Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Do you ever wonder where time goes? Do you feel there are enough hours in a day?

I just have no idea where the time goes in a day. I get up, and then it's bed time. I look around and wonder just what I have accomplished. I wonder where the time is hiding. It was there a minute ago. I saw it. The day was sitting there, unused.

When I was still teaching, there was a point where I had teenagers at home, was a part time organist at a church, and ran a small craft business that was located in a local flea market. That meant that at night I was making things for said craft business. I also was mom taxi.

I managed to get things done. Lesson plans were done, tests were written, labs (I taught science) were prepared, papers were graded. The house was fairly presentable, and the dust was under control. Dinner was prepared every evening and on the table for a family dinner by 7 pm.

Now I am retired. My daughter and I are still playing around with the craft thing, but there is no store. We make occasional craft shows, but nothing big. We did one last year, but I had my cancer to deal with and she had her pregnancy. I just don't seem to be able to get anything done.

One of the factors I must consider is the simple fact that I am older - considerably. I just don't have the energy that I once had. I used to put this off to the chemo and radiation. I know that was part of it. I expected to immediately bounce back from that. I gave it a month thinking I would be full speed again. It just didn't happen. I would lie on the couch - exhausted - while the world just kept right on going around me.

Keeping an infant surely doesn't help. I am really thankful that she naps. The other two didn't. For the longest time, when she finally went to sleep, I would just become a vegetable. I was completely spent. Since Thanksgiving when she began refusing the bottle, getting her to sleep for her nap has been a battle. She cries and cries, but finally gives in to sleep for more than an hour.

My energy level is better - finally. I think after 6 months, I am about back to where I was. Normal? Not at all. While I was battling those cancer cells, age crept in, bringing something that saps energy. I used to wonder why retired people often took naps. I understand now.

The other side of a nap is that if I take one, then I don't sleep at night! Ah, the wonders of old age.

But I guess I will set off now, looking for bits and pieces of time. I know it has to be here somewhere.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Some husbands are incredible thoughtful and insightful while some are as sensitive as cedar posts. Guess which category mine falls in? Yep, he's a post.

Last night we were having dinner with the kids at my daughter's house. We got to talking about taking the troop carrier (the huge F250) to the shop for it's maintenance. When we do that, the plan goes like this. We get up early for a day off (drat), he hops into the troop carrier and I get in my car to follow. We fight the morning traffic to get to the shop, and I go to the restaurant next door to wait until he gets things signed in. Then we have breakfast out.

That is a plan that has been in effect for years. Until today. We really needed to be home by 8:30 so we would be here when Doodle Bug got here. Well, that changed everything. HE would take the troop carrier by himself, eat breakfast, and wait for the service to be done.

Well, even as petty as it may seem, I am ticked! I LOVE having breakfast out. When I take Simone to the vet for a bath, she has to be there early. There is a What-a-burger in the next shopping center. I hit the drive through for their (really pretty lousy) breakfast. I feel that I have had a right taken from me. I don't get breakfast from that restaurant and he does.

It was funny. All the kids knew that he was flying in the face of all I deem right and holy. K kept telling me she would come later. He still didn't get the point. So, here I sit, at home, with breakfast that I made while he is sitting indulging in that wonderful breakfast there.

I guess I'll have to make his life miserable for the rest of the day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ugh, families

I've been thinking about yesterday's post. I know the death of a parent often brings conflict among the siblings. I was so young when my maternal grandmother died that I don't remember all the things that happened, but I know that there was great strife between my mother and one of her brothers.

What worries me now is that when G and I are gone, there will be strife between my children. I also know what will cause the most strife, and it is the same thing that is happening in G's family. It will come from in-laws. Specifically, my son-in-law will radically piss off my son (and daughter-in-law too most likely).

I don't think they will come to "blows" over anything is Swampland. It will be the little place in West Texas. SIN doesn't take care of anything there. He has left windows open when he leaves, he puts things in the burn barrel that are dangerous, he litters. These things will drive B absolutely nuts. B already gets upset with SIL.

I wish there were something I could do to stop the blow up. I know there is nothing. And I guess I really don't need to worry about it. I won't know anything about it.

Families can be great things and terrible things!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Family messes

All through my childhood and well into my adulthood, I hated the fact that I was an only child. I longed for a sibling. I constantly had the fantasy that somewhere out here was a brother or sister who was given up for adoption before I came along. I found myself making some of mt friends into my non-existent brother or sister. Being an only child was a very lonely thing for me.

Now that I’m finally an adult who has to do adult things (like deal with parental deaths in particular) I realize that perhaps being an only child isn’t such a bad thing after all.. One of the advantages is that decisions that must be made I can make without a brother or sister fighting me about it or there being hurt feelings.

When I had to make the decision to move my father and step-mother to Swampland, I just did it. Now there I could have had some repercussions. You see, I do have a step brother, but my step brother had never been in the picture. There were no big family gatherings, no letters, nothing. There was no contact between families. We both were adults in our late 30's with our own children when our parents married. It has only been since his mother’s death that there has been any contact at all.

He could have fought me all the way when I moved them here to, but you see, he was living and working in one of the great cold northern states at the time (the rest of his family was living on the Left Coast. He rarely saw his mother. He was not really involved with her care. This is something I later found out from his cousin.

When I made the decision, her extended family was thrilled. They knew that my step brother didn’t look after her, and if she were close to me here, she would be looked after. Whew! Side stepped a bullet there.

But now I am seeing how family divides can occur quickly. Now that my FIL has died, there is a BIG rift occurring in G’s family. His sister is the baby of the family as well as the only girl. You can see what that position in the family brings with the parents. His brother is/was/will be always be Mommy’s little boy. G is/was/will always be the third wheel - even if he is the oldest. I can expound on that later.

His mother could be cast as Mommy Dearest without question. Severe depression runs in her family, as does Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She has both of those disorders - in spades. G’s early memories of his mother are of the numerous beatings he was given - all while Dad was away from home working for the rail road.

Brother and sister seem to be in the midst the supreme sibling rivalry. Both are jockeying for Mom’s favor. The sister moved in with the parents about 6 months ago because they were not able to care for themselves, but wouldn’t admit it. She became their caretaker. She did it for love, although brother and wife thought there must have been ulterior motives to her moving in with them.

Of course she could have used money for the care giving. She lost her job and at 55, jobs are hard to come from. I though she could get retirement, but it seems that she must have removed some money from the retirement fund. If it is not paid back, there is no retirement. Hmmm no job equals no money. No money means no repayment to the retirement fund. No repayment means no retirement checks. But I’m not supposed to know about any of this. OK. I’ll just play stupid.

This past weekend, MIL finally decided, or said she finally decided to make the move back to the retirement (perhaps assisted living?) facility where she and FIL had been for a few months. Back then, she wanted to be there so much and loved it - or so she said. He hated it and made her miserable every day. She decided to move back to the house even though she wanted to stay. Now the story has changed. She tells everyone but the family she wants to stay at the house. Forever.

To bring this all to a close and up to date, Little Sister was in the San Antonio for a good part of last week (even though she said she was through with all that stuff there and washed her hands of it all). They could get access to the apartment on Thursday, The big move was set for Saturday. She and Mother moved some things, but spent most of the time with the telephone company trying to get a telephone installed. She met with the usual mess that can come with a utility.

BIL and SIL came in on Saturday to help with little things. There were professional movers involved here too, so I don’t know why she wasn’t completely moved by them! When night fall came, MIL stated she wanted to go home. She had no sheets and no clothes at the apartment. Apparently SIL copped an attitude with Little Sister. Things blew up. Little sister was angry with SIL and left. To top it all off, there would have been no caretaker for MIL at the house that night.

All this has been going on especially since FIL’s death, but I suspect a little even before then. Middle brother doesn’t trust or respect his Little Sister. That is bad enough, but when the in law gets involved, that spells trouble with a capital T. MIL had complained to my daughter about her, and I thought she was the Golden In Law. She apparently had been rather "bossy" about things.

As for me, look for me in the nearest closet with my head in the sand - deeply in the sand.. I want to stay out of this one. I’m trying to keep relationships open with everyone. I hope I just don’t get slammed in the middle, but I’m afraid this problem has a long, nasty way to go!.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Physicians and other necessities

Hey - it's me again. I can't believe so much time has passed. Time just flies!

I have been making the first of my check ups that fall here at the beginning of the year. So far, all is good - I guess. Cardio doc is happy with my status, but I still have to hear the results from the wonderful Pap. I assume all is well on that end.

Doodle Bug has decided to become one of the siblings. She has decided that five fifteen minute naps are a good thing. Well kiddo, they are definitely NOT! Oh how I long for the days of the two hour nap.

My MIL is back home for a while. She is packing up everything to move to an assisted living facility. This is the one where they lived for a while when FIL was still alive. He hated it. Every second. HE made her live miserable. She had wanted to move there for years. Now she doesn't want to go back. She is taking his stance on living in that house. I don't think she has stated that she wants to die in her bed in that house as he did, but she has said she wants to live in the house forever.

I don't know why she has taken the stance she has taken. When BIL and SIL tried to move her to Capital City, it was way too early. They attempted that a week after the funeral. But when they took her back to CC for Christmas, they were able to get her to go to the Assisted Living.

Since I am an outlaw, I stay away from all this. In this family you can certainly be treated as an outlaw in a heartbeat. So to not become a complete outsider, I just keep my mouth shut. There are some dynamics going on here that I want to stay away from completely.

BIL emailed that probate is on Tuesday. He thinks that will be the end. I just replied that probate means the work has just begun. All she gets is appointed executrix. She now has to deal with the estate.

I will now slink back into my hole and not commit anything else - although I did add my two cents about the move and her reaction to one of her care takers. I just can't keep my mouth shut. I also said that I thought a scooter would help her become even more mobile at the Assisted Living. When will I learn?

Anyway, next month brings the checkups with the oncologist and radiation oncologist. It's funny, when I was in the midst of treatment, I couldn't wait for the end of the constant visits. Now I want them sooner than four months. I spoke to another cancer survivor who is three years past her treatment. She is on yearly recalls. She said that seems too long. I heartly agree, I never thought I would say this, but those checks cannot come too soon!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My day with Doodle Bug

As I have noted before, I keep Doodle Bug during the day while her mom works. She will be six months old on the 20th of this month.

Do you know the joy of keeping a 5 month old who refuses the bottle? Can you imagine the battles in which we engage? She really doesn't eat any solid food either. Perhaps she will eat a few spoonfuls of her rice cereal, but that's about it!

When I was keeping her before Christmas, I came to the brilliant conclusion that since she didn't take a bottle, perhaps she would take a "sippy cup." What did I have to lose? Absolutely nothing!

I bought a beginning sippy cup. It is like most with two exceptions. It has a longer spout, and it has no flow restrictor. DB loves it! I would bring it close and she would open her mouth which was unlike her reaction to the bottle. She would turn her head to the bottle - that is unless she wanted to chew on the nipple.

The only problem with this sippy cup is that she loves it so much. She grabs the handles which means I no longer have control. Then she will turn the cup up and almost drowns on the milk. Not exactly what I want. But she would actually get some nourishment into her little tummy.

Yesterday was her first day back with me after a ten day lapse. Mom didn't bring any milk. She did bring more rice cereal. I still had a month's supply!

When nap time came, DB was sleepy and grumpy. I had NO way to soothe her. You see, Mom nurses her to sleep. She screamed. She has a new cry. A shrill one. I heard it for an hour.

She fell asleep. I was so delighted. The delight soon ended however. Her blanket was across the room. She loves to be swaddled. She wasn't.

I retrieved the blanket and headed to the bedroom where her bed is. I placed her on my bed to begin the swaddling procedure. She got her arms out. Oh mercy! By the time I put her in her bed she was awake. She was having no part of this.

I took her back into the den. I mixed some rice cereal. I got three spoonfuls into her. She played for about another hour. Then, she was tired. Still. Again.

We sat and I tried to soothe her to sleep. Another hour of crying punctuated by phone calls. Can you imagine people actually trying to talk to me with a baby screaming in my other ear?

She finally went to sleep after about another hour of screaming. Guess who came in the door? Mom. I wanted to hit my own daughter.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Home again, jiggity jig

After our prolonged absence, we are back. Boy has there been a lot of water that has passed under the bridge too!

We generated enough trash to fill a huge truck. Unfortunately, there were no trucks available. We loaded two burn barrels, but alas, a burn ban is in effect. I had visions of ignoring that ban until we went to town on the 31st. There was a grass fire in the northeastern part of the area that scorched about 2500 acres. Guess where our burnable trash is. Right in the barrels. We still managed to bring back three large trash bags and a cooler of smashed cans.

Son-in-law pulled his usual stunt. He tried to stick plastic things in the burn barrel. One was the baby's toys with accompanying battery. I'm glad we managed to find it instead of later lighting the barrel with it in it!

Hunting was sparse. Son and daughter in law each killed a spike. They were each about 3 years old, and we surely don't want them passing on their (lack of) horns. G did get a good buck finally. We use the meat, and there are so many of the little creatures. We didn't even make a dent in the population. We would have 15-20 deer around my house feeder each night. That's a lot for 200 acres. Those were just those who came during daylight. I have no idea how many came at night!

After S and K and the kids went home, we had the neighbors over for dinner - and Texas Hold'em, our family style. We had great fun. The poker games continued each night. Bed times were about 1 am. That's fine if you can sleep until 9, but our four legged baby (Simone) is up at day light. Yawn.

As for G's family, I still don't know what is going on with them. His brother and family did not come. They kept Mom at their house - and away from the care taker she liked. That group is feuding with the sister. I am just trying to fly under the radar.

"Mom" is back in her house for now. They have secured assisted living for her. We stopped by the house on the way home. She seems positive about it, but the new care taker said she was crying while packing when her other care taker (also new) was there. I wonder what they did to her while she was in the Capitol City? I'm thinking brain washing. Your choice Mom, our house or assisted living.

So that's how things are in our neck of the woods. How about yours?