Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Update Before Company

Just wanted to touch bases before Allan arrives for a visiit.  I haven't seen him in about two years and I think he's brave to visit after the two demoralizing weeks I've had.  He isn't staying here, at his suggestion - not wanting to add to my stress, which is probably a wise idea.  I've tried to prepare him by saying the operative word is "flexible"......and I should have warned that the pace is "slow".  It will be good to see him and catch up.

I'm happy to report that things are improving, but there was pretty much only one way they could go. The other mother has left town and now I only have to deal with my real mother!  I've spoken with a lady (Carole) who can stay with her from time to time (and during our trip to Charleston).  She came over on Monday and she and Mama got along great. She's a very personable, hardworking lady from Jamaica (wonderful accent!) and I'm pleased to have found her (through Pamela, whose mother she stays with also).  Anyway, one small step for womankind!  Keep your fingers crossed!

My spirits were boosted by a care package from Eileen and Tom....a tee shirt and purse mirror from the recent reunion in Wales.....and a cute kitty card.  It was so nice to be remembered and it couldn't have come at a better/more needed time.  The next day I received my Aramco Expat email and the first photo I saw was of Martin.  I clicked on it and enjoyed this video clip, with lots of familiar faces.

I've watched it so many times, each time recognizing more people I remember......loved it! If you Aramcons are feeling sentimental about those days, you can see a tour of Dhahran compound here.  All of that really does bring back good memories.

Those memories served as a great escape.  In addition to entertaining the other mother, I've been whirling around with everything else that needs to be done.  She has therapy twice a week, plus the cat has bitten her twice (..again after she was give antibiotics for the first bite!).  I've also applied for "Talking Books" which is a program from the Library of Congress and/or state library for the blind.  We had tried a CD player but the buttons were so small she couldn't use it even before she lost the remainder of her vision.  The application was mailed last Monday and I received a call about it on Wedneday.....how's that for service!  They are sending a player with raised buttons AND the machine talks....it will tell her which button she has pushed, etc.  They are sending her a free (to keep) audio Bible, as well as Guidepost magazine, a Sue Grafton mystery and something inspirational.  When she sends them back, she can select something else.  At some point, we will be able to download books ourselves onto memory sticks.  It's such a wonderful program, for which  my mother seems only modestly interested.  We should receive everything this week and I'm hoping it will be much more enjoyable than she expects.

I've also applied (10 pages!) for benefits due widows of veterans who served in a war.  If she were in a care facility, they would apply for us; but, since that isn't the case, I went ahead and applied.   That would make it more feasible to have someone like Carole on a regular basis.....again, keep your fingers crossed.

My greatest diversion continues to be the iPad.  I've discovered podcasts, which I love, and Cheryl recommended Flipbook, which is almost sensory overload.  It works so well and there is so much that can be done with it.  It makes waiting for appointments, etc. easy and entertaining......it's just amazing.  And I'm sure I've only scratched the surface.

Don't know if I've shared Margaret and Helen with you....but can't imagine that I haven't.  Anyway, Helen (from Texas) is in her 80s and is usually writing to Margaret (in Maine) about political issues, and they are my heroes!!  I want to be that crusty when I'm in my 80s, which is much closer than I like to think. Helen does most of the writing and her grandson maintains the website, which I think is sweet.....and Helen has a way with words. She lost her husband last year and was silent for a long time, but the election has brought her out again and her fans are happy to hear from her.  For those politically inclined, have a read of Two Wrongs Make A Right Wing Republican Ticket.  They're a riot....and the comments are, too.