Thursday, August 31, 2006
I went to the Kitty Bedroom, and she immediately dove under the bed. I went after her. I heard the "thump" which meant she ran downstairs. So I went down the stairs after her. I searched and searched. All I knew is that G said she went into the entry hall.
I checked the dinning room, which at this point is the staging area for donations to our local charity. It is chocked full of hand me downs from MIL. No Sasha. So I headed for the living room. I finally saw her under a chair. I put up the baby gate so it wouldn’t be as easy for her to get away, but get away she did. G couldn’t catch her.
It was back upstairs. That meant I made the trip up twice in ten minutes. Not a good thing at all. I got smart and closed all the doors up there. She dashed back down the stairs. Moan.
This time she headed for the living room again. When I tried to get her, she ran into the utility room - or at least in that area. We searched and searched. We couldn’t find her at all. I swear she can become invisible. All this is happening while I am trying to watch the Spike Lee documentary. Drat.
As I am searching for the dear, sweet kitty, G announces he is going to bed. How dare him! He left me to find the da*m cat!
So I gathered all three baby gates to barricade the open doorway to the den. She wouldn’t be able to get back to the stairs. Ha! Can’t out fox me little kitty.
After a bit, I turned off the TV and sat very quietly so she would think I had gone to bed also and come out. Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
When Simone had to go out at 6:30 (thank you my princess dog - even though I had slept only about 3 hours), there were no signs of anything having committed suicide. Hmmm. I think I was out foxed.
My knees and (gasp) hips were hurting so badly I was not able to get into a comfortable position to sleep. So last night I, as I said just went to bed. At 5:30 this morning, nothing had been killed, but by 7:30 she had struck again.
I have a plan for tonight. I will enter Kitty Bedroom - and close THAT door.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The first night she thought she was safe. She was upstairs in the "guest room" that has become the cat bedroom. She was on the far side of the bed, and I know she was thinking she was perfectly safe. In my search for her I began in the craft room, carefully closing doors as I went. I went through the connecting bath, where I was infuriated to find they had pulled the shower curtain down, into the cat bedroom. There she was. I grabbed her, and she promptly kept her hind claws in my shirt all the way down.
Last night she was investigating the new litter pan I put in the Kitty Jail. She went in all by herself - twice. That was about 8 P.M. G said it was really to early to put her in, so I left her out. When it came time for bed, she was no where to be seen. We closed up as much can be closed downstairs. Our house is really open and flowing and that is the reason for the Kitty Jail in the first place. I searched upstairs. No Sasha.
When Simone had to go out at 3:30 A.M., there Sasha was. Sleeping in G’s chair. After opening the door for Simone, I swooped Sasha up and deposited her in the Kitty Jail. I think I was able to preempt her boredom that leads to assisted suicides around here.
Oh and Simone - I think she has another UTI! Dr. H, here we come again!
Monday, August 28, 2006
We stopped taking him to a restaurant because the enchiladas are served boiling hot, but that wouldn’t stop him. He would begin eating as soon as they were placed in front of him. I imagine it was like eating molten lava.
Last year we brought him enchiladas for his birthday. It was obvious how the disease had ravaged his brain. We had to feed him. He could not remember how to eat the food. Like all the other symptoms I had observed over the years, I tried to ignore it. I told myself he was just distracted by all the people who were there. Then, just four months later, he was seriously ill. He had pneumonia - probably inspiration pneumonia. He had forgotten how to swallow.
I doubt I will live long enough not to be sad on August 28. I will remember Daddy’s birthday and be sad for the rest of my life. I will not have the time to heal as I have with my mother. She has been dead since 1972. I still remember her birthday, but the pain has subsided a great deal. I think of her, but there is not the terrible loneliness. Perhaps I feel more grief with Daddy’s passing because now I have no living parents.
I guess that is silly. After all, I am 61 years old, and this is the cycle of life. As my children will always be my babies. As long as I have life, they will be my babies. So I was still my Daddy’s baby, and I thought he would be with me forever.
Happy Birthday Daddy.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
When it got to Hutchins, it got to lay over for four hours. I guess the poor kid on the bike was really tired. Then it made it to Houston another four hours later. I am poor at geography, and I don’t have a clue where Hutchins is, but that seems like it must be a long way away.
When they said "ground shipment" they really meant it. I think I could have driven to La Grange, picked it up, and driven back here in five days. Even the U S Postal service used planes to carry the mail to another state. A letter makes it in about two days. This is really pretty sorry service.
But regardless, it’s here! Sasha spent her first night in Kitty Kat Prison, and let’s just say she was not a content kitty. We don’t think she slept at all. Perhaps she will warm more to it tonight, but I doubt it
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I wish that you who do not live in the greater Houston area could access our local television stations. If I knew how to link to a previous post (I am woefully lacking these days in technological skills), I would send you to the post about Tropical Storm Chris. Our weather people were so thrilled about the prospect of it hitting us which means hours and hours of coverage of the reporters standing in thigh deep water while telling us not to be so foolish.
When the wave formed off the African coast, the weather people began salivating. They did everything to make it into a category whatever and bring it right to us. When it failed to strengthen as much as they predicted, you could practically see the disappointment in their eyes. When it moved out into the mid-Atlantic, they were devastated. They had no news. Let’s face it. The weather here is hot and moist. You could rubber stamp the forecast. High in the upper 90's, low in the mid to upper 70's with a 20% chance of rain.
Now we have Tropical Storm Eduardo. The weather people here keep reverting to all the possible computer generated paths it could take, and of course, they keep focusing on the one that will head directly into Galveston Bay which would bring it right over the greater Houston area.
I am not a meteorologist, but I have taught some meteorology. I have lived here for over thirty years. I have watched these storms. I have learned that due to the upper winds and the rotation of the earth, the storms in the Gulf usually end up turning easterly when they are approaching shore. The predicted path that is averaged for this particular storm does just that.
In the mean time, we will watch these clowns try to push this storm right to us. I swear if they had the means to do it, that is exactly what they would do So we get a few days of watching these giddy people on the tube try to maneuver this storm with the excuse of keeping us informed.
Friday, August 25, 2006
In other breaking news, Sasha has gotten a bit of a reprieve from her impending prison sentence. The pet store is shipping the said prison (a $150 cat play house) from Illinois. I think it is coming by way of a mule train because it was ordered on Monday and is not due until tomorrow. Perhaps they set the person out on foot to deliver it here to Texas. I want it now! She is driving me completely crazy.
Another thought in my head is I don’t understand is the fuss being made over removing Pluto from the category of planet. I am a scientist, and as we further out knowledge things change! Pluto simply doesn’t fit the characteristics of a planet. There is talk about the possible finding of other planets. Instead of nine, there may be twenty. Please people. Open your minds.
Well the weekend is upon us, and I hope you all have pleasant plans to rest and refresh yourselves.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I’ll bet you can see where this is going! Yep, I’m going to talk about my dreams. I often have really vivid dreams. Many times I am teaching a class - usually chemistry. That’s hard work!
I’m not usually rested after trying to instruct thirteen year olds how chemical compounds are formed. Other times working in dreams is often doing my genealogy and I am diligently trying to track down some ancestor.
Sometime I have really scary dreams that I don’t really remember fully, but I have the sensation that I cannot move. I need to move, react, but I simply can’t. I am panicked. In that dream, I scream, but apparently I really don’t because G doesn’t ask me what the heck is going on!
The dreams that make me sad are the ones about those in my family that have died. My most recent was about my dad. I guess the in laws are weighing so heavily on my mind, their situation combined with thoughts about my dad. I am seeing some of the same signs of dementia in FIL.
I went to San Antonio to stay in the house I grew up in. I do still own it, and it is rented.
Anyway, my renters allowed me to stay there while they were gone. I didn’t say my dreams make sense. My dad was in that house, and I was so wondering how in the world he could function on his own. Then we went to scene two where he was in his own apartment. I still marveled at his seeming ability to manage because he was so demented at the end of his life.
I woke and was terribly sad. I still miss him so much. I would have thought after losing him gradually over the span of about ten years I wouldn’t miss him so deeply. At least I can see him, renewed, in my dreams.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Shasha is the cat who loves to assist in suicides. Most of the suicides really are murder. She loves to push things off the surface they sit on to the floor. It doesn’t matter what the object is. A glass that was accidently left out, scissors, jewelry that was not put away, pictures. Anything.
Last night, rather this morning at 4:30 am she pushed a glass (plastic fortunately) from the drain board to the floor. We were aware of this because we use a baby monitor so we can hear if something does happen in the front of the house. You see because Sebastian, the other cat, loved to stomp around on us as we try to sleep. To keep him out, we close our door. With the fan running, we can’t hear anything in the front of the house.
She has pushed me far enough. I’m afraid she will go after lamps and so on next. There is no way I can remove everything that is sitting on a surface in my house.
The story on the cats is that we were supposed to keep them for a short while when my son and his wife moved in with her mother to save money and get rid of their debt. That was two years ago. They are still in debt and living with her mother. I was going to be out of the cat business when my old, blind eighteen year old cat died. Well, he died last year, and I still have cats.
But Shasha has been sentenced. I know there was no jury, and perhaps the judge is not impartial. Her jail, otherwise known as a "cat playpen" is on its way. Prison, yes, the death penalty it’s not!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
At first it wasn’t clear, but suddenly it became very clear what they meant. MIL said "we TOLD you." They decided on Friday they were moving back to their house. I was in the little kitchen getting the meal ready, and I felt like someone literally hit me in the stomach. I couldn’t believe it. G was angry. He was very angry. I was just shocked.
My first reaction was that I had to call G’s brother and his wife. They had left their house in the country by that time, and there is a time when there is no cell phone service. So I left a message. Meanwhile, G is expressing his concern about their safety. At first MIL is sounding all for it. She argues that they will be fine.
Later she calls me outside. FIL has finally worn her down. He has been such a grump and so disagreeable that she finally caved in. She can’t live with him like this, but she won’t stay in the apartment without him.
FIL kept talking about how much the apartment cost while they have "a three bedroom brick home with a huge back yard." He said they had spent $4000 the first month. He wouldn’t listen to the fact that most of that was deposits and so on. He said they could use that amount to modify their house. He will rework the bathroom. Not for $4000. Add at least $10,000 to it. Plus, I don’t know what they will use for a bathroom while that is being done. He is going to add a ramp to the garage. Their house is at least a foot off the ground. The ramp will be so steep she can’t use it!
As we were leaving, FIL walked us out. G told him his fear was that his mother would fall, break her hip, and have to go to a nursing home. FIL said "she needs to be in a nursing home." With his contempt for nursing homes, that was a real insult to her. He then ranted about how everyone is concerned for her well being and happiness, no one is concerned about his happiness.
With this change in personality, his shuffling gait, forgetting things that happened recently, he doesn’t need to be in a single family house away from help. He certainly doesn’t need to be driving. He is 87. I so worry about what is going to happen.
The children have unanimously decided that if this is what he is going to do, then he will have to be the one to do it. He will have to get the contractor, and he will have to orchestrate the move. They all decided this is not a safe thing, and they will not contribute to the nonsense. Of course, the one who will suffer the most is MIL. She really needs to stay where she is, or even better go to a real assisted living facility. I just pray there is no incident where we have to intervene as I had to with my dad and V.
Friday, August 18, 2006
We get to be the sacrificial lambs that take a list of tasks that the home helpers could/should do - if MIL hires them back again. They need to have someone come in. They do need some help. Three hours, three times a week was too much, but they need someone to go shopping for them, help MIL with bathing, prepare some small meals/snacks.
I thought they were on a full meal plan there, but they get a continental breakfast and either lunch or dinner. They have a small kitchen in their apartment, and I guess they are expected to make something for themselves. They have the smallest dish washer I have ever seen in that kitchen! It is about half the size of a normal one.
When G looked in the refrigerator, he saw lots of dog food and salad dressings. What a combination. I have no idea where that came from. There was also a loaf of bread. I guess they could make salad dressing sandwiches!
I think both are exhibiting some dementia. They have problems remembering things. I think that’s another reason FIL doesn’t like the place. It is on the other side of town from their house, and he is afraid he will get lost. That happened to my dad, and he had lived in V’s house for fifteen years.
At any rate, Sunday should be very interesting. We’ll see if I can keep the dog from "humpiing" my leg the entire visit. Yes, he that well trained now!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
G called me about 3 to tell me he was sitting in the parking lot of a T*rget while his brother was in the store buying linens. I asked why this couldn’t be done this coming weekend. We all are going to be in the hill country, and a trip into San Antonio could and would be arranged. G told me they didn’t want the parents to be able to change their minds.
They got the bed and bedding, assembled the bed, and left about 6:30. I know G doesn’t like to drive at night, but that was really his only option. I asked him why he didn’t stay at the house instead, and he told me if we thought it was dangerous for the parents, why wouldn’t it be dangerous for him. My daughter also said with it being closed up for this length of time, the smell of dog urine would be overwhelming. I guess so.
Simone is progressing well on her new bland diet. I suppose she did have an ulcer. She completed her round of what we called "chalk pills." They had to be put in a syringe, mixed with water, and then squirted into her mouth. She tolerated that quite well. I think she is going to miss her visits to the vet hospital though. She is such a people dog!
Today my Lady Bug goes to kindergarten. In fact, she is probably walking to her classroom as I write this. We spent part of the day together. I took her out to lunch. That is one of her favorite activities anyway. Then we went to the new ice cream store in our little city. We came back to the house where she wanted to play computer games.
I could not help but look at her thinking that it seemed like last week she was the little baby that I kept during the day. I cannot believe how time can and does fly. Before I know it, she will be graduating from high school.
Her mom just called. She was a champ. She was happy and excited about going to the "new school." I ‘m so glad because for a while this summer she wasn’t looking forward to going. She would tell her mom she didn’t want to talk about it. Now I am anxious to hear about her day!
Friday, August 11, 2006
That question has come up once again. This time with the in-laws. They are well into the eighties, and I am wondering about their mental abilities. They both tend to forget - a lot. But now FIL is in such a state about living in the retirement community the family believes he has become a verbal abuser.
SIL M called me last night to tell me that MIL had stopped the home health people. They were coming three times a week for three hours. That may have been too much, but my first thought was that FIL had been harping on the money they were spending. I think she stopped them completely so he would have one less thing to gripe about.
When G was going to call and check on them, his brother said that MIL didn’t want to talk. I took that as a red flag right there. But G takes things on the surface - he doesn’t look for any hidden meaning.
SIL M also said the admission person called to tell her that the in laws keep asking about a two bedroom apartment. She constantly tells them they are hard to come by. It would be six months at best. Their wait is complicated by the dog. They can only be on the first floor or in the cottages where they are. That limits their options.
She further stated that MIL looks worse than when she came in. She has been sleeping on the couch and he in the bed. Everyone wants them to get twin beds, but MIL is adamant that things "match." They don’t match now. She moved her best furniture, but it is all dated - badly. It looks frumpy! It is gently worn because we never sat in the living room much, but it is worn and frumpy. She never has had a sense of style, and hasn’t gotten one now.
So all of this means that the sons will pilgrimage, unannounced, to San Antonio tomorrow. It is only about 90 miles for P and 200 for G. P just gets to drive the wonderful I 35 road way. I guess they are going to confront FIL. I don’t see anything good coming from this. It is amazing that after over 60 years of marriage FIL would become a verbal abuser. He was always a kind, gentle man to his family. How has age affected his brain?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
In other happenings around the old casa, Simone is sick again. I took her to the vet yesterday, and he said she might have an ulcer. I just want an answer to why her stomach is so sensitive. It was almost like she waited until the clinic closed on Saturday before she began throwing up. Saturday was a real treat around here! So now she has prescription dog food for the next three days and more pills to be taken three times a day!
In the news from San Antonio, FIL is in the hospital. He has had congestive heart failure for a time. He was feeling poorly for a while, so he decided a check up would be in order. They put him in the hospital on Friday for tests. His cardiologist went on vacation (??) after that, and the fill in is talking pace maker. The family believes he is just in a snit about moving away from the house. There will be much more about that in the future.
My SIL, M, emailed me after they had stopped by to visit on Sunday. They are the ones who paid for the intensive training of "the dog." M said the dog "is the dog from hell gleefully jumping from one person to another." I’m sure she saw her money well spent. She said he apparently didn’t remember anything from training, which by the way lasted four weeks.
Such is the news from this home front. Each day brings its twists and turns making life exciting.
Monday, August 07, 2006
One wedding had the groom there, the pastor and me. As time got closer and closer to the appointed wedding time, there was no bride. Guests were arriving, but no bride. About thirty minutes after the set time, a small car wheeled into the parking lot. What happened next reminded me of the small cars at the circus full of clowns. It was a small car. Suddenly all four doors opened and people began piling out of the car. I think there were six people in that car including the bride in her full skirted wedding dress. That is a sight that is burned on my memory. Later I found out from the pastor that the groom’s dad was not happy about the marriage. I think the marriage occurred so that the bride could remain in the United States.
Much later I was booked to play for a wedding (different pastor - a personal friend as well) for a Nigerian couple. I knew nothing of them. At this time I was not organist at my church. I was at another church on the first and third Sundays. I began playing my usual twenty minutes before the service. After thirty minutes, nothing was happening. Absolutely nothing. L’s wife came up to the choir loft to tell me the wedding party was not there and I should just wait. Later L came up and said the people were traditionally late. Thanks, L! And come to think of it, I never got paid either!
Last night I assumed (yeah I know) since the piano was close to a large glass door that I would have plenty of light to read the music. Uh, no. The night was overcast, so the room was dim. The light I should have brought was sitting right here at home, safely nestled next to the organ. Ok - it would work. That is until they began taking flash pictures of everything and everybody in the room. G told me they took at least six of me. All I know is that it was difficult to see after each flash.
The wedding coordinator came to me as I was playing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. I thought she needed to tell me something. Nope, wrong. She was going to pin my flower on me. Great! I get to the most challenging part of the piece for me, and she is going to stick me with a pin!
We practiced how the flower girls (three?!?) would walk in. One was going to walk in with my son and his wife, since she was C’s cousin’s daughter, and the other two would follow. With everyone standing, I couldn’t see them. I thought they were all in. Nope. They strung out single file. Was I still playing. No. I was ready to announce the bride, and began to do so with the introduction to the wedding march.
All in all, it was a beautiful wedding. A good time was had by all, and most importantly we finally got that man down the aisle. We thought he would never ask her to marry!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Today I was trying to explain why the dryer was not working as it should have. G is not a repair man. His usual method of fixing anything, and I do mean anything and everything, usually involved a hammer. Needless to say, I am not a fan of this method. I was graced to grow up in a family where both parents were handy, but my dad was a real "fix-it" man. By tagging along with him, I picked up some valuable skills along the way.
The dryer knob had separated. The inner knob just turned freely so that it did not really indicate what cycle you were using. That happened about a week ago, and I never saw the reason for doing anything about it. That was until today. Now I am lucky that G does his own laundry here at home (at the Double S and B, that’s not the case), and that’s how the trouble started. He put his load of clothes into the dryer and set the timer. After about two minutes, the dryer happily buzzed indicating that it had done its job. And it had. It was set for about two minutes, unbeknownst to G.
I went in - mostly to deflect a situation that could involve a hammer. I moved the dial around several times and determined that it was not going to show what time had really been chosen. G came in to the utility room and declared that was the exact setting he used. Told him that it was ok, and he left. I removed the knob, and he came back. That makes me nervous. I struggled with the knob and got the inner knob reattached to the turning outer knob. I replaced it and was told "That’s where I had it, and it went off after two minutes!" I tried to tell him what had been wrong, and what I did to fix it.
He again said "that’s where I had it." I tried to explain again. He still wouldn’t listen to me. Finally I picked up a bottle cap and a roll of transparent tape (I know, I’m a slob for having those things laying around.). Being the creative teacher I always have been (snort!) I assembled a dryer know system. He finally listened and understood. MY, my, after a mere thirty seven years I got him to listen to me.
Friday, August 04, 2006
And then, yesterday, it began to weaken. That was explained that it was too close to land, and it certainly was going to be over the open waters of the Gulf, and need I say more?
Then this morning they had to report that Chris was just a depression. A mere depression!! Oh the weeping of the weather people. All their hopes and dreams are almost dashed. My favorite one on the early morning news said that the Gulf coast MIGHT be hit by a tropical depression, and we should be aware of it. He wasn't a doom sayer. He didn't talk about the hot tropical waters that would cause intensification. He just stated the obvious. There could be a depression in the Gulf.
Now don't get me wrong. They can be very slow moving, and they can move then back up. They can hold lots of rain. Flooding can happen. They can are and are very destructive. I personally am not into flooding.
In this morning's paper, one of the articles on the front page was talking about the waters in the Atlantic being three degrees lower than last year, and there should be a decrease in named storms. Further in the paper, the local forecasters defended themselves stating they wanted people to be aware of what's out there. They defended the hourly updates and all the hype. They want the citizenry to be prepared - for the worst. After last year, anyone who doesn't have supplies is really dumb.
So, as of now, we won't have our news teams outfitted in raincoats with umbrellas standing in ninety mile an hour gusts with the rain pelting them like nails telling us we should not be out in that weather. It is possible that they may be out in raincoats, hip boots and umbrellas standing in thigh deep water with the snakes and fire ants telling us not to wade in thigh deep water.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Oh and by the way, the carpet cleaner worked like a champ. All stains are removed from the carpet. It looks brand new again.
I think instead of calling it "little place" it will now be known as the SSB ranch. That means stick, sting and bite because every living thing there either sticks, stings and/or bites!
Anyway, at SSB we get the Austin local channels as our local satellite channels. I could not believe one of their bozo weather forecasters who kept hoping for a disturbance in the Gulf so they could get a little rain. I know it’s dry in central Texas, but come on folks. Last Thursday we had five inches from an offshore low. Do we really wish destruction on the rest of us here on the Gulf coast?
I’ve been sitting here trying to think of something of like sort to wish on him! I can’t think of anything. But I think I will ask him to come to sit with my house if the storm comes this way. That way he can enjoy the power outages, rain and humidity. I'll sit in his air conditined house in parched Austin!
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
G and I are on fairly different schedules. Since he works a ten-hour/four day week, he has lunch at 12:30, or later. I am still on my teaching schedule as well as the schedule I had when keeping grandchildren eating lunch at 11:30. When we are on the road, it is nothing for him to wait until 2:00 before stopping for lunch. By that time I am ready to eat the dog! We stopped at one fast food place. I was ready! They made him mad, and we left. OMG! We went on down the road to the next town. Needless to say, I prayed a little prayer when he went in. It turned out to be OK. But we were so far behind, and there was no place to stop so he had to drive and eat.
When we got to little place, we found the lock on the gap over the cattle guard had been cut. With great trepidation, we went to the house. Everything was fine. There was no evidence of anything wrong. Our cattle lessee called. He found the lock cut, and his bull was out. We really think it was the power company, and I really believe his bull walked the cattle guard. He’s not sure of that, but I really don’t think there was any malicious behavior. But I did leave timers on this time in the house!
Early Sunday morning Simone’s sensitive stomach kicked in. She got nauseated at 2:00 A.M.. I took her out, and she was most interested in finding grass to eat. Nope - not happening there! She finally vomited once, and we headed back into the house. She was not through however. We were going to San Antonio later, so I put her out of the bedroom. When I got up the next morning, I was treated to quite a mess. She had vomited twice more and didn’t hold her "business." I was really wishing we had the floors done already. It would have been hard surfaces instead of carpet.
Our trip to San Antonio was to see the in laws in their new place. FIL had slept the night before - for the first time since they have been there. He was in a fairly good mood. The d*mn dog has reverted back to what I remember. He is WILD. He jumps and humps everyone. He needs to be neutered, yesterday. He jumps in your face and bites. I finally started making him mind. I decided I didn’t care if that made the in laws upset, but the dog finally gave me a wide berth.
I think the in laws will probably stay there. It is a nice facility. The only thing negative FIL said about it was it was an "efficiency apartment." It’s not. It is fairly large and is comfortable.
So we are back home facing the WEDDING this weekend. I am really looking forward to the rehearsal Saturday morning - at 8:00 A.M.. Oh, and did I say across town from me.
Have a good week everyone!