Friday, February 27, 2009

I was never trained as a nurse, the kind who looks after the sick and injured, but I have plenty of experience as a nurse, the kind who looks after babies and small children. It has come in handy, taking care of my disabled husband. I have to remind myself often that it's very much like looking after a big baby, except rather than squalling, he cusses, and his infantile fits of temper can do more damage than a baby's.

Today has been one of those days when I've needed an extraordinary amount of patience, and so far, it's been there when I needed it. God's grace continues to amaze me. Thanks to those of you who are holding me up with your prayers.

I'm also glad my babies came along before disposable diapers were so common. Soaking and rinsing soiled cloth diapers in the toilet was an everyday occurrence for moms "back in the day." Any squeamishness I once had about something so unpleasant got flushed a long time ago.

Sorry if I spoiled somebody's appetite.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something's gotta give! Will blogging fall by the wayside while Facebook eats up all my time? That's the way it's been lately. If I could figure out a way to combine the two, that would be ideal. This is monologue; over there it's dialogue, a lot more fun. Reconnecting with high school friends has been a blast! And I thought there was just one way to feel 16 again, silly me!

We had another funeral at St. Philip's this morning with the choir's music being as beautiful as ever. Garrison Keillor must have had a choir like ours in mind when he said: To sing like this, in the company of other souls, and to make those consonants slip out so easily and in unison, and to make those chords so rich that they bring tears to your eyes – this is transcendence. This is the power that choral singing has that other music can only dream of.

This afternoon I went to Brandon to sew with a friend of mine who has the most amazing machines I've ever seen. I will never be satisfied with my 40 year old Singer Touch 'n Sew again. I am so behind the times. If I ever get inspired to start making my own clothes again, which I kinda doubt, I'll just take it out to Lollie's house and do it there. She and I worked on my Chickadee jacket for the dream workshop retreat. We're planning to wear them when we go to Gray Center in a couple of weeks.

I'm just hoping I can get someone to come stay with Mike while I'm gone. His friend Ron is the most likely one to do it, but I haven't asked him yet. Surely he is not going to the casino on Friday the 13th. I'll call him tomorrow and see.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I wish I enjoyed reading books as much as some of my friends do. I realized today, listening to the gals in our Red Hat Readers group talk, that the book lover gene got left out of my DNA. I read a lot, mostly columns and articles on the internet, which allows me to flit from one subject to another before I get bored, but sitting down with a book to read from beginning to end is a real challenge for me. It always has been.

I used to resent people who could keep their nose buried in a book all day long and never put it down except to pee and eat. Now I envy them. It probably has something to do with my ADD, but my grandson has it and he can stay absorbed in a book for hours. His dad is like me, just doesn't have the bookreading gene.

Seems reading was a little easier when I took Adderall, but since Mike's accident, I haven't taken that. It's an amphetamine, and it did help me complete more tasks than I normally do, but it also set my nerves on edge, and I don't need that since I've been so involved with Mike and his recovery. (It also cut my appetite way down, which enabled me to lose the weight I've lost, but that was a side effect, not the primary purpose.)

Back to the book group.... I joined it because I love hanging out with the people in there, and I needed the discipline of being expected to read at least one book a month. Last month's book Down Town by Ferrol Sams just did not hold my interest. I would much rather have heard the author tell the story than have to read it. His use of old-timey Southern expressions was charming, at first, then it became tedious, and he goes on and on with so many little insignificant details that I just got really impatient for him to get to the point. You've been cornered by story tellers like this, I'm sure. I hope next month's selection is easier to read.

And now it's time to watch Obama make his speech.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My handyman came this morning to finish the paint job we started over a month ago. He had several touch-ups to do, and while he was here, he fixed the ice dispenser in the door of the fridge. I could have done it, I've done it before, but he's one of those take-charge kinda guys. "Here, let me do that," was all it took for me to step back and let him have it. He's moving to Louisiana in a couple of months, which I really hated to hear, but I've got other names and numbers for other handymen, so it shouldn't be a major problem.

I keep hoping AT&T will transfer Ricky from Tampa to Jackson, but the chances of that are about one in a million, maybe? These friends of mine who have family members they can call for help just don't realize how lucky they are. Thank goodness, I'm seeing more of Benji recently than I used to and he's pretty darn handy at fixing things, too. I'm hoping we can get pictures hung back on the wall that have been down since the painting began. Something else I could actually do by myself, but it works a lot better when a second or third person is eyeing the overall placement of the pictures. I want to mix up what I had in totally different arrangements, but I've got a couple of new ones to hang, too. What I need to do is go through all my paintings and get a couple of them framed.

I was out most of the afternoon with a 1:30 appointment, then shopping at Kroger, then working out at the Y. A nice looking man about my age struck up a conversation with me at Kroger, then at the Y, the same thing happened with another man. He and I talked about losing weight, he'd lost almost 100 lbs, I've lost 30 since July, then we talked about grandchildren. Such a pleasant, smart, nice looking man, quite a boost for my flagging ego. I think I'll wait until around 4:00 to go tomorrow, too. Exercise is not usually as interesting as it was today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's been a busier-than-usual week-end for me, so I'm glad to see it coming to an end. The Mardi Gras party went well Friday night, the show was a hit, judging from the crowd's reactions, the dinner was delicious, the band got everybody out on the dance floor, AND we made money for the Altar Guild and the Choir, so I'm pleased, and I congratulate those who pulled off another successful affair. I'm also glad we only do this once a year. I hope by this time next year, I'm not so tired and stressed, and can be more in the mood to "Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule!!"

Last night I went with my friend Yvonne to see The Vagina Monologues, a play written back in 1996 by Eve Ensler, who interviewed women for stories of "intimacy, vulnerability, and sexual self-discovery." She was inspired to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Portions of the play are funny, but the tragic parts are in there, too, and a couple of the stories moved me to tears. Women, you owe it to yourselves to see this play, if you never have.

Today was church, lunch with friends, exercise at the Y, and taking it easy. I've been trying to watch the Oscars, but having seen no more movies than I've seen in the past year, it's not very interesting to me. I didn't know most of the people who strolled the Red Carpet, which made me feel really out of touch. When did I lose interest in Pop Culture? I think it was around the time I turned 50, and some of you know exactly how long ago that was.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I finally got a good night's sleep, so today has been a little more productive than some of my other days this week, and I'm ready to do the Mardi Gras party tonight. I've invited my friend Lucy to go with me. Her first impression of St. Philip's folks will be a wild one, but I think she will be okay with that.

I'm not as enthusiastic about this year's musical as last year's or the year before, but it's got some good songs and good groups in it, so I'm sure the audience will love it. The theme is "Viva Las Vegas" and the story is about two nuns who have gone to Vegas to discover the meaning of life and love. They encounter Elvis, Tom Jones, the Supremes, Peter, Paul and Mary, Wayne Newton, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and the Rat Pack. It's funny.

I discovered when we first started the rehearsal for this that I felt unusually squeamish about prancing around seductively as one of Tom Jones' What's-New-Pussycat background singers, and dressed to resemble a cat, of course. Plus there is another number that is even more suggestive and I felt even more squeamish about that. Where did this little prude come from? It has to be the Baptist in me. My daddy would frown. But did I ever let that stop me?

Pictures will be forthcoming....maybe....maybe not.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"You didn't blog yesterday," a friend told me at lunch yesterday. It surprised me that she kept up with it that closely. She was concerned that something else had happened to Mike. I appreciate her concern and the concern of other friends. Knowing that I have friends who care is a real comfort to me.

Mike's condition has improved a bit. Yesterday he was able to get out of the bed and walk around the room for the first time in 10 days. His feet and ankles are still swollen, he's very weak, and sitting upright in a chair for 30 minutes exhausted him, he said.

I wish I could say his attitude has improved, too, but it hasn't. The Golden Rule has never been so hard for me to follow. I hope and pray I'm never in this condition and needing as much help as he needs, but we just don't know what help we will need before our days here are done, now do we?

I tried my best to conjure up my "party girl" for the choir's rehearsal last night of Friday's Mardi Gras musical, but she never surfaced. It's a fun, frivolous thing and requires a certain amount of silliness to do it right. Maybe by tomorrow, I can pull up some of that from somewhere, Lord knows I've got plenty of silliness in me, but last night and today, it ain't happening.

I'm still having insomnia, despite the fact that I'm taking Lunesta every night. Last night I got four hours, then wide awake. I'm in counseling every week to deal with the emotional turmoil I'm experiencing. Please continue to pray for me.

And for Mike.

I did get some good news on Tuesday - my Madison renter is not moving until this summer, if at all. Thank goodness!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Something happened to Friday's post... I probably violated some copyright law using the pictures I used, so they blanked it out. I deleted the whole thing and everything looks normal again.

My week-end was much too full for blogging or Facebook or any other of my regular diversions. With the Dream Group, the Mardi Gras rehearsal, church, company, etc., I just didn't spend much time on the computer, at all. Tomorrow will be a busy day, too, with a funeral in the morning and another Mardi Gras rehearsal tomorrow night.

And I just found out that my renter in Madison is getting transferred 6 months before her lease expires. My new renter for the townhouse just moved in 10 days ago, so I was hoping for a longer reprieve from the renting business. That's life, as Old Blue Eyes said, or se la vie, as my fancy French-speaking friends say it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday started on such a happy note, then gradually my mood started sliding downhill and the lower it got, the more precipitously it dropped. By the time I got home from the choir dinner last night, I was feeling really sorry for myself, one of those times I wanted and desperately needed to cry, but couldn't.... just didn't have that safe daddy shoulder that lets me turn loose of the tears. I wish I were not wired like this, and I'm working hard to get certain parts rewired, but for now, that's how my crying mechanism works.

It's not healthy for women to depend on a father figure like I do. Unfortunately, I was set up for this, to a certain extent, by my own father, whom I loved dearly and depended on far more than I should have. Maybe it's a generational thing. Men once believed that women couldn't make it without the help of a man, and some men still believe that, probably because there are so many of us dependent women out here who rely on them when we could be and should be relying on our own inner strength.

I'm convinced that it's one of the lessons I'm supposed to be learning throughout this ordeal with Mike. None of the safe father figures that I've relied on in the past are easily available to me right now. Truth is, they're probably all tired of listening to me whine. Heck! I'm tired of hearing myself whine.

Okay, what would my favorite daddy say about this pity party I'm having? "Get off your butt and go workout at the gym!" Now that wasn't so hard.

I'll be back from the Y in about an hour.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We've had a relatively quiet, peaceful day here. I got a bunch of stuff done that I'd been putting off, so that always makes me feel better. Then tonight Mike had a couple of visitors who brought him his favorite pizza for supper, so that was a special treat for both of us. And I learned that changing sheets on an occupied bed is not nearly as easy as it looked when I watched the woman at the nursing home do it, especially when you've got a pesky dog wanting to play tug-of-war with the sheets.

The one thing I didn't get done was exercising at the Y, but I've been pretty active all day and probably burned more calories than usual. Tomorrow, for sure, I'm going. Dancing to the oldies is a sure cure for the blues anyday, so I'm going to the 9:30 class.
I scanned an old picture for Facebook today and posted it there, so for those who haven't seen it, here are a group of friends from high school days at a luncheon at Hunter's Restaurant in Tupelo. Can someone please remind me where Hunter's was located? I'm thinking North Gloster close to the Holiday Inn, but I would not bet on it. Yours Truly is seated, third from the left in mint green with pink flowers on my head and a white corsage. That was actually a suit I made in Home Ec. What year was it when hats went out of style?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mike's condition is deteriorating, I'm afraid. The nurse thinks he has a new blood clot, and the doctor says she's probably right, but there isn't anything they can do about it. When you have blood clots and can't take a blood thinner, your options are very limited. So he's immobilized, not able to do much but turn from side to side in the bed and scoot himself to an upright position for eating his meals. He's very angry about the whole thing and has been quite hostile toward me when I'm in there, so I've not been in there much unless I just had to be. My patience is wearing thin, and I'm trying not to take his belligerence personally, but it's beginning to get to me. Praying friends, please continue to pray for us.

I have enjoyed the gorgeous weather we're having lately. My neighbor's Japanese Tulip tree has blooms all over it and my daffodils are shooting up with buds. Seems this happens every year, doesn't it? Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind. With just a little bit of warmth and sunshine, she teases our plants out of dormancy, then blasts them with icy reminders of why she can't be trusted, such a capricious force she is.

Facebook continues to be one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I've reconnected with old friends and made new friends and realized, once again, how easily I am distracted by and addicted to things I find to be pleasurable. Yes, it's time-consuming, but it's also inexpensive and fun, so I'm not too concerned about my new habit. If I've got to stay at home and take care of a grouchy old man, I may as well have some fun while I'm doing it, right? Glad you agree.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

It's been a different kind of Sunday. I didn't go to church this morning due to the annual church council going on in Hattiesburg. There was a Morning Prayer Service at St. Philip's, but with no choir, no music, so I took the day off. This afternoon I had unexpected company, then we went out to Pan Asia for dinner, so it was good day.

Mike hasn't been able to get out of bed all day. He's got a pain behind his right knee. I'm afraid he's got a new blood clot. He didn't want to go back to the hospital, so I didn't call 911. But yesterday he got out of bed several times and walked around in his room. Today, his right leg won't hold him up. Something's going on, like regressing instead of progressing. I have to call the doctor tomorrow or the nurse, at least.

There have been some interesting pictures posted over on my FB, Lyn had some from our 20th class reunion that I don't ever recall seeing, so if you're on Facebook go look at them. Still hard to believe I was that skinny.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Yesterday was an anxious day, today is much better. Yesterday I was sleep deprived, last night I got a full night's rest. Makes all the difference in the world for me, always has; I just don't function well without my sleep.

Today my doctor gave me a month's supply of Lunesta samples and told me to take one every night whether I thought I needed it or not, so I'll quit worrying about getting dependent on them. He's also added Celexa to my daily regimen, one of the few antidepressants that doesn't cause weight gain but does cause insomnia for some. Maybe that's why he told me to take the Lunesta every night.

Benji is 41 years old today. Happy birthday, Son! He's spending the day with Pip who will be 4 on the 15th, and he actually spoke to his Gramma on the phone when I called. That was a first. Glad you're enjoying your special day, Benji.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Another busy Wednesday! I went to the aerobics class at the Y this morning, same one I frequently attended back in '05 and '06. M,W,F at 9:30, just like it's been forever, and they're still dancing to the oldies on a cassette tape. Great fun, good workout, so glad I went. Then lunch with the Water Lilies in Madison.

This afternoon the nurse came and the occupational therapist. The nurse tested Mike's O2 level and it was 99, so he's getting plenty of oxygen now. She also wants the doctor to prescribe some fluid pills to see if it would get rid of the swelling in his feet and ankles. The OT wanted him to sit in a straight back chair for 10 minutes, but he only did it for 7 minutes before he began feeling faint. He's still very weak. She wants him to do it 4 times a day to build up his strength. It's up to me to make sure he does it, of course, and so far, he hasn't been very cooperative.

Tonight was choir rehearsal and dinner afterwards. And that's the best note to end the day on - good food, good company, good night!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I worked out this afternoon at the Reservoir Y, did 20 minutes on the bicycle, then several weight machines. Miraculously, my routine card from 3 years ago was still in the file drawer, complete with my notes and postings of 6 mos. of regular workouts. It was gratifying to look back and see where I was then and realize I could pick up where I left off. I've lost weight since then and done mostly water aerobics. It must have helped.

I hope the exercise helps the trouble I've had sleeping ever since Mike had his accident. I wake up with anxiety attacks and have trouble going back to sleep. Several people have told me that exercise gets rid of a lot of the toxic stress hormones that build up, and that these hormones interfere with restful sleep. Deep tissue massage also helps, and I'm planning to get another of those soon.

Mike's condition has improved a little. The antibiotic must have knocked out whatever infection there was. His spirits and disposition have improved slightly, but he's still very weak and not interested in doing the exercises that the physical therapist and occupational therapist advised him to do. His appetite seems to be a little better, too. He's really not hard to care for since he's in the bed and satisfied to be there. One day at a time!

Did you see Obama admitting, "I screwed up," in regard to the two cabinet picks who had tax problems? I'm glad we've finally got someone who is man enough to say, "Yes, I made a mistake." It's quite refreshing.

I hate that Tom Daschle will not be involved in health care reform, he would have been a good person to head that effort, but I also hate that prominent people are so careless in paying their taxes. Over 90% of Americans say they have no tolerance for people who don't pay the taxes they owe. That such a high percentage of people believe in paying their taxes no matter who is in the White House or which party is in control speaks well for us, don't you think? I must admit that I begrudgingly paid mine during the previous administration. Very begrudgingly.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Our choir sang ""Have You not Heard" and "Ye Shall Have a Song" from Randall Thompson's "Peaceable Kingdom," this morning, and God's grace got us through it in fine fashion once again. It's an 8 part anthem that really stretched our little choir, but miraculously we did it. There's this honors college choir doing it on YouTube. Listen to them, then imagine 20 mostly older adults singing this, and you will get some idea of the challenge we had.

Not being able to access my account on Facebook this afternoon has put me in a funky mood. Why is that? I depend way too much on my computer for entertainment.

I did get one computer snafu ironed out though, so that made me feel a little better. In changing to AT&T's new homepage, they hijacked my MS Outlook email service, changing it to Yahoo Webmail, instead. Thankfully, I was able to reach a nice and knowledgeable tech support person in North Carolina who fixed it back just the way it was. He said they had had a lot of complaints about it.

I've got the Super Bowl on, mainly so I can see the halftime show. I've never been a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, but the older I get, the more I like him. There were a couple of parties I could have gone to, but it's raining and getting colder and I really was not in a party mood, so I'm quite content to be at home.

Okay, well I finally got back into Facebook, I saw the 12 minutes of "The Boss," and have watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl in the last 35 seconds of the game. Woohoo! I'm glad there were other more interesting things going on around me than this, but that's for another day.