Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Musings

When in a funk, I am not fun to be around.  I know this.  And my husband is finding it out the hard way.  I've been down since hearing that my parents don't qualify for the retirement place they were all scheduled to move into.  It's a shock.  Everything was moving towards the move.  There was forward momentum, albeit slow.  Then, the doctor for the facility reviewed mom's medical records and said, essentially, that she is too advanced in her declining health to be admitted.  I think the whole process should be reversed, with a medical review FIRST, and then if you pass the review, you start the application and purchase process.  This has been a real let down for the entire family.  It seems, now, their two choices are to have more in home care (dad is burning out quickly) or to place mother in an assisted living facility or skilled nursing.  I doubt she'll be able to live out her life at home.  At some point, her disease will demand even more care, care that can only be done by professionals in a facility that is set up for that.  And that will be a bummer.

I remember well when my ex-wife's grandfather had to go to skilled nursing because grandma could no longer take care of him at home, and they didn't want to bring help into the home.  So, despite his vigorous protestations, into the facility he went.  Every time we visited, he would cry and beg to go home.  It was heartbreaking.  So much so that his wife refused to visit him there, as did his granddaughter.  So he was even more alone than ever.  A vicious and cruel cycle.  We were there with him when he took his last breath, for all the good it did him.  I'm not sure he knew we were there.

He had a roommate who wailed continuously, and the poor gentleman had to sleep on a mattress on the floor because he kept falling out of bed.  It was a pitiful sight to witness.  Luckily, grandpa could turn off his hearing aids.

Why do people object so damned much to have loving care done in their home?  If you have the room for a live in person, I think it's selfish to send your ailing one away to a miserable and lonely room in a facility.  I'd rather make the adjustment to living with a caregiver.  My parents, however, have only very reluctantly let a care giver into their home for 3 days a week.  And then they don't use her to her full capacity.  They keep her at arm's length, she's "the help" and they are Lord and Lady of the Manor.  Frustrating and boring for her.  

This rejection of my parents by the retirement home hits me hard at a very deep level, for all the reasons I stated above.  I'm walking the line of being helpful but keeping my own needs in mind.  I did care giving for mom for 3 years recently, and it was always a struggle to get dad to give up any kind of control in his home.  Maybe he'll just need to come to his wit's end before he cries uncle and let's someone take over.  It also took a very big toll on my health.  I have been very healthy since moving out of their home and not having my life revolve around them.  I want to keep it that way.

This morning, my husband helped me set up Spotify on my cell phone.  It was a challenge for me and I lost my cool.  I took a chill pill, literally.  Then got back to wrestling with forgotten passwords and technical difficulties.  Finally, viola!  I put on a playlist called Happy Hits, plugged in the ol' earbuds and took Lucy for a little walk around the neighborhood.  Pharrell's "Happy" completely changed my mood to one of joy.  Thank you, Pharrell.  Thank you Steve. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Musings

My friend Kathy provided me with the "blog fodder" for today's post.  Thanks Kathy.  (I know many Kathys, kind of like the on-going skit on Kids in the Hall.)

This JC Penny catalog opened a door in my mind.  By 1977 I had been out of the clutches of my parents for two whole years, and so was spared any more fashion torture, by my mother in particular.  But this is the kind of shit she used to love to dress me in, and JC Penny was indeed her "go to" fashion place.  The writer's take on the catalogue is priceless.  Read here.  I hated clothes shopping (what teenager doesn't) with her.  I didn't have a vote on her choices.  So I would pick the least offensive thing she would approve of. 

My mother was a prolific seamstress, and when I was very young I appreciated her artfulness.  As I grew into my pre teens, not so much.  It was the late sixties for chrissake, and anybody with any street cred did not wear polyester.  Ever.  Oh. Sure.  Plenty did.  But there were not cool.  The cool kids (ahem, myself) wore clothes purchased at the Good Will or the local exotic boutique with all things Indian.  My bedspread: Indian.  My clothes: made from Indian bedspreads.  My jewelry: sea shell necklace.  Hoop earrings.  I wish I had some photos.  Alas, I do not.  What I do have is me, all cleaned up for a portrait taken by my friend Topher.  I don't recall why I was having a portrait done, but I was all preppy (well, maybe not the blue jeans).  It may have been for my parents.  19 years old and I eschewed cosmetics (went through that phase in Junior High), styled hair and anything conventional.  I showed up at my job at the department store housewares department wearing Birkenstock sandals and was sent home.  I had a nice dress on, nylon stockings (required) and hippie shoes.  Did not go over well.

As I was preparing to graduate high school, my mother, because she is a pragmatic woman, made me a few outfits to send me out into the work world with.  All polyester (easy care, don't you know) and all hideous.  An outfit for interviews.  A work outfit.  A leisure thingy.  She put a lot of work into these concoctions and I felt guilty as hell because I hated them.  But I couldn't say 'no.'  She was on a mission.

I wonder why I had such an aversion to looking normal.  Well, wait, it was the 70s.  The days of disco and all the clothing to go with it.  Blech. And, I dunno, I was a Californian, I lived near the beach, I smoked pot, I drove around in junk cars.  I hung out at hippie dive restaurants and movie theaters.  I played folk music with my pals.  I took acid.  

But always, when I visited my parents, I dressed nice.  Preppy was my nice style.  Button down cotton shirts, crisp knee length skirts.  But still, the Birkenstocks.  My one nod to my real self.  In my effort to look normal for them, I grabbed onto the only style at the time that didn't make me want to throw-up.  

And of course, the shoe of choice for my kind.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Whhheeeeee.  Friday.

Tonight we celebrate with friends at Thunder Valley Casino.  We're seeing Steve Martin and Martin Short in concert (bluegrass).  I've already been on Google Maps looking at traffic and it's gonna be a bitch.  Friday traffic up to the Sierra, Tahoe, Reno, etc.  Everybody from all points southwest will jam the highway, and at 2 pm it's already happening.  I've got us taking an alternate route which, so far, looks clear.  Fingers crossed.

Daughter was finally able to announce her pregnancy and posted the cutest photo on Face book.  She's a nut, that one, and she doesn't let adult responsibilities stop her from having her fun.  Case in point, her new T-Shirt announcing her pregnancy says "Pregnant A F."  So, we assume it means Adult Female, right?  Nope.  She's adopted the saying from her high school kids and it goes like this "as fuck."  Apparently it can follow any declarative.  Happy As Fuck.  Sad As Fuck.  Whhhheeeeeee.

Old age.  I wouldn't know the latest lingo if it were not for my daughter.  Speaking of age, the mister and I are going to be joining a gym.  We will become Buff. As. Fuck.  Well, maybe.  Mostly we want to have adult play time and increase our strength and stamina.  We've still go a lot of years left in these bodies and wouldn't it be nice to feel as good as possible?  I know that my turning 60 next summer is driving it for me.  Ever damn decade I swear I'm going to start an exercise program.  Every one.  My exercise routines come in fits and starts.  Mostly I give up.

When I hear friends announce they were at the gym and had a great workout, I think, "That could be me.  I could be having a great workout."  Instead, I'm sitting in front of the computer for too damn long, almost every day.  Or sitting and reading.  Or lying in the hammock.   I'll keep up those rigorous routines (snicker) and throw in an hour of exercise to alleviate the guilt.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll grow to like it.  I have heard it said by many an athlete that you don't have to "like" it, just show up for it.  If you wait until you like it, you'll never do it.


Stay tuned.  Film at eleven.

I hope your weekend is wicked awesome AS FUCK.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I'll Get There. Someday.

I am soooo easily distracted.  I vowed to straighten up the guest room/my office today.  On the way I

made coffee
emptied the dishwasher
watered the yard
fed the dogs
made breakfast
soaked in the hottub
got dressed
tried to nap
took my daily meds
played with photos on the computer

and then, then, I made it to the guest room where, in order to clean up I needed some good music.  So I got on Amazon, was told I needed to update my Firefox and Flashplayer, did that, searched for the music I wanted to buy (the new album by Neko Case, Laura Veirs and kd lang), purchased that with one-click, forgot all about playing music and why I'm actually here in this room.  (Remember to gather photos together for dad's book today.)  Then I realized why I am here, I was looking to play some music, some simple tunes, to boost my spirits while I straighten up this damn room.

So...what'll it be?  Going to go with my Genius Jazz mix.  Ok.  I'm going to go DO IT.  RIGHT NOW.

Right after I post this: