Friday, October 24, 2014


What a crazy Friday.  Another school shooting, this time in Washington State.  In our area, a couple of crazy shooters shot a police officer to death in Sacramento (near one of my favorite theaters), hijack a car, drove up the highway to the small town of Auburn, shot two more deputies (one has died) and a civilian was shot as well, but no news on that.  I've been watching the local news on and off, and it's a sad day.

But, gosh, we don't want to infringe on our constitutional right to bear semi-automatic weapons, do we? 

In better news, my husband woke up from his nap to find our Lucy cuddling his head.

She's so tiny...just 6 pounds.  She loves to nap, and if there is a warm body, so much the better.

We were out in the yard earlier, throwing a ball for our Golden, Boo, and Lucy was - pun intended - doggin' Boo as he chased the ball.  She has no interest in the toy, but loves to run with Boo and interfere with his catching is football.

Thank goodness for our pups.  They bring such joy.

Hope you find some joy this weekend.  It can be a terrible world out there and we've got to celebrate whenever we can.  xo

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life with Aging Parents

I am beside myself.  How does one break through a parent's denial?  I am speaking of my father, who is planning on taking my mother on a two week trip in May to the east coast for his high school reunion.  Why should this be so upsetting, you ask?  Mother has advanced Parkinson's, and has been in decline for 14 plus years.  She is limited in her mobility, her stamina, her strength, and is tired beyond description after a 4 hour car ride.  She requires a wheelchair, she is in a very weakened state.  And still...Dad wants to travel east with her.  And for a variety of reasons, she is unable to say no to him.  And so the planning of this insane adventure continues, with dad asking my sister to accompany them on the trip to help with her care.  I love my sister, but even she will agree she is no long term care giver.  I would be a more logical choice, but I know he is not asking me because he knows I disapprove.

I feel as if I'm lost in crazy town.  We just went through this a couple of months ago and he saw the light.  My husband, the M.D., brought up concerns about her catching an upper respiratory infection while flying across the U.S.  This, by itself, is reason enough for her to stay home.  One infection could kill her.

When he began his talk about the next trip with her I asked him if he had forgotten our previous discussions.  To my horror, he said, "I have not forgotten; I choose to ignore."

She will not speak up for herself.  She knows she cannot manage this trip.  I want to beat her, yell at her, scream and stamp my feet.

The sisters and I are hoping to involve her physician in this. 

My husband says it's sweet that Dad wants to take her.  I can't agree.  I think it's selfish.  And I think he is in serious denial about the state of her health.  I get it: he doesn't want her to be sick.  But she is.

We have until May to sort this out.  What I've tried before:

  • encourage him to join a care giver support group
  • seek counseling for the both of them
  • I agreed to stay with Mother for the time he is away, so he can get away on his own, any time he wants to go, he has me or another sister for backup care.  I am, btw, a trained and certified home care giver.

Yet, we keep revisiting the same issues.  I am as upset with her as I am with him.  She could resolve all this now by saying, "No. I'm not up to that kind of traveling."  And honestly, if she is tortured by a 4 hour car ride, how is she going to handle a 6 - 12 hour plane trip with changes?

I'm at wit's end.  They are both being completely illogical. They've gone off the track.  What is this strange game they are playing?  Whatever it is, it's got my sisters and me in a complete state of worry.

Ultimately, what can one do if they are determined to go?  Not a thing.  And that is killing me.  Slowly but surely.  (I exaggerate here, of course. I'm channeling my inner Jewish mother or perhaps Italian Catholic mother.)

Sometimes....Life Is A Bitch.

Friday, October 17, 2014


A special TGIF, for it is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake that interrupted the World Series, and focused the attention of the nation upon the San Francisco Bay Area.  Some 90 odd miles south, in the southern Santa Cruz mountains, was the epicenter.  Just a few miles from my house.

This photo in the Sentinel newspaper, Santa Cruz, says it all: a shocked and stunned woman cops a squat on the main street in Santa Cruz, trying to wrap her head around what has just occurred.  See the dust in the air?  So many brick buildings fell, their mortar sending up a grey cloud over the town.

While my friends were riding out the quake in their little beach cottage, I was stepping off the curb at the shopping mall when the sound of a speeding train perked my interest.  I looked out over the vast parking lot and watched as a wave of asphalt rolled toward me.  Being Californian, I adopted the surfer stance and rode the wave.  My mind was spinning as the earth was rolling: how is it that solid ground can become an ocean wave?

I was at the mall because, two days before, I had moved out of the house I lived in with my husband.  We were on our way to breaking apart our 11 year marriage and I was buying new bed sheets -- a symbolic new start.  I wondered, momentarily, if this quake was a sign that I had made a grave mistake.  Magical thinking in times of stress.

I drove into Santa Cruz to retrieve my daughter, who, at 21 months of age, had been with her father that day.  It soon became apparent that this was a bigger, wider disaster than first imagined.  I ended up staying at my old house for the night, as the car was very low on gas and no gas station was open, due to the widespread power outage.  Luckily, the husband and I were still on good terms.  We lay fully clothed, in the living room (closer to the escape route), grabbing the baby as each after shock jolted us up and out the door.  Those aftershocks were frequent and significant.  We didn't sleep a wink that night.

The weeks and months ahead were astonishing.  Nothing like normal life existed.  We were all shell-shocked, in constant emergency mode.  I had my backpack packed with essentials, along with my hiking boots, sitting next to the front door.  Helicopters bringing aid were a frequent distraction overhead.  And then there were the after shocks.  They continued for weeks.

I was grateful we were alive, had a roof over our heads, and had friends to weather the storm with.  Life was broken down to its elemental parts.  Nothing like a natural disaster to focus the mind.

And now, that little baby is a grown woman, married with a child of her own.  25 years of living under my belt, and I no longer have PTSD.  I no longer break out in a sweat when I hear a large truck or a helicopter.  I can hardly believe I experienced it.  I remember the stories of many of my friends, where they were, how they experienced it. 

What a time. 

Thank goodness it's Friday.  And we are whole.  Again.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mon Cher

It's his birthday.  We got a short ride in before it got too blasted hot.  Isn't he handsome?  Oh, la la.

So young at heart, so young a spirit, and I hope to be in half as good of shape when I am his age.  He inspires me.  We were having a bagel at Noah's this morning, talking about the older population in our town.  I just read an article stating that we are a majority now, here.  If you look around, what you see is, by and large, a very fit demographic.  White hair is commonly seen on older bodies that have excellent muscle tone, are on the slender side, and damn if they aren't just HAPPY.  They're also rocking their yoga or bicycle clothes.  It all gives me great hope for a healthy future.  And I want a long one, because I can't get enough of this man.

Passez une merveilleuse journée, mon cher!

Friday, October 3, 2014


Can you imagine? It' October already (as if you didn't know) and I couldn't be happier. My black dog has found someone else to pesster for awhile and This is my favorite season.

I'm winding up a week with mom, and I'll be happy to be back home. SOMEBODY over there isn't as obsessed with plant care as I am....though he tries. I told him I love him anyway, and I do. Oh, and hey, I MISS him.

So much in the news to be dismayed about, but I'm not going there. I'm fantasizing about long drives into the Sierra to see fall colors.  I'm marveling at the variety of squash and gourds at the farmer's market, and I'm sketching (in my mind) my spring vegetable garden and new fruit trees.

I'm looking forward to the party this weekend to celebrate a marriage. 23 years together and the law will now let them...Jaysus.

And if I don't see my grandson soon, I'm gonna bust. Crossing fingers for a quick trip down this month and Thanksgiving next month.  He has yet to meet my husband's grand kids.

Happy October, all.

You Can Go Home Again

 I took a vacation in the first week of May.  I went back to my high school and college stomping grounds, still populated by many friends of...