Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve and Day

Since I "opted out" of Christmas cards (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was lack of energy!), I put together the card below for distribution by email.  It was a whole lot more enjoyable than doing cards and tells the story of our holiday...decorating the front porch, baking, etc  The short sleeve shirts attest to the mildness of our weather and the hat is a running gag, which we both enjoyed.  Mama would wear it when she took Smokey out for a walk and I wore it for my walks, which gave the neighborhood a giggle based on the toots and waves I got!  It reminded me of the Christmas Day Run back in Abqaiq.....the fun and silliness we had!!  Those were the days.
Click to play this Smilebox collage
As mentioned in the last post, we did drive around to see the Christmas lights in the community, and I was surprised at what my mother couldn't see......the Christmas tree in Bluffton town square, etc. I thought the lights in contrast to the darkness might be something she could enjoy, but not so. Very sad! I think she does a wonderful job of "compensating".....and I want to believe. So it works for both of us in a sad kind of way. In any case, we made the most of it. Any of the musical events that we used to attend each year begin too late in the evening, so that has left a hole in the activities of the season. Not a lot is happening during the day!

Ready for the Christmas Eve Service.
Christmas Eve was a fairly relaxing day, with a little cooking in preparation for Christmas Day. In the morning, we made Mama's Potato Salad and I made a vegetable Wellington, which always surprises me that it turns out so well! We then showered and dressed for the 4PM Christmas Eve Service at the. Lowcountry Presbyterian Church. It was nicely done and a good time to hear and participate in the traditional Christmas music. Mama enjoyed it, though it wore her out.

Christmas Day started with trepidation.  I had gotten up at my usual time to tend the kitties and have a quiet coffee.  Allan called to wish us a Merry Christmas and as we were talking I noticed that Mama had gotten up.  By the time the conversation was over, she was back in bed......and I was left wondering if that was an omen for the day!!  About 30-40 minutes later she was up and came down the hall saying, "Yo-ho-ho!" she was in the Christmas spirit!  She opened her gifts over breakfast.....a crystal bracelet (which you can barely see in the photo) and a talking watch.  She liked them both, but the watch was the big surprise as she didn't know they existed.  She seems to really like it and I keep asking her what time it is, so it's been a lot of fun.

Before Christmas she asked me to take some money from her account to get something for myself for Christmas.  At that time, I really didn't need or want anything......then, I dropped my camera on the tile floor and jammed the lens.  I could get the photos off, but I couldn't take photos.  So, she said to apply the money to a new camera, which I did.  Wow, how cameras have changed since my last one!  I spent the same as on my old camera, but this one has 14.5 mega pixels rather than 6 and 18X zoom.  But that's just the is "fool proof" has WiFi and can move photos to my computer wirelessly.  I can also email them straight from the camera, as well as apply all kind of affects, scenes, filters, frames, picture in picture, you name it.  The picture below was composed by the camera......the photo I took is of the Merry Christmas cross-stitch scene on my mantel.  The rest of the scene was done by the camera!!  It's amazing.....and has provided hours of entertainment already. 

It's a Samsung......not what I expected to buy.  But, as I checked them out, it seemed the best for the price AND I know they are the major competitor to the iPhone, so  the technology is good.  So far, I've very impressed.

Back to Christmas Day....after a late breakfast, we finished lunch preparation.  Not the traditional fare, but something that pleased us both.  My mother is a meat (if I insist!) and two veg person, and the vegetables are 2 out of 5 that she will eat.  I had the vegetable Wellington, which is easier that one would think, looks wonderful......and slices perfectly. The one tradition we upheld is that we had more than we could eat!

The remainder of the day was quiet. We called a few relatives and received calls from a few.  All in all, it was a good day, for which I am grateful.  I think Mama really likes her watch and it has made life a little more normal for her.....and that pleases me. 

It was a Meowy Christmas for everyone!
And we hope it was a Merry Christmas for you, too!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

Christmas is a few days away and the month - the year - is speeding to an end.  I'm not sure where the time has gone, but I feel like the little mouse on the wheel, in constant movement but not getting anywhere fast!  Weeks after putting up the tree, we finally got around to putting up a few additional decorations and the house does look Christmasy.  This week we spent two days baking and have distributed the goodies to deserving friends and neighbors. So, if we can decided what we want to prepare for Christmas lunch (not as easy as one would think!), we might have the holiday under control.....Inshallah!

Friday was the first cold day of winter, so I've made good use of the nicer weather, trying to get back into a reasonable walking routine.  We also worked on the area in front of the house where we had planted azaleas....months ago.  It looked very incomplete so I used "eco-border" and rubber chips (both made of recycled tires) to fill the area, and it looks very nice....or at least finished!!  My gardening skills are such that I hope this will  be a lifetime fix!!  I'm thinking of using a less expensive border and the rubber chips for the beds in back of the house but will tackle that when the temperature rises again.

Recycled tires are the answer!
My mother has not had another episode since the packing day, although I think we averted one last night.  She had gone to bed at her usual time and within and hour and a half she was up three times....once to ask about the rain she was hearing (without her hearing aids she can't hear it thunder!), the second time she was amazed that there were so many more Christmas lights this year than in the past, and finally to have some milk.  As she was getting back into bed, I asked if she needed a sleeping pill to help her go to sleep and she agreed.  So, I gave her a second Seroquel as the doctor suggested.  She was able to go to sleep and seemed fine this morning.  The trick is seeing the signs early and being able to adjust the meds.  In this case she had already taken her evening meds and had I approached her the wrong way she would have refused to take anything.  This time I was just lucky!

We also had a tough-love talk several weekends ago. I asked her not to take it the wrong way, knowing full well she would (and she did), but I knew there would not be a right time or an easy way to say it.  She is so unhappy here and appears miserable 24/7, which is not easy to be around, and I said that she might want to consider the nursing home in Wadesboro as an option.  She knows people who reside there.  She would know many people who visit, etc.  She avoids human contact here, but it would be less threatening there....and she needs to be around more people than just me!  She took it in the most negative way possible (no surprise!) and had little to say, except that she knew the nursing home (she had been there for rehab when she fractured her pelvis) and she didn't want to be there.  And I said, "Well, maybe it will make being here seem like a better option!"  She didn't respond and was quiet for a while, but she has been more involved and less dreary.  It probably won't last long, but I'm enjoying it while I can!

I'm still concerned about Gabby and am trying to be consistent with the injections.  Over the past two weeks he has spent two whole days at the vet as they try to regulate the insulin.  It looks like 3 units twice a day is the dosage.  When I do it right, it's a breeze.  When I do it wrong, Gabby bolts, I jump and it's a disaster.  I hope it will become more consistent (and right!) as time goes on.  It breaks my heart to see him.....he's still boney, he has spots of missing hair on his head and shoulders (allergies I guess), and he still isn't himself.  He is such a loving, sweet kitty and I hate to see him looking this way.....and I hope he feels better than he looks.  As long as he's okay, I can deal with his looks.

In my sketchy notes of topics I want to include in this blog, I had intended to rant a little about the shallow, superficial and just disgusting events of Black Friday.  I think I'm going to stop watching the news on the day after to avoid seeing the savagery of people trying to get a good deal on a TV!  But, that insanity was so overshadowed by the events of Newtown, CT.  that it is just so hard to grasp.....and to imagine the devastation of a community of that size (or any size).  I really feel that this is a turning point in our cultural relationship with guns and violence....and it will have been brought about by both the savagery and innocence of this event. It was heartbreaking to hear the families describe the innocence and joy of their children, and you didn't doubt it because they were too young to be jaded by life.  The community has been an example of grace under extreme stress, but I can't help but think of what the holidays will be like in the quiet of each home....just heartbreaking and so senseless. You know me....I've already written/emailed the President and Lindsey Graham and am willing to do more.  I can't imagine why anyone needs an assault weapon and rapid-fire clips. I think that if you are so afraid that you think those things will help, you need to learn to deal with your fear in a  more constructive way.  The NRAs answer is more guns.....the only thing that will stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun!  Those people have been watching too much TV!  They are living in a parallel universe.  I hope this will be just like the election.....they can rant and rave, be as obnoxious as they like; but, in the end the majority of sane people will say "enough is enough". 

We're getting ready to go look at Christmas lights in the Bluffton area, so I'll take this time to wish you and yours all the sentiments of the season....

peace on earth

goodwill to all 

joy to the world

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksgiving and Beyond....

It's been a long time since I've written, mostly because I simply haven't had the heart.....and there's been little good news to report.  The picture looks like a happy Thanksgiving, but looks can be deceiving.  Actually, Thanksgiving day was good, but my mother had "an episode", for lack of better words, the three days leading up to it.  Tuesday night she was up and down all night until about 1:30 AM when I finally turned on all the lights in the house and asked her if she wanted to come to the kitchen for some milk.  She came down the hall looking at everything as though for the first time and said, "This place is just like your other place."  She walked through every room and looked at everything on the wall....and seemed to approve!  She had milk and we sat a while until she said she was tired and thought she would go to bed.  After the events earlier in the evening, my first thought was "sure!", but she went to bed, to sleep and slept until 9AM on Wednesday morning.  Of course by the time she decided to do that, I had sweet potatoes baking in the oven, the dishwasher going, etc.  I finally made it to bed around 3:30!  She spent most of that morning in her room, finally coming out around 3PM to help with the cooking....probably after the increased dosage of morning meds had time to kick in.  She was rational after that and Thanksgiving Day was quiet.....and quiet is good.

Today (Monday, December 3) is a bit different.  The episode began yesterday but didn't escalate during the night.  This is the first time it has happened during the day....for the whole day.  She is going home and has (literally) packed everything in her room and bathroom.  She has been at it all day and I've just left her alone.  The less I say the better, so I've picked out a gallon bag of pecans, baked cookies and cornmeal muffins. She said she would call her NC neighbor to come get her, then asked if I would call a taxi and see how much that would cost.  Again, I remained quiet.  It's 4:15PM and she just changed into her PJs so maybe she has decided to stay the night. I've called the doctor again and he suggested doubling her nighttime dosage of Seroquel.  That should at least help her sleep....and me,too!  Here's hoping for a better day tomorrow.....

A note to Allan and Ann, both of whom left messages on my phone today.  We were here but in absolutely no condition to talk.  My sincere apologies for not picking up but, believe me, I spared you!!

If you haven't guessed, my mother has officially been diagnosed with dementia.....and I think we have both been in denial.  The aides from Amedisys used the word when they were assisting her after her hospital stay in September, but I'm not sure she picked up on it or knows exactly what is happening to her.  But, it has definitely caught my full attention over the last few months.  The word was first used when I had her doctor complete his portion of the application for Aid and Attendance Benefits but, again, I didn't pay too much attention to it, thinking they were just trying to be helpful.  That idea was shot down in no time flat.  Now that I can no longer deny it, I've contacted a few places to see what my options are.....and South Carolina, one of those states that refused the Medicaid expansion required by Obamacare, makes it difficult for someone without major physical problems (unable to dress or feed self, etc.) to receive assistance.  So, it isn't likely to be a quick or easy path.  When she is feeling better, I hope to speak with someone in person in order to get a grasp of things.  I know that her needs are quickly outpacing my abilities. I've emailed the relatives and spoken with friends, giving full details.  Today I returned the Talking Books equipment, which she never seemed able to process or enjoy.....and it's such a wonderful service.  I hope there will be someone who can benefit from it.  That was my acknowledgement of the reality of our situation.

Just home from Vet's clinic.
My lament (in my last post) about my kitties proved prophetic.  The day after Thanksgiving Gabby had scratched three raw places on his head.  I'd taken him the month before for an allergy shot and just figured it was time for another. He had also been eating very well but was becoming boney, so I asked that they do blood work to make sure everything was okay. From the point of the vet visit on, he stopped eating and became more and more lethargic.  By Sunday he was so ill that I was really afraid for him, so I called the vet.  The secretary actually received the message and, since she was passing the office, stopped in and pulled the blood work up on the computer.  Gabby is diabetic and the allergy shot exacerbate it.  The vet called and explained the problem and said I should bring him in on Monday at 8AM...that he would be alright until then.  But, by that time he had also stopped drinking water or moving.  He would just lie wherever he was placed and had a blank stare.  So, I called again around 3:30 and told her I was afraid he wouldn't make it until Monday.  She seemed none too pleased about seeing him on a Sunday, which I called her on....."Oh, no no!  It isn't that"....if anything was wrong, she couldn't leave an unsupervised, unprepped cat in the clinic overnight.  If it was serious, I would have to take him to the clinic in Savannah.  I told her that was okay with me.  What I didn't want was a dead cat in the morning.  So, for a hefty sum she agreed to meet me and see him.  He was very dehydrated, so she gave him fluid and a pain reliever.  Needless to say, I had him at the clinic at 8AM and he was there for two nights and three days. The first two days home he required two insulin shots a day and two pain meds per day.  After that it's the insulin and an appetite stimulant every 2-3 days.  I do want a follow up for him as soon as things settle with my mother..... He is such a sweet kitty and my main source of love and encouragement.  I really don't want to lose him and I hope he is able to fully recover.

Well, Gabby's scare just totally unhinged me.  My emotions have been (and still are) on my sleeve and I've spent a lot of time crying, for both Gabby and all that I've been sublimating about my mother for such a long time.....just a deep well of sadness.  I know that "this too shall pass" and life will not always be this way, but it is very difficult when going through it.

Christmas?  I'm just hoping to get through it and get it over without disturbance.  We put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving but have not been able to get anything else done.  My heart just isn't in it and my energy level is zip.  It can't be over soon enough......

Wish the news from this end was better, but I hope things are going well where you are and that everyone is in the Christmas/Holiday spirit. If so, read this and count your blessings!! Thanks so much for keeping us in your you are in ours.  Lots of love for the holidays!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving is Here!

Well, the election is over and it's gotten better as time has gone by......with some GOPers not re-elected, more Dems winning as slow vote counts come in, and the diversity of the Democrat wins, etc.  I really tried to be a good girl, not gloating too much or being too obnoxious.....But then Mitch McConnell did it again!  That same condescending denial of reality.....saying the election was not a mandate for the President, that the people were just giving him more time to deliver the promises he failed to deliver thus far.  If you remember, in 2008 I was forced to call his office and speak to a snippy little girl.  This year I was motivated/provoked into writing a letter.  With technology simplifying the process so much, I also sent the letter to Senator Graham and Congressmen Boehner, Ryan and Canter.  If nothing else, it made me feel better and it's sure to irritate the grunt that has to read and reply to it.

Mama and Edna, her friend and neighbor.

Our trip to NC was enjoyable but exhausting.  All of the cousins stopped by again and we made a visit to the nursing home to visit my mother's friend and neighbor, my cousin's husband, and a former neighbor. We stayed a good, long time and came away feeling glad we made the effort.  We visited my mother's friend Ruth and had dinner with Laney and Julious, as well as going to church on Sunday.  We had very little time to do anything around the house, including getting clothes together for my mother.  It was a whirlwind.

We came back to a week of dark, cool, rainy weather, the kind that just makes you want to stay in bed.  And today has been the worst...cooler, darker and rainier! It's hard to believe we were enjoying 70-80 degree weather only a few weeks ago.  I think I can cope with the cool weather if the sun will just appear again!
A warm, sunny, Sunday afternoon in Beaufort only a few weeks ago.

We also came home to ailing kitties.  As we scooped the ton of poop that had collected in 4 large litter boxes, we saw that there was loose poop in all boxes. In the course of the day, I realized that it was my dear Gabby.  He's 13 now and it's hard for me to realize that he is now an older kitty.  While he eats well and seems to be okay, he has become boney and that tender, pink nose is now covered with dark splotches (similar to all of the god-awful things that are happening to his Mama - me!).  He is a ninja kitty and it's hard to catch him drinking or pooping, but there is no more soft poop in the boxes, so I hope he is okay.  The other patient is Little Girl (Chloe)...before we left, someone was throwing up and it was a "variety" of spew with which I was not familiar.....projectile with lots of water-type liquid.  It was not until I actually saw Chloe do it that I realized it came from her.  And then, once we got home I saw her going from one litter box to another, circling the wagons, straining......and only a drop came out!  So, I took her to the vet that very day and he said it sounded like a classic bladder infection.  He gave her two shots.....that was Friday and she still is not able to pee.  A call to the vet will be my first order of business tomorrow.  She is very stoic and not appearing to be in discomfort, but it can't be good.  The vet asked me to call on Monday and let them know how she was doing, so I assumed she should be okay by then.  She isn't!  It scares me to think that something could happen to them, though I know IT is likely to happen to them before it happens to me.  They are just so loving, each in their own way, and bring so much comfort and joy into  my life.....I just can't go there a minute before I have to.

I had my yearly physical with good results, thus far.  Ive had a bone density scan and tomorrow I see a dermatologist.  Tuesday is a mammogram and it will be over.  The initial blood work was fine and am hoping all else turns out as well.

I had planned to have the bedroom carpets replaced between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but when I thought of all that will be happening - Thanksgiving, putting up the Christmas tree, three medical appointments for my mother, Christmas, etc. - I just couldn't face it.  So, instead of a Christmas present for myself, it will become an early birthday present.  I'm hoping things will settle by January.

In an effort to have a life, I went to my vegetarian group (Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry) last night.  The group has expanded from the original 7 or 8 to almost 20.....actually more than that, 20 were in attendance last night.  It's a diverse group in age, sex, race, interests and professions.  So, it's an interesting group AND the food is good.  It's a great way to sample new things and collect great ideas.  The speaker for this meeting was a local lady who is an vedic master, trained at the Chopra Center.  She talked about Ayurveda, a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India, a type of alternative medicine. She was very entertaining and the topic was brain appreciated being stimulated a bit more than usual!

One of the newer, younger members of our Living/Drinking Liberally group has invited me to a luncheon for "progressive" women.  My friend Chris and I plan to attend the December luncheon.  The ladies I enjoy being with most are those I've met through DL, so I think this will be similar and worth doing....will keep you posted.

Today I finally watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Ann recommended it long before I ever heard about it here.  She said I'd enjoy it and I think I'll actually see it again before sending it back to Netflix.  It finally came up on my list several weeks ago and when I attempted to see it, the CD was faulty and the previews were on a loop...I couldn't get past them.  So, it took a second try and I really enjoyed it on so many levels.....and it made me want to go back to India!

This week is Thanksgiving and all I want to do is get it over......but, even so, there is so much to be thankful for, not the least of which are true and lasting friends.  So, I wish each and every one a.....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Over........

Well, the election is over and I'm recovering from a long night.  It took Mitt a while to concede and once I'd heard his speech I had to hang in until the President spoke. While there was lots of tension at the beginning of the evening, things finally opened up and began falling into place.  It was a solid win for Obama and many Democrats seeking House or Senate seats.......all in all a much better outcome than expected.  There will be 20 women in the Senate, including a war veteran who lost both legs in Iraq (I think), the first Asian-American female Senator, the first openly gay female Senator, etc.  While things are not as good as we would like, the President has had a lot to deal with AND very little help from the opposition party.......despicable behavior at a time when our country needed everyone pulling together.  There were also lots of shenanigans going on to restrict voting rights, and my faith in mankind was restored by all those people who stood in lines for hours, jumped through the manufactured hoops and did whatever was necessary to vote.  They were truly impressive......and I'm thinking some of those nasty tactics may have backfired in a big way. Anyway, don't get me started.......but it was a sweet victory.

Our weather continues to be cool as another storm hits the northeast.  It's hard to imagine the devastation the people up there are dealing with, and they are hit again.  Even so, many of us have traveled to places where there would not be the immediate support and safety nets provided here, though I know if you're the one affected, things can't happen fast enough.  I do hope the weather holds off long enough for relief and rebuilding to happen.

We're trying to get ready to go to NC for the mother needs to pick up some winter clothes and it will be a chance for her to visit relatives and friends.  She mentioned taking Smokey (her cat) with us, but I immediately nixed that.  I've  given up trying to do anything with/around her house, so we'll use the time there however she wishes.  I'm getting better at choosing my battles!  Wish us luck!

My hope and enthusiasm after the election were dashed the morning after when the following comments were issued on Facebook - one by a relative and the other by a "friend" of a relative:
  •  "Load your guns and sharpen your knives!"
  •   "Anyone feeling the sudden unexplained urge to start stockpiling handguns, rifles and ammo?  Just saying.  I got this.....itch.
  •  "I remember when America was......      Fill in the blank.  You've got four years to think about it.  Oh and there's probably more then one right answer!"
These people really are living in a parallel universe. It's so hard to understand what makes their American experience so different from mine.  That kind of response to an election absolutely stuns me!  They are the same ones who want "to take their country back" from those of us who won the majority in the last election.  It wasn't a revolution, it was an election!  Get a grip,
Well, my response was this:

I very rarely post anything on Facebook but decided to do so through the political season after another relative began posting lots of anti-Obama stuff.  My theory was that 1) if she was going to do that, she should be prepared to get the other perspective AND, 2) they all tend to think alike and zealously reinforce that thinking and I thought it might be "enlightening" for her/them to discover that not everyone thinks the way they do AND they actually know some of those people!!  I alerted my liberal FB friends, telling them my plan and asking for backup if needed.......but also asking them to be gentle, because any comeback would likely be from relatives!  I mostly used cartoons or slogans, with no personal commentary, and there really was no problem (that I know of....we'll see when we go up this weekend!).......and it did actually flush out a young cousin who was also for Obama.....and feeling very isolated!  She emailed me privately for a little discussion.  So, unless someone really ticks me off, that will be my last post for a while. 

I'm sure everyone is happy the election is over (no one more so than Democrats!), so I'll leave you with some final laughs.....and I'm glad we feel like laughing!

And looking ahead.....texting Hillary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Other Things

We are happy and grateful to report that we hardly felt the presence of Hurricane Sandy.  She passed by here several days ago and was noticed only by an overcast day with a bit of wind and rain.  All things considered, it was very minimal.  I was expecting two "house bound" days when we only had one.  By mid morning of the second day, the sun was out.  She did usher in cooler temperatures and the wind has been gusting since then, but the sun is shining, which makes it all bearable for me. Thanks to all who have asked about our's nice to be thought about.

On Monday I took advantage of early voting, which in some ways was a discouraging experience.  This is a very red county/state and people were streaming in to vote early.  At that rate there should be very few people left to vote on Election Day!  So, I envisioned my one little Democrat vote being cast in a sea of Republican votes!  I can only hope the reverse is true in other parts of the country.  Now that I've voted, I called the Democratic Headquarters to volunteer to drive people to the polls. I've not be able to do much else, but this is something I think I can do to help.....and  my mother can even ride along, so we will both feel we're doing something for the cause.

Since my home situation and the election are not creating enough tension in my life, I've become addicted to Homeland!  Since I just get the basic cable package (I thought) I didn't even try to find it until several weeks ago.....and, lo and behold, there it was AND it was a marathon weekend reviewing season one.  I didn't get to sit long enough to catch every detail, but I did get the jist of the characters and the plot.  Each episode seems to leave me wondering where it can possibly go next......very good!

There was one very pleasant surprise this week......I heard from my longtime Canadian friend Jean, with whom I thought I'd lost contact.  She was having health problems at about the same time I became overwhelmed with caring for my mother.  Something happened with her email address and I never got replies, so I really didn't know what happened.  Somehow, after all this time, she figured out that there was an email problem and she got in touch.  She's doing well and it's great to be in contact again......there are hopes our paths may cross again.

On that positive note, I'll leave you with some political humor.......WARNING: Republicans without a sense of humor may want to stop here!

Lets start with Fox News and right wing media......

The Debates.....

For once I agree with if he would just get back under his rock!

 Is this too harsh?
Happy Halloween...


And my personal favorite......

Friday, October 19, 2012

Things are Slowly Improving....

Wildlife scenes from our local paper....this is an Ibis (I think).
I'm still here and things are slowly improving, though I'm afraid to say that too loudly.  My mother has had four good days in a row........I've had two!  My mother's good turn is probably due to her meds.  She was prescribed 25 mg of Seroquel before all of this happened, but when she came out of the hospital, they reduced it to 12.5 mg (along with taking her off Ativan cold turkey and  Lunesta gradually).  After four days in bed complaining of everything and getting progressively agitated, I gave her the full dose again.  The doctor said it might be necessary as things progressed, and I determined we had reached that point.  After two days, she was out of bed and more "with it."  One of the nurses with Amedisys was amazed at the improvement and said it was the right thing to do......and it's nice to have things on a more even keel.

Osprey with catch.
As for me, I'm just bone tired.  Both last night, and as I'm writing this, I sat with a heating pad on my Ben Gay slathered neck and shoulders.  By the end of the day they feel totally locked and achy, with little mobility.  Though our weather has been great, I've only walked about 4 times in weeks, so my energy level is zero. Once I get going I can do pretty well; but, when I stop, the little energy I have evaporates.  Even so, as my mother shows improvement, I'm hoping for more normalcy, flexibility and relaxation.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Things have been like a three ring circus in that we have had a physical therapist in twice a week, a nurse twice a week and a speech therapist once a week. Even so, it is much easier than trying to get my mother to outside appointments.  They have all be helpful, kind and knowledgeable. It has also given me a lot of comfort to know they are here to call upon when needed.

As seems to be the pattern, I've had the revelation that things go easier for me (and possibly for my mother, too) if I stop trying to "fix" things that can't be fixed......or that depend on anyone else for it to happen.  The tendency is to want to fix whatever is going badly for those we love, but some things can't be fixed and it's best to acknowledge that rather than being caught up in trying to accomplish the impossible. The most I can do is make it as good a day as possible on any given day.  Like so many of these revelations, they seem clear and logical until caught up in the drama of the moment/crisis, and then they vanish into thin air.......but it's working for the time being.
The people in the background have to be tourists!!
In the midst of all this, I've done a will, Power of Attorney, Advance Directive and Health Power of Attorney for myself.  I know.  I know.......I should have done this long ago, but I'm just now getting around to it.  Everything is ready to be signed, notarized and witnessed next week.  I also managed to have lunch with a friend for the first time in a long time.....and it was great.  I got someone to come in and stay with Mama so I could really relax and enjoy the outing.

Politics also figure largely into my the point of having "picture in picture" on TV, MSNBC non-stop, etc.  I'm greatly relieved that the President showed up for the second debate and did well.  We're down to 18 or so days until Election Day and I don't know if I'll be able to stand it.  We mailed my mother's absentee ballot today, so that's one more thing out of the way.......and I'm thinking of voting early.  I can simply by virtue of my depressing is that?!?

Yesterday Mama was feeling better and needed some fresh air and exercise, so we took our chairs to the Church of the Cross and sat on the bluff overlooking the May River....pretty much the spot where this photo was taken.  My friend Cheryl is the person who took this beautiful sunset.  She's a kayaker and paddle-boarder and frequently posts some great photos on her Facebook page.  This one is especially nice.

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