Sunday, June 30, 2013

Odds and Ends

I'm not sure what I've been doing all this time, but I seem to be busy, whether accomplishing anything or not. Frequently, I stop by Belfair Gardens in the morning (briefly) as part of my walk and then visit again for a longer period in the afternoon. That takes a chunk out of the day, then throw in an errand or chores around the house, and the day is gone.

Us with Princess Daxie.
The "other mother" has found her way to Belfair Gardens! Last week was a bad week for my mother and she spent much of it in bed (has also started wandering around at night and becoming agitated when shown back to her room), which is unfortunate since Sunday (23rd) was her 92nd. birthday. On Tuesday of that week, Bill (cousin) and Betty came down with a goodie bag for her. The following day a couple from her church stopped by...I missed them since there was no advance notice that they were coming.  Two of her friends wanted to wish her a happy birthday by phone, so I took my iPad over and we Skyped them....she can hear the iPad better than the phone. On her birthday, we had planned to go to IHOP for breakfast and possibly stop by the house to visit with the cats. When I arrived she was dressed and ready to go, but the minute I said hello she startted crying. The girls coaxed her to go, but we never made it out the door. She got angry with me....and it took me no time to realize that anything I said would inflame that. So, she wanted to go back to bed and I sat with her most of the day, neither of us speaking. I brought Smokey for a visit and she was very chatty with him. In the afternoon, BG had a cake and ice cream celebration for her and she got up for that. A lot of people tried to make it a good birthday, but it just wasn't meant to be.

The star after the show.
This week has been better, with no mention of the birthday week.  On Wednesday we went over to the independent living part of the facility where my friend Sharon and her dog Daxie were giving a show.  My mother and others in the audience (about 20 people) really enjoyed the 30+ minute program.  It is a very cute show and they visit many of the care facilities regularly.  Sharon loves it but Daxie seems to be over it, retiring various tricks that she no longer wants to do.

Well, my hopes to sell the house in NC to my mother's neighbor were dashed.  He called on Tuesday to say that he was retiring at the end of the year, couldn't sell his condo in DC, had just purchased a nearby property, yada, yada, yada.....all of which means that 2 months later I'm back to square one on that issue.  It also means there will be less made from the sale once the realtor gets his cut AND I will have to deal with everything in the house SOON!  I don't know where to start!

And if that isn't enough, I've just been summoned for district jury duty......in Charleston!  Earlier in the week I sent in the info they required and today I faxed a request that my participation be postponed.  I explained my situation and told them I didn't think I could take on anything else, especially something requiring focus and clear thinking.  I hope they will take my word for it.

On other fronts, I'm slowly but surely getting the house in better shape, though I'm not being fanatical about it!  Yesterday I went through loads of recipes, most of which I've never used!  They are now pared down to one little file type box.  The next job will be to go through the island in the kitchen and then recipe books.  So, one small section at a time......

Our weather continues to be nice.  We've gotten lots of rain, which makes walking a challenge, but everything is nice and green......and it hasn't gotten really hot yet.  The political scene has also heated up and the chat on our local Drinking Liberally site has been active.  Here are three of my favorite cartoons from the week.





and my personal favorite.....

This week, the week of July 4th., is shaping up to be a good one, I hope!  Sharon and I are having lunch tomorrow.  Tuesday night is Drinking Liberally and that should be an animated group with all that has happened over the last few weeks.  They've also changed the meeting location and I can almost walk there!!  Gayle, one of my younger friends....the freelance writer who moved back to NJ several years ago....is coming down this week and wants to get together.  There will be a 4th of July celebration at BG from noon to 2:30 and then I've been invited to an evening gathering at my friend Cheryl's.  She and her roommates live right on the May River and one of their neighbors is doing fireworks.  There's nothing after that, but that's a very heavy social schedule for me and I'll probably need the end of the week to recover!

Hope it's a great week for everyone.

Clipart

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time Marches On....

Well, all of the support and good wishes DID work!  It got me through it all and to the point I am now, which is much more relaxed and in tune with myself.  In the last few weeks I've heard from so many friends who follow this blog, all of whom have given me kind words of support and encouragement.  I'm beginning to feel a little less scattered but have taken Pauline's advice to leave the dreadful jobs for winter......Now that it is too hot to tackle the (dreadful) garage, it will just have to wait for winter!  I'm thinking that the motivation I really need is for company to come so I'll be forced to get things together!

Hearing from everyone at once very quickly put me behind in correspondence, so I hope you will accept this as a response, an update, and a very grateful "thank you".

Nancy and Cheryl at Subway
I've spent a lot of time catching up with friends.  Cheryl, Nancy and I met up at our usual  rendezvous spot as they were travelling to visit Cheryl's sister in Camden. Though our time was limited, it was great to catch up. We lightly touched on the topic of overtaking some unsuspecting independent living facility as a master plan for our old age.  If I'm going to get old (and I hope I will as the alternative is worse!), I want to face it with people with whom I have something in common!

I've also had lunch with Sharon, Thea, Janeen and Chris, as well as as attending Living Liberally, an art exhibit (Marty Montag at 95), the Bluffton Farmers Market (for wine and appetizer with Chris).  it's been wonderful to see everyone and especially to do it without that feeling that I should be home.....or wondering what is happening at home.  With each day I am relaxing more and more.

Equally satisfying has been my down time at home.  I have one friend who likes to have a set schedule for the week, with very little down time.  I'm the complete opposite....I love my down time at home.  If too many things happen to interfere with that, I get out of kilter.  So, I'm catching up on that time, too.

Mama continues to adjust better than I could have expected.  I did speak with them last week about keeping her busy. Part of the problem is her poor vision....there are lots of activities she would participate in if she could see to do it.  So, they seem to be making an effort to address that problem. She has good days and bad, but at this point they are mostly good, which is a blessing for us both. The time we have together is much more positive and loving than before and I am very appreciative of that.  I love this photo of her.....we were sitting outside one morning and, as the shade disappeared, the staff brought around hats for everyone.  This one really suited her and the photo turned out great.

The nicest thing happened there today.  I went by at 2PM for ice cream time and a lady was there with her 5 children, just like doorsteps.  She was a teacher for 10 years and now home schools her children.  She also brings them to facilities like BG to help out.  They were so sweet, well mannered and articulate.  They delivered ice cream cones to all the "grannies" and were encouraged to talk with them.  At the end of the ice cream time, they went around and hugged everyone (and everyone loved it) and sang a song. After they left, the activities director told me that they were all adopted, which I never would have guessed.  It was a wonderful family doing a wonderful thing.....I was just so impressed!

Mama, Carol and Dennis
My cousin (father's side of family) Dennis and his wife Carol stopped by for a visit as they were returning from a family funeral in Florida.  He was the first to call once I notified family that Mama had gone into the facility and he has checked on us regularly, offering to help in any way he can.  I always think of his friendship as a gift from my deceased cousin Cissy.  Growing up, Dennis and I really didn't know each other, but Cissy kept telling him that he should call and stop by to see me when they were going to Florida to visit Carol's family.  He finally did it and we all hit it off right away.  That's a great gift to get late in life.....and he always reminds me of one of my favorite cousins....Cissy.  Another cousin on my father's side has sent Mama 5 cards since she has been in Belfair Gardens and they hope to visit soon.  Unfortunately, we have heard very little from my mother's side of the family (though we have from her friends and church).





This is my Crepe Myrtle, which I only noticed when it was in full bloom!  Last week I noticed it as I drove into the driveway, which made me wonder what else I've not noticed!  So, I'm probably still preoccupied with a lot of things and not 100% myself yet.  I am back to my walking and that tends to settle me......I guess it will take time, but I am on the right path.


The final update is on the kitties.  I have to tell you that the week my mother went into Belfair Gardens her cat, Smokey, went to the litter box and when he got out his back legs just collapsed.  I couldn't believe it.....iI was going to have to put my mother's cat to sleep!!  I rushed him to the vet and a day and a couple of hundred dollars later, they determined it was old age!  His blood work was good; they give him fluid and an anti-inflammatory.  So, every day I give him Miralax, something for his joints and prednisone....and he seems to be doing fine.  But.....just when I thought things couldn't get worse.....

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