut all the branches into small enough pieces to go into the wood pile. By the time Mom came home there would be little evidence that a Mamosa tree was ever there, sometimes it was weeks before Mom noticed it was gone. In 2 or 3 years it would happen all over again.

Our house sat on a little rise on a dead-end road, backed by Bing Cherry and Plum orchards. (Oh, yeah, remind to tell you about the time I got shot in the tush with rock salt by the farmer for sitting up in his trees and eating cherries while I read my books). The kids in the neighborhood would congregate in the dead-end and we would play kick-the-can, (full-contact hide and seek if you haven't heard of it). Every now and then we kids would hear a full out Tarzan yell.  We'd look up and there was my dad, charging out the patio door, jumping over the hedge around our patio, he would disappear for a moment then reappear as he vaulted over the back fence. He would run into the street, kick the can and vault back over the fence.

He played the piano really well. Only problem was that he could only play 3 songs, Chopin's Polonaise, the Boogie Woogie (Tommy Dorsey style) and the Hamm's beer song, you know the one with the big bear, that goes, "in the land of sky blue waters....!"

Whenever there is a floor fan blowing he gets behind it and does his Gepetto-searching-for-Pinochio impersonation, into the fan he calls, "Pinocchio"! It does sound like he's underwater.

Speaking of water; when my oldest son was about 2 years old, he would help my dad with his yard work. They would set the sprinkler out on the lawn and Dad would ask Little John to remind him in 20 minutes to change the water. One time they let the water sit in the same place a couple of hours and my son jumped up and yelled, "Good God the Water!" They both ran out the door to change the position of the sprinkler. After that every time my mom would get annoyed with my dad and start to pick on him or nag him, he would jump up and yell, "Good God the water" and run out the back door!

Every time we kids had to stay home with a baby sitter while Mom and Dad went to some grown-up-event we would ask Dad how the event was when they returned home. Dad would answer as if it had been the most annoying experience ever! "It was okay except there was a midget who had his nose in everyone's business and a big tall guy who had his business in everyone's nose!"

Dad came up with a question every night at dinner. What do I think about affirmative action?
Where do I stand on abortion? He insisted that I take a side and he always, ALWAYS, took the opposite side. He made me support my thoughts with facts, he taught me critical thinking.

He also taught me to never support a football team south of the Mason-Dixon line, how to cook killer beef stroganoff and lasagna, how to shoot, how to play the boogie-woogie on the piano and that I was completely capable of accomplishing anything I wanted.


Yup, that's my dad!"







July 14, 2018

Bottle of Wine, fruit of the vine....

Today is would be my mom's 90th birthday. She missed it by 62 days.

I think she would have preferred it that way. Mom never told anyone how old she was, and she wouldn't have been able to handle anyone, absolutely anyone, wishing her "Happy 90th Birthday"!

Spent the day at Mom's and Dad's old house. Alone on the river felt good. Cleaned out her bathroom and all her personal items; 70+ bobby pins, several of her lipsticks, and shampoo and all that stuff. Two bags in front of me; one for tossing stuff out and one to save...tough call, TOUGH CALL.

Moved on to the table next to her chair. Discovered some of her stories, more cards saved that we kids sent her for Mother's Day, birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day. My sister was really good about sending cards, so was my daughter, Nicole.

My brother called me while I was there to see if I was okay, knowing it was Mom's birthday. We both kind of felt we were doing okay, just okay.

Our family never really seemed to have time to grieve Mom's passing because Dad seemed to take a downward spiral, keeping our hands and days full.

Dad shared so many stories in the two months since Mom's death. He suffered survivor's guilt in a major way but also recognized that he was hanging on to life prior to Mom passing because he had made a promise to take care of her for the rest of her life. Dad did not make promises he couldn't keep.

He discussed with me several things he wanted to do prior to passing. First was to go to Lake Tahoe...we didn't make it. Next he wanted my oldest grandson and youngest granddaughter to be given a check that would help them 'get established'. I promised him I would make sure it happened, in fact we wrote out the checks and put them in the Trust to make sure. Then he said he wanted his 4-wheel drive vehicle to go to my oldest granddaughter who is moving to Colorado. Moving from LA to Colorado, she would need a 4-wheel drive and he wanted his 'pride and joy' to join her in the snow.

He was so proud of all his grand-kids and great grand-kids and great-great grand-daughters. His last two months, he fell in love with his great-grandchildren all over again. Their dedication to music, to education, to knowledge, their work ethic, their spirit of adventure and wanderlust, their creativity and honestly, their resistance to be squeezed into a box and be 'one of the crowd'!

He respected and honored their dedication to be authentic to who they were, just like him.

Lots of sharing here. Can you tell I finished off a bottle of Riesling all by myself. Good stuff, and guilt free high! I asked my guardian angel if I should and she said, "Hell yeah!"  Seemed to go fast, I really hope she wasn't sneaking sips. I know The Guy wasn't, the only time he drinks is when he asks me for a sip when I try a new wine...can't even make the man take an aspirin!

So, hard day. Tomorrow will be a new day. The Guy lost his dad 50 years ago and says it will hurt forever. I agree. Both parents gone with two months of each other changes all our lives, children, grandchildren and siblings.

Okay...got to let this go. Seems to be stream of consciousness or stream of Riesling or just stream.

Tomorrow will be another day. Let's see what that brings.

Mom. Dad. I miss you.  I love you.

p.s What were you doing with all this shit?
p.p.s. Mom, love your stories, say hi to Grandma and tell her I miss her, though I am sure she knows.


July 07, 2018

What can I say?


My daughter cried as she told me, "The world lost a super hero today and they don't even know it!"

Dad passed early on July 4. After 68 years of marriage, I guess he couldn't live without Mom.

Hearts are broken and there is a huge void in the world. Can you feel it?


June 06, 2018

Change of Pace

Sorry!

I lied!

Remember you can't believe everything you read on the internet!

Sister and I took Dad to a new doctor yesterday. OMG, a physician who asks questions and responds and asks more.

He literally checked Dad for injuries from falls, talked about Parkinson's symptoms, increased medications, discontinued a medication that could have been part of the fall problem, and prescribed an anti-depressant (short term). He is also going to start physical therapy three times a week.

As we left the office and during the ride home, I could see the hope rising in my dad's spirit. He actually said he had been afraid the new doctor was just going to shake him head and tell dad that he would be joining Mom any day now. (Not that that can't still happen but at least Dad is aware that he has choices).

The Guy and I are headed to the old house today. Still preparing kitchen and bathroom cabinets for painting, pulling down wallpaper and patching nail holes in walls to paint.

Dad's old house on the river is a ranch style; white with brown trim. He has two long window boxes and entry door that need some freshening up. I suggested a pretty apple-green color. You should have seen the look on his face. When I tried to explain how the door needs to be inviting and intriguing he suggested turquoise 'if it's really necessary'! 

He is such a Dude! He thinks that being on the river is enough of an incentive to buy the house. I say let's sweeten the pot and make the house inviting. He says, once people sit in the peaceful yard, listening to the hundreds of bird and the flowing water of the river, they won't care what the house looks like!

DADS!

So what do you think? Apple Green or Turquoise?

June 04, 2018

As Promised...My Life in Spurts

It's June! What the hell happened to May?

Yesterday the Guy and I took a drive to Weed, north of Mt. Shasta, for a retirement dinner. Sat with old friends who we haven't spent much time with in the last couple of years. Great drive, great company and great wine.

The mountain was glorious as usual. She's my favorite volcano because she quietly sits in her elegance and doesn't act up! Well, accept for frequent sighting of Bigfoot, Lemurians, UFO's and Aliens! No reports of lava and that's a good thing!

On the way home, I texted my son to check on how his afternoon with my dad went. Not Good. My dad took a whopper of a fall, his 4th or 5th fall in 10 days. Thankfully, John was there as well as my sister, and they got Dad up on his feet.

Dad is struggling with his grief over Mom's passing. Survivor's guilt is plaguing him, as well as, all the could-have's and should have's of losing a loved one.

Sister, The Guy and I have decided that Dad should not be alone at night (fell out of bed twice). We're taking turns hanging out with him. I think he is happy to have us there but feels uncomfortable with the idea that we are "taking care of him"! We try to reassure him that we are just spending time with him, enjoying his company during the day. We do give him a couple of hours (on the good days) to give him a little dude-time and solitude. Must be a difficult transition for the most self-reliant man I have ever known.

The shock of Mom's death is wreaking havoc on his Parkinson's. Add that to moving out of his home for the past 40 years to move closer to us makes lots of changes for an 89 year old man.

As we pack things from old house to new house, we discover bits and pieces of history. Mom kept a collection of newspaper clippings and headlines. There are 4 or 5 front sections of local newspapers from 9/11, first walk on the moon and other historical events all folded into envelopes with family news clippings.

She even saved an invitation from 1994 that I put together for one of the Lost Weekends our group of women friends used to hold annually.


Would love to be planning another Lost Weekend right now. Would love if someone else planned a Lost Weekend and I was on my way with tent, sleeping bag and 72 hour supply of adult beverages!

Well, my friends. I don't know when I will have the opportunity to sit at the keyboard again. I think of you all often and check out your blogs every chance I get.

Welcome to my life in spurts!

May 25, 2018

Nice

Slept with the bedroom window open last night. Our headboard is right under the window, so the breeze passes over us all night (yes, I know, bad feng shui, I don't care).

Woke up this morning to the sound of rain, a bit of a cool breeze. Pulled the sheets up to my chin and just laid there for 20 minutes enjoying the peacefulness of Spring rain.

Have you ever noticed the difference in the way rain presents itself. Sometimes it slams to the ground with all the speed of a speeding train (Superman Rain). There are times it just falls and times the clouds just bucket rain.

This morning's rain was like Capitola Village rain, coming to earth with incredible gentleness as if it didn't want to bruise any spring flowers or damage new growth on the trees and bushes.

The scent of the earth was magnificent. Yes, I am a fan of petrichor. Can there be a better odor in the world than rain on dry earth? It is almost as if petrichor, itself, is a key to personal memories and ancient memories. One's whole body responds!

I think I'll get a sweatshirt on and take the dogs for a walk in the rain to enjoy the freshness of the day.

Then we can return to the house and relish in the scent of wet dog!

May 23, 2018

D - NOT A to Z Challenge

Category: Religion and Spirituality
Theme: World Spiritual Practices A to Z

"D"

Dia de los Muertos! Day of the Dead!

Scary? No!

Mourning? No!

Halloween? Absolutely not!

Dia de los Muertos is a day to celebrate the lives of friends and family who have passed.

Ancient Aztecs believed in a Lady of the Dead or Queen of the Dead, who ruled over the underworld. It was her duty to protect the bones of our loved ones. She also had the honor of presiding over the parties and fiestas the Dead would hold. Her name (try and pronounce it without spraining your tongue), Mictecacihuatl. Her husband was Mictlantecuhtli. If I was a dead Aztec, I would probably just call them Mrs and Mr. M!

Because Mrs. M loved Marigolds, Marigolds are now known as the flower of the dead. You will find these beautiful orange flowers used in Dia de los Muertos art. 
Art Courtesy of Deviant Art

When the Spanish invaded the western hemisphere, they brought All Souls Day (October 31) and All Saints Day(Nov 1) with them. Holy days to honor the dead, the regular ones and the really good ones!

The Mexicans, being creative indigenous people, blended the two ideologies together to make them their own. They renamed Mrs. M.  Her new, 'Catholic' name is Santa Muerto. She is a saint who protects the dead and guarantees their safe passage to the afterlife.

Ofrendas or Altars are constructed in homes. The favorite foods of the dead being honored on the Ofrenda are spread out, lots of it! Lots of candles are present to help guide the spirits from the darkness. Also on the altar are reminders of favorite pastimes and hobbies, toys of the young who have passed. The idea is to make the ancestors and family who are in the afterlife extremely happy. Happy spirits will provide protection and good luck to the living.

What about the skulls?

I knew you were gonna ask that!

In the words of Jeff Probst from Survivor, "I got nothing for you!"

I searched for the firsts and the why's. Apparently it began in the 1700's as a decoration for the altars and because there was lots of sugar and it was cheap, the celebrants used it. The skulls apparently developed over a period of time, ending up with the name of a dead loved one on the forehead or top of the skull. The skulls are then decorated to make them beautiful and festive, to celebrate the life once lived. The decorated sugar-skulls are called Calavera.

Sugar skulls developed into face-painting. Apparently the purpose of painting yourself to look like the dead is that you can now go out and misbehave! Everyone will think it is the dead who are being the pranksters. (Believe me, it might fool some people but not your Abuela!)

Google Dia de los Muertos Face Paint for some of the beautiful ideas on how to decorate yourself.

Let's paint ourselves up and get into some mischief this coming Dia de los Muertos!















C - NOT A to Z Challenge

Category: Religion and Spirituality
Theme: World Spiritual Practices A to Z

"C"

Oh, C, you have so many spiritual practices to choose from Caballah, Celibacy, Chakras,  Circumcision, Commandments! What to do? What to do?

Let's go with Channeling as a dedication to Jane Roberts, who channeled Seth, Ester Hicks, who channeled Abraham, Helen Schuman, who channeled "A Course of Miracles" and Edgar Cayce, who, well, just channeled!

If you look up Channel or Channeling @ Dictionary.com you will find 15+ definitions, none of them actually defining the type of Channeling that our Honorees practiced. I probably should have perused a metaphysical dictionary.

Mystical Blaze states "Channeling  can basically be defined as the process of receiving and relaying information from an outside entity while in an altered state of consciousness. The consciousness level varies from individual to individual, from deep trance to a very light meditation-like state."

 As in the case of Jane Roberts, her whole being seemed to be taken over by Seth. Her voice lowered and took on a gravely tone, her body took on the stature of an older person.

Edgar Cayce, probably the most known Channeler, thought that he was communicating with his higher self or our super conscious and subconscious minds. I can relate to his way of thinking. There is so much of our brain that we don't use. Is there a chance that we have memories that are not ours in our heads, could knowledge be passed down through our DNA? Does some of our knowledge run along the Hundred Monkey (Critical Mass) philosophy? Do we know stuff we don't know we know because our great-great grandmothers experienced it?

I read a couple of books in the 90's written by a man named Lee and Kryon. I'm not sure if Kryon was the entity that talked through Lee or what 'they' the entire entourage of entities who Kryon said were present at any particular channeling session. I believe it was Kyron who suggested to meditate imagining yourself in the middle of a star-of-david shape. He/They suggested placing crystals at each point of the two triangles; the crystals pointing in the direction the triangle is pointing. (Experimented with this! Another story for another time but I would suggest trying it).

Channeling has, as far as I can find, not been verified by science. It appears that information channeled differs between cultures and countries. Some say they are connecting with spirit guides, some say "off-world" beings, maybe angels, even those who have passed from this earth (the dead).

There is a major difference between a Medium/Psychic and a person who Channels. Mediums communicate with external energies/entities and pass the information on. To Channel is to let the entity/energies/entourage merge with your body and mind.

Honestly speaking, I have no problem with Mediums and Psychics. I've had some wonderful readings that were detailed and spot-on-personal. Channeling, on the other hand, scares the boogers out of me. I can't imagine inviting an external sentient force to come take the reigns! Call me a control freak, but "Homey don't play that game."

There are YouTube videos that tutor the art of channeling. Started to listen to one as part of the research for this post. A minute into the video I heard the phrase "subdue that which is you"!

Left Click!  Stop!

I do not want to subdue that which is me. There are parts of me that I need to control, impatient driver, procrastinator, stress-eater, but to subdue all that is me is not going to happen, at least not while I'm in this body; not until the coroner says, "Call it!"

Do You Channel or know someone who does? How do you feel about Channeling? Does it give you the heebie-jeebies or are you chomping at the bit to get started?

Kind of wished I'd picked Circumcision or Commandments?



May 22, 2018

B ~ NOT A to Z Challenge 2018

Category: Religion and Spirituality
Theme: World Spiritual Practices A to Z

Besom. Most of us have at least one in our homes. Some of us have several, though I wonder if many know the full use of this Pagan tool, usually associated with witches, good and bad, and, of course, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

A Besom is a broom; a primitive broom made of natural resources: The best would be a merging of Willow, Hawthorne and Birch. I have four Besoms. Two are not made of natural fiber, and probably completely synthetic, one for outside, one for inside. The third besom I purchased in Salem, Massachusetts at a wonderful metaphysical shop nearly 20 years ago. The fourth besom sits on my hearth, to brush away ashes, stray bark and negative energy.

Besom's are considered a witch's preferred method of transportation, many believe that a broom will assist one in astral travel!  Folklore tells us that flying with one's broom was a hallucination brought on by the use of Belladonna, a hallucinogenic.

Witches would 'fly' around on their Besom, blessing crops, encouraging growth and high yield. Pagan practice really was to run and leap through the fields while straddling a broom. It was probably the non-pagan observers, sipping their whiskey, who thought there was flying happening.

Warlocks, male witches, apparently frowned on Besoms (brooms) and rode on pitchforks! Even Pagans had their idiosyncratic tendencies  about tools (broom being a woman's tool, a pitchfork being more macho). Kind of like a Toyota Corolla or MiniVan being a good car for a woman and an obnoxiously loud diesel pick-up truck being a real-man's means of transportation.

Besoms are often hung above a doorway to prevent negative energy from entering a home or a room. My family places a broom in front of the house's entry to keep evil away. They are also used in hand-fasting ceremonies, jumping the broom in African-American weddings, left under the bed for protection, and sweeping away negative energies.

Warning: If you are trying to attract fairies into your home, do not hang the broom above your door.  Hmm, makes one wonder about fairies intentions!

The Besom is used to clear an area of lingering energies, lurking entities and, yes, dust and crumbs,  cleaning an area prior to performing a ceremony or ritual. Often, the broom is swept above the floor a couple of inches.

I would imagine that creating one's own besom is the best. It should, also, for strongest abilities be  assembled on a new moon. After one gathers the wood for handle, twigs from birch (best), mugwort or thyme for bristles and lengths of willow for securing the bristles, the broom should be assembled with reverence and positive energy. Once complete, the besom is blessed.


A besom should be treated with respect. Some say a consecrated or blessed broom should not be used for everyday sweeping of floors, others say, use it! The more you use it and handle it, the more is added to it's positive energy and magic!

Sidenote: Never sweep dirt out your front door (what ever broom you use). It is believed that sweeping dirt out the front door sweeps out families prosperity with it! (Now they tell me!)

 Le Befana, the Christmas Witch, also flies around the world on her broom delivering gifts to good children (ages before big guy in red suit wrangled reindeer into a harness).


“Sweep out evil, sweep out ill,
Where I do the Lady’s will.
Besom, besom, Lady’s Broom
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom.”




May 21, 2018

A ~ Not the A to Z Challenge 2018

Ayahuasca!

How is that for a word?

From the jungles of the Amazon, the shamans bring us our first 'spiritual' subject in our (NOT) A to Z Challenge.

There is a consensus on most websites about the Ayahuasa vine, the Ayahuasca tea and the Ayahuasca trip. They say 'Ayahuasca takes you, you don't take it!"

The tea itself is a mixture of the vine and Chacruna, a shrub that contains a strong (to put it lightly) hallucinogenic. Ayahuasca is called the 'Wisdom' or 'Teacher' plant and surely, it is not consumed for a recreational high. The physical consequences are gut wrenching, if you know what I mean.

So why take it? Why participate in this shaman-led ritual?

Some declare it is a successful treatment for PTSD. Some say they have met with the great Jaguar spirit and gone on spiritually enriching journeys without leaving their mattress or the campfire. Others report sleeping, dreaming of wonderful memories of childhood, or finding lost parts of their soul.

The ability to understand the meaning and richness of those experiences is agreed by most to be a huge part of consuming the concoction.

Ayahuasca is also said to be the doorway to the Divine Feminine, often referred to as Mother Ayahuasca.

Researching, asking questions, diving into the shaman writings, I've discovered the profound truth is that partaking in Ayahuasca does not change you, does not cause you to be happy. The Wisdom tea gives you hints, shows you flashes of what you are and what you could be. It helps you to see, if you look close, to what is real about you and what is not.

As Always, it is up to us to make the choice to be authentic, to be true to our own values, to be honest. Ayahuasca just nudges our conscience and our consciousness with glimpses into our soul.

Art Courtesy of http://www.thesacredvoyage.com


Would I try it? Could be! Truthfully though, the Amazon has never been even remotely close to my Bucket List. I really, really, really don't like bugs that bite or snakes that drop onto unsuspecting hikers from a canopy of trees. As for Ayahuasca, I'm truly opposed to projectile vomiting, but the Jaguar is my spirit animal...hmm!

Uh, no, unless, of course, a really enticing spiritual practice comes up in the next 25 letters,
I'll stick to my Sandalwood incense  and meditation.


A to Z Challenge...uh, did I miss it?


Apparently, I missed the A to Z Challenge this year, as Susan so clearly states, Plan B took over and the Challenge went on without me! Can you imagine?  

I was several preparatory-posts into the challenge when all hell broke loose. I thought I would post anyway. I could save posts for next year...but what if there isn't a next year?

So, here goes.


In the name of Truth, Transparency and Trust, I confess that I am writing this on February 13!

Yes, I did just read Marquessa's post on "How To Do The A to Z Challenge"! Ignoring my habitual tendencies to reject or rebel against authority figures, I'm applying a couple of her suggestions.

She advises to choose a theme that readers would be interested in, especially if the goal is to attract readers to your blog. I'm not sure that is my primary goal. My intention is to challenge myself to keep up and post every day, to write about what interests me (and possibly a couple of people who already visit my blog) and to have fun.

Sidenote: The word "fun" seems juvenile but I refuse to change it to merry, amusing, enjoyable or entertaining just to prove that I am a mature adult!  

What interests me that I can write on every day for a month?
 
Wine? No, I only know about eight days worth about wine!
Cooking? No, I like to cook, not to write about it so much!
Politics? Hell, no!

Today is Fat Tuesday, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday; both cultural and spiritual practices. Now those subjects sound fun stimulating and interesting!

My theme for the 2018 A to Z Challenge is The A to Z of Cultural and Spiritual Practices of the World.  Hmm, too long. (flow of consciousness happening here), what if I just delete Cultural from the theme title but if the spiritual subject of the day crosses over to cultural traditions, I might include it. Yeah, okay, that works for me.

My theme is The A to Z of Spiritual Practices!

What better than to start with than Ash Wednesday...or Astrology...or Ayahuasca!




May 20, 2018

And now...

We had a short, private service for Mom at the Veteran's Cemetery. Dad fell in love with the place and was very happy that Mom was in such a beautiful area with mountain views and Mt. Lassen plainly in view. The inscription on the niche place will be "Forever Young" since that is their last name.

We got Dad moved from the boonies to town. He now lives across the street from my sister and we see him everyday without the 45 minute drive to and from.

We had a Memorial Service for Mom on Mother's Day. It was beautiful. (Thank you Robin and Diane, for your incredible help and eye for beauty). Dad loved seeing everyone, had a couple of good cries (who didn't) and went home feeling sad but that the 'business' of death was complete. Time to get on with grieving.

We still have to prepare his house on the river for sale. Paint the kitchen cabinets, paint some trim on the exterior and trim up some of the trees to clear the view to the river.  Of course, our summer heat is barreling down on us, so we need to get a move on it.

It's incredible how consuming the business of death is. Of course, there is a lot of second guessing because how does one decide on the big stuff when you're too confused to make a decision on what you want in the McDonald's drive-thru!  One afternoon after and especially grueling couple of days, The Guy pulls into McD's and asks me what I want.

"I don't know! I can't make another decision!" I whined back to him.

When the loudspeaker voice asked what they should get started he requested "two McDoubles-no cheese and a large diet coke with two inches of rum!"

The morning after the Memorial I woke up completely relaxed BUT every muscle in my body was screaming in pain! Apparently, I must have unconsciously been carrying myself as rigid as I could due to the stress. The same for Sister and The Guy.

We got Dad to see a doctor and the doctor gave my dad some hope about his fatigue and lethargy. It's been difficult convincing an 89 year old hard working man that lethargy and weakness are a part of grieving.

I woke up this morning with the desire to read some of your blogs, post more than a sentence or two and I might even (might) take a shower before 2 p.m.!

I think it's going to be a good day!

Thank you all for the support! You're the best!

May 12, 2018

Squirrel!

 
This meme describes our lives right now. I feel like we've all been walking through a thick gel.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I can almost see it. I miss you all!

April 24, 2018

New Perspective

My mother died at home in the most gentle, loving manner. My sister, my father and I were holding her hands, stroking her face, telling her how loved she was. Her surviving sisters, brother and sister-in-law all called at one time or another to tell her they loved her.

Dad told her many times that he loved her and that she was beautiful.

We had decided to bring her home. Hospice ordered a hospital bed and all the supplies we needed to make her comfortable.

Many nights my 89 year old father would sit with her for hours, holding her hand.

Mom and Dad were the absolute best dancers I've ever seen. They could Swing Dance like nobody's business, always gathering a crowd around them as they boogied!

They collected albums (remember those) of all the Old Standards. With Mom's hospital bed in the living room, we would play Frankie Lane, Ella Fitzgerald, Keely Smith and Louie Prima. With each record that played, Dad would share a memory of their early days, dancing, concerts, picnics, camping in the Rockies. Sixty-eight years of marriage and lots and lots of precious memories.

There were also a tremendous number of epiphanies as we sat vigil with Mom.  It broke my heart to see her so vulnerable. Never in my life had I ever thought of her as helpless or indefensible. In those moments, I discovered that I had only thought of her as "Mom" never as a "Woman". I'm not sure I know how to explain it to anyone in a way they can understand, or if we all suddenly "get it" as our mothers pass from this world to the next.

As we have been sorting through her letters, memoirs, stories, we have uncovered incredible things about her. She saved every Mother's Day card, Birthday card or just card-card we ever gave her, sometimes not the whole card, just the part where we wrote, "Happy Birthday Mom, I love you".

We discovered that she wrote letters to congressmen, NASA, Historical Societies, and various VIP's. She kept copies (typewrite carbon copies) of all her letters, inquiries and thank you's. My sister and I were both awarded scholarships when we graduated from high school; Mom wrote thank you letters to the organizations and schools that awarded the scholarships. She fought hard to keep my brother from going to Vietnam and to get him out of Vietnam once he was sent there. At the time, he was in the Air Force and the only son of an only son. No descendants to pass on the Young surname.

She clipped every San Francisco Giants newspaper article for the past 50 years, as well as every article of historical significance. She clipped notes to many articles, explaining the mood of the country or what our family was up to at the time, what her thoughts were.

Her collection of Genealogy articles is overwhelming. She has copies of Land Grants, grant deeds, birth certificates, baptismal certificates, wedding certificates, honorable discharges. We had ancestors who have been state congressmen, sheriffs and sheriffs deputies in the wild, wild west. One great-great uncle had a run-in with Jack Black Ketchum and lost, she's got the hard evidence of that sad event.

Mom never, ever let the sun cook her the way most of us did. At the beach, in the garden, sitting on the patio, she wore a wide brimmed sunhat. Everyone who took care of this tiny 89 year old woman came in expecting someone with at least a bit of age to her skin. Every last one of them were visibly amazed at her beauty and skin. One of the visiting hospice nurses actually slapped both hands to her cheeks and exclaimed, "Oh my god, she is beautiful!"  When the mortuary people came to take her away, the woman also exclaimed the same exact words! 

Well, I didn't mean to go on and on. I just wanted to say that it was an honor and incredible gift to be able to take care of my mother in her last weeks of life. I discovered that she loved me (who knew?) and that I sincerely loved her.


April 09, 2018

Thank You All

I can't tell you all how much your comments and caring mean to me. Thank you with all my heart.

Mom is at home and in hospice care. Comfort measures only. The hospice nurses have been wonderful. They are tender and gentle, not only with Mom, but also with our Father.

This has been extremely hard on Dad. When going to reposition her in the night, I find him asleep in a chair next to her hospital bed, both of them asleep and holding hands.

One day I will share the nightmare of healthcare in Shasta and Tehama Counties. It truly feels as if my sister and I have been at war to protect our mother's health, safety and welfare.  Our fear is overwhelming for the older people who don't have family to protect them.

For now, all is going as smooth as can be expected...will fill you in on details, but going back to bed!

I miss you all. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and caring.

March 24, 2018

What To Say...


Mom is in hospice.

Dad is at her side, as one would only expect him to be.

I'll catch up with you all on the flip side.

March 13, 2018

Update

Three weeks ago, my mother fell at home, twice within a couple of days. She complained of severe groin, hip and leg pain. My sister took her to her doctor. Mom walked into doctor's office, in severe pain but she walked.

She asked if she could have x-rays. Her physician (using this title lightly) told her xrays weren't necessary because she walked in. "You wouldn't be able to walk if your hip was broken." He told her to go home and take Ibuprofen.

Her pain has been out of this world. Saturday as she was walking through the house, her legs just gave out and she fell again. Dad called about 10:00 PM and said Mom fell, he can't get her up. He has Parkinson's and doesn't have body strength to pick her up.

We hauled ass to get to them. We got her in bed, she refused to let us take her to hospital because she said her doctor says its just some sore ligaments. We spent the night with them but Mom did not sleep, screamed out most of night. Early Sunday morning I took her to hospital.

Mom is in excruciating pain with any movement, transferring, walking or laying down but sitting down she is more comfortable. The doctor comes in, moves her legs, asks her a couple of questions. I tell him her feet are extremely swollen, purple and edema 6+. She had her socks on because she is always freezing. He glances at her socks and answers, "yeah, there's a little swelling." He doesn't take off her socks, he doesn't actually see her feet and not one nurse or dr checks her lower extremities for edema. When I was in nursing that was always a routine part of vitals, especially with elderly patients with hip and leg pain.

Doctor says he doesn't think she has a broken hip because of the way he could move her legs. They take x-rays and he comes back with diagnosis of hairline fx (fracture) of superior pubis bone. Nothing can be done, he said but just wait for it to heal. I ask if she can have Rx for pain. He refuses. States that at her age any pain pills would make falling more risky and may cause some confusion or dementia. Again, she is advised to take Ibuprofen. They ship her out in spite of BP of 189/102 and swollen purple feet and extreme pain.

She cries out in pain as they are getting her into my car. She cries out in pain as we get her out. She doesn't sleep for another 24 hours, crying out in pain at every move. Yesterday we call ambulance. Pain is just over the top. 

They take additional x-rays, this time of the pelvis and spine. She has three additional Fx. Two in right pelvic bone and one in back.

What is wrong with physicians? What is this need to shuffle our elderly around without listening to them or looking at all the details.

She is in hospital on a morphine drip. She is emotionally relieved that the pain wasn't in her head and that she was not being a 'pansy' for hurting so much from some bruised or strained ligaments.

My sister and I are fuming!

I called her regular doctor and let him know that he let Mom suffer for three weeks by refusing to order x-rays when she first complained.

There is no way to explain the emotional trauma of these past couple of on everyone but especially Mom and Dad. It is hard enough being frail and 89 but to have your own physician dismiss you is unacceptable.

UNACCEPTABLE!


March 12, 2018

A Little Help From Our Friends

Roller coaster weekend. Some ups and some extreme lows.

A time when love becomes tough love, tests every ounce of patience and pushes every emotional button.

Scary! When life's circumstances are spiraling at warp speed, there is a strong pull to jump out of the whirlpool, to find peace at any cost.

As I have mentioned often lately, the universe is listening, always listening. So this morning, first thing on my FB thread is link to "10 Ways To Reach Out When You're Struggling With Your Mental Health."


I'm sharing this link, just in case the universe wants this excellent article to reach someone else who needs a reminder to reach out.


Sparkle

Oh My God! It's Monday!

How did that happen!

What happened to Saturday and Sunday...woooosh! Is it only one hour we spring forward or was it 47 and a half?

Never-the-less, it is Monday and time for a Sparkle.



In her own words, McGuffy's Reader writes, "I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. There is hope. Together, we can light up the entire world!

So, on Monday, she posts a Sparkle, a bit of wisdom to light the path.  She invites us to participate. 

 I chose to accept her invitation.

Sparkle, my friend, Sparkle.

Courtesy of Manager Foundation

Plant a seed today!


March 09, 2018

Friday! Celebrate & Fill-in!



Friday is Celebrate the Little Things originally from Lexa Cain's blog. Today is an extremely sad day at Lexa's. Her husband died this week. He was only 50. Here one day, gone the next.  My heart aches for her. I can't imagine the pain of losing a spouse, especially so suddenly. Love and hugs to you Lexa.

The news this morning of his passing has a profound affect on Friday Fill-ins (Feelings).

The four prompts are:

1. Before you_________________, you need to_________________.

2.After ___________________________.

3.Winter__________________________.

4. Spring_________________________.


1. Before you leave the house or go to sleep at night or hang up the phone, you need to say I love you.

2. After having a disagreement with your honey, give them a kiss and tell them you love them.

3. Winter is just another season, not really important in the grand scheme of things.

4. Spring up right now and call someone you love and tell them how important they are to you.

March 08, 2018

Tomorrow!

This morning I jumped out of bed, totally excited about my self-proclaimed To Do list. Totally!

I posted my plans for the day on Wondering and Wandering, got dressed and left the bedroom.

Holy Cow! 


Can a man be too good?

Wednesday afternoon, while The Guy was at my folks' house, I climbed up on a chair, and pulled a couple of things down from above my kitchen cabinets. Icky! Dusty and tacky.

I scrubbed them, tossed two things into the PURGE box, put a plant, a vase and a pitcher up. I looked at the rest of the cabinet tops and decided that soon, very soon, I was going to have to take everything down, clean and maybe update it all. Very soon came sooner than I expected.

The Guy walked in just as I was climbing off the counter. As I was taking the chair back to the dining room I commented that the other cabinets really needed cleaning.

"I'll need to get to it soon!" I said.

Wednesday is Survivor night. I watch it in the bedroom because we don't have cable or satellite tv. We have Apple TV, Netflix and Amazon in the living room. The bedroom television has an antenna.

The Guy doesn't get involved with Survivor until the last 5 or 6 people are left. So last night, he stayed in the living room to watch a show with lots of explosions, shooting and aliens. My thoughts were that he was probably snoozing in his chair.

Wrong!

While I was snuggled in bed, he was taking everything above the cabinets down. Everything but the dust, cob webs and ick.

Rex, Lily and I walked into the kitchen this morning and were shocked by all the baskets and teapots and oil lamps covering the counters, all the counters.  Kitchen looks good! I purged some really old things while wondering why I liked them enough to display. Scrubbed the cabinet tops, walls and ceiling.

Guess what I didn't do today!

Sometimes a guy can be too helpful!


Uh Oh!

It's Thursday.

I have no prior commitments!

I've been left unsupervised!

Oh the potential.

I have a couple of plants to re-pot. Love playing in the dirt. Gonna put some good Joni Mitchell and James Taylor music on. The plants really like it and it helps with the trauma.

There is a quilt to finish, just the final touches.

But first, a new project: painting hangers!
Okay, my friends, this may sound weird but I have this idea, probably saw it somewhere because I don't think it gave birth in my head.

I have three wooden hangers for slacks or skirts. Part metal and part wood.

No more skirts for this one!

I've decided to paint the metal in a copper create a verdigris patina. Then I will distress the wood a tiny bit and paint it white with a dry brush. After the three of them are dry, I am going to hang them in my studio vertically and use them as photo frames for 8 x 10's.  I asked the guy if he would have the lab print the photos with two inch white borders and he said it was doable!

Seriously, I should not be left unsupervised!

I'm also not going to juice today but I'm going to have oatmeal with a banana (just in case you cared to know how seriously I can get into trouble).

March 07, 2018

The Guy Is My Hero

The Guy! My Hero!
Discovered this morning that I am a coward. Truly a coward. Makes me want to cry that I am such a yellow-bellied, chicken-livered wimp.

Me!

My folks heat pump is running on emergency, costing $700 plus each month. Mom is very frail physically, Dad is just a little behind. The cold gets to them and it has been cold up here.  When I talked to Dad this morning he said it was cold in their house. I asked him if he and Mom want to come stay with us for a couple of days. He says Mom says that they are not allowed to go beyond their mailbox!  I think she's afraid my sister and I will kidnap Dad (rescue him) from her!

It took us 10 days to get any service company to answer our calls to go out to check on the heater. Finally got someone out. Furnace is shot. They need a new one.

Got the bid on replacement. $10,000 plus (and that is with the senior discount). The Guy kept at it, kept calling and finally got another company to make an appointment to inspect unit to submit a bid.

Today The Guy and I were going to head out to folks house, take them breakfast and be there so that The Guy can help with conversation with service man and Dad. After service guy leaves, Frank would help explain things to Mom who is more deaf than a rock, a very mean rock!

Mom is having a major anxiety-control attack, wants appt cancelled, doesn't even want us there. Won't listen to why another guy is going out. Can't explain to you the chaos of our conversations with her over the phone, but it's not good. So I caved. Said I would cancel the appointment and we would stay home.

The Guy comes out of shower and I tell him we can't go. "Mom says no!" The Guy informs me that 'No" is not an alternative. He is going out to meet the guy. He called Dad, Dad says, C'mon down. (He'll pay for that one!)

I couldn't make myself go! I don't want to face Mom's tantrum when we get there. I can guarantee you that my dad is paying hell for it right now, at least until The Guy gets there. The Guy went alone to help my parents because I am too chicken to face the Wrath of Mom! What a poor excuse for a daughter. Just don't want to be her punching bag.

I texted my sister, "Damned if you do and damned if you don't"! She texted back that Mom has already called her to share the chaos, confusion and wrath!

So here I sit, a bit of coffee in my Bailey's, tail tucked between my legs.

How can anyone be afraid of an 89 year old, 82 pound woman?

Not afraid of her exactly, more afraid of my reaction to her madness. I don't want to say hurtful things (well, I do, believe me, but I try to avoid the circumstances when it is too easy to blurt out the yucky stuff). Being a good person is so easy around my dad, not so easy around Mom.

The Guy just texted. He's there and all is well. Mom's in peaceful (yeah, right) mood.  She just loves The Guy and is always more calm when he is around. Maybe I should pour a little more coffee in this Baileys and stopping whining!

MOTHER FOR SALE
MAKE AN OFFER!

 

A little advice when it comes to caring for aging parents. Move to New Zealand!

March 05, 2018

Committed!

Not what your thinking (or wishing), though probably not long before they catch up with me!


Sign up day for the A to Z Challenge. I signed up! I'm committed. Joining a bunch of masochists who don't have enough stress in their lives so freely purchase a ticket for more!

Bring it on!

I'm not sure if I shared this with you all, but I am surrounded by fundamental, judgemental super-conservatives. The Guy is the oldest of 10 and his whole family except the youngest sister are staunch Cheeto Von Tweeto fans. Very outspoken about it too. Don't need to tell you how much they hated Obama and didn't mind griping about him constantly but want me to "show some respect" to 'their' guy in office. Not going to happen. Gotta earn respect and Von Tweeto is in the red as far as I'm concerned.

This morning I was discussing the deregulation signed February 16 allowing coal mines to dump their waste into rivers. My mother-in-law said she doubted that was true, basically calling me a liar. I gave her the link so she could actually watch him brag about it, then go on to talk about all the other regulations he's going to reverse. (Get ready, kids, you're going back to the workhouse!)

She says, "Fake News!"


He brags about grabbing private parts! They say, 'fake news'!
He says that the racists in Charlottesville at 'very fine people'! They say,  fake news!

I give up! I have to get out of this town! This 'snowflake' needs new stomping grounds.

Full Disclosure: I don't think he was born in the United States. I think he was created in Hell and the devil was so annoyed with him, he was kicked out!