Saturday, November 22, 2014

Busy Days!

It's 6PM, dark as pitch, and I'm already in bed, where I've been much of the day. For the last two days I've felt like the beginnings of a cold and today I had no energy whatsoever.  So, I went to yoga, visited my mother; then, came home and went to bed for the afternoon......getting up at 4:30 to feed the ferals, have dinner and tuck myself in again.  I'm also doubling up on Vitamin C and sipping hot green tea with lemon and honey. Tomorrow has 100% chance of rain, so it may be more of the same for me!

I've fed the ferals all week since my neighbor, who began this, has been on vacation.  Other than it being cold, I continue to enjoy it.  It's nice to be out with them at the end of the day....quiet, peaceful and lots of kitty love.  Blackie is in-your-face loving.  By the time the car stops, she's trying to get inside!  Georgie wants me to come to him, but he's also very loving and likes the attention.  When he finishes his meal, he turns around and does a long, low stretch of the back legs and walks back to the corner (where he gets his second helping!).  It hasn't taken them long to train me well!!  I'm amazed at how many people stop and chat about the trio.....I thought I was the only one keeping and eye on them.  Many people thank us for looking after them, which is heartwarming. Since Joe has been looking out for them for a long time, I figured all of their questions and curiosity had been answered.

Well, the election is over and I almost survived it!  I'm amazed at people with such short memories and who vote against their own self-interests.....usually based on factors not related to the issues. The day after I was in Kroger and there was an older black man bagging groceries.  He was very pleasant and friendly, asking me how I was and so on.  I gave him my usual "fine" and then, for some unknown reason, said, "That's not really true.  I''m having a hard time coping the the election yesterday."  He said, "Mam, I've got three works for you......Forgive and ______!"  He left the last work blank for me to fill in, which I did.  We discussed it a bit and I left with the feeling that, in the overall scheme of things, it would have little impact on most of us.  It was when I got home that I realized that, with his experiences in life which were likely much more difficult than mine, if he could forgive and forget, then I should stop grousing and get on with things.  It was a short but meaningful encounter....and it did help me shake the disappointment and sadness I felt. 

I'm really enjoying my yoga classes and feel better to be doing it on a regular basis.  Haven't been walking as much, but I will as weather and time permit.  My last OLLI class for this session was De-Cluttering and Organizing your Home and Life"......which was taken mostly for motivational purposes. That didn't seem to work as all I've done is make lists but no real de-cluttering!  

Chris and I went into Savannah to hear Drs.Dean Ornish and Andrew Weil speak. They were in town as part of the Gulfstream Live Well. Be Well Program that I attended last year. They were as informative as one would expect and both very supportive of a plant based diet.  We then went to a new vegetarian restaurant within walking distance of the event.  It was jam packed, and the food was tasty.  Savannah has quite a few vegetarian restaurants from which to choose, which is unusual for this area.

My mother is doing better, which is always a relief.  Even tonight, when she was a little out of it, she wasn't in distress.  She has now had a string of days when she's been stronger and alert, even at the evening meal. Sometime ago I mentioned that because I offered to put together a spreadsheet of anyone having a relative at Bloom I somehow became the leader of the pack!!  All who know me know that isn't my thing, especially since there have been so many ups and downs there over the last year.  Because of the upheaval, the staff seemed so down and anxious that I suggested that some of us get together and treat all shifts to a meal.  No sooner than I sent an email to see if anyone was interested than I got this back in a flash...
Well-- food is something they get for free every day.  Also, we give to the Christmas Fund and that is certainly a way to show appreciation. Actually, I wish we could customize the fund because some caregivers are very deserving, and others are not. Call me sour grapes if you want, but I do not see why we should give an extra reward to those who are just doing their jobs, or worse yet, to those who are not doing their jobs.
I'm going to avoid tying that comment to political views (you can do it yourself!), but this lady has attended one meeting but has complained about everything......not actually wanting to do anything but wanting everything "customized" to her liking.  My prompt reply was " I assume that's a NO!"  She then backpedaled a bit saying she guessed we looked at it from different perspectives (we do, and I'm happy I'm not that mean spirited!).....ending with a smiley face!  I left it there. Yes, there were enough people very willing to chip in for the staff, though I did the leg-work.  Since many of the staff are from the Caribbean, we treated them to Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Slaw, from a Caribbean restaurant owned by one of the worker's dad.  They were surprised and pleased that we would do that for them.  They were able to all sit down together and have a leisurely meal, rather than eating on their break (and, no, Bloom does not feed them!). I was happy that we did it.  That was yesterday (Thursday) and the Thanksgiving celebration at Bloom was the day before.  So, I'm hoping things will settle a bit, but that isn't likely with the holidays coming up.

! confess to not even wanting to think about the holidays!  The Christmas tree is usually up the weekend after Thanksgiving, so if I'm going to do anything, I'd better muster the energy soon!  But, lets take things one at a's wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Winter Has Arrived!

Today has been our first introduction to winter.  The wind gusted through the night and this morning it was in the low 40s, with the wind still gusting strongly throughout the day......burr!!  It looks like it will be in the 50s or 60s for the next few days, which will be much easier to deal with if the wind subsides. November is also here, which means two things: we survived the Halloween hype and the days are now shorter.  When it gets dark earlier, I get nothing done (as opposed to very little!).  November signals that the remainder of the year will fly by at record speed.

My big news is that I'm now technologically empowered.  I've stepped into the 21st century! As much as I resisted, I finally caved and bought a smartphone!!  There was never a doubt that I would love it (as a gadget, not necessarily a phone!), but I couldn't justify the cost, especially since I already had an iPad.  But I started looking around and found a deal I could go for and never looked back.  At some point I will give folks my number, but I have to build up to that!  It is actually my old cell number, but when I originally gave it to people I assured them that it would be a waste of time to call me on it because I seldom kept it charged or with me.  I am doing better on both counts, so you may stand a better chance of reaching me on it. There will still  be times when I probably won't answer - while driving, at mealtimes, when on my walk, and so forth.  At some point I will get into the phone part, but I'm not rushing it. I have found it very useful on my walks as that tends to be a time when I remember things that need to be done or something comes to mind.  Now I can just whip out my phone and make or dictate a note!   There's an app for grocery lists, which is great as it eliminates the possibility of leaving the list at home, which happens more than I want to admit.  

My new project, feeding the ferals, is going well and is as much fun as I'd hoped. It's really nice to go out around sunset and have time with them and it's amazing the number of passers-by who stop and ask questions or thank us for taking care of them.  Like me, they kept track of which ones were there and when.  As for the kitties, the original two, George and Blackie, are friendly.  I can hardly get the food prepared for Blackie being in the back of the car winding around my arms, wanting to be stroked.  The last two times George has let me stroke him and approached me with his tail up.  Zorro is new to the group and they haven't figured out how to incorporate him yet.  He only comes out of the brush far enough to get his food and the slightest move will send him back.  Friday was the closest they have come together so there is slow progress.  It IS very enjoyable and I'm happy to be doing it.

In the photos, you will notice my pimped-out car with political signs front and back.  In a few days they can be removed, but that doesn't negate the fact that it now looks like I live out of my car!!  I have reuseable shopping bags, a yoga mat and towel in the back seat.  The back area is full of cat food and accouterments, my plastic box to secure groceries and my bag for cold foods.....You get the picture!

My mother seems to have reached a plateau and has regained some of her strength.  It is just hard to know what to expect from day to day or even from one part of the day to another.  Yesterday and today she was awake and responsive, but there will be days when she's out of it and non-responsive, or totally in a world of her own. She continues to eat well, which has been her saving grace.

I did recently take a day for myself and spent it at the library. I went for yoga in the morning and a class on meditation in the afternoon.  It was a nice change.  I've started a yoga class there on Wednesdays and Saturdays (intending to do it at home on Mondays).  The instructor is in her mid-70s (less depressing than a young, perky gal!), a little wacky, but does a good job.  It is more "zen" than most, ending with about a 20 minute meditation at the end.....the class runs about an hour and a half.  I'd forgotten how much better I feel and how much more aware of my posture I am when doing yoga regularly.  I hope to get that feeling again! 

I've been to another Olli class as a guest of my friend Chris and have two more coming up in early November.  I also attended another Mom's for Demand Action for Gun Sense meeting, which was depressing as there were so few people in attendance.  I'm rationalizing that it was just because it's this time of year and people are getting busy. I've also voted early and volunteered to drive anyone to the polls who may need a ride. Needless to say, I'm on pins and needles about the election and am glad it would be over soon.  If I have to listen to one more ad of John Barrow trying to be a republican - with his homespun humor, exaggerated accent and his "Daddy's gun" - I will scream!!

Tom recently asked for the photos I took at the reunion, which made me think that I would provide the link to the slideshow - don't know why I didn't do that sooner.  It is:
Feel free to share it with anyone who might enjoy it.

Eileen posted a great video of current day Abqaiq, which was fun to see.  It seems to be bustling and has definitely been modernized since my time there.  Even so, it brought back great memories.  The video can be found here: