Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Gotta go feed the fish.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Clearly this admission was a part of her dementia and it's called a confabulation in clinical circles. Recently she advised Jenny that she had marched in the Civil Rights Movement, which isn't completely out of character or unbelievable, but it seems like she might have mentioned it once in 37 years of acquaintance. However, she "remembers" walking miles and miles in protests.
Today she was perky enough to get dressed to go to the doc, but she was worn OUT by the time it was time to come home. She was happy though because we stopped at KFC and she got some original recipe friend chicken to go home with her. God but she loves fried chicken.
I went to the grocery and the pharmacy and came back. She is stocked in everything from toilet paper to drugs. And double thankfully, she now has a new person coming in on the weekends to ensure she's taken her meds and ensure she's ok. She now has someone coming 7 days a week. I'm happy about that. It makes me feel easier about her. EXCEPT........
Today when in the car I asked her to take her oxygen off her before she lit up her cigarette, and she said, "Why? It won't do anything. Look." And she demonstrated how the oxygen and cigarette would not blow us up. That means she's dropping her former good habits about not smoking simultaneously while using oxygen. Sigh.
Lastly, in the world of the weird today, Betty said, "I'll be glad to get home. I believe I've started a book." Now, Betty hasn't read a book in at least 5 or 6 years. She doesn't remember the newspaper and reads it two or three times in a day because by the time she's read to the back, she's forgotten what was in the front. You can't make sense of a book, if you can't remember the sequence of the plot and characters. She isn't always sure who Jewel is (often thinking it's Jenny when Jenny was a baby) and she can't figure out which of Jenn's sister's came by this weekend. But she's reading books again. I was surprised to see that she'd obviously either dug in the garage or sent someone to dig around in the garage, and had gotten some books out to "read."
Her brain is in a special place right now for sure. Life is getting interesting, that's for sure!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Feels weird to think it will soon be 2009. I sort of was just getting used to 2008 in a way. In other ways, not so much. I still want to write 199_, and it just blows my mind that it's a whole milenia that's useless and in the past now -- several years past.
I've watched too much TV over the holiday and it's been interesting. Just like the lead into Y2K where everyone was encouraged to buy extra food and stock up on firearms, I'm hearing those recommendations again. The financial situation of the country is really scaring people (and me) into some very sobering reflections. Put the India / Pakistan issue on the front burner and I'm beginning to feel shades of the late 50's and early 60's when we'd be doing "Duck and Cover" drills at school, and the A-bomb issue was so dramatically shown to us by Barry Goldwater during his run against JFK. (This commercial was actually a Johnson/Goldwater ad.) We felt an anxiety as kids that we'd never get to grow up; that we'd be vaporized. They say that fatalism is what fueled the Flower Children of the 60's -- that sense that we're all going to die soon anyway, so might as well get all the pleasure out of life that we can in the here-and-now. I don't know, I'm just aware of the fact that there's this dread I feel and remember from those days. Do any of you feel it? I'm curious. I have this mad desire to go start digging a bomb shelter a-la-1960's and I haven't felt that in a long time. Perhaps my Rx is to turn the TV off and stop watching the news! I was at the hospital on Friday and they had all these brochures out from Homeland Security about preparing for emergencies. Now if that brochure was put out by FEMA I wouldn't have thought twice about it. Yeah, we need to have a kit in case of a tornado or hurricane, etc. But it was put out by Homeland Security and it was clear that it was about "How to prepare in case you lose power for several days or more due to some catastrophe (like terrorism)." At least that is how I interpreted it. I also believe that in another 20+ days when GWB leaves, we're going to see a more free press (I believe it's been restrained forcibly during this administration.) and learn a lot of information we've been prevented from hearing up until now. I think we're going to be amazed at what we haven't heard coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq and other places. But that's me and my thoughts. Probably not what was on your mind when you started reading this blog is my guess. Dunno what to tell you except that I have a weird "take" of the world.
So I guess I'm thinking pretty pessimistically as we approach 2009!
Friday, December 26, 2008
At 11am the next wave of family came and I was "eating" another helping of some different family coming together. It was fantastical and emotional and I loved every moment of it. It felt alive and interesting and by 1pm I was EXHAUSTED with a capital "E." Yet, it was very satisfying, but also added more to the feeling of "too much."
I took a nap after going home, and then to top of a day of wonderful Christmas-ing, I accompanied my SIL over to his family which has big arms and take me and Betty in as their adopted family. It's also a wonderful "meal" in the sense that it's like eating a dessert until you can't eat anymore. It was a real meal, that was sumptuous and rich and full of love. But it was also the joy of being allowed to be let into someone else's family and share the Christmas-ing they have going on. It was the emotional dessert to a day full, full, full of Christmas-ing and like a real meal, it was a simultaneous feeling of being satisfied, and too full. The pleasure of a whole day of togetherness and sharing and reaching out to family, friends and others.
I'm learning to like Christmas under Eric's remedial Christmas class each year. The true joy of having people over and sharing food, and being in company with one another in a way that doesn't generate tension and arguments and people so stressed out that they want to do bodily harm to someone else.
It may be too much to really take in to oneself in one day, but it's a banquet of love that I'm privileged to be able to partake of these last few years, and I'm very happy that so many will let me in to their lives and close to them and those they love.
Today, was a day of quiet so that my psyche could recover some. I went in for a hospital test that will be interpreted next week. I went grocery shopping and got new cat litter to the delight of my kitties who needed new litter on Christmas Eve but ended up waiting until today before I could satisfy the need for better cat hygiene here.
I hope you and those you love all got to have a feast of love and togetherness yesterday and that for all of you it was pleasure.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Day before yesterday, Liam I went to see "Tale of Despereaux" at the movies. He hasn't been to the movies much, and so I was really glad he did well with it. He didn't even cry when I said "no" to the request for candy, but we did enjoy some popcorn. Liam is almost 4 and so I was startled when I saw it was rate PG, when driving up to the movie. It's because of some moments of "drama" that make for some tense moments. Liam sat in my lap for those, but we made it through the movie fine. I don't much care for some of the characters' stylized looks (the humans -- the rats and mice look OK to me). BUT, the messages are wholesome and presented beautifully in something akin to near reality / chartoonishness. However, analyzing the movie is NOT going to make a 3.5 year old happy. Riding in the car, I tried to ask Liam "What were some of the qualities of Despereaux that you liked?" Things like that. He promptly went into nuclear meltdown, so don't do movie analysis with a really, really young child. Stupid grammy! We both enjoyed the movie a lot. If you get stuck for something to go watch with your grandchildren for camouflage or if you just want to see something uplifting, it's a classic tale of a quest and a quest that ends in a classic happy ending. That's all I'll say. You feel a nice sense of satisfaction when you leave the movie theater.
We're going to get together as a family later today. Miss Jewel is here keeping me company, and Jenn and I have a project to do in a bit for Betty. It's all low key for me today. Everything is done! (Well, everything that is going to GET done.) On a positive note, a happy find today. I found that the files I worked so hard on (twice) yesterday, are intact! I found them and so I can do my project, it'll just go to folks after Christmas. Jewel wants to help me right now, so I'm signing off until tomorrow. I hope you and those you love are happy, healthy and bring you joy.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Betty is doing moderately well. She at least gotten dressed for her last two doc appointments. She's still staying conscientiously on her oxygen all the time. Now that her brain is about suffocated, she realizes how important the oxygen is! She has to go Friday for bloodwork and a chest x-ray and then Monday she sees the docs again. As might be expected of someone her age (almost 78) she's recovering slowly. I don't know why they sent her home so quickly from the hospital! I do know though that her doc knows how fragile she is, and doesn't want her in the hospital around all the germs there, so I'm guessing that is why they sent her home in such fragile shape. Anyway, she's perking up slowly. She's smoking more, and that's always a good indicator of how she feels. She still has pneumonia though. It's slowly clearing. But she's bouncing back yet again. She's an amazing woman!
I've told her what she's doing for Christmas several times now, but her caregiver says that she frets about it during the time Peggy's there, because she doesn't see the gifts and she wants to be sure she's taking care of Christmas for everyone. So I went over things with her again tonight. She seems genuinely appreciative of what has been done on her behalf, and she seems to be looking forward to seeing the gifts opened, but I don't think she has a clue what some of the things are.
Tomorrow Jenn and I are working on a special project for her. Sort of a memory item with pix of family throughout the years that she can have at-hand. I hope they aren't sad for her. The last time she talked about her son and husband with me she was calm about it, seemingly. It was alarming though that the day she checked into the hospital she asked Jenn, "Sid is dead, isn't he?" So, she's losing more threads of continuity. How sad to not be sure if your son is alive or dead -- and to find out over again that he has moved on to larger life. She seemed to find some comfort from the fact that her husband and son had one another in the next life. She seems happy most days. She was perky tonight and wanted me to stay longer, but the house was smoky and about 100 degrees. She REALLY likes it warm these days!
I hope you and those you love are warm and well this night.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I thought the little ones were incredibly brave, or perhaps not so self-conscious. One little girl cried, and I got the impression it was more that she was seperated from her family, rather than fear of being on stage. The rest were happy to be hurded by their teachers who tried ever so hard to teach the children to do hand signs that accompanied the songs. The teachers did the hand movements really well, but their small charges were dazzled by the lights and all the people.
Tomorrow we have students for half the day of exams and then were are free from adolescent angst for two weeks. I have to work Friday but no kiddos.
I must sleep now. I feel like I could sleep for the next two weeks. But, I like so many others, have way to much to get done.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I did a crap load of web pages today. Grocery shopping for Betty, and am now going to sleep in the full knowldge that I will put on my cleanest pair of pre-worn slacks tomorrow because I took a nap instead of doing laundry!
My least fun job today was calling or writing all parents of failing students. For some the handwriting is on the wall. Most moms and dads were aware of their child's lack of achievement, and most say they have no way to control their kids. I don't get it. I just do not understand why parents don't take away mp3 players, cell phones, tv or video time, take car keys, or whatever. Priviledges are earned, not just given as an entitlement. I've always admired a mom that took her child's entire room, including the door and put it in storage. She left the girl sheets and blankets and a pillow. She had to earn back her bed, her stereo, and lastly her door. I liked that mom! She knew who controlled access to all the priviledges. I don't understand parents who try to resign from parenting. Heh, I also faxed grades to one kid's probation officer. Somehow of all the kids, my guess is that he will have the least happy time off. Yes, I want my students to do well, and if that means reporting their underachievement to their probation officer, I'm willing to do that too!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Don't be horified by the near nudity, but this is the ONLY way to eat your first birthday cake. After the singing and the clapping and stuffing and finger-painting with the cake, then dad takes things in-hand.
No matter if I wanted his help or not, my big brother "helped" me today unwrapping my presents and generally being at the center of the festivities, just like any 3-year-old fellow will. Wait until he see's what happens when Jewel turns 16! By then I'll be able to fend his "help" off.
Miss Jewel had a very fun day with all her family around her. Grandma Betty is still feeling a bit puny from her pneumonia and she couldn't make it today, but folks did stop by and visit with her.
I think Liam had a fun day playing big time with his cousins.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It was nice and quiet today at school, no fire engines, no high winds, and no alarms or TV reporters. THAT is a good thing.
I've been working on the school web pages. Got some questions answered today that needed to be done. So I can now be more productive and more nerdy. ;)
Next week there is the End of Course Testing to be completed as it was delayed by the tornado. Then Wednesday and Thursday will be final exams. Friday is a teacher work day.
I'm trying to finish my Christmas stuff (mostly done) and get Betty's completed. Her darling caregiver has decorated her house with all sorts of festive holiday decorations. I must clean the fish tank tomorrow and get more fish food. Exciting stuff around here. Mostly it's just busy, busy, busy. The really fun thing will be Jewel's birthday on Saturday. I hope she feels more herself tomorrow because first birthdays are just so awesome. She is so awesome.
I'll have my snuggle bug Liam tomorrow night. Grandchildren are just the BEST ever. They really make you feel special. I am so privileged that I can live close to them and be a part of their lives. They truely enrich mine!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Behind the news truck, is the stadium. It's a good thing that football season is over, because the scoreboard got creamed by the tornado (yes, it's been verified by the National Weather Service). A couple trees fell, crushing a fence and damaging the "away" team stands. A ceiling in one of the girl's bathroom got blown IN, and one window was shattered. The big deal was that when the air conditioning stuff got blown off the roof, it severed a gas connection causing gas to leak into the school. And it was the gas leak that caused all the kerfuffle.
I thought the kids were pretty gracious and well mannered through a genuine crisis. A few girls cried when we had them line up in the hall on the floor as a precaution when another line of storms came through.
About a third of the kids seemed to have a parent that came to get them, and then the buses came back and picked them up and took them back home. We teachers were all called to a mandatory meeting in the media center, where I figured we'd be told we were contractually obligated to stay until 3. However, we were told we done good
Met up with Jenn and Jewel and we had a fun time doing a little shopping, and then we got the call that Betty was being discharged, so I went and picked her up. She was so glad to be discharged that she got dressed, unhooked the IV connection, put on her shoes and went down to the lobby (god knows how she found her way there) to wait for me. The nurses DID notice that their patient was lost and so a search ensued. They found her and persuaded her to come take a breathing treatment and get the IV out of her arm before being picked up.
She has to see her general practitioner and her pulmonologist in the next few days, and god bless her caregiver, she's willing to take her. I showed Betty the cutie little outfits that she got Jewel, and she said I needed to go back and get some more for her Christmas presents.
She was very chatty the whole trip home, insisting we stop to get her some fried chicken, and gobbling up a hefty portion of it when she did get home. She's wearing her home oxygen and swears she'll keep using it. She tends to be pretty good about taking it off while smoking, but as a family we've made our peace with the fact that she might accidentally blow herself to kingdom come. I hope not, but I think she'll manage ok. She was home long enough to run to the restroom, and as soon as she popped out, she fairly ran for her cigarettes and lighter. THAT is the reason I can't stay with her overnight. I can't handle the smoke given the fact that I'm having trouble breathing.
So, it's been an exciting day. Herding excited teens through a real tornado and gas leak, was a little more excitement than I had planned for the day, but NO ONE WAS HURT. Not a bruise, scratch, nor a hangnail. A couple vehicles were damaged slightly, but no one was hurt. Gosh I hope they get that air conditioner fixed by spring. It gets hot early in the season here.
Next fun thing to consider: A wintery weather mix is anticipated for Friday. Sigh. Too much stress at the end of the semester.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I've gotten my issue of the nether region re-examined and the doc is going to wait and watch for another month just to be sure it's not something REALLY yucky. So first thing in January I'll break in my new year of insurance with a visit to a doc about unmentionable issues.
I'll miss my year of 100% coverage, but it'll be a good year to put behind me. My insurance has definitely spent a few bucks on me this year!
God bless the cleaning diva who blessed my house with her attention today.
I'll keep all of you updated on Betty as developments arise. And lastly, poor Jewel has a cold and spent the day with mom and her great-grandma which was crumby because it was her first birthday!
Last year, above.
About 10 days ago, below.
Monday, December 08, 2008
The students today had that "deer in the headlights look" all three times that I administered the tests. One in Economics, and two in US History. I have to admit, I don't know that I could pass Economics. These are NOT easy tests.
This is a difficult time for many students who will come to realize they may never be able to pass the testing required for a regular education diploma. Students and families hold out hope for a long time in high school.
Tomorrow I see the butt doc. I'm hoping my butt doesn't need any further attention. It is just now feeling like it won't explode when I cough, and I cough a LOT these days.
Very tired. I'm going to go to sleep tonight. I could hardly settle last night, so some sleep tonight seems like a really good thing.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
In this middle of all of this, I'm still coughing and spluttering from this cold I can't seems to shake completely. It's really annoying for me; I'm pretty sure it's annoying as h*ll for people around me. I'm sorry. I hope it goes away too.
But things are looking up. The neighborhood is looking happier with twinkling lights. I'm going to get some rest and relax over the weekend, and with any luck that will knock this cold out of me.
So...............who would have ever thought that another woman who MIGHT take Hillary Clinton's spot in Congress?! It hasen't even been 20 years since they installed a women's bathroom on the same floor of the Capital near the Senate Chambers. It took a long time for the country to understand that women could, would and do belong not just in the House but the Senate as well.
And lasty, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church died today at the age of 79. He kept his faith alive somehow through the Communist era. He survived and thrived to grow his church to a healthy 700,000 after Communism fell, and while he wasn't a warm, fuzzy man when it came to allowing other faiths to "play in his sandbox" one has to respect him for enduring some terrible times and in his elder years "making hay while the sun shone." Peace be upon you.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Still have to figure out a present for Eric. He's my mystery person in a modest year of giving. Guys are always a mystery to me though. Someone, somewhere would do the world a favor if they'd just come up with something cool for a guy that isn't a tool, (I think that's like giving a George Foreman grill to mom for Christmas.) or a tie (My taste is not likely your taste.) or the lame old gift certificate or $$ (both scream to me -- You're an inadequate gift giver -- you don't even care to figure out something special for this loved one). Guys don't appear to have favorite artists you can buy a small print of, or a hobby you can add to (Golf is like the esoteric hobby of all time -- everything is customized for YOU and it all costs BUX and you're pretty much guaranteed to never get the right gizmo.). Why can't a guy have a hobby like mineature railroading where a train is a train is a train, or collecting historical documents, or lusting after some accessory like a woman's perfect purse or a great piece of jewelry. You see, it just doesn't transfer. Accessorizing for a guy just doesn't work. What is a conscientious MIL to do for an adored SIL without being a dork???? I want to be the giver of the surprise gift that is COOL. But, I've lost all cool when it comes to guys. I am..........a guy gift underachiever.
Bah. I must think outside the box, and unfortunately I haven't found "the box" yet, in order to imagine outside it.
Someone do an informal pole of their men folks and give me some ideas of what's cool in the mens world that's won't break the bank, because an LED wide screen TV is out of the question. He hates fishing. He could camp indefinitely in the case of a nuclear attack with all the cha chas necessary to make like comfortable. He's not a member of the Moose Club, Elks, Masons or any other fraternal or service organization. I mean WHAT'S A PERSON to do???????
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Only 12 more days with this group of students. We get a new group in January. I think most teachers are tired of this group and ready to be aggrivated by a new bunch of people. Glad we don't have to prep our students for an end-of-course test, but students have really proven themselves to be pretty unwilling to invest themselves in learning. It's hard for teachers who do love learning to understand students who don't study, don't review, and don't care if they pass or fail.
I didn't go to the breast cancer support group tonight. Just didn't have it in me. Must go meditate for about 15 minutes. Then it's off to bed for me. Lovely pain meds do help. ;) Blessings on you at your house.
Monday, December 01, 2008
We had snow flurries today! OK, it was only for 15 minutes and they were the teeny, tiniest snowflakes ever, but it was fun to watch it coming down. Such an unlikely thing to happen in Georgia on December 1st.
I hope you and those you love are warm and well tonight, and that no one you know had to have "minor surgery" other than me. It's such an oxymoron! PS: Hey, Beaker, if what goes around comes around, I hope someone is someday as gentle with your nether regions as you were today with mine! You have the gentle touch of Rhinoceros fingers!