Saturday, February 27, 2010

For The Birds

I have been watching and feeding birds that are only passing through. It may be a little uninteresting to some, but I get excited when I see them all gathered around the feeders, or in a tree.

The Cedar Waxwings are only here for a day or so, on their way north. They were gorging themselves on the Bradford Pear fruit and trying to dodge the local Mockingbird, who considered this his own personal grocery store.

It's funny. When we lived out in the country, with more birds than you could imagine, I wasn't nearly as interested in birdwatching as I am now. Of course, I didn't have a digital camera then either, so taking photos of them was almost impossible.

The Goldfinches have been here for a week or more. I'm surprised they haven't disappeared, because they too are on their way north.

As you can see, there are so many empty sunflower shells, that I need to clean the area up a bit. I have raked some of them off, but obviously I need to work a little harder.  The Goldfinches like feeding from the ground though, so I'll probably wait until they move on.

Today should be pretty warm and nice... a perfect day for yardwork. Alas, it's still too soon to start planting, and my neck pain issue is not resolved. I may need to hold off on any raking until I see a doctor. Oh bother.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Ode to An Egg

Oh, Cadbury Egg.
You rock my world.
Every year, I wait for the Easter season, just so I can consume mass quantities.
Of you.

You are so chocolatey.
You are so smooth and creamy.
You are so sweetly eggy.
And you are colorful too.

Come to me now.
I implore you to ruin my healthy eating desires.

Bahk, Bahk.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Whine

Ok, gonna whine a bit. So either grab the cheese or look away.

The gumballs are still in the trees, waiting to fall when I'm not looking so that I will have to sweep them yet again.  And all the sweeping I did on Saturday, wreaked havoc with my poor aging body. I now have what I believe is a pinched nerve in my neck. Sleeping the last three nights has been impossible. There is no comfortable position I can find, except sitting straight up.  It is slowly trying to get better, so at least there is hope at the end of the pain tunnel.

They mock me.

I promised my Mom I'd take her shopping for Little Man and out to lunch for her birthday. Today is the day and I really don't feel much like it. But, I am going anyway. I was going to wait until Saturday, which is her of birth, but things didn't work out.

 I'm irritated at myself for not ordering a specific fabric LeLe and I agreed on, until it was out of stock. Nice.  Now I must find another one somewhere. She and I both are tired of looking at swatch after swatch.

SR and I need to do some bank business, but the banks all close their lobby at 4:00. How is a working person supposed to do any banking?

My house is a wreck. I haven't felt like doing anything but taking drugs and laying around trying to find a comfortable position. Thus, I can see my footprints in the dust on the floor.

I have all these projects in my head that need to be done, and can't get started on them yet.

The nice warm weather left. Bleh. I know it's only February but in Arkansas, Spring shows up early. Not this year. 

I'm hungry. All. The. Time.

I hope this purging helps my attitude. Living with irritable B is no fun. Being irritable B is no picnic either.
I think I'll go over to Seam Rippers and make a list of projects that need doing....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gumballs and Roses

The last two weeks have been very intense and we are finally able to relax and think about getting back to normal. Whatever normal is, I suppose. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. The skies were a clear blue, the temperature was in the lower 60s even though there was a bit of a wind. It was a perfect day for a funeral, if there can be a perfect day.

The hospice chaplain led the simple graveside service and he did a wonderful job. I keep thinking that it was so obvious that God had His hand in everything, because we immediately felt that this man was a long time friend. He was friendly, kind, and easy to be yourself around. He listened to conversations around him, and mentioned them in his speech, and even mentioned the dream aunt told me she had about searching for her sister and mother.  He listened.

We chose pink roses for her casket spray. It was so gorgeous I could hardly stand it. Later yesterday afternoon, SR and I went back to the cemetery and I picked a few of them out of a matching spray and brought them home.

You may feel that talking about a funeral is morbid. But, it's a celebration really. The chaplain reminded us that aunt is now reunited with her sister and mother and family she has outlived. That is a happy thing.

Later yesterday afternoon, SR and I went outside, just to get a little exercise and escape from sitting around, as we have been doing for the last few weeks. The gum balls in our back yard must number in the gazillions and we raked a few piles up and discarded them. There are more, and I hope to get back out there sometime today.  I finally got a decent night's sleep last night, but my body is still fighting fatigue, so I'll have to force myself. 

There are so many things I want to be doing, and the energy is just not forthcoming. Yard work, sewing, reorganzing clutter and doing some more purging. (Remember, I'm  the purge queen. ) And it's time to help LeLe get the baby's room in order.  I'll leave you with this shot of J and myself from yesterday, and I'll get my hiney in gear....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gone Home

Our beloved aunt went to be with our Lord at 7:55 this morning.  We rejoice that she is now in the presence of the Living God, and are thankful to Him for his strength during this time. Thank you for your prayers during this long episode.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

At Loose Ends...

It's hard to know what to do, when you are waiting on someone to meet the Lord. You sit and stare into space, you fidget, you watch each labored breath, you pace. When you aren't with your loved one, you wring your hands, wondering if you should be there, what you should do while you are at home, but you really can't find the brain power to concentrate on much of anything.

We watch as the breathing gets slower and harder. Each time there is a pause, we are startled, wondering if it will resume. We tell each other to go home for a while and get some rest, but no one really wants to leave, and no one really wants to be there either.  We pray for God to do our will, and not His own.

I always repeat to myself that He gives us what we need as we need it. And He never gives us a burden that He doesn't give us the strength to carry. That is the only thing that keeps us going.

So, I find myself at loose ends. I do a little housework along, I go back and forth to keep watch, I work a little on mindless tasks to fill the time. I fret for it all to be over, long for God's peace to fill all of us, including our loved one.  Time seems to stand still, but we still understand that He is in control. 

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's Happening

I thought I'd finally let you all know what's happening. Anyone remember the retro sitcom with the tall skinny black kid that wore black framed glasses? He was called Raj, and his sidekick was an overweight black kid who wore a tam, and they called him Rerun? It was called "What's Happening?"  This has absolutely nothing to do with my post. But it wouldn't leave my brain, so I had to let it out. If you remember that show, raise your hand....

Ok, the real deal is that SR and I have been at St. Vincent with his great aunt since Friday last. We spent several nights at the Guesthouse Inn, which is located on the hospital campus. It made things a lot easier for us, even though I did spent two night in the room with her.  I mentioned in an earlier post about her condition, and I won't bore you all with specifics, but she is now back at the nursing home under Hospice care.  It's been a long hard road.

While at the hospital, Aunt had a young nurse named Meng. She was born in Thailand and is the cutest little thing. She bent over backward to give us what we asked for, to come running when we called, and she was entertaining in between. I had to laugh, as she is engaged to a guy named "Bob" and she is afraid to set a date. She told me she was afraid they would wake up one day and ask, "Wat em I do-en wid dis pu-son?" I just told her that is when you decide to buckle down and do what it takes to get through it and make it work. She just grinned.

Ever notice that mirrors are all different? The two I use most at my house either make me look larger, or make me look smaller than I really am. The ones at the guesthouse seemed to be pretty true, not distorted. One was on the door of the bathroom, and when you left the door open, you could see the reflection of your back in the vanity mirror. Now this could be a frightening thing, but it showed me that maybe, just maybe I'm not as large and globby as I pictured myself. I will go with that, even if it is a fairy tale.

And of course the campus and hotel were No Smoking. There were signs everywhere. Someone didn't know how to read. Mainly the desk clerk. Although she tried to hide it, when you went in the front door, you had to navigate through a cloud of cigarette smoke. Our floor and room smelled nice and clean though.

It's strange that the attending physician never really told us anything. He always asked us questions and we had discussions, but after he left, SR and I would look at each other and ask what the doctor said about Aunt. He never gave us a diagnosis, never told us what he thought was happening. I supposed that meant he knew the end was near and he wanted to comfort us. Who knows? The Palliative Care doctor was more informative than the attending. He asked a few questions, then agreed that it was time for hospice.

SR and I are beyond tired. But, getting to finally sleep at home, in our own beds helped tremendously. The next few days will be draining as we wait. He is on vacation until Tuesday, so he doesn't have to worry about missing work, while he spends time with her. I will be doing a bit of housework, getting replacement milk and eggs that spoiled while we were gone, and waiting for him to call.

So, now we are up to speed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chemo and Shopping

It's a little after 6:00 in the a.m. and I've been awake for quite some time. Some nights are like that, especially when I've had caffeine during the day. My own blasted fault I suppose. I make poor choices when I'm away from home. Well, I make poor choices at home too... anyway....

Yesterday was a long day away from home. Sister #2 went with me to take Mom to her monthly chemo. There was a moment or two of agony, as they accessed her new port for the first time since it was installed. She said it hurt worse than them digging in her arm for veins. So, the nurse, (who by the way was mortified it hurt so badly) suggested we contact the doctor for numbing cream. Which I promptly did. Next time Mom is to rub the cream into her port area 30 minutes prior to being stabbed. This time Mom got just a little woozy headed for some reason. But, she never got nauseas and was able to go with us to do a bit of shopping afterward.

While she was in the lab with the IV, Sister and I ran out to West Little Rock to J.C. Penney's. I am in such desperate need of clothing, that I decided to bite the bullet and grab a few things. I almost had my Penney's card paid off. Oh well. I bought a pale pink simple pullover sweater with quarter sized while polka dots, a white and bright aqua blue cardigan with a matching shell,

and a v-necked tunic top with a white shell to hide the girls, because it was very low cut. 

Since I haven't needed work clothes, and since the last work clothes I had were scrubs, I've been living in stretchy knit clothes that are comfortable for yard work, house work and gym workouts. I've been wearing the same dress outfit to everything. Funerals, church, showers... so I thought I'd best find something else before that one outfit bit the dust.

After that, we went to Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge, Walmart and Sam's. Sister is in charge of the policemen's charity ball next weekend, and we were looking for supplies and ideas. I'm scheduled to help her with the floral arrangements and decorating. Wish me luck!

It was late when we finally made it home and I was a tired puppy. But it was a good day all things considered.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Age is Relative

A very sweet thing happened to me today, and it made me think. It made me think a lot. I attended the funeral of an uncle this morning with my mother and one of my sisters.  It was my mother's brother-in-law, and although I knew him, he never really participated in any family functions over the years.  As we were going down the line, speaking with my aunt and her in-laws, my uncle's sister overheard my mother introduce my sister and me to someone else. I hugged my aunt and spoke to her, and then turned to this sister. I held out my hand to shake hers, but she grabbed me, hugged me and then looked up at me with a beautiful smile and said, "You are a pretty girl."  As I was driving back home, smelling her old lady perfume on myself, I thought that age really is relative.

Sometimes I feel young, but I'm not.

I'm 51 years old. Sometimes I want to look younger, but I can't. I can see the wrinkles adding up in the mirror.  Sometimes I want to have the energy and life I had when I was younger, but it has slowly seeped out like air from a balloon.

One of my uncle's sisters had to be in her 70s, but she looked like a picture in a magazine. She was absolutely gorgeous, and my mother told us she had been a model in her youth. She was tall and very graceful. Oh, how I wish I could be like that when I'm that age. (Ha! I'll sure never be tall at only 5')

Time marches on, and it takes its toll on all of us. To me, I feel I am beginning to age pretty quickly. To my children, I'm just Mama and one day they will all of a sudden look at me and wonder when I became old.

I wonder how my grandson will see me. I was thinking of my grandmother today too. I made the comment to my sister that she was a pretty woman. If she'd had help with her makeup, she could have been striking. I'd never had that thought before.

Aging is a part of life. As a matter of fact, if you aren't aging, you are dead. Right? Or you have a cracker jack plastic surgeon.

This isn't just about how you look when you age, but how you feel. I'm trying to come to grips with the age thing. It's hard, but there's nothing you can do but accept it and live. If you dwell on it, you make yourself miserable. Today, I was a girl again. And those kind of days are priceless.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Birds

During the last ice-capade, I had ample opportunity to birdwatch. I suppose any wild berries would have been covered in ice, so my bird feeders got a good workout. 

It really doesn't look to cosy with the icicles hanging, but it was a very popular place.  I kept trying to catch a chicadee, but they flit in and out so quickly, I had a very hard time being fast enough. I finally got one this morning.

The Goldfinches must be migrating, because I haven't seen them since last fall. It's all or nothing with them. Lots at one time, then they disappear.  We have house finches all year round though, and they are a pretty dark red and brown.

It's very dark, but you can see the red one on the right and the gold one on the left.

Can you find the snowbird in the following photo??

He's hard to spot among all the gum balls. We've swept them up twice so far, but they keep a-coming. Yesterday as I was returning from Little Rock, the sun was shining at times, and the ice on the hardwood trees was glistening like crazy. I wished I had my camera so I could catch that. It looked like a picture on a calendar.  Almost all the ice is gone now, and it's a slushy mess in my back yard. We have a lot of work to do now, since all the limbs have fallen.