Friday, November 29, 2013

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

All photos in photo album in right column.
One holiday down, one to go!  New Years hasn't counted in years, so now the focus is on getting through Christmas!  Actually, Thanksgiving was well celebrated and enjoyed.  Belfair Gardens had a luncheon on Tuesday, which was very nice. The tables were festively decorated.  There was a great guitarist, whose music was perfect for the occasion.  All of the residents were in good humor and it was good to see them with family members.  I have met so many nice people there and it does feel like family.  I went over early and did Mama's hair and helped her dress for the occasion.  She looked good and got lots of compliments, which she really savored......who wouldn't!  There are two other vegetarians there and one lady provided the kitchen with a Tofurky roast and invited me to share it with them, which was very nice.  I took photos of most of those attending, husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, etc.  As soon as they are downloaded, I'm going to send them to each person.  It was a good day and everyone was so thankful to celebrate it in a positive way with their loved one.

On Thanksgiving Day, I went over and again had lunch with Mama, who by that time didn't remember the luncheon on Tuesday.  There are the usual family members who visit daily and, again, it was a warm, familial feeling.  Later that evening, I attended a Thanksgivukkah celebration with friends from my synagogue days.  It was special in several ways, the first being that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will not coincide again for 77,000 years!!  I don't think I'll be around for that!  Secondly, it was a welcoming, jovial evening.  Everyone fit around an expended table and the conversation flowed easily.  It was totally enjoyable and ended Thanksgiving in a very positive way.

As I drove on-island to Thanksgiving dinner, there was very little traffic; but as I drove home, the highway and mall parking lots were full!  It made me very happy to be going straight home, avoiding all of the hubbub.  I've never really been tempted my anything about "Black Friday."  I can't think of anything I would want that would make me go through all of that.....and I really wish they wouldn't show all of the pushing, shoving and fighting on TV.  That seems to encourage some.  Anyway, I was happy to pass it all by and head home to my kitties, who seemed to miss me.  By the time I went to bed, all four were there with me!

To put up the Christmas tree or not, that is the question!!  I've always done it this weekend....the weekend after Thanksgiving.  The lights are such a hassle that I want to get them up early to be able to enjoy them for a long time (first week in January).  When Mama was here, it gave us something to do together....and something that usually turned out well.  The truth is that I hate doing the lights!!  So, I've decided to do them this year.  I am then going to get rid of the artificial tree that I've had for a long time and get an artificial tree with lights.  I love decorating with the ornaments, etc........but the lights are a pain.  This plan seems like a logical solution.  I'm even thinking of TWO trees since I have white ornaments that I've used only once.  So, we shall see how the after Christmas tree sales go!
I have to confess...this was my first idea!!
As you might guess, other things have been going on, too.  I've attended my Living Liberally group, as well as a Progressive luncheon on the island.  There are two progressive  ladies' groups but this one is hosted by two young women and I enjoy being with them and hearing their views.  The conversation is always good!

One of my mother's hearing aids broke....and, as luck would have it, the insurance didn't cover the piece that actually fits into the ear, which just sheered as though it had been cut with a knife!!  So, I took her to have another earpiece molded.  We hope to have that back by the end of next week.

AND, I'm here to testify to the power for drugs!  After only three days on my new blood pressure meds and an antidepressant, I began to feel better.  By a week later, I was calmer and more relaxed.  I'm sleeping better at night and feel more rested in the morning.  I really hate the thought of relying on them, but I do like being without the anxiety and stress.  I still hope to use them short term and eliminate them as things improve.

In other words, so far so good!  If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope it was a good day and that you were able to find lots for which to be thankful.  If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you still found something in the day, and each day, for which to be thankful.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Plot Twists!

I've been wanting and meaning to write for a while but couldn't figure out how to do so without sounding like a laundry list of disasters, crises, and plain, ol' bad luck!  That quandary still hasn't been is what it is, so here goes!

There were several weeks of calm and good weather.  Much of it was spent doing things around the house AND finally tackling the dreaded garage.
My garage, where things go to die!
After about three days, it was under control and there was such relief to finally have that done.  The hardest task is done and other areas will not be that demanding......and can be done in small doses.

I continued my walking (until about a week ago!) and, until very recently, the weather has been beautiful.  It really was a pleasure to be out.  Even now, it is cold]cool in the AM and PM, but midday is warm and sunny.  I also went out with friends and saw 12 Years a Slave, which was excellent.

Last weekend my cousin's wife wanted to stay over with 4 adult family members, which stretches my accommodations.  Even so, it worked out fine and it was nice to meet her parents.  That spurred the usual flurry of cleaning and cooking but at least I had a head start on the cleaning AND was given more advance notice than usual.

The next day, Monday the 11th, I went over the Belfair for a short visit with Mama so I could have a block of time to continue my house purge.  We were sitting in the lounge when she started having trouble breathing and a rapid heartbeat.  The nurse checked her vitals and recommend the ER, so 911 was called and away we go again.  This time she was there from 10AM until 3:30PM.  She came back, had a snack and seemed to settle well.  The next morning, I went over early and she was participating in an activity, but the minute I looked at her I could tell that her color wasn't good.  She said she didn't feel well and needed to lie down.  Her vitals were okay and I just sat with her, brought her lunch in and had lunch with her, and hung around until she fell asleep after lunch.  I went home briefly and made some cornmeal muffins to go with soup for dinner.  Later in the afternoon, I went over again and took her a warm muffin with a slice of cheese in it.  She had that with a glass of milk and seemed to feel considerably better after her nap.  It was nice enough that we sat outside for a few minutes.  She had a followup EKG on Thursday and the doctor hasn't called so I assume that it was fine and she continues to do well.

At Wendy"s after having her hair done
On the same day that she had her EKG in the afternoon. I had  my physical in the morning, having had the blood work done the previous week.  For some reason I was very anxious about the appointment, and as she started reporting the high BP, high triglycerides, tachycardia, etc. tears began to roll down my cheeks.  I suspected that something was wrong because I'd been having headaches (nothing severe, but headaches are unusual for me) and occasional shortness of breath.  With all of that AND my crying, which she diagnosed as "depressed", I was given more BP meds and an antidepressant.  I'm not real thrilled about the antidepressant, but I can see that the shortness of breath (and higher BP) is probably due to anxiety.  I definitely want to get things under control, but I don't want to be on them forever, which seems to be the trend here.  I remained emotional for the rest of the day.  The unsettling thing was that I didn't know why I was so weepy!  Usually there has been an identifiable reason to trigger the tears, but there was nothing concrete happening at the moment.  That does make me worry.  In any case, I felt fine yesterday and have a follow up in a month, at which time I hope to be less emotional.

One of the ladies in our Belfair Gardens group called (left a message) to check on my mother.  I emailed her back and told her I was the basket case at the moment!  She was very sweet and supportive, confirming that she, too, had days when she felt overwhelmed..  I also cancelled out on Living Liberally and a few people from that group called and emailed to check on me.......all of which was very sweet  and thoughtful.

The "fabulous" witch!
Totally unrelated to anything else, back in early October on the same day that my laptop died, I lost one of the diamonds in a band (wedding) that held four.  I vacuumed, dusted, shook and did everything else I could think of but never found it.  More recently, my Longine watch died.  I took it to the jeweler here but he was unable to repair will have to be sent to a repair center and possibly even Switzerland!!  Allan bought the ring in Hong Kong and the watch was a matching "his and hers" set.  He had trouble with his from the very beginning and mine never missed a beat.....right up until it just stopped. Nothing lasts forever, but I just wasn't ready to part with those things yet, to lose more......

Then, just to keep me on  my toes, on Friday I had planned to visit Mama mid-afternoon and to spend the morning doing laundry, etc.  As I was putting the first load in, I realized that was the end of the laundry detergent.  If I had to get out for that, I may as well stop in to see Mama and then come home for the rest of the day.  All week I had been meaning to stop by a shoe shop to see if they had a black pair like a beige pair I bought there.  While I was at Kroger I decided to run there before going to BG.  I was in and out of the shop in no time flat, got in the car car wouldn't start!  With the few cold days we've had (and the short distances I drive), I figured it was the battery but, whatever the reason, I had to sit there for about 45 minutes for AAA to come......and I didn't bring my iPad for entertainment!  A very nice young man came to my rescue and it only took him a few minutes to get me going.  He wished me a better rest-of-the-day and I drove around a little to get a good charge going. I then stopped by BG as they were sitting down for lunch.  So, I had lunch with them and didn't get home until after 1PM.  THAT is a perfect example of how my days seem to go....very unpredictable!

I have plans to get together with two friends this coming week and would like to get my walking routine going again.  Mostly, I want to feel rested and calm, without feeling that I have a long list of things to do. Today I've turned off the news channels (very difficult for me to do!) and listened to a few podcasts and read one of the stack of magazines that await. There is a DVD for tomorrow....and more magazines. If things beyond my control can stay calm for a while, I think these positive changes will help. 

I hope things are calm and happy where you are....