About Me

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I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.

Friday, August 11, 2017

I write to vent. But I think it is inappropriate to write about this particular day. But I am so astonished and worn out and concerned and hoping with all my heart I can be patient and cheerful and empathetic.

Bare Bones Update

I'm very tired and very worried.

My mom was in the hospital from Monday evening till Thursday afternoon. She should have been in there earlier but I am a hospital neophyte. And I intend to stay that way. I told her I will only take her to the hospital again if she asks me to. The staff members were all very very nice. And efficient. But I felt their the Dr's and the Palliative care people's subtle emphasis on End Stage Renal Disease. My mom did choose to start dialysis though, and that entailed having a carotid catheter installed as her fistula isn't seasoned enough to use yet. She was a trooper. But she has been so weak and so nauseous and she wasn't eating or drinking. This morning I was so excited because she ate some oatmeal and drank some cranberry juice, but it gave her diarrhea afterwards. I have learned to change briefs pretty efficiently. And I am so glad she is letting me, both for hygiene reasons and because she is so weak I am afraid she will fall. She's in good spirits. She missed her tv and Toby and the no-hospital feeling of home. Bruce has been so good to her, for her and with her. And she is grateful for everything we do.

Tomorrow I attempt to take her to dialysis at the regular center for the first time. I hope it goes well. I'm really anxious for them to change the dressing on that port as I have no supplies to do it and haven't been taught and I am terrified of it massively bleeding. I will remember to take a blanket. a pillow and have her in a buttoning shirt.

She had an assessment at the hospital by an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. They were optimstic that she could regain strength and function. I certainly think she could if she could eat and drink. It worries me gravely that she is eating and drinking almost nothing. The home health care nurse came today to get those services rolling. I am grateful. If she needs labs done between dialysis days they will be able to do them at him. They will be able to administer IV fluids. They can assess whether or not she will need oxygen. There's a lot they can do and I want them to do it while we see if dialysis can give her a decent quality of life. If it doesn't, then we will look toward hospice. Quality of life is more important than quantity.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Back Yard as of July 26, 2017

The patio is almost done. I've ordered 6 glider chairs and 6 side tables. Bruce put together one of the glider chairs, the instructions were terrible but he did it. He wonders why I am getting so much seating. I want the back yard to be able to comfortably accommodate some people. He wonders who.

Tomorrow Dan and Clark are going to work on the water feature. I wonder if the firepit is usable now. I could go for a fire!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Peace Today

Because I make awesome hotcakes. but seriously thankful because that negative stuff wears me out and especially when applied to my mom's situation which seems way too tenuous to want to waste precious time with it. I think Bruce helped, he talked to her companionably for a long time last night.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mama Drama

Having a fight with my mom an it is totally draining me. It's also making me feel guilty, and as if I should not speak bad truth to my MOTHER who is old, infirm and waning. However, that is not what I did. The fight was about the car she gave to my friend Grace because a) she could not drive it and B) my alcoholic, unlicensed, uninsured nephew refused to give her her key. At the time I told her she could have the car disabled, have it taken to a junkyard (you should have seen what a mess it was) or she could give it away. My friend Grace offered to take it. My mom signed the title and we had the car towed, pronto. While my widowed sister in law screamed that it should be hers or Corey's.... The whole point was to do it fast before Corey had a wreck possibly hurt or killed someone and got my mother's whole estate taken from her. But my mother felt it was too fast. Did she want the car? Could she drive the car? It would have been a done deal, except that when Grace tried to get the title changed to her named the DMV told her there was a lienholder on the title, so we had to contact the credit union it was financed through and get them to take the lien off. I knew my mom had paid off the car, it was a 1997 Camry. She had owned it free and clear for YEARS. But she was miffed with the speed with which we had acted and the credit union had become another credit union and blah blah blah. I tried several times to resolve it. I got nowhere. Meanwhile, Grace had taken that car apart and cleaned it thoroughly and gotten it into as much running condition as she could without driving it. A LOT of work and Grace is a skilled worker. My mom has for some reason labelled Grace as her enemy. I cannot fathom why. When her wreck of a house had the burner of a fairly new electric stove burning on HIGH for MONTHS Grace was the one who went and turned the thing off. Not the nephews. They are lucky the house did not burn down. I think my mom is jealous of Grace and it makes me sick. Anyway, we were getting notices threatening a lawsuit because the car, still on my mom's name, was not registered. It was a fiasco. I did not have the time or the know how of how to resolve it so I finally resorted to contacting the lawyer (who my mom has met like 5 times in her life and while he is a nice guy and I like him he makes $230 an hour and she has amended her trust to give him his outstanding student loan-currently $60,000.) But she objects to me resolving the matter and she objects to me involving the lawyer (on the basis of money mind you) Anyway I did, after a year, resort to resolving it and his secretary (Notary public) came by yesterday with papers for her to sign. She knew the lady was coming but she is further mad that I brought her into her bedroom (it's hard for my mom to get up and about) Also, papers to resolve this issue were not the only papers she brought, the lawyer, unbeknownst to me though he had written me an email mentioning it but I didn't read that till later) sent durable power of attorney papers naming me as her durable power of attorney. I had no idea. Now my mom already feels she is losing control. I have wanted durable power of attorney because it would make acting on her behalf so much easier but this was just sprung on her. Shocked I asked if that was necessary and the secretary said it's just somethin people sign in her situation. That's disingenuous. My mother said to just give it to her and she would sign it. And she did. But we've been arguing and she's been pouting ever since. Thing is, my mom is no angel. When she said, "I don't trust you" I told her flat out I had less reason to trust her than she had to distrust me. I asked if she wanted to get into it. She said she did so I started ennumerating things she has done to me. The last thing i want is contention but I am not up for installing her on a pedestal and kissing her ass either. Nope. Just not. Even if I landed on the street, which I easily could. So today has been an unpleasant day. I don't know how much longer this situation will last. To me it's just plain stupid and self defeating. she refused breakfast this morning (I did test her blood sugar and it was 235 so she may have eaten somethig in her room) And I tested it again and it was 166 in the afternoon so my fear of low blood sugar reaction was unfounded. I brought her dinner and just left it with her and I believe she ate it. but good grief! WHY all this drama?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July, 2017

I was about to go bugfuck crazy. I needed some fun. So I messaged my friend Rebecca and we decided that she and me and 3 of her kids would go have a meal and go bowling.

Now, I probably haven't been bowling in close to 20 years. I sure haven't been in the 16 years I've been involved with Bruce, though I used to beg. But, Bruce's dad, at some point in quite a varied career path was a professional bowler and Bruce was a good bowler (in the 200s)  He SAYS he won't go because he cannot smoke in the alleys anymore, but I think it also has to do with going with a person whose good bowling days are in the 60s.

The last time I remember bowling I was sick as a dog. But I was very happy because I was on a roadtrip with Miles and we were in Moab. We'd been to Mi Vida  restaurant on the top of the bluff (long since closed) It was an upscale joint. I was so sick I only ordered French onion soup and I remember the stretchy, rich cheese. Miles ordered something with capers and when it came the look on his face was so hilarious I will never forget it. I was so dang sick that things seemed hallucinogenic. Despite that, I was the one driving. And damned it I didn't see myself run a red light right as I ran it. I was very surprised and upset, but not as upset as I was when I noticed the police car right behind me. As I was getting my ticket Miles was cracking jokes which made things worse in my opinion but sick as I was and embarrassed I could not help thinking the man was funny. We proceeded to the bowling alley and I bowled my usual dismal score (I average about 60) but I had a lot of fun. As we were leaving the proprietor came running out after us. He said we hadn't paid. Now I thought we had, I've never stolen anything on purpose. I paid him out there and was further embarrassed. That was one funky illness! I don't remember getting back to our motel.

Anyway, the bowling today was fun. We went to Fiesta Family Fun Center and shoe rental was free because of the holiday. I wasn't the worst in our group, but I sort of felt badly that I wasn't. The high score was 99, so we all sucked. But happily.

Now I;m about ready for bed and should go there and grab some sleep as I need to be up at about 4 am to get my mom to the hospital to check in at 5:15. I'm sure fireworks will have me up way past midnight. I'm worried about the surgery. I think it's pretty minor, it's outpatient, but my mom will need to protect that arm for the rest of her life and it's going to be very fragile. She has to go to her nephrologist the next day.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


We ordered my mom an air-horn. She decided to take a bath, which I am all in favor of. She takes Toby in there with her and closes the door. I was in my bedroom, mere feet away and I heard Toby baHrking a little and decided to go check on her. She has always liked long hot baths. I go in and she's sitting in the empty tub and tells me she's been calling me for awhile. I never heard her at all. Toby of course, had pooped on the floor and when I let him out of the room he peed in the hall. I helped my mom out of the tub and into her room, got her some clothes and then proceeded to bleach things. I use more bleach more regularly than I ever would have imagined and laundry is a serious time consumer nowadays. But I'm getting better and more organized at it.

Bruce thought a bicycle horn would do but nope, I want a freaking air-horn. When I went to Lorena's graduation someone in close proximity to me had one and I was impressed at how its utilization launched me out of my seat. That's what I need. Something unsubtle and unmistakeable. She's going to feel so powerful!

I Need To Be More Aware

I knew that today was July 2, but thought it was Saturday. I was getting very confused trying to mentally prepare myself for the week with that erroneous presumption.

I am, (and it is blissful!) debt free. When I paid off my one measly credit card I blocked it because I saw 2 charges on it I didn't understand. One was for Classmates, which I really don't use. The other was for Netflix. "Wait! Doesn't Netflix come out of my checking account?" I checked and indeed that is the way it was set up. I could not figure it out until last night I remembered I had set up a Netflix account for my friend Steve. YEARS ago. I don't even know if he ever used it. But I've been paying it for years. One one hand I hope he was getting use from it in which case I feel badly for cancelling it, but since we don't currently talk I think that was the right thing to do. But if he wasn't ever using it-what a waste of money!

I'd like to think today is going to be a more relaxed day than I've been having lately, but reviewing the necessary to do list in my head I see that it is NOT, unless I choose to leave things undone.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Consultation with the surgeon who will create the fistula Monday 6/26 at 11:30.  My mom was not pleased it is so soon, I am.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

06/22/2017 Nephrologist

I really like my mom's nephrologist. He was so shocked by the drastic plunge in her kidney function that he had a nurse draw blood and ran the test again while we waited. Her other numbers were improved on the previous test so it seemed weird that creatinine went to 3.7. He asked what was going on. I told him how much she is sleeping and mentioned the huge weight gain which I don't think could possibly be food since she barely eats (another symptom of kidney failure) I told him about the increased edema in her feet. I told him about diarrhea and falling. Today was the first day she let me use the wheelchair and I hope it made things easier in her perception, it sure was great in mine! He decreased her nightly insulin to 7 and the nutritionist he brought in suggested I could do 6 if I felt that was better. I love the flexibility. Her blood sugar was just 51 this morning after 8 units of Lantus last night. The nephrologist doesn't want hers lower than 100. That seems really good to me. I don't give her any if the night's blood sugar reading is 200 or less. Anyway, her toxins numbers are good (about 35) so something is working. He thinks she's dehydrated. I'm encouraging her to drink more water. He removed an alkalizing medication for now and her blood pressure medicine for now also. Those will probably be re-added if she gets stronger and her nutrition improves. We asked about whether hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis would be better for her. He said he generally prefers peritoneal dialysis for his elderly patients but that for now she is too weak. He's referred her to a surgeon to create a fistula but that needs to season. Because her other numbers are good he is not ordering a catheter in her neck right now. Hopefully the fistula will have time too season. We have to go back a lot more often. We have an appointment in 2 weeks and I should get the surgery scheduled by Tuesday (don't know when it will be though) If she improves on the hemodialysis we can switch to peritoneal later. I am happy she is willing to try dialysis and that we have a plan. She will also be taking a protein supplement and fortunately she likes it so that will help with protein. we went out to dinner at her favorite buffet after the appointment and she ate better than she has in a long while.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I feel so sad and also kind of numb.

Today started with some wry humor, if you see such things as humorous. I was up at 4 to take Toby out and to bring my mom her juice. Then I went back to bed. But Toby's imperious "baHrk" got me up to take him out. I staggered to the bathroom (I'm not getting enough sleep. I don't think there IS enough sleep) and was greeted by a live mouse in the toilet bowl. I put that need on hold and went to take Toby. He peed on me (but not till we were through the sliding glass door)

My mom is being very brave. She says she wants things to continue here as usual. Of course, I don't think that's possible She has such a sweet, beautiful, innocent face. Last night, trying to impress on her the gravity of the situation I told her, than unless she opts for dialysis from what I've read, she will only live for weeks. She feels she's done what the Drs have asked and she doesn't quite understand how her situation could have gone so far down so fast. I don't either. We will have lots of questions for the Dr tomorrow. At this point I think I'd like to check into a home nurse. I'm betting she won't like that much, but I'm wondering if I am doing something wrong. I am trying my bestt to take good care of her and to balance that with her wishes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


While I was grooming Ruffles today, my mom's Dr's office called with results of her lab tests. She's gone from stage 4 kidney disease to stage 5. While the person was giving me information I understand less I was grappling to get her to give me the kidney function #. It went from 19 at her last visit to 11. She's in the do dialysis or die territory. I am shocked. i knew she wasn't doing as well because she's mostly been sleeping and the red rings are coming back under her eyes. But that seems to be a huge drop very quickly. Bruce went in with me to tell her. Because I want to to be thinking about what she wants to do at this point. She looked stunned and resigned at once. She didn't want me to be string at her. I think she has a good grasp of the seriousness of the situation. I feel gut punched and so (this is not such a good word, but it's the best I can do) concerned for her. Not pity, though I sure wish I could change this result, but protective and aware of her vulnerability. But also sort of like the wind has been knocked out of me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Exhausted, frustrated and Concerned

My morning began between 5 and 5:30 when I got up to take Toby out, do my mom's readings and give her her morning medicine and juice. I knew there was a problem as soon as I was in the hall. Something stank. Badly. Entering my mom's room I saw what looked like a crime scene, but in shit instead of blood. Toby had had BAD diarrhea on her bed and he and my mom were sleeping obliviously in the middle of it. I took her readings first, then took Toby out and then to the groomery to bathe him. The excrement was so dried on it took 4 shampoo-ings to get it all off. I am sure he felt better after the bath. Then I stripped the bed down to the fitted sheet (which I thought was clean) and started trying to get the bedding clean. Lots and lots and lots of laundry. I had planned to do my bedding and other laundry today, but so far the machine is commandeered. My mom wanted hotcakes for breakfast and so I made some. I can't remember ever making worse tasting hotcakes and I can't think what went wrong, I mean, it's not rocket science! My mom has a Dr's appointment and labs today and even though I try to take how slow she is under consideration we didn't get there till 1 (they wanted us there at 12:45) She won't let me use the wheelchair I got for her and she did indeed fall in the dr's office. She gained about 25 pounds which is incredible to me because she eats so very very little. The first reading of her blood oxygen at the Dr's, which was taken right after she was back in a chair after the fall was 79. Not good! They later took it again and it was 90 which is better but still not terrific. I had the Dr look at her feet because I am noticing edema and her toes are purplish. She was mad at me for that and madder at Bruce because she thought it was at his instigation even though I told her I have been concerned and rightfully so because with diabetes, paying attention to one's feet is critical. She gave 5 tubes of blood for labwork. I discusses diarrhea with her Dr who advised me to bring it up with the nephrologist next Thursday. We're reducing her Lantus from 10 to 8 at night because her morning readings are so low. I told her Dr I am not giving her Lantus if her blood sugar is 200 or lower. Thankfully he agreed with that strategy. I took home a hat and a sample cup to do the urine sample at home. I'll take it back later. She can never manage to pee in a Dr's office even if she drinks water which she did. After the appointment she just wanted to come home. she was worried about Toby (and indeed he has crapped all over the floor of her room and smeared it everywhere- another bleach job for me today) Bruce changed her sheets all the way while we were gone and I am doing even more laundry. Getting her in the front door, my heart was in my throat and even though both Bruce and I were spotting her she went down AGAIN in the cement and bumped the back of her head. The lady across the street came running over with a blanket to help. My mom needs to lay there awhile before she wants us to try to help her up. I hope the lady doesn't think I was rude to send her away, but it's not a quick fix. Nothing with my mom is quick anymore. Things work better if we go at her very slow pace. I'll get a thank you card for the lady and try to explain. Once she was in the house my mom just wanted to lay down, so she didI added a pressure releasing pad under her. Bruce went to check on her a few minutes ago and she is asleep. I'm going to need to wake her up to get the urine sample. That makes me feel bad, but they close ar 5. I told Bruce I am considering getting my mom a helmet. He suggested kneepads too. I'm grateful for him. He really cares about my mom and checks on her many times a day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Still Working on the Front Yard. No, It's Not Completely Done, but Close Enough

This may be the last set of pictures I post of the front yard until the side yard is done. but I'm so excited to see progress. Dan won't be back till Monday and he'll be working on the back yard then. i wanted to get an estimate for windows (and kitchen remodeling) but Bruce tells me I am going too fast. There is prep work to be done. Much cleaning and sorting and getting rid of stuff. He's correct. So I will try to focus on the prep work. If I ever have time! And I say that when I've taken a little time and not touched the prep work. My mom needs attention or something weird comes up or I am flat out so exhausted I just sleep. I'm worried about my mom. She does have a Dr appointment Thursday and then her nephrologist the following Thursday, but she is sleeping so much and she only really eats breakfast. There's more, but it's depressing and some is pretty gross. Anyway I am pretty concerned. I did take her out to see the front yard. I got her as far as the bench. I don't think she was able to see too much but she liked what she saw. She also liked listening to the birds. we sat out there for a good long while. It was pleasant

This is basically whatt it looks like from across the street.

Bruce thinks the bench is hideous. I love it. I actaully wanted it in the gravel between the tree and the rock but it's too big. Oops. Now, the bed we saved to plant columbine and bleeding hearts an other stuff may need to be re-imagined to avoid the current odd, awkward look.

I think Bruce enjoyed sitting in the front yard more than he thought he would. It WAS right pleasant out there with lots of birdsong. Dan has pointed oit to me natural water basins and likely places lizards will move in. We already have lizards and they are fun to watch- doing their push-ups. This will be a more natiral environment for them.

When Dan and Seth unloaded the tortoise (the only time I've actually seen Dan breathe had) they were in some dismay as I had them move it to a few differnt places. Not many, I'm not cruel. But the first thing Dan said as he was unloading it was that if I put it too close to the street, kids would ride it. I busted out laughing when Bruce came out the front door, saw the torttoise and, well, you can see what happened. He is a big kid. And I love that about him. I'm trying to think of a name for the tortoise.

Btuce says the tortoise reminds him of a stubborn, Scottish face Max can wear. I can see it. There's something longsuffering in it too.

Part of the flagstone path. I love the path and I love the varigated colors.

Another attempt a a whole front view. I'm not doing that very well.

Primary focal area.

The bench looks lonely without a booty in it. But I love this view of the path. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday June 10,2017

I took some intermediate pictures of the front yard. It should be finished by Tuesday.  I think it looks lots better in person than it does in the pictures and I probably should have shut the garage door.
 I'm very happy with it and it is a very little maintenance yard. Also I like that it reflects the desert where I live.

The gravel in this area will be the purple, but smaller.

There will be a peach flagstone pathway with purple gravel where the plastic is. I found a bench and a piece of yard art. But those won't come in till Tuesday. The bench will go under the tree as much as possible.

The area in front of the two bedroom windows will have columbine and bleeding hearts and maybe some other plants.

This shows the ocotillo up. And the more delicate cacti and succulents that will need to be covered in the winter.

 Ooh yeah. Should really have closed the garage door!

Ocotillo area.

The succulents in the little pot are susceptible to frost as are the 4 little cacti behind them. /they will need to be protected in the winter. but they are so pretty!

Just another view.

Most of the front of the house.  After the back yard is done I will see about replacing windows.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

We got my mom's bedding changed and I am doing laundry and other stuff while Bruce is tackling the pantry. But since I am taking a break and eating cookies I shouldn't be eating I thought I'd post some pictures of what's happening in the front yard now. I may add more pics to this post later because I see some of the rubble and gravel is here and I am anxious to see how that adds to the look. Anyway, here goes:

These little guys are by the front door now, but that will not be their final spot. A few of them are frost sensitive so Dan is going to leave them in the shallow pot and we will have to cover them in the winter. I love these little guys even though one of them 'bit" me as I restored it to vertical when it fell over.

Well, here you have a pretty good view of the fresh landscaping just completed by our across the street neighbor. But you can also see one view of the little berm and some boulders and plants.

This grouping is near the front bedrooms. The thing that looks like a desiccated Kraken in the upper left part of the picture is an ocotillo. Dan already has it planted and apparently though it looks like there are no roots it will grow. New growth is supposed to be reddish and when it blooms it sends forth rather spectacular red flowers. Can't wait to see that.

Oh, here's a better picture of it!

A couple more purple jasper boulders. I can't wait to see what they look like once they are rinsed! These are sort of in front of Bruce's studio.

Another view of the main formation.

Front view of the main formation. Itt looks quite different now that the ocotillo is up.

Yet another view of that same formation.

View from across the street. You can best see our spankin' new roof! The green stuff coming up on the wndow is trumpet vine. Dan asked me if i wanted to leave it, especially since hummingbirds love it, but in that space it is going wild and our efforts to rein it in are not at all successful so I said no.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Out of the blue I dreamed of Steve, and it was a bad dream but I can't remember anything except that it wasn't a death dream so that's good.

The front yard got scraped today and some big purple boulders got delivered. I was going to take some pictures but there is black landscaping plastic under them so I will wait till tomorrow when gravel and rubble comes. Dan and Clark could not find a pipe going under the driveway so they are going to do a long reroute all around the house. I'll be surprised if the front is done in 3 days and they can't do the side of the house until the back yard is done.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Frame for the Arbor

In addition to ordering materials for the front yard which included going to a quarry to pick the biggest, purplest, most striated and craggy boulders they had, Dan and Clark got the framework for the arbor up. It will have trellis on the sides and slats across the top to support the roses and a curved double gate. I think it makes a lot of difference already! I've decided to paint the fence and the trellis white. There will be a lot of plants of differing heights in front of the fence so it won't be seen like this for long and I think the white will be better than woodstain. The purpose of the fence to to screen my back chicken and garden area from general (Bruce's) view and to keep the dogs out of that space. I'm so excited to see the back yard taking shape but really glad that they will start on the front yard tomorrow. Dan is estimating the whole front yard will only take about THREE DAYS! I'd be ECSTATIC if that is true! I bet the neighbors would be too!

Front Yard Starts Tomorrow!

Dan came by with the plan for the front yard this morning. It will be less elaborate than the backyard, it is a xeriascape plan meant to be very low maintenance. It's going to feature some big purple jasper boulders. I am very excited to think of it being done! Tomorrow there will be a tractor here to scrape the weeds out of the yard and prepare it for a good amount of gravel. I think the boulders may be coming Thursday. I'm trying to get columbine (my favorite flower) and bleeding heart (Bruce's favorite) put under the front bedroom windows.

Today's work will be to start the arbor and gate in the backyard.

My mom had a taste for cheese this morning, so I brought her a small slice of longhorn and a few green grapes and 2 cherries. I hope she eats some of her oatmeal.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

She's Gonna Kill Me Off

Having survived the Onslaught of the Ants and feeling perky, my mom was hungry for breakfast. She wanted hotcakes so that's what I made. While I was preparing breakfast she took the opportunity to go to the bathroom. She won't use a walker or a wheelchair but she's quite fond of my old AT&T chairs (which ARE excellent chairs) Thing is, they are meant for limited distance scootching and she would use them for everything if she could I think. at a distance, they develop a Mr Toad's Wild Ride aspect. I got back in time to see there was a potential problem with her getting into the chair I had set up so she didn't eat breakfast in bed. I cleared a path that seemed logical to me, but it depended on her holding on to me and she seems to feel lessened if she has to do that. I tried to explain that I could see her wobbling (she agreed) and pointed out that I am sturdier than any of the furniture I could tell she was going to use to steady herself. She agreed. She then proceeded to do it her way which, as I feared, resulted in a fall, though better than I thought as she only went to her knees and did not bang her head too hard on the nightstand. I tried to help her up. she said she needed to sit there awhile. She wanted me to go get MY hotcakes. I told her I would only if she promised not to try to get up while I was gone. She promised and she kept it and I was able to help her into a chair. We talked yet again about the dangers of her falling, I mentioned hospitalization and pneumonia and possible death. She understood. She agreed. But she still tries to do things independently. Now. I try to put myself in her position. She has always been a very can-do person. Her mind is still there with only, as far as I can tell the irrational bits she's always had. She wants to be able to do things, but her body just can't. And she's opting for as much independence as she can squeeze out in favor of safety. It's been a good half hour since breakfast and I can still feel my blood circulating and that adrenaline feeling. I really do wonder which one of us is gonna die first. Last night she was asking if Bruce or I would take possession of her new little fridge. I mean, it's great for HER but for now we are both able and happy to be able to walk to the fridge in the kitchen. She said yesterday she wants to die in her sleep. I think she's willing herself to do it. She's grateful an mostly very cheerful and she's sweet an funny but I am worried as I can be. And I can't stop the end. I can only postpone it and try to make it be the least miserable it can be. Like....not being eaten alive by ants. She mentioned that this morning. Since she was so unresponsive I wondered if she could feel them. Oh yes, she could and she did.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

"New" Stuff

As I'm getting rid of stuff we don't want anymore, I am slowly adding stuff I have long wanted. I was using an older kitchen table as my desk. It was serviceable but not very pretty. And it was massively cluttered. This is my new desk. I love every bit of it. It's a good size. It has a huge drawer so maybe I can keep it uncluttered. This picture was taken in its old home. I've added a glass top (though i can't so easily see the pretty top now) 

And I love my little barrister bookcase. It's in my room now. I haven't yet filled it with books but I am loving it. It's much prettier than this picture!

Backyard June 3, 2017

Horrific Experience

I'm so glad I took a few days off. I thought I was going to be going through stuff, we need a MAJOR decluttering, but despite the fact that I thought I was addressing a problem before it blossomed into holy Hell I wasn't fast enough. My poor mom doesn't get out of her room much. She actually doesn't get out of her bed much and that worries me a LOT. She's also diabetic and her low blood sugar incidents are pretty scary. She needs easily accessible food, but what she's doing is storing food in her nightstand. We have mice and I knew there was at least one in her room. Max hasn't caught it yet. And last night I noticed a few ants in her room. I suggested that I needed to get her some pest proof containers and a small fridge (she likes her water cold, but by the time she drinks it it isn't) We agreed to all this and also that she shouldn't feed Toby freely on the bed because she ends up with dog food in her bed which is a pest magnet. I thought I'd start taking care of this stuff this morning but when I went in to test her blood sugar an deliver her medicated juice I found her on the floor, as if she had gotten her foot tangled in a blanket an it tripped her. She was sitting up and her eyes were open but she was mostly unresponsive. I hate to even think what her blood sugar was, I sure as heck didn't test it, but I've heard her speak lucidly when it was in the 50s. There were ants all over her and she wasn't moving a muscle. I put juice to her lips and she slowly managed to drink some then I went for a warm wet towel to get the ants off of her. They were also in her bed. Her bed was wet, I think she spilled water because it was up high. I sprinkled peppermint oil on the bedding and then put a towel and a blanket over it because my one desire was to get her off the floor and into her bed ant free since I had no idea how long she'd been on the floor and I thought she needed to rest before we changed the bedding. She has rested. Bruce has been in and he thoroughly cleaned out the nightstand. We've got a couple plastic containers for food (I am going to look for more, for her and for the pantry) I found a fridge that I am going to get for her. She hasn't eaten except for the piece of toast and and the bit of extra juice I gave her. She was worried about ME. Now, I am frazzled and taking care of her is more intensive than I thought it would be but I am so grateful I can do it. I'm grateful that Bruce is so willing to help (she would NOT let me wake him up this morning so we could lift her onto the bed, but I am a little glad of that because I wanted to see if she was in any pain or had trouble moving). I'm kind of mad at Toby because that little squirt barks like a siren if she so much as goes to the bathroom, but this morning he soundly slept through the whole ordeal. I wonder how long she was on that floor.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chicken Coop

There's a LOT going on in my life now. I'd like to write about some of it, but I am ridiculously exhausted. I did just rid myself of my almost 40 year old bed, getting a Philosopher bed and a platform bed at that which has proven wonderful and allowed me to rid myself of the bulk of the pillows I was using to try to control acid reflux. I have to say I am sleeping better now. I want my mom to try this bed because I think it would be wonderful for her. So far I haven't gotten her into my room to give it a try. She says she wouldn't want to spend the money. She is in bed most of the day! It would be very worthwhile. She likes to eat dinner in bed (I can get her up for breakfast but not dinner) and she is not at a good angle at all. Many is the time that I think she is actively trying to die. I did get her to go out with me onto the back porch today for perhaps 45 minutes. We talked a little and watched hummingbirds and I showed her the new chicken coop which went up today.

I am looking forward to chickens. I've never had my own, but I like them and I've been looking very forward to fresh wholesome eggs. Dan (our landscaper) and Clark (his helper) will be back Thursday to put in the raised garden beds. The roofers were supposed to be here today but they say they got caught in wind in Cedar City so they say they will be here tomorrow. My shed comes Friday. Bruce says our backyard looks like a tiny home village. It will be different soon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26,2017

This morning the Tiny Tyrant (Toby) had me up before 4 am. My mom was trying to silence him but I really don't want her to do that. Today he did indeed poop and pee when I took him out but even if he hadn't, I figure better safe than sorry. I've had to change the whole bed. It's not fun. I'd rather get up. She didn't look like she was feeling well yesterday and she still didn't today. She tells me she is fine, and she tells Bruce she and Toby have had a cold. I'm pretty worried about the amount of time she spends in bed, but on the other hand, it's her choice. I try to encourage her to get up and out.

I had an appointment with the CPA today at 10 am so I made early breakfast and got a much needed shower. This is the first time in my life my taxes have ever been late. I usually do them myself, but I had to import a lot of transactions from the bank and couldn't remember how to do it and I am completely fried. I wonder how much this is going to cost and I worry about penalties. I hate being late.  My days are too long and there's not enough time to rest and hardly any personal time. I've been walking around a hairsbreadth from anger and even explosion. I'm doing my best and I wonder if it is sufficient. Bruce and I are clashing more, he says I have expectations and that I don't communicate effectively. I say he lacks empathy. I'm trying to curb my negative feelings and behavior. I hope I can. He's somewhat angry at me for giving the landscaper my actual budgetary lines. He feels the price went up significantly as soon as I did that. I feel I want the job to be done at a certain level of quality and that it is reasonable to pay for that and pay fairly. In most of the work I am letting, or having Bruce deal with the people doing the work and he's doing an excellent job in many ways, better than I would. But in some ways he's making me crazy. Take the roofers. They asked for 60% down to purchase materials. They explained why they needed that much. Bruce has given them NOTHING and we haven't heard from them in awhile. He says I shouldn't be so anxious to part with money, but I want to get projects done. The landscaper, who finally submitted what I feel is a gorgeous plan for the backyard after I pushed him is now being evasive as to what exact date he can start. he answers "soon" and what amount of money he needs to start. He says he needs "something" down to pay for materials and labor. "Something" is not, in my opinion, a workable figure. I really like him and I like his work and I like the people he has assist, but I am getting tired of a lack of progress.

While my mom and I were having breakfast the other day, she asked about her old house. I've been checking to see if there are new pictures up. The one that WAS up made me physically ill to see. I never did like that house, but the condition it came to be in and the morass of horrible events and emotions just stupefied me. The buyer had promised to send pictures but he didn't. However the house was on Zillow and so I showed her. I was glad to see it looking much better than it was but they did a very stock job imo. Anyway, many friends on Facebook had been following the saga and I posted the Zillow information. To me, it was healing and I hoped the neighborhood and the house itself would be happier. Mostly I got positive comments but I found the Ghost still can hurt me. I'm sure not intentionally, but this person caused e the worst pain I will feel in this life and I will never get over it. My impulse was to spew a lot. I decided not to. Trying to let it go but OMFG. Besides the dynamics of that particular relationship I thought a lot about men. Men in my life and in the lives of others. They are, (I'm sorry if you're a man) incredibly privileged and see things in terms of their needs and desires at the expense of women. I could list examples all day. If we do reincarnate and I have any choice in the matter I do NOT want to be a man but I hope I''m a lesbian.

Well Toby is barking and I'm going to take him out. Ten I am going to rest awhile.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I would be venting so much right now except that I have literally been ordering myself not to (although this is my vent space) and I am so tired it's ridiculous. I won't forget a shred of it I am all too sure but perhaps implosion is better than explosion. Less victims I guess.

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21,2016

The day was mostly random stuff. It sort of felt like driving and encountering the occasional speedbump. I got up at about 6, it was already getting light which meant that I would have to drive further out of town to relocate the latest bunch of mice. As always, I feel badly, but I really, for sure, do not want the critters in our house and they are there aplenty. So, a drive into the country. I took them to an alfalfa field that was being watered. Maybe not the best choice. It was full morning by the time I stopped.

My next stop was at Star Nursery where I picked up three hummingbird feeders. I think they are pretty, glass bottles, one a pale green (my favorite), ruby red and a gradiated blue. I made nectar and Bruce hung them for me. I need to modify my schedule book to make sure I change the nectar every 3 days. After getting the feeders I went to The Egg and I and got breakfast for my mom and I (Bruce was still asleep and he does not really eat breakfast. After I was done with all that I thought I'd take a nap, but nope, breakfast kept me from sleep.

My dog today, Angelo, was a very good boy and in my opinion looked much much better when he left. I listened to The Book of Joan as a was grooming him. It's a pretty depressing, dystopian book but I can see it. I've told my mom it takes me 2 hours from the time I start a dog until I bathe the dog and she is using that information effectively. She likes long, LONG hot baths. The water had been going on and off all those 2 hours and stopped when I turned on the water for the dog. I was glad it wasn't cold! I cut my mom's fingernails yesterday and checked her toenaisl, which didn't need a trim yet, but I did notice some edema in her feet. I should look at them again tonight. .

As I was starting Angelo I got a text from Crystal, which surprised and pleased me. She wouldn't know that I think about her, her sisters and her mom almost every day and more often recently. She said they (I think her, her husband and daughter) were planning to camp in Zion and she wondered if I would watch her dog. I said I've be glad to, but that if I did he would have to be crated because Jetty Lee is aggressive. I offered to board her dog if she didn't want to have him in a crate. She said she'd let me know. I'd love to see her. It's a pity the house isn't anything like company ready. I don't know when (or even IF it ever will be though I'm working on it as best I can.

I texted Dan, our landscape man last night to see what is going on. We hadn't heard from him in so long I didn't know if there was a problem. Easily there could be. I practically forced unfamiliar software on him because I want a good visual plan though I told him if the learning curve was too steep he could plan in his usual way. So I didn't know if there was software trouble, whether he felt he had bitten off more than he wanted to chew, Of if he was worried about budget- we haven't really discussed budget yet; I gave him a slew of wants and he may be agonizing over trying to make them affordable. I really want the back yard to be beautiful. I am prioritizing it over the house.I need to be outside more, Bruce and the dogs seem to be enjoying the backyard and I am hoping to tempt my mom out of her room and away from that omnipresent TV. Anyway, I was feeling bad and like I was being pushy. To my pleasant surprise, Dan said he had the plan almost ready- but that there wasn't a representation for a chicken coop (I can imagine that) He should be here Monday to show us the plan. I am very excited.

A hummingbird has seen the feeders and Bruce says has sipped from 2, but each time I see it, it flies up to the feeder but does not feed. I hope there's nothing wrong and it's just a matter of time.

Mu mom's dear friend, Lauralee called her this evening and told her another longtime friend died. She had had Alzheimer's. Her husband has taken very tender care of his wife. My mom was going to call them today because one's birthday was 4/20 and the other 4/22. I wonder how Daryl is doing.

I have a tax appointment on the 26th. It's going to be a lot of trouble and expense for the tiny bit of income I made. I hope he can fix it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Today absolutely wiped me out. It was productive. I got my mom's taxes done and sent, we met with the financial advisor and we picked the new roofing material. But I didn't get MY taxes done and now I am panicking and will have to ask for help that I hope is possible. I haven't been updating Quickbooks and I couldn't figure out how to download past bank information. I am really crispy. I was all over the place today and I am looking forward to bed.

It may be up to 4 weeks before the roof is started. I guess I'm going to need to call the landscaper and there are other schtuffs. I was actually happy when a couple of grooming clients cancelled because I need the time.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Today there were updates in the case of a local man who was kidnapped and killed. Three people involved are being charged bother here in Utah and in AZ where his body was found. The victim had been at my house more than once because his mother's dog  is a grooming client. I felt so badly for her when I heard her son had been killed and even worse when I read the details of the case. I still hope I don't inadvertently say something to her that would increase her pain
The day after I dream of my friend Jaime, I learn he is in the hospital and is unresponsive. Do I believe he really visited me? I do. Jaime ends up in the hospital a lot and they are often long stays. He's paraplegic. He is funny, smart, unusual, loves his family and has had a lot of pain in his life. I honestly don't know what to wish for him here. I really do believe we are spiritual beings that continue after this life. Jaime and I were once discussing suicide and he admitted he has been tempted. Besides landing in wheelchair when he was about 20 and all the attendant indignities associated with that he was raised LDS, believed it intensely and then had to deal with the ideas and behaviors imposed on him when he realized then came to grips with being a gay man. He has been through a lot. He told me that he would not commit suicide because of his belief that if you take that way out of life you will have to come back to the same lessons and he for sure doesn't want to do that. His take tempers me in my suicidal moments. I have them. I was thinking about them from several perspectives the other day. One was from the position of financial insecurity. On the last financial planning meeting my mom spoke privately with the lawyer. She instructed him to take the house our of the trust which means I would never own it though she intends Bruce and I to be able to live there till we die. She had asked me what I would do with the house after I died. I told her I would leave it to Bruce if he didn't die first and then if he did I would direct it to a person who would not be expecting it. I gave her a little of the story of who and why but she was rather horrified. She had the idea of leaving the money from it's sale to the LDS church and the Humane Society. I told her that if it were in my hands I would never do that. Never ever ever. I'd rather it benefit a person. So, she took the choice out of my hands. When I learned this I told her I was very scared. I told her I have not made good financial choices and she understood my pov. I gave her more of that story. I also said that though it seems there is a significant amount of money in the trust, which would come to me, I could foresee not being able to afford to live in this house and that if I couldn't sell it that would be a big problem. I don't know what she will do but I have expressed myself and I've been honest. I will care for her to the best of my ability no matter what she does but I did say I'd like to know so that I can make decisions that are the best for Bruce and me. I pointed out that if we are spending significant money from the trust to fix up the house that I am less inclined to do that if I can't access that money by selling the house if need be. But really, I am feeling pretty mortal these days and I don't know how much longer I will be around. I'm trying to take a don't worry, be happy approach. I keep on running into some longstanding problems though. Often they are generated by the simplest acts. I like to listen to books as I groom or when I can't sleep. One author I enjoy is Lisa See. I recently finished her new book The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and that left me with a taste for more. Some of her books I have liked a lot more than others. I started Peony in Love and was initially disappointed. Had I not been grooming I might have stopped the book and started something else but there s a rhythm to grooming and I listened on. I came to respect and care about the main character Peony who finds herself a Hungry Ghost. She explores the nature of that place honestly and with the intention of changing that state f she can find a way. The book explores different types of love, the things people in certain relationships owe to one another, spirituality and roles we play from birth and circumstance. The book ended ip being more personally relevant to me than I thought it would. I am very disheartened at the way I see the world going and the destructive, stupid choices I see people in my culture making. that sometimes includes me. I could be a lot more gentle and aware of the earth, the nets of beings who inhabit it and other people.  If I had children I think I would be wild with concern for how they will live. But, we may ourselves come back to this sphere. Even if we don't I cannot overcome my strong conviction thaat we are doing WRONG by the earth. Change is hard, but I try to make changes. Not sure how effective I am , but trying counts for something. And now, I am exploring my own Hungry Ghost tendencies. And I am thinking much of friends and famiy.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New Shed

The new shed went up yesterday. Antonio and Brock worked very hard, all day. It was impressive. The old shed got a new roof and I think that actually took longer than the whole assembly and roofing of the new shed! Slowly, things are taking shape. Bruce wants to take the massive excess of stuff out to stuff the shed. I don't want to do this because I foresee that it would just sit there and we need to go through all this stuff. I am gong to take 5 days in the first week of May off to start and I think I should repeat that process until all this horrendous amount of stuff is under control. Bruce is dead set on painting the sheds some monochromatic shade of brown or earth red. Since I consider the sheds his it's his call. We will be going to look at paint soon. we took a tour of the neighborhood for roofs yesterday. We like the look of tile best, but it seems, according to all the roofers we spoke with, to be very problematic. Metal is more enduring but has more potential for leaks and the edges are pretty ugly in both our opinions. So, looks like it's asphalt shingles,  not opulent but serviceable.

I took yesterday off to do my taxes and didn't touch them. Not good. I was one form short for my mom's taxes, but I took what I had to a CPA. The lawyer suggested we get a local CPA. I am certain she will end up paying much more this way, but t will never be so complicated again. However, the estimate made me gulp. He said perhaps she will over $35 THOUSAND. In my mind, completely without any substantiation, the figure $12,000 had been living. Huge adjustment.

I've been feeling a lot of stress and then the release of other stresses. I had hoped stress would just go away, but that's not what's happening.

I had strange dreams last night. In one, my friend Jaime came to take me to lunch. It took me a few seconds to realize he was walking (he's paraplegic) I was so happy for him! In the other, I had resumed school in a healing program. The classes I had taken before I dropped out IRL counted and there were a lot of rigorous science classes yet to go but I had already gotten though of some of them. but the surprise component in this dream was that a big part of te healing was DANCE. It is so out of myy range of abilities that I don't even have an accurate way to describe my lack of dancing ability. How did I, or anyone else, think I would be suited for this program? Yet people did and I was doing well in the program. I can only conclude that they had not yet seen my dancing.