Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

The mechanical breeze from the fan overhead wafts against my face, the wet hair clinging to the back of my neck catches a bit of the air too, causing a wonderful chill. I've been in the kitchen, on and off all morning. The carcass of the turkey exposes itself to the remainders of the side dishes lined up on the counter. Another Thanksgiving feast has come and gone leaving bits and pieces of leftovers to be plastic encased and placed in the refrigerator.

Thankful? Yes. I'm thankful the task of cooking is over. I really don't mind the cooking; it's the finish line that gets a bit hectic with the last minute gravy making and potato mashing, while keeping an eye on the hotrolls that are browning.

I had a bottle of wine, cork removed and breathing, poured and consumed, almost entirely mine alone.

It's nap time. Could it be the combination of wine and good food?
Happy Thanksgiving one and all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 24th Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving

My view through the sheers covering the front windows is on the house across the street. Sunlight hasn't yet reached that rooftop to melt the white glaze of frost.

The big maple tree to the left  barely in my view has overnight changed from bright green leafs to a garnet colored cluster of beauty. The ground is covered with those leafs that have now given up their status as tree leafs and  have become ground cover. Such a drop in status for a leaf I'm sure!

I had to wrap up in my fuzzy robe this morning. A cup of hot coffee and a humming furnace add to my comfort, both of which I'm thankful for after all, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I don't require big things to remind me to be grateful.

I haven't heard from Ms. M. ("my homeless until recently" friend). Apparently she had lost my number. I stopped by to check on her yesterday and then quickly drove to the market. I don't know what she usually does for Thanksgiving but I bought traditional meal foods, Turkey, dressing, yams, fixings for green bean casserole (can't imagine a holiday without GBC) and some hot rolls and a pumpkin pie. She wasn't home when I returned. I lugged all the stuff from the trunk of my car to the long narrow table that occupies a portion of her deck.

Soon I received a phone call from her. She had returned home to find the groceries and was so thankful. Usually her little family visits a place here that provides a free Thanksgiving meal to the less fortunate. This year her car is out of commission. A trip to this place was looking dicey. She loved going to this place saying "They don't make you feel like a loser. The atmosphere is very pleasing and respectful of all that enter." (I want to find out more about this place at a later date). 

She will now be able to have a turkey in the oven and left overs to sustain her family for a few days.

Both of her sons have been working. Hired to help put up Christmas lights, they have an income which now allows Ms. M to put her car in the shop and get it fixed. Progress, as slow as it seems, doesn't deter or depress her. She has more patience then I and I have much respect for her strength.

The husband remains at home and may just get to be here for turkey day. He gets daily reports on the rigs progress and remains "on alert" for this west Texas job.

My long breakfast bar is laden with the supplies for my Thanksgiving meal. I readied it all up yesterday so I could plunge into meal preparation this morning. As the husband and I were talking, he mentioned the day of the week. I was astounded.
"Today is Tuesday?" I asked.
I thought he was teasing me and he had to drag out his phone to show me that it was really Tuesday and Thanksgiving was TWO days away. Thankful we had this little conversation or I would be in the kitchen this morning baking a turkey a day early!
I really need to get a job. The days all run together when you are jobless!
It's time for my shower and last minute checks on what is needed for TOMORROW.
A pleasant Thanksgiving to one and all.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Once Again

I remember a time when most of the people I knew were healthy and vibrant. Was it the age we all were at that time? I'm fairly certain there were young folks around that were not in good health. Did I just not notice?

It has been cold for the past few days. Our temperatures have nose dived into the thirties, but I'm expecting after this week to be listening to the ac unit kicking on instead of the furnace.

I love this time of year here in the deep South. It's my time of year. It's time for a sweat shirt and sweat pants or a pair of jeans and a sweater, socks and shoes. That's the only part I don't like is the socks and shoes. I have been known to wear my flip flops regardless of the weather.

As soon as the cold front arrived, I slipped into my "warm" clothes and went shopping. Though I've been here over 20 years, I'm still not "nativeized" (not a real word) and I easily note the natives by the layers and layers of clothes, the tall boots and the total body shivering, fast walking, hunched over sprints to get out of the weather. I just reached the point yesterday where I had to add a light jacket to my ensemble when out of doors. I find it invigorating. The heat of summer and the humidity oppresses me, hence my fondness for the winter months here.

Slipping into the mall, a place I seldom visit, I was on my way to pick up a package ordered online and being shipped to the store. As I stood at the register waiting for the clerk to ring up my purchase, a woman approached, smiling and greeting me with a "Hello there! I haven't seen you in such a long time!" As she approached with her greeting, my hands went up in front of me to ward off her greeting and let her know that she must have mistaken me for someone else. Someone she knew. This happens to me often. People are always coming up to me and starting a conversation thinking I am someone they know. I usually try to stop them quickly to avoid embarrassment to them.

This woman stopped and said "You don't know me?"
With this she mentioned her name. It was my turn to be embarrassed. She had lived across the street from me for over 10yrs. She downsized and moved into a smaller house as her children left the nest for their own homes and families.

As one does, when reconnecting with someone after years of not seeing them, we chattered on trying to catch up in the few minutes she had before going back to her job. I shared my diagnosis; she embraced me with her exclamations of sorrow. As we stepped apart she said "K has cancer too."

K is 21 years old. She was about 10 yrs old when Sue left this neighborhood. I had not seen her since she left with her mother. I was terribly saddened and at a loss for words. Her cancer is a sarcoma. A cancer of the tissues instead of the cells. 1 in a million contract her type of sarcoma and the rarity is prompting them to go to M.D. Anderson in Houston for treatment.  She was diagnosed in September and since then had 5 surgeries. One to remove the sarcoma with the remaining for reconstruction. Her scalp had to be removed from the forehead to the mid part of her skull. Further treatment will be done in Houston.

My days following this encounter with Sue has been interrupted with thoughts of "K" and her future. I'm hoping with all my heart that this young lady gets to return for her last year at LSU and continue on with her life and that this is just an interruption and a short one.
I won't be sharing this post on Facebook. It's one of those posts I have to do as a part of this path in my life.
"K" if wishes come true, you will be safe"
I'll be making that wish every day for you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Person, a Life, Part II

Ms. M. and I continued our trip to complete her errands and as we moved along from stop to stop she regaled me with bits and pieces of her life. At one time she lived in a prosperous part of town in a nice home with her first husband and two children. This part of the tale became a bit cloudy but she mentioned drugs and her husbands habit and the demise of that relationship that produced two daughters. These daughters live in New Orleans, one a lawyer, the other with a master's degree in social work. I quietly wondered why they weren't helping their mother who was in such dire straits. That revelation would come later as the story of her life continues.
Very nonchalantly, she continued with the story of the second husband who was abusive and "I killed him." Without missing a beat she spoke of the abuse and the three sons produced from that union. I tried not to look slack jawed at her admission of murdering someone. I slid a look sideways at her and then turned back to my task of driving.
I gathered she was on disability; the 'check' she mentioned was apparently not a physical disability. I had to ask.

Bipolar. Then she mentioned that she was on methadone. She continued on with her tale of homelessness and how she had lived in a shelter for a year while her sons were elsewhere. Eventually I had to ask, "What was your drug of choice?"
Quite openly she said "Meth and IV pain medicines."

She didn't hesitate or try to evade any questions I asked and I knew now why her daughters had not come to her rescue. Apparently, though struggling in their new careers, they had sent her 300.00 a month to pay for her methadone. The methadone keeps her off street drugs and the daughters knew this and had lived with her drug and alcohol problems during their childhood.
 She had been on methadone for 8 yrs. and as soon as her disability came through, she left the homeless shelter and rented a place to live with her two sons.

Piecing together the stories and getting them in chronological order requires many clarifications. Apparently, until the three boys came 'of age' she collected social security from the second husbands account. The husband that she "killed". When it ran out she was penniless and homelessness was the end of this particular part of her life.

We made our final stop of the day to the bank to get her free 4 blank checks she can get each month. She had to pick up her methadone the next day. As we entered the final phase of our trip, I had to ask "How did you kill your husband?"

"A fillet knife to the heart." She was feeding the chickens, the ground was muddy. He slapped her to the ground and while in the mud, he kicked her. When he went back into the house, he had a fillet  knife hidden in the bed where he lay. When she walked into the room, he jumped from the bed and came at her with the knife. She grabbed his arm turning the knife toward him; he stumbled into her and the knife lodged in his heart.

She wasn't indicted for the death. It was noted as "self defense".
There is a lot more to this woman's story; the early death of her mother in Oklahoma; her father sending her to Louisiana to a girl's school and never coming to see her and the street life we had no time to discuss.

I make no judgement on this person. I will make sure she has food this month. She has had unexpected expenses and feeding her family shouldn't have to be one of her worries.

One of the stores had a sale on chicken leg quarters and eggs. I stopped by this morning and bought 20 lbs at .49cents a pound. 99cents for a dozen eggs. I came home and cut the leg quarters up and bagged them in gallon zip lock bags and put them in the freezer. Tomorrow I will call Ms. M. and make arrangements to deliver them to her home. You can make a lot of different dishes out of chicken. Egg sandwiches are healthy and filling. I'm sure it will be appreciated. She appreciates any kindness offered her.

"But for the grace of (insert your higher power here) go I..and maybe even you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Person

The weather has slipped quietly into fall. Just a few days ago, the heat stirred the a/c unit to buck up and keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Suddenly the night temperatures plummeted. We are in the mid thirties during the night and I was excited. I don't to heat well and the fall temperatures were welcome. I spend more time outdoors then in and on one of these days while out running errands, I drove by a woman trudging down the highway. She leaned forward into her walk letting gravity pull her forward. Her purse in one hand and a shopping bag in the other, she looked worn out and it was questionable on whether she would reach her goal. Obviously she was not doing a pleasure walk but one of necessity.

There go I but for the grace of  (insert higher power of your choice here).  Being a single mother for many years, I feared I would lose my job or my health and be homeless, carless and penniless. This instilled great empathy for others down on their luck.
I slowed down and hit the window button and asked "Do you need a ride?"

Her bright blue eyes looked out of a haggard face, sheened in sweat. Her long grey streaked hair was pulled back and up into a ponytail that was thin and straggly. She initially refused my offer saying she didn't have far to go. Traffic backed up behind me. I pulled forward and off the road to turn around and go back. This time she accepted my offer and opened the back door. I had the front seat filled with my shopping and no time to clear that seat for her.
Another mile down the road and she directed me to her home. There wasn't much time for talk but she did say she was without a car. Her son had driven her car into a large pot hole in a parking lot and the car had been damaged and had to be towed. Her 'check' would be here soon and she could buy some food. "I'm cooking a big pot of beans so we can eat tonight."
She said she had spent over 200.00 on taxis the day before and her money was now gone until her 'check' came in.
I left her at her door with a promise to check on her every day to see if she needed a ride anywhere.

I have a fully stocked freezer and a pantry that overflows with too much stuff. My daughter sometimes shops my mini store here.
The thought of someone hungry living just a mile from me was just too much to comprehend. I scooped up frozen chicken and  hamburger and various canned vegetables, noodles and spaghetti sauce, mayo, oil, margarine, bread and sugar along with toilet paper.
Within a few minutes I was back at her house with bags of "stuff". Most of this was bought on sale and 'stocked' so it wasn't a big money expenditure on my part. It would feed her little family until she got her 'check' which was due in two days. Later that evening I made a trip to the market for shampoo, conditioner, soap, coffee, creamer and Ramen noodles. I still didn't know much about  this woman and the predicament she faced except for the broken car.

A little more information was gathered. In her rapid hurried way, she talked about her son that was a little autistic. He met me at the car to help carry in the groceries, a handsome young man that I guessed might be in his early teens only to find out later he was 27. Her life story was disjointed, the bits and pieces difficult to merge into one coherent biography. I did gather that two of her children lived in New Orleans; one a lawyer, the other with a master's degree in social work. I left her with the shopping I had done with plans on returning to check on her the next day.

On the afternoon of the second day, I drove into her driveway and sounded my horn. She peeked out and said she was fine and didn't need to go anywhere.  The walk I found her on the day before  was back from CVS pharmacy where she had to pick up an antibiotic for the pneumonia she had. She was resting.  I drove on.

This was my weekend. I had promised her that on Monday when she got her check I would take her across town to pay the tow bill and have her car towed to her house so she didn't have to pay the storage fee. Monday arrived (yesterday) and as promised, after receiving her phone call I drove around and collected her for the  trip across town with a few stops afterwards. During this ride, she shared her story. I tried to not look slack jawed shocked. I should have been prepared. One of my friends kept telling me there was a lot more to this story then a "broken car" and there was.
(to be continued when I have a bit more time)..................

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Goals and The Finish Line

I, apparently, do not have enough to do to keep me busy. I'm pretty positive all that dust accumulating on the furniture and the dust bunnies beneath the beds could use some attention. My house looks presentable. There might not be a shine on every surface but those surfaces are free of everything but dust. A little dust has never bothered me. Because of this attitude towards my house, I look for chores that are in dire need of attention. This leads me to the daughter's home. My attention focused on the hall bathroom and it's needs. It had now been a year and more since we placed new drywall on one wall. I had big plans. A pretty paint, bright towels, new rugs and shower curtain and a counter top with pretty jars and baskets to hold all those things needed in a bathroom.

I got side tracked for a year plus. Last week, I painted that bathroom. I took a survey on the users of that room and no body had a suggestion on paint colors except Carrie. She suggested "white". How simple. That's the color that now dominates the room. Bright garnet towels, rugs and a color blocked shower curtain in black, white and garnet squares brought it all together. A new towel rod supports  those huge garnet colored towels and a full length mirror hangs on the wall alongside. I see the finish line from where I sit. Though I need to add some quarter round molding along the floor, I stopped to start the second project which was on my goal list.

The wood deck has been decorated with sidewalk chalk. Lovely random blocks of color, squiggly markings that only the child that created them understood their meaning, the deck was a mess. Ashes from the BBQ pit added to the colors meshed into the wood. I was determined to bring the wood back to it's former and original state of health.

A few things kept interfering with my race to the finish line. A birthday party, a live theatre performance and school activities caused my projects to extend into a month long endeavor.

The power washer was loaded into the trunk of my car two days ago and the chalk marks disappeared in a powerful jet stream of water. Seeing the original wood reappear, the ashes from the BBQ pit sluffed off, another goal was about to be attained. I don't hate dust but I do detest dirt. The golden color of the deck reappeared. Two days later (today) after the deck had dried, Thompson's Water Seal was applied. The deck is beautiful and better then beautiful, the deck is clean!

I'm a goal oriented person. I set a plan and advance toward my goal. Tomorrow I plan on setting that wood trim piece in that bathroom and I'll be over that finish line!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Busy October

The temperatures, along with the inhabitants, have been busy. Mother Nature has been slowly decreasing her thermostat, but mostly during the late afternoon hours when the sun is rushing toward the horizon. The days still remain a bit uncomfortable though the promise remains of cooler weather simply because it is 'fall'.

Carrie's birthday was October 8th. We had a small family celebration by taking her to her choice of restaurants. Her choice was influenced by the cake that is always smashed into the birthday person's face and the subsequent picture shot and placed on the wall of the establishment. After dinner and before the cake smashing, she was serenaded by the Marachi band. She had a lovely time.

Her big birthday party was scheduled for October 25th (last night). It was a " late afternoon, edging toward darkness"  event. The daughter had worked for days on making two Pinatas, mini cupcakes with blood shot eyes on them, avocado dip with chips, caramel corn, candy corn, chocolate chip cookies and hot dogs with "sauce, slaw and onions" and rice crispy treats, which I might add, we forgot to take out of the fridge and serve.

The stress level was high early Saturday morning. All the columns on the patio were wreathed in orange and black crepe paper, the ceiling with spiders on orange and gold tendrils, spooky vampires and ghouls on the fence and  skeletons emerging from the cobweb shrouded shrubs surrounding the yard. Tables were set up with orange tablecloths and all the chairs in and out of the house were rounded up and placed in a circle on the outer perimeter of the patio. I had my assigned duties and tried to keep a low profile as the stress level increased with the daughter's duties edging her toward party time.

1800 hours and the guests begin to arrive. Costumed in their Halloween finery, the broken doll danced around, the ninjas, the fairies and the dancers gathered around for the games that have been arranged for them. A set of circles were spray painted onto the grass and the balls the children were given rolled into the different sized circles aiming for the center. We judged the level of enjoyment from the children based on the laughter and the squeals, the darting around the semi dark yard and the hot dogs consumed.
My main job was keeping the hot dog bowl supplied for the guests.

Two piñatas were hung and a huge PVC  pipe was used as the "stick" to whack it. April had spent three days making these piñatas. A huge eye with a blue iris created by paper mache over a huge balloon, layered, dried and layered and repeated until a tough skin was created. The balloon was pricked and pulled from the completed, completely dried piñatas. The children lined up to take their turn. I think the construction of this piñata might be a bit overdone. It took a great many swings to soften it up and eventually it gave up it's treats. The children dropped to their knees, jostling each other, amid good natured squeals, gathering all the candy into their treat bags.
The party was a huge success. We were surprised by the large numbers of young children that attended. This was a three day break from school. We expected a lot of families to go out of town so we were pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
The magic hour of 2100 hours arrived and the guests drifted away. The cleanup begun. Thanks to April, Shane and myself, the decorations came down faster then they went up, the bones strewn around the yard and the skeletons in the bushes were retrieved and the patio hosed down to remove all the cupcakes, frosting and candy. I'm sure nobody wanted to get up early this morning for cleanup detail. 
I, for one, have enjoyed a quiet Sunday morning, lazing in front of the television. It's very quiet. I'm very grateful. Now what to do about two pans of rice crispy treats?

Friday, October 3, 2014

AC, a necessity and other Miscellaneous Infomation

"What's that?" I inquire while raising my voice to be heard from the bedroom to the living room.
"Hot? No, I don't feel hot."

The husband is standing over the thermostat, having advanced into the hallway to peer at the numbers displayed.

"It's 77 degrees in here." he informs me. "I think there is something wrong with the a/c unit."

Heat? Hot? We are going to be hot in here soon? That just won't do. I hate to sweat. Dragging myself from my comfy television watching spot on my bed, I meet the husband in the hallway to watch as the thermostat's numbers rise to 78 and then 79 degrees.

"We'll call the repairman tomorrow." the husband informs me.

"Give me the number. I'm calling him today." was my reply. Though it's Sunday, there is a repairman on call  24/7 and I placed that call.

End results, he showed up and had to order a part which he would do on Monday. A rain storm had passed over and saturated us with a heavy shower. That same shower dropped water over this house which lowered the temperatures internally to 83 degrees. We were comfortable with the ceiling fans whirling and a box fan sent here from my daughter's house.

Segue to Monday morning. Promptly at 0800 hrs. my phone rings. The repairman is on his way. We have AC once again.
And that was weeks ago. This post went into "draft" and stayed there until this evening.
I'm very lax in blogging lately.
To catch up a little....this follows:

An appointment at the clinic for blood work was scheduled for Thursday (yesterday). Next Thursday, a follow up appointment with the P.A. after results of the blood test are submitted to her. I expect to be followed closely for the next few years. I'm on maintaince  drugs now as the chemo has least for a while.
My hair has grown back and I'm in dire need of a haircut. I plan on doing that in November. It will have been a year that I have been off the chemo that took my hair so it has been growing for a full year by the time November rolls around. I'll get it cut then to mark the anniversary of "hair".

September sped by. Nothing spectacular to report. No trips or anything dramatic has occurred and for this I'm thankful. We are now moving through October. This Wednesday Carrie will be 9 yrs. old. A family celebration with gifts is planned; her big birthday party will be on October 25th. It will be a Halloween themed party complete with ghosts, goblins and ugly spiders hanging from strings. I might have to be out of town for this one as I'm terribly phobic about spiders...even fake ones.

I took Carrie to see her first theatre movie when she was three years old. I was a bit nervous about this as I didn't know if she would be engrossed enough in the movie to sit still through the whole thing. She did great. Her attention was glued to the big screen watching the Disney featured movie. This past week we decided to go to a movie. It was a bright hot Sunday so sitting in a cool theatre was something I was agreeable to.
This was a spur of the moment decision as much of my life has been dictated by spur of the moment decisions. We didn't check the movie times. We dropped the top on the roadster, donned our sunglasses and hit the road.
We were late for the cartoon feature by about 1/2 hr. Gazing up at the marquee, I spotted a movie that was starting in 5 minutes and that is how Carrie got to see her second R rated movie.

Her mother wasn't impressed when she found out what we were watching. It wasn't too bad. The first scene was the worst with a cheating wife in bed with her lover when her husband walks into the bedroom. After that, the only thing Carrie questioned when the movie was over was "Nana, what is a boner?" A term she had heard repeated in the movie over and over. As usual when Carrie asks a question related to a touchy subject for an 8yr. old, I directed her to ask her mother. Mother's can be touchy about how certain information is presented to their children so I opt out on answering any questions related to sex and any attempts to shorten the length of Carrie's hair. Another thing that will create drama, is cutting Carrie's hair. I know better then to go there but I well remember when Carrie went there with a pair of sharp scissors! I am now grounded from taking Carrie to a movie. I'm am not to be trusted as this is the second R rated movie we have been to. If memory serves me right, Ted and I went to his first R rated movie. We decided we wouldn't mention this to his mom. I don't condone sneaking but if one doesn't inquire, I might not offer the information in detail.

I'm off here to watch some television. The husband is in Odessa on a long job. I've contemplated leaving on a trip to N.C. to see my sister but I haven't made it to the end of the driveway yet. I dread all those road miles and the husband doesn't want me to drive. I hate to fly and the train is a three day trip.

This is done..I'm done!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Up and Out

My Ambien kept me asleep until 0500 hrs. I so envy those folks that manage to sleep "in" when time allows. I have the time but not the inclination apparently.

Watching the clock and sipping on a cup of coffee, I waited for a decent hour, which to me is 0800 hrs. and I made my way to the shed to fire up the lawn tractor. The weather here is stifling. Hair frizzing humidity, hot bright sunshine and an afternoon shower to keep that humidity level off the charts, mowing the lawn early is a necessity.

I've had enough of summer. I'm longing for a pair of socks and a long sleeve shirt even if I have to trade in my sandals for a while. By the time the month of August limps in, I'm saturated with the heat, the humidity and the necessity of anything that has to be done out of this air conditioned house.

Having said that, it's time for a shower and getting dressed to shop for material to do a patio floor. I'm not sure exactly what I want but we are going out to get some ideas today.

It's shower time..and I'm done here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Already?

Where has the time gone? The last month I remember was August. Who can forget August while living it out in the hot humid south?

Summer is usually not my favorite time of year here in the hot and sticky, mosquito laden state of Louisiana. This year? We have had rain and lots of it. The rain is not the cooling factor as much as the dark skies that block the sun from scorching us a bright pink.
I reached a milestone. I've finished up the IV chemo protocol. A PET scan was done three weeks later and three days after that, my doctor gave me the report. No hot spots....although there is a little area of concern on one of my ribs on the right side. It has been read as a fracture; a healing fracture. CT scan to follow up in the near future. I continue on the oral chemo pills for another week and I've already started the maintenance drugs that I will be on for the next 10 years. Previously, studies indicated 5 years of maintenance drugs but that has been now extended to 10 years. Will I be around in 5 years to enter into this extension? I have no idea and I try not to attach too much attention to that thought.

I have hair once again and though it's not the texture nor color of the original equipment, it will do. I have packed away the wigs for use at a later date, should they be needed again. Another thought I try to put away until it needs to be addressed.

Yah! It's September here and though we still have many more hot days, I always feel like a survivor when I can see August in my past! I see some bike riding days in my future. I have a bright shiny new Trek in my storage building. It's only been ridden three times. I'm ready to do some fall riding!

It's time to refill my coffee cup. My update is done.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another August

This summer has been one filled with rainy days and lots of humidity. The rains clouds have provided respite from the usual heat that smothers us each summer. Usually in August, there is no more roadster running with the top down. Much to hot for that. This year I neglected the little ragtop. There has been a recall related to ignition switches on it. I parked it for a while then finally fired it up (something I don't do in August) and started driving it again. The Chevy Cobalt was the auto that had most of the problems and accidents. I think I'll survive.

Today the newscasts are filled with the suicide of Robin Williams. We have been informed of the gruesome details of his death by hanging while apparently using a knife to saw into his wrists. His wife of two years was asleep in another bedroom. She left the house the next morning, never knowing he had died. His assistant found him when he didn't respond to his calls.

We have been subjected all day to clips of his movies and TV shows. I've read his bio online.

Isn't it time to let it go. As the day wears on, each TV channel seems to want to wring as much air time over this tragedy as possible. It's news. It's big news that gathers viewers.

Apparently the man was in pain. I have all the information I need about his passing. It pains me to see it rehashed and rehashed over and over and around the clock. He was looking for peace. Let's let him have it now.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Am I Really That Busy?

I'm so far behind on updates on this, that I don't know where to begin!
Firstly (is that really a word?) I had my last chemo treatment on Monday...three days ago. Now for the PET scan scheduled for 8/19/2014. This scan will show hot spots which indicate if the cancer has spread. I, along with everyone else having this done, get anxious about the results. I have a rather negative attitude on this anyway. It could show clear which really doesn't relieve my anxiety. I'm an RN that has worked too many years in hospitals and on Oncology units to really trust that this test, if shows no spread, is something I can rely on for long. I have no symptoms of this cancer affecting any of my vital organs right kidney, liver or lungs, but once diagnosed with the BIG C, one never really  trusts that it is ever really gone.
Oh, wow..this is becoming way too depressing isn't it?
It's just a statement on how I'm feeling. My post, my right.

Now..I'm done with that!
The weather here is wonky. Rain, rain and more rain but only for a few minutes every day then the clouds fade, the sun bursts out, the temperatures rise, the top gets dropped on the roadster and I'm outta here.

The husband has been home a lot lately. So have I. He left for Colorado on Monday and I just left. Left the house to run the roads, dink around, hang out in a few stores and only because I haven't been a "free bird" for a while. It's not that I can't leave when the husband is home but that I really don't care to just leave him here while I go "kill some time" hanging out in stores and checking out all the new stuff. I can do that guilt free when he is gone on a job and for the first few days he is gone, I'm burning up some tanks of gas! Today, day four, I stayed home and cleaned house and did a crawfish fettucine for Ted and Carrie. I was back in domestic mode.

Another thing I do is go to a matinee..alone! I'm so used to the 'loner thing' that I have no qualms about doing things by myself. I've never minded going to dinner alone, to a bar or to a movie alone or on a long trip alone. I like being with myself; a selfish thing maybe. I don't have to explain to anyone or arrange my free time to yours or discuss and choose what to do, where to go or what to eat. It's a feeling of pure freedom for me. I'm a gypsy at heart.

Am I rambling? Yes, maybe. My blog. My Post. My Right.

I'm off to bed with my little friend, Ambien.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Just a July Update

It's not that my life is so exciting. That's not the reason I haven't posted for a while. I have no good reason other then it's summer and most of my time is spent outdoors. Lawns to mow and autos to clean, bikes to ride and festivals to attend. On the really hot days it's inside beneath the air conditioner.

It is raining. I don't mean a mere sprinkle. Cars are floating. Boats are being used to navigate the streets in certain neighborhoods. It's mid July and I've resumed this post from when I started it a couple of weeks ago.
A cool front has swept our way. The sky is so overcast, the sun hasn't a chance of lifting the temperatures into the 90's. We have a respite for the moment. Tomorrow is another matter; it returns.

Monday we are supposed to leave for Galveston. I had hotel reservations made but I cancelled them. We still plan on making the trip and should the weather permit, we will be doing the water park there. I'm not too worried about rooms to rent. We can always stay in Texas City which is close by. We don't really do the beach scene while there. I'm not fond of Texas beaches and all the sand in the water and the seaweed strewn beaches. I can't talk the family into a Destin, Florida vacation. Nobody wants to "do the beach" but everybody wants to do the Schillterbahn (sp) Water Park.

A little note here on health:
Chemo was on Monday and a neulasta injection on Wednesday in the hopes of preventing my white blood cells from plummeting. I'm back to taking the Xelota pills which raise havoc with my stomach. After 5 days of the burning and belching and heartburn, I raced out to Peggy's house to collect the Carafate I had shared with her.
It makes a difference. I'll continue to take it while I'm taking the Xeloda. Other then being a bit tired, and the stomach issue, I have no complaints.

And on a another personal issue; I washed away the grey! Wednesday I made an appointment with a hair dressers and had my hair done. Foiled and wrapped up, she blonded it. I feel better. I don't know if I will keep it this color or revert back to my dark color but the color it won't be is grey.

I'm done here. My posts seem to be getting farther and farther apart. Maybe winter will cure those long gaps?

The Why

I remember dating. Not with the fondest of memories for a lot of that time. That time when your date arrived; you worried about small talk, gaps in conversation, sauce on your chin at dinner or spinach in your teeth. Ah yes, dating.

Dating leads to? I had my perimeters. A list, as such, that the men in my life had to adhere to.

1. I don't date men I meet in a bar. I don't want to continue looking for them there should this relationship develop into something permanent, and one never knows when "permanent" or "long term" will happen.

2. You must be employed with a track record of continuous employment. I'm raising one child; I don't need another.

3. You cannot have a record. Not the vinyl kind. The police blotter one. I will not hitch my wagon to someone with a felony or even worse, multiple felonies.

Number three still haunts me as I look around at the young women that, without hesitation, profess for the world to see their new love. He has a police record, a prison record and a history of unreliability that is no secret anyone and especially to this female.

What are they thinking? Finding employment, a place to live and a future with a felon? This was never going to be my preference. I would prefer to take my chances alone.

When the relationship sours; the felon reverts back to his usual behavior, the newness gone, the abuse starts. You get what you get. Nobody changes for someone else. Not even their children. Time and again, I've watched these people couple up and flame out, each one blaming the other for their unhappiness.
Your choice, your time, your life. Become an observer. It's a learning ..a life lesson. It's banking all that wasted time on something that is not going to change for YOU.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Maybe my paranoia was just that (see yesterday's post)
I've monitored the hits on this blog and yesterday's post was read by people around the globe so maybe my nervousness was unwarranted.

In addition to that, an online friend says the posts on scammers was being read because they were entertaining and humorous. I may have to go back and take them out of draft mode and republish them. I dislike censoring and censoring my own stuff even less. Usually when I post, if it's something critical, I will leave out names and just describe the action, surroundings and, of course, my opinion. Should you recognize yourself and become incensed, stop a moment and realize, only YOU recognize yourself and if others recognize you and contact you with the information, you might want to check yourself and the person reporting. How did they recognize YOU?
Hopefully, these blogs are more beneficial then destructive; more constructive and less judgmentals. Observations with a lot of descriptions.

I'm Just Nervous

A few months ago, more like a year ago, I posted a series of messages on here about scammers on Craigslist. The scammers have an automobile for sale and the excuses given for selling these autos run the gamut from the person being transferred via the military assignment to a car being owned by a person who expired in another vehicle and her family is selling her own car. The stories go on and on. The English used to post these is just a bit off in their sentence structure; you can notice by this they are not from this country and English is not their first language.

I started a post by contacting one and by playing with them. I dragged these correspondences out for post after post until the "seller' gave up, either because it was too much effort on their part or they realized they were being played with.

Lately those posts have been getting hits. A lot of hits. Too many hits too leave me comfortable with leaving those posts up. Today I decided to revert them to "draft" form so they wouldn't show up on my blog any longer. If someone finds this and was one of the frequent readers of those blogs and can give me a reason for all the attention they were getting, I might consider reposting all five of them.
I can't imagine any nefarious use of them but it makes me a bit leary when those posts were getting so many hits and from visitors from all over the world. I'm sure it wasn't because of my brilliant writing skills.

As of today, they will no longer be available for viewing unless someone (the visitors) explain their popularity.

Friday, June 27, 2014

She Rides!

Seven children growing up, we were lucky we were fed. It wasn't a matter of the parents not offering us food, but the problem was the cash flow. There wasn't one. I doubt if there was even a trickle when it came to cash. Toys were balls, bats, jacks, pickup sticks and a good imagination. Our playmates were our siblings. Our parents didn't arrange a play date with friends; they didn't have too. We had brothers and sisters a plenty.

I never had a bike but I remember foggily from my child brain of 8yrs old, the huge old rusty monstrosity that was my oldest brother's bike. I'm sure it wasn't purchased but given to him by a neighbor. Even he was too small for that huge bike. He couldn't sit on the seat but had to ride it by standing on the pedals. Of course it was much to huge for me and I don't remember ever trying to ride it. That's the totality of the memory of a bike when I was a child.

Eventually I did ride a bike but I was never comfortable on one. I didn't like for anyone to ride close to me and when April was a child, I remember the one ride I did with her. She, of course, was a child that always had a bike. She would zip around on it as kids will do. I remember telling her not to get close to me but she didn't listen and I remember putting that bike down when she zoomed up on me. That was the end of my bike riding which was never a lot to begin with. She got yelled at and probably didn't realize why I was so upset.

Fast forward, years and years later and I have a bike purchased for exercise. Eventually I too could zip around on it and I lost my fear of other riders too close or a car approaching and passing me. When my bike was stolen I replaced it. Recently replaced it. I haven't ridden it much yet. The weather is either too hot or too wet.

Both grandchildren learned to ride a bike at a very early age. Roller skates, bikes and skate boards, they took their lumps and never complained about the learning process.

Then along comes Carrie. Carrie is now 8 yrs. "almost 9". She has skates which she has never learned to use. She got her first bike with training wheels at the age of 4. She took a few spins on it but never got to the point where the training wheels could be removed. Carrie is not into anything that could cause pain.

The daughter, Carrie's mom, has felt as though the caboose called "Carrie" has been slighted. She felt it was her fault that Carrie didn't engage in physical activities and riding a bike should be part of her childhood.

Yesterday we gathered together at ye ole Walmart for a bit of bike shopping. The colors entranced Carrie. Her mother would pick out the bike Carrie indicated and Carrie would climb aboard. Mom would hold the bike up while Carrie "rode" down the aisle. Blue bikes with butterflies, iridescent  painted one, a pink one and a frosted purple number was tried.

We rolled out of Walmart with the frosted purple. From there the excitement of getting a bike took a nose dive. The concrete pad adjacent to the patio was used as a training ground. Because of the lack of runway, she would end up in the grass and bog down without ever getting into "traveling mode".

Today the daughter returned with Carrie in tow. When I returned from the bank, they were already here and Carrie was trying to navigate down the sidewalk. Hot and sweating and tearful, she had already dumped the bike a few times. When she ended up in the rose bush, she had had enough. Angrily she crawled off the bike and stomped toward the house.  Carrie still did not want to learn to ride a bike.
 Sidewalks are much too narrow for a beginner. I remember sidewalks and learning. We moved to the middle of the street.

Take off is the most difficult part of the ride. Spinning the pedal to the apex, we instructed her to press the pedal down and move the other foot to the opposite pedal as she reached the bottom of the circle. Though she understood, the execution took a while. With a little push she could keep the bike upright and with the added advantage of the wide road, she was pedaling along. I, in the meantime got my bike and rode along behind her.

Each time she stopped, she had to be helped to start again. At least she noted some progress and the tears had stopped. Her mom had collected another bike from the shed and rode in front of her. After a few more tries, she got it. She could take off from a standing stop all by herself. We were beyond pleased and relieved. We rode!

As we returned home below black rain filled clouds, she asked "Nanny, can we ride again tomorrow?"

"Of course Carrie. We can ride everyday!"

She is so proud of herself. I asked if she liked it and she smiled hugely and said "Yes!"

She rides! Today and tomorrow and hopefully for a long long time!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hands of Fire

Last Thursday was chemo day. I'm usually scheduled for Monday and a doctor visit with labs drawn and Tuesday for chemo. The clinic busted a water line and the whole thing was flooded causing every body's appointments to be forwarded to later in the week.

This was number 4 of the 6 treatments scheduled. Every three weeks I receive intravenous treatment and on the start of those treatments I start taking the oral chemo which continues for two weeks.

My hands are on fire. I have blisters lining the inner and outer aspects of each finger and more on the palms of my hands. The hands are reddened but not peeling which would be considered a side effect of this chemo. The hands itch. Scratching causes the skin to thin. I fight the scratching and liberally apply lotion. If it gets unbearable, I bury my hands in ice for temporary relief.

My stomach usually gets queasy for a week following the intravenous chemo. I'm on the downside of that right now. It's easing up a bit.
That's my clinical report on my "condition".

Now, on to more UNCLINICAL stuff.

Carrie is spending the night with me. We have an ongoing Scrabble game that rests on the coffee table where we settle down in the evening to play. We both agree to not finishing the game in one evening. We take breaks and return to it the next evening. Right now, the second grader is winning!

The rains are back and I'm grateful. It causes the temperatures to take a dip and provide some relief. It also causes me to mow more often. I'm up to twice a week on mowing. I love my lawn tractor.

I'm also on a cooking spree. Baked steak and gravy, and chicken Alfredo and chicken parmigiana with noodles have kept the a/c unit here working to keep that kitchen cool. I, of course, do not keep this food here. It's delivered to family and friends.

The husband remains in St. Francisville on a job that was supposed to last three days. We are on day 9 right now. The good thing is he is only a few hours from home. When I spoke with him last night he mentioned the next job was to be in Gonzales, La. Carrie and I will visit on that one and catch some motel pool time. He also mentioned some work in Colorado! I'm so excited. I want to go back to the Rockies for a while. I'm terribly homesick. None of those jobs are set in stone so I'll just have to wait to see what comes up.

I'm off here to get showered and dressed before Carrie creeps out of bed and requests her breakfast. I'm done here!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Lunch Date

A month slips by and the caller ID on my phone registers the caller. Louise is calling.

Louise is my friend, wife to the bass player for Sonny Landreth's band. I mention this as it will come into play later in this post.

Louise has her own musical history. "The Girls" band was comprised of her, her twin and another sister. Thirty years have passed but there are still people that remember them. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Louise then but music has played a large part in her life.

Louise was calling to arrange a lunch date. We chose an Indian restaurant, mainly because neither of our husbands would care to eat there so we take this opportunity to indulge and Friday (today) was selected.

We agreed to meet at Masala's ( )at 1100 hrs. Both of us are prompt on appointments. Within a few minutes of my arrival to the empty parking lot, Louise rolled in. We were early and the restaurant was not to open for another 15 minutes. In the shelter of some shade, we chatted for a while. She had bought me a pair of earrings from her recent trip to Guatemala. I removed the ones I was wearing, slipping the wires to the new ones through my ears. Perfect!

1100 hrs. and the doors unlocked. We were early which is done to beat the lunch rush.

I can't begin to name the foods we enjoyed. Chutney was one of the things I can name. A deep green sauce that we used to dip the Naan into, pungent and tasty. We  munched and chatted.

The manager was our waiter. We have been here before. The staff is well trained on explaining the menu and are happy to help with your selections. We ordered the Friday special.

About half way through our meal, I summoned our waiter. When he arrived, I requested more of the Chutney and the other sauce we were enjoying. Soon he returned with squeeze bottles of both sauces. Jokingly I asked "Do you have lids for these bottles so I can put them my purse?"

He laughed and said "My mother would do something like that."
I laughed and said "So would my mom. She was a little Italian lady that would have tagged those sauces."

His reply "My mom was a Parisian."

At this, Louise make an inquiry.
"What is your name?"

When he replied, she said "I took care of your mother!"

He came back and sat down beside her and wrapped his arms around her for a long hug. Misty eyed, he thanked her for all the care she had given his mom before she passed. I sat quietly and listened to him recount her final days. As nurses on an oncology unit, we are accustomed to encountering family members outside the hospital setting  who have lost love ones. Usually they become emotional and express their gratitude for the care given. This was one of those times.

Occasionally he would apologize for taking up our time. Louise and I assured him that it was fine and let him talk. Soon he was telling us stories of his parents, grandparents and great grandparents. How they (Giselle's parents) had escaped Paris during the war to move to Louisiana to be with their daughter Giselle.
 She was a war bride, her husband was from Lafayette. They met and married in Paris. Giselle's mother couldn't bear  to have her daughter so far away so they both left Paris and moved to Louisiana to be with her  and her new husband.

The father (Giselle's grandfather)  was left behind in Paris, telling his daughter and granddaughter, he would be fine. The Nazi's don't want old men. Paris was being occupied.

He was wrong. Grandfather was very kind to children. He enjoyed being around them and loved telling stories to the little children of Paris. It must have been very difficult what was to happen next.
 He, along with 400 children rode a train to Auschwitz  where they were immediately herded into the gas chambers and then to the ovens.

Giselle was a beautiful young French girl that attracted many friends here. She opened a cabaret and ran a very successful business. Soon the gay population begin to frequent her business.  They felt safe and accepted. This was in the 70's and 80's when there was little acceptance and much violence visted on the gay population. Apparently Paris was much more accepting and Giselle was Parisian. 

I listened totally enthralled. Occasionally he would look my way and apologize. Louise laughed and said "Oh, I'm sure she is having a great time. She loves history and she reads a lot!"

He scribbled on the paper table cloth the book written about his mother. As the conversation continues, he and Louise realize they have much in common. He remembers her from her band days. He grew up with Dave and Sonny and crosses path with Sonny occasionally. I sat back and watched them make connections with people they had in common, most of them in various local bands.

He scribbled again the name of his album and the band he was in now.

I ripped up the paper table cloth after each entry and returned home with scraps of reference material.

As we were leaving, he asked us to return to continue our conversation. In about a month, Louise will call again to schedule another lunch date. We will meet at Marsala's and this time we will include the waiter in our plans.

Louise and I laughed as we crossed the parking lot to our vehicles. We enjoyed our selves and the waiter and are looking forward to our next lunch date!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Taking it Off...

When did it become "not so important" to be svelte, long and lean? It wasn't a conscious decision. It wasn't an immediate happening.

My strict "no carb" way of living and portion control gave way to potatoes, rice and gravy and chocolates in uncontrolled amounts. Cakes and cookies soon followed. Dining at a buffet, restricted to once a month if at all, was now not given a thought to the last time visited. Wonderful French breads and pastries, shrimp or oyster po'boys on these French breads; it should come as no surprise the change of diet since moving to this part of the USA and the size of clothing I now wear. Add cracklins and boudain and all was lost.
Subtract all the physical exercise that is no longer part of my daily routine and we have a recipe for disaster.

Two major surgeries, lots of carbs and large portions along with nada on the exercise and I'm calling a halt to the craziness.

I've decided to eliminate. One week it's the pastas, the next I subtract the sweets and breads all the while watching portions. It didn't take long to drop six pounds.

I'm trying to set a realistic goal of "taking it off" and not become discouraged at the time I know this will take. I don't want to tag this as a "diet" as we all know diets never work. I prefer to call it "a change to healthier eating habits".
I start my mornings with one strip of bacon and one or two scrambled eggs. No longer do I have the two slices of toast smothered in butter and strawberry jam. The oblong of hash browns went the way of the toast and jam. Protein, protein, and more protein. Lots of green veggies with a meat for lunch and dinner.
The husband, who loves to cook, has to be reined in on what to cook now. Sometimes he will prepare two separate meals as in his dinner last night. He had tacos carbon, grilling the skirt steak on the grill and wrapping them in corn tortillas while my grilled T-bone steak cooked alongside his skirt steak. A little steamed broccoli and a T-bone and I was more then satisfied. This way of eating agrees with me as what I give up is the things I like least to eat. I'm a meat and veggies person; preferring to give up desserts and breads for those two things.
I'm trying to increase my intake of water, another difficult thing for me to do. I don't ingest enough liquids of any kind.

Pulled pork is on the menu for today. I'll have mine sans sandwich bread with fresh cauliflower.

When eating out, portion control will be practiced. "To Go" containers will be utilized, providing multiple meals for the days following. Restaurant portions are outlandishly huge.

Bike rides and walks around the neighborhood for a little exercise and DISTRACTION.

20 days to break a habit? Hopefully, snacking will be one of the habits broken.
It's time to ride. The rain has abated for the moment but will soon return. I must get moving.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chemo #3 in 2014

Last week I had a lab and a doctors appointment. The white blood cells were too low to do chemo. Instead I was put on antibiotics. Another appointment was scheduled for labs today. Usually labs are done on Tuesday and chemo on Wednesday. Today the labs were good and they shipped me right over to the infusion center which I wasn't expecting.

While waiting I decided I would take Klonopin (sp). I stuck my finger in the bottle, one stuck to my finger which was transferred to my mouth. A sip of water and I thought I had swallowed it. When I stood up at my name being called, a pill rolled off me and hit the floor. Not being one adverse to the 5 second rule of blowing on it and ingesting it, I grabbed it and swallowed it. I thought that it was the one I had put in my mouth earlier and it had escaped. Thinking back, I realized the one on the floor was DRY. Had it been in my mouth and slipped out, would it not have been a bit moist?
I slept through most of the chemo administration. Something I have never done before. Based on that, I surmise that was an extra pill that stuck to my finger upon extraction from the pill bottle.

I slept most of the afternoon when I got home.

A quick bike ride in the misting rain, and then dinner of a grilled chicken and salad for my healthy eating goal.

One more chore. I went out and cleaned some more on the shed. It is neat and tidy and the Treks were stored there for safety. There has been a lot of home invasions lately and leaving those bikes behind the locked 8ft board fence still doesn't leave me comfortable with them being there. I'm going to find the keys to that "little house" (shed) and lock it up. Thieves are everywhere now and armed and dangerous. Big towns and little towns, it makes no difference.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's Heating Up Here in the Deep South!

..and what better time then to spend it on a bike in the hot sunshine, slathered in sweat and seeking a breeze by pedaling quickly along the route.

I will be doing early morning and late afternoon rides. We went to Capital Bike yesterday and bought the bike I had looked at last week. A 17.5 frame Trek Verve 1. A nice solid black, the hybrid rides softly and quickly.

I haven't rode for over a year. The past week has found me walking. I'm determined to get some strength back in my legs. The bike will help with this too. A friend in the neighborhood wants to ride with me but that won't happen for a while. He can clip off 30 miles on a ride. I'm lucky to do 2 miles right now.

By direction of the husband, I downloaded an app for my phone called Bike Meter. You can mount your phone on your bike and turn on that app and it will clock your mileage and the route you take and the calories burned. I won't have to buy a trip meter. I did buy a water bottle carrier this morning. My 2 mile trip found me stopping at the one mile mark for water with a friend and on the way back another stop. 

We just got back from a ride. A whole mile and a lot of sweat and I was exhausted. The quads were burning. I'm so disgusted that I have lost all the strength gained from riding over a year ago. I'll continue to add a little more mileage..or at this rate, feet and yards to my trips.

I've also dropped the top on the roadster and taken it out a few times. It is one of the vehicles on recall because of the ignition thing but I've been told that using just the key only in the ignition should allow it to be safe to drive. Should you hear of me eating a big ole oak tree here, please notify someone that the "key only" information was bogus.
I'm off to the daughters' house to see Carrie. I'll not be on the bike on this trip. My legs have had enough for today!


Friday, May 23, 2014

New Goals

The past year has been one of two major surgeries, long runs of chemo and days of pure exhaustion from the chemo and surgeries.

Big surprise that I have very little stamina. Walking the block and a half to my neighbors left me looking for a place to sit and rest. My quads were screaming, I was huffing along concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, eyes on the concrete and the house in the distance that was my goal.  I had to walk back to.

 The next day I repeated this journey and was able to pick up the pace though the quads were still screaming. It must be as clear to you as it is to me, getting that stamina back is going to be  an ongoing thing. I'm determined.

The shed that needed cleaned and was my goal yesterday got done this morning. I had to take a long break afterwards. I had moved stuff from the shed to the road way where the child's bike was hurriedly picked up by the drive bys. The bike was in excellent shape but outgrown by Carrie.

I'm on my way for a pedicure this afternoon and maybe a haircut. Both are seriously needed. That's my Friday plan!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Galveston, Oh Galveston

It's Schlitterbalm time! The trip is on! Each year at this time we celebrate Ted's birthday by a trip to Galveston to visit the huge water park there. Carrie loves it. This year we are enjoying Lesie along with us.
This park allows you to bring in a cooler. Mine has wheels as the trudge across the park can be long.
Travel will be a big part of this year hopefully. The husband has been so busy the past few years; the chemo has kept me grounded close to home. We have trips planned to celebrate the end of treatment and to spend some of those paychecks that have been put away. I still need to shop for a new car, something I dread doing again.

In the fall we will be going abroad. We are making plans to return to Italy and maybe this time to Greece. Statewide travel will be a trip "out west". California here we come!
Hopefully summer trips will be with the kids close to home; maybe weekends or whenever the grandchildren can schedule time off from their jobs.
Ted finishes his second year of college and will matriculate on into the University this coming fall. Carrie will move into the third grade.
It seems the older they get, the busier and the less time we get to spend together. We now have to schedule our summer outings around when they can get time off from their jobs.
Ted and Lesie make phone calls to check on me and occasionally I find them at my door, stopping by for a cold drink and a quick hug.
It's time for some park fun!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Good Morning Monday!

I have been slacking. Not only have I been slacking but I've been slack. Chemo run and a  hemorrhoid visit was on Wednesday. It was a busy day. Just some FYI....banding a hemorrhoid is painless. It's a bit embarrassing to have it done; the position and the area of focus leaves one wishing they were miles away. The good part of this is that it only takes about 60 seconds to perform this procedure. I, the ever curious, watched it on You Tube. This might not be for everyone. Moving along...

I slept. Thursday, Friday and Saturday I could be found tangled in sheets and blankets, remote control in hand, sometimes asleep and sometimes gazing numbly at the television. The Chemo tires me. My red blood cell count is low adding to the exhaustion I feel. Occasional bouts of nausea minus vomiting and I'm hiding out for those days.

Sunday was the day I promised myself to get showered and dressed in street clothes. Shedding the pajamas, showered and dressed, I reentered the world of the "stressed out, employed and serving the public" world.

I shopped. Boring stuff like paper towels in cases, toilet paper in cases, these things I stock up on and the supply was running low. Our temperatures have exceeded 80 degrees and it felt good to be out in the sunshine.

It's 0400 hrs. and I've made a early start to this day. I plan on staying out of bed and on the move. I'll busy myself with washing and cleaning autos. I'm done with slacking.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Warning, Wild Child About

The head of tousled blonde curls and the angelic face hid the behavior that was to be witnessed.

We watched as the door to the house was commandeered as a toy. The storm door had it's turn at being abused before the "typical two year old" turned his attention to the wooden door that was sheltered by that storm door. Over and over the doors were opened and shut, banging loudly while the parent sat and watched. We watched as this child became angry and slashed his hands across the table holding his toys, sending them careening about the room and bouncing off one of the house guests. Occasionally his mother would smile as he performed one of these behaviors and remark "He's just a typical two year old."  I doubt that she believed this even as she was making this excuse.

I had reports of what to expect. Apparently one of my siblings had visited while the mother was out and about and left this child to be babysit by her mother. The sibling that appeared for that visit observed for a while before she got up and smacked the little hands that were busy destroying the kitchen. She asked him to stop a few times to no avail. Soon the hands were being smacked, much to his dismay I'm sure. His grandmother issued the same warning by smacking his hands; something that would not have been allowed had that child's parent been there.
Time outs are the punishments this little one gets. Not a few but many many time outs.

A few swats might make him grow up to be an aggressive adult? 

 We watched as he attacked with his fists and fingernails, his parent and grandparent. As his grandmother pulled him away from the door and picked him up, he was facing way from her. He reached back with his hands and raked his nails down her face and throat. As she delivered him back to his parent, she could be seen running her hands down her face and throat checking for blood. The mother inquired of her mother "Does he need a time out for that?"
Soon he was back in the house and on the sofa by his parent. He became angry and started pummeling her with his fists followed by raking her face with his nails.
"Oh no *******. You will have to have a time out for that".

 I would suggest that his aggressiveness isn't going to wait until he is an adult. More time outs. Six and a half hours later and many time outs meted out to this 'typical two year old' and I knew it was time to take a break. I was warned. Warned by others that had witnessed the behavior of this child and his parent.

This child needs some boundaries. He has no clue as to where he should stop. The parent shirks that responsibility of setting those boundaries and the child races from one object to another never finding a boundary or an "edge". There is no stopping place for him.

It will be interesting to monitor, from afar, this child's growth and development.
I was warned.

Soon someone reading this blog notified the parent. She didn't bother reading this post, but only relied on what she had been fed by the person who recognized this post as "the child". The parent went ballistic. She didn't believe that people were talking about her child's behavior. I received many messages from her pouring poison on "how I could attack her child". My question then remains, since no names were mentioned, how anyone knew this blog was about her child? Was it the specific descriptions of his behavior that had been witnessed by people on prior visits?

Email after email was fired at me. Hurling insults after insults and even attacking Carrie's physical appearance, her time spent on the computer, and stories heard about me from the family. This is a family I have lived 2000 miles from for the past 43 years with infrequent contacts and fewer trips back to the town I was raised in. She assured me she had witnesses to all her rants. As usually my responses to bullshit, I didn't retaliate with any meaness though I was accused of being mean by posting the behavior of that unsupervised child. She even said she checked with "those that were supposedly talking about her child" and they said I was a liar. I've since talked to these same people and they haven't heard from her.
The point is, please get some control of that child now. This will only get worse and harder to reverse as time goes on.
When you take your two year old child to visit someone and they post "he is very inquisitive, that translates to "he is into everything". When that same statement is made about a 8 yr. old, it usually means they are "questioning" everything. Read between the lines people. If your child is destroying everything while on a visit to other people's home, your child is out of control and the blame lies with YOU.