Monday, February 25, 2013

February Update

Usually when I write, I've given it some thought and formulated things in my head beforehand.  On this occasion I'm winging it, mostly because we, my mother and I, have had a good week.  This positive turn in February is just as inexplicable as all of the anger, sullen and hateful behavior of January.  She has been in good spirits and we even went grocery shopping yesterday, something she hasn't done in months.  The stress of January forced me to come to terms with what will need to be done at some point in the not-too-distant future and I've arrived at some decisions. At the point that she needs to be placed in a facility, I was trying to decide whether it would be best for her to be  in her town in NC or here.  Unless something unforeseen happens, my decision is made on that.  The problem arises with this sudden improvement in behavior!  When things aren't going well, it's easy to see that it's more than I can deal with and that professional care is needed. But, when things are going well, it's manageable, though definite limiting.  I also feel that if she is in a facility and the negative behavior persists, she will be medicated beyond feeling.  After dealing with it, I can logically see the need for that to some degree, but it's sad to consider.  Anyway, at this moment things are going well......and I'm very thankful.

February 23rd was her wedding anniversary and I asked if she knew what happened on that date.  She thought and thought without coming up with anything.  She asked how long ago and when I told her 67 years, she laughed and said, "Oh, Lord!"  When I told her it was her anniversary, she couldn't believe it was that long ago.  We talked about age (hers and mine), all the changes she's seen in her lifetime, and so on.  It was a nice moment!

I haven't done much socially.  The lady who stays with Mama from time to time has changed jobs and it's been difficult to establish a regular routine.  Last week she let me know the day before she was available and it was too late to arrange anything with friends.  The same thing seems to be happening this week, so I'm going to follow up on a few ads I saw in the paper and see if I can find someone with whom I can get a regular routine going. My friend Chris and I went out to lunch last week and it was great.  We have a lot in common and she is someone whom I can talk to and get thoughtful input.  I always feel better after being with her......and I hope she benefits in some way, too.......but I don't feel I have much to offer at the moment.

BEFORE (including neglected bed around tree)

 You know I had my carpets and faucet replaced recently, and the sting continues.  This past week half of my yard was re-sodded and the house power washed. They look great and Mother Nature has cooperated by keeping the yard well watered, which should give it a good start. The grass is dormant, but with the mild winter and now the rain, things are likely to green up quickly.

AFTER (Neglected bed covered with grass)
As soon as I thought the expenses were over, the fridge in the garage stopped working!  It's very old and may not be revived, but I put calls in to see if someone could take a look at it.  In the meantime, I plugged in into another outlet using an extension cord and, lo and behold, the fridge started.  Now it appears to be the outlet or circuitry in the garage, which is covered with American Home Shield.....the fridge wasn't.  So, am hoping this one will be an easy fix.

The Oscars were last night and I hung in and watched the whole thing.  Seth McFarland is definitely cute and multi-talented, but I prefer more subtle humor.  Some of it was clever, but much of it was 7th-gradish and mean. I actually thought that in two minutes Daniel Day-Lewis totally and with ease out shown Seth......not what I expected from him, but a wonderful surprise.  I have not seen many of the movies, but it seemed that there were lots of good ones this year.  They;re all on my Netflix list and I will be seeing them at some point.  So, I'll leave you with a little Academy Awards humor.....imagining what Life of Pi would be like if directed by an American.......


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

72 and Sunny!

Well, it was 72 degrees and sunny today......more than we can usually expect for early February.  This has been our second mild winter in a row. It was so nice that I went for a 3.5 mile walk....the turles and gators were sunning, storks and cormorants were sunning and foraging.  It was glorious!  Even as the recent heavy storm was passing through, we only got s few windy days, but it was warm enough that one evening I just sat out and listened to the wind in the trees.  There have been some cold days and nights, but usually just for two or three days in a row and then it warms up again.....not bad at all.  The jasmine on my mailbox is almost in full bloom, as are the Chinese fringe.  The azaleas are trying and I guess when we see the red bud trees we can officially declare it Spring!

February has started better in that my mother is speaking......I think that's a good thing!  In the silence of January and in preparation for having the carpets replaced, I managed to clean my clothes closet and the closets in the other bedrooms.  Once I got on a roll, I hit other areas in quick bursts, although the kitchen and garage remain untouched.  About three loads have been taken to the thrift shop and it has become easier with each load......and it does feel lighter and freeing to be rid of "stuff" that has been sitting around for years.

It is so nice to have clean, refresh carpets.  Mine were so bad that I was embarrassed for the workmen to see them.  Smokey had used some spots as a bathroom and Gabby had thrown up and left spots that would always reappear after cleaning.  In a effort to prevent that from happening  to the new carpets, as soon as it was put down I went to Home Depot and purchased a lightweight carpet in 12 foot wide strips that were cut to fit around three sides of the both my room and my mother's.  The other bedroom is closed to the cats!  So far, Smokey doesn't seem inclined to mark anything, so I hope my efforts will pay off.

While still reeling from the cost of the carpets, my kitchen sink sprang a leak and a piece of aluminum trim blew off the house during those windy days.  I have a type of homeowner's insurance that allows me to call them and they will send a repair person for a set fee.  Usually, if they can't repair something, they will replace it; but, for some reason it did not cover the kitchen faucet!  With the trim, I didn't know how to find someone so I just started calling around and, as luck would have it, found a very nice man who did it for a reasonable price.  I will definitely call him again if needed.  So, I'm hoping all of that kind of thing is over for a all seems to happen at once!

My only social events have been a lunch with Janeen, whom I used to work with at the synagogue.  We always enjoy getting together and it was good to see her.  She treated to lunch as a belated birthday gift, which was above and beyond, but very thoughtful.  It was another of those nice days when we were able to eat out on the porch at The Cottage.  My former neighbors invited me to their annual Super Bowl party.  Since last year they have built a huge home in Belfair and it was my first time to see it and, boy, was it amazing.  I was surprised at the size of it for just the two of them, but that's how things are around here....gone are the days of the little beach cottage!  They are also that much younger that those things seem more important.....and there is no denying that it is spectacular.

I have to tell you about an encounter I had in Burger King, of all places.  My mother and I had gone on island for something and stopped at our favorite burger joint, one of the few that offers a veggie burger.  As I'm getting my mother's "wheels" out of the car, I notice a man helping his wife (older than me, not as old as my mother) with a similar thing.  My first thought was that the invalids seemed to be descending on BK!  They got in and settled before us.  When I finally got my mother seated and headed to the counter to place our order, the lady rose from her seat and approached me.......and, while many people would be frightened to be approached by a stranger like that, I'm thinking "is this someone I'm supposed to know" as her face wasn't ringing a bell.   She took my arm and thanked me for helping (my mother) and taking her out!  I told her she was my mother, and the woman said that she was now in my mother's situation and she know how much it meant to have someone help or to be taken out.  By this time, I'm teary-eyed and told her that it wasn't always easy.  She said she knew, to release it, let it go.....and that everything would be fine! I thanked her and we carried on with our lunch.  It took me a while to collect myself as it was both unsettling and so affirming for me that it is difficult to describe.  They were leaving as I went up to order dessert.  I took her hand and thanked her for making my day.  It was an extraordinary act of kindness from a total stranger and I'm still touched by it.  She certainly motivated me to pass it forward!

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